In today's snail mail, two separate envelopes from Windows & .NET Magazine, which I likely receive as the result of attending some Microsoft conference, because I certainly haven't paid for it.
Envelope #1 contains one piece of yellow paper  -- "National Electronic Telegram Notification", "Priority - High"..."Windows & .NET Magazine would like you to listen to a brief recorded message about an important free event coming in August to the Chicago area.  To retreive the message, please call our toll-free number....The message will only be available for the next 72 hours, so please call today.  If you'd like online information about this event, please visit us at...."
OK, let's dissect this a bit.  First, it's a ridiculously cheesy way to advertise an event.  Second, the 72 hour time limit is obviously false, since they have no idea when exactly this letter will arrive in my mailbox.  Third, you are asking me to listen to a telemarketing pitch?  Hmmph.  How about just e-mailing me something about the event, with the URL that's in the letter anyway?  Oh wait, they've done that already -- several times.  I guess they get the award for tenacity -- but I'm certainly nonplussed.  Into the round file it goes.
Envelope #2 contains a renewal notice for the magazine.  I guess this means the end is near, as I certainly am not getting value enough out of this publication to pay for it.  I appreciated the free subscription, and Megan has enjoyed resorting the pile of unread issues that is in the corner of my office.  Parting is such sweet sorrow.  Especially when I see the renewal prices: US$49.95 for one year, and get this -- US$59 for one year of digital delivery.  How interesting a model is that!?!  Yes, that's right, for the privilege of killing fewer trees, having us spend less postage, and shortening our production time, we are asking you to pay an extra $9.  Gee, thanks, I'll get right on that one, too!

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