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This makes my face smiley.

Cranky Old Man #69

Pope prays for end to pandemic in Christmas address 

Is the Pope just beginning to pray about Covid now? Or has he been praying for an end to the pandemic for almost two years... to no avail?

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News from November, which I'd somehow missed:

Two men framed by the feds for the murder of Malcolm X more than fifty years ago have been exonerated. One of them is 83 years old. The other died in prison, fifteen years ago.

Near as I can ascertain, the government offered nothing to say ‘sorry’, not even a handshake for the survivor, but he's suing for compensation.

No payment could be enough, of course. Evidence was knowingly withheld, but it's unlikely that anyone will be punished for the obvious prosecutorial misconduct.

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I've read this article about log4j, apparently the most serious computer security breach ever, and decided not to worry about it.

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In San Francisco, the Tenderloin district has been a hellhole for decades, and the city's mayor has a plan — more cops. That's usually the wrong solution, and it's certainly wrong in the Tenderloin.

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One-word newscast:

Cops
Cops
Covid
Covid
Trump 

Dead:
Jean-Marc Vallée
Sarah Weddington
Edward O Wilson 

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I love brassy musicals with catchy tunes and everybody dancing. My favorite is The Music Man, where, as you may recall, 76 trombones led the big parade.

There’s a child in the show who speaks with a lisp (7-year-old Ron Howard lovably played him in the movie) but in playwright Meredith Wilson's rough drafts, the character was disabled, and Wilson had a relatively advanced (for his era) message he wanted to convey. 

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Five years ago, kerbloom, the spillways at one of America’s largest dams collapsed, and needed to be repaired lickety-split, before the winter flood season. This necessitated quick competence from engineering and construction firms, and from government — something you sometimes don’t see.

Here’s an interesting video about it, from the Practical Engineering guy, Grady Hillhouse, who is just a skosh smarter than me.

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Factcheck.org is one of those sites that claims to debunk myths and falsehoods, while sometimes spreading them. I do not respect their work and never have; they tend to say Republicans lie (The election was stolen! Covid is a hoax!) but Democrats lie too (because some Dem said the unemployment rate is 4.9%, when actually it’s 4.4%), so "both sides do it!"

Here’s some Factcheckery that’s almost factual: Five people died during the January 6 riots, and four cops killed themselves shortly thereafter, so is it reasonable to say that 9 is the death toll? They answer the question reasonably reasonably, but they also say that what happened on January 6 was a 'rally'. They speak of "rally participants" and "rallygoers".

Was January 6 a 'rally'? Really? I’ve been to lots and lots of rallies, but never one like January 6. Who factchecks Factcheck.org?

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If there's a symbol you want to type but it's not on your keyboard, you can Google or scroll through long lists of altcode and ASCII and HTML characters, or you can use this nifty new tool: ShapeCatcher. Simply draw the symbol you're thinking of, and the software will (try to) give you the necessary info. 

I tested it by drawing the long-lost simple happy-face (left). Almost any text-processing software would convert :) to a simple smiley-face, until about two years ago, when virtually all software started converting :) to the golden, rosy-cheeked smiley-face (right) instead. I dislike the change — the old symbol was clean, the new symbol is gaudy — but I've been unable to change it back or overrule it.

Well, ShapeCatcher taught me that I can still create the old smiley-face. It's hexadecimal 0x263A, HTML ☺ or ☺ or alt/236A. This makes my face smiley.

When I drew a picture of a penis and balls at ShareCatcher, though, it suggested the Unicode hexadecimal for a paper clip.

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Here's how much I know about current movie stars: Just now, I figured out that Timothée Chalamet isn't black. I'm guessing it's his oddly-spelled first name that fooled me. That, plus I haven't seen any of his movies, or any pictures of him. And I might've still been confused even if I had.

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The View is looking for a sane Republican (and they've been looking for months).

"They will not consider a Republican who is a denier of the 2020 election results, embraced the January 6 riots, or is seen as flirting too heavily with fringe conspiracy theories or the MAGA wing of the GOP. But at the same time, the host must have credibility with mainstream Republicans, many of whom still support Donald Trump." So yeah, good luck with that. 

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"I’ve stopped wearing makeup, and my perception of beauty has drastically changed."

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Hey The North Face! When you said sending us a bogus trademark threat was a mistake, we believed you; so why did you do it again?

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It's 1966 — do you know where your Life magazine is?

Amid throbbing lights, dizzying designs, swirling smells, swelling sounds, the world of art is "turning on." It is getting hooked on psychedelic art, the latest, liveliest movement to seethe up from the underground.

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 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going: 

—①—
     —②—
          —③—

 Sing along with Douggles:
Wish You Were Here, by Alpha Blondy


Sincere tip 'o the hat:
Linden Arden • BoingBoing
Captain HampocketsFollow Me Here
The Honest Courtesan • John the Basket
LiarTownUSAMessy Nessy Chick
National ZeroRan Prieur
Vintage EverydayVoenix Rising

Extra special thanks:
Becky Jo • Name Withheld • Dave S.

12/28/2021  

Cranky Old Man 

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15 comments:

  1. Being vegetarian I am offended by the first picture. Being a law-abiding citizen I am offended by the second picture. There were other reasons to be offended by all the other pictures. Good writing too, Doug. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A day without offending someone is like a day without sunshine.

      Delete
  2. I don't know where this should go, so I'm handing it off to you in the message box.

    Here is the poem of the week. I'm not going to say much about this poem yet. I will say a couple of words about Wallace Stevens, though, because he was an odd poet. Unlike great American poets like Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot and Emily Dickinson, Stevens was, at most, a part-time poet. He had a full-time job as an executive and lawyer for the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company for most of his adult life. I can't imagine the person who wrote this poem being an insurance company executive, but I guess we are who we are -- not what we do to make a living.

    The Emperor of Ice Cream
    by Wallace Stevens

    Call the roller of big cigars,
    The muscular one, and bid him whip
    In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
    Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
    As they are used to wear, and let the boys
    Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
    Let be be finale of seem.
    The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

    Take from the dresser of deal,
    Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
    On which she embroidered fantails once
    And spread it so as to cover her face.
    If her horny feet protrude, they come
    To show how cold she is, and dumb.
    Let the lamp affix its beam.
    The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

    Regards,
    johnthebasket

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Part-time poet — I like that. It suggests doing it for the love of doing it, like home cooking or needlepoint or homemade writing, and that's what art is. Gets dangerous and alters everything when people do it for a living.

      Lawyer? Insurance executive? Well, that gives me pause, but I'm openminded or try to be.

      The poem, though, I'll need some guidance on that. I read it a few hours ago and again just now, and it's wiggling away from me.

      Delete
    2. Doug, I've been chasing the son of a bitch for 55 years, but the chasing has lit my path in a way that a clean capture never could. I read almost no literary criticism of poetry. Some of it is OK, but some has thrown me off the track for decades. There are times we should stand on the shoulders of giants and times when we should stand next to them and measure their true height -- and our own.

      My own interpretation of this particular poem departs from the traditional interpretations to a greater degree than just about any other poem I care about. However, the traditional interpretations vary a fair amount among themselves, and this is a short poem: 16 lines, no waiting.

      jtb

      Delete
    3. I am still coming up dry as I re-read the poem, but you are very invited to share your interpretation. You're the smartest friend I've made in many years, and I ain't yet read anything of yours and regretted it, so — please!

      Delete
    4. Dude, I'm late for my cardiologist, and she hits my butt with those paddles when I'm tardy or, you know, not responding. I'll be back in about ten hours (Oh, she's a slave-driver). Meanwhile, enjoy the Essex and tell me whether it sounds like K-Pop or maybe Cyndi Lauper or Tom Waits. (If I'm so smart, how come I can't come up with happy Tom Waits?)

      This is what happens when the drummer stays off the snare and leans on both toms:

      Meet the Essex . . .

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=466Y-5dPtBQ

      jtb

      Delete
    5. Yeah, "Easier Said Than Done" is the song I thought I'd remembered, and it's very much a happy ditty.

      Wikipedia backs you up, tells me all the founding members were US Marines. Man, you could win a lot of bar bets with that factoid.

      Delete
    6. Also, good luck with the cardiologist.

      Delete
  3. OK, I just lost my cardiologist message. Gotta run, so to speak. Back tonight. Also, my toilet is plugged. Any suggestions? Should I just move out? I was going to ask my cardiologist, but she seems both over- and underqualified, if you know what I mean.

    jtb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Toilet auger? I bought one a while back, and use it whenever things start moving slowly.

      Delete
    2. Doug,

      I borrowed a toilet auger from my brother-in-law and have made progress. The damn thing finally flushes. We'll see whether it flushes with shit in it when I can defecate again.

      The other toilet is also out of commission because of a failed seal, and it's gonna be a long time before I have the 300 bucks to pay to replace it, and you might have heard that we're entering our second week of snow with sub-20 temperatures, so using the back yard is problematic.

      Anyway, this is a thank-you note for the auger tip. I appreciate it.

      Delete
    3. This is happy news indeed. Especially for us old-timers, it's a marvelous feeling to defecate, and it's best if it's followed by a flush. Many happy flushes in 2022 and beyond!

      Stay warm and laxitated!

      Delete
  4. Fuck me, the message just re-appeared. Is that a dagger I see before me or my old message? Maybe I need to slow down. I don't do well when I rush. Later for you baby, and hubba hubba.

    jtb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find that sometimes it takes up to several minutes, and if I post five comments, the site will battle me on at least two of them.

      Pretty sure nobody at Google uses Blogger.

      Delete

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