sailorzeo: (midriff)
I do.  I really do.  I love stat counters, finding out where my visitors are coming from, what they're looking at, how they're looking at it, how they found me, etc.  elodieunderglass on Tumblr had a great post about "silent visitors" on her blog, and I used to be like that with my stats, even way back when in the dawn of my internet usage, having statcounters on my aaaaaancient Geocities fanfic site.  I love knowing what's getting traffic, where the traffic is coming from, everything.

That's kind of why I love that Etsy has built-in stats management.  It makes sense; if you're running a shop, you need to know what products are getting attention, what products aren't getting attention, where your attention is coming from, and where it isn't coming from, so you know how to adjust your marketing strategies and product offerings.

When [livejournal.com profile] copperbadge featured my shop and GoFundMe campagain on his Radio Free Monday in early February, I saw an immediate spike of shop visitors.  I went from zero orders in January to 17 orders in February, and now back down to 7 orders this month.  I still get an occasional site visit from his blog, and I did get a repeat order from someone who purchased because of Radio Free Monday.

When I post a listing on Twitter, I get a little spike in views.  When I post a listing on Facebook, I get "likes" and shares from my friends, but no visits to the shop.  When I post a listing on Tumblr, I get a couple of reblogs and likes, and an occasional secondary shop view.

I also love checking the map.  For a while, I was getting at least one visit daily from France.  Was that just one person, someone who checked the shop every day to see if there was something worth justifying the international shipping?  In the last 7 days, I've had visits from Malaysia, Russia, Iceland, and the U.K.  My first order ever was from Norway (and she even reordered later!).  I've had an order from Australia, and recently one from Malaysia.

I just love seeing the search terms that bring people to my shop.  Things like "lily of the valley soap," "cherry lip balm," and "sailor zeo" are expected.  Two people found my shop by searching "shiver."  One of my soap scents is "Shiver My Timbers," a bergamot, bay rum, lime, vanilla, mahogany and amber blend.  "LOTRO" and "second breakfast" are in the search terms because I made lip balms and a soap for Matt's LOTRO kin.

I just find all this fascinating.
sailorzeo: (Default)
1. My cat has taken to sleeping under my desk, right in the spot where I like to put my feet. Doesn't matter if I move him; he'll just come right back. This is annoying when I want to sit and write. I keep kicking him and apologizing.

2. We've been in this house for nearly three years. I just plugged in my sewing machine last night. I've sewn two things: a cool tie (neck chiller) and a pillow filled with the same polymer crystals.

3. I'm amazed that a tablespoon of polymer crystals expands enough to fill a 12"x5" pillow.

4. I've completely fallen off the FlyLady wagon. Her mails got annoying; they were more product advertisements than encouragement. Even the pure testimonials to the method had a link back to the FlyShop.

5. I don't care for most of her "Rubba" line of tools. I like the bottle brush, the mop, and the purple rags. Those I'd recommend. Everything else, not so much.

6. My kitchen is a horrible mess and I just don't have the energy to deal with it. I look at it, think about it, and go hide in the bedroom instead.
sailorzeo: (midriff)
Just a quick post this morning. My sink is still shiny, my counters are clear, and my bathroom is mostly-clean (I have my neti pot stuff out on the counter due to the remnants of a summer cold).

I just wanted to post about some small benefits I've noticed since I've started this.

1. Tools I like but barely used are getting used more.

Since I started doing the dishes nightly, I've started using my non-dishwasher-safe tools more, like the knife set my mother-in-law gave us, and my cast iron skillet. They get washed when they're used and put away to be used again, instead of sitting on the counter for weeks or months at a time, waiting for me to get the energy to do a sinkfull or more of dishes.

2. I'm cooking and baking more.

With the kitchen counters cleaned every night, I'm more apt to take on a larger cooking or baking project on a whim. I know the tools and the space I need are ready for me to use them. I don't have to wheedle and bargain with Matt, "If you clean off the counter for me, I'll make cookies for you." The counter IS cleaned off, and my mixing bowls and tools are clean and waiting.

3. I can keep track of what I have.

I decluttered my mugs. Now, they all fit on the shelf and I know if I'm missing any.

There are more benefits, but I have to get to work, so I should be making a longer post later.
sailorzeo: (Default)
So, while trying to find my best friend's phone number, I started sifting through three years' worth of AIM chat logs. Haven't found her number yet, but I did find this exchange from 2 years ago that amused me:

Me: It feels so much later than 9.
Her: Long day?
Me: I don't know why, I didn't do much. But I did get up at 4 with Matt....
Her: That might do it.
Her: You're at seventeen hours already.
Her: Your bra is about to expire. :)
Me: Nah. I didn't put anything resembling a bra on until like 11:30.
Her: Ah, well then.
Her: (I still love that line, though.)
Me: It is very true.
Her: Which makes it funnier.
Me: That, and my period started yesterday. I'm trying to plot the pattern. Mid-March,
not in April, early May, mid-June, so I should skip July then have it early August?
Her: I started mine a few days ago. I think it was something like three weeks. I have no
pattern.
Me: Same here; I thought it was holidays (St Patricks Day, Cinco de Mayo were the last two)
but then I'd have started last Sunday on Father's Day. :-P
Her: Celebratory ovaries?
Me: I don't think even the Shadow knows.
Her: *snicker*
Her: Wrong organ anyway, he's more concerned with hearts.
Me: they all look the same once they've been through a shredder.
Her: So true.

Not sure WHAT was up with me that night. But it made me giggle, so I had to share.

A mistake

Sep. 27th, 2009 07:31 am
sailorzeo: (Default)
I made what seems to be a costly mistake yesterday. I gave in to a craving, let myself have half of an Oreo Cookie Jar Blizzard, because I had a coupon, and I oh so dearly missed Oreos and cookie dough in soft serve. I was tired last night, but that happens on the weekends, when I'm out in the heat more so than during the week.

But today....today, I am paying dearly for that simple, forbidden indulgence yesterday. I'm trying to make gluten-free donuts for breakfast. It's a new recipe, and somewhat complicated in the procedure. I was disjointed when I started, getting easily distracted by simple things ("Oh, we never put away the new batch of paper towels....Oh, I need to clean this up in the kitchen...."). But then came the time to cut the 5x5 squares of parchment paper needed, and things blew up. The paper's on a roll. It likes to roll back up as I'm trying to measure (with a measuring tape that ALSO likes to roll back up, crushing and crunching the paper as it does). The dough is so sticky, it pulled the spatula apart. I ended up practically in tears, screaming, "These had better be the best fracking donuts EVER!" and "The next time I get the stupid idea to make these fracking donuts, I'm buying parchment that doesn't come on a fracking ROLL!!" I gave up. Matt's finishing them now.

He is so good, so patient. He knows when I have a lapse of judgment in food choices, that the next day is pretty much shot. But he lets me do it anyway, possibly hoping that this time, I'll learn my lesson, and not give in to the forbidden temptation the next time.

...and he's having fun in the kitchen. I hear him in there, giggling, before he exclaims, "You know, if you don't do it the way you're supposed to, it's kinda fun." The recipe wants you to pipe donut-shaped circles onto the 5x5 squares of parchment. He thought the dough was too thick to pipe, so he's just shaping it by hand. "How many are these supposed to make?" he asks. Two dozen. He laughs, "Then I did _something_ wrong."

I'm feeling better now, having washed my hands of the whole donut-making endeavor. I'll have a cup of coffee later, let the caffeine and sugar work their magic. Hopefully, I'll feel up to going to meeting. Right now, I don't. Right now, I just want to go back to bed and hope everything's different when I wake up.
sailorzeo: (Default)
So, it's Saturday. I figured, since we didn't have a lot of grocery shopping, we'd go, get that taken care of, get a flu shot, plan what to take for lunches, get the kitchen cleaned, get Dave & Tammy's box in the mail...

No. Matt wanted to get the brakes checked on the car. So, he went to Just Brakes, where we had them fixed before. I think he left around 8:30 or so. It's now two hours later and he's still not back. We don't have cell phones, so I can't call him to find out what's up and how much longer it's going to be.

So since I don't know how long it's going to be, I can't start anything, because I want to leave for grocery shopping as soon as he gets back.

This is one day when 2 cars would be SO convenient.

Waiting...

Sep. 6th, 2009 07:45 pm
sailorzeo: (Default)
Ashes to Ashes starts filming series three soon. April 2010, it starts airing on the BBC. I'm hoping the person who posted series 2 on YouTube can post series three, too. The finale of 2 was such a total mindscrew.
sailorzeo: (Default)
The other day at work, Matt was looking around his company's website, and his coworker said, "Oh, how cute, you're 'pretend shopping.'"

In days past, it was called "window shopping," back when you could walk down Main Street, looking at store window displays and daydreaming about items therein. Now that a large portion of Main Streets are empty, being replaced with shopping malls and big box stores, the "window" portion of window shopping has become an artifact of language. To window shop, one must actually enter the store and stroll the aisles now.

Online, there aren't even aisles to stroll. I went through the pages of the MMS catalog today, adding items to my cart, just to see how much the order would be. It was very easy to quickly get over $100, just with a few fixed oils and a bunch of flavor oils. The colorants took it up, too. But, instead of completing checkout and spending money earmarked for something else, I just printed out the page, so when I _do_ have money to spend (and when the weather's cooled enough that the waxes and butters won't melt in transit!) I'll remember what I wanted to get.

Pretend shopping. Sometimes it's fun. Sometimes, it's depressing.
sailorzeo: (huh?)
--The headache salve is working well. Another week I didn't take any Excedrin.

--Another round of thrift stores this weekend. Matt wasn't as lucky this go-round; he only got a pair of pants, a tie, some tie tacks, and 2 pairs of cufflinks. I got a skirt and a VERY nice black lycra dress that actually looks good on me. We also hit WalMart, where I picked up 5 colored semi-nice t-shirts (high scoop neckline with a gathered neckline detail) for $5 each (solid colors to wear with my patterned skirts), and a black jersey-knit cardigan for when the weather cools off. I also picked up a book for a friend.

--It rained Friday night. Like, RAINED. Once again, in a three-block drive, I watched the temperature fall 25 degrees. We sat in the driveway for about ten minutes or so, waiting for it to slack off. Hey, it's Arizona. Rain doesn't last long here, even in monsoon season.

--I went in early to work three days last week. After coming home from grocery shopping yesterday, I took a four-hour nap. And still went to bed around 9.

--Not sure how, but all my fingernails seem to be stained black. I'm thinking it was dye leakage from either the dress or the tights.

--I am so ready for a nap right now. Or ice cream.
sailorzeo: (Default)
Or something like that.

Okay, so, Matt's working again, which is a big yay. He got his shift moved to start at 7 rather than 6, another big yay. I got a 9-inch fan that runs off the car battery to use while I nap in the car in the morning, yet another big yay.

Notable things I remember:
Last week, I hit a small storm cell on the drive from Matt's workplace to mine. It's only a six mile drive, and I'd say this only hit maybe one or two miles in the middle of the drive. It was so surreal watching the ambient temperature readout on the dashboard fall from 98 to 78 and then climb back up to 98.

Cranergy "energy juice drink" contains caffeine. A 12-oz bottle has more caffeine than a can of Red Bull, according to energyfiend.com: http://www.energyfiend.com/caffeine-content/cranenergy I was not aware of this, and it hit me by surprise yesterday morning. I was feeling fine, then just started _shaking_. Not good. So now I know.

I experimented and made a batch of headache salve. 1 ounce beeswax, 1.5 ounces shea butter, 2 ounces almond oil, and essential oils of peppermint, eucalyptus, spearmint, and vanilla. I don't have measurements on those, because while I started with "drops," I wasn't getting strong enough scent, so I switched to "dropperfulls," and didn't keep track. But, it works well, at least so far. When I feel a headache coming on, I grab a bit of the salve, and rub it on my forehead, temples, and on the boneline just under my eyes (the sinus bones?). It does help.

We went thrifting Friday and Saturday, and got a lot of pants and shirts for Matt.

Finally, my period started today, after a four-month absence. Here's hoping it's not a horrible torrential one.
sailorzeo: (Default)
My dad retired this year. July 1st was his first official day of retirement. To celebrate, Mom and Dad are taking a giant trip with the truck and camper. St Louis, MO; Carlsbad Caverns in NM, visiting us; Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons; visiting Dad's cousin Bill in Indiana, and home. They're about a week into the trip now, in their Phoenix layover.

Last night was their first night in Phoenix, so Matt and I took dinner over to them. Carnitas, cilantro-lime rice, salad, tortilla chips. They went over well. We visited for a while; Mom sent back some of my stuff from home, that I now need to figure out what to do with. Some interesting highlights I received include:

--My great-great aunt Arlene's pocketwatch. I'm not sure why it's called a pocketwatch, as it has a chain like a necklace, not a fob like most pocketwatches I'm familiar with. It's a windy-one, so I'm going to have to remember to wind it (gently) and I need to ask Mom if she knows how to set the time on it. I don't want to fiddle with it and accidentally break it. It'll be nice to wear to meetings; the clock's at the back of the hall, and I'm one of those chronic watch-checkers.

--a decent-sized bottle of Starbucks liquor. Mom said the saleslady said to drink it like regular coffee. My confused reply, "With milk and sugar?" Matt's reply, "With donuts?"

--a box of ties. Since Dad retired, he doesn't have to wear a tie every day anymore. So, he went through, thinned the collection. Matt's always happy to get more ties. Most are just standard fare, patterns, but one has brightly colored lizards (boy, did his eyes light up at that!!) and one has Bugs Bunny in an airplane.

Today, they're bringing me my rocking chair, and Mom and I are going grocery shopping. Ajo Al's for dinner later tonight.

Memeage

Jul. 9th, 2009 06:07 pm
sailorzeo: (clutter)
Reply to this meme by yelling "Words!" (or you can just ask for the meme, I won't mind) and I will give you five words that remind me of you. Then post them in your LJ and explain what they mean to you.

Meme from [livejournal.com profile] marsdejahthoris

Power Rangers
- I can see that, as MMPR was what started our friendship on its current course. I started watching it my senior year, and taping it since you didn't have cable or satellite yet. We stuck through MMPR, Zeo, Turbo, Space, Lost Galaxy, Lightspeed Rescue, Time Force (where we started the short-lived tradition of getting together for the premieres), Wild Force, Ninja Storm, DinoThunder (featuring the return of Tommy Oliver!)....and then tapered off, as they started to just really lose cohesion.
PR reminds me of long nights at sleepovers, running through scenarios and rp sessions that would become part of our universe fanon, yet never be written down. Notebooks being swapped at homeroom, lunch, gym class and chorus. And of course, the immortal conversation ender, re: why Jason was the leader: "Because he has the biggest Zord."

Writing
-Heavily tied into the above. Yet, the first "story" I wrote was back in Limestone, when I was in Girl Scouts. It was about a troop with my friend Kelli Schoonover, going to a makeup shop. All the other Scouts in the story bought green makeup (to match their uniforms) while Kelli bought different colors.
I wrote fanfiction before I knew it had a name. I remember jotting down an opening to a sequel to Tad William's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series in the blank spaces around the church bulletin. Those were always favorite scribbling spots. Yet, I managed to quickly write a poem that my mother gave to the minister, to see if he wanted to perhaps put it in the church newsletter. We didn't stay for the service that day, so you can imagine my shock the next week when I found out that Gary read it, and decided it fit the sermon he was giving that day. And he read it aloud, during his sermon. That's something I kind of wish I could go back and hear, to see what was said about it.
I miss writing cohesive fiction. I haven't written anything complete in ages.

Bicycles
-Really? I haven't ridden one since high school; Jeff appropriated mine to use with his friends. Then again, seeing as I ran over one of his my senior year (he had two)... My high school boyfriend was obsessed with bicycles, wanting to be the next Greg LeMond (I think Lance Armstrong beat him to it). Although, I was thinking about that yesterday morning. My clock radio is set to the classical station, and the announcer was talking about the movie Breaking Away, and the Italian Symphony that was used in it. The movie inspired Dana to shave his legs...too bad he chickened out after only shaving one. And then wore shorts to school.

Sailor Moon
-Ahhh, the anime gateway drug. I recently sold my DVDs of the movies, and if I can get in touch with Scarlet Otter, I'd send him the rest of my 6" and 12" dolls for his Vixen-Alpha series. But, because of Sailor Moon, I have my username (also related to Power Rangers), even if it did make the guys at MWD think I was in the Navy. :-P Without Sailor Moon, I never would have found Fushigi Yuugi, Revolutionary Girl Utena, or even really ventured into the anime sections at Blockbuster, Movie World, Hollywood Video, or Netflix.

Usenet
-Just the other day, I was thinking about Usenet: afs-m, rssif, The Sandbox.... Otaku Wars; finding both The Strong & the Sequined and On the Edge at rssif, which inspired me to write/post Designs of Greatness; how continually asking about female action figures at The Sandbox led to an invite to Men With Dolls. If YSU's news server had carried afp-r, I'd have been around there, too. I sort of miss Usenet; it seems to have been replaced by message boards and blogs.
sailorzeo: (huh?)
Is it odd that for a brief moment, I thought $8 for 5 pieces of chocolate was a good deal?

I signed up for Godiva's rewards program, because of the free piece of chocolate every month. So now I get their e-mails. July's e-mail is talking about their limited-edition ice cream flavored truffles. Their special deal for Rewards members is a 5-piece sampler for $8. Considering that this is normally $11, not a bad deal.

But then I thought about it more. That's over a dollar per piece of chocolate. That's over a dollar and a half per piece of chocolate. That's...not really a deal. I can get a full-size Snickers bar for 50 cents. For $8, I can get 16 Snickers bars.

"But this is GODIVA chocolate," will come the argument. "This isn't some mass-produced candy bar available at every convenience store."

True. It's Godiva, and Godiva is a luxury brand. This is why Starbucks can charge as much for a cup of coffee as I pay for a whole bag of coffee beans. Perception. Now, I'll agree, Godiva is good. I thoroughly enjoyed the free piece I had last month. It was the Open Oyster, hazelnut praline between 2 milk chocolate shells. But when asked to describe it, well... "A nugget of Nutella between chocolate shells."

If the five-piece sampler price ($11) is a guideline, that makes one piece $2.20. Going by Google, I can get 2 13-ounce jars of Nutella for $7. Throw in a chocolate bar from Fresh N Easy ($0.50), and I can get a similar experience, in a larger quantity.

So while compared to its original price, the sampler deal is a good one, compared to alternatives, not so much.

I will admit, though, that if I had the $8 to spend frivolously, I'd probably get it.
sailorzeo: (billy)
I was sitting at the workstation, preparing to redo a mailing project, when I noticed something.  Now, to set the stage, one must know that my bangs are long.  Long as in, I should have trimmed them last week.  They hang about half an inch over the upper edge of my glasses, so yes, they are most definitely in my field of vision.  So.  As I was working on the computer, I noticed something odd, something clumpy-looking, in my bangs.  I took a moment, focused, then swept my fingers through that section of my bangs.  I expected to see a clump of thread or some other fabric-based bit of fuzz fall to the desk.  Instead, I had to take a few moments to process what, exactly, fell.  It was not a bit of fuzz. 

It was an ant.  A small, black ant.  While my brain tried to rumble into gear and figure out just how I ended up with an ant in my hair, my right hand moved of its own accord and squooshed it.

------------------------

At the grocery store after work, I noticed the display of Swedish Fish.  Just a dollar for an eight-ounce bag.  I like Swedish Fish; I haven't had Swedish Fish in a long time.

"Fish are good for you," I told my husband as I added the bag to the basket.  "They're brain food."
sailorzeo: (Default)
From tvtropes.org's "INSPACE" page:

Stories are often recycled from other shows, with the setting changed with just enough of a gimmick to make it look different. The characters will have the same character types, sometimes even the same voice actors. Sometimes these will be direct spinoffs, with the same characters with one major time or setting change. Later varieties included "AS KIDS!"

The majority of these are seen as nonsensical updates according to whatever else was popular at the time. Putting the series into space, though, is the big one.

And an individual entry, regarding the original 1970's Battlestar Galactica series:

The entire series was heavily inspired by series creator Glen Larson's Mormon faith, making it effectively The Book of Mormon IN SPACE!

...and finding that was triggered by Matt's comment, regarding yesterday's Sci-Fi Channel programming, "Did you know they made a Leprechaun 4? Leprechaun 4: IN SPACE."

Personally, I wasn't aware of more than 2, and that's just by skimming over the boxes in the video store waaaay back when.

Early....

Mar. 7th, 2009 05:40 am
sailorzeo: (Default)
It's five-forty am. Matt and I've been up since 4. We're getting ready to head out to the grocery stores. The alarm, set for six, won't go off for another 20 minutes.

I don't know why we woke up at 4. We just did. Well, no, amend that. Patch was rattling the bedroom door something fierce to try to get in, so that woke us up, but after that, we were just awake. So, we're going to get a head start on the day. We went through the grocery ads last night, making lists and marking out our route. Seven stores in all, most likely. I don't like price matching. I hated it as a cashier, so I try not to do it as a customer.

I don't think the sun's quite up yet. For some reason, this feels like folly, this early-morning foray into the world. But it must be done.

Amazed

Mar. 2nd, 2009 07:45 am
sailorzeo: (billy)
I am amazed. Okay, to start, my hours got cut starting last week. I now work 9=4:30 instead of 8-4:30. Everyone's hours are getting cut, so only losing one hour a day is acceptable, given that it could be a heck of a lot more.

But, I'm still making myself get up at 6, like I did when I worked at 8. That means I have an extra hour around the house. Last week, it still seemed like things were being cut close. Today, however, I got up, took a shower, got dressed, browned the pierogies in butter for my lunch, packed the rest of it (grapes, string cheese, yogurt and an apple), warmed up breakfast (leftover pancakes with butter and honey), ate breakfast, and still had forty-five minutes of computer time. I'm just stunned that I managed that.
sailorzeo: (huh?)
We went to Lee Lee Oriental Supermarket yesterday. I bought a package of metal chopsticks, and boy oh boy, did the package have a great example of Engrish, retyped here for your reading confusion.

---------------------------------------------------------
Products Specification

Lian Rong tableware series is the high in quality catering products of modern household chosen. The products adopts import original materials, Science administration, quaint manufacture, health reliable, grinding-resistant high-temperature-resistant, enduring durable, unique design with contour. It is very easy to control with human body handle.

-The products has been cleaning with high temperature ultrasonic wave before installing. For the prevents to be polluted by transporting selling, Please use detergent to deterge before use.

-The products is according with entry to the sterilized cupboard for tableware of the high temperature or wltrasonic (sic) ware.

-The products doesn't use soap or steel-wire-ball to clean violently in order to keep smooth finish.

----------------------------------------------------------

From now on, I'm going to refer to my "human body handles" and my "sterilized cupboard for tableware of the high temperature." :-D

Le sigh

Feb. 1st, 2009 08:18 pm
sailorzeo: (exercise)
I was really hoping for Arizona to go the distance, but overall, they didn't do too shabby for a team that's been the butt of football jokes for years. I did make the comment to Matt that most other years, I'd be rooting for Pittsburgh. But since we live just down the road from the AZ Cardinals stadium, I have to root for them. Plus, Wendys was going to give out free junior Frostys if the Cards won. Oh well, no free frozen dairy dessert here.

Blah

Jan. 12th, 2009 12:19 pm
sailorzeo: (Default)
Well, Matt's still unemployed. I don't get paid again for another week and a half. We've switched to prepaid power, and we only have enough for about 4 days, if we're VERY conservative. The rent check hasn't cleared yet, and the checking account has $7 less than we need to cover it.

Right now, I'm totally feeling the hit of the economy, and I do not like it one bit.

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