Pop to Mom [shaking his head]: You fall more in love with that dog every day.
Mom [with a helpless shrug]: Yes, I do.
Pop to dog: Peasy, where's your bear? Go get your bear! Bring me your bear!
Pop: Okay, you got the dog you wanted, so now I get to have the Hayabusa I want.
Mom (who isn't the world's fasted thinker) [PAUSE, then] No, you bought that Ford van you wanted, I got the dog, and now we're even, so if you get the Hayabusa, I get a horse, and your van can tow the horse trailer!
Pop: The Hayabusa will fit in the van. It won't need a trailer.
Mom (silent but unconvinced)
Note: This debate has no end in sight.
Recently, when I went to log into my New York Times account (the basic, cheap one I signed up for last winter when far from home and ways to buy physical copies of the newspaper), I was urged to “Continue with Google,” “Continue with Facebook,” or “Continue with Apple.” No, thank you. I prefer to log directly into the account I pay for monthly. Why should I have to go first through one of those virtual expressways to get to my account? Ridiculous, annoying – and, to my way of thinking, suspicious.
I also subscribe to a daily book business newsletter called “Shelf Awareness,” and I can either read it as e-mail or click to read it in my browser. Then, for each article, there are further options: I can share through Facebook or Twitter or e-mail. Nice. But this morning when I chose the e-mail (to a friend) option, I was urged to go through Gmail. Again, no thank you. I prefer my own e-mail account through my own Michigan ISP. Why is that not good enough?
Not to mix metaphors here, but I feel as if I’m being railroaded – or, I should say, that attempts are being made to railroad me – onto giant virtual expressways that I have no desire to travel. I like my back roads. And while I value very much both the New York Times and “Shelf Awareness,” I’m disappointed that they seem to have bought into these railroading attempts. There must be something in it for them, but I fail to see what’s in it for me.