Had to go to the Post Office today, an archaic journey that will be necessary for certain things, forever. A package intended for Daughter is sent by mistake to the house? Okay great I’ll just scan it into the Deconstructiviser and email the 3D plans to her machine. Some day perhaps, but I won’t see it.

The problem with going out was the weather. It had warmed up seven degrees, to zero. A nice start, but that’s where it stalled. Of course I had to get gas, and that meant standing outside, fumbling with my card and the slot with dead-meat fingers. I actually drove a far piece to a Post Office I knew has parking and an airlock; it would be warmer, and I could dash in without scurrying half a block, cursing. Don’t run it just makes it colder

Ah hell, run

As long as I was oot and aboot, as the Canadians say, or would, if they weren’t stuck at home under quarantine, might as well do the errands. When the Traders Joe clerk asked how I was I answered honestly, which was “cursing the day I was birthed into this wasteland,” and then thought “that requires a bit more information, after which I will back off.” At Target I considered getting some cream cheese for bagels, but hello - or rather, goodbye.

There was naught but this.

The Unloved Salmon Variant.

“There’s a cream cheese shortage,” I told my wife when I got home. She laughed, as if this was ridiculous. They just hadn’t restocked.

She doesn’t get out to the stores much. I explained that this was a widespread problem, and called up some news stories. I also explained that if you mentioned this on social media, you were mocked by people who said they had lots of cream cheese in their store, nine states away, and therefore you were fake news, a bot sowing division, everything is fine.

Everything is not fine. The reason for the cream cheese shortage is pure PPEE, or Post-Pandemic Eternal Endemic: there was a cyberattack on a cheese manufacturer. Of course it was probably Russia, or Iran. Ergo, we did nothing. Or, we did retaliate, quietly.

My money’s on the first. Of course, inflation being what it was, that’s less money than it would have been a year ago.

I wonder what the public reaction would be if the New York Times revealed that every hacker who hit the food or energy or health care systems was given the Bin Laden treatment. I wonder if the Times writers would be appalled. Isn't this just like the 70s, with the CIA assassinating people? That was bad! They might want to bring in the fictitious instruments of international law, and have the hackers tried at The Hague, because it's civilized. but you can't send them to Gitmo, because Gitmo is bad.

I don't know. It starts with a near-total absence of cream cheese, and by the time you're done shopping you want Delta Force garotting hackers in dark Bulgarian basements.

Oh,  by the way: no napkins. There weren't any napkins last week. There weren't any napkins this week.

Correction: they had about ten packs of the budget brand. One-ply world.


Yes, I'm turning this into Filmstrip Wednesday. At least for this month. Keeps me from screeding about COVID.

What the hell is this thing

What the devil are they singing?



Why is Katy here? And what reason might that be?

“To help you and your store move ahead.”

Employees might be thinking “surely this means additional work, new complications, new things to remember, new mistakes to make.”

And they'd be right!

Here’s what Katy is bringing:

Charge cards. Why live within your means when you can charge it, and see the discount price swell with usurious charges? It’s easy!

When you use your card, you’ll make the clerk generate one of these forms. Holy crow, you spent twenty bucks at Kresge? That’s a lot of thread and shoelaces.

Oh, darn, I forgot my card

“Don’t trouble yourself for a moment! I’ll just have to use a different form and run it past my credit supervisor and use my special tool and remember the code!"

Remember to watch out for J-6 SITUATIONS:

If you’re keeping track, Mrs. Clark lives on 123 Value Street, and Mrs. Yardley lives on 123 Value Street.

So now you know! Katy is handing out money, and we’re encouraging debt - the very opposite of the traditional cliched idea of the thrifty Scotsman! That’s why we have her as our mascot!

Oh, and here’s the song. Let’s all sing along. LET US ALL PRAISE KATY

I wonder if the supervisor made them sing. I'll bet there was one who led everyone in song ironically, with exaggrerated drum majorette gestures.

I hope there was, anyway.





It’s 1941.

Lower Des Moines is on their own, I guess.

We’ll visit Algona on Thursday.

Let me just state for the record that the main headline makes me feel as if I had a mild stroke. I don’t know if it’s something they did, or want me to do.


Oh, great! Movies! What is it, a Western? A comedy? Something with good-looking dames?







Still, it sounds like quite the event.


  Sounds like the name of a Texas town, doesn’t it? Lone Rock.


Long before any settlement took place here, the unusual (175 ton) boulder was used as a landmark for travelers. Lone Rock was platted in 1899 when the railroad was being built through the neighborhood. In 1970, the lone rock was moved to the new location by blasting it into four pieces and reconstructing the pieces inside the community.

Robert Gladstone stayed in the service, and died in 1950 of a heart attack in Germany.


I wonder if they took this guy off the foreign-affairs editorial beat.

The doings of Algona.

Beulah Seely read a paper on Glass.

Society news is always boring. Then there's this:


Aside from horrible optical accident, there’s the matter of the Strawberry Point Horse Thief Detective Association, which sounds like a 1971 family-friendly movie.

Also, Sidney ate some money. He survived, and died in 2001 in Centerville.



Three movies of which I was unaware. I mean, I’m no expert, but sometimes you run across an account of these. Perhaps there’s a reason.

Ronald Reagan and the Skipper's dad:

IMDB: “Fred Astaire would later refer to this as the worst film he ever made. Artie Shaw confided that it put him off film acting.” And poor George Sanders, banging out another programmer.

The pride of the town, the place that would pack the auditorium with a thousand people:


Is it still there? We’ll find out on Thursday.



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





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