Not for the weak minded.

Suitcase Computer… Finished?

February 26th, 2009 Josh


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So tonight I forged ahead with my weeks-neglected suitcase computer build. It is not as nicely finished on the exterior as I would like, but it appears to work. When I fastened everything into the case I ran into a few issues with cable placement. The 90 deg DVI-I connectors covered the onboard sound and back panel USB ports. I was using all the USB ports prior to connecting the DVI cable, but with the cable in place I was only able to use 4 of the 6 plugs. To mitigate this I simply plugged in a dual-USB back panel plate. This finished it off. My only concern is that the single fan I have won’t be able to keep up with the heat. 

Currently it is hooked up to my TV and running like a champ… but with the case open. I’ll have to recap more later, but for now I just had to post the successful near-end.

Help Wanted

February 3rd, 2009 Josh

I need help. Just over a year ago I bought a commercial blender store web site from my uncle as a side business. Unfortunately, it requires just a bit more time than I can give it. Because of this, it has spiraled downhill to the point where it barely supports the monthly overhead to keep it. 

Over the past month, a few things have come up requiring me to make time for updates. This time is almost impossible for me to manage, so now I am looking for someone who would be willing to help.  

The biggest issue is the price update for 2009. When I updated the prices for 2008, it took 15 hours of work. The store has just over 200 products that must be updated.  This is the primary “contract” job that I would like to pay someone to do.

The second issue is the store theme. A year ago, godaddy’s store did not have any themes, and their support for CSS seemed to be done by an employee’s 3rd grade child. This past year they have rolled out some CSS based themes that are actually usefull and, inconveniently, eliminated the old “theme” that I had based my whole site on. So now I need to update the entire look of my site based on one of the new themes. This is the second “contract” job that I want to hire someone to do.

Finally, I would love to have a local sales person who can bring in some business. This is going to be a little more involved, but if you are a hard worker, this may be the perfect deal for you.

Here’s the deal: If you or someone you know wants to do one of these contract jobs for me, let me know. I would put some craigslist ads up but I really want to hire someone I can trust. The following outlines the baseline (negotiable) contracts and payment. You can either comment to this post, email me or twitter me for more information.

Contract 1:
What: Price updates to 
Who: High school, college student, or anyone with some spare time on their hands.
Scope: approximately 15 hrs of continuous data entry.
Required equipment: Must have a computer with high speed internet connection.
Compensation: $100 
Deadline: end of February

Contract 2:
What: Theme updates to
Who: anyone who has 5 hours or more free per week to work on the site, and has some experience with web design.
Scope: 3 static pages, storefront, logo, and all associated colors must be updated. Contractor will have freedom of design with few constraints.
Required Equipment: Computer with high speed internet connection.
Provided software: HTML editor, FTP client, image editing software, support programs as needed.
Compensation: Base pay plus percentage of sales, proportional to skill of contractor.
Length: 3 month contract with option to continue. 

Contract 3:
What: Local sales and service provider
Who: Someone who has lots of spare time, or is unemployed. Must be outgoing, have some experience in customer service, and willing to work hard.
Scope: Wide open. Contact me for details.
Compensation: This will be completely comission based. You will receive a percentage of sales.
Length: Lets talk.


February 1st, 2009 Josh


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Saturday was the day of grandma’s memorial service. After a nice breakfast with the family we all got dressed up and went to St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Richardson, TX (just north of Dallas) for the service. I was responsible for the second reading and met 3 of my other cousins before the service for a quick run-through. We were all pretty nervous. 

The service was nice, and pretty much all of the cousins (Cay’s grandchildren) were able to participate. After the service there was a reception with more pictures and some snacks. The service and just after was a pretty rough emotional time, but once the reception was well under way everyone pulled together and had a good time. 

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A large part of the event was picture taking. This was the first time that this much of the family was in the same spot at the same time, not to mention all dressed up! My favorite two pictures are the one here with all 17 of us together, and this one of Shannon, Ryan, Kevin, and I that was supposed to be a replica of a picture of the four of us taken some 15-20 years ago.


After the reception we all went our seperate ways to change and then met back in Murphy, TX for a gathering and dinner hosted at my uncle Hugh’s house. Dinner was Bar-BQ catered by my uncle Sean’s boss. It was really awesome of him to do that for our family. We visited for hours and I even had enough time to go upstairs and play with legos with my younger cousins! I haven’t built anything out of legos in years…. 

Even though this gathering was prompted by the passing of our grandma, this weekend has been one of the most memorable trips I have taken in a long time. In life and death, grandma has given us one of the best gifts of all: family.



February 1st, 2009 Josh

A week and a half ago, my grandma, Cay Murphy, passed away. Thursday evening I arrived in Dallas for the weekend. On the drive to the airport I was pretty depressed. I had no idea what to expect for the weekend’s events. My mom and dad picked me up from the airport and we drove to my uncle Hugh’s house in North Dallas. My parents had been in town since Tuesday and recapped the events of the last few days while on the drive. 

My grandma didn’t like to throw things out. She had so much stuff saved up that my family still had not sifted through it all. Most of the stuff they were going through was old pictures. When we got to my uncle’s house we visited for a while, then went to the hotel. 


Friday we got up, and went to my uncle Brian’s house (the house my grandma raised her family) to meet the family that was in town. (This is where I found the giant piece of ice in the bird bath in the picture above.) Throughout the day more and more family arrived. This was the first time that all of the living Murphy family has been in the same place at the same time. I got to visit with family that I haven’t seen in years. It was fun seeing all the “little” cousins that are now close to graduating high school! I also met my cousin Kevin’s wife for the first time. It’s crazy how much has happened in the last 6-8 years. 

That night we all met at an Italian restaurant for a family dinner. My Uncle Mike had arranged the meal and brought a few opera singers to entertain us. I thought it was odd, but he said he and grandma used to go to a restaurant a long time ago where they had opera singers and he wanted to do it for the family. The singers covered a broad range of opera while we all conversed at our tables. It was a great family dinner.



After the dinner we went back to my Uncle Brian’s house for a Rosary service. A few of us dragged too long getting out of the restaurant and we missed most of the service but did catch the end. It was nice. Even more people were there than at the restaurant; these were family friends that I didn’t even know. After the Rosary we all wondered around to tables where albums of old pictures were placed for people to look though and talk about. It was interesting to see all the pictures of grandma in her childhood and growing up with the kids.

To wrap up the night I went with a few of my cousins to watch a movie. We saw Slumdog Millionaire – pretty good movie. After the movie I went back to the hotel room and crashed. All in all it was a pretty packed day.