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A shoebox of pitchers

All the social media sites want you to sign up and log in. They want it real bad, but I am sign-up resistant and log-in hesitant.

I understand how signing up and logging in helps Facebook and Tumblr and Twitter and the rest — it leaves better breadcrumbs as they're tracking me all over the internet, gives me targeted ads, and allows inter-corporate algorithms of all my interests.

#114

Wednesday,
March 9, 2022


What I don't understand is how any of that helps me in any way, so I never signed up and don't log in.

A few social media sites, like Instagram, make it very difficult, virtually impossible to read anything published there unless you're signed up and logged in, so I've given up and simply never visit those sites. 

That was my response to Ysidra, a seemingly very nice person who asked me to check out her blog on Instagram. Sorry, Ysidra. I'm sure your blog is swell, but Instagram is literally not for me. My kind isn't welcome there.

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Speaking of creepy technology, here's the beginning of a long form letter from Google:

Dear Doug,

Location History is paused for your account and you haven’t added any new locations to your Timeline in more than 2 years. Any existing Location History data you have in your Google Account will be deleted on September 1, 2022. 

Well, congrats to me for pausing "Location History" at least two years ago. You can delete it now, Googs — no need to wait until September.

Question: What's the value, to users, of having Big Tech collect an automated "timeline" of my "Location History"? 

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Have I mentioned that packing is an enormous chore and pain in the ass?

My wife & I thought we'd die here in Madison, and someone else could deal with the mess in our apartment, but she died first so it became a booby trap and now I'm the schmuck clearing everything away from all those years.

70% goes to Goodwill, and 30% goes to Sanford & Son (and I have to pay them to haul it away). Which adds up to 100%, because all I'm bringing with me will be the rounding errors. Whatever fits in the car, westward ho.

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Here's a shoebox, red, taped up tight, a bit heavier than you'd expect, and in my late wife's handwriting it says "Pitchers" on the outside. Stephanie knew how to spell, but she also enjoyed a bad pun, so I was pretty sure it was full of photos. I put it aside for a few days, waiting until my headpsace was right for so many pictures, probably of her, when she was younger than we'd met.

Feeling appropriately wistful after a day of digging and sweeping through our storage in the basement, I sat down last night with the red box and an exacto-knife, cut through the tape, opened the box, and what was waiting inside? Pitchers. Nine miniature pitchers, all wrapped in spongy paper for safekeeping. Like, pitchers for milk, not baseball pitchers.

In 22 years together, never once did Stephanie mention or even hint at any interest in household miniatures, so I have simply no concept of what the provenance of these might be. They're too big to be dollhouse remnants, but too small to serve any practical purpose. They're not for dispensing cream into coffee — the cream would be gone after two cups of joe.

As well as Steph and I had each other memorized, knew each other's habits and hobbies and quirks and conundrums, there was still a hell of a lot more to Stephanie than I ever knew.

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As the kids say these days, "OMG."

I'm retyping old Pathetic Life entries from the original, un-stapled and un-assembled pages, so I forgot that there was an illustration — for the first time — on that issue's cover. (Yeah, the zine's first eleven issues were entirely typewritten text — there wasn't even any clip art.)

Belated big thanks to Jay Sheckley, who drew the image of me and Sarah-Katherine on a date in Seattle. It's quite a good likeness of her, and it belongs with the article about her, so I've added it to that page

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And now, news and amusements, from my internet history for yesterday…  

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Congress approves legislation to return the Postal Service to solvency 

This is a very big deal. Now padlock Louis DeJoy out of the postmaster general's office, and let the Post Office deliver the mail.

The Postal Service, arguably one of the most beloved federal agencies, has been on the brink of insolvency for years, largely because of a 2006 law that requires the agency to fund retiree health care benefits for its employees in advance...

The legislation removes the retirement mandate and instead requires retired Postal Service employees to enroll in Medicare when they are eligible, a change that lawmakers and agency officials estimated would save $50 billion over a decade.

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Country music has always been popular among rednecks and 'rebels' and Republicans who like waving Confederate flags, so it's maybe not surprising that Morgan Wallen, the country singer who got in mildly warm water for using the n-word in public last year, won Album of the Year at this year's Academy of Country Music Awards. 

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From the info here, it looks like Russia's attack on Ukraine is the world's first war between two nations that both have McDonald's, at least since there's been McDonald's. 

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Kentucky teachers’ pension loses $3 million after selling Russian investments 

This coverage is from a professional journal for corporate investment officers, yet it doesn't ask what seems to me the most obvious question: Even before Vladimir went obviously insane, how could any alleged investment expert pretend it's prudent to own assets inside an authoritarian state run by oligarchs?

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Bot responds to companies' bogus tweets against gender bias 

Good bot.

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What American feminists could learn from Latin America's abortion-rights movement 

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Disney has nothing to say about Florida's "Don't Say Gay" legislation 

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Some justice for Bill Cosby. Not enough, but some. 

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What if Trump were still the President? 

Because Donald Trump had the good fortune of avoiding a major foreign-policy crisis during his four years in office, the United States never experienced the worst-case scenario of a Trump presidency. 

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"Please DO NOT SPREAD RUMORS AND FAKE NEWS about Kyiv Zoo!"

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Smithsonian will return 39 artworks to Nigeria 

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You thought it was pretty much 'settled law', but the US Supreme Court will decide whether military officer must obey orders. 

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Israeli child tests positive for polio — first case since 1989 

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If you’ve rented a car from Hertz, there could be a warrant out for your arrest. 

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"I developed a deep hatred – one shared by many – for Route 40." —Stokely Carmichael

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A must-read book? Go on, make me. 

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Instead of eating tea, an 8th century Chinese clown proposed drinking it. 

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What strange events have gotten swept under the rug like they didn't even happen? 

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Frustrated with humans 

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The making of Napoleon Dynamite 

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

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


    
          —

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♫♬  Sing along with Doug 
 
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The End


3/9/2022 
 
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, Meme City, 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...

14 comments:

  1. Captain HampocketsMarch 9, 2022 at 5:27 AM

    Hopefully, this isn't a sad / sore spot, but what's happening with Izzy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never moved further than a few miles with a pet before, so I don't know how to do this, especially with a difficult cat. Izzy has a history of abuse, hates cars, hates change, and only occasionally likes me.

      I seriously considered giving her back to the (no-kill) shelter I adopted her from. Never yet given up a pet, though, and I like the damned cat. We share all the same phobias.

      So she's coming. It'll be hell for her, and probably me, but she's not stupid so after a few hours of screaming and yowling I expect she'll curl up in her cat-cage and sleep.

      Delete
    2. The cat-gods will smile on you, then will piss on your most valuable object; somehow it's all worth it.

      John

      Delete
    3. Captain HampocketsMarch 9, 2022 at 12:23 PM

      Cats are resilient. It'll be hell for both of you, but she'll forgive you. Dunno if you ever met the cats Shana and I had. When we divorced, she kept them, but when I moved here to PA, she kept Lisa, but paid to have Trudy and Butch shipped here from San Francisco. It was apparently a hellacious trip - they stank like piss and cigarette smoke, and the drivers seemed like uncaring meth heads. But they acclimated to the new home and the dogs well.

      Delete
    4. All cats are gods, John. Cat-gods pissing upon the world and then burying it.

      Encouragement appreciated, Cap'n. We'll all get there.

      Delete
  2. I don't understand it either. 40 seems to be the dividing age. Younger than that privacy doesn't exist as even a consept so they're all signed up for social media and location tracting and posting selfies and no limits. Mostly noone gives it any thought, just lives their lives in public. It's just another way the world is gone to hell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nobody can 'like' me, because I'm not on Facebook.

      Delete
  3. The dogs don't 'like' me. The Doodles just ate my glasses. I think they're now having innervisions.

    jtb

    ReplyDelete
  4. The largest piece we recovered is the size of an oxygen molecule. Doodles have managed to split the atom. I'll be following them around the back yard with my quark shovel. The secret of the universe, revealed in dog shit.

    jtb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my, you're still dog-sitting? I thought the mission had been finished and accomplished, but it goes on...

      You said "a Doodle is a cross-breed beast: a combination of a poodle and a crocodile," which is still my biggest laugh of the week. Still hope it was a joke.

      Delete
  5. Hi Doug,

    0445 here in the Great Pacific Northwest, and I just got home. My dog-sitting job was over the weekend. On Thursdays and Sundays I go to my sister's place to do some Ebay stuff and help them around the house. My sis has a debilitating disease and my BIL is 83, so I do a little lifting and misc chores as well as Ebay. I'm really proud of my sister. She is in fairly constant pain and she attends an exercise class twice a week, which she finds painful but helpful in maintaining her motion as long as possible. I'd just be whimpering, but she's fighting back.

    Which doesn't explain why, two years ago, they got a couple of littermate Doodles. They provide company as they stampede through the house and around and around the back yard. (Doodle= Poodle + Golden Retriever.) Don't know how a croc snuck in there.

    I bent over to pet one of them and my glasses slipped out of my pocket and they munched it like popcorn. They did spit out part of one of the lenses. It's a little jagged to use as a monocle.

    I get along famously with Sis and BIL. They are quality people. For example, they've never eaten my glasses. I hope you are able to develop or redevelop similar relationships with your remaining siblings.

    I'm two years older than Sis, and when we were young I was pretty hard on her. Being two years ahead in school, I knew everything and she new very little. Until an aunt, who was a teacher in our local school district snuck in and checked out some test scores. (Remember IQ tests?). My aunt informed me (and my sister and family) that Sis scored five points higher on the IQ test that used to be administered in the 4th and 8th grade. Naturally I assumed it was a misprint, but I soon figured out that she was a little smarter. It pissed me off at the time, but now it's handy to have a smart sister. And she's the funny one.

    jtb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry about your glasses, John. Thy were cheaters, I hope, and easily replaced? If they're prescription glasses crocodile-chews can be expensive indeed, and leave the world out of focus. Do you have a backup pair?

      Constant pain, yet your sister still exercises twice a week? Definitely, she has more guts than me. My life has been soft like a pillow, and even things that infuriate me are generally trivial. Pain is unknown to me, beyond an occasional wrenched back or headache. Or exercise. Give her a hug from me back east.

      If they're not giving kids IQ tests these days that's gotta be a good thing. You can't test for smart, not accurately anyway, and stupid is so obvious it doesn't need a test either.

      > I hope you are able to develop or redevelop similar relationships with your remaining siblings.

      That's my hope too, but still there needs to be a few miles between us or I'll go crazy.

      Delete
    2. In this case the IQ test results served a purpose. Everybody told me I was a bright kid, and I didn't know shit. This brought me down a notch and I probably paid closer attention to what my sister said, even though IQ means nothing as we know now.

      Yeah, they were cheaters. Probably 20 bucks to replace. It's just the concept of dogs sharing a repast of glasses that startles me. And I worry that they are going to accidently going to knock down my sister. 65 and 70 pounds coming at you at speed will give you pause.

      Good for you for getting your car in travel condition. Exactly the right thing to do. I've been stranded and broke and it's a horrible feeling.

      john

      Delete
    3. I'd judge you still a bright kid with potential. Don't screw it up.

      Of course, what would I know? They told us in school, handing out the IQ tests, that these tests wouldn't be graded, so I simply filled out random dots. I am thus certain that school records indicate I'm mentally retarded.

      Glad they were just cheaters. Good cheaters are hard to find, though. Most seem to have a built-in and unchangeable focal point that's too close to my head. Very frustrating.

      Mostly for my own future reference, cuz I'll probably break 'em in the move, my preferred cheaters are these cheapies from Wal-Mart.

      Luck of the drive for a car so old, I expect the engine will blow up on a Montana freeway and I'll pay another grand to have it fixed. Gotta at least try to be careful in advance, though.

      Delete

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