The canvas cover over the gas grill was pulled off and tossed on the patio today. I have no idea how this happened. Granted, it rained, but it’s not as if gale-force winds tore through the neighborhood, and some whirly finger of a windy dervish pried it off. It’s unlikely a miscreant did it, since there was no other vandalism – except for an overturned plant on a table, which might – I say, might have been caused by a downdraft, an amazingly specific example of straight-line winds. It happened while I was upstairs, and no perimeter alarm went off, so I doubt human agency. Thetans, then. Damned thetans.

They have been bedeviling me all month – my internet connection is suqtastic, as noted before, and I blamed the difficulties inherent in getting a strong signal to penetrate the cloud of ambient disembodied alien spirits. Earthlink did not seem to agree – there’s no “thetan congestion” option in the phone menu – but the tech support person on the Indian subcontinent said she would escalate the matter, and I was given – blare of trumpets, as though heralding the dawn of a bright new sun – a trouble ticket number, which pitches me into a new total hell. From now on the issue is not fixing the problem, but resolving the ticket. She told me that technicians would check my line, and I should call back in 24 hours. I did. An automated voice – and really, they should be honest and give her an Indian accent – said the phone company had not finished checking my line. They would call me back when they were done.

Mmmm-hmm. And my agent will call me tomorrow, first thing.

But that’s another matter. And it’s a Bleat I really hope I don’t have to write.


It’s a busy evening, mostly because I did farg-all today. No initiative; no enthusiasm. Built everything around a video shoot that didn’t turn out, so tomorrow will be Jimmy Lileks Show Program day. We’re going to the Walker Art Museum to play an artist-designed miniature golf course. The potential for obvious swipes at the clichés of modern art appear boundless, but this is the Walker; they don’t oblige with easily-lampoonable brand names, if I recall. Floor after floor of names you’ve never heard of, unless you’re deeply immersed in modern art. Which I am not. I know yer Gorky, yer Kline, yer Guston, but after the New York School and the Pop artists I just lost interest. I can’t even pretend I like much of the New York School, either. I mean:


Gorky, 1947.  It’s not hard to understand why people turned against modern art. And it’s not hard to see why they were amused by Pop Art, as well:

Actually, that’s not a Lichtenstein. It’s a blown up, colorized, halftone-filter panel from the very last Lance Lawson comic ever. The strip ceased its run on January 31, 1949. It didn’t have a long run, and towards the last few weeks I can tell the creator’s enthusiasm was on the wane – they knew it wasn’t going to work out as a syndicated strip, and the mysteries became very simple. I feel sorry for those guys. It was a great idea and a wonderful little strip – the enthusiasm and ingenuity of the comments over at show just how much fun it was to read backstories into each little mystery. Well, the job of curating the thing seems to have fallen on my shoulders, so I’ll be archiving all the Lance Lawsons I have here at

Incidentally, the strip ended on a Sunday. Yes, there were Sunday strips, big ones. They don’t reproduce as well, since they were in color – but I’ll do what I can. Lance, Lori and Tiny the Pig-Faced Cop deserve more than a return to the slumbers of microfiche.

Much work to do, so I’ll lean on the old standbys: site updates. There are two pages up at Patriotica, believe it or not; that one’s coming back. Here. The Motel site finishes up today with six states, starting with glorious Texas; a few new cards sprinkled in the mix. New Lance Lawson up at – don’t miss the final days of its 1.1 incarnation. Or do; your call. And we have the return of Bleat Radio Theater!

This might seem like an old sci-fi plot now, but everything old was new once. Besides, I love these glimpses into the impossibly distant year of 2005. Those of you who’ve listened to some old time radio – well, you’ve probably heard this already, since everyone loves Dimension shun shun shun X ecks ecks ecks. But you’ll note that the family of the future sounds a great deal like the family in the Great Gildersleeve. It’s uncanny. It’s not an exact match, but it’s Dick York / Dick Sargent quality.


See you at One day to . . . it.