Category Archives: Tech

A Tech Problem.

I’m writing a novella, a novel, or just a really big piece. I remembered a recommendation from a pro (I know a lot of them.) to use some software or the other, originally made for academic writing, but that it was helpful to not change character names in the middles of the work, etc.

I’d forgotten the name of the app, so went looking.

I found a review of several, including prowritingaid.com which looked like the best bet. Anyway I wanted to try it. Except I can’t. The only way I can “try” it is to sign up for the premium version because of the computer/OS I’m using. You know? I’d really like to try it at least once to see if it’s worth the $ first.

The software I’d gotten the recommendation for is scrivener. I haven’t looked their free trial yet. If I can try it? Well, here’s a surprise — which one do you think I’ll buy?

 

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Annoyed!

It seems this has become my place to “rant” about the minor irritations. This time it’s about thecompanystore.com .

I like this duvet or quilt, quite a lot. Enough that I’d consider buying it, although I have absolutely no need for it.

2018-rbook-fashion-bedding-min

Except that particular pattern doesn’t seem to be available.

How do people doing marketing and web stores think this does anything other than    PISS OFF THE CUSTOMER???

Yes, it’s pretty. Yes, you have a lot of other items.  None of which I want. I might not spend any $ for this, either. But now of course I won’t, and you’ve wasted my time. I went through all the bedding, quilts, comforters, and duvets looking for this. Why would I look at anything I saw which was interesting from you again???

Come on people, THINK!!!

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  • Link to a frugality content, some pulled from this blog and other unpublished work.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

 

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! 😀