… on red cars and other observations

I have always been partial to red cars. My first car, a beat up old 1938-something Chevy, was a dark maroon, and the next several cars we had were not of my choosing. When I reached the point of actually deciding what color I wanted, red won hands down. Well, except for my blue chevy pickup.

One of my weird obsessions is counting red vehicles on the road, or in parking lots. That includes not only passenger cars, but trucks and miscellaneous vehicles of all types. Rather subjective when it comes to classification, all shades of red count, but not purple or orange. There have always been lots of red cars.

However, it has come to my attention lately that there is a great increase in the number of black, dark grey, and unidentified drab colors. Waiting at a long traffic light recently I amused myself by observing that the opposite bound traffic looked like a Mafia funeral. The entire line of oncoming vehicles were black or very dark. Not a red one within my line of vision.

The main “other” car color seems to be white. as contrasted with the usual array of light grey, beige, tan, silver. Blue also seems on the rise, and yellow! School bus/taxi cab yellow—and orange!

What dreary highway intersection wouldn’t benefit from some strategically placed touches of color?

my blue bird of happiness is a baby jay

This young bluejay was temporarily trapped in our garage for a day and a half before he managed to escape. He hopped back and forth among the rafters, but couldn’t figure out how to fly out the door. I provided a dish of water and some bread crumbs on top of a tall bookcase for the bird, it was very hot in there. The apparent Mama visited several times to escort him out of the garage. I always think it a privilege when a wild creature spends some quality time with me.

books, mice, and bluejays

This morning I’ve been sorting books to go to the Goodwill. There has been a baby Bluejay up in the garage rafters crying for hours. Now Mama Bluejay has showed up, so they are both flying around up there. The big garage door is open, and so is the man-door on the side, and now that I have left the scene, and my cat Dottie came in also, maybe the jay will be able to figure out how to fly out.

Speaking of Dottie, she is an in/out cat, and she usually comes in at night. She brought a mouse with her a day or so ago. I saw the little thing laying belly-up on the kitchen floor, so I grabbed some paper towels and picked it up carefully so I could toss the carcass out the back door. But omg as I gingerly gripped the creature in the towel, it woke up (I assume…I thought it was dead) and tried to escape. My reaction of course, was to scream. I hurled the mouse out the back door, paper towel and all, and haven’t had the nerve to inspect the still-there paper to determine its fate.

The book situation is slowllllly downsizing. The thing is, the books came from actual physical shops I had at one time, and the inventory has been culled at least once. It is sacrilege to me to throw a book in the trash, no matter how bad it is condition-wise. The Goodwill will not take encyclopedias, no matter how good they are, so I have them piled here and there waiting to be disposed of. If I was not such a good person, I would just slip the boxes of encyclopedias and other textbooks into the Goodwill cart outside when they aren’t looking…but I wouldn’t do that. 😉 I also clean each individual book as I pack them in boxes to be donated, and try to avoid passing on any book I think is unfit for children. I don’t mean porn, but those “Romance” novels can have pretty racy covers… I do not believe in censorship of information, but I do believe that some material should not be available to youngsters without their parents’ knowledge.

Back in the day my Dad used to glance at my reading selections. There was a book that he did object to, and asked me not to read it. I not only read it, but I had to really study it to determine just what Dad thought I shouldn’t read. I never did find out what content in that book he didn’t approve, but I know that it wasn’t about race, or gay people, or whatever. (I did not know until I was a married adult that any “whatever” hanky panky even existed.)

lilies july 6

Here are some shots of my Daylily patch. I apologize for the raw nature of this post, I really intended to post just a couple pics. They aren’t cropped or otherwise edited. My excuse is that since I installed my operation to my new/old computer…a really nice refurbished Dell, but its taking awhile to get moved into the new mainframe. Nothing seems to work as I intend. Guess I’ll have to do some studying. 🙂

These are my original plants from long long ago. They have been moved twice since they were new from the grower. The Lilies themselves are gorgeous…very prolific. There are more colors that are yet to bloom, and I haven’t been over to the side yard where the septic system is located. There were some nice white ones last year. The weeds are also doing well this year.

extra emergency funding not worth the bother in El Paso? outrage from the NewYorkPost


No matter how you feel about the “immigration crisis” on the Southern Border PLEASE check out this article — and especially photos — from the NewYorkPost this morning.

(my comment: ) El Paso authorities were eager to get more funding for their border “emergency” until they discovered it wasn’t as much extra money as they expected. To paraphrase: “We were going to try to get it on the new give-away” of funding from Washington…but it’s not enough to make it worth our while. They might want to send investigators or troops to check on our “emergency” and cause more trouble than the little increase would be worth.”

In the first photo, there are SIX people wading across the river (in silhouette…very effective.) In another photo there are two kids playing at the river…skipping on rocks, Migrants?

Why are the handful of “asylum seekers” in the entry tunnel wearing uniforms? Grey shirts and black pants? Why are they covering their faces?

Three “Haitian” guys standing in line? Some dubious signs? Are they menacing or just squinting in the sun?

I’ll never complain about the Post Office again…

I am very nice to my post-person, who has been very helpful to me by picking up outgoing packages that I have prepared for my book and ebay-stuff sales. There is no way that I would be able to make regular trips uptown to the post office. Yes, I know that is the mailperson’s job to pick up my label-affixed outgoing mail. I actually put my money where my mouth is and give him a gift card for Christmas…which is the only way that I know that a customer can give the carrier presents under Postal Service rules. It’s a small token amount, but I do appreciate the service. I’ve had the company, PadreVenturesLLC since 2009, and I do only online sales

About a month ago my mainframe computer died. The poor thing was ticking along with minimum bugs, until it just died…the kiss of death blue screen and all. A lot of stuff got wiped out, but thanks to WordPress my blog library saved the day regarding photos and miscellaneous other. The most painful loss was my app for my postage service (Endicia) through which I prepare shipping labels. Called Dazzle, it not only keeps my mailing forms and customer information dating back several years…most noteworthily tracking information.

After I got the mailing system restored and accomplished the coordination with Amazon and my other book venues, I was soon back in business. Except that my mind had to resurrect the nitty gritty of setting up the addresses and packing slips, etc.

So three orders came in as I was performing the restoration, and the return address (mine) and that of the recipient on the form was not to my liking. Two of the orders went out as they were supposed to, but one hit a snag. There was some extra information in the customer’s mailing address, which I discovered later.

Here where I live in Ohio our mail is delivered (and collected) by a little mail truck, and taken back to the post office at the end of the day. Then, it is sent on to Pittsburg (in this case,) and in due time (just a couple of days,) it is dispatched to the Los Angeles, California USPS distribution center…pending final destination to a customer’s address in a suburb of Los Angeles.

Tracking information is remarkably detailed: the package left my Post Office on April 4, arrived in LA on April 9; then, according to the long, detailed history of the tracking record, it bounced among at least three LA distribution centers for weeks—apparently every morning the package was loaded onto a delivery truck (In Transit) and every evening it was unloaded; the next morning ON, the evening OFF. for three weeks!

The customer contacted me to see if I could find out what was going on, because the tracking information made no sense at all. That’s when I started following it. After the third week I refunded the customer’s payment through Amazon, and I asked her if she would keep me informed about the final destination… if any. Yesterday, April 30, the package arrived at the correct address in LA.

Finally! The original packaging (a bubble-padded mailing envelope) had been destroyed to the extent that all that was left was the book and the packing slip inside the original plastic bag. The book is badly damaged, the hard cover corners smashed in, various other trauma. But the best of all is the interaction with the post office.

The book and its packing slip had been placed in a plain brown envelope with a hand-written address and the USPS logo in the return address box. There is no tracking information or explanation included. But gee whiz—I am so impressed by the personal service.

If you have ever wondered what happens to lost mail… hear this! Orphaned or beaten up packages or there contents go to a “Processing Exception” department, where a postal employee personally handles the package (in this case any way.) Since my package had been reduced to a little plastic bag with the original packing slip (and the book,,) it’s obvious that a Real Human had to do the ultimate disposition.

I need to make a point: this was not some insured package, it was sent Media Mail, and bottom line… after fees and expenses… my profit is less than a dollar.

(Just for fun, google “Processing Exception” for an informative and quite entertaining FAQ. )