Had a fine Father’s Day, shadowed by the remembrance that the family lost two Fathers since last we had this celebration. Seems like a long time, and it seems like last month.
Rotaria made paella! True Catalan paella. By the way, now that I know how to pronounce Barcelona, I won’t. Not to be mulish and parochial, but everyone says Barce-a-lona, right? If you think that’s right, then the correct way sounds odd, and if you know the correct pronunciation, you probably think the other person is being pretentious.)
Saturday I attacked the landscape lighting problem. Three different strings, two transformers . . . and no lights. I had to figure out if all the transformers were giving juice, then test the lines, then test the individual lamps. It was all quite methodical and chewed up a lot of time.
Ah, well, you say, that’s your problem, right there.
Is it? You think I’m running too many lights off a small transformer? Phsaw, I say unto you; I know what I’m doing. I have LEDs that drink a portion of the available juice, AND I have multiple transfers.
In the end, I established that the transformers were fine, and the lines were fine. Also, two out of three lines didn’t work. Also, the light I set up last night turned on at 3 AM and shone the equivalent of a movie-premier seachlight into the bedroom window, but other than that I am just knocking this out of the park.
You might be asking “Isn’t this the time of the year when there’s a hiatus, because OGH goes on vacation, the tales of which are never as interesting as he seems to think they are - oh look a statue in a museum - and then he puts it in the Travel section, which was just redesigned again for some reason as if it’s not the most insignificant backwater of the site?”
Well THAT’S a lot to digest. Yes, I redesigned it. Over the course of the lockdown, such as it was, I redid / rejiggered large portions of lileks.com, doing such interesting things as “bumping up the font size” and adding pages to sites long dormant, but not deserving a space in the bottom-of-the-page update link. Fargo, for example. I went through the entire site, changed the font size, fixed the links, added some pages. HEY WHO WANTS SOME HOTEL BROCHURES?
Where else can you get that quality content? Oh okay oldcoolhotelbrochures.com, you got me there, but still.
I'm not taking a vacation, obviously. Just the idea of sitting on the verandah of a ship and watching the sunset seems like something from a lost era.
In case you’re wondering how to frame that: “privileged guy in the midst of a national conversation about racism wishes he could be on a ship served by underpaid developed-nation servants.” Because that’s the only dynamic, the only prism through which the light of the day refracts. It’s one or the other, and even if you’ve chosen correctly, you’d best not give a jot of thought to the other side.
You’d best learn how not to think of some things.
People can tell when you’re thinking of those things, if you mentioned them before. Don’t think you’re safe because you’re not mentioning them now.
See, this is why I need a hiatus - everything keeps coming back the disquietening conviction that the pipes and wires under the street are all being rearranged, and we've no say in the process. Now and then there's a hard wet slap, as we had in Uptown over the weekend.
Twelve people shot. In Uptown.
The previous night some car enthusiasts had commandeered an intersection by my old apartment and run crazy loud shrieking automayhem:
A reddit thread about the matter said residents called the cops, and were told, more or less, yeah, whaddya gonna do. They had their hands full with other shootings and assaults and strong-arm robberies, which somehow continued despite the toppling of the Columbus statue. (Note: this is a lagging indicator; it may take up to 14 days for the topping of a statue to change human behavior.)
It’s as if there’s a tacit agreement, city-wide, that disorder is now the norm. I cannot stress enough how this is a 180 from the usual citizen’s expectations.
It’s as if the city was undone in a stroke.
It’s as if the people in charge have no idea what to do, and are casting around in their empty tackle box for the right lure.
So yes, a hiatus will be coming next week. I’ll get back to a mood where I can watch TV again, which I’ve found hard to do lately. Everything seems silly or irrelevant.
You know what’s cool? Space. Technological accomplishments, new paradigms in technology, steps off our blue marble to expand what we know, and what we can do, and every time I turn on Netflix it wants me to watch a Steve Carell show that pisses all over it.
Well! That's a merry start for the week.
I'd apologize, but for what?
We return to the adventures of the Shadow, who is not invisible, has no special skills, no gadgets, nothing. Just a hat and a cape.
Let's use the crawl to catch up.
This may be the best one yet, and that isn’t saying a lot.
When last we saw Margo, we were hearing Margo, because she has an annoying loud scream. She was at the bottom of an elevator shaft, about to be crushed, but because serials are cheap and lie all the time, she got halfway out before she collapsed, for some reason.
He fistfights a few minions, then off they go. If this one follows the rest - and of course it will - we’ll be off to the Plutocrat’s Club to hear of the next threat from the Black Tiger, or to the Tiger’s HQ, and we’ll have ten minutes of hugger-mugger before we get to the cliffhanger.
Okay, it’s the club. Fewer than before, since they’re being killed off or shanghaied. They’re convinced that the Black Tiger and the Shadow are the same person.
Why? Why would a super villain have two evil identities?
The Black Tiger bursts into the scene:
What a tiresome fellow. That EEEEVIL voice does tend to wear on one.
So a record just started playing itself? Cranston said a highly-sensitive listening device in the record player heard their words and triggered the record, which was already on the platter! Ingenious! Devilishly clever!
Meanwhile, back at Lamont’s lab, two henches come to kidnap the assistant who isn’t Robert Young, and the stupidest fight happens:
They capture the guy - we’re not exactly sure what he does, except he’s kinda connected to Cranston? - and take him to the warehouse where they’re hiding the other industrialists. The Tiger’s second-in-command calls them to say “the Shadow’s found the location of the warehouse, so it must be destroyed.”
Okay, I guess, but why not wait for him to show up and fill him fulla lead? Nah. Blow it up.
The Shadow shows up . . .
See, that works best when NO ONE CAN SEE YOU. There’s a gun battle that is intensely disappointing to anyone who ever played Doom:
EVENTUALLY the stuff works as advertised.
EVENTUALLY the stuff works as advertised.
Trust me. He’ll shake it off. That'll do; on we go on another week of unleashed fun. Or a reasonable facsimile, etc.