Too many damned obits this year. Bobby Vee died. Famous - at first - for taking the stage when Buddy Holly died en route to my house. Well, close to it. We lived ten blocks from the airport where Buddy would have landed, if there hadn’t been the tragic plane crash.

Bobby Vee died on Big Bopper’s birthday.

Another sad note: Steven Den Beste has died. He wrote at USS Clueless during the early years of warblogging, and gave it up for reasons I can’t remember. Possibly got tired of it all. It happens. Turned away from the world to write about anime, like an editorial writer at a paper quitting to write about model airplanes. (Buxom model airplanes.) I found out in a roundabout manner typical of the small world of old sites: a comment on one message thread said someone said he died in a comment thread on Den Beste’s site, and sure enough. The first forty comments consist of people getting worried about him, because he had posted about an oncoming storm and then gone dark. He’d had a degenerative disease for a long while.

At some point in this game your last tweet is your last tweet; your last blog post is your inadvertent farewell.

I've never entirely agreed with the idea that you should live each day as if it was your last. If it's not, you have to wake up and face the people you might have appaled or hurt. Live each day as though you hope to have one more to remember how good the previous day was, and how many of the people around you agree. Something like that. You wonder how many Words to Live By are really Words to Die By in costume.

Speaking of costumes: the old view from the front porch, which I inflict on your every so often. Because the seasons are changing, and you have no idea what that might look like.

The hostas were holding out, as of yesterday. I'll keep you posted.

While in Chicago I got an email: your new internet is ready! Great - I’ll hook it up as soon as I get home. Of course I wasted a week, because I figured that any attempt to rejigger the home network would result in catastrophe, and best to do it on a day when no one really needs the Internet. Which is never, as it turns out. No one can be without it.

Anyway, how hard can it be? Right?

Well. The new internet - fiber, and real fiber, not this CenturyLink BS about “fiber, okay, fiber to the node, copper to the house” - enters from a pipe underground, though a conduit they snaked to my house. You have no idea how much of the street they’ve torn up and patched over. It’s a huge project. It’s been going on for months. Every week, a new square hole with flashers, then hot-top, then another new hole. For months thick grey tubes stuck out of the boulevards; they’re buried now, the ground seeded and covered. The expense seems remarkable, but I’m sure they built lots of extra capacity into this, and they’re figuring they will be more than an internet provider some day.

Anyway. The entry point for the pipe is at the exact opposite corner of the house from my studio. Previously, Netflix got the last wisps of wifi, and frequently stuttered or reverted to “degraded 1987 VHS tape” mode, so I figured I would have to get a mesh to carry the network up to my studio. But that would come later. Now: take the router from my desk and put it downstairs by the modem.

And I had internet! Everywhere! Five bars!

From the old network I hadn’t disconnected yet!

Right. Powered all that down, and went into the router set-up app, and everything started to fall apart. I will spare you the details because I’m not sure what they were - was on technical support for half an hour with a diligent and tenacious guy who was well-versed in Macs. Reminded me of the days I called Earthlink and someone in India would know nothing whatsoever about Macs and would be somewhat irritated I had one. Oh, God, Earthlink. I’d forgotten. The worst. Oh the hours I spent on the phone. How happy I was to get DSL from the phone company . . . until it was the worst. Oh the hours I spent with them on the phone. EVERYTHING HAS ALWAYS BEEN AWFUL because it relied on copper wires strung on poles. Like the telegraph. It is the telegraph, just faster.

I started the conversation by telling the tech the lights on the modem were solid. I had blinking yellow on the router. I had both my router set-up app open, as well as my network information panel. Let us begin.

The more we did, the worst it got; every new reset and reboot made things worse, but in the end we built it back up and I was connected again. Shared a good post-trouble-shoot laugh, comrades now who’d shared a great battle and survived to tell tales. I told him I was going to get some mesh units to carry the signal upstairs, and that’s when we’d probably talk again.

Upstairs I opened up the FTP program to upload the Monday Bleat, and noticed that the mp4 for the Black-and-White world entry was wrong. In fact I couldn’t find it anywhere. There’s always something that goes wrong when I upload, no matter how much I think I have it nailed down. Realized I’d have to recreate the mp4 file, so I did that, and dragged it into the FTP for upload. It was 2.5 MB, which is a bit weighty.

Got a notification almost right away: upload complete.

Well, that’s not right. I’m on wifi at the other end of the house from the router. Called up; with CenturyLink I was getting 18 MPS, with the ethernet cable plugged right into the computer. Let’s see what I get now.


I know this is probably laughable for some of you who have South Korean-quality speeds, but this is spectacular.

The only sad thing: when I rebuilt the network I had to choose a new name. Took a long look at Jaspernet. Sighed.

And moved on.


It's the eyebrows that give her a mannish cast, no? Also the general mannishness of the head.

Terry Moore, who was much better looking than this picture suggests. Wikipedia:

By the 1960s, Moore's film career had faltered. She had begun to appear less frequently in films. However, she did make films such as Platinum High School (1960), She Should Have Stayed in Bed (1963), Black Spurs (1965), Town Tamer (1965), Waco (1966), and A Man Called Dagger (1967).

Her entry says she had five husbands. At different times, of course. And there's this:

Partner(s) Howard Hughes (1949-1976) (disputed)

Not that much. She was one of the people who made a pitch for a piece of Hughes' fortune, and this account says the estate threw her a six-figure sum.

One of her husbands was formerly married to Jean Peters, who was also married to Howard Hughs for fourteen years.

Small world. Small, strange, and no doubt occasionally unpleasant world.



There's not as many Halloween ads in the old archives as I thought.

That's an enormous pumpkin. If you're wondering why the young lady needs instructions from a pagan emination devoted to lust, it's because she's dateless. Seems odd - she's quite stylish, her hair's up to date, and she has a fiery mien that gives her a unique appeal.

But she's not dainty. She smells. It's BO in her case, although lack of dantiousity is possible for other reasons.

Here's some questions she might want to ask:

Revealing outlines are prevented, so you need not be consumed by shame. Another multiple-choice puzzler:


Ixnay on the powerhouse & swoon varieties! Be petal-fresh and jump in the bathtub every four hours. If you're on a date, sling not the lines. If you plays her cards right? This happy conclusion, from another ad:

That model is the KITCHENEER. By the way:

As the inventor of the door chime and with a tradition of fashion and quality that dates back to 1936, NuTone continually researches and develops innovative new products and is the market leader in new technologies.

The website lets people leave reviews, proving that everyone is impossible to please.

This is a door bell for a contractor who wants to make money on the sale. The chime cannot be heard from halve the rooms in the house. Now after multiple people have missed us when we are home, I will be replacing it.

Other complaints center around a busted spring. Many other complaints about the other products, too. The message you get from the site seems to be "don't purchase our products. You'll be sorry."

Was there such a problem with stiff, unyielding pasta that science had to invent one that was guaranteed al dente?


"Feast for the least" sounds like a Biblical instruction.

If you wished to sum up the post-war food words that don't appeal to contemporary ears, "enriched margarine"would do.

The days of uncolored margarine were still within memory: hence "Yellow Quarters."

Yes, yellow enriched quarters.

Finally, don't forget to add stripes of peppers for color AND NOTHING MORE.


Let's take a close peek at that package design, since that as the point of this feature when it began years ago.

FLUFFY seems to be the dominant characteristic. It also seems a bit subjective.

Uncle Ben - at least the image - wasn't named Ben; that's supposedly Frank Brown, maitre d' at a Chicago restaurant. That's the story.

But no one seems to know which restaurant. It would be nice to know that, but the fact that such a detail is lost reminds you of the vast silent amount of details we'll never know. I'd say ahh, who cares, we know enough. But you know me better than that.

Back to the age of invention and imperialism! Let's see where Frank takes us this week. See you around.

I hope.



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