Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Trouble With Getting Old

Alan Krug of KrugsStudio
Since I have been home from the hospital several things have happened that at the age of 69 I am not so sure about.

I've already written about Charter Cable, who believe it or not, actually wrote us a check for $29. Now hopefully the dunning letters (oh yes, we were billed for February with a threat to disconnect our service) will stop. I don't believe this was my fault to begin with. Its finally done.

I have had nothing but problems with my iMac, especially after I upgraded to 10.10 Yosemite. I lost the use of all my Adobe products, Safari decided to stop working which for me was a crippling blow. It was the only way I could get into my surviving Etsy store (no, Etsy never contacted me about my fine art store. Guess they are too busy working on their IPO. There's a stock I will never buy) or even write here on my blog. Chrome wouldn't let me in and it appears that Firefox is the home of Yahoo now. Yesterday, suddenly, Safari worked again.

I spent days last week trying to downgrade my system. Hours on the phone with Apple and more hours erasing not once but twice my iMac hard drive and then doing a restore from my Time Machine backup. It took on average 8 ½ hours to complete each backup. I am back to 10.9.5 Mavericks and my Adobe software is working again. However, through all this I can't even begin to tell you how frustrating it all was. Thank God I have an iPad!  It can't do anything but it can do a great deal.

Next came a message from Amazon saying I owed them money and they were freezing my account until it was settled. Settled how? After my stay in the hospital I discovered someone had hacked my card and was purchasing things. When I asked the dates of the charges I started laughing. They were not amused but neither was I. EVERY date charges were made was when I was in the hospital and the largest charge, a printer they stupidly sent here, was ordered as I was being operated on. They had no answer for that and wiped out all the charges. So what is Amazon's beef? For the piddly amount they say I owe, I would say they must have bigger fish to fry. Lets say a few hundred million on a smart phone that isn't very smart unless you want to buy on Amazon, $450 million losses on phone, pay wallets and a whole bunch of other wild goose projects last quarter. In one quarter they lost $450 million and haven't shown a profit in years. Understandably their board of directors is getting antsy. Bezos wouldn't be the first CEO that was thrown out. While I am NOT an advocate for watching the bottom line every quarter, in 12 years I would be. He needs to concentrate on what is making money, try one or two new tangents but make some money and prove he can. Dollars for 50 cents will sell like hot cakes. So far, he has been found wanting.

Try as I might, I can't find a number to call and get this straightened out. Let them cut me off. I have already started to find other sites with prices better than theirs and even better pricing in a brick and mortar stores. The "best" price frequently equals less service. As you get older you appreciate this. What's a few bucks to have it work correctly the first time?

While I moan and groan about Etsy, their lack of client response I realized awhile back its a circle. With very few exceptions store owners are looking at other store owners and favoring things they like. Do they buy? My feeling is that they don't. So its a circle. You are spying on the competition, searching for trends but not buying. We are preaching to the choir. Getting outside that universe is hard. I have posted on Twitter (probably the worst), Pinterest, second worse and recently added Tumblr. Its a race to see which IS worse. I've known that to get more views and potential customers would be to have my own web site.

In the past I did a few web sites for clients and hated it. I quickly realized that if desktop publishing was so crude we might still be setting publications with hot type! The newest web design program I have is Dreamweaver 5.5 and it is even more daunting than earlier versions. I need a kid to do the design work and show me how to update, add new items, use the blog, etc.

I have been told that WordPress is the best venue. You can write, web design and once you have it sorted out, one of the best programs out there. I have a web design candidate by my illnesses slowed that process down. As I get better and stronger I think the time has come. We will meet, I will tell him what I want and see what he comes up with. This will give me time to do what I can do and it is not web design!

I have a store, KrugsStudio so if you are interested in a variety of birdhouses or crafts and photography one of a kind paintings, please be sure to check out that store as well.

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