Holograms and “Ghosts”


Malfunctions in different work areas can annoy me, slow me down

and also, sometimes create ‘havoc!’ In the zone I was filling my

orders at the warehouse today,there was a ‘ghost!’

I would go to push a button out (they have a light and a Pick #

on them) and the light would ‘flicker’ and go out! Huh?!

Before I actually pressed it! I felt like I was going a little

crazy, since it would then light the next ‘pick’ and just as my

arm went to grab the parts, trying to ‘beat’ it from going out,

the ‘ghost’ would push me forward to the next pick.

I stopped my Filipino friend, Felda, who was in the next zone,

asking her to come and verify what was going on. Unfortunately,

for my sanity’s sake, she was not able to see it happening from

her side of the conveyor belt.

I hurried to the office, telling our order filling ‘clerk,’

Danielle, about my ‘ghost’…

She replied, “That happens when Don is over there! Log off

and try to re-start your picks and I will call Jeff, our

‘systems guy.'” (Well, at least Danielle didn’t think I

was ‘loony tunes!’)

I logged off, scanned my two labels and found the same

frustrating thing going on. I logged off, wrote the time

down and started to sweep, pick up trash and ‘kill’ time.

You never want to be caught doing ‘nothing’ at our

warehouse! (We hand in ‘records’ of our time used, called

time sheets, so what I was then doing was using ‘Indirect


Shortly, Jeff arrived and watched the ‘ghost’ firsthand.

He validated my crazy moments with a big dose of reality.

It would take him almost 40 minutes to figure out how to get

the system to stop this ‘ghost!’

By the way, this is how serious ‘Indirect Time’ is, my boss’

boss, Mike, came running down my zone after about 15 minutes,

catching me bending over and getting dusty, fallen parts and

putting them back where they belonged. He told me to,

“Make sure you write this down under the heading, “Cleaning,”

for ‘Indirect Time.'” Apparently, we have Big Brother on the

other end of our system, and big warning, flashing lights

must go off when Robin may be “Dilly-dallying!”

As I was sweeping, I thought about Angela An, on CBS Channel

10 this morning. She said that she thought the part of the

Billboard Music Awards Show, where Michael Jackson danced

with others, as a hologram, was “Creepy.” That is the word

this female broadcaster used.

I reflected how it makes me feel very warm, fuzzy, and happy

when I watch my Dad’s VHS tape of him following my two young

children and me, while holding my six month old youngest at

the Lancaster, Ohio Rising Park. I love the way he is walking

while holding the camera, so it jiggles. I also laugh at his

little comments to the camera, as he is gazing at my children

on what we used to call the “Rock and Roll.” It was like a

big metal barrel, sideways, where about six children, using

their weight could rock the barrel back and forth. It would

make me dizzy, just watching it! It would make me dizzy,

watching it on this tape. (It had been transformed or

transferred to a DVD, thanks to my good friend’s husband.)

Anyway, I thought of Michael Jackson’s family, they must have

felt their chests fill with pride while watching this Awards

Show! I imagine that it made them smile, thinking a bit of

him was ‘still here on Earth.’

I feel blessed and lucky to watch the only tape my Dad took

of the kids at a park. There is another short segment (filmed

at a different time) of my youngest daughter while her older

brother (age 3) and older sister (age 5) were playing on the

Vermilion Showse Park’s gym set. She is looking inside an old

lunch box which has Raggedy Ann and Andy on it, taking out

some little kitchen items in and out, that my Mom had put in

there. The half and quarter cups and the metal measuring spoons

clattered and made noise when the ‘baby’ would close the

lunch box shut and shake it up.

My Dad is using a lilting, ‘baby talk’ voice while trying to

get her to look up. He is trying his best to capture this

precious moment in Time. Watching this, listening to his voice,

gets me teary-eyed. I love the way he is saying her name,

repeating it until my youngest looks up at him and grins.

She is concentrating so hard, on the ‘task at hand!’

Hearing my Dad’s voice floating across time and space gives me

a combination of comfort and brings me sadness, too. I wish

he could have seen my youngest graduate from college. Been here

to see how the others are today. Grown and having families.

This is exactly how I feel about Michael Jackson’s Hologram.

I feel wistful and happy, for his siblings, mother, father

and especially his children. That his music and his image is

captured in ‘videos’ (oh, I mean film!) and this Hologram shown

last night. I don’t imagine that is was at all “Creepy” to them!

The other famous people who have utilized Holograms, include

Natalie Cole singing with her deceased father, Nat King Cole,

to me, showed the transcendence of time. I think it is beautiful

to see father and daughter, transported to a place where they

can sing together.

I don’t consider that “Creepy,” either. I love the combination

of both their voices singing a duet, that without the taped

image of Nat King Cole and his fine voice, a daughter and her

father couldn’t have sung this special and sweet song:

“Unforgettable” is so lovely as a duet reproduced in 1992.

Just to remind you, Nat King Cole died in 1965. If they

had not been able to use technology, his daughter would

not have been singing, as an adult, with her father. I am

very amazed and marvel at this ability to combine both

their beautiful voices together. I enjoyed this when it

came out, then again today, listening to their harmonizing.

It would be like Elvis singing with his daughter, Lisa Marie.

I would embrace this duet, as I do Natalie’s and Nat’s.

Here is a list that my table of coworkers collaborated with me,

to make. It includes, images, faces and full body poses of

famous people who have been videotaped, filmed or otherwise

duplicated by using other amazing ‘tricks of the trade’ to

create commercials or print advertisements.

1. Marilyn Monroe, (for perfume or cologne)

2. Audrey Hepburn, (in magazines for jewelry, recently a lookalike

in a television advertisement.)

3. Elvis (and his lookalikes, too.)

4. “Singing in the Rain” trio, Gene, Debbie and Donald.

5. The Three Stooges.

6. Laurel and Hardy.

7. Superheroes for advertising. (Maybe this could be ‘Creepy?’)

Have you noticed any deceased famous people featured in commercials?

How do you feel about Michael Jackson’s Hologram?


27 responses »

  1. There are so many living performers out there with tons of talent that the whole idea of Michael Jackson “coming back” to perform is ridiculous, to me.

    • I can see your point of view, Luanne! I really do! Thanks for this candid remark! I agree there are many famous and new artists that are out there, who can fill up the stage. I just thought the new release was helpful for the family and fans who cared about him. Smiles, Robin

      • Yes, it’s true, but I worry about the future if we’re always stagnated in the past. And I worry about performers as I see so many things change for the worse for them. As you know, I have a “vested” interested in their fate because of my daughter ;).

      • Luanne, this was another good point you made about current performers making mistakes and not being ‘heroes’ in a way. I can see why you want good role models for your daughter.
        The good thing is my grandchildren like Pharrell Williams (“Happy” song) and Idina Menzel (“Let It Go” song).
        I think it is true there are some entertainers that aren’t staying out of trouble, but then there are many who are fine performers with their money being used for good causes, too.

        For me, personally, MJ was born the same year as my little brother. When Rich turned 50, he wanted to see, “This Is It,” because MJ was gone by then. We liked the Jackson Five, with little Michael singing his voice so high it sounded like a girl, in “123, ABC” song.
        I think it was interesting that this particular song on the awards show on Monday, was never shown before. Like it came out of the ‘vault.’ My friends, Melvin, Tammy and Karen all watched it twice. On the day it was aired and the next day on Youtube, saying it was so cool that he had performed this. Anyway, just wanted to explain why MJ is still one of my favorite performers and singers, he grew up with me, so to speak. Sadly, he didn’t live as long as he could have… Hugs, Robin

    • I am sure that it was special to my parents when Nat King Cole was able to come alive and sing with his daughter. That really moved both of them, it was a sentimental moment. Thanks, Colleen!

  2. I don’t much like your work machine ghost, Robin, nor the fact that workers are distrusted to the point where every second must be accounted for with certain words and codes. My philosophy is if you treat people as if you expect them to goof off, they will goof off if given the opportunity. If you treat them as if you expect them to work and conduct themselves professionally, they will work and conduct themselves professionally. I must be too idealistic that way.

    I did not watch the show last night, but if done correctly, Michael Jackson’s hologram should not have been considered creepy. I hope it was done with love and respect, as was held in your heart when you watched the movies of your dad with your children, Robin.

    • Thank you, Mark for this very sweet comment about the love and respect held in my heart for MJ and of course, my Dad!
      Work was a real shock to my system, when I got this job! First of all, it was June 27, 2008. I had just left teaching the first week of June.
      It was hot! So hot in the flow racks with the fluorescent lights and only fans blowing hot air on me! I went home every day and cried! I had never done this kind of job, although I had just finished my 20th year of waiting tables (as a part time job), so that isn’t a ‘piece of cake’ either! The forms we fill out, looking at our watch and worrying about too much indirect time are very detailed. I usually make up stuff, if I go to the bathroom I will say, “Box fell, lots of parts to pick up.” If I am talking too long in the break room, I mention that “I cleaned up bin boxes in Zone 10 from 9:00 until 9:06.” It is kind of funny, but we get ‘Bravo’ points for doing a great job, which we can save (seriously) 90 of them to get an UNPAID day off. My boss’ boss can exchange our Bravo points for food vouchers. For every 2; I get $1.00 worth of food vouchers. I wait until I have about 30 of them and collect my $15 worth of free vending snacks. I bring in a grocery bag, telling everyone that I am having grandkids over. For me the free snacks versus an unpaid day off, makes me feel like I am ‘getting something’ for working my job. (Plus I have earned $4 per hour over the six years in raises.)
      I could not find a job in my original degree and Professional License (El Ed), after I had switched to early childhood. You had to have a Master’s degree if you switched fields. This was the concept of No Child Left Behind Act. It is just the ‘luck of the draw’ in the choices I made and the patched together career I have had! Smiles, Robin

  3. it sounds like a stressful work environment without a lot of trust or respect for the workers. it must be very challenging to work like that. i agree with mark about the mutual treatment of people returning itself in kind. as for the holograms, i’m not a huge fan, i prefer to see old clips of performers who’ve passed on, and leave it at that )

    • I am sure that it sounds very different from teaching. I just wrote a few too many words in reply to Mark about my first reactions to working in the Advance Auto warehouse…
      I appreciate your concern and understanding, Beth!
      As far as the hologram, to each his own. I understand liking film clips. I could see that being very nice as tributes to those performers who have passed on. Thanks for this and take care!

  4. In movies with ghosts, no one has to worry about how to fill out their time sheet!

    I wish I could hear my mom. Or my grandma, her mom.

    I could do without dead celebrities hawking things. That seems wrong. Besides, living people need to make a living.

    • Ha ha, Brenda! So funny about ghosts and not having to fill out time sheets!
      I have three of my oldest and best friends, who have lost their mothers first. Then, two who lost their fathers next. They all say it would be nice to hear their mother’s voice, like you feel. I am very grateful to have my father’s voice, and in the background my brothers and Mom debating about teacher’s and work unions. (Can you believe that? At the park, too.) It is a ‘true picture’ of my family, my friend says who had her husband transfer it to DVD.
      Brenda, I am sorry you are not able to hear your grandmother’s voice, too. I can almost hear my grandmother and grandfather’s voices, sometimes…
      I am always reminded by my friends, like you, to treasure my Mom while I can. Thank you so much for this, Brenda!

      • I have my memories, and no complaints. Just an occasional longing. I also have wonderful, supportive friends! So thanks!! Hugs, Brenda

    • I can see it both ways, Jill! I guess I have more reasons to be sentimental about MJ, since he was born the same year as my brother and basically grew up with ‘us!’ Thank you for the wishes for a great week! Smiles, Robin

  5. You helped me recall the Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas that used vintage highlights for the Viva Elvis show and the Beatles’ show, Love. We shouldn’t be creeped out by these high tech applications of the best music of our times. Such was the case with Michael Jackson, who was arguably the finest entertainer of his time.

    Speaking of high tech, your work glitch reminded me of the old school acronym for a ‘glitch’ – a Ghost Loose In The Computer Hardware (although hardware engineers will typically argue the problem lies somewhere in the software). πŸ™‚ – Mike

    • Thanks, Mike, for this set of comments! I really liked the old school acronym for ‘glitch!!’
      I have not seen the Cirque du Soleil shows on Elvis or the Beatles but would cherish them. I think it is lovely to watch the “Ed Sullivan” show with the three episodes the Beatles taped for it. I would enjoy listening or seeing any of today’s performers re-enacting songs that I enjoyed the ‘first time around.’
      I watch a lot of new musical shows, enjoying the up and coming artists and feel like I am ‘hip’ and ‘cool.’ Smile!
      MJ was born the same year as my youngest brother, so when MJ was dancing around on t.v. my little brother was doing so in the living room. He also would attempt those high notes that MJ sang! Then, when he turned 50, he asked for us to watch, “This Is It” with MJ’s last performances caught on tape. I cried during it. A few of my friends own the film.
      Maybe MJ made ‘bad’ choices, but sometimes I think fame, fortune and pressure causes the addictions. I am so glad that Macauley Caulkin, from “Home Alone,” gave a testimony about his overnight stays, saying that MJ just enjoyed being around kids. Since M. Caulkin needed no extra money made from any opportunities of suing MJ, I believe his words over the ones whose parents let their kids stay overnight and then sued for inappropriate behavior. I feel that shadow haunts MJ’s memory.
      Maybe it means people don’t enjoy his musical abilities but that man sure could perform! So glad you liked his talent. So sad, like Marilyn and others who died too young, making unwise decisions with drugs and alcohol, his image is tarnished. Hugs, Robin

  6. I too, am disappointed in the management at your place of work, Robin! What a negative energy force to have to work in…perhaps that was the ‘ghost’. To have to calculate every minute when it wasn’t your fault is appalling. Shame on them.
    As for the Michael Jackson hologram – it DID creep me out. It’s one thing watching a loved one who’s passed on in a video, yet another to see them dancing on stage beside of live people. Some things are meant for solely reflecting back on (like your lovely DVDs) and not inserting them into our present. hugs ~Karen~

    • I think that you may be in the majority, Karen! I am so glad that you all explained why it got the people ‘creeped’ out! I had no idea that this would be the reaction… Thanks so much for the supportive comment about my work place. I think it is the way it goes in factories and warehouses. Production is the end all and be all! Smiles, Robin

  7. Hi Robin!

    Work place frustration..tell me about it! Trying to earn a living shouldn’t be this difficult. I love the memory of your loved one and how you were able to tie it to the tribute with Michael. People are always fed certain word or terms when it comes to Michael Jackson. When he was alive, he was always labeled as weird because he didn’t fit the the mold. He was too busy breaking records and barriers and following his dreams. Just because he died, they are not going to stop making people think that way about him because it brings more attention and dollars to those who get paid for print.

    As with all new innovations that we are not accustomed to, it may seem weird or out of place until we get used to it. From the articles I have read about this, it going to be a continuing trend and after a while, we won’t think much about it as it becomes the norm just like the VCR and the home computer did.

    I was very excited to hear about MJ’s virtual performance but nervous too, because it built up so much. When the time actually came, I was in shock, but mostly because it just made me relive the day that he died and it brought tears over what we have lost. I have lost both parents so I know how you feel Robin. I lost my dad at 18 months so I never knew him nor do I have any memories of him. In that sense, I feel very much cheated sometimes. Our memories are all we have left when we lose someone that we love so dearly.

    I was very elated to see Michael being honored and his name on everyone’s lips again in a positive matter. Michael was a perfectionist and I do think that he would love the technology as he was very cutting edge for his entire career. As much as I believe the performance to have been absolutely amazing, I know that you can’t duplicate the God given natural love and talent that oozed from his pores. That is what made him special and will always keep him on top. It amazes me that he is no longer here and can still garner so attention and magic. He made more money last year than any entertainer, deceased or living. He is the only entertainer to have two Cirque shows in his name AND running simultaneously, not to mention his worldwide records and humongous success, achievements and humanitarian contributions. He still holds the world’s record for giving the most to charity than any other entertainer to the tune of $300 million dollars. He had a heart of gold, but people only believe the weird or creepy image of Michael Jackson displayed in the tabloids. No one will ever fascinate or thrill us more than Michael Jackson. Love him or hate him, you won’t ever forget him!

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