It’s snowing now, and will snow for some time to come. A foot or so. No one can complain, because it’s February. No one should complain, because it’s not April. I welcome it, because it makes the month go longer, makes time seem to slow. Winter is a state, not a process, a condition, not a series of episodes. It is, and then it isn’t.

The picture above is our old friend the KA block, the construction of which I detailed last year. They’re just finishing the details now. In the background, a large ritzy apartment building that’s not as close as it seems - makes for a nice dense urban tableau, though. What’s missing? Names. Architect’s names, carved in the side of the building. Every day I pass a building designed by Mr. Hewitt, and another designed by Mr. Czerny. If I wore a hat I’d tip it.

Okay, lots of odds and ends. Let's get to it.

Birch was graduated from Obedience School:

He passed all of the stringent requirements, which mean he did certain things for treats. I’m a bit skeptical of these, but he’s pretty good when it comes to Obedience - aside from being a bit too nippy in play, and cheerfully disobedient when it comes to opportunistic feeding.

He got a graduation present from the teacher.

“Just LOAFING around.” It’ll be destroyed soon enough. It squeaks, so it brings back the ancestral blood-lust nurtured over countless millennia of preying on anthropomorphic Gallic breadstuffs. But it has an odd, brash squeak, and that seems to alarm and delight him.

He is not a bold dog. But he is a good little fellow, and he's doing well.

Aside from occasional chewy naughtiness. Today he got a box of to-go cups off the counter and worked at one with no particular interest. Let me bite it and ruin it. Hmm. Nothing. Let me try another. Hmm. Nothing. Let me try this last one, then.

Hmm. Nothing. Ah well.


Something I found in my archives while looking for something else. I'd forgotten I had it. Didn't forget that I did it, though. The first part of the interview, where the host accuses me of letting my family ghostwrite parts of the book, is missing.

The glory days of local TV! intentionally bad camera work, no script. Just . . . roll it and go. The host, BTW, is Rich Kronfeld, local comedy legend. All he said before this was "get mad." All the guests got mad. That's why I wish I had the first part, because I'm sure it starts out in full genial faux-grateful author mode.


Ever realize you haven't changed at all, really?

This week Daughter got a lot of peer validation from her . . . wait for it . . . . humor column in the school newspaper.Kids love this stuff: banging on the school for wretched conditions - in this case, the horrid bathrooms.

There's one graf that made Dad very proud, because it has an irrelevant, perfect detail.

A dank, thick air of plague and squalor overcomes one once the threshold is crossed. You amble across cement, sodden with sewage and water, stepping over wads of brown paper towel and strewn detritus - is that a dead body? - hoping you can hold your breath long enough to survive. Finally, seemingly after years, you reach the stall. But little refuge is found here as the walls scream profanities at you as you pray to every force above that there is enough toilet paper to last your humble journey. Screams of anguish and screeches of zeal echo throughout like the voices of spiteful gods, a soundtrack to your misery.

You wonder what you will contract from the seat. You mull over the idea of bringing a gas mask next time, or even your own toilet paper (there are places for three rolls, how are they always nearing the end?). The trial is almost done - the discordant flush and encouraging noise.

Mustering up all of your courage, you open the door, welcomed by the sight of a pack of rabid dogs chewing at what seems to be a Thrasher sweatshirt. The alpha of the pack is vaping in the corner, honeydew flavor. You don’t make eye contact. You can never make eye contact.

You’ve made it this far without crying. You deserve a reward. So, after briefly washing your hands, without soap, you allow yourself a glance in the shattered mirror. An image comes back to you, dirty and kaleidoscopic, but you don’t recognize the person in the reflection. Your eyes are sunken. Your cheekbones caved in, your skin is an unhealthy, malnutritioned color.  Is this what you’ve become? This is what the Washburn bathroom has done to you? Your stomach growls, but you don’t feel hungry. You just want to be clean.

You haven’t been clean in a long, long time - how long have you been in the bathroom? How many days has it been? Weeks, years?

Longer than any janitors.

Better than I did at 17.

Yes, it's the return of Lance Lawson! All new strips! New in the sense that they're from 1948, but weren't posted before. Wait until I start posting 1947 strips from the Mumps Lawson period.

No, Tiny, you idiot, I'm going to smoke a cigarette and let you figure it out with the rest of the morons.

By the way, here's the solution to last week, which of course I forgot.

But I'm sure someone got that.



A little of old Ski-Nose here. The first clip is an example of how malleable the theme music lyrics could be, as well as the tendancy of 40s audiences to whistle like hell. They whistled so much for a while.


The second clip contains something you might even regard as a political endorsement.



Bonus: a mention of our old beloved Aunt Jenny.

Instead of the swank old sounds of Goodwill albums, this year we're going to share bad 1960s pop music. The second- and third-tier tunes.

Someone was always coming up some sub-Donovan story about a strange man. I'm sure this one had nothing to do with the fellow on the rolling paper package.


Oh! Flutes! So it's early prog, in a way.


The song would be blessedly shorter if Mom had just said "yes" and closed the door.


Who - who - WHO is the NBC JINGLER JANGLER



Somehow I feel bad for turning in such a mess today, but you know what? Not really. I hope you enjoyed your visits this week - have a grand weekend. I have the second orientation for Daughter Brazillian Parent Replacement Year, so . . . so, yeah. See you Monday.



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