DaVinci's nuclear power plant worked, but had some unintented consequences.

Today on the giveaway pile: a Bluetooth speaker and a thumb drive. Who could part with those?

Someone who had correctly ascertained that they do not work, perhaps.

I took the drive and tested it (on a user account I have set up for things I don’t want to get on my main account, wifi disabled, etc) and it was dead. Whew. I really don’t need another giveaway 2GB drive in the shape of the company’s product, which was industrial pipes. You can never have enough backups, of course, but the clutter of thumb drives in the drawer is a curse. The smaller they are, the handier - but easier to lose. The bigger they are in capacity, the more you load them up with backups JUST IN CASE! And then you have to manage and update those backups.

So no. I have 128GB drive I use for shutting things hither and yon, and all the other little drives have scans of necessary family docs and data, and are in a plastic envelope in the “Ah, Crap, Dad’s Dead, Now What” box.

Okay okay I have another 128GB that has a backup of the website and 20GB of video and audio for plane trips

The Bluetooth speaker I haven’t tried yet. It’s cheap. It has a suction cup. I’d never replace the one I have in the bathroom, because it’s a good JBL that makes a great chicka-chow sound when you turn it on, and bada-beep when it connects to the phone. But I’m looking at this thing and thinking “on the wall of the shower in the Cancun resort.” Main travel Bluetooth for the room, this thing for listening to some spoken word stuff when showering.

Now, you might be thinking that it is odd to be standing by the Giveaway Table in a major metropolitan newsroom, examining a lightweight piece of Chinese junk, thinking ahead to the day when I might want to listen to a podcast while showering in Mexico, but - no, well, it is odd. But previous experience has taught me that I move the travel bluetooth around a lot in the room, and if I could have a dedicated suction-cup enabled speaker in the shower, it would make the whole experience easier.

“Easier.” Like any of this is difficult.

(Update: the Bluetooth speaker, after being charged, does not connect to anything. WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO BE SO DIFFICULT)

Good day! Full house at the office, it being Tuesday. Skyways full. Lots of life. Wrote a lot and filed two pieces. We had the Teriyaki-Pineapple meatballs Sara bought at Costco, and I added the Pineapple hot sauce I got from the sauce-a-month Christmas gift. Mind you, I don’t like pineapple. But the hot sauce twisted the pineapple’s arm behind its back and said “You be good, now. Keep quiet.” It was all good, and that’s great because we ate 25% of them, and will be eating them daily for a week if we’re going to get through this.

Empty nesters should not go to Costco.










On Friday, having poured two fingers of a bourbon with which I have been previously unaware, I called up a 1933 movie for B&W World 2025, and commenced to scanning TV Guides. One of them had Jack Klugman on the cover. You can date the issue by his facial expression. Smiling ear-to-ear? Early 70s, Oscar Madison. (Maybe he might be looking at Felix with a skeptical expression indicating that Felix was being Felix again.) Is he glowering? Late 70s, Quincy. Serious Klug.

The level of writing in TV Guide was much better than you’d expect for a mass-media boob-tube journal. I was surprised to find a piece by Edith Efron, who just put the wood to Lou Grant. About her, if you don't know:

Efron was born in New York. Her career began as a writer for the New York Times Magazine. In 1947, she married a Haitian businessman, with whom she had a child. After living in Haiti and working as a Central America correspondent for Time and Life magazines, she divorced and returned to New York City where she worked on the staff of television journalist Mike Wallace.

In their 1993 history of TV Guide, Changing Channels: America in TV Guide, Cornell professors Glenn C. Altschuler and David I. Grossvogel have stated that "no writer...did more to shape TV Guide," a publication that reached over 40 million readers at the time.

Her impact on the magazine, they said, included her role as "the quintessential TV Guide voice on race relations." All the positions she took on race in her articles, Efron is quoted as saying, "were determined by what I thought would be good for a young, vulnerable black child," a reflection of the issues which Efron herself had faced while bringing up a biracial son in the segregated America of the 1950s.

How would you characterize her ideologically, if you had to?

Think about that, and then read her remarks on Lou Grant. She found the show banal and weak.

Under the kindly prodding of Lou Grant, both soon saw the error of their ways. As for the youngsters in the series, they are earnest little Woodsteins who are just learning their trade. They're not quite competent and make odd mistakes such as trying to write stories without the facts, but they cause no real harm and they are nice.

The managing editor is not infallible, but he is nice too. Same for the lady publisher. Basically, everyone is nice, and everyone reveres the public’s "right to know."

You mean "Animal" the photographer wasn't some crazy gonzo newsman?

It didn't have enough bad guys, Efron said. She had some suggestions.

  Hmm. Intriguing. Do go on.
  Why yes, she was a friend of Ayn Rand.

I’m sure the piece was polarizing, but it was not outside the bounds of mainstream commentary. Considering the immense circulation, there were tens of millions nodding their heads in agreement, pleased someone was saying this. And she was the Senior Editor, too.

The magazine’s website is now indistinguishable from any other media website. If you want a piece like this, you’ll have to go to an ideologically focused website that serves the base and has no desire to speak to anyone out of it.

The national conversation was once much broader.




It’s 1938.

We’re back in Abbeville. Different paper. Different Abbeville, too. This one’s in LA.


I mean about the iced highways being the cause of accidents, not whether the balance of the PWA award would be received.

"Solons" is a word you only see in papers, like "fracas." Because it fits the headline space..

You can tell it’s not going to be over-abounding with news from around the world. Let alone the country.

Let alone the state, even.


Bob was in office for four years.

He served as aide to the general receiver of customs on the island of Haiti, in 1916 and as collector of customs at Gonaives, Haiti, from March 1917 to April 1919.

How does one get a job like that? Is it something you'd seek, or something that would constitute a political punishment?



The study group, I think. Small-town self-improvement. Something for the ladies to do.

They certainly weren’t going to be talking about American literature with their husbands.


Line up, you rubes, and gawk! Shudder a bit at your proximity to such violence.

This memorial to criminality and extreme retribution brought to you courtesy of Abbeville Motors!

And how did he get those -

  Oh. Was he slight, or the wind that great?


Permanently closed in 1983, but cinematreasures says it's being rehabbed.

I never had much interest in Bulldog Drummond. They were programmer movies that had that weighless semi-comic tone. The original character was probably much more interesting, and tough.

The movie, if you wish, is here.


Meet the DC insider:

Thanks for the tutorial, famous man!

Almost no bio info on the web, save for a subscriber-only NYT obit from 1957. He was 71.

Can you find 15 mistakes?












Here, I'll make it easy for you.


That'll do! See you hither / yon. More cellophane ads await. So many cellophane ads.

blog comments powered by Disqus