?

Log in

Captain's Log

> recent entries
> calendar
> friends
> profile
> previous 20 entries

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
9:16 am - 146 - Game
Last night, right between packing more sales from my Etsy store, cooking dinner, helping Molly with her homework and clearing off our table, was the first time I've had a chance to try playing an actual VIDEO GAME on my new computer. I had downloaded Steam on one of my previous Free Minute periods, and the game I had chosen was now ready.

The game I chose was called "ZMR - Zombies, Monsters, Robots".

IT. WAS. GLORIOUS!

Oh, it may not actually *be* the greatest game ever made, but it's the best one I've played in... whoa, *FOUR YEARS*. I absolutely adore simplistic FPS games, full of mindless killing and mayhem :)

In this game, I'm pretty sure there's no actual storyline. It's just making a generic burly soldier to go fight either Zombies, Monsters and/or Robots. Mindless fun, and I love it :)

(comment on this)

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
8:29 pm - 145 - Thanksgiving Advice (As if You Asked For It)
My family, for the most part, knows not to talk about Religion or Politics at Thanksgiving. If either subject DOES come up in the same room as me, i feel it is my duty to deliberately and abruptly change the subject IMMEDIATELY, or else leave the room. As a result, I still love all my siblings :)

But for those of you who are dreading "The Talk" tomorrow, remember these things:

There is literally NOTHING you can say tomorrow that is going to change anyone's mind.

If anybody - INCLUDING *YOU* - starts a sentence with something along the lines of "I just want to know", that person doesn't REALLY want to know. That person wants you to say exactly what they know you're going to say, so they can "shoot you down" with the clever thing they heard on the radio or read online.

There is no such thing as a non-biased news source. Not FOX, Not MSNBC, not SNOPES, not any Fact Checking service, NOTHING. This is because it's all run by Human Beings, and Human Beings have biases.

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DEAL WITH ANY OF THAT?!?!?

Instead of building deep hatred for people you love, you could instead be playing a nice board game! Or watching a sporting event! Or sharing recipes, or talking about movies, or looking at funny animal videos, or... ANYTHING! LITERALLY ANYTHING is better than the tension, hatred and animosity that will come from talking about politics or religion!

EVEN IF YOU'RE ALL ON THE SAME SIDE!

So really, just... just *don't*, okay?

(1 comment | comment on this)

3:12 pm - 144 - Catching Up 003: Frickin' Fibula!
The week had been an absolute blur - from sun up to sundown I was busy cranking out lamps and ornaments for oddmall, then we were at oddmall all weekend long selling stuff, then starting on Monday we had several bajillion things to handle before Thanksgiving!

Luckily, my sister-in-law had stopped by oddmall and since she has an awesome roaster SHE will be doing the turkey instead of me, so that's at least one thing off my plate ;)

But the schedule for the week was still booked solid, which was further complicated by Molly having half-days at school all week. But for Monday, all I really had on the docket was to go get the Dog her vaccinations so we could take her to the groomer before Thanksgiving.

But the vet forgot we had an appointment :(

So while we waited for the vet to show up I took the dog for a little walk, during which she decided to trip me and fracture my Fibula (part of my foot)!

Docotr's Offic, X-Rays, a giant Frankenstein boot to wear for the next several weeks and some crutches... ugh :(

And so that's why today is the first time since I received my new computer that I've actually had the time and ability to come over and actually *use* it!

(3 comments | comment on this)

2:32 pm - 143 - Catching Up 002: Oddmall!
Here"s the setup for #oddmallpnw Holiday Show!


Empowered by the cartoons blasting away on my new computer, I was able to finish off TWENTY FOUR LAMPS and FIFTY CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS for my booth at Oddmall this year. Christmas ornaments were a new thing, great little one-of-a-kind ornaments at a reasonable price for folks who love my stuff but don't have anyplace to put a whole LAMP. Check these out!
Just counted, FIFTY ornaments and twenty three lamps. Come and get them at #oddmallpnw


This was a two-day event, but by the end of day one I had already been reduced to just about *half* my inventory. HALF! Like, when you get into a show like this, you WANT to sell ALL your stuff, you HOPE you can sell maybe HALF of it, and you become ecstatic when you sell 10% of what you've got. I had already sold almost HALF!

We rushed home and I whipped up a new batch of ornaments, which all sold within the first hour or so of that second day. And my lamps CONTINUED to sell - TWELVE LAMPS! I was absolutely blown away by the sales I made!

But even MORE surprising was the amount of RETURN CUSTOMERS I had! People showing me pictures of their lamps in their homes, people showing pictures of people receiving gifts, people I now know IRL because of my lamps... it was NUTS! And I'm getting a reputation, too - I'm "The Gold Lamp Guy"! People *know* me! That's so cool!

Yep, I was feeling pretty darned awesome about life in general right then... I should have known something was coming...

(comment on this)

2:14 pm - 142 - Catching Up 001: New Computer!
This is a multi-part post that covers the expanse of time between my last post and *now*, which will hopefully explain it all.

First off, I have a NEW COMPUTER, donated to me by parties who will remain unnamed in the spirit of animositness and humbility (two BRAND NEW WORDS that I created just for this post!); good friends who knew I needed something better than my Frankenstein's Monster of cobbled-together bits from various remnants and artifacts from the late 20th and early 21st century.

It's really weird using Windows 10 on a computer that has it ON PURPOSE rather than because Microsoft auto-updated it out of Vista :)

The timing of this gift was just too perfect. I had been struggling for a solid TWO WEEKS trying to resolve overheating issues on the system I had been using - no games, mind you, this was just random overheating from me typing too fast or trying to upload a picture! This was really sad because I *needed* my computer to play some old 70's and 80's cartoons while I made lamps for Oddmall - Most of my greatest creations are the direct result of Laff-A-Lympics, Grape Ape and/or Captain Caveman :)

It's some two weeks later now and I'm STILL in shock over how wonderful this gift is! At a time where i was feeling really down and about to go into another one of my epic Downward Spirals of Depression, my friends saved me by making me feel super-loved and appreciated :)

Thank you so very much, I am forever in your debt :)

(1 comment | comment on this)

Friday, November 11th, 2016
8:06 am - 141 - #ODDGOALS
Trooper and car #starwars #mask


Waiting for the coffee to kick in, making my list of goals that I need to accomplish before Oddmall on the 19th. I've got SEVEN DAYS till set-up on the night of the 18th! What do i hope to accomplish by then?
  • Make 90 new Christmas ornaments, at an average of about a dozen per day!
  • Do touch-up work on my 12 unsold lamps from previous shows!
  • Make at least 10 new lamps!
  • Find all my Clone Troopers and ship them to a guy for a trade I'm working on!
  • Order new Business Cards or, alternately, get some GOOD cardstock to print cards on!
  • Get/Print a new batch of Business Cards!
  • Get a bunch of little chalk boards and some chalk for lamp prices (learned from the guy in the booth next to me at that little craft show i did on Tuesday)!
  • Figure out the best FREE way to display all these ornaments!
  • Make a "Picture Frame Business Sign" for people to take pictures of my lamps and ornaments with so they have all my contact info right there in the pic!
  • Assemble my Table Display - Christmas table cloth, Power Strip, Extension Cord, Shelves, Records (to help stabilize the lamps), Small tree, Three Chairs... what else?
  • Assemble my Emergency Kit - Two Sharpies, Post-it Notes, masking tape, Super Glue, Multi Tool, Clamp, Lightbulbs, Gum, Deodorant, Phone Charger, Square Credit Card Reader).
  • Change - Fifty dollars in Fives, since all my prices are multiples of five.
  • Packing for ornaments - Lunch Bags and Tissue Paper.

Maybe more, might add later when I need a break. But the coffee is now kicking in, time to get making stuff!

(1 comment | comment on this)

Thursday, November 10th, 2016
1:29 pm - 140 - NAAAAAANTS INGONYAMMAAAAAA...
I need time and money to fix a computer so I can watch good cartoons while I make ornaments, but I won't have time or money to fix a computer till after Oddmall, at which time I will no longer need a computer over in this area on which to watch cartoons while making ornaments for Oddmall.

(comment on this)

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
1:35 pm - 139 - Craft Show Report
Santa"s happiest elf #craftshow #lamps #ornaments #tree

My setup for today - tiny table, tiny setup #lamps #ornaments #craftshow

The little Tuesday Craft Show I did yesterday was very nice, and I really couldn't beat the price of a table - FREE! Put on by the same guy who does the Oddmall events, this was aimed at being a "little slice" of Oddmall for the tenants of an Assisted Senior living home, where the median age of residents was around 86 years old.

I sold three of my new ornaments and got to try out some new display options, had a real good time :)

Pictures of all the ornaments i currently have can be found under this cutCollapse )
The biggest lesson I learned is that my ornaments are going to be a HUGE seller at Oddmall on the 19th and 20th, but I still need to find a really good way to display them :/ The little tree I used was *good*, but was barely room for the 14 ornaments I brought - and I intend to have about a HUNDRED ornaments by the time Oddmall gets here! So I really have no idea how I'm going to display all those ornaments... bigger tree? Maybe a clothesline set-up... Hmmmm...

(7 comments | comment on this)

8:45 am - 138 - Jim Hensoning
I read a quote from Jim Henson a long time ago that I wish more people could have heard and understood, it really helps. I've forgotten the exact wording, but the sentiment is what stuck with me; When it comes to all the evils and politics in the world, the starving children in China, the wars, the environment... there's very little you can do. What you *can* do, though, is try to bring a bit of happiness to everyone you interact with and hope it spreads :)

So today I'm feeling like this clip from the 1987 Muppet Family Christmas:


They're all having their party out there, they're so happy about this... that's good, I like to see them happy :) But I'll tell you what, somebody needs to do something about these dishes...

C'mon, Sprocket :)

(1 comment | comment on this)

Monday, November 7th, 2016
7:01 am - 137 - Lamp Update
Completed project #1 - "Liberachiosaurus".


Feeling "The Crush" once again regarding my weird lamps. It would have been bad enough with the November 19th deadline for Oddmall in Everett looming over me, but for some dern fool reason I also agreed to do a free afternoon craft show at a local old folks home (according to the organizer, the average age of residents is 86 so i feel comfortable calling it an "Old Folks Home" rather than a Senior Center or Assisted Care Facility).

WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!? THAT CRAFT SHOW IS *TOMORROW*!!! I AM NOT READY FOR THIS!!!

I decided to try something new this year and make a small tree worth of weird Christmas ornaments. Nice, lower-cost pieces of weirdness for folks who don't want to shell out $50 to $80 for one of my lamps. These are priced anywhere between $5 and $20. It wasn't till i had about half a dozen of them made before I realized that in order to actually make any meaningful amount of money of them, I'll need to make about a hundred of them :( Still they're fun...
So many better names for this one than "Cheeseburger Delivery In Paradise", but...

The Indifference Fairy is in charge of Santa"s Gift Cards & Regifting Department #christmas #ornaments

I have no idea about this one, it"s #batman head on #garfield body stealing a present. If I sell these ornaments for $15 to $20 each (cripes is that an okay price for one-of-a-kind hand crafted ornaments???) I"d still need to have like 20 of them on my tree to start making any real money... so far, I have *four*.

Completed project of the day # 4 - "A Proper Victorian Jurasichristmas"

Finished project of the day # 3 - "Dance Of The Spidey-Plumb Fairy"


(I should have been using that time to make lamps :(

(6 comments | comment on this)

Sunday, November 6th, 2016
1:43 pm - 136 - "The Talk" I am least looking forward to
As I was driving around by myself today listening to an oldies station (80's and 90's = "Oldies" - uhg), I realized that some day - some day SOON - Molly will demand that I explain to her how my generation thought we were such Dangerous, Bad-Ass Hooligan Rebels because we listened to such "Heavy Metal Rock N Roll" as Van Halen, Warrant, Bon Jovi, Winger, Kiss and the likes.

I need to watch the old Tipper Gore censorship hearings again, figure out just want she thought was so dangerous about that music. Did she fear that we would hear them as instructions, and potentially get a concussion from banging our heads because metal health will drive you mad? Did she fear the day/night reversal somebody may experience due to rocking and rolling all night (and partying ev-er-ee day)? Increased instances of heart and lung disease due to the implicit endorsement of smoking in the boys room???

I am sure that i will not have the answers that Molly is seeking when she asks this :(

(2 comments | comment on this)

Thursday, October 13th, 2016
2:37 pm - 135 - I Don't WANNA Grownup Today, Though :(
I'm officially a Grown-Up I guess - I woke up and saw a stream of terrible things on The internet so decided that today would be one of those days where i just turn off the computer and focus on the important things in life, like watching a ton of 70's cartoons. Unfortunately, my cartoon marathon today was interrupted THREE TIMES by pollsters calling to get my opinions on politics! And that's after TWO such calls yesterday! I'm assuming that they are sponsored by The Republican Party because they all go like this:
So are you planning on voting Republican, or Democrat?
Democrat.
Okaaaaaay... and what if I were to tell you that the Democratic Candidate wants to raise your taxes so she can make puppies and kittens get mandatory gay-married? Would you say that this information makes you LESS LIKELY to vote for the Democrat, VERY less likely to vote for the Democrat, EXTREMELY less likely, or Unchanged?
Unchanged.
Okaaaaay... and what if i were to tell you that the brave, handsome Republican just wants to protect you and thinks you're, like, really cute and he overheard the Democrat talking smack about you behind the gym and the Republican said "That's so not cool, you need to stop NOW"? Would you say that this information makes you LESS LIKELY to vote for the Democrat, VERY less likely to vote for the Democrat, EXTREMELY less likely, or Unchanged?
Unchanged.
*SIIIIIGH* Okay, Mister Pierce, thank you very much for your time this evening *click*

(2 comments | comment on this)

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
10:26 am - 134 - Game Idea Journal: But is it racist?
Since the theme of OraCon (a local tabletop gaming convention) is "Race & Accessibility", I came up with a vague game idea and I'm not sure if it's racist or not...

It plays a lot like Monopoly with buying and selling of stuff as you go around a board, only you have multiple pieces you get to move each turn and you'll get more pieces as the game progresses; but the main difference is that the person who is winning the game gets to decide what the rules for the game are each turn. As long as you are still winning once it becomes your turn again, you get to either make a new rule or amend another one.

your turn comes. You draw a card from the Rules Deck and then decide which players are effected by it. "Every time you roll the dice, collect $100 from the bank" - Oh, well, I think THAT rule should only apply to *me* and my little orange tokens on the board. "Every time you roll doubles, go to jail and skip your next turn". Yeah, that's gonna have to be something that affects the Red, Purple and Yellow tokens *only*.

Cards will also have simple "Gain three tokens and place them on the board", "Collect $50 from every player", "Loose $200" type cards, as well as complex game-changing "The Color with the most rules effecting them is now the "Winner", place as many tokens as needed in order to have one more token than anyone else on the board"

The way to win is to get 20 tokens on the board. The "Winning" person is the one with the most tokens on the board at the start of the current winner's turn each round.

(5 comments | comment on this)

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016
1:16 pm - 133 - Andakosh
Trust me, there's a classic pay-off at the end of this, I swear.

I spent two hours today trying to get a refund for an old "Amazon Local" voucher (it was Amazon's version of Groupon) that we never used.

The website says "Simply request a refund and you will be credited within 3 to 5 business days". No mention of *how* to request said refund - no link, no phone number, nothing.

So I click on the "Contact Us" link, which takes me to a web form. I put in all the information, describe the situation, hit submit and... "OOPS! Something went wrong! Please use *THE WEB FORM* to notify us of what you were trying to do!"

Multiple tries on the web form all lead to that same error, so i click around their Help Section looking for ANY other way to contact them and find a phone number. "Havng trouble with our Web Form and wish to speak with a Customer Service Representative? Call this number during regular business hours Monday thru Friday blah blah blah" COOL! It's 11 in the morning on a Tuesday! You don't get more regular than THOSE business hours!

I call!

I get a recorded message saying "Thank you for calling Amazon Local during regular business hours! For assistance with your Amazon Local order, please hang up and use the Web Form located at Local.Amazon.Com"

This in and of itself is plenty frustrating, that they have a special recorded message at a special phone number that you can call to have them tell you not to call them. But this was only the beginning!

I foolishly decided to call Amazon Customer Support.

I gave my information, order number and story to SIX DIFFERENT PEOPLE. SIX DIFFERENT PEOPLE assured me that they could help me. SIX DIFFERENT PEOPLE tried and failed, regardless of how much I told them "I already tried that" and/or "The last person already tried that". FIVE DIFFERENT PEOPLE transferred me to different departments that would surely be able to take care of this issue - Customer Service to Prime Customer Service, Prime Customer Service to Kindle Support(?!?), Kindle Support to Business Billing (!!?!?), Business Billing to Prime Customer Service, and Prime Customer Service to General Customer Service.

The last lady I spoke to finally gave up after doing all the things I told her that everyone else had already tried ("Well let me just call that department and... hmmm, just the recording asking us to use the website. Well then we'll just use the web form to - Error? Guess I better figure out which department to transfer you to next..."). When I protested at the thought of yet another transfer, she said "Well then I will give you a SPECIAL TREATMENT and call you back TOMORROW".

Ugh. Fine. I've wasted two hours today on this, whatever. Good luck, lady.

But then - and here's that payoff I was telling you about - she ended the call with "But before I let you go, Mister Pierce, please to let me know, have we answered all your questions and are you satisfied with the service that we have provided you today?"

***UPDATE*** Mere SECONDS after I posted this, I got an email from the last lady I spoke to, where she said (copy and paste here)
I relayed your information to the team trained to handle this scenario. You should hear back from them in the next 1-2 business days.

I wonder if this means I won't get my "Special Treatment Callback" tomorrow?

(1 comment | comment on this)

Monday, October 10th, 2016
11:31 am - 132 - Challenging Day
Since we just committed to one of our "The Only Way We Could Go If *This* and *That* and *The Other Seventeen Things* Happen But There's No Way Those Things Would All Happen At Once So Why Even Bother" trips to Disneyland, I'm officially on one of my Self Improvement kicks. Diet, Exercise, Cleaning, Making Lamps... all that stuff that I would always have time for in a perfect world. I low-key started it over the weekend, with a hard set start day of TODAY.

And today, everything fell apart pretty danged quick. Salvageable, but challenging.

(3 comments | comment on this)

Friday, October 7th, 2016
11:22 am - 131 - The Four Episodes of Christmas
When it comes to Christmas Episodes of TV shows - That is, TV shows that exist year long or in a historical context such as Sit-Coms, Soap Operas and Saturday Morning Cartoons, as opposed to Christmas Specials such as Rudolph or Frosty - there seem to be only four main options:
  • A CHRISTMAS CAROL, where they attempt to put their own spin on the classic tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge with the whole "Three Ghosts" bit.
  • IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, where an Angel of some sort shows one of the characters what life for their friends and family would be like if they had never been born.
  • MIRACLE ON 34TH ST, where one of our characters that doesn't believe in Santa Claus meets the REAL Santa and becomes a believer by the end of the episode.
  • HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, where a VERY anti-Christmas person finally learns the *true* meaning of the Holiday (which may be family, presents, togetherness, happiness, joy, jesus, etc).

Try and give me an example of a Christmas Episode that does not fit into one of those categories. I've managed to stump myself.

(11 comments | comment on this)

Friday, September 23rd, 2016
12:14 pm - 130 - Trying Not To Capsize This Boat!
I'm a HUGE fan of horror films. Not "Torture Porn" or "Grossout Cinema", but real, honest-to-gosh HORROR FLICKS. All the classics and not-so-classics of the 70's and 80's, all the genre-defining moments of the silver screen, the brilliance of the 1960's Hammer Films... LOVE THEM.

My daughter, however, has always been a bit of a wuss and so I haven't really been able to flex that particular bit of brain-muscle except for the rare occasions when I have a few hours to myself so I can try and catch up with the past 90 years of scary movies.

But recently... Molly has been showing signs of interest. She likes "creepy" videos on YouTube. She adores the Spirit Halloween Store. I *think* she's ready to take a few steps into horror, as long as their the "fun" kind.

As backwards as it may seem, I'm thinking of starting off with Army Of Darkness, then let her go backwards in that franchise if she likes it.

Trying to come up with some other films she might enjoy which aren't just teenage sex films with a killer in them (I'm lookin' at YOU, Friday The 13th)... what else?

I really need my Nieces to ring in on this one, as they all made the transition to Horror Flicks independent of my tutelage...

(3 comments | comment on this)

Monday, September 19th, 2016
5:19 pm - 129 - Words We Never Needed Before
Just found out that a person I never met but changed my online life dramatically is most likely dead and had tried to reach out to me before it happened. I have no word for how that makes me feel. Is there one?

It's somewhere between "Supporting Character In A Good Book You're Reading" and "That Kid You Went To Grade School With That Moved Away".

Somewhere between Cedric Diggory and Nicki Tassovack, THAT'S where my sorrow lies.

(comment on this)

Sunday, September 18th, 2016
9:52 am - 128 - Unexpected Glory
Feeling like a Big Shot today, after a weekend where I was able to wheel-n-deal my way into helping find an indoor venue for a last-minute Birthday party that was originally supposed to be held outdoors but got rained out.

I was high on Antihistamines and Nyquil as I called in favors, made deals and squeezed my way into a place that we really shouldn't have been in. It felt GLORIOUS!

I felt like I was in an episode of Three's Company, running three different "scams" in hopes that none would discover that i was running the other two. All I had to do was convince the Spanish Immersion Preschool Teacher that I was there as part of the building maintenance crew setting up an event for later in the day, give a tour of the facilities to a HUGE GROUP of folks from India who would be renting the Clubhouse for teaching English as a second language starting next week, and maintain the illusion that the "Birthday Girl" that our party was for was actually my Niece.

PIECE OF CAKE!

(2 comments | comment on this)

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
9:43 am - 127 - The Return of Normality
After an entire Summer of being "off" in chaos and disorder, Molly is fighting the return to normality that comes with the beginning of a new school year. Her Chore List is back (All chores need to be done before she is allowed to touch her computer), and tonight is the official return of No Tech Tuesday - or at least it is *kind of* the return.

No Tech Tuesday had originally been conceived as a day when we as a family would not touch any form of personal electronics from 3pm till Bedtime. No television, no computers, no laptops, no tablets, no e-readers... the most complicated electronic device any of us were allowed to use was a simple radio. We filled the day with trips to the library, playing board games and reading.

I loved it.

Unfortunately, I guess I was the only one. Crystal somewhen decided that Tuesday, since we weren't doing anything else, was THE PERFECT DAY to pay bills on the computer - probably the fact that we actually take time to read all our mail on that day, which usually includes a pile of bills, which sends her into panic mode with a NEED to pay the bills while she's thinking about it. I'm sure there were other reasons as well, but that's the one that sticks in my mind the strongest as the catalyst that triggered the end og No tech Tuesday.

(EDIT: I just thought of how it happened - I would start working on making dinner, Crystal and Molly got bored, there wouldn't be enough time to set up a game before dinner and then have to clear it off the table for dinner, so Crystal would just jump on the computer real quick to pay some bills while we wait, Molly would complain about how unfair that was, the night would get miserable, eventually we dreaded No Tech Tuesday because it would always end up like this).

It evolved into "Game Night", which was the night where we try and play at least one of our gazillions of board games so i don't feel so terrible about having the vast and expansive collection of games we never play, but even that aspect of the day dissipated as the "No Technology" rule became more and more relaxed.

So my new strategy for No Tech Tuesday is to make it happen secretly (well except that Crystal will see this post and know about it). Molly has chores to do, which will keep her occupied while I prepare dinner. We have plenty of quick, small games for before dinner and then cap off the night with a bigger game of some sort. I need to read the rules for all games and be sure I know how to play before we sit down. I need to have the table and the kitchen and the living room cleaned before they get home at 3. If I can get all this done, I'll be able to make this happen!

(1 comment | comment on this)

> previous 20 entries
> top of page
LiveJournal.com