In Which I Discover A Way To Make A Modest But Respectable Sum Of Money


Something I always get in December is the Peanuts page-a-day calendar. It’s an important piece of organizing my life. How can I confirm to myself all afternoon that I’ve completed the tasks I must do every day or else die or break a streak except by tearing off that day’s colorized reprint of a joke from 1966 that I memorized by the time I was seven? But somehow, through the machinations of fate and whatnot, I forgot to get one this December. And nobody was able to find one for me for Christmas. And the bookstore in town didn’t have any, either. So I had to resort to the thing that still feels weird and alien and exotic and maybe a little too much fuss for me, and buy the thing online.

So here’s what I faced looking at the Peanuts 2018 page-a-day calendar on Amazon. And by the way I trimmed out of this the estimated delivery date, which was that it usually strips “in one to two months”. That is transparent nonsense. What could take two months to get a calendar? I know the production rates of the vast calendar mines of Ecuador and I know how much containerized cargo is shipped from Guayaquil to Los Angeles daily. Even with the traffic difficulties caused by Panama Canal expansion. (The shipping goes through Rotterdam for efficiency’s sake.) The numbers don’t lie. Two months is just a fib. Anyway, don’t worry, the nonsense runs deeper.

Peanuts 2018 Day-to-Day Calendar, by Peanuts Worldwide LLC. 14 new from $7.49. 2 used from $39.59.
They include a full-color comic strip, but of the Monday-to-Saturday strips, which originally ran in black and white. The Sunday strips, which were originally run in color, aren’t included in any way at all.

Somehow — and I put this order in, like, the 3rd of January — someone is selling a used calendar for 2018 for $39.59. In fairness, they don’t say what it’s used for. If it’s used, for example, to scribble down the clues leading to the lost Schulz Treasure, then $39.59 seems pretty reasonable. (The Treasure is what’s left of this stock of ink pens that Schulz really liked, and that he bought the company’s entire stock of when they were discontinuing the model. This may not sound like a lot of treasure, but understand, if you have an art supply you can go up to any artist who draws — including writers or musicians who just doodle while avoiding writing or musicking — demand as much money as they have, and they’ll give it to you. They’ll sulk while they do it, yes, but don’t we all?) But what if it’s not? What if it was used for something more mundane, like, the thing wasn’t even taken out of its box and it was just used to keep a taller calendar from sliding down before someone could thumbtack it onto the wall?

Because if it turns out you can turn a ten-dollar calendar into a forty-dollar calendar just by using it then my entire financial situation has changed. And I’m going to have to have stern words with the version of myself that was asking serious questions about what I needed versus what I would merely like back in 2002 when I was getting out of grad school and preparing to move to Singapore. Because there’s, like, a dozen years of used official Star Trek Starships Of The Line calendars that I just tossed into the bin because they finally seemed to have no value. And don’t doubt that they were used. Every one of them had a little channel individually cut by thumbtack through the paper above the punched-out hole for hanging the things. Many of them also have little strips of manually-added scotch tape attempting to keep December from completely falling off the wall and onto the bare mattress sitting on the bedroom floor. You don’t get much more used than that.

I can’t promise to make every calendar so well used, of course. But I’m sure I could buy some calendars and give them some use. Maybe try to fold out the plastic leg on the back of them that’s supposed to make the calendar stand on its own and doesn’t. Maybe take a date and scribble an illegible note about an appointment nobody can quite make out. What is important to do at 4:45 on Tuesday with Nurl? I don’t know. But every appointment I ever write down is at 4:45 on Tuesday with Nurl. Do you want to miss it? Maybe write out for one of the activity puzzles at least four words you can make from the letters of “resolution”.

Lucy: 'I knew I was right! I knew it! There was a day just like today back in 1935! This isn't a new year at all ... this is a USED year! I'm going to write a strong letter of protest.' Linus: 'Who's in charge of years?'
Or maybe they’re just seeing who remembers the Peanuts from the 11th of January, 1966. Tough to say. It is the sort of needlessly obscure prank I’d play though.

I’m not saying this is going to make my fortune. There’s the up-front cost of ten or fifteen bucks per calendar. But at a per-calendar profit of $25 per this is at least as good an hourly rate as anything else I’m doing. Back in the day, my father made a modest but reliable profit buying, fixing, and selling houses. I’m not competent to do that, but why couldn’t I flip a couple days? It’s only fair.

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About Our Appointment


I appreciate getting an automated reminder that the satellite TV guy was coming. But what I liked more was that its warning of the appointment for today said, in that slightly-overly-paused way that automated reminders get, that it would be “today … March … Tenth … Two thousand seven-teen.” Not just because I appreciate knowing it’s the call for the March 10th 2017 as opposed to the one we had for 2015 or 2022. But also because they had different voices recording the “two thousand” and the “seventeen”. And if you don’t understand why this has had me cheery all day then I can’t offer any explanation because I have no idea either. It just does.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The index gained another point today when one of the analysts cleaned out the junk drawer and tossed what she found into the pile.

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What’s Happening April 6th?


We were making an appointment last week. They suggested Wednesday, the 6th of April for it. That was fine as far as I could tell. But it was nagging at me that April 6th was something. Well, sure it’s something. Everything is something if you look at it enough. But what?

I mean, there’s the obvious things: the 6th of April, 1453, was the day when Mehmed II besieged Constantinople to bring to an end the Byzantine Empire. (Someone should check how that’s turned out. I bet Mehmed would feel ridiculous if he’s still besieging and the Byzantine Empire fell in, like, 1922 or something.) And it was the start of Mohandas Gandhi’s famous Salt Satyagraha, in 1930. But I’m pretty sure it wasn’t any of that. Wikipedia’s only of limited help. It was when the United States officially jumped in to World War I, I guess, and it was the date celluloid was patented (different years). And it’s the day that Nicolas Chamfort, the French author and playwright I never heard of, was born in 1741. It’s the day that Basil of Trebizond died, although since he died in 1340 his family can’t realistically be expecting me to send a condolence note. I never heard of him either and I’m kind of shaky on where Trebizond is anyway. My guess is somewhere east-ish of Hungary, probably near the Crimean Sea. Most places that have someone named Basil in them but you can’t place where are eastish of Hungary, probably near the Crimean Sea.

Anyway this all is going to drive me mad until I forget about it somewhere around 12:15.