2 PM aphorism: every day feels like an exercise in building a rostrum of optimism in a nation of termites.

8 PM aphorism: Pessimism makes some people feel good because it means they’re smarter than other people. Optimism makes some people feel good because it means they’re better than what they know they could be.

A somewhat bad Monday. Nothing happened here to make it so. This is different from a hard Monday; we are not having hard days. A bad day is just one in which you have the luxury of a depressed mood for a while.

Made the Monday run, and felt short-tempered and irritated. On the other hand: Target had hand-sanitizer and Scotts TP, two signs of hope. The meat department at Lunds was back up; it had been shut for two or three weeks, but the pre-packaged chicken was all gone, probably because the demographic for this supermarket is later-middle-aged / NPR subscribers, and had heard that all the meat-producing faculties are shutting down. Well, a few. Better make sure.

In abundance: flour! Good, because Monday’s obligatory pasta night would be special, since I ordered a small pasta maker. So Daughter and Rotaria made fresh pasta. Delicious!

The simple pleasures.




I watched the last Star Wars movie.

How could they have not plotted this out in advance?

Let us imagine sitting down with the people charged with writing the first installment of the new trilogy.

Producer: Okay, what have you got for us?

Writer One: We have a Luke Skywalker except she’s a she.

Great! What’s her backstory?

(writers look at each other) It’s a mystery. We really don’t know anything about her.

Producer: Great! So that’s something we can stretch over three movies. You do know where it goes, though?

(writers all nod)

Producer: Okay, who’s the bad guy?

Writer Two: Get this, it’s Darth Vader’s grandson, the estranged son of Han and Leia.

Producer: That’s awesome.

Writer Three: And he’s a little bit conflicted.

Producer: If there’s a Darth, who’s the emperor?

Uh - (Writer One thinks of how he’d really like a cigarette now) Smoke.

Producer: Smoke?

Writer Three: Snoke. He’s the leader of the Empire.

Producer: There’s an Empire?

Writer Two: Well yes and no, we’re working on that. It’s the remnants of the Empire.

Producer: Oh, so they’re now the Resistance - a small, splintered force attempting to come to power? That’s awesome. You know, everyone wondered what happened after the Empire fell. So you set it up with half an hour of character study, life in the newly peaceable systems, and then bang, a terrorist act that shatters everyone’s assumptions, and reveals a new enemy?

(Writers nod quickly, but don't write it down)

Producer: I’m kidding you! I want fleets, uniforms, banners, English accents, all that shit. How about another Death Star?

Writer One: Well, we have something along those lines. A Death Star is one thing. How about . . . a Death Planet?

Producer: What do you mean? A planet that just roams around eating other planets?

Writer Two: No, uh, it’s a big, big weapon on this one planet, and it manages to take out other planets. Our heroes have to take it out.

Producer: Great, that rhymes. Okay, so I see the first movie. Second one, yada yada, downbeat ending, all is lost, that stuff. But where does it end?

Writer one thinks: "My script has Luke as the hero, he had left public life when the restored Republic furloughed all that Force stuff, but took the opportunity to train Rey, but she was like him, headstrong, and it gets her killed in the middle of the second movie of the trilogy. She doesn’t come back as a Force Ghost either, what is that stuff? Luke has to destroy the Sith at its source, so he has to turn Kylo, and he does this at the end of the second movie, so we don't have the third movie about some BS redemption arc, we get that out of the way. The third movie is actually about something no one ever expected, and Sith and Jedi and Republic and Empire forces have to combine to defeat it."

Writer two thinks: "no one liked my idea about Yoda being the real dark Sith, man, that would have been a reveal."

Writer three, out loud: We're not sure. But hey, there's lot of time to figure this out.

Producer: Okay, just make sure there's lots of chasing and running and quips and cute robots. Here's half a billion dollars. Good luck!

It did look nice, though.

I am, however, tired of the HUGE FLEET ALL BUNCHED UP idea in sci-fi.

Please. It's space. There's lots of room.

To tell the truth, the movie lost me at the start when the Emperor's armada arose from . . . the ocean?

Where did he get all those ships? If you have that many ships, why not just get on with it?




It’s 1973.

That “Great American” crap never stopped. It had a brief moment as a sarcastic term, but then was deployed with desperate glee at a time of national malaise.

Grand prize - A week at the Howard Johnason!

And you can’t eat anywhere else!

“Soilfree” is not an attractive word. Not at all.

Still around! The website is archaic, though, and the Facebook page hasn’t been updated in a while.

Congrats to a small player for keeping it going all these years

Hey, great, are those mini-franks with a BBQ glaze? No?

What are they?

Nice honest ad. And I had to smile when I saw that little General Foods logo in the corner; it was ubiquitous in my youth.

It’s not around anymore. Well, it is, in a sense - KGF, or Kraft General Foods. The logo in this ad was dropped in 1985, and replaced by a Saul Bass creation. Meh.

Not exactly the most brand-forward ad, is it?

I do like the dim corridor of slumped despair behind her. They hadn’t quite figured out how to be subdued and reassuring, or didn’t bother with it.

I’m sorry to hear that.

The world’s largest manufacturer of Grandfather Clocks.

BTW, this is the sort of crammed-crap ad you saw in magazines in the 60s, and it was always a sign the magazine’s fortunes might not be on an upward trajectory. Your audience was aging.

They’re still around.

Thrifty moms wanted their girls to learn how to sew. It was a good, handy skill.

Unfortunately, the Sew Magic was not a sewing machine. It used glue.

It’s hard to tell what the hell this is for. High-class escorts?

No. The Graciously Occupied woman works from home making calls to sell portrait settings. I’m reading between the lines, but “arranging appointments ahead of the photographer’s arrival” is a damned clever way of saying “cold calling people to sell them family photo sittings.

Don’t expect to meet Mr. Moffett.

Moffett Studio began as a partnership between real estate developer Evan Albert Evans and camera artist George Moffett in 1905. Moffett proposed that Evans allow him to construct a studio on the top floor of Evans's property at 57 E. Congress Street, across from the Auditorium Building. Evans ran the business while Moffett manned the camera. The collaboration proved inspired.

Check out the archives!

The frank expression indicates she is a modern woman who will enjoy frank talk about things, naturally, and frankly. She may have some sort of backpack that indicates she is an outdoorsy sort, ergo smoking is natural and not bad for you at all!


That'll suffice, I hope. #STAYHOME! #STAYSAFE! I'm so tired of being told that. Never occured to me before, Mr. Celebrity person reaching out to the hoi polloi.




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