I want a hover car

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A pot pourri, a hodgepodge, a vibrant stew of stories. In other words, I couldn’t come up with a theme for today’s blog post, but interesting stories still beckon.

Like this: http://www.salon.com/2013/07/02/ex_nirvana_and_soundgarden_member_joined_the_elite_special_forces/

I’ve never heard of this guy, and I was a big Soundgarden fan back in the day. I’ve always found rock history surprisingly dull, actually, despite a lifelong interest in music punctuated by a number of years being a devoted listener.

Interesting bit of trivia, though: from early member of two of rock’s most iconic bands to spec ops soldier.

I like this concept: http://www.imsmart.com/en/i-m-watch/overview

That’s not an endorsement. But when it comes to smart technology, I think watches have potential.

I hate cellphones – sorry, smartphones. I don’t want to carry one, I don’t want to charge one, I don’t want to fiddle with the little buttons, and I definitely don’t want to pay for one.

Smart glasses? Have the clowns trying to sell this as a good idea ever had to wear glasses glasses? I’m not wearing glasses I don’t need to wear, and smart glasses – even if incorporated into my prescription pair – would be distracting, headache-inducing and generally viewed as creepy by everyone not wearing them.

Not that I hate technology. I’m just mostly disappointed by its offerings to regular consumers. This is the best we have? I watched a video today on full head transplants, and us regular folk still have to dither with iPhones? Where are the hover cars and the neural implants?

At least a smart watch could be an unobtrusive intermediary step. Functionality is everything. Give me GPS, time, email, texting, weather reports, two-line news updates, a camera, some kind of less unsightly Bluetooth phone hookup, and storage capacity for 100,000 songs – all in a watch no bigger than a quarter, and for a monthly fee of $10 all-in – and I’ll start to get interested.

I buy things from Amazon. Should I try to stop? http://www.fastcodesign.com/1672939/think-your-office-is-soulless-check-out-this-amazon-fulfillment-center#1

The thing is, I do believe in shopping local. The problem, of course, is that no local bricks and mortar retailer could ever hope to compete with the selection of, well, the world…which is basically what Amazon comes closer than anyone else to offering.

I’m waiting for an order right now. It’s a small penknife to go on a keychain. What I like about it is the retractable pen: http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Swiss-Signature-Pocket-Knife/dp/B000FNI1W6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1372856822&sr=8-3&keywords=victorinox+signature

Guess what? I haven’t been able to find that particular knife in any stores. I’m sure someone has it, but I can’t find it. Not in Amherst, not in Moncton. I wouldn’t even know where to look in Halifax. But a few minutes online and it’s mine.

If I can buy it local, and the price isn’t exorbitantly higher (I will pay more for local goods, but have my limits), I’ll make a point of buying here. But like most consumers, I won’t not-buy something because my local shop doesn’t stock it.

Of course, the link is to an article about labour conditions, which is a separate issue. I don’t like to see people taken advantage of. At the same time, having the option of working is better than not, yes? If Amazon didn’t exist, are we to assume thriving local shops would sprout up to take its place? And would they offer the product I want?

Anyway, when I can get what I want here, even at a modestly inflated price, I do, but I’m not ready to say no to online shopping completely. What do you think? Will you pay more for the same thing in order to give your business to a local merchant? How much more will you pay? Ten-per cent? Twenty? Fifty? And what about selection?

Wanna see a clear example of bias in journalism? Check out the headline ‘Tea Party Flunks History’ on the homepage of Salon, here: http://www.salon.com

Then read the story here: http://www.salon.com/2013/07/03/frederick_douglass_new_tea_party_hero/

The author details links between the rhetoric of the modern Tea Party Republicans and Frederick Douglass, the end result being it’s not completely outlandish modern Republicans would point to Douglass as an American whose views are worth airing (no doubt there may be a more cynical motive, too, namely diluting their image as the party of wealthy white dudes, adding a dose of social justice and minority rights).

But look at that headline on the homepage: Salon flat-out says the Tea Party has their history wrong.

Here’s an interesting thing to consider: that modern, centrist government is radically huge and socialist by the standards of even left-wing Americans in the 19th century. Are there redneck racists in the Republican Party? Of course. There would be a few in the Democrat camp, too (although I suspect not as many). But it’s not strange that the Tea party, which purports to champion 19th century virtues such as small government and self-reliance, would look to 19th century thinkers for inspiration, including a revolutionary like Douglass. The mainstream 19th century idea of a government with strict limits on its arenas of influences is revolutionary in 2013 – decried as “American” or “right wing” or “conservative” in this country.

There are stupid people in all parts of Canada, Edmonton, but yours have chosen to out themselves to the National Post: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/06/28/jonathan-kay-surely-edmontonians-can-take-a-joke/

There are people with poor reading comprehension. I get that. But a mayor has no excuse.

A prize to the first person who uses one of these ‘words’ in a comment on this blog post: http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukelewis/marvelous-regional-words-we-should-all-start-using

Chess is very cool. I’d like to be great at it – but not really, not enough to actually do the endless work it would take to get there: http://www.buzzfeed.com/sbkasulke/what-its-like-to-go-through-a-chess-phase

Well, I guess it’s coopers ducks for this post. Til next time.

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