Man, he's really hammered, isn't he. She likes him that way. He doesn't have any idea what she's up to with the neighbor.

Outside with the crickets. It hasn’t been a loud summer for the cicadas, for some reason. Perhaps the lack of water. Or the lack of cicadas. The crickets have been hard at it, though, massed in numbers that seems to exceed previous summers . . . unless I really don’t store that sort of information in my memory. There’s a general memory of Crickets, singly or in choruses, and the quantity is regarded as useless information and discarded.

Or is it discarded? We’re told we remember much more than we do, that things we barely see or notice get tucked away, only to erupt in a dream years later. I had a dream last night in which I went back in time, back to the 20s, and it was full of period detail. At least what I thought was period detail. At the end of the dream I had to go back to my own time, and I told everyone that I was actually not completely obscure in my day, and told them all to google me as soon as it became available. But then I looked around the room and thought “you’ll all be dead before there’s google.” Didn’t want to say so, though. They’d go all their lives waiting for Google, whatever that was. Maybe one of them would be ancient in a home, hear about this new thing, and have a moment like Rose in Titanic when she sees the TV news. Well I’ll be got-damned. And then she has Kay Lenz take her to the library to use the computer.

Woke. Should’ve told them to use Lexus / Nexus. Or the periodical compilations that showed up in the library. Compendiums of articles and authors, sitting in the reference area, slumped against last year’s volume. It was a thrill to see my name in there the first time, and chastening to see how many others there were. And how infrequently the book was consulted.

Ah: just heard another sound of summer, the gargle of the Oak Island Water Feature pump gasping for liquid. The pump and the Feature has done tremendous work this year, running night and day, the splashing water no doubt disturbing the skeeter breeding. So, let’s get out the hose, and set a timer so I don’t forget to turn it off, and wake tomorrow to half the lawn besogged.

Good day. Great day, really. Perfect weather, company at the office, filed two pieces, lined up all the guests for my Fair show. A great relief, that. I think I’ll bring a tripod and record one of the days, so you can see what I have to go through. Reminds me: I have to get a haircut. That is my life: Fair’s coming up, better get a haircut. People may be judging my eyebrows.

Probably not.

Also today: Birch is better. I wasn’t really aware he wasn’t good, but he had a patch of something. Didn’t want his midnight snack; seemed distant and bothered. Wife assumed the worst; I usually say “it’s a dog thing, it’ll pass,” because 99 times out of a 100, it’s a dog thing, and it passes. Literally or not. His old self tonight, I think. Snoozing on the chair in the gazebo now, lulled by the crickets and the water fountain, the great growling of the planes overhead moving in and out of his dreams, the passing of something familiar but unknowable. Proof positive that dogs didn’t exist at the same time as pterodactyls, probably.

Me, I always hated those things, ever since Jonny Quest.


HAH: the moment that thing screeched as I was testing the video, Birch looked up, in alarm.

That spider thing made for an exciting episode, but that invisible monster they had to cover with paint freaked me out.









Couldn’t resist watching just a little bit of 2010, one of those sci-fi movies I enjoy for different reasons at different times. Again, NOT A REVIEW. This is about assumptions and cultural moods and zeitgeists ’n’ stuff. Now the movie feels like something from a better, more interesting era. Except it’s soaked in Cold War dread. The Americans have to evacuate the Soviet spacecraft when tensions get high, and go sleep in the Discovery. This sets up the hopeful ending, but when we walked out of the movie we had no such guarantee.

We also had the idea of the USSR being potent in 2010, when it would collapse in the decade 2010 was made. We couldn’t imagine any other future than the USSR still stronk and Big in Space.

You wonder if Russians view the movie with nostalgia. How could they not? It portrays a strong and technologically advanced Soviet Union, with all the Hollywood hallmarks of the age: interestink scientists who have the quirks and the skills and apparently no oppression at all.

You wonder if we’re viewing the movie with the same sense: looking back at an imaginary future, comparing ourselves, noting we’re obviously nowhere near accomplishing what the movie assumes. In 1984, we thought, well, we’re still up there doing stuff, who knows. At least 2010 looked familiar, right down to the tiresome swipes at the right-wing president who was going to go to war over Central America.

Of course I had to immediately begin rewatching 2001, and wondered how that future looked to the people of 1969. The interior design wasn’t too far off the present trends; it was at the least a slight extrapolation, and at the most had that new control-panel aesthetic that fit the stark minimalism. The awful chairs in the Space Station were straight out of the Groovy Era, and the suspended ceilings would fit in an Emery Roth office building. Nothing hit you over the head with THE LOOK OF THE FUTURE - it was more the details of how people got around (the velcro slippers) or ate (the liquid food with the infamous straw error) and communicated on videophones, but all of that seemed right. The last example is one of the things that makes the movie work: the conversation between Dr. Floyd and his daughter is utterly boring. The earth whirls around out the window, unnoticed, an accustomed sight.

Perhaps a boring future is a more plausible future. Parents still call kids, people have breakfast before catching their flight. None of this had shown up in the sci-fi movies before.

Anyway. Something I noticed that none of us noticed at the time, and wouldn’t until Siri and Alexa came along.

They address HAL by name at the end of their requests.

Also re: 2010: LOL, what Starbaby?



It’s 1953. In-house ads for the carnival operators.



I wonder if any of the kids knew his name.

Basically, it’s the same ride. Stuff goes around. Rocket or train, you gotta hose out the diaper leakage at the end of the night.

  Oh, I think I have a Motordrome funhouse monkey show around here somewhere, let me look

If you’re thinking “did they put monkeys in cars in a motordrome?” I think the answer is OF COURSE THEY DID

t seems to me they’re a bit understaffed to mount a full Midway, no? They need a flosser, an entire cookhouse, and I guess they’re in the market for a 10-in-1, too.

That’s ten acts for one ticket.

You wonder what happened to Barney.

Maybe he was a Banner Man who just didn’t show up one day.

Wilno, by the way, was a reknowned cannonball; died in 1984 at the age of 80.



It seems as if they cobbled these things together at the last minute, no? So many independents coming in from all over. You’ve been contracted, pal, get your butt to Albany.

Small ad. Big company.

In August 1972, the funeral procession for the “Monarch of the Midway,” carnival king Floyd E. Gooding, was led by a silent calliope. When he died, it was front-page news in The Dispatch.

Gooding was president of the Columbus-based Gooding Amusement Co., the largest outdoor amusement company in the world. (Gooding Co. rides were staples at the Ohio State Fair and many other midways and fairs for decades.) He spent 67 years in the carnival business, after starting at age 10 as a merry-go-round ticket seller.

Floral arrangements included a 30-inch merry-go-round and a three-foot ferris wheel. Among mourners were former Ohio Gov. James A. Rhodes and former Columbus Mayor M.E. Sensenbrenner.

Gooding Amusement Co. rides at nine sites in three states operated on the day of the funeral, although each carried swathes of mourning cloth. The merry-go-rounds, long a Floyd Gooding favorite, were operated for free for two hours during the funeral.

A pocket peep show! A hit with all from 7 to 70! Hey wait a minute

Miss Loo Loo
OO’ La Sheba Queen

Miss Loo Loo
OO’ La Sheba Queen

There were only so many variants on the phonemes all men understood.

Also, she is apparently alive.



That will do! I lied about the end of Quasicomics. Two more, so I don't have to alter the navigation panel below. This time it's an old friend - Johnny the Cigarette Imp recast as an itinerant hero. And nine pages!





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