Eight inches of snow. Pshaw. But it came down at a steady pace, and cars that had parked downtown were soon struggling to get out of the drifts - if the cars were tiny light electric vehicles, that is. I turned a corner and was almost hit by a car trying to escape the grip of winter; the driver stopped and threw up his hands, mouth working in a stream of invective. I gather he had been trying this for some time, or had managed sufficient momentum right before I turned and forced him to stop. He was looking at me, and seemed to be cursing me out for something I had not intentionally caused.

As it happened, I intended to park right behind him. So there are two choices: A) adopt the tea-drinking amphibian mindset, park, and stroll away, whisting, or B) put on the flashers, get out, and push. We are Minnesotans and we are all in this together, so I did B, of course. He got out. And waved vigorously as he spun away.

I hadn’t intended for him to get stuck, and he hadn’t intended, perhaps, to blame me.

Today two guys from the Metropolitan Airport Commission came over to measure my windows. A surcharge on every ticket is paying for the soundproofing of all homes in the flight path. Phase One was a few years ago; replaced all the windows on the ground floor. I was surprised to hear there was a Phase Two. It is more generous than Phase One. A car bomb could go off outside and I wouldn’t hear it.

I don’t even notice the planes anymore. By the end of the summer I will not notice them even more.

Was talking one of the guys about where I worked, and he lit up - as a kid he’d delivered the StarTribune in Minot, North Dakota. The train dropped off a stack of papers every morning, and he’d go out with his brother to deliver them. In Minot. Back then they had incentive programs for the carriers - you got a trip if you expanded your route, and he’d won a trip to Minneapolis. They bussed them across the Plains to The Cities, where they went to the top of the Foshay, did bumper cars at Excelsior Park. Highlight of his young life? Not really; he’d also won a trip to Yellowstone, where he got the two souvenirs most prized to a young man:

A giant novelty cigar

A real bullwhip

He was in the third grade, and was the toast of his class when he came back to school with a giant cigar and a bullwhip. But this was the age when kids took their .22s to school because they had rifle class. Your principal might take your bullwhip, but only to show you how he could crack it real loud.


A recent trip to the grocery store reminded me that it's been a while since we reviewed lamentable packages and foodstuffs.



The latest advances in cereal flavor technology are not encouraging.

So . . . Froot Loops?

"Limited Edition," so tehy can admit defeat in advance and hustle it off the shelf in favor of some other indistinguishable tooth-twinging junk


Oh good the first sign of spring

So . . . crunchy Peeps.




It’s starting to look like something now. The second block of the project is still just the service core, looking ugly.

I don't like the trapped space between the new and the old. Glass windows facing into another bulding with a hair's breadth between them looks odd. We'll have to wait to see how the buildings relate and connect.

If they relate and connect.


The Candelaria Church:

The name rang a bell, thanks to a documentary I saw years ago called "Bus 174." (That's what I remember it was called; was actually something else.)

I haven't heard much about the city, but we did have a long back and forth yesterday about how her picture showed up on a brochure for an "inner-city" Youth Success brochure; I guess when we signed that release, we didn't figure this. Then there were voice msgs from the Dutch rotary guy taunting me, in low-key tones, to pronounce his name, which his Thijs. I remembered this from my Focus fandom day, but I guess my vowel wasn't as PERFECT AS IT COULD BE; thus remonstrated, I told him he was Thidgus to me now, and he'd take it and like it.

It's fun to roast your daughter's friends on the other side of the world. And the communication is almost instantaneous. What a world of miracles!

Let's tear it down and start over!

Or not.


It's the inexplicable adventure of Lance, who wanders over to playgrounds and starts posing riddlers:

Criminey, how stupid does an informer have to be? Solution is here.




Monday we took a look at the exploits of Michael Shane, and noted he had a run on the radio as well. What was it like, audio-wise? That's why we're here.


Every gumshoe needed a harp intro, I guess.

1945 Intro and theme. Has a nice hunting motif.

They always had brave female assistants. The more you study the medium, the more you realize that female assitants were the norm for detectives, not a strange exotic addition.



Cue for the conclusion to every first act. They had to switch moods quickly.


You get the picture, right? Very much a standard crime show, with the detective and his lovely assistant confounding the police at every turn unveiling the murderer at the last minute, and it's never someone anyone would suspect. Except the listener, who knows all them swells is rotten! Rotten to d'core, I tells you.


A few years later they rebooted it. This time . . . it's dark and gritty.


The chummy relationship between dick and cop is all gone. And look who's playing John Law.



"Hey, Mr. Designer, we're a new act that no one knows. Can you make the cover really distinctive, so everyone remembers our names and faces?"

Wikipedia: this is "an album issued in 1969 on Frank Zappa's innovative Straight record label. It contains a wild mixture of styles, as though recorded by ten different bands, all featuring Henske's almost gothic lyrics and remarkable vocal range, which might lead one to think there were also ten different singers."


"The opener, 'Snowblind', issued as a single, is a guitar driven rocker that is enough in itself to establish Henske as a peerless rock vocalist and an able, witty lyricist. "


I don't think it's absurd to think the artists involved may have had a hand in the entry. Or descendents or admirer. The wikipedia entry says the next song, "Horses on a Stick," could be conceived as a parody of Sunshine Pop. It's certainly different, and has aged as poorly as the episode above.



They've been selling this stuff for a long time. This is 1950. Did it smell the same?

That'll do! Oh, except for the ongoing Recipe Cards of the 1970s. Swallow hard and begin. See you Monday!

OH AND THAT SUPPORT BUTTON OVER THERE ISN'T GOING TO CLICK ITSELF. All $ save 10% goes to Daughter's college fund, and when she's done with her big trip there'll be a special personal thanks from The Gnat.

Have a great weekend! See you Monday for the Most Average Bleat Week Ever!




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