Thursday, February 28, 2008

February Wrap-Up

It’s been one hell of a month. I sure hope March is a little better. But I’m not going to hold my breath.

The situation with my step-mom is pretty much the same. She’s in a nursing home, now, and the chances of her getting any better are slim to none. My dad is coping as best he can, and is getting all the paperwork taken care of. It’s tough on everyone concerned, but especially on him.

Jo’s mom is doing much better, and will most likely be released from the hospital on Friday. Her cardiologist told her he doesn’t want her driving for a while, so she’ll need to be taken to the store, and wherever else she needs to go. Jo’s brother can’t drive, and he and his wife have their hands pretty full with his father-in-law who is staying with them until he can move into an assisted living apartment. So it’s pretty evident who will be doing most, if not all, of the driving.

Free time is going to be at more of a premium than ever before. What did I say about hoping things would calm down a bit in ’08? So much for that.

I still hope to get a few things accomplished this year, but I guess I’ll just have to take it day by day.

One day, I hope to post an entry that doesn’t include about 90% chaos.

Tomorrow is the last day for the Playboy Back Issues page. In a way, I'll be glad to not have to mess with it any more. A big part of the reason I say that is reflected in an e-mail I received today:

I'm interested in purchasing a copy of July 1997 Playboy. What would the price be?

Name Withheld

I don't mind answering questions from prospective customers, but is it really that difficult to actually look at the page with the magazines listed?? If N.W. would have given the page even a cursory glance, he'd have seen that the only issue in stock from 1997 is the May (05-97) issue. And the price is clearly stated below each thumbnail. I don't mean to sound grumpy or anything, but I do sometimes get tired of answering questions that are already answered on the site. Then half the time, when I do send a reply, they never respond, or send an order.

I'll also be closing the darkroom section at the end of March. With the advances in digital photography, it seems no one wants to spend time in a dark room with funny-smelling chemicals anymore. And that includes me. At any rate if anyone is interested in darkroom gear, take a look. And the prices are clearly marked - so don't send me an e-mail asking "what would the price be?" ;-)

I'll be uploading the rest of the website updates tomorrow night, but in the meantime, the latest news section has a "sneak peek" of the new look!


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

And The Beat Goes On.........

Getting "beat" into the ground, that is.

it is Wednesday morning, and I have, shockingly, a bit of a break between service calls. The last few days, it has been extremely busy. I have been running about two days' backlog, on average. I've had a little relief this morning; Nate took two of my calls - thanks, Nate.

I am, at this particular moment wishing I could find somewhere to hide and sleep for about three days. I am beyond exhaustion. Last night, we had to rush in to Jo's mom's for another medical emergency. She had passed out the day before, and was still feeling poorly, nearly passing out twice the next day. We ended up calling an ambulance to take her to the hospital to be checked out. The folks at the hospital were great, but it took nearly three hours to get results from all the blood tests and x-rays. Everything looked all right, but they decided to keep her overnight for observation. We didn't get away from the hospital until after midnight. Most of this evening after work will, I'm sure, be devoted to this latest medical issue.

I have the latest updates to the website all done, and hopefully I'll have time to upload everything Friday night in time for the new look for March. I have a lot of other things I'd like to accomplish, but with all the neverending medical issues in the family, I don't know if I'll get any of them done - or even started.

I have one day of vacation time left, and about 12 hours of "floating" holiday time. The vacation recycles in May, I think, and unused time does not carry over. So I'm going to take a Monday and Tuesday off in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully I can get through those four days without seeing the inside of a hospital. or doctor's office.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What a February...

Well, here it is, over halfway through February already. It's been a heck of a month. Once again, the Medical Crisis Troll has dropped by, and left a wake of chaos and stress. My step-mom had a stroke, and has been incapacitated to the point that she has had to go into a nursing home. It's been hard on my dad, and on us. He's now alone in their house, and not knowing quite what to do with himself. We've been having him over for dinner every so often since he lives close. Of course it's complicated things for us even more than they already were. We now have two older parents to look after. It never ends.

It's also been a crappy moth where the weather is concerned. This whole winter has been rather severe - lots of bitter cold, snow and ice. So much for global warming. I'm so sick of this cold, gloomy, icy, snowy stuff I'm ready to scream - or move to Hawaii.

I've completed the updates to the website for March. There will be a new look, and a couple other small improvements. The Playboy Back Issues section will be removed, and I'll probably do away with the Darkroom Stuff section as well. With digital photography, there seems to be little interest in doing your own developing and printing, or other home darkroom processing. I'm hoping to get some other areas of the website going pretty soon. It's just working in the time to work on it in between all the other chaos that seems to pervade every aspect of my life anymore. Oh, well....

With any luck, spring will get here in a couple months. I can't wait to break out the grill!


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Good News – for a Change

Well, today, Jo, her Mom, and Yours Truly had our medical checkups that we didn’t get last month because our doctor was sick! At that time, we had blood drawn for all the lab tests. Today, we all got the results: A clean bill of health for all of us! Thank you, Jesus!

I was really sweating out the PSA because it’s been well over 10 years since I had that screening done. It was below 1 which is excellent. The doctor also did the other part of the prostrate screening, the DRE. Now, if you don’t know what “DRE” means, ask a doctor or Google it! Sorry, I’m not gonna ‘splain it here. Suffice it to say it’s a tad embarrassing. At any rate the doctor said everything was fine, and I’m in good shape. Well, my triglycerides are a little high, so it’s lay off the fatty stuff (i.e. the good stuff) for a while. Bummer.

Anyhow, I guess I’m just too damn ornery to have anything wrong with me. And I can live with that!

Now that THAT is out of the way, I’m going to be ordering my new barebone kit sometime very soon. I’ve got a lot of things I want to accomplish this spring and summer, with the computer center, the website, and the house. I’m looking forward to a busy and fun spring – if all this crappy cold weather and snow ever goes away!


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Same Old Same-O

I had hoped that the new year would bring some peace and tranquility along with it, but things have been anything but peaceful and tranquil. It’s been absolute chaos at work. I’ve been getting slammed pretty much ever since coming back to work from my eye surgery last November. And it’s getting busier and busier instead of calming down. It seems like every time I close out a call, two more come in to replace it. I just can’t get caught up. Add to that the one or two customers that call in almost every day, and it becomes very frustrating, very fast.

And, of course there are the constant medical crises that just won’t ease up. My step-mom is now in the hospital with a stroke, and it doesn’t look very good for her recovery. It’s just one damn thing after another. Last week I had an appointment with our family doctor – along with Jolene and her mom – for a general check-up. We had to reschedule for this week because our doctor was sick. He had us go ahead and get blood tests done, and we’ll get the results Thursday. I had blood drawn for a number of checks, including PSA. Frankly, the way things have been going, I’m scared to death to find out the results Thursday. I can only hope for the best. I’d pray about it, but I’m not really sure anybody is listening.

Enough with the bad stuff.

I’m hoping to do a little re-design on the website, although I’m not sure when I’ll find the time. I’m trying to learn a little bit about CSS stylesheets as that would make things a lot easier to update. I’m still using pretty much basic old HTML. It’s been a challenge to try to learn anything new lately. Maybe someday.

I’m working on some new art for the site, and am hoping to add a section where I can (hopefully) start doing some portrait work, and bring in a little income with this website. I sold a few Playboy back issues a couple weeks ago to a gentleman in Australia, but that section is pretty inactive overall. I had intended to take it down at the end of January, but the sale I mentioned encouraged me to leave it up until the end of February. Last week, someone e-mailed me asking for the price on 4 issues (never mind the prices are clearly stated on the site). I replied with the information he wanted, but I guess he decided since I wasn’t going to just give them to him, then ship them for free, he really wasn’t interested. I never got a reply from him. That’s pretty much all the interest they get anymore, so I’m not going to waste my time or server space on them after this month. If you want any of them, get them now – but I’m not going to just give them away.

Hopefully, I can post a more positive entry sometime soon.