Monday, January 18, 2021

Mrs. HM Always Wins

Farmer H is no match for Mrs. HM. He might THINK he's going to best her in a strong discussion, but he won't. He lets his guard down. He forgets what he was strongly discussing. Mrs. HM can talk him in circles, and prove her point.

Farmer H was going to have homemade beanie weenies for supper on Saturday. Something to be made before I left for town, and put in FRIG II for him to warm up before leaving for the auction. His instructions were simple. And repeated three times on Friday.

"Before you go up to your Storage Unit Store, bring over some of the Ponytail Guy's FREE food. Bring several packages of hot dogs, since you have so many. And a container of those chicken patties. I'll use them in my leftover Chinese, and The Pony can have a sandwich."

When I looked in FRIG II Saturday morning around 11:30, there was no Ponytail Guy food! Well. I guess Farmer H would not have beanie weenies after all.

When I got home from town, Farmer H was sitting at the kitchen table, drooling over his ledger, figuring his profits. I opened FRIG II to get olives for my lunch, and saw that Farmer H had put in ONE PACK of hot dogs, and a GIANT BAG of frozen patties. About 40 patties! Of indeterminate meat.

"Uh. I don't know what I'm supposed to do with all this meat! There's not room in the freezer over here. And last time you brought even HALF this amount, it MOLDED in the bag! When are we going to eat 40 patties? That aren't even chicken!"

"Them's chicken patties. The kind you like."

"No. They don't even look the same. They look like those sausage patties that we hated."

"That ain't sausage. It's got a coating."

"It doesn't have the cross-marks like the kind we hated. But it's sausage."

"HM. It's the chicken patties you wanted. I don't know why you're complaining."

Farmer H made a quick getaway to his recliner. I proceeded to move things around in FRIG II's freezer, find some gallon ziploc bags in the pantry, and commenced to sort out those patties for freezure. Muttering all the while.

"I don't know why you have to complain all the time!"

"Is it hurting you while you sit in there? I'm the one dealing with it, while I'd rather be getting my lunch ready. I thought you were bringing this before I left for town. I'm not making your beanie weenies now. You can have a TV dinner, or eat a hamburger at the auction."

"I'll be fine eating a hamburger at the auction!"

"Good! But I STILL have to deal with all these patties that nobody wants."

"It's the ONLY THING YOU HAVE TO DO ALL DAY, and you're complaining!"

"I don't see YOU taking it back or finding a way to save it! You were supposed to bring a lot of HOT DOGS, and a FEW chicken patties! You SAID they were chicken patties! The good ones!"

"That IS chicken patties! It says so on the bag!"

"It might SAY it's chicken, but it's sausage! Come in here and smell it! Sausage! I even see the red peppers in it! It doesn't look a thing like the chicken patties with the breading!"

Since Farmer H didn't come into the kitchen, I took a Chinese Tupperware container of the patties to his recliner.

"There! Smell that, and tell me it's chicken!"

"I don't want to smell it!"


I held that tray under Farmer H's nose. He had to breathe.


"I don't have any idea what kind of meat that is!"

"EXACTLY! Just like I told you! It's NOT CHICKEN PATTIES! You just admitted it!"

All it takes is time. Mrs. HM will always outlast and outwit Farmer H.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Fruits Of My Laborious Excursion

Since I went to so much trouble to get them, I might as well show you the beautiful stamps I endured so much to purchase on Thursday.
Sorry, the overhead fluorescents in my lair cast a shadow from my phone. There 12 stamps on the front, and 8 on the back. I think my favorite is the red barn. BOTH of them. And the snowy path between the snowy trees. As you can see, there are 10 different scenes, then they repeat. It cost $11 for the book of 20 stamps.
These will go on Genius's letters. The bills get the flags. Which cost the same.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Mrs. HM Got A Snootful

Thursday I went to the main post office over in Sis-Town to get stamps. They have taken down the sign on the door that said masks must be worn. They have also taken down the sign on the inside glass doors from lobby to desk area that said only two people at a time were allowed in.

I could see three men inside. One at the counter, one in line behind him, at a distance, and another distanced man, with a cane, whom I had followed from the parking area. I was going to wait on my side of the glass doors, but then I noticed the TWO PEOPLE sign was gone, and I also saw that one man was on his way out.
All the customers, as well as the clerk, were wearing masks. So I took my St. Louis Blues version out of my jacket pocket and strapped it on. I could play along for the time it would take to get stamps. Maybe there was a sign I had missed. It IS a federal facility, you know.

I stepped inside, and waited behind Caner, who was waiting for Packager to do his business. I swear. People who come to the post office with their item, ask which package would be best, then ask to get it ready right there at the counter! What is WITH those people???

PO Clerk at least asked Packager to stand aside. She even gave him a big roll of industrial tape (my tax dollars at work) to apply to his package, heh, heh. She motioned Caner forward.

Sweet Gummi Mary! I feel for Caner. I do. He was asking about a missing package. Said someone or something told him it was delivered, but it wasn't. That it said it was IN TRANSIT, at the main post office. Oh, my poor misguided Caner! That's the runaround! 

PO Clerk told him that she had no way of checking on where his package was. He kept insisting that it was blue. They told him the package was blue. That's a new on one me. PO Clerk told him that even if she brought up his tracking number on her very slow computer, it would only show her the parking lot out back. That he would just have to wait for it to arrive.

I can understand Caner's frustration. He was not an angry dude. Just baffled as to where his blue package might be. My gripe with Caner is that he lingered. PO Clerk had clearly told him she was sorry, but she had no way to find his package. Maybe he hasn't been out much. It was like a social event for him, chatting and soaking up her sympathy. If he kept that up much longer, I was going to need his cane!

But here's my REAL GRIPE! Yes. I often have more than one. My REAL GRIPE is with the woman who came in behind me, as soon as that first guy went out the door.

We shall call her SNIFFY.

I'm pretty sure that tells you what you need to know. I was vaguely aware of her entering. I'd caught her out of the corner of my eye as I went into the lobby, getting out of her car. She was maybe my age. No spring chicken. Not a doddering dowager. There was really no room for her inside, not to stay socially distanced. So there she was, creeping up on me, lest she have to stand against the glass doors.

I wasn't happy about her closeness, but I could deal with her for the time it took me to buy stamps. I turned my back, and leaned on a high table where people can fill out change of address forms.



Sorry. That is just nasty in these times. It wasn't a little sniffle, like if the cold air makes your nose drip when you go inside. It was snotty congestion being retrieved from thieving gravity. Who goes out while they're SICK these days? It's not like she was WORKING there!

I kind of shuddered. Heave a masked sigh. Halfway turned my head, but didn't look at her. Just showed her that I was aware of her shenanigans. She did that SNLUUUURRRRRP thing about forty-eleven more times while I waited!

When Caner started hobbling toward the glass doors, still while having his ME-TIME with PO Clerk, I turned to face the main counter, so Packager and Sniffy would know I was there waiting my turn, not filling out a change of address form. I saw out of the corner of my right eye that Sniffy was taking a mask out of her purse. Maybe she needed it to catch her unsniffed snot.

MY TURN! I asked for my two books of stamps. I got flags, and a tasteful set of winter scenes. Maybe I'll remember to get a picture of them. Anyhoo... my cost was $22.00. I didn't have a lot of cash on hand, so I planned to use the debit card. NOT because I don't want to handle filthy VIRUS cash. I think that card-reader is much filthier. Anyhoo... the card reader was attached to the counter, on the other side of the hanging plastic that supposedly saves the lives of the PO workers.

"Hey. How does this work? I can't see it through the plastic."

"Oh. You just slide your card in the bottom. It has the slot. That's actually a clear shower curtain, ha, ha. A $4 shower curtain, not Plexiglass."

"I can see it wavering around with the air currents."

"Yeah. It's not very see-through."

"If I was using it for a shower curtain, though, I'd be afraid it was TOO see-through!"

I wish I could have ripped that thing down and wrapped it around the head of Sniffy! As I made my getaway, I heard her say that she was only there to buy stamps! You can get stamps out an ATM, you know, at my bank with only three drive-thru lanes. No need to cram your diseased schnoz into an enclosed space with healthy schnozzes.

Friday, January 15, 2021

What The Mail Brings Me

Got it! Got the package that has been touring the midwest for many days! The package containing Farmer H's Christmas gift. It came the day after I wrote about it the second time. If only I'd known that a sure way to have a package delivered was to complain about its nondelivery! It came the very day that second complaint published.

Farmer H's fake gas pump was stuffed into that cardboard box like a sausage! Maybe because it came from CHINA! Not like Amazon, where they will use a box that size to ship a pack of TicTacs. Anyhoo... it was encased in bubble wrap, and cushioned between two slabs of Styrofoam.
The back is flat, to hang on a wall. The front opens like a door, to show the inside, with hooks to hang keys on. You can barely see, along the right side, the little fake gas nozzle and hose. Farmer H loves it! He will be hanging it in his Freight Container Garage. Which is better than building a themed shed for it.
Also in the mail, the very day after I paid the SilverRedO payment by phone at 1:00 a.m., I got another statement for SilverRedO! NOT a second notice. Just a second statement! It was the oddest thing ever. An exact copy of the original. All numbers and dates the same. There was no postmark. The envelopes had one of those boxes printed in the stamp area, saying something like prepaid mail
I wonder if that company was having trouble with their payments not being returned. WHY would they send out a second set of statements? Like I said, the original was 10-12 days later than usual. Farmer H said maybe they sent us another statement because they didn't get our payment. I think not, since the payment wasn't due until the 15th. This second statement is a mystery to me. First I don't get one, then I get TWO! On consecutive days.

The Pony's Strange Science book shows no signs of being shipped yet. And Farmer H has two more gifts out there somewhere. It's a full-time non-paying job to keep up with the USPS. 

Another USPS story tomorrow! About my visit to the main office over in Sis-Town.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Another Casualty Of The Slovenly Work Habits Of The USPS

You would think people who WANT to pay their bills on time should be allowed to do so! Is that too much to ask? To get a bill in a timely manner, slip a check into a return envelope, send it back the next day, and assume it will arrive before the due date two weeks in the future?

Apparently, that IS too much to ask!

We usually get the bill for SilverRedO on the 1st or 2nd day of the month. I understand that this was a holiday weekend for January. But still, I ASSumed it would arrive on the 4th or 5th. Nope. We got that bill on January 12th! And the due date is the 15th! No way is that payment going to make it on time.

So... once again, I'm at the mercy of the innernets! The bill said I could pay by phone, or pay online. I looked up the website, and discovered that I would have to make an account. No thank you! I don't need another internet account with a password to remember or write down next to my computer! 

The phone number said it was available 24/7/365. So I called around 1:00 a.m. I got an automated line. That figures. I expected as much. It gave me options to answer by using my words, or by poking in a number. I figured that eventually, I would have a chance to press a number to speak to a real live person. After all, the very beginning of the call said my conversation might be monitored.

Well! I never got a human! AND I was not offered the option to pay with my credit card, which Farmer H and I agreed upon, not wanting our bank account info out there. But no. My only choice was to use our checking account. Lucky for me, I have all that account information at my elbow, in the printouts of our past tax returns, since we take our refund by direct deposit.

One thing that comforts my frayed nerves is that the automated voice assured me that I was authorizing a ONE-TIME payment of [exact amount of the monthly bill]. So it was not switching me to paperless billing, and it was not charging me a processing fee.

Oh, and the automated voice told me that my payment would be withdrawn from my bank on Jan 13th, and that it might take TWO DAYS to show up as payment on my loan account. Which would be Jan 15th. The due date!

Heh, heh! That darn old USPS is even making it hard for me to pay on time by phone!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Maybe My Package Will Arrive On Groundhog Day

Sweet Gummi Mary! I caught them in the act! Caught the USPS in the act of falsifying information! Heh, heh! Like they're gonna be worried about that!


You saw on yesterday's blog post the copy-and-pasted tracking history. NOW, at 12:24 a.m. on January 13, they tell a different story. Apparently, my package was not sent out at all on the night of Jan 11. Trying to paint me as a liar, I suppose! You can compare both by scrolling down to yesterday's blog. 

Below is the current FAIRY TALE about my package's travels:
January 12, 2021, 8:36 pm
Departed USPS Regional Facility
Your item departed our USPS facility in SAINT LOUIS MO NETWORK DISTRIBUTION CENTER on January 12, 2021 at 8:36 pm. The item is currently in transit to the destination.

January 12, 2021
In Transit to Next Facility

January 11, 2021, 7:13 pm
Arrived at USPS Regional Destination Facility

January 8, 2021, 4:34 am
Departed USPS Regional Facility
They still say it ARRIVED in St. Louis on January 11 at 7:13 p.m.. But it didn't really leave on Jan 11 at 7:32 p.m. It was apparently in transit while sitting still in that USPS Regional Facility! And now it has departed AGAIN, this time on Jan 12 at 8:36 p.m.

My package seems to be caught in a Groundhog Day (the Bill Murray movie) scenario.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Between There And Hillmomba Is Limbo

Surely you didn't think Farmer H's wayward Christmas gift would actually arrive yesterday as the original USPS Tracking Number had predicted. No siree, Bob! There was no package and no notice when we got home at 5:00. Sure, the notice had said it would be here by 9:00 p.m. But everybody knows that Hillmomba rolls up the sidewalks at 5:00.  
We had a brief glimmer of hope when playing a phone message, and the lady down the gravel road said she had a package for me. But the phone said the message was from "Wednesday," so we realized it was the old message about a different package, since we've never known the USPS to be ahead of schedule on anything.
At least I could get on the tracking website again. Here is the most recent history of Farmer H's gift. Remember to read from the bottom up for chronological order.
January 11, 2021, 7:32 pm
Departed USPS Regional Destination Facility
Your item departed our SAINT LOUIS MO NETWORK DISTRIBUTION CENTER destination facility on January 11, 2021 at 7:32 pm. The item is currently in transit to the destination.

January 11, 2021, 7:13 pm
Arrived at USPS Regional Destination Facility

January 11, 2021
In Transit to Next Facility

January 8, 2021, 4:34 am
Departed USPS Regional Facility
So... it took three days to get from Illinois to Missouri. To ST. LOUIS, which is, for River's benefit, just across the RIVER from Illinois! Although Palatine is in Cook County, which is in or by Chicago. A drive of 4 hours and 39 minutes, according to my estranged BFF Google. 
Sweet Gummi Mary! It's half the distance from Hillmomba to Norman, Oklahoma! We could drive THAT in 9 hours! But Farmer H's gift took THREE DAYS for a 4 hour 39 minute drive. I guess it was strapped to the back of a Big Wheel, pedaled by a three-year-old, who had to stay out of traffic and take the back roads.
Who really knows where that package is now? Besides IN TRANSIT. I think it goes down to Casino Town, and then back up to the Sis-Town main post office. I hope keys and gas pumps are still remembered by the time Farmer H's gift arrives in the near or far future...