The good news: EVERYTHING IS BEING FIXED!
The bad news: Everything is broken! Or WAS. We're way behind. If you ordered, say, an Ordainment, and haven't gotten it, it's not that "Bob" has singled you out for a test of faith, nor that the Conspiracy is watching you -- although both ARE in fact true. No, recent order lateness and disappearances (now being corrected) are due to everything breaking. Not all at once, but in succession. And not all in one place, but scattered across North America. And not only machines broke down, but some of our very GUTS!!
I'm waiting on a new hard drive right now. UPS guy should ring any minute. I wish he would get here. I can't put together an Hour of Slack until he does. My main computer's main hard drive is dying -- SLOWLY. (Thus, repair attempts and back-up happened SLOWLY.) But that was only the most recent, and most easily fixed.
I guess it started before 4X-Day. The Minister of Propaganda Disbursement, Rev. Nickie Deathchick, having taken her side of the biz and her Zombies to Milwaukee, dealt with Con-job and Cob-jon entanglements... until the main SubGenius Foundation computer that takes ORDERS from the WEBSITE, as well as COMPLAINTS about said orders, "went down." And of course it wasn't one of those OBVIOUS problems where you just say, "Well, gotta buy a new (insert expensive part's name here) and eat the loss." It was the kind that you try to FIX. Everything sent to "email@example.com" went down that hole and stayed there until recently. By then it had really stacked up. (If we didn't send out, or even GET, your order, however, that also means your credit card was not charged either.)
Once the problem was identified, we rerouted the mail back to the Dallas office -- whereupon Rev. Magdalen, the "human glue" currently holding the company together with Jesus, got REAL REAL SICK. So sick that the Lord Himself had to Repent and quit His job for a while to take up her "real world" Slack.
Now everything is back to "normal," except that we are more behind than normal. If you ordered something and didn't get it, always feel free to pester me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and CC "email@example.com" as well.
All these problems forced us, Dobbs' EmpLoyees, to face the fact that once again we have to streamline and modernify the swag-selling side of the Church so that this sort of thing doesn't happen again.
When you order a CD, CD-R or video from us, except for ARISE it's actually me that dubs the thing, applies the labels, addresses the package and mails it to you. That probably won't change because those are our "specialty items," not in mass demand. Only the REAL SubGenii buy those, so we don't sell many. But all the other stuff -- t-shirts, coffee mugs, underwear, books, even Membership Packs -- is handled by a fulfillment company. Those orders are what keep our doors open.
Magdalen and Jesus have come up with a plan that keeps all the eggs in one basket, and guarantees more professional service. Actually several baskets are involved, but all are "farmed out" to companies that specialize in this kind of thing, leaving us SubGenii more time to actually COORDINATE things, MARKET things, and make NEW things, and less time running errands, getting supplies, repairing equipment, hand-labeling stuff, etc.
I might farm ALL our CDs out to MP3.com so that the only thing left to order from "Connivin' Ivan's Media Madhouse" would be certain CD-Rs and the more home-made videos. (ARISE is a mass-produced item.)
Lately we've been making ZILCH and have had to spend the money slated for printing the (all finished!) STARK FIST just replacing crap that
DAMN!! "Verification failed." See what I mean? Another useless 40 cent CD.
Incidentally, I belatedly realized that some of the CDs I made the last couple of months on CHEAP NO-NAME BULK DISKS do not play on everybody's players. I have switched back to quality name brand silver blank CDs -- a lot more expensive but we buy them in bulk from a wholesaler. If you got a CD from me that skips or won't play, send it back to me WITHOUT THE JEWEL CASE (55 cents postage) and I'll send you a better burn that WILL play.
Most of them must be okay because I only got two returns so far from customers... the machines that have the most trouble playing cheap-ass CDs are ironically the ultra-expensive CD players at radio stations. I have to make 20 copies of the show every week, and they're only meant for one playing, so I used ultra cheap disks. They ALWAYS ALL PLAY on my 6 shitty, used, cheap-ass home CD players, boom boxes, computers etc. ... but read "no disk" on the really FINE equipment!
Figures. JUST FIGURES!
I have a strange relationship with machines -- I love to geek out with them, I don't really mind when they break, because it gives me an excuse to TINKER, you see. But... I dunno, some of my choices... I have a closet full of Betamax tapes, a room full of Apple Macintosh computers, a couple of shelves of Syquest EZ-135 disks (lost out to Zip drives). If I had an Edsel my life would be complete.
Only 2 percent of us now use Macs in real life... but we WON'T go down, my friend.
PART TWO: Stang Report 8-21-01, "The DEVOtional
Aug. 21, 2001
HAHAHAHA! "You know how to make God laugh? Tell him your plans." (-- from "Foundation's Fear" by G. Benford)
Guess what? My Mac went down.
Since then I have been trying to fix the computer. Just gave up and called the warranty place. I may have to part with it, maybe while I'm at Burning Man all next week. God damn it... all this forced partying, and equipment breakage, I'm not getting any work done.
Now I am going to attempt to make HOUR OF SLACK (THREE SHOWS) on this crippled gear. Somehow I must also update SubSITE. Hell, a SubGenius DIED since I was last able to deal with that site. I have until Friday. I also have to pack and get our DIVINE NEW BURNING MAN-"BOB" LOGO DECALS made. The a.b.s. arteests whipped out some KILLER "B.M.-Dobbs" logos, and I'm gonna print all of them, on decals, magnetic sheets, T-shirt transfers, any weird printing medium I can find at Office Max.
If you happen to find yourself at Burning Man, we'll be in the Dobbshead-festooned RV somewhere near the "town center" alongside a group called "TECHNOMANIA."
""BOB" AND PHILO'S BADFILM FUN HOLE THEATER"
We will have a small outdoor theater with free refreshments and free all night badfilms.
Also, Dr. Howll always MCs the Burning Man Fashion Show, so we'll surely be there. And, whenever the Bicycle Breast Parades happen twice a day, look for me there -- I'll be that one guy with the video camera.