To say my paltry volume of letters – three a week at most – can in any way, shape or form compete vs. the fantastical onslaught of emails and such is wholly inaccurate.
No matter how you slice and dice the numbers, letters continue to fall behind the complete and utter dominance of digitized communication.
Just chew on these numbers without choking: in 2009, Americans clicked-and-sent somewhere between 210 to 247 billion emails…per day. Even a math midget like me can compute those numbers. That amounts to 2.5 million emails per second. It all adds up to the granddaddy of all totals: 90 trillion emails each year. My compliments to the e-geeks who devised a clever system to handle the crushing volume. Too bad 70% of this mass of stuff is adjudged to be spam.
The upshot is that my little endeavor is not even a drop in the bucket. If my letters were indeed a droplet, the bucket would need to be large enough to contain, say, Lake Michigan.
I could, however, care less if my notes swim upstream against the mighty current. There is not enough luster to the web to deter me. I will stick to my guns that the singular personality of a letter that arrives by its lonesome in the mailbox stands out in the communication maelstrom.
Here is today’s letter to my folks. About 530 words in 11 minutes. Not a record but who’s counting?
April 9, 2010
Mom and Dad: Enclosed please find an article on what should be a bumper crop of peaches throughout this neck of the woods. It is particularly heartening because there are few things – nothing, actually – better on a bowl of cereal than a ripe, juicy peach from these parts. A couple of springs ago there was a very late freeze which nipped the little peach flowers and it almost totally wiped out that year’s peach crop. So I’m looking forward to the little fruits before much later.
For the first time ever, I ‘Tivoed’ a television program. It means your TV can record a particular program for later replay. So, I taped the Masters yesterday and played it in its entirety last night and early this morning while I read the paper. I’m not sure if you guys are rigged for it but it is nice. Why in the world I have not used this facility prior to yesterday is a mystery to me, but then again, so are a lot of things.
It rained here some last night, enough to make puddles of yellow pine pollen which literally coats everything it touches; cars, driveways, porches, etc. The paper said this week that the pine pollen itself is not an allergen which is largely limited to oak trees and a few other species. But the yellow dusting is nothing short of a mess. I left the car out back last night in the hopes that the rain drops would partially clean it off, which it did. I think I’ve been victimized by a little bit of an allergy because the cold symptoms have tapered off a little bit as the trees are getting past the pollen stage. The paper also reported this is the worst year on record in terms of pollen counts.
For the first time noticed lilacs blooming in profusion. You can smell them in the air. Not sure why this is the first time I’ve noticed the fragrant blossoms. My lettuce will be picked for the first time this evening. And the tomato planted a week ago today has already grown a few inches. The miracle of Miracle Gro. The rest of the plantings are coming along nicely, too.
No real word from the kids. We texted back and forth during the Butler game, which was great even though we were on the losing side of the ledger. Incredible to believe that the basketball budget for Duke is in excess of $14 million while Butler’s is just a shade above $1. No wonder; Butler lost to one of the best teams money could buy. Their young coach just signed a 12 year extension this morning. By the end of his 12th year he might look like he’s 20 years old. He looks like a kid.
Found $20 on the curb the other day. It was enough to partially fund a partial tank of gas and buy a few pounds of apples.
I hope you can noticed the tear stains on this page. That is how anemic my golf game has been. I tee it up again tomorrow. That’s why they sell rounds in 18 hole packages.