As if we don’t have enough to manage, there’s the Amazon Recommendation to remind you that some computer thinks it knows everything about you. I went to Amazon to find a page where I could see all my uploaded Prime backup stuff; I failed. I know it’s all up there except for a few files that didn’t upload - a mere 4,938 - really - but I tripped over my RECOMMENDED FOR YOU page, which does not know me at all. It thinks it does, having logged my clicks over the last 17 years, but OH my LORD the stuff piled up in there is just appalling. You spend a few minutes every four years looking for beach shoes, and there’s 90 pairs waiting for your approval. It’s like the ads that follow me around: I just BOUGHT that. Stop it.

You can’t bulk delete, but you can delete the items that triggered the recommendations. You can’t tell it to stop thinking I want this or that just because I looked at the item, as far as I can tell. A real world analogue: walking into a store you’ve been patronizing for 17 years.

Hello, sir! Welcome back.


Are you looking for electrical generators today?

What? No. I was looking for a book.

Ah. I see you looked at “The Hobbit” two years ago.

Well, I was looking for the original cover art.

You looked at it on two different occasions. And one of those times, you bought it.

Oh right - Christmas present for daughter. She didn’t like it. Thought it was silly.

Did you review it?

No. Anyway, I’ll -

It has four stars, like most of our offerings. That’s why I’m holding out a copy of “The Silmarrilion” special edition with a foreword from the author’s great-nephew.

That exists? You know, when I was a kid, I had a friend who was into Tolkein in a bigly way, and there wasn’t any Silmarrilion. It was rumored that it existed and some day it would be printed, but that was in a category like ‘Star Trek happening again.’ Now I suppose there’ll be a three-movie series about it. Anyway, never mind, I’m looking for a SPQR book. It’s a series. I’ll find it. Thanks.”

I see you ordered the Lord of the Rings on Blu-Ray. Deadpool 2 is available for pre-order on Blu-Ray.

It’s not even a thing yet.

It’s available for pre-order for Prime. Would you like a Prime button for ordering peanuts? I see you have a button for ordering dishwasher soap.

No, I use Alexa for that now. I’ll just be wandering over to books now. Thanks.

Would you like to look at international currency adaptors?

I have one. I bought it from you. It was cheap. I liked it.

Thank you reviewing your purchase! Can you answer a question about this product from Alan9332?

No. I - what’s that in your hand?

This? Oh, just a map of London. You bought one on June 3, 2016. Would you like to buy it again?

No! Why would I?

People who bought this map also bought a map of Copenhagen.

Bully for them. Excuse me.

And so on. I kid because I love; the more I get into Amazon’s clutches the happier I am, to be honest. Now that I have a super fast internet connection, all my music is going into Prime, and I can call anything up while I make dinner.

Although that’s also Podcast Time. I was listening to a Radiolab piece about a small town riven by discord, deciding to disband. (Podcast management: there’s another thing. Don’t get me started.) Like most of the shows, it was initially irritating and quickly fascinating - the voices of these modern radio people get on my nerves, with their weightless eager semi-non-ironic tone. This one had the typical attitude about Flyover Country at first; they were going to distant Kansas, and that required Kansas-style music.

You know, the music of simple country folk.


Oh, come on.



At first we thought she ruined things, but then we got used to her.

Aw why do they have to bring in a GIRL? Girls can't fight.

Yyvonne Craig. Batgirl was her finest momentt. Wikipedia says: The New York Times praised her for 'add[ing] a scrappy girl-power element' to a TV series it described as 'campy.'" That's whatchu callyer retrospective projection, raht there. It was still campty, and more so.

You like this in an actress:

Craig reportedly felt some connection to the character and complained to DC Comics after Barbara Gordon was shot and paralyzed by the Joker in the graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke (1988).


In one of her more memorable roles, Ms. Craig played Marta, a green-skinned slave girl, in the “Star Trek” episode “Whom Gods Destroy.” She performed a seductive, loose-limbed dance that seemed to nearly overwhelm William Shatner’s red-blooded Captain Kirk, while Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock pronounced it “mildly interesting.”

Memorable indeed. She was cute but crazy in that ep. A warming.







Almost 800 souls.

I love these small North Dakota farm towns, and presume enough people who live there love it as well. The town's motto: "Come to visit . . . or spend a lifetime." A rather stark choice.

No, it wasn't named after the Frenchman. The town was "founded in 1884, and named after Napoleon Goodsill, a pioneer store keeper and president of the townsite board." Shortly thereafter came the newspaper:

In 1886, George A. Bryant established the Napoleon Homestead, a newspaper business that continues to publish news and events to this day.


A town needs a paper. It was once the basic minimum requirement, a sign of civilization. Stories would been told; stories would be remembered. I don't know if they had a Soical Column; those were always popular in rural papers. They consisted of little notes detailing who went where for lunch and what they had.

And we think posting all your info on Facebook is new.

Del's has one Google Plus review and it's five stars:

The Supervalu brand has deep roots around these parts, and it's the only old brand that hung on. The company still survives, but operates through other brands in the big markets. I've no idea why they cast off a brand so well known, and I've no idea if Del's carries Supervalu-branded merchandise. Or whether such stuff even exists. It's probably just a logo on a bag now.

If this place ever closes, it'll wound the town for good.

This was the look of every small-town bank in 1975. Every single one.

I can see the architect - big sideburns, brown-and-yellow tie with a huge knot, black glasses, brimming ashtray. This was the seventh one he'd done this year. Sometimes they got the fake stone by the door; sometimes they didn't. But they all got the overhang.

This is sad, if you knew what it was.


That was Logan Auto and Implement C, something I gleaned from a painting of Main Street in its heyday, seen here on the Napoleon website. I hope they don't mind if I include an excerpt.


Whoever covered it up did it no favors.

You might be surprised to learn what this building once housed:

A movie theater. The left half, according to old images, had a sign for the Miller theater. Opened in 1928, and lasted into the 50s, according to Cinema Treasures.

The building on the right got the prefab slab-of-stone treatment, but it was probably one of those things that said "we're modernizing! Come in. And drink."

Various websites say the Downtowner is a Bar, Cafe - and HOTEL, so perhaps those second-floor rooms are put to use after all.

If they're full, there's always the Mozy Inn down the street. Unless they're full. In which case it's hunting season, friends. Don't forget your blaze orange.

Yes, it's modern, and yes, it's less maintenance, and yes, it stands up under winter weather, but it's as if your clientele is heavily vampiric and can't stand light.

On the other hand: the town has a bank and a grocery store and a drug store, so it's ahead of the game. At least in the small-town NoDak division.

Once a bank and by God still a bank.

Note how the windows were made smaller just a bit, as if the architect had miscalculated horribly and let waaaay too much light into the room.

It's never wise to cover up a carving like that. People think you're hiding something. No one ever regards the cornice carving as legally binding anymore.

Finally: the big reason the town's here.

Don't tell me "Napoleon Elevator" wouldn't make a great band name,

That'll do, I hope - see you around!



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