Birthday cake for #1 son. Note the Roman numeral candles, which I got at the Nelson Atkins. I should have taken them to the bakery and had them create a cake to go with them, but I did at least get the cake, and he liked it.

Yesterday I worked on blog posts and websites for The Computer Guy — a motivational speaker and a sermon helps site, both of which were quite interesting — and a social media strategy for a resort. All fun.I set up a couple of meetings for next week — wrapping up one website and an initial discussion on another — and was interviewed by a local news editor.

The other big thing task was trying to read the quarterly report from #1 daughter.

She’s been looking after my accounting, and I had asked for a quarterly report, hoping that it would help me in decision making. I’m trying to be businesslike in my decision making. I’ve been making some investments in the business, and I’m trying to determine what further investments I should make, or at least whether I’ll be able to pay my taxes. I’m also trying to determine what sorts of jobs I should be taking on, and what I ought to delegate, and stuff like that.

I figured the quarterly report would help me on all those things.

In 2008, I was only thinking in terms of income: was I earning enough to replace the salary from the job I’d lost, and did I make enough to pay my bills, stuff like that. The bottom of Maslow’s pyramid, essentially.

In 2009, I worked on improving my ratio of billable to unbillable hours, and I did quite well on that. I reached the point where I felt confident that I would have sufficient work and an adequate income — the next level of the pyramid — so I was ready to move on.

Maslow’s pyramid may not help the next bit. I am trying, for 2010, to be businesslike and think about profit. I’m also trying to build the business to support at least #2 daughter and me, so I guess that could be about love and belongingness. Or maybe having my company be profitable because that’s how successful companies are, so we can move on to self-esteem.

However, I don’t really get how profitability applies to me. I think the two ways you can make a profit in a business are to hire people who work for less than the amount the company charges, and to sell things for more than the company paid for them. Since nearly all of the income of my company is currently from me working, I make a profit by leaving some of it in the business bank account. That seems sort of artificial.

You can see why I have trouble understanding quarterly reports, huh? #2 son is taking accounting next year. Maybe he can help me grasp this stuff.

I took a bit of time in the evening and knitted. This is not a good picture, but it shows clearly that this is an unsuccessful piece of knitting. In general, I like subtle low-contrast color schemes, but there’s no point to doing elaborate colorwork if you end up with something as invisible as this. I pulled it all out.

Salt Peanuts, my only Finished Object for 2010, is also unsuccessful, because the collar refuses to lie down. Perhaps I should pull it out, too. Or at least pull out the collar and redo it.