Snippets #26, Sunday, 03.Mar.2002 (ISSN 1530-9622)
_______________S N I P P e T S
_________________________from James S. Huggins' Refrigerator Door
___________________________________#26, Sunday, 04.Mar.2002
_____3. New on My Site
_____5. How You Can Help Me
Several of today's emphemerae share a common characteristic: they exist
because of the internet.
The first is an example of what can happen with customer service today. Jack
Weigand, a Pennsylvania gunsmith ordered a Dell Inspiron 4100 notebook on
Feb. 13. When the laptop never arrived he called Dell and was informed that
since his business involved firearms he might have been doing something
illegal and that they have to check to make sure the order is in compliance
with US export laws especially after 9-11. Unfortunately, the order had
nothing to do with "export" because the address was Pennsylvania. And
equally unfortunately, Dell failed to check. So Mr. Weigand, who also serves
as President of the American Pistolsmiths Guild. sent a message out to
several gun lists talking about the issue.
Within moments the mail began to fly. Mr Weigand received hundreds of
emails. Apparently Dell did too.
Dell has since admitted the mistake and offered to make amends. Still, some
find its "export" explanation "lacking" and suspect that it was not "export"
that was the issue but the name of Mr. Weigan'd firm: Weigand Combat
But, regardless of the details (and they will probably continue to emerge
for weeks), the internet let a single dissatisfied customer become, in days,
the subject of a national news story requiring direct response by the
president of a large corporation. Before the internet, it would not have
The second is a web page showing what happens to a towboat when a bridge
fails to open to let the boat through. (And, let me tell you, if I didn't see
it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it.) Before the internet,
these would have been great photos for the photographer. His family and
friends would have seen them. Maybe the local media would have picked them
up. And maybe faxed copies of one or two would have circulated. But today,
with the internet, the website is possible and word about the website has
circulated so that people across the world are able to see.
No, that web page won't ever be world "news". But the internet lets you see
it and be intrigued and amused. And the internet lets you share it with
others as well.
The third is a link to a site that offers a free Atomic Clock Sync utility.
This link was suggested by David Hatchuel CL, President eden-epsom
Toastmasters, Club 4748, District 72, (firstname.lastname@example.org), in response to
the links from yesterday. That is the nature of the internet. It is
interactive. The little newsletter I sent spawned a response of another
related, useful site. It begins a conversation between Dallas and New
Zealand in a discussion of setting the time on a PC that moves on to a
wazillion other topics.
None of these characteristics are new or novel. You have read about them
before and are probably aware of them yourself. But it nevertheless
intrigues me when all of this comes together like it does.
Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not
defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we
can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.
— Denis Waitley
The memories of tomorrow depend on your attitude today.
— Dave Weinbaum
Set up the listening. Prepare who you are talking to for what you want them
to hear. Get people to listen as a possibility rather than a problem.
— Mal Pancoast
All of the significant battles are waged within the self.
— Sheldon Kopp, psychotherapist
== I have just added these quotations to my website.
== You can see these and more at the Quotations section:
every day interesting “stuff” crosses my desk. Some isn’t important enough
to put on my site in any permanent way. But it is interesting enough to put
there somehow, quickly, at least for a while.
These are ephemerae: collections of temporary, transitory tidbits.
___Houston Chronicle (01.Mar.2002),
________"Dell: Refusal to Sell Laptop to Gun Dealer a Mistake":
An article about Jack Weigand's attempt to buy a PC from Dell.
__________"Dell Proves a Bit Gun-Shy":
An article about Jack Weigans's attempt to buy a PC from Dell.
_____Weigand Combat Handguns, Inc.:
Jack Weigand's site.
_____Weigand's Dell Page
_____The Towboat and the Bridge:
This page features a collection of pictures showing what happens when a
drawbridge fails to open for a towboat pushing a large load of barges down
(note: down) a fast flowing river. If I didn't see it, I wouldn't have
This site offers a freeware Atomic Clock Sync utility to "ping" the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) atomic clock server to get the
correct time and then to update your PC. It will update on your command and
you can set it to update on a schedule.
== I have the same information and links to prior items at
__________3. NEW/CHANGED ON MY SITe
Nothing today. See http://www.JamesSHuggins.com/ephemerae
for prior items.
_____The Ornery Reports, Site of the Week
"Having just wandered around your many pages for much of the past two hours,
my wife and I are of the mind that the beginning is the best place for our
readers to head in order to fully appreciate all you have to offer. Surely
your site reflects what it must be, a labor of love, else you would not and
could not have spent the time it has taken to compose it. We are both
impressed enough that, for what it is worth, we will be recommending it as
our site pick of the week. (Nah, there's no big trophy and, worse, not even
a large cash award - nor small one, we hasten to add. We just hope our
readers find the combination of entertainment and information as enjoyable
as we have.)
[See description under "Sites We Recommend"; Site Pick of the Week graphic
links to my site]
__________5. HOW YOU CAN HeLP Me
First, keep me in mind if you if you encounter something interesting. Please
forward it to me. I'd love to hear from you.
Second, if you know of anyone else who might appreciate receiving Snippets,
forward a copy to them so that they can subscribe.