On the off chance you pulled up this page, noted the shortness of its length and thought slacker, I’ll have you know that I spent the allotted web time today on a nine-page update to the Institute, available immediately. So there.  And that’s on top of filing two columns today. I feel no guilt! Well, some. But not much.

The day was devoid of the usual crashing hectosity (not a word, but should be) (Did you know, incidentally, that the word “Saddam” means “Crasher” in his native tongue? I’m reading a bio of a former Iraqi general – it’s a mess as a narrative so far, but it’s keeping my interest. Review & link to follow. Anyway, he throws away the “Crasher” fact early in the book, and I don’t know why he continues to refer to Saddam as Saddam for the rest of the story; it would be much more immediate if he used the real word, which has odd supervillain / pro-wrestler overtones. And given the ubiquity of the “Hussein” name, it’s almost like the ruler of Iraq was known by his people as an Arabic version of “Action Jackson.” Crasher! Crasher Hussein! For some reason that made my day) that characterizes Tuesdays; I had one column in the bag when I powered down last night, and the other was easily rendered. Went to the office, because I have a new tie and it’s the only place I could wear it.

Not a lot of talk about our parent company buying Knight-Ridder; shrugs and whatevs, at least from the people I spoke to. No one knows what’s going to happen to the competition, and that’s the only piece of information we’re really keen to glean. There’s talk that the union will buy the Pioneer Press, but if they brought to its lively pages the same dead Debs-fellating tone they bring to the monthly newsletter, the paper will become unreadable. I like the fact that our chain now has foreign bureaus; give me a place to crash next time I go to Europe. Best of all, we now have a wire service. Dave Barry’s old wire service, for that matter. Is the market ripe for a new syndicated humor column, right-sized for today’s happy-clappy feature sections? We’ll see.

After work I went to the inelegantly named Liquor Depot, a West Bank mainstay since my college days. It’s a dank place with cee-ment floors and girders overhead, but the wine selection is quite good. Even more to the point: they’re going out of business for a year. The entire block is being redeveloped for condos, like everything else along the newly reborn Washington Avenue, so they’re razing the ugly thing. It’ll reopen in a year, and I expect the name will change; I doubt people will want to pay half a million dollars to live over “Liquor Depot.” The entire stock is reduced, and every week the reductions accelerate; it’s a game of chicken. Will they sell out of the good stock before the price goes to 50 percent off? Locusts have already stripped the whiskey aisle bare; naught left but plastic jugs of “Clan McGregor” – they ought to sell that one with a white cane and dark glasses – and horrid abominations like Phillips’ vanilla-infused whiskey. Sno-shoe Grog seems in plentiful supply as well.

I asked the clerk if the new store would have that soaked-in spilled-beer smell that’s characterized the place for 30 years – and just then I noted a small sign posted on the check-out counter.


Oh. Right, then.

A few links before we get to my new site.

This makes me weep, it’s so good. Probably not safe for work, since it’s a pin-up model’s site, but dang, that’s some wonderful web design. And it’s everything I hate – tiny pop-up windows, embedded music, small pictures. I don’t care: this is what the web would have looked like in 1944, and it’s fantastic.

They’re tiny. They can live anywhere. Presenting: the rectum-headed microscopic bears.

People who write on walls are a sorry lot. (Not safe for work, given the occasional cuss word.)

And finally, the gallery of Sixties and Seventies Computer Promotional Photography. And you thought I'd forgotten! Worth a look, even if you have no interest whatsoever in the subject matter. It's only nine pages. C'mon.

And there's a Quirk. See you tomorrow!

(Email at first name at last name dot com.)