I finished a little site tonight I like quite a bit. Spent an enjoyable Friday evening designing it, only to rip it all up on Saturday. It fills a gap, like so many other sites here; there are more exhaustive versions elsewhere, but they’re ugly and dull. This one is anything but authoritative, but it’s nice to look at. Once it’s up I will forget all about it until I get an email from someone correcting something.

But here’s the thing. In the course of doing some Googling, I came across a picture that made me sit up and say Hello There. Hello. I checked a video in a deeply-buried portion of lileks.com and was smacked in the old gob, as they don’t say. Googled around to see if anyone else had made the connection.

Doesn’t appear to be so. I think I may be First on the Internet to put these two things together, and if so, it’s no small detail. The site will be up May 12, and if you’re one of those people who’s plowed the depths of this joint, you might be as gratified as I was.

Or I just need to google more to find out I’m a latecomer, but where’s the fun in that.

I was the last to get up today, and wasn’t surprised to find the rolls from Easter Brunch were gone. The foil pan was the left-hand side of the sink. Wife no doubt took them to work to share with her crew, after leaving one for daughter; probably figured I wouldn’t want one, since weekdays do not begin with rolls. Ever. I have a bowl of Raisin Bran Now With Cranberries For Some Reason and a small divot of sausage liberally beaded with sriracha, and that is the way of things. Fast forward to supper; wife notes that the aluminum pan of rolls is empty, and asks if we had them for breakfast.

What? No. Didn’t you -

We all look at the dog.

I remember that I’d picked up the aluminum sheet from the living room, but figured he’d just pulled it off the pan in the sink. But no. He had dragged into the sink and stood up on his hind legs and eaten it all: two caramel rolls with pecans, two frosted cinnamon rolls - both genres the size of toilet-paper rolls, by the way - and two scones. This explained his rather logy state in the morning. It also explained why, when I gave him supper, he looked at the bowl as if to say “must I? Of course, I must” and tucked in with something less than the usual enthusiasm.

For heaven's sake. He ate twice the size of his stomach. There's no point in googling whether dogs can eat a cup of pecans, because he's still up and around and cheerful.

Went upstairs to the new commissary for some peanuts. There was a rep from the vending department to help me set up an account on the auto-pay self-serv system. I created an account with a PIN, and did not give it my email because I really don’t want to get offers. Any offers. Modern life is a deluge of Offers, and I wish to be unmolested by robots toiling in the CPU of a payment management system. I did give it my thumbprint, though. Now I can pay with a thumbprint for a K-Cup and pop it into the machine in the pantry. Unless I want the free brewed coffee, of course. Or unless I want to bring my own K-cup. Or unless I want to go downstairs for an espresso made on the spot at Peace Coffee, which I don’t want to, because it implies somehow everything else is Blood and War Coffee.

What I’m saying is that there’s coffee here.

I even preloaded the machine with a few dollars so I can grab something from the cooler and thumb the glass and run off to do busy journalism things. When it was all set up I felt connected to this building, this machine, even more than before.

But I didn’t buy anything because I was looking for peanuts and they didn’t have any.

Other things I am learning about the office: there is a side door on the skyway level that connects to the Grand Hotel, which is now a silly Kimpton. Actually, as Kimptons go it's more restrained than most, and I say that as someone who stays at a Kimpton whenever possible because they're different. There is a bar on the main floor that has a mounted boar's head, which pleases me. There will be dark liquors consumed some day after work under the boar's head, perhaps because something was won, or something was lost. this is the first time in 21 years I have worked in a newspaper that had a drinking establishment attached. Plus, coffee.

Everything the brain pickings site tweets out is Incredible and Stunning and the Best Ever and usually has some crinkly person dispensing wisdom or advice. This tweet merited a screencap:

To tell you the truth, I believe it can get more wonderful than that. There exists a wide, deep spectrum of innumerable colors which constitute the extent to which it can get more wonderful than that. But I envy the person who believes this is the apex of delight, for some day perhaps they may turn a corner and behold a world in which Patti Smith is not the summary of human artistic achievement, and Woolf one more star in the 20th century firmament.

I'll say this, though: we approved of Patty Smith in 1978 because she was part of the new anti-disco confluence of music that spoke to us in the interstitial boomer gen. Bruce Springsteen co-wrote her song / she was punk sort of / Lou Reed was downtown like Patti Smith / Bruce Springsteen did a spoken word intro on Lou's album. Gears you never imagined belonged to the same machine all of a sudden meshed.

Elsewhere in art: “The other evening, I passed through the lobby and saw a mentally ill man thrashing that statue’s little penis with an umbrella. He was whaling on it, and with real anger. None of the security guards did anything—it was as if he were merely a red-faced tourist taking a souvenir picture. His, at least, was an honest experience of art.”

Those are thoughts on the meager endowment of a Botero statue standing in the Time-Warner building.

A line in a comment on the recent Mad Men in the Vulture recap:: “Even though it feels like we took two steps backwards with the characters' development; Joan lashing out her anger towards Peggy every time she tries to console Joan (again), Don sleeping with every woman he meets, etc. “

Character development. Here’s a thought: for the most part, every character at the end of the show will be the person they were at the beginning. They will know more about certain things, and have a different perspective on a few issues or situations, but they will be the same people. They won’t have developed, because people’s nature rarely changes. It just finds ways to adapt to the circumstances, or new circumstances to accommodate the nature.

I don’t think Don Draper, for example, becomes something other than he was. At the ending he may become less of what he was, and more of something better that he also was, but that’s the artifice at work, picking a moment when the person is Done and summing up everything that led to that point as character development. He began the show well-off and sad inside and will probably end the show even more well-off and sad inside.


It's the return of America's favorite small feature dedicated to hopeless attempts to find people. From the late 30s of a pulp mag, we bring you . . .

The name sounds like something you'd say while drunk. Ellabee Ershnat'r. Go ahead, type Ella B Ereshnater into Google, see what you get. No explanation for that one. None at all - unless her spirit mysteriously guided her to that man's Hungarian bio.

She was a good roller skater.





We have convened for the purpose of ingesting corn, and no japery or trickery is involved!


We wouldn't kid a serviceman. (Note how they put him opposite the young lady, who's probably married and her husband's in the Navy and if he came home and found she'd been making time with the guy down the street who was on leave and she passed it off as this big corn thing - well, brother.)

Let's enhance and enlarge the little tiny pictures in the ad to study the Milky Corn Phenomenon, shall we?

Dead on the level milky corn for smacking of lips. The enlargement gives us the artist, who's Glen Fleischmann. 1909 - 1985. Almost no biographical information online, which seems a hideous oversight.

Well, we'll let the young couple get along with their business, and see what Mother is doing up at the house. Why, she's acting like the age-appropriate 60-year-old matron she is:


Please, enough with the milky kernels. I get it.

BANG! That's the word you associate with milky freshness. BANG!


Because Scottish people are congenitally mean and regard any expense as a sin

Finally, disbelief at the presentation, particularly among the small child, who used to work as the Yellow Kid but grew his hair out:


Dad's a bit confused. So . . . dinner is nothing but vegetables, then? Nothing else? No no that's fine dear. That's great.


When it's coffee you want, it's stuff that was freshly ground in the store minutes ago, releasing all the rich, dark aroma of beans that were roasted a year and a half back.








Ah. Childhood. These were the exact volumes we had, and I loved them.

I loved the paper, which was different from the usual paper in books. Thick and creamy. Practically milky. BANG! Learning. And look where they took you! A college with a rocket ship. The future was going to be an amazing place - or so it seemed when you're nine.

But I didn't have these.


These were exotic and fascinating when I saw them in other people's houses, because they were World Books - but the spine and cover had that wonderful blood-red-and-gold design.

On the other hand, nah. Childcraft?

Kid's stuff.


As if that's not enough for today - and it obviously isn't, since Product was a little short - we have a brand new feature for your enjoyment. Another batch of stuff that floated on to the Usenet last year. Ready for the books Tom Swift grew up reading? Here we go.


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