It was 24 below at noon, with the wind chill. That’s what my app said: “feels like -24.” The actual temp was -3, at noon, with no more degrees to come; in fact, the temp went down to -11. You just want to weep. In fact, you do: the wind pulls the tears from your eyes without you having to supply any emotion whatsoever. Which is good, because you’ve really none to spare. You just want to get through this day.

Anyway, a skint Bleat today, since I'm still putting the machine back together, and that means the usual password hell for this and that.

Here are the steps for reloading all your music on a new or reformatted computer:

Decide you’re going to start from scratch, and really boil this collection down to the things you know you want.

Go the folder that holds the stuff you didn’t add in the first place but kept around just in case; discover that some of it’s rather interesting, and perhaps you were too hasty. Start listening to all these tracks. Give it up after an hour. You were probably right the first time. You don’t need 101 Zithers Play The Themes of Hollywood.

Start adding the songs, then remember that if you add them one way they don’t line up correctly in DATE ADDED view. You want the songs to play in the order in which they appeared on the albums. Hah, albums! What an idea that was, for a while. The way the songs were paced, the way they bled into each other sometimes, the way the last song on the first side was usually lame, the first song on the second side somewhat stronger, and the third or fourth song on the second side unusual and often quite good. Remember sitting through songs you didn’t particularly like, just because they were on the record and the record was playing? If it was a band you really liked, you made excuses for it. Then there were albums that lost you after the first two tracks, but you kept it for those tracks and dragged it from apartment to apartment. I think I could stand outside the apartment where I lived in Cedar Square West and say “I never, ever once played Magazine’s ‘The Correct Use of Soap’ up there.”

Find that one Magazine song and play it. Eh.

Start adding the classical, which means fixing some of the busted or idiotic tags and names. File name: ADAGIO. Thanks a lot, someone who filled out the fields a decade ago in some big database that iTunes used before they switched. Wasn’t one of the databases associated with Scientology? Why did I think that? Or was it an early internet radio finder?

Stop and ask yourself if you really need all that minor-league classical stuff. There’s a reason these guys were the B-team. You can pick and choose. A movement here, a movement there. Really, it’s all right. And isn’t it interesting how the first symphonies by these minor talents are often better than the fifth? They just got worse. Surely they knew it. If you are able to write a symphony you are able to compare it with the greats, and find it wanting on every level - when it doesn’t steal, that is. Yet they press on.

Find something that didn’t belong in the iTunes in the first place, a fragment or scrap you double-clicked on long ago before you disabled iTunes as the application that opened sound files. You smile, because you remember why you snipped it. Years ago. Bob & Ray. They’re eavesdropping on their “conductor” warming up the orchestra to play the theme. Without the music, it sounds like nonsense, but then you recognize what it is. Can you?

De de-de de-de-de-de. De, de-de de-de de-de de, de-de de-de de de.

Realize this is going to take forever and just import the entire damned music file. Again.






“Lisbon was founded in 1880 by Joseph L. Colton, who named the new city after Lisbon, New York, his wife's hometown.” Which was named after the capital of Lisbon. Or was it? “However, the 1810 US Census for the town shows the town's name as Lisburn, which is a city located in Northern Ireland adjacent to the capital of Belfast.”

Not that it matters. This is North Dakota, the new world. It’s so . . . scenic!


Their Facebook page has this wonderful picture from the heydays.

Other than that, there’s the usual mix. This, I’ve no idea.


You know something has been moribund for a long time when the civic improvement league suggests that the boards on boarded-up stores be replaced.


If you read the faded sign, it says it was the Opera House.

Still is, too. As their web page says: Make Your Next Stop, The Lisbon Opera House.

That’ll require some advance planning.

From an ancient postcard:

Mr. Lucas, druggist. A hundred years later, he hasn’t faded away entirely.


He got them coming and going.

The newspaper is located in a building that bears the name W. A. Cole.

A page on the early residents of Lisbon has a picture from a 1888 Oddfellows gathering.

A rather unsparing gaze undimished by time and the grave, no?

You can smell the spilled beerL

The building on the right skinned an old Texaco station for that stone, I fear.


I don’t know why I chose this. Can’t make out the name. Could be the windows, which reminded you that the old ones were hard to maintain, and needed custom glass. This was so much easier.

Easier is rarely prettier.



This is a first: a boarded-up window in a window that was filled in glass blocks.

The Rexall sign will be there long after the memory of Rexall has faded, I’ll bet. It’s an old sign, and appears to cover half of four odd windows. It’s a hard building to read, and you’d love to know the rationale.



Finally, the Grover Building:

The cornice made it almost one and a quarter century, but eventually you got to send a guy up to fix the brick.

Here's the town: have a stroll.

View Larger Map





blog comments powered by Disqus