A few years ago, when online retailers began requiring an e-mail address with every purchase, I thought I'd outsmart them by creating a separate account just for shopping. By corralling unwanted come-ons, I naively predicted, I'd keep my real in-box pristine and gain the upper hand in the psychoeconomic battle over what, when, and where to buy.
In the waning days of Gov. Rendell's administration, Pennsylvania legislators tried to trap him in a no-win decision. Conservative legislators attached a controversial measure expanding citizens' right to shoot in self-defense to a no-brainer bill strengthening reporting requirements for sex offenders under Megan's Law. The officials ramrodded the odd bill to passage without debate, hoping Rendell would be more afraid of risking children's lives than his own reputation on the gun issue.
The first sign that TEDxPhilly would not be a typical boring convention was the guy in kelly-green Air Jordans chatting up a gal with a lip ring at the Kimmel Center near a grandfatherly figure with a silver ponytail clutching the New Yorker.
Monica Yant Kinney joined the Inquirer in 1996 and was named a metro columnist in 2001 at the age of 30. She puts so many miles on her car roaming the region she finally bought a Prius. Monica has covered suburban trends and Philadelphia city government and, for two years, focused exclusively on crime, color and characters of South Jersey. In the early 1990s, she expensed her cable bill while she was the television critic at the St. Petersburg Times in Florida. Monica is a 1993 graduate of the University of Notre Dame. She grew up in Fort Wayne, Ind., but now lives with her husband (a fellow Notre Dame grad), and their two young children in a very old house in Haddonfield.
Her column appears Sundays and Wednesdays in Local & Region.