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Can Media Mail be used to send catalogs?


Media Mail is for books and media that don’t contain advertising.

There is an exception for ads in books where the ads are for other books sold by the publisher. This is because, in the past, several pages at the back of the book were ads… for other books. (The publishing business must have lobbied for this loophole.)

Catalogs are all ads, and don’t quality for Media Mail.

Personally, I don’t consider programs for art openings to be catalogs, even though they are ads. I generally don’t send them by Media Mail, however, because they’re expensive, and the recipient doesn’t want them arriving damaged.

However, I do consider catalogs for art auctions to be ads.

I’ve had packages opened by the inspector, so, it sometimes happens.

It’s important to pack the book using something sturdy, because you don’t want it to tear open. One time, I sent a book in a manila envelope – I’d been doing this a lot – and the envelope tore, and the book never got there. So I had to refund the entire cost to the customer (a big loss to me).

To see a complete list of what can be sent, see the USPS list.

Ways to Send Catalogs

First Class (Under 3 oz)

If it’s 3 oz or less, put it into a manila envelope, and put stamps on there. It’s regular first class mail, called “flats”.

First Class Package

If you need tracking, you can shove a piece of cardboard into the envelope, to stiffen it, and purchase a First Class Package label. The problem is, the cardboard will probably add an ounce. Fortunately, you can send packages up to one pound. Unfortunately, some catalogs are printed with heavy paper and ink, and weigh over a pound.

Priority Mail Flat Rate

An envelope is just under $10, and you can send a catalog that way.

Though that’s expensive, if you have multiple catalogs to send, you can pack a few into one envelope.

If you have even more to send, you can use Priority Mail Regional Rate A or B, or a “shirt box” Priority Mail Flat Rate Medium box. This is around $15, but you can pack it with a lot of product. You can order these at USPS.

Marketing Mail

If you send out a lot of the same catalog, for a business, you can use a special bulk mail rate called Marketing Mail. I’m sure the direct marketing lobby demanded this rate.

Basically, if you’re sending hundreds of catalogs, and use all the bulk mail technology to create the labels, sort the mail, and all that, as well as have an account with USPS, you can send catalogs at a very low price.

I’m also pretty sure you don’t quality to use Marketing Mail. This is just here for educational purposes.

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Home Depot Husky Hex Socket Wrench 6 Points under $5

I couldn’t find a good 14mm in my tools. This is the size for my oil pan plug, and I just lose them over time.

I tried to use a light-duty cheapie one, but the metal got damaged.

The replacement was kind of expensive, but worth it!

The shape of the corners is weird. There’s a bit of metal cut out of it, so it won’t touch the corner of the bolt head.

This was a patented feature on Snap On tools. The patent has expired.

What’s good about this feature, is that it avoids putting force on the corner of the bolthead. Instead, it puts force on the flat surface, which is stronger.

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Lot of 10 Verizon Monophonic Headset

These were warranty returns. The tie clips are all broken. The two I tested worked well. They are a bit quiet, because there’s no seal between the earphone and ear canal. However, it’s loud enough.

The button on the mic might be broken. The cover is a flexible plastic, but some had broken or loose covers. A bit of tape fixes it.

Overall, this is a recommend. I purchased these on Ebay.

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DAMONDY Case for BLU View 3 B140DL,BLU View 3 Phone Case,360 Ring Shockproof Cover

Review of an inexpensive case for a low cost Android phone.

I got this on Ebay for around $15 shipped. It fit the phone perfectly, and has all the holes for all the ports. The plastic or rubber is coated with rubber paint, so it feels good in the hand.

The main feature is the rotating ring on the back, which helps you hold the phone (and gives your pinky a rest). It works, so far.


When it’s used with the heater vent, and the air conditioner is on, the glue will harden, and the metal plate will fall off the case.

To fix this problem, I scraped all the glue off (it’s sticky “booger glue” on paper tape), and then used epoxy to re-attach the metal plate.

To do this, use a small amount of epoxy, just enough to cover the entire surface without dripping, and then stick it back into position. Do not use too much glue, because it’ll stick up the ring’s swivel mechanism.

Set the case down on a piece of paper, with the back-side facing down, so the epoxy cement doesn’t drip into the swivel mechanism.

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The Crypto Crash

Y’all missed out on the “learning opportunity” of the crypto crash. When the market for crypto crashes, you can still go into Coinbase and study up about some of the failed products, and get free money.

Then, you can hold onto the money until it increases in value, then turn around and spend some of that money here.

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Repairing an Old 1980s Toshiba Microwave

I’ve never done this, but found a lot of information online. This is about my first attempt at repairing a microwave oven.

The microwave oven turns on, and the fan spins, and it makes the microwave oven sound, but the food doesn’t heat up.

The parts that drive the cooking are:

  • switches
  • the magnetron, which sends out the radio waves
  • the capacitor, which helps boost the voltage, and is part of the AC-DC rectifier
  • a high voltage diode, attached to the capacitor, which I assume is for rectifying the AC power into (sorta) DC
  • the power transformer

Here are some photos of the parts:

A quick search for the magnetron found replacements priced from $9 to $22, depending on location and newness. I was surprised that they’re available 30+ years later — but it appears that this part hasn’t changed that much in this long.

The capacitor was cheap in China, at around $2. The price in the US is around $8 used, shipped, and $15 new, shipped.

Diodes should cost a couple dollars, maybe less.

I learned that the main cause of failures was the switches. The switches on mine were fine; it powered up and seemed to run the fans, but it never got hot. Checking the switches with a multimeter verified that they worked.

So, I started to work through testing the parts. First, the diode:




Well, I didn’t have a 9v battery, so I need to get that first.

I got a battery, tested the diode, and it seemed fine.

Then I tested the capacitor, using these videos, I did all the tests, and they indicated a good cap. However, one of the tests was to use the cap tester – and mine showed 000 or 1. The one in the video showed some numbers.

Video: How to test capacitor

I had to check the tester, so I found an old capacitor and verified that the meter was working. However, the capacitor was a 25uF motor run capacitor that ran at a relative low voltage around 120 volts. The microwave used a 0.81uF that could go up to 1700 volts.

So my meter showing 1 or 0 wasn’t “wrong” – my capacitor was slow low that it might not be showing with my meter. The manual confirmed that for caps from 1 to 100 uF, the resolution is 1uF. In short, it’s not a great capacitance meter on this multimeter. (The brand is “Neoteck”, a $15 meter I got on eBay. It’s a basic DMM that’s a little nicer than the $8 generic meters from AliExpress. To do this diagnosis, I needed something that’s more sensitive.)

Then, I did some measurements on the magnetron. It seemed OK according to this video.


I’m suspecting that it’s the capacitor. I am going to dig around and find a motor capacitor, and measure that.


This book explains everything! It’s amazing.

Video: – How to troubleshoot your microwave.

This entertaining video is making me wonder about the switches some more. I’ll also go look for a second fuse.

This is the best video. It goes step by step into testing, in sequence.

of the