Now that I’m no longer directly in the tech industry – though that’s kind of swinging back the other direction, which I’ll explain in a bit – I decided it was time to do some cleanup on my plethora of websites.
Yes, I did use plethora, and yes it does sound pretentious. I just couldn’t think of another word that fit. Multitude? Still pretentious. Bunches? Erm.. maybe, but not my cuppa. So you get pretentious plethoras and similar terms, because it’s late and I’m too tired to go digging through a thesaurus to try and find a non-pretentious alternative.
It’s officially Christmas Eve. I hope whatever holidays you celebrate, they are warm and wonderful. Or cool and wonderful, if you live in the southern hemisphere, I guess. I have a friend in Florida who’s a professional Santa Claus, and he loves living by the beach. There, and here in Arizona, a cool holiday is preferable to a warm one. Warmth here is common. Cooler temps – not so much. We’re supposed to drop to what for us is downright frigid weather tomorrow for Christmas Day – a high of 53ºF. Not a record, mind you, but chilly for the desert. Overnight temps will be dipping below freezing. What’s more, we’ve had rain for the past several days, with more predicted for tomorrow. The forecast says while we won’t get snow here in the immediate Phoenix metro area, we’ll probably see it on surrounding mountaintops over the next day or so. And who knows? We might get a few flakes here, too, but of course they won’t stick.
The first year I was in Arizona, it snowed in Phoenix on Christmas Day. I’d moved here from Iowa, so I couldn’t understand my cousins’ excitement over snow, at least not to that extent. They’d moved here a few years before we did, but they came from the Los Angeles area – not exactly the snow capital of the USA. My brain knew that snow was uncommon for Phoenix, but I hadn’t been here long enough at that point to realize how truly uncommon it is. Having snow fall on Christmas Day in Phoenix is mind-boggling.
Our budget this year dictated slim pickin’s for gifts. I got a book for the husband unit, and bought dollar-store goodies for the grandbabies. Yes, really. You go with what you can afford, for one. For another, they’ll probably play longer with the cheap stuff than the expensive toys their parents spent a fortune to buy. Last year we got the kids those big, blow-up punching balloons and big, bright-colored rubber balls.
Guess what the kids played with or hours on end, ignoring the fancy-schmancy stuff they got? They even bypassed the electronics for the punching balloons.
The boys are getting fart-whistles this year, among other things. I never knew such a thing existed, but discovered them in the party supplies aisle. If you were a boy in the age range of 5 to 10, I’m willing to bet you’d love them. I also found poo-decorated drinking cups. Again – hello, little boys. No, not actual poo, but pictures of cartoon poo emblazoned on the cup. And Matchbox cars, and ginormous rubber bugs, and Minions stickers. Nothing expensive or big, but the kind of things that I foresee the kids loving.
The only two little girls who will be there are the babies, and they get the ginormous rubber balls this year, painted with butterflies and swirly-cues. Luckily they won’t care how much we spent.
The adults get chicken and dumplings. My son assures me he’ll eat the whole pot himself, but I suspect he might be exaggerating a wee bit. Besides, he’ll be duking it out with his siblings and me.
Take note for the next time you’re required to generate a white elephant gift for exchange. Go to the Dollar store, get a bunch of little stuff, and stick it into a cup or bowl or basket – all of which you can also get at the dollar store – and wrap that puppy up. You can even get good stuff there, things someone might use. I’ve built nice-looking gift baskets using dollar store goodies coupled with more expensive items. I like to line baskets with dollar-store dish towels, for example, and silk flowers. I’ve found other similar little goodies to fill in blank spaces without spending a fortune. And not one recipient complained.
G is forever sending me links to Craigslist ads asking for someone to do computer work for them. About 99% of them are garbage ads, spam or pyramid schemes, etc. I looked at one today that wanted someone to redesign his website and send him a quote for it. It was for a preacher of some sort, or maybe a church. (The fact that I’m not exactly sure which of those should tell you something already.) I looked at his site, gritted my teeth at the extremes of his subject matter, gritted my teeth at how terrible his existing site is aside from the atrocious content, and told hubby I was going to pass on that job. I’ve done web design for people like that and I always end up screwed over. I don’t mind doing a website for a church, even one I disagree with. However, this one was pretty extreme, and the way the site was laid out already told me this person didn’t believe in investing real money into his website. That was most definitely not a paid site.
There was another reason I turned it down. I had another client who actually pays his bills on time (usually within 5 minutes of my sending it) and whose work is legitimately interesting. I’d gotten a follow up job from him today and told hubby I was going to focus on that instead. It wasn’t a big job this time – only a couple of hours – but it wasn’t something where I had to control my gag reflex while doing it, and I knew I’d be paid when it was done.