10:06 – Barbara and I are both impossible to buy for. When we need something, we just buy it. Neither of us have any interest in having the latest gadget or keeping up with the Joneses. Barbara doesn’t care about clothes or jewelry or perfume or flowers or any of the other stuff that men usually buy as gifts for women, so that makes it difficult for me to come up with gift ideas.
And I’m even worse. Barbara is not the first person who’s told me I’m impossible to buy for. I don’t want much, and when I need something I buy it. Here’s how bad it really is. Barbara was delighted yesterday when I told her that I’d just ordered some stuff that could be her Christmas gift to me. It was 37 prepared microscope slides and five grams of Eosin Y stain. So both of us are marketers’ and advertisers’ and retailers’ worst nightmare. How can we not be interested in “consuming” the crap they’re pushing?
26 Comments and discussion on "Saturday, 17 December 2011"
You could both use a really high quality LED flashlight.
Nah. We have LED flashlights all over the place. I bought a pack of 10 at Home Depot or Lowes for $9.99, including batteries. (Those ran down pretty quickly, but three AAA Costco alkalines last a long time.) Those $1 flashlights work perfectly well for what we need them for. Despite using them frequently, we’ve had none fail in the couple years since we bought them. Why would I pay a lot of money for a flashlight (and batteries for it) when the cheap ones do everything we need to do?
Buy some kind of tasty food/drink? That’s my standby solution for… basically every family member.
What you could get for each other is donations to causes you support … in the names of acquaintances who would die rather than donate to them. The best part is, it only takes a tiny donation to get on the mailing list, and then you get to laugh behind your hands every time you meet them, as they complain about all the mailings they’re getting from groups they despise.
Wot’s the gift-giving occasion?
Pretty difficult here, too. Mrs. OFD and I are voracious readers but wouldn’t presume to get anything for each other in that line. She doesn’t care about the same things Barbara doesn’t care about, and my idea of a great gift for me would be another gun. Which Mrs. OFD doesn’t know a whole lot about, more than the average citizen, but not enuff to run out and get me something.
We have a nice restaurant gift certificate we ain’t used yet, that I won in a classical radio station draw many moons ago. And I cook Xmas dinner here anyway.
Although SteveF’s idea is pretty good.
I’ll e-mail Barbara and mention that your Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits has almost worn out through repeated use and that you’d like a new one, together with a signed poster of the great man.
Barry Obowma’s Greatest Hits? And a poster of the great man?
Too late. One time I almost had Marcia Bilbrey convinced that Brian was a secret Manilow lover and that she should buy him the complete Barry Manilow disc set for his birthday. Alas, she mentioned something in passing to Brian and found out he despises Manilow, like all Real Men.
Hey, Barry Manilow is not the end here of possible fun. What about ABBA? Cindi Lauper? Boy George? The Bay City Rollers.
C’mon, boyz, the possibilities are virtually endless!
If you know any librul/Dem women, be advised that they viscerally loathe Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, et. al.
And librul/Dem men go apoplectic over Faux Nooz.
You put Cindi Lauper in with that group? Geez.
I remember when Cyndi Lauper and Madonna came to Barbara’s and my attention, at about the same time back in maybe 1984. I remember turning to Barbara and saying, “One of them has talent and the other doesn’t. Guess which one will make it big.”
I suppose Lauper has had a successful career by most people’s yardsticks, but she sure deserved to make it while Madonna didn’t. Incidentally, for those who haven’t listened to her, there’s a lot more to Lauper than Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Time After Time, although both of those are very well put together pop anthems.
Ah, Barbara tells me it was actually 1983, about the time we got married. Hard to believe it’s been almost 30 years.
More proof that we can ultimately rely on our human tape-recorder wives to have our entire histories down to the second and the location.
You are probably right about Lauper’s career since the early days and her appearances with Rowdy Roddy Piper and Lou Albano on professional wrestling venues.
OK, strike her…and add…these guys…
I suppose Lauper has had a successful career by most people’s yardsticks, but she sure deserved to make it while Madonna didn’t.
For same reasons that Lady Gaga (leave off the final A and you get my opinion) is popular. You have to perform, to dance, to take it to the limit. Lauper did none of that, although she did dress a little strange, it did not go the extremes of Madonna and Lady Gag.
As for Manilow and ABBA, I have three Manilow CD’s and one ABBA CD. I really draw the line at Aretha Franklin, that blubberous, arrogant, screach owl. Any time I hear Uretha on the XM it is a CCE, channel changing event.
Wow. Someone who prefers Manilow and ABBA to Aretha. Not that I worship the ground she lumbers or rolls on or anything, but Wow.
As far as taking it to the various limits, thus did Lauper, Boy George, Madonna, Lady Gag, and then finally, to the furthest limit, Winehouse. None of them a patch on Aretha or Janis or hell, Grace Slick for that matter.
“Incidentally, for those who haven’t listened to her, there’s a lot more to Lauper than Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Time After Time, although both of those are very well put together pop anthems.”
I love Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, but find Time After Time really boring.
Anyway, who’s the other singer you mentioned? Madonna? Isn’t she a 2000 year old from Israel?
Wow. Someone who prefers Manilow and ABBA to Aretha.
You bet. I prefer dogs doing Jingles Bells to anything Aretha has done. Aretha’s voice just grates on me, like someone running fingers down a blackboard. My opinion really went downhill when I saw stories about her opinion of herself and her prima donna attitude.
Hmmm…OK. I will give her another listen, at random, and will read up on the prima donna thing, which I had kinda already picked up on. Still…Manilow and ABBA??
Greg mentioned Madonna in connection with Israel; the only one I know of is her trendy infatuation with Kabbala or something. All these celebs really like to go for anything that is weird, unusual, outside the norm, etc., and worship in groveling adoration of the Goddesses Diversity and Equality. Adopt kids from as far as they can get from their own backgrounds; take up religions as different as possible from anything in the West; and just in general go hog-ass wild over Viva la Difference! Just for the sake of it. Like they do in this state’s capital town; the goofiest wardrobes, hair styles and get-up they can possibly cobble together. Akin to our Quebecois neighbors. And wearing full-scale Arctic and Siberian winter get-up with fur hats, etc., when the temps are still in the damn forties, and only tonight have gone down to the single digits for the first time. Weirdness is All, I guess.
“…she mentioned something in passing to Brian and found out he despises Manilow…”
I’m sorry to hear that Brian also has very poorly developed taste in music.
“Hey, Barry Manilow is not the end here of possible fun. What about ABBA? Cindi Lauper? Boy George? The Bay City Rollers. ”
People have always called the Seventies The Decade Style Forgot, which is rank heresy IMHO. I’ll pass on the Bay City Rollers and Boy George but I love the Bee Gees, Maxine Nightingale, Tina Charles, Sherbet, Alvin Stardust, Osmosis, Billy Ocean and all the other greats. They don’t make ’em like they used to… 🙁
“Buy some kind of tasty food/drink? That’s my standby solution for… basically every family member.”
I second this. If you get it right, the gift is enjoyed. If you get it wrong, it still gets consumed (or trashed), rather than hanging around politely for years, because the recipient doesn’t want to give offense. Either way, there’s no accumulation, and you can give some other consumable on the next occasion.
And our host writes: “One of them has talent and the other doesn’t. Guess which one will make it big.”
I really do think this represents some as-yet-undiscovered law of the universe. It happens far too often to be simple coincidence. Of course, I’m speaking as an engineer who has seen far too many really excellent products go under, while inferior products with better marketing succeeded.
And, lastly, on the subject music. Somehow, my whole life, I missed out on this. I just bought the album – thankfully, one of my kids shares my awful sense of humor (and taste in music), so I have an ally in the house.
Still…Manilow and ABBA??
What can I say. I have a lot of odd stuff, even from people that I don’t normally like. Sometimes I hear a song I like and I acquire it. My favorite from Manilow, contrary to popular belief, is not Mandy, but Read ‘Em and Weep. I have some country stuff, Amarillo by Morning by George Strait, some Mary Chapin Carpenter and some other C&W stuff even though I despise most C&W stuff. I have a couple of R.E.M. songs, really enjoy many musicals such as Oklahoma, The Music Man, etc. A rather eclectic collection.
But I have never been able to enjoy anything Aretha has done and I fail to see anything in her music that warrants wasting radio waves and perfectly good electrons. Sure she can sing high and loud but that becomes little than screeching which most infants are perfectly capable. There are some true artist and then there are con “artists”. Aretha is the latter.
ABBA easily beat Aretha Franklin! Their music is catchy and moving. Hers is ponderous and meaningless.
Ponderous? Motown is ponderous?
And meaningless? R-E-S-P-E-C-T is meaningless?
Man, people post some odd things on the internets. Appreciation of ABBA, Manilow and what will be next? Bieber fever? 😀
All y’all are tone-deaf heretics. It’s Rebecca Black or nothing, dudes. She’s got it all: unheard talent and drop-dead looks.
Hmm. Worldwide sales go like this from the top Beatles, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Madonna. BUT, if you remove the US, ABBA outsells everyone, and Status Quo outsells the Beatles in Europe.
If you lived in Europe, I think you would probably agree with my assessment, that somehow, ABBA is the essence of Europe. Their sound, the tone of their lyrics — forlorn, — everything is so Europe. Guess that is why they never made it in the US, although I love them, and so do my kids.
Speaking of the Status Quo. That group is practically unknown in the US, having had only 1 hit. They are one of 2 groups that were on the leading edge of moving music from the kind of hackneyed female-performed/Phil Spector-produced stuff coming out of the Brill Building, on into what the Brits called “mod” music. Mod in the UK was Twiggy and Carnaby Street, while in the US it was personified pretty much only by the TV show “Laugh-In”, and maybe “The Monkees”. Otherwise, everything mod seemed to generally bypass the US, including mod rock music from the UK.
I stumbled across a video of Status Quo performing their first (and only US) hit “Pictures of Matchstick Men” on British TV. This clip inserts pictures of what several of the guys look like today.
It looks to me like they are singing live to a recorded music track, because Frank Rossi’s laughing delivery is not a part of the record release, while the instrumentation is just too perfectly close to the record’s.
Rossi said he composed the song in a 3 hour session sitting on the toilet, to get some privacy away from family members.
If you have wondered what a picture of matchstick men looks like, I only know because I have spent some time in England over the years. It refers to the paintings of L.S. Lowry, who drew people and animals as looking more like stick figures than lifelike. His style has been referred to as ‘pictures of matchstick men’. You can google for samples of his work; that way, I don’t have to put 2 links in the same post.
The song was one of the first in the UK to use “flanging”, which was accomplished by playing 2 tapes of exactly the same material and varying the speed of one or the other machine by putting a finger on the edge of the audiotape reel — the reel being essentially a flange to hold the wind of tape in place — in order to slow it down. When the timing crosses from about -20ms to +20ms, a comb filter effect is produced which sweeps harmonically up and down the frequency spectrum contained in the recording as the timing changes. Nowadays, there are effects boxes constructed to achieve flanging, which can actually make the effect more pronounced than possible with tape recording equipment. Flanging and wah-wah came into their own with mod music.
The other group which led the way to the mod revolution in the UK was Small Faces. They had a string of hits in Europe, only one of which made it in the US: “Itchycoo Park”. Frank Marriott, the founder of Small Faces left the group in 1969, and the remaining members changed their name to Faces and got Rod Stewart to be their front man.
IMO, music has never been so inventive or creative as during the mod and psychedelic era (which followed mod). There sure is nothing creative coming out these days. Except for the bad lip reading of Rebecca Black’s stuff.
Comments are closed.