As I said yesterday, talking about last week: Thursday was the lousiest day in a long time, a morning that had one miserable imperative: make the plane.

It left at 8:39. This meant getting up at 5:40. I know, I know - cutting it a bit short, aren't we? What of that extra minute? They advised getting to the airport two hours in advance, because there's always a throng streaming out to go home, wounds licked, pockets emptied. 8:39 is wheels up. Boarding was 7:50. Build in shower time, UBER call, drive to the airport (it's literally right next to the Strip), and the dreaded TSA line. So 5:40. When I passed the Starbucks on my way to the room the previous night, a sign said they were closed, but would be brewing again at 5 AM. Nice to know.

You know what you dream about for the hour before you're supposed to wake at 5:40? Waking at 5:40. Fearing that you missed it and overslept. Convinced it's already 5:40. It was like having a fever - I would jolt awake and look at the clock - 4:10. Ah, plenty of time . . . UNLESS I DON'T FALL BACK ASLeep zzzzzzz

I set three alarms, of course, and jackknifed up out of bed at the first one, of course. Shower shave and out; got an espresso at the Starbucks while I poked my Personal Access Display Device for a ride, texted the hotel to check out, and went outside to wait. I could tell by the map that the driver went to the front door of the hotel. They were supposed to go to the other side. This added five minutes. RISING. PANIC. It's six-ten; this only gives me 90 minutes to get through security.
That may sound ridiculous, but I've been in some monster lines in my time, and the TSA lines are not set up with your travel requirements in mind. Sure enough, when I finally got to the airport at 6:25 the line snaked back and forth six times, at least two hundred people. But. I had time. It was moving. We were good.

But we were not good. We were at the crappy gate in a crappy airport, and the only breakfast option was a Great Steak Cheesesteak Steak Place, or something. They had a damp puck of meat and eggs for sale, and some institutional coffee. No place to sit. Bonging slot machines. A few laughing drunks at the bar. General and specific weariness, because the least-happy place is an airport terminal with outbound flights from a gambling town.

We boarded. The woman in the seat behind was talking to someone in the row behind her about what they'd done, and it was all shopping, and everyone got to hear about the T-shirts she bought the boys - loud, cheerful, content-free happy prattle. Gah. I put on my noise-cancelling headphones like the Eloi I am. The man sitting next to me was identical in dimensions to the one who'd sprawled over the seat on the way out, and like his outbound counterpart he did nothing but make marks in a Sudoko book.

Then we left. Up in the air. Clear skies, and an astonishing geographical panorama below. I think I looked out of the window for 45 minutes, getting a good sense of my place in the grand scheme - which is to say, a dust mote illuminated for a moment by a shaft of light. Everything down in the desert was marked by water. River beds, streams, ancient sedimentary layers revealed by erosion - all this was lakes and oceans and rushing water once. Some mountains, thrust up to reveal the bands of sediment from an earlier era. Impossibly old and magnificently indifferent.

The land evened out and the land was marked by squares and circles - the former being roads, the latter irrigation devices. The Plains. Okay, this is where I came in; put on some ambient and napped.

Upon arriving home in the early afternoon I was greeted by Scout, who was delighted to see me: oh right you! I remember you. Nuzzles and proffered paws and growls of delight. I let him out, nuked a burrito for lunch, looked out back - no dog. Well, he was somewhere -

Back gate. Open.


To recap: began the day by waking in an elegant hotel, pushing a button to open the curtains, and seeing the sky still dark, the signs still bright. Went up in the air and saw ancient history. Landed, went home, and then spent an hour and a half walking and driving around the neighborhood until someone called and said they had Scout.

Lousy day, in a way. But remarkable. Kirk had it right, even if he was dying on a rocky strange planet. It was . . . fun.

Well, will you look here. It's a Vegas-sourced Odds & Ends feature.


The malificient influence of the era seemed into the games, reminding everyone that the old norms were gone. It's guitars and drugs now man it's a happening



Art by Christian Marche. Without looking up the name, I suspect he'll be described as being influened by Peter Max:



This style summons an almost overwhelming sense of distaste and annoyance, so I'll just leave it here and let you say what you like about it. Or don't.




It's the 2nd 1930s Ads Month, 4th week

Another bus ad. Yes, you too can capture the spirit of an explorer whose name was synonymous with bravery and adventure.

Insert har-har remarks about how it was already discovered. Yeah. I know.We all know. This woman advocates touring the entire country by bus, which seems extreme - what was the matter with the train? Well, the train didn't get close up to things. Like this:

Everyone knew what that couple would be doing at Niagara Falls! Having sexual relations! Oh look a fawn.

The Great Lakes Exposition? Everyone had a Fair in the 30s. This one ran in '36 and '37, and merits little more than a few paragraphs on Wikipedia. But apparently Cleveland was so enticing they got off the bus for a day, trusting another would come along and take them to the place where the bears did not eat their hands.


ANOTHER Exposition. So, are they done? Surely they hit California and thought "that's enough," because after all they have to go all the way back again.

No: because there's YET ANOTHER Exposition ahead.

It was a short-lived coup, and so exciting!



This week's G. W. French Alka-illo.

So Alka-Seltzer prevented colds? No. If I knew that I would have taken some last week before I got sick. And now that I am sick I'm still not taking Alka-Seltzer. We've been over this before. When they repositioned themselves to emphasize the stomach-calming effect, they gave up the cold-remedy part. They had to create a special brand just to remind people it could be used for colds as well.


If it's that good for you, why not have some every day? Because it's awful. Every kid dreaded drinking Alka-Seltzer. It was like mean, unhappy bully soda.


Now, this week's exceptionally well-delineated tale of personal odor.


Because she smothered them or forgot to take away the bedpans?


Face-flaming is the first step.


Miss X. That's conversational and relatable. Wonder why no one uses that in ads today.


I am really not feeling well; I don't know why I am doing this instead of just saying ENTERTAIN YOURSELF, IT'S A BIG INTERNET. But no, I have to find someting to say about Rinso that I haven't said before.



She's not grey. She's platinum.

That's it, and if it seems insufficient, it's because - well, that's tomorrow's Bleat. See you around ~


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