From the EastWing, The Baby Girl Maggie L, Talking About A Yule Log, For Some Businesses A Time To Die, Things That Go Away.

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Happy times in the EastWing. A new baby girl, the first grandchild, Maggie Lucille, has arrived. My son, RJ is a proud papa, and me and the She likewise, proud Grandma and Grandpa. I’m not going to bore you to tears with pictures and all sorta stuff, but I’ll just say I will tell you the story when it’s time…. The only part of that story written so far is the title. “THE SPOILING OF MAGGIE L”

And so once again it’s soon to be that time of the year when a burning Yule Log is symbolic of the light that will return after the dark days of early winter and gives us an excuse to gather with dear ones before a roaring fire.

The tradition is an old one, going back to the Druid custom of choosing a large log from an apple or oak tree, lighting it afire, and praying that it would burn forever. In England, the log was selected months before Christmas. Because it was believed that all who brought it in from the woods would be protected against harm for the ensuing year, everyone lent a hand, making the event itself a festive time.

Custom also decreed that a piece from the previous year’s log be saved to light the new log. As the Yule Log burned, everyone danced and cavorted in its heat and warmth, safe in the knowledge that the evil spirits would stay away for another year.

Now I don’t know about you, but me and the She, well me and the She, we just don’t dance and cavort quite as much as we used to. Seems like other things take priority over that cavorting. Although I’m not opposed to such, from time to time.

Every year about his time, someone publishes a listing of businesses expected to close during the following year. Some are correct and as always some are wrong. Russell Stover Candies, Ball Park Hot Dogs, Jimmy Dean Sausage, Zynga, are only the first half of the list.

Most people have heard on the first four and very, very few have ever heard of Zynga. And that’ port of the problem. Zynga is the company that provides those stupid games on social media. More specific, the face book games. Only one major success for this company. For my Face book friends who play Farmville, you can thank Zynga for bringing that product to you. It turns out that Zynga is much like those who don’t survive in the record recording business. How may “One and done” artist do you know in the music business.

After reading of the early demise of some of my favorite things (candy, hot dogs, & sausage) I got to thinking if I could make a listing of thing that will surly disappear in our lifetime.

1. The Post Office: Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills, just like mine.

2. The Check: Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with check by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check. This plays right into the death of the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business, and the demise of the check will be one of the culprits.

3. The Newspaper: The young people today simply doesn’t read the newspaper. They certainly don’t subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.

4. The Book: You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages Many said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. They wanted the hard copy CD. But quickly changed their mind when it was discovered that one could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can’t wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you’re holding a gadget instead of a book.

Just a side line on the book going the way of the dodo bird, The She, and avid reader, now reads her latest book on her iPad. For some reason we call the iPads Doter Doters.. Don’t know why, just do.

5. The Land Line Telephone: Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don’t need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they’ve always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes. Have you noticed the shrinking of the Phone Book?

6. Music: This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It’s the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is “catalogue items,” meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, “Appetite for Self-Destruction” by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, “Before the Music Dies.”

7. Television Revenues: To the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they’re playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it. It’s time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch
online and through Netflix.

8. The “Things” That You Own(Your Stuff): Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in “the cloud.” Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest “cloud services.” That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider. In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That’s the good news. But, will you actually own any of this “stuff” or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big “Poof?” Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.

9. Joined Handwriting (Cursive Writing): Already gone in some schools who no longer teach “joined handwriting” because nearly everything is done now on computers or keyboards of some
type (pun intended)

10. Privacy: If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it will be privacy. That’s gone. It’s been gone for a long time anyway.. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, “They” know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits.. “They” will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again and again and again. All we will have left that which can’t be changed…….are our “Memories”. Logic is dead. Excellence is punished. Mediocrity is rewarded. And dependency is to be revered.

Stay safe in Afghanistan and Iraq.

From the EastWing, The Baby Girl Maggie L, Talking About A Yule Log, For Some Businesses A Time To Die, Things That Go Away.

I Wish You Well,