LoriB.me

Rambling On…

Baltimore — 09/25/2008

Baltimore

LB and K at the party

LB and K at the party

Mon 9/22/08 10:46am

On the plane from Baltimore to Oakland, stop in Denver. Had lots of fun in Baltimore. We went to an overnight birthday party for a couple of K’s friends that were turning 40 and had a great time. I really like K’s Maryland people. I am strangely comfortable around them. They remind me of people from Buffalo. The party went all night. At some point, I got tired of people and went to read in the living room. Most of the people were outside. I was happy that I had a book I could read. Got a Robert Ludlum book at the airport. The Ambler Warning. It’s a fast reader that does not require a full attention span. Other people started coming in and reading too after a while. I thought that was pretty funny. There were some books on the coffee table. K kept bringing people over to say hi and hang out for little bits of time. That was fun too. Little spurts of party.

The next day was fun too. Lots of people had slept over and others came back in the morning. After the party, we went to Kim’s place and then out for a drink. On the way home, she gave us a great tour of her neighborhood. I love tours with stories and she know a lot about her neighborhood. It was great to get to see her again after such a short time.

The first night we went to a restaurant/bar that a couple of K’s friends are opening soon. The place was amazing! Huge. They were building most things themselves, including booths and other assorted furniture from old church pews. It was fun to hang out there. Can’t wait to go back when it is open. We also helped K’s folks with their new fiber optic tv system. It was nice to be able to do that. Some stuff that is very hard for them is very easy for us. K will help them some more tomorrow. She is not coming home until Thursday.

I am looking forward to being home. Have work to do. Server was down for a while yesterday. Of course it has to happen when I am out of town. Got stuck in a loop and was overloading the CPU. A reboot fixed it, but today I got an email that the main hard drive partition might be dying and needs to be repaired or replaced. The server will need to be down for 1-4 hours. Crap. I told the techs to monitor it and reboot if it goes down again, but to wait until 3am US eastern time to take it down. I think it will affect the least amount of people at that time. Update: It did not go down again and is repaired now.

I met with the business consultant again before I left. New plan is to meet twice a month for 2 months, 2 hours each time. We covered a lot of ground in 2 hours. Got the basics of a contract written for my next project. Should be able to easily adapt it for other projects. We spoke some about pricing and how I need to raise mine and also about some other ideas I have that will bring in some steady income.

I am trying a new system of tracking hours. Only got to try it once before I left, but it actually worked. I was reading an article by David Seah that described a system where you set a timer to go off every 15 minutes and then fill in ovals on a piece of paper to track what you are doing when the timer goes off. I don’t do well with paper systems and the online version was alpha and not quite my style, so I combined some programs that I already had to do a similar thing. I set up a spreadsheet in Numbers with a sheet for each project, then set a calendar alarm to open up a 15 minute repeating timer in Alarm Clock Pro every weekday morning at 8am. The timer is set to make the spreadsheet pop up every 15 minutes. When it pops up, I just check a box for the project I am working on. The spreadsheet keeps track of how many hours I have worked on each project for each month by counting the checkboxes and dividing by 4 to get time in hours.

Turbulence. Hate it. The lady who was sitting next to me at the beginning of the flight kindly gave up her seat to another lady with a baby. She got free drinks for doing it. I usually don’t like being near kids on planes because they are loud, but I don’t mind it so much at the moment. Cute kid. Nice mom. Some screaming when they first got settled, but quiet now. My ears are clogged anyway. Enough writing for now.

Thu 9/25/08 3:54am

I never did get around to posting that. It is nice to be home. K is coming home tomorrow. I can’t wait to see her 🙂 We both have a little time off before going back to work. I am hoping to use the time to do some business stuff that I hardly ever have time to do. Today I set up an online project management system to make it easier to communicate and share files with clients. It is very similar to Basecamp, only open source, free, prettier, and hosted on my own server. Currently, I am using it to manage my hosting affililate program project. The affiliate system is ready to go, but still needs a couple of web pages, graphics for banner ads, and text ad copy. I am also thinking of starting a newsletter to send to clients and other interested people every few months. I would like to announce the launch of the affiliate program in the first one. Hopefully I can get that done this week because I have a big project starting soon.

It is 4:06am. I think I should go to sleep. Jetlag.

Taking Care of Business — 09/12/2008

Taking Care of Business

I have officially given up on voc rehab to help me with my business. I’ve been working with them for over 3 years and am tired of not doing other things because of waiting for them to help.

The last straw was when I was going to do a 10 week business program in my community. I got approved on the condition that I had a tutor to help me process the information. Karen was willing to do it, but since she works full time it would be best to find someone else. The rehab people acted like they could help find one but kept putting us off. By the time we gave up and decided to do it anyway, there were no more spots left in the program.

I did some research and found a business consultant who I will meet with for a few months. Her job is to help me structure my business so that I make more money. I met with her last week and she had some great ideas. Seems to think my case is easy because I already have clients. I hope she is right! I am excited about it.

Last month, I finally had time to fix Aspieland and the Autistic Planet Store. I will probably move the store away from printfection when I have some time because I don’t like that they charge more for larger sizes and there is no way to equalize it. Still, better than no store at all.

Soon I will start a hosting affiliate program. I have the backend set up where affiliates would log in to their accounts, but need to make some banner ads and publicize it. I will post an announcement when I get it all together. It will be a good way for me to get more hosting clients and for whoever becomes an affiliate to make some extra money.

My friend Kim was here last week. It was great to see her and we had lots of fun wandering around San Francisco. By strange coincidence, me and K are going to Baltimore next week and will see her again!

Done uploading files now. Time to get back to work.