YGH is in a sour state. It will pass, and if I look at these charming mid-century AI low-prompt confectionary abominations I will be . . . unnerved on a deeper level, but for different reasons than I was unnerved and annoyed all day.

At lunch I finished the June below-the-fold updates, and while it gave me a nice sense of accomplishment, it gave me something of a shock, because they are the June 2025 updates. I am guaranteeing that I will be doing the same thing in a year and four months. Now, I like these things, and I like providing them here. But it’s like phoning the future and making a reservation for a rut.

I left the office early because I finally just had enough of pretending everyone was going to come back some day. Four years of holding down the fort like it’s a French Fargin’ Foreign Legion outpost. Nothing is coming back in my lifetime. The downtown I loved is gone. It was all I could do to muster the enthusiasm for the gym, because I have been overcome with the suspicion that I am faintly ridiculous, should act my age, and have pancakes every day.

February blah, irritation with 2024. 2023 really was the best year, and impossible to top. But who says you have to top a year? Why can’t you just have one? Well, for one thing, it’s not as if I have signed up to some great chromo-subscription program where they keep sending me a year as long as I pay. It turns into a long indistinguishable smear if you don't spike it up here and there

So I went home, did my work there, hit the home treadmill (which was no fun at all), took a nap, got up and spent a lot of time looking throught the Sainsbury Archvies to study the packaging of 1960s British grocery store products.

Then had a brief text chat with Natalie about the ads in the Superbowl - oh no, I'm sorry, the Superb Owl HA HA HA

Note: that was previously a coinage used by people who like to put themselves outside and above the silly world of sPorTsBAlL, but today I saw one of those paranoid nutter Twitter threads about how the NFL is fixed, all the games are rigged because everything is rigged, and the entertainment is all Satanic, because you know if you’re running a super secret Satan cabal to persuade everyone to lateral their souls to Old Scratch, you make sure that all your plants and emissaries and acolytes flash super-secret Satan Symbols and gestures, and include all the special colors and things like CHECKERBOARDS and so on and so on.

One of these tweets said that Super Bowl actually meant Superb Owl, because the Owl is worshiped by Satanists, so IT’S RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF YOU SHEEPLE. They're blatant about it because they have contempt. They love shoving it in our faces!

Shoving what? Owls! Red Checkerboards!

Now, these are raving remnants from the margins. But Twitter abounds with them, and if you spend all your day on Twitter, then you might think this small contingent of the Insane-American Community was larger than it is. And more important. I mean, this guy, who's going on and on about how everything is rigged, his tweet is right below one from Elon Musk, and one from the son of the guy who was "Jaws"!

It has a flattening effect. And, I think, an infecting effect. "Everything is rigged" has a lot of traction these days. Everything that claims Rig Status gets invited into the revival tent.

At the same time, we are experiencing absolute cultural paralysis. Exhibit one: our choices for president in the upcoming election. Exhibit two: every movie commercial in the Super Bowl. With the exception of one, which appears to “Bumblebee Wick” or some other absurd ballistic one-man-revenge-squad story, it was all remakes. Twister. Another Oz. Another Deadpool. Another Kung Fargin’ Fu Panda - now with fart jokes!

Okay, I’m spent, that’s enough, you get the point. Sorry.

Back to the office tomorrow, and back to the gym.









I’m six episodes into the wallowing, sodden mess of Reacher S2 and wondering why the reviews on the pro-Reacher subreddits aren’t seeing what I’m seeing. Perhaps they love Ritchson’s embodiment - literally - of the character so much they will forgive much, OR this is just completely and totally following the book, so it’s great! But it’s not great. I loved the first season for what it was: big silent Justice comes to town and sets things right mostly by punching. Sometimes by thinking but mostly by punching. It ran on rails and it had a comprehensible world. This season is all over the place and has SIDEKICKS GALORE, including not one but two! badass smart gorgeous women who can KICK MEN IN THE HEAD in formal wear.

There was a Strong Female police person in S1, but she was believable, inasmuch as any of it was.

Here’s how I remember the fights in S1:

Four guys come after Reacher; each is subsequently clubbed into submission, with at least two broken limbs and one imploded eyeball


Here’s how I seem to remember the fights in S2:

Six guys come after Reacher and his team; there is much flailing in a dimly-lit parking lot and then they are all on the ground

The quantity of the ownage is irrelevant if the quality of the ownage is substandard.

It's possibe it was all dumbed down - and yes, I used "dumbed down" about a show that has a man-mountain amble into town and perform Justice Punching - because the new expectaitions of audiences are lower: no one's actually watching, they just have it on while they scroll. Give them mumblings that advance a plot by a half an inch then turn up the volume when the obligatory action scene happens.

I'm just a big wicker basket of joy today, aren't I.




It’s 1922.

Once more, we are all about the Hats.


Harris-Pole and Sloan Force. Or Sloan Focce? I learned from googling that Harris’s Worth Hat was not to be confused with hats from Worth and Worth. This site says:

Harris-Polk Hats began in 1903, and was at one time run by J.W. Harris, who was also president of the American Association of Wholesale Hatters.

Well, yes, I imagine that Harris hats was at one time run by Mr. Harris.

Invariably correct:

The ubiquitous straw hat. Just imagine walking out of your office building in New York in 1921, and every single man is wearing the same lid.

Well, not all the same. The Brown Hue Straws may have set the wearer apart from men who sported a lighter hue.

The cane, you suspect, is a complete affectation.


No, they don’t call it that, but you wonder. Didn’t they all blur together, after a while? Everyone touted their quality and workmanship; everyone said the same things. The hats mostly looked the same, didn’t they?

This is the equivalent of using CYBERSPACE and INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY in an ad for socks.

The twin signs of forward-looking people: radio and planes. If you were the sort of person who understood the importance of radio and planes, you would go with the Harris and Tipograph for your leathers. This message has come to you by radio!

NCR, the old standby. Are they still around? Did they go broke trying to make computers?

No, they’re doing okay.

NCR Corporation, previously known as National Cash Register, is an American software, consulting and technology company providing several professional services and electronic products. It manufactures self-service kiosks, point-of-sale terminals, automated teller machines, cheque processing systems, and barcode scanners.

They did make computers for a while. Who didn’t?

I think this is a repeat, alas, but . . .

“This illustration is reproduced in the Sept. 10 1921 Saturday Evening Post.” Do I have it?

I do.


“Buy as the Crow Flies.”

Surely that made sense to someone somewhere.



Ah, the Bush Terminal building. Always fascinated me when I was viewing New York from afar - I mean, from North Dakota, and 50 years in the future. Why was one side blank?

With the exception of the light court, the east and west walls of the shaft are left largely blank, as Helmle & Corbett had assumed the adjacent lots would be developed in the future.

To give emphasis to the side walls, the architects used trompe-l'œil brickwork. Three tones of brick are used to provide aesthetic emphasis to the side walls, giving the impression that the piers wrapped around all sides of the building. The facades are mostly made of buff brick, but dark brick is used for shadows and light brick is used for highlights. Vertical "ribs" are installed on the side walls from the ground to the top story.

Eventually a building would rise to the west.

One thing I never noted: the Gothic grotesques on the facade.


That'll do. Now it's time to return to the tales of Hollywood's Sweetheart, the Black Cat!


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