I had a nice experience at the E*Trade branch in Palo Alto this morning. (Funding my new account. Phase two: Profit!) One thing I love about living here, especially being down on the Peninsula, is that someone's clothing is a much less reliable indicator of how much money they have. There are so many startups, with so many scruffy-looking engineers and entrepeneurs, that in any place that deals with moneyed customers, service employees will tend to treat you pretty well regardless of how you're dressed.
(It helps that I'm very polite, and when I looked in the mirror this morning I realized I had the perfect outfit on for a Confident Mature Technical Guy: solid blue L.L. Bean flannel-ish shirt, buttoned except for the very top button; my light brown Carhartt pants; Merrill sneakers; and (this is actually the key) my rectangular half-rim glasses.)
I'm amazed that work went from Zero to Suck in under four weeks once my boss quit.
I love having a P.O. box. I like my mail having a place of its own, knowing that when I move (as I'm likely to continue doing for years) I won't have to change my address. Since my mail goes there, and I only get around to checking it a couple times each week, there's always something there. And, importantly, I tend to go there when I have free time, and rather than hang on to the mail and bring it home where it accumulates into piles (I've cleared five shopping bags of my papers out of my house so far, and I'm not done), I seem encouraged to stand there at the nice convenient table and open everything right there, and throw most of it out. And it's somehow a sense of involvement in where I live, that I rely for something on this place that's not my house.
I forgot how awesome the Thrift Center in San Carlos is. I've been meaning to buy knife block for my knives (I have an awesome set of knives, the demo set from my brief failure to convince myself I could be a salesman). The knife block from Cutco is about $100. Wusthof Trident knife block from the thrift store: $3. Sweeeeet.