Oh so many things to do. Sorry, it’s just a mess of detritus today. “No, Our Host! A touching personal anecdote!”

Okay. The other day I went to Southdale to buy a suit. They had a sale! A good sale, too. You won’t believe this. A suit that normally went for $600 was on sale for $210. I know! It’s like they’ve built in a certain profit to the most bottomest price, and the unit price was actually $21.21 when you consider shipping and transfer and the cost of keeping the inventory around the store. I went to a store that might have a gift I could send Daughter in Brazil. The mall wasn’t exactly overtaxed with patrons. The obligatory music was playing. There was Santa’s chair, unoccupied, waiting for the attendant elves and parents with wet-nosed children. I remembered when Bath & Body Works was the store where I’d get her gifts, because Peppermint was her signature item.

Christmas shopping always meant Southdale.

So I’m in the store, looking at this keychain that has the Walker Art Center Spoonbridge inked and burned into wood; she had a year-long tenure in a Walker Art Center teen program the last year, and still has love for the experience. But who knows if this will seem like Dad calling back to something after she’s moved on - oh that’s sweet and thank you and it doesn’t mean what it did because life became something else after I left and in a way this is haunting, but yet it connects, and I appreciate that you know what it meant.

And then I thought: does she even have a key where she is?

I felt the familiar vibration in my pocket. Who’s calling.

Daughter’s calling.

Oh right! We were going to talk about a bank transfer for her 28-day trip through Brazil. And so we did. I walked the entire length of the mall twice, pausing outside to consult a cigar, half an hour talking. The best thing.

She doesn’t need a key.

There was a grasshopper outside her bedroom door, and its back legs had been cut off and were located a few feet away.

I gave her grief for not being homesick. She sent a video of the grasshopper and noted that everything else is nice.


Yes, I can see why she’s content.

I was so happy after the call and felt ten feet tall and I went and bought myself a new suit.

Walking back to the car I was looking at my phone, and was stunned to read that the creator of Spongebob had died. I texted her the story.

Then I went home and made out my will.

You know, that sounds much worse than it actually is. A man needs a will! Especially if the man has a wife who’s been reminding him we don’t have one.

Sort of.

Walking around downtown to snap some Christmas pictures. All this week's Bleat Banner art has been taken from this drizzly anabasis. This was surprising. A new hotel. I do not remember this one going up at all.

Stretches around the back to fill up 8th street. How did I miss this?

Maybe it was the utter banality of it that made me erase it from my head.

I was surprised to see this as well.

The Witt Market building. You can find more here, on my own damned site! Because no one else would do a site about this building! I'm not bitter! But why is it always up to me!

Kidding. Here's a detail I spied, peering through the gauze.

The anchors of old signs? Hooks? Facade mounts? Doesn't matter, as one comes to realize eventually. It would be nice to know but it doesn't matter.

Next to the old fine brigh is the craptacular aggregate of the 70s. I don't know if they sprayed it on or trowled it on, or if it came in slabs cut to specs. That doesn't matter because it's irrelevant to its main purpose in the world, which is to remind us how bad things looked.

They covered buildings with stuff that made you bleed if you rubbed up against it.



Lori likes the rugged types. Lance knows it, and it annoys him.

Oh God Lance why is everything suspicious to you why

Solution here.



More Frontier Gentleman cues. It's a good show - not as grim as Gunsmoke, but lacking secondary characters. These cues are from two shows - another from the by-cracky prospector show, and one that concerns . . . well, you'll guess before he says it.





Instead of the swank old sounds of Goodwill albums, this year we're going to share bad 1960s pop music. The second- and third-tier tunes.

1969. As standards were redefined to accomodate a sullen, self-entitled audience taught to honor its own judgment above everything else . . .


Songs like this were actually made on purpose. This is possibly the worst song played this year.




1953. CBS News! We'd rather sell this as an ad space, but since we can't, here's this.



That'll do! See you on Monday.



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