Ah, here in the Western United States spring is in the air, along with various
sorts of pollen. Where're my tissues?
For those of you who've been on one of the many autox.team.net lists for more
than a year or so, you know the story. Perhaps some of you who have recently
joined don't realize there is a man behind the curtain. Wonder how much
longer that "Wizard of Oz" reference will still be recognized?
The server for the mailing lists, the www.team.net web pages, and the FTP
archives were originally set up over a decade ago using various bits of
hardware related to my systems administration job at the University of Utah.
Things have grown since the days of just two lists, autox and british-cars,
with a handful of subscribers on each. Now we are talking in the range of 85
or so different lists, with a subscriber base of around 16,000. Neat.
We are also no longer affiliated with the University of Utah, the services for
the mailing lists, www.team.net and ftp.team.net are now provided out of my
home. So taking a cue from my favorite radio station here in Salt Lake City,
KRCL ( www.krcl.org ) I've started semi-annual fund drives to raise a few
bucks to cover my out of pocket costs. The radio station just finished their
fund raiser, time once again for the Team.Net version. Certainly a different
scale, as KRCL needs about $65 per hour run, autox.team.net needs a little
more than that *per month* to cover the costs of connecting to the world. And
the radio station prattles on about the fund drive for over a week, this will
be the only "commercial" you'll get from me until October.
My request is simple - contribute some money. It doesn't have to be much,
I've often said that a dollar a year for every list subscription would be
funding heaven for me. And usually I get a few envelopes in the mail with
no name, no return address, no nothing, except one United States dollar bill.
I love it!
More likely is that under 1% of list subscribers will send in donations of
5, 10, 20 or whatever dollars. A few commercial endeavors that have benefited
from exposure on one or more of the various lists will sometimes chip in
healthy contributions. In truth, I often think that the modest list
expenses could be covered by selling "advertising" on the lists, something
along the form of a trailer line like
This Month's Mini-Baja list brought to you by Aunt Bertha's Muffins
One guy slapping away at the keyboard in the dead of night isn't going to
attract the likes of Disney, AOL-Time-Warner, Viacom or one of the other
massive conglomerates trying to dictate how you spend your entertainment
dollars, so I come to you.
If you just subscribed and have no idea what you are getting into, or just
spent a zillion dollars airlifting in parts hoping to make that first big
event of the season, if you sent in some bucks last time or are just plain
broke, or if you despise everything I do and say but stay subscribed to some
lists anyway, don't sweat it. It will all work out. Not everyone is that
comfortable sending money off to a flakey, badly procrastinating fellow like
myself. It may take me months to even get around to opening your letter,
let alone sending off a thank you note.
On the other hand, if you count yourself as one who wishes to contribute to the
continuation of what I am up to, here's what I request. Send a check, payable
in United States funds to the order of 'Fat Chance Garage' to
Fat Chance Garage
PO Box 58333
Salt Lake City, Utah 84158
Or you can send a note with Visa or Mastercard info (no American Express or
Discover yet) to the above address. Or you can FAX the info (account number,
expiration date, contribution amount) to me at 801-355-5438. Yes, I know about
various on-line payment services such as PayPal, and may someday use one, but
for now I have my reservations. Maybe next time.
Now, here's a twist. In the past, I've admonished list subscribers located
overseas from the United States to not worry about the hassles of currency
conversion, overseas postage and such; relax, your net.friends here will cover
it. The other day I had a chat with someone about the recent new designs for
US of A paper money. And even with the facelift, the United States has some
of the most boring paper money in the world. So here's an odd request, a
personal favor to me, if you will. If you live somewhere in the world that
has pictures and colors and neat stuff on your currency, I would appreciate it
if you would consider putting a small denomination bill in the post to the
address listed above. I'll put the currency on the side of the server or
someplace visible, and when those times come along when I wonder why I bother
doing what I do, I'll be reminded of the people around the world that enjoy
the efforts of those that contribute to these lists.
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