I have no joke here. I just want to embed this:
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Two stories related to the declining fortunes of the retail industry that I thought were worth noting:
1. Sears is selling off the Craftsman tool brand. My dad did all of his own auto and home maintenance, and he swore by his Craftsman tools. And why not: they had a lifetime warranty, no questions asked. (I remember going with him to a Sears at one point to exchange a socket wrench: he was trying to get a rusted bolt on a truck bumper unstuck, as I recall, and was using a length of pipe to get additional leverage. The wrench snapped in half before the bolt gave. And Sears didn’t even ask any questions. They just gave him a replacement socket wrench.)
But I haven’t been in a Sears store for years, and I’m not even sure that they still have the lifetime warranty on Craftsman tools. I’m not sure what my dad would be doing now: perhaps purchasing Snap-On instead, as I think they’ve become a little more available now. (You kind of had to know people in the 70s and early 80s, or work professionally as a mechanic, to get Snap-On tools.) This looks like a quick attempt at a cash infusion to prop up a dying company.
When I was a teenager, I spent a fair amount of time at Greenspoint Mall, and I (well, my family and I) shopped at the Foley’s.
Note I said “the Foley’s”. Not “the Macy’s”. Foley’s was a beloved regional brand that Macy’s bought and which they have proceeded to run into the ground.
Granted, it is hard to do retail these days, and it is hard to run a mall. Especially Greenspoint, which has changed considerably since my teenage years. (I have heard that it is now commonly nicknamed “Gunspoint Mall”.) As Mike the Musicologist, who is also familiar with the area, said when I informed him, “… seeing what’s become of Greenspoint and West Oaks, the better question is ‘What took you so long?'”
Maybe sometime real soon now, they can use what’s left of Greenspoint to film the big chase scene in that all-female remake of “The Blues Brothers”. I remember there being lots of space in that mall.
The Leonard Cohen obit will probably go up some time tomorrow. The news is breaking and I want to give it time to settle.
No particular reason. Just feel like it.
I hate being silent for two days straight, but I don’t have any thing I feel is worth writing about.
The Chris Christie thing is now being covered by everyone else in the world. I don’t have anything new to add, or anything more to say, about the gun show thing; there’s going to be a Saxet show this month per the existing contract, and Premier is going to have shows in Cedar Park during April and June. I’m frankly a little burned out on this fight, and I’m not sure what else we can do. (“If voting could change the system, it wouldn’t be legal.”)
More than anything else, I’m just feeling cranky and upset and tired and depressed. I think part of it is the season and part of it is the weather. I don’t know. I’m having trouble concentrating on stuff: I’m still trying to write the King of Sports review and do coursework, but both are struggles.
Maybe I just need a weekend. One more day to go.
I’ve quoted these lines from Ian Frazier’s On the Rez before. For reasons I can’t really explain, they have a special resonance for me. It seems appropriate to quote them again now.
If I had a film of SuAnne at Lead (as far as I know, no such film exists) I would study it in slow motion frame by frame. There’s a magic in what she did, along with the promise that public acts of courage are still alive out there somewhere. Mostly, I would run the film of SuAnne again and again for my own braveheart song. I refer to her, as I do to Crazy Horse, for proof that it’s a public service to be brave.
It’s a public service to be brave. Even if you don’t believe you are.
…I only just got around to this, but:
kicked over my giggle-box, as did:
“If I’m the G-dd–n Batman, why am I on top of a cake with this amazonian bimbo?”
I commend to the attention of future brides everywhere the strategy that this one used to encourage participation by both genders in the bouquet toss: attach a Fry’s gift card to the bouquet. (However, brides should consider carefully the value of the card they’re going to attach. For $10, yeah, I’ll participate. For $250, I’ll kill a snitch. I’m not saying I have, I’m not saying I haven’t…)
People you normally don’t see this dressed up, part 1.
And two. Finally, here’s what seems like a fitting song for the happy couple.
Indeed. In our studies of the history of technology, we have found that much scientific and technical advancement is motivated by that same principle.
Gandhi is supposed to have said it would be a good idea, but I am unable to find a trustworthy source for that quote.
Western civilization is doomed:
Western civilization is not doomed:
That’s a Hot Wheels car with a built-in video camera. And a built-in LCD screen so you can play back your video without downloading it (though you can do that as well with the USB cable). Target had it for $50.
I have no idea how much video it records or what quality, but man! I would never have predicted that 41 years ago.
(You know something else? Hot Wheels at Target are going for about $1.07; I think I paid $3.49 for a five-pack. You know what I was paying for Hot Wheels when I bought them out of my own pocket at the age of 4 or 5? About a buck. You know what $1 in 1970 money translates into? $5.83. I’m sure someone’s going to tell me today’s Hot Wheels aren’t as well made as the 1970 0nes – I don’t have any of my 1970 ones in front of me, but the new ones feel fine – or that they’re made in China and coated with lead paint – I don’t chew on mine – but frankly, I don’t care. Name me something else that’s stayed at a near constant price for 40 years.)
In our case, the fireworks are both illegal and not really all that good an idea, to be perfectly honest. I did do a lot of driving yesterday, and saw a fair number of state troopers, but no DWI checkpoints; I did 80 MPH much of the way without incident. Unfortunately, while I was driving this route, I was doing so fairly early in the morning, before Lawrence wrote this post, so I missed out on the best potato chips ever. (Surely someone in Austin sells them.)
So what else can you do to celebrate the 4th? Well, you can hit the gun store, provided you have one near you that’s open on 4th of July Monday. (All the good independent gun stores in Austin are closed Sunday and Monday, but Cabela’s in Buda is open today. Edited to add: And the Cabela’s in Buda was not the Mongolian fire drill I was expecting.)
Or you could go to the range. Provided you can get a slot on the firing line, given that everyone else and his brother has probably had the same idea.
If you have a veterans cemetery near you, you could also go pay your respects.
I don’t actually know Richard Johnson or his family, but I stumbled (almost literally) on that marker, and there’s something striking about it. He would have been roughly 28 years old when the United States entered the war. What was he doing before then? What was life like as a 2nd Lieutenant during World War I? Where did he serve? Did he see action? He lived for 58 more years after the end of the war: what did he do with the rest of his life?
I want to add a nice word here for the VA’s Nationwide Gravesite Locator, which was indispensable. (The gravesite locator at the Houston cemetery was broken when we were there.) It would be nice to have a version of this tool that’s optimized for smart phones, but the existing version did work on my Evo.