Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Here's my insight into why amazon.com blew shipping commitments for so many people this holiday season.
Back on December 11th I placed an order for 9 items, four of which were identical to each other. Two shipped together via US mail, one via fedex home ground, one via airborne express, one via UPS and the four identical items were carried each in their own box (pictured) by a freight carrier that uses the USPS to cover the last mile.
Any one of the four boxes shown is large enough to hold all four of items contained within, though for some reason each box only holds one item. All four shipped from the same place. For some reason amazon chose to pick & pack each one seperately in its own carton instead of saving freight, packing time, packaging materials & I assume picking labor to prepare the order. How wasteful.
(Oh, and for what it's worth, these items all shipped via the super saver free shipping option. The final item isn't due here until January 11th.)
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Actually, since I walk to work and most other places, the transit strike hasn't impacted me much. If anything, the walk to work has been better, because cars are moving slowly, and Madison and 5th ave are only open to emergency vehicles. So, they are quiet and nice to walk along. Lots of bikes and those razor scooters going down the middle of the street.
But co-workers that live in the boroughs are having a painful time. A 2-3 hour outside wait for a train in Queens isn't uncommon. On this end, that is followed by a 20-30 minute walk from the station in sub-freezing temps. And the lame management in my office building still won't cave in and let bikes go through the lobby.
The transit workers have their own blog. Yesterday's blog had 792 responses, when the response link went away. I would say the responses were about 4 to 1 against the strike, so it wasn't a shock when they went away. Most of the positive responses were workers talking about how hard they work. Hmmm... maybe that is why they call it work. Now get back to it!
Monday, December 19, 2005
You want lifetime customers, and you want them to have a love affair with you so that no matter what the competition do, no matter what Wal-Mart is offering cheaper, they will stay with you and they will pay a premium, just as you will stay with your wife or your husband over 30 years because you have towards them loyalty beyond reason-- Kevin Roberts, CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide
Ballard told the graduates that second thoughts are natural, but cautioned them not to become paralyzed by fears they may have chosen the wrong path.
"If you have such fears, put them aside, for life is truly the act of becoming; you never arrive," Ballard said. "It's the journey that counts."
He spoke with the zeal that has driven his many accomplishments and expeditions. He noted how much time climbers plan their ascent of Mount Everest, compared with the meager time they spend on the summit.
"It was the act of climbing that took them to the top, not a desire to get there and stay there," Ballard said. He urged the graduates to think deeply about the metaphorical mountain they would climb.
"The most important thing is that the mountain you choose should be high," Ballard said. "I have discovered that if you climb a mountain that is, say, 1,000 feet tall and you fall off that mountain and break your neck, you're just as dead had you picked a mountain that was 30,000 feet. You're dead just the same, so why not pick a giant mountain?
"I also discovered that tall mountains frighten a lot of people off," Ballard said. "As a result, there aren't as many climbing them. The path up to the summit is less crowded, less congested, and, in fact, is easier to climb."
He told them not to be daunted by failure, but when gifted by success, to give back. He said he failed on his first attempts to find both the Titanic and the Bismarck, the German battleship sunk in 1941.
"The test you must pass is not whether you fall down along the way, for you surely will," Ballard said. "The important test is whether you can get back up after being knocked down and risk failure again."
Sunday, December 18, 2005
For reasons to do with my wife's desires we watch almost all television shows with the closed captions activated. Though this often ruins the timing of jokes and spoils dramatic moments in many a show, and I hate the way the captions intrude on screen space, I long ago chose to be annoyed & aggravated instead of lonely, so, c'est la vie.
Anyway, I bring that up only to explain how I discovered an excised, and potentially inflammatory, line from Robert Smigel's cartoon "Christmastime for the Jews" that premiered on last night's SNL. The line shown in the picture, "They can yank up all the prices" was replaced with lines about Quakers and Lakers. [Link plays replacement snippet of the song.]
I wonder by whom and for what reason was this line was killed?
UPDATE: Here's the whole video: Christmastime for the Jews.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
"Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us."
-- Robert Anton Wilson
"It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head."
-- Sally Kempton
Monday, December 12, 2005
As seen on TV's South Park: Smore Beer.
As in, "Want s'more beer?"
Celebrating a popular casual pant.
The NAAFP, as seen on TV's The Family Guy.
Not to be confused with the real worlds' even more annoying NAAFA.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
If you live within a mile of a church, you're far less likely to have a car accident than drivers who live more than a mile from a church. But if you live within one mile of a restaurant, you face a significantly greater risk of an accident than most other drivers. Those are among the key findings of a study released today by a leading predictive analytics company -- Quality Planning Corporation -- a firm that helps insurance companies price insurance more accurately and fairly.
Quality Planning Corporation (QPC) examined the relationship between where a vehicle owner lives and the likelihood that he will be involved in an auto accident, and concluded that the riskiest place to live is within one mile of a restaurant. In fact, if the owner of an automobile lives within one mile of an eating establishment, he is 30 percent more likely to crash his car than if he lived more than one mile from the restaurant.
The study examined more than 15 million policyholders and two million claims[...]
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Syntax Olevia LT37HVS 37" HD-Ready Flat-Panel LCD TV -- $1,139.99 after rebate.
Syntax Olevia LT42HVi 42" HD-Ready Flat-Panel LCD TV -- $1,948.99 after rebate.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Picture of pre-Thanksgiving shopper @ Target may well be the Lego Bandit, giving a fake name, but his real home town.
I wonder what he must have felt, having his picture taken by a newspaper reporter while allegedly carrying out a crime.
BTW - Zabasearch kicks back no results for anyone named Franklin Duffy in Reno, Nevada.
Convicted murderer Kenneth Boyd is seen in a handout file photo. Barring an unlikely intervention, the convicted killer will die by lethal injection in the dead of night on Friday in the 1,000th execution in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated three decades ago.