Archive | gadgets

i smart

BTW the comments have been turned back on  i must have turned them off while i was working on the site.
I know there aren’t many of you out there, but please feel free to comment or question.

One of the biggest worries that i have is about security in the new place.  Not while i am actually IN the building,  but when i am not there.   I expect the moving to take a while and certainly installing all that crap on the roof will take a while,  even once i have moved in, it seems to me that attaching lots of shiny bits and bobs all around a house is a lot like waving a flag to say there’s more inside! come and see!   i haven’t had that problem before, especially when you can peep in my windows and see i don’t own anything worth stealing.

banner4 I had an idea to set up webcams around the house, not just to watch the cats sleep  but to peek at my house when i am not there,   it isn’t all that costly, but once i started poking around the internet I found the ISMART ALARM, package which came out this year.   I have been reading reviews but so far no one has said anything bad about it.  What it has going for it, is the price.  The premium package that includes a 360 degree webcam is less than $200.  Which puts it in my price range, it comes with a couple of the window/door sensors and a motion detector… a main device which communicates with my WIFI and sends me a message on my iphone AND the webcam lets me check out the situation.  It also has an alarm and I can add more window sensors.   I think in the future they are working towards adding more cameras, so the system can grow.

On the surface it looks like a cheap quick and clean  set up that i can install in an afternoon while I am traveling back and forth to the new house.   Whenever I get a new house.   It’s funny i am not worried about anything i presently OWN getting stolen, cept for maybe my computer.  Once I move I still won’t have anything worth stealing beyond the computer,  EXCEPT for the Solar PV electric system. I think i just don’t want people to THINK that there’s something worth stealing.

 

 

bright ideas

conceal-lighting2Still can’t hear out of my ear very well but i am popping decongestants. Yesterday was a big clinic work day, the not hearing was inconvenient, but it did dull the dog barking a bit. The kittens have gone to a new home, but I turned down the adopter for the other cat. She’s a nice cat, they aren’t nice people, whatever, she’s a nice cat I will keep her until someone nicer comes along. Lawyer #9 hasn’t called me back yet, but then he also teaches so he’s busy. Himself has an appraiser here today. It would have been nice to have some heads up, i’d have cleaned the apartment this weekend instead of tearing stuff apart and making stew.

I will need a bigger freezer in the new place, i fill my little one pretty regularly with pre-made soups and bread. Autumn in New England is the season of cooking… so i spent some found money this weekend at the grocery store on ingredients…everything is on sale, i wish i had more money and storage space. I will probably also need some sort of root cellar. I’m only one person, it doesn’t save me a lot of money to buy 2 lbs of carrots for 1.29 instead of 1 lb for .99 when i don’t have a lot of meals planned around carrots. Yeah I know i should be a complete vegetarian and steer way from the carbohydrates. Perhaps it will happen,  I remember home grown carrots tasting less like packing peanuts.

LED-Strip-Lighting-5mm

The head voices have gone back to list making…I am taking each problem on the list and researching the best solution and then filing it away – my Evernote research database has exploded….some of these topics I may not have to consider for two years…so in essence its a lot of busy work, but if not for that. i’d be thinking about a lot of other more scary things that have no solutions.

I don’t own a lot of lamps…actually any lamps in fact…i have one floor lamp and one of those ottlite reading lamps i inherited from my ersatz Grandmother…aside from that there’s a light over the stove and one in the bathroom ceiling. That’s it. Not a lot of light bulbs in an apartment with windows on three sides and constant street light castoff.   LIGHT is now added to the list of stuff-i-don’t-have-but-will-probably-need, along with carpets and curtains.

Energy efficient LED lights are the logical solution to my light problem, no sense in burning off all that hard earned energy wastefully. But i don’t want to go around buying a bunch of lamps…they need tables..it’s a never ending road…. but i HAVE been thinking about just adding ambient light with LED strip lighting. These are those under cabinet lights and such you run the tape and then plug it into a converter into the wall.  The drawback to THAT sort of solution brings me to a huge personal flaw – as much as i know a lot about a lot, i don’t know shit about electronics. Give me two wire lamp cord and a wire stripper and i’m your girl, but LEDS, resistors and such are a mystery. They didn’t teach girls that stuff back in the day. But it’s never too late right?

41s1WT3iIsL._SY300_Leaning about electronics I can do a lot more than wire some shelf lights. Another project for 2014, it is something i can do BEFORE i move which will certainly make it easier once i move, AND it will eventually save me a bunch of money not having to hire folks. Surfing the net for a few hours about LEDS and wiring and so forth I found a few Youtube videos and Instructables and such, like this one LEDS for Beginners   Which was phenomenal at explaining the math behind matching resistors to LEDs and batteries and such.  I felt like running right over to Radio Shack.

I am not going to even bother with basic electronic theory, my brain works best with PROBLEM SOLVING, give me a problem and the tools and the basic instructions and let me make a lot of mistakes.  Right now i want to learn how to wire home electronic components.  Once I have this skill then learning the wider range of theory will make a lot more sense. But it will give me something to concentrate on, while i have my panic attacks. The Velleman Christmas Tree KIT is available on Amazon for 12 bucks and a soldering iron will be about 20 bucks. My soldering skills need to be much improved before I start something even as small as this.

homemade storage units

homedepotwoodencrate I have been thinking about these plain style crates for a long time…well i guess if it has slats its a crate, if it’s a solid board its a box. Either way, I have always wanted a LOT of them. one or two is nice but they vary between 10 and 20 dollars depending on quality and source. So a stack of a dozen can get pricey.

I have had a couple of ideas for mass storage that involve them, and i think the move to a new house may be my chance to try them out. As I am making plans for a location yet to be decided, it seems that BUILDING storage out of smaller units is the most adaptable method.

bookbox
The drawback common to BOTH designs is that when purchased they are made with STAPLES not nails or screws. Using staples they have strength going in certain directions, but not in all directions. I use one of the crates in the car as a dog seat, with large hooks to secure the box to the back of the truck seat. Very quickly the weight of the box yanked the staples out, so i reinforced the slats with metal strapping. As any book person will tell you books are heavy. Decorative shelving is designed to be placed and not moved while holding weight. HOWEVER many booksellers use wooden boxes to store and transport books to book fairs. These boxes are longer and thinner than the storebought variety and they are also much better constructed so they can easily carry many pounds of books safely. I’m not getting any younger, I don’t want a box i can’t lift.

IMG_8057

Bookstores use crates a lot for stacking and displays and there are a TON of do it yourself decorating ideas on the net especially for kids room storage.  In my house I have been using VINTAGE woodenboxes to add storage on walls where i can’t fit other shelving. I attach the boxes with angle brackets and then screw them directly into the wall for support. If I were to create a stack, a stack that when toppled over could crush someone, I would not only attach the top ones to the wall, but them to each other, or to a 1×3 run up the backside.  Stability is good, and boxes packed tightly with books are stable, but one can never be sure. Vintage boxes though attractive are never the same size besides, right now i am interested in mass storage, not just a decorative shelf here and there.

IMG_8059 I have some ideas for designing three standard sizes..the more standardized the cheaper they will be to manufacture as well as purchase the boards…and i have quite a number to recycle that i will be bringing from my house and barn.  Then i can apply the template and cut them, add the hand holds on the sides…..BELIEVE me, you need hand holds for heavy boxes.

Which brings me to some more additions to my MUST by list… new tools. I have hand tools for building one or two things but not for anything in bulk. I am also hoping to save a lot of money by doing a lot of the work on my house myself. I will hire people do do what needs a certification, plumbers, electricians etc..and of course things that need a strong back, but i am competent enough to do much of everything else. I have been looking at buying a set of rechargable power tools like the Ryobi Nail Gun and a circular saw and i will need a jig saw to cut the hand holds. This is all about $300 including the batteries and chargers and such. But i think i can save that pretty quickly. nailgun

I have in mind three sizes thus far…one for paperback and trade sized books, about 8″ tall (inside) and either 18″ or 24″ wide…then the traditional 12″ tall …and then a cube i think. and a couple of specials for photography books.

I am not mad about the CRATE design for books, as it lets DUST inside, but the slats make it easy to snake cables and power cords for devices and lights, so the crates are good for other things. When i measure the available wall space in the new place i can create the custom shelves into the corners and around things like windows and doors, it is  a way to save space and NOT HOG up the large wall spaces where i can hang my photographs.

Now that I have the BOX design in my head, i am thinking of adaptive designs… i can add clear plexiglass door to some of them by cutting the plexi to fix and then using epoxy to attach the hinges to the plexi and adding pull knobs. perhaps i wont need to buy more barrister cases. it will also keep the cats from climbing into shelves not meant for them.
bookbox3 Speaking of cats…my ORIGINAL idea to use store bought crates,  When i move the cats  i will designate one room for them until all the Solar Energy and other construction is done on the house, i don’t want them to get in the way of the workmen, and i don’t want the workmen letting them out in a new city. My IDEA was to buy twelve of these crates and then stack and screw them together sideways in a offset pyramid design, then attach squares of carpeting to provide beds and scratch post area. i can even screw on toys and distractions etc.. I have examined every store bought cat TREE on the market, none of them are designed to be repaired. By using my method, they can destroy it to their hearts content, then i can unscrew and rebuild the entire thing, and replace the carpet squares. You can’t do that with the storebought ones. As things are going i will have a lot fewer cats when i move so this tower isn’t a priority now.

I like my idea for the crates and boxes instead of store bought furniture, and I would have bought the tools anyway when i started working on my house. I can see them in my head, some with doors, some with lights and some with cats sprinkled in between. The key to keeping them from fucking up your stuff is to accomodate them IN YOUR DESIGN, if i leave a few open with carpeting they should stay away from the breakables. At least that’s my theory.

out of milk

Today is better than yesterday…that’s always good right? I have an appt next week with Lawyer #9…someone who knew my mother and stepfather so i name dropped them in the voice mail. They also do a lot of real estate, he may be interested because he knows the house. So i have that going for me. I guess i have passed the frustration phase, at this point i don’t really care. Like all the other times in my life, i guess i have to fend for myself and not expect anyone to stand up for me, even when i offer to pay them. fuck em.

IMG_8026Even the voices are bored…one of them is sulking under the covers and the other one is doing some angry cleaning in the corners of my head. Tucked into all the corners are undone projects, unpaid bills, things i have been meaning to do and people i owe money to. I started LIST making…which can be problematic…Normal folks make a list to get a handle the scope of their problems, once i line all my problems up on a list, i just get more depressed…i am sure if look around the house i can find blank notebooks with a couple of pages of LIST items and then nothing else, because never opening the notebook again is a way of forgetting what’s on the list.

Actually i made a number of lists…i had been trying several different iphone apps over the years looking for the ideal shopping list… and i am still basically using a text file i can access from all different devices. the other day i found one i REALLY like..so far. OUTOFMILK.COM which on the surface i thought was REemember the Milk which is an app i particularly loathe, for  its inefficiency…but Out Of Milk turned out to be quite flexible and useful in a lot of ways. I set up some grocery shopping, and some TO DO items…and a couple of lists pertaining to the new house… a list of stuff i have already researched, a list of shit i want to buy the day i get that check..things on that list are like underwear and shoes, not just the truck.

barcodegenerator4

While I was making those lists i started making Sicpress lists….i found that this iphone APP will sync with the online website and then sync with my Kindle Fire which runs Android… a hat trick i haven’t found available with other list making apps.  It also uses the barcode scanner on the Iphone to quickly add products something i REALLY like to do.

This led me down another path, i had tried a few apps for inventory control but gave up, it was just as easy to scribble notes on a piece of paper…  However I have been wanting to create internal BARCODES for my own inventory…and there are a lot of online BARCODE creators…the trick with creating your own barcode and scanning it….is that the APP is going to need a point of reference.   OUT OF MILK allows you to edit and thus REASSIGN a barcode.

barcodegeneratorI had been using Barcode Generator.org to create QR codes but it also creates ISBNs and UPC and such.   You enter the number you want and once it creates the code, you save the .PNG image file.

Pretty simple…i took the SKU that Woocommerce had automatically created for my products on sicpress.com  and made barcode images for a couple of the products.  Then scanned the code into OUT OF MILK with the iphone and then changed whatever text that comes up with descriptions of my products.  OUT OF MILK has a PANTRY section besides a shopping list and to do list sections.   I put a list of Products in that section so i can take inventory easily….right now my store room is in the basement, hopefully in the new house it will be on the  1st floor, but it could end up nearly anywhere.

barcodegenerator4 (1)barcodegenerator4 (2)I Printed the barcodes onto labels…and then put the labels on the plastic jars I have started storing my products in.  These clear plastic square jars are from walmart…small ones are 1.97 large ones are 2.97…its easy to see what i have for stock on knives, erasers, document cleaning pads etc…and it keeps the dust off them.  besides that i like the SQUARE jars way better than anything round, they line up nicely on the shelf.

I will have to make a point of getting a few cases of these jars when i sell the house…the nearest walmart is 26 miles from Greenfield and for some reason they don’t ship these jars.  I also use them in the kitchen for noodles and such…hmm… perhaps i should barcode the pasta?   yeah i need to get a life…

 

 

 

Cuckoo Bananas

“Cuckoo Bananas” is a catch phrase of one of the cheerful handicapped (is that still the right euphemsm?) teenagers at the high school.  i subbed for a program assistant a couple of times this week, and a number of times last year.  Apparently they have great difficulty finding substitutes to cover in the rooms for the differently abled students. I can’t imagine why… you spend the day doing the same puzzles over and over and labeling everyone as cuckoo bananas, easy money.

To be honest I actually dodged a couple of substitute call ins early in the week when i was having a little stress.   I had run out of ideas to unload cats that i do not want to bring with me.  I have three in particular who had been scheduled to be ensconsed into a sanctuary three years ago, but so far they have made no accomodations for them and I am pushing the issue.   These three are happy enough to eat sleep and poop inside my abode with everyone else…just being here pushes the limits on what i am willing to clean up and spend for cats that really don’t like me looking at them in the eye.   They WOULD have been TNRs  (Trap Neuter Releases) and if i had to do it over thy would have been, but where they were rescued, the rest of their family had already been run down by speeding cars and they wouldn’t have lasted too long.

After school yesterday I took the remainder of the money in the bank and went on a road trip to Wolf Adventure in Goffstown, NH.  And offered  my friend D__ the same deal I offered the cat rescue folks..  If you take my feral cats into your colony,  they come with a trust fund.   D__ of course said she would take them no payment required.  The situation there is different from a contained sanctuary,  it is more of a barn placement without the horses.  Their small colony of  rescued ferals are free range with  access to the building basement for food, warmth and furniture.    I hadn’t heard from D___ in a few months,  she had been mourning the death of a beloved rescue. But her spirits have  brightened as they just rescued two elderly wolf hybrids and are started building more pens.  and like all other sanctuaries they can always use more money.  But I have an alternate idea to repay her generosity.  Their previous building was destroyed in a flood in ’05 and for a couple of years they were living in an RV  but the town was still expecting taxes based on the house that didn’t exist anymore…. Kafkaesque huh?    they settled on an amount that they are repaying the town…but the interest rate is a usurious 18%.     When I finally get the money and the accountant tethered to it, I will arrange to refinance their outstanding debt using LendFriend.com   I certainly don’t need more than a couple of percent for loan management costs, but it will certainly save them boocoups $$ on the pinterest.  I haven’t told her my plan yet, she still thinks I am just going to give her an annuity for my furballs.

Meanwhile I still have a couple more cats than i ideally want to bring, but we are getting down to a socially acceptable level.   In Greenfield among the absolute must haves are a screen porch and an out building.  Ostensibly they are both for my personal use, but a screen porch is practically mandatory for anyone with more than a couple of passive housecats.  Unlike children you can always lock up your pets when they are starting to make you cuckoo bananas.  Lined with pet screening, and appointed with a few shelves and you can create a kitty theme park on an extremely limited budget; add a flappy pet door and you will have trouble getting them back in the house.

There are as many ‘catios’  custom made Cat Patios as there are pet owners.  see Google Images for proof.   SOme are just the size of a large cage outside a window or porch, some are long wire tubes stretching into the yard and around trees, some are large walk in cages without human accomodation.   Balancing what you can get away with, with what you can afford to spend…and then expanding as money allows….think erector set.

catios

shedwithporch

Obviously i have no fucking clue what I will end up having to build,  i have no idea if my best purchase will have a garage, and/or a porch.  I did spend some time looking at those  KIT outbuildings, the largest are between 6 and 9 thousand depending on fanciness.  However using that benchmark,  the guy at PVsquared recommended a Greenfield contractor whose specialty is outbuildings – barns and sheds, and he assures me they can scratch build a better one for less than a kit. One of their  models appealed to the voices in my brain who screamed in unison “MULTITASKER” “Two for one special” an outbuilding AND a screenporch in one.

Build this bugger close enough to the house and I can walk straight out my backdoor straight into my summer porch to work on my laptop or my bicycle.  Is it just me?  or do i spy with my little eye…. a tiki bar in the back of that porch?  Banana Daiquiri anyone?

1 1/2 oz light rum
1 tbsp triple sec
1 banana
1 1/2 oz lime juice
1 tsp sugar
1 cherry

Combine all ingredients (except for the cherry) with 1 cup crushed ice in an electric blender. Blend at a low speed for five seconds, then blend at a high speed until firm. Pour contents into a champagne flute, top with the cherry, and serve.

Prius-ism

prius You realize don’t you? that I have spent my portion of the house money, like nine times over already?  is  anyone keeping track? cause this rampant window shopping has reached a ridiculous level,  and my must have list is starting to look like Santa’s list of naughty children.  Everything I think i need is linked to four other things prerequisite things.  Extrapolation when done right can take you nearly anywhere it wants.

And yes that is a Prius, and it really didn’t take me very long to get to that extreme.      I got a little wound up the other night researching and designing the transparent house website.   In fact I didn’t go to bed and had to skip subbing at school the next morning.     Don’t get me wrong it is a wicked clever idea….but it is so way in advance, most likely  two years out and in internet time that’s like a century.   But it was FUN, and unlike picking out futons, every dollar I put into making the house energy efficient i expect to get back.

Speaking of that…. yesterday I called PV² which is the co-op Solar installation company in Greenfield. Unlike the ‘big’ energy company, they were indeed helpful, gave me some PRE-purchase advice  and sent me lots of lovely references. . . an architect for the additions I may have to build on the house I don’t have,  a shed contractor to build the outbuilding in case the house that i don’t have doesn’t have one, and concierge green living broker to look for, advise upon and help me buy the house I don’t have.  For a few minutes there I felt  safe….then i called the concierge broker…who was very charming…but i came away with the distinct impression that I am a little low rent for them.  I mentioned houses I had liked in town and I could hear him give a sommelier volume  SNIFF into the phone. ” Well my customers wouldn’t even look in those neighborhoods. ”  to which  i replied “well fuck you very much, you elitist cunt” …no, actually i said…”you heard me say i’m from Methuen right?”  don’t get me wrong he was still nice…but i am starting to get the feeling i am going down an expensive  Solar rabbit hole here – following folks who made their money and babies and have ELECTED to simplify their lives by buying a new one out of the Pottery barn – folks who choose solar power for their home out of conscience, not penury.   Anything i own from the Pottery barn came right off the Salvation Army’s showroom floor.

Ductless minisplit - both units - Mitsubishi

But I did learn a lot about solar homes in a very short time…the recommended heating and cooling units are japanese, wall mounted, and ridiculously efficient.  Apparently these Mitzubishi minisplits are revolutionary, and I wish i had one of these fuckers for the last 10 years.  In the long run they are well worth the three grand to have them installed.  So now i am into the house I don’t have for a heating and cooling system, which won’t do a bit of good without new efficient windows and extra insulation and so forth and so on.  That damn NOW house project was turnkey…i can see myself  living out of boxes while the house keeps getting ‘improved’.   I can literally feel money draining away from me like blood running out of my veins onto the bathroom floor.

While researching all of these expenses that are supposed to save me money, i found a readable blog called the Up Hill House,… where folks of conscience have built their home to be NET POSITIVE, which for me, is a consummation devoutly to be wished… These folks generated so much electricity on their second year that it behooved them to increase their usage instead of taking the credit from the utility.  Because the utility doesn’t credit them as much as they would have to pay for it.  Hence they bought a hybrid.    It was their story about the hybrid that caused me to turn around and look at one.   I am a truck woman, i haul things.. . but NOT all the time.  And once I move and get settled I may not need the truck as much as I do now,  i may need it more, who knows.   I made a deal with myself, I will buy the 2010 F150 this time around, and in a couple of years sell it and buy the hybrid if the whole solar thing works well.

I had stopped looking at the new listings in Greenfield, it was painful to see houses go off the market that I could have settled for.  But I had to go back and give a second look at the ones I skipped over.   If i have to tear out an old heating system and replace windows and blow in insulation..i can actually LOOK at houses where the hearing system NEEDS to be replaced, and have windows that suck and so forth. Which on one hand cheers me up,  cause i can spend less on the house, on the other hand freaks me out because the place will probably look like shit.

The voices in my head have been having a field day with this tidal surge of information. One of them screaming ‘you can’t possibly afford’ all these expenses!  you don’t make enough money!, you won’t have any left in the bank’  and the other one screams back ‘you can’t afford NOT to spend the money on these things! inside of a year you will be broke again because you will have the same monthly bills you have now, cept they will be larger PLUS taxes, insurance and god knows what! you have to prepare for later!”  Mind you these voices are NOT your classic good angel bad angel voices…neither of my voices are very good, just angry and each much more clever than I am.   It’s like constantly having dinner with divorced parents.    Whenever I throw them a new puzzle they treat it like a chew toy, I listen to them shred it to pieces and until they are done and  its time to sweep up.

I ran out of steam on the clean and toss front.  I’m falling behind on the clean part, i suppose it would be more imminent if the house was being shown.  At this point I have run out of people to beg to take my three feral cats.  well that’s not true, i have asked my friends, now i have a whole host of strangers to ask.  i offered the rescue group five thousand dollars…yes you read that…i offered them enough money to build another room on their sanctuary to take several of my cats.  And to my surprise they said no. Well they said ‘ you don’t have that money yet.’ yeah i fucking know that, but unless i can draw down on my roommates, i won’t be able to DO much about it.  As it is the Concierge broker suggested I rent in greenfield until a house comes up that i want to buy…and when i mentioned i had roommates…he backed away from that idea rather quickly.  I am sure there are more people in the world who WOULD be interested in a piece of the funds I don’t yet have.  I mean if i have to give a chunk to the lawyer, the accountant, the broker here, the broker there, the solar install people, all the bill collectors and so forth, I would rather put a chunk of it towards something that will make me feel better about giving them the boot.

 

 

On the sunnyside (revised)

74497___gustavorezende___Kids_6_03

One of the things I have planned to do…to exploit my new found love of alterative energy, is build it a small web presence.

A simple site, with a page about the installation process, diagrams about how the solar cells and battery are connected.

killawatt

I know there’s a way to hook the meter results to an online feed.
qrcode.17326845The 1st thing I have to buy are a half dozen of these Outlet Usage Meters

I am imagining a  QR code on the fence post…so that folks who see the solar panels can stop and scan it with their smart phones,  which will go straight to the website and check out the system online.  (yes i realize i need a burglar alarm)

They can email questions, i can have a link to the solar installation service, etc…

wemo

wemo

and wouldn’t it be a gas if they could interact?    You can buy light bulb’s and such from Belkin’s Wemo or Phillips Hue that can be controlled via the internet.   Even IFTTT.com  both Channels so that you can control the devices with an automated instruction.    I just think it would be a gas, if a visitor to the website, could turn a low watt lightbulb on and off with an instruction or a text,

This is fun I need to design this a little more and go look at some diagrams for systems.

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The planning is the best part of any project for me, no matter how big or small.
I did more research on the internet for a webcam example of real world items inside a house that are operated by the public.
There are more, but this one is by self definition – insane.
It’s been set up since 2007 using the older X-10 technology
and has examples of many devices, not just lamps, but sound, camera, voice synth, somewhere a doorbell.

As it is, I just have in mind one webcam aimed at ONE night light plugged into one device.
The hook is the website is about the solar installation and it will allow you to flick the light on and off.
I am not funding a playground…. like this one…

X-10s in use at Drivemeinsane.com

drivemeinsane

unfinished business

canonscanner Just in case the universe does give me exactly what i want this time… i still need to finish up a lot of local research I have on the boards…i certainly am not driving all the way back here to scan something especially considering the merrimack valley titles don’t sell very well..practically at all. But I can’t just walk away from stuff undone…well i could but it would really big me and i can’t have that.

I built a website last week for a friend, and she was feeling extra generous so she paid me about twice what I was expecting…and as we all know i can’t be trusted with money…god forbid i pay bills with it….i DID pay a couple, then i finally ordered this $50 Canon portable scanner which has been on my Amazon wishlist for like 2 years. The Methuen library doesn’t have scanning capabilities though all the other area libraries do…and from a quick glance neither did Greenfield. Nice little history room but not fancy from what i could see. So i rationalized buying this puppy and a new roku player…to be honest i was a little drunk at the time.

First i have to go to the library and request that they pull out the things I need to scan and then wait for them to retrieve it…the local stuff is all in storage and from what i have been told i am the only one to request any of it.   Go figure.  at every comparison these days Methuen comes up short.

I am toggling back and forth between Merrimack Valley publications and Greenfield ones. This will make things a little easier.

 

calendar girl

In my head, I have been dredging up a lot of OLD Location based projects that failed. There’s a lot of stuff in there, so it takes a while. And I had to scroll back a few years to find Methuen Common… which i still think was a great and necessary idea. But no one in Methuen cared…they still don’t but now i don’t so it all worked out. Needless to say this morning I bought GreenfieldCommon.com…hey i like the imagery. The other benefit of trying it once and failing is that NOW wordpress is better and I am much more skilled with it. Tonight I screwed around with a WordPress calendar plugin…it’s an excellent plugin thought it is not EXACTLY what i want. BUt it is very close. It lets you set up a bunch of calendar feeds and then display them singly or together and what not. But what i need to find is a way to link an actual blog post to a calendar event and vice versa…but hey..i got pretty much a YEAR to work on this. I hope not, but i am planning on being NOT hear by next summer. knock wood.
But it will be a lot of fun to try out this website theory in a new location….Greenfield has a decent regional newspaper website, but it’s not exactly what i am planning. News sites are what happened yesterday, MY idea for a site is what’s going on tomorrow. Sort of like the website version of the Boston Pheonix…..where to look when you are looking for something to do, all the bean suppers, yardsales, performances etc… IT was a good idea three years ago, it is still a good idea.

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in and out the cat window

catdoor I built this cat door for the porch window last night… i dropped $30 at Home Depot …technically this probably cost $20….it’s a surplus piece of that beaded masonite and the plastic top parts from plastic outdoor lattice…and a bit of clear plexiglass attached with duct tape so it swings in and out…. it’s propped open right now for the cats who haven’t figured out the sway part…but i have a wider piece for later…where they can get in but not get out….i had to do something the damn little dog fits through that opening…the chihuahua does to…but he’s not inclined to go out and chase possums at night. I was very pleased with my life for about an hour… well maybe two hours.

The weather has changed in New England…we made a jumpstart to September….and i am highly suicidal…. regardless of the calendar…we track time by weather here…. summer is over…i owe the mechanic $400 for repairing the 19 year old truck, i lost the rights to reprint two local books that I had already prepped for publication, (local heirs to a local dead person), and the census is wondering why i am not putting more ridiculous miles trying to close the last empty house cases…yeah right like that’s gonna happen. And I am sure the gas and electric company haven’t forgotten about me. It was my intention to work my ass off this summer to clear those bills, but alas..i only worked my ass off to pay for the cost of working my ass off. I can’t even calculate how much ‘EXTRA’ money i spent on that job…Sunglasses, shoes, new clothes from the thrift store, nto to mention all the gas, oil, and dunkin donuts products…and blowing through all my phone and dataplan minutes over and over. i don’t want to do the math…it will just make me sadder. But since i am already at the bottom of the hole, i decided to go out swinging… for a week i had been putting together a ‘letter’ in my head to whatever mucky mucky is in charge of this cockamamie thing, and i finally sent it out this am. well i sent it as an email to the highest name on my email list. outlining the bait and switch tactics used to hire field representatives..i would have never in a million years applied for a part time job 35 miles away from home. it just turned into something i wasn’t prepared for and i feel ill used…..over the last 52 years, i have honed my talent for passive aggressive manipulation which i inherited from my mother..thanks ma. So i pulled out all the stops and threw myself on my sword multiple times, apologizing my inadequacies and so forth… who knows if anything will come of it…but i did actually like the JOB part of the job, just not the logistics of doing them. and i wouldn’t want to miss out on doing it again in the future…cept LOCALLY.

podcastingscreenshot

So my brain has already checked out of that job, I just can’t get motivated to invest any more time, since its already broken my heart and truck. When the suicidal depression has taken hold…driving through all those beautiful upper middle class towns didn’t actually help my mood either…. I try to fight it off by sticking my head inside the computer and work my fingers to the bone even if it is a complete waste of time…the actual WORK part is what convinces the brain that it is WORKING..even if no money is forthcoming…and since my brain needs something to play with…i worked on more WordPress apps and plugins..trying to learn more about Search Engine Optimization and adding more commercialization options to the website i already have…so what does my childish brain DO?   it starts another damn website.  YEAH like i needed that…to be more accurate i DID go through all the domains and such that i had on the drawing board and erased all the clutter, EXCEPT for this one, Sicpress and the new one…   I bought that ecommerce plugin  WpZonBuilder for about $66 bucks and what it does is extract amazon products to set up Amazon affiliate sites.. basically selling stuff FOR amazon hoping that the trickle down theory will make it worthwhile.    he…i already make about $12 every month from SOMEPLACE on the internet where i recommend something..i don’t exactly know where…so why not TRY it….it IS part of my overall plan for Passive Aggressive money that i talked about last year.    So perhaps i need to put my fingers where my mouth is.

That’s what it looks like right now… i am still not happy with it, but every time i twist it around i DO learn something.    I decided to combine my fascination with podcasts and the associated products on amazon… granted I made it way more complicated than I guess the wpzonbuilder had intended it to be…instead of just adding thousands of products at once – which i take it, is the way it is SUPPOSED to be used, I have been added 3 here and 5 there,  adding direct links to my favorite podcasts..granted no one has visited the site but me but that’s okay, like i said i am still fucking with it.

The other aspect that i am LEARNING while doing, is about SEO which is how the internet works these days.   In the bad old days of the internet – you created a site and waited and hoped that the search engine bots would find you and index you..these days people smarter and more determined than you or eye, manipulate their pages and websites to get Google to do exactly what they want.  I’m not that clever, i can only learn from doing, i can’t INTUIT the best ways to draw attention to a site where i am selling things I don’t have.  The best I can do is spend hours late and night and into the wee hours curating the best crap from around the internet.    I figure in the end i can spend about 5 hours a week loading posts onto it.   but like this blog, I consider it ALL LEARNING for the future.

I have since turned around and started adding Search Engine Optimization to Sicpress.com and hoping that i can pull that website off the mat where it is lying in a pool of its own blood.

 

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