When Will The Madness Stop?

Do-Si-Dos and Thin MintsWhy, when all 10 boxes are gone, of course. We polished off a full box of Do-Si-Dos today. Most on the drive this afternoon and the rest when we got home. A half a box of Thin Mints we used as desert after our evening meal, while we watched “Trust the Man”. TTM did have it’s funny moments and it had a Hollywood over the top, never happen in a million years ending, but, and I’m sorry to have to admit this, it didn’t have the usual Hollywood predictable plot and it needed it.

I think we are down to three boxes of cookies left, so it all should be over by Tuesday.

459

There are currently 68 photos in the Post Office gallery. That means Donna and I have driven into 68 towns in South Carolina and parked the Miata in front of their Post Office, gotten out of the car and snapped 2 to 4 pictures. Sixty-eight sounds like a lot, but it is not many when you think of how many Post Offices there are. But just how many are there?

The original number from the Postal Gallery site that started this for me was 367, but I recently got a list of SC Zip Codes from Wikipedia and they list 541 of them. I didn?t blog yesterday because I was too busy. I was gripped by my latest obsession (used without permission), I needed to find out how many Post Offices there are in South Carolina. From about 6:00PM until nearly 10:00 PM, I was at the usps.com web site using their Post Office locater. I found quite a few zip codes on that list that don?t have their own Post Office, but I also found a few towns that had more than one post office per zip code.

I now have a number to shoot for ? 459. Here is the excel spreadsheet if you are interested: South Carolina Post Offices.xls I?m sure my total of photos will be somewhat less. There are approximately 20 Contract Postal Units (a CPU is a station or branch operated by a contractor, typically in a store or other place of business) and unless there is an obvious sign out front proclaiming Post Office!, I won?t be taking pictures of those. South Carolina has 3 or 4 universities that may have Post Offices that mainly serve the students and are walkup in nature, so I might not be able to get the Emperor in the photo. Plus there are 5 military bases and I?m not so sure they will let me in, especially after I explain what I want to visit their base for. I already have two Post Offices I couldn?t find, so there is bound to be several more before I finish. My guess is when we are all done there will be 425 photos posted in the web gallery.

Four hundred twenty-five photos with 20 on a page means 22 pages. Sixty-eight so far, divided by 425 total, equals 16% complete. Plus there is the time issue to take into consideration; I?m due a new Miata in 1364 days and I need to have the same car in each photo, so I will need to add a average of one new photo every 3 days until November 2010. The task seems kind of daunting now that I?ve written it all down. 

Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/07: 66

Routing Transit Number

When I filed this year’s taxes like I have for the past several, I filed electronically. I also have what I owe or my refund automatically transfered to or from my savings account. This year our state refund was about twice what we owed Uncle Sam, so I had the state money go into savings and scheduled my payment to the IRS for April 2nd, figuring that would be enough time for the refund to get there first.

Today, in the mail, was a refund check from the State of South Carolina. What? I logged into my bank and checked to see if a refund had been deposited and I was getting double refunded. Nope. I broke out my copy of the state return and looked to see if I messed up the account number. Nope. What about the Routing Transit Number? I remember looking up on the web what my banks RTN was, maybe I mistyped it. Nope, I typed in the right RTN for Carolina First, but unfortunately I used the one for the North Carolina region, not South Carolina. Great, what is going to happen when George Bush wants his money on the 2nd of April?

I called up the toll free IRS Help Line and after about 4–5 minutes listening to classical music on hold I spoke with a very helpful lady and she told me that I messed up. There isn’t any policy to amend an electronically submitted return. When the IRS attempts to get their money, the bank will rebuff them because I don’t have an account there. In essence I will have bounced a check to the federal government. When I asked her what would happen then, she replied I would get a bill in the mail for taxes due and a $15 fee for the bouncing. That doesn’t sound to bad, I just hope it doesn’t land me on some “Let’s Audit This Bozo” list.

Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/07: 68

Cold Service

Quirk glanced at Hawk and turned slowly and looked at me. His back was to the window now.

Being a veteran police investigator, and a deep student of human character, I’m going to hazard a guess. You went to see Boots.”

Incredible,” Hawk said.

Yeah, it is,” Quirk said. “You hang him out a window.”

Nope,” Hawk said. “I put a gun to his head.”

Jesus Chirst,” Quirk said. “Boots Podolak?”

That sort of how he felt,” Hawk said.

You know, now that I look at that, it would be a lot better in the whole context of the book. So go read “Cold Service” by Robert B. Parker.

Pretty sad huh, came here here looking for entertaining stories of my trials and tribulations and all you get is a book quote. Better luck tomorrow.

Started down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/07: 70

Postal Express

RubyAll aboard the Postal Express with stops in,Elgin, Lugoff, Camden, Cassat, Bethune, McBee, Chesterfield, Ruby, Mount Croghan, Pageland, Jefferson and Kershaw.

Another outtake from yesterday. The city name is on the building, but someone wanted to make sure you knew you were at the right spot as you came up the street. I have all new the pictures, bringing the new total to 81, in the Gallery, now I just have to add a little story for each one.

Up until either last weekend or this, I could remember exactly which town the Post Office was in, without seeing the title, just by the photo. Not only that, but I could tell you how to get there. Unfortunately I have exceeded the storage limit that I can set aside for Post Office matters and still be able to remember important stuff like my name and how to tie my shoes. I can still do it for a bunch of them, but unless there is something truly unique about it, any new Post Office is apt to be confused with other ones that look like it.

This is starting to turn into something and maybe it is time to upgrade the Postal Gallery to a higher level. I may have to break down and figure out how to do that modrewrite thing so the photos have a nicer URL than http://www.mr-miata.net/galleries/sp_index.php?file=./Post%20Offices/x.jpg, maybe something like http://mr-miata.net/postal/x.jpg. If I hit the Powerball jackpot on Wednesday I might even buy it it’s own domain name, postalgallery.com & goingpostal.com is taken, but sc-post-offices.com & post-office-photos.com are open…

Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/07: 80

Mr. Zip

Mr. ZipIf it wasn’t for the fact that today was my bi-annual dental visit for a teeth cleaning, I would barely have anything to write about. Look Ma! No cavities.

Well, anything new to write about. I’ve got the usual. I added captions to the new Post Office photos.

We went out to eat lunch. The Emperor meets the King. A junior Whopper w/o mayo for each and we split a 6 pack of Cheesy Tots and a small Sprite.

Meal Cost: $4.65
Tip: None
Spent Today: $4.65
Year to Date: $621.64

I’ve finished another Spenser book. Promised Land:

Pam Shepard said, “No. Rose, believe me, you can trust him. He is not dishonest.”

Pam, almost everyone’s dishonest. He’s as dishonest as everyone else. I don’t want to do business with him.”

That’s dumb,” I said. “It’s the kind of dumb smart people get because they think they’re smart.”

What the hell does that mean?” Jane said.

It means that if everyone’s dishonest you aren’t going to do better elsewhere. And the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. I got one character witness. Where you going to find a gun that has that many.”

I’m kind of kicking myself. In the last Spenser book he said mentioned something like, Spenser’s Crimestoppers Tip #X, “Blah, blah, blah…” I didn’t write it down at the time and when I thought that maybe I should copy them down into a web page or something, I couldn’t find it in the book again without reading all over. No loss I figured, somebody on the big wide internet must have already done it. Turns out, nobody has. I searched. I even looked over at Bullets and Beer with no luck. So what do I do? Go back and read the book? Just wait until the next time I run across a crimestopper tip? Life is full of hard choices.

Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/07: 82

Let’s Go Swimming

Mt CroghanA lot of places will charge you for this kind of advice, but here you get it for free. This is a guaranteed winning entry, or double your money back, for your office NCAA March Madness Pool and I know your office pool is just like ours, there is no prize money, just the bragging rights that go with being supreme college hoops prognosticator of the year. Wink. Wink.

Round One
Florida
Purdue
Butler
Maryland
Winthrop
Oregon
UNLV
Wisconsin
Kansas
Villanova
Illinois
Southern Illinois
Duke
Pittsburgh
Indiana
UCLA
North Carolina
Michigan State
USC
Texas
George Washington
Washington State
Boston College
Georgetown
Ohio State
Xavier
Tennessee
Albany
Stanford
Texas A & M
Creighton
Memphis
Round Two
Florida
Butler
Oregon
Wisconsin
Kansas
Southern Illinois
Pittsburgh
UCLA
North Carolina
USC
Washington State
Georgetown
Ohio State
Tennessee
Texas A & M
Memphis
Regionals
Florida
Wisconsin
Kansas
Pittsburgh
North Carolina
Georgetown
Tennessee
Texas A & M
Regional Finals
Wisconsin
Kansas
North Carolina
Texas A & M
Semi Finals
Kansas
North Carolina
Final
Kansas

Started down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/07: 82

Non-Feature of Size Post

Feature Control FrameI am stuck all week for full mornings in a class on GD&T which they swear is an intermediate level course, yet uses the same book and covers the same ground as the one I went through in 2004. It’s only use might be as a refresher course, but we don’t really use GD&T to its real potential. And if we did we wouldn’t need a refresher course. Usually I would say that lousy time spent training is better than a good time working, but this is the exception to the rule.

I have started to rename the photos in the Post Office Gallery so that the newest ones will display first. This might take a while to complete, maybe if we take a weekend off from taking pictures of them I can get it ready for the next batch of new ones. I really need a different gallery software that will allow viewing of files by different tags: zip code or town name or date taken… I know you can do that on Flickr (and I may post them there too), but I like the idea of having total control of how they are presented. I’m taking suggestions.

Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/07: 88

Just Cancel It

Turns out I may be able to avoid bouncing a “check” to the IRS after all. The other day I told my tale of woe to one of our accountant s who does taxes on the side and she recommended that just mail in a payment using Form 1040-V. This way when the payment gets there they will credit my account, so that when the attempt at an electronic transfer fails the money would already be there. I might just avoid the penalty that way. I figure, what the heck it is worth a shot.

While hunting around on the IRS website looking for the forms I stumbled on a page about Pay Taxes by Electronic Funds Withdrawal and there near the bottom is a procedure for canceling a payment in cases sort of like mine:

Taxpayers can call the Treasury Financial Agent, Customer Service, at 1–888-353‑4537, toll-free, to cancel a payment or to report problems such as bank closures, lost or stolen bank account numbers, closed bank accounts or unauthorized transactions. Customer Service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Dude, the solution is just a phone call away. I’d better get on it so I can mail Uncle Sam a real check…

Started down, went up, went down, up again, down again, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/07: 92

Finally Friday

Enchanted Ceiling AgainIn what I’m sure is a futile effort, I California Dusted off the Miata and cleaned the tables and chairs on screened porch of pine pollen. We hope to have breakfast out there tomorrow, we’ll just have to see how much of the pollen returns. Because the ASCO parking lot is surrounded by pine trees we usually have a good indication when the pollen is done, because all the currently yellowy branch ends become plain tan, and at today’s morning walk there was still plenty of yellow.

Finished up the GD&T training this morning , handed in my test and didn’t even wait for it to graded. Who cares, not like it matters, I’m not getting college credit for it. I probably will get a certificate for my cube wall though.

We had the afternoon off and I spent it trying to use the Gallery software to use for the post office picture. I installed it and a couple hours later uninstalled it. I did monkey with the look a little, but there is so much crap displayed that I didn’t want, I tired of trying to root out in the files were they were so I could disable them.

As predicted yesterday, I fell from the top spot of the office pool. I correctly picked only half of last night’s winners and fell into a 5-way tie for third. Go Florida, Wisconsin, North Carolina & Georgetown.

Started down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/07: 92