A few weeks ago I noted how I put down some patch-and-heal grass stuff GUARANTEED to grow; the result was the equivalent of shredding 100 Sunday newspapers and spraying them on the ground. The mulchy stuff actually contained newspapers, and it formed a sodden layer under which nothing could prosper. Maybe I laid it on a little too thick. So it has to be scraped up and reseeded. I will use:


If ever if ever. It's a nice tool, because it's motorized. It Onanizes with the push of a button. This is part of the doomed 2016 Grass Initiative; the other part is the motorized dispensers for the various poisons I am cheerfully using on the weeds, which come in the shape of guns and spit lethal fluids. I shot up some broadleaf crap in the front yard with a bucket of death-juice, and it only made the leaves slightly brown. What the hell is this stuff? If I drank it, I'd die. These plants, they just wilts a little. Cockroach DNA, maybe.

So I got some Chernobyl-strength stuff that went after tough broadleaves, and I hope that works. But that wasn't the big job. This was.



That's half of it. See, when you do this, your neighbors think: well, he knows his lawn is crap, but at least he's doing something. That's all I did - just put down the netting.

Well, no. Dug up the ground, strewed fertilizer pellets, mixed it up, seeded, and covered it with a gossamer-thin shroud that's supposed to just melt away. Trouble is, it is predisposed to evaporating if you look at it, let along touch it, so I had to get some of the proper stuff with actual plastic threads to hold it down, because Science gave us petrochemicals and Science is awesome. Draped the sheets over the large raw spots.

While I was doing this, Wife was putting in 294 flowers, which immediately started blooming and growing. If I did planted them they would all die the moment I turned my back.

BTW: before I did all this manly digging, I went to Menard's for netting and other stuff, and discovered a display of SPRAY CHEESE for $1.88. Those words ought not be so familiar, but this is the land in which we live. On the other side of the display was a box of Tupperware containers which promised to make your container situation much more manageable, because the lids snap right on to the containers. This appeals to everyone, because your lid / container situation is a mess, right? Someone in the house saves everything that could possibly be reused, you have some prepackaged deli-meat containers that were too useful to toss, and you end up with a mess. An absolute mess. A few years ago I threw out all the cheap ones and winnowed it down to a selection that would accommodate two weeks of leftovers, and somehow it still became a mess. Twice as many lids as containers.

So it was tempting to buy the box, it being offered for the low-low price of $9.99. Besides, 18 pieces!

Which is ridiculous, because that's nine containers and nine lids. No one ever thinks of the two as separate.

So I bought two boxes.

I know, I know: I don't know how I can write this purple pulpy prose without raising doubts that my life is truly this thrilling. But that's how it is.


I'm working my way through some latter-day Hitchcocks, and watched "Frenzy." Seemed less bothersome than before, but I think I'm just used to it. I probably blogged about it before. I probably mentioned this:


That painting again - and its companion. I first encountered, or perhaps just noticed the painting on tbe cover of a compilation of 1960s production music. There's a reason it's used here:

Reproductions of paintings by Vladimir Tretchikoff might have hung high above the mantelpieces of countless 60s and 70s living rooms in the UK, but the art Establishment at the time rated them the lowest of the low: chocolate-box kitsch. One exception was art critic William Feaver who – mocking the art world’s predictable view of the Russian-born artist in a 1974 documentary – ironically described his most iconic, 1950 painting Chinese Girl, with its bluebottle-green face and glacé cherry-red lips, as ‘The most unpleasant work to be published in the 20th century."

To quote Mr. Peavey: well, now, I wouldn't say that. The competition is numerous and quite eager to snag the title.

It was the second one that interested me, because either it was new or I'd forgotten it.


The detail work on the jacket is quite impressive.




A two-page ad reminds us how much stuff Firestone used to sell. Gas AND things. Tires AND things! And other things.

These cups: that was good design, modern and stylish. eBay will sell them for . . . $25. Inflation-wise, that's less than they cost originally.



The canisters - I swear we had those two. The knobs came loose eventually, as the screws chewed through the plastic threading.

Extreeeeme close-up shows us some old packaging: the Kordite Freze Bags, misspelled for your convenience:



The fact that they mention "odorless" suggests the early versions had quite a distinctive aroma. A little chemical-petroleum flavor with your strawberries?





This week in the adventure of the Scientist with an Undefined Speciality vs. the Guy in an Ugly Mask:



Way to go, Duncan. By the way, Tricks the Ghost would be a great character for the serial's sequel.

We saw the truck shoot out of the warehouse into the drink, but not to worry - that was reused footage, and I think Batman was supposed to be in it. Or Captain America. This is not surprising:

Back at CeeGee's hideout - which, by the way, indicates that things just aren't going well in the supervillain game -

. . . we learn that the Ghost has been dealing with an international arms dealer, who of course is German.



(He's Count Vader.) (Really.) We also learn that Duncan plans to bring in someone named Dr. Cushing to examine the remaining Scientists at the Science Institute of Science, but wouldn't you know it:


She's a SPY for ol' Crimsy, and fishes a recording device out of the trash. So now the Ghost knows Duncan is bringing in someone to investigate, and decides to substitute "our Dr. Blackstone," whoever the hell that is, for this Cushing fellow. Oh wait, now I remember: he was a scientist the Ghost fitted with the control collar 10 eps ago. I think.

This is plausible, 90 seconds after meeting:


Doesn't the Ghost have the plans? I guess not. He just has, you know, the Cyclotrode itself. The plans are in the safe in another building, which of course Duncan says out loud to Diana, so the Ghost overhears it via the radio in the collar (THIS ALL MAKES SENSE REALLY) and the Ghost sends me to get the plans. But! Duncan asks Dr. Cushing to sign a book, and Blackstone signs it with the wrong hand. Cover blown! Fist fight! Short, but it's a beaut:



Back Duncan's place, Ashe and -

WAIT, wasn't he shot in the last ep?

Well, it doesn't matter. Duncan shows up to save Diana, and there is a king-hell fist fight. Ashe runs downstairs to get the Cyclotrode plans, which Diana threw out the window. There's also an open window, which means -

Well, you know.

Of course that wasn't Duncan. It is interesting to note the title: DOUBLE MURDER. Blackstone died when he took off his control collar. Duncan threw guy out the window. That's it for deaths, so Duncan . . . murdered the guy?

Next week - the end! And the revelation of the Crimson Ghost's identity! I love this serial.

That'll do. Video for the Big Thing I was Talking About will be up tomorrow. See you here & there - and if you'd like to hear me on the radio, I'll be on WCCO at 11 AM CST or so. With Emo Phillips!



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