Archive | December 1, 2015

Amazon Sends Us 3 ‘Barbie Collector 2015 Holiday Dolls’ That We Did NOT Order!

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by Anura Guruge


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Click to ENLARGE. Three (3) “Barbie Collector 2015 Holiday Dolls” and two vials of concentrated ‘perfume’. In the box they arrived in.


barbiemistake

Amazon listing, from a few minutes ago, for the Barbie. Yes, there is a non-holiday one for $25. But we got the Holiday ones as you can see from the box. Search on “Barbie Collector 2015 Holiday Doll” on Amazon for listing. Click to ENLARGE.


I won’t deny it. We do a LOT of our shopping, online, on Amazon. We have Prime and as such there is no shipping. So it is more convenient than driving to Walmart in Rochester or Concord.

On average, year round, we probably get one Amazon shipment a week, but most of the time we get 2, 3, 4 or 5 deliveries a week! We are BEST of friends with our UPS driver. Now that it is Christmas, and given that I do 100% of all my Christmas shopping online (and I have a LOT of shopping to do), we had 5 LARGE boxes delivered by UPS (and two small ones by USPS). [[Oh. I do own Amazon shares. SMILE. So in away I don’t mind spending at Amazon. SMILE.]

I was EXPECTING 4 large boxes BUT not a 5th. Plus I check my Amazon orders, each ‘morning’ (around 1 am before I go to bed), to see what is being delivered that day. The 5th box was also badly taped. I opened it. You see the picture above.

Deanna was there. I was a bit taken back. I had NOT ordered these Barbies. Neither had Deanna. Yes, Deanna and the kids (who all know my Amazon password) put items in my shopping cart and I just order them. But I had NOT ordered these Barbies. We thought it might have been one of the kids — though they would have to have done it through one of our accounts AND this box was CLEARLY addressed to me. We also KNEW that it could NOT have been a present (say from Teischan’s brother) BECAUSE nobody would send 3 of the SAME Barbie (not even my son).

Then came the FEAR that we had been scammed. Ran upstairs and checked all the important credit cards and my Amazon order record again. NADA.

‘Called up’ (well they called me per the ‘Call Back’ feature) Amazon at the Call Center in Manila, Philippines. Got a young man who was quite good. THE ONLY identification on the box was the UPS Tracking Number. So that was all we could go by. I tracked it on UPS as did he.

We were on the phone for 40 minutes with two holds.

Amazon HAD NO RECORD, whatsoever, of this shipment!

It was eventually determined that an UPS Shipping Label created for one of my other boxes had been put on this box. OK.

But here is the crazy thing that even THEY couldn’t explain. The label was supposed to go on a box with an Ukulele for Devanee. I got the Ukulele — FINE — in one of the other 4 boxes.

Bottom line they TOLD ME to KEEP IT! Give it to charity. We had already figured out that that would be what happen. Deanna had Googled. Had happened to others and in EACH CASE Amazon had told them to keep the shipment. Not sure I like that as an Amazon shareholder. Whoever was expecting the dolls will get ANOTHER SHIPMENT — just late.

Well as the saying CLEARLY states: “Charity Begins At Home”. So we gave one Barbie to Teischan. She wasn’t that excited. She is into ‘expensive’ American Girl Doll dolls.

The other two DEFINITELY will go to good homes. I am happy.


Advent 2015 Is Upon Us. Rejoice!

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by Anura Guruge


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As a Reformed, Born-Again, Heathen I LOVE Christmas and always have. I love everything about Christmas — and I have even been known to go to church on Christmas eve because I love the music and pageantry.

My surrogate father [who I called ‘Ta’ (the first two letters of ‘Tatta’, the Sinhalese (and Yiddish) word for father), and after who I take after the most in terms of personality] was a mainly-white, Burgher Baptist. I used to spend all my weekends and holidays with them — he and his wife (my adoptive mother’s older sister). They had no children and he was a lawyer (the solicitor for the Ceylon Ministry of Food) and she the Deputy Principal of Ceylon’s largest and most prestigious school. I MADE OUT LIKE A BANDIT. I was to learn that Ta shopped right through the year to make sure he got enough presents for me at Christmas! Very early on WE dispensed with Christmas stockings. They were too small. He instituted the notion of Christmas PILLOWCASES — and soon we had to have two. He also did an elaborate Christmas dinner, with all the works, for the entire family — most of whom were Buddhists — on Christmas Day. So I was inculcated into the joys of Christmas since a baby.

Anywho …

kreuter29

Similar to what I had. Mine had more blue.

I am also very partial to Advent calendars — ever since I encountered them. For whatever reason we did not have them in Ceylon. To be honest I only encountered Advent calendars quite ‘late’ in my life. In my early 20s. Over the years I used to collect fancy Advent calendars. I used to have a really nice, royal blue and gold, 3D Cathedral one. You opened a portal each day. I think we have bits of it still. But since it was made of stiff paper it eventually started to fall apart.

Of late I don’t bother with a calendar for myself. More fun to let the kids enjoy. Yes, I get them — and Deanna — chocolate ones. I buy a LOT of them each year because I LOVE to give them to people. That reminds me. I will have to go to Hannaford and buy 20 – 25 today! Well, the kids end up getting two each. And one for Deanna. So that is 5 straight off the bat. And at Christmas I love to play the tanned St. Nicholas …

A couple of years ago I discovered the LEGO Advent Calendars. Now I get one each year for Teischan. See above.

Given my interest in religion (in particular early Christianity) I do appreciate that what WE mainly celebrate as Advent is the COMMERCIAL Advent as opposed to the Liturgical Advent. And ironically Advent isn’t a countdown to Christmas BUT to the Second Coming of Christ — and there is  BIG difference. Liturgically the Advent does not start on Dec. 1 (unless it happens to fall on a Sunday). Never mind. This year we are close.

Rejoice. Enjoy. Be Merry. The Advent is upon us. 


‘6 images for the day’ — December 1, 2015.

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by Anura Guruge


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Taken with my (second) Sony RX100 II.


Refer to this post for image resolution details.
NO post-processing whatsoever.
Straight JPEGs out of the camera.

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.







Enjoy. Thank YOU.


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