It was a long night of provisioning; stops at four stores. Several constants were observed:

Target: Some people’s entire worldview, attitude towards humanity, and / or intelligence can be inferred from the way they put their cart in the middle of the aisle and walk away. Their entire character can be inferred from their attitude when you attempt to get around it - slight irritation, or a fast apology. I would like my obituary to mention I had good cart / aisle situational awareness.

Conclusion: some people enter a solipsistic zone at Target and cannot be dislodged unless you bang their cart as you pass, and then you’re the bad guy.

Traders Joe: New clerk getting trained in by an old hand. She asks: “what’s the code for bananas?” And both the clerk and I say “4011.” And laugh.

The trainer says she’d be delighted to bag my stuff, unless I wanted to, and I said “no, I want to see how you handle this mess. There’s nothing to frame the bag. All light stuff but there’s one can, so balancing it is impossible.” She looked at the goods and said “you’re right,” and I said “it’s hopeless” and we agreed the bag would be below our standards tonight.

Conclusion: Traders Joe is always fun.

Infinite Spirits: The clerk adjusted the POS terminal towards me when I stepped up, angling it down because the previous customer had been tall. I felt quite short at that particular moment.

“I didn’t know they moved,” I said.

“They think of everything,” he said.

“I’m so tired of having neck aches from trying to sign on pads that don’t move.”

“It’s a problem.”

Conclusion: Infinite Spirit’s hiring policy tends to favor unhappy men, but this guy had some personality. Never see him again.

Cub: there was a manager who had such strong cologne it not only permeated the aisle where he was stocking, it lingered in the aisle he’d been in before.

Conclusion: Cub is miserable

Stopped off at Starbucks on the way home, just before closing. Apologized for stepping on the freshly-mopped floor. No one else in the store, but the clerk said “can I get a name on that” after I’d ordered. I looked around, and almost went full Bickle: you talkin’ to me? You must be, because I don’t see anyone else here.” Was tempted to say “Balthazar Ebenezer,” but held my tongue.

There was a gift card for the Year of the Dog, and I thought Daughter would like that, so I got her one. Gave it to her when I got home, and she was surprised - no reason, no occasion, no event, just a little something.

“I am dying?”

“No.” Then she showed me a posted she’d whipped up for the Walker Art Center, and told me how everyone had liked it. Hurrah! Put all the groceries away, and realized it had been a mistake to go provisioning in the first place. Wife had been to Costco last weekend.

We have 17 avocados. Well, time to make avocadoade, then.








Some odds and ends from the Detritus bin:

First: this probably isn't the product placement the advertisers wanted.

But even if there was a more attractive head atop the body, that's still an ugly swimsuit.







While doing some motel research, I found one of those ruined HoJos that suggest the owners were unaware what an icon they had on their hands. Ladies and gentlemen, the Hojo of Rockford. NONE SHALL PASS

It's like a beige-painted version of those bad-guy things in Tron. An earlier version showed they had the opportunity to preserve it:

No one would want to stop at an orange roof HoJo. The color's all wrong, dear - how do we know they have breakfast buffet, with muffins and coffee and tea? Now, if the roof was blue, I'd be relieved, but an untouched orange roof, well, that says "in-room coffee" and nothing more. Keep driving."

Our last one was destroyed many years ago by people who didn’t realize the value of the building. No one would give it historic designation, because c’mon, a Howard Johnson motel? Historic?

Damned straight, podner, and smile when you say that.

It never stops:

This is not brave anymore. This is standard. This is expected. In fact, this is a walkback from the original reboot:

This is why it’s done:

There’s no imagination required to redo an existing character like this. The imagination resides in making new ones. No one is offended if a superhero is female, Black, both, whatever - it's when old characters are reimagined For Great Justice that people get annoyed, shrug, and move on. Okay this is just spinach with Pop-Rocks sprinkles. That seems to be fine for the people who publish the comics and make the series; if someone's indifferent, they're the wrong type of fan.

Oh, come on, you say. It's not like they're trying to reimagine the genre so completely that pregnant women end up as superheroes. You're right; that would be a bit much.

So . . . the villain refuses to engage in combat with a pregnant woman because he might hurt her baby? He shows more concern than she does? Maybe if she has Ultimate Indominatable Power and just kills anything that threatens her, you can see why she'd go to work instead of taking some leave, but . . . oy.

Confession: I think I've lost interest in geek culture. I have become indifferent to superhero movies. Not uninterested, but I just don't get that gee it's cool how the stories of my childhood have been turned into fantastic entertainment with grown-up themes feeling any more. I'll probably watch Thor: Ragnarok this weekend, and I did love Ant-Man because it was smaller-scaled. But either I'm just anhedonic and unable to connect with things in contemporary culture, or the noisy, empty, weightless, unreality of these things has overwhelmed my ability to care.


I was looking through an 1918 American Architect magazine, and came across this:

The Bronx International Exposition? I’ve never heard it. I thought I knew all my World's Fairs especially the New York varieties. The magazine had all the plans, and the layout gives you a taste of the flavor of the era. The Court of Honor!

This site says:

Modest in scale and only partially completed, the exposition failed to bring the world marvels on the scale of the elevator (from the 1853 Crystal Palace exposition) or the television set (from the 1939-40 World’s Fair in Flushing-Meadows).

It was, in most aspects, a flop.

The fair opened almost one month late, having already been delayed a year due to the war. Even still, when it did open, most of its buildings were yet to be completed. Most would never be finished. “[T]here are only a dozen buildings and a number of concessions including a restaurant, a roller coaster, a centrifugal swing and a nonsense house,” giving it “the impression of a mini-Coney Island.”

Perhaps the most notable structures at the opening were the bathing pavilion, a private club called Circle de Papellon, and “what is said to be the largest salt water surf swimming pool in the world.”

After it closed it was turned into Starlite Park, an amusement destination for Bronxians (Bronxites? Sounds like something from which you get aluminum ) for years.

Let's take a look at the entire plan:

It's not hard to find the site today.


The park was slowly demolished over the years and by 1940 it was permanently closed, transformed into a city truck facility. A fire in the late 1940s destroyed any remaining vestiges of the park.

It's not as if it was some pristine example of the City Beautiful era, lovingly preserved, bulldozed by the cruel hand of Moses. Somehow that makes the loss tolerable.




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

Yes, Lori said a little too quickly. You are too old to be spanked. Mother gave her a queer look.

I don't think this one even needs a solution link, do you?



Once again, the uncollected music of a great modern composer, who did some chamber pieces for a short-lived radio show.


I can't say it's all brilliant stuff, but like I say: as far as I know, they've never been collected together like this.

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.

Have you ever been to a magical land that has Peter Max graphics and a trumpet like the Beatles had in that one song? Let me take you there!


They turned out this stuff out by the gallon.




Choosey mothers also choose this, because the act of choosing makes you choosey, no?



Well, well: another week has fled, and I'm blinking in surprise over the pace of this one. Hope you have a fine weekend - I have every intention of having one, myself, and I regret to warn you that you'll probably hear about every irrelevant detail come Monday. See you then!


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