Archive for the ‘Just plain weird’ Category

5
Jul

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Just plain weird, Money

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A rallying cry can be heard across the country, from the swanky streets of SoHo to the tiny town of Randolph, Kan.: “Save Our Post Office!” As the United States Postal Service, weighed down by a crippling multibillion-dollar deficit, shrinks down its operations, post offices across the country are on the chopping block. Each year, hundreds of postal operations shutter, but this coming fall could be the single biggest consolidation in USPS history. Over the next three months, more than 3,200 post offices and retail outlets—out of 34,000—will be reviewed for possible closure or consolidation.

Downsizing is a business imperative, says Linda Welch, acting vice president of delivery and post office operations at the USPS. “Revenues have declined, and mail volume continues to decline,” she says. Not only have e-mail and electronic bill paying made for a skinnier mail stream, but the recession has caused a sharp pullback in advertising mail that has hurt the Postal Service even more. In March, Postmaster General John Potter asked Congress for the right to reduce the mail week from six days to five, for a savings of $3.5 billion. Shutting down post offices will have similar cost-saving effects. And most Americans say they’re OK with the cutbacks, as long as they’re not paying more to send mail. A recent USA Today/Gallup Poll revealed that more Americans would rather the Postal Service curtail services than seek a bailout or raise stamp prices.

At least, that’s what everyone says—until it’s their beloved post office at stake. For various reasons, people tend to react with great fervor when their local offices are endangered.

Consider the case of the Hawleyville Post Office. After years of negotiations, this past January, the Postal Service notified the Connecticut community that its 166-year-old post office would officially close on Feb. 14. An article in the local newspaper poignantly noted, “The long love affair between the Hawleyville post office and its loyal customers will come to an end on—of all days—Valentine’s Day.” Its post office was rickety, but the small community embraced it as a gathering place. One resident told the Newtown Bee, “The Hawleyville Post Office is like Cheers in Hawleyville.” In fear of losing its precious haunt, the Hawleyville community mobilized. A Web site was created. A petition was circulated. They got Congress involved. And lo and behold, the community won approval for a new post office, to be opened this summer.

Every time a post office is slated for closure or consolidation, the Postal Service is legally obligated to inform its customers well in advance. “There’s a very long process that they have to go through,” says Mario Principe, the post office continuance consultant at the National League of Postmasters. That gives the communities plenty of time-usually at least two months-to stage a rescue.

The Postal Service will typically send out a survey or host a town hall meeting before an endangered office closes. Perhaps the closing of a post office means too many lost jobs for an already hurting community. The office might house the bulletin board that posts important community announcements. Or the next-closest post office may be really far away. If customers alert officials to such concerns, there’s a better chance that their office will be spared. Appealing the closure decision to the Postal Regulatory Commission often works, too—but it’s a step that many communities don’t know to take.

t’s also important to check out why a post office is on the chopping block in the first place. Those under review this summer are mostly metropolitan branches or stations. But in the case of small post offices, federal law states that the reason can’t be just that the office isn’t bringing in enough revenue. If that’s the only explanation given, then the Postal Service can’t legally shut it down.

Often times, post offices face closure because their leases expire. That’s the case in Deer Harbor, Wash. After failed attempts to find a new location for the post office, the community decided “in desperation” to buy its property just to keep it in business. If it can raise the $250,000 purchase price by the end of this month, the Postal Service has agreed to continue operations there.

The Postal Service seems willing to negotiate, and it’s not really bothered by the protests. “It actually it makes us very proud to know that we are a valuable member of the community,” says Welch. She says that the USPS appreciates the great lengths that some communities will go to just to ensure that their services can continue. What the Postal Service would appreciate even more? If those people would show their appreciation by taking the simple step of sending more mail. Oddly enough, that seems to be the unthinkable last resort.

27
Mar

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Guns, Just plain weird, Life Stuff

A Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy shot a man who was carrying what appeared to be an assault rifle near an elementary school. Authorities later discovered it was a toy gun.Deputy Ricco Palermo, a 10-year veteran of the department, confronted the man with the weapon Thursday night and told him to lower it. Instead 56-year-old Gilbert Velez pointed it at the deputy. The deputy fired, hitting the man in the stomach. He is listed in critical condition at the hospital.Authorities later saw that Velez was carrying an AirSoft BB gun, which uses a mold to capture the look, feel and weight of a real weapon.Palmero is on paid leave while the investigation continues.

You, Velez, out of the gene pool.

23
Oct

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Food!, Just plain weird, Life Stuff

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Soda manufacturer Dr Pepper promised a free soft drink to everyone in America if Guns N’ Roses releases its long-awaited Chinese Democracy album before the end of 2008.

Now that Axl and company have set a release date of November 23, Dr Pepper says it will make good on the offer. Those who want to claim a free soda can go to the Dr. Pepper website on November 23, enter some personal information and get a coupon for one 20-ounce drink that should arrive within the following 4 to 6 weeks. (The offer strangely said no free soda for former GNR members Slash and Buckethead.) The freebies expire in February 2009.

The band didn’t know about the promotion until it was announced in March 2008. When he heard about the proposed giveaway, Axl Rose explained: “We are surprised and very happy to have the support of Dr Pepper with our album Chinese Democracy, as for us, this came totally out of the blue. If there is any involvement with this promotion by our record company or others, we are unaware of such at this time. And as some of Buckethead’s performances are on our album, I’ll share my Dr Pepper with him.”

20
Sep

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Just plain weird, Money

Man Sucessfully Used a $200 bill

HALIFAX COUNTY:  North Carolina cops are searching for a guy who successfully passed a $200 bill bearing George W. Bush’s portrait and a drawing of the White House complete with lawn signs reading “We like ice cream” and “USA deserves a tax cut.” The phony Bush bill was presented to a cashier at a Food Lion in Roanoke Rapids on September 6 by an unidentified male who was seeking to pay for $150 in groceries. Remarkably, the cashier accepted the counterfeit note and gave the man $50 change. In a separate incident involving a different perp, Roanoke Rapids cops Tuesday arrested Michael Harris, 24, for attempting last month to pass an identical $200 Bush bill at a convenience store.

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20
Aug

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Humor, Just plain weird, Life Stuff

POINT MARION, Pa. — An 85-year-old woman boldly went for her gun and busted a would-be burglar inside her home, then forced him to call police while she kept him in her sights, police said.

“I just walked right on past him to the bedroom and got my gun,” Leda Smith said.

Smith heard someone break into her home Monday afternoon and grabbed the .22-caliber revolver she had been keeping by her bed since a neighbor’s home was burglarized a few weeks ago.

“I said ‘What are you doing in my house?’ He just kept saying he didn’t do it,” Smith said.

After the 17-year-old boy called 911, Smith kept holding the gun on him until state police arrived at her home in Springhill Township, about 45 miles south of Pittsburgh.

The boy will be charged with attempted burglary and related offenses in juvenile court, Trooper Christian Lieberum said. He was not identified because of his age.

“It was exciting,” Smith said. “I just hope I broke up the (burglary) ring because they have been hitting a lot of places around here.”

14
May

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Just plain weird, Tech

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29
Dec

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Humor, Just plain weird, Tech

I was pointed in the direction of a company Mimoco that produces designer USB flash drives, and their new line is something that can only be described as being “From a Galaxy far, far away.” Seen in the pictures below, these Star Wars character flash drives are probably bring to life your favorite characters from the greatest movie franchise of all time. So then, would it be safe to say that these could be the greatest flash drives of all-time? I think so. Take a look.

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3
Dec

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Biggest Looser, Food!, Just plain weird, Life Stuff, Money

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Well Monday at 11am was the Weigh-in for our own little in house biggest looser contest. This month its just Blake and myself. I’m sure Jan will bring more folks in.

So the starting numbers are:

Rob 337.0

Blake 277.8

Let the games begin,

8
Nov

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Just plain weird


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The Associated Press reported a 1951 Chevy pickup, converted into a boat, got within 40 miles of Florida
This truck/boat was spotted, on July 16th, 2003 by a Bureau of Immigration and Customs patrol plane. It was later intercepted by two U.S. Coast Guard boats. The truck was kept afloat by attaching empty 55 gallon drums to the bottom, making it the first known truck raft to attempt crossing the Florida Straits from Cuba to Key West. It was powered by a propeller attached to the drive shaft, propelling it along at 8 miles per hour. The tires were still on the vintage Chevy truck. Eduarado Perez Graz, one of the 12 immigrants on board, stated “We arrived at the coast in the same truck and assembled everything in six hours. If they had let us get to Key West, we would have been able to drive it right onto the sand.”
The Associated reported on March 12, 2005 Luis Grass, his wife, Hisora Hernandez, and son Angel Luis Grass Hernandez, who attempted the voyage from Cuba to the United States in the above 1951 Chevy pickup, finally made it to U.S. soil. In addition to the 2003 attempt, in 2004 they were again intercepted short of landing on U.S. soil. This time in an old Buick Sedan.

The successful trip was finally achieved by crossing the U.S./Mexico border near Bownsville, Texas.

24
Sep

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Just plain weird, Tech

One day, while searching google images for a dts audio cd logo, I stumbled upon a neat Simpsons item. Over at http://www.tradenote.net/slot_7/ , with no real mention of where you would get them, I see:

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