I needed some envelopes. The long kind. Security-type, so you can't see through them. Press-to-seal strip, so you don't have to lick them. You know, the luxury envelopes. Only the best. Went to Walgreen's; they had a box of 25 for $3.49. They did not have any clear, larger-than-envelope plastic sleeves with ziploc tops, though, and I wanted two of those. Not with any sort of burning intensity, mind you; I was not consumed with desire for plastic sleeves with zippable tops. But it was clear I would need to go to a big-box store, so I went to Home Staples, or whatever the place by Traders Joe is named. They are all the same and I have no loyalty.

It was shelf-stocking time. The redshirts were engaging in desultory banter with the manager, who wore grey. The clerks at this place always have a please-kill-me attitude, because it is a store that sells Post-It notes and reams of paper. They could be working at Traders Joe but they know they're not the type. Over there you have to be fun. They could be working at the crafts store next door, but the idea of helping some mom buy a chunk of styrofoam into which she will stick fake flowers isn't it, either. There's the hockey place on the other side of the store but in high school the hockey players beat them up. At least here they sell computers. So they could say they're in computers.

I found the envelopes. Fifty for $10. That seemed a bit much. I told the manager that they were cheaper at Walgreens, which of course was a stupid thing to say. As if he had control. As if he cared. He's not going to get on the phone to the home office, weeping, and tell them "We're getting killed over here! How many times do I have to tell you guys? If we lose envelopes we lose paper, and if we lose paper we lose pens and if we lose pens it's over, man." He just nodded. You're going to have to do what you're going to do.

Then he realized there was a solution. "Here are 25 for three dollars." He handed me a sheaf. They weren't in a box. If you put them in the drawer without a box, they get everywhere. I almost said "they don't come in a box," but I realized I had the box from the batch I'd just exhausted, and could swap out the new ones.

This is my life. It's action-packed. But it wasn't over yet. I asked if they had plastic envelopes with zippered tops, and the manager said "sure." We walked to other other side of the store, because paper envelopes and plastic envelopes are such radically dissimilar things they have to be clearly separated. Now, if they'd had three holes, they would have been binder-related, and right around the corner from envelopes, but they were not binder-related. He showed them to me and I thanked them. They came in three bright colors and were $3.49 each. The cost of materials can't be more than four cents. Even factoring in the cost of shipping them from a Chinese industrial zone across the ocean and putting them on trains or trucks, they're making a good profit.

But here's the thing: if they'd been out, I would have been annoyed, because in this day and age, nothing is supposed to be Out. You can quibble over the cost and quantity, but you're really keen on getting just what you want there's the Office Depot, Staples, Walgreens, CVS, and Target, all of which have the envelopes. The idea that they're all Out is preposterous and unacceptable.

Somewhere in that $3.49 is the cost of never being out.

In related news:

I bought a power charger the other day. Clever design; nice packaging; smart little carrying case. The instructions indicated that it may not have been made in America.

I've often told my wife she looks more rich, and that it makes me feel stereoscopic. Odd to see the sentiment applied here. The Single Plug Can' t not be inserted! Don't even not try!

I do not advise telling anyone they have a more soft botton that is convenient for operation unless you're on intimate terms.


You have one pet.

Don't Take apart to avoid harm! So, be harmed by not taking it apart?


If you do all these things, life will be improved:

It's perfect for 2016, when everyone wants urgently change.

From the back of the movie magazine, a toothsome appeal to men with comely shins:

Another thing we don't have to bother with today. Garters. Our socks stay up, as if by magic.

They were made by the George Frost Company.

This was the house that garters bought:

He lived there for three and a half decades before he died. How long he lived in it after he died, I've no idea.

(I know that from this story.)






Because I can't stand it and don't like it and it's a crappy copy and it's a lousy Western serial, we're blowing through the last two eps today.

Wonder what that's about. Let's review the last cliffhanger. See, that's the problem with the end of serials: the penultimate episode has more suspense than the ending. No cliffhangers in the the last ep.

So what will it be? Something off a cliff, or explosives?


Spunky cowgirl's dead? I'm thinking no; I'm thinking she shook off her concussion like the other six she suffered.



Remember, this is all about the telegraph, and whether the telegraph will come through. Some forces don't want the telegraph because it will bring civilization. You tell them it means people will be able to send then spicy stories over the wires - describing women's ankles and EVERYTHING - and it doesn't matter. They don't want the telegraph.

So it's Zorro #3 fighting the guy who's opposed to wires on poles, more or less. Let's not forget his faithful sidekick, Moccasin. At the end Zorro has the bad guy at bay, but what of his hench?

That'll stand up in court. Well, a serial has to end with Great Justice and a Group Laugh. Zorro, holding the bad guy at bay, says the telegraph will be working at noon tomorrow, and the first message will be . . .

. . . and if you look closely, the bad guy just walks off. Just as well! He's got to be on the Moon to plot the conquest of Earth.

Erghm. 2 / 10.

Next? I think it may be the most strenously ordinary serial yet, but we do these to prove several things: cars must go off cliffs. (Or through the back end of a warehouse on a dock.) Serial worlds must be populated by no more than 12 people.

And hats must remain on.

Oh, er, ahem:


The 40s update: part two of an exciting look at the future - as seen by whiskey drinkers of 1944.



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