Daughter and I will be on WCCO AM-830 Radio Tuesday around 11:10. Tune in if you like!

Not to belabor Easter or anything - because that's just one day, okay a weekend, and after that it's done without any additional lingering relevance - but I do have a few notes. Dad came down on Saturday. Find me another guy a few weeks away from 90 who rolls up in a boss ride like this:



We drove around and looked at things on Saturday, then went out to dinner at Salut, a nice French restaurant that isn't, really. It has 19th century woody decor with enormous paintings of classic French ads, including a huge elephant who said something about not smoking. Je Ne Fume.

It made no sense until I googled it, and found out it's an ad for cigarette paper. They had removed the cigarette references lest people, confronted with 19th century imagery, rushed outside and braced a passerby. Never had a cigarette, but I must obey the ad and the elephant! Quick man, come across with one!

I got a perfect steak, accompanied by a plate of pommes frites that were A) all crunchy, and b) all small. The bottom of the bag. I noted that they were all crunchy and small, and daughter bade me not to tell the waitress, presumably because the waitress would hold it against my daughter and send out coded messages on social media that she should be mocked because her father kindly noted that the fries were not up to the usual standards. Of course, I did, and no, I didn't want a new replacement. (I would have, if you'd been by ten minutes ago was left unspoken.) The window had closed. But you might want to tell the kitchen the customer noticed, in case you needed fuel for an ongoing spat.

Pointless, I know, but when they make a point of serving authentic fine french Pomme Frites and you get incinerated matchsticks, something has to be said.

Dad had the French Onion soup with hamburger, except my wife ordered three French Onion Soups for herself, Daughter, and Child, unaware that dad wanted a Hamburger, so his disappointment was rather plaintive, coming as it did at the end of the meal when it was apparent no hamburger would be forthcoming. Only soup.

Granted, the soup had some chewy elements, but still. You think a hamburger is coming and it turns out a hamburger was never coming. There's no way back from that.

Of course, you can say: do you want one? Let's order one. But the window had closed, and we all knew it.

Went home, prepped the Easter meal, and everyone got a good night's sleep. Daughter had to get up at 3:50 to go to a pre-choir breakfast at Perkins, which is a tradition. Or so she said. She'd never done it. But this time her friends were going, and they'd be picking her up at 4:20.

They overslept. She sat on the radiator slab in the living room and looked out the window until the dawn. I woke later. Dad, being 89+, was up at 5. Church, home, wait, feast - and then we played Hearts again, as we did last Thanksgiving when Dad came down. It's Fizbin to me until about the fourth hand, and then I start to get the hang of it. Dad was a shark as usual and beat everyone, then he got in his tank and drove straight back to Fargo, 240 miles without stopping. Called me when he got home to say his TV remote was better.

We'd had an incident with the remote. It was too confusing. This was the standard DirecTV peanut, which is not particularly complex, and when he'd had problems with it he hadn't asked for help, even though we were right there. Now and then he actually behaves like a cranky old man, which is surprising, I guess, and perhaps a testament to my view of him as supremely competent, but I couldn't get why he wouldn't ask for help. Glad to help! What, the guy who just said you want a beer, here's where ESPN is, here's a pillow, let me bring down a plate of Nilla wafers, I'm going to go red-faced and reach for a birch rod because you couldn't find the SELECT button? ASK!

But they get cranky. It's just how it is. Here, let me pull out the bed. No, I sleep in the chair at home. I know, but I had to ask. You're sure. I'm sure.

Go upstairs. Wife: did you pull out the bed? Me: he sleeps sitting up. Wife: No! He can't. Pull out the bed. Me: we went through this last time. Remember? Wife: pull out the bed and put the cushions back so he can sit but he can have his feet up. Me: it's hopeless but yes dear.

Go downstairs. Me: I'm going to pull the bed out. Dad: no, I sleep in the chair at home. Me: I know, but try this. (Pull out bed, put cushions in the back.) Dad: That'll be fine.

Next morning: "I put the bed back together and slept sitting."

Me: "I know. Don't tell anyone."


If you ask me why I was more of a Bally guy than a Gottlieb guy - a divison that wasn't quite Marvel vs DC, but close - the answer would be things like this.



The art bugged me. Literally, in this case; it's Art Stenholm, who did the designs from 1965 to 1970.

Let's go back a mere four years:



The style is much older - even though it's a 1964 machine, it's stylistically closer to the machines of the 40s and 50s. It's by Roy Parker, who did the art for Gottlieb for decades.

That style gave me the creeps, too.




Thirties month #2 continues with a startling reminder of how the world had changed:

There's the Distant City in the background, which means they're walking along some strange isolated block off in the country.

He's grateful, but the disgust on the man's face is evident. Can't bring himself to recognize the other man's humanity, because he has patches and a five-o'clock shadow.

Off to the diner, where charity exists in the form of an understanding counterman.

Well, this has taken an interesting turn. Now we're glad we didn't like that guy who gave him the dime.

It's the Barber Dime. One was sold in 2007 for almost two million dollars, which makes you think the counterman might be kicking himself for opening up his big yap. Why so valuable?

Only 24 were minted, and of those, only nine are known to survive; seven are uncirculated, while two are heavily worn. In 1957, one of the latter was found in a junk coin box at Gimbels Department Store, and purchased for $2.40.

The down-on-his-luck man is decent, too - I'll split it with you! (I would be about 4 grand today.)

About B. Max:

Mehl was born in Europe in 1884 and immigrated to the United States as a boy. He started his modest coin buying and selling business as a home-based enterprise in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1903 his first ad appeared in "The Numismatist."

His fame in the field is largely due to his spreading the gospel, so to speak, of numismatics for all. Most of the dealers of his day were more tuned into the well heeled clients who were patrons of the arts of their day. This was well before such innovations as Coin World, Whitman coin folders, huge coin conventions, formal coin grading, and investment-driven buyers and speculators.

Although Mehl was short in stature at perhaps 5'4", he was a giant in the field.

Google the name; he's still well-regarded.



This week's G. W. French Alka-Seltzer ad.

ALKALIZE! That was a vogue for a while. From drinks to medicine, thinks required alkalizing.



Not a happy marriage.

  But she got her licks in.

1934 reminder that GE's brand was once based on an inventor and an Iranian religion:

Yes, Ahura Mazda. Wikipedia notes: "GE's Mazda bulbs were manufactured in Northeast Minneapolis." It turned into the Minneapolis School system's HQ, since vacated.

We end with a timeless product:


The box has barely changed. Some things needn't.

Here endeth the Bleat; enjoy two Sci-Fi covers, the Tumblr, and so on. Reminder: Daughter and I will be on WCCO AM-830 Radio Tuesday around 11:10. Tune in if you like!



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