At the end of the day I had filed three pieces: two columns and a feature on a 12-year-old kid who threw a comic-con in 1978, and invited Stan Lee. He showed up! Because the kid paid his going rate. Interviewed Ward Sutton this morn for the piece, fixed the images, then walked the dog and noticed . . . he’s squinting. He looks suspicious. May have bruised his eye somehow, or scratched it in the bush. Have to take him in tomorrow.

After filing the pieces I went to the office. That’s my odd routine. Work, then go to the office. Today was special because the quarterly Editor’s Choice awards would be announced. Everyone in the newsroom gathers in the Hub, and the editors hand out certificates, kudos, and a check. I was up for Writing. Well! Can’t imagine what I did differently in the last quarter; my output is regular and consistent, I’d like to think.

Here’s the thing that will spoil this event for me for the future: I got some hints I should, you know, be there. So I was there! And they announced the award for Writing!

And it wasn’t me!

I had that stupid grin you see on televised awards shows. Happy for the winner, and it was an honor to be nominated. Honestly, I shouldn’t have won, given what other people accomplished on actual news stories. But then there was the last category, Behind the Scenes, and the winner is . . . me, and what the sam hell did I do behind the scenes?

I’ll tell you what I got it for: tireless, cheerful brand promotion at the State Fair for 12 straight days. I got an award and a check for the Lip Balm Revue. Couldn’t be happier.

Then I went back to my desk and wrote another piece for the year-end obituary round-up, which made eight pieces filed this week, and then I went home, napped, got up and wrote a ninth piece for the 12/05 Minnesota Moments feature. One more to go tomorrow afternoon, a travel piece, for a solid ten. It’s been a good week.

And now, Detritus.


Pulled over to shoot this late-afternoon shot of the creek. Could be better, but I'm point a frickin' phone out of a car window, so a break you should cut me.

It's that time of the year when the only color you get is brown, and it doesn't seem like a color at all. At least not a color that's trying. Maybe that's why some people despise brown. It's a lying-down color. It has no ambition.

Do you know this actress?

Right! It's Gretchel Mol. But I mean the other one. I was watching Boardwalk Empire (again; it's one of my favorites, and never rewatched it) and was amused to see that magazine. Possibly you've seen it too.

Alice Joyce. It's a 1920 cover, so it's accurate for the time frame. Give or take a month, maybe.

Here's some proof they've been contruding with the formula over the years, and decided there's money to be made by admitting it:

The website solicited reviews, and they're somewhat damning - of the new stuff, that is.

I long ago stopped eating Chef Boyardee, because the taste I remembered as a kid has been replaced by way WAY too sweet, way too bland "sauce", and textured vegetable protein "meat". But now, I just tried a can of the Throwback Ravioli- its just like I remembered as a kid!!! The sauce is tangy and FLAVORFUL- I can taste the Romano cheese and the herbs!! The beef inside the ravioli was great, the entire flavor presentation was so much better than the stuff that passes for Hector Boiardi's products these days. Honestly, they should stop producing the new crud and only produce these throwback recipes. These are a tribute to Chef Boiardi's memory and good taste.

A reminder of the original spelling - and the fact that some people are actually quite passionate about their canned ravioli.

Now I want to try some.

The site has a nice timeline of Hector's accomplishments, and you do get the sense he'd be appalled at the sodden muck sold under his name, and how it became a byword for lousy kid-stuff.

This was the most amusing website uh-uh the system's given me in some time:

I don't even remember clicking on it. I wonder what sort of threat exists. I also wonder if it's for dogs or, you know, seniors.

Oh, look! It's everyone's favorite Friday adventure. Incremental girder addition!

It seems as if nothing's happened at all, but in reality two entire blocks have been remade six or seven stories down. In six months this view of the distant buildings will no longer be available.



Nothing ticks off Mumps like stolen valor:

Is this really a matter for the police, or the MPs? Solution here.



Some cues from Dimension X, introducing . . . the star of the future!




Oh, you know her. Maybe.

Nancy's increasing status in Hollywood came to a virtual halt in the mid-1950s, after marrying renowned lyricist Alan Jay Lerner (who later wrote "On a Clear Day..." and "Camelot"). She abruptly put her acting on hold in favor of raising their two daughters and her career never fully recovered. While the couple divorced in 1957 and she decided to return full-time to acting, the writing was already on the wall. An actress' prime can be ruefully short; by the late 50s Nancy was perceived as too mature to now play the fresh-faced, girl-next-door type for which she was so identified.

Disney Studios came to the rescue, however, in the early 60s and gave her mid-career an added luster by playing Fred MacMurray love interest in both The Absent Minded Professor(1961) and Son of Flubber (1963). Her poise, charm and ever-animated appeal was absolutely in sync with the studio's squeaky-clean image, and adding just the right amount of feisty, feminine starch for the light slapstick happenings around her. Other Disney films she participated in included Pollyanna (1960) and Snowball Express (1972). She also made an uncredited cameo appearance in the Flubber (1997) remake starring Robin Williams.

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.

1970. What's the biggest giveaway for the artist - the triple-A-class level of pretention . . .


Or the voice? And you thought they were a one-hit wonder! (They were)




1953. Isn't it . . . isn't it always?



That'll do! See you on Monday.



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