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value of time, rant on thieves

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

i've have this flash animation from my 404 page running on my screen for hours. it's a great screensaver. the animation was built for our cool baby clothes site somewhere in 2004 for the home page, before i realized that flash would kill our seo. i haven't found a good place for it until now. it's supposed to make folks who have reached a bad url feel a bit special.

babywit flash animation

no flash allowed on the baby site and now i must write a blog filled with keywords so forewarning, unceremoniously i am going to be dumping words like baby or toddler clothes into my writing. how horrible. i feel like such a whore because really i don't feel at all like writing about baby clothes or hip toddler clothing. how about today instead i write about how my car was broken into last night. it has nothing to do with baby clothing and will probably weaken my seo but god, how much can one write or read about the baby clothing industry day in and day out.
i will update you on yankers. i've tried to get a hold of my yankers pattern maker in sf to make some alterations and still haven't heard back from her so i am getting a bit antsy. what, did she take a VACATION? jesus.
and on jesus did you see the shirt that said 'Jesus Wouldn't Defriend You?'
Rebecca suggested that i could use a shirt with the like symbol thumbs up on a shirt with the number 1 under it cause i only got liked by myself. HA HA HA. so funny rebecca.
here's my rant to the f@cking thief who broke into my car last night.

I chose the gym over another drink with an online blind date. I had been at my computer all day long and at 9 pm I decided to go for a nice work out at the gym. I did manage to get out briefly for lunch and to grab a brace from the rebuilding center for a new light fixture Jason had given to me. I found the perfect one sitting in a pile of crap, gold with leaves embossed into the metal. Very antiquey looking. It would go together perfectly with my gold metal bedframe. Currently I have one of those horrible sort of home depot fixtures hanging above my bed that I suppose someday might be considered a cool treasured antiquey sort of fixture by some woman hunting rapaciously through boxes of ancient fixtures in some junk store. I have my doubts about that though. Everything these days is built so cheaply as easy tossaways.

I parked in the garage even though there was plenty of street parking because the garage was lit up. I grabbed my workout bag but decided to leave my purse and this not two days after Dana had explicitly warned me not to leave my purse in my car. Her friend’s car had just been broken into while he was working out.

I selected number 56 to place my bag into and found on the top shelf of the locker a brand new iPad2 sitting in a very nice black suede case. I have been lusting after one for months but went with the kindle to save money. Oh the temptation. Of course I must return it to its owner but I cannot deny I was tempted as I opened the cover and slid its button on to search for information on its careless owner. The device was close to brand new, no scratches and hardly any applications installed on it or fingerprints marring its smooth touchscreen. I found the owner and phoned her letting her know I would leave her iPad2 at the front desk.

After my leisurely workout I meandered out into the frigid night air and found two guys in the garage sweeping up glass around their cars. I opened my car and found my seats covered in shards and cubes. My purse gone. The two guys swept up the glass from my front seat and cleared it from beneath my car. We lamented on what we had lost. 

As I drove home I began to think of all the things in my purse. 
My expensive glasses, 
all my favorite make up like this amazing eyeliner and dark smudgy blue eye shadow color that worked perfectly together,
my favorite lip gloss that embarrassingly cost over $20 (lip gloss is very important), 
my credit cards, 
my omsi card that i haven't used even once this past year, 
my drivers license,
business cards with my home address on them, 
$150 and odd change in cash, 
an unused $100 Script card to New Seasons, 
a $200 money order that I had delayed in cashing because I found it difficult to make it over to my new community bank, 
my checkbook with my groovy edward gorey cover i'd picked up at a 2010 secret society xmas sale, 
my back door key that was attached to a little pouch I picked up at crafty wonderland last year. I thought it a fabulous idea that she make little pouches with keyrings on them. She sewed them all out in these groovy vintage fabrics. 
A necklace that I loved but had unclasped and placed in my change purse because my son grabs at my neck quite a bit and its chain is so delicate that it tends to break easily. 
My brand new spider ring that I just picked up from ruby girl. I love this ring. It is cast in sterling silver from a harry potter lego piece. It feels like it was made before things got cheap. Built to last. Heavy with weight and a solid band. Its little spider legs were getting hooked on my hoodie and I have always had difficulty wearing rings so it was sitting in my bag waiting for me while I worked out.
And, my favorite queen bee bag, one she no longer makes. It is super cool, grey and black with a huge wing sewn across the cover. 
But, all these things together do not add up to my deductible per incident. 

Right now I am sitting at safe lite auto glass where I must spend over an hour waiting for them to install a new window. I was worried all last night they would return to clean out my auto. The thief had been frightened off by the manager at the gym just after he had broken my window. My car was the final car he got to. What I wondered is why the manager failed to let its members know that four cars had been broken into in their garage. He told me he didn’t want to make all the patrons nervous and figured everyone would find out when they left. I suggested that perhaps if he'd been kind enough to let me know right after my window had been broken I might still have a purse. It wasn't like the gym was packed at 10 pm at night.
Because in my purse there was much more than just my things, my time sat in there. Loads of it and time is something I cannot buy and I cannot make more of to replace my lost time. Time, once lost is gone. Permanently. I did not get angry until I began to realize how much of my time was stolen.

I looked at my phone and saw a new email from my credit card company. Not even an hour after the theft and there was fraudulent activity detected on one of the cards from my purse. I spent the early morning calling all my credit cards and canceling them. They went to plaid pantry to spend $13.32 and hit up the shell station for some gas. Then off to eat dinner TWICE. I guess they were hungry. They used my REI card at REI.com (do i get cc points for that purchase)? They used my amex at northface.com. They used my bank card to purchase monthly passes at TRIMET. I passed this information onto the police officer who took the report. She was amazingly sympathetic. Young with a spray of freckles across her face.
“We will get them with their purchase at the Plaid Pantry. They film everything at those places and there is a time stamp on the use of your card.”

More time spent moving all the things from my car into my house.

Today I am sitting on a plastic chair at a plastic table inside of safe lite to have my glass replaced before it starts pouring. They are located off of 158th somewhere in nowhere land. They estimate it will take them an hour to an hour and a half to finish.  Safe Lite has no wireless. I cannot work. Every minute I don’t work is costing me and with NoSchoolvember I’ve had to really struggle to put in enough hours. Add into it all the things that keep piling up…broken presses, holidays, finding cash, managing contractors remotely, yankers, a shopping cart that still needs a tremendous amount of massaging, SEO woes, educating myself on new marketing techniques to get our sales back up and on and on and I have two children who NEED me. I have to be present for them. It’s a struggle to find time.

Then off to my community bank because I must sign papers to contest the TRIMET charges and close my checking account and open a new one. More time to inform my mortgage and car lenders of my new checking account number.

Then the DMV to apply for a new license but first I must dig up my passport, social security card, proof of name and address. I can only imagine how long I will be sitting in that row of chairs staring at the clerks calling off the numbers from the queue.

Then I need to somehow replace my glasses. But, this means going to see an optician as my prescriptions is expired. Then, I must go and select new frames and order, wait and go pick up.

My back door lock needs to be changed because he has my address and my key. I will have to purchase a new lock and install it. This means going to Freddy’s, picking out a lock, waiting in line, bringing it home, removing the old lock and installing the new one. 

I understand theft quite well. the motivation. the thought process behind it. "i don't have enough money and they have so much, they'll never miss it."
or "their insurance will cover it."
or "i really like that new iPad2 and someone careless left it in a locker so it was just going to be taken anyway."
or "those millions of mindless idiots who bought houses they couldn't afford are losers anyway who don't deserve to own a home."
honestly it wasn't hard for me to call the owner of the iPad2. and when i turned in the iPad2 to the desk clerk it wasn't for some fear of being the recipient of some karmic retribution or guilt out of hurting someone else but rather because in reality i was saving myself time. See it takes time from both sides when something is stolen. the loser must spend time replacing all that is gone, the taker must figure out how to make it their own or dump it and how to escape punishment.

My time has been lost but so has the time of the person smashing the windows, sorting through wallets, trying out cards at gas stations and restaurants to be captured on film, shopping online to pass out their address. Time has been lost in our community as the police officer takes the reports and follows the leads, the insurance companies who file the claims and jack up their rates, the credit card companies who close down the cards, send out new ones, mail out claims against the fraudulent charges, make up for these losses by raking their customers with higher fees etc. it all circles around to end up in a punitive circle of vicious taking with every member of our society taking part in some way because busy work isn't constructive work, it's just damned wasteful.

We all have pretty much the same amount of time. a second for me is the same as a second for you. i do not have more time than you nor you than me. it is rather how we decide to make use of our time that adds or detracts from the value of this precious asset.

the value of time. it has taken me decades to recognize it. today has made it crystal clear.

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broken presses, broken dreams

Monday, November 28, 2011

just kidding. well both our presses are broken but our dreams are not. rebecca is working slowly on all our black friday orders with barely functioning presses. again, don't buy a hix heat press. 2k invested and it didn't even last a year.
got my period yesterday. not that anyone wants to know this sort of thing but it went towards explaining A LOT. because you see, when i pms everything sort of breaks down. i was debriefing rebecca on my thanksgiving and she said 'it's giving me anxiety just listening to it.'
met with monica drake today to discuss a new project i am working on with dana hush. sort of a community building project we've been hashing out and monica said she'd absolutely help with a panel. she also told me about this phenomenal running art project she has running. basically, she goes around at large gatherings and asks people to complete a sentence. then she creates a word cloud and an art piece from each event. so, from an occupy rally the larger words are much different than shoppers at walmart going after a $2 waffle maker. i think it an amazing sociological investigation so if you find me coming up to you at a gathering and ask you to complete a sentence it's to add to monica's database of word clouds.
we are also going to make a series of shirts for little ones called sad sally with bubbles filled with expressions of what we as adults WISH our children were really saying. more to follow soon.
i have gotten to know Amanda Meyer and Paul Zenk at Infinity Tattoo and they are a lovely couple. very much fun. their art is amazing so we are going back and forth on creating a series of tattoo shirts for kids.
also, i have been advised by seo masters on blogging and i need to include some keywords in my text regarding toddler clothes. so here it is. toddler clothes. and also new mom gifts. we have amazing new mom gifts. i mean what mom would not be thrilled to receive the "he thinks he's my daddy shirt" at her baby shower. Come on!

here is my product review of the day. over thanksgiving i was losing my mind because apparently i was PMSing, the newsletter program wasn't working for black friday and the kids were fighting fighting fighting. so i had ava and atticus give maia her gift. she opened it and they played together peacefully for TWO solid hours. they were in heaven. Two 4 year olds and one 8 year old put together half of the animals from this fantastic collection. It's definitely a keepsake piece. the card stock is quite heavy and the patterns beautiful. i give this set an A+++. What i like best is that all the pieces can be organized by animal in their own envelopes so they don't get lost in the mix.
magical menagerie

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rejection, hormones, thanksgiving, black friday

Sunday, November 27, 2011

apparently november has been designated no schoolember and because of the schedule with my ex i have ended up this entire month with my kids being on holiday. this has not been easy as i have been working hard at getting my site back up a bit (unsuccessful so far) to it's old ranking before the url restructuring. i have a feeling we will never be at the top again. not sure why but think it has something to do with how before on our customized products for each decal i had to offer up 5 different products all keyworded differently and in this new system one decal is one decal with the same keywords just placed in multiple categories.
plugging through the site and keywording it. i have been so busy with filming yankers, watching kids, keywording, working out issues with the new site that i have had no time to really monitor a person i hired on odesk. he had such a high rating and i just kind of trusted him. over thanksgiving i had a chance to really look at his work and i apparently shelled out 500 bucks for him to keyword by copying and pasting my title into the meta title, description and keyword section for 300 products, 250 which were invisible products and did not need keywording. to late to contest as i am responsible for making sure the work they submit is what i want. i feel like and idiot. so no more trusting and more monitoring. sigh.
i arrive at our friends house on bainbridge island wednesday evening. atticus is reunited with his best friend maia. when i see them together i cannot help but smile. they are just so happy to be around one another and they get each other even though they are so very different. at one point while they were playing atticus grabbed maia and said to ava (his older sister) you cannot give me a daughter but maia can. hmmm, i wonder where that came from? what was going on in his 4 year old brain.
rebecca had just finished up the newsletter wed afternoon and it was queued to go out friday morning but when creating the discount sitewide i realized that none of our sale items were actually listed as on sale so i spent a couple of hours on thanksgiving trying to fix that bug while my friends were cooking up dinner in the kitchen.
friday morning comes and we all want to go to seattle but the newsletter, our biggest newsletter of the year, the black friday, cyber monday newsletter did not leave the queue. i am freaking and of course nexcess support is of no help. there normal response to anything is 'hire a developer.'
thank goodness rob is a programming genius. he really is. he is considered a flash expert (wrote the bible) and does stuff with streaming video. he sat with me for a couple of hours to work the bugs out of the store and he helped massage that damn newsletter out the door.
but, because he has spent time helping me he has to stay behind while we all go to seattle. everything is rushed. so rushed. i throw our things into a suitcase and shove my computer into a bag. we pack the car up and are off. as we are parked waiting for the ferry i realize i can't find my cell phone. huge panic. snow phones up rob and asks him to look for it and if he finds it he will catch a ferry over in the afternoon.
he can't find my phone. i know it's there. i tear the car apart on the ferry ride. rob is calling my phone as he walks through each room and he finds it in a slipper under maia's bed. apparently atticus decided to take it off of my computer and hide it under maia's bed. sigh. rob took the ferry over that afternoon just to return my phone to me.
these folks never got irritated with me even though i completely interrupted their lives. they were so generous with their time and such high tolerance of my chaos.
our sales during the big holiday are so sad. even with the 20% our sales are now what they were before we lost traction in google. i hired someone to work some magic and do an ad words campaign but without money coming in how do i spend more money? i did find a good way. another credit card company came along again and offered me 0% interest again so i paid off a huge cc bill that i would have been unable to meet by transferring the balance. someone is looking out for me. so i went and purchased a new heat press from insta because the hix never did get back up and running and the thermometer i replaced in the insta was faulty so we were left pressless.
last week after filming the video i went onto kickstarter to set up the campaign but i did not realize one had to APPLY to ask for $. that some projects actually get rejected. mine was one such project. i have no idea really why. i had a minor panic attack because in my head i had already set up this whole thing so i could get the funding i needed to do yankers. i mean, i could go the traditional route and do shows but that takes bank and i don't have bank right now. so i was devastated to not have access to potential funding from the general public. but, one thing i have noticed is that if you don't succeed the first time you might end up with a different answer if you try again. i think my daughter and son recognize this as well. ha. so i reapplied under design rather than the fashion category and was fortunately accepted.
plus, i've been feeling those hormones raging through my body. for me, hormonal imbalance feels like a huge amount of anxiety and desperation all rolled up into a giant lump that sits right around my pancreas. that switches drastically from day to day. one day i will feel the lump and the very next day i can feel as though i am walking around with all these long strands of amazing white energy extending out of my finger tips, legs, arms, head that seem to bounce around embrace everything around me. oh life. right now i have the lump. ugh. what does your hormonal imbalance feel like?

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shooting of yankers kickstarter video

Sunday, November 20, 2011

i've been feeling kind of uninspired as of late. ok, maybe for the last two years.
and when my site flat lined through my own carelessness i jumped into an emergency resuscitation mode. it is terrifying and exciting all at the same time, watching the potential death of my only source of income. i'll keep you posted and let you know what i did seo wise to halt the falling off of traffic and hopefully build it back up to where it was before i launched the new cart.
friday, after much procrastination on my part, my attention refocused on a product i developed back in 2008. earlier in the year a good friend thought it crazy that i wasn't taking yankers to the next level. with all the positive feedback, letters and encouragement from customers and friends i began to think maybe i should dedicate some real energy to yankers. but i wasn't feeling the much needed inspiration that i needed to go there. for me inspiration or the drive is this feeling in my gut that this product/activity/business plan has everything it takes to make it to the next level.
last week before the shoot i went down into my basement to dig up my first prototypes of the design and began to recall its' history. the huge number of revisions, the patterns, 4 different pattern makers were involved. when i pulled out my first two versions i couldn't help but laugh out loud at how absolutely ridiculous they looked.
on friday a group of three women and one man gathered with their infants to participate in the video. i was nervous because although i had heard from customers how much they loved the product i had not witnessed it used by multiple people who weren't my friends.
it was overwhelming.
i got what i needed.
a huge dose of inspiration.
one woman reminded me of some of the advantages built into yankers that i had completely forgotten about like 1. a toddler can't access their own diaper and 2. checking to see the status of the diaper is easy as pie. 
yankers IS brilliant. people are wondering why this product doesn't already exist because it is so SIMPLE.
and there's the ticket. in product development simplicity is key.
a product that people wonder why this did not previously exist. the obvious products. like dropbox. i love dropbox. it's so obvious. so brilliant. so simple.
why ARE we busy parents spending our precious time buttoning and snapping countless fasteners, throwing velcro into washers to have it tear at our clothing and catching delicate skin in zippers?
i am all over yankers. it's in my heart again.

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google product feeds and homelessness

Friday, November 18, 2011

after much back and forth with google and a request for exemption for the new required color and size fields and a rejection of request i decided to submit a product feed of our customized products that is based on the blank garment, one blank garment in each size variant, the same color with the decal listed as the pattern. this means i will be 303 x 7 products x 3 sizes just in infant/toddler/kids. and this is with just one color...that is one big spreadsheet.

i am not getting the color requirement because they don't specify color assignments as they do categories and with all the billions of possible colors a manufacturer comes up with i don't see how the color field is going to be of any use in their taxonomy. i get the sizing but color? and it isn't just the main color they are asking for, it's the primary color/secondary color/third/fourth etc. there has to be some logic to this requirement but i'm not seeing it. someone explain how the color field is useful without them dictating the naming. Black, blue, green, purple, red, orange, silver, grey, yellow, white or something like that.

i'm sure this is just fascinating. last night i had my friend yawning with my talk of spreadsheets.

this is before i whispered to him what i really thought of the big bowl of kale salad sitting on the table at the thanksgetting.

i don't really want to take any of it home because i didn't really dig it.
why not, what did you think of it rosalee?
well the dressing left an aftertaste of (whispering into his ear) stale socks in my mouth.
oh really?
yes. it was kind of gross.
well i made that salad.

i invited a homeless man to stay in my house while my children are with their father. he is the ex-husband of a friend. i was sitting on her couch when he showed up on her doorstep, angry, cold, out of gas, wet and desperate. it was not pleasant.
she had never seen him like that. she was terrified that he would lose it and no longer be able to be a father to their daughter.  i did not want to offer up my home. i am not generous like that. she explained he had recently gone through his second divorce, gotten into drugs for a month and through a series of unfortunate events LOST EVERYTHING.
this was an incredibly talented man who, when he was working would turn down gigs paying him more than most folks make in a month.
homeless. no gas money. had slept in his unregistered car the last few days. all resources gone.
"rosalee, he's trying so hard and this crap just keeps happening to him."
i told her that he could stay in my house until my kids returned.
no skin off my back and perhaps it would put a stop to the downward spiral. my only request was that there be no drama, no chaos to follow from my offer.

well, you can't offer up to someone who is homeless your home as shelter and not expect some chaos/drama to ensue. this is a person who has used up every single last resource and every minute of the day is spent trying to stave off the streets, keep out of the rain, tucked away from the cold.

he complimented me on my pesto.
it's kale rather than basil.

he is the creative artist type who can't function very well within laid out societal norms. if their talent is recognized perhaps they can build up a career of some sort. but it is precarious. always tilting and tottering on the edge. and it can all disappear within a month or two. their house in the clinton district, their devoted clients, their wives, their equipment, portfolios, childhood photos and then their car.

my insurance has lapsed and there are repo men are outside trying to get my car. they are after me. four different vehicles with darkened windows. can you bring me my things. meet me at this cafe? i can't lose my car. it is the only thing i have left.

yes, yes no problem.

i bag up doc martins, black plastic framed glasses, socks, expensive designer clothing. his shirts are hanging up. his shoes neatly lined up. a tea cup is sitting on my daughter's desk.

as all our resources continue to dry up, more slowly than his, perhaps it takes a year or two, we are all feeling closer to the street. we spend less of our dollar which in turn effects small businesses such as mine who cannot offer Walmart prices. i as a wholesaler buy less. manufacturers produce less, spend less. we are all spending less and less as our resources shrink, becoming thinner and thinner.

it is a tense time. i marched occupy portland. i want it to change. i want my children to have health care and a good education. to keep my house and my business. to continue to employee a single mom who has been with me for over five years.

it ain't all that much. really.

ok enough, i am off to make my kickstarter video for yankers with billy wild.

the focus is to ask for enough $ to go into a real production environment with my product. in 2006 i could have done this without asking for $. today, it will be the only way i can push this line out. crossing my fingers for social media to do it's magic.

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The Entrepreneurial Generation

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

 an acquaintance just sent me this article and i found myself wondering why he fails to talk about the other drivers that makes one do one's own thing. the diy movement itself is a protest against big corporations, over consumption, waste and our throw away culture. it is a generation trying to find a way to push back up against mass media's brainwashing and corporate dictatorship of our culture and is also perhaps a path to self sufficiency with less dependence on the big. it is a backlash against our current mode of over consumption and is most certainly a movement (with more and more mainstream participation e.g. occupy).
his lack of acknowledgement of it and failure to even mention these drivers is odd. i mean, beyond the organics and dyi small biz climate it is a huge amount of protest/fight/anger/sadness against a culture that does not value the products it creates and in fact works to create disposable throw away goods at huge costs to our society.
but yes these folks tend to be nice about it and perhaps it does have to do a bit with the fact that it is a business they are cultivating. it is the dawning or birth of the small business that WANTS to stay the small business. it is an age that celebrates the small business.
Here is a new shirt i added today. a friend suggested this verbiage as a sign. i took his slogan and made it into a tee. i think it accurately defines the participants in the occupy movement and it is not a bad thing.
one unorganized liberal

dissident t-shirt, wikimedia, google product feeds

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

i spent all day yesterday trying to build out our google product feed but with their new specifications that every garment have a color attribute and a size attribute you can imagine what my spreadsheet was starting to look like with all the possible permutations our site offers up. on top of that they'd really like an image submitted for each different color variation and since our site offers these images up dynamically...it's looking like we are not going to be submitting a google product feed for our customized items.

i submitted a request for an exemption but realistically i don't see how they could grant it with what they are trying to do, which is offer customers the same shopping experience that amazon or zappos does. basically, building out a giant shopping cart and unless they add in customization then it kind of kills the point of their feeds and if they add in customization or exemptions for me (offering fields for size ranges and multiple color options) they'd have to do it for other folks who can't meet their stringent standards. so i don't see it happening. depressed after spending one day plugging away at the damn sheet. so many new fields.

i just added a shirt with the word Dissident across it because the times are a calling for some dissension. A dissident, broadly defined, is a person who actively challenges an established doctrine, policy, or institution. When dissidents unite for a common cause they often effect a dissident movement. (source: Wikimedia). This is not a bad thing in this day and age considering the established institution is not promoting a sustainable future. This is an interesting video worth watching. Broke Video

dissident funny baby onesies
  Baby/Kids Shirt

I also donated some bucks to Wikimedia. I mean I use them as much as I use google and they ARE ad free. If you use them you should too! I love wikimedia.

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Reinvigorated about www.babywit.com

Monday, November 14, 2011

Losing one's position on google is devastating but i can't go back to my old cart. we worked so hard on the new one. it is so fabulous. so we are spending all our time doing what we did not do on the old site which is start to write keywords and meta descriptions. it is exhausting. but, in this process i am learning a lot and it is fascinating.
i did get bored with bw after the initial launch and marketing. my ambivalence began set in around the third year. i'd made the site. i got the traffic. i was going to shows. i did my own line. and after awhile i just kind of lost interest.
when i separated from my husband i stopped marketing. i stopped going to shows. i stopped going into the office regularly and started doing fun things. looking for that thing that would respark my passion.
is this what happens in long term relationships? you get bored. you want that passion back. you fear you might not find it again? then there is the very real possibility of loss. of losing that person from your life and suddenly your passion surges back in and every hour is spent trying to salvage that relationship.
that's what happened with babywit.com and I. with the thought of loss i am filled with passion once again. 
a girlfriend the other night said of life...we need to feel a little hungry, a little cold, a little bored, a little scared, a little sick to appreciate what we have.
i just added this new design today:
i hand drew it. We see these parents all over Portland. It amazes me that they do this in the pouring rain rigging up creative solutions to protect themselves from the elements.
The idea is not mine. It came from a friend of a friend. Pam was chatting with me about riding in the rain and she mentioned her friend who rode her kids around in this amazing bike caravan and had made a shirt that said one less minivan. she recently gave up on the bike train after she had another child. she now has a suburu or something. anyway, blah blah, i went home and drew out this shirt because i felt it deserved to exist.

One Less Minivan
one less minivan socially conscious baby onesies

i hope you enjoy it!

Heat Presses

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I am not a mechanical person by nature but last night i spent about 30 minutes installing a new thermometer on my insta heat press. i have had this machine for SEVEN years. i have replaced the thermometer on it twice and a piece of metal that broke. i've greased it twice. That's it. It's been a fabulous workhorse for these seven years.
The first heat press i purchased was a used hix and i really liked it because it made this nice ding. I also had a mighty heat press (cheaper hix i think) for awhile. they both broke. i decided a year ago to buy another hix. for some reason i had this romantic delusion about the hix heat press. perhaps because it was my first heat press.
i spent a lot of money on this new heat press. we used it as our backup press over the year. it broke in the 11th month, a month before the warranty ended. they sent me new parts for what had broken. it required a flame torch and the soldering of a piece of silver. i borrowed a friend's flame torch who was working on my house and tried to install the new part. it didn't take. i spent over 3 hours trying to install and solder it. i called for advice. they told me i needed to get someone who had experience soldering so i asked my friend who worked on houses and did electrical to come take a look.
it took him over an hour to finish it. he griped the whole time. 'what the heck? this crap doesn't melt. i am worried about melting out everything else around it!'
then something else broke on the hix. the pressure went out. the warranty had expired. this is after a year of minimal use. it sat like that through the xmas holidays. it sat like that for a couple of months because it took so much back and forth to figure out why the press no longer had any pressure. they diagnosed it as the linkages had broken and charged me 100 bucks to send out a new one. they didn't have instructions because it wasn't a common thing they sent out. i imagine it is because linkages are nearly impossible to actually replace.
i tried to follow the instructions and get the caps holding the rods removed but this was impossible. i couldn't get the old parts off. i tried everything. tons of force, a screwdriver inserted inbetween the cap and the rod while banging the screwdriver with a mallot. i called for advice and the technical guy didn't know. he had to call someone else to find out.
i had a dude friend come in and try. he built furniture. he tried and gave up. the people at hix told me i had to find a machinist. it took me half a year to finally find one. he came and picked up the press and kept it for a week.
when i picked it up he told me that he had had a time of it. that the hix press was built so poorly that there was no way it would not break when being used and that the linkages would have to be replaced periodically but if i could catch it before a certain point the replacement would be easier. he told me never to buy another hix. that was 2 months ago.
guess what? it's broken again.

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Rememberance Day

Friday, November 11, 2011

today i took my children over to pioneer square and at 11:11:11 am we stood in a circle with about 25 veterans of peace. they played Taps and read a poem. there was a large peace sign made out of trillium flowers. i told my children the story of the soldiers who opted for peace over war. i also told them they could make a wish. it was a good wish day. what are you wishing for mom? well, this is the biggest wish day in about 100 years so i am going all the way with a wish for world peace. it was a nice way to make a wish.
after relaunching the site with our new store our seo dropped shockingly. down 60%. i expected it to fall off a bit until our new url structure was recognized but when it kept falling and falling over the past month i knew something was up. i've spent the last week trying to figure out what the HECK?
i am making a guess that it has something to do with the google toolbar i have installed on my computer and that maybe somehow it read that i had gone to our test site and also our old site that had been relocated under a DNS and spidered them because i stupidly did not think to put a robot.txt file in there telling google to skip over these sites...honestly i didn't think google would find them so easily. well, looking in webmaster tools i see that over 100,000 link ins are coming from these two sites weakening our search because well, all of it is duplicate content and most of it leads to our home page. OW. so now, i am just waiting for google to reindex those sites. i tried to force it by asking them to remove those two sites from their index but i guess unless the entire site is gone they don't do it?
so, rebecca and i are sitting on pins and needles waiting to see what happens before xmas. i mean this is our season. holy moly.

but, some good things came out of this research. one was that this blog that i haven't written in for over 2 years had a lot of link ins. secondly, one of our products that i totally forgot about and left off the new website had a lot of link ins as well. it is a shirt that i kind of love and kind of hate. on the front it reads ambivalent, on the back is printed not ambivalent. it is the toddler's way.
they're both back!

ambivalent not ambivalent funny baby onesies

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