There was something about this picture I couldn’t quite figure out, something a bit wrong. Not erroneous, but something that stood out. It’s just a piece of commercial art, you say, and you’re right, but I don’t want to demean the artists who did these works. They worked for clients, and whether it’s a Pope or a carmaker, it can be tough. The picture isn’t utopian, but it is idealized. The winding road, the light traffic, a house by the bay, the proud city by the picturesque mountains. It’s almost somewhere. You wouldn’t mind visiting. It might even be the sort of place you want to live.

Finally realized what was nagging me: the tallest building. They didn’t put pointy tops on buildings in the 50s and 60s. Tailfins and exuberant commercial architecture was playful and bright and full of angles and whimsical shapes, but corporate architecture was strictly we-love-Mieses-to-pieces style of boxy boxed boxes standing aloof in an empty plaza, perhaps with an abstract sculpture and a thin low fountain that sprayed three minimalistic jets. Thus was a company’s progressive, forward-looking bonafides proclaimed.

But the pointy tower is not of that era. It would be something from the pre-crash boom. When buildings expressed aspirations more than theories. When the spires needled the heavens with the Icarus prick.

Why aren’t the modern buildings taller?

Because the city wouldn’t look as interesting. It wouldn’t seem like it belonged among the mountains. Because it would be a place where the city couldn’t stretch up its arms without banging them on a glass roof.

If you’ve seen pictures of flooded Minneapolis, be assured that’s not the case here at Jasperwood. My phone shrieked me awake in the early AM with a NWS alert, which reminded me to adjust the settings so it only goes off if there’s a tornado. This was a flood warning. I’m at the top of a hill on a street that slants down. There is no possible situation that requires me to take to the roof and wave a handkerchief for helicopters.

Then came the explosions in the sky - rafter-crackers that wake you up completely and totally and utterly and then you fall back to sleep right away again. Like life in the trenches, perhaps. Without the whole “instant death by mortar” part or the eau de gangrene.

Woke; woke daughter; woke dog. The dog did not eat his breakfast. He picked at his breakfast yesterday and ate little more. He was morose all day, although he played in the park. His hinder evacuations, shall we say, were like the stream of water in a pinprick puncture of a sub 15,000 feet down. Around 1:40 he got up, drank some water - which was good; the blurts had left him dehydrated. And then he ruped up mud.

So when he didn’t eat his breakfast today I figured he was sick again, and needed to go back to the vet. Again. I figured, he’s just not a well dog. We may have to brace for that. I knew how it would hit daughter, and that kept me glum all afternoon.

Thinking he might like something bland, I made some rice. Well, I microwaved a bag of the Uncle Ben’s Jasmine Rice kept for emergencies, because the vet appointment was in 10 minutes. He sniffed it and walked away and plopped down.

The vet said she’d give him an X-ray to see if he ate a quarter or a dead mouse or had an obstruction of the bowels. Off they went. I texted daughter about it; she texted back a sad face. Vet comes back in: she’d given him a treat to get him used to the X-ray machine, and he snapped it up. She gave him another. Gone.

She put out a bowl of food and he inhaled it. She gave him some more and it was gone.

The vet is kind enough to count all of these visits as extensions of the first one about his gut troubles, so I don’t get hit with big bills. Just medium ones.

I remain convinced that the swiftest cure to minor dog maladies is simply to take them to the vet. Nothing needs to be done. They just need to go in the room and be seen by someone with a white coat, and shazam! On the mend.

Two things from the web today.

No, it doesn’t. Not at all. Can’t see why anyone would think it did. Good question, though. Food for thought!

Note there’s not a yes-no answer, just the assumption that you say YES MAN FOR REALZ SMH ANYONE SEZ NO and push the appropriate button. The voice is thus created, I assume.

The historical illiteracy of “Around the Web / Things you Might Like” creators, or the people who push them content:

I guess if you liked to look at pictures of your granddad when he was a middle-aged man as you listened to the Lone Ranger, you should have lived in the 40s.

I wish I’d lived in the 40s, but only for a while, and at the place of my choosing. That’s always the given in time-travel scenarios. Gosh, I wish I could back to the days of Knights and Chivalry! Okay, you’re a grave-digger in a plague town. No! I wanted the castle with the tapestries and fair milady waving from the balcony! Her handkerchief flutters down and I tuck it into my armor, a keepsake for the trials to come! Sorry. In fact, you’re burying milady, and you’re breathing through her handkerchief to keep from passing out. No! Okay, a monastery! Can I have a monastery? Fine. Just so you know they’re down to 40 guys and the wine’s gone.

I’d choose New York for a week, and a small town for a week. But I’d chose that for any era.

And you? Discuss, if you wish.



On "The Couple Next Door" - this week the trip to Europe concluded - a story arc that took three months, and managed to give you the sense of having travelled all around Europe, even though they never left the studio. It might be the longest plot arc in radio history; I think Peg set it up six months in advance/

CND Cue #429 The first part's suitable for a ring tone for a loved one, except for the Gershwinesque mocking clarinets.

CND Cue #430 This charming little number has never gone as long as it did here.

CND Cue #431 Goes for this one as well, although it seems a bit more mannered, as though they're doing it through a strained, false smile.

CND Cue #432 The end of the European arc has the main characters singing "There's no place like home" as the plane takes off; it's very sweet. And then this theme - heard throughout the European arc - FINALLY ENDS.

More X-Minus 1. Next week I'll be starting old classic sci-fi movies in B&W World, because the summer is the time for such things. Why? Because I have couple god memories of staying up late to watch a movie on the weekend as a kid, and sometimes you'd get a sci-fi movie. There's a certain kind of sci-fi I associate with childhood, and it's the era of professional curt spacemen who wear silver jumpsuits and speak in clipped brusque jargon. Except for the cook, who's comic relief. X-Minus 1 is from this era. One of the shows I listened to this week concerned an expedition led by a female captain, and there was nothing about the story or the performance that suggested there was anything odd about this; indeed, it was the logical progression. Granted, it was a story about inanimate objects coming to life and strangling people, but A) it was by Philip K. Dick, and B) it had an ending that slammed shut like few radio plays I've ever heard.

Because this is the modern world, I googled the story, and found scans of the original at Yellowed paper. Black and while illos. Galaxy magazine. I could imagine the smell of the paper, the way the spine cracked when you opened the old magazine with reverence.

Who read it then? Geeks, nerds, loners, dreamers? Who? O what a fate to be interested in such things and live in the years just before it was possible. To be so close.

Is there anything we imagine today that seems tantalizingly possible, but out of our reach for the days we have left? On my deathbed I want to hear two things: "We've made contact, and they're peaceful" or "the warp drive worked."

Both would be nice.


X-Minus 1 Cue #44 Not very science-fictionesque at all. It could be used for a CND cue, especially with that chord at the end. It’s one of those “funny” sci-fi eps - and as coincidence would have it, it stars Alan Bunch, co-star of The Couple Next Door. He was the go-to-guy for laconic suburban annoyance / escalating to blustering panic, it seems.

X-Minus 1 Cue #45 Someone was listening to “Rite of Spring” the other day, wasn’t he?

X-Minus 1 Cue #46 The glorious butterfly appears and stands on tip-toe!

X-Minus 1 Cue #47 More of that pseudo-Mahler; if it’s the same composer as Stravinsky guy, he was really adept at the recognizable pastiche.

X-Minus 1 Cue #48 Generic sci-fi music - or a hint of one of the work of Gerald Fried, who wrote for Star Trek? I hear it.

X-Minus 1 Cue #49 “Okay, the theramin’s broken. Can you guys fake it?

X-Minus 1 Cue #50 Most unexciting “exciting” music ever.

X-Minus 1 Cue #51 Now that’s sci-fi music. Again, I detect a little Gerald Fried.

X-Minus 1 Cue #52 To end the week: graduation matc of the Dullards!


Niew Soup! It's Niew!

Old Time and NIIEWEE!

Thanks for stopping by this week; hope you were amply repaid, your every expectation met. See you around!



blog comments powered by Disqus