The fires on our northern border have spread a smoky pall over the state. (By the way, is Pall Mall not the worst possible cigarette name? Depressing blanket + Word that sounds like Latin for Evil) I was walking Birch after dark, and wondered if I was in a noir movie, or waiting for Max Von Sydow:

Yes, the smoke is so bad it's removed all the color from the world.

Ordinary day, with some exciting developments I will relate in exactly 32 days. It's Daughter's birthday on Friday - she's 21 now. Considering embarassing her on Twitter about it.

Odd how it seems like a long time ago, and also not. Why? Perhaps because we never moved. Jasperwood has provided an endless series of unremarkable constants. The sound of the gate latch, the way the drawer in the hallway makes a squeak when pulled out or shoved in. The same dining room for all the big family events. The same bedroom, which she left with things that represent her now, and also make me recall an array of plastic My Little Ponys on the windowsill. It's all there, 21 years, just behind the most recent tick of the clock.

What's longer than my tenure in this house? Why, this site. Which leands us to the Story of the Comments. I realize this might be the dullest thing in the world, so I'll try to spice it up with accusations and paranoia.

Here’s a portion of the code that makes it impossible to preview the page without everything exploding:


Taboola. (Audience hisses, throws odorous produce) The shite-shoveling chum merchant. The devil’s bargain: comment system is free! As long as you let us put the occasional ad on your page. Like, 12 of them.

To remove the ads, you have to pay. Fair enough. As Heinlein famously said, there ain't no such thing as a free robust multi-platform comment system with a non-site-specific login option. But I’ve come to dislike Disqus. It adds a lot of weight to the page. There are privacy issues, if you are interested in studying the hoof prints of all the horses that have left the barn. They recently dropped a site because the SPLC told Disqus it was a “hate site,” and that’s all it took.

So I don't feel like giving them money. 

So, maybe dump the comments?

It's the new trend. Then I started thinking if there are any other changes I should make, and I went back to Square One.

Why, exactly, do I do this?

<tevye_mode>Because it’s a tradition! And it’s what God wants me to do. </tevye_mode>

No seriously, why?

See above. Also because it’s my life’s work, in a way. I realize that’s pretentious and bursting with the creamy goodness of self-regard. Behold my works, and marvel!

But it is my life’s work, inasmuch as these are the things in which I am interested, and I want to set them out for all like-minded folk, or people who don’t know they’re interested in this stuff yet.

I made an eclectic, idiosyncratic museum of Flotsam. It's survived the majority of blogs that rose in the early days of the internet. Annnnd it costs me money. The comment system I'll introduce on Monday - if it's not Disqus - isn't expensive, but it is money.

And so. I am once again asking - oh, you know the meme.

  Finally fixed this. I will be making a slight fundraising push for the next fortnight, and I do so with a slight wince because some thank-you letters always fall between the cracks.

I do promise this: we're going to make it to the quarter-century mark. Blogs and platforms rise and fall, people get bored, everyone runs to Medium, then dashes off to Substack. Fine. Just saying there was a Bleat in the beginning, and there will always be a Bleat, until there isn't. And it won't be because I'm bored or busy.

Can't possibly think of a good reason to quit.


The thick lines that help define the top portion are finally in place, and makes you wonder why the rest of the building couldn't have something like that.


The weekly sweep:

The Hennepin Apartment building, phase one, from the other end of the weekly-sweep location.

Our friend the Larking, From another angle, to give you a feeling for the neighborhood.

Why am I showing you this? Street repaving? It's come to this? A blog about street repaving?

It has come to that. But I wanted to show how they did the entire street. Planters, trees, a broad walkway - all at the expense of one lane of travel. It's now down to two. Don't let those damned cars get any idea.

Meanwhile, over on Hennepin:

The entire street is being redone. There will be decorations. Or so we're told.

Remember the IDS Crystal Court renovation I showed you during the winnowed, emptied days of downtown? It's done.

It does not whelm as much as I thought. It seems cowed by the vastness of the space.

Better from this side.

I wish the pool splashed, though.


Lance's glad to see the guy he shot in the gam a month ago!



Solution is here.



The Haunting Hour. I can recite it from memory. No . . . no, stay where you are. Why? Because. Well I was just going down the hall to the bathroom Do not break the stillness of the - Get out of my way.



Don't mistake the slight pause for the end. What I've always loved is the utterly out-of-place music that begins the show after the commercial. So happy!





Not much for Jerry on the YouTube. It's almost as if this style of music has lost its popularity.

The years is 1963, by the way. This music coexisted with the Beatles. You can understand why some adults hated that yeah-yeah-yeah stuff, and why Boomers associate this music with their painfully unhip parents.

1975: "I'm a performer."

Thank you for your patronage this week, and have a fine weekend. See you on Monday.