Friday, April 23, 2010

How Not To Get Any Work Done, part 832

He was beginning to regret terminating his psychotherapy. The white discs were back.


No, I did not make up that funny caption. The creator of this hilarious website called Unhappy Hipsters gives his own delightfully snide captions to the --- well, if you like it, you like it, to each his own, but --- to the minimalist modern architecture photos found in several design magazines.

He also runs a caption contest on occasion (not, I don't think, at the moment), so you'll sometimes see duplicate postings of the same photo with various reader-supplied captions, but there are more new ones as you page back.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Take this pillow and...

Pillows, however great, eventually go flat and limp, not to mention yukky. The only thing to do with worn out pillows is toss them into the guest roo-- I mean, dispose of them in an environmentally responsible manner, and get new ones.

In the department store, I get that sense of foreboding that we all get when we see some version of the dreaded phrase "New and Improved!"

It's Bigger! It's Better! It's Today's Luxuriously Oversized Pillow!

On Pavlovian cue, I am expected to lust after this extravaganza of polyester batting. My brain effectively disabled by the hypnotic code-word, "luxurious," I am now supposedly unquestioning about a few ... questionable things.

One is that: unless the human neck has elongated since standard pillows were invented, having more pillow acreage causes at best no enhancement of one's sleeping experience.

This improves my life how, exactly?

When I try to force the new wider pillows into the old pillowcases, the reason for this innovation becomes clear.

I cram. I jam.It's now an enormous cylinder. I'm not done yet. It's mostly in, but off-the-round. I must rotate the pillow in one direction and the case in the opposite by repeated yanking, until the corners finally line up.

Cool. Now, if I can make it a shape on which a person's head could rest without rolling off, I'll be all set.

For a moment, I toy with the idea that they've worked hard to plant in my mind. That is, to dash back to
Bed, Bath and Be Bankrupt,
credit card in hand, and replace all of our too-small pillowcases.

Store employees are watching the parking lot for me and checking their watches. They were told at Inservice Training never to say anything like "Oh, won't you need some wider pillowcases too?" as they ring up the initial sale. That could as easily tank the sale as it could close it for bigger bucks. Hooking the customer isn't enough. Business wisdom dictates that if they get me to take those pillows all the way home, they've landed me for pillows and cases too. I'll be back within days. Hey, maybe (they pray) I'll go wild and get whole new sheet sets...! No no, mustn't ask for the moon when we have the stars.....

Our crack investigative dumpster-diving team has salvaged a disc from the critical board meeting of J. P. SpringFade, Inc., at which this plot was hatched. We now go public with the secret Powerpoint presentation behind this bedding debacle.

Lights, please.

But what they have failed to predict is my ability to predict the lifespan of my new oversized pillows. These initially-lush pillows are cheaply made in China and will deflate enough to fit in the old cases. Soon. Very soon.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More fun than the Sterling Cooper Christmas party

(PLEASE click any page for a clearer view, and to read the wonderful text!)

More annals of book collecting. As I recall, I bought this because I liked the look of it, especially that nice lettering on the spine. Spines are so often faded out in books this old.

The Business Guide, or Safe Methods of Business. By J. L. Nichols. 1898. J. L. Nichols, publisher, apparently the 4th revision.

"Over a million copies sold." THAT is impressive. This book must have been in offices all over the place. I expected Useful. I expected Businesslike, Dull. Interest tables, templates for deeds, bookkeeping how-to.

I got that, but so much more, along with a wealth of wonderful, lovely and sometimes funny Victorian illustrations.

Every single one of its xiii+420 pages -- even preface, contents and index -- has a header with an edifying saying or quotation. Some familiar, many not. A couple needed both facing pages but most were complete on a single line.

Here's my thing about ancient reference books; I use them. This post started out as an homage to old reference books in general, showing several I keep handy. You'll get that post later. The Business Guide seemed to merit its own entry.

This book has everything. For big and small businesses, for retail and farm management, for buying, selling, measuring and shipping. Chapters and tables on "Laws Governing Public Schools," Responsibility for Runaway Horses," "Mints and Assay Offices," "The Cost of Smoking" (!)

... plus almanac-type fast facts on literacy, religion, prisoners, railroads, of use to the businessman. Much more. It's loaded with goodies. I kept wanting to scan more and more pages for this long entry! Gave in twice.

But wait! There's more! You also get the lowdown on various swindles, explained in detail so you can avoid getting taken! The fact that you now know how to run the scam yourself .... no, I'm sure that all readers would use this information Only For Good.

In scams as in other things, the classics never go out of style. Here's one and the author doesn't show you how the page gets cut - the reader needs to look carefully at this page and to figure it out :

But the author never misses an opportunity to talk about values. Thrift, honesty, hard work, the keys to success.

And last but not least, this page is worthy of becoming a mini-poster:

Friday, April 09, 2010

Oh, lots of things. [UPDATED]

Congratulations to the whole Distributive Education class - you each get an A+!

This is a book that I actually picked up in a thrift shop way back in the 1970's. It's a high school textbook, published in 1968.

And it's full of very important questions to ponder. You can click each for a bigger view.

I love the service station -- that Invicta is very much like my first car with those same slanted headlights and BIG fins, but wasn't a convertible.

And I think that the woman in the first picture will get home with a dreadful headache.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Painful or delightful realities

Still in Allergy Mode, still with a swollen head, still housebound enough to grind my life to halt. Still in a lousy mood.

So we're watching The History Channel yesterday and a promo comes on for their Face of Jesus (or something like that) show. It's a search through the art images through the ages, and some kind of attempt to determine what He really looked like. Easter weekend is full of Bible history shows and some of them are interesting and informative, blah-diddy-blah, but this one....

Maybe I react because Jesus's appearance is a perfectly fine matter of curiosity, but some people think it's terribly important. Maybe I react because they're going on about that ridiculous Shroud of Tooraloo, I mean, it's from, like, the year 1300, so why are we still on about that thing? Whenever they drag out the Shroud, I turn off.

I am, as my regular readers have heard ad nauseum, a professed Christian and I really have no problem with curiosity about what Jesus's face actually looked like, but, I don't know, blame my mood.

I groused, "I wish we could find out what Jesus looked like, and that he'd turn out to look like Wally Cox."

Really, I'm so sick of Noble, Craggy, Melancholy, Weight Of The World depictions -- and of Noble Shakespearean Actor voices speaking His words too. I mean, what if He looked like Mr. Peepers? Would people be horrified by a countenance with less theatrical pizazz? Would Christianity take a Chicxulub meteor hit?

But Larry had a better idea.

He said, "No, Jimmy Durante."


Think about it. What would people do? What would *I* do? An endearing, approachable, funny face?

I love the idea. I hope people in general would love it too. Love a Jesus who looked like Jimmy Durante. Take his teachings seriously.

Happy Easter, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.