Friday, December 16, 2005

Crap... Friday Already?

Well, let's see what I have to say today...

What I've Been Doing: Nothing spectacular has happened since Tuesday's post... work is great, as always -- I suppose I should mention that I did some spec work on one of our weekly sections that's proven to be a good use of my time, though...

The newspaper I work for publishes their weekend entertainment guide on Thursdays, instead of the usual Fridays, which I think is amazingly smart. There's always a two-page spread called the "Dining Guide," which is paid advertising that kind of looks like articles about the various restaurants. Now, I don't know how many of you are familiar with desktop publishing programs, but when these two pages were originally created and built, we were using Quark Xpress, and for each restaurant, there were three components to their article -- the heading, the text itself, and a line under part of the heading. These three elements -- separate objects, although grouped together -- had a tendency to get misaligned from each other. Not only that, but the columns of text also managed to get misaligned, or even altered so that some restaurant's articles were slightly wider than others'.

The dining guide, like our Wednesday ads and the weekend section (which prints Wednesday morning, actually) all has to be completed on Tuesday by 5 p.m. Since we switched from Quark to InDesign almost a year ago, we've been dealing with converting old ads to InDesign, and in some cases, we've found better ways to build them than we did before... but the Dining Guide has been the same. Tuesday night, however, I copied the completed Dining Guide to my desktop, and spent some time here and there over the past few days rebuilding it, so that each page of the Dining Guide is one block of text, with four equal columns, no separate line element (it's a formatted line that can't be separated from the text), so we'll be consistent from one week to the next. This also makes it much easier when we have to break up an entry from one column to the next. Everyone who's seen this -- including my boss and her assistant -- are very impressed with my work on this, and happy about it.

In addition, I'd also been told that the advertising department wanted to redesign the heading we use on those pages, so I did that as well... and that, too, is getting a good response so far.

My boss told me this is one of things she appreciates most about me -- when things are slow, I don't just sit around, I always find something to do that's productive.

I hope she remembers this in February, when my next review is scheduled!


So far, the auctions ending tonight have been kind of slow, still... although it's hard to really judge, as there have been a few "Buy It Now" purchases -- including an additional one this morning, after I'd reduced the starting bid and BIN price on my Justice League Unlimited three-packs a dollar. Guess I'll be making a post office run later today -- there are, after all, two items to ship right now!

One of the most bizarre things I've seen on eBay is when items are being watched. Sellers can tell how many people have their auction on a watchlist, but that doesn't necessarily mean bids! I've had items with two or three or more people watching that closed with one or no bids! I do wish that eBay would send a reminder to people about four hours before an auction ends -- and maybe require them to either place a bid or have the auction removed from their watchlist. It does get frustrating to see so many people "watching" an item, and then not sell it!

My feedback rating is climbing, slowly but surely. As I write this, it's at 72, and there are still 21 auctions that have been shipped which I'm still waiting on feedback for.


I don't know if I've griped about this before, but I hate pop-ups... and they're everywhere! You know all those news sites I provided links for? Pretty much all of them have pop-ups -- many of which I close before I even see what is being offered. It seems to me there's got to be a better way for these sites to earn revenues.

So why don't I use a pop-up blocker? Because I'm on an older version of the Mac system software, and I can't get a free blocker (I believe the OSX version of Netscape has the capability built in to it, but I'm still on OS9). And yes, I am just cheap enough that I don't want to pay for a blocker to remove those pop-ups.

Going Into The Weekend:

Saturday, of course, always begins with Weight Watchers and walking the dogs. Saturday night we're supposed to go to Chehalis to have dinner with one of Jessi's friends and her husband, and Sunday we're supposed to go to Des Moines to my brother Jeff's house so Jessi can meet his dogs. Hopefully, tonight's auctions will not only pick up, but the winners will pay quickly, so I have money to put gas in the car so we can get to those places!


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

And... It's Tuesday Already!

Sheesh... where does the time go? (I know, time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin'... into the future)

Not much in the way of the eventful from the past few days... work was fine, Jessi and the dogs are doing fine.

Monday night I added some new auctions... portfolios, like THUNDER Agents Set One, Batman by Mike Zeck, Superman Better Than Ever, and Batman: The Animated Series. All start at $9.99 -- so point your browser to eBay and search for seller jon8229! And if portfolios aren't your bag, maybe one of the action figures or trade paperbacks will be more in your interest area!


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sunday Night... and I'm Exhausted!

OK, all I told you about this weekend so far was the 100 pound loss total from Weight Watchers, right?

The rest of the day from there... Jessi and I took the dogs for a walk, and it was freakin' cold (it was freakin' cold this morning, too).

Did I mention that I bought my nephew Brady a Krypto toy for Christmas? Probably did.

Anyway... after the walk, we came home, had breakfast, and then I took new photos for the auctions I started on Friday. Why new photos? Because the ones I took Thursday were pretty bad... blurry, awful things. So I replaced them, except for the auctions where someone used Buy It Now, which was nice to see!

A lot of my buyers have paid via PayPal already, which is also nice -- especially since two of them were just short of my submitting a non-payment notice on them!

Anyway... Saturday afternoon, we headed up to Puyallup for my niece Jessica's birthday party, which was all right. We had turkey and ham sandwiches with salad (green and pasta). We pretty much blew our flex points there.

After the party, we went to South Hill Mall in Puyallup to do some Christmas shopping, and didn't buy a thing.

This morning, we walked the dogs (only doing one lap, because as I said, it was freakin' cold), had breakfast, and then went out to do a combination of Christmas shopping and card delivery -- you see, we'd printed up these Christmas cards, and instead of mailing them all out, we just delivered most of them in person. We had a great photo taken while we had snow, and used it -- I'll have to share that with you guys (I still have to share the pix of the dogs playing in the snow!).

I did get some Christmas shopping done, but we're still a ways to go to finish... and I haven't decided what I'm getting Jessi yet. Unless things pick up with the auctions very, very soon (yeah, that's right, I spent the money I made from last week's auctions already), I may have to wait until the next paycheck (which will be, like, two days before Christmas) to get her present.

Anyway... in the midst of this, we brought the dogs to PetSmart to get their photo with Santa (and yeah, I'll have to get it scanned and show it to you guys, too).

Back home, we had homemade burritos and squash for dinner (low-calorie burritos, mind you), and then I made up some low-cal pumpkin bread, which finished baking after Jessi went to bed. While it baked, I packaged up the stuff that had been paid for, so I can get it shipped in the morning. Also in the morning, I have to bring Krypto to the vet for a deworming and fecal check-up (purely routine).

And yes, I do realize I've posted virtually nothing comics-related in quite some time... and I'll have to do something about that soon, won't I?