I cooked a Guy Fieri! Bad Boy! Baltimore! Meat! Slab! today! Is he the guy who wants to kick it up a notch, or was that the other chef-of-the-moment? Guy is famous among certain circles for the epic awfulness of his Times Square restaurant - not that I’d know, but someone wrote a clever review about it, so if anyone asks I know just what to think.

Nevertheless, I was presented with an attractive meal option at Target, and could imagine the meat on fresh rye with some horseradish and onions, and I could eat the rest for days for leftovers. So I bought it and cooked it up just like Guy said I should! Put it on a grill for seven and a half minutes per side, which did absolutely nothing as far as I could tell. Gave it another two minutes, during which a gobbet of fat detached, caught fire, and engulfed the entire slab in a carapace of charcoal.

To use a phrase I use far too often: once I had extinguished supper, I carved it up and served it to my horrified daughter, who could smell the spiciness from six feet away. I took a bite, and realized the secret to Guy’s special rub: I do believe it’s called pepper. Added onions and some Trader Joe’s Dijon (I mention the brand because it’s really good, and not at all like Grey Poupon, and is endorsed by my French Brother-in-Law, so there) and it was indeed the supper I’d wanted. Wife liked it. No leftovers.

Highlight of the day? Oh, no. Daughter got her report card back, and while we opened it, made excuses. Or explanations. Her Japanese teacher had said she hadn’t done two pages but she HAD and she redid one but the teacher couldn’t find the other and her presentation in that other class was missing some slides because she thought she’d mailed them to herself but she HADN’T, it was a mistake, and . . . straight A’s.

Well, this calls for a visit to the local yogurt parlor, eh? Of course, no, because it’s a kid-hangout, and if she’s seen with DAD or MOM it would be mortifying. But a trip to the grocery store to get bananas and some boutique soda, sure. So we walked - taking the back roads, of course; might be seen by peers - and I took pictures with my new camera, which was embarrassing on general principle.

We paused at the ravine for a vertiginous moment.



She wanted to take an Instagram of her soda bottle, because these things are popular in her circles. I thought her version was quite nice and said “you should go into advertising.”


“Because if you want to make a living doing something creative, it’s one place where you can do it.”

“Do you make any money?”

“Remember that house we went to on the lake where you rode the innertubes behind the boat?” She nodded. “He was in advertising.” Her eyes went wide. I wanted to say “he owned the agency,” but she’ll find that out eventually.

Her picture:


There was other stuff today, work stuff, but will I remember any of that? No.




The weekly survey of bygone products, logos, mascots, and so on. We begin with the weekly Borden:



It’s a Liquid Dietary, a rather odd-sounding construction. You were expected to drink a quart a day. And nothing else.

But we can’t let the brand go by without some Elsie:



She’s training hot dogs, which are made from minced portions of her own species, to jump through hoops prior to being incinerated and chewed. At what point in the hot-dog making process they become animate and self-aware, I don’t know, but if that’s the case then they’re little brown Zombie Tubes, when you think about it. So don’t.

The recipe, by the way, involves wrapping the hot dogs in bacon and laying down thick sheets of cheese over the top. Mmmm.



There’s a recipe that goes with this.

I repeat: there’s a recipe that goes with this.




You have no idea how many sites are devoted to things you’ve never considered until you stumble across, say, a website devoted to antique kitchen appliances. And then you think “of course; why not?”

The A.F. Dormeyer Corporation evolved from the former MacLeod Manufacturing Corporation. Dormeyer was almost as familiar an American kitchen presence as Sunbeam, made by Hamilton-Beach. (Their earliest products included a hand-held electric beater with a Hamilton Beach-made motor!) In the 1920s, they introduced a memorable, box-like hand-held mixer with a beater assembly designed to allow the mixer to stand freely in a bowl.

The company went out of business at the end of the 60s. Here’s the old factory. What did they brick up?



Not related, but interesting: down the street from the old Dormeyer factory, this:



Poor building. But it still bears the name of its owner: Something “Elli,” CONTRACTOR.



Nabisco's trademark, a diagonal ellipse with a series of antenna-like lines protruding from the top, forms the base of its logo and can be seen imprinted on Oreo wafers in addition to Nabisco product boxes and literature. It has been claimed in company promotional material to be an early European symbol for quality; it may be derived from a medieval Italian printer's mark that represented "the triumph of the moral and good over the evil and worldly."

Seems a lot to stake on a cookie. Anyway, There are many ways to reach different markets. There’s the direct approach, which simply makes the customer aware of the product, and lets design and the imagination do the rest.


One might wonder about those Thins. Vegetable, Sesame, Party: one of these things is not like the other. I do like the clean design. There’s no extraneous copy telling you that it’s full of this or doesn’t have that. You want a Vegetable Thin, here’s your Vegetable Thins.

Then there’s the Fun Approach. Warning: clowns. Specifically Horrible Legless Oreo Clowns.





I really don’t know why there wasn’t more of this. It seems a natural idea.


Stephano Brothers! Ah, a scrappy little company going up against the big boys, clawing out a niche where none had thought to innovate before. Right? I don’t know. on site says they were a subsidiary of Phillip Morris. This site says:

Until 1961 the Stephano Brothers tobacco company made their cigarettes in the heart of Philadelphia. This large multi-story factory was a source of pride for the Stephano family members who still owned and managed the company that had been founded in 1895 by their grandfathers.

The article notes that the Vanity Fair was replaced by the “multi-colored Vogue,” their most expensive cigarette. They also made a mint-green Menthol.

In related news: there’s a cigarettspedia.


New, or rather redone, Minneapolis - the old bus depot, a 1930s classic. And the usual usual here and there. See you around.



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