Day: January 17, 2016

Sunday, 17 January 2016

10:24 – I knew that USPS was increasing prices as of today, but I didn’t realize that they were making other changes that in total would more than double our shipping costs.

Until yesterday, I was using their Click-N-Ship website, which provided Commercial Base Pricing. Shipping a Large Flat Rate Box cost me $15.80, a discount of a couple bucks off Retail Pricing at the counter. As of today, that discount goes away and Retail Pricing also increases. Shipping a Large FR box will now cost me $18.75, an increase of almost 19%.

But that’s the least of the problem. As of today, Click-N-Ship no longer offers Regional Rate Box postage. About 80% of our shipments go by RR Box, which is no longer offered. The net result is that our postage costs will more than double if I continue using the USPS Click-N-Ship website to generate postage labels.

The alternative is to sign up with,, or one of the other third-party providers. Those cost $15 or $20 per month, which isn’t a big deal. The problem is that none of them as far as I can see support Linux. They’re all Windows/Mac-only. But they do offer Commercial Base Pricing and Regional Rate Box postage, which Click-N-Ship no longer does, so I have no real choice but to use one of them.

The only non-Linux box in the house is currently Barbara’s notebook, which means I’ll need to run postage labels there.

11:36 – So, I just ordered a new notebook from and got signed up with

I need to do something about our appliances. When the former owners built this house in 2006, they installed all Frigidaire appliances. I despise Frigidaire. The dishwasher sucks. Its racks are almost unusable and it simply doesn’t clean dishes. The built-in microwave is failing. The 1-4-7 column on the keypad is dead, so we’ve been heating things for times that don’t have a 1, 4, or 7 in them. Instead of one minute, we’ve been punching in 59 seconds, and so on. Then, last night when Barbara was heating a bowl of soup, the microwave started making very strange noises and actually arced. So we hauled up one of our three microwaves from downstairs and put it on the counter. That’ll be fine indefinitely, but we need to replace the dishwasher sooner rather than later. At least Barbara actually likes the oven, but it’s coming up on 10 years old so it may eventually need to be replaced as well.

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