Here we are: the penultimate week of the year, the last week of the Holiday Season. It is fraught, my friends. Two reasons:

The temperatures are expected to attain ludicrous depths. Will I continue to go into the office when it’s one below? I will. See, if I don’t go to the gym, I immediately deflate. One day. That’s all it takes. Like a punctured balloon. If I don’t do my daily pushups at home at the end of the night I fear I will wake with al dente limbs.

Not serious, of course, ha ha, no obsession here!

The good news is that I will not become one of those tiresome fruits-and-nuts types who gets up on a soapbox in a burlap loincloth and rails against Demon Sugar. Why, Sugar is delightful. I have every intention of having a piece of French toast tomorrow with some maple syrup. (I won’t, but I have every intention.) But once you abjure it entirely for a while, your body is verrrry suspicious of it.

I wonder if there will come a time when I’ll snap like a stout yardstick in the lands of a circus strongman, and put my entire face into a scround of ice cream, or sit in a parking lot and attach a large portion of McDonald’s fries to my mug like a feedbag. Things I used to love, but have no interest in now.

This is the point where people actually take a step backwards: no interest in McDonald’s French Fries? Okay, you need to see someone. Perhaps there’s a telemedicine thing for someone who has clearly suffered some sort of break, and needs intervention.

Two: snow is expected the day Natalie is supposed to come back. I know that modern planes are perfectly able to fly in these conditions, and I don’t mind a delay, but a cancellation hoses many things. And I don’t know why I came up with the word “hoses.” I don’t know how a hose can bollix anything up. Perhaps the term refers to getting a garden hose in the fundament? Which never happens.

Little-known fact of no importance: the original script for “Welcome Back Kotter” had, as its signature insult, “Up your hole with a Mello Roll,” referring to a popular confection of the Gape Kaplan’s time. It was changed to “Up your nose with a rubber nose,” which sounds more uncomfortable, as it is theoretically possible. Up your hinkie with a Hostess Twinkie would be an analogue, so to speak, and unlikely, given the yielding nature of the sponge cake. Perhaps if the Mello Roll was frozen.

Dodgy etymology page:

Early findings of this word came from a saying "to drink water from a fire hose." Basically, if you don't drink water, you are out of luck, and if you drink water from a fire hose, you are out of luck. It is bad in both cases. Therefore, you are out of luck.

Eh, I don’t buy that. There are other explanations, none of which I buy. Bollixed, on the other hand, most certainly comes from bollocks, and here things get interesting.

bhel- (2) Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to blow, swell," "with derivatives referring to various round objects and to the notion of tumescent masculinity"

Tell me where your eyebrow goes up, Spock-like:

It forms all or part of: bale (n.) "large bundle or package of merchandise prepared for transportation;" baleen; ball (n.1) "round object, compact spherical body;" balloon; ballot; bawd; bold; bole; boll; bollocks; bollix; boulder; boulevard; bowl (n.) "round pot or cup;" bulk; bull (n.1) "bovine male animal;" bullock; bulwark; follicle; folly; fool; foosball; full (v.) "to tread or beat cloth to cleanse or thicken it;" ithyphallic; pall-mall; phallus.

Yes. Pall-Mall. I never knew. It was a game.

Speaking of which. Oh, that Vikings game. Now, you may not care. I understand. The most unimportant words in the English language may, in fact, be “an NFL record.” It means something in one particular context, and that is the NFL. You may be a baseball fan, and prefer to squad from your own bottomless flask of fizzy statistics.

That said, holy jeezum crow. No one thought they could return from a historic deficit, let alone tie the game and pitch it into overtime. But here’s the problem. The Giant Swede had added an extra hour to the recording, as we were watching it delayed a bit so we can zip through the commercials we have seen ten times before, and hate, or are just seeing for the first time, and hate. It’s getting close to the end of overtime.

“We’re going to get to the last seconds and the field goal attempt and as the ball takes off, the screen is going to go to the current game,” he said.

Nah, we can’t be that unlucky.

The Vikings are on the march. The have 40 seconds left. There’s a minute and a half left until the recording ends. A pass. Completed. It’s in the green zone where a field goal is possible.

Annnnd the screen goes to the current game. I grabbed my phone and hit the StarTribune page and there it was, the result. The win. Four hours of striving and we were denied the last exultant moment. But it didn’t matter: we won!

It’s a strange exhilarating exhaustion.

Anyway. If all goes well this week, I will not suffer frostbite on the way to work, and Natalie will make it home.



I’ve really enjoyed this one. For our last installment, let’s finally play . . . the MAGNIFICENT THEME.

  Let's catch up with the exciting head-'em-off-at the-pass music.

It’s wonderful! I wonder where they lifted it from.

Well, all you need to know is that our heroes were on Saturn, being bombed by Killer Kane’s ships, and we thought Buck had been killed by falling debris.

The thing about Buck Rogers is how effortless he adapted to the 24th century. It really doesn’t matter that he’s from the 20th.

Anyhoo, turns out the utterly useless Saturnians have decided to throw their lot in with Killer Kane, because forming alliances with guys who have a name like “Killer” always plays out well.

None of this ep really matters, because it’s all a matter of getting our heroes to Kane’s lair, where they can kill him. Or, if I had to guess, arrest him, because the Hidden City guys are wimps. I mean, the top leader is called The Scientist General. Or maybe Kane falls out a window and that completely destroys his dynasty.

As it turns out, Buck defeats the emissaries of Killer Kane in a fistfight, so the Saturn wimps say “Oh say we’re totally on Earth’s side now.” Buck heads back to Earth, reminding you that the entirety of the plot has involved going back and forth from Saturn, and tells the Scientist General to put every ship up in the air so Kane’s private airstrip . . .

. . . Is deserted. Buck gets to the power room where all the mind-enslaved Borg-like dudes are working, and leads a revolt. As one does.

He storms Kane’s HQ, and whoo-hoo WAR! sweet comeuppance


Buck makes Kane call off his patrols. His troops conclude “we have lost” and disengage. Buck goes back to Hidden City.

That’s it? He leaves the entire political infrastructure of Kane in place? Actually, no. After a brief award ceremony, he’s commanded to return to Kane’s city and take over. The ending is rather lame, with Buddy setting up Wilma and Buck to have a moment alone, then backing out before they can EWWW KISS MUSHY STUFF.

Let’s just end it here.


So it was. I've actually experienced what it was like to be a kid back then and see something straight out of the comics. And better. You're sad to see . . .




That'll do! See you around.




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