Siege has moved

May 6, 2008

It’s time to stake out some real estate in the big world (virtually speaking).  Siege Curmudgeon has moved to his very own site:
All my previous posts have been imported, and I’ll be doing my updates there in the future.  Hope to see you at the new address!


On Patience

May 5, 2008

Patience is a virtue.

I could do with a little less enforced virtue right about now.

It all began with an Amazon order.  You may (or may not) recall that I’ve posted about Amazon a few times in the past.  Generally speaking, I’ve been pretty happy with their selection and service.

This is starting to shift a little bit.

I ordered some products a little over a week ago.  And as a nerd, I’ll come clean; I ordered a memory card for the PSP, a game for the same, and a book.  You see, I have some travel coming up and I wanted to have some things to help pass the time on the plane and in airports.

TruckThis order — placed over a week ago — still has not shipped, which effectively means it has no hope in hell of getting to me in time for my trip.  This is annoying.  I wrote Amazon about it, and the response was a courteous version of “You chose the super saver shipping.  This basically means we can dick around with your order for the next week and you just have to smile and say ‘thank ya kindly.'”

Which got me thinking: the only way to get this so-called “super saver shipping” is to place an order of $25 or more.  If you do this (with certain products) it means you qualify for free shipping.  But that doesn’t mean that they give you free shipping; it means you can now choose secret shipping option #3, which gives Amazon the right to take obscene amounts of time to ship, let alone deliver, your product.

So why not just offer this up front, without the minimum volume limitation?  I mean, if you’re basically just pooling shipments and achieving efficiencies in your logistics, why use this to punish the customers who purchase higher average orders?  If I’m spending a lot of money on your site, and you’re going to promise “free shipping” for doing so, shouldn’t this actually mean that I get my product shipped free of charge, rather than that you’re now going to use the slowest, cheapest, most crap-assed way imaginable to get it to me?

Just a question.

The Vision Board

May 1, 2008

My wife has a lot of good ideas.

She’s been coaxing me for a long time to join her in creating Vision Boards for ourselves.  The idea is that you take a piece of bristol board or heavy cardboard or something, and then slap images all over it that symbolize the things you want in life. 

She first heard about it on Oprah, which was one of the reasons I resisted for so long — historically, I’ve not been a big fan of Oprah.  Partly because a lot of the people on the show, and the theories they present, seem to have only the most tenuous of connections to reality (Dr. Phil, anyone?).  But mostly because I don’t like seeing the big “O” stamped all over books that have been selected for her book club.  I have to confess, though, that as my wife keeps watching the show and I keep seeing bits of it, my opinion is changing.  I still wouldn’t call myself a fan, but I can grudgingly appreciate that Oprah does a lot of good and gives a great deal back to the planet.

The Vision Board, though, is a pretty good idea.  Granted, if you read about it at the link above, you’ll be left with a very new-age-ish taste in your mouth.  To me, the value of the board is that it makes you stop and think about what’s important to you, and then gives you a visual, persistent reminder of it daily.  It gets you in a mindset where you’re thinking “Is what I’m doing helping me achieve my goal?”

The nice thing about a Vision Board is that it’s not about material acquisitions or escalation of status, necessarily.  You may want to have some material things on there — a house, perhaps, or a car — but it’s also for capturing goals like a happy marriage or good health.  Basically, anything that’s important that you want in your life.  Which means that you don’t always have to be moving to be working towards your goals; you can take a rest and know that you’re contributing to your goal of being happy with your life, or taking time for yourself.

And now, before I risk turning into a complete Vision Board evangelist, I’ll sign off and go stare at my board for a bit and muse on the important things in life.  Like a Home Server.

I kid, I kid.