The more I look at that young man’s smug pan, the more irritated I get withhim. I don’t know if Haddon was intending this, or just painted him so well we don’t know if he’s agreeing or condescending. It’s like the Mona Lisa, except no one wants to punch the Mona Lisa.

As I was saying yesterday: what is the old man doing - and what does he hope to accomplish? What, after all, does he know? He knows nothing of this new modern world. Still stuck in Hoop-Skirt Times, the old fool.

Fun election and glad it’s over. I was among the journalists who got this in our Twitter feed today with a personal address:


Lovely folk.

Daughter’s bike was stolen, because people are awful. It’s quite possible it wasn’t someone who was in desperate need of transportation. It’s possible it was someone who wanted to make a quick buck, because they had scant skills outside of a few criminal tricks, and lived amongst people who would buy a bike for $35 from a guy who always seemed to have a bike to sell, and think not a moment about the person from whom it was taken. Because they’re all lousy people.

You can be pretty sure they think they’re good people, though.

So she needed a new bike, and on Saturday she got one. Wife also bought a lock, which has a big honking LOCK part, and a cable I presume can be snipped with the usual tools, but as the guy at the bike shop apparently said it’s for situations where it’s out in the open and people would notice someone stealing it. Hah! These guys are fast. People don’t pay attention. But she rides it to church in the morn, and if someone wants to steal bikes at church then they probably will go to Heck, which is like Hell but for small stuff. Still eternal, though. You suffer the torments of unending inconvenience and uncomfortableness. Your underwear is always riding up. Your back is always itching in a place you can’t reach and there are no sticks in Heck.

I’m sure someone’s come up with that idea before but I’m too annoyed to google, because I just spent half an hour trying to set the lock. It came with no instructions. Of course. I went online and found a YouTube video where a guy is explaining how to set the lock on this very model. Important phrase: “You take this key that came with it - see? This key” and fiddle around the red prongs on the inside while you set the combo.

There was no key.

I looked at the comments:

“Great video but I don’t have the key”

“Thanks mate the lock didn’t come with instructions but I can’t find the key”

And so on: half the comments said they didn’t get the key when they bought it. One comment, however, said that it was possible to set the combo without the key if you hold down the red prongs and set the numbers; “bit fiddly but we did it.”

I tried this, and it worked.

I mention this because today our day was made better by a YouTube comment. Mark this one down in history.

This weekend I went shopping for some shirts, and Penneys was having a sale. They are always having a sale. It’s a question of what the ridiculous gambit is: two for one is the best; Buy One get the second for half is the worst. Today it was buy one, get the second for a penny. Didn’t find anything I liked. Went to Gap. Over the Clearance rack: take another 40% off. There was a shirt I liked that had been marked down to $14.99, and the price was almost half off that. I asked the clerk what the original price was; she peeled back the sticker and said “$34.99.”

“And they’re still making a profit on it,” I said.


You wonder how much money they’d make if they charged less.

Back at Penneys; I wanted to pick up a T-shirt on sale. It was $7.99. It felt like a day for T-shirt buying, even though it was November; it was 71 degrees out. Glorious day.

It came up as $20.

“I think it’s eight dollars,” I said. The clerk went back to the display, came back and said “7.99,” which of course was even better than eight.

“That’s not $20 worth of shirt,” I said. “I don’t think that’s ever $20 dollars worth of shirt.”

And then “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” came on the speakers.

We looked at each other for a moment, locked in the horror of everything that was to come.

“I’m so sorry,” I said,

“Thank you,” she said.

The view of the decline, reported weekly: the hostas are gone.


=I don't know where they went, but "South" is a possibility.

As I've noted before, this isn't one of those jumble-stores where everything is heaped indiscriminately. Everything is staged.

I suspect they wanted to put Jesus closer to the middle of the sign, but some people might have found that too irreverent. It's enough that Jesus is looking away from King Koin, repudiating Mamnon and his venal dominion.

Saints flank Patriotic Percussion Cow:

The fellow with the tri-corner hat held Galliano liqueur, named after a hero of the Italo-Ethiopian war. (The F=first one.) He fought dervishes, and I expect you will too if you drink enough.

Nash coffee seems to have come down in the world in terms of its marketing, and their main page refers to its HQ in Manilla. Check out the page and hit the ads. Congratulation!

(I do not think that word means what you say)




A few ads from 1967. For the museum of bygone tech, consider this:

Let's take a look at the particulars.

"As easy as a telephone call, without the static." Talk away, without worrying about electric eels zapping the underwater cables. Low cost! It was about $70 for two tapes. That's a lot.

Three minute calls:



Computer, enhance that address:  



Yes, it's a real house. Could that be them?


Anyway. Of course there is this, because this is the internet.


Compare to the women's fitness issues today, and you see how times change:

Now she'd feel bad that she didn't have muscles.


There you go. Enjoy the day!

Oh. Right.



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