Amazon continues downward spiral

Head’s up. Amazon Seller Central now will cancel your account if you have not sold anything in 30 days. You will not get a notice of your account being closed. If you have inventory stored with them, they will not send it back to you. When that inventory sells, you will get an email, but they keep the money since your account is closed.

The normal Amazon helpdesk cannot help, but also doesn’t tell you they cannot help. My rep told me “that order number isn’t registered to your account. If you need help, use the contact us link.”

After multiple tries, a chat rep was able to send me to a voice robot for Seller Central. I was not given the phone number. They had it call me. I got someone who was willing to at least submit a request for my account to be reopenned, but “it will take a while.”

I had asked to escalate regarding the whole situation, because it’s not just about fixing my one issue today. It’s about preventing this issue at all. You cannot silently steal someone’s inventory.

I was told by Amazon main helpdesk if I had a problem, ask to escalate. I asked the Seller Central rep to escalate, and was told to fill out the web form instead.

The Seller Central help form is available if you log out of the error page, go the front login page, click help next to the sign-in button, then middle-right, you can click on “Contact Us”.

However, all of the support people believe this is acceptable behavior. There is no escalation, and your only recourse is to make a new account and sell more items.

You cannot reply to messages from Seller Central via email. You can just fill out a whole new request, and get a whole new case number.

Obviously, someone is paid on the number of cases they open, and not customer satisfaction. I say this because also, each reply has a “did we solve your problem?” The link requires you to be already logged in. You simply cannot report to them that they did not solve your problem, unless you can log in.

Every time I get upset at Amazon, I go pull a report on what I have spent with them. My first order with Amazon was 6/23/1999. Since then, I have spent roughly 1 year’s salary with Amazon. (I made a little less back then, and make a little more right now, but it averages out.)

That excludes the Seller Central stuff I’ve sold, from which they have made money on their FBA services.

Dangerous Car AC in the heat – FALSE

Starting your car A/C / benzene chain letter has popped up in several places again recently. That letter is FAKE. No need to worry.

It’s a rewrite of a 2009 chain letter, which is false, and based on cherry picked information out of a 2001 report on automobiles in Korea, and a 2007 article on new cars in Germany.

The article claims benzene exposure is related to the A/C, and that is false. Benzene levels are related to combustion engines, because gasoline contains benzene. A properly maintained car will emit very little benzene. A poorly maintained car will emit more while the engine is running. It does not build up or accumulate when the car is off, unless you have a fuel leak.


The article claims the benzene comes from plastic, which is false. All plastics DO offgass, and usually that is formaldehyde. This is more of an issue for new cars, and has nothing to do with the A/C itself. If the car stinks like new car smell, then air it out. The only observed risk was for people with allergies, it increased those temporarily.


A more detailed write-up about this chain letter is here:


When did “millennials” get redefined?

“Generations” for grouping (vs ancestry) have been roughly 15 year spans. Generation X was the 1970s through about ’85. After that was Generation Y. Millennials, by definition, were people born at or after the turn of the millennium. Being generous, that could be as early as ’98.

Now, people are trying to say Gen-X included the ’60s, and that Millennials are in their 30s.

Nooooo! That is inaccurate. Labels matter, and some media or researcher does not get to redefine people after the fact to fit their narratives!

Dreams of Heroes

Ending fragment.  Guy like a cross between The Punisher and Star Lord.  I was his friend.  He was having some struggles, and his car would not start.  I looked at is, spotless under the hood, cavernous even, and all simple.  There was not enough under the hood to go wrong.  It was just a matter of running way too rich, so it would not even start.  Clouds of half-burnt fuel would spurt out of the intake, sputter, lop, die.

He wandered off, comfused and conflicted, while I troubleshot it.  There was a small, compact, spark control computer as part of the distributor.  I figured that had failed, but maybe if we opened up the throttle, it would at least stay running.  There was not a usual air filter, rather a yellow box, with a key on it.  Again, spotless, shiny.  Far too small to filter that much airflow, it must be an EM field generator that actively cleans the air.

I went to find him to get the key, and he’s wandered out back, hood pulled up.  I followed, and he’d gone to track someone down.  Through some alleyways, etc I followed.  The dream is faded as to whether he kicked some ass, or could not find them.  But, I followed him to the back gate, put my gand on his shoulder, and someone else spun around.

She was a shapeshifter.  She had been drawn to our place.  Others came, a green woman, a woman who’s skin looked like a concert hall inside out.  She traveled by playing a violin.   The feeling and nuancel directed her vehicle.  Ther were many others, but I walked past as they mingled, up to the small shop that was my friend’s home.

“It’s an honourable intent lockout,” I said.  He had been conflicted, and had decided to seek revenge.  The car could not support that.

He was frustrated, almost indignant, but he knew it made sense.  He felt hopeless about it.

“I’m your sidekick.  I’m here to help you through this.”  He was my friend, and it would take time.  The others who came would help.  We were not looking for trouble.  We just wan to help when situations arise.

Weird dream

Middle of the dream… family and I were meeting up for dinner. The place was similar to a Cracker Barrel, except it was upscale. Lots of wood, but more open space, different kinds of goods, and I think there was a Casino off the other side.

The waiter was someone we know. He called me by name, and I recognized him. I think he was an uncle. I think he was also Gene Hackman.

The table we were seated at, the four of us, was about 2 feet on a side. Basically, food came out one person at a time, except drinks and desserts. Khai had trouble deciding, and I ended up with the grilled salmon because of some change I wanted or would want, was easier on that.

After, we ended up at a Christmas partly. Lots of people, drinking, etc. And then someone died. Cue murder mystery, and before the police arrived, someone figured out the guy’s wife had poisoned him. There were $6m worth of $125k bearer bonds or similar in the stocking, and she wanted them. Except, in the process of explaining this, whomever figured out what happened lost track of the wife. Police showed up, and the wife had slipped away, with the bonds.

At the end, I was unpacking my own stocking. About 20 things in there, including what looked like a small Champagne bottle, with a plastic nozzle on it. It was Chilled Baby Wash. Also, a bottle with what looked like a thin roll of toilet paper on it. It was liquid toilet paper, or butt wash. Several other things in there, but the last present I opened was a phone call. Not a phone. Not a recording of a call. The call itself.

Anyway. I know there was a bunch more I missed. Lighting was dim, and colors were subdued, leaning towards blues, greys, but not exclusively.

Gym Workout Routines

I was talking with a friend about my Gym routine, I thought I’d share some of that here. It’s kind of a wall of text, soI tried to organize it for easy skimming.

I keep a notepad on my phone to track what I did and what’s next. End of workout, I add the updated list to MyFitnessPal in the exercise notes. This keeps me from twiddling my thumbs during rests.

#### Warmup is cardio:
* About 10 mins or 200 calories warmup on the recumbent bike. I’ll start at about 50%, and crank it up to 100% a couple of times. I try to vary my RPM, but tend to hang out around 70. I have long legs, so momentum is a factor. I make sure I clear 160bpm, but I never get to max HR. Sometimes I try to draw pictures with the hill profile.

#### Safety warmup for exercises I’m not sure about:
* 10-20 reps at 50-60% just to make sure everything moves right, especially for heavier weight exercises.

#### I usually go for strength
* Target is 2-4 sets of 6-10 reps per exercise.
* If I make it to 16 reps, I bump up the weight on the next set.
* Sometimes I’ll do 8 reps, then drop 40% and do another 8.
* If anything pinches or doesn’t feel right, I’ll back off the weight.
* Not so worried about cardio since I average 75 miles per week on a road bike.

#### I do circuits for time efficiency:
* Whole Body Days: alternate upper/lower, front/back, with 30 second rests between circuits.
* Upper OR Lower Only: I’ll do 2-3 exercises with a 60-90 second rests.
* I average almost one working set for every 2 minutes. That includes the set, equipment setup, walking between machines, updating my notes, and any rest/cooldown time. That excludes the warmup time at the start. (eg, a 2 hour workout has 20 mins of warmup, and 40-45 working sets. A 1-hour workout will have 10 mins warmup, and 18-24 sets.)

#### With a workout buddy:
We could alternate on the same machine with 60-90 second rests. This is less overall workouts, but more social. We could also do the circuits, and just be one machine off from each other. Less social, but more efficient.

#### Workout Duration:
I prefer a longer, whole body workout every 4 days. I get better results, and less wasted time. My goal is to grow muscle mass, and I’m missing the sprinter gene, so recovery time is usually 3-5 days instead of 2-3 days for most people.

If I have only 1 hour, it’s best if I stick to only upper or only lower, because exercises always pull in a other muscles a little. I don’t feel I get quite as good of a workout this way.

#### Upper Body Exercises:
* Freeweight bench row (Low-Back sparing vs seated)
* Chest Press (like a bench press)
* Lat Pulldowns
* Seated dips (because I’m too heavy to do real dips yet)
* Chest fly & rear deltoid fly (same machine, diff settings)
* Biceps curls (cable or dumbell)
* Triceps extension (Slow to improve)
* Sometimes I do a shoulder press or a vertical row, but those are not so great on my shoulder sockets.
* Lateral dumbell arm raises.

#### Lower Body Exercises
* Freeweight seated calf extension (Soleus Muscle)
* Rotary Calf Extension (Gastroc Muscle)
* Inner/Outer thigh (adductor/abductor)
* Leg Curls (Hamstrings)
* Leg Extension (outer and inner quads, nearer the knee)
* Leg Press (because it doesn’t load my low-spine like squats & deadlifts do.)

###### Back Pain avoidance (Chronic and Acute)
* Nothing with a torso twist (wood choppers, obliques) – always causes days of increased pain.
* No abdominal crunches – Still hurting from 2 weeks ago when I let my form get sloppy.
* No back extensions – Same as with crunches, though a 45 degree bodyweight back extension bench would be fine if I could find that at my gym.
* Backed off of seated rows, just to be safe. I’ve moved to bench rows, though bent-over single-arm dumbell rows are okay too (off-arm is on the bench, so no low-back load).
* I should be doing planks and leg lifts at home, but I keep forgetting. This gets core without abusing low-spine.
* I should do more stretching on non-workout days, but I keep forgetting. This helps keep from putting too much strain on low-back when moving around.

#### Preferred Machines
I like the Hoist machines my Gym has best, but I’ve maxed out the leg press. Not sure I want to use the freeweight leg press without a big spotter. I like most of the Precor machines, and use them for things missing from the Hoist line-up. Last are the Life Fitness for a couple things, but they use bigger weight stacks for the same effort, and just seem to be on a different scale from all of the others.

Three Dinosaur Giraffe Butts, and a shovel

Phrase for 2017-2018 school year is “Three Dinosaur Giraffe Butts”.

The mantra is “Shovel” from grovel from gravel from gratitude.

The shovel head is the size of a spoon, and the handle is 35 feet long, and at a sharp angle. It is designed to move a piece of gravel weighing 18 tons, and about 2cm in diameter.

This is the result of lunch with Khai and Erica.

Insurance and Purchases

First insurance check arrived. Can’t print lender forms to get it endorsed because printer died the rest of the way today.

Ordered a new printer, but their “get it today” on the order page turned into “get it tomorrow” in email. *sigh*. This is not covered by insurance nor warranty, sadly.

Ordered new grill, just a propane cart with 4 burners, and submitted cost to insurance for replacement cost supplement. Downgrade from our cabinet style, but I’m not going to complain. The old one was getting near end of life anyway. This one is the same size/guts, though I’m sure there will be some fastener and wheel issues eventually.

Ordered seat planks for my bench, and submitted the replacement costs to insurance. Picked Cherry, which may seem weird for outdoor, but Cherry, Walnut, and Cedar are the only USFS highly resistant boards available from Home Depot. Walnut was too expensive, and cedar is a little soft for a 4-foot span and my heavy butt. Pine is not resistant, thermo-poplar is brittle, composite decking is too flexy, and pressure treated would need rip sawn as well as painting vs sealing.

Ordered a gas powered pressure washer, because my electric one died 10 days ago. I’ll use this to finish stripping the back porch, though I want to have the open deck area sanded before repainting. This is not covered by insurance at all, but kind of needed.

Tomorrow, I’ll pick up some spar urethane and a couple cedar planks to use on the other bench which was not covered by insurance (old, no hail damage). Well, maybe tomorrow. I’m running behind on all the work things, and tomorrow is gym day.

Also, tomorrow, check 2 shows up. If the printer shows up in the morning, I can send both off to the insurance company for endorsement and return. Once back, I can deposit, and then re-issue to my roofer to begin work.

SO MUCH MONEY SPENT TODAY! That’s all of my fallback spare cash. My emergency buffer is really not that big, only about a month before I have to pull from uncomfortable places. (Not my butt!)


Imported hedgie, except the very first post, but it was just dorky.
Imported all of it to DreamWidth with their tools.
Claimed that openid.
Deleted hedgie posts with lj-sec

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