GEEKNOTE: Those of you who have been following the account of the attack we've been under for the last couple of weeks will be pleased to know that the spammers we annoyed have apparently gotten bored and decided to try to bother somebody else. They weren't much more than a passing interest here once we identified what they were doing and blocked them. As always, we will continue to monitor our log files to see who else may be rattling the door knobs.
We took Thanksgiving off and enjoyed an all too big dinner with friends I enjoyed my customary after-Thanksgiving dinner nap.
The day after Thanksgiving is known as "Black Friday" because that is the day that many retailers finally go into the black financially for the year.
Black Friday is normally not too busy for us, because most of our business customers are closed and their employees are fighting the mobs at the mall, or as I like to call it, "The maul." I did do one new computer install for a very nice lady that had been referred to us by another customer. That was all I had scheduled for the day.
Our phone system tracked me down late Friday with a panic call from a local florist we serve The florist thought his modem might have gone bad, so I went by the store and picked up three modems before heading to the florist's store. It turns out that his modem and computer system were fine. What was actually happening is that FTD's order system was buried. The sheer volume of transactions simply overwhelmed the system. I consider this an indication that the traditional Christmas shopping season is well underway. Packed parking lots are also a pretty good indication.
Small Business Saturday, an event created by American Express, wasn't terribly busy for us or another small business I checked with, but both of us took the opportunity to figure out what special deals we'd be offering our customers this season. We also took the opportunity to break out all the Christmas stuff and decorated the store.
I expect the next two Saturdays will be busy downtown because of the River Lights Boat Parade on December 1st and the Holiday Street Parade on December 8th.
If you plan to come down for either or both events, but sure to come early and check out the local stores and restaurants while you are downtown. From what I can tell, all of the local stores are very competitive with the big box stores on price and you can't beat the personal service or the "right out front" parking.
If you aren't sure what to get, consider getting a gift certificate at one of the downtown stores or restaurants.
If you are looking for hand made stuff to give as gifts, be sure to check out the Fresh Friday Night Farmer's Market on December 7th. It will be held from 6pm-10pm in Railroad Square. I've gone home with some excellent slices of pie each of the last two months. If you've got a sweet tooth like I do, you need to be there.
I suspect that Maxine Stewart will be at the Farmer's market again with her custom leather goods. I have a couple of her genuine leather belts and I love them. They are made of real leather and they hold up far better than anything you are going to find in the mall.
There are too many other great vendors each month at the market to name, so put it on your calendar and check them out.
I look forward to seeing your downtown this shopping season.
Feel free to drop me a note or give me a call if you have any questions about your computer.
Rob Marlowe, Senior Geek, Gulfcoast Networking, Inc.
(Rob also serves as deputy mayor of the City of New Port Richey. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not necessarily represent the position of the city.)