Monthly Archives: August 2020

Louis DeJoy of One Man’s Desiring 8-27-20

I purchased something through Amazon on Tuesday: A set of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur machzors (prayer books), since I for sure will not feel comfortable going out to attend services due to Covid. I was missing the one for Rosh Hashana, though I have the one for Yom Kippur. While they can be expensive, this set’s priced had dipped to the point that this purchase made sense. Camelcamelcamel confirmed this.

Rosh Hanana starts in the evening of Friday, September 18.

I ordered the two-volume set on August 25. The seller indicated the item shipped yesterday. Shipping class: Media Mail. (My heart sank.) Place of origin: Brooklyn, NY. I’m in Los Angeles.

I’m tracking the package on the USPS website. So far I have the following information.

August 26, 2020 6:19 pm Shipment Received, Package Acceptance Pending BROOKLYN, NY 11256
Your shipment was received at 6:19 pm on August 26, 2020 in BROOKLYN, NY 11256. The acceptance of your package is pending.

That’s 6:19 EDT, so 3:19 PDT. Now it’s 5:15 PDT the next day. No update.

How does it happen that the item was scanned in but hasn’t been accepted?

Amazon’s estimate for delivery is between September 9 and September 16. This is going to be a fun ride.

Of course, the Postal Service has taken many sorting machines offline under the leadership of Louis DeJoy. During his days of testimony, DeJoy was asked over and over to reactivate the sorting machines. He refused each time with increasing annoyance.

This guy has got to go. I want my stuff.

NYT Spelling Bee 8-26-20 final

Wow. How’s this one for a short puzzle? I started last night but fell asleep before getting the pangram. This morning it was right there when I looked at it again. I thought I’d quit when I got it at 16 words and 53 points, but I went for one more.

So there you have it. Just like the last couple, the first is the final. This one was 17 words for 54 points.

And my overall analysis of today’s puzzle: itsk.

Louis DeJoy of One Man’s Desiring 8-25-20

As I wrap up watching the recording of Louis DeJoy’s testimony yesterday in front of the US House Oversight Committee, I’ve come to the conclusion that he screwed this whole thing up.

Of course I’ve been blaming him for the delays for a while, but that’s not the screwup I’m talking about.

I’m talking about a blunder of the type and scale as what happened in Office Space: He thought he was making a small change that would matter later but that nobody would notice. By the time the election rolled around, the system would be so fouled up that there would be no way to reverse it.

The problem was that the effects were felt almost immediately. You know, pretty much like in Office Space.

It wasn’t supposed to be obvious now, and now it’s too late. Things have piled up. Medications are lost in transit. Baby chickens are dying! And not a peep from DeJoy in advance of calls for his resignation.

Sitting askew with his right arm slung over the back of the chair, he clearly can’t believe this has happened.

So either he’s incompetent, or he’s tanking the system.

My guess is that it’s the latter. I also didn’t know that his wife was nominated to be the ambassador to Canada, but this Salon.com article goes deeper into the campaign donations and how DeJoy and his wife are mad shady.

To be fair, DeJoy’s wife Aldona Wos was ambassador to Estonia a decade and a half ago under George W. Bush, but Canada is way more important than Estonia is. (Sorry, Estonia. Kinda.)

Anyway, it feels to me that this was supposed to be easier for him, and it was supposed to draw way less attention. DeJoy serves under a president who has used the phrase: “I would like you to do us a favor, though.”

What are the chances Trump has only used that phrase when talking to Volodymyr Zelensky?

NYT Spelling Bee 8-25-20 final

I don’t think there’s more I’m going to do on this puzzle. There’s too much to do today. This was a return to the high-point puzzles, but I got 132 points from just 27 words. I only found one pangram. There may be more, but I’m not going to spend the time to day to see if I can find more.

On the chair front, I’m done with the last application of teak oil for all the seats and one of frames. Four of the backs are yet to have the final application of teak oil. I’m using 3M synthetic steel wool in between coats, and that’s certainly a fun process. I’m looking forward to that project finally being done.

a little more before reassembly

But as my fiancee doesn’t fail to remind me: When are we going to have the opportunity to use these chairs?

Stupid Covid.

Lou DeJoy of One Man’s Desiring 8-24-20

So I’m watching Louis DeJoy testify in front of the House Oversight Committee. It was this morning, but I’m watching the recording of it.

Gerry Connolly (D-VA) spoke about the getting a fleet of vehicles that won’t explode.

Won’t explode? What does that mean? Postal trucks are exploding?

Turns out, they are!

A Jalopnik article by Erin Marquis entitled Post Office Trucks Are Bursting Into Flames And No One Really Knows Why–a title so amazing, it’s a wonder it’s not clickbait–states that more than 400 postal vehicles have exploded just the past six years.

This is the photo in the Jalopnik article (image originally from WUSA9)

The conclusion is that the trucks are just old, but what?!

Also this video is embedded there and here. The truck explodes. I’ve embedded it to start at 74 seconds in, so you have a few seconds till the explosion. You don’t have to wait so long and hunt.

Explosion is at 78 seconds. This video starts at 74 seconds. You’re welcome.

That’s all I got for now. I’m going back to watch more now.

NYT Spelling Bee 8-24-20

It’s a new week, and today marks the return of the shorter puzzle.

I actually got genius level last night, but this morning my time was taken up with refinishing the rest of the folding chairs my dad gave to me. Someone had abandoned them in the alley, and while it was clear they’d been treated poorly, they were worth saving.

Years later, it’s a covid project.

left: the first of six chairs to be refinished; right: one of the then-raw chairs

But back to this one. I’m going to continue looking at it, but it’s possible I won’t go further than this.

NYT Spelling Bee 8-23-20 final

Well, I made up all that ground and more. There were many silly possibilities for words that contained the the letters A, F, R, and T, but the center letter was I, so when everything revolves around I, you can’t live only on farts.

In other news, I’ve been watching old episodes of Last Week Tonight, and it’s really depressing because the world keeps getting worse and worse as time goes on. It’s like watching the last few minutes of the second season of Twin Peaks and then spending hours and hours knowing that’s what it’s building up to.

You know what’s going to happen, and yet…

Anyway, final sore 38 words, 184 points.

NYT Spelling Bee 8-23-20

Today’s is messing me up, so I’m hoping for a breakthrough. Right now I have 30 words for 132 points, and I don’t have the pangram. There may be more than one pangram today. I don’t know. Nothing I’ve tried so far has worked. I haven’t yet talked to my sister (twitter.com/raablauren) about the puzzle.

Today’s genius level is 179. I don’t know how I’m going to make up 47 points.