Augh. Cold. Snow. When will we see those nice warm days with fog and rain again?


One of those days in which nothing of consequence happened in my tidy ordered life, and all the news that poured out of the radio seemed like dispatches from hell - although it’s interesting how we use Hell as a term for places that are obviously not located in a subterranean lake of fire, but can be found on Google Earth.

A Google Street View of Hell would be quite popular, if they could arrange it. I suppose it would start with a long boat ride, and you’d have to keep clicking the arrow to go forward. At first it would be chilling - I am going across the river Styx, a few previously reserved for the recently deceased - but after 30 seconds you’d go down the map view and drag the little man to the shore. You would spend a lot of time clicking through the Stygian Depths looking for familiar faces; Google would probably offer a $100,000 prize for the first person to find Hitler, but he’s probably upside down and not wearing any pants. Still recognizable, if you believe the rumors, but it would hardly be conclusive. Mostly you would find ordinary folk.

There is an ordinary fellow who’s taking children in North Minneapolis. They find them later, alive. So far, two incidents. The authorities are not saying what the kids experience. Here’s a fellow who needs to be sent to Hell, and everyone would chip in to pay the ferryman. I suspect Charon takes those fellows over at no charge and goes as slowly as possible to exacerbate the dread.

No doubt some sort of psychological pathology will explain his actions, but I don’t care. I keep coming back to the scene in “M” where Peter Kurten - sorry, Lorre - makes his mad impassioned speech to the gangsters who have cornered him. I CAN’T HELP IT, he screams, and that anguished cry has affected thinking on the matter ever since, I suspect. Of course he could help it. If you can’t help it you snatch a kid with a cop watching.

The story on the news about one child gone follows the international news about the demons in Pakistan, which you wish would be unimaginable. But nothing is unimaginable.

Not even the PM of Britain having relations for an hour with a pig on national television? you ask. I’ll give you that, but then I watched “Black Mirror,” which showed up on Netflix as a new show highly recommended. There are three chapters, unconnected but tied together by the creator’s view of technology. It’s a dark view, and you may think it’s overstated if you mostly walk the civilized boulevards of the internet. Yobbo-ASBO social media is another district, of course.

The first ep, with the aforementioned porcine congress, will strike Bleat readers as germaine to a recent entry; I’ll say no more. The second ep was absolutely engrossing. It’s set in the near future, and the show reveals the society with some of the most assured storytelling I’ve seen in a long time on TV. Everything is familiar; everything is a natural extrapolation; everything is right around the corner. A glib description would be a dystopia based on the Wii.

There’s an “American Idol” show. The setting is the usual bright garish glitz with all the manufactured drama of the Idol shows, but . . . well.

Skip ahead to about 30 seconds. That belongs in a David Lynch movie. Not because it’s weird or bizarre, but because it has the same heartfelt connection to the source material and a heartbreaking yearning for culture from which it came. Mind you, this is not a nice show, but it is fascinating. Now I’m going to watch the third one.

Not to say it was a bad day. I was a good day, really, close to home. Like I said, it snowed.



Since we're between serials at the moment, let's pause to remember the floor coverings of the late 50s.

You know, there's not too many sites on which that would make sense.

These are all blown up from very tiny pictures. The Popular Smart Cafe:

Kentile being such a household name, KenFlex was an obvious choce. I guess. This was the BIG PATTERN, I guess, becaue the local lunch counter went with the same idea:

They all look as if they're shunning her.

Somehow this looks as if they're pawns in a giant's board game:

The rustic look required a basket weave, of course. Pity the fellow who took mushrooms and was locked in this kitchen:

Finally: this is the sort of modern look that made everyone else's old kitchen look ancient and dated. Not crazy about those chairs - eventually they'd lose their strength and you'd feel like you were sitting on a mushroom with a weak stalk - but the overall look is elegant and restrained. Even if the tiles resemble muscle tissue.

Ripped out in 1976 for something that looked "country" and had ornate oversized details.

That's it for today - except two restaurant cards to be viewed at your leisure. See you around!

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