Zits (KFS) reminds me that I’m old enough to remember when Frosted Flakes, Sugar Smacks and Sugar Corn Pops seemed to be about the extent of morning junk food. The first fruit-flavored cereal, Trix, appeared in 1954, the year I started kindergarten.
But let’s not pretend to be pure: We poured plenty of sugar onto Wheaties and Rice Krispies.
I also ate Sugar Corn Pops because they were a sponsor of The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickock, and I was an avid fan of Linus the Lion Hearted, which was a 30 minute commercial for Post cereals, though not all of them were pre-sweetened.
With openly promotional programs like Linus, and, later, Power Rangers, banned, and Saturday Morning Cartoons a distant memory, I’m not sure how the cereal companies stuff their products down the throats of American children.
Cereal companies have taken “sugar” off names of their cereal, selling “Golden Smacks” and “Corn Pops,” but they sure haven’t taken it out of the cereal itself. A trip down the cereal aisle isn’t much different from a trip down the candy aisle, except that candy hawkers don’t make disingenuous claims about nutrition.
A grocery store I shopped at had a little sign sticking out in the middle of the cereal aisle and said, “Adult flavors.” I knew what it meant, but I laughed anyway.
A bowl of cereal makes a dandy midnight snack.
A newer bit of nostalgia has been preying on my mind, thanks to the current arc on Brewster Rockit (Tribune), which has me trying to remember the name of that on-line world of the 90s in which we were all supposed to take on avatars and homes and jobs and then … well, people kept explaining it to me but I never quite understood why we would do that on a computer when it was what we all did in our own lives.
The Sims offered actual urban-planning challenges. This, however, was mostly just a place to hang out. If I could remember the name, I’d look it up, but I suspect it’s a virtual ghost town, with virtual tumbleweeds blowing down the virtual streets.
But I knew people who managed to get other people to join in and then had actual meetings. Well, here we are again and, as Brewster says, it’s like being bored in person!
I still don’t get it, but, fortunately, when I was googling around trying to find that old game, I found this article from Wired, Virtual Reality Is The Rich White Kid of Technology, which lets me off the hook on the grounds that Virtual Reality is a fad in constant search of followers.
It even cites the universal “meh” expressed by the guys in Brewster Rockit:
If you want reality, however, you’re in luck: Things have just become a whole lot more real for Gene and Mary Lou over in Arlo and Janis (AMS), and not only are the kids going to have to find new ways to get by but Arlo and Janis are going to have to puzzle out how to be supportive without being intrusive, a parenting puzzler that never goes away.
The kids will be fine. As mentioned the other day, both my father and I changed careers for the better at 50, and they’ve got more road ahead of them than we did.
As Gene apparently realizes, his folks will likely have a harder time dealing with it than he and Mary Lou will.
Maybe they can sell the restaurant and move to some untouched rural paradise and ruin it, as seen in the Barn (Creators).
There are legitimate issues in providing access to that which you are also trying to preserve, and it’s worth repeating the distinction between preservation, which is keeping things just as is — John Muir — and conservation, which is making the best use of natural resources — Theodore Roosevelt.
But there is plenty of common ground, and one of the things that motivated Roosevelt to start declaring monuments and pushing national parks through Congress was a plan for building a rail line into Yellowstone so tourists could readily visit.
It may sound elitist to make it hard to get there, but TR recognized that a train would destroy the solitude that made being there worthwhile. He also objected to hotels and mining on the rim of the Grand Canyon.
Those are examples of him advocating the best use of natural resources without cutting down trees or damming rivers. TR had a lot to learn on the topic, but he was an eager student and we’ve all benefited from it.
I saw a video online yesterday that showed a mountain lion jumping over someone’s gate, and the description included the word “terrifying.”
Terrifying for who? He’s where he’s supposed to be. You’re the intruder.
Mrs. Olson, the somewhat burned-out teacher in Frazz (AMS), continues to be a conundrum, because she’s only somewhat burned-out and her crusty exterior often reveals a little humanity.
She’s right to be on the fence over the venerable “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” assignment.
It’s not a bad way to get to know your new class, but I’m not sure the kids you most need to learn about have much to tell you, if they sat around an apartment all day because, even if their parents could afford to take a week off, the pandemic narrowed the choices of what to do.
You should know that about them, of course — one of the issues with 9/11 was that, by then, teachers had barely met their kids — but the practice of having the kids stand up and read their essays aloud absolutely has to go.
That kid stuck alone in the apartment doesn’t need to hear about anybody’s safari in Kenya.
And don’t get me started on doing family trees as an activity.
Leroy Lockhorn (KFS)‘ has it right: There is no correct way to load the dishwasher, or to hang toilet paper.
Arguing over such trivia avoids facing the actual problem, which will also not be resolved by finding one person right and one person wrong.
Though couples also quarrel over finding a counselor who will do just that (and get it right).