I was on an outdoor stage in a park. An old friend who stopped speaking to me got up to play the piano, and I thought I should join in; apparently we had been practicing earlier, because my violin case was on the piano. When I opened it up the violin was gone. Realized someone had probably stolen it. Ah, drat; that was my grandfather’s violin.

I could see it in the dream as I recalled it in the dream: blackened with age, a bit nicked. I felt bad for losing it - and woke, realizing, I had. I’d used it all through high school when I played in the orchestra; took lessons for seven years. I’ve completely forgotten the fact that I used to play violin. In an orchestra! Not a good one, but still.

My mother, I think, told me that it was a very good violin and had value. It was quite old and venerable. As I learned later, it was indeed made by two famous gentlemen, as the joke goes. Mr. Sears, and Mr. Roebuck.

I have a dying hard drive. It has all my pictures on it. It has all my backups on it. It has all my music. It has all my website raw material. It has all the videos I’ve ever taken of the family.

And I don’t care. Not worried at all, because I am a Superior Person Who is Very Smart about backups! Be like me. No really. The drive started getting wonky a few months ago. It took forever to mount, took forever to open folders, and made odd sounds. You’re always listening for the Click of Death, as we used to call it when Iomega made the sound that said Hosed, thou art.

The phrase "click of death" originated to describe a failure mode of the Iomega ZIP drives, appearing in print as early as January 30, 1998.[2] In his podcast of September 18, 2008, Mac journalist Tim Robertson claimed to have coined the phrase in the early 1990s.[3] The phrase was then applied to other drives exhibiting a similar unusual clicking sound usually associated with failure.

The drives held 100MB of data. What could we possibly put on them? Well, someday we might have that much data. For now we’ll just store pictures and writings on the Zip . . . although I’m really struggling to think what I had back in 1998. Music, I suppose. I’d ripped all my records and CDs.

The CoD isn’t what I’m hearing from the drive. It’s more of a gargle.

Something I just learned: the Zip was a superfloppy. One of the other comsumer-level products was the SuperDisk, which dates it to the late 90s. Lots of things were super back then, like SuperCard, which was HyperCard except with color. I had SuperDisk, because of course, and also because the drives were cool. Look at this thing!

Milky translucent plastic was the style of the late 90s, and it was cool. It had a sci-fi appeal. Why shouldn’t it? We were living in a sci-fi world, with our iMacs and SuperDisks and sleek serene plastic objects beautifying our lives.

Here is the drive I am backing up now.


Look at that design.

Oh it’s slightly angled

It’s like cars. Sameness and interchangeability. Not necessarily a bad thing for your hard drives, since you can stack then six high and they look organized

DON’T STACK THEM! HEAT! VIBRATIONS! Calm down, I don’t. They’re stacked when they’re not used. I have four drives that have backups of everything, and they’re parked and powered down. I can suffer three complete backup failures and have two left, plus offsite, plus cloud.

Still not enough. It just isn’t. I was looking for something on the wonky drive, and it mounted . . . .eventually . . . and hey, why not get some stuff off and put it on another drive just in case?

It’s a sickness.


You know, I had a big State of Modern Events piece, but I'm holding off. Not because it will be timely next week, but because it won't. My new goal is to write about things after we've moved on to the next outrage, just to remind us what we were spun up about before we moved on to something else.




It’s 1924. We're in Los Angeles. Times are good:

There’s that word again: pretentious, but without the sense of criticism.

The Hollywood-California was never built; the address is vacant today. Big nix on the Las Feliz boulevard on the right, too.

The Grosse Building is still around, but mauled.

The Goake Building, at 7th & Hoover . . .

Let's zoom in on the bas-reliefs and do some photoshop perspective readjustment.

Latimer Building, 6th & Coronado:

527 S. Broadway looks different, as if they redid the design before starting construction. Nevertheless, All the buildings that were built are still around.

The ones that weren’t are still perfect.


I think she did it. What do you think?



I found a picture in another edition. Cheerful piece of work.

She was released the next day, and wasn’t charged. A few days later in the paper, an account of her personal property being returned . . .

Pistols? Plural?



Yes, that worked out fine:

The operation, I mean. She went on to give birth to Perry Mason’s Private Detective. Pro-fire forces fail to carry the day:

The old days of clothng stores on the 9th floor of buildings:

There's a story here. Renovation news:

Built in 1915 by railroad Magnate Hulett C. Merritt, the property was originally envisioned as a 23-story high-rise tower that would have ranked among the tallest structures in Los Angeles at the time.  After being stymied by an early 20th-century law that capped building heights at 150 feet within City limits, Merritt instead pursued an ornate mid-rise design for his namesake property, highlighted by its powerful columns and an exterior clad with Colorado Yule pure white marble - the same material that wraps the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

Fascinating tour of the interior before renovation, here. An unbelievable time capsule of old LA.

A new development! Wonder if it'll catch on:


The original ad was slanted, by the way. Catches the eye.



She doesn’t seem to have been left too happy by the job.


That'll do; enjoy the update, and I'll see you around.



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