One of my favorite gag lines when encountering serendipitous events
is to eagerly suggest (to whomever) that this -- NOW -- would be a GREAT
time to buy a lottery ticket!
A week or two ago, I was buying some coldcuts at deli counter.
Casually chatting with the guy cutting the meat. At some point,
he brought the product over to the scale for weighing and it
was spot on -- to three decimal places!
"Quick, go buy a lottery ticket!"
Today, at the same deli counter, same guy. Of course, much easier for me
to remember *him* than for him to remember *me* (I only encounter a
few "deli counter people" in a year! He encounters hundreds of customers
He again came to the scale with the product in hand -- but, had overshot
the target by 0.010#. With mock disappointment, I said, "Well, no lottery
He visibly jolted as <something> registered in his memory. Suddenly
looked *at* me (i.e., actually SEEING me instead of just going through
the motions of waiting on me) and this huge grin crept over his face.
Wanna bet the next time I'm in there, he'll recognize me?
I went years without any issues, then suddenly over a 2-3 year period I
had mail stolen a few different times. I wouldn't have known except I was
walking along the road and saw my opened mail discarded along the sides
of the road.
I bought a large security mailbox. I haven't had any mail stolen since
then, but someone did pry open the door at one point so I had to repair
A few lessons I learned along the way:
1. NEVER EVER put outgoing mail in the box. Even with a security mailbox,
outgoing mail is free for anyone to grab. If you need to mail something,
take it to a post office box.
2. Try to get any payments that come by mail directly deposited into your
checking account instead. That way there is no mail to steal.
3. Setup your bills for auto-payment, or at least pay them online
electronically. Again, no outgoing mail to steal.
4. Cancel phone book deliveries (I haven't used a phone book in years),
and ask junk mailers to remove your name from their lists.
Since making these changes, I haven't had a single piece of mail stolen.
The mail I do get is very limited, mostly the occasional junk mail, or a
random letter or Christmas card (very few people send those anymore
On a related note, we used to have a lot of problems with kids taking out
our mailbox with baseball bats. I had to replace our mailbox several
times the first few years we lived here. So, I moved the box back off the
road a ways, and made an area for the postal driver to pull out. It's
safer for the postal driver, and not within convenient reach of driveby
batters. Haven't had a problem since.
We're out in the country, about 1/2 mile from the end of the county road.
No neighbors within view of the mailbox.
It used to be a bigger problem when teens and 20 somethings would head to
the hills to get drunk and party. We frequently had drunks knocking on the
door at 1am when they ran their car off the road on our corner. That was
always fun. These days there are a lot of new homes in the area and the
forest service gated many of the forest roads. So most of those problems
These days the biggest problem is people dumping their garbage on the sides
of the roads. So considerate.
On 2/15/2016 2:47 PM, HerHusband wrote:
OK. So, they figure no one is going to *see* their actions.
"Empowered" by their confidence that they're not going to get caught.
We're a reasonably close-knit (for "western US" standards)
neighborhood so most folks are aware of what to expect from each
E.g., if I find a garage door open "at the wrong time", I'll walk
up to the front door and remind the homeowner(s) -- on case they've
I joke that you don't want to be cheating on a spouse, operating a
meth lab or anything else "out of the ordinary" as there are too
many "concerned eyes" around!
[When we moved in, one of the existing neighbors commented that a
previous occupant was (probably) having an affair with another
occupant behind us -- as they were frequently seen climbing back
and forth over the 5 ft fence/wall between the yards!]
Yes, we have that problem with folks dumping "in the desert" (which can
often be "in town". E.g., the neighborhoods are stitched with washes
(dry creek/stream/river-beds that act to channel surface water out of
the neighborhoods). I imagine the city/county own the actual land
so it's not really anyone's "private property" -- despite the fact that it
adjoins a good fraction of many residences!
This in spite of the fact that you can haul these things to the
town dump/landfill "for free". Or, have them picked up at your
curbside twice a year!
"*MY* time is more valuable than yours..."
Nearly all of my outgoing mail is check payment for bills.
I take those directly to the Post Office, and go INSIDE and put them
into the drop slot there.
I don't even like leaving them in the PO "drop box" outside.
Ditto. Though our reason for avoiding the outside boxes is
fear that they'll get stuck inside (overlooked) and end
up being delivered late.
The inside box opens directly into the "mail processing area"
so its well lighted and folks should be able to more readily see
In years past, you could have things "hand canceled" (not really
a guarantee that they will be delivered promptly -- but *if* they
are delivered, the postmark attests to your timely mailing of it!).
However, after some of the issues with terror in DC (mailed substances),
the PO seems to have eliminated that hand cancel ability.
No problem. *BUY* a stamp at the window. They will invariably
PRINT a (canceled) postage stamp to affix to the letter (taking
it from you in the process) and thereby affording you the same
I have heard of people taking things from mailboxes, but never
experienced it myself. I live in what's considered a rural area but I
don't leave anything for the mailman that I would hate to lose.
Anything important I take to the mailboxes.
We don't get much interesting mail, so no problem.
I someone wants my mail, they can have it.
It's about 5% bills, (which I can access online), and 94% junk mail!
The other 1% is stuff like holiday cards (and thats the only stuff I
even want to see)....
Occasionally I get my neighbor's mail. If it looks important, I write
"Wrong Mailbox, please check address" on the envelope, and raise my
flag. If it's just advertising, it goes in the garbage, along with all
the junk I get and dont even open.
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