Someone used my Amex to buy shoes. I know what you’re thinking: a victim of fortune, driven to desperate means, engaging in some victimless transgression to shod his children. Real Jean Valjean stuff. I wouldn’t be so cruel as to throw them into the Graybar Hotel, would I? What good would that do? What skills would they learn, what contributions would they make? No, best to give them a stern expression and perhaps make their freedom conditional on keeping out of trouble for a year or two.

Or, a year breaking rocks. I’d be fine with that. This person was a thief of the store’s property. Two pair. One thousand dollars.

Thing is, I can’t figure out how it happened. I rarely use this card outside the house, and when I use it online it’s for recurring expenditures. Oh, if I do use it, I’m traveling, occasionally in another country -

Oh. Well. Right. Or, it was a dump from a card reader around town. Or a hack from one of the big-box stores I’ve visited. I have to look at the store information to see if it’s an online retailer or a physical store, because if it’s the latter they didn’t need the CVV.

Criminals. Don’t you just hate criminals. I’m not given to encouraging hate; it’s a destructive and consuming emotion, but I think we can reserve some space for a little burning detestation when it comes to robbers.

Here’s the thing about Amex: they figured it out before I saw it, and credited me. I’ll give them that. Something in their system flagged and denied, and I’ve no idea how. The world beyond our ken is a blizzard of bits, and it’s war. The amusing part is knowing that the crooks who bought the shoes probably have excellent self-esteem and think they’re good people, over all. Heck, smart people. Look! Free shoes! Doesn’t that reflect spectacularly well on my worth?

Anyway. I have spent the whole. damn. night on the phone with this and some other things, and I have a column to write . . . so! You know how it goes. By Friday, we’re thin on words but heavy on sound, and there’s fun stuff below.

The Friday look at construction around my office: the stadium continues to look insane from every angle.


Forgot to mention there's another 30+ story (I think) residential tower going up downtown. Hello:


I'm not sure about that facade, but I'll reserve judgement. It's different than most of the buildings going up, all of which have a certain staid style that's sober and solid. The recessed windows gave me shudder, recalling the 70s, but I think it'll work.






As usual for Friday, the Music Cues. Of course we begin with the Couple Next Door. Which was written by . . .


Yes, Peg Lynch pitched in for Red Nose Day, the British charity event. You can donate here, if you wish. I did, so, money in the mouth vincinity, etc.

I swear that's one of her favorite sweaters. Also, that was taken after she got out of the hospital last week. We should all look so good at 80, let alone a year short of a century.

CND Cue #526 Clearest, longest version of this ever.

CND Cue #527 What?


Last week we had an actor who was on Star Trek. This week we have the Star Trek theme itself . . . in Gunsmoke form.

Gunsmoke #65 There it is, right?

Gunsmoke #66 Matt does not know. The West was like that sometimes. A man just didn't know.

I shouldn't have Bob Bailey's Mug on these; it's Mandell Cramer who took over the last few shows. They threw out all the old cues and went with hard-boiled modern stuff. As you'll hear.


YTJD #13 And you'll be jazzy dead, too. With bongos.

YTJD #14 This would work for Terry Jones as The Bishop, too.

To round out the radio offerings, here's a 1960 ad for Casite, the Tune-Up in a Can. Remember Casite from Tuesday's Product entry?

That guy still bugs me. Anyway:

Casite, Daddy-o.

It was a short story and it took four records to tell it. The book's own description:

"Edgar was an unsuccessful elf. He grew, and grew, and grew, which belfys (which is what you call baby elves) never do. Try as he would -- and he tried very hard -- he could not turn a flower into a bicycle, even though he did exactly what his parents told him to do. Then one day, Edgar went down the road from Fairy Land to the Real World, and made an amazing discovery."

Sound issues aside, I really doubt you'll make it through four minutes of this. So what were the chances any child would?



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