Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Geeky Stuff: Snail Mail

I know what all of you in reader-land are thinking:  Yes, yes, meat empanadas and penguins and exotic animal habitats are interesting, but what about all the cool geeky stuff you get to do to prepare for living abroad?

Well, I'm glad you asked.  Here is the first entry in my certain-to-be-a-classic Geeky Stuff series.

A couple years ago all of the bills we get (water, gas, electric, phone, medical, etc., etc.) started arriving each month with a big banner on the back of the envelope that said something to the tune of: 

Be Green!  Save the Earth!  Save us (your friendly gas company) a bunch of money!  Sign up for e-Statements!

This seemed intriguing to me (I'm always looking for ways to save my gas company money) but I had my tried-and-true methods of record-keeping, and it seemed like a pain.  Then we started hatching this hair-brained scheme to spend a year on the other side of the planet, and I thought, this might be a good idea.

So I started signing up for all of those e-statements.  And I kept doing it, for about the past year, and now I can say truthfully that all of our snail mail is now junk.  Other than the occasional real letter from you, our family and friends, the signal-to-noise ratio in the Bud Ice box into which our mail slot empties is very near zero.  And e-statements really do live up to they hype - they're convenient, they're green, they don't break your back if you have to carry them from the basement to the attic.

I know, you alert readers are thinking,
  • How on earth do you remember all those passwords for all those e-statement accounts?  Isn't it insecure?
  • What if you do get some real mail while you're abroad?
Stay tuned...


  1. I'm not going to be able to sleep, wondering how you keep those passwords secure!! I guess I'll have to stay tuned.

  2. So Caitlin was being her amazing snarky self with her comment, but I'm actually (not ironically) really interested. And, Seth is too. He just doesn't know it yet. Love this post, looking forward to more. You'll make me use my RSS feed reader yet.

  3. Password Safe: http://passwordsafe.sourceforge.net/

    All your passwords in a nice secure (so says Bruce Schneier) box with useful features like take my browser to the login page and autotype the username and password.