School starts today and ha ha it's no big deal I'll only be able to say that once more. Inexorable rush of time aside, it's nice to get back to a routine. It was also nice to have Daughter around the house in the summer. The chats, the asides, the rides here and there, the strange remnant echo of the school year in her work schedule, which started at 3:45 as though she'd just got out of class. On Saturday when I picked her I saw that the cafe next door had set up its big flaming heaters, because a chill had set in. Things to come. Wet days and turning trees ahead -

But. Not yet. As I said, nice to get back to a routine. Never been one of those parents who danced a jig when the yellow buses returned, but we only have one, and I suppose that makes a difference. Still: nice to have the morning work routine to myself. Me and the dog.

AND THE WORKMEN of course because that continues, and the days when I am not nodding hallo to strangers or walking down tarp-covered stairs are weeks away.

But. I will miss during the day sharing space with someone who has the same cultural references. When I was describing a video I was editing I said I would end it by yelling HARAMBE and Daughter laughed. She would not, however, get this.


It's obscure, I'll admit.

I made that because the idiocy of a particular internet phrase that was popular for seven days - an eternity - was something I couldn't get out of my head, because it summed up the meaninglessness and sudden ubiquity that characterizes web culture. As I said elsewhere, in the future we will nostalgic for memes above all else, because they will remind us of a particular time - but they will have no value other than markers for a point in time, a common reference.

But. All nostalgia is wrong in some way. Saw this "vintage" ad on a tumblr that does retro stuff, and while I commend the project I am oddly irritated by sites that just tweet out pictures without commentary. ADD SOMETHING.

That's not what the ad says. It ought to be obvious - not just from the typeface, but the sentiment. That's not what ads said back then. But we think they did, because ha ha, the 1950s.

Had a great day at the Fair on Saturday. Didn't start out so; it was drizzly and cold, and then the sun would blare through the clouds and it would be HOT and then a wind would come up and it would be COLD and no one knew how to dress. There's a period in Minnesota when you can expect to see parkas and Daisy Dukes. The Feature Gods, those capricious deities who have guided and cursed and shown me favor over my career, were particularly generous with their gifts. A guy stopped me with that hey-I've-seen-your-picture-in-the-paper expression, and we got to talking; he was a pitchman at the Grandstand. Came from a family that had been pitchmen for three generations. Well, that's perfect. Interviewed him on the spot, and there's a piece for next week.

On the ramp to the Grandstand there was a guy just standing still, wearing a mask.



Let's just say it was intentionally unnerving. I walked up and interviewed him and probably ruined whatever thing he was thinking he was doing.

The video is here. It's part of my State Fair Minute series, most of which manage to be about 1:25 or so.

What did I eat? Something horrid. I always go to this hot dog place - yeah, yeah, I know - in the Treasure Island building. Vienna seeded bun, celery salt, sport peppers, mustard, onion, a little chili. It's a good dog, and it's one of those things I do because I have done it before. I will do it no more. They changed the chili. I'm not talking the flavor or spice level - I mean they've gone from the thick stuff with ground beef and brown sauce to a bizarre, unappealing paste that looks like someone extruded dog waste through a garden hose. It looked awful and it tasted awful and it ruined the tradition for good. But it didn't make me ill, which was good - I had an APPEARANCE to make at the Strib booth, and there I met all sorts of nice people.

And peculiar people, because the Fair is come-one-come-all and man, you get the characters. Overheard a conversation between one of our booth operatives and someone who was making his very first visit, and he said his overall impression was the whiteness of the place. That was it. Most everyone was white. Anything else, white dude? No, just that it's so white. Really, nothing else? No, it's just so white. Okay.

Inside that group, there's all sorts of cultural diversity, but I suppose it doesn't matter because of the overall umbrella of Paleness.

Which seems a bit reductive.


The birds are back this year. They were gone last year because of bird flu. They're sick of you asking if you feel better.

You can see my short Bird Barn video at the Strib's Facebook page after 10 AM or so. Share it!





Back to school! And that means one thing here in Black & White World: switchblades and JDs.


Dig this craaaazy caper music, daddy-o


Uh oh:

We got a guy with a vision on our hands here.

So we have some delinquents. As with most JDs, you want to push their faces in.

America hated kids like these. And America was correct to do so:


Here's our big shot:

He's an intellectual, too. He's named Marvin. He's the brains behind a milllllion-dollar caper. Here's the bad girl-but-really-not-bad-but yeah, okay, bad girl:

Virginia Aldridge. She was in "Wolf in the Fold," the Star Trek ep that always came right before "The Trouble with Tribbles." What a dynamic actress:



Let's meet the High School Big Shot's dad:

Hey it's that guy! Or one of those guys. Malcolm Atterbury. He wasn't in Star Trek, but that's okay; we usually get only one per entry.

Anyway, Marv's a smart guy, but a loser. His dad is a drunk who literally goes to sleep with a bottle:

Our hero can't stand up to the tough guys in school. The gal he crushes on doesn't want to marry him, because A) they're in high school, and B) he's Marv. Nice guy and all but she's not going to settle for 75 bucks a week. Why, even the sign on his job is phony.


Even when he's having a bad montage, he's just walking in place:



Well, we need some comic relief. And here he is:

You can tell by the music he's funny. Recognize him?

Stanley Adams! Cyrano Jones, seller of tribbles! That's a double Trek dose. But wait! There's more! Music by Gerald Fried, who did lots of Star Trek - composer of the famous battle theme, among other things. You know. Dah-dah da da da, da-da dah dah.

Anyway, there's a robbery, and it all goes bad, but the movie's only an hour and a minute long so it's just like watching a mediocre TV show. One thing about a shot at a nightspot:

Yeah, "Hopperesque" doesn't come to mind. But this:

It's one of my favorites.

The movie itself, not so much.

Off to the Fair again today - see you around.


blog comments powered by Disqus