Friday report

There are parking meters downtown and in some particularly busy commercial districts, but on 95% of the city's streets, you can park your car at the curb, for free. Why is that?

Parking is a valuable commodity. The real estate isn't free, the pavement isn't free, the pollution and traffic certainly isn't free. Charging nothing for parking simply encourages more driving, but everyone driving cars everywhere is not a viable plan.

May 3, 2022

Driving ought to be discouraged, and the easiest and most obvious way to discourage driving would be to make drivers pay to park their cars. 

Let's start with fees of, say, $50 per month per vehicle, which is a great deal for parking — less than two bucks a day.

If your car doesn't have a parking permit on the windshield, it gets ticketed or towed.

By my half-ass estimate, there are about 1,380,000 cars here in Martin Luther King County. $50 p/month would raise about $828-million annually — that's money that could house the homeless, decrease some of the misery we all see in this city, in every city. Or maybe give all the money to transit, so people don't need or want to drive their damned cars.

My flatmate Dean's passion is cooking. It's all he talks about, he talks about it whenever he talks, and he talks a lot. He might even be a good cook, if it's only about ingredients and sizzle — the kitchen smells great when he's up to something.

And yet, the spaghetti sauce that he made a week ago has been in the fridge in an uncovered pot ever since, and has mold growing in it.

I first noticed the mold yesterday, and Dean has definitely been into the refrigerator since then. Heard him cooking this morning. And again, please note, the pot is uncovered, so it's impossible not to notice the mold, but this afternoon when I opened the fridge to pour milk over a bowl of cereal, Dean's uncovered spaghetti sauce was a little bluer and hairier than yesterday.

I took the pot out of the refrigerator, and left it on the counter, still uncovered. If it's on the counter tomorrow, I'll put it in front of Dean's bedroom door.

Rolling around in Seattle and the near suburbs, shuttered shops and restaurants are a frequent sight. Invariably they're little places, mom & pops, indy restaurants closed by COVID. Their doors were locked by government edict, and since the edict ended, the customers haven't exactly rushed back. For real restaurants (meaning non-chain operations) COVID was a fatal disease, and still is. Some are open again, but many are boarded up, and some of the closed shops have small hand-painted signs, promising defiantly and with fingers crossed, "We will be back!"

All the McDonald's are open, though. All the Denny's, all the Applebee's, Arby's, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Dairy Queen, Domino's, Jack-In-the-Box, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Olive Garden, Panera Bread, Pizza Hut, Sonic, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell, Wendy's, etc. The big bastards had the money to go months without any sales. The little guys didn't have such cash reserves, and despite well-publicized government support programs to help businesses through the pandemic, most of that money predictably went to the big bastards, leaving the little guys screwed over again. Leaving us with fewer and fewer options that aren't giant international corporations.

I'm not implying that it's a conspiracy, but it sure as shit ain't a coincidence.

The best mom & pop restaurant in Seattle, of course, is the one I've written about several times, where there's yummy food, cheap prices, and good service. Every rave from me still stands, but I didn't want anyone intruding on my breakfast or burger, so I gave the place a fake name, Ruby's Diner.

Turns out that Ruby's Diner actually exists. It's a chain of restaurants across the American SouthWest. I've never eaten at any of them and every one of them probably sucks and I certainly don't want to be saying kind things about them, so the restaurant previously referred to as Ruby's in these pages will henceforth be called Mrs Rigby's Diner.

Near as I can Google, there's no such place as Mrs Rigby's, except on this website.

It's been years, decades, but a few times my writing has got me spotted in public, and I very much didn't like it. That's why it's Mrs Rigby's, instead of what it is. Possibly I'm paranoid, but my privacy is the only way I can write publicly for an audience of eleven.

Right now, at the coffee shop, a couple of women have seated themselves at the table behind me. If they look, they'll have a clear view of what I'm typing. They probably won't even glance this way, and if they do they probably won't be curious about what's on my screen, but still, I'm clicking my laptop shut and headed for the library.

Everyone jokes about long lines and incompetent staff at the DMV, but in California, Missouri, Wisconsin, and now Washington, I can't remember the last time they were anything less than competent and convenient.

I made an appointment to get a Washington driver's license, showed up a few minutes early, they checked me in, so I stepped into the men's room to pee. When I stepped out two minutes later, still five minutes early, they were calling my number. Got my license by just answering a few questions and flashing my Wisconsin DL.

They also registered me to vote, and without my even thinking to ask, the clerk told me I could register my vehicle, too, at an office literally across the street. I'm now fully street legal in Washington.

And now, more of the news you need, whether or not you know you need it…    

♦ ♦ ♦ 

The baby formula shortage is a preview of a coming food crisis 

Most of the dialogue around climate consequences is weather-focused: extreme heat, storms, and fires. But the climate crisis is also a food and water crisis, one that has already interrupted global food systems and caused devastating famine. And it will get worse: UNICEF estimates that by 2040, one in four children globally will experience shortages of water and food.

♦ ♦ ♦  

Here's an interesting article about the past and present of the Association of Flight Attendants 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Want to end school shootings? Let's just arm the kids. 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

I may have forgotten to mention it today, but often I grouse about how much I hate advertising. It's an entire industry dedicated to worming slogans and logos into your mind body and soul, so you'll feel somehow 'connected' to Nike or Google or the NFL, and you'll pay more for their inferior and evil products and even purchase their branding on your t-shirt.

Which brings us to this coverage of where we're headed with advertising overkill— huge-money branded role-playing at Disney World.

♦ ♦ ♦  

Supreme Court gives lawsuit immunity to Border Patrol agents who violate the Constitution 

♦ ♦ ♦   

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

♦ ♦ ♦

The End
Sophie Freud
John Hartl
Bruce Kent
Jim Seals 

Cranky Old Fart 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 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, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...


  1. I have gotten licenses in NJ, CA, PA, and... I think that's it. Never had any problems, except maybe a slight wait. I was worried about the SF Oak / Fell DMV, but I just got there early, and had zero issues.

    1. I remember some hours-long waits at WA DMV when I was young, so the jokes aren't fiction, but somebody decided to solve the problem long ago.

  2. OK, Doug, this is what baseball sounded like when Vin Scully had the mic. Listen to the whole piece (it's short) and note "young Scully's" (he was only about 80) thank you at the end. This is somewhere between pastoral art and genius and I don't care which.



    1. Kinda beautiful. It's an art.

      Everyone gets used to their local broadcast team and thinks they're the best. I still miss Dave Niehaus. Scully really might've been the best, though, or close to it...

  3. I don't even remember what you wrote about "Young Adult" but I immediately acquired it after reading your review and just finished watching it. Then went back and read what you wrote and... you nailed it. The moment when the cover band starts playing "The Concept" by Teenage Fanclub was when this movie came together - when the utter foulness of Charlize Theron's character became palpable. Anyone else would just knock back a drink and say, "Yeah, nevermind this crazy scheme." Instead she says "Hey remember when I sucked your cock to this song that your wife is playing?"

    I don't know if I'll watch this one again but was still another quality recommendation.

    1. I want to write a rave review of your review of my review, but I'll just say thanks. Watching all the movies I watch is only a waste of time when I don't have much time left to waste, so I figgur I at least gotta write about 'em.


🚨🚨 BY THE WAY... 🚨🚨
The site's software sometimes swallows comments. If it eats yours, send an email and I'll get it posted.