Mar. 14th, 2017

alexpgp: (Semeuse)
It seems counterintuitive, but U.S. postage stamps printed since, say, the 1940s will never gain value as a result of their age, regardless of what the "catalog value" of said stamp might be. In fact, I recall, back when we had the mailing business, being approached with an offer to sell us old stamps (which are still good for postage, by the way) at a discount off the face value.

Indeed, in recent months, I have been depleting my supply of stamps showing a specific monetary value (e.g., 37 cents) by using them on envelopes and then making up the difference from a rather large supply of "surplus" old stamps (e.g., stamps from the "Overrun Countries" issue, which were denominated at 5 cents).

However, a look at the USPS web site a few minutes ago confirmed my suspicion that "Forever" stamps (to be used theoretically forever to cover the first-ounce first-class rate) are the new norm, and so eventually, once I run out of stamps of specific value, this little tactic of mine won't be of much use.

Ah, well, I do have quite a stock of unused Christmas stamps that I've accumulated over the years. I suppose I could start using those between holiday seasons. :)

alexpgp: (Default)
Around here, at least, Verizon brags about its $45 per month, per line service, but it's not until you apply the rubber to the road that you realize that number does not include taxes and fees, among which is a $20 monthly "network access" charge (the plain meaning of which I interpret to be a charge for allowing a phone to connect to the cellular network).

The last time we did a check-up with Verizon, the young fellow helping us massaged some things, including the elimination of a $10 per month insurance charge, which theoretically got the monthly charge for Galina's phone down to about $70. However, we then got another indecipherable bill whose bottom line topped out at over $100, so when I heard that T-Mobile was offering service for two lines for $100 including all taxes and fees, I decided it was time to pay them a visit, which we did today.

In the end, we had to get a new phone for Galina ($5 per month for 2 years), but when we include some kind of special store deal that gives us a 20% discount for service, we ought to go from over $150 per month for two lines from Verizon to $85 with T-Mobile (I was already a $50-per-month T-Mobile customer, albeit with limited wireless connectivity).

We'll see how this works out.

alexpgp: (Default)
I am not a great big fan of thinking of March 14—commonly expressed as 3/14—as "pi" day (where "pi" is the Greek letter π, which is conventionally used to express the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, which turns out to be an irrational number equal to 3.14159...). However, a new local eatery called Blaze Pizza advertised their pies on sale to day for $3.14 (which is a pretty steep discount from $7.65, which is what they charge for a multi-topping pizza).

The place has a pretty simple business model—"fast fire'd custom-built artisanal pizzas." There is one standard size of pizza, although there is some variety in the kind of dough that can be used for the pie (gluten-free, for example, is available, but it costs extra). There are four basic classes of pie—a basic pie with no toppings, a single-topping pie, a multi-topping pie, and about 8 varieties of pies with names like "Meat Eater's" and "Veg Out," having a predefined composition.

Once a pie has been put together, it's put into a stove, where it spends three minutes becoming pizza, whereupon it's taken out, cut up, and handed to the customer. It is the only pie I've had in years that has come close to giving me "pizza mouth" (by which I mean to say "pizza that come close to being served piping hot," as nobody in their right mind wants to end up with a blister on the roof of their mouth, which results after having bitten into a too-hot slice of pizza goodness).

I had intended for Galina and me to split one pizza. As it turned out, we each ordered one and did a workmanlike job of polishing them off.



alexpgp: (Default)

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