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Moving On Up


This week I took a major step for change in my life. The last major step was opening the store. This week I agreed to ty my hand at postal management.

Starting Sept. 1st I will be getting training to be a Postal Supervisor. Officially, I will be what is known as a 204b. I will still be part of the Carrier Craft, but acting in a managerial capacity. This mean that I lose no seniority as a carrier, I can go back to being a carrier anytime I want, and I keep my mail route as long as every six months or so I go back and deliver the route for two weeks. And, I can actualy take vacation time during the period I am to carry my route (which makes little sense to me, but that is how things work).

On the other side, I will become RESPONSIBLE. Up til now, all I had to worry about was my job. Once the training is over, I will be running the Andover Post Office. I will have 8 city routes, about 20 rural routes and 6 or so clerks/mail handlers under my supervision. If someone calls in sick, I have to find a replacement. If someone is underperfomring, I have to find a solution. Heck, most people know what supervisors do. And this will be a new experience for me, as I have never been a supervisor before. But if I didn't think I could handle it, I wouldn't attempt it.

It is actually a good thing for me. When I am a supervisor, I earn 5% more pay. When I open I get overtime for all hours I work before 7am (1-1/2 per day). When I close, I earn overtime for all hours worked past 3:30 (2-1/2 hours per day). Saturday, when I work, will be 10 (or more) hour days -- and I will work most likely 5 of every 6 Saturdays.

Andover is closer to home -- about 10 minutes each way. Less driving, less miles, less gas. When I open, I will have more afternoon time (but less sleep) and when I close I can sleep in. I will have to caryy my route occasionally. In fact, in the first two weeks as a 204b I have to carry my route the Saturday before and Tuesday after Labor Day. But that is okay.

Who knows. a 204b is the first step towards more advancement in the Post Office (currently I can go no further as a carrier), and eventually I may get my own Post Office. Looking forward to the changes in my life.

The Irony of Economic Recovery


Nothing to back this up. Just a personal thought/observation.

I've been hearing alot lately about how the "positive" reports about the econmy are pushing investors to buy Oil futures again, in the hopes of a speedy recovery and that oil/gas will again be "in demand." Now, when gas was at its highest, our economy was taking a nose dive (i can literally track the sales figures between the rise of gas prices and the drop in sales at our store). If gas costs $1.50 per gallon, I can fill my gas tank on about $15, and still have a few $$ left over to buy a 12 pack, or some candy, or SOMETHING. But if gas is $2.50 a gallon, now it cost me $25 to fill my tank. If I only have a $20, it is all going into the gas tank, with nothing left over to buy some other product.

Someone want to explain to me how spending all my money on one item is helping to boost the economy. If I could spend that money on multiple items, I am supporting mutiple companies. And multiple jobs. What am I missing here?

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Downtime


The last few weeks have been busy for me -- and by that I really mean busy in regards to the store. Three weekends in a row we had major events taking place: April 25th was both a Magic Pre-Release and our first YuGiOh Champion Pack event in about 2 years. So we had 40 some players in two events. Then May 2nd was the Magic Release and the YGO Pre-Release, and last weekend we had a World of Warcraft TCG Realm Qualifier event. This is actually the first weekend in weeks without a major event or tournament -- and next weekend we have Worldwide D&D Day.

On the plus side, vacation starts when I finish work on Saturday. So I don't go back to work until Tuesday, May 26th. I'm looking forward to that. I hope to get the bedroom mega-clean, and possibly repainted (I'd like a lighter color in the bedroom, and I have no plans to tell R what I'm doing, as a surprise to her if I actually do it). I also want to hang some real blinds for the window, and hopefully get the mesh up on the dog fence to hopefully discourage the Scrather from digging out of the dog yard (that dog has perhaps 500 sq. ft. to play in -- at least the Mook is smart enough to enjoy what he has, and isn't prone to wild adventures).

However, I did write my second post in the same year, so that must mean something!

Gamer ESP


Every so often, I get these flashes of gamer ESP, like my subconscious is trying to tell me something. The most unusual one was just over a year ago, when I had this strange feeling that Fantasy Flight Games was going to pick up the UFS ccg. Then, a week later, a buddy of mine who worked for FFG at the time said that there was going to be a pretty big announcement in the next day or two. So I said "What, FFG is getting UFS?" The look on his face was utter shock, as I was completely correct. Now, FFG got all of Sabertooth Games (including Talisman, which is the best thing to happen to that game since Second Edition), so I just missed the full scope of the feeling.

Well, Wednesday I had another flash of ESP, again out of the blue. Now, bear in mind that I do know folks at FFG, but we don't really talk shop, of talk all that often in fact. But I have this strange feeling that FFG is going to be announcing that they have picked up the WizKids licenses, and that the next Living Card Game they are going t come out with will be based off of Shadowrun. And, like I said, this is not based on anything concrete, just a weird feeling I got.

But I sure do hope I am right!

The Rains of Spring


Well, Minnesota is in the grip of a week long rain spell -- perhaps longer. Now, as much as I dislike delivering mail in the rain, I actually can enjoy a nice, dark stormy day. It was overcast all day, and although it never got dark, there were a few times I saw the street lights on. And I liked it. Sometimes I just get depressed when the weather is like it is today, but not today. Today, I reveled in it.

I've always been a big fan of thunderstorms. There's nothing that I find more fascinating than watching a massive storm go by, thunder and lightning everywhere. I feel that nature is at its most beautiful when it is at its most destructive. I also consider myself a fall guy -- i love to sit outside and drink coffee and bs in the fall temps, and today's temps (and weather) were very fall-like to me.

On the down side, the temperature is supposed to drop below freezing tonight. So the hour drive into work might be longer, and an icy adventure. But that's what I get for choosing to live in the country. Now, I'm going to learn how to play El Grande. And watch the rain outside the store.

Happy Birthday America -- Now Transform!


July 4th is here, and with it my second entry in as many weeks! Happy Birthday America -- just another 18 months and you'll have survived G.W. Bush. Hope it makes it.

So, on this vacation day, Rhonda, her mom Pat, and myself went to St. Michael to see the new Transformers movie with my brother Rob and Mikey. We also had to drive Mikey back to St. Cloud, since Rob had to work in Monticello at 3:00, and wouldn't be able to bring him home. But it was all worth it for the chance to see Transformers on the Imax screen there.

Well, this morning I logged onto the internet to see if they sold tickets online, since Pat was a morning addition to our trip and I was afraid the movie would be sold out. And, according to the website, T wasn't on the Imax (though they still show Spiderman 3 and 300 every night...must log this for future late night adventures). Was this true -- I was driving for nearly 3 hours to see a movie on a REGULAR SCREEN? Surely this was not the case; Rob would have told me.

So we drive the just over 1 hour to St. Michael (from Mora to Cambridge to Elk River to Rogers to St. Michael) and, yup, no Imax! WTF! Called Rob, and he's still 20 minutes away. Aargh; Rhonda I I drive to the nearest gas station to use the facilities, as Rob has our tickets. Pat easily gets her ticket -- not even close to selling out. Rob shows up, gripe at him about it not being Imax ("But you said you wanted to see it here!" "No, I said I wanted to see it here IN IMAX!"). Still, the movie was rip-roaring summer fun. The effects were great, the story was acceptable (good thing Grandpa didn't throw out his scratched glasses). I'll gladly see it again, and hope the effects translate well to the small screen (even if it is a widescreen 42" DLP projection screen).

This is the second movie in a week for Rhonda and I; we say FF2 over the weekend. Average, and somewhat cheesy, but still okay. Glad I paid matinee price for it (and what was up with Galactus -- I wanted big Purple!!). Between the two, Transformers was still the better movie.

One last bit -- Kevin Smith is working on a new movie, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which is set in St. Cloud, MN. Kick ass. I might have to find out how to be an extra; I've got a great mailman outfit. :)

Journal Entry...or waste of time


Yea, i don't post here often. Usually I lurk the forums at WizKidsGames or, mroe often than not, the Message Boards at agameofthrones.com at the Fantasy Flight Games website (note, unless you like nudity, it is not the Fantasy Flight website). So, I figured that I should at least post something here.

Got the box of goodness today. Lots of cool reading material (most of which I forgot I had loaned out to begin with), and one can't argue with that. Also ordered Rhonda's birthday present (or part of) today, for a whopping $68, and I feel I got ripped off. Still, at one point it would have been over $80, so $68 is passable.

Got some big anticipation on. In three days MN will be home to the great Game of Thrones marathon events. And I have the weekend off from work, which is cool since it means I can actually attend a tournament/event at another game store!! Whoot! Of course, it is a $10 event (twice our entry fees), but I feel confident that I'll place in the top 4. Of ocurse, I'm also mighty arrogant, but I kow my deck. Want to make a few changes before Saturday, to protect against some of the latest threats, but other than swapping out 4 or 5 cards I think I'm in good shape.

Stay tuned for my next post, in which I cry like a boby about my humilating loss...or rant exubirant (??) about winning the Ghost!