I ran out of dishwasher pods. This has never happened. Well, to be honest, it hasn't happened yet. There's one in Special Reserve for those moments when I discover that I haven't stocked up. Can't be used, though. EVER. No, amend that - when I restocked, I could use the emergency pod, as long as it was replaced and stored away instantly, in the stocks.


  The pods are kept in this container, which I've had for 21 years.

How do I know how long I've had it? Because the Electrosol page of the Jetsons wiki says it came out in 2002. The Jetsons were one of those cultural constructs that came and went, ebbed and flowed, resurrected for no particular reason other than fading Boomer nostalgia for footie-jammy years. A reminder that so much old culture doesn't go away, but persists in zombie form, its original appeal long forgotten.

Off to Target, then. Did a big restock. The shelves were full, except for paper goods, as if there's a permanent kink in the toilet-paper pipeline.

Now I want to write a song that starts out there's a permanent kink in the toilet-paper pipeline

I can imagine Elvis Costello singing it with rote, detatched contempt, or Nick Lowe singing it with wry amusement. And yes, both were on the Apple Music "For James" playlist today. I made the mistake of clicking "like" or "add" on a playlist of "smooth jazz" and I swear I spent half an hour telling it NO to every other tune. NO. Please, at some point, realize that I do not want every other piece to consist of smooth sax. I am not a receptionist in 1982 getting ready for a date.

Anyway. Also stopped at the loathed CUfB store. Same drill as always in the self check-out. I'm using my own bag, so I hit the button that says "I'm using my own bag."

"Please place bag in the bagging area." This I do. "Unexpected item in bagging area." Gah. Bottom line, I got home, dumped everything out and put it away and noticed . . . the empty Electrasol container. I hadn't bought any. Ah, to hell with it: call up the Amazon app and hit the button, 12% off, delivered tomorrow.

Between 4 AM and 8 AM.

I'll stop there, because I just realized this is column fodder.

Anyway, good day otherwise. No, good day because of this! Fully stocked now, with good deals on bacon. I'm already looking forward to Saturday breakfast.







We return to Columbo research today.

Have you ever started a TV show and decided, in the first frame, that this was made entirely for you?

It’s an Apple TV show called “Hello Tomorrow.” It’s about Florida real-estate salesmen, the guys who go door to door to hawk a new community where life is easy. Except it’s not Florida. It’s the moon. The setting is all 50s retrofuturism, and nothing is explained. When I heard about it, I just figured it was a forked future: say we made a big tech breakthrough in 1922, and everything was sped up afterwards. So you have big Detroit iron, but they’re hovercraft.

Can we find it today? We can.

At one point in the story our beloved dogged, rumpled detective has to go to skid row.

You can tell it's Skid Row because there's a man leaning against the wall in despair.

Today: not so much better.

A reminder why the movie "Tootsie" made sense, and no one thought Dustin Hoffman was cross-dressing:

A few more screengrabs from the retrofuture Apple TV show, "Hello Tomorrow."

This seems to have settled in to public consciousness as the default portable radio shape. It's not a design from the 50s or 60s, but a mdoern "retro" design. It's like this one, which I have.

Should we pay attention to the items in the background? The show's set designers have to know someone will.


What's the most accurate detail here?


  As someone who was there at the time, this is period-accurate, inasmuch as this show has a "period." Squeeze-Pleeze bottles. Also, the napkin dispense that rips half the napkins on the way out.

Finally, another detail:

One of the most influential patterns of the 50s? Maybe influential isn't the right word. Memorable, perhaps.






It’s 1944.

These are taken from a “detective” magazine, so they’re aimed at a particular demographic. The color ad on the back or inside back cover is always the nicest, and it's usually booze.

Schenley, a brand once ubiquitous, now gone.

“You’ll pardon us for our pardonable pride.”


Millions have it! Nothing works! You’ll have it forever!

It has Miconazole Nitrate 2%. Why not four percent? Why not ten?


They had one color inside. This red. Always.

  Red Horse: it’s Peppermint booze. It’s romantic! Dames love it. You’ll find out. If you ever get one back to your room. Which you won’t.

Even if I could, man, the taste afterwards. NO thanks

I wonder if guys got these to tell themselves they could, and they would, but the first time they got under the hood they were confused and angry and disappointed. But at least they picked up a few terms they could use when they took the car to the garage for repairs.

MoToR is still around, doing the same thing, but not using SpongeBob Sarcastic Chicken Posture random capitalization.

Paper packs a war punch!

Paper will win the war! That’s the idea, Mrs. Jones. That’s the spirit. (picture of Hitler being hit in the head with a bundle of scrap paper, complete with stars and Xs in his eyes)

A mystery! Good. Everyone loves a mystery.

Let’s search for clues.

I don’t know what the hell we’re supposed to be looking at, or for.




  I’m going out on a limb and saying it was #8, "The Slayer."


  Aw, dang, it’s not a how-to guide.


Now two ways to chip in!

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



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