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Saturday, March 17, 2012


(Left:  Yes, they are waiting in line to buy an iPad)

I forget who said it and I am too lazy to check but it may have been Jefferson (Thomas, not George) who once claimed:  “The people are a great beast.”  Well…..maybe not a beast in the literal definition but a beast that will congregate for one to eight hours in sleeping bags or drinking mass quantities of black joe just for the privilege of plunking down $500 to $850 for a new 3rd generation Apple iPad.

It seems kind of sad that people who otherwise have at least an iota of common sense would have to have that item the exact moment it is available.  What’s the hurry?  If it were children waiting for a Christmas present of a new pair of roller skates (Do kids still roller skate?  You know, the kind of skates with a key), I could understand.  But, adults?  Please!

If it is so important to have the latest in iPad technology, you would think that the pseudo intellectuals who allow such technology to control their lives would at lease pre-order the damn things to avoid the long line of those salivating for the delicious moment they can push that “on” button to begin their descent into who knows where.  In Scottsdale the pre order people stood in a line of five people while the disorganized rabble had a line of 60.

So, there they were all over town in front of Apple, Best Buy, and A T & T stores waiting for the big moment when they could get their new iPad with Wi-Fi and 4G wireless data transfer.  Don’t ask me what that means; I just report the news, not live it.  I’m still cruising all the small office supply stores looking for liquid paper, typewriter erasers with the little brushes, and a print ball for my Remington Selectronic.

Somewhere in computer heaven Steve Jobs is laughing himself silly watching these scenes of people waiting in line all night to give a clerk a lot of money for what is basically a toy.  I can imagine him telling Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and the rest of his new buddies how he punched out the iPads for $1.98 and sold them for $500 and up.  Recession?  What recession?

I have often wondered about the timing for these “latest and greatest” versions of any product.  I’m not saying that Apple holds back advances that could all happen at once just to increase sales, but doesn’t it seem a bit odd that there always seems to be a new and improved model ready to sell fairly soon after the latest new and improved item?

The golf equipment business is similar.  If you play golf you probably know that there is always a “latest and greatest” set of clubs on the market that will allow you to hit the “latest and greatest” golf ball farther with a lot less effort.   It’s all about the merchandising and keeping sales figures intact.

As silly as it is with the iPads, at least the customers seem behaved while in line.  It might have something to do with their knowing lots of three and four syllable words and having a college degree or two.  On the other hand, don’t get in line for the latest Michael Jordan shoe unless you have no regard for your life!


midnightsstaff said...

Will Rogers made a pretty good living just pointing out the irony of life..
"Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don't have for something they don't need"
Will Rogers ...
He would have beaten you to the punch Jim.
..there are two prime motivators in life, fear and greed- America on a credit bubble still hasn't realized the ultimate price that will be paid eventually for their spendthrift ways.. once they do the fear aspect will kick in with a vengence..
The funny thing about principles are they really don't have much consideration for the whim of the moment.
Just ask one of these twenty something year old Einsteins that proclaim we shouldn't be using so much oil if they wouldn't mind doing without all that plastic and electronics that require oil for it's very existence.
In reality that ipad they covet is only possible because someone went out and drilled for oil and made it possible..
Will Rogers would have had a field day with this crowd...

Glo, The Disgusted said...

Oh, don't even get me started on these idiots. Yes, idiots because, 1) They are stupid enough to extract eight precious hours out of their lives that they'll never get back for the meaningless designation of first-to-have; 2) OH dear GOD!!! Don't they know there will be PLENTY of these to buy in days two and three and so on?

This is just another example of why the world despises the decandent capitalist American pigs who place a far higher premium on materialistic objects than what is truly important in life. Who ca blame trhem? Americans are perpetuating this less than ideal.

Remember the idiots who waited and fought and screamed to get those darned ugly Cabbage Patch Kids in the 80s? Technology moves forward, but human values, brains and common sense are moving rapidly backwards in time.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are that the bulk of these folks who wait in line for the latest mass produced gadget to hit the stores are more interested in being interviewed on the 6 O'Clock News and setting a Guinness World Record title...than they are about getting the latest you think that might be in their sub-concious mind?...if they still have one?

midnightsstaff said...

Way to rant Gloria...
since I have given up on society in general and certain specific subsets in particular life seems easier to tolerate.
I was stricken by what you brilliantly pointed out... "Technology moves forward, but human values, brains and common sense are moving rapidly backwards in time."
my good dear, I have to admit you have a point.
But then I have said for the past two decades that I thought we as a nation were moving into a new dark age of irrational belief triumphing over reason.
Part of it is due to an overwhelming overload of negative media, a incessant stream of repetitious shibboleths of negativity that Gaia worshipers promote, an education system that is laughing stock of the civilized world, and a values system forwarded by an elected ruling class of utter tyrants and thieves..
When this nation lost it's newspapers and ensuing media to the political system America's fate was at that point cast in stone.
In the twenty so years I have been wondering the fate of the nation it seems we now have a new generation of sheeple that not only have been trained to behave as they are expected to by marketeers, they have had it bred into them.'s in their dna.

Allen Duffis said...

You know, Jim, I truly wish my admired and late mentor from many a Science Fiction convention, Dr. Isaac Asimov, were alive today.

His response to this mass stupidity of the 'latest version' of any machine on many a human mind would be interesting.

I have no doubt that wherever he went; he and Steve Jobs, as well as Edison and Einstein are laughing themselves silly. In many of his prophetic writings, he saw it coming.

Jim McAllister said...


You're right about Will Rogers. He would really shake his head after watching some of the antics we have today.

I can picture him now on stage with his shuck of hair on his forehead and twirling his rope saying: "Things will get better despite our efforts to improve them."

We live in the era of anxiety. Everything has to be had NOW!!!


Add "Beanie Babies" to "Cabbage patch Dolls" as another ridiculous must have item.

Barb worked at a Hallmark store in the early 90s when those stupid things became popular. They had housewives parked in front of the store waiting for a shipment to arrive and then they would swarm the store and buy them all. UPS delivered a lot of them and one driver told Barb the women would follow him down the street to see where he was making his next delivery of Beanie Babies. He said there were days when he had to cut through gated communities to ditch them.

I agree, the US has become very materialistic. A good example is the number of people going belly up over taking loans based on supposed home equity increases. Suddenly the bottom falls out of the market and they are stuck. I hope they enjoyed that Escalade for the short amount of time they had it. But, they simply HAD to have one. After all, everyone else did!

I'll never understand that mentality. I couldn't sleep at night with that much risk.


It all seems so silly. Remember Al Schottlekotte's "Film at Eleven" on his early newscast in Cincy? They couldn't wait that long now. I just don't see why everyone is in such a hurry. I guess part of it is about "stuff". They just can't get enough of it to be satisfied. Saving for a rainy day is a thing of the past as is cash and carry. Just whip out the MasterCard and worry about paying it later at 22% interest.




Asimov was a great writer. I liked him and Robert Heinlein. I think Ray Bradbury is still around in his nineties; another good one.

I've become kind of an observer of human nature. I like to watch people and guess what they will do next. Art Linkletter said "People are Funny" and he was right. They are also sad when one thinks of the loss of common sense these days. Unfortunately, Common sense can't be taught; you either have it or you don't. Today many people are in the latter group, especially financially and worst of all, they don't seem to care when the bottom drops out. I don't know how many times I've heard people say, "If I can't pay it I'll just walk away."

What happened to class?

sam said...

We, as a society, individually and collectively, have arguably cast off all levels of reason,responsibility, and intelligence, and are being glorified by those with even fewer principles who crack the whips and lead from the darkness of human failure and absence of respect...for self and others.
How many are - will be - purchased with welfare coin, or food money, or borrowed against wages, simply as an attempt to "one-up" an acquaintance.

midnightsstaff said...

Sam nice to see you are well, although like myself you seem to doubt an optimistic final outcome of this experiment.. Institutionalized theft began nearly before the ink was dry on the Constitution, the decay started slowly but increased to the point of the assured complete repudiation of our national wealth.. all done through the magical power of leverage..
so why should we expect a normally impetuous youth to behave much different than their governmental example?
The laws of economics are no different than the laws of physics, in the end economics will win out over any man's fantasy.

Jim McAllister said...


I think your key word is "respect." Guys like us grew up in an era where respect ruled and if we drifted from that idea, there was the embarrassment of parental retribution.

We also grew up in the era of compulsory military service which further reinforced our ideal of respect. When the draft was dropped in 1973, respect was given a blow.

Today, guys like you, me, Middy, and anyone else who served can usually tell if a young guy has been in the military. It shows in appearance, attitude, integrity, and work ethic.

To sum up, discontinuing the military draft was a bad idea. Doing a hitch taught a guy responsibility and the ability to get by on his own.

Kevin O'Brien said...

Still waiting for my old 386 Thinkpad E600 to break down. Then I have an excuse to buy something new. By then the new IPads should be down around $100.

Steve, DG said...

Are you old guys still complaining about technology? Jeebus, I'll throw a typewriter in your direction with the printing press! BTW, I only have the iPhone 4S, won't get this iPad for a bit -- but my 10 year old loves her Kindle Fire! :)

Anonymous said...

This is the same mentality that makes supposedly sane people sleep on a parking lot just so they can be the "first" to watch a movie (Star Wars comes to mind) that will be playing in theaters for years...

Jim McAllister said...


People are such suckers. They have to have those things RIGHT NOW. as you say, they will drop in price.

It reminds me of when the Texas Instrument calculators came out in the late '70s. People were paying a thousand bucks for those. Within a couple years, companies were printing their logos on them and giving them away as premiums.

When fax machines came out, i had a guy call me and offer me a great deal on one for $1,200. I didn't buy it and a few years later they were about $100 with a phone included.

It never hurts to wait a bit on this technology stuff.


I know I'm a dinosaur. I only wish I could find a car with a stick shift on the column and a foot dimmer switch to match my Remington Selectronic! LOL

I'm the same way about books. I still like a regular book as opposed to Kindle; especially when I drop a cup of coffee on it.


I'm glad to see you were able to get through this time.

I remember those lines for movies and I always wondered "Why?" Star Wars and Indiana Jones really packed them in 30 years ago.

Like you, I wonder about the fascination of being "first." I guess it has something to do with bragging rights.

jack said...

We have a Kindle Fire here and it really gets used by the wife and daughter. This is one instance I agree with something like that, here at least. Much easier for the wife to carry in her purse to read on breaks etc. One of my other daughters has one and reads it constantly. I still like books but I'm also smothered in them whereas one of these gadgets only takes up a little space and has thousands of books available at the touch of a finger. Also, I've had many "three on the tree" with the floorboard dimmer and I miss a few of them.

Anonymous said...

Jim...the problem wasn't the site or my eqip. it was operator error, (old guy forgetting which acct/password goes where)
Regarding silly bragging rights, I still see people who log in, read an article, then feel compelled to type ((((FIRST)))....instead of commenting on the subject. Humans?...Go figure....

midnightsstaff said...

I have lowered my expectations to the point that I am now happy to be merely the first respondent to a blog..
Really Steve, I have no issue with technology advancement, but when technology no longer addresses needs and caters to wants it becomes irrelevant to progress.
Ipad 3 is no more advantageous to one's ability to communicate than earlier versions, so what we are discussing is human nature rather than the human condition.
Sad that we no longer have a viable local forum to discuss ideas, I read a great article in the American thinker this morning on the issue of regenerative oil or abiotic petroleum, a topic that cannot be discussed openly without political agenda clouding the conversation.
In fact political agenda has clouded nearly every aspect of modern life to the point of making reason oriented observation irrelevant, Will Rogers would simply be categorized as a fringe whacko by the PTB today for his irreligious attitude.. In today's world one simply has to join one camp and adopt the conventional diatribe that passes for enlightenment to receive their coveted social acceptance.
..Free thinking is not only no longer an option, but openly discouraged...
The results of this social engineering are not difficult to predict- we now have a population that will willingly spend the night on the street for no appreciable reason.
To make a long story short, the marketeers have changed the dynamics of a previously demand driven free market and won not by as in the past by supplying a necessary commodity, but changing consumer perceptions.

midnightsstaff said...

How impertinent of me to rush to be the first to respond John... thanks for pointing it out... I should have been more courteous and waited I suppose.
In the future I will wait for someone else to eloquently steer the conversation in a more meaningful direction.
One might want to rethink the kindle tho, imagine having access to all your literature contained in the cloud, anyone that has had to re install an operating system knows the Achilles heel of computers and the information they provide.
For instance just Google EMP and imagine the use of such a device on our modern world.

Jim McAllister said...


I'll probably convert to a Kindle someday but for now I get my books so cheap at the Cave Creek library store that I can't see forking over $150 or so for a Kindle. I guess I am kind of like writers like Andy Rooney and John Dunning who refused to abandon their typewriters. My difference from them is that I was GLAD to stop typing and jump on the internet. It just take me longer to finally surrender! LOL

As far as floor dimmer switches, I'm sure there was a reason (probably cost) for moving them to the turn signal bar but it seems that it would be safer to have it on the floor to keep one's hands free. You are more of an expert than I am on that stuff; maybe you know.

I miss the old "three on a tree"; used to love slamming it into second!


"Operator error", huh? I know the feeling.

Yeah, the "first" fixation is funny. Psychology is an interesting subject: Did these people always finish behind the winners early in their lives and this is a way to prove they are not total losers when in reality they probably still are. Or, is it some way they feel they can now get the recognition they feel they deserve? Maybe it's because they were a member of twins and were always second to their twin brother or sister in getting their mom's milk. Uh....maybe not. LOL

I think your explanation of "Humans...go figure" probably says it best.

Middy has a reason for being first listed. He says he is glad to be first simply because he has lowered his expectations. That sounds like a "goal adjustment".

buzzard said...

"I know I'm a dinosaur" lol

Jim, you are not a dinosaur
you are just wise with age.

only a moron or a liberal , wiil stand in line to buy something they dont need.
Just look at Obama, thats how he got elected.

midnightsstaff said...

Just remember how you felt when your computer took a dump a month or so ago... all your contacts, your banking, your communication gone...
and that was only an isolated problem, although you didn't you could have gone to the public library or a neighbors computer to connect... try to imagine the whole web down for an indeterminate period of time... hope you have some cash laying around the house, because that debit or credit card will be useless at the grocery or gas station.
Apple Inc. and the increasingly indispensible hardware they churn out represents a bubble.. and historically every bubble has a point of implosion..
However, we now have the added instability of a government with ever increasing controls over access and content, what's worse... we are suffering a party in power with the unfettered will to use it..
like I said a long time ago, personal liberty is lost when our capacious decisions allows us to make unwise choices- So what was the real motivating aspect of eight hours lost standing in line to buy something with no advantage?
Perhaps it was as simple as not wanting to be excluded, a terror that strikes deep within the heart of nearly every modern, progressive person- same as it was in high school..

Rick Kepple said...

I can't justify the expense of an iPAD. Oh the recording studio is growing and musicians crowd in there along with curious fans dropping by, but they need a credit card machine worse. Parking is becoming an issue. They don't have a business manager. They need a booking agent. I just can't do everything. I'm not pretty and I'm in the business of pretty. Another music studio run by a state legislator opened up and he's pretty. My little idea of making the county into a music capital is taking off, but I just wanted to see if I could do it! My last investment was a 42 inch LCD TV for computer use and it works marvelously! It's just surreal how creating the legal papers for a bunch of dreaming musicians is actually turning into a business. It's tough to unemployed people to risk the investment of their expertise and time in creating their own income. They're trained to only work for others and not themselves. It's their loss. The iPAD proves that technology is changing to enable the average person to make as much money as their talents will take them. The board wants me to approve such purchases and I won't. Sorry. Not gonna happen. Not until the price drops. It's rather odd that I'm a company executive. I'm feeling like I need a bailout for a million dollar bonus.

Mike Slater said...

I can't think of a single thing that I would stand in line for more than a few minutes to buy.

Jim McAllister said...


"Wise with age." That has a nice sound to it, thanks. I think I'll use that.

A lot of it is common sense too. Not that I am blessed with a ton of common sense but I know when to come in out of the rain; something I think many of these people are incapable of. For example, in the Republic, they had a photo of a guy in line feverishly using the iPad2 to occupy his time while his son was sitting on his shoulders watching him. That seems a bit sick to me. Poor Steve Jobs; it's too bad he died so young and couldn't get to enjoy these fools spending hundreds of dollars on something that probably cost him a couple bucks to make.

Just wait a few months and iPad4 will be ready so we can redo the whole scenario.

Moron OR liberal? That's a bit redundant. They are the same. Oops! I was going to keep politics out of this. LOL


That definitely was uncomfortable to lose the computer for those few days. It was a good example of how much we depend on the damn things. I got to re-live the memories of paying bills with writing out checks, putting them in envelopes, using stamps and getting to a mail box. It was a lot of inconvenience compared to online banking.

I'll admit it: I'm terribly spoiled. I remember doing columns on a typewriter and mailing them to be published. needless to say, the internet makes that job tremendously easier.

Like you, I worry about the possibility of the current government intruding on a good thing. They are regulation happy and the thought of regulations on the internet is not a pretty thing.


The price will drop, it always does. I mentioned earlier about a guy once wanting to sell me a $1,200 fax machine. That was in about 1980. I have one in my house now I bought about ten years ago for $60, phone included.

It's a combination of improved technology, supply, and demand.

Jim McAllister said...


That's because you're getting the best thing a man can have fast and for free! LOL

Sorry, you left yourself open for that one! I agree, though. We have become a society of people obsessed with having "stuff." Just watch TV with all the unnecessary stuff you can buy. Do we really need TVs in EVERY room? Do we need TVs that you can freeze the picture then walk to another room and continue the show without missing even one second of the show. Do two year old cars with 40,000 miles on them really needed to be traded? Do people really need to take high risk home equity loans on their homes for a lavish vacation or to buy another luxury? Does every kid need a $200 Smartphone?

The list never ends and items like the latest iPad are just another example of a waste of money. If the previous iPad was so great, is it really that obsolete now?

A lot of people need to call "time out", take a step back, and re-evaluate their priorities.

Jim McAllister said...

From Joe Finnerty, 3-17-2012

The consumer frenzy to buy the latest updated iPad is difficult to comprehend as it is only marginally better than the previous version and its price still quite lofty. I have owned an iPad since Christmas (a gift), and have learned how to transfer music and pictures to it from my computer, and how to download books from stores and libraries. It has numerous apps I never use, and never will.

I set up the picture phone feature, but have no one who wants to chat and see me at the same time. I will never purchase an upgraded version in order to obtain better picture quality or faster speed. When they come out with a model that computes and pays my income tax, buys and sells real estate, cleans the bathroom, takes my temperature, administers stern lectures on the advantages of eating bananas, raw, then perhaps my mind will be swayed.

The only line I stand on these days is to receive Holy Communion, and I’m always looking around for the express lane. I might consider home delivery, if the price was right. A mail order prescription drug outfit might someday offer this feature.


You missed your calling working for SRP. You should have had a career in stand-up comedy:

"When they come out with a model that computes and pays my income tax, buys and sells real estate, cleans the bathroom, takes my temperature, administers stern lectures on the advantages of eating bananas, raw, then perhaps my mind will be swayed."

You are a lot funnier than Uncle Miltie and Lucile ball ever were combined.

Mike Slater said...

Jim, I've had a rule for 20 years, no TV in my bedroom. When I go to bed, which is usually before my wife, I want darkness and silence.

Jim McAllister said...


We are the same way. We have never had a TV in the bedroom. I've heard experts who say that it is a bad habit to watch TV there as it takes away from normal sleeping habits.

midnightsstaff said...

Guess I never got used to taking things at face value after being taught things the hard way a couple of times..
..just because we haven't seen a bear in these parts doesn't mean they don't have bear problems somewhere in the state-
I guess it boils down to it's easier to believe that something that has happened before will happen again than something that has never happened ever happening.. thanks to ...(Convolution for Dummies)
I just know that we have layer upon layer of modern technology built on an archaic electrical gridwork that is being over taxed well beyond it's design capabilities.
Stands to reason that some time in the future we will have something similar to what happened in Toronto or Montreal a few years ago..
The house of cards seems to me built even more perilously than ever before..
Not saying to go out and buy gold or anything, but if the grid did actually go down for any length of time we have a society that is basically cashless..
I know lots of folks who never have more than a twenty on them, there is nothing wrong with credit cards but if the computer system takes a dump, that plastic becomes worthless...
But back to my point..
It seems with all the social networking going on with the youth, how are they going to function if that grid goes down or is even impared?-
I guess we will see at some time probably not far in the future.
so just think.. if someone had complete control over access to the internet, how much power and influence would that give them?- It might be about time to give that some thought..

Jim McAllister said...


Interesting point; I never spend cash. I put everything on the card. I see today where Sweden is trying to go "cashless."

Rick Kepple said...

Definitely, the price will drop. In 1996, I bought a new Pentium computer for $2,600. Since then, I've had lots of computers and made lots of money. I used to beg friends and family to help me buy a computer back in the day. I said, that I just had a feeling that I could make a living with one and I was right. They said to get a job in a factory. You know, you can't even find a simple fax machine anymore. And shredders? $14. Camcorders don't exist anymore. Now there are 'blogging cameras' for less than $200 with harddrives. My Nikon D-SLR is obsolete since it doesn't do video too. If by some miracle I found actual paying clients, I could stop this Blackwater Journalism stuff and buy an iPAD, more computers, computer programs for work, take it off my taxes and never pay a cent like GE. I have one employee now and I pay her car insurance as a perk! I don't need an iPAD now and I won't wait in line for anything. I'd hire someone to do it for me.

Jim McAllister said...


That is a good history you give on the evolution of progress in the computer age. What we buy this morning is obsolete by this afternoon.

I recently spoke to one of our female bloggers and asked her if her kids are always emailing each other. She laughed and said that email is waaaaaay too slow and out of date for her kids and their friends. They don't even use it anymore. Now, they all use Skype, much faster and up to date! I wonder what is next.

Rick Kepple said...

What's next? You can buy these sunglasses in Walmart now with cameras. $69. They look like Foster Grants like Tom Cruise wore in Risky Business. Soon they're gonna have these computers in Walmart that are just this flat thingy that you've seen on the news. They take their finger and drag files, pictures, etc. around. Scientists say that by 2020, they will have perfected time travel. In fact, the Pentagon has figured out how to pause and cloak time events. It's like you're having a blog party, feds come in, arrest someone, take him or her out, flip a switch and suddenly, you don't even realize the event, under 15 minutes ever happened. You just assume they left. This isn't theory. It's real and only a fraction of a second now, but it's soon to be perfected.

Jim McAllister said...

Rick, I loved "Risky Business" from 1983 with Tom Cruise, gorgeous Rebecca DeMornay (what happened to her?) and Curtis Armstrong. If fact I think it is the only movie Cruise ever made that was worth a damn.

I see where that goofus from Virgin Airlines is talking about space travel and Ashton Kutcher wants to buy a ticket. I hope it works out and Kutcher takes off and leaves 2 1/2 men and Charlie Sheen returns. The show sucks without him.

buzzard said...

Hey Jim, did you know
Buckeyes vs Cinci in sweet 16 battle tomorrow (Thurs).
Ohio is the first state in NCAA history to have 4 teams in the sweet 16.

Jim McAllister said...


How right you are and it's a great thing. The only game I really care about is Ohio State-Cincy. As Cincy alums, Barb and I are really hoping the Bearcats can pull it off like they did in '61 and "62 against OSU. I remember those games like they were yesterday. Great wins for Cincy against two great OSU teams with guys like Lucas and Havlicek.

Our team now is like those teams: low scoring, defense. I hope it works!

Rick Kepple said...

When I went to the VA hospital, it was an opportunity to check out the city. I went to a music store and the manager pulled out an iPAD and did a quick search. I'm about done with this writing and music biz thing. Everything has changed. Cell phone users are the news reporters. Bands don't need publicists, managers, booking agents and they can buy $400 24 track recording equipment and be their own label in some kind of outsourcing to put mainstream out of business. Music people are like, we're your friends Rick but have the decency not to tell anyone ... shhhhh. I don't believe anything that people tell me anymore until I check it out for myself. I can Google information on my fifty dollar Blackberry clone.

Jim McAllister said...

It seems like everything is changing and not necessarily for the better. I think the day is coming when nobody will converse on paper anymore. Letters are a thing of the past already and when bills all go out paperless, that will be it for the post office if not sooner.