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The Moonlight Permutation

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
Photo Credit: David July — Palm tree and the full moon, 245 Front Street, Key West, Florida, 23 November 2007

In "The Hand Soap Quandary" published 23 February 2011, I discussed how my somewhat compulsive nature was not handling well the abrupt discontinuation of Moonlight Path Anti-Bacterial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap by Bath & Body Works. Most people can relate to the situation of having a valued product disappear from the marketplace, usually without warning. Nobody likes that.

You can therefore imagine my excitation when on 10 June 2011 commenter Megan wrote that Moonlight Path was again for sale on the Bath & Body Works website. I checked things out as soon as I got home from work. The bottle and label were different, but matched the design I saw in the store that fateful December day when I originally learned of the discontinuance.

I placed twenty bottles in my cart and finalized my purchase—$66.60 plus $8.99 shipping and $4.54 tax—convinced that all would be well soon. I received a notification of shipment along with a UPS tracking number on 12 June 2011. By the next day, UPS had the 13.7-pound box in its possession and tracking system in Louisville.

Adventures In Shipping

From Louisville, my box travelled to Nashville and then Jacksonville before arriving in Tallahassee. Unbelievably, this is where things get complicated. Although the package arrived at Tallahassee's primary USPS facility on 15 June 2011 at 1115 EDT, I would not see it for twelve days.
2011-06-15 1115 EDT Package transferred to post office
2011-06-16 1235 EDT Received by the local post office
At this point, I naturally assume that the package was transported the short distance from 2800 South Adams Street to 221 West Park Avenue, the home of 32302 and my Post Office Box.
2011-06-16 1420 EDT Package was forwarded to the receiver's address that is on file with the local post office.
As soon as I got home from work, I called Bath & Body Works customer support and spoke with a very friendly and helpful woman. I explained that I had forwarded my residential address to the PO Box and that if the tracking message is true, an unfortunate loop was about to be created. The CSR suggested the message could be interpreted as the act of transferring the package from the Post Office proper to my specific box.

I checked my box the next day and the day after that, no package. Now it is the weekend so I have to wait until Monday to check again. Monday arrives but the package still has not, so I once again call customer service.

The CSR, another friendly and helpful woman, reviewed my case and apologized for the situation. She immediately refunded the $9.53 shipping fee and tax that I had paid and offed to reship all twenty bottles immediately. While I accepted the credit, I told her I would prefer to have a final resolution before shipping another package into the aether.

Two more days pass and then I receive the following notifications from UPS.
2011-06-22 1425 EDT Local post office attempted delivery, package is undeliverable as addressed. Contact sender for further assistance.
2011-06-23 0927 EDT Received by the local post office
2011-06-23 0935 EDT Post office attempted delivery and left a delivery notice at the location. Contact post office per delivery notice.
The next time I check my PO Box there is indeed a yellow card, which indicates a package has arrived too large to fit in my box. Usually, they leave a key that opens a larger box nearby used explicitly for this purpose. Nevertheless, from time to time, they leave the yellow card instead, which means having to visit during their insufferable hours of operation and queue for fifteen minutes.

When I finally made it before they closed, it was Monday of the following week. I asked the USPS clerk what happened over the past weeks and she said that shipping with UPS to a Post Office Box was a bad idea. Clearly this is the case, but why is it so difficult? I thanked the clerk and left with my package.

2011-06-27 1204 EDT Package delivered by local post office
When I got the package home, I called Bath & Body Works one last time to inform them of my success so they could note it in my file. I was very excited to open the box and try the soap. The new bottles were an improvement insofar as the old pumps were often difficult to activate the first time.

The Times They Are a-Changin'

The first thing of concern I noticed was the color of the soap itself. I thought that perhaps the different bottle might be a factor until I actuated the pump; it pumped far more quickly than before, the viscosity altered to a more liquified state. Finally and most importantly, the smell—one of the key reasons I was enamored with Moonlight Path from the beginning—was changed.

Photo Credit: David July — Classic Moonlight Path Anti-Bacterial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap by Bath & Body WorksThere are two specific things I want to point out before continuing. First, I spoke with three or four different customer service representatives with Bath & Body Works and they were all friendly, professional, knowledgeable and incidentally, female. I never had to wait on hold to speak with them and their notes system meant not having to explain my situation thoroughly each time I called.

Customer support like this does not really exist anymore so I am pleased and impressed with this aspect of my purchase, despite the inconvenience that necessitated the communication in the first place. Other companies would be smart to take advantage of the current economic situation and re-think their customer service operations by hiring people in the United States to perform the jobs they had outsourced and by offering a real service to customers.

Second, I have to admit upfront that I do like the new Moonlight Path reboot. The smell is appealing not overwhelming, the texture is pleasant and I like the way my hands feel after using it. I am using it now and might get more in the future, but I am extremely dissatisfied that Bath & Body Works elected to call this soap Moonlight Path when it is obviously not.

Since I do not have a molecular analyzer at my disposal and cannot quantify the differences sufficiently by description alone, I resorted to typing the listed inactive ingredients on classic Moonlight Path and the new reboot variety—the only active ingredient, Triclosan, is common to both. The task took longer than expected as my fingers are not accustomed to scientific nomenclature and the font size on the bottles was extremely small.
Moonlight Path Classic
  1. Water (Aqua)
  2. TEA-Lauryl Sulfate
  3. Propylene Glycol
  4. Alcohol Denat.
  5. Lauramide DEA
  6. Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer
  7. Fragrance (Parfum)
  8. Triethanolamine
  9. Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate
  10. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
  11. Echinacea Purpurea (Coneflower) Extract
  12. Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate)
  13. Tetrasodium EDTA
  14. Panthenol (ProVitamin B-5)
  15. Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)
  16. Gelatin
  17. Acacia Senegal Gum
  18. Xanthan Gum
  19. Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate)
  20. Polyethylene
  21. Methylchloroisothiazolinone
  22. Methylisothiazolinone
  23. Benzophenone-4
  24. Ultramarines (CI 77007)
  25. Red 33 (CI 17200)
  26. Blue 1 (CI 42090)
  27. Ext. Violet 2 (CI 60730)
Moonlight Path Reboot
  1. Water (Aqua, Eau)
  2. TEA-Lauryl Sulfate
  3. Propylene Glycol
  4. Alcohol Denat.
  5. Lauramide DEA
  6. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
  7. Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract
  8. Honey Extract (Mel, Extrait de Miel)
  9. Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf/Stem Extract
  10. Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract
  11. Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter
  12. Panthenol
  13. Tocopheryl Acetate
  14. Retinyl Palmitate
  15. Fragrance (Parfum)
  16. Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer
  17. Acacia Senegal Gum
  18. Gelatin
  19. Polyethylene
  20. Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate
  21. Glycerin
  22. Triethanolamine
  23. Tetrasodium EDTA
  24. Benzophenone-4
  25. Xanthan Gum
  26. Methylchloroisothiazolinone
  27. Methylisothiazolinone
  28. Ultramarines (CI 77007)
  29. Ext. Violet (CI 60730)
  30. Red 33 (CI 17200)
  31. Blue 1 (CI 42090)
  32. Yellow 5 (CI 19140)
Four classic ingredients are not found in the reboot, while nine reboot ingredients are not found in classic. Indeed, the ingredients found in both versions are listed in a different order suggesting the quantities of each are also different.
Classic Ingredients Not In Reboot
  1. Echinacea Purpurea (Coneflower) Extract
  2. Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate)
  3. Panthenol (ProVitamin B-5)
  4. Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate)
Reboot Ingredients Not In Classic
  1. Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract
  2. Honey Extract (Mel, Extrait de Miel)
  3. Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf/Stem Extract
  4. Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract
  5. Panthenol
  6. Tocopheryl Acetate
  7. Retinyl Palmitate
  8. Glycerin
  9. Yellow 5 (CI 19140)
Windiff: Classic versus Reboot
Photo Credit: David July — Windiff comparison of ingredients found in Moonlight Path Anti-Bacterial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap by Bath & Body Works classic and reboot versions, 23 July 2011
In Conclusion

Bath & Body Works does everything right in the customer service department but needs some lessons on product naming and marketing. It is interesting to note that if you browse the Moonlight Path fragrance page, the reboot soap product is not listed. It appears on the Deep Cleansing Soaps subcategory page.

Is this because they know it is not truly Moonlight Path?

I am left with my original quandary but have an acceptable, if deceitfully named replacement. In the great scheme of things, all is well. I only wish I understood the decision-making process involved here and will continue to hope that the true, classic Moonlight Path will return some day.

Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July
Photo Credit: David July

The Moon Landing at 42

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
Photo Credit: NASA/Neil Armstrong/JSC — AS11-40-5850 Lunar Surface with Lunar Module Strut, 70mm Hasselblad, Kodak Ektachrome SO168 160ASA Color, Film Magazine 40/S, 20 July 1969 at ~0303:49 UTC
"I'll step out and take some of my first pictures here."      – Neil Armstrong (CDR)
Fifty-six seconds after informing Captain Bruce McCandless II (CAPCOM) of his intent to take humanity's first photographs on the lunar surface during extravehicular activity, Neil Armstrong adjusted the settings on his 70mm Hasselblad—loaded with Kodak Ektachrome SO168 160ASA color film, Magazine 40/S—and snapped a series of photos for a panorama starting with this one. The result is AS11-40-5850 "Lunar Surface with Lunar Module Strut" shot by Armstrong just west of the Lunar Module ladder looking east-southeast. You can watch video of this sequence, learn more about Apollo 11 photography and panoramas, browse the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal including the entire mission image library and read the official transcripts.

The Reynholm Way

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help

Original Logo Credit: Reynholm Industries

Are you a fan of the brilliant British television comedy The IT Crowd by Graham Linehan? Do you frequently feel the need to vent because of impossible users, clients or people in general? I think it is important these two demographics have an appropriate outlet.

"People, what a bunch of bastards."
     – Chris O'Dowd as Roy Trenneman

The IT Crowd S02E03 "Moss and the German" (2007)

As if that was not entertaining enough, Pam made a request for a version including her favorite Moss quote. Who am I to refuse a request like that?

"I like being weird. Weird's all I've got. That and my sweet style."
     – Richard Ayoade as Maurice Moss

The IT Crowd S03E02 "Are We Not Men" (2008)

The sound clips are available to download via the Reynholm Industries logo on each page. I might be up for another one; suggest your favorite Jen Barber quotes and I can complete what may as well be a trifecta.

2011-07-09 — I rewrote things using HTML5, jQuery and jPlayer for better platform and browser interoperability. I did not find a Jen quote but I did find another of Moss appropriate for this impromptu YTMND inspired project.

"I came here to drink milk and kick ass. And I've just finished my milk."
     – Richard Ayoade as Maurice Moss

The IT Crowd S04E02 "The Final Countdown" (2010)

2011-07-10 — Taking Pam up on her suggestions in the comments, I found a great albeit longer quote from Jen and also added Douglas Reynholm to the mix. Ladies and gentlemen I'd like to present to you...

"Wouldn't it be better if I could actually bring one of these wonders in to show you it? Say oh, I don't know um, The Internet! I think it would and I have! Ladies and gentlemen I'd like to present to you, The Internet! Oh please no flash photography, you'll harm The Internet."
     – Katherine Parkinson as Jen Barber

The IT Crowd S03E04 "The Speech" (2008)

"You there, computer man. Fix my pants."
     – Matt Berry as Douglas Reynholm

The IT Crowd S03E03 "Tramps Like Us" (2008)

2011-07-16 — This one is for Marc by email request.

"You'd best put seatbelts on your ears, Roy, 'cause I'm going to take them for the ride of their lives."
     – Richard Ayoade as Maurice Moss

The IT Crowd S03E04 "The Speech" (2008)

2011-09-12 — This amusing addition is for Marta in San Jose, California via Marc by SMS request.

"You've got big balls, Roy."
     – Richard Ayoade as Maurice Moss

The IT Crowd S01E06 "Aunt Irma Visits" (2006)

2012-09-05 — This has nothing to do with The IT Crowd but when Marc said that I should have my own Picard facepalm to link to online, this domain seemed like an appropriate home.

For those wondering, this now iconic image originates from the Star Trek: The Next Generation season three episode "Deja Q" which originally aired in 1990.

Picard Face Palm

2015-09-13 — Data wanted to join Captain Picard, so here he is saying "oh shit" in the film Star Trek Generations.

Data Oh Shit
Original Logo Credit: Reynholm Industries
Original Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
Original Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures