A few days ago I was walking through the 333 skyway on my way to the car, and listened, as usual, to the music trickling from the speakers above. It’s the only skyway with music. They do it to set the mood for the building. SiriusXM, as far as I can tell. The Christmas channel.

On the 28th? Christmas music? Gah. Worse: it was “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” a wonderfully melancholic song, and it was the depressed James Taylor version, and I had to do that thing where you hum in your ears to keep from hearing something. It was just lethal. Before Christmas, the song is lovely and hopeful. Afterwards, it speaks of something you will never have again and possibly never had at all.

I plugged in the Victorian Christmas Village set on the dining room radiator slab tonight, and realized that was over, too. It was over two days ago. I just hate to not plug it in. To see it siting there, the shop windows dark. This is why we need New Year’s: it’s a firehose of bubbly acid that scours away Christmas.

It’s exhausting, isn’t it? The assumptions, the hopes, the expectations, the ideals. The toting-up at the end. I have one big failure this year I can’t stop kicking myself about, and I hope to redress it soon. There’s really no reason to regard it as a failure because it happened on that side of the calendrical divide instead of the other side, but there it is.

This was the year I coasted.

I did the minimum.

I have to decide if that’s what I want for 2017, and I have to think about how unhappy it made me to know I was doing the minimum.

Okay, I just decided.


Did I mention this was a vacation week, so there's not much stuff? Right. Flotsam; jetsam. Let's cut right to the next great big holiday, because it'll be stale by Monday:

It's from a 1908 trade magazine about Cigars. The butt says: "Bygone troubles and problems." Discarded like a cheap cheroot!

Been a while since we've had a dog picture. Believe it or not, this was taken today:

Yes, that's what Minnesota looks like in December. There's snow everywhere, but we knocked it off the bushes, which stay verdant. There are evergreens on the south side of the house.

Keeps you sane to see such things.

The dog, of course, is worried about the mailman, and what he might do.

A look at the things that were good in 2016. I don't think it was that bad a year. Most of the people who say it was bad feel bad about things that either didn't happen yet, didn't happen period, or happened to a celebrity.

First comment:


Remember: everything has to be horrible, or the people who are enjoying life might be seen as well-adjusted invidivuals, instead of ignorant clods.


Let's revisit the year . . . one Bleat Ban at a time. But quickly. The colors change to spring to summer to fall - and there's one in there I didn't use.


Next year, perhaps.




Back to music cues for "The Little Things in Life," Peg Lynch's last continuously running sitcom.

Good Lord, the start of this one almost gives you a heart attack:


Shave and a haircut? Really?


I'd like to hear a symphony based on this. It would go nowhere. It would just tiptoe around with a worried look.


Holding a candle, perhaps, wearing a nightshirt.



And then . . . it was done. The plot concerns the width of ties, and whether old styles will come back again.


Perhaps if you clap your hands?


That was the end of Ethel and Albert.

Like that. It's done. Buy Tylenol.

But it's not the end of the Peg Lynch story: 100 years after her birth . . .she's relaunched. Give it a look.

An apt ad for the weekend:


1940 BT, or Before Tylenol.





Let's end the year the swankest way possible. As of this writing, he's still with us:

Scory's bio at the Percussive Arts Society, here. He was often quite experimental, which this song doesn't demonstrate. But I don't think you'll mind.


Nelson Riddle composed it, of course. I have to wonder how much it inspired Neil Hefti's theme for you-know-what.


May your New Year's Party have that civilized vibe! See you Monday, 2017.

Expect something new, and something familiar.




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