New Private Life of Peg Lynch ep today! Link here, embed at the bottom.

Phone rings at 8 PM: it’s the electrician company, telling us they’ll be by at 7 AM to fix the lamp by the steps. It was a message left on wife’s phone. Seven AM, eh? No. So I called back and told them this was too early, because I had a lot of work to do and would be up late, and let’s try for after 8 on another day.

I spoke to a scheduler / dispatcher / whatever and she made the note. My parting words: so they’re not going to show up at 7, right?

“That’s correct. Someone will call you back to reschedule.”

When I looked at my phone I saw they’d left a message for me at 8 as well, and it said:

“For training purposes, please be informed that your in-home appointment might be audio recorded.”

Okay, well, no? And I’m expected to think you use these recordings for training? Sit down, Bob, and listen to this series of mutterings and sighs as Jack tries to figure out what the hell this mess of wires leads to.”

Dog barks at 6:55. I ignore and go back to sleep because I’m really tired. Phone rings at 7:05 to tell me the electrician is here. I am curt about it. They do not leave so I go downstairs and try to tell them what I need done, and I literally cannot find the precise words because I am so exhausted.

I cleaned the windows over the weekend. There are 44 windows.

This was achieved with a hose and a bottle of Windex. You hook the bottle up to the hose, spray out the cleaning fluid, then set the nozzle to rinse. Ah, but this year I had a new assistant: a 12-foot pole, which you can use in situations where not touching something with a 10-foot pole isn’t enough. It had a brush and squeegee on the end. It took two hours, with frequent breaks, but everything sparkles, and I did not fall off the ladder.

When it was done my wife asked if I could fix the windows I’d just cleaned. How? They don’t stay up. Two weeks ago we disassembled them to clean the inside, and now they didn’t stay up. Hmm. Well. They fit together, they slid up and down, everything clicked into place, don’t know what the problem could be.

Let us google it. Ah DAMMIT no I do not want a video. I want written advice. After three videos I saw something that might be relevant: a fellow was demonstrating the way to reset the springs that controlled the up-down-sticking function. You take a screwdriver, insert, turn, and it resets.

This I did. The resulting sound was like a Warner Brothers cartoon effect: a gunshot and a boiiiinnnng. I showed the procedure to my wife with the usual preamble: in case I am hit by a car and you are on your own here with the windows, this is what you do. When I turned the screw she jumped half a foot.

Speaking of Warner Brothers: I have watched them all, and there are many I know by heart. I am not one of those superfans who drools over the early stuff, or the musical numbers that feature the best-sellers of the day crooning popular songs. I have a particular period I like the most, because they’re the best. I haven’t watched them in a long time, though. Picked up a few last week as a nightcap.

In between today and the time I immersed myself in the study of Toons, subset Looney, I have listened to a lot of Jack Benny radio shows, and subsequently have come to identify Mel Blanc with those characters. So it’s a bit disconcerting to hear how much Mr. Blanc was all over those WB cartoons, and how he used the same voices over and over. I mean, I don’t care, and it doesn’t matter, and he was an absolute genius, but it does make you wonder if there were others they could’ve used. It’s like my question about old radio: did people at the time notice that the stable of radio actors in the late 40s - 50s was small, and the same guys and gals were appearing on show after show?

With the cartoons it probably didn’t matter, and there was a happy familiarity when they heard Mel voice a character. I’m just wondering how different it could’ve been if the two mice who tormented Claude the Cat were voiced by someone else.

I'd say more BUT it was a Vikings night at the Giant Swede's with Hercules, not Ulysses, the Crazy Uke. Don't know why I called him the U word. Your basic three-syllable classic lit swapout error.








The Fall of the House of Usher is one of those Poe tales you’ve heard about, but probably haven’t read. I’m not saying that as someone who knows the tale intimately and holds in mild contempt anyone who doesn’t - I saw a movie version decades ago, and heard a few radio adaptations. It’s one of those evocative titles, though, so I paused when I saw it on the Netflix pane.

Watched the first ep, and was amused by two things: One, someone obviously said “what if we did ‘Succession,’ but supernatural.” And by “Succession” I mean rich people having problems while an energetic and disturbed string ensemble saws away as the paparazzi snap their pictures. It’s so obvious.

Two, you have to laugh when you see the nameplate of the chief lawman who has been investigating the Usher family: C. Auguste Dupin. Okay, so we’re going full Poe here, just throwing it all into a poe-pourri. (Sorry.) Dupin had nothing to do with the House of Usher, and he was not a member of the government, and he wasn’t Black, and he wasn’t gay. But what the heck, he is now.

A raven shows up at the end.

One ep in, and it reminds you that “Succession” had masterful dialogue and characterizations. While this is good, it isn’t that level, and the distinction is keenly felt because it obviously wants to perform at that level, and perhaps believes that it does, or can convince some that it is.

Oh, does it have The Color? Well of COURSE it does.

The gravel-voiced family Fixer guy, with more of THAT COLOR:

Mark Hamill, who's . . . not very ominous at all. Well, let's flashback. Surely in a retro throwback we won't see The Color:

Stuff animal and toddler dish. Okay, let's go back to the present, to the hospital:

Seems like an ordinary hospital-room color.

Again: if this is a color of foreboding and off-putting people, why is it all over the cheerful commercials?






It’s 1919.

The Standard Pneumatic Action company chose a logo that seemed to imply it cost a lot:

For heaven’s sake, look at the complexity of this thing. It’s a marvel, but now often did it break?

Euphona Inner Players!

The Euphona was considered one of the best of its time, and Cable had a good rep - so the internet sites about old pianos suggest. As you might suspect from the name, it’s a player piano, and a restored number will set you back $27K today.

The inventor’s name is the product name. A bit odd, no? Because he was known for so many other things, like light bulbs and movies. “Turn off the Edison so we can watch an Edison, and then we’ll listen to the Edison.”

Worked on shell-shock, it seems.

The big hit of the day:

Judge for yourself.


And we think nonsense lyrics came later? No, this was the heyday, what with Ta-ra-ra-boom-dee-ay and all.

Can’t find it, but its famous predecessor appears on YouTube.

I swear this is familiar. As if was somehow used in the 60s to indicate old-timey things.

Class music! Not that cheap low-down trash tunes, where they talk about brazen ankles in the noonday sun


FDR in his early days as a male model:

Sheet music was big business. You had to assemble the song yourself, but the know-how was much more common than today.

I think I’ve run this before - the color ad in the magazine, showing the gay delights one could have if you bought their player-piano rolls. Everyone will dance, and no one will give a care for the explosion in town that killed dozens, and whose choking cloud has filled the sky in the distance!

They loved their big clouds in the 20s.

Now two ways to chip in!


As promised. (Note: this looks odd on my end. Link is here for the full version with the art to accompany the story.)




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