Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Am I finally getting smarter?

Or am I just over the worst of the bad luck streak that I've been on for a while now?

I finally figured something that I can sell for a good, consistant profit on eBay - although, supply is going to be limited. So, if I could find additional supplies and/or additional sale items that make profit like this I might be in better shape.

I somehow managed to sign up to get free formula checks and samples without realizing it. The formula sample sold for only about a 10% profit by the time I pay for shipping. However, the checks are selling at about .70 on the dollar and with shipping only costing the cost of a postage stamp, listing costing $.20... the first set sold for a profit of oh, I don't know about 3800%. And the biggest risk if it doesn't sell (since I wouldn't have to pay the postage) would be about $.20 every time I list them. Hmmmm - seem reasonable? Of course, I only get the checks about a few every month, so it's not like I can make a fortune here? huh?

So, need a few more items that sell like hotcakes and I might be able to do something here.

Technology Meme

What geek could resist this?
from Geeky Mom

1. Do you remember when you saw your first computer? When did you actually use one? What about having your own? Do you own a laptop? (PC or Mac?) Have you gone wireless at home yet?

I first saw a computer in 10th grade. The school had purchased an Apple II and the secretaries were using it for their work, but kept it in the Study Hall so that it could be used two days a week by the Computer Programming class - which was only open to Seniors. I got to use it the following year (my Junior year) because they let a few juniors join the few Seniors who wanted to take a class.

I got my first computer that same year when I won a drawing for participation in a MDA fundraiser. They were giving out Panasonic Computers and software. They were prototypes of a computer that never went into production - they produced their wordprocessors instead. So I got one of only 250 that were ever in existance. I still have it, only problem is that my teenage brother ended up taking all the cassette tape programs and over-recording them with music so I don't have any programs to use with it.

I do have an IBM thinkpad laptop - tho I rarely use it. Mostly because - I haven't gone wireless yet at home. We're just two devices short for wireless networking - I need a card for my laptop and my PC and we can go wireless - but with money being tight right now, it's not exactly my priority. I can live with the cable running across the kitchen floor for now.

2. When did you first go online and/or use email? Who did you email back then? How did the internet change your life? When did you discover blogging? What about your home internet connection - is it dial-up, DSL, cable?

I first went online to do some research back in 1985 for school papers... used FTP in 1989 for work, but didn't use email until almost 1992. I used email only for work, as I didn't know anyone who had it at home yet in 92.

Internet SHOPPING! lol - quick access to any information about anything - how awesome is it when you turn to Google before the phone book???

I didn't discover blogging until two years ago when my son started doing it - then I started last fall.

Our home connection is cable - but when we move this summer, we'll probably end up on DSL or dial-up depending on if Big A stays here or moves to Arizona.

3. Do you remember your first VCR? What about a video camera (there were some bulky ones back in the 80s and 90s) and home videos?

My folks got their first VCR ages and ages ago, back when VHS and Beta were both being sold in the US... for quite a lot of money. I don't think they ever got a video camera - because they actually had a Super 8 Camera - which we used for home movies from the 60's... that thing was still running strong in 1989, as we used it for the first home movie for my son when he was 1... home videos didn't get involved until my sister and brother got their video cameras (big, bulky and hard on batteries back in the 80's).

4. When did you switch from VCR to DVD? How did it change your video viewing experience? Do you use TiVo or any such "contraption" to tape TV shows? Do you use Netflix or some other internet-based DVD "renting" service?

We switched from VCR to DVD about five years ago - Big A made a 'bargain' with grandma that if she bought me a DVD for christmas that he would behave himself in school the entire next school year - and he did. I don't think it changed my viewing experience a whole lot - other than I like to watch some of the special features at the end, but not all of them.

I use DVR first on Satalite, then on Cable to tape TV shows - and THAT has completely changed my life. I don't think I can live without the ability to watch what I want when I want -- and skip commercials. Never again do you hear me say "there's nothing on" because when there isn't anything on, I've always got something taped to watch - it's AWESOME!!!!

I don't use Netflix, can't see the point, I'd rather rent the DVD one on one or pay for pay per view.

5. What about music? Did you enjoy listening favorite music in Long Plays or did you prefer cassette tapes? When did you buy your fist CD player and switched to CDs? Did you abandon them (and turned to downloaded music) for MP3 players or Ipods or do you still buy CDs? (I'm not going to ask or comment about "illegal" music activities in the internet, even though it was an exciting innovation, lest one of us gets arrested for it :)

I only ever bought one album, and at eight, managed to leave it, in it's bag, with it's receipt in it, at the lobby of the store. OOPS - Can you believe instead that through junior high and high school I actually listened more to eight-tracks? My brothers left a player and several tapes out in the 'back room' which is where the pool table was and sound-proof from the rest of the family. So I hung out back there listening to eight-tracks.

By the time I was off to college - it was cassette tapes all the way - I had tons of cassette tapes and would lend folks money and hang onto their cassette tapes until they paid me back. Had quite a collection until I owed someone else some money and I sold them the whole kit and caboodle.

I never actually really switched to CD's - I would buy the players, but really only have two CD's of my own - one that a friend recorded for me and another that a date left behind.

I've bought my son two mp3 players and am looking at getting one for myself.... seems much more the way I want to listen to music.

6. Do you own and use a cell phone? Do you think it's useful or just annoying?(Did you always have a telephone in your house growing up? Did you have a phone in your own room?)

Yes, I ONLY use a cell phone. I mostly think it's annoying, but I like easy access since I'm on the road a lot. I actually started carrying a pager, then a cellphone back in 91 - since I worked in seven different counties and spent at least two hours a day on the road... much easier for daycare to reach me if they only had one number.

We always had a telephone in our house - but it was rotary.... and my folks still have a rotary phone (in addition to the portable and cell). I absolutely cannot use it to call anyone, I seem to have lost the knack for waiting for it to return back to place before trying to rotary in the second number of the phone number... if I slow down enough for the phone, then I can't remember the number I'm supposed to dial next anymore. ugh ... My folks were smart enough NOT to put a phone in my room when I was growing up, since all my friends were long distance.

Now, both Big A and I have cell phones and we've discontinued phone service to the house... we were only using it for dial-up internet access anyway and it was always busy - so when we switched to cable we had it dropped.


7. When did you first buy a digital camera? What kind was it (3.2, 4.0, 5.0 mega-pixels or better)? Did you start taking more pictures or were you a photo aficionado before then? What about a digital video camera?

I got my first digital camera a couple of years ago -just before Little A was born. I waited and bought a discounted 5.0 camera. I think I've only managed to print about a dozen pictures off of it in the past two and a half years... and I've lost more pictures thanks to sharing it with Big A... but it was useful in eBay auctions, and with the new printing options, I'm sure I'll print more. I just ordered a replacement thats also a 5.0 since mine died and I miss having a camera without film to worry about. Still don't have a video camera, tho I do use the video clip piece of the digital camera.

8. What about televisions? Have you already embraced the new technologies, such as HDTV, plasma, and flat screen? (On the other hand, you wouldn't remember black & white TVs, would you?)

Not yet, BUT WANT TOOOOO!!! I bought Big A a black & white tv when he was 3 to watch public tv on in his bedroom... and I remember the first remote controlled tv we had when we were growing up - the control had a cord back to the tv!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Bleeping hilarious!!!

OK - this might take a while to watch these episodes - but they are really great - The IT Crowd- http://heathcates.com/blog/?p=80

Thank Big A for enlightening me!

enjoy

House look like a blizzard hit

Sometime late last night, Little A woke up and the imp found a grocery sack I had stuffed away for future packing material - chock full of shredded paper. About three or four dumps of the paper shredder - lot's and lot's of shredded paper. Sometime after he managed to spread this paper from one corner of the house to the other, he must have decided it was going to be more fun to throw it AT someone - like me. I awoke adrift in a pile of paper with the loudest giggle I've ever heard as he raced off to get more ammo. Last night I pretty much focused on getting him back to bed and facing the mess in the morning.

This morning, however, we had to have a few 'snow ball' fights - he can't have all the fun, right. Ah, the sound of a child's laugh first thing in the morning is an awesome sound. How can anyone be depressed after that?

Great Date - interesting guy!

I had a LOT of fun last night and didn't think about how I was or wasn't feeling at all. It was a wonderful distraction. AND not only did he bring me flowers, and open doors, he was polite, interesting to look at and talk with and we enjoyed an amazing dinner at a nice restaurant - oh my! How cool is that? We were both nervous at the end of the date - you know the moment when you might kiss, might not, what ever - but he kissed me on the cheek and we got through it without totally embarressing ourselves... at least I hope I didn't emabarass myslef.

He's still interested, which is pretty wild considering I only posted my ad on Match like the day he contacted me - and then within two days, we agreed to a date the following evening. He's offering to take me out to dinner again, which is fine by me. One odd thing - he's enjoying dating someone closer to his own age (we're both 39)... which means he's probably used to dating younger women... oh well, he knows how old I am and hasn't ran off yet.

I'm finding it odd, though. The last time I was on match dot com, I was 35... and I got a lot of hits off of men that were unemployed and unemployable, guys looking for one night stands and angry when you weren't... and some pretty homely guys that really, really wouldn't be my pick even if I was pretty desparate. Now, four years later - I'm much older, and figured that it would probably be more of the same... but given that I'm not going out much, I figured this was at least a distraction even if I didn't find anyone date-able. But, I've actually got three or four very good looking men who are interested, good looking (at least if they used their own picture) and also articulate and capable of typing more than a few words into their profiles... it seems odd - almost like I turned a corner.... when I was 35 was I young enough that people looking for women who were 35 were also looking at much younger women and suddenly I'm not looking so hot? and now, that I'm almost 40 I'm being grouped with older women and suddenly a contender for some attention from some of the men that I would be interested in as well? I know that the men who 'wink' at me who are looking for women within an age range where I'm barely considered young enough to be considered aren't as interesting to me - I suppose because I know that I'm the barely young enough to be considered - therefor, probably would be a disappointment... after all, I'm no where near the woman I was 19 years ago... and wouldn't want to be that woman. She was young, foolish and made a lot of stupid mistakes.... now, men looking for women closer to my age and possibly older - well, maybe they can appreciate that age has mellowed me, matured me, made me smarter, and more capable of holding good conversation, enjoying life as it comes and being a better-all-around person. Hmmm it's interesting though. There's still a few guys responding that I'm not interested in, but on the whole the resonse has been pretty good and coming from men that seem to be able to hold their own in a dinner conversation.

Well, I'll keep you posted
Penny

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Question about disclosure

OK, so I'm getting to know a couple of men from match. And I'll probably be meeting one or the other of them shortly and just gave one of them my phone number.

I really pride myself in presenting an honest front on-line, in emails, or in person... but there really isn't a spot on match dot com where you post - oh, by the way, I've been extremely ill recently. And I know I don't "look" sick. So when do I disclose? You guys know me, it's not so much about not feeling comfortable telling other people how I feel - you've all been hearing everything about my condition repeatedly - so it's not shyness or modesty, I have little of that.

It's more about not wanting to put a guy off and wondering how to work it into the you should probably know this about me kind of category.

Should I just say "I was ill recently" and try to let it go at that? sounds like someone who had the flu or virus would say and not nearly honest enough... but I don't think I should get into the whole history of how I almost died a year and a half ago and how now they don't know what's wrong so they're just easing my syptoms either. Seems like that's information overload until you get to know me better kind of info. I think the whole truth is better off held till we at least know if we're attracted to each other first - don't you?

So how much should I disclose how soon? I don't want to mislead them, but I also don't want someone like my ex who was primarily attracted to me when I was ill so he could take care of me either - it didn't work out when I was well and didn't want him nurse-maiding me.

Limp noodle

Well, after my very NOT busy day yesterday spent online (at least I got my taxes filed! Woohoo big refund!!!!). I'm sitting here at my pc feeling like a limp noodle. I don't think I fully understood the expression until I truly experienced it. My arms are propped up by the keyboard tray and I'm slouched down in my chair and it's taking real effort to lift my arms... the house is a disaster zone and in my mind I know I want to get it cleaned. But my body isn't acting like it wants to help... So, more caffeine for me and maybe some of my pills. Maybe then I'll get some energy back? I hope so!

Who knows, maybe theres a few good movies on and I can avoid housework and moving all day?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Avoiding housework

So, how's this? I'm finally feeling pretty well. Have some energy and am certainly capable of working around the house. But, what am I up to? Sitting in my pajamas flirting online with a guy who contacted me on match dot com.

And why I posted on match dot come, you ask? Cause I'm an idiot and I am soooo tired of being sick and thinking about being sick and sick of being worried about being sick... and must be feeling a bit better given that my sex drive is finally returning. So, what the hell.

Meantime, I'm trying to list some junk to sell on eBay (that counts toward housework in a way doesn't it? It gets junk out of the house... so I'm counting it). Of course, currently one item is selling for $.70 so I'm not going to quit my day job. Oh, wait - I don't really have a day job just right now... grrrr....

oh... and did I post that my digital camera doesn't work any more? Which means if I'm going to be able to post more junk I have to buy a new digital camera (which I want anyway to capture pics of Little A and with Big A's graduation around the corner)... but of course, it'll have to get charged to the credit card as there's no way I'm selling enough junk fast enough to pay for it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Waiting to get to go back to work

I'm a bit down in the dumps. I called my manager and told him that I felt ready to come back to work - maybe only part-time this week or next, but full-time right after that. He called the company manager that I was working for before my recent retreat from life... and she's excited and can't wait for me to come back to work for her (YEAH!) only it's going to be either March 6 or 13th. Bummer! Well, at least I started preparing my taxes and have plenty of house work to keep me busy until then - just no money.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Home now

And glad to be.

I called into work and asked if I could start working soon... see if they'll let me work part-time at first or if I could start full-time sometime next week. They want me to stop by the office so it looks like I'll be driving into Des Moines tomorrow to see my manager. I thought that if I started part-time I could probably start sooner than I would be able to if I start full-time right away. Give me a chance to ease into it and not take too much on too quickly.

I had to lay down for a while this afternoon - I suppose because I was trying to do a little too much at the time. Now, I'm still tired, and after a ton of anti-dizzy meds - I'm still on my feet.

It wouldn't be so bad, except spoiled little A is a whiney little butt after staying at my mother's this whole time. I've had to put him in time out at least four or five times because he won't 'tell' me what he wants and instead is just whining. Not something I'm going to allow to continue. Very ANNOYING!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Three weeks of poking & prodding - and no answers yet!

OK - so final word from UofI? They don't know what's wrong. They didn't find any evidence of clots, stroke, or any evidence of another condition. My thyroid still isn't spot on, but it's borderline - which means "no meds" just to check it again in another six months.

My list group that has a different clotting disorder came up with a couple of conditions that UofI didn't consider - so they're digging into the one they had never heard of, and I'm scheduled for a test in two weeks to see about the other - both are long shots, but geez, I think that's all I have left.

I also have an appointment in two weeks to get an evaluation to see if the clinic thinks they can help me regain my balance which will reduce the dizziness... but that's two full weeks away. The pills I was taking, I was taking twice the maximum suggested dose to be able to function, which isn't healthy long-term.

Guess I can't help but be a little depressed, I'd almost hoped I could go back to work sometime next week on the dizzy meds -but they want me to reduce my dosage back to the maximum and see what that does for me, so it's a wait and see. I haven't taken any yet this morning, and to be honest, I haven't gotten dizzy yet either - but yesterday I'd taken the maximum dose before 9 am just to keep from being dizzy - so it's one day bad and one day good so far - not very promising and certainly not enough to make a decision that I might be able to go back to work.

I also found out that the doctor lied to me before - when I had my PE's. He told me I had two very small clots - one each in the bottom of each lung. When I read the results from the ct scan that found the clots - the one on the right side was massive and had blocked the main artery to the right lung making the right lung not work at all - and there were multiple small clots in the left lung. My sister thinks he lied so I wouldn't be frightened - like PE's at all aren't frightening... but I'm done - I won't go back to him. I refuse to continue to see a doctor who would lie to his patient in any situation. I always want to know the truth... I'm not a panicky type of person who just wants reassurance - I want to know everything and then I can deal with it the way it needs to be dealt with.

So - good news - I'm alive and starting to function - bad news - I don't know for how long or what to expect next. I'm bummed.

I am insisting on coming home however, preferrably this afternoon as soon as my sister gets off work and can drive me home. I think mom and I both need a break - and she's so sick of watching cartoons with Little A it's not even funny.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Four Things (Not to be confused with 100 Things)

Four jobs I've had:
1. Waitress
2. Programmer
3. Teacher
4. Business Analyst

Four movies I can watch over and over: [1]
1. Bridget Jones
2. Love Actually
3. Most 007 movies
4. Star Wars movies

Four places I've lived:
1. Hale
2. Des Moines
3. Cedar Falls
4. Newton

Four TV shows I love:
1. CSI
2. Medium
3. Gilmore Girls
4. How I Met Your Mother

Four highly-touted TV shows I detest:
1. Everybody Loves Raymond
2. ER
3. 24
4. American Idol

Four books I'd recommend to anyone, anytime: (boy, this is tough -not many I would recommend to anyone)
1. The Very Hungry Catapiller
2. Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus
3. The Wedding (by the same guy who wrote the book for the movie "The Notebook")
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Four places I've vacationed:
1. Key West
2. Seattle
3. Omaha (what a gas?!)
4. Chicago

Four of my favorite dishes:
1. Goulash
2. Beef Roast
3. Crab Legs
4. Cheesy Twice Baked potatoes

Four sites I visit daily:
1. Blogger
2. My Bank
3. Lately - WebMD
4. www.ubah.com/z1624 (my website selling UBAH books)

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Back to work
2. At home
3. On a date with a wonderfully hunky manly man. :) - (ok now that I'm vertical why is it I suddenly want to get horizontal with a hunky manly man all of a sudden???)
4. With friends drinking something stronger than root beer and talking about anything other than how I've been feeling lately

Four bloggers I am tagging: (another toughie - I've only got two friends reading my blog and blogging themselves and one of them tagged me!)
1. Phil (who probably won't be able to find time between flights to UK and NY and moving to NY this coming month)
2. Mom (doesn't blog)
3. Adam (blogs but doesn't read this blog)
4. Cindy (doesn't read nor blog)

Wasted time in Iowa City yesterday

I had my appointment with the Hematologist in Iowa City yesterday who told me nothing new over what I'd already been told by my previous hematologist - until they find a new clot, it's a no go on getting anti-coagulants. Which means that it doesn't matter if four other doctors I've already seen think that my current symptoms are related to clotting, and want me to at least try a couple of weeks on an anti-coagulant... this doctor is going to veto it.

I wouldn't feel so negative, but I guess I already know that they probably won't find anything, after all this testing - after all, I've had most of these tests already once before in the past year and they hadn't found anything then. So, I really don't expect them to find anything now.

I do have two conditions that I don't think I've been tested for thanks to on-line boards to try to ask them to research and test me for - but I'm pretty sick of being tested for things and am ready to go home as it is though.

I've doubled the meds that my mom lent me, and am doing much, much better. I'm working at building up my stamina - hoping that I'll be able to go back to work as early as next week. As of now, I don't have a prescription of my own - the nuerologist wants me to get the prescription from my 'regular' doctor... so they don't have to deal with refills in Iowa City... and since I'm not going back to my 'regular' doctor... that means I have to find a new doctor and have to deal with telling the whole history all over again and dealing with all the questions that follows along with a 'they don't really know what's wrong with me now' piece just so I can get my pain meds, my anti-depressants, and now the anti-dizzy meds just to treat my symptoms - what a mess.

Oh, well, enough whining from me. Alex is doing well, really thriving under all the spoiling he's getting at Grandma's house or 'grr-ma' as Alex says it. Grandpa on the other hand is being called simply 'pa' right now. He has been under the weather a bit lately, but if he fusses for a second or two grandma's right there trying to make things right.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy V Day

I'm still in my pajamas, but have been up quite a bit today. Able to eat dinner at the table and everything. So the meds my mom lent me are helping.

Alex has an 'owie' on his tongue and isn't going to be satisfied until I kissed it better. I tried blowing a kiss at it, but he's not buying it - lol! Guess I at least got a kiss for V day, huh?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Finally well enough to post a bit

Thanks for everyone's well wishes! I'm hanging in there - Adam & Alex are doing great - Alex and I are just bumming around Mom's still until this weekend.

Well, the past six weeks have been really rough. But after almost a week on my mother's prescription for dizzy spells I can be upright for almost an hour at a time. Since these work for inner ear issues - this is something that could have been tried over a month ago, but no one thought to even try it. Supposedly these pills should have helped right away - they didn't but I tried taking more of them anyway --- and now I'm finally becoming human again. When the neurologist and the neuro-opthamologist were running their tests - I wasn't just dizzy, I'd lost a lot of my ability to be able to balance myself. Hence why I fell down quite a bit until I convinced myself I was too dizzy to go to work anymore.

As for UofI they still haven't given us a 'solution' but I've got three more appointments this week. Had the MRI done last week and am waiting for answers from that as well. If nothing else, at least they've cleared up some questions I've had from before.

About the only thing I know for sure is that my Thyroid results were off again this time around... which means it's been too high, just right, and now borderline too low. So, they'll probably want to run more tests about that... it would certainly explain the exhaustion that I'm going through. I've been sleeping an easy 14-15 hours a day.

They're waiting for proof from the MRI to see if I've had a stroke which would explain a lot of the other symptoms... they haven't said that's what they were looking for, but they danced around the topic and hinted at it. The doctor wanted me to be prepared that I may never fully recover all the feeling in my right side. Most of the doctors seem to think that it would be a good idea to put me on an anticoagulant even though another clot hasn't been detected... just for a trial to see if it helps any of my symptoms. If it does or doesn't that might help them narrow down the issue and it's starting to sound suspiciously like they think I've just been suffering a series of small clots that are causing the pain, difficulty breathing, and possibly the issues with my balance, and stroke-like symptoms. I see the Hematologist on Wednesday and he's the "final" sign on as to whether or not they want to get me on anti-coagulants again. So, we wait and we see.

Adam got a job finally - He's working at Maid-rite in Newton... he finally realized that he needed to get his but in gear and do something if he wanted to get his car fixed. It's going to cost $1500 to fix his car - and at about $40/week he's got a bit of working to do - hmmm??

Take care!