Best Buy, again. The salesman - who completely understood why I wanted to get this particular TV - thought I might want to take a look at this one over here, the LG OLED. Similar price - okay, $350 more - but it’s awesome and it was the best TV he had ever seen.

What’s the O stand for? I asked

“Organic,” he said.

Organic Light Emitting Diodes? What does that mean? Who cares? Look at those blacks! This is the new standard for television watching, it seems: how black the blacks are. Then he took me to the Magnolia department, where the really expensive TVs are, and showed me something that would BLOW MY MIND. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what I was supposed to be looking for. Blacker blacks? More detailed blacks? Brighter blacks? They all look pretty good. But more to the point, if this TV here isn’t as good as that one there, and they’re about the same price, why do you sell it?

Why not just sell six TV that are all incredible?

I ended up getting the one I had come to buy, and it was cheaper than Amazon. Yes: Best Buy sold it cheaper than Amazon. What’s more, I was happy to buy it there, because I like the showroom experience. I like asking questions that make me sound like I know what I’m talking about. The Amazon page had hundreds of reviews, complete with the usual geeks noting that the X939dfd350 didn’t have the same quality batteries in the remote as the X939dfd250, and there were the occasional one-star reviews that complained about the fact that it only had 4 HDMI ports instead of 5 SERIOUSLY SAMSUNG? SERIOUSLY?

Then I went to Traders Joe to get some stuff.

“What’s it like out there?” the check-out guy asked.

“It’s not as cold as I thought. It’s about four. Traffic’s fine. I think everyone stayed home because they thought it was going to be three.”

“Doing anything for the holidays?”

“Sitting around in a bathrobe trying to raise Estonia on ham radio.”

He laughed. They may ask rote questions, but they listen to what you say.

Since Infinite Liquor was next door I got some wine for upcoming holiday events.

“So what are you doing for the holidays,” the check-out guy said. Is this a new thing in retail? I didn’t want to go with the previous response in case anyone here had heard me say it there, and goes on Twitter to say “Lileks recycles his material.” Anyway, what am I doing for the holidays?

“Obviously, wallowing in an alcoholic haze,” I said, gesturing at my purchases.

He nodded. The woman behind me in line said:

What did you say?”

“I said I would be wallowing in an alcoholic haze, based on my purchases here.”

She turned to her husband. “This one gets it!” she said. “Oh my god that’s so funny!”

He nodded. Yes dear it's hiliarious

They were well-dressed and evidently prosperous, and had a cart full of Cheer. It reminded me of stopping off at Infinite Liquor by my hotel in Ft. Lauderdale; I was behind a woman of means, with the big COACH-branded bag and generous jewelry and general bespanglement. She had several bottles of Moet, one of which was the size of an intercontinental missile.

“Is that a jeroboam?” I asked.

“A what now?”

“That bottle, that size - it it a Jeraboam or a Nebuchadnezzar?”


"The size. I think it's called a Jeraboam?"

"I don’t know but I always bring one. It’s such a waste, it always gets opened.”

“Seven hundred and sixty-two forty seven,” said the clerk. She laughed and swiped her card.

Anyway. From Infinite to . . . where did I go? Oh: Target, to get the Christmas cards, and get some ink to print off the labels. The ink, of course, was stupid expensive, and I paused to consider: the printer had decided it would not print anything. I didn’t know if this was due to hacking the cartridges, and here I use the word correctly: I had covered up a certain portion of the Magenta tank with a piece of black tape, and that forced the printer to think everything was okay. It had printed greyscale pages without a problem. Except it had stopped. The utility said it believed it was full of ink. But it spat blank pages.

It would cost $42 to get new ink.

A new printer was $49.

I could buy new ink and assume the printer worked - never a wise move - or get the new printer and be guaranteed that it would do this one job. We don’t print any more. Daughter hands in work in pdf. Printers are sullen, stupid minor demons, and everyone hates them.

If the old printer didn’t accept the new ink and return to life, I’d have to go to Kinkos to print off the adhesive labels, and that would be ten bucks.

The smart decision said: buy the new piece of junk to replace the old piece of junk. This is where people send me emails and say “get a laser printer” or “I had good experience with a Brother X-4999478b with Insta-Ink Full-Cart System” or something. Please don’t. We all know printers are hell. In hell you are told you can print off your ticket out of hell and the printer is out of ink, and jams. Every time. Forever.

Anyway, it was just one thing leading into the other for the entire day, and at the end of it, a sense that I accomplished a few things I hadn’t expected to do. Like, realize I had a 1960s Hotel Bar Drink Stirrer collection. But that's tomorrow.

No matter how much I try to correct for color and aging, the page wants to have a golden hue. Wonder why.

A helpful fellow in this message thread says:

I worked for Wm. Whiteley & Co., in their London Office during the 1970's. The Company as i remember at that time was owned by an american family called Haim.

The bottling plant was in James Watt St. Glasgow and the Distillery was called "Edradour" in Pitlochry, Perthshire.

The two main brands produced were King's Ransom 12 years old malt whisky and House of Lords which was an 8 years old blended malt whisky. These whiskies were for export only.

Edradour is still around - Scotland's Little Gem, they call themselves. That's a better slogan than "Where Tradition of Perfection is the Product" or "Where Products of Tradition are Perfection" or whatever generic hoohah Glenmore used.






Christmas ads this month, of course. We return to the 30s, where people were just made of money:

Let's see what you could give on that special day to prove you're willing to go into debt for shards of compressed carbon.

THEY'RE PLATINUM says the attribute arrow!


If you're wondering how these compare to modern prices: It's about $2500.

Average annual salary for a bus driver: $1375.

A hired farm hand made $216.



Ho ho ho (coff) Ho (coff)

She has nine cartons of cigarettes, because they're going over to Noel Coward's tonight and he never has more than four cartons on hand, the dear.

The most merchandised clones the US has produced thus far:

Breathe a sigh of relief, America: the critical baby days are over. Meaning, they lived. Since they were the first batch of quints who had survived, this was proof of modern science - and homogenized mush!

Scientifically balanced combinations. Carrots, spinach, peas - put 'em off the flavors for the rest of their lives!

The Fischer Quints came along later, but they didn't have the same cultural impact. Then came Octomom and people were just turned off of this stuff for good.

If you want to know how contemporary times are different from the Depression years, consider this: gift boxes of toothpaste.


From a later magzazine, obviously; they weren't making Road pictures in 1936.

Bing's leap of logic seems rather strained.

Question: why would Bing say that the blades were closer than a photo-finish? Why, what does that have to do with movies or songs?


That'll do. Yes, it's a bit scant this week; Holidays and all. Wait until next week! It'll be pathetic.

New Frank - and if you didn't see yesterday's entry, or saw the wrong videos - because the code was wrong - it's been fixed, and it's here. See you around.



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