"What would look good in this grand space?"

"Alien ooze."

"On it"

This area leads to the gift shop of the Boston Museum. I put a pin on my backpack for all the places I've been this year, all the museums. It's a nice reminder of how it's gone so far! And I don't like it. Clutters up the look, and it's been at least two weeks and no one has asked what they mean. What's the point?

Kidding. Perhaps I need a new backpack, though. I'm always looking for the perfect one. I was looking at this one, and of course had to go to the questions and reviews.

Q Heading to germany and saw this nice looking backpack. why did they name it bange!? german word meaning anxious, fear, or uncertainty.

A Thanks for insight into 'BANGE' a Germán word meaning anxious, fear, or uncertainty - I believe the message This Back Pack is definitely well Designed & Made with Thoughtful Pockets / Sections with Semi Hard Shell complemented by durable & elegant stitching with smooth & strong zippers thereby Avoiding Anxiety, fear or Uncertainty - A Reverse psychology perhaps 
By tjashok on January 26, 2023

Totally not a corporate response.


I was a bit worried about the size because it was smaller than the backpack I replaced, but was plastery surprised that it could hold everything I need. 

I don't know where or how I will use the word plastery, but I must.

  But it looks huge. If I'm wearing something that size on my back, it had best contain a jet rocket for faster commutes.
  Of course, since the "brand" is just a forward-facing portal for the endless stream of Chinese goods, the copy is janky.

The unreality of the "brand" universe on Amazon is one of those things that makes you feel as if you woke up in a mild dystopia. Nothing has weight and everything is interchangeable.

Now, let's continue with our little tour of some highlights from a rainy day in . . .

And it was rainy. Pouring, all day, and us without umbrellas. The good news: no umbrella, nothing to check. The line on the way in and out was like the US Visa office in Paris two days before the Nazis arrived. Although of course everyone walked away happy.

One important thing to remember about Renaissance art: it took them a while to figure it out. This is "The Madonna of Humility" by Giovanni di Paolo, around 1442.

She really doesn't seem to pleased with how it all turned out. Great, I had to go and get a trumpunculous

"Actually, I think I'm pretty good at landscapes"

Fifty-eight years later, Botticelli.

The Infant's hands and arms aren't perfect, but it's a wonderful and luminous work.

I love paintings of other paintings. "Giovanni Paolo Pannini, Picture Gallery with Views of Modern Rome (detail), 1757." Full work here. It wasn't the usual show-off piece that shows a salon crammed with someone else's work, but scenes of Rome to remind the viewer that the owner was once amabassador to Rome.


So he swiped Moses for his house?

The level of detail, achieved with minimal paint, invites lingering looks. A tiny white dash of a brush, and we have a dress, and thereby a person.











Two thousand, six hundred souls.

Remember what I said about small obscurely named towns in OK or TX? Experience taught us that we wouldn’t be seeing much, just a lot of sad old empty buildings? I wasn’t entirely right, at least with the last example. It wasn’t bad. Let’s see what this iteration brings.

Not an auspicious start.



Well, as I like to say, we all know what that was.


Some words you hate to see removed. A town is never better when the food mart closes. And that was a long time ago.

Front side.

Li’l bit o’ Buckaroo for that Western vibe.

Thank you for calling Need To Know, Inc. None of our operators are available to take your call

Interesting how the boards, or sheet-metal pieces, echo the usual configuration of the old storefronts. Broad windows, then thin band of windows on top, frequently covered up in renovations, used to get more light (and ventilation) into the stores.

No ventilation going on here now.


Classic 30s cafe, unchanged, and waiting.

Context for the block. You can see how the Oz Embassy stood out.

Well, the Gummint is always a going concern in these places.

Another civic structure, with the stripped-down modernism of the genre. Nothing exciting. But solid. But dull.

A place for men with close-cropped hair and short-sleeve dress shirts in the summer.

I’m beginning to wonder if this was a neutron bomb testing ground.

The block was rehabbed to modern standards, but now looks like a haphazard agglomeration.

I’d say this was a bank. Once.

Then it was the Pastry Place. Once.

D’oh; I was sent here by a matchbook. (I never look ahead when I’m writing this.) So yes, my suspicion of it being a bank, based on my keen eye, and maybe the recollection of the reason I came here, was correct.

Those piled-up sheets really liven up the ol’ downtown. Like a ghost got bored and fell asleep.

I’ll bet this was a bank, too. Now it looks like someone came up behind it and put hands around its eyes and said guess who.

Or, don’t make a sound or I’ll kill you.

Business is good at the taxman’s office. Could afford a little spiffy facade work.

Yeah, great, nice you’re flush.

Again, we all know.

What the hell happened?

“Wal-Mart,” you say. “Killed the downtowns.”

There’s no Wal-Mart around.


Now two ways to chip in!

That'll do. Motels await.




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