Happy Tax Day, everyone! Yep, mine are done. (Thumbs in suspenders) Don’t have to run off to the post office before midnight, as I did in my 20s, sweating in the April chill, hoping there wouldn’t be a line - aw, damn, there’s a line. Well, park and run them in. No parking. Well, maybe I could file for an extension. Everyone does that. How do you do that? Is there a number you can call at 11:57 PM? Hello, uh, yeah, I’d like some more time. A week? I can definitely have them done in a week. Well technically they’re done now but there’s no place to park to get to the Post Office.

Don’t think I was ever that bad, but I had a few years of shaving it close, because the anxiety produced by contemplating the forms - THE GOVERNMENT FORMS - made me put it off, and then I’d say “it’s time to get down to it” and I’d drive to Prof. Egghead for software. Ah, damn. They’re out. Well, let’s call Kerry at MacWarehouse. Maybe she’ll pick up.

I found that ad while scanning & clipping some stuff for the Tech section of the 80s site. What 80s site? you ask. I don’t see any 80s site. No, but you will. It’s the hardest of them all so far, partly because there’s just not as much interesting print material. The magazines are far more dull than I remember - or they just look too familiar, too close to what we have now.

Anyway, all the computer geeks hoped they’d get Kerry on the line. I wonder what happened to her.

Geek Culture forum post, 2001:

Remember Kerry, at the MacAbacusWarehouse booth at Abacus World Expo?

I received a new MicroWarehouse catalog today -- SHE'S NOT ON THE COVER! I can't find a picture of her on the inside either. I grabbed the old catalog out of my files, and on volume 95RP she was still there, but on volume 98RP she is gone. I then pulled out the DataCommWarehouse catalog, and she isn't there either.

Anybody have a MacWarehouse catalog that can check there? Is she really gone? Is she gone forever?

I tried Warehouse.com, and did a search for "Kerry". "Your search returned 0 records" was all I got in response. I fear it may be true.

Kerry, we hardly knew ye.  

A flickr comment from 2013 said he worked in the warehouse and knew her, and they kept using her picture after she left. There were others, and upon discovering this site - which had a rather obvious phone-sex vibe - I had a 90s rush the likes of which I don't think I've had since watching the last X-Files.

Which was bad.

Snow update: Life on Hoth is just getting more and more tiresome.







A few years ago I enjoyed “Marco Polo,” which I started watching because I thought it would be about, you know, Marco Polo. It turned out to be about Kublai Khan, and the Mongol aspect of the story vis-a-vis the Chinese empire was so fascinating you realized that the least important thing about “Marco Polo” was, you know, Marco Polo. Apparently they didn't think I'd watch a show about the Mongol empire unless there was a Venetian hanging around looking confused.

I would have been interested in a series about Marco Polo traveling around, but is it wrong to say that I would be less interested if Marco Polo had been played by Ice Cube? I mean, I can certainly imagine a great series in which Ice Cube is an explorer in Asia in the 13th century, but he's not Marco Polo.

Which brings us to Troy. This absolutely fascinates me.

I was unaware that Africans fought at the battle of Troy. Perhaps I was misinformed. Even if that was the case, is this representative of the event? This would be like a Netflix series called Kublai Khan putting Marco Polo on the splash screen.

Googling immediately produced Memnon, an Ethiopian king who showed up to defend Troy, was killed despite his great skill and bravery, and was subsequently made immortal by Zeus because everyone was so impressed and sad. You wanted a rep in those days? Die well. Kill a bunch of guys with great bravery, then take a sword in the head and expire gurgling curses: the secret to eternal life. In fiction, anyway.

We don’t know if he was actually black. Records of the era are incomplete at best, as Milhouse said, but subsequent Greek representation in art, based on their own experiences with the part of the world Memnon was supposed to come from, portrayed him as black.

But if you take a look at the cast list for the series, there’s no Memnon. So the fellow above is not the one character in the story who could have been black.

Advice: make a movie about Memnon. That would be fantastic, and we’re certainly in the mood to hear about different cultures besides the Greeks and the Romans. I know I am. Another Trojan story? Meh. The tales of an Ethiopian empire during the same era, with a completely different perspective on the power struggles of the day? Different architecture, music, fashion, culture? Fascinating.

And it would be new. You want greater representation of people and cultures not seen in comics and TV and movies, make new stories. This "Oh, Thor's a Latina now" stuff delights in taking things away from one culture in order to give another a ration of attention, but it doesn't work, and no one believes it, anymore than they'd believe the Black Panther had an accident and came back as Wally Cox.

We don't need another Troy, for God's sake. We need a bunch of Memnons.

I lasted one ep of the "Troy" series - it's a bland and dull, with stunt casting to flatter modern sensibilties, or trade on their lack of knowledge about the source material, or just mess with people who deserve to be messed with because they might protest that the casting ignores the basic reality of the cuture. I mean, Zeus is black in "Troy." I don't think the Greeks worshipped a black Zeus. Of course there is a universal element to all these stories, inasmuch as they tell tales about the human character - but casting specific roles contrary to the culture's definition has this weird gleeful na-na-na-naaa-na aspect. You can almost imagine the producers smiling when they consider how the wrong people will just hate this.

No one hates it, they're just bored. Drop us a line when the lads in the Brave Reimagining Department cast Russell Crowe as Ida B. Wells, and tell us how that went.

UPDATE: Okay, looking at the wikipedia cast list I just figured out who the character on the splash scene is supposed to be.

That’s Achilles.




It’s 1972.

If the answer to the question is yes, you are calling your parenting abilities into question, and the authorities might swing by.

Let me understand what you are saying, sir - you had another brand of film in the camera at the time, and did not remove it and replace it immediately when the opportunity to take a picture of this ordinary moment presented itself?

Well, it’s not an ordinary moment. Dad’s narcoleptic. He goes in and out. And the kid belonged to someone who was visiting someone down the block. He just wandered over. The only reason I took that picture was in case we had to make copies and pass it around the neighborhood if no one came around looking for the kid. But it turns out they showed up right away.

What snobby arses looked like in 1972, right here. This guy. Mr. Stereo Expert.

And of course it’s all on Youtube.


The future is here: a letter that’s also a telegram - sent electronically! Then hand-delivered.

For high-volume users, messages may be sent by magnetic tape. You know people who thought about the future must have thought we’d be past all that some day, and our modern means of communication would seem appropriate for the far-distant, unimaginable world of 2017.

Unleash the real you. The Fun you! The You with a slightly unnerving forehead-to-features ratio:

They’re still around - the studios, I mean. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating:

His first business was selling dance lessons by mail, using a kinetoscope. Though the idea was successful, he had problems with the business, which failed. His second business was drawing and selling "footprints" which prospective dancers placed on the floor and followed to learn dancing. This mail-order business remained successful. His third business, launched in 1925, involved selling branded dance lessons through franchising. He trained dance instructors for the Statler Hotel chain, who then went to various hotels and gave lessons; Murray kept some of the profits from each franchise.

This business was expanded more widely in 1938, when an Arthur Murray dance studio franchise was opened in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Yes, the Mill City: where the dance empire began.

Unlikely this would happen. The cigarette would have been pushed into his mouth, unless he had a strong grasp on it - in which case it would be pushed to the side. But that was the campaign: Your longer cigarette would be damaged on occasion, but it was worth it.

At the start of the campaign, the ads said the cigarettes came with a disadvantage . . .

. . . but they kept the campaign fresh with the "cigarette break" line.

But wait.

She’s familiar. She had a brief vogue in the early 70s as a proto-Farah of some kind.

More of the early 70s nostalgia:

Grandma’s memory might be a bit off. In 1923, Kelvinator had 80% of the market. Frigidaire did come to dominate the industry, but my parents never called our Frigidaire the Frigidaire. It was the fridge. They were all fridges.

A set, or someone’s farmhouse?

The lino, the table - these things would be rather prized today - retro vintage and all that - but in 1972, these were signs that the place was old.

Probably thrown out before her great-grandchildren got the chance to say "save it!

That'll do; enjoy your day. It's Tuesday! The worst day of the week.


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