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Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix 2017

Sebastian Vettel Wins Bahrain GP 2017

The Bahrain Grand Prix gave us the best race of the season so far, without the need for a damp track to spice things up. Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel claimed their second win of the season, some may say due to safety cars and penalties for their rivals, but I think that Ferrari had it under control on this day.

Vettel was immediately on the attack, driving around the outside of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to move up to 2nd place while Valtteri Bottas led into the first corner. Max Verstappen made his customary launch to move up two places to 4th place, leapfrogging Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen.

Nothing much happened for the next 11 laps until Ferrari pitted Vettel for fresh rubber on lap 11, which triggered Red Bull to pit Verstappen. Unfortunately for young Max, he had a brake failure on his out lap and ended up in the kitty litter. Meanwhile, Toro Rosso’ Carlos Sainz and Williams’ Lance Stroll had a catastrophic crash, Stroll turned in the turn 1 as Sainz was exiting the pits, which triggered a safety car.

Both Mercedes drivers stopped for tires under the safety car as did Ricciardo. Mercedes needed to stack their drivers given as they were running 1 – 2 on track, Hamilton attempted to slow Ricciardo on pit entry to create a gap to Bottas and paid the price, later receiving a 5-second penalty for unnecessarily slowing in the pitlane, which I believe to be justified, I’m sure the hoards of LH fans will vehemently disagree.

It all kicked off on the lap 17 restart; Hamilton immediately pounced on Ricciardo for 3rd place into turn 1 while Vettel moved into the lead at turn 4, displacing Bottas. Red Bull’s Ricciardo slipped back to 6th place, losing out to Massa and Raikkonen due to not being able to warm his tires behind the safety car.

Hamilton chased down and passed team-mate Bottas within 10 laps to begin chasing down Vettel in earnest. After the second pitstop shake up, Hamilton found himself back behind Bottas again due to his 5-second time penalty which he served in his stop. Vettel also found himself behind his team-mate after his stop, however, both Vettel and Hamilton passed their respective team-mates within half dozen laps.

Hamilton closed the gap to Vettel by 1 – 1.5 seconds a lap but ran out of puff in the closing few laps allowing Vettel to extend the gap a little to take the chequered flag 6.6 seconds ahead of the Briton.

I have to admit that after qualifying I was not hopeful of a real race with Mercedes being almost 1/2 second faster in qualifying trim. Thankfully, Ferrari had much better race pace to take the challenge to Mercedes and in this case, beat the silver arrows. We can only hope that this continues throughout the season, I’d love to see Red Bull interject themselves into the mix as well, Daniel and Max are good enough drivers to challenge for victories if their machinery is a match for Ferrari and Mercedes.

Bahrain Grand Prix 2017 Results

1. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:33:53.373
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +6.660
3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +20.397
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +22.475
5. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +39.346
6. Felipe Massa (Williams) +54.326
7. Sergio Perez (Force India) +62.606
8. Romain Grosjean (Haas) +74.865
9. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) +80.188
10. Esteban Ocon (Force India) +95.711

Stuck On A Roundabout With No Exits?

F Grade

Middle school has been a nightmare for my family and me with my son consistently failing to complete school assignments resulting in consistent F grades in two subjects, social studies and language arts.

My son is almost 13 years old and needs to take responsibility for his actions. He refuses all help from us and his teachers, so we assume that he is able to do the work. However, we look at his grades and 80% of his assignments are late, he just started a new semester and he has two F grades two weeks in.

My wife has been somewhat soft allowing him to play video games with his little sister, incidentally, he is not interested in playing with her unless it’s video games, anyway, I allowed him to play video games with his sister for a week to see if it would improve his school performance. It did not, his grades have not improved whatsoever, so he is back on bread and water punishment. No video games, no television, and no overnight stays at his grandmother’s house until he can change those F grades into C or better grades.

He claims we put too much pressure on him, which we do not, we expect C grades, not straight A grades. He changes his story from one minute to the next, if we are not buying his current excuse, he changes tack, which just compounds the original lie. It’s always someone else’s fault, not his, he refuses to accept responsibility for his actions. He will not get a free ride from me, I expect him to fulfill his obligations, not just to us, but to himself as well, he promises he will do better, but it’s nothing more than lip-service.

This has been the situation for two school years and it feels like we are traveling on a roundabout where all exits are closed. Right now, he is in his room crying because I informed him that there would be no games, television or overnight stays with his grandmother. I tell him to change his behavior, video games, television, and visits to his grandmother’s house are privileges, not a right, he has to earn those privileges.

In addition to not pulling his weight in school, he is in trouble at home for going on the laptop despite not being allowed Internet access due to his poor grades. He has been downloading wholly inappropriate game stream audio onto his mp3 player, 93 files in total. And according to the file creation date and time, they were all when he was home alone while we bought groceries or took his sister to gymnastics class.

He didn’t realize that his mother was home last Thursday while I was out at gymnastics and he got caught red handed. This resulted in me taking his mp3 player and I immediately heard a whole bunch of inappropriate language in these downloaded game streams. The net result is that he now has to come with me whenever I leave the house, that privilege of being able to stay home alone has been rescinded.

Thankfully, his seven-year-old sister has much better behaved, she has been on the honor roll every semester since she started school and although her general behavior has not been perfect, it’s infinitely better than my son and she is just seven years old, my son is almost 13, he knows better than that.


Justice Gorsuch Appointed To SCOTUS After GOP Go Nuclear!

United States Supreme Court

I truly fear for the United States after corporate friendly Justice Neil Gorsuch was sworn into the US Supreme Court this morning. However, this is not the reason for this write-up specifically, the reason for this write-up is the way that the Republicans changed the rules to force Gorsuch through the senate.

I am not an American citizen, however, I live in the USA and these political decisions affect me just as much as citizens, so I feel I have a right to express my views. The question I ask is; how can we call it democracy when the majority party, in this case, Republicans can take the “nuclear option” and change the requirements from needing 60 votes to 51 to push through their choice of Supreme Court justice?

I find it incredibly infuriating that Republicans used the nuclear option to circumvent the need for a super majority of 60 votes to confirm a justice to the Supreme Court. It has taken away the ability to filibuster the vote, with most Democrats refusing to vote YES to Gorsuch. This really pisses me off after the Republicans refused for almost a whole year to vote on President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.

I find it astonishing that a “nuclear” option was even available, what’s the point of house and senate rules if the majority party can use an option to bypass the rule(s)? Thinking about it makes my head hurt! Of course, the GOP were against using the nuclear option when the Democrats were in the majority, the level of hypocrisy is off the scale, however, this is far from unexpected from such a corrupt congress.

It’s clear that Justice Gorsuch is terrible news for everyday Americans. Citizen’s United is here to stay, corporations are people and money is speech, I doubt that Gorsuch will vote to repeal Citizens United given his track record of ruling on the side of big corporations. This includes ruling against a TransAm Trucking driver who lost his job for leaving his load on the side of the road in Illinois, after his trailer brakes froze in extremely cold weather while he stopped to check where he could refuel his rig.

The driver, Alphonse Maddin chose to ignore company instructions and uncoupled his trailer to go get fuel as he was about to run out, and would have been stuck in his freezing cab for an unknown period of time, no fuel, no heat, risking hypothermia. Gorsuch was the only justice to rule in favor of TransAm.

In my opinion, our politicians should not be allowed to play politics with the Supreme Court. The better solution would be to put it to a public vote, the president can nominate as normal and the people of America decide if they are the best Justice for America. This will also stop either party from blocking a vote, like the Republicans did during 2016, refusing to vote on Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland.


Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix 2017

Max Verstappen Takes The Chequered Flag At The Chinese GP 2017

The Chinese Grand Prix provided a much better race than Australia, partially thanks to the damp conditions, the brilliance of Max Verstappen and the VSC and safety car periods during the opening laps.

Lewis Hamilton got off the line well to lead into turn 1, while Valteri Bottas challenged Sebastian Vettel for second place and Daniel Ricciardo challenged Kimi Raikkonen for fourth place, however, neither challenger managed to make the move stick and the top five remained unchanged. Max Verstappen made up half dozen places by turn 1, weaving through the grid like everyone else was standings still.

The real shake up happened during a period of virtual safety car and real safety car between laps 2 and 7. The VSC was activated to recover the beached car of Lance Stroll who was tagged by Sergio Perez, all drivers except Hamilton, Bottas, Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Verstappen stopped to change onto dry tires.

The safety car was deployed after Antonio Giovinazzi crashed seconds after the VSC ended. The five drivers that didn’t stop under the VSC used the safety car period to make their stops, which shuffled Vettel back to sixth. Verstappen had benefited and found himself in fourth place behind Raikkonen and Bottas was red-faced after spinning all on his own while following the safety car, dropping back to 12th place.

Verstappen made short work of Raikkonen to move up a spot to third, then two laps later overtake his team-mate, Ricciardo for second place. Raikkonen complained about ‘no torque’ but was still managing to hold off Vettel and maintaining the gap to Ricciardo. Vettel finally dove down the inside at turn 6 to move past Raikkonen on lap 20 and chased down and overtook Ricciardo for third place 2 laps later.

Ricciardo dropped back into the clutches of Raikkonen, however, the Finn could not make up enough ground on the long straight using DRS to make an overtake attempt on the Australian. In the meantime, Vettel was closing the gap on Verstappen by 0.5 to 1.1 seconds per lap and made the pass after Verstappen locked up and went wide allowing the Ferrari driver to slip down the inside for second place.

After the second round of stops, Vettel closed the gap to Hamilton to eight seconds, however, the Briton put the hammer down to maintain the gap, clearly, the Mercedes had performance in hand over the Ferrari. This was the end of the race for the win, however, Ricciardo chased down teammate Verstappen and made a last ditch overtaking attempt on the final lap, however, Verstappen moved in the braking zone to block Ricciardo, something I believe to be a breach of the rules unless that has changed in 2017?

The race winners teammate, Bottas recovered to sixth after his mistake behind the safety car on lap 7. To Bottas’ credit, after the race he put his hands up and took the blame, apologizing to his Mercedes team for the points dropped, a Mercedes 1 – 2 could have been possible if it wasn’t for his safety car spin.

Although I believe the Chinese GP to be a better race than the season opener, I do worry that Mercedes still have the advantage after Hamilton could immediately respond to Vettel closing the gap, Mercedes definitely have performance in hand over Ferrari based on today’s evidence. I sincerely hope I am wrong and Ferrari can truly take the race to Mercedes and challenge for the drivers and constructors titles.

Chinese Grand Prix 2017 Results

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:37:36.160
2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +6.250
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +45.192
4. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +46.035
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +48.076
6. Valteri Bottas (Mercedes) +48.808
7. Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) +72.893
8. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +1 LAP
9. Sergio Perez (Force India) +1 LAP
10. Esteban Ocon (Force India) +1 LAP

Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 2017

Australian GP 2017 Start

The 2017 Formula 1 season kicked off in anger this weekend, and I believe the new regulations have made things worse, with only one bonafide overtake during the whole of the Australian Grand Prix. The race was won by good strategy and the fact that overtaking is very difficult, with the former race leader getting stuck behind a slower car allowing for a change of lead through pure pit-stop strategy.

The race started badly for the hometown crowd with Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo stopping on track with a gearbox issue on the way to the grid. His car was recovered to the pits and Ricciardo eventually did start the race from the pit-lane on lap 3, starting the race one lap down, due to an aborted start on lap 1.

In my view, the most exciting part of the race was the first 15 seconds from the start. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton got away well into the lead from pole position, Vettel had a slower start allowing the second Mercedes of Valteri Bottas to get alongside going into turn 1, the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen got somewhat blocked by Vettel’s slow start allowing the Red Bull of Max Verstappen to get alongside. But, no change of position actually took place, the top five remained unchanged going into the second turn.

Hamilton and Vettel exchanged fastest laps during the opening stint with the gap yoyoing back and forth, but ultimately it remained status quo until the first round of pit-stops. Hamilton stopped first on lap 18 from the lead to change the ultra-soft tires he started with onto the soft tires and came back out in fifth place behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Vettel stayed out for a further six laps while Hamilton was held up behind the Red Bull, this allowed the Ferrari to leapfrog the Mercedes for Vettel to lead the race.

Vettel came out of the pits just ahead of the Verstappen / Hamilton battle and quickly started pulling away, while Hamilton remained behind Verstappen for another lap before the Dutchman pitted for tires. After the pit-stops were made, positions remained the same as before with the exception of Vettel and Hamilton switching positions, followed by Bottas, Raikkonen and Verstappen in 3rd, 4th and 5th.

The secondary story was the number of retirements, one-third of the grid failed to make it to the end. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso retired from the race, disappointing for Alonso who was running in 10th place until he suffered suspension failure on lap 54. In addition to Alonso, the list of retirements include Romain Grosjean, Jolyon Palmer, Marcus Ericsson, Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll, and Kevin Magnussen.

My concern is that we find ourselves in the same situation as the early 2010’s where it was almost impossible to overtake due to “dirty air” coming off the rear wing of the car in front. The fact that there were only three overtakes, two of those caused by mechanical issues or mistakes, while the same race 12 months ago produced 26 overtakes, those are some ominous stats for the rest of the 2017 season.

F1 really doesn’t need to have racing dictated by grid position, starts and strategy only. Last season, I found myself watching highlights only as racing was so damn dull, and if it becomes worse this season, many might not bother watching at all. The only saving grace so far is that race 1 was won by Ferrari, a return to the winner’s circle after a drought of 18 months will do wonders for the sport. We’ll just have to hope and pray that this result was not an anomaly and Ferrari can challenge for the rest of the season.

Australian Grand Prix 2017 Results

1. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:24:11.672
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +9.975
3. Valteri Bottas (Mercedes) +11.250
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +22.393
5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +28.827
6. Felipe Massa (Williams) +83.386
7. Sergio Perez (Force India) +1 LAP
8. Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) +1 LAP
9. Danill Kvyat (Toro Rosso) +1 LAP
10. Esteban Ocon (Force India) +1 LAP

Online Reviews, Don’t Believe Everything You Read!

Bad Online Reviews

I work as an online/digital marketing specialist for a property management company, and part of my job role is brand reputation control, which includes reading and responding to bad reviews online.

Frankly, the number of libelous lies that are written is astonishing. I can’t go into specifics for obvious reasons, but if the company elected to go after these people in the courts, it would be an easy win as the former resident’s claims are unsubstantiated and we have folders of evidence to disprove their claims.

The reality behind most of these bad reviews is that the resident is far from innocent. Often these residents have multiple lease violations issued and evictions filed against them. They think they can make up a completely fictitious story to excuse their behavior and make us, as a company look bad.

Some of these bad reviews have an element of truth to them while others are 100% false. Some claims that are made are not even in the same ZIP code as the truth, so outrageous that it’s almost like a rejected B-movie script. I really wish I could name and shame these people and tell some of the truths behind the lies posted online. Sadly, I represent a professional company and have to respond accordingly.

My stock response is to say that we don’t comment online about individual cases and request that they call our office to discuss their issues in private. However, this often ends in these people being very aggressive and threatening, verbally abusing our front-line staff because we don’t tit-for-tat argue online.

Sadly, most happy residents never think about posting their opinion of the company online, 80% of the reviews posted online are negative, dragging our star rating down into the doldrums. However, this is just a side effect of advertising and making yourself visible online, the benefits outweigh the negatives.

Bottom line, not everything you read online is truthful, there are many keyboard warriors out there. Don’t judge a company solely based on what you read online, 95% of our residents are happy with the service we provide, unfortunately, the 5% are the loudest, the silent majority do us a disservice in that respect.


Dental Surgery: My Experience

Dental Surgery

About six months ago, I was playing with my 7-year-old daughter and she accidentally kicked me in the side of the jaw breaking my wisdom teeth on the right side of my face. It hurt initially, but the pain subsided after a few days and I forgot about it for five months. Then, suddenly, the pain came back with a vengeance about three weeks ago, so I chose to get it dealt with and this is my story of dental surgery.

I had been suffering from bad tooth pain for three weeks and it was clear that it wasn’t going to go away of its own accord, so I called up Wichita Family Dental and they got me an appointment the same day, which was a great relief as the past three weeks had been miserable, very little sleep and work was a struggle when every second thought was “ouch”. Time for my first dentist office visit in over 30 years.

I arrive about 15 minutes prior to my appointment, knowing that there would be paperwork to complete as a new patient. I was taken to the back a little after 2:15pm and was asked a whole bunch of questions about the reason for my visit before being taken for a 360° X-Ray scan. Everyone I dealt with was friendly and courteous and as is par for the course, my British accent raised a few questions from staff members.

Dr. Pierson introduced himself and explained that after looking at the X-Ray he’d recommend that the two damaged Wisdom teeth be removed, I agreed. Next up was the dental hygienist who gave me a number of numbing shots before Dr. Pierson returned to start the surgery. Initially, the pain was extreme, so Dr. Pierson injected me with more numbing agent, afterward, the pain was much more manageable.

The surgery was not fun by any stretch of the imagination, however, it was tolerable given the violent procedure of extracting a tooth, lots of prodding, tugging and breaking away of the tooth material, a very disconcerting sound I can tell you. The bottom wisdom tooth was stubborn, I would estimate that Dr. Pierson was working on the tooth for a good 30 minutes. Once the procedure on that tooth was complete, I had a handheld X-Ray in the dentist chair to confirm the whole tooth and nerves were removed.

It was the same procedure for the upper wisdom tooth, however, this was much easier, this tooth only took about 2 – 3 minutes to extract and was much less painful than the extended ordeal of the bottom tooth extraction. I can’t say I’d recommend wisdom tooth removal, but it was not as bad as expected. It’s definitely better than the constant pain of a toothache caused by a broken and infected tooth.

I can certainly recommend Wichita Family Dental, they managed to make me feel at relative ease with their friendly and professional manner. At no point did I doubt their competency to complete the work to the highest standards and was kept informed of the costs at all stages of my experience. Now we come to the cost, as my dental coverage had lapsed due to circumstances, it came to $1,230 and some change.

It’s money that I could have done without spending at this time, but I could not continue to live with the pain, and it went on a credit card, so I can pay off the balance over time to blunt the financial trauma.

I was given a script for Hydrocodone and Amoxicillin to help with the pain and infection, which thankfully were not very expensive, less than $9 each. I did wake up at about 4am with massive pain on the right side of my face, my face had swollen massively, so I took a Hydrocodone and a couple of Acetaminophen which took the pain down and took an Amoxicillin for the infection in the morning as instructed.

I’m hoping the swelling and pain will subside within the next few days, there is still a little pain in the teeth next to the extracted Wisdom teeth, but I guess that was to be expected as the area is swollen and inflamed at this time. Despite this, I still feel much better and in less pain than I did prior to the surgery.


AMD Ryzen: My Thoughts…

AMD Ryzen

I am a self-confessed AMD “fanboy”; every system I have built has been AMD based, with the exception of my wife’s rig, which is Intel Pentium G4400 based, albeit with an AMD Radeon 6770 GPU. I do have a couple of Intel-based laptops, an i3 gen 2, and i5 gen 3 because I had heat issues with AMD laptops.

I don’t own a Ryzen CPU currently, for a couple of reasons, 1) I’m waiting for the technology to mature for six months, and 2) the ever present financial reasons, i.e. I don’t have $700-$800 to drop on a CPU, motherboard, cooler and RAM at this particular time. As much as I’d like to just go ahead and get the latest and greatest from AMD on a credit card, the pesky wife and kids require feeding and watering.

Looking at the online benchmarks, it does look like the Ryzen 1800X does match the $1,000 Intel i7 6900K’s performance at half the price in a productivity workload, which is my particular area of interest. However, where it does not compete is gaming performance against the i7 7700K which will overclock to 5GHz. Clock speeds are much lower on the AMD chip especially when dropping down to the Ryzen 1700 which is the price competitor for the 7700K, but the R1700 will kick the 7700K’s arse in productivity.

The fallout from the Ryzen launch has been ridiculous; people throwing their toys out of their pram over the lower than expected game performance. Not to say that game performance is terrible, it’s still very good, but nowhere near the i7 7700K using the same graphics card. But what many have missed is the fact that the ZEN architecture is brand spanking new, unlike the Intel platform. There will be improvements and optimizations to come which will boost the performance of the “ZEN” architecture.

I’m very excited about Ryzen and the upcoming VEGA GPU architecture. I’m truly hoping that it will create true competition and wake up Intel and Nvidia. Intel has been lazy in the years since the AMD FX CPU’s and has not innovated whatsoever, they’ve evolved, better optimized and lowered power requirements, but the architecture has basically remained unchanged. Competition is great for consumers, bringing down prices and pushing innovation, the last five years since Bulldozer has been really dull.


More School & Child Drama

More School & Child Drama

My 12-year-old son’s behavior has been the bain of my life since he started middle school 18 months ago, with multiple out of school and in-school suspensions, detentions, general bad behavioral and academic issues. You can read all my previous blogs about these issues by clicking here (first six results).

I won’t bore you with the entire story, there is a lot happening so I will start with Wednesday 3/8. I turn up at my son’s school at 4:05pm after chess club, where he is allowed to watch but not play due to consistently being on the D & F list; and I see the Assistant Principal walking towards my car.

The Assistant Principal explains that Conner will have after school detention for misuse of school resources, i.e. having multiple tabs of nonschool related websites up on the school Chromebooks during his math class. For the rest of the semester, his access to technology has been rescinded, he will be handed a paper worksheet. I have no issue with this action, I welcome it as my son cannot help himself.

The stupid thing is that my son got busted for the same crime just six weeks ago. I have every reason to believe he continued with the same behavior in math class and only just got caught again on Wednesday.

At home, the net result is that my son lost the last few pieces of technology he still had. I took away his mp3 player, his radio and strobe light he likes to sleep with. And as a bonus punishment, he was not allowed to stay overnight at his grandmother’s house this very evening I am writing this.

Not being able to stay over at his grandmother’s house seems to bother him much more than anything else. He has been asking us if he could do anything to be allowed to go over to “Mimi’s”, so maybe the threat of losing the privilege of staying over at his grandmother’s house will change his behavior?

Fast forward to this evening, I caught my son in my closet where I put his gadgets during previous behavior issues. Of course, the gadgets were not in the closet, I don’t store the confiscated gadgets in the same place every time. I was in my office which is located next door to my bedroom, and the closet shares a wall between the bedroom and office so I could hear him rummaging around in the closet.

I confronted him just as he closed the closet door and he tried to make excuses; which, of course, I was having none of it, there is no reason why he needs to be in my closet. I challenged him to give one reason why he needs to be in my closet and he just stared at me blankly like he does when he has no answer.

The bigger concern is my son’s lack of interest in doing his schoolwork. He has been on the D & F list for all but three weeks since the start of the school year and we’re about to end the third semester. He constantly has 2 – 3 assignments past their due date and even with an extension he fails to attempt the work. Even when the threat of losing his technology is present, he still goes straight to his room instead of doing the homework that was due the next day, despite promising us and his teachers he would do it.

I have come to the conclusion that punishing him, talking to him and encouraging him is a waste of time. Now, he will have to come to me and ask for help, only he can decide that he wants to change his behavior, when he does, I will give him all the help I can, for now, I’m done with dealing with this shit!


Does The US Postal Service Sell Your Address Details?

USPS Mail Spam

I’ll start with some back history about why I suspect the US Postal Service is selling our address details. About 4 years ago, while contracting as an Online Marketing Specialist before taking a position at my current employer, I was mistakenly sent a check under the name of Alternation Design, which was the brand I was using for my services, however, payment should have been made out to me personally.

Ever since that time, I have been receiving postal mail addressed to “Alternation Design”, not my name and Alternation Design, just the brand name. Everything from corporate credit card offers, to stamps and postal supplies to office furniture. I receive 3 – 5 pieces of postal mail for Alternation Design each month.

Fast forward about 2 1/2 years when I registered a domain name, AmericanEnglishRealty.com for my wife when she qualified as a realtor. About six weeks later, I received a letter in the mail from Domain SEO Service Registration Corp, who are well known for trawling the WHOIS database and spamming Email and postal addresses listed on the WHOIS database with fake SEO service renewal notices.

Three weeks later, I start receiving mail for American English Realty, which became more numerous over time, I now receive an additional 3 – 5 pieces of mail for this fictional company. At this point between the two non-existent companies, I get anywhere between 6 and 10 pieces of marketing mail sent to me monthly, often two by two, I’d receive the same marketing mail for both companies, today it was AMEX.

Given that I didn’t receive any postal mail for these fictional entities before the singular pieces of mail as described above. The only company that knew of these new entities at my address would be the US Postal Service as I had never publicized either of these brands anywhere with my address attached.

I found an article on The New York Times website, which clearly states that the USPS has been licensing a computerized list of all its change-of-address forms to marketing, insurance and credit companies. USPS claim to not be selling this information, however, USPS charge an initial licensing fee of $80,000 and a yearly charge of $52,000; given 25 years of inflation, that must be in the hundreds of thousands by now.

By licensing, albeit, for financial gain, they can skirt around the law. However, once a private company has your details, they can sell your information for profit, just go to Google and search USPS Address Lists and see for yourself. Anyone can buy these lists through third parties that have deals with the USPS.

Next time you move, don’t fill out a change of address form and don’t fill out the form that the USPS leave in your mailbox to inform them of the names of the people who live in the home. By completing these forms, you are giving them permission to sell, sorry license that information to third parties.

To be clear, the situation I expressed in the first few paragraphs of this article has no relation to the change of address issue. But it does sound somewhat fishy, a single letter to my home address with the brand name printed and then the floodgates open, too much of a coincidence I would suggest.