Wednesday, December 31, 2008

For Auld Lang Syne

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A follow-up to my Holiday High Jinks with Borders:
I have been in the local Borders Store TWICE since then and on BOTH trips, the Sony 700 was NOT FUNCTIONING... DEAD TO THE WORLD... A BIG FLAT PAPERWEIGHT. However, I did not contact Billy because either A)- He lied to me or B)- the 700 is so much more fragile than the 505 that sits next to it (and always seems to be working) that I am now re-thinking whether it's worth considering. So Borders Customer Care- E for Effort; Sony Reader and my local Borders- F for FAIL.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

PhotobucketBelated Happy Birthdays to Sam Kane, Sam's Big Brother, ME, Michael Nesmith and Davy Jones, Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer, Tiger Woods and LeBron James, and any other December 30th babies I missed!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Madame Butterfly has a mystery for us all to solve. Stay Tuned for details on joining the meme. What a great way to start off the New Year! HINT: It involves this bit of nomnomnom at right. Click to enlarge... if you dare. Seriously, this guy is dangerously beautiful.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Santa Ponders
Santa Ponders by ~BreakTheDay at

I've grocery shopped, wrapped, baked, cooked, wrapped more, cooked more, stuffed and hung the stockings, and now I am completely, absolutely, utterly exhausted. Hopefully, I'll have time to make some Christmas blog visits tomorrow night after the family is gone. VERY small gathering this year. No out-of-towners and only part of the locals.

I miss the nights when Santa would set their stuffed stockings in front of their bedroom doors while they were sleeping so that Mom and Dad could catch a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning. I do NOT miss the nights when presents couldn't appear until the troops were well and truly sound asleep. Although, sometimes Santa showed up before Mom and Dad were asleep when he had gifts that couldn't be assembled until they were at our house. I do NOT miss assembly at 3 in the morning.

I miss the magic and awe in their faces Christmas morning. I look at them now and can tell that they are missing it, too. Do any of us EVER get over missing that magic?

Although we did have a bit of a Christmas Miracle at our house today, and I've got pics to prove it! All four of my demon spawn angelic progeny were laughing and working together to decorate gingerbread men and women.

May Peace, Joy, and Love enter hearts around the world tonight and every night.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Prezzies from The Evil One (updated)


It's an early Christmas over on Madelynne Ellis' (aka The Evil One's) blog where she's been posting snippets from her WIPs and upcoming publications.

Fortuna (upcoming Black Lace release connected to the Georgian era AGW; we met Fortuna in Phantasmagoria)

The Dreaded Contemporary (that's what she's been calling it as she's worked on it)

Pure Folly (this will be a Total-E-Bound release)

Maybe if we are very, very good, she'll post more because I can't imagine The Evil One would pass up a chance to tease us some more.

ADDED: We must have been VERY good because she's posted more WIPs:

Sheer Desperation


For more about Madelynne's historicals, see my offsite reviews:

A Gentleman's Wager


A Q&A with Madelynne Ellis

For her non-historicals, which I haven't reviewed yet, visit Madame Butterfly's blog:

Dark Designs

Passion of Isis

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sarah ROCKS!

OH GREAT GOOGLY-MOOGLY! Sarah's got an interview posted with FARHAD Z!

Beware of the Doghouse

My daughter just sent me the link for this video (can't embed, but it's worth a click). I don't have a clue how/where JC Penney is deploying this marketing campaign, but it sure is funny.

Beware of the Doghouse - the mini-movie.

Beware of the Doghouse - the interactive website.

Holiday High Jinks: Part IV, (updated)

see more puppies

ME to Audible, 12/04/2008 03:40 PM:
Last month there was a promotion to receive a $10 credit with the purchase of 4 audio books. So I went ahead and bought some audio books that I would have eventually bought one at a time, but certainly didn't need just yet.

However, I am not seeing the $10 credit on my account. Please advise.

AUDIBLE to me, 12/04/2008 4:25 PM:
Thank you for contacting Audible.

I see that you're inquiring of the $10 coupon that's to be issued because of the Listener Rewards promotion we started on 10/28/08. As outlined in the emails we sent out, the promotion ran from the end of October and ended on 11/27/08. I certainly see that these purchases were made within the above dates. Also, all eligible purchases must have a regular price of $14.95 or higher. In looking at your account, that only one out of the four titles had a regular price of at least $14.95. It's for this reason the $10 coupon has not been added to your account.

If you did not see the promotion details we outlined on our site at the time offer, I do apologize.

Here at Audible, we truly value and appreciate your business; if you need further assistance, please respond to this email or if you wish, please provide me with a contact number and the best available time to reach you.

For additional questions, how to contact us and hours of operation, please visit us at:

Edwin S.
Audible Customer Support

ME to Audible, 12/04/2008 6:25 PM:
I DID see the promotional details that were included in the email sent to me, "*Eligible audio programs must have a regular price of $14.95 or higher. Offer ends Thursday, November 27, 2008 at 11:59 pm EST. Customers who purchase four eligible audio programs during the promotional period will have a $10 Audible coupon dropped into their account no later than Monday, December 8, 2008"

Now, upon re-reading that, I see that I may have expected the $10 coupon too early since the promo states I would receive it no later than Dec. 8, but I am NOT misunderstanding what the conditions were for the promo. In fact you repeated those same conditions, "all eligible purchases must have a regular price of $14.95 or higher". Please note the use of the term "REGULAR PRICE" and NOT "Member Price". When I visit, those are two distictively different figures.

My purchases during the promotional time period were as follows:
Undead and Unworthy - REGULAR PRICE: $25.07;
Club Dead - REGULAR PRICE: $31.47;
Living Dead in Dallas - REGULAR PRICE: $29.37
Living with the Dead - REGULAR PRICE: $20.97

Therefore, based on the above information, I DID meet the requirements of the promotion and purchased those audio books in good faith based on the stated promotion requirements. If you are unable to add the $10 coupon to my account, please pass this incident report onto a supervisor who CAN add it.

AUDIBLE to me, 12/05/2008 10:41 AM:
So Intelligent- NOTThank you for the reply and I am very sorry for not further clarifying the purchase. The books purchased during this period was purchased during our Semi-Annual Half Price Sale. These qualifying books' regular price was, therefore, modified to reflect the sale. Please consider the following list of titles purchased on 11/11/08:

1).Undead and Unworthy
Regular Price: $25.87
Regular Price on 11/11: $12.93

2). Club Dead
Regular Price Now: $31.47
Regular Price on 11/11: $15.73

3). Living Dead in Dallas
Regular Price Now: $29.37
Regular Price on 11/11: $14.68

Edwin Slippy, the Christmas WeaselBy the time you purchased your forth book,"Living with the Dead: Women of the Otherworld, Book 9", the Semi-Annual Sale was over and the regular price for this book was and is $20.97. As you can see, this was just as I outlined in my previous email: only one of the four purchases was eligible in the Listener Rewards promotion.

For additional questions, how to contact us and hours of operation, please visit us at:

Edwin S.
Audible Customer Support

Disbelief..........Head Desk..........Asshole

ME to Audible, 12/5/2008 11:42 AM:
Nice try. But again I tell you that the promo stated REGULAR price, NOT half price sale price. I made my purchases based on the promotion's statement of conditions and it is reasonable to expect Audible to comply with those conditions. To any reasonable person, it is beginning to appear that Audible engaged in a deceptive sales tactic. I want all communication in this incident forwarded to Audible management.

Naughty SantaI never heard back from that ol' Christmas Weasel, Edwin Slippy (as I've affectionately named him; note his artist's depiction at right and above right), but I checked my Audible account the next day and there was a $10 credit sitting there. Then, a couple of days later, I received the following:

AUDIBLE to me, 12/08/2008 12:03 PM:
Congratulations! You've received a $10 Listening Reward. This coupon is good for any audio program in the store.

We've already dropped this gift of savings in your Audible account so you can spend it right away. Remember, this $10 coupon expires on December 31, 2008, at 11:59PM (ET).

So I bought Stephanie Laurens' Four In Hand for $2.56 after the credit. It's actually a sweet, not spicy, Regency from 1999. But I needed something to break up all the Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance I've been listening to lately and, after sampling this one, I liked the sound of the narrator, Ashford MacNab's (a woman!), voice. Besides, with all the smexiness behind closed doors, that means I won't get a bad case of the 12-year-old-girl-giggles.

In conclusion, Audible Customer Service... UR doin' it WRONG. Regular price means regular half-price SALE price? REALLY? That's the best you've got?! Might I suggest you recruit your people from Health Insurance Claims Departments? Now THOSE people are masters in weaselocity!

funny pictures of cats with captions
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So, will there be a Holiday High Jinks: Part V? Gawd, I HOPE not!

I've spared you from the details of the Victoria's Secret shell game. They only allow three promo codes per order yet there are multiple codes in play AND I was shopping for both my daughters and myself. So, I've completely lost track of the number of orders I had to generate to take advantage of every combination of promo code and items to gain the maximum freebies at the minimum prices. GAK, maybe I should tackle the Big Three Auto Bailout next! Oh man, I won't even start with my opinions on THAT mess!

(Oh, btw, you may have noticed that I redecorated again. I have to admit that this Christmas color scheme is more my style.)

ADDED: WOOT! I just went back to to check on the price of the laptop I bought my oldest daughter (her old one is dying of old age) and not only is it $50 bucks LESS now, but there's a promo for a FREE designer(ish) laptop bag. So I called OfficeMax Customer Service and, while it was no problem to refund the $50 dollars, they couldn't send the laptop case without another purchase. So, I ordered another laptop WITH case and I'll just return the original one to the store for full credit since it's unopened. WOOT! We LOVE the discounts and freebies!

AUDIBLE to me, Today 12/15/2008 10:10 AM:
Thank you again for the reply. As requested, I've escalated this discussion to a supervisor. As a reminder, the Listener Rewards program you attempted to take advantage of was to issue a $10 coupon on or around December 23th for the purchase of four books at $14.95 or more. While at the time of the purchase, all of the books were not eligible, the regular prices for those books are clearly $14.95 or higher.

Taking this into consideration, coupled with the loyalty and patience you've already shown by using Audible, the $10 coupon has been issued to your account. Per the terms and conditions of the promotion, however, it will be dropped in your account on December 23, 2008 and will expire December 31, 2008

Once again, I do apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience in this regard.

For additional questions, how to contact us and hours of operation, please visit us at:

Edwin S.
Audible Customer Support

OMGWTFBBQ- these people do NOT have it together AT ALL! So does that mean that on December 23rd I'll get ANOTHER $10 credit? Or does it mean that one hand has no idea what the other hand is doing over there at and ol' Edwin doesn't know I already received the credit? And maybe Edwin is a bit confused and is referring to Dec. 23rd but really means Dec. 8? Guess I'll find out on the 23rd.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday High Jinks: Part III, Shopping as Sport

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The Mission:
Obtain a D-Link Dual Band Extreme N Gaming Router, DGL-4500, and at least one Extreme N wireless USB adapter, at the best price possible to replace our ancient modem/router that Time Warner supplied us with YEARS ago.

Round 1: Venue= Circuit City; Game Day= Thanksgiving 2008

The Deal: Buy a D-Link Wireless N router, get one of 3 models of USB wireless adapters free (savings over entire deal would add up to a free router)

Execution of the Play: DGL-4500 regularly $199.99; sale price= $179.99; savings= $20
Dual Band Wireless N USB adapter DWA-160= $69.99; but out of stock
Wireless N USB adapter (not dual band) DWA-130= $59.99

The Challenge: Rebate link is not working so no way to know what the conditions of the rebate are.

The Strategy: Assume that rebate requires purchase of router and adapter on same order to get the rebate for the free adapter; So, I want the DWA-160, but will settle for the DWA-130. Place order. Further luck out and score both Guitar Hero II and Guitar Hero Arrowsmith WITH GUITARS for $59.99 each. AND scored an extra guitar (regularly $49.99) for $9.99. Receive email confirmation that also includes a 10% coupon code.

Round 2: Date= Black Friday
Dual Band DWA-160 adapter miraculously back in stock at Circuit City. Use coupon from previous order to get 10% off the adapter AND an extra wireless control and rechargeable batteries for the Xbox 360 I bought from Target (see Holiday High Jinks: Part I).

The Personal Foul: Rebate link is now working. It seems the REAL reason that Circuit City is closing is because no one there is smart enough to perform simple math equations.

Here's the ACTUAL deal I got instead of the FREE wireless adapter:

DWA-130 Adapter= $59.99
Router Savings= less $20.00
Rebate= less $30.00; Yes, that's right, the rebate for a free adapter with regular prices ranging from $59.99 to 69.99 WAS ONLY $30!!! WTF?!

So, my "FREE" adapter ends up costing $10.00 plus tax. And that's assuming I still want to take a chance and send a rebate form into a company that may go out of existence before I can get the rebate.

Bored catStill with me?

Now, I KNOW you're expecting to see my email correspondence with Circuit City Customer Service right about now, but that's NOT what happened.

Round 3 (this past week): Circuit City puts the DWA-130 adapter on sale for $39.99, so savings over what I originally paid at Circuit City= $20.

Now we bring a new player into play- Amazon. They've got the DGL-4500 router on sale for $159.99, $20 less than the Circuit City sale price and $40 less than the regular price. AND they've got the Range Booster DWA-140 wireless N adapter that Circuit City doesn't even carry.

Offense now on da field: So, I order the router from Amazon and decide to order the long range adapter too for $59.99. While I'm at it, I check their prices for Xbox 360 accessories. The wireless controller I bought at Circuit City ($49.99 less 10% off coupon) is on sale at Amazon for $36.99. So I ordered one of those too. In fact they also have the Xbox 360 wireless adapter, which sells for $99.99 everywhere, on sale for $82! So I scored one of those too.

Defensive Play: Returned original router and Xbox 360 wireless to Circuit City. I brought the original wireless adapter with me just in case, but they DID price match it and refunded me the $20 bucks.

Bonus Round:

ME, via Amazon Customer Service Form (Thursday, Dec. 11)
D-Link DGL-4500 Xtreme N Dualband Draft 802.11n Gaming Router
Comments:As you can see, I placed this order Monday and received it on Tuesday. However, the item already has a $10 instant rebate available. Since I just purchased this item, how can I receive this rebate/credit?

Seriously, I didn't have much hope with this one because Amazon discontinued their price protection policy a few months ago.

Amazon Customer Service, via email:
Thank you for writing to us at regarding the price change.

I've requested a refund of $10 to the payment method you used for your original purchase. This refund should go through within 2 to 3 business days. You should see it as a credit on your next statement.

You can also view completed refunds by clicking the "Your Account" link on the top right-hand side of the homepage and clicking "View Recent and Open Orders" in the Orders section. Completed refunds will appear at the bottom of an individual order's summary page.

If you still have further questions please contact us:

I hope this solution is satisfactory. Thank you for shopping at

Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

If yes, click here:

[customer service, we're doing it link]
If not, click here:
[customer service, we're NOT doing it link

The Final Score:
DGL-4500 Router regularly $199.99, then $179.99, then $159.99, finally $149.99. Total savings= $50.
DWA-130 wireless adapter regularly $59.99, finally $39.99. Total Savings= $20.
DWA-160 dual band wireless adapter regularly $69.99, finally $62.99. Total Savings= $7.
So, total savings so far= $50 + $20 + $7= $77.
DWA-140 Range Booster wireless adapter list price $104.54, finally $54.92. So see? I DID finally end up getting an adapter free!

Uh-oh, just checked and the DWA-140 Rangebooster adapter now has an instant rebate that brings the price down to $39.64. Dare I try Amazon Customer Service again? Yes I dare.

ME, via Amazon Customer Service contact form (Saturday, Dec 13)
D-Link DWA-140 RangeBooster Draft 802.11n N Wireless USB Adapter
Comments:I placed this order Monday and received it on Tuesday. I paid $54.92 for this adapter but it already has an instant rebate available that brings the price down to $39.64. Since it's only been a few days since I placed my order, how can I receive this rebate/credit without placing a new order and returning the first adapter?
Thank you.

Amazon Customer Service, via email TWO AND A HALF MINUTES LATER (no lie):
Hello from

Thanks for writing to us about the recent price change on "D-Link DWA-140 RangeBooster Draft 802.11n N Wireless USB Adapter". I understand you bought this item from us just recently at a different price. Unfortunately, we cannot extend a refund to you for the difference between the original price and the lower price you saw posted on our website.

While we don't always beat the best available price on every product, we do offer deep discounts on many thousands of items. From time to time, prices on some items will change due to special offers from suppliers and manufacturers or our inventory and sales volumes. When we can offer a lower price for new purchases we will, but we cannot extend these discounts to completed orders.

I understand you may have taken advantage of a 30-day price guarantee policy in the past. However, that policy was discontinued on September 01, 2008.

We recognize that you have a choice of retailers and are pleased that you would prefer to order from us.

I apologize for any disappointment that this may have cause.

We here at Amazon customer service continuously strive to assist the customers in each and every way can and feel disappointed when we are unable to address customer's concerns. I hope you can understand our limitations in this regard.

In the meantime, you may wish to visit other areas of our web site for great deals everyday.

We offer you consistently low prices on our entire selection of books, CDs, videos, DVDs, toys, electronics, and much more. In fact, you'll save up to 40% on hundreds of thousands of items.

In addition, we offer deep discounts on items from all of our product lines every day in our Outlet store:

[blah blah blah links to watch for upcoming sales blah blah blah]

I encourage you to check back on our web site in the next few weeks. Any special offers will be advertised throughout our web site.

Please be assured that we value all of our customers highly, and we appreciate your loyalty. We appreciate your business, and we hope you will be able to take advantage of our discounts in the future.

I know you are concerned about the price you paid, and certainly understand if you choose to return the item and purchase it at a lower price. I've checked your order and confirmed that you bought this item less than 30 days ago and may return it by visiting our Online Returns Center at

[blah blah blah how to return an item blah blah blah]

Best regards,

Vijay Karthick Siva Subramaniyam
[I shit you not, that is the name] -- Earth's Most Customer Centric Company

AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! Taken out in the final play!

So, Amazon Customer Service... UR doin' it half right... or would that be half wrong... or would that be half assed.

Ah well, ya can't win 'em all, now I just have to decide if re-ordering and returning is worth it. However, I WILL be nailing Circuit City for a $34.00 refund because they just put some of the Guitar Hero accessories I bought on sale for even less than their previous sale prices. WOOT!

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Stay tuned for the laugh-out-loud antics of those oh-so-funnah Audible Customer Service employees.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday High Jinks: Part II, Borders

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ME, via Borders' Customer Care online contact form:
I have been highly anticipating the addition of the newest Sony eReader (the 700) to the Sony display in my local Borders so I could "play" with it. I am 98% certain that I want this device but needed the hands-on demonstration to make my final decision.

I don't give a FFUnfortunately, while the older model (the 505) was working, the Sony 700 was NOT working. When I asked for help, I was told that the Sony devices were not connected to a charger and the 700 had a dead battery. The employee explained that someone "comes in every now and then and switches them out for newly charged devices." When I asked when that would next be done, the employee informed me that the person "had just been in a couple of days ago and wouldn't be back for quite a while."

So, in conclusion... a very high priced lost sale for Borders AND for Sony. Why aren't those devices connected to chargers?

By the way, it's rather difficult to type in this comment box with the "select store" drop down boxes lying on top of the typed t[ext]

Borders' Customer Care, via email:
Thank you for contacting Borders Customer Care and making us aware of your concern.

I would like to apologize for your experience at your local store. I will be glad to forward your comments to the General Manager for the store and the District Manager for the area. It is our practice to pass on any feedback regarding customer experiences in our stores, such as the feedback you provided, to the GM and the DM. It is our belief that they are best equipped to address feedback from customers regarding experiences in their store. I am sure they will be grateful to receive your feedback so that they can rectify the situation. Please reply to this message with the city and state or address of the store location and we will take care of this for you.

Again, thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention. If there is anything else we can do for you, please let us know.


Borders Customer Care

Me, via email reply:
Thank you for your response Kaleena.

The incident occurred at the Borders store at [my nearby Borders]

It seems my email should also be forwarded to your web design team since I DID select the state and store when I filled out the contact form. If you look at the last sentence of my email (which I now see was partially truncated), those were the drop down boxes I referred to that were overlayed/floating on TOP of the comment box on the form. As I typed in the text, it disappeared underneath the state and store drop down selection boxes (although I could scroll to read between the boxes). Your web design team will want to know that I am using Windows XP Pro and IE7.

Borders' Customer Care, via email:
Thank you for contacting Borders Customer Care back with your information.

We want to thank you for taking the time to give us detailed feedback regarding our website. We value and rely on feedback so that we can evaluate our programs and services and make changes to best meet our customers' needs.

Please note that I am forwarding your comments to the General Manager for the store and the District Manager for the area regarding the issue with the Sony eReader. As well, I will forward your feedback to the our e-commerce and marketing team members regarding the issues you encountered on our website.

Again, thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention. If there is anything else we can do for you, please let us know.


Borders Customer Care

ShockedBorders, via phone... that's right, I said BY PHONE!!!
Christmas Eye CandyThe local head honcho, Billy (see artist's rendition of Billy at left ;-p), called and said my emails had been forwarded to him. He apologized for the incident and told me that the battery wasn't dead on the Sony 700, but the unit had been broken and, based on my email date, a new one was in place within a couple of hours of my first email to Borders. He then invited me to come back and test the Sony out and when I did, he told me to ask for him because he wanted to buy me a beverage at the cafe.

Now I see why Borders has renamed Customer Service to Customer Care.

Borders' Customer Care... UR doin' it RIGHT, akshully.

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Still to come: Winter Sports: the Price-Matching Finals; and then a jaw-dropping tale that combines stupidity, arrogance, and amateur grade weasellyness. (IS a word!)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday High Jinks: Part I,

see more puppies

Me, via contact form:
re: Pro System Value Bundle for Xbox 360 Video Game on above order.

Order confirmation Thursday, 11/27/2008 at 6:29 AM; Item ship notification Friday, 11/28/2008 at 2:55PM; Item received Wednesday 12/03/2008 at 3:45 PM.

Target newspaper ad of 11/27/2008 states "Closed Thanksgiving Day- Shop on Thanksgiving Day!" [note this was a 28 page ad]; Xbox Pro Bundle in ad states "Free $60 Target Giftcard with purchase". After carefully re-reading the ad, I am confident that the ad does NOT state that this is an in-store deal only.

I could purchase this Xbox system from other stores at the same price. I chose Target because of the $60 giftcard offer and was expecting it to be included in the shipment I received yesterday. It wasn't.

I would like to receive the $60 giftcard. Please advise.

Target Customer Service, via email:
Unfortunately, the promotion for the "Xbox Pro Bundle in ad states "Free $60 Target Gift card with purchase" Is just an "IN STORE" promotion. If you get on the and view the weekly ad, it tells whether the item is available in store or online. Thanks for getting in touch with us.

How Did We Do?
Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

If yes, click here:
[customer service, we're doing it link]
If not, click here:
[customer service, we're NOT doing it link

Me, via contact form accessed through NOT link:
I want it allThe answer I was given was not reasonable or logical.

Why should I be required to view the weekly ads on when I have the ad from the newspaper in my hand? The fact that Target either changed the deal or failed to specify in-store only in the print ad should not effect the fact that I made a purchase based on information provided by Target in a public newspaper. To place the burden on the customer by expecting me to consult an additional source that contradicted the original source can by no means be construed as a reasonable, good faith business practice.

No, it was Target's omission and I firmly believe that, based on the newspaper ad, I should be given the ad deal which included a $60 Target gift card.

In addition, does Target not have any price protection policies in place that would apply in this situation?

Target Customer Service, via email:
Thank you for contacting us at

First, I would like to apologize for the misunderstanding that this promotional offer has caused. The giftcard offers that appear in the Target circular are valid only for in store purchases. They are not valid for purchases made online.On the reverse of the flyer, you will see the pertinent restrictions listed in the lower right hand corner.Attempting to give a damn

If you wish to return the item for a refund, you can either visit our online returns center, or return the item to a local Target store. Most items can also be returned to a Target store, but we wouldn't be able to refund your shipping. If you do return an item to a store, you may be asked for a photo ID.

I hope that this information is helpful. Thank you for shopping at

How Did We Do?
Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

If yes, click here:
[customer service, we're doing it link]
If not, click here:
[customer service, we're NOT doing it link

Me, via contact form accessed through NOT link:
Let's see if I understand the previous answers I've received. To summarize: when I read a multi-page Target newspaper ad tab, I should not ever assume that it contains the actual deals that Target offers. I must first view the ad online AND even though the front page of the ad invites me to shop at, I should turn to the LAST page and search for any fine print that tells me that I can't actually receive the advertised deals.

Does that about sum Target's policy up?

So, Target ads toe right up to the line of misleading and/or deceptive business practices without stepping over? Am I correct in my understanding?

Target Customer Service, via email:
I'm sorry for any confusion, but this promotion is only available in Target stores.

However understanding your concern as an exception I've requested a refund for $60.00, which should post to your credit card account within 7 to 10 business days. We'll also send you a confirmation e-mail when we finish processing your refund.

If you ever want to check on the status of your returns or refunds, you can do it right on

We're always looking at ways to make even better and your comments are a big help to us. I'll make sure to share them with the right team.

Thanks for shopping with us. I hope we can be of more help to you in the future.

How Did We Do?
Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

If yes, click here:
[customer service, we're doing it link]
If not, click here:
[customer service, we're NOT doing it link

I clicked YES!

But wait... they weren't quite done fucking with me yet.

Target, via email:
Thank you for your recent order from

We're writing to confirm that we have processed your
refund for USD 10.00 for the above-referenced order.

We hope this is a satisfactory resolution for you.

Thanks for shopping with us. We hope you'll visit us again soon.


But then...

Target, via email:
Thank you for your recent order from

We're writing to confirm that we have processed your refund for USD 50.00 for the above-referenced order.

We hope this is a satisfactory resolution for you.

Thanks for shopping with us. We hope you'll visit us again soon.

PHEW! Okay,, you are officially off my Holiday Shit List. In fact, even though I sent that last response, I had given up on ever getting the deal. So, Customer Service, UR Doin' it RIGHT!

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Still ahead: More Holiday High Jinks with Amazon, Borders, and Audible.

BTW, you like my Holiday Decorations? I thought about REALLY taking them over the top, but then I realized that it would probably take forever for the damn thing to load.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Race is On!

WHAT A LOOOONG-ASS WEEKEND! Or maybe I should say a WIDE-ass weekend since, when I wasn't cooking and/or eating, I was parked in front of my PC shopping online. Although I DID get a surprise early Christmas present from a certain someone (I don't know if she wants it kept hush-hush or not) that made me all kinds of happy. You can be sure I'll be reviewing that prezzie soon!

Kudos to GottaDeal for the advance notices of not only WHAT would be in the Black Friday ads, but also what time those deals would be available online on Thursday. I grabbed a few hot deals that way. But then again, I lost out on a few because they were in-store only and nuh-uh, wasn't doing THAT!

By yesterday evening, our main credit card had placed a fraud alert hold on our account until we verified that it was me using it and it hadn't been stolen. But really, it would be much easier to place a few large orders than 5 or 6 or 20 small orders. However, the way the coupon and promo codes work, you have to plan out the orders just right in order to get maximum discounts. So therefore, our wonderfully protective credit card company flagged all those rapid fire multiple orders to the same merchants. We luvs them.

Of course, all this shopping means I haven't had time to start my end of month work crunch. And today's already the FIRST! EEK! So that means I'll be disappearing again except for occasional Google Reader browses.

However, there's one place I won't be missing this week. Our favorite evil genius Samhain editor, Angela James, is hosting a 12 Days of Holiday Hell Contest which includes a scavenger hunt to win one of TWO Kindles! There's a new chance to win one of a bazillion (give or take a few) prizes each day, with separate contests for each Kindle.

Angie's Contest

That's a whole lotta someones who will getting a whole lotta extra sumpin' sumpin' this Christmas!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nominations Needed, Please!

I KNOW I've been MIA lately both here and on everyone else's blogs. My blog guilt is stressin' me out. But I iz sooooo bizzy lately! Hopefully I can play catch up on some of your blogs over the weekend.

Unfortunately, being busy means I almost missed this email and I would have kicked myself had I done so.

Audible logo

Dear Beverly,

We're comparing notes and compiling reviews to determine the Best Audiobooks of 2008, and we'd love to hear your thoughts. Nominate your favorites by sending us an e-mail – – with the title and author of the books you think deserve to be in the running for Audiobook of the Year.

We'll collect the most popular nominees, and, starting next week, put them to a vote so you and your fellow AudibleListener members can declare the winner.

We'll announce your choice for Audiobook of the Year on December 4 along with our Editors' Picks for the Best of 2008.

Make sure your voice is heard — Click here to send us your nominations!

– The Audible Editors

NOTE: Only audiobooks released in 2008 will be eligible for the title of Audiobook of the Year. Make sure your nominees fit the bill by double-checking the audio production's copyright.

Now, you may have your own preferences, and that's okay. But if not, might I beg you plead for make a few suggestions? After much deliberation (damn, it was hard to choose between Highlander books!), here's the email I sent to Audible. Please note the required subject line. And also note that they gave no guidelines, so I just said what I felt needed saying! Hee.


Subject: Best of 2008 Nominations

Series, Romance:
Highlander series by Karen Marie Moning, narrated by Phil Gigante

Individual book nominations in Romance:
The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning, narrated by Phil Gigante
Spell of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning, narrated by Phil Gigante

Series, Fantasy: Paranormal:
Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris, narrated by Johanna Parker

Individual book nominations in Fantasy: Romance:
From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris, narrated by Johanna Parker

And, you didn't ask, but I'm nominating Phil Gigante as Narrator of the Year for his amazing performances in the Highlander series by Karen Marie Moning

Of course, you would want to use your own format for your email. Oh, and PLEASE DO IT NOW (as in RIGHT NOW) since I actually received the email on Tuesday the 18th and I don't know how many days they'll be taking nominations. I'm fairly certain that next week's voting will be for members only, but the email doesn't say anything about only members being able to nominate audio books. So PLEASE send those nominations in!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

She Did It, She Really Did It

Anyone who has read Faefever could not possibly forget the MacHalo. Well, before including it in the book, KMM built a prototype just to make sure the idea was feasible. Today on KMM's blog, we finally see EXACTLY what she envisioned to protect Mac from the Shades.

Here is Karen Marie Moning wearing the MacHalo:

KMM with MacHalo

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yeah, I'm A Sexist

While there've been a whole lot of female singers past and present who had a song or two I liked, there are only a handful that I can honestly say I CHOSE to listen to.

A glance through all the drawers in my CD chest will show Lorrie Morgan's Greatest Hits, Wynonna's Greatest Hits, and The Judds Greatest Hits filed alphabetically along with all the CDs from male singers/groups (except for Garth who gets his own drawer). And if I took the time to look through all my old LPs, there wouldn't be too many more in there either- Carole King's Tapestry, Janis Joplin's Pearl, Heart's Dreamboat Annie, Four Sides of Melanie, and... hmmm... I don't remember any more so maybe that's all.

Yeah, I'm a sexist when it comes to music. Always have been, probably always will be. I just prefer to listen to and sing along with male voices. The deeper tones are more pleasing to my ears and kinder to my vocal chords (My singing would make your ears bleed, but I love to sing anyhow).

So it's rather rare that a female singer starts growing on me so much that I keep going back to YouTube to play her songs over and over again.

I'm talking about Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland. Here she is singing live at the 2007 CMA's with an entire audience of her peers and fans entranced with every note and every word that flows from within her:

And here she is singing live with Bon Jovi. Just listen to how her voice twirls and whirls around, through, over, and under his, which elevates BOTH their voices.

As you just heard, the reason I picked those two particular videos was because they were live and they make it clear that Jennifer Nettles does not need a studio engineer to give her voice that rich, unique sound.

Here's a few of the songs from CMT Crossroads in 2005. I remember thinking before this episode aired that I just HAD to watch it because I could NOT picture Sugarland and Bon Jovi singing together. But it ended up being where I first started to pay attention to Jennifer Nettles.
It's My Life
Something More
Wanted Dead or Alive
Just Might Make Me Believe
ADDED: Cool, found it! Who Says You Can't Go Home live premiere on CMT Crossroads

Oh, and speaking of Bon Jovi, I think my favorite all time song of theirs is Blaze of Glory (from Young Guns 2). Although, now that I think of it, I wonder if that's because it has such a Country influence.

You know, I probably should stay the hell away from YouTube for awhile and actually use all that time to maybe write a commentary or two or even READ another book. It's just ridiculous how much time I've been spending over there lately because I've been in the mood to listen to music. Or maybe I should get some work done. Meh.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oops, I Did It Again

Back in 2006 at the Rt Con in Daytona, there were a lot of truly amazing panels that I am so glad I did not miss. But hands-down, the most memorable one was the Vampire panel with Charlaine Harris, Maryjanice Davidson, and Laurell K. Hamilton.

Rt Con 2006- Charlaine Harris, MaryJanice Davidson, Laurell Hamilton

I was not alone in saying that they should take their act on the road! The hilarious way they interacted with each other, which showed an underlying warmth and a genuine affection and respect, had everyone in the room in stitches.

That Con is also where I decided to give Harris' Southern Vampire series another chance. As I've said before, I read the first one and just felt it moved too slow for me. But, after seeing the throngs of adoring fans of Ms. Harris and finding her to be so absolutely charming in person, I realized that I needed to go back and revisit Sookie.Me with Charlaine Harris

Well, thanks to Johanna Parker's brilliant narration of the audio books (see my index), I realized that I just wasn't hearing the "Southerness" of the books when I read them to myself. The problem boiled down to me using my clipped, Midwestern voice to read (which works well with LKH's ABVH series) instead of the smooth mellifluence found in Ms. Harris and Sookie's Southern charm as so wonderfully portrayed by Parker.

So, ever since that first Southern Vampire audio book (Book 5- Dead as a Doornail, although I did go back to read book 4- Dead to the World), I cannot wait for each new audio release. And now, with the HBO series, True Blood, I get to see the stories from multiple POVs. Although, I admit that I had my doubts about it since I SO identified Sookie's voice with Ms. Parker's portrayal but, through sheer luck, Anna Paquinn's Sookie sounds close enough to Johanna Parker's Sookie that I was able to make the transition fairly easily.

Anyway, I don't remember where I found the link, but Marta Acosta's VampireWire pointed me to this auction that recently appeared on eBay:

This is your chance to purchase immortality . . .

or maybe not . . .

New York Times best selling author

Charlaine HarrisCharlaine Harris

will allow the winner of this charity fundraising auction to

"Name a Character"

in the next book of her hugely successful

Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Stackhouse) Series


This very special opportunity has been generously donated by Charlaine Harris and all proceeds from this auction go directly to the American Heart Association - Greater Southeast Affiliate.

The highest bidder will win the naming rights for one character in Ms. Harris' next book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries series featuring Sookie Stackhouse, a psychic cocktail waitress in rural Louisiana. Charlaine Harris has received numerous awards and recognitions, and currently all 8 of her books in this series are in the top 25 on the New York Times Paperback and Hardcover Fiction Best Sellers Lists! If you are a fan, you also know that this Sookie Stackhouse series is the foundation for "True Blood," a current HBO hit show.

The character's chosen name must be mutually agreed to by the winner and Ms. Harris and the auction winner will release all rights to the created/chosen name's use within the specified novel. Additionally, if the character is named after an actual individual, the said namesake must agree to the use of their name. There is no direct or implied financial benefit for the winner or any namesake. At this time, the release date for the next novel in this series is undetermined, but will likely be within the next 12 - 18 months.

If and when the bidding exceeds $1,000, all future bidders must be pre-approved. To gain approval, please click on the Pre-Approval Request link that will appear at the top of this listing and provide your full name, e-mail address, phone number and a statement confirming you are at least 18 years of age. Approval will be granted at our discretion and will be based partially on your eBay feedback rating. We will contact you if we need additional information and will notify you upon approval.

Thanks to Charlaine Harris, we are thrilled to offer this incredible opportunity to be a part of literary history. Bid high knowing that your enthusiasm will aid the American Heart Association - Greater Southeast Affiliate!

Now, here's where the REALLY interesting part (at least to me) comes in...

Allow me to point out a couple of facts about that auction...

First of all--- IT'S OVER!

And second of all---



Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Feel the Power, Part II

Last year, I wrote that, if I ran a television network, I'd be very selective about the type of commercials I'd allow to run.

Well, in that post, I embedded the seven William Lawson's ads. But little did I know that one day I would unearth an elusive EIGHTH one!!

And if you thought that one was good, you'll be in a kilt-lust coma by the time you finish watching the other seven.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

So while I was over at the world's greatest timesuck (YouTube) I came across a couple of other commercials that I feel are worthy of my TV network. It probably will come as no surprise that they are also ads for alcohol.

This first one is just breathtaking:

Damn, those Guinness folks are creative:

Oh, and I might add some cultural programming to my network. With that in mind, enjoy Vagina (The Dance)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

There Were No Losers Last Night

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
-Martin Luther King at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (August 28, 1963)

And that is what happened last night.

But it wasn’t until this morning that I realized... TRULY REALIZED... what the impact would be of having a Black man elected to the Presidency of the United States.

Yeah... DUH, Bev... he’s been Black all along, how could you not know?

Look, I made no secret that I was against many, if not most, of the Obama/Biden economic plans, but you see THAT is what makes MLK’s words so profound. THAT is the fulfillment of MLK’s dream— to me, Obama wasn’t a Black man running for President, he was a MAN running for President. Period.

But this morning, I saw film of all the Black men and women watching Obama’s acceptance speech with tears of joy on their faces. Repeated over and over again from people from all walks of life- from Black newscasters to just average, everyday Black supporters- was that “For the first time, I can TRUTHFULLY tell my son/daughter that, in America, you can be anything you want to be.” Then, after, listening to snippets of Dr. King’s speech throughout the morning, a speech I’ve heard a thousand times, I got it. I felt the awesome enormity of this historic milestone. And I have to tell you that MY tears started flowing too.

Or as John McCain said about Obama in his gracious and heartfelt speech last night, “...his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.”

And the thing is, it’s not just the Black population that has been inspired by Obama’s election. It’s EVERY minority, and it’s women; it’s people in OTHER countries, and it’s young people of EVERY race.

So, you know what? I think Obama’s election WILL bring about a change for the better. He has excited and united a whole lot of people that felt apathetic toward and disenfranchised by the government of this country and hopefully they will continue to vote, to care, to be involved, to be motivated to make their lives better.

So, now I say to President-Elect Obama, Vice-President-Elect Biden, and to the overwhelmingly Democratic Congress: keep the momentum going-- MAKE THINGS BETTER. You've got a clear path, with few checks and balances. You have no partisan excuses; there’s nowhere for you to point the finger of blame when entitlements are added to important bills. Do right by this country, and leave us in better shape than we were when you took the helm.

As John McCain went on to say, “Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.”

John McCain November 4, 2008:

Barok Obama November 4, 2008 Part 1 of 2

Barok Obama November 4, 2008 Part 2 of 2

Oh, and Arkansas? Consider yourselves slapped upside the head. WHAT were you thinking?! And California? You guys just plain confuse the hell outta me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

LKH's Anita Blake TV Pilot

From Television Business International (via SciFi Guy)

Lionsgate to produce Anita Blake for IFC
US cable network IFC has commissioned Lionsgate to make a two hour sci fi pilot based on vampire novel Anita Blake.

The series, which is based on a series of erotic fantasy books by Laurell K Hamilton, is set to be executive produced by X-Files and Final Destination producer Glen Morgan.

Craig Cegielski, EVP, programming and sales, Lionsgate International Television, told TBIvision that the Rainbow Media-owned broadcaster will air the two hour pilot next year, before deciding whether to order a full season. "It's a sexier Buffy The Vampire Slayer," he says.

Hmmm... looks like it's more than just speculation this time, huh? But IFC?! How odd.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Haunted Jeff Files

DISCLOSURE: The following should NOT be construed as a political statement in ANY WAY!

At least not by me.

Now my brother-in-law, Jeff, who forwarded it to me? That's a whole 'nuther ball of wax.

The reason it's in a scroll box is because it completely creeps me the hell out and I don't want to view it accidently. Seriously, the hairs on the back of my neck try to climb up over my head when I look at it. But it certainly falls within the spirit of the season, doesn't it?

Now, to get that image out of your mind, let me direct you to Gennita Low's blog where she's got a freakin' hilarious pic that is too big for me to fit here. And yes, I'd think it was funny no matter who was in the driver's seat. Man she's got some unbelievably funny and/or pervy pics throughout her blog! I think I'm going to have to add her to my Google Reader.

And now, I start my end of month work crunch (which I should have already started) so I doubt I'll be around much over the next week. I'll TRY to keep up with Google Reader subscriptions as best I can, though I may not take the time to leave comments.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

So what do you do about that pillowcase full of 40 pounds of candy that your kid brings home? Don't you get tired of being the "Candy Police"?

One year I got so tired of it that I told my kids to "Go ahead. Eat as much as you want." So my oldest son completely pigged out. A few hours later, he was barfing his guts out. Hee. I never had to police his candy intake again.

Anyway, listen up. This was on the Today Show this morning and I think it's a brilliant idea:

Head over to for more details, but, in a nutshell, your kids take their candy to a participating dentist, who pays them $1.00 for every pound of candy!

Now here's the absolute best part- the dentist then sends all that collected candy to our military people overseas!

Is that not a freakin' BRILLIANT idea? Unfortunately, there's no dentist anywhere near me who's participating, but I'm giving the link to my dentist next week when I go in.

Last night was our Trick or Treat. No one would DARE have it on a Friday or Saturday night because *gasp* it might interfere with high school sports!

I thought you might like to see a pic of me in my costume:


And now I leave you with these words of wisdom passed on to me by a wise old co-worker of mine many, many years ago...

When the weather's hot and sticky,
That's no time for dunkin' dicky.

But when the frost is on the pumpkin,
That's the time for dicky dunkin'.

Like to be scared? Check out's 15 Scariest Ghost Videos on the Web.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More QB's SUPER Quickies

QB's Super Quickie iconSince things like work, sleep, family, and reading seem to use up the time I need to write insightful, intelligent, witty, and LENGTHY commentaries (HEY! Did you just roll your eyes?!), Super Quickie posts give me a way to simply group books into my commentary categories and, more importantly, keep track of what I've read.

Click on the links or go to my INDEX for more info.

Category: M&Ms - a bit lighter and/or not quite as satisfying as Peanut M&Ms, but still Oh-So-Enjoyable! (B,B-,C+,C)

Jes Battis- Night Child (Osi 1)Jes Battis - Night Child, OSI (Occult Special Investigator), book 1

Dark Needs at Night's Edge (The Immortals After Dark, Book 4)Kresley Cole - Dark Needs at Night's Edge- Conrad and Néomi - Immortals After Dark, Book 4

Dark Rider (Zebra Debut)by Kathrynn DennisKathrynn Dennis - Dark Rider

Darkling (Sisters of the Moon, Book 3)Yasmine Galenorn - Darkling, Sisters of the Moon, Book 3

Dragon Wytch (Sisters of the Moon, Book 4)Yasmine Galenorn - Dragon Wytch, Sisters of the Moon, Book 4

Madden, Ellis, Tourney - Possession, anthology (Black Lace)Mathilde Madden, Madelynne Ellis, Anne Tourney - Possession, multi-author Black Lace paranormal anthology

Have you read any of these books? Feel free to review or link to a review in the comments. Even if you don't agree!