Hot in the morn, 20 degrees cooler by 3 PM: Fall arrived with an entourage of clouds and dumped gouts on our heads. No warning; the forecast hadn’t gotten it quite right. Around 1 PM everything above got worried and churny, and the rain pounded down for hours. I liked it. Fall should start with a hard rain, hosing out the debris to get ready - well, for the new debris, I guess.

Before that happened I got Birch to the vet for some pokes. He was excited to go in the car! He was excited to go to the vet place because it’s great to be out and doing things and maybe there would be treats! He was excited to be inside and -

Holllllld on. Waaaait a minute.

This place.

He’d been here twice last month for shots and observations, and they weren’t nice shots. They were hard shots. Yipe and yowl and hold-him-down shots. This is for the damned heartworm, which he had before we got him. Now he remembered. When the nice vet came out with a big smile and a handful of good crunchy things he stood his ground and could not be moved, because uh-uh, he knew this place. I had to pick him up to put him on the scale. Forty-nine pounds of dog! I can lift that. I did 10 40-lb bags of dirt yesterday without a twinge. This is nuthin’.

Poke, poke, nose drops, then home for lunch. I opened a nice new fresh loaf of bread, made a sandwich, went outside to adjust the sprinkler to wet down the anti-grub poison, came back, discovered the empty wrapper of the bread on the floor. He had eaten the entire thing. In about two minutes. Joyless, desperate scarfing. High fiber quotient, so he will be excreting ceramic rods for a few days.

Snapped the banner above en route to the bank. Daughter had sent a request to have some money transferred to a Brazilian bank to put down a deposit for one of her excursions. We chatted on the phone aforehand, which was fun; always good to hear her voice, cheerful and full of wit and brio. Earlier that morning I’d been looking for something to listen to while I worked, and pulled out, as one does, a 1950s Edmund O’Brien Johnny Dollar. The Man with the Action-Packed Expense Account! You may say: huh? Not the Bob Bailey run? It’s the best. Yes, it is; the 5-parters are the best examples of radio detective stories in the entire genre. But Johnny Dollar was one of the longest-running shows on radio, and you can’t just spend all your time on the peak runs. Edmund O’Brien gave the character a surly, impatient, cynical take that has a certain appeal.

ANYWAY I saw an ep was called The Belo Horizonte Railway Matter, and was intrigued: that’s where Daughter is. Sure enough, it takes place in Brazil, and the chatty cab driver - who speaks in the same accent and cadence as all the Central / South American characters in old radio - even mentioned the state, Minas Gerais. It’s like a European show going to Minneapolis and tossing in “Minnesota.”

Johnny Dollar solved the crime, I should note. There was manganese involved. That was one of those exports you wrote in your reports in grade school, not knowing what the hell it was or could possibly be used for. EXPORTS: Manganese, tin, lead.

Daughter had a full day, with school, football, dance class, and a Rotary meeting. Barely time to talk! Supposedly there’s a crash-and-burn depression phase that kicks in for the middle portion, but we’re not there yet. I get fewer and fewer texts. That’s okay.

It’s all okay. She’s having the time of her life.

The trip to the bank for the transfer was quick, and the banker who helped me was a bit unnerved by all the zeroes in the account number on the other end. Nine. Consecutive. We counted them three times to make sure. Then I walked back to work in the rain and passed a guy who looked like Eric Holder. It was Eric Holder. Taller than I thought and his head seemed small.

And that was just half of my Monday. I liked it all.






Not a review, except - oh what the hell, why can’t I. Because there’s a limited audience for talking about shows that not only aren’t on TV, but aren’t on Netflix. Nevertheless, he persisted! It’s an important cultural thing, in a way. Sort of it.

So: that Jack Ryan show.

America never had a James Bond. Our James Bond was James Bond. We had Rambo, we had Rick from Casablanca, we had John Wayne, we had Indy. Archetypes all with different characteristics. Bond was cool, supremely capable, with a civilized veneer that masked his lethality. I’m trying to think if we had anyone close, anyone who had the public-school polish, the savior faire, the libertine habits. I can’t. Doesn’t mean we didn’t try, but Bond had to have an accent to give him that special Englishness (or Scottishness, depending on which Bond you like.) Is it possible we can’t come up with a Bond, because our heroes have to have an element of vulnerability?

Post 9/11, we had Jack Bauer, to whom a shaky nation turned its grateful face: yay, dedicated guy who wanted to keep everyone safe and didn’t need to eat, sleep, or defecate. The demands of later series required him to go through horrible misfortunes, get rejected by the government he served, and as we all know the terrorists ended up being not Them but Us. You can feel the post 9/11 resolve draining away, year by year.

I don’t know if that will happen to Jack Ryan, but so far, so good. It wasn’t a perfect show, and you may not be able to see Jim From The Office as the action dude, but I thought he was spot-on for a role of an analyst who also has to go to bad places and do difficult things. You can see him confronting and sucking up his unease and fear with a few minimal expressions. The domestic back-stabbing perfidy, which is a staple of these things, is expressed through office politics and, well, politics politics. I ended the series content and satisfied, and thought: it’ll all go to hell in the third season.

Do we not have a Bond because the idea of an American in a tux running around derring-doing seems faintly ridiculous?





It’s 1934, and we’re taking a close look at the work of the enigmatic Timmins.

I can’t imagine why! Was she feeling less than dainty?

Apparently members of the Czar’s imperial bodyguard staff got jobs in America as ushers after the revolution.

I don’t think anyone wants to imagine BO being licked

It’s hard not to conclude that his BO was so bad it could be detected over the phone, and she was happy to hear from him without the stink wafting through the receiver. How bad did a lot of people smell back then?

It’s hard not to conclude that his BO was so bad it could be detected over the phone, and she was happy to hear from him without the stink wafting through the receiver. How bad did a lot of people smell back then?

Who was Timmins? He had a clean, distinct style, and was apparently popular enough that they put his name on the ads, something they never did unless the artist was already famous.

Well, I think we’ve asked this question before, now that I think about it. Googling calls up on the second hit for this paragraph:

Harry L. Timmins (1887-1963), was a celebrated magazine illustrator and co-owner with Frank H. Young (1888-1964) of a successful Chicago advertising agency called Young & Timmins Advertising Illustration Studios. In 1923 Timmins and Young co-founded the American Academy of Art in Chicago. His career brought the family a prosperous and privileged lifestyle, which included pleasure trips to Paris and London.

I got that from his son's page - the kid turned out to be an illustrator, too - and the more I think about it, the more I think these might be the son's work. He'd be about 25.

“The only radio scientifically designed as a musical instrument.” Uh huh; sure.


“Close your eyes, turn your back,” and you can’t tell whether it’s a radio or a real person who’s on his knees and smells like something is very warm and making the dust heat up.

Balanced sound! You don’t want unbalanced sound, where everything’s sloshing between bass and treble, unable to find equilibrium.

Use it for all these ailments! Does nothing!

  But it smells like medicine so you think it’s working.


When The Yucca Company started manufacturing a cough syrup containing a blend of camphor and menthol, named Vest Pocket Cough Specific, Hyde became intrigued by the soothing and antiinflammatory effects of menthol. After years of research and experimentation, the company introduced the original "Mentholatum Ointment" in December 1894, which consisted of a combination of menthol and petrolatum.

Petrolatum is Vaseline, more or less. Or “Rod Wax” as early oil-rig operators called it. Really: it accumulated on oil-drilling equipment.

The article also notes “Sales went wild,” which is a guaran-fargin-teed sign of an entry with a “This article has multiple issues” warning at the top.

Also, says this about the uses of menthatum:

Do not use on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, irritated, or broken skin.

If you read the entire thing, and I have no idea if anyone ever did, you’ll find that this helps you build up nasal strength. And you’ll be able to fend off . . .


Rose cold? Has to be allergies. Googling . . . A variety of hay fever, sometimes attributed to the inhalation of the effluvia of roses.

The effluvia of roses. A Harold Budd album title if ever there was one.

Another company crushed beneath the wheels of the Gillette Juggernaut:

One trial blade free with every purchase. So it’s not really a trial, is it. Great fonts and design; don’t know why they split up CON and RAD like that, but it was their trademark.

If you really want to get into the thickets of the razorblade-collector community, this webpage about the Conrads is your first-class ticket. The Conrads may be related to the Barbisols. Turns out the razor was made by Prybrands, which made many razors for different stores and companies. Almost no info on the company anywhere.

So we conclude with a dead end? Not necessarily. This was the intersection of the Prybrand company.

Now start clicking on the map and explore New York. It’s fun!

That'll do. Scoop's merry vacation . . . concludes! Yes! It's the end of Scoop!

I'll miss the little gnome.


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