Not quite entirely random thoughts and ephemera from a graphic designer and technophile living in Los Angeles.

Leaving Los Angeles

As of April 11, I’ll be located in Phoenix, AZ! After living in LA for about 15 years, it is time to try something new.

Several factors contributed to the decision to relocate, but the main reason is the high cost of living here.

I’ll miss the friends I have made and being close to the beach. But I won’t miss LA’s traffic congestion, California’s ridiculous proposition system, or the state income tax.

California, so long. And thanks for all the fish.

I know today is April 1, but this isn’t a joke. The high cost of living in LA is beyond all reason.

Domain Name Registration Scam Alert

If you get this bill in the mail from “United States Domain Authority”, tear it up and throw it away. It may look official, but I guarantee you it is not. They are attempting to dupe people into renewing a domain name registration through them instead of your actual registrar. They are not your registrar! It is a scam and should be illegal for deceptive practices. If in doubt, contact your web hosting or web design people to verify. But NEVER NEVER NEVER pay a bill just because it looks official and scary. Caveat emptor!

MailChimp WTF

Mailchimp has been driving me crazy.

First, a scheduled campaign would send fine for months. Then it stopped even though we hadn’t made any changes. I finally figured out we could force MailChimp to send if we put the campaign on pause, created a new blog post, then unpaused — hardly the automated solution they advertise.

Now, MailChimp randomly sent a weeks old blog post on its own.

I mean, we’re using the free version, but this behavior is just awful and doesn’t make me want to pay for the service just so tech support can say they’re working on it.

2/10 not recommended for this feature.

VOIP phone spam

I get a large number of calls to my cell phone from numbers I don’t recognize. Without fail, answering those numbers means I get the privilege of hearing unsolicited sales. My Samsung phone recently pushed an update/app called Call Screener. Using that app, I see these calls all come from VOIP numbers. If you have legitimate business with me and are using VOIP, you better leave a message or call from a different number. I am routinely putting all VOIP numbers on block now. Thank you, Samsung!

Green screen project update.

Since Lowe’s let me down and failed to deliver the cross connector, I reconfigured using the parts I have and learned a couple of things. First, 8′ wide is HUGE and it is sagging in the middle. I need a new footer in the middle for support. Here is a diagram of what I have now. It works really well, other than a little sag in the middle.

So returning to my original design, I updated the diagram to add a second cross connector to build another footer. I need TWO cross connectors to finish.

But this was really easy to put together if a little unwieldy. The PVC cutter tool proves the axiom use the right tool for the job.

Green screen backdrop update

Two days ago, Lowes sent me an email notification that my order was ready to pick up.

I drove over today and accepted the items. I do inventory and I’m missing two things I thought I ordered: a PVC tubing cutter and the cross shape connector.

OK. I’m at Lowes. I go into the store and I can’t find a 3/4″ cross connector. Without the cross connector, I can’t build my frame as I designed it. I ask a sales person. They’re out. He checks local stores — they have a few (6) at the Skypark location. Ugh. I’ll deal with that later. I go home somewhat annoyed.

A couple of hours later, I get another email from Lowes saying my order is ready to pick up. Wut? Their systems must be lagging. But I open the email and … it’s the PVC tubing cutter by itself! No mention of the cross connector.

None of these emails indicate I’m getting a partial shipment. All email notifications use the same order number.

None list items remaining to deliver.

So confusing for normal people, being super literal just listing the items that arrive as they arrive.

So now I’m waiting another notification when the cross connector arrives. I guess? I don’t understand why pickup notifications don’t list the items for pickup AND a list of items that haven’t arrived yet.

But wait, it gets worse. I log into and it shows the items marked with status:

  • Ready to pickup
  • Picked up
  • Cancelled

Wait, what? Cancelled? Yep. They show everything that I thought I ordered, including the PVC cutter and the cross connecter. Except the cross connector is marked CANCELLED.

So this ended up being a Lowes fail after all. Just WTF.


I am a self-employed graphic designer. For more about who I am and what I do, visit my main website at



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