My Blog

Join me in figuring out "what now?"

Got The Itch to Make Something New Happen

I find more and more, that I am drawn to switching careers. Trying my hand at something new and challenging. I have enjoyed a long and prosperous career in technology, and particularly QA, but now that this year marks 30 years, I find I am becoming a bit dissatisfied more and more. I suppose that if I could do the user interface testing that I really enjoy, I might be up for another couple of years of testing, but this back-end stuff is really not the preferred line of business.

And, more and more, I find myself reaching out past technology and into something more creative. I have several ideas that may (or may not – who the heck knows!) garner some success. I have an idea for a line of t-shirts that I think would be extremely popular and I think that I could probably do it the whole thing out of my home if I use one of the more established retail online chains – like FAB or even Amazon – to market the idea. I am thinking that in the next few weeks I may try to do some prototype shirts and get some general reactions.

The other idea, of course, is that I want to do long arm quilting. Quilting is one of those “hobbies” that has come full circle and now has enjoyed a resurgence. And if people are like me, they want to do the creative part of the quilting – that is, making the quilt top – and then handing it to someone else to do the overall stitching (the real part of the process that makes it a quilt). I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 quilt tops that need to be completed, which would really mark the expense of the machine itself – yes, paying someone to quilt 200 quilt tops would be in the neighborhood of $8000 to $10,000. I could use them as “practice” and get good before taking on other people’s quilts. I think there is money to be made there as well.

Of course, I have my Dolls & Cupcakes line still, although the initial reaction to it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for. Maybe the venue I chose (a neighborhood garage sale) wasn’t the best way to introduce such a line. I spent so much time on creating product and building that huge dollhouse and trying to get it sold that I almost feel burned out with it. But sometimes I think I have a little creative ADHD… sometimes dropping a project or something new if it doesn’t immediately become successful. I have so many projects that I’ve started, I can’t even begin to tell you. I think I am drawn to the idea of planning and scheming and calculating that by the time I’m well into the project, I have a tough time keeping on track to complete the idea. Or if the initial response isn’t what I am hoping for, I think ‘ehhh, let’s do something else’.

One of the things that occurred to me recently is that I have now lived in my house and in Kansas City for ten years. A banner milestone, as I have never lived in one place for this long before. Ever. I think I have the itch to spread my wings, so to speak, and this brings me back around to the idea of moving or relocating to something other place in the world. I think that moving not only provides me with an excuse to purge, it actually forces me to do so. One has to take a very hard look at what is worth the money (not to mention the time and energy) to actually handle, pack, move and then unpack it again. About the only thing craft-wise I brought with me from California was my fabric stash… and that has only grown since the completion of the awesome storage cabinets that I built specifically to house it. Clean, organized and safe from the fading rays of the sun, I have quite a collection. Or as The Kid calls it, “little Jo-Ann’s”. 🙂

The one thing that I have at the back of my mind about the next career changing direction, is to figure out how to involve The Kid and perhaps get him some much needed on-the-job experience. He’s headed down a slippery slope as he is nineteen and at this point, still not had a real job. I think if this continues, he could be looking at some real difficult times ahead without experience of any kind in the workforce.  Perhaps working for me could be the stepping stone that he needs.

Well, should wrap things up and get published. This is relatively new for me, writing and posting a post two days in a row!


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Title Goes Here (Forgot to Add a Title!)

Shame on me! With an absolute genuine desire of posting every day, as the year wears on I just seem to get less and less posted. On the other hand, things are very busy, and although that is not a good excuse, it is, at least, a valid explanation.

The new job continues to go well. I guess. Although it seems that there really isn’t enough work to go around to this team, my workload is significantly lighter than expected. I stumbled onto a self-assigned task, as a result of trying to learn and understand the website and how it works, that I started to notice that the user interface has some serious issues. So, I started to document the pages and issues and that was keeping quite nicely occupied for the last week or so. Unfortunately, my boss returned from her holiday today and when I went into talk to her about this, she informed me that the the website is due to be re-organized or re-designed (or a little of both), so any current documentation would be, essentially, a waste of time. Well, not exactly a total waste of time, as it has been useful as a learning tool and for helping me understand the process of what goes on here. It just won’t be useful in making changes to the existing site.

I’ve also started feeling really bad with regards to my knees and now since my health insurance will no longer pay for the hyalgan intra-articular injections that I’ve been receiving every six months or so from my ortho-doc. I figured it had to do with the price (which I thought was much higher than I was led to believe, but my doc believes that a negative study had been recently published that threw the effectiveness of the treatment into question. For me, it was the difference between walking normally and being able to navigate stairs without looking and feeling like a 70 year old. We’re give the cortisone steroid injections a shot (no pun intended) and so far, it has been effective in the left knee. I go back to see him again in three weeks and maybe I can get him to do the other one and maybe I can get a little relief. I do not understand his utter reluctance to perform the knee surgery that I believe would be so beneficial, something about how ‘young’ I am and how the replacements only last 10 to 15 years. Hell, if we did them right now, I could get relief up until my 70th birthday (or thereabouts) and then I think I’d be ready to sit down. I think I would be so much more happy being able to be ambulatory now and for the next ten or fifteen years, rather than waiting.

This, by the way, would be covered by my insurance. Go figure.

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Here’s a wonderful pic of my x-rays of the left knee… apparently that bright white under the knee joint is arthritis.

So, today marks about the 6 week point for me at this job. Here is the second shot of my plant:

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And here was the plant when I brought it into work:

photo 1I feel like it is very symbolic of my time here… I am learning (and growing) but it is slow and imperceptively difficult to see. But growth nonetheless!

Okay, I will try and do better about my posting. Yeah, yeah… I know, I’ve said it before. 🙂




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The Kid and I regularly play this game we call “Zombie Apocalypse”. It all centers around what would have to do to survive once most of the world’s population had been decimated and all that remained was a sparse population of humans and a whole heckuva lot of zombies.

The game is all about logistics and food and water and necessities as well as safe shelter. We often start a game when we see an interesting building or home, and one of us will quip “that building would be a good place to be during a zombie apocalypse and it will usually last for a few minutes up to a half hour, discussing the merits or disadvantages of just such a perceived fortress.

Which is why we were excited to watch the new ShowTime drama “The Leftovers”. Thus far, there have only been two episodes, but both were extremely disappointing. Well, at least to me and The Kid.

So, the premise is that on one day, 2% of the world’s population literally just disappeared. No death, no fire, no clothes or personal items left behind, the people were just gone. And since the show is centered on this fictitious town called Mapleton.

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If It Isn’t One Thing, It’s Another

I had one of the most frustrating days yesterday. It seemed like I couldn’t get anything to go right.

I know that doctors’ appointments come with waiting built-in, but yesterday just seemed worse than ever.

I’ve been seeing doctors for my migraines for years now, actually decades, but no matter how I try, I cannot seem to hit the perfect timing. My appointment was for 10:15, so I targeted hitting the office about 10 minutes before the appointment. Thank God, the traffic was a breeze, since I wasn’t joining rush hour traffic and actually ended up there about 15 minutes early. Got my check-in done lickity-split and then it was on to the waiting room to… do what else? Wait.

Nearly an hour before I was called to head back to the little exam rooms. Thank God (again) that its pain management and I didn’t have to get undressed and wear one of those little paper gowns that never seem to cover enough. But I spent another 45 minutes sitting in these little window-less rooms with nothing to read and no cell phone coverage, so I couldn’t even pass the time playing a game or cruising CraigsList or anything. Sigh.

Doc comes in, finally, and spends all of about 90 seconds with me. The standard neurological exam – follow his finger with my eyes, squeeze his hands, push against his hand with my hand and leg, and rate my pain. These appointments are primarily cursory as all I really am doing is getting my paper copy of prescriptions (since I take narcotics there are ZERO refills). I wanted to talk to him about upping the dose, since I’ve gone back to work, the pain has gotten worse and I am convinced it is a matter of being poisoned by the closed recirculation of toxic air in these high rise buildings combined with the carpeting and the paint and the ceiling tiles: all filed with carcinogenics. And don’t even get me started on florescent lighting. And staring at computers screens all day. Put it all together and it is any wonder why we ever manage to live past the age of 50.

Back to the story; I make my way out to the parking garage and head towards the exit. Unfortunately, something is going on at the SINGLE payment booth and no one is moving. I am about the fifth car in line and with at least that many, if not more, lining up behind me. NO ONE IS MOVING. This goes on about another thirty minutes and now its almost noon. I debate whether or not actually going into work is going to be beneficial at all. But I decide that since I am only at the 5 week mark, I should probably go in – at least I can get a solid four hours. And since I’ve already missed one day per week for the past two weeks, it might start looking like a dangerous precedent.

Day just kept going like that. Once I got to work, there were system outages and I couldn’t get to the page(s) I needed to do my job. Waiting…

Traffic on the way home seems heavier than usual. Waiting…

Almost home and need to get gas. Waiting…

Even once home, I call out to The Kid to come give his mommy a hug. Waiting…

One might think I should be a better wait-person. I just decided that I wasn’t going to do anything or go anywhere that I might end up waiting. Then it was just a matter of waiting until bed time. 🙂


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Binge Watching… What Next?

Have I mentioned how much I love my AppleTV and Netflix streaming? That, combined with HBOGO and a handful of other stations, has enabled me from having to watch any broadcast television. The real blessing, other than being able to pretty much watch whatever I want whenever I want, is that I no longer see any television commercials. (I also listen to NPR when I am driving, so no commercials there either.)

One of the things I love most about this setup is being able to watch series television one right after the other without having to wait a week (or more between seasons) and therefore can carry my own continuity of the shows. I think the only downside is fast forwarding through the intro and the ending credits.

I just finished up the first seven seasons of HBO’s ‘Nurse Jackie’. I had watched the show’s first two seasons the classic way years back and then had gotten off track and missed a couple of episodes. I won’t watch an episode if I have missed too (two) many episodes, I tried to wait until hiatus and then watch in reruns. But since my life is a bit unscheduled, I even missed that.

imagesThen Netflix announced that it had all of the seasons available and once more, I indulged in binge watching. Love that show… Edie Falco is an amazing actor, and it has really great writers and a cast of supporting characters. Definitely worth watching.

The bad thing is, once again, I am stuck trying to find something that I haven’t already seen. I have gone back and started to re-watch some movies and shows that I watched years ago, but I would rather try to get caught up with shows that I missed watching the first go ’round.

I think I spend nearly as much time looking for something to watch as I do actually watching! I hadn’t ever watched any of those CSI dramas, are they worth the time to watch? I think I didn’t watch the one with David Caruso, never was a fan and so avoided it. Never could remember which one was his, so I just avoided them all.

If you have a favorite series, please share. I have been thinking about starting a streaming discussion site, although I was part of one that seems to have gone bust. If you know of a good website, please let me know about that too.

In the meantime, I think I am going to watch the entire series of ‘The Outer Limits’… or maybe ‘The X-Files’.

Join me?


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