Thursday, October 30, 2008

Finally An eBay Phone Number

After years of being an eBay customer I received an email from eBay with their phone number. This appears to be some sort of eBay Phone Support number given to customers who've been with eBay for many years. You can't just call and get help though. To keep the masses out they require you create a pin then call the eBay Phone Support number with your pin to get customer support from the staff at eBay. I'm pleased to see eBay finally offering phone support this make them more of a "real" company than a typical dot com company from 2000.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

When Is The Toyota 0% Interest Sale Over?

Is anyone else tired of hearing Saved By Zero ten times a day on TV? I like new Toyota cars and trucks as much as the next person but i'll be glad when the 0% interest saved by zero sale is over so I can stop hearing that TV commercial. Checking the BuyAToyota website it looks like we have one more week of Saved By Zero Toyota commercials, the sale ends on 11/3/2008. I copied the fine print to the graphic in this post. The Toyota sale is only good on 11 models and it looks like you need to buy your new Toyota in the next week. Good luck.

Cobb County Toyota

In the Atlanta area Cobb County Toyota has stood out for years as one of the better Toyota dealers in Georgia. Actually a Kennesaw Toyota Dealer, Cobb County Toyota is known for great service, excellent selection and a service department that is very efficient. Located at 2111 Barrett Lakes Boulevard in NW Kennesaw you can't go wrong doing business with Cobb County Toyota. You can reach this Kennesaw Toyota dealer by phone at 770-422-8555. If your in the market for a new Toyota you can currently get 0% interest financing for a limited time. With auto sales being slow your sure to get a great price on a new Toyota.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Riverside Toyota Rome GA 30161

Recipient of the coveted Toyota Presidents Award, Riverside Toyota has long been the Toyota dealer folks in the Rome Georgia area head to when they need service or want to do some shopping for a new or used Toyota vehicle. Selection at Riverside Toyota is always top notch but also the pricing at this Rome Toyota Dealer is excellent and often there are additional special offers related to financing. This makes getting into a new Toyota very affordable. In addition to sales and service, Riverside Toyota can assist you in other automotive related areas like extended warranty service, fleet service and parts and accessories. If you need the services of a fine Toyota dealer in the Rome area, Riverside Toyota is the place you want to stop first.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Houlihans Restaurants

One of my favorite restaurants throughout the United States is Houlihans. No matter where I go from the Kansas City Houlihans to the Chicago Houlihans I always have a great experience. Houlihans has a great happy hour and is always a comfortable environment to meet someone for a drink after work. For a night out the dining room has great private comfortable booths and for large group typically the Houlihans restaurant in your area will have a private room. Houlihans doesn't let the menue go stale either. Over the years i've seen Houlihans keep the staple favorites on the menu while switching out and making changes in entrees and appetizers so you never get tired of the options at Houlihans.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Best Chevrolet Dealer In Minnesota Miller Chevrolet

If you have a Chevrolet or are looking to buy a Chevrolet or get your Chevrolet serviced you should ALWAYS take it to Miller Chevrolet in Rogers, Minnesota. Miller Chevrolet has always been a great place to buy a new or used car or truck. The sales staff are great, low key and helpful. The prices at Miller Chevrolet have always been fair. The service department is heads above other dealers with great service and free loaners making getting work done stress free. Recently however Miller Chevrolet really came through. I have a 2005 Silverado and had a defective speedometer one of the thousands across the world with defective speedometers. I had been trying to work through GM to get this replaced under warranty through a special policy because the part has been defective since 2003. GM didn't even call my dealer much less me when they said they would. Finally I told Miller to fix it at my expense. The GM customer service rep told me to wait until they lost the class action lawsuit. Miller Chevrolet stepped up and said they'd take care of the repair and work it through their divisional rep. Once again Miller Chevrolet went above and beyond. I will probably keep buying Chevy Trucks because I like them despite this bad experience with GM. I will ALWAYS buy them from Miller Chevrolet in Rogers and will absolutely be bringing my three GM vehicles there for service when needed. Thanks Miller Chevrolet! Call Miller Chevrolet in Rogers at (763) 515-4511 and to get there just take the Hwy 101 exit off 94 in Rogers.

Port 80 Blocked Windows XP

Symptom: Port 80 Is Blocked On A Windows XP PC. Various browsers all produce failures appearing because http is blocked IE port 80. Alternate ports like HTTPS over 443 may work just fine. Other traffic besides port 80 may also be blocked like ICMP (ping) or SSH on port 22.

This blocking behavior is usually due to a firewall being installed and activated. First check the Windows XP firewall and disable that. Look in the control panel, Windows Firewall icon. If this firewall is disabled check for other software based firewalls installed like Zone Alarm or products from Mcafee and Symantec like Norton or other personal firewall products.

In other cases we've seen port 80 blocked on Windows XP where no firewall seems to exist. In the case i'm thinking of it was a Cisco VPN client that was the problem. The Cisco VPN client has a Zone Alarm firewall. Sometimes even after the Cisco VPN client is uninstalled port 80 is still blocked and a user cannot use a browser to http but can use https. In this case try the following solution.

Restart the Windows XP PC in Safe Mode.
Run Regedit.exe to open the registry editor.
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\vsdatant
Click start in the right pane and modify the value to 3.
Restart the PC and port 80 should no longer be blocked and you can use http with any browser.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Defective GM Speedometer Calling Customer Service Back

I just got off the phone with GM Customer Service. Since earlier today when my Chevrolet dealer was waiting for a call from GM and I called I was told to wait for my case rep to call me and the Chevrolet dealership. I had borrowed a loaner car from Miller Chevrolet and felt I needed to take some action so I wasn't just mooching their car while my truck sat with a bad speedometer. I had them make a small repair and rotate tires and waited until the end of the business day. I called Miller Chevrolet and asked if GM customer service had called them. They told me no one had contacted them from General Motors regarding my defective speedometer. I told the dealer to fix the speedometer at my expense and i'll deal with either the class action lawsuit or Chevrolet customer service on reimbursement. I just got off the phone with GM customer service as it's 9:00pm and still no call to me or the dealer. To add to this story I found a letter I received months back regarding a class action lawsuit related to defective speedometers on Chevrolet and GM vehicles. The letter states that this affects 2003/2004 vehicles but also mentions 2005's that were made in 2003 which mine likley was as I bought it in February 2005. Of course with it in the shop it's tough to tell for sure at this point. The customer service representative at GM told me that yes they get all kinds of similar complaints for owners of 2005 model year GM and Chevrolet vehicles with bad speedometers. They said that despite the special policy related to fixing 2003/2004 model years for free they are still deciding on whether to fix 2005 model year vehicles even thoug they have the exact same safety issue of a stuck speedometer. The best they could do was apologize that no one had called me or the dealer and to tell me to wait until a class action settlement had been reached that includeds owners of 2005 GM and Chevrolet vehicles with stuck speedometers. The thought of our government providing loans to keep companies like this in business is crazy when they put out products with known defects for three years in a row then refuse to correct the issue until they lose a lawsuit related to owner safety. I plan to scan in the class action lawsuit letter I received in a future post in case you have the same issue but are missing your letter.

Defective Chevrolet Speedometer Part 3

As I suspected the business day passed and no call from the GM / Chevrolet Customer Service. I called the Chevrolet dealer about my truck with the defective speedometer and as predicted no one from GM had called the dealer so my truck just sat. I told the dealer to fix the broken speedometer and that if GM wasn't willing to cover the cost of their defective speedometer i'd cover the cost to avoid further safety issues when driving my three year old truck. I've owned three new Chevrolet trucks over the last eight years. My wife has owned two Chevolet Tahoe's both purchased new. I can say with certainty this experience has put me off of GM products. I will be checking out the trucks from Toyota after this experience. I should add, I don't mind making repairs on my 67,000 mile Chevrolet truck. I know it's out of warranty, I accept that. When I find out however that since 2003 defective speedometers have been put in vehicles and then replaced by Chevrolet for owners of 2003/2004 vehicles it makes me feel cheated that when I bought my 2005 truck GM likley knew that the instrument cluster in my vehicle was going to fail before 70,000 miles. The fact that GM would not put me in contact with someone when the truck was waiting at the dealership and then never called me or the dealer really tells alot about what owners of Chevrolet and GM vehicles can expect for their investment.

Bad Chevrolet Speedometer Part 2

As expected the Chevrolet dealer diagnosed my bad speedometer as being one of the defective instrument clusters which cause a sticking speedometer. This is a problem on 2003-2005 GM and Chevrolet vehicles. This causes the speedometer to stick and will have it reading 80-120mph when you are stopped and moving. The dealer is saying that because the vehicle has over 60,000 it would not be covered despite those being covered in prior years of anything below 70,000 miles. My truck has 67,000 miles and is certainly within the period of those vehicles being repaired due to the defective speedometer. I called GM Customer Service back at 1-866-790-5700 after the dealer said i'd have to work through them to get this repaired at their cost. They wanted to call me back in the evening after my "rep" whom I spoke with the previous day came in. Meanwhile, the dealer is waiting to order the parts and my truck is sitting at the Chevrolet dealer. THe cost quoted to replace the defective instrument cluster with a refurbished one is $535.00 despite asking for a supervisor at the Chevrolet customer service center I was told that the supervisor would only allow me to leave a voice mail for my rep who doesn't come in until the afternoon.

Monday, October 20, 2008

GM Chevrolet Speedometer Failures Starts eBay Businesses

The problem with GM and Chevrolet speedometers are so prevalent that folks are earning a living on eBay selling repairs to the instrument cluster. Check out eBay to see how many auctions there are for either complete instrument clusters, repair services due to the speedometer defects or replacement parts for the do it yourselfer. The parts on ebay seem to be for 2003 - 2005 GM / Chevrolet vehicles.

Chevrolet Speedometer Failure Service Bulletin 07187

I found this service bulletin related to the Chevrolet, GM speedometer failures that are prompting Chevrolet owners to demand a recall of the defective speedometers. If you have a GM or Chevrolet vehicle with a defective speedometer you may want to bring this service bulletin to your dealers attention. This service bulletin below references 2003 and 2004 model years but my 2005 has the same problem with the speedometer reading 120mph when i'm going anything over 40 mph. As I write this my truck is in the driveway turned off yet the speedometer says 55mph.

Chevrolet Speedometer Failure Service Bulletin
03-04 GMT800 07187 - Special Coverage Adjustment/Instrument Cluster



Subject:Bulletin GMP07-174 - Special Coverage Adjustment #07187– Instrument Panel Cluster Gauge Needle FunctionMessage #:VSU20071575
SPECIAL COVERAGE Adjustment #07187– SEPTEMBER 28, 2007


Some customers of 2003-2004 model year Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, and Escalade EXT; Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, and Tahoe; and GMC Sierra, Envoy, Yukon, and Yukon XL vehicles have reported that the instrument panel (IP) cluster gauges stick, flutter, or become inoperative. This may cause inaccurate readings, including the speedometer and fuel gauge.
This special coverage covers the condition described above for a period of 7 years or 70,000 miles (110,000 km), whichever occurs first, from the date the vehicle was originally placed in service, regardless of ownership.
Refer to Special Coverage Adjustment #07187 for further information

Initial owner mailing is scheduled to begin: Phase 1 9-28-07

Instrument panel clusters (IPC) required to complete this special coverage are to be obtained from the Electronic Service Centers. Refer to GM Service Policies and Procedures Manual, section 1.5.9, for specific procedures. To eliminate keeping the customer's vehicle overnight, customers are being told to contact the dealership to arrange a service appointment and to supply their VIN. Dealers are to pre-order the IPC identifying the part from the Electronic Parts Catalog using the VIN filter so it will be at the dealership on the day of the scheduled appointment.
1. The customer will contact the dealership to arrange an appointment and provide their VIN.
2. Contact a GM Authorized Electronic Service Center to order an exchange and arrange for delivery of the pre-exchange product.
3. All units will be shipped FedEx Ground.
4. After removal of the defective unit, return the defective core to the Electronic Service Center using the supplied pre-paid Automatic Return shipping (ARS) label.
5. Failure to return the product within 30 days to the Electronic Service Center will result in a charge to the Dealer's Open Parts Account.

Chevrolet Customer Service Number

If you are looking for a customer service number for Chevrolet you can try 1-800-222-1020. I called this Chevrolet Customer Service Number looking for information regarding a "special policy" for a speedometer failure that is a known issue but not an actual recall. The first time I called the Chevrolet Customer Service Number I got someone in India that was helpful but hung up on me when I went to get my VIN number. I called back and got another person from India who was helpful but had no record of my previous call so I had to start all over. I was calling hoping to get some information on the special policy regarding my broken Chevrolet speedometer. At this particular customer service number you can get information regarding recalls warranty and sales information. To talk to a human you need to keep choosing "other issue". While talking to the customer service person at Chevrolet I was asked for the dealer name where i'm taking my truck and asked if they could call the dealer. I'm not sure if this will help or hurt as the rep said there was no "special policy" regarding the speedometer in my Chevrolet Silverado. However they did give me one additional Chevrolet Customer Service Number 1-866-790-5700 so if you can't get what you need at 1-800-222-1020 try the alternate number.

Chevolet Speedometer Recall / Special Policy

Today I noticed I seem to have the fastest Chevrolet Silverado around. I have a 2005 with about 67,000 miles and noticed my speedometer was indicating 90mph while I was coasting in the right lane. The speedometer then went to 120mph and beyond. When i'm stopped it reads 80mph. I called the dealer and scheduled an appointment at Miller Chevrolet in Rogers. They didn't mention anything about any recall or special policy. I then did some reading online and found that this is a well known problem on Chevrolet Silverado and possibly other Chevrolet vehicles. I called Rosedale Chevrolet where I bought my Silverado and asked if there was a recall. They said there is not a recall but there is a special policy for some under 70,000 miles. They have to look at it and get some info off the gauge cluster and then if it qualifies the speedometer is replaced for free. I called back Miller Chevrolet and asked about this special policy. They knew all about it and indicated that it's likley Chevrolet will replace the gague cluster or fix the problem at no charge. I'm hoping this is the case as a defective speedometer with a widely known problem would seem to be a safety issue when it affects this many vehicles. Check out the picture of my speedometer on my 2005 Chevrolet. I'm finding all kinds of information from Chevrolet owners with defective speedometers. There is apparantly a class action lawsuit because so many Chevrolet owners have bad speedometers and no recall has been made. I filed a complaint with the dot so that maybe if there enough Chevrolet owners with broken speedometers we'll get a proper recall.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Norton Uninstall Password

If you are trying to uninstall Symantec Norton Antivirus Corporate from a PC it may ask for a password. By default the password is usually symantec or Symantec. If this fails then you may need to do a registry hack to make the Norton Uninstall Password go away. This removes the protection against users uninstalling Norton Antivirus but sometimes it is necessary to obtain the Norton Uninstall Password and it simply is not available. To get Norton to allow you to uninstall via add/remove programs open up the registry.

Navigate to the following key.
\\HKLM\Software\Intel\LanDesk\VirusProtect6\CurrentVersion\Administrator Only\Security\

Look for a key that sets Norton to use an uninstall password it is called useVPuninstallpassword key and will be set to a value of 1.

Set useVPuninstallpassword key to 0 and then uninstall Norton without a password using Add/Remove programs.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Manager Tip Keep Your Team Informed

If you manage people keep in mind that people are hungry for information. This is especially true in stressful or busy times. One of the things that makes people fearful and uncomfortable is a lack of information. What types of things can you do? Hold regular team meetings. In times of uncertainty use these meetings to update the team. In times which are uneventful it is helpful to use these meetings just to keep the team close and the lines of communication open. Banter among team members is helpful in creating a close cohesive team. In times which are stressful such as when your company has been aquired even if you hold the meeting to say you don't have answers but to collect questions it helps your employees to take the stress down a level and vent. Using the questions they've asked you can then use the answers as fodder for a productive follow up meeting. How your employees handle stress in good times and bad on the job is largely due to how they are managed and communication is a great tool to assist in the productive management of your group.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Red X In OWA With IE?

If you are finding that using OWA you get a Red X blocking the message body read on to find the solution to this problem.

By default, IE can’t handle the SMIME messages in the emails as a security feature. To enable it, you have to download it manually to prevent the red X in OWA.

In OWA click on Options
Scroll down to E-Mail Security
Click the Download button
A popup will ask if you want to install some controls
Click Yes and Ok to everything
Once done, restart the browser and the red X will no longer block the message body

Finicky Dog? Try Peanut Butter

I've got a 13 year old Siberian Husky who has become very finicky over the years. It's probably our fault; she's just waiting for a better deal as she gets tired of the tricks we use to get her to eat. We started with that powdered Italian cheese in the green can, parmesan from Kraft. Then she got finicky about that and didn't eat easily. Then low fat mozzarella cheese sprinkled on her dog food was a hit for awhile. Then when that got old we tried the Colby jack shredded cheese. Eventually my finicky dog got tired of all this. We've found something that seems be working now and has for awhile. I think the trick is to give her one thing at breakfast and another for dinner. Currently my finicky dog likes Peanut Butter on her food in the morning. I buy Skippy light or reduced fat or something like that, it has a light blue lid. I take two medium scoops and put it in the food, then use my spoon to work the peanut butter around and get some on all the food. At night we take some broccoli and a few pieces of turkey from the deli counter and mix all that in and she seems to enjoy it. So if you have a finicky dog try using Peanut Butter to keep your dog interested in eating.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Healing A Knee Injury

First let me say this is not medical advice. If you have a knee injury you should seek the immediate advice of a doctor, hospital or urgent care. If you injure your knee you should try the following in the mean time to help heal or relieve pain from your knee injury. If you decide to not seek medical attention for your knee injury the following basic information may help. First avoid putting weight on the injury. Next try icing the knee 3 times per day for 10-20 minutes at at time. This relieves swelling, a bag of peas is ideal for this but you can visit Walgreens and purchase a band and gel pack that will fit this need idealy. Next use an ace bandage or other wrap or brace to give the knee support on a daily basis. Both the ice and support are needed for about 6 weeks after the injury. You should also keep weight off the knee for about 6 weeks after the injury to allow it to heal. If possible visit a Doctor or Orthopedist for a consultation or Xray or MRI as soon as possible after the injury.

Vinturi Wine Aerator Review

My wife and I started visiting the local Winestyles store. They feature boutique and private label wines, have a great wine club and offer regular wine tastings. One night they offered to run the tastings through the Vinturi Wine Aerator. We were intrigued as we'd never seen such a device. The Vinturi Wine Aerator is a device you pour wine through to add air to the wine thus performing the same effect as decanting which brings out the flavor, smell and texture of your wine in a single glass. It also decants instantly giving the Vinturi an advantage over traditional wine decanting. In this review of the Vinturi Wine Aerator i'll say that I recommend this as a tool for every wine lover, and as a gift for a wine lover. The Vinturi costs $40.00 and is available at Amazon.Com and likley your local Winestyles or maybe liquor store. Clean up of the Vinturi is simple, run water through it and dry it off. You can't beat the Vinturi for a wine gift or for your own use for the money, that's my review of the Vinturi.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Knee MRI Scan

Did you ever wonder what a Knee MRI Scan looks like? I have a knee fracture that wasn't showing up on my Knee Xray so after three weeks I went to an orthopedist at Tria Orthopedic and had a Knee MRI Scan done. While I was waiting for the Orthopedist I took picture of the Knee MRI Picture that was up on the computer. This isn't the MRI picture that showed the fracture in my knee but is a good example of what a Knee MRI Scan looks like vs an Xray. I don't know the cost of a Knee MRI but i'm guessing maybe $800. The MRI Scan machine was quite loud but I had headphones on with music so it helped. The challenge when getting a Knee MRI is just remaining still and keeping your mind occupied because it takes about 20 minutes to complete the Knee MRI Scan.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Excel 2007 Opens Blank Or Excel Opens Without Displaying Workbook

If you find that Excel 2007 opens blank or Excel Opens Without Displaying Workbook try the following solution.
Open up your Excel 2007 document. Likley it will open blank.
Click View
Click Arrange All
Click the Tiles Option
Click OK and your Excel document should now show data and not be blank.
Click Save to save the document or else it will open blank again.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Looking Forward To Doing Your Taxes?

I can tell it's year end as i'm wishing I had Turbo Tax 2008 so I could start plugging in information and getting an estimate on where I stand on my income taxes. Unfortunately Turbo Tax 2008 doesn't come out until late November or December. I've been a long time Turbo Tax customer so I have the benefit of having the previous years data pulled forward into the new version of TurboTax. While there are other types of income tax software, I can honestly say that there is no way i'd switch from Turbo Tax for my income tax software. Over the years my tax situation has become more and more complicated with two incomes, investments, rental property and a small business. Turbo Tax handles it all and I expect TurboTax 2008 to be better than ever.