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Regina's personal blog

Saturday, November 11, 2017

I Love Mac & Cheese, Holidays, Fall

Do you have a cash rewards credit card? I received a $50 check in the mail Thursday, because I finally reached the payout threshold with the latest billing cycle.

All in all it was a nice week...

That said, I did not feel well yesterday morning. I felt so bad, that even though I wanted to go inside my bank to deposit the check and ask questions about a service offering, I chose to stay in the car and use the drive-through window. Glad I am feeling better today.

Earlier in the week, I worked on the stores and several other projects.

Also happy to report no more problems with my Android. See the last post.

Are you interested in what's going on insofar as National Holiday Events? How about events in my area, Arundel Mills/Live Casino? All of this looks pretty festive.

I am also putting together my market list for Thanksgiving. I wanted to try something new this year, however I think I am going to do the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. What about you?


Saturday, November 04, 2017

Android Storage Space Error Message

For the last two weeks, I have experienced problems with my Android in that an error message indicated the Storage Space was under 250 MB causing several applications [apps] to malfunction.

Briefly the specs on my Android include:

  • Android OS 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • 16GB Storage
  • 2GB RAM
  • No SD Card Slot

Initially, I tried several solutions however the error returned within a day or so. One of my problems, I use my Android and the Chrome browser quite a bit and tend to leave the browser cache unattended. Deleting the browser cache helped for a moment or two. I also deleted several apps I rarely used. Neither of these solutions worked long term.

Then I discovered, the error message was a bit misleading in that it was not actually the storage space that was causing the problem, more the amount of free RAM.

Why "all of a sudden" was this causing a "Storage Space" problem on the Android I have used daily since February 2015?

I believe it is because recent releases of the apps I use, provide more instant notifications requiring the programs to stay resident in memory.

For example, my Amazon App now provides an instant notification every time something on my "Wish List" is on sale as a Deal.

When these notifications started in October [2017], I was pleased. I still love the feature, however I had to disable it on that app as well as most of the others to free up RAM space on my Android.

As noted, solutions included turning off "Show Notifications" for most of the apps running on the Android. Since I will miss those notifications, I researched devices that would be able to handle the many applications I use on tablet/Android devices and came up with two solutions [iPad & Samsung devices with lots of storage and memory]:

Have you had a similar problem?


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Yesterday, Decided To Take a Break

Yesterday, while driving around Arundel Mills, I took these photos.

It was a gorgeous day, and today is even prettier. In our area, the leaves are just beginning to change and peak color should be here in no time. This is one of my favorite times of the year.

What else have I been up to?

  • Working on my new affiliates database.
  • Movie "John Wick Chapter 2"
  • Updating my stores.
  • Taking photos.
  • Preparing for the holidays.
  • Posting to social media accounts - see here and here.

I have also been researching software products. Microsoft Access is a powerful tool and as a software developer I can do a lot with this software, however it is not supported on the Mac operating system. I do a lot of development work on a Mac computer.

Alternatives for Mac users include, FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Pro Advanced. These packages are also supported on Windows platforms.

In addition, if you are not well versed in database definition [schema/structure] or the SQL standard, you may find the FileMaker offering a bit easier to use, in that there is no programming involved.


Friday, October 20, 2017

Do I Read Like a Nerd?

For the last two days, I have been developing a new Microsoft Access Database to assist with running, tracking and reporting items associated with an affiliate program.

Thus far I have created the following elements for this new database:

  • 2 Tables
  • 1 Form
  • 4 Reports [2 HTML snippets to use with my site areas]
  • 8 Queries
  • 1 Macro
  • Data Access Page [still working on this]

Though I have extensive experience developing and working with SQL compliant databases [and Microsoft's Access product], in recent years my work in this area has concentrated more on MySQL development efforts and Java JDBC programming.

This has been a great exercise for me, in that I have been looking for a reason to play with Microsoft Access again. I am pretty pleased with my efforts thus far. In 1993, when I first started working with Microsoft Access, I was pretty impressed, and I must say-- I am still impressed with its power.

That said, in 1993 I was writing front-end c routines, back-end Fortran code, c-binding for DEC's RMDBS, and the X-Windows System platform to develop graphical user interfaces for my programs.

When I was tasked to come up to speed with Microsoft's new offering [Access], I felt it comparatively easy to my other system development efforts.

I still have the original HR System I developed for my Crystal City Rockwell office. The system was pretty extensive and gave me a great opportunity to develop in the Windows environment.

Back then, I mostly developed software for Unix or VMS platforms, and used a PC to document my software development life cycle efforts.

I also used Microsoft Access to create a Program Trouble Report database that was used to support Configuration Management efforts for our contract deliverable programs. I also have this system.

My résumé boasts, Microsoft Office Power User, however until this week I had forgotten just how powerful this resource is.

Next week, I am going to continue looking at the Facebook API. I have been adding national events to the WiredPages Facebook page, for the new widget/servlet I am developing for the Style & Events page. See illustration of a similar interface here.

If you would like to have your event listed-- contact me at wiredpages dot qisoftware dot com. Check out the list to see the type of events being listed.


Monday, October 16, 2017

On A Budget Outfit 10/16/17

In years past, shopping for a new business suit was one of my favorite things to do. Often it did not matter if the item was on sale or not.

Not the case these days. I shop on a budget and often find great deals.

Item, price paid, original price and where purchased...

  • ROMEO & JULIET COUTURE Oversized Sweater w/ Detachable Faux Fur $15 original price $155 Amazon.
  • Nine West Women's Snowfall Suede Slouch Boot $67.54 shipping included was $300.00 Nine West Online
  • Liz Claiborne Dress $26.00 original price est. $100 Arundel Mills Liz Claiborne Outlet Store
  • Mary McFadden Collection- Long Black Sweater $0.00 original price est. $100, Mom's Closet. Shown wearing in this post.

I purchased the brown suede in the Nine West Snowfall Suede Slouch Boot directly from Nine West in February of this year, however showing the Amazon listing for the black suede. Not sure if the brown is still available.

What else have I been up to? Working on software development projects and preparing for the holidays.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

New Suede Boots

These days I seldom write about fashion unless to discuss an outing and wish to describe or show the outfit I wore for identification purposes.

That said, recently I purchased a pair of black suede boots that I absolutely love. They were such a great deal, I thought I would share the news.

I am showing the boots with a skirt I made several years ago, which some may recognize as one I own. I have a lot I can pair with these boots and feel very lucky to have found them.

Note from the receipt, I purchased them in September [end of summer] which may explain the great deal.

Do you shop off season for fashion finds?

What else have I been up to? Updating my Amazon stores. In the past, I added fashion items either under the "Let Me Know" or "Career Dressing" category. You may have noticed I decided to omit those categories for the new store formats:

I have also been working on a new software project which I am pretty excited about [discussed on Remix] and hoping to do more research on Celebrity Bloggers.


Friday, October 06, 2017

Week of October First Twenty-Seventeen

Mostly an uneventful week, however I was able to complete several tasks I had been putting off [discussed below in the itemized list].

Noted in the above illustration, took photos of area points of interest including the now complete apartment complex, "The Arundel" and the Live Hotel construction site @Maryland Live.

  • Went by my business bank on Wednesday, October 4, 2017.
  • Booted my Macbook today [these days I rarely do this- since I am not in software development mode]:
    • ... updated the Thingamablog Remix Business Blog. Sometimes I make minor changes to a blog's appearance-- via the web hosting cPanel interface without installing the updates to the "master" copy of the blog. The "master" database, system and associated files for the Thingamablog Remix blog are maintained on my Macbook.
    • integrated other minor changes to the Remix template and backed up the entire blog to an external hard drive.
    • Began development work on the new interface for the HanoverMaryland Businesses Page which accesses the Facebook API. Minor issue with SSL Certs. Hope to complete this project tomorrow.
  • Paying bills, business phones, site hosting, etc. Always want this noted.
  • Minor updates to my stores:
  • Played around with a newly released site/blog monetization tool.

Happy the weather is cooler. Since I am going out a bit more, I have added a few items to my wardrobe that will show up in the coming months. I am also planning a nice holiday weekend and meal. Hope you are too.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Autumn 2017

It is finally here, the first day of Autumn. I love this time of year.

  • Social media posts-- HanoverMD Businesses
  • Movie: La La Land
  • A new Facebook application that will display upcoming events from the Hanover Maryland Businesses page to websites and blogs. Will post about this project later on my business blog [Remix].
  • Paying business related bills.
  • Research for the stores. Links located- upper sidebar on the right.

Illustration below shows partial results from the Facebook API. See "new Facebook application" referenced above.

I think it is going to be a beautiful Fall. Are you looking forward to the season?

By the way, did you notice the number of upcoming Job Fairs or Hiring Events in our area via this link?


Saturday, September 09, 2017

Finding Lots To Do...

After what seemed like a month of rain, the skies have cleared and it has been a bit cooler. I am keeping busy with a myriad of projects.

Recent projects...

Note the number of power adapters and cables in the illustration of my recent purchases. I have found that when I keep my mobile devices powered with an external power adapter, I extend the life of the battery of each device.

For example, I have had my Android since February 2015 and I am still able to get over 5 hours with the battery if I need to. When I use battery power, I also try to discharge the battery so that only one or two percent of the charge is remaining. Recharging from this depleted level, calibrates the battery which also helps to extend battery life.

The downside to the use of constant power adapters? I replace cables and adapters at least every other year [if not more], as indicated by the illustration of my recent purchases.


Saturday, September 02, 2017

Thingamablog: Tech Savvy & Secure

Many are aware- I use Thingamablog as the content management platform for both my business and personal blogs. I started using Thingamablog in 2010 when Blogger decided to discontinue FTP support for users who hosted their blogs on private domains.


Thingamablog runs standalone on desktop computers and requires Java installation, if not already installed on the system.

In my opinion, the Thingamablog platform offers more security in that the entire application and post database are maintained off line. What this means? The master copies of my blogs are maintained off line and are tamper proof.

This also allows for easy backup to external storage devices of the off-line applications and databases, as opposed to online site backups.

That said, in my case I also backup my entire website so snap-shots of both the remix.qisoftware.com and personal.qisoftware.com sub-domains where I maintain the blogs, are also backed-up when I perform full-site backups.

Useful links:

In 2010, I also established the Facebook group [referenced above], for Thingamablog users. We are always looking for new members, so if you are interested in this blogging/content management tool, please join us.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Last Week In August [2017]...

So what are your plans for the weekend? Me? With the new school year and holidays right around the corner, I am planning updates to the stores.

I meant to post new photos around the time of my birthday [July], however never did. Below, recent photos.

In recent weeks, I have been out a bit researching local business activities however, have mostly stayed close to home. It has been wet and humid here.

Other things I have been up to?

  • Watching professional tennis. BTW: US Open starts Monday, August 28, 2017.
  • Paid bills including, qisoftware.com web hosting, phones, etc.
  • Monetized another sub-domain on my site [qisoftware.com] and integrated the related Google Analytics code.
  • Watched Bei Bei [National Zoo's Panda Cub], celebrate his second birthday.
  • Went by my business bank.
  • Sharing social media posts.

Hope you have a nice weekend.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Working Domain Issues, August 2017

Earlier in the week, I had problems with the MySQL databases associated with the NS&J Forums and Q's Wire Blog. The forums use PHPBB and Q's Wire is a WordPress blog that is hosted on qisoftware.com. If you tried to access either the forums or blog, error messages indicated there were "database connection errors".

Recently, my web hosting provider upgraded a number of system software services on my server- including PHP. Initially, I thought this may have been the problem, however now I am not so sure.

Somehow the database passwords became misaligned. I am the only authorized user with access to cPanel- [hosting domain management interface] for both domains [qisoftware.com & hosting-q.com]. So, it appears these errors were caused by someone's deliberate actions and no, I do not think it was the web hosting provider.

After realigning the passwords, I requested full- backups of both sites.

I also fixed the Blogger Calendar's servlet for Q's Wire. The screen-grab captured using a WindowsXP system running Firefox browser version 43.0.1 (the reason the applet works without any special security updates to the system's Java control panel).


I installed the Blogger Calendar in the current version of Q's Wire's template for this demonstration only, however if you view the source for any page of Q's Wire, you will notice the "commented out" script for the Blogger Calendar.

What else have I been up to?

  • Shopping online for a birthday present for my sister. I am pretty happy with my selection and picked two from my Gift Ideas store.
  • Updated Business Tools I Heart post, on the Remix Blog.
  • Other minor domain issues with qisoftware.com. Email spam options also affected by someone's deliberate actions. Also, changed the domain hosting password.
  • Rogers Cup Tennis
  • STARZ's "Power" series.
  • Arundel Mills Cobbler to have a pair of heels repaired. Liked this experience, 20 minutes my shoes are ready.
  • Social media tasks for the Hanover Maryland Businesses, Facebook page.

It was not all bad this week, in that the problems were resolved quickly. I was also happy to boot-up my Macbook and work on software code issues. I miss working software development issues...


Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Around Town... Early August 2017

Hot and thunderstorms, the last couple of weeks, however everything looks beautiful.

As you may recall, I take weekly photos of the progress at the construction site for the Live Hotel [being erected next to the Maryland Live Casino in Hanover, Maryland]. These photos taken over the last 3 weeks.

Other recent activities:

I went out this morning. Had to deposit more of my birthday money in the bank and rode around Hanover to see what's new.

They finished work on "The Arundel" [luxury apartments], that lobby looks beautiful [did not go inside, however did get photos of the exterior]. If you only know the mall [Arundel Mills] and casino and have the opportunity, checkout some of the new construction going on in our area. It is pretty impressive.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Back to School 2017

I did not go away to college. I lived at home the entire 4 years, while studying for my undergrad degree. Going away to college is one of the things I always felt I should have experienced.

I am always interested to learn what new students leaving home for the first time are hoping the experience will provide them.

That said, school shopping was always one of my favorite things to do and I did more than my share- even though I lived at home. I needed supplies, fashions, books, etc., just like students living on campus. I had a part time job [one summer an internship at NASA] for most of the four years I was in college- to offset expenses and college loans.

Today, if I had to worry about living on campus what would I purchase?

I have also updated some of the other stores.

Also researching for several of my social media projects including the HanoverMaryland Businesses page on Facebook.

Since my last post, I celebrated another birthday. It was a nice birthday and I am always happy to receive the money gifts my family bestows upon me.

I did not like any of my birthday photos, so I will post a new photo later to show how gracefully I am not aging. Did you get that word play? Just kidding.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday Morning Drive...

I was up bright and early this morning, so I decided to get dressed and go for a drive.

As many of you know I am the admin for my high school alumni group on Facebook-- and recently I came up with the idea to ask the school administration about video tours of the school. I want to upload a video tour to the group page so those who have left the area can see what's new. Our high school was once the largest in the state and our Facebook group has over 3100 members-- who are still very interested in things happening there.

I have yet to make the call, however did drive by the school this morning to see what's new from the exterior. I also had my dash-cam running. The dash-cam video is not good enough to upload, however I did not feel it was a wasted trip.

As you can see in the above illustration, before driving by the school-- I stopped at the Hanover construction site of the Live! Hotel-- to snap the weekly progress photo. I use photos like these on the HanoverMDBusinesses page on Facebook.

The next stop on my drive this morning? Annapolis. It was beautiful. I have not been to Annapolis since November 2014 and had no special plans other than I have always loved the area and thought it would be a nice morning to visit. It was.

I also had the dash-cam running in Annapolis. There is a short clip on my Instagram feed showing the approach to the State Capitol Building-- as recorded by the dash-cam.

I started my drive around 7:40 AM this morning and arrived home about 9:45 AM or so. I rarely "just drive" these days. Normally, I have an errand or a project.

I started making dinner just after noon-- [we always have dinner early on Sundays].

It was a beautiful morning to take a drive and I had a nice dinner.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Staying Busy...

As mentioned in previous posts, there are several major construction sites in the Hanover [MD] area, including the Live! Hotel and The Arundel luxury apartments.

Weekly photos show the progress at the Live! Hotel construction site.

More photos to come as they become available.

What else have I been up to?

Recent photos from my gardens.

I have been working several projects while trying to stay cool. Had a quiet 4th and now that everyone is back in town, getting back to a normal routine.


Saturday, July 08, 2017

Home Office 2017

My home office is comprised of several areas on all three levels of my residence. I am lucky in that I have space to spread out.

Why do I need so much space? I am a business owner/software consultant and own a lot of office equipment. I started purchasing items for my home office long before starting my own business, in fact, while still working as a defense contractor for a major corporation.

Note the fax machine shown in the above illustration. This is the second fax machine I have owned. I purchased my first in 1995. I like owning a fax machine for both legal issues and the convenience -even in today's more digital age.

Yes, today one can sign an email digitally and it is a legal and binding communique, however I prefer the fax machine.

So why am I discussing my home office? Well recently, I have been taking inventory for another project. What do I really use? Believe it or not, a lot of the equipment I own.

The project? I recently moved my Amazon Stores so I had the opportunity to review and update products previously listed in all the stores, including the Computer Electronics/Home Office store.

The updates? I added more of what I own, however did not list in the earlier version including:

  • File Cabinets
  • Manilla Folders
  • Staplers & Dispensers

Things I own, however no longer use and did not list? Rolodexes.

When I first started my home office, I made regular visits to Office Depot and Staples. Though I like walking the aisles of these stores-- I find when I need to replenish or research what others are saying-- online research and purchases are too convenient for me to pass on.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Business Blog Remix Updates 06.28.17

For the last week I have been integrating affiliate stores and links that were hosted on affiliate sites, to my business site and blogs. Affiliate program changes the reason for these updates.

Both the Business Blog Remix and this one [personal blog], maintained off-site stores. Now the stores are accessed via the blogs.

In addition to creating the new stores for each of the blogs, I also updated the banner graphic used on the Remix Blog. There were also several minor cosmetic issues associated with the blog, that were also corrected.

When I first received notice one of my affiliate programs would be undergoing significant changes, I was a bit worried. A week and a half later, I am happy most of my work in anticipation of the affiliate program changes has been completed.

Links for the blog stores are located in the upper right sidebar of each blog and listed below for your convenience.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

June 2017

A death in the family took most of the family out of the area in early June. I did not attend the funeral. I have not been out much, instead working, catching a movie here or there and watching live tennis action.

Recent activities and plans:

I have a little more work to do on the stores-- and new additions and deletions are constant. I also have three new domain registrations I plan to start work on.

In the coming months, for a change of scenery and project research, I may check in at the air conditioned mall [ArundelMills] & Live! Casino.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Amazon Stores, A Work In Progress

Over the coming months, Amazon plans to phase out the astore feature, so I am currently adding new pages to this blog that will incorporate most of the product links provided in the Amazon versions of the stores.

Currently the links for the Amazon versions of the stores are listed in the right upper sidebar. I will gradually replace the Amazon links with the page versions associated with this blog.

Listed below, demonstration links for the blog page versions of the stores [keep in mind I am currently working this project].

This project should keep me busy for a couple of days...


Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Credit Card Rewards

One of my banks offers rewards for using their credit card. I love this concept and pay for most purchases with the card.

This month, charges itemized on the bill included:

  • Eye Glasses & Contact Lens Prescriptions
  • Contact Lenses [2 boxes]
  • Three new domain registrations totaling about $35
  • Web Hosting qisoftware.com
  • Cell Phone
  • Mother's Day Gift for my Mother

Total charges last month; about $397. This added about $4.00 to my rewards account balance bringing it to $44.82. The credit card issuer will send a check when the balance reaches $50.

Noted in the illustration above, this morning I paid the entire card balance. This ensures I do not incur interest charges on any carryover balance, making the cash rewards the card offers even more attractive.

Last month, I noticed Amazon also offers a similar cash rewards [Visa] card. I have a great card, however this appears to be something worth looking into-- Amazon Rewards Visa by Chase.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend 2017

It is a beautiful quiet holiday weekend here and I do not have much on tap.

Things I have been up to?

Those in the area may have noticed, I have been out a bit more researching and photographing ongoing projects.

Also still thinking about new websites [discussed in the last post] and all that entails.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

HanoverMaryland [dot] org

Recently, I have been working several projects mostly associated with the HanoverMDBusinesses Page maintained on Facebook.

Preliminary tasks [for one of the projects] included, registering two new domains:

  • hanovermaryland.org [future full blown website similar to ococean.com]
  • reginadenisethomas.com [software and other support tools for my projects that I do not want hosted on my business sites, i.e., qisoftware.com and hosting-q.com]

I also created a new Instagram account that will be used exclusively with the HanoverMaryland Businesses page and site.

Currently, the Facebook page uses the QiSoftware Instagram account w/hashtag "hanovermdbiz". In the future, the new HanoverBusinesses Instagram account will be integrated on both the page and site.

To provide a more professional appearance to the photos published via Instagram, I have been playing around with the Photo Apps that were pre-installed on my Android and Windows10 platform.

Both apps, quite frankly are pretty sophisticated and allow for incremental angular rotation and image cropping- both of which I find quite useful. I use these apps because I post Instagram photos from my Android to the QiSoftware account and now from the Windows10 platform to the new HanoverBusinesses Instagram account.

The HanoverMDBusinesses page is sort of a hobby that I started in 2010 and work when time permits. I hope the new [future] website and other online resources will engage visitors and promote the business/entertainment/shopping/dining community that exists just outside my back door [figuratively speaking].


Friday, May 12, 2017

New Condenser Microphone

In March, when I ordered my new camcorder, I did not order a backup battery nor a condenser microphone. A week ago, I ordered those accessories and yesterday the purchases arrived.

Check below for links to the specific camcorder accessories I ordered:

Amazon order:

Short video demonstrating the difference between using the camcorder with and without the condenser microphone.

What else have I been up to? Actually several projects, however I will have to update this later.


Monday, May 08, 2017

Eye Appointment Today

Last month I scheduled an eye appointment [for today], with the Arundel Mills location of VisionWorks.

For awhile now, I have been trying to get over to the mall for new photos of all the new stores opening @Arundel Mills.

Most of the photos will be used for posts, Instagram feed photos, or events associated with the HanoverMDBusinesses page, I maintain on Facebook.

As most know, the Maryland Live! Casino is co-located with Arundel Mills Mall and the new seventeen story hotel [Live Hotel], under construction now [due to open late 2017 or early 2018], appears to be bringing in a lot of new stores.

Imagine, the casino, live entertainment @Center Stage, the new hotel, shopping, world class dining, and all of the other entertainment venues the mall has to offer- all in one place. It all looks very exciting.

Today was the perfect opportunity to walk the 3/4 of a mile distance around the mall and shoot a lot of new photos.




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