It is hot. High 90s every day. I don't mind. It'll be one-hundred-and-ten degrees colder soon enough.

All the days are good - Daughter is still with us, since she can't go back to Boston for summer school until she gets her passport for air travel ID. It'll show up soon enough, and that will be a moment of sighs: nice while it lasted. At least I got to be useful, Father-wise, including hunting and elimating a june bug that flew into her room. I hit it with a heavy-duty fly swatter.

Man, those things just explode.

Anyway, the heat produces langour and torpor and dulls the brain. About all I have for you today, in addition to the usual stuff, is a simple investigation of BBQ and hot-sauce labels.  Because why not.

My theory: once, BBQ labels were expected to be ugly and home-made, assuring you that they were authentic. The cook had culinary skills, not graphic design skills.

This has changed. But not entirely. The one on the left seems to tip its hat to the font-jumble of yore; the one on the right is better, but you'd think they would go for consistency.

Why be consistent? It makes for a nice brand block on the shelf.

Below, a venerable local sauce, its reputation sullied a bit when the chain went big, made some menu alterations the customers did not appreciate.  It hasn't changed in many, many years. Gradient, heay stroke on the letters, clip-art ribbon.

The one on the right is much better, and lacks the Quisling Pig enjoying the incineration of his kinfolk.

This makes for a nice brand block, but it's also a bland block, amirite?

The idea, I suspect, was to stand out on a shelf filled with visual clutter.

Below, the absolute nadir. Gawd, the Algiers typeface with that odd 18th century pirate font.

Curt's couldn't be duller. They make a salsa as well, and it's just as boring. To look at, anyway. The salsa's pretty good. But this is the definition of generic.

The obligatory "guy with a great local rep starts selling his sauce and never changes the original label, because people have come to know it."

I'd try this over all the others, which juuuuust might be the point.

It can always get worse.

It does get worse.

I was happier before I heard the phrase "pig lotion."

I don't want to think anymore about these guys getting drunk outside of a smoker.


It’s 1925.

This shows how solidly entrenched the car had become, and how important it was as a sign of freedom and exploration. You could drive to see the gleaming cheese kitchens!

Still around today, of course - cleverly pitched as a premium brand.

The coffee of the Palace Hotel:

The original Palace was huge, and had a storied origin:

The original Palace Hotel was built by San Francisco banker and entrepreneur William Chapman Ralston, who heavily depended on his shaky banking empire to help finance the $5 million project. Although Ralston's Bank of California collapsed in late August 1875, and Ralston himself drowned in San Francisco Bay on the same day that he lost control of the institution, it did not interfere with the opening of the Palace Hotel two months later on October 2, 1875.

Ralston's business partner in the project was U.S. Senator William Sharon, who had helped cause the collapse of the bank when he dumped his stock in the Comstock Lode. Sharon ended up in full control of the hotel as well as both the bank and Ralston's debts, both of which he paid off at just pennies on the dollar.

Burned in the earthquake, and rebuilt.

Uh . . . well okay, I guess

Brought to you by MILK

Jap Rose, which leaves your hair presentable the same day you wash it:

It's been a long time since I washed my hair with a bar of soap.



This was a reference everyone was expected to get.

Do you?



"Thirty minute" floor laquer. Did anyone believe it?

What do you know: it still exists.


This brand exists as well.

I’m not sure why I snipped this batch, except perhaps to show how ordinary and unremarkable (to modern eyes) the second tier of newspaper ads really were.

It needed to be shown! And now you know!

That will do for today, I hope. Our weekly visit with Gluyas awaits.



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