Mail–Junk Mail

I can almost remember when most of the mail I received was something I wanted, aside from bills. It was not 90%+ JUNK. Today’s mail was 100% junk, and, with the exception of one item, I recycled them.

The one item that did not get recycled was a solicitation from a professional organization to which I once belonged to purchase accidental death and dismemberment insurance for $2.00/month. Right. Hmmmm . . .

The USPS (United States Postal Service) is losing money. Many, if not most, of us now use e-mail and pay bills by computer instead of mailing letters, invitations, thank you cards and checks. This cuts down on the volume of first class mail delivered by the Post Office.

I am able to filter out much, if not all, of the “spam” I receive in my e-mail accounts, but I cannot seem to do the same with my USPS mail–even when I attempt to opt out of things like credit card solicitations from banks and others. This appears to be about as effective as the Do Not Call Registry is for robo-calls and the like.

Therefore, I am going to increase, on an organized basis, my outgoing USPS mail.

BRM–Business Reply Mail costs the same as regular US postage plus a fee for the company that owns the BRM permit. That company pays nothing if the reply envelope is not used but pays full cost+ if it is used, even if the envelope is empty. If I send two of these back per week, this generates more than fifty dollars/year in additional revenue for the USPS.

There are some 120,000,000+ households in the United States.

Let’s see $50.00 times 120,000,000 = $6,000,000,000 — I believe this would go far in reducing the seemingly perennial USPS monetary losses with no increase in cost to us. It might even get businesses to change how they operate–no more (or maybe just less) junk mail.

If you wish to push up the cost even more, put something in the envelope–NO, not sand (that’s probably illegal anyway). Put all, or part, of the advertisement in the BRM envelope–where it won’t clog your trash/recycle bin. It’ll up the weight of the envelope and raise its cost. You might even get creative–put a Guy-co ad in a Prfoessyve envelope or send in a half-dozen coupons from one of those super-duper coupon envelopes.

All those BRM post cards? Send those too and don’t bother to fill them in.

If we all do our part, maybe, just maybe, we can help return the Post Office to the profitability and admiration it enjoyed in 1947. 1947? Why 1947? Because that was when the movie Miracle on 34th Street came out. (If you still don’t understand, please, watch the movie–the original version: 1947.)

The Letter

By Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Edward Rowland Sill, Died February 27, 1887

Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Thomas Bailey Aldrich

I held his letter in my hand,
And even while I read
The lightning flashed across the land
The word that he was dead.

How strange it seemed! His living voice
Was speaking from the page
Those courteous phrases, tersely choice,
Light-hearted, witty, sage.

I wondered what it was that died!
The man himself was here,
His modesty, his scholar’s pride,
His soul serene and clear.

These neither death nor time shall dim,
Still this sad thing must be–
Henceforth I may not speak to him,
Though he can speak to me!

Monday Cat

Monday Cat
Mist and Smoke Window

Monday Cat

It has been a while since I’ve posted a cat picture. So, here are Mist and Smoke enjoying some southern California winter sunshine.


The Cat And The Moon

By William Butler Yeats
1865 – 1939

William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats

The cat went here and there
And the moon spun round like a top,
And the nearest kin of the moon
The creeping cat looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For wander and wail as he would
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass,
Lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet
What better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
Tired of that courtly fashion,
A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important and wise,
And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.


Opened a new bottle of Crown Royal Black this evening after dinner . . . mmmmmmmmm.


A Drinking Song

by Eugene Field
1950 – 1895

Eugene Field - A Drinking Song (drink)
Eugene Field

Come, brothers, share the fellowship
We celebrate to-night;
There’s grace of song on every lip
And every heart is light!
But first, before our mentor chimes
The hour of jubilee,
Let’s drink a health to good old times,
And good times yet to be!
Clink, clink, clink!
Merrily let us drink!
There’s store of wealth
And more of health
In every glass, we think.
Clink, clink, clink!
To fellowship we drink!
And from the bowl
No genial soul
In such an hour can shrink.

And you, oh, friends from west and east
And other foreign parts,
Come share the rapture of our feast,
The love of loyal hearts;
And in the wassail that suspends
All matters burthensome,
We’ll drink a health to good old friends
And good friends yet to come.
Clink, clink, clink!
To fellowship we drink!
And from the bowl
No genial soul
In such an hour will shrink.
Clink, clink, clink!
Merrily let us drink!
There’s fellowship
In every sip
Of friendship’s brew, we think.



Today Southern California enjoyed what we sometimes call “Chamber of Commerce” weather. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the 70s and a gentle breeze.

Sailing off SoCal.
Sailing off SoCal.

A buddy of mine, Larry, owns a fourteen foot ‘Zodiac’ style boat and invited two of us to go with him. It was a ride through Newport Beach’s waterways and a short ocean jaunt to Laguna Beach. Calm seas, birds, seals and dolphins.

Sailing off SoCal.
Sailing off SoCal 2

We stopped on the way back to eat and tied up near the Sabatino’s restaurant. Yummy.

Sailing off SoCal.
Sailing off SoCal 3

Mike bought a hat to replace the one he lost on the way to Laguna.

Sailing off SoCal.
Sailing off SoCal 4

Then it was back to the boat ramp and then home.

Sailing off SoCal.
Sailing off SoCal 5

9 am to 2.30 pm – marvelous day. Hope your day went as well.

Sailing off SoCal.
Sailing off SoCal 6

Sail On, Sail On

by Thomas Moore
1779 – 1852

Sail on, sail on, thou fearless bark–
Wherever blows the welcome wind,
It cannot lead to scenes more dark,
More sad than those we leave behind.
Each wave that passes seems to say,
“Tho’ death beneath our smile may be,
Less cold we are, less false than they,
Whose smiling wrecked thy hopes and thee.”
Sail on, sail on,–thro’ endless space–
Thro’ calm–thro’ tempest–stop no more:
The stormiest sea’s a resting place
To him who leaves such hearts on shore.
Or–if some desert land we meet,
Where never yet false-hearted men
Profaned a world, that else were sweet,–
Then rest thee, bark, but not till then.


Saturday Morning

Di got me up about 5 am to help her outside for a smoke and to read a bit. I lay down on the couch to sleep and she was back in in less than an hour. Put her back in bed and soon got up to feed the cats. At 8 she got up to stay for pills, tea and breakfast. I for my coffee and papers (LA Times and OC Register). Breakfast was leftover Kung Pao chicken (Eggroll King) and rice, heated in the zapper, yum.

Saturday Afternoon

Wrote another thousand words for the book after reading the papers, with the TV (muted) on in the background and began reading The Life and Times of Horatio Hornblower.

Grocery shopping for us (Trader Joe’s) and the cats (Pet Supply) and to the pharmacy. Di was shorted some pills in her one of her prescriptions last time, quickly rectified today (thanks Scott) at Sav-on.

Saturday Evening

Dinner was a pair of Sprouts twice baked potatoes and some peas and corn (with orange-honey butter). During and after which we watched Animal Planet’s Christmas episode of Too Cute (recorded and fast forwarded through the commercials, of course). Di worked on her lesson plans a bit and is now reading Tanya Huff’s The Future Falls (having re-read The Enchantment Emporium and The Wild Ways this last week).

I’ve got my Powerbook on my lap, a Dewar’s to my right and some nameless football game (muted) on in the background. I’ll quickly finish this update, put away the computer, re-fill my glass and re-open my book.

Another beautiful day in paradise.

Happy New Year.



By Ella Wheeler Wilcox
1850 – 1919

Saturday by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Now with the almost finished task make haste.
So near the night thou hast no time to waste.
Post up accounts, and let thy Soul’s eyes look
For flaws and errors in Life’s ledger-book
When labours cease,
How sweet the sense of peace!