The air conditioning system replacement project, or ACSRP - pronounced “ack-surp” - begins Tuesday morning at the stroke of seven. Great. Since they will be bustling about in the bathroom, where the attic egress is located, this means everyone has to be done with ablutions earlier than usual. And yes, I’m looking at “attic egress” as an interesting bird that roosts in your rafters. Different than the Antic Egress, which is grotesque, fun-loving, and found only in Greece.

I mentioned this on the air, so I am repeating myself, but when it came to sending me up into the attic when the temps were dangerous I was half-willing to channel the spirit of a Soviet military leader at Stalingrad, commanding them to climb the stairs and pick up the wrench of the man who had fallen before them. But that’s because we were hot and miserable. Not so much now. Can’t wait now for another hot spell, so I can do what to the AC?

That’s right: crank it up. You always crank it up. I don’t know how that word got affixed to AC, but it’s what you do.

The fence stainers might be here as well. Me, I will be at the office, because I have two, count them two meetings. I have not had a day with two meetings since February of 2020. I went in today at the usual time and made coffee in the urn, since they have started refilling the grinder with beans. You only have the option of making an entire pot, so you have to pour out the tepid stuff that was made a day before. But it’s hot and fresh and makes the place seem lively again. I should note that the weekly concerts in the atrium are back as well, and the elevator replacement project - Lord knows what expense that incurred - continues, with moties crawling in the shaft all day, adding things. The elevators used to operate in the accustomed fashion: push the button, something dings, the elevator’s there in 15 seconds, max.

Then that changed. They removed the bells that announced the car’s arrival, and since there are four, and the doors are silent, you had to position yourself so you could see all four doors at once. You would head in, beep the black box to gain access, and up you went.

The cars now have lettered names, because the old push buttons are on the way out. You will touch the security pad attached to the wall, and it will ask you for your papers, please, in a very stern voice. I tried it today and it said YOUR CREDENTIALS ARE INVALID or something like that, very forceful, and loud. I gather the point is to tie our cards to our floor, so we will be spared the onerous, repetitive task of hitting a button once we’re in the car.

During this period the cars have acted oddly. You get in, and the doors close, and it does not move. Hmm. So you press the open button, the doors obligingly part, and you get out, not trusting this one, no sir. You reach around and send the car to another floor; off it goes.

Elevators are something you don’t want to think about too much. They’re like Star Trek transporters. When I was a kid in Fargo I had occasion to ride very old elevators in the Black building and DeLendrecie’s department stores; they had cages that rattled open and closed, and you could see the floors pass. I think. I know I’m right about the cages. For some reason I am also convinced that Elisha Cook Jr. sat on a stool, dressed in a uniform, operating the lever that moved the cars.

The big innovation: heat-activated buttons. Now we were spared the effort of depressing the button; a mere touch would suffice. Except half the year everyone wore gloves or their hands were very cold.

I think the elevators in our building are SITOs, by which I mean OTIS, except you look at it upside down because the company’s name faces the people who enter the car. In the old building it was Schindler, and not a day went by that you didn’t think Shindler’s Lift and wonder if everyone else thought the same thing.

Now for some fun, maybe. There’s a question to be posed. The answer is somewhere in the passage I wrote above, if you need help.









This will be a challenge.

As I have mentioned before, "F is for Family" is blue. It is cobalt blue. The first few episodes are labored and seem to rely on bad language and cliched angry dad, but it found its heart and got surprisingly good. At least I think so. It’s all due to Bill Burr’s performance as Frank Murphy, a deeply unhappy old-school dad who nevertheless loves everyone, of course. In his own way!

I’ve never seen anything that captures the early 70s Midwestern vibe the way this one does, and it’s like reliving all the banal, ugly, hippie-happy, America-in-decline emotions and cliches of the times. It’s much, much more than the stupid “Family Guy,” and closer to a raw, furious, profane version of “King of the Hill.”

But this is about something else. This is a chance to see if you make the same connections as YGH. When I heard this, it took about two seconds to zero in, identify, and get the joke. I’m not sure what made them do it.

Language warning; a minute does not pass without someone cursing at Frank or Frank cursing at someone else. As the episode begins, we hear the voice of the Lamaze instructional tapes. Frank's wife is going to deliver #4 in a natural way, and she's thrilled about it. Frank is not.


Warning! F word.

So. I had to laugh. I wondered how to form this as a challege to Bleatniks, and I came up with this.

  How does the clip above reference this . . .
  This . . .
  And this?




It’s 1929.

It’s tautologically delicious:

That’s a Coke slogan I never saw before: It had to be good to get where it is.

Well, not necessarily; paying off merchants and sabotaging competitors could work, too.




Man, you got it bad: run down, fully fagged, and unable to move the mail.

Modern-form yeast! Helps with “nerves,” which they put in quotes because no one knows what it really means. Being jangled and uneasy, I suppose. A modern affliction.

High 1929 design there, too.




What astonishes me about this ad isn’t the precise number of doctors, or the quote attributed to no one and everyone, but . . .

. . . the fact they had to tell everyone who Jolson was. "Famous comedian and star of song." Well, no kidding,.


I don’t know how the hell putting Bengay on your neck is supposed to help with a cold. It seems you’d have to take it internally, right?


Read the copy. Bengay and Vaseline. You’re supposed to eat Bengay and Vaseline.



  I . . . I wasn’t even suspecting that my eye drops contained poison, but thanks for the heads up, Tammy Lempicka.

About that poison:

Drops prepared from the belladonna plant were used to dilate women's pupils, an effect considered to be attractive and seductive.

Belladonna drops act as a muscarinic antagonist, blocking receptors in the muscles of the eye that constrict pupil size. Belladonna is currently rarely used cosmetically, as it carries the adverse effects of causing minor visual distortions, inability to focus on near objects, and increased heart rate. Prolonged usage was reputed to cause blindness.

You can understand the appeal of non-injurious eyedrops.


Ah, this monster. .

The Hotel of Perfect Serice:

The Morrison Hotel was the first building outside of New York City to have more than 40 floors, and for thirty years was the world's tallest hotel. At the time of its razing in 1965, it was the tallest building to have ever been demolished anywhere in the world. At the time it was demolished, it was still the tallest hotel in Chicago.

Notice anything missing in the postcard?


The ad says the hotel “will be when completed, the largest and tallest.” They never got around to the second tower.

As you can see, it was modernized; this is the original.

The height of 20s Jazz Age splendor, if this page is any indication. Old by the sixties, and knocked down for a forgettable modern bank.

Agreed: four o’clock is the worst time of the day, and you should reward yourself with sucrose.

Such a bright and cheerful ad. If only they'd thought to add orange flavor to Curtiss chcolates; they'd have made a million.

I guess mom’s okay with dad selling the child’s soul to the sprites. Heck, maybe it was even mom’s idea. She’ll be happier in the spirit world, away from this corrupting plane.

Look at the size of Dad's newspaper. You could wrap a side of beef in that thing.



That'll do. Best wishes for a cooler Tuesday. Now go meet more of FABULOUS FAB, the housewife's wetting agent.





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