They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it; for it is money they have and peace they lack.
  -James Earl Jones "Field of Dreams"
and don't go mistaking paradise for that home across the road
  -Bob Dylan "Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest"

Friday, August 31, 2007

Talk to a Human Being

I recently ordered a book from Amazon, one that was technical in nature. I had a book on the subject but I ordered this one specifically because it was current, a November 2006 edition. Imagine my unhappiness when I received a UPS package containing a 2003 printing of the book, about the same vintage as the book that I already had. This is a subject that is fairly dynamic and a 2003 edition is about as useful as last month's newspapers. So I went to their website and looked all over the place for a phone number but ended up begrudgingly doing the return via the website. The closest reason-for-returning in the dropdown list was that the product was defective. There was, however, a second box that popped up allowing me to explain what was wrong. I packed the thing up and finally had a chance to visit a post office this morning. (I didn't know if the book and package was over 13 oz. If it was you could not drop it in a mailbox.) About two hours ago UPS showed up with another copy of the 2003 edition of the book.


Then I found this website, a great list of how to talk to a human being at a huge list of companies. Bookmark this thing, it is invaluable.

I think I got Amazon straight. The nice lady in India that I spoke to said that they were going to stop selling this book until they got it straight, that I should check back in 10 days and if it was back on the website it would be safe to order. Meanwhile, I will get a refund but will have to visit the post office once again.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Two Great Pictures

These two guys were the story as the D-backs won today's game against the Cubs 5-4, taking the series 2-1 and the season series 4-2. Chris Young (I just think this picture of Young patrolling Centerfield looks sort of artsy) got two home runs that accounted for 4 of the 5 runs. José Valverde got the save, one scary affair that was resolve by a strike-em-out-throw-em-out (at third!) double play and then a 3-1 force out at first after a difficult grab by Tony Clark. The picture shows Valverde's reaction. I wish I had a picture of the coaches going nuts in the bullpen. Lead in the NL West returns to 3 games as the Padres get clobbered by Philadelphia.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Currently Reading (Freaky Deaky)

This is one of his best. It is the late 80s and the characters were all in Ann Arbor in the late 60s and early 70s.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Four Enthusiastic Thumbs Up

As I drove home from work on Thursday, I was stopped at the light at 3rd Ave and McDowell, next to the Willow House. In a car behind me was a young woman, maybe 17 and what I assumed was her younger brother, probably about 14. They looked like they would have been comfortable hanging out at the Willow House. The girl, who was driving, suddenly started smiling and pointing at my right rear bumper. Soon her brother was smiling and laughing as well. I gave a thumbs up gesture and they both returned the signal with both hands, smiling broadly. They had been looking at my bumper sticker that says 01.20.09 - Bush's Last Day.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

30 years ago

Yesterday was our 30th wedding anniversary. Wikipedia says the median length of a marriage in the US today is 11 years. The month we were married, Elvis died, Son of Sam was captured, and Radio Shack introduced the TRS-80 computer. The number one record that year was Tonight's the Night by Rod Stewart. Jimmy Carter was in the first year of his term, but the Soviets had not yet invaded Afghanistan. The Academy Award for Best Picture (along with Best Director and Best Actress) went to Annie Hall. The Yankees beat the LA Dodgers in the World Series. Earlier in the year Marquette beat North Carolina in the NCAA basketball championship but I missed it because I was working nights and the hotel blew my wakeup call. Later in the year, Elvis Costello and the Attractions made their first US TV appearance (on Saturday Night Live). Minimum wage was $2.30. Regular gas cost about 65 cents a gallon.

Getting it right for once

Nick Piecoro
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 7, 2007 09:00 AM

In a surprising turn of events, the Diamondbacks and outfielder Eric Byrnes have reached agreement on a three-year extension worth in the neighborhood of $30 million, a deal that comes less than three weeks after the sides broke off contract talks.

A press conference will be held at 1:30 p.m. today at Chase Field.

After the Diamondbacks offered a deal in the range of three years and $22.5 million, the sides announced they had broken off talks on July 19 while the club was in Milwaukee.

But the Diamondbacks reengaged talks sometime during last week’s series against Atlanta, and the sides quickly came to an agreement on a contract that will run through 2010.

The outfielder is in the midst of a career year, hitting .303 with 17 home runs and 28 stolen bases.

The extension almost certainly means outfielder Carlos Quentin’s days in Arizona are numbered. The club was shopping Quentin prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.