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Fri, Sep. 24th, 2010, 12:33 pm
Hippies=annoying

Saw this on Facebook today:
"rearranging the molecules, building the momentum with intention, set the ball
rolling. Manifest Destiny.... it's the science of a new time"

She posted it along with a music video. I tried to comment but it wouldn't let me. Here's what I wanted to say:

"We've been rearranging the structure of matter since there has been matter. It happens when you put salt on your food or breathe. And the real meaning of "Manifest Destiny" has nothing to do with science and everything to do with killing native Americans. The phrase sounds cool but it represents something truly awful."

Two of my problems with hippies, which I'm sure I've mentioned here before, is that they have a non-understanding of science and they string words together just because they sound cool or meaningful or whatever. I'll give it a try, using some of the popular hippie words and phrases:

"Bringing light to souls, manifesting our cosmic spirituality, enlightening ourselves through sustainable intention, we use our consciousness to alter our inner selves. The vortex of energy surrounds our transcendent reality."

I could say that around here and lots of people would say "wow, that's so true" even though it is utterly meaningless since I just pulled it out of my ass. I take issue with the dilution of language through overuse of misunderstood terminology or words simply because they sound snazzy.

In other news, I finally saw Atmosphere live. Holy crap, that was one of the best shows I've been to! Very positive and the crowd was great. The new album has two songs that really get me going.

In other other news, a whole lot has happened that I'll eventually write about here. I just had to vent about hippies again.

Thu, May. 6th, 2010, 09:33 am
Dunno why I didn't think of this before

The person at the photo place wants me to make a frame identical to the one you see below, as she is pretty confident that she can sell my complete frames there. Awesome! Yesterday I got started, having bought a bunch of wood the day before.

My jointer was out of commission, as I have to pick up the newly-sharpened knives today and hope that the infeed table is at least flat enough to function mostly, which isn't terribly likely but you never know. The wood was bowed about 1/16", which is a lot, and that's when I realized that I could flatten it on my table saw. I ripped two pieces to 1.5" wide by 36" long, put the concave side against the fence, and cut off the bump in the middle of the other side. Flipped the board over and shaved off the concave side's ends. Did the same with the other board. It worked marvelously!

It's much faster to do this on the jointer, which I should have running soon, but it means that I don't need a planer for a while. I can put a flat face on a board with the jointer, then just cut it to thickness on the table saw. Sweet!

The downside is that this works only for smaller pieces (under 3" wide) and does take more time. With a planer I could surface 12" worth of board width at once, with the table saw I have to do individual narrow pieces. But then again, with the table saw I make only one pass regardless of the thickness of the board. A planer can take off only 1/16" at a time; my saw can do any thickness.

For production work of a hundred feet of molding this probably isn't how I'll go about it, but for small orders and for making completed frames I think I've solved a significant problem!

I figured that making picture frame molding would be relatively easy, tool-wise, compared to making furniture out of big pieces and it looks like I was right. I doubt I'll be making anything wider than 3 inches, which both my jointer and saw can handle.

Yep, another uninteresting and somewhat arcane post!

Now I'm going to go tear my hair out putting those jointer knives in, hopefully without cutting myself.

Mon, May. 3rd, 2010, 11:14 pm
It took a while, but..

The past month-plus basically lead up to today. I went to the picture frame shops and handed each an information sheet (about me, what I make, etc.), a pictorial list of the molding profiles I make so far, a comprehensive price list, and four wood samples. Well, all but one, which it turns out is closed on Mondays.

I'm feeling pretty good about it. I spent multiple shitloads of time on doing all of this, from making a photo studio-in-a-box so I could make the profile "drawings" to figuring out the cost per foot down to the penny.

I made a crazy spreadsheet that tells me my labor cost per foot for a particular run of molding. It is based partly on estimates (milling) and mostly on the actual amount of time it took me to do that first molding job a few weeks ago (routing and sanding), so I'm pretty confident that it is reasonably accurate.

The cool thing is that my molding is going to be MUCH less expensive than I thought. Even after including some padding for wood use, milling time, and a final percentage price increase, my lowest price is $2.23/foot for 1 1/4 inch wide Ash. My most expensive one on the sheet is $3.77/foot, for 1 1/2 inch Walnut. That, I think, is fantastic. I'm going to call the frame shop people at the end of the week and see if they agree.

I know that they can get cheap molding from crappy wood from overseas for less than half of my lowest price, however, when you factor in how good my stuff looks for really not that much more and I'm local, I think I can squash the Chinese on this. Or at least put a slight dent in the local market for moldings from there.

Speaking of awesome walnut frames, check this out:



Don't tell anybody that the awesome lighting for that photo is courtesy of U-Haul, for the box, Goodwill, for the white sheet, and mom 20 years ago for the desk lamp. Oh, and mom nature for the rock and Walnut tree.

That frame is going to my mom, along with a photo of one of the waterfalls out here that she and I went to together last summer.

What's really sweet is that the photo place where I have all of my stuff printed, that is going to be giving me a sweet big frame job, will probably sell my frames in the front of their store. This does two things. One, it lets me squash China some and two, it gives me a storefront for my wares. She wants an exact copy of the frame you see above and is going to pay me for it.

Turns out that they can't actually assemble wooden frames from molding there, so that is my job. Oh yes!

Yeah, nothing against the Chinese, but I am tired of the cheap labor and products from there taking over here. I do of course realize that A. people don't have to buy crap from there, they can buy good stuff from here but don't care about quality as much as price and B. we don't have to outsource everything there, so it's our fault too. But yeah, I'm still going to squash their picture frame molding presence here.

Thu, Apr. 29th, 2010, 12:57 pm
Serious bear-blasting time

I've come to realize that my back/neck/shoulder tension/pain and this weird prostate thing are drastically affecting my life. I mean, yeah, it's been bad for a while and I know that, but the little day-to-day stuff is sinking in. My conditions (I don't like that term, but I know no other) are the reason that I'm not progressing with this business at the rate I want. Yes, high expectations are part of that too, but I've realized lately that they are a minor player.

The back tension/pain stuff keeps me from working as quickly as I know I can and it forces me to stop before I'm finished with something. The other thing is making me fatigued to the point where sometimes I wake up and feel like I just can't do anything. Every day I wake up and every muscle in my body except for those in my arms and legs hurts and is tight, and I feel like I could sleep another 4 hours and still not be rested. That is a VERY bad state to be in when one is trying to get a business off the ground.

It's nice talking to Ashley about this because she's been there. She hasn't dealt with the back stuff anywhere near as long as I have but hers was more acute. It's nice talking to her about it because she is the only person I've met who is my age who understands what I'm going through. I don't think a single one of my friends takes me seriously when I mention how I feel, though I can't blame them for it because they have never dealt with anything like this. Twenty-somethings generally feel fine, so when they hear another person in their age group talk about back pain I think they tend to think along the lines of "I must have slept in a weird position last night". Yeah, it's like that, except that it's like that EVERY DAMN DAY and with nearly every muscle in my body.

The back is a tough one but being around Ashley will help with that, as I've told her that I want her to force me to do yoga and stretch and such.

There is a lot of evidence suggesting that my other situation is Candidiasis, an overgrowth of yeast. I won't get into the details of my research into it but there is plenty of correlation, especially since I took antibiotics for so long when this thing started. I'm going to get some supplements today that should help a lot if I do indeed have this yeast thing going on. If it isn't a yeast problem, taking them and not feeling any different should make the case for it being something else. Either way, I'm at least going after this thing more intensely.

I've changed my diet and it's helping this (potential) yeast thing. I've eliminated sugar from my diet. This is amazing. Seriously. I dare anyone to cut out all sugar (including fruit, raisins, etc.) for even two weeks. It's SO addictive. I think I understand what nicotine or heroin addiction might be like. I've also mostly eliminated wheat and starchy/processed foods. I have to give myself mad props for cutting these things out, as they're probably the most addictive types of food out there.

I also don't eat soy and I rarely have eggs. I eat a lot of veggies too.

I'm not supposed to have coffee but I started drinking it again and decided that I'm going to allow myself to have it. I decided that with all of this elimination of stuff from my diet, I need to give myself SOMEthing. Coffee it is!


Tomorrow is the big day. I'm going to the frame shops with an illustrated list of the molding profiles I'm making, a price list, and samples of four of the woods I'm using. That last one I came up with yesterday. I realized that people at frame shops probably don't know what real, actual Cherry or Walnut look like, so yesterday I spent some time slicing those woods, plus Ash and Alder, into thin strips. Each piece is 4 inches long, just over an inch wide, and 1/4 inch thick, sanded to the point of extreme smoothness, and waxed with the finish I make. They look great!

All right, better get to work on that price list. So much to do!

Fri, Apr. 23rd, 2010, 09:11 am
Life, goodness thereof

While I'm still not making a real income from this frame/molding thing, I'm getting closer every day. It takes a LOT, and I mean a shit ton of time to get a business going, and I'm doing it without any real funding and a body that is constantly fatigued and hurting. I talked to the person at the place that's going to give me my second order and she wants me to make a sample frame (she's going to pay for it) to make sure that her customer is happy with the color and style. This is kinda scary for me, as I'm not good at staining wood yet and I'm going to have to learn how instantly. It is good though not only because it's another order but because it looks like she may want me to make the frames themselves, not just the molding.

I've started seeing someone. I told myself I wouldn't get into dating until I had a real income but this kinda snuck up on me. I met Ashley at Sam Bond's, the greatest bar/venue in Eugene, 10 days ago when we got to talking and then up and decided to go to the hot springs at 11 at night. We got back to her place at 5:30 in the morning. We've been hanging out since then and I like her. I told myself that when I did get back into dating I'd do the actual dating thing, not my usual mode of seeing one person and getting into a relationship. Well, it looks like things are heading in the relationship direction but I'm telling myself that that isn't a bad thing. Reason one is that whatever happens is going to happen, reason two is that I'm still not letting myself try actual dating because I don't have things together yet. Ashley is okay with my current state, despite my misgivings about starting a relationship with no income and where that led me before.

There are a couple of personality traits about her that I'm not so fond of but they're things that I think I can just mention to her and they will improve. She tends to talk more than she listens, for example, and it can be difficult for me to talk about things on my end when she's cutting me off.

Her job is a big problem for me, as it goes against what I believe in. I'm not going to say here what it is but the specific form of it is something I am not okay with and she knows it. I do like that she is a self-starter, being one myself.

At this point I'm just enjoying the good stuff and seeing where it takes me but I'm also going to express my misgivings the next time I see her. I told her that I'm very upfront with people and this will be an example of that.

It turns out that yes indeed, I am the snuggliest guy around. Ashley told me that she normally isn't as snuggly with guys as she is with me, so she must like me. She hasn't been too adventurous sex-wise but she is very much into the idea of trying new things, so I'm stoked. Sex and snuggling are covered.

I'm trying not to let her distract me from my job too much, and she understands that (she has her own pile of work to do too). I explained to her how I was avoiding dating because I have no money and need to focus on my business but she said the obvious, that having someone around is relaxing, enjoyable, and generally good for a person and it can be worked into a busy schedule.

I'm getting close to being done with preparing a sample sheet for frame places. I was originally going to make actual wood frame samples for places but I've changed that. The owner of one shop wanted me to give him just the profiles on paper so he could decide what he wanted. Being me, I decided to not just trace the profiles on paper, instead, I took photos of the ends of the moldings I made, did a lot of work in Photoshop, and ended up with what are essentially black silhouettes. I'm putting eight of them on a page with dimensions of each part, which is requiring me to learn Illustrator instantly.

I'm also doing something extra snazzy: I'm making a model #/order sheet thing like one would find when ordering a mechanical part. For example:

XJ0103G

X is the molding width, in this case 1.5 inches. It goes from Z to N in increasing size. The lettering is backwards because I wanted to more clearly differentiate between the first and second letters.

J is the molding thickness, 3/4" in this case. The letters for thickness go from A to M in ascending order.

01 and 03 are the bits, from the outside edge to the inside edge, that I used for this profile. 01 is a Roman Ogee bit, 03 is a 3/8" roundover. I put the zeroes in there to account for future expansion when I'll have more than the 8 router bits I have right now.

G is the depth of the rabbet, which is 9/16" in this example. All rabbets are 3/8" wide (unless custom ordered to be different) so I don't need to have a special character for the width.

I think this is a great way to do this. Instead of a customer saying "uh, I want the one that's 2 inches wide and has a round outside part and a curvy inner part" they can either look at the key and order their own or they can look at the profile sample sheet I'm making and just give me the number.

I'll post the profile sample sheet here (somehow) when it's done, which should be tomorrow. I've been trying not to go my usual way of waiting until every little detail is figured out and everything looks the way I want it before showing people stuff. I'm doing pretty well with that, i.e. my barely cobbled together website, but in the case of this profile sample sheet and key, I am doing things my old-fashioned way because I really want to impress the frame shops.

I've more or less decided to not stain anything unless a customer asks for it specifically. I really want to sell only nice hardwood molding/frames made of Walnut, Maple, Cherry, Ash, Alder, or a few other species. I'm almost done with my first walnut frame and it's going to be as good as I had imagined. I figured out the cost of the wood and it really isn't all that much compared to the cheaper stuff. Yeah, it's double or triple the cost of the cheaper species but the amount of wood in one frame isn't all that much. For the Walnut frame I made for an 8x12 photo, the cost difference is only about $8. For a WALNUT frame!

I REALLY want to be able to make molding from only the good woods like the ones I mentioned. I can do it if I just make a frame here and there, but I'm not so sure that that is the case when someone is ordering a hundred feet of molding from me. My labor is of course the majority of the cost but I think the extra expense of nice wood will add up faster as orders get bigger. We'll see.

All right, gotta get to work.

Fri, Apr. 16th, 2010, 07:45 pm
Had another great thought

I've been trying to figure out this whole wood staining thing, which is surprisingly difficult to do well. I haven't gotten consistent results nor the end color I want yet, using commercial oil stains.

I just had the thought that I could make the same beeswax and mineral oil finish I've made but put wood dye in it. Assuming that the dye, which is water-based, will still do what it's supposed to when mixed with oil instead.

I'm going to give it a shot. If this works, it'll solve two problems at once. One, staining. Two, I've had to realize that staining adds two more finishing passes so if I could do both functions with just the wax, I cut out almost half of the work.

I really hope this does work. Today was a day of self-doubting because I haven't learned staining very well yet and I need to know it ASAP for a job I'm trying to get. Gotta get out of that mode.

I did align my table saw today. It's amazing how much of a difference one millimeter of misalignment can make. I also built a small storage shelf thing onto my router table today, thereby freeing my saw from all of the measuring and other stuff I've been storing on it. Today was successful, just not as much as I'd prefer.

Thu, Apr. 8th, 2010, 02:09 pm
Quick one for once

As I just wrote on my Facebook thing, I've come to realize that I thrive on challenge and uncertainty. This thought was brought about by my work today. I'm staining wood which is vastly more difficult to do (properly) than one would think. I'm not even talking about doing it as meticulously as I do most things, I'm just trying to get it to turn out decently.

A list of things I'm having to learn all at once, with no guarantee that any of it will lead to steady income:
1. How to use a table saw
2. How to rout different types of wood
3. Getting consistency between different molding runs
4. How to stain and otherwise finish wood
5. Knowing the properties of different woods
6. How to go from talking to frame shops to having them actually show my samples and buy stuff
7. Pricing my work
8. How to market my work
9. How to set up a shop with very little space



Numbers 3,6, and 7 are proving to be the most difficult and time-consuming so far. Number 3 is the scariest one, as I cannot expect to do this for very long if I can't get consistency between runs. I have to be able to make a particular profile of a certain color, sell it to a store, and then make the exact same profile of that color three months later. I'm getting better at it but it's quite difficult when you're talking about 32nds of an inch, 64ths in some cases.

As I told my mom yesterday, little things become apparent, like measuring. It isn't just "pull a tape measure and look" by any means. I use a ruler when I can, have to make sure it's flat and straight, and then I have to factor in the width of the damn marks on it! A pair of marks on my ruler add to be about a 32nd of an inch. That's just for length. Every bit on my router has to be set to a certain depth, which is another source of error, along with the setting of the fence, though that is more forgiving.

In other words, it's tough, but I absolutely have to have a challenge (or two, or a hundred) in order to feel right. I could take the easy way like most people and get a normal job but I wouldn't be happy. I'm not happy that I'm not making real money from this now, but these things take time, and I AM happy with the work that I am doing right now.

Speaking of such work, I'm going to get back to it now.

Fri, Apr. 2nd, 2010, 11:44 am
First of many, I hope

I officially have my first picture frame molding-making job! It's 176 feet, mainly Ash with a little Fir for flavor. It's only $200 but I figure I gotta start somewhere and besides, if I do it in 10 hours, which I think I can, I get my $20/hr I'm aiming for. The dude owns a frame store and used to do a lot of frame-related woodworking, so he knows what he's talking about.

I'm starting to too now. I can say things like "I need a 1/2" shank roundover bit, and is your fir all dimensioned S4S SVG or do you have rough five-quarter SVG too?" and know what I'm talking about.

I started to teach myself jointing and planing at the Campbell wood shop the other day. I need to know this so I don't have to pay other people to turn rough boards into nice square straight pieces. Unfortunately the jointer there started making a weird rattling noise after a while so we (volunteer who runs the place and myself) decided to take it out of order. Also, the planer, like everything else there, is donated so its knives aren't too sharp and the in/outfeed rollers don't grab wood all that well and need a little help. But at least I learned the basics, though I definitely need more practice on the jointer.

Oh, dude with this job says he'll buy and supply the wood, so all I'm doing is routing it to shape and sanding it. We agreed that I can be there to help turn the rough boards into usable straight stuff, so I get to learn from him too. This is good.

It's likely that I'll get another job from the photo-place person (I try not to put many names on here), but I'm waiting for her to talk to the customer and tell her that she needs me to make the moldings. That is a much bigger job, potentially. It's about the same amount of wood but I'm going to have to do all of the work, from buying the wood and jointing/planing it, to routing it and staining/waxing it.

A recurring thought I have about my dad, among others, is that his philosophy of "get the best deal on everything" reflects his lack of understanding about people and The Right Thing. Case in point is the photo place. I could get prints made elsewhere, especially online, for less than they charge, but I don't. The reason is that I want to have a good relationship with the folks there, I want to help their business, and I want them to help mine. I sent them two photos for printing at a weird size. I came in to talk about the frames and the person also showed me my photos. They were the wrong size, so she said she'd re-run them. I came back and saw them and said that I thought they were too dark (or dense, in the proper photo parlance). She agreed and reprinted them. They were fine then, but she said she wanted to show me something really snazzy. I came back later and saw what she meant. She reprinted the photos on this fancy metallic paper, which really made them "pop" much more than usual. It's a difficult effect to describe, but it really makes my photos look extra awesome.

Anyway, I asked her how much I owed her and she said that it was all on the house. That means that I got two mis-sized prints, two overly dark prints, two that were printed just fine, and two printed just fine on this fancy paper (which costs 40% more, mind you) for nothing! Two days ago I went in to pick up a different very weird-sized print (made the frame the wrong size) and pointed out that they had printed it way too big. Woman apologized and said that she would reprint it at the right size and not charge me. I'm up to around $40 in free photos now!

That sort of thing doesn't happen when you're just looking to get "the deal". I use that photo place exclusively and I get "discounts" in return. I tried a different photo place but the slides I got back from him were way too dark (er, dense) and had a lot of dust on them. Normally I give people/places a second chance but not in this case. I can shoot a roll of film only once and can't take chances with things on the development end. Besides, the other place is better in general.

I've been realizing lately that I really like meeting people and networking and that sort of thing. This is handy since I moved here recently. I've made a few friends and things are looking good.

I'm going to a Blue Scholars show tonight with two of them, which is uber awesome. Blue Scholars is one of my most favorite hip-hop groups. They're a pair of immigrants, one from Iran, the other from the Philippines, and they live in Seattle. The group name is of course a play on "blue collar" which is obvious when I listen to them. They're all about empowering the poor, immigrants, brown people, and the working class. One of my favorite lines is from their song Joe Metro. He says something about how a native American gets on the bus and later gets off and turns and smiles and says "have a good day you foreigners!"

All right, back to the router.

Sat, Mar. 27th, 2010, 11:28 pm
Ha!

I built my router table super-quick-style a year ago to make that desk. I recently added a nice fence and T-track for a featherboard but I knew that its very low height of only 2 feet was a major problem for my back but didn't do anything about it.

Yesterday I did something about it. I took the 2x4 legs off and bolted on 3 foot long 4x4s instead and made them all square and nice. I also put a power switch/outlet combination on so I can turn the router on without having to stoop down and reach under the table to find the switch on the router. The surface of my router table is now at waist height and it's going to vastly improve my efficiency and drastically cut down on the additional back torture.

My stroke of genius, which really should have been obvious to me, was to make the router table exactly the same height as my table saw. I've been needing an outfeed table for the latter ever since I got it but haven't made one, owing to lack of funds, time, and I'm going to put a good fence on it eventually which would require a re-design of any outfeed table I made. Anyway, it dawned on me that my router table could double as the outfeed table for the saw, so I solved two problems at once. I can also put a spare half-sheet of melamine over the router table and have a pseudo-workbench at waist height now too, which is a big improvement over what I've been doing, which was putting it on top of two Rubbermaid storage things.

I put a pair of wheels on the sides of two of the router table's legs too, so I can just tilt up one end and wheel it around, which will help my back too.

I'm looking forward to trying out this new system. I won't have to dread the back torture of running stuff through the router so much now. It was really bad having to stoop over it before.

In other news, I did my longest bike ride in two years today: 31 miles! It isn't a lot by "real" cyclists' standards, but considering that I'm on a mountain bike and went up some long hills, I'm stoked. My bike computer tells me how many calories I've burned too, among other things. Today I went through 1,200 calories on my ride. I did 67 miles this week total, which is somewhere around 2600 calories. I burned over an entire day's worth of food just on bike rides. Not bad!

I really, really, REALLY want to get a decent road bike. I've road-ified my mountain bike as much as I can but I'm still stuck with something that's too heavy and beefy for what I need. Once I get some money coming in from the framing I'm going to get a used, possibly semi-old bike, off of Craigslist.

Speaking of framing, I stopped by Vistra, the first place I had talked to about my venture, a few days ago to show the guy my samples. He gave me some feedback on which ones he liked and then told me that he wants a bid on a job! He gave me the specific dimensions and style of the molding he wants (he used to do this himself so he knows his stuff) and says he needs 14 large-ish frames' worth. It's easily a $400 job. He said he'd be able to send stuff like this my way but I didn't expect it to happen this soon!

It's probably mostly likely that I'll get this other order for 20 frames' worth of molding for another place. Within two weeks of starting this venture I've already semi-got two jobs worth nearly $1000!

Let's hope it continues.

Tue, Mar. 16th, 2010, 10:15 pm
Thoughts

My brother is going to embark on his first trip to Death Valley for his Spring Break, which makes me jealous. Yeah, I've spent a lot more time in a lot more places there than most people, but I can never get enough. I'm so glad that he's going there, as I want at least one other person I know to see what I have and marvel at what I would call God's Magnificent Creation if I were inclined in the direction of any particular religion.

Every time I think about DV or look at one of my photos from one of my trips there I get a weird feeling of longing. Not just for the place, but also for the experience in general. One of the two things about Alysia that I consider to be problematic, which I didn't fully realize while I was with her, is that she doesn't take risks (i.e. starting a frame-making semi-business) and has less sense of self-induced adventure than I like. When talking to Danielle about my trips, she said "I totally understand why you do that" and I know she did. Alysia doesn't, and while that wouldn't have been a deal-breaker, it was a significant issue in retrospect. I would love to spend a month in DV, hiking and 4-wheeling the shit out of the place and seeing all of the good stuff. I am always so happy there, but also slightly scared, which combine to make a unique feeling. I like testing myself and DV, being one of, if not THE most extreme environments in the U.S., is a great place to do that.

I think about it several times a week, especially the Saline Valley hot springs. Sitting in one of the "tubs" and then showering under one of the darkest skies in the developed world was a quasi-religious experience I'll never forget, and will repeat as many times as I am able. Other than living off-grid and growing my own food on a good-sized piece of land somewhere beautiful, my other goal is to have the means to make trips to such places (I'd like to include international destinations of such caliber too) as often as possible.

Shane is going to The Racetrack and I've given him tips on making the most of it. The playa there is my favorite place in the world (granted, I haven't been to THAT many places) and always gives me an eerie but nice feeling, and I hope he'll fall in love with it the way I have. I know that he doesn't like SoCal all that much and feels somewhat trapped in the place, so I think escaping to some seriously remote country will do him some good. He's taking Matthew with him, which is why I'm not telling him how to get to the hot springs, besides, there is enough to see in DV outside of the springs to keep him busy for a long time. Shane has a very strong tendency to think he can do/get through anything because he knows everything, which is a dangerous attitude for DV, so I hope he keeps it in check. As I've tried to tell him before, regardless of how good of a driver/car fixer/etc. one is, there are variables well beyond one's control which cannot be accounted for on the "mad skillz" balance sheet.


Today and yesterday weren't terribly great. I got back down in the doldrums again because I started to think about my current situation instead of my future. I got mired in my present, which includes being unemployed, broke, not knowing a lot of people, etc. I am feeling a lot better now because, like so many other times, I flipped my brain switch and started thinking about more positive things. I'm nearly done with my business card, I've got my website semi-kinda-going, and I've met a few people lately.

I have a Word document on my desktop named "progress." So far it has 16 items on it that are there to remind me that I focus too much on what I haven't done and too little on how far I've come. Part of why I'm feeling better now than I did three hours ago is because I looked at that file and my last LJ entry and it reminded me that yes, I am incredibly motivated and highly skilled and yes, I will pull myself through these current times as a result.

Speaking of which, I better get back to work. Oh yeah, here I am:

http://www.brycemayall.com

It's barely an embryo of a website, but I realized that as usual, if I did my grand entrance to the web world the way I wanted to, I'd never have a site. Baby steps...

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