Hail Satan! I did not fall off the ladder. It was nice enough to paint again today, so I looked around to see where the scraper might easily sunder the cracked and ancient . . . okay, I need another word for paint. It’s one of those words that’s so basic no one ever thought to invent a synonym. It’s like needing another word for ant, or ice. I like the fact that paint is something you do with paint. I’m going to get the paint, and paint. After that I will get the hammer and hammer; if there’s time I will sharpen the saw, and saw.

Nevermind another word. The moment has passed. I don’t know when the trim was last painted, but it’s been a while. When I did the shed I had lots left over, and did some work on the windows. Later I realized it wasn’t quite right, and after a day I realized that the shed paint was flat, and the window paint had a slight sheen. Great. Noticeable? Couldn’t stop looking at it.

So today I taped it all up and prepared to do the entire window. It is a large window. It is a high window. The ladder teetered on the pavers; leaning over from another ladder on the back steps felt equally precarious. The more I taped, the more I realized that I would not be able to do the entire window without violating Basic Ladder Safety - stepping on the penultimate step and leaning off-center.

That’s when I realized that it would be easier to cover up what I’d already done with some paint that had a wee bit of sheen. Off to Home Depot, where one of those miraculous instruments of the modern world examined a tiny scrap of paint from 1989 and deduced its hue exactly. I slapped it up - sorry, applied it with careful skill, and let it dry. I think it’ll do.

So I didn’t fall off the ladder because I got paint with the proper finish. Hail Satin!

That’s what I meant, but tell people you’re excited because a Sunday afternoon paint job was made easier because you got a quart of the right stuff, and who cares? Really. You’re probably irritated you’ve read this far.


Nice weekend with much mind-numbery. Blustery and mean on Saturday, but that didn’t mean soccer was cancelled. Oh no. Lightning has to hit something on the field before they cancel. Good: nothing toughens them up like running around in cold, pelting rain. I know I did that when I was a kid and it did me a world of good. Turned me against organized sports for the rest of my life.

In the morning while the storm came in and arranged things to its liking, I rearranged and revised and overhauled. Once I get a rhythm down, it picks up. Copy, paste. Copy, paste. Folders that are ready for the 2014 redesign are flagged Green. The more green the happier I am. Until I hit a folder that has 100 pages, and I am not so happy again. That’s a two-hour job.

I’ve little to report. In a preoccupied, bothered state; they roll around every three or four weeks, and I smother them, and go on, and then they come back. I worry too much and then I don’t worry enough, and worry about that, until I worry too much. Count back and recall all the worries that came to naught; feel relieved. Think “this only means I’m due,” and feel worried. Think “if I was busier I’d worry less,” but then think “if I was busier I wouldn’t note what I should be worried about.” Repeat. Sigh. Have ice cream.


Of the many things I watched this weekend, some of which I gave my complete attention, I was most surprised by “The Happening,” a 1967 “youth movement” comedy with rather clean-cut hippies. They were proto-hippies, I suppose. They had the anti-establishment attitude, which meant being goofy and disrespectful of anything approaching convention, although they were very conventionally attired; they had no respect for anything, the lousy kids! All they cared about were kicks! It was watchable for Anthony Quinn, and a very young Faye Dunaway who just seemed like a refugee
from an expensive boarding school who ran away for the weekend.

I mention it for two reasons: while doing errands I was listening to an old Suspense with William Holden. Really, he was right there in the car. He was trying to bust that 50s peril, the Drag-Racing Club. A hotbed for JDs.

There’s a certain kind of voice they gave these characters that made you want to punch them all in the face.


There’s an auto accident, of course, and you know well how the crash will sound. Every car of the era was equipped with a small horn that went off at the same time, right before the crash.


Holden flubbed the line, and he knew it.


Second: The movie was set in Miami, and that means a little inadvertent documentary. Behold a great old sign:



Gallagher's location, today:




Not a review, but a look at the faces and history revealed by old popular entertainment.

Here’s a cheerful little film for the whole family:




We begin in the delightful, normal, God-fearing town of . . . Reno.




Something on the Nevada Club here. I’m not going to provide a Street View version; there’s no point. Even if I could find the exact location the modern stuff is so empty and soulless it’s depressing to regard. Big boxes designed to shut you up in sunless rooms and drain your wallet.

The heroine of the story, if you can call her that, has just concluded a quickie divorce. She goes to a nightclub to gamble. Runs into her roommate, who has a new boyfriend. The old boyfriend is back in town, and notices she’s got a new pal. So he follows her home, sneaks in the back, and confronts the new beau.

You really don’t want to find this guy in your kitchen.



Lawrence Tierney, who had to dial it back to play crazed headstrong brutes in his movies. The geniune item, this guy. Well, the other guy pulls a blade, so he’s got to be put down with sufficient force to part his shade from his mortal coil. The girlfriend discovers him . . .




. . . annnnd so she’s got to go. Critics at the time called it tawdry cheap tabloid fare, and I can see their point; now it’s Classic Noir. Go figure. Our hero, such as he isn’t, goes back to his rooming house, where we meet the guy who’ll be kicked around by the plot for the next 90 minutes:





Interesting fact: both these guys showed up in Star Trek - Cook in the original series, Tierney in a ST:TNG Holodeck scene.

Well, he lams it out of town to let the murder beef cool, and meets our heroine, if you can call her that, and you shouldn’t.




What follows is an hour of non-stop perfidy and betrayal. You knew it would come to this:


Poor Cookie. Makes that face in every picture.

The movie also has a rather genteel private eye. He reads of the story’s sad ending in a newspaper . . .

. . . .and strides towards . . .


The locale is still around, but it’s so much different; the hubbub and commotion and messy chaos of the streets and buildings has been eliminated, and as with most of the old movies set in San Francisco I see, the town seems to have been drained of its spirit. Like all the adults moved away and left a theme park.









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