Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Tale of Sir Bridgestone the Flat

1) I had a flat today--well, not an actual flat but the S-10 started shaking really badly, so I pulled into the parking lot of a not-yet-open car dealership along Hwy 16 and found the tread was separating on the driver's side rear tire--and used AAA for the first time (only got it with this vehicle, though I gotta say it's the way to go if you drive a beater). I don't usually buy bad tires, but I did have to get the one that failed today as a used tire when I ran over a chunk of metal on I-75 heading north from Macon, long story. Still, that tire had good tread depth left, as do all my tires, when I last checked.

Anyway, I rode in the cab of the tow truck with a tooth-impaired-differently-abled fella named Jim who moved to Newnan in 1992. Made me feel old school. We talked about the weather, the traffic, the growth of the area, Smith's Store, the movies and how they charge an arm-and-a-leg for popcorn. On a good day, Jim will do 15-20 calls; he lamented being off this past weekend, when it was busy. While we were in tow, he got a call for his next pick-up, which would be right across the street from where he was taking me for a new tire. Thankfully, the S-10 emerged none the worse for wear, and retains her imprimis.

2) I completed my errands and ate at Gandolfo's, where I usually get the Knuckle sandwich and soup, especially if it's the taco (soup). Today, I had broccoli salad and a Dagwood. I may have a new favorite.

3) Some of the stores are closed/ing in the strip of the shopping center adjacent to the tire place (other parts, like Home Depot, Circuit City, Kohl's, etc seem okay). Goody's is selling everything including the shelves, the good shoe place is gone, TJ Maxx is gone; the only remaining parts are Cici's Pizza ('nuff said), eyeglasses, the crappy shoe place, and the Christian bookstore, whose window display had inflatable beach items like palm trees and patio chairs, juxtaposed with the Narnia books. Summer reading.

It looked cheesy, but probably no more so than the display I did at Waldenbooks for a reprint of the Oz series in 1985 in which a silhouette of the Wicked Witch on her broomstick with a cotton ball script "Surrender Dorothy" glued to carefully cut-out letters trailing behind, was suspended from the ceiling by fishing line. Scotch tape was involved. Indispensable, even. From the correct angle, the whole thing appeared to float in air over a pile of the massive series, many of which were not written by Baum.

4) None of the Nancy Drew books were written by Carolyn Keene at all, and even Millie Benson didn't write alot of them. She was part of Edward Stratemeyer's Syndicate, which was responsible for The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon, Tom Swift by Victor Appleton and others, like the Bobbsey Twins, which I never read. An amazing operation they had. This article at Wikipedia (a good place to start, but never your final source) says the syndicate was unknown to the public until publishers sued each other over the rights in the late 1970s. Certainly it was unknown to me, though by the late 70s I was on to other reading and didn't learn about it until much later.

That's a different thing than the Baum oeuvre being taken up by someone else; this was done pretty surreptitiously also in the case of V.C. Andrews, who wrote only the first four of the blond attic-dwelling Dollanganger children stories. Yeah, I read them, too.

5) There is no No. 5.

6) I was looking at cameras in the aforementioned Circuit City and really saw the price divide between single body cameras and digital SLRs. However, the optical zoom difference is getting lower--they had two models with 12X for around USD 300. Entry level SLRs are 600 and much bulkier. Carrying around an expensive camera is something I have done for years at school, but it definitely gets in the way. The more I think about it, the best optical zoom plus high px in the slimmest, most manageable package is what I need. Any thoughts?

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