On paper phone books

phonebook When is the last time anyone used a paper phone book? In an informal poll of friends and family I discovered no-one who would admit to using one in the last few years. Personally, I cannot remember the last time that I looked up a telephone number on anything other than Google.

Then why do phone books keep showing up in my ditch and driveway? Has anyone actually done a study to see how effective advertising in a phone book is? My assumption is that money spent on a yellow page listing is money wasted.

The fate of any paper phone book that shows up in the vicinity of my house is to be thrown immediately into the recycle bin. The is especially true of the ones that are thrown in the ditch by the mailbox. They are inevitably soggy and unusable anyway.

If you are considering advertising in a paper phone book, since you do not value your money, you can save time and effort and just send that money to me. Or, you can explain why I’m wrong in my assumption that it is a waste of money.

If you still use a paper phone book, can you share with us how you use it and why?

Lost in the superlatives

BestI read a Twitter bio this morning of a “best selling author.” Using the normal definition of best, one would conclude that this author has sold more books than any other author. Judging by the fact that I have never heard of this particular author I doubt that this is true.

One a related note, How can there be more than one best seller on the New York Times list?

I have had Seattle’s Best Coffee. It is very good coffee, but is it the best? Perhaps I am not sufficiently discriminating in my taste, but for me it tastes like every other dark roast coffee.

I have purchased products at Best Buy. Some times it is and some times it isn’t the best place to buy a particular product. But would you shop there if it was called Average Buy?

I have stayed in Best Western hotels from time to time but only when a better choice was not available. How ironic is that?

A search of “best” on Google yields 2.4 billion links. Do you think that this word is over used? 

I realize that language changes over time and that meanings of words can morph through different usage. There is room for creativity. But can we be a little more careful with superlatives?

A small political protest

Republican DemocratI know that this may sound overly cynical, but my casual following of the budget and debt crisis in America has me thinking that we no longer have a two party system. They seem to have merged into what is basically one party, so I call them all Republicrats.

It seems to me that it does not matter whether a politician has an R or a D after his name, he still cannot do simple math. Even a third grader knows that if you have five dollars, you do not have enough money to buy something for eight dollars. This simple analysis is apparently too difficult for anyone who works inside the Beltway in Washington, D. C. and they continue to spend more than they have.

In the private sector, people get thrown in jail for such behavior. But somehow, because they are Washington politicians, this irresponsibility is considered acceptable. It is enough to make your head explode.

Since I have absolutely no influence within the Beltway, I figure that my only course of protest is to change my party affiliation to “No Affiliation.” Neither of the major parties represents my wish for them to be fiscally responsible so I will no longer align myself with either of them. They abandoned me; I abandon them.

I know what you think, this is a futile act and will accomplish nothing. But if enough people decided that neither party represents their wishes and a significant portion of them would withdraw from those parties, perhaps party leadership will get it through their impenetrable skulls that we, the people who they claim to represent, are not happy with their work.

Yes, it may be futile to become an independent, but it feels so much better than doing nothing.