Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

It's Christmas Eve. We've got a tree up in the living room: the same permanent/artificial one we've had for a few seasons now.

I'm taking a slight break from blogging, doing shorter 'seasonal' posts for today and Wednesday.

We'll be going to church today, and again tomorrow: and hope to see #2 daughter and son-in-law later today. Or tomorrow. Or whenever they're able to break free.

One more thing: Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Rain, Snow: Held Over - - - By Popular Demand?

We've got a winter weather advisory going until midnight. It used to be until 3:00 p.m., but apparently was so popular that the weather service extended it.

The opening act was rain, more or less. "Drizzle" would be more accurate.

That turned by degrees into tiny damp bits of snow: which is what we've still got, a few minutes before four.

My webcam (Small Town America: Central Minnesota) looks at the northeast part of Ash Street and South 9th, here in Sauk Centre.

The window is next to my desk, but I'm more likely to 'look' outside through the webcam: and that's another topic.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Missed the Deadline, Couldn't Log In: Other Than That, No Problem

Spending last weekend in North Dakota, visiting #2 daughter and son-in-law, discussing Spiral Light Candle, and having a family get-together, put me (more) off-schedule:

Bulletin? This Week?

I didn't think about the Knights of Columbus council bulletin for this month, until late Wednesday afternoon. That's when the local Grand Knight called, and asked me if I'd gotten his email.

I hadn't checked my personal email since returning to Sauk Centre. Oops.

He said that he probably should have called earlier: true enough. The monthly meeting is next Tuesday.

The Way it's Supposed to Work

I liked to have the bulletin finished and sent to the printer by the end of Sunday evening, nine days before the monthly meeting.

That way, Main Street Printing (or Main Street Printing, depending on who you're talking to) has a press-ready file in their email first thing Monday morning. Sometimes I don't get the bulletin ready for them until Monday afternoon, or Tueday.

Three Days Late? No Problem - - -

Wednesday? Getting it to the printer then, the bulletin would have to be printed, folded, then sent to my house: where my wife and #3 daughter would apply labels, I'd do the other pre-mailing preparation and paperwork, and finally get the bulletins to the Post Office - before mid-afternoon Friday.

I checked my personal email: or, more accurately, tried to. I couldn't log in. I'd changed the password recently, and couldn't remember the 'easy to remember' new one.

- - - and Locked Out of Email? No Problem - - -

All I had to do was log into my hosting service, and change the password 'from the inside.'

I couldn't log into my hosting service, either. New password? User error? Didn't matter: I couldn't log in.

No problem: I called tech support. GoDaddy, the service I use, still has one of the best tech support I've encountered: which is a good thing, since the way they reset passwords is to send a verification email.

The tech I worked with appreciated the humor: to get into my email, I needed a verification code - - - that he would send by email.

Happily, I have a 'business' account with another service - which will remain nameless, since I'm not impressed by their code-heavy, sluggish, email system. I didn't choose that service, there are good reasons for using it, and that's another topic.

I got new passwords established, finally, and looked through my email.

- - - Only Half of the Information?- - -

One of the messages I needed for the bulletin was there.

The other wasn't.

By now it was Wednesday evening: three full days after I'd have preferred to have the bulletin at the printer.

A phone call and less than an hour later, I had all the information I needed. Later Wednesday night I had the December bulletin ready. I made an Acrobat (*.pdf) copy, so Main Street Printing would have a quick and easy ready-for-print file.

I attached the Acrobat copy to an email: along with the original, editable, file. Once in a while, the bulletin needs to be changed at the last moment. Main Street Printing and I use the same software, so they can make minor changes at their end.

Technical Difficulties

I'd called Main Street Printing Wednesday afternoon: explaining that I was very late with the bulletin, would have it ready by Thursday morning, and asking what could realistically be done about printing it.

Their computer was in the shop. It was supposed to be back Thursday: with emphasis on "supposed to be."

I went through my usual email-and-attachment routine, anyway. There was a chance that they'd have their computer back. If not, I could print out a press-ready copy and bring that to the print shop.

Good News: Finally

Donna and the other folks at Main Street Printing are very good at what they do. When I called Thursday morning, she told me that she'd pulled out their old computer, used it to pick up my email, and already had the bulletins printed.

The Knights of Columbus mailing list was on the old computer, too: so labels would be ready, too.

By the end of Friday afternoon, I'd dropped the bulletins off at the Post Office. On schedule, to my relief: and surprise.

Slightly-related posts:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Busy All Week, and Not Much Done

It's been another one of those weeks that felt full of hectic activity: with very little actually accomplished. On the other hand, I did get Spiral Light Candle's Find a Retailer page updated. Here's how it looked on Wednesday:

Spiral Light Candle's Store Locator map, reduced to fit this blog's format.
November 28, 2012.

Those candles that burn in a circle are in over 200 stores as of the middle of last week. Spiral Light Candle has a pretty good online store, too.

My son-in-law and #2 daughter have been doing the heavy lifting, taking Spiral Light Candle from a good idea into a factory in North Dakota: but my wife and I own a piece of the company, too; and our son was 'on loan' this week, helping with the Christmas rush.

We picked him up this weekend, spending all Saturday with #2 daughter and son-in-law. I'll be astonished if we see them again before next year: but maybe they'll come to a family get-together here in Sauk Centre. Then again maybe not.

Either way, I'm glad we went to see them this weekend: and I'm glad to be back home.

Spiral Light Candle factory, south section: production floor and offices.
March-April, 2012.

Finally, my wife received her black belt in Soo Bahk Do this evening. This is the realization of a decades-old dream for her. #3 daughter has her black belt, too. Actually, the belts are midnight blue, and that's another topic.

Related posts:
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