We now have a confirmed ship date of August 15th. I realize this is not as soon as we might have preferred, but there we are. We also have a signed agreement with Transcontinental that the books will be ready for shipping on that date against a default of fifteen percent of the printing fees for those volumes (which would result in a modest refund to each of you). Presumably everybody watns the books in hand as much as I want them there, but feel free to hope for either outcome as you prefer.
Now, everything seems to be in place, my filing is up-to-date, there are a few things still extant, but they'll hold for a couple of weeks. I am claiming my two weeks vacation during which I shall read on hilltops in the park, enjoy the fresh swampy smog air of Houston, see family, all those lovely things. What this means for all of you: Hopefully, nothing. As of this weekend, I have gotten confirmation from every subscriber for address and some form of contact information--hurrah!--so there should be no worries about having the books shipped properly. If any emergencies crop up between now and, let's say, the 29th, please contact my office at 713-861-3600. I intend to keep my email checking to a minimum, hopefully no more than once every two to three days, but I will be checking if you want to try to get through. Compliments and niceties will be printed out for my scrapbook while complaints and death threats will be archived pending my inevitable return.
While I'm rambling on, I would like to take a moment to address our shipping arrangements for the first set of books. In the interest of saving some time and getting things out a bit faster, we're opting to bear the extra expense and have the first set shipped directly by Transcontinental. They are a rather large printing company with quite a lot of experience in the field. Nonetheless, we want to be informed if there are any problems with the packaging or books as they arrive. I'll reiterate this in roughly a month--Happy Bastille Day, incidentally--but if there are any problems, don't hesitate to contact us immediately.