12.28.11: Fish hook

Mother-in-law came for a stay. Hasn’t been here since summer. She always gives Jasper Dog long walks; has for years. When she entered the house he struggled to his feet, trotted over, sniffed, cogitated, then barked - not the standard you are not of the pack, I’m just sayin’ bark dogs have, but the insistent demanding bark. And he wouldn’t stop until she put on her coat, at which point he went to the door.

And to think we sometimes wonder how much they remember. Perhaps the best of all worlds: they remember everything except the past. They remember states and conditions and people and places, but the idea of the past? Nah. A blessing and a curse. The thing that makes us human makes it unbearable, at times. I spoke with a friend today who got the worst news a father can get - stunning news, end-of-the-world news, the thing that would make a man curse the heavens if he wasn’t suddenly convinced it was nothing but an empty attic. Just hearing it was a fishhook in the heart.

So. One of those days.


Then there’s this: the riot at the Mall of America. I was just there on a nice pre-Christmas holiday afternoon, and it all felt safe and civilized because thugs weren’t throwing chairs around while other people filmed it and whooped and other expressions of high spirits. Probably a language warning is due.



Some people say the solution to these things is for the miscreant to know virtuous people in the area might be armed, but I think the better solution is for someone to dump a large bag of oiled ball-bearings on the floor. A society that has suffered a severe concussion from having its heads strike the marble floor at great velocity is a polite society, as the saying goes.


I plan on leaving the house tomorrow, so there will be something more to write about. Probably should have announced a hiatus this week, but there are small hiatii coming up in January.

So what the devil am I doing? Novel and loose-ends. One of the former and ten million of the latter, and all the threads that need to be snipped or woven is enough to make you understand why people burn down their houses for the insurance money. A fresh start, and all that. While ploughing through files all sorts of ancient things fall out, and I can always tell by the image size that they go back to the era of 640 X 480. Things kept around with the idea that they can be used, some day. Well, let me use them all here now.

This . . .


. . . can’t be read, of course, but that’s for context. I did a Google search on “Triumph of the Will,” the famous Nazi propaganda movie. So why did I save this screen grab? Nothing unusual about the results. Oh, right. Sponsored ad:


I’m not sure whose childhood that could possibly be. Seems a rather dangerous piece of boilerplate.


Inexplicable infographics from another era:



What better way to illustrate "vision" than with a disembodied ear?


Screen grabs of an old movie; heavens knows what. Anytown, USA, in the middle of the previous century:



Let's look closer:




The Morris Plan was an early form of consumer banking; a bit tricky to explain here. It's the building that interests me - either a brutal renovation, or new construction. It looks like so many mid-century maulings of old commercial structures. Eliminte the second floor: it doesn't exist anymore. Deep recessed entrances that look modern and innovative, but are just caves into which one scuttles with the slight subconscious fear that you're heading into the Minotaur's lair. If it is a renovation, note how they hiked up the first floor to make the entrances seem taller, but they still couldn't nmake it seem inviting in the least. I'll bet it's still around.


Oh: yes! It was Mel Blanc. And now to watch some scientifical documentary with my daughter. We're going to learn about moons in other solar system. She may not remember. But I will.

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