I was thinking of bringing some cookies to the Sunday Vikings game. After all, here's a seasonal treat, as much fun to eat as it is to make! And tomorrow, it's lost all its pleasures, and it's just a joyless sugar-delivery vehicle that makes you feel abashed for resorting to day-old pre-cut dye-infused confections:

Thought it would be good for the Vikes game because Poppin' is not, if you study the picture, catching the ball.

It's still bizarre to see the empty stadium, but A) I'm a bit more used to it, and B) At this rate it represents actual local enthusiasm for the team.


I had the opportunity to wash the windows a few days ago. The weather was clement, and this would be a good time to make everything look bright and sparkling.

I should note that we have a lot of windows.

Well, step one: avoid actual work by going to the hardware store for supplies. Bought of those bottles you hook to your hose, pre-loaded with window-washing fluid. Blast the suds, wait, rinse, and let the magic sheeting action leave your windows dishwasher-clean! The store didn’t have any. Great! Let’s go to another store and see if they have any; that’ll chew up time.

Didn’t find any, but I saw a guy in a uniform stocking the window-cleaning brushes, and thought I’d ask him. I described my needs, and ne nodded, and said, kindly, and with a small amount of incredulous amusement, “I don’t work here.”

Oh. Duh. Of course. Wrong uniform. Then I noticed he was wearing a uniform for a gas station, and asked him if he knew where I should get an oil change. He rattled off all the locations. Hah! I told him I’d driven past one, and noticed the pinball arcade had been shut down, there wasn’t anything there now, but it seemed like some construction was underway.

Long story short: they’re building a smoke shop, and it has to have a separate door to conform with city regulations. You have to wall it off and have a separate door, and then, and only then, can you sell menthol cigarettes. The city banned menthols, except for liquor stores and smoke shops. The gas station is right on the border with another city that has no such restriction. He quoted the amount of money they’ve lost from the ban, and it was jaw-dropping - not just because of smokes, but the other stuff people buy.

All of which represents lost tax revenue to the city.

We got to talking convenience stores - or rather I insisted on talking about them, since it’s the family business and a fascinating part of the economy, and no one asks what the effect of going to all-electric cars will be on these stores. At some point I saw the name on his shirt and realized he was one of the owners of the station I drive by three times a week, so that was cool. It’s like meeting one of the Pep Boys.

Question: was there a connection between the 20s use of “pep” for vitality and energy, and the rise of “pepsin” branded products? (Think Pepsodent.) I think so. And I’ll spare you an etymological Bleat that takes the matter further.

It took two afternoons to do one floor of windows. I ran out of Sprayway window cleaner - the best you can buy, period, and it almost smells like ditto fluid. Ran out of newspapers, which is the best means of cleaning off the best window cleaner.

God bless newspapers. You read it, then you wash windows with it, and then you use the bag in which it came to pick up dog poop. Most versatile product on the market.



Early this month, because next week it's Halloween! Big deal. But that means a horror film, according to the iron-clad rules of the Bleat.

Our unofficial name for this serial is “Four tons of debris fall on the Shadow, and he is momentarily stunned.” It’s happened over and over and over again. Crap thunders down from above, cliffhanger, next ep, he shakes it off.

Will this be different?

There’s a remarkable turn of events. Okay, what’s going to be the McGuffin this week? Back to the Tiger’s HQ, where he turns on his invisibility ray and goes to his desk to yell at his thugs. They’ve installed a listening device under the table at the Plutocrat’s Club, and the Tiger can hear everything!

Why he didn’t do that 12 eps ago, who knows.

Anyway, Cranston says he’s developed a device that can trace the Tiger’s radio transmissions, and find his location! He will conclude his investigations tonight!

The minions go to get the invention. Not kill Cranston, but get the invention.

Will we be favored with one of her famous screams?

That'll do; Matches await. She gets off four more.

It was a ruse, of course, because Cranston knew they’d steal it, and wouldn’t think of killing anyone. Mass killers they may be, but that’s for airplanes and trains.

Anyway, the device the minions steal isn’t a locator, but a wireless dictogram!

Cranston overhears the address the Tiger tells them to go to, at 233 Front Street. A hats-on fistfight follows, scored by Beethoven. Always handy to have some huge wooden crates that are empty and also nailed together:

Cranston heard the plans to attack the power station, so he goes there, pursued by minions.

Annnnd that’s your cliffer.


Another week begins, with the usual updates. Matchbooks, of course. I have so many. Currently working through the 2023 update. Have a fine Monday, and I hope it seems like Monday, and not some strange floating day disconnected from routine and purpose.




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