To guilt or not to guilt

Back in April I ordered two books through Amazon Prime. They were used, so they went through a third party vendor, in this case, Goodwill. The books were accepted by the USPS on April 27th, with an expected delivery of 5-12 May. Ok, I get that, they are shipping by a one winged, geographically challenged carrier pigeon to save a few bucks, so waiting a week or two is to be expected.

The package was dropped of at Nashville on the 27th, and, per the tracking, never left. On the 13th, I got a message that said it was delayed, with the new delivery expectation of 13-17 May. Three weeks? Really? Did they downgrade the conveyance to a DEAD one winged, geographically challenged carrier pigeon? Anyway. It did not come today…the 17th. It is still sitting in Nashville.

So I chatted with Amazon about a refund. They will not until I have contacted the seller. If they do not respond within 48 hours, then contact Amazon for a refund.

To their credit, Goodwill processed a refund within the hour. Here is where the guilt or not guilt factor comes in. It was only $10, and goodwill does not float a billion dollar operating budget. I can see where they handed the book to the USPS, and they are no more responsible for USPS incompetency than I am. Should I have just let it go and not made goodwill refund the money? I have no issue if it was Amazon, because they do, in fact, float a billion dollar operating budget….but goodwill? I feel like I am being petty in asking for a refund of $10.

What sayeth my readers?

Six inches from death

My wife is doing a little proofreading of her book before sending it to Beta readers, and she noticed that she mentioned crocodiles where she meant to put alligators. It is pretty common knowledge that here in Florida we have an alligator problem, not so much a crocodile problem, but here is my thought:

Who cares what the difference is? It is more about the similarities, like a zillion razor sharp teeth, the ability to run/swim faster than humans, and a chomp factor that works better than hydraulics.

If you are close enough to measure the snout and determine that it is an alligator and not a crocodile, then you are close enough to realize that just maybe your arm is bait for those pearly whites.

Nope. I do not care what the difference is. They are all Alligators until I am someplace else that does not involve taking crocodile snout measurements.

One border Collie, 1000 sheep

Yesterday, Publix announced a lightening of Covid Mask policies. Of course, it stipulated that people that had been vaccinated no longer needed to wear makes. For those of you not in Florida, Publix is the dominant grocer in the State, by a huge margin.

Anyway, since our Governor passed a State ordinance that restricts businesses from asking for vaccination proof, essentially, Publix removed the mask requirement for everybody. Well, this morning I went to Publix. It was crowded. Usually is. And guess what? Everyone appeared to still be wearing their masks, like the good little sheep they are, because MSNBC told them to, and heaven knows they follow directions. It keeps them from having to think rationally. Or intelligently.

I did not wear mine. As a matter of fact, other than when going to the VA hospital for my treatment, I am done with my mask. So, anybody need 15 slightly used masks? I can give you a nifty price.

Hide and Go Seek

For those of us in the US, getting gas is difficult right now. Hackers took ransom control of the only active pipeline in the United States (Joe shut down the others), and it is responsible for supplying 44 states with their gasoline. Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas get their gas direct from the gulf, so no shortage in those states. The rest are seeing many, if not near all, gas stations out of fuel. It took our son hours to find fuel yesterday in North Georgia.

Here is a systemic problem: Trucks and power plants need fuel. If they cannot find it, then electricity becomes scarce, and no deliveries to your grocery store. Now Cupcake and I live in Florida, so getting gas for our car is not an issue, and neither is electricity. Well, not until Washington DC decides to come and steal our reserves to supply backwards blue states. But we do rely on trucks to deliver our groceries. so this morning at just after 6 AM I went to a local 24 hour grocer, and made sure to stock up on essentials. Not hording, but enough to make sure we weather the next two weeks.

The store was well stocked at 6 AM, but I figure when the panic buyers come hording, the shelves will empty pretty fast, and who knows when the next delivery might be.

I wonder if Amazon will be able to keep up? Or the USPS and UPS? And for those snowflakes driving electric cars who think Ha! Ha!, Remember, You need gas to make electricity.

So, are any of my readers finding gas hard to find? We have plenty here in Tampa, and it is still under $2.80 per gallon.

First: Cart or Horse?

There is a lot of press about upcoming food shortages: Everything from Corn, to eggs, to cooking oil to chicken. We all know what happens next: hording, creating a shortage whether there is one or not….which brings me to my blog point – Is there really a shortage in these announced items, or is the press creating a reason for prices to spike, shortage or not?

I went to the store yesterday, and noticed that pre-shredded packaged cheese (we had Tacos for dinner) went up nearly 40% since last week. Really? The newspaper announces an upcoming egg shortage on Saturday, and that means an immediate super inflation in the price for cheese? Nobody said a damn thing about processed cheese.

I truly believe that grocery stores seize on these opportunities to inflate, shortage or not. Just like gas. Okay. so a barrel of oil went up from $50 to $70. Fine. But that has NO effect on the shit already in your storage tank. You bought that when oil was $50 a barrel. It will take a few weeks before you (the station) pays the cost of $70 a barrel, but damn if your sign doesn’t change as fast as the paper’s print can dry.

So now I have to figure out what to horde: Chicken (frozen) most likely, corn, not so much. Eggs we will just have to cut down on, and cooking oil I will most certainly buy a couple of gallons. I mean, what is oil’s shelf life, like a billion years? Maybe I will go create my own shortage. I will pick a shelf item, buy everything they have, put it in my buggy, and go up and down aisles, making people see that I have 75 pounds of elbow macaroni. Within minutes, I bet there is a rush on elbow macaroni, and by weeks end, the paper will announce a shortage and the price will go through the roof.

Because stores do that, you know.

Check the Math, Dummy

The US Federal Government has set up a small business relief fund. I support this, however……

They have placed $28.6 Billion (yes, billion, and this is important to the math), and have earmarked 100,000 SMALL businesses to assist. That is $286,000 per establishment. Small businesses do not, as a rule, have annual operating budgets of a quarter million dollars. My wife and I owned a small bakery for 5 years, and our annual budget was maybe 25% of that. I also have an MBA, so I am qualified all the way around to question this madness.

So what qualifies as “small” these days? To me, anything with less than 10 employees qualifies. Is it small if it employs 15 but is part of a huge chain (think: Subway, Burger King, KFC), even if it is a franchise business? Since many businesses scaled down or closed, it should not take $286,000 to reopen or rehire lost employees. It is not the taxpayers responsibility to help recover lost profits. I am onboard with helping them to recover their lost operating costs and reestablish payroll, but not help re-fatten their personal bank account. Are they going to use that money to pay employees lost wages? We both no that is a big Hell No. So what do they need $286,000 for?

Something different

Today, I ventured deep. Yup. I changed a habit.

Tomorrow I am going to make roast beef sliders for dinner. I use the Hawaiian rolls, because, well, they are just better than anything else for sliders. That is not where I ventured deep into the unknown. Here is where that happened:

I bought Boarshead Deli. That’s right. I went into the land of the 1 per-centers and got the good stuff. Turkey. Roast Beef. Lorraine Cheese. Shit that cost $12.99 a pound. I bought half pound of each.

Usually I go inexpensive and buy the pre-packaged stuff, especially if it is on sale. You know, the processed stuff that is $4.99 per pound. It is not bad stuff, but it ain’t Boarshead.

Not sure if this is a sign that we just deserve better at our age, or because I feel comfortable with our fiscal standing. Maybe a little of both. Either way, at that price, it better make a better slider.

Rags: My best friend

Cupcake and I were talking about this, so I decided it would make a good blog.

I mentioned that some of her “hang around the house” clothes were looking a little raggedy/dingy, and she might want to think about replacing them. Wow. That did not go over so well.

She said that she found them to be comforting, like an old friend that you grew up with into adulthood. We all have them – The sneakers with holes in the toe. The t-shirt with a rip in the shoulder. The Capri pants that have gone from black to gray to no color thanks to 1,045 cold water washes. We cling to these things like they are a part of our soul, letting others know that they ARE NOT rags, they are a source of comfort that can only be found in cotton that has passed it’s expiration date.

So, tell me followers, what item of clothing do you have that would mean instant death to anyone that tried to reclassify it as “time to discard” ?

Spring Cleaning

A few things I have learned about blogging:

It is full of dead weight. People who follow you just so you will follow them. They respond to nothing except comments on their sight. Hell, it is likely they NEVER read anything you have to say, nor care. So here is what today’s blog is about:

If you follow me and actually read my stuff, either respond to this post or at least like this post. It will help me to clean out my baggage.