Sunday, December 31, 2017

Another Year....

Happy New Year! Just in case anyone actually looks at this blog...

2017 was a tumultuous year - but there were plenty of good things to enjoy as well. Not the least of which was my retirement! I'm loving it, but I'm also wondering how I ever had time for a job...

Here's hoping 2018 will be a better year, though. 2017 kind of left us with a final slap in the face... We got another one of those phone calls last night. Jo's last living uncle had a stroke and passed away. Not a good way to end the year even knowing he's had health problems for a long time.

In other news....

I've set up Twitter pages for myself, and for the Girls From T.N.A.

My Twitter Page

Girls From T.N.A. Twitter Page

The GFTNA Facebook page will most likely not be updated any longer. Some time ago, Facebook took it upon themselves to convert it to a "business" format, and it's now almost impossible to manage. Visitors can still "like" the page, but cannot "friend" the Girls any longer. I still haven't figured out how to "reply" when someone sends a message. I will leave it up - at least for now - but new content, images, updates and such will be posted to the Twitter page. Again - if anyone is actually visiting this blog, stop by both pages and give us a 'follow.' Thanks!

That's all for today, but I WILL be updating this blog much more frequently going forward. May you have a happy and blessed 2018!



Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Fun Never Stops...

Remember how proud I was a few months ago (when I was in the middle of renovating the basement computer room after the flood in August), of how good I made my little restroom look? I covered up the big hole in the wall left by the previous homeowner, and put up a sheet of half-inch foam insulation to keep out the cold air in the wintertime..

Today it looks like this...

I now know why they left the big opening in the wall.... To keep the water pipes inside from freezing.

sigh.....

I had to open a couple holes, and use a hair dryer to thaw the pipes so the toilet would refill after flushing. And also to prevent the pipes from rupturing, then having to clean up after another flood.

Soooo.....

I'll probably pull out the insulation, sheetrock, then just cover it with a sheet of pegboard, and paint it white. That way the inside air can get to the pipes to keep them from freezing. Perhaps if I put a layer of foam on the concrete wall behind the pipes it will help stop or slow down the cold radiation from the concrete. Plus, the pegboard will give me a place to hang stuff - not that I have that much to hang in there...

That's going to wait until spring, though...

Monday, December 25, 2017

Take a Train Ride!

Not sure how I stumbled onto this, but it's REALLY addicting!

Ride A Train in Norway

Ride through some beautiful Norwegian countryside. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Finally!

Got a call from my buddy Mike in Washington (state) this morning. FedEX came through! They actually delivered on Christmas Eve! It only took 7 emails and 2 phone calls to FedEx to fix someone else's error. I should send them a bill..

Anyway, he got his gift, and that's what's important.

I'll still keep my account at RedBubble, and start adding more items - maybe between that, Adobe Stock, and Shutterstock - and a few other things - I can make a buck or two.

Merry Christmas! (Just in case anyone actually reads this stuff...)

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Stock Images

I've opened up accounts at Adobe Stock and Shutterstock

Hopefully, I can start making a few bucks with some of my photos and artwork. We'll see... Right now, I need to go through my archives and see what might be at least somewhat good for stock. Then, I need to get my butt out there and shoot! I also need to work on getting my FAA Part 107 Certification so I can (legally) sell photos from my drones.

Still no resolution so to speak with the order I placed with Redbubble for Mike's Christmas. They did say a replacement order has been started, but no word on when it will ship. Hopefully, it will get to him before NEXT Christmas. Next time, I'll just have it shipped here, then ship it out myself. I would have had better luck ordering from the Three Stooges.... At least it would have been funny.

Just in case anyone actually reads this, Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good night!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Epilogue....

....To yesterday's post.

Although I was given assurances by "Michelle" at FEDEX that the package would be delivered today, it was not. Typical.

Also got a response from RedBubble....

"It was simply a case of human error.."

No sh#t, Sherlock. I feel sooooo much better, now.

sigh.... Onward and upward.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

How Hard Can It Be??

Seriously.....

Many 'experts' have contended that despite (or possibly because of) all our “smart” technology; computers, smartphones, smart cars, smart microwaves, smart toilets, and smart god-knows-whatever-else, we – the humans that are supposed to benefit from all this smartness – are rapidly becoming less so ourselves. I sometimes have to agree....

If there isn't a button to push, or an icon to click, tap, or rub into one's stomach; a clever little picture that describes in intimate detail the function we want it to perform, we don't have a clue what to do.

OK – perhaps I'm exaggerating a tiny bit, but stay with me for a moment.

A week or so ago, I ordered an item from an on-line company that specializes in products that utilize graphics created by the user who has an account with this company. The company is RedBubble. The item I ordered was to be a gift for a friend who lives in another state. One would expect it would be a simple procedure to order Item-X, send the payment, and instruct the geniuses at RedBubble to send it to your friend's address. Which is what I did.

In the so-called “additional notes” space on the order page, I instructed them to “Please send Item-X to:

Friend's Name
Friend's address
Friend's City
Friend's State and zip-code.

...as it is a gift”

Seems simple enough, right? Wrong.

When I got the confirmation email, it listed the shipping address as

Rod Shelley
My Address
My City
My State and Zip.

I contacted RedBubble after navigating through their 'contact us' page with its 37,566,264 different methods for contact.

I got back an automated reply: “Thank you for your change of address. Your order will be sent to:

Rod Shelley
Friend's Address
Friend's City
Friend's State and Zip”

AUUGGHHH!!

So I sent back the reply: “This is not correct. It should be:

Friend's Name
Friend's Address
Friend's City
Friend's State and Zip”

A day later, I got a reply from an actual human being (I think...)

“Thank you for contacting us! We've changed the shipping address to:

Friend's Name
Friend's Address
Friend's City
Friend's State and Zip

We'll make sure it gets sent to the right place! Thank you for contacting us at RedCompany.”

Great, I thought. It only took giving them my friend's name and address TWICE. A couple days later, I got a confirmation that it was on the way via FedEx.

Then yesterday, I checked the tracking number on FedEx's website. I was greeted with the following:

“DELIVERY EXCEPTION! Wrong address or person has moved.”

WTF??

So, I started digging. On the delivery manifest I saw:

MY NAME
Friend's Address
Friend's City
Friend's State and ZIP

F$%^#$%^^ING IDIOTS!

Which of course means that when the delivery driver tried to deliver it – with MY name on it they were told “There is no one by that name here...”

(To clarify, my friend lives at a community center, not a single-family house, so the staff had no idea who Rod Shelley was or that it was a gift for my friend.)

So, of course, I spent most of this evening calling FedEx, navigating their computerized, voice-prompted, AI phone system for 15 minutes before finally being routed to an actual skin-and-blood human. I explained the situation, and the delivery is scheduled for tomorrow. With the right name. I hope. I also contacted RedBubble – again – to let them know (probably a bit harshly) that they STILL had it wrong.

Seriously.... How freaking difficult can it be to understand: “I am buying this item as a gift for a friend. Please ship it to him at:

Friend's Name
Friend's Address
Friend's City
Friend's State and Zip”

I really don't know how I could possibly make it any more understandable.

With all the technology we have available to make our lives and jobs easier and more efficient (supposedly), we need to realize that after all, WE still need to wake up, take our eyes off that little 3-inch screen for a few moments, and PAY ATTENTION!

Rant overwith.

steps down from soapbox

Monday, December 18, 2017

Is It Just Me.....

Am I just being an overly cranky old Grinch, or does anyone else find this mildly annoying.....

You check your mail, and.... How nice! Someone sent me a Christmas card!

It has a return address in Chicago. Well, I do  know a few folks in Chicago.... You open it up...
Looks lovely so far. But once you get past the pretty front cover......

Oh, look!! It's an ADVERTISEMENT disguised as a Christmas card.... Isn't that clever? And I'm about as likely to get 13K trade-in for my car as I am to win the Powerball. Note the 'fine print' in yellow.

Business owners - If you're going to send a Christmas card to a customer.... Send a CHRISTMAS CARD. You have 51 other weeks each year to inundate us with advertising. Give it a rest.

Get it? Got it? Good.

Merry Christmas! ho, ho, ho! 😆

Monday, December 04, 2017

Sunday Sunset

Sent the Mavic up for a look around Sunday evening around sunset.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The redesigned website is now live!

Spent most of yesterday uploading to the server, than working out all the inevitable little bugs that always creep into things like this...

Rod's Lair

Stop by and have a look around if you get a chance.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Almost Ready......

Well, I've been working on this website update for a couple weeks, now. At this point, I'm just about at this stage:


Except I don't look nearly as good as G4! Anyhooooo.... If everything goes to plan (right..), I'll upload the new site tomorrow, 11-28-17. Wish me luck. These things rarely go without a hitch, or twelve... 😛

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

November 21, 2017

Just a quick update today....

I am in the process of totally re-designing my website - it has looked the same for..... I can't even remember how long it's had the same design!

It will have a fresh, new look, and will be a lot easier to navigate. There will be a lot of stuff that will go away; the "links library" will go away. Most of the links on it are old, and many of the sites linked to no longer exist. The genealogy page will be gone. No one really cares about that but me, and I have it bookmarked. Some other things will be trimmed as well.

There will be changes made to the Art and Photography pages, and of course my Graphic Novel, "The Girls From T.N.A." will remain - although I'll be updating the look of it as well.

One of the other reasons I'm doing such a massive update on the site is I want to put more emphasis on sales of my artwork, photography, and - a little later - other products I'm working on. I've just opened a store on Redbubble, and will be adding a lot of stuff there. I'll also be adding my Cafe Press store, and possibly Etsy as well. So come buy my stuff, and make my day! 😁

In other news....

I've pretty much completed the renovation of my studio / computer room in the basement. Everything is back up and running, although I've had to replace a couple computers in the last few months. More on that later.

For those that don't know, I had a flood in the basement back in August. The evening of August 21 - right after the great eclipse - it rained, and rained, and rained.... Non-stop all afternoon, and night. Tuesday morning I discovered about 2 - 2 1/2 inches of water in the computer room. Although I feel fortunate compared to what the folks in Texas, Florida, and especially Puerto Rico had to deal with, it still caused plenty of damage. Fortunately (and amazingly), none of the computers were damaged, but I ended up having to move 90% of the stuff out of the room, strip the carpet, rip out all the old tile that was under the carpet, put down waterproofing, install new tile, and take care of all the other little details one runs into with a renovation.

Anyway, that's all done (other than the normal little 'tweaks' - this place is a continual WIP), and I'm really happy with the way it looks. I did not put carpet back down, BTW. I have a few things I want to do in the shop, but I've already made some improvements in there, too.

I'll be posting some photos, and probably a video or three...

Well, that's about it for today.... I did say "quick update," didn't I? 😉

Until next time.... Have a good one!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Fresh Start

Just a quick update - in case anyone actually reads any of this...

I have deleted all posts after the one below, and I may delete all of them, and just start fresh. There was far too much negativity; me complaining about my job, frustrations with my website being off line for a while, life's little challenges, and so on. No one wants to read that kind of stuff, so I'm going to stay as positive as possible in the future. And I retired yesterday, so there's no job to complain about anymore! LOL

I'll be back soon with a bit of catching up on what's been going on, and will try to keep things updated on a regular basis!

Rod