I've always thought of this as the Dr. Strange Room. It has the peculiar lines of the good Doctor's Sanctum Sanctorum, according to Steve Ditko. Did I finish the second movie? I'm not sure I did. I might have hit the Excess Quip Point, or EQP, which all Marvel movies seem to have right now. Something horrible and traumatic has just happened, and now it's done, and there's a beat, and then someone makes a smart remark. No hero in a Marvel movie is ever terrified or unmanned. No one ever snaps back "for God's sake, look at the death and destruction, the rubble of the world. And you joke? What woeful lack, what cold and barren tomb where your heart should be!"

"That was pretty good imitation of early Thor, Cap"

"Thanks, I've been working on it. HEADS UP!"

And then a monster appears and chops a 40-story skyscraper in two.

Dr. Strange was one of my favorites when I was growing up. He had the best rival: The Dread Dormammu. His head was on fire, all the time, which was impressive. But he was master of a realm, and when in battle against Strange - the usual oaths about the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth, the splay-fingered conjuring of jagged light shields, the bursts and spells - he was weakened, and his diminished power meant that the Mindless Ones could penetrate the border of his world and lay waste to his subjects. He left the battle to fight the invaders, and Strange realized that he cared for his people - whereupon I think Strange helped him defeat the Mindless Ones.

We did love a good team-up, we did.

Unless it was Strange and Baron Mordo. We hated that guy.


It was Monday. It was rainy in Minneapolis. My cubicle partner is absent. The boss is working from home. I had just finished my morning writing and was about to check today’s Twitter Issue. (Sound of a finger tapping on a phone) Scott Adams.

If you heard that in the voice of Jack Webb, good for you.

  This formulation is tiresome. What's a newspaper? Someone asks that question, you are permitted to look at them with a look of concern and confusion.

What do you mean? You don't know what a newspaper is? Particularly odd coming from a newspaper cartoonist.

Here’s the thing about the Adams situation: he is under no obligation to explain why he said what he said, but this constant gaslighting about context, and how we’re all brainwashed and hallucinating because we took the clip at face value - it’s annoying. I haven’t the time to find the clip and listen to the five minutes before and after to find out the context. I know he plays Thought Experiments and does Manipulation Exercises, so I’m willing to consider that he said “that’s not what I believe at all, but it’s an extrapolation of what some might say if the poll had a different answer,” or something like that. I listened to 20 minutes of the Hotep Jesus interview, which was pinned on his twitter feed, and the conversation about the failure of the educational establishment and reparations were interesting, and hardly hateful. But I’m not going to do homework.

And then there’s more back-and-forth about the Lab Leak Theory, with some bright bulbs saying the media had to back off the notion because some were using it as a justification for Sinophobia and Anti-Asian attacks. Better to go with the disgusting market that had bloody fly-blown carcasses hanging six blocks from the bio lab! No wait. A bat sneezed somewhere. Anyway it DOESN’T MATTER. STAY SAFE.

I noticed this was still on the floor of the snacketeria today.

You might ask: does it come up easily? Gee I wouldn’t know

Anyway. There are different possibilities: 1. Arose in the wild, was being studied, leaked out; 2. Was engineered as a bioweapon, leaked out; 3. Was engineered as a bioweapon, was intentionally dispersed; 4. Was the result of gain-of-function research funded by China and the West to understand the virus and employ countermeasures, and was also watched by the Chinese military for possible bioweapon use, and it got out by accident.

The last one seems to be the most likely. What with your furin inserts and arse-covering and the wisdom of assigning colossal bad stuff to a zesty blend of individual and individual errors, instead of deeeeviious supervillain plots. But that was a conspiracy theory.

Am I being an unreasonable man in either of these cases?

Well, everyone likes to think they’re reasonable, I suppose.









I have more clips from the "Hello, Tomorrow" show that paint a retrofuture world more attractive than ours, in so many ways. I wish the show was as interesting as its look. This is why we binge, I suppose - you just slip into a groove, inhabit a world, and exhaust it in a couple of sittings. Space it out, and the flaws stand out. I got sidetracked by Amazon's "The Consultant," which is a creepy dark comedy powered by the enigmatic performance of Christopher Waltz. Week by week it would pale. In two sittings, it's a delight. Best of all, I think it ends! Like, really ends!

Or does it? You go online to ee if there's a season two, and there's just speculation.

Anyway. The Columbo show gave work to a lot of actors who hailed from a previous era, and gave them good roles. If nothing else it was nice to see them working again.

  Lew Ayers! The man was in “All Quiet on the Western Front,” for heaven’s sake.
  His adversary: Jose Ferrar, with all his usual superior sarcastic amusement.
  There’s a troubled youth, and of course it’s Charlie X. Even though he was in his 30s by now.

I’ve talked about this guy before: His father was Robert Walker, best known perhaps for Strangers on a Train.

This could be a jump-the-shark moment for Columbo, but it wasn’t.

The boy genius character was named Steven Spell-berg, an obvious nod to the other boy genius.

Now, the fun part. IMDB trivia:

The main computer room scenes are made up of old sets from The Andromeda Strain (1971). This is clear by the entrance door with the two rectangular warning lights above the door. Also above the rectangles are two blank circles where in The Andromeda Strain these were a clock and a countdown counter.

Well, I’ll be damned.






It’s 1915.

This is fascinating: not an ad for bread but an ad for a bread advertising company. Schulze. Before you advertise, consider getting in on the Big-Dandy concept!

As for the company, well:

Schulze, with its signature Butternut Bread, eventually became Interstate Bakeries Corporation/Hostess Brands.

Imagine if the Twinkie had been called something else - smaller than a loaf, and portable! The Handy Dandy.

The factory should makes us all weep, that we do not demand this today:

An act of civic philanthropy.

“It’s really strange they’re not made oftener.” Anyone in your firm ever figure out why?

I hope the recipe wasn't handed to a gullible young person who ended up with 100 pounds of dough.


Mince-wise it is so BLAMED good, says Mr. A. Wise Baker. It's packed wet!

The internet says Atmore was making mince meat as late as 1948.




American Diamalt! Accept no German Diamalt.

Cool logo, but like many logos of the day, somewhat unnerving to modern eyes.

This version seems 23% less moronic.


So the last one just leaps into the void, I guess

Doesn’t seem completely automatic.

Hmm: not a name that’s remembered around here. Russell-Miller was a huge operation, but now its memory is overshadowed by the big boys - or rather the big brands that still exist.

Started in Valley City; ended up becoming Peavey, a name we still know around these parts.


It’s always uniform.

Insist on uniform sugar.


The refinery can be seen here. If it smelled like a sugar beet plant, it was not a sweet neighbor. When the sugar beet plant was going full blast and the wind wafted into the neighborhood, people barfed on the spot. In their car, standing by the window in the kitchen, outside watering the lawn. Total instant barf.

The refinery was a huge complex, but ended up as warehouses, and then was demolished in 1967 for a freeway. A depressing area now.

Of course, it might have been depressing then, too.

The accurate divider that does not injure the dough! Built like a battleship . . . runs like a watch.

Jaburg had a plant on Staten Island. The building listed on the ad still exists.

The complexity and ingenuity of their machines is always a delight. I’m sure it was noisy and smoked and broke from time to time, but there were men who decided to automate the process of loaf dividing, and by God they did it.

Now two ways to chip in!


That'll do for this, but now we return to our survey of forgotten newspapers comics. Today: a very big name.



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