The picture above is unrelated to anything that follows. I just like it. Took it from the plane, obviously, as we were heading home from Boston to Minneapolis. I never tire of the view. How could you?

I don’t know why I’m surprised that it’s cold, but it is and I am. Or rather I am and it is. Perhaps not surprised but annoyed. Angered would be the wrong word, because that would indicate I am subject to foolish and ignorant passions. Did I not expect this?

We all expect it, but when it arrives, you’re just . . . peeved. Cheesed. You mutter and curse as you walk the blocks from car to office, wondering exactly why you are walking from car to office when you could be at home. Well, because you need to get out and get slapped in the face by a wind that brings the temp down to ten, that’s why, because you deserve it.

On the way to the office I heard one earbud give the tell-tale low-battery warning, followed by the other ear. Oh, they were charged, all right. It was just too cold. At certain temps they just shut down, can’t even pipe sound to your head until you get somewhere warmer.

Then! Then! Upon getting to work I find a piece I wrote two weeks ago is now running soon, and needs massaging. To fact-check an assertion I went to the City Center to eyeball the retail, and decided to take a picture of the triangular hotel from inside. Of course the security guards stopped me.

I was curious, so I asked, in a reasonable voice, what nefarious things they thought I might do with the picture. They said that if I put it up on Facebook someone could see it and use the information to do nefarious things, knowing how the building looked.

I see. So someone who lives here, who is going to do nefarious things, looks on Facebook for a photo, instead of coming here and taking a look?

(Shrugs) It’s policy, all requests for photos have to go through the security desk.

Okay, well, I’m with the paper, and we have many photos of this building, and will be running them in the paper, and on the internet.

And that’s fine.


Because they were approved by security.

I doubt it. They were taken in 1983. No one had to ask security.

Well, it’s a newspaper, it’s not on Facebook.

At this point I said I didn’t blame them, and I knew they were only enforcing policy. (A very stupid policy.)

And then! And THEN! I learned I have two pieces due tomorrow instead of one.

That was my Monday. But at least there’s football tonight.

UPDATE: we lost









I thought I had something here.

This, I think, is a frame grab from the (very good) MTM biography. It’s a different view of the hat-toss, and helps identify where it was - providing she stayed in the same place. The background is the north side of Nicollet Mall, with the Kresge undergoing renovation. Next to it, the modern facade of the Grants store. Down the block, it’s a Three Sisters.

When I saw the women to Mary’s right, I thought . . . that’s her! Moments before, or moments after!


But it’s not. The coat hues, the gloves - it just doesn’t work.

Damnit! That would have been like a pictures of the Beatles standing on the corner before they walked across Abbey Road. Which I’m sure exists somewhere, and is waiting to be "discovered" and sold at an anniversary moment, purchased by some rich old fan, and fussed about as if it's the generational equivalent of the raising of the flag at Iwo.

In related local TV news, there's a new season of Fargo. As I said on Twitter, the opening scene made me hate it so much I turned it off, took the batteries out of remote, go outside, and bury them two feet deep.

It starts out with a slo-mo riot at a school-board meeting over a “Fall Festival” planning session, meant as an IRONIC COUNTERPOINT to the opening definition of Minnesota Nice. It is, of course, ridiculous, and unbelievable. Our heroine gets arrested for tasing a cop, and is taken to jail, whereupon OF COURSE we have to have That Color.

It looks absolutely dreary, with the usual desaturated palette and ugly hues. Also incompetent comic hitmen! It does have a soundtrack that leans heavily on Shining tonalities.

But I promise to stick with it, because I have quit too many things too quickly.

LATER: I hate it less.






It’s 1966.

The “In Crowd.”

Everyone who was in a certain demographic wanted to be part of the “In Crowd.” They knew what was hot, what was cool, what the new thing was. And They were all talking to Buick dealers.

Did it start here? In 1965? Did the tune use the phrase to sum up its audience and intention, or casually coin the term?


We’re looking at newspaper ads, obviously. The new style, in clothing and graphic design, at Burdine’s.

Another long-lamented:

Burdines was an American chain of department stores operating in the state of Florida, headquartered in Miami. The original store opened in Bartow, Florida in 1896 as a carriage-trade shop. Over its nearly 110-year history, Burdines grew into a popular chain of department stores, known as 'The Florida Store,' decorated with palm trees in the center of the store, painted in pink and blue, and other subtropical colors and motifs. In 1956, the stores became a part of Federated Department Stores, Inc. (now Macy's, Inc.)

On January 30, 2004, it was renamed Burdines-Macy's, and a year later, on March 6, 2005, the name Burdines was dropped altogether. The majority of the stores were rebranded as Macy's while a handful closed.

Yes, good move. Everyone is happy to see local nameplates and traditional store names go, replaced by brands tied to a specific city with a completely different culture than your own.


That awful lurking man with the crowbar will be dissuaded when he sees you have a light timer. Curses! Foiled again!

This history site says:

Britts opened Nov. 8, 1962. It was owned by the JJ Newberry Company, which had been known as a five-and-dime retailer in its early days. The first Britts was built in Fort Lauderdale. Newberry chose the name out of 200 suggestions. In 1928, the company had taken over a chain of Britts dime stores in the Pacific Northwest. Newberry wanted a name that was short and easy to remember for its more upscale department store; Britts it was.

It closed in the early 80s, and Target now rules the roost at this location.


I just don’t like 60s mod graphics styles, for the most part.

Another local name that suffered the accustomed fate:

Miami’s first Jordan Marsh store opened downtown in 1956, complete with a swimming pool and a dock. Styling itself “The Store with the Florida Flair,” Jordan Marsh’s sales and profits grew as it opened stores throughout the state — at Sunrise Shopping Center in Fort Lauderdale in 1960, at Colonial Plaza in Orlando in 1962 and Dadeland in 1966 among them. Jordan Marsh wasn’t the dominant store in a market, but it prospered by catering to the upper crust. Its fashion shows were big events where customers sipped champagne and rubbed elbows with couturiers.

Absorbed by Burdine’s - there’s your irony - and closed in 1991.


This was such a stereotype it had to come from actual experience. Bosses would just invite themselves over for dinner, and the little woman would panic because if the roast didn’t turn out right, Fred wouldn’t get that Promotion. The boss was always grumpy and things went wrong but somehow she saved the day, and the Boss went away smiling - really, he’s not such a bad sort when you get to know him. Parting words: Stop by my office tomorrow, my boy, and we’ll talk.” You know what that means!

Detail of a Burdine’s TV ad.

Pop Art is still a going thing, adapted and coopted as quickly as possible.

And it coexists with non-ironic clown presentation.

You’ve heard of Commie-Nazis - now meet the Condo Apartments!

Still around, and unremarkable.

Wrapping up our review of dead brands:

This one went down hard, as we all know. An attempt to copy K-Mart and reach the suburban market. But they were more full-service department stores, a break from the 5-and-10 model. Successful at first; the chain had over 300 stores at its peak.

The Wikipedia account doesn’t really say why it closed, other than its cost-saving plans failed. The market had shifted; the other department stores didn’t have the variety-store taint that still attached to Woolworth, I think.

But we still have the Jingles.


Now two ways to chip in!


That'll do! Enjoy your Tuesday.



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