Mail It

Tales of a South Puffin headed North.

We’re south of South Florida and actually more comfy year round than the mainland (it’s sub-tropical down there in the Keys, so we do get a bit of temperature swing but it’s small).

I’m a sunbird. I stay there until the ocean gets warmer than the air, and then follow the cool air to North Puffin. I’ll be back before I have to start wearing longjohns and cutting a hole in the ice for supper up there. That’s a reference to ice fishing although I have never understood why people would spend a day sitting on a bucket to try to catch a block of ice. I mean Walgreens or Kinneys sells ice for a buck or two.

Today is the first day of Summer but my last day down south last week felt like summer. It was sunny, sunny, sunny and calm with a high of 91 or so which meant a heat index of about 108. The water temp was 90F at Station VCAF1 — Vaca Key — which is off Palm Island Drive on the Gulf side of Marathon. It certainly felt like bath water in the ocean. The “cold spots” were probably 85.

As an aside, 2016 is a very special year because the solstice coincides with the “Strawberry Moon.” Named by early American tribes, the Strawberry Moon is a full moon like any other, but the one that marks the beginning of the strawberry season. The two events coincide once every 70 years. It may be pink when I get the picture.

I have several chores to do when shutting down the house. Tell the cops. Turn in my !@#$%^Comcast devices (the high point of the day, you betcha), and (temporarily) forward the mail.

I generally did the latter at the counter, but the Post Office got all official-like and started making me fill out a form and mail it in. Last year, I actually handed it to our postal person, but the USPS probably charged itself for the “postage paid” response card.

Our postal person was up to his eyeballs in customers when I went in for the form so rather than waiting in line, I decided to do it online. It’s easy peasy. Go to “ Find ‘Change of Address’ under ‘Quick Tools.’ Follow easy on-screen instructions to enter to enter your information.” And the easy on-screen instructions really were easy.

Until I got to the Identity Verification.

Identity Verification — Credit/Debit Card

We must charge your credit/debit card $1

In order to verify your identity, we process a fee to your credit/debit card. The card’s billing address should match either the old or new address entered on the address entry page. If your card is billed to a different address, you may enter it by selecting the “Enter a different address” option. This is to prevent fraudulent Change of Address requests.

Please note that the Internet Change of Address Service uses a high level of security on a secure server.

Wait a minute. What?

You charge a dollar to verify my identity? What, are you nutz?

Banks, which charge for everything, have figured this out; they don’t charge.
Paypal knows how to do it; they don’t charge.
I think my stockbroker put four cents in my account.

I stopped at the counter on my way out of town. Our postmaster is on vacation but our sub gave me the form to fill out. I did it on the spot and handed it back.

“You know you can do this online, right?” she said.

“You charge me a dollar.”

“That’s an ID check because anyone could go online and change your mail.”

I just shook my head and handed her the form.

“I’ll take this but it takes at least two weeks to go through.”

By the way, she doesn’t know me from Art. Didn’t ask me for ID, though.

<le sigh>