Secondly, not only did I have a couple BookMooch books also waiting for me, but also a nice BookMoocher out in Greece sent me some lovely postcards. Every once in a while I get the opportunity to send books internationally, and when I do, I usually ask for a postcard in return. On some occasions, this has the expected result. On other occasions, what I actually get is an envelope sent to me...with blank postcards in it. While an unexpected interpretation of my request, it's still thoughtful, and perhaps you good people will get some postcard contests out of it, eh? :)
Oh, and speaking of the book-mailing world, my one big worry was that while I was away from home, I'd get orders coming in that I couldn't fill because...well, you know...I was away from my books. Thankfully, this didn't happen, but in an even greater stroke of luck I was only back home for less than a day before I got an Amazon order in. The listing's been up for, I dunno, months now, and the order happened to wait until I could actually ship it before it came in. Sweet! So I took care of that while I was down at the post office, too.
Anyway. Thirdly, I got sent a free thermometer from a local hospital as a kind of "Welcome to town; try our hospital!" thing. Pretty neat. It's all modern and electronic and was therefore initially confounding to me. This was made slightly more embarrassing by the fact that the thing only had one button. I mean...from a distance, it's hard to screw up using something with just one button, right? But come on, it's a thermometer. I don't even expect it to have a button. I'm like, "Do I have to shake this, or what?" Anyway, I eventually figured it out, and it declared my temperature to be a cool 98.1, so...dig it. After I had finished playing around with it and figured out the One Button, only then did I find that there were instructions in the box. Interestingly enough, these instructions came in like five languages, but none of them explained the button. Instead, all it basically said was "STICK THIS IN YOUR MOUTH OR YOUR ARMPIT OR YOUR RECTUM. BE SURE TO WIPE." Dude, seriously? You can use this in your mouth and your rectum? I mean...I can kinda understand you make a tool that can be used in multiple ways. Surely it cuts down on manufacturing costs. But still...to expect that all from the same device in one household? Just seems like it's asking for trouble. I mean...what I feel is appropriate is tacking on a label or something myself that says "ORAL," but I feel like just doing that would be, if you'll pardon the expression, anal.
Fourthly...you guys remember that whole late credit card payment thing from a little while back, where I accidentally filled in the wrong date on my online scheduled payment because, IMO, the interface is all dumb? So it turns out that the credit card company did notify me that the payment was missing. With snail mail. Yeah, dudes...really? So, see...I'm not really pissed at them. I mean, they don't owe me a heads-up. I take responsibility for having to get my payments in on time. But come on. I don't receive paper statements, I get every other notification online, and I make all my payments online. This...this isn't also a notification you could send me online? I mean, you're already sending the notification...just in the name of sanity and convenience, could that delivery medium maybe be made consistent with the way we do business with each other in every other way? You goofballs? All this did was cost us both money. But anyway. So, yeah, there was that.
Last, but not certainly not least, I had a shipment from a somewhat unusual source: my online poker site of choice these days. See...as you play poker online, you accumulate these bonus points, like frequent flier miles. You can do various things with these points, including order merchandise with them. Just to test the theory, I decided one day, weeks ago, to order a little keychain flashlight jobby, since I'd been thinking about getting one ever since moving out to the boonies and having trouble unlocking the door at night. So...that was waiting for me when I got back to town, my own PokerStars-branded mini flashlight. So there it is, peoples. Anything can happen now. Maybe I'll go completely busto from this latest attempt at going pro. But you know what? Come rich or come poor, they can't take away my mini flashlight.
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Something else I addressed today in my return to home maintenance was that I had to check out the new recycling schedule. See...out here at Chateau Tallcake, there's a weekly garbage pickup, but the recycling pickup is less often, generally every two weeks, and traditionally there's a copy of a locally-provided calendar tacked up on the fridge outlining when this happens. I noticed upon my return, however, that the extant calendar only went up to 2009, so I popped online to check out the new schedule. Imagine my surprise when I found that, brand new for 2010, recycling pickup will now be every week. Whee!
So when I first read that, the thought that immediately crossed my mind was: "Wow, recycling pickup every week now? How exciting!" Then a couple seconds went by. Then I became incredibly depressed that I had just thought that.
It's all relative, everybody. Excitement is really just something new in life. Now if you'll all excuse me, I'm gonna go take out the recycling. :)