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New houses, but not for you

Sleep's been accumulating in flurries like snowfall, all week. Yesterday, heck, I was awake several times, barely long enough to know I wasn't asleep, but then I fell asleep again, over and over all day.

Maybe it's because I'm unemployed, and free of the pressures that come with a job, especially a new job. More likely I'm sick, but who cares? It feels marvelous being so well-rested for a few nights and days. Short-term narcolepsy beats the yawns out of my lifelong insomnia. 

The day before yesterday, when I was awake, I ran an errand to the University District. Getting there meant one bus ride and one train ride, but getting back was four buses, because (a) the train is a separate fare — no free transfers between train and bus! — and (b) Metro said my bus was running 45 damned minutes late, so I took a 'bus short-cut' that meant more buses, but less time.

In five rides on five buses, we rode up and over the curb three times. Never once did the bus driver park the bus, and call for a road-supervisor. They all kept driving, and maybe said "Damn it" under their breath, which is, I believe, the proper response to curbing a bus.

#183
Friday,
Sept. 2, 2022

As reported a few months back, hundreds of new houses are being built near the dilapidated and slightly sideways room where I live. Only a few of the houses appear to be finished, none are occupied, a lot are under construction, and many more are still only piles of building material, construction not yet started.

A corner of all this construction abuts my local northbound #99 bus stop, and walking toward it, a young woman was already waiting there. She had purple hair, and I love purple hair. She seemed a bit heavier than the mythical standard, and I hate the mythical standard. She had a book in her hand, and when I got closer I saw it was Always Coming Home, by Ursula K. Le Guin. I've never read it, but I love sci-fi and people who read it.

Somewhere in all that, something about this woman put me at ease like almost no strangers ever do. She'd be safe to talk to, I decided, something I don't decide very often.

"I am not looking forward to our new neighbors moving into all these houses," I said.

"I'm not sure they're ever moving in," she said with no hesitation. "Seems like the whole world here has been under construction since January."

"And you know the houses will be half-assed," I said. Nails not quite flush, sloppy metal flashing around window and doors, and I'll bet the porches will be crooked within a few years, but I didn't say any of that, because—

"Not as half-assed as the people living in them," she said. "New houses are expensive, and these houses are big. The sign might as well say, 'Rich bastards only'."

And with that we were underway, for several minutes of conversation and complaining about the asswipes and monsters with money who rule and ruin the world.

Then the bus came and we got on, said adios, and sat too many rows apart to keep talking. I want to add an addendum, though, to my complaint of a few days ago, that conversations that happen without me are much more enjoyable.

Not all conversations with strangers are awful. It depends on the stranger. One particular stranger, at the bus stop a few mornings ago, was worth walking too, but my general rule still applies.

An Asian man, very old, gets onto the bus. He's wearing a t-shirt that says "Deutschland."

That's the item. It amused me, that's all.

 

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

♦ ♦ ♦ 

The public paid for Moderna's mRNA vaccine tech;
Moderna suing over the patent is a travesty
 

If corporate capitalism didn't give us such travesties, though, there'd be no corporate capitalism at all.

♦ ♦ ♦    

Democrat beats Palin for US Congressional seat 

I'm taking this as good news, because Democrats are generally sane and Republicans aren't, and I'd like sanity to continue controlling the US House.

But I also gotta say, sane isn't enough. We need more Dems who aren't owned by corporations and who stand up for the right things — things like taxing the rich, health care for all, civil rights, abortion rights, and calling the morons morons. 'Nother words, more Congresscritters like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and fewer like Nancy Pelosi.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Movie tickets will cost $3 for "National Cinema Day" on September 3rd 

This is probably smart marketing, to lure people back to theaters as COVID concerns continue. $3 tickets got my attention for a moment, too. I watch a lot of movies, but haven't been to a movie in years.

Ah, but then I remembered what shit most present-day movies are. 

To confirm my snap judgment, I looked up what's playing, and the only film that seems somewhat interesting is Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. Even if it's a masterpiece, though, I'm not paying three bucks to sit next to loud-talking assholes for an hour and a half, after waiting through twenty minutes of commercials before the show.

If ever I see a movie in a theater again, it'll be one of Seattle's retrospective theaters — the Grand Illusion, probably. I've always loved that place, and I'll bet the price of admission they won't be showing ads.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

I'm gonna go way out on a limb and say:
Plaque honoring KKK should be removed from US Military Academy at West Point 

"As a values-based institution, we are fully committed to creating a climate where everyone is treated with dignity and respect," [a West Point spokesperson] said in an email.

Ha ha, that's a good one.

♦ ♦ ♦  

MAGA Republican actions fit 'definition of fascism', White House says 

It shouldn't be so rare to hear a White House staffer say something that's obviously true. Sing it louder and more often, please.

♦ ♦ ♦  

U.S. will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, Biden tells Israel's Lapid 

In a sane world, which countries have nukes and which don't wouldn't be decided by the U.S., and promised to Israel, which of course has plenty of nuclear weapons but pretends it doesn't.

♦ ♦ ♦  

Christian medical group sues to block enforcement of ruling barring LGBTQ discrimination 

Yeah, that's what Christ would do.

♦ ♦ ♦  

CalTrain finally gets juiced 

They're electrifying San Francisco's 100-year-old diesel commuter line, which will allow cleaner and more frequent service up and down the peninsula.

What's that? You don't give a damn? Sorry, I'm nuts about public transit, and CalTrain was a favorite when I lived in Frisco.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Republicans horrified by map of U.S. that would result if they couldn't cheat in elections 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Redlining lenders get paltry fine, admit no wrongdoing, but promise to obey the law in the future 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Federal court blocks Wisconsin Republicans from disenfranchising disabled voters 

♦ ♦ ♦

How the LA Times helped cover up a sex and drugs scandal at USC 

♦ ♦ ♦

"All of a sudden it’s undrinkable": why an entire US city has no clean water 

♦ ♦ ♦

World Gravy Wrestling Championships returns after two-year break 

♦ ♦ ♦  

"What’s this about?": Body-cam footage shows confusion as Florida man arrested for voter fraud 

♦ ♦ ♦

Can anyone tell me why ADHD kids get extra time instead of MORE hard deadlines? 

♦ ♦ ♦  

A learning tip 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Behind the scenes photos from the making of Jaws. 1975 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Dublin federal prison chaplain used faith and fear to abuse female inmates 

♦ ♦ ♦  

The changes at CNN look politically motivated. That should concern us all. 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Star Trek into bad grammar 

♦ ♦ ♦  

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

climateclimateclimateclimateclimate 

copscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscops

RepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicans

♦ ♦ ♦

The End

Alexei Panshin
Virginia Patton
Gerald Potterton 

9/2/2022 
 
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...

21 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this episode. I wouldn't worry about a few sleepy days, unless it starts happening every day.

    Beautiful bus stop story. Did you get her name, the purple hair girl?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No names asked, no names offered. It's the way of the bus stop.

      Delete
    2. There should be a song about a romance beginning with a strange woman at a bus stop. Oh, wait, The Hollies . . .

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSprHUjAFK8

      jtb

      Delete
    3. Catchy tune, of course. More about the umbrella than the bus stop, though.

      No romance at my bus stop. That lady was a third of my age, and that's just gross.

      Delete
    4. When reality slams our door, fantasy comes innuendo.

      jtb

      Delete
    5. Nicely crafted, sir, but in such (rare) situations, the idea never even occurs to me any more. Even fantasies need some slight basis in reality, and there's none, at least for me.

      Delete
    6. Nicely crafted by Groucho Marx. I forget which movie, but I've seen them all. I'm a fan and some things stay with me, even with a sputtering memory.

      I don't mind stealing, but I try to credit when I remember who to credit.

      And I'm not entirely sold on your assertion that even fantasies need some slight basis in reality. But live and be well.

      John

      Delete
    7. I liked some of the Marx Brothers movies, but I also remember long boring stretches and one of the brothers who sang instead of being funny.

      Not many fantasies left in me...

      Delete
    8. Eeeeeeeeh, I think I would.

      Delete
    9. Sure, that's why they need both of us. If we had identical tastes one of us would be redundant. Now all we have to do is figure out who the hell "they" are.

      John

      Delete
    10. They are the bastards, the cruel capitalists who own the world, telling us always what we can't have, allowing us a little less than last year and a little less hope for next. They ought to not be allowed.

      Delete
    11. Yeah, and now you can't run over them with a bus. And my car is 20 years late on an oil change. Guess we'll have to rock the vote.

      John

      Delete
    12. Ah, you know what they say about voting. It's all we have, but it ain't much when every aspect of the system is rigged to make sure the best candidates never make the ballot.

      Delete
    13. Just for the hell of it, check out this documentary: One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern. A decorated WWII bomber pilot who hated war, an academic who support student protests, a senator who couldn't be bought. I played a teensy part in that campaign, and I'm proud of my candidate.

      John

      Delete
    14. You volunteered, knocked on doors or phonebanked or something? Good on you, man.

      I was too young to vote, probably too young to care, but I was curious enough to read the voter's pamphlet, where every candidate got a page. Being a doofus brat, I was most impressed with the Libertarian, but among the two candidates who had any chance, I remember telling my pop that I'd have voted for McGovern if I could vote. He laughed and informed me that ours was a Nixon family.

      Delete
    15. In retrospect, that's nuts.

      I named the first cat I partnered with on my own (without my parents) McG. She lived a fairly long life but was killed by the press when the newspaper delivery guy ran over her in the field outside my old farmhouse. She was buried, after a brief ceremony, in a little garden outside my folks' back door (my place was a rental, and I wanted her to rest on family ground).

      My folks both voted for McGovern. They were centrist Democrats, but they would never vote for a Republican. So it was McG, even though he seemed a little too progressive for them.

      Yeah, I was 22 and did some calling, a little doorbelling, and a lot of flyer folding. It was a highly energized campaign. We got trounced, but two years later Nixon resigned in disgrace -- just another multiple felon for the Nixon families to elect. Frankly, I'm still a little pissed off about the '72 election and show no signs of getting over it anytime soon.

      jtb

      Delete
    16. I saw Mr McG speak once, in Madison. Seems like a damned good man. Too good for politics, I guess.

      Now I'm trying to think of the political candidates who've actually excited me, where I was enthusiastically voting *for* the candidate, instead of settling, or voting against an opponent.

      McG was before my time, and all that comes to mind is John Anderson for President in 1980, and Satya Rhodes-Conway for Mayor of Madison in 2019. That's a mighty short list for a man in his 60s.

      Delete
    17. I became a fake Republican to campaign briefly for Mr. Anderson because I couldn't imagine anything worse than Reagan in the White House. I was actually elected a Republican Precinct Committeeman and attended the Pierce County Republican convention, voting in significant minority for Anderson. I was half right. Reagan dismantled much of the social safety net Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson had put in place. I was wrong about there being nothing worse than Reagan. Who coulda known?

      jtb

      Delete
    18. Sorry if it seems I'm borrowing your life without a library card, but I was elected a Republican Precinct Committeeman too, in 1980, and attended the King County Republican convention, voting for John Bayard Anderson who, of course, lost. Small world!

      I barely remember anything about Anderson's actual proposals, except that he had actual proposals, and nobody else in either of the big parties did.

      A big tax on gasoline is all I recall, and I still think we should do whatever it takes that makes driving more expensive and thus more undesirable. A world where everyone has a car to get around is a world that's doomed.

      As for "nothing worse than Reagan," I've said this before but I'll bore you again: Every time America elects a Republican President, I keep thinking he's the *worst* a President could be. Reagan was the worst, clearly, and then Bush was even worster, and then Little Bush was somehow worse, and then came Donald Trump.

      Shiver in fear of the *next* Republican President, who'll echo Trump's politics but almost certainly be far, far less stupid while steering us toward the apocalypse.

      Delete
    19. I guess we were a pair of undercover brothers, doing the work of the people while the people were out making money and not worrying about who was going to get elected President.

      I think Reagan was worse than either Bush for a variety of reasons that revolve around the federal government returning money to the states via block grants. Reagan put a stop to that, and in doing so, actually made the federal government considerably bigger and richer while forcing the states to find other ways to raise money for state level services (roads, schools, human services, etc.). The states increased college tuitions, sales and income taxes and, via the counties, significantly increased property taxes, making it harder for young people to buy a home and for older people to stay in their homes. Even so, Reagan couldn't balance the federal budget; that would have to await a Democrat, President Clinton, who balanced it twice. Instead, Reagan spent lord knows how much money on Star Wars, and not the kind with the cute talking robots.

      John

      Delete
    20. I vaguely remember George Lucas or his owners suing over Reagan's use of the term "Star Wars" for his hellish and stupid scheme, but I don't remember the outcome. Win or lose, obviously Lucas et al lost.

      Reagan, Bush, Bush and Trump are all off the scale, far as I'm concerned, but it is possible that my perception of the scales of evil, always tilting further and further for Republicans, might have been only my increasing awareness of politics as I got older.

      Delete

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