Computer From Hell

I purchased a new computer to replace my office computer which was to replace one of the store computers, and as usual this has not turned out to be the easiest process. You see, for some reason any computer that I purchase for our business seems to be cursed. Computers from Hell, you might call them.

So as you might have guessed the new computer has been a little devilish since we put it in last week. And of course I have been going nuts, because the whole business has been shut down several times over the past couple of days. No big problem, it is only the busiest season of the year. But I'm the smuck who bought the thing in December, so I guess I deserve this.

Things are looking up though. The computers in the store are now working again, and we think we have found some bad memory chips in the new computer. I have some bad memory chips in my head if I ever buy a computer in December again!

I had originally wanted this writing to be the theme of ‘things you might want to know about Train City, but didn't have time to explore on our web site'. But I liked the ‘Computer From Hell' title better. And besides I don't know if that other title would fit on one line! Actually it was supposed to be published around a week ago, but you know why it wasn't.

I know everyone is busy, and don't have time to go into every nick and cranny on web sites. Most of the information I give you now will come from someplace on our pages. I hope you will read on for some extremely enlightening reading!!

(OK, I am typing this later on after my computer decided to boot itself while I was about to finish this topic. Of course I lost everything from here down, so here it goes again!!! I think I'll try to save after every sentence.)

If you have ever received a package from us, and couldn't find the receipt, next time try looking under the label in the label pouch that is attached to the box. That's where you'll find it. We've had many inquiries such as ‘where the heck is my receipt, bathed'. And we are still working on getting something to inform you where the receipt is. So this is one of those stupid blunders in business. But now you know. Aren't you glad you read this?

Our hours through December 23rd are extended. Monday through Friday we are opened 10AM to 8PM, Saturday 10AM to 5PM, and Sunday Noon to 4PM. The 24th we will be open from 10AM to 5PM.

Did you know that our database ‘search and order' section from the main menu is updated daily? Yep, it takes around seven and one half hours typing that new inventory in and taking the old out everyday, but we do it just for you. Naaaa, actually it takes me around 2 minutes each day.

One of the most frequent suggestions we receive about improvements to our web site is pictures of our inventory. Now, let me say this, that is a very good idea. But due to technical problems, that would take seven and one half hours at least to upload every day, not to mention how long it would take to take the pictures in the first place. Let's see around 1400 items at maybe half minute per item. Well with no breaks I'd be done in around 11 and ½ hours. Sounds good. And then every day (on average) maybe another 50 to 100 new items. Sounds like I'd be going into the photography business!!! But please be assured that if we ever get to the point of being able to offer photographs in a way that wouldn't take quite as much time (maybe 2 minutes), we will.

Now let me see, what did I write next? Oh yea...

Did you know that we absolutely guarantee the lowest prices on Lionel MPC (1970-1992). If you see an advertisement for an item in Classic Toy Trains or O Gauge for items that is lower than ours in this area, let us know and we will match it. Or beat it if your order is over $200.00. Such a deal!!

OK, now this last subject is sort of sensitive, but I just have to mention it. I have many people ask if I can do better on the price or eliminate the shipping and handling charge, etc, etc.

My philosophy in business is straight forward. I try to price items as fairly as possible the first time. I don't purposely inflate prices so that I have some room to barter. I will admit due to changing markets, sometime items are priced higher than others, but on the same hand many items are underpriced. Of course those are the first to sell. And then if we have items longer than we want them, they are lowered in price.

OK, so someone asks me if I can do better. Of course I say no. And that is not because I am hard which I have been called. I'm not doing it because if I do it for one person, personally I would feel obligated to do it for the next person and the next. Eventually I would go out of business and probably die of starvation. That's not in the plan (I hope).

Well, I am sure you get the idea. And if you still want to ask, please do. But if you do, there is a good chance the answer will begin with ‘N', so be prepared.

Well, now that I got that out of my system, I feel much better. And my computer hasn't crashed since the last time. And I've been backing it up, so I think I'm home free. Now if it can only stay up until I can upload this so you can read it.

I hope you have a very nice Holiday Season. And thank you very much for stopping by and hanging your hat for a while.

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Revised 12/09/98