Hot. Brain is mush.

The lawn people came to put in lawn. This was necessary because there wasn’t any lawn where there should have been lawn, and it’s doubtful there will ever be lawn, but you have to try. Or rather I had to try, last year; failed. This year we called in the pros, and they put down seed and straw and magic dust that will make hair grow on a billiard ball, as the old lying ads used to suggest.

The sprinkler system is out of commission, though. Just as well, because the seeds need the sort of soaking you can’t get with those little things that pop up and spit. For that matter, the chicka-chicka sprinklers, the ones that go back and forth, just throw water to a specified locale and leave everything in between relatively dry, or so it seems.

But the hose doesn’t reach the bottom of the hill, so I had to use the ultra-special chicka-chicka sprinkler. Unfortunately, I could not figure out how to set the parameters, as the dials bear no resemblance to the pattern it will make. So set the dials. Up the hill. Turn on the water, look at the pattern: everywhere but where it needs to be. Turn off the water. Go back down the hill. Turn it around. Go back up the hill. Turn the water on. Too wide.

Turn off the water. Go back down the hill. Adjust the dials. Go back up the hill. Turn on the water. Well, that seems to work. Return a few minutes later: force of the water has caused the sprinkler-spike to loosen in the wet dirt; sprinkler is shooting water almost straight up in the air.

Turn off the water. Go back down to the hardware store. Get more hose. Use an old-fashioned back-and-forth type, whatever they’re called. Works fine, even though 25% of the watered area is “Sidewalk,” which doesn’t need it. The weeds grow up between the cracks just fine.

That’s the thing: WEEDS will grow in CONCRETE. Something that looks green and nice - a weed with manners, say - will not grow on the lawn.

On the other hand, the incessant rain has filled in all the spots blasted to death by the dog.

I have a weather report from one site that says tomorow will be grey and drizzly. The Yahoo! weather app has an icon that consists of a sun partially covered by a cloud with a lightning bolt and a raindrop. Another app says there's "a chance of a thunderstorm" at 3 AM, which is absoutely useless. 10%? 90%? Another app says there's a 30% chance of a thunderstorm at 10 AM, which is apparently good enough to warrant using the Angry Cloud Spewing the Fury of Zeus icon.

At this point I expect one my weather apps to note that there's a 15% chance a dragon in the sky will devour the sun.




After a long absence, a trip to Hunt and Gather, the museum masquerading as an antique store. Let's see what we could find.

This was a big plastic sign.



When you have to distribute signs ahead of time to apologize to customers for the lack of product, I suppose that might be good; shows you’re in demand. On the other hand, it suggests you might want to look into increasing production.You don’t want customers to get familiar with that sign.


This is the kind of store where something like this is intentional. It didn’t slip. It works better this way.



The logo of Fun during my childhood: now I wonder why they didn’t center the AMF logo.



It's from a three-tiered ball rack, in case anyone is interested in buying a three-tiered ball rack.


From a selection of laminated cheesecake samples, perhaps from the local promotion company Brown and Bigelow. Only three dollars for eye-catching copy!



The damndest product name I’ve seen in a very long time:



I can understand “Dining Car,” perhaps; the romance of the rails, and all that. But “Extra Dining Car” just means the train is more packed, right? No one ever said “this mince meat is certainly good enough to be served not just on a primary dining car, but one added on later to accommodate additional demand.”

It’s probably a reference to a figure of speech or a common assumption long lost.

Children’s toys: the leering monkey, always a staple of haunted childhoods. Why? Who wanted this? Who put a monkey wearing a bellhop hat into a BEAR SUIT?



The bell around the neck is the perfect meaninless touch. Because monkeys and bells, well, they're just a natural fit.


Say, it’s our old friend Miss Sunbeam, looking as unsettling as ever. You can read much more of her adventures here, at the Institute of Official Cheer.



Simplicity, balance: even the lowliest logos had them.



A photo from a bin: rather easy to deduce where that was taken.



The sign says “Niagararama.” The Hotel Clifton was actually the Alexandria Hotel, renamed as such after the original more famous Clifton burned in ’32. It was torn down in 1964.


Let’s dic-a-don’t and say we dic-a-did:



They also made paint-brush restoring fluid. No idea about the name, unless it was actually the brainchild of someone named Dicadoo. This fellow confirms that the only thing available about Dic-A-Doo on the internet is people selling Dic-a-Doo stuff on eBay.


Finally: ah! I remember scooping out great disgusting slimy heaps of this stuff for the salad bar at the Valli; I was always amused by the name, which seems to imply that the substance is chopped portions of mythical sprites.



That's all here - but some more stuff up tomorrow at the Strib Blog. See that STAR button in the row of icons below? That's it.




No updates today; spent web-work time on deep, deep site redesign. See you around.




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