Wednesday report

At almost 100 years of age, an old family friend has died. He was an elder in the church, once my Sunday School teacher, a dear friend of my long-dead father, and for a while sort of a friend of mine as I got older. Let's call him Uncle Kyle.

June 8, 2022

This isn't about the dead, though. It's only an observation about me and my brother Clay.

Mom is part of the church's "prayer chain," so she knew before the rest of the family that Kyle had died, and broke the news via a group text message.

My response:

I'm sorry to hear about Uncle Kyle. He was a wise and good man, and made the world a better place by being here, which is all anyone can reasonably hope to accomplish. He had a long and happy marriage, raised a bunch of kids who (to the best of my knowledge) became decent people, and he took care of his wife after she forgot who he was. He had good advice for me sometimes, though I usually didn't take it, and I never knew him to be an ass in any way. He was a genuine good guy. Sucks that he's dead.

My brother never stopped going to church, so he presumably knew the deceased far better than I did. Here's his response:

Kyle went to be with our Lord yesterday. Solace for the family and the church, and always praise be to God. There's rejoicing in Heaven; they've been waiting for him for 99 years.

We're both sad that a family friend has died, but my brother and I sure come at it from different directions.

With no income and a dwindling savings account, I should be eating frugally at home, but Mrs Rigby's diner is too damned good and I have no self-control. I've been eating there at least once weekly, sometimes 2-3 times. They've never yet disappointed me, and yesterday they surprised me.

I sat down at the counter, and the waitress — older, Asian, skinny — poured me a cup of coffee without asking. They answer is always yes, but always before they've asked.

"Alone today?" she asked. Usually I'm alone and eating at the counter, but several times a month I'm at a table in the dining room with my family.

"Just me," I said. "Nobody's coming late, no separate checks, so I'll be easy."

She smiled at my stupid joke and asked whether I wanted breakfast, or lunch. I was starting to be impressed. Several times I've had the hamburger at Mrs Rigby's, but usually it's an omelet, and that's what I wanted that morning. "Breakfast," I said.

"Denver omelet?" she asked. "Wheat toast? Butterhorn?"

"Uh, yeah," I said and smiled, and that was the beginning of another beautiful breakfast.

Bob's Diner had only one waitress, a few dozen seats, and I'm memorably big and fat and almost always ordered the same breakfast, so yeah, Kirstin (still the world's finest waitress) had my order memorized.

Mrs Rigby's has at least five different waitresses, 2-3 working every shift. There are dozens of tables, about two hundred seats, and the restaurant is busy even when it's not busy. I've never yet had a conversation with any of the staff, just place my order and say thanks. I've never asked for anything that might make me someone they'd remember, but at least one of the waitresses knows what I want for breakfast.

When she asked breakfast or lunch, if I'd have said "lunch," my impression is that she would've brought my usual burger and fries.

I used to love baseball, now I kinda like it, but less and less as the owners make it worse and worse.

Listening to games on the radio is a corporate-sponsored experience, and I can't stand it for more than an inning at a time. It's the same commercials over and over again every half inning, and the broadcasts originate from the Western Washington Toyota Dealers booth at T-Mobile Stadium, and there are five-second scripted ads read by the play-by-play announcers between batters, sometimes between pitches, and every call to the bullpen is brought to you by Union Gospel Mission...

And now, this: After two innings tonight, the score is not the Astros 2, the Mariners 1. There'd be no money in that, so instead that's the Home Street Bank score. At every break, "our Home Street Bank score is…".

What can they sell next?

"The pitch is… low and inside, it's a Schlitz Beer ball."

"The next pitch, fastball, paints the corner, it's a Geico strike, and the Kroger count is one-and-one."

"The runner breaks from Ivar's Fish'n'Chips first base, the catcher throws, runner slides, and he's — Pepsi safe at McLendon Hardware second, with an AM/PM Mini-Mart stolen base!"

Thinking about the future gives me the blues, because there is none. Climate change, ever-morphing contagious diseases, oil and water running out, corporate control of everything, pollution, theocracy not democracy, the never-ending threat of global thermonuclear war, etc.

There's an easy solution, though: I try not to think about the future. Problem solved.

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

♦ ♦ ♦  

A cancer trial's unexpected result: Remission in every patient 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

I don't know squat about veggie gardening, have no land for growing anything and a black thumb anyway, but I *love* the guy running this website: 

Why you shouldn't order from me 

This is a one man operation and the one man is chronically disorganized, slow, uncommunicative, and sometimes grumpy.  My customer service is not great.  Actually, sometimes it probably is great, but not reliably.  If you order from me once, everything might go smoothly.  If you order from me more than once, I am eventually going to screw up your order in some way.  There is a lot that can go wrong in this business and so there is often something to be unhappy about.  Anxious, aggressive, aggressively anxious, rigid, and non-reading people should probably not order from me.  It will be easier on both of us if you don't.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Children who play more video games show greater gains in intelligence over time, study finds 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

These 25 rainbow-flag waving companies donated $13 million to anti-gay politicians since 2021 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Out-of-town police in Uvalde block cameras, disrupt coverage of tragedy’s aftermath 

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

♦ ♦ ♦

The End
Dave Smith 

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 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, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...


  1. Baseball is a great radio game. It's simpler and slower than basketball, football or hockey, and leaves time to breathe between pitches, or talk, which is what the "old time" radio guys did. You grew up in Seattle a little late to catch the great Leo Lassen broadcasting the Seattle Rainiers until 1960. His gravel-road voice was a calm reminder of order in the world as it filled night after night of Seattle Rainiers AAA baseball. He had few sponsors, so during a half-inning, nobody sponsored anything. It was all Leo. He knew the game and the players so well, that you couldn't tell whether the team was home or away. There wasn't money in the budget for Lassen to travel with the Rainiers, so on road trips, Lassen sat in the control room in Seattle and got spot reports on the progress of the game via teletype. What he broadcast was a "recreation" of the game in progress in Portland or Honolulu, or Phoenix, or Salt Lake City via Western Union teletype. He got the raw facts: Bevan S/O 1O. "Catcher Hal Bevan strikes out and there's one man out". Lassen would make the at-bat last five minutes as Bevan fouled off a few inside pitches, took some close ones, and finally took a mighty cut at an inside slider. Did those things really happen? Who cares. There were no commercials, and only Lassen's reassuring voice to fill the night. His elegant home run call? "Back, back, back --- and it's over. Home run for Bevan."

    A decade earlier, you could get the same quality radio calls in the Majors. The Brooklyn broadcast team of Red Barber, Connie Desmond and Vin Scully constituted a radio ballet: three articulate, knowledgeable gentlemen of baseball, trading baseball stories between pitches and between innings, with "young Scully" -- always "young Scully" trying to get a word in edgewise. The entire history of baseball was played out every night in that broadcast booth with few commercials and much laughter. (Red Barber, a Floridian, resigned in 1947 because he didn't think he could broadcast the play of a Negro player. He changed his mind, and later developed a relationship with Jackie and apologized for his racism). They told each other stories every night (and let the radio audience listen in). I always said, "I prefer enjoying the game on the radio rather than on TV because I can see the game better." I still believe that to be true, but the commercials will eventually spoil the view.


    1. Pretty sure I heard Red Barber on the radio, and you paint an image on the internet as well as he did on the radio.

      Undoubtedly there were *fewer* commercials, but when you say "There were no commercials" that's an exaggeration, right? Or did a hardware store or something sponsor the game with an ad at the beginning and again at the end? That would be so heavenly, to be able to listen to the whole game. Present day, I click it off at every inning-break to protect my sanity and usually forget to turn it back on.

      Long ago in the 1980s, I had some cassette tapes of Seattle Pilots games from 1969, which I remember as having ads but still being refreshingly non-commercial compared to today.

    2. Doug, the Dodgers had commercials between innings. There just weren't commercials in the middle of innings to disrupt the great stories. Same for Leo Lassen. I don't mind a 30 second commercial between innings. But the flow of the games wasn't disrupted during play.


    3. Pretty much matches my memory from a few years after your memory. There were commercials between the innings, and I was always moderately annoyed because (a) every sponsor thought they needed baseball-themed ads and (b) they played the same commercials in the same order at every break.

      Even as a kid, though, I understood the economics, and that the commercials paid for the broadcast. Now, though, it's enough to make me click it off. More commercials, much dumber commercials, always commercials, and we'll be right back after these 19 messages from our sponsors, but I won't be.

    4. It took five tries on two browsers before Google would allow me to post the above...


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