Sorry for missing the 6am cut-off for those of you who use Q-Page to get this e-mailed each morning. The dog ate my alarm clock.

Cleaning up a little mail . . .

On Swimming 43,000 Laps-to-a-Mile in My Tiny Pool, and the Need for an Underwater Pad and Pen:

Tim Couch: “Paul Harvey told the story about how NASA spent millions to solve the problem of a pen that would write in space. The Russians had the same problem but they solved it without spending millions. They used pencils!”

Carl Ondry: “Almost any dive shop can sell you an underwater slate for writing notes.”

John D.: “Andy — 43,000 laps to the mile?! I always thought that there were 5,280 ft. to the mile, or 8 furlongs, or 80 chains, or 320 rods, or 1/3 of a League, or even 63,358 inches for that matter! Wouldn’t that make it 132 laps — which is still a heckuva long swim. Maybe you were just kidding!”

No, it’s 43,000 laps. I’ve swum it.

On the World’s Best & Worst Companies:

Erik Olson: “I realize it’s too late to submit a nomination for this year’s award, but perhaps you’ll consider TicketMaster for a dishonorable mention. I recently attempted to buy tickets to an out-of-town NFL game on the TicketMaster web page. After selecting my tickets and entering all payment information, I was taken to a page where I was supposed to receive my confirmation number; instead I got the message “General sell failure”. I was instructed to call for customer service at a number which, to my dismay, was the same number you call (and call, and call and call and call, etc.) to try to get tickets. After an hour of trying, I finally got through only to be told by a TM operator that I needed to call their customer service number, regardless of what the web page told me. The nice lady in customer service told me that the reason my order failed was that they don’t accept the Discover card–even though the web page allows you to select “Discover card” as a payment option and there is no way of knowing they won’t take it (unless “general sell failure” can somehow be translated as such). The kicker was that my order had never been processed and I had not been able to buy the tickets, which were by this time sold out. The nice lady told me she gets calls about this problem all the time.

“TM holds such a monopoly on ticket distribution for large venues that even a rock band as popular as Pearl Jam was forced to give in to them even though they felt their fans were being gouged. Janet Reno pulled the plug on a antitrust suit against TM because she thought competition was emerging; that was four years ago and nothing has changed.”


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