austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Careers were dashed, people wept, and the consultants were hired

I haven't got anything even resembling a good reason for my not doing much shopping online. It's not like I haven't been online long enough and it's not as though I'm uncomfortable with it in any other side of my life, including banking. Heck, I haven't set foot in a physical branch of my main (United States) bank since 2003. But for whatever reason I tend to order things online only rarely and mostly when there's not any alternative, such as I can't find specific things ahead of a deadline such as Christmas or a birthday.

But I did recently make such a purchase: a collection of Rifftrax shorts. I haven't bought any Rifftrax soundtracks for movies (see above paragraph), but this offered the original Prelinger-archive-I-assume shorts with the riffing mixed in, so, good for me. Also it allowed me to get an Amazon order of the recent Mystery Science Theater 3000 box set above $50, so that shipping became free. It arrived in fine order and I even got around to watching it within a few weeks, which for my DVD backlog --- the only good time I get to watch DVDs is while exercising, and weekdays that's usually an hourlong session, and for stuff running over an hour it backs up --- is not doing badly.

The trouble is the disc was bad: skips and pauses and digital gibberish made all but one short unwatchable, and that one was still rickety. With not much idea whether I was still in the warranty I summoned my digital courage and went to Amazon's complains/returns/exchange department. I'm not sure what I expected, but they promised to send out a replacement disc right away, and gave me a UPS shipping label to send the original back. It also turns out there's a UPS Store in the strip mall nearby, the one with the Jersey Mike's and the ice cream shop.

I was slightly worried about the replacement: what if it wasn't just that particular disc but rather however Rifftrax's DVDs are printed which was the issue? Or at least an interaction between their DVD and my player, since some DVD players get really quite snooty about what they will and won't play. But the replacement had no problems whatsoever, playing perfectly and being good company to my step aerobics.

So my first experience with needing to return something bought online went well. I may try ordering stuff online again someday.

Trivia: The Sears Tower's steel frame weighs 33 pounds per square foot of floor. Source: Why Buildings Stand Up: The Strength Of Architecture, Mario Salvadori. (I'm not clear whether that's per square foot of the ground floor, or per the sum total of all floor space. I also know whoever owns the Sears Building thinks they can change the name, but, they should know better.)

Currently Reading: The Best Of Murray Leinster, Murray Leinster.

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