ANNOUNCING—–

26 02 2008

www.leelanauwhippersnapper.com

It’s time for a complete change now folks.  UPDATE YOUR BOOKMARKS to point to the web address above.  THIS BLOG WILL NO LONGER EXIST in 30 days, it has all been moved to the above address and THAT is where it will be updated.

Major improvements, enhancements, and other things can be found at http://www.leelanauwhippersnapper.com including an explanation of why that name was chosen.  Go check it out.

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Changes Ahead

26 02 2008

Well, it’s been an interesting week. Pretty busy this weekend at work, people have spring fever so they are coming out to shop which is fine by me. I need it to be busy or I get board.

There are going to be some changes ahead for this blog. I am likely going to be moving it from a hosted service over to my own domain/web service if I can get the site to do what I want it to do. I have had a hosting account with godaddy.com for a number of years now and have never really developed any sort of web site. Turns out that WordPress (the host of this blog) has a standalone application similar to this platform that I can host on my own web site. I’m going to test it out and see if I can migrate everything over there. If I can, it will allow me a LOT more flexibility in so far as design, features, and fun things that I can make the site do. We’ll see what happens, if I do move, I will try to keep it seamless.

As I’ve been writing this I’ve been playing with the new web site and it looks like there will be a switch over very shortly.  I’ll put a referring link up here once that happens.  I’ve got to make sure it’s going to be something I want to spend the money on.  Stay tuned!





New Toys

20 02 2008

Well I finally made it.  A month now where the money will just keep flowing.  This is the only time of year when I get three big bangs all within 3 months.  Tax returns, Profit Sharing Bonus at work, and Management Bonus at work.  The first wave this year went to pay off my folks for being ever so generous in helping me keep my head above water this fall and winter.  I seem to have this problem of every time it rains it pours.  It spent a LOT of time pouring this winter.  Today it was profit sharing time at work.  I can’t elaborate much but employees of my company get a certain percentage of their gross earnings back each year as a bonus IF the store you work at is profitable.  We were so I got my bonus.  By the time you get to be a manager this bonus can add up to several thousand dollars.  I got Three.

The first grand went to uncle sam.  It seems that you can’t avoid the luxury tax on this type of bonus.  The second thousand has been set aside and earmarked specifically for credit card debt and car related expenses.  The third thousand is MINE.   I didn’t get to spend any money this year on myself or Jirar at Christmas because money was so tight.  Everything I had went to gifts for other people.  No biggie, that happens a lot.  I buy for everyone else before I buy for myself.  This is my turn.

Today I purchased a new camera that I have been looking at now for a few months.  I take a LOT of pictures and after Jirar dropped our Sony Cybershot into Crystal River last summer, its never worked the same so this is the replacement.  It’s a huge step up as far as features and quality and it will NOT be going canoing with us this summer!  We’ll save the Sony for that.  There is a story to this but it’s likely only interesting to me but I’ll post it anyhow.

Like I said, I’ve been looking at this camera now for a few months.  I’ve researched it on-line, I’ve gone to Best Buy and played with it, I’ve asked other photographers I know what they think of it.  Everything I read and everyone I talk with has said this is a great camera.  So today after work, I went to Best Buy to purchase it.  Now, if I were not so damm impatient, I could have purchased this camera on-line and had it shipped to me for less money than what I paid today but I’m impatient.  I went into Best Buy and waited for a sales person to help me.  I waited, and waited, and waited, and…

Clearly Best Buy was not interested in my business.  Multiple employees passed me, not a single one of them asked if I needed help, not one of them appeared to be doing much at all.  Since I’m a sales manager by trade, I never miss an opportunity to test our competition.  My actions were obvious, I made eye contact, gestures etc that would have suggested to any attentive sales person that I was at the very least in need of some help.  I tend to make people work for my business.  I don’t think it’s rude and in fact the residual payoff for YOU the sales person is quite great if you give me the time of day.  Too bad Best Buy, you didn’t and YOU lost a sale today.

I strolled out of the store, got in my car and left.  I headed over to Ritz Photo in the mall.  I had done my research you see and Ritz was the same price as Best Buy.  I didn’t go there initially BECAUSE I HATE THE MALL.  I’ll be going to Ritz now for my photography needs.  I was greeted, asked how I was doing, what I was looking for, etc. etc.  Because I already knew what I wanted the guys there didn’t have to work very hard at all.  They knew I had done my homework and they were eager to help.  I purchased the camera, a new memory card, and a new set of rechargeable batteries and a carrying case.  I also purchased something that I don’t normally purchase.  I got a SERVICE AGREEMENT (EKKKKKSSSSSSS!!!!!!).

I am usually very hesitant to purchase service agreements or extended warranties.  In fact, nearly everything I read about these for digital cameras said DON’T buy them, you won’t use it.  This one is a little different though and it takes into consideration how I use the camera.   This agreement actually covers normal wear and tear from NORMAL AND ABNORMAL USE including UNINTENTIONAL abuse, shock, or trauma!  That means that if I am hiking pyramid point this summer and drop the camera down the 500′ vertical cliff and it comes apart in the sand, I will get a new camera.  I purchased a 2 year plan because in 2 years, I intend to go back to Ritz and purchase a D-SLR camera as I increase my knowledge and skill level as a photographer.  The next step in equipment is the big leagues.  This camera will teach me how to use the manual settings and it will prepare me for the challenges (and big pay-offs) of the professional level D-SLR cameras that I will eventually purchase.  See what I mean about residual pay off?  The sales person at Ritz has a customer who will come back because he took a minute to give a shit about making a sale.

Anyhow, this was a LONG post to not really say much.  Here is a photo take with the new camera and slightly edited in Photoshop.  The detail and closeness of this picture was not possible with my other camera.  There will be plenty more to come and there will be more posted at www.leelanauphotography.com as well.  This is Pooh.





Required Viewing

18 02 2008

So you all know that I have just a wee bit of libertarian blood in me.  I mostly believe that the government has it’s place but it’s not in my house.  I don’t like government intrusion into my life and I don’t like random people having information about me, my life, my family, my health, etc. etc.  Seems the ACLU agrees.  The ACLU is a strange bunch.  The left loves them for their positions on free speech.  The right loves them for their positions on the second amendment.  Both sides go back and forth hating them and loving them.  They are sort of like the supreme court.  The only time you can stand them is when they make a decision you agree with.  They are a creative bunch and they know how to make a point.  Check out THIS web site, those of you with dial up will need to just sit there and let it load.  It’s worth the wait.  It will open in a new window.





Misplaced Responsibility

17 02 2008

I’ve been laughing VERY hard at some of the exchanges on the Not Always Right – Funny and Stupid Customer Quotes web pages over the last couple days.  It’s a good release for me because I get to see that I’m not the only one who has to deal with dip shits, liars, cheats, fools, and idiots on a daily basis.  I’ve posted one below that I think is particularly relevant and also quite reflective of our lazy entitlement society.  The idea behind price matching is to promote same store sales and guest service.  Margins in retail are not significantly different between competitors so if we need to price match, we don’t loose any more than they would gain by doing so.  What is funny however is that customers somehow think that WE must prove the other store is lower in price.  I can’t tell you how many people do not understand that just because you say it’s cheaper at some other store does not mean that it is.  YOU need to prove it!  If you can prove it, hey, I’ll take care of you.  If you can’t, fuck you, drive back across town and buy it from them.  Don’t get all up in my face because you are too lazy to carry through on your end of the deal.  Here’s an exchange from this web site.  You retail bitches should visit this site.  Some of them will make you cry laughing.

Retail | Vancouver Island, Canada
Customer: “Do you guys do price matching?”

Me: “Yes we do.”

Customer: “Ok, well Wal-Mart has this vacuum on sale for $27.99 and you have it on for $34.99. Will you match that?”

Me: “Yes, that’s no problem. I just need to see a copy of the Wal-Mart flyer with that vacuum.”

Customer: “You don’t have the flyer?”

Me: “…No. We don’t carry Wal-Mart’s flyer.”

Customer: “You want me to drive all the way home to get Wal-Mart’s flyer and come all the way back here? Are you sure you don’t have it here?”

Me: “No, we don’t have Wal-Mart’s flyer.”

Customer: (angrily) “Well, you SHOULD! Jesus Christ, do I have to do everything?”

(Customer mutters and walks away.)





A 21st Century Canidate?

16 02 2008

I was doing some reading tonight online and I visited the Obama campaign web site.  I’m still undecided as to who I will vote for 10 months from now but I did take the opportunity to learn a little about Obama.  I’m pretty impressed with his talking points although, in reality, they are not that much different from Clinton’s points.  I think it’s pretty safe to say that Clinton will offer much the same thing her husband did in the 90’s with a few twists.  On a side note, my bias right now is that I would really like to see a woman as our president because I think the white male establishment needs a good swift kick in the ass from a hot headed woman!  What I don’t see from her though is an indication or understanding of the importance of technology or youth culture.  Now whether Obama truly gets it or not is a matter of judgment I think.  I’m sure the creators of his web site are good spinners of his general generic messages.  I was struck however by the amount of time he spent detailing his plans for technology.  If you’ve read this blog much you know that certain things piss me off.  One of them is the lack of choice I have when it comes to technology access out here in red-neck land.  Obama appears to acknowledge this problem and he offers some policy points for consideration.  I’ll post them here and you can read the full list here.

  • Deploy Next-Generation Broadband: Barack Obama believes that America should lead the world in broadband penetration and Internet access. As a country, we have ensured that every American has access to telephone service and electricity, regardless of economic status, and Obama will do likewise for broadband Internet access. Full broadband penetration can enrich democratic discourse, enhance competition, provide economic growth, and bring significant consumer benefits. Moreover, improving our infrastructure will foster competitive markets for Internet access and services that ride on that infrastructure. Obama believes we can get true broadband to every community in America through a combination of reform of the Universal Service Fund, better use of the nation’s wireless spectrum, promotion of next-generation facilities, technologies and applications, and new tax and loan incentives. Specifically, Obama proposes the following policies to restore America’s world leadership in this arena:
    1. Redefine “broadband:” The Federal Communications Commission today defines “broadband” as an astonishingly low 200 kbps. This distorts federal policy and hamstrings efforts to broaden broadband access. Obama will define “broadband” for purposes of national policy at speeds demanded by 21st century business and communications.
    2. Universal Service Reform: Obama will establish a multi-year plan with a date certain to change the Universal Service Fund program from one that supports voice communications to one that supports affordable broadband, with a specific focus on reaching previously un-served communities.
    3. Unleashing the Wireless Spectrum: Obama will confront the entrenched Washington interests that have kept our public airwaves from being maximized for the public’s interest. Obama will demand a review of existing uses of our wireless spectrum. He will create incentives for smarter, more efficient and more imaginative use of government spectrum and new standards for commercial spectrum to bring affordable broadband to rural communities that previously lacked it. He will ensure that we have enough spectrum for police, ambulances and other public safety purposes.
    4. Bringing Broadband to our Schools, Libraries, Households and Hospitals: Obama will recommit America to ensuring that our schools, libraries, households and hospitals have access to next generation broadband networks. He will also make sure that there are adequate training and other supplementary resources to allow every school, library and hospital to take full advantage of the broadband connectivity.
    5. Encourage Public/Private Partnerships: Obama will encourage innovation at the local level through federal support of public/private partnerships that deliver real broadband to communities that currently lack it.

I obviously spend a good deal of time on-line and I am a hard core broadband advocate.  When the “internet was invented” I was in collage and I was able to immediately take advantage of high speed access at school.  At home I had to suffer with dial up access and today many people still have to deal with this ancient technology but I was a very early adopter of high speed cable internet and subscribed even when it cost me over $100 a month to do so!  Even today a MAJOR factor in deciding where I live is whether or not there is access to high speed internet.  If there isn’t, I will not consider living there, end of story.  Dial-up is DEAD.  I knew it then and I know it now.  To do anything online anymore you need to have speed and it should be available to anyone, anywhere in the country.  CHINA is further ahead on their broadband initiatives than we are and they are barely considered a developed nation!  What I’m seeing in Obama’s pledges are a connection to young people and some of the things they expect to have available to them.  As a young person (well mostly) I expect certain things to be available.  I don’t care about cost, I care only about availability.  The internet in many ways keeps people connected.  I expect to be able to move anywhere in the country and still be able to connect with people through use of the internet.  The world has become smaller thanks to the internet and I (and many others) do not think that is a bad thing!

I’ll keep reading about Obama, maybe I’ll even vote for him.  Certainly this issue alone won’t decide what I do but his acknowledgment of something I care about does matter.  Just think, if we didn’t have the internet, would we be able to make fun of dip shits like the owner of this store?

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Sigh

14 02 2008

Why do I always have to work and be around dip shits?  Some readers will say – loose your fucking ego David, you’re nobody special and you’re working in retail what do you expect?  OK.  Now tell me why, when you have the opportunity to make a sale – you don’t- but rather you send the customer on a search through the store to the WRONG department (mine) so I get to deal with their attitude at having to walk BACK to YOUR department because you don’t have a fucking clue what you sell.  You know, sometimes it’s just too much drama to even be interesting.  Grow up folks, this is the real world now not fucking high school.  If you can’t do the job correctly, don’t fucking do it at all.  I REALLY hate having my time wasted by idiots.

I expect dumb ass, inconsiderate, and stupid behavior from kids.  I don’t understand why I’m supposed to expect it from 30 year old adults too.