Once Upon a Time There Was A Tavern, Where We Used to Raise a Chum or Two….

It’s amazing how some days a theme just seems to assert itself…

  • From the “Be Kind, Rewind” Department: It looks like the VHS Cassette is going the way of other media: Polaroid Film, Cassette Tapes, Floppies and 9-Track tape, Punched Cards. Specifically, the last major supplier of the tapes, Distribution Video Audio, has shipped their last VHS shipment. Anything left in their warehouse will be given away or thrown away. I still have a large box of videotapes, either ones that I recorded or bought. Haven’t watched them in years. But then again, I think I still have a 9-track tape from my college days, written on the IBM 360/91.
  • From the “Today, Sunny. Tomorrow, Sunny.” Department: The LA Times has a nice piece on the whereabouts of Dr. George Fishbeck, former meterologist of KABC 7. I thought he would have retired to Porterville, as he was always sending toys there… but no, he’s in Woodland Hills, volunteering with VST, the LAPD’s Volunteer Surveillance Team. I’m familiar with VST, as my MIL has worked with them. Anyway, back to Dr. George… he was from “my” era in weathercasters — the 1980s — and I don’t think we have had one with a meterology background (who uses it) since then.

    ETA: The LA Times also has a nice column on Cal Worthington.

  • From the “Chatty Cathy” Department: This time of year, mothers everywhere are buying baby dolls for their daughter. But be careful, because your purchase might raise a stink. Literally. The Washington Post is reporting about a new doll called Baby Alive. This doll not only wets… it (ahem) deficates as well. She’s more life-like than ever! They even provide a demo. Quoting the Post: the doll “comes with special “green beans” and “bananas” that, once fed to the doll, actually, well, come out the other end. “Be careful,” reads the doll’s promotional literature, “just like real life, sometimes she can hold it until she gets to the ‘potty’ and sometimes she can’t!” (A warning on the back of the box reads: “May stain some surfaces.”)”. Mattel, not to be outdone by Hasbro, has the Little Mommy Real Loving Baby Gotta Go Doll. What does this doll do? According to the Post, “Once she is placed on her little toilet, a magnet triggers a presto, change-o in the plastic bowl: “The ‘water’ in the toilet disappears, with the expected ‘potty waste’ appearing in its place. Your child can then flush the toilet. The ‘water’ will reappear, while the toilet makes a very realistic flushing sound!” And then comes the applause.” These are expected to be big sellers.

So why am I posting this? I’m just helping you. You see, according to the LA Times, nostalgia is viewed as theraputic, especially in these hard times:

“Nostalgia has had a very bad name among psychologists and psychiatrists,” says Krystine Batcho, a professor of psychology at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., and a leading researcher on the emotion. “The feeling was that if you were nostalgic, you were trapped in the past.”

In the past decade or so, however, research has revealed nostalgia as a bittersweet emotion with some benefits. Batcho’s research shows that it helps people maintain their sense of identity. “Nostalgia is like looking in a rearview mirror,” she says. “Do I still have the values and priorities I had before? It gives us stability when we live in a time of constant change.”

Nostalgia also helps people feel connected socially, she says.

“The argument in [Gao’s] paper is that nostalgia works therapeutically,” she says. “You are reliving your social connectedness. It’s better than nothing. If you can’t be home for Christmas, at least you have your dreams.”

I think I’ll go live in my dreamworld now. Oh, never mind. Lunch is over.