Twice a year I post the most exciting sentence in the English language: went to the Postcard Show on Saturday! If you’re thinking whew, we were worried about the Thursday Motel postcard feature running dry before year’s end . . . these are for 2021. Most of the stuff I got is for 2021, including some Gallery of Regrettable Food updates. I’ll leak a few out on Friday when BleatPlus returns.
I am building a parallel version of this site that’s complete, with no dribs-and-drabs updates with every third page link going back to the index page. If I ever get the Big One while I’m working on the site I’m going to pull a Nurse Rachet in “Brainstorm” and fumble for the switches and change the names of the root folder so it all goes live and the site is uploaded in its full glory. I do wonder sometimes whether this might be the biggest, most diverse one-man-show on the internet. It’s possible. Open to nominations for competitors.
Now let me switch to last week, and the thrilling matter of the burden of inherited cutlery.
So. In the house. My house. Hah. Without my father’s quiet, stolid presence, it feels like a place that has forgotten about him. As I said before, he had few mementos. There are no framed pictures on the wall anymore; the only ones left, after his departed wife’s children made a gleaning run, are two pictures of Natalie from an impossibly long time ago. Everything is exactly as I left it when I was here last, and that seems like a long time ago.
I still find things. The silverware drawer has three different patterns.
One of them I recognize; this was ours, at home. The good stuff.
There were some church keys. I had to smile.
It hasta be Shasta.
Are there any closets I haven’t scoured? No. Did I do the garage? I did. There’s a white box - did I look through that?
No, I didn’t.
It has my dad’s baseball uniform from the late 30s, when he played with the Harwood Hawks. It has his naval uniform. It has his baptism scroll, and an identical document for his twin, whose name I bear as my middle name. Can't be scanned right now; too fragile. But his naval uniform! It's much heavier than I thought it would be.
Anything else? Ah - a box in the back, heavy. Open it - ahh, gaahh, more silverware. But wait.
It’s from my mother’s side . . . it’s the pattern of my grandparents and great-grandparents.
||M for Monson . . .
||T for Turnbull.
Something even older:
P. I. N. - Newton, has to be Newton
Mabel, ahh, I should this.
These hardly mean anything to me but I am obliged. The entirety of the long broad lives in that farmhouse comes down to a few photos and some spoons. I have to keep one, because my grandmother held it, and I held her hand once, and my daughter held my hand.
I want my daughter to know where her predecessors lived, and have the pictures, and hold something in her hands, and know they’d be proud of her. Her name is Lileks, but like a tuning fork struck leaves a lingering sound, that sound is her other name. Monson.
I look more Monson than Lileks. Daughter looks more Lileks than Monson. It's odd the way the strands weave.
As we say: just because Clippings replaced the Serial feature doesn't mean you're getting off easy. Oh no, my friends. Not at all.
And this time it’s the . . .
This marks the eighth time the Ruler has attempted to take over the Earth. He is hampered by the following factors:
1. Commader - er, Commando Cody has ringed earth with some sort of cosmic dust barrier
2. The Ruler has two guys working for him on earth. Two.
This one starts out big:
It’s heading for Planet Dropshadow! No, that’s us! What is it?
You know, they’re pretty nonchalant about this, no? I mean, just because it slowed down doesn’t mean it’s okay. The assistant finally realizes hey, this means additional gravitational influences. Cody gets a call from the authoritie, and after lots of expository dialogue, we learn that there are . . . storms.
It’s always storms with The Ruler.
The storms start to short out the Cosmic Dust Generation Station, which means the whole defense shield could drop. And then the Ruler would conquer Earth. Cody jets off to make repairs while the associates take the rocket ship up to check out the cosmic barrier.
It’s every single episode so far. Hey, here’s the Cosmic Dust Generation Station:
They have to repaid the generator while it’s on, and there are only three people who can do it, because no serial has more than seven people. They take off, like every other episode, and while I’m completely jaded by this, I can only imagine being 12 and having this be the entirely of your sci-fi. You’d love the industrial, practical interior of the spaceships:
I mean, to modern eyes it’s not much. At the time, if you were a young person who had only sci-fi mags and a few radio shows this was fargin’ STAR WARS.
And it’s only 11 years from Star Trek.
Anyway, they fix the problem with the weather, then head for the Moon, as one does. Too bad the enemy is listening in!
Just another day at the office.
The Ruler tells the Moon Crew to load up the explosive tanks and blow up the moon again, intending to destroy Earth after four blasts. Because I guess taking it over is off the table now; he’s pissed. The Controls are Manned:
Kaboom! Annnnd the moon slows down again. So Cody goes down, gets captured, gets taunted at by the Ruler, escapes, boobytraps the moon bombs, and kaboom again - but for good!
Yay I killed them all!
Time for hjinx:
That will have to do; I'm afraid; see you around.