The Storm of Horrors had not appeared by Tuesday nightfall, and the morning brought clear skies. I checked the weather app. No snow predicted until 2 PM, but after that, nellies should be whoa'd. The door should be barred, so go tell Katie. Well, let’s go in to the office, work, work out, go home.

The highway was slow. The lanes were indistinct. Parking was easy, although you suspect the streets that have nothing but open spots at the meter, and everything’s plowed. Something says you shouldn’t park there, because they towed everyone! You know that’s not the case. In fact this is a perfect place to park, because it’s obviously plowed. But it’s like a trap. It’s too obvious.

Found a spot, started walking, thinking: this isn’t too bad. Wind comes up: oh right. This isn’t too good.

Office is completely deserted. Make coffee. Sit. Get to work.

LATER - NOON I saw something on reddit about Red Bull filming an event at the IDS Center. A guy doing tricks on his bike. Why not amble over?

Boy the excitement is off the charts

LATER - 1:48 PM It has begun, twelves minutes ahead of schedule. Light flakes. The leading edge. Best leave now; the meter expires in half an hour anyway.

LATER - 5:01 Steady snow since two. But it’s rather light.

That’s fine; I’m sure it’ll start coming down heavy any time now.

LATER - 6:45 It has stopped snowing

I'll update you tomorrow. Remember, we were supposed to get 30 inches. Everything was cancelled. The gym's closed on Thursday. School went online for Thursday. People online are oddly irritated about it all, because some were rooting for a "historic" storm, and others, and feel cheated by the hype.

Maybe I'll wake to two more feet on the ground, and breakfast will be eggs and crow. We'll see.



Our weekly example of the happy pasttime of our era: clicking and clicking with no objective in mind. Where do we start? Where do we go? And how . . .

  . . . do we get from here . . .
  . . . to there? And what if that's only the halfway point?

Last year at Christmas my wife made a batch of Walnettos. I think we’re entitled to call them that, even though the trademark is owned by someone else. We live in the house built by a candymaker who invented the Walnetto, and I’m sure his shade would be delighted to know that batches of the confection were made in the year of our Lord 2022.

I would later learn that Peter Paul, the company that bought the Walnetto brand long ago, had some spinoffs.

Choclettos. Coconettos. I don’t think they were too popular. The Walnetto declined in popularity after the Peter Paul takeover, and brand extension may have been the reason.

Of course they returned to the public consciousness when Laugh-In, that generally dreadful show, used them as a catchphrase. Wanna Walnetto, said Arte Johnson’s dirty-old-man character. I did not know his character had a name: Tyrone F. Horneigh. Ha ha. Laugh-In was probably Johnson’s high-water mark, but you wouldn’t know for sure unless you checked his wikipedia page. What’s there?

Johnson appeared three times in the 1955–1956 CBS sitcom It's Always Jan, starring Janis Paige and Merry Anders. In 1958 he joined the cast of the short-lived NBC sitcom Sally. On that program he played Bascomb Bleacher, Jr., the son of a co-owner of a department store, portrayed by Gale Gordon.

Well, I bet we can find those opening credits . . . ah.


Janis Paige, as of this writing, is alive, having turned 100 in 2022. Her wikipedia page notes that she once accused the heir to the Bloomingdale’s department store of sexually assaulting her when she was 22.

Okay, so this went dark rather quickly; surely that’s as bad as it gets -

Alfred Schiffer Bloomingdale (April 15, 1916 – August 23, 1982) was an heir to the Bloomingdale's department store fortune, "father of the credit card", and the lover of mistress Vicki Morgan.


In August 1969, whilst still 17, Morgan met 54-year-old financier Alfred S. Bloomingdale, a married multi-millionaire from the famous department store family, in a restaurant on the Sunset Strip. Bloomingdale soon took Morgan as a mistress, and would have her watch as he lashed naked prostitutes with his belt.

When Morgan was 18, Bloomingdale offered Lamb a large cash payment to end his marriage with Morgan. Bloomingdale provided an apartment for her.

As Bloomingdale's mistress, her social circle would include politicians, businessmen, and the wealthy playboy Bernie Cornfeld. With Bloomingdale's financial support, she lived a lavish lifestyle. In 1973, Bloomingdale's wife, Betsy, learned of Bloomingdale's affair and told him to break off the relationship. He complied, and Morgan spiraled into poverty and depression.

She got hooked on smack and worked as a prostitute. But in 1979 . .

she entered rehabilitation, where she met Marvin Pancoast, a gay man who was infatuated with Morgan and her stories of the high life she led with Bloomingdale. They vowed to live together once released from treatment. Three years later, Bloomingdale was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He purportedly told Morgan that he had only two months to live and assured her she would be well cared for and never have to worry about money again.

She wasn’t. She sued for palimony. In 1983 Pancoast beat her to death with a baseball bat. Died in prison of AIDS in 1991.

Back to Arte, though.

Johnson is best known for his work on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In from 1968 to 1973, on which he played many characters, including "Wolfgang," a cigarette-smoking German soldier oblivious to the fact that World War II was long over, as he skulked while hidden behind a potted plant. He would then invariably comment on a preceding gag with the catchphrase "Very interesting ...," which Johnson claimed was inspired by a Nazi character who spoke the line during an interrogation scene in the film Desperate Journey (1942).

We understood at the time that he was a Nazi, right?

Johnson reprised the role briefly on Sesame Street in the early 1970s

HOL UP as they say.

And of course "your suggested videos" bring up something best not remembered:

Let us get even more surreal. Pay attention to what comes at the end:

Lucy? Why are they saying good night to Lucy? Because her show was on another network at the same time.

Annnd that's enough.











Five thousand souls. Nickname: "Art and Soul of Mississippi." Wikipedia:

Middleton, Mississippi was a town that developed in the 19th century two miles west of Winona's site. Some locals consider it the predecessor to Winona. After the railroad was built to the east of Middleton, development shifted to what became Winona, bypassing Middleton.

Some locals. Just ask them. Oh yes, no question, they were the preceding town.

I frequently wonder why I start where I start, or clip the things I clip. For example: this isn’t particularly illuminative.

Nor is the second, unless I’m trying to give a scale of the place, and where the main street ended up. In this case . . .

Ah, now I know what I was doing. The first picture is the depot, and the tracks are gone. Which says something, I suppose. I like to follow the marks the rails made on the land, watch the old scar wander between tiny towns. But I'll spare you that today.

“What color should we paint the brick?"


“Okay. What red?”

“Brick red. But with a little something extra. I want the building to say tomato soup lightly diluted with cream.”

Never ornate, until it last days, when it received an unexpected upgrade to small-town elegance on the cheap.

Big sign on the side:

Can’t tell what it was, though.

Some words you hate to see removed.

Man, this town really took it in the neck.

Somehow the brick planter did not revive the city’s retail fortunes.

Fine clothing does not go with a Buckaroo revival awning.

At least on this one everyone eventually agreed.

Wonder if a Coke rep every saw the sign and the new pipe and complained. Aw hell, Frank, don't sweat it, everyone still knows what it’s sellin’.

The entrance looks like it got a spiffied up in the 30s:

The name in the tile: always a sign of confidence.

No matter how hard you try, the original purpose cannot be concealed.

It’s miserable, what they did. Just awful. At least the signage survived - and it’s not often you see something that says they didn’t hire a pro.

Odd shot; looks as if they applied a blur filter to everything except the old sign.

At some point they slapped on the stucco, but left the sign part uncovered. The Double Cola guy, he came by a lot, and he would sue.

15 Unique third floor. It’s like the building stopped, drew itself a cornice, then found its second wind and pushed upward again.

See above about "purpose concealing." Can't be done.

Is that the base for the brand's old sign?

Nice to see it’s looking good and still in business.

This one still carries the wall of its neighbor. What sort of ungainly decorations did it have? Look at the stone piled between the first and second floor.

Sometimes it’s hard to feel too sorry for old downtowns when these things were obviously done by the people who live there.

Star-Trek-set gate. Lord knows how long it’s been boarded. But fresh flowers!

And shrubs! That’ll bring downtown back.

“Mister Ed? He lives upstairs now.”

If it had some windows, you’d think it’s our Obligatory Ugly Modern Bank.

But it’s a church.


Now two ways to chip in!

Five pretentious Google Street View additions below. See you around. More of the big storm tomorrow! Minute-by-minute coverage!





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