The heat rolls in on Tuesday, we’re told. They’ve downplayed expectations, though; no longer does the forecast say 97, as it did on Friday. Now just 90. By noon that should be 80. But if it’s true, it’s good. Remember: the hallmark of a good spring is warm weather in the morning on the days the trees blossom. A perfume fills the air, and it alters the brain. We forget. What we remember we forgive. We look around and realize it’s been at least a week since the lawns looked green.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 54 times, shame on me, I suppose.

Monday began with clouds and drizzle, coats and sweaters; ended with shorts and tank-tops. This place. For heaven’s sake, this place.

The bats are out, too. I hope that’s what I hear stirring in the attic, because the only other possibility is Spirits. Periodically in the early morning hours I wake to hear thumping in the walls, knocking sounds, what might be construed as footfalls if there was any place up there for someone to stand. You get used to it. Unlikely it’s a querrelsome lemur, but I accepted that possibility a long time ago, even though I don’t believe in such things. (I mean Lemur in the old Roman sense of a ghost, after which the animal was named.)

The new stadium design was announced on Monday night. Tuesday they announce plans for the StarTribune building site, and that’s the day the building learns its fate. I was walking around the office today thinking how much life bustled around in this place when it was so many other things, when every floor was full, when the presses shook the walls, when it was the funnel into which the news of the world was poured and distilled. It would all be such a pity if decades of renovation hadn’t diluted its stern serene simplicity, and the storms of the last few years swept half the crew overboard.

I never thought the day would come when I watched it go down.

So. I'd steeled myself for this . . .



That horrible glass. Insect pods, Ben Grimm skin, what was that? The exterior had some grace . . .



But that's not a building where big men run into each other as hard as possible.

Then there was the traditional approach:



. . . Sorry. I love buildings that inhabit the spirit of their predecessors, but this is a college football stadium, and we have one already. It looks sealed-off - we read a building like this the way we'd read a church, and we expect the front to have the main door. If the side is the main entrance, it provides no particular focus or identity.




Initial impression: I like it. This . . .



. . is just audacious. That’s the view that looks towards downtown, an enormous glass wall with doors that pivot open to let in the breeze. I like the materials. It’s modern, but it will wear well, because it’s simple. It has presence. Unlike so many modern buildings, it has gravity and strength and weight. It’s almost like it’s grabbing the site and flying off into the sky.

Say, what’s that there in the close-up?



It’s the StarTribune building. But I don’t think we’re staying around.


Surely I’m not the only one today who called up picture of the Ralston Rocket, and wanted to know more.


If I was, well, good. Soon you too shall no more. But first these messages.






Cool design for a pair of Armour canned foods brought back with great fanfare in 1944. Why the hoopla? Because they hadn’t been available. Now the war was going well, and some of this slop could be doled out in precious cans to happy civilians.



It was “Real,” in case you wondered whether they were fobbing off ersatz chili on the people.

More Grandma candy:



I call it that because that’s what my Grandmother always had around the house. Brach’s. You could buy it in bulk, too - if you were lucky she had those caramels with flavored centers, although a few of those could be grave disappointments. Like Orange.

The “burgundy” assortment has a few items they were making into the sixties - until I saw the picture, I’d forgotten all about those circular candies with the designs. They were solid, I believe, not soft, and tasted peculiar - the dying days of a particular flavor whose devotees had either moved on or perished with the rest of their generation.

That design has been stored in chemical form in my head for decades, waiting to be remembered. Quite remarkable, when you think about it. And quite ordinary. Which is all the more remarkable.


Nifty and keen-o:



If you’re wondering what the hats say: SPACE PATROL.




Remember I discussed the peculiar philosophy of the man associated with the Ralston / Checkerboard company? This guy? His spirit lived on.



The Ralston Rocket can be seen here, as well. It was a bit ship that toured the country, and was given away to a lucky kid. Which brings us to . . .this.



In related cereal news of the distant past:





Nellie Melba was the first Australian “to achieve international recognition as a classical musician.” She was not, as far as I can tell, a toast inventor. Wikipedia explains:


Melba's name is associated with four foods, all of which were created in her honour by the French chef Auguste Escoffier:
- Peach Melba, a dessert
- Melba sauce, a sweet purée of raspberries and red currant
- Melba toast, a crisp dry toast
- Melba Garniture, chicken, truffles and mushrooms stuffed into tomatoes with velouté sauce.

At least two of those caught on. Escoffier was one of the great names of French haute cuisine, of course, and his first name was probably the inspiration for the dead chef-ghost-character on “Ratatouille.” HIs business partner was a fellow named Cesar Ritz, and if you’re thinking “I wonder if that’s where that word comes from,” you’re absolutely right.

Luxury. Also a cracker.


Never in your bean-eating days have you enjoyed such rich flavor. I didn’t know I had bean-eating days. And I don’t know why bean-eating isn’t hyphenated in the first usage.



My bean-eating days only started a few years ago. For years I declined the offer of them, reacting to a childhood experience that made me wonder why anyone who would eat these things. As with sweet-potatoes served Thanksgiving style, eventually you realize oh this is dessert repurposed in supper form. Now I understand. Now I look forward to ribs and beans once a month. I am reserving certain cooked vegetables for next decade.


It may take a while . . .


. . . but soon you realize these are poems. I’ve no idea what Volck Oil is, but I’d waged it was invented by Mr. Volck.





What do you wish to be this was sold as a four-piece set?

The handle was a piece, after all. It’s like the boxes of food storage containers that offered a 20-piece set, meaning, lids included.




There, that ought to hold you. It's a column night; off to the usual duties. See you in the usual places!





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