January 4th, 2005

krazy koati

When I saw you standing there

Yes, there are few things that feel as relaxing when you're standing in a long line as having somebody else get in line after you. Somehow that rarely happens to me and I end up in a long and slow march to the front, but it does sometimes happen.

What I hadn't imagined was there's a horribly creepy converse: when you're the only person in line, standing at the register, and in about twenty seconds a huge line forms behind you. Maybe it wasn't that huge a line, but it was at least four people behind me, and at every register in the store, who just were not there before. I paid for my groceries and left before they could turn it into a surprise party for me.

Quantegy -- which used to be the Ampex Recording Media Corporation, makers of recording tape and (in the 1950s) the first VCR, before federal regulations in the 1990s required every corporation to change its name into something far stupider and less dignified -- closed its Opelika, Alabama, plant, the last one in the United States that made audio tape, last week. In a move with that touch of class that makes corporate robber-barons such beloved figures, they didn't give notice; they just put up ``No Tresspassing'' signs and changed the security passwords while all the employees were on Christmas vacation.

Trivia: In 1965 Pope Paul VI returned to the Orthodox Patriarch Athenagoras the relics of Saint Sabas, taken from Constantinople by Venetians 973 years earlier. Source: A History of Venice, John Julius Norwich.

Currently Reading: In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov 1920-1954, Isaac Asimov.