Me and my Mango Kool-Aid

Mango Kool-Aid

I’m set for a year!

Every once in awhile, things happen in my life that remind me of the incredible wonder of our networked world. In observing and writing about these things, it’s easy to begin to take this new world for granted, and I don’t want ever to do that. So let me tell you the little story of my passion for Mango Kool-Aid.

When I was a boy, my mother would “spike” the Kool-Aid with Canada Dry Ginger Ale, and I’ve carried that on all my adult life. My favorite was the green Kool-Aid, which I used to call, appropriately, “Green Stuff.” A few years ago, I discovered the wonderful flavor of Mango, and began making my concoction with Mango Kool-Aid. Then, the people at Kraft did something totally unexpected; they stopped making Mango Kool-Aid. Oh no! In some stores, you can buy “Peach-Mango,” but who wants that when you’re a Mango purist like me?

I found a store last summer that had a close-out, so I bought all they had, but those ran out last week. I went back to Green Stuff, but, alas, my heart belongs to Mango. I had the thought a few days ago to see if anybody might be selling Mango Kool-Aid via Amazon. Sure enough, there was SweetDeals4U with 4 boxes of 48-count Mango — PURE Mango — Kool-Aid.

I scooped them up, and they arrived today from North Brunswick, New Jersey.

I am a very happy camper. Years from now, this kind of thing will be second nature in the postmodern world of the Great Horizontal, and everybody will take it for granted. Me? Never. It’s a wonder, this thing we have created. Let’s not lose sight of that as we argue, bicker and scream about what’s needed to protect it.

John Carter (of Mars)

John and the princess

Strong woman and the perfect male hero

Off-topic, I know. Most of you know I’m a science fiction buff. I saw the film this morning and have just a few things to say. If you are a science fiction fan, you owe it to yourself and the genre to see this film. What’s most amazing about the story — written 100 years ago — is the remarkable imagination of Edgar Rice Burroughs in creating it. You will see glimpses of many famous works in this, for their creators all robbed this story.

Alex (my stepson) and I saw Star Wars, Avatar, Flash Gordon, Superman, Stargate, and many, many others in “John Carter.” You will come away with a deep appreciation for Burroughs, and I hope this film brings out many stories about him in the press.

John Carter is the real deal, and I can’t wait to see it again. Oh, and it really needs to be seen in IMAX 3D.

Per request, me and my banjo

The Heaton BrothersAt the request, or challenge of Rex Hammock, I’m putting up an MP3 of myself and my two brothers, Bob and Jim, from a tape made in our basement in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1965. I was 18. My younger brother Bob was a a virtuoso mandelin player at the age of 16. Older brother Jim played guitar. He was 20. We performed as “The Heaton Brothers” on television and on stages around Michigan in the mid 60s. Vietnam broke us up.

We performed this song, Rawhide, for Bill Monroe in his hotel room, and Bill tipped his hat to my little brother.

We were really quite good, and although this recording is pretty rough, I think you’ll agree. We were certainly a novelty in the Midwest, and I’m pretty sure my life would have been very different were it not for Vietnam. Enjoy.


Rawhide, by The Heaton Brothers.

Lifetime: Don’t contact us, except via postcard

Being the consumer that I am, I do a lot of writing to companies and whatever to explain my pleasure or displeasure. Most companies are happy to hear from people, or at least they pretend to be as such.

But not the Lifetime cable channel. I wanted to drop them a line to express my dissatisfaction with dropping the show “Models of the Runway” that followed Project Runway last season. Karen and I both thought it was great and added a whole new level of drama to the actual competition of Project Runway.

So I went online to get the address, and here’s what I found:

Lifetime only wants postcards

Hilarious, right? Actually, it’s pretty pathetic and further evidence of exactly what’s wrong with the entertainment industry, which is a blatant disregard of the people they’re supposedly trying to please: the audience.

Wake up, Lifetime. Postcards? Really?

Antoine Dodson: victim, comic, or both?

If you haven’t heard the name Antoine Dodson by now, you don’t spend a lot of time around viral videos. Dodson was just a couple of rather provocative soundbites in a news report by WAFF-TV in Huntsville, Alabama last week before becoming an overnight sensation via YouTube. We’ve heard this story before, right?

Here’s the original story, as of this writing viewed over 3 million times.

(NOTE: Raycom Media filed a takedown notice with YouTube, and the original video — with its 4 million views — was taken down. I’ve posted another version, but it will likely be taken down, too.)

My friend Holly sent me the link last week, and I’ve got to tell you that when I first saw it, I was struck by the matter-of-fact cloak of business-as-usual that wraps Dodson’s “interview.” He so jumped past the glass that it was hard to take the formal nature of that which surrounded him seriously. Antoine Dodson WAS the story.

And that’s the way the world around Huntsville has seen it. As of this writing, over 3 million people have seen the original story and at least that many have watched one of a literal sea of remixes and other uses of the video. It has prompted Facebook pages, a T-shirt line, ringtones, and even songs. This one’s my favorite.

WAFF-TV did a follow-up report and noted that some people were complaining that Dodson was making Huntsville look bad. I’m not so sure. The guy is a real American character, and I’m surprised he hasn’t been on Letterman yet. Hmm. Perhaps I could represent him?

Once again, the personal media revolution finds someone in real life with which to entertain itself. The sheer volume of views on these videos, once again, makes a strong case this growing sector of media is something to take seriously.

It’s my birthday, and I don’t feel like doing crap

I’m 64 years old today, and I’m happy to report that I’m still needed and fed, get Valentines and birthday greetings, and bottles of wine (I don’t drink). I’ve nothing terribly deep or philosophical to say today, because, well, it’s the one day of the year when I don’t have to. It’s my day. Get on my back at your own friggin’ risk.

I am marveling, however, at the myriad databases that are automatically wishing me happy birthday. That’s the thing about databases; they never forget. If told to send well wishes, they coöperate without complaint. From the place where I bought my car (I just KNOW they mean it, too) to Facebook (where you don’t need to remember anything about anybody, because it does the remembering for you), I’m feeling so special today.


I did get a card — a real one, in the mail, too — from my mother. Her database is still working at 88. She’ll be 89 on the 18th…or is it the 19th?

Dang. I need to defrag my brain. But not today, ’cause I don’t feel like doing crap.