The winter pictures of a city turned into a flood, as if there'd been a big melt. I did these weeks ago before I had any idea we'd hit 53 today. I suppose things would look more like this if we had any snow, but there's no snow to melt.

What a marvelous winter!

We had a hot-dish competition at the office today. How very very, eh? And none of them were ironic. No tater-tot-only example, and certainly not the mushy-rice-and-hamburger one I remember, which, to be honest, I would have voted #1 because it’s simply divine. There was a Szechuan version, which I gave top marks, and a Mexican version with big jalapeños. A curry. One with brat chunks. A low-effort pasta number that bore little resemblance to hot dishes at all.

Many people showed up - actual throngs back in Chez Barbara, including the Boss, who brought an entry. It did not win, proving that we are not living in some brutal capitalist dystopia, but a land where everyone is free to ignore Management Hotdish.

There were also cookies, and vodka. Sort of. Instead of the usual semi-monthly weed delivery, a company dropped off some flavored vodka from Texas. Little airplane bottles, which you always want to have on hand in case civilization collapses and new mediums of exhange arise. No one drank it at the office, as far as I could tell.

The last THC delivery was some cold-pressed latte infused with THC, aimed perhaps at stoners who have avoided thus far the rapid heartbeat and anxiety some get from THC.

Poor man's speedball, I guess. thought that mixing THC and caffeine would create a nervous jerky experience contrary to what the THC-infused community prefers, but I trust the makers to know their market.

Thirty bucks for a four-pack. 10mg each.

Says the website: "Like coffee and donuts, caffeine and THC come together to create something even more fantastic than their individual effects. Our Coffee Pot brews are made with 5mg hemp-derived THC to help you perk up on the more optimistic, creative, or focused side of life."

You know, I get that from coffee, period. I can't tell you how optimistic the thought of coffee makes me. As I've said before, I don't drink coffee to wake up. I wake up to drink coffee. Having THC along for the motorcycle ride would be like having a doughy dullard in the sidecar, making inane observations about the scenery.

I did take a can, stockpiled for my next "hey it's been a few months, I wonder if this is still annoying and completely screws up my ability to maintain linear thought" experiment.

So that's the office this week. Hot dish, upper-weed, and blueberry Texas vodka.



Our weekly recap of a Wikipedia peregrination. Expect no conclusion or revelations, but if you've been with us since this started next year, you know . . . sometimes we learn interesting things.

  So! How do we get from here . . .
  . . . to there?

I don't know what led me to this, so I'm curious to see where it goes.


Wherein the cartoonist reinforces the reader’s views about talk radio.

"One of those days" is such an old and tired idea.


Wherein the cartoonists shows he has no idea what talk radio is all about:


In the first example, you argue with the caller. You either have a conversation in which the caller is much more clever than you thought, and put the Grenada invasion in context - the government was Marxist-Leninist “New Jewel Movement” at a time when the Caribbean was a backyard proxy conflict area between the US and the USSR, and Grenada was a small but not-insignificant part in the struggle, seeing as the US invasion was a test of the Brezhnev doctrine, in a way.

Or you just make fun of the guy.

In the second example, you have someone who obviously knows something you don’t, and why not ask some questions and maybe we’ll learn something?


The rest of the strips were about some old guy, who’s probably Fenton.

Yes of course he's going to mash his face in disgust about that

This is from late 1983:


Dear Google: What happened to the US economy in 1983?

By 1983, the economy had rebounded and the United States entered into one of the longest periods of sustained economic growth since World War II.

Now it's the kid doing the face-mashing cliche!


On the other hand, taxes, amirite

No, don't worry, you're not going to be ill.

It's not funny on two levels: the "joke" and the "reaction."

Anyway. When I googled the strip, I was surprised to see it was by . . . Wiley, who did Non Sequitur, a strip I really liked until I either didn’t, or because I forgot about it.

I didn't know this:

In February 2019 many newspapers dropped Non Sequitur after the Sunday comic dated February 10, 2019 included a hidden profane message aimed at President Trump. As of February 14, at least 40 newspapers said they were dropping Non Sequitur, including the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune. Miller said the Trump comment was an oversight, something he had forgotten about and had intended to remove.

Yeeeah, okay. I found them. Scribbled F-word.

While looking through the papers, I found this strip. Never heard about it.

The way the cartoonist indicates walking is . . . quite the stylistic choice. Big Dennis the Menace vibe here, too, right down to all the Strewn Toys and the naughty markings on the wall.

My ignorance of the strip says more about me, I suppose; it was quite popular. Husband and wife team, a great mid-century story. The link goes to a website devoted to their work. Hit this link for some Sunday strips that give you the idea of how the art evolved and the lettering went against industry norms.

I scrolled to the bottom - which takes some effort, believe me - and found a link to cartoonist Mike Lynch's blog, and a click on a random link led me to a page on the space illustrators of my childhood.

One of whom was Willy Ley.

So . . . Wiley to Willy, then. That's our rabbit-hole trip today.








The other Madison. Now why did I start here?


“Well, we hired a guy to do the ground floor, and another guy to do the top, but seems we forgot to hire a guy to design the middle.”

“But both those guys kept whistling’ that song about may the road rise to meet you.”

I don’t know why I clipped this, except to show that this town may have the dullest thing ever built.

And he was proud of it, too.


OUMB, although it’s not a bank now.

If it never was, it was designed by someone who did banks.

AWe note this to celebrate . . .

The Achievement of Aubrey Grady.

The 1940 census says he was born in 1905. Got an early start, it seems.

Blurry photo? Uh oh



OUMB, with that delightful patron-stomping / mincing apparatus.


Oh, so much better!

So much.

Once upon a time, Post Offices were sober things of stone:


The worst of the 70s / 80s architecture, imposed on so many towns.


An old lady in ribbons and bows:


OUMB in excelsis deo, but with a certain post-war gravitas:

Better from this angle. Approach accordingly.


Paula had a dream:

But the china market was not as robust as hoped. Great old storefront; hope it’s filled again some day.

Lurid lettering . . .

. . . but the sign is tight.


The Courthouse has a nice Perry-Mason-era crispness.

The plague of stone-overhaul can be found in any town.

There you have it: one of the more rote towns we’ve ever seen. But it’s worth a look! Saaaalllllute.


That'll do! This year's Urban Studies updates continues, with some Google Street View highlights.


blog comments powered by Disqus