Cranky Old Man #86
a frothy mix of leftovers and links

Lloyd Dobler's words to live by 

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Art works 

"Instead of painting this piece, I coulda been outside acting crazy, like the rest of these guys. But, no, I choose to settle my difference and take my angers and frustrations out on the canvas."

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It was just another moment in a life. I'd gone to the grocery for a once-weekly restock, come home with two milk crates full of assorted sundries, and parked the car on the street, in front of my  apartment.

All utterly routine, until I slipped on a patch of compacted snow and went down, twisting as I fell. The asphalt hit me hardest right at my tailbone, and then my shoulders, and then as an exclamation point a flying can of cat food crash landed on my eyebrow.

I cursed, slowly dragged myself to my feet, and picked everything up out of the gray polluted snow and ice. Life goes on. The milk crates were half full again before I noticed that I'd fallen about a foot from the curb.

If I'd taken one more step before slipping, then slipped with the same trajectory and landed in the same manner, the momentum would've thrown the back of my skull against the concrete curb. I would've been much slower getting up, or maybe I wouldn't have. The curb could've cracked my skull, blood and brains dripping out, and killed me before the cat food came down on my dead head, or left me unconscious to freeze to death in the dark, 0° Fahrenheit overnight.

Everyone thinks they're in charge of their lives. I'm the boss of me, sure, but it's a nominal, temporary authority. At best I'm the 'acting manager' of me, and you of you. Fate is in charge. 

Today it hurts to sit, my shoulder aches, there's an oversize bandaid on my forehead, and my elbow must've taken a blow too, because wow it throbs. All things considered, though, everything's great. How you doin'?

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How did I never know ”tubthumping” means aggressive political protest? Here's a swell and swift overview of Chumbawumba, the anarchist one-hit-wonder band that made "Tubthumping" for the hell of it, and then gave some of the proceeds to groups like Indymedia and CorpWatch

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A moment of optimism: 

In a recent survey — for the first time — most Americans accept the reality of evolution

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A 12-year-old boy, Artemis Rayford, was sitting on his bed playing a video game, and then a random gunshot or misfire from out in the world pierced the wall, pierced his chest, and killed him. This is America and it happens, but...

At the kid's middle school, he'd participated in a police-backed anti-violence class, and written a letter to Gov William Lee (R-Tennessee), against a law that would relax gun regulations. 

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ThedaCare loses court fight to keep health care staff who resigned 

Well, duh, but why was this case allowed to come to court, and why is there no mention of compensation to the workers who lost at least a day's wages and a week's worries? Screw ThedaCare (is that pronounced 'the day care'?) and remove the judge who saw any merit here.

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Rep Marie Newman (D-Illinois) may have bribed a primary opponent to stay out of the race in exchange for a job in her office, House ethics body unanimously finds. I don't see much of a smoking gun, but the Office of Congressional Ethics is non-partisan, and that's good enough for me. Let's hold hearings and boot her ass if she's guilty.  

Rep Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) got raided by the feds, and that's even better. Flat-out marvelous — he's been an obvious crook forever. Give him a fair trial, and if he's as guilty as he seems then lock him up.

There are unverified rumors that a few Republicans could have ethical problems, too. Rudy Giuliani seems to have some issues, but he'll be the Republican Party's keynote speaker at an upcoming dinner in Seattle. Admission starts at $150, but you're welcome to buy a platinum sponsorship for ten grand. 

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COVID-19 death toll so far: 5,600,000 is the official number, but The Economist tallies 24,000,000.

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A minute and 45 seconds of Spock crying, and it's not a montage. It's one scene, as aired on the original series. 

Fifty years later and this is still one of the most daring filmmaking decisions I’ve ever seen on TV (I of course can’t be exactly sure who made it, but I’m assuming it was the director of the episode, Marc Daniels). This shot lasts 1 minute and 45 seconds. We’re in the middle of space and in the middle of a high-stakes episode where the crew is going crazy and the ship is going to blow up or some shit and everyone’s lives are in danger, but we pause 1 minute and 45 seconds to have an uncomfortably human moment with an alien who doesn’t even want to be human, and it’s so awful and amazing.

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Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for a bad song, and a moment of authoritarian indoctrination.

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Photographer finds polar bears that took over abandoned buildings 

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I'm a fan of John Mellencamp's music, always enjoyed the sound and feel of 'Jack & Diane' or 'Little Pink Houses', but when I listen to the lyrics they're sorta threadbare. More than the music, I like the man's publicly professed politics, and the inspiration he's taken from getting old.

"I've been right to the top and there ain't nothing up there worth having."

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What might have been America's first labor strike, in 1619. 

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How the Dutch cross the street (safely) 

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Cracker Barrel pays $9.4m for serving a customer cleaning fluid that ruined his health 

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From this archived version of amazon.com circa 1999:

Amazon.com does not sell, trade, or rent your personal information to others. We may choose to do so in the future with trustworthy third parties, but you can tell us not to by sending a blank e-mail message to never@amazon.com. 

Of course, I immediately sent a blank email to never@amazon.com. It's been overnight and no error message has bounced back yet.

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New York City records show 18,305 open code violations for apartment and stairwell doors that fail to spring shut on recent inspections — the malfunction that made a recent Bronx fire so deadly.

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One-word newscast:

Eddie Basinski
Everett Lee
Don Wilson 

Tragically still alive:
George W Bush, Dick Cheney, Kim Jong-un, Henry Kissinger, Charles Koch, Mitch McConnell, Elon Musk, Queen Elizabeth, Xi Jinping...

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


 Sing along with Doug:
♫♬  "The Rainbow Connection"
The Chicks  ♫

Tip 'o the hat:
All Hat No Cattle • Linden Arden
BoingBoingCaptain Hampockets
Follow Me Here • John the Basket
LiarTownUSAMessy Nessy Chick
National ZeroRan Prieur
Vintage EverydayVoenix Rising

Extra special thanks:
Becky Jo • Name Withheld • Dave S.
and always, Stephanie

Cranky Old Man 

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  1. Why ARE there so many songs about rainbows?



  2. Kathy Valentine from her 2005 album Light Years: Creation Myth



    1. Sleepy tonight, so I'm not talky, but I like this one.


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