2010 Summary

–Well it was a rotten year but most of us survived it. My beloved Melanie dog and Buddy Bear and two other doggies didn’t make it and I still feel the pangs of their loss. Recently I learned at the family ranch meeting that next year’s income will be 40% less than this year’s income. This year, because of various accounting slip-ups I didn”t have to pay estimated taxes but they’re all still due next April. I’ve tried to set aside some “profits” which is to say I’ve tried not to increase what I owe on the line of credit but the bottom line is come April I’m going to get a double hit with taxes and decreased income to pay for it.

–Had a very nice Christmas day with all the kids and grandkids in one place (Stockton) and Jerry and Serena cooked up a wonderful Greek feast. We went home with ziploc bags full of leftovers and those should sustain us thru New Years Eve. Made it home in the rain (which was less severe than feared), low fuel light just started blinking as we pulled into driveway. Paid the dog sitter and wound up with $5 in my pocket. My sister gave me $50 for Xmas and I’ll be cashng that post haste. The dilemma: should it be food or gas money? I fear it’ll have to go into the tank.

–Managed to make a tiny bit of income in the shop in ’10; a couple of interesting, if small, jobs; have now been waiting 2 weeks for latest parts to come back from anodizing so’s I can ship ’em with a bill for all of 2 hrs labor.

–With help from Eugene I started reconfiguring shop ‘furniture’ to set up a dedicated welding space in an area that’s thankfully free of flying metal chips and coolant mists. Hope to have that all sorted in a week or two after wall sockets are upgraded.

–Missed Burning Man in ’10 but managed to rent out the RV which really helped the bottom line. After much rainy weather RV now has a warped door and I’ll have to get that mended in ’11. Hopefully I’ll be able to rent it out again for the next BM which, sadly, I must also miss. Might buy tix when they become available but will probably sell ’em as the date draws nigh.

–Found out that the reason I’m hobbling around is due to a growth in my left foot. Doc sez surgery to remove it is complex and risky and suggested I just live with it. Going to WESTEC in March so must go directly to my goals then leave B4 pain becomes excruciating. Sigh. Still waiting for Trevor to make his avatars available for rental so I can do these expeditions virtually. Despite lack of dough I really need to look for a larger capacity lathe: had to farm out a big job to another shop a few months back because my Myford didn’t have the horsepower needed to remove metal fast enough to make the job profitable.

–Judy’s a trooper: the things she does for our rescue doggies is really over the top. I handle the bills and she handles the gooey bits: pills, poo, and even worse. Still it ain’t cheap; I figure $20k in vet bills and meds in a bad yr and ’10 was a bad year. Haven’t managed to set up a 501-C-3 yet because we can’t afford lawyer and accountant to keep up the paperwork. Catch-22 kinda thing. So holler, friends, if you know anyone who might want to take a couple of middle-age, cuddly Cockers home..

–And speaking of expenses (when am I not?) Blue Cross saw fit to raise our rates THREE TIMES this yr and now I’m paying $24,000/yr for just the two of us. The good news, such as it is, I’ll turn 65 in July whereupon I at least will be able to tell BC to take a FLYING FUCK and switch to Medicaire and supplemental coverage; said total being around $500/mo: not cheap but hey, every little savings helps, eh? Oh, did I mention I’ve registered the domain http://www.fuckbluecross.com ? Don’t know what to do with it but I saw an opportunity and I took it.

–Soooo what’s ’11 got in store? Hope to take calliope #5 to Maker Faire, along with blown-up still photos of the kind of things I’ve made in the shop. Hope to drum up some more biz. Hope to do some more welding work: that seems to be the quickest way to make money; i.e. it happens a lot faster. I think ’11 may be the first yr I won’t be able to attend Hackers but hey, I’m past due to skip it and let ’em turn the pile a bit.

–Trying to think of other things I can do to pimp the biz. Have decided that WordPress is a PITA and not ideal for posting the photo/text stories of my various projects so am considering going back to basic, un-pretty html and saying to hell with “style sheets”. Would be interested in chatting with anyone who has been there/done that and succeeded.

–Welp that’s about it, world; stay tuned for further info.

Leave a comment

Your comment