Tag Archives: BAM

Books A Million (BAM) Giving A FREE Superman Comic Book On Wednesday, June 12, 2013.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
≡ ≡ ≡ ≡  Search ‘BAM’ for other related  posts —>>> (side bar)


Click to ENLARGE. If you are near a BAM run and get one. Alas, I am 40 minutes from one. So I won't be able to get one. Just my luck.

Click to ENLARGE. If you are near a BAM run and get one. Alas, I am 40 minutes from one. So I won’t be able to get one. Just my luck.


Amazon (U.S): I Cancel All My ‘Awaiting Shipping Orders’, In A Huff, And Decide To Take My Business Somewhere Else!

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Anura Guruge


I have regularly sung the praises of Amazon on this blog — example 1 & example 2.

Over the last decade or so I have had a very involved, intricate and intertwined relationship with Amazon. In 2011 I ditched lulu.com (with whom I had been since 2003), AuthorHouse (through whom I published my first pope book) and Lightning Source (through whom I published my second pope book) and started using Amazon’s CreateSpace as my exclusive book publisher. I have published 4 books with them. I only publish my eBooks in Amazon’s Kindle format — and as some of you know I published 3 Kindle eBook in 10 days during the papal sede vacante. I have 3 Amazon credit cards, the latest with 0% APR on all transactions for a year. I am an Amazon Associate (and have been for years) and have an Amazon author page. Over the last 7 years or so Amazon had become my automatic, Pavlovian first port of call for all online shopping. Since I do all of my Christmas and birthday shopping on Amazon, not to mention all the books I buy in a given year, I have to confess that I do over a $1,000 of shopping with Amazon a year! But, Amazon has been good to us. We have never had any issues with returns, billing or charges. Returns with them have been a joy. Publishing with them, whether via CreateSpace or Kindle, has been relatively pain free.

But of late I had noticed a little wrinkle. At first it didn’t bother me. This week, however, it came to a head and today I cancelled about $89 worth of ‘awaiting shipping’ items — yes, in a huff.

I know how Amazon works. If an item is available directly from Amazon I ALWAYS order it from Amazon as opposed to somebody selling through Amazon. (Yes, that also entitles me to the Free Super-Saver shipping). PLUS the deal is that if it is being sold and shipped by Amazon — they have it in stock and will ship pronto. And yes I also make sure that it is in stock BEFORE I order.

It is Teischan’s birthday March 22, as is the case every year. Suffice to say with the pope’s resignation my life had been crazy as of February 11. Though I had already got her her main present, a Windows 8 laptop, I hadn’t got around to ordering the ‘small’ presents, mainly Lego and craft stuff. [I buy all my laptops, refurbished from TigerDirect. I have had great luck. This one was beyond a steal. It was a giveaway. Just happened to catch it. Had just been posted. Only had one.] On Tuesday, March 12, 10 days ahead, with the conclave just about to start, I had a few minutes. Jumped on and ordered 3 Lego kits and a bunch of craft kits. As I was ordering Amazon kept on telling me that I could have them by March 20. Perfect. Had free Free Super-Saver shipping on all of it. Amazon automatically charged the order to my 0% APR credit card. Doesn’t get easier than that.

That same day I had David Nix, a Belmont computer expert, come by to take my main PC apart and tighten all the fans — it has 7 fans. David found that one of the back fans wasn’t working. Yes, I could have ordered from TigerDirect. Yes, I have a TigerDirectt Preferred Account that also gives me 0% APR credit! [What can I say.] But, I went with Amazon. I ordered 3 fans, to be on the safe side and two (spare) cables. Again I was told that they would be available by March 19 – 20. So much so that David penciled it in to come here next Wednesday to install the fan.

On Thursday, i.e., 2 days later, I checked the orders. Only 2 items had shipped — one item from each order. All the others were ‘Awaiting Shipment’ with no ship date. I checked again last night. Ditto. Nothing had changed.

Googled ‘it’ this morning. I am not the only one who had noticed this. Seems it is a scam. It is BECAUSE I had asked for ‘Free Super-Saver shipping’! Well Amazon, screw YOU. I cancelled the orders.

I will go buy the Lego kits at a brick-and-mortar. I will order the computer stuff from TigerDirect. I will buy my books from BAM!

So there. It is a shame. I like Amazon. I wish they hadn’t pulled this little stunt with me. Live and learn.

‘Books A Million’ (BAM) In Concord, NH: Will Buy Your Used Books, DVDs, iPads etc. etc. Today & Tomorrow. Good Deal.

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by
Anura Guruge


Kind of vaguely related:
>> Al Gore, BAM Book Signing In Concord, NH, Feb. 6, 2013 — Feb. 7, 2013.


BAMUsed


We are hoping to go tomorrow now that we managed to shovel a path clear for the Van.

I collect books obsessively. I hate to see books carelessly discarded. I pick up ‘good’ books whenever I see them: at the dump, swap shops, yard sales, books sales etc. At yard sales, e.g., Huggins Fair, I buy books by the bag. Some books I keep to read and for my collections. Others I get for Deanna and the kids. But, I also get books for two other bins I maintain. One bin is for duplicates copies of special books, e.g., ‘Pillars of the Earth’, ‘Sea biscuit’, ‘Agony and the Ecstasy’. This way, I can give copies of this book to special people. I like doing that. I recently gave a spare copy of ‘Pillars of the Earth’ to a young teacher. He just loved it. I was glad I could give him his own copy. Then I have another ‘bin’, actually two large packing boxes, full of good books — that I will never read, but are too good to be discarded. I used to swap these at an online Swap site. That worked out great for a few years. I swapped about 70 books. But, as ever, all good things come to an end. Disreputable sharks got into the game. They would always claim that the book you sent them was of unacceptable condition. They just wanted the book for free. I will GLADLY give any of my spare books, from either of the two bins, to anyone who wants them — BUT, on principal, I refuse to be cheated and made to pay postage. So, I am hoping to get rid of the 100 or so books I have in the 2nd bin. Deanna has a bunch. So this might be fun. IF we get any money, guess what I will do with it. Yes, we will buy some books. It is a never ending cycle, a saga, the Guruges and their books.

Al Gore Told The Truth When He Said That He & Bill Clinton Found Only 50 Web Pages On The Web In January 1993!

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Al Gore ‘The Future’ … What I Learned — Feb. 7, 2013.
>>
Al Gore ‘The Future’ Book Signing Made Me Sad — Feb. 6, 2013.
>>
Do NOT Buy Al Gore’s ‘The Future’ In Hardback — Feb. 6, 2013.
>>
Is Al Gore Gay? — Feb. 6, 2013.
>>
Al Gore In Concord, NH, February 6 — Feb. 5, 2013.


Al Gore at the Concord, NH ‘BAM’ book signing on Wednesday, February 6, 2013. Click to ENLARGE.


I am GLAD. Though there are things that I do not agree with him about, in particular ‘global warming‘, and I detest his hypocrisy and blatant pimping to the almighty dollar, I don’t dislike him!

So, I really did NOT want to take him to task for making another ‘I invented the Internet‘ remark.

In Concord, on Wednesday, at his book signing, he made this statement: ‘When Bill Clinton and I got to the White House we checked the Web and found that there were only 50 Web pages‘.

There was no reaction from the audience. I was not in a position to comment.

I was a very late adopter of the Web. I was Mr. SNA and the Web was SNA’s direct enemy. I was busy making money with SNA-related initiatives.

I think I only started using the Web, intermittently at that, in 1996. To make it worse, in those days I was a rabid Mac user. Didn’t have a PC and bad mouthed Windows like there was no tomorrow. Getting a Web browser for Macs was NOT EASY. You had to buy Navigator, in a white box — for what I think was $79.99. Then there were all sorts of tweaks you had to do to get it to run properly. That wasn’t a problem. I used to be a Mac expert. Navigator for Macs also was notoriously flaky! But, I had learned, by trial and error, all the tricks. If you kept the cursor in certain places … Navigator would not hang! I kid you not. I cannot remember the exact scenarios, but I do remember that you had to make sure that the cursor was underneath (but not in) the address bar trench when you started some operation. If not, Navigator would hang.

Last night I did some quick checking. I couldn’t get a good number for 1992 and 1993. Today I found that there were 623 Web pages at the END of 1993 — but remember 1993 of the pivotal year when Mosaic, the first graphical Web browser, came online. So that would have precipitated the growth of many Web sites. Then today I found this. Not sure how accurate it is, but it says 50. Never sure whether they got it from Al or Al got it from them. But …

Al Gore ‘The Future’ Book Signing In Concord, NH: What I Learned.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Al Gore ‘The Future’ Book Signing Made Me Sad — Feb. 6, 2013.
>>
Do NOT Buy Al Gore’s ‘The Future’ In Hardback — Feb. 6, 2013.
>>
Is Al Gore Gay? — Feb. 6, 2013.
>>
Al Gore In Concord, NH, February 6 — Feb. 5, 2013.




These were the main things I learned from yesterday’s ‘The Future‘ book signing in Concord. My overall sentiment was one of profound sadness: credibility compromised for commercialism.

Al Gore, though BAM was hoping he would only speak for 20 minutes, spoke for 30 minutes. BAM only permitted four questions from the audience, randomly (or they said) picked. I actually learned quite a bit from one of the questions. I will point that out.

So here, in very pithy form, are my takeaways, from yesterday, more or less in the order they registered in my brain. I did not take notes.



>> :: Privacy :: Dictionary.com places 243 cookies on your computer to track your Web surfing trends.
[Since I do use Dictionary.com, with increasing annoyance with their blatant intrusions, I checked this as soon as I got back. He was right. It might be 230 cookies, but they are using me as a cookie jar. I had it on my bookmark toolbar. I deleted it. I will not use it again. I replaced it with Wicktionary. Not the same, but will do. Plus, it will force me to do something that I have been remiss in doing for the last couple of years: reaching down and picking up my beloved ‘Oxford Concise Dictionary’. Thank You, Al Gore.]

>> :: Privacy :: The U.S. Government is currently spending billions developing a system that vacuums up ALL of our electronic transactions, including e-mails, Tweets and posts so that they can be electronically analyzed, if needed, to check what we have said and done in the past.
[I did not check this, but I know that this has been talked about. I have always assumed that all of this data was captured and stored. I have known, since the 1970s, that all phone calls to/from the U.S. were recorded and stored. So, to me this is nothing new. I always work under the assumption that Big Brother is watching me.]

>> :: Wealth Inequality :: 6 descendents of the two Walton brothers who created Walmart are worth more than the 100 million Americans at the very bottom of the wealth pyramid; so 6 = 100,000,000.
[I wasn’t shocked. I checked. It is on Wikipedia. Yes, these 6 are worth [albeit per the vagaries of the Walmart stock price], $102.7 BILLION (B).]

>> :: Genetic Engineering & Shift In World Power :: China is spending billions on genetic engineering, even working on ways to change the IQs of unborn babies. Al thinks that China or India will overtake the U.S. in the future as the #1 superpower. He thinks later than sooner.
[I am not surprised. I think the shift will occur sooner than what Al thinks. Just keep an eye on China’s space program.]

>> :: Global Warming :: We are now releasing the equivalent of 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs per day, 365 days per year, in terms of burnt hydrocarbon energy into the atmosphere each day.[I looked it up. But Gore is the ultimate hypocrite. That ‘The Future’ is in hardcover only proves that. I do NOT believe that global warming, if true, is due to humans! I also now know that the Earth is losing MASS. That is a much bigger issue and most, including Gore, don’t even know about it, let alone understand it. I will talk about it here, soon.]

>> :: Bloody China :: This was from the 1st Question asked yesterday:: China is spending $2xx million a year processing ivory!
[I checked. There appears to be a basis — same as the Philippines that I have railed about on my Pope blog. We can’t boycott China and I shudder because I do have some Chinese in me: my fraternal grandmother was 25% Chinese. Maybe after Chinese New Year I will stop eating Chinese, especially now that I have dramatically cut back on carbs.]

>> :: Global Warming :: Lakes Huron and Michigan are at their lowest known levels.
[True.]

>> :: Robots Running The World :: Robots will soon be able to create new robotic capabilities.[Yes, and pigs will fly. I do know some about AI. I have dabbled in AI for 4 decades. No, we have yet to make that pivotal AI breakthrough to impart self-learning and creativity into machines.]


Al Gore ‘The Future’ Book Signing In Concord, NH, February 6, 2013: We Went. I Felt Sad.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Do NOT Buy Al Gore’s ‘The Future’ In Hardback — Feb. 6, 2013.
>>
Is Al Gore Gay? — Feb. 6, 2013.
>>
Al Gore In Concord, NH, February 6 — Feb. 5, 2013.


Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

We attended as planned. I picked up 3 tickets, without making a purchase, at BAM (Fort Eddy St. Concord), around 11:35. We got to the Grappone Center about 11:40. I was worried that it would be packed. It wasn’t. At that time there was probably 50 folks there. We got good 2nd row seats, right in the middle. There were even some front row seats available. Around 12:20 I got up and tried to count. We estimated that there was about 170. If filled up more in the next few minutes. So probably about 220. It was a decent crowd for a work day.

Al Gore did a decent presentation. He didn’t use a presentation or charts. But, you can see that he has done this a few times before. He used a smartphone for his notes. He was good.

He started with a great joke. I did not know that he had a business partner called David Blood. It is true. Look it up. When Gore gave the election to Bush in 2000, he and blood, kind of ironically, set up a Wealth Management company called Generation Investment Management LLP. But, according to Al, he wanted to call it: ‘Blood and Gore‘. That was good.

Overall, however, I was much saddened by the whole event.

It wasn’t Al Gore’s thoughts of the future. There is nothing that really frightens me there, not even the supposed global warming (which I will be thinking about when we have 2′ of snow in NE tomorrow) or robots creating robots.

The unabashed commercialization of this event was depressing.

That an ex-V.P., who is now worth worth more than $300 million (after he sold his TV network to Arabic Al Jazeera for $100 million), lets himself be trotted out and made to perform like a peanut vendors chained monkey is unbecoming and sobering. There was little dignity and no righteousness. Irony dripped, hypocrisy ruled — especially as one of his key themes was that of wealth inequality. It is plain to see that Al Gore has sold his soul to the almighty dollar.

Al, you could have risen about the sad,
sordid marketing tactics of BAM.
You are NOT a recovering drug addict trying to make a fortune
with his sham book.

It distressed me to see a badly dressed, mid-20s BAM employee, who was loving his 15 minutes of vicarious fame, bossing around Al Gore.

Al Gore did not help himself. He manages, quite amazingly, to look good and terrible at the same time. His innate good looks haven’t deserted him. But, he is also bloated, with 15 pounds of lard wobbling around his face. He had to climb up 2 steps to reach the stage. He bounded up, but that winded him. And that suit. I am sure it was the same one he wore right through the 2010 presidential campaign.

We saw Mike Dukakis in Laconia in October. It was such a different experience. Mike Dukakis projected dignity, credibility and conviction. Al Gore looked like a used car salesman peddling counterfeit Viagra.

I do not have anything against Al Gore. My father and he used to be good friends as I have mentioned here. I did not support him in 2000. I was a rabid Republican in the day, and spent the whole of December 2000 glued to the TV waiting for Bush to win — having put my (then very lucrative) consulting business on hold.

He does not inspire me as does President Obama. Yesterday proved that he is a conflicted, hypocritical, shallow man, always more interested in making more money rather than the issues he claims to be passionate about. Yes, as do Warren Buffet, Bill Clinton and President Obama, he made the trite remark that he would be happy to pay more taxes. Al, who is stopping YOU. Donate some of your money to the Government and STOP printing your book as a hardcover. Having that book in hardcover is so cynical, hypocritical and just plain wrong. The book deals with wealth inequality and global warming. Producing a hardcover book requires more resources and energy than the equivalent paperback. Hardcover books are NOT GREEN. The only motive for hardcover books is more mullah. Increasing wealth disparity and putting the book out of the reach of the poor.

Al, you made yourself look pathetic yesterday. I felt sorry for you. I hope your $300,000,000 makes you real happy, because you did not look it. You looked like a trained animal at the circus — run by BAM.


Al Gore in Concord, February 6, 2013. Click to ENLARGE.

Al Gore In Concord, NH, (Grappone C. C.), February 6: Agenda & Messaging. The Book Is $17.30.

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Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> Al Gore, ex-V.P., To Be In Concord, NH
>>Jan 4, 2013.


A video of the topics he will talk about in Concord.

Click to watch a short version on YouTube.

Click to watch a short version on YouTube.


The book or at least the cover.

The book or at least the cover.


The 'Table of Contents' from the book.

The ‘Table of Contents’ from the book. Click to ENLARGE. He will hit upon each of these points.



Al Gore, ex-V.P., To Be In Concord, NH, At The Grappone Conference Center On February 6, 2013 At 12:30pm.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> We met with Dr. Jill Biden — October 26, 2012.
>> We Met Michael Dukakis In Laconia — Oct. 7, 2012.


Call number show. Click to ENLARGE.

Call number show. Click to ENLARGE.


My father, when he was the Sri Lankan ambassador to the U.S. and residing in D.C. would have breakfast with Al Gore on a regular basis. His residence was the closest to Al’s residence at the Naval Observatory. So this explains a quirk that will puzzle historians in years to come. The first signatory to Al Gore’s  ‘Information SuperHighway‘ plan, in 1993, was Sri Lanka. Al wanted to get the ball rolling and my father was happy to signup. I used to joke that Sri Lanka at the time probably had a 128Kps dial-up link to the Internet.