Blogs > Jim Collins' Editor's Notebook

Jim Collins is editor emeritus of The News-Herald and also serves as executive in residence at Lakeland Community College. His popular weekly column appears each Sunday in Comment in The News-Herald.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Snail mail can be more reliable than e-mail

I surrender.
Unlike Perry Como, I am not a prisoner of love, I am a prisoner of emails.
They are bad enough when they are totally unwanted and make no sense. They are even worse when they never arrive at all because they can’t find me.
That is the problem at the moment. I have tremendous difficulty accessing emails that are sent to me at The News-Herald.
Let’s just say that if you send me any more emails at the paper, you might just be wasting your time.
And if you send them to me at home, I may not see them for weeks, perhaps months.
That is because I am totally disgusted with the computer I have at home. I open it only every so often — which could be next week, next month or next year.
There are two reasons for this: (a) the computer is so slow, no matter what Time Warner says about speedy service, and it takes so long to warm up that I could turn it on and prepare a standing rib roast while I am waiting to gain access to the darned thing.
I almost swore there, but I caught  myself just in time.
And (b), which we will refer to as the second reason, is that our pure white cat, who goes by the name of Ruby, spends most of her time sleeping on it. The computer, that is.
Ruby is regarded by the lady of the house as a very special person, meaning that she has far more rights than you and I are guaranteed by the Constitution.
That means Ruby can do anything she wants, within reason, and nobody can mess with her.
She has far more rights than Antonin Scalia could ever find in the Constitution.
She is, in a word, here to stay. That is actually three words, but I think you know what I mean.
So when we are eating breakfast and Ruby is on the computer, sleeping, we leave her alone. That is her domain, and we respect it.
Thus I don’t see many emails at home or at the paper.
Fortunately, I do have another source for seeing emails, at the college, and that is a good thing, because I get a lot of them there, and I read them, or at least look to see what they are about, every day.
That is a slight exaggeration. I do not see them Saturdays or Sundays. But I do see them five days a week, and I respond to them if I deem it necessary.
Now, just like the emails at the other two sources, many of them I get at the college are less than scintillating.
My email address there is widely known, and I mean widely, so I get all the latest bulletins from PetSmart, Craftsman tools, Bed Bath and Beyond (one guess who those are meant for — a hint, not me) or people who want to do things to my car, sell me things or in some other way attract my attention for purposes semi-legitimate or nefarious.
But at least I don’t get any at the college from a guy who used to work at the paper. I shall refer to him as Rob.
Rob thinks that every thought that crosses his mind in the fields of music or sports is important. It isn’t. I can do without them.
In sum, if you send an email to me, be prepared to wait a few weeks, perhaps months, for an answer.
Other than that, I love computers. I really do. They just don’t love me.
The best way to contact Jim Collins may just be via snail mail. Reach him c/o The News-Herald, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby OH 44094.


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