Just had an interesting convo with Daughter about VR. She is opposed to it, completely and utterly. I was describing how I'd finally found a use for it: watching movies. To this she was even more opposed: it will kill the shared experience of watching movies in a theater, which is essential to society. I agree that it's best to see movies in the theater, although it depends on the behavior of the audience.

What makes movies on VR difference is the way it simulates the theater. In the Amazon program, you're in a computer-generated theater, with rows of seats in front and behind. There's a ceiling. There are curtains. The screen is RIGHT THERE, but it doesn't consume all your view. It's hard to describe, but you're aware of watching a movie, not something attempting to simulate reality. Unlike watching a movie at home, you can't check your phone or glance at another screen. You have to focus.

And then you tire of it, because the headset is still too heavy.


Yes, I'm turning this into Filmstrip Wednesday. Having just had the Crazy Uke's son fix my snowblower - the kid's a wizard, an absolute Lazarus; give him a pistol and a piece of sheet metal and some Bondo and he'd build a F1 racer - I'm in the mood to discuss the problem of 2-stroke engines. And really, when aren't we?

The king has arrived! Really, it sounds like a Monty Python audio cue:

Are you this salesman?

He’s confused!

One of his customers is happy - why, he cheerful ignores his family to spend more time with his Briggs & Stratton:

But go figure!

One guy's happy, but the other guy . . .

He's a fargin' psychopath!

What’s the difference?


The difference? He showed the first guy the manual, and taught him how to put in some oil. When he left, he knew how to take care of his engine! Yes, even the little woman can figure it out.

Although later she pretended she didn’t know how to operate the choke, so she called over Bob, who lives next door. Gosh, she spends a lot of time with Bob

Yes, he was a happy customer. He was a little confused about why the showroom was so gosh-durned abstract, with a door that seemed to indicate the concept of a door, but nothing else:

By the way, this is what I have to work with:

Filmstrip Theater grade: C+ Early scenes are promising, what with the insane man who is DONE with power mowers, but it’s mostly close-ups of the engine interspersed with suburban-wife shots.





It's 1967.

The Blurry-Argus, "the only Democratic paper published in the county."

Where else would you find news like this? Nowhere else. Hence the importance of local journalism, then and now. But I am banging a broken drum.

  This is really quite 60s, in the culture sense, not the counter-culture sense.

You think that’s the equivalent of tossing their hats in, but it seems like the opposite. As if it should be "cast their shierers."

Man, he was intense.

Fourteen performances! The whole town could see them.

Quite the life. Fled the Red Menace, settled in Canada.

The pair had a bad fall a day before the North American Championships, resulting in a concussion to Otto and a large gash in Maria's thigh, however, they competed and won gold.[

They decided to compete at the 1961 World Championships to be hosted by Prague, despite the risk to citizens who had fled. After the International Skating Union threatened to change the host, the Czechoslovak government resolved the dispute by stripping the pair's citizenship.

The competition, however, was cancelled due to the Sabena Flight 548 crash which killed the entire U.S. team. The Jelineks had planned to travel with the Americans to Prague but missed the flight because they were waiting for their coach, Bruce Hyland, whose wife was about to give birth.

Otto went on to a career in politics, because ambassador to Czechoslovakia, and moved back to the Czech Republic after liberation. Maria is still alive, as of this writing.

Nice end to the story.


  Light at the end of the tunnel!

Peter Hurd? He studied with Wyeth, and ended up marrying his daughter. The quote refers to a famous, and ill-fated, commission - which apparently everyone was suppose to know about. He painted this. The sitter rejected it.

If they were down among the people, they would . . .

. . . pass laws to stop crime? No, they couldn't do that. Perhaps not strike down soft-on-crime laws?

Remember, the only Democratic paper in the county.

Bold, brave stance from the editorial page:

So there.


A room designed by a guy who barked his shins on the coffee table one time too many, perhaps.



From Strippers Guide:

NEA supplied the majority of smaller daily papers in this country with content that they couldn't  afford from the big New York syndicates. But weekly papers generally couldn't even afford NEA's economical service, and the amount of material NEA provided for dailies was far more than they needed for their weekly schedules, anyway. But NEA offered an even more inexpensive service to weeklies,  which, starting in 1960, gained its own name, Community Enterprise Features. Before then it generally just went under the banner of the NEA Weekly Service.

The artist would later take over Our Boarding House, from 1971 to 1984. I had no idea Major Hoople persisted that long.



That'll do! Enjoy your midweek moments. Auto ads await.





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