Wednesday, February 05, 2020
I use the OverDrive App to borrow books from the Maryland Digital Library. Just finished the latest Grisham release "The Guardians". Now reading "The Silent Wife".
Also happy to report, I am done with my 2019 taxes. Any refunds due, already deposited to my personal checking account.
Here are recent photos from other things going on around here. Lunch today, cookies I made Monday, watching the banana plant I moved to the guest bedroom flourish.
Other things I am watching? Recent news reports indicate FICO score computations are changing. One of my credit cards provides free access to my personal FICO score and my business bank provides reports about my business scores (in my case these scores should be the same because I am a sole proprietor and use the same tax information for both personal and business accounts).
That said, I noticed a 13 point drop in the FICO score being reported by my business bank in early January 2020 and think this may explain the change. The fluctuations seem to be more reflective of spending. Holiday spending using credit cards may have been used in the business FICO score, however I always pay the entire balance on my credit cards so I think the new computations maybe a little trigger happy.
Are you noticing changes with your FICO scores?
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
For various reasons, when I make or notice changes to my appearance, I publicize the differences. For instance, I always like to provide recent photos, to insure the effects of aging are noted and current.
Over the last two or three years I have allowed my hair to grow out. At the same time, I have not dyed my hair so the advancing gray I wanted to be more a striking accent to my appearance- turned out to be, anything but. Did you see Poltergeist? By the end of the movie, JoBeth Williams' character had striking gray effects in her hair. I think, the natural state of my hair should look more like hers at the end of that movie.
The photos below were taken January 26, 2020 and show the enormous amount of gray in my hair:
Yesterday, I went to the market for my mother and also picked up a box of dye. I have to admit, I purchase things because they are on sale, so the box of Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Hair Color Creme, 50 Medium Natural Brown (Truffle) I purchased was more because it was on sale and not because I did any research.
That said, I love this brand. I loved how easy it was to apply, I loved the smell, I loved the way my hair felt after blowing it dry, and this morning after I took out the rollers.
The photos below taken this morning after I combed it out (camera flash highlighting the conditioner in my hair, most of the gray covered):
My natural hair color tends to have lighter brown/blond highlights mixed in with the darker brown. The new color is a bit more auburn (especially where the gray was covered), however I like it.
Sunday, January 26, 2020
On Friday, January 17, 2020, I placed an order with Amazon comprised of the following items, which arrived, Thursday, January 23, 2020.
On Friday, January 18th, a huge spring on one of the garage doors broke and though a relative looked at the door and said it could be used without repair, I decided to research, and have the repair done. It turns out, if the spring is left unrepaired, the release latch that allows for manual operation, is useless because the door is to heavy to lift without the spring and both cables. One of the cables also snapped.
So, for the last week and a half- major projects included:
- Research, purchase and installation of 500 GB Harddrive for mini computer
- More software installed on new mini computer, i.e., Thingamablog, iTunes, etc.
- Garage door repair research
- 2019 Tax Returns (Federal & Maryland) Filed
I needed a new desktop calculator with a small footprint and I am pretty happy with the Casio HR-10RC Printing Calculator I ordered. Below is a 9 second video demonstration of the calculator.
My mother has a slightly larger Casio Printing Calculator (Casio HR-100TM) which is also pretty good, so below, I am providing links to both calculators.
The installation of the Seagate 500GB harddrive was pretty easy, however it did not automatically show up as a new drive. I had to add the device under the Windows Control Panel Hardware tab (showed up as hardware that needed to be added).
These days, storage on harddrives is easy to purchase, and you may notice that I tend to purchase devices with lower storage amounts. This is on purpose. I try to purchase what I think I will need, not how much I can get.
P.S. I also use a Conair 1" Curling Iron which in combination with the items shown, help to keep my curls in place all day.
Friday, January 03, 2020
In 2019, I had any number of unexpected business related expenses, where I spent more than I originally budgeted, for the year.
Major 2019 Business Expenses
- Replaced my Canon "Point & Shoot" camera with a Canon DSLR (EOS M50)
- Replaced my Android
- Updated a Windows 10 Tablet with a Windows 10 Pro Mini platform
Luckily, this year my family provided holiday gifts in the form of money so I was also able to afford a personal care unit I have always wanted to try.
I did a bit of research before purchasing the BoSidin Permanent Hair Removal System and though quite happy to date, still in the early stages in the use of the unit.
Other considerations as related to the selection of the gift? (1) I am dangerous with a razor blade, though some of the newer technology is pretty good. (2) my cordless razor battery died. (3) I wanted a more permanent solution.
Hope your New Year is off to a great start...
Saturday, December 28, 2019
I have no plans New Year's Eve, however earlier this month I ordered two new lipsticks to test, and decided I could use the Blazing Lava L'Oreal Lipstick if I changed my mind.
The other lipstick, L'Oreal Peony Pink is not as festive and more an everyday look for me.
Through the weekend and up until the first, I will be preparing my sites for the new year, i.e., updating copyright information and ensuring any new year's regulations and policy requirements are current as related to my sites.
What are your plans for New Year's Eve?
Monday, November 11, 2019
My mother's birthday is right around the corner. This year, I decided to get her something she said she needed, however was unable to find. I researched online, offerings of the lampshade replacements she wanted and asked her about certain styles before I ordered.
I am glad I did. The new lampshades arrived today, and though not her birthday, I decided to give them to her a bit early after first ensuring the shades were undamaged. Illustrated below, the etched-like ginger jar lamps and the old versus the new lampshades.
Though the older shades do not look that bad in the photos, some of the pleats had separated from the lower hem of the shade, giving a slightly frayed appearance. She did not see the final gift selection, so I am pleased she likes the new lampshades.
I used to know where lighting stores in my area were located. I love finials, lamps, lampshades. I am not sure now, why it is hard to find things like lampshades and even online- the research was a little more difficult than I anticipated.
Now, what to do about dinner and other birthday activities...
Monday, July 01, 2019
For the last month, I have been trying to update my casual summer wardrobe.
Over the month of June, I have purchased several new summer dresses, sandals, and acquired two new shrugs. I have only spent about $400, so my investment has not been huge, however notable because I seldom spend money on casual wear.
Some new items acquired over the month of June:
What started this buying spree?
- Damaged several of my old sandals trying them on.
- Complaint from my Mother, my casual wear seems a bit tattered.
- Celebration of sorts over having my renewals in place (see last post).
- Birthday in July, and I always try to ensure I spend gift money on things I need.
- Not working software projects, too much time on my hands.
Unless going out, I keep my hair pinned up, however easy to comb out if I need to go out. That said, I decided to purchase hair combs to help me manage on hot humid days. In the first set of photos for this post (above), (yesterday) I had my hair out, because I was trying on new items and took photos.
Not everything has arrived, actually most of the items are still not here, however I am excited about the new additions to my wardrobe.
Monday, May 20, 2019
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?
Sunday, April 28, 2019
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.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Spent most of the day, yesterday at the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) Express Services facility in Columbia, MD renewing my driver's license.
Why? Although, I set an appointment for Friday, March 29th, 2019, I decided I wanted to get this process out of the way as soon as possible. My first mistake. I should have stayed with the original appointment.
Key to my driver's license renewal process was having my prescription for glasses updated and certified by a doctor. Saturday, I picked up the glasses and Sunday, the MVA paperwork signed by my doctor detailing my corrected vision with the prescription.
So this prompted the desire to have the license renewed sooner rather than later.
The second mistake- I photo copied my birth certificate and did not take the original with me to the MVA facility. I returned home to get the original. Although, I returned to the facility by 11:00 AM, I did not leave the center until after 3:00 PM.
Based on my experience, I thought I would post things you might do to avoid problems:
- Certified copy of your Birth Certificate
- Recent Passport (either this or the Birth Certificate)
- Original Social Security Card (How do I apply for a new or replacement Social Security number card?
- Understand Federal Law relating to Real ID. Wikipedia info about Real ID
- Set up an appointment and keep it.
Your State will probably provide the exact details as to the documents required for the renewal process, however the list above provides a good starting point.
My birthday, is not until July, so I had a little time to complete the process, however I wanted to make sure I had my eyes certified by a doctor before I went in to renew my license.
Maryland notified me in February that I could start my renewal process at anytime. The notification and collection of documents made me a little apprehensive at first, however I had more than enough in the large folder I used to collect the copies, including copies of diplomas, social security card, birth certificate, a motor vehicle registration, bank card statements, recent tax returns and official correspondence from state agencies.
Be sure to read carefully your State's requirements for the renewal process.
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Went by Visionworks @ArundelMills this morning to pick up my new glasses.
Pretty pleased with how this turned out. Took advantage of a "Buy One, Get One Free" offer.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Spring is right around the corner, along with the rainy season. In anticipation, I have been thinking about things I would like to own.
I added the above items to the "Just Want" store...
The socks are a little late in the season, however when I find this type of sock, I always want to stock up.
Tuesday, March 05, 2019
Last week, I had an eye appointment for new glasses. I ordered two pairs. Normally, I wear contacts during the day and glasses at night, however I have not purchased new prescription glasses in over 10 years so I thought it was time.
The new glasses are on the way. With all of the advancements in eye care treatment, I am rather old school as to how I handle my eye care needs:
- Very near-sighted
- Aging eyes (need reading glasses)
- Use computers a lot
I prefer to handle each of these issues separately rather than a single correction (contacts or glasses). The reason? The astigmatic issue, in my case- eyes are slightly off center, and at times causes dizziness and headaches depending on the type of vision wear.
I prefer contacts and over the counter reading glasses most of the time and prescription glasses without the bifocal for night time wear.
PS- Why do I have on PJs and makeup? I work from a home-office and often leave my hair pinned up, unless going out. When I have to take it out (should be every other day), sometimes I want to see if I still know how to apply makeup. I took photos because I thought my hair looked nice. Photo on the right shows the squinting issue without my reading glasses.
Monday, January 28, 2019
I maintain my resume (résumé) as a Microsoft Word document. In February 2018, I decided to post an online copy of my resume to my personal domain (reginadenisethomas.com).
After converting the Word document to an html file, there were a number of updates made before posting the online version of the resume.
Over the weekend, I decided, rather than maintaining my personal site as autonomous html files (including the resume), I would use the content management platform, Thingamablog, used for two of my blogs, this one and Remix. It's Personal, this blog, is maintained on a Windows XP netbook and Remix, the business blog, is maintained on a Macbook.
The illustration below, shows the additional site/weblog added to the Thingamablog installation on the Windows XP platform.
For more information about Thingamablog visit these pages:
The template for the new site is a work in progress.
The template was adapted from the one I use with most of the site areas on qisoftware.com and hosting-q.com.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Little under the weather lately [ear infection], so getting a lot of rest.
Things in the works...
Several tools (9 or so) ready for installation on WiredPages however holding off for various reasons. New tools under development or consideration should be exciting additions for the service.
Monday, October 08, 2018
In recent years, I have started my holiday shopping in early Autumn and usually finish by the end of November. I think this trend began because I start researching for "the stores" around that time.
This year, I found a great deal on an item [Yunmai Digital Scale], I listed last year as a gift idea. I wanted to give it as a November birthday gift, however decided to give it early. My mother loves it, and so do I.
Other items in the same order...
I have been rather busy lately, with web site moves and software development projects (see WiredPages), so I have not done as much research for the stores as I normally do, however stay posted if you are looking for holiday gift ideas.
Thursday, June 07, 2018
For various reasons, yesterday was the first time I have been to Costco in a number of years. Not because I do not love shopping at Costco and not because I do not have a household membership card in good standing. I do.
That said, somethings have changed since my last visit to Costco.
- My bank cards now use chip technology.
- Visa can be used as a credit card at checkout (in the past you had to use a bank debit card with the pin-- still the case with MasterCard).
The card reader shown in the illustration on the right is similar to the card readers the cashiers use at Costco, in that they have both a card swiper on the right side and a card reader at the bottom for cards using the newer chip technology. Both my business and personal check cards use the chip technology.
By the way, did I mention that because I do almost all of my shopping online with a rewards credit card not associated with a bank account, I had never used the bank issued card associated with my personal checking account before yesterday? I opened my business checking account in 2004, however the new business card issued about 4 years ago with the new chip technology has also never been used.
Anyway, yesterday as I am checking out-- the cashier asked me to swipe my 3 year old never used [personal bank checking] card. I try several times to use the right-side card swiper and fail. Then she suggests I use the chip reader at the bottom. No, I did not have my readers on. Again it fails. The reason (this time)? I did not leave the card in long enough.
I like thinking I am well versed in computers and new technologies. That said, for some reason yesterday, all of this simply mystified me. The cashier finally asked for my card, and made easy work of it all.
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Ran several errands this morning, including:
It was a gorgeous morning. Saw one or two of the local news stations shooting footage for Live! Hotel's opening. Saw a flock of geese in the mall's [Arundel Mills] parking lot. Came home and had some of the rotisserie chicken and a croissant.
Though I visit my business bank regularly, I rarely get to the shops, so when I do happen out, as was the case with my visit to Costco today, I tend to note the occasion. I would really like to get out more, however one family member or another stops by weekly, so a lot of our shopping is done in this manner. Today was a nice treat for me.
For more information about my residential hometown and the thriving business community, see here.
Saturday, February 03, 2018
I filed my 2017 Federal & State Taxes- Monday, January 29, 2018. I actually prepared them a week earlier using TurboTax, however because the IRS did not start accepting electronic filings until January 29th, I had to wait.
Important sites I find useful when filing taxes:
In other news, was in a bit of a panic after realizing a setting solution for my hair is no longer available. When setting my hair, I have been using a Palmer's product on the ends to help seal in moisture. I have used this product for over 15 years and was a little panicked to learn it was no longer readily available.
A small online beauty supplier claimed they had 15 jars, however after waiting for a week to get my order--- the charge was suddenly refunded with the explanation the product had been discontinued. I only use a little on the ends each set (I never go to bed without setting my hair, however sometimes leave it up for two days)-- so the jar I had was over 10 years old. Probably the reason I did not know it was no longer easy to purchase.
I did find a solution I like, however this was a major distraction over the last two weeks.
Thursday, January 11, 2018
It has been very cold here. So cold, that I did not go out until yesterday after about a week inside. I went by my bank on Wednesday, Jan. 3rd 2018. Yesterday, it finally turned warm enough to venture out.
So what have I been up to? Working, sleeping and enjoying entertainment on television and radio.
- Social Media Posts see here and here.
- Upcoming: "The Girl on the Train" Showtime Saturday, January 13, 2018
- Upcoming: Australian Open January 15-29 2018
- Setting up a Samsung BlueRay player to access the wifi (we use Verizon FiOS) without WPS support. I am not sure why it stopped working-- WPS shows disabled when I connect to the router setup interface. WPS allows the press of a button on the router to connect to any device within range trying to access the service. Without WPS support, this took some time to figure out.
- Last year I used TurboTax to file my taxes. This year I will do the same, however last night I used efile.com to get a general idea of what to expect.
- Updating or creating graphics for projects I am working on. See the sidebar for the Remix blog or this blog, for the new WiredPages Events Graphic & Link. I also had to update the header graphics for one of my Facebook groups and a Facebook page.
- Finding the artists behind some of my new favorite tunes (listed below).
Some of my favorite tunes these days.
It took me awhile to find the artists behind some of these songs. I tend to listen to "old school" or light jazz so I am not as well versed in what's popular. That said, I know KEM.
Friday, August 25, 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.
Tuesday, July 25, 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
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
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?
- A little yard work.
- A little baking.
- Research for an area magazine.
- Waiting on a package.
- Wimbledon action.
- Movie: "When the Bough Breaks"
- Movie: French movie [English subtitles]- "Elle" airing this evening on STARZ.
- "Power" series on STARZ.
- Continuing work on the Amazon Stores...
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, June 24, 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:
- Movie: The Accountant
- Movie: Legend 
- Movie: Inferno
- Movie: The Wizard of Lies
- Upcoming: Starz "Power" Series [new season starts Sunday, June 25th @9:00 pm ET]
- Upcoming: Wimbledon starts July 3rd.
- Grass court [professional tennis] action from Europe.
- Social Media Posts [including]: Hanover Maryland Businesses, Instagram [QiSoftware & HanoverBusinesses], Tumblr.
- Revising Amazon Stores in anticipation of upcoming changes Amazon plans to make to the program. Updates to the new store formats are ongoing and several shopping categories were removed. The new shopping categories:
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.