December 28th, 2010

shallow commentary

I used to watch political shows and pay a lot of attention to shirts, ties, lapel width, material, hair styles -- and not on the women. I've mostly stopped, but tonight on Keith Olbermann, they had a little bit about Joe Walsh. Representative-elect Walsh won a "safe democratic" seat in the Chicago area, after being a perennial also ran. Nobody in the race got any national money to speak of, and there was a Green Party candidate who got 3% of the vote. This could be considered important, since in the end, Walsh won by less than 300 votes -- far less than what the Green Party candidate got.

This time around, Walsh ran as a tea partier, and got coverage in places like Breitbart's blog. Yeah, that guy. But as I said, he's been a perennial also-ran, and 15 years ago, according to wikipedia's entry on him, he was running as a socially liberal Republican. You can speculate about how he'll actually vote, but we won't know until he starts voting.

In any event, I'm posting all this -- and I did this very limited amount of research -- because the guy's hair screams "I'm totally fucking insane". I don't have a good link; the pictures I could find of him online give hints of what is going on, but nothing like the bit of video that showed up on Countdown. It looks like he's going bald, maybe has a weave, definitely has that patch of hair in the front that grows pretty well, but rather than doing the Trump-style combover, he's opted for something along the lines of a bedhead style to go with what is otherwise a very short, very conservative haircut.

I was reminded (and I have no idea why) of Kate's hairstyle (she of the many, many, many children). It doesn't look the same. But it sure feels the same.

This could be entertaining.

too much e-mail

I decided that I am receiving too much e-mail. A lot of this is e-mail that I've been receiving daily, or near daily, for months if not years, from companies that I do still on occasion buy things from, and a few political or interest group organizations as well. But I don't read them. I delete them. And that process of select select select etc. delete is wearing down my soul.

It has annoyed me before, but in the past the unsubscribe process was so onerous if not impossible that I didn't bother. The world has changed, however: nearly everyone is online and receiving similar problematic e-mails. Political pressure has been applied. The unsubscribe process is now required by law to exist.

Far and away the majority of the businesses and organizations that I unsubscribed from were a simple matter of open e-mail, scroll down, find link, click and done. A few of these had an optional box to explain why I was *sniff* leaving them. I dutifully typed I just get too much e-mail.

There was another category which was so thoroughly html-ized (and so thoroughly not displayed properly the way I read e-mail on my MacBook through a web interface) that I had to find another way to view them so I could find the link, click and be done. I did it on an iPad; no hard feelings.

A few sent me to a multi-check-box-page and made me think and click another button and maybe check some things before they unsubbed me. One or two made me type in my email address. One -- that I accessed from a different email account -- didn't recognize the period in the account name (over on gmail, no less) and I had to try it without the period for it to work.

And then there were the bad ones. Circle of Moms and Bike Nashbar just seem to be timing out. A lot of things are timing out this week. Could be that sysadmins are home for the holidays. Could be the cloud is a wee bit overloaded. I'm prepared to cut them a little slack.

Finally, there was Best Buy. And my experience at Best Buy gave me pause. It sent me to a very, very, very long page that described a whole lot of ways to contact them, the only one which seemed relevant was an e-mail address. No form; just an e-mail address. I sent an unsub request to it and got an auto-reply. Bad form Best Buy. I actually don't have anything harsh to say about them as a company, per se, but this is a loooooooong way from best practice. Also, when I went there to recycle something (which was a breeze, and I appreciate) and buy a Bluray player, they downsold me very hard. Again, I kind of like that. R. says they are having a lot of trouble figuring out how to compete with Wal-mart on selling things like Very Large Flatscreen TVs.

Circuit City is gone, and in theory, that gave Best Buy the field to themselves. But this all adds to to not doing a great job at running their business. I wouldn't invest in them.

On the whole, however, if you have been putting off unsubbing from irritating e-mails from companies and organizations you like, but not _that_ much, the field is clear: it's a damn easy process. Except for Best Buy, and even there, it's not worse than it used to be.

ETAYA: gets demoted due to "may take 10 days" and they've already sent me more e-mail.
Bike Nashbar continues to send me e-mail as well.

I unsubbed from women's e-news a while ago, for complex reasons which I blogged about at the time. However, I continue to get e-mail from them for fundraising; I'm making an attempt this time around at ending those e-mails as well.

ETA just a little bit more:

I think I have now unsubscribed twice from shutterfly. There's a small (about a 1 in 8) chance I have misremembered. Which is why I'm mentioning it, so if it happens again, I'll know for sure.

HI gets dinged because when I went to unsubscribe, it asked for my e-mail and then told it couldn't confirm it. I have no idea if it was a successful unsubscribe or not. But it's not much of a ding because (a) HI is worthy and should not be picked upon and (b) they don't send much e-mail anyway.