Tag Archives: California

Don’t buy from Airsplat.com

Long story short: their customer support is poor, they don’t stand behind their products, and they aren’t honest about either.

I bought two electric Airsoft rifles for Dave and Tom for Christmas. Tom’s was fine; David’s was poorly designed and built. I got an RMA for it the day after Christmas, then had to fight with them for months before getting a partial refund. First they ignored me, then they claimed that the rifle had been damaged in return shipping (but couldn’t produce a UPS claim), then they claimed that it was damaged before shipping.

I eventually had to dispute the charge with my bank. The whole thing was a big hassle and not worth the few bucks that I might have saved by buying from them instead of a more reputable vendor.

Avoid them.

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Filed under California, FAIL, Smackdown!

Power to the people, California style

My office is currently suffering our second power outage of the year. Earlier this year, a plane carrying Tesla employees crashed into power lines, knocking out power to much of Palo Alto. Yesterday, a transformer in our office park failed, killing power to our building and the one next door. Incredibly, 18 hours later, we’re still without power! People here delight in looking down their noses at places like Athens, Alabama or Houma, Louisiana, but certainly I was never without electricity for longer than an hour or two, even during weather that would make the average Californian run for shelter.

Interestingly, outages seem to be a Palo Alto theme: there have been several other notable outages, and at least one other company has moved to neighboring Mountain View to get more reliable electric service.

Our critical servers are protected with UPS systems, but those only help provide time for a clean shutdown, not for ongoing operations. Our landlords arranged for a 1-megawatt diesel generator to tide us over; it’s set up in the parking lot but isn’t yet providing power to the building. The utility estimates that it will take two or three days to make the necessary repairs and get us back online. In the meantime, I have a fully-charged laptop and a mostly-charged MiFi, so at least I can get a few things done.

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Filed under California, FAIL

End-of-the-year randomness

Wow, how did it get to be the end of the year already? I’ve fallen down on my blogging bigtime, but I have ambitious plans for 2010– mostly consisting of posting a batch of articles at once and letting MovableType publish them on a schedule. That way when I’m in the blogging mood I can write up a bunch of stuff and post it.

A few end-of-the-year notes:

  • Christmas was wonderful, even though (or perhaps because) we were here by ourselves. We gave Mom and our boys a Disney cruise, which means I’ll miss the MVP summit this year. I think it’s a reasonable tradeoff, though.
  • Julie and Paul gave me Cruise Ship Confidential, which was a real hoot. The author struck me as someone I’d love to sit down with over lunch. If you like true-confessions-style books, this one’s excellent.
  • Lego Rock Band is a ton of fun, especially with the boys. We also gave them Lips: #1 Hits, which is way more fun than I expected it would be. No surprise that the Lips wireless mic works with the Rock Band family, and having a wireless mic makes those games more fun (and easier for us to stage).
  • I bought a USMC license plate frame from the Stars and Stripes Shop. It was cheaper than any place else I found, I got it in two days, and they sent me a 10% off code to share: sssfrienddec09. Share and enjoy!
  • This year’s Aviation Week & Space Technology photo contest winners are even more awesome than usual. The little tiny online versions don’t really do the pictures justice; if you can find the print magazine, you’ll see what I mean.
  • One of my coworkers is an Iowa fan– the first one I’ve ever met in the flesh. Too bad his team is going down when they play the mighty Yellow Jackets.
  • Speaking of work, I’m really excited about some of the stuff we’re going to be doing. I can’t share any details yet but there are some exciting things coming up.

I probably won’t be posting again this year, so until next time, have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and get ready for a great 2010!

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Filed under Friends & Family, General Stuff, Musings