Rain all day. Good for the crops. Also, “we needed it.” Also, “free lawn sprinkling!” All cliches are true, except when it is bad for the crops, and we do not need it, and the you are charged for “excess storm drain usage.” Which I would not put past them, to be honest.

Turned in two pieces today and argued with the family about the pastrami. Someone opened the package of pastrami. No one owned up to it, probably because they couldn’t remember. They’re like that: lunchtime improvisors. I am not. I have a schedule. Pastrami or roast beef or chicken on Monday and Tuesday, Lobby Pizza on Wednesday, patronize the Walkin’ Dog on Thursday, a burrito on Friday.

Why? You ask. Why be so predictable and boring? You might be surprised to learn I can actually defend myself without a trace of self-awareness, by saying this: I like all of those things. Each lunch I know it’s been a week since I had this, and I am happy to have it again. There’s never any confusion: oh what will I have for lunch today, I don’t know what I want. I know exactly what I want. And there it is!

But the pastrami had been opened. It comes in one of those “resealable” containers that has some Post-It note-strength adhesive that supposedly keeps it fresh, but if items are jostled in the drawer, it will open. And indeed it had. No idea how long it had been exposed to General Air, as opposed to the Specific Air in the container, which is no doubt pure.

This was the only unfortunate thing that happened, so I count myself fortunate. Also, the downstairs pantry did not fall on me when I was removing it to vacuum a few mouse droppings. This is totally something I would do of my own free will and most certainly was not something my wife had suggested should be done by someone with more time than her.

At least it gave me the opportunity to check expiration dates, as well as revisit Pandemic Mentality. There was a box of powdered milk in the back, in case milk supplies were temporarily curtained. Just to be safe. Lots of pasta. Just to be safe. Many cans of Hunt’s Tomato sauce, the inexpensive stuff you can dump on pasta, add some dessicated herbs from a shaker, and it’s perfectly serviceable, and no one complains because it’s a hearty meal and gosh dad it’s great you thought ahead, and we have something to eat during this time of societal collapse. Can we have some of the freeze-dried ice cream you have in the survival bins?

No. That’s for emergencies.

What’s this?

The pre-emergency that makes you glad you have something for the emergency. Now, finish up, let the dog clean the plates, and while I pump some water Mom will pass out the Space Food Sticks and then we’ll have a magic lantern show.

Something I did not know: Pillsbury attempted to remarked the vinyl cylinders as something else. From the General Mills blog:

In 1971, just two years after Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the moon, Pillsbury decided to drop ‘Space’ from the advertising for the sticks, and ultimately from the product name.

John Szafranski, a grocery product manager for Pillsbury at the time, said, “We used the word ‘Space’ because of the NASA project, because the product did indeed go to outer space, and because they were first marketed at a time when public excitement about the space program was at a peak.”

He added that Pillsbury stopped using ‘Space’ in the product name because “the image that space food has in the minds of many consumers is a negative one. They think space food in general is dry – dehydrated – and not necessarily very tasty.”

Behold, the newly rebranded item, an absolutely brilliant piece of product nomenclature:


I guess “Gut Rods” was taken.




It’s 1969.

Well, it is a Catholic hospital.

Mideast facing a tense summer: don't get too far out on that limb.

There’s a certain tone here: Medicine Men Will Be Trained. Soviet Task Force is Closely Watched. Bill Proposed. Count is Underway. You sense that keen eyes are watching what needs to be watched, and capable hands are shaping things correctly.

The hospital still looks like that. It’s awfully 1969.

The editorial page is a peculiar mishmash of opinion pieces, cartoons, and this.

Really: Rote Beltway wisdom, anti-Commie fulminations, and celeb notes. On the editorial page.

Mauldin takes a swing at a slow pitch:



There’s not a lot of hard news here, so I’m going to do a movie or two.

I remember this! And then I forgot it forever, until now. A story of a boy and his raccoon. After we saw it we all wanted our own raccoon!


I don’t think I realized this at the time: (imdb comment)

The central part of the novel is an irresistible declaration of love to the nature of Wisconsin, the way it looked in 1918.

Nature is a leading actor in the novel, as is so often also the case in Disney films from the era in question. But this time, the company saved some bucks and didn't film on location in Wisconsin. I believe that's why this isn't a nature film but a conventional family comedy. Southern California is beautiful, but it doesn't look like Wisconsin. There are no oak and maple forests and no giant lake. Either they didn't care to give us a long and wonderful view of nature or they didn't think it was worth the cost or they didn't grasp the importance of that very pivotal part of the novel.

<foxworthyvoice> If yer bitchin' that a movie set in Wisconsin wasn't shot in Wisconsin . . . yew might be a Cheesehead." </foxworthyvoice>

Sorry, youah might be a Cheesehead.

  A story of a boy and his dog. It had been released four years before.

IMDB review:

It seemed to be a career-ender for some of the talent involved. It was the last theatrical movie of cinematographer Gordon Avil, whose first was King Vidor's HALLELJUAH; and Joseph Hamilton never appeared in another show on the big or little screen.

That’s because he died the year the movie was made.



To be honest, if that’s all the crime news you have for the week, things are going okay.

"Breakin and entry." Who's filling out the police report, Boss Hogg?


Sidewalk sales: the FOLLIES! The sheer madness of it all!


They’re really doing their best to sell these, aren't they.

I’d post a comic, but it’s the same old same old - Peanuts, Jiggs (at this late point, I was a bit surprised to see that), Dick Tracy, and so on.

If this was a true account of life in Gallup in 1969, it was solid, prosperous, hopeful, and damned dull.



That'll do; see you around. Plenty of Fifties ads today; since there are so many pages to add, I'm doing twice the usual number. Thank me at your leisure.



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