Monday, December 19, 2005

No Need to Go Postal Today

Yesterday, I was pretty unhappy with the post office. I realized that I'd forgotten to mail Dad a birthday card on Saturday (the big day is tomorrow, and a two days for a card to get to Houston is a good guess), so I drove to another suburb to find the post office with the 7 a.m. Monday pickup, thinking that just maaaaybe I could sneak it in on time. So I was rather dismayed to find out that, like many other area post offices, the first pickup of the day is now at 3:00 in the afternoon. It really made me wonder why the cost of a stamp is about to go up if service is going down. (And, needless to say, it didn't allow me to avoid feeling like an idiot for forgetting to mail the card on time in the first place.)

Today, I was extremely happy with the post office. Having to mail a package on what has been billed as the biggest mail-handling day of the year, I was in and out of there in about five minutes without having to mess with the gargantuan lines for the teller windows. Instead, I tried one of the new Automated Postal Center machines, and it was amazingly fast--weighing my package, calculating its postage, and printing out a label for it within about thirty seconds. I didn't have enough cash on me to mail the package anyway, so using a bank card was no big deal. My only criticism was that it doesn't seem to allow for bundling multiple transactions (I had to buy stamps to use on my Christmas cards as well as mail my package) into a single swipe of the card, but that will probably be tweaked as time goes on. Now, if they could figure out a way to where I'd never actually have to go pick up a package in person (as happened, oddly, with an Amazon parcel I received last week; for some strange reason it required an in-person delivery confirmation). It was an unusual feeling leaving the post office in a good mood, but it showed me that, despite the assumed lack of manpower, they are definitely trying to keep up with the FedEx's and UPS's of the world, and, in this case, succeeding.

When schoolkids go bad: A group of fourth-graders were caught making counterfeit currency and trying to spend it in the school cafeteria.

When Santas go bad: A group of drunk men in Santa suits went on a vandalism spree in Auckland, New Zealand, supposedly in "protest against the commercialization of Christmas."

Meter made: I got my SiteMeter update email today, and I noticed that, in the past week, I'd surpassed both the 10,000 mark in hits and the 20,000 mark in page views:
The Musings of Kev

-- Site Summary ---

Total ....................... 10,251
Average per Day ................. 38
Average Visit Length .......... 2:04
This Week ...................... 269

Page Views

Total ....................... 20,416
Average per Day ................. 60
Average per Visit .............. 1.6
This Week ...................... 420
I've only had the meter for around a year, so I have no idea how many readers I had in the first year and a half of this blog, but it's still a cool little milestone to reach. And whether you're a regular reader, a regular commenter, a first-timer, or a lurker...thanks for stopping by. Hopefully you like what you see here and will come back regularly.

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