This strange truncated week now closes, dimly and limply, with the following padding to compensate.

1. On New Year’s Day I asked my wife who was on the radio, because it sounded like Jeff Garlin interviewing some nice old man who had been in music once upon a time. She didn’t know; she was doing a puzzle, and only half-listening. I listened some more, and the fellow said he worked on the music for “Casino Royale,” and I thought “Hal David?” They’re replaying an interview because he died last year. Except did he do the “Casino Royale” soundtrack? The lyrics for the title song are awful. The whole movie is awful. Hard to believe that Ben Hecht and Billy Wilder worked on the script.

“It’s Alec Baldwin,” my wife said, remembering. Ah! Of course. He’s a good interviewer. Smart man except when it comes to disagreeing with people about things; then he gets angry and dumb.

Then I thought: well, it's Herb Alpert. I listened to most of the interview and Baldwin never asked him about that album cover. It's possible he opened the interview with questions about that album cover. No red-blooded American male could help but bring it up. I think you could start an interview with Herb Alpert and say "so, did you ever meet her?" and he'd know what you were talking about.

Her name was Dolores, by the way. Dolores Erickson. She was three months pregnant when they took the picture.

2. Dinner was just awful. I was pleased to see that Trader Joe’s made Sweet Potato Tater Tots - what a delicious idea, no? All the crispy delight of a Tot, with the flavor and vitamins of sweet potatoes. Tasted like nothing, had the color of John Boehner, and no texture whatsoever. Daughter was dismayed. I was dismayed. Well, enjoy the pank-encrusted fish, dear. It’s a new type! Tasted like fish coated with road salt. Worst dinner ever.

Wife gets back from work after putting in an extra two hours, reheats Worst Dinner, gets halfway through. I try to blame Trader Joe’s, but it all falls on me for A) selecting them in the first place without foreknowledge of their badness, and B) failing to crisp what is apparently uncrispable.

It’s a Man of LaMancha lyric! To crisp the uncrispable tot! A man must have something to dream about, to reach for. I will make those things edible. How? Simple. Get some real tater tots. Put them in the Sweet Potato Tot bag. Turn around three times, pour them out on the pan, put them in the oven. Wait twenty minutes. Kiss lightiy with a flame thrower. Mission accomplished.

3. Huh. A Bleatnik passed this along.



So I went to netnanny’s page for reporting such things. When I tried to issue an “accuracy” report the page gave me an error message, saying I hadn’t entered my email. Well:


Wonder if I got reported by someone who roams the internet making spurious assertions about people they don’t like. I mean, it’s possible there are people like that.

4. I was directed to a website for a product that removes menubar lint. So many programs spray an icon up in the menu bar, and I don’t like that. Nossir, don’t like it.

There’s a Dropbox icon up there. Don’t use it. There’s a a Cloud Drive icon. Don’t use it. Bartender is a program that undoes the icons, and you pay $15 for it. As with every review of a well-crafted, professional product, there’s always a comment that says “i dont know i use Kruftify and its open source and free check it out

So I go to the page of the low-cost alternative, having been warned that its interface is not as polished. This is a screen grab of a window declaring the program’s power.



How do you, to sell this, But You Want to Money? Good Lord.

By the way, the music in the background of that Mr. Horse clip? Having memorized two albums of industrial (or “production”) music, I can tell you it’s Stop Gap, by Wilfried Burns.

This is not that, but it’s from the same era. It can be enjoyed ironically or on its own terms.



The albums are "Music for TV Dinners," and a kind soul has put them up on YouTube. I advise you listen to them all. The Fifties music is bright and plastic and cheerful; the Sixties collection grafts new ideas to the old cheerful templates, and it's the sound of middle-aged producers attempting to infuse the conventions of the previous decade with "with-it" sounds that will appeal to a broad spectrum. The beats start to swing; the guitars get fuzzier.

The Riviera Set may be the most hypnotizingly banal version of that wordless ba-da-ba-da Latin swank style, ever. It’s music for Steve McGarrett is walking through a hotel lobby. The segment after :50 where the strings come in and the horns deliver that fat cushioned wow is just amazing. It says nothing and says it so well.

5. On a final note for this segment: while searching for the technical term for badabada music, I found something else under "wordless vocals." This is for all the Dennis Prager fans.

B-A-bay, B-E-bee, B-I-bicky-bi, B-O bo, bicky-bi bo, B-U bu, bicky bi bo bu.
C-A-cay, C-E-cee, C-I-cicky-ci, C-O co, cicky-ci co, C-U cu, cicky ci co cu.
D-A-day, D-E-dee, D-I-dicky-di, D-O do, dicky-di do, D-U du, dicky di do du.
F-A-fay, F-E-fee, F-I-ficky-fi, F-O fo, Ficky-fi fo, F-U fu, ficky fi fo fu.

You're welcome.






Via Instapundit, this Daily Mail story about STUNNING photos which are VINTAGE and "capture an innocent slice of 1940s America." You'd think they were just discovered. The copy says:

New Deal-era Shutterbugs working for Farm Security Administration - and later the Office of War Information - shot the depicted vintage photos
The shots are among 1,600 or so color photographs depicting the social American landscape that were taken from 1939 to 1944.

Generally, the collection to which the represented photos belong spotlight rural America, as well as the nation's World War II mobilization, factory life, railroads, aviation training, and women in the workplace.

These specific shots show a forgotten square dance that took place in 1940 in McIntosh County, located in the central eastern region of Oklahoma.

Can does no one writing well at the Daily Mail? Is there nor editors? First of all, the New Deal ended in 1936. Second: is there a rich, vibrant tradition of recollected square dances?

More to my point: why not color correct them? Here's one:



This took me 10 seconds:



And another:



A bit more green than I'd like, but I'm not spending more than 15 seconds on any of these. Here you see the condition of the furniture:



The photos on the mirror have questions no one can answer: Who? Where?

There's something unnerving about this one - the dancers are caught in the middle of switching partners, according to the comments.

But there's something else.



Twins? There's a story in that picture either way, but more so if they're twins.

Oh, profound! Any story's more interesting if you add twins.

I can't resist one more song. I'll leave you with this. Note the lyrics. And have a grand weekend!




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