I discovered something very cool just a few minutes ago, and made haste to append it to the bottom of the site. Noooo, don't go scrolling down. You'll have to experience it at the proper pace.

Not much to say about a rote Monday. Went out on an evening errand, and wondered if Walgreens was open. The sign was dark. But they were open. Did they have what I wanted? Nay; the entire category of the item, which was "temporary hair hue adjustments for the aged and vain" was out. I don't think they'd been boosted. This store doesn't have a lot of that, but they have started to lock up things like razors. Just in case. It's a minor inconvenience. You understand. Nothing we can do.

Oh but there's lots we can -

Nothing we can do. Have a nice day.

Walgreens did not have the other thing I was sent to get. Drove to CVS at 8:40. The sign was on! The lights were on! The store was closed. There used to be a sheet of store hours in the window; there's still tape where it used to be. I don't like this CVS anyway. It's an odd place. Spare inventory, odd layout. You get the sense that the store doesn't want to be there.

So off to CUfB, which had the item, and hey, look at this, a sale on bacon! Huge amounts of bacon, and proper thick-cut bacon, too! There must have been a victory at the Malobar front. They had the item. So that was today, besides the writing and the working out and the napping and the driving and the whistling and yakking with co-workers (three in the office today!) and the rest. There was the M&M story, which is all marketing and a grand opportunity for people online to thrash about in their bubbles. If they introduced the McDonalds Grimace we'd be having arguments about normalizing obesity and fat acceptance. There was the moment in the skyway walking home when I heard a song from a group I just discovered and was absolutely transported. There was a moment before midnight when I stepped outside to extinguish the lights in the back and saw a rabbit shoot acoss the length of the lawn in a few seconds, a wild black burst of life that was over before you understood what it really was. And that was Monday.







Again, don’t worry: not a review! I’m not doing a deep-dive into all the Columbos and ranking them with best-to-worst Robert Culp appearances. I will say it’s almost a relief when you come across an ep that is actually bad, in many ways, like “Columbo goes to London and Solves Crimes,” which was bad. Except it had Honor Blackman, who should’ve had a bigger career; absolutely gorgeous. And there was Richard Basehart hamming it up instead of taking on his constipated super-sub expression. AND the fellow who played Henry Higgin’s “roommate.” But gah.

Some other notes: one ep takes place on a construction site, and it’s Century City. A massive pit, dug for the parking garage and the foundations. The villain was a murderous architect who killed his primary backer when he wouldn’t agree to find a big urban office park. Sure, I’ll buy that. Why go to the banks when you can just shoot a prominent local businessman, hide the body in a stable, then drag the stinking remains to the building site and bury him during a routine concrete pour.

A few of them contain large portions of Jack Cassidy, an actor I find fascinating. He has this urbane persona that’s undercut by selfishness and a self-hatred of his own inadequacies, as well as hatred for those who discover them. The Mycroft to Ted Baxter’s Sherlock, if you will. (Really.) Worked both sides of the room, shall we say, in his private life. He went mad and died in a fire from a dropped cigarette. In one scene he is squiring around . . .

Oh, that brings back memories. Janice Pennington, the Price is Right pointer with the minxy grin. Let’s put it this way: if you were a certain age, she was sexier all dressed than the entirely of the Sears bra section.

Anyway. For fans of the show, a question: can you whistle the theme?

No. Because there wasn’t one. At least as far as I can tell. Since it was part of a rotating series of different mysteries, it had no distinct theme. But when you google it or ask YouTube, you do get a theme, used sparingly.

  Pure early 70s, this.

It’s by Gil Melle, who, as a kid, I knew only from the electronic musique concrete theme of The Andromeda Strain.

It’s okay. But it doesn’t hold a smoldering green cigar to the theme that runs through the ep where he shuts down Lee Grant in the Host Marriot airport lounge.

  We hear it as background music . . .
  . . . and then it takes center stage.

This is really the perfect theme for the character. Don’t you think?

Oh, one more thing: a car pulls into a gas station.

Loyola marquee? Well, off to cinema treasures we go.

That is ridiculous. I can't say I like it. But I'd lay down in front of the bulldozer if they wanted to tear it down.






It’s 1936.

“There’s a perfect parallel between the way you make whiskey and the way we go about getting a dog.”

Why, it’s so obvious you can’t believe no one else thought about it.

EVERY DOG WAS PLANNED, says the copy.

Men of distinction who plan their dogs know good whiskey.

It almost sounds like a Jed-Clampett statement of wonder: well if that don't plan my doggies

The ads were gorgeous. The cars were gorgeous.

I can’t tell how many were sold, since GMC had a few brands. 1936 was an uptick year, if I recall; Old Man Depression wasn't so ill-tempered. Productivity and wages were back to 1929 legels. That would change in '37, when a recession hit, and production fell off 30 percent.

Good for that breakfast tipple!

That’s the Striding Man.

The Walkers created their primary marketing strategy in 1908 with advertisements featuring Browne's Striding Man, using the slogan, "Johnnie Walker: Born 1820, still going strong". Photographs replaced the drawings in the 1930s, and the Striding Man was miniaturised to a coloured logo in 1939; it first appeared on the Johnnie Walker labels in 1960. In the late 1990s, the direction of the Striding Man was reversed as part of a "Keep Walking" campaign.

That slogan always seemed a bit threatening. Move along, pal.

Sleep like a kitten. The trains were so smooth they wouldn’t disturb the slumber of a cat.


The logo underwent a modernization that seemed absolutely baffling if you didn’t get the reference. When I finally saw the old ads, and it clicked, I was irritated. Like I’m supposed to know that.


Not the most enlightened image in our vast archives

But it gets the point across. You realize that our ideas of modern design all went mainstream in the 30s, and change the look of society like nothing ever had.

At the same time, throwbacks:

Fine young porkers! Wonder if it tastes the same as sausage today, or if there’s some ineffable difference that would make it seem slightly strange, or off. Or better!

The new is here, indeed.

“Everyone’s still using console radios, and there’s no good reason why. Switch to the end table model! Everyone will have one in a year!"

They didn’t. Why? Less ostentatious? Too few people with modern-styled furniture?


It’s a cruise ship:

The “Santa” vessels were the Santa Rosa, Santa Paula, Santa Lucia, and the Santa Elena. Tiny by modern standards.

They were pressed into wartime service. The Lucia and the Elena were lost in action.

Chances are you’ve seen the Santa Rosa. It was renamed Athinai.

In 1978 she was towed out of layup for use as a film set for Raise the Titanic. After a decade of neglect, and with fittings that did not appear to be out of place on a 1912 built ship, Athinai needed very little conversion work for filming the Titanic's interiors. Her bows were painted to resemble Titanic and she was sprayed with green foam to simulate 68 years on the ocean floor. After the filming she was returned to Phaleron Bay.

Not quite as impressive, but they only care about the ruined interiors.

Speaking of which. The movie:

From a brochure.

Eh, you say, that's not it. Well:

How about that.

Now two ways to chip in!

That'll do! New artist in the Comics Obscura section. See you around.



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