Post a Comment, Win a Free Book

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Recently Adam Kahtava had a free book giveaway on his blog. I was the lucky winner! The prize was a copy of Javascript: the Good Parts by Douglas Cockford (you can read Adam’s review here). I don’t think I have ever won anything in my life so naturally I proceed to screw up my first time by giving Adam the wrong address. Or rather I gave him the address of the building where my office is located, but forgot the suite number or the company name. Only after the book was on it’s way I realized that omitting these bits of info could become a problem. After all there are like 10 other companies located here and I only know the people who work on my floor – not all of them at that. There is also no main reception or front desk where the package could be dropped off. Things get delivered directly to individual suites. Likelihood of the book being bounced back to Adam was very high.

Somehow the book ended up reaching me though. It took longer than expected (almost two weeks) but it got here. The receptionist lady in the law office across the hall actually remembered my name from other miss-delivery incidents and she kept it for me. I guess sometimes it pays to have a name that is hard to pronounce. People may never know how to spell it, but if they it on an envelope they will likely recognize it and pass lost mail your way. Unless it’s candy or other edible stuff. Then they just steal it. And yes, the ladies who work the front desk over there have like a sixth sense for detecting chocolate products. Packaging it up in non-descript or hermetically sealed box wont help. We have tried. :P

Anyway, few days have passed and was ready to forget about the whole thing. Then I got another copy in the mail. Total confusion. It was the same book, sent by the same merchant. What happened?

I immediately started checking recently queued blog entries to see if any of them are missing. Then I scrolled through my Google Reader paying close attention to the dates of the unread entries. You see, this is how I check to make sure I’m not stuck in a groundhog day like time loop of some sort. I don’t really read newspapers or watch news in the mornings. I get my news from the internets and that’s after I get some caffeine in my system. When I’m getting ready in the morning my TV is usually tuned into History Channel, Comedy Central or Cartoon Network (cause I was watching Adult Swim late at night and never shut it off before going to sleep and now I’m to lazy to change it) – where repeats happen all the time. So I wouldn’t know that I was looping in time until I started reading my RSS feeds on my lunch break. And yes I take these things very seriously. I’m always prepared for unrealistic events like time loops and Zombie outbreaks. I have things planned out for these unlikely events – like what I would do, where would I go and etc. :P

Fortunately all was well. The dates were correct and I have concluded that I avoided being stuck in time once again. Yes, it happened before. I swear I almost got stuck in a time loop just like this around 4 or 5 times now. Some people say these things are just glitches in the matrix but I know better. The feeling of Déjà vu is telling you that you just narrowly escaped a time loop.

Apparently, what happened is this: Adam went and yelled at the merchant because they were taking their sweet time. It took them over two weeks to ship this book to me. So apparently they and Adam got in a little fight and their mom got scared said “you’re moving with your auntie and uncle in bel-air”. Er… I mean, they assumed the book got lost and sent me another copy via priority mail. Or something like that. I still don’t completely comprehend the reasoning behind this. All I know is that they sent a second book.

In effect I got their rushed “backup” copy first, and then the original copy a few days later. So I now have 2 identical books sitting on my desk. I asked Adam if he wanted the second copy back but he didn’t. He was only charged for one book, and since he already owns a copy he graciously suggested I pass it along to some of my readers just like he did. So this is exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to give it away to one of you guys! This is what you need to do:

  1. Post a comment in this thread indicating that you want the book
  2. Make sure you put a valid email in the email field when posting the comment so I can contact you if you win
  3. Make sure that you have an address located somewhere in continental US that you could give me
  4. ???
  5. Profit

Yeah, sorry about the continental US thing. It’s because I want to be nice and pay for the postage. But you know, shipping oversees costs extra money and may require me to do extra stuff and etc. So I’m limiting this to US residents only.

If this goes well, and there is a good turnout I might do it again at some point in the future – maybe with a different book prize. :)

Oh, and don’t forget to thank Adam, and the clueless Amazon.com book-merchant he used for making it all possible. I’m going to wait like a weak and see how many comments I can collect here and then pick one person at random. I’ll announce the winner sometime around next Thursday.

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20 Responses to Post a Comment, Win a Free Book

  1. Wikke BELGIUM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Congratulations on winning that prize Luke :-)

    Too bad the offer doesn’t apply to me, since I live in far-away-Belgium.

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  2. Brian Kelly UNITED STATES Safari Mac OS says:

    If I can think of step four that the Gnomes forgot, do I win?

    I’d love to have the book. O’Reilly books are usually written in a great style, and have good info IMHO. Plus, I’m trying to understand Javascript but don’t typically go for the “Learning…” books — I just dive in and start going.

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  3. Vurlix CANADA Safari Mac OS says:

    No love for canadians? :(

    PS: i don’t mind paying shipping

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  4. dawn SWITZERLAND Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    I’m waiting for a post about those time-space incidents!

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  5. Nathan UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    That book is sitting on my Amazon wish list…naturally, I’d love a free copy ;)

    I’ve had the same thing happen to me (multiple items, not time loops) a few times thanks to clueless merchants. I always feel bad when it happens, but I rationalize that it’s their fault for being gimpy in the first place.

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  6. freelancer SWEDEN Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    You know what I hate? The fact that there is this huge Internet with lots of contests, and every time I find one that I might actually have a chance of winning (you know, one that requires no effort on my part), I’m ineligible because I live in Sweden. It’s not fair, I tell you! I never win anything in the few contests I can enter! But it’s ok, I understand. International shipping can be a bitch. Not that I’d mind paying for shipping ;)

    Interestingly enough, I had a similar experience about a year ago when I ordered Stargate SG-1 Season 1 from dvd.co.uk. When it hadn’t arrived after about three weeks (shipping time was estimated as 1-3 weeks) I sent them an e-mail about it. Apparently the delivery service (can’t remember which one) admitted that they might have lost it, so they sent me another one with priority mail. It arrived within a week. A few days later the first one arrived, with an expired promotional code and everything :P

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  7. jambarama UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Sweetness! The only thing I ever won was an autographed copy of Freakonomics from posting on the Freakonomics blog. Would’ve been lovely but I already had one, so I passed it along. I did get doubles of printer ink cartridges one time, that was sweet.

    Sadly I don’t have time to play with programming anymore, so don’t count me in the contest, but giving the second away is a neat idea.

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  8. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    US residents only? Awww poopers… :(

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  9. hrvoje CROATIA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    It looks like you have more international audience than you thought :)

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  10. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @hrvoje: I know! I may need to re-think that US only policy. :P

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  11. Tino GERMANY Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    If you stay with the US-only policy, make sure shipping is screwed up again, so that you can yell at the shipping company, so they can send a second book as replacement, so two books arrive, so this nice chain of book-giving can continue.

    Because then, eventually, US or non-US residents, we will all get hold of this book.

    (Oh, if it ever comes to that, despite being non-US: I also want the book :D)

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  12. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @Tino: Well, there is a small problem with that. I actually have the book and will be mailing it in person. There is no merchant to yell at. Just me and the post office. And neither one of us will have an extra book to send. :(

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  13. Dax UNITED STATES Opera Windows says:

    Hey now! Some of your readers are in the US, but yeah. I have noticed over the years that most of your audience is outside the US.

    I have never attempted to ship anything internationally, does it really cost that much, or are there really a lot of hoops you need to jump through to get it sent?

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  14. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @Dax: Good question. I don’t know. It’s might be something in the $10-20 range but I’d probably have to go to a post office, weigh it and know my destination (since it varies from country to country). As for extra hoops – I don’t know.

    Considering the current trend, in this post I may need to figure all these things out. LOL

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  15. Dax UNITED STATES Opera Windows says:

    I think it would be a good idea to open it up to everyone as long as it’s not a big drag to ship it internationally. I’m amazed at how many international readers you have.

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  16. chris GERMANY Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    [quote comment="10627"]@Tino: Well, there is a small problem with that. I actually have the book and will be mailing it in person. There is no merchant to yell at. Just me and the post office. And neither one of us will have an extra book to send. :([/quote]

    depending on the nature of your recurrent time loops you could yell at yourself and send it twice!

    …then lean back and watch the universe come tumbling down in a paradoxon cascade.

    i’m totally behind you with the US-only thingy, even though i really really like free stuff. :P

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  17. Alphast NETHERLANDS Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    Hi Luke,

    I am arriving late in this discussion (thanks to having been in holidays in France with only a dumb satellite connexion). And Java Script (or any other type of programming for that matter) is simply not in my group of skills, so I have little use for such a book. Last but not least, I live in Europe. This said, your little misadventure with your order is typical from many company shipping stuff, abroad or not.

    So I am taking this opportunity to shamelessly advertise for my product: VisibleLogistics (see the link in my name). It is free and it can really help, so I guess it is ok. If not, please Luke, just delete my comment. What it does is help anyone display in a simple application all orders or deliveries they have as well as the items on them. It also adds a standard communication channel between vendor, transporters and their customers. With it, the transporter will always know if there is no address and the customer can change it directly if needed, without the transporter having to ask the vendor again, and so on. There are many other advantages, but they are not related to your story… ;-)

    Again, sorry for this, but I hope it is relevant…

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  18. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @Alphast: Heh! No worries. I consider you one of my “regulars” so shameless self promotion is ok from time to time. Especially if it is somewhat related to the topic. :)

    Interesting product, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t have much use for it but maybe someone will. :)

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  19. Alphast NETHERLANDS Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    I didn’t think you personally would. ;-) But maybe some of your readers need a free purchases or delivery management software. Who knows? Anyway, thanks again.

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  20. Adam Kahtava CANADA Google Chrome Windows says:

    LOL.. I like step 5 (Profit).

    I totally screamed at the merchant. But it was partially my fault, I failed to note the seller’s feedback, after the second week of it being late I noted that they had a bad rep’ for being S-L-O-W… But hey! At least it made it.

    Pick me! Pick me! :)

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