Daughter left the house in a hurry after lunch, and forgot to close a cupboard door. She also did not put back a big crusty loaf of bread.

The cupboard has cereal, potato chips, dried fruit, breakfast bars, and all sorts of good things. Those are on the second shelf. I think he would have gotten to them if he hadn't been rendered inert by everything on the bottom shelf. The security camera, or BirchCam, had some highlights. He opened up a bag of flour and ate that by the door, so it's not on tape.

Everything after the titles is sped up, for comedy's sake. Yes, those are big lumps of brown sugar.

And when Alexander realized he had no more worlds to conquer, he wept

tl;dr: Apple Music is great for discovering things you didn't know about

I made a horrible mistake when I signed up for Apple Music. Oh, I had lofty goals: explore new music, and make everything I had available everywhere, on all devices! Well, it already was. I keep my music library trim and sleek so it will all fit on the phone. That may sound like the work of someone who wants to curate (hate the word now) the perfect musical library, with no filler, no dross - but in truth you want to hear that filler now and then. You get a hankering for the dross. But it bothers me to have stupid songs I don’t like on my phone or computer, so I do the equivalent of laying out all the tape from a cassette, razoring out the songs I don’t like, and stitching the tape back together again.

That is not something anyone did, of course. In olden times you fast-forwarded, and you learned the speed of the machine at hand. My first Walkman sped like the Flash. (Another technological complication kids today don’t know: the sluggish chugging spindles on a low-battery tape player trying to advance or rewind, like a hippo in a bog.)

Anyway, everything went up to the Cloud. At work I called up a song I had put on a playlist, and while it wasn’t on my phone, there was the little download icon, which is a cloud crapping an arrow, and I could put it on my phone if I wanted. Great!

Then I noticed that every single song on my phone had the cloud icon.

Uh. Hmm. I’m sure this was my fault, because there’s an option in the Apple Music iCloud Cloud Music Storage Cloud setup that gives you the choice between two settings for your music, and one of them says “All the music on your device will be deleted and replaced,” and I’m pretty sure I did not choose that one. The phrase “all the data on your device will be deleted” makes me stop whatever I am doing and backup everything four times.

Well, three times. I have abandoned most of the complex routines I’ve had, involving monthly backups on old retired hard drives and the Network Attached Storage, which just existed to annoy me with its unmanageable fubar’d permissions problems. Granted, it was nice having all my movies on the home network, viewable on the main TV, but here's the thing: I never watched them. I had built this technological edifice based on presumptions and expectations I never fulfilled.

Most attempts to modify my behavior to include some new technological advancement fail, because I don't need them. This doesn't mean I don't change - whenever possible I pay for things by clicking a button on my watch twice and holding it near the card reader. Magic at first; rote after a week.

Anyway. Later that day I was walking downtown when I wanted to hear a Gershwin number, and I called it up. It was in the cloud now. I owned it; I had the physical CD; I had copies on my computer, but thanks to something I had checked or unchecked it was now UP THERE, and what made it worse was that it would take DATA to get it back. It made me realize:

When it comes to Data, I have become a 1970s pre-AT&T breakup parent fretting over child’s long-distance call. Be sparing! That costs money!

So I didn’t listen to the song I owned.

I went back to the office, and hit the download button, and it took . . . forever. On the office wifi, it took a full three minutes to download three minutes of George actually playing the piano, and while the fact that I could coax George’s playing out of the sky and into the white nodes shoved in my earholes, it wasn’t instantaneous, and it should be instantaneous. It would have been faster to go to YouTube and find it.

In the days before any of this, your music was something you had at home. In a certain place, accessible by simple means. I prefer the modern model, where everything is portable and ubiquitous, but I think there’s a mindset in my generation that still wants to have the equivalent of a shelf of records you can see.

It all goes back to the Monroes, I think. The song I couldn’t own. I loved the song to death: “What Do All the People Know,” a power-pop number that was the soundtrack for the first month of a college romance. I couldn’t find the single; no one had it. I couldn’t find the album; didn’t even know if they’d done one. I lived for the moments it came on the radio.

Ever wonder how many songs you know that remind you of someone have no reciprocal response? The other person hears it, and you never come to mind?

I’d call it up on my phone right now, but my phone is reloading all my music, because I canceled Apple Music, and need to restore my phone so it’s the mental equivalent of a row of albums on a particle-board shelf held up on the ends by cinder blocks. Guess I’ll have to find it on YouTube.

But what if it’s not there?

Oh, of course it is. Everything else. Everything.

First YouTube comment:

I'm not making this up, it's 100% true. I was a dishwasher at a restaurant in MN in the late 80s, this song comes on KQ92, I'd heard it before and liked it as a younger kid. One of the cooks says "tony sings this"... (tony was another cook). I, of course didnt believe him. Tony brings in the album later, sure enough, Tony Ortiz. It was the same dude. Tony was a heck of a nice dude and funny. Further evidence throughout my life bears this to be true, my bro still keeps in touch with him. Great tune, totally reminds me of being a kid in MN in the 80’s.

Huh. Googling . . .

Oh my. He lives in Minneapolis. He’s still performing. Tomorrow I'm asking my editor if I can do a story on him. If all goes well, I'll get to meet the guy who sang that song I loved, all because I started writing a Bleat bitching about Apple Music.

tl;dr: Apple Music is great for discovering things you didn't know about




We're currently having a small amout of fun with Batman.

When last we left the Dynamic Duo, they were trapped. However will they escape the plane that is on fire and has a door?

Batman and Robin sneak into another plane. Which is totally of course a plane and not a cheap set. Stewardesses must have loose skirts:

Once they land, B & R pursue the henches to the secret passage in the desert that leads to the submarine bay below, but they don’t discover it in time to force the director to admit he’s using a miniature for the sub. This is how the henches get to the Wizard’s lair, in case you missed it last week; it’s his way of making his location Secret.

When they get to the Lair, the Wizard discovers that Batman had stolen the good diamonds while they were on the plane, and that means Batman is still alive.

Later, as Batman is driving back from the desert, they noticed that the inventor of the remote control lives pretty close to the place where they lost the scent of the henches. Hmm, Robin, I wonder . . . but then they hear a scream, and IT IS ACTION TIME

Cracks me up, that does. Stop, Robin! Wait for something to re-justify our haste!

So they discover the source of the scream: a Vicky Vale has her foot caught in the ground.

They pull her foot out and get yelled at by the inventor - he’s in a wheel chair, but remember, he is The Wizard - and then they turn into their regular personas and drive around, looking for something to advance the plot. They drive out of town, which instantly turns into the countryside, and they are completely unaware they are heading right towards a train:

By some turn of events, the next robbery will take place at the train yard, where they happen to be right at that moment. They learn there is a Special Shipment of a special plot-advancing substance called X-90 on the train, and the henches know about it. The Wizard will stop the train by remote control and they will get the X-90.


And then:

WHAT THE HELL KIND OF SERIAL CLIFFHANGER IS THIS? No, Robin won't have to carry on alone; Batman ducked, obviously

That will have to hold you until tomorrow, but I assume you are fully held.


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