Refusing to read any more essays that want you to have an opinion on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.
Trying to insist the problem is they just don’t write good Christmas songs anymore and it’s not that you imprinted on the songs of your childhood and aren’t taking in new ones.
Minor-key acoustic cover of “Wonderful Christmastime” makes you exit for the kitchen, open the freezer door, stick your head in, and scream into a bag of frozen peas-and-corn.
Wishing you still had the emotional baseline that allowed you to be genuinely upset about “Santa Baby”.
Karaoke night has a group that starts out singing “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” but ends up making a fair fraction of the bar actually weepy.
Entire afternoon spent reading the lyrics to Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “Jingle-o The Brownie” and pondering dumb mysteries like why Jingle-o has such a broad and, honestly, unfocused portfolio
Attempt to fuse an argument about “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” to the question of whether pigs-in-blankets count as sandwiches somehow backfires and gets you stuck among people trying so hard to insist that Back To The Future II is somehow a “Christmas Movie” that you can’t tell exactly where the put-on is. You scream into a bag of frozen peas-and-corn-and-carrots, the extra carrots doing much to absorb the sonic blast.
Watch about 65 minutes of the movie Auntie Mame before working out that oh, the version with songs in it is just called Mame and it stars different people, it’s not just that they did some weird and very wrong edit that missed out on songs like “We Need A Little Christmas”.
Entire day lost to trying to convince people you heard a song titled “Captain Santa Claus And His Reindeer Space Patrol”. You are imagining things.
Hey, they snubbed “Father Christmas” again, didn’t they? Ray Davies is not going to be happy.
[ That cryptic alien squiggle thing from that one Doctor Who episode a couple years ago. ]
FBI Surveillance Van #69
. – – .. ..-. ..
Bill Wi The Science Fi
bobby tables privat wifi
Paul Blart, Mall Jeb!
[ something incomprehensible that just feels like it’s probably a Rick and Morty reference but you can’t imagine ever being the sort of person who could possibly work up the energy to figure out whether it is ]
NSA Surveillance Van 420
Reference: Skyscraper: The Search for an American Style, 1891-1941, Roger Shepherd.
They had Wayne and Garth impersonators at the thing?
The 90s, huh?
All right but how can Wayne’s World be part of a whole Kings’ Dominion? Are we to believe the dominion encompasses more than a single world? Given the difficulties in establishing a functioning imperial bureaucracy over even a single planet?
Is this a bit?
OK, but the “Mid-No-Way” is worth a chuckle at least the first time you hear it.
Reference: Functional Analysis: A Short Course, Edward W Packel.
Comic Strip I’ve Wanted To Punch Harder Than I’ve Wanted To Punch Anything Else In My Life Today
Mary Worth 
 With the footnote that if you did not know the context then Saturday’s Mary Worth would be hilarious. Any comic strip where someone barks out “Bah!” is 90% of the way to hilarious. But trust me. In context? You’re going to want to punch this comic strip harder than you’ve wanted to punch anything in your life. Promise.
Reference: The Sputniks Crisis and Early United States Space Policy: A Critique of the Historiography of Space (Studies in Military and Strategic History), Rip Bulkeley.
This is a special Statistics post, commemorating the event of Another Blog, Meanwhile finally reaching its 100,000th page view, sometime during the 6th of October, 2018!
I had hoped people would enjoy getting to look back at how the number of page views has grown, over time, until it’s finally reached a number literally higher than it has ever reached before.
My thanks as ever to all the readers who looked at one or more of my pages, concluded that this was a strange lot of talk about mid-19th-century cabinet secretaries, and then went on to some other, popular blog.
Reference: Lilo and Stitch: Collected Stories from the Film’s Creators, Editor H Clark Wakabayashi.
Time again for my monthly review of how many people come around this blog, and what they seem to be coming for. I’m not sure what I expected. A decline, I suppose. I always feel like I’m fighting a battle against popularity. But now that Jim Scancarelli is back and producing new Gasoline Alley comics, there’s no reason for people to come around trying to understand what’s going on with the comic. People are curious about Alley Oop, but not as intently. People might come to miss Hazel and Henry, but … like … really? And Henry hasn’t quite stopped running yet. Anyway, here’s the big picture and it’s about as I expected:
So I didn’t earn another two hundred or so page views last month. 2,644 views in September, down from 2,848 in August and 2,984 in July. Lost nearly two hundred unique visitors, too. 1,436 visitors in September, down from 1,619 in August and 1,569 in July. I had expected that going from cartoons — in the Betty Boop and Popeye two-reelers — to half-hour-long radio — the Stan Freberg Show — would hurt readership. A half-hour densely-written radio show seems harder to skim than a cartoon short. But there’s evidence I’m wrong about that, too.
For all that I’ve got fewer readers, they’re staying involved, at least per capita. 174 things were liked around here in September. That’s basically the same number as were liked every month going back to April. It’s March since there was last a like-total outside the 165-to-180 range. There were 50 comments total in September, up from August’s 39 and July’s 36. It’s nice to have any month where there’s more than one and a half comments per day, anyway.
OK. So which of the comic strip explanation posts were most popular in September?
In August there were 60 countries sending me any readers at all. 16 of them were single-reader countries. How does this compare to September?
Hong Kong SAR China
Trinidad & Tobago
United Arab Emirates
Once again 60 countries sent me readers. Yes, I double-checked that I didn’t look at the wrong month’s data. 16 of them were single-reader countries. Yes, I checked again that I was looking at the correct month. Colombia, New Zealand, and Turkey were the only single-reader countries two months in a row. See? I have to be looking at the correct month. And yeah, 2,039 readers from the United States. Yes, I checked that I didn’t hit the Chuckletrousers number. Still weird. Looking at month-to-month totals it seems like half my readership decline was just people in India and Canada not coming around. Maybe I need to comment more about Australian politics to get them back?
October started with my blog having reached 99,519 viewers, from 54,713 unique visitors. Yes, I’m excited by the idea of reaching 100,000 viewers too. When I do reach that I can start the countdown to the Fibonacci number of viewers, 112358. Won’t that be exciting? It will too.
As of the start of October I’ve posted 273 things on this blog for 2018. There’ve been 177,181 words published total. That’s 18,197 total words published over the month, down from August’s 20,725. I’m averaging 641 words per post this year, down from 654 at the start of the month. There’ve been 641 comments total, for an average 2.3 comments per post this year. That’s the same average as at the start of September. There’ve been 1,671 total likes this year so far. That’s an average of 6.1 likes per posting, down from the start of September’s 6.2.
Really looking forward to next week, gotta tell you.
(This past week, Mopey Pete and Boy Lisa were told by their boss at the comics company that they needed a new flagship character. Mopey Pete’s girlfriend who inexplicably hasn’t shoved him over a cliff yet suggested “Atomic Ape” and the boss loved it. Then since the boss figured Atomic Ape needed a sidekick, she suggested “Charger Chimp” and the boss loved it too. Then Mopey Pete spent half the week yelling at his alleged girlfriend about how they were trying to do SERIOUS stuff here and he always hated kid sidekick characters and I guess somehow a chimpanzee has to be an annoying kid sidekick? Anyway, his alleged girlfriend was gone from the strip Saturday and if she has any sense, she’s put in for a transfer to some three-generations-and-a-dog strip like Ben or One Big Happy where they avoid focusing on the hateful characters quite so much.)
Reference: The Frozen-Water Trade, Gavin Weightman.
Not counted: two instances of pies shown on display in the window fronts of bakeries. My reasons for this are that pies are appropriate items to have on display in the window fronts of bakeries, even in real life; that said windows are not shown open and so the pies cannot be considered even loosely to be on a sill; and that there is no way to know the temperature of said pies on display and therefore whether to ascertain whether they are cooling relative to the general decline of the universe.
I know, I’m shocked too. And you know what else is shocking?
(T-shirt bought in a tragic incident where it was the last full day of the only honest-to-goodness vacation they’re getting all year and the bar had a kind of funny-ish name and it seemed like it made sense to get something as some kind of souvenir and they only had the one shirt left and who even knows what size it is because now, with perceptions un-tainted by the desperate need to have a year’s worth of fun in under 144 hours, they could never, ever wear it, and feel too embarrassed to throw it out or to donate to some needy person, who would also refuse to wear it, so there it sits, taking up the only space in the drawer next to the three pieces of good underwear.)
Reference: A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, Barbara W Tuchman.
Not a thing. Nothing at all. Yeah, sorry folks, this one caught me by surprise. Shall pass on word if I get any, but I guess we’ll see what gets printed Monday and whether Olivia Jaimes takes over the strip or something. When I have more I’ll post it at this link.
It’s bizarre that they would have introduced M T Mentis as this major new character if they were only going to use him for two stories. Also that if they expected a farewell that they’d go out on a story quite as mundane as Wizer and Alley Oop getting confounded by Alexa and having pizza. (I’ll get around to that shortly.) But I hadn’t even heard rumors of the strip ending, or of the Benders considering retirement, before this.
Source: This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury, Loyd S Swenson Jr, James M Grimwood, Charles C Alexander.
Bonus: six of these are also titles of upcoming Doctor Who episodes.
Also bonus: I am way too proud of “The Bois are Barque En Têt” considering it only works to the tiny extent it does if you know that the Têt is the largest river in southwestern France and even then it isn’t actually “funny” so much as it is “adequately researched”.
Source: Who’s Who In Mythology: A Classic Guide to the Ancient World, Alexander S Murray.
Well, the thing is, sometimes you know you have a good solid premise on the board, and you put it through the full development process and you see that it isn’t there yet, and you go back and you give it another two weeks of work, and you know the idea hasn’t blossomed to what it should. So you can either go with what you have, or write off the whole project as a loss, or toss it back into the scraps for use in a future piece. But what else could this be used for? A joke about not being able to remember the names of states? When is that going to come up? I mean, two-thirds of my jokes are based on remembering some impossibly petty bit of nonsense, like who was the Secretary of the Treasury in 1853 or something. Not being able to think of Arkansas? Impossible. Switch over to indifferently named states? You have to throw away all of these, really. Maybe not Kansish. But all you get back from it is “Mehvada”. Possibly “Alabamnah”. Not getting any closer done. Anyway I still believe in this premise.