Just Shelley

Uncle Sam owns my soul

I just finished doing my taxes for 2004. I had filed an extension in April, as I didn’t have money to pay for taxes then. The day of reckoning has finally arrived, and I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I only owe 4.00 for Missouri state taxes. The bad news is I owe much, much more to the IRS.

Though it might be emotionally satisfying to imitate a chicken at this point–BWOCK!– running around in a panic does no good. I have two options to follow, and I’ll calmly and carefully assess the limitations associated with both, and respond accordingly.

And, no, selling myself on the street is not one of those options.


I am pursuing income more aggressively, and have been knocking at several publisher doors, both locally and otherwise. As you may have noticed, I’ve also put the Google ads back up on my individual pages. Folks were critical of the Google ads when I had them originally, primarily because Google placed an ad for drilling equipment in a post that was pro-ANWR. I rather wish there was a way I could be selective on which ads appear or not, but at this time, I’m not going to worry too much about it. And yes, that includes the “intellligent design” ad in one of my posts.


In addition, I’m going to be putting ads on my front page, though these are more in line with sponsorship ads than not. (Please email me if you’re interested in placing ads on the front page.) I may not make a million a year like a couple of folk, but every penny helps.

Web application and design jobs are starting to come in a little more frequently. I’m finishing Roger’s documentation right now, and working on a Dreamweaver based position, and I may have something working with web services a little later. It helps to have more front end work in my portfolio and I think the design for ThoughtCast was rather nice. I’ve also done some design and CSS work for Molly Holzschlag, of the WaSP. This is in addition to the documentation for Roger, and the backend help I’ve provided for LorenDoug, and others–whose sites will also be listed in my portfolio when I am finished.

I am also re-designing the main to provide more of a portal for services rather than a thin front end to this weblog. I have hundreds of code examples that I need to reorganize and place prominantly, as demonstration of my ability.

One thing I’ve come to realize recently is that for the last couple of years I’ve been selling women in technology, aggressively at times, but I haven’t been selling me. No offense to my sisters, but I need to spend less time fighting for all of us, and more time fighting for me. Knowing many of you, I know you’ll understand.

The market for jobs in St. Louis continues very poor, and not just computer jobs. I did have a chance at a part-time store job recently, at 7.00 an hour. However, I had to decline when one of the requirements of the job was I had to be available to work any and all hours, and wouldn’t know what my hours would be from week to week. This makes it impossible to look for other jobs, while the part-time nature of the job made it so that I couldn’t make enough to live. More, I would also have to pay union fees. That latter kind of blew me away considering the hourly rate.

As for technical jobs, I am concerned that there might be an impression that I’m having a difficult time finding work in St. Louis because I’m not very good at what I do. Frankly, I began to buy into this myself the last six months, falling into a bit of a funk. However, St. Louis is not exactly the center of automated technology in the world. It is a conservative work environment, with fairly strict requirements. Literally if you’re not .NET or haven’t used WebLogic, or have a degree in design, you’re going to have some problems finding work here.

Outside of St. Louis, well, let’s face it: I’ve pissed off a lot of folks in the tech community with my weblog writing. As they say, though: what’s past is past, and there’s little I can do about my previous writing now. Well, other than to try and not piss off any more people–which is about as likely as me going out to run ten miles in today’s 105 degree temperatures.

Still, I think that this week’s discussion about Technorati and Lists and the Paris Index shows that we can have cross-weblog (and cross-comment) discussions and disagree without getting angry at each other.

I don’t know if my pictures are that great or not, or if you’re all just kind, but I have to have some faith in my photography so I am pursuing this, still. I have been sending out portfolios to local publishers, figuring nothing ventured, nothing gained.

There was interest in me selling prints, and I don’t know if that was also a kindness, but I going to give it a shot. I’ve been experimenting to see which of my photos makes a nice print and will be releasing these images starting later tonight. Each is printed on 8.5 x 11 matte paper, and signed. I figured a price of 20.00 for the first one and 10.00 each addition, and this includes mailing in a protected envelope. For international orders, add 5.00 to the total.

I hesitated to do this, because for all that there are a lot of people subscribed to this site, and I have a considerable number of unique visitors a day, something like selling prints, or writing or coding for that matter, does require there’s enough interest beyond just the “I’m subscribed to you, but I’m also subscribed to about a thousand other folk.” I have to just take a chance and assume there’s enough interest to at least give it a shot.

Some folks have also suggested that I look into self publication, and I am also exploring this, as well as electronic books. What book would you like me to write?

Now this is the part where you all come in:

If any of you know of work I can do, I sure hope you let me know. Even if it’s only a couple of hours here and there. As for permanent jobs, I would rather stay in St. Louis at this time, though I am willing to re-locate. I hesitate about moving only because I just don’t have the money for a move right now. Regardless, I don’t want to move to California. I was in California when the market fell last time, and I just don’t want to go through that again. The place is just too expensive, and I never felt like I fit there.

If you’re interested in placing ads in the sidebar, or my portal page when I’m finished, please let me know. I can give you readership figures, or give you access to my stats program.

If you know of any article or other writing opportunity, professional weblogging, or anything of that nature, I hope you’ll also let me know.

When I finish my portal page, I’ll definitely want opinions as to how it looks. I don’t mind being funky with the weblog, but I want the portal to be slick.

And if you like my pictures, and want a print, well, that would be very nice, too. I’ll even kiss if for you if you want.

Lastly, a quick note or comment saying good luck or howdy wouldn’t be amiss right now, and would be very welcome. Better yet: a joke. Good, bad, doesn’t matter.

Now, back to our regular programming.

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