Why do we live here? Because we forget how painful the winter is? Could be.

I decided to pay more for parking so I could keep all my toes and earlobes. Usually I park about four blocks from the skyway entrances, but today I went for “right across the street.” I was walking to the entrance when a chunk of ice fell from above and struck me on the head, bouncing off into the side of the building. Since I was wearing a cap, it didn’t hurt. Mre of an insult-to-injury thing.

The temp is 8 below at the moment, so it’s warming up. That KILLER MURDER STORM that was supposed to shut down the entirety of Thursday did not happen, although winds are predicted for tonight. Natalie would have made it in, no problem. I’m still glad I changed the flight.

It was a delight to see her come down the escalator at the airport, and fall into the old patterns of banter while we waited for the bags. Birch was delighted to see her, and was bouncing around and talking and nuzzling. The whole pack back together again! A nice warm night at home, Mom and Daughter on the sofa by the fire watching something I had best hold my tongue about since it’s not my type of show and so neveryoumind with your cynical commentary.

As in, “Did Megan and Harry come off well in the Megan-and-Harry produced and approved by the Megan and Harry who have a deal with the same network for more content in the future?”

Yes, I said it, but it had to be said.

Thursday morning I stayed home, but it felt itchy. I wasn’t doing work in the quantity I do when I’m at the office. I just don’t. Doesn’t happen. I wander off, get distracted, move files around. So up and out to the office over glazed streets. Everything’s plowed, but everything’s slick. And everything is so very, very cold. You're certain that if two cars collided they would just explode into a million shards.

The cold has cancelled the British commercials event we were supposed to attend tomorrow, and the event Natalie had lined up for tonight. Wimpery. Sheer wimpery. I suppose it's because of the high winds and blowing blizzard conditions. Except there aren't any.

LATER: Now Wife and Daughter are cooking up more caramels, continuing Jasperwood's tradition of candy-making. Somewhere in the great beyond, the Father of Walnettos smiles.

More of H&G. For a while, these guys were everywhere.

They laid in the basement or in the rafters for the rest of the year, eyes staring into the darkness.

Non-Christmas surprise: In the corner of the front room was this peculiar table.

When do you think this was made?

1976. I wouldn't have guessed that at all, and it's not my fault. It just doesn't look like 1976. It's a handover of Mod styles.

In the other corner:

Backplate art is always off and wrong in some peculiar way you can't quite describe. I mean, sure, airports have pilots and desks and time tables . . . but not like this. At all. Anywhere.

She looks like an AI attempt to come up with a 1940s movie theater ticket-booth salesgirl.


Surely there was someone who could've done a better job for the same price. Unless . . .

Unless it's an essential part of the pinball experience, somehow. A disconcerting and slightly hallucinatory weirdness.




Let's finish with some Xmas stuff I have sitting around, waiting for just such a moment. From the newspaper:

They don't put that in the daily paper any more.

Holiday news from around the world:


The . .

The what?


I've never heard of that before. Not that I should, or you should, and I'm impressed if you have.

The pallophotophone (coined from the Greek root words pallo, to oscillate or shake; photo, light; and phone, sound, therefore literally meaning "shaking light sound") was a photographic sound recording and playback system developed by General Electric researcher Charles A. Hoxie circa 1922. The RCA Photophone sound-on-film system for motion pictures was later derived from it.

The device is not described in the newspaper piece, which means they assumed that people knew what it was. Interesting.

From 1922 we jump ahead 18 years: the look of everything has changed.

It's confusing to some to see "Mazda" in this context. Isn't that a car? No, it's a god.

Ahura Mazda,  also known as OromasdesOhrmaz,  AhuramazdaHoormazdHormazdHormaz and Hurmuz, is the creator deity in Zoroastrianism. He is the first and most frequently invoked spirit in the Yasna. The literal meaning of the word Ahura is "lord", and that of Mazda is "wisdom".

Big bulbs:

I don't know how this things stood up. Seems like they'd just flop over.

You don't know if it was more popular than you knew, or whether they were just pretending:

By the time I came along, it had been relegated to the stuff Mom gave you when you barfed. I think my grandparents had it around, but that may be a false memory.

It had to be more popular, once.

Just think: that cooler today would bring $415. Probably Dad's take-home for the month.

Why not make a festive garland made of cigarette packs?


Finally, our old friend Max. I have a suspicion that this was altered to suit the client. Oh, nonsense, you say! Excuse me. I'm quite the student of advertising history, so I see things you may not.


Get a gander of his Christmas store display. The man knew how to move the rocks. And here's the man in his store.




We’ll be here next week with all the usual stuff, but it’ll be more hiatusesque, with large features that foreshadow next year's cool new innovation.

Although it's been said, many times, many ways: Merry Christmas, all you Bleatniks, from YGH & family. Have a grand weekend, and I'll see you Monday.



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