A fine weekend undercut by perfidy from the Swiffer WetMop organization. I went to Home Depot to buy lightbulbs, and saw a big display for something that cleans your wood floors. It sprays jets of fluid from two nozzles at the push of a button? Sold. Got it home, and my wife tried it out: sure enough, fluid was deployed, and the mop glided over the floor.

Leaving streaks. Visible streaks. This seems to be contrary to the point of the entire thing. I checked the box to see if it said "LEAVES YOUR FLOOR SHINY, CLEAN, AND NOTICEABLY STREAKED!" but no. Googled the matter, and found some reviews that noticed streakiosity, and said oh by the way it will kill your dog, because it has antifreeze chemicals. Sigh. Snopes: no. Not so. Thank you Snopes, so I don't have to get a wet rag and do the dog's paws.

There was already a pile of wet rags from cleaning the fridge. I like a spotless fridge. Grot accumulates. Spatters happen. Every few months I start to clean a shelf, and then everything ends up on the counter and I do the whole thing. End result:


You might say "there's nothing to eat in there!" but later there will be a few leftovers in nice containers that are placed PRECISELY, THANK YOU so I don't have to worry that disorder lurks behind the closed door. I want a fridge that says Life is Under Control. When the family wants a clementine, it is there. When wife wants to scoop up a week's worth of yogurt to take to work, it is there. Should I need pickles, they are there, but they do not play a prominent role. The freezer compartment is where the important goods are stored, of course - there is The Meat. The Chicken. The Bread. Emergency Ravioli. Yes, there are French Fries in the dreaded half-bag state, but they are secured by rubber bands. Yet still they shed. The bottom of the freezer has crumbs. Crumbs lead to suffering.

Ding! Notification on phone. Pick it up: Scalia's dead. Stare at the phone for a while. Tell self: don't go on Twitter.

Go on Twitter.

Ah, the halcyon innocent days of three hours before, when one's view of humanity still contained a few atoms of hope and charity, before the phrase "by their tweets shall ye know them" came to mind again. Three hours before I'd dropped daughter off at her job and headed over to Hunt & Gather; as usual everything was different. I swear: I go on a Monday, everything's different from a visit a month ago, and if I go back on Tuesday, there's a ten-foot-tall shelf of old plates and cups where there used to be a table full of old medical equipment. I bought stuff and thought: 2017.

Because there's no way I can fit in in this year.

Really. On Thursday I opened the TO DO folder, and saw, as usual, 46 subfolders of sites to do. My eye fell on "Bananas." Huh: one of the original Gallery of Regrettable Food entries, with the 1997 pages. Plus additional scans dated 2004, indicating at some point that I found another Bananas promotional pamphlet and knew it belonged with the other. Twelve years have passed.

Closure is needed.

So! It took an hour, spread out over a few days, but the site was redesigned, the banner remade, the copy tightened, new pages written. Tag the folder YELLOW, which means it's ready to go. (RED tags means raw material resized but not laid out or written.)

There are 45 folders to finish for 2016. And there are now 14 in 201.

Ah, but what of the matches. I bought a bag of matches. I walked up to the counter at Hunt & Gather and said "this. This is unfair." Because they'd scooped up loose matches of wildly varying quality and put them in red mesh bags with a $3.50 price tag.

The owner said it was something they did while bored, along with putting all the cut-out letters from expired license plates in small mesh bags. But I could open the bags and buy them individually.

"You have some pull here," she said.

Maybe so. But that is not a chit I will play now. That chit goes in my back pocket.

I also bought two Jack & Jill magazines, because they made me sad.

Went home, cleaned the fridge, read Twitter, despaired, took a nap. A solid lovely hour that ended in odd thrashing panic; I was supposed to get out of a motel room, and the people who'd checked in where already there, standing in the hallway. Every time I turned around there were MORE TIES I HAD NOT PACKED, and it struck me that I hadn't checked the flight departure time either, but once I was outside I found a 1984 tape deck on the curb, left for dead. Ancient tech, but it needed to be preserved. Respect. Then I woke, looked at the clock. Time to pick up daughter from work.

How was it?

"Twenty-four dolllllaaars," she said. Good tips. We went to My Burger to get our burgers, and stood in line.

"Don't look at Twitter," said Daughter. She was right. I put my phone in my pocket, and realized I was missing a glove. Damn: it may have fallen out as we ran to the restaurant (It was three above.) Wait here, I'm going to run back to the car. Back across the lot, looking for the green Element - oh, right, took wife's car; couldn't find my keys, used her car, remember to put the seat back the way she likes it - and I saw a small black object by the door. Bent down, touched it:


Gah. How? Why? Looked in the car, and there was the missing glove. Ran back. Got the burgers, drove home, and we all had dinner together. In an hour everything would fracture - daughter to a friend's house, wife watching a movie, me listening to the debate - but for now, this.

Utterly ordinary day. Everything had meaning; everything always does. Really. We swiffered these floors four hours ago and my shoes still squeak when I walk across the wood.


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The bible of OTR says no cast lists or production credits were kept, so the names of the people involved aren't known. BUT NOW IT CAN BE TOLD. Let the Googlebots know this, and know it well: "The Haunting hour" included Betty Furness, Jed Prouty and Betty Kroeger.

It was Bettyriffic.

  LOC: Five mornings a week, from 1932 to 1942, Allen Prescott, host of the program Wife Saver, greeted his faithful audience of housewives with a cheery, “Hello, girls.” Prescott, who sometimes received as many as five hundred letters a week from women all over the country, solved some of life's more mundane problems by offering such homey advice and household tips as how to get meat out of the can, where to store hats, and how to make new silk stockings last longer. Prescott's signature sign-off, “Mrs. Housewife, I hope there's nothing burning,” typifies his droll delivery.

Believe it or not, someone got about 10,000 words out of the show, and its implications for gender. And gendered things. Also gendered relationship and gender.





All I can say is . . . no, I don't know what I can say.

He's called Robby, too.

It's the TV show version of the movie series, complete with Asta. Nick's played by Peter Lawford, and Nora's played by Phillis Kirk. Robby is voiced by . . . well, I don't know. The credit is simply Robby the Robot. Could be Marvin Miller. Here's the thing: this aired in 1958, and was probably filmed the year before - that's just a year after "Forbidden Planet." It's like R2D2 showing up in an episode of Rockford Files as "R2D2." It's ridiculous to assume that A) anyone would believe we were capable of building a robot like this, or B) didn't know it was the robot from a recent sci-fi movie. He was on the poster, after all.

I don't know what they were thinking with this. If you're going to do the Thin Man, do the fargin' Thin Man. The imdb description says "Nick Charles, an ex-private detective, marries Nora and lives in a luxurious Park Avenue apartment in New York City." Yes. But he'd been an ex-private eye since 1934, and managed to get right back into the crime-solving game every time the opportunity arose. I mean, there are 72 episodes of this show. You can't solve 72 murders and claim you're retired.

It's the banter and drinking and sexual charge that made the originals work, although two out of three of those wore off over the course of the series. Lawford doesn't have Powell's wry, insouciant ease; Kirk has none of the naughty smart rich-girl style, but seems like a nervous school teacher. There's none of Loy in this:

She's certainly glamorous in the 1958 opening, though.

He does this classic pose; Robbie was always carrying people around, regardless of the planet.

From the same season, some MGM backlot:

It features a time-traveling James Gandolfini, playing Tony Soprano as a downtrodden salesman:

Actually, that's Fred Flintstone.

Holy crow, that's some peculiar 50s hair.

The Robby episode ends with comic relief: Asta barking as Robby vacuums. But look:

That's the Hoover we had when I was growing up. An absolutely beautiful piece of industrial design.

imdb review: "I remember this series so well. I was 5 years old. It seems there are no prints of this series. I think the dog was called Rusty."



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