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      Monday, September 06, 2010

09:22 AM - 09/06/2010

The topic: Last week

there was a discussion of what’s your favorite scent on a forum I frequent.  I posted my faves. Then for some reason unknown to me (this happens a lot), I checked out my stash.  I found a Lancome mini (during the holidays, Costco sells perfume/cologne and sometimes there are gift sets and I buy them; gives me a chance to find a new fragrance and I’ve also bought mini sets online) and I had a hard time opening it, a worse time closing it.  The stopper got pushed out of shape and I can’t do it. I put plastic wrap on it and put it in a place where it won’t get tipped over.

Before I got married I bought some small atomizers that I could fill myself.  I looked for them Saturday night, but couldn’t find any of them, not surprising since it’s been over twenty-five years. But I did find another Lancome sample, on a card, with one of those tiny bottles.  I opened it to sniff it and to my surprise, I hadn’t pulled the cap off, but pulled a spritzer thingy off.  I put it back on and was delighted to see that it was a teeny, tiny atomizer! It was really cute!

I checked for atomizers online, ending up over at eBay. I found something I liked and ordered. Then I checked her store.  I should have done that first. She had the teeny, tiny atomizers for sale! I asked if I could cancel my first order and she was more than happy to help me.  I ordered other things I wanted more and I’m really looking forward to getting them.  Like little keychain atomizers! And I got an atomizer that will hold the fluid from the mini bottle I can’t close. And some of those little teeny, tiny glass atomizers.  I figure that will be a lot more practical for the times we’re away from home and I want to smell good.  I remember the time I had a mini bottle in the car and it leaked.  The car smelled yummy for months, but the scent didn’t always suit my mood. *laughing*

When she cancelled my first order, I apparantly hit the wrong button, denying the cancellation.  She worked with me and got it taken care of. She was really super nice.

So, I’d like to give a shout out to seattle_4. If you need any type of little accessory for your fragrance collection, check her store out.

09:37 AM - 09/06/2010

The topic: Taking a break

A few years into our Disney meets, I started making DVDs of the photos everyone took.  For whatever reason, I didn’t do one for 2008.  Just couldn’t get into the mood.  Then it was the 2009 meet and I figured I’d just do them together. Then I wrecked my car.  Then my computer crashed.

It was always something.

I wanted them to be out in the mail last week.  Not done. I had forgotten how time consuming it is to find the best pictures and fixing any problems with them, resizing them, etc. I finally got that done and started making the video.  I found old plugins and reinstalled them into my video software. I searched for new plugins and installed those.  And I got busy.

Now, we’ve had a great summer, very, very mild. A few really hot days, but on the average, the high temperature is low for this time of the year. There have been multiple record lows.  The office is the hottest room in the house.  With the computers, the burners, printers and all, it all adds to the heat from the sun. 

And wouldn’t you know, once I started sitting here everyday, it got hot.  Even with the A/C on, it was in the nineties. Indoors. In the office. Triple digits outside. I was miserable.  Then I’d get one portion of the project finished, it would cool off.  I got the video made with Corel’s Video Studio Pro V3.  I made the menus (and I’m not happy with them, but time’s getting too short to redo them right now) with Ulead’s Movie Factory 6. Then I was ready to burn the copies.

My burners didn’t work. Well, they worked, but the last time I did this, I was able to burn three at a time.  This time it was only two.  Same burners. Very annoying. So, I settled for two at a time, and burned ten from a copy on my hard drive.  In the heat.  The day after I burned them, it cooled down again. Nice.  I tested the DVDs.  All coasters.  However they were saved to the hard drive, they didn’t transfer to the actual disk in a viewable format.  I had to redo them all.

It got hot.

I found another way to burn them (downloaded more trial software) and the test disk worked.  But the software kept crapping out.

I did a system restore and all the tweaking I’d done during making this software was lost.  *sigh*

I had to uninstall some of the software and reinstall (there’s been a problem with net.framework ever since the computer crashed back in May and it wasn’t a problem until I needed to work with the software; I had fixed this during the past couple of weeks, but the system restore undid it).  Then I used WinUtilities and cleaned the registry.  Then I did a defrag. Then I burned the disks. And they work!  Yay!

Yesterday, I printed on them (that’s another speed bump, I couldn’t find the right settings and the printing job wasn’t smooth).  The disks are done,  I designed the cover insert and printed those out, have to trim them and put them in the DVD case, then do an insert and they’ll be ready to send off.

Okay, break over!

      Friday, September 10, 2010

11:59 AM - 09/10/2010

The topic: For the second time in less than two years

I cancelled my newspaper subscription.  The first time I cancelled I’d neglected to renew on time and they upped the rate over forty bucks a year. 

Then I got “please come back!” notice and could pay $8.50 for four weeks at a time, automatically renewed.  I was under the impression this rate would be good for eighteen months, but I was wrong, it was only good for twelve.  Then the price went up, it was over $10.00 for four weeks.   Okay, well, that didn’t make me very happy, but I figured I got $2.50’s reading a week out of it. 

But then then changed the format.  Smaller sheets of paper and the front section was completely overhauled.  And I realized this morning, in the month since the format changed, I’m not reading it as much.  I had two Sunday papers that I’d never opened.  So, I cancelled my subscription this morning.  Since they’ve been automatically deducting the money from our account, I’m paid through October 8.  And then it will be done.

And I don’t know if I mentioned signing up for Netflix back in June.  I ordered that, the one movie a week and cancelled HBO.  The cost is a wash.  I did get the disk for my Wii and can watch streaming programs via the Wii, but they’re not hi-def.  Well, last month Woot had a refurbed Roku for sale and I was seriously considering getting one. I thought it over for hours and when I decided it would be a good deal, it was already sold out. My luck.

But they had another yesterday for ten bucks more, and this one is better than the one that was up for sale last month.  I jumped on it.

And once it gets here, I’ll see how good the downloads are. See, with Netflix, you automatically get Starz.  And I subscribe to Starz.  I was thinking about how often I actually watch it, I watch the On Demand more than the actual channel, so I may be cancelling Startz, too.  That will save $13.50 a month.

Between the two of them, we’ll be saving close to $300 a year.  It all adds up.

We no longer have water delivered, Brian installed a water filter and we use it for both us and the cats (the local water district added fluoride to it and cats don’t do fluoride).  We got that whole house fan last year, which has been a very wise purchase.  Since the problem here is heat, not so much humidity, it really cools off the house in the evenings and into the morning.  We used to go out to dinner every Friday night, dropping a hundred dollars.  Now a dinner out is Sizzler.  I don’t like their food much, but I do like the salad bar.  Fast food meals have greatly dropped since the blood results.  They just weren’t healthy and another plus is savings.  We used to go to breakfast every Saturday morning.  Then, because money was getting a little tighter, we started going once a month. Then, we stopped that. The last time we went to breakfast was the morning we had our blood taken.   Back in July.

Life sure has changed.

01:13 PM - 09/10/2010
I'm watching American Justice on A&E
The current weather is pleasant, a little warm

The topic: Dear Cats,

You know I love you, but I wish you’d QUIT PISSING IN THE WATER BOWL!

      Saturday, September 25, 2010

07:11 AM - 09/25/2010

The topic: It’s going to be a busy weekend

Brian left early this morning, he’s making a delivery to Tehachapi.  He’s designed a better way of doing something that’s already out there and this is the second one he’s sold.  It’s a niche market, but he’s hoping he can make a go of it.  What he’s always done for a living is starting to take a toll on him.  It’s very physical work.

So, I’ve got the day to myself.  And a busy day it will be.

First off, I know many of you are familiar with the fact that every October, we go to Disneyland for my birthday.  And that I make shirts and pinwheels for us all to wear on one of the days.  I got last of the DVDs sent off for years 2008 and 2009 on the eighth, then started on the shirt design.  The front of the shirt is always the same.  A big pinwheel with the words “Experience a Pinwheel Moment”. One year I used some glitter spray on the pinwheel, that was fun.  Last year I used fabric paint and made them very shiny.  This year I’m going to see how some of the new media (for my heat press) I bought earlier this year will look as cool as I think it will.

The back of the shirt is what changes each year.  I like the idea of people standing behind us being able to figure out why we’ve got these pinwheels on our heads. Back in 1999, we were standing in line for the newly opened Roger Rabbit’s Car Tune Spin when one of our party wondered out loud if we had to double up in the cars.  Since it was a new ride and the long was incredibly long, we pointed out that they most likely wouldn’t let us go singly. Which is when she uttered the words “Yeah, but how will they know we’re together?”, which I always felt was the defining pinwheel moment. 

For most of the years, there was some sort of cat on the back and the date. Last year I made up a little story about the first pinwheel moment. This year I came up with another idea, sort of like a little graphical story.  It was a scathingly brilliant idea. I got head shots from everyone (I can’t go into too much detail because they haven’t seen the finished product, won’t until next month).  I bought a year’s license over at http://www.befunky.com and went to work. I'll show you what I came up with for me (if you're a facebook friend, you'll recognize this as my new avatar).

I have all of the front and back transfers printed and I hope to get all of the shirts printed today (I would have started yesterday, but when I compared my stock to what sizes were needed Wednesday night, I came up short.  I ordered the shirts early Thursday with the guarantee they’d be here by eleven yesterday morning.  Four thirty yesterday afternoon, UPS shows up with my shirts. Oh, well, I won’t complain, shipping was free. )  I have to use my Silhouette to cut out the special media, then start using my heat press tape to put each piece where it belongs, the cover the entire transfer with the teflon sheet and press again.  I’m planning on having all the media in place by the end of the day so I can start pressing tomorrow early.

Once the shirts are done, I’ll make the buttons with our names. That shouldn’t really take to much time.

So, that’s just one thing I have planned for today.  One of the other things is when we sold my mom’s place, we put part of the money in a 25 month CD, which matures today.  I have ten days to do something with the money or it gets rolled over.  At a whopping 1% annually.  Our credit card interest is much higher than that, so I’m going to have it put into my checking account and pay off the credit cards.  Which should save us a couple hundred bucks in interest each month (not having a steady income has taken a toll on our finances, we’ve fallen back on the credit cards on more than one occasion).

As soon as the cats have been fed (Miss E, Oliver, Benny, Mickey, Kirby and Sebby all get Fancy Feast, one at a time, in my bathroom), I’ll take a shower, get to the bank (I called on the CD this morning, was told I could do it over the phone, but it would take a couple of days; if I did it at a branch office, I’d have immediate access to the funds; I want these credit cards paid off by the end of this month, I don’t want to wait).   While the cats are eating, I’ll start doing the cutouts of the media.

Like I said, it’s going to be a busy weekend.

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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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