Gosh, a whole week gone unnoted here. What did you miss?

Can’t say there was much. Snow. Cold. Absence of Holiday Spirit, but that’s natural at this point in life. I think I’ve heard Christmas music once so far, and it seemed out of place. The building had its Christmas party, with tables full of innumerable desserts. I didn’t have any, because of the diet I am still on for some reason. The damned calorie counter on the treadmill. All that work over all that time, and I’ve burned how many calories? Really? You pound away for 20 minutes and figure you must have shed a cheeseburger, but it’s like half a Fun-sized KitKat.

Ah, now the classical station is playing Christmas music. Sixties-style orchestration, so I suppose that’s why it’s on the classical station. White Christmas. There are three types of Christmas tunes in the end: jaunty ones you like, modern ones you don’t (this includes the execrable rock stuff from the 60s on) and the really good ones that make you feel deeply sad over them thar temps perdue. But even in the times you are recollecting you felt sad over bygones you’ve now forgotten.

Perhaps I should watch more Hallmark Christmas Specials! Nnnnoooo. We have to save the small town’s orphange-candy store by Christmas or an evil developer will replace it with a gun factory! If only the sassy coffee shop owner can convince the developer’s hunky advance man to switch sides and settle down in Hollyville and pursue his dream of carving small wooden boats our of larger wooden boats.

You wonder if Perfect Christmases a couple hundred years from now will be set in these idealized places, just as we fix our perfect vision of Christmas in Scrooge Times.

What else . . . dog found a bone on the walk, would not relinquish it, ate some until I eventually got it away form him. Result: mighty-morphin' barfin' BirchyBarfed his entire body weight, it seems. A day of horking.

I learned that Trader Joe discontinued the Winter Wheat bourbon. I’m not surprised. One of the reviews said it was very “wheat forward, with a nose of vinegar.” It did havean unusual taste. I’ve one bottle left, which brings up a dilemma: save, or drink? If the latter, I’ll never know it again. If the former, I’ll always think “I shouldn’t open it, because I might want it later.”

Had a total computer failure. My hard drive had been acting flaky - or rather, the data upon it. Things were written over things. Or the OS thought things were written in the same space as other things. The indexing feature did not work anymore; the list of "recents" returned miles of gibberish. I decided to reinstall the OS after running a repair program on the HD.


The thing you love to see after an hour of downloading and churning and restarting: the blinking folder that says “bro, I got nothing.” It wouldn’t mount the hard drive at all, so it couldn’t repair it. Had to nuke and pave and restore everything. This coincideded with a minor website incursion - some jack bastard exploited an old Wordpress plugin, or something, and dumped some useless files on the site. Very strange. So we had to nuke and pave the site and rebuild it from the backup. Some areas may be janky until I do the year-end link check.

Put up the tree, which helped with Seasonal Spirit. We have new decorations, and I couldn't be happier. Well, no, I could be much happier to the point of ecstatic delirium - Daughter moves back to Minneapolis, multi-million dollar lottery win, Vikings Superbowl victory, Russian collapse, successful Iranian revolution, and so on. But that would be greedy. For today it's enough to say I am considerably happier because some old items I never liked were replaced, or - get this - put in a different location. I know, I know, Natalie will be alarmed when she comes home and finds an item in an unfamliar spot and wonders are they okay? Should we have the talk about maybe moving to a home? It's not a nursing home! It's a residential facility!

Tradition anchors us, but anchors are heavy. You can get weighed down by rote routine. Some decorative items are inviolable, but if those damned pillows do not have to be placed on the chair where no one ever sits. The room will be no less festive. It's already festooned with garlands and berries and sticks and lights and candles and shiny orbs. Its festivity will not be diminished by the absence of a pillow that has a picture of a French Horn. (You can tell it's a Festive Horn because it has a sprig of holly wound around the tubing.) No one will walk in and think "no horn-picture pillow? Might as well be the Fourth of July aorund here."

I put up the last batch of lights in the backyard. Everything looks good. The last three weeks of the year are wonderful, aren't they? Here we go.



Believe me, it’s nothing special.

As a brief diversion, it’s fine. Short running time. Some minor inadvertent documentary:

Oh, sure, I can find it.

Changed a bit.

I did an aerial view and looked for streets that had the same configuration, and a slight incline. I could be wrong.

Plot: A cop goes after a killer! There’s a new one. The killer is a Fiend, but not a Sex Fiend. He strangles women when it rains. They don’t have any good descriptions, but eventually they piece together enough info to create . . . a composite! I swear to God:

Go get ‘im, boys

Does it have a Star Trek connection? It does:

The great acting teacher Jeff Corey, who I believe was in the ep about the people who live in the clouds and profit from the labor of the people on the ground. IT WAS AN ALLEGORY

The film has some nice noir closeups that must have looked great on the big screen . . .

But it’s just a wait to figure out who the bad guy is. He’s a nobody, and when he sees the cops are after him, he bolts through a backlot fake town:

I’m interested in this corner window display. Must have been common, but I rarely see them in old pictures.

The footchase goes to the great and unnerving Los Angeles Gas Works, which shows up in lots of movies. All that strange machinery, all those pipes, all that tightly packed 1920s infrastructure: it’s a fascinating sight, and you wonder how the hell they designed that thing.

The obligatory clip shows some pretty sharp shootin’ that isn’t credible in the least, and ends with the old shootout cliche:


Shot him in the hand and threw his empty gun. That’s a prime B-movie twofer, right there.

It’s okay. Worth it for the gas work - which, btw, were demolished when a pipeline came through and supplied LA with its needs, making the big looming tanks redundant.

No one was sad when the big tanks went away.



That'll do! See you around.




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