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Blogger Meets The Lawnmower Man

Back in 1982, while I was in the 8th grade at Birney Middle School, I had my first computer class. The school had just received about twenty new Apple II+ machines and we were learning to program using AppleBasic.  I took to the Apple very quickly, and my friends and I soon developed game copying rings and programming clubs.
Back in 1982, I wanted nothing else.

Steven Jobs's concept of putting the computers in school classrooms at cost was genius.  Their placement was a perfect ploy to entice parents to buy them at home since their student children were already strong users from school experience.  This marketing approach was further expanded when the first Mac computers were introduced in 1984.  By the time I started college in 1986, the dorm computer centers were full of them.  The Mac was a huge step in user interface quality, being young and eager drove me to integrate the technology and to become proficient in their operation.  While in college at The University of Michigan, I worked for the computer center and helped hundreds of students with their knowledge integration.  This actually made me feel skilled in some infantile way.
In 1987 this was the Cat's Ass!

Unfortunately, that proficiency was impossible to maintain while laden with my post college responsibilities.  The past ten years have especially been an uphill climb; actually more like a slipping down a muddy hill, trying to keep up with computer technology as a mere user. Any aspirations of remaining a subject matter expert (SME) are completely gone as I struggle just to update my software.  Even though I am still able to struggle as my familys' IT hack, purchasing used laptops, installing software, and diagnosing basic driver issues.   When all is said and done, my level of tech savvy is really more akin to The Lawnmower Man.
Me on the Right, Google Jerk on the Left
I decided to start this blog about four years ago.  At the time, I knew nothing about blogging, websites, or domain registry.  After a Google search for starting a blog, I landed on the Blogger.com site and started this site.  I didn't register managersandwich.com at first, instead I called it "areyouthemanagerinthemiddle.blogspot.com".  For a mere $10 I was able to own www.managersandwich.com, and so I began my deaf, dumb, and blind amazing journey into website ownership.
Sure plays a mean Pinball!

It really wasn't so difficult to get started.  Formatting the blog was easily done with Blogger's templates.  Then, about two years ago everything changed.  Google had purchased Blogger and the next time that I went to edit my blog, the entire format had changed.  The templates had been rearranged and the whole look of the blog had been irreparably altered.  Little did I know that this would be my first encounter with the Evil Empire of Google.

Each year, around the middle of January, I would get an email reminding me to pay the $10 domain registration, and with little effort or fanfare, my blog survived another year of obscurity.  This worked fine for three years until just recently.  In December 2013 I started receiving emails that I needed to set my auto-renew to "on".  Each time I attempted this, I would be told that I am not signing in as the administrator.  Finding a phone number to reach Google customer support seemed as easy to find as the Holy Grail, not that I would look for the Grrrraaaail anyways.
You seek the Grrrrrraaaaailll?

After about two dozen web searches and subsequent frustrations, I was able to pose as a Google + business member and spoke to one of the peons at Google.  They told me that my blog had been deactivated and that my domain would need to be redeemed.  Redeemed I asked?  Like my soul? No, more like an expired gift certificate for Chucky Cheese.  So like the Lawnmower Man, I ask how was to do such a simple thing.  The Googler instructed me to go to a domain service to redeem my site.  "But . .But . . .I purchased it through Google didn't I?"  No, I purchased it through GoDaddy or through contract with Blogger and later Google acted as listing service . .blah blah blah, she had already saturated my 2K brain and afterwards, everything else she said just sounding like noise.  So I asked "What do I do?"  They chased me over to GoDaddy who was at least easier to reach, but no easier to teach the dumb ole Lawnmower Man.  I ended up paying $90 in redemption fees so that I could re-register the site, but then I had to access a third site Domainsbyproxy.com that would give me permission to get the exact contact information that I established the blog with . . . .whew!

All I know is that a dozen more people have my credit card numbers than did before.  The site is still not fully functional, for DNS, Cname goofball reasons that I cannot comprehend, and that no single person has any power to fix.  My site is pointed at this blog, but for some Ghost in the Machine reason, it just won't jive and instead entering in the URL www.managersandwich.com just takes you to the Google home page (bastards!)
.
My journey throughout this experience has felt as if I am responsible to sail around the earth with a crew of people that are all missing something absolutely necessary.  My first mate lacks legs, my second mate doesn't have a head, my third mate is missing all internal organs, and so-on and so-on.  Nobody at my disposal has what is needed to fix the problem, so I have to assemble everybody together, and accomplish the mission, all with the computer intellectualism of a 3rd grader who can play Blues Clues on his Mommy's I-Pad.

Meanwhile, my blog is hijacked, not that anyone really misses it anyways, except until now, I had nowhere I could rant!  The chucklehead #4 at GoDaddy said it would work but it would anywhere from 1 hour to 2 days for the changes to take effect; Say What????  I get a better estimate from the cable company than these fools, but then again, none of them have proven to be functional on their own anyways.



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