Great Custom T-Shirt Printer, Great Service!

We are having a huge national conference this week, ISIPP’s National Spam and the Law Conference ( We needed to have some “Slam a Spammer”
( t-shirts made.

Now, we have a regular t-shirt printer whom we’ve always used. I’ve always been satisfied with their work. But this time they needed the Illustrator file, said they couldn’t possibly work from a jpg or gif (I’m not disputing that, it may be true), but even after I found the file (had to track down the original artist, and then we didn’t hear from him for a bit) and sent it, they were not as responsive as we needed, especially given the conference was so close.

*Before* finding the Illustrator file, in a panic, I started searching around for someone who could make the shirts from a gif or jpg, and one of the places I called was ESP Designs, out of Sherman, Texas. They were *so* incredibly responsive, great communications, which they often initiated themselves, the art guy even sent me a long email describing all the process for me, what this and that meant, etc… in the end I gave them an order last Thursday for a big batch of t-shirts (they now have the Illustrator file), and despite the rush and everything they *met* the quote of the local guy (which was $2/shirt less than their regular price) *and* agreed to eat shipping as with a local guy we didn’t have to deal with shipping – all with a guaranteed delivery of Tuesday! They did call me back, very sheepish, when they realized it was a rush delivery (after saying they’d eat the shipping) and ask if there was any way we’d split the rush fee with them (wow…most places would simply say “you have to pay the rush fee”) – I agreed with pleasure, in fact I’d already offered to pay it in full but I guess they’d not gotten that message in the front office.

Well, again, that was Thursday when I *placed* the order – here it is,Monday morning (and a holiday to boot), and the t-shirts just arrived, and they look wonderful!! And are a day early! Wow! What incredible services!

ESP Designs, 888-403-4600. Talk to Bryan. Tell him I sent you.

We’ll certainly be using them for all of our shirt printing needs from now on!

Need Audio/Visual Equipment? Call Joel!

As I’ve mentioned, we have a huge Spam and the Law conference going on right now

Given the extortionate rates which the hotel charges for renting a projector and a screen for a day, it quickly became apparent that it would be cheaper to buy them (yes, really). $600+ for the screen! $550+ for the projector, and we need each for 2 days.

We got a *great* projector (Panasonic PT-LC56U – *1600* lumens for under $1000, but they are hard as anything to find – has them), but were having quite a time finding the screen we wanted. First, nobody could give us any decent information – they sell ’em, but don’t know anything about ’em. Second, the one we finally decided we wanted is big and bulky (for shipping purposes, that is), and we wanted to buy locally to avoid shipping if we could and if it made sense price-wise. Well, wow, pricing for these things is *all over the place*! We’re talking a several hundred dollar price spread! And nobody stocks them – which makes sense, as there are so many choices, sizes, screen types, etc., so they all drop-ship them from the manufacturer in Indiana.

I finally found one local place, and their price was ok, but not the best, which would let us do an in-store pickup. But then came the kicker, which was we still had to pay for shipping. Then they tried to talk us into a smaller size of the same model, which they happened to have on hand. If it turned out to be too small (which I really feared) we could return it, but they would charge a 15% restocking fee.

This was last Wednesday. The conference is next Thursday. In desparation I searched the web again, and found several places with better prices, and figured if we were willing to eat the cost of express shipping we’d still come out better. I called them all, and then I found Joel at AV Superstore. Not only did they have the best price, but he was the first person on this quest with whom I’d spoken who knew what he was talking about! You could tell right away that he knew far more than I did about this stuff, and sadly that was a first for this quest. We chatted about quite a few other things, including projectors and cameras,and I wished I’d found him before making my other purchases – oh, he affirmed that they were good purchases, but I wish I’d been able to give him that business!

He worked with me right then and there to ensure we’d have the screen by Tuesday. He took my credit card number. Then he called me back to say that he must have written the credit card number down wrong (he had) because it hadn’t gone through, but he’d gone ahead and placed the order anyways because he knew what a rush we were in!!!

Well, the screen just arrived today! A day ahead of schedule!

Great service!!

AV SuperStore 866-866-6767.

Ask for Joel. Tell him I sent you.

Don’t Let This Happen to You!

Having lost more than a few hours of work, on more than a few occasions, due to some catastrophic system failure in the middle of a drafting session during which I had failed to regularly back up the work, I’ve learned my lesson well, and now religiously back up documents as I am working on them.

But, it turns out, that is not always sufficient.

Today I learned the very hard way that if you open a document which you receive as an attachment in email, and edit it, to *not* just blindly hit “save”, but be *sure* to first do a “save as”, and give it a proper filename.

Because as I saved a total of several hours worth of work which I had done over the course of the day to this file which had come as an email attachment, it never once occurred to me to change the file name. The file name turned out to be a temporary file name assigned by my email program, and when I shut the email program down, sure enough…I lost all of my work, because the email program wiped the temporary file. Sob.

No warning, no “do you want to save all of your changes before they are lost in closing a temporary file”, no nothing. There I was blindly clicking “save” in Word every five or 10 minutes, and all that work was wiped in the blink of an eye.

(Yes, I know I can set word to do an autobackup -I *thought* that it was..but nope, it wasn’t.)

Anyways, don’t let this happen to you.

My $42.00 hour at a T-Mobile Hotspot Starbucks

As any sentient being in the United States is aware by now, Starbucks has partnered with T-Mobile to offer wireless “hotspots” in most of the Starbucks throughout the United States.

They offer 3 different plans, all of for which you can sign up on the (hot)spot: $29.95 per month for unlimited access, or one of two “pay as you go” plans – either the $9.95 for a 24 hour “day pass”, or the “.10 cents per minute with a 60 minute minimum” pass.

Be *very* careful! Don’t be lulled into thinking that if you use the .10 cents per minute pass judiciously, such as by loggin in, grabbing email, and logging out, you can keep your usage low, incurring only the minimum $6.00 fee if you are quick and careful.

The 60 minute minimum is *per* log in. If you log in, grab email, and log out, you will have incurred a $6.00 charge. When you check your email again a half hour later, you will incur an additional $6.00 charge, and so on.

Now, perhaps this should have been obvious to me, but it wasn’t – at the time that I signed up, the wording was ambiguous (“per session” was, I believe, what it said). Now (1/2/04) it says “per session per login”, whatever *that* is supposed to mean. Only once you have actually signed up and are logged in can you find language, should you bother to read the rate plans again, which clearly says “$6.00 minimum per *login*”.

I pointed this out to a nice CS rep when I discovered my *$42.00* bill for roughly an hour at a Starbucks, who offered to let me talk to a manager – thinking, I think, that perhaps he would reverse some of those charges which were so clearly racked up due to a misunderstanding..who would log in 7 times in an hour for $42.00 when they could have stayed logged in for that same hour for $6.00? I didn’t even *ask* the manager to reduce my bill – I just pointed out that the language on the sign up page had the potential to confuse, and he instantly started telling me that I had agreed to their terms and conditions, and he was not going to reduce the charges.

THAT just lost them my patronage. Had I asked, and he refused, I’d be annoyed but take it on the chin, but to jump in and tell me up front that they weren’t about to reduce the charges, but that he would pass on the information about the confusing language simply added insult to injury.

Buh bye, T-Mobile Hotspot.

The Toilet that Needed a Colonoscopy

Being homeowners, from time to time we suffer the slings and arrows of home ownership, namely something breaks and needs to be fixed..NOW!

Such was the case with our main sewer line, which, as confirmed by two independent authorities, really needed to be replaced if we wanted the brown, foul-smelling slurry to stop backing up into our shower and bathtub, and onto our floors.

The work completed, and water turned back on, we joyfully put our new plumbing to the test. And the master toilet promptly backed up, venting its spleen and bile, as it were, all over the bathroom floor.

As one might imagine, especially after having spent all that money on a new sewer line, we were less than amused.

We called the plumbing service back in. This time only the toilet was involved – that much we could tell, as everything else was working perfectly, and nothing else had backed up.

We were duly advised that we needed to replace the toilet. “Ok”, we thought, “we’ve trusted these people this far (and they were recommended by a contractor whom we trust a great deal), what’s a toilet between friends?”

The installer came and installed the new toilet.

It promptly backed up the next day, all over the floor, following my husband’s first test run, as it were.

We called the plumbing service back out.

This time we were advised that the problem was not the brand new toilet, but… my husband.

“Your husband, his poo is too big.”

Say what?

“What do you recommend we do?”

“I dunno, maybe you take him to hospital.”

“Really, we should go to the hospital because you think his poo is too large? Is there anything else we might try?”

“You maybe keep two sticks by the toilet, and he smash and crash the poo before flush.”

Really, I couldn’t make this up.

Instead we replaced the toilet with a better brand, with a larger colon. Yes, the tunnel at the back of your toilet through which the waste descends is called the ‘colon’.

And, oh yes, we switched plumbers.

FBI Issues Alert Against Almanac Carriers

Check out this news story which I still can’t believe isn’t an Onion headline – and I’ve looked at both the NY Times site (where the story appears), and The Onion site (where it doesn’t), and I still don’t believe it.

Here’s the lead-in:

“FBI Issues Alert Against Almanac Carriers”


Published: December 29, 2003

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is warning police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs…”

Full story available here:

Sound off time! What do you folks think of this?


There’s the Beef!

Dateline Yakima Washington, December 23, 2003: The health department has just announced the first U.S. case of “mad cow disease”, the clinical name for which is bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Well, we kind of figured that it had to happen sometime. Makes me all the more glad that I’m a vegetarian, and the rest of our family doesn’t eat beef.

But the part which is stunning (and sickening), even to jaded me, is this – and I quote from the AP story of 12/23/03:

“Veneman said the Holstein, which could not move on its own, was found at a farm in Mabton, Wash., about 40 miles southeast of Yakima, and tested preliminarily positive for the brain-wasting illness on Dec. 9. Parts of the cow that would be infected ? the brain, the spinal cord and the lower part of the small intestine ? were removed before the animal went to a meat processing plant.”

[Full story at]

Excuse me???

The cow is *unable to move on it’s own*, is found immobile, and is
*sent for slaughter and sale*??? And then a few weeks later someone says “Hey! That cow was sick!”???


Beef! It’s what’s for brainholes.

Thoughts on the State of Fathers’ Rights

I’m not dead yet, as they say. Even though my primary practice is no longer focused on fathers’ rights, I still provide referrals, pointers, and information. Perhaps even more importantly, I still teach, and while I now teach spam law, up until last year I taught a family law course, and even now still discuss family law with law students and new attorneys. I’m still keeping my hand in it. You don’t just leave completely behind something about which you feel so strong.

Recently I tripped through some of the fathers’ rights usenet groups (similar to bulletin boards, for the uninitiated). I hadn’t read them in a few years, although I used to post regularly to them, and be something of a known quantity there.

It made me really sad to note that nothing has changed. Men are still being denied access to their children, and women are still bleating the party line about how women do all the work, are always the primary caretakers, men are uninvolved and don’t want access to their children except to control the women, blah blah blah. You know – all men are abusive rapists, and all women are victims (which means that there is no violence in lesbian relationships, and no victims in gay relationships, right? Shyeah, right).

I’m amazed that in this country, in this day and age, women are still so indoctrinated and inculcated, and so unwilling to remove the blinders and see how what they spew is so contrary to the *true* best interests of the children, not to mention reality.

But perhaps I shouldn’t be. Like any group which has been kept down in the past, they have far more to gain by perpetuating the old historical data as current ‘fact’ than by admitting the truth.

And interesting truths they are:

The vast majority of men who are disunited from their families are kept from being involved with their children, by angry controlling women, or women who don’t feel angry but who have swallowed the party line about how it’s “supposed” to be, and by the court system.

In the overwhelming majority of custody cases, despite the feminist dogma, custody goes to the mother, no matter what the facts of the case are, and no matter who has the most money or the most expensive lawyers.

The vast majority of children of divorce are denied a positive relationship with their fathers. Oh sure, women wrap themselves in self-righteousness about how the fathers weren’t involved when they were together so don’t deserve to be involved after the divorce (neglecting that by agreement of the parents, the fathers worked more hours outside the home so that the mother could spend more time with their children, never dreaming that this would be turned against them during divorce to deny them time with the very children they had blindly worked so hard to support). More importantly, neglecting that this isn’t about them, it’s about the childrens’ need to be able to be involved with their fathers.

Very few men going through divorce ever ask for custody; all they want is an ongoing relationship with their children. Women always demand custody. Men go into divorce court expecting fairness, women go in expecting to get it all – and they do. The women get the kids, the men get to pay.

Nothing has changed. Especially the players.

It’s so sad.

Check out Dads for more.

No *wonder* people go postal at the post office!!!

I, like 100s of 1000s of people, have been known to use the services of a Personal Mail Box (PMB) provider, such as MailBoxes Etc..

Recently, the service I used lost their lease, and closed their doors. They very generously lined up another service to take on all of their old customers, at much the same price, and provided us all with the USPS mail forwarding forms.

I dutifully filled out and filed the forms. Days passed, and then nearly 2 weeks, and still my mail was not being forwarded, and was in fact still being sent to the *old* address.

So I called up our USPS station, spoke with the supervisor, who said that he had my forwarding forms in hand, and it would start “right away”.

Another week passed – now the old address no longer exists, and, mysteriously, no forwarded mail is showing up at my new address.

So I call back, get the supervisor, and this time I am told… ready for this? “We don’t forward mail from personal mail box services.”.

Excuse me?? Say..what???

That’s right. “We don’t forward mail from personal mail box services. It’s against our policies.”

After coming down from the ceiling (going to have to spackle and paint those nail gouges now), I called the national USPS customer service line, and complained, whined, bleated, and b*tched, all quite loudly. After being put on hold several times while the admittedly sympathetic CS rep checked things out, she came back to tell me, very apologetically “We don’t forward mail from personal mail box services. It’s against our policies.”

Did *you* know that if you use a PMB, and you then change addresses, the post office *will not forward your mail*?????

Now you do.

I see a serious legal issue here, because PMB providers are competition for the USPS in terms of renting mail boxes.

In the meantime, I, and all of those others in my same situation, are essentially threaded. All of my mail to the old
address is simply being returned to sender!!

HOW can it be that this is not common knowledge?

I have also called our local MailBoxes Etc. (now “The UPS
store”), and they not only confirmed this, but also acknowledged that they don’t tell customers about it if they don’t ask!!!
But they do have a service where they will forward your mail for you – of course, for a fee.

Quite a sweet little deal going on both sides: MailBoxes Etc. – you can check out any time you like but you can never really leave. And the USPS: use our competitor, and we simply won’t deliver your mail at all for you.

“We’re the postal service – we do it to you.”

What is WRONG with people???

Geezus!!! What is WRONG with people???

Now, we all know that breastfeeding confers all sorts of health benefits and immunities, right? But it does *not* keep you safe from your mother being a MORON and breastfeeding you WHILE DRIVING THE CAR!!!!!

Honest to gawd!!!

It’s people like this bimbo, and I use the term advisedly, who give women/breastfeeders/Christians/drivers/husbands/humans/you-name-it a bad name.

It takes a village idiot.