Lullaby and good night

I have never needed one (quite the opposite), but if you’re trying to sell a sleeping aid, you need a soothing voice. That’s why our jingle of the day is the soporific, calming, crooning couplet that was all over TV in the ’60s and ’70s:

Take Sominex tonight and sleep,
Safe and restful sleep, sleep, sleep …

I actually preferred the bouncier, more upbeat line of a rival product,

Nytol will help you get your Z’s!

–during which the two tablets posed in front of the bottle would do a quarter-turn, so the N’s etched into the pills would turn to Z’s.

My problem, as I said, is not falling asleep but waking up, my attitude toward which matches the matchless Nero Wolfe’s sidekick Archie Goodwin’s:

I would appreciate it if they would call a halt on all their devoted efforts to find a way to abolish war or eliminate disease or run trains with atoms or extend the span of human life to a couple of centuries, and everybody concentrate for a while on how to wake me up in the morning without my resenting it. It may be that a bevy of beautiful maidens in pure silk yellow very sheer gowns, barefooted, singing ‘Oh, What a Beautiful Morning’ and scattering rose petals over me would do the trick, but I’d have to try it.

This time, I’m going to get Lara past those damn wolves

I finally installed some games on my new Core i7-7700HQ / GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Lenovo Legion Y520 gaming laptop (L.A. Noire, Tomb Raider, and Rise of the Tomb Raider), so blogging may be light for a few days. With luck I’ll finish the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot game before the 2018 reboot movie, with Alicia Vikander stepping into Angelina Jolie’s shoes, comes out. GameSpot quotes director Roar Uthaug as saying he hopes to capture some of the feel of the game:

“I think making Lara Croft feel like a real human being, that’s definitely something we want to bring to the big screen as well. I think we’ll want to make people relate to Lara as a character. I’m hoping to bring some of my Norwegian sensibilities to the franchise.”

Swell. Get ready to see a melancholy Lara Croft sitting on a rock chewing on lefse and lutefisk.


Volvo has announced that, starting in 2019, every car it introduces will be either a gas-electric hybrid or fully electric. It’s not an earth-shaking move on the Chinese-owned company’s part–Volvo’s market share is so tiny, it might as well announce that all its cars will have LED headlights shaped like Thor’s hammer–but Volvo is my wife’s fantasy car, and now syncs with my three current fantasy cars. The Chevy Bolt is a $38,000 electric with a range of 238 miles. In the win-the-lottery department, the Acura NSX is a $158,000 supercar hybrid.

Zelectric Motors VW

And in sunny California, a company called Zelectric Motors converts mint-condition ’50s and ’60s VW Beetles into stoplight-drag-race-winning electrics, albeit short-range ones (there’s a Karmann Ghia on their site that’s to die for).

Trying to imagine the inspiring Trump museum in 50 years

Happy birthday, U.S.A.! Celebrated by visiting one of the original 14 copies of the Declaration of Independence at the state archives (one for each of the new states and one for Congress, printed by a woman in Baltimore in 1777) and the inspiring JFK Museum nearby. Bloomberg TV has the Boston Pops and guests concert and fireworks tonight. And 44 states have refused to comply with Trump’s voter suppression info request. If Mitch McConnell were covered with fire ants I could almost feel positive.

Of windfalls and watches

The Wells Fargo wagon is a-comin’ down the street. Or at least I got an email from Wells Fargo telling me a statement was available online, which intrigued me because I had no recollection of having any accounts with the repentant fraudsters (a credit card and our mortgage from our former life in Connecticut both being defunct). Turns out I have a SEP IRA with the bank which I’d forgotten about, which is not enough to retire on but is enough to buy the cream-colored retro Shinola Guardian watch I’ve been lusting after. All I have to do is wait till age 70½ and it’s all mine, and maybe even the yellow Pontiac Aztek of my dreams too.

Oh no, my precious

I’ve been doing it for 35 years and I can tell you it’s not difficult to keep a personal computer up and running smoothly. For Windows, you just follow three simple steps:

  1. Install a top-rated anti-virus and anti-malware suite before you do anything else, and never click on anything you can’t personally vouch for.
  2. Backup your brains out. All drives — hard drives, solid-state drives, thumb drives — will fail; keep two if not three copies of everything valuable.
  3. Wipe and reinstall everything to give your PC a fresh start every six months.

I broke Rule #2 — ironically, all the files from my PC were backed up on my USB flash drive, my inch-long life, my everything, but not all the files on the flash drive existed on the PC. So when my magic key started throwing errors and “Windows cannot repair the drive” messages last night, there was nothing for me to do but wail.

Now I have to do Step #3, which sometimes I find a pleasant, tidying pastime in a Martha Stewart way, but I can’t spare the day it takes to do it. Back in the days of floppy disks and Disk Operating Systems (pronounced “doss”), I used to sing about it:

The light came on and the disk spun
I fought the DOS and the DOS won
I looked for my files and found none
I fought the DOS and the DOS won

If she was a car, she’d burn rubber

Delta Jean MarieDespite having only three-quarters the usual allotment of claws, black cat Delta is shredding the hell out of my two black leather chairs, one in the living room and one in the office. She likes to leap and hurtle through the air before skidding to a stop on furniture, then dig in for traction and either launch herself or tumble clumsily from the top or arm of a chair, leaving punctures and lengthy claw marks.

Yes, this is going to be one of those blogs that occasionally shows a cat. Back in the early ’00s when we used a platform called Radio instead of WordPress and I had one of the top 50 blogs (i.e., when there were only 60 blogs in the world), I wrote and more famous and generous blogger Jonathon Delacour immortalized as a little plaque or meme We’re here, we blog, we post cat pictures, get used to it.