Sometime in the late 1960s or early ‘70s when I was at East Lansing High School we learned how to use a slide ruler and—no joke—went on a field trip to see a computer.
When I was a freshman at the University of Michigan in 1974 I was one of only a handful of students who had a calculator in my introductory physics class. It was a Texas Instrument SR-10, a graduation gift from my parents that could add, subtract, multiply and divide. Such calculating power! And it only cost a little over $100, about a quarter of what U of M then charged instate students per semester. Continue reading I Hate Computer Updates
Sometime this winter I will get my fifteen minutes of fame—well, after editing, probably three minutes of fame leaving me 12 minutes for some later date. Last month I got a call from Mark Kachelries, a producer with the Travel Channel’s TV series, Mysteries at the Museum. In each show Don Wildman, putting on his best Indiana Jones persona, tells stories and interspersed through out are historic reenactments and comments from experts. Mark wondered if they could interview me.
I’m an expert on something? I know what you’re thinking. “She’s obviously lost it. Do they still send out men in white to cart people to the insane asylum?” Continue reading My Day at the Oregon Insane Asylum
The New Yorker Has Stopped Sending Me Rejection Slips … Sort Of
“Of course I draw for the New Yorker” is the reply I give to the question I’m most often asked as a cartoonist, “but they’ve never bought anything of mine.”
When I started cartooning professionally in 1981 I submitted a batch of cartoons to the New Yorker every week for a few years. At the time I thought they were great, but now I can see that most were terrible. I stopped submitting to them when I started only drawing commissioned work.
Last month for the first time in decades I drew a batch of ‘toons for my own amusement, bought 200 large envelopes, and hired a monk scribe. Monk scribes are cheaper than ink cartridges because you need only keep them in wine. Any kind of wine will do: even my friend’s unpalatable but potent home brew. Continue reading New Yorker Rejects
Paul Clerc’s Response
Over the past nineteen days I’ve written a detailed account of my experience with Watermelon Web Works, the company that redesigned my web site.
At about 6:00 p.m. on February 10, 2015, one week before I posted Part 1 of this series, I sent Paul Clerc, Watermelon’s top web guru, an advance copy of the blog posts. I said I would post any comments he had in their entirety and unedited. Continue reading Watermelon Web Works Review: Part 20
Asking Paul to Comment
On February 10, 2015, I sent this email to Paul Clerc, Watermelon Web Works top web guru.
In my next email I am attaching a draft of a series of twenty blog posts titled: Watermelon Web Works Review. I am posting Part 1 on February 17, the one-year anniversary of my new site going live.
I am still editing the posts, fixing typos, tweaking this, tweaking that, and trying to inject as much humor as I can in what is otherwise a sad story, but the gist will stay the same. Continue reading Watermelon Web Works Review: Part 19
One Last Glitch
On February 4, 2015 I made this screen shot from Watermelon Web Works’ portfolio page where they showcased some of the sites they have designed, including mine. Not surprisingly, at some point in the last couple of weeks they stopped showcasing it. It’s one backlink I don’t mind losing. Continue reading Watermelon Web Works Review: Part 18
The Final Insult
A typo in the computer code on my site, an “s” where an “s” shouldn’t have been, may have lost me thousands of dollars.
On December 1, 2014, a customer emailed that he clicked on a link that sent him not to the product page he was looking for but a 404 Redirect Page that said: “Can’t find that page, sorry…” Continue reading Watermelon Web Works Review: Part 17
The Last Straw
On October 27, 2014, I had a Eureka moment: “Computer code on my site does the Fandango!”
I had figured out what caused price glitches on my website. One day my customers would be charged the correct amount and the next day they wouldn’t. It had been a problem ever since my site went live in February.
If customers were overcharged, I immediately emailed them and sent a refund.
If customers were undercharged, I didn’t inform them of their good fortune and ate the loss. Continue reading Watermelon Web Works Review: Part 16
Maybe I Could Move to the Congo
By August 14, 2014, I had paid Watermelon Web Works $7923.30 in designer fees.
Since my redesigned web site went live on February 17 (178 days earlier) it had netted $64.55, about what Watermelon charges for 46 minutes of their time.
The site was netting 36.3¢ a day, about what Watermelon charges for 15 seconds of their time.
At this rate it would only take me 59 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours 32 minutes and 23 seconds to recoup my investment. But who’s counting? Continue reading Watermelon Web Works Review: Part 15
Two Days Lost
I spent much of the July 2013 in Norway visiting my brother Peter and his family. Peter, Alex, his seven-year-old son, and I stopped at a café on the way to the airport shuttle. Alex ordered a single scoop of ice cream.
“Is that all you want?” I asked. “It’s on me. You can have more. We won’t tell your mom. How about a banana split?”
“What’s a banana split?” he asked.
“You’ve never bought this child a banana split!” I said to my brother.
“Look at the price,” he said.
Yowza: 230 Kroner, about $30! Continue reading Watermelon Web Works Review: Part 14