Sat, 21 Oct 2006

How to Stop Junk Mail

I think I've figured out how to stop receiving junk snail mail. Unlike Kramer's method to stop the intrusions into his mailbox by the Pottery Barn catalog, which required that he fill his mailbox with bricks, this method keeps the legitimate mail coming. In fact, you probably will still receive Pottery Barn catalogs, but I'm mostly concerned with stopping all of the newsprint advertisements that get shoved in my mailbox. I don't want the ads from Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, Jons, Food4Less or Vallarta Supermarkets.

The trick is to leave the junk mail in the mailbox. Only take the real mail out. Then, when the postal worker comes to deliver more mail, there's not enough room for more junk. I've only been doing this for about a week, but it seems to work. The junk mail is folded vertically, and the real mail is also placed within the protective shield of junk. I simply remove the envelopes in the center and leave the undesirable outer crust. I'm thinking about stapling all the junk together to make for easy removal and reinsertion, and to prevent the possibility of real mail sneaking in between.

Updates: This passive-aggressive attempt to stop junk mail was unsuccessful, but you can join the fight to stop junk mail by refusing delivery of it. The struggle continues.

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Sat, 07 Oct 2006

How to Waste a Day

I've been quite busy with school and work lately, so I was due for a day of unproductiveness. Here's how I wasted a nice Saturday:

Switch from Bloglines to Google Reader - After switching from straw to Bloglines a few months ago, I've tentatively switched to Google Reader as of today. One particularly nice feature is that it only marks posts as read when you've actually viewed them, rather than when you view the feed. It's also easy to create a link blog because you can share posts with a keystroke.

Fix Northern Trust Feed - I fixed my screen-scraped rss feed of Northern Trust research reports, which has been broken since around May I think, when they updated their site.

Start Learning Lisp; Give up - I started reading Peter Seibel's book, Practical Common Lisp online, which in turn, required that I start learning emacs. I got through about a chapter and a half of the lisp book, and about half of the emacs tutorial before deciding it wasn't worth the effort today.

Touch Base with the Housing Bubble - If you haven't heard, housing is past the peak, and heading down. I caught up on Mish's blog, where the deflationary (rather than hyperinflationary) recession looms large. And if you haven't met Casey Serin yet, he's a 24 year-old facing forclosure five houses with $2 million in mortgage debt. Bummer.

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The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else. - Frederic Bastiat