Hightail Update and a Few Photographs

Dear Friends,

Let me start by saying that the problem I was having at Hightail was several months old and I had a long service ticket.  I didn’t suddenly decide to sever ties; I based the decision on a long-term issue that wasn’t getting fixed and the service rep was not forthcoming about the issues.  So, a couple of days ago, I completed a survey in response to my service ticket, which the rep closed without my knowledge.  I was very frank about the poor of service.

Yesterday, I received an email for a Customer Service Manager who apologized for the problems and basically accepted that the fault was Hightail’s.  She said:

“Hello Skip,

Thank you for responding to our Customer Support Survey. It is my goal that we provide you with the best possible service experience and I am disappointed we weren’t able to do so with our previous interaction.

After looking through the ticket it does look like it was closed without any communication back to you. I sincerely apologize!

The issue on our end cannot be fixed so unfortunately the files will not be retrievable in this instance. Our rep should have reached back out to let you know this information. We migrated to new servers and some files were affected with a few customers and in this case your files were part of that small group.

In this case I would like to offer you a free year on us and refund this past charge for $159 you had to incur.. It isn’t going to fix the problem but at least we can give you your money back this year for the frustrations caused. Please advise.

Thank you,”

I have to say, that I am very grateful for the refund and that Hightail responded at all.  So, I must give them high marks for that.  I did thank her and accept the offer of a refund.  She responded nicely and did say that she hoped I would give them another chance.

To be honest, I cannot say that I will give them another chance.  I lost trust for the company and I’m not sure I can gain that back.  And, I have an alternative solution, which I have already started as I mentioned in the last post.  But, I did want to let everyone know that Hightail has at least accepted responsibility for the problems and is refunding my annual costs.

I do find it sad I had to complain very loudly to get anyone’s attention.



PS:  I think I’ll post a couple of more photographs.  I am not a professional photographer; I am an obsessed amateur.  Think of these pictures as show and tell about places I visit or where I live.

Here is another picture of River Bend on the Natchez Trace Parkway.  The bend in the river is in the distance.  The water closest to me isn’t moving with the river, but is river fed…at least that is the way it looks to me.

River Bend, Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi

River Bend, Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi

The Dog River Reservoir, located a couple of miles from my house, has a few picnic tables and you can rent electric boats for fishing, but that is about all.  None the less, it is a very pretty place.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover Mountain Laurel all over the place.

Dog River Reservoir, Douglas County, Georgia

Dog River Reservoir, Douglas County, Georgia

I live in rural Georgia, but I am about 40 miles from downtown Atlanta.  I am at the end of my driveway looking down my road.  For those not familiar with the Southeast United States, it is really like a forest.  Walking or driving on a road, the forest surrounds us by green walls with a strip of gray-blue sky above.  Folks who moved into the area feel claustrophobic.  I know when I lived in Arizona, I always felt exposed and I never could judge distances.

Skip's road, Winston, Georgia

Skip’s road, Winston, Georgia

When I go for walks, I like to take my camera.  This particular shot was just a bunch of weeds on the side of the road.  I marveled at the range of colors and the variety of leaf forms.  I reduced the size of the pictures I have posted so far.  I didn’t reduce this one.  So, if you download it, and open it with a photo viewer of some type, you can zoom in and look at the details.  I enjoy that exercise because I will see things I missed when I was taking the photograph.  Nature truly is amazing.

Weeds discovered on my walk, Winston, Georgia

Weeds discovered on my walk, Winston, Georgia

OK, one last photo.  I am standing on my road looking at the front right corner of my yard.  Were you expecting a manicured grassy lawn?  Really?  Well, there is a small controlled area, but this area is bog like.  The big leafed specimen that you see is a Magnolia macrophylla or big leaf magnolia. These are not rare, but somewhat rare in my area.  This one sprouted on its own.  When we first bought the property there was another one near, but it died.  I am hoping this one lives long enough to bloom, which could happen next year.  Interesting facts:  It is a primitive tree with leaves that are 12 to 36 inches long.  It’s flowers are 8 to 12 inches across pollinated by beetles, which is another nod to its being primitive.  They are not very large…reaching a height of around 50 feet.  If you get a chance, google images of big leaf magnolias.

Big Leaf Magnolia, Skip's yard

Big Leaf Magnolia, Skip’s yard

OK, enough show and tell for today.



18 responses to “Hightail Update and a Few Photographs

  1. Skip, these photos are so gorgeous! I think you are far above an amateur in my opinion. I thought I had remembered you living in Arizona years ago but just wasn’t quite sure.

    • Thank you Colleen. Yep, I lived in Tucson back in the late 60s. I was actually stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB. I loved Arizona, but oddly, I didn’t like the dry heat. I prefer hot humid weather…I want to be able to cut the air with a knife. Strange, I know, but I have basically lived in the southeast all my life and it is what know and love.

  2. What a lovely walk you took us on… I love walks in the woods, trees on both sides of a meandering road. It speaks to me of adventure ahead, treasures to be discovered if only I pay attention. Thank you for posting your pics and stories to go with them, Skip.

    • Thank you Barb. I wish you lived close and could join me on a walk. Your comment is encouraging; I am thinking that maybe I should post more of this sort of thing, but I may have to start a different blog for photos and stories. I think I would enjoy that. Hugs, Skip

  3. Thank you for sharing the pictures, Skip! You are a VERY talented amateur, to say the least! The area in which you live looks much like my home in central Alabama, as we are probably at about the same latitude. I have always loved Georgia- it is a beautiful state, and your area certainly is beautiful.

    I am looking forward to seeing you in class in a couple of weeks!

    Please keep the photographs coming 🙂

    • Thanks Candace,
      I seem to gravitate toward this sort of environment. My studio in Mississippi was further south, but it had similar hills and vegetation. As a matter of fact, while deciding to move, I said that I was going transplant some stuff I loved to Georgia. In Mississippi I had a lot of wild azaleas and a beautiful little ground cover called partridge berry. The lot of the house we bought in Georgia had been left mostly natural and I liked that. On the second visit to the house, I went out into the yard and started looking around for places that might be good spots for my planned transplants. It was November and the leaves were off the bushes. I was standing next to a leafless bush, just sort of staring at it. All of a sudden, I realized that it was a wild azalea. My heart skipped a beat. I looked down and at its feet was a small clump of partridge berry. I knew I was home. True story.

    • It is a Nikon D810 and I love it. It has taken a year to finally feel comfortable with it. It isn’t hard, just complex and I have been trying to learn about photography, too.

  4. Hi Skip. Wishing you the best in this holiday season. I took your class on Painter 2016. I did a digital sketch for a painting using some of the brushes in one of your exercises. it was a commission sketch for some clients of mine at the gallery. I wanted to send you a small jpeg of the finished piece…done in acrylic. Just so you could see the final. But I do not know how to contact you to do this. So I thought a small comment here might not be too off topic. I will be working on seeing if I can actually do some final pieces in Painter now that I have finished my final commission. Not sure, at my age if I want to just keep cranking out the underwater canvases…so I am setting some time aside to dive in to the digital and let my traditional brushes have a rest.

    Love the photos. Cathy and I are considering Georgia as a place we might take a look at if we decide to leave the Big Island. I grew up in South Miami, Florida back when it was mostly pine forest and some of your shots reminded me of that environment.

    Anyhow I hope you can somehow let me know how I might get this picture to you.

    Thanks…and I always look forward to your classes.

  5. Hi Skip – I need your help. I have upgraded to Painter 16 for my Imac which is using OSX Version 10.9.5 I have been pulling my hair out with cloning with this new 16. Basically I cannot clone on any layer unless it is a canvas layer. The minute I add in a new layer nothing happens with cloning. Yes I am very familiar with brushes that don’t work in certain cases but I steered away from those. In fact no brushes (even cloning brushes ) do not work on a layer. I have not had any success with Corel in spite of 3 calls to them. I am told I might hear back via email in 24-48 hours! (if I am lucky)

    Interestingly enough I tried the same thing with Painter 15 and it works like a charm. I upgraded to 16 cause I am taking a class that requires it otherwise I would have left well enough alone.

    I can’t be the only one with this problem. Can you pls. help out. As usual, I love your good words and works.

    With kindest regards

    Helene Anne Fortin

    • Hello,

      I haven’t heard of this particular issue happening, so it makes me think that maybe there is some setting that isn’t set properly. The first thought that comes to mind is to make sure “Preserve Transparency” in the layers panel is not activated. It is the first icon on the left right under the Composite Method window in the layers panel. If that is not it, then I need you to tell me exactly what brushes you have tried and exactly what you are doing. Screen shots would be helpful, too.

      Are you able to paint on a layer without cloning. In other words, if you take any brush and try to paint on a layer does it work?

      If none of this works, I would be glad to have a quick go to meeting with you so I can see the problem first hand. Just let me know if any of this helps.


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