Third day of cold rain. The Wednesday pizza didn't taste right. The office was deserted. an important phone call was not returned.

I think this means that Thursday's attempt to deliver and install the oven will be successful.


I came across this on Reddit.

Somewhat larger version here.

I'll probably add it to the 70s section some day, but who knows when those long-delayed updates will see the light of your screen. The Fifties update just bigfooted the Decades updates for a long time. I was looking for an image from a 1930s Sunday magazine feature to make a birthday card for my wife (she's 39) and knew it was in a 30s site folder. It's 15 pages; never been uploaded. It's somewhere between 1929 wallpaper and 1962 TV commercials in the 2024 schedule.

Anyway. This ad bears examination. The quality of the era - the unmistakable 1977ishness of it all - is remarkable. We used to live for these spreads, enticing us with new cartoons.

It starts with Road Runner, of course, because they had the idea that the day should start with the best cartoons, then plunge off the cliff into dreck, but without even the Coyote's moment of aerial suspension.

Another "classic" character kids did not completely object to watching:

I always thought he was supposed to be a rich guy. Not just a myopic guy, but a rich myopic guy.

Ha ha he has a blind dog now and they solve ghost mysteries

Everything had to be fit into the stupid Scooby paradigm. Plus some of that old airplane stuff and maybe the dog will laugh like Muttley because that was always good for absolutely no laughs

DePatie-Freleng-UPA. Jeez.


Hold on the fourth dimensional what?

BATMITE IS NOT CANON. Or is he? I'm sure it matters to someone. And that someone is a single male aged 37.

I'm kidding. Of course Batmite is canon.

Now we get to the failures, which are more interesting.

Looks awful. No kid wanted to see a Real Live Howdy Doody. (Which that guy wasn't, but you see the resemblance.) Turns out they weren't kidding about the "music" part: take a look at this clip.


Yes, that's Tom Petty on bass.

More live action, complete with OCR typeface to indicate it is set in the future

The fellow on the left is Jonathan Harris, which gives it even more sci-fi cred!


Lasted one season.

Okay, just look at this junk.

We have the opening for the Skate Birds. Lucky us.

Everything about the target market - or rather, the programmers' assumptions about the target market - can be summed up thus.


JHC, the amount of junk they made.

The Robonic Stooges is a Saturday morning animated series featuring the characters of The Three Stooges in new roles as clumsy crime-fighting cyborg superheroes. It was developed by Norman Maurer and produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions from September 10, 1977, to March 18, 1978, on CBS and contained two segments: The Robonic Stooges and Woofer & Wimper, Dog Detectives.

Additional voices
• Scatman Crothers - King
• Casey Kasem - Atlantean Scientist

Sounds about right for 1977.

Oh but wait. It's all been leading up to this. It says everything about then, and everything about the bankrupt, out-of-gas now.

In 2021, it was announced The Robonic Stooges would become a comic book series.

Of course. Part of the Stooges Cinematic Universe, no doubt.


Now, this year's Above-the Fold Kul-chah Feature, or ATFKF.

The Threatened Swan, Jan Asselijn, c. 1650

At the time this was a politically potent image:

A swan fiercely defends its nest against a dog. In later centuries this scuffle was interpreted as a political allegory: the white swan was thought to symbolize the Dutch statesman Johan de Witt (assassinated in 1672) protecting the country from its enemies. This was the meaning attached to the painting when it became the very first acquisition to enter the Nationale Kunstgalerij (the forerunner of the Rijksmuseum) in 1880.

We'll have more on the Witts next week, when the allegories become . . . all-a-GORYs. Get it? GORY? Okay sorry








Four thousand, five hundred souls. Named after the town in Illinois. Town slogan: "Where the possibilities are endless." It has a newspaper. Pure Middle America here, and you know how I feel about that.

Does one have to add that I think that's a good thing? I suppose one does. Well, let's see how the downtown looks.

That’s nice. Really!

It’s not fancy, and it’s mostly cliches, and it looks new, not historic, but it’s nice.

Either you can get gauzy paintings, or they are telling you that the quality of nets they have exceeds those of other stores:

Where Mo-Nets will go if they open a second store:

You always wonder if the original owner would approve of the colors, or ask what the hell they thought they were doing.

It’s not supposed to be tarted up like some saloon doxy!

My original text for this image is “We had two books in the children’s section titled ‘Fox in Sox," but now there’s only one” and I have no idea what I meant by that.

I really should have been pointing out the sign for the Steak Laundry.

Kidding, but now I want to visit a Steak Laundry.

And loses

Always love to see the remnants of the old chain, and too bad the name wasn’t accompanied by my old friend SKOGMO, but man, that’s been gone a long time.

The door looks as if it should have two stout people trying to enter simultaneously:

Was once a grander entrance, I guarantee.

OUMB, suspenders / blue-shirt-white-collar / slicked-back Gekko-hair era:


“Try again, Bob. Line ‘er up.”

It looks as if the building is in mourning.

“According to town records, the original owner had a trampoline showroom on the ground floor.”


As modest and self-contained an old bank as you’ll find.

It's practically begging for a brick, though.


“We were close as kids, but then he went off to avant garde school, and I stayed home and became what they call a ‘traditional’ gal, I guess”

Nice preservation, but A) mirrored glass does not fit old buildings, and B) Those stick-on pediments are ridiculous.

The one next door was a bank, and that’s one serious case of Elephant Man’s Disease, romanesque-wise.

A long partnership:

Thomas Block on the right.


Why not Cass Block?



That would be Patton’s Sun-Proof Paint.

The mascot’s grandson went to work for the Teletubbies.


This one lost a fine cornice, alas.

The turret on the corner pulls it down a bit, but not in a bad way. You wonder if the other end lacked a turret because they expected someone would build something there.

Why is the second floor arch off center? Was it built in two stages?

Well, if you say so.

A nice place. That’s all I got, so I assume that’s all there was. More or less.

Hints of a much older building than the style would otherwise suggest.

Perhaps the bitter rivals of the Cass Brothers combine:

The ground floor is hideous, but also nostalgic.

Whoa: someone just kept adding on, but lost enthusiasm - or the means - by 1908.

Hope his name was Sam.


The rusticated stone sticks out, obscuring the sign. It all looks older than the Owl ad, but it can’t be.

The more I look at this one, the more my brain hurts.

It went down in 2008. Arson. I found a picture.

No, I like mine dull.

The town did a heartfelt video tribute to itself, and dang: nice job, Aurora.





That will do. See you tomorrow.




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