Sunday, April 13, 2014

Day 1580

One of these days, I'm going to have to bite the bullet and go paperless. Every couple of months, I try to wade through the mountain of accumulated paper and throw away as much superfluous mail as I can. I have a tendency to save things that I think might be important, and then forget what was so important about the letter later. On days like today, I find myself throwing away a ton of coupons that expired three years ago, invitations to attend seminars that have already taken place, and the ubiquitous unopened proxy statements. I don't know why I get the proxy statements in the first place. Please vote for the following slate of directors, they say. Like my 100 shares are  actually going to make a difference? Annual reports, proxy statements, unsolicited credit cards, surveys, almost anything from AARP is a total waste of postage.  Today I found five letters that really did need to be dealt with and threw away over 100 that were just junk.

What does it mean when 90% of your e-mail winds up unopened in your spam folder, 95% of your phone calls are from telemarketers, and virtually everything the mailman delivers is junk mail?  I must be the kind of customer marketers are trying to reach, because I am deluged with junk. I don't add my name to "do not call" lists because I'm convinced that this will actually increase the number of telemarketing calls. I never open anything in my spam folder because I think this might trigger a hidden malware application. Proxy statements go directly into the paper shredder. It wasn't always this way. As recently as ten years ago, I looked forward to a visit from the postman and clients routinely called me on the phone instead of sending cryptic e-mails that wind up in my spam folder anyway.

After I reduced my mountain of unopened mail to a more manageable size, I got some bleach soaked rags and tried to clean up my bathroom. Somehow when dust, moisture, and soap interact, it leaves a thin layer of scum that is almost impossible to remove. The electric toothbrush, water pic, soap dishes, and toilet are all sparkling clean now. In about a month, they will all be covered with the same scum again. I'll have to deal with the tile grout another day. That's getting pretty disgusting too.

The only reason I even attempted to deal with these tiresome chores today was that it was pouring rain outside for most of the day. I won't need to water the new grass in the back yard for a few days, but I will need to go up on the roof again and remove all the standing water. I'll need to go to the battery store and get a new 24V lawn mower battery too. If I let the front lawn go too long, it will be a tangled mess of tall weeds within a matter of weeks. The lawn mower battery will be expensive, but it's still a lot easier than putting my gas mower in the car and taking it to one of the city's few remaining lawn mower repair shops. These little shops used to be everywhere, but not anymore. Today, people apparently just drag their non-functioning mowers out to the curb for the trash truck to take away and buy another cheap mower at Home Depot. Actually, they just get a yard guy to mow their grass. I'm one of the only people in my neighborhood who still mows his own grass.

As the day progressed, the skies gradually cleared and by late afternoon there were patches of blue sky punctuated with billowing cumulus clouds. The day started dismally, but it ended up being quite pretty. The dogs were as eager to get out of the house as I was, so we took advantage of the nice weather and went on a long afternoon walk. On the way, I thought I saw a squirrel staring at me from a knot hole in a nearby tree. "This would make a cool picture," I thought, and inched closer to the tree to take a picture. When I got about a yard from the tree, I noticed that it was a rubber squirrel that someone had placed in the knot hole. Sure fooled me. Who would bother to put rubber squirrels in random trees in a public park? You'd have to be crazy. Oh wait. That would describe half the people who visit this park. I guess random rubber squirrels are just another aspect of life in the city.

Valli is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

1 comment:

  1. Well, it seems we deal with mail in the same way. Never thought I'd find another person who would admit to it, though. Only occasionally do I get in trouble for missing something important!