summer’s almost here .. 2nd year of UC

so here it is … we’re full swing (finally) into spring … tho it seems a bit of a hot spring. this summer is looking to be an amazing (and potentially frightening)

the youth group is planning a mission trip to a Navajo Indian reservation. i’m going to be one of the parentals driving. gonna hafta get a cdl to drive the bus we bought (yay!! 22 passenger!!)

the trip involves us going to the creation museum for the day, then out to the grand canyon for a river ride, then to the reservation — it *think* it’s in new mexico. the kids will run a VBS for a younger kids summer camp (jr and below) — then we high tail it back.

oh, did i mention the day we leave is the day i’m supposed to be driving back from kalamazoo?? errrrrr

am i sorry i don’t have a job? heck no! just the opposite … i’m completely thankful!

bye bye godaddy

finally got twh’s registration away from godaddy … did you know, if you miss renewing a domain — they want to charge you like 150 bucks to “restore” the domain? thankfully this didn’t happen to me, but it did happen to my BFF. We tried to re-register/transfer the domain away — but no go, somehow the domain got snatched up — even while it was in godaddy’s hostage period … hmmmm … they’re such liars.

i love 123ehost.com, they’re great. and cheap. – AND – if a domain expires while you’re not looking, you can just ‘renew’ … no sick hijack fees. oh, and they don’t have offensive commercials. why do you need boobs to sell domain names? really? c’mon …

i wanna win!

snagit came out with a version for the mac! they have a contest .. and baby, I WANNA IN!

http://promo.techsmith.com/snagit/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=social&utm_content=promo&utm_campaign=sm1

phone phone phone

okay .. so frontier got the boot after we switched to digital phone service thru our cable company. but .. BUTTTT .. since we got our 3g micro cell, which also works off our cable modem .. i don’t see the point.

my STUPID DUMB phones (land line phones) are only a year or two old, and already the batteries can’t hold their charge anymore.

sooo .. i can 1.) buy new phones … or 2.) turn the land line off

i now get full bars in my house .. so what’s the point? if the cable goes down .. either way i have no phone …

so yeah, i think it’s time to ditch the landline. everyone have our cell #’s?

so much for unlimited

Just got a letter from Fronteir — our phone service provider

Ironically, their slogan is “Welcome to the NEW Frontier” …

Dear Michael Conner,

Frontier is focused on providing the best possible Digital Phone Unlimited Nationwide Calling experience across our entire customer base. We provide long distance at a value price, as part of your Digital Phone service. Over the past three months, your long distance usage has consistently averaged over 3,500 minutes per month and is in violation of our Terms and Conditions of service.

Our terms and conditions state that customers with usage inconsistent with normal residential voice applications and usage patterns may be required to either select another Frontier long distance plan that charges for all long distance calls, or to cancel service. Only a very small percentage of our average residential customers use more than 1,000 minutes per month, and your use is more than three times this amount.

We would like to provide you with the option of keeping your Unlimited Nationwide calling at a rate plan that is more suited to your needs. Please call us at 1-877-273-0512 Monday thru Friday 8am – 5pm EST within 15 business days of the date of this letter to discuss your options. If we do not hear from you within this timeframe, we regret to say that, your “1+” long distance service will be automatically blocked.

We would very much like to keep you as a Frontier long distance customer and hope that you will contact us at 1-877-273-0512 at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,
Frontier Communications

So much for unlimited long distance eh? There should be a law .. maybe there is. Bait and switch? Unlimited — with limits. You see the same thing on hosting plans (unlimited space, unlimited bandwith) and cell phone plans … unlimited .. WITH LIMITS.

I thought it was funny that in this official letter .. they used the slang word “thru” (Monday thru Friday)

The funny thing is, since I was laid off .. I’m home so less frequently, and my phone usage HAS to be a 10th of what it used to be.

Oh, how I’d love to sue them. Or something!

I know one thing we’re NOT going to do! We’re NOT going to call Frontier and try to negotiate … nope nope .. we’re calling AT&T and SWITCHING!

It’s just a shame I live in such a crappy area that I can’t change my local provider as well.

All of you Frontier customers … I say SWITCH! No more unfair deceptive practices. “We the People” of this county are SICK AND TIRED of being lied to, deceived, and made to be pawns of businesses and our governments giant plot to extort as much money from each and every person as possible!!!

Frontier .. here’s what I say to you … NOT ONE RED CENT!

monday monday??

okay, so, now that i’m unemployed, and Resurrection Weekend is over (aka Easter) — what am I going to do with my time?

i’m reaching out … praying … asking for divine inspiration. so far, it’s been focusing on the Passion Play — which is now over. The set went down today … it was so sad. Our last luncheon together. Within 3 hours .. almost all evidence of the Passion Play is gone. Year after year, I’m amazed at how each year is better and better. This year was by far the best.

this week this week … well, i have no real idea .. other than going up to help David with his campaign (madeiraforcongress.com) — using my skills in whatever way they’re needed … be it computer related, or my supreme skills stuffing envelopes .. no job too big, no job too small. tho, i think i’m enjoying the small little jobs more 😉

next on the agenda … church website overhaul. i need to make parts easier for ministry leaders to update on their own. joomla is too complicated. sure it’s powerful .. but it’s a pain and not easy for non-geekified folk like me. i really think i need a team. i need some good direction too .. maybe i can get some time at the next leadership meeting.

and, of course … i need to go to nc to see my bestest friend …. and i need to take the boy child (okay .. man .. man child) to IL and WI to see friends and family. there’s a lot more i’d like to do … God, and money willing

WOW!!! After almost 13 years!!! It was a great run! “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”

Hi friends and colleges!

After almost 13 years, my last days with IBM are upon me. I have to say it’s been a great 13 (nearly) years. From the beginning with IBM as a co-op in ISSC to my current position on the ‘bleeding edge’ of technology in Security Services — I’ve learned much, and made many friends. And in the words of one of my favorite shows, M*A*S*H — “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”

I’m happy to tell you all that I have truly been blessed by God in this resource action!!

Sure, at first, it’s not fun, it’s hard not to take being laid off personally. But, opening my heart and mind to God’s will has been an amazing journey! The last time the RA came around my way, I felt the urgency of finding another position with IBM – I wasn’t ready to go; but this time, I just didn’t feel led to do so. I was secretly desiring/hoping/praying that I wouldn’t have to work. I prayed that somehow, the package would be ‘just enough’ to pay down our bills enough for us to be able to ‘meek’ by an existence on my husband’s income alone. Well, I’m here to say — just when you go and put limits on your faith — God can blow you out of the water!! As it turns out, the package will pay off ALL of our debt! (well, except the house.) For the first time in my adult life, we will be debt FREE!!!!! Then, my husband shocks me even more by telling me with the debt being gone, we can easily live on his salary alone!! My prayers were answered!!! AND MORE THAN I ANTICIPATED!!!!

I’m very excited to see where this new turn in my path leads me and my family. I’ve been set free! I’m free to follow the desires of my heart, and the leading of my God. I’m going to use this time to update some of my technical skills, and to immerse myself in faith training and ministry work. Finding the time to quiet my mind, and following the Shalom (Peace) of God — which is amazingly easy!

My 13 years with IBM has been great. I’ve learned much, and grown much. I’ve seen people come, and people go. I’ve watched the company change a lot, and now is the right time to move on. I have no regrets here!

So, to everyone I say take care, enjoy, so long!! I wish you all the very best!
(Feel free to pass this on to anyone, I’m sure I’ve missed a few people …)

May the Lord bless you and protect you!
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you!
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace!
(Numbers 6:24-26)

Peace out!

Tracey K. Conner

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the new path

you’d think getting notified of being layed off would be a catastrophic moment in your life.

for the second time in my 12 year career with IBM, I’ve been notified of being “affected” by the latest “resource action.”  sounds like i picked up some uninsureable disease right?

at first, i was really hurt .. and yes .. even i .. was brought to tears. it’s not a nice feeling when someone tells you “you’re not wanted anymore” (basically)

but then .. i sat, and prayed, and let it sink in. i asked for guidance, and really felt myself NOT being led to frantically try to find another job. i found my thoughts going to all sorts of other opportunities, things i could do — with joy and happiness — instead of working. i started thinking, and praying, “God, it’d be nice, if the separation package would be big enough, to get our debt low enough, that maybe i wouldn’t have to work…”

then i told mike, and he sat down with the package details, and our bills .. and came and wanted to talk about it … i wasn’t ready, i was dreading the bad news i was sure was going to come. i really wanted to wait until the next day. but he said he wanted to talk now. OH NOOO.

and then .. he said .. your package, will pay off all our debt. and further lasjfalk0923r als fjao ru42309jslkdfj .. HUH??? errrrrr .. BRAKES .. stop .. wha????

Did you just say, PAY OFF ALL OUR DEBT?

PRAISE JESUS are you SERIOUS?

and he says .. “yes” .. “and” … (there’s an AND?) … “if that debt is all gone, we can live on my salary alone.”

PRAISE PRAISE SING SING .. REALLY? for real? no kidding?

so there you have it folks .. come March 31st, I’ll be officially early retired. Following the path God leads me down.

I’ve been set FREE.

Thank you God.

Dourado is a Daddy!

Daddy watches his kids

Daddy Dourado just loves to watch his kids on the TrailsEnd puppy cam

They’re 3 weeks old today!!

gallery!

wow .. well, turns out the getting the gallery back online wasn’t nearly as rough as i was anticipating…. yay!

there’s a link on the right .. below is a picture i took last fall, of which i’m a bit fond of .. 😉

DSC_3925-mod _Large_