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.
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
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.
Monday, May 08, 2017
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.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Recently, I have been out and about shooting video with my new camcorder. Mainly, trying to become more expert at capturing the moments I want to record. Though the unit is very easy to use I am still having timing issues.
In case you thought it was me [with the camcorder]-- here are recent photos.
Though I have not sported the "updo" that often, I will in the future. My hair is like a sponge when it is humid and I am going to use the comb whenever needed.
I set my hair every night [takes about half an hour]-- just in case I need to dash out during the day. I will be out a bit more in the near future, however mainly because I have to take care of some appointments.
I was over at the Thomas A. Dixon Jr. Aircraft Observation Area last Sunday, and it was crowded. That said, I did not capture any video worth showing. I need a little more practice.
Other things I have been up to?
- Added a Pinterest Widget to this blog's sidebar [lower-right].
- Added new widgets to the Forums.
- Researching Cloud Service Options [Google and Oracle JavaCloud. These offerings provide the SSL Certification [https] and I may use one to host Facebook applications for my pages and page tabs.
- Researching MTS video file conversion software
- Minor updates to the Amazon Stores...
Tuesday, February 07, 2017
Lately, I have been getting out a bit more.
I rarely go by BWI Airport [even though the terminal is within 5 miles of my residence], so in 2015 or 16 when I first noticed the airport had undergone significant renovations, I wanted to somehow capture the new look.
Last week, I decided to drive around the airport loop with the Dash-Cam recording. Later, I used mobile apps to convert and edit the clips I merged to create the video I uploaded to my Tumblr blog- here.
Yesterday, I went by my business bank to transfer funds and today, I went by my business address in Columbia to pay the rent and pick up the mail. One of the photos below-- one of three trips to the recycle bin after shredding most of the shopping bag full of mail I picked up today.
Other things I have been up to?
- Movie: "The Queen"
- Movie: "The Nice Guys"
- NFL: Superbowl
- Giant Panda Live Cams: The 5 month old cubs in Atlanta & Bei Bei in Washington
- Professional Tennis on WatchESPN & TennisChannel
- Since posting my indeed.com résumé, I have received 4 responses and replied to 3 of the 4 hits. I no longer accept government contracting positions and most of the hits were of that type. [Yes, unofficially- I am being told DOJ and others are working the other resolutions to my situation-- however this has been the case for awhile].
- Minor updates to the stores...
- Received my Federal Tax Refund... Glad I used TurboTax Online.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Along with several pages, I maintain two groups on Facebook.
Awhile back [Jan. 2014], I created a custom header graphic for the Thingamablog Group, however opted to use the Alumni group member photos, Facebook used as the default because no group header graphic was specified.
Recently, Facebook changed their default policy [now only a member's group friends' photos show in the header-- even for the admin], so today I created a custom header graphic for the Alumni group.
A screen-grab of the graphics software I used to create the new image...
Below, how the new header graphic looks on the page- via my Android. I have hidden some of the page Admin details, along with some of the data related to my friends who are not group members.
- Filed my Maryland State tax return on Tuesday, January 24th, 2017. Text message this morning reporting it was accepted.
- Showtime's series "The Affair".
- Tracking Australian Open tennis action.
- Extensive updates to my detailed résumé [Linkedin maintains the summary version]. Curious? Public on indeed.com.
- Movie: "Bridge of Spies"
- Movie: "Genius"
- Updating several of the Amazon Stores, see the upper right sidebar.
I have also been going through a lot of old files. Among other things, I found an important letter one of my attorneys sent out in 1995, an aerial photo of the Pentagon given to me when I left Boeing and the Engineering Excellence Award --Rockwell bestowed on me... I am not sure why I went down memory lane recently, however it did prompt the recent updates to my detailed résumé.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Saturday, I received the EIN number I needed to file my Federal & State tax returns, so I submitted my return data using the TurboTax service the same day. Shown below, the hardcopy file of the tax returns as prepared by TurboTax.
The Federal return was actually filed and accepted by the IRS- yesterday. Maryland does not allow electronic filing before the 23rd of January [this year], however the service I used has the data and will submit the return on that date.
Below, notifications as to the status of my Federal return and refund.
What do I plan on doing with the refunds? Annual fee for my business address.
Monday, January 09, 2017
Sunday, January 1st, 2017 I cut the base of my left thumb pretty deep with a pairing knife trying to core a cabbage. Though I called 911, I opted out of going to the hospital. I am happy to report the thumb is on the mend--- think  because I applied a lot of pressure quickly and  my mother and sister came through with the right first aid supplies.
I am still cleaning the wound every 24 hours and applying new gauze bandages and tape-- but mainly to protect the wound from re-opening. It is a very loose dressing to insure the wound gets enough air.
That said, this week I did get some things done.
- Tuesday, went by my business bank to transfer some funds from my personal account to the savings account.
- Paid off my holiday bills.
- Did most of the prep work to e-file my Federal and State returns. Still waiting on an EIN number so that the reason I did not actually file the Federal return. Marylanders cannot iFile [e-file] before the 23rd of January 2017 so the other reason I did not file that return.
- Caught early Down Under pro tennis action. The Australian Open starts Monday, January 16, 2017 [that's Sunday night here].
- Caught the latest episodes [air dates: 1st & 8th] of Showtime's series "The Affair".
- Tweaked the HDTV antenna [holiday gift] for the television in the guest room.
- Tried out the new grill [another holiday gift].
- Updating the stores [see upper right sidebar]. Noticed some great sales, too...
If you are wondering how those HDTV antennas work, I have a short demo of how to set it up. Also note the television resolution- I think it looks pretty good.
Photos of the setup...
Minor setback to the new year, insofar as the thumb, however I think it is going to be okay. This is a big load off my mind.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Today is my Mother's birthday. As previously reported, her gifts arrived November 8th, 2016-- and this morning I finally gave them to her.
On Tuesday, I went to the market to purchase ingredients for the cake, I changed my mind about making. You may recall- I did not think I was going to make her a cake this year.
The tea set...
In August, when I gave my sister a similar set- she seemed to like it, so when I found this Ancient Coin Cast Iron Tea Set, I thought she might like it as well. She did, along with her new tunic top.
Big dinner and other plans tomorrow.
Tuesday, November 08, 2016
My mother's birthday is next week. Since it is so close to the holiday shopping period, I tend to start my holiday shopping at the same time I am researching for her birthday.
Happy to report my mother's gifts arrived today along with my first gift purchase for the holidays. I am also happy- I have wrapped the gifts. I dislike wrapping gifts...
Since I rarely get out, I like mentioning when I do venture out and where I check in... [yesterday, between noon and one thirty pm]:
- Business bank [actually went inside the bank, normally I only need the drive-through]
- Safeway-- [don't think I am going to make a cake for her birthday this year, so I was researching options]
- Arundel Mills Mall [went in the Dave & Busters' entrance and stayed awhile in VisionWorks trying on eyeglass frames.
Today, since I was waiting on the UPS delivery I sat around in my office-wear doing the things I normally do except with a bit more makeup...
Recently, I was on a Style [YouLookFab] forum responding to another member's post about what to wear while working from home. I noted that because I normally do my hair and makeup everyday [unless I am too tired]-- I never feel the need to worry about what I have on unless I actually have to leave the house or prune something in the garden. I even go to the mail box-- in the office-wear shown above.
By the way, I am still finding neat Gift Ideas you may want to checkout:
Cannot tell you how happy I am to get my holiday gift buying underway.
I have also been working on my Hanover MD Biz Page-- so if you have not been to our area-- check it out. There are so many things to do here. When I do get out, I am always surprised by how much my town is changing...
Sunday, October 02, 2016
I have been home alone since Thursday, September 29, 2016, because of an extended family health issue. Normalcy should return tomorrow.
This morning, I finally tested the Buttermilk Pancake Recipe I found on cookinglight.com and have to report-- it is pretty good.
Most are aware, because of legal issues- I do not like being mistaken for someone else. In the coming weeks I will be out a bit more than normal because of appointments I need to keep. My appearance is changing. Of course, I am getting older and it shows.
That said, I have been working on a project that slightly changes my appearance more. I simply want to note it...
Other things I have been up to?
- Updating my Amazon Stores, see here, here and here. BTW: Found a Mac Mini slightly cheaper however with less memory. My software development environments require a lot of memory. Still researching...
- Movie: The Private Lives of Pippa Lee w/Robin Wright Penn [caught last night]
- Tennis: Asian swing, including current tournaments; the China Open and Japan Open Championships. Upcoming, the Shanghai Rolex Masters
- And finally, see this post on my Business Blog, Remix.
It was a quiet weekend and I am told everything is as good as can be expected insofar as the relative's health issue. This is good news.
Saturday, September 03, 2016
US Open has been on since Monday, so I have been catching a lot of the action on WatchESPN.
Short video describing my setup this afternoon...
Other projects? School started a week ago in my area so I am planning updates to my Amazon Stores for the upcoming Fall and Holiday Seasons... I love Fall.
In addition, yesterday- when I tried to update an application on my Android, I received an insufficient storage message. This the reason I am backing up files to external hard drives and clearing space on several of my systems. Have you had this problem with your Android?
Wednesday, June 08, 2016
I rarely get out these days, however on those occasions I do venture out- it is normally for one of the following reasons:
- Bank Visit
- Eye Appointment
- Visits to my Business Address
- Jury Duty
- State Renewals of Business Registration or Driver's License
- Business Appointment/Meeting
I run my small business [QiSoftware] from home and take advantage of the following services to minimize the need for travel:
- Verizon FiOS (Internet, Land Lines, Television, Cell Phone)
- Skype (Business Line & Video Conferencing)
- Online Business Banking & Bill Paying
That said, when I do go out- I am more casual than I used to be. There are several reasons for this, including my closet is filled with sixes and eights that need dry cleaning when worn [and a smaller me], and I simply do not need the more formal conservative suits I used to wear for most of the things I do outside of the house- these days.
I even do most of my shopping online. I love Amazon and also maintain several online stores of things I like:
So what do I wear these days when I do go out? Mostly, slacks with heels, some sort of blouse or sweater, and depending on the season- outer wear. This is a far cry from the stockings, suits [not pant suits] and pumps I used to wear all the time.
Around the house? I wear sweats, leggings or black gym shorts [summer] with tee shirts.
These days, I buy a new pair of shoes maybe once a year, whereas in the past, because I was hard on my heels, maybe once per month. I loved black suede pumps with soft leather.
Today my black suede pumps have been replaced by footwear similar to these NineWest Fabric Boots I purchased last month at an out of season price.
The size a little big, however with thick socks they will work.
I have any number of sweaters, short coats and blazers I can pair with the boots and excited about what I will be able to do next fall, when they will be in season.
The other order [shown in the illustration] last month? I will discuss in a later post.
Thursday, June 02, 2016
I bank with two separate large banks. At one bank, I have a business account with linked checking and savings accounts and a personal checking account at another bank.
I have not set up online transfer on any of the accounts. In my case, I have had odd things happen with my business checking account and I simply prefer not to set up the feature-- anywhere. Too many powerful people know who I am and my business checking account is linked to a lot of my affiliate activity. I opened the business checking account in November 2004 shortly after I registered my business [QiSoftware] with the State of Maryland.
This causes problems if I want to transfer funds from any of the accounts to an external bank account, i.e., I can easily transfer funds between my business checking account and business savings account, however I cannot transfer between the business accounts and the personal checking account at the other bank.
So today, I went out to learn just how hard this would be. I am not sure why I thought I could simply walk into the bank I wanted to withdraw from, and ask to transfer the funds to the other bank given I had the account and routing information. I thought it would be a swipe of the card. It was not. Instead, I withdrew the funds and then went to the other bank and deposited the funds saving at least $30.00 in wire transfer fees.
Since it was so easy to link [online] all of my accounts [even external bank accounts, credit cards, paypal, etc.] at the bank where I maintain my personal checking account, enabling online review of my "Net Worth" at any time-- I may have thought my financial data was more connected or linked than it really was.
In any case, today the tellers at both banks [I am lucky in that local branches for both my banks are within a quarter of a mile of each other] were very helpful in assisting with my transfer [and all of my questions] and it went well.
Here is what I had on today. Reminder, when I go out I like sharing photos of what I wore, to insure there are no mistaken identity issues.
When I returned I researched "How to transfer money between accounts at different banks" and found the following article. How to Transfer Money Between Accounts
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
So far this Spring, we have had more delightful weather than not. Photos of the house and yard- taken over the last two weeks or so.
I have not been getting as much done as I would like, however I am staying busy. Out and about in Hanover yesterday. A little yard work. Researching several legal issues...
Anyway, do you shop Costco? I love Costco brands, especially Kirkland Chocolate Covered Raisins.
I also love those SkinnyCow Ice Cream Sandwiches.
I cleaned the grill last week so maybe I will do a little grilling later this week.
I am expecting a slight change to my situation in the near future, and think that is why I am a little hesitant about taking on new projects. Until the change is actually a tangible- my plans are more thoughtful, rather than anything else. Nevertheless, I am researching various options based on this expected change.
This sounds a little mysterious I know. It really is not.. It simply explains why I have been sitting around thinking about my options in more detail and not getting a lot done.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
It is going to be a quiet Easter weekend. Wished everyone a safe trip around six this morning. Large espresso for breakfast. Mini bagel and two slices of bacon for lunch and strawberry shortcake for dessert.
- Last night, watched "The Forger" with John Travolta and Christopher Plummer.
- The MiamiOpen.
- The "Rogue Lawyer" by John Grisham, about halfway through.
Also updating my Amazon Stores.. more details later.
On Monday, I had to mail a package so I went by the Hanover post office and then Arundel Mills Mall. I seldom get out these days, so when I do-- I try to provide details about my outings.
I also post outing photos to my Instagram account.