I have had a piece due every damned day, in addition to our daily blateration here, and as usual on Thursday night the tank is empty. To compound the problem, I decided that the column I wrote last night would be better banked s something I can drop down the road if I decide - mad and insane as this sounds - to have a vacation or something. Even when I'm on vacation I like to be in the paper, because after 20 years people might forget about me.

Lest you think all Traders Joe clerk-customer interactions are a model of sparkling wit and bright banter, I had a disconcerting exchange the other day. The fault was in me, not the stars; I was impatient, pressed for time, and the person ahead of me in line was one of those people who look at the payment terminal as if they've just been handed the Rosetta Stone and asked to read it aloud in limerick form. (Note: because it is late I had a temporary brain lock, and could not remember the name of the Rosetta Stone; I googled "translation tablet" and it was the first thing that popped up. That's really quite an accomplishment, when you think about it.) She was confused about where the card should go, what button to press, and so on. The clerk was chatty and paused in his bagging to offer movie and TV advice. He was telling her that he didn't like "Creed." I thought "Creed" was perfectly acceptable, but it's not a 54 - 40 or fight situation. I would let it go. Besides, there's an unspoken agreement that all conversations end when the customer leaves; it's not a relay race. It's bad form to continue the conversation after the customer has gone - and it confuses the hell out of the clerk, who's already reset. But I couldn't help myself. The guy recommended "Halt and Catch Fire." To an old lady.

She left and he started beeping and said "how're you doing," and I said "dandy," and opened my bag for the purchases.

"Second season was good," I said. "First season, not so good.'

He was completely confused. What the hell was I talking about - oh, right.

"You think so? I thought the first was good too, Joe, trying to find his way, figuring out what he could do."

"They didn't know what to do with him. Was he an 80s Don Draper? American-Psycho type guy? Visionary? Snake-oil salesman? I just remember that the first season made me annoyed and the second season surprised me."


"And I thought the spunky punky hacker chick thing was a cliche."

"Receipt in the bag?"

"Bag's fine." I paused. "She would have never put the hard drive that close to a speaker with a magnet."

He thought about it and said "maybe not," and that was that. I left feeling as if I had made a powerful enemy this day.

On Brexit:

I don't know the results at the moment, but I suppose that would fit for LEAVE, with THE END being a reference to the EU, or a reference to the end of the idea of a nation apart.

In case you're wondering, I would have voted to Leave, based on a superficial analysis from the other side of the globe. It's the idea of being a nation that answers to itself. I can understand wanting to join a common economic community. But when people you didn't elect pass a law affecting the strength of your hairdryer to lessen energy consumption and prevent the planet from having a mean temperature of 156 degrees C by 3047, and there's nothing you can do, people get peeved. Of course nationalism has its excesses. But the excesses of transnationalism are accumulated incrementally and smother all differences, and for people who are constantly droning on about diversity they seem dreadfully keen to impose a bland uniformity of laws. Culture survives for a while, but eventually the laws are your culture.

How you regard the Brexit as an American might say something about how you view the role of government, and the efficacy and desirability of international organizations. There's a certain Star-Trekky well of course attitude towards international organizations, as though they are insulated from the poisons of tribalism and hence rational, wise bodies that make proper decisions based on The Good of the Many. But it depends on what they believe, and what they want, no? The idea that a transnational organization is superior in its nature to a government that arose organically from a thousand years of culture and reflects the national will and character is wishful thinking, and there's one big example that comes to mind: the USSR. No, the EU is not the USSR, but given their druthers they'd love the scope of control the USSR had. Over the proper things. For the Good of the Many, of course.

Some no doubt wanted to leave over immigration, over the fears that the composition of their country would be dictated to them by Brusselcrats - and for some proper-thinking people, "doubts over immigration" is all they need to know about the opposition.

I wish them all well.

That's the Radisson hotel on the right. It will not be orange. That's the wrap; the hotel itself is black, because it is a Hip hotel with doors you can probably open from your phone.

The mystery is what they're doing to the wall. The scaffolding hides a blank ugly spot that has left me wondering since they finished the building. It can't be blank. It's what the people from the hotel will look at. A mural seems unlikely.

It's strange space - between the new tower and the low-slung building. The exact same thing is being repeated a block to the north, with the Millright building.




Back to music cues for "The Little Things in Life," Peg Lynch's last continuously running sitcom. The cues run from substandard 60s cues to cringingly 70s, and I'm surprised at how few there were. I think I'm already repeating what I previously played. In fact I know I'm already repeating the fact that I think I'm repeating myself, but on we go: this is the sound of narrative radio in its strange last gasp.

This cue just melts at the end:


From a previous era, this one.


I thought at first it was an old classic cue, but then it gets . . . wacky.


Seventies wacky. The worst kind.



From 1960, happy banjo protections:


You need money for an accident!



Liberal, long-term benefits. All endorsed by Marlin Perkins!

You probably know what this is about from the first few seconds.


How did they get the rights to the theme?


One of these days I'm going to do a site on Dragnet parodies; they're innumerable. It tells you something about the show's impact. But this is the only one that has fun with the show's intentional banality.




Oh let's not:


After Tommy Dorsey died suddenly in November 1956, the Dorsey band continued under the direction of Jimmy Dorsey. However, the Tommy Dorsey estate soon took back Tommy's arrangements and approached Covington to form a new Tommy Dorsey band, which he led, touring and recording for Decca, into 1961. Among his hits with the Dorsey band was "Tea for Two Cha Cha", which sold over one million copies.

Hence this.




Stuck with that cha-cha crap for the rest of his days.

That said, I've always loved this song.



Oh, er, ahem:


That's it! Hope you enjoyed the week. I'd ask you if you want more Jazzbo Jones, but that's a site I did this morning for next year, and you have no idea what I'm talking about. Nor should you. Have a grand weekend, and I'll see you around.



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