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07/03/2017

Amazon Global to the Rescue

When we moved to the USA in January 2006 we had most of the contents of our 840 squ.ft. condo shipped in a 40 ft. overseas container. Books, clothes, computers, dishes, kitchen wares, small electric appliances, and furniture had to come with us – because we figured shipping the household was still cheaper than buying all new stuff.

Our bed is a typical, standard German double bed: two seperate orthopedic cold foam mattresses on slatted bases, mounted next to each other in a 200cm x 200cm bed frame. Of course we brought all the bedding for it too, so we were in good shape.

Now, even expensive bedding that you take good care of will come apart after over ten years of continuous use. Some of those sheets and duvet covers started to look like the ones my mom would relegate to the weekend cottage in Austria. Just go buy new ones, you might say. It’s not that easy, though. Fitted sheets in Twin XL size work for our mattresses, but there is absolutely nothing that would fit our down covers.

DeutscheBettwaesche.jpgThat’s what Amazon Global was invented for! Here’s how it works: go to Amazon.de, search for “Bettwäsche” and then filter your results by “Amazon Global bestellbar” – bingo! My latest order arrived today, fits perfectly, and looks awesome.

06/09/2017

ExxoPok #67 is special

ExxoPokPhonePouch.JPGMy heart skipped a beat today when I received my first order for an ExxoPok cell phone pouch coming in from my own little handmade e-commerce website http://exxopok.karin-web.com

I designed this unique belt clip phone case out of personal necessity in October 2015, when I joined Google Fi and had to somehow attach a big Nexus 5X smartphone to my belt. After making several of those handy pouches with the “angle of dangle” for myself and family, and selling three of them in person, I set up a shop on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/exxopok and actually sold 37 of my ingenious gadgets there by now.

Good business practice is to diversify, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and have multiple sales channels – even if you’re just treating this like a hobby without any aspirations to turn into a “full-time job/income”. Plus it would be a good learning experience for me to get into newer techniques of web-development.

So, in December of 2016, I added the ExxoPok subdomain to my Karin-web.com domain, found and customized a free html5 template that I like, installed the Ecwid e-commerce plugin on it – which is also free if you list no more than 10 items, and worked hard to get the whole thing optimized for Google’s search engine. Being found on the internet is the hardest thing to do. It takes time, and you have to keep “talking” about your stuff, posting on social media, blogging about it, creating link authority for your site.

03/25/2017

Germanize the Bathroom

Those of you who have lived in different countries can probably relate to the mixed feelings I have about houses in the USA, compared to houses in Germany. The main advantage of home ownership in the US is that it is way more affordable, not just because of the generally lower price of land, but also because of cheaper building techniques.

The notion of economy doesn’t stop at the outside of the building; it continues on the inside, all the way down to the fixtures and appliances. I could talk about doors, windows, rain gutters, roof shingles, siding, water pipes, heating systems, electric installations, lightning rods, sump pumps, you name it – but after a while I realized, that my audience either doesn’t know what I’m talking about, or they do and don’t need to be reminded.  HansgroheShowerHead.jpg

I personally enjoy my spacious home and find solutions for some of its shortcomings.

 

HansgroheFaucet.jpg

 

 

 

With a little help from Costco and Amazon our bathroom has been partially Germanized. It is sporting a shiny faucet, which we installed last year, and a new luxury shower head, replacing an identical one that was getting worn, both made in Germany by Hansgrohe.

03/14/2017

Rider Genes?

My daughter posted a picture on Instagram today, about her first motorcycle lesson. All geared up and excited. As I clicked on “like”, smiling, I was reminded of my own excitement when I had finally saved up enough money to buy my first motorcycle, 36 years ago.

AlteMotorradHandschuhe.jpg

My mother didn’t like the idea of me riding, but she still gave me her father’s old motorcycle gloves, for good luck. I had never met my grandfather; he died long before I was born, but I remember photos of him on his beautiful Indian.

BMW-R65-198103.jpg

I knew I wanted to ride, in the front seat of course, when one of my classmates in highschool took me for a spin on his new HONDA in 1974. But, since my parents didn’t support the idea, I had to wait and save money to be able to pay for the license, and for the bike, and I had to be independent.

I got my motorcycle license in 1980, and in March 1981 I laid down 9,100.00 Deutsche Mark in cash at a BMW motorcycle dealership for this blue BMW R65 with white hardcases.

03/10/2017

Adventures 2.0 - not all that shines is gold

After 330 posts on an antiquated platform designed in the ’90s I felt it was time for an upgrade on my blog. Several important requirements had to be met: it should not cost more to run, I don’t want to lose any of my old posts, and the platform needs to be future-proof.

What looks easy enough at first glance evolved into a bigger project quickly, once I started thinking about the details.

  • create a subdomain in my webspace
  • install WordPress on it
  • find a suitable theme
  • get plugins (Jetpack, Syndication, Spamprotection)
  • configure my theme
  • make an about page, and a contact form
  • import those 330 old posts from Blogspirit – in chunks of 10 via 33 individual rss feeds

Karin's New Adventures home page
This is what I’ve come up with. I like the clean, modern look of it. Also WordPress gives me more control and flexibility, so if the fashion trend changes, I can simply “go with the flow” and adapt – instead of having to start over.

What do you think?

 

P.S. - my webhost is having major problems, I can't even login to my wp-admin now, so - back to the good old Blogspirit.