Saturday, April 4, 2009

Gotta love this Nebraska weather!

We've been having fabulous spring weather. In fact, we've been having thunderstorms this afternoon and evening, and a lovely warm day. I was cogitating on my window boxes, and what kind of flowers to put in them this year. Tonight, we're in a blizzard warning. Go figure. Below are a few of my spring favorites that may not be in bloom by tomorrow if it snows as much as they're predicting. I actually cut the daffodils and put them in a vase. My lilacs are just about to bloom, too, so I hope they survive (they're my all-time favorites).

Tom's cousin just deposited this lathe on our doorstep a couple days ago. Tom is kind of having fun with it, but doesn't really have any projects for it. He's trying to decide if he's going to keep it or give it to a certain wood sculptor we know, as long as he agrees to turn out little things for us if we need them (drawers pulls and the like).

I just found out that my Italian "brother" reads this blog occasionally, which is exciting to me. I'm being read overseas!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Neither rain, nor snow, nor dark of night . . .

I love to get mail. It's been pissing me off for months now that our mail doesn't seem to arrive before 4 or 5:00 — I really think it should be here when I get home from work. I was really upset when I heard that not only is the price of first-class postage going up again in May, but they're seriously considering dropping home delivery one or two days a week. Today, though, grim reality smacked me upside the head. What you see in the photo below is the sum total of my mail today.

It's been like that all week. The only non-advertising mail I've received this week is my car insurance bill (don't know why they haven't yet gone online), and my receipt for paying my property tax (which I paid online — why they had to mail my receipt is anyone's guess). So, maybe it wouldn't be a bad thing to cut back on home delivery. Consider that every single household in America receives at least this much junk mail EVERY DAY! Does anybody actually look at these ads? Does anybody really like getting them? I'm guessing that that most people just do what I do, which is to fan through it to see if there are any real envelopes, and then throw the rest away. How many trees gave up their lives for this? It's not even good for starting fires because most of it is glossy (and bad for recycling for the same reason).

I work for a state agency that mails a LOT of stuff, and postage is our single biggest expense every year. We've cut our mailings by two-thirds or so by putting things on the Internet, but this is Nebraska and there are still an alarming number of people who don't have and/or want Internet; and the cost of postage keeps going up. Plus, how do we know who they are, and most of our mailings are required by law.

My daughter used to work at a cool card shop (Avant Card), and I would keep a store of funky cards around and made a point to mail birthday, anniversary, etc. cards to people just for fun (and admittedly to amaze them that I remembered these occasions).

Anyway, maybe the U.S. Postal Service really is going the way of the dinosaur. And ecologically, it's probably a good thing.