In the Free Pile today was some swag from our TV Critic. He gets all the fun stuff. This was a set of Stick ’n’ Find locator chips, used to promote the recent version of “24.” The one where Jack’s in disfavor and on the run but returns out of a sense of duty and saves the world and then is fed into a woodchipper by the President. Sorry, SPOILERS. You stick the devices to something and use the app to locate them, if they’re within 150 feet. When you find the items the app emits a horrible clang! with a siren that sounds as if they got it off a public domain 30s cartoon about funny animal firemen. The app is ugly, too; everything about it looks like 2004 Windows shareware.

But I thought it would be amusing to use them to torment Daughter. She regards the “Find my Friends” function on the phone as a tracking device, and of course she is correct. So I told her I would be putting a chip in her backpack, because it would be easier to locate it when the abductor threw it out the window.

Kidding; I’m putting it on the dog’s tag. That way I can always be sure he’s in the backyard, and hasn’t leaped over the fence. The “24” themed packaging indicated that it used High-Grade 3M Adhesive, as if this was some sort of military spec. I set it up to issue an alarm if the dog wandered more than 150 feet, and the app closed itself to run in the background.

Kidding; it bombed. Crashed. I opened it again and set it to alert when I got close to the dog. It crashed. Sigh. How, you wonder, do these things make it to market? It’s like selling a car whose engine shoots through the hood and explodes in a shower of metal the moment it’s driven off the lot.

Listening to some 60s / 70s instrumental station on the internet I’ll never find again. Turned up “Dueling Banjos” to irritate Daughter, who simply came into the room and said “WHY” with her camera on to indicate I was now Vine material, so I said AMERICA THAT’S WHY. (I actually like the song. It is the only bluegrass / banjo piece I like.) “Love is Blue” came next, reminding me of all the girls in junior high looking Deep and Mysterious. “TSOP,” which of course I loathed in high school because it was disco, but for some reason (cough) I had it on my iPod, and I will never forget playing it at deafening volume standing in my plush bathroom on the back deck of the Crystal Serenity as the ship steamed towards LA, because I was going home and was so very happy. “Odd Couple,” Neil Hefti, the proper version. The Sitcom Version is happy and wacky; the original has an indefinable quality - rueful, wary, melancholic. Lots of Nelson Riddle.

A few tunes from the 50s instrumental genre; they always showed up on late-night TV in compilation form when I was walking around with the baby, dealing with the fists of gas. As with the “Cruisin’” series I was talking about the other day, they put me in mind of Fifties Teens, a subject about which I know nothing that isn’t gathered from movies. It seems to have been a nice time to be young, what with the cars and hamburgers. Makes me want to watch “Peggy Sue Got Married” again, but I cannot, because the scene where she returns home gives me a headache every time. Because I am bawling.

Whoa: the station just kicked up Boogie Woogie by Tommy Dorsey. My dad had this record. The ancient record player in the corner had a selection of 45s from his pre-country / western years, and this one I played over and over: it had a silver RCA label and the record itself was deep red. Wonder if there are any pictures on the internet. Googling . . .

Aw, criminey. I hate when that happens.

Also from the Free Pile at the office, an old soldier from an ancient campaign. These were the favorites of kids who got to go to the office with Dad, and spent some time making dates In the Future! and probably got in trouble for messing it up, because then the secretary had to fix it. But she didn't mind.

Once the world's largest ink producer, the name is now found on stamp pads like this. And that's about it.


Friday photos. Pupdate also serves as a reminder of how scant the snow has been and how the green never quite dies:


Downtown East: The second building is now where the other one was a few months ago; no exteriors, but the ugly grey concrete is now complete. You may ask why they are doing that. Don't worry. There will be three floors of apartments in front of that, and it seems like one little door between the housing and the office tower.


I wonder if there's a legal reason for that.

Previous pictures can be seen here.





As usual for Friday, the Music Cues. I heard todat that Peg Lynch is back in the hospital, which isn't good. She's better now than when she went in, but all fingers crossed.

CND Cue #522 Passing time music, with the flavor of something official.

CND Cue #523 The merry bouncing tune - but more than ever heard before.

Both clips end with the sound of a delivery truck grinding its gears, if you're curious. And if you're wondering about Aunt Effie, she had been written out of the show for some time. It had been a long time since Margaret Hamilton had been heard. There were reasons, let's say. Pity; she brought a nice dash of spinstery vinegar to the domestic comedy.

Perhaps she comes back towards the end. I've only 88 left.

Moving along with the innumerable Gunsmoke cues. Again, I've no idea why there are so many, when they all seem to sound vaguely the same.

Gunsmoke #63 Music for unsettled contemplation.

Gunsmoke #64 When you know you're coming out of an AM speaker, you punch as hard as you can.

I swear half of these were just improvised on the spot.

Yours Truly Johnny Dollar used the same spare cues to great effect, but after 1960 went to the Library of Dramatic Stingers. The first one is typical, and it's great.

YTJD #7 End of a brotherhood PSA, then SMASH CUE.

YTJD #8 Dreamy seamy-sixties bad girl music.

YTJD #9 Music for trailing Sharks and/or Jets.

Yes, purists, I know, that's Bob Bailey on the art and Mandel Kramer as Johnny. (Except for #9, which was Bob the Lesser.) It bugs me too, but I have to have a project for March, don't I?

And now this message: It's still soup season.

Such cheerful soup. How could good things not happen?

This week's thrift store find came from the Goodwill. One dollar.

23-skiddoo, for some reason:


Swingin’ Bobby Cole! Wiki:

"Frank Sinatra was known to call him "my favorite saloon entertainer". and used to listen to Cole frequently at Jilly's where Sinatra was a regular."


The end of the bio reminds you of the days before Wikipedia tightened up its standards:

His insight into music in general and in particular standards and pop music was quite extraordinary and could be considered to display a certain genius.
He had a brilliant mind and could be extremely funny and sarcastic. He basically smoke and drank himself to death.

Thus closes a fairly ordinary week on the Bleat. Now to finish "Bosch," which was as good as I hoped, and the 3rd season of "Louie," a show I have enjoyed 126,304% more than I thought I would. Have a grand weekend!


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