I don’t know how quite to say this, but it snowed.

Not a lot. But it accumulated. It’s just like living in some rainy place like Seattle, except by July you’re walking around in knee-high water all the time. No one can park on one side of the street because there’s two feet of standing water held in place by some curious force-field.

The highlight of the day was hearing Birch bark for three hours while the ice-dam removal guys worked. They couldn’t get the taps open, so they had to run a hose to the basement where the washing machine drew its water. After a while I had to go to work, so they knocked off for the day and took the hoses away, only to find that their ladder had frozen to the side of the house, and they needed to reconnect the steaming equipment.

I have no idea what day or month it is anymore.

No, there was another highlight. DAUGHTER SENT THE FIRST PART OF HER THANK-YOU PACKAGE. We’ll get to it on Friday. Finally!

Now, the usual blather.












The question is whether Twitter is a machine designed to make people angry and ignorant, or whether it is most satisfying to those who were angry and ignorant already. Probably both. This was my favorite tweet of the previous fortnight:

A charitable reading says she knew the swastikas weren’t intended as Nazi symbols, but thought it amusing because the American Enterprise Institute is on the right. Ergo, y’know.

The responses that cascade below the original post had one of three flavors:

1. A reminder that the swastika was not invented by the Nazis

2. Real Internet Sleuthy Investigations of the building, which discovered it was built in 1915

3. Utter fools

For example, this person thinks the designer of the building was irresponsible for not researching the swastika.

It would be too much to wonder "say, when was the building constructed? Damned odd they were putting up swastikas in DC during the Nazi period, or after!" It's not hard to find out when it was built.

Designed by Jules H. de Sibour to complement the Beaux-Arts neighborhood, the McCormick Apartments at 1789 Massachusetts Avenue NW was constructed in 1915-1916. The building served as luxury apartments to several distinguished residents including Andrew W. Mellon during the time he served as Secretary of the Treasury (1921-1933) and while developing the National Gallery of Art (1933-1937).


The National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) retained a perpetual historic easement on the property as part of the transfer. All modifications within the protected area required review and approval of the NTHP.

So the new tenant can't whack off the swastikas, as some tweeters thought they should.

Here's a nice sequence of keister-covering. First he discovers the AEI's founding date, and MIND BLOWN


Oh. Oh MY

Okay, maybe not, but it's true in the meta sense

Let me walk it all back but it could be the AEI's request but anyway on point in a sense amirite


It's ultimately inconclusive whether the swastikas were added decades before the AEI moved in. First of all, no, it's not. And second, did this guy look at any of the tweets explaining the origin of the symbol, and the fact that you can find it all over architecture in early 20th century?

This is why they love the picture and its implications:

This man. He knows not of which he speaks. But since the American Enterprise is for free markets, free speech, limited government, and the defense of individual rights and laws that must apply equally to all, well, NAZIS. Judge for yourself. If you still think that you're a Nazi because you are opposed to statism, you should be on Twitter, because you'll find all sorts of people who will make you feel good about hating the proper people. But you won't feel good in the "happy" sense. Just justified.

It's not enough. But it lets you power through this nightmare nation like a nitro-charged snowplow, sure of your certainties and certain you will be judged among the Correct down the road.

Perhaps I object because I spoke at that very building last year, and if I'm to be smeared with the Nazi tag, well, that's a lie. A big lie! And who pioneered the idea of the big lie? Nazis! So I can punch anyone who says that, right?


Here's some other tweets that snagged me:


It's a video that shows the size of earth compared to the largest star, which is your Mom. (or not; depends on the video.)

Imagine hating your own species and home so much you revel in its insignificance. The trouble with this opinion: if we're not significant than it doesn't matter how many people get killed for whatever reason, because Betelguese is really huge.

Also, climate change is dire and incredibly important.


Sorry, no. You don't get to prohibit commonplace words because your cohort decided they were granted exclusive rights to a set of phonemes.

Are these people happy? It's possible the person who wrote the article explaining a linguistic evoution is happy, but if you are tweeting out rules for other people's speech with a scowl and warning, you're not a happy person.


This is a happy tweet! And you get the sense that they mean "Human Progress" not only in the sense of what's to come, but what's been accomplished.

I braced myself for the first tweet that followed, knowing it would be bitter and unhappy, and the medium did not disappoint.

  This guy seerms to be an unhappy person on the right, judging from his tweets.

Did I write about this before? I forget. Netflix made a movie about the cops who brought down Bonnie and Clyde.

This is BAD BAD because don't you know they were in a movie? And they were sexy and cool? And the movie was cool and sexy? Except for the part about Gene Hackman's head leaking blood. But they were iconic!

Also the late 60s were very cool and sexy period!


Finally: UnAmerican.

If so - when did that become so?

And why?






It’s 1906.

Interesting design. Not a good one, but standard for the era. They'd finally realized the appeal of a good headline.

If you don't know the fellow:

Rear Admiral Robert Edwin Peary Sr. (;May 6, 1856 – February 20, 1920) was an American explorer and United States Navy officer who made several expeditions to the Arctic in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is best known for claiming to have reached the geographic North Pole with his expedition on April 6, 1909.

That was a few years away. The story says it was alway Peary’s goal to reach the “one spot on earth which has always been considered unattainable.” Once upon a time, that’s how they viewed the planet. Now we’re convinced we could get there tomorrow if we had to, and we’d probably have cellphone reception if we could afford it.


  The Roosevelt was not ground to shreds.

Years later:

With her hull still leaking, Roosevelt arrived at Mount Hope Shipyard in the Panama Canal Zone for repairs on 20 January 1937. No repairs were made, however, and to keep her from sinking alongside the pier she was beached on a mud bank in the Old French Canal on 21 January 1937. Her crew, whose pay was long overdue, salvaged equipment from her to compensate for unpaid wages and she was abandoned on the mud bank. An effort to have her salvaged and preserved as a museum failed, and she subsequently rotted away where she had been beached.

There were two great cartoonists at the paper in this era; this was the work of one of them, P. J. Carter. The Mayor’s race:

Mayor David Jones lost. J. C. Haynes, a Democrat, won. He’d been mayor before, when he beat the incumbent. . . Mayor David Jones. Haynes won in 1908 and 1910 as well.

About P. J. Carter I can find almost nothing on the internets. But that’s not possible. Hold on . . . Well, I have him coming back to town in 1918 to get a job with the Federal school of cartooning, which is a story in itself. The matchbooks that asked if you could draw the pretty girl, or pirate, or parrot? That place.



Oh scandal!

Hoo boy, the deets. From another paper later that summer (pls excuse the OCR errors):

N0 divorce case which hag ever occupied the time of an American court has attracted so widespread attention as has this trial. The unprintable charges made by the millionaire husband, the sensational answers, the arrest of Augustus Hartje and John L. Welshons, one of the best known business men In Pittsburg, on a charge of conspiring with Clifford Hooe, a negro, to destroy the good name and reputation of Mrs. Hartje, the dragging in of the names of several of the city's wealthiest and most respected business men


So Hartje was an up-and-comer who needed scratch, and he got it when he married the daughter of the local Scott millionaire family. Continuing from the OCR version cited above:

Mrs. Hartje Is one of the most beautiful women In Pittsburg. Young and full of life, she was admired everywhere she went. Augustus Hartje was Insanely Jealous of his young wife. He realized the disparity in their ages. Perhaps he also realized that he, at least, had entered Into the marriage as a sort of business arrangement and that little real, love existed. Mrs. Hartje, however, says she loved her husband and always tried to be a good and faithful wife.

She left him when his screaming and suspicions were too much to bear, and she took the kids with her. Hartje was "wounded and enraged."

When AugJstus Hnrtje finally became convinced his wife would not return to him he filed suit for divorce last October, and the charges mnde startled the country. He accused his wife of Intimacy with Clifford Hooe, a negro coachman who had been employed by Hartje. He also named Tom Madlne, their white coachman, as co-respon-dent. Hone, It was announced, was preparing to leave the city and his testimony was taken. His deposition was the most hideous story ' ever spread upon the records of a divorce court. If Its averments are true, Mrs. Hartje should re In an Insane asylum.

The charges also said she pulled a Messilina at a local hotel for a few years, and gave guys the clap. Hone eventually confessed his perjury. The case dragged on until August, after which the judge said it might be autumn before he reached a conclusion.

About a divorce.


The verdict came in December. The divorce wasn’t granted. She had to stay married to that monster. Whatever became of them after that?

No reason to go unclean now!

It was no small thing. Kids drowned in the Mississippi all the time. Alley News:

In 1905, the city created the Gerber Baths on what was formerly known as Hall Island. The bath, which was named after one of the city’s aldermen, was established with the expressed purpose of saving boys’ lives. The Minneapolis Journal reported that girls were “not in the habit of getting drowned in the river and [since] the chief object of the baths was to save the boys,” girls were limited to using the bathhouse two half-days a week. Judging from cemetery records, it appears that providing a safer place to swim may have saved at least some boys’ lives.

There is only one boy buried in Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers who drowned in the Mississippi River after 1905. He was seven-year-old Herbert Wennerlund, who died on May 18, 1907. Two of his young friends witnessed the drowning but were so frightened that they made a pact not to tell anyone, including their parents, what they had seen. It was only after Harold’s father came looking for his son that they confessed and Harold’s body was recovered.

Hall Island was named after Pearl Hall, who homesteaded it in 1902. It ceased to be an island in the 1960s, when the space between the shores was filled in.

In 2017, the city began dredging to restore the island. The Google Maps haven’t kept up with it . . .

. . . but they will.

You want to mess with this fellow? Do you? do you suspect he has a small servant under his hat, carrying a derringer?

For what, you ask?


Ha ha! Good luck, sherriff.

F(ive years later, the Supreme Court declared that Standard Oil must be broken up.)



That'll do; enjoy the update, and I'll see you around. Unless I am buried under snow.



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