Don't fear USPS First Class or Parcel Post

I returned a pair of shoes to a few days ago. It hurt because of the return shipping cost, but at least they’re not sitting at home, unused.

I opted for USPS Parcel Post ($11.57) for the 3 pound, 15 ounce box, along with Delivery Confirmation for $0.80. The website estimated its arrival in 7 days.

Here are the tracking results:

  • Acceptance, April 07, 2010, 2:29 pm, TEMPLE CITY, CA 91780
  • Arrival at Unit, April 09, 2010, 8:51 am, SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY 40165
  • Delivered, April 09, 2010, 9:15 am, SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY 40165

It traveled 2,100 miles and arrived at its destination in 1 day, 18 hours, and 46 minutes.

In comparison, USPS Priority Mail would’ve been $15.30, or $3.73 more than Parcel Post.

My point? If you’re mailing something that isn’t time sensitive, you don’t need USPS Priority Mail.

Side note: USPS offers free Priority Mail supplies. But, is the difference saved – when using First Class Mail or Parcel Post – negated when buying your own supplies? I suppose you would save money if you’re reusing boxes. Keep that in mind.

AT&T broadband price increase?

I read my AT&T bill for the February 2010 and got freaked out:


Attention AT&T High Speed Internet Members: Starting with your March 2010 bill, the monthly rate for your AT&T High Speed Internet Express, Pro or Elite plan will increase $3 (or $3.01) per month. For details and rate information for your specific plan, please go to or call 1.866.417.6819.

(My emphasis added in bold.)

I have the Pro service for $30/month. So, twelve months from when it starts increasing, it’ll be $66?!

The text is unbelievable. Someone please clarify.

Related: FCC Commissioner Calls For Examination Of Broadband Price Hikes (MediaPost, March 10, 2010)

Almost broke my LG Dare

This morning, I accidentally dropped my LG Dare cell phone from about five feet high. It seemed to work fine.

Later that afternoon, I tried to take a photo. “Camera start error.” What?!

Fortunately, a search at HowardForums brought me to this thread. Applying pressure around the lens area fixed the problem. (I didn’t hear any snaps or pops, but I’ll take it.)

Confirm mail delivery on the cheap

Last week, I worked on getting my college transcripts sent to a couple four-year universities[1. Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State LA.].

  • Pasadena City College (PCC) was the easiest. They offer TranscriptsPlus.
  • Bakersfield College was a little more difficult. They also used TranscriptsPlus, but made me fax my signature before they would proceed.
  • Citrus College and Cal Poly Pomona[2. I was there my first year of college before I went Citrus College.] were the worst. They make you print a PDF form, fill it out by hand, then send it to their office by mail[3. I could have faxed my document to Citrus, but I didn’t want to write my credit card information. I’d rather send a check.]. Why can’t they get with it?

Rather than drive to each college to deliver my transcripts by hand, I opted for mail. I’d save on fuel/time, take one day to get there, and I’d be well ahead of my deadline.

That brings me to my mom. Whenever she sent a letter through USPS and wanted to know when it arrived, she added Return Receipt ($2.30 as of this writing) along with the required Certified Mail.

But, if she didn’t need a signature, she wasted money for that extra service.

When you use Certified Mail, you receive a receipt stamped with the date of mailing. A unique article number allows you to verify delivery online.

If you don’t need that signature, mail your letter First Class with Certified Mail.

P.S. Save your comments if you’re going to say “duh.”

I love Uni-ball 207 pens

I bought a few Uni-ball Signo 207 pens earlier last year. They’ve been through a hectic year (2009) of school, and they still write incredibly smooth (for the price).

Lately, I’ve been trying to write ideas on index cards for future blog posts. Oh no, the two pens I have left are almost out of ink! Fortunately, they’re refillable. I just bought a pack at my local stationary store. It feels good not adding more cheap pens to a landfill.

Oh, and if I ever write checks, I know they can’t be washed.

Tip: Medium and micro refills are interchangable. I prefer micro.

Percolating in my head

It’s tough not having the same dedication to photography as 2008. After a hectic year (2009) split between college, work, photography, and the band, can you blame me?

I’m going to share what’s happening, then you can heckle me.

The Scarlet Paradigm

We’re trying to “make it.” Not only are we trying to just book more shows[1. In 2009, we played 14 shows — January (2), February (2), March (2), May (1), June (2), July (1), August (2), October (1), November (1).], but we’re looking to sell merchandise at shows and send our EP to various record labels.

I’d like to design a better theme for the website and get the guys to post to our Twitter/website more often — not just for announcements/shows.

Website geekery

I can dabble and tinker with HTML and CSS, but not very well. Since the band can’t afford to pay a designer, I need to take matters into my own hands. I’m determined to learn these languages, in addition to PHP. It’d also give me something else to add to my résumé.

I’m anxiously waiting for Aaron Brazell to finish the WordPress Bible.

Do you have any websites, articles or books that helped you get started?


I’ve maxed out the number of units I can transfer to a Cal State university. I’ve applied to Cal State LA and Cal Poly Pomona for Fall 2010 and waiting to hear back from them. Until then, I can’t do anything more about it.


I need to scan and process all my film negatives from Fall 2009 semester at Citrus College, catch up on general photo processing, and create a dedicated portfolio website of my best work. While it would be cool to try and get more photography work, I need to throttle that back and push The Scarlet Paradigm.

Don’t worry, I’m still down to photowalk and try to hang with the Los Angeles Flickr Group whenever I can.

Alright, that’s what up. Follow me on Twitter. Questions? Comments? Suggestions?