NOTE: Internet outage last night and this morning. It's over now!

The Bleat is thus incomplete, because I gave up around 12 AM. Herewith the fragment.

Should the web have footnotes? I read a piece the other day that said there should be copious footnotes. Huh. Well, footnotes in texts are easy - your eye skids down and reads the relevant note, then pops back up. On the web you have to do the equivalent of putting your fingers on your eyeballs and rotating them down, then up again. But I’ll give it a try.

Beautiful day, but alas A) no one cares about that; why would you? You have your own weather. Like politics, it's all local. B) there was no progress on tearing down the Strib, so I can't pad with a picture. it’s a column night and I’ve been listening to the debates when I should have been writing. Can’t stop. Can’t not listen.

I was listening to Trump’s Dallas speech, and while I admit it was jipped*, I think both its pith and gist were apparent. There was one feint towards policy, where he said that we would have “victories coming out of our ears” - a remark he followed up with a digression about how he only talked about things coming out of ears, noses, and mouths, which was a signal for that Insider Shiver. He’s talking about the time he joked about menstruation which we totally know he was doing even though he said later he didn’t mean that at all. That wasn’t a lie because the press lies and he just gives it back to them. See also ‘persona!’ Whatever that means.” He said we would be winning and winning, because that is a given. How we win and what we win and why we win isn’t really important, and besides those are details he will give to the best people who he will hire and make your head spin with winning.

The desire to win I understand, and explains much of his appeal, but there’s just a gassy assertion that if he wins, then everyone wins, and the substance of the victory is irrelevant. It doesn’t even have to be good, as long as it’s winning, but heck if he’s winning then it’s good.

But that was one line. One meaningless line, delivered to great acclaim. He followed it with a free-form meditation on his self-evident glories and the stupidity of his critics, who are stupid because they are his critics - I mean c’mon - and who sit around wearing eyeglasses looking serious and thinking they are smart when they’re losers. It’s one of those speeches where your idol gives you permission not to know things, because he knows them for you.

How this will play without the cheering crowds - that’s what I want to see in the debate tonight.


That worked out as I expected: on stage with individuals who can manage their tongue and muster a concise argument, he looks like a blustering loudmouth. This was also the first time when I found him actually repulsive.

But that's just me! Mr. Sell-out. I think anyone tuning in because they'd heard all the hype would not have been amused, though. That's the savior? That's the unstoppable locomotive? That's the truth-teller? The exchange with Fiorina was, of course, the best moment


AND HERE I stopped, because of the outage. Sorry!


JIP = Joined in Progress. ^

Did that work for you, that footnote? Of course not. It's a stupid idea.




Lest there be any doubt:


I always like a town that has its name up somewhere for all to see. Even if there's nothing but empty floors below the sign.

It doesn't look like a place that's moving in the direction its boosters would refer, at least from this shot. That's why you should never judge a place by one shot. The population is about 11K now, and Wikipedia says it's been stable at 11-13 since the 40s. So let's take a look aorund.

There's bleak, and there's Texas bleak.


The Luella building, 1910. I figured it was named for someone's wife and daughter, and I was right: named for Luella Ragland, the builder's spouse.

It was a Penneys for a while.

Note the peculiar little strip on the left. There were better ways to make the second floor accessible, but this wasn't one of the worst. Somehow it doesn't wreck the flow of the facade/.

Busy fellow, Mr. Ragland.

The first floor was built in 1901; the second followed five years later. Nice restoration, and appaluse for those who saved it; the building was condemned in the 70s, but stayed alive to make the National Register of Historic Places.


It's like a character in a Greek Tragedy who blinded herself out of grief:

The Masonic Lodge, as you can see by the sign on hte left side. Also the former home of the Palace Theater, as the ghost ad tells you.

I refuse to believe either facade is original.

That said, I'll take the one on the right. I hate that faux-rustication, and love the streamline look. Yes, that's the streamline look on the right.

Well, the line look, anyway.

The number of moments on Google Street View that contain small sad poetry is innumerable. All these ordinary moments, all this wistful quotidian beauty.

Red's about all the color they needed right there.


I'm sorry for your loss:

The Commercial Hotel, built in 1911. Close to the tracks. A man didn't want to drag his suitcase too bar.

Another view:

The fellow who was good at tile was a few leagues out of his depth on this one.


What I said before about towns with signs and demostrations of pride:

Does this sum up the town, or does . . . this?



Or this?



It's always a mixed bag, and you hope things are heading up. There's no good outcome when these places empty out.


Short one today, I know, but there are some underwhelming motels to help. See you around!


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