Jonathan Van Gieson . com
Two Snail or Not Two Snail?
by Jay Veegee


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December 28, 2005

Where's My Stuff: Epilogue | 11:50 AM

Apparently, some customers are getting so frustrated with Amazon, they have lost the ability to distinguish between that company's website and; "Longnails61" writes:

From: "Long n/a"
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2005 09:38:19 -0700
Subject: HELP

I am missing 3 orders:

The First One is: East of Eden
The Second item is: Last Day of Pompell
The Last one I am missing is : Elephant Walk

These were ordered months ago and I really would appreciate, it is you would send these orders as soon as again I THESE WERE PLACED MONTHS AGO.

I would appreciate that you send these items NOW.

I have looked so forward to these orders and cannot wait to get them. Amazon used to be good about getting ordered out promptly NOW you are NOT good at all about any of the orders but with my orders you no longer care. The items I order are very important to me. I am debating on wither on getting any more orders from Amazon with Azamon.


Salt Lake City, UT
8 4 1 1 9

For the record: I am, in fact, neither the Amazon nor the Azamon customer service department. Any rumors to the contrary are vicious, vicious lies. I am simply the composer of a heartwarming holiday poem which makes mention of said company. Also, my religious beliefs prevent me from doing anything "a pomplely". However, another correspondent may be able to help. Smelly Big Head writes:

Clement Moore couldn't have done better.
Oh and the same thing happened to me with a baby shower present.

p.s. amazon's secret "customer service" number:
US Customer Service Phone toll-free in the US and Canada: (800) 201-7575
Customer Service Address

Be sure to keep us informed about your progress, LongNails61, because nothing is more interesting than updates about a missing package from

December 24, 2005

Where's My Stuff? The Final Entry | 05:16 PM

Did this heartwarming holiday tale of missing presents resolve itself in a manner befitting a heartwarming holiday tale? How better to answer that question than through heartwarming holiday poetry? No better, that's how! And so...

A heartwarming holiday poem by Jonathan Van Gieson

'Twas the night before Christmas -- afternoon (near enough),
Yet I still lacked two gifts: Amazon, Where's My Stuff?

I ordered ten days ago, plenty of time
For the Amazon Free Super Shipping Deadline ...Read on!

Lock comments: "You still use Entourage? "

JVG comments: "Yes, because it fits the rhyme scheme."

Where's My Stuff? Update #5 | 12:34 PM

The doorbell rings...

Where's My Stuff? Update #4 | 10:25 AM

Can it be? Can it be? From Kentucky to Newark to Brooklyn to Newark, and now Shipment #5 (2 items) is out for delivery in Brooklyn!

Dec 24, 2005 08:33:32 AM BROOKLYN NY US Out for delivery
Dec 24, 2005 04:30:00 AM NEWARK NJ US Departure Scan
Dec 24, 2005 03:00:00 AM BROOKLYN NY US Arrival Scan
Dec 23, 2005 04:46:00 PM NEWARK NJ US Arrival Scan
Dec 23, 2005 02:32:00 PM LOUISVILLE KY US Departure Scan

What can explain how a package that leaves Kentucky at 2:32pm can arrive at Newark -- a drive of fourteen (14) hours, or flight of several hours -- a mere 2 hours 14 minutes later? Or how that same package can leave Newark at 4:30am, and arrive in Brooklyn 90 Minutes Earlier? Xmas magic, that's what! On Dasher, on Dancer, on UPS, on Vixen!

Could a happy ending be in sight for our little Xmas tale?

December 23, 2005

Where's My Stuff? Update #3 | 12:22 PM

Excitement galore! UPS arrives today with two (2) packages!

The first:
Shipment #3 (1 item): Arrives December 23rd, 12:23pm!

The second:
The replacement for Shipment #5 (2 items), which contains only one (1) of the two (2) items. Not wanting to be charged double for that item, I reject the shipment.

Then, I check the tracking for Shipment #5 (2 items):
Dec 23, 2005 03:35:48 AM LOUISVILLE KY US Arrival Scan
Dec 23, 2005 01:28:00 AM LOUISVILLE KY US Arrival Scan
Dec 22, 2005 10:50:00 PM DES MOINES IA US Departure Scan
Dec 22, 2005 11:33:04 AM DES MOINES IA US Arrival Scan
Dec 21, 2005 07:27:44 PM US Carrier notified to pick up package

Can Shipment #5 (2 items) make it from Kentucky to Brooklyn in one (1) day? And what about this cryptic holiday schedule note from UPS: "Saturday Dec 24 Delivery for Saturday Air shipments only. Pickup service is not available. *UPS SonicAir is also available." Would Amazon have sent these presents Saturday Air? I shall wait on Xmas eve day with baited breath. Baited, of course, with mulled wine.

December 22, 2005

Where's My Stuff? Update #2 | 08:03 PM

Shipment #4 (2 items): Shipped on December 18th, 2005
Arrives December 22nd!
A 8pm-ishtrip downstairs to open the door to admit a friend reveals a package not in evidence some 4 hours earlier. Contents include the Alistair Sim A Christmas Carol, now available to watch on Christmas Eve, as planned! USPS Bless Us, Every One!
Shipments now in transit: 2

Where's My Stuff? Update #1 | 03:19 PM

Shipment #3 (1 item): Shipped today!
1 package via UPS Next Day Saver
"Greetings from, We thought you'd like to know that we shipped your items, and that this completes your order."
Shipments now in transit: 3

Amazon: Where's my Stuff? | 12:12 PM

An exciting new feature, in which you, the reader, can join me, the site proprietor, in waiting breathlessly for holiday gifts to arrive from Amazon... will they arrive in time for a Merry Xmas? Or will they be gifts for the 8th day of Chanukah? Only UPS, the USPS, and Amazon know for sure.


On December 14th, well within the Amazon "Free Super Saver Shipping" deadline for December 24, I place an order for 9 items and select as my option "Free Super Saver Shipping". Delivery estimate: December 23! For my convenience, Amazon divides the order into 5 different shipments! (Italics mine.)

Here is the tale of those 5 little shipments:

Shipment #1 (3 items): Shipped December 16th, 2005
via USPS, Arrives December 19th in plenty of time for Xmas!

Shipment #2 (1 item): Shipped December 16th, 2005
via UPS "3 day select", arrives December 21st
Clearly "select", in UPS terms, means "plus two"... nevertheless, arrives in plenty of time for Xmas!
According to Google Maps, this is a 12 hour drive See its journey here!

...and now the fun begins!

Shipment #3 (1 item): Shipping Soon!
We are preparing these items for shipment and this portion of your order cannot be canceled or changed. Need information on returning an item?
Delivery estimate: Dec 23, 2005
According to's info page for the item included in this shipment:
Availability: Usually ships within 1 to 3 weeks

Shipment #4 (2 items): Shipped on December 18th, 2005
Delivery estimate: Dec 22, 2005 - Dec 23, 2005
via USPS, not yet arrived
From the USPS tracking system:
Status: Acceptance
Your item was accepted at 3:19 pm on December 18, 2005 in LEXINGTON, KY 40511. Information, if available, is updated every evening. Please check again later.
My status, too, must likely be acceptance

Shipment #5 (2 items): Shipped on December 21, 2005
Delivery estimate: Dec 23, 2005 (More about estimates)
1 package via UPS 2nd Day Air
From the UPS tracking system:
Status: Billing Information Received Join the tracking fun!

But never fear, Amazon is on the case! Here, as proof of their competence, is the email I received yesterday at 8:44am:

Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 05:44:26 -0800
To: jvg
Subject: Your order (#xxx-xxxxxxx-xxxxxxx)

Hello from

We wanted to let you know that there is a delay with some items in the order you placed on December 14 2005 14:25 PST.

To see the current status of this order, please visit the Order Summary page in Your Account

We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this delay.

I wrote them back, explaining that I was unhappy with this turn of events. Not 8 hours later, they responded!

From: " Customer Service" Date: 21 Dec 2005 13:15:44 -0800 To: Subject: Your Order (#xxx-xxxxxxx-xxxxxxx)

Greetings from

I'm sorry, but it appears that your order has been lost in shipping.

I've placed a new order for the item " [Deleted due to status as Xmas gift]" to be shipped to you as soon as possible at no charge.

Here are the order details:

Order Number: xxx-xxxxxxx-xxxxxxx
Estimated Delivery Date:December 23,2005.

...However the other two items are not availbale
1: [Deleted due to status as Xmas gift]
2: [Deleted due to status as Xmas gift]
I've checked on the availability of items. At this time, it appears that it will not be available before the holiday ordering deadlines. I apologize for the inconvenience.

As you can imagine, especially during the holiday season, our inventory and availability estimates can change very rapidly from one day to the next. Unfortunately, in spite of all of our efforts, there will be some unforeseen delays in receiving inventory and updating information.

I've listed some additional information below about ordering holiday gifts that you may find helpful.

Thank you for shopping at

[unhelpful additional information about ordering holiday gifts excised]

Never mind that a package that had not yet been shipped got lost in shipping, or that, according to the Better Business Bureau "Federal law requires orders made by mail, phone or online to be shipped by the date promised"... there's nothing like an "apology for the inconvenience" to warm the cockles of my heart in this, the most holly of holiday seasons.

A few hours after that, the notice came that Shipment #5 had shipped, containing 2 of the items mentioned in the email. Plus, the other shipment mentioned above, which duplicates one of the two items shipped in Shipment #5. Which will arrive first? If the package with the one duplicate item arrives first, should I reject it in the hopes that the package with both items arrives in time? Will Xina have her gifts for Xmas Morning? The excitement builds! Ding ding dingaling ding ding dingaling ding ding dingaling ding!

December 19, 2005

Open Letter To The House of Representatives | 11:22 AM

Sirs, you should be ashamed of yourselves.



December 14, 2005

MTA: Fair & Balanced | 02:10 PM

Strike Contingency Plan
Current as of 12/14/2005 1:00 PM

Negotiations between the MTA and the Transport Workers Union are continuing in an effort to avoid a strike. In the event of such an illegal action, however, travel options for customers will be limited.

(Italics mine)

* MTA Strike Contingency Plan,

December 08, 2005

Boners #3 | 12:39 PM

"Faith is that quality which enables us to believe what we know to be untrue."
-1920s schoolchild

December 07, 2005

Boners #2 | 12:39 PM

"Science is material. Religion is immaterial."
-1920s schoolchild

December 06, 2005

Boners #1 | 12:35 PM

"The theory of evolution was greatly objected to because it made men think."
-1920s schoolchild

Boners Intro | 12:29 PM

In 1931, Alexander Abington released a book entitled "Boners," a word which, at the time, carried a completely non-sexual connotation -- it meant, in essence, "screw ups." ("Screw" meant in a completely non-sexual way, of course.) In this book, Abington collected mistakes he had gleaned from student papers during his years as a teacher. (The internet, of course, has replaced print publishing as the preferred manner in which to convey "boners" collected by modern schoolmarms.)

But many of the statements Abington classified as "mistakes" are, in fact, moments of deep insight from Jazz Age school kids, and remain relevant even to this new millenium. They are in fact so relevant, they might even be considered "axioms". (As one child observed "An axiom is a thing that is so visible that it is not necessary to see it".)

Over the next few days, I will share some of the most acute of these observations on this very web presence.

SRoberts comments: "Did you know that that 1931 published comment from a 1920s child about "faith" appears almost word for word in Dracula by Bram Stoker published in 1897? The copy I have derives it from Mark Twain - Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar in The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894) where it is attributed to "a schoolboy" - this is getting very circular!"

December 04, 2005

Plan 9.75" | 03:46 PM


Ever wanted to see Jonny Porkpie as Ed Wood? No, probably not. But you can: tonight at 10pm, Rififi, in a number entitled Plan 9.75". Above: a prop for that very number. Chilling!

UPDATE: Documentation!

December 02, 2005

Hey, I just installed MT 3.2! | 10:38 PM

I'm so far ahead of the curve I'm looking down its throat! But did everything break? I hope not!

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