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December 30, 2004

Simple Tsunami Warning System

The tsunami that was created by the Great Sumatra Earthquake on December 26, 2004 is going down in history as possibly the worst natural disaster ever. Since my college degree is in geology and I know the plate tectonic movement that caused the tsunami is a machine that is in constant motion, these killer tsunami waves will continue to happen for millions of years. But I think I have a clever idea that will save millions of lives and the technology to do this is already in place and carried around by millions of people.

Talk to any police officer or prosecuting attorney and they will tell you that cell phone companies know exactly where cell phone calls originate from. I am not an electronics wizard nor am I a cell phone computer programmer, but it is my guess the phones might already have the capability once turned on and sitting in the On position to tell the closest cell tower where that phone is.

What's more, as a phone moves from one cell to another, the cell system computer might know this and track it, even though the phone is just in idle and not being talked on.

If this is the case or programming can be easily instituted to do this, the cell phone companies would know that hundreds or thousands of people in a given danger zone are just sitting there waiting for a phone call from anyone. That anyone could be a centralized warning center that operates much like the USA's National Weather Service.

Once a severe earthquake happens, scientists know about it within minutes. It can take hours for the tsunami to reach beaches so these scientists have time on their side. The scientists calculate the danger level and the areas that will be affected by a tsunami. They communicate this in minutes to the cell phone companies. The cell phone companies then call the people who they can identify to be in the danger zones and issue a warning just as we get weather warnings via radio and television. You can already subscribe to weather warnings on your cell phone, so why not tsunami warnings?

Anyone on the beach or near the beach would then start a crude system to warn others who didn't get the call by simply screaming or yelling Land Shark! Land Shark! or Tsunami, Tsunami!

Who knows, this system may already be in place in Japan where they deal with these monster tsunami waves on a regular basis.

Posted by Tim Carter at 9:23 AM

December 5, 2004

Kitchen Distributors of America

If Kitchen Distributors of America located at 133 South Rowling Road in Addison, IL 60101 sent you a Statement in the mail in the amount of $4,453.56 with absolutely no backup invoices, no signed sales contract or no signed sales order, what would your reaction be?

Well, it happened to me. I sent the the following letter to Kitchen Distributors of America after a few phone calls to resolve the matter were unsuccessful. My phone records and theirs will confirm we both called each other. The letter was sent via Certified Mail with a Domestic Return Receipt Request. I did get back the little green postcard so I know for a fact that Kitchen Distributors of America received the following letter:

Mr. John Barrett
Kitchen Distributors of America
133 South Rohling Road
Addison, IL 60101

November 12, 2004

Re: Invoice # 4173255


Dear Mr. Barrett:

I am writing to you with respect to the above invoice. I am a journalist and deal each day in facts. The following are some facts that may pertain to the above invoice you created.

I received in the mail on November 10, 2004 a Statement from your company that indicates invoice #4173255 is past due. Your company has never sent me a copy of the actual invoice. How can your Statement indicate an amount is 120 days past due when I have never been issued an original invoice? Why is this the first Statement to be mailed to me? This type of business practice is very suspicious.

There is no description on the Statement as to what this dollar amount is for nor is there any written support documentation that supports that it is even valid. Examples of support documentation would be: a signed contract or sales order, signed and approved design documents for custom cabinetry or countertops, signed delivery documents indicating where the goods were delivered, etc.

Three and one-half years ago I entered into an agreement with Merillat Cabinet Company to exchange cabinets for advertising on my website. Merillat chose Kitchen Distributors of America (KDA) to act as the distributor for this transaction. I did not ask Merillat to use a distributor. That decision was their own and had no impact whatsoever on my relationship with Merillat.

I had no contract, sales order, written or verbal agreement with KDA concerning this matter. KDA was simply a facilitator, enlisted by Merillat, to help with the design of the project.

The subsequent exposure I produced via my syndicated newspaper column and website for Merillat was so successful that they asked me to expand and extend the opportunity. KDA was also thrilled with the exposure I indirectly brought to them via hyperlinks on my website.

Merillat, not KDA, asked if cabinets could once again be used to extend the advertising arrangement. I said yes and they sent additional cabinets with miscellaneous trim to me.

For the record, my contact at KDA for all design work was Ms. Rachel Jurs-Lauderdale. Her direct phone number is 630-773-2010. I urge you to call her to confirm the above details.

I add once more I never had an oral or written contract with KDA. All of my obligations were to Merillat for all cabinetry. I fulfilled my obligations to Merillat years ago.

You indicated to me in a phone conversation that happened on November 10, 2004 on or about 5:05 - 5:20 p.m. Eastern Time the following:

  • You did not have in hand a written sales order or a contract to back up the disputed invoice.
  • You do not have any written shipping documentation regarding the disputed invoice. You do not know who shipped the goods nor do you know where the goods were shipped nor the exact address where the goods were installed.
  • You indicated this invoice is a carryover accounts receivable from the previous entity/person that owned KDA on or about 2001.
  • You indicated that the previous owner indicated the invoice was valid and collectable even though there was no written documentation to support the invoice.
  • When I mentioned to you in the conversation I was going to take written
    notes, you abruptly hung up on me. The only explanation I can imagine is that you did not want me to write down direct quotes from you. If there is a different explanation as to why you hung up on me, I urge you to submit it to me in writing immediately. Time is of the essence.

Here are several additional points and facts:

An internal audit at the time of the transfer of ownership of KDA from the former owner to the present owner possibly failed to identify this invoice as a problem. One or more people made a mistake at this time. Either the former KDA owner lied about the status of the invoice, the auditor was incompetent or the new owner ignored comments made by the auditor that the invoice may be problematic. If this was a valid invoice, why did not the former owner of KDA contact me or Merillat?

It is not my obligation to prove to you that I don’t owe you money. The Uniform Commercial Code mandates that it is KDA’s obligation to produce written documentation that offers solid proof of a business relationship between two parties. No such documentation exists between KDA and Tim Carter.

I urge you to produce written evidence showing a signed contract or sales order for specific goods between myself and KDA. If you can’t do this within 3 business days, then I strongly urge you to issue a letter to me stating that I do not owe KDA any monies for any goods or services. Please send the above requested materials to me via overnight express. Time is of the essence.

If I do not receive the above requested documentation at the close of business on or before November 19, 2004, I will publish the above facts on the Internet. Do not interpret this as a threat - it is a simple statement of fact.

Furthermore, if KDA does not resolve this issue to my complete satisfaction on or before November 19, 2004, I am going to file an official complaint with the Attorney General of the State of Illinois.


Tim Carter

By November 19, 2004 I had not received any requested documentation nor comments from Mr. Barrett at Kitchen Distributors of America. On November 21, 2004 I did file a formal complaint with the Attorney General(AG) of the State of Illinois. I filled out a very user-friendly .pdf form at their website and sent it along with a copy of the above letter and a copy of the Statement to the AG on November 22, 2004.

I didn't post this information to the Web until today because I wanted to see if Kitchen Distributors of America would contact me in writing or supply any of the documentation.

As of this date, I have yet to receive a phone call, a trackable overnight express shipment or a certified letter from them challenging anything I said in my above letter.

Posted by Tim Carter at 9:32 AM

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