the paypal module suddenly decided not to add the shipping to the total when people use paypal to check out. it’s always been somewhat wonky, and has required two separate emails and usually a trip to the administration interface, or to my paypal account to figure out exactly what they paid at checkout, but until now it has worked more or less. now, it’s definitely headed towards the “less” side of things. oddly enough, i know practically nothing about how the customer gets from my web site to paypal’s web site and back with presumably encrypted payment information, and now it’s cropped up and is biting me on the ass. i don’t want to have to put an extra page in explaining why i am deficient, especially since every other online company seems to do it more or less seamlessly. i suspect part of it will involve buying a SSL certificate, but i want to examine all my options (of which there may actually be none) before i spend the money to do so.
so i got another letter from the attorney general for the commonwealth of pennsylvania today. it contained two letters, one from the attorney general’s assistant who was assigned to work on this for me, and the other from joseph quinn of 1&1 internet inc., which is the amusing one. it says:
I am responding to complaint B09-7341 filed against 1&1 Internet Inc.
We understand that you have been unsuccessfull in attempting to cancel your 1&1 internet account.
Your customer ID 19710337 was locked onto a 1-year contract upon the account’s registration. This was a special deal that included discounts and other benefits, saddled with a contract of one (1) year.
However, we certainly do not wish to continue to bill and invoice you for a service that is no longer used or wanted.
In this, was [sic] have set customer ID 19710337 to cancel within the next two (2) weeks time. You will not be billed or invoiced any further for this service. We are currently removing all your relative information from our internal systems.
Furthermore, we can see that you have been trying to cancel for soe time.
As such, [sic] we are refunding your two (2) most recent invoices. Both refunded invoices are for the $59.97 amount. This would bring your refunded total to the $119.94 amount.
Hopefully, this will resolve any outstanding complaints that you may have.
let’s examine this a bit more closely…
i was unsuccessful in cancelling my account, because after repeated attempts to do so, your employees refused to listen or respond appropriately to my requests. despite your claims otherwise, when i signed up with 1&1, it was with the understanding that i was signing a three (3) month contract, and the first i ever heard about a 1 year contract was after i made the second payment for 3 months.
at the same time, if i had known that it was going to be this easy to break a one-year contract, i wouldn’t have rasied so much of a stink about it, and simply written to the attorney general when i first had my suspicions that i had been bait-and-switched.
i am currently under a one (1) year contract with my new host provider, which provides me with better quality, more reliable and more industry-compatible service, for around $85 a year. if i had maintained the one (1) year contract with 1&1, i would have had less reliable, less industry-compatible service with a greater possibility of being blacklisted for sharing an IP address with a spammer or a phisher, and i would have had to pay around $200. if that’s what you call “discounts and other benefits”, then i suggest you invest your money in a quality english-language dictionary. it might help with your grammar as well.
i don’t have any complaints with the resolution of my claim, however i will still recommend against using 1&1 services to my clients, because i disagree with your sales tactics and how this complaint had to be dealt with in order to reach this conclusion.
1&1 internet has decided that i really did have a contract that was only 3 months, because they have decided to release me from that contract, as i requested, plus refund the last two invoices (totalling about $120, hooray!) and no longer hassle me about having a contract that expires in december…
of course this happened after they were contacted by the attorney general for the commonwealth of pennsylvania (where they’re located) and by the better business bureau…
i wish it didn’t have to go this far, but at the same time, i’m really glad that they didn’t push it any further, because i was prepared to get really nasty with them, and i doubt that it would have been pleasant regardless of how it came out.
in other news, there are now pictures of the oregon country fair online. there aren’t as many pictures as last year, but that is primarily because it rained sunday and there’s only so many pictures of wet, muddy hippies that one can take before it starts to get redundant. my physical birthday was while i was at the fair. that day, i played two shows for the fremont players, plus i played an open mike at the morningwood odditorium, i played the midnight (eastern time) show on the main stage, for which i got a custom-printed bandana, and i played an 11:00 pm show at the ritz. all in all, i would say that it was one of the better birthdays i have had in quite a while.
i figured that i would file a fraud complaint with the police concerning 1&1. my experience has been that frequently the person who goes to the authorities first is the one who gets the authorities’ sympathy, and if you don’t go to the authorities until they come looking for you, even if you’re the one who is “right”, they have a tendency to look at whatever you say with suspicion, simply because someone else complained about you.
so i called the auburn police department to file a fraud complaint. even though our address is in auburn, the auburn police department doesn’t serve our area, because it is in the “unincorporated area” of king county, and is, thus, covered by the king county sheriff’s department. the king county sheriff’s department won’t take a fraud complaint, because there’s nothing they can do about it – despite the fact that fraud is a crime, they said that it is a civil matter, not a criminal one. they recommended that i file a complaint with the better business bureau, so i did. my complaint number is 0EC37-D0640-8140C-191A4-D2E85-C1D85-E0.
they want me to wait 30 days before inquiring about my complaint, and i’d be willing to bet that, complaint or no, 1&1 is going to try to contact me prior to that 30 day period. at this point, it’s a waiting game. we’ll see what happens.
ergh… although not quite as much ergh as last week. it’s been really hot the past few days, to the point where i almost feel as though i’m melting, or something like that. plus i’m still getting over being sick for the past month and a half or so. i don’t feel “sick” and haven’t for the past couple of weeks, but i definitely don’t feel “healthy” either… i’ve been short of breath and coughing intermittently, and while i feel a great deal more “energetic” than i did a month ago, i still feel exhausted a lot of the time. i don’t feel like i could do as many things in the day as i “normally” can, although i have been doing a lot of “normal” stuff that i couldn’t do a month ago, anyway…
i’m upgrading the stereo and putting in a PA speaker in Ganesha the Car, which is something i’ve wanted to do for a long time (and, no, this isn’t being done with SSDI money, it’s being done with moisture festival money). now i’ll be able to play chants and suchlike at parades and shows, which is good because i’ve got a show coming up tomorrow at roosevelt high school (it’s not going to be ready for that) and SACBO is coming up in a couple of weeks.
the fremont philharmonic has a recording session this evening. we’re hoping to have a CD ready by OCF.
i cancelled my account with 1&1 (hooray) with no major problems (cirquedeflambe.com hasn’t switched DNS servers yet, but that’s because wally – who hasn’t actually been a part of the cirque for 8 years or so – is the registrant, and he can’t be bothered to change it, a situation we’re trying to change, but not until it’s running on the new host server), although i did recall their saying that my account was set to expire on 12/08/2009 and i was tempted to read it as august 12, except that i’m absolutely certain that i did not sign up for an account that ended on december 8, and i’m still mad enough about their baiting-and-switching me that i don’t want to call and tell them that i’m not paying them any more money – in fact, conveniently, my credit card which has been used to pay for the account up until now has been cancelled (because of pipeline data) and if they attempt to bill any more to it, the police will get involved. so i feel like by not calling them to confirm that my account has been cancelled, perhaps i’ve gotten a little bit of mine back for their baiting-and-switching behaviour.
Strickland, Jonathan. “How to Remove a Computer Virus.” 06 April 2009. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/how-to-tech/how-to-remove-computer-virus.htm> 11 May 2009.
it doesn’t specifically say that you are less likely to get viri if you run mac or linux, but at the same time, all of the instructions for removing computer viri from your system are specifically directed at windows users… 😉
the battle of the computer is over! the linux guru (whose name is francis) and i got my computer working, after three days of mucking about in the inner (read “command-line interface”) workings of the underpinning of kubuntu. when you dig down that deep, you’re not running k/x/ed/ubuntu any longer, it’s actually debian, which is, apparently, a rock-solid piece of software capable of doing many things that k/x/ed/ubuntu screws up, or can’t do at all. it’s now running jaunty jackalope, after having the innards of hardy heron ripped out from its smouldering carcass and having kde4 and the latest linux kernel forcably overwritten. i’m not sure if i really like it yet (it looks way too much like windoesn’t XP), but i can probably get used to it, and/or configure the parts that i don’t like so that they won’t be so annoying.
i’ve discovered what the problem is with my linux box: i tried to upgrade directly from hardy to jaunty without going through intrepid first. it really wasn’t my fault, i just did what the upgrade application told me to, but that doesn’t make my box any less broken. fortunately, i appear to have found a linux guru on kubuntuforums.net who is the eternal optimist and thinks that i can probably rescue my box without having to reinstall. i’m up for it, but i would also be up for reinstalling if it doesn’t work out. meanwhile i’m learning all about
aptitude -f install and
dpkg --force-overwrite -i and other arcane goodies that go over the heads of about 90% of the other kubuntu users out there. and my linux box is still broken. oh well…
i got an order for 3000 postcards yesterday, which will ultimately be sent to japan, and i mowed the lawn for the first time this year as well. also i’ve got a BSSB rehearsal later this evening, so despite my broken linux box and my ongoing depression, i’m keeping busy enough that it doesn’t hurt as much.
ETA, 5:00pm: the linux guru i met turned me on to skype, which i now have installed on my mac, so if any of you are inclined to actually talk to me, i can be reached at przxqgl. we didn’t get very far, but i am more convinced than ever that we will actually be able to rescue this box instead of reinstalling it. i’m now doing a remote ssh to the linux box and running all the commands on my mac, which saves me getting confused over which keyboard i’m typing into.
so my linux box had a bunch of package updates that it had to install, so i finally got around to installing them today, and when they were done, it told me that i had a version upgrade (jaunty jackalope) that i could install, and so i decided to install it as well. strangely enough, there was something wrong with the upgrade and the ultimate result was that it lost the mouse and keyboard, which meant that i couldn’t log in.
fortunately (sort of), i have the /home on a secondary disk, and i have my calendar backed up on google, so the only thing i can’t immediately access is my email database. i have access to my email accounts, just not the already sent and received email that i have on my computer.
so, the battle of the computer begins again, but it’s all a lot more under control, sort of, than it has been in the past. i have to figure out why the computer apparently isn’t seeing the CD-ROM drive on startup, and i have to figure out why the computer isn’t seeing the mouse and keyboard when it boots from the hard disk, but i have a computer, and a calendar, and the ability to fill orders (if i get any) without too much difficulty, so it’s not a reason to panic and run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off…
i met ukulele dick at the moisture festival the other day. his “real name”, acording to his schtick, is Banjo Penis. i traded him a copy of serpentine for a copy of his ukulele dick cd and a copy of his “Dick Dujour” cd, Music to Scare Children by. i’ve been listening to them on and off throughout the day, and i must say, the guy is more than just a ukulele player. i also made buttons for him that say “Act Dorky, Live Forever”. i’ve got performances on friday and sunday for sure, and possibly saturday.
the big news, or maybe not so big if you hang out with the right people, i guess, is that circus contraption is breaking up. i have no idea why, but i can imagine, as with most artistic organisations like that, that there were some artistic differences somewhere along the lines.
other news: my SSDI hearing is the 24th. i’m approaching it with an interesting mixture of hilarity and dread. i got to see part of the forms ned was filling out earlier in the week, and he said about 10 things, of which i would think that 1 of which should be enough to get me on the “disabled” list in a perfect world, but because of the fact that the world is decidedly imperfect, i don’t know if it will help or not. we’re going to work on it some more after the moisture festival is over.
also i’m getting ready to be able to accept credit cards on hybrid elephant, but i’ve only gotten one order since i went live with the new site, so i’m wondering if i can’t put it off for another month until i get more of an idea about whether or not people are going to notice it.
despite the fact that i won the battle of the computer in record time – this time – i learned a bunch of things that i didn’t know in the process. the main thing i learned is that the intermittent quiet scratching noise coming from the computer is the power supply fan, which, instead of turning on and doing what it is supposed to do when power is applied, in fact, it rotates weakly, not anywhere near fast enough to be anything like the heat sink that it’s supposed to be, and intermittently emits a scratching sound that makes me think that it, too, is not long for this world.
linux computer is dead, which isn’t really surprising considering that is built out of spare bits and pieces of several other computers. i’ve ruled out the power supply, for two reasons: one is that i replaced it about six months ago, and the other is that i actually took my computer to RePC (where a lot of the parts came from) and had the guy check it out. he checked out the power supply (which lit up his testing device with green lights, indicating that the power supply is working correctly), but refused to look at it any further(!) because it was too dirty(!), despite the fact that it wasn’t that dirty and i have seen computers which worked fine and were orders of magnitude more dirty than mine was… still, i brought it home and cleaned it, but it still won’t boot.
unfortunately, i have a 1:00 call today and i’m performing until 1:00 tomorrow morning, then i have a 10:00 AM(!) call tomorrow and i’m assuming that i will be performing until 1:00 am monday, but i’m not sure because my calendar was on my linux computer and isn’t accessible, in spite of the fact that it’s probably still there. but one way or another, there’s a good chance that i won’t even get to look at my computer until monday, and given a perfect-case scenario, won’t actually get it working again until tuesday or wednesday, which means that i have to re-create my calendar somewhere other than my linux box.
linux box is down. fortunately, i can switch to mac fairly easily, and the /home directory is on a separate disk from the main operating system, but i really don’t want to fight the battle of the computer again so soon after the last time. i’m a fair amount more prepared for it than the last time, but it’s still irritating as hell.
in other news, snake suspenderz played a gig at smokin’ pete’s barbecue this evening, which went well. tomorrow is my first day without a performance or a rehearsal in more than a week. i’m a busy musician during the moisture festival. two more weeks to go.
i just found out, if you type
grep -i mclain /etc/services into a terminal window on mac os x, you’ll get my very old and dear friend fred mclain’s name… apparently his name is on one of the port services that you have if you’re running mac os x, or suse. it doesn’t work if you’re running k/x/ubuntu…
national kazoo day gig last night. it was a real pleasure to play music, but apparently there was some drama towards the end, after all the music had been played and we were packing up and getting out, but apparently not quickly enough to suit the owners of the cafe/theater. i was only partially aware of what was going on. i actually was already packed up and loaded out by the time it became a real drama, and i was outside, so i didn’t even see the drama part of it at all, but apparently sketch was given the bum’s-rush – after having just played a full set, and not having packed up all of his gear or gotten changed or even put on a coat.
we did sell three of our NEW CDs though! it’s so new that it doesn’t have a link anywhere yet… hobbit and thad were up until 3:00 saturday morning folding, gluing and shrink-wrapping the packaging… there will be a CD baby link when i get it. 8)
moe is having problems with the SVBT web site, which is being made infinitely worse by the fact that their host provider has its head so far up its ass that they’d need a team of spelunkers and several days to find it. i’ve been trying to help out, and i actually succeded in backing up the old web site and uploading the stuff that they had to replace it, but now, apparently the database is broken, the PHP experts on staff live in australia, and the web designer is being a 14-carat gold plated prick about the whole thing – but his prick-itude about it may be partially due to the fact that the host provider is being a complete, 24-carat solid gold pile of crap. it would have taken me 10 minutes on my host to do what it took me almost 3 hours to do, manually, one file at a time, on their host. i don’t want to seem like i’m bailing on moe, because if nobody else, i should support her, but at the same time, it’s not my job to fix SVBT’s wonky host provider, and while it is moe’s job, i personally believe that it would be infinitely easier to bail on the host provider and go with some place that actually, you know, provides a usable service….
along a similar line, i got an invoice from drizzle today, and, as i suspected, they’ve charged me again for the screwup that resulted in my account getting deleted and then restated, despite the fact that it never should have been deleted in the first place, which is THEIR FAULT!! and, of course, it’s sunday and they’re not there – i find it somewhat ironic that their automated billing service works on sunday, but nobody else does. it’s not actually going to be “funny” until they have acknowledged that they should not have billed me for something that wasn’t my fault to begin with, which, i suspect, is going to take a while.