Saturday, March 13, 2010

Come here, Watson, I need you.

Amazing how quickly things become quaint these days. Going through my old old documents folder I found this list from the days when kids didn't all have all cell phones and there was such a thing as a busy signal:


The phone belongs to the people who pay the phone bill. That is not you.

The phone is not a toy. It is a communication tool.

You are allowed to use our phones but it is a privilege not a right. (The difference is a right is something no one can take away from you.)

If you forget any messages for the people who own the phone your phone privileges will be cut off.

When Kim calls, give the phone to Rob unless she specifically states that she does not want to talk to Rob, she wants to talk to you.

Sometimes when we are out we need to communicate with you. We can’t do this if you are tying up the phone. Rob will call once. If it’s busy he’ll call again in five minutes. If it’s still he’ll call again in five minutes. If it’s still busy somebody better have a good explanation.

Lying is not a good explanation. If Rob calls for an hour and a half and it’s busy for an hour and a half you were not talking to your friend for “a coupla minutes.”

Thank you

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

There she is, Miss America

My favorite photo blog is Shorpy. They just have these great old pictures that really give you a feel of what it felt like to live in another era. Take this 1921 photo of three beauty queens and some gawkers at Union Station in Washington. Go to Union Station today and I bet you won't find any little kids dressed like James Cagney, only in knickers and bare feet. (You really should go to the website and see the picture full-size.) And you won't find such a dead-ringer for Jed Clampett anywhere either except maybe on Halloween. Nor will you ever see any American beauty contestants dressed so modestly.
I have to admit that it was a jarring experience going from 1921 to our modern, much ruder and coarser time. Some of the comments about the young ladies refer to them as "homely", refer to them as "gym teachers in the making" and wonder how anyone could have ever thought them attractive. My god, are we that far removed from nature and from reality that the only kind of beauty we can appreciate is our modern botox-and-boob job semi-cyborgs? Those are three lovely young ladies there (Miss Washington on the right was actually the very first Miss America) and if we can't see it there's something wrong with us, something that makes me wish I lived in another era.