News of the Week: Messy Homes, Jock Taxes, and It’s Time to Shape Up with Pickles

In the news for the week ending February 3, 2023, are a messy cleaner, blue syrup, a liquid robot, the end of time, and more.

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Random Notes

Notes jotted down as I prepare for a weekend where it could get to be 10 below zero. (But really, how do you prepare for extreme cold, stock up on blankets and tea?)

Marie Kondo, the queen of telling you how to tidy up and get rid of the things that no longer bring you joy, says that being a little messy might be okay after all. If Marie Kondo has given up, what chance do the rest of us have?

I’ve actually started to clean up things and get more organized — one of my New Year’s resolutions. I finally threw away that box of baking soda that’s been in my fridge since Obama’s first term.

I had a home energy inspector come to my apartment last week. I was thinking that would make for a great TV show, where they go from house to house and get involved in the lives of the people who live there, help them with their problems, solve crimes. And before you say that’s unrealistic, please note that Hallmark Channel has a series of movies where a professional caterer solves murders.

Some scientists say that time might not exist. But you can’t quite believe that when you’re stuck in a grocery store line behind someone writing a check for an orange.

You know what’s a terrible product? Rock salt that comes in big heavy bags. How are you supposed to use that?

Hey, I just thought of a name for that TV show I came up with: Sherlock Homes.

Do You Owe “Jock Taxes”?

I know that sounds like the name of a character from an action movie or an irritating medical condition, but it’s actually something in professional sports that many people don’t know exists. Pro athletes have to pay taxes in other states when they go to those states to play a game.

It’s not something you and I think about, but if you’re a remote worker or own your own company or travel for work, you might have to pay them too (but no one ever does and it’s nothing that is enforced).

Happy Birthday, Roy Roberts!

You think you’ve been at your job for a long time? Roy Roberts has written his weekly Cass County Star-Gazette column for over 70 years. Let me say that again and put it in bold and italics so you know it’s not a typo: over 70 years.

The National Society of Newspaper Columnists has an interview with Roberts, who turned 101 on Wednesday.

Technological “Progress”

For some reason, scientists have invented a shape-shifting, melting robot that can escape from a cage. Because we all know that always works out well for humans.

New Product of the Week

Three things about this:

  1. It looks like something Mr. Spock would put on his pancakes.
  2. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the phrase “Artificially Flavored” in such a big font. At least they’re being honest.
  3. Please, please, please don’t store this next to your dishwashing liquid.

RIP Bobby Hull, Cindy Williams, Lance Kerwin, Lisa Loring, Annie Wersching, Barrett Strong, Tom Verlaine, Victor Navasky, Billy Packer, Carol Sloane, and George Zimbel

Bobby Hull was a Hall of Fame hockey player for the Chicago Blackhawks. He was a 12-time All-Star, two-time Hart Trophy (MVP) winner, and is the team’s all-time top scorer with 604 goals. He died Monday at the age of 84.

Cindy Williams was best known for playing Shirley on the classic sitcom Laverne & Shirley. She guest-starred on many other shows and appeared in movies like American Graffiti and The Conversation. She died last week at the age of 75.

Lance Kerwin was best known for his role in the miniseries Salem’s Lot and the coming-of-age drama James at 15. He died last week at the age of 62.

Lisa Loring played Wednesday Addams on the ’60s sitcom The Addams Family. She died Saturday at the age of 64.

Annie Wersching had regular roles on many shows, including 24, Bosch, Runaways, Timeless, The Rookie, and Star Trek: Picard. She died Sunday at the age of 45.

Barrett Strong sang the first Motown hit, “Money (That’s What I Want),” and co-wrote such songs as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” and “War.” He died Sunday at the age of 81.

Tom Verlaine was the guitarist for the influential punk band Television. He died Saturday at the age of 73.

Victor Navasky was the former editor of The Nation and the satirical magazine Monocle and was author of a famous book about the Hollywood Blacklist, Naming Names. He died last week at the age of 90.

Billy Packer was an Emmy-winning NCAA announcer for CBS. He died last week at the age of 82.

Carol Sloane was an acclaimed jazz singer who performed and recorded from the early ’50s until 2019. She died last week at the age of 85.

George Zimbel took many iconic photographs of celebrities, like Marilyn Monroe, JFK, and Harry Truman. He died earlier this month at the age of 93.

This Week in History

Poe’s The Raven Published (January 29, 1845)

It was first published in The New York Evening Mirror. Poe also contributed to the Post, including the short story The Black Cat, published in 1843, and other works several years before that.

Columbia Disaster (February 1, 2003)

All seven astronauts died when the space shuttle disintegrated upon reentering the atmosphere over Texas.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Soda Fountain Dieter” (January 30, 1954)

The woman on this Stevan Dohanos cover is focused on her husband’s (I’m assuming) tasty dessert, but I’m wondering what she’s drinking.


The first week of February is Shape Up with Pickles Time. That sounds like we ran out of food holidays and just decided to put two ideas together to create a new one. Dieting and pickles? Sure, why not, whatever.

I don’t know if any of these recipes are “healthy” or encourage fitness, but how about this Bacon Cheeseburger Rice dish from Taste of Home that includes dill pickles, or Chicken, Pickles, and Potatoes from AllRecipes? And The Shortcut Kitchen has Oven Fried Pickles. For dessert you can make Delish’s Pickle Cheesecake. Whatever you make, you can wash it down with a Pickled Surfer cocktail from Good. Food. Stories.

And if you’re hesitant about trying a cocktail made with pickle juice, then you’re probably not going to make that cheesecake either.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Adlai Stevenson Day (February 4)

I have to admit, I didn’t know there was a day dedicated to the former governor of Illinois, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, two-time Democratic loser to Dwight D. Eisenhower, and subject of a 1956 Post cover by Norman Rockwell.

Mail Carrier Day (February 4)

Also known as “Thank a Mail Carrier Day.” Even if they deliver a bill, you should still thank them.

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  1. Barb: I thought that might be a phosphate but I wasn’t sure because I’ve never had one (I’m just glad it wasn’t a glass of that Cap’n Crunch syrup).

  2. What is a lime phosphate and can you make one at home? And I can so relate to the woman in that picture!
    I really enjoy this part of the SEP – thank you!

  3. Just love the Saturday Evening Post-been reading it since the 1955+ Never am disappointed-from cover to cover!

  4. The woman in the drug store is drinking a lime phosphate. I haven’t had one in 50 years. They are good.

  5. Bob, I know how f-f-f-freezing it’s been in the Midwest and East coast, but don’t know if you’ve received the wonderful snow you’ve been so patiently waiting for, yet. Do tell!

    I wasn’t familiar with Roy Roberts before. He’s remarkable to say the least. I’ll have to start reading his columns.

    Do you know when Cap’n Crunch’s Ocean Blue Artificially MAPLE Flavored Syrup is supposed to come out? Even my curiosity wants to try it (healthy or not) at least once. It does look like dish washing liquid except for the label. I got blocked out from reading the feature on the melting robot that can escape from a cage, unless I pay up.

    Great Stevan Dohanos cover. She’d definitely like a nice slice of his dessert for herself, for sure. I’m thinking she’s “trying to be good” on her calorie intake with (I’m figuring) is a sweet beverage, but it’s not cutting it. No, not at all.


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