After spending the day outside in the gazebo writing, and getting a pounding headache from the heat and the peerage (the act of looking at a screen: peerage) I was happy when we lost power and were plunged back into pre-industrial civilization. Well, pre-industrial civilization with ice cream and cold drinks. But not forever. If the power was off for a long time, everything would rot, and we’d be eating dandelions. For some reason I always feel tempted to call the power company and tell them the power’s off, but what if I didn’t get a recording? What if I got someone who was shouting over the sound of buzzers and alarms, and thanked me: oh, so THAT’S what all the noise here is about. That’s why the big board lit up with all those red Xs. Thanks, pal, never would have figured it out.

They know. It happened when it usually happens, too – every gets home, flips on the air conditioner and turns on the TV, and the brittle infrastructure, held together at the moment with masking tape and some alligator clips, spazzes out completely. This will continue – there’s a controversy going on here about some new power lines and generating plants. A judge blocked the latter, because the utility hadn’t invested enough in wind power, as per the law. That’s the sort of sentence that makes your heart very heavy: a judge ruled that they can’t build the power plant. I’m all for trying everything – wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal, switchgrass, algae, hydrogen, steroidally enhanced gerbils running in cages attached to generators, steam, hydro, shale, and installing small pedals in movie theaters people can push to power the projector, but DO SOMETHING. NOW.

But something is different than anything. The city in which I live has just spent $460,000 to install a "green roof" on a portion of City Hall. The impact it will have on anything is nil. Part of the cost went to necessary roof repairs, and I don't begrudge them that, but I imagine that the cost of building a fargin' lawn on top of a 19th century structure was greater than simply patching leaks. No one expects it to accomplish anything, global-warmingly wise; use your Google, Luke, and find City Hall, then zoom out to the rest of Minnesota, and you will see that the state is hella green. Think "pinhead on a football field" and you have the proportions about right. But! It's intended to raise awareness of such things, and raise awareness of Minneapolis' greeniousity, and make other mayors in other cities crumple papers in their fist and shout Damn Their Eyes, They've Stolen the Moral High Ground. A City Hall with a green roof! A mayor who drives a Prius and leads a national effort against bottled water! Those clever fiends outflank us at every turn!

I would like to claim half the roof as my own. Seriously. I'm looking at my property tax bill, and if I stay here for the rest of my 30 year mortgage and many years beyond, all the money I pay the city will go for the green roof on City Hall. Every cent. Can I get a plaque? A bench?

No. But I can look at it through a window if I go downtown. Perhaps I'll do that next week. Imagine the look on the security guard's face if I insist I paid for that lawn. Sure you did, pal. Sure you did.

Eventually the juice came back on – obviously, since I’m not posting this via telepathy – and the machinery throughout the house hummed back to its usual state. It makes you realize how accustomed you become to the background noise of your electronic equipment, how unnerving the silence can be. Nice, in an old-timey sense – let’s have some warm lemonade and sit in the rocker on the porch and read the Good Book until it’s dusk, then we’ll go to sleep. But you want that as an option. Not the only bloody thing you can do.

So I wasn’t able to work as much as I needed tonight – laptop was drained – and I’ve lots to do, so this will be short. But long, given the graphics. There’s also an enormous motel-site upgrade.

Man, I am sick of writing. One of those days.


Aside from Roger Rabbit, this may be the only time Hanna-Barbera got together with Disney.

Ah, but how? Answer at the bottom.


Today's ads from a 1938 Popular Mechanics: First a route to deep emotional peace and satisfaction you may not have considered:

In my next novel there will be suave villain named Deagan Marimba. Or maybe not; they're still around. This page has a picture of John Calhoun Deagan, who died and went to Happy-Land four years before this ad ran.

Oh, for heaven's sake; the modern world is just ridiculous. From a tiny ad in an old magazine, scanned for grins, to this: the Google Street View of the fargin' DEAGAN FACTORY.

Perfect name for these things: Skoot-Mobile!

Hold on a second. Swear by all the saints & ancestors, but I just put these ads together at random. The Skoot-Mobile factory was on Ravenswood - the same street as the Deagan Marimba factory. Twenty blocks up the street.


Here's the Flintstone - Disney connection. The picture comes from this book, which is typically stupid:

The Jetsons show up, too. All the H-B characters show up. Nothing's funny. Anyway: the item atop this page was the Tower of the Four Winds, which was designed by the Disney organization.

Never quite understood why some people hate Disney and admire Hanna Barbera. Aside from a few cool show themes and a few Jetsons episodes and the parallel-world look at suburban 60s pop-culture you get from a few Flintstones cartoons, it's just dreck, and I suspect that many love it because it brings back the Sugar-Pops-and-footie-jammies period of their lives.

Not that it doesn't have its uses. Note: this isn't what you think.

That put me in a better mood.

New Motels! Here. The Florida site is enormous; the last two cards are new (NOTE: I spent all my time reworking the site, and forgot to write copy for the last two cards. DAMN. It's always something with this site. Forgive me) but everything's resized, and a few have the new Google Street Views embedded for contemporary views. Which is pretty cool, when you think about it: when the site was started a few years ago, such a thing was impossible. Now anyone can do then-and-now sites from the comfort of their desk. If it's comfortable desk. If it has one of those chairs that makes you feel like there's a knuckle in the small of your back, forget it/

Blogging all day at, with a Three-Lance-Lawson-Thursday. See you there!