It looked like that yesterday. Today it snowed. It’ll probably melt - oh God please melt, please - but the residue will be sodden tree flesh, not the dry leaves that make you feel six when you kick them. I don’t know what it is. Some sort of chemical that gets right though your shoes and makes you stupid and credulous, but happy. Wears off after a block.

Rain + snow meant icy roads, so of course I went out to do errands. Parking would be easy and the stores would be uncluttered. And I was right! Not just uncluttered by customers, but merchandise. In the case of one beverage I used to get at Target, it’s permanently gone, which means I’m forced to go to another store. In the case of the Simply Potatoes Hash Browns - which, by the way, aren’t; if you’re Simply Potatoes, then the package should contain nothing more. When you introduce Southwestern Flavored Hash Browns you’ve admitted that there are degrees of simplicity, and you’ve opened the door for Complicated Potatoes, or Actually Quite Involved When You Consider It Potatoes. They didn’t have the southwestern variety. They didn’t even have Potatoes O’Brian, which is another variant. They didn’t even have the damned hash browns. They only had small wedges. Four slots, three empty, the shovers pushed all the way up.

You know, the shovers. I believe that’s the industry term for the devices that push merch forward when the first item’s taken. I don’t trust the pushers, but I do trust the shovers. On the other hand, the shovers tell me not to trust the pushers, which ought to make me a little suspicious.

Old-Time Internet Person Award goes to the first one who gets that reference and brays out their answer in the comments.

Anyway, it ended up okay, since I had to get the beverage at Cub, and I knew Cub, which sucks, would have all four varieties. And they did. It was also Arbitrary Price-Point Week in the Pizza aisles, but it’s always APPW. Bellatoria pizzas are either $6.99, a savings of two dollars, or BOGOF, which puts the unit price at five bucks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them not on sale. If ever they’re sold for $8.99 it would be like those movies set in the future where the gas station signs say $9.59 a gallon.

Since there was no sale, I stopped off at Kowalski’s, reasonably sure they were would be a sale on their house brand. There was. They also had Bellatorias for $7.99, because the general assumption of the place is “you can pay a little more, and isn’t this nicer here than that concrete garish hellscape of Cub? Look, here’s a special section devoted to essential oils. You like those. You appreciate the way they can calm, or inspire. The markup isn’t as good as the freshly prepared stuff, so if you ever come in for a small vial of eucalyptus, consider swinging over to the Deli and paying nine dollars for a wrap, okay? It’s how we keep the lights on.”

I took a trip the other day, by the way. A day trip. Won’t tell you where, no sir; saving it all for Monday. But I stopped on the way in a small town whose Main Street was almost a candidate for the Thursday feature, except it was a bit small.

The town was, and is, Arlington. Almost 3000 souls, and a little bit of everything - pizza place, gas stations, auto dealer, movie theater, churches, an old school, civic organizations, a historical society. The old firehouse had an interesting detail:

Sometimes you're glad to see a theater that won't look like a theater after it closes and the marquee comes down.

You have to see these towns in their original context: it wasn’t a matter of zipping to the next burg at 65 MPH when they were founded. What seems like a blip on the road to people today was the town in the county back then, the place where farmers went on Saturday and Sunday to shop and worship. They were self-contained and they still feel somewhat insulated.

I hadn’t been on this road for decades, and it felt so good to get out on the two-lanes and drive. But that’s Monday.



This appeared in my messages without comment:


She later texted details: she had caught a pirhana - hooked it throgh the eye - and fed it to the croc.

Wow. But I'll bet she didn't get to price any pizza this week.

Yes yes tempis fugit I SMELL CRIME

Why can't Lance drive?

Have we ever seen Lance drive?

Solution here.



It's rare we get to compare and contrast between American shows and their South African versions.and by rare I mean "never." High Adventure was a strange radio show from the early 50s - a few eps were tight and realistic, with dialogue that popped and overlapped. Then it got . . . well, you'll have until January for that.



The first clip is the American theme. Dramatic! And yet oddly inert! The second is part of my ongoing attempt to collect every example of the car-crash FX with the oddly comic horn. It's such a giveaway. You learn to expect it after a while. The third is a cue from the South African version, which I assume is library music bought from England. It's a mish-mash, I know. I don't know what I was thinking when I put this week together.


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.

1968. Sunshine pop, but also a little proggy.


Don't hit me, but I think there's a nuclear war going on




It's the gum you can enjoy indoors - or outdoors!


That'll do! See you on Monday.



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