A news story said Trump was asked about his favorite Bible verse, and came up short. I won't slam him for that - judge not, lest ye be judged, to quote one of my least favorite. I like the "eye for an eye" line, but not because it condones vengeance: it's a plea for proportionality, which stands in opposition to codes that require harsh reprisal for modest offenses.

I’ve always liked the one about it being easier for the eye of a needle to enter heaven than for a camel to enter a rich man. (If you said it like that people would nod, because they knew what you really meant and thought that’s what you probably said.) Not for the sentiment, but for the linguistic and textual challenges it presents. I’ve mentioned this before, but the Greek word for camel is Kamelon. The Greek word for rope is Kamilon. See the problem? As a figure of speech, rope makes much more sense than a camel. A camel cannot begin to get through the eye of a needle. There is no basis for expecting a camel to attempt such a thing. But a rope attempting to enter the eye of a needle is like a thread, but unsuited due to girth. It makes much more sense.

This site says: "KAMELON is correct because the vast majority of ancient manuscripts contain the word KAMELON and not KAMILON. Why would only a few manuscripts contain the KAMILON?"

Because they got it right, and thought about it before writing it down? But then there’s this:

An alternative linguistic explanation is taken from George M Lamsa's Syriac-Aramaic Peshitta translation2 which has the word 'rope' in the main text but a footnote on Matthew 19:24 which states that the Aramaic word gamla means rope and camel, possibly because the ropes were made from camel hair.

And then there’s this.

What we have instead then, I believe, is a beautiful Hebrew hyperbole, as in the tree sticking out of one's eye whilst one is removing a speck in another's eye! Indeed, Jewish Talmudic literature uses a similar aphorism about an elephant passing through the eye of a needle as a figure of speech implying the unlikely or impossible: "They do not show a man a palm tree of gold, nor an elephant going through the eye of a needle.”

Perhaps. But the beam / mote line is internally consistent. Anyway. I'm going with rope. Count me on Team Stout Braided Cord on this one.


So. The Fair. It starts on Thursday and I have to go again and again until I can take no more; naturally, I go the day before to get a head start on it. The grounds were deserted, which always seems odd. You'd expect a frenzy of activity, but not only are the streets and booths and halls sparsely populated, things only look half-ready. Yet they pull it together, every time.

The absence of shuffling throngs meant I could take details that would otherwise be obscured by the throngs, like this unnervingly realistic picture of Goldy Gopher, stuck in the quicksand grass:

On the Midway, ducks in shades were milling about their pond, ready for the suckers:

I had not seen this fellow before. He seems to have issues. He is a hot pickle who keeps slices of other pickles in his robe and brandishes them to threaten people who get too close, or notice that his robe does not cover his nether regions.

Oh, there's more to come. Believe me. So much more. But it is a column AND a video night, and that means work work work and more work until the clock strikes 12, and then I'm done and I'm watching more "Daredevil." I have been spacing them out to save it. I'll binge on a show that has 120 episodes, but when there's ten, they deserve to be treated as if they're coming out once a week. Why, I have no idea. It's the way I was brought up. Raised on Network; TV Guide was my gospel.

It is with great sadness that we conclude this all-important public service feature with the following dishes.

Doesn't look that tossed. Doesn't look like there's much to toss in the first place.


Again, the pie-food ratio heavily favors dessert. You'll be full, all right, but not because you had salad. The salad is there merely to permit the presence of pie.

Finally: a true winner.



Can't argue with any of that.




Welcome to the capitol of North Dakota - a town of 40,000 souls in the middle of the state.


The old and the new. The structure on the right could be a 30s Moderne structure - except the lines give it away. Precast concrete, a sign an architect is on a strict budget or just gave up caring long ago. Or believes it's an interesting material that deserves to be treated with imagination and dignity! A hack, in other words.

Take a look at the details and proportions of the older building's cornice. Does a nice job of keeping all that space look like dull empty brick.

Where does one building stop and the other begin? Which came first?



In case you're curious: it's the Dakota Block, the only structure downtown that survived the 1989 fire. It lost a wing, which is why it looks odd today.

If you'd like: it looked like this.


This is a peculiar structure. At least there's no doubt about when it was finished.

I don't know if it was renovated - poorly - or whether it was ahead its time by fifty years. I suspect the latter. As currently constituted, that's just not a 1929 building. (No, it's not the address.)

"Well, okay, partner, I agree: we should expand the hotel. But tell the architect we're looking for that 'seamless addition' style."

"And don't hire the guy who added that one floor a few years ago; he got the brick wrong."


Not the original hues, but what the heck. They played with polychrome facades back then as well. No reason everything has to be perfectly restored; sometimes just surviving is enough.

The old Capitol Theater. Cinema Treasures says it went triple X for a while; this picture from that era notes that it showed "Swingin' Pussycats," one of the "many sex comedies made in Germany."

There's a genre for whcih you don't hear a lot of demand these days.

As typical an American street scene as you can imagine:


Call him Hank!


Being a North Dakotan myself, I know how the civic breast swelled with bride when they announced projects like this.

We're all grown up! We have a big ugly bulding just like real cities!


I'd wager this was an older building given a post-war upgrade. Raises the question about how much facade work is too much. If the buiding's side was untouched, it would make the front look false. Cover everything in the new design and the structure has a different soul.

I assume this is the side. It's been a while since I snapped these. Maybe it's the front. Maybe they walled it up while the shoppers were inside as part of a sting operation to isolate horrible people and prevent them from ruining the comity of Bismarck.

There were 1920s European architects who would have smiled and nodded their heads in approval. Ach, so our ideas vun ze vahr against ze classicists! But vhy duss ze building look like one thin slice uff cake?


Sixties / Seventies design, God and Mammon division.


Nice clone-stamp tool work on that bank overhang.

Finally: a classic. Really!

The logo's different, and some of the earlier units were shingled, but that's an original Pizza Hut. Of course some people are devoted to cataloguing the current status of UTBAPHs.


Lots to see. Give it a look.


That'll do; you'll take it, and you'll like it. More tomorrow, but as I said, the Fair has begun, and that swamps everything else. At least there are five more Motels to enjoy. See you around!


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