Nothing works. Well, not everything, but it seemed that way yesterday. I had already incorporated the failure of the garage door opener, again; after I finally got a remote for the stupid Guardian door opener. Every universal remote I tried would not talk to the Guardian. It spoke a particular dialect called “Cheap Chinese Shite” and rebuked all attempts to translate. Eventually I ordered one, and it worked. For a week.

The door went up, and then when I pressed it to go down, the opener beeped. Twelve times. I checked the sensors; one was red and the other was green. Isn’t that intuitive? STATUS: BROKE WORKING. A little investigation revealed that red/green is normal for this unit. Some googling said that Twelve Beeps might mean the opener itself is broken, or the wires to the unit are on the fritz. Or off the fritz. Or alongside the fritz. I could test the sensors by holding down the button, and if nothing happened, it wasn’t the sensors.

Got that? If nothing happened, it was something else. Namely the opener. I found the manual online, and 12 beeps indicated “Transit speed too fast,” which seems damned unlikely since there was no motion to be judged as fast or slow.

Off to Home Depot with the Giant Swede to look at new openers. He advised against replacing the unit myself, because A) it could be the springs, and B) he knows me, and no doubt saw me fixed to the wall of the garage with a metal pole through my chest, somehow. So I didn’t buy one. But I had looked at one, and that constitutes Effort and Progress. When my wife asked if I had done anything about it, well, I’d ruled some things out.

Then the ice machine stopped working. Nothing throws you back into the dark days like the failure of the silver monolith in the kitchen to dispense perfect ice on command. I checked the compartment to make sure the lever that says FULL FOR GOD’S SAKE NO MORE ICE. It was fine. I pressed the EXPRESS ICE button, which somehow makes ice by some super-secret ultra-cryogenic process best reserved for emergencies. Nothing. Good thing I had a spare bag in the freezer to chill my evening libation, but what about tomorrow?

I foresaw a horrible future of buying bagged ice and filling up the bin and getting used to it, because I didn’t want to pay for a service call. I have a service contract on the fridge, but it doesn’t cover - what’s the word? Right, repairs. Or so I seem to remember from the last time the ice went out.

Wait a minute. The ice went out. Why? When? I remembered the repairman giving me a lecture about how I had two water filters hooked up to the line. One in the basement, and one unit in the fridge. That had something to do with it. I went downstairs to check the line, make sure it was free-flowing - in case daughter had sleep-walked into the laundry room and closed all the taps - then groaned at the thought of pulling out the fridge and replacing the water filter in the back.

Well, let us avoid this by calling the garage door repair people. I described my situation and to no one’s surprise they said it could indeed by the main motor; someone would be by tomorrow. She also backed up my assertion about the Guardian being an absolute piece of krep, which makes me wonder who writes all the glowing reviews online. For that matter, who goes online to review a garage door opener? Who feels compelled when a product does what it is supposed to do? OPENS DOORS FIVE STARS.

Anyway they’re coming tomorrow. Now the ice maker. First I took the remaining ice and chopped it up and put it in the bin. Then I went online to see if I could find a replacement filter for the ICON fridge, and discovered that the filters were described as residing behind a panel in the front. Ah. hah. I looked, and sure enough there was a filter panel I ignored about 17 times a day. Think: the FILTER STATUS light was off, and that completed my Sherlockian deductions; the filter had failed, or was old, and was refusing to let me make ice with the cholera-choked water that flowed into the house. On the off chance that Best Buy sold the filters, I drove there after dinner. It was the showcase Best Buy, after all. The one right by the corporate home office. The one that had everything.

Fat chance they’d have a replacement part. I mean, that would take away valuable floor space that could be used to sell Monster USB adaptors. But huzzah, right there by the desk where the design consultants consulted on your design, I saw the very filter I needed. This I bought. Took it home and plugged it in. The instructions said I should run the water from the door for three minutes to “condition the filter,” and the minute I did that the FILTER STATUS light popped green - because it never lights up unless you use the ice or water functions. I consulted the manual, which said that a bum filter would result in a red light when operating the ice or water.

I’d never seen a red light. It wasn’t the filter.

We now pause to answer a question from my wife, who had saved some tickets she bought online and wanted to print them off. She saved them from her browser. On an iPad.

“There’s no place to save them,” I said. “Send me the link and I’ll print them from upstairs.”

“I can’t. You can only download them once.”

“What happened when you hit SAVE?”

“It just said they’d been saved.”

“But where? It’s an iPad. It doesn’t have folders. There’s no bucket for things to go.”

She said she thought it would just . . . appear, like a button on the screen for an app. I wanted to say YOU HAVE TO MAKE GRAVY OSCAR IT DOESN’T JUST COME but sigh, let’s see if it went into her iCloud mobile document folder . . . which meant getting out her laptop and using raw ugly Linux to unhide a folder, and . . . no.

Everything was broken. I got a glass and jammed it into the fridge to get old ice, and poured a drink.

I noticed three (3) perfectly formed slices, like pieces of an orange. The ice machine had come to life again. It was the filter.

And everything else is now fine. Hey, here's an ad I saw at Infitite Hooch the other day.



The Destruction updates are going to come quicker now. The end is near.





I can't imagine an image that sums up New York's influence on ad culture in 1966 more than this: the Egghead takes a break from planning B-52 strikes on Viet Cong positions to enjoy cereal at a lunch counter.

It's also pitching "diet" food at men, although I guarantee you anyone who wanted to lose a few wouldn't choose this fellow as his role model. His wife would, though.

I miss Esso, if only for the nice logo. And the little fellow with the drop of oil for a head. And the sub-brand Humble.

Esso, of course, meant S - O, which of course meant Standard Oil. The brand evaporated in the 70s, but it's still around in other countries. Anyway, this ad showed all the things they were giving away, just because they loved you.


Perfect little station for the space age. Never that clean, except if it was run by someone like my Dad.

The bounty of America has been arrayed by white-teethed men for your examination and approval!

Drills! Drills for everyone! Well, six of you.

It's been a while since we reminded the world about the existence of Keen. An absolutely delightful package; makes the stuff look delicious.

Everything was imitation except orange - and of course Tahiti Punch. There was a time when that flavor meant something. As did "Punch," for that matter. I can't tell you what the flavor was, other than it was always welcome. Unless it was warm and watered down.

You won't find many packages today that proudly proclaim "The sugar's in it!"

Well well well, it's the enemy of every New Urbanist. I give you . . . SATAN

This foul demon came up with a scheme by which people actually thought they wanted to leave the city and go live in single-family units with a lawn.

I wonder what it looks like today. Anyway, it's an ad for the kitchen of the future, and this is what the average Levittown house had.

Do your washing right in the kitchen! Can't do it in the basement, of course. There wasn't any. Here's the copy:

Compared to today's starter homes, it pales, and seems more like a work-station than a kitchen.

But it was scientific.

That's today, although Frank awaits with more adventures and racism. See you around!



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