Quiet Strength, by Tony Dungy
If Steve Jobs Would Have Published Harry Potter...

Things I'm Finding Less Use For...

Trashcan I'm finding a number of things in my life that I'm getting less and less use out of...  Many of these were items or services that I was pretty gung-ho about until fairly recently; all of them are turning out to be something other than "must have's":

Library card -- OK, that's an easy one to begin with.  We've got a great library and they've built onto it a couple of times over the past 10 years but I don't think I've set foot in it in months.  In fact, I got an e-mail a week ago saying my card had expired.  Of course, just when I thought all libraries are going the way of the Dodo bird, I see these two articles (here and here) on CNET.  Maybe I should stop by and renew the card after all.

Browser bookmarks -- Once upon a time I had dozens of these.  I guess that was in my pre-Firefox days though because now I have 21 tabs that load automatically and zero bookmarks.  Zero.  Besides, Googling a name (company, product, whatever) and clicking the first link in the search results seems like a faster solution than managing bookmarks.

Wall Street Journal Online subscription -- I used to troll this site every night and multiple times each weekend.  Now I find days can go by without visiting it.  The vast majority of my online news comes to me via Google News and CNET.  I'm not ready to give up on this subscription, but it's interesting how it used to be a destination site and now it's a I-paid-so-I-can-see-the-story-linked-to-by-someone-else's-blog site.

Yahoo Widgets -- I love widgets.  Konfabulator became Yahoo and I stayed with them.  Maybe it was one too many Windows exception errors or perhaps it was just a weariness over seeing the .exe hogging all my CPU cycles.  Either way, my hard disk was recently wiped clean and I didn't reinstall Yahoo Widgets.  I miss them...sort of...but I'm happy to report my computer is much more stable without them.  This is probably a case of a technology that's not quite ready for prime time.  I'm sure I'll be using somebody's widgets again before too long.

Yahoo Mail -- This used to be my preferred personal e-mail account.  Now it's mostly a pile of spam.  Gmail rocks, or at least their spam filter is much more effective than Yahoo's.

MyYahoo -- Hmmm...that's the trifecta, so no wonder Yahoo as an organization is sputtering right now.  Anyway, MyYahoo used to be my go-to page for everything.  Searching, mail, news, etc., I knew I could find it right away on one page.  Now it's a legacy tab that I can't bring myself to remove from Firefox, but it certainly doesn't get the usage it once did.

How about you?  Are there any items like this in your world?


Steve Weber

I just dropped Yahoo e-mail after eight years. The spam kept getting worse, and too much legitimate e-mail went into a black hole.

Ellen Gerstein

I stopped looking at my Yahoo mail months ago. I'm missing nothing, except for the reservation confirmation that would have saved me the $300 no show charge I just got hit with.

My library card, on the other hand, I could not live without. I'm a reader, a cheapskate, and a pack rat - a bad combination. But I can serve all needs with my library. My library allows me to put the newest books, videos, and music on hold and have them delivered to me. Through interlibrary loan, I also have access to millions of older books and other stuff. I can get the latest and greatest, save money and be able to get them out of my house and clean up. I couldn't ask for more. Plus, my kids can got to free programs at the library (music, storytelling, etc) that help get them hooked on books (ok, so the little one just likes chewing them, but...) I could not live without my library card.


As a person who is at the library at least once a week I strongly recommend renewing, keeping and using your library card. There is so much available at the library. We are fortunate to have several branches close to our home. Sometimes I go to the library just for the quiet atmosphere. As far as Yahoo, I think I may switch to gmail or another for e-mail. I am sick of the spam as well.

Barbara Gavin

Oh, Joe -- renew that library card!

You say you haven't set foot in there in months - well, I go at least once a week. But I may not have been back in the stacks for over a year!

Everytime I read a review or a blog post about a book that sounds interesting, I either request it right off on the libary's web site, or add it to "My List".

Joel Fugazzotto

I have to say I'm a big fan of my library card as well. As Ellen mentioned above, it just so easy to go online and reserve videos, books, and music have them waiting for me at the local branch in my town.

Also, all the branches in our county have free wireless access in the libraries, so when I need a change of venue, I can drop by a local branch and get some work done while picking up the books I ordered.

My two-year-old loves the library and I love the fact I can get her books she wants and when she's bored with them 4 weeks later, I can return them to the shelves for others to enjoy rather than have them sit in our house and take up space.

And finally, all this is "free"...

P.S. 43Folders.com makes mention of a Jon Udell hack that allows you to request library books from Amazon pages you view. Check it out. It's pretty cool.

Cecil Vortex

Ever since the invention of sliced bread (which is quite a thing, by the way -- highly recommended) I find I no longer use my bread slicer quite so much.


My wife's ipod is full of library music. Speaking of widgets, just install Vista and you'll be good to go. It's not as bad as they say...


Dear Joe:

It is bad enough to be a Yankees fan but I am even more concerned that you are not supporting your local library! One cannot afford to buy or provide shelf space to all the great books out there (at least this one cannot) and of course these days there is lots of multimedia available at the library too. Just as importantly, libraries justify their funding by traffic, both in the library and media circulation so they need you (and would probably also be grateful for any donations you can provide). Finally, many libraries take purchasing suggestions so you can request that they acquire certain titles you want to read or think they should make available to other patrons.

Hope you are well despite these character flaws!

Jim Minatel

Joe: Fishers has a great library, with a decent web site. The post a list of new books received each week, and it's easy to check for books that are available and put in a reservation for books that are checked out. They even have a form for requesting them to add specific books to the collection. I don't have room for many more books in my house, the library is a great place to keep my overflow books I only read once. :)

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