Sure enough, that newton's pettin' spiders now.

This I overheard in the skyway. As I tweeted (not that it matters that I tweeted it; who cares? I just want to be honest when I'm recycling material, to show that I KNOW I passed this off as Content a while ago.) (I hate reusing lines. It makes me feel as if I've lost the ability to come up with new ones) at the time, either my hearing is shot or someone has fantastic vernacular. It does sound like something you'd say about someone who'd . . . died? Got rich? Gone mad, I think. Don't ask him, he's pettin' spiders.

But then there's Newton. Or rather: that Newton. This suggests it's not someone named Newton, but a type of person. Could be slang for any person, but I don't think so. Perhaps it's some smarty-pants type regular folk find annoying, or someone so dumb it's funny to call him the name of a smart person. Hey Einstein, your fly's open. Hey Newton, you buttoned your shirt wrong.

Sometimes you wish all conversation was like this, and realize how little of it is.

At Peace Coffee with daughter. She wanted to do novel writing in a different cafe than all the others, and chose this place. She knows my opinion about it: eyerolling at the crunchiness, gripiness at the price, but damn, that's a good cup of coffee.

It's the sort of place where they not only have exposed brick, but exposed plywood. Unpainted and proudly cheap - and lit by a light bar that would have paid for the paint 40 times over, but whatevs. There are some holes in the bricks, and they placed small little shelves on some of them and put Play-Doh creatures. I'm sure the staff made them. They're all whimsical! The staff, I mean. The creatures may be whimsical but I can't tell from here. Perhaps they all have a page on the website that tells their names and backstories.


Wimsee McFairtrade. Global-minded, locally-focused half-octopus, identifies as a mollusk. Likes: bikes, cats, Phish. Hates: cars, plastic

It's an old comparison, and I'm sure you're sick of me making it, but I'm trying to imagine someone in Fargo in 1956 opening up a cafe. He sees a brick wall, and notes what a crappy job the workmen did - the mortar slops all over the sides, the bricks aren't even. the sort of job you'd do when you don't care and no one's going to see it anyway.

Well, first thing we do, we cover that up.

No, says his business partner. Let's leave it like it is! There's a certain honesty in seeing the bricks.

There's a certain honesty in seeing stars, which is what you'll see around your head after I paste you one in the kisser. Maybe little tweeting birds too. Are you crazy?

Kidding you, pal, kidding. Okay, I'll go down to the yard and get some wood. We're going to paint it, right?

I was thinking vinyl wallpaper up to about here, then a plate rail, and paint above that. The wallpaper will be easy to wipe off.

Great. Hey, instead of painting it all, though, why not put little shelves up there by some of those holes? I have friends who would love to make little clay figures of funny animals to put up there.

You have friends? You mean at the ding-dong school you have these friends? What the hell is the matter with you? Was it Korea? You get kicked in the head by a pack mule?

I'm just thinking, it would be whimsical.

Oh brother. Listen. This is a coffee shop. There's going to be booths over there, and a counter right here. We're gonna serve coffee and sandwiches to housewives who come down here shopping and maybe some guys from the bank or the insurance office. In February through June we'll sell a lot of hamburger patties with cottage cheese because the shoppers are dieting, and in the fall we'll probably move some soup. It's going to be bright and shiny and easy to clean and look like a place where grownups belong. Did you hear the word whimsy anywhere in that?

No, I didn't. But maybe would sell coffee cups.

You mean, the cups themselves? Without anything in it?

Yes. And we could have a slogan on the side. Say, "Cats like Coffee."

Jesus on a jumped-up liftin' pogo stick, you are out of your mind. Cats don't even like coffee.

(pouts) Some cats might.


Well I think some might and if I believe then it's so.

Seriously, Mac, what happened in Korea?


Oh, well, that explains it.


OTOH, there's a microcinema in the building; 50 seats. They're playing this:

I should go see it. It's Czech, and according to some stories, so am I. Partially. I've never cared one way or the other.


Once again, it's back to . . .


Our favorite museum / art gallery / antique store had this in the basement. Can you guess what it is?


Why the double E? Ez-in would be easy-in without it. But the presence of the dash suggests it's "Ezz-in." Or rather "Ee, Ezz-in."

Oh, let's just let the website explain. "Our trade name EEz-In is derived from the expression "Don't squeeze in, EEz-In" It refers to how much easier it was to board a boat from the water with use of our original product."

And what product was that?

This was the concept when we developed the first lightweight double hook boarding ladder for the recreational marine industry.

And that's what they make. They still make it. But they don't make this.

It's a bowling ball bag.

Hail the Electron Tube:

Something from a dealership, and I wouldn't be surprised if it came from a TV repair shop. There aren't many TV repair shops anymore; they last and last and last and then one day they're dead. In the early days you had to fix them all the time. The TV Repairman was a fixture of the culture. Not beloved, either, and oddly without personality. A necessary evil everyone seemed to resent.




No, I'm not going to do this one. In between the serials we take a look at a - well, a serial, but the most boring kind of them all. Westerns.


No men in rocket suits; no trips to the Moon. Pshaw. Well, let's see who's starring in this one:



He'd done a 160 movies by 1925. Busy fellow. Wikipedia: "His star waned in the late 1930s when singing cowboys became the rage and Jones, then in his late forties, was uncomfortably cast in conventional leading-man roles. He rejoined Columbia in the fall of 1940, starring in the serial White Eagle (an expansion of his 1932 feature of the same name). The new serial was a hit, and Jones was again reestablished."

Died in 1942; cause of death was "Fire burns." Ouch. Died in the infamous Cocoanut Grove fire.

Here's Grant Withers, looking to see if anyone heard him pass gas:

Nope. Whew. Grant did a ton of movies and TV - over 200 shows. Married briefly to Loretta Young, but it didn't last; he had four other wives. Took the big goodbye in '59 with a handfun of downers.

The obligatory lady in peril:


I think it's quite possible this guy played the heavy:



He did 248 films before a bum ticker took him out at the age of 48; his first film was in 1912.

Comic relief, perhaps?



Wikipedia says he played villains. Certainly playing one of those greeeeeeasy ethnic types here.




Was it the real Silver? As in the Lone Ranger's Silver? I don't know. So how does it start?



Let's go straight to the cliff-hanger, shall we?



Pity he was trampled to death in the very first episode! Guess it's all over and there's just eleven episodes of funeral prep.



BIG first part of a beautiful 1930s addition today. I know there's a tumblr post up at noon; not so sure about the workblog. We'll see! Let the suspense keep you trembling all morn. See you around.



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