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Questions and Answers:
A customer wrote and asked:
Question: Do you have a physical address?
Answer: No. I am a spirit and I exist in-between dimensions.
(Heh) Oh alright...YES, I have an address.
Visit the "contact" page for my address information.
Question: Is there an office?
Answer: Does a home office count? If so, then yes. I reckon you could visit if you want, but let me know ahead of time so we can clean up.
Note: My cat thinks it is his office (so I'd appreciate it if you'd play along just to keep him happy).
Question: How secure is your site?
Answer: My site isn't very secure. I probably wouldn't order from my site.
BUT...I don't actually sell from my site. Instead I use Paypal. Their site is extremely secure. When you click on the "buy" link it takes you to their website. They use 128 bit encryption and "Hacker Safe" technology. Paypal is very, very safe. Just ask them, they'll tell you.
I also accept payments via check/money order.
Would you like to pay by check or money order?
Question: How soon will the items be shipped out after payment is made?
Answer: Generally once per week. What happens is: People place an order. It shows up in my email box. I forward it to my "shipping department," (heh, that's Belinda). Note: Belinda is my lovely wife, not a postal employee; sometimes she does "go postal"--but that is a different story (for those of you old enough to recall that phrase). Then the "shipping department," packs it up and sticks it in the mail box for the next pickup. Orders generally go out once a week. I tell people if they don't have their order within a couple weeks, email me: "contact" so I can check into it.
If I've screwed up (very rare since it doesn't take much brain power to hit the forward button) I want to know about it so I can make it right.
(Update: These days Belinda just downloads the incoming orders directly from Paypal.)
Question: Where are the materials being shipped from?
Answer: From our mailbox which is about a foot-and-a-half to the left of the front door. Note: If the mail-carrier person has already come and Belinda (my lovely wife) is running errands then she ships "the materials" from the Post Office that is closest to our home in Sacramento.
(I don't know the address of the Post Office -- I just know how to get there.)
Question: Julia writes:Love your web site. I ordered your disk. When can I expect delivery?
Generally within 14 days.
Often in 10 days.
Three weeks at the outside.
Sometimes as quick as four days.
Once it took a month.
- Dr. Bill
p.s. The United States Postal Service (at normal shipping rates) varies quite a bit in their shipping times and thus "the Lifeprint Shipping Department" can only do so much. More precision and speediness in the shipping process necessitates more work and effort.
At most places, if you want speediness in shipping you generally have to pay much more in fees (consider how much more things cost if you send them "overnight delivery" via Federal Express). Thus if you are patient regarding shipping times that translates to considerably lower shipping charges for you. But that isn't the reason why I don't strive to promise any particular "quick" shipping time. The reason is: I care about my "shipping department." Trying to be "precise and definite" creates stress. So I ask the "shipping manager" to simply get orders out within a reasonably decent period of time. In the old days mail order companies used to always say: 6 to 8 weeks. Wow. Then things became more competitive and companies started adding fees and trying to outdo each other with faster and faster shipping times. The wife and I have been doing this for over 15 years and plan on being in it 'till we retire. If someone doesn't like my shipping times they are welcome (encouraged actually) to ask for a full refund and go shop elsewhere. I'm not interested in competing with Amazon. Belinda strives to get orders out once or twice a week and that is good enough for me.
(But as interested as I am in having a happy wife, I do of course want to make raving fans out of my customers, so if you honestly think your order got lost, I want to know about it. A few times (very rare) out of a thousand or so it never arrived and the people had to email me and ask what the heck happened to their product. At which point I forwarded their email to the "Complaint Department" (Belinda) so they (she) could check to make sure the customer is taken care of.
Don at @i2k.com writes:Answer: On the Superdisk there are quite a few videos showing many hundreds of sentences and hundreds of signs as videos. The disk is basically a local version of my various websites and teaching materials. So if you like my websites you'll like the disk.
Question: Could you tell me--on the disk are the signs all animated?
Many of videos are either Flash format (or maybe a few are still in "Windows Media Video File" format) that plays in the standard Windows Media Player (which is already on most PC computers). The video files show me signing the vocabulary and sentences from the lessons at the website. For example on the Superdisk you can find a "Unit 1" video that is set up as a test with 321 separately numbered questions in which approximately half of the questions are individual vocabulary items and half are sentences from the lessons. The other video files on the disk also each have hundreds of questions. They are not perfect but they are quite functional. Some people copy the disk to a hard drive and then transfer it to their portable media device and use the "Puffin" browser to access the content (since Puffin) is capable of viewing Flash videos even on iOS and Android devices.
I have received my order and I am absolutely thrilled it is a perfect addition to my class. Thanks so much for being there.
As you complete future disks if you could I would love to be notified -- if that is a possibility.
Answer: Hi Jennifer,
I'll post updates at the bookstore. I used to announce them in my newsletter. But that newsletter got so popular (gee) that it generated hundreds of incoming emails from internet users each time I sent it out -- so I had to back off on publishing it so I would have time to (help Belinda) raise my kids and teach my classes at the college. So, these days I update the Superdisk about once per semester.
Question: firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
I just found your website and I had some questions. I am a teenager and have been studying sign language for several years. I am living in Ghana, West Africa so I am unable to have a tutor. I was looking for some clarification on your lessons. Here are my questions: Do I need to buy your [disks] to complete your courses online?
If I buy the disk do I still need to use your webpage in completing the course or is the disk all inclusive? Thanks for your help!! I really like your website it has a lot of good information!!
Hi. The Superdisk contains quite a few "products." A lot of it is simply me, in front of a video recorder, signing hundreds of sentences and vocabulary words. The disk can help you to test yourself on practice sentences that are similar to what you see listed in the lessons. You don't "need" the disk if you are just learning for fun. In addition to the video test files, the disk also contain files that list the answers to many of the quizzes so you can check your progress.
Best wishes in your endeavors.
Question: In a message rmcoop@ writes:Hello Dr. Vicars,
My name is Roxanna ______. I am a home school mom who's knowledge and experience of sign language is suitable for conversing with Deaf who are patient with me.
I am part of a home school teaching coop where I am the most knowledgeable in ASL of any of the other mothers. As a result, I am the one they ask to teach the course. In the past I have always taught younger students, so my slow skills were still better than anything I could expect from them for our 10 week session. (We meet for 10 weeks each semester, and each class is 55 minutes long.) Last spring they asked me to teach a high school class this fall. I agreed, and then spent the summer searching for materials, I could afford, that would help me make the class worth the students' time.
That is when I came across your website, and became very excited. There are six in the class, and we went together and ordered [your disk that has the testing on it]. Your course is helping me so much. It helps me know for sure that what we cover each week is on target. Thank you for all of the hard work you have put into it.
I have distributed your [disk] to the class, and they are expected to do a lesson prior to each class. We met for our 1st class this past Monday, and tried to review the info and do the quiz for the lesson, but we ran out of time. I wanted to ask you if I could have permission to make testing disks that would have only the quiz and blank answer sheets on them that I could send home with the students so they could complete the test at home. They would then email me their answers, and I would collect the disks after they had completed the testing. I'm asking to do this because I don't see us having enough time to get through the lesson quizzes each week. Three of the six students have never taken any sign language courses at all, so they need extra time and attention during class. Fifty-five minutes a week with them isn't going to stretch far enough.
Thank you for taking time to consider my request.
Certainly. Feel free to modify the disk however you would like and make copies for your (local) students. I have so many dreams for the curriculum, but never enough time.