Friday, January 25, 2013

My First Sale on eBay.

I don't know if you ever came accross the problem of college bookstores over selling textbooks. In that you tell the book seller that you are doing a particular course and their eyes light up and dollars signs flash, to the sound of cash register bells. The bookseller then pulls you to a list of books and says they are all required for the course.  Halfway through the course you realise that you have been scammed, the instructor only uses one book as a text and the other seven that you bought are now surplus to requirements.

Well that was the story behind my first item sold on eBay. I took a history class on the US Civil War and the bookseller sold me way too many books. As a trial, knowing I would not make any money back, the original book cost me over $20 and Amazon have it for only $16, see how it's going?

I posted the bookon eBay in the middle of last week at 99cents plus free shipping. It eventually went for $4.88.

Postage and handling, an envelope and tracking cost me $4.00 and then eBay took a commission of 44cents. I made just 44cents if you discount the loss on actually buying the book in the first place, I am furiously trying to put a good spin on this with lots of creative accountancy and book cooking.

Anyway, there is now a clearer spot on my bookshelf. I have gained my first sale on eBay. The experience gained is worth a lot more than 44 cents and hopefully the purchaser will be able to put good use to the book.

Things learned for next time I sell on eBay:
  • Check weight of package for postage rate before posting sale
  • Include postage at that rate in opening price
  • Start a sale higher than I think it might be worthwhile. Bidding actually mostly occurs in the last day of the sale and a bidding war may drive prices up.
  • People want a bargain but they don't want cheap.
  • Auctions take days to warm up.
So my first sale is almost over, just need to wait for feedback.  I hope it is good feedback.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Guide Dog III

Yesterday I made my trip to see my retinologist. This will now be a visit every two months as the optic nerve in the left eye now shows signs to her that it is dead. It has of course neen buried for all my life so the expression "Dead and Buried" is not quite apt.

Anyway the visit cibncluded with a bit of a chat about options and stuff. Carry on with Avastin and Lucentis injections. During the chat she mentioned she had received an enquiry about me. From Guide Dogs for the Blind.

It was their packet requesting medical references from my doctors. So the good news seems to be my application is moving along. If my retinologist gets back to them in good time, by the beginning of February say, the eight week clock which Guide Dogs for the Blind have for moving me to the home visit portion comes into play and, fingers crossed here, If I am lucky I may be reporting on a home visit by early April.

Yes of course now the bad news is that my left eye is clinically blind, not just legally blind. Drat it!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Going to try eBay

For a while now I have been looking for a new source of income.

My present part-time job pays good money, but I have a lot of time on my hands after 2pm in the afternoon.

My Masters degree is on hold as I wait for classes that I need to come up and so I took up using the knitting loom too.

Of course now as I mostly make hats and scarves the spare bedroom is filling up with hats and scarves in various shades.  I pass some on to friends, my mother-in-law, who is part of a knitting circle who donate hats to childrens hospital, mostly baby hats for going home, and children afected by hair loss due to chemo-therapy.

So what to do with all the other stuff?

Why not try eBay?

Selling the excess will fund the hobby of knitting and help provide more hats for Children's hospitals. Seems to me a good idea in the long run. So as of Monday last I joined eBay, with some difficulty I placed an ad there for a textbook that I used in my last class.

The spaces are a bit hard to find using a screen reader. It took me over one hour to enter my item but eventually it was put up.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

I Love Football

Play-off Green Bay @ San Francisco

Yesterday dawned bright and cold for California, not too cold I guess for the visitors from Wisconsin.
Can you keep a secret?
Come closer. Don't tell anyone I am a Chicago Bears fan really, then follow that with Green Bay and add a touch of Indianapolis.
This season looked quite good for me as we got to the last week. All three of my teams stood a chance of getting into the play-offs.
First Chicago went out because the Vikings beat Green Bay. Then Green Bay bashed the Vikings the following week to play San Francisco yesterday. 
The Colts took a trip to Baltimore and fell apart and then Baltimore took on Denver yesterday and took the crown after two periods of overtime. Darn well missed that game. I was hoping for a Denver win, Payton Manning afterall. Can't turn my back on an old Colt.
So tough little Green Bay stood tall. My last hope for a cheer in the Superbowl on February 3rd.
It wvwn looked good to start  a interception and touchdown on the second play of the game.
Surely the 49ers Quarterback was rattled by that. Yeah sure. So rattled that he ran over  one hundred and eighty yards himself and scored two touchdowns. One over fifty yards! Threw the ball for another couple for more touchdowns and we didn't even really see Aaron Rogers because the 49ers had possession most of the time.
Even so until the half time break, Green Bay held San Francisco for a tie.  Only after did San Francisco really dominate the game.
So gallant Green Bay fell by the wayside.
I have no one to cheer in New Orleans on February 3, and that means I can relax and really just enjoy the game.
By the way do you like the hat? Knitted it myself last week. Not quite what I wanted but the pattern is unique, not even I could create that hat again. :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New stem cell approach for blindness successful in mice

According to this story in  Science Daily scientists at Oxford University in England have made yet another vital step towards curing blindness.

The particular cause of blindness to be cured in this possible new stem cell treatment is Retinitis Pigmentosa. A retinal disorder where all light receptors eventually die.

Scientist took blind mice, not the ones from the nursery rhyme :) and injected mouse retinal stem cells into their eyes.

The mice which had previously shown no recognition as to light levels began, after two weeks to show growing preference for darkness. Upon inspection scientists found most of the mice 10 out of 12, showed pupil reaction to light. Prior to the injection of stem cells no reaction had been seen.

The conclusion reached by scientists was that the mice had grown a completely new retina. Which had begun to send signals to the brain and the mice were to all purposes now sighted.

The scientists hope that human skin and or blood cells will be able to be manipulated to generate stem cells.

A blind person will give a sample of their own skin or blood cells. These will possibly be cultured to generate the correct kinds of stem cells and in large enough quantities to inject back into the donor's eyes in order to regenerate a working retina. All this avoiding the risk of rejection and possible ethical problems caused by the use of embryonic stem cells.

To read the full story please click the link below.

New stem cell approach for blindness successful in mice

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Days are Full

The past few days have been pretty full. 

I have been waking early in the morning and making some designs for items in my stores. It is amazing how much excitement it gives me to post products. Anything from T-Shirts to playing cards.

Also as part of my daily routine I have been knitting. Back in November, I purchased a set of knitting looms from

When I was a child I had used a cotton reel with nails driven into the top to knit long cords. This is similar in idea except I can make scarves, panels for flat items and lots of wooly hats.

I wasn't sure at first how it would work being blind but the looms have teeth which have a nice groove down the front to aid placing the needle behind the thread. This groove has the unintended consequence that I can feel the yarn with the needle and can use the loom very easily.

Before Christmas I made a hat for the Christmas gift exchange. It was pretty successful as a gift and my wife's aunt was so impressed that she asked for six more hats just like it, she paid for the yarn, I just provided labor.

I completed the order for the six hats last night. All very nice and very cosy. She wanted them for a ski-ing trip later in the month. Now just to deliver them.

All in all with those duties, planning my classic movies program for my local library and reading my book clubs next book of the month ,"The Book  Thief" using my Intel Reader to scan the pages. I have had a very busy few days. Next week sadly sees a return to the cycle of doctor visits again. Included in those visits is a trip to see if I am fit to return to proper work again and a trip to have a fasting blood test in Fresno. Sadly that one means nothing to eat or drink until past noon as the bus trip takes three hours leaving at 8am and arriving at 11am but having then to get to the doctors office and getting the blood draw can take another hour. Not looking forward to that one.

Anyway at least my days are full of positive things, mostly.