Can you find the patch of blue sky? It's there. These are three eras of architecture, from the fine late-80s classicism of the KPF firm, then the 60s faux-Tudor overhaul of a 20s apartment hotel, and then the godless parking ramp which should have brought shame to the architects for the rest of their lives.

This may or may not surprise you, but I have received three emails from people who want to tell me I am wrong about where Mary Tyler Moore tossed her meat.

I did a column about this - how her dismay over meat prices echoes what we are experiencing today - and mentioned that it happened at a Red Owl. I was informed that this was wrong. It was this place, or that, or the other place. One told me it happened at a grocery store that did not exist by name at the time. They are all quite certain, and need to tell me I am wrong.

So I send them this:


I literally did a TV show about the opening credits. But that was a long time ago. Pre-pandemic my wife and I attended a play that featured a great local actress, and ran into her at a take-out place afterwards. Of course we gushed and of course she did the gracious thing. It struck me later that I had written a role for her and directed her in my TV show; she had played the woman who stood in the background staring at Mary as she tossed her hat.


Okay okay. Fine. Point is, I know that show. It’s why I’m here.

Some nights feel ordinary, then suddenly rare. I’m writing in the gazebo, and the fire isn’t on. No jacket. It’s not warm; it’s not cool. Now and then, a plane growls in the distance, climbing up, devouring the air to fuel its climb. Then it fades, and there’s a single cricket.

There were many before, yelling in unison; now just one, sounding content to sing alone. The rhythm seems comfortable. It reminds me that I missed the last cicada, but of course you always miss the last cicada.

Ordinary for this October. It’s been perfect. The trees haven’t been too colorful, thanks to the drought. I suspect they will just drain and drop. Seventies this week. Sixties the next. The slow retreat. Next week it will feel ordinary to sit out here in a light jacket with the fire on, but then it’ll strike me again: this will not last, and suddenly the normal feels rare, in advance.

Hmm: just as I wrote that, the cricket turned into two chirps, slightly out of phase - an imbalance they soon corrected.

No, it hasn’t been a particularly eventful day. It has been quite the week, as I will tell you on Monday, but now I’m just sitting here woolgathering. I do not like that word. It just popped out. I first encountered it in a Thurber cartoon, when I was ten. Had to look it up. It would seem to me that wool gathering requires some effort, a sense of purpose; you don’t just sit in your chair with your hands in your lap, looking into the distance, and wool gathers in your arms.

Yes, I know, etymology is the last resort of the desperate blogger, but:

Woolgathering once literally referred to the act of gathering loose tufts of wool that had gotten caught on bushes and fences as sheep passed by. Woolgatherers must have seemed to wander aimlessly, gaining little for their efforts, for in the mid-16th century "woolgathering" began to appear in figurative phrases such as "my wits (or my mind) went a-woolgathering" - in other words, "my mind went wandering aimlessly." From there, it wasn't long before the word woolgathering came to suggest the act of indulging in purposeless mind-wandering.

“Must have” is doing a lot of work there. In other words, we don’t know.

Is it not just as likely that “woolgathering” meant my mind was concentrated on a specific activity? If you see someone walking along, and he picks off some wool from a fence, well, you give it no thought other than to think “fellow’s got some wool now.” Unless you shadow that person on their long walk, you have no idea that his purpose is wool gathering, and if you do, and see them picking up wool, you think “there’s someone engaged in a highly specific activity with a tightly defined purpose,” not “there’s someone mindlessly wandering with no plan.”

It’s possible it had a shift through misuse. See also, “I was somewhat bemused when his woolgathering begged the question of what he was doing.”



Looking at the RBC tower from the Gateway district. Here you see how the part I call "the backpack" really balances the structure and adds great grace to its shape. Right?


It looks like a Nutcracker figurine with one limb hacked off.

New-view weekly sweep:


We've watched the apartment building across the street rise over the last year:

Now the sidewalks have sprouted ornamental poles, which I expect will run the length of Hennepin. They're redoing the entire street, because it's the popular entertainment district. It'll be nice when people can go downtown in the evening without fear of getting hit by a stray bullet, but I wonder if that's years away.


Well, that's easy enough.


I don't know why Lance is doing the work of the Miami PD. He's not looking for him for the Miami job. He's looking for him because the Miami cops want him.

Solution here.




This being the supposedly spooky season, we'll take a listen to various horror themes and cues. We begin with . . .



The Canadian Broadcasting System Mystery Theater theme.

Now is the time for the .  . .





This week's Tell-Tale Horn, the sound that aways preceded the crash. This is from the Barry Craig PI show. And it's intentional!










Not a true command performance, since no king had sovereignty over them, and could force them to appear under threat of death.


I tell you, this thing gives me agita from the opening notes.



From 1979. A mild trank. As you might expect, it's diphenhydramine. So, Benadryl.


  That will  have to do. Matches await!





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