Archive for June, 2011

June 25, 2011

Reunited!

I picked up Domingo from the airport at 9am this morning (we will be returning for a 10 am flight tomorrow!) And we spent the day packing. I am unsure how I acquired so much stuff in just 12 weeks. I flew up with two suitcases (one checked, one carry-on) and my laptop. Domingo and I will have two carry-ons each, not including the checked bag! Where did the extra stuff come from?!

We took a leisurely approach to packing, visiting the Cross Roads food court for lunch, and a quick trip to good will. (Yes, I used up the last of the food in the apartment, except for one bag of peas and one tiny chicken breast). We finished packing around 8ish, and went out for dinner to celebrate the end of the internship and being reunited.

I could have planned for a 10pm flight out, rather than waiting for the morning, but I think we would have felt a little too rushed. In about 14 more hours I will get to cuddle with my kitty! It will be good to sleep in my own bed tomorrow. Memory foam, how I missed you!

June 17, 2011

Winding Up to Wind Down

I haven’t been posting a lot lately. We’re in the final stretch of my internship, which means cramming as much work into a few days as possible, before I had back to California. They say the most important moments in a speech are the first line, to hook the audience, and the last line, to give a good lasting impression. The same could be said for most any activity where you have a limited amount of time to make an impression – start strong, end strong.

This was a very good summer. I accomplished a lot, and having the opportunity to work at Bing shows me what life would be like as an applied researcher. As someone who thrives on having impact, it was great to see ideas having a shorter time to impact than they would if I remained purely academic. If I wasn’t itching to graduate before, I sure am now!

It was also easier this time around to be apart from Domingo for so long. (Easier not easy). I knew more what to expect. I was able to plan better. I made sure I had activities to keep me busy during the weekends Domingo didn’t visit. I also did better on stocking the fridge. I have enough frozen meats and vegetables to last for the final week, but not much beyond that. Last time it felt like I simultaneously didn’t have much, and wasted a lot. I had unopened package food I was trying to cram into my suitcase and take home in order to not waste it.

I am going to be sad to be gone, but happy to be home. Seven days left, Seven days to make a lasting impression. Wish me luck!

June 12, 2011

Visiting Seattle

Domingo came up to visit me this weekend!

While he brought work, and I needed to make it in to the office as well, we did carve out some time yesterday to sight see in down town Seattle. I made reservations at the space needle for lunch. Yum! We had wanted to go during my internship in 2009, but I never got around to making reservations in time. Actually, when I made reservations yesterday was the only time they had free all month!

We picked a good day and the sun peeked through the the clouds which made for some awesome photography. It was a great way to remember my summer in seattle! I have two more weeks to go before the internship ends and I move back to California. I have to hand it to my fellow interns, some of which are not only married, but have kids! Domingo is only a two hour plane flight away and visits me frequently on the weekends. Just going the five days between weekends is tough. I don’t know how I could handle months away from my family.

June 4, 2011

Back to Beading

I had some free time today (first time in weeks, wahoo!) so I got out my beading supplies and decided to take a crack at the seed bead nets I wanted to try. After about six hours, and one false start, I finished with this:

Seed Bead Net

I’m very happy with how it turned out, especially for a first attempt. Well, technically second. If you want to try this, I recommend using a beading string rather than any kind of wire or cord, and size 10 needles. For my first pass I used a translucent beading wire, but the wire held its shape if bent, which ended up emphasizing all my mistakes. I’ll post a tutorial later, I plan to make a few more first so I’m sure I’m not leading anyone astray with bad ideas.

About two months ago I talked about the profitability of Etsy stores, and the difficulty of turning a real profit. This project serves a perfect example. Let’s ignore material costs, which were pretty negligible. This net took me 6 hours. Using the 30K a year target, I’d have to charge approximately $90 in labor costs. If I omit the the time spent down a bad path, and the assumption I get faster with practice, I might able to get away with charging $45 in labor. Yet, a search shows they sell for between $5-$35. If I set my price to $35 to match the high end, then my hourly rate gives me $23K a year. And that is, of course, assuming I sell well – 857 to be exact.

Even though I know exactly where the $35 price tag comes from, I still can’t help but think the price is too high. I couldn’t see myself shelling out more than a few dollars a piece for a bead net, and I’m sure many of you feel the same way. At the current rate it would make it one of the most expensive ornaments on our tree. As cool as I think the net is, it isn’t the coolest ornament we have. As with all things combining internet and profit, you have to be in it for the fun, not the money.