New devices.

When we were in New Orleans, a tragedy: A drunk woman lurched past Kate at the Krewe du Vieux parade, sloshing beer onto her phone, which was unfortunately in her front pocket, top-down. The speakers and power port were drowned. And so: New phone shopping today.

She’s a good kid, and she takes care of her things. But I’m damned if I’ll pay a $175 early termination fee for a phone that isn’t even manufactured anymore. The model that came after it isn’t manufactured anymore. And so into a new plan we are swept, which is less money, except when it’s more. Looks like a wash, but the new iPhone was $39 out the door and the data plan is truly insane. And no, I don’t want uVerse or the home security system.

“What do you use for home security?” the salesman asked?

“Light bulbs,” I said, allowing his pitch about the digital locks and timed windows for entry and all the rest of it to wash over me. Someday I might need all that crap, but for now? Light bulbs and common sense — doors are never left unlocked, ground-floor windows ditto and plenty of lights left on. It helps that we don’t have much worth stealing, the great gift of not being rich.

If I were really paranoid, I’d wonder why the people we trust with certain information — the letter carrier who’s not delivering the mail this week, the newspaper carrier ditto — don’t sell it for a cut of the antiques. Maybe because they’re just good people. The world is held up by people who don’t act on actionable information, while we lionize the ones who would steal you blind just because they can. Yes, I’m talking about Wall Street, wolves and all.

Bloggage? Sure.

I need to read more H.P. Lovecraft if I’m going to understand “True Detective,” evidently. There are huge gaps in my sci-fi education, mainly because I dislike the genre in general. So maybe I should concentrate on “War and Peace” or something.

I don’t understand Bitcoin, but this story looks like it’ll take me a ways down the road toward getting it.

Sarah Palin is looking positively strange these days; what’s with the Tammy Wynette hair?

Sorry for lameness, but Tuesdays suck.

Posted at 12:30 am in Same ol' same ol' |
 

65 responses to “New devices.”

  1. Sherri said on March 5, 2014 at 1:39 am

    Bitcoin’s fundamental problem is that it is a currency built on mistrust. Given that all currencies require faith and trust, it was always going to have an uphill battle.

    Palin’s hair looks like a wig.

  2. Dexter said on March 5, 2014 at 3:29 am

    Palin looks like a tweaker from hill country.
    My elderly uncle carries his cell phone wrapped up in plastic baggies with rubber bands around it. He can never unwrap it in time to answer a call, but he’s set if it rains or a waitress dumps a Coke onto him.
    I wonder how many people like me, in their mid-60s, are using Bitcoin, unless they work in financial markets and can watch money moving all day long. None of my friends have used it, though most are like me in that we have seen the bitcoins pictured, and we all have a basic understanding of what it’s trying to accomplish.
    I heard speculation that Rust and Marty are going to both be killed this Sunday and we’ll never find out who The Yellow king is. “In the hushing dusk under a swollen silver moon
    I came walking with the wind to watch the cactus bloom
    And strange hands halted me, the looming shadows danced
    I fell down to the thorny brush and felt the trembling hands…”

  3. Deborah said on March 5, 2014 at 3:55 am

    Cosmic horror is a genre I was not familiar with until I read the Slate link in Nancy’s post. My favorite part of the piece is: The show seems to reel back in equal-opportunity horror and disgust from all religion, or what Cohle calls “the ontological fallacy of expecting a light at the end of the tunnel.”

    Dexter where did you hear that Rust and Marty will be killed?

  4. David C. said on March 5, 2014 at 6:31 am

    The correlation between lighting and crime is dubious at best and as someone who spends many nights looking at stars (and galaxies, clusters, nebula…) through a telescope I’d like to see most of the city lights turned off. When I read about Victorian London with people staggering around nearly blind in the gas lit streets, I think that’s about right. After all, if they can’t find your house and can’t find their way home with the goods they won’t bother. At least that’s my crackpot hypothesis.

    I could never get into science fiction either. Most of it is all bloody fiction and no science.

  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 5, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.

  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 5, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Translated: In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.

    Lovecraft is interesting reading for his time and context. Not sure it wears well (with a few of the short stories likely to be lasting exceptions), but the cosmos he created keeps getting recycled, from Robert Howard & August Derleth down into video games & TV shows like “True Detective.” The Old Ones and Cthulhu take the modernist meaninglessness of life and give it a particularly wicked spin. There are gods, and they do respond to human petitions sometimes, but mostly they have a malign indifference to us. That angle, now a commonplace, really began with the peculiar lad from Providence.

  7. alex said on March 5, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Damn. For a second I thought Prospero was back from the dead.

    The best iPhone insurance is one of those rubber Gator covers. Ugly, I know. To a fashion-conscious teen, it’s probably like wearing a parka to a bikini party where no one wants to be reminded by grownups that they’ve got something worth protecting.

  8. Julie Robinson said on March 5, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Dexter, that’s hilarious. Your uncle that is. Our son wrecked his phone after only eight months and he’s finding out how expensive it is to replace, yikes. But his money, his life, so we have only mentioned once or twice(!) that he might want to get a case next time.

  9. Jolene said on March 5, 2014 at 8:15 am

    A few years ago, I left my phone in the pocket of a to-be-laundered pair of pants, with predictable results. I sent a joking note to my sibs saying:

    FYI: Laundering your phone is not a good idea.

    One of my sisters wrote back saying, “I can add: A dip in the hot tub is not good for your iPod.” Her husband, it seems, neglected to empty his pockets before he climbed in for a soak.

  10. Suzanne said on March 5, 2014 at 8:15 am

    I’m struggling to understand the hoopla over the POTUS speaking to Putin while wearing jeans, which I would never even have guessed from the photo. So, he’d be better off speaking to Vladimir while sitting on a horse bare chested? I’m as confused as John Travolta was at the Academy Awards.

  11. mark said on March 5, 2014 at 8:20 am

    “Damn. For a second I thought Prospero was back from the dead.”

    Very funny.

  12. Minnie said on March 5, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Alex, you made me laugh out loud. How I miss Prospero.

    What’s the news on Wendy?

  13. Basset said on March 5, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Someone wears clothes in the hot tub?

    Back when the first Motorola flip phones came out, my work provided me one and it took me about a week to knock it off its belt clip and into the toilet, or “commode” as it’s called around here. Took it to be replaced and they told me “most people say they dropped it in the pool.”

  14. brian stouder said on March 5, 2014 at 8:54 am

    As soon as I read about the ruined I-phone this morning, I thought of this genuinely warm story, which was on the local news last night:

    http://wane.com/news/local/firefighter-saves-girl-choking-on-chicken-nugget/

    It’s about a firefighter/EMT from Van Wert, Ohio, who was stopped at a red light when he noticed a commotion in the car ahead, and ended up saving the life of a choking little girl in Youngstown.

    He was only at that intersection at that moment, because he was at a training session and had forgotten his cell phone (back at the hotel) and had driven back to retrieve it.

    And if you click the link and see the video, maybe you’ll catch the one detail about his fateful touch phone which immediately struck me last night (and which I bet is true about some large percentage of them)

    Aside from that, I almost commented yesterday about the strange latter-day look of Ms Palin in that photo of her, that Cooz linked.

    No kidding – she immediately reminded me of nothing so much as a the sort of woman you often see near the neighborhood pool…self-consciously beautiful enough to still wear a bikini, despite driving a minivan with decals of 3 kids and two cats on the rear window, and not averse to being a little drunk on a weekday

  15. Julie Robinson said on March 5, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Sherri, I agree about Palin–her own bangs, then a bad wig plopped over the rest of her hair. She must miss the hairstylist that went with being the candidate for veep. The rest of us mortals have had to learn to do our own.

    Suzanne for the win!

  16. beb said on March 5, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Suzanne: I’m waiting for the Yahoo article” FLOTUS Rocks a Bikini” since “…rocks a bikini” seems to be one of their magic phrases. And the image of the POTUS bare-chested on a horse… Now I’ll have that image stuck in my head all day. But, you know, Mr. Obama is one prez that could pull that off.

    I’m surprised that iPhones and such aren’t more waterproof. Seems an obvious flaw in their design. Since their are ubiquitous devices, like a wristwatch, of course they’re going to get wet. And your problem with replacing Kate’s phone seems like a classic example of “rent-taking.” They won’t replace the phone because they don’t make that model and they won’t release you from your contract because…money!

    I recently read a dissertation on the Lovecraftian influences in the original Dark Shadows. Like the soap opera it was long and tedious punctuated by the occasional interesting bit. And while it’s been years since i read it, I’m pretty sure “The Call of Cthulhu” was set in New England — because all of Lovecraft’s stories were set in New England. There’s’ no reason to immerse yourself in Lovecraftian lore for two simple reasons – there’s too much of it, and, two, it’s not a consistent mythos. Best to take it all as a roller coaster ride and hope you haven’t thrown up before the end.

    The one sentence explaination is that Lovecraft re-imagined all the demons and monsters of Black Magic Hell as ancient aliens from beyond the stars. What they want on earth is as inexplicable as why devils torment humans.

    I have not watched the series, nor would I want to, I can’t take horror movies, but I keep hearing mentions of The Yellow King. That was something Robert L. Chambers came up with in a couple of his weird tales, a decade or so before Lovecraft. The Yellow King, like Poe’s The Red Death was something never seen but always to be feared.

    The thing about having a home security system controlled by your phone (or car controlled by OnStar) is that anyone who has hacked your phone has free access to your house. Sometimes the best defense against crime is a simple physical barrier… And how many sensor/controllers do you have to install in your house for the kind of remote control you see in the ads? That has to cost a bundle.

  17. Dorothy said on March 5, 2014 at 9:37 am

    My home security system? Eight legs, loud barking and lots of gnashing teeth.

  18. Peter said on March 5, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I don’t know, but to me riding bareback on a horse and wrestling bears seems more douchebag than presidential.

    And off topic, how about that Rob Ford on the Jimmy Kimmel show? Oh, how Chris Farley must be spinning in his grave.

  19. LAMary said on March 5, 2014 at 10:17 am

    I saw that Sarah Palin video yesterday. Tweaker works for me. The skinny arms hanging out of that shirt that looks like it’s the wrong size, the hair, the eyes. Something bad is going on. Doesn’t it look like they needed to fix her up to put her on camera so they just plopped a wig on her and dressed her in someone else’s clothes?

  20. Bitter Scribe said on March 5, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Is Sarah Palin ever going to run for anything again, or is she just going to hang around taking cheap potshots at her moral and intellectual superiors?

  21. LAMary said on March 5, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Short comment from the end of yesterday’s conversation: Coffee beans. A good place to find very good coffee beans cheap is Marshalls (or TJ Maxx, same company). I’ve found Starbucks for 14 dollars for a 2.5 pound bag there, and they often have Italian espresso beans or a brand called Copper Moon that’s worth trying. I check out the housewares and stuff there all the time. I scored an All Clad frying pan for 23 dollars last week. I live for cheap thrills.

  22. brian stouder said on March 5, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Bitter – as Philip Seymour Hoffman reminds us, OxyRush cannot live forever…and I think Sarah is running for his gig!

    And indeed, whereas she actually ran for – and won – public office; and stood in front of God and everyone and debated other live human beings who held different opinions – she is much the better person, and more worthwhile to listen to.

    Now that she’s safely away from actual, official, legally-binding power and authority, I’m happy to admire her looks and be entertained by her utterances

  23. Deborah said on March 5, 2014 at 10:41 am

    I finally mustered enough fortitude to look at the Sarah Palin link, she looks thinner than usual, maybe she’s not well?

    LA Mary there’s a store in Santa Fe called Ross that I think is part of the same Marshal’s / TJ Maxx company, only it’s more downscale. There is one about a half mile from us and we go there often to get super bargains on mostly kitchen stuff. It’s the kind of place you have to go a lot to spot and scoop up the bargain item before it’s gone. It’s a depressing place to be in though, really bad lighting and always messy.

  24. LAMary said on March 5, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Ross is a different company but it’s the same speed as Marshalls. I agree, it can be grim, but there’s the thrill of the hunt and all that.

  25. Sherri said on March 5, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I’m just going along for the ride on True Detective, without worrying too much about the underlying mythos. I figure that if I dig too deeply into that, there’s a better than even chance I’ll just be disappointed with what they’ve done with it, so I’ll just enjoy the scenery.

    The most unusual place I’ve dropped an electronic device is when I dropped my Palm PDA into a bowl of chicken soup.

  26. BigHank53 said on March 5, 2014 at 11:47 am

    The problem with making phones and the like waterproof is that it’s a testable claim, and it’s such a common problem that there’s a whole international industrial standard about ingress protection:

    http://support.automation.siemens.com/WW/llisapi.dll?func=cslib.csinfo&objId=27089330&load=treecontent&lang=en&siteid=cseus&aktprim=0&objaction=csview&extranet=standard&viewreg=WW

    A waterproof iPhone would double the weight and triple the size.

  27. Jeff Borden said on March 5, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Regarding Mooselini, two quick points: She will not run for office again. She is a lazy con woman who enjoys the trappings of celebrity but not the work. She gets the best of both worlds on Fox, which demands little beyond lowbrow putdowns and spluttering anger from its correspondents. This she can deliver without working up a sweat.

    Second, no way she will ever replace Rush Limbaugh. Her voice is a real deal killer and she cannot be seen on radio, of course, so whatever fading sex appeal she exerts on the tube becomes a non-factor. If she had a sexy set of pipes, it would be another matter, but the tone and timbre of her voice are incredibly irritating.

    Jeff TMMO has a pretty great take on Lovecraft. I fell into H.P.’s web in late elementary and early high school and enjoyed his stuff, though it was pretty metaphysical for someone who loved cheesy Roger Corman horror flicks. My take after reading many of his books was that he saw an ancient world below the surface of our current existence ruled by crude, brutish and powerful forces who predated everything else on the planet. Many of his stories had some roots in the sciences. One I recall clearly featured a tortured soul who lived in a single room without angles –he had applied plaster to all the sharp angles– because the ancient creature could only get at him on a certain plane created by the align of angles. Sadly, some kind of tremor caused the plaster to break up and he died in a bad way.

    BTW, one of the coolest horror films I’ve seen in years plays to the Lovecraftian legend. If you enjoy smarts with your shocks, check out “The Cabin in the Woods.”

    • nancy said on March 5, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      Correction: Her voice is a dill killer, not deal.

  28. Jolene said on March 5, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Brian, what is it we were supposed to notice about the fireman’s phone?

  29. coozledad said on March 5, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Sarah’s getting the face she deserves. She looks like one of those stony Olmec idols that usually must be propitiated with blood, but in her case has opted for Nordstrom’s gift cards, or “Gray stategies” as they are referred to in the language of political action committees:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/02/sarah-palin-s-donors-don-t-care-where-money-s-going.html

  30. Dave said on March 5, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Yes, Brian, is it that the face of the phone appears to be cracked? Could be reflection off the screen saver not not being smoothly applied.

    I thought perhaps I would see that he was logged onto nn.com.

    Prospero back from the dead? Now, would anyone here REALLY be surprised at that?

  31. Jeff Borden said on March 5, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    A dill killer? Really?

    Should I have said it’s a deal ender?

  32. Basset said on March 5, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    I don’t understand how anyone can mention $P and sex appeal in the same sentence, she doesn’t do a thing for me even without that voice.

    TJ Maxx… Went there last night looking for shoes and came out with a $9.99 Cuisinart frying pan.

  33. Jolene said on March 5, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    A dill killer? Really?

    Should I have said it’s a deal ender?

    I think Nancy was commenting on Ms. Palin’s distinctive way of speaking, Jeff.

  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Ms. Palin is making the case for why you don’t want to have a Fox News live b’cast studio just off your family room. No, I’m not kidding, that’s where she’s b’casting from. Bad idea. If you at least have to drive into Wasilla, you’re more likely to stop, get yourself together, and think through what you want to say. But no, she had one built onto the family room. I’m sure Greta got her a good deal on a contractor who’s a Scientologist.

  35. brian stouder said on March 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Dave – indeed, the screen looked to me like it was busted to hell, which made me chuckle.

    And Basset – I’m almost 53 (52.9616438) and bald (more or less) and thick*, and really – she’s got it goin’ on**, I gotta say; or at least, she’s got a lot more goin’ on than I do!

    Jolene – I totally missed what the ‘dill’ was; thanks for the clarification!

    *198 pounds on a 5’8″ frame doesn’t leave me with Alfred Hitchcock’s profile; more like a melty ice cream sandwich

    **although she if she had more rackage, that would be good (I’m spoiled, on that front) (so to speak)

  36. Deborah said on March 5, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I’m at the Plaza in Santa Fe and I’ve just seen the first dirty forehead of the day, it always startles me until I remember it’s Ash Wednesday.

  37. Dexter said on March 5, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Deborah, The Rust-Marty double killing was just more speculation. I would think one of them would be the last man standing. Just like Lewellen asked in “No Country for Old Men”, “…there’s always one man left standing, so where did he go?”

  38. LAMary said on March 5, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Brian, I think SP has dieted away most of the rackage. She’s TV star thin these days and from the photos I’ve seen of her in the last year of so she’s got that lollipop thing going on. Skinny body and big head. SP’s head is augmented by the big hair. If that video about the Obama mom jeans was shot in her house, I’m betting someone bought those books by the yard.

  39. Connie said on March 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    I grew up in totally Protestant Holland and had no clue about Lent or Ash Wednesday until all those students showed up for dinner in Brody Hall with dirt on their foreheads.

  40. Connie said on March 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Holland Michigan that is.

  41. Dexter said on March 5, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    All the talk of Kim Novak et al made me think of the movie I was in. In 1970 during my year in California I would drive (I had my Ford out there with me) or take the Greyhound to San Francisco just to hang around every chance I got. This was in the same time period when I nearly collapsed from exhaustion in front of the Scientology HQ and was taken in and given juice and a cookie to revive me.
    This was a different jaunt, and again I had worked all night in the hospital and ridden the bus to The City . Totally worn out, at Aquatic Park I stretched out in the grass and fell into a deep sleep, probably not the smartest thing to do.
    When I woke up, a short distance away there were bright lights and trucks and security everywhere…Jason Robards and Katharine Ross were filming a scene from a movie called “Fools”. I guess I was just included as background , so I didn’t move until the shoot was over. The movie never had wide release, so I never saw it. Now I see it’s for sale on Amazon, and maybe I’ll buy it…my big scene in the movies. I remember I took note of what I was wearing in case I would ever spot myself in the film, a light blue jacket. And America’s sweetheart just aged gracefully: from seven years ago:
    http://img.spokeo.com/public/900-600/katharine_ross_2007_12_02.jpg

  42. Connie said on March 5, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Elmore Leonard estate sale is this weekend. http://deadlinedetroit.com/articles/8609/you_can_own_elmore_leonard_keepsakes_his_estate_sale_is_thu_-sat#.UxeHv4Wcf6M

  43. Julie Robinson said on March 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Hey, some of us Protestants celebrate Ash Wednesday. I’ll be getting all ashed up tonight.

  44. mark said on March 5, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    And pretty much all Protestants are familiar with Lent.

  45. Judybusy said on March 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Random beauty: shots of ballet dancers in everyday situations.

  46. Judybusy said on March 5, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Darn it. http://www.lostateminor.com/2013/09/04/ballet-dancers-in-random-situations/

  47. brian stouder said on March 5, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Today, HRC said compared Putin’s actions in Crimea to Adolf Hitler in pre-war Sudetenland…..

    which I take as essentially the beginning of her run for the Presidency of the United States

  48. MarkH said on March 5, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Remember when Rod Serling opened most Night Gallery episodes with a painting from HP Lovecraft, then provide the narrative on how that painting inspired the episode? Steven Speilberg’s first TV directorial assignment was the very first NG episode, starring Joan Crawford.

  49. Jeff Borden said on March 5, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Agreed, Brian.

    I’m in the midst of slogging through “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” and it has been fascinating. The book is chockfull of data because the Nazis were extremely efficient record keepers and most of the top military and political guys kept voluminous diaries. Hitler did use the alleged threat to ethnic Germans in Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia and other regions as the excuse for their occupation, just as Putin is doing.

    The biggest miscalculation the Fuehrer made was about Great Britain. He was convinced she would sue for peace after he conquered the continent and he was amenable to a peace treaty that would allow him free reign on his side of the English Channel. His take on France was right on –a nation with deep scars from the first World War and a dithering, divided government– but he whiffed on the Brits.

    I’m not going to lie. I’m not real excited about a Hillary run. First, I hate the idea of political dynasties. Second, we’ll be right back in the shit we all lived through more than 20 years ago as Rand Paul’s recent posturing underscores. Since I likely will never vote for a Republican presidential candidate again –unlike red staters I refuse to vote against my own self-interest– I’ll pull the lever for her, but damn, we need some new blood.

  50. LAMary said on March 5, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    If you grow up in the land of Dutch Reformed folks, you think you are the only real Protestants. Everyone else is borderline Catholic.

  51. coozledad said on March 5, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    I grew up Southern Baptist. Everyone else is
    Jews.

  52. Deborah said on March 5, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Dexter, I think I’ve told this tale here before. My big movie moment was in an Elvis movie in 1966, on New Years day. I was in the crowd at the Orange Bowl Regatta boat races in Miami when I was 15. They used us as the crowd for a race that Elvis was supposed to be in. He wasn’t really anywhere near us, probably in Hollywood or where ever he lived at the time. I didn’t see the movie for years and years because I wasn’t an Elvis fan at all. I finally saw the movie when I was in my early 30s and working at an architecture firm in St. Louis. When I told my coworkers about it they couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it, so we had a Clam Bake movie watching party. This was when VCRs were hard to manipulate so it was very difficult to try to find me in the crowd. I still haven’t really seen myself but because I was very near a camera, I am assuming I have to be in there somewhere.

  53. brian stouder said on March 5, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Jeff, I definitely hear what you’re saying; as early as it is, any damned thing might come to pass regarding the 2016 race.

    Way back in the day – mid ’80′s, when I was a News-Sentinel and National Review subscriber (and was first pestering Madam Telling Tales, but we digress) – I was just sure that after RWR, we’d get my hero, Jack Kemp. I could just see how things would play out for the next decade and a half…

    If I was gonna try that again, I guess my hero might be Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, or Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota (so there’s the kiss of national political death for them!) if not Secretary of State Clinton.

    I get what you say about dynasty fatigue – but dynastic families are as American as apple pie, from the Adams family through the Harrisons and the Kennedys and Bushs.

    Gimme a high-polish primary with good substantive debates* on the Democratic side, and the Republican party can do whatever it wants in the meanwhile.

    *I take SecState Clinton’s remarks today as the beginning of a polite-but-firm differentiation between her and President Obama

  54. Deborah said on March 5, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    I grew up Missouri Synod Lutheran, we thought everyone else was heathen.

  55. Deborah said on March 5, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Loved the ballet dancers. If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I want to come back as a ballet dancer somewhere.

  56. Dexter said on March 5, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Deborah, I was also in a crowd used in a movie production. It was a Saturday game at Tiger Stadium in Detroit. It had been announced a week or so beforehand, but I was going to the game anyway, and really, it was no big deal. It was a 1977 made-for-TV movie starring Roots star LeVar Burton, called “One in a Million, the Ron LeFlore Story”.
    About a half hour before the game started, an announcement over the PA: Anyone wanting to be in the tight crowd shot please come orderly and quickly to designated areas in the lower deck, where officials will guide you…” Then all the players went to the clubhouses and actors took the field. Burton strode to home plate with a bat and a pitcher threw a phantom pitch…no real baseball anywhere to be seen. Burton took a swing and ran like hell to first base as the actors synchronized a fake base hit. There was a pause as equipment was moved around, and then Burton lit out for second base and slid…a stolen base for sure. That was all, at least for that day. Ushers kicked us all out of the good seats and we filtered back to where we belonged, and the real game was played. I never did see myself; I was just in a mass of out-of-focus crowd-fodder. But it was a little bit interesting, at that.

  57. Julie Robinson said on March 5, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    The ballet dancers were great–thanks for sharing them with us Judybusy. I had six years of ballet and still appreciate it, though I was horrible. My peasant body with its huge bones and big frame didn’t translate well to the sylvan and graceful world of ballet. I saw some photos recently of chunky Julie in a tutu and wondered why oh why my folks did that to me!

    Besides, the guys got to have all the fun, leaping around the stage, and that’s what I wanted to do. But the male/female roles are very rigid, and ladies have to mince around on their toes (which hurts, a LOT) and do delicate moves. I finally convinced them to let me take tap, which was much more fun.

    Whew–that was therapeutic.

  58. Deborah said on March 5, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I am the worlds worst dancer, even worse than Elaine from Seinfeld. My mother loved to dance and was great, my dad not so much. Unfortunately my sister and I took after our dad. I can’t even clap to the rhythm. My husband is a good dancer too, I always send him off to dance with other people when we’re at those kind of gatherings. It’s so embarrassing.

  59. coozledad said on March 5, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Julie: I was going to say this is one piece where the women weren’t en pointe, but no, they’re alternating flat footed to toe. This may be even worse, painwise.

    All the dancers are really hammering the stage. Nijinsky was a cruel little bastard of a choreographer.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iH1t0pCchxM

  60. Dexter said on March 5, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Deborah, I feel for ya…my older brother picked up the guitar with no hesitance and played well enough to earn tuition cash and pizza money at Ball State many decades ago as lead guitar in the most popular campus band. I picked up a guitar and never learned even one chord. Same brother instantly could play Mom’s old pump organ and any piano he was near just by beating out the tunes in his head, like he born to play. All I ever learned to play was chopsticks, using two fingers.
    Some people can do that. Once a new song was playing on the old table radio when we were little kids and brother jumped on the pump organ stool and began playing it. That has to be inherited. I could never do that, never ever uh-uh-uh.

  61. basset said on March 5, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Most popular campus band… around IU in the mid 70s that probably would have been Pure Funk, later known as Roadmaster. Can’t seem to think of any others.

  62. basset said on March 5, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Ethos(ardour) was there a time or two but they were from Fort Wayne.

  63. Julie Robinson said on March 5, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Cooz, what else could he do with Rite of Spring? Stravinsky’s music demands it. But he could also be soft, as in Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMqLLYrEF60

    BTW the skater Adam Rippon used Najinsky’s famous poses in his program to Afternoon this year to stunning effect. Sadly he had too many jump problems to be successful, but I’d pay to see it without any jumps at all.

  64. Dexter said on March 6, 2014 at 2:10 am

    basset, they were mostly restricted to gigs in Muncie. They were “The Styx ‘n’ Stones”, before the popular “Styx” was a band. I have a photo of them in a file which my brother encoded somehow to prevent internet sharing. They are all decked out in jackets with Nehru collars. Their name wasn’t distinctive enough, as several bands took the same name. Their drummer was Mike Lawhon. He was drafted into the army as soon as he left school and within three months in-country was blown away dead in the Vietnam jungles. Back then, everybody knew somebody who was killed over there.

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