Friday, December 29, 2006

Last Rant of 2006


Hey! We're down to the last few days of 2006. And what better way to see the year out than with a short rant:

I would very much like to know what sadistic minion of hell came up with these %$Y!!%&*$#%$#!#%$&%!!*&#$*!!! plastic vacuum packages that they put EVERYTHING in these days. I just used some of my Christmas money to purchase on of those Black & Decker Handi-Saws. It took about 5 minutes with X-acto knife to get the darn thing out of its plastic cocoon! You have to absolutely shred the stupid plastic packaging to get the product out. And of course that's not torture enough. In addition to the main product, they make a half-dozen smaller compartments for whatever accessories come with it that you have to fight your way into. Then, when you read the return policy, it states that "product must be returned in original packaging" in order to get your exchange/refund. This saw works fine, but I'll tell you - if I ever have to return a product I've had to spend a half hour with a sawzall to extract it from the packaging, they're going to get a pile of shredded plastic back with the product taped in the middle of it. They call this progress??

Well, here we are at the beginning of the last 3-day weekend for quite a while. It was a pretty quiet day at work; for most of the morning, Ron was scratching trying to find a call for me. I ended up doing a couple installs in Blue Springs and Independence. Of course as late afternoon approached several calls came in. WTF? Why would you wait until late afternoon on a Friday before New Year's to place a service call?

At any rate, I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend, with some artwork and working in my shop.

Later!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A 3-Day Week!

Hey! It's back to work for 3 days - this week, at least. And it started off in fine form with me putting 100 miles on the Kia before lunch! I had to go in to the office this morning which is - depending on the route taken - anywhere from 40 to 50 miles. Then it was back out to about I-29 and Barry road; another 50 miles. Fun, fun, fun. At least I'm all caught up on calls. Now all I have to do is get my parts calls cleared up. Of course that's going to last about two more days. Once the holidays are over, and the new year arrives, I'm sure it will be insanity to the max again. With the onset of "Tax Season," things will be busier than ever.

Well, once again, the piece-O-crap Kia's check engine light came back on this evening. I can't seem to get more than 3 weeks' of use out of it before it's time to take it back to Jack Miller for another service episode. I HATE this car! I will NEVER buy another Kia. I'm hoping that after the first of the year, I can work a deal to get into a different vehicle - hopefully a minivan. We shall see.

I'm looking forward to another 3-day weekend! With any luck, we'll actually have time to relax this time. I've got some fun projects I hope to get started on over the holiday.

Later!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Grillin' on Christmas Eve!


Merry Christmas, everyone!

We had a great early Christmas yesterday, although we all missed the presence of Jo's dad, who passed away in early January. I know it was very difficult for both Jo and her mom. We had a nice time with the family, and there was lots of food, of course.

We went over to my folks' afterwards, and had a good time there as well. I gave my dad a clock I made out of an old 8 inch computer hard drive disk. He thought it was pretty neat.

When we got home last evening, I grabbed a couple steaks out of the freezer to thaw for today. My dad gave us a couple boxes of steaks a few days ago as an early Christmas. I put a couple of them in ziplock bags this morning and marinated them for a few hours in Italian dressing. Man, were they good! Get the whole story by clicking on the title above, or just click here: http://www.rodslair.com/news/12-06.html.

And finally, for your entertainment, here's yet more incentive to pass a law declaring open season on idiot criminals:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/christmas_crime_wave&printer=1

Jo and I want to wish all our visitors a wonderful Christmas season! May you have peace and prosperity in the new year!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Website Updated......Finally!

I was finally able to complete the update to the site this evening. The FTP is still kind of on-again-off-again, but it seems to be working most of the time. I'm still going to be checking into a different hosting service. Gate.com is just having too many issues lately.

I deleted the F-Stop and Stupid Computer Tricks sections, and dumped the Google AdSense crap. The F-Stop just wasn't getting enough traffic to justify the effort of maintaining it, and I'll leave Stupid Computer Tricks to the pirated sites. I'm done with messing with it. The AdSense NonSense also wasn't worth messing with. As I stated earlier, in the time I had it on my site, it generated a whole 1.40. Whoopee. And they don't pay you until it gets to $100. At the rate it was going, I'd be dead and reincarnated as a tree by the time it reached a centa-buck. Not worth it. And I refuse to stick advertising banners willy-nilly all over my site.

I'm also considering the future of this blog. I've thought about just going back to having a simple "Latest News" page on my site. As far as I can tell, there's only a handful of folks that visit this news section on a regular basis - although sometimes I am pleasantly surprised when I get a message from someone visiting it. I'll probably keep it, at least for now. I know Google has launched a new version of Blogger, and I will probably switch to it fairly soon.

I got a wonderful surprise when I got home today. One of my frequent Playboy back issues customers who lives in Canada sent me a nice Christmas gift! A bottle of pure maple syrup from Canada! How Thoughtful!! Thank You, Yvan!! That will go nicely on a stack of nice, hot pancakes over the Christmas Holiday time off.

Speaking of Christmas, we've got to go tomorrow evening and finish up our shopping. I'm not really too enthusiastic about the whole shopping thing this close to Christmas, but I refuse to get anywhere near a mall on the weekend until well after the holidays. It's a zoo!

Merry Christmas, everyone!!

Still Having FTP Issues

Just a quick note...

I got about 10 minutes' worth of FTP access last night - just enough to upload SOME of the new files to my website. And just enough to make everything but the home page look like crap with a combination of old HTML and graphics, and new background.

I've sent another nasty-gram to Gate.com. Hopefully, I'll be able to complete the update tonight. I'm definitely going to look into another hosting service. I can get 20 times the webspace, and 10 times the bandwidth for half the price from GoDaddy.com.

stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Fed Up With My Hosting Service

Well, the Winter Edition of Rod's Lair is all done and ready to be updated. I tried to FTP the new version tonight, but ran into a roadblock when I couldn't log in to the server. I've sent an e-mail, and also called Gate.com's so-called tech support to see what the hell is up with all the problems lately. After waiting 20 minutes on hold, I spoke with a tech. He tried to open FTP to my domain, but was also unable to. I was informed that "a ticket would be opened up" and they would contact me within 24 hours. Thanks, guys. Don't put yourself out or anything.

Earlier this week, my website was down completely. It was back up later the same day, but this is becoming a more frequent situation recently.

I'm very, very seriously considering switching my hosting to GoDaddy.com. I could get a 100 gig space with 1000 gigs of bandwidth for about 75 bucks a year. Currently, I'm paying Gate.com about 30 bucks every quarter - about $120 a year. They recently raised their rates, and the service has gone downhill.

It would be a major pain in the butt to go through the process of transferring everything to a new hosting provider, but it may be worth it in the long run, if the recent issues are an example of what I can expect from Gate.com. I never had all these problems when they were HostSave.com.

At any rate, hopefully they will get this ironed out in the next day or so, and I'll be able to upload the new version of the website. In the meantime, I'm defininitely going to be looking into making a change.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Mid-December Update



I spent most of today working on an additional workbench on which to mount my dad’s old scroll saw that he gave me some time ago. I have some neat ideas I want to work on, and this scroll saw will be a huge help. I’ve used it several times, but I’ve had to sit on the floor while trying to cut with it, and that’s a major pain in the backside. This will be much better!

I’m still working on my Winter Faerey, and she’s very near completion. I have the winter theme for my website pretty much worked out, and all the new graphics in place. I’m hoping to have the new theme in place by Christmas.

With the new theme I’ll be making a few more changes (again). First, I’m going to deep-six the Google AdSense NonSense. In the nearly 6 months I’ve had it up, it’s generated a magnificent total income of – hold your breath - $1.40. Wow. Three words: Not Worth It. Along with AdSense, I’m probably going to do away with The F Stop and – once again – Stupid Computer Tricks. I was hoping the traffic to these areas along with the AdSense crap would generate a little income. I wasn’t expecting to retire on it, but I didn’t realize just how little it would turn out to be.

Things are still busy as hell, both at work and home. Next week is going to be hell because the only tech that gets more calls than I do is going to be on vacation all week. That’s going to suck, plain and simple. At any given time, I’ll have 8 – 12 calls in my queue, and it’s not uncommon for him to have twice that. I work mostly in the Northland area, and he does Johnson County, Kansas, so we’re not right next to each other. Still, I’ll probably end up with some of his calls as well as mine. I’m sure most of the other techs are going to be running amok with the extra load as well. They’d be seriously SOL if I took a week off at the same time he did!

Well, enough rambling!
Later..

Friday, December 15, 2006

This Can't Be For Real......

You have GOT to be kidding.......

http://www.slashgear.com/konica-minolta-turn-the-office-into-a-multimedia-starbucks-092427.php

I mean, I get enough wierd sevice calls as it is. But getting calls for "the coffee is too strong/weak" or "it won't play my Eminem CD/DVD?" Give me a break.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Quick Update

I'm just going to type a few quick sentences tonight - lots going on lately.

Well, I didn't get a "snow day" off last week. Although I had about 10 inches of snow in my backyard, a few miles north there was no snow at all! Go figure.

I'm working on my winter theme for the website, and creating a new splash graphic. It's a little late - I'd intended to have the winter theme ready by December 1, but as usual my life is complete chaos most of the time.

Looks like MAYBE the problems with my Kia have been resolved - finally. I sent a lengthy nasty-gram to both Kia America and Jack Miller last week. Seems it actually rattled the right cages.

Had my first review with KMBS today. It was a good one! I'll be getting a little more money soon, and that's always a good thing.

Looks like another busy weekend coming up. I guess last weekend was my "free" weekend for the month. I can't remember what it's like to relax for more than a couple evenings a week!

That's about it for now. I've got to try to get this winter theme done before spring!

Later!