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Prodigal son, and all that

I ran away from home 30 years ago, and I've stayed away since. Only visited twice. Being away from there is what I wanted, and it's been a good life, with not much I'd change, except the part where my wife died.

#102
2/19/2022


She'd brought me to Wisconsin in the '00s, and we loved it here. I still do. Everything in this apartment and everything out the window is a reminder of her — she cooked at that stove, sat in that chair, and we walked in that park, ate at that restaurant. It's marvelous, and I don't want to leave.

I'm old, though. The warranty has expired. When my health starts failing I'll need someone — and also I'd like to be there for my Mom and brothers and sisters as needed. They're my family, after all.

The idea came in the shower, like most ideas do. Madison is my favorite place of all the places I've lived, so I tried hard to talk myself out of this, but lost the argument.

I'm moving back to Seattle. Prodigal son, and all that.

Moving, though, is daunting. When I was young and full of stupidity and spit, I moved a dozen times, all over the country, but that ain't me any more.

Now I'm wrinkled, decrepit, and full of nothing but weariness. It's exhausting just thinking about packing, lugging, getting myself and my stuff across the country, finding a new place and a new job and a new diner. It feels like the biggest dare since I was 7 and jumped off a bridge… and broke my arm.

There's no deadline or timetable, cuz that's what organized people do, not me. I'll pack at my lazy pace, and it'll be months before I'm on the road. This morning I started boxing stuff up, though, so — here goes.

... Hmmm. Writing and posting all this was supposed to make it less of a worry, but so far it's not.

♦ ♦ ♦

Also there's this: 

• Madison — 3° and snowing
• Seattle — 48° and raining

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Was Abraham Lincoln an atheist? 

Sounds more like Lincoln was agnostic, but reticent to speak about it because he was, after all, a politician.

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Climate change: Forecast and maps show Boston going underwater 

The damned fools of the world won't believe in climate change until they're wading to the garage. 

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Michael Graves Design and CVS made the next generation of canes and walkers 

I'm skeptical when a fancy-schmancy design firm makes disability-access products, but these do look like an improvement over the shitty and difficult-to-use products previously available, and at a decent price, too.

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"How could anyone object to saving lives?"

It's a visit inside one of New York City's supervised-drug-consumption sites — a brilliant concept. There should be at least one of these facilities in every county in America.

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Ottawa Police Chief quits (else he would've been fired)
Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Provincial Police take command of anti-convoy enforcement 

Class action lawsuit against Ottawa convoy participants

“It’s time to stop,” [Attorney Paul] Champ said. “All the individual truckers who are still in downtown Ottawa, still causing mayhem, still causing chaos, still causing disruption to the residents and businesses of downtown Ottawa, it’s time to go home. And when you get home, I strongly recommend you get independent legal advice. Don’t listen anymore to the organizers. You’ve been led down a path that, unfortunately, is going to cause you some serious financial consequences.” 

"Freedom Convoy" leader Pat King arrested live on social media 

Ottawa police arrest over 100 as tense convoy standoff continues 

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19 Austin police officers charged for handling of 2020 George Floyd protests, union president says 

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DC Cop who provided inside information to Proud Boys gets suspended, with pay 

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Rikers detainees seek half-million dollar fine after being denied thousands of medical appointments 

All my life, I've heard about the hell that is Rikers, and American jails and prisons in general. It's sickening and unAmerican, and never gets fixed because nobody in power gives a damn.

While someone's in custody, for any crime, any suspected crime, or under any sentence, it is the government's job to keep that person safe and healthy. Denying doctor visits is outrageous, ought to be a crime, and the prison warden ought to be in a cell. 

NYC's 'reform' DA is sending people to Rikers at the same rate as his predecessor, but with even higher bail 

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Workers at Seattle Amazon Fresh store say they've formed a union 

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NFL finally finds a black person they're willing to hire 

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Black History Month — a celebration 

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Under the New York Times, Wordle is watching you 

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Republican senators push back against suggested 'no-fly list' for unruly passengers 

Of course they're opposed, because the unruly assholes are anti-mask QAnon Republicans.

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Bite me, Nicholas Kristof 

You can't live in New York and run for Governor of Oregon. And more generally, all your years of yakkity-yak yakking doesn't mean you ought to be in charge.

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Disney wants you to live (and die?) in its new master-planned desert community 

They'd have to pay me to live there — and quite a lot. I'd be willing to die there, though, free of charge, because I understand you unavoidably poop when you pass.

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McDonald's doesn't care about sexual harassment 

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93% of San Jose wanted no new billboards. They're getting new billboards, big and electronic.  

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"I know a student was just murdered, but remember our handbook's policy on sharpies."

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Does it make sense for New York to be underwriting horse racing? 

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"Whoever took my New York Magazine please return it. I was looking forward to reading it."

"If you stop playing your music so loudly!"

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Testing a prison 

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Lucky meteorite 

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One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...
climate
climate
cops
cops
cops
cops
cops
cops
Fox News
Elon Musk
QAnonsense
QAnonsense
Republicans
Republicans
Republicans
Trump
Trump
Trump 

Dead
Lars Eighner
uɹopǝƃɐH ɯᴉſ
Gail Halvorsen
Beverly Ross
Bob Wall 

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

—①—
     —②—
          —③—

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♫♬  Sing along with Doug
2/19/2022 
 
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...

18 comments:

  1. You love Madison so leaving must have been a dificult decision.

    When you get here I'll buy you a cup of coffee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just coffee, eh?

      Whoops, sorry. What I meant to say was, that sounds marvelous. Bring your husband.

      Delete
  2. I wish I could offer more than just moral support around your move. But as you know, I'm useless physically, and 850 miles away, and poor as shit. If you hadn't mentioned the possibility in an email, I'd have been truly shocked, I really thought you'd be in Mad City forever.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Man, you inspired me to check out Seattle weather. I could get behind that. Little snow, not cold. I have, as I've gotten older, come to love the sunlight, but temperature and lack of snow is more important.

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    Jeez, I'm halfway through the various links, and I'm too cranky to rant at each one. So here's ONE "fuck all these assholes" to cover all of 'em.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Arrgh, I say that, then get to the San Jose billboard thing. I just want to strangle everyone.

    "Signs are an important and necessary means of communication. When properly regulated, signs can serve as a great economic and aesthetic asset. They can be lively, colorful and exciting. In enacting this title, it is the intent of the City of San José to promote attractive signage and streetscapes, facilitate way-finding and traffic safety, promote commerce, and to comprehensively address community aesthetic concerns about visual clutter and visual blight in the environment,” the code states."

    I haven't read so much finely-compressed bullshit in such a small space in quite a while. "Signs are an important and necessary means of communication." Give me a fucking break. I don't NEED to see an ad for the local healthcare conglomerate. Fuck off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. • Yeah, Seattle's weather has always been notably mild, never too cold in the winter, never too hot in the summer. With climate change, of course, you never know, but I expect there won't often be two inches of caked ice on the windshield.

      • Why would the city pay to conduct a survey, and then ignore the overwhelming reply of no new billboards? What's a kickback going for these days?

      • > I wish I could offer more than just moral support around your move.

      From you sir, I was hoping for immoral support.

      Delete
  3. I'm right there with ya in regards to moving, and I'm not relishing the day when we're forced to pack up the place we're in now and find new digs.

    It was bad enough when the fire forced us out of our old place and we were faced with literally hundreds of boxes of stuff that was pulled and salvaged by the salvage company. We haven't thrown much of anything away over the past 18 months, which means we'll have at least that many boxes when we move again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fire survivor, eh? Knew a woman whose house had only smoke damage but everything that was salvaged stank of smoke. Hope your stuff fares better, and also I'm glad you survived.

      For 20 years I've assumed we'd die here and cleaning up would be the landlord's responsibility. Imagine my disappointment at having to clear this clutter myself.

      Delete
  4. Doug, I'm sure someone has told you that rents in Seattle have climbed in tandem with the Fibonacci Sequence. I know a young lady who just found a small one-room apartment on Capitol Hill for just over $2,000, but it's not in a great part of Capitol Hill. The odd part of the story is that I know a young lady.

    I know little about Mad City, but Seattle has some really dicey neighborhoods. I'm not trying to talk you in or out of anything, and it would be nice, I suppose, for my bits to get to you more quickly, although, in the scheme of things, it's a small planet.

    I suppose, in terms of assistance, you could plaster Madison with flyers that say, "Looking for someone who'll do anything legal for five dollars an hour". We call that the full circle route.

    Welcome home,

    John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two things:

      The apartment on Capitol Hill is not a one room apartment. It's a one BEDroom apartment. There's no toilet behand the front door and no kitchen in the closet. It sounds like a nice place.

      Also, if you take time and look in the niche neighborhoods and also a ways from the downtown core, you can bring the monthly price down. The other thing that has expanded in your absence is King County Metro or Sound Metro or Sound Transit or whatever they call it these days. It extends from the Cascades to the Sound and from pretty close to Everett to somewhere around Olympia. It ain't BART, but it IS regional. In my own little town the Transit Authority is ripping up the streets and installing light rail from the downtown corridor south for miles. Tacoma first got light rail in around 1990 (Dad got to ride on the first car from the Tacoma Dome to the Theater District). He would be loving this.

      What I'm saying is you can now live in the greater Puget Sound community without owning a car, which just wasn't true even 20 years ago. I think the fares are pretty steep, but so are the hills in downtown Seattle and Tacoma. Olympia, predictably, is flat.

      jtb

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I saw the mess Seattle's become a few years ago in my last visit. Expecting to live in a shared situation, in a craptastic neighborhood, and hope it's a dump fairly close to the light rail.

      I'm a big transit buff. Always wanted Tacoma to Everett or beyond transit when I was a kid, and they finally started building the system while I was gone but I've only ridden it a few times in 2019. Still very under construction, even now. "25 new light rail stations coming to the east, west and farther north in the next three years." Excellent.

      Delete
    3. I am urban. Gotta be in the city preferably, or someplace that connects quickly via transit to a city. In second place after seeing some people I love, transit is what I'm looking forward to most. Never could I live in a house 30 miles from anything, like my brother does. He's not urban and not transit, but to each their own.

      No idea how this is going to work out, or whether it'll work at all. Hope to look back on this and chuckle in a year.

      Delete
    4. Wait, $2K for a rented room w/o a kitchen on Capitol Hill?

      I *know* I can get someplace cheaper than that. Not on Capitol Hill, of course...

      The internet tells me $600 or $800 p/month looks doable, if I have no standards, and only want a room in a house in a crapo neighborhood near transit.

      Ah well. No sense worrying about it from here. Whatever comes.

      Delete
    5. OK, can you stand another of my stories?

      My Dad, the man I most admire, who has been gone these 13 years and still is a better man than I'll ever be, came of age during the Depression. I've mentioned that he managed to get a six-month stint in the Civilian Conservation Corps to help feed his parents and younger siblings. But a hundred young men wanted that spot when his six months were up, so he was looking for work. He spent some time working for a fairly well-known businessman as a jack-of-all-trades on and around the wealthy family's well-endowed estate. They treated him OK, but he worked his ass off for pretty low pay.

      Then a friend of his got a contract from the Post Office for the Tacoma to Morton mail run. (Morton is pretty close to Mt. Rainier which is 60 miles southwest of Tacoma). The guy who got the contract had other work he had to do, so he subbed the Morton run to Dad, and threw in one of his trucks and gas.

      Then there was a woman. Fortunately it was my Mom, who fell for this bright, broke guy who actually had a job. We'll be getting to the transit stuff soon.

      First, Dad had the woman who was close to becoming his fiancée ride shotgun on days she wasn't working. Morton is a hell of a long run all alone. They got married in 1939 and somehow (my Sis and I have never figured out how) found a way to buy a $3,000 house, which was almost as cheap as it sounds.

      Their neighbor worked for Tacoma Transit, a privately owned bus company serving Tacoma. He got Dad an interview, and Dad got a job driving bus because he was already a "professional driver" who drove a medium-sized rig. Dad was a bright guy and got noticed by management and started getting promotions. By 1942 he was an outside supervisor. One of his jobs was to get 30 busses full of shipbuilders unloaded, and get the busses reloaded in five minutes to make room for another 30 busses. There was a war on, and Tacoma Boatbuilding and a half dozen other marine companies were working 7x24 to supply the Navy with all kinds of small watercraft. Dad came up with a plan, and somewhere we have an old 8mm film that somebody took of the unloading/loading/unloading process. It was a sight to see.

      Dad (who couldn't run and had a limp from a childhood injury, so couldn't serve in the military) kept figuring how to use all 110 busses the company had to move war industry workers around Tacoma. By the end of the war, Dad had an office at the Tacoma Transit HQ.

      Part 2 to follow . . .

      Delete
    6. Transit, Part 2 . . .

      By the early to mid-1960s, Dad was Superintendent of Transportation (he managed the bus drivers), and the company, like most companies of the time had a policy of not hiring Black drivers. By this time, Tacoma Transit had become a municipal asset, part of city government. Dad found a way to hire Black drivers which is was kind of a complicated end-run, and all hell broke loose. This was about 1965, and it was well past time to integrate the transit workforce. So Dad just did it. I didn't learn about the death threats until I was an adult, and I certainly didn't understand why my sister and I were prohibited from answering the door after dark, but I did notice a few police cars driving by from time to time.

      When it came time to implement bussing to achieve racial integration, Dad and a representative of the Black Tacoma community got the hot potato. They worked together and became lifelong friends. My sister and I ran Dad's funeral, and this handsome Black gentleman in his 90s showed up and told some great stories about this time in Tacoma's racial history. Dad's name was Tom, and this Black community leader got all the kids on the busses carrying black kids to white schools to call Dad "Uncle Tom" out the windows of the busses. He thought this was a hilarious stunt, and I agree. He told some other stories that I can't repeat here, and told all the funeral attendees that Dad had become an honorary member of the Black community for his years of commitment to equal rights. Yet another reason that I'll never grow into my Dad's shoes. He was very casual about the whole race thing. Racism is wrong, segregation is wrong and we're here to do the right thing. End of story as far as Dad was concerned.

      Dad retired in 1980 and lived another 29 years, volunteering as a math and reading coach at the local grade school and, for most of those years, hauling his suitcase full of harmonicas out to the American Lake Veterans' hospital monthly to join the Washington State Old Time Fiddlers in entertaining the former and current military personnel who were likely going to be spending the rest of their lives there.

      When Sound Transit Light Rail came to Tacoma sometime around 1990, the Sound Transit board asked Dad if he'd like to be honorary operator for the first run of South Sound Light Rail. He told them that he wasn't interested in honorary anything, but if they wanted him to actually operate it he'd be happy to do so. He did.

      Sorry about bragging about my old man. He was sort of one of a kind. He seemed to end up always trying to do the right thing -- not always succeeding, but always trying. He'd be thrilled by the expansion of light rail further into Tacoma.

      John

      Delete
    7. The stories are tremendous, John. You had a dad to be proud of, and you're entitled to show him off. "we're here to do the right thing." Is there a better mantra than that?

      My old man did the right thing, and he was smart and answered questions and I have no complaints. He worked overtime for years and years, though, and often didn't get home till past my bedtime, and even as a kid I was already wrapped in my shell, so we never much got to know each other. Getting to know yours is the next best thing.

      Delete
  5. Not just Abe Lincoln, George Washington too. This is from his pastor's autobiography,

    "I do not believe that any degree of recollection will bring to my mind any fact which would prove General Washington to have been a believer in the Christian revelation."

    https://books.google.com/books?id=fsTTAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA193&lpg=PA193&dq=%E2%80%9CI+do+not+believe+that+any+degree+of+recollection+will+bring+to+my+mind+any+fact+which+would+prove+General+Washington+to+have+been+a+believer+in+the+Christian+revelation.%E2%80%9D&source=bl&ots=k_uw91SN6P&sig=ACfU3U1Wyc--gQ3XCXrzDEFcEq6D3Ts29A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjitMjA24z2AhXYlIkEHXMXCAYQ6AF6BAh1EAM#v=onepage&q=%E2%80%9CI%20do%20not%20believe%20that%20any%20degree%20of%20recollection%20will%20bring%20to%20my%20mind%20any%20fact%20which%20would%20prove%20General%20Washington%20to%20have%20been%20a%20believer%20in%20the%20Christian%20revelation.%E2%80%9D&f=false

    ReplyDelete
  6. "if guns wore masks"...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw193hqU7H4

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amusing, thanks.

      I'm always surprised to see again that The Daily Show still exists. I've seen very little of the Trevor Noah era.

      Delete

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