Estate Sales, Yet Another Passion

Estate Sales!

In some ways, they’re kind of sad. The person’s belongings that are being sold has either died, or is downsizing for one reason or another. The positive side is that the heirs will get a reasonable price for all of grandma’s treasures.
The other upside is the these antiques and heirlooms re-enter the market place.

Austrian Beer Stein

Austrian Beer Stein

In my case, I like to collect beer steins. Now that I’ve been collecting them for about 3 decades, I find that there aren’t too many places I can really display them. It’s time to clear house.

Antique-creamer-sideI’ve also picked up the odd piece of silver plate. I have no real knowledge of silver or silver plate. My eye is drawn to the unique and artistic. I’ve also bought art and books at an estate sale. I only buy what I like and can afford.

So, what do I do with all of my new-old possessions? I started an Etsy store! Of course! I could do it on Ebay, but, I like the eclectic nature of Etsy. Kind of artsy-fartsy.

The other business idea I’ve been thinking about is to be a shopper for others.  Perhaps someone is looking for a particular item, maybe an antique watch or depression-era glass.  I see it as a kind of personal shopper.

The point of all of this is that the list of opportunities to be a freelancer extend way beyond writing.  If I could create music, or sing or make stunning photographs, I’d be trying those too.


Top Infamous Freelance Professions

freelance word

Top Infamous Freelance Professions

Tongue-in-cheek, hopefully humorous list of top freelancer professions in history
There aren’t too many rules around how these were chosen. For the most part, these are professions where a person gets money from others, by selling a product, or providing a service, or by forceful means. These are not ranked, except for the oldest profession.  The first five are rather nefarious, the last 3 are much more respectable.

  1. Prostitute


    Prostitution (Photo credit: Nils Hamerlinck)

  2. Pirate, outlaw, gangster
  3. Soldier of Fortune or mercenary
  4. Black market (anything that is illegal or in short supply)
  5. anarchists

I did not include politician nor dictator; both are generally paid by their governments.  Of course, the worst ones get something through the second method above, via bribes, kick-backs, etc.

Food Industry Research

Market Research


3125Hort19 (Photo credit: College of Ag Communications)

As part of my ongoing effort to reinvent myself as a freelancer, I was looking at some of my other interests like opening a barbecue joint, or perhaps a bed and breakfast.  Given my nature and background I used a spreadsheet to look at the food industry in general.  What part of the food industry was profitable and growing?  What needs are not being fulfilled?  What niche can I fill?  In other words, some market research.

All interesting questions, right?  Food!  In America, at least, it’s everywhere.  We eat all the time, and a lot of it is not so good for us.

English: Frozen meat grinder GW 300.

English: Frozen meat grinder GW 300. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember very vividly getting a meat grinder attachment for our Kitchen-Aid mixer, to grind our own meat to avoid pink slime.  That’s one where the manufacturers got their hand caught in the proverbial cookie jar.  It’s also a gnat sitting on top of this huge elephant.  There’s so much we don’t know, unless we’re industry insiders or very, very vigilant.

The farm-to-table concept is catching fire; I hope to see this become a norm, not just another food trend!

I’m still researching food as a business opportunity.  If I do start a restaurant or produce a food product, I definitely want to avoid anything that smacks of “secret” ingredients, to get us to eat more, or pay more for less.

Sunday Morning Ramblings

English: French Press

English: French Press (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sitting here drinking a bit of coffee. I so enjoy coffee made by a french press.  Over the years, I’ve tried drip and the Kuerig pods.  They make acceptable coffee.  I’ve obviously had coffee in restaurants and coffee houses; where they mostly use a drip method.  I saw a very small french press for a really cheap price, and figured I wouldn’t be throwing away a lot of money if I didn’t like it.  It’s so good, I even made my wife a convert.

One thing to note, there is sediment in the bottom of your cup after drinking, unless you pour it through a filter first.  Personally, I don’t notice the very fine sediment while drinking the coffee.  The mouth feel isn’t that much different due to the fine particulates.  But, the taste is at least twice as good, assuming you start with ah good coffee.

I could go on for several more paragraphs about coffee, grinding beans, types and roasts of coffee, but, I’ll leave that for another post.  I’ve been cross posting between WordPress and, and I’m beginning to notice a trend, and I wanted to jot down a couple of the pros and cons from a newbie freelancer.

The free versions of WordPress & are what I’ve started with; I may go paid on one or the other, eventually.  I have no conclusions so far about which is better. Here’s what I’ve observed to date, just looking at the plain vanilla free versions:

  • First comment left on WordPress and first reblog too
  • Both sites seem easy to navigate and publish a blog
  • offers a lot of both Google tools & third-party addons
  • offers more in some areas without having to go the third-party route
  • Both sites won’t let you monetize your site, easily without having your own domain name at least
  • Integration with social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Google+ and more seems about the same, give or take a few social sites
  • Both offer apps for blogging via your phone or tablet.  I haven’t tried to blog, but, I have read blogs this way.

Now, on to to my other ramblings for this post, technical writing training.  I mentioned in a earlier post about iTunes U, and a training course.  There were about 10 or 12 lectures, but, all audio.  It seemed like a very nice university professor, and I’m sure it would have been better in person as opposed to just audio.  So, I went looking at YouTube.  Wow, what a wealth of videos on that one subject.  Of course, I’m having to weed out those that are just advertising their services.  Still, I did find one complete course, and I’ve watched the first three out of about 20.  If I like it, I’ll link it in a future post.

To those of you who actually read to the end, thanks.  I think you are very tough and determined people.  Happy Sunday!

Nutraloaf, Pemmican and other complete meals in one “ideal food”

Is there such a thing as an ideal, all-in-one food?

During the last year or more, I’ve been losing weight the old fashioned way, via diet and exercise.   I’ve tried various combinations of foods, and varied my nutrient ratios for protein, fat, and carbohydrates.  I’ve taken great care to log the food I eat and the exercise I do each day.


My Fitness Pal suggests a certain ratio of these macro nutrients, which I’ve always felt were weighted a bit too high on the carb side.  Considering I’m a diabetic, I altered the ratios to add more protein, and less carbs.  Whether that’s good or bad, I’ll leave up to the nutritionists to argue.



All of this preamble leads me to the actual subject of this blog post.  I’ve read about Nutraloaf, including a few food critics trying various recipes.  Those links are at the end of the Wikipedia article linked above.  While nutritious, it isn’t appetizing, which is the whole point of feeding it to prisoners who misbehave.  On the other hand, could I take a nutraloaf recipe, modify it to be tasty?  I’d welcome comments from anyone who have tried to make it more palatable.



I’ve also read about other portable meals that have been used throughout history, like pemmican.  Most of the early recipes for this were based upon meat and fat, with maybe a few berries thrown in for a bit of flavor.  Very low in carbs, but, also very high in animal fats.  It does have good shelf life supposedly.  During my research in this area, I hit upon an modern equivalent of pemmican.  Epic Bars makes a variety of whole food nutrition bars that are sugar free.  Something most other nutrition bar manufacturers wished they could say.  I intend to give them a try, especially the Bison with uncured bacon and cranberry.  Another one that looks tasty is the Beef with cherry and habanero.


Leave a comment if you’ve run across any other type of all-in-one nutrition bar or drink that is natural and not a lot of chemicals thrown together, like protein powders.


DISCLAIMER: This blog, in general, is about freelancing, or more specifically about me learning enough about subjects areas, to get paid for doing them, or writing about them.  At this point, I haven’t decided about a specialty, so, I’m blogging about something I like, which is food.