Posted in Everyday Life, Instructions, Rambling, Surprises

Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Went to the Post Office

Hi folks!

Long time no blog! Right? Well, I think I’m ready to get rolling again. How exciting!

I wanted to get started with a little postal know-how. Before my experience with mass mailings – beginning in 2008 with my first secretary job, I knew not. After my mass mailings experiences, I know now. See how that works?

First, I will start with the Self-Service Kiosks. These mystical machines exist in only a few very rare places – and NOT NEAR YOU. The easiest way to get started is by googling these keywords: FML IHU.

No, no. Not those! Those are the words you SAY after you travel 22 miles and realize that the kiosk doesn’t do what you want it to do. Sssshhh. Calm down. It’ll be okay.

Instead, do this. Type “USPS” into your browser address bar. Choose the “Welcome: USPS” link. Easy so far.

USPS 1

Next, click “Find USPS Locations”. Locate the drop down bar, and then choose: “Self-Service Kiosk”.USPS 2

Awesome. Now, type your zip code and then choose the number of miles you would be willing to travel (and how much gas you would be willing to waste) to utilize the kiosk. Finally, click “search”.

Voila! Seriously. It is a really easy task. What ISN’T so easy is suddenly arriving at the kiosk and being limited to the Liberty Bell FOREVER stamps and other denominations of stamps and 5 per transaction. Das it.

If you need anything in addition to your 49 cent stamp, either make time to go to the counter and talk with a clerk or go here:

https://store.usps.com/store/browse/subcategory.jsp?categoryId=under-stamp-rate&categoryNavIds=buy-stamps%3Astamps-by-type%3Aunder-stamp-rate

Don’t give me that look. I’ll tell you how I got there.

USPS 3At the same website, click the “Postal Store” option in the blue ribbon. Then, choose “Stamps”. Now, choose the option in the left sidebar that says “Under 49-cents” or one of the others if you so desire.

Great SCOTT! Look at all those options!

Click a stamp with the cents that make sense. (I just made myself chuckle.)

Next, scroll and click through your options. Take a look at how many stamps are included in a sheet, book, or roll. Add the desired quantity to your cart. Check out, and BAM! You’re done until you’ve got those stamps in your feverish little hands.

Now, this is something you CANNOT do at the Self-Service Kiosk. And that’s okay, because we (meaning me) need to do our (meaning my) research so we can avoid the huffy, puffy anxiety once we realize the stamps we want are not available!

This will come in handy too if you want any specialty or limited edition stamps, like Black Heritage, that certain neighborhoods either run out of instantly or do not carry at all.

Next, DO NOT go with the 28lb paper at your local office supply store’s website. Go in the store. Talk to a clerk. Choose the lighter (in weight) paper.

If you choose the heavier default paper, and if you have 3 pages to fill and no more than that, prepare to edit meticulously. If you go over 3 sheets, you’re gonna be looking at extra postage – not from the Self-Service Kiosk.

So, I do hope that this has been helpful to you. Please let me know if you have any Post Office tips that folks might find handy.

Cheers!

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Posted in Fun, Music, Rambling, Surprises

What the what?

*If you know who H and C are, you’re in good shape to read the rest of this. If you do not know who they are, imagine a hippy Grizzly Adams for H, and a spry, talkative tween boy (who hates the term tween) for C.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whew, okay. So now that things have settled down, here’s the other details of our mighty adventure. So, the place itself, the people within the event, and the scenery are mind-blowing for this one-level Ohioan (pavement). The camping on-site actually started a week before we even got there. We took our camping gear and lots of other stuff, but we did not take perishable food. Why? Because we knew there were going to be Food Trucks and because we didn’t know if the place had accoutrements for camp fires. Answer: nada for camp fires. BUMMER!

We put up the tent, got our stuff in it from the car, and I went to a gas station to get a pack of water bottles while H and C trekked the hill to the nearest tower of outlets to blow up the mattress. The first gas station didn’t have jack so I went to the next one, the later offending Exxon. I got the water and some cash from their ATM.

Glory be, what happened to me? The freakin’ electronic window, driver side, would NOT go back up. Crap.

I got back and we explored. We discovered that the trek up to the festivities from our tent was going to be mighty. We got a heck of a workout while we were there. H and C played with banjos, fiddles, and more. We finally found a friend who was camped out clear on the other side of the woods. I cheesed out early on both nights, but H and C stayed out late on the first night jammin’ with the enthusiasts.

On the second day, we checked out more instrument vendors and food trucks. All three of us went to the gas station to pick up a few things, snacks and H for the ATM to get a really freakin‘ cool 12-string mandolin that he later gave to a beaming and overjoyed C.

I have to admit right here, I had a bad feeling about going into the gas station before I went in on the second day.

Right after H got cash out of the ATM, we were standing in front of the refrigerators in the gas station and couldn’t decide what to get. I checked my own cash flow after H asked if I was good for the rest of the weekend. I concluded I was fine on funds. Hunger was getting the better of us so we finally decided on a couple of things each. After I put my wallet back in my bag I got the royal stink-eye from the female shop attendant. I thought she was giving us the evil eye because we must have been lingering too long.

So, H and C go up to the register first, then me. The female shop attendant, a woman in her early to mid-60s said for me to put what was in my bag on the counter too. “Excuse me”?

“I saw you put lunch meat in your bag.”

“Pardon me?”

“You put it in your bag and then you turned around and smiled at me.”

“I smiled because I was acknowledging your presence.”

After my face went blood red and eerily, angrily expressionless (according to H and C – this is a phenomenon I’ll have to explore), I took out of the whole contents of my bag. Nada. Nothin’.

Before I got the last of it out of my bag, the man whom I had seen the day before and had carried the pack of water to my car immediately went to the ice cream refrigerator, offered his sincerest apologies and fudge bars, “since we were wrong”.

Like really, do you want to associate yourself with the accuser here? Did you know she was going to accuse me? Were you accusing me?

She began apologizing, but really back-handedly, “You never can be too sure this time of year” (referring to the festival).

H was incredibly upset and ret’ ta go, C was stunned. I refused the “extras” and said, “No, we’ll take what is on the counter, and pay for it.” So, she rang it up, I paid, we left, and OOPS. H left his sunglasses on the ATM machine. So, he had to go back in and get ’em.

Then, we got hit by a really amazing thunderstorm that shook our sturdy tent and empathetically distracted me from my severe irritation. The fresh mist continued until the next day and we finally packed up and hit the road – open driver side window on I-77N at 70 mph and all.

Lessons learned:

1. Don’t let a fickle window stop ya, but get it fixed when you get home whether it rolled up again or not.
2. Take up a string instrument so you don’t feel like the only person not playing next year.
3. Shop at grocery stores in the backwoods of W. Virginia, not gas stations. Thems some weird, leery folks. They think cash looks like lunch meat.

Posted in Everyday Life, Rambling

Suicidal Pedestrian and Driver

Truly, females in Columbus and nearby must be on suicide missions and/or have a death wish.

Near campus:

Around the corner from High St, a girl in a irritating, wannabe military-esque hat and a guy with low-riding shorts were crossing the street. The guy scoots along, clearly recognizing that this is a busy street and it would be a bad thing to make contact with a car.

The girl is lagging behind on purpose and this car is coming up at a pace slow enough for her to completely avoid, but – I kid you not – she stares down the driver while still moving quite slowly and the driver has to swerve half way to the right into the next lane to miss her. Had she been any farther back from that lane, I would have hit potentially hit her.

My first thought was: she’s got some sort of a medical affliction that her insurance (if she has any), Medicaid, or anything else won’t pay for. Therefore, if she gets her *** hit, the unknowing driver is sacked with the bill and/or charged for striking a pedestrian with a vehicle – or whatever it technically would be.

Granted, this may not be the case. Yes, I prejudged based on that defiant look. It could have meant something entirely different to her. But it was that look which could have landed her in the hospital and the driver on the wrong side of the law and/or in the hospital.

Rt 61:

There is a known issue, minor though, with my new-to-me Jetta and the dealer is having it fixed – no charge to me. Howard met me at the dealer so I could drop off my car to be fixed up tomorrow.

We’re on our way back home and on Rt 61, this female driver in a rural-fabulous van is riding his tail. I didn’t see how close she was, if she had turn a turn signal on or what.

On a street that is 2 lanes, coming and going, it’s painfully obvious that there’s very little room for error. This driver not only attempts to pass us but she gets to the left of us with absolutely no room to get in between Howard’s car and the one ahead of us. The driver going the opposite direction, and a couple others following, actually had to PULL OVER TO THE DITCH to avoid this maniac! And get this! No more than a couple miles down the same road, majority of the drivers turned onto Rt 229 and that horse’s arse actually went straight – no one in front of her, no one behind her. There was absolutely no valid reason for this person to risk her life and everyone else’s!

Wow. Just wow.

Posted in Everyday Life, Rambling

Wal-Fart

I had, quite possibly, the worst — no, stupidest experience at Wal-Mart on Tuesday night. I had gotten off work a little early (10:30) because I just couldn’t sit there any longer and properly concentrate. I had slightly suspected that Howard was at home that night, but I wasn’t sure. I drove up to Wal-Mart up here in MtV while talking to my mom. She recommended some eyedrops and I wanted to get some other stuff as well. When I finally got there, I entered the sliding glass doors and amidst the noise of the air conditioner up above, I told my mom I was likely going to lose my signal.

I meandered around gathering a few things that I was thinking about at the time and put it in a basket on my arm. Then, I walked up to the only lane available to check out, the cigarette lane. The girl at the register was chatting a woman. There were a couple of guys next in line with a movie to buy. Next was me, and then about a minute later, another woman got in line behind me with a quarter of a cartful of groceries. The girl at the register keeps chatting with the woman at the front of the line. To me, it looked like their transaction was done and they was just still gabbing. Neither the Wal-Mart employee nor the customer said a word to the rest of us.

You know you want to buy one....Thank you Zazzle.com.

I start tapping my foot a little. I look around for another lane. Nothing.

Thinking that the lady behind me is getting a little frustrated as well, I look back and she shrugs and says “so what are we doin’ here? Just bullsh!ttin’?” I say, ” I dunno what’s going on.”

The girl at the register and the customer are in this indepth ‘he said, she said’ conversation. Finally, I lift the basket from my arm and said rather loudly, “Welp, I guess I really don’t need anything.”

I head toward the Customer Service department because that was just a little frustrating. Two customer service representatives, one after the other, walk straight past me and to the register. I turn around and look behind me. The customer says, “That’s right, I’m the one causing trouble.”

Granted, she did not look like someone who is ignorant. But, that was just plain rude that the girl at the register never said a thing to the rest of us. Nothing to imply that they were waiting on assistance.

So, I shrug my shoulders and walk out. I would just love to know what the woman who was behind me with her cart had to say to the girl at the register.

I won’t be going back to that Wal-Mart ever again. Everything that I actually would want can be found at Pat Catan’s across the street, Kroger, Odd Lots and other various mom-n-pop shops. I’ve never had an ounce of trouble at any other store.

My conclusion:

Wal-Mart is evil. I had a dream several years ago. I was in what seemed to be K-Mart that used to be located where Big Lots is now on Deo Drive in Newark, Ohio. Everything on the shelfs was very nice and the store looked well kept. Suddenly, all around me, everything the store began to deteriorate. The roof began to shudder and I zipped my butt right out the door. Right in front of K-Mart the parking lot was in tatters; there were pot holes, craggy asphalt. The parking lot was divided and there was police tape from one end of the parking lot to the other. On the other side of the police tape, the parking lot was smooth, with fresh lines. On the far side, there stood a newly built Wal-Mart. Inside, my gut just felt rancid and the air was ominous. Never again shall I step foot in a Wal-Mart.

Posted in Health, Rambling

Brilliant My Foot

So, yeah. Those cottony things that help women manage that time of the month. We’re all aware that they exist. There’s a gazillion different brands. I hate the commercials because they make ‘that time’ seem like something that isn’t that big of a deal. WRONG. It’s annoying! I’m just flat out being honest.

I just saw a commercial on television for something that is supposed to be a “Brilliant” solution to what the commercial implies is abnormal pH during Aunt Flo’s visit. I visited the website FAQs page very briefly. Right off the bat, the first thing that I can tell you after reading the first answer to one of the FAQs is whomever composed the FAQs has terrible grammar. Granted, I know a break a few rules of comma use and probably more. But, if a professional company is going to have a website, they should at least have a dozen people editing it. I don’t care if who edits it actually has a degree in English. I have a degree in Psychology. My psych professors were just as hard to please as my English professors were (and I love every one of ’em).

That said, go to the FAQ site if you dare. The last sentence of the answer of the first question contains the word “then” instead of “than”. “Than” indicates a comparison between two things which is what that sentence was supposed to do. Duh. Yes, super critical over one little word, but it’s something that messes around with our bodies if we use it! The least they could do is go beyond spellcheck.

Posted in Crochet/Knit, Fun, Rambling

Kroger Fail, Handy Sun

If the title doesn’t make any sense, that’s because it’s just a mash-up of things that I’m thinking about today.

First, I’m  mad at Kroger for not having any glasses spray. I went on a wild goose chase with a Kroger employee looking for glasses spray. First, I look at the glasses display next to the pharmacy. Nothing. I then ask an employee that was probably looking for something herself. She asked a pharmacy employee where glasses spray might be. He suggested looking around the glasses display. Been there, done that. Then, the Kroger employee wandered toward the regular foodie aisles. She talked to another Kroger employee who suggested aisle 10 with other cleaning supplies. :-\ Fail again. At this point, I gave up and vowed to write this post about Kroger’s epic fail.

I’ve been wanting to get back into avidly crocheting. I think it’s a fun little activity. I’m not so great with knitting (1 1/4 scraves completed) so I stick with something that has faster results. I made a little baby hat for a co-worker’s baby (who arrived a couple of days ago). It was hunter green (I think) and it was unbelievably cute (though I’m a little biased). Since it’s wonderfully sunny outside these days, my plan for the rest of this week, if I don’t slack off and stay in bed, is to take my crocheting outside. As soon as summer hits, that won’t be such a fantastic idea unless I’m in the shade. The easiest thing to do is to make the little baby hats. You get results in no-time-flat and they look great. Since my fundage is quite a bit better these days, my plan is to stock up on various colors of yarn and just go at it. It’ll be great to get some Christmas presents under way and completed too.

With those things in mind, I’ll be headed off to work soon. I’ll kick myself for the next half hour for not getting out of bed when I had set my alarm. That’s okay. I’ll start over tomorrow.

Posted in Everyday Life, Rambling

31: Week 3

So far so good! The job is going well! I get there later in there day and all the folks who are still in Academy Bay are still around. By the time a couple hours pass, they are gone and it feels like there is no one there except the two ladies in my row.

My neighbor is super helpful and I appreciate her knowledge of all things 31. The girl who was in my training class is a few cubicles down, but we get to whisper-holler to each other when we’re stumped. The team leads are really helpful too. The company grows exponentially every day so it’s pretty much mandatory to ‘ask if you are not sure’. Someone will know.

The best part is being able to be in touch with my friend who works at Easton. She told me about 31 and I was hired faster than I expected. She’s planning her wedding for June. It’s been great to be in touch about work at work and then the wedding before or after work.

At lunch, it seemed like there was a vacuum at work. I hardly saw anyone, but apparently there were more people there than I thought. I shuffled in ‘Subway’ and sat with my ‘dinner’ for my ‘lunch break’. Not a soul in sight. One fellow meandered in with his tea, then another, then another. Before ya knew it, I was surrounded by folks that I suspect work in the warehouse. I didn’t see anyone in monogramming.

At the last break, there was still little sign of life. Finally, when my fellow newbie and I went to our cars to go home, there were tons of people in the parking lot! Whew! Good to know!

The people are friendly, the consultants just want information and a friendly voice, the customers wanna be consultants. I couldn’t ask for anything better.