I started to update the prices on the CafePress stores ... what a pain in the ass! You gotta understand, I have 27 of these stores up at this point and to update the pricing you have to open a page for each product, type in the new price, and then upload the page back to their server. 8 times for each store (plus time to log in and log out). Bleh ... my brain is turning to over-ripe jello!
What the fuck were the Cafe Press people THINKING with these price increases? Their stuff was pretty steep as it was, but at least they were at a par with what it would cost to go to Walgreens or Osco and have a shirt or mug done via their photo departments (if you don't count the shipping costs!), but now it's more, and in some cases quite a bit more (they raised the basic T-shirts from $10.99 to $13.99 ... throw a $5 mark-up on that and folks are having to pay $19 before shipping to wear your stupid shirt!).
I'm thinking at this point to just let all the Eschaton CafePress stuff go for what I have it at (which will save me hours of tweaking the prices) ... that stuff is visible at http://W3.to/BookSwag ... maybe I'll just put "BIG LAZY-ASS SALE!" signs up. I've updated the pages for the "organizations" that I've nudged into using this for fundraising, but unless there's a LOT of "peer pressure" for folks to go buy stuff from CafePress, I can't see people bothering.
Shit, I've already had meetings where folks are saying "why don't we just get them printed regually and sell them?" to which I usually have to say "BECAUSE YOU SAID YOU HAD NO BUDGET TO DO ANYTHING!!!" "THE REASONS WE"RE DOING THIS IS THAT IT DOESN'T COST US ANYTHING!!!!" "Yeah, I do UNDERSTAND that we'll sell more coffee mugs if they're priced at $7.50 than if they're priced at $16.00 plus shipping ... but unless folks are willing to cough up the funds up front to get a few hundred done up, and be willing to "eat" what's not sold ... DON'T GET ON MY ASS ABOUT IT!!!"
I also came to the belated realization today that I'm going to have to be AT Second Unitarian's computer to be able to set up the system that I came up with and they approved last week. They were looking for dial-up and hosting, and domains, and a vanishingly small price ... going to fix them up with the AT&T $4.95/month package (which is ad supported), but I need to download the program (for the ads), and I don't want that crap on MY computer ... so I guess I'll have to do this up there some time. Shit. I was hoping to have had this up and running by next Sunday ... probably not going to happen.
My fucking desk-top stereo system decided to opt out of playing CDs (well, if it was turned off for a long time then you popped a CD in, it would probaly play that one, maybe twice, but then it would just die ... although the tape player and radio worked fine), which has been diving me nuts, as I have that in constant use 14 hours a day. I actually had to listen to the RADIO last week. I was going nuts, I went to Best Buy last night and got a funky oval blue&silver $19.95 "CD Boombox" (gotta love hardware that costs only a couple of bucks more than a CD). I figure a $20 investment will keep me in tunes for at least the 90 day warranty period on this, which would work out to a maximum of under two cents and hour. Disposable technology. Disposable world.
Had one of those classic SNAFUs happen over the weekend ... I had been KILLING myself the previous week to get the main editing done for the new Wicca book ... so, finally got it done, and got it copied, and packed up and ready to be picked up to get back to the author and had it sitting down with our doorman on Thursday ... for a pick-up that was supposed to be on Friday. Well, OF COURSE, when they came by to pick it up on Saturday (when I was out of the house, having to go do some "daddy duty" with both of the girls) NOBODY could find it, The Wife didn't have a clue what anybody was talking about (of course, telling them that as far as she knew there WAS NO BOX) ... how it was missed, I don't know ... it was sitting out in PLAIN SIGHT at the doorman's desk when I came in (and I got ragged on by the Sunday morning doorman saying "Hey, nobody's been here to pick up that box yet!" like I should take it back because it was cluttering up his area!). Makes me crazy. ABSOLUTELY FUCKING CRAZY, I TELL YOU !!!
Man, this week is only one day old and it sucks already.
THEN ... there is this whole fucking insanity with our former distributors. We finally heard from them about our books ... what we had of which books, etc. (information that I had previoiusly NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET) ... when they said "oh, we need to know by Friday or we'll just destroy them"! Of course, I said ... WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKING???? ... and said, send them back. The problem being that they were going to charge up in excess of $500 to SHIP them and then add a $500 PENALTY if they were going to an address that didn't have fork-lift equipped loading docks! RIGHT! Here's a distributor that was "representing" SMALL PUBLISHERS ... how many do you THINK have fucking fork-lifts???? ZERO??? Nothing like trying to SCAM us to the very end! So, I said ... "Uh, that isn't going to work" (actually what I said was a 5-minute voice-mail message from Tourette Hell) ... and have been trying to figure out how to get the books (all 2,150 pounds of them in 55 cases) from Grawn, MI to Chicago. Of course, this then brings into play OTHER "mental giant" entities like U-Haul. Seems like my best bet is to get myself to Traverse City, MI by bus (oh, joy!) and then rent a one-way truck from there. Now, it is a three-transfer deal between Greyhound and Indian Trials and basicly a full day to get from here to there ... THEN there is NO HOTEL anywhere NEAR the fucking Bus Terminal in Traverse City (there ARE two U-Haul locations within a few blocks of the Bus Terminal ... but unless they let me sleep on a FUCKING BENCH in there I'm into "how fucking complicated is this going to get?" time. Damn them to the deepest pits of Hell ... really ... motherfuckers. So it looks like bus to Traverse City ... insanely expensive asshole small-town cab to an over-priced (if out-of-season) "resort motel", then another (assuming there's more than one cab there) insanely expensive asshole small-town cab to a U-Haul location, then driving to Grawn to personally load 55 cases (2,150 lbs) of books into the truck, then a six hour drive to Chicago, where I'll have to find a place to put the truck overnight so that I can unload the 55 cases (2,150 lbs) of books at our Public Storage facility the next day. 3 fucking days of Hell ... grrrrrrrrrrrr
Anyway, aside from my new $20 CD boombox, I've had ONE other nice thing happen ... was looking up some info for a (OF COURSE, TOTALLY IGNORED) well thought-out, researched, and written LiveJournal response (why the fuck do I even BOTHER???) when I discovered that I could get a CD of the Baron VonTollbooth and the Chrome Nun album by Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, and David Freiberg back in the Airplane-into-Starship days (uh ... 1973?) for ONLY $10.00 ... I was amazed to find this obscure gem had even been released on CD! This is the album with the classic Kantner tune White Boy on it ... so many great songs tucked away on albums that nobody has (like Grace Slick's Mexico and Kantner's Have You Seen The Saucers? on Early Flight)! Needless to say, I have they vinyl buried in a box or bookshelf here somewhere, but it will be nice to hear that again!
Well, can't say I didn't warn you in the title of this post. Life sucks and it just gets worse. Bleh.
Oh, which reminds me ... I have some poetry to post once I get the energy up.