Perhaps first, go here.

Three things that happened in the lobby:

There was a fellow in a Piggly Wiggly T-shirt. Tall, late middle-aged, paunchy. He was looking at the great globe in its niche, the symbol of our paper. He made a disgusted looking motion and waved at it with dismissive contempt.

As I was passing by, and was curious what had prompted this, I noted that it was a beautiful object, and had been rescued from a barn and restored for the paper’s new home.

He pointed to the small clocks in the base that indicated the time zones.

“The clock’s aren’t even working,” he said.

“It may be powered down for some reason.”

“They’re not even showing the same time. They’re all different.”

And I walked away. Can’t help you with your view of life and its myriad disappointments.

Number two was technically outside the lobby, as I was entering the building. Two guys who looked like hippie wanderers were hanging out, and one asked me if I had a couple of dollars.

“I don’t carry cash,” is my standard response.

“You don’t carry cash?” He said with a bit of mock incredulity.

To which I wanted to say: “Yes, and that makes two of us, doesn’t it?”

The third was the best: I watched a woman take a large metal cart, about two-thirds the size of a grocery shopping cart, down the escalator. She held the handle with one hand. When she got to the bottom I braced for calamity - I was behind her - but she shoved it off without getting jammed up. She was talking on the phone with someone, through earbuds. She proceeded to the exit of the lobby, whereupon she attempted to push it through the revolving door.

Words do not describe the extent to which it did not fit, except to say it fit like a shopping cart in a revolving door.

“Allow me,” I said, and opened the REGULAR DOOR RIGHT NEXT TO THE REVOLVING DOOR. She was busy talking on the phone and laughing and said “I used to know how to do this.”

“Practice makes perfect!” I think I said.

The first fellow stuck with me the longest, because I am convinced he embodied a certain Esprit De Internet. The relentless pshawing and critiquing. There was a story in today’s paper about a pending renovation of Southdale, the Mother Mall. As you know I have a big warm spot in my heart for the place, even though it’s in trouble. And I mean “empty storefronts” and “shops that have signage made with Windows 95 font packages” trouble. The row of restaurants outside, intended to be a little main street, a product of the last renovation, have shuttered.

So the renovation is good news! One of the old empty department stores was already converted to a big fitness operation; the other is turning into a Kowalski’s supermarket, which will oversaturate the area with grocery stores. (CUfB, Whole Foods, Target, Lunds, Traders Joe. I don’t know what they’re thinking, really.)

The Kowalski’s renovation removed one of the last vestiges of the original facade. You hate to see it.

All stripped to its 50s bones:

That's the stone that was removed. And presumably thrown away.

So here’s the response to the Strib story on Twitter.

The first is . . . odd, since Burnsville has a different ownership. Edina money! Like the wealthy suburb has naturally occurring downpours of greenbacks. The second is evidence of tiresome monomania.

Next two: The first is unengaged Boomerism. The second is the usual “Minneapolis is a hellhole ha ha crime you asked for it I’m out here in a town of 1284 people with one bar”

The first is stupid; the second is rote miserabilism.


No go anywhere! Stay home and be afraid! Of the suburbs!

Next batch: The first is more “can’t get me to go to the Cities, no sir no how!” And that’s fine. Stay home. The second is my least-favorite type of thing, where someone pretends ignorance of something to sound cool. “What’s a checkbook?” And that sort of thing.

It’s better than turning into a ruin.

And I happen to have a piece about that.



It’s 1801.

Yes, 1801. This is the oldest paper we’ve done. A remarkable artifact.

The Farmer’s Mufeum! Typeface consistency was not all that important, it feems. And I like the phrase “Columbian Independence.”

Literary Gazette, same split styles.

The motto, attributed to GOLDSMITH. Oliver, no doubt. But I can’t find the quote in his works.

It really does look like they’re talking through a mouthful of crackers.

Fend away for a book of Difcourfes:

“Late” is one way of putting it.

Daniel Whitby (1638–1726) was a controversial English theologian and biblical commentator. An Arminian priest in the Church of England, Whitby was known as strongly anti-Calvinistic and later gave evidence of Unitarian tendencies.

To give you an idea of the sort of thing you know nothing about - unless, of course, you are a ferious theologian who knowf well the hifstory of the Church:

Whitby is usually ranked as an Arminian. However, his views regarding original sin were not in line with historical Arminianism. In the Bangorian controversy he wrote (1714 and 1718) in defence of Benjamin Hoadly. On the doctrine of our Lord's deity, which he had defended in 1691 and had upheld throughout his New Testament commentary (1703), he was affected by the treatise (1712) of Samuel Clarke, as shown by his later criticisms of George Bull and Daniel Waterland.

The Bangorian Controversy!

It really does read like the news of the world delivered by the Roman official in “Life of Brian.”


Paul's pro-German sentiments and unpredictable behavior made him unpopular among Russian nobility, and he was secretly assassinated by his own officers.

Paul made several idiosyncratic and deeply unpopular attempts to reform the army. Under Catherine's reign, Grigori Potemkin introduced new uniforms that were cheap, comfortable, and practical, and designed in a distinctly Russian style. Paul decided to fulfill his father Peter III's intention of introducing Prussian uniforms. Impractical for active duty, these were deeply unpopular with the men, as was the effort required to maintain them. His love of parades and ceremony was not well-liked either.

Yeah, that’s a stabbin’. Well, that, and strangling, and stomping.

Hmmm. Zoonomia.

Erasmus Darwin. The book is now best remembered for its early ideas relating to the theory of evolution, specifically forms of developmentalism similar to Lamarckism.

We know his grandson better.

Now two ways to chip in!

That'll do - see you around! Some Fifties interiors await. The end of the Armstrong series.



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