March, yes, and March is good. March is long, but whatever we get at the end we’ve earned. If it’s still cold, then we know it won’t be for long. If it’s warm, we know we earned our right to this a few months back. March is green in iconography, which tells us what’s coming. I like March. It’s November’s twin, but Janus-style.

I’ve been cooking this week, thanks to these boxes that show up with all the ingredients for good meals. Takes forever. I mean, it takes an hour to make dinner. But they’re really good. The biggest problem is finding the right tool in the drawer of kitchen implements; there are too many of everything. The other day the drawer wouldn’t close all the way, and I discovered that the bottom had bowed out, and several long sharp things were poking out the end. So I took out the drawer, dumped everything out, hammered some nails to fix the drawer, and then . . .

. . . Then I left everything on the table.

“I’m not doing this,” my wife said when she came home, having had a very long and frustrating day. I said she didn’t have to, and while we talked I did triage on the tools until there were just 20 items she had to sort and judge. Went to Target, got some drawer dividers, and voila: the drawer is neat and useful again.

That left but one drawer to be resorted - but that has to wait until Monday, as you’ll see.

Okay, light stuff above the fold today, but a nifty little segment in Listen, if I say so myself.

Remember last week when I complained - well, I should just stop there, shouldn’t I. Remember that time when I was annoyed by something? That’ll narrow it down.

But remember when I was being . . . aggravated by people who did the “what’s x?” remark about a common thing that had fallen slightly out of favor, as if they were clever folk? From the comments on a story about JCPenney closing stores:

As for the first part, sir, yes; there are signs for them located in prominent positions throughout the city. As for the first, you have a remarkable grasp of the company’s exact and idiosyncratic spelling for someone who doesn’t know what they are.

I want someone to make this statement in my presence, so I can say “they are a large chain of department stores, founded in Wyoming in the 19th century; once a staple of downtowns throughout the country, they began to move to suburban shopping malls in the 60s.

Yeah I know I was just being -

James Cash Penney - a delightful name for a dry-goods merchant - bequeathed to his corporate heirs a thriving business, and for a while they shared the same trajectory as Sears. Both now suffer from a weakened brand, although Penneys has had a series of self-inflicted missteps, including

Dude I know, it was a jo -

including a failed upscale rebranding and a management that has concentrated on a loyalty program and real estate deals, rather than improving store quality and better management. Then - oh, you know what JCPenneys is? I don’t understand your question.

It was a joke, like, they’re so over, it’s like, what’s a Penneys. You know.

But they have over a thousand stores. It’s like saying “What’s McDonald’s.” I don’t get it.

Some fun from the grocery store:

You know exactly what this feels like. Not what it tastes like, but what it feels like. It’s like eating a boiled tennis ball.

Amazon review: “A bizzar little treat that is definitely worth a try, maybe not a whole 12 pack but I ate all of them alone as my 3 cats watched me in disgust.”

This . . . this is the food of my people.

Small batch recipe.


This has been popping up in mobile ads for the last few weeks. Apparently social media is being Shook almost every day for a fortnight.

It’s a lie. I mean, the ad is a lie. They added a bruise to the woman. I clicked on it. Went to a page selling golf gear.



The Opus Nicollet project has taken a long time to get off the ground because it’s so damned big and went down so deep; now there are two floors up, and it’s starting to look like a nice big-city corner.

We’re not a big city, but we’re big enough.

More on that lipsticked-pig project I mentioned a few weeks ago:






A break from the Gildersleeve cues to give you something interesting, for two reasons.

1: One of my favorite overripe 40s cliches was the Difficult, Tortured Classical Composer. No one could understand their work! They needed to be alone! It wasn’t going well! And then the pianist would go into a room and bang away at all sorts of horrid discordant noise.

Suspense, in 1947, did a show called “Overture in Two Keys,” the title of which tells you what we’re in for. There’s no credit for the music. We hear excerpts of the overture as the narrator - a woman who of course loves this mad, dashing, troubled, romantic genius - tells the story of his descent into . . . well, I don’t want to give it away.



Howard Duff, manly genius pianist:


  I love the second part, where it the music threatens to give you a melody, then of course does nothing of the sort.


  A crazy bloody-handed pianist! The suspense mounts. Will he be able to give the work its world premier?


  Finally, we hear the work! It’s like the others in the genre - like a film score run through a machine that takes the fun out. He’s yelling at the end because he doesn’t think anyone’s playing. Because he’s deaf! It’s ironical and all that.

But who wrote it? There's no credit in the show. Bernard Herrman wrote the theme, but I think he was too big and busy to do the incidental music for the show. But maybe not.

Question two: did the person who wrote the piano concerto write the interstitial cues? If it’s a show about music, what do you use for cues to get from scene to scene?

  Do you know what that is? Or rather, do you know where it was used to the best effect? If so, you are A++ in the subject of old radio culture, and I say that because it means that I am A++! Because I know it. I win! Hurrah me!

Anyway, it’s used extensively in the Bob Bailey “Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar” series, and used to great effect. But that was all we ever heard.

Thanks to this Suspense show, we hear excepts of its variations, or the rest of the piece.

  Here's another segment. It has to be the composer, session, batch of cues, whatever. It's possible this was the original source for the YTJD cue. But listen closely.

Do you hear a note of Bernard Herrmann's trademarks? No?

  How about now?


Willie the Penguin from 1953. Didn't know he had a name, let along sounded like this.



"She Broke My Heart at Walgreens."


Wikipedia says: "Known as the Thinking Man's Hillbillies, they received a Grammy in 1959." It also notes:

Over time, Homer and Jethro's patter became more sophisticated, giving them access to mainstream audiences on network television and in Las Vegas.

Exit question: how many letters in the cover artist's last name?

  New this year: end-of-show aphorisms. And so we end the week.

That'll do - thanks for stopping by! See you on Monday.



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