March 19th, 2013

krazy koati

Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city

Among the stores we visited was Cherry Republic, which strives for a slight Portlandia touch in Ann Arbor by committing to the idea that whatever you might eat might as well have a cherry on it. This is a pretty workable idea, really, based partly on the variety of things to sample which include a lot of candies that are made of or otherwise covered in cherry stuff. There are some excesses, I think, particularly when bacon gets involved (I'm ready for the fetishization of bacon in modern American culture to wear off), but none too many and then we'd find a bowl of chips with a dip too fancy for the likes of us to actually eat anyway. bunny_hugger bought some cherry sours which she'd enjoy for days; I got a bag of pretzels covered in cherry yoghurt which I'd enjoy for a little while longer.

We wandered back around the city --- visiting a used record store again, notably, where I ventured ever so marginally out of my comfort zone and bought a Sparks CD. bunny_hugger likes Sparks and I've heard some of their albums and I figured, well, I have no idea what this disc --- ``When Do I Get To Sing `My Way'?'' --- was but how odd could it be? It turns out to be just the song, ``When Do I Get To Sing `My Way'?'' in seven slightly different arrangements by different sound engineers. We listened to it on the way home, and fortunately we both like the song; consider what might happen otherwise. I also admire that somehow I'm able even when doing something perfectly ordinary like picking a new album from a band I already kind of like, I manage to find a freak case of it. We haven't been able to find information about what this CD was made for, or why. A singles release is our best hypothesis.

(The music store has both 8-track and regular old audio cassettes, for the people who have some lingering fondness for them. It has crossed my mind that while vinyl and even CDs have their devotees, there's just no love lost for audio cassettes, apart from the idea of the mix tape as a desirable way of gathering and exchanging music. It's a bit sad to have a once-vast technology fade out that completely, although, it is a technology that really only did ``portability'' and ``recordability'' well.)

Trivia: Walter Scott's ``neat little volume'' of 1802, Scottish Border Minstrelsy, of oral folk ballads and traditions, sold out in England and Scotland; there were translations made and sold in German (the brothers Grimm reportedly held it in high regard), Swedish, and Danish. Source: How The Scots Invented The Modern World, Arthur Herman.

Currently Reading: Before The Computer: IBM, NCR, Burroughs, and Remington Rand and the Industry They Created, 1865 - 1956, James W Cortada. Cortada mentions how NCR shifted to war production in World War II by making Norden bombsights, but that in late 1944 the Navy authorized them to make six thousand cash registers (and ordered another thousand cash registers from other cash register companies), raising the question, why did the Navy need seven thousand cash registers for April 1945? (And that the Army didn't need, apparently?) It suggests a desire to account the Japanese home islands into submission.