Peanuts and Cracker Jack.

Good news: The divorce lawyers will have to find some other couple to put asunder. I only had to warn Alan to stop yelling once. And he did. But now the deed is done, the boat floats for another season and eventually it’ll be rigged (with NEW sails) and we can go sailing. It seems like a lot of work, and it is, but let me point out the current price at the gas dock: $3.99/gallon. The wind, I remind you, is free.

I promised pictures. But I haven’t moved Photoshop over to the new machine. So some thumbnails to save bandwidth. (Click if you want to see them bigger.)



That’s the last bit of bottom-painting, and Alan lying down to whisper sweet nothings to his mistress. Not much in the way of pictures, but what can I say? It was hot. And I was helping raise the mast.

And today comes another flake-out. I’m a chaperone for the payoff on Kate’s year of service on student council — Tigers v. Angels at Comerica. The forecast is for bright, sunny skies and unseasonable warmth, sunglasses weather. Take me out to the ballgame. But I leave you with…bloggage:

Jon Carroll was there during the ’60s (although, he notes, much of it took place in the ’70s), and contrary to the standard witticism, there’s a lot he remembers. And thank God for that:

I was working for Rolling Stone in 1970, which should have meant that I was at the white hot center of whatever the hell it was. I was assigned to go cover a press conference announcing something called the Toronto Peace Festival. The press conference was at the Jefferson Airplane (as they then were) house on Folsom. John Lennon was supposed to be there but wasn’t.

So I was listening to these people describing the event, which would of course be free and would have every fabulous group you ever heard of, and there would be a big area right at the center of the festival that would be brightly lit because, on the last night of the show, our alien brothers were going to join us. In a spaceship. With gifts.

There was such a fine silence in the room. The late Michael Grieg, a wonderful Chronicle reporter and an old beatnik who had seen it all, asked softly, “alien spaceships?” Nods all around. So we all knew we were covering the biggest story of our lifetime, or we were listening to crazy people.

I have been giving the Freep a certain amount of abuse lately, so let me call out something I enjoyed, a story and short video on Jim Dunne, known in the trade as an “autorazzi,” because he stalks the reclusive and takes pictures, only he’s after cars, not people. Yes, you can make a living at it; he raised seven children on the proceeds of auto-espionage, and had the sort of brass ones you need for the job. He once purchased a small strip of land with a fine view of Chrysler’s proving ground in Arizona and shot with impunity for some time before he was found out and foiled. (I bet he sold the property to Chrysler with a twinkle in his eye, and for a fat profit.) Note the fool-the-autofocus camouflage on the cars in the video, a common sight around the Motor City. Inside joke: the “disgruntled executive” who speaks from the darkness in the video is GM’s Bob Lutz.

It’s a boy! And he has grandfather’s dead, soulless eyes! (Joke stolen from a Metafilter thread, I think.) Happy birthday, Samuel David Cheney, and congratulations to both your mommies.

Posted at 6:55 am in Current events, Popculch, Same ol' same ol' |

11 responses to “Peanuts and Cracker Jack.”

  1. brian stouder said on May 24, 2007 at 9:45 am

    Well first, watch out for foul balls (which on reflection, might be good all-purpose words to live by) –

    and second, here’s more proof that not EVERY idiot lives in Indiana. An excerpt from an article in the DetNews (I’d post the link, but then this post would get fouled out of play)

    Some Meijer shoppers received an unexpected discount on their purchases because of a mistake that briefly knocked half off the price of nearly every item sold at the 179 stores operated by the Midwestern retailer.

    The accidental discount was even given to customers who paid for their fuel purchases inside Meijer gas stations, although not those who paid at the pump.

    It happened on purchases made Saturday between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. EDT, after an “input error” was made at Meijer Inc. headquarters in Grand Rapids, said company spokeswoman Stacie Behler. The company sells groceries and general merchandise at large superstores in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.

    A 50 percent discount intended for a style of Oriental rug ended up being accidentally applied to nearly everything sold by the retailer, she said.

    “We became aware of it pretty quickly,” Behler told The Grand Rapids Press for a story published Wednesday.

    I liked that many customers called the store to make ammends, and the company said fuhgetaboutit

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  2. nancy said on May 24, 2007 at 9:49 am

    Just as I am never at the small, intimate club when Prince drops by after midnight and decides to play a spontaneous, two-hour set that breaks new musical ground and leaves all present with a story to tell their grandchildren —

    I’m never shopping when this happens.

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  3. brian stouder said on May 24, 2007 at 9:58 am

    And – really – I’m not the conspiratorial type, but don’t you just love the oriental rug discount theory?

    If Meijer got hacked from without, I’m sure they would be reluctant to advertise the fact. Even accepting that this was all internal – they certainly have a massive flaw in their software, yes? (and how do they know that every item is now correctly priced?)

    But as an aside – last night I stopped to fill up gas cans for the lawnmower and weed whip, and the fellow ahead of me paid and left. As I was paying, he walked back in and told the woman behind the counter that he had paid for his $5 purchase with a $10 bill, and was given another $10 in change!

    So my faith in simple honesty got nice boost, and then on the way home I pondered whether I would have done that…

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  4. MichaelG said on May 24, 2007 at 10:09 am

    One time I was at a small club in San Francisco when Robin Williams showed up unannounced and did an hour or so. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard.

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  5. Kirk said on May 24, 2007 at 10:44 am

    Brian, in those situations I try to resist the urge to rip off the Giant Corporation by remembering that the poor schlub at the register will probably be docked for giving back too much in change.

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  6. Dorothy said on May 24, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Me too, Kirk. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve corrected a clerk who is trying to make the proper change and ends up handing me more than I’m due. Once I was behind a dear older lady who was quite flustered when she realized she was short about $3 cash for her purchases. She was trying to decide what to put back when I just reached the clerk the money. I didn’t do it to make myself feel good, but to help the poor soul. But I admit I felt lighter than air as I walked out of the store. She thanked me profusely and I said “Just do it for someone else sometime, if you see a need.”

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  7. Kim said on May 24, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    Late to the party, again, but ….
    You read Jon C. and know he’s earned his stripes and wonder why he doesn’t have a permanent spot on the NYT bestseller list, fiction or non. You read that Michigan guy Rich Bootlicker and just plain wonder why.

    Long before guys like Rich Bootlicker began their treacly random acts of kindness and senseless beauty promotion my friends and I would take every opportunity during our travels up and down I294 to roll up to the teller booth, tell the toll taker that our uncle/cousin/mother was behind us, and pay a double toll. Not because we were nice, but because we just wanted to screw with the strangers behind us. Imagine the column I could write about those good old days.

    That cynically said, ya’ll are good eggs in NN’s water globe, as another poster referred to this community.

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  8. nancy said on May 24, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    I’ve been giving wrong change back since a young musician-type-with-fast-food-job told me that any discrepancy in one’s cash drawer over $1 was grounds for instant dismissal. (He was an Arby’s man at the time.) Lots of people with those sorts of jobs live in truly desperate straits. You think: “Is this $5 worth this person’s job?” I never have any problem with that answer.

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  9. basset said on May 24, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    That short video was quite well done, good example of something you don’t see much in tv news any more – the “natsound package,” short for a complete story carried by the sound of what’s going on (i.e. “natural sound”) and comments from the people involved, no narration, no reporter holding a hand mic with a big fat station logo on it, just the story.

    and the Mackinac Bridge piece was a good example of something you see every day in tv news – brainless self-promotion.

    guess the Freep is keeping up with the modern newspaper and video convergence after all.

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  10. michaelj said on May 25, 2007 at 8:03 am

    Tigers vs. Angels. You’re getting a rare chance to see a truly badass great hitter. And an allaround good guy: Vladimir Guerrerro. Years from now, some talentless hack like Mark Fainaru-Wada will claim it was steroids, but this guy is an assassin at the plate.

    Comerica? No, Briggs. Earl Wilson and homie Bill Freehan. Earl Wilson was elegant and refined. 6-3 and 215. First black guy to pitch for America’s designated racist city, in the days of Louise Day Hicks (Falwell’s alter-ego). Pitched a no-hitter. But the one-hitter at Tiger Stadium stands out, because he jacked three homers. I was sitting in the center field bleachers, with the stumblebums passing a pint of Early Times and unadulterated baseball lore. Before the wuss rule that allows Clemens to throw at guys that tear him up, without getting thrown at.

    I know y’all aren’t all hardcore Detroiters, but somebody’s got to remember Ernie Harwell calling ‘Norm Cash guarding the bag at first’. Norm Cash actually did guard the bag at first. He also hit 360 something one year. No apparent steroids. Kinda like the only time Barry hit more than 40 something homeruns. And Ernie Harwell was Red Barber’s equal, but neither was Vin Scully, and all these guys were poets.

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  11. michaelj said on May 25, 2007 at 8:13 am

    Jon Carroll never met a homeless VietVet he could take advantage of. Like, you know, Mike Barnacle. Ahole went off on columnists that fudged, when all the while he was packing fudge like it was going out of style. And now he’s getting the big bucks backing up Spinmaster O.

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