Saturday, 17 OCT 2015 :: Catching up...looking forward... trusting GOD

I am finally getting caught up with this blog... and I am sorry this weekend has been such a rough time for this blog.

Sabbath is officially over.  I did pretty well this weekend.  Trying to stave off the urge to get things done is more of a challenge than we realize.  I still haven't found my "zone" for keeping the Sabbath, but it is getting better.  I tend to watch the PBS craft shows on Saturdays... but they sometimes feel like veiled "work" because I am always looking for good ideas.  Finding things to do is not the problem, finding things that aren't considered work is.

When I sort through my room, and rearrange things to try to find more space or better ways to get things done, I tend to discover lots of notes from the past that need to be reviewed.  Awhile back I did that.  I put a pile of these notes on my desk, but I haven't been able to read them.  Today I decided to start.

I rediscovered some great ideas... some recipes I needed to find... and some information I haven't seen for a long time and need to update.  It made me realize again that I have to find a way to organize these ideas and notes so I can review them more often, and add to them as I collect new materials.  It also helped me to think of some solutions to my space and storage issues (like matching file cabinets to hold up my wooden board desk).  If I can ever get these done, I will have more space for working at the crafts I need to get done to make some money. 

During the week I try to enter a post at one of my Christian teams on Etsy... about what I am thankful for on a given day (usually Monday through Thursdays right now).  Doing this helps me to focus on what is positive in my efforts, not on the things I don't have.  It doesn't solve all the problems in life, but it helps remind me that GOD is aware of these issues...and will help me through them.  I sometimes enter them on the weekends when I visit my shop...this weekend seemed to be a good time to remind myself that GOD is in control.  :-)

I hope your days are going well... that your happiness is real... that you know the future will be better... and the GOD is the source of your courage, faith, and love.

Friday, 16 OCT 2015 :: see you tomorrow

Just wanted to check in...

I will add another post tomorrow or Sunday...

Not much to write now, been browsing on FB too long.

15 OCT 2015 :: Online sales and updates

It is actually about 12:45 AM on the 16th of October 2015

I have just finished updating my shop policies page at my Etsy shop

It has taken many hours to get this particular page in my shop finished because after spending at least 3-4 hours perfecting the first revisions, all my work disappeared because of a computer problem.

That is such a devastating feeling.

There is nothing you can do about it.

You just have to start over.

It was so upsetting I had to take a break, take a shower, eat something, and force myself back to the keyboard because the updates were only half done.

I am trying to decide if it was worth the effort.

I had already revised my shop Announcement earlier.

I am so tired right now I can't remember what else I updated... but it has been a long day.

So....  I will write a decent blog post tomorrow.
See you then.

Wednesday, 14 OCT 2015 :: Political access

This is an early post for me...  I am still searching for more debate follow-up... or will be.  I don't usually turn the TV on until evenings, sometimes late afternoons.  I can't afford the local paper and the Christian radio station I listen to doesn't have a lot of news details.  Internet replays have become an important access point for me.  They are also hard to find.

I left a message on Twitter last night asking if anyone knows where to find the full debate (hopefully without commercials) so I can see exactly what happened for myself.  Some kind of follow-up video access seems like the wiser thing for event promoters to do, especially when everyone can't "attend" the event themselves, by ticket or through media access.  People work, have other things to do, just can't get to the right place at the right time, or they forget something was on.  The option to see it at another time, by recorded video, is a natural for the internet... and for the websites affiliated with an event like a political debate, town hall meeting, or local fundraisers.

In the case of political debates, the likeliest spot would be the main website for each party.  Since most debates are sponsored programs, the sponsors could also have it available for viewing.  It may be that the days following a main event will reflect public interest better than the limited viewing of the original show. 

Like me, millions of households don't have cable TV.
Others may not have a computer for internet access.  I have always found it a challenge to afford internet access, but it is essential to my business income goals.  I definitely could not afford both.  Consequently, poverty households like mine are often shut out of the entire process if there are not a variety of access options. 

A political debate is best seen on TV, live-streamed on the Internet, or watched later by video replay.  It can be listened to by radio or podcast if those are the only options available, but a lot of the details are missed without "body language" cues.  Newspapers and magazines can report after the fact, but are not able to share the entire event without editing.  For poverty households, including homeless citizens and those without cable or internet access, computers at local libraries may be the only connection to political involvement. Unfortunately, the time limitations for computers at public libraries may not allow the entire debate to be viewed or listened to. Some library systems do not allow public access to every platform.  Costs are another serious handicap for poverty households.

INCLUSION  is really the top priority for political debates.  
I might be willing to pay a small fee, like $1, to download it, watch it, and keep it for more viewing in the future, but I can't afford having to pay each time I try to watch it.  The only computer I own is second-hand and not attached to the Internet.  The computer I am using now belongs to someone else, and is also old, with problems.  Most websites selling online materials have high-end delivery systems.  I wouldn't want to pay any amount of money to watch something that may not function on my computer system, and then being expected to pay for it again and again and again.  Ownership of the video would allow me to try again after the problem is fixed.  Purchasing, even at a nominal fee, creates some added income for the sponsors of the event.  We are all beginning to expect this video access.  I find it hard to believe it isn't out there somewhere.
By making the entire event available by video, somehow, the one-time event can become an engagement activity in schools and groups.  Permanent links would make it accessible throughout the election cycle.  When the election is over, the video becomes research material for future students and writers.  The internet is changing the way we see dramatic programs, movies, concerts and special events.  Political events can become a part of that process. 

Why does it matter to me that I see the entire program?  Because most news reports are filled with only the sound-bites that share their point of view.  I prefer to watch the whole thing (without commercials) to discover the details that matter to me. 

Video access is an important issue  
for people of all income levels,
education levels,
and ages.

Tuesday, 13 OCT 2015 :: My views on the Democratic Debate

Well...  I didn't get to see the whole thing (the debate), and I am trying to find a replay option, but I didn't even expect to see what I was able to see.   :-)  I mustered enough energy to make a fast trip for medicine and groceries late in the day.  By the time I was back, I figured the debate was already over.  I didn't bother to check the CNN website.

Finally, after I finished putting my groceries away and made a sandwich for dinner, I tried to find some follow-up news on antenna TV.  There was NOTHING !  So I finally went to the computer to see if there was any after-debate information and, shock, it was still on!! 

I don't remember exactly where I started listening, but I think I was able to hear about 2-3 question rounds and the final speeches.  I watched it some time after 7:30 PST to the end, which was about 8pm here.

It is definitely a different debate with only 5 candidates.  Personally, I am only familiar with Hillary Clinton because of all the years she has been in national media.  And I only know Bernie Sanders because of all the recent headlines about him.  The other three are total strangers to me.

From my seat, it looked like Hillary has the nomination pretty well captured, but I don't know if that means she will win the Presidency.  Because I don't know anything about Bernie Sanders, her only perceived competition, this opinion is really just a speculation.  He may be getting all the current attention because he would make a good Democratic president.

In the media popularity polls I have heard about (and the brief one on the debate program), along with something I heard about two past failed attempts, I think Biden entering the race at this time would be a bad move for him.  I understand he is a Catholic, so I hope GOD has some meaning in his life, so I want to add that  ONLY GOD  knows what is ahead, but I don't think this is a good time for him to carry the burden of a campaign. 

I know it's his decision, I am just adding my two cents to the conversation.  I am assuming he is praying about it, but I keep seeing the media hounding him to run.  I suspect part of their motivation is to find that election battle to make headlines with.  I understand election years are when the media make most of their profits...... and I understand that media organizations are suffering along with the rest of us.  I know it must be hard for everyone in the Biden family right now... even when you know someone is going to die, the pain and need to grieve and heal still happen. 

Like I mentioned in a previous post, it seems to me that the Republicans are at the pivot to win the next election.  This may be GOD's time for the Biden family to rest.  Naturally, this is only my small and ill-informed opinion, but it is what I see through the little bits of media news I am able to access in the midst of my own life.

Back to the debate...

The topics of every debate seem to focus on the topics of the party more than the topics of the nation. I suppose that is what political party debates are about.  I haven't followed politics that closely in my life. My attention was usually elsewhere, or I didn't have access to the sources.

It is always interesting to see a seasoned politician move the focus of a question onto something more positive for them... you hardly know it is happening, especially when they are really good at it.  They move to a crowd-pleasing comment that will get claps and hollers and whistles.  I suppose they teach that in public speaking... I need to take that class !   :-)

I guess I will share a brief look at what I think the two parties stand for, based only on what I hear in the media ::
The Democrats are for higher taxes, mandated national medical insurance, abortion and Planned Parenthood, Climate Change, Welfare benefits (and Social Security, I think), increased government and regulation, huge debts, and anything at the expense of the "rich."
The Republicans are about business issues, which include Big Oil, Wall St. and energy companies that were established many years ago.  They promote subsidies, want less government regulation (tied with the slogan of creating jobs), support big industries (including GMO companies) more than small business, are anti-welfare and food stamps, are something about Social Security (I can't remember what their view is right now), and want to decrease the already excessive taxation levels.

I suppose that is my impression of the two parties in the view of the media.

I think America is somewhere in the middle, but losing their ability to affect the voice of government and the reach it has into their lives.  We don't have much of a voice in the decisions that are made, and the Supreme Court has now taken that voice away with decisions on healthcare and the meaning of marriage in America.  With the way things are going, the only ones who will have any rights will be the gay community.  I don't think that is the best solution for the whole country either. 

The voice of the people, the vote,
should always override the voice of the minority... 
that is why America exists,
because of the power of citizens to vote on issues and leadership.

We still have a long way to go until our November ballot for President...  I always hope there will be some improvements in how things are decided, but I don't really see anything happening in those directions.  We all think our answer is the best one... When someone gets elected after promising us to change the world, they discover the web that is politics... one person can't change much of anything.  We still have to deal with all the other people who don't agree with us.

American has a lot of problems, but I would rather be in America than some of the other countries that exist.  At least, so far.

Monday, 12 OCT 2015 :: Long day... lots of things learned, and developed.

Officially, I started this at 11:48 PM PST, so we will not say I am LATE with my post!  :-) 

I revised one of my listings at Etsy later in the evening, and then spent a LONG time posting it at my Christian teams, then decided to post it at Facebook...several places there.  I kept thinking I would get here sooner. . . but time seems to go faster than we want it to.

Here is what I was posting, with the link you can access to check on it.

Hi again...  Just revised and renewed my CUSTOM ORDER listing placeholder and included  HOLIDAY  USPS  CUT-OFF  DATES !!!

You are welcome to  COPY  AND  PASTE  the dates for your own listings...

I hope we can all sell as much as we need/want to sell this holiday season. May GOD be glorified !

I was collecting information about USPS holiday cut-off dates today, and about prices for each way to ship items, including internationally.  Etsy has the option to create specific shipping profiles for the items you sell there, and I have been working toward making some of these for the harder to define shipping categories... like Alaska and Hawaii, and international destinations.

Later, when I was revising my Custom Order, it seemed like it would be a perfect place to list the cut-off dates for this season... which required even more time.  When I need to renew a listing, I try to improve it as much as possible, according to what I have learned since the last time I created it.

I hope that my sales efforts will bear fruit in time, and be applied to all aspects of my efforts online.

I guess I am trying to explain why I am entering this post so late.  I make my lists of things to get done, and then they take longer than I want them to.  It is even harder when you have to access the internet.  One link seems to lead to another, and another, and another...  Before I realize it, hours have passed.  I have discovered things that are equally important to my overall goals, but the time lost always messes up my daily to-do list. 

I entered two other Etsy listing renewals over the weekend, and I hope to revise another one tomorrow.  If I keep this up, I will have a good selection to offer people who visit my links.  :-)  

I have been surprised at how long it takes to learn online selling gather the equipment, supplies, and create items to sell, plus each website has it's own individual requirements. It seems to take me a long time to get through the photo requirements, but that problem is being figured out, too.

Selling at Etsy, and other online sites, is important because money has always been the main issue in my life.  Working Together would have been so much bigger by now if I could have worked all these income issues out a long time ago.

If I live long enough...  it will all be figured out.