Brief notes before Product and updates, because - I WARNED YOU - this is the fortnight of novel completion and daughter-absence, when my life is nothing but staring and typing and nodding and sighing. Column to write tonight, too. Luckily I can concentrate at the task at hand long enough oh hold on this tweet has a link to a cute picture of a turtle wearing a parachute -

Kidding. Sort of. I don’t get lost in the internet anymore, I’m afraid to say. I go where I went. New interests and different locations are provided by an iPad app that gathers pages relevant to my interests, and lets me indulge particular subjects, like “Ancient History.” This gives me the impression I am learning something, and perhaps I am, but when you finish an article about Xobar the Cruel who ruled during the Middle Period of the Crinchothian Empire (140 square miles in modern-day Herzo-Slavbonia) you think “well, there’s something of which I was previously unaware, and let’s preen for a second about being the sort of person who cares about ancient history,” and then it’s all forgotten. It’s all the history of rulers, which means the history of cruelty, and the remnants of settlements, which means the history of floors and walls and tombs. I fault myself for not having a better grasp on the shadowy beginnings of civilization; it doesn’t snap into focus until the Greeks, and then you’re surprised because they have shoes and religion and government and traditions and the rest of the recognizable pillars that hold up the ceiling mankind builds to put some space between himself and the raging caprices of the gods above. Except for Egypt, where they were doing stuff for a long time, but it was weird.

That’s one source of new information. The other is Twitter, which is like opening a box of tornados. I follow links, send the stories to my Reading List to be perused while doing Steps upstairs while listening to news on the radio, if I’m not using the iPad app, which sometimes opens up links to sites where you can find a music video of Europeans in Ibiza jumping around and sticking out their tongues and looking like fools. I looked at a few of those today because I like techno / trance / house / lounge and the other names for thumpity-thump music, and the videos are always the same: an unattractive stubbled brutish-looking “DJ” who spends the majority of his time pointing at the camera, which tilts sideways as if it has SSBTVSS (Sudden Sixties Batman TV Series Syndrome) and then cuts to women who are dancing with other women, which is understandable because the men all look like cheap Russian gangsters and consequently must reek of cologne.

Today in Daughter’s texted photos from Japan:

The view from her hotel. She had the time and the connection this afternoon to catch up: she had a Starbucks! Which I can well understand, since it’s been rice and fish flakes for breakfast. Cold soup.

You know, some cultures may have better breakfasts, and this might be proven with empirical certainty. If you have rice and fish flakes and cold soup for lunch or supper, then you should not have it for breakfast. If if you can have it for breakfast, you should not have it for breakfast. Is that just my opinion? I suppose. But at the Japanese hotel in Amsterdam they had Japanese breakfast items and Western items, and let me tell you what the Japanese world travelers were heaping on their plates. The good stuff.

I had to smile at this: “we are going to a store full of anime - my 10 yr old self would have a heart attack.”

Ah, to be 13 3/4 and think of your old ten-year-old self. Do you remember thinking that way? I don't. But I probably did.

Today in Dog Sitting News: big racking double-bile barf. It's times like that you think this is literally a yellow-bellied dog, as the old Western epithet had it.

Took a walk. Dog’s idea of the walk: go to the absolute extent to which the lease will go and pull hard because there’s crap over there to smell. Today: dog introduced to the term “kept on a short leash.” Every lunge rewarded with instructive jerk on the collar and a command to sit, which was rewarded with a treat when the dog sat until released. I have no illusions that I will break it of the lunging habits, but I will take a simulacrum of obedience for the real thing.

Anything but have my arm removed from my socket 20 times around the block.

Tomorrow: pictures of the GDBD, or Geebeedeebee as I have renamed the dog. Guess what that means.



Disappointing crop, but I'll do what I can. The weekly Borden: no weekly Borden. We have another mascot - this time one who had an enemy. They should never have enemies; they're usually more interesting than the mascot. Elsie had a foil in Elmer, but not an enemy.

Meet Mucker Mud.


Hang the horrid demon from the limb f the tree! Kill him! Kill him!



Note: no "scooping" is involved. I always wonder why he suggests "a bite to eat" before the interview, as if he'd like to draw out this interruption in his life as long as possible.

The press? Suck-ups and toadies. As you might imagein.

Panel three: Holden's thinking "Oh for God's sake, shut up about the stuff. You're just making fools of yourselves, and I don't buy it. No one likes this stuff. I just ordered it to see how far back you'd bend over, trying to get on my good side."



In its ever-so-dry way, Wikipedia says they are " a chewy, gumdrop-like starch-based candy, known as a wine gum, manufactured in the United States by Heide Candy Company, a subsidiary of Farley's & Sathers Candy Company."


The entry goes on: "One of the basic ingredients of both Jujubes and Jujyfruits is 'Ju-ju gum'. This is supported by the fact that the original Jujubes box lists 'natural gum' as its first ingredient." So there's actual Ju-Ju. Heide alsomade Jujubes.

The excitement in the entry is boundless, as is the riveting detail: "In the 1970s, Jujyfruits held a promotion where if a token from a Jujyfruits carton and five dollars was sent to the Heide Candy Company, a brass buckle and leather belt would be sent in return." But there's more! One of the shapes is "asparagus bundle," and the article notes that they tend to "harden with age." No kidding. I never knew a soft Jujyfruit; they were always the least-popular movie option, and if a friend bought them, they were stiff with age. Dots had the same problem, but less frequently.

Heide also made Red Hot Dollars, which had cinnamon, and the "Buck Private candy bar," which can be seen here - along with the most egregrious candy cigarette ever made, Lucky Sticks.


The most elaborate illustration for coffee ever commissioned. And it’s for Nescafe, of all things. Says the adjoining caption: “‘Ah, Nescafe . . . my treasure of Treasures’ . . . mused Croesus.”

Croesus, of course, was the legendary wealthy man of the ancient world, although they didn’t think of themselves as ancient. No one ever does. Croesus and his family attempted immolation after defeat, according to one account, but Apollo picked them up and deposited them in Hyperborea, where the sun shines 24 hours a day and it’s always 72 and dry. Since the sun never sets, and you’re in heaven, you needn’t sleep and so you shouldn’t worry about coffee keeping you awake. Right?

But that’s overthinking the matter. Just look at this illustration:


Wikipedia on its creator:

Arthur Szyk became a renowned graphic artist and book illustrator as early as the interwar period – his works were exhibited and published not only in Poland, but also in France, the United Kingdom, Israel and the United States. However, he gained real popularity through his war caricatures, in which, after the outbreak of World War II, he depicted the leaders of the Axis powers. After the war, he also devoted himself to political issues, this time supporting the creation of Israel.

Szyk's work is characterized in its material content by social and political commitment, and in its formal aspect by its rejection of modernism and drawing on the traditions of medieval and renaissance painting, especially illuminated manuscripts from those periods.

Do a Google Image Search on the name; amazing work. More here at the Arthur Szyk Society.


A mountain of Del Monte products - a tiny little picture in a big ad. I've rotated it, zoomed in, sharpened, and voila: there they are the Del Monte Open-Mouthed Fruit Creatures:


These strange creatures with their dead eyes and perpectually O-forming mouths were used for years for Del Monte, as if they public responded to their stfff, undead quality. Maybe they did.

If the Floor Show was the Big Spring Event, there was the Round-Up in the Fall. Take a look at this original mint-condition grocery store banner; at least here one of the characters is smiling, in a Roly-Poly-Olie sort of way.



From the early days of frozen food: ice-hard meat divots, noted only to give you an idea what the frozen foods aisle looked like in 1957.

Chopped AND buttered? You cannot go wrong. Note that the Beef Sandwich Steaks are Ready to Cook, Quick Frozen, and Ready Quick.

It's almost like they're trying to tell you something about convenience.

Usual usual here and there; see you around.




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