Took daughter to a rock store today, because she wanted to buy a rock. Well, a Stone, which is a name for rocks that people have polished and put in bins. There was a young lady squatting over a green stone with another rock on a pendant, swinging around. I presume she was checking for auras or energy fields. I joked that the store didn’t have the usual sign - you break it, you bought it. Wonder why! Ha ha.

There was a car outside with a window decal advertising a business for finding and dealing with ghosts. I’ll bet that was the rock-swinger inside. I’ll bet she finds ghosts everywhere. I’ll bet she walks into places and picks up on something.

Later I took daughter and friend to Goodwill; it took forever to turn into the parking lot, because traffic was constant and no one was interested in letting you through. When traffic stopped for a light a fellow just cruised right up and made it impossible to turn, and I just gave him a blank look: really? Finally I entered the lot, turned around, and tried to exit. There was a car trying to turn left, which is impossible under the circumstances. When traffic’s that heavy, you turn the other way and double back. Finally someone got the Samaritan impulse and stopped to let the car through; the car behind, not expecting anyone to exhibit such generosity, was paying no attention and KFWUMP. It was a VW vs a Ford pickup of substantial dimensions.

Not a scratch on the Ford. The VW lost to a trailer hitch. Then something happened that makes you feel good about America; the two guys got out, looked at the impact, and then they shook hands.

They were still there 40 minutes later when I picked the girls up. I did some shopping as well; picked up three records for Vinyl. I now have enough to keep the site popping through 2016. You should see the 2016 updates folder. It’s huge.

Rainy day. Cold. More September than July, but that’s okay. It’s all okay.

I do not understand the worship of Neil Tyson Degrasse. As a cheerful science promoter, he’s a good cheerful science promoter. But then you get tweets like these, which you would expect from a very deep thinking high-school student:

Artificially conceived is meant to connote a a falseness, a violation of Natural Things. But the major accomplishments of civilization are artificially conceived. Why, even some really fine people were artificially conceived.

Wouldn’t a Man of Science know that borders have perfectly reasonable reasons for being where they are?Like, say, rivers. Or mountains. Or large bodies of water we laymen call “oceans.” Stay with me here, because this gets tricky - sometimes these borders are drawn for cultural reasons. People on one side, for the most part, speak one language and have a certain set of folkways; people on the other speak a different language, and have different traditions. This may seem to argue against the universality of man, the idea that we are all brothers and sisters, and I would suggest that it seems that way because the universality of man is a rather useless concept on which to base your understanding of the world as it is today. I have a lot in common with fellow members of my species, but the differences are what we grapple with. And the differences not only lead to borders, they require them.

But hey, man, borders, right? Whoa. We are so lame as a species.

I finished the Couple Next Door last Friday. Seven hundred and fifty eight episodes. One every morning, M-F. I have a pretty good grasp of the whole thing, the strengths and wan patches, the places where I can tell she was firing on every possible cylinder and the weeks where the story insisted on hiding its face, but had to be dragged to the studio anyway and made to show itself. I imagine they gave advance warning before they cancelled the show - all the radio dramas and comedies were axed at the same time, and while radio is a cruel business - job on Friday, out on the stones on Monday - I think they must have said this is going to happen, not it has happened. Because I have to believe she wrapped it up on purpose.

It’s like this: a few weeks before the end, the plot suddenly swirls around another trip, perhaps Europe, perhaps South America. Given the success of the previous Europe trip arc, I have to think she was planning something. Aunt Effie had come back - that’s Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch of course - and that gave the show an old familiar groove. Aunt Effie had married a man she met on the last European trip, a Montana rancher, and dropped out of the show for quite a spell.

Then Mr. Piper lost his job. His boss decided to retire and fold the branch. This isn’t something you would do lightly; this is a month’s worth of scripts. But Mrs. Piper takes it in stride, says she expected it, and why not move to New York to work at the home office? All done in one 15 minute episode. No writer spends that much material so quickly, unless they’re ending the show. But the listener didn’t know this. The listener just went along for the ride. In the last episode, there’s a surprise: they’re going to fly to Montana to the ranch for a vacation!

And Aunt Effie is the pilot! Because she’d been taking lessons. So in the last ep Peg Lynch put the Wicked Witch back up in the skies, and it’s a very funny segment. When they get to Montana (something that proves the show was set in Minnesota, because it doesn’t take several days) they have a birthday party for Mrs. Piper, and the show ends with the cast singing Happy Birthday.

The air date was Peg’s birthday.

She threw herself a party.

A question about the theme music made me Shazam the opening melody, and hello: it popped right up. About time to play it in its entirety.

I had always intended to call Peg when I finished the show, so I did, and told her I was done. We had a lovely little chat. She sounded tired, but she is 99. She was watching an old movie starring Eleanor Powell. She asked me to come out and visit and she she loved me and I told her I loved her too, and hung up just about bawling.

But I had told her I was going to start on “The Little Things in Life” now.

There are 150 of those.

And we'll get to the start of the last run of the cues right after this message.



As usual for Friday, the Music Cues. Of course we begin with the Couple Next Door, with its cheerful soundtrack of the mid-century domestic scene.

Lots of new cues in the 600 episode series. I'm surprised - and I wonder where they were keeping them, and didn't use them before.


CND Cue #564 Too many! With the Chord of Domestic Ease + mocking.

CND Cue #565 Quite a lot of rather rote piece.

CND Cue #566 Never heard this one before. Probably not used for a reason: stilted.


It's either this or indistinguishable late-run Gunsmoke cues - and besides, this is much more fun. If you've heard this before you won't complain. If you haven't, you may wonder what the fuss is about, or thank me for the introduction. What follows is, for the time, a rather brutal parody of someone who's now regarded as an absolute TV saint.

The over-emotional self-regard . . . of Hack Park.


Finally, our ad of the day: Texaco c. 1957, selling Sky Chief. Sorry, Sky Chief Supreme.

Cuts out for a second at the start. Worth it for the TOWER OF POWER song.

"Soaring" was a word that fit the decade if you were, perhaps, in your 30s or older. The Younger Generation would not have used that word.

Nor would they have listened to this Dad stuff, man. Even if it was about a bikini.



Itsy Bitsy.


And that's it for this whimpering, pesky, peevish, dispiriting week. More fun next week - see you then.



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