August 2, 2009: Westchester Journal News = Fail

After being excited that last weekend the Journal News was actually delivered – after loads of calls and letters complaining that they weren’t delivering it – we now have another weekend without a newspaper.  Out of four weeks we have received the paper for which we paid exactly once.  One delivery in a month!  And to make that one delivery happen required call after call as well as emails and website followups.  The amount of effort that we have put into receiving this newspaper, which honestly I detest supporting financially whether the coupons are valuable or not, it is ridiculous that they are not bending over backwards to get it to us. I wonder if their advertisers know what their real circulation is versus their claimed circulation.  I bet we are a household counted on their books even though we never see the paper, and do their advertisers know that even if we were to receive the paper that we literally pull out the coupons and toss the rest directly into the recycling without even so much as opening it?

I am happy that, with this weekend’s failure, Dominica is finally sick of dealing with the newspaper and willing to do without it.  I am glad because it sickens me to pay for a product whose sole purpose is to fill our landfills and cut down our trees.  I am also glad because we don’t have enough space in our small house to deal with a weekly supply of additional items going directly to the recycling bin.  We produce enough garbage as it is and newspapers are surprisingly bulky.  It’s just another thing in the house that makes me upset every time that I see it.  So I am thrilled that they have failed so spectacularly to deliver us their product.  Of course, between the recent article in Westchester Magazine talking about their rapid decline in business and their lackluster attempts at staying in business I would not be surprised at all to learn that they had actually gone out of business and just failed to notify anyone.

I was up early this morning with Liesl.  We got up around seven thirty.  Dominica needed more sleep so she stayed in bed while Liesl and I got up and played for a while.  We went down to the living room and just played for a while.  We listened to the new “99 Essential Bach” pieces that I just bought the other day playing over the new MediaTomb streaming media server that I got working just before heading off to bed last night.  We finally have our music media, if not our video media, running in a permanent, working configuration that we should be able to use for many years to come.  I am very pleased and excited with the progress that we have made.  MediaTomb running on OpenFiler seems like an awesome solution.

Stumbled across a really interesting demographic study on how social media is used by different generational groups.  It is interesting to see how the digital natives and the digital immigrants differ in their approaches to social media.  For example, immigrants use tools like FaceBook heavily to reconnect with lost friends while natives do not even understand conceptually what it is like to lose contact with someone.  This is especially true now that the population has widely begun to understand the important of permanent email addresses and telephone numbers spurred by the permanence of FaceBook and MySpace accounts and blog addresses.  This was good timing on the discovery of this article as yet another “long lost” high school friend, Mike Slane, found me on FaceBook today after having lost contact nearly a decade ago.

Liesl and I hung out for about an hour, maybe an hour and a half, before she lost steam and was ready to take a nap.  This is still her morning routine.  Get up, play and back to bed for a nap very quickly.  Then she is good to go pretty much for the entire day.  So I took her upstairs and she snuggled with Dominica for another hour or so before they got up to start their days.  That gave me a chance to go sign in and get started on work for the day.

Work went well today.  I had to build that one server which I do not normally need to do on a Sunday but that is not too bad unless some disaster strikes, which it did not.

Heavy rains and thunderstorms today.  It was actually raining before I got up this morning, which was around seven thirty when Liesl decided that she was tired of being in bed and wanted to go play in the living room with her toys, and continued to rain right into the afternoon.  It was pretty heavy rain too.  Amazingly heavy.  Dominica ventured out in it once to run down to the deli down the street to pick up danishes and the weekly coupons so that she could plan out her grocery shopping.

The rain was heavy enough that I was not surprised when, at just after three thirty this afternoon, our Internet connection dropped.  I gave it an hour with no resolution so I called Optimum and reported the outage.  Once I got through they said that they knew that Peekskill was down and that they expected it up in the normal timeframe which, by that point, would be pretty soon.  It was perfect timing for me since work was pretty much slow and I was hungry.  Since I was completely unable to do any work we decided to get some dinner.

We really wanted to go down to Ossining to try out the fish and chips shop on the water than was just rated the best fish and chips in Westchester County by Westchester Magazine but it was a quarter until six when we were going to head out of the door and they close at six.  It would definitely take us more than fifteen minutes to make it to Ossining.  So scrapping that plan.

We kicked around some options like fish and chips down in Tuckahoe but that is a bit past White Plains and more of a drive than we felt like doing this evening.  If we were going to go that far we wanted to get Indian in White Plains but the place that we want to try there is really famous for their lunch and we didn’t want to try it on the first time at dinner.  So we decided to try the Westchester Diner in Buchanan which is really close to Peekskill.  Buchanan is actually where Indian Point nuclear power generation facility is located.

Dinner was really good at the diner.  We are glad that we found another place to go eat.  They are open twenty-four hours too which is awesome.

After dinner Dominica talked me into ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery.  Back to Peekskill to get ice cream.  Then, because our Internet might have still been out, we stopped by Walmart and picked up the latest series of Family Guy on DVD so that we would have something new to watch although I had already seen almost every episode via Hulu when they were first airing this past season.

Once we got back home we popped in Family Guy and I settled into the recliner with the laptop and got back to work building that server for the office.  It needs to be built by morning and I lost the entire afternoon so I have to do it now.  Obviously our Internet access was working again once we were home.  Several other items came up at the office while I was working so the timing was actually pretty good.  I got a fair amount of work done tonight.

Dominica went to bed on the early side.  I stayed up and watched two episodes of The Wizards of Waverly Place that we managed to get to play from NetFlix on the PS3.  It is always a challenge getting that system to work between the Vista laptop that is having problems, the PlayOn server, the PS3 itself, the Internet connection, etc.  There is just so much to go wrong.

I finally went to bed around one in the morning.  Normal work day tomorrow.

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