Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Memo to Target Cashier Checkout Guy:

Here's what's your business: using your little scanner thing to add up all the prices on the items I purchase and determine the total and then charge me accordingly.

Here's what not your goddamn business: making inane and borderline-derogatory comments about the nature of those items and the quantities in which I am purchasing them. STFU, asshole.

I am well aware that I am purchasing what might appear to be an unusually large number of razors, or deodorant sticks, or tubes of toothpaste, or shower gel. Not that it is any of your motherfucking business whatsoever (see above), but I like to limit the number of trips I make to your store. This is a purposeful strategy designed to limit my total number of interactions with shit-for-brains assholes such as yourself. Fuck off!

Monday, June 15, 2009

the monetary value also rises

I like books, and own many of them and have recently run completely out of shelf space. (And though Gleemonex has invited me to do this this summer, and though it seems like a fun thing, one of my shelves is filled with books I've been planning to read, so I don't think I'll be able to fit it in.)

Because I'm a book reader and not a book collector, most of my books are cheap paperback editions. Some are cheap hardcovers (book club editions and the like). A few are first editions of very recent vintage, of books that had large print runs. None are worth more than a few dollars.

With two notable exceptions. A while back a person with special gift-giving talents procured me a first edition of Oblivion with a personalized epigram from DFW himself. Crazy! In terms of value, I have no idea what this is worth, but as I won't be likely to part with it, such measures are not relevant. It is without a doubt one of the coolest things I own (right up there with my Soviet-era assault rifle!).

But several years back, a very generous (and somewhat extravagant) benefactor gifted me with a copy of one of my all-time favorites, Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. It is a first edition, first printing. One of only 5,090 copies published in 1926. Out of curiosity, I googled it and found this. Needless to say, my jaw dropped. Apparently, several copies have sold at auction at or above this level.

But, of course, that's not the end of the story. Having read this book, which is an excellent introduction for anyone interested in becoming a book collector (which, as stated, I'm not), I already knew my copy wouldn't be anywhere near the high end. Because, while mine is in good condition, it has some minor damage on the spine, and, most importantly, is without the original dust jacket. The presence or lack of a dust jacket appears to affect a book's value seemingly out of all proportion to the actual worth of the dust jacket. In the case of this book, the dust jacket appears to be worth upwards of $90,000!

So, alas. In retrospect, I probably should not have discarded the jacket that came with my copy.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

hiatus interrupted: an aimless post filled with unrelated scraps

Did I forget to mention the blog was going on hiatus? Probably because I didn't realize it was on hiatus until a few minutes ago. Anyway. Here is some stuff:

1. An example of the interesting things one might find on a wingnut blog: "Video of Black Panther: "You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker." (No need to click though, btw, just wanted to quote the lede. and also, btw, that's not what the guy actually said.)

2. Another classic headline, this one from Wonkette: "Bill Kristol Suggests Bombing Whatsitcalled, One of the Chinas." Also no need to click through, but the upshot here is that Mr. Kristol, leading light of the "conservative" movement, headcheerleader for Operation Desert Quagmire, former columnist for the "liberal" New York Times, now columnist for The Washington Post, and regular guest on the Sunday political bobblehead shows, offhandedly muses on the advisability of bombing North Korea. The dude has obviously given about 5 minutes worth of thought to the concept, with none of those thoughts focusing on how this course of action would, you know, be A FUCKING GLOBAL DISASTER!, but, then again, casually bombing the shit out of random countries is, after all, part of the GOP's official platform, isn't it?.

3. Matt Taibbi has a couple of Obama critiques that follow closely along the lines of this blog's recent material. Money quote:
I still like Obama, in a lot of ways. Having a president with less ability to inspire public confidence at a time like this, with our economy in such a death spiral, would be a disaster; God knows where we’d be right now with a McCain or a Mike Huckabee at the helm. But this guy has to show some stones somewhere along the line. He has to just forget the DC game and just take a clear stand on an issue like this sometime. He’s kind of running out of time to rescue his all-important first impression.
4. In honor of the 65th anniversary of D-Day, The Atlantic reprinted this article, which is a gripping blow-by-blow recounting -- constructed from contemporary notes taken by the writer, who was there -- of the assault at Omaha Beach. It's like a textual version of the first 30 minutes of Saving Private Ryan, but maybe better.

Ok. Back to semi-hiatus.