On the downtown walk I noticed all sorts of good signs. There’s no trash; everything looks clean. There were no ranting men hollering at the pigeons. The skyways are repopulating - for the first time in a year, the usual din of conversations sounds normal. It was a tomb for so long.

I wonder how the returning workers feel about it all. Whether it’s a reprieve from the home or apartment, or the equivalent of being sent back to prison after your conviction was overturned and a new trial ordered.

It’s hot, though. As I was sitting in the shade by the RBC building, a nice out lady lumbered by and said “Hi!”

“How are you?” I asked.

“Daffy!” She said.

To which I said, of course, “daffy?”

“From the heat!” She said over her shoulder.

Never in my life have I considered the state of being daffy from the heat. But it was a merry exchange, and cancelled out a bit of brackishness I'd had at the start of the walk. I emerged from the elevator, turned left, only to encouter two guys in suits coming in the security doors - waist-high plastic panes that swing open. We had both arrived at the same space at the same time, neither of us being able to see the other's approach.

"Excuse you," he said. 

Yeah, clueless, selfish me, blundering out of elevator doors and getting in the way of two guys traveling abreast. Same to you, pal. I went about ten paces then turned around to glare. Yes, glare. That deserved glaring.

I did glare, but they had entered the elevator. The one that was right there, because I'd just come down in it. I tell you, some people.

Our weekly look at some works from Paris museums, chosen almost at random. I just scroll and scroll and stop and that's the one. This week: Jérôme de La Lande, by Fragonard, who did not confine himself to aristocrats on swingsets.


Joseph Jérôme Lefrançois de Lalande; 11 July 1732 – 4 April 1807) was a French astronomer, freemason and writer.

Aged into a mischevious fellow. He almost discovered Neptune! There’s a moon crater named after him.

But there's even more to the story:

In 2002, a meteorite was discovered in the Oman desert by Edwin Gnos of the University of Berne. This rock, identified as Sayh al Uhaymir 169, is believed to have originated from the Moon. It was ejected from the surface during an impact that occurred less than 340,000 years in the past. Scientists now think that the rock originated from the crater ejecta blanket surrounding Lalande.

And here it is.











Three thousand three hundred souls. That's the peak for its entire 150 years of existence.

As views go, it is - well, you know.

Interesting top. It’s as if they built a big stage for the main attraction, pulled back the curtains, and there was just one little man with a high voice.

Next door, another iteration of the save-money-with-brick-ornament idea.

What is that on the ground floor? An anti-awning? Does it lean away, just as the buckaroo’d canopy on the building next door angles out?

IOOF, if you’re curious.

Not easy to read, but not impossible.

Built all at once? No. Two phases, I’d bet. The left side was first. The right side went up as the land became available. No little ornament with the builder’s name, though, and the space is slightly wider. It looks asymmetrical because of it, but it always did, if you factor in the door to the upstairs.

It’s the Costume Party approach to main street:


A hotel from the Deadwood era of architecture, it seems:

Would you trust the balcony?

Okay, I’m starting to think the town was settled by much taller people:

Uh oh

Ouch. Goodbye.

Of course this was a bar or cafe once, and I’d love to think it was known as “The Owl.”

Hmm: small-town-bank-wise, not bad - it has echoes of the Prairie Style.

This, I fear, was always thus.

“Video and Fitness” is every small town in the Midwest in the 90s.

Or rather was.


Hands up in friendship, open palm - not clenched fists.

Clenched fists on murals was what they had up there in the Cities.

It has the flavor of an OUMB, but you know, it could’ve been a supermarket.

Those tall flat superfluous structures were commonly found on supermarkets. They bricked up a plate-glass window, too, and supermarkets had lots of those.

The door placement isn’t right for a grocery store, but it doesn’t prove it wasn’t.

The problem of these places, right here.

Old pumps. Dry tanks.


That'll do. See you tomorrow.





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