Natalie cannot stop whistling the Club Penguin Secret Agent theme.

It is pretty good. Get-Smart meets Brian-Setzer-Orchestra.

Forgot to mention that I went to Target on Saturday. Yes, really. Bought wrapping paper, too. My internal holiday schedule seems accelerated this year by three weeks. Half my shopping is done. Got the main present for the child, and she insists on a hint every day. I’ve told her that I will never give her a hint that could possibly result in a correct guess, but still she insists. So: “Rectangular.” “Starts with W.” “Black.”

Hey, you can play along at home, if you like. Anyway: while checking out I noticed that someone had written his name on the electronic checkout, and it was obvious he had produced his own pen to do so. Such an achievement deserves enshrinment in the permasphere of the Internet:

Deserves its own Flickr pool, for that matter.

A cold day, but it was the sort of absent-minded, desultory cold of a season preoccupied with cooking up greater horrors to come. By the end of the day the wind came up and slapped things around just to keep in practice. When I got home from the office I turned up the heat, and was surprised anew at the speed with which Jasperwood heats up; I could spray the walls with Easy-Off and get my housecleaning done in an afternoon.

Fun fact: Easy-Off was invented by a man with the internally contradictory name of Herbert McCool.

Tuesday is usually the day when I dump a dozen frame-grabs and discuss a black-and-white movie, but I've nothing today. The movie was A) grainy and fuzzy, and B) more of a romantic-weeper-with-danger than a hard-noised hat-and-gat noir flick. It was "Sudden Fear," a name that seems a product of the Automatic Noir Title Generator, and starred Joan Crawford as a loney but rich & glamorous author who falls madly, madly in love with . . . Jack Palance. This was one of her comebacks - if you've seen "Mommie Dearest," then you recall how the aging bat went FULL-BORE PSYCHO to prepare for the role, but that movie should be consumed with big yellow sacks of salt, so who knows. What we do know is that the camera treated her well, and she was mighty fine in the role; the aged and faded film stock somehow makes her look much more human and real. Palance, on the other hand, is a piece of work. Do you like him serious:

Or happy?

In the last one he looks like Dick York from "Bewitched," back from the grave.

At the office I spent some time with Clarabell, the old microfiche machine at the paper. It’s impossible not to get lost in those brittle reels – the old papers were so much more interesting to look at. They’re bursting with words and pictures and drawings, dozens of images to every page. The editorial page fares the poorest, since the issues of the day have long dried up and blown away, and the cartoons all blend into one stale picture of John Q. Public having a discussion with an Atom Bomb or a Russian Bear or a Globe with a worried expression.

This ad lent a moment of amusement. I apologize for using so many of your black pixels today; I know pixel toner is expensive. Anyway, I’m sure the distribution company would say “they” refers to the girl, story and picture, but I think we know better.


Don’t Hays me, Bra! Actually, she didn’t use a special bra for this movie, although they did have problems with the Production Code during the first release, he said, tendentiously explaining the joke.

When I was growing up Jane Russell was the old lady in the bra ad. It lifts and separates! It’s an 18-hour bra! These were mysterious concepts. What happened after 18 hours? Did it burst into flames? Did it drop and smush? Even the word PLAYTEX was strange, like some sort of moist clay-like plastic.

Bras are very unnerving to boys of a certain age. A trip to the department store often meant some red-faced time in Bra Land with Mom, looking up at acres of bras hanging like scalps from some strange war only adults knew about.   

Here’s another ad, full of pride and bravado. The greatest thing in the world has happened – a drug store is opening up!

It’s Minnesota’s Finest Super Drug Store. A look at the attributes provides a good measure of the things people took for granted, and the things they found novel. Behold, citizens of tomorrow: Electro-Magnetic Air Conditioning!

There are two references to glare, which would indicate people staggered out of stores bedazzlled, and groped their way to the trolley stop. The new store light was non-blinding, and that had to come as a tremendous relief. Let's go to the store that doesn't sear our optic nerves, Mabel. I'm tired of wearing smoked glasses for a day everytime I go to get some hose.

Also, the special scientific ceiling eliminated undesired noises. One only heard the sounds one desired. That big lady who always seemed to sit next to you at the lunch counter and make soft chuffing sounds when she ate her cottage cheese?



And that was the day, aside from some work and finalization of the Gobbler site. Two days left; better write the damned thing. It’ll debut on Thanksgiving – and it’s ugly. But it would be wrong to have a pretty Gobbler site, somehow.

See you at and twitter, etc etc. New updates accessible via the menu on the left, of course. Have a grand day.