Amazon Honor System



What I wouldn’t give to find the exact location, and deepest fear, of the miscreant who’s spamming Buzz. Every hour I have to weed out his crap. He’s coming in from a million zombies, too. The stuff isn’t posted but I have to manually remove it anyway. Room 101 for him. Rats in the face-cage.

Let’s check to see if he’s been at it in the last hour . . . Jeez. Aw, Jeez. Forty-seven more.

Well. Good day. Wall-to-wall busy. Gnat has no events or classes this week, so it’s just the two of us, and one of us has to earn a living. Harkens back, way back, to summers past, except now I’m working all day, every minute, more or less. She’s able to entertain herself now, which helps - or would have, if I hadn’t taken away the Nintendo DS for the entire day as punishment. She had a list of thank-you notes to write, and she didn’t want to, so she hid the list. Yes, that’ll work. So she lost DS and TV for the entire day. I was surprised to see she didn’t complain – she knew it was wrong, and perhaps it’s a welcome relief to avoid the interminable battles in that blasted Nintendo Pokemon game. So she colored and read and played with Jasper, who laid there and took it with his usual bereft resignation. She did piano and played with Lego. She let me work. Someday if the Internet turns out to be eternal and caches everything, and she reads this, well, hon, google this day on and give it a look. You were by my side all the time.

There’s been some internets huggermugger about the Baby Einstein tapes – some are gleeful that they accomplish less than squat, others note that they perform the two essential functions of a tot-tape, inasmuch as they let the parent (read: Mom) take a breather, and they’re not mind-corroding dreck. I agree with both positions. I think most attempts to turn your baby into a SuperGenius via instructional tapes or early exposure to Schoenberg (teaches them how to count to 12, at least) or in-utero projections of high renaissance art are folly, and reflect the insecurities of narcissitic parents who think that showing a kid Van Gogh when they’re six months old will help them get into Harvard. As for the charge that the shows train kids to watch TV, they said the same thing about Sesame Street. And they were right. And so what? It’s like complaining that those six-page cloth books that kids can either read or chew teach them how to read books. It’s a medium. (I don’t like Sesame Street – never banned it, but Gnat never took to it. Elmo she loved, but he was a lone moon orbiting the Sesame Planet, and the gravity was too weak to draw her in. Elmo was self-contained, mannered, satisfyingly repetitive and forumulaic. Sesame Street was just all over the place, formless, with that damned bird.)

I saved all the Einstein tapes, though, and transferred them to DVD. Not for her. She won’t remember them. I saved them for me, because we sat down and watched them every night in the fall of 2001, the time when Everything Fell Apart.  They were unreal – kind, slow, surprising, serene, benevolent, gentle, secure. Everything’s changed since then – except it has, and it hasn’t. The day after 9/11 I shot film of the neighborhood for the monthly video, and captured the great stately elms down the street shrouded in fog. They’re all gone. The last one fell last month. All sky now. The TV’s been replaced twice over but the new one is in the same spot, and she watches it from the same old sofa, six years older. I still see her sitting on the floor, watching a Baby Einstein tape, utterly unconcerned, and I still remember the brackish taint of the days and the greasy uneasy and the doubts about the world she’d inherit. The Baby Einstein tapes were from The World Before That Happened, and at the time I wondered if we’d get that world back.

We’ve forgotten how it all felt. We’ve forgotten how everything fell down. Or maybe not; I’m hardly unique. You never know what brings it back. Some people argue about the Baby Einstein tapes and back there in a second. Six years ago. Yesterday morning.

Let’s check the buzz boards to see if Spammy McRotwang has been busy . . .


Well. Back in a moment.

A few more delights from the 1957 Strib archives. Here’s an ad for a movie I absolutely, positively have to see, sir yes sir:

Not the chestiest of drill instructors, but I don't think you'd want to bring that up.

God bless Jack: Virginia Gregg has a role in the film. She played every single female on the Dragnet radio show and 57% of the women on the TV show. I swear: the more you listen to old time radio, the more you become convinced that the entire medium employed 14 actors, tops. (Note to Minneapolitans: the Lyric was a 1500 seat theater originally known as the Blue Mouse; the site was later used for the famous, then infamous, Skyway theaters.)

Then there’s this ad:

Check the price. With coupons and discounts, that’s what you’d pay for a can of soda today at the chain grocery stores. What I love about the ad, of course, is the fact that the bottles can be throw away, handily. Of course, you can still throw them away. But that’s the dirty little secret.

Well, that’s it for tonight. Happy Wednesday! I’m off to do more work, including some email repair. I should have the mailbox cleared out tomorrow. Bane of my life, it is. I’m at the point where things just get to the breaking point, then people call me on the phone, and then I take it from there. Not to pull the big boo-hoo again, but I’ve never been this busy in my life. I have no down time; the evenings are as busy as the days, and I generally don’t shed the sense of Obligation until about one AM. Amend that: today I posted a longish entry on buzz, figured I had some space, and played UNO with Gnat.

Heaven. So I’m not complaining. Any life that allows me to set aside some time to play cards with my kid is jack-dandy perfect. And there’s an upside to all the work, of course: I was walking the dog tonight, and a fellow called out: “what’s buzzing?” He read the site. Made my day.

Here’s the Money for Wednesday – not much, but there it is. Sorry about yesterday’s Funnies error; I forgot to upload the pictures. That’ll happen when you finish up at 1:30 AM. I would have noted something on buzz, but I have to keep these worlds separate. I have five worlds now apart from my marriage: Buzz world, Child World, Office World, World, House World. It used to be one place. Now I run between them all day long, never quite inhabiting each as much as I'd like, but that's life. No wonder I can eat that bowl of ice cream at the end of the day, and not gain an ounce.

Off to - see you there, right now, for Ignatius Donnelly Day.