A Lot Going On

 Posted by at 1:27 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 272015

We’ve had a lot going on and have been busy ever since we got to Tucson on Monday. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to ease up anytime soon.

Wednesday I got my lab work done at the VA hospital in preparation for medical appointments next week. The blood draw went fine and then the young lady said they also needed a urine specimen and handed me a sheet of paper with detailed steps on how to give a urine sample. Then she asked if I wanted her to go over them with me. Really? I’m 62 years old, I’ve peed in a cup before. Hell, I peed in a coffee mug once. (I was leaving that job anyway). I need both written and verbal instructions?

We’ve also been getting things set up to get the new issue of the Gypsy Journal out once it finally arrives early next week. We had already ordered the envelopes and they arrived, and then it was time to go to the post office. I used to use Stamps.com and printed postage out online, but I dropped them a while back because with every mailing there was always an error or two printing out postage, and the hoops they make you jump through to get a credit take more time than it’s worth.

It costs $1.61 to mail each issue out first class, and the easiest way is to use a 70¢ stamp and a 91¢ stamp. But finding a post office that has the huge number of stamps in that denomination in stock can be a challenge and they always want to sell us all kinds of combinations of three, four and even five stamps to get the job done. When you’re sticking thousands of stamps on envelopes, that really slows things down. And it doesn’t help that a lot of post office employees don’t seem to have very good math skills and counting out the stamps always take a long time. With the stamps finally obtained and paid for, and a big stack of plastic mailing tubs to haul the stuffed envelopes in, we’re finally ready for the papers, if they’ll just get here.

While we were at the post office I tried to see if they could help me with another matter. A while back I won several stunt kites on the Kite Life website and asked that they be delivered to me, care of my cousin Beverly, here in Tucson. We have had many things delivered to her apartment over the years, but this time around the kites have gone missing. The post office tracking number shows they were delivered to the “front desk/reception” at her apartment complex on February 12, but the two ladies there don’t remember them ever coming in, and they are very good about things like that. This wasn’t a tiny package that would be easily overlooked, it was a box approximately 38 inches long and 6 to 8 inches square.

After speaking to her supervisor, all the woman at the post office could tell me was that since the package wasn’t insured, there’s nothing they can do about it. It’s interesting that we had another package that should have arrived at about the same time, but since the sender did not obtain a tracking number the post office wouldn’t even talk about that one. And the post office wonders why they are losing customers on a daily basis?

Anytime we’re in Tucson we spend as much time as possible with cousin Beverly, one of my favorite people in the world. I’ve always been closer to her than I ever was to my sisters, and Terry loves her, too. Yesterday she went with us to run some errands and then we took her to dinner at Golden Corral.

One of the errands was TV shopping, since the 26 inch Samsung LCD mounted over our dashboard seems to be going out. The video goes blank, but the sound stays on. At first it was only occasionally, and if we put our fingers behind the TV and give it a little tug forward, the picture would return. But the video outages became more frequent and the little tugs graduated to big tugs, and then having to open the cabinet door it’s mounted on and pushing it shut hard to get the picture to return. While we were parked next to Greg and Jan White at the Colorado River Thousand Trails preserve in Columbus, Texas a few weeks ago Greg played around with the TV for a while and pronounced it “broke.” And since then it’s become “broker.” Due to the shape and size of our cabinet, we’re limited to the size of TV we can put in the same place, and we found three different models, by Samsung, Vizio, and Insignia (Best Buy’s house brand) that will work, but the position of the hookups on the back have to be taken into consideration, since none are located quite like the one we have now. We’ll make a decision on which one this weekend.

Have you entered our latest Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of JET, the first book in my friend USA Today bestselling author Russell Blake’s wildly popular Jet thriller series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.


Do you remember when you got your learner’s permit and were finally allowed behind the wheel of the family car? I don’t think any of us had an experience like Charlie Dunbar did the summer he got his learner’s permit. Becoming a fugitive was nowhere on Charlie’s bucket list, and having his ailing grandfather along as his partner in crime on a cross country trip makes the story even more bizarre. If learning the rest of the story intrigues you as much as it did me, there’s good news. The Driving Lesson, by my friend Ben Rehder, is on sale for 99¢ for a limited time. Check it out, it’s a good read.

And for friends of Meghan Ciana Doidge’s excellent Dowser series, there’s a brand new book out, Shadows, Maps, and Other Ancient Magic. It’s also available on iTunes and Kobo and will be coming soon to Nook.

Thought For The Day – If quizzes are quizzical what are tests?

Check Out Nick’s E-Books In Our E-Book Store

Click Here For Back Issues Of The Gypsy Journal

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “A Lot Going On”

  1. Your problem with the TV sounds a lot like one I just fixed. Most likely the main computer board has failed. The 60 inch Vizio I worked on has 3 boards under the back cover. Each has a few plug-in wiring connectors on the edges. Once I got the cover off (bunch of small screws) it took about 5 minutes to unplug cables, remove 4 screws, replace board and replug cables. I ordered the new board from http://www.shopjimmy.com. Cost about $75. New TV about $800.
    Turned out to be remarkably easy. Only tool required was a screwdriver. I’m sure Greg could easily handle it, as long as he can keep a certain writer away from the screwdriver (grin). Not nearly as hard as working on that washing machine.
    OTOH, I love the new Vizio M series 42 inch “smart” TV I recently installed in our RV. It connects via WiFi and makes it easy to play Netflix, Amazon Prime Video etc. Assuming you can get a decent WiFi connection. If TV is a few years old, new one might be really nice.
    Good luck!

  2. Re. Lost package. Ask the kite company if they can put a tracer on tha package with the Post office. We had a similar incident and the sender ( King Arthur flour) knew how to do this effectively. Anyway they re shipped the order for free and said if the other one shows up to keep it or donate it because they can’t accept returns of food items. So they marked my account as Ups only. So we received the replacement order in a few days. So about 3 weeks later, about 9 at night we hear a big truck , the dog goes crazy and by the time we open the door the truck is gone and the box, about a foot square is on the porch a little worse for wear. So don’t give up yet. It’s still early days. Mary

  3. I heard on the News recently that there is a big thing going on with Samsung TV’s. They seem to have the ability to monitor your conversation and even picture when you are in front of the set. Lots of complaints about that! For whatever it is worth….

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