I should start noting website milestones a bit more. There are sites that are happy when they get 300 pages, right? Today we hit 300 pages in the Hotel section of the Matchbook Museum! We'll also hit 400 pages for Restaurants this year as well.

And I just bought some more on Saturday.

Well, a good weekend, if nondescript. Arranged some stuff that will make for some interesting Bleats in the future. Had another Michael Palin dream. That makes two. We are supposed to have dinner, but things go askew, and I comport myself poorly and he's nice about it but eventually declines to continue the conversation. I don't know what I said. Was it stupid? "How did you prepare for the role of Molotov in Death of Stalin - did you wear iron underwear for a month?" Did I just fanboy Python lines? Can't be faulted for a little of that. Can't have dinner with Michael Palin and not bring that up, but on the other hand, you know he gets it all the time.

I suppose it comes in part from writing a Here to There that grazed Palin for reasons I've already forgotten. I also had a dream in which Daughter was condescending about a piece of art and as soon as I started to explain my position, my wife entered the room and started to vacuum, perhaps to defuse it. In real waking life my wife is mad at the Dyson, as am I - it's a touchy thing and the battery is losing its ability to grasp a charge, and it hyperventilates when the filter gets a bit clogged. Today when I used it I noticed that dirt, which normally in the process of cleaning a floor enters the machine due to, you know, suction, the dirt was fleeing the sucking-up nozzle. This is the exact opposite of vacuuming. Turns out it was clogged with so much dog hair I figured Birch should resemble a Mexican Hairless.

Wikipedia notes that the breed  "is characterized by its duality, wrinkles, and dental abnormalities, along with a primitive temper."

Here's what they mean by that:

The Xoloitzcuintle's "primitive" temperament (very high intelligence, sensitivity, high energy, inquisitiveness, strong hunting, and social instincts) is apparent because the breed's temperament was not modified overall by selective breeding in their native history in Mexico. Adult Xolos are frequently noted for their calm demeanor.

Sounds like a boon companion to me.



Here is an image. What do think this is supposed to be?

I’ll explain. It was something I whipped up for Natalie’s birthday. I started with an idea - a shrimp holding up an aluminum can - but I couldn’t get my Photoshop AI to generate what I wanted, so I used some clip art, and then thought about making it a poster, then an old ad, then an old ad on a brick wall. By the time I’d finished the ad I realized I had used jarring styles - the graphic doesn’t match the era of the lettering, but ahhh, to hell with it.

The idea of a beverage called “23” - or “Olde 23” as the can says - is a reference to Rolling Rock, I suppose, which has the famous “33” on the back. “Olde 23” would not be completely unexpected as a whiskey name, and ads might shorten it to “23” if the brand was famous enough.

But why the shrimp? We’ll get to that.

The AI did generate a doorway, which had a black interior. Not a good message for a birthday card, so I isolated it and pasted in the interior of the Boston crepe shop where she used to work. Then I highlighted and isolated other parts of the picture to generate a pseudo-Boston background. Voila!

But why the shrimp? Because the ad agency where she works is doing an campaign for a canned wine, paired with shrimp. It’s whimsical and endearing. She’s working on the socials, and wrote the copy for the ad’s Instagram release, as well as a chart for finding your Shrimp Name. (Pay them a visit! See her work and boost her numbers!) This week she gets to sit in on the shoot of a TV ad she wrote. Out of college two months.

Oh, btw: the doorway it generated reminded me of this:

. . . Which was next to the crepes shop where she worked, and where . . .

. . . she drew a picture of Paris for the shop. Still there, on Google.

And now, our 2023 first-of-the-month feature.

Mr. Van Loon starts out like an assignment on a book he didn’t read.


That’s kinda the point of this whole series, Hank.


Van Loon, you say. (Actually pronounced "loam.")

  I’m gratified the editors didn’t make him explain this.

Basically, he's saying "take this premise and shove it."


"No, seriously, I don’t know, stop asking me."

  "I’m telling you it’s pointless, and since we just ruined everything it’s probably doubly pointless."
  Have I told you I don’t know?

Anyone have a line on some celery?


The answer to the social foe-paw:


The standing woman seems to have wandered in, drunk, from a Dutch painting







Is that legally binding?

Wait a minute, how did a dinky no-name studio get . . .

"Renamed for more box-office impact"

I hope Ethel wasn't a subscriber, because this is the sort of thing that just ruins your weekend:

Okay, let’s back up one.

The jury foreman’s daughter was flirting with Bogart in the spectator’s gallery at the start of the picture. That’s all we know so far.

Turns out they’re sweethearts, and she’s mad at dad for being the foreman of the jury who sentenced the lady to the chair. The bulk of the movie concerns stagey arguments about capital punishment.

I’m a big Bogart fan, but this is just . . . well. And yet he still has a certain pull, no?

Until . . . it turns into something else. I googled around and learned it was a stage play, was shot early in Bogart’s career, then renamed and released by another company after he got popular.

Anyway: interesting cutting here to ramp up the tension. Not sure it works, but it breaks the visual monotony.

And that's really all I have to say. As a stage play. it's . . . a stage play, without any inadvertant documentary. But Bogart fans can't resist, I suppose.

I couldn't.

Now two ways to chip in!

That'll do. Here we go - another week, with much to see and talk about! Hope you enjoy it.



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