4.155 putzing around fopal

Friday 04/06/2022

Went for the standard walk, and felt quite tired before the end. Actually did sit down and rest before the end. (See the new cardiologist 5/16.)

Next tasks were two. First I need to mail a book that sold on eBay to its buyer, only its buyer is in Norway. I thought I had specified North America only on the listing, but somehow the purchase went through, for a nice $75. But now I needed to ship. Shipping materials and the computer with Stamps.com are in the Children’s dept. building of FOPAL.

Second, I need to confer with fellow volunteer Frank — uber-volunteer, he does much more than I do — about the status of all the boxes of stuff I’ve set aside to sell at the Vintage Computer Fest. While waiting for him to set a time I put more detail decals on the T-bird.

While these things aren’t as shiny as chrome, they fit well. The grid of chrome slashes, no way could I paint that in. Tragedy has struck: during the night, somehow, the little badge decal on the driver’s side has fallen off. At less than a millimeter square and light enough to float, there is no chance of finding it. All these things have to do is stay stuck until I spray with clear varnish, which is almost the next thing to do. Cling, little decals!

At 12 I went down to FOPAL to find that they had changed the lock code on the Children’s building. So I emailed the boss, Janette, and killed time by processing three boxes of books that had been dropped at my section. That will make it easier to finish up for the sale on Monday.

At 2 I met with Frank and we moved three boxes of VCF books to room G9, a part of the Cubberly complex I’d never seen. (Cubberly is a former junior high school building complex that has been converted into a multi-use community center; FOPAL has several rooms scattered around it.) There are now 8 boxes of books and a total of 5 boxes of old Byte magazines, destined for VCF.

Frank let me in to the Children’s building and into the Annex where the mailing supplies are. You want to hear about horrible software? Stamps.com’s app for PC is horrible. It presented me with an “International” tab. It let me enter the address and choose Norway as the country. It gave me a goddam customs form to fill out. It let me click “Print postage.” Only then did it tell me: “this account is not authorized for international postage.”

So now what? I got a nice mailing envelope from the supplies, said bye to Frank, and drove off to the USPS office off 101. Here I got to fill out a customs form in paper. And find out that the book — a skinny 50pp pamphlet in a flat envelope — was not actually a “large envelope” but rather a “package” so postage would be twice what I had told the buyer and the buyer had paid. So I get to eat the difference. This is why I don’t want to sell overseas, and in fact, since this is the only one of ten listed items to sell at all, I am giving up eBay sales for FOPAL completely.

With all the walking around Cubberly I see I racked up over 4.5 miles for the day, no wonder I felt completely nackered when I got home. Bleagh.

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