Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bowling right along

There is only one week of actual bowling left.  What in the world am I going to blog about over the summer?????  I'm sure something will come along....

Last night's scores:
1st game   - 130
2nd game - 147
3rd game - 111

As my current average is 109, all three of my games were over my average.  Woohoo!  That's only happened one other time this year, and it was a few weeks ago.  I'll take it...  Still don't know what did it.  Still don't know what I'm doing right.  Still had some gutter balls, so definitely not consistent.  But it was fun.  We bowled the team in 9th place, and we actually won one game.  Next week is position round, and it will determine where we finish, which determines how much money we win for the year.  I can guarantee, it won't be much.  But that's ok......


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kayak issues

Those of you that's have been around this blog for a bit (or who know me well) remember the kayak incident of last year.  For those of you that are new here (welcome), you can get get caught up with THIS first post, and then THIS follow up post.  Ok, I know I forgot to follow up and let you know what happened after the second post, but "no news is good news", right?  I tested it, and all was well.

Until now.

This past weekend, we went out kayaking to introduce D's nephew to it, since he's going to be  going with his Adventure Club at school.  We went to a nice protected area, with a beach landing so it would be easy.  All seemed fine for the most part.  N did GREAT!  He's a natural...

However, my boat did not fair so well.  It again took on water on the inside.  I haven't had a chance to assess it find out if it's taking it on in the same spot or not yet.  

I fired off an email to the manufacturer, Hurricane Aqua Sports, and will now wait until I hear back from them to see how to proceed.  I have pretty much lost all faith in this boat.  The boat is not that old, and I haven't abused it.  So, I'm anxious to hear what Hurricane Aqua Sports has to say.  

I'm glad that I didn't sign up to do the Paddle for the Border this year as it's this coming up weekend, and I wouldn't have a boat.  I did sign up to volunteer there this year, though.  


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blah, blah, bowling

First off - let me say that I'm glad there are only two weeks of actual bowling left!  Yes, I'll miss the folks.  Yes, I'll miss the fun.  No, I won't miss the bowling.

Last night:
1st game  - 99
2nd game - 121
3rd fame - 82

Almost mirrored last week (100,83, 127).  Not sure why I'm having one game that is so much in the toilet.  No time to worry about it now, or try to fix.  The goal now is to just make it through.  Somehow.  In 3 weeks we have out banquet, and see where we finished.  We are currently tied for 34th place (out of 39 teams).  Last night only dropped us, as we lost all games...

So stay tuned to see how this season plays out.  At the end, I'll post a blog with a whole bunch of random statistical facts and figures from my season.....  Should be a hoot.


Thursday, April 16, 2009


Last night was a hodge-podge of bowling scores.  The only one on our team who was pretty consistent, and above their average all night was D. 

Here are my scores for the night:
1st game  - 100
2nd game - 83
3rd game - 127

Didn't think I was gonna break 100 on that first game, but got lucky.  Completely lost it on the 2nd game, and felt like I literally had never bowled before.  Third game felt better, and more like I'd done in the last few weeks.  

The funniest moment of the night was after the second game.  I was taking the walk of shame back to the table where my team was.  I glanced over at D in time to catch her look up to see my score.  She was all set to say something positive (like "Good game, sista" or something similar), when she saw my score.  And nothing came to mind.  I had to laugh, cause I just knew she couldn't think of anything good to say.  She caught on to why I was laughing, and she knew she was busted.  It was quite comical....  

Needless to say, an 83 was not the best of the night, and was actually a mess.  I'm so glad we could have a laugh about it!  Thanks D!

Only a few more weeks of actually bowling, followed by a banquet, then off for the summer.  Hope I get to see these gals over the summer sometime!!!


Thursday, April 9, 2009


I saw this article the other day, and thought that it was a good one.  I was quite glad that I had free reign to pretty much go anywhere on the web that I needed/wanted to at work.  Leisure or Work.  Let's take a look at the article, then we'll chat.  K?

Facebook, YouTube at work make better employees: study

Thu Apr 2, 2009 10:13am EDT

1 of 1Full Size

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Caught Twittering or on Facebook at work? It'll make you a better employee, according to an Australian study that shows surfing the Internet for fun during office hours increases productivity.

The University of Melbourne study showed that people who use the Internet for personal reasons at work are about 9 percent more productive that those who do not.

Study author Brent Coker, from the department of management and marketing, said "workplace Internet leisure browsing," or WILB, helped to sharpened workers' concentration.

"People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration," Coker said on the university's website (

"Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the Internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a days' work, and as a result, increased productivity," he said.

According to the study of 300 workers, 70 percent of people who use the Internet at work engage in WILB.

Among the most popular WILB activities are searching for information about products, reading online news sites, playing online games and watching videos on YouTube.

"Firms spend millions on software to block their employees from watching videos, using social networking sites or shopping online under the pretence that it costs millions in lost productivity," said Coker. "That's not always the case."

However, Coker said the study looked at people who browsed in moderation, or were on the Internet for less than 20 percent of their total time in the office.

"Those who behave with Internet addiction tendencies will have a lower productivity than those without," he said.

(Writing by Miral Fahmy; Editing by Valerie Lee)  

This is a pretty good article, in my opinion, and just shows that some "workplace internet leisure browsing" or WILB is a good thing.   So wouldn't you know that right after reading this article, the server I'm on has blocked any site worth going to.  Sure, most sites that I need for work are available (except for "visual search engines", i.e. Google Images) but nearly all of the sites that I want to go to are now blocked.  And it appears to be done carte-blanche by category.  Let's look:

Chat/Social Networking 
  • Facebook
  • Myspace
  • Flickr
  • Picasa
  • Snapfish
  • Photobucket
  • And probably more
Streaming Video
  • YouTube
  • Ustream
  • Craigslist
Visual Search Engines
  • Google Images
  • Yahoo Images
Forums/Message Groups
  • Yahoo Groups
Blogs/Social Networking
I'm sure this is not comprehensive.  These are just the sites that I've noticed.  Blogger does not appear to be affected (yet), as well as mail sites (Yahoo, Gmail, etc.).  And it also doesn't appear to affect online shopping.  I can get to ebay, amazon, google shopping.  Or online travel sites.   I can also get to all the news sites.  

Wouldn't shopping at work be more detrimental that just checking in on your friends at FB and staying connected?

Maybe (hopefully) this is a temporary thing, and it will all blow over soon.  I sure miss the streaming video sites that I had gotten attached to that I mentioned in THIS post.  But also one that I hadn't mentioned before of a Great Horned Owl with two Owlettes.  And I sure do miss Facebook.  I guess it all means that I will be a little less productive at work.   Bummer!



Last night was bowling night.  We were down three of five team members in our little group of eight.  My team of four was down one, and our other team of four was down two.  So we sat as a table of five.  Did you get all that?  Yeah, me either.

It was a fun night, and I did OK.

1st game - 109 (this is my current average)
2nd game - 121
3rd game - 130

So, not bad.  I actually felt like I bowled worse.  I left pins standing that should have dropped, and missed some easy ones.  Got a few marks that surprised me though, so that was nice, too.

We took all four games, so that might help us move up from 38th place.  Maybe.  We'll see...


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Business ranting...

We interrupt the usual cheery posts for a rant.  Again.  Sorry.

As we all know, the economy sucks.  I've seen and heard about a lot of small businesses going under during these tough times.  I've considered myself fortunate enough to this point to  be hanging in there.  But I can see how it gets to the point it does.  I've wondered recently if it would be better if I got a "real" job with "real" insurance.  Why?  Where to start...

Insurance.  First of all, when I bought the business, I lost my "traditional" insurance.  You know the kind.  You go to the doctor's office, pay your co-pay, and leave.  Not to worry about much else.  I had to try to find individual insurance, and was turned down several times before finding a plan that is extremely over-priced, and coverage is minimum.  I've only used it twice in the year that I've had it, once for my ankle debacle, and once for a dentist visit.  And I paid extra for dental coverage.  At the foot doctor, the insurance didn't cover the air-cast that I needed, so I paid a good amount out of pocket for that.  I then received a bill for the remaining balance after all the insurance was filed.  A pretty good chuck of change.  Then yesterday, the remaining balance of the dentist bill came in the mail and it was so high, that I wondered what the insurance covered, and why I was paying extra for dental coverage.  Then I get a letter stating that the premiums are going up.  With *all* that it covers, I'm considering canceling the insurance, and just taking my chances again.  I did it for a year before I got this insurance.  And financially, I may have to go back there again.

Income.  Somewhere along the way, I lost the memo that said if you own your own business, you'll make less money.  Yes, there are benefits of owning a business.  Income is not one I've seen so far.  When you factor in all of the bills, wages, insurance, and the cost of all the little things, well, that just leaves little money for the boss.  One thing I am proud to say, though, is that I am a 100% debt free company.  If I need something, it gets paid for in cash (or check).  I have no credit card debt (in the company name) and owe nothing other than normal monthly bills.  And taxes.  Taxes.  And more taxes.

Taxes.  When you own a business, taxes are a pain in the ass.  Period.  And as an LLC, it's just all kind of bizarre.  I don't get a paycheck anymore, so I don't have taxes taken out like normal.  Instead, I have to pay estimated taxes quarterly.  That would be fine and good, if I only had to pay taxes on what I actually paid myself.  But it doesn't work that way.  So, I'm personally making less money than I've made in the last 10 years, but paying more taxes than I ever have too.  Confused?  Let's just say that the company's profit for a given year shows $100,000.  But I only took out $50,000 in a "salary".    I have to pay taxes on $100,000.  {By the way, this is not even close to the correct figures.}  On my tax return, it shows my "Adjusted Gross Income" as $50,000, and shows the company gain of $100,000.   And yet, I still have to pay.  Gone are the days of tax refunds.  I wish there were bigger/better/other tax credits for people who own small businesses.

Employees.  Ok, I can't really rant here, because I am fortunate enough to have a great part-time girl that works just about any time I ask her to.  It's a fine balance on how much to have her work.  On the one hand - it actually benefits me a lot on taxes to have her work for me.   I can't have her work full time, because then I'd have to offer her benefits (which I couldn't afford) and there wouldn't be enough money left for me to take out the little I do now.   And there's all the ribbing from my friends about me taking time off again.  Yes, I LOVE having extra time off.  Especially in the summer.  But I also enjoy the tax benefits of her working.   If she wasn't available to me, then I'd be in the same position as a lot of other small business owners, and that is trying to find someone you can trust to work for you when you aren't there.  Not an easy thing to do.

I LOVE what I do, and think I'm pretty good at it.  I have some of the best clients in the world!  They truly make a difference.  I would hate to give it all up, but unless I can find some alternatives, I might just become another number in the sea of small business that don't make it.  

It certainly is not easy to own a small business.  I mistakenly thought otherwise.  And I certainly would have not been able to do it without a lot of forces in place to support me.  For that I'm very grateful.