Taking the day off - meaning, just blather and the Invisible Loser.


On Friday, in honor of the upcoming Labor Day holiday, the bells in the City Hall clock tower played “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” I assume it was for Labor Day; never heard that one on the noon concert before. I suppose the keyboardist was working from a book of Labor Anthems that can also be played on massive bells with a constricted tonal palette.

At the moment I am here. Skydeck of the home office.

There’s music! Just no people.

The temp is the mid-80s, and it feels like a resort up here - the same clean nicely-appointed space with an uptempo-chill mood. (I could have said “vibe” but I am trying not to use that word.) I take this space for granted, and don’t use it enough. Come the winter, if I’m still here - hey you never know, it’s an industry in flux - I’ll remember days like this and vow to come up here at the first opportunity. And I will forget.

I take all this downtown belonging for granted, because it’s normal and it’s been so for a long time. Someone asked if I was going to retire, and I thought it was absurd; where would I go?

Someplace that had better music than up here, perhaps. I am so tired of non-melodic bumps and grunts with some guy talking about himself. I am tired of the assumption that this is somehow new and important and thus must be the constant soundtrack for any space. Of course I am not the target market, but I wonder who in this building is. It’s possible that there’s shared unspoken assumption that this is the Soundtrack of Now and it is impermissible, or at least narrow-minded, to swap out something that isn't men talking fast.

Matter of taste, I suppose, although in this case it’s a matter of not having it in the first place.

Anyway. Back to the belonging point. I asked myself the other day why it would really matter, since so much has emptied out. Because it’s still that second place, and in a way since the Great Rewrite I’ve felt even more possessive of the place because I’ve often been the only one around. Today at the bank - yes, I go to the bank - the teller called me by name. Today I noticed a cartooncharacter on the side of the food truck and knew Natalie would recognize it. Today I saw the full wallpaper of the boards that block off the escalators. None of that is important, but it was all something different that results from being out and/or about.

Well, as I said, who knows. Re-enabling zen mode, luxuriating in the moment, and foreswearing all future concerns.


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

Lee should know about these things. He’s the great radio pioneer. For heaven’s sake, the actor who played Dr. McCoy on Star Trek was named after him. So let’s see what he believes the future will hold:


Hmm. Well, no.

He couldn’t see FM coming.

FM, btw, was invented by one of his Science Nemeses, Edward Armstrong. Long story there.


In another parallel universe, men worked and died in the radio mines.

  Wait a minute - it cost $16 million in 1923 to send a radio message to China? What?

I don’t quite know what he’s talking about here, but that’s me.


. Why would there be a limit to the number of words you could send by radio? Was there a limit on the number of notes?


He’s right here, for the most part:


We got it much earlier, and it wasn’t the size of a camera (the Brownie Autographic is a good comparison), and we had portable radios decades before this.


DeForrest lived until 1961, so he saw the rise of portable cheap transistor radios.

Oh, stop with the government regulations already.


We’ll be fine. Imagine that, people walking around in a city, TALKING


I left out a part where he talks about how it’ll be great if Government buildings big huge super transmitters so you don’t have to have local stations. And then, at the end . . .


Kinda “apples and vacuums tubes” there, Lee. Bonus fact: DeForrest was a staunch conservative and anti-fascist. Go figure.




Continually is the important word here. Now and then I suppose it's okay.








I have a reason; trust me.

Say it out loud and it sounds like an industry term for "drapes."

Hey, she gets a card:

So how'd that go:


The gang is out of money, which frustrates Invisible Monster’s plan to “dominate this community, and eventually the entire country.” First Fargo, then the World! One of his henchmen is reminded that his day job, his cover, is working at a company that invents Things. Anything they could steal? Sure, the plan for the turbo supercharger, but it’s in a guarded safe. Except at noon. The Invisible Monster - who actually refers to himself here thus -


Megalomania much, dude?

Well, the company gets robbed - we don’t see it, due to budgetary constraints - and who do they call? Lane and Carol! Because there’s only 10 people in the world in any given serial. Lane pretends to be a company rep trying to buy back the plans, and goes to a house . . .

Hey, isn’t this the site of a battle in an earlier ep? I think so. But that would've been at least two months ago, and no one would remember.

They figure out it’s Lane Carson, and there’s a two-on-one fistfight of little interest, except . . .

Hey! That’s the Invisible Monster! He’s pushing 55 if he’s a day, and he’s beating up our rugged hero?

Lane gets stuck in a basement pit, and of course they just close the lid instead of shooting him dead on the spot and solving all their problems. No, they decide to burn down the house, which will attract no attention at all.

That could've been a cliffhanger! What a generous serial.

Invisible Phantom Ruler, and he would now like to be known, goes to the company where they stole the plans to get the money, but Lane interrupts, leading to planus interruptus flickus:

So very invisible!

Say, what was this one called again? Something about peril, and a windows?

That's the last chapter. He's dead!

Kidding. More to come.

Now two ways to chip in!

That'll do. Here we go - another week, all the same, and different.



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