I save a lot of stuff, as you might suspect. Not too many physical things, aside from matchbooks and postcards and the occasional vintage item that seems, for reasons unknown, to be something I need to possess for a while before it re-enters he Great Stream. I don’t mean memes on the phone, which some people regard as an achievement akin to restocking the Library of Alexandria after a fire.

A fire? You say. Don’t you mean the fire, when Caesar set it alight?

First of all, he burned the docks, and the fire spread to the library, or maybe an adjacent warehouse. Second, we don’t know if they had other fires. Someone brushes up against a candle, his tunic goes up, he claws it off and stamps it out - technically, that’s a Fire at the Library of Alexandria. Could’ve happened a lot. In any case, the fire was not the end of the Library’s existence. We don’t know what was lost, though. It would be interesting to go back in time and look at the Science department and realize hoo boy, this is a bunch of nonsense. I mean, Pliny thought amber was fossilized fox urine, or something. Finally, how do you know I don’t mean the Library of Alexandria, Minnesota?

You don’t! That’s what happens when you make an assumption! You make an Ass out of U and Mption! (Sorry, reused line.) If you’re curious, Alexander MN “was named after brothers Alexander and William Kinkead from Maryland. The form of the name alludes to Alexandria, Egypt, a center of learning and civilization.” Could’ve been Kinkea, I suppose.

The Wikipedia article also notes “The city is often abbreviated as "Alex" (sometimes pronounced “Alec”). True. I’ve never called it Alec. Always been “Alex,” but you only say that if you know the other person gets the reference. Alex used to be the half-way point when I took I-94 back and forth to Fargo, and there used to be a highway sign that said Fargo 100 Miles, and underneath. “161 kilometers.” This was part of the big push for Metric, which we all resisted because we didn’t want it and we didn’t need it. Kids viewed all this metric talk with a little alarm, because it would fundamentally change things in ways we couldn’t quite understand but intuitively knew meant the loss of something deeply rooted in the culture, replaced by something imposed by above. But the sign taught me how many kilometers fill a mile. Wonder if the sign’s still there.


Doesn’t seem so. Gone the way of Don, Dean of Tires.

You have to be an old-line Bleat reader to recognize that.

  Before the bypass, you rode 94 into St. Cloud. There was a sign for Don, Dean of Tires, and he looked much scruffier than his newspaper ads. He was wearing academic robes and pointed to a chalkboard with a stick.

Not too many images come up in a search. Hah:


As you can tell, I was doing a Distant City entry.

Anyway, in the course of doing this I now have six more Don Dean of Tires ads clipped and set aside in a folder, and I’m thinking: Royal Tires? DUKE OF TIRES was right there for the taking. So yes, I save a lot of digital stuff. My MacBook’s Desktop syncs with iCloud, so that’s how I keep low-profile / minimally-important things accessible across machines, but it got a bit crowded, so I dragged it all over to the main computer. In the process I lost access to a file that actually was important, being a column due at 6 PM. I only discovered this when I got to the office. So: assume there’s an incomplete version at home, or write another column to make sure I had something to file?

The latter.









The existence of UHF confounded us when we were kids. You have one dial with 13 stations, most of them snow, and then this vast array of possibilities. So many channels! And so much emptiness! You could brrrr through them with a satisfying sound and feel, but your dad told you not to, because it was hard on the channel selector.

Yeah but we'll never use it. We were gentle on the regular channel selector and look, there's a pliers on top of the set.

Below you will find a commercial for some Total Television shows on a UHF station in St. Cloud. (We have a theme today! Also, YouTube is a repository of commercial history. A library! Except that books regularly disappear entirely forever because the person who donated them fell afoul of this or that, instead of catching fire.)

I am posting it because the station's name might have gone over the heads of most of the people in the audience.

Or not. I taught myself how to read them when I was a kid, just to uncover the meaning of those letters on the title card of a Three Stooges short.

Pity the station that had channel 30.







It’s 1962.

Ambitious cross-over episode:

Based on the banana, we can presume the size of the Yogi doll. But that’s out of scale with the box. Unless the standard banana was 25% smaller in those days, which is possible.

For a while Yogi was connected to Corn Flakes. Why they never took advantage of the bird, I don’t know; perhaps he was too stylized, and would have frightened the children if he became alive.


Really, why wouldn’t you want to give your dog this, instead of dry? It’s got GRAVY! You’d want gravy. Never mind how it generates the gravy, it just happens, in defiance of the Felix Unger assertion.

The fins are receding to vestigial nubs.

Nice car, but the era of indistinguishable boxiness is upon them, and it will be decades before the sensuousness metal returns. Even then it’s just the butt-end of a Taurus.

Boil ‘em for ten minutes, and then they’ll be ready for frying! It’s our secret process that uses new, exciting thalidomide!

I wonder how good the instant whipped were. Whether they had real potato flavor, whatever that is.

“Season them to your own taste.” Hey thanks; never would have occurred to me. Any ideas? Salt maybe? Salt might work

It picks the phone you want out of 70 million. That’s a good way of putting it.

Now, of course, this looks like so much work. Oh my God so many nines, I can’t even, I have to sit down and massage my finger

Only Schlitz has the kiss-of-the-hops flavor!

So it's . . . hoppier? And no other beer has it? I seem to remember taking sips of this stuff as a kid, and it was awful. But all beer was awful.

Here's a family who didn't reserve a room ahead of time:

Whew! No fleabag Bates Motel tonight. "Individually designed and decorated," meaning they're all independent, and this is a referral network. Wikipedia:

Quality Courts was converted to a franchise operation in 1963, ending a long-running cross-promotion in which Best Western (a western US referral chain) and Quality Courts (originally an eastern US referral chain) were largely marketed together. The brand still exists as franchised Quality Inn, which is a brand division of Choice Hotels.

There was, for a while, a Best Eastern. It was strange. They had the same iconography, which was western - a rope that surrounded the name of the chain.

Such effortless style, such casual urbanity:

He's not named because . . . it doesn't matter, or the right people would know him, or both? His big movie was a few years away, but the theater types would know him. He died last year, and his last big role was in "Mad Men," where he was generally delightful.

Now two ways to chip in!


That'll do! See you around. Comics Obscura goes back to the subject "getting out the vote," and concludes today with a generous portion.



blog comments powered by Disqus