Logy and headache-ridden all evening because of some SOB who runs a telemarketing company, and whose robots called my phone. I know, my fault: I have a landline. I know, my fault: should have muted it. I know, my fault: should have got a phone that blocks all calls from certain numbers in the online database of miscreants. But I might suggest that the SOB who runs the company bears some responsibility as well. He probably believes he is simply a businessman, that’s all, providing a service - some people need to refinance their credit cards and pay 47% interest - but he’s a low-level sociopath. People hate him; this he knows. He never tells anyone what he does for a living, because some of them might want to feed him a knuckle sandwich.

What’s wrong with the world is exactly this: he has our number, and we don’t have his.

You can tell a good deal about someone by their reaction to this comment. It’s appended to a Guardian story about the evils of big supermarket chains, and how we should go back to shopping at nice little local places for everything. As it happens I shop twice a week at the nice little local place, but it’s little only in comparison to the large stores I also patronize, frequently using a withering tone of voice so they’ll know I’m patronizing them. I don’t shop there for everything, because the selection is limited and the prices are higher. Don’t buy everything at the incredible new big store that has everything you would possibly want, but charges a little bit more to flatter your assumptions of your class status. (Not really, but that’s a side effect.)


I rarely go into a supermarket at all and can't really understand why people still do. Online shopping doesn't give you any impulse buys, in fact you can get it done in five minutes simply by clicking the same order or going through the items you usually buy. Take longer to see what is on offer. It's relaxing, you can have a glass of wine, get on with your life and the groceries are there the next day. I could never go back to big super chains, it drives me mad to go up and down the aisles.

Well, that’s her choice, and I couldn’t care less. The line that stuck out for me: can’t really understand why people still do. It’s one thing to prefer something else; it’s another to profess your ignorance for the reasons other people might not share your view.

I don’t do this and I don’t know why anyone else does is the mindset behind 74% of all online comment nonsense.

Last batch of Missing ads for a while. 1934:

Some? Can you be more specific? I know two guy who fit the description, except one has three gone and the other just two. Okay, he's John Meager, but sometimes we call him Jack as well. No, not Jack Haswell, Jack as well.

Jack Meager. Put that name in a book and your editor would roll his eyes.Aravella Hartzell, on the other hand, is a most euphonious appellation. But. She was living at home in 1940, was listed as “divorced,” and was the daughter of the head of the household. She would have been 29 at the time of this ad. id Smilin’ Jack get her in trouble? Was that why she wanted him to get in touch?

1924: the ancient mystery of the Small Black Trunk.

Dora, it's been 54 years. Even if you could get his phial of morphine it would be all crusty and useless by now.



Another half-century mystery, ever-simmering:

Mother came to get him but Ma Raimey turned her away. Was she weeping? Drunk? Was there a shiftless consort hanging back on the sidewalk? How much time elapsed between adoption and the reappearance of the birth mother? You're sure the phrase you have some nerve comin' 'round these parts was uttered.


Five years wandering, pursued by ghosts:

The delusions change, but the affliction doesn't.


You have a new family now. Come along. You don’t need those filthy children.

The line that gets you right in the sternum: everyone belonging to me.


You hope this was just a very, very close call:

There's some gap between "came to America with his sisters" and "danced with one without knowing it." As for Mr. Strasborg, one of those civic “Great Men of Our Community” hagiographies can be found here, praising the great dance-master.

Names in other entries that aren't attached to curious stories, but bear mention:

Cullis McCormack (or Lucullus Kirkpatrick)

Desire Bourgeoise

George Short (six feet tall)

Uno Zanoni, missing brother

and my favorite: Effie Grace Buttomer Dykes

Now the Friday basics. Pupdate. Spot the dog!

There's a reason we suspect he's a Tennessee Treeing Cur. Okay, here's a better picture.


I hate the rug, by the way, but after four months of saying "I'll find a rug" and not finding a rug, that is my punishment.

Downtown East, the big project across the street, now stretches into three blocks. I knew this little brick building was going down, but was still surprised to see them ripping it apart:

Homely and utilitarian - but it had its name carved in stone out front. I wonder if the guy who did the work walked by now and then and felt bad about the N.


The enormous stadium girders loom behind as the beast sits on its throne of rubble and picks the walls apart:

With every building down, a new view is born - but only for a while.

Twenty-something stories of hotel will rise here soon. The pit will be dug in a fortnight; I'll look up one day and the service core will be poking its head up from the hole.

This week in Nonstop Pumpkinization ofThings, Traders Joe edition, we have:

Has anyone ever been eating pumpkin pie and thought "you know, this needs strawberries"?



As usual for Friday, the Music Cues. A little of everything. First, the Couple Next Door cues. Sprightly soundtrack for the post-war suburban middle-class life.

CND Cue #480 More happy-bustle music, but this one seems a bit older and wiser, somehow. Less bubbly, more content. Wraps it up quickly, too.

CND Cue #481 The old set-your-cap-and-go-do-something theme, the one that I always say should be used on "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Here we get a few more notes than usual; never heard those clarinets before.

CND Cue #482 This one is familiar as well, and there's nothing particularly distinguished about it - except the end. That sigh, and the swirling leaves; you could tease an entire Autumn Symphony out of that.

Now, more GUNSMOKE. The early cues were scored simply - geetar, a squeezebox, a fiddle, a trumpet. The instruments of the frontier. In the latter seasons they went with a bigger sound - horns, strings, high production values with studio echo. Perhaps they were trying to keep the show new and up-to-date, but it was jarring, and didn't assist the intimate style of the show.


Gunsmoke Cue #01 Here's an example of the early cues.

Gunsmoke Cue #02 And here's the later style.

Gunsmoke Cue #03 Galloping music for a cliffhanger just before the commercial break.

Gunsmoke Cue #04 I wish I had a better version; I'll keep looking. It's one of the cues that quotes the main theme, drops it in like a lietmotif. Which, I suppose, it is.

Gunsmoke Cue #05 Same here.

Gunsmoke Cue #06 And again - but this time, it sounds like Matt Dillon vs. the Space Monsters.


There's a publication gap!

Books to beat back the Reds

Work blog around 12:30, maybe - big column & interview day tomorrow. Tumblr around noonish or so - see you then!


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