Here's the Scoop: May 7, 2008

That’s easy to remember
Simple. In an ideal world, life would be easy. We all know that’s not the case.
Sometimes things are just plain hard. Of course, there are things that are tough by nature (for example, geometry, for most of us) and other areas that are made much more difficult by — people.
Take e-mail addresses, for instance. Have you ever e-mailed someone who works for, say, a New York State agency? Unless you have this person’s e-mail listed in your address book, you can set aside a significant portion of the day dedicated to typing in the correct e-mail address.
A typical e-mail address to someone who works for New York State is chock full of “dots” and the letters NY and more GOVs than a typical high-price call girl ring. Sorry, couldn’t resist this last one because it’s eerie how quickly that story has gone away. And we all know that public officials love being in the spotlight. Most of the time.
Back to the e-mail, though. When you read an e-mail that has more characters than a Coen Brothers movie, you know that someone has gone out of their way to make the seemingly easy task of sending e-mail into a fairly complicated procedure.
Given the sheer number of e-mail addresses that exist, it’s certainly necessary to have a unique series of addresses to keep the mail moving. But using nearly the entire alphabet, plus a bunch of characters that few people can find on the keyboard without peeking, seems a bit like overkill.

It’s universal
I’m not just picking on New York State here, either. I’m sure that bureaucrats have gone wild in plenty of other governmental agencies — throughout the country. Probably the entire world.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of innovative, fun e-mail addresses — for personal use. I just checked my address book and I don’t seem to have any of these clever addresses on file. But I’ve seen them. And they’re easy to remember. I just can’t recall any of them.
I remember a number of years ago, when e-mailing had blossomed into a “must have” form of communication, that the trend toward inventive e-mail addresses began having an unintended effect. It became necessary for business professionals to begin issuing warnings that resumes should not include e-mail contacts such as: Ilovepaidsickdays@hotmail.com or sleepinglateismyfav@yahoo.com. On the other hand, an e-mail such as: greatbaker@hotmail.com would probably give a candidate a bit of an advantage in the hiring process.
When it comes to my own e-mail addresses, mine are pretty straightforward. I have a business address that contains the name of my business. Clever, huh?
On the personal side, I have an address that refers to the number of people in our family, but it’s been years since our daughter lived at home. Maybe it’s time to come up with a new e-mail address. Hmmm…I know it won’t have the terms: NYS or GOV in it.
The funny thing is, since I’m considering a new personal address, I’ve made casual inquiries to friends asking for suggestions. Without hesitating, they immediately, unanimously blurt out: How about: BS@catskill.net?
I’m not sure why everyone had the same reaction, but it sure is easy and simple to remember. It’s ironic, though, since I’m usually a fan of “no-BS” e-mail addresses.