Category: California

The Case of the Missing Box

By , March 5, 2011 3:05 pm
No FedEx

I have finally summoned the intestinal fortitude to write about our most recent shipping mishap. Here is the backstory…

On Christmas day, the three of us were to fly from San Francisco to Ft. Lauderdale to visit family. The expectation was that Florida would be warm. From there, we were headed to DC where forecasts were projecting massive snow storms and cold weather. We were going to be gone a total of 10 days, heading back to the bay area after New Years.

Traveling with Maya is already less than ideal, especially given that she requires a ton of extra stuff, like a stroller, toys for the plane, etc. Consequently, we did not want to bring more bags with us on the place carrying things like winter jackets, sweaters, boots, etc. Instead, we had the brilliant idea of shipping it ahead to DC so it will be there by the time we arrived. Moreover, since we were already shipping stuff, we decided to also put a bunch of other stuff in the box, including a stereo receiver, hand-me-downs for Allison, some other electronics and a big bag of fresh lemons hand-picked from the lemon trees in our yard. Sounds like a great plan, doesn’t it?

We shipped this package on Friday, Christmas Eve, with an expected arrival date of Monday. We then left for Florida without a worry. A few days later, we touched down in DC and ask my parents if they received the package (at this point, it was Tuesday). They hadn’t. A tad concerned, I called FedEx, expecting that the holidays tied it up a little. We also looked at the tracking for the package. It turns out that the package left the Redwood City FedEx location on the 24th, went to the Menlo Park location, then carried on to Oakland the same day. That was the last stop. FedEx, meanwhile, has no record of what happened next and they have no idea where the package is.

Let me take a moment to explain to you how amazing it is that they lost this package. It is not as if the box was branded and indicated that it could be some prize for someone to snag, like an Amazon package. And this was not a small package that could easily take a walk without anyone noticing or that could be hiding in some corner of the warehouse. Rather, this was a large 65-pound box that stood about 2.5 feet tall, was incredibly cumbersome to move, and looked like it had been shipped a few times already. The only thing that suggested that it was worth stealing was the fact that it was large, that it was shipped around the holidays, and that we elevated the insurance level a little. But it does seem clear to us that it went missing due to bad intent.

The only solace we have at this point is in imagining the look of that poor thief’s face when he opens his prize and sees a bunch of beat up clothes, some crappy electronics, kids apparel and a bag of lemons coating all of the other items with an everlasting sour odor.

As a side note, after doing some research, it seems as though FedEx loses almost 1% of all packages! That is astonishing to me! UPS, while better, still has a high error rate of about .5%.

(I should also report that FedEx did pay out the insurance money pretty quickly and even refunded us the amount of shipping.)

Foot Fun!

By , January 8, 2011 7:13 pm

For those of you that might remember my episode with the glass in my foot about two years ago (culminating in multiple surgical procedures to get it out), last night was the reprise…

Maya and I were playing in the living room last night. Afterwards, I started walking into the other room when the big toe on my left foot caught a rogue toothpick that was caught in the carpet. And by caught, I mean the toothpick went straight into my big toe about 1/4 inch and then snapped off inside.

Given the complications resulting from the glass episode, I decided it was better to spend three hours in Urgent Care in Palo Alto to get it removed professionally.

Again, better my foot than Maya’s. That said, better no foot than mine!

Our First Earthquake as CA Residents

By , January 8, 2011 7:49 am

We can now call ourselves California residents… Today, a
4.1 earthquake registered just southeast of San Jose
Interestingly, I did not feel the quake even though I was only a
few miles away in Los Gatos. I was in a meeting at Netflix at the
time. The topic of that conversation must have been very compelling
because almost everyone else in the building felt it.

One Small Difference Between DC and CA

By , December 12, 2010 5:10 pm

After a few weeks as California residents, we have already seen quite a few differences. I already wrote about the garbage/recycling/compost removal. Other differences include the harsh 60-degree California winter and the fact that everyone here will talk to you if you show a hint of interest in talking to them. All of these, however, were expected and well-advertised prior to moving here.

There is one difference that we didn’t expect… The number (and size) of the spiders! They are all over the place, with monster webs that stretch for yards connecting virtually any two things that don’t move much.

This nasty-looking orange spider was hanging out in a corner near our front door. It was about 2.5 inches including the legs and looked as though it could be poisonous (at least according to very very novice eyes).

I found this spider, perfectly silhouetted against the sunset, just dangling on it’s web between two trees that were about 10-feet apart. My best guess us that this one is 2 inches.

When looking at vacant houses prior to the move, I can’t tell you how many massive spiders in huge webs I almost walked into in their backyards… Eeewww!

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