posts tagged with 'catalogs'

farming mail

I get seed catalogs and I get orchard catalogs and I get bulb catalogs (though not so much anymore with the bulbs; what's up with that, guys?), but today I broke into the agricultural big time in my catalog receipts with the arrival of the Growers Supply Company catalog. Not only does it offer greenhouses, hydroponic supplies, and row cover fabric by the 300ft roll, the front cover offers generous financing terms that'll make it easy for me to go into debt just like a real farmer! Six months same as cash? Great! I always wanted a high tunnel!

No seriously, I'd love a high tunnel. I just don't think my garden is quite big enough yet. A greenhouse of some sort would be pretty awesome too, both for seed starting and to grow lemon trees in. And avocados, do they grow on trees? How about bananas? You can tell the winter, as snowless as it's been, is catching up to me: I'm ready for some fresh garden produce. You know, I bet if I had a cold frame up I could be growing lettuce even now. Seed starting day can't come soon enough.

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they used to be as crappy as they are now

When we got a catalog the other day from "Back to Basics Toys" (tag line: "They Do Make Them Like They Used To!") I was a little excited to see what was on offer. After all, we're old-school here at the squibix household: I think the best things we've gotten for Harvey so far are a set of little wooden cars and airplanes with an undeniable rugged appeal. More appealing in theory at this point, true, than in practice when I give him one and after chewing on it for a bit he drops it onto his forehead and cries, but still.

Imagine my disappointment, then, when I paged through the book and found it was actually nothing more than the Greatest Hits of the 60s and 70s, toy style. It's not aimed at parents who want real, well-made toys, in other words, but at those who want to exercise their nostalgia by inflicting upon their offspring a variety of awful plastic crap from their own childhoods. I mean, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em robots? Fisher Price pull-along Chatter Telephone?! ("I had that one!" says Leah. It was already nostalgic then, having come out originally in 1962.) Plus some random Sharper Image-esque junk like a plastic piggy bank with an LED display of the balance. Needless to say we will not be placing any orders.

One wonders, though, what the response will be of the little tykes who do get something from Back to Basics on Christmas morning. The little girl on the cover (pictured above) seems, on the surface, happy enough with her matching set of dead-eyed Raggedy Anne and Andy dolls, but look a little closer and you can see the desperation... I bet she asked for a Bratz doll. Don't worry little girl, in thirty years you'll be able to get one for your own daughter from the Back to Basics catalog!

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