Of course we’re going to get another dog. We’re still in dog mode; we still expect to hear the clink of the tags against the food bowl, the sigh of satisfaction on the dog bed at the end of the family room, the sharp bark for no reason. All through August and after the Crossing I came home expecting to see Scout at the back door, snout on the glass, looking out to the yard, waiting to chase off the interlopers or just trot out and drop in the grass. Something falls on the floor, I expect it will be eaten; a dish with some scraps still makes it halfway to the floor before I remember: oh. Right.

Or rather wrong, since there should be a dog here. After Jasper died we waited three months or so, maybe more. A new dog would be different, since Jasper was old and didn’t do much or ask for much; he was just content to be around. A new puppy would be work. He would cry. He would chew.

We didn’t really consider an older dog, although we were open to anything. Prowled the adoption pages at the Humane Society, wincing and feeling bad for the abandoned pit bulls and the old dogs with grousy expressions. No puppies, though; they rarely got -

Hold on. Two puppies, same age, identical - rescues from down South, brought up the pipeline, or pupline. They would go fast. I said I’d go check them out, but the day got busy and I didn’t make it. Daughter nagged me, so I went after dinner by myself. Here's what I found.

I think this dog escaped and they haven’t caught on yet.



You hate to go to Dog Jail. Some come to the bars; others sit there, resigned and dejected. (Or tired, or just not interested.) I found one of the puppies sitting in the corner, looking timid. Went to find a volunteer, and passed two people taking the other puppy to a get-acquainted room. This one was feisty, jumping up at things, straining to the absolute end of the leash. That was Marley. He had spunk.

The other puppy did not have spunk. Read the notes: shy but sweet once he warms up to you. I had some treats, which he took without fear. He let me pick him up; he let me hold his head and stroke his fur; he let me touch his paw. Lest you think I was just manhandling the beast to test him out, no; he was sitting between my legs on the kennel floor, compliant and trusting.

You fall in love with puppies right away because they’re so cute - but this little fellow was four months old, out of the gawky adorable puppy stage but still small and - well, gawky and adorable. I sat there and just thought it through.

This wasn’t my dog. Yet. Maybe not at all. My dog was Scout, after all. Maybe I wasn’t ready; maybe this wasn’t the right dog.

He nibbled my pants and I said noooo, and gently moved his mouth away. Didn’t I want a Marley, really? Didn’t I want the dog that was all over you and excited and engaged? They said this one hadn’t ever known a stable environment, and probably felt bad about his surroundings. Hell, his life. Maybe Marley was just dumb, in that bundle-of-happy-dumb way some dogs are.

I figured I should spend some time with Marley, just to compare, and got up. The dog sat down and looked at me as I left. I said I would be back.

Marley, the volunteer said, was on hold now; the two girls who had taken him to the room decided they wanted to put down a marker, probably get him tomorrow.

I went back to the other dog and sat down and he came over and let me pet him, looking right into my eyes. And I realized I was fighting this. Because.

Because: it was like a ghost.




When I spoke to him I used his name, and it felt like I was talking to my old dog - except of course he didn’t know that.

So of course it had to be. We can’t call him Scout, of course.

Meet Birch.




More on Monday. Oh boy. So much more.



It's been a while; things have risen nicely in my absence.


The brewpub is topped off. I don't understand the walled-up corner; we'll see. The hotel portion is three floors up.

Down by the Nicollet Mall:


It's an interesting facade. Not the same old boring repetiton of balconies, or just windows. The sunset views will be spectacular.





Literal music: the sound of a man selling magazines door to door.



Again: the busy city music.




A different type of busy city music . . .





And now it's almost deconstructed and made abstract.




AD: 1938. Milk, a call to arms




From the man who gave you "Holday for Strings," Mid-century swank deluxe:



A long and successful career - but don't judge him on this number alone.


In 1955, he

was commissioned by MGM Studios to compose the score for their forthcoming science fiction project Forbidden Planet. The music was completed and recorded and (based on the surviving track) it combined traditional instrumentation with some electronic elements. However Rose was discharged from the project at the end of 1955 after the producers heard the electronic music of Louis and Bebe Barron and hired them to provide the now-famous all-electronic soundtrack. A 7" single of Rose's unused theme from the film (backed by Bronislaw Kaper's theme for the MGM film The Swan) was released during 1956 on MGM Records, on which it was credited as being "inspired" by the film. Rose reportedly later destroyed all the original session recordings of his Forbidden Planet music.

I like this. Not entirely successful, with the bleeps and blurps, but I'm a sucker for Space Age music.


That'll do; see you around. Thanks for showing up this week. We'll start it all again on Monday, with a brand new plot.

Dog! Dog again!


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