This being spring, it is time to grapple with the twin woes of the new season: the gazebo and the Oak Island Water Feature. About the former, there's little to do; the wind and snow ripped the roof beyond repair, and another is on order. Well, I bookmarked the site that sells them. I got out the cushions and the rug, and oh boy did Scout help!



I just need to put the rug . . . here. Can you help, Scout?



Great. Now that I have it unrolled, I'll go get the hose to wash it off. And when I come back:


Meanwhile I was draining the OIWF, which is filled with fetid rotten leaves. Dropped the pump, laid the hose to drain the water down the side hill. (That's why the yard looks so junky in the background; was using a hose reel.) Scout was fascinated by the pump - the noise it made he couldn't place, and he stood on the rim of the tank and started down at it for half an hour, expecting it to do something. When it had drained everything and I considered getting up the leaves, I thought "let them dry out, it'll be warm next week," because I always do that and they never dry out but it means I don't have to bring them up today. Put away the hose, and oh boy did Scout help!



Got out the cushions for the chairs, hosed them down, set them out to dry. And of course:


Even unplugged, he was compelled to let it know he was on duty. When I let him out of the back door he ran to the pump and sniffed it - O what a glorious stench it must have had, with strange notes of oil - and then he laid down and stood guard, lest it trouble us again.

That was Saturday afternoon fun. Took a nap, then took daughter to Eat Street to meet friends; wife called from the mall to say she'd just have dinner there, so I was on my own. I was starving, and churlish. Not enough coffee and not enough food, and everyone, I mean everyone, was doing 5 MPH below the limit, in big cars that blocked my view, and I could see them all jabbering away on the phone. NEED FOOD BUT WHERE BUT WHAT

First, Home Depot, because it's the weekend. Bought some more low-voltage LED lights, because that's the kind of breakneck thrill-a-minute life I lead; also got some stuff that kills clover, but doesn't kill good grass. Somehow it knows. Told myself "Sunday's gonna be a poison-squirtin' kind of day," and then I went to eat at Chick-Fil-A because I am filled with hate, but they were too crowded by other h8ters so I went to Traders Joe to see what they had on the sample counter. That would hold me over. Tide me over, as they say. I don't know why. There was nothing I wanted but I ate it anyway, to use a phrase that sums up life in the West. I ended up eating some fast Mexican because I knew it provided hotness, meatness, crunchness, and oh look I didn't use all my sauce packets well I've touched then, can't put them back.

Thus sated, I went to the grocery store because Daughter had texted me and said friends were coming for a sleepover. Bought breakfast things, so they could have a range of items and think "it's fun to sleep over at Natalie's house, they have individually-sized fresh blueberry muffins." It's odd, but true: even though they're down in the basement and I won't see any of them - heaven forbid I manifest my existence in any way, lest it slip out that she has parents and did not spring from Zeus' brow fully-formed - it's different when she's under this roof. There was a time once when I got texts when she was on a sleepover. A goodnight, a joke, something. Sigh.

Not to say I don't get texts, though; I do, and there are interesting conversations. Of course I've saved them all. That's the gift and curse - you can give your kid transcripts of your conversations, which is quite remarkable when you think about it. Won't mean anything for a while, and perhaps not ever, but there it is, and there are stories she will recall. The other day in the car one of her friends mentioned a Titanic exhibit, and Daughter said OMG Dad do you know what I just thought about?

Sink boy, I said.

SINK BOY! she said. When we were looking at a sink they'd taken from the wreck, a small boy had come up to it, looked solemn, and yelled SINK and then ran away. That must have been five years ago.

I'm starting to think I have so few childhood memories because I just didn't do anything. They start in high school, with speech and debate. Prior to that I don't think anything happened. I mean, the Titanic exhibit didn't come to Fargo.

Nothing came to Fargo.

This week we blow up an old Camel ad, and take a look at the people who are proud to take money for saying they smoke this brand. Our first individual has a job you don't see much anymore:


You're looking at Indiana Jones. This site (which happens to be deoted to Indy) says: "Lawrence Griswold was a Harvard educated American archaeologist in the 1930's & 40's and spent a considerable amount of time in South America & the Far East, from tramping around Mayan ruins to hunting for Komodo dragons."

A quote from one of his books:

When I got clear there wasn't a man in sight. As I stood looking for one of the foremen, another of the mestizos broke out of the forest to my left
about thirty feet away. Dressed only in cotton pants he carried his
machete threateningly and his expression was murderous. He loped toward
me, his body bent slightly forward and the long machete swinging easily
from his right hand.

Everything suddenly seemed perfectly simple.

I stood my ground, raised the revolver and shot him.

Sound familiar?







Another of the early Fairbanks comedies - and nowhere as near as entertaining as the previous installments I've shown here. But it was an earlier film. WW1 is still underway, after all.


No elaborate credits: characters are introduced via title cards, and the actor's name appears below.



The archetype is eternal. Let's introduce another:



Get it? Hansum? Anyway, we go to the artist's garret, where he toils away at his art, and tells Harry what happened:



Here she is.

Here she is in Real Life: The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.

Jewel Carmen was her stage name; almost 40 films, then out of the business by 1926 - after which she lived another six decades, doing something.

Our hero manages to finagle an invitation to her house - like Harry, she's rich, and apparently this is how the rich dressed when swanning around the gardens on an ordinary summer day:

How very Roman. It's her friend who looks more interesting, I think. That's the one I owuld have chatted up.

Dorothy Haydel, who did three movies then moved to Austria to be the wife of Ferdinand Alois Andreas Josef. (He had four.) (Sequentially.). Augy doesn't make a move on her. He goes for Gladys, the Most Pulchritudinous Creature in the Solar System, and gets rebuffed.

Why . . . why yes.

Augy decides the solution to his troubles would be suicide. Because it's a comedy. If only he had the courage! Well, at a bar, he sees this fellow, talking tough.

Yes, it's Automatic Joe, cheerful sociopathic assassin. Augy hires Joe to rub him out, and gets a receipt for the job:

I won't regale you with the rest of the story, except to note that Augy does get the girl after all . . . and remembers who he hired, and for what.

Beranger's just great. As for the inevitable conclusion, summed up in a way no other medium could do:



Everyone knew what meant, and of course the orchestra would oblige.

That'll do! Have some matchbooks, and I'll see you around.



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