Dear Amazon: An Open Letter to Amazon

Dear Amazon,

We’ve had a long relationship. A really long relationship. I’m a big fan of you, and I feel like, if we knew each other better, you’d be a big fan of me. We’ve been through a lot. I mean, we were together before Prime (still have), through the Kindle Launch (and the Kindle Fire, and the Paperwhite, which I bought all of the first day), the Fire Phone (almost got, needed Google Apps), and the Echo (eagerly awaiting). You’ve always treated me well. I’ve spent a lot of money over the years, and I think we work together pretty well.

But I gotta be honest, this relationship is starting to struggle. I still love the services, and the prices and the products, but I keep running into a big hang up. It’s that other service you hang out with. I mean, I get it. You need FedEx, and USPS, and UPS, because they help you be a better you. I understand, and frankly I’m ok with it. I know it leads to some uncertainty at times, but hey. It’s the price I pay for the you I get right? But OnTrac. I gotta be honest, I’m not a fan of OnTrac.

Now, it’s not jealousy, or a dislike of change. No, see, OnTrac? They make you look bad. I mean, every time I order from you (and I have over 120 orders this year already), I click on that little yellow tracking button and every time OnTrac comes up, I sigh, and know that the awesome 2-day shipping window I paid for is gonna be missed. I mean, just this week, I order a present for Christmas that I needed to ship, and that night, I walked outside to get the mail, and the OnTrac truck was parked a house away. By the time I’d walked back, they’d driven away, and no package.

I mean, c’mon. They were RIGHT there. I called ’em, they told me the drive couldn’t find the address. So I asked if they could contact the driver and bring him back, but I was told they couldn’t give me his cell. I don’t want it. I had no desire to make friends with or talk to their driver.

That package, still hasn’t arrived. It’s 5 days past it’s delivery date, and I’ve had to order a replacement. This isn’t the first time. Pretty much everytime I order and it’s from OnTrac it’s at least a day late and I have to make a phone call.

I checked. I’ve had 15 orders shipped by them in the last few months, and of those, 10 have been late or gone missing and never been recovered. That’s sad. I makes me sad, and I hope it makes you sad.

Oh and their customer support? Pales radically in comparison to you. You’re great. You always help me and fix it. Them? They miss callbacks (you never do), they lie (you never do, at least that I’ve caught you in), they just give rote answers (you do sometimes, but hey, it happens). I mean, I dread calling them. It makes it so I have started questioning myself everytime I see your site, and want to order. This relationship is hurting now, and I can’t stand it.

Look, I’m not asking you to choose between them and me. I’m sure you have reasons, and even if I don’t understand, I respect you. It’s your choice. You’re a big business and you can make those decisions. But can you let me make decisions? Can’t you, with all your budgets and technology, and science, create a way for me to select a shipping service that I want? Or at least deselect a shipping service I don’t want?

I don’t feel like it’s asking a lot. I mean, I love you. I’m here for you. I have been for years, and I will be for years. But please, you’ll hurting me regularly, and I can’t remain in an unhealthy relationship like this.

Yours in all affection and respect,

– A


RPG Review: Warriors of the Red Planet

product_thumbnailWarriors of the Red Planet is a Sword and Planet OSR RPG that is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs “John Carter” series. It’s a small little book. Here it is laid over my 5e Player’s Handbook.BwkWiNGCUAI0gRJ


Right? Small. It doesn’t clock it at a huge page count (134 pages), but what it does have, it makes good use of.

Now the copy I got was a beta edition, so there were some typos, layout, and formatting issues, but overall it was decently done. The art is all black and white, and the small paperback format mean it’s easy to transport. The game is OSR so it’s designed to emulate the first edition of D&D and what it does there, it does well. There are four classes in the game: Fighting-Man, Scoundrel, Mentalist, Scientist. The GM’s section also presents an alternate Sorcerer class for use in the game.

The included classes are fairly representative of the genre and the mindset of 1e D&D, but the game does some interesting adaptations of the scientist.

The Bestiary is packed and decently thought out. Monsters are both drawn from ERB’s fiction and other references.

The best part of the book is the generation tables for both names and other features of Sword and Planet features.

For the price point, I can’t think of a better Sword and Planet RPG you can get on the market. Give it a whirl.

Buy Warriors of the Red Planet