Has Quite the Package…

too bad they don’t know how to use it! Heyo! is known for many things. Great products at the best prices around, cutting-edge eReaders, stellar customer service and as of the last few years, environmentally friendly custom product packaging and shipping practices.

So imagine my surprise when UPS showed up at my house today with a big box from Amazon. A really big box. I thought to myself, what did I order? Four memory cards and a Samson Zoom H1 DAC, in two separate shipments.

Amazon Box Superfluously Overflowing

Too bad they don’t know how to use it!

All of the above products are known for their size. The secure digital card is the smallest professional quality memory card. They are about the size of a quarter. The Samson Zoom H1 is one of the smallest, high-end (yet very affordable) personal digital audio recorders on the market, about the size of a Snickers bar.

So, what did I forget that I had ordered from that needs a 10 x 10 x 21 inch box rated for 65lbs?

Transcend 4 x 8GB SDHD Cards

Four secure digital cards of course! Seriously I guess this is why they ask for commentary on how they are doing with their efforts for effective, efficient, economical and environmentally friendly shipping practices.

Check out package two, did do a better job?  Continue reading

The Amazon Kindle is Magic!

I would like to thank all those that provided me with tips on which books I should get for my mother for Christmas. Living in Saudi Arabia, getting American books can be a bit difficult at times.

My dad and I thought, what better gift than an Amazon Kindle to solve this problem?! With new latest version she will be able to use Wispernet, even in Saudi Arabia, to buy books, get the latest New York Times and sync her reads between her Kindle and perhaps her iPod Touch. Pretty amazing technology we have these days.

It’s this sort of ubiquitous wireless internet and background syncing that will prove to the victors of the future. It will form the backbone of future operating systems, from the desktop to the tablet to the phone. I’ve already setup something like this for myself, combining systems like Dropbox, MobileMe and SugarSync with my iPhone, laptops and iMac. Amazing to think of how far we were away from this technology just a few years ago.

Ah, but I digress, back to the Kindle.

I got lots of recommendations on how to properly give the Kindle as a gift and especially on recommendations for books based on my description of my mom through Twitter.

I loaded up the Kindle with four books and one audio book of my favorite audio books.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion is one that I started while on the plane. You might think, wow, using the gift you’re giving your mother for your own?! Well, how else to make sure it works? Just like how she used to eat one of my candies or part of my dessert at a restaurant to “make sure it wasn’t poison.”

This book, recommended to me by @MaryMG, so far is just incredible. Within the first several pages I found my eyes tearing up. Didion has a sensational way of turning ordinary words into a phenomenal, emotionally rich story.

I can’t wait to read more of this book. Experiencing the Kindle has convinced me that it’s something I need to invest for myself. A slick eReader that makes reading more enjoyable and easy than I’ve ever known it to be.

Sure makes some twenty-four hours of travel more exciting, less annoying. And the girl in front of me who refuses to give me any legroom, your constant seat adjustments might keep me from watching any inflight movie or using my laptop but it certainly will not keep me from enjoying a good book!

Oh and for the complete reading list:

  • David Rackoff – Fraud (audiobook)
  • Joan Didion – The Year of Magical Thinking
  • Malcolm Gladwell – What the Dog Saw: And Other Stories
  • Stieg Larsson – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Peter Mayle – French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork and Corkscrew

The first three I strongly recommend. I”m about half way through The Year of Magical Thinking, I enjoyed Fraud when it came out a few years ago (anything David Rackoff does is worth a read or listen) and Malcolm Gladwell has never disappointed, really exited about his latest book, a compendium of his library of articles.


Mom absolutely loves her new Kindle and the book selection we (me and all my Twitter friends chose!)

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You Don’t Always Get What You Paid For

I have never seen a set of MonsterCable Beats by Dre at a store, Apple, Best Buy or otherwise that weren’t broken.  Often times there is a short in the cable or one of the ear-pieces is falling apart or, as in this case, falling off.

Today I witnessed two sets of Beats by Dre, completely obliterated, sitting next to each other as if all is well, while, just across the aisle, two sets of the competing Bose headphones (Quite Comfort 2 and 3) looked and performed perfectly.

Clearly a sign of the Monster Cable quality, or lack there of.  Their build is like their performance. Immediately pleasing before succumbing to the flaws of sacrifice.  Form over function. Volume and extended bass over balance and fidelity.  The competition, namely Bose, might make horrendously overpriced home theater equipment, just like Monster Cable.  They might make products that fall apart and aren’t worth the cardboard boxes they come in.  But at least their headphones stand up to normal wear-and-tear, as well as display model wear-and-tear.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject.  How is it that all of these headphones get such prime placement and are all the Best Buy people will really try to sell you, along with the Sennheiser HD 238 Precision, when the absolute BEST over-the-ear headphone they sell, the set with the absolute highest performance/price ratio is left in the corner behind the Monster Cable display?  They have the new and improved (wow was that even possible) Koss PortaPro.

No, the PortaPros aren’t sound isolating, much less sound canceling like the Bose and Monster Cable headphones.  It’s not even lined with luxurious faux-leather or encased in some kevlar and chrome chasis.  It’s simply the best sounding over-the-ear headphone for under $100.  If I had to choose any over-the-ear headphone to buy with a budget, this would be the one.  They are incredibly light, incredibly comfortable and the performance is astounding.  I’d even go to say that they over-perform headphones costing upwards of $200 like the Bose, Sennheiser, Grado, AKG

How much? I got mine for $30 on and did I mention they come with an international, lifetime warranty.  They are known to replace or repair your broken headphones even if you don’t have your receipt.

Anyways, I’m going to quit this rant.  It just annoys the hell out of me that an incredible headphone like this, which is actually selling for $30 off retail for this limited edition model at Best Buy right now, is overlooked by customers and employees of consumer electronics stores because they have no real knowledge.

Don’t even get me started on their home theater or photography departments.  Holy shit.

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Why I Love (again)

I’m certain you all read my last post, “Why I Hate (right now).  I sure wasn’t happy.  The problems with and Washington Mutual lasted from 9:00am this morning and did not finally end until 2:30.

Five and a half hours of me on the phone with, Washington Mutual or both at once.

But, after all of that, I’m proud to display my new Amazon seal.

Yes, you got it. I no longer hate, though I think we all knew my hatred would not last for long.

I talked to five AMZ employees today from India, Costa Rica and the U.S.A.  It was Pablo in Costa Rica who first made things work for me, unfortunately all the good he did was undone by a mistake by one of the other customer service reps earlier in the day.

Finally, after hours of work, a supervisor from AMZ was able to have WaMu remove the hold on my credit card, remove the over $7,700 in extra charges that were holding up my credit and got my camera ordered.

I’m so happy to say that my Nikon D700 camera and Tamrac Adventure 9 camera back will arrive tomorrow… erm, today.  The new 24mm Nikon lens will arrive in a week or so, the memory card I got the other day and yesterday the memory card reader came in.  I accidentally ordered the wrong one BUT 30mb/s is good enough for me.  Though 45mb/s would be great, a good deal faster, the 30mb/s was 66% cheaper.

Expect new pictures as soon as the camera comes in!  I’m no longer pissed off, hurray!  Boy oh boy though, my Twitter was all sorts of crazy with the play-by-play of today’s issues.  Check it out and I’d love another follower/tweeter to follow!

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Why I Hate (right now)

This is why I hate (right now)

So last night, I finally made the jump and bought the Nikon D700 I’ve been wanting.  I didn’t technically have all the money saved up the way I wanted but I made the decision to jump in and get the new camera.

I went to and bought the Nikon D700 with a Tamrac Adventure 9 laptop/camera case, Sandisk UDMA Compact Flash memory card reader and a Nikon 24mm f2.8D lens.

The first two items I purchased on my company credit card.  I only used it because it extends the 1 year warranty into a 4 year warranty.  The rest of the items I purchased on my usual card.

But then I remembered that I could get next day air for only $3.99 per item for the camera and the bag.  So I did it.

I called and they said there would be an additional charge for $6.98 on my account to cover the new shipping costs.  Sounds great, no problem, awesome, thanks! I even went as far as to compliment on my twitter account.

Then, while out with Micheal at an admittedly, mostly crappy comedy show, I got an email from that my order could not be processed, that there was a problem with my credit card.

Not a good thing.  Probably made the rest of the comedy that much worse.

When I get home I check my account and see what happened.  Instead of charging me $2,459.90 for the original order of the camera and the bag with an additional charge of $7.98… they charged me $139.95 (for the bag) and then $2,319.95 (for the Nikon D700) adding up to a credit approval of $2,459.95…. but then they added the $6.99 (should hav ebeen $6.98) by running a charge of $2,459.90+7.99 separately.

Washington Mutual, my business credit card holder, was then hit with a second request of funds, which exceeded my limit on the card.  That was the problem.

This is why I hate Washington Mutual (right now)

Washington Mutual told me that in order to have that authorization lifted, so that the new charge could go through, I’d have to have call in and make the change.

I call Amazon.  The guy, who’s English I could barely understand, spends about 20 minutes trying to figure out what happened.  Once he does he says he has fixed it, that the order has gone through and that my camera and camera bag will arrive Thursday.

He says that he will send me an email with all that in it, that he has actually already sent it.  I also got his name just to be safe.

The email comes. It says the same thing the earlier email said. WTF.  This guy lied to me.

I call back.  This time I get a woman who is equally as impossible to understand.  She understands the situation more quickly and we make the call to Washington Mutual.

We sit on hold for… 30 minutes.

Washington Mutual says all they need from is their Merchant ID Number and they can immediately clear the old charge and approve the pending charge.’s customer service woman has no idea what the number is and after two or three “trips” to her supervisor comes back and states that there is no such number.  WaMu will not release the charge without the number, which basically just proves that it truly is that they are talking to.

So now, instead of getting the camera in one day, it will be more like ten days.  And all because didn’t do as they originally stated.  They said they would charge me $7.98 for the  shipping.  If I had known this would happen, I would have said no to getting the camera one day sooner and have waited an extra 24 hours.  Now I’ll be waiting at least ten days for the authorization from Washington Mutual to expire so I can put in a request for another one.

I feel like Amazon should do something to fix the situation, but what?!  Big discount? Sure. But that doesn’t change the fact that I spent two hours on the phone trying to fix this and mostly that I am now $2,500 poorer with zero to show for it.  I don’t have access to that money and can’t send my business elsewhere.

So that is why I hate and Washington Mutual (right now).  If they fix this, then that hate will subside but until then, they are on my shit list and my short list of total fuckupery.

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All I Want for Christmas…

A box of money or a Nikon D3X

Bob, from the local camera store out her, suggested I go into prostitution to get the money for this camera.

No joke.  But he’s right, it’s $8,000 so I guess he isn’t so far off. haha

I think though, that I will be saving up for this.  Christmas is just around the corner… I’ll take money, gift cards, just about anything that will get me closer to this camera.

And if I have to rent out a kidney or my entire body to get it… so be it.

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