Thu Jun 18 2020

nature, woman, girl

I let some collectible cards go for a ridiculously low price. I feel meh about it. Part of me needed the sales, the other part knew that I could have gotten more if I were just more patient.

The buyer is in Germany, which means I had to shell out $15 to get it mailed to them. $15 is the minimum possible amount in which I can get something shipped worldwide and have a tracking number.

It’s a sale, and that sale was important.

Back to my idea of being a homeless business owner… It’s definitely something I’m still thinking of. I’m still thinking of pushing hard with the card sales this month. If I can’t make rent + expenses, then I am going to have way less product to have to worry about when I transition to homelessness.

I think there are going to be a shit ton of problems with being homeless that I’m not even realizing. I’m not going to have a bed or a shower or a roof on my head. THAT is what homelessness means.

I’m not really thinking of that when I think of homelessness. I’m thinking of housing and a bed as a given. I’m thinking that homelessness just means that I don’t have a rent expense, which is true but not the complete picture.

I got like 3 or 4 hours of sleep last night. I’m grateful that I had the foresight to know that I would wake up this morning and be really tired, so I took care of packing orders up last night before I went to sleep. I set my alarm for an hour later than normal, 8:30.

I woke up and checked orders awaiting shipment. None. I walked the orders out to the mailbox and that was that.

I got some homework handouts that my therapist had mailed to me. I haven’t opened them yet.

I watched a few episodes of Better Call Saul season 5 last night as I inefficiently wrote code to one side. I have an idea to create a script which helps me create eBay Partner Network affiliate codes.

eBay launched this promotion which would get me 0% Final Value fees on my eBay listings if someone used my affiliate link to make the sale.

I figured that such a promotion is perfect for me because I tweet out advertisements to my eBay listings on the daily. Instead of a simple direct link to my listings, I will create affiliate links to my listings which would save me money in eBay fees, should an interested customer purchase a card via Twitter.

The problem with eBay Partner Network (EPN) is that their authentication scheme is completely stupid. It never remembers my existing sessions, and there are always three or four pages to click through before I can actually get to the page where I can generate an affiliate link.

It’s too slow. There are too many clicks involved.

eBay is so bad at consistent login processes. I take that back. eBay is so bad at consistent processes period.

It could be login schemes, checkout processes, listing appearances, whatever. eBay’s consistency is like something you would see in a poopy toilet bowl– it’s a mess and there are smears of a half-digested history everywhere.

I’ve already ranted about this in the past so I’ll move on, but the bottom line is that the whole of eBay’s technical staff are obviously not on the same page.

So I’m working around the problem of there too many clicks and it taking too long to create an affiliate link. I’m automating the process.

I’m going to create a workflow where I can create a list of eBay product URLs that I want to feature in a Tweet. I’ll feed that list into my script, which takes each URL, generates an affiliate link, scrapes the listing and downloads it’s main image. It then outputs a chunk of text which is suited for copy-pasting into Twitter.

I haven’t found an API endpoint for EPN yet. Such thing might not exist. Regardless, I’m using playwright at the moment to automate Firefox, log into EPN, and create affiliate links for me.

That’s the plan anyway. This is my first time using playwright so I’m still learning the syntax and all that. Last night I got as far as automatically entering in my eBay username.

Using playwright to automate a login is very familiar to other libraries I have used. I’ve used Selenium, CasperJS, and a few years ago I’ve even done such a thing with request and Cheerio.

request has been deprecated for awhile, which shows you roughly how long it’s been since I used that solution. Or maybe that’s a poor indicator of time. LOL. I’d say it’s been 2 years since I used request & cheerio.

Yep, that’s the plan. Automate the shit outta repetitive stuff I do for my eBay business. To do so is to work smart, rather than working hard. If I can eliminate grinding processes and make time for things I actually care to spend my time on, that’s what I like!

I actually care to spend time on writing code. So in a way, simply working on this project is fulfilling some of my goals.

There is going to be a challenge with this project. Same as every project I take on, there is a certain point at which the codebase becomes difficult to manage.

Code repositories can easily become a large mess which contain difficult to find bugs. It becomes a large task to implement new features.

This is where Test Driven Development can really help me. When I make changes to my codebase, I can run tests. If I haven’t introduced new bugs, the tests will run and produce no errors. If I have created a new bug, the tests will throw errors and display stack traces, which aid in fixing the bug that was introduced.

It’s not a foolproof process, but it works wonders when done correctly. The difficult part is to take the time to do it right.

I often find myself taking shortcuts, and skipping test creation altogether. This seems like a shortcut at first, but later on when there are dozens of modules working together, the tests become and invaluable and often necessary tool.

Tests become necessary for growth, because they become the fastest, most efficient way of ensuring that nothing is broken.

I would like to do it right. I would like to be efficient and create elegant code which is well maintainable. Doing this is a sort of insurance that the code I produce is going to last a long time and not break when I need it most.

So today’s plans are simple. Write an actual 2000 words for once. It’s been days since I actually sat down and focused on writing 2000 words.

Next, I’m going to sell some things on eBay. Maybe I’ll crack a P-Memories booster pack and list the contents. Maybe I’ll create some bundle listings. I don’t know. I’ll figure it out when I get to that point.

I’m going to be really focused on self-care today. I’m probably going to need to go back to sleep soon, which I will prioritize. I also need exercise and a good meal or two. Meals are difficult right now, as I lack supplies or funds, but I will do my best with what I have and ensure that I don’t go hungry.

I’d like to study Japanese today. I’ve gone several days without it, and I’d like to keep JP study a habit.

I want to do some work on my codependency and social anxiety. I’ll do that in this blog post at some point.

I would like to code some more. It would be nice to get the EPN automation set up today, and be able to use it for posting on Twitter later today or tomorrow. I have a bunch of scheduled Tweets that I would like to remove and re-create with the affiliate links, if possible.

Last week’s competition is ending later today. I’ll contact the winner and get their mailing address as soon as the competition ends.

I’m not going to be paying for tracking on the competition mailings anymore. I don’t think it makes any sense to do that. They aren’t paying for jack shit, so why should I pay for tracking updates? It’s a silly thing to do, when the competition goal is to simply bolster my Twitter followers.

Further, half the contestants are probably botters, running scripts or following giveaway feeds to find my competition. They probably have zero interest in buying from me. They’re just there for the free shit!

It makes no sense to track that mailing. It’s not like I would extend to them a replacement should the mailing not make it to the destination. They aren’t a customer! They don’t get that benefit. I’m not going to track competition mailings from now on.

I write pretty quick when I actually focus! For reference, I wrote all the text between the video of the neck stretches and this 5 minute morning yoga in 25 minutes.

It’s a lot of text! Don’t think it’s not because you are just reading. Writing takes a hell of a lot longer than reading does!

That’s a wild thing about the creative process. Video, paintings, music, etc.. The time it takes to create vs. the time it takes to consume can be staggering.

Video editing is a great example. In the peak of my vlogging days, I would spend 8 hours on a 2 minute video. It would take at least that much time to produce an interesting video which had a chance to get views on youtube.

I miss parts of youtube. I miss the community engagement from regular viewers who appreciated what I had made.

I don’t miss the fact that my efforts never paid off. I got laughter and subscribers. I think one time an anonymous viewer purchased me some fake mustaches from my Amazon wishlist. I never saw a dime from ad revenue, and ultimately the time I spent producing was at my own expense.

I’m looking at it differently now than I did before. Before, it was mostly just for fun. To be honest, I dreamed of being showered with gifts in the same way that YouTube’s top influencers are gifted today. Casey Neistat had an attic so full of gifts that he ended up selling it all and donating the proceeds to charity. I desired just a small fraction of that.

I never got there. I don’t think I have the personality for that. I definitely didn’t then, at a time when my codependency was such a huge part of my life.

I think I’d have a better chance at becoming a youtube personality now, knowing what I know. However, I don’t think I have it in me to go through the grind of writing scripts, researching, recording, editing, uploading, and repeating.

I don’t think I have a niche to fill in that space anymore. A big part of my niche before was this random humor which I accumulated as I became more and more tired. I think I’ve outgrown that humor. I think my lifestyle dictates a mostly boring personality.

I keep to myself nowadays. I don’t laugh as much. My creativity has diminished and I feel more financial responsibility now than ever.

I can’t spend time on video like I did. I might never again, and that’s okay.

I’ve dropped several things that I used to do. Electronics and Airsoft come to mind. Neither discontinuation is bad. I’m simply refocusing my priorities, dropping activities in certain areas to make time for and hone my skills in others.

Maybe that’s an excuse. Maybe I could do both. Maybe I’m dropping electronics and airsoft because I have relationships with people in there that I want to discontinue.

It’s the whole, “say what you mean and mean what you say” codependency thing. I have a hard time saying no to things that I don’t want to do. I wanted to say no to a bunch of airsoft games. I wanted to say no to large electronics projects where I knew I would be dumping countless hours and getting pittance in return.

Again, I’m seeing things differently now than I was in the past. In the past, I wanted to do these electronics projects no matter the cost. I wanted to do the projects because I felt like I was needed. I felt validated and important because I was serving a friend.

Well, I now realize that that’s a bad way to feel validated. I am valid as I am.

I deserve compensation for my work. I deserve to work with someone who provides me with value in return for the value that I produce for them.

I feel guilty about still having electronic parts that I haven’t given back to R. He doesn’t have my new phone number and that’s my fault.

I can work on that. I see him every now and then. I can reach out.

I’m going to do the reading for CoDA 30q #12. I’ll answer the questions in tomorrow’s journal entry.

  • fear based
  • need to fix
  • need to caretake
  • need to control
  • need to manipulate
  • need to avoid abandonment

I changed my mind. I’m gonna write about it now.

So 30q #12 is asking the question, “What is the difference between being codependent and being thoughtful?”

Motive is the difference.

Motive is the difference between being codependent and being thoughtful.

If my motive is fear based, it’s probably a codependent motive. If my motive includes the need to fix, caretake, control, manipulate, or avoid abandonment, it’s probably a codependent motive.

I’m really just re-writing what was said in the book, so that I may better understand and remember it. Wow, that’s a great summary of how the two are differentiated.

I don’t think I can really do any better of a description than that. It makes a lot of sense as-is.

Yesterday I was treated to lunch with my sister A. and brother D. We went to a food truck place in CDA and I got a delicious meal from a truck which made me a delicious Buddha bowl full of vegan delights like Tempeh, avocado, quinoa, and green beans.

That’s not even half the ingredient list. It had cucumber, carrot shreds, and this vegan pesto sauce which was to die for.

The thing that got me thinking about this was about how strange my brother and sister seemed to be acting. Neither of them seemed to be talking freely. My sister seemed to be nervously fidgeting with her fingernail. My brother was mostly silent in the back seat.

If I had to guess, I’d speculate that I am an anxiety trigger to them, because of how sparingly I interact with them. I was acting like how dad acts. I was calm, I was in a good head space due to having ridden 10 miles on my bike that morning, but I was not communicating much myself.

Once we got to the food truck place, I observed codependent behaviors most notably in my siblings, but myself as well. My siblings and I were all being so quiet as we talked together, as if to not allow our voices to be heard by other people.

My sister went to great lengths to ensure that I got something that fit my vegan diet. My sister assumed I was still hungry because I was eating every last speck of food, which was accurate. My sister offered to buy me another meal, which I accepted by ordering french fries. She sounded shocked when I later commented that the fries I received were not what I was expecting.

I had to reassure her that the fries I receieved are perfectly fine. Crinkle cut fries are not crisscut (waffle) fries as I had mistakenly thought.

I think codependency is just baked into my family. From a young age, we were trained to be this way.

I’m realizing these things and I feel bad that my siblings feel the need to do so much caretaking. In the past, I have behaved helpless and non-verbally encouraged such caretaking. Now, I’m aware of codependency and it’s associated behaviors, and I know that I am not helpless.

I don’t want them to feel like they are obligated to caretake. I don’t want them to feel like I need help all the time or that I’m going to abandon them if they don’t.

I guess I have to communicate that to them somehow, if I am to make any progress on this.

At the same time, I have to be aware of the thoughtful vs. codependent thing.

I want to do this not to fix them. I don’t want to do this to control them. I want them to be comfortable around me because we’re family and they’re important to me.

I can see how thoughtfulness vs. codependency can be a delicate line. In a way, what I want could be me trying to control them. I have some more thinking to do on this subject.

101. I will learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow.
16. I matter.
1. I love myself.


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