The busier the day, the less I have to say here. It was a snow day - cold, blowing, with treacherous roads. Really: that’s what they put on the accident reports for the cause of the collision. Treachery! It’s a word that seems to be applied only to roads these days; the idea of treachery brings up a bygone set of ethics that suggests a gentleman’s code. A time of ruffled shirts and honor.

That was my excuse for working at home. I am a man of honor, and do not wish to expose myself to the machinations of my enemies.

So is this PTO then?

If you mean Plot to Offend, yes!

Actually, it was okay to work at home. I had one deadline and I met it with ease; I spent the rest of the time on another piece that isn’t due for three weeks, and got it into the system. Productive, as they say about heavy, phlegmy coughs.

Had a fine Indian dinner with Daughter and a good conversation about all sorts of matters from Jeff Bezos’ wealth to private science funding to climate science to rent-seeking scientists who plug into a social philosophy that seeks to rearrange the way people choose to live. After that last topic she said well thanks great TED talk, which is her way of saying I’d gone on and on without giving her a chance to respond.

Usually I do; I prefer to ask questions rather than state opinions, because answering a question is a good way to learn what you know as well as discern the bias in the premise of the question. But sometimes you have to deliver a solid, coherent lecture. Well, I do.

Because I’d been home alone with the dog all day, and he doesn’t care.

Then I did a Diner; that’s ten in the can. Again, no plan, no idea; I looked in the bin of music I’d set aside, found one song called “I Hate Myself” and another by the same artist that said “I Can’t Dance” and thought hmm, there’s something here. You’ll hear that one in March or so.

Then, with a good day’s work under my belt, I decided to look at Twitter and the news, and discovered that the major media no longer use asterisks when it comes to words previously kept out of newspapers entirely. Right there in the headline: shithole.

I was somewhat relieved to learn it wasn’t taken from a Tweet, because that’s where it all is now: well, at least he didn’t tweet “shithole.” Yet.

Well, let's see if we have anything in the Detritus file . . . hmm. Not much. An errant tweet:


If you're in broadcasting, is the subject of your voice off limits? There are some qualities in your voice you can't change, but there are inflections and habits? That are annoying? I was curious to see if she had fry and uptalk. A standard quantity of the latter and none of the former. Not unpleasant at all.

I wouldn't listen to a host whose voice sounds annoying. Would you? I often turn off a certain host because his voice enters a certain range. If I were the type to email people with criticism, he'd be the first. Would that be okay, because he was a male? Is there something about women in broadcasting that should insulate them from criticism?

If you got 15 emails after a podcast appearance criticizing an element of your performance - timbre, speed, articulation, etc. - would you consider the common theme and work on it?


Let's check in with our curious little dog, who fell asleep after an exhauting game of rope retrieval.

Nothing extra was eaten or barfed today. It was a good day.

Yes, it's the return of Lance Lawson! All new strips! New in the sense that they're frm 1948, but weren't posted before.

He has quite the look of disgust in the third panel. How? How did he know? Hash it out in the comments. I'll post the answer in the comments in the afternoon. (Last week was late because I had a problem posting an image to Disqus; there's a bug that keeps you from uploading an image even though you're logged in, if you're using Safari.)




For a change, I'm not doing the same thing week after week. Last year was solid Gildersleeve, and while it was an exhaustive account of the show's cues, it got rather repetitious. But I was determined to do it! All the cues! Week after week!

And it's still not done. Anyway: this year we've rotating features, and this one starts out with a mystery. I could tell you his name. I could tell you the name of the show. But instead I'll just give you some cues - and you see if your ears, and finely-tuned sense of composing styles, tells you who did these cues.

It won't be apparent right away, if at all. Here's the thing: this guy is still regarded as one of the most important and influential composers of his time, and as far as I know . . . this music has never been collected or rerecorded anywhere.


It's not that easy, is it? They don't seem characteristic of anyone, until suddenly, they are. I'll give you the answer the next month, although I'm sure someone will get it in the comments.

Sounds like bad gangster slang. Alright, pally, you're gonna get it right in the comments.

Instead of the swank old sounds of Goodwill albums, this year we're going to share bad 1960s pop music. The second- and third-tier tunes - which, in this case, were notable for being misunderstood. Obit for Mr. Lenny Gaines:


"In 1967 he co-wrote and starred on a record for Columbia called "The Coney Island Parade." It was a hit in San Francisco before being banned for promoting the smoking of bananas, which was a crazy fad at the time."


The bit also says he was wrote and produced "At Home With That Other Family" in 1962. A takeoff on a popular album about the Kennedy First Family, it focused on the Soviet First Family. A very young George Segal played Nikita Khrushchev along with the voices of future comic stars Joan Rivers and Buck Henry."

Cresta Blanca: the longest, most laborious radio tagline ever.

There you go; hope you enjoyed the week! See you on Monday.


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