A good day, now that we found the dog. I know. I know. Or rather it’s not what I know, but what others don’t, and that is the click of the gate is an absolute requisite for dog containment. Without that there is no assurance. He will go, and we will wander around the neighborhood calling his name and whistling until he turns up. At least it wasn’t too long this time, and it was a nice night for a walk.

So! The Fourth. Already? We say “Already” as if it’s the middle of summer, not the start of the heart of summer. This is in direct and utter contradiction to what I usually feel - eh, all over after this - but this summer is different for reasons I can't figure out. Tonight was grand; shopping with Daughter in the 'burbs swapping songs (I'm still gratified that she's interested in what I think of the songs she likes.) At the crafts store she bought these plastic beads you arrange on a plastic plate, then iron to make them melt together. Something she did when she was nine or ten, I swear. Why now? Why again? Because reasons, as they say. At the store net door she discovered Choward's Violet Candy and was transfixed by the design and aroma, and had to buy it. ("It tastes like soap but in a good way.")

"Weird just buying one thing," she said as we stood in line."

"Well, they're less likely to be suspicious about all the other things you put in your pocket," I explained. Fatherly advice! The clerk nodded and smiled with the nod and smile all customers get.

Hit the highway as the sun was still a yard over the land, impossibly hot and bright and orange. Then got home to discover the dog was gone, and that was the next half-hour. But the dog was secured, and she could start making her art. Just came into my studio to show me the second effort.

That's my girl.


I’ve laughed at a lot of stuff The Oatmeal did. His rant against printers is the most definitive expression of printer-induced rage psychosis ever done, and his piece about dogs was funny and sweet. His war against content thieves was brilliant web theater, with a philanthropic payout. But apparently he has an assumption about his audience that does not flatter either party.

Wikipedia: "The information found in the Oatmeal’s comics is researched by Inman. One comic typically takes Inman seven to eight working hours spread across three days."


It’s “America described for Non-Americans.” Could be a way of playing off cliches about non-American preconceptions based on what they get from America’s critics, but the rest of his work in this vein is smug, facile, and puffed up with onanistic congratulation for having The Right Thoughts. It’s a pity. It’s also a reminder that even when the country does the right thing by some people’s views, as I’m sure he thought it did last week, it is, at its heart, a Wrong Thing. A historical error, an angry irrational toddler one day and a blood-soaked slaver the next, depending on what fault you wish to push to the head of the parade.

If something bad happens this weekend, some people’s first reaction will be a crestfallen horror that we have to go through that again, where America is regarded - for a while - as the injured party. Of course the injured people will be horrible and there will be a candlelight gathering and flowers will be left, but the idea that America is an injured party will just pump up all the worst elements in the country. You know. The type who have a flag they can put out on a moment’s notice, I mean really, who has a flag just sitting around - will be empowered again with their mortifying, moronic, patriotism. I mean. Some patriotism is okay I guess but these people don’t qualify it. They don’t even hide the fact that they don’t qualify it, and that’s the scary part.

Anyway America's not the worst Wrong Thing in history because Germany had its bad moments, but it’s not one of those laudable, small, ethnically homogenous Northern European countries with a faultless past.

As long as these people suspect that someone, somewhere, is putting a bandana around a dog’s neck and getting ready to drive their pickup somewhere while listening to Country Music, the jury’s out.

Construction update: Let us return to another fascinating Pit, where two weeks' work has resulted thus far in a parking garage. It's going up very quickly.

It will be housing. The lucky ones will look on the park, and the looming stadium; the rest will look at the jail. At least there are new plans to turn the Armory into a concert venue, and I was surprised to see that the comments on the Strib story were almost 10-1 positive. Eleven comments, and only one saying "hold on to your wallets." None of the usual "no one wants to live there / go there / you'll get shot" from someone who maybe makes it downtown twice a year, and thinks that everyone walking around enjoying themselves is engaged in a consensual delusion.

No pupdate because he hasn't done anything cute for a while. And he is naughty. But I can't blame him.



As usual for Friday, the Music Cues. Of course we begin with the Couple Next Door, with its cheerful soundtrack of the mid-century domestic scene. I only have about 7 left. It's going to be hard to come to the end of the show. I caught a rare reused episode; Peg may have reused ideas now and then, but she spaced them out, often between different iterations of the show. But this was so familiar it stuck out, and I remembered why: it was the one of the first ones I'd ever heard, #9 in the Couple Next Door series.


CND Cue #558 Brand new, never used; has the Chord of Domestic Ease.

CND Cue #559 Same one, different iteration - ending in the standard CND two-note motif.

CND Cue #560 Ah, heck, it's a repeat, but who cares. Another appearance by the Chord.

Say there. Since it's the Fourth, might there be an old Ethel & Albert from the 40s that was flag-related? Indeed. This is 2:30, and I think the E&A Consortium won't mind.

Ethel & Albert If this ran on April 13, it's evident she wrote this the day before it happened.

FDR was in Georgia when he died. It was probably the smallest of losses that week, but it's a pity she wrote an entire episode only to have that happen.


I've been going through the 1959-60 CBS Bob & Ray shows, because they're timeless and brilliant. It still seems odd that anyone would ever cancel Bob & Ray. It's like shooting Fred and Ginger while they're in the middle of a routine.

In one show they either intended to shiv the sponsor, or couldn't resist after they'd heard it and ad-libbed the response. Probably the former; the CBS shows were scripted, and someone must have given them a heads-up about the spots. Or not. Either works.

The first one ends with the music for "One Fella's Family," which might be known today more than the show it parodied, "One Man's Family." The show was going on while they made fun of it, and their parodies were just brutal. Anyway, here's the ad, then the response.

Set up . . .


. . . and payoff.



Now a word from our sponsor. Man, this is a stretch. 1960 CBS promo, and it's a mess.

Hi there


We begin 101 Strings Series with this album, devoted to the highlight of one's life, after which it's all downhill. Alllll downhill.



For your Special Day.



There you go - enjoy your Fourth! #GBA, as they say. Although they probably won't.


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