Friday, August 20, 2010

Damn, That Sucks.

Posted By on Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Leaving my apartment this morning, I crossed paths with an acquaintance who lives in the building. He threw his hands into the air and asked, "How long have you lived here, man?"
"About four years."
"Ever had your car broken into?"
I looked over his shoulder and saw a truck missing it's driver's side window. "Damn, that sucks."
I went on to tell him that my car had indeed been broken into a few years ago while parked in a particular area near our building — the same place he had happened to park last night.
In both our cases, the thieves didn't take anything of consequence: He lost his radio, which he didn't think to be of much value. I lost a booklet of burned CD's, having learned not to keep originals in the car after a previous break-in wiped out my collection.
In my case, the cost of the broken window far exceeded the value of what I lost; probably so for my friend, too. These were crimes of opportunity and desperation, not premeditated or orchestrated.
It reminded me of Bruce's column this week. His friends' reactions to his break-in included "That's Memphis" and "Get used to it." As an addition to that list, I humbly submit "Damn, that sucks."
Sometimes it sucks to be here. I think we can all fess up to that.
But that's true anywhere. Here, it sucks because it's really freakin' hot and sometimes your stuff gets taken.
But then you know not to park there any more. And autumn is on it's way. And today is Friday.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Phone Book Guilt

Posted By on Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 9:19 AM

This photo was taken outside my apartment building a while back.

Uninvited mountain of paper.
  • Uninvited mountain of paper.

Every time a Yellow Pages appears outside my apartment door, I get a little sad.

It just seems so wasteful — using a whole brick of paper to print information I already have at my fingertips and plopping it, uninvited, at my doorstep. It's like saying here's your share of dead tree guilt! Enjoy!

On top of that, I didn't sign up for it in the first place. I haven't had a land line in years and I haven't needed a phone book since I learned to spell Google.

(I mean, I enjoy a good tow truck or bail bondsman ad as much as the next guy, but I don't need a 5-pound brick of them every 6 months.)

So I started wondering — can I unsubscribe from phone books like I unsubscribe from spammy newsletters?

And then I stacked the new phone book on top of the others next to my front door and went back to thinking about comic books, racquetball, gummy bears...

... until this article about a proposed city-administered phone book opt-out in Seattle renewed my interest in the subject.

Turns out you can, in fact, unsubscribe from phone book delivery by searching by area code.

So I did. Next time, that giant pile of pulp outside my apartment will be one phone book smaller.

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