Have you ever picked up something at the grocery store because the product demonstrator was nice, and then refiled it in the shelves later? You wanted to make her feel good - hey, sold me! - but then you rethink the idea later. Almost did that today, but glad I didn’t. PopChips. A potato thing that is not a chip and isn’t fried but still tastes good. Much better than the Special K Chips, which are made out of flaked, seasoned, mechanically formed shredded newspaper.

Odds and sods here; it’s been a long peculiar week and I’ve overbleated, I believe.

Things I did today: did the work blog, turned in a column, and shot an ep of the Interview show for work where I called my guest a Broad. It’s not often you can look at your female guest and say “you’re quite a broad,” but it was Klondike Kate, the brassy hello-suckers burlesque throwback, zaftig and bawdy, ready to belt out a tune as easily as she’ll toss a boa. It was great fun - and finally! Finally! The first show that captures how I want these things to go. Although not all guests will sit in my lap, probably. I’ll tweet a link to the show when it goes live.

Was watching an old Twilight Zone the other night, and was amused to see them repurpose the most famous robot of his day, and ruin him with a face in his upper dome.



The plot revolved around a miserable old inventor who lived to make his niece miserable because he thought she was stupid, even though she was his caretaker. I wonder if the reason the Twilight Zone had such a lasting cultural impact was the strength and potency of its misanthropy, which seems almost quaint now because we grew up watching it in reruns.

The painters have finished. It’s like a new house. The main painter-guy is about nine feet tall and bald and preternaturally calm. He’s done jobs here before. One of these days I’m going to ask him if he’s seen “Manhunter.” Or maybe just crank up “Strong As I Am” on the computer upstairs while he’s working, and see if he reacts.

“Manhunter,” by the way, may be the only movie that was made into an episode of a TV series produced by the movie’s director. Unless you grew up on Mannix and Cannon and the rest of the anodyne Seventies dreck you have no idea how Michael Mann’s style changed everything you expected from TV, and eventually movies. Clean / sexy fast / saturated - it was a stylistic revolution that had more impact than the psychedelic nonsense of the sixties, but perhaps isn’t celebrated as much because it didn’t carry any ideological baggage, and became the vernacular that persists to this day. The reason we can identify something as ur-60s is because A) colors and strobe-lights and camera tilting, man! whoa and B) it sucks, looking like the lazy weed-addled tripe it is. There was a steely-eyed refinement of the medium in the 80s, and TV has been ever-better for it.

Anyway. The painter covered up some cracks in the plaster that always bothered me the first few years I lived here, and a few gouges in the wall in the stairwell. The most recent gouge occurred when the husband of a friend took out Natalie’s old changing table for his newborn. Him I don’t want to see anymore and let’s leave it at that, but every time I saw the gouge I thought of that changing table going out of the house forever. How the child who says EEEK! I’M CHANGING when I walk past her room has no recollection of the merry giggle she gave me when it was time to swab the detritus and plunge it into the Diaper Genie.

Just as well. Hope she remembers tonight, when she wanted to print off the cliffhanger of her novel, which included a song she had composed for her character. She wants to use the song in the YouTube promo for the ebook when it’s done. You know, I remember being 12, and writing comic books and such; don’t recall composing songs for my characters and setting them to hand-drawn animations. She is just miles ahead of where I was. I couldn’t be prouder.

So the painter filled in the gouge, and that’s fine. I mention this only because no one would ever know it was there, and it was there for a reason. I do know that the changing table sits in the bedroom of a child much loved, and it’s her table. It always was, as far as she’d concerned.







If you looked at the big whomping (and much nicer) Mpls Lost Hotel section - well, not lost; it’s not like we misplaced them. They were destroyed on purpose - you note that I mentioned the Radisson being pink in its middle years. More proof:


Right there in the right-hand corner.

Do you know the back of that head? You do. Some shots from the same sequence, taken in 1971, I believe:


People looked like that and it was completely voluntary.

Of course, it's Our Mare:



No celery. Don't know I'd never noticed the Suspicious Matron in the background before; she prefigures the appearance of the Really Suspicious Matron who glares from across the street during the famous tam-o-shanter toss:



I still find it amusing that the woman who played the Really Suspicious Matron in my 80s TV show about the opening credits is now one of the finest actresses in the Twin Cities. Was then, too, but it's like getting Larry Olivier to appear in your high-school play.


I was going through the episodes and changing the names from numbers to show titles. The site from which I took the titles showed the main guest star, and it’s an interesting line-up. Most of the people usually didn’t do much else. The actor from “The Forbin Project,” before he got into soaps. Richard Masur, before he got the role in Rhoda. About the only guy who went on to anything else was Fonzie, who is stiff as a surfboard. But there was a name that stuck out. Her:


Do you know who this is? That’s Effie, Sam Spade’s secretary. Lureen Tuttle. She had a good run in TV as well, but I wonder how many people knew that she played so many characters back in radio. A marvelous actress

We also learn how much money Ted Baxter made. It was an obscene amount for someone in 1973, if everyone else’s reaction can be trusted.


How much would that be today? About $160,000. Which was a lot of money in 1973! No, hold on, that doesn’t make sense.

Another interesting note about the times: Lou Grant expresses his loss of interest in life by noting that he hasn’t had a drink in days. Mary expresses her worry over him because he’s not drinking. When he perks up and orders some ice, everyone’s relieved. Mr. Grant’s going to be okay! He’s drinking again! And sure enough:



When that show hit its mark, it was as good as TV would get. But it's also of note for accidental archeology. Such as:



When I was growing up in Fargo watching this show, I always thought Minneapolis was the Emerald City.

That's the road I take into downtown to work.

It should be noted that A) the building in the middle-left, the Curtis Hotel, is gone. Also that the sign has it backwards. Minneapolis was on the west. St Paul was on the East. But hey: Hollywood.




Now, friends, the return of an old favorite. A site that the great Bruce McCall, one of the most influential illustrators of my formative years, dubbed "genius" or "brilliant" or something like that. Okay, I heard it second hand, but I believe the source.

This being the week of renewal, I present: The Art of Art Frahm. This may be one of the most influential things I ever did, and isn't that just the damndest thing? I still find it possible that the site was responsible for tattoos and Supergirl fan art. See you around.







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