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      Thursday, February 02, 2012

09:32 AM - 02/02/2012

The topic: A long time ago

Brian and I had season tickets to the San Diego Chargers.  To avoid the traffic, we always took one of the buses that took fans to the games. We bought our passes at the beginning of the season so we got a break on the cost.

Well, one Sunday morning Brian went over to his folks’ house and was doing stuff with Mark (this was before Mark was married). It was getting late, I started getting a little concerned that Brian wouldn’t be home in time to get ready (sometimes when he gets involved in things that occupy his mind and hands, he loses all track of time).

Now, I don’t believe in a wife calling her husband every ten minutes for whatever reason. And when he’s working, I most certainly won’t call, unless it’s an emergency. I know how annoying it can be. I spent ten years in a job where I had periods of intensive, time sensitive paperwork to do and having to take customer calls would put me off of my rhythm. My paperwork would take that much longer to finish. If this is the way it is for me, I’m sure it’s even more so for someone doing physical work. To have to stop and answer the phone, listen to some new inanity from me (gee, the sun’s up, isn’t it a pretty day?).  Nope. I realize the more I’d call, the longer the job will take to finish. And the later Brian will get home. So, I don’t call.  Well, I do call when I want to know if I should expect him home in a timely manner for dinner. I don’t like to eat late, my stomach can’t handle it and I’d rather eat early than not eat at all.

So, this Sunday morning, so long ago, I called to remind Brian of the time.  Mark answered the phone and when I asked for Brian, Mark, very rudely said “give him a break”.  I was gobsmacked. I was speechless. No one had ever spoken to me like that, just out of the blue.  Mark said “are you still there?”  I just hung up.

Well, it’s a few decades later and I have to say, looking on how things have played out, that Karma has a hell of a sense of humor.


10:07 AM - 02/02/2012
We found a penny on our walk this morning

The topic: Getting Brian’s company set up

We started it last year.  It started getting a little busier and a little busier.  The website slowly grew.

It’s a very basic website. No flashy pictures, no rockin’ music, just a very basic website with big print.  I designed it with people like Brian in mind. Because that’s his demographic. People who aren’t tech savvy and into all the fancy internet stuff that’s out there. They just want to know what it does and how much does it cost.

The main method of payment has been PayPal.  We’ve gotten a few checks. Started last October. And since it’s not businesslike to have them made out to him, they were made out to the company. Only problem with that is the company didn’t have a bank account. So, I had to get the fictitious name statement/certificate done. Then it had to be published.  But once we got the stamped fictitious name statement back, we were okay to set up the company bank account.

There were a few people who inquired about using credit cards. We didn’t take them. Once again, we took PayPal. And you could send us a check. But some people would rather do the credit card thing. Brian proclaims “we need to accept credit cards”.  I check companies online.  He checks with our bank. We compare notes. I call our bank and speak with the rep.  I ask some questions that Brian didn’t know to ask.

Our bank had the best deal. So, a couple of weeks ago, we, urm, I started setting it up. First there was the demo merchant, the testing to make sure the code was right. The manual was not user friendly (okay, okay, if you knew what you were doing, it was user friendly) and I called in the big guns to help me.  Together, we muddled through it and I was able to get the code to work.  The customer inputs the amount he’s paying, there’s no shopping cart.  That’s what took the longest to figure out, but once I saw how easy it was, I was kicking myself in the butt. Something I should have seen right away.

Okay, that’s set up, everything works for the demo. Let’s get this baby rolling. Oh, I need an SSL page (you know, when you put in your credit card information, up there at the top, the page URL has an “https” instead of “http”?  That extra letter means that’s a secure site. It’s a protected site). No problem, my webhost offers a shared SSL.  I find out late yesterday afternoon, the bank does not like this. The bank wants the company name up there, not some shared name.  I contact tech support, find out that this can be done and I’m given guidance on how to do it.  Three hours after we start, Fit Rite Hydraulics has it’s on SSL certificate. Yay!  Even though it’s late, after eight, I send the new link to our bank contact. Surprisingly, I hear back from him. He’s forwarding it on to the back office. We’re set (in the three days since we went live with the credit card option, we’ve gotten over a thousand bucks in orders)!

The only bump right now is the dedicated IP number we’ve been assigned. No one has used it since the nineties. It’s just been sitting there. We inherited it. The previous owners were spammers.  Email we send is blocked, because of the spam that originated from that number.  This sucks.

AT&T and it’s subsidiaries was the first. Took twenty-four hours to fix. Yesterday, mail sent to an Earthlink baby bounced. I emailed Earthlink to protest, to have our IP number removed from the block list. My email to Earthlink bounced. Because, you know, we’re spammers. Their website says if we’re blocked from sending mail to their customers, contact the originator of the bounced mail, have them contact Earthlink with the IP number and a copy of the bounced mail so that Earthlink can check in to it.  And unblock that IP.

Only there’s one problem.  Did you catch it?

“Contact the sender.”  And how am I supposed to do that? With an email?  That’s going to bounce?  Oh, sure, I could use a different email address “hey, you don’t know me, but I work with Fit Rite Hydraulics and we can’t send you mail, could you please contact your provider and let them know we’re okay and that we’re not spammers?”  Yeah, that’s really professional.  So, I sent an email to Earthlink using a different address, sent a copy of the customer’s email with headers and also let them know what a stupid way of doing things they had in place.

But, today, all is good and it looks like it should be smooth sailing (at least with the website) from here on out.

      Sunday, February 05, 2012

09:29 AM - 02/05/2012

The topic: Fat lip

Mystie has a fat lip. I first noticed it Friday. It keeps changing size. But this morning it looks like it's getting a little smaller.

It hurts her, too. She won't let me touch it.

Richie gets these and they go away in about a week.

If it's not one thing, it's another.

09:44 AM - 02/05/2012

The topic: Getting ready for Tulare

I thought it would be a great idea to make some shirts for Brian to wear at the Ag-Show. Shirts that advertise "Fit Rite Hydraulics".

I came up with one that looks like the labels I made for the hydraulics (you can see them here, the bottom pictures have the labels on them). They're black print on silver foil.

I used silver Spectra Alloy. It's very shiny. I'm putting this on a black long sleeved pocket tee. I used my Quickutz Silhouette to cut out the lettering. On the back of the shirt, it will be almost exactly like the label. Black on silver. Except there's only silver, the black is the shirt.

For the front, to be place over the pocket, I made a border and the lettering is silver.

I'll be making these today, if they come out the way I'm hoping, they'll be pretty sharp.

      Wednesday, February 08, 2012

02:15 PM - 02/08/2012

The topic: I’ve started riding my recumbent bike

and following the Jillian Michaels iFit program. Only three days a week for twenty minutes each time. No biggie, I can do that sitting down (heh).

So, I get on it yesterday, week three, program three. And it kicked my butt. I was staggering when I got off.


We've also been walking again and it surprises me how badly out of shape I've gotten since just last October. I'm ready to quit halfway through the walk. But I can't because I have to get home. *lol*

But on the pro side, my left hip has been bothering me for a while now and since I've stepped up my physical activity, it's not hurting nearly as bad. It was hard to lay on that side in bed and now, it's not uncomfortable at all. And after I've been sitting on the sofa or at the computer for a while, I'm not limping when I get up. So, this is all good.

It's taken a couple of weeks to get here, but I'm noticing improvement. Maybe not on the scale or the way my clothes fit (I'm going slowly this time, it's a lifestyle change) but my hip not killing me? It's a good thing.

      Thursday, February 09, 2012

09:05 AM - 02/09/2012

The topic: The family met at Sizzler for dinner last night

It was Brian's mom's 83rd birthday. She's doing great for that age. I love to watch her eat, she's always been one to clean her plate (she doesn't take much to start with) and she concentrates on her food. I met one of Judy's sisters for the first time, really nice lady. Takes care of five (!!!) little girls during the day. And lives to tell the tale. *lol*

Brian's niece took grandma shopping after dinner, I think that's so sweet of her to do. She's a really thoughtful grandkid, she takes Marion to dinner and shopping every Wednesday evening. I've always had a soft spot for Mary.

After dinner we went by the animal clinic and picked up Benny's ashes. He's home for good now. The ashes are in a cedar box with his name burned into the top and it was wrapped in bubblewrap. I started popping it on the way home. Brian told me to stop. I didn't.

It was a pretty good night in all.

      Tuesday, February 14, 2012

08:09 AM - 02/14/2012

The topic: Brian’s hundreds of miles away

He’s on his way to the World Ag Show in Tulare, California.

The past week has been pretty busy for both of us. He touched base with some tractor dealers who will be there and he got the okay from them to put his hydraulics on their tractors at the show. So, he had to get two complete sets made (he’s giving them to the dealers) to take with him.  He also wanted some brochures to leave. That took some doing since he was so busy “Brian, I need your help! I need you to tell me what to put on them!” I finally just told him to pick out stuff from his FAQ page and give me some photos.  I bought two packages of HP brochure paper.

I have to say I was disappointed in my color laser printer, the sheets all had grey backgrounds on them. Doing internet research it seems this is a problem of this particular machine and it doesn’t matter if you’re using a refilled cartridge or a brand new expensive HP cartridge. It happens.  Then the “brand new” magenta ran out. I’ve had it so long I don’t remember where I got it (I bought two of each color the last time I got them, this isn’t a high use printer). I wasn’t happy.  But they turned out okay, they could have been better, but the only money we were out was the cost of the paper.  We got a couple of acrylic brochure/card holders that he’ll leave at the dealers who have his hydraulics on their tractors.  I asked him last night how many people go to this show and he said “three hundred to five hundred thousand”. Whoa!

Next year we’ll have the brochures made.

He had a lot of paperwork to get ready, his reason for going is to get measurements on tractors for the hydraulic fittings.

I made him twelve shirts, had some vinyl that I’d never used before to apply to the grey shirts and one was messed up, the vinyl puckered. But the other shirts turned out nicely. He’s got the silver on black and black on steel.  Short and long sleeved. He wore a black long sleeved shirt yesterday, he likes them.

He got all packed yesterday, I made sure the laptop was up to date and showed him how to turn it on, the password to get it started and how to connect to the internet. Then I showed him where the IE icon was so he could get on the internet. He put everything in the car last night (he’s taking my car since it has the navigation system and gets better mileage than the other vehicles). We went to bed at ten last night, he got up at three to shower.  While he was in the shower I went into the kitchen and made a small pot of coffee so he could take some with him.

He left around 3:45 this morning. I heard him push the dumpster up into the street. I didn’t hear the car pull away. I opened the door for the cats to go out, then I locked the screen door and the deadbolt on the front door and went back to bed.

At 4:30, I heard the front gate. Strange. Then I heard Brian saying “Dianne, open the door. I forgot my phone.”  I bet he was pissed.  I got up, let him in, he got his cell, then left.

When he walked to the car, the skies opened. It started pouring.

I hope the cell is the only thing that goes wrong on this trip.  This could be our future

09:45 AM - 02/14/2012

The topic: Making the shirts

I use a Quickutz Silhouette (it’s all Allyson’s fault) to cut out the vinyl. Then the vinyl needs to be “weeded”. That means you have to take away the part of the design you don’t want printed on to the shirt.

I’ve got a hook that came in a kit that I got at Wal-Mart. I’ve only got one, so I checked online and they aren’t cheap. I asked Brian if he thought Harbor Freight or Home Depot would have something similar. He said for sure Harbor Freight would.

So, we had dental appointments yesterday morning (the dentist isn’t even a mile from our house). Brian’s was before mine. He was gone by the time I got there.

The hygienist mentioned something that Brian had said I needed a tool for and I had no idea what she was talking about. Well, when she talked a little more, it became clear.

When she was scraping his teeth, he had an epiphany. He asked what she did with her old scraping tools. And she told him what I needed.

I came home with a bag full of teeth picks. Metal teeth picks, scrapers, I don’t know what you call them, but I bet they do a great job of weeding the vinyl.


      Friday, February 17, 2012

09:11 AM - 02/17/2012

The topic: Brian got home last night

And was laying on the sofa. The cats are all over him "daddy's home! daddy's home!". He's petting DaNiece and said "did you notice her ear, it's all puffy?"

So, I check it out, yes, it was all puffy, like a little pillow. It didn't seem to bother her much. I figured I'd check it out this morning.

And this morning, it's more puffy and the puff looks dark. I'm thinking she has a hematoma, which needs medical assistance. It's not life threatening, but it is painful and doesn't resolve well on it's own. I called the vet's office this morning, they're booked up but I can drop her off before 11:00. Which means the vet will look at her during his lunch/surgery time.


Poor little Neecy.

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Looking at this closeup, it almost looks like there are little teethmarks...which could mean it's an abscess, not hematoma...

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05:02 PM - 02/17/2012

The topic: DaNiece update

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She's home.

The vet didn't do anything to her ear. But he did run blood tests.

Her bloodwork came back good, everything is as it should be. He said her thyroid glands were big so he ran a thyroid test, but it came back negative. He asked if she's been more active recently (yes, she's been wrassling with her brothers; something I haven't seen her do in quite a while). This happened with another cat he saw today, so he's sending the bloodwork out for testing at an offsite lab. He said he's wondering if he got a bad batch of tests. Of course, the new testing will be done at no cost to us.

About her ear. He said he believes it is a hematoma, caused by some sort of trauma. He said that he could perform surgery on it and charge us three hundred bucks. And she'd have a pucker at the tip of her ear. Or, he could do nothing, we can wait and see if the swelling goes down, she'll have a pucker at the tip of her ear. So, we save three hundred dollars and she has a pucker at the tip of her ear. Of course, if the ear continues to swell we will have to bring her in, but he thinks it will resolve by itself.

Poor little DaNiece.

Today cost us $175.00.

      Monday, February 20, 2012

08:47 AM - 02/20/2012

The topic: Vet’s office just called

The thyroid test last week was wrong. DaNiece is hypothyroid hyperthyroid, so it's meds for her! They'll be ready later today.

And he said again that the ear should heal on its own.

      Wednesday, February 22, 2012

11:00 AM - 02/22/2012

The topic: lisaviolet postcards are no longer available

I don't know if anybody was using them or not, but I hadn't maintained them in years.

And I was made aware earlier this week that they had been hacked and contained malware, resulting in a "dangerous" designation from both Trend Micro and Yandex.

So, that entire portion of the website has been removed.

01:50 PM - 02/22/2012

The topic: Georgie to the vet this morning

Brian mentioned last week that George sure seems to be drinking a lot of water. I said he should probably get into the vet for a geriatric blood panel (he'll be seventeen on April first), at least if he's got kidney problems, we can get on top of them. Brian didn't quite understand my meaning and I told him fluid therapy will help prolong his life.

So, this morning, Georgie visited TED and had blood drawn. He hasn't lost any weight since his last visit in 2007 (I think he has, I think he gained some weight after that visit and has since lost it), his teeth look good, his vitals are good, so all we need now are the test results.

Which should be later today.

03:10 PM - 02/22/2012

The topic: Georgie update

Vet just called. Georgie is in stage two renal failure, which isn't bad at all. His BUN is 35, his creatinine is 2.7.

So, the vet's calling in an order of Calcitriol for him (it's from a pharmacy in Arizona) and George should do well on that alone. No fluids! Yay!

Georgie is also slightly anemic, so this stuff should help that, I guess.

Cost of today's visit - $176.85. Now for his meds....

Calcitriol...$47.00. Probably a couple of months' worth.

      Thursday, February 23, 2012

10:53 AM - 02/23/2012

The topic: Pictures!
So, I took some pictures! They're not all here, you can find more over at the gallery. Bobby

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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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