Wednesday, August 31, 2011

LIfe Is Like A Ferris Wheel: There Are Ups And Downs, And What Goes Around Comes Around

Saturday was the first day we ran our newly adjusted routes. The day began with our station manager telling us that we would be able to make changes in the next few days, but she'd also told us that we'd be able to make changes in the last few days, so I didn't totally expect it to happen. I also didn't expect that at the end of the meeting I would called into the office to be told that I had a bad attitude. And worse, I was sarcastic and condescending. As if!  I didn't really respond because I didn't think she would understand.

The line of travel was set by managers in the thrall of their new computer. It was like running a brand new route. In those circumstances, carriers "follow the mail," to find out where they're going. I did that, but apparently the mail was drunk. The bad news is that the route is much longer and laid out inefficiently, but the very good news is that I get paid by the hour.

Sunday was forecast to be rainy, but the day dawned sunny and warm. This was especially gratifying as my friend, Rich, and I had planned to bicycle to the state fair in Palmer and meet Karen and Leah there. As you can clearly see from these photos that I clearly didn't take, riding across the  Eklutna Flats, and the Knik River bridge was beautiful. That's inadequate, and Roget himself didn't do much better, maybe magnificent? Anyway, it was nice. But just past the bridge, Rich got a flat tire. He fixed it, we got back on our bikes, rode about twelve feet, and my tire popped.  We fixed it, and just then, Leah called. She was about a quarter mile ahead of us, and wondered if we'd like to ride in the car the rest of the way. We did, but traffic was so backed up that we would have gotten there faster on our bikes. This had consequences because I had hoped to arrive at the fair early enough that we could eat, look at cows, get hungry, eat, then go see Garrison Keillor (who sang this song), eat and go home. As it was, we arrived just in time for the show, which was three hours long(!), so we had to eat all those meals in one short frenzy on the way out to the gate. We managed it, but I felt like I might have missed some things that I would have tried if I'd had a little more time. Because Karen was in a wheelchair, we were able to see the show from the handicapped accessible area near the front, but they didn't provide chairs for caregivers, so Rich and I ended up standing for the entire show, which was much more tiring than the bike ride. When we got home, there was an email from the fair organization to tell us that because of the show's length, they had relaxed their restrictions on chairs brought from home.
Then other stuff happened, and now here we are.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Don't Tap On The Glass

I'm about halfway through an article entitled Saving The Middle Class.  I haven't gotten to the prescriptive part of it yet, but based on the descriptive part, it might involve putting us in museums and zoos.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Don't Put Anything In Your Ears That's Smaller Than Your Elbow.

Postal officials stopped by this morning to tell us that the final labels and documents regarding our route adjustments would be dropped off this afternoon. They told us that they appreciated how much time we'd spent making notes and suggestions to guide them through the process.
Sure enough, the labels and documents were there this afternoon. Apparently, they wadded up the notes we'd made, and put them in their ears so they wouldn't have to listen our suggestions.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sausages, Politics, And Now, Computer Repair

We've long known that watching sausages or laws being made will take away your trust in the process. Now we need to add computer repair.
I took my computer to the Alaska Mac Store* today to fix a little problem caused by someone (I'm someone) putting an SD card in the CD slot. It took them about thirty seconds. I asked them how they did it, and they said, "Oh, we just turned it on its side and shook it." I guess it worked, you're reading this blog post right now that I typed on it.

By the way, thanks for listening to me talk about my route adjustments. They're crazy stupid, but when I try to talk to other carriers about them, they act like my adjustments were done by Nobel-prize-winning cartographers. I know they're right, but mine still are stupid.

*Because even though Apple opened a store here a couple of weeks ago, I appreciate that the Alaska Mac Store opened here almost fifteen years ago, when Apple wasn't the biggest most popular company in the world.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Nation Should Turn Its Lonely Eyes To Us

 In his new book, A First Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness, Ghaemi lays out the argument that leaders with some mental illnesses are often better in times of crisis.
Based on the route adjustments taking effect next week at our station, the Post Office is being run by delusional madmen;  want proof,  here's the final map.
Vote for us, we're even crazier than your candidate.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Old Joke. Man: When I Drink Soup I Get A Pain In My Eye. Dr: Take The Spoon Out of The Bowl.

We've come to a fork in the road with our route adjustments, and like always at the PO, whenever we see a fork, we pick it up and stab it in our eye.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Value Of Golda (Meier) Has Never Been Higher

To totally paraphrase a Golda Meier quote out of context:
The congressional super committee will make progress when Republicans love America more than they hate the president.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

If The Communists Ran The Post Office, And They Were Having A Race, Would They Start It By Saying, "On Your Marx"?

I'm just asking because we're about to adjust all the routes in the station in two weeks, including abolishing two routes, and they still haven't decided who gets what.
So, we're not communists, but it's like we say, "Get ready, go, get set."

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Do You Hate Your Doctor Fifteen Percent Less?

Doctor's training has begun to include listening skills and it's starting to pay off. Doctors on average now wait about 15% percent longer before interrupting their patients. This means that they are willing to wait a full 21 seconds before stopping that incessant buzzing noise that they hear when they're not the ones talking.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Check Out Our Money Gone Guarantee

The stock market dropped about 600 points today, which is the same as putting stocks on sale. It's too bad they don't have a policy so that just like when you buy something from Best Buy and you find it cheaper some place else you can return it and get your money back, but when you buy Best Buy, you're just out of luck.

Friday, August 05, 2011

A Pendulum Tires Of Sedately Swinging

Over the fifteen years I've had my route, the boundaries have shifted slightly to the west (to take streets from an incompetent and slow carrier who went on to become a station manager) and then to the  east (same carrier, same reason), but the core of the route has remain unchanged. For fifteen years. Now, the Postal Service, has a computer, and they're using it to define the routes. Inexplicably, my route is shifting east and west simultaneously, while the middle is being given to other carriers. So, I'll be driving past the customers I've had for fifteen years to get from one end of  my route to the other. I'll be driving past the entrance to the school I've delivered to for ten years, but someone else will have to drive through the street that shows on the computer's map, but that was closed about seven years ago, to actually deliver their mail, perhaps with a catapult.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Inside Baseball

I think I hit for the cycle punctuating the last post.

Bill O'Reilly Wouldn't Tell You This Even If It Was True

I think my last post was pretty good, especially the part about Fox News, but I report; you can decide how clever I am: for the first half of the day I had my rain pants on backwards.

Monday, August 01, 2011

This Just In, Or Out

So, normally, the President doesn't negotiate with terrorists, but apparently an exception can be made for the Tea Party. In announcing these developments, Fox News reported that black is white. For balance, they added, up is down.