So we have huge nasty economic perturbations AND gas lines; why doesn’t it feel like the 70s? Better graphics, I think. The society’s look-and-feel  is set on perma-shiny, and even if we do see apple vendors on every corner, they will have signs they made at Kinkos. And the apples will be organic.

Sorry about last week’s absences. Semi-annual ankle-gnawing from the Black Dog; all better now. A case of the mubblefubbles, as the old word for a mild funk had it. That was before “Funk” became attached to musical styles,  as in that which you should get out of my face; I suppose it had a connection to the meaning of a curious smell. Probably from the old German Funck, meaning “historical underwear,” or perhaps the French, funque . . . okay, checking. Hah! There was a Casimir Funk, a Polish-American biochemist. He coined the term “Vitamins.” Imagine if they’d been called “Funkamins,” or “Casimirites.” Seriously! Just imagine!

Or don’t; can’t blame you. Other words for general low-grade despondency include “mulligrubs,” which Webster’s also defines as “a griping of the intestines”  - perhaps from ingesting milligrubs - and “the blue devils,” which actually sounds entertaining. I’d love to have the Blue Devils for a while. The red ones jab you in the arse with forks and cackle, for reasons unclear; I don’t know what’s funny, exactly. All the old TV shows and movies always have the Devil laughing his head off after he’s tricked someone, or collected on a debt. HA HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH! Really, the humor of the situation can’t be that novel after all this time; getting the vainglorious and weak-willed to sign over their soul is like giving candy to a baby. But every time he tricks a mortal, it’s the same endless laugh. You’d think one of the characteristics of being the Prince of Darkness and the master of evil is that you’re hard to amuse, but no, he’s ROTFLMAO when an actor signs over his soul to get a choice part on Broadway. It’s like God weeping tears of joy for five minutes when a Boy Scout walks an old lady across the street.

Anyway. The basic problem was the occasional dissatisfaction with the work, I guess – a great smothering sense of OH WHO CARES settled over everything. The week had become a long thin smear of natter-babble, I was busy and tired and nothing was adding up to anything in any satisfying form. (Aside from hitting matchbook #300; that’s no small feat.) (Seriously.) No new ideas, no new projects – the Mpls site will continue its relentless and ever-necessary march towards larger pictures and a consistent interface, big whoop, and the end of the annual motel update means it’s finally time to redo the Restaurant section. Why? Why, for heaven’s sake? Because there’s an aesthetic inconsistency between the old site and the way the rest of looks like? Seriously, that’s a reason to scan and resize and rewrite and research?

Well, yes, it is; as I said a long time ago, I make sites I’d like to see if I was interested in that particular subject. Plus, there’s a certain responsibility you feel after you’ve taken on a subject. (Google “restaurant postcards,” and you’ll see what I mean.) These are subjects I couldn’t turn into books, and even if I did they’d sell in the high dozens, so this is the best I can do. Ditto with the Lance Lawson strip – when I first found those comics years ago in the Strib archive I had no idea I would eventually feel obligated to preserve them in some form, because no one else will.

 Then again, who cares? It’s just a silly little thing that appeared in a Minneapolis newspaper for a year and a half. But I suppose that’s exactly why I want to preserve it. There’s no interest too minute that it isn’t shared by someone. Even if it’s just one other person, well, you’re scanning for two. This is the greatest library in human history, run by volunteers, and its purpose and utility depends on the people who post old TV commercials to YouTube, not the people who comment on YouTube. When the balance shifts and the YouTube comment crowd rules the roost, it’s toast. Even the Museum of Toasters. 

I got myself out of the funk by deciding I would not write on the site for a while, and do something else. By the end of the weekend I had set up two new blogs, but that’s next week’s news. I also fixed the home network – for real, this time. It was the *#$(%*(#$% Apple Airport EXTREME Base Station, which had worked fine until update 7.5.2 came along and screwed up everything. There has to be someone responsible for this. There has to be one guy who changed the code around so the router would look at the internet and say “I’m sorry, I don’t believe we’ve met,” and he’s sitting in his cubicle having a Kernell Panic, waiting for someone to figure out he’s the guy who slipped a limerick into the code and didn’t think anyone would notice.

There once was a white Apple Router
That made many customers doubt ‘er
It was the update we said
Apple techs nodded heads
But the website continued to tout ‘er.

Solution? Well, at BestBuy I bought a new Belkin, and its black squat design was less welcome. The Airport was sleek, and this new one was weak; I’d seen better boxes from Qualcomm. But at least it works. And that was really a better limerick than the other one.

The joy of having clean fresh internet was great, and I didn’t even for a second feel like a galley slave just handed a new, smoother oar.

Otherwise? Weather. Oy; hot. Shorts weather. Windows down, music loud. (Not that I’ve been listening to music, which is another symptom of mubblegripes, or perhaps the cause. It’s a bad sign when music leaves you cold; you plow though your collection looking for something to strike a spark. The cheerful tunes sound false and the gloomy tunes sound indulgent.) Eighty-four degrees on Sunday – I rolled the Element into the driveway, detailed all the plastic and leather while listening to an old “Suspense” radio show. I fixed the Oak Island Water Feature and let it run all day. I put up a birdhouse. I watched a good movie and a bad one. I hardly saw my daughter at all, so busy was she with soccer and friends and events, but she made a point of running outside Sunday afternoon as I was having palaver with the Giant Swede, and gave me a hug, just because. A few hours before the Swede had waved to his daughter at the end of the block when I picked him up; she was having a lemonade sale. It’s a good thing kids don’t know that such moments are freighted with foreknowledge of the day when they shrug, not wave, roll eyes instead of smile, slump off with friends instead of skip down the alley in the full free joy of a warm Sunday afternoon. They would wonder what horrible thing was going to happen.

New Matchbook. New Strib Video at noon – it was a difficult shoot, since the 80s video-arcade wasn’t quite what we expected, but I assume Pink, the Strib’s ace videographer / editor, pulled my corpus out of the fire. See you at! Warm weather all week, fall just beginning: it’s a grand time for the manic cycle to start. ;) See you at