I always enjoy smelling of woodsmoke. It's one of my favorite aromas, and there should be ten competing colognes on the market, vying for my dollars. Instead I am offered stuff that smells like leather and cranberries, with a top note of ergot, or something.

We went across the street for a neighbor's party, held on her driveway around several fires. Everything was outside, from the food to the dips to the drinks - and if you shrug and say "well of course," the temperature is 17. But it's at least twice that around the fire.

Since the neighbor is a judge, half the people at the party were judges. Criminal, civil, family court, you name it. I think I spoke to six; all but one were women. I asked if the depravity they saw had ticked up over the years; nah. People have been horrible for ever.


Not that anyone's held up a hand and said "excuse me, but what do the trees look like in the lobbies of our bustling metropolis?" I have two. I' fond of this one, in the Fifth Street Towers. The entire lobby has been redone along modern lines - hence the diagonal gashes of light.

Nice, yes - but if you really want monumental, wander on over to my place.


I realize that this betrays the previous assertion that the downtown is Bustling, but in the middle of the afternoon there's not a lot of lobby action going on here. Over by the firepit, yes. In the Winter Garden, as it was originally known - well, it's a nice place to be alone.

I showed you the back of the Christmas card last year.

And let me just say Merry Christmas to you and yours, right here!

The outtakes:


You have won this round, but it's not over.



They keep announcing more projects. This one was announced three weeks ago. Forty stories!

Oh fantastic, right? Why, it's almost the GM building in New York. Which is ugly. Here's the site:

No big loss. No loss at all, really. Can't wait to see it -

Hold on, I've been handed a news bulletin . . .

Ten days after they announced it, the project has been cancelled.




Gildersleeve season 9. I think. As we end the year, we come up to a rather unusual moment in pop culture.


Can you tell they've added a baby to the show?



Here's another Birdy Gets Wound Up bit. Note the structure . . .




. . . then listen to this one. She screwed it up.





Kay Starr came along to sing. It is just me, or is she quite off-key?





The season-ending signoff. The credits wind up our year-long investigation of the show - but there's one more story to tell, next week.




This "new young singer is a world-wide sensation," says the back.



Wikipedia: Francis Edward "Frank" Ifield (born 30 November 1937) is an English-born Australian easy listening and country music singer who often incorporated yodeling into his performances. Ifield achieved considerable success in the early 1960s, especially in the UK Singles Chart, where he had four No. 1 hits in 1962 and 1963.



Ifield had been told by his management not to yodel because it would brand him. Nevertheless, he sang "She Taught Me to Yodel" as an encore in a Royal Command Performance at the specific request of the Queen Mother to sing a yodelling song. In 1991, Ifield returned to the UK chart when a dance remix of "She Taught Me to Yodel", called "The Yodelling Song", billed as 'Frank Ifield featuring the Backroom Boys', reached No. 40 in the UK Singles Chart.

He persisted.


That'll do; see you around. New Gallery addition today. Sorry for a disconected random Bleat with no real purpose, but wait until you see next week.


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