Isn’t that a relief? Good Lord it’s a relief. It means you’ll get it twice as hard tomorrow, and you’ll take it and you’ll like it, but nevermind, it’s Tuesday.

I have a column to do and some other things to bang out, but it's good thing I thought ahead and prepared a completely unrequested disquisition on something that has nothing to do with anything . . . unless it does. You tell me.



Mission: Impossible is now included with my CBS Plus Access Now account, or whatever it is. I’m watching the pilot. A few things to note:

1. The country is Santa Costa. You know, Spanish for “the Saint of the Coast.”
It doesn’t exist, but I feel as if I should assemble a database of fake countries in Mission: Impossible.

2. Everyone smokes.

3. The iconic theme, if a piece of music can be thus described along terms of imagery, is first played in an scene that is not, I repeat not the credits. Interesting.

Like all the eps, it begins with the boss choosing the players to fufill the Mission, and as usual, chosing everyone whose agent got them a long-term committment, plus maybe one other dude. Then they meet to plan the mission.

The leader of the IMF:


Steven Hill.

Though highly esteemed by his peers, Hill's career was hampered by a strict adherence to Orthodox Judaism, which he adopted after becoming an established actor.

He was replaced by Marshall Dillon’s brother and Minneapolis guy who also went to my daughter’s high school.

The pilot had Willy, the big strong guy; Barney, the smart tech guy; Rollin Hand, the Man of a Thousand Faces, and Cinnamon, the fashion model who’s also up for risking her life every week. Here’s the guy I did not expect to see in Mission: Impossible.

Think what a different direction the show might have taken if he was in most of the eps.

What I remember from The Time of Youth was how Martin Landau was always cool in Mission: Impossible, and then he went into sci-fi with Space: 1999, and how Leonard Nimoy was cool in Star Trek, and then went into non-sci-fi when he joined Mission: Impossible. And it was hard for us because he was Spock but now he wasn’t Spock.

Speaking of which -

They're assembling a really, really complicated plan that takes a 60-year-old mobster and makes him think he’s back in 1937, because - as the opening tape tells us - he threatens to take over the east coast. So they rent a movie backlot, hire tons of people, redress the sets, put up banners and signs and things that say 1937, instead of just oh, I don’t know, taking him out in a back lot and popping him?

Who in 1972 could confidently recreate 1937 without missing a million details? Anyway, here's the mobster in 1972 . . .

Recognize him? How about now?

It's the eyes, the intensity. Then they magically de-age him, and well . . .

But no Nimoy! They were so close to getting the band back together again.

He wasn't part of the new team, I guess. It included a guy who strikes modern eyes as a bit too luridly lippy:

Doing but one episode:

You know him. Don't Google! Who is it?




It’s 1917.

You’re looking at the Cadillac of soda fountains.

Says a site devoted to such things:

The history of the Liquid Carbonic Company is the history of the American soda fountain. The Liquid Carbonic Company was founded in 1888 by Jacob Baur a second-generation pharmacist from Indiana and was originally called the Liquid Carbonic Acid Manufacturing Company. The “Liquid Carbonic” Company came into distinction within the soda fountain manufacturing because it offered the fountain owners a way to produce their own carbonated water. This increased revenue and reduced the cost of operation for the soda fountain owner.

But you won’t believe . . . the rest of the story.

In 1939, Liquid Carbonic Corporation began to manufacture industrial gases, and it acquired Wall Chemicals, Inc., a producer of oxygen, acetylene, and other compressed gases, with plants in Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo.

An aggressive acquisition program soon followed, which transformed Liquid Carbonic into one of the world’s largest suppliers of industrial gases. . . . During the 1970s and 1980s Liquid Carbonic’s geographic expansion continued, and by 1981, it had a total of 85 carbon dioxide plants world-wide. In August 1984, Houston National Gas sold Liquid Carbonic Industries Corporation to CBI Industries Inc., a metal plate construction company. 

In 1996, Praxair purchased CBI and fully integrated Liquid Carbonic into their industrial gas organization, where it remains today.

That’s quite a journey.

As long as we’re talking about liquids:

Never been one of those people who said “sick? Drink wax.”

Yes: soda fountains had showrooms.

I pass that location every week - it’s downtown by City Hall, and all of the buildings that could possibly house something like this are long gone. On that corner, I mean. Elsewhere downtown there's a high-ends countertop company. Unless it was looted this month, of course.

The assurance that everything was “sanitary” makes a lot more sense today, doesn’t it.

“No slopping conditions.”

Benetol, for catarrh?

Not exactly. They made lots of stuff - Benetol was the company, not the product.

“Not a Patent Medicine, but a Scientific Laboratory Product Prepared and Tested in a Great University.”

Which one?


Lovely little ad.

And how did they get their start? Coke:

By the 1890s, cocaine would be used as an anesthetic in a variety of cases, even injected directly into the spine.  As a miracle solution, “[t]hen came cocaine to claim her crown.”

There was even a cocaine district in lower Manhattan — around the cross streets of William and Fulton — where more of the drug was produced than perhaps any other place in the United States, by such manufacturers as McKesson & Robbins (95-97 Fulton Street) and New York Quinine & Chemical Works (114 William Street).

I’m not quite sure what they mean.

Another Twin Cities company. Let’s say . . . they did okay.

A look at the interior of the store.

Finally: I think it’s safe to say that this was an ad aimed at the trade, not the layman.

The companies that had the money to take the back are often the ones that are still around, and that’s the case here.


That'll do; see you around.



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