That's a banner I had prepared in 2012, in case. Ended up running with the other one, which showed the guy on the left - whose hat was blue - highlighted. Read into the middle fellow what you will.

True November, and it feels . . . acceptable. I’m writing outside in the gazebo, albeit in a full jacket pulled close around my neck. Dog curled up on the bench, sleeping. Wan sun through enormous clouds drifting above like manatees seen from below. Birdsong; leaf blowers. Most of the trees have shed their leaves. It always seems as if they’ll hold on to them for as long as possible just out of pride and delight over the way they’ve changed the world in just a few weeks - but then they drop them like a torch that burned too close to the hand. What’s left is ripped away by the scouring wind, which has the unsentimental businesslike feel of a professional at work.

Everything must go.


At the postcard show I found something that made me smile. I had to have it. Proof that I did not imagine the existence of King’s Food Host, which had an outlet in Fargo for a few years.


The building still exists, and hasn’t been a King’s for 40 years, but it’ll always be the Old King’s, due to the impression it made on me. Because you ordered your meal over the phone. There were phones at the table. In the wall.

Dads loved it: no tipping! Moms loved it: no perky waitresses! Maybe, I don’t know. Also: good hamburgers. (The secret ingredient was salt!) It was started in 1951 in Lincoln, Nebraska, started franchising a decade later, expanded like crazy to 130+ units . . . then ran out of money. One hundred of the locations were company-owned, and bled money as the 70s rolled on. Bankrupt in ’74. Probably didn’t help that they changed the burger recipe to include 30% soy, but those were the early 70s. (source for info.)

Lots of pictures - then-and-now - here. But before you run off, let us bask in some quintessential mid-century American food. And prices.

It's rather basic, isn't it?

Something of a light day, word-wise, but this is another week of a billion responsibilities.

And I say that like there isn't a ton of stuff below, including the weekly restaurants. Jeez.



As promised - or threatened, I can't recall - some more DC pictures. Because I like them. Is this post-modernism, you ask? Why yes. Your first clue? The GIANT OCULI, perhals?

Beautiful place, and so remote. It just leaves me cold.


So what's going on this week? Remember, this is not intended as a replacement for watching the real thing, but an enhancement. A superior substitution. All video clips are very, very short. That's really all you need.

If you recall, Batman and Robin were about to be blown up. If that narrows it down. They'd busted up a meeting of crooks, and were roundly thrashed, as usual, and left to die when the bomb went off.

OH COME ON. There was no mention of a secret trap door. Just makes it obvious they used the trap door from the other cabin over the mine. But that was weeks ago; who remembers that? Except I watch these once a week, as God meant them to be seen, and I saw it.

Then there’s some skullduggery down in the Evil Japanese SuperGenius’ lab, as one of the interchangeable henchmen alerts him to the fact that Marshall, another interchangeable henchman, was seen in jail talking to Chuck White, and since EJSG now knows that Chuck White was The Batman, he concludes, of course, that Marshall must be poisoned in his jail cell. It all flows so naturally when you’re evil.

But how to kill the interchangeable henchman? Send him some special cigarettes.

All these setbacks make a fella good ’n’ bitchy, don’t they?

For some reason they ask Bruce Wayne to come down and identify Marshall. They talk to Captain Arnold, not Commissioner Gordon. Marshall is dead from the SPECIAL BRAN, and Bruce finds a cigarette on the floor. He goes to his secret high-tech lab:

Having determined it’s poison, he calls up Captain Arnold. If you remember last week’s previews, there’s a nerve-wracking moment:

No, don't, Authority Figure we don't know and hardly met!

Bruce Wayne calls up the Captain and says, as Batman, that the cigarettes are poisoned. The Captain is mystified how the Batman would know that. Why, the only person who knew about the death and the cigarette was Bruce Wayne - and everyone knows it couldn’t be him, that fellow of a similar build who’s oddly involved in a tangential yet somehow critical role in every juncture of the mystery thus far.

Back at Axis HQ, they decide it’s been a while since the sort-of / not-really love interest has been around, so hey: let’s kidnap her. Batman will show up and we’ll kill him, preferably by some elaborate mechanism we will leave unattended, having assumed that things will go precisely as planned. They’re going to use Zombie Uncle to get her attention:

It’s super effective!

Clues are strewn to point to the ever-useful Abandoned Factory, so Bruce goes there in Bruce form. The guard tells him that the girl was here, but left; Bruce thinks “that’s highly unlikely, since her car’s right there. Since I’ve shown up here without disguise, the only thing to do is to hope no one puts two and two together when Batman shows up a minute later.

Batman lures them into the factory basement with Batsmoke:

Annnnnnnd fistfight con fuego:

Linda’s being held in this room. . .

With a curious poster on the wall. Curious because the factory's been shut down for years. Before the war.

Googling . . . Ah.


Anyway, Batman got the crap knocked out of him as usual, and the crooks, as usual, didn’t shoot him but ran away from the flames. He wakes up, but:

That’s the end of him, then. No possible escape. Or could there be more? Could we learn of the mysterious . . . EIGHT STEPS DOWN OF BATMAN?





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