Month: December 2006

  • Amazon.com phone numbers...

    One of the remarkable, and remarkably frustrating, things about Amazon.com is how there doesn't seem to be any phone numbers posted.  For a company that size, doing that much business, surely it's got phone numbers?

    Yes it does, AAMOF, and here they are, compliments of another blogger:

    US Customer Service
    Phone toll-free in the US and Canada: (800) 201-7575
    Phone from outside the US and Canada: (206) 346-2992 or (206)-266-2992
    Another direct line: (206) 266-2335

    Snail mail to customer service
    Amazon.com, Inc.
    Customer Service
    PO Box 81226
    Seattle, WA 98108-1226

    Canadian Customer Service
    Phone 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern time, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific: (877)-586-3230

    Corporate Offices, Seattle
    (206) 622-2335

  • Merry Christmas!

    Tonight was the Ivy family Christmas gathering over at Kirstin and Matt's house, where we opened presents with Alex, Beth and Hannah, thanks to modern technology, then enjoyed lasagna, salad and cheesecake.  The first gift to be opened was by our lovely hostess, from her husband:

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    It's a very fancy wine bottle opener.  Kirstin was quite pleased.  ;^)

    Here's the tree before the kids got after it:

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    Don and Dmitry, waiting for the wireless connection to come on:

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    Jessica and Jason:

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    Bryson loved the appetizers:

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    Once the projector got set up, here came the kids, doing what kids do when such an opportunity presents itself:

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    Finally, though....there he was!

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    Everyone was delighted to see Alex, Beth and Hannah:

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    When Bethie gets into opening gifts, she really gets into it:

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    Next was Benjamin:

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    The image was fine on the wall, but one could also look at the computer:

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    I love this picture of darling Benjamin showing Alex and Beth one of his presents:

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    After dinner, Benjamin and Jonathan played some hard-fought Memory:

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    It was a grand Christmas.  Which was made even grander when Alex and Beth announced the impending arrival of grandchild #7!  

    And that was the best gift of all.  

  • The Jingle Bell Brigade has left the building.

    Why do I call them the Jingle Bell Brigade?  Because they burst spontaneously into song (and to think people say musicals aren't true to life!), singing "Jingle Bells" over and over and over and..... 


    Here they began singing "Silent Night" only fizzled out due to having forgotten the words; I picked up the slack, for Meredith - over on the far left - was signing it:

    When I think how many crafty things I'd prepared for them to do, I could just scream.  The only one they were really interested in was the faux-gingerbread house activity, generously provided by Elaine, and the main thing they liked about it was the glitter glue pens I provided.  Hadn't actually planned upon them using those on the houses, but immediately small hands reached for them.

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    After working on the houses and singing, they chose to adjourn to the living room to play and hang out.  Memory is always a popular past-time with this crew:

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    I gathered them together for a group photo, which they agreed to cooperate with so long as they were allowed to pull one of these:

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    Here's the real photo, duded up a trifle:

    Heartwarming times! 

  • Here's a link to a video from yesterday's annual Tuba Christmas concert.

    Maybe Alex'll be able to play in it again next year!

  • The First Annual Christmas Shopping Extravaganza is over.

    And I'm pretty sure I survived it. 

    Not positive, mind....the jury's still out....but still, fairly confidant. 

    The gala occasion - such as it was - began yesterday, when Jessica dropped Brianna off about 1:45.  She taught me to play the dreidel game (which is a darn good game, too...no wonder it's stayed popular all these years), and I taught her how to spin a top.

    Amazing how kids today cannot manage a simple task such as spinning a top (which is all a dreidel is, of course).  Being the geezerette I am it gave me no trouble at all, and I set it merrily spinning on the dining room table time after time.  After a fair amount of practice Brianna finally began to get the hang of it.

    About 4 p.m. Bethany showed up, having been to the Children's Museum for a party:

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    Should have seen me trying to get that paint off in the bathtub later.  After getting the girls to bed, Alex called to see about working on the webcam for Sunday evening, so they were permitted to get back up to say hello to their uncle:

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    Last night we were using Yahoo! Messenger as the webcam program and except for disconnecting every minute or so it worked pretty well.  Not smooth, but still...we managed.  Got to see precious Hannah and Beth, too!  

    At 10 a.m. Elaine dropped Meredith off, and away we went to University Village (or whatever it's called).  First stop was the Barnes and Noble:



    While Meredith searched for a present for Margaret, I spotted the other two settled down to take advantage of their surroundings:




    After the book store we stopped into to poke around The Pottery Barn, then Williams-Sonoma and The Gap.  What the girls most enjoyed, though, was just being together on a gorgeous day:



    After this we went to have lunch - courtesy of Elaine, thanks so much, E-B! - at Café Express, where it was baked potatoes all around:



    On Saturday is the second part of the Christmas activities, when the above plus two of their siblings (Margaret and Benjamin) will come over for a bit for a Christmas craft party.  Guess I'd better really get to work deciding what they'll do, exactly. 

  • Hat tip: Jolly Blogger

    He found this at Crossroads:

    Philip Jenkins in his book, The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South, writes,

    "Two bishops were participating in a Bible study, one an African
    Anglican, the other a U. S. Episcopalian. As the hours went by, tempers
    frayed as the African expressed his confidence in the clear words of
    scripture, while the American stressed the need to interpret the Bible
    in the light of modern scholarship and contemporary mores. Eventually,
    the African bishop asked in exasperation,

    If you don't believe the scripture, why did you bring it to us in the first place?


  • Amazing how some things that should be easy, aren't.

    There is an anime cable channel called Funimation, believe it or not, and Dmitry is about to fall into tiny pieces, he's so anxious for Charter Communications to carry it.

    Funimation, of course, urges those who currently live in an area it's not available to "call your local cable company and tell them you want Funimation!"

    Dmitry being Dmitry, he'd rather have ten more teeth drilled than actually make such a phone call himself, so I was delegated.

    Finally gave up attempting to call, as "talk to an actual person" was never one of the options provided by the automated attendant.  I mean, no "stay on the line to speak with a customer service representative" or "press 0 for customer service".  Surely those options exist somewhere in the Charter call manager, but apparently only after pushing the number indicative of desiring new service, or to ask a billing question.

    Not wanting to get involved in a "Ah-HA!  We've got you now, missie....let's see what extra features we can load you down with!" conversation, I bailed and went to the website.

    Eventually I found a place to send a message, and did so, requesting whoever's box it dumps out in to pass it on to whomever makes the cable line-up decisions.

    ISTM stuff like this used to be much, much simpler back when you dialed a number and a person answered.

  • For that hard-to-shop-for person on your list....

    ....or maybe just someone you don't like very much, may I suggest this:

    Fly swatter
    The "hours of fun" is rather worrying. 

    It also occurs to me it could make a nifty editorial statement, depending upon who receives it. 

  • You can hear Alex sing!

    Did y'all know he's not only a talented musician, but he also sings?  

    Click on the video here to hear him in a duet singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside."