Yes, we had snow. It was lovely. A foot? Two? Can’t say, don’t care. It came down with delicacy, though - a billion tiny flakes falling without urgency. No blizzard, alas. I wanted a blizzard.

I wanted the white-out, the howling winds, the bending trees, the satisfaction of being inside while the world disappears. Then again, I’m a human with access to plumbing; a dog forbidden to go inside would have a different opinion. As it was the drifts were so high and insubstantial it was impossible for Birch to lift a leg high enough. Hey, boy! You’re our special little guy, and we love you! Now go out in the chin-high snow and voice your bladder.

Coming home from errands today I was annoyed by a slow cabbie. Cab drivers in these parts are not the finest drivers, on the whole. They always give the impression of someone who does not know quite where he is going. This one, I gather, was looking for the local motel, and slammed on his brakes to turn after the enormous two story MOTEL sign came into view, as it had been in view for two blocks. The driver in front of me tapped his horn. Equally frustrated, I tapped my horn as well: we, the Community of People Behind You, have been displeased by your behavior.

When I tapped my horn the driver no doubt looked in his mirror to see who was echoing his concern; instinct. We drove along for three blocks, and then came to the grocery store. There was street parking in front of the store, which is rare. Room enough for two cars. He pulled over and parked. I parked right behind him.

Now at this point the fellow might be thinking “that’s the car that’s been behind me. And now it just parked behind me. And now the driver is following me into the store.”

You can’t say anything, because that’s presumptuous - and what would you say? Great job indicating irritation back there! I was all for it, as you may have noticed. Keep it up!

Went in the store to get some London Broil for the au jus supper. A nice hardy meal. Beeftastic. The Apple / Android pay thing still doesn’t work, because the company is doing a security upgrade. Did I mention this? It’s supposed to take months. Months.

I went to the website for the firm, which still insists it’s the nation’s preferred method for POS transactions, or some such boilerplate, and all the press releases on the NEWS page - ABOUT WHICH NO ONE CARES - have to do with new clients or marketing strategic initiatives or strategic marketing initiatives. Nothing about “Interplex Announces Major Cock-Up on Encryption Coding; CEO Snively Pennyfool says “half a year without this revenue stream should tank our stock but good. I’ve already sold all I own.”

Nothing. I find it impossible to believe the fix takes months. But that’s what all the cashiers say. “It’s a security fix, and they say it’ll be four to five months.”

When you say “that’s like running out of eggs and saying there won’t be any until August. People wonder what the hell happened to the chickens” they just shrug: thaaaat’s what they told us.

Hmphrm. Left the store, and who do you think is leaving about six yards ahead of me? The guy I’d followed.

If I really wanted to make him nervous, this is where I’d peel off the moment he saw me. And he did see me, as he was getting into his car. I got into mine. We both waited for the traffic to clear. He drove off; I drove off behind him.

Now. There is a street that goes into Tangletown on the other side of the bridge, and it’s taken only by residents and people who know exactly where they’re going, because there’s a reason it’s called Tangletown. I’m thinking, if he turns in that street, I will follow, because that’s the way home, but he is going to freak. Instead he turns at the first available corner - an unlikely turn, since it doesn’t lead to many houses. It’s entirely likely he’s going around the block. It’s entirely reasonable that he is wondering if something might be going on here.

All because of the cabbie, who had no idea any of this ever happened.

That was not the highlight of the weekend; it had no highlights. Daughter went to overnight Foreign Exchange orientation camp to do additional preparations for Brazil, while the parents are told about all the horrible things that probably won’t happen but hey, just so you know. So the house was empty and it was a bleak preview, and while it was nice that she came back on Sunday and things were normal and Birch was happy to sit at the foot of her bed and snooze, that’s just temporary.

This is so much worse than college. College, they come home now and then. We’re not even permitted to go visit when the stay in Brazil is over. It’s like, sorry, Brazil is completely off limits to you until oh, 2021. We’ll take your child now; thank you.

Here’s your receipt for your records.


It was a lovely weekend, though.

While it lasted. Tomorrow comes the thaw.



Certainly this has potential, no?

We're in the land of refugee camps, which a lot like big spare movie sets:

We first see our civilized hero . . .

And then he spies this man, and since he’s underlined by the flames of the cooker . . .

We’re pretty sure what he really is. Let's have a flashback to help:

It’s a post-war movie about 1939 - something that presents a problem we'll get to in a moment.

Guess who runs into:


So this is who she hangs around with in Paris before she meets Victor Lazlo? Because that would be an awesome movie.

That is not this movie.

Boyer is as serious and suave as ever, and he seems to be a man of action who helps refugees, being one himself. He’s also . . .

A doctor! So he’s almost in Buckaroo Banzai territory here.

About half an hour into the movie I expect the audience was getting a little restless. It’s not exactly a runaway train ride. Well, Ingrid turns out to be a singer, so Charles gets her a job thanks to a Russian doorman at a cafe. We get the sense that the Russian is old style, Czarist-type. The movie was made in 1947, after all, which means that it’s not necessarily going to have a happy ending.

No one wants to watch Ingrid Bergman looking glum for two hours.

You can be certain it’s shot in Paris: Fouquet’s.

It's still around:

I do like this sequence:

There's a policeman at the accident scene. It's Matt Dillon.

It doesn’t seem as tense as you might expect, though - it’s 1939, and the shadow of Hitler darkens all.

Except it doesn’t. Mostly it’s Ingrid being sad, then being happy, then being sad, then being restless, then sad / happy, and so on. It's stylish at times . . .

But it’s not enough. Until Charles Laughton returns as the Nazi Penguin in a strange Batman movie . . .

. . then the movie kicks over.

But it's too late.


That'll do. Be careful whose honk you second.



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