Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Last day for videos

Here I am typing on the laptop, which I really don't care for when I have the choice. But, this is where the Internet is connected at the moment, despite the fact that I've made it quite clear how I want things left, with the older computer connected to the Internet and the printer, and the laptop not connected to anything (except when we are uploaded videos or doing business stuff with it). Laptops do not so much function as laptops when there are all these wires and such coming out of them.

So, here I am trying to type on the Mickey Mouse keyboard that is part of the laptop, looking at the little screen that is part of the laptop, etc.... I did ask yesterday about the process of switching the Internet from one computer to the other, and I was told that I neglected to turn something off and on again. So, I tried that this morning, and it didn't seem to do anything. So, I thought that maybe in addition to that I was supposed to also turn the computer itself off and on, but again that did not seem to accomplish anything. So I guess I will have to watch him demonstrate the process, I will need to do that later today, unless I leave the Internet hooked up to the laptop all day, which I do not think that I would care for.

The extended deadline for the video contest is today, and I am debating about doing one last video. I have redone the three others, and posted two of them. I think I will leave the first one alone, just in case those votes do count for something.

The videos are not as fun as they were to begin with, but now I really need the money. So I have to keep trying. And even with that it is probably time to give up and go work at McDonald's. Not that McDonald's is hiring, and I don't speak Spanish so I wouldn't be able to talk to anyone anyway.

I went to Irving yesterday, and while it took longer than I expected and I got a bit of a headache and such for going out so long without lunch, I got most of what I wanted accomplished, except in the Halloween costume department. And with all that is going on, I shouldn't be thinking about Halloween costumes anyway. But I have this dress, and this idea, and this is really the only year that I would want to use this idea, and probably the only year I would want to use this dress. I could just wear it the way that it is and just try to find shoes for it, but I'm thinking at my current weight it would look so much better as a long dress with sleeves. But so far I haven't any luck finding appropriate material to make the alterations.

At this point, I haven't even had any luck finding a bra that will work with it.

But as for the rest of the shopping, it went well enough. Not finding a lot of things that you want also means that you don't spend very much money. So that part was good. He found a couple of books that didn't cost much, and I found a toy knitting machine for two dollars. And I sold two more boxes of books. I can't remember how many that is now, but it must be at least five boxes. Somehow after selling all of those books I still have three boxes that don't fit on the shelves, but I am making a little progress. And I managed to remember to pick up my pills, so I don't think I'll be needing to go back to Irving for a while.

After the late lunch I was still hungry. I seemed to stay hungry for the rest of the day. Then I remembered that this was the last few days that I could buy a three dollar pizza, so we went to get one of those. So (not counting the pills, which I already put aside money for) I gained fifteen more dollars from selling the books than I spent. Today I will go and use the last of my rain checks and buy another ten or twenty pounds of chicken. Then I will be out of money again for a few days.

I think that I will have a very busy day if I try to work on a video in addition to all of the other stuff I have to do. But it is just the one day, so I can probably handle it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Let there be sound

If you have been reading, you know that my husband was out of town most of last week. And he works evenings, so except for watching House last Monday, he didn't get to watch any of the new TV shows. So I figured that he would catch up on some of the stuff by watching Hulu and such on Sunday. Instead he spent most of the day blogging, and then downloaded Merlin and Being Erica. The only thing he watched on Hulu was Dollhouse.

So I can't talk to him about anything I watched last week. I can't ask him what he thinks of Flashforward if he hasn't seen it.

So yesterday he is in here blogging again, and after he finishes a post I tell him he should at least watch Flashforward in the hour he has left before he goes to work. So he does that, and I watch most of it with him, though I have to leave the room a few times because I was cooking something.

Anyway, he gets annoyed with this computer. He thinks it is too slow and he thinks Hulu is to slow and he'd rather download everything, and I think most of the time he is being too picky about that. He decides that he should at least try to watch the stuff on the new laptop, which is annoying to me, since the laptop has a smaller screen. But I don't complain when he does it just this once, cause I have already seen Flashforward, and I have the cooking to deal with anyway.

So I come back, and he has the laptop hooked up to the Internet, and he watches Flashforward, and I watch most of it, and I go and get our lunch and we eat it in here while we watch Hulu. And then I have to go clean up from lunch, and he wants to know if I want the Internet left on the laptop, or if I want everything put back the way it was.

I want everything put back the way it was.

So I think that everything is put back the way it was, and I clean up some of the stuff from lunch, and he gets ready to leave for work. And he leaves, and I have some stuff I have planned to do, only I decide to look at some stuff on the Internet first. And I usually find some stuff on Hulu to watch in between doing other things, like I'll probably be watching the seventh season of Stargate later this week.

And then I noticed that the sound wasn't on.

So that is annoying. I try to look around and make sure that everything is plugged up, make sure that there are no loose connections, and check to make sure that all the blinky lights are blinking where they are supposed to. Finding nothing wrong there, I restart what I was doing. And when that doesn't help, I turn off the computer and turn it back on again, which usually fixes whatever is wrong.

And the sound still doesn't work.

At this point I should find something else to do, but I don't, cause I know this sound problem is going to bother me all day if I don't figure out what is wrong with it. I have videos to work on and cleaning to do and I need to plan exactly where I am going to go in Irving later this week, but I can't focus on any of that because the sound doesn't work on the computer.

And I am pretty sure that whenever there is something wrong with the computer it is because my husband has fiddled with something. Yes, he knows all about computers and is much better with them than I am, but he's always adjusting something that doesn't need adjusting, so that when I need it I can't get it to work properly. And he's like, why didn't you just do such-and-such? But why would I have done such-and-such, as it had never needed to be done like that before?

So I am thinking that he has done something, but I don't know what. And I think that while I am sitting there trying to figure it out, I might as well put the Internet connections back on the laptop and watch something on Hulu.

Only the Internet doesn't seem to work on the laptop, and I don't know why that is either. It should be something simple like taking one cord off of the one computer and attaching it to the other computer. But that doesn't seem to do it, so I put everything back the way it was and restart the old computer a second time.

Still no sound.

I'm afraid that I will accidentally knock over the laptop, so I take that into the other room.

The old computer has messages about new hardware. I don't have any new hardware, but maybe it will tell me something about the sound. After letting it reinstall something for both the DVD player and the keyboard (I couldn't see that anything was wrong with the DVD player, and the keyboard obviously worked just fine), I waited for a message about the speakers, but that was the end of the hardware messages.

There is something about a calender. If you tell the computer that it is last week or last month or whenever the computer was working properly, it will go back to working properly. Only I couldn't remember how to get to that calender. I found a calender, but probably not the right one as changing the date did nothing for the sound, it just changed the date.

So now I have a computer with the wrong date and no sound.

A friend made suggestions. I had already tried some of them, and the rest did not seem to do much.

I decide to have a lot at the back of the computer where most of the connections are. To really get a good look, I have to turn the computer so that the back part is now facing up and the front of the computer is now facing down. Everything looks okay, except that next to where the speakers are plugged in are two other holes that look exactly the same. Maybe the speakers are plugged in at the wrong place? But surely if someone had unplugged the speakers, like, to use them on the laptop, then someone would look to see where the speakers were plugged in to begin with and then make sure that they we again plugged in at the right place.

Well, I look at that sort of thing before I unplug anything from the computer.

The holes have symbols next to them, but they are too small for me to see what they are. And I cannot hold onto the computer and a magnifying glass at the same time, so I will just have to try one and then another.

So after again turning the computer on and off a couple of times, it turns out that the speakers should have been attached at the top hole and they were plugged in at the bottom hole.

By this time I have spent three hours turning the computer on and off and looking up stuff on the Internet and other things trying to find out why the sound doesn't work, plus I have talked to my friend for another hour. It is just about time to fix dinner. I get about two hours of work done before I mostly give up and just play around with the videos for a bit while I watch House.

My husband came home, and I asked him if he had done anything with the speakers. And he said he used them on the laptop and probably plugged them back in at the wrong place, cause he couldn't see, he was just doing it by feel.

I don't see why he couldn't just admit that when I stood here and asked him if everything was put back the way it was supposed to be. He didn't even tell me he had done anything to the speakers, just the Internet connections.

Anyway, it all seems to be working again. Except that the date is wrong.

I don't think that I'll tell him about that.

Saturday was fun, and I got some work done

Well, I never get as much accomplished as I might want to, but I did get some work done last week. But before I get all happy about it, I have to remember that the major cleaning and sorting I did was just in one room. And it isn't even that I got a whole room cleaned and sorted, just I mainly got half of the room cleaned and sorted. And there are still things in boxes that I have to go back and look at later. But there are shelves that had everything removed and cleaned and then put back, and there were a few boxes of books that were sold, and there were several bags of trash that went to the curb, and there were two boxes of other things taken away.

How that still leaves boxes on the floor to be sorted out, I'm not sure. And that is in addition to the boxes that are always there that have already been sorted out.

So that took most of four days to do that work, and little else, though I did do just a tiny bit of the regular work of doing the dishes and cooking and such. With it just being me by myself I didn't have as much of that to do and I decided to put off doing the laundry since I would have more laundry to do today anyway.

Anyway, if it takes most of my week just to do most of half of a room, when I am really trying, how long would it take to do the other half of the room, plus three more rooms, while trying to keep up with the regular stuff of washing dishes and cooking and laundry and such?

And with all of this cleaning and sorting and such, why are things still missing? Why can't I find the second season DVD of Land of the Lost, and why is the relatively recently acquired Aliens DVD missing?

Okay, back to the question of the cleaning and sorting. If it takes me most of a week to clean most of half of a room, and I still have the other half of the room and three other rooms left to work on, I guess that would take me another seven weeks, in addition to whatever time I would have to spend doing normal stuff like laundry and trying to somewhat keep the kitchen in order. And I don't seem to get anything done except when I have the house to myself. Even a day when I have the house to myself after he goes to work is not the same, especially since he usually doesn't go to work until well after lunch.

Having the place to myself has its problems. Not having the place to myself has other problems.

He will work today, which is unusual, but then he won't be working tomorrow or the next day, so that isn't good either. A four day week, followed by another four day week. Not as bad as a three or two day week, but we need money, and I need to get things done.

And I should get back to those videos. The deadline for the contest was pushed back, I think til Wednesday. If I'm going to do anything it needs to get done today and tomorrow. I got more time to work on it and I've mostly not used it.

Saturday, I took a break from everything and went to hang out with my friends. But before that I had a moment to see my sister and my mother, and there were no problems with my mother cause I didn't stay that long and my sister was there. I had a couple of things that I wanted my sister to have, and I've had them almost a year now, and I keep forgetting to give them to her. I come across something, put it aside so that I'll give it to her, and then when the day comes that I'm going to see her I walk right past the thing. Then I come home and see the thing, and it is in the way where it is so I put it somewhere else, because I won't be seeing her again for a while. And then I misplace the thing for another month or so, and then when I know I'm going to see her again I can't find the thing. At this rate, by the time I get the stuff to her, it will no longer be of any use. But I did finally manage to locate both items, remember to put them in the car before I left the house, and I did finally give them to her. After a year, I can at last check that off of the to-do list.

Anyway, Saturday was a lot of fun, even if I personally did not do much. We were supposed to be making Halloween decorations, and some of mine didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. Other people did some really nice things, and then later it just got silly. But I'm glad I went. I had been looking forward to it for a month or so. And they fed me. I always appreciate it when people feed me. And I got rid of those two boxes of odd things. Some of it was useful, but I suspect most of it was not.

I have to go to Irving sometime this week. The Only 99 Cents store is closed. I used to go to Irving a lot, and for almost any excuse, cause while I was there I could go to the store. Only now there is no store, and I'm trying to not waste gas. So now going to Irving seems like a big chore. When should I go? I need to figure out what all needs to be done so it can all be in one trip. I don't want to go and then figure out that I have to go back for something on Friday. Should I go today and try to get it all done before lunch, or should I wait til tomorrow? Or should I wait til Friday in hopes that I will convince myself to take more books to sell? Of course, if I wait til Friday, and something comes up that prevents me from going on Friday, I'm screwed. Like it is possible that I should go on Thursday, but what if I get sick on Wednesday?

It really sucks not having money. When to go to Irving becomes a major decision. If I didn't have to worry about money, I would go today, and then if I thought of something else I would just go there again later in the week. But now I should just go the one time, and I don't even have the store to go to and buy cheap food.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I woke up too early this morning

And, since I had the house to myself, I actually decided to watch TV and such. When there is no one else in the house, you can do that sort of thing.

But now I am tired and wanting to go back to sleep. Again, since there is no one else here, I could do that if I wanted. Or, at least, I could try. But it probably won't work. The sun is up now and everything.

I think I will fry an egg and see how I feel after that.

The giant heap of stuff next to the bed has become a smaller heap of stuff, and maybe it will get smaller still and I can at least put the stuff in boxes to be sorted out later. At least, I tell myself that I will sort out the boxes later. Anyway, stuff in boxes on the floor is a bit neater than just stuff on the floor without the boxes.

I guess I did the easy stuff Tuesday, though it didn't seem easy at the time. Maybe it is more accurate to say that I did the obvious stuff Tuesday. Wednesday I still through away another bag of garbage, but it took longer to find that much stuff I didn't want anymore. Finding that much stuff today would take longer still, so I think I will stop trying at about lunch time and switch to something else.

Two more days and nights with the house to myself. On Saturday I have plans. I'm looking for stuff that could be made into Halloween decorations. Halloween is getting close now.

My husband found another hundred dollars. I guess he won't get stranded out of town now.

Yesterday, the power went off, then on, then off, and then it went back and forth so fast I didn't count. And then it just stayed off for a while, but still less than an hour. I gave up and read a bit of a book. I don't read much anymore. My eyes aren't good and I don't enjoy it like I used to.

It rains a lot now. It doesn't just pour down rain day and night, but we do get wet for a little while, and it doesn't stop long enough to dry out from last week. All this water going to waste. I wish I had been able to start a fall garden. But at this point the seeds would just get washed away, and I don't have money to buy seedlings.

The water that isn't going towards growing vegetables is just making the grass grow. I will probably get a complaint letter on the door.

The fall bulbs I transplanted are starting to bloom. I'm not sure if I'd call this a success or not. Most of the bulbs are still too small to flower, so maybe next year. And I did get some flowers. And maybe some more will bloom later. They usually come in waves, depending on when there has been enough rain. So I don't know if this is all of them, or if this is just the first wave.

I'm still thinking of going back to bed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I really am trying

Yesterday while I was trying to get the husband started on his trip, I took a moment to change into regular pants. It is good that I did this, cause he would have locked me out of the house again if I had gone out to say goodbye to him still wearing my pajamas. But I had this feeling that regular clothes would be needed, and I remembered to put my keys in my pocket, and I did not get stuck outside when he started to drive away after he had locked the door behind us.

That was at six in the morning. I would say that I got to work immediately, but that would not be entirely true. I did watch Heroes, though I did not watch it all the way through and got the dishes done and ate breakfast before it was over.

It is odd for me now to have anything accomplished before nine in the morning.

After that I wasted some time trying to find a place to watch The Big Bang Theory, but now I have found a good place for that and it will not be such a headache if I want to watch it and a few other things next week.

After that, I tried to get down to the serious cleaning and sorting. The sorting gets done on the bed. The bed is a large area when no one is on it, so it is perfect for sorting things, except that eventually it has to go back to being used for it's original purpose. So clothes and books and other stuff are piled onto the bed and sorted through, until such time as I can't stand to look at it anymore, and then I go and watch something on Hulu, or I briefly go and deal with something somewhere else in the house. And then it is back to the sorting.

At one point I had thrown away a bag of garbage and had half a box of books to be sold (that in addition to the two and a half boxes I took away Monday), and I was thinking to myself that I had made some major progress. I put a few things out in the hallway that I will probably give to Goodwill. And then it was seven o'clock, and while there wasn't anything particularly interesting that I wanted to see on TV, I still thought it best to clear start clearing the bed as I would want to sleep in a couple of hours, even if I didn't find anything of interest on TV.

So all of this stuff I had been sorting went on the floor. At first, there was an attempt to put the stuff on the floor in some sort of order, so that it would be easier to get going again the next day, but that didn't last long. While not ready for bed yet, and not particularly interested in what was on TV, I was suddenly very interested in having the bed cleared just so that I could sit down on it. About seven-thirty there was just this heap of stuff on the floor.

At that point it looks worse than before I got started. There is just this giant heap of stuff on the floor next to the bed. How is it that I still have all this stuff to go through, after having removed a bag of trash, now three boxes of books, and a few things out in the hall that will probably go to Goodwill? How did I get all of this stuff that I have no room for?

The really baffling thing to me is that while some of this stuff has followed me from place to place and some of it I have had for ten or twenty years, the majority of the stuff that I can't seem to deal with is stuff that I've accumulated since I moved here in 2004. I threw away tons of stuff during the last move, and then bought at least seven units of shelves and added three other pieces of furniture. I have added a few more shelves since then, and still, there is all this stuff that doesn't particularly go anywhere.

Some of the additional stuff has to do with school. There is shelf space taken up by ceramic pieces and other artwork, and then there is a lot of supplies that I don't quite know what to do with, but that doesn't add up to more than can be held in seven units of shelf space. No, I think the rest of it is books and clothes and other stuff, and the other stuff is a bit of a mystery sometimes.

Somehow, in my mind, it is too early to do any sorting or other serious work at this time of the morning, though it should not matter today, as I am the only one here. But I do plan on getting to it soon, maybe an hour from now. I'm afraid the sorting part requires my brain to function, and it is not quite all awake yet.

Maybe it will all be better after breakfast and a bath.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I am not in Shreveport

Yesterday, I was getting ready to go to Shreveport for two days. Not that there is anything special in Shreveport that I would have money for, but I thought that it would be nice to get out of the house, maybe take a swim if the weather was nice, watch cable, get some knitting done, etc....

And then his boss called and changed his schedule all around so that he worked five days in Oklahoma instead of two days in Shreveport.

And while it is usually better to work a whole week instead of just a couple of days, this is another one of those times when he doesn't have enough money to pay for the trip. But, again, he didn't say that, he just agreed to the schedule change.

Usually, when going somewhere this far away, he would leave the day before and come home the day after. So, that would be six days in a motel room. I didn't go with him because a.) I didn't want to be gone that long, b.) I have plans on Saturday, and c.) he doesn't have enough money to be away for six days. In fact, with only about two hundred dollars, I don't think that he has enough money to go on this trip at all, but I didn't argue with him this time. If he wants to go and get stranded in Oklahoma, that's his business.

Anyway, I did not go with him, so he won't have to have a motel room Saturday night. And he left early this morning instead of yesterday, so that's another night's room that he didn't need (though it will make for a very long day today and another long day on Saturday). We sent him off with a lot of food, so if he can keep it from spoiling he shouldn't spend much money on that. So, he should have just enough to get by, if he doesn't have to buy gas.

Of course, he is driving to Oklahoma, so of course he will need to buy gas.


Maybe a check will clear by Thursday, and maybe it won't.

Anyway, I'm staying here and maybe cleaning this place up a bit, or maybe doing another video, or maybe doing some knitting. It isn't even lunch time yet, so I should still have time to get something done today, not to mention the rest of the week.

On a more positive note, I have found someplace to watch The Big Bang Theory.

Also, yesterday I sold two boxes of books, which is good because a.) I needed to get rid of two boxes of books, and b.) I got fourteen dollars to spend on yarn. I didn't find the speciality yarn I was looking for, so a settled for buying some on sale yarn for a different project. So that is one of my goals for the week, to get started on that project, right after I clear enough space to set up for that. It was disappointing that I didn't find my speciality yarn, but since I hadn't seen it in any of the ads, I knew it was a long shot before I went out.

Okay, shopping trip taken care of, so I shouldn't need to go out again til my plans for Saturday, except that I have to go to the library to tell them they've made a mistake and didn't check in last weeks videos. That happens a lot now that they've switched to the teenage volunteers. And I have a lot of food, so I shouldn't have to do much in the way of cooking for a few days.

I have four days to alternate cleaning and watching TV and doing artistic things. While it isn't sitting by the pool or watching cable, it isn't that bad.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My VCR crashes, just in time for the new TV season

In the very late seventies, my dad bought us a VCR. It was a Beta. When you put the tape in the machine this thing popped up out the top and sort of looked like part of Mr. Spock's science station. It did not have a remote control, but it had this pause button on a wire that you could use when you were recording or playing a tape. The Beta tapes were smaller than VHS, and were better than the VHS available at the time.

I don't even remember what brand we bought, just that it was something we had actually heard of before we went to the store.

The VCR worked just fine, and with the pause button on a wire I would sometimes edit out commercials. I taped the ABC airings of the first two Star Trek movies with additional footage. We got a card to rent videos at some local independently owned video library.

Life was good.

At some point, it was decided that American public did not need both the VHS and the Beta (though professionals continued to use Beta for a while), and we could no longer buy or rent movies on VHS. We could still buy blank tapes and record stuff off of the TV.

After a time, my dad bought a VHS. It didn't work as well as the older Beta machine, but at least we could rent new movies again.

Around 1989 or 1990, my dad gave me the Beta. It still worked, and I still had some movies that I had bought on Beta. And I could still record stuff off of the TV on blank tapes. We got a VHS player that did not record, so we watched new movies on that.

My house was robbed. They left the Beta and took the cheap VHS player.

And then the local stores stopped selling blank Beta tapes, and we had to buy a VHS that would record stuff of off the TV. I eventually replaced all the movies I had on Beta and gave up the Beta machine. I don't remember what year that was, just that I did not have the Beta machine when I moved in 1999.

If someone out there has my Beta machine, it probably still works.

While the VHS tapes did finally look as good as the old Betas (or at least, if they didn't I just got used to how they looked), the machines themselves were never as good. The last few machines I've had were total pieces of crap. Each new machine works for a shorter period of time than the older one.

Then we got a DVD player. The DVD players worked just fine. Maybe they have fewer moving parts or something.

Well, the DVD player destroyed the TV screen. We had to buy a new TV. But the DVD player and the TV seemed to get along alright as long as we didn't stack them on top of each other.

Then came the VHS recorder/DVD player combo. That seemed to work okay for a while.

A few years back, my mother bought me a VHS recorder/DVD recorder combo. Merry Christmas. Thanks, Mom.

The previously bought VHS recorder/DVD player combo was still working, and I had plenty of VHS tapes. We didn't immediately switch to the new machine. In fact, the new machine stayed in it's box until we got around to it about a year later, when the VCR side of of the older machine started doing some annoying thing. I don't even remember what particular annoying thing, cause eventually I had had many different machines do all sorts of annoying things.

So, we hooked up the new machine and decided to try out the DVD recorder. We didn't notice that there are four different kinds of recordable DVDs (in addition to the DVDs looking pretty much like CDs and once buying some of those by mistake), and we bought the 16x DVD+R instead of the 16x DVD-R. So, we got an error message.

Having just bought about a hundred of the wrong DVDs, we decided to wait a while for the right DVDs to come on sale. We just used the VHS recorder instead. We bought a bunch of VHS blank tapes. Life went back to normal.

Last Christmas I found a bunch of 16x DVD-R on sale, and I bought about a hundred of them. And then I got busy with other Christmas stuff and never tried them out. The blank DVDs went in the other room with all the other computer stuff, and I forgot about them.

My VHS started refusing to rewind tapes at fast speed. We fixed that problem by going to a Goodwill and buying another VHS machine. Not that we hooked it up to the TV, we just used it to rewind tapes.

Last week, the VHS/DVD recorder combo ate the tape that I had recorded Fringe on. My first VHS machine used to eat tapes, but it had been a while since I had encountered this particular problem.

Maybe it is time to switch to the DVD recorder. I dug out a blank DVD. I got an error message. Maybe that is the wrong kind of disk. I dug out one of the other kind.

I got the same error message.

After looking at the machine to find out that it is supposed to take DVD-R and not DVD+R, I got out a different 16x DVD-R. I got the same error message.


Apparently, the Symphonic SR90VE VHS/DVD recorder combo was a piece of crap new and just out of the box, but it is only now that I am finding out about this particular problem. A bit of surfing found that a lot of people had to do some sort of upgrade to get it to use the 8x DVD-R instead of the 4x DVD-R, though it is supposed to use both of those and the current 16x DVD-R that I tried. I have not yet seen any mention of anything that will get it to work with the 16x DVD-R.

It has been suggested that a 16x DVD-RW would work better even on a machine that seems to prefer slower speeds, but I haven't tried that yet. I would rather not spend money on yet another package of blank DVDs until I know they would actually work. It has also been suggested that I just order some 4x DVD-R or 4x DVD-RW from someone online and try those, but again, I'd rather not go to the expense without having one to try first.

I decided to ask my brother if he had one that I could borrow.

He used the last of his about a week ago, making a copy of some season of The X-files.

And I really have no money for any of this anyway. Due to the thing with the bank fees, not only did we have a not so great paycheck, but we didn't get to spend about four hundred of that after a check of a hundred and something that my husband did not remember writing went through and we were charged another couple hundred in fees due to insufficient funds following the forgotten check being cashed.

So that's it. I'll probably miss The Big Bang Theory tonight. I'll miss either House or Heroes too, but whichever one of those I don't watch I can probably watch on Hulu the next day.

On top of that I am trying to decide whether or not to go to Shreveport. I wasn't going to go, cause I thought it would keep me out of town next Saturday, but as it turns out the trip starts tomorrow and would end Thursday, so that doesn't sound bad at all. Still, I have a lot of work to do before I could leave, and then if I was going to get any knitting done while I was away I need to go and find some specific yarn today. Again, I have very little money, so I'm trying to plot out a shopping trip that will hit all the right stores without spending too much on gas, and I must make a list and not buy anything that isn't on the list.

Or I could just stay here and do some more cleaning.

Me? Cleaning?

That's probably not going to happen, is it?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Free cereal and missing time

I used to do the whole coupon thing, where you cut out a bunch of coupons and wait for things to go on sale, and then you get some stuff for free or almost free. At the checkout you pay twenty bucks for stuff that originally would have cost a hundred dollars, so you saved eighty dollars. Not really, cause I would never pay a hundred dollars for that stuff, but I liked the way it sounds.

At some point I decided to quit doing that and try to eat better. The saving money thing and the eating better thing don't always work together. Like, if you are at the pizza buffet, once you've already paid to get in, you might as well get your money's worth and eat lots of pizza, but eating a lot of pizza isn't good for you. Or, you might be trying to eat lean stuff like turkey, but eating hamburgers is cheaper. Or, you might get a good deal on after-holiday candy, but it would be better for you to eat fruit instead.

So I got out of the habit of clipping coupons, so that the coupons wouldn't influence my decision making at the grocery store. And it worked for a time, and I lost about twenty pounds. I have put them back on now, but I didn't get back into the coupon thing. I still use them once in a while, but I don't spend a lot of time doing it, and I'm not as organized anymore.

Once I found a display of Christmas Crunch. That's like Captain Crunch, except that it is green and red. It was about a week after Christmas, and they had a big end cap display of the stuff, and it was on clearance for $0.99. I had a dollar off coupon and another coupon for $0.75. So I got one box for free, and the other one for $0.25. I bought some other stuff and took my stuff to the car. The Christmas Crunch said it had a surprise inside, so I opened the box right there in the car to see what it was. Inside the box, but not inside the bag, was some gum and some candy and a dollar off coupon.

Great. So I got the dollar coupon out of the other box, and I went back inside the store and got two more free boxes of cereal. And then I took those to the car, opened those boxes, took out the coupons, and went back inside the store for two more free boxes of cereal.

After several trips back inside the store, I had collected one box of cereal that for $0.25 and fifteen boxes that were free. And then I was told that I couldn't have anymore cereal, and if that was all that I wanted could I please just leave the store.

So that was odd, cause it was a week after Christmas, and the stuff was on clearance. Clearance. That's means that they are trying to get rid of the stuff. So I don't know what the problem was, but I left anyway.

I do the remember back when then once in a while and buy kids cereal, but mainly I just eat it when we're at a motel. Until a while back when there was the Kellogg's Star Trek promotion, and I bought a lot of their cereal, and most of it was stuff like Corn Pops.

We ran out of Corn Pops. We're not quite out of cereal, but most of the sugary stuff is gone.

I saw in one of my grocery adds that Captain Crunch and some other cereal was on sale for five boxes for eight dollars. And, there was a three dollar off coupon if you bought five boxes of cereal, making the cereal a dollar each. Cool. I'll go get some.

I wasn't going to buy all kid cereal. There was some stuff that's better for you that I like, and it was on sale too. But I did have to have at least a couple of boxes of Captain Crunch.

Also, I had these rain checks for cheap chicken. A ten pound bag of leg quarters was $3.90, so I got two of them. And then I got eggs, which unfortunately were not on sale, but we still needed some eggs anyway, and they were like a dollar fifty. And then I got five boxes of cereal, some of which is good for you, but two boxes were kid cereal. And I was going to buy this stuff, get forty dollars cash back, and immediately go back home and do some work. I must have gone to the store at about ten in the morning. It took longer than I though because they are doing work in the store, and some of the stuff is moved around at took longer to find than usual. But still, I don't think I was there that long.

At the checkout I'm talking to the cashier and having a pleasant enough time, and the cashier mentions that some of the cereal rang up at forty cents. And then the coupon still worked. So this stuff that I thought I had spent fifteen something on only cost ten something. I was pretty happy about that.

I got so distracted that I forgot to get my forty dollars, and I had been charged for it on the receipt. I was still in the parking lot. I went back in to get my forty dollars. The cashier looked at my receipt and gave me my forty dollars. I thought it was going to be a big hassle and we would have to call a manager and have him count the register and all that, but no, she just apologized and gave me my money.

Since I was still there, I thought I might as well get some more of that cereal, and I had another coupon. So I got one box of the Captain Crunch and four boxes of the other stuff, and it came to $3.20, and then with the coupon I only had to pay twenty cents.

Now I am debating on how greedy I should be, and if I should go back and try to get more cereal. I have a feeling that not all of the cereal will be marked down like that, probably just boxes with a certain date, and they might not have anymore anyway. Still, with the money problems we are having, I think I might as well try. If they have more I could get ten more boxes of cereal for forty cents.

Anyway, I went home and had to deal with twenty pounds of chicken. I hadn't planned on doing it right away, but the chicken is usually frozen and needs a few days to thaw out. This stuff wasn't frozen, and I knew if I didn't deal with right then I would forget and the stuff would spoil. So I cut up the whole thing and separated the legs from the thighs and then cooked half of the chicken and picked the meat off of the bones, and put the other half of the chicken in plastic bags.
And then it was four o'clock.

How is it four o'clock? All I had done since nine that morning was watch Fringe and Bones and maybe one episode of Stargate, go to the grocery store, and deal with this chicken.

Does it really take all day to do that? Especially since most of that TV watching was done while I was waiting for the chicken to cook or to cool down so I could put it away.

So while I had a good day and got a lot done and saved money and all of that, I didn't get anything done that I had originally planned to do. I washed a few dishes (which I then had to wash again after dealing with the chicken), and sorted through maybe two boxes of books, and that was all. I didn't run any other errands or anything. After four I talked to a friend for a bit, but after that it was time to fix dinner, and then the day was pretty much over. I watched Smallville and Glee, and then fell asleep while attempting to watch some British thing.

Anyway, that means that I will have to get a few more things done today before I go hang out with my friends. I should go to the bookstore and go somewhere to get a phone card. And before I do any of that I'll have to do some laundry.

Not that any of that is a problem, just in my mind I pictured doing most of that yesterday, and I can't quite figure out why I didn't have time to do it. Just one minute it was time for lunch, and then I was doing some more work, and then it was four o'clock.

Now that I think about it, I didn't even have a bath.

That's okay. I'll have a bath now.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

About yesterday

Yesterday I was not happy because my husband basically got in the car and drove to an assignment in Oklahoma without enough money for a motel room and without even a full tank of gas.

The day before yesterday, I had to go and get a few things from the grocery store. While I wanted a whole lot of things, I had to restrict myself to really basic things. I bought a very few food items, some tissue paper, etc.... To get the best prices, I went to four different stores and bought two or three things on sale at each place. While all of these stores were in the same general area (two of them are at the same intersection), this still takes a bit of time, even if I didn't drive very far. I was gone more than an hour and came back with about a dozen items.

I barely had the money for what I bought. We used to have this huge jar of change. We've spent most of it now. We are overdrawn on one of our accounts, because I just can't seem to get through to my husband that except for big things like rent we should only use cash, and he needs to turn off the thing that automatically pays bills. We've been charged $140 in overdraft fees again, because we were short like fifty cents. If we were using cash we just would have bought fifty cents less gas or something one day, and none of that would have happened. But he just doesn't get it.

So, we are overdrawn in one account, have very little cash on us (most of which I spent yesterday getting really basic stuff that we needed). I really wanted to drive to Arlington to get a few things from the Asian Market, but I didn't because a.) we have so little money left and we have to do without a few things like that, and b.) driving to Arlington would have used gas and I shouldn't waste the gas if I'm not going to get that much. We have maybe ten dollars in one account, and about that much in another account, and then we have some change in jars, but we've mostly used up too. My husband has to go to Oklahoma on Friday, and the only reason he hasn't had to call and tell them he can't make it is because he gets paid on Friday.

While I am at one of the grocery stores, someone from work calls my husband and asks him to work in Oklahoma on Wednesday.


I am really tired of this. You would think that they would know that he hasn't worked enough to have money for out of town assignments. And they don't have anything set up to advance money for motels and gas, you're just supposed to pay for that yourself and wait a week or two for reimbursement.

But even if they somehow don't know that the people they don't even have full schedules for can't possibly have the money for going out of town, the employees who don't have enough money to go out of town should certainly know that they don't have enough money. But my husband agrees to the extra day of work, even though I can't see that he has any way of getting to work.

So I come in, and he asks if I want to go to Oklahoma with him. And I'm like sure, when? And he says, tomorrow.

We don't have any money. You can't go tomorrow.

He doesn't immediately see the sense of this. I yell for a bit. I get tired of yelling. I don't want to waste anymore time on the subject. If he cannot borrow money from someone, he will just have to call and cancel.

Only, he doesn't borrow any money, and he doesn't call and cancel. He plays on the computer all day. I don't ask him if he's called to cancel. I'm tired of being his mommy.

So, he does nothing about the situation all day. I do some cooking and work on one of the videos. A bit before we go to bed I ask him if he managed to borrow some money or if he called to cancel.


I do some more yelling.

I cannot believe that he really intends to get in the car and drive several hundred miles away when he has no money for a motel, and I doubt that he even has enough gas to get there and back. He's going to run out of gas and get stuck somewhere at one in the morning. It is really hard to believe that people are that stubborn that they would knowingly do something that risky, but he doesn't change his mind.

We go to bed.

The next morning, I convince him to wait an hour to see if he can get some money from one of those payday loan places. We go in, and we see a sign that says something about a hundred dollar fee.

I think, that's more than an overdraft fee. We're not paying a hundred dollars just to borrow a hundred dollars for three days. I was thinking the fee would be more like twenty dollars, not a hundred. We leave.

We we are halfway home, it occurs to me that we should have asked if that was the minimum fee. Maybe the hundred dollar fee was for a loan of five hundred dollars, and the fee for what we needed would be less. But he didn't want to go back and ask. He took me home.

We have have about ten dollars in one account, and about ten dollars in another account, and he tells me he has another ten dollars that I didn't know about. He thinks that he can buy enough gas for the trip with thirty dollars. I disagree, but he leaves anyway.

He finally calls seven hours later to tell me he's okay and that thirty dollars was enough to cover the gas.

He got home at about one-thirty in the morning.

I was mostly asleep, so I haven't really had a chance to talk to him. I know he said something about me probably being right and that the trip was mostly a waste of time. I'll have to get the rest of the details later.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My third video is up

I am really worried now that I have done something wrong. There are two other videos that have all the names and such of the products used covered up. I would like to ask someone more about the rules, but I don't see an email address for further information.

There is a phone number and such for the credit union itself, but I would think that was just for banking information. The idea of all this being to promote the company and get more people to open accounts there, not really to explain to people about how they should make videos. And possibly, the contest itself is not even being handled by the credit union. Maybe stuff like that is handled by another company entirely.

Anyway, I made a video about food and uploaded it last night. Again, by the time that happened I was very tired, and in the morning the video doesn't seem to say what I wanted it to.

It is one thing to not do well in a competition because the others are better than you. It is something else entirely to lose because you misunderstand a rule or miss something.

I am not having a good day, but I won't get into why just yet. As for the other videos, at this point, I don't feel like making them. I am having technical difficulties that prevent me from doing the simple point and shoot things that I meant to do, and if I'm not supposed to show names of products or places, it would be a waste of time to film anything else anyway.

I don't even think I should bother with the road trip idea, even if I could do something interesting on the subject without actually taking a trip. It looks like someone else has made a video on that subject, and I'd rather not make a video that appears to copy someone else's idea, even if I did have the idea first.

I think that I will go look at the first three videos and see if I could do something different with them that doesn't show company names.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Maybe making videos just isn't my thing

Well, I had thought that I would make more videos for this contest I've entered. If my chances of winning something with one video are good, then the odds of me winning something with two videos are twice as good, and three or four or five videos would be even better. And while my first video was rather complicated (for me, as neither of us had tried working with video before), the others I had planned were things that I thought would be easier. The editing and working with the voiceover bit took a lot longer than I thought on the first one, so the second one I had planned wasn't supposed to use the voiceover at all and very little editing. I thought I would do that yesterday, and have the whole thing finished before lunch.

Of course I thought that. I always think that.

So I set up the camera. I put some things on the table and focused the camera on a chair, turned the camera on, and went and sat in the chair. Now, I knew that sometimes I would screw up something that I had to say, and stuff like that would be edited out and done over again, but I actually thought that I would record about five minutes of me saying what I had to say, and then maybe saying parts of it over again if I messed up anything, and then I would have two additional shots that I would need help with, go and edit out a few seconds here and there when I wasn't saying anything, and that would be that.

I really did plan it that way.

First off, I was speaking very slowly when talking to the camera. So what I thought was about three minutes turned out to be about twice as long. The second problem was that I too far away from the camera for the sound to be any good.

And the third thing was that I looked just awful. The video was about knitting, and while I wasn't planning to actually do a lot of knitting during the video, I did do some knitting, and of course when I knit I look down a bit so that I can actually see what I'm doing. And every time I look down, I look really bad.

Not that I looked really good to start with.

So now I don't look good, and I'll have to do the voiceover thing again. And I can't just do the voiceover some parts and keep the original sound in other parts. For one thing, the volume on the camera is really low, while the microphone voiceover is quite loud. And I wouldn't be able to get the voiceover to match what I was saying on the video, so it would just look like a bad foreign film. So I kept this one little part where I didn't even try to match the voiceover to what I was actually saying, and it probably does look like a bad foreign film. I shot a bunch of other stuff to add to it, and did voiceover, and that pretty much took all day (though I did take a break to watch True Blood).

So I could make three more videos, but now I'm wondering if it would be worth the effort. Especially now that I know that the whole just look at the camera and talk thing isn't going to work out.

The video about scarves has been uploaded. And I was able to put it on my account instead of my husbands. The last video was put on his account, cause I couldn't remember my password or something.

At least there aren't any misspelled words on this one.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A mostly uneventful weekend

It is raining right now. It has mostly been raining since about Thursday, with a few dry spots here and there. It is a shame to waste all of this rain, but I hadn't done any fall planting, and most of my spring plants are dead. So I had been wishing that I had planted something, except now that I've gone out and looked at it, I think that we've had so much rain that it would have just washed the seeds away. There is standing water in places, though not so much near the back of the house, so there has been no threat of water coming inside yet.

The two wildflowers that I had transplanted seem to be recovering. I am wondering if I should go and get some more of them now that the intense summer heat is passing.

I did not film anything yet for the new video. I meant to do that this weekend, but I forgot a few things. Like, I forgot and left the camera on when I wasn't using it, so it was drained of power when I went back for it. And I wanted my husband's help for some of it, and forgot he had that damned meeting to go to.

He mostly kept his mouth shut. They actually came out and said that they were required to do this that and the other, or they would be replaced. It makes no sense, as this that and the other require more work from everybody, tend to annoy everybody, and have not increased anyone's sales. It would be different if customers had asked for this that and the other, or if customers were going to buy this that or the other. So far, all this work has only resulted in one sale, and we don't even think that it was an additional sale, just that someone bought this that or the other instead of what he normally would have purchased. It almost seems like they want to make life harder on people so that a bunch of them will quit, cause they really don't like firing people do to lawsuits, but they are perfectly happy not scheduling people who don't do what they are told, and they don't seem much bothered by people leaving as long as they give notice first.

So my husband mostly kept his mouth shut, and brought home leftover pizza. He talks about asking for his old job back, which I understand why, but the old job didn't have insurance, and there's no guarantee he'd get a full schedule there anyway.

And of course there is nothing in this meeting that ever addressed what would actually make things better for everyone. Stop scheduling people who don't want to buy anything. Stop going after accounts that didn't even have money to spend when things were good and aren't planning to start spending now that there is a recession.

That is a totally different group of employees. And I doubt that they are being told anything like that at their meetings.

So that was all annoying, except for the pizza.

On the bright side, I found certain pieces of clothing that I had misplaced, and I think that I will wear some of it when I start filming that video later today.

I am thinking that I won't go to Oklahoma this weekend. As for Louisiana, I will have to give that a bit more thought, though I had more interest in going to Oklahoma that I did Louisiana. Not that there's anything I especially want to do in either one, nothing new that I would want to do (and there's no money even if I did), just that I like the motels we usually get in Oklahoma better than the one's we usually get in Louisiana. I'd probably just spend most of my time in the motel room knitting and watching cable.

There has been no swimming to speak of this summer. Not that I do much in the way of actual swimming, but I do rather like being in the pool or a hot tub talking to someone. The only time I can remember doing any of that this year was at my friend's place, and I was really not that happy with the swimsuit situation and didn't stay long.

Everyone is going back to school. I have no school this year, and no hope that things will get better so that I might take art classes again. I should go to the lab and see if I've left anything behind.

My friend from the great white north tried to do me the favor of posting my video on his blog and asking people to go to the website to vote for me and leave positive comments. I think one of his readers went to the website and voted for someone else. At least, there are no comments on my video, and only one of some other video. Anyway, I think it was a mistake, as the comment doesn't seem to go with the other video.

I misspelled something on the video, twice. My fault. I'm the one who wrote the script and did the spell check. Spell check and such won't catch that you've misspelled a word if it makes a different word. So I had typed out someone's name or something, not the word I was looking for. That sucks. I do that on the blog sometimes and can go back and fix it, no big deal. Fixing a video is more complicated, and it is really to late to try it after I've already uploaded the thing.

Defying gravity had their season finale last night. I think it has had like four episodes. Hardly time for a season finale, even if it is just a summer replacement series.

Fringe starts this week. It will be nice to have new TV shows again, even if my VCR is acting up.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Maybe I will make more videos

Today I am cleaning the dining room area, somewhat, as later today or tomorrow I will attempt to film another video. At least, I will if I find that dress I was going to wear, or if I find something else to wear. Anyway, I am partially redecorating the area with Halloween stuff, though I'm just moving stuff from the other room. I still haven't unpacked the other Halloween stuff from the boxes.

And then there's another video that I might work on. In fact there are several that I might work on, but not today. I believe that the contest is limited to five videos. The problem is narrowing it down to five, and which five, and once I've decided to film something should I spend the money to really film my idea.

For instance, David has this idea of feeding a hundred people with $20.09, but he hasn't quite figured out how to do it. I'm pretty sure I could make a hundred meals with that amount of money, though they would be very something very small and basic like soup. But it would be a very boring video if I'm just standing there saying that I know how to do it, without filming any cooking or anyone eating. But I don't really want to make a hundred meals next week. Maybe I could make ten meals for two dollars, and if you wanted to make ten times that amount it would add up to a hundred meals for $20.09.

But then, that is David's idea, and everyone knows that it is David's idea. I'm not sure that I should take his idea, even if he doesn't know how to make it work and I probably do.

In fact, I didn't even want to do the coupon thing cause David was already doing food. I used to do the coupon thing, but I mostly stopped doing it several years ago when I was trying to lose weight.

I know, now that you have seen my video, you don't believe that I was trying to lose weight very hard. Still, I was at some point, and I decided to stop eating so much packaged foods and start eating more fresh vegetables, and there aren't that many coupons for fresh vegetables, and it just wasn't worth the effort anymore.

I could do a travel thing, but again, if I didn't actually travel anywhere, that would be a rather boring video. Anyplace that I can actually get to for that amount of money is someplace that I've already been to and don't really need to go to again this week.

Maybe I'll only make three videos. That's probably a lot for someone who never made a video before last week.

I half want to do a video on things you can eat besides quinoa.

Yesterday, I went to look at one of the blogs written by one of David's readers. She doesn't write much, she just takes a lot of pictures. She had a picture of a garden bed she wanted to start. She currently has it right up against the fence. I tried to warn her that she should move it away from the fence, at least enough that she can walk all the way around her garden, but I couldn't get the comment thing to work.

Maybe David can warn her.

Yesterday, I got a comment from a new reader. And then he deleted the comment. That was odd, since he didn't write anything bad. Whatever.

And, yesterday, I got a look at the new CW show The Vampire Diaries. I didn't know that it was on, so I missed about the first five minutes or so. It looks to be a lot like Twilight.

I miss David's blog. Not that David's blog has gone anywhere, just that he isn't doing much with it right now. He's finished his first challenge, and he's come up with ideas for other challenges, but now he's wondering if he should actually do any of them. He has doubts about being able to feed a hundred people for $20.09. And he's back to school now, and he's busy with other things. There's not much time left for blogging anyway.

I keep telling myself that I shouldn't spend so much time blogging, and compared to what I used to do, I have really cut back. But I found a blog that I liked to read, and it's writer has gone back to his real life, and I miss reading it. It was a bit of fun.

Like this video thing. Next week it will be over, and I will again be waiting for things to get back to normal, which they never will. But I will be back to the same old stuff, without the distraction of the videos.

Same old stuff.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I am getting confused

The days go by, and I can't keep them all straight. I forget what day of the week it is. I forget the date. I see the day and the date when I am blogging, but when I am away from the computer I can't remember what it was. I am vaguely aware of what month it is, but again it doesn't seem to mean much.

It is September. I should be in a mild panic that Halloween is less than two months away, and Christmas is less than two month after that, but most of the time I am not. Unfortunately, this is not due to me being all prepared. I am not prepared for anything, I just can't seem to focus on what I should be doing to get ready for things.

So today is Friday the 11th of September. Next Thursday will be the 17th. The 17th of September is the end of the video contest, so if I am going to do anymore videos they need to get done before then, and I haven't even started on them. And I haven't done anything about the Halloween decorations, or the Christmas presents. Well, I've maybe done one thing about one of the Christmas presents, but that is all. I have bought something that might work for a Halloween costume, but I haven't done any work on it. There's a box somewhere that has my Halloween shirts in it, and I should be wearing them by now, but I haven't gotten the box out yet.

There was something that I wanted to do on the 12th, but it has been cancelled, or maybe postponed until the 26th. There is something else I wanted to do on the 19th, but I might not go. There is a possible trip to Oklahoma that would include the 19th, and there is a possible trip to Louisiana that would include the 26th. I've had nothing to do for months, and now I can't do everything. I want to go, and I want to stay.

My husband has to go to one of those meetings on Sunday. The meetings are hard enough, with someone who doesn't do the job anymore (or someone who has never done the job at all) coming to tell you that you aren't doing what you are supposed to do, and that you need to do better, etc.... On their part, those people aren't doing anything better for anyone. The company would supposedly go out of business if they gave anyone a raise or increased the expense money, etc.... So while the employees already wish that they had somewhere else to go so that they could quit (and a few quit even when they don't have anyplace else to go), they have to go to this meeting that they will probably not get paid for to hear how the company does not really value them or the work that they do, and if they don't do better soon they will be replaced.

My husband has enough trouble keeping his mouth shut during these meetings, but yesterday he was scolded for something that happened weeks ago and he doesn't remember. He doesn't even know that they are talking about, so he can't tell his side of the story. So far as he remembers, on the days they actually had him on the schedule, he did his job. He can't address a customer's complaint if no customers complained to him and/or he doesn't remember the customer. Tell somebody that day or the day after that there's been a complaint. A week later, no one remembers anything.

So my husband and all his co-workers in the area have to go to a meeting to hear that none of their concerns are going to be addressed (other than to tell everyone that they aren't getting raises or more expense money or whatever they had asked for), but if they don't do better for the company they are going to be replaced. This so soon after my husband has been told two more strikes and you're out, is not a good plan.

Today is Friday, and that should probably mean something, only I can't remember what it is.

We have no money again, but I spent what we did have on food. So I don't have to worry on that account, but I have to worry about everything else. It rather sucks having no money.

Today is Friday the 11th of September, right?

Today is Friday, and that means that all three libraries in town are closed because of the recession, instead of just one of them being closed before the recession. So I won't be going to the library here, and I don't really have any reason to go anywhere else. And I can't go shopping, even just for food, cause I'm out of money again.

Today is Friday.

Today is Friday, and...and...and what?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dumb comments from someone else's blog

I've been reading a blog where someone tries to eat just a dollar a day. This is maybe the fifth such blog I have read, plus I tried to do it myself for a couple of weeks. I think that they are interesting.

Well, they get the occasional dumb comment. People don't like that they are pretending to be poor. Not that they were actually pretending to be poor. If they were even close to pretending to be poor they wouldn't go to the movies or do any social things which require money, they wouldn't drive their cars anywhere that they didn't have to be, etc.... These people weren't doing that, they were just setting limits on the amount of money they spent on food. They weren't pretending to be poor or making fun of the poor.

People who leave these negative comments need to get a life. But those people are usually in the minority.

And then there are a lot of us who try to give advice. And some of the comments were really bad advice.

So there are people who stop by and tell him to eat more vegetables or eat whole grains and such. And I have no problem with that. Vegetables are good for you, and whole grains are good for you. But it seems like some of these people were trying to get him to be a vegetarian. Again, I have no problem with someone being vegetarian, and that food choice is better for you than what most of us make. But this wasn't the good for you challenge, this was the dollar a day challenge. So maybe the good for you stuff might go a bit over budget.

The one that I really thought was dumb was the one who thought quinoa was the way to go. And so I pointed out that quinoa wasn't cheap, and at nearly four dollars a pound this was something to stay away from if you only have a dollar a day to spend.

Someone else replied that compared to other grains, quinoa was a cheap source of protein.

First off, the point isn't to get a cheap source of protein compared to other grains, the point was to get inexpensive food. Why get quinoa if it is a cheap source of protein compared to other grains, when compared to other foods it doesn't add up. A cup of cooked quinoa would have eight grams of protein (I could swear it was nine grams, but I just looked it up and it is eight grams), while an egg would be about six grams. But the cup of quinoa would cost more than an egg, so a better comparison would be two or three eggs which would be twelve or eighteen grams of protein for less money. Or chicken might be a better deal. When I got the chicken leg quarters ten pound bag on sale for $3.90, it says that it contains 30 servings at 17 grams of protein per serving. I think that is a little misleading, as this serving is a certain amount of chicken and not a whole piece of chicken. If you cut the leg quarters in half, you have 22 pieces of chicken, not 30, so you have to cook the chicken before you could divide it into servings. Still, even if it were 22 servings at 17 grams of protein per serving, that is $3.90/22 = about eighteen cents per serving. So you would get a lot more protein from half a leg quarter than from a cup of quinoa, and it wouldn't cost as much. From a pound of grain you get about eight cups cooked servings, so that serving of quinoa would cost you about fifty cents. You could have almost three pieces of chicken for that.

Quinoa is the in thing right now, so it is expensive. It does have a bit more protein than most other grains, but you could buy so much more other things for the money. Even if you wanted to stick with grains, you could buy a pound of rice for about a dollar and some other kind of grain for about a dollar, get about five or six grams of protein from a serving of each of them, and still have saved almost two dollars from buying two pounds of other grain instead of one pound of quinoa.

So if a person really had to get by on a dollar a day, even if he wanted to avoid meat, why would he spend his money on quinoa? Let us say that quinoa is $3.59 cents a pound (last time it was either that or $3.79, so I'm going to say $3.59 just because it is easier math to follow), and that a person only has seven dollars to spend for the week and he spends it all on quinoa. He'll get almost two pounds of grain, which will make about sixteen cups when cooked (hopefully a little more but probably not much), and if he eats a cup per meal he will probably have to skip breakfast most days and will get between sixteen and twenty-four grams of protein per day. And he won't have anything else to eat, just the grain.

With the same seven dollars, and still avoiding meat, a person could buy a pound of rice, a pound of some other grain, a dozen eggs, a pound of lentils, a pound of some other kind of beans, and an onion and a few peppers. And depending on exactly what he does buy and where and if he gets things on sale, he might have enough left over for some seeds to make sprouts from, some popcorn, and maybe even a few more vegetables.

And that's if you are trying to avoid meat, which was not part of the challenge. Otherwise you could skip either some of the grain or some of the beans and maybe get some cheap sausage or hotdogs, maybe a pound of hamburger if it is on sale, or maybe some chicken if it is on sale. And don't forget to look for those marked down packages of meat that are about to go out of date.

I thought that it was very odd that someone actually tried to make a case that quinoa was a good deal if you don't have a lot of money to spend on groceries.

But that wasn't even the dumbest comment on the blog. The dumbest comment was somebody trying to say how wonderful the blogger was by comparing him to Christopher McCandless.

Christopher McCandless???

McCandless is a guy who just sort of walked away from his regular life to wander around the country, do odd jobs, and hitchhiked to Alaska. When he got to Alaska, he didn't do anything normal like rent a room or get a job, he just headed out into the woods, didn't tell anyone where he would be, and lived in an abandoned bus for a couple of months. Then it was cold, and he ran out of rice, and he couldn't cross the river to get back. He wasn't able to hunt or fish much, and what he did kill he wasted, cause he didn't know how to preserve meat. He died, probably from accidentally eating the wrong wild plants, and not being able to get medical help.

If McCandless wasn't mental ill, he was at least very stupid.

And what does any of that have to do with trying to live on a smaller grocery bill? The commenter seemed to think that McCandless was some sort of hero. I would think a comparison with someone who wandered out into the wild without adequate planning would be an insult. And it doesn't seem to have anything to do with anything. The guy blogging about eating on a dollar a day didn't drop out of school or quit his job or dump his family and friends or any of that. He just spent less money on food for a few weeks.

It was just a little experiment.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

So what did everyone think of my video?

Did you like it? Did you hate it? Did you wonder why I wasted my time with it?

Am I going to win this contest? Should I do another video? Should I not bother with another video because someone else is going to win?

Should we warn that other girl that burying a lottery ticket is a very bad idea?

I keep going over to the YouTube page. 39 views. The first time it was only six views, and we figured that was just us making sure that it worked okay. But now, 39 views. So that means that like 33 people have watched it.

Probably just my competition watching it, thinking, I could do better than that.

Hey, it was our first video.

What would we do with that?

So it is the ninth day of the ninth month of the year 2009. It looks cool to write out 9-09-09. But, well, big deal.

The Beatles had this song. Well, it wasn't much of a song. Let's call it some space on one of their records. Anyway, the Beatles had this space on one of their records where one of them just keeps saying "number nine" over and over again. Weird.

So on this day, they are selling the Beatles Rock Band, which is like Guitar Hero, which I have never played anyway. And there are contests. And on this day, a store in our general area is going to open two hours early and have contests and give away stuff, etc.... And my husband thought that was cool that this particular contest is only in ten stores nationwide, and one of them is in our general area.

So he planned to get up early and go to this store and see if he could win something.

He must have told me about this a week or two ago, and he didn't notice that I did not get all excited about it. So last night when he is reminding me that we need to get up early, he actually seemed surprised to hear that I wasn't planning to go with him. I mean, I'll probably be awake, I usually wake up hours before he does whether I want to or not, but I still don't see the point of me going to this store.

First of all, is it a trivia contest? Ask me about Star Trek or some other sci fi thing, sure, but I don't expect to beat anyone on music trivia, even if it is the Beatles. So that's one thing, if it is trivia, he might win something, but I wouldn't.

Second, what would I do with the stuff if I won something? First place, I cannot use. Other stuff, I probably wouldn't' want, but I suppose that I could sell some of it on eBay. If I won a Beatles record, that would be nice, but really, we already have those somewhere, don't we? And if we are missing anything, he would just get it on line now anyway.

So I probably would not win anything, and if I did win something I wouldn't know what to do with it, and if I won something that I actually wanted it probably isn't anything that I would want bad enough to go to this store and stand in line or whatever.

I rather pictured having the morning to myself.

Not that I won't have the afternoon to myself after he goes to work. I don't guess I really need to do anything else this morning. Maybe he just thinks that I'm being a bitch. Maybe he realizes that I wouldn't win any trivia contest, but he just wanted the company.

So I'm sitting here trying to decide if I should change my mind and go with him. And I had about decided that I should get cleaned up and go with him, only it was time for me to wake him up, and he would want the shower first. If he really wanted me to go with him, he could wait a little bit for me to get ready.

I don't usually bother with a lot of prep time in the morning. Most days it just doesn't do that much good anyway.

So I have talked myself into going to this thing if he still wants me to go. And I go in to wake him up, and he's changed his mind.

He goes back to sleep.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I have just entered the contest

We have uploaded the video now, so you can go here and see if you can figure out which video is mine.

Shouldn't be too hard.

Anyway, we didn't use my YouTube account cause I couldn't remember the password.

Now I have to decide if I want to make four more videos. If I do, they probably won't be this complicated. This one took a long time.

Maybe I will edit this video again

Okay, I have a version of the video, but I'm not entirely happy with it, so I might redo it. That is, I might redo some of the editing part, not the filming part. The filming part is done except for this one little thing that I forgot to do at the end, but it will be no big deal to add that, and it is something done inside and it will only take about five minutes to set up.

I have found out that a.) long shots are boring, and b.) trying to edit the sound is harder than editing the video. If you shorten a piece visually, the voiceover stays the same, unless you remove it entirely. So I had this part where nothing was really happening, and I had nothing else to say about it, so I tried to cut some of it out. So that just the voiceover not match up with other things later. You can't remove sections of the voice over, unless you did the voice over in little sections. So I tried doing the voiceover in little sections, to go exactly with the little video clips, but the little clips were just too small to work with. I can cut off pieces of the end of the audio, but only if I remove the video it goes with. So I may end up cutting it back to about the first third of the video where there is a big gap and redoing the rest of it. And then I might have room to add what I left out at the end. But I've still got the first version in reserve if I decide it is taking too long.

I know that I always complain about the way the house looks and I should get around to cleaning it someday, but now it is really bad. Even the kitchen and areas that I try to keep up with are bad. First, there was stuff that I put off because of the "new business", and then I put stuff off in the house while trying to do stuff in the garden that I meant to do while the "new business" stuff took over, and then I had a knee injury, and now I've but things off again to work on this video.

The knee injury is odd, and I know nothing about knee injuries. I didn't do sports as a kid, so I don't even know the terms. It is not a problem that I had diagnosed as a kid, so that I just say, I've got this again. This isn't something I've had before. And there is no bruising and no swelling or anything else that I can see. And I don't really remember doing anything to it, I just didn't feel great one day, and then I really felt bad. I just figured that I had banged my knee on something in the garden but didn't remember.

Now I think that it is some sort of repetitive motion thing. I think that I have been doing a certain thing with my knee off and on since I've moved into this house, and that I've been doing it more now than I used to, and maybe I'm too old to do that anymore, and maybe I wasn't supposed to be doing it in the first place.

Anyway, I haven't gone to the doctor about it. For one thing, I haven't got any money, and I figure that he would just tell me to avoid doing that particular motion. And I am trying to avoid that particular motion, which usually means that I'm just doing it on the other knee. But after I get things cleaned up I will try to be more careful with both knees.

Nothing exciting happened here for the weekend. We didn't even go over to my brother's for hotdogs. I'm sure that my sister had all kinds of fun with her in-laws, and it isn't much worth the trouble for only three or four of us. And the rest of us are all a bit short on money anyway.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Nearly finished, I hope

Finishing up filming took longer than expected. With so little left to do, I figured that I didn't really need to worry about getting an early start. So we went out a bit after lunch, and while I didn't have much work to do, it was just too hot. It is a bit cooler than it had been, but do even a little bit of work and you really start to sweat. And I didn't want to sweat in my video. So I took a break, did some more work, took another break, finished most of the work, took another break, watched an hour of TV, went back outside and did the last part of the video.

And so now I would be finished with the filming part, except that I forgot a few things. The main thing that I forgot was that I was going to have this little bit of me with the money, the $20.09, only of course now I don't have any money, so I will have to go and borrow some money for about five minutes so I can get that part. And then there is something else like that we would film indoors and would only take about five minutes to set up.

As it is we have over ten minutes of film that has to be cut to less than three minutes, so I might not bother with it.

We are having trouble figuring out the editing. I suppose that I still have a week or so left to get the hang of it, but I was hoping to be done with it today. I probably won't.

While we were trying to figure things out, my husband accidentally made a sports video from it. It has nothing to do with sports, but there was a sample of everything we filmed cut down to three minutes, music was added, and the titles said stuff like I love sports. I really hate sports, so that was funny.

David is all finished with his challenge, which I'm sure he is glad of, but I will miss reading about it.

I think later I will post some of the dumb things that I read from other people who left comments.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

We really must film the last part of the video today

And I have no doubt that we will do just that, after we've watched Sunday Morning, and after I get cleaned up a bit and such. I haven't heard that it is going to rain or anything, so it should get done before lunch, and then we can think about editing.

Neither of us has done a video before, so we know nothing of editing.

I am thinking that I will make that second video after all. A slightly altered version which would require no editing, so that way I would still have something to send in if the editing of the first video doesn't go well.

Of course, I will have to have nice clean room to film the second video, and nothing here is exactly that. I will have to decide which room would be best and start cleaning it.

Yesterday was a lot of work. First, I got up and did a lot of work, and I knew that it would be a lot of work, I just haven't tried to do so much of this particular work in one day. I was tired and sweaty and I got about a fourth of it done and really did not want to do any more of that. I went inside, and my husband made a very nice sandwich with sausage and that white cheddar we bought Friday. I got cleaned up, and then we drove to the DAV.

I know that we did quite enough shopping already on Friday, but one thing that we had looked for that we did not find anything we wanted was two Dallas Cowboy t-shirts. Not that I'm a big fan and really want one, but sometimes there are silly things to do if you have a team shirt, and I don't have one, so I keep meaning to get one just for those occasions. Like tomorrow, you are supposed to wear something of your favorite sports team to Chick-fil-a, and you get a free sandwich. So, we will say the Cowboys are our favorite team, and we will see if the line for getting a sandwich is too long. Also, Albertson's grocery store has a ten percent off sale on game days for people who wear Cowboys stuff. So now we can do that too.

The nicer looking stuff was long sleeve, but since most of the stuff would be done this month, we decided to get t-shirts, even though they didn't look so great. We spent four dollars on the two t-shirts, and didn't find much else worth looking at as we had been in the store last week.

Then it was back home to do more work. I would get a bit of it done, and then get really tired and go watch TV for a bit. I did that for the rest of the day. I had to leave just a tiny bit of it for this morning.

This is really going to suck if we can't get the editing figured out.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Filming delayed again due to more shopping

Yesterday or the day before, a new reader left a comment on a post I made like a year and a half ago. I don't know if he is still reading. But I thought I would stop and say hello, just in case.

It was raining a bit yesterday, so we did not film the beginning of the video like I had planned. We got an early start on the shopping instead.

First, there was the trip to the bank, cause I think that the ATM was empty. I don't think that has ever happened to me before, though I suppose it must happen once in a while. But, it didn't say that it was out of money, it just refused to give us any. We could check our balance and see that we had money, and we were given the option of depositing money, but we were not given the option of withdrawing any money. Weird.

So after we went to the bank to get our money, we had to go to a different bank and deposit some money. Then I had to go pick up some pills, and as long as we were in the neighborhood we might as well go to the Only 99 cents store.

It was closed. The store is gone. I learned that was going to happen last week, but I didn't realize it would happen so soon. I was expecting a clearance sale or something. But, no. It is just gone now.

I loved that store, and there isn't another one within a reasonable driving distance for regular shopping visits.

The rest of the shopping went rather well, considering it was off to such a sad start.

From there we went to eat at Pancho's, and since the Irving location has closed we had to go to Euless. We shouldn't have spent the money, and we didn't even have a coupon, but this is one of his favorite places, and for the last three or four times I've talked him into something else. So we ate out this one time, and we will behave ourselves for the next week or so.

From there we went to Goodwill, and almost all the dresses I like were black. I love black, but I really can't justify buying another black dress. No matter how good it might look, it would just be another black dress, and I doubt that anyone would even notice that it was a new black dress. I might see all these little details that might it look good on me and make it look better than the last one, but if I want a new dress I should probably wait and buy something that really looks different. There were a few other things that caught my attention, but nothing really spoke to me enough to try anything on. We didn't buy anything at that stop.

Next stop, Jo Ann's Fabrics. Not that I bought anything there either, but I did want to have a look around. The one thing that I actually went in thinking I might buy I found for eight dollars, but I was thinking it would only cost two or three dollars, so I didn't buy it. And then there was something else that I had to look at, not cause I needed to buy one, but just cause I needed to know what a new one cost. A red knifty knitter, sold by itself, is seven dollars and forty-nine cents. I took a quick look at the Halloween stuff, and then I left.

Having come so far into the Tarrant County side, we kept going. We went to Thrift Town, and that was worth the drive even if we hadn't gone anywhere else. In September and October, they put out the clothes that they can't sell the rest of the year, just in case someone might want something for Halloween. So not only is there all this great stuff, it usually doesn't cost that much, cause if they don't sell it before October 31st, they either have to put it in storage for another year, or they have to put it in the trash.

So, I just wanted everything, but I managed to narrow it down to five things before heading to the dressing room. One item wasn't even for me. I plan to give it to a friend for Christmas, cause he never has any costume stuff to wear. Then there was a long blue dress, which isn't too different from a long black dress, but it wouldn't be exactly the same either. But it didn't fit. Then I had something short and purple, which would have potential if I ever want to be a fairy (I already have purple wings), but I probably won't do that this year. The dress fit just fine, but I could still lose a few pounds if I actually want to look good in it. And then there was this red Chinese thing, which was just a bit large and had a defect that didn't even show when it was buttoned up. And I really wanted it, but in the end I decided that since I wasn't planning to wear it to anything specific this year, I should put it back. Besides, if the idea is to look like a character from Firefly, I think the shirt is light blue, not red.

I just wanted to try on a whole bunch of other stuff, just in case I ever go to a Shindig, but I decided not to. I'm probably not going to such a thing this year, and whatever I buy this year might not look good on me next year. So no Shindig dresses. I'm not altogether sure which direction I would go with the Shindig dress anyway. Would I want elegant or pretty ruffles? I can't decide.

So one item for a friend, and one little purple thing, and then there was this greenish blue dress that spoke to me. It made me think of a certain character on a TV show I've been watching, and with some minor fixing, I could wear it. The main thing is that I would need a matching bra and some good shoes. So I think that I might have found my Halloween costume after all, though not for the character I had originally planned.

Three costume pieces cost me eight dollars and some change. Nice.

From there we went to Town Talk, where we bought odd sodas and really awesome white chocolate and some brie and white cheddar. And some energy drinks. But, we did also manage to buy more than five pounds of rice at twenty-nine cents a pound, so it wasn't entirely luxury items.

On the way home we stopped at a Walmart. This isn't the same Walmart as Thursday, but I was hoping that they would have the same item on sale. I knew that they probably wouldn't, since it was probably a clearance sale and there doesn't seem to be an uniformity in clearance sales for Walmarts. So, I went in and found the item, or at least, it looked like the same item to me, but it was five dollars. At the other store, it had been two dollars marked down from four dollars. So how is it five here? I can understand that it would still be regular price instead of clearance price, but isn't the regular price four? I don't get it.

Anyway, after some slight begging and a stop at 7-11 for a cold drink, we went to the other Walmart so I could look for the clearance sale item. And, display I had seen on Thursday was gone, so they had probably sold all of them, but I went to have a look on the regular shelf space anyway. And there they were, or at least, I thought I'd found them, and they were five dollars. That didn't make sense. Thursday they had been two marked down from four, and now they were up to five? This didn't even make sense at a different store, but at the same store it really didn't make any sense.

I hoped the price was wrong and that it would somehow scan two dollars. I found a scanner, but it was five dollars. I took the item back to the shelf.

I really gave it a careful looking over. This is the same item, isn't it? I know that a lot of similar things end up not being the same price, but the same item being a different price? Was there anything different about this item and the item I bought on Thursday?

And then I noticed that the item had the barcode on the side, while as far as I could remember the item I purchased Thursday had the barcode on the bottom. I had a similar thing happen the day after Thanksgiving, when I went to buy some eight dollar jeans that looked exactly like some twenty dollar jeans, and I couldn't find any that scanned eight dollars, until I noticed some of the tags were in a different place.

So, I found three with the barcode on the bottom. These scanned two dollars each. I was happy. And, now that I knew what to look for, I found a few more.

I had gone into the store hoping to buy four, but after all of this trouble I decided to buy six. I would have bought six more, but I really do not like being totally without funds, and I couldn't see doing that again for another two weeks, especially since I haven't yet bought gas or the lottery tickets.

Anyway, now that I know what to look for, I will look again next time I'm in Walmart and I have some money.

So I went home tired but happy. We decided to rest for about an hour before we thought about the video. We did finally get the beginning of it done, and now I have to go and work on the project so that we can maybe film the end of the video tonight and then try the editing on Sunday.

Just a day or so behind schedule. And there's a little more shopping planned for today, but not much.