Improper Etiquette – Renaissance Enterprises – Using company letterhead to write personal letters

Planning a wedding for Andrea and I has turned out to be relatively stress free. We got most of the hard work done early and now 3 months before are just wrapping up the details. Our families work well together and so far there has been no drama. That all changed this week when we received a pretty odd letter from one of my relatives.

Not only was the contents out of the norm but it was sent on her companies letterhead. It was all about etiquette and a few stabs at the family. What I thought odd initially was it was addressed to my mom and not me. I have personally only met this in-marriage family member once when I was probably 13 years old. The least she could have done was address the letter to me, I am an adult and it is my wedding.

Anyways, here is the contents of the letter. You decide for yourself if Carollynn Andren is accurately representing her company, Renaissance Enterprises, inc.

Dear Cindy,
I am in receipt of your invitation to the shower for Andrea DeFillippo. Additionally Jeff and I received a “save the date” notification for your home last month.

Jeff and I thought this rather strange since we have not spoken to you or your family since Christmas of 1998. By my math that would be 10 years ago.

First of all my name is Carollynn Andren, not Carollynn Kondrat. You and your family seem to be the only people that I know that can not get this straight. I married Jeff, more than 10 years ago and it never has been a problem for him, my family, friends, or clients. Professional women that get remarried, rarely change their names, in the real world.

Cindy I have coordinated 27 weddings in my life, some small, some very large, (800 people). I always sit down with the bride, groom and their families and talk about what is and is not proper. Sending invitations to people you have not seen in years is not proper.

We with both the bride and groom and their families, good luck and best wished. We will not be attending any of the events that are associated with this wedding. We do believe that your family’s desire to eliminate us from your social events, was made clear to us years ago. We shall continue to follow this way of life, with respect for the privacy and life style of all parties involved.

Carollynn Andren


Bye Bye Blockbuster

After being a member since opening their online doors I have decided to kick blockbuster online to the curb. The reasons have been building since I joined. I have summarized a few below. If you have your own thoughts about Blockbuster feel free to share them.

Abandoning Early Adopters

The initial pricing was simple and cheap, it got me in the door. After a year the prices went up, I was surprised to see they recognized me as an early adopter and gave a 30% discount plus without changing my current features. Then after the second year they forgot all about me, back to regular pricing and missing features got replaced with non-enticing features. Looks like no more benefits for us early birds.

Not Progressive Enough

Blockbuster still leverages its brick and mortar store by letting you exchange movies on the fly without the shipping. Which is great, don’t get me wrong but they don’t have to rely on it exclusively. A few people at work have Netflix and if they want to watch a movie at lunch it is just two clicks away. Blockbuster has not even mentioned a feature like this.

Clunky Web site

Recently they released a new version of their site. I tested it before they made it public and I commented on a few things, only one of which was fixed. I can now use the site in Safari. The other points have been addressed by their staff but never fixed. Really heavy pages, slow loading times, movies showing up multiple times on the listing pages. It has been almost a year without improvement.

Movies Go Unwatched

I use to check out movies and have plenty of time in the day to watch them, now a days my time has been slipping away. My major time killers are of course the wedding, my last class (graduation in May), Grad School coming up, buying a house, writing a book and my freelance work. Movies are the last think on my list.


I may start my movie renting adventure back up again in a few months but I will definitely be doing some shopping around before I decide to go back to Blockbuster. Their Web 1.0 thinking with a fake 2.0ish look is not fooling me anymore. Don’t take it personal Blockbuster, you should start listening to your customers.


Mac Mini Rebuild

Mac Mini Rebuild
After two weeks of downtime my new Mac Mini has arrived. Its an eBay purchase so the 30% discount was worth the extra week of wait.

Ended up getting the processor I wanted but opted for minimal ram, hard drive and just a dvd reader since those parts worked well on my defective mini.

First step, open it up and rip it apart. Two putty knives and some elbow grease was all it took. Next unscrew all visible screws and lay it all out. The photo shows the dissection in progress.

After all the old pieces were in I fired it up and gee golly it worked. It was like it never left the desk. The old hard drive didn’t even blink on the new motherboard and recognized everything as if it were there all along.

After twenty minutes and eight updates the system was rolling. Syncing all my files back from my laptop took another ten and we were back in business.

Now on to reactivating Time Machine, the software that froze my old mini each time it loaded. I can officially conclude the old mini was freezing due to a defective motherboard. This new mini is backing up 50 gigs of new data as I am typing without any issue.

Last but not least just for kicks I reassembled my old mini with the new parts in it just to see if it would boot. Sure enough it did and stayed on for 15 minutes before I turned it off. Just my luck, I am going to leave it on all day tomorrow just to see if it will freeze, if successful ill be selling a working mini on eBay instead of a parted out version.

I am just glad this whole ordeal is over with and I can stop thinking how much fun it would be to throw my mini against the wall.


Don’t innovate, centralize.

Innovation is a waste of time, centralization though is key to a successful presence on the web.


Merry Christmas to all

National lampoonsMerry Christmas to all! The world revolves around great people with great intentions. Don’t forget to give what you can and make things a little better for someone else. There is a greater good happening here and you’re in it.