Friday, August 08, 2003

more reader mail

As long as I'm answering e-mail from others regarding my weblog:

A reader in South Bend, Indiana asks
By the way, what's the story behind the nicknames for Rob and Amy?  Do 

you have a nickname?
Rob's nickname "Babycakes" dates from the first year of his graduate studies at Indiana University, where he was regarded as so cute-as-the-dickens by the faculty there that they began calling him Babycakes. Eventually, the name also spread to the graduate studentry, the Clark-Kroska families, and indeed throughout much of the Midwest wherever his replica Pinewood Derby cars are sold. Although, importantly, "Babycakes" is used only as a sometimes nickname, always set off by quotation marks, and it should never be confused as a substitute for Rob. Amy is nicknamed "Puppy Sprinkles" because that was the name of the character she played when she appeared in a two-part episode of Blossom (her one and only foray into television acting). As for me, I currently have a large number of surly, profane nicknames among the students here, and before that I have had a variety of elementary, junior, high school, and collegiate nicknames that I have repressed. Rob and Amy have developed an extensive system of calling all of their friends names that also end in "-cakes"--except for our friend Donut, who is the irregular verb of the group--and in that naming system I am called "hostesscakes" because of my profound love for Ho-Hos.

A reader from Madison did some research following up on my earlier pondering of what the US Postal Service got out of sponsoring Lance Armstrong for the Tour de France, and provided me with the following information:
From the USPS's "setting the record straight" web page(see for
full text)

The Postal Service believes in advertising and
sponsorship because of the stiff competition it faces in the market
place. We believe the considerable recognition and the added benefit of
increased employee morale from the sponsorship of Lance Armstrong and
his Postal Service team fully justifies this business decision.

Azeezaly S. Jaffer, Vice President,
USPS Public Affairs and Communications
[End snip]

As well as the quote from another source, "In a recent interview with Reuters News Service, Bob Williams, chief executive of Burns Sports and Celebrities in Chicago, said, 'The synergy between the Postal Service and Lance is perfect from a marketer's perspective.'"

And, from a loyal reader in Kent, Ohio, comes the following message of support and advice for how to deal with the unfolding "Heart of Darkness" drama:
dearest jeremy, please do not stop blogging!  my life partner and i are

addicted to your daily entries. to take a break from blogging now, or to
stop altogether, would be a severe breach of your ethical duty to brighten
our days. regarding your correspondence with mr. mongogotosogulatachatta,
you are in no danger so long as you keep changing your residence every 2-3
days. don't answer your cell phone. never face the same direction for
more than 30 seconds. and always keep a low center of gravity when you
turn corners. wearing a glasses, nose, & moustache disguise when at work
would not hurt, either. keep blogging, my dear friend!...

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