Totally Random

Bit of an Update

Henry caused Sadie’s power supply to fry, so that’s been waiting for replacement if I could find one.

Valerie’s computer started sounding sick. When I found the CPU fan dying, which would explain it shutting down spontaneously the other day as from overheating, I cannibalized that machine for power supply, extra RAM, and a better sound card. Gave Sadie a choice and she wanted to move to the table Valerie’s computer was on, so we cleaned the whole area spotless. Nothing. It appears the motherboard fried in the computer Sadie had been using. So I need to go through the old computers I have neatly stashed out of the way, either rebuilding or swapping so they have one. We’d already discussed consolidating down to a single shared one for them. Or I can give them a spare, really old one to abuse, and a somewhat better one.

We’re going to move them anyway, so the computer thing being in flux matters less, apart from Sadie’s sheer obsession with drawing in Paint and especially Paint Shop Pro. I need to make some time alone with her to show her some art books and maybe comics.

Friday we received approval for MassHealth, a week after I’d faxed all the paperwork and a letter explaining what happened and wondering how they never got all the info originally. I am certain that means we technically were covered the day of Henry’s appointment, when we paid $100 and the doctor made the stuff that would have been extra go away. If we’d managed to get past check-in without paying, he’d probably have made the whole thing not exist as far as the billing department was concerned. Which is a good reason not to have worried about all the times we got charged a full visit for a nurse blood pressure check, or got charged an extra visit because he happened to check one of our blood pressures while a kid was there for a checkup, and the BP notation was enough to trigger the billing process.

Since the original impetus was to cover the hospital for Henry’s emergency retroactively, not sure how that works. That’s gone to a collection agency now, and for all I know the MassHealth thing got dropped by HFI because once that happened it was too late.

I keep having my giant laundry list of things to do completely disrupted. Apart from cleaning and organizing needed otherwise, we had a couple of pantry insect incidents sufficient to mean I need to clean out the cabinets, check, purge, sanitize, and take the excuse to reorganize.

Then there’s the whole work-hunting thing.

Right, the gas and electric. You may recall our fundraiser and juggling, where we had to come up with $1425 and then make a payment plan. The payments are $200 a month until it is paid, informally, to be paid alternating with the current bills. Which should be lower for 2-3 months than they were in the last one, which they tell me only looked like August, and was actually July and may have included some of the tiny use of AC we had. It’s still too high for that to be it (over $200 electric for the month, our largest bill hands down of the past 13 months), and it coincides with having increased our use of compact flourescents (the first month we started using a few of those, we went down 20%, so for it to leap…). We went down in computer usage. We went down in fan usage, if only because they keep dying and we can’t afford to buy new ones, if we’d bother late in summer anyway.

In our conspiracy imaginings, power is being sucked away by grow lights the 3rd floor uses for their indoor farming venture. But chances are they are not tapping our power, or it’s an accidental wiring thing and maybe some of their AC or tools in the cellar is what we paid for this summer. However, I had a UPS that was probably deployed around the time out usage first went higher, that followed some odd behavior by dying. A UPS can consume extra power, depending on design and what the problem is exactly. I’d like to think it is that, and we will drop dramatically.

Anyway, we still can use all the help we can get, and it’d be fun to find someone had used the info over on the right under “light the power” to shrink our arrears (now $1225) (you’d have to specify it’s for that) or give us a lower monthly bill along the way. I added to our sites available for ads, priced it high in keeping with its Page Rank, and already have enough there to cover the arrears, all else being equal, which can’t be counted on.

At that point in this post, the fact I have kids and domestic tasks reared its head. It’s impressively long, as these things go. It’s Monday morning now, rather than Sunday afternoon, so let’s see if I can recall anything else I meant to add here.

Did I mention Henry climbed onto the kitchen table for the first time? I sort of got pictures. That is, starting from the time he was established successfully on the chair, staging for his attempt to reach the computer on the table. They are likely to be posted later.

Funny the last thing I had typed here is about, as it’s the blog I fret about the most, with probably the biggest money potential, and the home of the defunct – essentially, even if I did a memorial edition here or there – CotC. Someone DM’d me on Twitter later, about my plans, so that’s going to need to be a serious reply today. Link ads there sell for a shocking amount. I could probably generate a grand a month from the one blog by posting regularly, without seriously pushing. Or by figuring out how to populate it automatically with selected feeds.

Henry seems to have acclimated and improved a lot with age. We have a lot of meals he shares directly now. Pasta with red sauce was a little bit strong, but he thought he was in culinary heaven. He seems to be able to have peanut butter. A few days and I’ll test that in more of a clean scenario. Yesterday he reacted strongly, but it was probably from apricot preserves that have corn syrup as their second biggest ingredient. Part of ADM’s consipiracy to make us all fat while collecting from us via both grocers and Congress, you know. Might have been the fresh ripe pear, but probably not, considering he can eat any amount of canned pear halves in heavy syrup with no reaction. He’s eaten as many as seven or eight halves in a sitting. After his first bit of a tiny bit of sandwich, a smear of peanut butter sat on his lower cheek for most of the meal and might as well have been mud or something else completely inert. He broke out after he went back to the sandwich and smeared himself with jam.

In any event, most of this seems to be skin based. Contact. The salicylate thing is real but seems to have reduced. I’d be unsurprised if that heightens the independent skin sensitivity.

He thinks tuna sandwiches are the greatest and doesn’t react at all. Just tuna, mayo and bread, no pepper, celery, garlic powder, onion, relish or pickles, or cheese involved. Of course, he can have the garlic, onion or lettuce, no problem, and tomato with little or no problem. He reacted strongly to relish, which is both up there on the no list, and has unfriendly food coloring.

The kids have rediscovered their love of butternut squash. Yay for being in season!

Sadie seems to have developed an unexpected love of rice. An ideal meal for her is burger, ketchup and rice. Maybe she would eat some corn or sqush, sometimes even other veggies, but the meat and usually rice will be devastated. Both girls ate small adult sized burgers last night, plus almost half of my larger burger, and part of Deb’s large burger. Of course, a couple days ago I cooked five hot dogs for lunch and got half of one for me by the time they were done. Henry eats half of one. Oddly, how well he does seems to depend how well it is cooked (frying may be better, and brands vary but we always get milk-free, more “premium” sorts), so when I microwave them I give him the part that’s more well done. Juice-borne paprika in the hot dogs is what will affect his skin.

A particular favorite is grilled cheese and tomato soup. Sadie eats half a can of soup, easily, and a substantial amount of a full sandwich. Henry loves tomato soup, which seems to sit okay with him, no worse than ketchup. Val eats a lot less soup than Sadie, but she will eat all of a full sized grilled cheese sandwich.

Henry seems to do okay with canned pineapple in syrup. He seems to do okay with a small amount of dried pineapple, which is like candy. Sadie picked out white grape juice when we went to Wal-Mart, and we tried giving him some water spiked with 1/5 or less of that. It seemed to be okay, though we’d limit the amount.

Anyway, time to see what the kids are up to. I wasn’t intending to turn it into a “what he can eat these days” post. Also, started the cabinet cleanout last night so I’d have to continue, and should get back to that. Surprising amount of expired stuff. Ooh, I need to look up how long rice vinegar keeps after opening.

Health Care Kids Massachusetts Medical Money Politics Stupidity Totally Random

Official Shit List

Mitt Romney
Healthcare Financial, Inc.
Thomas G. Gennis
The voice “talent” of Signature Healthcare’s phone system
The designer of Signature Healthcare’s phone system
Heck, the designer of MassHealth’s phone system
Downstairs neighbor
Upstairs neighbor
Anyone who calls us after 10 PM tops when there’s no deaths in the family or such
Probably a bunch of others not as close to the top of my mind.

Art Books Kids Money Movies Music Totally Random TV

Arisia Memberships For Sale

Two adult and two babysitting memberships to Arisia, the big New England SF convention I used to help run.

I bought them in 2007 for 2008, then rolled them over to 2009. You’re not supposed to be able to roll memberships over more than once, and I have no idea whether we’d be willing or able to go in 2010 and would rather have the money than ask to have them forwarded again, so I am offering them for sale.

I paid $30 each. I am asking $80 for the entire set, or $25 each for less than the whole set.

E-mail jay at this domain if interested, or leave a comment.

Geekery Kids Totally Random

Silly Henry

He is our mail out the so I am using voice dictation to try to work which of course is interesting as you can see if I don’t edit this.

I said I am trying to work actually that’s not what I said I said he is on my lap not he is our mail out.

Anyway I get the last two posts for birthdays using this does voice dictation, which I have to do it in notepad and paste into W.Blogger because this does voice dictation won’t work with anything that’s alien lay out and not based on Internet explorer and stuff because Microsoft is never Microsoft center in a way that makes things difficult for things that are competition.

Everything above is exactly as I spoke it, including this sentence.

Even as honey pulls out my face and trace Two-tone whiskers out at least he is leaving the microphone on what so I could theoretically be saying stuff that I could paste into my resume if I can ping state with him like climbing up one of my hat money had not my hat and. I said my had my head not my hat. C some things it just doesn’t get. Like they had and had and hat thing they said had and had had had a.

The thing I was having trouble with last I may use this was the warts might dog and Doc D were it’s D were its words that start with the letter D obviously vista dictation needs some work.

A gay lets copy and posed as I said OK not a gay. Nah lets copy-and-paste this into are and publish it and you got.

Totally Random


Once again, no birthdays today. Or even birthdats todat. Apparently I can’t type, at least not on that part of the qwerty. Or is it qweryt? Anyway…

I worked on the resume with partial usefulness yesterday, but I have an awful time working in a strange place, on a strange computer, in a “do this, only this, in this relatively small block of time” when it comes to that sort of thing. Still, I examined what I already have more closely than before. Basically I tend to write it and walk away, barely able to look at it again. Which is why on an actual read I am sometimes shocked to realize how good it is, or that I already thought of the aspects I am thinking in retrospect I ought have included or phrased thus and so.

Which means that perhaps less change or variation is in order than I had thought.

The big problem is keyword bingo by resume stalkers. There is no nuance. If I mention Language X because I dabbled in it and having a passing exposure that makes me better rounded or gives me a slight leg up on learning it for real, a keyword harvester might flag me for a prospective senior programmer in Language X. No subtlety.

Where was I?

So I guess I need to change the keywords, including to remove some that are obsolete, there mainly to say “I’m a bigger geek than anyone else you could hire and have dealt with things you never heard of since you were just a pup” to prospective employers.

I eventually realized that in my original I could change the blurb at the top and not have to change much else to emphasize what I might want to do.

I would like to change it to move the skills keywords and create sections that are technical and otherwise, which would be another place to modify the focus. That’s what I need to work on today. Which means as soon as I open a copy of the resume to edit, the kids will go absolutely insane. They’re being unnaturally good now, for the most part. Oops, I mentioned them and here one comes…

Besides that, I need to catch the dishes back up, including moving the crockpot from the soaking to the washed category. Do some other cleaning. At the very least get to a store for toilet paper, maybe after Deb gets home, but today or tomorrow it’s time for a big grocery run to Wal-Mart. That might be today with the kids, which could be fun. If not, tomorrow.

I still need to price parts toward finishing my niece’s computer, and figure out how I am going to juggle the obtaining of money and ordering of same.

Alongside improving the resume, I need to fix up my LinkedIn profile and work on the rest of the marketing plan. All of this is the priority. Which is why I am inclined to pursue it once I am done with this post (which seems like a diversion but helps me organize and picture what’s to be done, while keeping up the blog content)… well, after I feed the kids before they realize they are starving.

I have a nice, easy supper planned, anyway. Even if it’s not easy, it’s nice to know this early what I will make.

Here goes lunch and then see what I can do…

Birthdays Totally Random

Since There Are No Birthdays…

Here’s a quick post of this and that while I guzzle some coffee.

Today I am hitting the road to work on the resume again at a secure, undisclosed location where I can plug in the laptop and be offline and mostly alone. Looks like maybe I’ll get my delayed haircut on the way. It’s either that or leave the kids with my mother or sister, or bring someone with me to supervise them, on another day.

It has to be done now, duh, and even at that there’s no telling how I will keep a couple things paid in the next couple weeks. At least that’s a matter of being a couple hundred shy, not really insane amounts.

Speaking of fundraising, I should have done something like Chris Muir did, offering levels of tech support type of answers or such for donations.

I also have to work on my contacts/networking list and presentation. I started creating a list in July as part of this plan, with a core of my exported LinkedIn connections, supplemented by people who aren’t in LinkedIn. Earlier this year I started cleaning up my e-mail address book with an eye to that, but some of that ended up purged entirely and in spreadsheets, waiting to be organized. This will be in waves anyway, just don’t want to send duplicates. The audiences vary. Part of the plan was not just to say “hey, need job” but to say “hey, available for itinerant micro-work of these types.” Itinerant? Whatever the word would be.

So hey, if you know me enough that I have your e-mail address, don’t be surprised when you receive something like that.

I’ve been working on my niece’s computer, which appears only to have had the power supply fried. Backed up the data from it in case, once I had it going. I miss having spare power supplies as replacement parts. Used to keep some ahead in my office because those blowing in the big client’s computers was such a common thing. That’ll wait, for today, and I’ll have to price power supplies (and a secondary hard drive) this week to order. So far, there’s been none of the odd behavior that might mean things surged past the power supply and left damage.

I’m sure there was more, but I can’t think of it and need to get moving. Perhaps I’ll post a picture too.

Ah, Henry. He’s been doing nicely. He tasted ketchup last night and was fine. Apparently he took it upon himself to taste relish later, by dumping Sadie’s plate off the table. He eats small amounts of all beef hot dogs and is fine with them. He didn’t eat barbecue shredded pork with us, just the unsauced version, but he did have beef and gravy I made that was very strongly flavored. Bay leaf, celery and such. He eats but isn’t enthusiastic about canned pineapple in heavy syrup. He’d eat a whole can of pears himself if we’d let him. Ketchup was the big thing that’s new. He can eat mayo, too, but apparently he can’t get it on his skin. He not only thinks scrambled eggs are the devil, even though he can have eggs, he also was not fooled by eggs hidden in French toast. He loves toast and bread, but scorned French toast, which came out almost custard tasting and was delicious. Funny.

Business Geekery Job Hunting Totally Random

Repost: Experiences and Accomplishments Scratchpad

Originally posted August 6, 2007, now archived here.

I’m trying to come up with a good set of descriptors of what I’ve done and of accomplishments, both as selling points for the new support business, and as resume fodder to have a more traditional resume available. This was my initial set that was oriented mainly at distilling the massive amount of software and hardware experience into a relevant series of bullet points. Below this I’ll put what I have come up with so far, starting from scratch, with minimal reference to this first list, incorporating some things that don’t necessarily fit into a “what software I’ve used” type of scenario.

  • Built, upgraded, repaired, used and supported many PCs and peripherals over the past 19 years.
  • Used and in some cases supported almost every version of Microsoft Windows and DOS, with lesser exposure to other operating systems, including OS/2 Warp and Linux.
  • Supported multiple versions of Microsoft Word, both as part of Microsoft support and for law firms and other users. Specialized in macros, drawing tools, and interaction between Word and other software. Used several other word processors, text editors, and mixed software packages/suites from 1985 onward.
  • Used and sometimes supported Microsoft Excel, other spreadsheets, personal and business finance and accounting software, including Peachtree, Quicken, and Juris.
  • Worked extensively with Paint Shop Pro. Used and sometimes supported various other graphics, presentation, scanning software, and associated standalone or networked scanning hardware.
  • Supported Microsoft Access, SQL Server and MSDE. Used or less extensively supported several other database tools.
  • Supported Dragon Naturally Speaking versions 3.0 through 9.5, tested alternatives, and supported a handheld digital dictation device and associated software and hardware for download and transcription.
  • Online or connecting remotely to other computers in some form since 1993, involving BBS, PC Anywhere, or internet, involving modems, DSL, T-1, and FiOS.
  • Supported all things computer-related in law firm environments for several years. That includes industry-specific applications such as those from Juris, Westlaw and others.
  • Used and supported various backup and file consolidation/compression software, including PKZip, Winzip, ARCserve, Backup Exec, Retrospect, and more.
  • Installed, used, supported — informally or formally, troubleshot, and sometimes even wrote and maintained countless software applications, from the obsolete and obscure to the recent.
  • Cleaned viruses and malware from dozens of machines, manually and with software tools. Installed, ran, troubleshot and supported antivirus, spam filtering, and malware scanning software, including Norton individual and corporate, Sybari Antigen and Spam Manager, Ad-Aware, Spybot Search & Destroy, and others.
  • Set up, troubleshot and supported peer-to-peer and client/server networks since 1993.
  • Here are the other blurbs I’ve come up with. I’ve modified or purged as needed to eliminate some overlap.

  • Wired ethernet cable to install twenty network jacks in a three room office. Made patch cables from raw materials.
  • Configured Small Business Server 2003 and networking controlled by it, established internet connectivity for the network, added six workstations and associated network and Exchange accounts, and added a networked printer/scanner/copier.
  • Migrated a network of fifty users from Novell and an NT member server to a pure NT network.
  • Setup and maintained Exchange Server 5.5 and 2003. Migrated Exchange ahead of impending hardware failure.
  • Setup a proxy server, implemented internet connectivity via T-1, and established internet e-mail transfer via Exchange for a fifty user NT network.
  • Cleaned up viruses, including Code Red and Nimda, and malware outbreaks manually and with freely available tools in an environment where the management refused to deploy corporate protection.
  • Installed, used, supported — informally or formally, troubleshot, and sometimes even wrote and maintained countless software applications, from the obsolete and obscure to the recent.
  • Wrote customer timekeeping software.
  • Wrote and supported a utility for gathering and formatting complete and accurate information for Visual Basic support cases being escalated to second level support.
  • Maintained and tweaked code for a customer document/legal case management software package.
  • Pioneered and helped set standards for “web response” online Microsoft Visual Basic support.
  • Migrated firm of fifty users from DOS/bTrieve-based Juris Classic accounting system to Windows/MSDE-based version of Juris and associated offline timekeeping software.
  • Deployed and supported beta version of legal case and document management software at two small firms.
  • Tested legal case and document management software as it was being developed.
  • Wrote a supplemental utility to copy all the documents associated with a case from the file server, optionally changing case status to archived and purging the documents from the server.
  • Created and maintained web sites starting in 1997. Started blogging in 2003. Co-founded and administered Carnival of the Capitalists, pioneering and largely defining topical blog carnivals.
  • Wrote documentation for a computerized time clock system.
  • Revised, improved, scheduled and managed the entire new hire training program for Visual Basic support. Taught the introduction and product history, Setup Wizard and app distribution, and graphics segments of training.
  • Determined client requirements and designed user interface for an extension to legal case/document management software, intended to ensure accurate, complete collection of data on the nature and outcome of legal cases when assigned a status of closed. Supervised coding, tested and debugged, and integrated the module into the existing program.
  • I know I could come up with more, and that some of this is better than others, and that what is included or emphasized depends on the target and purpose. What’s weird is that putting this all into a blog post made it easier to read and edit what I already had, and to add more. Why should it matter whether it’s blogging or a blank Word document?

    Experience Posts (links to reposts):

    Intro to Experience Dump
    Hardware Experience
    OS Experience
    Word Processing Experience
    Spreadsheets and Accounting
    Graphics and Presentations
    Database and RDBMS
    Dictation Software
    Communications, Internet, PDA, Blogging
    Legal Industry Software
    Backup and Compression Software
    Miscellaneous Software
    Security, Spam, Malware…
    Call Center and Tech Support Tools
    Languages and Programming Tools
    Server Software
    Software Creation

    Employment and College
    Experiences and Accomplishments Scratchpad

    Business Geekery Job Hunting Totally Random

    Repost: Employment and College

    Originally posted August 3, 2007, now archived here.

    A while back I did a series of posts in “list plus elaboration” format, collecting my thoughts about as close as I could come to everything I had ever used for software and even hardware. I referred to them as an experience dump, and tied them together with links to every related post in a template at the bottom of each one. Go me.

    What that didn’t cover was a more descriptive set of things of interest I’ve done over the years, be they “accomplishments” in the fuller sense, or merely less dramatic descriptors.

    It will help me to create a complete set of those via the blog, because I find it easy to write such things that way, and because I can be exhaustive, including things I might not put on a resume proper.

    This has a couple purposes. First, I want to create a resume for the first time since 1997. Really, since 1994, as the 1997 version was a relatively modest update of that for internal consumption to land a promotion. As an exercise, and to have ready as it might be needed. Heck, I intend to put it online for the stumbling and the pointing out. Second, for the business, the sales pitch is effectively a resume, and this feeds my ability to write that. Third, someone stumbling across or already knowing me via this blog might gain appreciation enough to make some kind of offer, even a side one, that I can’t refuse and could use. I mean, just from the related experience entries, let alone a formal resume.

    I can be as complete as I want, here. With a resume, presumably even an online one that breaks the old single page barrier, you might only go back so far. While I didn’t set out to list employment, just what I’ve done, including outside of employment, I could. That might be fitting for making this an introductory post.

    The rest will be, I’d say, as much as I can think of in one post, followed by either updates or additional posts adding anything I forgot on the first pass. I’ll add these posts to the experience template and embed it in each of them, tying these and those earlier posts together.

    Let’s see… here’s a where, when, title and brief description of each to get things rolling. It’ll make me think about all the finer points as I write these.

    XTreme Computing
    1996 – Present
    Managing Partner

    Handled most of the business and administrative end of things. Designed, wrote, debugged, upgraded, maintained and coordinated development of software. Provided software and hardware support, with an emphasis on law firms. Setup and managed servers and networking. Worked with vendors and evaluated products and services on behalf of clients. Sold computers, both premade and built in-house, and sold parts and accessories. Created and maintained web site starting in 1997. Built and updated, or helped to build, client web sites.

    Corporate Software/Stream International
    1994 – 1999
    Support Rep 1994 – 1995
    Developer Support Rep 1995 – 1997
    Senior Developer Support Rep/Mentor – 1997
    Technical Development Lead (TDL) 1997 – 1999

    Supported Microsoft Word for Windows versions 1.0 through 6.0, with emphasis on the latter, specializing in Word macros and drawing tools. Supported Microsoft Visual Basic versions 3.0 through 6.0. Supported VB for DOS, QuickBasic and PDS final versions until supported product life expired. Acted as liaison with Microsoft support counterparts. Pioneered and organized VB support via the web. Did technical screening of job applicants. Supervised and advised on technical and incident handling matters over twenty VB support team members. Revamped, scheduled and managed new hire training.

    Tranti Systems
    1993 – 1994
    Support Rep

    Provided mainly callback support for PC-based POS systems in the fast food industry, with some on-site support, installation and training, and remote troubleshooting using PC Anywhere.

    Solo Services
    1986 – 1994

    Provided tax preparation, bookkeeping, a touch of computer services, and mediated dissolution of a business partnership.

    Arisia, Inc.
    1990 – 1992, 1994 -1995

    Volunteered as corporate and convention treasurer for non-profit organization running New England’s largest annual science fiction convention, with terms falling in the years noted. Unofficially acted as central source of information in the planning of the 1991 convention. Worked heavily in marketing, copy writing, and program book production for 1991 through 1993. Ran or otherwise worked on sales of merchandise and advance memberships for several years of conventions.

    The Renovator’s Supply
    1990 – 1992

    Received, routed and tracked external and internal finished and raw materials. Stocked the picking area for mailorder fulfillment, keeping inventory accurate. Unloaded and delivered materials to the brass, medallion, metal fabrication and CNC departments. Delivered and picked up mail to and from the post office and delivered incoming mail to the appropriate departments. At times picked and packed outgoing orders, handled customer pickups, cleaned brass fixtures in preparation for dry lacquer coating, assisted the human resources manager, trained and helped people with computers and terminals, and updated the company’s material safety data sheet files.

    Hannon-Miller Security
    1990 – 1992
    Security Guard

    Provided unarmed, watchman-style security services at various paper, cutlery and cotton product factories.

    Community Newsdealers
    1986 – 1990
    Delivery Driver

    Delivered Boston Globes to home delivery customers and paper route holders. Collected and accurately tracked customer payments. Won customer-nominated Globe driver of the month service award for December 1997.

    Christy’s Markets
    1982 – 1986
    Closer 1982 – 1983
    Floating Summer Assistant Manager 1983
    Clerk 1983 – 1985
    Assistant Manager 1986

    Rang up purchases, helped customers, stocked and fronted shelves, cleaned and closed convenience store that was not yet open 24 hours. Spent a summer filling in as a floating assistant manager at several stores, covering for manager and assistant manager vacations. Ordered, received and checked in stock. Prepared and made bank deposits. Trained new hires. Oversaw retrofitting one store with a deli counter, and subsequent operation of it, including preparing sandwiches to order.

    Richard Peabody, CPA

    Reviewed, assembled and packaged tax returns for presentation to clients. In a pre-computer, small firm environment, prepared summaries, updated ledgers, balanced accounts, prepared working spreadsheets for accounting and auditing work by CPAs, and did most anything else for which actually being a CPA was not required. Purged obsolete files in preparation for sale of the firm.

    Halliday Lithograph
    1980 – 1982

    Packaged and sent drop shipments, mass and individual mailings of books on behalf of publishers via mail and UPS. Processed into transient, shipping floor or longer term warehouse inventory pallets of finished product coming from the factory, verifying counts and details against bind order sheets for each run. Repacked stock onto pallets or glide packs per specs as required. Loaded trucks. Worked with traffic manager, office staff, receiving, and factory personnel to solve problems. Counted inventory. Maintained postage/package meters, changing eprom cards as needed.

    That’s as far back as I think I need to go, as there are only two piddly jobs left, and self-employment mowing lawns and such. This has brought back so many memories! Some of what might have been in the specific accomplishments might be previewed or hinted at here, but I was trying not to have them overlap too much.

    Part of the way through, I realized that any resume-like review would bring up education as well, as decreased as its importance may be in time. Here, then. is the education part…

    Bridgewater State College
    BS in Management Science
    Finance & Accounting Concentration

    This included classes in Pascal and Cobol.

    So that’s a start. Now to do the rest, inspired by this.

    Experience Posts (links to reposts):

    Intro to Experience Dump
    Hardware Experience
    OS Experience
    Word Processing Experience
    Spreadsheets and Accounting
    Graphics and Presentations
    Database and RDBMS
    Dictation Software
    Communications, Internet, PDA, Blogging
    Legal Industry Software
    Backup and Compression Software
    Miscellaneous Software
    Security, Spam, Malware…
    Call Center and Tech Support Tools
    Languages and Programming Tools
    Server Software
    Software Creation

    Employment and College
    Experiences and Accomplishments Scratchpad

    blogging Kids Totally Random


    I have 19 pictures queued of Henry… just from the latest set off the camera. So much for his being neglected compared to the girls, if I post all those. I’m debating whether to just post them normally, split them into multiple posts (I’ll already be doing multiples as I am working backward through the last few sets and won’t put them all up together), or make a big post with an extended entry. I’ll just have to emphasize the need to click to expand the post.

    Anyway, stay tuned for that in somewhere between a little while and a day. Meanwhile, perhaps I’ll start with a few I have starring Henry and Valerie together.

    Business Geekery Money Totally Random Also Up for Auction

    In addition to the noted offering, I have put for sale. I’m not stressed about selling it, but I also have no special need to keep it as a souvenir of the former business. The content is also available via and won’t even have to be moved. It’s not the killer domain that theoretically is, but it is the number two Google hit for xtreme computing, it’s Page Rank 4, and it’s an 11 year old domain that’s shorter than some of the available alternatives one might use for what ended up being a weirdly popular business name after we adopted it in 1996 (especially if you include variant spellings/words like extreme and computers).

    This is to help promote it and make the URL of the auction easier for me to fetch. It’s on 90 day offer/counteroffer with buy now. The buy now price is a steal at $1000, and the minimum bid is insultingly low at $300. Probably adequate enough, but priced relative to the other one and not minding ditching it relatively cheap, rather than what it might potentially fetch. I mean, if I were to accept the minimum, that’s what one might charge for a few link ads on the site for a year, but for total ownership.

    We’ll see what happens. I could use the money, duh, and that’s not going to change until long after I develop more of a steady income. It’s a no marginal cost way potentially to liquidate an unneeded asset of some value.

    Business Geekery Money Totally Random Back On Auction

    Partly to promote it and partly to make the URL easy for me to fetch, I want to note that after the 7 day fire sale auction, which actually did attract a single, last minute bid that met the minimum bid but not the reserve price, I have put for sale on the slow boat. It’s up on the offer/counteroffer with buy now plan, listed for 90 days or until it sells. No bells and whistles, just a single category, no theoretically prominent placement, no extra cost above my already existing auction account. Buy now is a reasonable $2000. Minimum bid is a steal at $500, and while I might entertain that, I’ll be sad to see it go for that little (which is probably why I originally typed here that the minimum was $1000, that being the low end of what it should fetch). It’s the original xtremeware, a very old if underused domain, with Page Rank of 5 currently.

    Food & Cooking Kids Medical Totally Random

    Pictures, Henry, Etc.

    I have about a gazillion pictures and even some videos of the kids being insanely cute, at the playground, in the car, at grandma’s, and even at home. I really need to pack up a bunch for the California grandparents and post some. Seriously, I could post a couple “ohmygodsocute” pictures a day and go weeks before I’m stretching or going back that far to get good ones.

    I keep starting posts and not finishing them, to the point where I am tempted to write snippets on the fly, no longer than what you see to this point, and just do them when they come to mind and I have time.

    Henry waves and says “bye bye” now and it’s the cutest thing. He also progressed almost instantly from walking to running and even climbing. With a bit of support from me, he climbed up a large slide yesterday. See pictures, if I get them posted.

    We’re a bit mystified by the whole allergy thing, specifically with regard to dairy, as it seems to be more about contact than ingesting it. The slightest trace of dairy, and apparently certain other things, makes his skin break out. However, he has eaten tiny amounts of dairy in dry foods and not been affected. My grandmother gave him a lemon cookie and I decided to let it go, then read the ingredients and sure enough, milk. Which was also in the oatmeal raisin cookies the girls had. So next time he was there, two days later, he ate two of them. Most flavored potato chips have milk. Who knew? He recently tried one Utz salt & pepper chip and loved it. The test was reaction to the black pepper, which in that amount he didn’t, which was the expected result. Turns out they have buttermilk, yet don’t conform with standard allergen labeling so I’d missed that before.

    He can apparently eat eggs.

    And mayonaise, but one of the times he had mayo, it inflamed his skin where it got on his belly and chest, or it did in combo with something else, anyway. He was eating a particularly safe meal. He loved potato salad, and it didn’t affect him.

    He can eat fresh tomatoes. Thinks they are wonderful. That should be nothing more than the concern one might have for a food moderate to low in salicylates (looking, it’s apparently in the same class as carrots, cauliflower (which he’s had but is meh about), parsnip (ditto), onion, sweet potato (which either bothers him if there is enough or is a red herring or mixed in with the contact problem substances), some squash, etc. Anyway, he is not allergic to them. Yay!

    Any non-spiced meat should be fine, and he had a taste of Kahn’s beef hot dogs recently, no problem. No milk in those, which would be the other hot dog concern.

    He has had two extremely small tastes incorporating cooked blueberry, no apparent problem.

    He has had canned pineapple in heavy syrup, no apparent problem. Small amounts. Not a surprise, as he did OK with even smaller amounts of dried pineapple.

    I forget what else he’s had that might be new. Well, besides his birthday cake! Wal-Mart’s brand white cake mix has no milk. Ditto for Wal-Mart’s brand of chocolate fudge frosting (as opposed to milk chocolate), which I ended up using only for accent. The rest got eaten on spoons over the course of a few days, including by Henry, who traditionally doesn’t get sweets because so many are off-limits or uncertain yet. I made homemade lime frosting using powdered sugar, shortening, water, lime juice (a tablespoon or so squeezed from half a lime), and so grated lime skin. The cake was unusually good. The fudge frosting was exceptionally good for canned, to the point of being good as frosting goes, and the lime I made was one of the best frostings I have ever had. It was awesome, and now we know that with the right mix or recipe, cake will be something he can indeed have.

    Anything I’ve forgotten will have to wait. I’ve taken hours to write all this, off and on, and that about covers or more what I’d intended.

    Totally Random

    Someday My Post Will Come

    I started a post earlier, on this birthday-free day, but was unable to finish it. Perhaps I should post single sentences or brief paragraphs as I think of them, like the observation that Obama selected LBJ as his running mate in an election where it was not necessary or beneficial to do so. Or to note that the mission to keep the lights on for at least another month was successful, without elaborating as my post in progress does.

    Anyway, thought I’d post a quickie before I go back to making supper. Perhaps later tonight I can do better.

    Totally Random

    Happy Anniversary

    To my sister Lynn and her husband Jim, who have been married 29 years, if I am not mistaken.

    blogging Business Geekery Health Care Job Hunting Kids Medical Money Quiz or Meme Totally Random

    Life Gives Us Deadlines

    This is an updated and abbreviated version of a post I have been meaning to write and have a couple times had partially written for weeks, and relates to mentions here (linked by Sarah in this awesome post), and over here, and perhaps elsewhere, like this, and on Twitter.

    As you may know, we’ve been financially challenged. Things have become almost but not quite stable on the way to the end of the tunnel. We’re not in immediate danger of eviction for being behind on rent. We can eat. The phone and internet – vital to modern life and in our case making a chunk of money and seeking more – are being kept on. The kids have health coverage and Henry will get his one year checkup and shots – albeit not until almost 13 months old due to doctor vacation scheduling – and that’ll set us on the road to getting an even better handle on the allergy/sensitivity problems, which may also become less critical as he ages. It’s actually been I have no idea what I was about to type a little while ago when I stopped in mid-sentence. I think I was going to say it’s been good I’ve been so available, and that will make working from home a Good Thing, except I must be able to work for that to work which is a matter of some juggling and changes. But I digress.

    Have to stop and try to remember where I was going with this in the broader sense. I load my thoughts in my head and risk losing them if they don’t spew right out the keyboard.


    There’s been one big deadline coming at us. The gas & electric can’t be turned off if you have a baby under a year and financial hardship. Henry turns 1 on the 20th. We’ve accumulated most of a year’s worth of balance. In fact, it’s apparently a couple months more than I thought, and the peak bills in the winter weren’t much more than the bills have been this summer. Odd.

    We assumed, not unreasonably, that I would get enough work before now to straighten that out and take us the rest of the way out of the basics. As it is, we should be able to cover the current utilities in the future, so it’s mainly about the arrears.

    The bottom line is we have to pay at least $1425 by August 22nd to keep the gas and electricity on, and then the other half will be in six installments.

    That means needing to come up with about $1000 above what we can otherwise manage.

    I have an offer of $150 toward the second installment from a local charitable agency, but not the first, as they have to know the power will stay on and it won’t be wasted dropping in the bucket. That would effectively give me until sometime in October to have gotten the prospective job, or other work sufficient to keep it all rolling.

    Someone finally expressed interest in buying the domain I’ve had for sale for several months, so I thought that might do it, but I haven’t heard back. I just replied a third time, from a different address, making a time-sensitive offer to sell it at the lowest price I can reasonably accept. I’ll probably list it again in a formal service to expedite the possibility and give others a chance if the warm prospect bails. That would help some, if it could happen soon enough. We’re looking at what else we can sell in the next week, focusing heavily on my comic book collection from years past.

    For the most part, family isn’t a viable source of help, so I won’t go asking them unless it comes down to, say, the last $100 or so between us and darkness.

    At any rate, whatever we could say about how we got here, miscalculating and all that, it’s not as important as moving forward. The consequences, if we can’t keep the utilities on, will be the same as eviction. There are contingency plans for Deb and the kids to stay with a friend of hers. I have no such plans, beyond being acutely aware I still own a tent. That just sets up a much harder scenario to escape, makes it hard to make the money we now make online, makes it hard to get work, makes it hard to take care of the kids, makes it hard to keep Henry’s sensitivities watched and controlled.

    I haven’t been eager to say anything by way of asking for donations, as we already got helped once beyond all conceivable generosity. We wouldn’t be so stable now, otherwise. I’m itching to get on the other side of the PayPal button and be able to do the same for others. Surely that’ll come, but isn’t here yet.

    This was why I planned to do a fundraising edition of CotC, since that was a different audience and reason – appreciation of the carnival in the past or expression of a desire to have it happen in the future – it didn’t feel inappropriate. My spare time for that never became copious, even though the fundraising aspect made it paying work of sorts. Again, not to reflect on where and why but to resolve and proceed.

    So. Anything I receive in PayPal (button at top of right sidebar) will go to the gas and electric arrears until that is paid up or something else is a more immediate threat. I’ll add to this if I see later I forgot something, or will post status updates as appropriate.

    The other part of the plan, besides maybe mentioning this in a less frantic way, was a post soliciting micro-work of the sort I can actually do while taking care of the kids and having to fit it into minute or few bursts or sleepy midnight interludes. Ironically, planning that, composing it and so forth didn’t lend themselves to my time and circumstances. While that might not raise what a full-fledged getababysitternow job would, it would have helped. I still plan something along those lines, which was not going to be a mere post, but also a mass e-mail to contacts, some of whom might not even realize I am looking. Even some people I expected were aware things were grim had no idea, so on the periphery, who knows.

    Oddly, everyone has left me alone long enough to ramble at length. This is as much as I wrote over the course of a couple weeks in an unfinished post on the topic that reached the point where I wasn’t sure what I’d said and needed almost a rewrite of an edit. However, it’s time to make supper before the kids mutiny.

    We’re down to about $650 $600 $200 needed to make the deadline. Not there yet, but it’s progress. Almost there! Thank you all so much for your links, donations and purchases.

    Update on August 19. 2008:

    I’ve removed the sticky status from this post and am updating this one accordingly. While things won’t exactly be rosy and we still could use assistance if anyone feels generous (this big push was for half the arrears; it’ll be hard to pay both the installments on the other half and the current bills, if nothing else), with some juggling and astonishing generosity from several people, we’ve reached the immediate goal. Thanks!!

    If you do still want to help out, the PayPal button on the top right remains. Deb’s shop still has a few physical items, though it is going largely virtual. We still have books for sale, and may add more along the line. Some have had to be removed after Henry damaged them, which is helpful.

    You’re welcome to use the info in the sidebar where it says “Light the power!” to go directly to the gas & electric on our behalf. That’s going to be over $200 a month to catch up, after all, on to of an average of probably $300 a month over the year, with the big ones coming all too soon. That’s anonymous, unless you tell us you’ve done it. We’ll just see that part of the bill has already been paid.

    I didn’t end up selling off some of my comics for this emergency, but I’m not attached to most of them, and will probably put many of them up for sale. Possibly right on one of the blogs, or possibly other places. Stay tuned.

    I still am trying to sell, though perhaps I should use that as the domain for selling comics. It has a higher Page Rank now than we do here. Anyway, the auction expires tomorrow, but until then I will accept a bargain reserve price ($500) for the thing. That’s somewhere between 1/2 and 1/20 of what it should bring. I’ll probably put it on longer term offer at a higher price, whether I also sell stuff on it or not. I also have potentially available, but haven’t really thought about price.

    At any rate, thanks to everyone who donated, linked, and made a point of buying stuff. It was a big help.

    Food & Cooking Money Totally Random

    Out the Frying Pan

    Sadly, my 12 inch frying pan had to be thrown away yesterday. The coating was so badly damaged that it was unusable. It was a cheap pan and last many years – almost nine, I believe it is – so it owed me nothing, but the timing. Even though it was obviously coming for a while, and that will be true of some of the other pans as well.

    We’ll pretty much have to replace it almost immediately, at a time when $15 or $20 for a pan might almost as well be a bar of unobtanium or wonderflonium or something. For that matter, I already could almost have used a larger one in that style. I hate having to use my round flat pan that we use for making and heating tortillas for frying burgers or eggs. Not so bad to use it as a backup pan for pancakes or French toast, which are appropriate and easy on it.

    blogging Geekery Totally Random


    As you can see, there’s been substantial progress in setting up the new blog. I’ve just finished what we are most obligated or in need of having before it can be deferred until later. I’ll resume fussing with it after I shower, do some paperwork, go to the post office, go to the gas & electric people to try to keep us turned on, go to the bank, go to the store (though that might be able and better to wait, apart from the toilet paper shortage, but may as well get that at least while out), see if I can inflate the tires, and whatever I am forgetting.

    Looking for the old blog? Blogblivion Archive. Feel free to maintain a link to that if you’d like. We’ll include one here, in any event. Just like Accidental Verbosity before it, you’d want to visit to see previous pictures of kids, if nothing else.

    If you have links to posts at the now archival blog, they will be broken until I can figure out how to make those redirect. They’re all the same, except for the inclusion of the \eeblog\ folder in each URL.

    Okay, off I go. Need to eat, too. Getting shaky.

    Food & Cooking Medical Totally Random

    Woohoo! 248 Going Once…

    Won’t really feel the love until I’ve seen it on the scale at least twice, but this morning I was 248, down 2 from my prior low, for an even 60 pounds lost from my high, and 50 lost this year.  Still, I did a double-take, having not expected it, stomach sick or not, metabolism racing from way too much coffee yesterday or not.