in a perfect world of yancies: Beauty, Waste, and Space No Longer Wasted

18 August 2007

Beauty, Waste, and Space No Longer Wasted

Hope you like Emily's new hair-style. I know I do.

Once that was taken care of, we started really getting ready for the move. First step? To find someplace to ditch all our old, useless electronic devices (broken vcr, twelve year old Apple laptop, etc.). . . Luckily some friends told us that the Waste Commission of Scott County (Iowa; just across the river) has an electronic demanufacturing facility. Awesome.

As their website says, the facility "provides residents and businesses an environmentally sound and economically feasible disposal option for electronic waste." And it gets even better: good old Rock Island County covers the cost ($0.20/pound)!

Those same friends joined us last night, along with a few other folks here, for a little going-away party that we threw for ourselves. Real nice time; and real nice of everyone to come.

[Alas, no pictures--apologies, reader.]

We'll miss them, but it was a fun evening, and that's always a good thing.

On a less cheerful note, I'm still stinging over this new New York Times: they've cut 3 inches off of the paper (okay, fine: they say it's 1.5 inches, but I usually open a newspaper when I read it, so I'm calling it three inches).

I mean, seriously, if feels like reading a paper meant for a teddy-bear. It's like a scale model of a newspaper. Sigh.

Here's a bit of the email I received after I complained:
"We made this change for several reasons, but foremost among those was the need to trim costs. At a time when so many of our expenses are rising, from newsgathering to distribution, the savings we hope to generate should also help us minimize the extent and frequency of future price increases."

So money, then? That's what's so important? Fine. Whatever.

"Yet another reason for the 1 1/2-inch page width reduction is that many readers simply prefer a somewhat narrower paper, finding it easier to handle, fold, and carry."

Which readers? All those six year-old Times subscribers, with their little tiny arms?

"We want to assure you that this change will not result in the elimination of any of the columns, features and other articles that you expect to see in The Times."

Oh, well, that's good at least.
"Some articles may be very slightly trimmed, but we have also increased our capacity to add pages to the paper as needed."
Wait, you just said . . . aww. Plus they've decided to run fewer letters to the editor. But don't worry, with this new size, "advertisers will also save money." Phew!

But how to end a letter like this?
Oh, of course, condescension:
"Times readers are often uneasy about changes to the paper, and we appreciate that. It reflects how much readers like you value the paper; you don’t want to see it compromised in any way. While it may take a little while for many of us who have loved The Times for years to get used to its new size, I believe you’ll find that the paper’s full coverage of the news remains unchanged."


Anyway, hope you're well, reader. I've got to run: need to make sure I get a copy of today's Times.

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