It’s all about incremental diminution and adjustment, no? Wife’s workplace - which is reduced to the barest number - stopped having communal office coffee, because that meant unregulated Touching. So! Adapt, adopt, improve. I got out a cheap unused K-Cup machine, and found some old Traders Joe coffee nodules for her to use. There’s only 12, but chances are they’ll shut down the office before she runs through those. They’re not the best, but it’s hot coffee. Proper coffee, like those inner party bastards have. I’m happy I can give her hot coffee at work.

The most common fargin’ thing, hot coffee - and now it has more meaning and comfort than it has in years, because all the hoity-and-or-toity variants are gone, wiped away like the coffee-equivalent-of-poodle-hairstyle things things they were.

It makes me realize that there was something about the endless frou-frou frothy options of the Before Times that gave me a certain . . . unease. A microscopic burr under the saddle. It wasn’t that the system had produced all these useless indulgences - that was a sign of innovation and competition flowing not just through arteries and veins but capillaries as well. You could make jokes about it, roll your eyes, and order your americano unmediated by all the syrups and double-pumps and candied mass of cream.

I think it was the idea that people took this for granted and took it as a given and took it as the natural state of things. Because it was!

And now it’s not. One thing at a time gets taken away, and you shrug and say “maybe again, but not now.” I don’t spend any time on thinking about these things, except for times like right now when I realize that my wife had better bring back the extra K-cups when she leaves the office on Friday, because she won’t be back for two weeks. Our stocks of K-cups, at present, are exactly 39.

I did some cleaning and sorting in the storage closet, rationed out the beer and water, and put Post-It notes on each box indicating when they would run out if everyone stuck to the rationing. Of course it made me want to get some more, but no: we are good. We have enough. You’re allowed to leave to shop, and I did manage to buy my wife her Campari on my last trip.

“Did you get lemon juice?” Ah, damn, no, that’s the essential part, isn’t it.

Shelter-in-place. Stay at home. Don’t go out unless you absolutely have to.

I almost want to make one last trip to get that lemon juice, because a civilized Campari drink is something she certainly deserves, working 12 hour days with no assurance there’ll be a job at the end of it all.

There’s more today, but I may bang it out for the Ricochet piece after I finish my newspaper column. Really, really not in a mood to write humor, but I’ll be switched if I add something morose to the daily toll.

I do, however, have to note this, and no, I know, it’s not the same.


DEATH RATE DOUBLES IN ONE WEEK would be a significant story today, no? What's interesting is not just the brevity of the piece or the simple recitation of facts without speculation about the future, but . . . the placement.

At least it made the A section.

Here's something for no particular reason, except that Thursday has become urban studies day: Old real estate ads from Washington DC in 1923, compared with what's there today.


Unchanged, except back then the cop would have roused the guy in the doorway and sent him on his way.

Not everything in the 20s was ornate and classical, or leaning towards the moderne like the building above.

Looks like they shaved off a part of the cornice.

This one, I think, hails from the late teens. It has the style of the times.

"The deal was negotiated by Harry Loveless." Local real estate man; died in 1960 at the age of 70.

The last ten years have been good to surviving properties, if they can be rehabbed. Too much of old downtown DC is gone. The replacements are often interesting, but since they can't build up they eat up every single square inch.

There, that was a nice diversion, wasn't it? No reason, but we all learned something.






Thirty-thousand souls at the bottom of a county near the bottom of the state. Wikipedia explains the name: "The fort was named after Colonel (later General) Stephen W. Kearny.  The "e" was added by mistake sometime afterwards by postmen who consistently misspelled the town name; eventually it just stuck."

Let's wander around on this summer day in good old Nebraska.

You know, I don’t think that grid corresponds to the windows of the original.
Bonus: crappy 60s / early 70s faux stone! But 1908, for proud historical authenticity.
On an otherwise undistinguished building I didn’t snap, our old friend:
The off-the-shelf Sullivanesque detail, possibly cast in concrete.
he most dreaded of the Buckaroo Revival indignities:
The flat facade, like they threw a huge owl at the building.
The most dreaded of the Buckaroo Revival indignities:
The flat facade, like they threw a huge owl at the building.
Ah! Nice. Different buildings that once obviously had a single tenant.
On the left, NASH

From this Flickr page:

W.L. Nash was a stock dealer who had offices on the second floor. The street level was first the Russell & Jakway Hardware Store. In 1935 the Tripp and Nash buildings combined into the

Kearney Hardware which continued into the 1970’s. Owners of the Home Thyme antiques, Matthew and Evelyn Seip, received a grant to renovate the facade of the building in 2014, hence their initials on the facade at the top.

The store had to have a big name to demand so large a canvas:
An old building with a post-war mask, of course.
A nice survivor.

The building on the left replaced something grand, which you can see in this nice panorama.

Let's go closer.

So . . . that arch never sheltered a door.

Unless people had to jump.

Wonder what E. G. Tunks is up to. Googling . . . ah! Tunks was the mayor.

In 1955.

They managed to Buckaroo the back end, and screw up the bricks as long as they were at it.

And here we discover . . . it's two buildings. Or one, built in two phases.


All together now: OUMB.
No, no reason why could use glass up there, and give the building the appearance of something that was still vital and engaged:

Looks like a big slot machine.

As for the man who made it: HENLINE.

Built by Stephen A Douglas Henline, 1860 - 1933. (Grave here.) He was 28 when he got it done!


Swank signage on the Henline side:
Do they have an extra door for people too drunk to operate a knob, and just want to walk from inside to outside without impediment:
City Hall: gorgeous moderne. That’s all
If I did have to say something more, it looks as if the two wings of the building were compressing the middle and making the filling come out of the jelly donut, but I won't.
I’m presuming it’s not a theater anymore.
Unless that’s what they call movie patrons there, and serve them steamed hams.
You might be surprised to learn it’s an AM talk radio station. Some syndicated content, but local shows as well: good for them!
Heart, soul, and voice of small towns, these stations.
The World:
Cinema Treasures page here, with some old shots from the Jolson era.
Could this little classical sweetie be any more self-contained:
Museum now, but it was originally the post office.
This one’s original. Unchanged!

Gorgeous, and they know it.

Nice little place, Kearney.

There you have it; see you tomorrow.

The portfolio update ration has been generously upped to 5; this is one of my favorites. Not for the pictures, necessarily, but for the editorial notes of some lass gone long, long ago.




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