austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Guess you need some bringing down

The nearby Borders continues its shutting-down and liquidation sale. As of this week before yoga class, they had settled to the 50-to-70 percent off level, which to me indicates the final closing is one to two weeks away. The shelves have not become filled with unrelated merchandise that the liquidation company happened to have laying around, at least not to the extent that any big bookstore these days doesn't have unrelated merchandise. But they had lots of books, a smaller number of DVDs and CDs, some games, and leftover 2011 calendars.

It also attracted a man who apparently believed the signs at the front doors, sides of the walls, bookshelf ends, and cash registers warning that due to the closing down they would NOT be accepting returns or exchanges and you COULD NOT return or exchange things purchased during the liquidation sale at other Borders outlets. I'm not sure which fundamental principle of justice he felt this violated, but he kept at it even as the patient cashier tried to explain that they weren't just making this policy up to be big meany poopyheads. Someday I'm going to make my fortune by selling portable trap doors to the people who work retail.

Trivia: The Apollo Guidance Computer's control register at location number 000078 was hard-wired to hold the number zero. Source: The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture and Operation, Frank O'Brien. (Yeah, this particular cell doesn't really need to be written down in base eight, but if I refer later to what's in others I may need to, so, let me be preemptively consistent.)

Currently Reading: Strong Medicine, Arthur Hailey. It's, well, an Arthur Hailey book but set in the world of pharmaceutical manufacture. One of the pills concocted at the end struck me as an eerie foreshadowing of the discovery of Viagra as more than a blood-pressure manipulator: it was intended as a memory aid; due to (medical babble) it increased blood circulation through the head; due to (further babble) this served as a metabolism-booster and weight-loss aide; and (further babble) that made it an aphrodisiac. The sign this book was written in the mid-80s is the company regarded the last effect as the embarrassing thing they knew would make them money as an off-label use but it would be so unthinkable to advertise that. (Like a potion that makes you smarter and thinner wasn't enough, Hailey?)

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