I just got off the phone with Corel, I had to order Service Pack 4 for WordPerfect Office 2000.  You can't download this service pack, you have to shell out $9.95 for Corel to send you the CD.  When this CD arrives, I'm going to make an .iso image file of the CD, and make it available to all the other tech people on campus, and probably anyone else who wants it.  It's ridiculous to have to pay for them to ship me a CD when I should be able to download the file, I don't care how large it is.  I politely expressed my displeasure to the customer service rep who politely ignored it in turn.  After taking my credit card number, he promised me the CD in the next 3-5 days.  I'm not holding my breath.

J Dylan's grandmother passed away earlier this week.  I'm driving up to Ventura tonight, so that I can attend her funeral tomorrow.  Marcia was always very nice to me, and was one of the hippest "old people" I've known.  I always think of the time that I helped JD. and his sister paint some trim in his grandma's house, I was bored, and it seemed like a fun project.  A few weeks later, she saw me, and insisted on paying me for helping her.  I tried to decline, seriously, I didn't want money for helping her out.  We were at an impasse, until JD. finally elbowed me in the ribs and told me to shut up and take the money.  I did so, but only because he told me she'd feel bad if I didn't.  Marcia will be missed by all.  Here's her obituary, as run in today's issue of the Mason City Globe Gazette:


VENTURA - Marcia J. Shaffer, 84, Ventura, died Monday (Jan. 1, 2001) at the Oakwood Care Center in Clear Lake.

Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Thursday at the First Congregational Church in Clear Lake, with Pastor Thomas Healey officiating. Inurnment will be held at Memorial Park Cemetery in Mason City at a later date.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. today at the Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, 101 N. Fourth St. in Clear Lake.

Memorials may be given to the First Congregational Church in her name.

Marcia was born June 9, 1916, in Mason City, the daughter of Pearl Morrow and Pearl Mae (Oxley) Hickok. She graduated from Ventura High School in 1934. She attended Iowa State Teachers College and taught elementary school in Dows and Coulter, Iowa, for 3 years.

She married Bill Shaffer on June 29, 1939, at her parents' home south of Ventura. They moved to Clear Lake where they started their family and lived there until 1955. Then they moved back to the family farm and lived there until 1998.

Marcia was active in helping with many aspects of farm life, gardening, selling eggs, raising lambs, unloading grain wagons, and preparing many group meals. Marcia moved to the Meadows until 1999, moving then to the Oakwood Care Center.

She was a lifelong member of the First Congregational Church and taught Sunday school there in her younger years. She was also a 50-year member of the Mother's Study Club.

Marcia is survived by her sons, Larry A. Shaffer and his wife, Kathy, of Ventura, and Arlan L. Shaffer and his wife, Cathy, of Porterville, Calif.; and two grandchildren, Jennifer Shaffer of Monticello, and Dylan Shaffer of Cedar Falls.

Marcia was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Bill, in 1978.

I opened a brand new Dazzle Video Creator II, in order to install it in a faculty member's new machine.  This is the first one of these we've gotten, and I was looking forward to trying it out.  Unfortunately, the CD-ROM containing the drivers and all the necessary software to make the device work was broken in the box!  So now I sit here with a useless $250 video capture device, until I get a new disk.  I called their tech support line, which was not a toll-free number, unfortunately.  After waiting on hold for 20 minutes, it transferred me to voice mail, where I left a message.  The helpful voice promised me that I'd receive a callback within 4 to 5 business hours.  We'll see...