Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Edgefest 2008

This past weekend I spent some quality time with two of my teenagers as we attended "Edgefest 2008" at the Altamont Fairgrounds in Altamont,New York. The weather kept good for pretty much the whole day although we did experience a few quick rain showers.

There were a total of 15 different bands performing but my favorites were P.O.D. , Filter and Everclear. My sis and daughter got the surprise and thrill of their lives as they were walking back from the bathrooms and saw the lead singer of Filter, Richard Patrick, by his tour bus. They went up and complimented him on a great performance and shook his hand. He was very down to earth and friendly! Needless to say, I was bummed but they were ecstatic for the rest of the day!

Do you know Richard's brother, Robert Patrick? Betcha you do. He is John Doggett from the X-files and T-1000 from Terminator 2 , as well as starring in many other movies.

Here is a few pics from our wonderful day of great live music!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Embracing The Squidoo Experience

Check out my lens Just about everyone who knows about Web 2.0 has a Squidoo lens. Some have 2-3, others have made it a competition, personal endeavor and/or money-maker have anywhere upwards to 300-500 lenses!

I started out with three lenses, Nightmare Before Christmas, Decorate with Disney and For Those About to Rock. Their main purpose was to advertise our Fun Cool Collectibles business and showcase our merchandise. This goal has been met. We get a steady flow of traffic and a good conversion rate on our products.

But as in every business, goals can always be improved, revamped and widened. One of the steps of my new goal was to update and improve on my current lenses. Fresh updated information is a key to a good Lensrank at Squidoo. So I spent the day updating my lenses and reading up on new information. Two things became of this process that is worth mentioning:

1.)I learned about important new places to submit my lenses:

Lensroll: This site is basically Digg for Squidoo lenses. You can submit your lenses (a maximum of two per day)and users can vote for them.
Squoogle: This site is a link directory not only for Squidoo lenses but also Hubpages, Gather etc.
LensMasterWorld: This site is a Squidoo Directory for Lensmasters. Submit your lenses here.
Squidom: This site is called "The Kingdom of Squid" You can submit your lens and vote for your favorites. A nice added touch on this site is that when you add your lens, it also gets twittered on Twitter!

2.) I stumbled across this lens, "Are You a Stay-at-Home Mom(or Dad)Interested in Earning a Monthly Income". This person outlines her past year and a half on Squidoo and documents the money she has earned from her lenses and affiliates. She breaks it down month by month and by how many lenses she had live during that time. It grabbed my attention, it also gave me a renewed interest in taking a closer look at Squidoo as more than just a traffic generator, but as a real moneymaker. So I have been reading and researching, absorbing the tips and tricks on the many different lenses of the Giant Squids. I will take time but I will share how I proceed and if I get lucky and start earning more than 3 bucks a month.

My new improved serious attitude for creating lenses was applied in the new lens I made today, "All About Tinker Bell"

Oh and as previous mentioned in another post this week, I also created a lens about my son with Autism. That now brings me up to 5 active lenses. Yes a far cry from becoming a Giant Squid, but nonetheless, a start.

If you are new to Squidoo or would like to learn more about optimizing your lens, I recommend checking out the new Squidoo Answer Deck Headquarters.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Garage Sale Fever? What's wrong?

Well I've spent the last 2 weeks trying to clean out some of the 15 years of accumulated junk. It's been a S-L-O-W painful process but finally got a good start for a yawn sale. As I sit and price stuff I think what a great way to get rid of this stuff quickly and pass some great steals onto others. Yeah right! The first weekend (last week) was marred a bit by extremely hot weather and severe thunderstorms. But customers did come and BROWSE.

One of my first customers took a took at my Disney DVD's priced at $2.00 and $3.00 and informed me the lady up the road was selling Disney movies for .25 a piece and I would do better if I DROPPED my prices. I just smiled sweetly and fought off the urge to go running and buy all the Disney movies at the other garage sale for a quarter. LOL. But seriously, an hour later 2 of the Disney movies were gone. I know times are tough and everybody is looking for a good deal but since when did garage/lawn sales become so....CHEAP???

Gas and food have skyrocketed to unbelieveable new heights. People should be flocking to garage sales, especially as the new school year is just a month away. I have good quality teen clothes for .10, .25, .50. Name brand jeans for $1.00 in almost new condition? But where are all the buyers. I was quite depressed.

This week so far has faired much better. Today yielded almost $100. I know if I lived in a big city I would be celebrating right now as I prolly would have sold everything! But I live in a small town in a line of small towns and those gas prices can be a real yard sale killer.

I just want to clear out the bulk of the stuff and give the rest to charity. But I'd just like to do it quickly...more quicker than weekly weekend sales. I considered auctions but at 30% commission..hmmm..I'll pass for now. I'm leaning toward listing the really good stuff on craiglist or kijiji, wonder if that will have any rate of success. I hear of others having good luck. Guess I won't know til I try.

If anyone knows any tips or tricks, success stories for craiglaist or kijiji? Drop me a comment. Much appreciated.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Getting back to Business

I am feeling quite proud of myself today. I managed to remember to Twitter. I updated two of my Squidoo lenses and created a new lens "Growing Up With Autism" which was very personal to me. It talks about my son, Jonathan, who has autism. I think it came out good, real good. I hope other enjoy reading it too!

Sales this past week have been fantastic! I cannot believe how many we've had. July has always been the slowest month in past years but this year may break that trend. I don't know why but I think the ability to access the internet while on vacation in hotels , hot spots and mobile phones plays a big part. No longer are people away from the net while on vacation. Which is great for our online business!

Tomorrow I will work on blogging and my websites.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Patches 1998-2008

Our family pet Patches died earlier this week, she was 10 years old. She was a beautiful calico colored cat with a gentle soul. She and I were not very close until after I split with my ex-husband, it was then she seemed to change and adapt, becoming my protector. If I was yelling at the kids or crying, she would come running into the room and look at me meowing..until I reassured her all was well.

She "talked" to me all the time, my daughter, was always a bit jealous cause Mommy could get Patches to meow on demand and she couldn't. And purr, she had one of the loudest purr motors I have ever heard!

At night, she would make the rounds, slepping for a bit in each of the kids rooms, until finally settling down for the night on my hips. And she would drive the boys crazy, following them around all day when she was in heat.

This past year she had become very thin, she threw her food up regularly. She went through a same dark period last year but seemed to work through it and regain her weight back. This time around though, I could sense a loosing battle, I suspected a form of stomach cancer had taken over her body and this time she would not win the fight. She never seemed in any pain which I am grateful for.

It was particularly hard to learn of her passing away when I came home from work. I felt sad and upset that I hadn't been able to be home and spend any time with her the day she passed. My daughter who was 5 yrs old when she picked Patches out of a box in front of our local Wal-mart, took it the hardest. They practically grew up together.

As the circle of life must go, we will start over with a new kitty, prolly by next month. Deep down, both my daughter and I know, there will be no other kitty in our lifetime that will ever be or take the place, of our dearly beloved Patches.

We love you, rest in peace!