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Monday, December 22, 2014

More Christmas Spirit on a Sunday Afternoon

Sunday we went to our local church for a Christmas Program. When I was a kid we always got brown paper bags with peanuts, an orange, and assorted hard candy after every Christmas program. I guess Oranges are no longer remembered as a delicacy. Not too many people who grew up in the 1920's are in charge of Christmas programs any more.
The Church has new chairs which replaced the old pews. I don't really understand the current obsession with replacing pews with chairs. I suspect it goes kind of like this.
People who are in committees in churches are concerned membership is dropping. They have been at the church for years and so never get an outsider's perspective. People rarely disagree with them, they just go to church somewhere else. No one really takes the time to sit down with people who quit going to their churches but I suppose if they did, they wouldn't get a straight answer.
So, the Committees must do things. So they buy chairs because those old benches are so formal and interlinking chairs could be moved around the sanctuary and that would give the church a fresh new perspective.
Committees must do things and must spend money and so they do.
This is not so much a criticism as an observation.
Of course there are always unforeseen results, no place to put the hymnals, chairs are kind of uncomfortable.
We left when everyone went forward for communion.
Nothing personal. We just don't interact much...
Then we went to "town" for Sushi.
It was a surprise for Lulu. We told her we were going to the Blue Goat which got her mildly annoyed (she is 13 which explains many things) then we told her we were going to the Mexican restaurant she dislikes and then when she had her nose buried in her phone we turned into the local strip mall and parked in front of Sushi Kyo.
Then we she exclaimed, "are we going to eat here," we said, "naw just messing with you," and started to drive away.
It was nice.
I have no idea what I ate. The dishes come by on a little conveyer belt and you pick what you want. Sushi tastes like sticky rice to me. I just put some of that greens stuff on it and a little soy sauce and figure if my bald head starts sweating it is good.
The did have good chocolate cake. It had mousse in it. I ate it with chopsticks.

Later, we went home and I spent a hour trying to find cheap kayaks so we could go boating on the lake that covers our farm. Strangely, no one stocks cheap kayaks this time of year. I was thinking about the Sunstream Pelican which was on sale for $150 at Dick's Sporting goods.
We listened to Christmas Music for "Young People" and played with horrible Chinese legos until my tower fell apart, due to my use of Horrible Chinese lego copies. You know, if you are going to bootleg legos you could at least make them sort of fit together. Oh well, they were cheap...
Later we played "Settlers of Catan."
I suppose everyone spends Sunday afternoons listening to Bing Crosby, Ed Aims, Burl Ives, and Nate King Cole singing Christmas songs.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

If only I would have ordered those cheap kayaks from Amazon

Our farm is underwater. It might have something to do with the three inches of rain we got yesterday. I spent the afternoon moving the baler, rake, and grain drill to my neighbor's empty hay shed. Our shed is still full.
It is sort of like the other day when I picked up a load of barley from storage and thought I would stop by my customer's house on the way home and deliver their already paid for barley on my way home.
I filled the first barrel and then I looked in the top of the barrel. Bugs...
Of course there were bugs. That is exactly what happens.
The bugs are not a problem for pig or chicken feed. I dump diatomaceous earth in with the raw grain. It's a great dewormer!
But this was for sprouting and I was filling 55 gallon drums.
So I folded the auger in and went home.
I threw a pile of diatomaceous earth under the tarp. The bugs will be dead Monday. I'm pretty sure it is the diatomaceous earth that will give the grain a strong oder of garlic breath. Perhaps I should take the tarp off Monday morning.
In other news...
The Christmas tree is still going. LED's are highly efficient!

Friday, December 19, 2014

A short post about iPhone point of sale apps

I am not the smartest iPone/smart phone user.
And I'm getting just a wee bit frustrated...
Here's the deal...
I want to use my iPhone to do something other than to play games and take selfies.
I want to use it to keep records of hay sales and feed sales.
This is the way it should work.

I sell things:
1. Customer arrives and I plug their name into the invoice function. It looks them up in contacts and completes the invoice or it gives me an option to edit the name.

2. It asks me for item and quantity and price. I plug it in. It totals them.

3. It asks for method of payment. If a check, then I have the option to take a photo of the check.

4. If they pay later I can have a box to accept payments later. I also have a box to click that shows payment clears.

5. I can get reports by customer of open invoices, sales, balance.

I can buy things:
1. This would be done with a purchase order. I haul in a load of hay. If I buy it from myself I can put in my own name. If I buy it from someone else I can put in the vender name. Customers can also be venders.

2. I can add to inventory if I want using this same purchase order, but I don't have to. I can take a photo of the item to be sold. There could be a box to check to add to inventory but I don't really need to.

3. I can pay later and there is a spot to record check number and a photo of the check.

I can transfer information:
1. I can print an invoice or purchase order
2. I can print a very simple monthly bill which could be like a report. Wouldn't need to be very fancy.
3. Some sort of summery so I can retype this into Quickbooks

This is all I need for a basic app.
Extras would be a subscription to a cloud service, perhaps different invoices which would let me track hours.

A huge added benefit for which I might actually pay. The ability to accept credit card by taking a photo of them with my phone.

I don't really understand why there is not something like this. I can see so many small business which this could benefit.

Apps I've tried and am trying which all have some sort of basic flaw:
Invoice Pro, (if you hit the wrong button and close the app or screen you lose the invoice, I think)
Invoice Asap, (no purchase orders)
GoPayments, (no purchase order and it is mostly a credit card payment app)
iConnect POS, (Wants me to sign into to a cloud service and it was one too many sign ups and I closed it)

Does anyone out there keep records with their iPhone?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I sort of forgot about Christmas

It is rapidly approaching.
There is of course no Christmas program in the Public Schools. You sure wouldn't want the kiddies to learn to appreciate 2,000 years of a tradition that has pretty much evolved into being nice to other people, singing Silent Night in German, and the High School band playing Jingle Bell Rock.
If you don't believe in it then why does it matter?
I have to listen to you blather on about the Big Bang so why can't you listen to the middle school choir butcher "Away in a Manger" once a year.
But I digress....
Perhaps I'm just grumpy.
Here is Christmas at the Farm.
An LED Christmas Tree in the office.

AND the Goats have uncovered Alfred's house.
Apparently Alfred was a bachelor uncle who lived some twenty miles away from the farm.
Legend has it that when Alfred got to old to take care of himself, Grandpa and Uncle Milton simply took a truck to his house. Winched the house on the truck and brought Alfred and his house to the farm to live.
His house is not in the best of shape. The goats seem to enjoy it however.

The President of the USA mistaken for a Valet?

I just read this story in the London Daily mail about the every day racism experienced by the Obamas.
I feel their pain, just the other day I told someone I was a farmer and they asked me how many acres of grapes and filberts Hazelnuts I had. You people just assume....
You folks know that the President is just like you all. Living in Chicago and trying to catch a cab. Getting mistaken for a waiter and probably harassed by the Po-lice.
Yah, and the first lady got mistaken for a clerk in the local Target, which is pretty racist when you consider the included photo which shows a tall white guy trying to look casual (Secret Service?) and a brownskinned person checking their phone. 
So, did a near sighted elderly person not notice the fifteen thirty security guards and think they could get this tall person to reach something on a tall shelf? 
Did she wear a red apron to Target? Cause that would explain everything...
Otherwise, I'm sorry, but it is impossible to believe.
Why would anyone assume anyone else would be Target or Wallmart employee based on RACE and not based on their store UNIFORM. 
Perhaps someone really did need help getting something off a shelf and asked the nice tall lady for help and she interpreted as racism which is a subject all on its own.
As for the President being mistaken for a waiter, that was in a movie. That didn't happen in real life in the 21st century. He was not the only black man in the room in a TUX.
Well, I guess it could... Democrats are pretty condescending. The top leadership is pretty white. 
We have a neighbor that is quite proud of being a Democrat. He always has a brown person that he is "helping." 
Sometimes I ask them how they feel about being the "token" brown person in my neighbor's life. They usually laugh about it and make jokes about not actually being let in the house. 
The one guy who really noticed and was slightly annoyed pointed out that his ancestors came from New Mexico, he didn't speak Spanish, he had more eduction that his "Patron" and he actually was helping the older buy and didn't really appreciate it all that much.
Then I asked him if the Democrat had ever tried to get him in the hot tub and that was pretty funny. It was quite an enjoyable conversation.
But I digress....
The President, Oppression, and now Dance parties.
I find the Dance Party comments also pretty funny. Well of course he listens to Sly and the Family Stone and Al Green and of course they have dance parties in the White House. 
Although I wonder if they made a mistake with their "Code Words." I doubt it. I'm sure this was a carefully crafted interview. Choosing to say dance party and dropping Sly and Al as names must be designed to appeal to a certain black demographic. I suppose rap and basketball would be over the edge.
Pretty funny article anyway. 
Not that they need it. The party faithful will be happy with what ever bone is thrown them...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A room with a view is better when you are looking at St. Petersburg Beach

Last year at this time I was looking out the window at the Howard Johnson at St. Petersburg beach. There were dolphins and white sand and it was not cold and damp.

Today I think I will sort a few more piles of scrap metal and perhaps weld a toolbox to the side of a truck.
I think I'll also have five more cups of coffee.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A daily strumpet from the archives

I posted with the iPhone. I think I may have to enlarge this photo a bit.