And now, the conclusion. You may recall how I tried to get a metal part to replace the busted barrel-bolt on my refuse bin shed. (Or "Refuge Bin," as the website calls it.) I sent them the order number, links to the assembly PDFs, and a picture of the part with a red arrow pointing out the pertinent item. Within 12 hours they wrote back.

The part cannot be had.

They didn't say why. The reasons, though, are obvious: either the product isn't being made any more, because they made 100,000 and put them in enormous Chinese warehouses and are doling them out in shipments of 10,000 per annum. It is over and its time has passed. Some day there will be another, with slight improvements or distinctions. In any case, there was one run to make that cheap custom barrel-bolt lock, and it will not be revisited.

Or they just aren't willing to open up the box and take out a part, because that would set off a horrible chain of cannibalization. In the end there would be one box, unsold, unsellable, missing a lock.

You're thinking: they'd best offer a refund. You're thinking: in the interests of keeping a good name on this Yelp-ridden world, they'd best do right, and at least offer a discount on a future purchase.

They didn't offer a refund. They didn't offer any credit.

They are sending me a new shed.

The whole. Damned. Thing. Again. Ninety-nine pounds, $449. To replace one part. So I will remove the parts, and sell the thing to someone who is well aware of the barrel-bolt situation, and will have to provide their own.

Everyone lost money on this transaction, all because someone cut corners in the manufacturing or design process.


I've seen one new "X-Files" episode, and it was okay. I heard the third is better, and funnier. But that's not what I want. Anyone hear they were doing more X-Files, and think "hope it's a comedy"? There were comedic moments, but the show relied on dread, paranoia, cold logic vs. incomprehensible events, and of course a baffling, complex, indefensible mythos that brought the whole mess crashing down into cultural irrelevancy. At some point we realized, with a sick and angry feeling, that there was no master plot. They were making it up as they went along, introducing new wrinkles not to reveal the grand plan, but to compensate for their own inability to bring it all together. I can't think of another show I loved so much only to drift away. Oh, the VCR didn't record? Whatever.

Well, the Simpsons.

I tweeted out the other night something about the show being wrong for the times - the idea of an all-powerful super-competent government with plots within plots, capable of devilish secret schemes died somewhere around late 2001, if only because most of us realized it wasn't capable of such things, and the delicious shiver of 90s-era paranoia now seemed like a juvenile indulgence. (The people who believed, who Wanted to Believe in Mulderspeak, doubled down on Trutherism.) Time has left these characters behind, and in the episode I saw they seemed vaguely embarrassed they had to do this. Anderson looked as if she was still doing "The Fall," a show in which she plays a remote and clinical version of Scully without any of the smoldering warmth or softness, and Duchovney just rasped out his lines in rote flat tones as if he'd boned up on the character by watching parody videos. It was a bit disconcerting to see it all so pristine and clear, too - the old shows now look as if they were shot in a smoky room through a lens covered with hair spray, and that look defines not only the show but 90s TV. Looking back at the shows now, I think: those were happier times.

This was all we had to worry about, and it was a fairy tale. We knew it, of course, but once a week, it was fun; we all wanted to believe.

Back to the tiny pictures found on record sleeve.

Barney Kessel - and his MEN - are covering the entire score in twelve parsecs. You've heard Barney. It's a dead cert you've heard him. Wikipedia:

Noted in particular for his knowledge of chords and inversions and chord-based melodies, he was a member of many prominent jazz groups as well as a "first call" guitarist for studio, film, and television recording sessions. Kessel was a member of the group of session musicians informally known as the Wrecking Crew.

If the Wrecking Crew doesn't ring a bell, this should help. There's a fine documentary on Netflix concerning the group as well. They played on everything, and while half of Western Civilization has heard a note or two, about .00000001% can name any of them.


Sugar will do that, yes:

Elsie's Hemomania must have upended the family; from general assertions of Borden goodness to specific, interminable mentions of Hemo, just because that's what the home office was pushing. Elmer could certainly understand why she'd have Hemo on the brain, but at home? Every day? Every hour? Every conversation?

You can well understand his final burst of frustration: BLOW MY HORN, ELSIE.

I'm going through some Products set aside for a rainy day, for some reason. A folder I kept moving forward and replacing with others. Well, no more. Everything must go. We begin with the most unappealing wine I've ever seen:

It was a cooperative made up of smaller cooperatives, according to a Lodi wine history. This is from the late 50s, I believe; their trademark in the 40s was a Big Red Man.

"Vino de Tavola" was "table wine."

I think this is a repeat, but it deserves another look. This is some of the sweetest spice packaging I've ever seen. Who wouldn't want a row of these in their cupboard?


French is out of the seasoning business, and that's our loss. Althought they wouldn't look like this today.

A few boxes:

There wasn't anyone named Ann Page. She was the symbol for a grocery store chain.

You might be able to figure out which one.

  YELLOW quarters, because people still remembeed when Margarine was forbidden by law to look like butter. You had to add the color yourself. Thanks, butter lobbyists! Appreciate it.


Whiff, wives, whiff:



Translation: she won't complain! Although you know she will.

This did not exist.

Other candies might have picked up the name, but this was used to sell something else.

Cellophane. As for the place itself: "The name of Zanzibar comes from 'zengi', the name for a local people (said to mean 'black' in Persian), and the Persian word 'barr', which means coast or shore."

I had never wondered, and now I know.

I take it back! There was an Ann Page! There she is!


Of course, no. That is not Ann Page. That is a modern housewife in the traditional garb, gesturing in the accustomed fashion to the delightful consumer goods that will make your life better and easier.

Which they did. You didn't have to put them up yourself. You never had pineapple preserves in the middle of winter anyway; Lands sake, who ever heard of such a thing?



That will have to do for our Tuesday. See you around.



blog comments powered by Disqus