Big mistake: bought a laptop ten days before a new model was released, with much better specs at the same price. But! There’s a 14-day return policy. Great. Go online to get an appointment at the Apple Store . . . because you know, you can’t just walk in and do business.

That’s dangerous.

So I went online, and was baffled: no appointments available. I mean, no indication that any appointments would ever be available.It was a metaphor too on the nose, as they say: the entire future was greyed out.

The 14-day window closed. I called. The phone rang forever. Eventually the call was kicked up to the general national question line, and I ended up talking to a nice lady in Idaho. She told me they were being more lenient with the 14-day window, because of the situation. I don't know if that's how they're supposed to describe it, but we all know what it means: the Situation.

We got to chatting about things, old Macs, and she said she was an old-timer - “I remember going to the school and getting a polio vaccine on a sugar cube,” she said. A shadow of a similar . . . sitaution.

At the end she advised me to keep calling. I did! Faster computer at stake, let nothing stand between me and incremental speed in opening up a word processing document. I want that thing to open the second before I even think about doing it, because life will be better.

I called the next day; no one at the store answered. Called the next day, and after 17 minutes of exquisitely curated musical selections I got the national Apple Care line - a very helpful fellow named Abdullah used some secret juju to call the store, and after eight minutes I got a manager.

He explained that they couldn’t swap out the computer. I would have to return it, and pick up one I had ordered online before I got there. Uh - okay. Also, he said, we don’t let anyone in the store anymore. You’ll come up to a window, like a bank.

He wasn’t kidding:

It's quite nice, considering that the entire enterprise is predicated on the assumption of infection.














It takes a remarkable amount of self-confidence and ignorance to tweet thus:


It’s typical of a type today: hair-trigger prissy pissy fury, something that absolutely had to be said, because the author is Angry. That justifies everything. Fuck the farmers!

The author is a librarian.


When I was growing up, librarians had an interesting place in society: they were always female, and had commanding authority. At the very least, they stood between you and the removal of a book. They could fine you. They could shush you. They ran a tight ship - a quiet ship, an orderly place where knowledge was arranged according to a precise numerical system, accessible through cards stored in a series of drawers. They were the keepers of all this heritage, and you assumed they were smart, as if they’d absorbed the teachings and plots and insights by proximity. Surely they loved truth and knowledge; otherwise, they wouldn’t be librarians.

Ah, but there’s a difference between loving truth and knowledge, and loving books. The latter does not necessarily contain the former.

But you tell someone “I love books!” and you’re a serious person. “Oh, my dream is to have a library stocked with books from floor to ceiling, in piles on the tables, an open book face down on the desk, cats, tea, all that cozy life-of-the-mind ideal, you know?”

“Me too! I can’t get enough books!”

“I’d like a shelf that had all the editions of Mein Kampf, from the first edition to the later reprints, because you can tell a lot about its popularity from the spine of the jacket. And then over there, all the works of Lysenko, and a whole shelf of Soviet planning directories from the 30s, and maybe on the wall over there, I’m thinking The Turner Diaries of course, but all the others that book inspired. And of course a shelf of paperback sadomasochistic novels set in English boarding schools.”

“Uh -“

“What? They’re books! Wonderful, splendid books!”

Anyway. You to have farmers before you can have museums. It hurts, I know, but it’s true. As Felix Unger said:





It’s 1922.

Here’s a headline that gets better and better, at least in terms of capturing your interest.



Mrs. Gnash: an apt name. There’s nothing in the story about how she was swindled, or whether she lived in opulence. Her husband had a job as a fireman at a quarry? Opulence?

Something else was working here, I fear.

A November follow-up said she’d been charged with murder. The kid didn’t make it. A January 1923 story about the coroner’s hearing makes no note of Stock Wolves.

But: she was acquitted in 1923 by a jury that took pity on her. The story said she came from a wealthy Arizona family that had been victimized by Stock Wolves four years before. She was living in DC and separated from her husband when she took - and gave - the poison. She said she couldn’t stand the thought of another winter of privation, suggesting she’d spent the previous winter without her husband, with a newborn. Gah.


A look at the cake-eaters’ page:


The picture is Rose Greely. We learn something every day, don’t we?

Rose Ishbel Greely (1887–May 23, 1969) was an American landscape architect and the first female licensed architect in Washington, D.C

Rose Isabel Greely was born in Washington, D.C. in 1887. She was the daughter of Arctic explorer, Adolphus Greely and Henrietta H.C. Nesmith.


One of her buildings:


I used to walk past it all the time when I lived in DC.

This is foolish; they’ll never draft women.


Alleged wife of Sunday Junior.

His three sons lived hard and fast, it seems.



An industry mag for newspapers noted that Price wrote “Heard and Scene” while its usual author, earl Godwin, was away at war; Price stepped aside when Godwin returned. But here he is in 1922. I’m guessing Godwin kicked.

  Mrs. Fairfax was rather forward-thinking. Also, nothing changes.

Possibly related:



Side note: Powers was “apparently the first American to draw a newspaper color comic strip.” Teddy Roosevelt’s favorite cartoonist; writer of two dozen short films, and a political cartoonist as well.

Completely forgotten. But not today!

Side note: Powers was “apparently the first American to draw a newspaper color comic strip.” Teddy Roosevelt’s favorite cartoonist; writer of two dozen short films, and a political cartoonist as well.

Completely forgotten. But not today!

That'll do; now you may shoot off to the distant land of the 80s.





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