Friday, December 26, 2014

Apple Product Placement II

Dear Mr. Cook:

How great to find out you're such a fan of contemporary literature--up $1.98 today to $113.99!

Whenever I can I'll bring you worthwhile excerpts of delightful and intriguing literary writing with sublime Apple product placement.

This brief passage is three pages into Apple Seized, Chapter One, Part One of Edmond Caldwell's debut novel Human Wishes/Enemy Combatant. The only thing you need to know is that Edmond has made a commitment to a certain kind of sentence. Here goes:

"He knew he looked rumpled and unshaven, but he thought he might also look exotic and attractive in a world-weary way, at least for a man of his age. He had gotten some sun on the trip. Of course she would have to be into men his age. But probably he looked like a Middle Eastern terrorist instead of a Mediterranean lover. It didn't matter because he couldn't locate the attractive passenger among those at the carousel. Perhaps, like his wife, she was resting somewhere while a male partner fetched the bags, though it had been his impression that she had been traveling solo. He could see his wife, however, if he raised himself onto his toes. There she was with her Mac open on her lap. She had to be back at work early the next morning. He saw his wife set her laptop onto the vacant seat to her right and begin to take her sweater off. It had been cold on the plane when she put the sweater on. They had been in their seats--unfortunately the middle seats of the center aisle--so he'd had to help tug the sweater down her back, he remembered. Now his wife was on a different set of seats, against one wall of the baggage claim area instead of in the center aisle of the plane, and she wanted to take the sweater off. The seat on the other side of his wife was occupied by an older woman who leaned away so that she wouldn't be struck by flailing elbows as his wife struggled with the sweater over her head. As the sweater came up, the blouse clung to it and his wife's midriff and even the cups of her brassiere were exposed. He thought that the older woman in the next seat had a disapproving expression on her face, although at this distance he couldn't tell for sure."
Yours sincerely,

Frances Madeson


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Apple Product Placement

Dear Mr. Cook: 

So my Christmas gift for you (and for me, too!) is a brief excerpt from Chapter I of Cooperative Village. I am getting such a kick out of thinking about you reading it and trying to pronounce some of the Yiddishisms, however kookily improbable that scenario is. It's just funny. The whole situation. Me writing you every day after market close, and now even on a national holiday. 

So no set up needed other than Frances has just laundered her dead neighbor. She had her reasons.

Please enjoy the rhythm, I hope it makes you smile.

Merry and jolly,

Frances Madeson
View of Grand Street showing 26 years of cooperative development: Amalgamated Dwellings (1930) in the foreground with two of the Hillman Housing buildings (1947-50) behind it. One of the East River Housing towers (1953-56) in the background. Not far beyond the trees on the left out of frame is the Management Office where this fictional scene takes place. This is Grand Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

[Excerpt from Chapter One, "The Gentle Cycle," Cooperative Village, A Novel by Frances Madeson, p. 18]

The day was so lovely I almost enjoyed running the
gauntlet of ancient neighbors inching their walkers forward
on the sidewalk outside the building. I even took a
moment to admire the tenacity with which they hauled
their decrepit, wasted selves onto the touring coach that
would speed them to Atlantic City for an action-packed
day of inserting nickels into one-armed bandits.

I especially admired the stooped crones who remained
unbowed by concerns of personal vanity and
who, like catfish, let the thick white hairs grow on their
chins and upper lips for all the world to behold. I was
glad we’d chosen this community and hoped that services,
such as free bus trips and moderately priced annual
luncheons at Kutscher’s in the Catskills would
still be available as we got older. I’d heard them talking
and already knew that “they give you so much at the all-you-
can-eat-buffet, they should call it the more-than-you-
can-ever-possibly-eat-at-one-sitting buffet,” and I
looked forward to partaking of it someday. But everything
in its time.

Rivka-Leah, the experienced customer service associate
in the Management Office, who’s probably old
enough to retire but cannot relinquish the reins of
power, buzzed me in so I could wait my turn while she
dealt with several other Cooperators who’d arrived before

“What’re you completely crazy? I’m not giving you a
receipt for your maintenance check. The canceled check
will be the receipt. We don’t do that.”

“But I had a problem one time before when I put the
check in the rent box, and you people said you never got
it and you charged me a late fee. A late fee! Writing the
maintenance check is one of the highlights of my month.
Do I look like I would ever be late with such an important
check?” The crowd, including me, shook its head as
one. No, certainly not.

Seeing the tide turning against her, Rivka-Leah had
to think fast. “Mr. Abrahamson, if I do it for you then I
have to do it for everyone and before you know it that’s
all I’m doing, sitting here on my tuchas all day long
making out receipts for rent checks.”

“Fine, then let it be on your head. And these people
are my witnesses. Don’t charge me no late fees. I got

“Fine. Abi gezundt. Next!”

While the two other Cooperators in line argued heatedly
over who was next, I slipped ahead of them. After
all, I had a time constraint. I had to transfer my loads
from the washer to the dryers, though I wasn’t sure
about whether to dry Mrs. Plotsky or not. Maybe on low

“Hi Rivka-Leah. How are you this morning?”

“Thank God. What can I do for you?”

“I’m sad to say my neighbor Mrs. Plotsky died. I
found her dead in the laundry room.”

“Did she have a parking spot?”

“I don’t know. I doubt it. She was well into her

“This is important,” Rivka-Leah was wagging her
finger in my face. “’Cause if she had a spot, someone
else moves up on the list. Wait a minute, I’ll ask my
son-in-law. ISH-MA-EL,” she screamed into the hallway,
“Plotsky in the Y building. Did she have a parking

“I told you never to call me that,” he screamed back.
“What’re you kidding? The woman’s in diapers, she don’t
drive no more.”

“Maybe a storage room?”

“Since when do I know from storage rooms? Ask
Fritzy, if you can find him.”

Franklin Delano “Fritzy” Mandelbaum was the new
wunderkind on the staff, hired right out of the Cornell
School of Hotel Management largely on the strength of
his honors thesis entitled, “Don’t Flatter Yourself: All
Living is Assisted.” He’d made a splash from day one,
riding his Vespa around the complex, his yarmulke securely
bobby-pinned to his fiery red curls, proactively
looking for problems to solve before they even became
problems. He was rarely spotted behind his desk.

“FRIT-ZY, Plotsky in Building Y. Did she have a storage

Luckily, he was in the office downloading tunes to
his iPod. His answer was also negative.

“No parking spot, no storage room, why’re you bothering
me with this? I don’t have enough to do? Her
fahkakte son moved in with her after they stapled his
kishkas, right?”


“Tell him. Abi gezundt. Next!”

While it didn’t feel great being dismissed by Rivka-
Leah like that, I realized she was, as I once had been, a
very busy woman who had a lot of demands on her time,
and I respected the fact that she had many details to
manage. I moved along, taking some comfort in the fact
that I’d done the responsible, if not wholly appreciated,
thing and had been a good Cooperator.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Appley Goodness

Dear Mr. Cook:

I'm working on a wonderful X-mas present for you, so just a few words from me today. I'll just say that my litblog pal Ed is famously broke in NYC this Xmas, long story. In fact, he's paying down a debt of several hundred dollars to me with pictures of Apple products in NYC scenes at the rate of $10 per pic. I've already  published two, here are four more:

Photos by Ed Champion. Ed calls this one Apples on Madison (for Madeson!)

Ed calls this one Tati Homage?

Ed called this one Another Apple Pic; I call it Boot on the Ground

Ed titled this: Tablet Inside, Reality Outside
If I were VP of HR for Apple Inc. (a big if, I'm aware), sight unseen I'd give Ed a 90-day supply of meds and a not unsubstantial budget, and I'd send him to South Korea ASAP and let his unbounded creativity loose on the competition. Tidings like those we had today
$112.010.53 would soon be reversed. Channel that energy!

Also, I tripped over this cute Money Isn't Everything post on the Ecuador Ex-Pat page:
I remember a story on one of the expat groups a few years ago about an apple vendor somewhere in EC who was selling a box of apples in the street. An expat asked to buy the whole lot, and she refused to sell him all of them. He asked why not, and she said that she wouldn't have anything to do for the rest of the day.
 Enjoy your holiday (if you can),

Sincerely yours,

Frances Madeson

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Apple Inc. Deeper Into the Woods!

Dear Mr. Cook:

An odd occurrence chanced to happen yesterday on the treadmill. Though the number didn't change on the display (rate per mile) the belt surged and slowed at whim.

Which reminded me of a day in NYC when the reported temperature on all of the news channels was far lower than what it actually was. Not the forecast, the actual reported temperature. Everyone was way over-dressed.

Sometimes the numbers are not an accurate measurement of whatever it is they're meant to measure, and they have to be bracketed. Perhaps like today's. [$112.540.40 (0.35%)]

 Sincerely yours,

Frances Madeson

Monday, December 22, 2014

Apple Inc. Into the Woods!

Dear Mr. Cook:

It was a tasteful gain today--up $1.14 to $112.94. I say tasteful given that in America we can at any moment be thrust back into Giuliani Time.

I wanted to let you know that when I was in Albuquerque on Friday, I stopped by the Scottrade office and opened another account. I'm not making any promises, but I'm open to the possibility of another (far more modest) investment.

Yours sincerely,

Frances Madeson

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Apple Albuquerque

The sole Apple Store in New Mexico

And so vibrant and alive! Really fun to be there.

Dear Mr. Cook:

I was in Albuquerque today on social justice business, and between events opted to stop by "our store." So glad I did. It was abuzz with positive energy. The atmospherics felt electrified with purpose and curiosity, problem-solving and sharing.

I have to say it's one thing to read about the differences in size of the iPhone 6 series, and another to see them side by side. I can see a lot of people buying both, I mean they each have a different utility.  I enjoyed surveying the merchandise, and walking around like I owned the joint.

I had a really fun chat with a young technician named Daniel with a remarkable Edward Scissorhands tattoo on his arm. When I asked to take his picture he informed me of the company policy that staff cannot be photographed in their Apple shirts. I'm sure you have your reasons, but I think you should make an exception for him.

While I was in the mall I couldn't resist going into the Williams Sonoma store--a guilty pleasure. I just love looking at all that well-designed cookware and accoutrements. And I'm afraid I'm guilty of handling the stemware, imagining how pretty the wine would look in each of the glasses. The mall experience was a little piece of Manhattan, very enjoyable.

Back in Santa Fe now, I see the share price fell by eighty-seven cents to $111.78. That's okay. I imagine the people of the Ukraine are very thankful to you. You really slapped Putin silly. Someone had to do it.

Sincerely yours,

Frances Madeson

P.S. For some reason I have a sizable readership from Ukraine on my other blog--Written Word, Spoken Word. Moldava too, a country I had to Google!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Did You Really Shut the Russian Online Apple Store Down? Damn!

Dear Mr.Cook:

Up $3.24 to $112.65.

Well, I guess you really enjoyed yesterday's meditation from Upaya! The only thing is, it would have been a nice capper if we'd chanted the metta sutta together. Shall we now, Mr. Cook?

May all beings (except Vladimir Putin) be happy, healthy and whole.
May they have love, warmth and affection.
May they be protected from harm, and free from fear.
May they be alive, engaged and joyful.
May "all beings" (except Vladimir Putin) enjoy inner peace and ease.

May that peace expand into their world (with the exception noted above) and throughout the entire universe.

Goodnight, Mr. Cook. Oh, one more thing...

Sincerely yours,

Frances Madeson

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Santa Fe Stands With Us, Mr. Cook--I Hope You Can Appreciate How Very Valuable That Is. The Buddha Too.

Three Seals of Impermanence, Boundlessness and Nirvana

That was a helluva ride you took me on today, Mr. Cook. An ascension of $2.67 for a share price of $109.41. Quite a show. Thank you.

I have something very special to bring to you today, snatched out of the ether for this nanosecond, a sublime synchronicity: It's a skilled meditation on an apple, and it fell upon my head like a Newtonian object.

I know it's hard to slow time down for 45 minutes--his soothing voice and intelligent cadence both help. But really its content is for your ears, perhaps more than anyone else's. I fervently ask that you listen when the spirit moves you to do so. I think it will help you sail over the very treacherous peaks and valleys ahead.

With metta,

Frances Madeson

P.S. The more you stand back from the image of the seals above, the less pixelated they appear.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

If An Apple Tree Falls in the Forest...

Photo by Ed Champion
Dear Mr. Cook:

I don't think there's any point in prolonging this. I bet on a different narrative, one that's not unfolding. Instead I'm in someone else's where I'm not getting the results I was hoping for. Down another $1.48 to a share price of $106.75. On many levels. I frankly don't like being in the corporate world, I find it stifling in the extreme. I'm really not a money person. I don't lust for it even while I'm always happy to see it. Because I want to keep the party going (such as it is) and take it on the road too. Live free, as they say. Live free above all.

I thought, and you're going to think this is hilarious, that the run-up on the Apple Inc. stock was going to continue as a kind of payoff to the managerial class and professoriat for not calling too much attention to the grand thievery of the oil heist that's going on now, where the real money's being made and lost. Oh yes, lots of loss right now, plenty of pain to go around.

Anyway, these past 12 days immersed in Apple Inc. has made me face myself in a way that nothing else has. Because of the money, I guess. Things sharpened into focus really fast. And I have to face my own limitations realistically. I cannot read the world, much less the worlds within the worlds. It's my Surrender Dorothy moment. I don't and can't know the totality of what's going on. I see glimpses--Mora County for instance, or Grand Street when I lived in NYC. But not the whole world.

I also realized that in any event the bet I made was too extravagant. That I like being in cash. It's warm and cozy in the cash nest. So I'm planning a retreat. I'll make a decision by close of market Friday how much of one, but significant.

In the meanwhile, please show me the world as it is. Show me the world, Mr. Cook.

Sincerely yours,

Frances Madeson

Monday, December 15, 2014

Apple Inc.'s Duty to Deal

Taos Gorge Yesterday
 Dear Mr. Cook:

I read the news that closing arguments were presented in the iPod anti-trust suit today, and that the case comes down to whether Apple Inc. had a duty to deal. Interesting legal and business issues. I imagine there's a divide between Apple shareholders who are down with an aggressive business model that seeks out every advantage and puts the hurt on the competition whenever wherever it can, and those who don't like to see Apple throwing its weight around, and wish it had played nicer.

It seems like water under the bridge to me, but it does provoke other thoughts about what else might Apple Inc. have a duty to deal with, and from where other than law duty derives. Does Apple Inc. have a duty to deal with income inequality? Does Apple Inc. have a duty to deal with systemic racism? Does Apple Inc. have a duty to deal with the fact that it's creating a corporate culture of vapidity.

I know Apple Inc. caters to the "high end" of the market. But just like the concept of multiple intelligences, can't we also have multiple "high ends"? Does that term have to be restricted in its meaning exclusively to economics?

 My vision for Apple Inc. is that it becomes the tug that turns the ocean liner around.

Risk and reward. How about some pro-trust initiatives for a change?

Speaking of, the share price deescalated, so to speak, $1.51taking us to $108.22. Deal with it.

Yours sincerely,

Frances Madeson

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Watch Out for the Undertow

Dear Mr. Cook:

Did you ever see that horrifying Lars Von Trier movie--Breaking the Waves? Well, that's what it was like to be an Apple Inc. shareholder this week. As a matter of fact, the movie makes a lot of sense as a parable of the individual shareholder swimming against the tide in a choppy algorithmic sea. Especially the part when Bess voluntarily goes back out to the rig for another brutal beating!

Today's numbers: Down 1.89, share price 109.73. I'm thinking maybe we should go ahead and use the dollar signs going forward. Not to enables irrealism, I fear. And if you indulge irrealism, Mr. Cook, Apple Inc. will fall and take many people down with it. Not me, I'll step out of the way way ahead of time. But TIAA CREF for instance, last time I looked Apple Inc. was their largest holding, representing some 5% of the portfolio.

I'm sure you know about Euclid's nineteenth proposition concerning proportionality of numbers. I'm out of my depth here--Porisms, lemmas and postulates, oh my! But according to David Pengelley of New Mexico State University who lectured today in Santa Fe, Euclid made an assumption about transitivity in the 19th proposition which he could have proved, it is provable, but he didn't. The flaw in the proof was detected in 1970 by a Danish mathematician (I think Pengelley said his name was Taisbeck) who wrote about Euclid's omission in an unpublished dissertation. But before Pengelley found out about the Dane's work, which was after he had resolved the gap for himself, he was almost driven to the mathematical insane asylum, because the proof as it stood was proving something false.

An interesting discussion ensued about why Euclid may have missed it, or if he would have even conceived of the omission as a problem, or recognized it as a flaw in the reasoning.

Was it that Euclid had no imagination that it could have been otherwise? Could he have thought, What does that have to do with the universe of mathematics as I understand it? Other similar speculative questions were voiced.

I only bring it up because I think if you had endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement in your own way as I had suggested, it would have been impossible for that shakedown artist Jesse Jackson to come knocking on your door this week. Now you've opened yourself up, and all of us, to a world of hurt that didn't have to be.

I'm not suggesting Apple Inc. shouldn't be fair, even generous to the workers building the new campus. But the premium he'll take, the piece of it that I'm personally paying for, that I do resent.

I'm going to enjoy not thinking about Apple Inc. at all this weekend. I know you don't have that luxury.

Sincerely yours,

Frances Madeson

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mundo Mac

Even though it's been out for several months, the official launch of the iPhone 6 in Ecuador will reportedly be tonight at Quicentro mall in north Quito. No word on the price. Probably will cost a lot.

Dear Mr. Cook:
Just wanted to let you know that the Ecuador Ex-Pat Facebook page is chatting about the launch of iPhone 6 happening tonight!

They write:
Even though it's been out for several months, the official launch of the iPhone 6 in Ecuador will reportedly be tonight at Quicentro mall in north Quito. No word on the price. Probably will cost a lot
  • 7 people like this.
    It costs A LOT in the US....LOL!
  • 9 hrs · Like · 2
  •  I looked at it, toooooo big , but I may cave in, I like my 4S, but its getting slow
  • Pretty soon you'll need to take out a loan to finance an iPhone.
    9 hrs · Like · 2
  •  They are pricey very very pricey!
  •  Saw an ad in Quito for $1,049 at Import Planet- same one in US is $750.
  • You'll find many for sale on MercadoLibre. Some are going for more than $1,300.
    9 hrs · Like · 1
  • at Mundo Mac?
  • I have an extra unused iPhone 5s if anyone's interested. And I agree with x -- I saw the 6 in Miami the other week and it wouldn't fit into my (buttoned) shirt pocket where I keep my 5s.
    8 hrs · Edited · Like · 1
  • Priorities! I know many a teen/twenty somethings who don't have jobs, pay bills, or care much about anything but their new iphones- to see a kid in the states without one is kinda rare:) FYI: My college offspring paid for their own because mom is just ...mean and out of touch:)
    8 hrs · Like · 5
  • The iPhone6 comes in a large size, and a smaller size that is only slightly larger than the 5s.
  • slightly larger, quite a bit larger in fact, I compared in person, nice try
    7 hrs · Edited · Like · 1
  • A lot larger
  • I am really want to know the price! I think it will be over 1000$ at least.
  • Congrats!!!
  • WOW $1300 I will wait for my upgrade in 3 months and pay $200
    4 hrs · Like · 1
    I saw we were down another .33 cents today. That's more than a city bus ride in Ecuador, almost two.
    There was also this interesting post about large scale foreign investment in Quito. "President Correa and Quito Mayor Mauricio Rodas met with a group from Qatar who are interested in investing $5 billion in tourism and real estate projects in the city. These projects would involve improvements to Bicentennial Park and the Historic Center. Among the proposals for Bicentennial Park are a convention center and arena, as well as an aquarium. One of the goals is to make tourism the main source of income for Quito."
    Some folks think the amount is a lie, last week it was one billion, this week  it's five. Interesting to see that they express it differently there, they don't have billions. They say $5,000 millones. I only mention it because whether it's for one or five thousand millions, if a deal goes ahead, it can only be good for Apple Inc.'s revenues, which I understand exceed the GDP of Ecuador.
    The red drink is called mora juice (I asked). I'll also try to find out what this is about. That little i has me worried!

    Sincerely yours,
    Frances Madeson