POPULAR

I used to view my traffic stats for this blog on a regular basis. I was very interested in how many views I got and which posts were the most popular. Somewhere along the way, that became a lot less important to me.

Tonight, for some reason, I decided to look my traffic stats for the blog. I’m pretty sure it’s not entirely accurate but according to the data that I do have, “Ramen Poops” was my most popular post by views in the last year. Over 800 visits were to that single post alone. I’m guessing there’s a lot of you people out there who get the poops after consuming ramen. Who knew?

SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER

On the weekend, I finished watching the first season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. This new Netflix series is the reboot of the original series from the 1980s. I never really watched the original when I was a kid but this reboot was incredibly entertaining.

I appreciated that this cartoon series is modern and reflects a 21st century world and values. Some of the characters have surprising complex backgrounds and relationships with each other. Nearly all the females are drawn in a realistic manner. Gone are the visuals of women with impossibly thin waists and large breasts. Women look like real women in this show.

I think this is a great series for young girls to watch. I hope to see season two in the near future.

CONAN RENTS A FAMILY

In Japan, you can rent a family if you’re missing elements from a traditional family. Conan does it for a bit when he was over in Asia but people also do this in a serious manner. In this article, we’re shown how a woman has hired a man to pretend to be her daughter’s father. The daughter doesn’t know this man is an actor and she believes it is her father who has returned after running out on the family when she was a baby. It’s a fascinating and yet also tragic story. I wonder how it will all end up.

SHENANIGANS

So, the item that I purchased, which I was discussing in my last post, got delivered today, just before 11am. This occurred despite UPS telling me I would actually get the item before end of day on Thursday.

Now let me make something clear. I am not mad or disappointed that an item I purchased online on Monday morning arrived on Wednesday morning. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me. I will, however, direct you to the route that my package took to get to me. Have a look below (click to enlarge):

Ok, if you’re following along at home, this is how my package managed to get to me. It originated on Monday afternoon in Anaheim, California, then went south to San Diego during the night. On Tuesday morning it departed San Diego and flew to Louisville, Kentucky where UPS’ global hub is. Arriving at the global hub on Tuesday afternoon local time, it appears it didn’t stay very long and then was immediately flown out to Seattle. Now keep in mind at this point, my package has traveled thousands of miles out of the way in a very indirect manner. My item is now in Seattle on Tuesday afternoon and this is where it gets really weird. Sometime after 2:30pm local time Seattle, my package appears to have returned to Kentucky on another UPS flight. At this point, it has now been shipped out to the UPS global hub twice now, both from cities on the west coast, including Seattle, which is less than an hour by air to Vancouver. At 6am local time in Kentucky on Wednesday morning, it appears my package leaves the global hub at second time, this time finally landing at YVR in Vancouver. Approximately, three hours after landing, it is delivered to me from a UPS truck.

This whole routing for my package is a mystery. This cannot have been the most efficient route for UPS. How much fuel did they waste on getting my package to me? Now, I do realize there was a mechanical failure listed above. It’s not clear where that occurred though. Did the failure happen in Seattle? If so, then makes a little more sense. If the plane to Vancouver wasn’t available, then maybe going back to the global hub gave my package more options since so many UPS flights originate out of there. Who knows though.

This was a fascinating look into UPS logistics and operations.

WEIRD ROUTING

I bought something from an online retailer on Monday. My purchase had free shipping and it said I’d get my item by December 6. You know what, for free shipping that’s not so bad.

To my surprise, about two hours after I bought the item, I got an e-mail saying it had shipped, and I received a UPS tracking number. Upon entering the tracking number on the UPS web site, I discovered my purchase was being shipped via an overnight option. I would be scheduled to get my package my end of day Tuesday. Wow. This was free shipping by the way.

My item originated in Anaheim, California Monday afternoon. By Monday evening, I saw that it had moved to San Diego. Now, this was going in the opposite direction of where I’m located. No biggie, I guess, since shipping companies have logistics that I’m not privy to. I went to bed knowing it had departed San Diego.

In the morning, I received an e-mail fromĀ  UPS stating that my package would be delayed one business day, so I would get it Wednesday, instead of Tuesday. Again, no biggie. I checked the package status and overnight, it had flown from San Diego to Kentucky, where UPS global hub is located. It had gone thousands of miles east, totally away from where I live. Once again, I’m not privy to the UPS routing algorithms, so their computers must have told UPS that this was the most logical route for my package to take. Or, it could have been a mistake, who knows.

While I was work, my package got processed in Kentucky and then was put onto another plane. I didn’t know until late afternoon where it was going. It had gone to Seattle. According to the UPS web site, it’s still in Seattle somewhere. Unless it missed a departure scan, it hasn’t moved for almost 12 hours now. If it is going to get delivered before end of day Wednesday, it somehow needs to leave Seattle, arrived in Vancouver, get sorted, and get on delivery truck before the afternoon ends. I don’t know if that will happen. I wouldn’t be surprised it winds up back in California again.

I would love to see the routing algorithms that UPS and FedEx have.

FIRST NIGHT

My first night of sleep in the new bed and on the new mattress was alright. I had a bit of trouble falling asleep. I was awake about an hour more than usual. I attribute this probably to both the increased firmness of the mattress and to the fact that I accidentally napped at 8pm for about half an hour.

Once I fell asleep, however, I stayed asleep until my alarm woke me up. I felt good in the morning. I wasn’t sore anywhere on my body. It being a Monday morning, I definitely wanted to get back into bed.

I think I made a good choice.

A NEW SLEEP EXPERIENCE

I got my new bed and mattress delivered this afternoon. The delivery people were professional, courteous, and friendly. They set everything up really quickly and were in and out in less than fifteen minutes.

The bed looks nice but I didn’t realize how much higher the sleeping surface is compared to my last mattress. It’s about three inches or so higher and I’m almost level with my desk now. My new mattress is thicker than my last one and I guess it contains a lot more new technology than before.

I actually feel asleep in my new bed for about ten minutes after I got back from dinner tonight. So, that answers the question if I’m able to fall asleep on this new mattress.

I’m about to get into bed for the night and I’m looking forward to seeing how it is for whole night.

SALES

I’m normally immune to all these retail shenanigans like Black Friday and Boxing Day but I gotta admit I’m tempted right now. There’s a fitness tracker that I’ve had my eye on and it’s $40 less for Black Friday. Also, there’s a Dell laptop that fits all the requirements I want as a replacement for my aging machine. It’s even cheaper than the Dell I was looking at during the summer but with slightly lower performance.

If I had to choose between the two, the laptop would probably the one thing I want the most. Even amongst both items though, none of them are essentially to my life. I guess they’re just “nice to haves”. Maybe that should tell me if I need to buy either of these things.

EXPENSIVE

I got a letter in the mail today from my mortgage company. As expected, my mortgage payments are increasing due to the raising of the prime interest rate at the Bank of Canada. I have a variable rate mortgage which has served me well for many years, saving me thousands.

It used to be that it made more sense to park my money in a savings account than pay off my mortgage in extra payments. This was because the interest rate in my savings accounts would be higher than the interest rate on my mortgage. This hasn’t been true for a while and now with my mortgage costing me more, I’m leaning towards paying down my mortgage faster with extra payments again. This will save me more money in the long run.

Of course, if I had say $10,000 to pay down my mortgage or I could invest that into a mutual fund with a 10% annual return, I’d be crazy not to invest. There are no guarantees with investments though and the markets have been acting wildly lately. As with most things though, diversifying my money is the safest choice. Perhaps taking $5,000 to pay down my mortgage and taking $5,000 to invest would cover all my bases.

I wonder how high the interest rates will go?