Thursday, January 31, 2008

Jay: Salmon Burgers?

We have some frozen salmon burgers we were given, and I wondered if there any suggestions out there on the care and cooking of those.

Also, I was looking at a food encyclopedia page on beans the other day.  Recently I saw cranberry beans in the store.  I was intrigued to learn that those are what we always called shell beans, one of my father’s favorite foods, and something he routinely grows fresh for himself.

06:34 PM | Food & Cooking • (1) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Rough Morning So Far

I’m all stuffy and runny, slept to a reasonable time, if not well, but one that was later than I might prefer.  Sadie came along as I was stirring and until a few minutes ago mothed me to the point of sitting on my lap while I, unable to do anything else, did some morning surfing.

Speaking of Sadie, how do you nip inborn OCD/perfectionism tendencies in the bud before they become crippling?  When she laid Dee Dee (the doll) down beside me, it took her six tries and visible frustration to get her into exactly the “correct” position.  She requires a fresh cup every morning for her coffee milk, rather than using her cup of water from overnight.  She doesn’t want her dessert or a snack - say, some nuts - on the same plate she just used for other food - say, a sandwich - but instead there must be a new bowl or plate.  And that one is probably closer to normal 3 year old than to as odd as it gets in the many things not mentioned here.  The other night she refused to eat her blueberry cake - blueberry! - because I insisted it go on a clean section of her supper plate.

Anyway, I shouldn’t really need a new list, as what I said earlier applies.  More coffee and I’ll try to get myself oriented and moving…

02:21 PM | KidsTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Anniversary

To my brother Michael and his wife Kim.  I believe this would be nine years.

02:15 PM | Totally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Post-Mortem on Post ‘Today”

How did I do on the list I posted in the morning?

The OnForce training and test, so I can go from approved to active.

Not yet.  Want to do that next.  It needs I’d say about an uninterrupted hour, computer sound on, music off.  Not out of the question for first thing in the morning.

The web site updates and a flier.

The most important and initially planned site updates are done.  After eliminating some pages, I added back to what I need.  I have to price and post specials, configure what standard packages might look like (which also serves to give me a checklist when I do the work), and create an experience page that sells me harder to anyone who cares to dig.

See if online banking is active for my new account.  If so, link to PayPal.

It’s not.  Or the initial password they gave me isn’t valid, but I tried it at the earliest point I had reason to expect anything.

Stuff associated with advertising.

Partial.  Forbes wants to speak on the phone, and I want to do that before I hit up the other advertiser.  Actually, I don’t want to do that at all, but that’s what I get for writing a verbose e-mail, which people hate answering in kind.

Resume-related work.  Natural resonance with the second item I typed.

No more than some thinking about it.  I did see interesting sights in doing idle searches for job postings.

Major e-mail soliciting work from a bunch of people, for which I’ve held off until some of the above.

Nope.  Want the specials to go into that.  Would like it out there by middle of Friday, tops.  Chances are it’ll result in at least a bit of immediate work.

Remember to pay attention to the list so it gets followed enough to be useful.

Didn’t keep coming back and looking, but it was fairly straightforward.  Didn’t go as fast as it might have, partly because I was trying to force it and keep field excursions to a minimum. 

That’s probably all that’ll fit.  Plan tomorrow, which will include a haircut.

Which is urgent, even though I can’t afford it, and will want to combine with other errands, making it an even longer outing.  This makes continuing some of the above interesting, but that’s what I’ll try to do first, in the morning, assuming I don’t plow right into it more after I post this.  I’m more alert than I was for wide swaths of the afternoon.  Though I think it’s the alertness of delayed sleep.

There will be no birthdays in the morning, but there’s an anniversary, and I should post about salmon and perhaps beans.  Consider myself reminded.

05:27 AM | BloggingBusinessGeekeryJob HuntingMoney • (0) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Jay: A Thought

Why do we say that we support computers, or we support software?  Isn’t it that we’re supporting the people who use and rely on the computers and software?

06:55 PM | BusinessGeekery • (1) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Odd

For me to find music more distracting than focusing.

Actually, I think I need to revert to headphones and maybe change the music mix.  With headphones it more properly separates me from the world and carries me to the zone.


Oops, almost hit power button on the black UPS the computer plugs into, rather than the black speakers.  That’d be fun.

And again I wish manufacturers made headphone cords longer and the interface of jacks and plugs more robust.

04:02 PM | GeekeryMusic • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Today

The OnForce training and test, so I can go from approved to active.

The web site updates and a flier.

See if online banking is active for my new account.  If so, link to PayPal.

Stuff associated with advertising.

Resume-related work.  Natural resonance with the second item I typed.

Major e-mail soliciting work from a bunch of people, for which I’ve held off until some of the above.

Remember to pay attention to the list so it gets followed enough to be useful.

That’s probably all that’ll fit.  Plan tomorrow, which will include a haircut.

12:27 PM | BloggingBusinessGeekeryJob HuntingMoney • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To sometimes blogger Sam Smith, daughter of the late Acidman.

12:11 PM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jay: CotC is Up

I should note that this week’s Carnival of the Capitalists is up at Bizosphere.  It continues to appear we are on the right track with the total reboot of the concept.

This edition was hosted superbly by cehwiedel of One Man Band.

Next week it would seem I am hosting, although I do have one possible host who may step in instead, or who may ask for the next week.

03:26 PM | BloggingBusinessQuiz or Meme • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To blogger Megan McArdle, even if she does find fat people and poor people repulsive.  And libertarian?  Maybe not so much.

01:51 PM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, January 28, 2008

Jay: Respecting Our Happiest Possible Selves

Rob May is on a roll at BusinessPundit doing Best Post Ever posts.  For instance, The Lesson of Doing Things You Like.

He is absolutely right, and I find myself more or less happy depending on how hard I resist, or of course have no choice.  Nor does it help as we get older and have to confront increasing numbers of lost possible selves.

04:45 PM | BusinessMoneyTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: OnForce and Other Things

I’ve started through the signup process for OnForce a few times now, and am going to pick it back up this morning.  Originally I merely looked it over and was mildly concerned that you have to agree not to operate a similar service within three years of using theirs.

I made a false start along those lines years ago, and had never completely dropped the idea.  In its most recent form, though, it would probably not be considered close enough to the same.  And perhaps never would have.

Which reminds me of how funny these business idea things are.

Once upon a time, I believe it was 1998, I bought the domain and hosting for it for my brother and his now ex-wife, who was into crafts and used the name BZMom’s Crafts or something like that.  In domains, short is better and so it was, leaving room for me to be annoyed that she was disappointed it wasn’t the long version.

That was the bad old days, and it’s easy to forget now, when a few bucks a month buys seemingly endless hosting, and under ten bucks a year buys domain registration, that back then it was $70 for those first two years and $35 per afterward, and it was $400 a year for limited hosting.  For the business, back then, it was over $1200 a year for web hosting and e-mail.  E-mail addresses were $3 per address per month, and we had twelve, so it was $432 for e-mail for the year.  There were probably lower cost options sooner than we discovered that there were, but even those were considerably more than today.

To paraphrase a truism, the past is another internet.

Anyway, I was all enthusiastic on their behalf, dreaming of all the things they could do with a craft-related online presence.  It wasn’t my bag, I figured, but maybe they could bootstrap a social and selling site for people who did crafts of all kinds.  I was afraid the idea was too obvious and too “already done,” but wasn’t aware of such a thing.

Well, that didn’t happen, and I forgot about it entirely until I realized this weekend that I had imagined Etsy back in 1998, maybe 1999.  Thinking of the idea of connecting geek workers with people who need them, a form of which is OnForce, and a form of which I’ve had in mind repeatedly for years, reminded me of that as I typed, rendering this a longer post than it might otherwise have been.

Right, the OnForce thing.  The other thing was I needed a bank account to connect it to, as they pay electronically.  I finally got around to that, which I also needed to do for PayPal.

Then I got into the profile configuration, after signing up, and would have it time out and sign me off because I’d pause to do something else, making me start over.  Then I ran into things I had to think about, or that were so oddly designed as to cause the aforementioned pause.

Last time I was in there, I got to what appeared to be the end and it asked for a rate for each type of work I had indicated I’d do.  Um… I had assumed that the person wanting to hire someone specified a price and one of the techs took it or it languished.

It’s my whole price thing again.  I have an almost irrational fear of pricing wrong; too high and get no work, too low and feel used and resentful.  Low is good now, in that I have to get some work, any work, and even $35 an hour stuff would be better than getting a job in a store for $8 - 10.  I just don’t want to become known for low and stuck with it.  Looking at the four types of work and the $5 increment selector for each, ranging from $35 bottom to $200 top, that made me puse again.

If it hadn’t, well, the next thing was a “you must give a reference we can talk to.” So I stopped for an extended time to verify for sure that I could list the office manager of the former big client.  I knew I could, and in a pinch I’d have just done it, but getting that “absolutely” back from her was reassuring.

So it’s time to fill out the not-that-complicated-really stuff again in hopes of getting to the end and getting it saved, without running into something I can’t answer offhand, or freezing because I’m convinced people want me to be a computer wizard for free and I must be an ingrate for expecting not merely to be paid, but to be adequately paid.  What kind of fucked up psychological baggage is that?  Actually, I have some idea, but that would be another post or three.

Well, off to it.

Based on the Internet Archive, was active in 2001, so I was a couple years off.  It also had content for a while and later was reduced to under construction placeholder.

And that makes sense, since predates it and I got that domain in 1999.  I wouldn’t have sprang for both in the same year.

04:28 PM | BloggingBusinessGeekeryJob HuntingMoneyTotally Random • (1) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Blargh

Woke up way too early, before 5:00, couldn’t get back to sleep.  Now I feel like I’ll keel over, at the point when everyone else is about to start waking up.

Our coating of snow yesterday turned into a coastal thing that dumped real snow out there, enough that I may have to go shovel.  Or not, since three days of temps are supposed to be 35, 44 and 48.

Made an amazing blueberry pound cake with some frozen blueberries Sadie got from her grandfather.  She loves blueberries.

Made bread for the first time ever, with a recipe from my brother that he e-mailed me in 2001, which turns out to be almost identical to the CIA bread recipe I found online to try to determine the amount of sugar to use, as that wasn’t listed.  I screwed up the steps at a key point, but still ended up with something about as good as anything we’d buy.  When it calls for putting the warm milk mixture in a bowl and then adding flour, it says to put in 2 cups then mix, then add the yeast water.  I put in all the flour, then saw what the directions actually said.  Decided to cut the yeast into it anyway, and hope for the best.  Fudged it with a little warm water to make it mix in better.  It rose stubbornly, but it did rise.  The loaves ended up perhaps smaller and heavier in texture than they would have.  In my travels I learned about skimming versus not skimming the milk to make it fluffier or heavier.

Making bread was easier than I’d expected.  I routinely cook things that are more time and trouble than making a couple loaves of bread, so I’ll do it again for sure.  I want to figure out what the ingredients cost, versus buying, say, a couple loaves of Italian bread.

I also made chili yesterday, slightly heavier on the beans than usual, but still meaty.  The girls devoured it, and in fact gave it preference over the bread, despite having tried and enjoyed tastes of the bread beforehand.  I also experimented with giving them glasses of water with supper.  They have sippy cups of milk, watered juice, or lemonade all day, but usually have nothing to drink at the table with a meal.  Figured it was time for them, especially Sadie, to learn to drink from a regular cup better.  She loved it.  Valerie, who drinks expertly from a bowl, had, or pretended to have, trouble.

Sadie has also started using big kid toothpaste you have to spit out.  For some reason, that resulted in her having me brush the teeth for her, but she wants them to be properly clean and admires them in the mirror afterward.

I think I’ll lay back down after all.  I have the can’t stay upright feeling that’s like being sick as much as sleepy.

12:27 PM | Food & CookingKidsNewsWeatherTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To blogger Rand Simberg.

11:44 AM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jay: That Was Worthwhile

I eventually ended up with the kid’s room rearranged to have, clockwise around the edge, the toy kitchen, box of toys, big coffee table with Sadie’s computer and lamp that’s their night light, Nemo pillow, Sadie’s bed, Valerie’s bed, smaller coffee table with Val’s computer, and Val’s chair facing the end of the table.  That was the only way to make it usable for her to sit at, as the table is really too narrow.

Ideally they’d have both been at the big table, each at an end, but now the living room has lots of exciting floor space.  Much more fun for playing with the 36 of their Hot Wheels, Matchboxes, and mini Tonkas I turned up and shelved while moving things and picking up.  Their room also looks more open, though they should quickly cover the floor with toys again.

Previously Sadie wouldn’t sleep on her bed, but instead would nest partly on the Nemo pillow between the two beds, which now touch each other.  The excitement, and apparently preferable position, made her eager to sleep there.  I didn’t expect her to last all night, though.

They’re also totally excited to have the computers more usable, even if Sadie does try too hard to “help” Valerie.  I still need to get some games onto Sadie’s, or give it sound so she can use the Magic Schoolbus CDs.  Val brought up Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventure on hers, somehow, and Sadie apparently remembered Ctrl makes him jump and the arrows move him, from watching me weeks ago.  She made him jump onto his ship, and I explained to her she didn’t want to use the left arrow exclusively, since he had to go the other way to get into the game.  Still, it’s cool she remembered and did that much.  I didn’t stick around to see if she managed more.  But somewhere along the line one of them successfully exited the game, intentionally or not.

Today I need to get other stuff done.  I was hoping to get back to work-like stuff late last night, but didn’t, for all I had a brief burst of maybe wakeful enough.

Then again, I would love to move things around the office, too.  Clean out the closet.  Put a bookcase in there and reorganize.  That sort of thing.  It’ll wait, though. 

More likely I’ll do some cooking.  It’s baking weather, but what I’m assuming I’ll make is chili or beef stew or beef and gravy over potatoes.  On the other hand, I could invent a casserole or do chicken in the oven or bake some squash or potatoes.  Haven’t baked squash before, but it worked well for pumpkins.  Mainly don’t want to get to 5:30 again before deciding on supper, for all the burgers were yummy and the kids devoured 1.5 hot dogs each, plus some cheese, chips, condiments and bites of my burger.  And lemon pudding, which might actually be even better than butterscotch.

I should start by reading the CotC entries I started on last night and couldn’t concentrate on…

01:29 PM | BloggingBusinessFood & CookingGeekeryJob HuntingKidsMoneyTotally Random • (1) CommentsPermalink
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