Some links, a few stories

Cranky Old Man #71
I'm on a diet and can't cook anyway, but ham and bananas hollandaise looks delicious to me.

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Who doesn't like a nice inspirational quote? Like this one that says, "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less."

That's supposedly Marie Curie, but facts matter so I doublechecked, and it's not. It's just another internet meme going 'round. 

You know Marie Curie, right? Two Nobel Prizes, and research into radioactivity, which eventually killed her. She said the first sentence of that 'quote' (in French, but it's a fair translation) after being diagnosed with cancer, and the first sentence kicks butt. The second sentence isn't hers at all

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While we're talking about smart people, jeez, nobody wants to wade into this and I don't either, but this article in Scientific American is an embarrassment to Scientific American.  

The Complicated Legacy of E. O. Wilson 

Subheadline: We must reckon with his and other scientists’ racist ideas if we want an equitable future

Edward O Wilson died a few days ago, and I never met the guy. It's entirely possible he was a raging racist, and if so, no apologies from me. In the article, though, I see no evidence or examples.

I've read some of the papers in question, and it's been years, but I remember nothing from Wilson that said white people have smarter genes than black people, or anything that reasonable people might hear as racism.

He said genes are a contributing factor to intelligence, and fuckall, if that's racism then just pull the plug on science.

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Kids playing with alligators, in Los Angeles, as a tourist attraction. 

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I've been reading the Anderson Valley Advertiser since the 1990s. It's a small-town newspaper with a grumpy editor, excellent coverage of local issues, and a great letters section where almost all opinions are welcome.

A frequent letter-writer was a local dude named Jerry Philbrick, who wrote long, angry, BS-filled screeds that always ended with "God bless Donald Trump." Everything Philbrook wrote was worthless drivel, but I sometimes read a few paragraphs by accident, or for laughs.

Then he got sick and the letters stopped coming, and now he's dead.

When someone's as willfully ignorant as Philbrook was, I am a dance-on-their-graves kinda guy. I would've lifted a toast to his death, and I still might.

The AVA, though, runs a brief but straight obituary, along with a thoughtful feature they'd originally published about Philbrook a few years back, when a reporter had gone to his house to try to figure him out. She failed like Don Quixote, but you have to respect the quest. And I guess even a deluded numbskull like Philbrook had some redeeming qualities.

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I don't believe in the Bible's Book of Revelation, but an hour reading r/nursing makes today looks like the endtimes.

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Always on the prowl for new and interesting podcasts, I found Storytime with Seth Rogen, the pudgy and likable stoner actor. Can't say whether it's any good, though. My interest waned before the show got underway.

Rogen opens by reading a minute-and-a-half ad for LaCroix sparkling water. Then there's a two-minute tease for the episode, before the host announces that the podcast is sponsored by Better Health Online Therapy.

Everyone needs to make a living, and if you're a schmo with a podcast I won't complain about selling ads. If you're a movie star, I'll complain. Dude hasn't had a hit for a few years, but he's not struggling to put pot in his bong. Why is this millionaire pitching cyberpsychobabble and tinkle water?

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One-word newscast:


Betty White 

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The NBA and NFL surrendered to their vaccine refusers.

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If looks could kill:
Miss Hollywood, Sophia Loren, and Jayne Mansfield 

"Look at the picture. Where are my eyes? I’m staring at her nipples because I am afraid they are about to come onto my plate. In my face, you can see the fear."

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I'll bury this at the bottom of the page because it's stupid and pointless. Proceed at your own risk. No freebies will be given if you're not fully satisfied.

This was my dream from New Year's Eve overnight. What it means I don't know, but your analysis would be welcome.

I'm going to lunch at Cantor's Sandwich Shop. You've never heard of it because it doesn't exist (when I woke up, I Googled it) but in my dream Cantor's is famous for low-price pretty-good fast-food roast beef sandwiches. Even their sign is famous — a cartoon face with its mouth open wide, taking a big bite of beef.

I'd never eaten at Cantor's, but they're having a 2-for-1 sale so there I am. Walking in, instead of a normal fast-food counter, there are three counters, in three different corners of the building. It's like a food court at the mall, with tables in the middle, but every counter is Cantor's. I'm bewildered, but a big arrow dangling from the ceiling says "Order here," so that's the line I step into.

When it's my turn, I order ten roast beef sandwiches for the price of five. The guy makes my sandwiches, bags them, hands them to me, and I'm ready to pay, but no. "We can't handle money here, where we're prepping the food." He tells me to pay at the second counter, and points across the big room.

Seems peculiar. At most fast-food places you pay first, and then they give you the food, right? But I've never been to Cantor's before, and this is their system, so I take the sack of sandwiches and go stand in the second line to pay.

You know, I could just walk out of here with ten free roast beef sammiches, and I'm wondering, is this an honesty test? Am I on that stupid hidden camera show? If I am, I'll punch the host. He always bugged me. That whole show bugged me, and I never even watched it.

Finally it's my turn to pay, and I pay, but the employee at this counter tells me that now I gotta go to another counter — and he points across the room — "to take our customer satisfaction survey."

No, man. Bite me, I'm gonna bite and eat my sandwiches. I sit down and do exactly that, and they're good but not great.

While chewing, I watch as confused customers bounce around between ordering at one counter, paying at another, and doing the survey at the third counter, and the whole system is stupid. After eating and napkinning the mustard off my face, I walk across the room and join the line at the third counter. I want to take the survey, and tell Cantor's how stupid their system is.

While waiting, I watch as an old man behind the counter asks the survey questions of a younger man, who tells him that the service was slow and the roast beef was gristly. The old man says "We're very sorry," and hands him a coupon for a free blow job.

Now it's my turn to take the survey, and the old man asks me the same questions. I tell him their system is stupid, but their sandwiches are OK, and he says thank you. The next customer steps up, so I guess we're done. No blow job for me?

That's the end of the dream, but I woke up hungry for a roast beef sandwich.

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


 Sing along with Doug:
"History Repeating," by Propellerheads
featuring Shirley Bassey

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

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


Cranky Old Man 

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  1. > ham and bananas hollandaise looks delicious to me.

    I dunno, man. I like all three of 'em, and I am a fan of weird food combos, but I'm not sure about the banana addition. Of course, I'd try it at least once.


    >Everyone needs to make a living, and if you're a schmo with a podcast I won't complain about selling ads. If you're a movie star, I'll complain. Dude hasn't had a hit for a few years, but he's not struggling to put pot in his bong.

    Gee, Douggles, you're a real dick. Seth Rogen is having some severe financial issues lately. Check this out :


    1. Hahaha. $80m.

      I am mystified, though. People used to have *hobbies*, something you did just for the fun of it. You and I did zines, and I don't even remember daydreams of making a living at it.

      A millionaire does a podcast, but only if he can make a profit from episode #1?

    2. Wait a minute, that site tells us just two facts, Mr Rogen's net worth and his height. Doing the math, he's worth almost $1.43-million per inch, not counting his penis.

      (Did you catch that reference, MLG?)

      And I'm worth about $1 an inch.

  2. The show was "What Would You Do?" and yes it was HORRIBLE. Let's take advice on MORALS and ETHICS from a TV network. And it was often BAD ADVICE.

    I like the dream, tho. Funny stuff, and thank you for Marie too. Tell the truth.

  3. OK, this time I saved the fucker. Here it is. Do with it what you will as long as the options include sticking it up Google's ass.


    I swear to a God that must be pretty pissed off by now that there's some kind of software detector that knows whether you've taken the extra step of saving your long comments. With God as my witness, the people who run the Internet will pay for this. But I lost their fucking address in the flood of '95, so all that remains is Randy Newman . . .

    Louisiana 1927
    by Randy Newman

    What Has Happened Down Here Is The Wind Have Changed
    Clouds Roll In From The North And It Started To Rain
    Rained Real Hard And Rained For A Real Long Time
    Six Feet Of Water In The Streets Of Evangeline
    The River Rose All Day
    The River Rose All Night
    Some People Got Lost In The Flood
    Some People Got Away Alright
    The River Have Busted Through Clear Down To Plaquemines
    Six Feet Of Water In The Streets Of Evangelne

    Louisiana, Louisiana
    They're Tyrin' To Wash Us Away
    They're Tryin' To Wash Us Away
    Louisiana, Louisiana
    They're Tryin' To Wash Us Away
    They're Tryin' To Wash Us Away

    President Coolidge Came Down In A Railroad Train
    With A Little Fat Man With A Note-Pad In His Hand
    The President Say, "Little Fat Man Isn't It A Shame What The River Has Done To This Poor Crackers Land."

    Louisiana, Louisiana
    They're Tyrin' To Wash Us Away
    They're Tryin' To Wash Us Away
    Louisiana, Louisiana
    They're Tryin' To Wash Us Away
    They're Tryin' To Wash Us Away


  4. Jesus, Doug, it's possible I was so pissed off that my complaint email didn't make it through. If it did, here is the video. If not, this might not make much sense, but it's a beautiful song by a man who knows what to do with a piano.



    1. I read it once as poetry, then listed to it as a song. Mr Newman can do both quite well, and I'm a fan.

      Hmmm, wait. Does it cost money to be a fan? I've liked his music since at least the 1980s, but I don't think I've ever purchased any of it, so maybe I'm not a fan?

  5. Doug, I think we might have different opinions about another son of Missouri, Harry Truman, but thanks for the piece about the current Gov.

    I don't expect him to know anything at all. I do expect him to ask doctors about Covid, and his IT department about hacking, unless it's a hacking cough, in which case we might be in for slightly clearer sailing.


    1. I know little about Harry S Truman. The S stands for nothing, and if history can be believed he was something of a straight-shooter by reputation. He was a politician, though, so that seems unlikely to be true, but I hold him in higher ignorant esteem than most other Presidents from before my time. Are our opinions different?

      FDR's my fave.

    2. Recognizing the State of Israel and desegregating the Army when something like 65% of Americans opposed both shows some balls.

      If you have some time, take a look at his service in the Army in WWI, and the famous Battle of Who Run? He wasn't perfect, but he was willing to take a stand for things based on their merits rather than on popular opinion. And when he left the Presidency he was dead broke. He had to borrow a car to drive back to Missouri. Poverty isn't a virtue, but refusing to enrich oneself at the public coffers is.


    3. No boards of directors? No $100,000 speeches? Were there no offers of such back then, or did he actually say no?

    4. No. Corporations actively dislike honest men. He gave a few speeches for free for Democrats he liked. None for Republicans. And wrote his memoirs for a small but adequate income.

      Jesus, Doug, he lived to 90. I can't write his bio for you. I've read Plain Speaking and his official bio and another, slightly more critical book about Truman -- all over a 55 year stretch. One of my two sainted grandmothers said, fairly often, "Give me Harry Truman and tell all these phonies to go to the devil." I think she was talking about JFK the first time she said it. She recovered and, like me, became a fan.

      Damn it, Doug, you're looking for good and bad in a world of grey. As Presidents go, Truman was as honest as they come. As County Judge, his first elective position, I suppose he let a few of his friends walk, and certainly at least abetted the Pendergast gang.

      To quote my favorite movie, "Daryl, the world doesn't work like that. There aren't evil guys and good guys. There are just a bunch of guys."

      I believed that until about 2010. Now I believe it with exceptions. Ignorance remains a more common malady. Thirty-some percent of Americans think Trump won an election he lost by seven million votes. I'm just glad his ass is out of Truman's bed.


    5. My pop liked Truman too, and from everything I've read (which ain't much) Harry S doesn't seem to be worth hating.

      I wouldn't read his bio, though. My life's near its end, gotta focus on things that interest me and dead presidents don't.

    6. Doug,

      This is the best I can find online. It's a summary of Truman's service in WWI and includes a reference to the Battle of Who Run?

      The author ties in Truman's WWI service with his later political career all the way to the Presidency. Unfortunately, the Battle itself gets short shrift, but, in summary, he chased after his retreating Company and demoted everyone who ran away and promoted everyone who stayed and fought while the artillery was still flying. Virtually all the survivors of the Company volunteered to campaign for Harry Truman's Presidential campaign all those years later.

      This is about a 15 minute read, it is well-written, and I think you'll finish it before your life ends. I would consider it a personal favor if you would read it.



  6. Republicans are trying to instigate a second civil war. They sew lies and fear and more lies, and they are armed and becoming willing.

    Their lies are intended to keep people angry, fearful, unhappy, frustrated, and thinking they're oppressed.

    Pots left on simmer long enough usually boil.

    1. Well said, and I agree with you 100%. I think it's incumbent on us not to give up on our country and our form of government, but it is disheartening.


  7. You'll think I'm crazy but I had too many bananas on hand and everything else and it sounded good, so I made the recipe - and it was really good! Thank you!
    I used chunks of fully cooked ham instead of slices, lime juice instead of lemon, andignored the pineapple glaze whatever at the bottom of the recipe which I think is there by mistake. If I do it again I will slice the bananas beforehand, they made kind of a mess. Other than that, excellent!

    The roast beef story, not so much.


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