What are stamps for?

Vintage stamps pay for Priority Mail
Years ago, before Forever stamps and ClickNShip prepaid mailing labels, I bought a bunch of stamps for potential Express Mail. I also bought a batch of 1c, 5c, and 10c stamps. Those were to let me use the 33c stamps and such when the letter rate changed to 34c. Forever stamps made that irrelevant.

I finally unloaded the above stamps by paying for a Priority Mail package. I love the ‘upside down airplane’ stamp, a reprint based on the celebrated 24c Inverted Jenny airmail stamp (a.k.a. C3a among hardcore US philatelists). The blue profile of Ben Franklin dates from the late 1800s in style, but was recently reprinted by the USPS.

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Delta Airlines’ April Meltdown

North Central - Republic Airlines goose logoThis is a brief report on our experience with Delta’s epic meltdown over Palm Sunday weekend (April 7-10).
 
We were rebooked 4 times and rescheduled at least a half dozen times between midnight Friday and our ultimate arrival at about 3am Monday morning. Our original flight was supposed to arrive Saturday afternoon.
 
The final bit was that our bags were on the wrong flight and I had to pick them up after the morning flight came in. I asked the baggage lady if it was the worst she’d seen. She said, “No, it was worse when Northwest and Republic merged. Before computers.”

[Update: Delta sent us each 20,000 miles as an apology.]

Typical Troops, Atypical Scouts

SunriseAbout 1 in 8 kids these days have a “special need” or “invisible disability” or something else that poses a challenge in traditionally structured situations like school or Scouting. In ages past, a Scout leader could expel or “ease out” a Scout that presented behavior problems or otherwise didn’t “fit.”

It’s important to talk about how we will work with kids in the normal troop environment with special needs.  ADHD, autism down syndrome. Leaders need tips on how to handle kids, their parents and medication. 

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Respect For Friends Who Transition

I’ve found it challenging as an aging baby boomer to confront gender transitions. I posted some of my own “lessons learned” during the Transgender Day of Visibility. My suggestions won’t necessarily help traditional cisgendered people understand, but it might help minimize blunders.

Here are some things I’ve learned about gender transition:

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For kids with ‘something’

I’m always looking for better ways to understand invisible disabilities with an eye towards helping Scouts and Scouters succeed in the movement. This one is pretty general, but it gives me some food for thought: The Ultimate List of Gifts for Sensory Seekers, from Mama OT’s blog.

I especially like that the second paragraph warns of overstimulation. There’s a tendency to think that if “a little of X” makes things good, then “a lot of X” makes things better. It’s important to know when and when not to indulge.

An Arrest

Our block is surrounded by churches, trees, and homes. It’s also right next to US 61. I see people pulled over for speeding or whatever, but this is the first time we’ve had a genuine arrest – guns drawn, cuffs, other suspects under guard, crying toddler in the vehicle. It all started, like most things these days, with Ginny barking.

I was cooking burgers on the grill, and I chased her in the house. She was barking at a red pickup. More precisely, she was barking at the people standing around it. I assumed the people were either awaiting church or had pulled off of 61 to rest or make phone calls. I chased Ginny in, but left another door open. A few minutes later (burgers turned), she was out back barking again. This time I heard shouts and saw flashing police lights. “Uh, Ginny, it’s time for us to get out of here.”

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When we visit San Francisco,

…these are the two restaurants at which we always try to eat.

  1. Pacific Cafe on Geary St near Land’s End for seafood.
  2. House of Nanking on Kearney near Columbus for Chinese.

We first visited the Pacific Cafe about 30 years ago and it’s still terrific. I love the scallops. We ‘discovered’ House of Nanking only 6 years ago and I still dream of their spicy calamari.

Pacific Cafe, Geary St, http://www.pacificcafesf.com/mhome.html; and House of Nanking, Kearney and Columbus, http://houseofnanking.net/ . Both serve simple but tasty food at a reasonable price.

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