Sunday was calm and normal, except for all the ways in which it certainly wasn’t at all.

I went to Home Depot with the Giant Swede.

Hadn’t seen him since this all started. The last time we did this was early March, and he kidded me for buying a 24-roll bale of Scotts TP. WELL LAUGH-A WHILE YOU CAN, MONKEY BOY.

Remember early March?

But this was the last day in May, a lovely blue day, and we needed stuff. Grass seed, some drill bits. He needed some drill bits as well - actually, he needed a drill. And more. Someone broke into his garage and stole the entirety of his not-inconsiderable power tool collection. Who? Oh, no idea. Someone useless. Someone with a hard story, no doubt. Depraved on account he’s deprived, Offisuh Krupke. But it’s just property - you want to deprive someone of their liberty for that?

After we finished our purchases we went outside to the hotdog cart. There’s always a hot dog cart in the summer. There’s this guy, and he has a cart, and he sells hot dogs. That’s it. Nothing better. I referred to it as “the annual appearance of the Francis Dolarhyde Cafe,” which made the Giant Swede laugh, even though it wasn’t quite accurate. Years ago when we would stop off at Lunds on a Sunday provisioning trip, there’d be a guy outside cooking up meats or veggies to promote the wares inside, and he was a dead ringer for the serial killer in “Manhunter,” right down to the blank affect. Hence the name. A decade later, the reference stands; that’s what friends are for.

We bought our hot dogs and sat on a ledge on the side of the store in the sunshine and ate them, and I’ve never tasted anything better.

Hate to say it but we were, oh, I don’t know, five feet apart.

Went back to Jasperwood, and we had cigars and conversation. Wife joined us. The Oak Island Water Feature splashed in the corner of the yard - and yes! I got it back up! A little late, or not, I don’t know. And I don’t care. The familiar quiet pacifying sound.

After he left I got to work on some chores wife had set me to do - everyone in the family was now fully engaged in dealing with the underbrush and expired bushes on the part of the territory that’s mostly ignored, because it seems to be self-policing. Not a lot of visual interest, but it’s still nice. Two tall trees, a hill, ornamental shrubs. Wife wanted me to dig out a dead bush’s root system, and oy that was work. I started to hate the root ball, the more if fought OH YOU WANT SOME OF THIS? I’LL GIVE YOU SOME OF THIS. Got out the saw, everything.

“What’s that?” Daughter asked, and pointed. Down the block the neighbors had assembled in the Triangle, and were listening to someone speak. She went down to investigate. I returned to the root ball, clippings its thick cords that burrows into the earth. It would take 30 minutes to remove it, working in close quarters between the fence and other spiky bushes - imagine changing clothes, while drunk, with six people pointing swords at you. I was almost pleased when one branch drew blood on my forearm: oh it’s on now, man. It is so on.

Daughter returned. The neighborhood watch organization was handing out tips and advice for the coming night, since we’d been warned there might be miscreants about in the residential neighborhood. Makes sense - why wouldn’t they move into the residential areas to set fires? Isn’t this the objective? That whole afflict-the-comfortable thing.

I got the root ball out and held it aloft like the 2001 Monkey who slew a foe with a weapon for the first time. Then I fixed the side security light so it would be on all night, and went to take a nap.

It was slated for 36 minutes, according to my timer, and lasted 15 minutes. Forgot to hit Do Not Disturb. Text from friend on the West Coast reporting on their new civil unrest. Went downstairs to flip on the coffee maker to ensure evening productivity, and Daughter braced me as I came down the stairs: A TANKER TRUCK RAN INTO THE CROWD OF PROTESTORS ON 35W

Huh? First thought, honestly, was “stand on a highway, do not be surprised if the end result is less than salutary,” but they’d blocked off the highway to allow the protest. BUT I had seen tweets in mid-late-afternoon about the haphazard shutdown off the roads; there’d been mistakes, and traffic was getting through. I thought, well, Occam’s Razor, driver was lost or confused, I know that patch of road, you come around a corner and you’re not expecting, you know, PEOPLE on the highway.

The tweets said the driver BARRELED INTO THE CROWD. We find the video. There was no barreling. Looks to me like he stopped without hitting anyone. He was removed from the cab, and social justice was administered. After all, the people standing on the freeway had the reasonable expectation that they would not be run over, since the authorities - you know, the murderous totalitarian state under which they groan - had blocked off the roads and was present to ensure their safety while they expressed their opinions.

Later, a tweet:


Hello, who’s this guy? Some Russian Bot? The underscore makes you suspicious:

Nope, DFL House Majority Leader.

Later deleted, but hey, has to be true in the meta sense.



Hamburgers on the grill for dinner. Delicious. Curfew falls, the womenfolk sit down to watch the news as it unfolds, I sit outside to listen.

It’s dead silent. No planes, but that’s been the case for a while. Now and then I go out of the backyard and shine the high-beam flashlight in all directions, just looking.

Okay, mood shift. Ad and then the usual Tuesday business.



It’s 1962.

Brilliant ad!

But who’d want one?

The people who liked to be seen as the kind of people who got these ads.

Yes, it’s the same year. Seems like a throwback from ten years before.

But this is the era of Mr. Drysdale. Just because Volkswagen got hip doesn’t mean the whole culture swerved and reordered itself.

hese are are all from Sports Illustrated, by the way. Do they still assume that their readers wear these? Ever?

“From Friday conference to weekend tromp.”

Men wore these on hikes?

What sort of man wears his conference shows on a tromp?

Ruffino, the first name in mediocre wine:


Not everyone knows this, and that’s okay! But it’s interesting.

Blanched straw wrapped around these iconic bottles served two purposes: easy-to-blow–over round bottles could now stand up straight, and the baskets added protection during shipping. In short, fiaschi were cheap and easy–like most elements of early Chianti.

That’s right - the bottle for the cheap wine is called a “Fiasco.” Hence, well, Fiasco. So when you say something is going horribly, you’re saying “it was a flask.”

They’re still around, by the way. If you’re wondering - hey wait, what, WHITE CHIANTI?

Chianti is a region. But: “During the 1970s producers started to reduce the quantity of white grapes in Chianti. In 1995 it became legal to produce a Chianti with 100% Sangiovese. For a wine to retain the name of Chianti, it must be produced with at least 80% Sangiovese grapes.”

Dude are you trying to kill the brand

Those in the Know Drink Pickled Crow, as the sleeptalker said. The favorite brand of Ulyssess S. Grant and Mark Twain, although it may have tasted differently back then - I.e., better.

Although the whiskey had been at one time the top selling bourbon in the United States, it underwent a swift decline in the second half of the twentieth century. A production error in the amount of "setback" (the portion of spent mash added to a new batch in the sour mash process) negatively impacted the taste of the whiskey, and the distiller's inability or unwillingness to correct it led to many customers switching to other brands.

Parent company National Distillers was sold to Jim Beam in 1987. The Old Crow recipe and distillery were abandoned and the product became a three-year-old bourbon based on the Jim Beam mashbill.

It’s named after the founder of the distillery, James Crow. He made two kinds: Crow, and the stuff that was allowed to age a bit, called - well, you know.

Once again, we are reminded that the reader of Sports Illustrated in 1962 was pretty tightly put together.

Vycron! I think the trademark’s lapsed, or it wasn’t international; a UK furniture company uses it now.

There were so many of those names.

The WEBCOR: “Nary an ounce of temperament.”

Bit more info on the unit, if you’d like.

Finally: it’s Mansmooth Batiste, of course:

With the kids at Disneyland in 1962: something for the Sports Illustrated reader to aspire to, right?

Yes, in fact, it was.

All right, back to work. Curfew on. All is quiet.

Here. For now.



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