I learned one thing today, and it's useless jargon that somehow has a greater meaning that deserves to be the name of a book or a movie. See if you can figure out what it was.

The air conditioning system replacement guys arrived at 7 AM, as promised, or threatened, and got right to it. I still don’t know how they got in the attic. The main guy was so tall (HOW TALL WAS HE)



Uh - over six feet, I don’t know. What, were you expecting some comic figure of speech? Sorry. But he was also thin (raises index finger in prophylactic admonition) so I guess he could wriggle into the space. Before I knew it the big whirring thing outside the house, to use the specific technical term, had been replaced by a Carrier.

There’s a brand I know. Well, that’s the only brand I know, AC-wise. Willis would be happy to know that.

On December 3, 1911, Carrier presented what is perhaps the most significant document ever prepared on air conditioning – Rational Psychrometric Formulae – at the annual meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. It became known as the "Magna Carta of Psychrometrics."

The wikipedia page links to this document, which has things like this:


And the formulas he used to calculate vapor pressure and the like:


Good Lord.

Anyway, the techs knew their craft, but there was one thing I had to ask: since the system was out of coolant, and a leak was suspected, well . . . where was it?

He said it was probably not in the wall, but they’d check.

Ah. And if it’s in the wall?

That’s a whole different deal, he said, waving at the wall and the ruinous expense involved in fixing the line.

I went to work. Hours later I returned home, waiting for the cold burst of air as I opened the door from the tunnel, the hum of the machinery.


From which I could only conclude that they had found a leak in the wall, and I’d have to go to plan B. Burn the place down for the insurance. Now, I’ve listened to a lot of old radio, and I know that a torch job requires a pro. Someone who knows his way around paraffin and accelerants. They’re an odd breed. Laconic. They usually did time for arson, which indicates that no one ever gets away with this. But this is the modern era, which means I can probably get one on Angi’s List, and read the reviews.

But then you have to go through that tedious questionaire. How big is the house you want burned? Do you want it burned down within the next week, or is timing flexible? Are you the owner, and have permission to burn it down?


You request quotes from them all, and no one calls you back, but someone from Angi calls you every few days to see how you’re doing on your project, and you get emails that nag you as well.

But it was just a hold-up with the electrician. A few minutes later the installer came out of the house to the gazebo and said all was well. No leaks. The only problem? the beauty panel was smaller than the old one, so there was a small amount of unpainted area.

That's the flat part of the control panel that attaches to the wall. You attach the controls to The Beauty Panel. I learned one thing today, and that was it.





It’s 1976.

“We thus rule in favor of Age.”

I guess everyone was supposed to know what the case was about.

Behold, the ugliest masthead in the centuries of print history:


Died in the saddle:

The Wikipedia story, in true radio form, seems to push him aside as soon as his slot is over:

"Happy Harry" Becker held down the 9 a.m. to noon slot for more than 15 years. Harry attracted a following by interspersing "Becker's-Bargain-Basement" in five-minute segments during each hour of the three-hour show. Listeners could call in with one item to sell or buy, give a phone number and get right off.

Becker was quick and the calls were tight, with no dead air. Following Becker's hemorrhoid surgery, he had to sit on an inflated plastic ring for several weeks, and a contest was created so that a listener would win a prize by guessing the day Harry no longer had to sit on the rubber ring. Becker's show ended each day at 11:58 with Kansas City, Kansas Deputy Fire Chief George Casey who would list the department's runs and the outcomes with his monotone voice: "Fire calls the past 24 hours in Kansas City, Kansas…"


Celebrate, eh.

Oscar’s son was also an activist, and was in the news the year before:

Edgar Donroy Bear Runner (28 May 1951 – 4 July 2021) was a Native American activist. He is perhaps best known for parleying with American Indian Movement activists in an attempt to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the standoff which occurred during the Jumping Bull ranch incident in the 1975.

“Yeah, I know. All these pleas are trash.”




The microwaves. Always the microwaves. Didn’t we have something a while ago about some plutonium that accidentally made it into a Soviet building project? I seem to remember that. Could be as simple as that.


Nightmare: hunting escaped murderers.

I thought I could get a hit on Rex Brimlee, and indeed:

Rex Brinlee Jr. was a Tahlequah, Oklahoma plumber and operator of a night club, called “The Library Club,” in 1971 when he was the chief suspect in the theft of a pick-up truck from a used car-lot. A witness in that case, Don Bolding, of Bristow, was set to testify against him.

On Feb. 2, Don’s wife, Fern, a 28 year-old kindergarten teacher, got into the family pick-up and turned the ignition switch which set off a massive bomb that killed her instantly and blew her body into the neighbor’s yard. The explosion was so enormous that one investigator characterized it as a “massive dose of overkill.”

Police quickly surmised Don was likely the intended target and their suspicion rested on Brinlee. He was later charged with murder, convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

During a 1973 prison riot at Oklahoma State Penitentiary, Brinlee was able to escape.

1973? But this is 1976. Googling . . . Ah.

A couple of years later, Brinlee was assigned to a plumbing crew in the OSP in 1976. The group included seven convicts, who escaped through a 170-yard underground tunnel to freedom. Then-Oklahoma Gov. David Boren ordered a statewide search for the escapees, who had used hacksaws and torches to cut through several steel tunnel doors and a wire fence.

It wouldn’t take along for Brinlee to return to prison. Fanning said that after he escaped, he spent a couple weeks in the woods, not far from the penitentiary, but he eventually gave himself up.

“He got eaten up by chiggers and ticks and ended up turning himself in because he was so ate up and couldn’t get any help,” she said, chuckling. “Nobody would help him, so he ended up going into a little store down there around McAlester.”

"Chuckling." Love that little touch.

Lord, Lord, the graphics of those days.

Columns like these always have an audience, and they also have readers who wouldn't waste their time on that foolhardy nonsense if you paid them. Silly womanly stuff.


Ormal went permanently prone two years later, from what I can tell.



That'll do! Now we begin the Cigarette ads of the 50s.

There are a lot of cigarette ads in the 50s.





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