Showing 1 - 10 of 93 posts found matching keyword: work
Wednesday 18 October 2023
My aging computer, which I use 8 or more hours a day, has been showing signs of senility lately, so last Sunday I decided to buy a replacement. Specifically, I decided to buy a Razer, as that's what was available on sale at BestBuy.com with the specs that friend (and boss) James recommended. Before going through a shopping cart, I did a little research and discovered that Razer.com had an even better price on their own product. So I decided to order directly from the manufacturer instead. That proved to be a mistake.
No sooner had I completed their checkout process than Razer promptly sent me an email to notify me that the transaction had been "unsuccessful" and urged me to get in touch with their customer service, which I did immediately via chat. The representative told me they would "forward a support ticket to the relevant team" to verify me as a legitimate buyer so that my purchase would be processed by their system "automatically." Except it didn't.
On Monday, I got another email, telling me that the whole problem was my credit card processor. They said I needed a payment authorization code to clear up the problem, so I called my bank. Turns out the bank's AI was naturally suspicious of such a large purchase of nearly $3,000 — don't judge me — and killed the transaction. Fine. It happens. In fact, I appreciate the caution. Except they could not give me an authorization code because no payment had actually ever been authorized. They said I'd need the merchant to run the transaction again.
I told Razer this, and they said they couldn't run a charge against the original order; I would have to just place a whole new order. One small catch: between Sunday night and Monday morning, Razer raised the price of the machine by more than 13%. Since I was only shopping from them because they had been cheaper than Best Buy, I asked their customer service to honor Sunday's price. They declined. I explained that in that case, there was no longer any incentive for me to buy from Razer.com... and they followed up by politely suggesting that I "explore authorized Razer resellers, where you might find attractive deals and promotions."
In hindsight, perhaps I should have expected that. The Sunday representative ended our chat by telling me that "right after you end the chat, you might receive a survey for you to provide us with feedback. The survey is all about ME as your assistance buddy as how I tried my best to assist you today, and not with Razer services" (emphasis mine). Hint, hint, Walter.
Anyway. This is all just a longwinded way of explaining why I will not be buying a Razer computer from any Razer reseller, authorized or otherwise. If they don't want me to buy their product, I'm more than happy to oblige.
Thursday 24 August 2023
It seems that every news outlet today is reporting that Flamingo (a time management app) reported that the most common Sick Day in America (according to their data) is August 24.
First of all, congratulations to Flamingo for getting their product's name in everyone's mouth. I see what you did there. I didn't previously know what a "paid time off" app was, and I do now. Good job, guys. Someone was working hard on August 24th.
Secondly, I believe it. (Judging from the amount of coverage this "news" got, so do most other people.) Late August is too blisteringly hot, humid, and uncomfortable to work outside, and school just got back in, introducing everyone to strains of disease that had been developing in secluded households over the summer. It's a perfect storm!
Personally, I'm still doing work today, even though I don't want to. Frankly, I'm a bit depressed, which may be a result of working too hard and getting too little sleep for the past few days/weeks. I could probably use a day off.
If only there was an app that could help me schedule something....
Tuesday 22 February 2022
As of today, I have another project on Kickstarter.
This time it's an actual board game, the kind with dice. Lots of dice.
To be clear, the game was designed by Jimmy Sanders of Mythica Gaming. Initial art direction and logo were completed before I was brought on board, so I only provided the graphic design for the board, cards, instructions, and box. And the Kickstarter. So basically everything but the dice and the logo.
Here is the video of Jimmy's mother, Janet, demoing the game (and my work) for Kickstarter.
(And, I guess since I'm being so modest, I should mention that I also edited that video.)
If you'd like to support my work, you can follow this link to Kickstarter.com and follow the project for as little as $1. Thanks for your support.
Sunday 16 May 2021
Sunday was just winding down when I got a call at 7:10 PM from the Newnan Police Department. Someone, it seems, had driven into the front of the commercial building my family owns downtown.
The building sits facing a traffic light (at a t-junction), and someone ran straight through the light into the steps. The officer tells me that the driver was unharmed. I'm really only surprised that in the roughly 3/4-century that the building has been there, this hasn't happened before.
It's been a rough 2021 for the building. A tree that was knocked down in a recent storm last month. (It actually was toppled in a windstorm the week *after* the tornado.) The tree fell away from the building, but its roots tore up the asphalt and tore up the fence and the neighbor's awning. For the record, no one was harmed in that accident, either.
Tuesday 16 March 2021
Hey! Look who's in the paper!
Ok, fine. That's an advertisement I placed myself in this month's edition of the local Newnan advertiser, The Paper. And it seems to be working. I've already got 8 new hits at JamesWalterStephens.com. Woot!
Here's a better pic of the ad, which was put together by the same guy who designed the book art and layout (hint: it's me):
Disclaimer: I might not be a "local author" where you live.
And here's a gentle reminder that you can buy a copy the book for yourself on Amazon.com.
Monday 8 March 2021
Remember that Kickstarter I linked to back in August? Well, that game is done. Here's a trailer for the completed project:
Kickstarter backers already have their copies, and It's getting a public release later this month. I'll post a link to that when I have it.
Thanks to all who helped support us.
Friday 4 December 2020
Now that I'm no longer tending for a sick dog, I finally have some time to get stuff done. Stuff like publishing a novel!
Apprentice to Murder: The Tale of Robin the Rascal in the Wizard's Own Words, my latest novel, is now available in both a $15 paperback edition and a $2.99 Kindle eBook on Amazon.com. Just in time for Christmas!
This is my fifth novel, after the Central Kingdoms Chronicles quadrilogy (The Wizards of Ranaloy, Prince Thorgils' War, A Quest Before Dying, and Specter of the Lich). Those were all about wizards. I admit that this one is too. But it's also a cozy murder mystery!
According to the book cover (which I also wrote):
Life is easy for young Prince Robin. Growing up with the luxuries afforded members of the royal family, he dreams of one day becoming a knight like his late father. But the young nobleman's dreams are derailed when his cousin, heir apparent Prince John, dies under questionable circumstances. Fingers quickly point to Robin, who inconveniently happens to be the next in the line of succession and the last person to have seen John alive.
To prevent civil war, Robin abdicates his birthright for an apprenticeship under Royal Wizard Septimus. Robin's sacrifice saves the kingdom, but one by one, the inhabitants of Windwick Castle begin to die, each new death seeming to further incriminate the fallen prince. The only way for Robin to save himself is find John's real killer.
The apprentice wizard is going to learn the hard way that even magic has its limits.
If that's not enough to whet your appetite, you can read the first chapter of this or any of my other books for free at JamesWalterStephens.com.
Thank you to all who have supported this project.
Wednesday 26 August 2020
I don't just stare at the sky! Sometimes I work on coding video games.
For example: Legends of Draxia, a mobile device video game that has just been announced on Kickstarter!
I'm not saying you have to support it, but if you do, thanks in advance.
Tuesday 14 January 2020
Just a quick FYI: I watched the pilot of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist last week, and I liked it. I liked it a lot.
The protagonist is a coder for a San Francisco tech company, and a plot point is that their code doesn't work. Zoey manages a promotion after realizing that no one on her entire team knows even the first step in debugging a network communication error. I
probably definitely should have been irritated, but series lead Jane Levy is too cute for me to be mad that she's bad at her job.
Knowing that musical television is an uphill battle, NBC is streaming the episode on NBC.com and YouTube to build positive word of mouth in advance of its February 16 series debut. In software development, we call that a soft launch.
Try it. You might like it. A lot.
Sunday 15 December 2019
Last year I vowed that instead of gingerbread houses in 2019, I would make gingerbread men. It was a good decision.
I looked at a bunch of gingerbread cookie recipes before deciding which to use. (I didn't want to use my house recipe because I wanted cookies that didn't have the texture of drywall.) Like apple pie recipes, most gingerbread recipes are very similar, deferring primarily in the ratio of
flower flour to butter. The one I decided I liked best I found in the Tis the Season Holiday Cookbook (2000) by Mary Engelbreit. It must have been another good good decision. I made 2 dozen on Friday, and they were all gone by Sunday.
As you can see, I had some trouble with piping the royal icing. My first try was too thin (overcompensating for the 2018 disaster), and the second batch popped the seam of my makeshift Ziploc pastry bag. I got the hang of it only relatively late in the game.
Now that I know what I'm doing, I guess I'll just have to make some more.
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