As I said yesterday, my new regime - started around last October - is mental as well as physical. No good working out and getting svelte if you’re still dragging around lockboxes stuffed of odorous old ways of thinking. (Maybe “gym bags” instead of “lockboxes” is better.) Why, I’m practically Zen! Release attachments, expect little, be content with what you can control. Also, change the little things. Last week I was really interested in music of a certain type, and this week I’ve no appetite for it. I ran across a tweet that praised Elvis Costello’s “Imperial Bedroom,” and decided to listen to that while working out. To my surprise I learned, once more, that my old turntable was too fast. I had that thing overclocked somehow. Should’ve been suspicious when it could wrap of “Bolero” in three minutes.

Anyway. I met all my low expectations, which produced happiness. Also learned something new about technology. For the last few days on the way from car to office, my earbuds have died. First one, then the other. Not even the sad tootley “small robot falling down the stairs” sound. Just nothing. I thought they weren’t charging, but it turns out it’s too cold for bluetooth. Well, for the AirPods. They just shut off. It was four degrees, and they weren't having any of that.

According to Apple, this is normal. It will be a problem tomorrow as well, so I will have to stride in silence, alone with my thoughts, like "tootley is not a word, but it accurately describes the dead battery sound. Tootly is wrong, because it connotes a few sharp notes on a horn. Tootle-y is a series of notes that tumbles.

  No, that's not the right word.

It's not a toot-adjacent sound at all. It's not a T sound, it's DT sound. It's also one of the most infuriating sounds ever crafted by the mind of man. It's apologetic but you cannot argue with it.

Yes, very little happened today. Why do you ask?


I've changed the banner here, because it's really unfair to imply there's any sort of "connection" between our starting point and the end, and even the hint of the existence of the Great James Burke is inappropriate.

So: another account of an internet peregrination, as we go . . .

  How do we get from the Bolsters to . . .
  This place, via Dungeons and Dragons?

First, let's meet the Bolsters. They appeared in a few Quasicomics, the ads at the bottom of 1948 Sunday funnies.

  Mom and Pop Bolster have been out shopping, and return to some bad news.

The Distant City, the bindle, the kindly bald grocer. It's all there.

Bolster Bars were a product of NECCO, the New England Candy Company, known now for the poker-chip wafers no one likes. Wikipedia:

Necco was an American manufacturer of candy created in 1901 as the New England Confectionery Company.

The company was best known for its namesake candy, Necco Wafers (originally called "Hub Wafers") dating back to 1847. Other prominent products have included its seasonal Sweethearts Conversation Hearts, and brands such as the Clark Bar, Haviland Thin Mints and Sky Bar.

No word on their Wikipedia page about the Bolster. I’m guessing the trademark elapsed, because this company makes something called the Bolster. As does this company.

As for the Sky Bar, omeone has a keen interest in the subject, and has updated its wikipedia page accordingly:

A Sky Bar candy bar is shown twice in the 2009 film The House of the Devil. Early in the film the Samantha Hughes character (Jocelin Donahue) opens and begins to consume a Sky Bar while in her college dorm room. Later, during her babysitting job, she's shown eating an already opened Sky Bar (presumably the unfinished candy bar from earlier).

Presumably. I’m surprised there’s no “Citation needed” or big debate about the assertion. The fedora brigade is really slacking off here.

In Dimension 20: The Unsleeping City, Sky Bars are a key plot point. Sofia Lee, played by Emily Axford, buys two Sky Bars, afterwards smooshing one into the ground as a sacrifice to her dead husband and eating three segments of the other offering the last one to her mentor.

What the hell is Dimension 20?

Dimension 20 is a tabletop role-playing game show produced by CollegeHumor, and generally hosted by Brennan Lee Mulligan as the show's regular Dungeon Master. Most of the games use Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition.

Seasons of the show alternate between major campaigns, featuring a returning cast of players with fifteen or more episodes, and side quests with rotating guests lasting ten episodes or fewer.

There are 117 episodes, as of this writing. I had no idea such things existed. I will never watch any of it.

Wellllllll I'm not the target market here, so never mind.

Anyway, back to NECCO.

In May 2018, Necco was sold for $17.33 million to Round Hill Investments LLC, run by billionaire C. Dean Metropoulos; Round Hill Investments then went into a bankruptcy auction in May, 2018, with Spangler Candy Company being the winning bidder.

C. Dean Metropoulos bought, and flipped, Pabst beer and Bumble Bee Tuna. His son bought the Playboy Mansion for $100 million. I did not know that it was built for the son of the founder of the Broadway department store chain in Los-Angle-ees.

The retail heir son sold the chain in the 20s, and Bog knows what he did until he died in 1959. His address at the time of death was the mansion, which means that Hef picked it up the same year.

And that’s how we got from the Bolsters to Playboy, via Dungeons and Dragons.













Colville, WA. Saaaalute.

OUMB, taking the form of the local office for the brutal alien race that has colonized Earth and put control stations in every hamlet:

A real Joy Chateau here.

Leftover from its demolished neighbor.

Not entirely unwelcome 21st century attempt to bring back the old Main Street look, updated with new rhythms.

See, just like it used to be, with different facades! It’s just like the classic view of the small-town street, except designed by a mad man.

Extrusion School on an OUMB.

The thin brick is always attractive, though. Brings a crisp rigor to the plain walls.



Another tree photobombing a perfectly fine classical structure.

Apparently they thought better of it; this is the most recent view.

Yes, less foliage, less shade, but more CITY.

I don’t know why the cornice’s right side is missing the ornamental touches you see on the left. Or why the left has fewer columns. Design decisions that went to the grave with the architect and client.

Can we assume that the second floor had windows like the third, and they were altered? The brick suggests so.

Oh God

The dreaded Metal Buckaroo and 60s/70s arched windows. Looks like it wants to be painted red, so it can cosplay as an Italian chain restaurant.

Later: even more brown.

Sad, but still cool.

Cinematreasures says it was opened in 1927, and renamed in 1938; I expect that’s when it was renovated. That’s not a 1927 design. Almost but not yet, not out in the hinters.

Sometimes if no one touches it, it ends up being better than everything they tried to improve over the years.



It’s gone. Did it fall off? Was it stolen? It can’t have been junked, can it?

Of course it could've.

Now two ways to chip in!

That should hold you until tomorrow. Pretentious Google Streetview grabs await.




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