Category Archives: Tech

We Bought the New Domains Last Night

We started, this morning, updating the “main site” which at least in my mind is the “mother ship” of all the others. If you know that site, it was my old bookstore’s name, it’s broken right now!

  • The new sites will host a stream of the PTSD-related threads from here on one site and hopefully, in the future, memoir sales.
  • Links to book & author material, mine and others (one or more sites).
  • Link to a frugality content, some pulled from this blog and other unpublished work.
  • A “newsletter” with scheduling info for my friend authors, artists, etc.

It’s happening!

street signs

 

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Always Unplanned

I picked up a load of stuff from my car last night and brought it in. Remembered, just now, that my phone’s battery needed charging. Phone wasn’t in any of the places where it gets put away, no ringy-dingy when we called it. Thought I’d left it in the car?

Nope. It had fallen out of my hands onto the ground last night. And it poured last night and poured. My phone is almost certainly dead. DH said, “Well, maybe those $60 waterproof cases are worth it?” because my case cost $20 and as far as I was concerned it should have been $10. We’ll see. The phone currently sits in a bowl of rice. My bet is that it’s fried.

sick cell phone from images.google.com

I guess I need to do a spot check, every night: phone, wallet, and keys. I usually do that as I’m walking out the door. Too late then if I’ve left it somewhere or dropped it, like this.

Blast!

J

Phone was in its case. We removed it and put it in a bag of rice. Last time we tried this, it didn’t work. But this time, it did! My phone is working.

Been Working on the Paperwork

My first tax appt. is this week, so I’ve been going thru paperwork.

file-folder-tax-image

This morning I’ve culled/filed coupons.

Culled/filed misc. paperwork.

Culled/filed receipts.

I’m not sure exactly how many papers I’ve tossed, filed, or put in the shred tub, but it’s an hour+ of sorting things. I’m going to count it as 30 papers out. I’m sure it was likely more than that, but as I said, I didn’t count so I don’t have an accurate number.

Other agenda related to the tax appt. is to clear my desk and the area around it. The old computer needs to be plugged in so I can get some data off of it.

I ran out of the envelopes I use to file receipts. One thing I learned long ago is that I purely hate the mess that misc. piles of small bits of paper create. My first solution was to tape the receipts to college ruled notebook paper and file the stuff in notebooks. Works, as long as you keep it up. I did (and didn’t). Last year, when I shut off the old computer (it had completely died doing the 2014 taxes, then started to again doing the 2015 taxes!) I had the first quarter’s worth of data in the data base. I figured when we got the new computer, I’d just upgrade the data base, and I’d be good. Something we’ve done before. No, the company has gone to a monthly subscription fee rather than expensive upgrades. Okay, in our old age I am working really, really hard at REMOVING monthly fees and autodebits — so I decided that after 20 years or so with the data base, I’d stop using it. (Also, I’d finally (!) zeroed out the book stock, so didn’t need to use the same medium any more.)

Okay. I started filing receipts and tracking what I was doing in a different way. Like all things, it has its pluses and minuses.

However, I’m still using that system. But I need to get the 1st quarter ‘s data from the old data base . . . .

After that? I have 20 years worth of research for the kitchen book (mostly) in a few data bases to convert to some other system. Now you know why I haven’t tackled this already; it’s daunting!

Strategies for Stuff

Like the decorating “rules,” I have other guidelines I use to save money and to reduce the amount of “stuff” I buy:

  • Don’t buy single-use tools. This means I don’t have a paella maker, a popcorn popper, a slider pan, a bread maker, etc.slider-pan
  • Or, if I DO buy a single-use tool, I work hard to find another way to use it. i.e., I keep the last head for the sonic toothbrush  — to use it to clean things every now and then.
  • Don’t buy printed fabric.Why? Printed fabric looks bad more quickly, is harder to keep clean, and lasts not as well. This includes everything from coasters to curtains! (I consider a “backed” rug, placemat, bedspread, or bath rug as printed fabric btw.)
  • Buy woven instead. It’s easier to turn the piece over, inside out or rotate it as needed when the color goes through the entire piece. If it’s a rug and you need a no slip backing, that can be bought by the yard at a fabric store. If you want felt underlayment instead, it’s harder to find, but possible.woven-colors
  • In the same sort of vein, I’m replacing much of the landscaping in my yard with perennial grasses, wildflowers, or other perennials.
  • My dad was a techie, loved his tech. But he had a rule about tech: never buy it the first year it comes out. Get it the 2nd or 3rd. Why? Because it takes them that long to get the bugs out. If it’s a short-lived trend, this means it will pass you by.
  • Buy square rather than round storage containers whenever you can. You won’t waste the space in the corners. This can be difficult because many canisters, etc. are round. (My newest quest is square dishes! Haven’t found what I want yet, but I’m looking.)square-canister
  • Buy used instead of new, when practical. We now have a small, used commercial freezer. If our refrigerator problem isn’t resolved, soon, we may just go looking for a small, used commercial fridge. Why? Because a commercial kitchen won’t buy an unrepairable unit and they can’t be flaky, no one in the industry would buy it.

Decisions

Assuming the fridge is dead, what do we do?

I’d like to go low-tech, no-tech, but DH won’t, so, a decision had to be made. After much discussion and looking at big box stores and our local used appliance place (great deals, if you want to spend that much — I don’t.) we decided on a dedicated fridge as opposed to a fridge/freezer combo. Much cheaper. Eliminates the ice maker we don’t use. (Did you know if you buy a side by side fridge WITHOUT the ice maker it’s more expensive than one with it?)

I’m willing to spend big bucks (the approx $2,000 we spent for the fridge we own) for something which was the “last” such item purchased in our lifetime. I’m not willing to spend that much if I have to replace it every 5 years. Energy efficient, stainless, etc. be damned. I’m not a good “consumer” I guess. I should have leapt at the $3,000 fridges for $1,000 I saw at the used appliance place, but didn’t. I love the shelves and bins in my current fridge, but I’m not willing to spend $1,000 or more for something similar, if I have to do it again in 5 years. No. (And you know? we already OWN the bins and shelves in the current fridge, I may repurpose them.)

This is the same sort of thing which happened with the furnace. I get mad and drop out. The older I get the more ornery I get and less willing I am to put up with badly made crap and corporate greed.

Your “lifetime” warranty is only good for 20 years? Even though we’re the original purchaser? Fine. I’ll go low tech instead — and if I do buy something new?

I’ll do much research. I won’t count on your machine working except as a backup for my low tech. And that is part of what I’ll do with the new fridge

Fall’s coming and with the house in the state it is, we can’t afford another project. But over the fall and winter I will plan our new pantry and kitchen, I was supposed to anyway. I will include a California closet. Or maybe I’ll get a metal worker to make me one for a window. The Victorians used a metal “bread box” hanging out a window, like a window air conditioner as a small “ice box” in winter.

Hmm. I wonder if you could use an old air conditioner shell . . . ?

I came home yesterday having delivered the merchandise to the new antique store and found DH priming the remaining trim in the hall! 😀

Balance?

It’s easy to sit and write about what I want to do, intend to do, might do — and not do, because I’m too busy typing.

I’m increasingly irritated by this. I can’t get anything decorated by making a decorating board on pinterest, for example. The Housekeeper we had as a kid used to buy cleaning products instead of cleaning. The result was that when she left we had a closet full of cleaning products, some of which (furniture wax) I’ve finally used up. (She left 40 years+ ago!)

Talking about, writing about, discussing and planning what to do rather than actual doing seems to me to be another of those. It’s a substitute for the actual work.

There are places which are easy for me to find the balance between plan or discuss, etc. and actually do. There are others which aren’t so easy.

Need to work on this. Somehow, my real life needs to become as exciting as the planning what I want it to be. Somehow . . . .

Working on it!

Need to go actually do something — other than sit at a keyboard.

J

What I’ve actually done: sort through the table linen, pull the excess off for storage elsewhere (I’ve already sold everything I pretty much want to). Rearranged the basket/baby rail storage for the table linen and trivets. Pulled the 2nd baby rail off and put it in the laundry room, where it will be mounted, sometime soon.

Wrapped and labelled the excess linen (wrapped in brown paper and tape, labels on the tape.) to go in the attic.

Made lunch (corn chowder with cheese, pepper, and onion) with hot rolls.

We have enriched bread ready to go into the oven.

The cat bench/recycling station has been pulled away from the wall, the floor and wall cleaned, and the bench cleaned. I used the last large piece of clear shelf liner on the top shelf of the recycling area. I need another piece. I made a sticky note which indicated where the floor register was and stuck it to the wall.

I cleaned the door area into the laundry room, around the battery station, reorganized the charger, etc. Found a new home for the placemats. Cleaned the battery basket, the typing table, the battery charger, the floor underneath all of this, and the wall, door and/or cabinet as appropriate.

With DH’s help, got apricot jam started (has to sit overnight) and made dinner: the infamous spinach, lemon & avocado soup — without disasters this time — and some of the new bread in toasted cheese sandwiches. The dishes, except those used to make/eat dinner are done and mostly put away. I have  one more load of laundry to finish and a load to put away. But after that? My chores are done for the day. Unless I get up hyperearly and am really productive, tomorrow is a bust in terms of house clearing and cleaning. I’m working for someone for a couple of hours then I go to the farm to get food.

Wednesday will be busy, not sure how that will work out.But today WAS productive.

Amazing what I can get done — away from a keyboard!

 

 

Changes

I have an acquaintance, a friend of a friend, who needs some work, not heavy and not a lot at once. I have too many things to do/get rid of, and the house is still a disaster.

So, I put 2 and 2 together and today we worked on the books. Took 2 boxes, 150 books to the donation bin in the next town.Yesterday I gave a friend a book she said she’d like, and she enjoyed it (Yay!) and there’s 2 more boxes of books in my car to go to the antique store, tomorrow a.m.

After years and years of slowly, methodically deducting books from the data base, I am FINALLY done. My inventory started as my collection, the books I bought for customers they didn’t want, and my Dad’s collection. Over the years people gave me books, sometimes a LOT of them. Many came to me on consignment.

Too many books.

I’m done. My inventory as of the end of 2015 is < $2,000. I don’t have to renew the data base software. But I do of course track the antiques and few books here and there I buy and sell.

You see, as the store was closing, I had a young person building me a data base, an online store. And, because I was focused on moving the store, setting up the new store and the 5,000 details attached to those two decisions, I hadn’t done backups. (You can see where this is going, yes?)

The separate disk the shop’s data was on, the old and the new, died. I lost almost all my data. So? So, for the past 12 years I’ve been culling, donating, selling books. Putting them in a new data base as I went, so I can deduct the $ amount from what I had when the store closed.

Still too many books, but I don’t have to do the data entry any more.Huzzah!

I will NOT miss all that typing, you think? Now I only have to track the new stuff coming in and I’ve got a notebook for that. Nearly losing my computer again last year cured me of wanting my inventory on a computer. One data loss like that was plenty — thanks!

J