Coming up for Air

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Location: Ann Arbor, MI // Madrid, Spain

Friday, May 20, 2005

Country Counter

Although the hitmap that my brother Brant uses on his blog, Somewhere in the Middle, is really cool (see how the hitmap looks for Brant's blog), it is unfortunately no longer free. For those of us with less luck, Pilar's brother Antonio uses a counter on his blog, Today is Gonna be the Day, that displays the countries from which its visitors are. Its free.

Sure you can be an Astronaut Johnnie!

Do you think the Ugly Duckling was sad to find out that ducks don't grow into swans? I'm pretty sure I would have been devastated.

Which brings me to another thought...

...Rapunzel must have been large, if not huuuuuuuuge!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

USPS Update...

... four days day after the USPS supervisor gave the "people make mistakes", they delivered my mail to my next-door neighbors. Spite?

Saturday, May 14, 2005


Which of the following does not fit?

The answer is "C". Pogs (A) and Bonaduce (B) are no longer popular. On the other hand, using the term "fundamentalist" for any person who believes in God but does not qualify that belief with the statement, "I think organized religion is [x, y, or z]" is the popular equivalent of what Stussi was for 15-year-olds in the year of our lord, 1996.

Having finished my exams, I've had some time to read several books that have been on que for some time. While reading one of those books, "Promise Land, Crusader State" by Pulitzer Prize winner (and my former professor at Penn) Walter McDougall, I was struck by the candid religious statements by some of the nation's founders. I wonder how the following three statements would have been discussed in the Editorial Pages of the Times.

1738: Ezra Stiles: "God has still greater blessings in store for this vine which his own right hand hath planted." FUNDAMENTALIST!

Surely, John Adams never thought the Bible offered "the only system that ever did or ever will preserve a republic in the world." I bet he lives in a 'red state.'

George Washington: "Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue?" Washington believed in "Providence"? What a pawn of the fundamentalists.

I could go on and on. The point is, people need to stop using the word "fundamentalist" for every person who happens to believe in a God and happens to be more "conservative" in their beliefs. That's not what the word "fundamentalist" means or EVER meant. To use it in that way makes you the equivalent of some sorority girl wearing ugg boots and a north face liner-jacket, i.e., a popularity whore. Lets go back to the time where words actually had long-standing definitions that didn't change during election years. If not, could you put some more fundamentalist in the fundamental? Have a good fundamental, I'll see you in the fundamentalist.



Monday, May 09, 2005

The Grey Satan

No wonder the U.S. never found the person sending anthrax to our nation's capitol--he used the U.S. Postal Service. My parents affectionately refer to USPS as the Grey Satan. Really, why didn't the anthrax person use FedEx, DHL, or UPS? It probably would have been cheaper.

Recently, I had a suit sent to my house. The package was sent using "delivery confirmation." Arriving home at 4:30 from my proctored Torts exam, I checked the "tracking" (a misnomer, the system technically is not a "tracking" system) status: "Delivered at 3:37." No package. No slip. Even though I live in hippy-ville Ann Arbor, I started to worry.

I called the main post office and they transferred me to a different post office. The latter post office told me to call the previous post office, but said they couldn't transfer me. I asked the woman for the number and when I asked her to repeat it, she hung up on me. Cool. I looked the number up on Google. There was no answer. Fine. I'll drive there.

When I got to the main post office I asked the person at the counter if nobody was answering the phones today. She responded that there was. I told her that I had been calling but there was no answer. She said, and I quote, "That can't be true. I seriously doubt that." She called my bluff! Of COURSE I would lie about their phones not working. I'm cunning like that.

She told me to go to some other room. The whole situation quickly became a scene out of Gilliam's Brazil. The two people in the room had no idea what was going on, and called the supervisor. After literally three to five minutes of all three individuals fumbling around on the computer, they "tracked" my package--USING THE SAME services customers use online. "Sorry," said the supervisor, "you need to get me the originating address. We can track it better with that." This didn't make much sense to me, but whatever, I'm desperate, my zegna suit is lost.

I mention tht the phones aren't working, so it was kind of a hassle. "The phones aren't down." I assured him that they were. "No, they are not down." At this point I take out my cell phone and CALL them. Yup, they were broken. It's too bad the phones were working, I thought they would fall for my cleverly planned out lie! I had so much to gain from lying about it.

I go home, get the address and come back. Mr. Delgado is gone, but the other supervisor is in. She tells me that there was no reason I needed the address. Mr. Delgado, A SUPERVISOR, happened to be NEW. First piece of advice: IF THEY'RE NEW, DON'T MAKE THEM SUPERVISORS!

She tells me to tell the sender that he has to take the delivery confirmation receipt to the sending post office. She tells me that with the delivery receipt they will have more tracking information. This also didn't make sense, but I just want to go home. I get home and notify the sender. Their post office says that's absurd. So, three days later (today), I go back and talk to the second supervisor. "If he fills out a form 1000, well, that will help." A form 1000? Brazil. I tell her that I've spent more time on this problem than the post office has in their negligent handling of my suit, and that she needs to explain delivery confirmation and a form 1000.

Turns out, a form 1000 is the insurance form. It had NOTHING to do with finding my package. Thanks for wasting my time. Furthermore, even though there was nobody home, a mail carrier doesn't even need to LEAVE A MAIL SLIP NOTIFYING THE PACKAGE WAS LEFT if he or she thinks it was left in a secure place. If they DON'T think it was left in a secure place, they leave a slip? Cool. I hate USPS. I can't write anymore. I hate them too much.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Thanks mom Posted by Hello

Mom's always helping out Posted by Hello

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