Sunday, May 31, 2009

Stamps with no Printed Value

You know, the post office changes the price of postage so often, I have accumulated a number of old stamps, some of which do not have their denominations printed on them.  They're so old, I can't remember how much they were!  Here is a website that lists the value of non-denominational stamps:  Knottywood Treasures.  Nice to know!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Uncle Herb passed away last Friday...

Herbert Allen Johnson was born June 26, 1925 on the family farm near Marvin, SD.  He was the son of Elmer and Bertina (Barlund) Johnson.  He attended school through the eighth grade and also received an honorary high school diploma.  Herbert served in the United States Army, enlisting on May 14, 1945, and was honorably discharged on December 12, 1946.  He was united in marriage with Marcella Manning on June 27, 1948 in Milbank, SD.

Herbert farmed many years on the family farm south of Milbank.  He was a school bus driver and served on the Vernon #7 School Board for many years.  Herbert was a member of Parkview United Methodist Church and served on the board of Trustees and was a church custodian.

Herbert is survived by his wife, Marcella of Milbank; three daughters:  Linda Wendland of New London, MN; Audrey and husband Dixon Osswald of Colorado Springs, CO; LaVonne Watts of Wilmar, MN and one son:  Kenneth and wife Cheryl Johnson of Crookston, MN; 8 grandchildren; 6 great grandchildren; one brother:  Gordon Johnson of Milbank and one sister:  Marilyn Stemsrud of Stockholm, SD.  He was preceded in death by his parents.

We will miss him.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

She was found guilty!

The woman who backed into my Miata last December was found guilty of leaving the scene of the accident.  Yay!  Now, we just have to see if my insurance company is as diligent as I would be about collecting from her insurance company.  Apparently, in Alabama, if you are found guilty of leaving the scene, you are considered liable for the accident.

It was truly galling to have that loud, rude woman say in court that everything to which I had just testified was a lie.  She still insisted that I drove into the rear passenger corner of her big truck with the side of my car.  Not that many cars I know of can drive sideways...

She even said, with her lawyer's prodding, that she was afraid the "argument" was going to escalate.  She outweighs me by half again as much and is 2" taller.  I really don't think she was afraid of me!  Plus, there never was an argument; just her shouting at me that it was my fault.

But the judge quoted Hamlet and said he thought "the lady doth protest too much" and found her guilty.  However, she only got a $100 fine and court costs of $114.  I would have liked it to have been more, but I am just glad it is over with.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

If you have accumulated as many books as I have...

You may be interested in a book swapping site such as BookMooch.  On this site, each user gets fractions of points for each book they enter into their inventory.  Then, when they have sufficient points, they may request a book from another user for which they will pay 1 point and the owner of the book will receive 1 point (slightly different for out-of-country mooches).  The owner of the book pays the postage to send the book to the moocher, but now has an additional point with which to mooch a book for himself.  Each user can build up a wishlist of books they would like to have and an email will be sent when one becomes available

It's a great way to clear off your shelves and get some new books to read at the same time.  The only cost is the postage for sending books to other users, and if you use Media Mail, the cost is usually just over $2.  Where else can you get books for $2?

There are other book swapping sites, but I like BookMooch best.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bobby has graduated!

Bobby graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Wireless Software Engineering on Saturday. It was wonderful to see him walk across that stage. I'm so proud of him!

We were slightly to the right and back of the stage and up as high as the seats went, but they were actually pretty good seats because we were relatively close. They were showing the kids' faces on the big TV screens hanging from the roof, too. It was difficult to hear most of the speakers, except for the man who announced each graduate's name. He was excellent! Bo Jackson was the main speaker and he was very good as well. He even got a little teary-eyed when he asked the students to thank their moms.

But, as Bob says, this is even sadder than when he went away to college because he might move away from us now. He is hoping to find a job in the area so he can stay close to his girlfriend, Sara, but who knows what will happen after that?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Miata is b-a-a-a-c-c-c-k!

After seven weeks in the shop, it is so good to have my Miata back.  For those of you who don't know, a lady (and I use the term loosely!) backed into my car the week before Christmas.  Because she left the scene, she has been charged with a Class A Misdemeanor and we are supposed to go to court next week.  She also lied to her insurance company and told them it was my fault, so they wouldn't pay for the damage, saying it is her word against mine.  So, after several months of fooling around with this whole nonsense, we decided to get it fixed on our policy and let the insurance companies duke it out.

But the best part is, my 2001 car looks brand-new!  Rusty Towers at Woody Anderson Ford did an absolutely fabulous job.  If you need body work done, and you live within 100 miles of Huntsville, AL, take it to Rusty at Woody Anderson Ford.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My new favorite site is LibraryThing

I love books.  There are books filling every shelf in every bookcase in my house with extras stacked on top of the properly placed vertical books.  There are more books stacked on the tops of the bookcases, and there are books on my nightstand and books on my sewing table.  There are books stacked in the hallway and on the floors of most of the bedrooms.  And, of course, there are even cookbooks in the cupboard in the kitchen!

So I was ecstatic when I discovered LibraryThing last fall.  I have been busy cataloging my books ever since.  I currently have 2009 books entered, and I am not done yet.  I have a bad habit of seeing a book I would like to have, but deciding to wait 'til later to buy it.  Unfortunately, I sometimes forget that I did, in fact, buy that book at some point, and I buy it again.  I'm hoping that LibraryThing will keep me from doing that so much.  My sisters have been the recipients of some of my duplicates, but I have found a way to deal with the ones they don't want:  BookMooch, a topic for a future post.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Interesting book everyone should read

If you have a product or a service or a business, you really should read Jeff Jarvis' latest book "What Would Google Do?"

I am only about halfway through, but it has so many ideas about how to go forward in the world of commerce as redefined by the Internet. These are lessons no one in business should ignore.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

On being a minority

I know this will make me seem racist and definitely not politically correct, but I have a theory that if you act like a minority, you will be treated like a minority.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a co-worker about the swine flu we are experiencing in our area and how all the schools were closed -- bit of an overreaction, but still understandable. My co-worker mentioned that she thought it was ridiculous that they are considering closing the borders so no more infected Mexicans can come across, and I said they should have closed the borders long ago! She made several comments to the effect that they were only trying to make a better life for their families and how they do jobs no one else would do, etc, etc, and I made several comments to the effect that I have no problem with anyone wanting a better life, as long as they come to the US legally, but I disagreed with the idea that no one would do the jobs they do if they weren't here. I also said we don't need the crime and corruption they bring along with them.

To all of this, she replied that I couldn't understand because she was looking at it from a minority's perspective, and I, who came from the Midwest, could not.

Excuse me?!?! Because I am white, I can't understand? What I do understand is this: When my ancestors came from Norway, they didn't modify all the signs in all the stores so they were in Norwegian as well as English. If you didn't learn to speak English, you had to rely on someone who did. The post office didn't make it easy to mail money back to Norway, either. Same for my German ancestors. Surprise! They all had to learn to speak English.

And as for me having some sort of advantage because I come from the Midwest, I would just like to point out that my parents were ordinary farmers. We never had a lot, but we didn't really know it at the time. I put myself through college and became a civil engineer. For the last 19 years, I have worked in the software industry. Everything I have, I worked hard for. No one handed me anything on a silver platter. I am where I am because of hard work and native intelligence. (I actually think that may make me a minority.)

As I said, though, if you act like a minority, you can expect to be treated like a minority. If, on the other hand, everyone simply acted like a member of the human race, we would all be treated like members of the human race.