Some Back to School Things Never Change (Except for $30,000 Crayons)

Crayola crayons are still a big seller. But this big?

(Update: Since posting this, the pricing of the crayons have drastically dropped from the $30,000 amount I saw.)

In the South where I grew up and still live, there’s a tradition that takes place around this time each year. It’s when grownups say to one-another, “when WE were in elementary school, our summer vacation didn’t end until after Labor Day.”

Now, schools start in early August. I’m sure it has something to do with high school football or building-in snow days for when, in January, schools close down whenever snow comes within a few hundred miles of Nashville.

Anyway, this got me thinking about 64-count Crayola crayons which, of course, made me think about a comparison between the price of such a box in 1961 vs. 2019.

Today, a 64-count box costs around $3. I’m not sure what the price was in 1961, but the purchasing power of $3 in 2019 money would be about 36¢ in 1961. (Which I came up with using a dubious internet tool and should not be used as a citation.)

However, according to the Amazon listing below, there’s been some inflation among one supplier.

Surely $30,211.38  must be a bulk price for, say, 10,000 boxes? Perhaps this is a purchase for an entire school district? But the supplier even has competition. Or, as the fine print says, “Image may not reflect the actual item.”

Twitter, Please Unsuspend Me (Update)

Update: Thanks Twitter for un-suspending me and explaining what happened. (See bottom of post.)

Update 2: August 8, 2019 I have been suspended again. And again for the same reason. Please, Twitter. 


Dear Twitter,

For almost a month, you have suspended my one-letter Twitter account, @R .

I have used that Twitter account since 2006 and it has over 18,700 Tweets.

I am certain that no where among those tweets will you find any content that breaks any Twitter rule.

I have another account, @SmallBusiness where I try to help small business owners use Twitter and other technology to support their businesses.

I don’t know what to tell them now. Something like, “You should never use an advertising platform than can arbitrarily suspend you?”

I do appreciate that I can still see my account, even though no one else can.

(If you’ve ever wondered what a suspended account looks like to the person suspended, you can see one on the right.)

For reasons I don’t understand, my appeals have been denied. (Previous suspensions have resulted in apologies from Twitter.)

Other than the broad term “violating Twitter rules,” there has been no specific reasons given for my accounts suspension.

But I can assure you, I’ve never violated any of the broad “rules” reasons

And I can assure you that I have tried every method in your Help Center to reach out to you.

I’ve received only canned responses and a continuation of the suspension.

I can’t reach a Twitter human being to discuss the reason.

I have sent my phone number as part of my appeal, but have not received any calls.

I understand that millions of tweets are posted each hour.

But still.

Your suspended friend,


Update 2:

Your bots have done it again. Can you please help?

Here’s what you sent me last time.


What Happens When You Spend too Much Time in Thin Air

Advertisers do the darndest things.

Like thinking the millions of people who have contributed their time to building and maintaining Wikipedia would not notice Northface and Leo Burnett wikihacking the site. Like the marketers not knowing hundreds of bots are constantly monitoring the site looking for just what Northface and Leo Burnett did.

I’m just curious how two companies like these could put their heads together and come up with something so stupid.


Playing Hookey

I have lots of half finished blog posts that may never be posted. One day, this will be called the gap in blogging at

Anyway, I could not let the 30th anniversary of the WWW go by without saying something. Or re-posting something, at leaste.








Happy Birthday to the World Wide Web

Sidebar: There was something about the SNL PowerPoint skit last Saturday that made me think about the early days of the web — or, in general, the early days of the graphical interface. Here it is.


Two Audio Stories That Should be Required Listening

A story told without video or a slide deck can be as powerful as a story supported by video. But it takes a rare talent to pull it off.

While riding my bike home last night and driving into work this morning, I listened (on a safe little speaker) to two podcasts (episodes?) that

(1) Reminded me what a powerful thinker and speaker Barbara Jordan was before her death

(2) Introduced me to Will Hurd, the only black GOP member of Congress who used to be a CIA agent and whose district runs hundreds of miles along the southwestern border.

(3) Show that a stories told without video or a slide deck can be as powerful as stories supported by video. But it takes a rare talent to pull it off.

Disclaimer: I think what Hurd says in this Daily interview makes great sense. However, I have no idea where he stands on other issues or, frankly, anything. On the issue of “the wall,” he’s a voice of reason.

Here are links to the two posts.

Where Have You Gone, Barbara Jordan? Our Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes to You  (This American Life)

A Republican Congressman from Texas Who Opposes the Wall (The Daily)

Photo: GettyImages