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Personal Blog

Monday, May 20, 2019

Lazy Sunday

Yesterday morning, Sunday, I got up early, took a shower and made dessert (fruit tart discussed here).

Then I dressed (hair & makeup), and decided to enjoy Sunday morning driving around town. Some things I noticed...

Last week, because I am always researching new ways to generate revenue from my sites, I signed up for a new affiliate marketing program. Often, I try to develop new programs for use on WiredPages and this blog using affiliate API network resources. For example, see this link.

So yesterday, after returning from my drive, I sat around reviewing some of the affiliate merchant programs offered by ShareASale.com.

I also made a pizza and watched a movie, "Jennifer 8" on television. The illustration below shows the other side (see last post) of the main entry. Behind me on the right, is the closet and on the left, the hallway leading to the informal dining room off the kitchen (working on the smile, issue).

Then I went out to my gardens and took photos...

Came in, updated some of my stores, had dessert and went to bed around 9:00 pm.

Thought the new episode of Showtime's "Billions" was coming on last night, however research provided the new segment is scheduled for next Sunday. Think it is the season finale.

Did you have a nice weekend?


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Main Entry: New Look

We are still creating the new look for the main entry. Late last year, we purchased an espresso console table from Wayfair to replace the Queen Anne Table & Mirror that were damaged.

Last month, we finally hung a mirror that matched the table and are now in the process of adding other pieces to compliment the new look.

A couple of weekends ago, I found the brass pocket change holder in a drawer somewhere, so I cleaned it up with Brasso. The palm tree (purchased specifically for the area) and other knick-knacks found around the house added a new dimension. We are pleased with how this turned out.


Monday, May 13, 2019

Business Savings: Color Printing

I am always trying to cut my business expenses. Several years ago (December 15, 2014), I purchased a Konica Minolta Color Laser Printer (see Items I Have) at a great price because I wanted to cut costs on inkjet printing.

Realized savings: I am still using the original toner cartridges that came with the color laser printer. Because I seldom need to use a printer, I no longer worry about dried out ink cartridges when I do need to print. Laser toner cartridges do not dry out.

I purchased the same printer for my Mother a year earlier because she constantly complained she needed to replace the ink for her inkjet printer. Her toner cartridges have never been replaced.

I use Microsoft Publisher for most of my production printing needs. I have been using Microsoft Productivity Suite Software since 1991 or so, therefore I have little or no overhead costs insofar as "howto". You may want to consider this when deciding to do your own printing.

The illustration below, shows the Publisher windows for the check I recently sent to the State of Maryland for my business renewal and this year's Mother's Day card for my Mother.

Illustrated below, photos of some of the paper stock I keep on hand for printing and (on the right) the unfolded and folded printed Mother's Day card and a photocopy of the printed check. If you look closely at the photocopy of the check, you will see the hidden "void" stamps, a feature of the check paper I use.

I use Microsoft Money for all of my financial record keeping, and though I could print checks with that software, prefer to use Microsoft Publisher for that particular task (both personal and business checks). Here again, I can do this because I seldom write checks, preferring instead to use a credit or debit card when making purchases.

Another cost saving? I order inexpensive secure blank check paper which I can use for either account type (business or personal).


Saturday, May 11, 2019

On The Menu- Last Week (May 2019)

Went to the market and purchased many of my favorites, so I decided to take photos of the dishes and snacks I prepared over the last week.

Photos, reading left to right:

  • Grilled Ham & Cheese on Sara Lee Artesano Bread (photos 1 & 2)
  • Fresh Fruits from the market
  • Fish (Gortons) & Chips w/Coke
  • Strawberry Shortcake and Fresh Strawberries (photos 5 & 6)
  • Thomas' Mini Bagel w/Philly Cream Cheese & Apple Jelly (Smuckers), Watermelon Chunks & Bacon
  • Blackened Chicken Breast Slices (Oscar Mayer) on a Hamburger Roll, Grapes & UTZ Honey BBQ Chips
  • Peanut M&Ms
  • Grapes
  • Red Baron Brick Oven Pepperoni Pizza

Normally, I have Kung Pao Chicken at least once a week, so I am a bit surprised I do not have a photo. Think I had it a day prior to the start of my photo shoot. Also not shown, the chicken fajitas I had on at least two occasions last week.


Sunday, May 05, 2019

My MasterCard Activity: April-May 2019

I use the Sunset version of Microsoft Money to track all of my financial accounts (both business and personal). This works for me because I use a Windows XP platform to maintain these records. Quicken is a good alternative, if you are looking for something similar.

The illustration below, shows the MasterCard account activity for the last month (via Microsoft Money).

Line items shown for the MasterCard account include:

  • Today's Payments-- broken down into non-business and business related expenses (I have separate business and personal checking accounts with different financial institutions).
  • New plants (Safeway)
  • MVA Payment Driver's License
  • MVA Payment Car Registration
  • Mother's Day Gifts
  • Cobbler Repairs
  • Domain Registration Renewals
  • Some line items redacted because I do not wish to publicize how much I pay for a particular service.

For various reasons I prefer to use my credit cards rather than debit cards, whenever possible, hence the reason you also see the charge for my visit to Dunkin Donuts (I rarely do this). That said, I pay entire balances when statements come due.

Keep in mind, I am a sole proprietor (QiSoftware), however rarely have the opportunity to deduct business expenses. That said, I do track business expenses through payment checking accounts and Microsoft Money.

The MasterCard discussed in this post is a personal credit card which I use for both personal and business use. My business is a legal business entity (in Maryland), however I use the same tax identification number for both business and personal filings. I note these details in case you are a business owner and wonder why I track and pay in the manner I have outlined.


Sunday, April 28, 2019

2019 Renewals

Coming into the new year (2019), I had several business registration and motor vehicle renewals, including:

  • QiSoftware's Business Renewal (every 5 years)
  • Domain Registration Renewals for hosting-q.com and reginadenisethomas.com (résumé site)
  • Driver's License Renewal (every 8 years)
  • Automobile Registration Renewal (every 2 years)

For some reason this bothered me. This may have been because the business and driver's license renewals both came due this year.

Happy the last of the renewals (QiSoftware's Business Registration) was mailed off last week (paperwork shown in the illustration below).

My new driver's license arrived in March (birthday in July) and the car registration and stickers earlier this month (April).

Other business related renewals: This year, I actually had four domain renewals however only hosting-q.com and reginadenisethomas.com (résumé site) are active sites. QiSoftware.com expires in June 2020, however will be renewed long before the current expiration date.

Also shown in the above illustration, new plants purchased last week and the apple pie I had for dessert today. I have already started trimming the palm and the little pineapple plant will get more leaf shine.

Other things I have been up to?

  • Movie: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
  • Movie: "Misconduct"
  • Movie: "Crazy Rich Asians"
  • Showtime Series: "Billions"
  • Looking forward to the Showtime Series: "City on a Hill" premiering Sunday, June 16 at 9 p.m.
  • Looking forward to the final season of Showtime's "The Affair"
  • and the new season of StarZ's "Power"

It was a nice day here, and I decided to prepare a somewhat large dinner. On the menu: pork chops, steamed cabbage, mac & cheese, candied yams and cornbread. Did I mention apple pie for dessert? Happy, the kitchen is tidy and the dishwasher is ending its drying cycle.




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