Tech support letter of the decade

Many years ago, my first job in the computer industry was as tech support engineer for a genealogy program called Family Tree Maker. One of the many memories from that job is a hand-written letter we received from a customer. I kept a copy of it for all these years because it was so memorable. I dug it out again last night talking to friends and realized I really should post this online and share it for a good laugh because it is priceless.

Warning: It contains rather colorful language, so don’t click if you’re easily offended.

Click here for the funny.

The software was typically purchased by retired people with too much time and way too little computer knowledge. As a result, tech support was always a challenge. Back in those days, we still received support request via fax and snail mail.

That job was a great experience for me because it marked the beginning of my computer industry career, and I am glad I had that opportunity. That being said, I’m the first one to admit that I could never go back and do that job again. I have no idea how I survived over three years of explaining to grandmas how to locate and click the Start button on their screen. Shudder! Good times…

State of affairs in the Southern Arizona desert

If you venture out into the desert in Southern Arizona for whatever recreational activity you might enjoy, you are very likely to encounter one of these signs which are found all over the place:

In other words, you are taking your life in your hands by exploring unpopulated land in Southern Arizona. There is a distinct possibility that you might run into Mexican criminals smuggling drugs and/or people that won’t hesitate to shoot and kill law-abiding U.S. citizens on U.S. soil to protect their illegal activities.

Hmmmm – if there was only an organization that was lawfully obligated to defend our borders, lead by a person who swore to protect its citizens, having at their disposal a group of people specifically equipped and trained to do those jobs. We should look into that…

A few photos from Halloween

We went to a Halloween party last weekend. Here are a few photos of our costumes.

Sandy had a dark feathery creature of the night thing going on…

…while I stayed a little closer to character as a generic 80′ glam rock drummer.

Click here for full size and a few more photos.

New computer – It’s alive!

I can’t tell you how many years it’s been since I last built myself a new computer, or I’ll have to turn in my geek card. Suffice it to say, it’s been way too long. However, thanks to a nice profit sharing check I found myself in the position to place an order with Newegg for a thoroughly researched list of components to build myself a new computer – hooray!

Here it is in all its shiny black glossy classy gloriousness (though the photo doesn’t really do it justice):

I really like this case. Not only does it look great, but it also has a long list of very nice features. One of them is clever cable management options that allow you route almost all the component cables underneath the motherboard tray.

As a result, you have a very nice and clean interior, it is very easy to work in, and it has optimal airflow for cooling.

Continue reading “New computer – It’s alive!”

Invasion of the Germans

Our house suddenly got very lively. The Germans are here!

My sister and her kiddo, Tassilo.

Marko, Valerie, Tassilo, and mom making faces at each other.

Facebook + Blog = Faceblog? Blogbook?

After several friends recently, uh, encouraged me to get with the program, I bit the bullet and set up a Facebook account.

Thanks to a lively blog discussion with Midori on Friday evening, I got inspired to do some work on the blog. This weekend, I completely overhauled our blog here at and installed a plugin that links it to my Facebook account.

If I did this correctly, everything I post on the blog from now on will automagically appear on the Facebook page. I don’t feel like migrating 10 years worth of blog entries and stories to Facebook, so this will do just fine.

Let’s see if it works…

Up, up and away

Our area has several houses that launch hot air balloons from their yards, mostly on weekend mornings. We’ll be sitting at breakfast and suddenly see a balloon sail by the window. Here’s a balloon that we captured just seconds after take off.img_1869.jpg