The Digital Photo Guy

Tag: PayPal

You Can Take the Animal Out of the Swamp but…

by on Feb.06, 2009, under Articles, PayPal, WordPress

You can’t the swamp out of the animal. Just another way of saying a leopard never changes it’s spot or, in this case, once an engineer, always an engineer.

Earlier this week I was frustrated, annoyed, irritated, upset and generally mad about the complexity of modern software tools. Today, I am in harmony with my environment, my wa is at peace and the timbre about me is as still as Waldon Pond at midnight. For a brief, shining moment, I was transported back to those good old days of yesteryear when I was a 25 year old engineer on a mission! For just a few hours, I was that laser-focused, computer-for-a-brain engineer who could solve any problem created by another human! For half a day, I was once more an unstoppable force, powering my way through a problem on pure brain power!

I figured out how to put PayPal buttons directly on my workshop pages so a student only needs to click once to be taken directly to PayPal with all the infomation already in place and ready for his credit card. Over the past 20 years, I’d gotten rather lazy about solving technical problems. As a sales and marketing executive, my focus was strategy and tactics, not the minutia of bits and bytes. I was “The Big Picture Guy” and left the details to my staff to handle. But, deep down inside, I was still that geeky engineer who once told a customer, “This is what it will cost. If you want warm and fuzzy, it’ll cost you more!” as my manager sat in the back of the room and died a slow, agonizing death.

The point to all this is that, A) I feel great and B) Anyone can make this stuff work with a little patience and determination. Of course, all this effort has extracted a price. I feel like I just ran a marathon. I’m wiped out from the mental extertion and my brain will probably be mush for a few days. By next week, I’ll be back to my slug self and whining about dis ‘n dat.

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No Matter How Bad It Gets…

by on Feb.05, 2009, under Articles, Website

Years ago, I read a Wall Street Journal article about successful Vietnam vets. The reporter had been following all the stories about Vietnam vets who had fallen on hard times due to alcoholism, drugs, crime, divorce, mental illness and a host of other difficulties blamed largely on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He decided to find and interview Vietnam vets who were successful and happy and learn what separated them from those who failed.

One story stuck in my mind and has been my mantra for the past 30 years. I suppose I’ve known this ever since I returned from Vietnam but this fellow cut to the chase in one sentence. He said, “No matter how bad things get (in life), I just remind myself that it’s better than getting shot at.” That pretty much sums up how I try to stay focused on the task at hand.

Why am I babbling about this? Standing up my new WordPress blog has been an exercise in frustration and, at times, despair. Sometimes, I feel like web developers and business people speak totally different languages. In fact, I probably would have had the same results if I had hired a web developer who spoke Farsi. He’s interested in the techie, geeky side. I’m interested in the business side. He wants to take hours to understand how a piece of code works, I just want it as cost-effective as possible. Sometimes, I feel like he’s the Viet Cong on the other side of the wire. I just want to get the concertina wire strung and he wants to blow holes in it!

Currently, all I want is to get PayPal integrated with my Workshops page so a visitor can simply click on a PayPal button and be taken to a page to enter their credit card info and register for the class. On one level, this is pretty trivial stuff but, on another level, it’s like using pieces from Erector sets, Lincoln Logs and Legos to building an airplane. Now, where the heck did I leave my screwdriver so I can attach plastic blocks to wooden struts?

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