Hot! Ninety! Perfect football weather! Uh - no. But there are times when the game is tied and going into OT, and you have to go outside and regroup, gather your wits, sink a shot with your friends to honor the team fighting back from a deficit, have a moment with a cigar. And it’s hot. It’s summer. It’s the perfect moment, because even thought you know fall is in the wings, ready to take the world apart, you’ve got this, and it’s fantastic. Okay. Back inside, press play.

On a somewhat related note, I’m of the opinion that when you are hired to kick the ball a certain designation through a particular well-defined aperture, you should do it AT LEAST ONE TIME OUT OF THREE


So, back home. Wife not happy: the grub killer didn’t. We still have grubs. I had raked and pulled dead stuff and put down dirt and starter a and seed before I left, but we needed to do more, so in the evening more of the backyard came up. Fargin’ grubs. It’s a disaster. Come the spring we will do some professional seeding. For now it feels like patching a space station that’s getting hit by a micrometeor every other minute. Oh, but your life isn’t at stake, you say. You don’t know how unhappy my wife is.

We went out to dinner with frelatives the other night. My wife’s relatives, but I consider them friends, so. I mean technically they’re my relatives, but I don’t particularly feel a blood-bond with the husband of my wife’s cousin. If you can’t ask them for a kidney, they’re not relatives.

The restaurant used to be an icehouse, and is hence now called the Icehouse.

Part of that is original, but I'm sure the letters aren't. I was dismayed when I first got there, because there was a stage with a guitarist, and he was playing some lovely soft contemplative music. Aww, do we have to listen? I mean great, he’s good, but I’d rather talk, and I don’t want to talk over him. But there was a back room. Problem was, I didn’t remember wife’s cousin’s married name, so I didn’t know which reservation to check. Went outside to await everyone, but the maitre d’ came out and said some people in the back had inquired if someone of my general description was about, and he led me back to the non-music part of the restaurant.

Excellent food; slightly pretentious waiter. He began by saying he would be taking care of us, which sounded like a large responsibility to assume, and later stopped to inform us that Chef - not the Chef, but Chef - had finished our meals and was plating them this very minute. There was plating going on as we spoke. When the meals arrived - fully plated, I might ask - he stooped to pour over some truffle sauce, and I asked him to stay his hand; I would see it to. He seemed crestfallen, but of course complied. I was glad I didn’t have the truffle sauce ladled on the meat, because I didn’t like it at all. This, no doubt, was my failing. I should welcome truffle sauce. What man of taste doesn’t?

So I’m not a man of taste. Also I am cheap. I cannot pay $11 for a shot from a bottle I know costs $23. I’m like a dad talking to the kids who want to stop for something: we have whiskey at home.

During the meal they asked about Daughter, and I was able to show them pictures from her trip, because the modern age of international communications is a marvel. As I tweeted later, 40 years ago parents who sent their kids abroad thought “I hope we get a letter this month,” and now I’m texting to Daughter during the meal about Bojack Horseman, and how maybe don’t binge it all in a night?

She said there was nothing else to do, it was night there was a thunderstorm. I sent a screen cap of my weather app set to the conditions in her city. It said light rain. I CAN FACT-CHECK YOU FROM ANOTHER HEMISPHERE.




Cute opening.

It’s a short movie designed to show off your favorite musicians and acts. It's what they had before MTV. We go to . . .

They never have real networks; it’s the curse all movies and later TV shows would face. You can’t use a real network’s name, so you have to use something that’s manifestly false. Takes you right out of it.

Plot: An usher at a radio station studio pretends to be an executive at the station in order to help a pretty girl become a singer. Our tour guide:

Yeeeeah, that guy. Where do I know him from? Everywhere and nowhere:

Discouraged with playing simple roles such as bellhops, soda jerks, et al., he continued on in "B" pictures until Sensation Hunters (1945), when his film career finally fell away. He owned and operated a bowling alley for a time but eventually returned to the film industry, with middling results and infrequent appearances, among them Brigadoon (1954). Light-hearted fluff also came his way in the next decade with The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), Angel in My Pocket (1969) and How to Frame a Figg (1971), but his contributions were relatively minor.

What’s the ON stand for? Guess.

We'll get to that.

So we meet the girl who wants to be a singer:

Harriet Hilliard.

Not a household name these days. There's a reason for that . . . and we'll get to it.

After a comic situation where she meets the usher guy and figures out he’s not on the level, we go back to a musical act.

The Delta Rhythm Boys.

The Delta Rhythm Boys were an American vocal group active for over 50 years from 1934 to 1987.

Then we get a Funny Radio DJ!

Fuzzy Knight. Did a ton of westerns. Sidekick roles.

Here’s something he did in the late 20s:


He died in his sleep at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California at 74, survived by his wife, actress Patricia Ryan (née Thelma de Long). He is buried in an unmarked grave next to the grave of comedian Maxie Rosenbloom at Valhalla Memorial Park in Burbank, California.


Who’s left?


Ray Winfield is considered the innovator of the sliding style of tap, later copied by many other dancers. The quantity of biographical information on the web is scant, and it’s a sin.

Oh, the ON? A star, and a big one. A punch line when I was growing up - corny! Fifties! Lame! But back then? A star.

Harriet Hilliard? She married Ozzie, of course.

Here we go; another packed week on the site to come. See you around!


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