In which I level up

Well, at least I can’t claim that I didn’t get anything accomplished over my Winter Break. You may possibly recall– I’d forgive you if you didn’t, but you might– that I took a three-hour test in September to gain Level One Google Certified Educator status, which signifies that I understand The Googles, The Internets, and The Tubes. Well, as of this morning, I have taken another three-hour test, and now I am Level 2 certified, which signifies that I understand … well, The Googles, The Internets, and The Tubes. I’m really not sure what the hell the difference is between Level 1 and Level 2 certification other than that 2 is a bigger number than 1 and the Level 2 test cost more money to take. As far as I can tell the test was exactly the same kinds of questions and I don’t feel like I needed any deeper understanding of anything to pass this one than I did the first one.

The punchline: they “give” you, as in they actually email it to you, that .png file up there so that you can put it in your email signature file to show off your new fancy-schmancy Level 2 certification. They did the same thing at Level 1, and I dutifully dumped it into my (otherwise quite minimal) .sig file for my work email.

I just spent half a Goddamned hour trying to add the Level 2 image next to the Level 1 one, and I can’t get it to work. I can get a little box with a question mark in it to show up, and that’s it– nothing I can do can get this image to show up in my signature file despite the fact that I have done this before with the first image. And, for that matter, I don’t remember any trouble doing it the first time. I can only assume that something is actually wrong with the functionality right now, because I’m not doing this wrong. It’s just not working. I just love that I want to show off my literal certification in Knowing How to Gmail and I can’t figure out how to do it.

EDIT: After typing this, I tried the exact same thing I’d been doing, and when I did it this time the interface that popped up when I clicked the “Add Image” button was completely different, featuring two tabs that weren’t there before. And despite that, it still didn’t work. Then I tried to do the exact same thing I’d been doing all along, only in Chrome instead of Safari, and it worked fine. So I’m not taking the blame for this, Goddammit.

In which I am old, incompetent, aggravated, and also blind

Today was stupid.

I couldn’t sleep for crap last night, so when I finally dragged myself out of bed it was less because I was done sleeping and more because I was done trying. That’s kind of a basic body function; you’d think I would be okay at it by now. I spent the next four hours getting myself set up to take my Google Level 2 Certification test tomorrow and writing twenty-nine blog posts that will pop one per day over the next twenty-nine days. Only once during that process did I accidentally set the post to display immediately, so some of y’all got a little sneak peek of what day 28 is gonna be.

I then decided to shave and did something I’ve never managed to do before: I cut my upper lip while trimming my mustache with my electric razor. I have had facial hair since starting college at 18; I am now 42 and some change and I was today years old when I made my freaking lips bleed while shaving for the first time. Protip: don’t do this! It hurts quite a lot more than you think it’s going to!

It is now supposedly about six hours later. The clock tells me it’s just barely after 8 PM but I’m pretty convinced it has to be at least twenty-seven o’clock; it has been rainy and gross outside all day and our internet inexplicably shit the bed again about two hours ago and reporting the outage was much more complicated than it should have been– Comcast appears to have “improved” their website again, and I spent far more time than I should have just staring at the goddamn computer screen (tethered through my phone, using mobile data, which is how I’m posting right now as well) trying to figure out how the hell I was supposed to report the outage. This is either a sign that Comcast’s website has genuinely crappy UI or that I’m slowly becoming completely stupid; I’d blame Comcast but not being able to figure simple shit out is becoming a fuckin’ theme with me lately and it’s starting to become a little worrying.

Also, I’ve spent all day staring at screens or text and my eyes are blurry as fuck and the cat is getting spayed tomorrow and there’s gonna be a Comcast technician out between 10 and noon as well, and hopefully they’ll get the internet fixed because I kinda wanted to take this certification test in the morning and it’s three hours long so the earlier I can get started the better. There’s crap going on tomorrow, is what I’m saying, and I don’t have time to be non-internetted and blind.

So. Yeah. If you were wondering how long I’d continue to feel the Christmas spirit, it’s good and gone by now. So less than 48 hours.

Blech.

I’m just gonna rebrand the blog now

INFINITEFREETIME NO LONGER.  This blog is now called InfinitecomplaintsaboutAmazon.

Nah, not really.  But in the midst of all this nonsense about the goddamn books we ordered some boots and shoes for the boy, because apparently November is just too ridiculously late to do something crazy like walk into a store and buy boots.

(I feel less sorry for brick and mortar retail every time some shit like this happens.  It’s November.  We haven’t had real snow yet.  Leave some fucking boots on the shelves, you jackasses.)

Right, I forgot to complain about Amazon.  So, we couldn’t find boots at the shoe store nearest to our house, or the Target nearest to that shoe store, so we ordered him a pair of boots and a pair of new shoes, because why not do both at the same time and OH HEY you missed out on that sale too.  The boots got here the other day; all good.

The shoes got here today.  Now, this was one of those “fulfilled by Amazon” things, so Amazon isn’t directly responsible for this, but I opened the box and there was still a fucking ink tag on one of the shoes.

Come the fuck on, guys.  I have a dentist appointment tomorrow, and my appointment is near an actual Dick’s, so I’m gonna just swing by there with all my receipts and everything and see if they will remove the tag for me.  Alternately, we’ll just cut the fucking laces off and buy new ones.  I don’t have the damn energy to deal with a return right now.  

(Wonders how effectively the internet can help with removing the tag.)

Anyway.  The image up there isn’t there for any reason other than that I’m listening to Shimmy Shimmy Ya right now.  I am officially on Thanksgiving vacation, meaning that I don’t even have to think about any children other than the one that lives in my house for the next several days.   Virtual hunting is about to get way more important to my lifestyle than it used to be.  It turns out we’re not leaving town like we thought we were, so we’re hosting Thanksgiving, but we’re gonna keep shit simple.  The other four days of the weekend?  Relaxation, motherfuckers.  

Y’all do the same.  

In which @amazonhelp continues to be stunningly incompetent

I know, typically three posts in a day is a bit on the excessive side.  But this is going to get worse tomorrow, and there will probably be another post about it tomorrow, so I need to get this one out of the way.

A moment to provide you with context, for those of you who aren’t obsessive readers:  I tried to order books, on October 27th, for an author event I had on November 11th.  It was initially a bit of a risk to get them here on time, so on Friday the 2nd I upgraded my shipping to two-day, which guaranteed them to arrive on the 7th, a Wednesday.  Then things began to go wrong: 

You may recall that I wrote the following, earlier today: 

Amazon update: I got a notification from them on Friday that they had shipped me … wait for it … one book out of the 28 or 29 that I ordered.  It is supposed to arrive today.  The cover will be on upside-down, inside-out, and no doubt on the wrong book altogether. 

Welp.  I got a buzz on my phone that my package had been delivered about an hour ago, and ran outside to collect it from the mailbox.  I showed the package to my wife.  “Wanna take any bets on whether this makes me happy?” I asked.

“No,” she said.

And I opened the package:

So.  This is the one mystery copy of Searching for Malumba that, for no clear reason, Amazon has sent by itself.  I am, remember, ordering these books at author cost (I charge about $15 for SfM, and the cost to me is just over $6) so that I can sell them to people at conventions.

This book is already borderline unsalable, just because of the cover.  If it were for me, I’d be kinda pissed, but I’d probably not do anything about it, because books are made of paper and shit happens.  This isn’t for me.  It’s for someone else.  So we are already sending this book back.  

(Brief sidenote: another one of the fun stupidities of the new editor?  If I try to write something in italics, it tends to erase spaces for no clear reason.)

So.  Yeah.  This is already going back.  But what the hell– let’s look through and see what else is wrong.  Because there’s no way that there’s just one thing wrong, right?  There’s gonna be a printing error or something in this motherfucker somewhere.  

And then I find out why Amazon sent me one copy by itself, before sending me the rest of my print-on-demand author copy books:

You motherfuckers.

I was wrong about one thing: there was apparently one copy of a Luther Siler book out there somewhere at a secondhand bookstore.  And, to be clear, I’m not mad at “Taelor,” whoever that is.  I vaguely remember being proud of myself that I remembered to ask how to spell his name.  I don’t remember what con or how long ago it was that I sold him this book.  Maybe he didn’t like the book, maybe he isn’t the type to hold onto books after he reads them, maybe he just moved or came up short on cash or whatever.  Taelor and I are cool.  He can do whatever he wants with my books after he buys them.

But, uh, Amazon?

I bought this book from you.  I sold it at a convention.  That person sold it to a second-hand bookstore.  I paid Amazon again, much later on, in a different transaction, for additional new copies of this book.  

And y’all thought it was okay to send me, not only a used book, not only a damaged used book, but one with my own motherfucking signature already in it?

I am an author and I literally don’t have the words for how fucking angry I am right now.   

I’m not gonna bother calling or emailing their fucking useless helpdesk motherfuckers just yet.  Because I supposedly have another box coming tomorrow, with the other goddamn 20-some-odd books, and there is absolutely no Goddamn way that I believe there’s even a single chance of them getting that order right.  The @ in the post title will ensure that someone sees this and lies to me some more.  But we are about to have a motherfucking reckoning about this shit, and when we do, I’d better be talking to a motherfucker who speaks English because they are in America and said motherfucker had better know what the fuck KDP is. 

Fucking assholes.

Because what I wanted from my Sunday was a massive explosion of negativity

…I just spent some time looking around in WordPress’ forums.  Guys, my goals for this software are simple:  I want it to:  1) allow me to write and have that writing appear on the Interwebs; and otherwise to 2) get the hell out of my way.

During the last post, one of the things that was frustrating me was that I seemed to be generating an awful lot more typos than usual– like, easily twice as many errors as I usually have when I’m writing, if not more than that.

A short amount of time investigating– be aware that I had time to take a shower since the last post, so this is a really short amount of time I’m talking about– has revealed that this “Gutenberg” thing, which is a text editor, is apparently so slow that it is possible to type too fast for it, which introduces lots of dropped spaces and missing letters.

The number I’m mostly seeing is 100 WPM or more.

I type about 120 WPM.

I type too fast for my text editor to render my letters properly, in 2018.

I’d say “unbelievable,” but I really need to purge that word from my vocabulary, because no level of incompetence or malice in any context whatsoever should be “unbelievable” any longer.  The world is just that stupid a place now.