This is going to be the Best Bleat Week Ever! It's possible I'll be snowbound, so you may have to put on the chains before you read tomorrow's entry. But I will put a few 50lb bags of sand in the trunk so we have traction, and of course I do be sure not to do the thing you're seeing above.

Which is what? Well, I suppose we don't know what happened a few seconds later. But the implication seems to be clear: you have good tires and a powerful car!

So just keeeep on driving, lest they swarm you and throw you out and steal your ride.

Today’s new catchphrase: Been there, done that, ate the imperdivel

Let me explain. On Friday I saw this picture on Daughter’s Instagram.



It was Salvador. Have you heard of Salvador? It’s entirely possible that you have. But if your knowledge of Brazil is scant, as was mine, well - remember last week, when we gaped at the skyline of Recife?



Somewhere in there is my daughter. Let’s fly over and see if there are any clues:


For the next hour I wandered around the town on Google Street view, looking at the architecture and city design. Let’s all feel right at home by looking at a nice shiny shopping mall:

  Take a look at their website - it has pictures of all the stores. Few familiar brands, but the culture, the mall / fashion culture, is familiar. You can see familiar movies, like "Wifi Ralph."

Lest we think it’s just like us, though, let’s head into the residential sections. There’s a sameness to the streetscapes, and they don’t like the most expensively constructed buildings.


It’s a jumble.

Tall residential towers side-by-side with crowded housing that descends into a pit:

Because the modern world is amazing, you can wander around the favelas.

Then there are the in-between places:

I’d wager that this is the sort of thing Daughter loves about Brazil. Arty graffiti, some typical decay, the old note of beauty in the tiled ground, the rote building in the background.

Anyway, I was curious if I could find the neighborhood where she took the picture above. It took me about five minutes. It wasn’t hard. Obviously the city had an old historic district, which you could identify just by looking at the density and building types. Once you found that, you tilted the 3D map on your screen so you could hunt for two-tower buildings with baroque details, and once you found that, you floated down to the street view until you could line up the buildings just so.

And voila.



I’m irritated I have to use my mouse for this, because my carpal tunnel is flaring up. I’d rather wave my hands in the air to zoom in and out and adjust the 3D perspective. LIFE SUCKS.


To repeat a point I keep making: when I went to Europe, I sent my parents a postcard, and beat it back. My daughter sends me a picture and the name of a city, and I’m able to find out where she stood when she took it, then revolve 360 to see what else she was seeing.

I sent her that picture with the phrase Been there, done that, ate the imperdivel. If you look to the left in the spot where she was standing, there was this:

The word means “spectacular, unmissable.” Even better. “Ate the imperdivel” is now my new phrase for being blasé about something.

I’m hoping Daughter sees the picture and has a big WHAT moment.

UPDATE: According to the first text, she thought I had filtered her Instagram picture, and was, as hoped, surprised to find I'd found the exact location. Said it was so cool I could see where she'd been and look around.

That it was. Oh yes, it was.



If you’re wondering why I do so many B-pix and programmers, it’s because they’re short. I do this on Friday night, and sometimes if I start at 11 I don’t want to be recapping and screen capping until one AM. A programmer gives you a little story, some familiar characters, and a tidy resolution - just like a TV show. In fact, these were TV episodes before they were TV episodes, now that I think about it.

So: Some nice 30s graphics here.

If you’re wondering about that “familiar characters” part . . .

If you’re like me, there was only one Perry Mason. William Warren! Kidding. He wasn’t Mason. Only Raymond Burr was Mason, but I say that because I’m conditioned to the Burr version, not the snappy-patter young idealistic original idea. If Mason’s a breezy sort, well, then the Burr model is unique unto itself, and nothing should be compared to it. The only question becomes “is this a satisfying alternative version of Perry Mason?”

I don’t know. Yes? No? I don’t care? Cortez is more energetic, but radiates smarts and sympathy. It’s just different. So we’ll just enjoy this one for its period details.

How much of the world of the 30s actually looked like that? Were such designs mostly used to show how things would be, if there was more money around?

What, you want the plot? Ok. IMDB: An bedridden eccentric millionaire, anticipating his own murder, hires Mason to help him rewrite his will, and the lawyer ends up defending the caretaker's cat.

The cat isn’t black, by the way. The title makes it sound spooky - and it’s no coincidence it was released on Halloween, 1936.

As usual, I love to study the newspapers

WHICH ONE? Oh, the subhead . . .

Rich as he was, he had to settle for a cartoon burial:

The cat’s in the will, and Perry is determined to guard its interests . . .

He will religiously prosecute! Odd how some words change and shift and drift. I floated over that one the first time, but it would stick out to someone younger who wasn’t used to hearing “religiously” as an intensifier.

The standing man on the left: Hamilton Burger.

Again, it works, if the dynamic is young-lawyer-vs. Old-establishment-guy. That was the original Mason, scrappy and vital, not the thoughtful and implacableTV Mason.

More papers:

That's right, Condensation in the Laxter Case! Well, no. Limited Farm Bill Favored! Front page news in those days.

Dummy stories, I presume, although Hilton may indeed have scored “traitors” at the confab:

Eventually, there’s a trial. There has to be a trial.

Nice severe courtroom, as befits the era. It’s punctuated by Mr. Mason’s "patented courtroom theatrics," as his opponants have been saying for decads. There’s a late-minute witness, and the newspapers seem to be asking the reader to do something about it:

Then we reach the point where the newspapers are just title cards for a silent movie:


Anyway, it’s okay - you can let your mind wander a bit and you won't lose the thread, which was necessary for a programmer because people were still coming into the theater, blocking your view, trying to find a seat, talking, and probably behaving in ways that would surprise us today. These were like overtures, I suspect. I could be wrong.

Oh - i the “Paul Drake” character is actually called Paul, instead of his previous name in the supposedly funny William Warren drunk-Mason movies.

He was Spudsy.

That'll do; see you around.




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