Progress is Progress no matter how small.

I did manage to make three cabs today. One of them was superglued on a screw, and I don’t particularly care for that method of dopping, however the other two I made I used my new suction cup on a stick to cab them. Unfortunately, the suction cup wasn’t working well, so I trimmed it with scissors, and then ground it down a bit on the wheels to get the suction to hold much better. I should be able to cab stones up to 2-3″ in diameter with this method, and as small as half inch. Then I went searching for a new tool to work with smaller stones, and I found one for only $80… $80 I don’t have to spend on the tool, but I bookmarked it, so maybe later I’ll have the funds for it.

So the three cabs I made. 2 of them are petoskey stones. One of them had some imperfections in the stone, and as a result there are some pits in the material, after the final polish was applied. There’s nothing I can do to fix the holes, other than sealing them with epoxy, and then repolishing the stone. I was concerned it was a material flaw, and all of them would have similar holes, but the other one I did, came out perfect in every way, and no holes were present in the material.

I’m using a Woods Pwr Grip vertical handle suction tool for moving glass around as my dop stick. I now own two of them, since I failed to return the first one they sent me, that didn’t have a suction cup, and I’m ok with the extra expenditure this month, as I believe I’ll be making some suction cups to fit on the tool, while the first one has a removeable cup, the second one that didn’t come with a cup, I’ll be trying to figure out how to make a suction cup for it, possibly out of silicone caulk, maybe….

One important thing to note, that while you can use this suction cup dop method, it’s only suitable for cabs, as the point is to round the top, instead of faceting it. The suction cup does hold the stone well, and if it pops off, or you need to pop it off it’s a fast on/off, and enough control to cab. But the suction cup method has one glaring drawback, and that is that because the rubber gives a bit, it isn’t suitable at all for faceting.

I haven’t made any progress on the site today, but when I get as far as starting to add product, I think I have all my categories made, and then there’s the ecommerce plugin I still need to figure out. I hope to start getting product setup, and on the site soon, as I need to start making money. Then it’s going to be a lot of promoting, and figuring out how to get my site out to the world to see.

Tomorrow, I’ll make more cabs, and maybe I’ll remember to take some pictures for tomorrows post.

I really hate this theme.

I’ve already set it somewhere, to be a single column, and now the blog section is in two columns. I really wish I had the time to figure out how to make a theme from scratch, so I didn’t have to deal with all this obnoxious crap. It’s just the obnoxious catch 22 that is my life after all. What I want to do, I can’t do, because I have to do something else first, but before I can do that, I have to do this other thing, and that thing, and some other damn thing. It’s a miracle I ever get anything done at all.

I want my menu bar to behave differently. I’d like to have a menu bar that changes depending on what page the user is on, but that seems outside the realm of something I have control over, unless I assemble a theme from scratch, which appears will be the only way I’ll ever get it to look how I want. Unfortunately, as much as I hate the way this site looks in certain formats, there’s a lot more I need to do first. So relearning css, php, and whatever else I need to talk to the WordPress CMS will just have to wait until I have the time to throw at it.

Wear Sunscreen.” There’s a line in this song that talks about figuring out what you want to do with your life. Something about the most interesting people he knows still didn’t know what they wanted to do at 40. I’m 43, and disabled. It’s a frustrating situation for me. I’ve got a double dose of processing disorder, and it makes learning things a challenge, and even more of a challenge is staying gainfully employed.

Between the age of 16 and 23 I had over 351 jobs. I’ve been depressed a lot of my life, and mostly because I fail, at everything, all the time. My successes are few and far between, and my failures are as common as breathing. Some days it’s like, I’m drowning on dry land. Just totally overwhelmed at everything that is my life. I can’t seem to win for losing.  I exist, on an income provided to me by the government because I’m am 100% disabled, and I’ll likely never be able to hold down a job. I’ve tried. A lot. I’ve tried it with meds, without meds, I’ve tried it with help, and without help, I’ve tried it with vocational rehab agencies, and without, and without meds, help and vocational rehab agencies, I’ve actually had a few successes, for short periods of time, but with all those things, it’s an endless mire of shit and nothing happens in the window of time I have where I’m able to stand up on my own two feet.  Life always knocks me down, I stand up, and I get knocked down, and I stand up and I get knocked down, and sometimes I stay down for a while. Sometimes I get so fucking tired of standing up and trying to do this on my own, in a situation where nobody really understands me or what I’m going through, and it gets frustrating, and then I drop into another mire of shit, with a downward spiral, where I start wondering why the fuck I even bother at all…

One of the biggest problems with Vocational Rehab agencies is Politics. They exist to make senators feel good about their states job programs, but they don’t fucking listen to the people they claim they are helping. I’m not sure if that’s a cross the board opinion of those places, but if I had a hundred dollars for every time I’ve been ignored by people that were supposed to be helping me gain and keep employment, I’d have at least 2000 dollars. How many times I’ve asked for help setting up a business, some kind of thing where I can work at home and succeed enough to pay my own bills, and maybe, just maybe crawl out from under this burden of debt.

I’ve flunked out of more colleges than any one of my readers has probably ever attended in their lifetime. I don’t view this as my failing though, I view this as a failing of the education system. Colleges really aren’t there to teach you what you need to know, they exist to make money, and they overcharge you to learn it. But you’ll get a piece of paper that says you know it. Whooptee doo. The only pieces of paper I get regarding my education is academic probation, F’s and A’s on my report card, and a good chunk of debt burden.

Overall, my total debt burden is probably less than 30K, which isn’t bad at 43, but when you exist on less than 10,000 a year, and you pay car insurance, rent, food, utilities, and every other thing that you kinda have no choice but to spend, you wind up with other debts.

I wanted to try to be a millionaire by the time I was 45. Short of winning the lottery that I hardly ever play, I don’t see that happening, but who knows, I’m not 45 yet. Still have a bit over a year to get there.

In my dreams, I see all kinds of ways to create a living legacy. But to make sure they stick around after I go, I kind of have to create some kind of business, or trust, or something to manage the money, or the business, to keep the legacy alive after I’m gone. But to get there…

Two weeks in…

It’s been two weeks now that I’ve been creating this site.  It has been challenging, and there’s been many battles, and some I’ve won, and most I’ve simply negotiated a tentative truce with.  One of those Truces is with this WordPress theme. I installed a ton of them on my site trying to find one that fit the motif I wanted for this site.  And even though this one is close to what I want, it’s tragic on mobile devices.

It’s funny. 20 years ago I could make websites in my sleep. Hard coded HTML sites. Nothing dynamic. 10 years ago, I kind of dabbled in site design, and I was able to put a few things together with php/mysql. The biggest hurdle to creating this website, was figuring out how to implement an integrated shopping cart system that was secure, and easy to use.  So that’s why I’m using Word Press, because I just don’t have the time to show off all the stuff I want to share with the world, and reinvent the wheel all at the same time.  So if you dabble in wordpress themes and you want to do something really nice,  get in touch with me. I can’t afford much, but if I could finally have a theme that suits my site design, then I wouldn’t have to modify it to make it right, and the less actual backend configuration bullshit I have to deal with, the happier I’ll be.

So as far as production so far, the initial landing page still needs some word smithing, as does the about page. I’ve written, deleted, written again, deleted again, more times that I’ve counted. I guess when I finally figure out what to write, hopefully it’ll be great.  I’m actually getting a blog post done for the first time in a while. Maybe someday I’ll link to my old blog. Maybe.

So along with the bits and bobs of fine tuning and tweaking, the one part of the site that looks great to me is the forums. It kinda navigates you away from the main site though, so I’ll have to go into the forum nav bar and create a link back to the main site. I still need to get my store configured, along with the handy dandy shopping cart plugin. I don’t know when I’ll get around to that, but it won’t be tonight. I’m thinking about laying down and reading some manga and maybe attempting to sleep.

Sometime in the next day, I have a lot of rock work to do, slabbing, and unfortunately cabbing. I may be a god at it, but I don’t like doing it. Slabbing is actually more of a challenge, more thought required. Cabbing could be done by a machine.  If I had a few thousand dollars to throw at that problem, I’d program a damn machine to grind all the cabs for me. That’s how much I hate cabbing. So if you’re buying a cab I made off this site, count yourself blessed. (cabbing = making cabochons. | slabbing = cutting rocks into slabs of rock, that will later be trimmed and made into cabochons.)

And Tomorrow… Oh tomorrow I get to try to quit smoking again… I really want to succeed this time, and I’m hoping I finally shake the addiction, and hopefully the habit too. The new medication I’m taking blocks the nicotine receptors, so the antsy agitation feeling I’m feeling is probably mostly nicotine withdrawal. I’ve cut back quite a bit on smoking, and the last few cigarettes I’ve smoked have actually made me feel ill.

In other news, I’ve been dreaming again, and remembering them. I really enjoy good stories. Engaging stories, just great escapes for the mind. The stories I dream about, and write down in the morning while I still remember them, I think there’s probably a few more books I need to write. I’m not sure how I’ll do my book sales from here though, I’ll probably just link to my kindle store. I’ve already written one book, and the second book in that series is I think a lost cause. Every time I try to work on it, I kill off the main character. That’s something that won’t do for this story. But getting the character from point A through to point C is just not coming to me at all. Maybe it’ll just become an unfinished work.

I have high hopes for this site. and it’s not just about getting driving the traffic here, it’s more about… legacy. There’s going to be a Patreon section, and I’m going to fill it with all my ideas, big and small. I hope that someone comes along with the resources to make some of them happen.

That’s all for me tonight. I’m ready to curl up with a book.