Thursday, January 31, 2008

Help Needed

Notice I didn't say Help Wanted.. lol. I NEED help, just can't afford it yet. I've spent the last two days re-implementing our old business contract relationships and establishing us further out there in the ethersphere that is cyberspace.  I even went so far as to post a job on Craigslist this afternoon looking for a person to help out. Do you have any idea how hard it's going to be to get the attention of the right kind of person when there NO one wants a "sales" job and there are SO many of them out there that are pure crap?


Well, if you guys know anyone interested in a position in sales/consulting, tell 'em to look me up. I'm looking for men/women, preferably younger, college age to 40s or so, (I can say that here since you can't enforce EOE on my personal blog. lol) educated, well-spoken, decently dressed, able to actually work without someone looking over their shoulder.  If you want to read the Craigslist ad, it's here:


Ok. I guess it's back to the grind. I've been really really busy but it's all with work crap and I'm so tired at the end of the day the last thing I feel like doing is blogging about it.


Hey, all you on the right, with your pictures over there... you CAN post here ya know? Once in awhile?


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Holy Crap. I made it to the Wall Street Journal?

Lol..the WSJ linked to my Vonage post on their homepage.. lol. Apparently I'm not the only one complaining.


Wall Street Journal Post


eBay sellers plan revolt over new policies, strike 2/18-25

eBay won't allow Digg to link to the seller forum posts, so I'm linking to the CNN article for the press release and will expand in the comments. eBay sellers planning "Strike-Week" for February 18-25th due to increased fees and seller restrictions. If Google would get into the game now, they would wipe eBay off the map.

read more | digg story

Ebay Goes to Hell

Well, tonight was it for me.. a longstanding part of my ecommerce career might have just fallen into jeopardy thanks to eBay's new policies.

As of next month, ebay is jacking their fees to sellers (me) from 5% per transaction to 8.75% per transaction. This means that if I sell on my normal threshold of MAXIMUM 20% markup on an item, my profit just fell through the floor.


I sell widget 1 for 20 dollars and I paid 16.00 for it. (that's on a good day) and the customer pays on a credit card.


My cost: 16.00

Selling Price: $20.00

Gross Profit: $4.00


Insertion Fee = .15 cents

Final Value Fee = 8.75% (20.00 x .0875) $1.75

Paypal Fee = .30 + 4.9%  = $1.28

Total Fees: $3.18

Net Profit: .82 cents.


You see now why some sellers HAVE to screw buyers to make any profit on eBay? It's horrible, but they do it. Now, it's only going to get worse. And to top it all off, eBay has a wonderful new idea titled:

· Buyers will only be able to receive positive Feedback.


I saw this and completely flipped out. You mean the guy who screwed me for 192.00 last month on a sale that I had to pay the fees for can't be reprimanded for ending my auction, wasting my time, AND making me have to eat the fees and Relist the item (paying the fees again). Wow. If sellers screw a buyer, buyers leave negative feedback, which KILLS a seller. If BUYERS screw a seller, "ehh.. that's ok... we need the buyers to make eBay more money."


Thank you so much eBay.. you officially suck!


Want to see what other sellers have to say? It's only been released for a couple of hours and already sellers are screaming their heads off.

I found a link thrown in boards about petitioning Google to open up their own auction site (God I would love that). When the petition was posted (10 minutes ago) there were about 3000 signatures from awhile back. In the 5 minutes it took me to sign it, there were another 2,000. I was petitioner $4627. I wonder how long it will take this to hit national news.. any comments, feedback?



What did eBay have to say for themselves? Well, here is their response to WHY they are doing this. (Official copy located here)


"We believe that we will reduce any imbalance in the Feedback system with these changes. Buyers will be able to more accurately assess sellers and sellers will be protected from buyers who violate our policies without risking a cut in good buyer activity.
We believe that: (WTF is wrong with that statement?)

  1. buyers will be more honest when they leave Feedback since they will not fear retaliatory negative Feedback. (BULL!)
  2. buyers will bid more and higher since their trust in the Feedback system and the sellers will increase. (True.. cause they're screwing sellers)
  3. our best performing sellers will be able to differentiate themselves from all other sellers and increase the amount of business they receive as buyers gravitate towards them.  (Whoo.. I can differentiate myself.. to myself.. cause.. why again?)
  4. sellers will leave Feedback upon payment more often in order to increase their chance of receiving positive Feedback. (we good sellers ALREADY do that you scumbags!)

Is eBay favoring buyers over sellers with this change?
The change in the Feedback system is designed to improve the eBay marketplace which should benefit both buyers and sellers. Improving the Feedback system should increase the number of buyers whose expectations are met. This should result in more buying activity which will benefit sellers." (How long did they have to study that one on the blackboard to make sure it SOUNDED like it made sense?)




Monday, January 28, 2008

Vonage Sucks

Now that I'm on hold with Vonage, for an estimated 25 minutes more, I decided to use that time to share JUST how bad vonage sucks. Late last week a friend of mine (Tim) got me to try Skype Pro, which gives me unlimited outbound calls to the US and Canada for a whopping $36.00 per year.


After trying repeatedly to contact vonage via phone (their actual customer service lines were dead.. how funny is that? I'm trying to cancel my phone service because it sucks and I can't call THEM because it sucks so bad THEIR lines aren't working! Irony?) I tried to reach them via email, only to be told that "we have to speak to the person on the phone to verify they are the account holder before we can discontinue service."


Ok... most of you know I have a large amount of patience, but it does have a finite limit. I googled alternate phone numbers for vonage, and found one, only to find that it too was dead... wow. Having no alternative, I called the Sales line and told the guy on the phone that HE was going to put me through to SOMEONE who could disconnect my service. He hells me" ok..umm.. I guess I can do that..." Damn right bucky, you sure can. Now get your butt outta that chair and go get me a human being RIGHT NOW!

Twenty minutes later, after he has returned to the phone about 15 times to ask me if I want to wait, he STILL can't get me transferred. Now, I appreciate his loyalty, because what he didn't want to do was tell me that "Umm.. sir.. you're right.. our customer service lines are dead" So instead he tells me they are all working with other customers, but you can tell he's lying because the poor dude was just about in tears trying to get me off the phone.. to ANYONE besides him who could just cancel my account. Well, guess what happened.. their phone system dropped my call... WONDERFUL SERVICE you turd buckets!


Now, it's three days later, Monday.. and I've been on hold for about 20 minutes already just to cancel my account. I've actually been subjected to 30 second intervals from their sales promos telling me how wonderful they are.. it's getting aggravating. I've paid 24.95 for 12 months, and 9.95 for the last three months and used the phone exactly zero times... now I can't even get rid of it!

Think I'm alone in this? I decided to google the words "Vonage Sucks" just to see what I get. lol.


Vonage Sucks Links:

  1. Vonage Sucks
  2. Vonage Sucks
  3. Vonage Sucks
  4. Vonage Sucks
  5. Vonage Sucks
  6. Vonage Sucks
  7. Vonage Sucks
  8. Vonage Sucks
  9. Vonage Sucks
  10. Vonage Sucks
  11. Vonage Sucks
  12. Vonage Sucks
  13. Vonage Sucks
  14. Vonage Sucks
  15. Still on hold.. 15 more minutes now.
  16. Vonage Sucks
  17. Vonage Sucks

Vonage is Horrible Links

  1. Vonage is Horrible
  2. Vonage is Horrible
  3. Vonage is Horrible
  4. Vonage is Horrible
  5. Vonage is Horrible
  6. Vonage is Horrible
  7. Vonage is Horrible
  8. Vonage is Horrible
  9. Still hold.. good God, this sucks.
  10. Vonage is Horrible
  11. Vonage is Horrible

HA.. I got bored and tried to do something but this guy beat me to it:

I'm really getting irate now. I seriously wonder if I'm going to have to deal with this guy who says "Well, let's see how we can help you out. Maybe we can convince you not to cancel." It's a good thing I can't reach through this phone and choke someone to death.


Wow.. I'm now at 35:34 minutes on hold and counting... it's 8:21 now.. been on hold this LAST time since 7:45, plus the two calls previous tonight when I just gave up..

HOLY CRAP! I screen captured when they actually answered!


See that? 40 minutes to get someone.. and then YES, she's still trying to offer me free months and actually trying to get me to REFER people to them! LMAO! Get a life people! You SUCK! No one wants you! Vonage is like that fat pimpled girl in high-school with poor hygiene and no teeth.. c'mon!


46 minutes and 11 seconds and I'm finally free of Vonage! Yeah!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Check out the new computer specials

These things have been selling pretty well! I've been really appreciative of the response I've had from new customers interested in our RTS systems. I thought I'd share 'em on here if you know anyone interested.

And I can do online credit cards now.. yeah! Next step: in house financing.

Ebay Sales: Got New Stuff

I put some new stuff on eBay today. I'm just trying to get some extra traffic, by posting it on here. If you know anyone interested, let me know:

  • ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 8500 DV AGP4X

    Item Information

    This video card was pulled from a customer's computer who decided to upgrade to a new PC. It works fine and was working fine for the customer. It's not a high-end gaming card if that's what you're looking for. It does have digital output and coax-TV input, so it's perfect for someone who wants a decent strong video card and wants to watch Television on the computer. Manufacturer Information is below.

    Manufacturer Information

    With 64MB of DDR memory, unbelievable graphics, TV and video capture & editing features, the All-in-Wonder® Radeon™ 8500DV is the revolutionary all-in-one 3D graphics and multimedia experience.

  • Kingston PC 133 256MB SDRAM Memory Module

    Item Information

    This is a perfect memory upgrade module for an older PC in need of a little boost. This was pulled from a customer's computer who made a trade-in and couldn't use it in their new computer. Memory works fine.

    That's it for me.. no more work for today!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Stocks Plummet 400 Points (Dow Jones Drops Like a Hot Rock)

This morning, the central bank cut their federal funds rate by .75%, the largest drop since the recession in 1991, as a stop gap measure to attempt to halt the plummeting Dow Jones, which dropped 400 points in the opening minutes of trading this morning. Today, in addition to his 145 Billion dollar tax cut, Bush is calling congress together to seek other ways to increase consumer spending; providing additional tax cuts for small businesses in 2008, increasing deductible allocations for consumers, and other means of saving the economy from going into a recession. They're even considering giving individual tax payers $800.00 and married couples up to $1,600.00 Here's an idea, just from my stick-in-the-mud side of the tracks:
Let me see how this would affect me personally, someone pretty much in the middle-american demographic. I have two jeeps in my family, both with 20 gallon tanks. At the current rate of $3.09 per gallon, that's about $60.00 per week per vehicle, so about $120.00 per week. Divided by the average number of weeks per month/per year (4.33) means I aproximately $519.60 per month for fuel just to get April and I to work.
Wow, what if the shithead pricks in congress decided to screw the oil companies for a change instead of me, the consumer, and forced prices back to where they were a few years ago. Let's just go back to when it was $1.87 per gallon. I liked those days... at this point $1.87/gallon sounds like heaven.
Well, now I'm paying:
20 gallons x 2 cars/week = 40 gallons(+/-) at a rate of 1.87/gallon = 74.80 per week = 323.88 per month = $3,886.56 per year in fuel costs.
Currently I'm paying approximately $6235.20 per year.
(remember, these are pure work related expenses, not counting fuel consumed driving to go on vacation, see family, visit a relative, go to a concert, etc.)
So, you can send ALL of congress the hell home. Every american with an ounce of sense has already fixed your problem. You're just too hard-headed to listen!
Dont cut ANY taxes. Keep your damned money right where it is. Instead screw someone ELSE for a change instead of the american tax payer and you save americans at LEAST $1,174.32 per car annually for those of us who burn one tank of gas per week.
PS: If they don't drive, don't work, don't pay taxes, and are here without a visa: SCREW EM. I bet oil companies would hire 'em after a few months of this kind of legislation...

I need feedback from you viewers

Sorry I've not been blogging more lately, but getting the business upgraded and off the ground has been taking most all the available time I have lately. I've been beating the streets, knocking doors to meet new customers, working on the PR web site, trying to re-code from scratch the e-commerce web site with the new product materials, create flyers and brochures to give out to potential customers, and still trying to actually get the work done that's coming in, slow as that is this time of year. All that has left little time for much else.


I'm looking for some help from a few of you to help me "feel out' the new web site. I've got it up and running, and it's about 30% complete at this point. If you would be so kind as to take a few minutes to give me your HONEST opinions on the content (I'm not worried about the "design" yet) I would really appreciate it. I'm sure some of you know, trying to market a plethora of services through one portal can be tough. I've got a lot of "sorting" to do with the structure, but I'll get there.


The site is It's pretty basic, but most of the content is there by now. We're still working on adding products, services, and some bells and whistles. I'd REALLY APPRECIATE anyone who can take the time to proof-read it, review it, give your opinion, suggest new ideas etc.


Also I'm starting a new IT blog, one I'm eventually going to integrate into the business web site. Meanwhile, I'm open to all challengers for helping me out on this. Check out the tech-blog at and see what we've got going on. Since I only have ONE post on there at the moment, I'm offering you all a chance for free tech support! Put your computer question(s) in the comments section of this blog (here on scooby central) and I'll post your question and the answer to it on the tech blog. If I can figure it out and you want me to, I'll post a picture of you there so we can use you for a testimonial! If I can't figure it out, well, then I guess I'm offering free telephone troubleshooting while I DO figure it out!


Write back, comment, visit the other sites, tell your friends, whatever! I'm trying to run a business so I'll be happy to help any new customers I can! You know our rates are great and our service is undisputed! Help me out by publicizing us as much as you can around your town!





Thursday, January 17, 2008

Backseat Romeo: Chefs 505 - January 17th, 2008 10 PM Until

In case you don't know, Backseat Romeo is playing tonight at Chef's 505 in Greenville. They go on at 10 and play until... Don't miss the best musicians eastern north carolina has ever see! Love to catch ya there!

I needed to laugh this morning...

I needed a laugh, thought I'd share:


Shrinking Self Esteem


This one was cute too.

Data Recovery Software Needed

TimeWarner = Comcast Battle, Round 2

It seems another provider is joining the hunt for a way to throttle Internet traffic. Most of you who read my blog aren't very "literate" in the bittorrent world, but basically you can just consider it an easy way to download TONS of information from the Internet; movies, games, tv shows, pictures, programs, etc. (Some are legit, some not so)

If you were watching back in November, you might remember the lawsuit brought against Comcast by Jon Hart, a California resident who had his Internet service shut off for violating the "unlimited Internet" policy of his provider.

Today, in an attempt to use another method to slow down bittorrent users, TimeWarner released that they are performing a market test in Texas to see if applying overage charges to high-bandwidth users will result in better control of their Internet pipeline.

I'm not sure I agree with the philosophy, but I do respect the networks right to protect their flow of information.

It's coming down to the fact that almost 80% of our media interaction is performed over the Internet. (that percentage is my personal guess, not a fact). Internet innovation in recent years has brought us new creations such as, google mail (allowing 6 gb of mail storage per user for free), myspace videos, SkyDrive, online television shows, and a myriad of other high-usage inventions we routinely take for granted.

While there is no finite amount of "pipe" available to us, there is a certain amount of limiting based on what our carriers can afford to provide. Laying fiber, buying satellites, leasing line from major telcos, and other fees make being an ISP a venture that runs in the millions of dollars per month to operate.

Rather than face the HUGE amount of Internet flashback that Comcast experienced, Time Warner is going to try throttling the Internet usage of their customers by charging an "overage fee" for customers who use up the most traffic, based on some mathematical formula for determining what amount is considered fair use. This correlates to the ISP saying "Dude, you're using WAY too much of our bandwidth. Stop it or we're going to charge you more."

The ramifications of this can be seen two ways in my opinion. If what Time Warner claims is true, then 5% of their users are using up more than 50% of their available network. To put that in Greenville, NC perspective would mean that of the estimated 60 thousand Internet users here, 3,000 of them are using up HALF our available Internet speed, causing the rest of us to lag and experience service problems. Illuminated in that way, I too would agree that the "super" users should be charged a higher rate. (The effort is NOT go garnish more money from consumers, but instead to offer an incentive to slow down to what the provider considers "normal use" thresholds.) The desired effect is that the super-users will quit using this ISP and go rape someone else's connection instead. ( I just though of something: Does this mean I'll have to worry about bandwidth pirates constantly attacking other wi-fi networks to gain access to other people's accounts? Would they be iPirates? or maybe PipePirates?)

On the other hand, Jon Hard had it right in my opinion when he sued for being shut off for exceeding his "unlimited Internet" access. If you want to advertise UNLIMITED then you can't LIMIT it.  This is the other camp in the debate roiling in the user community.

Of course there are also the extreme wilders out there screaming that The Man is just trying to squeeze more out of the average user in a communist based attack that impinges purely on their ability to download illegal content.

How do you feel about being charged for Internet usage depending on the amount you use? I'm curious to know. Personally, I'm against the idea. Of all the people I know in my social groups, I probably consume the most bandwidth. However, if you consider applications like Microsoft Groove, then those applications should be fair use and should not be governed under rules like this, though it certainly will if it becomes policy. (Groove is a program I use to keep all my work files synced between all my personal computers and my staff as well, sometimes transferring 4 to 6 gb of data in only a few days.)

Take some time to keep on top of the information. Small things like this could truly affect users like us in the semi-near future. Throttling the Internet, in my opinion, would be the single largest murder weapon to new innovation I could think of.

If you'd like to read the official stories, you can do so here:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

This is getting to be work!

This is getting to be time consuming! Social networks are a pain! lol.

  1. Take Photos
  2. Download photos to computer
  3. Tag photos in vista
  4. Clean photos in picasa
  5. Export selected photos in smaller-scale (for non-high speed friends)
  6. Login to google
  7. Upload photos to google and make new album.
  8. Write blog post for Scooby Central.
  9. Upload Blog Post
  10. Upload OTHER blog post.
  11. Login to facebook.
  12. Upload photos to facebook and make a new album.
  13. Tag facebook friends.
  14. Login to MySpace
  15. Upload photos to myspace and make a new album.
  16. Tag myspace friends.
  17. Smoke a cigarette and wonder when this got to be such a pain.

The weekend at Sentinel in Rodanthe

Let me begin by saying "Thank you so very much" to Mr. Roger Meekins, who gave us the house to use for the week. Secondly, thanks again to my mother for sharing her gift with the gang!  The people, the house, and the memories were awesome. Oh yeah, while I'm at it, thanks to Ray and Kevin for bringing the power-kites down to the beach; that was a load of fun. Lastly, thanks to ALL my friends who could make it down to share the week and weekend with us. I had an amazing time!

You all know I'm a shutterfly, so of course it's time for the random photo posts that inevitable accompany a trip to anywhere I go. I had some doozeys this week to pick from. I'm not going to share them all on here, but I'll put up a few of them for you to take a look at. You can see the entire photo collection on my Google photos account. (Click Here To View). I'll have the videos on YouTube when I get the chance later in the week, but I only have so much time before work today. You've already seen most of the house pictures on the previous post, so I'll skip those. Quite honestly the house was so big, I couldn't get any of the whole rooms in one photo anyway... this place was HUGE!


The first night: (relaxing and getting to know the place)


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Shane and Tracy start the night off relaxing in front of the plasma screen in the game room.


Meanwhile, Clair got time in major trouble playing spades. lol.


Outside for some fun:


See, when I said Power-Kite, you probably thought: " What fun is flying a freakin' kite for a bunch of grown adults?" Well, you'd have to have your own butt strapped in to one of these bad boys to be able to truly understand the feeling of battling this thing in 30 mile per hour winds!

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Kevin preps the kite for launch! That's right... it's a 12 foot wide kite!

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Oh yeah, that's not so hard... hmm.. I can do this... What's the big deal?

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See how the kite string is laid out sideways, rather than straight up like in the previous photo? That's because it's collecting power in a dive.. see the nylon tow rope tied to my brother? That's to keep his butt in this town, and not somewhere over Nags Head! You can see where the wind jerked him off his feet and ripped him across the ground. Shane is behind him holding him down and Tim is behind HIM holding too! It takes three grown men to keep this thing on the ground!

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Tim is laughing... lol. I am too. Kite ripped all three of them across the ground, and locked ray up around a pole. I still remember him yelling " ugh.. someone hold the kite down!" (At which point Clair promptly sits on it.... (shown upper right))

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This was my favorite shot of Ray. He was getting the kite up when we first started out. I saw him start to get yanked away and I hadn't told anyone yet to hold on to the rope... it wasnt even securely tied around him yet! Anyway, a breeze hit pretty hard and the kite went up fast. I yelled "Ellis! Grab the rope" at which point Ellis yanked ray on his rear like a rodeo cowboy wrangling a steer! I ran across the yard and jumped between his legs to help him plant his feet and try to get the kite back down! I'm tellin ya, this thing is a workout!

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I've got the kite in a hard dive, off to the right. Shane and Tim are holding me to the ground while I battle this thing. It was intensely fun!

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Hannah gets in on the fun later in the week, on a much smaller kite though. This one's only 6 feet across.


I'd say she enjoyed it though. She wore me out for about an hour and then wore Kevin out after I was already pooped out.



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Shane pauses a moment to reflect on the heavens.....  He's actually watching the kite, but it looks like he's posing for a strong man competition!

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If I didn't post this one, I'd hear about it later, so here it is. lol. Two seconds before this was taken, the rope was latched around me in front of me, wrapped in my arms so I could hold Ray down. When the wind caught it, it ripped my grip apart and pretty much left me dangling, arms spread, trying to stop the rope from running through my hands.



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The house, taken from the sound front.

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In conclusion:


Well, there ya have it. It was am amazing week. I'd love to hear back from those of you who were there. Post your thoughts, comments, etc. I hope maybe we can do it again next year!


Sunday, January 06, 2008

When is copyright just plain stupid? Have we gone too far?

It appears the music and movie industries have inspired the rest of the world to jump on the copyright and DRM train. Here is just some of the absolutely ludicrous news I read today. I haven't even gotten to the mainstream news agencies before I got completely fed up and had to post this. Seriously, read this.. this is what's going on in the USA just in the last 24 hours.

1) Egypt is now trying to copyright the pyramids..... *I have a glassy eyed stare now*... Yes, you heard me right. They want to copyright the pyramids as "property of the Egyptian government" so they can charge companies who make likenesses of it...


  1. Egypt doesn't "own" the copyright to the pyramids.. technically, that would be the pharaoh who had it commissioned, who is now long dead, as are his descendants. So... the copyright would have expired about one thousand years ago or more...
  2. Since all pharaohs were actually Greek, doesn't this mean that Greece should be able to tax Egypt for their use?
  3. The purpose of copyright law is to promote competition in a market.... are they planning on opening up a new pyramid for rental anytime soon? If not, I think they can freaking relax!

It gets better:

The NCAA is setting up rules to try to copyright the broadcasts from their games due to live-blogger's. Guess what dummy? You don't get to copyright what ANOTHER person says about a game! They actually have new rules in place to cover correspondents who arrive at games, stating how many times they are allowed to blog per inning or per game... holy crap how stupid can they be?


Wanna hear a funny one? Microsoft wants to sue Apple... hold on... hold it.. hold it.. hold it.... they want to sue Apple for being a Monopoly!!!!!!

OHMYGOD can anyone possible believe the absurdity of that one? Microsoft says that iPods make up a majority of the market (which is true) but that iPods can't play WMA encoded songs (which is also true). They can't play them because the format SUCKS and no other company wants to use it. Even Microsoft themselves broke their own digital rights management rules when they released the Zune... now they're mad because the Zune doesn't have the market share that iPod has, so they figure they'll sue for market share potential... WOW!


PS:  Microsoft just filed a patent application for making a Santa Wish List..... think I'm kidding? I'm not! I swear to God, Microsoft wants to OWN the right to make an online list of your Christmas gift ideas. They actually believe they thought of it first!


On a tangent topic, yet still within the realm of ludicrous, here's another one. The SECOND person this week tried to sue a GPS company because their GPS told them to turn right.... on to a train track... AND THEY DID!

They actually got their car stuck on a train track and tried to SUE the GPS company for bad directions. I mean c'mon. What's your first idea that this might NOT be a road?
A: The bumpy feeling under your ass.... that's a little too regular for potholes.
B: the screeching rails that are tearing up the bottom of your car.
C: The lack of a road sign?

God we live in a country that has gone absolutely MAD with stupidity in recent years.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Important news for those of you running Microsoft Office 20003

This is something important I thought I'd share for those of you running Microsoft Office 2003, which is by far now still the most common version, since most of the world hasn't caught up to Office 2007 yet. If you downloaded the Service Pack 3 patch, released in September last year (2007), and you work in an office which has to occasionally access old files, then you need to be aware of this.


Part of the SP3 patch for office blocked your ability to access any files created in Microsoft Office 1997 or earlier. Basically, this only affects users/companies who have archives of old customer records or very old documents still stored on your server(s). If you do need to access these files, there are two things you should do:

  1. Open all your old archives once and re-save them in the 2003 format.
  2. Get the "hack" that allows your copy of office to open the older file formats.

It's not a concern for most of you, but companies like banks and real-estate agencies who keep historically significant documents for archive purposes might be affected. If you've got any questions or need to know how to get around this, just drop me a line and I'll walk you through it. There is a work-around for this issue.


Ok.. back to your lives!


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Scoobies go to Pamlico!


Thanks to the coolest connections (ie: my Mom) the Scoobs have been invited to a once-in-a-lifetime chance to spend an off-season week on the beach. I would usually have put WAY more time into planning this, but the opportunity fell in our lap with little notice and there's NO way I'm turning it down!

Mr. Roger Meekins has been kind enough to offer us the "Sentinel on Pamlico" for a week's stay. We can check in on Wednesday, January 9th, and check out on Sunday January 13th. There will be NO more awesome way to start out 2008 than down here on the beach! I've called some of you who I think might can make time to come down.  I know others of you are working, but if any of you can make it down for even the weekend portion, we would LOVE to have you! I grew up on the beach working on houses like this and in 30 years I've never been offered the chance to have a million dollar home to myself for the week!

How it all happened:

Mom has known Mr. Meekins for years and when he built the house, he had shown it to Mom and my brother one day when they were down there. Mom told him that she would love one day to be able to stay in a house like this for a weekend or so... well, yesterday he called and said "You got a calendar in front of you?" Mom said "yeah, sure. Whacha need?" Boom... we got a house.

Thanks to the fact that I have amazingly cool friends, my Mom has always had a good time when they were around and always thought a lot of all of you guys, so it's really her, not me, who's offering us the house. She's asked me to invite all that I can and told me that she hopes you all show up. (And no, my Mom's going to be there crashing the party or anything... you can act up as you will... within reason of course).


The Sentinel has 8 bedrooms and 8 full baths,  plus 3 half-baths. It's situated on the Soundfront, but due to its location on Rodanthe, is also pretty much oceanfront as well. We have plenty of rooms, decks, lounges, and each bedroom has a full private bath, so no sharing of the showers!

To read the details on the house, you can go here:



This is an awesome chance for us to have some fun, but we have to take care of Mr. Meekins' house. You can't smoke inside, so go outside for that. Otherwise, it's just freakin' awesome. It's ok if it's too cold to go outside to smoke... the fireplace is accessible from outside too! How cool is that? This place rents for 3000.00 per week in January and 8,000.00 in July, so we have to treat it with the utmost respect. Otherwise, we're free to have a good time and do whatever! The only thing we have to do is to clean up behind ourselves and leave the house in good shape when we leave.

Bring your laptops or what have you because the place has wireless internet access included.


Floor Plan:

For those who want to see the floorplan, it's listed here below:




Knew I was getting to that didn't ya? The cost for the house and staying as long as you want.... is free. The only thing you have to do is help pay for your own food and drinks. Some people might bring drinks down for the gang. Be kind and chip in!

My mom has gotten us this house for the week for free, so the only thing I ask of all of us who go is that we pay for her food. I don't think Mom should have to pay anything, considering she got us the place for nothing.


More Info On The House:

Here are a few more pics of the house, so you can get a little preview of what's to come:

The Swan Club Pub (4th Floor of the lighthouse area)


The other side of the pub room:


One of the lounges:


Sunset on the West Deck:


The House From The Air:


Another of the Lounges:


The main dining room (and you can't tell me this isn't cool!)



Final Note:

Anyone else that wants to come, simply email me and let me know so I can make sure we have room. You can stay any time frame from Wednesday until Sunday, but you have to help clean up whatever day you leave... that's the only rule. I'm not cleaning a 20,000 sq. ft house by myself! lol.