Well, the visa was REJECTED via email, with no explanation, but it may have been the e-Visa which she didn’t need and doesn’t have anything to do with the application package we sent in, and now it’s just . . . who the hell knows. It’s a mess.

But she’ll be off eventually. When I got that news via text in the car - Daughter was in the Scientology Orthodonist, as I can’t help but call it, getting her retainer - I just felt a wave of weary indifference, and told her to text the program coordinator. A recent email about a certain type of visa indicated that other students had applied for the wrong type, and they’re probably as confused as everyone else.

It was the sort of day that does not encourage a reaction about anything - grey and cold and rainy, a fall day, and not entirely unwelcome. A way of decelerating the week. So . . . I wrote some stuff and had an interrupted nap and made salmon and life is boring, but that’s fine. Anything that feels ordinary is fine.

Since I’ve nothing to report (actually I have a HELL OF A LOT TO REPORT ABOUT PORCH.COM, KREPHOLE WEBSITE, but that will have to wait) here’s something I found in the box of matches I bought a few weeks ago. I am sending it off to the antique store, because there’s no reason to keep it - but it’s interesting just as an example of what was, once. What things looked like.

Inside were the lens:


It’s like talking to something that saw everything you would love to know about, and he says nothing. He’s not blind. He just says nothing, shares nothing. The world passed through these slivers of glass. You’ll never know what information those photons possessed.






Oooh, deep. Let’s turn our attention elsewhere . . . ah, I was ranting about a link-chum website. There’s a surprising turn of events. But I'm a sucker for vintage link-chum, because I hate-click to see what they get wrong. How could I turn down "Do You Remember These Defunct Restaurant Chains?"

Early on - errrr, nnnnooo.

Sam Battistone and Newell F. Bohnet opened the first Sambo’s restaurant in 1957. The chain’s name was a source of controversy: According to the company, the name was simply a portmanteau of the founder’s last names, as opposed to being a reference to the use of Sambo as a derogatory term for African Americans.

“According to the company . . . as opposed to being” They’re sanitizing their history! Except it’s true.

The fact that the decor of the restaurants displayed the racist caricature Li’l Black Sambo didn’t help their cause.

No, they didn’t. It was a racist caricature of an Indian boy.

Back to the link-chum listicle:

At its height, the chain had about 1,000 locations, but dogged by the controversy, the company shut down in the 80s.

The controversy didn’t do it; a change in the financial compensation programs did it. The story isn’t that complicated. The store managers used to be paid a percentage of the sales. The company shifted to salaries, and the incentives to boost sales faded; the old managers who did well under the system quit, and the new managers were less-qualified, and the stores suffered. The name didn’t do it. Dull food inexpertly prepared, dated decor, and general weariness with the chain did it.

Most of the locations were sold to Denny’s, while the others were shut down.

Let’s click on.

The first White Castle opened in 1921, and became the first popular fast-food chain. As is prone to happen in business, numerous imitators quickly opened. One of these knockoffs was known as White Tower. Opened by John E. Saxe and his son, Thomas, White Tower copied White Castle’s menu, style, advertising, and even architecture. At its height, there were 230 White Towers, but the chain died after legal action from White Castle forced them to make significant changes.

Criminey. No. They were sued in 1929, and for good reason; the Towers were flat-out copies. The case ended in 1934, and while White Tower lost, they continued on for several decades.

I just got deja vu. I swear I’ve written about this before. I mean, this same stupid article.

At one time, Burger Chef had over 1,000 locations and rivaled McDonalds. The chain also introduced several fast-food staples to the industry, including kids’ meals with toys. However, they were doomed by bad business practices, and Burger Chef was sold to Hardee’s in 1981.

No. They were owned by General Foods, which exited the restaurant business in 1982.

Henry’s. Now I know I’ve done this before. Gah.

Henry’s was a major player in the 50s, 60s, and 70s: By the early 60s there were over 200 of them—more than McDonald’s had at the time.

Failure to adapt to the industry’s changes, competition from other fast-food burger chains, and a controversy involving the use of horse meat are all cited as potential factors of the chain’s rapid downfall.


Although the reasons remain mostly unclear, by the mid-1970s Henry's Hamburger locations were closing at a fast rate. Mergers and ownership changes within the Bresler company no doubt played a large role. Among other reasons could be a failure to add popular features like drive-thru pickup, diversifying of menu items like competitors, and massive national advertising campaigns by McDonald's, Burger King and other competitors. There was also a controversy surrounding its use of horse meat.

The source for that last line? "20 Defunct Restaurant Chains In The United States"

(gif of table being upended)

Anyway, it was a rumor. I did a search through all the available newspapers, and there’s nothing.

Speaking of Henry's, that's usually my cue to link to the Search for the Lost Sign.

I will give the article credit for reminding me about Wetson’s - apparently the owner saw a McDonald’s, thought “that’s an interesting idea,” and came up with his own version.

"Hello, I'm your architect. Do you want some sort of arch?"

“No, I don't want arches! Not at all. I want something far less interesting, and somewhat off-putting.”


It's all one panel - and a pretty good example of the Mumps Lawson phase.

I don't think the wife is having it off wiht the farmhand, but you never know. Things get odd when you're isolated, and it's only been a few years since electricity came out your way. Solution here.



Our monthly revisit of the classic Couple Next Door cues, the best in 50s domestic library music. Drama and terrror! The first cue's fairly standard, the second quite dramatic (with hints of the recurring "Nobody Beats the US Air Force" motif), and thn confusing ending in the chord of Unresolved Events.





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.

1969. hey, if Telstar could have its own song . . .


. . . So could Apollo 11. That's what the song's about. Let's sing along: I saw mommy kissing Neil Armstrong / underneath the V- A- B




It's a toothpaste ad that sounds like the singer and band had a gun to their heads.



Well, here we are again - Friday. Can't keep that from happening, no more this week than last. But fun stuff next week! Lots of fun stuff. Thank you for your patience, and your patronage.

Sears 1976 awaits. Just realized that was the year I left Fargo. For good.



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