This is a test. Let’s see if you can tell exactly what’s different.

I’m doing this between cooking duties – not much cooking involved, as usual; I don’t really cook. As the saying goes, I assemble. Tonight it’s tacos, the one thing I can guarantee my daughter will not whine about. It’s not that she loves tacos; it’s just that she hates everything else. Today the store, I almost bought meatloaf. I love meatloaf. My wife loves me. My daughter thinks it’s a brick of death from Meat Hell. But it’s just hamburger in the loaf form, you say. She’s not buying it. She says it’s meatloaf, and to hell with it.

At least this taco session will not be the ration of pain that was the last; I accidentally used twice the amount of spice powder, which rendered everything absolutely inedible.

I was intrigued by the commentary on the web today about the president’s speech at the UN, in particular line – takeaway line, I suppose – that “the future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” Others have noted that he began by saying that the future does not belong to those who targets the copts in Egypt – those aren’t analogous, really, but never mind. I suggest that future belongs – or rather should belong – to those who feel safe to slander the prophet of Islam, or any other doctrine people feel particularly proprietary about. To quote the comic strip the Wizard of Id, “the King is a fink,” something someone was always shouting out from the crowd.

You have to be able to shout “the king is a fink,” or the future belongs to the king.

Incidentally, you also have to have the right to say that the Holocaust didn’t exist. It’s helpful. It’s like the stripe of a skunk.

All in all, a gorgeous day. Right now I’m sitting outside, the birds are going nuts. The birds are having a debate makes the British House of Commons sound like a little old ladies book club. The squirrels are scampered across the lawn, very nuts; I don’t know why they bother. I’ve never seen the squirrel finds a nut. I’ve never seen the tree come up from anything they planted. If the squirrels were truly successful at planting, I should have a forest in my backyard. Come to think of it, I wish I did have a forest in the backyard. I’ve always thought that would be nice plants, oh, hundred and 50 trees in the backyard. Have your own incredibly dense forest. I don’t think there’s any law against it; oh, they probably can’t find one. They send somebody by with a clipboard to look at your place and say “that’s a lot of trees you have.” Yes indeed! Don’t you like it? You got a problem with it? “Not yet.” Then you get a letter six months later citing you for “Arboreal density.”

I’m still waiting for my free tree, by the way. Last year they came by, took out an enormous old elm, left stump, said they’d be back. I figured this would be the year a tree was replaced; could’ve done it myself. Got the tree I wanted. No! I got to live on gummint trees. Of course, it’s not a free tree; I pay for it with my taxes.

The other day I reminded my daughter there wasn’t any such thing as a free lunch. What about a homeless shelter? Yes no, I said someone has to pay for that. All right, she said. Also, I said, sometimes they have to sit there and listen to Edith Keeler preach the gospel. What if you catch a fish? she asked. That’s free. Yes, I said, ultimately, but there’s the cost of the line and the rod. What if you scoop it with your hands? she said. Well, no one does that; fish are slippery and wiley. But it’s possible, she said. Look, I said, I’m not going to sit here and let you tear holes in Robert Heinlein’s best aphorism. She didn’t ask me was, but she didn’t ask who Edith Keeler was, either.

Alright, dinner is ready. Daughter will be happy that I’m not providing her with a burrito. God forbid. Doesn’t like burritos, even though they contain the same thing you’ll find a taco. She does, however, love quesadillas. You cook for somebody like that.

This concludes the thing that is different. Did you notice anything different? I used the Mac’s new dictation feature and just simply spoke the entry.




Went to Hunt and Gather, my favorite constantly-replenishing museum of American history. Let’s begin:

Noble Dog Kitsch:


For some reason they have about forty boxes of these, in perfect condition:



I don’t really associate Indian leaders with lush green grass, but maybe they’re going for that spiritual “in touch with nature” thing. Doesn’t go well with Dupli-kator G-1, which sounds like some sort of German repeating rifle.

Back when they asked questions like this, they asked questions like this:



It’s from a series of posters designed to instill good citizenship. Amusing that the Doofus is still better dressed than most kids today.


Well, that would be sixty laughs, then:


The three games were “Peanut the Elephant,” “ABC Fishing,” and “Porky the Pig.” All card games. Details and pictures can be found right here.


It’s the Polka Padre! Bringing hip music to liven up the services and knock that stodgy old priesty image into a cocked hat:




Rev. Robert Kapoun . . . was known for playing dance music after his masses. Oom-pah-pah, oom-pah-pah. Oh, what a joyful guy, the Polka Padre.

Except that when the music stopped, the Polka Padre became the Pedophile Padre and sexually preyed upon vulnerable boys. When, in the 1980s, his superiors in the Catholic Church heard rumors of the transgressions of guys such as the Polka Padre, they gave them new assignments. And the band played on.

The sick party ended in February 1996, when a Hennepin County jury found that the Polka Padre and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis should pay a 30-year-old man, Dale Scheffler, $ 1.1 million in damages for damage done to his life by the Polka Padre and a negligent church structure.

Let's all groove along:


Recognize this fellow?



He’s the Esso mascot. He had a girlfriend.



That’s from this movie, which won awards and acclaim, but bored me after a minute or two because the dialogue got banal and sweary. I don’t object to profanity, but that amount indicates there’s not much that’s going to be said. I went back, and sure enough, there's not a word that couldn't have been cut - but the piece itself is interesting.

Logorama from Marc Altshuler - Human Music on Vimeo.

Best seen on the site in HD.


Well, that narrows it down:


A palatable combination of curdling enzymes? Yum and double yum.


Photoshop brushes, the early years:


Dick went out of business in 2004. In the 80s they decided to make . . . computers. Lots of people decided that would be a grand idea, but the GEC Series 63 wasn’t particularly successful. They sold 22.


In retrospect, the name doesn’t really have the glamor one might want to suggest:



HAG stood for the German words for Commercial joint-stock company. Really. It was a German brand, distributed by Kellogg’s for ten years, then General Foods. In 1910 they started selling the stuff in France, but they didn’t want to use the German word. So they changed the name to indicate that it was sans caffeine. Also known as . . . Sanka.

If you want real coffee:



Finally: a piece of art on the wall.



Could have come from the background of a 50s Disney cartoon. Rather cool, I think.

There you go. I bought nothing, because they’re having a sale on Thursday. That’s right. We’ll probably do this again.


Oh, did I mention there's a book? See you around.













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