Archive for June, 2003

FigureSource can go to HELL!

Saturday, June 28th, 2003

So I tried to IM xFiguresource again today and suddenly they appeared offline. Seeing as how I am less than a year away from a Masters Degree in Computer Science I decided to switch to one of my other screen names and low-and-behold guess who is still online. Just a not to any aspiring entrepreneurs out there, blocking someone’s IM address is not good customer service. So I gave up and called my credit card company. Hopefully they will be able to help me in this situation. In the meantime I have set out to warn people about the dangers of buying from this website. You can see my threads on, and

Several Stories to Tell

Friday, June 27th, 2003

Sit back and relax. I have several stories to tell, so I am going to start from now and go backwards. Now I am sitting at my desk, having just gotten here. When I woke up this morning there was a tractor trailer flipped onto its side blocking all the lanes, but the right-hand shoulder of the beltway. So rather than go to work I stayed home and logged into the network from there. I love working from home, but when the day starts there it makes it awful hard to come here. Luckily I have some Arby’s to hold me over.

Now we will move to yesterday morning. I got an e-mail when I woke up saying to go to the LPU site and sign up for the Meet and Greets for the Summer Sanitarium tour. These are little events where you get to meet Linkin Park and get their signature. So I sign up and leave for work. When I get home I get online and WinterRaven is on. I ask her if Sqwee can get online because she needs to sign up for her Meet and Greet Pass. She gives her a call and a little while later Sqwee signs on, but she can’t see the Philli Meet and Greet as an option. We change her zip code to the one of the stadium thinking that may help, but still nothing. So it turns on that the Meet and Greet is already full. The only reason I really wanted to go to the Meet and Greet so bad is because I wanted to see Sqwee meet Linkin Park. She loves them much more than I do. So now I am going to try to see if I can transfer my Meet and Greet pass over to her name. Meeting Linkin Park just isn’t going to be fun going by myself.

Now we will move to February. I decided to pre-order the Series 3 Muppets so I was sure I would be getting a nice set. I did a search on the interweb and came across Their slogan says that they are for the “serious collector” so I decided to give them a try. I ended up Pre-Ordering 3 different things: the set of Series 3 Muppets, Mega-Beaker, and the Swedish Kitchen play set. The first 2 items were being released at a different time then the Swedish Kitchen, but that has never been a big deal with any other sites I have visited, so why would it be now. It took a while to receive my first package, but that was no big deal. Everything arrived in very good shape, so I was not disappointed. However, I went online and I had been charged the total amount of my bill which included my Swedish Kitchen. I have never dealt with a site that would charge you for an item before they actually shipped it. I didn’t see this as too big of a deal as long as I received my last item. So everyone else on the Palisades Toys message boards starts receiving their kitchens. Feeling a little left out I decided to send an e-mail over to Patrick, of, and ask him about the status of my Swedish Kitchen. He responds saying that it had just arrived to their location and would be shipping out “asap”. So now I am excited. The Swedish Kitchen is one of the sets I have been looking forward to getting the most. So I force myself to be patient and wait…and wait…and wait. June 18th rolls around and still no Swedish Kitchen, so I send them an e-mail. No response, so on the 20th I send them another e-mail. Still no response, so I go to their IM address. I drop them an IM and they said they would look into it. So I give them a few days and no response. Yesterday I tried IMing them again and now every time I IM them when they are available almost instantly an away message will go up. Yesterday I sent them a final e-mail to all the available address on their website, which if you check has gone down for re-development of the website.

If a mistake was made and they don’t have one available to send me, then that is fine, but they need to communicate to their customers, and they need to refund my credit card for the $28.99 they charged me for it and any shipping that they charged me for the delivery that never happened. As far as I am concerned, until I hear from them otherwise, they have stolen my money. If I need to, I will be sure to get the proper authorities involved, but I would rather not have to resort to that. If anyone has any suggestions that may help me resolve this issue, that don’t involve mail bombs or driving to Staten Island (yes these were actual suggestions from people) then please e-mail me and let me know.

Bad to the Books

Thursday, June 26th, 2003

So I am being bad. I skipped right over finishing Return of the King and jumped right into Dune. I promise I will get back to Return of the King as soon as I am done the first book of Dune. Then I will jump over to Book 3 of the Dark Tower series so that I can finish that and Book 4 before Book 5 comes out. So much to read and so little time to do it in. Oh to be back in high school and even college where there was such a thing as summer break.

How I got my Harry Potter

Wednesday, June 25th, 2003

I just finished Harry Potter Book 5. Yes my life is now my own again. After staying up late last night and getting up early this morning I was able to just now (8:15 AM), at work, finish the last 50 pages. I must be nuts? Well, yeah, maybe, but these books make me happy, and that should be all that matters. Now if everyone else would just hurry up and finish reading the books so that I have someone to chat with about the story I would be very happy.

Let us retrace the steps to the story of how I actually got my copy of the book in the first place. Our plans were to go to dinner on Friday and then to the Barnes and Noble location in Bel Air to the Harry Potter party where we would purchase our books. We were all to meet at Lone Star at 8 PM, but due to some bad planning and guestimating on my behalf, we end up not all getting there till around 8:20. No big deal, we still have plenty of time to go and get in line for our books.

I ask to see if they could possibly give us a booth, but unfortunately Lone Star is not very good at using booths with larger parties. So we are seated at a table. We almost all end up getting there at the same time thanks to a little traffic and such. Our waitress comes and takes our beverage orders and we ask for some cheese fries and soup to start off our meal. Then about 10 minutes later we place our food order. A half an hour later the waitress swings by and says that our food will be right out. We all look at each other questioningly because we have yet to see our cheese fries. Tyrant needs another soda, so when she comes to get his glass he asks here where our cheese fries are. She disappears into the kitchen and comes back to say that something happened and our cheese fries were ruined, which we all know is bull, and that we can either not get our cheese fries, or she can bring them to us with our meal and we won’t be charged for them. WinterRaven had also ordered some soup, which I think she just wrote off as a loss (get it? she’s an accountant? over never mind).

So out comes our food and our cheese fries. Everyone puts in some small requests for some different sauces and such, but when Tyrant asks for some honey mustard the waitress rolls her eyes at him. He looks at me somewhat shocked as she comes out with a “right away sir”. We believe that she realized at that point that she had screwed up. She tries to be nice to us for the rest of the evening, but she has already screwed it up for herself. And to ice the cake she brings us our bill and tried charging us for the soup that she never brought.

Just after we get our food I am intently eating when I hear what sounded like glass hitting wood. I looked up to see Apok’s reflexes jump into action as he uprights his glass. Then it took another few seconds to register that the soda that was once in his cup is now flowing along the table directly at me. I stood up, but it was too late. I had soda soaking the left hand knee of my pants. It was all over my chair and the floor. I had my purse on the back of my chair, but unfortunately Melissa did not and she ended up with soda in her purse.

After that rather eventful meal we sent the boys on their way to find amusement elsewhere and the girls all clambered into my SUV and Melissa’s car and made our way towards Barnes and Noble. We walk into the store and see what seemed like hundreds of little kids running around. Half of them dressed as Hogwart’s students. We searched around and spotted the end of the line and jumped in queue to wait for our turn to get a ticket, which we knew meant that we would get a book.

We wait in line for what felt like 45 minutes (more accurately I think it has been timed to be 20 minutes, but it felt like 45 to me). as we are just a matter of 20 people from the registration table a woman wearing a Harry Potter hat walks up to the line and says, “Everyone in this line has pre-ordered a book right?” With a note of frustration and disgust I huff out a “No” in chorus with the rest of the girls around me. I am thinking, dammit we have been waiting in this line and we didn’t need to. That we probably just needed to wait and pay for our books at midnight and not bother with the line we were standing in. The hatted woman, whom I will now start referring to as the B.I.T.H. (Bitch in the Hat), continues her speech, “Well if you didn’t pre-order a book we don’t have one for you.” Then she walks away. We all just stand there flabbergasted.

WinterRaven takes control of the situation and walks back to the Service desk. She asks the gentleman behind the counter if she can speak to a manager. He calls the manager to the desk and as she approaches he mutters to her “…same thing as before” or something to that extent. Turns out the BITH is the manger. The conversation goes along with WinterRaven suggesting that they should have someone up front telling people as they walk in that there are no books to be purchased this evening. The BITH says that they are making announcements over the intercom. There was one being made at that moment, but it was being drowned out by the screams of all the small children that were terrorizing the store. The BITH then gets an attitude and walks away from WinterRaven saying, “It is not my fault that some people got misinformation…I don’t have time for this.” BIG MISTAKE! Corporate should be hearing from us soon. It is her fault that she does not properly inform her employees and doesn’t notify people that there are no books to purchase.

In the meantime Melissa is on her cell phone and we start calling around looking for books. We hear that White Marsh had 200 books over the pre-order delivered and hop in our cars to head in that direction. Sqwee runs into the store to assess the situation and reports back that there is no way we are getting a book. So we head out to Greeting and Readings in hopes that they may be open. No luck. Towson doesn’t have books. So we start heading back towards the SkullzDotHouse. On the way Melissa recalls that Walgreen’s is where the little girl got an early copy of the book, so we head towards the nearest one. We run in the store and get in line. Turns out the have 5 books and we are probably number 7, 8, 9 and 10 in line. We hit two more Walgreen’s, a Rite Aid and even at one point a Giant. Then we call it a night and return to the SDH.

As we regroup at the house Melissa decides she is going to Wal-Mart tomorrow when it opens and is getting her book. With promises from Tyrant that we will find me a book the next day we all disband to our own houses. At 6 in he morning my cell phone starts ringing. I miss the call but see that it was Melissa’s cell phone, so I hang up and call her back. She not only has a book for herself but a copy for me. We make plans for me to go and pick it up from her at work later in the day.

As the day goes by it turns out everyone got their books. M also got up in the morning and got hers from a Wal-Mart. WinterRaven and Sqwee go to the mall later on and get theirs.

Moral of the story? Barnes and Noble sucks. Go WALDENBOOKS! Why Waldenbooks? The had a nice sign outside the mall that said “Pre-Orders only at midnight”.


Saturday, June 21st, 2003

Wooo what a night last night was. You wouldn’t beleive what we went through, but you will have to wait to hear it. I believe that we at SDO will be hitting you up with a tag-team blog. Last night was crazy and disappointing, but fun at the same time because of the people I got to spend my time with. I know that sounds weird, but I think in the end everything came out good, and we have lots of stories to tell the grand-kids.