I had the usual gripe when I entered the building, because of the picture that’s been slowing resolving all this week.

It’s the globe in our lobby, lovingly restored. In normal times it revolves, but it does not revolve anymore.

It stopped on China.

By the way, here’s your host at work:

Yes, bright blue spring shirt, and damned right I was wearing a tie. I know it’s ridiculous; we’re all in sweats, right? All the norms out the window, and we’re supposed to reevaluate our old preconceptions. Down with office wear! Death to dress codes!

Eh. No. There was something comforting about knotting a tie, and it felt as if I was loin-girding.

There are new signs, anticipating the return.

Had the entire newsroomalmost to myself - one other person who just can’t work at home anymore. We chat and share anecdotes. I did see one other reporter in the skyway, in casual clothes - something of a startling sight, since he’s always put together. Grew a beard, too.

Well, noon: time for lunch. As I mentioned a few weeks back, the pizza restaurant has been open through all this. Usually they have about 25 pizzas ready for the lunch rush; now they have ten, tops. But they have it.

“Whoa,” said the cashier, pointing to my shirt and tie. “Bright!” She packed up my slice with gloved hands, and I didn’t even bother with the usual dusting of spices from the shaker by the pop machine, or seeing if they had knives and forks. That was verboten now. In normal times I don’t eat the slices with my hands, because, well, hands. I had brought a knife and fork from home.

This felt like the most wonderful thing in the world:

Because it was so ordinary. It was Wednesday, and I was about to have my Wednesday slice.

It was delicious.

Later: conference call with some new wonderful Ricochet podcast advertisers. As the last man on earth, I could wander around the newsroom chatting about the products, pausing to sit for a while at the head chair in the big conference room where the editors meet to discuss the next day’s paper, thinking of the pirate addressing Captain Tom Hanks in that movie: I am the editor now.

If you’re worried that I have the Wuhan Virus and spread it everywhere: A) there was no one there except for the other person, and B) while I did indeed sit in a chair and touch things, I had disinfected and washed my hands after the trip to the pizza shop and after I ate, and C) there is one person who comes by every day and disinfects the entire office. She’s the only janitorial person who seems to have a job at the moment. For all I know she’s the only person who has a paycheck in her household.

Later in the lobby I saw a startling sight: the convenience store gate was open. The gate used to have a sign that said they were closed for the duration, but here they were, open? OPEN?

“Are you open?” I said from behind my mask. Someone behind the counter smiled widely and said “no, sorry!”

“Oh. Okay.” Then I added, stupidly - “I would have bought something if you were!”

Soon, perhaps. Soon, I hope.

So that was the week. Anything else we need? Oh, of course: some dog.

RBC building: third story now solid. Lawd, this is boring.

Across the street. The Hennepin Apartment complex got out of the basement in a month; it's shorter, so the foundation and car park wasn't as deep.

This will look completely different in a few months:

The RBC plaza building will rise sheer on the left; the Hennepen apartment building will rise on the right. Completely different view than we've had for years.

Here's some other sites I've been lax in recording.

This downtown aprtment building a few blocks from my old office -

Some context.

 

From my vast collection of things with almost no monetary value whatsover, I bring you this week's entry.

Maggie Dei was Rod Stewart's unsuccessful follow-up song.

Actually, no. "Arachnis is an epiphytic genus of vining, monopodial orchids, commonly referred to as 'scorpian orchids.'”

I've never been an orchid enthusiast. I mean, they're fine, but I'm not going to go all Nero Wolfe on the subject.

 

This presumes Lance can see things happen in the past from the cartoonist's perspective.

Not that I doubt Lance's ability to see through this one in a trice.

Solution is here.

 

 

 

   

This may seem peculiar to old radio enthusiasts.

 

You might recognize it right away. Is this . . . is this from a parallel dimension?

 

   
 

 

They're leaning heavy on library cues, but their access must have been limited: this is a Busy City cue, not an action cue or a sci-fi cue.

 

     
 

Ah - now, perhaps, you might figure it out. A reference like that dates the show, so this must be one of those well-meaning and inevitably pointless revivals!

 

 

Same old ending.

 

     
     

Ernest Kinoy was an old radio vet; wonder if they brought him back for this, or reused a script. I don't recognize it.

 

I'm not sure this album goes with this song. Doesn't matter - it's all part of the same anonymous easy-listening machine.

   

 

 

 

Some songs aren't intended for this treatment.

   

   

 

 
Yet another ad for Poultry Happiness, with intentionally bad performances, as if they cast this in Bob Hartley's office.
   

And we're done. Coming up this week: THE MALL IS OPEN.

 

 

 
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