It’s the best day of the week! Everything’s awesome on Thursday. The duties of the weekend have not yet overshadowed the anticipation of the weekend. Friday has not yet wrung every drop of energy out of you, and you’re not sitting home thinking younger people are out in bars raising their hands as if they do not care, because Tee-Jif. Or would it be Tee-Gif? Did I ever do that, or did we all just bank our energy for Saturday?

No idea. We probably played pinball and drank coffee and then went upstairs after the bar closed and drank coffee and had breakfast and argued. I think I remember the conversations as being a delight because no one really drank much. No one wants to listen to a drunk in a bright loud room at 2 AM when everyone’s having French Toast and eggs. A lot of people want to be that drunk, alas.

Anyway! Thursday. Things to do. Let’s get to it.


Women: I can’t believe you don’t know which way the knife goes.

Men: Does it matter? I thought the round part should point away from the plate.

The Round Part?

The curve on the blade, it should go away? The plate is round, so the curve of the blade echoes that. Like sound waves propagating through the medium of table-setting protocol.

Or you could put it the other way, like you’re supposed to.

I guess - the clashing implications harness the energy, and focus the attention on the place setting. I get that.

Really, we’ve had this argument, or something like it. I think I know how to set the table, but I always mess up something. How? It’s not that hard. Fork over there, knife on the right side, then the spoon. If the napkin is triangular, the triangle points away from the plate, because, duh.

Yet somehow I remember there’s always some detail I got wrong, and got wrong IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE, all of whom no doubt went home and changed into 1930s socialite outfits, she in a slinky white dress, he in a tuxedo, and then they sat at the piano and improvised a clever ditty about my déclassé lack of savour vivre. Or Savior Veever as I no doubt would say.


A laptop in the house has gone south. It displays a blinking folder when it is turned on. There are two kinds of people:


2. Well, that’s either hardware or software. Probably the latter, since the computer boots; if it had crashed and displayed this on restart, I’d think we had a CFS, or critical fubar sector.

Did I mention this is Daughter’s laptop? Right. So the questions iare:

When did you last back up your novel?

Uh huh. And did you have an automatic cloud backup as recommended?

Uh huh.

So. I am sympathetic, but not empathetic. Well, no, actually, I am empathetic, inasmuch as I have experienced this before. Long ago. WHICH TAUGHT ME A LESSON I HAVE ATTEMPTED TO IMPART - ahem

We actually had a discussion on empathy vs. sympathy, and if you want to know the hell Daughter experiences, it’s having a father who says “Jonah Goldberg wrote about this very issue yesterday. You know. You’ve been on the ship with him. Now, he brought up the Nazis, but hear me out.”


Poor kid. Well, I don’t know if she’s going to get her files, because diagonstics mount the recovery partition but not the HD. This means I have to boot from a stick.

Okay fine can you get the novel?

Well, only if the boot-stick has disk repair utilities capable of repairing the disk. If they can’t, then I have to go to heavy-duty utilities, and they won’t run off the boot stick, because I haven't configured a boot stick to do that. My entire backup configuration is designed to avoid such nightmares. Everything is based on shrugging off double failure and falling back to the treble backup.

And you’re thinking, dude, no quadruple backup mirrored on the quarter hour? I know. Living dangerously.

So tomorrow I will build a boot stick with some repair-recovery utilities and give it another run. If that doesn’t work, which is unlikely - her disk drive is a quarter full with no cloud backups that spray bits thither and yon - I should be able to find the files.

This is the modern version of knowing how to set the table. It shouldn’t be a mystery.


Another week of our old friend, the Worst is Yet to Come. What horrors are about to befall ordinary Americans when they find themselves in that twilight district we call the Distant City?

Ha ha international tensions are about to result in bloodshed here at home






More of Bay City, a Michigan town where styles of different eras collide like a knife meeting a wad of wet lettuce.

I’d guess the screen is a 50s - early 70s addition, but the Buckaroo Revival shingled awning was installed by someone whose sense of taste was surgically removed in a Tijuana clinic. The scars never healed right.

It gets better, in terms of awkwardness, which means it gets worse:

It’s like a bad Tetris move.

The pride of the town was once described thus. Bay Journal:

There was one brick building in the city taller than all the rest. It was a stately structure and had long stood as a monument of its own greatness and the city's pride. It had always been looked upon as being one of the most substantial and impressive in the state. Its lofty, majestic form towering above its younger and modern styled neighbors, could be seen from any point in the cities at the mouth of Saginaw river. It was the Westover block, corner of Washington and Center avenues.

What happened to it? One guess: It's the Phoenix Building.

There’s a nice way to take people’s minds off those alarming, disturbing things called “Obvious Entrances.” People get so confused! This is where I would enter but I don’t want to enter today. Yet it’s so big! I guess I must!

This is a perfect medium-sized-town bank rehab job. A corner building was turned into something abstract.

Guess we’ll never know what’s under there, eh?

Well, no; we do. (Scroll down to the image with the slider.) Why couldn't they have just left it alone and built this somewhere else?

It was the Crapo Building. Here’s what it looked like during the removal of the metal panels.

It’s like it opened the oven doors and got singed:

Umm . . . Famous Bay Citians?

They’ll gladly take Captain Kangaroo, but apparently Google has a problem with Lincoln.

Except Bob Keesham wasn’t born there.

Madonna, however, was.

Interesting. Built as two buildings - but do we think they may have had the same architect because decades later they had the same painter?

They’re like strangers sewn together.


It’s named after its architect, James Shearer.

More magnificence: City Hall.

Here's the town: there's a lot. Have a look around.

And give my regards to Bay City!



That'll do - see you around. Enjoy some motels!


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