Image of a faded comic book cover showing two superheroes carrying children over a street full of cars with sharp teeth for grills and angry-eye headlights to a bus.   Banners include: BUS RYDER Answers the Burning Question: WHAT IS AN OCTD?? Introducing BUSONIC WOMAN! SEE BUS RYDER Conquer the SNARLING TRAFFIC MONSTER!!

Apparently this was a 1976 comic book to promote the then-new county bus system with campy knock-off superheroes (and really wonky perspective). I mean, Bus Ryder looks suspiciously like Superman, and there’s no question where the Busonic Woman got her name.

Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.

November 23: Helicopter pilot finds ‘strange’ monolith in remote part of Utah

November 25: Using Google Earth to look for the Utah monolith site. One candidate that matches the landscape seems to have something vertical that appeared between the 2015 and 2016 images.

No coordinates in the article. Attempt no landings there.

December 7: After the Utah Monolith was found, everyone was making comments about 2001: A Space Odyssey. But as more have popped up, I’m starting to think about The Chronoliths. It’s a novel by Robert Charles Wilson in which obelisks appear out of nowhere, commemorating future military victories by someone no one has heard of – yet.

The monolith in Atascadero, California, was installed by a group of local artists who, on hearing about the one in Romania, figured, someone’s going to make a third one, so why not us?

It was meant to be something fun, a change of pace from the kind of conversations 2020 has been plagued with

After a group traveled five hours to tear it down on video, the town rallied around rebuilding the obelisk and putting it back up on the mountain.

December 27: I…what????? Gingerbread monolith appears — then collapses — on San Francisco hilltop

In true pop-up-art fashion, a nearly 7-foot-tall monolith made of gingerbread mysteriously appeared on a San Francisco hilltop on Christmas Day and collapsed the next day.

A tower made of gingerbread squares on a patch of dirt on a hill. Boulders and hikers visible in the background.

After four ant-free years, we’ve been invaded by ants that smell like nail polish when you squash them. Some of the stranger things that we’ve found ants going after over the past few weeks include:

  • Children’s medicine. The ants don’t care about the antihistamines, just the sugary syrup. We washed everything out and now keep the liquid medicines in a ziplocked bag.
  • A forgotten party favor with a bundle of jelly beans in it, in a box at the top of a bookshelf in our bedroom. From our wedding. 11 years ago. D’oh!
  • A poster frame. More specifically, the dead bugs that had crawled into the open spaces in the tape who-knows-how-long-ago and gotten stuck. Eeew.

And of course the more typical targets like the kitchen trash can.

Now, while ants are new to this apartment, the place we lived before gave us a constant struggle. Some of the more spectacular cases were:

  • The pantry and liquor cabinet. Ants were trying to crawl through the threads of every screw-top jar or bottle they could. We got in the habit of wiping the tops before closing them.
  • The refrigerator and freezer. There was just enough room for them to crawl in, but they couldn’t handle the cold. The ants in the refrigerator got progressively slower farther from the entry point, and a pathetic swath of frozen ants coated part of the freezer door. We patched the gap using model magic.
  • Underwear.

…yeah, I can’t really top that one.