Sitting outside in the gazebo, working on the noon blog, scrolling up and down, THUMP on the second-floor window

(rustling in the hostas)

If there’s a rustle in your hostas, don’t be alarmed now; it’s just a small bird with a headache. Or worse, perhaps: maybe the bird was injured. I looked amongst the hostas for a bird, and didn’t see one. Good; he shook it off and went on with his day, feeling sheepish. Then I spied him under some leaves, and his head was going back and forth, either because IT HURT, or there was neurological damage, or that’s just what birds do and you don’t notice. One wing was up on a leaf, but I didn’t want to poke it. Got the broom Scout plays with and tried to rearrange the leaves to free the wing. He just sat there, head going back and forth.

Do I have a kill a bird now? Is that the fun thing Monday has brought us? Well, maybe he’ll . . . get visited by the bird fairies, or something. Or eaten while I’m inside doing something I suddenly have to do, like find a cement block. Gah.

A few minutes later I went back to see how it was doing, and when I got close it sprang from the host and flew off.

I don’t know which of us was more relieved.

What would I have used to put it out of its misery, though? A flowerpot, now that I think of it. One of the containers of beauty my wife has arrayed around the back yard. Soemthing I’ve never thought of before as an instrument of euthanasia.

Well, all’s well that flies away and relieves you from the obligation of killing it, I say.

Later: went over to the neighbor’s house to pick up some records. Her husband bought a lot of 33s at an estate sale, and he only wanted two in the batch. I could have the rest. I expected, you know, records - thin sleeves with the faint imprint of the disk inside, the glue coming off the corner on the back, some interesting art, an obscurity or two, bygone labels.

Oh my:

Script by John Whedon, the grandfather of Firefly / Trek / Etc director Joss.


That'll give you an indication of the condition of the record. Not just good; not just undimmed by time - never been played. The grooves are absolutely pristine; the sleeve is tight and the record crackles when you take it out. A box of these. Where did they come from?

Well, a few of the records have sales slips, and all is explained. They're from Hart's record store, and the box had a catalog for the estate sale. It's enormous. MPR reported this years ago:

Hart's Record store was open in Saint Paul until 1952, when owner Hart Callender closed the doors because of health problems. But he always planned to re-open it, and he held onto all his merchandise until he died last year, never letting that faint hope die. That merchandise - including 200,000 unopened records, some record players, and radios - spent years in storage.

Everything was auctioned off in 1997, but I now have most of 1 lot. Some more:

Original packaging. And dig this:

Now I have another dilemma. She said I could take them and sell them, whatever I wished. One more thing in storage they don’t need, partly because they’ve been living in another state for a while and renting out the house, and the house now has issues that require about 600 gallons of bleach and Pine-Sol. (This was the neighbor whose colossal elm took out part of my fence last year, and had to be dug out and winched over the house by an enormous crane. I think they’ll be happy to be shut of the place.) The dilemma is whether I should get a record player and record these things. There doesn’t seem to be any Harold Peary-Reads-Jack-and-the-Beanstalk in existence on the Internet.

Which means I am obliged to do it.

Correction: found a copy on an old radio site. But it’s a pay site. As for the music, well . . .

Another hobby is not what I need, but here we go. Stay tuned.


If it's Tuesday, it's . . .


So this is what she does when she leaves the house while Elmer's at work.

Some guys have dreams about enjoying things with their wives. In this fellow's case they involve cheese.

Why is Mr. Jones ogling a cow? Is there that much trouble at home? Elsie seems to understand, blushing as she does, and she promptly mentions her husband to remind Mr. Jones where things stand.

Liederkranz has glorious flavor for next day's bedtime snack? Why not tonight's?

Where are they running to, with such frantic enthusiasm? The barn?



Who knew there was Sausage Season?

They'be started grinding sausage again, and Kapo Pig couldn't be happier. All those other pigs who saw what he did to stay on his bosses' good side? Gone grindin', they have.

Jones is still around; and still in Ft. Atkinson. GRINDING.



Rell "Sunday Dinner" chicken, that is.

Let's take a close-up look at that can. The stylized chef is ringing the dinner bell:

The idea that this might be a meal for the whole family is disabused by the can opener - which, in this instance, looks like some big robot mantis trying to eat the thing.



A miracle! A marvel! A miraclemarvelon! The shelf paper of the late 1950s:


I wonder how long it took to crack and peel.



What word would you use to describe mop-up action? Of course:

Handy for washing the walls and for bathing.




Early 50s can for Morell meat. I bring it up because I'm always amused how Morrell went with "SNACK" for their Spam-pretender.

Not "you can have it for a snack," or "great with crackers for a mid-day snack" but SNACK. I doubt anyone ever said "got any Snack? I feel like a snack, and nothing's better for a snack than Snack."




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