Good morning. Hello. How are you? #491

2006 Old Navy nine-inch brown bears, IATSE strike, what does a recalled ambassador do with their time?, Nils M the ecstasy-hoarding multi-heist art thief, the Third Imperial Egg is back, bayybe.

Good morning, there, fellow friend. How are you? All is going well, I hope. This morning I ran out of allergy drops, so I have to get some more. This is a shockingly difficult exercise — this particularly UNC clinic does not want to use MyChart, so I have to call them, and they never answer the phone. You leave a message and then just sort of pray, with no confirmation that they ever got the message. It’s super stressful because you only have about a week of not going without the drops before your immunity wears off. But so far, they’ve never let me down, so I assume it’ll work again this time. Fingers crossed.

The eBay seller finally accepted my lowball bid on the 2006 Old Navy nine-inch brown bear, so that is done and dusted and purchased and it is on its way to me, which is very exciting. There are, of course, currently two more on eBay, no luck on those two yet, but I will not give up. This is a holy mission.

IATSE — The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States — may be going on strike soon. The film and TV industry rejected their last proposal so IATSE is taking a strike vote. The vote will be sometime around the first of October, the results should come in a few days later. The central issues seem to be twofold: a) certain “streamer” companies thinking they should have some sort of special deal, ahem Apple, because, you know, Apple is so hard up financially, they just couldn’t possibly afford to pay people a decent wage or, you know, give them breaks. And b) not, like, working people to the bone, doing 12-15 hour days without lunch breaks. Or worse. A strike would be a huge deal in the industry, massively disruptive. But also probably necessary since we are all familiar with, for example, Apple’s recalcitrance in the face of opposition.

France is in a giant argument with the US and Australia because of some submarines. Australia had agreed to buy a ton of submarines from France, but the submarines were obsolete and not going to be delivered for, like, fifteen years, and China would have no problem finding them in the water because they were noisy. So they came to the Americans, who make awesome subs, and were like “hey can we have some of your subs instead?” And America was like “all right, sure, but you gotta tell France about it because they’re going to be pissed” and Australia was like “Sure, sure.” Except we probably didn’t actually say that, we’re just pretending we did now, because in the end, no one told France, and both countries went out of their way to actively hide the deal from them, leaders meeting in all combinations and, just… no one told them. The Aussies and Americans and Brits (who were in on the deal) even all had a meeting together at a summit that all four countries were at, and blandly called it a meeting about “security issues.” Like this is a classic case of two people dating now that really should go tell their exes or even current significant others, but they’re just too chicken to do it, they keep stalling, they did not listen to Robyn’s wise words in “Call your Girlfriend,” and managed to make the whole thing worse for no reason.

So now France is ripshit and they recalled their ambassadors to the US and Australia, which is a thing countries do when they’re mad, it’s like storming out of a bar or party in your twenties when your ex shows up, and you managing to make everyone uncomfortable. But what I want to know is, like, what does a recalled Ambassador do? Like… do they get to go home? Like home, home, to their house, and just chill and play PS5 if they can buy one? Or do they have to, like, go to Paris and go to work every day at what Wikipedia tells me is the Hôtel du ministre des Affaires étrangères at 37 quai d'Orsay, Paris 7e? Which would be really awkward if, like, you know, they’re one of those political appointees because they donated a lot of money and they don’t even live in Paris, but rather live in a swanky beach pad in Biarritz or Cannes. And now they have to go to an office in Paris every day. Is being recalled as an Ambassador a blessing or a curse is what I want to know.

I suddenly find myself with a bunch of work this week — I have, like, four deliverables that need writing. One of them is hard and I am dreading it. I need to just find the right mood and power through. This is my big goal for the day. Can I do it? Can I?

They think they caught this guy who stole a Van Gough from one museum and a Franz Hals from another museum, from DNA evidence left at both crime scenes, and when they ran the DNA surprise surprise, this guy had been previously convicted and served time for art theft, so you know, that does not look super good for our suspect, Nils M. So they go and arrest him, this lowly auto mechanic who also stole a Van Gough and Hals and this is my favorite part of the article:

You go on with your bad self, Nils M I hear there are a few French Ambassadors with absolutely nothing to do for the next few months maybe you should get in touch with them.

The other crazy thing is that this is the third time that this specific Frans Hals painting has been stolen:

Oh also this is exciting the Victoria and Albert Museum is displaying the Third Imperial Egg in its upcoming Fabergé exhibition. This is the egg that was missing for nearly fifty years. It was cofiscated from the Dowager Empress in 1917, lost by the Russians in 1922, suspiciously turned up at auction in New York in 1964 by someone named “Clark,” sold for $2,450 and disappeared again until 2004 when it turned up at a “bric a brac market in the midwestern united states” and was bought by a scrapper for $13k, or literally it’s gold salvage price. Luckily this scrapper was not a complete idiot and 2014, the famed Fabergé collecting house Wartski announced that it had authenticated and obtained the Third Imperial Egg from the scrapper and arranged for a sale to a private collector. Nothing else was known about it until this week when the Victoria and Albert announced that it now owned the egg. Whether the V&A, or a rich buyer on its behalf, was the acquirer in 2014, and they just waited 7 years to tell everyone, or they recently acquired it from the 2014 acquirer is unclear, but in any case, this thing hasn’t been on public display pretty much ever, and it will be on November 20. Okay, Wartski briefly displayed it at their showroom in 2014 but only for a hot second and not in a museum. And that was it for, like, you know, the last century. Crazy.

Hrm all right I think that’s all I got in me today. The sun is shining into my office right now that is nice. I enjoyed the rain for the last few days, though. But now I’m excited to pop out and inspect the garden and see how well things grew. I’m itching to try and get some of these work deliverables done today. If I can pull that off, I’ll be very proud of myself.

Let’s do a mix. Justa Mix today. Lotta good stuff here. First off, RIP Richard H Kirk, one of the ringleaders and pioneers in Cabaret Voltaire. I once drove across this entire country looking in 20+ record stores trying to find the Cabaret Voltaire Don’t Argue 12”. Turns out there are two of them and I finally found them at Wax Trax in Chicago. New Andrew WK is awesome, strong recommend, and we have our first Taylor re-recording of a track from Red. Also worth noting that Taylor finally opened up pre-orders for the vinyl version of Red (Taylor’s Version). With Fearless and Speak Now, the vinyl pre-orders opened up the same day as the other pre-orders. But with Red, pre-orders opened a month or two ago with no vinyl but now there is vinyl. It is a triple-album, costs $50 and is not, in fact, on red vinyl, which is a shame. Also Fearless and Speak Now still haven’t shipped yet. Man, vinyl is backlogged. We got a few oldies on here — “Emotions and Photons” by Freezepop popped into my head the other day, I used that song on an early Barbarian reel and I was thinking of it for some reason, and I’ve been on a Twist of Shadows-era Xymox kick lately. I still remember the first time I heard Xymox, on the Muzak at Jay Jacobs at the Bentley Mall in Fairbanks in 1989. That’s not a thing that happened every day up there. Man. Jay Jacobs. Renee and Larone worked there. So exotic. Oh and the Lori & The Chameleons and Teardrop Explodes are old. I pulled out the Zoo Records compilation To The Shores of Lake Placid the other day and listened to it for the first time in ages. It is a great comp. When I bought it I really only cared about the Teardrop and Echo and the Bunnymen tracks but the rest are really good. And the new Lindsey Buckingham is not bad. Sounds like Mac from Superchunk.

Okay anyway have a nice Thursday let’s get some work done.