Monday, March 30, 2009

Business End

Quincy and I have been talking about exit strategies. We'd love to quit our jobs and do, well, other stuff. Part of that for me, at least, is getting back into running my own business. Or, just exploring other business ideas. I figured there was no reason to wait.

The first thing I wanted to learn how to do was to start up a web site. I hadn't figured out an excuse for a while. So, I started with someone else's idea.

A few of us were sitting around the cube bay the other day, talking about our corporation's golfer. That's right. In these tough economic times with layoffs and budget cuts, our parent company FTI signed a 8 million dollar deal with a B-rate golfer. He has to wear a hat and shirt with "FTI" on it. You might be thinking: what does your law consulting firm have to do with golf? Nothing.

The joke was, since no one has any idea of what FTI is, when they see this PGA golfer wearing the FTI logo, they'd have to Google it. If our site showed up with all the burried news clips, and folks clicked on it, we could surface ads to them and hope to make, say, $2 on ads. Or a million, should our golfer make it big.

I saw this as a perfect opportunity to learn how to make a website. I ran back to my desk and registered The other guys tried to as well, but I beat them to it. I registered through GoDaddy. I wouldn't do that again (too expensive and they charge for every extra). Once I had the domain name, I needed a hosting site. I thought I might be able to use my Comcast space, but that's not how DNS works. It's just an IP address. So, off to recommended by Megan to buy some hosting.

I was surprised to see that the site hosting and the DNS registration actually took a few days to kick in. While I was waiting for all that internet rerouting to happen, I set up my Associate's account. This is the free account that lets anyone set up to track ads. Long story short, when almost anyone who clicks through ads on my website to, and buys something, I get a 4% kickback.

But that's not really why I did this. It would be nice, actually surprising, to make any money at all on I wanted to learn how to register a domain, set up forwarding and email, set up a hosting site, add ads for Amazon, and be ready for when my next (or someone else's) idea happens. Now that I know how easy it is, I'm psyched.

You'll notice I've added a couple ads to this site. Feel free to click on them and buy a new Kindle or M. Ward CD
. The more you buy, the more I earn. Better yet, set them up for your site! We can trade traffic. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dancing Bear and M. Ward

If teh internets have taught me anything, it's that having nothing to say is no excuse for not saying anything.

In other news, Quincy and I went to an M. Ward concert last Friday. We had a fantastic time, and the Showbox is always a great place to see a show. I've seen M. Ward there before, but his sets are so different now that he has a full band and plays mostly up-tempo songs. It was nothing like the time I angled into the KEXP studio to see him perform four songs live (just me, the sound mixer, the deejay, and M. Ward).

Here's a video of the title track to his newest album.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Agility Class

Quincy continues training with Grete for dog agility. It's a hoot. I visited a lesson this weekend and shot some video with Quincy's camera. The video above is a series of small exercises that they were working on. Grete is just getting the 6-pole weave poles. She still runs into the tunnel with her reward!

Below is a video of the longest course (I think) that Grete and Quincy have run. They didn't quite get it, but the one jump they missed was really tricky and tripped just about everyone up. She gets it the second time!

Here are some of Grete's friends, posted mostly for their owner's viewing pleasure, but also in case you're interested. Hoover is really fun to watch walk it! Zoooom! It took me two tries to keep the fast little guy in the frame. Hoover is in advanced training.

Molly and Luna are in Grete's class.

Rug Adventure

Fail rug

Quincy and I have finally broke down and done it -- we bought a rug for our hallway. Local friends will know that I had an affinity for cheap IKEA rugs and runners when I bought the house. All of these rugs are falling apart and shameful compared to the beautiful rug Quincy brought to our living room. So, off we went.

Every Tuesday Quincy and I pass a little rug shop in Fremont called Caravan Carpets. It's run by a man with a thick accent, Reza, who has energy rivaling Rishi. Reza wanted to know if we were going for color or size, as all of his rugs are original, so you have to start somewhere. We went for color, choosing quickly between two beautiful, light, vegetable-dyed runners. The whole experience took less than twenty minutes and we had a blast.

Reza's prices are good, too. We couldn't find a similar rug online for less than twice what we purchased it from Caravan Carpets. And, Reza insisted we try it out. How? First, you open a bottle of find wine. Then, you light some candles and open the windows to allow natural light in. Then, you reveal the rug in the space it is intended for. Then you sit and watch the colors.

Now that's a salesman. We did open a bottle before the reveal (with shades open wide). And the colors were breathtaking, but the rug was 2" too wide for our hall.

So, we have to try again. Since we would have had to bring the rug back for (free)padding anyway, no loss. Still, we love the Talish rug's colors. Reza promises that he'll have a number of rugs of the correct size for us to look at from the warehouse next time we come by. I might buy two.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Organic or Inexpensive

The debate continues to rage at the Page\Hunt estate: do we buy organic veggies at PCC, or the unknown origin fruits, roots, and vegetables at Lenny's: God's Gift to Greenwood. The price difference is substantial: On any given day the same (visible) quality vegetable will be 1/3 the cost at Lenny's compared to PCC. For some veggies, like my favorite red, yellow and orange peppers, the price difference is 5-fold.

Well, a new piece of evidence has arrived: Hammy the Hamster. The cleaver video below (via Megan via BoingBoing via Geek Dad) clearly demonstrates that there is a difference between organic and non-organic.

The debate will rage on.