October. Everyone likes October.

“The cold is settling in,” I said to Daughter.

“Like a vulture picking up the last pieces of summer,” she said. Then she brightened. “I just thought of that. On the spot.”

We were coming back from soccer, walking back from the grocery store. Sun without strength; green trees for the most part, but days or even hours from tipping to brown or the wan green of a lizard’s underbelly. Mums galore, which sounds like the stage name of some bawdy old vaudeville queen. She was talking about how much she loves October, and I had to agree. It’s a month with some clarity. September is like the music the INTERMISSION music they played in road-show movie spectaculars. October First is the start of the next act.

As mentioned yesterday, I got a record player. It has direct USB access to your Personal Computer and comes with Software on a Compact Disc that helps you digitize your music. Don’t need it. I’m sure it would spray all kinds of junk in my system and have a clunktastic interface with big buttons . . . unless it contains state-of-the-art noise reduction and auto-levels and scours the internet for album art . . . nah. It has to be like the software that comes with your camera, the creation of which has to be the loneliest job in programming. You know that the only people who install it will be people who have no idea what they’re doing. The old camera doesn’t work and the new camera doesn’t work with the old program! The old program had all my pictures! Where are my pictures?

It’s not a stupid question, especially if you’re talking about someone who grew up with Instamatics or even slides. You always knew where your photos were. There. In a box. There. In a book. Now they exist somewhere, until they don’t. But I have no sympathy for people who have all their photos on the phone, and it breaks, and they beg the tech to bring them back. It’s like carrying all your photos with you every day in a wheeled box attached to your belt with a string.

Anyway. It would appear, or rather it would sound, as if 78 RPM LPs degrade over time. All the discs are pristine, but some sound good, and some sound muffled and distorted. Yes, there was dust, and yes, I found myself peering at the needle, blowing off the tiny wisps of dust, thinking A) I thought I was done with this, and B) this is dust from before I was born. If it’s sloughed-off skin cells from people who worked in the record store, could I get DNA from it? Is this record from 1948, played for the first time in 2014, coated with the fine remains of someone who put it out fir display in the Truman years?

The things you think when you’re adjusting levels, starting the recording, entering the musicians into the metadata, and thinking “man, I can’t stand this stuff.”

That’s the joke. All these old classic records I’m bringing back to life and releasing into the world? There are no examples of them anywhere on the Internet, and the guy who’s reviving these obscure minor artists can’t stand the stuff.

Oh I got me the blues. Got the blues down to my soles.
Oh I got me the blues. Got the blues down to my soles.
My soles have got the blu-hues
An’ I don’t know what to do.

Oh my man up and left me. Left me hi-igh and dry.
Oh my man he up and left me. Left me hi-igh and dry.
When I ask myself the reason
I ain’t got no answer why.

Oh my band is nodding off. End of the ree-ee-efer ride.
Oh my band is nodding off. End of the ree-ee-efer ride.
They were playin’ hot before
But that wuh-us the A side.

Yes I’m fillin’ out the record with a rote cliched lament
Yes I’m fillin’ out the record! With a roah-ote lament
Seems like every note I sing
’s a fart in wet cement.

I had me a strong horse, he come row-ound my door
I had me a strong horse, he come row-ound my door
And when I say I had a horse
It’s a sexual metaphor.

You’ll see what I mean; I’m posting them next year. Yes you’ll see what I mean, because I’m posting them next year. They’ll be up on every Friday, part of “Listen,” in the second tier. The first tier may not be Couple Next Door music cues, because I’m bound to run out at some point, and I know I’m repeating them over and over but who cares. The third tier will always be an ad.

At least there are some Foxtrots, lively numbers with pep. They’re just so short. It takes some getting used to, these 78 LPs: you put the needle down, and 2 and a half minutes later the song is over. No nostalgia for vinyl, really. I’m not given to pointless


Ah, that’s it. Whew. It’s been bugging me all night. I wrote an essay on Saturday morning cartoons, which will be tomorrow’s Bleat, and there was something about the cadence of the Spiderman vocals that made me think of another theme, and it was Freakazoid.

Just hit me. So there. One of the odd lines in the Freakazoid theme was “Floyd the Barber cuts his hair,” which must have meant nothing to the target audience, but will mean something to you by the end of October, because “Listen” delves into the interstitial music and thematic variation of “Gunsmoke.”

That made sense to you or it didn’t. Feel free to preen in the comments. ;)

Well, it’s back to novel writing now, or rather novel finalization. Nearly every chapter has been converted to FINAL DRAFT with but a few changes, mostly to eliminate some throat-clearing passages. It’s odd to redo a novel I wrote in 2012 about 2009, because you have to remember what was and was not common on the internet. Reminds you how much has changed.

I feel good about the whole novel project, in general. A Book a Year, that’s the idea. When the 3rd novel’s out I’ll be able to polish up Joe Ohio for final release.

Anyway. Good day. Did much. Watched Daughter’s soccer game, fed the family, walked the dog, played with the dog, brought back some obscure artists, did the work blog, forestalled the feeling of gathering futility for another day.

Today's Pumpkin Thing. Plural:

Because it is now October I have allowed pumpkin-hued and -flavored items into the house. The yogurt - sorry, the yoghurt - hasn't been sampled yet, but I look forward to the "Aussie Culture," because sometimes this is what I think of when anyone says "Aussie Culture."




When last we left the Caped Crusader, he had lost another fight, as usual. The hoods threw him down an elevaor shaft and turned on the elevator, whose speed was set on "SERIAL." Of course Robin stopped the elevator, knowing just which switch to pull; Batman, having fallen down a shaft with a concrete floor recovers instantly.

Hey ixnay on the Oose-bray, he’s got a secret identity to think about.

To be fair, he did say Brohss Brohss, not Bruce Bruce, so his secret’s safe.

Back to Stately Wayne Manor. Pardon me, juvenile boy, I have to speak with a rich man:

Linda wants to go to the Radium mine to look for Ken Colton, the rangy old coot with the preposterously well-groomed beard. She thinks he’s at the mine.


He’s being fitted for the ol’ Saucer Sombrero, getting the Zombie Treatment. It’s so painful he agrees to show them where the radium mine is, so they can get radium for the gun, so they can win the war, with radium.

Everyone’s dressed for spelunking:

Ol’ Ken Colton gets away from the evil agents, though, and since he knows this mine like the back of his hand, he makes a quick getaway.

It goes without saying, doesn’t it, that Bruce, Dick, and Linda have also decided to visit the mine, and that while Batman and Robin are down in the mine doing crime-fighting stuff, well -

Every old cabin in a serial has a trap door. There’s a fistfight in the mine, which makes for some close-quarters punching and some odd fighting styles. Hold me closer, Tiny Batman:

As you may observe, there’s a plunger, and in serials and old movies a plunger means only one thing: dynamite. And so:

Tune in next week for The Sign of the Sphinx of Batman!

What a Sphnix has to do with the Japanese sabotage effort I've no idea, but this is usually the point in the serial where they throw in a new element, and anything Foreign and Mysterious with Hieroglyphics is always a sure bet.


Work blog around 12:30, maybe; Tumblr around noonish or so - see you then!


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