Tuesday is the real hump day. It’s all uphill. Wednesday crests at noon. It shouldn’t be hump day, but Pinnacle Day. Acme of Everest Day! Tuesday is just a cold can of congealed chicken broth, every single time.

Unless I get the column idea early. Then it’s okay. But it’s murder if I don’t think about the idea beyond just thinking “oh, that might work” and then sit down later to write it, and the entire thing either evaporates like lace in a fire or turns into a giant block of stone that cannot be pushed or carved.

The fact that I write 104 columns a year indicates that this is not a deal-killer. It just means it’s more annoying.

When I need inspiration, I wander back to the library, which provides absolutely no inspiration at all, but that’s my usual motivation. Oh a different locale will freshen things up. If not I’ll take a walk outside. If that doesn’t work I will go down to the river. If that doesn’t work I will walk into the water and try to hug the shore, then clamber out in St. Paul and Uber back, and maybe I’ll see something along the way that gives me an idea.

Or I will just look out the window for a while. There’s not a bad view from any window in the office, but I’ve seen it before; unless there’s weather it’s just a plotless movie, albeit one with great art direction. Sometimes I look through the cabinets to see if there’s some old items I haven’t looked at, and ho ho, what did I find last week.


I believe it’s a collection of pieces that ran in the paper; long ago I found a slide in the archives that had this image.

Hope was what people wanted, because they were keen to believe we wouldn’t nuke ourselves to oblivion.

The book peppers its predictions with a story of the . . . the Future Family. Literally Mr. & Mrs. Future. The following excerpt isa mess of right and wrong, correct and clueless: the idea that the automation concerns would have been solved by the Seventies is amusing; it’s just getting started in 2019, twenty years after the book’s predicted date for Technotopia.

No one would ever want a Personal Fatigue Meter, but a watch we can use to control music and messages and phone calls? That seems to have been too much to expect.

Yeah, no. The GPS balls, maybe. Genetically tailored chemically treated lawns would be anathema, because of genetic tailoring and chemical treating became words of horror.

He’s all about the auto-copters, too. It’s the most dated detail.

We had those cards way before 1999. I mean, credit cards isn’t that much of a stretch.

Then there’s the ending.


That final reassurance looks, in retrospect, like wistful thinking.

Remember this feature? We never met Bela Lanan himself. We never will.

This was a daily feature, with the solution on Saturday. We'll do it the way they did it then - one entry per day, with the expectation that you'll be following the story.




It's 1934.

Happy April.

Guns blaze!

There was a famous shootout in St. Paul, complete with barking gats, Tommy guns, screeching get-away car tires, and a trail of blood.

  Even for a wide-open town like St. Paul, this was shocking: the nation’s most notorious fugitive was not only in Minnesota, he had gotten away. Again.

After the gun battle, the couple lammed it over to a safe house. Wikipedia:

The couple drove to the apartment of Eddie Green at 3300 Fremont Avenue South in Minneapolis.

Green called his associate Dr. Clayton E. May at his office at 712 Masonic Temple in downtown Minneapolis (still extant). With Green, his wife Beth, and Frechette following in Green's car, Dr. May drove Dillinger to 1835 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, to the apartment of Augusta Salt, who had been providing nursing services and a bed for May's illicit patients for several years, patients he could not risk seeing at his regular office. May treated Dillinger's wound with antiseptics. Eddie Green visited Dillinger on Monday, April 2, just hours before Green would be mortally wounded by the FBI in St. Paul. Dillinger convalesced at Dr. May's for five days, until Wednesday, April 4. Dr. May was promised $500 for his services, but received nothing.

Tough to collect on that guy. Dillinger would be face-down dead in an alley in Chicago in under four months.

The cops reenact the scene:

The newspaper ran a shot of the apartment . . .

And thanks to the building’s owners, you can see a room which probably wasn’t it. But could be.

Someone's living in Dillinger's apartment. It's killing me not to know if they know. Or if they're sick to death of people bringing it up.

Rounding out the coverage:

Suuuure you did, boys. Sure you did.

That'll do; see you around.




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