Got a sneak preview of a bar / restaurant the other night, because I am an important member of the media who gets private access to things, and a known foodie. 

I’m sorry, that should have shown up in red to indicate a total lie. I thought HTML 5 had a t <lie> tag. Let me start again.

No one ever went back to the dorm in college after class, put on an album, and thought “I’ll bet in the 21st century, when we’re all wearing one-piece jumpers and growing food in test tubes on the moon, that guy a few rows over in Art History will be the landlord for the guitarist for this band that's playing now.”   But a few weeks ago I was having dinner with a guy I hadn't seen in three decades or so. He’d invited us over to meet the art history prof we both had in college, a marvelous man named Norman Canady, and talk turned to the big bass guitars on his wall. We talked about our favorite bands in college. Television came up.

Richard Lloyd lives in my house,” he said.

Uh - you don’t say. What? Yes: he lives here now.

 There were two guitarist, of course - the weird meandering lead of Tom Verlaine, and the much-more accomplished and fiery rhythm / lead work of Richard Lloyd. Well, Richard lives here now half the time. And here he is, in a lousy made-for-Instagram photo!



He still has it. 

I’ll have more later; saving up the good stuff for a story next month. Suffice to say you’d never see him on the street and think “Ah, now there’s a member of one of the most important bands of the 70s.” If you saw Tom Verlaine, you might think “so the dead do walk amongst us after all,” unless he’s put on some weight. But Richard? No. Until he plays, that is. 

PS. The opening act was the Baby Boys. Some nifty stuff.

PPS. The restaurant deserves a full accounting by someone who knows what he’s talking about, so we’ll have to wait for Rick Nelson to pay a visit. I’ll just say this: Belmont, next to the cop shop on 4th. Chorizo pizza: oy. Yes. Is there also pudding? you ask. There is pudding, a recipe invented by the owner / chef’s wife. It is pudding that will make you forget ice cream exists. 

NEWS This story on side-by-side pharmacies echoes something I heard when CVS went in right next to a Walgreens in Edina. A lady of a certain age was in line, and when the clerk said the construction next door was for another drug store, she was outraged. “How can they let that happen?” she said.

Mind you, the Walgreens was catty-whompus from Target, which has a pharmacy, and Target was two blocks from Lunds, which has a pharmacy. All three sell milk. Several blocks away, there was a streetcorner that used to have three gas stations. Three! How did they let that happen? Also, there’s a Pizza Hut right next to a convenience store that sells frozen Tombstones and hot slices. What is going on here?

Actually, the consternation seems limited to drug stores, which I do not understand. Maybe it’s because CVS is relatively new in town; no one seemed particularly exercised when Walgreen’s squoze out Rexall, and the vanishing of local unguent-peddler Synder’s seems to have gone unmourned. It’s a good thing, competition; that Walgreen’s in Edina was a dusty muddled junky joint before, and the appearance of a shiny new foe made them rehab and improve. Everybody wins!

Until the loser shuts its doors, anyway. Do you know what CVS stands for? No one does. (I believe it’s Consumer / Value / Service.) It’s like SKU: everyone sees it on a price tag or a store shelf, and no one knows what it stands for - unless, that is, you’re at Trader Joe’s, and you see the new cloth bags with the rope handles. They’re intended to be jokey and generic: THIS IS A BAG is printed on the fabric; below it says STOCK KEEPING UNIT 938296. That’s what SKU means. Now you know. Amaze your friends. Disclaimer: no actual amazement will occur.


TECH Will this save QR codes? Or at least reduce all the snark they inspire?

Using technology developed by software company Evrything, Diageo assigned an individual code that created a special identity for its whiskey brands in Brazil for a promotion timed to Father's Day, celebrated there in August. When consumers scanned the code on the bottle using a smartphone, it allowed them to personalize a film template by adding a photo and a personal message to their dads. Dad could then view the film by scanning the bottle with his own phone.

This presumes Dad has a phone capable of retrieving the data and displaying it correctly; I think my Dad’s cellphone is six inches thick and cannot display graphics more complex than Pong. But that will change. In 20 years people will be rolling their eyes at their parents’ tech: I tried calling my dad on my subdural transmitter the other day, and when I get the holographic pop-up it says he’s still on Google glasses. It’s so embarrassing.


FRANKENSTORM The internet abounds today with pictures of New Yorkers thronging stores to stock up on food. This is the problem with living in an enormous metropolis: you have a fridge the size of a suitcase. And, as Buzzfeed points out, no idea whatever how to deal with storms. The tape! It does nothing!