Category Archives: Life

And they wonder why they’re bankrupt

The Postal Service really made a mistake in providing tracking numbers for so-called Priority Mail shipments – it makes their lousy service all the more obvious.

On Saturday, I shipped a package Priority Mail 2-Day, and the tracking info on the USPS website insisted that the expected delivery date was Monday – even when on Tuesday, the package still had not left Illinois:


I checked again this morning, and they finally updated the expected delivery date, which is nowhere close to two days – it’s not even two business days.


It took four days to get a package from Chicago to San Francisco – three days just to get it out of Illinois. It wasn’t time-sensitive, and I don’t really care that it took this long to get there, but I paid almost 12 bucks for Priority Mail delivery, and only because they forced me to – if something is over a pound (this was one ounce over one pound), your only option is Priority. Which apparently really isn’t a priority.

Both FedEx Ground and UPS Ground could have delivered in the same time period – for around a dollar less, it turns out. And I would have known every step of the way where it was.

The postal service keeps whining about revenue problems and blaming their dire financial situation on the increasing use of email and having to make large pension payments every year. But the truth is, the postal service is unreliable. Tracking information is updated once a day (if you’re lucky), and you have no way of knowing when your shipment – whether it’s a first-class letter or a 2-day package – is going to arrive. There are simply no guarantees with the postal service, and that’s why they’re going bankrupt – it has nothing to do with people’s changing habits and needs.

The US Postal Service simply can’t be trusted.



About three weeks ago, I noticed this Canada Goose nesting in a planter along the riverwalk a couple of blocks away. (The male is floating in the river just a few feet to the left of this picture.) The planter is in an out-of-the-way area next to a stairway rarely used during the colder months (like this entire year has been so far), so most pedestrians wouldn’t even notice the nest. I only discovered it while chasing some elusive rays of sunlight one afternoon.

I’ve been going back every day since, waiting for the egg to hatch, just taking a peak over the stairs. The goose seemed a little wary the day I took this picture, so I never got any closer to avoid stressing her.

Then today:



I didn’t mess with the nest, so I don’t know how many eggs the goose laid. According to Wikipedia, they generally lay between 2 and 9 eggs. Maybe there’s a new family out there, and only this egg was abandoned because they realized it wasn’t going to hatch. I saw evidence of at least one other egg in the nest (I didn’t want to disturb the nest by digging around in the down), so I’m hoping this wasn’t a complete loss.

And hilarity ensues

the_queens_nutsI guess it was a slow news day or something, because everyone seems to have lost their minds. I’ve been buried in work all week, so I haven’t kept up on the news much, just the highlights. I finally sat down to see what’s going on outside my frigid ‘hood, and I just can’t stop laughing.

A six-year-old boy was charged with sexual harassment because he kissed a classmate. Now, reading the story, I totally agree with the misconduct claim, but calling him a sexual predator? At 6? Come on. I can’t stand children, but even I wouldn’t be so crass. I’d just send the kid to bed without supper or, you know, drop him off at a fire station and head for the border as fast I could. Don’t label the kid before he has a chance to discover that he’s really gay and just wants to borrow the girl’s clothes.

The Queen’s pissed about her nuts. Wow. I know nuts are expensive, but they’re not really that precious. She can afford as many nuts as she wants. Why not share them with anyone who wants them, especially the police officers who – at taxpayers’ expense – keep her safe from the real sexual predators out there? If she’s gonna be stingy, I’ll share my nuts with them.

Also in the news, North Korea’s esteemed leader had his uncle executed because, among other rather insignificant reasons, he “was engrossed in such factional acts as dreaming different dreams.” They really put that on TV? State-run TV? The government issued that statement? They sound like the Republicans from the last presidential election.

handshakeSpeaking of Republicans, they’re all up in arms over President Obama shaking hands with Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service the other day. Mandela was all about forgiving and moving forward; it’s why he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. And let’s not forgot that Obama received one, too, in the hope that he would change America’s attitude toward the world. Of course he knew what he was doing. It’s time for the United States to stop bullying Cuba just because they’re communists. We engaged with Russia and with China. We shouldn’t be picking on Cuba just because they’re too small to fight back. Raul Castro is already making significant changes after decades of his brother’s iron-fisted rule. An influx of cash from American tourists could only make things better.

This is wrong

frozen_riverThe Chicago river isn’t supposed to freeze until January. Last night’s low on my balcony was 1 degree (I have a digital thermometer with a 12-hour min/max memory). The past week has been the 8th coldest period in 143 years of record keeping. That’s impressive.

It’s going to be a long winter.