Ah’m a steeeeemin’ mad, I am. I was walking through Target tonight, thinking: we are done. No, not because they hadn’t stocked the pistachios to my complete satisfaction. I don’t even buy pistachios. Not because the cart had a little bit of litter in it; just take another. Not because of anything except for a very specific Something I will write about at length soon, because it’s just . . . wrong. I’ll probably write a column about it. Ooooh, you say, a column! Well, bend to my will O World, lest a column come down upon thee and flare out its righteous wrath. I know: fishwrap. But this is something that needs to be said and needs to be righted. So wait. More in a bit.

Until I got the news that made me shout FLAME ON a la Johnny Storm - and let me just say I always enjoyed that he and Spider-Man didn’t get along; it made sense, although they weren’t evenly matched in powers. It was just fun to have conflict, just as it was marvelous that The Thing was bedeviled by the yahoos from Yancy Street. And we all knew it would stop before anyone got killed, and when they had to come together to fight a greater menace, like Galactus, they would. Peter Parker would use Science! to help, something Johnny lacked.

All these old stories still rattling around my head after all these years. Can’t remember a single detail of “Dead Souls,” but I remember what Galactus’ headgear looked like.

Sorry, have to go move the sprinkler. Every twenty minutes, down to the bottom of the hill, reposition, and run before the water hits me. There’s no water so cold as the stuff that comes out of a sprinkler. I take a flashlight down, because I got hit full in the face yesterday when I did it in the dark.


Well, that was prescient; I slipped as I ran into get the sprinkler, and not only did I get the spray full in the face, I kicked the thing loose from the hose, which gushed all over my shoes.

Anyway, as I was saying before: until I got the news, it was a good day. Daughter wanted to go downtown to work with me at the Business Factory, as I call the skyscraper. (Bojack Horseman line.) She sat in the library at the paper and wrote on her novel, then we had lunch at a pizza place and walked around the skyways. I showed her nooks and statues and favorite piazzas and architectural details. Then we had coffee and went back to work. And now I am here. Still life with companion:

While running errands, I stopped at Complete Intoxicants, and found the most unappealing beer name I’ve seen in some time. It doubles up on the eww-no:

Triples-up, really. Clown is bad enough. But the shoes of a clown are not something that puts you in mind of Frosty Refreshments. Quadruples-up: the location of a Tramp Stamp is usually not associated with fresh quenching beverages, either. FOOTWEAR THAT HAS BEEN USED IN HUNDREDS OF CIRCUSES AROUND ANIMALS + TATTOO HOVERING OVER BUTTOCKS isn't the combination that makes people reach for their wallet

Okay, off to the column. Various things below, including Motels! Everyone loves the motel site.

UPDATE: slid down the hill again and this time my pants fell down.

Odds and ends for the above-the-fold feature. It's Tile Time, ladies and gentlemen.

Congoleum-Nairn 's vision of domestic bliss:

The 8-bit home of tomorrow - today!

By the way, yes: those are BERMUDA HUES.




To our list of blasted cities, here's one that might not immediately come to mind.

It got hit, and hit hard.

The destruction revealed two old signs, and ADMIRATION saw the sun for the first time in decades.

There's one building that seems to be intact and well-maintained . . .

The government center. Those are modern versions of the old Roman pillars. There's no contemporary equivalent, no architectural style that would be recognizable 2000 years later.

When you look at some corners, it might be any aging, sagging small downtown - the renovations have been stripped away to reveal the original details, like the glass that illuminated the store. A fluttering flag says there's life here.

But then you turn around or go down the block, and . . .

A fine, proud, handsome civic structure - but wait. Those boards -

The red STAY AWAY sign. the broken lamps. Are those windows on the second floor open? Is anything left inside?

The heavy skirt of a graceless rehab job:

Look at that balcony: men in dark suits and hats smoked cigars and regarded their domain below. For this was . . .

The World Trade Building!

But when the storm hit, the gimcrack moth-wings dropped off.

The wind ripped off the panels that covered old signs of taste and elegance, and made you wonder if the storm wasn't punishment for poor taste.

But that would be an insult to the people who lost so much. This wasn't deserved, but it never is.

The other part of the building - different stone on the lower floor. It's still mysterious to me why all the good old buildings had to be covered. Did everyone hate the classical style so much? Was there a move to put aluminum panels around the U. S. Capital?

City of Weeds and long distances:

Light pole like a hangman's shop.

You get the idea - but there's more. These were the lesser examples. Port Arthur was damaged by Hurricane Rita in 2005, and the central business district - already in decline for decades - suffered many of the wounds you see above.

Next week: the really bad pictures.

More motels for you to enjoy. So go! Enjoy!


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