Thursday, December 18, 2008

SPAMMERS spreading the holiday cheer....

It's been a while since I posted an update. I'm at 27,108 SPAM messages. That's 6950 more since the last update 64 days ago. For an average of 108 a day.

Merry Friggin' Christmas...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Don't do me any favors

So as I've probably mentioned before, I'm in the recreational marine business. I sell boats and boat stuff. And to be totally immodest, I'm pretty good at it. I guess it's my ability to comprehend what I read that makes it easy. Knowing how to sail doesn't hurt.

And (more immodesty) I've built one hell of a parts website for the business where I work... We (I) get no end of compliments about how easy it is to navigate.

There in lies the problem... It's too easy. So business is sometimes too good. Especially with the weak dollar. The shop is getting orders from all over the freaking planet. And being the "whiz" that I am, I get to handle the international orders.

P I T A

Thankfully, most of these customers know what they want. They just need to know how much it's going to cost to ship it. So before taking a single cent, I spend a lot of time estimating package sizes, weighing parts and looking for cheap shipping. Most of my customers are grateful.

Then there are the idiots... Like a customer from one of the US territories (yeah... I know... Not really an international order, but still a PITA from a shipping point of view). This guy doesn't know how to RTFM. And since he's totally alienated his local parts dealer (who I've spoken with) he has to shop on the net.

So he waves his hands via email and expects me to figure it out. It usually takes 5 or 6 emails and a couple of phone calls to figure out what he actually wants, but I eventually get him the parts. Of course, the first credit card number he gives me never works. Even the second one can be problematic. And the whole time, he's whining about having broken boats and not having parts.

So last week, I was trying to wrap up another order for him. He's got me writing two invoices for one shipment. One for the business and one for his personal boat. So I've got two credit card numbers. Neither works. I try to call... Nothing. I send email... nothing.

I'm fed up. I cancel the order because he's not paid for it... After all, sending parts that aren't paid for is just bad business.

So this moron submits the order again. Except it's different. He's specifying the wrong parts and changing things from the previous order. He's not listened and is about to make a huge mistake. I really don't want to deal with him, but call anyway.

Voicemail. Again....

I leave a message.

Nothing....

Five days later, we get a nasty email at the shop from this same moron. He's cancelled his order and hopes "We don't loose any more customers."

With customers like him, who needs enemies.

Sheesh... I'd say good riddance, but he's a bad penny and will probably be back. And as much as it should be allowed, you can't fire customers.

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Just Shut Up and Vote

'nuff said.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

SPAM-orama

I checked my SPAM trap email address this morning. It now has 20,158 messages. That's 3,231 during the last 32 days. Or almost 101 SPAM messages each day.

If that's not just nuts, I don't know what is. My "thanks" to Yahoo for keeping up the good work.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another week, another entry...

So it's State Fair time in Texas. Our annual celebration of Big Tex, pig races and fried foods started on Friday and runs for three weeks.

And I would not skip it even for serious money.

Lynne and I headed down just after lunch on the first Sunday. I mean, what's the hurry. They don't start serving beer till noon anyway. And we were not disappointed.

We used the entrance at the back side of the fairgrounds, near the animal pens, since it's never crowded. Plus there's a family with excellent parking on McKenzie just 50 yards from the entrance. Sweat deal.

Our first stop was the coupon booth. $120 later, we headed off in search of corndogs. Fletcher Corny Dogs are the standard by which all others are judged. And this year they did not disappoint. We ate 6 of them between us.

From there, we headed off to the Hans Mueller tent next to the main stage. This is where I get my good German beers - and the site of my first major surprise. Good beer prices had gone up. It now cost 12 coupons (6 bucks) for a bottle of Spaten Optimator or Paulaner Salvator. That's up 3 coupons from last year. I must admit, it slowed my drinking down. Luckily, the Turkey legs had only gone up 2 coupons (to 14). But Lynne is pretty sure she got an extra 3 coupons worth of leg this year. The turkey was cooked to perfection and huge. She couldn't finish it.

With those two things out of the way, we proceeded to the usual hangouts - auto show, Big Tex, dog shows, Food & Fiber Pavilion, Embarcadero/Creative Arts and the Grand Place. We also enjoyed the return of the Killdares to the fair at the Rock Band stage. I even picked up their new CD at one of the souvenir tents

Besides the cost of the beer, probably the biggest disappointment of the fair was the dog shows. The Dancing Dogs show we attended was just plain bad. Since the passing of Skid Boot, it's just not been the same. But at least the arena has been air conditioned.

We also noticed that attendance was definitely down. By 6 pm on Sunday, it was starting to look like a ghost town. The aisles in the Grand Place were definitely empty. One of the vendors we like to patronize said that their business was off at least 75%.

That said, Lynne and I still managed to spend about $250. Was it worth it? Well, as they say in Texas - Hell Yeah!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

They've had a tough time down in the Houston area since Ike it. And while agencies like the Red Cross do a good job at helping pick up the pieces, I don't appreciate that they're using part of my donation to solicit me for more donations.

The people at the Greater Houston Community Foundation tell me that they're not going to waste a donation doing that.

So if you'd like to help, please consider using the link at the right to support storm victims.



Additionally, the mother of one of my coworkers recently passed away after a long illness. During her final days of hospice, the Visiting Nurses Association of Texas did a commendable job of making sure she was comfortable. The family requested that friends and family support the VNA instead of sending flowers. If you'd like to help that organization also, you can click on VNA to donate.

Thanks

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Random Ramblings

My spam trap email address now has 16,927 spam email messages in the bucket.

Hurricane Ike was ugly down south, but mostly a non-event here. Except for gas prices. They've jumped 24 cents a gallon since Thursday morning. We actually could have used more rain. I hope all everyone down south is OK.

Carnival Cruise lines will sell you personal information to everyone on the planet. Since taking a cruise in April, the junk mail at the house has doubled. I know it's because of Carnival because it says so.

One of my coworkers has a mother in hospice. She's not doing well. And it sucks.

Looks like the Tennessee Volunteers may suck this year.

Did I mention that I bought a new rifle in honor of Joe B getting chosen as Obama's running mate? I did. And while I really don't care for McCain, his choice of running mate has me wavering. I had intended to pick None of the Above. Who knows.

Max (my Golden Retriever) is now 15 years and 1 month old. Every day with him is and has been a joy. Good dog, Max. And not to belittle the other animals at the house - Hank, Spock and Lance are all doing quite well, and amusing us with their antics. Though I do wish Lance (a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix) would quit trying to get into the house through the cat door.

There's a "new" liquor store in town. Beverage Depot has added a second store over off of I-35E and Northwest Hwy. You can see it from the interstate, but it's hard to get to... Which is why it's never busy. I'm afraid it will close soon if business doesn't pick up. Which is a shame because it has a great selection of adult beverages, along with the most cooler doors I've ever seen in one store. And the prices are good. Here's a map - Beverage Depot. I highly recommend a visit. You won't be disappointed.

Lynne is officially a full professor at the Baylor College of Dentistry. That means she can pretty much get away with murder.... as long as she cleans up the mess before she goes home for the evening.

I'm thinking about taking a month off to go sailing. I haven't sailed enough this year.

Closing in on 114,000 miles on my '95 325i, or about 70,000 miles since I got it. Thanks for the deal, Dad.

Seems like the charitable organizations are really scrambling for money. And as much as I'd like to help out, I'm not pleased with how my donations are being spent. Instead of using the donations to "take care of business", it seems like they're only using your money to send you solicitations for more money. Even when I specifically ask a charity to not solicit me, the solicit me. So I've started cutting back on the people I send donations to. But that's good for the groups who've listened - cause they're getting the money I used to send to other organizations.

My wife gave me an Oregon Scientific weather station for my birthday - the WMR968 wireless rig. And as slick as this unit is, the instructions for it just plain SUCK! It also appears that the rain gauge does not do well in wind driven rains. So as much as I like it, I definitely can not recommend it for anyone but a serious techno geek.

That's all for tonite.