Houseblog confessions: the mailbox

It’s been a while since I did anything non-kitchen-related on the house, but the time had come. Today I finally got around to hanging a mailbox by our front door.

This may strike some as odd, since we’ve been living in the house for over two years, but until we replaced the front door last November we had a mail slot. This we opted to do away with after much debate. We appreciated not having to stop the mail and just letting it pile up in our foyer when we went on vacation, but we didn’t appreciate the mail slot’s tendency to let the foyer equilibrate with the outside temperature.

Thus vanished the mail slot. And for the last year the mailman has been leaving our bills, junk mail, and magazines (because that’s all that comes by mail any more, practically) either inside our screen door or on our side porch. Which is ok except in the pouring rain. And, you know, we’ve had some of that lately.

So did we opt for a period mailbox? Perhaps one of these fine numbers from Restoration Hardware or Architectural Mailboxes? Or even an antique reproduction?

Reader, we did not. We got the $24.95 cheapie mailbox from Home Depot—so cheap they don’t even have it on their web site. Looks like anodized aluminum, bends like a tin can, but hopefully it’ll do its job and keep the mail dry.

Waiting for Vista…

I have a new laptop on the way at work, and, yesterday’s post notwithstanding, I’m looking forward to getting it so that I can load Windows Vista on it.

Why, you may rightly ask, would I want to do that to myself? Well, Vista is the first Microsoft OS in seven years that I haven’t used as my primary OS while it was in prerelease status, so I’m feeling a little behind the curve. But also it just feels like time. I’ve been using XP since 2001 in prerelease form (starting during my summer internship), and all the novelty of the new issues in XP has worn off. I’m tired of:

  • Long delays in the UI when booting and waiting for services to start
  • Long delays in the UI when switching from one network to another or into disconnected status
  • Bad power management during sleep (see yesterday’s post)
  • Weird screen switching behavior
  • Needing to reboot all the time
  • Three or more keystrokes to create a folder

Will any of this change in Vista? At this point, I have no idea, and that’s what I’m looking forward to exploring.