Enjoys long walks

Nothing much to say this morning, you'll notice if you read further. Usually I write about nothing much, and try to make it worth reading. When there's just plain nothing going on, though — no arguments with homeless people, nothing outrageous from my mom or my flatmates — there's nothing to say.

I'm becoming one with the recliner, that's all, watching movies and following the spiders' crisscrossing trails on the ceiling. I'm planing a long bus ride this evening, though, so there might be something better for tomorrow.

Sept. 24, 2022

Sometimes it feels like these days of cheerful unemployment, spending my life savings on breakfast or burgers at the diner, might be the last good days of my life. I'm old, so my remaining time is dwindling, but right now there's no job to be at, no obligations of any kind except to keep the cat fed and the rent paid. It's sweet. 

Do what you want to do — that's the dream, isn't it? Can't afford retirement, though, so this easy era will be temporary.

While my vacation continues, I'm daydreaming of a vacation from my vacation, a train trip to California. I love the trains, and it would be great to say hello again to San Francisco, walk the streets where I fell in love with my wife, see if some essence of her is still there, and oh yeah, eat at El Castillito, best burrito in the world... all for undoubtedly the last time.

That's one of the facts of being old. Whatever you're doing could easily be for the last time.

And again, my car won't start. This time it's the alternator, I suspect, not because I know anything about cars, but because it was the alternator last time it made that click-clicking sound instead of the engine turning over. Several hundred dollars, in other words.

It's only a small inconvenience, though, at least until it snows. No hurry getting the car towed to the shop. Almost everywhere I go is a bus ride; the car is only for driving to the bus stop, eleven blocks from home.

Like they used to say in the personal ads, "enjoys long walks…", but I don't, but here I go...

Nah, screw the walk. I had the groceries delivered instead, for a small fee.

In Madison, my groceries were delivered during the 2020 pandemic, and I always tipped twenty dollars. The delivery workers were risking their lives to save mine, and I wanted to say thanks.

I still want to say thanks, but not so extravagantly. I'm out of work, and everyone sane has been vaccinated, and the President says COVID is over. Unsure what's a fair tip for grocery delivery, I shrugged and added $5 electronically as I placed the order.

An hour later I was arguing with myself. $5 was less than 10% of my $70 order. It felt stingy, so I put another five bucks in my pocket, to give the driver when he/she knocked on the door. 

Nobody knocked, though, or called or texted. When the promised delivery time was an hour ago, I got curious, opened the door, and discovered my groceries on the front porch, the fishsticks half thawed. So that second $5 tip is for me.

Republicans want to make it difficult to vote, because Republicans don't like majority rule or democracy. Seattle and Washington make voting easy, though. There are ballot dropboxes at every library branch, and when I got my Washington driver's license, it automatically registered me as a voter. 

Voting on election day is a drag, though. It means you're surrounded by people and standing in a line, and I hate people and lines, so I prefer voting absentee.

When I asked kingcounty.gov how to get an absentee ballot, the answer was, nothing.

"If you are registered to vote, you will receive a ballot in the mail."

Easy and excellent. Thank you, State of Washington. I appreciate it.

Sneezed an ordinary sneeze, not an especially big one, and I'm alone in my room so I didn't bother covering my mouth. A four-inch blob of moist gooey phlegm flew out of my mouth, rose and fell in an arch, and splattered the screen and keyboard of my laptop, five feet sideways away.

It's a good idea to cover your mouth when you sneeze, even when nobody else is around.

Turns out my flatmate Dean and I do have something in common.

In the kitchen past midnight, alone and pouring milk on cereal, the house and the neighborhood were quiet. Voices floated right through Dean's bedroom door and into my ears. It was faint, so I had to stand still and listen, but it was unmistakable — a man's voice groaning, and a woman's voice saying, "Oh oh oh harder," et cetera.

On the other side of that door, Dean was either watching porn or he had an enthusiastic guest, but guests are not allowed in the house.

He's constantly nosy about me and my life — "Man, you have lots of cucumbers in the fridge," he said yesterday, and "I saw you standing at the bus stop, where were you going?" the day before — so next time I see him, I'll reciprocate by telling him I heard him beating off, and ask what he was watching.

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

♦ ♦ ♦ 

New campaign for Cherokee Nation's non-voting House delegate 

If it's in the treaty, then by golly give them their Rep in Congress, and since it's been denied them for so long, make it a voting member of Congress, not merely an observer.

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A marvelous beginning:
Feds using freight program money to tear down a Detroit highway

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Cable giant Charter will pay $1.1 billion after tech murders elderly customer  

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Labor conflict is coming — and the ruling class will fight back hard 

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Breaking down New York's long-awaited fraud lawsuit against Donald Trump 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Florida taxpayers paid $615,000 for DeSantis to fly Texas migrants to Martha’s Vineyard 

The Martha's Vineyard migrant flight has echoes of a dark past:
Reverse Freedom Rides

♦ ♦ ♦  

Jury rules against right-wing propaganda liars in lawsuit 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Study shows significant rise in cops pulling black drivers over, after Trump's 2016 campaign 

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Arizona can enforce near-total abortion ban, judge rules 

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Fraudsters stole $45.6 billion in pandemic assistance 

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New Jersey town bans homeless people 

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FDA fucks up with "Nyquil Challenge" 

"What might have been a niche online curiosity is now a national buzzing story. So by the very least, it's plausible that the FDA inadvertently exposed many new (young) audiences to the challenge." 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Reagan, redwoods, radicals & People's Park 

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Amtrak's Oakland to Los Angeles train is slower than the 1930s, but just as beautiful 

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How a 100-year-old miscalculation drained the Colorado River 

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How a black spy infiltrated the Confederate White House 

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Ask a cable car gripman 

♦ ♦ ♦  

I learned a lot about Alice Cooper from this article. 

Thing is, I don't really care much about Alice Cooper.

♦ ♦ ♦  

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




♦ ♦ ♦

The End

Louise Fletcher
Allan M Siegal
Henry Silva

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...

Cranky Old Fart
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  1. Thanks for the Raymond Chandler quote. I've read most of Chandler, and it memory serves, Marlowe says in one of the stories, "You can't make much money in this trade if you're honest."

    I could be off by a word or two, but that's the sense of it. Turns out it applies to more than just the detective business.


    1. The noir books I've read, Chandler and Hammett and Thompson et al, had a very high success rate, better than any other genre, even sci-fi. Success rate meaning, reading the book to the end.

    2. In the world of literature, Hammett is generally given credit for inventing the "hard boiled" school of detective fiction and Chandler is credited with turning it into literature.

      Chandler was an oil company executive and amateur poet until the Depression wrecked his company and left him without employment. In 1939, five years after Hammett had stopped writing, Chandler published "The Lady in the Lake" and "Trouble is My Business" and didn't stop writing detective fiction until his death in 1959.

      Both men wrote because they needed the money and they were good at it. Both men had a touch of genius that wasn't explored until they needed the dough.


    3. Chandler was my favorite. It's all dames and guns and scoundrels, and that's always fun, but Ray seemed genuine subversive under the surface. Not even very far under.

    4. The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) was trying to get Hammett (they finally got him and broke him). Since he wouldn't give them what they wanted, they called his mostly lifelong woman friend, Lillian Hellman, to testify against Hammett and others. Part of her letter to HUAC in response has become a rallying cry for the kind of subversives we hang around with. In refusing to testify against others she wrote, “I Cannot and Will Not Cut My Conscience to Fit This Year’s Fashions”.

      She was pretty clearly speaking for Hammett and she spoke clearly (and subversively).


    5. That's another fascinating story I hadn't known. Thought she was just the mayonnaise lady.

    6. Strictly mustard.


    7. Mustard is a marvelous food. Generic French's for me. Any meat sammich without mustard tastes fake to me. When I was poor I'd eat just plain mustard sandwiches. These days I sometimes eat cucumbers dipped in mustard. Yum. Maybe right now.


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