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Sunday, June 30, 2024

How Hot Is It?

It has been so hot in my area, I hate having to think about going out.

That said, on Thursday, June 27, 2024 I did have to go out and my worst fears were realized, when the van I wanted to use would not start.

A brand new battery was installed about a year ago, however, the van is used less than once a month and I think the combination of hot weather and disuse drained the battery.

The good news, the van started right away with the amp charger I reference in this post.

I am seldom jealous of anyone with a pool. Allow me to explain. About the time I was completing my sophomore year in college (1979) and my sister was graduating from high school (always think of it as her graduation present), my parents had a pool installed.

Though I was never home (college, work, other interests), I perhaps used the pool less than 5 times before my parents sold the house in 1984. I thought when the pool was open (May-October), it was a lot of maintenance. And then there was the bunny that could not swim. I was simply never interested in that pool.

Several years ago, one of the neighbors had a pool installed. See below, the view from my office window. I have never wished I could just jump into that pool- that is, until this year.

Maybe it is because I have been working in my office more this year and the room seems hotter than other areas of the house, but I have wanted to dive into the neighbor's pool. That said, I do not want my very own pool.

Though, the next topic is not heat related, I was hot under the collar when the issue first came to my attention.

Facebook decided my business verification was no longer valid in 2022. I mention this issue in this post. I was baffled by this, however, let it go. At the time, I was a developer using Facebook APIs, however, there seemed to be no impact to my Facebook applications (see here and here), so I did not worry about it.

On Thursday, June 27, 2024, after notification earlier in the week related to the state's renewal of my business entity, I resubmitted the business information (state & business bank documents) to Facebook.

As noted from the graphic below, Facebook verified my business and also verified that my business is a tech provider for their services- mainly dealing with their API resources.

Glad most of my heat related issues worked out. I am currently working a number of business related projects and planning for the holiday.




Wednesday, April 24, 2024

My Costco Habits

I shop Costco at least every other week. This may be surprising to some, in that it would suggest there are more people in my household than there are. Costco is known for the bulk items on its shelves.

That said, the products I normally purchase from Costco are paper products and other staples on sale which last. So let us start with the everyday items I try to get on sale.

Next are foods and drinks. I love bakery items like danish, croissants, rolls, etc. Sometimes I purchase danish and a variety of their cupcakes however, I have to freeze most of the items in each package. I also purchase in bulk the King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls and freeze each package (comes with 2 in a pack) until needed.


The King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls have 32 rolls in a pack and last about 2½ weeks. Here are some of the ways I use them with my meals.


I shop local food stores for most other staples. Is the Costco membership fee worth the savings I look for- on the products I purchase? Yes.




Saturday, April 20, 2024

Do you think I should smile more?

Lately, I have been trying to update my look, however, I have been distracted with a number of issues related to my software applications and sites.

Thursday evening, I noticed a problem with the FCC application I developed for the WiredPages Media page. I think I have a solution, however I am not happy about the number of recent problems with my applications. In most cases, the API, XML, or RSS feed I am using has changed or was retired.

In addition, hosting-q.com, the site I use to host most of my software applications has gone down too many times in the last week. When it rains it pours.

Now, why am I working on my personal appearance? Earlier this year, I noticed I had lost quite a bit of weight (due to physical exertion), so I made a determined effort to lose more.

This has not exactly worked out as planned, in that I am not losing at the same rate. A bit slower.

A week ago, I was pleased with how my hair turned out- so yesterday, I thought I would look through my makeup bag and try somethings in hopes of reigniting my efforts insofar as my diet.

I am not sure if that red lipstick is going to do the trick, and I am really not sure why I would want a darker lipstick as we approach summer.

Maybe I should smile more, however right now I am rather annoyed with each new problem.




Friday, April 12, 2024

Finally...

Yesterday, finally did something about my hair.

I am not happy with these photos, however, pleased with how my hair turned out.

When out, I receive a lot of comments about my hair. Now that my hair is mostly one color, it may look like a messy wig. It is not.

Why now? Wednesday, I was taking a selfie video for a ID I needed, and while sitting in the afternoon sunlight, noticed all the gray. I went out later that day and purchased the Garnier Nutrisse hair color I prefer.




Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Feedspot Featured

It's Personal, this blog has been featured by Feedspot as one of Maryland's Top 30 Blogs.

I am delighted to have my personal blog featured by this organization.




Friday, November 03, 2023

Beautiful Fall Color 2023

I have been working various projects recently, however took the time to notice how beautiful the fall color turned out.



This fall, I have also tried new food items or prepared a lot of my old favorites.


I love fall and preparing for the holidays. Though I have no big plans, I try to ensure that if I have an event, I have options. Last night, before preparing for bed, I played around with a holiday look...


Hope to get to my hair in the coming weeks.




Monday, September 18, 2023

It's the little things...

On Friday, September 15, 2023, I noticed for the first time that the New York Times Hardcover Bestsellers lists on the WiredPages Libraries page were out of sync.

For some reason, I thought the New York Times updated their hardcover bestsellers list late Saturdays to be ready for the Sunday edition. It turns out the new bestsellers are released each week on Wednesdays at 5:00 PM.

Why, had I never looked this up before last Friday? Because I am a programmer who relied solely on API feeds for the real time dynamic information used on most areas of the WiredPages News Service.

Why can I no longer rely on those real time API feeds? Though I can rely on the New York Times API (the list in the sidebar without the book cover images), Amazon's Associate resources for programmers have undergone many changes- restricting a lot of the access programmers using those resources once had.

So why did I update my Amazon Affiliate Links Database for the NY Times Bestsellers a moment ago and provide the updated information here (updated again on Jan. 14, 2024)...

The New York Times® Best Sellers
For the week of: 1/10/2024
Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers


As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

... in this blog post and not the WiredPages Libraries page? Because over the weekend, I decided I was not happy about my site visitation numbers in a number of areas and thought I would stop thinking about it and watch movies instead (also watched a little football, cooked, etc.).

I thought these movies (all new to me) great for the weekend distraction I wanted.

Okay, where was I? My last post touches on some of the issues that seem to be at odds with my visitation data and I am frustrated. Visitation data impacts my access to the Amazon Product Advertising API (real time Amazon Products data) and the ads I run.

I cannot explain why the numbers are not syncing up. I would love for DOJ to respond.

P.S. I will update the WiredPages Libraries page on Wedenesday, after 5:00 PM and each Wednesday after that, with the new release of bestsellers- until my access to the Amazon Product Advertising API is restored.




Friday, August 11, 2023

My Espresso

Often, while researching offerings provided by content creators- I notice many provide their morning coffee ritual. I too, have a morning drink- my espresso.

What my espresso does not have:

  • Shot of espresso
  • Shot of vanilla
  • Shot of caramel
  • Oat milk
  • Green powder
  • Ice cubes

What it does have:

  • Freshly ground coffee beans (blend Starbucks & Peets)
  • Pure cane sugar
  • Heavy whipping cream (okay, its like a shot of caramel with all of the cream and sugar)
  • Bottled water
  • Canned whipped cream if available

When I could not figure out why the half & half I used for years tasted as if too much preservative (fish oil) was being added, I switched to the heavy whipping cream purchased in a carton.

Recently, I purchased a carton of half & half (because the heavy cream was unavailable) and noticed the odd taste was absent, however I have now become used to the richer taste of heavy whipping cream.

I have no intention of moving into this century on this...




Sunday, August 06, 2023

First Week in August 2023...

It has been hot and humid in the Baltimore/Washington area and I am thankful I can do most things from the comfort of home. That said, on Wednesday of last week, on my way to Costco- I ran into a problem with a dead car battery.

I so seldom go out, that when things like this happen I am momentarily thrown off my game and cannot seem to understand how a dead battery could happen on a car I rarely use and continue to recondition with a battery amp charger/meter.

In this case, it appears the battery simply could no longer be reconditioned and on a hot summer day- I was happy to have another car I could use to both pick up needed supplies from Costco and to purchase a new battery from Autozone.

On Thursday morning, I tried to remove the negative terminal connector without success (positive easily loosened), so I called my brother to ask if he had a battery terminal remover tool. He said he would come by and look at the problem. After going through most of the ratchets in his set he finally found a small enough adjustable wrench in the tools here, to grab and loosen the nut holding the bolt.

The car started right away after putting the new battery in. I would have taken the car to the repair shop to replace the battery, however the battery was completely dead and could not be jump started.

The other project I have been working is going well and getting only good reports.

I am losing weight (project requires a lot of physical activity), and I think that is showing my age. Lately though, I have started to eat more of the foods I used to eat, however, not because I want a rounder less lined face. More because I am getting back into the sync of things.

Other recent purchases I am pleased about are shown below.

In my spare time, I continue to research content creators for a new venture I am thinking about (wiredcreators.com).

Discussed in this post...


Porkus Glass Cups with Lids and Straws 4pcs,Glass Iced Coffee Cups with Lids

EasyTime Watch Repair Kit - Watch Battery Replacement Kit

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.




Saturday, July 22, 2023

2023 Summer Project, My Absence

Since June 23, 2023, my every waking moment has been spent working a project that has consumed a lot of energy and time. I am hopeful- appointments next week will provide the positive results for all the hard work.

I am not going to provide more details about the project, however, suffice to say it is very important to me.

This post, to provide the reason for what appears to be my absence over the last month, from my normal online activities.

Over the course of the month, I celebrated another birthday and just last night, began reading Grisham’s "The Boys from Biloxi".

Major issues that have fallen by the wayside because of time constraints over the last month, include:

  • The Amazon Native Ads affiliate resource is retiring in August, so I need to update my Amazon Stores and the app that utilizes the Amazon Product Advertising API.
  • Work on a new site, WiredCreators.com.
  • A summer course I wanted to take.
  • Two WiredPages applications that no longer have working feeds.
  • Real estate continuing education courses to maintain my Maryland Real Estate Salesperson's license which must be completed by April 2024. I have 5 of the 15 credits required to maintain the license. I hate putting things off til the last minute.

Discussed in this post...




Tuesday, June 20, 2023

My Vitals...

I feel in good health, however sometimes I seem to be very hungry and thirsty. I am losing weight anyway. The only medication I use is Advil on the rare occasion I have a headache. A bit of research provides I am probably a type 1 diabetic, however need a doctor to confirm.

Based on this information, I borrowed a glucose kit to check my levels over a period of three days. The levels were 67, 102, and 102. The 67 seems a bit low.


Other stats:
Age:
Weight: 160lbs (or so)
Height 5'6"
BMI: 26 (overweight)
HIV Status: Negative
Education: BS Mathematics 1981
Other: Maryland Licensed Real Estate Salesperson 2022

Why leave my age blank? A visiting relative once called me Doogie Howser. There is a lot of evidence to support this statement (started college at 15) however, official documents supplied by state and Federal governments provide a different age. Do I need to prove this? No.

You studied math, how could you question your own age? Actually, I do not. It was the many who came to me with questions that provided the research and answers as to the how and why it was done. Believe it or not, some of the questions came from classmates in my middle and high schools. I continue to have ties to my high school.

Using the glucose kit is a little new to me, so last week the pin prick setting was on 3 which did not draw enough blood. It worked with a setting of 4. This morning I used a setting of 5 to ensure it worked the first time and think I drew too much blood. This can be noted in the following video.

Why would I think blood pressure is tied to HIV? Awhile back I was in a situation where most participants were HIV positive- stats provided. My pressure readings were consistently higher than most in the group using the same equipment. My HIV status was reconfirmed at the time. My stress cards routinely show -no stress or green/blue rather than black. One of the secretaries had a stress card. Hers showed tense (black). Mine always showed not tense. Check with your doctor for the possible meanings. Why note all of this? Public statement in case there was a misunderstanding. That said, I believe there is a National database that provides this information. Temperature readings in offices and other public venues I believe are key. Is my information correct? Do the research.

One other note- I smoked for about 19 years. I loved smoking and used this vice to maintain a 6/8 suit size. I stopped smoking in December 1998, cold turkey. I did not know much about HIV in 2012 about the time I started to understand so many things I had not understood before. This was a major topic I researched. I was always busy with career that I understand now how I missed somethings. People are living HIV positive with beautiful lives. X-smokers have a harder time. I am an x-smoker who currently now needs to look at glucose issues. I had no health related issues before my recent observations with my sugar levels. As a heavy x-smoker, I cannot afford more health issues.




Wednesday, May 31, 2023

My World Lately

I have not posted as much as I thought I would this spring. I have been distracted with a medical emergency and a number of projects I have been trying to complete.

It appears everything is better than expected and I am trying to complete some of my spring time projects.

Hope to get back on schedule within the month.




Thursday, January 26, 2023

Not sure why this is not a priority...

With the new year, I planned a series of business related activities which for some reason, I am finding any number of reasons to distract from my preparations.

I think the main problem relates to whether I can move forward on any of the plans. Normally, I have plans, I execute effectively. No matter- whether I think the plans will work.

Some of the distractions were major and include issues with my sites and the repairs I needed to implement. With the new year, my web hosts changed several things, causing problems for which I had to find solutions.

Another, issues I am having changing my official business address.

That said, an easy task, my hair color has simply not been a priority and I am not sure why- since some of the planned activities are business related meetings.

I wish I could spend the money on a professional for this task, however I set a budget and did not include a $250 salon visit. I also need a trim.

Hoping to get back on track...



Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Holiday Aftermath

I thought it was a nice holiday. Relatives stopped by on Christmas Day and Monday. I spent Christmas morning baking, prepping a roast, and putting together the side table shown in the following photos (click the photos for details about the table).

Tuesday, I planned to be at the bank bright and early however, my bank deposit receipt is timestamped 11:31AM. I also wanted to get somethings heading into the weekend. I am making glazed pork chops and dressing for the first.

After leaving the bank I went by Costco. The velvet jeans I discussed in the last post were no longer on sale, however they had the deep burgundy in my size so I figured I could splurge on another pair at full price.

I felt the sweater and dark brown booties by Anne Klein, items I already owned- would match the burgundy jeans. The sweater is a good contrast however another pair of caramel suede Anne Klein's, here again- I already owned, was a better match.

Last night, after all my chores I had to set my hair. I meant to touch up my roots by the first, however feel I am going to miss the deadline.

I took some photos then started flipping channels. I noticed "Three Days of the Condor" was being aired on one of the cable channels. Are there movies you just stop and watch? This is one of mine.

I have a lot of plans for the new year, however I think I am going to close out the year doing mostly nothing. Oddly enough, I am looking forward to the next few days.




Saturday, December 24, 2022

Deals I Did Not Pass On...

Lately, most of my purchases are for business, necessities, or gifts. That said, in September (2022), I did purchase four pairs of shoes that can only be described as a splurge.

This post is about purchases since early November (2022), that are a mix of either business, necessity, or splurge. As in the case with the purchase of the shoes in September, I consider the price to own, the most important factor in acquiring the new items.

Let's start with my new hair pins. The hair pins were a necessity. As noted in the order information provided below, I paid $5.84 for the four hair pins that I simply love. (Mother sent the photo via her phone).

Why is this a great price? My ecommerce shop- WiredShops provides access to wholesale prices for a wide range of goods. I was able to find the wholesale price I would pay to stock the hair pins and was quite frankly a little surprised. Depending on when the Amazon seller I purchased from acquired the inventory, he may have taken a loss. I am not sure.

My new thermal label printer is categorized as a business expense. I have been researching thermal label printers since my online shop went live (October 2021). Though I really could not justify acquiring the new printer (not really shipping enough product), the price to acquire because of Amazon gift cards and the right printer went on sale- was simply to attractive to pass on.

The printer driver that came with the printer on a flash drive supports most of my desktops, mini pcs, and tablets, including an older Windows XP Desktop and my iPad Mini. For my needs, this was a good choice.

The last purchase, a pair of black velvet jeans by a brand "Well Worn" that I had previously not heard of, was a splurge.

Friday, Dec. 16, 2022, I was in Costco, picking up things like paper towels and the normal staples purchased from this club warehouse when I happened on the jeans. There were several color options, but of course I had to have black. When I arrived home I checked online and found I paid between $30-$8 less than most places selling the same item.

Today, is December 24, 2022 and I am happy I did not have to go anywhere. It has been cold and wet, and yesterday a relative called to say they lost power.

I think I am ready for tomorrow. Hope you are enjoying your holidays.




Friday, December 09, 2022

Lazy Friday in December & Side Gigs...

Yesterday, I went by two supermarkets for staples and Costco for gas. I spent a total of $145 with about $35 of that for the gas. Yesterday, gas was $2.95 per gallon at Costco.


Sunday, December 04, 2022

FICO- I am less annoyed now.

My observations with my personal credit reports began shortly after I moved away from home after graduating from college. I think the one thing most undergrad students know, on campus there is a concerted effort to have students apply for credit, and I did.

My parents gave me a gas credit card when I was in high school, so until that point, that was all the understanding I had to have about credit.

While in college, I lived at home, however had a part time job and attended as a full time student. My credit profile began while in college and quite frankly looked good. Creditors loved me.

Early, in my four year journey for my undergrad degree, I think my parents wanted to ensure I was serious about college. So one semester they requested I take out an education loan (only for that semester's fees) with my credit union (Tower Federal Credit Union). I also took out a new car loan in my sophomore year.

My parents paid all of my living expenses while in college, except the payments on those two loans. Including my auto insurance. During my high school and college years, you would not believe how many times my car was hit, while parked in front of our house.

The year I started my first professional job, I purchased a little two seater with a higher insurance premium. This was in September 1981. In December 1981, my relatively new car was hit while parked in front of my parents house. My auto insurance was high, however always paid through the family policy. These accidents, though no fault of mine, were paid through the family policy however my cars were always registered in my name.

When I moved away from home (June 1982), a year after graduating and acceptance of my first professional position (Boeing), I began to look into credit. I cannot now remember why, however I still remember the credit reports I ordered from the credit reporting agency on occasion.

When I left home, I had more expenses including my own auto insurance policy. Maybe I should have had more expenses before I left home. I did have a low interest college loan, several credit cards, and my new sports car loan, but that was all by the time I moved in 1982. Other loans had been paid off while in college.

The other thing I understood about my credit rating- because I was a defense contractor with a top secret security clearance, I wanted it to remain in the good range.

All of this to explain- why I began looking at my credit ratings early in my professional career. When I wanted to purchase a new home, I set about ensuring my credit rating would be inline with what a mortgage company would accept. And they did.

If I had problems early, it was because I was spoiled as related to credit and had to learn somethings quickly, after I left home.

As a matter of fact, 3 and a half years after first signing with Boeing, I decided, I wanted a career change and looked at different positions. General Electric, explained they would like to hire me, however they would need a lifestyle polygraph. I explained to the hiring manager that I had no problem with the lifestyle poly, however one of the reasons I wanted a career change was I wanted more in the way of salary and also explaining the minor issues I had with debt. He said, there would be no problem with the debt issue and I said there would be no problem with the lifestyle issue. I accepted the position with General Electric.

I left the position with General Electric because it was not what I expected it to be. Boeing had perks that GE did not offer, e.g., my own office, phone, business cards, etc and GE was different. I wanted a more formal setting like I had with Boeing and Rockwell International offered the perks I was used to. I accepted the Rockwell International offer 6 months later. I was with Rockwell for 10 years.

So why am I discussing this? Last night I received an email from the bank that extends credit on my Mastercard (Citi Bank), explaining my FICO score had been updated.

I was a little concerned given my recent observations with the TransUnion reports provided via my Mint account. Mint updates my credit score every 7 days or whenever they receive updates to my credit standing, e.g., new cards added, new inquiries, etc. Applying for credit does impact FICO scores. In 1983 or so, when I first started researching my credit reports, FICO scores were not used. Back then I wanted an "R1" with a lot of months with the same rating- for each credit item on the report.

Today the FICO score offered by my Citibank Mastercard uses Equifax and their latest rating is shown below.

Last night, I was relieved when I took the screenshot shown above. This morning, I checked Mint (TransUnion), and wanted to be annoyed with the screenshot shown below.

I went over the TransUnion report trying to understand why there might be so much difference between the two scores. I have written notes on the screenshots I am using in the illustration below:

I am not sure why the Mint credit report does not show the Citi Mastercard payments on 11/04/22 and this might be a factor as to why the rating is lower. That said, Mint's aggregation process used to stay up to date with all of my financial accounts and related activity- does reflect the payments to Citibank on November 4, 2022.

I am hoping all of this updates early next year, reflecting more positive scores across the board. Even if it does not, I will have learned more about how modern credit ratings are derived. See this post- FICO Realities and Recent FICO Activity for more about my recent credit activity.

I thought of a title for this post, after I had written it.



Monday, September 12, 2022

The First Twelve Days of September 2022

It has been a busy start to September 2022. Some of the things I have been doing, include:

  • Corrected the problems with my Instagram demos, see here and here.
  • Corrected an issue with the Zillow Zestimate API demo.
  • Filmed cooking videos for my Youtube channel. I have a lot of editing to do on the videos.
  • Began working on a new tool using the Youtube API that provides earnings for specified Youtube channels.
  • Researched Youtube Vloggers.
  • Completed 1.5 hours of real estate continuing education (Fair Housing) for my license renewal in April 2024.
  • Researching ways to make money online. Wanted to understand whether surveys were a viable source of income. Made about $20.00 in a little over a week, however given my other time constraints, feel it is more of a burden than I can handle. That said, one can earn money online, doing surveys.
  • Went to the markets (Costco, Safeway, Food Lion) on separate days.
  • Finished a book I borrowed from the library, "Cry of the Halidon" by Robert Ludlum. Thought I had read everything he had ever written.
  • The $10,000 five year CD with my business bank matured, so closed it out and opened a new CD with another of my banks. The rate of 3.50% APY on a five year term CD was too hard to pass up at the other bank. My business and personal banks are large institutions with many branches. For most things like opening or closing accounts I have to make an appointment at one of the branches. My online banks do not have branches, however I love the fact I can open a new account without leaving home.
  • Noticed tributes for Serena.
  • Watching some of the many tributes for the Queen of England.




Saturday, July 09, 2022

Not so quick, that might really be a deal.

Do you ignore promotional emails? I get probably- as many as anyone else, and I must admit my cursor stays on the delete button when checking the mail.

That said, on June 13, 2022 I noticed the subject line for the email highlighted in the graphic below and decided to have a look.


When I opened the email to investigate, I found the following offer.

So the next day, I decided to use my personal checking account (Bank of America) app rather than my business checking account (Wells Fargo) app to deposit the rewards check from the credit card company. I made a video of the mobile deposit.



The last time I received a credit card rewards check was 3 years ago after I purchased my new camera. I normally deposit these infrequent cash rewards checks to my business checking account, however, because of the rewards offer from my other bank, decided to change my routine and use the other bank.

The bank stated the $10 rewards deposit would be within sixty days, and showed up this morning as a deposit made yesterday.


Needless to say, I am not going to be so quick to delete promotional emails in the future.



Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Defining Bimbo? A Male Peer in my Engineering Office Called Some Girls Bimbos. The Secretaries Told Me.

Lately, I have been taking a course, zooming, making financial moves or adding technical know-how to my skill set. The other activity? Waiting for the gardens to start their seasonal display. I love this time of year.




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