Difficult Lowe's

08/26/06 | by JAdP | Categories: Personal

I spent over three hours in a local Lowe's yesterday, trying to buy material to continue with my home remodeling.

  • Glass Block for an art deco accent to the stairwell bookcase
  • Components to install the glass block
  • DecoLav lavatory consoles
  • 60"x36" whirlpool bath
  • Stone floor and complimentary wall tiles
  • Shower doors, faucets, etc, etc, etc to complete the picture

First, I waited for help in plumbing. After several pages and an half-hour, I decided to move on.

The person who helped me with my glass block design seemed knowledgeable, but, in a case of the experienced meeting the innovative :lalala: he was convinced, after an half-hour, that I couldn't make my vision a reality. I decided to regroup back at home, take his knowledge and then prove him wrong: 5 glass "arches", each made of three of these stacked up and topped with one of these, set "back-to-back" as it were. Maybe it will work, maybe not, but I think it will look very cool.

Back in plumbing, I was passed from person to person, without any success in being able to order what I wanted. After two hours of this, I left, too frustrated to even begin trying with the flooring and tiles.

Today, I thought I would revisit their web site, which has proved so painful in the past. Today was no exception. They have the glass block that I need, listed, but not the components [spacers, anchors, etc] - and no indication of whether the price is per piece or per case [from the store prices, I think per case] nor any indication of how many per case [I know 8 pieces per case from the store for the regular blocks, but how about the end pieces?]

They don't have the 36" wide whirlpools listed on the web site, only the 32". They don't have any "special order" items listed.

What a joke! A cruel joke, frustrating.

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FedEx Deceptive Practices

08/23/06 | by JAdP | Categories: Personal

I've been having a lot of trouble with web based vendors sending the wrong information. First, let me say that they need need a better order fulfillment & inventory control system. Perhaps something like the RF Warehouse solution from our partner, Eleusinian Enterprises, LLC.

But today's treatment by FedEx shows amazingly poor customer service. A return was arranged by the vendor via FedEx Ground. I scheduled a pick-up time via their web site, which allows one to select a date for the pick-up and a time by which that pick-up will be made. I scheduled today, before 11:00 a.m. 'Tis after 1:00 p.m. and they haven't arrived, so I phoned FedEx. At least their IVR system allowed me to get to a human quickly, since resolving a problem wasn't an option. I spoke with Jennifer, who checked with her supervisor, who told her to inform me that those times are preferred times, but that FedEx isn't under any obligation to honor them. I told her that I wanted to enter a complaint, as I felt that the FedEx web site was deceptive, since it allows one to select a time by which the pick-up will occur. She put me on hold again, and then their system dropped the call.

The quality of service from FedEx has been steadily declining over the past few years, to the point that we've dropped our corporate account in favor of UPS and DHL. UPS has started failing to deliver on time this year. So far, DHL has been the only one to consistently provide good service. Maybe it's because one of their founders retired to Half Moon Bay some years ago.

So, do I sit here and wait, and get on with my day?


Good Reading

08/06/06 | by JAdP | Categories: books

I just downloaded The Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey, in its entirety, from eReader [the link is to the series on eReader.com].

Even though this is one of the best fantasy series ever written, I've only read two or three of the books. eBooks have given me the ability to find and read the entire series, which I hadn't found when I first started reading such books. I was reminded of the series as I was taking down my library to make way for a new built-in set of bookcases that I'm building around the stairwell and front wall of my living room.

With the first page I was struck by something that I had started to ignore. While there are some good authors today, most current authors write to a fifth grade level - the "average" reading level in America, I think. Anne McCaffrey is using "big words". She's showing the English language in all its wonderful richness. This is what made me an avid reader so long ago, when, before I started school, a retired teacher, a tenant of my parents, gave me a book to read. She knew that my maternal grandmother had already taught me to read. Not a day has gone by since, that I haven't read a novel for an hour or more before going to sleep.

And even though my arthritis is acting up, and my joints are throbbing from all the lugging and screwing that I've been doing today, installing my pre-fabricated bookcases, I had to get out of bed and blog this, because the words are so wondrous.

I like to add the hard bound edition of the eBook to library, as a collectors item - especially now that I don't have to crack the book to read it :>> I wonder if on Amazon or eBay or somewhere, I can find new or collectable hard bound editions of The Dragonriders of Pern. Sweet.


Housing Bubble Expands

08/04/06 | by JAdP | Categories: General Thoughts, Personal

The sun just came out, pushing the marine layer of fog off past the horizon. I can see from Fitzgerald Marine Reserve to the Farollone Islands.

Devil's Slide reopended today. My neighbor reports that it's a beautiful job.

I can just feel the housing bubble swelling just a bit. Yep, Zillow says my house is worth 50K$ more than last month. :crazy: :>


SGC Expands

07/29/06 | by JAdP | Categories: Entertainment

According to this article in the NY Times, NORAD is moving out of Cheyenne Mountain "for efficiency reasons". Of course, the real reason is that Stargate Command is expanding its operations, what with the Ori and the Atlantis operation in the Pagasus galaxy.


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I'm Joseph A. di Paolantonio and this blog has two main foci: my interest in food, and my interest in the future. This provides a look into my personal life, and is separate from my consulting work…though there will be overlap. I am an independent researcher, working as a strategic consultant and I'm an executive with over 20 years of commercial experience with a technical interest in the intersection of Internet of Things, with advanced data management and analysis methods. I view data science as a team activity, and I feel that the IoT must be viewed as a system. I am leveraging my past activities to understand the adoption and impact of the IoT; first, as a system engineer in aerospace, where I developed Bayesian risk assessment methods for systems within the Space Transportation System (including the Space Shuttle), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, Gravity Probe B, and many more, and second, as a enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics professional. Between my aerospace and IT careers, I indulged my hobby of cooking by starting a food company, Montara Magic, centered around my chocolate sauces. My education combined chemistry, mathematics and philosophy. I performed research into molten salt fuel cells in graduate school, and in photovoltaic materials for a short time in industry. The lure of bringing the human race into space was strong, and when I was offered the chance to combine my chemistry and mathematics skills to develop new risk assessment and system engineering methods for space launch and propulsion systems – I couldn't resist. I perform independent research and strategic consulting to bring value from the Internet of Things, Sensor Analytics Ecosystems and data science teams.I am a caregiver, a lover of science fiction and speculative fantasy, and my passion to learn has led me to a pilot's license, an assistant instructor in SCUBA, nordic and alpine skiing, sea kayaking, and reading everything I can, in as many topics as I can.

View Joseph di Paolantonio's profile on LinkedIn

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