There’s no chance in a million I’ll turn out anything substantial here today; this is being banged out between video edits and column writing. At least I’m not ill, as I suspected yesterday. Turns out I was just having a full-body spastic freak-out over the work I had queued up. I finished enough to calm down, and watched the evening allotment of TV: "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour."

It starred Larry Storch.

Yes, Larry Storch. The grimacing fellow from “F Troop.” I have an old Life magazine showing The Faces of Larry Storch, back when he was an up-and-coming comedian – apparently he was known from the start as a raving scenery-consuming livewire, so his “Hitchcock” performance as a quiet, repressed bank teller married to a slatternly grifter was playing against type. One of those “dramatic stretches” comedians enjoy. I was amused again to see how the show used the same sets over and over again – half the episodes take place in a mansion, which is always the same place, and the other half take place in apartments, which have the same kitchen. It would be wonderful to mash them all up and have people from one plot stumbing into another shouting MURDER, or pit the drunken wife of one episode against the drunken husband in another.

I could transfer them from the TiVo, digitize them, and put it on YouTube! Yes, I’ll get right on it.

Anyway. When I finally got to bed I couldn’t sleep. Tossed and turned, thinking of stupid things – the piece I have to play for the Read-A-Thon concert next week, Twin Peaks, Roman history, the color aqua . . . and then I was awakened by my wife, who noted that Jasper was whining, and I should go downstairs and look for armed interlopers. At least that’s what I thought she said. Checked the clock: I’d slept for 30 minutes. Got up, went down, did a quick walk through: no miscreants with scimitars. Who knows what he was worried about. Went back to bed, and slept instantly – only to be awakened 3 minutes later: apparently I was supposed to take him outside. So I did. Looked at the clock: 1:39 AM. Jeebus. He went outside, performed a desultory urination, then sat in the snow at the far end of the yard, looking up at the moon, perfectly content. I tried calling him, but he’s deaf, so I found some shoes, cursing, and stomped through the snow sans socks. When I tapped him on the back he jumped: oh, right, you. Sorry! Forgot. Back inside and back to sleep . . .

And up 6 hours later. My wife was already gone – one of those 5 AM lawyer meetings – so I made (G)Nat a bagel and we had a nice breakfast. She has become devoted to Cream Cheese. Give me one with a smear, Daddy. Running to the bus was full of amusement, since the sidewalks were slicked over with ice – I slid down without moving a limb, which impressed the kids at the stop. (Given my performance with the electrical guitar at the school assembly, I may actually attain Cool Dad status after the next show.) Then the bus came and I headed inside to begin the day I’d dreaded the day before.

At least we have closure on the Element problem. They finally figured out why the heater kicks out when I go through a car wash. It’s a design flaw that affects all Hondas. All of them. Each and every one. If the blower’s open, it shorts the heating element.


“Well, that’s stupid,” I told the service guy.

“We were all pretty surprised,” he said. “I finally called Honda and they weren’t surprised, they said they get calls about this all the time.”

I imagine they do.

In the meantime I’ve been driving a Sportage, which has nice pickup but feels as substantial as a car made entirely of cellophane. I drove it to the auto show to shoot a video, and parked in a ramp, heedless of door-dingers. A wonderful lesson on the psychology of communual property, that. It's not that I dinged anyone else's door, but I simply worried less.

On the way out of the convention center I wandered over the adjacent Wesley Church, and took some pictures.


Same building. Many styles.

Off to write the column; back in a bit.

Well, that was easy. Falling off a log, and all that. Now that I’m back to the old column length, all the basic instincts have returned. The Quirk column was 300 words, and I did my best to write exactly 300 words, but it was always like attempting to perform “War and Peace” with semaphore flags while wearing a straightjacket. Now that I’m back up to 800 words or so, I can overwrite to my heart’s content. (Kidding.)  (Slightly.)

Oh, krep – forgot to write the Sears 1973 update. Well. Be right back.

Okay, done. While I uploaded everything I allowed myself a bit of Monty Python. Still working through the entire series. And what did I spy?


It’s the famous blue-faced girl painting! We met her last year.

See you at - new video up in the morning. Have a fine day.

GAH! Forgot to scan the Lance Lawsons for Well, that'll be the job from 8:30 to 8:45. Good thing; I had planned on wasting that time on a cup of coffee and the newspaper. ;)