Retail Resolution

If anyone wonders where I went… November happened and then December came right after it. One word: Retail. The two months leading up to Christmas get nuts. Planning, preparation, exponentially increasing order volumes, emails, phone calls, product reordering, stocking, shipping, holiday emails, nightmare customers. These are the times that I live for and that I dread.

Next week will be the busiest yet. Right now we do between 150-200 orders a day but that will jump as the desperate turn to us for seasonal salvation. The one thing that ceaselessly irks me is the customers who blame us for ruining Christmas. People need to step up and take some personal responsibility. Last year we had a lady who ordered on Christmas Eve. She sent an email and said in effect “I just placed my order. I paid for Express. It better be here tomorrow! Please don’t ruin my Christmas.” It was about eleven in the evening. “You have got to be kidding.” I replied. I like the last little rush we get, but things would be easier if people would order a few weeks in advance.

This December is going much better for me personally than last December. Last year I had a chest infection that lasted from the end of November 2008 until June of 2009. So far this winter I’ve just had a couple of mild colds. I give a lot of credit to a new allergy medication I’m on. Since my immune system isn’t busy fighting inert allergens now it can fight real stuff. Yeah! I’m also able to get more sleep this year compared to last year. Gotta give credit to my work crew there- they are awesome.  Come to think of it, I’ve only slept one night at work this winter (compared to maybe 10 last year). That is some real progress.

And speaking of progress! I had some work I was supposed to do tonight- image editing for new products. Generally I edit images while I watch something in our theatre. But tonight was different… tonight I couldn’t take my eyes off the movie long enough to work. In fact, I had to put my computer away because I was simply too mesmerized. By what, you ask? By progress. Theatre progress.

Some of you may recall a post I made awhile back about getting a Sanyo Blu-Ray player. That was a big step for me.  But the player had an audio syncing problem (it wasn’t compatible with my Onkyo receiver).  Also, my projector at the time was 720p so I wasn’t getting the full resolution offered by Blu-Ray. Well no more!

For Christmas (pre Christmas) I got a Sony Blu-Ray player. No audio syncing issues! I also picked up an Optoma 1080p Projector (the picture is amazingly bright & clear).  And this time everything is using HDMI. Last night I installed the projector.  Tonight I tweaked the Onkyo to work just right with the new Sony player. Then I popped in Terminator: Salvation. I just sat there, blown away. Wow. The jump from DVD to Blu-Ray took a long time, and there were some bad snags, but ultimately I think it’s been worth it and I’m completely stoked.

Anyway, work beckons. There is much to do. I’ll be back next year. I’m like Frosty. Except that I’m not made of snow. And I wasn’t brought to life by a magical hat. And I hate kids (not mine).  Yes sir, just like Frosty.

Update: February 22, 2010. Above you’ll find a post documenting some of my projects that I finished up in the past few months. One of them was the theatre- I finally consider it done! The projector is mounted and calibrated correctly. I routed all the HDMI cables and got a power cord that’s not spliced together. And we added a mini fridge! The theatre is officially the coolest room in the house!

Locked Out? But That’s Impossible!

I got locked out of my car about a month ago. That may not seem like a big deal, but it is. When my key fob  is near the car door it automatically unlocks (and when I walk away it locks- very nice).  The car will only start with the key fob in the cabin and if you forget the fob when you get out and close the door the car reminds you to grab them (serious). So, with the fob in the car, and the door closed it shouldn’t be a big deal. Except that this one time my car decided the fob wasn’t there and locked the doors with the keys inside (the left is a picture of where the keys were). Technology is cool, but it can really hurt a guy.


I had a hot date (with my wife) and I really needed the car that night. I called Onstar.  “Sir, you could be anyone. I can’t open the car for you.” “I just need you to fax over your registration. It’s in the car? One moment, let me see what I can do.” “Click.” I was frustrated, but in retrospect it’s obvious they couldn’t help me. I did the only think I could think of…

We sell lock pick kits, so I busted one out. One of the coolest gadgets is a device that slides down under the window and pops up in the cabin. Once it’s inside you can hit the lock buttons. The second picture shows what I mean- half outside, half inside, button pressed. I was absolutely shocked at how easy it was to get inside my car. It might have taken five minutes. No alarm, no snags, no damage. Once I learn how to hot wire vehicles I’ll be on my way to grand theft auto academy.