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.


Gratitude – 04/23/2008

April 23, 2008

Today, I am grateful for:

1. Persepolis.  My wife bought me this as a surprise — and also because she had just racked up a fairly significant bill on Amazon, and figured she should get me something in the mix.  I’ve just started it, but it’s a great read and a very different experience than what you’d expect from a graphic novel.

2. Early summer mornings.  This one is a little bit complicated: you see, I really hate early summer mornings when the alarm first goes off.  But once I’m up and about, and have had time to get showered, have breakfast, drive my wife to the subway, make coffee, and send some emails, and then look out the window as the sun slowly shortens its shadows and begins its climb, I begin to appreciate the benefits of an early morning.  It makes me feel, just a little bit, like I’m at a cottage.

Of course, by the time I wrap up my last conference call this evening, I will probably be a little less excited about early mornings, but that’s a conversation for another time.

3. Twitter.  I’ve just started messing about with this, and must confess that I don’t fully understand the attraction yet, but I want to give it some time and figure out if it starts shifting the way I communicate.  In many ways, it does seem the logical progression or expansion of electronic communications.  First we had email.  Then we added instant messaging and shifted the weight of our communication to that.  Then we added text messages.  Now comes Twitter.  We’ll see how this plays out in my personal sphere of existence.

Gratitude – 03/23/2008

March 23, 2008

It’s a lazy Sunday morning, and today I am grateful for these things:

  1. Lazy Sunday Mornings.  We had pancakes, with strawberries and blueberries, for breakfast, and are now lounging about whilst I putter around my blog.  I had considered making strawberries and blueberries separate items for which to be thankful, but I’ll keep them grouped in with Lazy Sunday Mornings today.
    1. As a sub-bullet: I’m also grateful for the Lazy Sunday Book, by Bill Watterson.  In my mind, the finest cartoonist ever to put pen to paper.
  2. Lorelle’s WordPress blog.  I think it’s very fitting that the current post on her blog is about bloggers helping bloggers, and the willingness of total strangers to help each other.  This willingness of bloggers to help out has been a lifesaver for me as I work to get my own blog up and running.
  3. Meringue.  Meringue is a fundamental aspect of a great number of very tasty desserts.

Jumper, the Movie

February 24, 2008

I mentioned yesterday that we were watching Johnny Mnemonic, which I did not feel was a particularly strong film.  Following that, we went to the cinema to watch “Jumper“, a movie that definitely appealed more to my friend and I than to my wife.

This isn’t a review, so I won’t get into a great many details about it.  Suffice to say that, although there were plot holes you could drive Texas through, I enjoyed the show.  The critics who panned it are largely the same critics who trashed Transformers for being “just a move about robots fighting each other.”  And a movie about robots fighting each other is a bad thing because…?

What made me happiest in the whole film, though, was that during one scene I pricked up my ears and caught the strains of “Ahead by a Century” by The Tragically Hip — quite possibly the best Canadian band performing today.  It was the first time I’d heard them on a movie soundtrack, and it made me quite happy.  It’s not one of my favourite songs (for some of my favourites, check here or here or here), but it’s one of my favourite bands, and their presence in the movie made my day.

Update: for those interested in the full list of songs in the movie, you can check here.  I find it interesting that the soundtrack listed on Amazon seems to have a completely different selection of songs.