Tuesday, 4 November 2014

07:53 – Barbara and I won’t bother to vote today, but Colin plans to vote. As he pointed out, North Carolina lets anyone vote, and he is a lot smarter than some of the humans who’ll be voting. Since he’s going over to the polling site to vote anyway, I told him to go ahead and cast a second ballot for me. I don’t think North Carolina has any problem with people doing that, either.

Speaking of Colin, I noticed yesterday that I was down to one box of Alpo Snaps treats. Colin signed us up several months ago for automatic shipments of five boxes of Snaps every two months from Amazon so we’d never run out. When I checked Amazon to find out why we were running out, I found that they had Snaps back-ordered with no in-stock date. I remembered that Wal-Mart also sells snaps, so I decided to order some from their web site. Big mistake. Note to self: never, ever order anything from walmart.com or samsclub.com. They are both stupifyingly incompetent. I wish I’d remembered that.

When I order things from costco.com or amazon.com, the order almost always goes smoothly. If something is out of stock, they say so. If I order in-stock items, they almost invariably ship the same or next business day, and I usually have the stuff within two or three days. With samsclub.com and walmart.com, the opposite is true. They seem to have no clue as to stock status of what I’m trying to order, and when they finally process the order it takes them days to weeks to ship and days to weeks longer for the items to arrive.

My order yesterday was for two boxes of Alpo Snaps and eight #10 cans of various Augason Farms storable food that I wanted for the book. After I’d completed the order, I got a screen that showed the expected arrival date of the items. The two boxes of Alpo Snaps were to arrive by next Monday. That’s pretty slow, but I could live with it. The box I just opened should last a week with careful use. The eight #10 cans of Augason Farms storable food all showed an arrival date of December 1, nearly a month from the order date. Geez.

Then I got the following email this morning from walmart.com:

Thank you for your recent Walmart.com order. Unfortunately, one or more of the items in your order have been delayed.

Order Number: 2677214-568554

1) Alpo Variety Snaps Purina Dog Treats, 32oz 2 3.14 6.28


We are working with our suppliers to ship these items as soon as possible, but we are unable to provide a revised delivery date at this time. If for some reason we can’t ship these items at all, we’ll cancel the items from your order and notify you. If you wish to cancel them now, please call Customer Service at 1-800-966-6546 and an associate will try to cancel the items. (Items that are too far into the shipping process may not be cancelable, but you can return them for a full refund.) Otherwise, there is no action needed on your part.

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57 Responses to Tuesday, 4 November 2014

  1. Miles_Teg says:

    Why buy treats for Colin when there must be loads of politicians he could munch on. They wouldn’t be missed…

  2. SteveB says:

    Not sure which way I would go with analyzing the Walmart thing, but all of them put the blame on Walmart.

    1.) As you say, they are totally incompetent.

    2.) If you read the email carefully, you will see that Walmart is not devoting any warehouse ($) space to these items. They are expecting the supplier to ship them. The supplier, in turn is depending on just in time ordering with little or no warehouse ($) space for stock, and the manufacturer is depending on a large enough order to manufacture ($) more.

    Walmart could devote warehouse space to the item they are selling, but that would cost money. Cheaper to be a broker and wait 6 months for a slow boat from China (literally) to arrive.

    3.) They are Machiavellian and using Dark Patterns as a marketing technique. A Dark Pattern is a type of user interface that appears to have been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills. Sign you up, get your commitment to pay and make you wait forever for merchandise they do not have in stock…

    Just think how much fun the price match thing is going to be this Saturnalia Season when (if) they try matching online prices–I can just see them doing a scam like this one from years ago at Best Buy.

    Can you online price match at the register, or do you have to pay, then go to the service desk to try to get a refund after standing in line for an hour or longer (remember, you’ve already stood in line at the register for 30+minutes)? Will they issue a store card or actually give you the discount in cash? All of these answers are Yet To Be Announced.

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Best Buy is still around? I thought they’d gone bankrupt. Oh, wait. I guess that was Circuit City. I never could keep those two straight, probably because I never visited either of them.

  4. Chuck W says:

    Indiana is good state to live in, if you do not like voting. We rank #40 for citizens registered to vote and #42 for registered voters who actually vote.

    I will be working my way to the new polling place after lunch, as there are actually a healthy number of Libertarian candidates on the ballot — one for every major office on the ballot. Just hope I don’t get bad vibes from being in the school gym where the kid who was supposed to be holding the rope as I climbed it, shook it and I fell off, halfway up to the rafters.

  5. bgrigg says:

    “Why buy treats for Colin when there must be loads of politicians he could munch on. They wouldn’t be missed…”

    Because he wants to reward Colin, not make him sick!

  6. SteveB says:

    Indiana is good state to live in, if you do not like voting.

    Having spent a few of my adult years where my grandparents and father lived in LaPorte, I found that live voting was not mandatory as no changes were allowed to the outcome of pre-determined elections.

    However, voting became mandatory once you were planted in Pine Lake Cemetery. It seems my grandfather voted at least 10 times after his death and never once stopped by to say hello to the family. YMMV

  7. Ray Thompson says:

    I told him to go ahead and cast a second ballot for me

    Many years ago, 20+, I went to vote in TN. I was shocked to find that I had already voted. Someone had signed my name as having voted. The polling place would not let me vote and instead I would need to go to the courthouse and get it straightened out. Of course it was after 5:00 and the courthouse was closed. I demanded a provisional paper ballot. After waiting 10 minutes for the poll workers to scratch their heads I finally left.

    Called the courthouse the next day and told them about the problem. They said they had no record of me having voted and since the election was over one vote would not matter so there was nothing they would do to help me. Made me wonder how many other votes were screwed up.

    Why buy treats for Colin when there must be loads of politicians he could munch on.

    Because they are full of shit. Would you want to feed shit to your dog?

  8. Chuck W says:

    Best Buy was once a very decent operation. Same could once be said about Radio Shack. But as practically all competition faded, both have jacked up prices to near rape levels.

    Occasionally, I cannot avoid going into one of them, but at Best Buy, I never buy anything that is not on sale. Their sale prices are then about what you can get it online.

    Both Best Buy and Radio Shack are nothing more than phone stores today. A dozen people working in that department in Best Buy (who are “not allowed” to help anybody with something other than phones — not even the phone accessories), while the rest of the store has one guy roaming around.

    I have walked out of that store in Indy/Castleton more than once for lack of help. Even customer service chided me for bothering them for asking for help. You see, at Best Buy, “customer service” means only pick-ups, returns, or problems with purchased products, I was told. Nothing at all to do with in-store help. I would not mind if they hit bankruptcy to get that worthless store off the planet.

    Fry’s is still the best place for anything electronic, even though their store inventory is far less than half what it was when I returned in 2010. They could easily move into a store with half the space of their Indy location. Widest aisles I have seen anywhere.

  9. Chuck W says:

    Would you want to feed shit to your dog?

    Why not? Both of mine (a male and a female) ate it right off the ground and seemed to love it.

  10. SteveB says:

    Why not? Both of mine (a male and a female) ate it right off the ground and seemed to love it.

    It’s the other component of politicians.

    All that hot air gives the dog a severe case of gas.

  11. Miles_Teg says:

    Ping Dave B!

    What profession goes well with Herb Gathering?

    (Yes, I’m playing WoW again, for the time being.)

  12. Chuck W says:

    Notice a lack of car ads on radio and TV? During the last few weeks, they have dropped from being in the top 3 of all advertisers all throughout the year, to around #30th place. Nobody in broadcasting seems to really know why they are not purchasing as many ads, but Ford currently tops the buys that puts them in 30th place. Top 3 advertisers are now Walgreens, Home Depot, and Auto Zone. Political campaign ads were down very significantly this time around, except for a very few hotly contested races around the country.

  13. MrAtoz says:

    A palate cleanser for Dr. Bob.

    THE coastal city of Wenzhou is sometimes called China’s Jerusalem. Ringed by mountains and far from the capital, Beijing, it has long been a haven for a religion that China’s Communist leaders view with deep unease: Christianity. Most cities of its size, with about 9m people, have no more than a dozen or so visibly Christian buildings. Until recently, in Wenzhou, hundreds of crosses decorated church roofs.

  14. SteveB says:

    Gotta love our government nannies. Note it is irrelevant they were hanging someone by their hair. Hair and/or scalp strength is not covered in the rules. They are fining them for using a sub-standard carabiner.


  15. MrAtoz says:

    My local Best Buy has so many employees wandering around, they can justify their rape prices. I went in to look at a PS3 game and was assaulted five times before I even got to the back of the store where the game section resides. Maybe it’s just the holidays coming up.

    The Vegas Fry’s is always stuffed full of goodies. I have noticed the wide aisles. They usually become stuffed with extra stuff during the holidays, also.

    Only one of the various Radio Shacks in Vegas carries electronic hobby stuff like parts in any quantity. The rest are phone and junk stores. I usually go to Fry’s for a quick one off part.

  16. Chuck W says:

    BTW, Tom Magliozzi of Car Talk died yesterday. Appears to be complications of Alzheimer’s, which also explains their retreat from producing new shows a couple years ago.

    I was living in Boston when they first started on-air as a Saturday morning show on WBUR, quickly becoming national icons. I am not sure why Howie Carr got so much static over his Boston accent when he went syndicated; those lazy r’s and funny vowels never bothered the Magliozzi brothers’ popularity.

  17. OFD says:

    “Notice a lack of car ads on radio and TV?”

    We noticed that a while back when we still had tee-vee and also currently on the radio stations; but, they’re bigger than ever in the nooz papers and magazines. We also note that car dealers in the Northeast have vast acreages of their vehicles just sitting there for months and years at a time. We have it on good authority that their sales figures are utter bullshit. The big local dealer where we got our Toyota has 500 vehicles sitting out there by the interstate in its main lot, and the sales guy told me they’re each expected to move 4-8 vehicles a month and it’s deuced hard. Place has cameras all over and its own IT department, with three or four people, apparently. With heavy presences on FaceCrack and the Toob. And a good half-dozen follow-up emails to me after the sale. This ain’t yer dad’s or Bill Cosby’s used car dealership.

    Overcast here and about 55 or so, a mild fall so fah. Off to post office, polls and hardware store; the polls more in the way of an intel-gathering recon than any actual useful voting.

  18. OFD says:

    “…Tom Magliozzi of Car Talk died yesterday.”

    Yeah, Click and Clack, the Tappit Brothers. We used to listen to them occasionally up here but the constant giggling and raucous laughter wears thin after about fifteen minutes. RIP, Tom; that’s a rotten way to go.

    “I am not sure why Howie Carr got so much static over his Boston accent when he went syndicated…”

    I am not sure why Howie Carr hasn’t been assassinated by now; he’s given names, dates, chapter-and-verse of all the sewage in MA politics and organized crime for decades, and has survived at least two attempts that we know of.

  19. MrAtoz says:

    This ain’t yer dad’s or Bill Cosby’s used car dealership.

    Is that supposed to be some kind of Cosby “rape” joke, Mr. OFD. America’s “Dad” is innocent!

  20. OFD says:

    Naw, he used to do a periodic schtick on the show back in the day about going to buy a used car and bringing along his son Theo to show him how it was done and how to get over on the typical used car sales huckster, but he always came off badly. It was pretty funny; the best part of that show was the interaction between him and Theo. My dad met Cosby briefly once at O’Hare many years ago and they exchanged friendly greetings.

  21. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I never met Cosby, but I’ll never forget the first two famous people I ever met. The local camera store sponsored an event at the local Holiday Inn with reps from camera and darkroom equipment manufacturers. I was there with my friend David Silvis when who should arrive at the registration desk but Danny Thomas and his daughter Marlo, who at the time was starring in the TV series That Girl. Mr. Thomas was extraordinarily gracious. Although I’m sure he was tired, he stood around in the lobby for half an hour or more, talking to fans, shaking hands, and so forth. Marlo, on the other hand, was a complete bitch. She made it perfectly clear to everyone that she had no interest in meeting any fans and immediately left for her room. She was just nasty about it. I remember how struck I was with the contrast between father and daughter.

    Actually, come to think of it, they were the fourth and fifth famous people I met. A couple years earlier, the main stuntman from The Wild, Wild West (who was originally from my town) came to some kind of event to honor the local boy at the Scottish Rite Cathedral. For some reason, the star of the show, Robert Conrad, came along with him. The place was wall-to-wall with tweenies and teens, and Conrad was great. He spent a couple hours meeting fans, shaking hands, and so on, but always deferred to his stuntman, who he said was the real star of the show.

    Then, around the same time, two of the Three Stooges, Moe and Larry, came to town. Again, it was wall to wall kids, and again they were complete professionals and spent lots of time talking to the kids. I remember thinking they must get sick of being asked the same questions over and over again, but they sure didn’t act that way. My brother asked Moe where Curly was (he’d died in the early 50’s, of course) and Moe told him that Curly couldn’t be with them that day.

  22. MrAtoz says:


    Another palate cleanser for Dr. Bob:

    Do YOU pretend not to believe in Heaven but secretly do?

  23. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yeah, right. All of these “studies” are actually thinly-disguised attempts by religious people to “prove” that there aren’t any atheists in foxholes. What a load of crap. I’ve been explicitly atheist since I was five years old. And, yes, per the article I’d be more than happy to sell my soul for $2. As Dire Straits said, money for nothing (and your chicks for free).

  24. OFD says:

    Famous peeps OFD has met:

    Eddie Money

    David Johansen (New York Dolls, aka Buster Poindexter)

    The E-Street Band

    G. Gordon Liddy

    William F. Buckley, Jr.

    Patrick and Mrs. Buchanan

    General William Westmoreland

    Mrs. OFD has met Patrick Kennedy and Keef Richards.

    OFD went over to the polls at the big athletic/sports complex just off the interstate; average to middling turnout at 2:30 and more volunteers than schmuck voters like me. I voted mostly for Libertarians and hardcore gun nut Repubs; Vermont is sorta peculiar and out of the ordinary for political parties and candidates; we see some oddities on our ballots here. I voted for one Dem ’cause I know she’s a gun nut. OFD sure gets the fish-eye at these things; maybe I better tone down the Visigoth look.

  25. MrAtoz says:

    My “peeps”:

    Richard M. Nixon

    George W. Bush

    Crown Prince Felipe of Spain

    Edward James Olmos

    Cheech Marin

    Hugh O’Brian

    Colin Powell (briefed him many times)

    The list goes on and on…well, not really. That’s about it.

  26. Chad says:

    I figure it is worth voting even if it’s just for the ballot initiative, propositions, etc. Even if you’re one of those “Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil” types that think no one is worth voting for or one of those people that think their vote doesn’t count. There’s not just names on the ballots. There’s various other stuff like smoking bans, minimum wage increases, etc. You can always just leave the rest of the ballot blank and simply vote for just the initiatives while ignoring all of the candidates.

  27. SteveB says:

    Famous people?

    Wernher Von Braun — just a guy who came over to a friend’s house periodically to get my friend’s dad to work on his German car in the early 60s. He’d pat us on the head and observe how big we were getting. Wasn’t until Jr. High I realized he was someone important.

    Arthur Rudolph — Neighbor of another friend. Quiet man who kept to himself and spent most of his time in his rose garden.

    John Glenn, Gene Cernan, Gus Grissom, Walter Schirra, Frank Borman, Ed White — all did NASA promotions and school tours talking to kids one-on-one locally in the 1960s for Marshall Space Flight Center.

    As an adult in the late 70s, I said “Hi” to the guy behind me in line when I bumped his buggy at KMart. Wasn’t until I was leaving the parking lot that I realized it was Art Carney.

    Local news that night said he and Ernest Borgnine had spent the day out shopping at KMart, Penney’s and Loveman’s during a break in the filming of Ravagers here in town. Apparently Borgnine was somewhere else in the store when I was checking out at KMart.

    Almost forgot. I once also met Jack King on those school tours, the man no one ever saw, but was instantly recognizable as the Voice of Launch Control in the 60s.

  28. dkreck says:

    Well daughter and I just got back from Temple and I’m not even Jewish. Twice in a month, a funeral and an election. The first more joyful. Said hi to the rabbi. Nice lady.

    My polling place along with two other precincts. 11:30am and 30 voters had been there before me. Hell of a turn out. Mostly a waste as California is held captive by the dems with their union and minority support. At least the San Joaquin valley elects republicans in spite of efforts to turn our districts into latino strongholds.

    Vote early and vote often!

  29. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I guess I’ve met a lot more than my share of famous people, including a whole bunch of pro tennis players back in the 60’s and 70’s who were pretty famous when I played against them.

    But the person I always envied was a woman I dated back in the late 70’s. Debbie was brilliant, which wasn’t surprising considering that both her parents worked at Princeton’s IAS. One of her earliest memories was Albert Einstein bouncing her on his knee, and she met a lot of famous scientists–including Dirac, Dyson, Oppenheimer, von Neumann, and others–because her dad used to take her into the office when she was young and just let her play on the floor. Apparently, few of the scientists could resist a cute little girl.

  30. OFD says:

    OFD learned some new terms today:

    “…So if you maintain a balance of more than 500,000 euros at Deutsche Skatbank of Germany, you now have the privilege of paying 0.25% per year… to the bank.”

    (From Sovereign Man’s email today: we learned the term “negative interest rate.” This is what they’re now kicking off over in Old Europa. Very nice.)

    Then OFD heard about “dynamic pricing,” something that’s turned up as a topic here before a few times, when noticing price changes at Amazon, fer instance:

    “Dynamic pricing, also called real-time pricing, is an approach to setting the cost for a product or service that is highly flexible. The goal of dynamic pricing is to allow a company that sells goods or services over the Internet to adjust prices on-the-fly in response to market demands.
    Changes are controlled by pricing bots, which are software agents that gather data and use algorithms to adjust pricing according to business rules. Typically, the business rules take into account such things as the time of day, day of the week, level of demand and competitor pricing.

    With the advent of big data and big data analytics, business rules can be crafted to adjust prices for specific customers based on criteria such as the customer’s zip code, how often the customer has made purchases in the past and how much the customer typically spends. By collecting and analyzing customer data, a vendor can more accurately predict what price a customer is willing to pay and adjust prices accordingly.”

    Also very nice. Aren’t business terms so useful?

  31. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yeah, as I’ve mentioned before I love it when the pricing bots go out of control. I remember once searching Amazon for a used book that should have cost maybe $5 or $8. Two vendors on Amazon had copies, and IIRC one of the had it priced at something like $3.2 million and the other at $3.25 million.

  32. Lynn McGuire says:

    With samsclub.com and walmart.com, the opposite is true. They seem to have no clue as to stock status of what I’m trying to order, and when they finally process the order it takes them days to weeks to ship and days to weeks longer for the items to arrive.

    Wow, my experience with http://www.samsclub.com is 180 degrees out from yours. Then again, I am ordering consumables for the office from Sam’s Club such as toilet paper, paper towels and hand soap. Their online price is the same as the club (awesome) and the shipping is very reasonable. Since I order a pickup truck full per occasion, I have no wish to drive over to Sams and get it myself. Brown (UPS) can deliver it just fine for me.

  33. Dave B. says:

    Both Best Buy and Radio Shack are nothing more than phone stores today. A dozen people working in that department in Best Buy (who are “not allowed” to help anybody with something other than phones — not even the phone accessories), while the rest of the store has one guy roaming around.

    We actually have a Radio Shack here in Smallville. It’s probably the only choice for buying computer related stuff in Smallville. The closest WalMart is actually in the next town. The only stuff I buy from either is the stuff you can’t way for Amazon to ship. The only place I’d actually buy stuff from other than stuff I need right now is Fry’s and it’s about the same distance from me as it is from Chuck.

  34. SteveF says:

    Re famous people, I’ve met myself. You might not think that’s a big deal, but I assure you it is. I’m the center of the universe, the creator. If I have a bad day, you go away, probably in a terrible way. Even if I ever fully lose consciousness you’re likely in trouble.

  35. Chad says:

    You can usually tell which parts of a store are commissioned base (or have the highest commission rate compared to the other depts in the store). Walk into Sears, go to the apparel, and look for help. No one. Walk into Sears, go lean on a wash machine, and you won’t even have a chance to look for help before someone is kissing your ass.

    I’m not sure if this is still true, but several years ago I knew a girl that worked for Dillards (slightly upscale dept store that’s usually a mall “anchor” store). She said only two departments were paid commissioned and they were womens shoes and mens suits. Sure enough, without fail you could ALWAYS get instant enthusiastic help in those two sections of the store. (I think cosmetics and some others are commission-based too, but they’re all sublet and those people don’t work for Dillards but for the cosmetic manufacturers).

    Radio Shack alienated its core audience when it decided to turn its back on the electronics hobbyist and turned into a store that was 50% cell phones and 50% toys. Gone are the helpful knowledgeable staff and instead you’re helped by someone that barely knows how to use the register let alone solder a component to a circuit board.

  36. bgrigg says:

    Famous people I’ve met (in no particular order):

    John Wayne
    Glenn Ford
    Alice Cooper
    Long John Baldry
    Jon Bon Jovi
    Sarah McLachlan
    Diana Krall (tried to date her, she was too smart to fall for that)
    Gene Rodenberry
    Jim Byrnes
    Cheech Marin
    Tommy Chong
    Michael J. Fox
    Gillian Anderson

  37. OFD says:

    I wouldn’t mind meeting Alice Cooper; the others, meh. And Krall gave *you* up for Elvis Costello???

    As for the famous I met, I was struck by how small some of them were, particularly Westmoreland and Buckley. It’s also funny when you think of many fem celebs and get the impression they’re 5’9″ and up when they’re actually, a lot of them, barely above five feet.

    I saw one chick one time at a Shaw’s supermarket down in MA who was probably 6’10” and she was wearing a tee shirt that said “Tall People Are The Height of the Party.” I was sorely tempted to ask her to get me something from the top shelf, as I’ve been asked so many times over the years, but discretion was the bettuh paht of valluh.

  38. MrAtoz says:

    I wouldn’t mind meeting Alice Cooper

    He’s playing Vegas at the end of the month. You bring the Moxie, I’ll provide the bats. Oh, wait, that was Ozzy. I’ll bring the pretzels.

  39. MrAtoz says:

    Just looked at a picture of Donatella Versace on Daily Mail. Holy shit my Chihuahua’s ass looks better than that! Did she do that to herself?

  40. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I see in an adjoining link that a “top Vatican official” has condemned Brittany Maynard, the young woman who just took her own life to avoid suffering any longer with terminal cancer. Bastard. I hope he has a long drawn-out battle with terminal cancer.

  41. SteveF says:

    Yet another crime to be laid at the feet of the War on (Some) Drugs: if doctors weren’t afraid of being jailed for issuing enough painkillers to terminally ill patients, more patients would not choose suicide. Regardless, not being in America, I’m sure the vatican official won’t have any problem getting painkillers if he needs them. And I hope he does. I hope he gets something prolonged, painful, and inevitably terminal.

    Not that I oppose suicide for this or any other reason. If life is hopeless and you have nothing to look forward to, you should kill yourself. Spare your family and the taxpayer the expense if you’re ill, and spare your family the anguish of watching you waste away.

    Also, I utterly oppose federal restrictions on use of any drugs except antibiotics. Antibiotics have a public health impact. Painkillers do not. (There might be other drugs which should be controlled because of a public health impact. And there are some concerns about various drugs finding their way into the environment, though I’ll note that they are despite stringent controls, so I’m not sure that’s a good argument.)

  42. Chuck W says:

    Well, the big business cronies are winning in every case. Expect more of that sucking sound as anybody with less than multiple millions has it vacuumed up the chain in a continuation of trickle-up economics.

  43. Chuck W says:

    There is no way I could remember how many famous people I have met in my life, as working in television insured meeting a ton. But it includes 3 Presidents, 5 Vice-Presidents, and a quite a few of the most-visible Senators. None of those folks even tried to act like average ordinary people. Why we elect them, I will never understand.

    But without a doubt, the person who got to me the most was Lucie Arnaz, Jr. She is only a couple years younger than me, and was touring for the show she starred in with her mother and brother; she spent a couple days with our station. To me, she was beyond strikingly beautiful, but most of all, tall. That was an instant turn-on to me in younger years, as it was very hard to find girls who came up to my shoulders, let alone one where all the moving parts fit together.

    At the time, Lucie was going with some guy that she later married and quickly divorced; she then married a guy 15 years older than she, and they are still together 35 years later. Lucie was polite and cordial with me, but no more. A fine and upstanding girl who really turned me on.

    Second favorite was Mel Tormé, who frequently performed at a nightclub in Indy just a few doors down from our station, and stayed at the Holiday Inn next door to us. He stopped in every afternoon and, together with the boys in the film department, previewed the movies we ran every weekday after the late news. Really, really nice guy.

  44. OFD says:

    Lucie is kinda cute but, woe unto me, only 5’9″. Mrs. OFD is taller by an inch.

    I always thought Mel Torme was a nice guy; you can usually tell with some people and he always struck me that way. Ditto Tony Bennett.

  45. Chuck W says:

    That source for her height has got to be fudging the truth, the same as reports of stars’ ages are frequently lower in number than reality. I assure you that Lucie was 5’11” in flats if she was an inch. There are some pics on the Net of her and her brother standing side by side at some kind of award ceremony, and she is in flats and taller than he is.

    For a good long stretch, I directed Irv Kupcinet’s TV show in Chicago and met Bennett there. Bennett is a very nice guy, and a real attraction for younger people, no matter how old he gets. Aside from meeting Muhammad Ali, which was an incredible thrill for me (when Ali was still his gregarious and incredibly funny self — his hands are humongous), Vincent Price was a really interesting person. He went out to lunch with the crew as if it was his favorite thing to do. Incredibly impressive guy.

  46. OFD says:

    In pics with her mom, they look about the same height.

    I always liked Vincent Price and was bummed when he left PBS’s “Mystery,” to be replaced by the only person who could, really, Diana Rigg. He had a great sense of humor, too.

    Imagine getting hit with one of Ali’s fists when he was in top condition; that must have really sucked.

  47. ech says:

    I’ve met a lot of astronauts – all the Apollo 11 crew, Shepherd, Cernan; a lot of Shuttle astronauts (Young, Crippen, Ride, etc.), and a few from ESA and JAXA.

    SF authors: Clarke, Heinlein, Aspirin, Pournelle, Niven, and some others I can’t recall.

    Politicos: Lots of Texas governors, George McGovern, Newt Gingrich. Saw JFK, LBJ, and Eisenhower in parades.

    Musicians: Al Stewart, Laurence Juber, Cecila Bartoli, ZZ Top, Doug Sahm.

    I’ve also met Richard Greenblatt (AI hacker), Max Ernst (artist), Freeman Dyson, Fred Hoyle, and the Buckyball guys at Rice U. I’ve also met the Firesign Theatre.

    Famous felons I’ve met: much of the top echelon at Enron that did the perp walk.

  48. Chuck W says:

    Hmm. If I type “how tall was lucille ball” as a Google query, it says Desi was 6-0, Lucy 5-7, Lucie Jr. 5-10, and Desi Jr. 5-11. Even accepting 5-10, Lucie Jr. could not be misjudged as the same height as Lucille.

    I still say it is Lucie Jr. who is 5-11, and Desi Jr. is 5-10. TV and movies are full of tricks to make people’s heights seem what they are not. Tom Cruise is a veritable midget, but here he is up against people who are a lot taller than he.


    But even I am baffled at how they do the one with Katie Holmes, who is 2″ taller than Cruise, not the other way around, as it looks.

    At my peak, I was 71.5 inches, and in no way did I look down on Lucie. She was in flats, which I was told she always wore due to her height.

  49. OFD says:

    “I’ve also met the Firesign Theatre.”

    I remember when they were big among us “heads” back in the day, and a couple of the other guys would go around all the time reciting lines from their repertoire. I didn’t find it terribly funny then. I tried them again a couple of years ago, and found them even less amusing. Tragedy is easy; comedy is HARD, folks. Ditto Cheech and Chong. The one comic I found enormously funny at the time was the late Richard Pryor. And the first few Woody Allan flicks.

    Where can I meet that Olga person? I went to another link and took the stupid “What Kinda Movie Do You Like” thing; I’m an action junkie.

  50. Miles_Teg says:

    “Actually, come to think of it, they were the fourth and fifth famous people I met.”

    You’re getting old, man. Your memory isn’t what it used to be. In the past you’ve also mentioned Ansel Adams, and a famous bridge player who invented one of the Big Club bidding systems… 🙂

  51. Miles_Teg says:

    MrAtoz wrote:

    “Just looked at a picture of Donatella Versace on Daily Mail. Holy shit my Chihuahua’s ass looks better than that! Did she do that to herself?”

    Oh hell! She looks like a superannuated dark Elf.

    Pardon me for a minute while I clean the vomit off my keyboard.

  52. Miles_Teg says:

    Famous people I’ve met:

    Not many. A few Australian and South Australian politicians y’all probably never heard of.

    And the newly announced Rhodes Scholar from South Australia, who has the misfortune of being one of my tutors… 🙂 She looks like a young Sandra Bullock.

  53. brad says:

    Well, the US now has the other side of the coin. Be interesting to see if the Repubs do anything at all sensible, but I’m certainly not holding my breath.

    I expect them to do nothing useful, just stonewall until 2016, when they hope to get a president of their very own. At which time they will…leave all of Obama’s programs in place, add their own on top, and ramp the deficit up even higher.

    My favorite campaign slogan remains: “Why vote for the lesser evil? Cthulhu for president!”

  54. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    In the past you’ve also mentioned Ansel Adams, and a famous bridge player who invented one of the Big Club bidding systems… 🙂

    Ansel Adams and Howard Schenken were both when I was in college or afterwards. I also met Vincent Price when I was in college, and he was indeed a class act.

    But I know Jerry Pournelle, which puts me one Bacon degree away from every famous person on earth. See my entry at 11:03 here:


    (For some reason, when he read it, Jerry didn’t find this at all funny…)

  55. Miles_Teg says:

    There were some interesting stories on that page from so long ago.

    In 2003 I was two Bacon degrees away from George Bush. I knew a First Secretary in the British Embassy in Washington, who would certainly have known the Ambassador, who would certainly have known Dubya. I wish it had been Sandra Bullock instead… 🙂

  56. OFD says:

    I’m only one Bacon degree from Black Jack Pershing and then on to Generals Grant, Lee, Jackson, Sherman, Sheridan, and on back to Light-Horse Harry Lee, and G. Washington and the rest of the Founders. And if my ancestor Benjamin Franklin was ever in personal contact with Marie Antoinette, then her, too.

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