As I mentioned on Friday, we had a loaner dog. A guest pup. A mere comma of a dog, a tiny wisp of caninity. Eighty days old, but sure of itself and what it wanted - and that was the attention and presence of humans. Since Daughter had volunteered to take her friend’s dog, the duties fell on her.



He is content to sit on the bed if you are nearby, but the moment you look at him his tail starts to thrash and he vibrates like an Eighties pager.

This is different from Scout’s temperament, which is basically: hey there. He always wants to play and fight after dinner, when the pack is back together. He asks little. He likes to be with you, but he is content to be on his own in the back yard, prowling in his forest, lazing in the grass. This nervous little jot of dog mystifies Scout - it can’t fight, it seems silly when it tries to chase him.

So he just deals with Tico as a new thing that doesn’t matter much, unless it gets next to his food or his bone, and then it's a warning growl. Note: he doesn’t have a bone. He has things he chews, but his big bone? It’s like Moby Dick. He’ll get around to it later. Oh yeah I totally love that bone, it’s awesome. But right now I’m working on this wet rawhide twist. You know, a short story. But after that, yeah, it’s back to Melville.

The moment Tico showed interest in that old bone, the old bone became Scout's most important possession. It’s one of the most human things dogs do. You understand it completely. You smile as your dog chews the bone with faint interest, putting down a marker.

Because it’s not about the bone.



In British crime dramas,
everyone is the same, according to their age group. Maybe it’s the same in America; I don’t watch enough domestic TV to know, he bragged, even though it makes him more insufferable than usual.

Age 1-4: in the background; basically, animated furniture

5 - 13: Pure and perfect.

14 - 19: emotional young woman who have seen things and are brittle, defensive, vulnerable, but tough; brutish young men

20 - 27: upright cops or angry people on the dole

28 - 35: wary wives, cocky men hiding something / good cops who’ve seen a lot but haven’t lost their humanity

36 - 48: corpulent hapless businessmen / bored policemen who’ve settled into a routine

49 - 56: thin humorless corrupt businessmen and spouses / irritated policemen who still remember what it meant to care about a case, but for God’s sake let it go, man, there’s nowt we can do

57 - 71: Weird flinty old people who live in the country and are suspicious of everyone, or comfortably well-off plummy people who are guilty of something, even if it’s not the main murder.

There’s a third season of Braedcharch, as the main detective (played by David Tennant) calls it. He was a Doctor, right? Googling . . . yes.
I was always glad I never got into Doctor Who -

. . . and there go the comments. Let’s hit 250!

I know people have opinions, and they love the show, and I might too; I don’t begrudge anyone their fandom, unless it’s men who watch "My Little Pony” and other types of peculiar attraction to cute sparkly children’s things. For me, Doctor Who was the show that came on before The Prisoner, and seemed silly. These were the Tom Baker days, and it’s odd: for me, there is no other Doctor, even though I never watched him. But I liked him.

Anyway. Tennant is on the third season of Broadchurch (BBC America), a show that exists solely because of the unlikeable likability - or vice versa - of the two main characters. I realized I’ve been watching Broadchurch, because I had previously watched Broadchurch. A lot of TV comes down to that, doesn’t it? You stick with it until it pushes you away. Some TV shows sidle away, some run away, some hit you in the nose and laugh. But usually they just shove you off with something that says “we know what you want. We’re not going to give it to you. It’s not you, it’s us. Hating you.”

One of the secondary characters, whom I never liked much, is now the new Doctor Who. Because there are ten actors in England, I guess.


I don’t want to bother you with Twin Peaks; that’s the express-lane for people hitting NEXT on their bookmark. When this is all done I will probably write something indulgent and insufficient to the subject. I'm pointing out stuff that's interesting, and requires no knowledge of the show.

Every episode of TP: Return begins with a haunting, ominous sound. Not the Showtime stuff. The red seconds after that.


It always reminds me of a train whistle, coming from twilight, going to twilight. As for the last ep I saw, let me paraphrase something I wrote on the Twitter:

Network exec: so we’re ten eps in and this one is going to have a car chase? Hah, I’m kidding. But Coop comes back at the end of this one? I know, I know, no pressure - let it all go as you and Mark want. Just wondering if there’s some action towards the conclusion,

Lynch: (draws on cigarette) It ends with a seven minute song I wrote.

Exec: okay! You’re the man.

No other television program does this. After an ep that was hilarious and grim, delightful and brutal - easy cheap stuff for TV these days, but different when it’s Lynch and Frost - the show goes back to the Roadhouse, as it always does at the end. And there’s Rebekah Del Rio in a dress based on the floor of the Lodge, and she sings this.


There's always a hushed, quiet, melancholic feel that takes over at the end of the show - a recollection of all the time that passed between then and today. It hangs in the air and evaporates all at once with the shock of the Frost-Lynch production logo.


Starts with that lonely sound, ends with a bracing sizzle. It's all a single piece of work.



These ads are from the back of a sci-fi mag; aside from the inside cover they were the only ads the mags had, and you can tell a lot about the target audience: LOSERS.

Well, that may be too cruel. But you won't find ads for programs that helped you deal with too many girlfriends, or tame your incredible mane of hair, or dial down your magnetic personality so people don't faint when you start speaking. Pills for your enraged nether regions. Spicy picture books to remind you of the pleasures of human congress, yet leave you more morose than you were before.

Internet porn, the early years.

Radar will get us moonwise!

Oddly enough, the United States Rocket Society was not consulted by NASA when the moonshot was underway.

Our secret! Is simple! End every sentence! With an exclamation!

Friends floored! Stop forgetting things with MEMO-PROP! Your money back if you admit you’re still as dumb as you were before! Good luck getting it! We change PO boxes monthly! No kidding! Cops too busy to care! Send now!





It's 1932.

Unless I'm wrong, which is always a possibility and usually the first thing I should consider, that’s a travel trunk. That’s what people would take on long voyages. Portable bureaus. With drawers.

While this ad touts the flakes, Ivory was already available in bar form. It floated. Have you heard this story?

A worker accidentally left the mixing machine on too long and the company chose to sell the "ruined" batch, because the added air did not change the basic ingredients of the soap. When appreciative letters about the new, floating soap inundated the company, P&G ordered the extended mix time as a standard procedure.

That’s a slightly edited version from Wikipedia. People love stories like this - correction, they love to tell them. It makes them feel as if they know some secret story, and it also has a moral about how the best things are often caused by accident, etc.

However, company records indicate that the design of Ivory did not come about by accident. In 2004, over 100 years later, the P&G company archivist Ed Rider found documentation that revealed that chemist James N. Gamble, son of the founder, had discovered how to make the soap float and noted the result in his writings.

Right. And do you remember this?

The company received unwanted media publicity in the 1980s when rumors, spread largely by Amway distibutors, that the moon-and-stars logo was a satanic symbol.

I don’t remember the Amway connection.

The company unsuccessfully sued Amway from 1995 to 2003 over rumors forwarded through a company voice-mail system in 1995. In 2007, the company successfully sued individual Amway distributors for reviving and propagating the false rumors.

The Church of Satan denies being supported by Procter & Gamble.

There's a source whose denial you can take to the bank.



You can tell he’s a European doctor by the facial hair:



Poisons from your food are erupting from your face!

You need yeast!

These things would not make sense to people today, but back then Fleischman’s made a mint off the zit-yeast zeitgeist.

Hexylresorcinol - ask for it by name!


From a medicine history site:

Until the late 1920s, Sharp & Dohme had an extremely effective distribution network but very little in the way of research organization. After the company merged with H. K. Mulford & Co. in 1929, Sharp & Dohme acquired a biological laboratory, which it used to research and develop new vaccines and antitoxins.

I love the image of scientists in white lab coats, pouring things from a beaker into a test tube, staring at it, trying to develop an antidote. The company would go to merge with a li’l ole firm called “Merck” and the company’s d.b.a name is still Merck Sharp & Dohme.



Well, speak for yourself.



Mushy stuff, I say. Quite an assertion in the copy: “People have a way of wanting food with regularity.” You don’t say.


From the annals of Stuff That Just Ain’t So:



Also from the days when Pepsodent made a mouthwash. It killed the cold germs in your mouth, you see! And scientists say that’s where cold germs linger, constantly multiplying and re-infecting you.

Use Pepsodent, and you will be healthier and richer by two dollars.



Bob’s soul-crushing job has taken the life out of him. Even though he knows he should be damned glad to have a job, what with the spasms of economic dislocation battering the economy, he just can’t care about sitting at a desk writing numbers into a book. Turns out the problem has to do with his clamped, stingy, balky guts:




Yes, once Bob was back to producing firm stools the length of a garden hose with regularity, he loved his job again.

We do our part! Every morning at 10:15!



Steady your hands with a jolt of stimulant taken directly into the lungs:


“Camels don’t upset my nerves even when I smoke constantly.”

Man, things were different then.

That'll do; see you around. The adventures of Frank Reade Jr. await. Do the Chicken Wing!



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