Rain all day, which is nice for January. Except for the part where it freezes and it takes six blocks to brake.

The rain and warmth softened up the thick later of snow and ice that had built up on the sidewalk. It didn't impede safe walking - sometimes snow has purchase that a slick icy bare walk does not. But the snowpack had to come up. Wife did some chopping while I shoveled the walk, advancing one foot at a time. Anything more and the shovel's load would be too heavy to lift and toss.

A man walked past on the street.

"You have a lot of sidewalk," he said.

"I have a lot of sidewalk," I said.

I have to give a speech Tuesday and I'm thinking I might have to do it sitting down. Or, start chewing Aleve again.

LATER: turns out I can still walk and I'm not sore at all. Famous Last Words no doubt, but it occured to me that I actually found a practical application for all the working out. And it was miserable. Also, it's snowing again.

This is a litmus test of sorts.


What do you think about the logo? Without doing any research, mind you. "A meeting of Aliens who like the movie Monolith Monsters"? Or straight-forward devilishness?

I am no fan of the airy-minded utopians at the WEF, but I don’t think they’re lighting red candles to the Prince of Lies before the curtain goes up. Still, this seems a bit on the nose, as they say. First, that they have police. Second, that their logo seems to be two capering demons.


When this popped up on Twitter most of the replies were OMG THEY’RE NOT EVEN HIDING IT. I figured there had to be an explanation, and indeed there is. It’s the insignia of the local police, who are doing security for the event, so it’s not WEF POLICE. The local police are from the Kanton Graubünden.


Let’s see what their patches look like.


Looks more like a creature that roams the alps, no? Googling a bit more . . . ah. In the square above is the flag of the canton. Those are the heraldic arms of the three leagues that bound together to fight the Catholics. One of them used the Alpine Ibex as their symbol, and that’s what made it on the police logo.

One person noted this in the replies to the tweet, and everyone else went on talking about Baphomet, a deity "allegedly worshipped by the Knights Templar."

Of course, if the WEF didn't want you to know what they were really up to, that's just the symbol they'd use for their patch, to discredit the people who had figured them out, or something.








Everyone knows Columbo. Everyone loves Columbo! I watched it when I was a kid. I think? I mean, I knew his tics, and more importantly, knew that Columbo was awesome.

But I couldn’t tell you one thing about it, except for the cliché. The one more thing. The rumpled overcoat, which seems an odd choice for California weather. So I called it up and began, with the first episode.

I’m one season in. It’s overrated.

Did the skies open and lightning strike me dead? Let me explain. It’s great. It’s consistently enjoyable. It’s a delightful watch, every ep. Columbo, the character, and Falk’s performance, are not overrated; he’s jst perfect in every scene. But the scripts in the first season drop off rather quickly, and you get that old feeling of 70s dreck. Don’t get me wrong. I love it. I will burn through the entire series. Let’s set all that aside.

Although I will note that the first season is so early 70s that William Windom appears twice.

What gives me hives is the music - not because it’s bad, but because I’m really unable to judge it. This was the soundtrack of my Fargo basement TV youth, and I don’t like it. The flutes. The timbales.

  Everything sounded like this.

Younger people have no idea how much everything sounded like this.

It is a great piece of cultural history, for unintended reasons. All the things that were normal then, but stick out now. Never mind the fashions and interiors - that’s a given. It’s things like this.

At a certain point this became obscure. What are those islands? What are those booths? At a certain point there will pass from the earth everyone who ever flipped up one of those thick tomes with the heavy covers.

Another airport detail:

Looks elegant, no? Eh. It’s Host. There was a time when every food option in airports was Host. Marriott bought them in 1981. They sold it for almost a billion in 1999. And now there are none? Or did it all morph into something else with diverse forward-facing brands, and we just don’t know that the dry heart of Host beats beneath?

Since we’re at the airport, we might take a look at the plane . . .

Ah. The 707. Looked larger in the ads.

One early ep has a scene at a house in the hills. Nice pool.

Hey. Hey wait a minute, is that . . . it is!

The famous Stahl house. In fact, one of the most famous houses of the post-war era, a symbol of a new American paradigm.

I don’t think they anticipated that it would be used in a scene where a dead sunbathing beauty was deadlifted from a chaise lounge.

More to come; the series is quite the time capsule.






It’s 1924. We’re looking at ads from the StarTribune newspaper.

Has January through July left your back all cocked up?

Actual Minneapolis testimonials! N. P. Nelson, Feed Mill manager, lived at 2815 24th Av S. Nothing there now. Mrs. Board Pederson (?) 611 1/2 17th Av S. Again, nothing there. Could’ve been obliterated in freeway construction.

  “I say we need a hyphen.”
“I don’t. Why do we need a hyphen? Oh, I get it”

What a novel idea: mail your check to the phone company!

So people took the streetcar downtown and paid it off in person, eh. That would take half a day.

Head up to the Frock Shop on the second floor for those new pin-tucked styles that completely obscure the female form, Chinese-wise, but did nothing about your drainpipe neck:

Donaldson’s, I think. You could get it in bengaline!

Bengaline is a rayon-and-cotton material which became fashionable for women and children to wear in the 1880s and 1890s. It offered the impression of genuine silk but was made with lesser amounts of silk than cotton. Lizzie Borden stated at her December 1892 inquest that she was wearing a dress made of bengaline silk on the morning she was accused of murdering her father and stepmother.

The Wonder Junior:

The electric company took every opportunity to sell appliances, and broaden the use of time-saving labor-saving appliances. There was an electrical department at the annual home show, full of these gadgets. It would also be a spur to fully electrify your house, since not everyone had juice everywhere. It was like getting high-speed internet. A luxury, then suddenly a necessity.


Juckem! An empty lot now. The name doesn’t come back with anything relevant.

"Formerly 215 South 8th street," in case you went there and the place was gone. Don't say you weren't advised.


If you get it at Nagel’s it’s right! Tennis balls and murder weapons.

As we've learned over the years, stores had a custom logo drawn by experts who usually excelled at artistic penmenship.



Finest "matched and shaded" 5-lb-test choppers:

Underwhelming assortment today, I guess, but representative of the era! He said, compensating.

Now two ways to chip in!

That will do for today. I leave you now with the last of the dreadful Mickey, the Printer's Devil. Lots of dead people in the comics this week.




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