Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday Night

Well it’s almost midnight on Saturday night and I’m out here in my workshop with the dogs, just taking some time to myself. Little one is upstairs in bed, Jo is conked out in her bed after having to stay up all night with the horse to keep it from lying down, and the wife is curled contentedly in her little feline ball form on the couch awaiting my eventual stumble towards the bedroom.

I’m really in the mood do redesign my web site tonight but it’s midnight and that’s a ricidulous notion at this hour. A good redesign would take me at least 20 hours and I’ve not the energy for that, not to mention I know I’ll lose steam about 1/4 the way through the project.

I actually have some work to do for two web site clients, but I’m waiting on information from one of them, the other is a mundane update, and there’s a third that I have to consult on before we can actually begin the project. I haven’t told him yet that his idea for a $5,000 web site it modelled after a site that cost the customer about $25,000 plus another twenty grand of in-house servers and SQL databases. lol. He’ll have to get a little less bang for his buck I’m thinking. I’m glad the web business is picking up though. I’ve had quite a lot of web site work these last 18 months, ever since I “stopped doing web sites”…. seems I have more sites to do now that I’ve retired from that industry than I did when I was advertising it. Maybe it’s the attitude I have about it now. My initial instinct is to turn down new web site work because I only like to work on at most two sites at any one time, and usually the customers lose steam halfway through the project and never wind up giving me the material I need to complete the site the way I want to. Bearing that in mind I just started telling people I won’t start for anything less than three thousand. The serious ones stay interested and then the creative ideas really begin. The not-so-serious ones think I’m just giving them a line of BS and then try to go find an inexperienced college student to do it for $400.00, which is all they think that my 100+ hours of labor is apparently worth.

People have no idea how much behind-the-scenes work goes into getting a portal site to the “ready” stage where design can really begin. Hosting setup, domain reg and setup, sql database setup, php integration to the database, the portal backend, the 15 mods it takes to make the portal backend usable by a non-geek, etc. There’s a ton of work involved in it. I really wish I could run across a good graphics guy/girl who had some experience in PHP as well. I could do a lot with a skill-set like that.

In other news, my Army paperwork is apparently coming along. After talking to my recruiter and him telling me that it was unlikely that I’d get accepted I freaked out a little bit and made some calls to some friends, including a friend that put me in touch with my recruiter’s boss. It seems that during the four times we had to redo my paperwork there was a document mis-filed. Had I not been freaked out and tried to get some outside help I never would have known about it and my paperwork might have been in nowhere land for months before I got an answer. The Major I spoke to had his people fix some things that were apparently missing in my paperwork and now my application to join the Army is currently residing on the desk of the Surgeon General. Why? I have no idea. I’m not sure why either, but it is. I’ve been told my chances for success are pretty good and that I shouldn’t worry, so I’ll try not to. In the meantime those that are praying for me, please continue to do so. I don’t have a “yes” yet!

I’m giving some thought to changing my MOS option to something new. I’ve spoken to some friends who have been in the Army for years and who know the game, and I’ve spoken to some who were/are currently 11B and decided that even though I want combat arms, the 11B might not be the way to go. I keep hearing that I’m too smart to simply hold a gun and be a meat-shield. I spoke to Doc at length about what he does, his actual MOS is 13F, also known as forward-observer. I could still get my Airborne training, still get my Ranger training, and be able to utilize my head and my mind as well as my physical shape to get me ahead. It’s an exciting MOS from what I hear about it but it makes me wonder about the other options that exist out there that just have poorly-written descriptions in the Army handbook. Reading the job description and hearing about it from someone who does it is a completely different story.

Anyway, there’s lots of time for that to be figured out. I still have to get IN before i worry about what I’ll be doing once I get there.

Work has been good lately. We’ve gotten quite a few large projects completed for customers, have a few more on the way, and have been able to start paying off some of the debt we’ve incurred in the last 12 months. (Between my moving around my home and my office this last year I’ve got rent bills due to three different entities! However by the end of September we’ll have paid all off but one and maybe over half of that one.) It’s not all paid off by no means but I feel very nice on days like today when I turn around and write 12 thousand dollars worth of checks, knowing they’ll all cash, and I’ll even have a few hundred bucks left when it’s all done for myself! lol.

I still look forward to the day when I can actually keep some of the income though, but that’s a ways off. If work keeps up like it has these last two months we can feasibly pull through this recession without starving to death. However, if any of you know anyone who’s in need of network cabling, telephone systems, surveillance systems, or computer support, I’m definitely your man. We have great rates, awesome customer referrals, and we warranty ALL our work longer than the competitor, guaranteed!

I can tell you one thing that makes my days better though. I’ve been an S-Corporation for the last two years. All my time was spent working in QuickBooks, analyzing profit and loss from my PSA tools, paying vendors WAY more than we ever paid ourselves, and generally losing all my time to administrative overhead. Now that I’ve restructured into a sole-proprietorship life is SOOOO much easier. I get a check for a project, take out some for future taxes, cut out the expenses and split the rest with Tim. No more having to track someone else’s receipts or expenses, or any of the other annoying paperwork. At the end of the project we split it in half and most of my bookkeeping is performed on a job cost spreadsheet and a hand-written check ledger. Yeah it’s low-tech but man it’s easier to reconcile at the end of the day. At the end of the year my taxes are going to be so much easier. I almost can’t wait to file!

On the other hand, speaking of low-tech reminded me of high-tech, my Droid X is going to be here on Monday. I can’t wait for my new phone! I’m probably going to spend 50 hours on it before I even make calls. It’s got all kinds of crap I’ve been wanting and none of the hassles of my iPhone. AND I get a roaming hot-spot with me wherever I go. Say hello to my 17’ laptop being mounted to the dash of my jeep! I’ll finally have the internet access I need to do just about anything, 3G permitting of course!

Well, that’s all for me for now. My episodes 1, 2, and 3 of Haven just finished downloading. I’m off to watch TV a little bit before bed. Talk again soon!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


No, I didn’t have anything more interesting to use for a title than just “Thursday”… it’s just been one of those days. Thankfully it’s been a busy one. I’ve received the first of my shipments for our newest and largest surveillance camera installation job. The rest should be in within a few days and then I’ll be off to Plymouth NC to save a company from 40K per month in loss prevention! Other than that I’ve fixed three computer today for the lady who runs the local humane society. Thats been my day so far.


Im trying out a new coffee shop this afternoon. As a matter of fact I’m sitting there now enjoying their house-coffee while I compose this post. I’m still very much getting acclimated to Albemarle, trying to find places that seem like “me” to me. I’ve replaced On Cue with Pontiac Pointe…


Well there goes my blog post… Wife just called and I have to go help out at the Vet clinic for a bit. It was fun while it lasted. I’ll try to find some more time to write soon.