Filip Received His Shirts Today!

Remember when I shipped a couple of shirts and a catalog about guitars to my friend, Filip, who lives in Poland? Well, I mail them the standard postage rate on March 10 and he just got them today. That was not as bad as it could have been, as they told me it could take up to 6 weeks for him to receive them. So, I’m glad they arrived safely and did not take 6 weeks, but it was a long time. I guess if I need to send him something else later that I’ll have to pay for priority or express mail to get it there quicker.

He said that he is going to send me their new CD in a couple of weeks. He already finished the work on it and sent the tacks to the CD manufacturing people. I guess that’s what you call them. They are the ones who make the CDs and the printed cover inserts for the jewel case. Filip did all the production work and designed the cover art, too. That guy is so talented!

I can’t wait to hear their new music. They have a new drummer now and I hope he is a little more versatile than the first one. I am very critical of the sound quality of drums when they are digitized. If not produced right the drums sound like a bunch of clicks and it’s very annoying. The first CD leaned on the clicking side, so I mentioned it to Filip gently – so as to not hurt his feelings – and I think he took care of that on this next CD. We’ll find out soon!

Shipping to Poland Was Weird

My friend Filip who started his own rock band, Exposure, lives in Poland and asked me to send him a few things from here that won’t ship to Poland by the sellers. I don’t have a problem with that as long is it is all legal. So I read up on the Post Office web site and saw that there is a list of things you cannot ship at all, even more things that you cannot ship out of the country, and that you have to fill out a bunch of forms so the item can go through U.S. and Poland’s Customs. It’s complicated!

Anyway, I put two shirts in a Tyvek enveloped and a printed catalog of guitar stuff that he can’t find online. I took it to the post office and filled out the forms and the postage was not too bad – it was under $20. I told the clerk that I was relieved because I really had no idea how much the postage was going to cost. He looked at me with a funny expressions and said, “So, I could have told you it would cost $100 to ship and you would have been OK with that?” So I laughed and said, for $100 I would expect you to personally carry these shirts to Poland and hand them to my friend. So we all got a good laugh.

But the real surprise was that because I shipped them the standard, cheapest rates, it will take anywhere for 2 weeks to 6 weeks for them to be delivered. Six weeks!?!? The clerk told me that because I’m not paying for the express premium service, my package would be shoved to the back of the line and only included on a plane that had plenty of extra room for it. So, my package could actually sit in a Post Office warehouse for up to 5 weeks before they get a plane with a small load for it to ship.

Well, Filip send to send it the cheapest way and he didn’t seem too concerned about how long it will take, so I sent it off. He will let me know when he gets it so we have a good idea of how long to allow for any future shipments to each other.


Surprise Gift in Today’s Mail

One of my Facebook buddies in England had asked me for my mailing address back in December. I thought she was going to mail a Christmas card to me, which is what I sent her when she gave me her address in return. Well, I got a big surprise today – a late Christmas gift from her!

I guess because it was coming from England that the shipments take a lot longer to arrive. She mailed it 2 weeks before Christmas and I am just now getting it. That was a long time in the mail – even though I admit it was a very long trip from England across the Atlantic to probably New York and then all the way down here.

I feel badly, though. I only sent her a Christmas card and did not send her a gift. I wish she had said something – I would have loved to pick out something uniquely American and send it to her as a gift. I guess I will have to find out when is her birthday and send her a birthday gift, instead.

Kickass Christmas Party Last Night!

Last night was our office’s annual holiday party. This year we had it at the country club of a gated community in the rich part of town. You have to show ID at a gate to get in the neighborhood and the guards need to either see an invitation with your name on it or they call the party host to get their OK to let you in. Wow! That was a trip!

The club house is huge is not only well decorated with very nice furniture and art, but the holiday decorations were fantastic. They had one of the tallest indoor trees I’ve ever seen, with a miniature train track running around the base of the tree and along part of the wall. And poinsettia flowers in big pots were everywhere.

We had a live band AND a deejay to keep music going the entire time. The dinner was surf and turf and we had an open bar. I was just so very impressed with how extravagant the party was compared to last year. I know we have all been working really hard this whole year, and I guess we deserved this special treat at Christmas.

At the end of the evening, our CEO made a few announcements. One was a big surprise, our VP of HR is leaving the company and moving to California. I was not expecting that and can’t believe our rumor mill overlooked that big news.

The best part was we each left with a Starbucks coffee mug and a Starbucks gift card preloaded with $100 on it. And in the mug was also a gift card from the Galleria Mall for $500!!!! I can use the gift card at any of the stores or go cash it in. Woot! Thank you, boss!

More Sleep – Less Light Today

We all set back our clocks last night, so I got more sleep but now there is less light. I definitely appreciated getting an extra hour of sleep. I feel more energized and don’t feel as rushed today.

The downside is that it gets dark before 5:00 pm and that is hard to accept. I like the daylight lasting until I at least get home from work. It’s just fucking depressing to drive home in the dark. Especially with the idiot drivers we have around here. They can barely drive in the rain, much less the dark or any other weather condition like fog or snow.

I wish we had daylight saving all year around, but I know that is not practical. So instead of bitching about it, I will take a couple of days for my body to adjust to the new rhythm and suffer through the earlier darkness for a couple of months until the end of December, when we have the solstice or equinox or whatever means that the days start getting longer again.