Saturday, December 25, 2004

Winding Down On Christmas Eve

A perfect Christmas, perhaps

I'm getting ready to head to sleep in a few minutes in very high spirits indeed. I hope I'm not jinxing the rest of the day to come, but at just about four hours into Christmas Day 2004, it's already been an absolutely wonderful holiday.

Funnily enough, it's not like anything was radically different about this Christmas Eve than years past: it was a long, busy day at work followed by an hour of chatting, eating too much junk food and exchanging gifts with my co-workers. From there, Sarah and I took a leisurely drive around Mentor to look at the lights before winding up at my parents' house to exchange gifts with my niece (who will not be around for tomorrow's family gift exchange), talk to my sister (who is in town from her home in Indianapolis), and watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (not to mention chunks of A Christmas Story before and afterward). Afterwards, Sarah and I returned home to do our gift exchange by the Christmas tree, relax, and play with the cats.

All of the above is time-honored tradition for us (save for the plural form of "cat"), and yet something has made this past day about as near-perfect a Christmas Eve as I can remember. Maybe it's the thick and sparkling white blanket on the ground from Wednesday's daylong Snow-And-Frozen-Rain-And-Then-More-Snow Storm From Hell, the beautiful additional dusting that was coming down in tiny amounts here and there on the drive home from Mentor, the weirdly-cleansing dry chill in the air, the way my wishlist has suddenly shrunken considerably, or maybe the fact that I somehow scored the entire weekend off from work (including the hellish Day After Christmas for only the second time I can remember). Whatever the difference has been, I'm about as happy right now as I've felt in years, and I hope the same goes for everyone reading this right now.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

NP Various Artists The Narada Nutcracker

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Winter Wonderland

Mentor, last yearWell, it's not quite that wonderlandish around here yet, but according to the fine folks at Weatherunderground, our second blast of true Northeast Ohio winter weather is on the way tonight, tomorrow and Monday. As I write this, it's been fitfully drizzling rain for a few of hours in temperatures that feel a bit too mild for the kind of snow we're slated to be I guess I'm in for a hell of a surprise when I open the curtains Sunday morning.

Now, there is some good news to the forthcoming crappy driving conditions and evil wind chill factors -- according to the current long-range forecast, we're in for an early and lasting white Christmas (not one of those last-second midnight-on-Christmas-Eve arrivals like we've had the past two years), which raises my currently drained spirits quite a bit. Hopefully, this will also finally be the kick in the ass that drives people into the store at last (we seem to have derailed in our early seasonal momentum the last five days or so) and gets us the rawkin' year-end figure we've been busting our asses all year for.

With the weather going bone-chillingly horrible tomorrow, I'm looking forward to an at-least-partially relaxing day off punctuated with some more mandatory home refurbishments (which I am getting as sick of writing about as you must be reading about them). This week's work will consist of planing down the door to the downstairs bathroom so that it actually fits into it's bent frame and latches correctly, followed by the installing of new screens into the computer room windows. I'm not looking very forward to either of these tasks right now, since I am probably dangerous with running power tools in my hand when it comes to door-planing, and I haven't the slightest goddamned idea how these new screens are going to fit into the window frames when I had a hell of a time getting the old and busted up frames out last week.

I should mention that in our ongoing quest to make Inspector Scene happy with our condo, a tip of the hat is very much due to Sarah, who has really been outdoing herself on the home improvement/fix-it tip. Thanks to her work over the last week during an impromptu work vacation, the front door is now insulated and doesn't leak heat to the outside (while letting in invisible jets of cold air), the back door now latches when closed, the crack in the wall above the staircase is nearly entirely invisible behind layers of fill-in goop, and the cracked kitchen tiles around the outlet are repaired and looking dandy.

While we're talking home improvement, it's been a while since the last time we last talked holiday decorations. After an iffy start, Moe appears to have adapted pretty well to having a string of brilliant green lights all the way around the bay window. He did so well with them, in fact, that I finally decided to put up a Christmas tree. Going one step further, said tree is a brand new pre-lit model. My initial financial second-thoughts to this entire idea were put to rest in short order last weekend when we found some very nice models at the local K-Mart for 25% off, thus putting them well into my financial range (which is currently being stretched by the recent start of my Christmas shopping).

The Official I Am A Bug Christmas Tree

Not bad, eh?

Round Three of Moe vs. The Christmas Decorations had only just begun when our little boy came out of the corner swinging: we weren't even finished getting all of the pieces of our new tree out of the box before Moe had decided to take a few exploratory munches on the wires and branches. Thus, out came the water bottles and the Bitter Apple and the battle was joined. With the bottom of the tree now unfit for feline palates, the cats seemed to find it a cool new hangout instead of a 7 foot tall snack bar. Sarah and I thus ultimately claimed victory. People 3, Cats 0.

Moe and Ghidorah pose beneath the fascinating new object in the living room

As it turns out, there was also to be a Round Four. Satisfied after a couple of days that Moe wasn't going to electrocute himself chewing on any of the lighting cords, Sarah decided to put up a few ornaments up on Wednesday. Bad idea. Apparently, Moe was up on two legs in no time batting away at the lowest ornaments in his reach. Not entirely surprised by this, Sarah moved the ornaments farther on up the tree, figuring that would solve the problem, but it only succeeded in getting Moe's diabolical little mind working on a solution. Apparently, Moe thought of one: when she returned home from a shopping trip that afternoon, Sarah found four ornaments scattered about the living room and into the kitchen. I personally have no idea how in the hell Moe managed this stunt (did Ghidorah suddenly turn mischeivous and give him an alley oop or something?), but after this episode and a situation later that night where Moe attempted to reach another shiny bauble and settled for jumping directly into the structure of the tree itself (much to my dismay), the ornaments came off and were packed away. People 3, Cats 1.

A parting thought before I wind down and head to bed: I'll give this much to dear ol' Martha Stewart, while I find her at best condescending and at worst outright fucking annoying when I see her foofy little show on T.V., her company sure knows how to put together a strong fake Christmas tree -- Moe's little escape gambit the other day didn't even budge it an inch, which was surprising to me considering how little I paid for the thing. Yay.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

It's Almost Beginning To Kinda Look A Little Bit Like...

Thanks to some considerately-unannounced sewer work being done in the complex last Monday, I woke up that morning and found myself without any running water whatsoever -- never a great way to start the day. So, in order to make myself presentable to the record-buying public, I was forced to zip over to my parents' house for a pre-work shower. While washing up, I decided out of sheer curiosity to try out some of my brother's Old Spice body wash. I haven't worn any kind of cologne in years (I was once a big proponent of Fahrenheit and Drakkar), and I think that using this nice-smelling goop that morning awakened a bit of nostalgia for those days, because I decided to pick up some of my own the next time I stopped at Walgreen's.

Well, said "next time" turned out to be earlier this evening, and while I was wandering aimlessly about the densely-stocked aisles at Walgreen's, I came across their Christmas Decorations display. Now, despite Sarah and I both being pretty big on Christmas decorations, we hadn't put up any this year -- largely because of the Clown Prince Of Wanton Chaos that is Moe, the younger of our two cats.

Last Christmas was my first with a cat in the house, and Ghidorah (an otherwise perfectly-behaved angel of a pet) simply could not resist attempting to eat or subtly redecorate our Christmas tree on a near-daily basis (and we were finding stray ornaments under furniture for weeks after we took the tree down). Now, if even Ghidorah was unable to resist temptation with a Christmas tree, I reasoned with Sarah months ago, it's a near certainty that Moe will fancy himself the Sir Edmund Hillary of cats the instant I turn my back on him. Thus, in order to spare myself a lot of frustration and oh-my-God-I'm-gonna-fucking-kill-this-cat moments this holiday season, I decided that we'd skip on setting up and trimming a Christmas tree this year.

I don't think Sarah was ever happy with this course of inaction -- if anything, she is even more into the Christmas season than I am -- but I think she at least felt the same way I did in regards to waging a daily battle with Moe and gravity.

It wasn't until this past Sunday night when we were driving home from a visit to Mentor, that I started to have a change of heart. As Sarah drove us home, I found myself staring at nearly every house we passed, looking to see how many people had trees up and lit in their front windows, checking out the lights, and wishing there was a little bit of snow down to really make the drive "perfect." For the first time, I thought of us exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve with no tree or soft colored lights and started to feel a bit sad about it.

While walking up and down the Christmas aisle at Walgreen's 24 hours later, staring at the strands of lights, the wreaths, the holiday candies, the colored light bulbs, the ornaments, the holiday movies, and the aluminum icicle decorations (a favorite pet delicacy), I felt my resolve weakening a bit further. OK, I thought to myself after a few minutes of looking, we can get a couple of colored light bulbs for the front door fixture, maybe one for our neighbor Steve as well, and a couple of strands of green lights for the front bay window. We'll consider this a test -- if Moe leaves these alone, then maybe...just maybe...I'll consider putting up a tree this year.

With a bit of the old sentimental Yule cheer beginning to surge in me at last (when did I start getting like this about the holiday season? I can't recall ever being interested in this end of the deal when I was a teenager), I thumb-tacked up two new strands of green lights around the inside of the bay window shortly after I got home, then stuck a red lightbulb in the fixture outside. It's not exactly as spectacular as I'd hoped (particularly with the curtains closed), but it did raise my murky-foggy-miserable- early-December spirits a bit and I'm pretty sure it did for Sarah, too.

Ghidorah, true to character, didn't seem at all enthused with this intrusion into her favorite resting area (she spends hours in the bay window watching the world go by on a daily basis), while Moe was just bursting with his usual breakneck curiosity. In no time at all, Moe was batting tentatively at the lights, then sniffing them, and, finally, attempting to eat them. Sigh. Sarah then broke out our trusty bottle of Bitter Apple and spritzed away at all of the cords and lights in Moe's reach. After a subsequent attempt at light bulb ingestion a few minutes later, he appears to have figured out (for now) that hey, light strands actually taste terrible, man, blech uch agh, et cetera. Note -- I would have thought he'd learned the lesson of what happens when you chew on electrical cords earlier this fall when he apparently used up one of his nine lives chewing on a power cord behind the entertainment center...but that's Moe for you.

Now comes the waiting-and-seeing game. It's safe at this point to say that we win Round One. Round Two will be played out over the next few days, and we'll consider Round Three this weekend after doing a few more of our mandated home repairs. I'm still not at all certain that I want to risk a few hours of tree work on the possibility that maybe Dr. Destructo has finally learned a lesson. To help combat this dilemma, Sarah wants to look into buying a pre-lit Christmas tree. While I certainly don't relish the process of stringing lights onto our current fake tannenbaum, pre-lit trees are, in my experience, rather expensive for our finances right now. What makes this possibility at least worthy of a second look, however, is that there are apparently some cheaper models being made available (if we're lucky, these more affordable options don't look like utter ass cheese), so I'm at least open to the idea.

Whether or not this particular idea pans out, I'd like very much to add something to the bay window since it looks so damn empty to me right now. A Christmas tree (pre-lit or otherwise) would certainly do the trick of filling the empty space, but there are also a few other possibilities we can look into in case Moe decides to make a spirited battle out of Round Two. My bills will all be out the way tomorrow, so Sarah and I should be free and clear to take a look around a few places this Sunday and make our decoration decision at last. In the meantime, I'm quite sure Moe will be waiting...and scheming.

NP: Various Artists The Reindeer Room: Christmas Chillout Vol II

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Life Update

Me, thinking of Inspector SceneWell, it's been a week since I last wrote anything of substance relating to The Story Of Me, so let's do some quick catching up.

As mentioned before, our new best buddy in the whole wide world Inspector Scene did his inspection of the premises a couple weeks ago, and we now have our work cut out for us. After a breathless wait, his list of our evil building violations arrived over the weekend, and to my complete lack of surprise, the front and back doors were listed on there as needing "replacing or repairing" along with a myriad of nitpicky caulking, painting and patching issues.

At first, this was pretty bad news, since the front and back doors were a real worry for me since we had been told by a locksmith back in September that there would be no way to fix them cheaply. Instead, they'd have to be replaced and the door frames possibly repaired as well. Luckily, a bit of moving around of the latch plate -- as far inwards as it could go in it's frankly-quite-large latch hole -- was all it took to get Mr. Front Door to close properly (or at least properly enough to make Inspector Scene happy, I hope). Mr. Back Door awaits similar treatment as well, likely this Sunday, and after that is completed, everything else should be relatively inexpensive busy work. Even better, some of this work will have me walking about the condo with a loaded caulking gun. Oh dear.

Thanksgiving was exactly what I needed it to be -- a nice, relaxing, largely uneventful holiday spent mostly on my butt (the evening of which was spent at my parent's place in Mentor where I played some 'net checkers and watched Finding Nemo and Shrek 2 after dinner with my niece). The turkey was absolutely wonderful, I am happy to report, as were the fixins and Sarah's homemade pineapple-coconut-frosting-explosion cake.

The next day started off the always-hectic and nerve-wracking Christmas selling season at work. With that in mind, I'll now take this opportunity to once again thank Zeus that we no longer have to work in the fucking Great Lakes Mall. Sure, I will admit that there were some fun times during the holiday season there, where it was a total blast working with a big crew of guys and getting a bit punchy in the homestretch from December 21st onwards, but some of those days were just awful - a 12-hour crush of unrelenting, mewling insanity that just sucked the soul and health right out of you.

Christmas Shoppers do their thing the other day
At the new location, we strip-mall hermits have a different experience this time of the year. Yes, the so-called "Black Friday" was a surprisingly busy day for us considering the price-war idiocy running rampant at the Big Box store level, but what normally follows this one-day spike (evidenced again by our sales in the days since) is a weirdly disorienting two weeks of what feels like an especially boring, below-average month of business. This dullness is exacerbated by the total lack of any new releases of real consequence (unless you closely follow rap music, in which case it'z a weekly bonanza, yo).

Once December 10 comes around, however, you can feel the business starting to ramp up a bit as the days and nights gradually become more busier than you are accustomed to. By the 15th or so, there is no looking back, and the gradual increase suddenly pegs sharply upwards and stays there. But even then, the busiest day of the year (either Saturday the 18th or Thursday the 23rd this year), while hectic and relentless, is nowhere near as shattering as it was in the Mall back in the day. It's a different level of busy here -- one that at least enables me to keep on top of the ordering and receiving without getting overwhelmed.

ChristmasLastly, being the first of December, I've started listening to some of the recent Christmas releases and have already come to the conclusion that the Chris Isaak Christmas album is, surprisingly, a bust. I can't pin why I dislike the album on any specific factor musically, but it might have something to do with hearing this guy so upbeat and jolly when I'm so used to him sounding unrelentingly miserable on past classics like Heart Shaped World and Forever Blue. I guess, therefore, I'd have the exact same gut reaction if Trent Reznor ever released a Christmas, uh, Trent? Don't.

Do They Know It's ChristmasBand Aid 20's new take on "Do They Know It's Christmas," on the other hand, looked pretty horrid on paper but so far seems to come off alright in execution, though I admit that the original is still the better version of the two (I'm kindly forgetting that godawful second Band Aid single from 1989, as apparently everyone else did as well). The melody and lyrics of the original are unchanged (sans that ill-advised rap bit in the middle), but the new production by Nigel Godrich is much more organic in feel, with guitars replacing the widescreen tres-Ultravox synths of the original.

Much more on Christmas music (and otherwise) later ... I still have a lot to go through here.


Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Doin' The Time Warp

MTV: back when this logo stood for music
Twenty one years ago last month, someone somewhere out there decided to videotape three hours of MTV (commercials, VJ bits and all) and then shelve the tape for posterity. At some point recently, this person then took out the old tape, played it back while running it through a video capture program and put up two massive .avi files of the whole thing (in pretty decent quality stereo to boot) up in one of the usenet video binary groups I monitor.

Now, I don't know who this person is, where they live, or why they went to all the work to cap and post this little time capsule, but I would just to comment that they completely RAWK my world right now. I've just finished watching all 3 hours of ancient old-school MTV, and it was pretty damn remarkable-bordering-on-amazing viewing experience.

O.K., I have to admit here that there was one part of this cultural time warp that wasn't very amazing, and that was the playlist itself. For all of the great music MTV nearly single-handedly exposed me to in 1982 and 1983, this chunk of programming time doesn't exactly hit a lot of high musical watermarks ...

Night Ranger "Don't Tell Me You Love Me"
Huey Lewis & The News "Heart & Soul"
The Tubes "Monkey Time (Live)"
Prince "Little Red Corvette"
George Thorogood & The Destroyers "Bad To The Bone"
The Police "Synchronicity II"
Sammy Hagar "Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy (Live)"
Steve Miller Band "Jet Airliner (Live)"
Kansas "Fight Fire With Fire"
Michael Bolton "Fool's Game"
Quiet Riot "Cum On Feel The Noize"
Bow Wow Wow "Do You Wanna Hold Me"
The Who "You Better You Bet"
The Motels "Suddenly Last Summer"
Madness "Our House"
Nick Heyward "Whistle Down The Wind"
ZZ Top "Sharp Dressed Man"
Garland Jeffreys "96 Tears (Live)"
Stevie Nicks "If Anyone Falls"
Elton John "I'm Still Standing"
Thompson Twins "Lies"
Billy Idol "Dancing With Myself"
Men At Work "It's A Mistake"
Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson "Say Say Say"
Quarterflash "Take Another Picture"
David Bowie "Modern Love"
Billy Squier "Lonely Is The Night (Live)"
INXS "The One Thing"
The Romantics "Talking In Your Sleep"
Jefferson Starship "Be My Lady"
Robert Plant "Burning Down One Side"
Talking Heads "Burning Down The House"
Split Enz "One Step Ahead"
The Fixx "Red Skies (Live)"
The Pretenders "Back On The Chain Gang"
Joe Walsh "I Can Play That Rock N' Roll"

Egad, Michael fuckin' Bolton. Ow ow ow. Lemme tell you, that was a fun one to explain my girlfriend while it played. Sheesh, this must have been the only 3 hours bloc of MTV programming in all of 1983 that did not feature Duran Duran, Icehouse, Blancmange, ABC, Naked Eyes, Thomas Dolby, U2, Berlin, Adam Ant, Culture Club, Eurythmics, Devo, A Flock Of Seagulls, Eddy Grant, Heaven 17, Missing Persons, Ultravox, Talk Talk, Wall Of Voodoo, Yello, Men Without Hats, X, or even Burning Sensations. Dohhh.

Anyway, back to the interesting/remarkable parts of this experience ... the playlist above (embarrassing content aside) makes startlingly clear just how many "recurrents" were in MTV's rotation at the time, even when videos were exploding in number and influence. Of the 36 listed videos above (a staggering number in itself when you consider that MTV might show a few more than this in a week's span these days), only 6 were for songs in that week's Billboard Top 40 singles chart, and 9 in the whole Hot 100.

Also striking was just how cheap and comparatively low-tech everything was done back then. I'm not really talking about the videos here (truthfully, the only comparatively "expensive" videos back then were done by Asia, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson and Duran Duran) so much as the entire MTV production itself. Watching Mark Goodman sitting around on the floor of an indie-record shop kind of set while reading music news from index cards, seeing lots of primitive, non-animated TV productions class-grade screen graphics for concert dates (and the odd black and white artist pic), the self-effacing humor in the channel's promotional clips touting stereo was like watching the complete antithesis of what MTV looks like now. There was no flash in the presentation whatsoever, no irritatingly transparent pandering to a specific target demographic, no Carson Daly, no game shows, no godawful motherfucking reality shows.

Sorry, I got off on a tangent, didn't I? O.K., taking a couple of deep breaths and attempting to quell my forthing, near-atavistic loathing of everything MTV has become and represents since, oh, 1992 or so. Back to memory lane ...

Perhaps the funniest part of the experience was watching all of the advertising sandwiched between often-excruciating videos and Goodman's clownish, pre-slacker delivery of news and forthcoming channel events (tune in for the world premiere of Bob Dylan's first video "Sweetheart Like You!" OMG!). The most refreshing/maddening aspect of the ads was their relative paucity to what we're used to these days on any channel: there are never more than two consecutive commercials on this recording, and sometimes only one ad airs during a music break. Also interesting was the wide breadth of advertisers covering a pretty wide range of possible demos, which I'm sure was a result of no one on Madison Avenue knowing who the hell was watching MTV and when. Indeed, it's pretty difficult now to imagine a time when MTV not only had to scramble for programming content but also had to accept advertising from whomever offered in order to keep themselves afloat, and the cast of contributors was quite varied: Pioneer, Cambridge Cologne, Sega, Atari, Cody Wild Musk (this was a hilarious ad), Murray, Wrangler, the National Coffee Association, Raisinets, Safeguard soap, the Chevy Chase bomb Deal Of The Century, Big Red chewing gum, Compound W, Twix, Sansui, K-Tel/Time-Life knockoffs, and Hubba Bubba bubblegum.

So, this was MTV in the first week of November 1983.

* Tons of music videos
* No non-musical programming whatsoever
* A few commercials here and there
* VJ's that acted at least functionally intelligent and seemed to actually be enthusiastic about the music they back-announced and not who Puck pissed off on the last Real World.

Damn, those were the days...

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own

I think that Greg and I generally do a good job buying and managing product at the store, but about once every year or so, despite our best efforts and intentions, something manages to go horrendously wrong and we wind up buried under a pile of some piece or another that just got away from us, whether by our mistake or someone elses. The most recent example of this phenomenon was some guy bopping in computer orders at WMG who apparently was not watching what he was doing on his keypad and wound up shipping us 58 copies of And Then There Were Three by Genesis. Until now, that was the worst cock-up we've had to deal with this year.

You noticed the words "until now"?

How To Dismantle An Atomic BombFirst, a bit of backstory -- U2's new album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb was made available in three different CD formats -- a regular 1 CD version, a CD-and-DVD "combo" version, and a super-duper-limited-to-175,000-copy deluxe run containing the CD (with an additional bonus track not available anywhere else), the DVD and a rather silly and overpriced "arty" hardcover book.

As is often the case with these expensive deluxe versions (and as I mentioned above), only a small amount were made available out of an initial run of 2.2 million units. Therefore, the piece was allocated to all buyers based on your store's sales volume, with the "big box" stores like Wal Mart and Best Buy and their evil brethren limited to 30 copies per store and that amount dropping depending on your store.

With our initial order on this deluxe version now chopped to pieces, we wound up getting shipped an intial allotment of four, followed by five more we were able to scrape from another supplier at the last second, and then two more from our primary supplier. So, 11 copies in total showed up, (nearly all of them reserved by regular customers) and by Monday night we had sold all the way down to 1 reserved copy and 1 "open copy" for whomever asked for it.

How To Dismantle An Atomic BombWith that done, we knew we'd have to resort to securing additional copies from Best Buy, who had helpfully advertised the thing in their recent Sunday ad for a price 2 dollars below the dealer's cost from any of our suppliers. Typical. Anyway, we have a guy who knows someone in managment at the local Best Buy and can get around their usual "3 per customer" limit on sale items. We informed our acquaintance over the weekend that we were going to need a bunch of this thing, and it was probably me who used the words "whatever you can get" when he asked how many he should get.

When I came in to work today, Greg asked me how many copies of the deluxe version we had being held for reserved customers, and I said there was only one, plus the one we had left for whomever asked. I noticed a small pile of copies behind him as I said this, and said "ah, our man came through, I see."

Greg laughed in that high-pitched giggle fashion of his that usually means "hooo-boy" and then asked if our pal had called on the phone at all last night. The plan was, our friend would call and ask what we had left and how much we needed and I was to tell him "upwards of a dozen if possible." But our connection had not called last night, and I said so, then followed up with "why? What happened?"

Greg did that little giggle thing again and walked to the back to the store, indicating for me to follow. When we got back there, he pointed at his work desk where two massive piles of the damn thing stood next to each other. I felt a lot of color drain from my face. "Holy SHIT!"

As it turns out, our connection went WAAAAAAAY above and beyond the call of duty for us, showing up with 3 giant bags full of the deluxe edition. Wait, it gets better: not only did he manage somehow to obtain every single copy of the thing that Best Buy had in stock (and he did this by sheer force of will with the obviously-baffled clerk), but he also completely cleaned out Circuit City, K-Mart, Wal-Mart and Target of their supplies as well (and used his Best Buy receipt to get all of the other store's copies at the same price, bwaahahahahahahahahaha).

So, instead of landing a hoped-for ten copies, he brought in nearly sixty. Which, doing the math, comes out to about $1300 or so. Greg, of course, was rather freaked (not to mention amused silly), and took about 40 off of his hands, leaving the option open of either getting some more copies off of our friend at a later time if we happen to sell this thing down again, or letting him return them to their stores of origin.

So, uh, anyone in the area who wants a copy, as assistant manager of the U2 Capital Of Lake County, let me say that boy howdy are we ever ready to serve you! Step right up!