We all got the news today. An era was over. The fellow outside the building in the smoker's cove was talking about. There was a guy in the elevator who'd heard about it, a young guy, new hire, sad he hadn't known about it before. I dropped off my leather jacket at Napoleon's for some touch-up work, and he'd heard about it.

Walkin' Dog was closing.

I went early, before Dave had to tell the tale for the ninth-dozen time. The owners were clearing out the entire lower floor for renovation, and offered him a spot when it reopened in a year and change. He decided that 31 years of slinging the dogs was enough.

So I bought my dog and we shook hands and I walked back to the office, thinking, well, dang. A small sadness. Another small sadness.

In brighter news: got another bit of vicarious glory from Natalie. I texted her saying I'd be watching Succession, and that my TV critic pal said this one was particular good. No reply for a while, then she answered:


Oh, ok cool. She sent some pictures. I looked for the embedded location, because things are magic these days. It came back to a simple door on a very narrow street.

Inside: oy

From its wikipedia entry:

There is a mummified forearm to the right of the tomb entrance, dating back over 400 years. The arm is the arm of a jewel thief who tried to steal from the high altar, which has a statue of the Virgin Mary. It is believed that when the thief tried to steal the jewels, Mary grabbed his arm and would not let go, therefore his arm was cut off by monks.

The forearm is dangling from a hook.







Next week sees the start of a new project that will change the way you look at TV commercials! You’ll look at something and think “wow, my paradigm has shifted like SO much I’m going to have to recalibrate my enter set of assumptions.”

Or not. Actually, the more I think about it, you probably won’t change your mind about anything. You will have vague preconceptions reaffirmed by data. So I guess I oversold it in the first sentence, for dramatic effect.

My wife can’t watch Hulu, because it has commercials. She’s become so accustomed to the ad-free streaming world that the periodic interruption is not worth the content it supports. I don’t watch Hulu, because I finished that one show and don’t care about the new ones, and -

Hold up, the Boston Strangler? Interesting! A movie about the two female reporters - nervy gals in a man’s world filled with men who other men call a man’s man? Sure.

Not here to review it, and I really can’t because I didn’t finish it. Just want to talk about the palette and lighting. Because it’s THE PAST, and because PAST BAD AND DEPRESSING except for the occasional shafts of light that represent the inevitable presentism of the creators, everything has to be dingy and dim. Which is preferable: the strange Matrix light, or the automatically color-corrected version?

Cozy Domestic Life:

I know, I know - aesthetic choices to set the mood and tone, a painterly way to express not the superficial ethos of the time but the retrospective evaluation of it. But it reminded me of Mad Men, which did all it could to make the era seem so morally loathsome in so many casual, entrenched ways. And it was impossible to watch without part of you wanting to go there, now.






It’s 1971. Alas.

Bosses are really impressed when you start drinking malt liquor at your desk at noon.

It’s a sparkling wine that tastes like beer! Yum.


Rights to use the name "ChampAle" were secured after a two-year battle with the Champagne Association representing the Champagne Producers of France

Yeah, because all those other losers and followers are so concerned about what other people smoke. Not me! I live life on my own terms, and give not a single fig for the people who have an opinion on my choice of Old Golds.

Also, I have no idea what I'm doing, but chicks dig it when they see you fixing something.


Mating rituals were damned odd in 1971.

Is his shirt patterned with pictures of . . . belts?

Bad at your leisure activities? Do you weekend outings for pleasure remind you of your general incompetence in life? DRINK

This was a brilliant idea. It’s gone and mostly forgotten.

At its peak there were over 4,000, but it’s gone now. It was founded by Preston Fleet, who was also the co-founder of WD-40 and producer of the movie Cabaret.

Now that’s a life. Wikipedia:

Fotomats were doomed by change.

The company's main product, overnight film development, was rendered noncompetitive by the late 1980s development of the minilab, which provided one-hour photo development and could be installed on-site without a large capital investment. After the introduction of digital cameras, overnight service eventually became obsolete and Fotomat switched to online digital imaging at Fotomat.com where users could edit and store their images. This site ceased operations September 1, 2000.

For a while they also rented VHS tapes. So very 80s, that.

I remember one in Dinkytown, repurposed over and over. Oldest Google Street View image:


We call this "better."



That’s not cheap, either. They’d been making clock radios since the 60s, at least, so I don’t think this immediately contributed to the company’s decline.

I had a girlfriend who kept a pack of these for those times when she wanted a cigarette. She liked the recessed filter. I thought it was like smoking a small plastic toilet-paper tube, but the cigarette itself wasn’t bad. And the name was satisfying to say.

"You don't taste the filter!"

All of a sudden people started to wonder if they were tasting the filter.

What did the filter taste like, anyway?

Brillo makes a break, and goes no-phosphate.

Except . . . maybe they’d never had a phosphate version. I think that’s the case. They borrowed the name from the scouring pads, and slapped it on the new detergent.

Bang, zoom, Hudson saved.

Now two ways to chip in!


That'll do - see you tomorrow! And thanks for stopping by.



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