The Baleful Tuesday is upon us, but we can bear it. I have a gob-smacking amount of early deadlines in the next few days; I simply cannot describe how sore my gob is. One smacking after the other. And always in the gob, dammit!

So what did I do Tuesday night with my idle hours? This, and also tinkering with the 2018 sites. See, all the tiny details have to be different, or I can’t live with myself.It’s my way of distinguishing one year from the next. Some people get a tattoo. I redo the graphic elements that separate one picture from another.

By the way, you’re going to like Vol. 22. I don’t want to oversell it, but I’m bringing back some old favorites, changing the LISTEN section around a lot, introducing a monthly look at the great shots of the silent era in B&W World, and adding the 80s to the Tuesday Advertising section.

Monday . . . well, let’s just say I’ve been working on a project dear to my heart for 20 years - well, longer than that, back to 1982, if you wish.

One hint, which I guarantee no one will get.

Melchoir is my Morn.

(Picture above, by the way, is the side of Orchestra Hall, from Sunday's gig. If you're curious.)

Daughter: So we don’t need Truvia but can you get me some Black Tea?

Are you on a tea thing again?

No I just - maybe. Not a thing, I just want tea.

Okay. So I drop her off at the gym, and go to CUfB, and I buy Truvia. Why? Because if we’re moving one box up from stocks, it had to be replaced. I see some Belvita Gingerbread Breakfast Slabs with a red and green box, pitched to the upcoming Christmas season, and I get that damned heavy heart I get all the time when I’m by myself shopping now for family foods, remembering when it was fun to anticipate Christmas with themed consumer goods, joke with Daughter about the packaging - but it was kinda sorta fun the way everything was on board. Why, when I was a kid nothing looked Christmasy except for a special-edition coffee can. Certainly not the cereals.

For the last 17 years I've tried to orchestrate the domestic trivialities to reflect the seasons and holidays. Remnant of stay-at-home dad instincts? i don't know. But if there are holiday-themed napkins and paper towels, I get them. For a while I got holiday-themed Ziploc bags for her lunches, to make December . . . fun!

I am at the point in life where you look at a simple display in a grocery store and your mind gathers up a decade and a half of provisioning, and you keep coming back to the years when you were sure there was lots of time left, and then the years when the time was growing shorter, and now here we are: these are the last days of shopping for three.

Drive up to the gym, switch seats so she can drive home for practice.

Did you get black tea?



“I got Truvia.”

What? We don’t need Truvia. We have Truvia.

Can’t say “I was bolloxed in the heart by the row of fruit snacks, which used to go in your lunch back when I made your lunch every day; the accumulation of time and the inevitable diminution of my usefulnesss sprayed white static on my brain and reset all the dipswitches.”

Can’t say that.

Are you senile? Do I have to worry?

But it’s in jest. There’s a grocery store next to the gym, so I go in to buy Black Tea. She says I don’t have to, but no, my mistake.

There are several varieties; I text to ask which one.

English Breakfast?

Earl Grey?

Darjeeling, the champagne of teas?

No answer, so I buy the champagne of teas. Back to the car; she's in the driver's seat, by the way.

It’s the wrong one.

"I texted you."

I was reading a novel on my phone on Do Not Disturb.

"Yeah, well, you can change the settings so texts from favorites come through."

I don’t know how to do that.

"You? The phone expert, wizard finger-typist, master of the interface? Gah. Okay. I’ll show you how to favorite your dad in case he asks if this is the right tea."

But it probably won't come up again. Maybe once more. Twice if they have a Valentine Limited Edition.



I wanted to watch “Halt and Catch Fire,” a show about the early days of personal computers and the internet. Trust me, it’s good, and the last few seasons were very good - you could binge on them, but chances are you wouldn’t: one episode satisfies, and you want to take some time between them. Perhaps that’s just the way I was used to watching it, airing every Sunday. I know that’s so damned archaic - give it ALL to me NOW

So I let the DVR record the entire series while I wrapped up some other shows. (I love how TV watching now feels like a job, or a military campaign. We’ll finish them off on this front then shift resources to the other front!) But the DVR didn’t record the first two episodes.

No matter! I’ve AMC On Demand, right? I can demand the show and it will appear. C’mon, c’mon, hand it over. This required using the DirecTV interface, which, as I tweeted during that night of frustration, is designed for old folks who are intimidated by Netflix. It’s ugly, confusing, has crappy search functions, and all these panes about various offerings that make you feel a little sad: stuff like this is over. It’s just over. It’s like driving past a car lot with balloons and rides for the kids and hot dog stands and banners: CIRCUS OF BARGAIN! or something, and no one’s shopping. Everyone’s at

Eventually I found it by looking at DirecTV’s website, and hello what? The first two episodes were missing as well.

They will not air for 14 days.


Gah. Well, you can go online and find some pirated version, or you can do the right thing and buy it from iTunes. If you want to watch it, and I did. So now I’m paying twice - once when I bought it through the subscription, and once on iTunes.

As for the second ep? You can’t buy it individually. You can only buy it if you buy the entire season.

If more people could pirate, more people would - and not because they don’t want to pay. Because they did pay, and they don’t have access to what they bought.


The quantity of hair on display here was known as a "puffenkrantz."


Nah, obviously not. She has four credits: two stints in Miss Innocence, the above mentioned Nearly a Hero, and Woman and Wine in 1900.

And that's it. There's a child actress by the same name, but she wouldn't be born for ten years.





It's 1954. The typewriter looks like a robot head.



To the women who write the letters, and the men who sign them! There’s your 1955 power dynamic summed up succinctly.

The Selectric was six years away. It would change everything.

Well, not the sexual, social, and power dynamics, but it made it easier to correct your typos.


Let’s! And let’s also arbitrarily remove the color yellow from two letters.



  There’s a distinction that isn’t immediately apparent.
  Often extracted for medicinal use, but they keep it for Puss ’n’ Boots! Millions will die.

When you need to launder some guts left over from a murderous rampage:



Now in color! That matters; color makes everything nice. Until you’re bored with it.



I have no idea what she is doing. Stretching out a sheath for the sword she used to disembowel the troublesome mailman, perhaps.

Look at this place: like the interiors of the 30s, it owed absolutely nothing to any historical precedence.



It’s all pretty cool, and the picture of the Future Jet Car tells you it’s only going to keep heading in this direction, baby. It’s a new world. We’ll be on the moon soon! Or destroy ourselves in a holocaust, but let's concentrate on the jet-cars and moon bases.

Don Draper’s worst pitch. And there, gentleman, is our vision for Arrow shirts.


Client: so is he changing in there? In the fault? That’s underwear, right? Or is he supposed to be putting his underwear in the safe deposit box? Why would you do that? Wouldn’t you want to be able to get to it in the morning?

That'll do! I hope. See you around.

(This final text will be slightly different in the 2018 Bleat)



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