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Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

a2z-h-smallJoin me during the month of April as I blog through the alphabet. My theme will be What’s In A Name. I will attempt to write up a short fictional character sketch beginning with a different letter of the alphabet each day. Remember that a place can also be a character.

Alexa

Just look at her! She thinks she knows it all but when I ask her even the simplest of questions, she doesn’t know the answers. Sure she knows how many ounces make a quart or how many cups in a gallon but does she know my next door neighbor’s name? That’s info I could really used! Does she even care that she is failing me when she can’t answer my questions?

That’what gets me. I’ll ask her a question and she’ll answer, “sorry, I don’t know that one, “but she doesn’t even sound sorry. It’s just a job to her. The other day, after four “I don’t knows” I got so mad that I pulled the plug. I stomped right over to the couch, pulled it away from the wall, reached for the plug and pulled it. That’ll teach her. Now she just sits there in that black cylinder, skulking because she can’t enlighten the world with her useless knowledge anymore!

Take that Alexa!

 

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I am an avid reader.  I also have failing eyesight.  I am legally blind without corrective lenses.  This keeps me from reading.  I would struggle to read (with my contacts on and two pair of reader glasses one over the other) for twenty or so minutes just to have to stop and rest my eyes for another half hour or so before trying to read again.  My son works for amazon.  When the Kindle ereader came out years ago, he suggested that I might want to get one.  They were near $300 at the time and I did not like the fact that I had to pay around $10 for most books I would want to read.  I was used to buying my books at used bookstores for only a dollar or two.  That’s how I could afford to read as much as I did.  The only time I spent full price on print books was when a new Grisham novel was released or the Harry Potter series.  Other books I would wait til I could find at a used bookstore.

For Christmas of 2009, there was nothing on my Christmas list.  The only thing I wanted was to spend one more year with all three of my children before everyone scattered even more.  That year, my older daughter and I were living in Oregon.  My son was in California and my youngest daughter was in Baltimore at college.  My older daughter was also pregnant.  My fear was that we wouldn’t get to be together for that Christmas and then the precedent would be set and we would not ever have a Christmas together again.  So that’s what was important to me…getting us all together.  I posted an ad on craigslist in the California city where I wanted to spend the holidays, asking if anyone had a house or small apartment that we could use for a family Christmas and I explained what our situation was and who would be staying there.  One woman replied almost immediately.  She said she had never done anything like that but that my ad caught  her attention and she and her husband would be out of their townhouse for the holidays.  We settled on a price and they sent a contract for me to sign and my son went to see the place before I signed the contract.  It all worked out and we had a place to spend the holiday together.  My wish had come true and I was happy.

On Christmas morning, I was given my gift.  Christmas is also my birthday so the gift was for both Christmas and birthday and it was from all three of the kids.  I opened it and it was a Kindle (It was actually Kindle 2 for those in the know).  I wasn’t sure I would keep it but I pretended to like it when my son showed me how to set it up and use it.  They had also included a gift card for $20 so I could buy my first couple of books.  He said I had 30  days to try it out and it could be retuned if I didn’t like it.  I went along with it and downloaded my first book (True Compass: A Memoir by Edward M. Kennedy).  When I got a chance to use it that night, I liked it.  I just wasn’t sure about having to spend so much on books.  The next day I got out my laptop and looked online and found many sources for free books for the Kindle.  So I started to download free books.

I fell in love with that Kindle!  Since then I have upgraded to the Kindle Keyboard (Kindle 3) and hope to buy myself the new Voyager in the next couple of months.  I read more now than I ever have and spend a lot less.  I have also joined several websites where I earn points that can be cashed in for amazon gift cards.  I use those gift cards exclusively for my Kindle books.  Some months I get only $5 in gift cards but I have also gotten as much as $35 in free amazon gift cards in one month.  That buys me a l ot of Kindle books for, basically “free”.  It just cost me some time and a little bit of effort filling out surveys and writing reviews.

Since then, my vision has worsened so much that I can no longer read print books at all so if it were not for Kindle, I would be a very unhappy and very frustrated reader.

That was probably the most surprising gift I have ever received!

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My less than two year old top of the line android has been on the blink for some time.  It shuts itself off.  The ringer works when it chooses to.  Text messages sometimes take two or three DAYS to come through.  Phone calls sometimes don’t go through yet there is a voice mail message from that missed call (which doesn’t show up in my call log at all).  I do not want to pay $600 for a new phone.  I don’t really want to sign another two year contract either (not to mention that I’m not eligible for the upgrade til May).  Then I found the phone I want, brand new, from Amazon…and unlocked!  Only $100.  So I ordered it and figured it would take care of all the problems.

However, there is one thing I really dislike doing…setting up a new phone.  I read on the amazon site how to do it but the app I needed would not load on to my Galaxy so I couldn’t do it.  Then AT&T said take it in to get the new nano SIM card and they would back everything up from the old card to the new one.  So I did that, even though I don’t go to malls and AT&T just moved into the mall, closing the location I used to use.  And today is the two year anniversary of a shooting at that same mall and I didn’t want to go but I did.  So the guy I got after waiting for 25 minutes gave me the new SIM card but did not back up my old data onto the new one, saying he “wasn’t an expert” at that.  What a jerk!!!

So now I have the next four or five hours ahead of me booked for merging contacts and all that stuff.  Then I have to download my apps.  And learn a new phone.  Then maybe I can test it to see if I like it.  I have 30 days to decide.

And you better believe I am going to let AT&T know what poor service I got tonight!

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