Grey day, and cool; it’s a been a good June, but this felt a bit unnerving. The month should end hotter, not colder. Nope! That’s all you got! Ta-ta.

Went to the bank with a can of coins. Easy cheap way to set aside some lettuce: just throw the coins in a coffee can. Used to be common; now it’s a niche pursuit, shall we say. Fewer people have coins, thanks to plastic; few people have cans, because more people buy coffee in bags. I wonder if there’s a point at which cans will go away entirely, or be such a small part of the market that they don’t get saved. No one saves bags, so the graphic design will exist only as pdfs in company records, if at all. (Note to self: quick, start scanning bags for an online museum for 2026!) Perhaps the people who buy cans will be the sort of save them, since they have other uses. Like coins.

Who cares about coffee cans? you ask. I do; they’re interesting to look at and consider, relics and survivors, and usually a refugee from grandpa’s workbench. I have a few. They still show up in antique stores. They’re much more attractive than the cans of today. Anyway: I have about ten coffee cans I use for storage, and they’re all Chock Full O’Nuts, and while I’d be happy to get rid of nine, I have to keep on. It has the World Trade Center on it.

It was full, so off to the bank. I’d been putting this off for a while, because it’s one of those tasks you can do any time, and hence don’t do at all. As I got out of my car I saw two guys get out and head for the bank . . . bearing coffee cans.

What. Are. The chances.

If you’re thinking they might be two bright sports who know their way around a counting machine, nay. It took two of them studying the instruction screen to figure out what to do. Obviously putting the coins into the bin is going to be part of the process, no? It was like watching raccoons try to open a solid plastic watermelon. And it was just pennies. They finally pushed START as if it might turn on a runaway nuclear reaction.

When it was my turn I dumped in the coins and hit START. The machine paused now and then to grind and complain and spit out a few coins that did not pass muster. The Canadian money can understand. The 10 centimes I have no idea. It also passed on perfectly good dimes and nickels, and I tossed them back into the bin, only to have the machine spit them out - with extra vigor, as if I was trying to get something over on it.

Went to the cashier to get my money. Part of which was . . . in change.

Which I put in the coffee can.

Also put the rejected coins in the can. For all I know they’re refugees from the previous can. And the can before that.

From there I went to Traders Joe, where I had to return a bag of Dried Bananas. We’d bought the organic before, but the previous trip I saw non-organic - fertilized, apparently, with metal shavings - and it was half the price. Upon eating it at home, though, we thought: too sweet. Really good, but dried fruit shouldn’t be this good. You don’t feel virtuous eating it. So I took the second package back to the fellow standing under the sign that said IF YOU DIDN’T LIKE IT, BRING IT BACK or words to that effect.

I gave him the bag and the receipt.

“Didn’t like it?” he said.

“Actually, we liked it a lot. Too much. But the organic ones aren’t as sweet.”

“Are you going to shop for anything today?”

I said of course, I’m at Trader Joe’s. If nothing else I have to start re-hoarding popcorn against the moment when it goes away again.

“Then bring this receipt up to the register and we’ll come over and take two bags off.”

“But I only have one bag here.”

“Like the sign said, if you didn’t like it, you get your money back!”

“But we liked it,” I said, realizing my desire to seem fair was coming off as stupidly obtuse. “It just doesn’t seem right to get my money back for a bag we enjoyed.”

He leaned over with a mock-fierce expression and said “Listen, mister, you’ll get your $2.38 back, and you’ll take it.”

I did the same. “I will not be the one who takes advantage of your policy’s wording to evade paying for something - oh, never mind.”

And so I got $2.38 back. It was applied against the bill, which was too bad.

Can’s looking pretty empty.






The weekly stroll down someplace I've never been, judging them unfairly.


The downtown looks like the city was bigger than it once was. But 36,000 is about right for this feature. Let’s see what remains, and what might be rehabbed in the next few years!

Yes, that’s a rather optimistic approach. But it could happen.

Waiting for better days:

The Cinema Treasures page says “in 1910 it suffered a fire.” The local paper said:

Mr. M.J. Sullivan, majority stockholder in the Opera House:

"This fire strikes us at a pretty hard time. We have never made money on the opera house. It has been a losing game all the way. But just now we were getting things lined up so that we were beginning to see daylight and had hopes of putting the playhouse on a paying basis. Marion is a poor show town but I believe that we were on a fair way to make it one of the best.”

It was renamed the Ohio Theater in 1941. Looks as if it’s been abandoned for over 60 years, which might just be the case.

Better days this one has seen. Or squinted:

Can’t figure out that fourth floor. There’s not enough money for a full floor! We’ll use it for a kindergarten.


These are always regrettable, because they’re intentional. Always a bank. Always.

This poor survivor seems to be wide-eyed in horror:

The renovation seems to cover up another renovation - the 60s attempting to improve the 30ss or 40s, judging from the window. This never worked.

Another sad example of a blinded second floor and structural eczema.

“Temptation is a Good Thing” was one of their slogans, according to this 1909 advertisement. It was located at Main and Center; no trace seems visible today.

Sometimes a fine old building says “please, restore me to my former glory . . .”

And sometimes they just say “kill me now.”

Below: “Say, let’s brick up the windows of our murder factory, but leave enough light so we can see our work.”

The ground floor looks casual, like it's draping an arm over the fence.


In the world of prosletyzing, some churches decided it would be wise to sneak up on people from a concealed position:

Out of business. Or God yanked the franchise.

Or maybe He pulled out of the market entirely:

This one, I believe, was occupied by men who were building an Interocitor.

Really, it looks like someone with a very high forehead. What architect would sign his name to a renovation like that? Someone who’d been reduced to these jobs by a lifetime of chronic drinking, perhaps. Or maybe they just hired a guy to cover it up. Get what you can down at the yard. Stone or something. They got that stuff that looks like stone but you buy it by the yard. That’ll do.

Finally, what appears to be a Masonic Temple. Wonder what was behind the windows.

Have a tour. It's an interesting place.


Probably no work blog today, but Tumblr will get you through the noontime hour. See you around!



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