Wednesday, August 5, 2015
I'm a promise-breaker!

I always swear I'll blog more regularly and then it's been a month or two months and I haven't said a word.

So. Update.

Still hobbying regularly. After getting worse canvas by canvas for about a month, I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. While not claiming I'm producing anything of Rembrandt quality, I am, at least starting to produce recognizable elements from time to time. Last week, I painted a tree that looked an awful lot like a tree!

That's what I like about hobbies. You don't have to be really good at what you're doing, you just have to enjoy doing it. Just good enough to amuse yourself. And it has to be said that starting from zero leaves a lot of room to amuse yourself with tiny increments of improvement. (I painted a cloud the other day that was absolutely impressive.)

The diet is still a thing. Four pounds to go. The R.C. keeps making delicious apple pie and I keep eating it. I'm making progress in spite of that, though.

Work-wise, The Big Crunch came to a decision at the end of last month and decided to take their toys and move on to a different playground. I'm--relieved. I should have kicked them to the curb two months ago and I would have it if wasn't for the fact that this was an important account for Louie Louie. While we both regretted losing the revenue stream, I think he was as relieved as I was when they left--they were an awful lot of work.

Right now, The Laddies are on hiatus while something miraculous (one hopes) is done to their website. So, I don't have that problem to worry about at the moment.

I have a potential new client on the horizon but I don't think that one's going to fly. What they want is probably not going to be allowed by the system. Shrugs. I'm not inclined to care that much--I've mentioned before that I'm not a big fan of Vela's clients. Always more work than they're worth and she's very bad at managing them and their expectations.

It's my intention to spend August working hard on each of my other accounts--the ones I've been neglecting since March in the attempt to get The Big Crunch under control.

Really, that's about all I can think of to say at the moment.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:33 AM | Comments (5)

Monday, June 8, 2015
What'cha doin'?

I should post more often. Either nothing's happening and I have nothing to say or so much is going on that I wouldn't know where to start!

Also, asking y'all what you're up to is the only way I can get most of you to drop me a comment or an email and tell me what's new in your lives. :)

Me? Diet-wise, I'm now down 7 pounds with another eight to go to reach my goal. For reasons that I'll go into below, I plateaued for the entire month of April and most of May--neither losing nor gaining, but I'm making progress again.

This is good. At some point I'll have to travel again and it will be useful if I fit into more of my wardrobe than my shorts and a handful of tee-shirts.

(Okay, no, I hadn't gained that much weight. But enough. Too much.)

So, what happened to that resolution to blog more regularly, you ask?

Well, work became--insane. Entirely insane.

After what I posted at the end of March, The Big Crunch seemed to explode in size and complexity every other week.

After a desperate attempt to regain the control I lost with the client's 80,000 oh-so-NOT-helpful edits, I turned to another of Mother's Little Helpers and offered to exchange coin of the realm for an automated script that would take at least some of the pressure off. He and I worked together for most of April to get the functionality we wanted in place but once it was--let me tell you, I am now a FAN of automation.

NewBroom's account continued to pull a modest amount of traffic but it took six weeks of begging before I could get feedback on what kind of results we were producing. This slowed down optimization--without data on results, you can't really optimize--but I think I have the client convinced to give it all just a bit more time to produce.

The Laddies continues along--producing very little, slowly. They may need to be fired--or at least convinced to move elsewhere. Their market is not my area of expertise and I don't think I can really help them.

The March & April stress from the attempt to improve things for both the NewBroom and The Laddies, along with the turmoil in The Big Crunch landed on my brain like a boatload of bricks at the end of April. I basically just shut down for three or four weeks.

I've never had quite such a thorough meltdown before--at least, not one that wasn't related to an undiscovered need for medication. (That is, not since I had a bout of panic attacks and was diagnosed with a low thyroid hormone condition. About 10 years ago, now.)

In May, I worked the bare minimum to keep most of the accounts running, virtually ignored The Big Crunch, and spent a lot of what should have been "work hours" in reading, walking, and playing video games.

I don't regret it a bit. By the end of May, when it became necessary to do month-end reporting and when Louie Louie came back to me with a full list of additional changes & expansions The Big Crunch had just requested, I was rested, refreshed, and ready to go!

So, you know. That's what I've been doing for the last 60 days. Completing a slide into complete exhaustion and then resting up for the climb back out of the pit.

I'm surprised, me, being me, that I had the self-awareness and good sense to take that kind of break.

On the other hand, my brain's complete refusal to engage in any activity more stressful than turning the page of a book may not, strictly speaking, be counted as "self-aware" behavior. Regardless, life is good now. I'm taking time off (no longer working weekends), getting out of the house several times a week, still walking for health and enjoyment, and determined to avoid that particular pitfall in the future.


I'm on a diet, which precludes most of my planned culinary experiments. Also, the weather is warming up and I don't have a lot of appetite in the summer. I go for soups or salads in the hot months.

I'm still knitting and crocheting. Not so much at the moment, since these are more autumn/winter activities as well, but I'm working on one gorgeous dark green scarf that I do want to finish, so it's available to me this fall, when the weather starts to turn.

I've done a bit of writing. Nothing spectacular, just dabbling with a couple of ideas, but it's nice to feel that old creative urge reawakening.

I haven't gotten around to picking up my drawing and sketching tools again. The idea occurs to me more and more often these days, though, so it may just be a matter of time, especially with my new determination to balance between working and "having a life."

(Look at me now! It's "work time" but here I am, writing a personal blog.)

The R.C. and I continue to dabble in painting. We took another oil painting class this past winter, producing reasonably acceptable results.

(We, or at least I don't pretend to aspire to actual Artist status. "Not entirely embarrassing for an untalented, untrained amateur" is the most I hope for--the goal I'm shooting for.)

Although oils are easier to work in (easier blending, slower drying time, etc.), they're also a lot more toxic. You have to gather up all paint-related waste, including used paint thinner, and have it disposed of via hazardous waste procedures. Only work in a well-ventilated area even wear protective gear if you really want to be safe. These are not really restrictions I'm looking for in a hobby, okay?

So, for home use, instead of oils, we decided to try acrylics.

There are, of course, significant differences, the main one being that acrylics dry so quickly that it's difficult to paint faster than your paints can dry out. There are products on the market designed to alleviate this issue and we're testing some of them. The R.C. is doing better with the products than I am, but then she's always been a procedural person and a rule-follower.

That snark aside (she's also producing much better results than I am, which is the source of my aggro), I get involved in what I'm trying to do and basically just forget to use the products. For the record, they don't do you a lot of good when they're still in the bottle. Brain, brain, what happened to my brain?

In the meantime, we've each completed a couple of canvases and I invite the bored, the masochistic, and the morbidly curious among you to go ahead and click the link to see my own results.

For the rest of you, the ones who are going to stop reading here, post a comment or drop me an email and let me know what's up in your lives!

And I promise I'll try to blog more regularly.

Continue reading "What'cha doin'?"

Posted by AnneZook at 01:05 PM | Comments (2)

Monday, March 30, 2015
Otherwise, in my life

I watch DVDs

Still obsessively rewatching my Sherlock DVDs. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a show this much.

Since every episode is 90 minutes, every episode is like a feature movie. There's more depth, texture, and nuance in every episode than in most full seasons of US television.

I long for a return to the days when television wasn't restricted to a "five minutes, then mini-climactic scene to lead into commercial break, ten minutes, then second mini-climactic scene to lead into second commercial break, etc." format.

I've also been watching DVDs of Hot In Cleveland, which is a sort of updated Golden Girls. Not deeply intellectual, but enjoyable. Especially if you're female and a bit older. :)

I read books

Did I mention reading the Tamir Trilogy? (It starts with The Bone Doll's Twin.) Amazingly good.

It's a prequel trilogy to the author's original Nightrunner series. The original series is excellent with a long and involved mythology that I really enjoyed. I was doubtful about a historical "prequel" and then pleasantly surprised to realize that I it as much or more than I enjoyed the originals.

In terms of reading, I also just finished the series The Royal Wizard of Yurt (which starts with A Bad Spell in Yurt). Silly, lightweight fantasy. Amusing.

I've tried Christopher Nuttall's stuff before and never really enjoyed it, but then I stumbled across Bookworm and found myself drawn in. Without being particularly deep or richly detailed, it's still an interesting series. (I'm on the third book now.)

I don't know. I've read a lot of stuff since I last talked about what I'm reading. I always read a lot of stuff, okay? It's hard to keep track of what I've enjoyed and might want to recommend.

In the fantasy-mythology crossover arena, things I don't think I've recommended yet include:

I Bring the Fire - C. Gockel (Loki)
Mercury Series - Robert Kroese (Mercury)

The Mercury series is lighter and sillier than the Loki series, but they both have charm.

I just finished the first book in the Eno the Thracian series. I can't decide about reading any more. I enjoyed the first book (it's currently available for n/c for the Kindle) but the story was fairly slight. I can't quite decide if I liked it well enough to pay for additional books. I think I might--but my instinct is always to finish stories, you know? Still--I liked the protagonist. I may read more.

And, finally, just because I can't remember if I ever recommended it before, I do highly recommend The Emperor's Edge series.

The trilogy of the first three volumes is most cost-effective, but for those of us who like to "sample" before we buy, the first volume of the series is also available for free for the Kindle at the moment.

I play games

I also play games, yes. Still working on Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley even though I got two other games for Christmas. New games of the kind that I enjoy don't come out often--I'm learning to savor having a new one waiting.

Waiting in the wings, I have Fantasy Life. I've glanced at the opening scenes and I do think I'm going to enjoy this one, when I get time to play it.

I cook

Slow-cooker fun!

Cut up chicken breasts into 2" cubes. I used about a pound.
(If desired, spray the inside of your cooker with non-stick cooking spray. I didn't bother and it wasn't a problem although the flavor might have been even better with the oil browning the chicken a little. Although I dislike having to brown meat before putting it in the slow cooker, there's no denying that doing so does make a big flavor difference.)
Put in chicken cubes.
Mix honey mustard salad dressing (I used Ken's Lite) with water, 3-to-1, and pour over chicken to--barely--cover the meat.
Cook on high for 2-3 hours (for 1 lb of chicken) or 3-4 (for 2-3 lbs of chicken--can also cook on low for 6-7 hours).

Simple and amazingly tasty. I wish I could find a low-cal substitute for honey mustard salad dressing which, even in the "light" version, comes in at 80 calories a tablespoon, but I console myself with the thought that a single serving of this dish doesn't involve more than 3-4 tablespoons of salad dressing and it's not like I'm going to be eating it every day.

I could, of course, pour off the "sauce" and eat just the chicken--but I lack the willpower. I have a serious love of honey mustard salad dressing for many uses--none of which include using it on a salad.

I still haven't found what I'd consider a successful spaghetti sauce recipe for the slow cooker. The ones I've been trying are still coming in kind of watery and without a lot of flavor. I can cure the "watery" by adding an additional half hour or hour of cooking on high heat with the lid off, but that won't cure the flavor problem. I may be adding the herbs too soon (their flavor breaks down with long cooking) or I may not be adding enough. I can't decide.

My next experiment was going to be a teriyaki-pineapple pork chop thing but the recipe I was reading doesn't have a calorie count on it and I'm a little bit afraid of it.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:31 AM | Comments (2)

Picking Up the Pieces

Last week, my brain exploded all over everywhere and now I'm trying to put myself back together.

What caused this (characteristically melodramatic) behavior, you ask?

The discovery that the My Largest Account client (hereinafter referred to as The Big Crunch), the one who decided, in mid-March, to start taking their advertising seriously, had actually gone into their account and made something like 80,000 changes (seriously--no exaggeration) in three days.

Naturally, Louie Louie, who owns the client, was offline and out of touch last week. (What's up with that? These days, even when we travel, most of us are still checking our email multiple times a day.)

I clenched my fists after the first 40k changes and told myself that I could wait for Louie Louie to be back online to deal with it but then I had a little meltdown after the second 40k changes. There's a function that allows me to "roll back" certain kinds of changes in accounts and I took advantage of it.

Then I sent Louie Louie an email saying he could fire me if the client didn't like it but that I simply hadn't been able to sit and watch the oncoming train wreck without trying to do something to prevent it.

Blah, blah, blah, exchange of emails, he talked to the client, I am not fired, it's okay that I undid their edits.

Now I have to figure out how to undo their damage.

Before the client "helped," we were seeing 30% - 40% conversion rates (I know that means nothing to you but trust me, it's impressive) with an average cost of $10, well below the client's desired cap. In one day, that dropped to an 18% conversion rate for an average cost of over $40. Rolling back the changes got the conversion cost back down to just over $22 but the rate hasn't recovered yet. I have my fingers crossed for things to improve today.

In the meantime, I need to start putting together a massive spreadsheet to manage certain aspects of the 50+ campaigns, something that will help me keep track of my individual goals for each of the 1,200+ areas where the client recently set individual goals. It needs to be something I can use on an ongoing basis--which makes the problem tricky and interesting.

Anyhow. I know you don't really care, but that's where my brain has been. I discovered it right after I'd blogged last week and it took me this long to calm down enough about it to discuss it.

Previously, on Coffee Talk

Diet: Didn't lose any weight last week. Unsurprising. Holding steady at having lost 4-1/2 or 5 pounds. Another 10 to go. (Denver's "winter" weather is helping this year. It's warm and sunny every day, making it easier and more enjoyable to exercise.)

New-ish clients: Both new-ish initiatives (NewBroom and The Laddies) seem to have, so to speak, gotten their feet under them, and are getting traction. Although results remain unimpressive, the accounts are beginning to drive at least some traffic to the clients' websites. It's a start.

NewBroom is an interesting initiative. It's a test case where, if I can figure out how to produce success, we might be able to roll this initiative out to another 20 accounts or so in the near future.

The size and "shape" of the industry reminds me of my early days with the Argonuts, which is kind of fun. I'm interested enough in it to have offered to waive my (already very low) fee for a couple of months while I work with the account to figure out how to get results.

(I know, I know. I'm supposed to be in this as a business and not merely to amuse myself.)

The Laddies is just a basic, stand-alone account. It wasn't that interesting until it started so slowly. That lured me in and now I'm determined to beat it into shape.

New clients: Louie Louie hasn't yet heard back from the medium-large new client he's talking to, so I don't know if that one's going to fly or not.


Yes, I do mostly think about work. No one seems to believe me when I say that I am fascinated by what I do, but I am.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Now, it's just snowing

Yesterday it was warm and sunny, today it's snowing and raining, in a couple of days, it will be 70 again.

Winter in Colorado.

Previously, on Coffee Talk

Diet: Down 4-1/2 lbs, so making good progress toward my "lose 15 lbs or bust" goal.

New clients: One large(ish) sized new client on the horizon. I can't decide if I really want to handle the account or not. I don't really have a good feeling about it, but you never know.

New-ish clients: Both previously mentioned new initiatives continue to stumble along. I can figure out no reason why these accounts are doing so poorly.

Old clients: The owners of my largest account suddenly remembered that they are advertising online and, for the first time in six months, they're paying attention. The size of the account doubled, they've requested a 1,000% increase in results, and I bumped my fee about 75%.

Otherwise, Chez Moi

I can't think of anything to add.

I'm not watching anything "live" on television, which seems to be a lot of what people talk about online. I've rewatched my Sherlock DVDs a few times recently and I am very excited about the prospect of another season.

(As a long-time fan of the original books, I would not have believed the characters could be brought into the 21st century with any degree of success. I'm impressed with how well this has been done.)

Still knitting/crocheting, but not quite as obsessively as I was. It remains a good way to keep my hands busy so I can't snack all evening and I've completed four or five projects so far this winter, but sometimes I have other things I want to do.


Laundry. Sometimes I do laundry.

Or cleaning. I clean things. Sometimes.

I go for walks every day, exercise being part of my new health (and weight loss) regime.

Mostly, I console myself with the realization that this kind of hibernation is my normal winter behavior.

I had books I wanted to talk about, but now I've bored myself stupid, so I'll stop.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:15 AM | Comments (8)

Thursday, February 26, 2015
It's Snowing Diamonds

This morning, the sun broke through the lingering clouds and shattered the rain of tiny snowflakes into diamond dust.

I love when that happens.

The R.C. is taking her second snow day this week today. It's not that we've gotten a lot of accumulation as much as, unusually for us, very wet snow, and the subzero temperatures mean a lot of ice on the roads.

Another storm is supposed to move in this afternoon.

These days, I'm playing with the slow cooker Santa brought me. Yesterday, I made corn chowder. Mmmm. (Although the recipe didn't call for it, I did put in a bit of chicken, for protein, and a tablespoon or so of bacon crumbles because--bacon. Mmmm.)

This is probably the most successful dish I've made so far. I've tried a couple of spaghetti sauce recipes but neither of those turned out to be anything special. They were--edible.

Not that it matters. Stepping on the scale a couple of weeks ago, I came to the painful realization that it's time and past time I started taking some of this excess weight back off. I'm down two pounds so far is all, but I'm working on it. 13 to go.

Hmmm. What else?

How about the work front?

Since I last rambled, I picked up a very annoying new agency. They handed me two tiny accounts--accounts previously mismanaged into oblivion, a fact they didn't disclose up front--and instantly started sucking up enough of my time (200+ email in 90 days!) to make it impossible for me to focus on anything else. Good grief.

At the end of January, I fired them.

They declined to depart.

Last week, they emailed that they had decided my work was sub-par and were leaving.


It's interesting how that happens--many clients refuse to be fired. Once I suggest to them (with more or less tact, depending on just how annoying they've been) that it's time for them to move on, many of them refuse to take the sledgehammer hint. And then, a short time later, just long enough to make it seem like they are acting independently, they announce their departure.

Me, mostly I don't care who gets to make the decision. If they want to feel like it's their choice, that's fine. As long as they go away, you know? But this one was sort of amusing because they sent me an email pointing out, in fake shock, that results were simply not what they were looking for.

My days are brighter when I wake up and realize that I won't be hearing from them any more. :)

I already had two other new accounts waiting in the wings but, on the down side, I launched the new initiatives last week and am now staring at them in concern--watching as nothing happens. This is a new experience for me. I build, I load, things happen. I can't quite figure out what's wrong, although I strongly suspect the clients' predictable demand for low costs. It's--a challenge.

Really, aside from work, all I do is play computer or Nintendo games, watch a bit of television, do some knitting or crocheting (a hobby I fall back on when I need to keep my hands too busy to eat with), go for daily walks, etc.

Quiet. Reasonably peaceful.

Not a bad life at all.


Posted by AnneZook at 09:22 AM | Comments (8)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Okay, world, calm down

Things are humming along here chez moi.

Got the big new account up and running. (It is, predictably, a nightmare to manage, so I'm having fun.)

The second new account, a sort of medium one, should be live by the end of this month. After waiting 2 months for the client to provide me with some text I needed, I did a swap with Gidget and she's writing the text for me in trade for some work I did on an account she took on (but doesn't know how to handle).

Picked up another small new account last week, I need to do some work on that one today so I can bill for it this month. Another small one from the same agency won't be coming online until next month, which gives me a bit of breathing room there.

Today a contact contacted me with two more referrals. I haven't talked to either of them yet but one of them should be decently medium-sized.

Feast or famine, that's my life. If this keeps up, I'll have to go back to working an 8-hour day at least a few days a week. :)

I'm not complaining (well, not really) because my finances can use the boost right now but as I'm sure y'all remember, I didn't become self-employed for the pleasure of working hard a lot of the time.

The Unsavory Skin Condition continues to annoy. It's a lot better, but there's a large gap between "better" and "no longer an issue." My research on the topic confirms that this is less an "outbreak" than the opening movement of a life-long condition. The best I can hope for (and I do hope) is for it all to go into remission--something some lucky sufferers see for months or years at a time.

In the meantime, I itch.

Although "itch"is a small and simple word. It completely fails to convey the magnitude of the situation. (I am so over this entire adventure.)

After an uncharacteristically cool and rainy summer, we're having a warm and rainy autumn so far. Temperatures are supposed to hit 90 by Friday. If this moisture level continues into the winter, it will be one of those years I'll be grateful for my six-step commute.

Today, my biggest excitement may come when I walk across the street to see if my hairdresser can fit me in for a cut. My scalp hasn't been healthy enough to get my hair cut in four months. There are no words for how excited I am about the thought of getting all this mess out of my eyes! I still can't get it dyed--I have (slim) hopes for next month, before I travel, but not looking at the world through a hank of hair will be a huge improvement.

In other words, things seem to be settling down around here. I am--so grateful at the prospect of returning to my uneventful, routine, placid existence. You have no idea.

Hope any excitement in your lives is more fun than frustrating!

Posted by AnneZook at 10:57 AM | Comments (2)

Monday, September 1, 2014
Tipping Toward the Good

Okay, what's been going on?

Well, all of the non-paying clients paid up and I, in turn, was able to pay most of my bills this summer. That was a little spot of joy.

I got run out of the apartment for a full day unexpectedly, after the Great Ceiling Flood debacle, so that painters could come in and repaint the living room ceiling. That was kind of a pain but it's nice to have a clean ceiling so 50/50 on the good/bad scale.

A second new client came on board. This was a much larger initiative than I've tackled on my own before. Without getting into details that would bore you, I'll just say there were about 97k elements to be created and organized. It took me most of seven days to do the work, and another two days to proofread and correct tiny errors, but the client had a Labor Day launch deadline and I was ready with two days to spare!

I like a project that looks bigger and more complicated than I can deal with. I get too few challenges of that type. Definitely to the good.

This summer has been, by and large, cooler and wetter than any summer we've had in recent years. I've really enjoyed that. Good.

A week ago I walked into the bathroom to wash my hands and found the sink full of black water, with water dripping from the pipes underneath. Bad.

One emergency call to the maintenance service later and we discovered that there was some kind of sewer back-up going on in our building.

They came, they repaired, I cleaned. Blech. I wound up throwing some of the cleaning rags away when I'd finished--I couldn't imagine they'd ever wash clean enough to use again and putting all of that black yuck back into the sewer system didn't sound like a wise idea.

The rest of the icky bad is medical and under the cut because I whine at length about it.

(If you skip it, you won't miss anything interesting or important. It's not related to a terminal disease or anything.)


Continue reading "Tipping Toward the Good"

Posted by AnneZook at 09:03 AM | Comments (2)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
3 - 2 - 1 - Launch!

I've felt that way for two days now.

Late Monday evening, we had one of those massive rainstorms. Brief but violent, with the rain pouring at a pace that suggested someone was emptying an Olympic-sized swimming pool off the roof.

(Before I get distracted by The Rest of the Story, let me add that during the early part of the rain, I kept hearing an odd thump every few seconds. I was standing on the balcony, trying to figure out if it was baseball-sized hail or what, when some kind of missile flew past my head.

As it turns out, someone upstairs was un-potting houseplants and throwing the matted dirt/plant rootballs off the balcony and into the bushes at the front of the building. Dangerous.

Some people treat the common areas of this complex like a public dumpster.

They are why we can't have nice things.)

Anyhow, to return to our primary topic today, a few minutes after the deluge, came the drip. An uncharacteristic drip that penetrated even my late-evening gaming stupor.

A quick glance was all it took to reveal the damp (and spreading) stain on the ceiling. A leak!

(This is not our first time at this particular rodeo but it continues to annoy. We live on the second floor of a four-story building. When the stupid roof leaks, why does it always leak into our apartment, instead of the top two floors?)

Where was I?

Oh, yes. A leak! In fact, five leaks in the living room ceiling.

I'm running around putting down buckets and spreading out industrial-sized garbage bags to protect the geriatric carpet when the R.C. comes out of her bedroom to inform me that at least three leaks have developed in her ceiling as well.

Maintenance people, carpet cleaning, promises of roof patching before the next round of storms, blah, blah, blah.

After the carpet cleaning, that service guy left Jet Engine Fans blowing over and under the carpet, to make sure it all got really, really dry. I've been listening to them for two days now.

I think I kind of forgot where I was going with this story.

Massive rainstorm. Roof leak and/or roof drains overflow. Our ceiling leaks. I run around at midnight, frantically unplugging electronics and dismantling the computer network that--naturally--lives right under the multiple leaks in our ceiling.

Loud fans.

A reliable source told me it could have been worse. The first-floor apartment had an inch of water on their floor.

Shudder. They have those new faux-wood floors, so it wasn't a matter of damaged/dirty carpet, but any non-metal/non-plastic item touching the floor would have gotten saturated with filthy, drained-off-the-roof-and-down-through-the-walls-and-ceiling water.

Which, at a guess, would include most people's furnishings--couches, chairs, bedding, etc. We were, in retrospect, very lucky that nothing we owned was damaged.

To recap: We're getting a lot of rain during this 'monsoon' season and some of it came indoors.

= = = = = = = = = = =

For those of you playing along at home:

1) The multi-tooth extraction went smoothly and more quickly than the experts warned me it might.

I spent the first twelve hours in a percoset-induced haze of contentment. I ate carefully for the next 4-5 days.

A non-event, drama-wise.

2) All of those "too many new clients" I was complaining about in May? I've already fired all but one of them. I was not making good choices this spring. Sigh.

One of the fired ones still hasn't paid me. They've been blandly polite when I've called about this matter, but I don't seem to get any answer to my inquiries about payment. I'm becoming annoyed.

I think I deserve to be paid for the work I did. The fee I was charging them was very small--but it's the principle of the thing, you know?

3) Another, long-term client went away. No big loss except that the agency I was working through announced that they were not billing the last for the last 30 days of work and thus would not be paying me. At the time, I didn't argue the point very strongly but I'm still holding a grudge over the $600.

This is what I get for working with the wrong people, I know. That agency is black-listed now.

4) The new client that's still on my books is 30+ days behind paying their bills.

I've handled this one carefully, this should be a decent, long-term account. This past week they told me that the check is in the mail (sigh) and so I'm waiting to see if it arrives.

4) Another new client has just come on board. I haven't gotten their 'stuff' active yet, but I've put in enough hours that they understand I'll need to bill them for July.

I'm getting rained on and not getting paid.

That pretty much sums up June and July.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:33 PM | Comments (1)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
I've Been Keeping Myself Amused.

I travel. I took a Familial Visit to Kansas in April, on the occasion of my oldest niece's wedding.

Two weeks later, there was a visit to my Wisconsin friends, to meet the baby goats, help weed the garlic, and plant asparagus.

Then home, where I fired three clients, started the process of getting a new one through the decision process, and celebrated the unusual (for me) occurrence of traveling without picking up any kind of traveling germs and winding up sick.

I watch DVDs. This past weekend, I checked out and watched the first two movies of The Librarian series. Currently have the third one on request. Certainly worth the viewing if you like light-hearted and amusing, which I do. Also, the movies steal from everyone from Indiana Jones to Harry Potter to The Mummy and beyond. I can see spotting the various thefts as a good drinking game. The wiki entry says it's been green-lighted for 10 episodes of a television series. Although it's all-new characters, how can you not love a series that's centered around a library? I plan to give it a try, if it actually airs.

I read books. I just finished Kevin Hearne's Shattered, the latest Iron Druid novel. Excellent, as always.

(I should mention that, reading these on the Kindle, I'd never really seen the covers that the website displays before. They don't really "fit" my image of the books.)

I tried and failed to enjoy Terry Brooks' Magic Kingdom series. Reading the first couple reminded me of why I gave up on the Shannara series so many years ago. When Brooks starts writing a book, he has one story to tell and that's all. He tells it in the most linear fashion possible, then stops. No nuance, no intertwining plots, nothing interesting in the way of character development, no surprises. Boring.

I cook. I tried a Leek and Potato soup a week or so ago. I froze it in serving-size portions and I'm still eating it. Mmm. Nothing could be simpler or more delicious. Next time I may add some chunks of ham or maybe some bacon bits, just to see what it does to the flavor. It's delicious now, but I'd like a bit of protein in it. (Also, adding bacon is always to the good.)

I visit dentists. Blech. About a week ago, I woke up with half my face all swollen. I've been on antibiotics for the last seven days and today I'm scheduled to go in and get four teeth extracted on the top left. And then the lovely expense of a denture-device (since I can't afford the $5k-a-tooth permanent implant route).

I'm currently debating whether or not it's worth the expense to pay for a temporary device to carry me through the six-week healing period before I can get the permanent one. $760 seems like a lot to pay for six weeks of vanity. On the other hand, even though I spend most of my time home alone, the idea that I'd be afraid to open my mouth for fear of looking like hillbilly white trash for six weeks--I dunno. Considering I have another extraction needed (lower right), I might be better off saving the $760 to help pay for it, you know? I just can't decide.

That's what I've done recently.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:09 AM | Comments (2)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Sorry, I don't get out much

I really don't, but it's only Wednesday and so far I've been out twice this week!

I had lunch with some ex-coworkers on Monday and had to drive to Boulder for a semi-work thing yesterday, after which I took myself out to lunch again. Saffron Chicken on Monday and Mongolian Chicken yesterday. Mmmm. (Yes, all the people I saw were nice and I had great conversations with all of them, but the food is what I'm fixating on.)

I do not know what is this thing "Winter Soldier" that so many people I know are talking about but I also do not know what is this thing "Game of Thrones" that most of the rest of the world is talking about, so I'm equally ignorant in all areas of my life. Whatever. Contemporary culture has never been my area of expertise or high interest.

I finished a 7-book series that I actually really liked on the Kindle last week. I immediately started over, reading through all seven books but cherry-picking only the scenes I wanted to revisit. It was advertised as steampunk, which isn't something I'm deeply interested in, but it also came highly recommended and the first three books in the series were on special for $0.99, so I took a chance. It's not actually steampunk, just more-or-less standard fantasy, and it's not phenomenal, the writer's world-building was sketchy. but it's pretty darned good. Good enough that I was more than willing to pay "full" price for the next four books, which is saying quite a

Work has been--hectic. Saturday, I got up and worked, stopped for lunch, then came back and worked the rest of the day. Sunday, I--just worked.

Part of it was because I knew I'd be offline for a few hours on Monday and Tuesday and I didn't want to fall behind, but not all of it. The rest of it is my own fault. I accepted too many new accounts at once. For one of them, I knew from the start that I probably wouldn't be able to provide success. I'm still struggling, but I may cut them loose soon.

And I have a paid consult scheduled for tomorrow afternoon that I need to go get ready for. Busy, busy, busy.

Mother's Little Helpers are all chatting back & forth via email today, about how the forum isn't accessible. It's--distracting. Some days, my brain is all-too willing to be distracted from doing productive work.

There's an event being held and I had to choose between attending the UK version and the US version. I wanted to go to the UK but even with someone else paying for the trip, that kind of travel can be expensive, and I'm already committed to two trips this spring (family, friends). It amazes me how much I spend, even when someone else is picking up airfare, hotels, & meals, you know? And with exchange rates? Expensive.

Still. London. Sigh. I love London.

I'm a little bitter, yes.


P.S. The client call I thought I'd double-scheduled? Was actually scheduled for today, not yesterday, in spite of the calendar reminder for Tuesday. And yesterday, they rescheduled it to next week, instead.

I can't believe they don't understand why I can never figure out when these calls are supposed to take place.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:22 AM | Comments (1)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Someone is threatening to change a thing I barely understand into something I don't get at all.

I can't be more specific (I'd have to kill you sort of thing) but the net result today has been to send me into a bit of a funk. When I decided to settle on a "career" at the age of 50, I should have chosen something less technical--something less prone to changing frequently and radically.

Yeah, I know, it's April 1. Unfortunately, the official announcement of the change came yesterday, so it's not a joke.

I need to take a solid week off and spend it doing nothing but studying and getting caught up on my field but I don't see that happening any time soon. Sigh. Whenever I stop to open a learning site, my brain just skitters aware from it all, unwilling to try to cope.

And I think I scheduled a meeting in Boulder next week over the top of a monthly client conference call. Which means I'll wind up doing the call while I commute. (Thank goodness for hands-free devices, including Glass.) I don't want to reschedule the meeting--they're paying for my time. But the client call--this is the one where it goes on for 90 minutes and my participation is rarely needed after the first 15.

I dunno. *hands* I got all these new clients and I should be busily and happily buried under an avalanche of work. I was yesterday.

Today, I'm just not happy.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 27, 2014
And then things got strange

First, vision.

Stable, I'm told. In truth, it hasn't changed much since that post-surgery week. I still need 1.5x reading glasses for the computer and 2x reading glasses for playing games or reading. Aside from sleeping, 90% of my time is spent looking at a computer or reading/playing games.

The things I can do without corrective lenses? Driving, looking at the television, taking a shower. I drive, maybe, once a week. I listen to the television often but rarely look at it. And I know where my parts are all kept, so being able to see them clearly in the shower isn't important. (Also? I would rather not see it so clearly when the shower isn't as clean as it should be.)

Basically, I can see really, really well when it comes to things I don't do or don't need to see. For the things I do all the time, I traded wearing $1,000 corrective lenses, perfectly adjusted to my eyes, for cheap "reading" glasses.


And then last week was bad. For no real reason, things were just--a little off all week.

Starting with Monday morning when I stepped into the (dirty!) shower, turned on the faucet, and got a lifeless trickle of icy water. Turns out the building's water was "off for maintenance" and no one I was able to contact could give me any idea (An hour? A day? A week?) of how long the situation was going to last. Since the water and/or hot water had been off intermittently the Friday and Saturday before, this made me cranky.

Coincidentally, an email arrived in my inbox asking me to "review" the apartment complex and asking for permission to publish my review. Like I said--a bad day. I unloaded all over them about a whole list of things I think they should be dealing with around the complex. I never let myself send emails when I'm mad but this time I was just too pissy to be sensible. (Yes, of course I sent an apology later.)

And I sent out a profusely apologetic email to eight people on Tuesday, telling them how sorry I was that I'd missed the scheduled monthly client conference call. After a criss-crossing of responses it was finally revealed that the conference call was scheduled for Thursday and that everyone thought I was crazy. (In my own defense, the subject line of the email scheduling the call did say Tuesday. And showed Tuesday's date.)

I took the time to leave some book reviews on Amazon (because I rely heavily on reader reviews myself) and since 90% of everything published is dreck--a statistic that may be underestimating the percentages since the advent of "self-publishing"--some of my reviews were not that complimentary.

As I discovered, people can comment on your reviews and people took exception to my criticism of one book. Including the author.

But I stood by my critique. Learning the craft should not be too much to ask if you're going want people to pay you money for what you write, okay? If you don't understand what POV, pacing, and narrative structure are? Go. Learn.

Also? Auto-correct? Not your friend.

Someone commented that I was "picky." Ever since, I've been fighting the urge to post back and say, "No, not picky. Just educated."

And then I posted something to a professional forum and made a couple of errors. Nothing traumatic--linked to a comment instead of the main article I was discussing & credited the commenter for the original post. When someone pointed those errors out, I fixed them within 10 minutes of first posting but the "someone" who found them is one of those types who are always lurking around, desperately trying to prove that everyone else is wrong. He jumped all over this mistake, up to and including reporting me for "abusing" the article's actual author. And it turned into sort of a kerfuffle.

And then, on Friday, I completely forgot about a lunch with some old co-workers that I'd been looking forward to for a week. I contacted them, I arranged it all, then I didn't show up. So lame.

I was not sorry to see last week limp to an end, I can tell you that.


This week, I'm happy to say, is going much better!

One, then two, then three potential clients I'd pitched to have decided to move ahead.

Granted, it might have been simpler had they not all decided on the same day, but I'm much less dangerous when I'm busy than I am when I have too much time on my hands. Anyhow--here it is, only Thursday, and all three of them are already up and running, so, productive!

I still need to do research for a fourth, but that's just an additional initiative for an existing client.

And my old coworkers were forgiving and we're trying for lunch again tomorrow.

Today, I stopped by the post office to pick up a parcel (Pratchett's newest book) and then swung by the bank to deposit a check I've been tripping over for a week.

After which, I stopped by the gas station and got hit on by a drunk guy waiting in line at the cash register

So, you know, a better week. But still a little weirdness going on.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:19 PM | Comments (6)

Friday, December 13, 2013
Drama-free Zone


Task: Pay a stranger thousands of dollars to point a dangerous laser at me and carve up my eyes.


I don't know what my vision is going to be like eventually (your eyesight "bounces around" for a few months) but right now, it's not bad. I can see clearly--across the room, across the street, down the street, etc. I can't see a computer screen clearly without 2x reading glasses--a much stronger lens than I've ever needed before, but early reports seem confident that this is a short-term issue.

I paid a small fortune for my last pair of glasses and never really liked them. But now--it's been months and months since I've seen myself without glasses and I'm weirded out by how I look. (When did my eyes get so small? Have I always had beady eyes?)

The diet, of course, went by the wayside this week. For no good reason than I felt like indulging myself. That stops this weekend--next week I'm back at it. I certainly can't afford to have these tiny little eyes lost in a sea of fat. (By which I mean I still have 10 lbs to lose.) (So, no drama, but maybe a bit of melodrama.)

I haven't put any weight back on, I just haven't been trying to lose any over the last five days. Feeling sympathetic for myself is not, I think, a really good reason to go off the rails.

Work continues--workish. It's still tricky to stare at a computer screen for too many hours, so I haven't done more than 3 or 4 hours at a sitting so far. It's been enough to almost keep up. (My vision will improve dramatically after today, I'm told, when I no longer have to use the anti-inflammatory or antibiotic drops.)

Today I have two major projects to accomplish--checking one account I handle for another agency and a consultation call with another guy I could not get rid of and who I am, in consequence of not being in the mood, once again charging $100/hour for the privilege. (There's something wrong with the grammar there but it's hard enough to get my fingers on the right keys this week. Expecting me to be able to think is just unreasonable.)

Are y'all enjoying the grotesquely cold weather we sent your way? We didn't enjoy it when it was on our doorstep. Highs for the last couple of days have been in the mid-40s, which has been feeling positively balmy compared to last week's temps. I've been trying to walk in the afternoons, when the air is warmest, just to bask in it. If I can get through enough work this morning, I'm walking to Whole Foods (turkey and olives) and/or Target (eye drops and a humidifier filter) this afternoon.

If I get really ambitious, I might drive to the bank--I have checks I need to deposit. I ran my checking account very close to the edge with that $4k+ check I wrote for the lasik this week.

There's some kind of long-term weather forecast rumor that another arctic cold front is going to move in on us around the 21st of this month. Must remember to stock up on the basic necessities (coffee!) before then.

Today's the day Gidget leaves town. Sigh. The house sale closes today--she's already packed and they are leaving for Tx today. I don't mind to go visit my friends if they live elsewhere, but I do wish she was going to be living in an elsewhere that I wanted to visit.

I did try on my G^^gle Glass, just to see if it was going to work with my post-surgery vision and it will. Now all I need is to go back through the training vids so I remember how to use it.

I had a Mysterious Rash on my scalp--I don't think I remembered to mention that before? Came on in September and in spite of most of a tube of cortisone cream, continued to drive me bonkers for months. About a week ago,I finally got around to doing an intense search of teh internets, which provided me with the information that I might be developing an allergy to the sulfites used in commercial shampoos. I bought a tester size of a on-sulfite shampoo and voila! It's been a week and I'm almost rash-free. (One tiny spot left in the area where it was most severe.) That's a relief--my fear was that I was becoming allergic to the hair dye I've been having applied since I was 22 and that I'd have to let my hair go to my natural color which is, by now, completely gray.

And now I'm going to stop because while 2x reading glasses do help, it's too hard to read what I'm typing and I need to save my eyes for productive work.

Hope your holidays were bright, those of you who have already had yours. For those of you whose holidays are still imminent, I hope you're having fun getting ready!

Posted by AnneZook at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 1, 2013
More of Me Being Me

Happy Thanksgiving to y'all and happy Chanukah (Hanukkah) where appropriate.

Update on eyeballs: I am a good candidate for both surgeries--the one that takes months to recover from and the one where you can see again later that same day. Guess which one I selected?

I'm seeing my opthamologist again on Wednesday for the final-final pre-test and then the surgery itself is scheduled for Monday morning, Dec 9. Although snow is predicted for the day I have to drive 20 miles to for the final-final, so far the forecast is promising no winter weather conditions on the actual surgery day.

The painful transfer of 80% of my savings to my checking account happened on Friday.

I need to start putting money back in as soon as possible. It makes me--uneasy, not to have some kind of emergency "pad" these days. (I mean, sure, I could always start cashing out 401k accounts, but that's really a last resort sort of move.)


Eating: I did not overeat on Thanksgiving. The idea of committing gluttony just because of a date on the calendar--I don't know. It doesn't have the same kind of appeal it did 20 years ago.

Possibly I'm getting too disconnected from the whole holiday spirit thing.

Shopping: I haven't spent money so far this weekend. The biggest shopping season of the year and I haven't found a reason to buy anything beyond a bit of (diet) food. We went to a local art supply store, a favorite destination, where I was allowed to buy nothing :( because everything that I saw and loved was something I already owned.

Decorating: I'm more in tune with the rest of the country here. I did go & get the decorations out of storage and plan to put everything in place later today.

Fun: I haven't lacked for Holiday Fun so far, thanks to the R.C., who came up with a non-caloric way of creating "gingerbread houses" for seasonal decor.

Granted, these were actually foam kits designed as projects for kids, but we spent an amusing 3 hours (each) on Thursday afternoon, smushing foam pieces into foam slots. I think the results are festive.

Other than that, I've been working each day as normal. When you're in advertising, you can't take holiday shopping weekends off.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Being Me

Another, rare, update. It's not that I don't love y'all, it's just that I don't have anything new to say. The thing about working alone at home is that your life is very same-y.

#1 - Diet progressing slowly. Too many indulgences, not enough exercise. Still have a good 10 lbs to lose.

#2 - Gidget is leaving me. :( Her house, which has been listed for sale for over a year, has sold. The sale closes in mid-December and I suspect it won't be long before her husband completes his plan to drag her to the wilds of the Lone Star state. (I would never marry a man who fancied himself as a frontiersman type. Blech.)

She's my last local friend*--all the others already moved to other parts of the country in the past few years. (I know--I've bitched about this already.)

The R.C. says she wants to move to Arizona, where it's always warm, and I'm thinking of moving north where it's not miserably hot every summer, so who knows? I could be the last one in my (non-familial) social circle to leave The Perfect Place To Live.

I love Denver. I'd miss it. (Although, one of the reasons I'm considering moving north is that I like the little town my Meg-friend lives near. I can almost picture myself living there, pretending I'm in Mayberry again.) (On the other hand--it's sort of a "country" area and there are bugs. I'm not a fan.)

#3 - Webstrainer has a new program. They offered to let the Mother's Little Helpers group participate in the beta. I wasn't interested and didn't sign up. Then they kept emailing me and with one thing and another, I got guilted into signing up.

Sigh. I have too many non-paying projects going on already and, okay, this one involves me getting paid if people sign up for it, but the money isn't really worth the time it will take away from my long-term clients.

Also, it involves being available for videoconferences at the drop of a hat and I do not sit around looking camera-ready all day, every day. In fact, it takes an hour of prep for me to look anything remotely non-scary on camera.

I bought a lot of new make-up, so at least I managed to turn an annoying inconvenience into a shopping opportunity. :)

#4 - One of last year's holiday clients came back (this morning) which will be a nice income boost for the next 60 days or so. Also, less work than taking on a brand-new client since I suspect they've just left everything I did for them last year in place.

#5 - Have you heard of G^^gle Glass? Unquestionably the sexiest way to access the internet (or listen to music or whatever) I've ever seen, and that includes random SF movie depictions of implant devices.**

Not inexpensive, but invites are not handed out to just everyone (the rollout is happening slowly) so those who get invites either strut around gloating or offer them for sale online (going price for the invite alone is, IIRC, around $400 at the moment. And then you still have to pay $1,500 to actually redeem the invite.) I mention it because (yes, about to gloat), I received an invite two days ago.

And then I bought it.

I'm a bit unhappy that my order arrived in white, rather than the futuristic dark gray I wanted but whatever. I'm cooler than you. I'm cooler than almost anyone. (I may call them to exchange it for the right color, though. Until I decide, I'm leaving it in the box.)

#6 - Think of me, next Wednesday at 9am. My pre-test for the lasik surgery will be happening then. Apparently, to make it all as complicated and as slow as possible, I need to have a follow-up with my actual opthamologist afterwards, so he can repeat everything he's already told me about the surgery. After that, I can actually schedule it. IIRC, the surgeon only works at this facility two or three days a month so goodness only knows when I'll actually get it done.

I tend to be slow coming to decisions but once I've made them, I'm impatient to move forward.

Also, I can't really take advantage of Glass until I get rid of these prescription glasses. You can't wear glasses over glasses, after all.

Sheesh. Hangouts, helpouts, forum participations, new clients, new toys, elective surgery. Once I stopped to write it all down, it sounded less same-y than I thought!


* Aside from the R.C., of course.

** Beyond the fun for technophiles like myself, think of what this could mean for the world.

Surgeons with access to additional information or test results in the OR. Firefighters coordinating rescue efforts. Quadriplegics given access to the internet via voice command--making phone calls, sending emails, searching, connecting, etc.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:02 AM | Comments (3)

Sunday, October 20, 2013
I Did Make It Back

I post so irregularly any more that you probably knew that, but I thought I'd confirm it.

The trip went--well. I guess.

Before I left, The R.C. read me my horoscope for the week and it threatened me with enormous popularity and success. As happens from time to time, this forecast was accurate. I was hugged, air-kissed, hand-shaked, consulted, listened to, photographed, videoed, and I don't know what-all.

Me, being me, I found it exhausting and not a little weird. I'm much more comfortable sitting alone in my office, belittling myself for the things I should know but don't than I am being publicly recognized, even as part of a group, for being outstanding, you know? (Anyhow, the recognition for Outstandingness was not around my actual work skills but around my willingness to donate time to a volunteer thing.)

On the other hand, I got to play with toys, I was given presents, I was fed really great food, I had the chance to buy myself even better food (a 10 oz lobster tail), and on my fourth visit to SF I finally managed to see at least a bit of the city.

So. Up side.

Also, there was booze, but that's more of a Social Obligation than a pleasure, at least for me. I didn't drink a lot but I hung out in the bar with the guys most every evening, so call it a couple of beers a day. And, speaking of the guys, I did get to spend a lot of time with some of the people I most like and respect in my field, which was, of course, the point of the entire trip.

Aside from that, a lot of it is a blur of exhaustion in my mind.

On the good news front, I did not pick up any weird germs or cooties in the airport on the way home, so Big Win there. I mean, I couldn't talk for three days after I got home, but that was just because I'd overused my voice.

But! Then the pictures started to come in and with each new one I was appalled afresh by how much weight I put on this last year when I was trying (and failing) to quit smoking. I put myself back on a diet and have lost 4-1/2 pounds so far. I have a ways to go, but it's a start. :::shudder:::

Since then? Well, I had to take a recertification exam last week and got the lowest score I've ever gotten on one of these. (It was my 5th or 6th one.) I passed, but it's still humiliating to think of the score.

For reasons that are too complicated to go into, I have to take two more exams, linked to a different email address. I'm going to go against my principles this time :) and actually review the study material. I'm good with what I know, but these are complicated programs and there are some bits I haven't really used--those are the ones that tripped me up on the last exam.

Really, that's about it. I traveled for a week, came home and have been trying to get back on schedule with all my work since then. I came up with some new ideas and plans during the trip and am still trying to organize my thoughts around if and how I can implement any of them.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:26 AM | Comments (3)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

So, I'm leaving town later today for a long business trip. (Well, half business, half "bonding" with colleagues.) I'll be back home next Sunday evening.

It's generous of Webstrainer to put on these conferences and pay for us to attend but at the moment, facing the dilemma of how to stuff seven days worth of stuff into a suitcase I won't be embarrassed to be seen hauling around is making my sunny Sunday less amusing than it would be otherwise.

The clothes aren't even the problem. Thanks to judicious shopping (and the R.C.'s discovery of the Magic Non-Wrinkling Trouser Brand) I can stuff a week's worth of clothes into a fairly small space. Shoes are a bigger problem but still achievable.

It's really the toiletries causing me problems. The older I get, the more lotions, potions, and magic paint it takes to get me through a day of being seen by the public. My normal workday any more consists of me sitting around in a baggy tee-shirt and a pair of shorts. Visuals are irrelevant--all that matters is whether or not my brain is functioning. For the coming week, my brain is less important than how I present myself. I hate that.

I'm testing the suitcase now--trying to decide if I need to go over to the storage unit and get the Mighty Big Suitcase out of hiding. I have two pair of shoes and my underthings in this one so far and it's over half full. Not a promising start.

I yearn for days past when I could toss in a couple of pairs of jeans and a couple of polo shirts and know I'd look just fine.

Wish me luck.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:50 AM | Comments (2)

Friday, September 13, 2013

As someone pointed out to me today, I need to change the most recent blog entry to reflect that, instead of burning down, Denver (and much of the Front Range) is currently washing away on a tide of 'monsoon' rains.

We have highways washed out, bridges washed away, roads undermined, town-wide evacuations up north, and a few deaths.

Other than that, I have lived much life since my last entry but don't have time today to go into details.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:12 PM | Comments (3)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Denver's Burning

Okay, maybe not the whole city, but you'd never know it by the thick pall of smoke in the air.

The city has seen two or three smallish fires in the last week or so--apartments or houses or restaurants that have caught on fire for one reason or another, but the primary source of the gray haze would be the multiple forest fires burning around the state. One of them is in Black Forest, south of Denver, and today's prevailing wind is from the south, so, haze.

This morning was the monthly conference call with the Vela Client of Aggravating Me. Wouldn't you know when I'm right on the verge of kicking them to the curb, this month they were all sweetness and love and what a wonderful job we're doing. Hmph.

I've been waiting days to walk to the pharmacy to get my prescription refill but apparently it's never again going to be less than 99 degrees*, so today I drove. It feels amazingly slothful to get in the car and drive somewhere that's barely more than a mile away but I am extraordinarilly heat-intolerant and I've had heat stroke in my life (more than once) and didn't have so much fun with it that I want to repeat the experience.

While I was out, I finally took the housewarming gift for the L-i-K-S (the one that's been sitting in my bedroom floor for two months) to the post office and got it sent. I feel virtuous about that, regardless of being months and months late getting around to it.

The Uninteresting Industry client I mentioned getting a nibble from (back early in March) has returned and appears to be serious about doing business. I am reluctantly allowing myself to be persuaded to take on one more very time-intensive account. Sigh.

Don't let the fact that I'm sitting here, blogging, fool you. I've been very productive today--tore through a lot of work and have quite a few creative ideas for what to try next if today's ideas don't pan out.

I just thought I'd post an update. It's hot. I'm working. New client on the horizon. Different day, same stuff.

P.S. But! I forgot to say that on Monday evening, I finally got back over to the electronics store to get a second monitor for my new computer and now I can actually see all of the things I want to see at once. (I would not have believed a day would come when one 23" monitor was insufficient for my needs.)


* Yesterday's high broke a record set before I was born. And it's early June. Does not bode well for the rest of the summer, does it?

Posted by AnneZook at 03:50 PM | Comments (4)