Monday, November 28, 2011

Unintended Consequences

eBay has apparently started charging ten percent on shipping costs that sellers charge, as well as taking its cut of whatever the item itself sells for. Supposedly they are trying to get people to offer free shipping. But you know that crazy law of unintended consequences. What some people are doing instead is jacking up the shipping costs to cover the ten percent extra, and informing the buyers as to why. And I don't blame them.

Yes, shipping items can be a pain, because the Postal Service can get expensive, and unless you go flat rate, it can be hard to tell how much an item will cost to ship. And flat rate has become outweighed by cost over convenience, especially when you're selling items, and buyers want to pay as little as possible. Is eBay trying to avoid the hassle of buyers overpaying for shipping by "encouraging" sellers to offer free shipping? Or just taking another slice of the pie? I don't know. I do know that by offering free shipping, most sellers will end up tacking the shipping cost onto the selling price instead, and that creates issues of its own. Simply because of the difficulty in estimating shipping, how much easier just to be generous in your estimation and raise the selling price a little bit higher than your guess. Whereas lots of sellers, including myself, pride themselves in providing accurate shipping costs and refund any overage.

When it comes to my particular eBay interest, dolls, there seems to be a particular price range for various items. If you're charging more for your item, but offering free shipping, will buyers be astute enough to do the math and realize that the cost evens out? I don't know, because I've become cynical and think its hard to underestimate the intelligence of the masses. I also hate overtinkering to manipulate others. It generally doesn't end well.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Writing Experience

Every time I begin a blog post, and look at the last date I posted, I chide myself for not writing sooner. The thing is, I think about writing something, and I talk myself out of writing it, for fear that it is stupid, or I can't put together some thoughts in my mind, so I drop it. But what I am remembering is my college experience. When I had a paper to write, I always, but always, put it off until the last minute. Even in my freshman humanities classes, where we had to write a rough draft and go over it with a classmate, I never used the rough draft when I wrote the final paper. Instead, I usually became inspired around eleven or midnight the night before the writing was due, and pounded out a paper on my electric typewriter, which usually got a pretty good grade. I don't have to have The Great American Blog Post planned out in my head before I start writing. As in other areas of life, maybe the most important place to start is by just showing up.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Hope today's sewing adventure goes better than yesterday's. Spent a good bit of time cleaning up after the last project, thoroughly cleaning the lint out of the serger, getting the cutting table re-organized to get space to work. Only to have the serger stubbornly refuse to serge. The threads kept getting snarled and breaking, and I couldn't really see a reason why. So I pulled all the threads, and I'm going to try to absolutely thread it from scratch. I really hope it works, or it's going to kill the positive, productive mood that I'm in.

ETA: I did get the serger working, and I got some sewing done! One or two of the tension discs feel a little bit loose. Wonder if that is normal, or how they could be tightened. Yes, the machine could use a tune-up, but I'd like to wait until after the holidays, and until our financial situation improves.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Okay, Not So Up

So much for getting my netbook back. Linux seems to running fine on it, BUT there is something wrong that makes the computer shut down unexpectedly. Don't know if it needs a new battery or what, but that kind of stuff (that costs money) will have to wait. Trying to be more careful when I use Mr. BTEG's computer, since I am using it in his personal space, his den.

After seeing all the tragic stories coming out of the Penn State scandal, I am more than ever confused about why anyone thinks a larger government is a good idea. In cases like this, trying to put a stop to such illegal and disturbing activities would have been as "easy" as calling the police. For various reasons, a whole network of people did not do what would have been the right thing. I am not naive enough to believe there is any group of people in power with complete immunity to corruption. So in something as large as the federal government, what do you do when people are misusing the power with which they have been entrusted? Who are "the police"? Will everyone behind Solyndra and Fast and Furious, for example, be brought to justice? Will money funneled from the public till be restored? Lives that were lost can never be given back. So why entrust anyone, ANYONE, with so much power, prestige and privilege, that they are willing to, at the minimum, look away from evil to keep what they have?

Monday, November 07, 2011

Up and Running

Finally have my netbook back, although Mr. BTEG still needs to get my email client running. Getting used to all the different fonts. Do different fonts in software, from the ones that you're already used to, bother anyone else? I'm not liking the font I'm seeing while I type this; I like it the least of everything I've seen so far. It's very much like a plain old electric typewriter font. Boring.

Mr. BTEG pointed out to me, and I had meant to say, that the title of my last post was very Dr. Who-ish. While I was referring to the idea of "Don't blink or you'll miss it," in regards to how quickly days and weeks can slip by; still, a little Dr. Who reference is always fun. :)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Don't Blink

The days are going by incredibly quickly! It's fun, until I look around the house and see what's not getting done, while I'm out running errands or going places for the girls. Ach! Definitely can't have it all, so I might as well have fun with what I have.

On a related note, sometimes bipolar people, when in their manic state, will do crazy things, like go on a shopping binge for shoes and clothes. Mr. BTEG showed me something I hadn't seen, which was that while I don't go on shopping sprees to that extent, I do have my shopping weakness. I occasionally buy some organizational bins, drawers, etc. on a quest to organize. Could be worse!