Feb. 27th, 2017

alexpgp: (Visa)
That's how long it took to drive to the post office this afternoon.

And I can definitively state that nothing is more... soul-relieving than receiving a certified, return-receipt-requested letter from an attorney—which means they really want to tell me something—only to find that it's a notification that a special meeting of homeowners will be held to discuss somebody else's requested zoning variances.




Feb. 27th, 2017 07:06 pm
alexpgp: (Visa)
I was an eFax customer until a few years ago, when I noticed that they had automatically charged me for another year of service, and since I had decided to pull back on unnecessary expenses—and fax was one of them—I called the company and asked them to cancel my account and refund the charge.

I was informed that the "terms and conditions" I had agreed to previously made it perfectly clear that no refunds were to be had, not even pro-rated. I was incensed enough at the time to then tell the "customer service" rep to cancel my account effective immediately, lest I inadvertently miss the deadline and get charged again for a year of service I did not want. eFax complied, and of course I've had no dealings with them since.

* * *
This morning, as part of my overall "sweep" of recurring charges for various services (e.g., Spotify, si; Hulu, no, etc.), I cancelled my account with an outfit called DeepDyve, which provides access to all sorts of scientific papers. I used this service extensively last year when I was doing work for Springer, but now it was time to cut the cord.

I did so, and was pleasantly surprised to receive a refund for the most recent month's charges ($40), along with an email explaining that the company's 30-day satisfaction guarantee applied in this case, even though I had been a customer for almost a year.

I'm not complaining. :)

alexpgp: (Default)
I caught the tail end of Gladiator on the tube the other day, and caught the scene between emperor Commodus and Maximus, where the latter recalls he once knew a man—who turned out to be Commodus' father, Marcus Aurelius—who said, Death smiles at us all—all a man can do is smile back.

The quote appears on the Web and is attributed to Aurelius, but the trail runs cold at that point. As I am aware of only one work that has come down to us from Aurelius—which ordinarily goes by the name of Meditations—I searched my electronic version of the Hays translation for likely matches and came up empty.

This leads me to believe that the quote is bogus, mostly because after having read (and re-read) Aurelius' text over some period of time, the words in question just don't sound as if they fit in. Aurelius is not given to personifying death.

That said, if personifying death is your thing, the quote does seem to fit into the Stoic mindset.



alexpgp: (Default)

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