Ah, Friday! My favorite day of the week. December, which is fine. No snow yet, which is fine. I’ve ordered some things from Amazon, so I have the illusion of being On Top of Things, even though experience has taught me that I will forget about the boxes in three week’s time and think I’ve done nothing for my loved ones, even though they didn’t want anything. I wrote my National Review column, did an architecture piece for Saturday, wrote two columns. Laid out 35 pages for the 2017 version of the site. Walked the dog; made some meals. Took daughter to work and picked her up from work - next year she’ll be driving, which will be the final sundering of the post-school internal time clock. I will no longer care that she’s back from school or that I might have to take her somewhere. 3:15 won’t mean a thing.

3:15 will always mean a thing.

Mostly I just kept the needle straight up, neither red-lined nor buried under the 0. Steady on, Gromit.

I realized something the other day about TV shows I feel guilty I haven’t watched:

It’s because I don’t want to.

How about that. It’s as if I felt some sort of obligation to watch, because they were Highly Regarded, or I’d watched a previous series. So much quality TV! Better get to it. But in the end my finger pauses over the show then swipes left to the next pane in the Netflix window, looking for one of two things:

1. Something hard-boiled and Forties with trench coats and fedoras and valiant, principled loners who don’t do divorce work sitting in a room with Venetian blinds, looking at the office bottle

2. A police show featuring a reasonably well-adjusted detective whose wife long ago made peace with the demands of his job, has her own life that intersects nicely with his.

“I envy you, Barker,” the older detective said. “You don’t have a father who’s suffering from dementia. You have a good relationship with your daughter and wife. You’re bothered by past cases, but not haunted by them. You drink, but it’s never a problem. What’s your secret?”

“Well, this show was built around the actor who plays me, and that’s what sold it. Oh, it could be better - my father could be interesting, but he’s really quite ordinary. My daughter is the light of my life, of course, but she lacks that intellectual spark that would make for challenging conversations. Someone I sent away for murder taunted me by mail for a while, but nothing came of it; in fact he was knifed in the shower.”

“But yet people tune in to watch you solve crimes. Why is that?”

“I’m played by Tom Hanks.”

“Right, right, I forgot. Did I ask you if you knew Michael Keaton?”

“I said I’m played by him. I’m not him. I just have his essential decency.”

“My mistake. But don’t you worry that you will be forced at some point into a plot that compromises everything the audience has brought to your character?”

“What, like Matlock?”

Well, maybe I don’t want that.

Okay, off to watch a new Netflix series about a woman solving crimes in the Bronze Age.

An ordinary day downtown. A happy day downtown. Newcomers to the area might have been put off by this skyway banner.



That seems a bit harsh. And quite a brash assumption. Actually, it's part of the Burma-Shave signs that tell a little story about the seasons, and why it's fun to work at 333. I grind my teeth when I see them because THEY DO HAVE FUN. They have outdoor furniture and reindeer statues and a nice lawn. I like the building's lobby; it's very 40s. (The building was constructed in the late 80s.)

But some days they're just wrong. Today we DID have fun. The StarTribune held a cookie-tasting contest in one of the lobbies, and it looked like this:

The people walking down the stairs were carolers. Later, in the other lobby, a little jazz outfit playing some seasonal music.

I offer this so you can enjoy a brief Real Life Moment from my office life. I like it here.

Things are really coming along on the KA project; the long tall structure is going up at a nice clip.

Yet things around here are pretty ugly right now.

At the end of the Nicollet Mall - which is ripped up, muddy, clutterered with construction debris - the Opus tower finally has its service core above street level, with a nice crop of rebars.

I take this picture from the library, by the way.

At least that's what we call it now.



The last month of cues from "The Little Things in Life," Peg Lynch's last iteration of long-running radio sitcom. The music cues were one of the more delightful aspects of the 1958-1960 run; the mid-70s version is . . . well, mid-70s.

What better for a domestic comedy? Circus music!


Music for just getting it over with


We've heard other versions of this, but it bears repeating. Because it's so 70s. When I say it really brings back the sound of the early part of the middle of the decade, I don't say that with any gratitude.


Bob did that many times.



It'll be interesting in 2017 to compare your memory of these pallid 70s cues with the richness and variety of -

- but no, that would spoil it.

From 1975: Meet Uncle Thaddeus, stingy bastard.


Don't ask for money.


I suspect the nephew had put the touch on Unc one time too many.


Suddenly, 101 strings seems like overkill:

I packed this away before I realized I had forgotten to snap the cover. That's an internet-provided version. I have the back, though, and the text describes how - well, I'll let them say it.


Don't you love these glimpses at the inner workings of the music industry?


It's all light classical, and nicely done. Armengolwas known as "Mister Harmony" in Mexico, and his Wikipedia entry says he's still alive in his 90s.




It's from the ballet "Les Millions D'Arlequin" by Drigo. An Italian composer, a Russian premier, a Mexican cover in America - ladies and gentlemen, The West.

That's it for today - heck, for the week. Thanks for stopping by, as usual; see you on Monday.



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