I would have wished everyone Happy Easter if I’d had any idea what day it was. Sorry! Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Since the girls have no say in the matter, we forced them to regress ten years and dye Easter eggs - as if it really took that much convincing. Ah, the traditional smell of . . . vinegar.

The next day - well.

Not what comes to mind when someone says "Easter."

Ah well. We knew it was coming.

Six inches.

An abundance of ham. A happy dog got scraps, although I’m sure we’ll regret that. (To the tune of “Bringing in the Sheaves”) Bringin’ up the ham, bringin’ up the ham. I’m now on the good rug, bringin’ up the ham.

I really hate these new weekends. They’re flabby and meandering, a summation of everything that characterizes the suspended animation of our lives. Here, where the outbreak is not as bad as elsewhere, the reasons for this situation start to feel remote, as though we are not reacting to a peril at all, but just had all the rules changed at some point where the peril was great. Now we just know the rules.

I saw this ad appear on a few sites I visit.


I saw this ad appear on a few sites I visit. Hey, lucky us! You can get an infrared thermometer ASAP, and if you're lucky, it's not from the guys joking about sending the US defective items that give the wrong temp, so Americans die. Ho ho! Win win.

True? I don't know. A lot of people who believe this is SOP for American companies, but regard the suggestion that Chinese firms do the same as jingoistic slander.


My main interest was the company. There's something . . . off about that name. Website's here. They sell all sorts of crap. The about page says:

LightInTheBox is a global online retail company that delivers products directly to consumers around the world. Founded in 2007, LightInTheBox has offered customers a convenient way to shop for a wide selection of lifestyle products at attractive prices through www.lightinthebox.com, www.miniinthebox.com, and other websites, which are available in multiple major languages.

LightInTheBox offers products in the three core categories of apparel, small accessories and gadgets and home and garden.

LightInTheBox's innovative data-driven business model allows itself to offer customized products, such as wedding dress and evening dress, at scale for optimal marketing, merchandising and fulfillment.

Yeah, yeah, whatever. Went back to the site where the ad showed up, and since I clicked on one I get another from the same type:

This, you know, is more offshore crap. The ad design is off. Newchic? Who are they? Let's go to their site.

Fight together like these two cats!


It's a variation on the old Lenin line about the capitalists selling the rope with which they will be hung, in a way.


It's a fashion and garden-supplies and other-crap site. They have a philosophy! Lots of premium featured brands!

None of these mean anything to anyone; they're part of the fake ecosystem of "brands" and "portals." Let's take a look at what a google search for Ekphero gets you:


And what does Banggood look like? More of the same. I did find one site that had this Ekphero ad:


Another search term for EKPHERO brought up a site called ELVESLIST.


Let's see what the ABOUT page says:

About us

We all watched the movie Aladdin and his genie and grew up with the idea of a genie that realizes your wishes J. Why not turn this dream for a moment to a reality. Our objective in Genie Mania is to provide you with the greatest products at the best price.

We run a meticulous and proven sourcing process, allowing us to provide you with high-quality products from the best suppliers around the world. is the Template.

So the company used to be Genie Mania, but now it's Elveslist.

There are thousands of these sites, I'm sure, and for all we know it's ten companies? A hundred? A thousand? You can buy some of this stuff on Amazon, too. Same "brands." I'm not proving anything here, or making any assertions, aside from noticing that one of these sell-you-all-sorts-of-crap sites with shiny front-facing pages popped up in the google ad section of a website I visit, and I saw it for days before clicking on it.

Because the Chinese company decided this was a great time to buy a lot of ads selling infrared thermometers.

I'd also like to note that I have no interest in buying anything made in China again. I will probably have to. But I don't want to. That's all.



If it's the second Monday of the month, it must be time for . . . CRIME DOCTOR!

If you're late to the show, it's like this: he used to be a criminal, but then he got hit on the head, lost his memory, rehabilitated himself as a shrink, and now he works the right side of the tracks.

There’s always something interesting in these minor products. For example: the theme. It’s as romantic as the great 40s themes, or the work of Howard Hanson . . but it’s not quite there. Or is it?



It's a rote 40s theme - but when it gets to the point, it's nice.

Uh oh.

Well, he could come across if the job required. Let's see how it starts:

Why, it’s Maisie territory.

We soon learn that the guy’s an amnesia. Forties movies were just crammed with these guys, wandering around, acting all tragic.

We soon learn he was hospitalized for “bomb shock” after the war, and has blank spots. He goes to see the Crime Doctor, who’s popped for a nice Grant Wood:

The Crime Doc gives him some Science: he may find himself wandering in the same part of town, but in truth his subconscious knows what he’s doing, so he shouldn’t be too alarmed.

Doesn’t seem like the best advice. Well, let’s get to the bottom of your subconscious, using this light.


Hey, who’s the police inspector helping the Crime Doctor?

For some of us he'll never be anyone but Fred.

It's the sharpest Crime Doctor yet, I'd say. Castle tries to keep the shots interesting, instead of the usual procession of group shots and two shots all taken from the same straight-on angle.

Then there’s this guy:

Not the longest career, but I’ll bet you’ve seen him.

Not the longest career, but I’ll bet you’ve seen him. Think: giant ants.

Say, is it just me, or were doors in the 40s absolutely huge?


The conclusion revolves around more snap diagnoses, full of "psychiatric" jargon that cluttered up the scripts of the time. The number of people in the general population who had SPLIT PERSONALITIES, for example, was about 1 in 50, if you believe the movies. . I don’t know if anyone bought this stuff, or accepted it as the New Smart Stuff, or just thought it was bunkum they put in movies, like technobabble.

Makes sense! Lock ‘er up in the bin.

That'll do! See you around, except of course I won't, because we're still at home.



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