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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :

Stuff I Donít Need to Know

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
Today the United States Post Office announced another two cent rate increase. Now postage is going to cost us at least .46 per envelope. This is to offset a estimated 7 billion dollar deficient for the coming year. My question isÖ.why donít they just go ahead and make it .50 and then they might stop increasing the rates almost annually? We all know they can never be profitable and will never be able to operate without a subsidy every year. Just get it over with and leave us alone for a year or so. No one uses the mail anymore anyway except for politicians and the Crate and Barrel catalog people. I could do without those without any problem.

Enough about the good old USPS, Iíll get more next January when my annual rant comes out.

This week Iíd like to focus our attention on things that we are told but cannot do anything about. My question isÖ.why are we told in the first place? Do we care or do we want to care?

For example the other day I was reading that the earthís axis had shifted about 3 inches as a result of earthquakes. This also had an effect upon the length of a day and our time had been shortened by about 1.27 microseconds. If you are like me, Iím certain this news is going to ruin your day. Just think about it for a secondÖ.on the other hand forget what I told you, who cares? It isnít like you and I will lose any sleep over this information. What Iíd like to know is just who tracks this kind of stuff and why? Did someone go to school to become an expert on the position of the center of the earth? Who would hire anyone for this and what would they get paid? Better yet, why would they get paid? Why is this important to anyone?

On the other hand we have the daily Toyota recall information. Or perhaps I should say the daily auto recall information for just about any make and model automobile. In my opinion youíd be better off driving a used anything than a new something. It seems to be brakes today and engines yesterday. You could spend most of your waking life driving back and forth to the dealer just to get the necessary repairs. You must also take into consideration that the days are getting shorter as I mentioned earlier, so you donít have as much time to waste on repairs. Think about it.

Got a cell phone? Iíll give you something to think about. Try tumors for your brain. Do cell phones cause tumors? Who knows? It seems they do in mice, but I have a hard time visualizing mice making many cell phone calls. Who could they call and what would they talk about if they could call? These are the things we donít need in our brains.

So, is coffee good for us or bad for us? One day itís good and the next day itís terrible. I drink it anyway and so that probably puts me in the rebel category, but than again I use a cell phone so I guess my life is going downhill in a hurry. As far as global warming, Iím all for it. Or maybe Iím against itÖI canít seem to remember from one day to the next which way I should position myself. I do know that I have cut back on my carbon footprint by making sun tea instead of using the stove. I tried baking biscuits on the hood of my car, but I found it took more than four hours and I was missing a lot of work. So much for that idea.

Donít even get me started about microwaves, you can find over 200,000 articles about their dangers or safety. I just know that I should not put live things inside of them and donít stand in front of them for hours at a time. I figure thatís being cautious enough. Of course I donít stand in front of anything for hours at a time, so thatís not much of a stretch for me.

If you are in your twenties, then I guess itís ok to worry about these things, but after you get to be my age you start to consider all of that useless information you have put into your brain over the past years and wonder if you have very much room left for any new stuff. Personally I think anything relating to the post office or the location of the earthís axis falls in the category of stuff I donít need to know about. I canít do anything about either one, nor can you.

© Peary Perry
Letters From North America
- July 7, 2010 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com
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