Tag Archives: Darren Friesen

Why I hate the cloud.

I have had a Gmail account since Gmail opened it’s second round of invites years ago.  Users had five invites and because I was only two degrees separated from someone at Blogger, I got one.  It was like gold and it was amazing.  Within days I stopped using Outlook and started to rely on Gmail for all of my email.  The launch of Google Calendar meant that I could move my life to the cloud and it worked perfectly for me for years.  When I was at the Salvation Army Community Services, we used Google Apps to power email which meant that I never did need Outlook or anything there either.  With Google Calendar integration I could have my life at a glimpse.  While I was always frustrated that Google Contacts didn’t sync up Google apps and my personal address book, it worked well enough that I didn’t complain.

About six months ago a friend emailed from a major U.S. company.  I had sent him an unimportant email about a year earlier and he never got it until that day.  He blamed his company email system and I never thought about it.  During this time I would send my column to two different email addresses at The StarPhoenix and every once in a while I would get an email close to my deadline and it would be the editor asking for my column.  It kind of freaked me out but again I would think it was The StarPhoenix’s email system and I would send it again and it would be good.  I was using Google’s email system after all.  Now my editor just emails me back as soon as he gets it.  I still get nervous when I don’t get an immediate reply but he is human and could actually be doing other things but even two weeks ago I was surprised how long it took him to reply and I wondered if the column got there or if he was busy.   It isn’t just him, during that time I would email someone once in a while at The StarPhoenix and wouldn’t get a reply.  Some email gets replied to, some doesn’t and I figured it didn’t get replied to.

Then my email got hacked and it was a horrifying experience.  During that time I lost some email but blamed it on that.  I have a new password (my old one was only six letters and one digit long) and then brought in double authentication but I was still wondering why I didn’t get replies at times.  The last couple of weeks since I have had my new phone, it has been happening more and more and I was blaming the phone.  Like many of you, I have 3G connection issues in parts of Saskatoon and was wondering if that was the problem.  Over the last couple of days, everyone has been pissed off at me for missing emails and I realized I was also getting them out of sync.  I also fired off some important email and people are telling me they never got them.  That scared me because both were really tech competent people on reliable mail servers and the email was sent by my laptop via the Gmail interface.  No email client, no phone, just me and the computer sending to two different reliable email services. I contacted Google and haven’t heard a thing back.  I was searching my email tonight looking for emails that I knew I had not deleted and there was a massive hole from 2008 in it.  I know was recently hacked but those emails were restored.  No sign of it at all today.

I remember the rants that Tech Crunch used to have when Google Voice was offline and I now understand what they were so angry about.  Google isn’t just providing a service, they are providing a service I rely on dearly.  When the internet went down on my block, I can work around that, my primary email acct not working is horrific.  My friend Nathan had a horrible experience with Twitter.  It was mindboggling how stupid it was over a glitch that was completely their fault.  They finally just stopped talking to him about their problem and he was locked out of his account.  All of this contacts and followers were gone and there isn’t much you can do about it.

What’s even more bizarre is that when you read the Google help forums, I am not alone.  Some are user error but most are just disappearing emails.  The thing is that the reason I went to Gmail in the first place was because of Google’s reliability.   What I found out is that it is company that really offers no customer service at all.  They talk all of the time about the small % of users affected.  That’s great that it is .61% until you are one of the quarter of a million users that are affected and then it is no fun at all. 

The other hard part is that who do you contact at Google?  You can’t call them or write a support ticket.  You can leave a note in the forum.  Back in the days when Blogger was small and buggy, you knew you could email Ev or Biz and get a response.  Even today with Dreamhost, I can get a support ticket answered within minutes but I can’t with Google. 

I use Koodo as my cell phone provider.  It is horrible to use to send texts.  I just was sending texts back and forth with Seabass (if you know who I am talking about, you will get it) and I had about 10 “fail to send” texts but I know that my texts are not getting through and I know that he isn’t getting them.  Yet when I text’d a guy I’ll just refer to as Man-Bag yesterday, he said he never got it which is an entire other frustration.  Is it Koodo or Sasktel or the fact he may not understand his new iPhone.  It’s frustrating and now I am mad at Google, SaskTel, Man-Bag, and Koodo.  I’ll quit while I am behind.

I’d tell you to email me with your suggestions but I won’t get it.

The Micah Mission: Steak Night Fundraiser at Mulberry’s

  • Micah Mission Steak Night Tickets: $20.00 per person
  • Tuesday, July 6, 2010
  • Dinner at 6:00pm
  • Held at Mulberry’s (downtown location)

Come and enjoy: delicious food.  Encouraging stories. Good music.  Proceeds go to support the Micah Mission.

Steak Night Menu:

  • Steak (obviously)
  • Lemon pepper Chicken fingers
  • Baked potato with all the fixings
  • Caesar salad
  • Garlic toast
  • Pasta salad
  • Sautéed mushrooms and onions

You can get tickets from Saskatoon’s Community Chaplain, Darren Friesen at darrenfriesen@gmail.com

The Micah Mission grew out of a long-standing relationship between the Person to Person program and the Saskatoon Community Chaplaincy, two distinct church-based restorative justice programs that have operated in the Saskatoon region since the early 1980’s and 1990’s respectively

Downtown Victoria & Victoria Harbour

Wendy and I were in Victoria, B.C. to take in a conference and see some friends at Lambrick Church.  On the last day there we took some time to explore Victoria Harbour and downtown Victoria before heading back to Saskatoon.

As seen in a tourist trap by the Victoria HarbourDarren Friesen in VictoriaDowntown Victoria, British ColumbiaDowntown Victoria, British ColumbiaDowntown Victoria, British ColumbiaDowntown Victoria, British ColumbiaDowntown Victoria, British ColumbiaDowntown Victoria, British ColumbiaThe Herald Building in Downtown Victoria, British ColumbiaDowntown Victoria, British ColumbiaDowntown Victoria, British ColumbiaDowntown Victoria, British ColumbiaDowntown Victoria, British Columbia

This street busker was playing the theme for Inspector Gadget so of course I had to tip him.Downtown Victoria, British ColumbiaI loved the wide sidewalks and sidewalk cafes that Saskatoon is sadly missing.Crown Publications Inc. Downtown Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British Columbiaold-hudson-bay-company-building_1448056_oVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British ColumbiaDowntown Victoria, British Columbia

Of course signs of homeless are everywhere in Victoria.  There are no more places to keep moving to when you hit the coast.The Empress Hotel in Victoria, British ColumbiaThe Empress Hotel in Victoria, British ColumbiaThe Empress Hotel in Victoria, British ColumbiaThe Empress Hotel in Victoria, British ColumbiaThe Empress Hotel in Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British ColumbiaDowntown Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British ColumbiaVictoria Harbour in Victoria, British Columbia

Wendy, Darren Friesen, Leighton Tebay, and I went out to Victoria, British Columbia for a conference and to hang out with friends at Lambrick Church.  Here are some of the photos of the last day there when we had some time to explore the Victoria Harbour before heading back to Saskatoon.