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Spam, fortunes, and dust


Spam report: I just noticed that I've received 368 pieces of spam in the past 24 hours. On the one hand, the fact that I hadn't noticed before is a testament to the powers of the new Eudora spam filter. On the other hand, that's a lot of spam. One every four minutes, all day and all night.

Fortune report: In an entry back in April, I listed a bunch of fortunes I'd gathered that were at least mildly entertaining when followed by ". . . in bed!" While packing this evening, I've found half a dozen others lying around here and there:

  • Find the road to happiness by helping others.
  • Many receive advice, only the wise profit by it.
  • A pleasant surprise is in store for you.
  • There is a prospect of a thrilling time ahead for you.
  • Your greatest fortune is the large number of friends you have.
  • Your home is a pleasant place from which you draw happiness.
  • You will have good luck in business affairs.
  • You will have no problems in your home.

And my favorite of this batch:

You will get to know yourself better when you do something foolish and fun.

Dust report: Packing sure does kick up a lot of dust. At least, if you've let a lot of dust accumulate on all surfaces in your room for longer than you're willing to admit. I've been sneezing a lot tonight. It's also making my mouth dry; luckily, I now have a solution for that problem, because I went and bought some bottled water. The tap water at my place has tasted fine for six and a half years, but a week or so ago it suddenly started tasting really terrible. I suspect that the water helped produce my sore throat (it leaves a really unpleasant taste/sensation in my throat when I drink it), and I know it's indirectly left me dehydrated 'cause I can't force myself to drink much of it. I thought it was just my apartment, but the water at my new place tastes the same. So it's bottled water for me for the duration.

Fridge report: Home Depot lost a sale this evening by being annoying. (To be fair, I might not have bought from them anyway.) (And actually, they almost lost a sale much earlier, because their website doesn't admit that they carry refrigerators.) The sales guy started out very friendly, but gradually got snarky as he realized that I was going to be slow and indecisive. "I'd hate to see how long it must've taken you to decide on a car!" he said at one point, and (when I was opening and closing various floor-model fridge doors to see what the differences were between them) "You're gonna wear those things out," and (when I asked for a printout of information about a fourth and last fridge) "How many of these are you going to look at?" (I suspect he meant the first few jabs as friendly banter, but there was an edge even to those, and he'd clearly lost patience with me by the time of that last comment.) It seems reasonable to me to not make snap decisions about a several-hundred-dollar purchase that's supposed to sit in a prominent place in your house for ten to twenty years (especially since I have to make a lot of compromises to fit an unusually small space in an unusually small kitchen), but I guess he didn't see it that way. Anyway, so I'll go look at fridges elsewhere in the morning, but it seems clear that I'm going to have no access to refrigeration for at least a couple days early next week. Sigh. I really should've hired a move planner to guide me through all this.

Okay, enough. A little more packing, maybe some belated editing, then sleep.


My favorite fortune:

"Our first and best love is self love."

May I recommend a coal-based jug filter (like the Brita) for your tap water?

Unless you're buying the high-end water (or your water has really really nasty bacterial sludge in it), a coal-based jug filter will generally produce better water than the bottled stuff. Not to mention saving trips to buy water at the store and recycling of millions of bottles.

Th NSF is an independent non-profit organisation that tests water filters (among other things). More information than you probably need is here: http://www.nsfconsumer.org/water/dw_treatment.asp.

The jug filter I got this year is *way* more convenient than the one I had when I was a student. And it's fixed the icky tap water taste I get out here in the East Bay.

-naomi (who gave up drinking water for a year because her tap water is also terrible)

I second the recommendation for a filter instead of bottled water, unless you get your bottled water from a service and they come pick up and recycle their big bottles themselves. We're in need of a bigger Brita pitcher, as the little space-saver we have doesn't hold enough for our purposes. I can hardly ever drink tap water these days; I get dehydrated in places where tap water is the only water available as well.

So sorry about the stupid snarky refrigerator salesperson! Rrgh! You have every right to take your time when making such a big purchase. Don't feel bad about it; the salesperson was either just bad at his job or having a bad day.

I got a Brita a while back, and I didn't like the filtered water as much as Poland Spring, so I switched back to bottles. I get them at Costco, so it's pretty cheap.

There's also a distinct possibility he's not paid on commission (a possibility for Home Depot) and therefore didn't care if you bought it or not. Not that this is an excuse, but it might explain why he so effortlessly blew the sale.

What an obnoxious Home Depot person!

I also add my vote to the Brita filter chorus. We double-filter our water here in Disgusting Water City (LA), by means of a Waterpick kitchen sink fawcet attachment filter (cost about $25 bucks, and replacement filter heads go for about $15).

After collecting the fawcet-filtered water in a tall pitcher, we then pour it for a second treatment through the Brita filter pitcher. This is the only way to assure really decent water. And after years of buying crappy bottled water, this is definitely cheaper and better fresher quality.

I have mixed feelings about all the different kinds of water filters, for reasons too complicated yet too vague to go into right now. Mostly I'm hoping the poor water taste is a temporary thing; if it stays this way, I may well investigate filter options.

Re Home Depot guy: I should've mentioned, btw, that he started out with a strike against him from my perspective when that the first thing he told me was that Energy Star ratings were irrelevant for modern refrigerators 'cause they only save you a few dollars a year. The idea that one might want to use less energy, independent of cost, didn't seem to have occurred to him. (He did get back a few points, though, when he noted that one might have to consult "a partner" in deciding what to buy—not that I do, but at least he didn't say "your wife.")

...Anyway, yeah, he did explicitly say, earlier, that he wasn't on commission (good call, Jon), and I rather liked that in theory, 'cause I hate it when salespeople push me to buy something. But I would hope that not being on commission would mean he gets paid enough to do his job properly without needing the incentive. And for most of the time I was there, I wasn't in any way costing him anything—I was looking at various models on my own, or looking in the catalog (which he had leafed through previously and misread). I wouldn't even have asked him to print out the information in the first place except that he offered to; since he'd offered to print the first one, it didn't occur to me that printing four of them would be too onerous for him to handle. As soon as he complained to me that I could get the info off the web if I wanted to, I was out of there. (I had looked for it on the web, but hadn't discovered the relevant GE website.)

It leaves me wondering how one does provide incentives for people to do a good customer-friendly job. Commission sales jobs seem to promote obnoxious hard sells and attempts to upsell; non-commission jobs apparently leave workers unmotivated. Maybe the answer is really just that retail jobs mostly suck no matter what the pay structure is.

Well, full disclosure: my wife works for Home Depot at the corporate office. She tells me that selling appliances is a recent development for them and frankly, they don't do a very good job at it. Most of the guys don't know much about them, which makes it hard for them to make recommendations. No excuse, but that's also part of it.

Incidentally, might I suggest, if you'd like to do some side-by-side comparisons in terms of the sorts of things you'd like in a shiny new fridge, you go to the Sears website. It rocks.

Hi I am a lurker here, but have to agree with Jon, go to Sears for appliances! They really will help you make your decision. Can't believe I finally post a note and it's about appliances and Home Depot!

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