I am getting tired of my Kindle. I feel like I’ve been reading the same book for two years. I never feel like I’m getting near the end. Actually, I’ve read about twenty books on my Kindle in the last two years, but they all blur into one endless monotonous book. Somehow, it seems like Andre Agassi has been searching for a murderer during the construction of the Panama Canal while constructing schools in Afghanistan despite the collapse of the global economy. I long for dog-eared pages, suntan lotion stained covers and indexes that I can quickly flip back and forth to. I long for the feeling of 900 hundred pages in my left hand and only 20 in my right. And the Kindle doesn’t look very good on my book shelf either.
Check out my daughter’s blog post on the UK’s new season of X Factor which started last night. See Live the London Life.
The Yankees season ended tonight. Despite coming into the playoffs with the best record in the American League with 97 regular season wins, the Yankees failed to get out of the first round of the playoffs, losing 3-2 and leaving 20 runners on base in their pivotal fifth and final game against the excellent pitching of the Detroit Tigers. Many Yankee fans will, of course, point a finger at Alex Rodriguez who hit .111 in the series, struck out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning and then struck out again to end the final game. But the real story is the pitching of the Detroit Tigers, who came into this series with Justin Verlander, the best starter in the American League in 2011, and Jose Valverde, the American League’s best closer, who finished all three Tiger wins in the series. Detroit’s pitchers consistently delivered clutch performances in tight situations throughout the series.
Tonight ended an excellent season of baseball in the Bronx that was most notable for the landmark career achievements of Derek Jeter, who became the first Yankee to reach 3000 hits (see Jeter), and Mariano Rivera, who became the all-time MLB career saves leader. Tonight’s game also marked the probable goodbye for Jorge Posada, who went out proudly hitting .400 and drawing four walks in the series. At the same time, we saw the emergence of Robinson Cano as the next Yankee legend, the break-out year of Curtis Granderson as next in a proud line of Yankee centerfielders, and the debut of young pitcher Ivan Nova, a leading candidate for Rookie of the Year. Time marches on. Four months until pitchers and catchers report for spring training.
The US Postal Service is struggling. The current economic climate, set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing business environment due to advances in technology and communications, has resulted in severe declines in the volume of traditional mail. But in our Hamptons community, the Post Office still means something special.
We don’t get home mail delivery. Instead, we have a PO Box. So one of my regular errands is a trip to the Post Office to pick up our mail. Most of the people working there know me. They know that I live in England for most of the year, am a big Chelsea fan, and that my family loves online shopping (see The UPS Man). My PO Box is always overflowing with junk mail and notices to pick up packages. So I always have occasion to go to the main desk to say hello and chat with the postmen. They have an incredibly great R&B playlist that makes it hard to leave, always keeping me there for just one more song. One of the postmen is a huge soccer fan and, thanks to my enthusiasm, has adopted Chelsea as his English team. He has turned me on to several websites where I can stream Chelsea games for free when they are not on local TV (see www.vipbox.tv, www.firstrowsports.eu, www.p2p4u.net).
So, it is now my personal mission to save the Post Office. Send somebody a letter today for old times’ sake. Here are some of my ideas. Let’s hear yours.
- Retailing The Post Office sells sports memorabilia. For some inexplicable reason, our Post Office has, for many years, had the same unsold commemorative photos of Sammy Sosa, a steroid-tainted baseball slugger who played primarily in Chicago, and Roberto Alomar, infamously known for spitting in the face of an umpire. I would unload those and get some photos of Derek Jeter and Mariano Riviera, our hometown Yankee Hall of Famers! I’d also be selling copies of that great R&B playlist they’ve got.
- Hospitality I would open a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise in the Post Office with free wi-fi and nice comfortable couches so people could sit around, pay bills and read all the catalogues that get stuffed in their mail boxes. They could also add Post Office coffee mugs to their retail inventory.
- Recycling I would vertically integrate the Post Office by going into the recycling business. That way, patrons could just transfer the junk mail directly into the recycling bin and the Post Office could use it to create recycled paper.