[RCS] Amazon Prime

Welcome to another edition of RCS:

Really Cool Stuff!

Being readers, it makes sense that we are big fans of Amazon.com. (Remember when they just sold books?)

Over the years Amazon has kept improving their amazing collection of books (both sold from their warehouses, and links to seemingly thousands upon thousands of booksellers around the world) and along the way added so many other items. It’s really the first place we look for just about anything we plan to purchase: books, appliances, food, diapers, computer hardware and software, music, videos… really, nearly everything.

About a year ago, Jen discovered Amazon Mom, where she found so many great deals on the things we need for our youngest ones (like diapers, wipes, pull-ups, and more). She then discovered that you could save even more over the already better-than-most-places Amazon price by setting up a Subscription to these items. Since we already purchase these anyway, it was a no-brainer. We subscribed!

As a bonus last year (not sure if they still do it), Subscriptions to these Amazon Mom store products you’d receive one free month of Amazon Prime service. If you haven’t heard of it—and you’re an Amazon user—then you’re missing out! (Plus, you’re either an infrequent user of Amazon, or you really don’t pay attention to anything on their site…) 😉

Well, Jen figured out a way to get that monthly service extended to the maximum 12-month offer. So, we had free shipping on every order for a year! That definitely spoils you!

Once that year expired, we debated whether or not to spend the $79/year to reinstate our Prime membership. We decided to let it slide, and save the $79.

It didn’t take us long to decide we wanted to go back!

We love the free shipping option. It’s 2-day shipping, too, not just a super economy shipping option. Also, Prime members can get next-day shipping for $3.99/item. We purchased a fairly large, heavy item when we reinstated our Prime membership and it was shipped to us for free!

Neat! 🙂

Amazon almost sold me on purchasing an Amazon Prime membership and a Kindle when they announced this: the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.

At first glance, I really thought this was the idea I’ve had for a while: a library system with the catalog of (someone like) Amazon.com. Nearly every book, available for purchase or to borrow.

We love our library system. It’s dozens of libraries offering their catalog of books as one joint collection that we can easily browse and borrow—and all from our “home” library! So great! But even with the number of libraries involved, there are frequently books (or videos, audiobooks, and other media) that they do not have. (There are SO many books!)

So what if they had more resources? What if the pool of books and lenders was larger.

What if the books were delivered electronically!??!

Kinda like Netflix meets Amazon, for books.

I really thought they had it, but the fine print convinced me to hold off on my Kindle purchase for a while longer. Unfortunately, for your $79/year you can only borrow one book per month. Bummer. The way I read, I’m usually reading about 10 books in any given month!

That slight disappointment aside, we can still wholeheartedly recommend Amazon Prime membership. We love it! Jen loves the speedy FREE shipping. I’ve been using the free streaming video service. They have quite a large selection of streaming video that is free for Prime members. (We even found Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood! You might find it odd to place an exclamation point at the end of that previous sentence, but we’ve been looking for that everywhere for a long time, and it’s harder to find than you’d think!!)

So if you’ve really not looked into it, we do highly recommend that you do.

Full disclosure: Because I am an Amazon Associate, links to Amazon (with my user ID in them) will generate a commission for me, if you make a purchase at Amazon after clicking the link. (That’s true of any link on this site to Amazon.) BUT, Amazon is in no (other) way compensating me for this glowing review of their awesome Prime membership program. 🙂

[RCS] WP Word Count

Welcome to another edition of RCS:

Really Cool Stuff!

One of the things I most love about WordPress is the huge variety of plugins made available by the creative open source community using and developing for this platform. I switched my blog over a few years ago, and I’m still quite glad I did.

(In fact, I use the WordPress CMS—Content Management System—for many of the sites I build for clients these days. Check out a few of them here.)

As you are composing articles, WordPress tracks words per post by default. You can monitor the total at the lower left corner of the content box. Since I’ve been trying to publish one post per day I thought it would be good to limit those posts to no more than 1,000 words per day. Thus, I’ve been watching the word count closer than normal.

I recently thought it would be interesting if there was a plugin that would aggregate all these word counts into larger categories. If you’re a WordPress user, you’re saying with me, “There has to be a plugin for that!

And of course, there is!

WP Wordcount is just the tool. It lets me see the total words published per month, all-time, and breaks it down into published and draft posts even. And I thought the top ten posts by word count was interesting to see, too. (My two longest posts were the birth stories of two of our sons, Ian and Cameron.)

So, if you’re looking to add some fun stat-tracking to your site, I recommend checking out WP Wordcount (I believe there are also widgets you can show publicly on your site, too.)

Wordcount for this post: 280


[RCS] Ordering Online from Mark’s Pizzeria

Mark's PizzeriaFrom time to time here at GregsHead.net, I’ve made a point of sharing things that we’ve come across that are a great value, or just simply worth the price of admission. (There’s even a tag for it.)

Since December 31st, I’ve taken a slightly new approach to producing content for this site. I will be publishing one post per day, rather than several posts whenever—or, no posts ever. So far it’s been great for me to write again (I really do enjoy it) and it also prevents me from overwhelming you, the reader with my writing binges! 🙂

Now that there is a regular schedule of posts, and since I often have recommendations for you of really cool stuff we’ve come across, I decided I’d try to make Sunday’s posts about that very thing: Really Cool Stuff. For short, you’ll see the tag “RCS” before the specific title for the post.

Now, for today’s Really Cool Stuff!

Alright, I may be behind the times, but… ordering pizza online is just so great!! I recently “took the plunge” with our local pizzeria (who has several locations all across western New York) and ordered a sheet pizza online, hoping I could set it to be ready a few hours later in the day.

I could do that, and so much more!

As a web designer, I think I have to say that Mark’s online ordering system lacks a bit in aesthetic and even functional/practical layout, but it definitely does what it needs to do.

Let’s say you’re just ordering a pizza (not any of their other menu items). You choose the size, and then your toppings—which you have full control over with double, light, and half-the-pizza options—and then when you’re ready, you check out. (Mark’s likes coupons, so there are plenty of coupons to choose from in the checkout process, we always get a discount!)

And you also get to choose when you want the pizza to be ready for pickup, or the time you want it delivered. You can add a tip with your online order, too!

I’m pretty sure that I’m never going to NOT order online (from Mark’s) again. And, because they make it so easy (and fun!) that also means we really won’t be ordering any pizza from any other pizzeria. (Unless they offer a similar online ordering system!)

I still prefer ordering food in person, but since you usually order pizza over the phone, anyway, there’s no reason not to give Mark’s online ordering a try! (Unless of course, you’re nowhere near a Mark’s Pizzeria… then it won’t work so well.)

Hope you get a chance to check that out. Maybe today? Sunday is a great day for pizza! (Football games are always better with pizza…) And we’ll have much more Really Cool Stuff for you each Sunday for as long as there’s cool stuff, and GregsHead.net!

Enjoy your pizza!