First Order from Amazon

Amazon remembers every order you ever placed. My first order was on March 3, 2000. Here’s what it contained:

  • Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • The Hedgehog and the Fox : An Essay on Tolstoy's View of History, by Isaiah Berlin
  • Cocktail : The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century, by Paul Harrington, Laura Moorhead

I liked Red Mars, but never got around to reading the rest of the books in the series. The Hedgehog and the Fox was good too. I was reminded of this book recently in an excellent SALT podcast by Philip Tetlock called "Why Foxes Are Better Forecasters Than Hedgehogs". The real winner in this batch is Cocktail, which I still reference regularly. This is no surprise though. I was already familiar with this same material from HotWired’s Cocktail, which introduced me in 96-97 to what are still my three favorite drinks, the Gibson, the Rusty Nail, and the Sidecar.

Viewing the payment info and it said I used a gift certificate for that order. I searched my e-mail and found the original gift certificate. It was a gift from Diana, the same Diana I would start dating later that year.

Embarrassingly, the search also turned up the fact that this gift certificate originally expired before I cashed it in. Amazon was nice enough to send me this e-mail a month later:

We've discovered that you received a $<INSERT_AMOUNT_HERE> gift certificate, and that it expired without ever being redeemed. That's no fun. So, as our gift to you, we're reactivating it.

In spite of the honkey-tonk mail merge that left in INSERT_AMOUNT_HERE, I was able to reactivate it and make my first purchase.

(via Matthew Oliphant)