Well, did we learn anything here this week? We did. I learned that my enthusiasm for everything evaporates around 7:30 PM Thursday night, and I want my weekend to begin. (I start work on Sunday.)

This week I went downtown four days in a row and sat alone in the office, with a few people drifting past now and then. I wonder how I'll celebrate the first anniversary of the office emptying out. Maybe sit cross-legged on the main conference table and eat a cupcake.

Filed a column, only to learn that the subject was too close to what was going on the cover of the section, so ugh: either I don’t appear, or I write a new one. Well, the first option is not an option. Never leave your space. Fill it out, best as you can, every time you’re given the opportunity. In the glory days of newspaper columns they wrote every single day - weekdays, at least. Not every one was stellar. Most weren’t. But you build up a sense of a running conversation. You’re expected. The audience looks for you.

Or so we like to think. Perhaps we’re nothing more than the tree all the dogs pass on their daily walks. Point is, I have to do another column, so tonight’s plans were thrown, violently, into a cocked hat.

Nothing much to report, anyway. The Furbo Automatic Treat-Bestowing Machine is back up, so Daughter can give Birch a little bit of kibble remotely. That’s the modern world: remote kibble-strewing over the internet. When she activated it tonight Birch was in the other room, and perked up instantly: it’s been 9 months, but he knew the sound instantly, and went to the spot where the kibble magically appears.

He sleeps in her bed now. At the end of the night he follows me upstairs and peels off to the left to visit her room.

Anyway! Sorry, that's it. But don't worry: the usual things below.


Some context for the RBC Gateway.

It's a chilly scene, but I like it. The lines in the glass in the foreground building - that's the library - are meant to be birch trees.

The weekly sweep:


Oh this always works.


If only she'd been a xylophonist.

Solution is here.



Why yes, more of the old fellows. Not the bits or routines, but the little things about the era the clips reveal.



Now and then they took a hiatus. Interesting to hear Abner - Norris Goff - drop his character voice.

So: Pick and Pat, eh? Another comic duo taking over for these guys? Two comical Irishmen running a store in New York?









And then they were back!





When I was a kid it seemed as if everyone covered the Whiffenpoof Song.

No one ever told me what a Whiffenpoof was.


Here 's your explanation:

whiffenpoof was a tool for training Boy Scouts in tracking skills. The whiffenpoof itself was a small log, about the size of a stick of firewood, with nails driven into it on all sides, so that it bristled with nails. This was dragged through the forest on a short leash, by the older Scouts who were training the younger. It might thus create a track that the tenderfoot must learn to trace out. Or it might, alternately, be dragged across a trail in order to confuse the trackers. The fewer nails that were driven into it, the more difficult and subtle was the effect.

Thus it is that the word whiffenpoof can also refer to an imaginary or indefinite animal; e.g. "the great-horned whiffenpoof". It originates from an actor's ad-lib in a 1908 performance of the operetta Little Nemo.

And now we've learned even more!

It's that ol' Redhead bastiche, again.

That'll do! See you around.



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