hankrules2011

Book reviews, health, hockey, publishing, music, tech

Posts Tagged ‘amazon’

Amazon: 25 Years Of Loyalty Down The Drain

Posted by Scott Holstad on March 18, 2020

For the moment, I only have the time to copy and paste a very short post I published on LinkedIn today, but I hope to return to this topic later with a lot more to say, including specifics, details, statistics, and commentary. All I know is I have been more loyal to Amazon as one of its earlier customers for the past 25 years than nearly any other company, but after a number of events over the past few months, they are now permanently on my SHIT LIST from hell, I feel betrayed and I want them — and everyone else — to know about it. Apparently they’ve gotten so big, they don’t and won’t give a shit, but I still have a right to speak my mind, so I will…

From my LinkedIn post today: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6646086971418566656/.

 

After 25 years as a loyal customer, Amazon has made it to my shit list & it’s sad. I’m so ticked. Lately, when I have the gall to order things & give them $, they’re screwing me by declining legit orders, terminating my password & ALL recent orders – for no good reason. It’s INSANE! Today, I spent 3 hours finding items, ordered dozens for $$ & they shut me down for the 2nd time in 3 days. They no longer like it when I order 100 items or $1000, though they liked it for 24 years. (Also shut me down for 2 Kindle books!) There’s no $ problem, I’m NEVER close to credit limits, not late on payments, but now twice in 3 days, the 5th in 6 weeks-I can’t reset my password, have to CALL IN (prehistoric). The 3 times I’ve done so, I average 2 hours & 4 reps per call due to alleged “unauthorized party access.” I’ve said if true, my banks would be calling within minutes: they don’t. No one else has this problem with me. ALSO, there isn’t a black market for $4 Kindle books; they’d get gift cards to sell instead. I’ve spent $2.5 MILLION+ personally & $4 MILLION+ professionally with them & this is what I get? They’re stupidly throwing away a $7+ Million customer?? I’m going elsewhere. Others want my $$….

 

[To be continued…]

I can’t believe @JeffBezos would endorse or approve of this. If so, his principles have taken a big hit & he’s joined the legion of other Internet greats who had awesome ideas, built something wonderful, grew a great customer base (with myself as one of them), only to abandon a number of customers by apparently thinking he’s too big or good for them now or they don’t matter anymore. I really have no idea what else it would be because idiocy of this magnitude would have to come from the top. I really have had so much respect for him for over two and a half decades. This is massively disillusioning. There’s a reason that moron in the White House got voted in with his transparent crappy statements about “making America great again,” because while neither he nor his followers are the ones who can or will do that, he’s actually right in the sense that most Americans no longer have the work ethic, principles, common sense, business sense, intelligence, dedication to service or quality we did as a nation for so very long. There’s a reason the US has dropped in nearly every field and category that exists. I thought Bezos was one of the few left who still had some of those qualities. Apparently I was mistaken. Pity…

 

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Knoxville, TN Is America’s Most Romantic City According To Amazon.com

Posted by Scott Holstad on February 6, 2013

Knoxville, TN Is America’s Most Romantic City According To Amazon.com.

I’ve lived in Knoxville off and on for about 15 years altogether, and this is an interesting tidbit to find out about today. I’m not really sure what to think. It’s certainly odd….

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Philip K. Dick – Ubik

Posted by Scott Holstad on April 16, 2012

Ubik

By Philip K. Dick

Originally published in 1969

Plot Summary: Glen Runciter is dead. Or is everybody else? Someone died in an explosion orchestrated by Runciter’s business competitors. And, indeed, it’s the kingly Runciter whose funeral is scheduled in Des Moines. But in the meantime, his mourning employees are receiving bewildering — and sometimes scatological — messages from their boss. And the world around them is warping in ways that suggest that their own time is running out. Or already has. Philip K. Dick’s searing metaphysical comedy of death and salvation the latter available in a convenient aerosol spray is tour de force of paranoiac menace and unfettered slapstick, in which the departed give business advice, shop for their next incarnation, and run the continual risk of dying yet again.

via Philip K. Dick – Ubik.

Another Philip K. Dick classic I need to read. I’ve been reading a lot of Dick lately, and it’s been enormously enjoyable. His short stories are basically excellent Twilight Zone-like mind fucks, and his novels are brilliant essays on reality — what is and what isn’t reality — and so much more. This book seems to fall into that vein, and I’ve got to put it on my Amazon Wish List soon. I already have something like 5 movies based on his works on my wish list, as well as several other books of his. For decades, Charles Bukowski has been my favorite poet and writer out there. I’m beginning to think that while Buk will always remain my favorite poet, Dick is slowly supplanting him as my favorite fiction writer. Ooooh, major mind fuck!

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My New WordPress Page: MY BOOKS – CRAZY PRICES

Posted by Scott Holstad on June 25, 2011

Today I created and published a new themed tab — a WordPress “Page” — that I titled MY BOOKS – CRAZY PRICES. This page is about what I found some of my old published but now out of print books are selling for online, on places like Amazon and Alibris. I was surprised to a very large degree to see what some of these books are going for, so I made a number of screen shots which I embedded into my new tab/Page and I hope anyone remotely interested in such things will check it out. Naturally I’m biased, but I’m terribly curious about who would pay such wacky prices for old books of mine. I’m also curious about how these bookstores and resellers got their hands on “collectibles” in some cases, ie, autographed copies. I will probably never find out, and I guess that’s fine, but it’s still interesting for me to ponder, so please check that page out and feel free to leave any comments if so inclined. Thanks!

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The Best Contemporary Confessional Poetry Books

Posted by Scott Holstad on June 22, 2011

Just because I want to kick start this blog off and get some content out there, and even though I’ve got some topics in mind I want to write about, my time is quite limited these days, so this post will actually be stolen from an Amazon.com list I put together earlier this year. I introduce the list with these words:

“Of course I realize that ‘Confessional’ poetry didn’t just start circa 1970. I recognize the importance of Robert Lowell, Plath, Sexton, etc. That said, I think a great number of the ‘accepted’ mainstream poets considered to be confessional poets today are basically crap, so I’ve compiled MY list of what I believe to be the best, newer, confessional poetry books, written by some of the best poets out there. Enjoy!”

As a poet and writer who is both a confessional writer and lover of confessional poetry and writing, I’m biased and I admit it.  Still, I’m going to list MY top 20. I would love comments from anyone out there who encounters this post.  Disagree, discuss, add to the list — whatever you want. Oh, and I think I’ll add my descriptive commentary on each of these books after the list, in order of the list (if that makes any sense). Cheers!

  1. Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit by Charles Bukowski
  2. Love is a Dog From Hell by Charles Bukowski
  3. Factory (Pocket Poets Series) by Antler
  4. The Southeast Asian Book of the Dead by Bill Shields
  5. Firebird Poems by Gerald Locklin
  6. Stand Up Friend With Me by Edward Field
  7. What Is This Thing Called Love: Poems by Kim Addonizio
  8. Scream When You Burn: A Pound of Sacred Flesh from the Lap of Coffee Culture by Rob Cohen
  9. Stand Up Poetry: An Expanded Anthology by Charles Harper Webb
  10. The Doctor Poems by Lyn Lifshin
  11. Counting Myself Lucky: Selected Poems 1963-1992 by Edward Field
  12. Mad Dog, Black Lady by Wanda Coleman
  13. The Flash of Lightning Behind the Mountain: New Poems by Charles Bukowski
  14. Lifetaker by Bill Shields
  15. North Beach Revisited by A. D. Winans
  16. Deep Red by Donna Hilbert
  17. Goodstone by Fred Voss
  18. MAKING LOVE TO ROGET’S WIFE by Ronald Koertge
  19. In Danger (The California Poetry Series) (California Poetry Series, V. 2) by Suzanne Lummis
  20. Alchemy of Opposites: Poems by Clifton Snider

My commententary:

  1. The first Bukowski I ever read, decades ago, and I still remember to this day how it just blew my mind. I have all of his books, but this poetry book remains my favorite.
  2. Aside from my admittedly biased Buk fav — Play the Piano Drunk… — I’ve long felt this book was one of his strongest books of poems.
  3. One of the most important poetry books in American history. That’s not merely my opinion. Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder & many other big names heaped massive amounts of praise on this book, and with good reason.
  4. While Shields remains controversial re his bio/reputation, his books — particularly this one — just hit you in the gut, over and over, until you feel like you’ve gotten the hell beat out of you, yet strangely you want more.  Massively intense!
  5. Locklin’s best, IMO.  Great book!
  6. Geez, this is a serious classic.  What can you say, really?  This book, from early in the 1960s, went on to impact countless numbers of poets and aspiring poets ever since.
  7. She’s the superstar, and this book shows why.
  8. One of the very best contemporary anthologies I’ve EVER read, focusing, yes, on the L.A. coffeehouse confessional crowd, but packed with incredible stuff (including Bukowski, I believe — oh yeah, and me too — am I biased?).  Get this!
  9. Similar to Scream When You Burn, but a bit more mainstream, IMO.
  10. My favorite Lifshin book, out of all of her millions of books.  She IS the most heavily published author in the history of the world, right?
  11. A wonderful, wonderful collection.
  12. Coleman presents a worldview that is slightly different than that of some of the other confessionals.  Find her classic Black Sparrow books.  Well worth the investment.
  13. My favorite posthumous Bukowski book.  Good stuff.
  14. Another Shields poetic beating, brutal and rough, but you emerge (if you still have your sanity) simply amazed at this poet’s talent.
  15. Winans — major underground influence on the scene.
  16. I like Donna, always have. Good person, good writer. I don’t know if this book would make everyone else’s list for this topic, but I feel it’s worthy of inclusion.
  17. The under appreciated Voss is like the poor man’s Antler, yet I don’t mean that in a critical way.  This book is good.
  18. Koertge. Shoot, any of his books will do!
  19. This is one of my two favorite books by Lummis.
  20. I’m not certain I would always categorize Clifton as a “confessional” poet, per se, but I do feel like this books lends itself toward that feel, and is worthy of making the list.

Well, thank you for letting me “cheat” with some stuff I’d actually already done. I hope this list will find some new readers here and perhaps will encourage someone to read a poet previously unknown to them.

Finally, off topic, I just found this out this afternoon while nosing around Amazon, and I did go ahead and add it to my post from yesterday, but I’m just so stunned at seeing this (for so many different reasons) that I want to mention it again. As of this afternoon, Amazon.com is showing that a new copy of my 2004 book, Cells, is available for purchase through a reseller for $164.13!!!  Craziness! Who the heck would pay that for my book??? I remember thinking it was crazy when a used copy of another one of mine, Artifacts, was for sale at one of these online bookstores for $137 earlier this year. Seriously? I’m not Bukowski or Ginsberg people!

Here’s a thing that honestly irritates me though. It’s not like I made a ton of cash off the royalties of these or any of my poetry books. Truly. So, since I’ve seen a number of my old books for sale online over the past few years for over $100 at a time, there must be some demand somewhere for Holstad poetry collections, right? Yet, because these are sold used, or in this case of Cells today, new via a reseller, I’m not getting a penny from any of this! Yeah, that kind of irritates me. When my books were on sale new for $7 or $12 or $21.95 or whatever, I was damn lucky to get my standard 8% of the gross, which didn’t amount to much. Now that some of my old books are selling for hundreds of dollars, apparently, yeah, I wouldn’t mind getting a cut of that — they’re MY damn books and my words and my poems and my experiences and someone somewhere is making a sweet profit in selling these for those silly amounts. You know? Just my main thought on that topic….

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