Progressive Life in the Slow Lane

Or maybe not so slow after all?

This might not matter much to many, but those who use the Internet for work or study or research, the difference between waiting five minutes to download a 45 minute documentary on a topic and waiting 1.7 seconds adds up over a week when you do this countless times a day.

So as hard as it is to realize it is really gonna happen, Goose Creek Press will soon operate at GIGABIT download, 500mbps upload speeds.

Go to FastMetrics to see a bigger version of the graph above from that site.  Most households in Floyd County connect at 3mbps I think. Some less than that.

And thanks to Citizens Coop for making this happen. In my lifetime. If they hurry! Come on, folks, deferred gratification is not something I want anything more to do with after turning the corner on 70 before long.

 

 

Getting Around the Web: Take the Cab

Originally Crystal Atari Browser, this is an oldie to be sure, but hanging tough.

And for the iPad Pro, iCab Mobile wins over Safari (for most sites but not all) and has many well-conceived bells and whistles that are so customizable that this detail might put off casual-sometimes users of the iPad who do not expect to do any serious web work on the smaller device in the first place.

iCab mobile browser (Pro version is two bucks I think) plus Index App are a very useful combo for me (iPad more than iPhone.) Your mileage may vary.

I will leave it to these websites to highlight the pros and cons.

RE(Devon)THINKING My Brain

Long story short, I think I’ve made permanent changes in how I structure documents, blog posts, web pages and writing on the computer. A ticker tape parade ensues. Stock prices soar!

At the end of the story, I’m moving away from Evernote and towards Devonthink Pro. Here’s why (and thank you for asking.)

Devonthink Pro was maybe the first (and most expensive) Mac software I purchased when I made the move from PC in early 2008. I used it to organize the elements that would become What We Hold in Our Hands in 2009. Then we broke up.

Evernote, about that time, had moved from its earliest incarnation as a long scrolling strip of information to its more sophisticated folder and files format. I jumped ship.

I still use Evernote, but for fewer things than I did before I had the V8 Dope Slap moment a few weeks back thinking “I could have used Devonthink Pro!” And it turns out, you can easily import Evernote folders into DTP where they become part of the Artificial Intelligence and other cataloging functions of Devonthink. The faster iMac with 32GB of RAM has also helped this program to rise up in the ranks of apps I use.

I will admit that DTP is not the sexiest, most transparent or intuitive application on the Mac. This information database takes wrapping your head around its particular way of doing things.

But it is perhaps one of the most versatile and potentially useful apps around if you need what it does. Who might need what it does are folks who deal with a wide variety of document types and attempt to glean quick or aggregated information from the docs, snippets, web pages, pdfs and images that would otherwise live on their hard drives.

DTP becomes a super FINDER to either store (import) or reference (index) files and cross-reference some or many  that used to live invisible and helpless on your hard drive. The app is understandibly popular among historians, students, teachers and research types.

I run Workflowy, Nimbus Notes and Simplenote (or others at times—like weather radar this morning) within DTP in tabbed browser windows so I don’t have to switch from DTP to Firefox and back for many routine writing/recording actions.

DTP works [Screen shot from my current open database] best with Safari and Mac Mail, and I  don’t use either. But there are bookmarklets and add-ons for Firefox, plus the “SORTER” which stays ready like an open file cabinet to pop in notes, tasks and “bookmarks” which are active links to web pages.

For digital packrats like me, it is finally becoming obvious that this is an app worth its rather high price. If you do a lot of document scanning then you’ll want DTP Office that is even pricier.

Okay. Take a breath. The excitement has passed and the frenzied parade has crept over the event horizon, so you may resume your boring ordinary life you lived before you were titillated by this account of my software fetish.

Showing Your Cards

No, not that kind. I’m not one for those kind of games.

This is just a quick Saturday morning note to let you know that the Photo Note Cards are on the shelves at…

 ▶ The Floyd Country Store in downtown Floyd.
▶ Chateau Morrisette Winery Tasting Room Store 

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With regard to the latter, I was to provide five packs of each of the five sets to the Winery store yesterday.  I could have taken them jumbled in an empty cardboard box. Instead, I packaged them in the only perfect carrier I had. It is a simple wooden box for which I cannot remember its source. I left it with them. Now I need a few more.

They were delighted to already have display built in with the product, and will put this on the main checkout counter by the cast register. This means folks doing general browsing will not see them; but it also means that impulse purchases at check-out go way up. We’ll see.

If anybody has a notion about where to buy these roughly 5″ x 10″ boxes, please let me know. Failing that, I’ll be begging a friend with woodworking tools to rip me some pieces that I can nail and glue and stain. I need another four of these.

If you’d rather shop from home, you can order directly through Etsy online, by browsing  here at Fragments or directly at Goose Creek Goods Etsy storefront

Learning Not to Fail

Lately with the early frustrations of this little Etsy enterprise, I’ve been trying very hard to listen to my own advice. I’m pointing to ME when I say what I use to say to my kids growing up.

“I’m a klutz! I’ll never be able to play tennis because I can’t serve worth snatch!” my adolescent son would say.  And I would tell him…

“Remember the first time you tried to ride a bike without training wheels? You were all over that yard. You couldn’t go five feet without falling. We used up a box of bandaids. ”

“But now, you don’t even think about HOW to ride a bicycle. You just do it. Everything you now do with skill and precision you once didn’t do worth snatch.”

And here I lurge and plod today–a klutz.  Getting these 25 note cards in five sets with envelopes into clear bags with thumbstrips and set labels–I’m never going to get it done. I’m so slow. I’m so disorganized. I’m doing bits of it wrong and have to go back and fix things that should have been right the first time.

But I can see myself a little bit on the skilled side of this awkward, inefficient, slow and fumbly stage. It is getting less frustrating already.

Tomorrow I set out for three more stops for placement, and maybe I’ll seem like I know what I’m doing. At first, you have to pretend. Then finally, you know what you’re doing.

 

Tab A in Slot B: Getting my Shop Together

So as of yesterday, I now have full inventory of all 25 notecards. It took about a month longer than I thought it would.

Anything that could go wrong, pretty much did, but ended up being a small ripple on the larger pond. And all of this kerfuffle is really just up-front disorder and static that goes with any new undertaking never tried before. Nothing ventured…

What I have learned so far is that just because people have been enthusiastic about the cards in person does not mean they will find them online and scoop them off the digital shelves like the Black Friday rush at WallyWorld.

Build it, and they will yawn.

So with all this stock, I am going to have to take initiative to find a buying market other than the Etsy storefront. I am going to have to prepare x number of each card set for shelves in local stores that I keep restocked on a recurring basis.

Where I’ll ask for space and how many vendors I’ll be willing to keep supplied is something I have not sorted out yet.

And here’s the crunch: retail sales is NOT going to be easy money or much of it per unit sales. And high volume is beyond the capacity of my thumbs, who are both on disability.

Selling wholesale to stores takes a bite out of the small margin per card.

Each “unit” requires an awful lot of touches from the time I get cards from the printer to the time I send them off in the mail or leave them at the Country Store.

I can see the tedium factor skyrocketing rapidly. I can see turf wars between one side insists he needs a lot of seemingly disordered surface area and the other who values “all that junk off the table” no matter why it’s there.

All of this is to say that today is the real beginning of this undertaking. I’d love to be successful in bringing in a bit to supplement my meager Social Security check. But how much busywork, how many touches, how many hours a week would represent more “success” than I’m willing to give to this “great idea” I had a few months back?

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Shop Talking

I want a place to have conversations (theoretically) with folks who are interested in nature photography, landscapes, sense of place, writing, and aesthetics AND are trying to put their arts, crafts and other goods in the hands of responsive and appreciative customers.

So that’s what this string of posts will be about.

I may have it such that these posts find their way onto Facebook and other visible places, since my blog is moving farther and farther out of the main flow of conversation. And that’s okay. It’s quiet here.

But if I want to stay out of debt, I need to show a profit.

On the one hand, I hate being commercial. On the other, nothing gives me more joy than having my words or images touch another human.

Like the rest of life, selling one’s art is a mixed bag, isn’t it?