Archive for 2006
I need to post this warning about my previous web host. I used the same host for over four years. Then in the past year, in fact, the past six months, they moved all their non-reseller hosting accounts twice. I ended up being hosted by Dot America, which offers such horrible service: long outage periods, massive data loss, and awful support.
I moved my site to a different host several months ago, and decided to just eat my loss and not try to get any sort of refund from Dot America for the few months I had paid for and wouldn’t be using their service. My account with them is due to expire this month. Not surprisingly, I received an e-mail from them reminding me to renew my account. I wrote back, and I guess that’s where the problems started…
Account Number: xxxxxx
Dear lolageek.com dotamerica.com (RRAD),
Thank you for using dotamerica.com for your web hosting solutions! We are pleased to offer you world class web hosting and email packages on acontinuing basis.
We note that your annual web hosting package will expire in 10 day(s). We will renew your existing service package through our automated billing system on December 30, 2006.
At dotamerica.com, we understand that our customers’ businesses are continually evolving. Should you wish to upgrade your service package or change any of your service instructions please visit the “Upgrade Center” application in your WebsiteOS control panel or contact us prior to December 30, 2006.
On December 30, 2006, a payment is due for the following service(s):
On this date, your credit card will automatically be charged.
Please contactus if you have any questions or concerns.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
From: L G
Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2006 7:46 AM
Subject: Re: Annual Renewal
I will not be renewing my hosting plan for next year. I already moved my web site to a different host several months ago, due to your incredibly poor service in the past months. Unfortunately, I still manage one web site for an organization I’m involved with that is hosted by you, and we are stuck with your terrible service and poor support for well over another year, plus an extra few months we received free of charge because your servers went down for several days and all our data was lost. (Though we would rather have received a refund so we could leave
faster and choose a different host.)
Dot America Accounts
Referring to your email, your hosting account will be cancelled on 2006/12/30 however please send us your password for this account or the last 4 digits number of the credit card on life (for security purposes) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From: L G
Ifrah, you are unbelievable. There is absolutely no reason that you would need either my password or any part of my credit card number. (By the way, how does one get a “credit card on life?”) Sorry, but I’m not that gullible. When my hosting expires, it expires, end of story. I was completely dissatisfied with Dot America’s service before, but after this attempt at identity theft, I am ready to take serious action.
…As a follow-up, I called Dot America’s 800 number, and was told my account had already been cancelled after I sent my first e-mail. I confirmed with the operator that they did not need any other information from me (i.e. credit card number, password).
Steer clear of this company!
[Edit - 2:53 PM] I just received this e-mail from “Ifrah” – looks like this thing is hopefully over:
I would like to confirm you that your hosting account has been cancelled today 2006/12/29. If you have any further questions, please contact us.
- Made two hats yesterday, both of which are now listed on etsy (unless someone bought one?).
- Talked to TJ for a while last night – maybe one of these days I’ll get to see him again!
- Met GG for lunch today at Isaac’s.
- Bought Sacha one of these, and it seems to actually be keeping him entertained for an extended period of time.
- Lots of fleece items on sale at Old Navy! I got several fleecy things this afternoon.
- My brother’s coming over today to meet the kitten.
- Going to Jess’ for dinner and then going to some smoke-free bar in Wayne tonight – GG, too!
- I’m really redoing LolaGeek.com, for real. There won’t be a link from the home page to this blog, so if you like reading this, just remember that the link is http://lolablog.lolageek.com.
Christmas went so well! I got up a while before GG, and when he woke up, we opened gifts in bed. (We never set up a tree this year, because Sacha would have destroyed it, and he asked a few days ago where we would open presents, and I said we might as well do it in bed, since all our presents were upstairs anyway… so that’s what we did!) He got me the CD I had asked for, and some fun DVDs. I know he was very excited about the gifts I’d gotten him, and that’s what makes me happiest – when people enjoy their gifts.
We went to my grandmother’s house around 10 AM – everyone met there for breakfast, since we pretty much all had somewhere to go later in the day. It was really nice. I brought a big tray of fruit salad (it had blueberries, grapes, strawberries, oranges, and banana, with that cream cheese fruit dipping sauce on the side), and between everyone else we had potatoes, bacon, eggs, monkey bread, and I think something else? And we had mimosas and spiced cider. After breakfast, we did presents. My mom got me an awesome new purse (I wore it out today!), my brother gave me a nice cookbook, Gramom gave cash (always appreciated!), and also I somehow ended up with two bottles of Bailey’s. I gave a couple Etsy gifts to my mom and grandmother, which I think they appreciated. I made hats for my uncle and cousin, and they were very impressed that I knitted them! And my brother loved the book I got him.
Around 2 PM, we headed to GG’s parents’ house for still more gifts! And dinner. As I correctly predicted, they were still pretty much opening presents by the time got there. They go gift crazy at Christmas. We came away with some pretty nice things – more liquor, and GG’s grandmother gave us a bird feeder and a pole to hang it from, which attaches to the side of the deck. Wait until the kitties find out about this… Also, this crazy pink and orange frying pan, and these fuzzy socks I was actually eyeing a few weeks ago. We ate some snacks as GG’s mom got started making dinner. We sat down to eat right at halftime of the big Eagles/Cowboys game. Of course, they had the radio on, and as soon as the game started up again, everyone was running into the living room to watch. We went home shortly after the game ended (E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles! And I don’t even like football!). Overall, a really really good day.
Today I thought my mom and I were going out shopping, but then she slept in and flaked out on me. Also, she was worried about crowds. So I went out by myself. No crowds, and I got some really good deals. And, I finally got around to making living room curtains!
Could it be? Yes, I think I am actually finished with Christmas shopping – with maybe the exception of a bottle of wine for my mom and her boyfriend, but I told GG that was his responsiblity to pick up. Can you guess what I got for everyone?
[Edit - 12/26] Now with answers filled in! [/Edit]
- For my grandmother, I got some â€“â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“, a bottle of â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“, a â€“â€“ from â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“, and a â€“â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“â€“ to â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“. hand scrub, perfume, CD – my last concert, gift card – PetSmart
- For my mom (in addition to future wine), I got a â€“â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“â€“ for â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“, some â€“â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“, and a â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“ gift card – Sephora, hand scrub, shaving bar
- My brother is getting a â€“â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“â€“ and a really cool â€“â€“â€“â€“ about â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“ Visa gift card, book – cannibals
- For my uncle and cousin, I have a â€“â€“â€“ (â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“â€“), a â€“â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“â€“, and I’m making them â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“â€“ DVD – Raging Bull, Best Buy gift card, two hats
- GG is getting a â€“â€“â€“ of â€“â€“â€“â€“ (â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“â€“) and a beautiful â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“, plus, Santa brought us both a â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“ set – DVDs – Monty Python, piece of art, shredder
- I got GG’s family a â€“â€“â€“â€“ like I do every year, and a box of â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“; also, his dad is getting a â€“â€“â€“ â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“ from both of us cake, toffee, nut cracker
Yesterday GG and I went out to Carlisle with his dad for a family Christmas get-together at his aunt and uncle’s house. I know they have this event every year, but I’ve never been. But, I figured since we’re married now, I might as well meet this side of his family. Honestly, after only hearing about these people for the past four and a half years, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But everyone was actually really (mostly) nice.
Of course, the big joke of the day, just like any time GG and I are with people who knew him pre-me, was how on earth can I stand him, I must be so tolerant, he’s so crazy, etc. Yes, okay, GG is incredibly unique and creative and often doesn’t understand how to behave in public situations. I get it. I have known this for several years now. Please just get over it everybody. Seriously, the thing I can’t stand isn’t GG and his insanity, it’s when people act like I’m doing a giant favor by being with him. I love him!!
Anyway, I’m glad I got to meet most of his dad’s side of the family. His usual family unit consists of GG and his brother, their parents, his maternal grandmother, and his uncle. Nice and small, just like my family. So I often kind of forget that there is this whole other side of the family.
By the way, I’d never been to Carlisle before, though a friend of mine did go to Dickinson College. That town is so cute! If it weren’t so far away from the rest of the world, I would totally live there. The neighborhoods are adorable, with nice houses, and even the “downtown” area is in great condition. Very nice little town. GG’s great-grandparents owned a ribbon mill in town (which we drove past on our way home), which is how they ended up in that area, though most of the family is based in Bristol.
We went to see Apocalypto today. I’d been looking forward to it ever since I heard about it because I’ve always been really interested in Mayan culture. I’d heard several theories as to what the plot would be, but it turned out that none of them was really correct. And actually, I was slightly disappointed. The movie had a lot of really visually stunning scenes, plus a kitten (!), but the story was basically just a giant chase. Besides the many historical inaccuracies, there were other things I just couldn’t believe – like, if there were a giant city with pyramids and all that about a day’s journey from Jaguar Paw’s home, you’d think they would have at least heard about it. So yeah, it was an impressive looking movie, but a little bit of a let-down.
Okay, it’s been over a week, I’d better update this puppy.
Wednesday: The second day of training was not good. Our teacher ended up getting all hung up on people’s little questions and problems, and we barely got through the whole course. We stayed almost two hours late and rushed to finish everything. One woman in class was from Manhattan and she had to drive home that night, and two of the other women followed her to New York and went out to dinner with her and saw all the sights. I just went to Chili’s for dinner with one of the other ladies, who was staying at my hotel.
Thursday: I was really looking forward to this last day of class because it was a little more advanced topic, and also there were a couple less people in class. Nope, this was probably the worst class day yet. The teacher basically just listed every option in every menu, and never really explained what anything meant – it reminded me of some of my computer art classes in college. I had made plans to meet MB for dinner that night, thinking it would be another late class, but we actually finished way early, so I and another girl from class went to a couple shopping centers to kill some time. MB actually ended up having to drive like an hour to meet me, so I feel kind of bad about that, but I guess I didn’t initially realize how far she is from Cherry Hill. We had a really nice dinner and a good long talk during and afterwards. I hadn’t seen her or even really talked much since her wedding! We left around 9:15 or 9:30, and when we walked outside it was snowing! Luckily, I had pretty easy directions to get home (way easier than getting out there, for sure!), but boy, driving over the Walt Whitman Bridge the wind was blowing so hard I thought I might blow over the side! Once I got back to Philadelphia, the snow had pretty much stopped. I guess I got home around 11, unpacked, and went to bed.
Friday: I took the day off work, and I think I did do a couple errands, but mostly I just hung out and relaxed. Which is fine – I had a hard week!
Saturday, Sunday: I forget what a did! This is bad! I think GG and I did some things, but I don’t know what. Errands? I know at some point we went to Trader Joe’s…
This Week: The week went by pretty quickly, I think. Wednesday was our big department year-end meeting and holiday party, and it actually was a really nice party. They ordered a big assortment of sandwiches, and then everyone brought it some other stuff to share (salads, snacks, desserts, etc.). I brought a veggie tray, but I also made some more mint chocolate chip cookies, so I brought those along too. The rest of the day, I had those cookies sitting at my desk, and people I’d never even spoken to before came by and said, “I heard you had some really good cookies over here!” Wow, people love those things. (Except GG. He just wants me to make regular chocolate chip. But what’s the point of that?)
Wednesday night was also our concert at the Exton Mall. It was really nice, and there was a pretty good crowd. The funniest moment was before we started, a bunch of people were watching from the second floor, and during a quiet momet while we were warming up somebody yelled, “Yeah oboes!” or something. It was crazy! We all cracked up, and our director asked the oboe player if he’d payed that guy.
Last night I went out to get some Christmas presents and look for something to entertain Sacha, because he’s driving me totally crazy, basically chewing on anything he can get his mouth around. He’s so naughty! If I throw a toy to distract him, he’ll play with it for a minute, but then give up and go back to cables behind the computer or whatever else he likes. He’s actually unplugged our phone line from the jack several times now! So I thought he’d like some kind of toy that you can put a treat inside of, and they have to work and play with it to get it out. I know such a thing must exist for cats, but I couldn’t find one. I did get him some other little wobble toy that he likes (he was even carrying it around in his mouth last night!), so that was good. And I saw Mary, the volunteer who fostered Ivan and Katrina before I took them! She was asking how they were, and I told her all about their new little brother. Especially with Ivan, she was very surprised to hear how well they were all getting along!
Soooo, now it’s Friday, I have a custom hat to finish knitting tonight, some presents to wrap and a couple more to pick up tomorrow. (Unfortunately, they involve going to the mall, which I had promised myself I would steer clear of until January… but, my mom asked for a Sephora gift certificate, what can I do? I hope if I go really really early on Saturday morning it won’t be so bad.) On Sunday, GG and I are going with his dad and uncle to some family holiday event in central PA. Besides his (maternal) grandmother and uncle, I haven’t really met any of his other family, so this should be interesting…
I’m doing this dumb thing where you post the first sentence of your first post of each month of the past year. Does this give you any idea at all of what I’ve been doing for the past twelve months? I’ll write about the rest of my business trip soon. Enjoy.
January (from my old blog)
I found our dining room set online, it’s this one.
After spending all day messing with all these WordPad files and templates and whatnot, I figured that, since itâ€™s now tomorrow, I should probably create a post.
Yesterdayâ€™s class was actually pretty good. I now donâ€™t hate TeamSite so much.
After all the stress, and all the work, our party today went great!
I think our cat boy is sick.
I got ready for work this morning, went outside, got in the car, turned the key, andâ€¦ nothing.
Soâ€¦ apparently my web server crashed a couple days ago and they had to restore everything from their most recent backup, which was about two weeks ago, which means that Iâ€™ve lost the last week and a half of blog entries because who backs up their blog locally?
Yes, time for the much-anticipated vacation recap!
As you may have noticed, the site was down again for the past few days.
I know, I need to write about Williamsburg still.
I was so excited for Halloween, and then when it actually happened, I wasnâ€™t into it at all.
The way Iâ€™m preparing for this big business trip (to New Jersey), youâ€™d think I was about to spend a month in China or something.
I left home last night after Heroes. GG gave me some last-minute advice about getting to the Ben Franklin Bridge. For some reason, my directions said to take the 6th Street exit, but there’s no such exit – it just says Ben Franklin Bridge on the sign. That was the easy part, though, compared to navigating New Jersey! I did make it to the hotel just fine, and checked in around 11 PM.
I could not sleep. It was cold, there were weird noises, I was worried about finding my class in the morning, I couldn’t stop coughing, and I missed snuggling with GG. Also, I’d had a coffee drink before I left. I dozed here and there, and got up a little before my alarm went off. I’m in a handicap-accessable room, so the bathroom is huge but laid out really awkwardly. I got some complimentary breakfast, hung out in my room a little bit, then headed to class.
It turns out that they usually do hold the class at the company office (a 1/2 block walk from my hotel – I saw it this morning when I went to my car), but because so many people signed up for the last class of the year, they had to move to someplace bigger. So I do have to drive, but it isn’t a bad drive. The place is pretty cool, very modern – they have a beautiful lounge and internet cafe, a conference room where we had lunch, and the classroom is filled with upholstered chairs with little table arms, cup holders, and cubbies underneath.
The class got off to a slow start, mostly due to technical difficulties – as is usually the case in classes like this. We were all looking forward to the lunch that was provided for us… well, it turned out to be a couple wrap sandwiches cut into thirds, a small bowl of salad, and a small bowl of chips. We all had a little, and nobody really said anything, but I was starving for the rest of the day.
After we were done for the day, a few of us were comparing directions back to the hotel. As we were walking out of the building, someone said asked if we all wanted to get dinner. So I ate at the Macaroni Grill with four other women. One was from Wisconsin, one was from Manhattan, one was from Chicago, and one was from Los Angeles. So it was very interesting to compare lives. We also confirmed that we were all disappointed by our minimal lunch (especially considering how much we’re paying to be in this class!) The Chicago lady was staying in my hotel, and she doesn’t have a car here (because of course she was expecting to be able to walk to class), so I drove her back to the hotel and I’ll give her a ride to class tomorrow.
It’s too early for bed, so I’m just hanging out in my room for the rest of the night, reading, watching TV, and playing on the computer (obviously).
Based on previous experience, I predict that due to today’s slow start and constant questions, we’ll have to speed through tomorrow’s lessons to finish the entire course on time. Most of us are staying for the third day, but that’s actually a second class. During some of my down-time today, I e-mailed MB, since she lives in New Jersey, to see if she wanted to get together for dinner on Thursday. She does! So I’ll finally get to see her for the first time since her wedding! And then I’ll go home!