Damned strange week, but in the end, joyous. Really! Dog survived, did all my work, weather's great, Daughter made a fantastic dinner, everyone's happy. The antithesis of a year ago. Part of the week's distinction was visiting different places, and while a strip mall at 3 AM may not seem all that special, it was different. In the pandemic interval, it was only a selection of rotating places, nothing else. Going to the U of M Ag campus was different. Revisiting the interesting industrial architecture of East Hennepin, with its ancient powerplants and office buildings, was different. I am ready for lots of different, now that's over.

No! It's not over! Variants! Listen: the other day at the grocery store, the person who watches over the self-checkout section stopped me, and held out a big jug of hand sanitizer.

"No thanks," I said, "I'm fine."

"No," she said. "Free. Complimentary." And she handed me the jug. They have so much they're giving it away, just to get rid of it. There was a time when I kept close eye on the home stocks of sanitizer. We all knew it was the high holy fluid that kept us healthy, and you couldn't buy it anywhere. When it came back, it was pricey. Then the market kicked in and it returned in abundance. Now it's free, and food is expensive.

The mask mandate has been lifted in Minneapolis, by the way. It seems as if the skyways and lobbies were much, much busier afterwards. I saw more people downtown the other day than I’ve seen in a year. Everyone in Lobby Pizza was maskless. All the tables were filled. There were no barriers to keep sitting patrons spaced out. All over, all done. The signs are still in the elevator: MASK REQUIRED. No one pays attention. The stickers are still on the floor: STAND HERE. Nah.

The Minneapolis subreddit that had much dampening of drawers when the state mandates were lifted are now celebrating the decision, because two weeks made all the difference. Two weeks ago: I dunno, man, I’ll keep mine on, variants, unvaccinated redneck outstate liars. Now: hurrah! I wonder if it’s two different camps; I suspect so. The mask-until-it’s-safe cohort seems to have retreated, because they’ve no civic authorities left to support their preferences.

Got my oil changed yesterday. The staff was masked, but half-masted; everyone had it below the nose. The 30something guy in the car in the next bay had a mask on. Windows up.

I realized the other day that I had become accustomed to my phone recognizing my face again. Didn’t have to enter the code. Took a day to get back to normal. No longer think “mask” when I enter the building. Yesterday I was four blocks away from my car when I remembered I hadn’t taken the mask, thought: oh right. It’s no longer hanging on the gear shift. I even left the house without wondering whether I had a backup in my bag.

Over. Done. Not forgotten.

This is appropos of nothing, except that we talk about buildings here on Friday. Part of a recent scanning project involved this picture. It's a potent little example.

Ah, where to start? The Model Clothing House with its distinctive corner advertising turret. The quirky Minnesota Loan building, which had a rather exuberant facade. The Palace is the short building; the building under construction is the new Palace, later the Rothschild store. That puts this shot at 1908 or 1909.

Details? Why yes.

Electric lights to illuminate the site. Let us manipulate it through the wonders of Photoshop:

I Stamp My Face and The Price On The Bottom Of My Shows Which Protexts The Wearer Against High Prices and Inferior Goods.

Yes, that follows.

The top of the palace had a small statue of a man.

So many details.


Another angle, since the usual one isn't wildly inspirational.

You know the weekend is nigh when you read the magic words, "the weekly sweep."


Holy Crow, how often does Lance get a lead as suspicious as this?


"Tell me the truth - you buried her at the Mystery Spot!"

Solution here.




I've heard Dimension X and X Minus One so many times I know how all the stories go. But I still listen.



To the future! With our old friend, the Star Wars "First Order" motif.






And now the cue that sounds like it should be on the original Star Trek show.


One of those cues that wants to be about the passing of time, but can't.


"Now we can have a romantic cue at odds with all the other musical styles of the story!"



Now, this week's Tell-Tale Horn, the sound that aways preceded the crash.




It's not often the Old Fellows got out on the road. They usually took the Mail Hack.

The organ tells a sad downhill syory.

"Dammit, did you send out Fred to take the picture? Fred drinks."


Not on YouTube, so it vanishes after today.

Corn galore.



From 1978. Kips? One of those regional Big Boy chains. Texas, OK, Kansas, 1958 - 1991. The Frisch outfit owned them at this point.

I swear those people sang every commercial and ident when I was a young man.


That'll do; thanks for the visits. See you Monday.




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