Easier than wrapping paper

Craigslist won't let me sell it, eBay won't let me sell it, and Reddit won't let me sell it, so I'll try selling it right here.

#106  2/24/2022

For sale: My wife's prosthetic leg.


Includes shoe.

It's a brand new leg — has maybe five miles on the odometer, all indoors. Put a lamp over it, and pretend it's a major award.

My asking price? Psssh, I barely care. Make me an offer that covers the cost of shipping plus something for my time boxing it up and taking it to the post office, and my wife's former fake leg is yours.

Let me grouse about it, though: If you ever need a fake leg for walking on, don't go to Hanger Clinics. That's the company that made Stephanie's leg. It's a big conglomerate with offices everywhere, and prosthetics is all they do, but Hanger's motto should be "We'll leave you hanging."

Prosthetics are custom-fitted for each individual limbless customer, but wearing this leg was always painful for Steph, and Hanger refused to re-do it. When it didn't fit they'd take it apart, tighten this or loosen that, put it back together, and then it didn't fit in a slightly different way. Again and again. Damn it all, the look on my wife's face as she slowly realized that she'd spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.

And you'd be amazed at the price of a new prosthetic. Our insurance paid 100%, but when she signed as 'receiving' the bottom line was MORE THAN *$15,000* for a contraption she could never walk on, except in practice sessions, down the hall again and again until it made her stump bleed.

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More cheerfully, here's something else found while packing the living room for the move:

My wife loved Bob's Burgers, and especially Louise, the girl on the show who wears pink bunny ears. So as a surprise, I bought Steph a pair of hand-sewn Louise-bunny ears. They were expensive, but I knew she'd love 'em.

Easier than wrapping paper, I bought this cheap plastic bucket ⟸ for a dollar from the dollar store, stuffed the ears inside, and topped it with a pink bow.

My wife hated the ears. They're cute in a cartoon, but unsettling in real life, on a grownup's head. She loved the plastic bucket, though, and used it for storing snacks and candies, pens, and her cell phone.

The ears went to Goodwill years ago. The cheap plastic bucket is coming with me to Seattle.

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And now, the news:

News is irrelevant 

It's a well-written but wrong-headed article, and I disagree with all of it. 

Out of the approximately 10,000 news stories you have read in the last 12 months, name one that — because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision about a serious matter affecting your life, your career, your business – compared to what you would have known if you hadn’t swallowed that morsel of news.

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Manhattan DA's Trump investigation looks like it’s in deep trouble 

Cynicism is a good self-defense, so I don't find this surprising. Donald Trump, and probably all his major cohorts, will probably skate like Scott Hamilton.

In better news, though, there's this… 

Rudy Giuliani says he'll cooperate with January 6 committee 

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Texas's Attorney General is laying the groundwork to separate trans kids from their families 

Categorizing gender-affirming health care, which also includes puberty blockers and hormone replacement therapy, as child abuse could have far-reaching implications—even if Paxton’s decision doesn’t hold up in court. Adri Pèrez, policy and advocacy specialist at the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, told me by text on Tuesday that they were especially concerned about the “mandatory reporting” section, “where Paxton reminds teachers, social workers, and others of their duty to report child abuse.” Even though it is not legally binding, people could point to this section as a reason to report. “The amount of false reports, bullying, and harassment directed towards trans youth, their parents and guardians, and providers of gender-affirming care could go up.”

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How Russia’s attack on Ukraine could release nuclear fallout across the globe. 

Ukraine depends for more than half of its electricity on fifteen nuclear reactors. All but two were built by the Soviet Union. Until now, they’ve been mostly serviced and fueled by Russia.

A dozen of those reactors are more than thirty years old, having gone on line while the Soviet Union still ruled the region. The six in the Ukrainian city of Zaporozhye are within easy striking distance of the “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk now being independently recognized by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

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How an obscure far-right website with 3 employees dominates Facebook in 2022

Most people have probably never heard of the website Conservative Brief. It employs just three writers and it does not produce any original reporting. Nearly all of its articles are aggregations of Tweets, YouTube videos, or other media websites, presented with a far-right spin. Recent headlines include "More Damning Evidence Surfaces Against Hillary Clinton in Durham Probe," and "Trump Gives Love To Mike Lindell, Showers Him With Praise For The Good He Has Done." Conservative Brief has been cited repeatedly for publishing false claims.

Yet Conservative Brief has emerged in 2022 as a dominant force on Facebook. It has recently become more popular on the platform than the New York Times and the Washington Post

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One of the most famous incorrect answers in science 

Richard Feynman got it wrong, but handled it brilliantly.

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I've never been a parent, or for that matter a girl, but in my ill-informed opinion, having your child's face painted onto a doll seems mentally unhealthy. 

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Inside PornHub, from a former employee's perspective 

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Convoy of truckers in on the way to Washington DC 

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My family lost our farm during Japanese incarceration. I went searching for what remains. 

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Hertz is ordered to tell court how many thousands of renters it falsely accuses of theft every year 

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Atomic wristwatch 

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A pointless anecdote, really just a grumble about the weather:

On subfreezing days, the car's back doors freeze shut and won't open. It's a mystery, because the front doors don't freeze, but it's a Chevrolet so these things happen.

There's a bundle of boxes in the back seat, needed for packing and moving, but I can't get them out through the front doors without lots of bending the cardboard, or snipping the bundling wire that holds the bundle together, so the boxes will stay in the back seat until the doors warm enough to open.

Temps are supposed to reach the mid-20s today, warm enough the doors will let go, so — boxes by mid-day.

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One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...

The Amazing Johnathan  

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


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♫♬  Sing along with Doug
Cranky Old Man is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to All Hat No Cattle, Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S., and always Stephanie...


  1. I have spent much time at your other site, about your wife. Such intimate thoughts from someone I don't really know that after enough reading its as if I do know you. She must have been a great woman. Reassuring to know others struggle with these losses. Condolances.


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