A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..
According to an article I ran across Japan’s Funai Electric was the last company in the world to be manufacturing VCRs, but they ceased production back in July. Not that its surprising news. With DVDs, Blue Rays, & streaming services available VCRs have been basically obsolete for several years. Still though, it’s an interesting bit of trivia.
I have no idea what the next four years will bring, but let’s not pretend that the previous eight years have been all sunshine & roses.
A few post-Christmas thoughts:
- Contrary to my original plan I did end up actually shopping at the mall a couple of times, and it was a predictable exercise in frustration. I understand the economics of the holiday season and realize that stores try to maximize available space to boost profits, but holy cow…a number of places I went into were so packed with stuff that I had a rather difficult time navigating thru the mess. I learned a long time ago that very few people understand or care what life is like for those of us dealing with a disability, but I’d love to put store managers in a wheelchair and see how they like trying to shop in their establishment. I used to love going into the bookstore, but between high prices & store created accessibility issues it’s just easier to stay home & buy online.
- Within 24 hours of Christmas Day my father regifted two food gifts that I had given him…back to me. To be honest I would have been less offended if he would have just tossed them in the garbage and pretended like he kinda sorta liked them.
- Kudos to the USA Network for reviving…to some small degree…the old tradition of being able to watch It’s A Wonderful Life multiple times. Back in the early 90’s NBC gained the film’s rights and has typically shown it only once or twice…always on Christmas Eve and occasionally earlier in December. USA is owned by NBC Universal and this year aired IAWL a few times in addition to the two presentations on NBC.
- There didn’t seem to be as many festively decorated houses in my neck of the woods as I fondly recall from my idyllic childhood. That disposable income seems to be more often spent on crack & heroin these days.
- Between the pound of pork jowl (that I am given to understand I am supposed to dredge in flour then fry) & the leftover pizza that my Dad gave me (the day after Christmas at the same time as the aforementioned regifting) and the FIVE POUND chocolate bar that I was given as a present by my sister & nephews I am reasonably sure that my family is trying to kill me.
- On Christmas Day here in WV I was wearing sunglasses & had the AC on in my truck. With all due respect to the late great Bing Crosby, I’ll take that over a White Christmas any day.
- Dear Freeform (formerly ABC Family): Hopefully next year, during your 25 Days of Christmas, you’ll show more initiative that just airing the same few films over & over & over again. I know there are legal issues with broadcast rights that I do not understand. I get that. But I still think that you can do better. Also, Frozen, Toy Story, and Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory are NOT Christmas movies.
If y’all want us “deniers” to believe in your cause you’re going to have to do a better job of selling it.
The RIP section of this year’s Sammy Awards is going to be longer & sadder than usual. 2016 has been brutal as far as seeing familiar faces that were a big part of many of our childhoods pass into The Great Beyond. As former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee stated, “Despite all the talk in the media, there’s nothing cursed about 2016. The 20th century saw the rise of pop culture as a mass medium, along with many performers who became household names. The early stars are now inevitably passing away from old age, and the stars of the rock era are not only aging, but suffering the ravages of drug-fueled lifestyles. So sadly, this is a story that’s likely to be repeated throughout the New Year.” I understand that a) I & therefore they are growing older so death isn’t a completely shocking event, and b) many of these famous types live hard & fast, but that doesn’t lessen the impact of their demise.
I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions for reasons that I have previously stated, but I’m going to come close to making one now. I’ve said multiple times in the past couple of years that I have backed off of getting involved as much in sociopolitical discussions/arguments, but the truth is that I occasionally still indulge. I think though that the time has come to go cold turkey. Sometimes I just can’t resist, and what usually happens is that I find myself in a den of vipers assigning me the typical adjectives…grumpy, angry, bigoted, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, Nazi. Of course my accusers are bastions of virtue, staunch defenders of the realm of “open-mindedness”, “inclusion”, & “tolerance”. They post provocative things on social media then feign surprise when a battle royal of malice & harsh words follows. After the hornet’s nest has subsided THEN they declare their domain “hate free” and plead for an ending to the “ugliness”…until the next time they need some attention & ego stroking and decide to incite more conflict. I see “memes” all the time about the silliness of “unfriending” people due to political disagreements. However, I think we should consider the fact that such action is oftentimes completely legitimate and quite possibly a rather mature decision. These…debates…become rather revealing. They expose a person’s core beliefs & character. Who is the “good” person and who is the “bad” person?? Well, I don’t think there is an answer to that…it’s a matter of perspective. But look at it this way…if you don’t like ice cream you probably don’t frequent Dairy Queen. If you don’t like country music you don’t listen to it on the radio. If you have an affinity for horror films you might frequently watch them at the local cinema or on Netflix. I love ice cream but don’t like country music & horror films. If your preferences are different that doesn’t make either of us bad people…just incompatible. Some differences…like taste in foods, films, & music…are inconsequential and can actually make life more fun & interesting, but a completely different worldview is a chasm that is difficult to overcome. That doesn’t mean folks can’t interact or work together toward common goals, but it does create the need to maintain a comfortable distance.