Big new thing for you today! And it's free. Details at the end.

Something light for the times.

We have a new spirits store in the neighborhood. It is also the old spirits store.

The old one was once the old grocery store, before the grocery store moved to the bowling alley.

The old spirits store had a good wine selection, or so I’m told; I’m too cheap and cannot bring myself to spend $30 on a bottle of wine that will last one night, when I could spend $30 on a bottle of whiskey that will last two. (Jk) Good selection of spirits, and you can sample anything. Lots of craft beers, of course. Everything is more expensive than the suburban stores, because of the taxes. What’s $18 in the burbs is $20 here.

But it’s closer, so sometimes you go there, and also it has a dog as its logo. There used to be a big St. Bernard who hung around the store. He’s gone, but is still part of the store’s spirit. Inasmuch as there is one. I don’t think the same person has waited on me twice in two years. At Infinite Intoxicants in the burbs, I usually get Russian Lady or Chatty Suggestor, or sometimes the Unfriendly One who seems to confuse chilliness and brusque behavior for professionalism. I know the phenotype, and they usually warm up in a half-second if you break script and be nice.

Sometimes you just let them be cold because you don't feel like putting in the effort to make this particular moment 10% more civil.

The old store was a neighborhood institution, but I did all my shopping at Infinite, where the price was lower and you got Points. The local store had a Loyalty Program as well, but they never gave me points for the IPA my wife likes. Why? Because you don’t get points on sale items, and the IPA was always on sale. There was a careworn sign on the cooler that had the sale price, and it was there month after month.

I told the managers on any number of occasions that this was a bad decision, because A) it was obviously a way to get out of paying Points on a popular item, which curries ill will, and B) you lose all the other business you might get from someone who picks up something else. They all just nodded. I'll pass it along. Then one day the policy stopped.

Don’t know why. Anyway, I was happy to see them move to the new location. It’s an old office building that had fallen into disuse, and the area could stand some spiff. Our commercial node is odd. A few restaurants: great! Ah, the Mexican place just closed . . . too bad. Except we went there once, and it was utterly meh. It has been replaced by . . . another Mexican place.

There used to be a movie theater, long ago, and then it was a Blockbuster, and that closed, replaced by . . . Mathnaseum, which will probably go out of business and be replaced by a drug detox center called Methnaseum.

A fantastic grocery store. A building on the corner that’s some sort of medical office. A vet’s. Walgreens built a new store and its old location became . . . an Auto Zone. Oh yippy. Everyone wanted a bakery or a restaurant, and we got a place where you go every third year to buy wiper blades or every five years to get a lightbulb for the car. A Starbucks, of course, in the old Rexall Drug building. A dentist’s office, a CBD store, a gas station, a new building with two stores that both went teats up, one being a Sports Barbershop, the other a boxing gym. Okay.

Another old building that had some automotive purpose turned into a gym, which died after COVID, and a tattoo shop which does not seem to fit the local demo. Two old gas stations converted into a tire shop and a car rental agency. Oh, and a massive autobody shop. It’s just a peculiar mix.

So the new big liquor store was a good sign, and I read that it also had cheese and charcuterie. Stopped in the other day. Got a baaaad feeling about this. The cheese shop is small, 1/5th the size of the grocery store up the street. I guess they figure people will come by for wine and get meats-and-cheese, one stop. The stock is double the old store, which means more standing inventory costs.

Went to the beer in the back. I picked up the 12-pack, and the bar that had all the prices fell off with a clatter. It was held in place by the boxes of beer pressing against it. I would put it back after I got my beer out . . . but I couldn’t.

Imagine a cooler. Two doors. A strip of metal between the doors. The beer was situated so it bumped up against the strip between the doors, and getting it out was impossible, unless you turned it on its side and grasped it with both hands, turned it again so it pushed the adjacent 12-pack to the side, then pulled it out, the cardboard scraping on the metal strip.

There was a clerk helping someone else, and when he was done I said "I already broke the new store" and showed him how I’d knocked the price bar down. He said not to worry, and his expression said this was the 37th time it had happened so far. Then I pointed to the beer in the cooler, the brand I’d just removed, and asked him to try to get it out. Was it just me, or was this ridiculously difficult? He tried and said no. It’s not you. He apologized, and said they were still working out the kinks.

I wanted to say “that’s not a kink. It cannot be unkinked. That is a fatal flaw in the arrangement of merchandise and I’ll bet it’s repeated throughout these coolers,” but I didn’t.

So now I assume I can’t get the beer out without work, so I’m not going to go back anytime soon. Why, when I can get it easily, and cheaper, at Infinite? I’m sure it’s the sort of thing that would drive a business owner to despair, because there are so many details like this, and hey Infinite might be cheaper and easier but do they have a vintage polished pickup stocked with bourbon? Hmm? Doesn’t that count for something? The light fixtures made from old wine barrels?

I wish them well, I really do.

And now . . . the New Big Thing! It's finally here. If you know, you know. If you don't . . .

I will explain. We (meaning, 98% Astrid) did a 12-ep podcast on her mother's career. This is the teaser episode, and tells a typical tale from Peg's llife - but certainly not typical for any of us, since you're probably not likely to be asked to run some flowers over to Marlene Dietrich's house.

Astrid wrote it and plays her mother, since who better knows her mannerisms and ways of telling tales? It's assembled from Peg's letters, interviews, and recollections, and it's just a delight. Again, I had very little to do with this beyond the intros and the occasional interjection, so I'm not biased. I just think it's fun, and and a great break from CRIME podcasts or two guys amusing each other with jejeune political japery.

DO SUBSCRIBE. Thank you! Hope you enjoy it. And by the way, the YouTube versions have extra added graphics to amuse you.



Or get a punch in the snoot.







Since we'll do a Halloween movie next week, the last-week-of-the-month "treat" will run today. And by "treat" I mean . .


Remember, his accomplishments so far equal zero, and he’s down two hench. He started with five, I think.


Last we saw our hero, he’d been clubbed unconscious by a blow between the shoulders, and then boom.

Is that how it happened at the end of last ep? No. As usual, saved by the film editor.

As is the habit in this serial, we go immediately to the Invisible Monster’s lair, where he is bitching about his complete lack of progress to make an Invisible Army to control the community, and then the nation. He believes our hero was blown up, and he’s still angry because he had lots of money on him.





Well, at least that means we can cut right to the end, where the “gang” is knocking over a bank again, with the Invisibility Ray, because frankly they got nuthin’. This time the Monster hijacks a bank car . . .

Carson’s on the scene, of course, since there are never more than 11 people in any serial, and he’s up against Grandpa Gunsel:

(Note: yes, I know the term gunsel meant something else, but it drifted after Falcon.)

Anyway, sux 2b in the Monster posse:

The old classic wince-death. The remaining two guys flee, and Carson gives pursuit. The hench in the back of the truck runs out of bullets, so he naturally figures he’ll create a hazardous driving condition:

As always, the only question: will the villain be arrested and sent away, or die in some ironic and satisfying way?

Now two ways to chip in!

That'll do: off on another week of stuff, and I hope you enjoy it.

Don't forget! Enjoy! Subscribe!



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