Bellevue Biddies

April 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Rants 

I swear, the next octogenarian who drives 23 mph down 164th ahead of me is going to be called in as drunk, unsafe, erratic or other. If you seriously can’t handle your vehicle at the speed limit, you should leave it at home in the driveway.


About To Lose It

June 2, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Rants 

I am so, so, so frustrated!  I will probably feel better after this rant and everything will be fine.  But I am feeling cosmicly thwarted lately, and I’ve been taking it pretty well in stride.  But I’m just about at the point where I want to scream!

I’m very happy to be back in the Seattle area.  So glad to be around my sister and friends again and feel very welcomed back by everyone.  I am getting plenty of business, both new and repeat clients.  And everything should be hunky-dory.

But my problem is these little things that are keeping me from succeeding with my work and catching up to where I need to be money-wise.  I missed 10 days of work moving and incurred a lot of expenses.  Now that I can work again and have plenty of business, other things are getting in my way.

The biggest thing is that the school district is dragging their feet HORRIBLY getting my son placed.  And he is so high-maintenance that I almost can’t work if he is around at all.  If I had known it was going to take them this long to place him, I would have gotten daycare for him or some kind of help before now.  I still don’t have a start date for him, and school ends June 18!  I had thought that I could catch up enough and get ahead enough with him in school, that when June 18 came around I could get by on just whatever little work I could do with him around.

The guy from the school district was supposed to meet me last Friday at the school to sign Charlie’s papers to enroll him but simply didn’t show up!  No one was expecting me and it took 40 minutes to figure out that I just needed to leave and they would have him call me when they could get ahold of him.  This threw me off and almost made me late for a business meeting.  Plus added a day to the process of getting him enrolled.  When he finally called later, all he had to say was, “I’m sorry I wasn’t able to meet with you this morning.”  No explanation.  No reason for standing me up and no apology for standing me up.  Just sorry he wasn’t able to meet.

So I met with him this morning, and it took all of about 4 minutes to sign the paperwork.  No big woop.  That was after wasting 40 minutes Friday to get this done.  Ridiculous.  Oh, and they still don’t have a start date for Charlie to give me.

In addition to that frustration (and feeling guilty for wanting my child to “go away” so that I can work), my internet has been flaky as hell.  Donna came and got Charlie today so that I could get 5 solid hours of work done, and as soon as she left, it just went down!

Now it’s back, but I re-started my computer out of desperation hoping that would make it come back, and when I did, all the stuff out of my drop-down had disappeared!  That is extremely minor, but it was the last fucking straw.  I can’t get any momentum or a head of steam going.  All I can do is this flaky little bit of work here and little bit there.  Nothing major, and no feeling of accomplishment ever!  I’m feeling ineffective as hell and like the universe is really fucking with me.  It pisses me off.  I’ve been here over two weeks now – I should be further along than still just playing catch-up.

Oh, and that is on top of this HORROR that happened to me while I was waiting for Donna to get here.  I had to have some work done on a tooth earlier this year and went to a dental college.  They drilled the tooth way too much in my opinion, doing a root canal, then the instructor came in and said they weren’t shoving the cone things in hard enough that go into your tooth after that.  So he did it and I about came out of my seat.  They hadn’t done the anesthesia properly to begin with, and I had just finally told them it was fine because I was sick of them poking me.  So I was already in hell.

So anyway, it felt like they about cracked that tooth when they did all of that.  And guess what – they must have.  Because a chunk of it broke off today.  It’s kind of back there, so it is barely visible.  But I can sure as hell feel it – it was only a little portion that broke off, but it left a jagged point which is hurting my cheek a little bit.  This also can’t be good for the tooth and my mouth over all.  I’m probably going to lose that tooth now.

Plus I’ll have to pay for it out of my pocket since I’m self-employed and have no insurance.  I guess I won’t be getting ahead any time soon.  I’m so freaking exhausted and need my life to normalize.

I need Charlie in school part of the time or maybe part time daycare, where I can count on uninterrupted time to work.  I need to catch up and, God forbid, get a little bit ahead.  I need that consistency and dependability because , fuck, I *need* a weekend and an end to the workday.  I haven’t had that in forever.

I’m ALWAYS WORKING, or trying to work, or trying to get a job, or something.  I need it to normalize.  I’m back in a place where there are places to go on the weekend and people to go these places with.  I need an end to this continual stress.

Universe, please, stop fucking with me!  I’m working hard.  I pulled myself up by my bootstraps.  I went from having less than nothing at the beginning of this year to starting not one, but two successful businesses.  Please, please, please give me a break or a breather and let me re-set!

Anyway….  I didn’t really have time to write this post.  But I hit a breaking point obviously.  Ok, I’m re-setting.  Giving it another go.  I still have time to get nearly 4 hours’ work in before Donna comes back with Charlie.  And then I’m closing business for the day!  I have to.  I’m just spent.  Maybe tomorrow will be better….

Oh, that reminds me.  I’m having lunch with one of my favorite clients in Seattle tomorrow!  It will be so cool to meet him face-to-face (I’ve only had the privilege of meeting one other of my clients in person so far), plus I’ll finally get to see the Space Needle.  🙂   Haven’t seen it since I’ve been back.  Ok, I’m happy again – Or somewhat optimistic, at least….

Transferring Your WordPress Blog From One Host To Another

March 7, 2008 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: blogging, Rants, Word Press, WordPress Tips 

OR:  The Bastids Stole My Widgets!

I took all the precautions and steps for a smooth transition when I transferred from one host to another, today, to make sure my WordPress stuff stayed in-tact.

I exported my old posts/settings and backed up everything from the server before I changed the name servers on my registrar.

The name propogated, I uploaded my exported XML file with my old posts/settings, and uploaded all the necessary schtuff to my new site as far as images and such.

A few tweaks here and there and – voila!  Beautiful transition.  But where are my stinking widgets?

I hand-coded from scratch a hole mess of widgets for my side bar and THEY ARE GONE!  I can re-write them, but geeze, oy, and ug.  Who knew they would just disappear in the transition?

Fortunately my execphp survived the transition (that’s what allows you to make php-capable widgets), and at least that plug-in is activated.  I’ll have to re-write my widgets this weekend, maybe Sunday, after I finish some work for my newest client.

In the meantime, my sidebar is ugly as sin –  ’cause the bastids stole my widgets!

(I’m Not Your) Freak-On-A-Leash

February 27, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Rants, Web Design, Word Press 

A lot of the web design business I get is from people seeking web design on Craig’s List.  And a lot of them say something similar, but that drives me completely bat-shit.  And that is this:

“I’ve already thought this all out, and I know what I want it to look like, so most of the work is done – thus it shouldn’t take too long to put together.”


Did you really think it all out?  You know what you want and how you want it to look?  How unusual.  And thus that solves all of the puzzle about how to make it do/look the way you want?

You’ve thought about how PHP and MySQL work together?  And how they fit into html and xhtml?  And CSS?  And how CSS demands STRICT xhtml?  And how the javascript and Flash and dHTML you want in there affects the CSS, xhtml, html, PHP and MySQL, not to mention your SEO endeavors and the layout?

No?  You didn’t think all of that through and solve for that?  I DIDN’T THINK SO!  That is the HARD part.  Duh.  Web designers/developers are not simply TYPING MONKEYS.

We do the architecture and construction, we are the one’s who make it work – who make it happen.  And that requires a tremendous amount of thought, skill, research, coding, design work, and (at times) trial and error.

It most definitely takes TIME.  And it is most definitely NOT EASY.  (And that is why we get the big bucks…)

Knowing how you want it to look and what you want it to do is not the hard part.

MAKING it look how you want it to look and DO what you want it to do – that is the hard part.

I might be a freak.  But I’m not your typing-monkey-freak-on-a-leash.  Get a clue.

By the way, I won’t touch jobs like this with a ten-foot-pole.  It’s only a Pandora’s box of conflict and heartache and probably very little compensation.

Oy, what we freelancers go through…..

Isn’t the Snow Pretty?

February 19, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Iowa, Rants, Weather 

5th Level of Hell

The Beauty of Iowa

It’s Cheaper* to Live in Iowa**

February 19, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Iowa, just life, Rants, Weather 

I moved to West Des Moines, Iowa, from Redmond, Washington one year ago and have not found it to be a less expensive place to live than where I came from.

Therefore there is no trade-off for the horrificly hot summer last year and un-ending hell of a winter that we’re going through now, or the fact that there is virtually no natural beauty and almost nothing to do outside of the pedestrian.

* Not including hats, gloves, mittens for the kids, winter coats, snowpants for the kids (required for school), boots for the kids (required for school), boots or sturdy shoes with traction for adults, huge heating bills, extra money for gas for letting your car warm up in the winter, special windshield wiper fluid that won’t freeze on the windows, ice scrapers, opportunity hours lost scraping ice and otherwise dealing with snow and ice, salt, snow shovel, wear and tear on your car, house prices that don’t go up so you actually lose money on your home any time you have to replace something like a water heater, etc. – thus you don’t get back your investment, rent in a comparable neighborhood is no cheaper than in the Seattle Metro area, state Income tax (the state I moved from had none), quality food like decent cheeses and wines cost nearly double here, and common food is marginally cheaper but health and beauty products are just high or higher so it evens out (and explains a few things)

 ** By “Iowa” I am referring to my experience in Iowa in the Des Moines Metro area.

Clintons vs Obamas “Two Against One?” Huh???

January 23, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Politics, Rants 

What's with the stupid shit???I’m sure Michelle Obama, who has been campaigning heavily for her husband, speaking at events, giving interviews, etc….  I’m sure she must be a bit INSULTED by Barack Obama claiming that the Clintons are attacking him “Two against one.”  What is Michelle Obama – chopped liver?

First I was for Hillary based on her programs and experience.  Then something Barack Obama said touched me and I switched to his camp for awhile.

But his making an all-out war with The Clintons where there is none, has just put me off to the point where I am back with Hillary.

I will volunteer for her campaign if she is nominated.

“Two against one…” what a whiner.  What a woosy.  What a liar.  I wonder what Michelle Obama had to say about that one!!!!

Do Starbucks and “Sugar In The Raw” Have A Strategic Alliance?

January 16, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Beverages, blogging, just life, Rants 

Starbucks Drive Thru SignPhoto Credit: Sherry Dedman

What is with the shameless pushing of “Sugar In The Raw” that seems to be going on at Starbucks?  I’ve been getting the same drink at Starbucks – a Triple Grande No-Whip Mocha – for years now.  And I usually just add the (white, normal) sugar at the little bar or whatever and leave.

But recently I decided I’d like to have the barista do it for me – seems more efficient and I wouldn’t have to mess with the lid and stuff.  Starbucks coffee (or espresso, in my case) is really good, but I don’t really want to spend any more time there than I have to in the morning, “happily” chatting with people before I’ve had my morning caffeine.

Well, you wouldn’t believe the problems that the simple act of requesting sugar in my coffee (espresso, actually) has caused.  Here are some of the ridiculous conversations requesting sugar in my coffee has caused:

ME:  “Hello, I’d like a triple grande no-whip mocha with 4 sugars, please.”

Starbucks Barista:  “Sugar In The Raw?”

ME:  “No, just regular sugar.”

Starbucks Barista:“We don’t have sugar.”

ME:  (I do a double take, then…)  “You don’t have sugar?”

Starbucks Barista:“No, we only have Sugar In The Raw.”

ME:  “Ok, whatever, 4 Sugar In The Raw, then.”

This was a conversation via the speaker at a drive-through (another reason I’ve taken to having the barista add my sugar for me – I finally found a neighborhood Starbucks in West Des Moines, Iowa, with a drive-thru.  Oddly enough, a Starbucks with a drive through is incredibly rare in this frozen wasteland, where you would think drive-throughs would be the norm due to the weather, but I digress…..)

Anyway, so I drive up to the window and the cashier processes my card while telling me how much better Sugar In The Raw is for me.  Whatever.  I really don’t care.  I just want my caffeine and don’t care to get into long discussions in the morning before I’ve had it.  Just give it to me!

I finally get my coffee and drive away.  And I drink it, and it’s like there is almost no sugar in it at all.  I have to be on the road for the next 20 minutes or so to be to my destination in a timely manner, so I don’t really have any choice except to drink my not-very-sweet mocha as it is.  (The add-shots of espresso of the “triple” are very intense and do need sugar or something to tame them.)

Er, anyway, it’s not-very-sweet until I get to the bottom….  Not only are the last few drinks exremely sweet, but they are very crunchy as well!  It took me a minute to figure out that these little crunchies were ‘Sugar In The Raw’ bits that had never dissolved.

Never dissolved even after being exposed to scalding hot espresso and steamed milk and then stirred.  After that it was sitting in this liquid for 20 minutes as I drank down my beverage, bit by bit, on my way to my destination.  Ish.  Still crunchy – as in non-biodegradable?  Another question for another time…  again, I digress…..

So the next time I ordered from Starbucks, I just put the sugar in myself, as I went inside.  Why they have sugar at the little self-serve bar but not available to the barista is far beyond me, but whatever.

Soon after that, though, I needed to hit the drive-thru again.  It was on my way, and I was kind of in a hurry.  I needed my caffeine so decided I would live with whatever they gave me.  I was resigned to “Sugar In The Raw” and did not desire a long conversation about it.

I ordered my drink at the speaker:

ME:  “I’d like a triple grande no-whip mocha with 4 sugars, please.”

Starbucks Barista:“Sugar In The Raw?”

ME:  “Well, since that’s all you have, then yes.”

Starbucks Barista:“We have Sugar in the Raw, Nutrasweet, Splenda….”

ME:  “I don’t want an artificial sweetener, just sugar.”

Starbucks Barista:“Well Sugar In The Raw is not artificial!”

ME:  (Shaking my head in exasperated disgust that this conversation had to happen again……) “Ok, I’ll take that, then.”

So I get to the window and am met by not only the cashier, but two baristas.  One who says how much better Sugar in the Raw is for you.  And another who says if I ask for him especially, he will measure out 4 measures of white sugar just for me after I tell him that Sugar In The Raw never dissolves well in my drink.  It was a debacle.

As a side note, happily, they did remember to give me my coffee after all of their clucking, squawking, and quacking.

So the next time, determined never to have this conversation again, I ordered my coffee like this:

“I’d like a triple grande no-whip mocha with 4 sugars-in-the-raw, please.”

Cool.  Works like a charm.  Until I get to the window and the cashier says,

“Oh, you’re the one with the big ‘Sugar In The Raw Fiasco’ aren’t you?  Did it taste all right?  Did we convert you???”

WTF…….  In stunned disbelief I thanked her grimly for my coffee and drove away, determined never to visit that particular Starbucks Drive Through ever again.  In my mind I imagined a Starbucks company newsletter and a story in it about how to handle customers who want (gasp) sugar in their coffee, with a headline reading, “The Great Sugar In The Raw Fiasco of 2008.”  And I am mortified.

So this morning…….

I walk in to a Starbucks.  I order my usual.  I say only “sugar” when I order, instead of “sugar in the raw” – just to see if they happen to have sugar packets.  Maybe it’s only that one drive-through that does not have white sugar packets.  I guess I’ll find out.

I order my drink.  The cashier does not correct me when I say “sugar.”  I feel optimistic.  I walk over to the other end of the counter and the barista starts preparing my drink.  She pulls out a little cup with all the sweeteners available to her. 

Sugar is not among them.  Sugar In The Raw is present in abundance.  She takes 4 packets of Sugar In The Raw and empties them into my drink after the espresso and steamed milk are added.

She stirs.  She stirs.  She stirs.  She looks up at me, still stirring her little heart out, and says, “I can still feel lot’s of little granuals down there.”

I say, “I know.  Sugar in the Raw does not ever dissolve when it’s put into my drink.”

I try very hard not to show that I am restraining a bit of a rant.

I try very hard not to let on to her that her words were the “third base” punchline in a long-running Abbott and Costello routine.  I try very hard, and succeed, to maintain my composure.

I thank her for my drink.

I leave.

20 minutes later I am crunching my little Sugar In The Raw granuals……

And I wonder – why does Starbucks push a sweetener that is not optimal for their main product?

The phrases “strategic alliance” and “I think I’ll put this in my blog” run through my head.

Crunch.  Crunch.  Crunch…..   I suppose it could be worse.  At least it’s not High-Fructose Corn Syrup….

Newsflash: Amethysts Are Uncertain of God’s Existence

November 18, 2007 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Bizarre, Iowa, just life, Rants, Television 

Some days it is a severe undertatement to say that I am just astounded by the sheer quantity and quality of stupidity that surrounds me.

 First of all, an assistant professor named Lydia Hartunian said that a misconception about atheists is that people think they don’t believe in God.  She said that, actually, atheists are uncertain about whether or not there is a God.

 Woah.  Ms. Hartunian, people who are not certain of the existence of God are called agnostics.  And, in fact, people who do not believe there is a God are called atheists.  It is you who are confused.  Astoundingly so, for an academic person.

 Second, in the news story below which reports this fact, the news writer uses the wrong word and instead of saying “atheists” says “amethysts.”  Really, really, really unbelievable.

I guess my third problem with this atheist “movement” is the fact that she seems to be trying to make a religion out of not believing in God.  I myself am not a religious person, but I’m not about to join a movement of people who feel the same way about it.  That would kind of defeat the point.

Here is the news story, as posted on the KCCI news site:
Amethysts Uncertain of God’s Existence Look for the wrong word within the body of the story (it’s not long).

UPDATE:  The news site has now corrected its error.

Woman Tries To Sell Her Breast Milk In Classified Ad

November 1, 2007 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Bizarre, just life, Rants 

A woman tried to sell her breast milk in a classified ad in This Newspaper.  Apparently she has been pumping breast milk for awhile, but her baby won’t drink from a bottle.  She doesn’t want it to go to waste, so she’s selling it for $200.  All of the appropriate health warnings are in the newspaper article if you follow that link above.  I just have to say yee-ish!!!!!

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