Did I say I was taking the day off? I lied.

This weekend I went to the Fair to do my show on the little stage. Let me tell you something that might come as a surprise: not many people come to the Fair to see a newspaper person at a particular time. What does it even mean if he’s there? What are we supposed to do? So I have to yank an audience out of the people who are milling about, using the lure of free stuff. It is work, but then the State Fair has been about work for a very long time.

Annnnd I’m a bit tired of it.

Heresy! You love the Fair! I do. But it’s been a decade and change since I went to the Fair to be at the Fair and enjoy the Fair as you should, wandering around, seeing your favorite things. It’s always been about finding something to write about, something to film, something to note for the show. I like having the Strib booth as a home base, a place to go to talk, dump my stuff, relax, maybe go out to the counter and sell T-shirts and answer questions. But I’m feeling that rope play through my fingers and I’m not exactly tightening my grip.

That feels horrible. It was probably just apprehension on the first day about the show. It had been two years, and the idea of doing something akin to stand-up was a bit daunting. New material, and all that. I came up with a gimmick: instead of doing a boring history lecture, I would challenge people to use the neon-hued yardstick as a divining rod to point in the direction of the event I had just described. And it worked! People came and they stuck around.

The second day was better; I interviewed a man who sold cricket butter. I’ll be talking to him again on Monday, so if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by at 3 PM. I’ll be the guy in the Red Owl shirt.

Other sights:


The Seed Art, or Crop Art, is always a must-see.


Cheerful. Noble:



A reference that may have been lost on many shuffling along the exhibit:



Same here:



But the generation that got "shocked Picachu" probably found this obscure:







The Televac 86000 is still turning out "personality handwriting analysis" with a "computer" that dates back decades. I have to check my archives to see if the counter is a recent change - it certainly doesn't fit the theme.

Yee-haw, we're runnin' Cobol!

Eniac, Univac, Televac - a natural progression.


Lights for each zodiac sign, because it's SCIENCE.


That will suffice! Now, as ever, the Matchbooks, because it's Monday. Full Bleatage tomorrow.





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