The older I get, the less I understand things. I’m not talking here about things I never understood, like chemistry and algebra. I’m wondering, for example, about the sign I passed the other day, one advertising a “dry bar.” Confusing, yes? How can a bar be dry? By definition a bar serves alcohol, which makes it decidedly wet. As a girl who went to college in a dry county, I do know the difference.
It seems a dry bar in today’s parlance is a place where one goes to get one’s hair “blown out.” Clients can choose a bouncy blowout, a wavy blow dry, a natural blowout and even a 90’s blowout, the ad for which proclaims, “Nineties hair is back in a big way — we’re talkin’ a gravity-defying fluffy blowout. Voluminous, low maintenance and low-key sexy…”
As one who lived through the 90s, I’m not sure a return to those colossal coiffures is a good idea. I’m also unsure about the advertised Brazilian blowout, which brings to mind a Brazilian wax, something I’ve worked hard to forget.
It appears that 90’s hairstyles are once again hot. Does anyone think that’s a good idea?
Then there’s the Nail Supply store I saw the other day. The place seemed large and I wondered just how much space might be needed for some nail clippers, emery boards, and an assortment of nail polish. Then I thought I might have it wrong. Maybe they were selling nails: framing nails, box nails, sinker nails, masonry nails. Those types of things. But again, the size of the store seemed massive if the only thing in the inventory was nails. Very curious.
A little later, I walked into my favorite store: Total Wine. For those who live in parts of the country without this fabulous retailer, it’s a giant warehouse full of pretty much nothing but booze. Wine, liquor, and beer from every corner of the world. There’s also a smattering of eatables like cheeses and chocolate and upscale munchies, which makes the place the perfect go-to spot in the event of a zombie apocalypse. I plan to be inside when they lock those doors on such an occasion. And yet, I noticed something the other day that made me wonder. The clerk at the counter reached for a narrow, brown-paper sack in which she intended to place my wine bottle.
“It’s in case you drop the plastic bag,” she explained.
“The bottle will still smash anyway,” I said, pointing out the obvious.
I looked into the practice later and discovered that originally the bag was to give the buyer some privacy, the idea being that maybe they didn’t want anyone to know they were buying alcohol. Of course, I’m guessing most everyone knew what was in the sack, so the practice seems a bit silly. And, of course, the protective effects against broken glass are non-existent.
Then there are QR codes. Now don’t jump on your soapbox and call me old technophobe. I know that one takes a picture of those weird, black and white, Rorschach-test looking things, in order to be linked with something online. I get the concept. I just can’t figure out how anyone came up with the idea. As I generally do when confused, I researched the issue. Turns out a Japanese engineer named Masahiro Hara invented the QR code back in 1994, in an effort to come up with a better way to track automotive parts. His idea was an extension of the barcode, only with a QR code information can be stored both vertically and horizontally, which is pretty damned brilliant. Methinks Mr. Hara probably never had a problem with chemistry or algebra.
I guess new things will always keep popping up. And maybe that’s for the best. It keeps us on our toes, don’t you think?
The past and present collide when a tenacious reporter seeks information on an eleventh century magician…and uncovers more than she bargained for.
February 2, 2022
In 1939, archeologists uncovered a tomb at the Northern Arizona site called Ridge Ruin. The man, bedecked in fine turquoise jewelry and intricate bead work, was surrounded by wooden swords with handles carved into animal hooves and human hands. The Hopi workers stepped back from the grave, knowing what the Moochiwimi sticks meant. This man, buried nine hundred years earlier, was a magician.
Former television journalist Kate Butler hangs on to her investigative reporting career by writing freelance magazine articles. Her research on The Magician shows he bore some European facial characteristics and physical qualities that made him different from the people who buried him. Her quest to discover The Magician’s origin carries her back to a time when the high desert world was shattered by the birth of a volcano and into the present-day dangers of archeological looting where black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.
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