There’s something about setting up a new computer that’s so hopeful. It’s clean and fresh and empty, and has yet to be sullied by files with names like IMG_93943923 or Untitled-2. The caches are bright rooms without cobwebs; the Library folder is like a 5-star hotel bathroom.

I did not intend to get this one, but didn’t have a choice - see the story the other day about the coffee that LEAPED out Daughter’s cup into the keyboard. So she gets the old one and I’m now on a new one. It’s bigger than its predecessors. I could have gone with the ultra-thin model, but it’s not as if I walk to work bent over like Quasimodo because the combination of computer and Lean Cuisine and can of water is so heavy I can’t take any more weight.

Yes, I eat Lean Cuisine. Not with any particular pleasure, either. Pepper and Cholulu and the deed is done. The water is Bubly, Pepsi’s new entry into the gently-flavored water market, and it’s good; even better, the look of the can flatters my sense of myself as a consumer who values good product design. LaCroix is ugly. Bubly looks like the can you’d see in an ad where everything is monochromatic except for the can of water, which makes people think “oh, he has good minimalist taste but appreciates the way a splash of color adds life and a note of intrigue.” That’s me! (blush, toes the ground)

Anyway. It’s bigger, with a great screen, and Apple fixed the lousy keyboard. Not that they apologized for the previous versions, which felt like you were trying to play a delicate sonata on a piano whose keys were made of marble.

Okay, it's Friday. EVERYTHING MUST GO.The Detritus folder must be purged. Let’s start with one of those contests they held in the 20s to provide some amusement before the invention of television, when you had to sit at home all the time, and there wasn’t even a lot of radio.

Big Cash Prizes given!

Here’s a big version. The question isn’t what starts with S. The question is what doesn’t?

This was one of the fruits of my daily dive into old newspapers on - the depth and breadth of the resource is astonishing, and you’ve no idea how much material is coming from the comics pages of the teen and 20s.

Toast: have you really thought about it? No? Good. Oh wait, here’s a think piece about toast. Please don’t. Please -

Communications scholar Arthur Asa Berger sees toast as a microcosm, too—but in his view, it’s a miniature stage on which the homogenization and industrialization of the United States is played. For Berger, the toaster is a depressing ruse, a mechanized way to cover up the demise of American bread and even American diversity.

If you find yourself depressed by toasters, you’re thinking too hard about things.

This was a Digg link, and for some reason they thought a 90s disquisition into the Horrors of Toast was necessary to revive.

Since toasters only accept sliced bread, he posits, they perpetuate the downfall of bread “touched by human hands”—the irregular, traditional loaves of different ethnic traditions.

That’s right: they’re part of the hideous smothering process of assimilation.

Ah, but is toast bread? Or does bread become toast and cease to be bread?

He posits that toast, being transformational, and standing
between "the upper-classes and the working classes,” may “suggest, unconsciously, a transformation to a higher status.”

Or a transformation to something crispy that’s tasty with cheese.

He goes on to note that toasters once had to be tended, but now they pop up on their own. He misses the opportunity to note that this signaled a divide between manual labor and automation, a societal change that would pitch an entire class of people into rootless poverty and opioid addiction.

He also notes that modern toasters have many slots, and the new ones have sensors.

Really, he spends a lot of time on this.


Okay, he's just an jocose academic playing with us. Has to be.


Mumps-era Lance deals with suited brawlers:

Swell indeed! Alas, the reasons for Lance's flash-bang insights are not common anymore. Hash it out in the comments. Solution here.



Paul Frees!

They kept giving him shows. They didn't quite catch on. The short-lived project "Crime Correspondent" suggests that the reason might have been the music, which is among the painful I've ever heard. Also, the script was lame. You'll get an idea from these cuts: they're trying to gin up excitement that just isn't there.


He did so much work; I hope he made a good living.

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.

The opening bars tell you all you need to know about 1968.


Another post-Eleanor Rigby story that purports to tell a story about someone.

Imagine trying to dance to this.




It's an ad ripped from the middle of Crime Correspondent, with all the wince-inducing music they could provide.



That'll do. Girding for the blizzard. Full report on Monday.



I know this week has been a bit slack. No reason! I'll try to do better next week.


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