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Dropping the ball

Every Sunday morning I fill my pill cases, and this week I paused to marvel at how reliable they are.

#179
Thursday,
August 25, 2022

They're cheap, all-plastic pill cases, one for my morning pills and one for my evening pills. Nothing but plastic, in a complicated interlocking design that looks like it should fall apart in you sneeze at it, but it never does. Never ever, not even once, have any of the compartments popped open accidentally. Drop them on the floor from a great height? They'll stay sealed.

Once in a great while if you nudge it wrong while a compartment is already open, the lid will snap off, but it's easy to pop it back in and wallah, it's as good as ever, which is pretty dang good.

Other pill cases are cuter, clumsier, more cleverly overdesigned, and lots more expensive, but if you just want a pill case that reliably will not pop open and spill the pills, this is that case.


After my complaint about the largely useless CPR class we sat through at work, Red Cross waited a week, then sent me two emails. The first was a form letter, asking me to name the company, the teacher, the date and place, etc — and while I understand the request, of course I can't provide that information without getting my ass in trouble and probably fired, so I didn't respond.

This doesn't damage my opinion of the American Red Cross, though. What's to damage? They're an overbloated bullshit charity. It's been thirty years, but still, the very first thing that comes to mind when I think of the American Red Cross is that they hired Elizabeth Dole as their president, for $200,000 p/year. With inflation since then, that's about $400,000 in present-day dollars, and that's far more than any reputable charity would pay any employee.

And what were Elizabeth Dole's qualifications? She had zero experience in either health care or charity work, but she was married to Senator Bob Dole (R-Kansas). You're hired!

Does the Red Cross do good work? Undoubtedly, but they also waste a lot of money, so whenever there's a disaster and everyone says, "Donate to the Red Cross," count me as a Big Fat Nope. If I can afford to donate at all, I'll find a more charitable and less politically-motivated alternative.


There used to be an app called AdblockRadio, which stripped commercials out of radio broadcasts and podcasts. I never even heard of the app while it was working, and under legal threat, AdblockRadio was turned off a few years ago. 

A friend recommended something called TuneIn, which pretends to do much the same thing, for a price, and I'd be willing to pay a reasonable fee, cheerfully.; Among other things, I'd like to listen to MLB play-by-play without hearing several minutes of mind-numbing commercials every half-inning.

TuneIn is shit, though. It can't even pause, let alone rewind a few seconds to hear something you might have missed, and TuneIn's website only says to expect "fewer" commercials, and some of the on-line reviews say "fewer" might be an exaggeration.

There's the sitch, then: I want commercial radio without commercials, and I'm willing to pay, but there's nobody selling what I want to buy. Any suggestions, beside the obvious "deal with it, dumbshit"?


Speaking of ads during baseball, there's one ad during Mariners games that seems remarkably tone-deaf to me. It's for Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, bragging about the company's great customer service, and repeating the tagline, "Alaska Airlines never drops the ball."

When I first heard it, I almost couldn't believe it. Alaska Airlines is infamous for dropping the ball. Only a few months ago, the company made headlines for a week straight, because they canceled hundreds of flights, leaving thousands of passengers stranded. Without going into boring detail, those flights were canceled because the company's dumb upper-level management made very avoidable mistakes.

They dropped the ball, about as far as it could be dropped.

When their commercial says, "Alaska Airlines never drops the ball," it's as if Boeing ran ads claiming the 737-MAX is the safest plane in the skies, or Republicans bragged about their endless adherence to the facts.

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

♦ ♦ ♦ 

America's forgotten mass imprisonment of women "sexually immoral" women

♦ ♦ ♦  

Horrifying: Google flags parents as child sex abusers after they sent their doctors requested photos 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Interview with Vince Gilligan, the man behind Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul 

♦ ♦ ♦  

California to ban the sale of new gasoline cars… in 2035 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Oklahoma teacher quits after directing kids to banned books 

♦ ♦ ♦  

World's oldest operating roller coaster 

♦ ♦ ♦  

1 million square feet of L.A. roads are being covered with solar-reflective paint 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Officials in Nevada demolish tiny homes built for homeless in Las Vegas 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Dinner in the Sky 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Fortezza Medicea restaurant 

♦ ♦ ♦    

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

climateclimateclimateclimate
copscopscopscopscopscops copscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscops
RepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicans

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The End

Nicholas Evans
Chip Gatz
Zofia Posmysz

8/25/2022 
 
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...

33 comments:

  1. As an old fucker whose vascular system and lumbar structure went south to spring training many springs ago and apparently didn’t make the team, I take many pills a day: 16 I think. After the bypass I decided I needed a system better than the random pill regimen I had been using for my “over 60” tablets.

    So I dug through the gauze and retired bandaids of the infirmary closet and found two weekly snap-opens that I’d used to get through the H.W. Bush administration and lost (along with all hope) early in Clinton 1.

    They were commercially labeled “LONGS”, a pharmacy chain that bit the dust back when I had a functioning reproductive system during the reign of one of the Ramses boys.

    But the snaps seemed to still snap, so I loaded my cardio pills into one and my old man pills into the other.

    They served me faithfully for a decade, then “Thursday” on dispenser #2 failed about a month ago and ten cardio pills erupted throughout the bathroom, reminding me I hadn’t cleaned the joint for a while.

    I searched the RX closet for the remains of another failed pharmacy chain, but no such luck. I purchased another weekly pillcatcher at my current (and future failed) drug shop and loaded the first week and the snaps held. Given the “Model-T” condition of my vascular system I can’t justify the purchase of a monthly pill storage system.

    No sense tempting fate.

    Jesus, I’ll never hitchhike again.

    John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 16 is a lot of pills, John. You win by a sliver. I take 15, but only two are prescriptions. The rest are vitamins, laxatives, placebos, whatever.

      Long's still semi-exists, Google tells me, as a tiny subsidiary of evil conglomerate CVS. I don't really consider that existing, though. The few Long's that remain are simply CVS stores with Long's signage. Call me a pinko, but I believe one brand of something ought to not be allowed to own other brands of the same thing.

      > ... about a month ago and ten cardio pills erupted throughout the bathroom, reminding me I hadn’t cleaned the joint for a while.

      Ah, the joy of picking your pills out of the griz and dust and hair and whatnot. My pill-case has never failed me, but sometimes I stupidly twist it upside-down while a compartment is open, and have that festival of pills bouncing on the floor.

      Last time it happened, my cat ate one of my pills, and her blood pressure has never been better. For payback I ate some of her Meow Mix.

      Hope your vascular system holds out longer than mine.

      Delete
    2. It has occurred to me that I probably lose one or two pills a month to the cats and since I haven’t lost a cat in years, I’m likely raising a super-race of felines that will outlive me by decades. This might explain why we have not found other people in the universe — it’s not turtles, it’s cats: all the way down.

      jtb

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    3. Cats are better than most other people in the universe. Turtles are, too, definitely.

      Delete
  2. HEY, DUMMY, could you write a few more book recommendations?

    Both your recommendations for John Williams' Stoner and Andreas Malms' How to Blow Up a Pipeline intrigued me and got me to reading a lot more recently. Stoner was very good and your description of it described the book perfectly; How to Blow Up a Pipeline was honestly a little boring for me, I stopped after 1/3.

    In the comments under one of your posts someone also recommended a few books, which got me to read Song of Kali by Dan Simmons, Wish Her Safe at Home by Stephen Benatar, and Endless Love by Scott Spencer.

    Now I'm through these books and would like to ask you for more book recommendations. If you find the time that is of course.

    Greetings from Germany
    Jonathan Stein

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    Replies
    1. I'm not the big book-reader I used to be, long long ago, but I do have a small shelf of beloved books that I read over and over again. I ought to write a brief review of each of them, and I will, shortly.

      Everybody ought to review and recommend their favorite books.

      What are yours? :)

      Delete

    2. I'm just 19 years old and in my short life I haven't (yet) read that many books; those that I read are probably mostly written for teenagers. Also I don't have any singular favourite books but I have two book series that I really enjoyed.

      One would be Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy which is about a living skeleton detective and his partner who was about the same age as me when I first read the first book of the series; maybe 14 or so. In that universe some few are born with magic powers and that partner is one of them. I recently read the whole thing again and was surprised that the series still isn't finished after 15(?) parts.

      My favourite series however is The Seven Realms (I actually had to look that name up because none of the German books have that name on their cover, heres a link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/46819-seven-realms) by Cinda Williams Chima. It's incredibly corny. A princess runs away from home and meets some poor (literally poor, there probably is a better word for what I want to say) guy that she likes, who discovers that he's a wizard inbetween - there seems to be a common theme in my favourite books. As I said, it's incredibly corny and I don't know if I like it because of that or despite of that. However, no description or summary could do the books justice; their relationship and emotions are described incredibly well, and the fictional world where the story plays is really immersive. I read the series maybe 4 times and don't plan to stop. I could maybe read the original - English - version instead of the German translation next time.

      Greetings
      Jonathan Stein

      Delete
    3. Image of the Beast (1968) by Philip José Farmer

      Hogg (1995, written 25 years earlier) Samuel R. Delany

      Delete
    4. I'm going to find and read The Seven Realms, thanks.

      For me it's anyhing by Jane Austen.

      Delete
    5. Jonathan, I don't want to pry, but some books are very American and some are more universal. Your English is too good for a 19-year-old native German speaker: the use of "corny", for example would suggest that English is your first or current primary language. Just a little linguistic biography from you would help me help you find great reading material.

      best wishes,

      johnthebasket

      Delete
    6. Yeah, I know you asked Doug, not me, but Doug is busy curbing busses all over town while the wheels of the bus go round and round. I'm just one of his elves.

      John

      Delete
    7. Like Amy, I will add The Seven Realms series to my list, and also Image of the Beast (which I *think* I read years ago) and Hogg. A book called Hogg can't *not* be good.

      Re Skulduggery Pleasant, the detective is a skeleton, literally, not merely skinny? And it's the skeleton's partner, not the living skeleton, who has magic powers? That might be a little "out there" for me, but I promise to read at least the first few pages at the library!

      And thanks for the recommendations.

      Soon, very soon, I'll write about my few favorite books on the shelf.

      Also, I'll agree with JTB about your remarkably good English. Were you raised bilingual?

      Delete
    8. Only one bus curbed, but I curbed it but good.

      Delete
  3. Douggles, I'm typing on a QWERTY, at least for now. Got a slightly damaged Dell cheap, and since I'm slightly damaged it seemed to be a good match. Got a young friend to set it up: my, I've forgotten a lot.

    And I'm touch typing. I would call for praise for all the gods if they existed. As it its, thanks to happenstance.

    John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mega-mondo-congratulations on your return to Qwerty. Accept no substitutes. And I hope you soon love your new slightly damaged Dell. Getting everything set up the way you like it is the part I hate. Takes me a month or so, to get my browser tweaked, my word processor shortcuts programmed, my passwords stored, my exhaustive collection of porn moved over, etc. Happy computering and welcome back!

      Qwerty forever. One of the worst things about driving a bus was that they do the pre-trip and post-trip inspections on ghastly hand-held devices that have *no* *keyboards*. Need to type "interior light bulb burnt out"? Well, you can't, because there's an 18-character limit, so you have to input "Int lite burnt out" by arrowing across a fake Qwerty board and selecting one character at a time. Oy, the humanities, but I reckon since you just spent a month Qwertyless you'd understand.

      Delete
    2. > my exhaustive collection of porn...

      Any titles you'd recommend (if you're willing to go there)?

      Delete
    3. My word processor has shortcuts? Oy!

      jtb

      Delete
    4. Sam I Am: I go there almost daily, but the studio stuff does nothing for me, so there are no titles to recommend. I'm more a fan of home movies.

      John the Basket: Maybe you're joking? If not, if you're unaware of the shortcuts function, man o man, it's a miracle I appreciate. With LibreOffice, it's Tools > AutoCorrect > While Typing, and the shortcuts I've set up save me fifteen minutes and a gazillion typos daily.

      Delete
    5. Doug, thanks for the tips. I'm an official LibreOffice guy now, so any other inside tips you want to pass along are fine with me. I don't drink anymore, but it occurs to me that during lime season, and as a (like me) sorta Pinko, you could sit and type with a rum & Coke with half a lime squeezed in (a CubaLibreOffice) next to your word processing unit. Well, Fulgencio Batista was a dicktator and Fidel TALKED a good game. I still think the CIA drove him to the Soviets. And the Revolution gave us this delicious drink that almost cost me an early death but which is delicious. During my QWERTY drought, my sentence construction went to hell. I'll try to get it back.

      jtb

      John

      Delete
    6. Somehow I know there are eleven complex jokes in there, but they zinged right past me, sorry.

      Libre used to have a pretty good help site, but they shut it down a year ago, and moved to a Discourse page. I have occasionally tried using Discourse, and found it to be mostly horseshit, so I now ask my occasional questions on Reddit.

      If you're new to it, ask me almost anything! :)

      Delete
    7. OK, what's the capital of Holland?

      Oh, you mean anything about Libre. I appreciate it. I'll try not to abuse your horsepitality. It was a trick question anyway. Glad to hear you bouncing back after that homo sapien question mark fucked you over. Were there a god, she'd be going to hell.

      jtb

      Delete
    8. Old York City? Doobietown?

      I've never been to Holland, but I'd go if it's all-expenses paid. Not sure I'd come back, though.

      Delete
    9. Well, I've never been to Spain,
      But I kinda like the music.

      jtb

      Delete
    10. They say the ladies are insane there
      And they sure know how to use it...

      But, use what?

      Delete
    11. Doug, I'm not entirely sure, but I strongly suspect that it's one of those deals where if you have to ask "what?" you don't get any.

      I dearly loved Hoyt Axton. Good songwriter, good singer and guitar player, pretty damn good actor. Seemed like a nice fella.

      John

      Delete
    12. Yeah, but The No-No Song. Some say he meant it seriously, but all the kids I knew just laughed and laughed.

      Delete
    13. Now I'm officially lost. I don't get lost out here that often, but I need a guide cat.

      jtb

      Delete
    14. OK, Axton gets a co-writing credit on that song. I'm back on track. I think of that as Mr. Jackson's song. Sorry I got lost.

      jtb

      Delete
    15. I've always thought Yellow Submarine was a silly song and very much of its time. The lads did manage to also write some tunes with a longer shelf life. I'd never compare Mr. Axton with Paul and John: I'm just saying everyone gets a mulligan now and then (his mom wrote "Heartbreak Hotel".)

      The second verse of Never Been to Spain:

      Well, I never been to England
      But I kinda like the Beatles
      Well, I headed for Las Vegas
      Only made it out to Needles
      Can you feel it?
      Must be near it
      Feels so good
      Whoa, feels so good

      . . . obviates the need for the No No Song entirely, even if it did see the light of day because Ringo recorded it -- and now we've come full circle.

      jtb

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    16. Jesus, that means that Elvis Presley recorded a song by Hoyt Axton's mother AND by Hoyt Axton. Did Elvis (or anybody else of note) ever do that elsewhen? I suppose so, but now I'm paging through my deteriorating memory for an instance.

      I'm reading too damn many books on popular music history and not getting out enough. My dear sister has even banned the recitation of music industry anecdotes from her house. She says I need to diversify. I guess that doesn't mean pop and rock and blues and soul and outlaw country.

      John

      Delete
    17. Holy heartbreak hotel! I didn't know anything about Hoyt Axton's mother. She also introduced Elvis to Colonel Tom Parker.

      Somewhere I read that Hoyt Axton was a hardnosed Nope to drugs, and that the No No Song wasn't meant to be funny, but upon reflection and listening to it again, I don't see how "not funny" is even conceivable.

      Delete
    18. Axton was habituated to cocaine and used other drugs. I think he got straight before he died, but he died young (61) and the drugs didn't help. If he was a "hardnosed nope" it was from personal experience.

      John

      Delete
    19. I'm mostly a nope, and well hardened. Never woke up on the floor, unless I was sleeping on a futon. Stayed mostly away from the hard stuff all my life, never had a hangover, and even with pot my preference is for the lightest of buzz, and only rarely.

      Delete

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