It’s time for Birch’s quarterly barfathon, wherein he starts with the best rug and moves his way down the rankings until he finds something new to despoil. Right now I have one of those aroma misting machines going in my room, and my eyes are watering from the scent, but they’d be watering from the other scent if I didn’t have it on, and at least I’m weeping over Balsam Fir instead of Barfy Floor. Don’t know what he ate, except that he really enjoyed a turkey burger the night before. But that can’t be sufficient to clean him out snout to butt.

Hey, better google “dog is throwing up.” I’ll bet there’s lots of pertinent information.

No, there isn’t. I mean, they say watch for things like “listless, panting, eye-rolling, immobile, stares into corner of the room, cold to the touch, hot to the touch,” and so on. I just look for several things:

Does he have appetite? He didn’t this morning. Around 11 he came into my office, stretched, yowled, and did all the things he does when he’s hungry, so I put out the bowl he’d ignored earlier. He ate it slower than usual - oh, man, I guess if I have to, I will, but I don’t know. Four hours later, hey presto, good rug.

So we gave him some rice six hours later, and that seems to be staying down. In between the first bork and the rice he coughed up a bolus of grass on Daughter’s sofa in her room, which is a new twist. Got that up.

“That was an interesting place,” Wife said. I agreed. He could have just hawked up the greens on Daughter’s bed, where he likes to sleep, but he had the decency to get up and go elsewhere.

He seems a bit better at evening’s end; he’s been doing business outside like a 19th century Swedish immigrant who ate a bushel of Scotch Bonnet peppers, but he’s following us around, and isn’t content just to curl up on his dog bed and peer at the world with an expression of one resigned to endure a hard patch.

Short Bleat Week, as I said, although I don't really have any excuse. Oh, there's work, but I files four pieces today without draining the tank. I'm just not in a mood to go on and on for the sake of going on and on.

Don't worry, that won't last.

UPDATE: dog better



This, I know, will come as a surprise. The width, I mean. It changes everything! But I like it. Sets context. What's the harm? So let's begin 2019 with something that isn't really a Main Street at all, but conforms to the feature's theme, aka old haunting crap.






It’s not a main street, but you know this feature can be somewhat elastic. I didn’t want to start the year with the usual small towns.

When I found this street, I was fascinated.

An Italian palazzo, of a sort. Once the windows glowed, suggesting the awesome power within. Unless the windows were always bricked, but I don't think so.

While modern buildings may eclipse this one for size and even bulk, old buildings seem bigger.

Dead storefronts. Who shopped here?


No, they're not storefronts. There aren't any doors. What was this place?

It was the warehouse for the Fisher Brothers.

Says the story linked above:

When the Fisher Brothers grocery chain built the warehouse on a rail line, it had 48 stores in Cleveland, according to the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. It later became Fisher Foods Inc. before being gobbled up by a succession of grocers.

As always happened. Unless you were the gobbler.

The inheritors of these structures never seem to treat them with the reverence they deserve.

You have to recalibrate your perceptions when you finally see how big the door is.

I assume the adjacent building is also part of the Fisher complex. Why the slanting passageway?

To move goods up and/or down, I guess, but it seems as if they'd need more than one. You also get the sense of how industrial architecture changed. On the right: beauty is essential! On the left: eh, just build it.

More views.


The views have a certain rational charm, completely by accident.



Nearby, a modest, futuristic office building. I imagine a doctor in a white coat, studying his formulas, perhaps intent on contacting Mars by wireless.



If they thought putting glass blocks in the windows was somehow respectful of the original appeal, they were wrong.


Another grave block, its ordinary design enlivened by an ambitious entry way. The last gasp of classical ornamentation.



If you could go back in time, you might want to warn architects who liked big, broad windows. Look, they’re great. But really. Don’t bother.



You almost don’t notice where the windows used to be.

Looks ancient; I’d date the sign somewhere in the 20s.



“There’s really only need for one loading dock, ever again, until the end of time. We’ll never need more than one again.”



“Dammit, that’s the third time this year someone’s backed into the gott-damned glass block window. What am I going to do? What?”



All done.

“Could you . . . could you spell that again. Slowly.”



What did they do? This:

Lithuanian immigrants arrived in Cleveland, Ohio, in two major waves: the first in the late 19th century, and the second after World War II. By 1915, Cleveland was home to 10,000-12,000 Lithuanians, and the Dirva (“Field”) was one of several newspapers established in the early 20th century to serve this community. The paper started as the Santaika (“Peace”) in 1915 and was renamed the Dirva in August 1916; by 1920, it was the only Lithuanian newspaper in Cleveland.

Published by the Ohio Lithuanian Publishing Company run by Apdonas B. Bartusevicius (Bartoszewicz) and first edited by Vincas K. Jokubynas, the main editor of the Dirva’s early run was Kazys S. Karpius (Karpavicius).

Easy for them to say.

The apartment building went into the witness protection program, but neighbors said it always kept to itself and seemed nervous about being recognized





“Not Kissing It” is an oddly effective political slogan, even if you don’t see the first "Kicking Ass" part.

That'll do, I hope - and if not, there's a feature that's a bit like Main Street, called . . . Main Street. It's a postcard-driven look at old downtowns. It's basically this, but in a different format. The other day I discovered I had 35 pages written but not uploaded, so hey! Here we go. See you around.





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