McKibbin’s Scribblin’s: Get this spam out of here
The other day, I received 13 – 13 – spam email messages from “EFederalCreditUnion,” spelled just like that, all crammed together, with titles like “*_Need a Refi?” and “*_Lowest in Decades!_” Incorrect punctuation included.
And they all arrived in about a 20-minute period to my email address and the CT’s general email addresses. (I won’t get into why our email program’s anti-spam feature didn’t catch them; I was told sometime ago that the program had to “learn” which messages to treat as spam. So we have a sentient computer software program?)
At any rate, I get a lot of emails, I’m sure most businesses do. I’d say at least 75 percent of them I don’t have any interest in and would rather not waste my time reading. (And don’t bother trying to unsubscribe by clicking on the tiny print link only a few of these emails bother to include. I’d say it only works about 1 out of every 100 times you click on those links. Wish there was somewhere I could send these stupid emails. I think they’re violating anti-spam laws and need to be reported.)
Some make sense to be sent my way. Our elected officials like to see their name in the paper, consumers need to be aware of scams and defective items. Since we’re a very local, weekly paper, though, you won’t see very many of these. But at least our Congressional delegation tries to keep in touch with constituents.
But I don’t need to get a handful of opinion columns every week from someone I’ve never heard of and about nothing to do with Rifle or even Colorado. Then a few days later, I get follow-up emails from some PR flak, asking “Dale” or “Donna” or “Sandy” if they received a column and was there any chance they’d run it. (Those are all first names of previous CT editors, BTW. Bonus points if you know all three last names.)
Every now and then some emails are worth a little time, although they don’t have any direct connection to Rifle. One of them is my weekly message from GasBuddy.com, a site that tracks gasoline prices at over 140,000 gas stations in all 50 states and offers a free smartphone app to help find the lowest gasoline prices in certain areas. And if you help them by reporting local gas prices, you could win $100 a day in free gasoline.
But the only options to run a Colorado report on current gas prices are statewide, Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins or all four. Pretty sure they don’t cover the West Slope.
At any rate, their latest email said they tracked trends over the last four years to find what day of the week had the cheapest gasoline price. According to the analysis, 65 percent of states had lower prices during the weekend than the week. GasBuddy’s data also found that very few states saw Tuesday or Wednesday as the best day to fuel up.
In Colorado, the best days to fill up have changed from Sunday in 2010 to Tuesday in 2011 to Saturday in both 2012 and 2013. Incidentally, “late weekend” is the best time to get your ride filled up, according to GasBuddy.
I won’t get into Rifle gas prices, there isn’t enough room on the page, I’m sure.
Another email that caught my eye this week was from the Colorado Department of Transportation and had the headline “Speed, Seat Belts and Impaired Driving Cause Most Fatalities on Colorado Roads.” (Although that’s misleading. Seat belts don’t cause fatalities, which is clear in the news release.)
The release said in 2012, the total number of motor vehicle fatalities in Colorado increased for the first time in six years. Of 472 motor vehicle deaths two years ago, 162 (34 percent) were speed-related and an estimated 133 (28 percent) involved a driver impaired by alcohol. And of the 287 passenger vehicle fatalities, 156 (54 percent) were unbuckled.
The release goes on to say CDOT offers grants to establish programs intended to reduce these numbers, which is laudable.
But the fact that more than half the passengers who died in crashes were not wearing their seat belts was disappointing to read. Isn’t everyone aware of how much sense it makes to click their seat belts when they get in their vehicles, especially if they’re traveling on a highway? Talk about common sense. What am I missing here?
Anyway, just thought I’d pass these along. Oh, wait, my email just received something else. Wonder what it might be?
Mike McKibbin is the editor of The Citizen Telegram.
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