An ordinary day in every way - and that’s to its credit. From the sound of the lawmowers in the morning to the neighbors bent over the flower beds weeding, the moderate traffic on the highway, the pure blue sky, the good cup of coffee, the drive home listening to swing, the solid nap, the small steak, the shopping trip where the zipper broke on the Traders Joe bag and I thought “They’ll take this back,” to the session with the dog fighting over his favorite toy (a broom, or all things) - ordinary. So you have to stop and realize that it isn’t, really. Not in the long slog of human history. This is as good as it ever got, and it’s chastening to think how much you think it’s normal. How much you expect it to be normal.

The dog got out last night again, which is also normal. Alas. We were sitting outside talking about him - wife had a conversation about his breed with someone at the dog park, again - and I noticed he wasn’t where he had been. At night this means he is either in the back bushes or chasing squirrels. Big hole under the fence. Aw fer criminey’s, I mean my God. Again. Soooo out and around with the flashlight, and I finally found him padding towards the water tower where the bunnies romp. He strolled away when I called, but I called again with the short sharp Alpha Command voice, and he came over. Already exhausted. Don’t know how he got out; there are spikes in the ground every seven inches.

Electrifying the spikes with bare wire hooked up to a car battery, that would be the next step, but he’d chew through them. He must hunt; hunt he must.

Because someone has to keep pointing out how gott-damned stupid Buzzfeed is, despite all its moves to be legit with real news ’n’ stuff you guys:

This is AWESOME and empowering, and if that doesn’t shut down the shamers and the haters, then maybe tomorrow’s upcoming 17 times Beyonce Proved She Had the Most Perfectly Shaped Earlobes Ever (Bow. Down) will help, but for now: this is a sick burn on the shamers.

Yet one has to ask: who, or what, is an anti-makeup shamer? That would be someone who criticizes other women for wearing makeup, because they are bossy busybodies with nothing to do but start Important Causes on the internet. And someone who wears makeup would care about these prissy little killjoys . . . why? Because they exist. And there is SHAMING going on out there. Srlsy staaaaahp, k?

Or is that actually the case? The page: "Nikkie created the clip after hearing that some women were “almost ashamed to say they love make-up” and that she felt people were being made to feel bad for liking it.

So there are no actual shamers present, just the makeup-enthusiast’s feeling that people were being made to feel bad about it. Oh but there’s more. In a previous BuzzFeed piece about the same gott-damned video, we have this:

“I’ve been noticing a lot lately that girls have been almost ashamed to say they love make-up,” she said, “because nowadays when you say you love make-up, you either do it because you want to look good for boys, you do it because you’re insecure, or you do it because you don’t love yourself.

“I feel like in a way lately it’s almost a crime to love doing your make-up.”

So it’s auto-shaming here, with a double dose of doing something and treated as if you cracked the DNA code. Because just about everyone writing for BuzzFeed gives the impression of having accomplished very little, and is thus quite interested in celebrating whatever endorses the tribal / hater worldview that gives them a sense of Struggle. As opposed to “496 Struggles All Girls With Freckles Know to be True,” which is a second-tier struggle. Except it’s real! They have feelz about how real it is.

Feelz? Yes, another stupid word these children sling around like third-graders who have successfully completed a vocabulary reduction program:

The FEELS. I have feels about this. You might think that“emotion” has too many syllables, and no one wants to be seen as some sort of Fancy Word Person, but that's not it. The people who write these things would be shocked and insulted if you told them they sounded like frilly idiots; they're all quite certain of their intelligence. But feels is what you're supposed to say on the internet to signify to other people on the internet that you are all people on the internet. Slang usually serves this purpose, but BuzzFeed's subheads just look like tribal tats applied with a wide-nib Sharpie. MOAR FEELZ AMIRITE

Ninety-two percent of the content on the site is mediocre; seven percent has a serious subject and relies on other sources rewritten in VERY BIG TYPE yelling at you in between the pictures - there are lots of pictures, there have to be lots of pictures - and one percent might be “long form” stuff that’s supposed to make you nod and say “my, BuzzFeed is really upping their game. Bow. Down.” The rest of it is obviously juvenile, but it’s neither aimed at juveniles or written by juveniles. It's written by self-infantilizing adults for peers who are equally unaccomplished. It’s a a bunch of chickens running around in circles, and none of them have the skill to get off the ground and fly somewhere higher.

Here’s the thing: appearing on that site is regarded as a resume builder.


The last batch from Back to the Fifties: more chrome beauty.

Woe to those who drove a Buick Ordinary.

An old delivery vehicle. Can you tell the brand?

Ma'am, here's that thread you ordered.


Matte Black wasn't a 40s look, I don't think, but damn: it should have been.

Finally: unrestored has its own honest beauty.

Old, and no less special.



If you didn't know where you were, they'd tell you:

That was then; this was later:


Perfect summation of architecture in the human era, and architecture in the modern, abstract aera.

New windows. At least they didn't brick up the parts they didn't use. As I've said before, the thin windows helped with ventilation; pulled the air through the building better. Or so I've heard.

It's been around a long time and held up well. Note the door: shows you how oversized the windows and arches were. Unless that's the Hobbit entrance.

Well . . . Hmm.

There's a reason for this. Does it remind you of anything? We'll return to it in a bit.


This isn't necessarily indicative of Grinnell - it has some fine buildings in great shape, and I recommend using the Street View map below to explore more. But I was always fascinated by things like this when I was a kid. So mysterious.

Now I just wonder what the hell was the matter with them.

This would have been a fine mainstreet shot forty years ago, , when the green was copper-hued. Unless that's just painted wood.

Nice work bricking up the corner; really adds a welcoming note to an obviously thriving place. Gah.

IOOF! The Odd Fellows left this one behind, and from the looks of it today I don't think they're in the business of charity anymore.


By now I hope you're noticing the post-war angled storefront renovations as much as I do. They were everywhere.

Is there a fine old 20s theater with a latter-day marquee? But of course:

That's just the entrance, in case you think that's a bit narrow for three screens.

HOLY Jeezum crow, that's a Masonic temple. They just plain flat-out made up those capitals, too; that's no order I know.


Lest anyone thing the good people of Grinnell are provincial: behold the world.

I suspect this building was not built with food in mind. What could it possibly have been?

My appreciation for buildings like this have grown. They're so Fifties. They're so sober. They're so rational, but without that pointy-headed stuff. No-nonsense! Machines for business, or city governance!

Plus, I like the green. Good thing about a building like this: it could be two stories, or fifty.

Now. Remember that building with the long low arch? The modern structure that looked like it refered to an earlier work, perhaps something by a student of Louis Sullivan?

Pan left; then go around the corner.

Not a student of Sullivan. That's the real thing. I feel sorry for the architect who was tasked with building an addition - but he didn't harm the original, and in his own way added something that Sullivan might have understood.

Not approved of, necessarily, but understood.

More motels! Not the most riveting batch, but I'm a completist, so up they go. See you around.



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