It snowed Tuesday evening, and that seemed wrong. Recent thaws have melted everything. The yard is clear, and ugly. The snirt floes on the boulevard have faded to naught, leaving only piles of sand tossed up by traffic and the snowblower. Then flakes? What is this, the first half of March?

Oh right

Another day in Mitigation Mode, as we're told. Prevention - hopeless! We can only slow the advance. Daughter suggesting her school might be shut down, and she would come home - no complaints here, except . . .

Maybe it’s just me, but I assume everything is coated with virus now. Seems a wise assumption; what’s the downside for being wrong? Ever since my first visit to a public toilet in New York City I have been adept at manipulating objects without employing my hands, so punching elevator buttons with my knuckle is no problem. It’s something I’ve always done.

Assuming the free-floating unseen miasma of potential contagious agents brings a new characteristic to everything. It’s like we’re all walking through a microscopic crystalline lattice. No need to be paranoid. Just don’t touch public surfaces and jam your fingers in your eyes.

So: I’m coming up the escalator from the main lobby. It rises to give you a magnificent view of the security desk. I see the guy in a suit behind the desk place his hands on the counter - he’s talking to someone - then lift them up and rub every inch of his face with his hands. I mean, it’s like he’s kneading dough. You’re shocked. DOESN’T HE KNOW. Dude, what did you just do? You want to wake up shivering in a shack talking to Clarence the Angel?

I have trained myself to cut out face-touching almost entirely while in public. At home, I will cradle my mug in the palm of my hand, I confess, but that’s after I’ve scrubbed with soap and sung the entire Model of a Modern Major General song from Pirates. (Sometimes I forget the lyrics and have to substitute elements.) Last night I went on a shopping run, and did not run my digits alone the weathered contours of my pan.

(That was a 40s word for a face: pan. Hello for Hollywood, where any something mechanic can cause a panic with just a good-looking pan)

The Toilet Paper aisle after Monday shopping:

Discriminating shoppers left bales of the really cheap one-ply stuff. This suggests that no one believes they will be in a situation where they must access the strategic reserves of toilet paper. It means, well, you never know, how much do we have, how much do we use, could we last two weeks, everyone else is, wouldn’t hurt, will just it anyway

The pain-relief pill section was also Venezuelan, but this is interesting: the name brand stuff was gone. The generics were plentiful. This is the Upscale Target in a tony burb, where faith in brand names is apparently strong.

My favorite part of the expedition: at the boutiquey grocery store in my neighborhood, all the hand sanitizer is gone. But they have All Natural Hand-Sanitizer with special oils. In abundance.

Suddenly no one wants that stuff.

Some more Retro Flu News (TM). From the wires: ten thousand people in the hospital in New York in three days.

Three hundred thousand students - a third of the student body - out with Asian Flu.

Oh, and on page A13, 90 deaths last week over in England:

Young Prince Charles got it. So did Judy Garland.


Before it hit, the predictions ran in the paper. This is a St. Louis journal.

They predicted 34 million infected, and from the sound of it that's the people who would display symptoms. And the symptoms sucked.

None shall be spared!

The second graf seems like it was taken from today's news.


The Musterol people were on this:

Imagine seeing a commercial OTC drug with COVID-19 in the copy. You'll have to imagine it, because I don't think you will.





It’s 1978.

The good old days.

From a site that collects Officer Down stories:


Officer Cerullo exited the patrol car and spoke to one suspect, while Officer Masone spoke to the other suspect while still seated in the patrol car. After Officer Cerullo had finished speaking to one suspect, he re-entered the patrol car. Officer Masone suddenly exited the vehicle and began to struggle with the one suspect. This suspect then drew a 9 mm handgun from his clothes and began firing at Officer Masone. Officer Cerullo exited the patrol car and began firing at the second suspect. When the gunfire stopped, Officer Masone lay dead. Officer Cerullo was mortally wounded, and one suspect was dead.

As for the shooter:

The suspect is the same person who led a prison revolt at Attica State Prison in New York in 1976 that left seven correctional officers dead. He was later pardoned by New York Governor Hugh Carey and released. After being freed, he was arrested for the murder of Officers Cerullo and Masone. He was later found not guilty in 1980 after three trials. In 1984 the suspect was arrested again for murder. He was later convicted and sentenced to 107 years in prison. He was paroled in 2009.

His papers can be found at Duke.

Other materials include prisoner poetry and writings, personal correspondence between Jomo and his family, prisoner poetry, Attica Brothers Legal Defense materials.

They seem eager to remind us he wrote poetry in prison.

Everything is going swimmingly everywhere:

Murdertopia says:


Hernando Williams (c. 1955 – 25 March 1995) was a convicted murderer, executed by the State of Illinois.

On 29 March 1978, Williams, a young black man, kidnapped Linda Goldstone, a white woman, from the Northwestern Medical Center parking lot in Chicago, Illinois. 

Goldstone, the wife of a physician and mother of a young boy, was on her way to teach a Lamaze class when Williams approached her, gun in hand. He told her it was a robbery. She gave him her money, but Williams made her partially disrobe and get into the front seat of his car. Williams held Goldstone captive for more than two days.

At the time of his kidnapping of Goldstone, Williams was out on bail for kidnapping and rape of another woman. 

He drove around with her in the trunk of his car for several days, even attending a court hearing in Maywood, Illinois with her in his trunk.

After two days of sexual assault he let her go. Gave her bus fare and said scram. Instead she went to a house to ask for help; the man who answered the door said he would call police and left her on the porch. Williams, worried that the woman would not get on the bus, drove around, saw her talking to the man who'd answered the door, grabbed her from the porch, took her in an alley and shot her.

Death by lethal injection . . . seventeen years later.

In 2004 the Chicago Trib ran a story about his daughter, who "Looks for truth behind her executed father's crime."

"I asked him to tell me what happened, and he said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, that evidence was planted on him, that he was set up," she said.

Her mother, Williams former wife, was the 16th ward Alderperson.

No word about whether the daughter was able to back up his claim.


How’re ya doin’?

Llewellyn had an interesting life. The man was a force in retail. I can't quite




When Wizard of Id has completely redefined the national imagination about the medieval period:

How useless it that tower? It serves no function. It can be safely ignored.

They can print the ads, but they have to say “Al Goldstein’s Mag.”

I’d google to see if there are any pictures of the FUTURISTIC APOLLO ROOM at the Gaiety, but I’m on public wifi and it would probably violate whatever I agreed to when I clicked Accept.

I love the cartoonist’s convention that switches the scene to someplace miles away, confusing us completely, until we realize the people on the bike aren’t talking, it’s the same people in the Distant City.

I’d google to see if there are any pictures of the FUTURISTIC APOLLO ROOM at the Gaiety, but I’m on public wifi and it would probably violate whatever I agreed to when I clicked Accept.

“Oscar’s never been a rocker,” so that’s why we’re showing the statuette playing an electric guitar, and telling you we don’t play music from Oscar-winning movies.

Hard to describe if you weren't there, but that art style is sooooo late 70s.

Does 2020 seem worse than 1957 or 1978?




blog comments powered by Disqus