It is, at present, only five below. It will get worse. But you know, once it’s negative numbers, you really can’t tell the difference. In fact you almost root for it to be ten below, so you can say “eh, it’s only ten below. Wait until it’s 20 below.” And when it’s twenty below, you can say “yep, it’s 20 below. Bit nippy.”

The dog is stir-crazy, and Wife says he “acted out” by destroying a heavy four-foot door bolster, if that’s the term. It’s like a thin pillow. You put it at the bottom of the door to keep the wind from whistling in. To Birch, it looked like a large version of the toys we used to give him until he ripped them open and strewed puffy stuffing everywhere. Hey this is cool, thanks.

The problem: the bolster is weighted down on both ends with bags of sand. In order to get to the stuffing, he had to remove the sand, and that meant he dumped two cups of grit on the dining room carpet. I got out the dust pan, cleaned it up, dysoned up the rest, reassembled the bolster, and had a long session of NO about possessing the bolster.

Annnnd I put it back!

Annnnd what do you think happened!

Annnnd you’re right! Except this time the sand was dumped over a different rug. I got it up and put the bolster outside, because I didn’t want to throw it away; perhaps Wife could fix it. She knows her way around thread. Never could figure out sewing, myself. Oh, I can get the thread through something, it’s the stopping-the-end part I never learned. Do you tie a knot? Who cares, socks are cheap.

Let the dog out later, having forgot about the bolster, and he had his way with it again, because of course freezing cold sand in your mouth is just a special way to spend an evening.

So that was today. That, and writing. Had some chili for lunch, and I mention that rote boring fact because of a conversation we had when my wife was making it for a workplace chili fest. She wanted me to get corn to put in the chili, and I said “don’t put corn in the chili.”

“It adds color!” she said. I agreed but said no one ever thought “that chili was great, but lacked a diverse palette.” What you are trying to do is make it look cute, and chili should not be cute.

She asked if it was too spicy, and noted she’d put an entire jalapeño in the pot. (There were four pounds of chicken in the pot.) I reared back in horror and said AN ENTIRE JALAPENO? and for a second she thought I was serious. Oh, you.

I should have bought some Scotch Bonnets and passed them off as mild peppers. It’s a health care company. They have a code for internal bleeding.

Okay, that's it. Back to column writing. Two due tomorrow.

This vehicle was parked outside the office the other day. In larger cities whose citizens had fewer inhibitions, someone would have written something.

I was redesigning my office, and struggled, once again, to figure out of I wanted this clock. I do like the old design, which was ubitquitous in stores for a decade or so. There's just one problem. Can you figure out what it is?

It's useless for its stated purpose. You have to take out the batteries. And then it's not a useful clock. If you use it as a clock, and you're there, then you obviously have returned, or never left.

But there are worse clocks in the office.

No one has touched it as long as I've been back in features. No one's put a new battery in the back.

It still ticks.


I sent daughter a picture of the forecast on my weather app, and get back this:

Sigh. By the way, I finally got the sound file I wanted to add to the fundraiser thing, thanking everyone, and . . . it's unusable.

The odd thing is that it shouldn't be this hard to get a usable sound file from her just because she's on the other side of the planet.


Holy Crow, that's cold.

Two-Gun Murphy isn't playing around. Solution is here.




It was an ordinary show, with two twists: it had a nice piano tinkling away in the background when the characters were at the bar, and . . . .


. . . the opening was a strange hybred, with the dramatic characters talking to the announcer. Who was just dying to name the sponsor.






The usual detail-laden description, with a fresh stinger.


Drama! Murder! Drama! Barely perceptible harp glissando!


The end of an early show. People in the audience whistled a lot then.




2019 returns to the bins, and the records dumped back into the world when someone dies and the kids give the contents of Mom and Dad's entertainment system to the Goodwill.


At some point in your life you stop fighting this stuff and let it wash over you like the mild sedative in the air at the Senior Disposal Center.


I'd love to learn that the Living Strings were always the same people, but I doubt it.





From our series of 1969 South African radio, a cheerful reminder not to smell.

That'll do - see you Monday!

OH RIGHT FUNDRAISER. If you like this site and have enjoyed the panoply of material we've had this week, which was . . .

A study of early Sherlocks in the movies

Some old motel matchbooks
A somewhat deep dive into 1920s dairy industry advertisement
Three cartoons from 1916 to which no one’s paid attention for decades
A discussion of the madness of adults on Twitter
The newspaper of 1949 with its assurances of more atom bombs to come
1960s Main Street postcards
A look at the architecture of a somewhat abandoned downtown
Sound cues from an old radio show


. . . then consider a one-time donation or a recurring coupla-bucks as an attaboy. All donations minus 10% go to Daughter’s college fund, and yes SHE WILL be thanking you all with something down the road after she’s done with the month-long road trip.

Have a fine weekend, and we'll see you back here on Monday.




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