NOTE: the internet has been spotty all day, because CenturyLink believes its mandate is to link the previous century to the 19th, in terms of communication-infrastructure dependability. It went out around 10, came back, and I am filing this in case it goes down again. It’s also a two-column night, so I’m swamped to the gunwales - but there’s lots below the fold and Richie Rich and delights galore around the site you may not have explored. So.


June ends with a sigh of defeat. A warm morn gave way to a cold front, with clouds tumbling out like bullies from a bus, and suddenly it’s April. Or October.

Most ominous sight of the day: one flip-flip, being mine, sitting on a chair outside. It was placed there by the dog, of course. The other is nowhere in sight, and has possibly been buried. Every time he gets a stick he goes under the slide and buries it. Probably twenty by now. His reserve, in case of a catastrophic interruption of Rawhide Supply.

I don’t like flip-flops anyway; I think they’re the worst form of footwear ever invented. They’re not even good for beaches. I have some good Brazilian flip-flops and the last time I used them on the beach I felt like I was wearing a copy of the Sunday New York Time on each foot. Beach shoes FTW. Which no one says anymore, do they.

Just noticed that FTW is literally the opposite of WTF. Somehow that makes sense.

We have a meeting at the paper Tuesday with the New Boss. I’m looking forward to it. Of course, you can’t help think: Meet the new Boss! Same as the old Boss! as the Who song says, First of all, it’s obviously not so; the old boss was an investment group, and the new boss is an individual. But it also made me think that the Who were completely wrong, in the end; the song is called “We Won’t Get Fooled Again,” when it’s obvious at the end that they were accepting an outcome characterized by being Fooled, in the form of the indistinguishable Boss.

It’s also a stupid line. Pre-revolutionary France: the boss was the king and the aristocracy and the Church, with the petit bourgeoisie and merchant class between them and the peasants. New boss: tyrannical anti-cleric anti-merchant collectivists who invented a new form of mass execution.

Otherwise, sure, same boss. The inability to make important distinctions because the mind reduces everything to broad similarties is a trait of a smug, adolescent intellect that mistakes cynicism for insight.


There are two cranes on the north side now. I watched the second one getting fitted together the other day, and it was quite impressive. One crane lifted the . . . er, the perpencularis, as I believe it’s called, up to the top. It didn’t sway. It didn’t rock. It rose right up to the guy hanging out in the air:

Three cranes visible from the office window. Five by next month. Head out the side steps, and there’s this:

The stadium. And there's one more to come: the third largest crane in the world.

I take this shot every day, because next year this position, this place, will be gone. It will exist, but it will be up in the empty sky, and no one will see this precise perspective again for decades. If ever. It's an odd thought, but the city is full of such places - moments in the sky where people worked and ate and talked and smoked for years, until the building came down and nothing went up in the same space. It would be sad to be a ghost haunting those old buildings. No one to bother but the birds.



A few weeks ago I did Pilger, which was hammered by a tornado. The TV reporter had said the twister was headed for Pinder next. Here's what it looked like before the heavens descended.



The bank looks as if it was planning an addition one of these days.

The internet has tales of a million boring legal cases, and one included the bank above - and these fellows.

Augh, the shingles. Always with the shingles. But look at the corner details that survived; whatever they paid for them, they got their money's worth.

I suspect the lighter brick might have been a storefront. Just a thought! And one that's easily proved:

But whose names are on the building? That McHirron is Henry Clay McHirron, to be precise. An old history of Nebraska says he was born in Illinois, “learned steam engineering from his father, and later learned the trade of sawyer. After a stink in Salt Lake and California, he mined for a while until the War Between the States; he enlisted, but spent most of his time in Nevada and Utah.That must ave been unsatisfying; after he was mustered out in 1864 he enlisted again, and served until the war ended. Then he went back to Nebraska.

“Upon the founding of the town of Pender, he removed to that place and engaged in the lumber and coal business, being a member of the firm of Maryott & McHirron.” He retired in 1895. He was married twice; the first wife, Mary Kinsley, bore him four children and died in the winter of 1881. He married again three years later to Sarah Southwell, who bore him four more.

Total American.

There's one tired building that looks as if it's ready to go.

But then you find a corner that looks like America c. 1949:

It's part of the Palace Hotel, built in 1892. Not sure it's a going concern; the top floors look like a cardboard warehouse.

Across the street, the former pride of Pender: how grand those windows must have been.

Looks like it's leaning on a pegleg.


The windows look as if they're slanting down, which probably wasn't in the original. Unless you're running Mr. Potter's bank, and want to scowl at everyone so they know who's boss.

The sign says "Old Town Saturdays." Could be fun, but don't expect to see a movie:

Saddest thing downtown. But let's end with this:

A ghost sign. Do you recognize it? Sure you do. Relax. Let it float out of the few molecules of paint.

You like it; it likes you. 7 up.



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


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