An attractive day. Sun, warmth, and then moody clouds, a spattering of rain, and a fall-like evening. Fall-like? Fall. It is Fall. One of the backyard trees decided to pull the trigger, and the leaves adorn the bright green grass like . . . oh, metaphors. Analogies. Decay in the midst of life, etc. A reminder that this too shall pass, and you have about one weekend to do your fall seeding. I don't know why you're supposed to seed in the fall, but I have some Fall Seed and will do my part. Seems like it was just yesterday I was rehabilitating the front lawn, but it was three months, a little over 90 days, so it's not as if a decade swept past and I've nothing to show for it but tousled hair from time's fast gust.

Bad prog band name: Time's Gust. Good band name: at work today there was a box of doughy round things topped with caramelized onions, with a note: EXPERIMENTAL BIALYS. I pointed this satisfying choice of words to a co-worker sitting nearby, and she said she didn't know what a Bialy was. SHIKSA! I shouted. Well, no. I actually thought "did you ever see the movie 'The Producers'?" but thought better of it. Even if she had you don't know if she'd make the connection.

Anyway. I went down to the storage room tonight to get some dog food. When I opened the bin there was a mouse in the bottom, holding a nodule of canine delight. He froze. Should I not be doing this? Is this not okay? Sorry sorry And then he ran around the bottom of the bucket, which was too steep to provide escape. After I bade the family to come down and take a look at the Cute Mouse, I brought the bucket outside and tipped it over. He fled into the grass. And probably went right back to the Secret Hole that leads to the interior of the house. When I was cleaning out a closet a few weeks ago I found a dead mouse that was almost 2-D, flattened by desiccation. I felt bad for him, but considering that he went into the trash and headed off to the incinerator, he got a Viking funeral.

Hours later I was standing outside and heard the hoarse honk of a goose, drawing near; looked up, waiting, wondering if this was early - it was certainly the first - and then saw the ragged V, black jots under the low grey sky, visible for a moment between the trees and the eaves. It's a sudden pang to see them go; your spirit ebbs. And geese aren't even likable creatures. You know they are fleeing, but you can't help thinking that their flight drags something towards us, as if they are raking away the green with the beating of their wings. So soon?

Not soon for them. Something in the air, something in the angle of the sun. One of their number leaped up and his cohort climbed into the sky to follow.

Outliers. All is green and the crickets sing.

I heard a cicada today but it is possible I will not hear one tomorrow.

The new iPhone, which I do not have and am in no hurry to get, does not have a headphone jack. People are furious. Apparently you have to buy one, under some new Federal mandate. I like the idea, because I hate cords. They snag on things. Nothing makes you more irritated and instantly testy than snagging your headphone cords on something, especially if they pop out. You're just furious.

I have wireless headphones, but don't use them very much for the simple reason that I do not listen to music on my iPhone. A little radio now and then, but rarely music - except when I am walking around the ship after dinner, and then I put on the wireless units. Realizing that I should probably listen to more things, I got out the wireless set, charged it, and attempted to pair it.

No good. It blinked and blinked and the iPhone's Bluetooth searched in vain, scanning the horizon as long as it was asked, but nothing connected. I went to the product page on Amazon and read a bunch of reviews from people who said "paired right away." Great. Happy for you. Well, I had an older model, a Motorola. Let's try that. I charged the battery and then depressed a button half the size of a grain of rice to turn it on. It wouldn't turn on.

Both were broken. Or not. You can't tell. Maybe if I reset everything and tried again they'd work, but with modern devices we live in a strange world where things don't work but could be not-broken, just confused. Replacements on Amazon are $20 or so. You can fiddle with the not-broken-perhaps devices, or think "an element of trust has been sundered" and move along.

If you're a long-time reader you may think "it's been a long time since we heard a printer rant," and that's because school was out of session. I never print anything in the summer except boarding passes and tickets. The other day daughter needed to print some text, and I was forbidden from doing so because I'd run out of yellow ink. Don't tell me that yellow ink is part of monochrome printing in some strange, arcane way known only to the High Priests of Ink. It isn't. And if it is, it shouldn't be. A little googling revealed a way to defeat the printer: a small piece of black tape over a sensor. It worked! IT WORKED! And I was happy, until I thought:

I had to figure out a way to defeat something I owned. How to work around a crippling stupidity that designed in to confound my use of something I owned.

The scanner works well. It prints reasonably quickly, unless it hungers and eats six pages at once and jams them in the back like a hamster stuffing its mouth with seeds. But it works most of the time, except when it doesn't. The wifi is hopeless. I don't even expect the computer to find it. When I bought it I didn't expect the computer to find it, because the relationship between computers and printers when it comes to wifi is like the relationship between Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones in "The Fugitive."

"I want to print!"

"I don't care!"


A cult fave. Can't say why. It has the feel of independent British TV of the era, and I think Sir Low, or Lew, Grade was attached. The hero was a former secret agent who was now doing detective work here and there. He lived out of a suitcase, hence the name.

Theme by Ron Granier, who we love for the Prisoner, and whose wacka-chicka "Omega Man" score we'll just set over here and then walk away.






Apparently I'm just going to do one Thirties ad for a while.

So here we have a housewife who's donned the standard Mask of Criminality to unburden her soul. What dark crimes weigh on her heart? What perfidy has she wrought in her pitiless struggle for ill-gotten gains?

She will tell her tale.



  It's a fair assumption, but you wonder if there were any conversations before she grabbed the back of the chair and went whole-harpy on him.

And sister would know if her husband was poking someone else because . . . ? Isn't this a signal that hubby and sis are sneaking around?

Also, would you get that close if BO was really the issue?



So that's all it was! She stunk.


Marriages being different in the 30s, he couldn't bring up her goatish aroma, but gosh, they can sure chew the fat about soap after the issue's out in the open.




Flitting ahead three decades, we encounter this talky liquor ad. It's like one of those gossip columns - ITEM! I was baffled by liquor bottles - or a series of jokes.

You were supposed to know who he was.

Don Herold (July 9, 1889 – June 1, 1966) was an American humorist, writer, illustrator, and cartoonist who wrote and illustrated many books and was a contributor to national magazines.

Many books listed in Wikipedia's entry; no links to any of them. He has one quote in wikiquotes:

There's one thing about baldness; it's neat.

Humorists had it easy back then, if you ask me.



Consider this:

Perhaps one of his more famous works is a poem called "I'd Pick More Daisies", also known as "If I had My Life to Live over", which was translated to Spanish as "Instantes" and misattributed to Jorge Luis Borges.

Hah! An also to Nadine Stair, who never existed.

Thing is, it wasn't a poem. It was a prose piece, and gives you a measure of the fellow's work. That's the 1953 revision. The original was written in the 30s.

You're now an expert on Don Herold.





That was a mild and unengaging entry, I know. It was a dialtone day. Sometimes there's just nothing more you want to do than edit your iTunes collection and complete the redesign for the 2017 Bleat - which I am quite close to doing. Big changes! Serif everywhere for a change.

I'll try to do better tomorrow.



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