Last week, as you recall: blizzard. Today: Seventy degrees. I walked out of the office listening to some . . . walking music, let’s just say. What I use when walking around a ship after dinner to burn off the creme brule. It’s “chill” with a beat, and I cannot say “chill” without thinking of David Brent, which makes me think of how much I loved that show, and what a tiresome disappointment Gervais turned out to be. Well, everyone disappoints everyone at some point eventually. But anyway, there I was, sort of a chilled-out walker with an urban vibe, yeah, and even though I was wearing earbuds I could hear the noise of the city.

Granted, it’s Minneapolis, so “the noise of the city” is not the vibrant polyglot cacophony you might imagine. But. At one point, a chain saw on a construction site, perfectly timed and pitched for what I was listening to; then train bells; then a siren. Everything meshed and fit. No, I am not on the marijuana.

It was a good walk, mostly undertaken to look at the completed tower on the end of Nicollet. The one we watched go up last year. Remember?

Just add people. Odd thing is, there are two other large residential towers nearby, and an old office building converted to housing, but there’s not exactly Vibrancy and Thrumming Streets bustling with people walking around. Everyone’s at work, and when they come back they go up to their apartments and relax and enjoy the view. Density isn’t enough. Transit isn’t enough. (There’s a light rail station a block away.) The area needs a well-lit park with some sidewalk cafes and bars.

So I wrote a piece for the Pets section, because I’d said I would, then went home and had a conversation with Daughter after she walked the Birch dog. I had finally seen Last Jedi, which will be the subject of TV Tuesday next week, and I had issues like the library where they keep every TV guide ever printed. Is there such a thing? I’d like to think so, but it’s unlikely - Radnor probably pulped everything that didn’t sell.

Wow: that was strange. Mention TV Guide, and instantly the word Radnor pops into my head. When I worked at TB Guide, Radnor PA was the home office. Local historical socieyt guy:

Under the management of Walter Annenberg's Triangle Publications, the magazine moved to its national headquarters here in 1957. Designed by the architectural firm of Rosengarten & Kraemer, the headquarters was one in a cluster of the most modern buildings in the township, all built in the late 1950s.

Here’s a picture from the Fluffla Inkwire:

It gives an address, thank you, and so:

That’s not how I saw the home office. I saw a great huge tower.

Anyway: “It didn’t matter who Snoke was,” Daughter said. He was just an evil placeholder. Oh but it does. But that’s for later. She was amused, in an affectionate sort of way I HOPE that aged father was agitated and involved with the deficiencies of the movie, and I saved for a later day the strange, irritated anger I felt when they used the yearning two-suns music for that scene at the end, because it wasn’t earned at all, and also I knew that if they’d shown this movie when I was working at TV Guide I would have died from overstimulation and gratitude.

Just warning the Youth of America that one day they will be complaining that the VRHolos of the new Star Wars trilogy aren’t as good as the ones from the 2030s. You’ll have issues too.







I was between shows, and had to rely on Netflix’ deductions. BECAUSE YOU WATCHED this sharp, compelling drama about a Russian political takeover of Norway, you may enjoy this French show about a weary cop solving a crime in the Alps. Well, it’s possible. But you know what? I didn’t. The cop was Weary. The cop, it should be noted, had a history with the area where the crime was committed. The Cop had issues, but higher-ups had requested him - why? To control the investigation, because they knew he was compromised? And what of the rich man whose recent actions had alarmed the Decent, Simple Folk of the region - was that why his horse was decapitated and its body stuck on a platform of a funicular railway?

Oh, I do not care. It’s called “The Frozen Dead” and I do not care. What else? Ahhhhh, Bosch. It’s a great series, but every time they introduce Asian criminals I fear it’s going to go to Hong Kong to rescue the daughter, which was the plot of the worst novel in the series. Again: NOT A REVIEW, because who cares; you can get that elsewhere. Just some observations about Things - like the Bradbury Building. When a movie or TV show has a scene in the Bradbury Building, it's paying homage. It's a deliberate choice to summon up the old ghosts of noir.

It struck me that the Bradbury is always deserted. It’s been in many, many movies and there’s never anyone there but the character we’re supposed to follow.

When I was there, I was alone, too.

After the Bradbury, we have scenes at the Biltmore, and this was amusing:

Harry walks into the lobby, goes to the table where you get your credentials, leans to the right to look at the party . . .

Except that's not what you would see. To the right of the table is the main check-in desk. Later Bosch watches someone walk to the bar . . .

Except that’s where the staircases empty out. Harry follows, and ended up here . . .

. . . a bar on the other side of the hallway. So 1. is where Harry is standing; 2. is where the guy is walking; 3. is where they end up.


I know, I know, who cares. I only mention it because you know the director did what he could with the space, and figured ahhh, who the hell's gonna notice, and those of us in the ACKSHUALLY brigade have to say ah ha.

Just to noir the HELL out of the whole thing, the first ep also goes to Angels Flight, an ancient remnant of Bunker Hill, where so many noirs were shot.

It’s earned it.





It’s 1896.

“What shall we show in our ad?”

“Certainly not the product, my good man. That would be unseemly.”

At least you know the price is guaranteed. Your money back if your money is not taken!

Graphitoleo helps you scorch more:

It also has an agreeable odor, although that’s subjective. It’s funny - some oil smells I can’t stand, and some I love. Growing up around a gas station, when your dad comes home every day smelling of Sky Chief - it gives you a different perspective.

Joseph Dixon Crucible Company? Sure, you know it.

Joseph Dixon (1799–1869) was an inventor, entrepreneur and the founder of what became the Dixon Ticonderoga Company, a well-known manufacturer of pencils in the United States.

His fascination with new technologies led to many innovations such as a mirror for a camera that was the forerunner of the viewfinder, a patented double-crank steam engine, and a method of printing banknotes to thwart counterfeiters. Most notably, Dixon manufactured the first wood and graphite pencil in the country.

He was long dead by the time this ad ran, but his HQ still stands in Jersey City.

I guess this was the cycling issue. Here we have that famous, well-known connection between Turkey and bikes:

Interesting story here:

In 1894 Annie "Londonderry" Kopchovsky traveled "around the world" on a Sterling. Starting from Boston and heading west, her first bike was a Columbia but it proved unsuitable. In Chicago, the Sterling company gave her a men's Sterling (weighing 21 pounds, it had no brakes) which made riding in skirts impossible. She then wore bloomers and finally rode in a men's riding suit.

She claimed to be the first woman to "cycle around the world", duplicating a feat that Thomas Stevens had accomplished 10 years earlier. However, there was much controversy at the time as to whether she really had ridden her bicycle the entire way. In fact, she bicycled across the United States and France, and took steamships and trains the remainder of the way, while obscuring that fact in frequent newspaper accounts. Her ride came during the late 1800s "bicycle craze" and she gained widespread attention for her feat and for wearing bloomers.

More from her bio:

Annie Kopchovsky was a highly unlikely choice for the completion of this wager, starting with her name, which identified her as a Jew in a city and country where anti-Semitism was widespread. She lacked the experience, never having ridden a bicycle until a few days before her trip, and had a slight build, only 5 foot 3, about 100 pounds. In addition, she was a married woman and a mother of three children, ages five, three, and two.

On November 24, 1894, she boarded the French liner La Touraine, destined for Le Havre on France's north coast. She arrived on December 3 and became wrapped up in bureaucracy. Her bike was confiscated by custom officials, her money was taken, and the French press wrote insulting articles about her appearance

Like what? This: "The French press declared that she was too muscular to be a woman, thereby assigning her to the category of “neutered beings.” More:

Londonderry became a real entrepreneur.  She kept herself going with income from displaying advertising banners on her bike and her person and telling her story.  Telling the truth was less important than fundraising, and she concocted many stories about her background.  In France she intrigued people with tales of being an orphan, an accountant, a wealthy heiress, a lawyer, a Harvard medical student, the inventor of a new method of stenography, the cousin of a U.S. congressman and the niece of a U.S. senator.  In addition she sold promotional photos, silk handkerchiefs, souvenir pins and autographs.   

When the journey was over she hit the lecture circuit, then became a journalist writing about “The New Woman.” She died forgotten in 1947.

You will swear if your gun or bike is clogged:

You will not swear if you use their oil.

High tech for the modern office:

If it’s stamped, it must be accurate.



The Tautological Illuminator:

The Steve Jobs of the 19th century:

Miller's business effectively began in 1844 when Horatio N. Howard opened a small shop in Meriden, Conn. that made screws, candle holders, candle stick springs, as well as lamps that burned whale oil and a variety of burning fluids.2 In 1845, Edward Miller took over Howard's business. He faced a number of initial obstacles: poor facilities, lack of raw materials and primitive manufacturing methods. Miller overcame these challenges and eventually moved into better quarters, introduced steam power into the plant, and increased production. Disaster struck in 1857 when fire destroyed the shop. It was quickly rebuilt, and business continued to expand and prosper.

That’s putting it mildly. Inventions and innovations, patents galore. And forgotten today.

The Wheelman’s Friend:

Terrifying anthropomorphized tire patch. Why not?

Finally: don’t know why this didn’t catch on.

One seat per cheek!


That'll do, and it had damned well better! Scoop awaits, churlish and peculiar as ever. See you around.



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