I just placed an order on TigerDirect.com, whence I have ordered before with great satisfaction. Each product I ordered was listed as available and ready to ship within 24 hours. However, on the receipt page, for the first time, I found a notice informing me that my order could be delayed by 5 or more business days. After speaking on the phone with a customer service rep, I found it could be 10 business days before my order even shipped! There is and was no mention, prior to the receipt page, of any noteworthy delays. I’m moving in 4 business days and will not be in my new apartment for 6; I need this stuff before I move. So, after 2.5 hours of finding the best deals on the most appropriate products and another 30+ minutes on the phone, I am left with nothing but a cancelled order. I just wasted most of my evening; now, I have to go find another source for these very different products, hopefully without paying for shipping from multiple vendors. I am outraged.

UPDATE: 1.5 hours later, I have found another merchant with the same or better products for roughly equivalent prices. I will actually end up paying about $30 more, but for slightly better products, and with the assurance I should get them in time for them to do me some good… I think…


There was just a magnitude 3.8 earthquake, about 20-25 miles from my parents’ home. Map for US10/32.42.-90.-80.html. I didn’t feel it, but my parents both freaked out. I think it was while I was walking around and fidgeting with a spare key, so I somehow missed it. Huh.

Thought of the Day

A classic, but true: If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself – even if you’re the one that botched things up in the first place!

I can’t comment on the reason that’s the thought of the day, but it fits.

This Weekend

I spent the weekend (Friday through this morning) visiting my sister and brother-in-law. The weekend was lots of fun. I caught up with my good friends Brooke and Sarah (whom I’ve known probably longer than anyone else my age) and finally met some of my sister’s friends I knew only in name.

The most interesting event of the weekend, though, occurred only a little while after leaving home. I was driving west on 40 when I glanced over at the speedometer (in the MINI, the speedo is in the center). When I looked up, the pickup truck about 25 yards in front of me was heading into the median at 70 miles an hour. The next thing I saw was a gas can flying out of the truck’s bed and bouncing down my lane. By the time I figured out how to evade the gas can, the truck had spun out, hit the guardrail, and was rebounding across the freeway, sliding sideways and flinging debris (a cooler, plastic bottles, and assorted junk) everywhere. Eventually, it spun halfway back around and shot, backwards and at about 40 miles per hour, into the embankment on the right shoulder. I pulled over to help and the driver said he had fallen asleep. Nobody was hurt, fortunately, but I’m pretty sure the transmission casing was cracked – something was leaking and hissing, directly under the rear of the cab, not a tire or in the engine block. Yikes.

Needless to say, that woke me up! The rest of the trip, thankfully, passed without incident.

Mind-blowing alarm clock

I bought a new alarm clock, a couple days ago – my old one had taken to using unpredictable “snooze” intervals, often as long as an hour, making it very hard to keep a normal schedule (whatever that is).

Anyway, if anybody wants a full-featured and very, very loud alarm clock, I highly recommend the RCA RP4801 – it has two alarms, a nap mode, snooze, adjustable snooze times, a CD player, AM/FM tuner, and more. At only $30, it’s probably the best alarm clock I’ve ever owned, for whatever that’s worth.

I hate ColdFusion

ColdFusion has to be the most inefficient web scripting language in the world. Sure, applications can be developed quickly in CFML, but installing and maintaining ColdFusion MX is a nightmare.

I have installed it on at least 5 computers, now, including several versions of Windows and Linux, and have never yet seen it install smoothly. Every time, it has involved uninstalling and reinstalling at least once, as well as at least one discussion either with tech support or other technical folks.

Throw in the fact the ColdFusion has major limitations – no arbitrary database connections, very limited image manipulation, problems with any kind of binary data involving NULL characters, etc – and ColdFusion has to be the most difficult platform to use, ever. PHP, Perl, and Python are all straightforward to install on various OSes, and are actually not nearly as limited as Macromedia (Adobe) would have us think.

Grrrr…. Back to wasting time on ColdFusion installations….

Any ColdFusion or Linux gurus out there?

If any ColdFusion MX wonks read this, I need help. I have a CFMX 7.0 install on Fedora Core 2 and keep getting errors. I think they’re related to some packet filtering problems, but don’t know how to fix it in FC2.

Here’s the summary: I finally got CFMX and Apache connected, properly, but any request for a .cfm file returns the CF default 404 page. This is true both for files I have uploaded or created and for the administrator pages. I can access other types of files (e.g., GIFs and JPGs) in the same directories, without problems.

A typical error entry in any of the CF logs might look like this, even though the file in question does exist:
08/05 16:51:40 Error [jrpp-18] - File not found: /testpage.cfm The specific sequence of files included or processed is: /home/httpd/vhosts/mydomain.com/httpdocs/testpage.cfm

I get errors in the Apache logs that look like this (all for one request):
[Fri Aug 05 01:04:37 2005] [notice] jrApache[22346: 57868] JRun unable to fetch clustered-servers < - [39], proxy busy [Fri Aug 05 01:04:37 2005] [notice] jrApache[22346: 57868] Couldn't initialize from remote server, JRun server(s) probably down. [Fri Aug 05 01:04:37 2005] [notice] jrApache[22346: 57868] JRun will not accept request. Check JRun web server configuration and JRun mappings on JRun server. [Fri Aug 05 01:04:37 2005] [notice] jrApache[22346: 57868] JRun unable to fetch clustered-servers <- [39], proxy busy [Fri Aug 05 01:04:37 2005] [notice] jrApache[22346: 57868] Couldn't initialize from remote server, JRun server(s) probably down.

Does anyone know how to resolve this?

I Love My MINI!

I picked up my new car, yesterday, and it is a blast to drive; no matter how fast you drive, it feels like it wants to run out from under you.
MINI Cooper S pickup
(click to enlarge)

P.S. The first thing I did, after getting it home (a 170 mile drive), was get a very late dinner at Taco Bell, where I also got my first reaction. The kid at the window looked over and said, “SWEET! It’s a MINI Cooper!” Yeah, this car is good for grins, even standing still. 🙂