Here are the welcome messages from
November 2005

11/1/05 November 1, 2005
11/7/05 November 7, 2005
11/24/05 November 24, 2005
November 1, 2005

My friend in Pakistan is fine, praise the Lord!  Thank you for your prayers!

My three month old computer crashed!  It started lagging big time and so I re-booted.  It never came back.

Thank God I had backed things up nine days before.  However, it's amazing how many things I had done in those nine days and lost!  The worst thing, again, was losing my email.

I have a Dell computer.  I recommend that you do NOT buy a Dell only because they expect you to do most of the work when your computer has a problem.  When something happens to it the technicians are very nice, but sometimes hard to understand as they speak with some kind of strong accent.  They mailed me a refurbished drive (a three-month-old computer deserves a new one!) and talked me through the installation.

I spent two hours on the phone when the computer first crashed.  I had to be home to sign for the hard drive they mailed, which arrived two working days later.  I spent more than two more hours on the phone while I was installing the refurbished drive and programs.  During the installation, after I read to the tech what I saw on my screen, he asked me if I put the old, dead drive back in!  Then he had me delete some partitions on the new, refurbished one.  That told me they didn't even send me a good replacement drive.

Then they threatened to bill me for the new drive if I didn't send the old one back.  Neither technician I spoke with told me to make sure to mail the old one back.  What if I threw it away??  I couldn't read the email they sent telling me I had five days to get it in the mail to them!  I told the first tech to NOT send me email.  My computer was dead!  They were billing me for over $200 for a dead drive!  I could buy a new one for less than that!  So, then I had to be home waiting for the delivery service to pick up the old one!

Next time I'm going to Best Buy and get a computer.  I'm sorry I bought a Dell!  Before the crash I loved it because it was so much better than my old one, but the customer service is what made me not like their company.   I wrote a letter to the CEO.  I'll let you know if he replies.

I guess this is the same lesson my son learned about car insurance... you get what you pay for!

I'm glad that the things I'm doing here are important enough to get the enemy's attention, but I'm tired of having computer problems!

I bought a back up device to make sure I don't lose anything again.  The darn thing had a problem, though.  It backed up OK, but it only saw 30G of the 160G hard drive I put in it.  I tried to troubleshoot with the help of their techs, who were in India or somewhere, but their communication skills weren't very good and I got tired of waiting 24 hours to get a reply.

I took it back to the store and found out it was cheaper to buy an external hard drive that comes with a back up program.  The guy I originally talked to at Best Buy assumed I wanted something to back up a network of computers.  He also assumed other things that I didn't know.

Communication is very important.  If there was more, clear communication then our lives would be much easier.  There's too much assuming going on.  There's too much purposeful lack of communication, too.  Dell knows that if they put in the warranties that people are expected to do the work themselves they would sell less computers.

I used as an example in my letter to the CEO of Dell:
What would you think if the water pump of your new car, still under warranty, went out and the dealership mailed you a rebuilt pump (which took four days) and told you they would call you when you signed for it so they could walk you through the installation process?  How would you feel if they DIDN'T call you and you had to call them?  How would you feel if the mechanic asked you if you were sure that you didn't put the old one back in instead of the new one because, apparently, the new one wasn't doing what it was supposed to be doing?  Would you buy another car from that dealer?  Of course you wouldn't.

Now I'm having trouble understanding how to work the program that backs up that came with the hard drive.  Communication, it's all about communication!

Remember those multiple-choice tests I told you about last time that I was typing for my husband?  Well, I lost them in the crash.  That was a lot of typing that I lost.

The other thing I lost was my email.  There were some really interesting looking emails that I didn't get a chance to answer.  I sure hope those people come back to find out why I ignored them and write again!

Think about what happens when you have computer problems.  The friends you made online don't know what happened to you.  They don't know if you are having computer problems, if you had an emergency, or even if you died.

Sorry, didn't mean to depress you.  I guess I need to go think happy thoughts!

Link to the 11/1/05 Bible study.
November 7, 2005

Did I tell you I am a professional webmaster now?  I have a couple of friends who needed web pages and so I jumped into the webmaster position.

The first one I did is:
Pistols and Petticoats, Wild West Re-enactors
(The group broke up and is now Guns and Garters.)

The second one is still in the works, but is open for business.  We are having a hard time coming up with the specifics of how to display and sell the flowers:
Flowering Twigs

So, now that I am a professional webmaster you can feel privileged.  I'm doing the Clarion Call for you for free.  Just for you.  Imagine that!

The letter I wrote to the CEO of Dell about the problems I had getting my 3-month old crashed computer up and running got a response.  I got a phone call and talked at length about the problems I had.

The man I spoke with said some of the things I experienced would be brought up at some type of meeting there with the high mucky-mucks at Dell.  However, I kind of had the feeling that they aren't going to do much to change the situation.

I should have been sent a pre-formatted hard drive that I only had to plug in to my laptop, or I should have had the option of having a technician format it for me on such a new computer.  My computer still isn't right.  I have two of the same operating system showing up.  The only way to fix that is to reformat the drive and I DON'T want to do that.

So, nice as it was to have that man call me, I don't plan on buying another Dell product.  The price is low, but that is because they cut costs when it comes to repairs under warranty.

I also sent a letter to Netgear about the problems I had getting their backup device to work.

I got a phone call from their head technician.  I had already taken their product back to the store and got another one.  He talked with me at length to find out more information from me even though I no longer had their product.

He, too, said they wanted to learn from what happened to me so they could make changes.  Their tech team that I worked with went from step one to step ten in helping me.  Probably my problem was an easy one to fix, but I got tired of trying to communicate with them and took it back.  It's too bad because the backup program that came with their product was way more user-friendly than the one that came with my Western Digital external hard drive.

The really interesting thing was what happened at the end of our conversation.  The man sounded surprised at himself as he offered me his direct phone number.  He told me to call him if I had any more problems or if I was wanting more information about a Netgear product I was thinking about buying!

Would I buy another Netgear product?  Absolutely!

I have a feeling I know why the man at Netgear gave me his phone number.  He was touched by Jesus and thought it was me.

The other day I was looking for something in the old welcome messages and ran across an encounter I had back in 2003.  A waiter had shaken my hand and told me how glad he was to have met me.  I had forgotten about that.  I often find where people react in ways that are unusual when I talk with them.

Lately I've had a few people tell me that they really enjoyed talking to me and were glad to have met me.  That might not seem so unusual except, we didn't talk about anything important.  I can't remember exactly, but it was something as simple as talking about the weather.

So, it wasn't the actual conversation that made them say that.  It was something deeper.  They felt Jesus.

In John 15:5 Jesus said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."  He meant it!  He is really, truly abiding in us.  If we acknowledge Him and allow Him to guide our words and our actions then He can be seen through us as if we were a window.  Praise God!

Link to the 11/7/05 Bible study.
November 24, 2005

I've been working on a very large and complicated project for our homeowners association.  The Board is consulting an attorney regarding the opportunity we have to get rid of all liability on our common areas (our common areas are just washes for rain water to run off).

I've been put in charge of sending everything to the attorney.  I've been compiling data, documents, time lines, letters, etc.  In order to save our association money I'm putting everything together in such a way that the attorney has a synopsis of what each item is and what it contains.  The more I do the less it will cost us.

I've spent days trying to turn what I already know into an easy-to-understand format for the attorney.  I've had to take all my notes I've been taking for the past two years and type them up.  I finally finished it.  It is in a big, fat envelope on it's way to the attorney!  Hooray!!

Yesterday my son and I went to Magic Mountain.  I bought a season pass when my oldest son came out to visit this year because it came with a free pass for him to get it.  That was cheaper than buying two regular tickets.

So, yesterday they let people in who brought a bag of food.  So, I got in with my pass and he got in free with the food.

The heart-pounding thrill of going on those rides knocked all the tenseness out of my brain that had built up the past couple of weeks.  I was really straining my brain to put together that packet for the attorney.

I'm sorry this is late in getting updated.  This month I had two major projects that I had to complete and get in the mail and they are finally both done.

I still have piles of paperwork surrounding me, however.  All of that needs to be filed away so I can find it whenever I need it next time.

I've been working on getting things organized around here.  I'm normally fairly organized, but the more separate projects that are created, the harder I have to work to find ways to store them.

Last weekend I re-organized our garage.  It turned into kind of a storage area for all sorts of things and people.  My niece is going to be coming to get her stuff in the near future and I had to pull it all out and separate it from my sons' things that they are stored out there.

While I was doing that I decided it was time to go whole hog.  My husband brought home all the golf bags, balls, clubs, etc. that are for his golf team because there is no place to store them yet at the new school.  Now I've got them all grouped together and tied up so they won't keep falling down.

I got rid of all sorts of things and re-organized the rest.  It's amazing what a little organization can do!  I can actually walk out there (well, except for where the golf stuff is, where my niece's stuff is, and where my sons' stuff is).  Other than that, it looks pretty darn good!

I finally got another guestbook that I have more control over.  My last one was fine until, all of a sudden, people figured out how to send out mass spam to guestbooks.  Every day I was removing huge entries that went on and on about cigarettes and other products they wanted to sell.  It was so strange how it began happening all of a sudden.

I had the controls set to not accept pictures, but one awful day I went to check the entries and my entire screen was filled with an EXTREMELY pornographic picture!  It was too horrible for words!

I shut the whole thing down.  I couldn't delete it, so I deleted all reference to it and I changed the background to black and made the text black.  The programs the spammers used were still finding the guestbook and signing it even though it was all black.

My husband and I were talking the other night about how horrible people are that create viruses, find ways to spam guestbooks, design spam that is made to irritate people, and more.  They can sit in their homes and annoy people all the way around the world.  They think they are getting away with it.  God sees them!  Duh!!

Then, on the other hand, the Internet is a tool that God uses to teach, to communicate, to draw people together, and much more.  So, I'm going to believe that the good it will do far outweighs the bad!

Link to the 11/24/05 Bible study.

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