Friday, January 27, 2006


The word "filter" meant the little cylindrical thing on the gas line of my car, the slide in sheet in the side of my furnace or the device in the basement, attached to my water lines. Those filters I appreciate -- at least when they are clean and functioning.

This month though, another use for "filter" dominated my thoughts. We released the first official issue of Silver Moon Magazine ( and all seemed to go smoothly. That is, until the influx of emails informing us most of our customers did not receive the information they needed to receive their issues. A second day's worth of emailing and resending remedied the situation for most. To avoid spam, we sent each email separate, no bulk, but it appears even those ended up in Junk Mail heaven.

Yet, through all the successful fixes, I've found at least one who has repeatedly emailed, who we have repeatedly emailed back. It is clear our customer is not receiving any of our correspondence despite all our efforts. So what is one to do? Snail mail. Hopefully that will at least let our customer know we have not been ignoring her. Our hands are simply tied by the multiple types of email systems and spam filters out there. There is only so much we can do.

Then this morning I receive correspondence from an online vendor I do business with. My account, for a reason totally unknown to me, seemed to be frozen. No upgrades were showing up, nothing. I alerted them to this problem only to be told the account had been frozen because apparently I had reported them for spam and it was being investigated.

Really? I did? When? I still don't know. I never reported anything from them as spam on purpose and rarely report anything in the junk mail box, though I do check it often for the multiple important emails I have discovered there. I usually take out what I need and click to empty it. But now I realize somehow, some way I became one of those people who reported something legit as spam. Hmmph.

The moral of this story -- It's always a good idea to check the junk mail box, whether you activated it or not, and never hit "report" until you have closely looked at each address. Yet I doubt even that will stop email confusion.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Wake up calls...

I've heard "wake-up calls" can be useful, especially for those who sleep through alarm clocks screaming at them. In all honesty, that's probably me. I am not a morning person at all but my wake up calls are built into my household and usually consist of "MOM, she touched my stuff" or the pleasant (can you hear the sarcasm here?) "Ruff Ruff" from our shepherd mix. This morning, someone decided to give me a new wake up call - they tried to fax my home phone. Mind you, I was already up, fumbling through the kitchen to pack my youngest's lunch and make her a breakfast she'll actually eat. I manage to push away the tissues, books, and pencils the phone is buried under, watching the clock tick away, wondering if it's my oldest telling me she's sick again, or hurt herself somehow. I say "hello." I'm greeted with silence and then an ear-splitting BEEEEEP.

Uh huh. So I head back to the kitchen brush daughter's hair, help her put shoes on and the phone rings again. This time I ignore it, but the machine announces another pleasant round of BEEPS. This has happened before, but I assure you, I don't have fax capabilities on my home phone. Wrong numbers are one thing, but I sure do wish, when faxing someone, people would make certain they have the correct number. Especially at 7 a.m. Can't tell a machine its made a mistake.

At any rate, I'm now wide awake and sure I won't catch up on any sleep this morning (not sure if the fax fairy has discovered they are trying a wrong number yet) despite the fact my characters from Among the Ancients had me up till after midnight typing out a few scenes. I suppose I should thank the person though. The beep and residual ear ringing blasted every last ounce of sleep from my head. In just half an hour, I've managed to get quite a few things done. I'm just glad it's Friday and hoping my girls sleep in tomorrow.

Until next time,


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Here it goes

My attempt at a blog. I'm not one to jump into technology or the latest fad. It took me years to invite a computer into my home and I'm probably one of the few humans in this world who doesn't own a cell phone. But I do want to stay in touch with my readers. So I'm starting a blog and hoping it doesn't take too long to catch on :)

Till next time,