OK, I don't like to brag much. But this is special. I now deem myself officially a computer guru! And this is why

As you know, as little as three or four months ago our sites were a mess! To say the least! Nothing worked. The shopping cart on sometimes worked, but most of the time didn't. was a mess. We couldn't fix anything, no feedback, and many other problems.

To make things worse, just recently I found that two of my computers had picked up a nasty worm virus. And I do mean nasty, to the point where we had to compute store sales by hand earlier this week! (I hope that makes whoever wrote this virus feel good about themselves! What jerks there are out there!)

OK, now that I got that out of my system! The good news. I single handily found the patch that has now fixed one of my computers. Of course having an up to date version of Norton Virus protection is a help as well. (Funny how those live updates expire so fast!) So that is my first Guru accomplishment!

Well actually it was my last. All around I am very proud of both of our web sites now. Train City works to perfection, and isn't to far behind mainly because of some switching around. Why you may or may not have noticed, but I even was able to put the e-mail subscription box on the first page making it easier for people to subscribe to our periodical specials and news. I've opened that page maybe seven times since then with a big grin on my face!

OK, so I'm done bragging. But it really is a relief to have things running pretty well now, (knock on wood!) Hopefully it can stay that way for a while.

We have been pretty busy in the store and mail order lately I think the mail order thing has something to do with our shopping cart actually working now. (I wonder how much business I lost with that thing not working?)

We finally received the last of our starter sets yesterday. It seems Chionel's decision to move to China has gotten the best of them as some of their inventory arrived at least a month late. (Yes, I did say Chionel! I know bad, but what the heck!)

I was talking to a good customer in the store the other day about what seems to be an exodus from the United States to China by many manufacturers, trying to take advantage of the cheap labor over there. We came to the conclusion that eventually China will own the United States in some capacity, if they don't already! What a bad situation. What a shame!

I understand that the old Lionel really didn't have much choice to move their manufacturing over there, but wouldn't it have been nice if they would have kept a small token operation here in the good old US? Maybe make some specific parts or other items here, just to stay in touch. It would have been a nice gesture. But unfortunately Chionel is now owned by a somewhat hard core group who's only motive is to buy and sell businesses as profitably at any cost! That company really could care less about trains or the old Lionel employees. And in that famous Interview with the past president ‘Chaddex', when he was asked if the prices for Lionel trains would come down, and he simply answered ‘our prices are competitive now'. I almost fell off my chair when I read that. Great public relations, great marketing strategy. That was more or less a slap in the face to every dealer, collector, and operator who has ever owned a Lionel train.

To say the least, I am very happy that I still deal mainly in Lionel Trains. I don't really want to deal much in Chionel!

On a much more positive note, I would like to congratulate all of you that did not bid on auction number 1038221413. The title of this was ‘Spicy Model Railroader Magazine Lot'.

We've been auctioning trains on-line for years now, and I think this is only the third auction that did not sell for traincity. You might ask, what exactly was in that auction?

Good question. I purchased this collection that had a bunch of magazines. One of the magazines though was called ‘Cheri'. I think that's what it was called. It contained adult material. As a joke I left that magazine in with the lot. I am happy to say that no one bid on this lot. You guys are so moral! I'm really proud of you. Can't wait to get home to read that magazine though!!

Well, I'd better get back to work. Way behind, and I have another computer to knock some viruses out of! Just call me ‘Guruman!

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Revised 12/12/02
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