The oven has lost its will to heat. It will hit 350, and then it’s done. The possible reasons, according to the Internet: its heating element is frizzed, the thermometer needs to be reset, or the control board is shot. Option one, replacing the heating element, would be great if one could buy an extra element and plug them in, but everything is proprietary and sealed. I seem to remember that the GE oven I grew up with (which makes it sound like it was a sibling, a little older and smarter; I was so happy when I got to tag along!) had a heating coil you could pull out. It also had a clock that broke, and no one used it for 25 years.

It’s 20 years old, this thing. We have come to resent it for many reasons. The designers made a stupid decision: physical buttons on the control panel. They were great, except most people clean the front by dragging a sponge over the front. Moisture gets into the innards, and eventually rots the board.

This did not happen when the buttons were dumb:

I know about the circuit board rot because it happened, years ago. The board beeped and displayed F-1 over and over. I found a guy online who sold the boards. I called the number.

He picked up and said “you got an F-1 on your control panel.”

Uh -

“Yes. Yes, I do.”

He had phone numbers for every brand, I later deduced. He knew what you wanted depending on which line rang. Clever, but also off-putting. I had a picture of a guy who looked like one of the Pep Shop boys sitting in a New Jersey warehouse with circuit boards piled up the rafters, cigar screwed in the corner of his mouth, nursing his ulcers, dreading going back to his thin rowhouse with metal siding and a metal screen door with his initial in the cheap scrollwork and plastic covers on the furniture and ceramic cats with long necks.

So we need a new oven, and it has to vent on the bottom, because that’s the way the house is configured. Going to an option with an overhead vent would be painfully expensive, ripping out the wall, reducing cupboard space, and everyone's busy. So that means there’s about six models I can buy. And they’re all out of stock.

Everything is out of stock because everyone stayed home and spent vacation money on appliances.

Maybe we’ll get one by Thanksgiving.

Back to Planet Coaster! Every other week, I inflict this on you.

It is a theme park, but I keep building areas that are not devoted to thrills or commerce. I created a pocket park that’s just . . . a quiet autumnal place, as you see in the Bleat banner above.

Let’s stroll through the park, look at the sights, then head through the passage to the new entrance for Spaceport One.

None of this gives you the scope of the joint, which is frustrating, but I'll figure out a way to show you that.

The Paris Museum site abounds with poster art from the heyday of the cabarets. The Summer Circus:

She doesn't seem particularly happy to be helping out firebirds and acro-rabbits.

Come see the Lapin shootez le pistol:

Here’s the building.

It was the site of Hector Berlioz’ massive concerts. No expense was spared!

High costs, expensive tickets - a flop. Berlioz wrote of the events:

I do not remember what terms we agreed on; I know only that it turned out badly for him [the promotor]. The takings of the four concerts, for which we had engaged five hundred performers, were inevitably insufficient to cover all the cost of such huge forces.

Once again the place was quite unsuitable for music. This time the sound reverberated so slowly in that heart-breaking rotunda that compositions of any complexity gave rise to the most horrid confusions of harmony. Only one piece was really effective and that was the Dies irae from my Requiem. Its breadth of tempo and harmonic movement made it seem less incongruous than any of the others in those booming cathedral-like spaces. It scored such a success that we had to include it in the programme of every concert.

Classic Hector, that last part.








Their website says it’s “The Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas.” Let’s see if the boast holds up. These are not, I should note, the best photos; light was often off on the Google car’s trip.

“Well, boys, we can put another story on top, or we can jack ‘er up and slide a story underneath.”

Justice, it seems, has turned her back to the supplicants.


“We have a lot of fine old architecture ‘round these parts. Or so they say. Ain’t seen none of it myself.”

Kidding; in the fall you can get a glimpse.

The Masonic Lodge. Much better picture, with its different colors, here.

That’s a lot of tower, and not enough.

Twins, with different tastes in haberdashery.

Old man Evans has been in the ground for nigh on a century, but his landmark still stands.


The ornateness of this place is no small delight. It’s a window into a possible past, a time when most everything might have looked like this, if a town was prosperous enough.


See the little bristly bits on the cornice? All the buildings have them. Light bulbs. Looks fantastic at night.

Again: why hide these structures? This one looks as if it might have stories to tell.


From the town’s historic website:

Erected 1901 as a hotel by P.H. Dimmitt & Co. Later occupied by mercantile stores -- meeting place for families and friends from Williamson County communities. Georgetown's first movie house, then auto agency; later a drug store, dental office, bus depot. Remodeled 1960 by Georgetown Savings & Loan Association, preserving Spanish arches, columns, and turrets of native stone.

Has to be STROMBERG. And, lest we forget, HOFFMAN.

Subsequently rehabbed and turned into a restaurant, according to a 2016 newspaper story.

Maybe just go upstairs and open up a window? Oh right there aren’t any

Legend says she never forgave them for losing her money in the panic, and showed up every day to stare at them until they gave it back.



It’s impressive and lovely . . . but then you study the facade, and it starts to hurt.

If you like symmetry, that is. One phase? Two? Three?

Now on its third century:

M. B. LOCKETT. Dry goods merchant, and from the looks of it, a prosperous one.


The apron is just . . . unforgivable.

A Rapsonesque overhang, typical for the era; really made a building soar, didn’t it.

Heavy, overscaled roof resting on slender columns - over and over they did that design.



That will do! I hope. Your tour of America continues: motels await.



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