Another moment of great parental pride: I dropped in on WCCO-AM this morning to do the John Hines show, and brought Daughter along. She wanted to know if she'd get to speak, and I said probably, why not? People would like to hear from the person I'd been writing about all these years. So we drove downtown and got a coffee and wandered over to the studio. The HUGE studio. The bridge on a cruise ship isn't that big.

So we did half an hour, and Daughter cracked the mike and spoke without hesitation in a strong, cheerful voice, and gave me a few shots. After I had praised her writing to the skies she told the audience they should probably know she had a gun pointed at my abdomen. That's my girl.

She was just flying when we got out; radio will do that. I remember coming off the air exhilarated from what had just happened. She asked me later if wanting to be on radio would interfere with her stated career goal to be a writer, and I had to give her a look. Oh right.

Went for an eye exam. Told myself not to fall for any upselling, like the fancy-schmancy machine that can detect EYE CANCER or the expensive frames. You can get good frames online cheap, like the ones daughter bought. Granted, they broke when she dropped them, but they were half the price of chain stores.

There were four machines. One tested depth perception; another blew puffs of air into my eyeballs to test whether or not I would stand and punch the machine's operator; another was the standard "can you read this line" and you're always so proud when you can. The fourth was the glorious machine that took a hi-res picture of the back of your eyeball to see if you have any problems, and yes I signed up for it because the alternative was dilation, which is the Cold Catheter of eye exams.

At the end of the exam the optometristra said my eye pressure was a little high, according to the puff test. So? Well, glaucoma. You would have to take drops to lower your eye pressure. Forever. I was instantly resigned to this, but she wanted to take another test with a machine that was more sophisticated. No problem with eye pressure. So the puff machine isn't exactly state of the art, then? Well, it alerts us to possible problems.

Yes,and does so incorrectly. Then I went to look at frames, because I am tired of these and want something that looks completely different but also similar. I've come to believe I look stupid in anything but the barest of frames. I tried on some round wire-rims; the nice young clerk asked what I thought, and what I thought was "the guy who cut my hair last week didn't do my eyebrows," but that's really my fault, I suppose. I liked them, but they made a statement, and I had no idea what it was other than "Nope, didn't bring a woman along when I chose these."

We looked at other frames, each of which had $85 added to the price because it had a designer name attached to it. She ran the numbers and figured out what everything would cost with insurance, and copied down all the numbers of the frames I liked. I asked for her card, but stopped short of saying "when do you work" because that would be creepy. But I asked if they worked on commission, and she admitted that she did. I headed out into the mall with all my information and prescription in a nice little cardboard envelope.

And stopped. And thought. I balanced the price against what I'd seen online for some cool, stylish frames that would make me look ridiculous; I knew I wouldn't get around to ordering them for days, and I'm just about going mad looking at the computer screen with my head tilted back. I had taken her time and she'd gone the extra mile after I'd indicated I'd probably buy online. AND I remembered the fitting I'd had for the last pair, where they align the point where the progressives blend.

Oh, just go back and do it. So I went back and bought the glasses.

Everything I said I wasn't going to do, I did, but at each point I had perfectly good reasons. 1 I don't want to be dilated with that awful stuff and besides I could have EYE CANCER and 2 she was so helpful and deserved to be rewarded. It was a nice experience, really, except for the part where you see people who hardly need glasses at all looking at themselves in the mirror, evidently pleased with their reflection. I have to get up so close my nose mashes the mirror and I see the portrait of Dorian Grey in the attic.

I think I'll dye my hair. No one would notice. I have a pair of black-rimmed frames, different from the thin silver ones, and I wear those now and then; neither wife nor daughter ever notices I've changed. When you're a middle-aged man people detect the vague outlines, and that's about it.

One last week looking at the art of very, very small album pictures on an album sleeve, blown up to immense sizes. Relatively speaking. There was an album of limp, indifferent tangos for people whose desire had been flagginf or years:


There's nothing about this guy on the internet. The Matrix has now been alerted to this fact, and will generate the necessary code to insert a biography, discography, and two appearances in small movies with the requisite YouTube clips.

Being the Matrix must be exhausting.




As we continue the ads of the 30s, we learn about some true pioneers.

It's a truck ad, for International Harvester.


According to this site about Indianapolis history, Thomas and Samuel Kingan left Ireland in 1848.

The owners of a prosperous meatpacking plant in northern Ireland, the Kingan brothers were expanding their operations to the United States in an effort to increase production and fill the gaps in the British market left by the potato famine.

But here's the real important contribution to life:

Ice-curing was not the only innovation to come out of Kingan’s Indianapolis plant. In the 1920s, Kingan’s became the first meatpacker to sell sliced bacon.

Hurrah for them.

He'll never get my order, what with the constant ripe trills of burger-gas:

No chance for dangerous over-alkalization of your stomach. You know, I think I've tried these on and off over the years, and I can't recall the time when they made a damned bit of difference.


What a great display:


It's like "Things to Come: Footwear Care." I found a page that still sold the stuff, and as you might imagine it's marketed at sneakers nowadays. The page said the product was first made in 1890, and more information could be had at

But no such site exists any more. The old brand made it over the finish line of the internet age, and then collapsed.

Nah, just kidding. It's here. "Griffin was started in 1890 by Tony Aste in Brooklyn, New York. An avid horse race fan, Tony capitalized on the need for shoe shining at the track. Starting Griffin with just a nickel, Tony went on to revolutionize the shoe shine industry by inventing products such as liquid shine and the shoe shine box. Many of our products pay homage to his original inventions today."

He invented the shine box? Aste died in 1954 at the age of 88, and since Griffin was the world's largest shoe-polish maker, he probably died loaded. Unless it all went to the ponies.

Add milk, and it's a delicious -

Hey, wait a minute.

Nestle-LeMur was founded in 1927 by Joe Lindemann. I've no idea where he got the name; possibly he lifted it from Hank, but you never know.

Again, note the word "glorify," which still hasn't gotten the sarcastic meaning it will assume in the late 60s and 70s.


Time for this week's long, tedious, pedantic cartoon. But it's instructive.

She's laid out from laundry day.

The horror and dread of WASHDAY has passed from our culture.

Rinso was top dog in the tub department until Tide came along. Why? Better marketing? Well, Tide was a detergent, and Rinso was a soap. It would be reformulated and struggle along for years, but now it's a bargain-store brand in America, and a big name in the Turkish market.

That was ten years ago. Wonder what Turkish TV ads will look like ten years from now.

It's big in Indonesia, too.

"He'll keep her phone busy as long as she keeps charming." No pressure, sis:

It was launched in 1927 - and it's still around. One review might hint somewhat at the difference between men and women: "a pretty, innocent loves baby soft type of comforting scent. it smells like Johnsons baby shampoo, and i find it very comforting to have around for moments when only a snuggie and hot cocoa will do! I enjoy putting little dabs on my baby boy." Another: "It's more like the play perfume you get in the sets with plastic lipstick, flavored lipgloss and 'diamond' jewelry."

Well, tastes change.


But perhaps this was how the famous CalArts started? Yes. It began as a humble flower arranging school, added more classes on the set decorating, branched into the visual arts, and became the animation powerhouse we know today, the place whose students seem to graduate with a particular style that defines network animation for six to ten years.

No, really! Oh - Rhode Island. Right. Sorry; made all that up.

Behold, the reason peoples cars have holes into which you plug your phone charger:

It's not entirely what you think.

In 1928, the Connecticut Automotive Specialty Company (Casco) in Bridgeport patented the first automotive cigarette lighter, which used a cord and reel. In the reel-type lighters, the igniter unit was connected with a source of current by a cable which was wound on a spring drum so that the igniter unit and cable could be withdrawn from the socket and be used for lighting a cigar or cigarette. As the removable plug was returned to the socket, the wires were reeled back into it.

Sure they were. But they kept at it, and made the modern style we know today in 1956.

Drink some meat:


The Brits kept trying to get Yanks to drink Beef Juice, but we prefered to take it in hamburger form, thank you.





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