November 27, 2007

Stop leaving pointless voice mail

Some people have annoying voice mail habits. Here are two of them.

  1. Messages from a close friend or relative just asking to call back. What a waste of 30 seconds of your life that you will never get back. If this happens every week, that's like 26 minutes a year of wasted life. This is a problem because checking voice mail is a chore. On a mobile phone you have to wait to connect, enter a code, listen to announcements about the number of messages and the time they were recorded, listen to the message, and then delete it. If you are calling someone you talk to at least every week, they are going to see your missed call and know that you want to talk. They don't need to waste 30 seconds of their life hearing a useless message; by that time they could have already called you. If you have an actual message, such as a phone number they were looking for or a bundt cake recipe, then by all means leave it. But otherwise just hang up when you get to voicemail.
  2. Messages telling you what time it is. Answering machines with timestamps became popular in the 1980s, so 20 years later why are you telling someone what time you're leaving your message? If they have some relic of an analog tape recorder, it's their own problem. If you're calling a cell phone, you know it has a timestamp. Get on with the message already, and why does the time even matter?
You have one new message. (Pause.) First new message ... received today at ... eight ... twenty-six ... p.m. (Pause.) "Hey, Bob, this is Joe. It's ... uhhh ... about ... eight thirty. I just wanted to see if you were around. Call me back. Bye." (Long pause.) End of message ... To delete this message, press 7..."

What a waste of time. Joe and Bob talk all the time. Bob probably heard his cell phone ring, and even if he didn't, he will look at the phone and see Joe's number on his missed calls list -- along with the time he called! Imagine that!

So please -- stop leaving voice mail when you have nothing to say, and get to the point without giving the time and temperature.

Why do I care about this? Because some people have stopped checking their voice mail entirely. They are deluged with pointless messages and will miss important ones.

November 25, 2007

Existential crisis

I suppose my career choices in law present my latest existential crisis. I have made a serious break from my past by making such a solid commitment to law school and my choice to pursue law practice, but there are more choices to be made. I have done well enough to narrow my choices this much: My vision is to help people, and that means helping individuals and their small businesses. I also want to work in private practice, and I want to work in the Athens area. That is good focus.

However, it seems that I should also choose a substantive area of law in which to focus my interests further. So-called general practice has had its death knell rung by many commentators, and as far as Athens goes, a local judge said it would behoove me to specialize. Real estate? Business? Divorce? Criminal? I have a lot of thinking to do.

E-mail amusement

AOL has a service called My eAddress that lets you create a free e-mail account using your own domain name. The webmail is full of advertising, but you can connect through an e-mail program through IMAP for free, too. I wonder if I should start using for personal e-mail or just leave well enough alone.

November 19, 2007

Euro Speed Bump

Since my blog is the most boring in the world, I will give you a link to something less boring: The Euro Speed Bump. How long before it comes to Athens?

November 17, 2007

Amy got quoted in the news again

Mansfield will get Tarrant's first Zaxby's chicken, Star Telegram, 17 Nov. 2007.

There is some misquoting or bad editing, though. There is a long portion enclosed in a single pair of quotation marks that are actually bits of pieces of Amy's words throughout the conversation. That is a misrepresentation that bends the rules of traditional journalism ethics. But at least the article is positive.

November 13, 2007


This is really weird. I am in my third week of having a nagging cough and minor cold symptoms. It is rare for me to get sick like this, other than sinus headaches. There might be some new super virus going around. A physician's assistant told me it appears to be bronchitis, and she prescribed some drugs to treat the symptoms and help me sleep. They have provided quite a bit of relief today. This vaporizer is helping a little bit, too.