The USPS is crap

December 13, 2009 at 12:01 pm | Posted in Rants | 2 Comments

I noticed a while back that I wasn’t getting much mail beyond junk mail and grocery advertisements.  I thought it was a bit odd, but since I pay most bills online these days and don’t receive paper statements anymore I was not worried.  Until I received an email from my car insurance company saying the renewal papers and identity cards were in the mail. . . and they never arrived.  Over the past ten delivery days, I have received one piece of junk mail, an online order that was left on the doorstep, and nothing from the insurance.  I went to the USPS website and filled out a form for customer service reporting my problem and I’m waiting for a response.

Today I got an email from a company whose bill I pay online (but paper bills still get mailed).  Apparently the post office returned the mail and said I don’t live here anymore.  WTF? I didn’t turn in a change of address and I’ve been picking up the junk mail.  Why send back my regular mail?  Even more crazy, why send back regular mail but deliver a package?   I know a lot of people leave these rentals after a year, but I’m still here and it would have been obvious that I am if procedures were followed.  I read the procedures mail carriers are supposed to follow before suspending service on the website.  My carrier didn’t even come close and I’m beyond irritated.

I’m waiting on a few important pieces of mail and I’m pretty sure this is going to totally screw up the delivery.  One of them is undoubtedly already on the way back to the sender.

Bonehead moves like this are part of the reason why the postal service can’t make a profit.

Irritating Phrases

November 7, 2008 at 5:51 pm | Posted in Rants | 1 Comment

I read a story in the Telegraph today about a list of the Top 10 Irritating Phrases compiled by researchers at Oxford University. I have to admit that I’m guilty of using some of the phrases on the list from time to time (#2 and occasionally 3, 4 or 1). I couldn’t help but notice that some of the ones I find to be the most annoying didn’t make the list. Maybe because they are geographically specific to parts of the US and the research was conducted in England?

For example:

1. “On line”…..as in “”Next person on line”, “I was standing on line”

This particular phrase seems to be very popular in the Northeast and truly grates on my nerves. Hello, if there isn’t a line painted on the floor then you aren’t standing ON line, you are standing IN line. I eventually got over the urge to correct people who were saying it, but it bothered me right up until I left NJ.

2. “Cut off “….. the light, radio, etc.

Just to be fair I thought I should probably include one from the South. Being raised in Texas, to me “cutting off the lights” meant that someone didn’t pay the power bill and their electricity was being turned off. In the south, telling someone to cut off the light is synonymous with telling someone to turn off the light.

3. “The five” when used to refer to I-5 in California (or “The 15” or whatever other iteration a person decides to use)

The article went on to state that:

Mr Butterfield said: “We grow tired of anything that is repeated too often – an anecdote, a joke, a mannerism – and the same seems to happen with some language.”

I have to agree with this. Last week at the vet’s office, every third word out of her mouth after I answered a question was “wonderful”. It was pretty irritating- especially when we were discussing what are possibly tumors that will need to be sampled and evaluated by a pathologist. Call me crazy, but I don’t consider the potential for my dog to have cancer to be wonderful. She wasn’t our regular vet and looked like a new grad, so I’m going to cut her some slack. Bedside manner with owners can be difficult to develop and she did at least listen to me.

What do you think should be included in a US version of this list?

Branded With A Scarlet Letter

July 25, 2008 at 12:00 am | Posted in Rants | 14 Comments

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that it is best not to discuss politics at work. Ever. I vote based on issues, not party, and have voted for Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Overall I probably fall a bit more in what people would label the “conservative” end of the spectrum, but not too far, and have opinions on certain issues that most people would consider to be “liberal” leanings. However, I work in a field that is fairly liberal and currently live in a part of the country where “conservative” is a dirty word. The two combined make talking about politics at work even less of a good idea than it would be otherwise. So, I’ve continued my practice of “don’t ask, I won’t tell”.

Within the past year a new co-worker who is openly Republican started work with me. Some people tease him about it- jokes about McCain’s age, being Republican means he hates children, etc.- but nothing too bad. I maintained my silence. Recently there was a conversation that started with the New Yorker cover with the caricature of the Obamas. I said something during the discussion (not even remotely political) that resulted in the comment “Well, you’re from Texas. You must be a Republican too.” Interesting since I hadn’t agreed or disagreed with any of the political statements that had been made at that point. Things progressed into a discussion of the Supreme Court Decision in the DC gun ban case and somehow ended up with talk about New Jersey gun laws.

I don’t own a gun, have never fired a gun, and have no plans to buy one, but I also don’t think that guns themselves are inherently evil (a common belief in my profession). Several of my favorite blogs are written by gun owners who post about diverse issues such as guns in the military, family time at the gun range, and proper preparation for a Zombie attack. Abby (of Bad Dogs and Such) is particularly prolific in the gun post category, including posts on the joy of new gun ownership, gun cleaning, and even the way ammunition multiplies and can be found in the nooks and crannies of her house the way pens can in other people’s homes. I honestly consider myself fairly middle of the road in my personal stance on guns. Apparently I am wrong.

Continue Reading Branded With A Scarlet Letter…

I Need Some Advice

April 15, 2008 at 10:17 pm | Posted in Rants | 6 Comments

I have an issue that I feel like I need to respond to, but just can’t decide what to do. Here is the background. I have a roommate who is a very sweet girl. I say girl because there is a little bit of an age difference (more than 5 years younger, fewer than 10). She is from the Midwest and is truly a nice person. She hasn’t had a whole lot of shared household chore experience though. She’s mostly lived in group living settings where people have a room or part of a room to themselves and share common areas (dorm rooms all through college, etc.) or in her parents’ home. Since she moved in with me just over two years ago, she has spent about 15 months on jobs that have taken her out of town in two big chunks (she had a subletter for part of the time and paid her share of the rent the entire time).

She is back now for at least 5 or 6 months. The problem is that there are some little things that she just doesn’t get…like that the vacuum cleaner has to be emptied every once in a while (mine is bagless, so rather than replacing the bag the container has to be emptied). I can handle most of the little things, but one thing has bothered me for a while.

Continue Reading I Need Some Advice…

Another Miss Utah Update

March 30, 2008 at 12:36 am | Posted in Miss America | 1 Comment

I’ve written a few posts about SGT Jill Stevens (aka Miss Utah) who competed in the Miss America Pageant this past January. There is a nice article about her up at the Army Times online with updates on her post-pageant life. Apparently on top of everything else she is doing these days, she is also writing an autobiography. “Running Through a Mine Field” is scheduled to this the bookstore shelves in July. She’s busy with speaking engagements and plans to start working using her nursing degree this Fall. All in all, it sounds like good things are coming are way. This makes me happy. She deserves it.

Pet Peeve: People Who Forward Email Urban Legends

March 18, 2008 at 11:56 pm | Posted in Rants | 4 Comments

We all have pet peeves. Those little things that set us off way more than they should. I’m human too and there are certain things that can “push my buttons” and irritate me way beyond a reasonable or rational reaction. I was reminded of one of my pet peeves again recently- People who forward email urban legends.

I kind of think of the email urban legends as the adult version of a chain letter. The chain letters I remember from when I was younger would promise good luck/fortune/finding your true love/etc. as long you mailed the copy to X number of individuals within a certain time frame (usually 24 hours). Don’t mail the letter to the right number of friends, or just don’t do it fast enough, and some horrible calamity will occur. Most adults don’t fall for this. Instead, adults seem to be easy prey for the email urban legends and very quicky morph from being people to being sheeple.
Continue Reading Pet Peeve: People Who Forward Email Urban Legends…

Who gets to choose?…..An Update

March 15, 2008 at 5:44 pm | Posted in Rants | 2 Comments

At the beginning of the week I wrote a post about an experience I had recently while trying to fill a prescription.  I read an article at about the same time that discussed the lack of oversight for foreign manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical components and the impact on generic medication quality.  Well, I have an update.  Today I read this story.  Apparently the FDA is working on an agreement with China to place American regulators in China.  This is a good step.  It’s unfortunate that the plan is only for 8 regulators (who will work with 5 additional Chinese employees) given that there are over 700 Chinese manufacturers who are known to produce medications or ingredients for medications in the US, but it is a start.

Who gets to choose?

March 10, 2008 at 10:12 pm | Posted in Rants | 3 Comments

Even though I haven’t lived in Houston for almost a decade, it is still home and I regularly read the local paper online. Recently I read an article about generic drugs that struck a nerve with me.

Toward the end of last month I took a new prescription to the pharmacy closest to work to have it filled at lunchtime. I’ve had some occasional prescriptions filled there (antibiotics for a sinus infection, etc.) and didn’t have any major complaints…although I definitely wouldn’t have raved about the customer service either. I went there because it is the closest to work and there is another location of the same chain near my home. I considered waiting, but it was going to be at least half an hour, so I said I would come by after work to pick it up.

When my physician wrote the prescription, she made a point of saying that she did not want me on the generic version because she has had patients have trouble with the generics of this particular medication in the past. No one asked about generic vs name brand when I turned the prescription in, and I didn’t realize it was going to become a huge issue. I had a late meeting at work and made it to the pharmacy 30 minutes before closing. I was sick, tired, and just wanted to get home.

Continue Reading Who gets to choose?…

I can’t drive 55

February 25, 2008 at 8:58 pm | Posted in Rants | 3 Comments

No, this isn’t a post about 80’s musicians with really bad hair. Today I read an interesting article on speed limits titled “States where you can drive fast”. Of course, I had to read the article once I saw the title. I don’t think I am a particularly fast driver, and I’ve never had an accident that involved a high rate of speed (unless you count when I hit a deer while going 50 mph on a rural road). One section of the story caught my eye. It said that,

“Advocates of low speed limits won’t find much to like about Texas. True to its frontier roots, it stands out as the land of the fast getaway. The top rural speed limit is normally 70 mph, but in 2006 it set a maximum daytime speed of 80 miles per hour, the highest speed limit on the country, on more than 500 miles of rural interstate in its southwest corner.”

Continue Reading I can’t drive 55…

For my rude neighbor

January 31, 2008 at 7:31 pm | Posted in Dogs, Jesse, Rants | 7 Comments

Yes, I saw you staring at me while my dog peed by the tree in front of your house. The glare was obvious as you stopped partway onto the driveway before heading into the garage. I also noticed when you then walked out to the tree and crouched down until you were practically squatting to inspect the ground. If you were that concerned, you could have just said something as you got out of the car, or even as you drove into the driveway. All I can say is, I can’t believe I ever thought it was the right thing to do to pooper-scoop the deposits left around the tree by other dogs. The next time Jesse chooses your tree as “the one” and there is already poop there, I’m only picking up his. I’ll leave the rest for you.

Why a rant about pooper-scooping?
Continue Reading For my rude neighbor…

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