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Monday, November 7, 2005

All's well that ends well

Long-time readers of this blog may recall that in a fit of pique a couple of months ago, I cancelled my home delivery of The New York Times over problems with the deliveryperson. He or she kept sticking an unwanted identification label on the plastic bag wrapping my paper, and I got tired of asking for this to stop. "I'll just pick it up at the newsstand," I thought, "or maybe I'll read the copy at work or catch the basic content on line. Maybe it'll save me some money, as the home delivery subscription isn't much cheaper than the newsstand price, anyway."

In the intervening weeks, my new strategy has become tiresome. It's usually easy to find the Times -- it's in every Starbucks, which of course means it's in every neighborhood in Portland. But while I have been in there, I have always wound up buying a $1.60 cup of good old plain coffee, which has made any savings on the missed papers dwindle rather quickly. Plus, there is always the hassle of having to park the car and run into the infernal coffee shop when I'm on my way to do something more important or more enjoyable.

As I have pondered these realities, some new information has entered the picture. I was lamenting the hideous label saga to one of my colleagues over lunch one day, when he pointed out something that I hadn't heard of before: that the Times offers a discount for home delivery to college and university professors, of which I am one. I knew that a prof could get a free copy of the weekday Times if he or she could sell 10 or so subscriptions to students. But a deal on home delivery was a new one to me.

Well, I finally broke down today and signed back up. I'll have to deal with the confounded labels, and there will be some issues of the paper that I won't have time to get to. But there's a nice silver lining behind this cloud -- my subscription price has been cut substantially.

Rather than cuss out the labels, I guess I should see them as a gift from above.

Comments (17)

Oddly enough, I had those same labels (in NE, Roseway), but only for a few days earlier this summer. Now it comes in a plain, unmarked plastic wrap.

And, just think about all you will save on toilet paper, fish wrap or bird cage lining.

I like eating crabs on Maureen Dowd.

Do you have the college professor discount phone number handy? Strangely enough, I count. And I already get the rag (probably delivered by your carrier), so why not ask for the disount? TIA!

i can't believe you have to drive to a starbucks. there are like 25 within downtown alone. i understand you live in NE. surely theres a store/coffee shop within walking distance. walk, it does a body good.

I like to use David Brooks to start the kindling.

The number is 866-776-3698. Be prepared to invest some wait time and deal with some, shall we say, cultural differences with the person on the other end of the line. It may take 20 minutes, all told.

There is a Starbucks I can walk to, and I sometimes do, but on work days, I've been picking the paper up at one of the several Starbucks that I drive past on my commute. It still means a stop and parking.

If I remember right, when I used to drive from Irvington to L&C - there's six Starbucks on the way.


Depending on how I go, I've got NE 15th & Fremont, NE 15th & Broadway, NE Grand & Broadway, SW Macadam across from the old Macheesmo Mouse site, and SW Terwilliger in Burlingame. If I go I-5 all the way instead of cutting down Macadam, there's one at SW Barbur & Terwilliger. So that's five on either route (although I don't usually go through 15th & Fremont). Maybe I'm forgetting one. Not to mention a Peet's, a Coffee People, and Papaccino...

A more interesting question is how few Starbuckses I could pass and still get to work. I could probably avoid them all, but it would be a real weird route and add around 10 minutes to the trip.

I live about 5 minutes from the law school and it would be utterly impossible to get there without passing 2 Starbucks (Starbuckses?).

Damn, the man.

A free fish wrapper for selling 10 subscriptions to your students.

What, no weeks use of a Maui condo?

Ah, Pappacino's. Is that place still in business? When I was a student at L&C Law in the mid-90's, one of my classmates would often perform impromptu interpretive dance routines there, inspired by Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" collection, clad in black turtleneck and tights while reeking of stale beer and Camel Lights.

I guess it's just commonly understood that the proliferation of Starbucks is a Bad Thing. But why? Those who don't like it don't have to go in. For the rest of us, it's a handy way to get the Times and a serious shot of a legal, socially acceptable and relatively safe stimulant. As for the company, is success a negative thing in itself? Last time I looked, there was some social conscience and a pretty good package of benefits for all employees. It ain't Wal-Mart.

Pappacino's and the interpretive Leaves of Grass dances! You remember that too? As for Maureen Dowd's crabs--she probably got them from Michael Douglas.

what is the discount?

OK, I think the deal is described here:


Thanks for the number! I waited and waited. Pressed "2" to stay on the line at least 10 times. Finally I was told to leave a message. Is it Veterans Day in India too?

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