Of course I’m going to get the Apple Watch, because I am deluded fanboi who thinks Apple can do no wrong and wants conspicuous status items to hang off my arm. Or I like the idea of controlling my music without getting out the phone, or checking a text without getting out the phone, or answering a call without getting out my phone before the message kicks in. But mostly the slavering oooh-shiny! idiot.

How to explain my wife’s reaction, though? She does not like phones. She never turns her on because that means the battery will drain. DO YOU KNOW HOW GRANDMA THAT SOUNDS I say, to no avail. She would rather call than text, a mark of someone who would prefer to send a wire than turn the crank and shout Hoy Hoy into the mouthpiece of Bell’s infernal invention. I can’t get her to incorporate the device into her life, possibly because her work has 987,447 things coming at her via email and the office phone, and the smart phone is just one more damned thing.

But a watch that gives her wrist a custom tap when it’s a text or call from her daughter? Or husband? And she doesn’t have to dig out the phone from her pocket to answer? SOLD. She is not in the Apple ecosystem - well, she is, but she doesn’t realize it. She will never have to consciously realize it once she’s wearing the Watch. And then there’s the ApplePay thing, which I have been using as much as possible, because it’s magic. I hold out my phone and it reads my fingerprint and the groceries are paid for. In a year this will seem completely archaic, because just holding the Watch in proximity to the terminal will be sufficient.

I understand people who say “no thanks; I’m a cash person.” But if you’re using a plastic card, with the swiping and the reswiping and the ($%*($#$% PRESS CANCEL TO CONTINUE if you’re using debit - or is it credit? - except at the place where you press the Green Button to Continue and choose Credit - unless it’s the place where you swipe your card the other way because the stripe-reader is inverted - well, wouldn’t it be easier just to wave your hand and be done with it?

At the gas station the card reader is balky, and demands my zip code, which has to be entered on a membrane keypad, and then there’s the RECEIPT YES / NO - wouldn’t it be easier just to wave your hand and be done with it?

I still have to laugh at the idea that Apple would make a television set. That’s like saying Apple would make a bookshelf.

A few weeks ago Daughter, as you may recall but probably don’t, had a yen for Egg Salad. So I bought the free-range cage-free uncruel egg salad, at $4.39 a dram. Or a demi-ounce. Last Sunday I was shopping, and texted Daughter to see if she’d like egg salad for lunch in the coming week.

YES was the reply. So I went to the Deli counter and got a vat of egg salad for $11.49. It was the lower-market grocery store, so the eggs came from birds that had bad lives. Or not; they didn’t make a point of it, just as there was no sign displaying the ethics surrounding the roast beef. Here is how that worked out:

Monday Egg Salad sandwich: not consumed, because it was soggy. Oh, right - need to include a freezer-pack to keep it cold. Sorry!

Tuesday: included the freezer pack, which, even though it was in a plastic bag, somehow made the bread moist, and it was gross, and hence not consumed. Sorry! Can you just put it in a separate container? Why of course.

Wednesday: I put the Egg Salad in a little tub, included two lightly-toasted pieces of bread, and included a knife from the collection of plastic (degradable of course) cutlery I get when I pick up Big Bowl Chinese. Or used to. I just had a flashback to the Big Bowl counter and the cutlery / napkin rack and the nice grey-haired Minnesota Lady who rung me up, the fireplace in the seating area, the back door that said EMERGENCY EXIT except the regulars knew it wasn’t alarmed. I can see the whole store in my head, where everything was, how I went there after I moved back from DC to experience the glories of the luxury grocery store, how I shot a segment there for the Our Mary TV show I did for KTCA TV, how . . . it’s gone. How long has it been gone? I don’t know. They tore it down and built a new one. I haven’t warmed to it. I can’t. When I walk in it just holds out a palm at sternum-level and keeps its distance, and I don’t know why.

It could be the color scheme, which is BLACK. There’s a severity to the place that doesn’t connect. Also, I know I’m getting jobbed, as we used to say, on everything that isn’t discounted or BOGOd. (Buy One Get One - which, as I have often said, is the basic fact of any transaction. Of course if you buy one you get one. That’s the point. They mean BOGOF, but that sounds like some British slang to tell someone to get lost.) I know it’s an upscale grocery store for people who have lots of money, but I know that these breakfast sausages are $1.49 at the grocery store that doesn’t care about cruel eggs, and they’re $2.29 here. Really? You don’t think I’d notice? Do you count on your clientele - old ladies with perma-wigs smelling faintly of vodka at 11 AM with a yippy dog in the Cadillac in the lot - never lower themselves into the germy churning waters of the Cub store or GOD FORBID the Rainbow store, and don’t know about the markup, and apply that knowledge to everything else?

I miss the old store. I wouldn’t say that if I liked the new store.

Wonder how much they charge for Egg Salad.

Anyway, Wednesday: I put it in a tub and included implements and she forgot to take them because they were in the fridge.

Thursday: the Egg Salad in the small tub waited for its eventual consumption; when I opened the fridge, there it was. Texted daughter: YOU FORGOT THE EGG SALAD


I know Dad it wasn’t fresh


It’s not good if it’s not fresh

Friday: I threw out the rest of the egg salad. Daughter had not consumed one atom of it. But! Wife had it on a bagel on Tuesday, so there was that.

I should also note that when I bought the egg salad I bought a really good loaf of bread at the other upscale expensive store in the local chain whose Black-themed store I don’t like. This one has not been renovated and still feels familiar. The Bread Lady was sawing off samples when I dropped by with the Giant Swede, and I had three samples of various loafs. Bought the one daughter would like.

“Do you want that sliced?”

No, it’ll just get stale sooner. And so it came to pass that Daughter, on Monday, making the first of the Egg Salad Situations That Would Not Happen For Reasons, tried to cut the bread with the house knives, which are as sharp as yardsticks. The loaf did not look cut; it looked gnawed. I tried to cut it for my own lunch, because I bought an inch of roast beef to make my life better. It occurred to me the other day that my own lunches are usually rote or grim or nightmarish - one frozen Lean Cuisine brick after the other tossed into the microwave, then splattered with pepper and drowned in hot sauce. For a while I’ve been eating these Red Hot Beef Burritos, and while they’re indeed Red and Hot, it means my lunch is, in essence, Napalm. Why not some good bread, some good meat, a smear of horseradish, some Dill Pickle chips, chopped onions? Why not indeed. So I tried to saw the bread, and ended up not with two slices but a collection of puzzle pieces that could be reformed into a slice-shape. But I got three days out of that. It was delicious.

I didn’t have any egg salad, though. Never even occurred to me. Couldn’t bring myself to consider it. Who knew what those chickens went through.

And now . . .

A merchant . . . in Venice . . . no, nothing comes to mind.



There are two kinds of people: those who say, "That's Perry Mason," and those who says "that's . . . "

. . . I'm not going to say. You might know. If you do, you're probably feeling damned smug about now, eh? We'll vindicate you at the end of the Bleat.


That was from the sixties. This is from the sixties.

If you're wondering: yes, that picture was used in this Mad Men episode. (Link goes right to the moment in the video.)




This was the product. So American. Great Day! Don't worry, men - it may be from Clairol, which did your wife's hair, but it's from Clairol Research. Maybe they also did military stuff as well.

It's not unmanly to cover up the gray! Sorry, remedy the gray. There's a crown on the bottle. Damn right. Kings would use it.

The magazine had an insert for a coupon. This was the soap we used at our house when I was growing up. If the packages looked like this I'd still use it.

The way the logo was embossed on the bar - man, there was nothing like sliding out a fresh bar of Dial. Aren't you glad you use it? Don't you wish everyone did?

Cash value 1/2000th of a cent, probably. That always intrigued me as a kid. They were just giving away money! As if I could save up enough coupons I could buy something.

Do they still make Dial? Something tells me yes, but it's a bargain brand in the Phillipppines now . . . huh. Yes, they still make it, and it's made by the Dial Corporation. Invented in 1940.

To keep American uniforms free of fungus, Dr. William Gump creates a germicidal compound. This compound, dubbed G-11, would become the active ingredient in Dial soap.

In another era it would have been Gump's Germicidal Compound, perhaps. The site also has a picture of the original design:

People who like people like Dial. So said the commercial. It has 102 views. More product history here; it's nicely done. Makes me want to buy Dial, which of course is the point.

It's now owned by Henkel. Wikipedia: During World War II, foreign civilian slavery workers and prisoners of war were working for the company. Henkel was part of a large-scale restitution settlement.

On September 20, 1945, five members of the Henkel family and another seven members of the Management Board and the Supervisory Board were interned.

In 1949, the launch of Schauma shampoo by Schwarzkopf marked the start of the most successful German shampoos.

Who says there's no fresh starts?



This guy bugged the hell out of me as a kid, and he still does.

Motor Honey, says their site, " ultimately became the leading oil treatment in the United States. The company also developed a top quality transmission treatment called Tranny Honey."

Let's just move along and leave that one for the search engines. But don't forget the ad: you'll be hearing more about it on Friday.



Just what your dinner needs: medicinal spaghetti.

This piece, "Spaghetti firm makes fortune for 2 brothers," is a puffy piece with one amusing line: "John was on the macaroni advisory committee in World War II."


Another word you naturally associate with mornings, breakfasts, and juice:

Nice design, though; you really get the sense of the tropical mountains of Samoa, where the . . . snows are.



Finally, here's the full ad from which the top Perry-Mason related image was taken. It will confirm what you thought, if you thought what you might have thought.


First of all, there's the Television Problems, so common, so well known. You had to wait. It had to warm up. The walk-back was the strange dance by which people tried to keep their physical form from interfering with the signal. The rolling picture, of course, is a thing of the past. TV is binary now. It is, or it isn't.

The squiggle between the fellow's ankles confirms what New Yorker cartoonist fans suspected.


Sweet Judas, these early week Bleats are interminable, aren't they? Shorter tomorrow. See you around.



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