Daily Musings of August 29, 2018

I want to do a plug for Selby Implement in Quincy, specifically their parts department. The first thing I bought from them was a kitchen stove about 20 years ago, when they still carried appliances along with their main lines of farm machinery and power equipment. I called the other day to get a carburetor for my new-to-me lawnmower, and the guy said their supplier had it marked as discontinued. So I started looking around online to see if I could find it still in stock somewhere, or a used one. I found a couple that were probably right based on the numbers, but they didn’t have a picture to compare. While I was searching, my phone rang, and it was the parts guy. Good thing for caller ID. He’d looked around in their inventory and found one he thought matched, so I took mine in to compare, and it did. I’ve always been happy with their service, but I really appreciated his going the extra mile like that.


(That reddit thread has a no-politics rule, so I can’t post this there, even though you can’t really talk about what’s wrong with the new Star Wars movies without getting into the politics.)

It’s fun to watch fans argue that there isn’t politics in the Disney Star Wars movies. Come on. The creators aren’t shy about their political views or how they see their movies as vehicles for social education. One writer talked about how the Empire represents “white supremacists” (because Stormtroopers wear white, I guess). Kathleen Kennedy had freaking t-shirts made to declare one of her political goals for the series. Politics is all through the films. You can agree or disagree with it. You can say it can be ignored and doesn’t spoil the movies. But saying it’s not in there just makes you look disingenuous or ignorant.

Of course, movies have always had political messages inserted into them, usually of the left-wing variety since that’s how Hollywood rolls. They used to be more subtle, though. A team of writers in 1975 might have come up with the idea of a horny SJW robot, had a laugh about it, and then said, “Okay, back to work,” and slipped a little of those concepts into a scene somewhere. In 2018, they just do it.

I hate cell phones. I was talking to a client the other day and we got cut off three times in about 15 minutes. No idea which end was the problem. This client also likes using the speaker phone, so that adds another layer of audio cutting out and talking over each other. So pleasant.

So I went looking to see what it would cost to get an old-fashioned landline with a phone stuck on the wall. It took some digging to find, because AT&T had nothing about landlines on their home page or the services page that came up for my zip code. I had to do a search that jumped me into a section of their site that wasn’t linked from the main menu. Anyway, $20/month for the stripped-down, no long distance, no frills, possible extra fees for “local toll calls” landline. Probably closer to $30 by the time you add taxes and various fees.

Ouch. I get it: the cost of maintaining copper in the ground hasn’t gone down just because other communications technology has improved, so there’s no reason for landline service to have gotten cheaper over the past 20 years. That’s a lot to pay for a second phone I only use for incoming client calls, though. Too bad.

Watch this and guess what part of the country these guys are from, then scroll down below the video to see the answer.

It was a trick question. They’re from Finland.