Refusing to prosecute Trump is a political act.

I was carrying a few things to the apartment's shared shelf — inside the building, by the mailboxes — and a uniformed county deputy was standing there, writing something on his huge military-style clipboard.


March 25, 2022

My immediate instinct was to turn around and go back into my apartment, but that would make me a suspicious character, and likely get my door kicked down, so instead I put on my best fake-cheerful demeanor and said, "Good morning — is everything OK, deputy?"

He responded just as fake-cheerful, with a big fake-smile, "Sure, everything's great." And he stared at me like I was guilty of something and he wanted to know what, but with a smile. He even chuckled, and it was not a happy sound. Sort of a Stephen King chuckle.

Thankfully, there's nothing routine about a heavily armed cop standing in the building's lobby. His radio squawked a bunch of code words and numbers that mean nothing to people who speak English, and he pushed a button on his badge and responded in the same language, and I left some old electronics on the shared shelf, walked back to my apartment, and closed my door.

Creepiest thing I've seen in this building since the lady upstairs sliced her finger off. 

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Coinstar is a big, undoubtedly evil network of coin-counting machines, where you can bring your piggy bank or whatever and turn it into cash (for a price) or selected chain-store gift cards (at full value).

My wife used to take our accumulated coins to Coinstar once or twice a year, and she said it was kinda fun, but she stopped doing that chore when she became disabled, and I never did it until yesterday. Our accumulated spare change was in two empty detergent jugs that weighed enough to hurt my back, and I didn't want to bring them along on the move to Seattle.

Stephanie was right — the machine was kinda fun. It makes a little more noise than counting coins could account for, so I think they 'sweeten' the sound effects. Cover your eyes and pretend you're in a casino.

And don't forget to check the 'rejected coins' slot, below! Almost all the rejected coins went through fine on a second try, leaving me with $252.98 in Amazon bucks, one Canadian dime, and an old-style wheat-penny that looks fine but Coinstar said no.

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It's amazing what a longhair cat's shedding can do to a floor over a few years. Mop, lather, rinse, repeat.

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And now, my internet history from yesterday, minus the porn…

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James Webb Telescope's camera is working "better than our most optimistic prediction"

Having completed the self-assembly of its 18-segmented main mirror, the telescope has now taken exceptional images of an unexceptional star as a test of its capabilities. The star, known as HD84406, is 100 times fainter than what can be seen with the human eye. The star itself is of little interest, lovely though its image is — instead, astronomers are captivated by the spray of tiny dots scattered across the background. Each is a distant galaxy, and this is the first time we’ve ever been able to capture them.

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Anger as Texas attorney general declares Pride Week 'illegal'

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Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill is worse than it sounds 

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Refusing to prosecute Trump is a political act

Democracy cannot function if politicians are free to commit grandiose crimes simply because their political allies might throw a fit if they are held accountable. Reports that the Manhattan district attorney has essentially given up on prosecuting Trump underscores how quickly a criminal case can deflate because of a lack of will. One can only hope that [Attorney General Merrick] Garland won’t go wobbly and is using the time he’s taking to sharpen his case, not to waver about whether to bring it.

Twenty bucks says Trump is never prosecuted, but I'd love to be wrong and out twenty bucks.


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Microplastics found in human blood for first time 

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Crosswalk Collective LA paints rogue crosswalks as needed 

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Scientists have been harassed for years. But a Science survey shows the pandemic has made things far worse for some 

The pandemic was not Tara Smith’s first brush with public hostility. Smith, an epidemiologist at Kent State University’s main campus, has spoken out about politicized topics, including evolution and HIV denial, for many years. But since 2020, “frustration and hatred” have come pouring out at a higher volume and with more extreme content, she says, including death threats. When prominent Twitter accounts mention her, Smith is swarmed by multitudes tweeting abuse. “You just get overwhelmed by the hate,” she says.

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Sinclair Seattle reporter makes Proud Boys gathering sound like Cub Scouts 

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An email urging lower wages for new employees due to higher gas prices sparks walkout at Applebee’s 

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Republicans' Wild Attacks at Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation hearing play to QAnon worries 

The Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings show marriage equality is the next target once Roe falls 

The US only has 'hearings' for Supreme Court positions because in 1916, a Jew was nominated 

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Idaho governor signs abortion ban modeled on Texas law 

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"I regret going":
Protester says he spent life savings to support Freedom Convoy

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Long COVID could create a generation affected by disability, expert warns 

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Of course someone will buy Jeffrey Epstein's creepy islands 

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One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...
Alex Jones
cops  • copscopscopscopscopscops

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♫♬  Sing along with Doug  ♫
"Get Ready" — Rare Earth 

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The End
Madeleine Albright
Stephen Wilhite

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...


  1. Captain HampocketsMarch 25, 2022 at 9:01 AM

    I check the Coinstar reject slot every single time I walk past. I've found multiple pre-1964 silver coins, interesting forign coins, and at least, cumulatively, ten bucks in perfectly fine US coinage, over the course of about the last 5 years. And yeah, ALWAYS get a gift card - if you redeem for cash, it's like a 10% fee, but free with a gift card.


    Man, what a shitty news update. We are fucking swirling the bowl.

    1. I'd already been dumping coins into the machine for five minutes before I saw the coin return slot, and it was almost full, so I think the people before me hadn't noticed it. It *is* rather invisible.

      You think today's news is shitty, wait a week. Ain't nothing getting better.

  2. Captain HampocketsMarch 25, 2022 at 9:02 AM

    Ug, I misspelled "foreign." What a maroon...

  3. Captain HampocketsMarch 25, 2022 at 9:03 AM

    Ugh, I misspelled "Ugh."

  4. OK, your actual mother isn't going to advise you on the trip because she's busy with Jesus, so I'll surrogate. . .

    Take your time. Stop for the day when your back hurts or when you are getting tired. I know the motels no longer charge six bucks, but it's a terrific investment in your future. Treat yourself to decent food along the way. After you're done driving for the day, buy yourself a beer. You'll sleep better. And avoid fast food if possible.

    Doing the math, driving extra fast really doesn't get you there that much faster. Take it easy. Don't let crazy drivers get to you: they're creating their own hell; just get out of their way.

    Perform a visual check of your tires every time you get gas. If one is always a little low, stop at a Discount Tire store and buy a tire. Yeah, they're 70 or 80 bucks or more. Just spend the money.

    Munchies and drinks will keep you awake and alert. I'm a water guy, but if you enjoy caffeinated beverages this is a good time for that. Dehydration is an enemy of concentration. So you have to stop and piss more often. Your legs need to stretch.

    When you get tired of the radio sing every song you know the lyrics to. It forces you to breathe deeper which helps keep you alert and there's nobody there to complain about the caterwauling. Speaking of which, cats get dehydrated too AND they have GPS, which means Iz will be thirsty and disoriented. Make sure Iz has a water supply.

    Pay attention to the road, but don't forget to enjoy the scenery. You'll be driving through desolate, beautiful, historic country, missing Greasy Grass by only a few miles. The last win for the home team, or one of them.

    Try to enjoy yourself. There is beauty in the world despite Moriarity's attempts to hide it. We can debate the artistic merit of They Might Be Giants (the movie, not the musical group) when you get to Seattle. The bits will get there sooner.

    Try to have fun.

    Best of luck.


    1. Aw, thank you, New Mom. You seem a lot more laid back than Old Mom, with better advice and you forgot to tell me to go to church.

      I could easily do the drive in three days but I've allowed myself four, and plan to pull into a hotel before the evening rush hour every afternoon (are there rush hours in South Dakota and Wyoming?).

      Maybe I'm an awful man, but water for the cat while we're in the car hadn't occurred to me. I don't know how to do that w/o so much spillage she gets no water. Guess I pull over and park and pour and wait until maybe she licks up a sip? Ah — idea — maybe I fill a bowl with ice before leaving in the morning. Cold water all day.

      Max out at the speed limit, is my plan, more for cop safety than traffic safety. I have a Bernie Sanders bumper sticker, which might make me a ticket target in Montana or Idaho.

      The car has brand new tires, and a brand new matching spare, and new struts, and new brakes, and a very old driver...

      Wagons, ho!

  5. No mystery links? I love the mysteries!

    Also best of luck on the move and drive safely!!!

    1. Mystery links take some time, which I didn't have. They'll be back when I do.


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