A Good Lesson in Voting

Yesterday on my way to lunch, I passed one of the homeless guys
in that area, with a sign that read “Vote Obama, I need the money.” Once
inside I noticed my waiter had on an “Obama ’08” tee shirt.

When the bill came, I decided not to tip the waiter and explained to him
while he had given me exceptional service, that his tee shirt made me
feel he obviously believes in Senator Obama’s plan to redistribute the
wealth. I told him I was going to redistribute his tip to someone that I
deemed more in need–the homeless guy outside. He stood there in
disbelief and angrily stormed away.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $3 and told him to thank the
waiter inside, as I had decided he could use the money more. The
homeless guy looked at me in disbelief but seemed grateful.

As I got in my truck, I realized this rather unscientific redistribution
experiment had left the homeless guy quite happy for the money he did
not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he
did earn.

Well, I guess this redistribution of wealth is going to take a while to
catch on with those doing the work.

Knotts And Stuff

Going to Knotts Scary Farm on Saturday!  Heading to my parents house friday with Dani for a visit, then to Knotts!  Should be a good time, I’ve lived in So Cal my entire life and never been to Knotts at halloween!

Doing the Breast Cancer Walk next weekend.  Jen and Kevin were really awesome and surprised us by signing up a team in my moms name – The Breast Boosters (Which Evan and I and Kjo immediately renamed our unofficial team name: “Dirt Bags 4 Fun Bags“).  Probably the best team name out there, and pretty accurate in describing us.  haha

Wen to the river last weekend with Dani and her family, and it was awesome!  It’s kind of a gamble going in October, but the weather was perfect.  95 degrees all weekend, sunny but not too hot.  The water is starting to cool down, so it was great!  Not ridiculously hot like the middle of the summer when its 110+, just a perfect temp the whole time.  Got some great wakeboarding in (Probably my last time since I will be having surgery soon), tried to ride as much as possible since I will probably be out for the next 6 months.  Unfortunately my camera died so I didn’t get any pics, but it was still a great trip.

Was up until 2am last night trying to get Windows Server 2008 up and running using RAID 1 on the new server I just built.  We are getting our web design company set up legitimately, and finally decided it was time to get a reliable backup situation in order.   I went to Frys and pieced together the following system for about $540:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo 5.3ghz
  • 4gb RAM
  • 2x 1tb Maxtor SATA II drives
  • ECS Mobo
  • Cooler Master Elite Case

Overall, not a bad system for the price, and it should scream as a fileserver.  Now I’m just trying to figure out a way to run a cron job on the web server to make automatic backups of all the hosted sites, and run something on our home server to pull down those backups and store them.  Anyone know a good way to do this?  I’m doing some research.

Other than that, I love this time of year.  Sucks the summer is over and wakeboarding will slow down, but depending on my shoulder status, it should be a great winter with a lot of desert trips and dirt bike riding.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas will all be awesome, and I’m looking forward to some time with my family.  Hope everyone has a great Halloween!

Support Our Breast Cancer Walk Team – Dirt Bags 4 Fun Bags!

Komen San Diego Race for the Cure®
November 2, 2008

Dear Friends and Family,

I recently accepted the challenge to raise funds to support the San Diego Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the Race to end breast cancer forever, and help those battling the disease today.

I race for the one in eight women who will  be stricken with breast cancer in her lifetime.   The more I can raise, the more the Komen San Diego can give back to fund vital breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs in our own community and support the national search for a cure.

Click here to visit my personal page and pledge your support.

Please join me in the fight by pledging in support of my participation in the Race or contributing generously to the San Diego Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Your tax-deductible contribution will fund innovative outreach and awareness programs for medically underserved communities and national breast cancer research. It is faster and easier than ever to support this great cause – you can make a donation online by simply clicking on the link at the bottom of this message. If you would prefer, you can also send your tax-deductible contribution to the address listed below. Whatever you can give will help! I truly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.

With your help, we will see a world without breast cancer.

Thank you so much for your time and support in the fight against breast cancer! Every step counts until this Race is won!

Sincerely,
Ian

To sponsor my participation online, click here.

A Series of Tubes

This will never get old. From Senator Ted Steven’s speech on Net Neutrality:

Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got… an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Why? Because it got tangled up in a big ball with all these things going on the Internet commercially.

[…] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it’s going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.[2]

Obama Virtual Campaigning

Cool? I don’t like Obama much, but I think he has fully embraced the technology at his, and much of our country’s disposal. Like how he used text messaging to announce his running mate (even though that system didn’t work too well), he is now advertising in XBOX 360 video games online. This is the future of campaigning, just like we have seen corporate sponsors sneaking into movies throughout the past 10 years (Its not uncommon to see a Dell, or Coke product strategically placed in any major film now). Check this link out for more info.

Typical Customer Service

Went to Toys R Us this weekend to pick up a couple XBOX games since they were having a buy 2 get 1 free sale.  Was a pretty good deal, so I went to check it out.  Unfortunately, like most of corporate America today, I recieved shitty customer service, and then when I emailed their customer service to complain, I got the following help:

My Letter to TRU support:

Hi, I visited your store at 1240 W. Morena Blvd in San Diego, CA today because I saw the promotion in your weekly ad for buy 2 video games and get 1 free.  I was looking for 3 specific games, so I went to the video game section and at first was completely ignore by the 2 staff members working there.  I finally went to ask them if they could check for these games in stock, and they were so rude I couldn’t believe it.  One of them was seated in a chair behind the counter and would not even stand up to speak to me.  The other one told me they were out of stock on all 3 games without even looking to see.  I could see two of the games in the glass case behind the counter!  I then asked if they could check stock in another store for me, they told me that no they couldn’t, and maybe I should go ask someone at the front desk instead.    I have never been treated so rudely, or had such unhelpful service anywhere before.  I have been a toys r us customer for 20 + years, but after this experience, I don’t know that I will be any longer.  I want to know how you can remedy this situation to keep my continued business.  Respectfully,   Ian Grist San Diego, CA

I received the following response after 2 days:

Dear Ian Grist:

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us. On behalf of myself and the “R” Us family I would like to apologize for any inconvenience that you may have encountered while trying to purchase three video games at the Morena Boulevard location. We expect more from our associates and I apologize for your experiences while you were in the store.

We value all your feedback, positive and negative, as it helps us to understand how our guests feel and gives us an opportunity to evaluate any possible issues. Hearing from you has helped us to do just that. Your comments are important to us, and we have forwarded them to our Corporate Office where they will be reviewed.

If you need further assistance with anything in the future please feel free to contact us at 1-800-ToysRUs, and a customer service specialist will be happy to assist you. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Again, we appreciate your feedback Mr. Grist, and look forward to serving you again in the future!

Sincerely,

Toys “R” Us Guest Relations Team

I expected this much, so responded with the following:

Thanks again for sending me a canned form letter and not helping solve my problem at all.  I expected poor customer service like this, but was hoping that maybe an actual person would respond to me and provide some sort of solution.  However, just like most corporations in America now, I am sent an impersonal email that does nothing to remedy the issue.

You have lost my business.

Ian Grist

Seems like we are all receiving this kind of service anymore.  What is with this?  No one gives a shit about how customers are treated anymore.  With more and more people losing their jobs to outsourced customer service…I guess this is all we can continue to expect.