Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Plane! The Plane!...

Only for me it has been:  The bid!  The bid!

[Yes, I watched Fantasy Island when I was little.]

Everything on eBay sold yesterday, most at the very last second.  Sadly, I made many mistakes on setting the shipping cost because I just couldn't understand what all the options meant.  So, that means for five of the six items, I will be paying significantly more in shipping than I will actually be receiving.  I also learned that eBay charges a 10% fee on the shipping, too, whereas Amazon does not.  Hence, I had a bit of an unpleasant learning curve.  Then you have to calculate Paypal's cut, too.  But ... all that being thankful for any money at all is still covering the bruises I have from kicking myself over being so dense in navigating the eBay shipping options.  If you are interested in selling media, I would highly recommend Amazon over eBay.

MacGyver sold on Amazon this morning.  So, today was package central.  I suppose another up side of all of this is that the shipping supplies that I have kept on hand (brown grocery bags, brown packing paper, bubble wrap, foam wrap, anti-static wrap, cardboard sheets, boxes, and labels) mean that I have gained space from those utterly depleted supplies and that I have not spent a penny on packaging.  And I have cleared out three locations (two shelves in the antique cabinet in the basement utility closet and 1/3 of the deacon's bench).  I am thankful the post office still accepts brown paper packages.  No string, mind you.

One of the eBay sales have not paid, though the buyer sent a message saying he cannot afford to pay until Wednesday.  Mostly, I think that if you do not have money to pay, you should not bid.  But I am trying to be patient since he has a 100% feedback rating.

Anyway, this means that the costs of all three technology upgrades I have done this fall, between selling old gadgets, series, household goods, and utilizing upgrade credits, are now all paid for in full, and I have a wee bit to add to my new glasses fund.  Of course, the next time I need an upgrade, I shall be at a loss given how I've cleared the barn this go round, so to speak.

My other crowning achievement today was the repair of my beloved ancient headset.  Yes, I used duct tape to effect my repair.  The bit that goes over my ear, the rubber portion, has been slowly tearing in half.  Before the last sliver gave way, I dug the matching color of duct tape (yes, I have four colors) and carefully spiral-wraped the curve of the earpiece to restore it to its former glory (and function).  The headset is a $26.95 Motorolla H500 from eons ago.  I bought my first one in 2006, but it met with an accident (as in got left behind at the park when I was walking Kashi) in 2008.  This one has been a faithful companion ever since, bought on sale in noncommercial packaging and with free shipping.  Since I cannot hold anything for a significant length of time, I need a headset.

Is not duct tape a good gift of the manufacturing world?

As a final note, this afternoon, I realized that I was a bit more cold than need be.  In order to save money, I have primarily had the heat set at 65.  If someone is here, I bump it up to 68.  However, I have been so cold of late that I have been wearing scarf, hat, and gloves indoors.  That and clutching Amos firmly to try and absorb some of his body warmth.

First, last week I started leaving the basement door in the kitchen open to let some of the copious heat down their to rise up to the first floor.  Next, I remembered to switch my socks over to the wool ones, to reduce the instances of Raynaud's in my poor feet.  Then, before Marie came last week, I realized I could keep her warmer if I opened the duct in the kitchen.  Yesterday, I dug through the quilts in the trunk at the end of my bed and picked out one for the GREEN chair, operating on the belief that cotton really does have more warmth than anything else.  Last night, I was far more comfortable with just the one quilt than the three throw blankets I had been using.

[After throwing it in the washing machine for the first time in ... well, let's not go there ... I believe it looks rather spiffy for an ages old quilt.  Don't you?]

I thought I had done all I could and broke out the hat, gloves, and scarf.

A short while ago, I realized that I had not opened most of the vent covers (large ones original to the house) for the heat to come through.  You see, I keep many of them closed when I am running the air-conditioning, so that the cold air is forced up to my bedroom, since so much of the cold air falls back down the two staircases.  When I checked, other than the kitchen duct that I opened for Marie, only the one in the living room was open.  Once I opened up the vent covers in the foyer, the parlor, and the dining room, the arctic chill that had been lingering in the air dissipated significantly.  When Marie comes to cook again, I think she will actually take off her coat!

I will be curious, when the gas bill arrives, if all this shivering is worth it financially, or if I am not saving much more than keeping it at 70, as I did most of last winter.  When I get those dysautonomia chills, though.  All frugalities are set aside.  I have been known to crank it up to the 80s, just to try and stop those wretched chills and warm up my icy skin.

For comparison, last December's gas bill was $105.  This was and remains a great improvement over the first gas bill I had in this house, which was just south of $400.  Upgrading the heater was literally paid for before the second year's use.  November's bill was a mere $45 and something, but we had some warm weather then.  This next bill will be an entire bill cycle of full heat use.  I am thinking to remain committed to bundling up indoors, the savings should be $25 or greater.

Normally, I compensate with my beloved fires, closing the French doors to trap the heat.  But I have been having fires less frequently to also save the money for wood.  I believe I will be getting some cash for a small job in December, so I will treat myself to another rank of wood then.  Right now, I believe I have enough wood for about four or five fires left.

That shall be my Thanksgiving Day treat.  A roaring fire and much warmth.  That ... and maybe I will have pumpkin pancakes and applewood smoked bacon.  Such a plan would give me an opportunity to see if making pancakes on the new cookware will be as successful as making rice has become.  It would be nice not to be such a pancake-making failure.

For now, I am trying to figure out how to get some files off my 1995 Powerbook 520C.  I was all ready to get it out of the house when I realized that while I had transferred my fiction from there, all my scholarly work and all my files from being a college professor are still only on the ancient laptop.  Microsoft Word 6.0.  On ancient Mac.  Before, to get to the PC, I saved each file as a text only version and copied them onto a floppy.  Then, I opened them on the PC and changed each one back to a Word document.

I still have my USB floppy drive, so I powered up the PC that no one has wanted (yet) to check if it was working.  Since I am ultimately going from MAC to MAC, I thought I could go from floppy to flash drive, passing through the PC without notice.  But my Macbook is reading all the Microsoft Word 6.0 files as executable files. Hmmm....

By the way, did you know that, in the dark ages, you could put a PC formatted floppy in a MAC, but you could not put a MAC formatted floppy in a PC?  Even then, Windows did not play nice!

The problem is ... I don't remember how I got all the files into a text version back when I tackled the fiction, several years ago.

I am Yours, Lord.  Save me!

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