Goodbye ello

When it appeared in 2014, the online service ello positioned itself as the anti-Facebook. No ads, no ‘sponsored’ posts, no selling user data, etc. Not long after the site went live, I wrangled an invite, and joined. It wasn’t terribly exciting, but there was none of the bullshit that frequently plagues Facebook and other social media platforms. Continue reading

ART 53, day what?

This Is Fifty-three, day what?

Okay, what the…?

If you have been following along with the latter part of this saga, you may recall that the five copies I ordered of the color edition so I could submit them as part of my Pulitzer entry had some problems, so one of the CreateSpace support reps set up a replacement order that was to arrive on Sept. 20 (when the original order, which came early, was expected to arrive). However, after the information about the shipment was sent to UPS, nothing happened. I checked in with CreateSpace, who determined that the order was ‘lost in transit’, and set up a new order to replace the replacements.

Well, this last Friday, September 30th, I contacted AAA to renew my membership. (How is this connected? you may be asking yourself. Bear with me.) Only I couldn’t, because my credit card was declined—and I couldn’t use my debit card to complete the transaction, because I’m more broke than usual at the moment. I checked my credit card account online, but could find no problems. Payments up to date? Check! Enough room on the card for the transaction? Check! I told AAA I would have to call back.

When I called the credit card company, the customer service representative informed me that my account had been frozen, and transferred me to their security department. They asked if I had tried to purchase anything on Amazon that day. I had not. Apparently, the lock on my account had been triggered by an attempted transaction for $0.00. The security department rep told me that this often occurs as a precursor to fraudulent activity, with whomever obtained the card information initiating a small transaction (or starting a transaction that they do not complete) to see whether or not the card is usable. Accordingly, she recommended closing the card and issuing me a new one. I agreed.

This morning, I got e-mail from UPS informing me that I have a package coming tomorrow. From Amazon. When I clicked on the tracking number to see what it might be, up comes tracking information for that shipment originally set up on September 18th—i.e., the one that was supposed to arrive on 9/20 that did not, resulting in the new order and shipment that I did finally receive. The date of the departure scan? September 30th—the date of that mysterious transaction for $0.00 that resulted in the cancellation of my old credit card and the issuance of a new one. Grrr…

Bonus round?

(2 October 2016)

ART 53, day whatever

This Is Fifty-three, day whatever

The replacement order arrived just before 6: 30 this evening. Still a bit dark compared to the proof; otherwise, none of the problems affecting the initial five copies.

The saga sort of continues. I was supposed to be getting replacements from CreateSpace for the copies I reported problems with, but they got as far as registering the new package with UPS before the order disappeared into the ether. So, I sent follow-up e-mail to CreateSpace over the weekend.

On Monday (9/26), I got a reply saying that the replacement order appeared to be lost in transit, so a new order had been created, with the estimated delivery date being 9/28—i.e., today. Naturally, I have yet to receive anything. In fact, there has not even been a UPS shipment initiated, so I have no idea where things are.

I have sent CreateSpace another follow-up message to ask about the status of the latest order. If I am not able to get anything from them by, say, the end of next week (so that I can better determine whether the five copies I received were what I can expect the typical print quality to be, or just an anomaly), I may very well pull the book from CreateSpace altogether, and try setting it up with IngramSpark, who are currently offering a waiver of their usual setup fees through the end of October. This would affect only the full-color edition of the book.

Ah, the joys of self-publishing!

(28 September 2016)

I don’t get it (a poem)

Though I made a conscious decision several months ago to stop following the news (especially television news), obviously I still hear about things.

A few weeks ago, I resolved to write something about my utter confusion and disbelief when it comes to the many ways we as human beings mistreat…well…just about everything, especially where violence is involved. I’ve been finding that it’s not such an easy task—in fact, it’s all too easy to come off as pedantic, patronizing, and/or holier than thou. I’ve also found that there’s just so much that could be addressed that things could become very unwieldy very quickly. So, these are just a small few of the questions that sometimes go through my head…
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