That was a pretty good day.

Sometimes I enjoy chit-chattery with a few loved ones or a very, very few friends, but almost any other time I don't. Even with family and friends, sometimes I wish the conversation was happening without me.

August 30, 2022

Conversations that happen without me are much more enjoyable. People say the dumbest, dullest things, and often seem to be simply reciting things they've heard on TV or read in the media.

A few mornings back at a coffee shop, I was so damned happy to be eavesdropping instead of participating in the conversations, as people babbled pointlessly about sports on one side of me, and move stars on the other.

The sports talk sounded exactly like sports talk radio, and I'm sure that's where the opinions came from. Nothing but clichés and piffle, really. This outfielder should be traded, this coach should be fired, and every line is spoken with an excited tone of voice like the Lakers just won the game with a last-second slam dunk. One boring man mentioned a hockey game that ended in a tie, and I absolutely knew that the other boring man would say the cliché, "A tie is like kissing your sister." And yup, he said it.

The movie talk was a trite recitation of commonly-held opinions. "The new Star Wars movies just aren't as good as the old Star Wars movies," and "Charlize Theron was so good in Monster, because she's beautiful but was playing ugly," and so on. One of the talkers said he'd seen a few Humphrey Bogart movies, "but they're boring and Bogart is boring, and Dwayne Johnson or Bradley Cooper are so much better." I almost did a cappuccino spit-take.

So again as always, most conversations are stupid, boring recitations of nothing important, and that's why I prefer spending my life alone in my room.

I try to post something every day, but nothing was posted yesterday. It was a day dedicated to doing nothing. I was a large lump on the recliner, and lumps don't write.

This lump watched four episodes of Doctor Who, and three old movies, and read two chapters of a favorite book. Visited the kitchen three times — first for a gallon of ice cream for breakfast, then for two plates of leftover fried chicken as lunch, and finally for another gallon of ice cream for dinner. There were no conversations. No humans saw me at all.

That was a pretty good day. Why couldn't I get that day, over, and over, and over...?

I've subscribed to the Anderson Valley Advertiser (America's last newspaper) since the 1990s, but it's had a hard time finding me since I moved to Seattle. The pattern is, no copies of the weekly AVA reach me for weeks, and then two or three issues arrive on the same day. And it keeps happening.

I've complained to the Post Office, because the internet says that's what you're supposed to do. Gotta love the USPS, and it's amazing what they accomplish every day, for the price of a stamp. They handle quite a bit of mail, though, so I don't expect they'll be able to figure out and fix whatever's going wrong with my one copy of one newspaper that's mailed from California to Seattle once weekly, on Wednesdays.

Well, at least the papers come eventually. Same as me in my old age, it just takes a long long time. 

Buses are slow, and they make frequent stops, so when I'm driving my car, I never like to be driving behind a bus. You probably hate it, too. 

Not until I spent a month driving a bus, though, did I know how universal that feeling is. Nobody likes driving behind a bus, and lots of car drivers will do the damnedest things to get ahead of the bus, instead of behind it.

They'll cross the double yellow line, or zip onto the shoulder to pass a bus.

They'll illegally swerve around the bus while it's turning.

They'll do double the speed limit to get ahead of a bus, and then cut frightfully close back into the lane, missing the bus's front bumper by not much at all.

That ain't smart, because cars do not do well in collisions with buses. And c'mon, the bus is only following the rules of the road — rules car drivers often or usually ignore. Speed limits, stop signs, and all that jazz.

One of our instructors said that when he was driving the bus, he amused himself by keeping a tick-sheet tally of how many idiot car drivers dangerously or illegally passed his bus every day,. It was sometimes hundreds, he said, and the number went up on hot, sunny days. 

Let's be careful out there. 

(Sick of bus driving stories? Give me a few weeks, I'll run dry on anecdotes, and finally park the bus.)

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

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In Waller County, Texas, it's a curious principle — separate and unequal. 

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15 years of living in the woods
by Ace Backwords

♦ ♦ ♦  

Something beautiful is (maybe) happening in Seattle:
a block-long plaza for people and pedestrians, not for cars

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Playing music in childhood linked to a sharper mind in old age, study suggests 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Made me laugh 

♦ ♦ ♦ 


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Virgin boy eggs 

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




♦ ♦ ♦

The End

Ann McGuiness
Dorli Rainey
Creed Taylor

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. While not as exotic, I did coincidentally try a new egg JUST before (literal moments) I read about the Virgin Boy Eggs. Last week at the Korean grocery (H-Mart), I took a $6.99 flier on a carton of salted duck eggs. They've been in the fridge for about 5 days, and I just tried one.

    Hard-boiled duck eggs, brined HEAVILY with salt. Too heavily, by far. With a chicken egg, I'll peel it, salt it, bite, salt it, bite, etc. This thing, though, man. Peel it, and it's extremely salty in the shell. The yolk has a weird consistency also. The flavor is overwhelmed by the salt, but is noticeably more robust than a chicken egg.

    If I ever see fresh duck eggs, I could be convinced to buy them and hard-boil them, to see what I can do.

    1. Oh, and the verdict is a hard NO on buying these salted eggs again. Gross as prepared.

    2. I have not yet tried any bizarre eggs, but it's a long-term goal.

      We have H-Marts out here too, though it appears to be a different company, or different subsection of the same company.

  2. "Visited the kitchen three times — first for a gallon of ice cream for breakfast, then for two plates of leftover fried chicken as lunch, and finally for another gallon of ice cream for dinner"

    Dude, WTF?

    1. I ought to write (again) about how I eat, which is stupidly, instead of arranging every mean per the USDA food pyramid.

      Briefly: Ate too much for fifty years so I'm crazy stupid fat.

      Then: Went on a diet to lose the extra pounds, and did.

      Then: Came home 24/7 during the pandemic, and started getting big and fat again.

    2. I'm guessing you know that there's a lot of territory between eating stupidly and eating per the USDA food pyramid. No prudent person does either; we're all somewhere in the middle. Life is too short for pyramids and not long enough to eat a gallon of ice cream for dinner. Half a gallon, maybe.


    3. True indeedy, but I gotta cut back on the ice cream and resume the habit of eating sorta sensibly. It frustrates me, that I spent several years eating smart and losing weight and lost almost all my flab, only to eat it all back onto me again.

      It's a mental misfiring in my head. Lifelong. I always want to eat the food that I want, and keep eating it even after going past all logical limits.

      I was proud of myself at the store yesterday, though, buying only food I kinda oughta be eating. It was the very first time I'd been to my ordinary grocery store in Seattle, since moving back in April, without buying at least one item too fatty or greasy or too damned sweet or high-calorie.

  3. How I met Your Mother? I don't get it.

    1. A good joke loses its laugh when it's explained, sorry, and I'd never do that.


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