Re: Mensies, etc.

January 29th, 2006  |  Published in old and busted  |  2 Comments

"Bored now!"To quote Evil Willow, “Bored now!”

Weird. Go to bed Wednesday night content with the whole endeavor, let it slide on Thursday, start guiltily on Friday night, think about it with a bit of sour unhappiness on Saturday, and realize on Sunday that I don’t feel like making one for Monday.

I’d feel guilty, stranding them all there like that, but they’re in a fine place to come back in their own sweet time. In the meantime, I’ve got this tiny list of things I’m interested in that isn’t going away, and includes:

  • Finally using the piano training software I bought

  • Getting something out of that Javascript book I picked up

  • Figuring out whether it’ll be bad to do without a camera for a few weeks while I sell the Canon G5 and Minolta Maxxum so I can trade across to something more my style (I’m thinking Powershot S2 IS)

  • etc. etc.

So … the Mensies aren’t dead. They’re just slumbering, Avalon-like, waiting for the call.

Over on Puddingtime, Phil observed its/our/the 1001st post. That’s pretty cool. Phil recently learned there are more than two readers there, and Tim Peter cracked me up.

On the work front, things are getting ready to spill into a state of high gear like I haven’t known for a while. I’m helping the writers on ENP put together some webcasts, which is a new part of the company to me; and we’re really close to launching a new site I’ll be running. It’s a feed site in the tradition of LinuxToday, with an emphasis on networking.

I’ve got good latitude on the kind of content it carries. It could have ended up being a boring old “X is purchasing Y so it can steal all the cool Z technology” sort of site, but in the pre-launch stockup period I’ve also been tossing up stuff like Google vs. the people of China and the open Internet and the Nintendo DS WiFi Scanner, which is interesting to the sort of people who think about networking a lot, even if it isn’t directly topical to Enterprise Networking (German nouns intentional).

My understanding is that I’ll probably be trading out a responsibility or two, but it’s all going to add up to a busy next few months once things are shuffled around. I don’t mind being more engaged with the job.

And, well, Al just gave me something else to think about. Watch the video. I don’t think the whole “swish stick” part of the process will be quite as pleasant as the marketing department prefers we imagine. On the other hand, maybe this is the harmonic convergence between disposable convenience and cloth virtue.

Oh … and to briefly break the pleasant mood, Starbucks is now on The List. We stopped by the one across from the adult superstore in the Johnson Creek neighborhood/asphalt slab after a breakfast at a Sherie’s.

Sharie’s is awfully family friendly, but the coffee is the sort of brew red-staters claim to prefer to our coastal lattes, which is to say “filthy, weak and caffeinated the same way Pat Robertson is pious, which is to say marginally and only from a certain warped point of view.”

So the Starbucks was on the way home. We were delighted to get to the driveup window and be told our drinks were free. The customer prior to us had, evidently, been given a free drink by some other stranger, and so decided to pass the kindness along. I noticed that the special cardboard insulation ring was obscuring a quote that started with “Everywhere, unthinking mobs of ‘independent thinkers’ wield tired cliches” and ended with “they don’t settle them.”

I slipped off the ring and read the whole quote, by Jonah Goldberg. Evidently Goldberg is on the cup because the Concerned Women of America was deeply concerned about the ideological balance on Starbucks coffee cups, meaning the insipid little punk is the beneficiary of a quota program for people uninteresting for any reason besides their function as a balance to insidious messages like “gay people shouldn’t be closeted.” I’m sure it’s one quota he doesn’t mind.

FascinationsThe rest of the quote? The “unthinking mobs” are “pummeling” people who question dogma with their cliches. Poor, poor Jonah … a voice in the wilderness, no other outlet than a nationally distributed magazine and Starbucks coffee cups.

To dart back, by the way, to the location of that Starbucks “across from the adult superstore.” That’d be Fascinations. I’ve received a flier from them. They’re in the business of peddling “tasteful” “romance aids.” So you aren’t buying, for instance, a “cock ring.” It’s an “enhancement ring.” There’s only one “dildo” to be had on the Web site, but plenty of “dongs.” The buttplugs are filed under “posterior pleasures.”

I snapped a quick picture, but a passing truck clobbered the contrast between the “midget Sam’s Club with pink trim” look of the Fascinations and the cheerful primary colors of the McDonalds PlayLand next door. The leaden sky and stripped trees, on the other hand, help to adequately convey just how “romantic” the place is in terms of setting, even if the phone camera’s resolution isn’t up to capturing the wash of dingy fluorescent light peeking through the tops of the doors.

On the one hand, I’m all for the Fascinations mission, which is to provide sex toys in a retail space that evades the baggage of the seedier dens about town or the “alt.fuck.goth.goth.goth” ambience of a place like Spartacus:

> The Fascinations stores are arranged according to our “soft-to-sensual” merchandising philosophy. This guest sensitive approach places items like lingerie, shoes, and T-shirts at the front of the store where the emphasis is on making the customer feel welcome. In fact, when entering Fascinations, it is not readily obvious that the company sells any product more risqué than what is offered at Victoria’s Secret. Therefore, creating an amazing blend of fashion and beauty, with a touch of sensual spice.

On the other, it’d be nice if places like that didn’t have to be stuck in low-rent converted tire stores. I mean … I look at that place and I think “concrete floors, exposed cinderblock walls, dead bugs in the fluorescent light panels, if anyone’s even though to cover the lights at all.”

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