Tag Archives: apps

Validation. Vindication. Victory. (Phone Book Blog 5)

29 May

May 29, 2013

Longtime readers (of which I may or may not still have one or two that I have not yet alienated) might recall that back in 2011 my apartment building was buried in an avalanche of telephone books, taking up the entire lobby and leaving us to climb over the huge piles and drifts of not just one but FIVE different brands of phone books. What was the difference between the brands? Some had ads for malpractice attorneys on the cover, and others had ads for slip and fall attorneys on the cover. Ironically, this blizzard of phone books appeared right in the middle of an actual blizzard of snow. The phonebooks got through but did my bill payments arrive on time? Of course not.

I went on a bit of a rant- OK, a rampage, about the complete and utter uselessness of the phonebook in the internet/iPhone/Goggle glasses era. To sum up, I managed to pinpoint the last remaining uses of the phonebook in the 21st Century: smashing bugs and looking up old friends’ names to see if they are still alive.


I was attacked by – who else? Some tool of the phone book industry, who, in the comments section, tried to prove that the phone book is used by literally a kabillion people each hour and that it is a vital engine of our nation’s economy.

I did not believe him.

Meanwhile, I kept ranting until The New York Times (YES! The Old Gray Lady herself!) took up the fight and sided with- wait for it… me. Using the same journalistic integrity that keeps them from printing a single critical word about President Obama’s handling of Benghazi, the IRS scandal, or the AP wiretaps (Their Motto: “Blaming George W. Bush since 1776”) they used time tested reporting tactics, like quoting people, to prove that yes, I was right and the phone book is useless.

Want to catch up on the amazing and hysterical story that was the blog-fueled Watergate of 2011?

Click the links for:
PART ONE                 PART TWO                 PART THREE                 PART FOUR

I must have really had an effect on the phone book industry since last year, 2012, I noticed that the number of phone books had dropped significantly. However, there were still way too many. Whereas we used to get dozens and dozens of bundles of books we only got about ten. Let’s just do some very simple math that even Amanda Bynes can calculate. (Yes, I am going to make Amanda Bynes the new Lindsay Lohan of my blog. At least until Lohan escapes rehab.)

My building has 6 floors X 9 apartments per floor = 54 apartments.

Phone books come in bundles of 12. We had 10 bundles. 12 X 10 = 120 phone books.

Assuming that no matter how many people live in an apartment you still only need one phone book, we had 120 – 54 = 66 too many phone books.

And don’t forget- we were getting up to 5 different company’s books. 5 X 120 = 600.

SIX HUNDRED phone books for FIFTY-FOUR apartments.


And now 2013

We had ONE bundle of twelve books left in our lobby.

12 phone books for 54 apartments. Uh oh, sounds like they went too far in the other direction this year.

No they didn’t. After a week there were still 2 phone books left unclaimed.

54 apartments and demand for only 10 phone books.

Validation. Vindication. Victory.

And the ultimate irony? On the cover was an ad for the phone book’s iPhone app.

And Don’t Forget to Breathe: The Nanny State in Action

24 Aug

August 24, 2011

I think the writer hit it on the head, but I’m not as upset with the money as he is. I can’t believe this cost much money, but on the other hand this is the government so it probably cost more than my apartment building’s entire combined yearly income for the decade.

My issue is that I simply can’t believe that government feels the need to micromanage our lives so much, and thinks so little of us, that it feels that it has to tell us when to come in out of the rain, so to speak. As much of a nanny as NYC Mayor Bloomberg is, I have to believe that even he would find this silly.

Even worse, it is totally redundant. In order to use this, you have to know what the humidity is. Unlike the temperature, humidity isn’t something that is easily known. Hygrometers and psychrometers are nearly as common as thermometers so to use the app you need to look for the humidity in a weather report, which will also give the heat index. So if you go to get the information to use the app, you also get the information to make the app unnecessary.

The app also gives information on what to do, but that info isn’t even on the front page. You have to waste more time standing in the heat to load that page. And what information does it give? Drink water and take breaks. What government employee needs to be reminded to take a break? Most of them need to be reminded to do some work once in a while.

Again, it is just another example of how the gov’t thinks it needs to micromanage everyone’s life and treat them like babies. I’m not upset about the cost of the app, I’m offended that anyone thinks I am stupid enough to need it.

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