Exciting & Scary
Posted on July 3rd, 2013
Something exciting and scary is starting for me. Not much I can talk about right now, but I’m more revved up today than I have been in a very long time. Hoping to reveal more soon!
Posted on November 4th, 2011
Testing a photo fix…
Posted on November 4th, 2011
Posted on December 15th, 2010
It appears that all is correct with the provider move. I’ll test for a few more days and then shut off the other system.
Posted on December 15th, 2010
I’m doing some consolidating and moving my site to a new provider. I’m hoping this works…
Best Gift of Christmas 2009
Posted on January 2nd, 2010
Although this could easily turn into another screed about the commercialization of Christmas, I’m restraining myself. Instead, I want to share with you the best gift I got for Christmas this past year.
It doesn’t look like much. An old Christmas card cut up and folded into a crude box. Ragged at the edges where young hands weren’t able to quite make the corners work. Just like hundreds of other small handmade items from my kids over the years.
But this one came at a time when I needed it most. At the end of a particularly long week of working 18-hour days. On an evening when I was having a lot of self-doubt about my abilities and the meaning of my work. When I was ready to throw my laptop across the room in fury at myself, my company, and the world in general.
“Daddy…” came the quiet voice, usually loud and raucous, hopped up on sugar or television or some other external stimulant. The voice that usually was whining about one thing or another or crying because of some perceived hurt or ill. The voice that often brought woe or worry or other tidings of less than great joy.
“Daddy…” she said. “I made this for you.”
I took the box and gave it a shake, expecting to hear the sound of some pennies or rocks or other customary offerings. My heart began to break as I realized how I had denied my child her deepest desire, time with her Daddy, over the last few weeks. The box suddenly looked like something out of the fanciest catalog, the most lavish of stores, the best that money could buy.
“What’s inside?” I asked, wondering what it could be that didn’t make any noise but could be worth the obvious effort she had put into the box.
“I blew a kiss inside of it, just for you” she said.
And I wept. Tears of joy for the heart that beat inside my daughter’s chest. Tears of shame for the way I had behaved as a father over the last few nights. Tears of gratitude for the real gift God had given me in the form of this child.
Thank you, my darling, for the best gift I could have received from anyone this year…
Strangely Motivated Today
Posted on April 23rd, 2009
I woke up very motivated for the first time in many weeks. Without going into a lot of detail, I’ll just say that the last few weeks for me have not been my best. But today… today looks pretty good.
Is this bad…?
Posted on February 11th, 2009
I just noticed this a few minutes ago:
Surely this is bad, right….?
Change Is Good
Posted on January 30th, 2009
I like change. I’ve spent almost my entire career as an (admittedly self-styled) agent of change. I still move the furniture around in my house when I get bored.
So, I’m moving some furniture around here. I’ve been playing around with WordPress themes for quite a while, mostly just to understand how the developers put together the various bits of code. I love the elegance of the design and have, in fact, appropriated many of their ideas for my own projects.
One of my favorite sources of inspiration is Smashing Magazine, a fantastic online magazine focused on design and web development. Periodically, they post WordPress themes that range from the interesting to the odd, from the bizarre to the beautiful. And when they published this theme, entitled “Notepad Chaos”, I grabbed it immediately.
I’d love to be able to design stuff like this, and perhaps someday I’ll get there. I keep slugging away at my drawing skills, my painting skills, my Illustrator/Photoshop and Flash skills. Slow progress but progress nonetheless.
For now, having my blog rendered in this theme makes me happy. I’ll spend a bit of time making a few minor changes and adding some links that don’t currently exist.
But for now, change is good.
An Open Letter to FatCow.com
Posted on January 28th, 2009
I switched to your hosting service from 1and1.com last January. Continued problems with service interruptions, poor support, and pricing caused me to look for another place to put my various domains. I found your ad in the back of a magazine, visited your site, and was quite impressed by what I saw. I spoke to sales person on the phone and felt assured that FatCow.com was being run by people who a) knew what they were doing and b) cared about their customers. But today I feel betrayed, and I have made the decision to move from your service to BlueHost.
And the simple reason is that your customer interaction is quite awful.
On the morning of January 27th, I noticed that I was no longer receiving email at my primary account (an address based on this domain). I contacted your technical support staff, and a trouble ticket was opened. When I checked later that afternoon, I noticed that no one had bothered to update the ticket. Yet I was still not receiving my email. I contacted support again via chat and was told that someone was looking into it.
I checked late in the evening and found the ticket still had not been updated. I noted that my web site was still working, but no email was coming. I updated the ticket myself with this information in an attempt to be helpful and contacted technical support via chat once again. And once again I was told that the problem was being looked at and was told…
Our records show that there is open ticket regarding your issue. One of our specialists is working on the issue. I have updated the information in the ticket and given higher priority to resolve your issue at the earliest. One of our specialists will resolve your issue and send you the resolution in the Support Console
I went to bed, still confident that FatCow technical support would resolve the issue.
This morning? No email. No update on the trouble ticket. I contacted chat again. I was told it would take another 24-48 hours to resolve the problem. And that’s when I realized that, for all your talk and all your promises, you are still just like every other hosting company out there. Better than some, worse than some, but really no different. I told the chat person that I would be switching my main domain to BlueHost in order to get email, and they were very polite and sent me a pre-programmed response from their console…
I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. One of our specialists will contact you as soon as possible.
…which we both know now is a lie. No one has contacted me directly. There was an update to the trouble ticket to say that you had noticed that the domain had been updated. And it had been — because I switched it to BlueHost. And here’s the interesting point…
It took me less time and less aggravation to switch to a new provider and start receiving email than it did for you to fix my problem.
For lack of communication, you ruined the trust bond that I had with FatCow.com and have now caused me to no longer consider FatCow.com an option for anyone who asks about hosting. I never write these sorts of open letters to anyone because I always assume a resolution can be found to any problem. But apparently my $88/year plus other fees per month for additional services isn’t that important.
Luckily there are many other hosting services out there who are happy to have me as a customer. Will BlueHost ever let me down? Undoubtedly. Will they treat me as you have? I don’t know. But if they do, the next open letter I write will be to BlueHost, comparing them to you.
I remember seeing the following quote during my early training as a sales rep with IBM:
The Bible tells us that Samson slew a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. Shamefully, ten times that many customers are slewn every day by the same instrument.
I try to find the bright side of every situation. For me, it’s that my new provider is giving me unlimited storage and transfer bandwidth in my plan for not much more than I was paying you. For you, perhaps it’s the warning bell this letter sounds, that treating your customers poorly in these trying economic times has very real consequences.
Thanks for the service from January to December of 2008. I wish you the best. But I can’t recommend you any longer. To anyone. And that’s sad.