Dean Clough

October 28, 2022

Portico Darwin: What Retired People Do


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One question I'm asked often (especially on Fridays) is "What is the meaning of life, Portico Darwin?" 

Actually, no one ever asks me that. 

Instead, it's more like "How do you fill all of those lonely, empty hours in retirement?"  Or, if it's someone pleasant: "Where do you get the super cool old photos you use in the blog?" 

I'll answer both questions with another one of my precious lists.  But this time, it's the rabbit hole to top all rabbit holes - perfect for staying busy while you hide from those pesky trick or treaters this weekend and on Monday.

It's a list of the coolest archive sites I've discovered online.

Some are magazines, but there's also a gonzo collection of music, two extraordinary city photo archives, and a vast multimedia trove from the gold standard of international broadcasting.  Some come via or Google, while others have their own sites.  All are free.

The link for each will take you to the subject's Internet portal for its collection.  For your added pleasure, I've added a clever example from each, with the original publication date.  Maybe it will motivate you to go down a rabbit hole or two of your own.

Spy Magazine (August 1990)
This publication is largely responsible for the snarky attitude I carry to this day and it certainly inspires this blog.  Perhaps the funniest magazine of all time?

Life Magazine (July 1948)
The granddaddy of them all.  Maybe of propaganda, too.  Regardless, it's quite a time capsule.

BBC (July 1967)
Never let it be said that this blog does not have an international flavor.  Maybe the world's most trusted news source?  There's audio, video, and printed material and a lot of it.

Albany (1940)
21st best city in America!  Then and now!

Esquire Magazine(November 1966)
I know - been there, done that:  I talked Esquire covers just a few posts ago.  I don't care - it's an amazing and beautiful resource - truly Diamond Certified.  It's also a who's who of writers. 

Aspirational, too.  I mean, look at the length of that . . .  Man's Car.

The Grateful Dead (February 1986)
For some of you out there - and you know who you are - this is the only archive you'll ever need. 

Fun fact:  I picked this show because 1) it was here in Oakland, and 2) the Neville Brothers appear on some songs.  It also completely kicks ass.

Sports Illustrated (October 1962)
It's a tie between this, Esquire and Life for the biggest time sink/deepest rabbit hole.  And like Esquire, it's a who's who of writers, but this time legendary sportswriters like Frank Deford, Dan Jenkins, and Ron Fimrite.

P.S.  I have a special bowling issue coming soon!

San Francisco (1970)
I'll wrap this by bringing it home.  I hope my SF chums have a chance to peruse this veritable treasure trove on our favorite city.  There are pictures from every neighborhood, from all eras.  Good and bad - jeez, look at The Embarcadero Freeway debasing our beloved waterfront!
SF 1975.jpg


This is almost as good as having inside info from Disney! 

First, I provided insight into how a large engineering consultancy and a multinational law firm each handled the pandemic:  their remote work policies, and the current and future impact of them. 

Now, from our ascendant niece Nicki comes this:  what's happening in the corporate, yet alpine, air of Vail Resorts:

Vail moved to completely remote with the option to go into the office as much or as little as you'd like.  I go in 3 days a week to a giant building housing 10 floors of mostly empty office space, I can only imagine how fun it was when people came in. 

I think for some departments and industries better work gets done in person rather than virtual meeting after virtual meeting.  Which tends to take up most of my time these days. 


And what will become of this "mostly empty office space"?  As I mentioned to another reader, its conversion to residential use is problematic, for many reasons, but here's a big one:  plumbing.  Think about the added water, drains, toilets, showers and tubs that must be a part of any conversion.   Add in things like window requirements and you begin to understand the magnitude of the issue.

And this just in, the current episode of the Freakonomics podcast:

The Unintended Consequences of Working from Home

I can only say great minds think alike?  

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.


Archive?  If I could archive Guided By Voices, I sure as hell can archive Rush.  Here are their first 10 albums, on Spotify, in chronological order.   
For the record, I omitted the superfluous live album Exit Stage Left intentionally.  While its version of "Closer to the Heart" is definitive, the rest is outdone by their 50 or so other live albums, including their first, All the World's a Stage, which is above.

This was taken well after their first 10 albums were produced, but what a great photo regardless. 

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