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.

Several local cities will send out SMS notices for emergencies and “avoid this area due to collision/police activity/etc.” All weekend they kept sending reports about an intersection being closed due to a “traffic collision” Saturday morning. One alert mentioned a vehicle had crashed into a building.

What all of the alerts failed to mention, and Katie discovered as she walked past it today, is that it set the building on fire and completely gutted it!

I mean, maybe mention “traffic collision and out of control structure fire” next time. Or “closed for fire investigation” for the second day. I mean, talk about burying the lede!

According to the news, it happened around midnight Friday night/Saturday morning. The driver lost control and crashed into the bank. Police nearby heard the crash and pulled both the driver and passenger from the car before it caught fire, and they only sustained minor injuries.

Update: The site sat empty for most of 2020 (*ahem* covid), but by 2021 they had started construction on a new building completed in 2022. I’m still amazed that it happened at a time of day and in a way that no one was seriously hurt or killed.