Okay, THIS is the last night day. More sixties. Such winning! With the temperatures and the sun, it’s amazing. Believe me. Walked to the school for parent-teacher conferences, and that was a pleasure. Always nice to see how the teachers react when you say your child’s name - although perhaps they do that little smile-of-delight for every parent. But she’s a good kid. You’ll like this: So, I say to her advisor, what are you advising her on?

“How to cope with being called Gnat for the first years of her life.”

Well, you got me there.

Ordinary day; meetings, filing, listening to this and that, sorting, laying out, walking, breathing. The basics. Tuesdays are the basics.

Oh, what the heck. I can get a week out of Chicago. Not to tell you tales of things that happened, but show you some things you may find interesting. The shot above, by the way, is taken from the London Guarantee rooftop bar, with the ur-50s Executive House hotel right next to it.

It’s the big old buildings that get the publicity, and rightly so. Serene, majestic, impassive - great stone cliffs that seem like they were formed by the hands of giants. The smaller structures in a big town get less publicity, but they’d be the stars in any town. I have always loved this one on Michigan:

343 Michigan Avenue. The lower floors are glad in green marble with round windows, and it’s such an elegant structure you imagine men in top hats and women with white furs walking out to get into long cars. Stepping over the bodies of the poor and the dead gangsters, of course. Such a bother.

Up above, details you can’t see from below, except as mysterious shapes intended for the viewing from other skyscrapers.

It's like the later Michelangelo statues, struggling to escape from the stone. Except here they're content to reside within in, on guard, hammer in hand should they come to life and take vengeance against the pigeons.

The Beasts and the Birds:

All this beauty in the sky, a private gallery for the cloud-dwellers.

Photoshop, the early years:

Bessie Love. A flapper, but a good girl. Not one of those fast types that has petting parties in Model Ts.

Love is credited with being the first person to dance the Charleston on film, popularizing it in the United States. Her technique was documented in instructional guides including a series of photographs by Edward Steichen. She subsequently performed the dance the following year in The Song and Dance Man.

One of those YouTube slideshow bios:

Comment on the video: "To think these guys were probably starving seeing as it was 1930"

There's a good chance he's serious.




Government Agents vs. the Phantom Legion: it's all about shipping schedules. I hold in my hand . . .

The final envelope. (cheers) So where did we leave this?

I thought they'd explain this by saying our hero turned into a dummy in mid-air, and turned back into a human once he bounced. But no.


Good thing the truck wasn't hauling anything hard or sharp. The Phantom - who I guess we call the "boss" now - bades his henches to go to the Underground Warehouse before the cops arrive, and everyone scrams. Hal investigates the office of the "boss," and learns nothing. Now it's off to another exciting boardroom sequence, where Hal unmasks the "boss"!



Hal says the gang is disorganized, so might as well resume business as usual. Here are all the shipping schedules! He's trying to flush out the Boss, of course. Just like he's being doing for 11 episodes. He doesn't tell the Group of Trucker Executives he found the map of the Underground Warehouse, and that's where he plans to go to catch the gang. All three of them.

Hal goes with The Other Government Agent, which means a 2-on-2 fistfight might be in the works. You know, I have to think that Government Agents aren't likely to fall for this. AGAIN.


It's a pretty good fight with some classic moves:

Mind you, there's a trip wire somewhere, and Regan walks over it. A bomb goes off, and he's finished - an ignominious demise for a loyal hench. Back at the office, the "boss" is giving the shipping schedules to one of his men, and our Government Agent maybe has a moment where he remembers he was curious about that ENORMOUS MIRROR in the room:


But he's okay. He smashes the mirror and jumps into the room and we see the Phantom!

Which one was he again?

Well, no matter; it's the final battle in a room on fire, and there's the subtlest little bit of foreshadowing:


You know how that's going to go. It's time for Blazing Retribution.


At the end Hal and the Other Government Agent and the Trucking Company Secretary are driving a truck, for some reason, and Hal lets the second banana drive. He is initially grateful but realizes that a highway patrol officer on a motorcycle is behind, and will soon give him a ticket. He is not happy, but serials have to end with group laughter. And so:


I'll give it a B. Not enough badness or camp, and a rather pedestrian plot, but brisk enough, with some great hats-on fistfights. Next? I've no idea.

Except I do, of course. Hey look! The Gallery. It's never over. Twenty years old next month, and still going strong; I've been redesigning pages, too. Not that you would notice. Mostly tidying things up and eliminating previous design decisions I now regret. See you around ~


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