...the Journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

The new magnets are from Jeri's refrigerator. Jeri's fridge has some unusual stuff attached to it.

A souvenir magnet; Jeri's not sure which of her roommates belongs to it.

* Discussion *

If you have anything to discuss, go to this link. Feel free to start a new discussion on anything.


I'm a Stranger Here Myself

Bill Bryson

I enjoyed his Australia book so much, I decided to try the one about this country.


Battersea Park Road
to Enlightenment

(this is a book I picked up in London)


Whose Line Is It Anyway?

That's it for today!


14 June 2001

I had "privacy manager" taken off our phone today.

It was very nice while it lasted. When we had "caller ID" installed on our phone I thought it would be great. Weíd always know who was calling. But we quickly found out that while the sales calls came in as "unknown caller," so did a lot of our friends. So we couldnít just ignore the "unknown caller" calls because it might be a mother, or a good friend.

Then along came "privacy manager." For an additional fee (of course. Itís always "an additional fee") they added this screening option to our calls. Now we were seeing more IDs on the "caller ID" but if someone had a blocked number, they had to go through a number which asked them to record their name. The screening computer would then call me, play the recording and I had the option to accept or deny the call.

It seemed to be working all right, but friends who had to record their name before I could take the call were getting pissed. I finally decided that it wasnít worth the aggravation to friends to block the sales calls, so I called and had it taken off.

But the whole thing makes me very angry anyway. Why have we become victims of advertising. Telemarketing appears to be "where itís at" (phrase put in quotes because I hate the term). Despite the fact that everybody seems to complain about salesmen who invade the privacy of the home at all sorts of inappropriate times, there must be a sufficient response on the part of the respondents that it makes it worth all the abuse they get from the rest of us.

Not only do I hate feeling trapped in my own home by some guy whoís trying to convince me that I really, really want a "free" vacation at Lake Tahoe and all I have to do is listen to a little spiel while Iím up there. Right. There ainít no free lunch. You canít fool me.

But not only do I feel angry with the sales call, I feel bad about having to be downright rude to the salesperson. I realize that this is just some poor dumb shmuck who would be doing a better job if he could get one. So why do I have to be rude? Iím forced into it because the salesfolks are trained not to take no for an answer and often the only solution is to hang up on them.

It extends beyond being captive to the telephone, though. I have options with the phone. It is now my option to give up Privacy Manager and to take the calls, for the comfort of friends who donít want to go through a screening device.

But when I sit here on the Internet, I have no options. Netscape has started deluging us with pop-up ads when we least expect them. You click on a site and suddenly up pops a window with some advertising in it. If you change to a new site, thereís another box. Itís more than the ubiquitous banner ads on the page itself; itís a whole new window. Sometimes the java script wonít work and it jams my computer. Yet Iím powerless to do anything about it. I can flip past ads in a magazine, and ignore the blow-in cards that seem to double the thickness of many publications these days, but I have no recourse when it comes to pop-up ads. I donít even know who Iíd complain to if I decided to complain.

I donít know if one gets the same ads with Internet Explorer. If not, I guess thatís my choice too. I canít stand IE, so if sticking with Netscape means putting up with the pop-up ads, I guess Iíll have to do it.

It bothers me--a lot--that we seem to have lost all control over the intrusion factor in our lives, and that we all have become so used to it that weíve become downright complacent.

But if youíve stopped calling me on the telephone because you hate having to have your number screened, rest assured that it is now safe again to dial my number. I just hope you arenít trying to sell me anything.

One Year Ago:
Comedy of Errors

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 6/13/01 by Bev Sykes