NOTE: internet in the house is OUT. Has been most of the day. I'd written some stuff last night, and done most of the Product, so I'm driving to Starbucks to post this around 9 PM. Apologies.

MORE LATER if it comes back, so don't give up on this for the day. But the stuff below should give you a hint why things are a big ragged around here; last night I was uploading while holding a squiggly dog to keep him from running to the door and barking and waking everyone up. Anyway:


11:13 PM

I am able to write about ten words before the dog does something (just yipped, requiring remonstration) and I have to go where he is, usually by the door that leads upstairs, (just yipped, requiring an instructional session on the necessity of staying with me, because everyone upstairs is asleep) and do something to distract him for 20 seconds. This makes writing somewhat difficult. So it has been (he is heading to the door now to yip)

(would not be dissuaded, so we had to go upstairs, and wife is still up so he got to make sure she still existed, but daughter is asleep, and then we went in my studio and I closed the door buy he yipped so I picked him up and tried to fix the Bleat redirect page because there was a 6 in the URL for some reason, and this was hard because he was wriggling around, and then we went downstairs and then we went outside and he started eating the flowers, which are poisonous.)

The cutest impediment to work ever fashioned, and my mood depends on whether I’m emphasizing CUTE or IMPEDIMENT. Now he is over by the Oak Island Water Feature, where one of these days I expect to hear a SPLASH and will have to fish out a stinky dog.

No, he’s over by the hose reel. Eating the hose. NO. Now he is going up the stairs to eat the flowers. NO.

I gave him a chew stick, but that lasted only so long. Am now in the market for chicken-flavored titanium sticks.

Now he is somewhere in the backyard, having blended in with the shadows; must use the mag-light to find out where he is - ahh, there he is. Trots up the stairs. Yips.

Inside. Pacing. Hungry? Just ate. Sits down on his bed - hope that he settles - no - wanders over to wife’s station at the kitchen island EATING POWER CORD FOR IPAD NO NO NO - now back at the locked door that leads upstairs to where everyone else is sleeping; is making the noises dogs make when they’re suddenly interested in eating their leg . . . no yip. Now at back door. I hear the slump that says he may have decided all is futile, and it is best to power down.

Exit quote: one brief blurry toot that manages to suffice the entire room.

It is now 11:50.

This is my night every night and has been my night every night.

But how can you be mad at this?





Our weekly look at ads, labels, products, displays, and other disconnected piece of commercial culture detritus. If we're lucky, we have a . . .



Frankly, Beulah looks a little too grown up to be lounging around the house like that. She ought to try an apron, like her mother, but today seems to be nudist day at the home of America's favorite socially-integrated cows who stand erect.

Is this is a repeat? It might be. There are only so many of these gems, and one day we'll run out. Until then, we marvel at the artistry, and the unfortunate glimpse into Elsie's hellish marriage. Or Elmer's, depending on your point of view...



Elmer seems quite on board with the idea of separate vacations; getting away with the fellows seems less important than getting away. Note his airy dismissal of Elsie’s role, as if she could have a vacation while taking care of the children. This was nonsense, of course, and it was obvious nonsense at the time, and everyone knew it.

By the end Elmer gives in, as long as she stops talking about Lady Borden Ice Cream.

Which, of course, she cannot. He knows it. He tried. His words are actually directed at us, the invisible choir of sympathy.

We like Elsie too, but Lord she does go on.



Always trust the brand with the rocket-ship acorns blasting off:

Not Fiesta: Coralitos. Wikipedia, paraphrased: They were made by Pacific Clay, which introduced the line in 1937. In 1941 they rolled our five hand-painted patterns, Grape, Strawberry, Hibiscus, French Ivy, and Shasta Daisy. The next year the company retooled for war work, and never went back to making dishes again.

Today they make bricks. Wikipedia says that records and archives pertaining to its tableware incarnation no longer exist. Fie on whoever threw those out. Fie!



The top “letter” indicates the tremendous struggle people had extracting tissues from other brands:

The lower right-hand-corner letter is a bit disconcerting: are teachers sexually active? You bet! With students! I’ve never liked the word “pet” in this context, and particularly since the other more common usage was contemporaneous. Would you like to pet my dog? Er, no - oh, sure.

The pin-up gal in the middle drew your eyes, as was intended; the “Williams” signature indicates it’s the work of Ruskin Williams, a prolific illustrator. More of his remarkable work - fresh and all-American, just what the client ordered - can be found here.


Urgh: Versuvian Pyrochocoflow.

Seems like a lot of work today, but when you’re living in the country and it’s 30 miles back to the farm from the store, that ice cream you bought is going to be nothing but liquid.



Of course, I’m a sucker for any picture of a store display, because they simply don’t exist, except in company archives or the basement of some obsessive, independently wealthy collector who traveled the nation every summer to complete his store of All Things Bud.

Rather basic appeal: YOU SHOULD BUY TWO. Because you know you’ll drink them. Really. Let’s just be honest.



This is but a sample of the many forms in which Candettes came; they also made a Syrup, as you might expect - and a COUGH-JEL, the ads for which proclaimed “‘Specific Cough Control’ action brings relief in minutes.”

Sure it did. But it sounds like something they had at the NASA HQ in Houston, no? Deploy the Specific Cough Control System, Apollo.

There was a happy, well-lit domestic tableau - and now that I think of it, I believe that’s the Moon on the wall.



What makes it different? Is “different” really want people want in Chocolate Milk?

Mixes in TEN SECONDS? Who has time for that? No wonder Quik was named Quik: shaved seven seconds right off the arduous mixing process.

As for the company: Taylor and Reed were a couple of Yalie men who went into the food business in ’39, got a break supplying chocolate and sugar for the war, then gave the nation’s children Cocoa-Marsh. No doubt the name was intended to make them think of Marshmallows. The company, not being run by idiots, advertised on children’s TV shows. Hey, kids! Cocoa Martian is on the Moon! Gee!

They also made EZ-Pop. Dig it:

Look familiar? Yes, they sued Jiffy Pop.

They lost. Taylor-Reed went out of business around 1977.


Work blog around 12:30, Tumblr around noonish or so - see you then! And of course, Richie Rich.


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