Life is good, and I’m well past midlife, as depicted in this Non Sequitur (AMS).
As for my mojo, either it’s gone or it’s become so fully embedded that I don’t fret over it.
I do miss malls, though. I don’t think anyone is building them anymore and most of the ones I’ve seen lately seem to be in decline.
I was a business writer when malls were in bloom and I learned a lot at the mall about The Art of the Deal, none of which flattered the artful dealers.
Most of it was along the lines of “We’ll let you put a store in this booming mall if you’ll also put a store in this flailing mall,” but it also included the local developer who was courting Costco and met their guy at the airport to show him the proposed site.
Costco guy asked, “Is it true that Sam’s is building a store here?” Told it was, he turned on his heels, took the next plane home and months of negotiations flew away.
Another time, a new mall was going up on the edge of town and a competitor slipped me the legal papers for a lawsuit against it, being waged by a little old widow whose well was endangered. And whose attorney just happened to be 180 miles away, in the same town as the HQ for the developer my tipster worked for.
It was not a coincidence, I was not a damn fool and it was not a story. And the new mall got built.
God, malls were fun to write about. Or, in that case, not write about.
The head of the Chamber of Commerce and I used to meet for lunch at the mall every few weeks to gossip and exchange info we shouldn’t have. We could have met at a regular restaurant, but then people would wonder what we were up to. If someone saw us in the food court, it looked like we’d each been running lunch hour errands and just ran into each other.
It’s called “hiding in plain sight” and the mall was a perfect venue.
Juxtaposition of the Day
I was lucky, once I was out of the newsroom, to have very few meetings anymore. I was in small enough departments that we didn’t need meetings, and, as middle management, I stayed low enough in the pecking order that I only had to go to department head meetings once in awhile, when I was involved in some major project.
But my last in-office job, editing a small paper, involved biweekly meetings at Corporate, which was 30 miles away. We sat around a big table shuffling papers and agreeing with the boss every two weeks until, to nobody’s surprise, the place went out of business.
At least the department head meetings I’d been at elsewhere were substantive. At this place, not only could the meeting have been handled with an email, it could have been handled with a tweet.
Worst was when I worked for a company that liked conference calls. They were dismal enough when there were 20 of us, but the company was in acquisition mode and we soon had over 50 people on the line, one of whom would invariably put the call on hold, forgetting that their newspaper had hold music.
Didn’t matter. Nobody was listening anyway. Thank god I retired before Zoom came along.
Rico’s cartoon picks up on what I hope is a trend of companies banning meetings or at least strictly limiting them.
On a lighter note, The Other Coast (Creators) strikes with an “It’s funny because it’s true” gag. Not that sheep drink in bars, but border collies do, indeed, stare.
There are two kinds of herding dogs: “Strong Eye” dogs like border collies, who herd animals by staring at them and daring them to defy the dog’s will, and “Heelers” who follow behind, nipping at their heels to get them to move in the desired direction.
We only have one border collie who comes to the park regularly. They’re incredibly intense on fetching the ball, but their strong eye is a bluff, and when another dog gets the ball first, they aren’t aggressive enough to join in a chase game, or, certainly, in a ‘rassling match over it.
So the poor things end up standing there despondently watching someone else run around with their ball.
Come to think of it, I’m not sure this was a change from the discussion of corporate life.
Deflocked (AMS) echoes the ads I see all the time from my ISP inviting people to come enjoy low, low prices and great service. It’s frustrating to see offers of much lower prices than I pay, but that usually turns out to be only if you access it once a month for no more than ten minutes.
However, like Mamet, I’m pretty sure it’s better to be a new member than an existing customer, not just with ISPs but with streamers as well.
Juxtaposition of the Day #2
I’m long since done with balloon jokes, but Brewster Rockit got a laff with the final panel, in large part because it explains why our intelligence services were content to block some spying equipment and wait until the thing had drifted over water, and in part because everyone got so het up over being spied on in the first place.
Pearls picks up on the paranoia. First of all, why would anyone track you? Second, what makes you think they’d have to go to some bizarre lengths to do it?
I swear, some of these people think they’re starring in the Truman Show.
Mother Goose (AMS) refects that paranoia. Certainly, if I were trading in a laptop, I’d delete the files first. But my name is not Hunter Biden and I can’t imagine why anyone would want to take the time and effort to poke around in my files, assuming I had at least deleted them to make it harder to call them up.
And even if I hadn’t.
It’s a bit academic, since I ride my computers ’til they drop, and I’m lucky to be able to recover the files myself before the whole thing get tossed into the heap at the recycle center.
I suppose there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.
But donchall worry about my mojo.