Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Supporting the USPS

We all get letters from credit card companies, asking us to sign up for new credit cards, etc. Well, in those envelopes, there's always a return envelope saying "no postage necessary if mailed in the united states."

I want to bring your attention to another part of that envelope ...

Do you see how it says "postage will be paid by addressee?" Well, instead of simply recycling the letters, why not send them back to the credit card companies?

That way, the credit card company's paying 60 cents or so to the USPS. Inside the envelope, put the application form or whatever with a note saying "I'm not interested, but have a good day" to the person working in the mail room of whatever company.

All this costs you is 10 seconds to find a pen and write that note and lick the envelope. What's the result of that effort?

She gets to continue to work.

 - -

A friend of mine has been doing this for a while and I love the idea!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

State of New York

I've been impressed by New York recently.

First off, it's enormous. I'm always overwhelmed by the size and the movement of the residents and their cars when I'm there. Despite the size, its water is some of the cleanest in the world, and its famous bagels are replicated by creating the same chemical content of that water all over the world, including Florida.

In a visit to NYC for new years, I found letters on the outside of the buildings.

So I researched it to find a description of the system as well as a guide for what specifically is looked for during inspections. I feel that it's pretty easy to meet this ... make hot things hot, make cold things cold, don't leave fish for more than 3 months, don't put weird stuff in food, no rats ... but I guess this is easier to do in a residential kitchen than in New York and running a restaurant.

Furthermore, in New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's State of the City address earlier today, he highlights some interesting strategies to emphasize education (not employment of teachers) as well as many recycling initiatives.

He also talked, at some length, about several recycling initiatives. He promised to double the amount of residential waste diverted from landfills by 2017, and to make New York one of the first cities in the country to convert waste water into renewable energy.
Go New York!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Five years, in review

Going back to what I wrote on Thursday, June 7, 2007, I smile. That day was a turning point in my life, my first foray into my independent life. I went to Portugal knowing no one, followed by exploring life and culture in many countries of Europe and northern Africa. What makes me smile, though, is how I completely forgot about this blog post until the end of 2011 when I was doing some reflection. What makes me smile is my how interests and "dreamer" expectations somehow worked out.

Here's some Portuguese culture I loved.

Indeed, a close friend pointed out "you are a freak of nature, but I love you."

So, what did I say 4-and-a-half-years ago?
What Pete plans to have done:
9) Peace Corps - November '08 - January '10 11
10) Designer, or something, in Colorado/Europe - Spring '10 11
12) Quit my job - April '12 13
13) Complete life goals:
-Climb Mt. Everest
-Read all books that have gotten Pulitzer Prizes
-Swim English Channel
-Whateva other ones I'll figure out later.
15) Find some other job / go crawling back to old job, '13 14
16) Wife and Kids (adopt 2?), '14 15
18) Have my son daughter or son create a blog of his her or his own, Priceless
I made a few mistakes corrections for dates that I got wrong (2 years 3 months after Nov '08 is Jan '11, not Jan '10 ).

A year-and-a -half after I wrote that timeline, I joined the Peace Corps as I had forgotten I had planned. I got back from that at the time I had forgotten I had planned. Got a job as a designer (designing engineer) as I had forgotten I had anticipated (which I feel very fortunate to have ... or maybe it was fate?).

So, what does this mean for my future? According to the prediction it made, it means I will continue to work for another year and a few months before taking all my savings and quit my job in lieu of personal exploration and accomplishments.

I currently view that as unrealistic, as as more-mature me realizes the benefits of job security and health care. But, who knows... Brick - I may keep it up, as you supported me in saying! And Nancy, my interests on that issue remain the same. And Mary, I don't know who you are...

Dreams can come true.

Friday, March 11, 2011

4x the Awesome

I'm currently working on a purchase for Amazon.com. I am getting a Thank You present for a friend, which costs $22.99. For the round $25 you can get free shipping with Amazon. So, why not try to find something that costs $2.01 instead of paying that or more for shipping?

I considered my starting point. There have to be some "readable" books for that price, I thought to myself... How tough could that search be?

As it turns out, very tough:
- $4.73 - More Stuff on My Cat: 2x the Stuff + 2x the Cats = 4x the Awesome

Notice the keyword "more" I can only imagine the joy in reading the first version.

- $3.11 - Meat: A Love Story

- $4.80 - Cooking With Hot Flashes: And Other Ways to Make Middle Age Profitable

- $2.29 - The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything

- $3.86 - Rick and Bubba for President: The Two Sexiest Fat Men Alive Take on Washington

Includes Best of Rick and Bubba CD

- $3.74 - How to Make Love to Adrian Colesberry (by Adrian Colesberry)

- $3.98 - The Bad Ass Girl's Guide To Poker: All You Need To Beat The Boys

- $3.14 - The Best of Playboar

And that's just one random page in my search.

I'll probably get one of the two Simpsons books listed, or for the exact price of $2.01, I could get The Island at the End of the World: A Novel.

That one could be okay, I guess. Published by Penguin.

I'm trying to figure out what this says about humanity. There are a lot of books out there. Not all of them are classics. These listed all have publishers (i.e. not self-published). Someone thought they'd be a success. People have a lot to say. I guess that's what it says.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Moon Surrounded by Two Planets

As promised, some pictures.
Burning leaves after raking them, the sunset over my school, me, looking out in Maputo, the moon surrounded by two planets, and my host family (not in that order).