Following my cucumbers


& links

Oct. 31, 2022

A woman on the bus was listening to her electronic device, without earbuds or headphones, so everyone had to listen. That's rude and not uncommon, but usually it's music. Usually it's bad music. This woman, though, seemed to be answering a mental health questionnaire, out loud, while riding the bus.

Her device's electronic voice asked, "In the past week, how often have you felt hopeless, blue, or depressed? Never. Rarely. Sometimes. Often." 

"Sometimes," the woman said.

"How frequently do you use illegal substances? Never. Rarely. Sometimes. Often."

"Sometimes," the woman said. 

Her misery is normal in this time and place, and just by being aware of it, I'd say she's doing better than most of us. Also normal, sadly, is her disinterest in her own privacy, and the almost certain uselessness of whatever help she was hoping to qualify for.

In the past week, how often have you felt hopeless, blue, or depressed? I'd say, it's our time and place that's hopeless. Often.

I'm not proud to say this, but I needed cucumbers and was too lazy for a fifteen-minute ride to and from the grocery store, so yesterday I made my first purchase from Amazon Fresh.

In addition to their rat-bastardliness, Amazon is famous for efficiency, so I was surprised by how inefficient their delivery was — and I'm also concerned about privacy.

First, the inefficiency: Anxious for my cukes, I clicked Amazon's button to track my order on its way, and it brought up this very local map of where my driver was, almost exactly.

The map updates constantly, so I was able to electronically follow her (she's identified as Marcia on the website) on her delivery route, and an on-screen tag told me I was 9th in line, then 8th, 7th, etc, all along the delivery path.

You'd think, if a van has 20 orders for delivery, they'd be routed logically, getting closer and closer to my house, but nope. The driver came within four blocks of here, and then her next delivery was 3 miles away, then half a mile, and then two miles away. There was no logic to Amazon's routing.

In the screenshot above, she's miles from my house — the farthest away she got all morning, even though I was next in line.

More worrisome are the privacy and safety implications. Nobody needs to know so precisely where Marcia is at every moment of her drive. Why is that information shared? It makes it too easy to potentially steal the groceries, or vandalize the truck, or worse.

I was watching a movie, something I do now and again, and one of the characters coughed. It doesn't matter what movie, what character, you know it's fatal. Nobody in the movies survives a cough.

I am right-handed, and apparently left-buttholed. For years I've noticed, when I poop, it often sticks to the side of the bowl, and always on my left side (facing forward). Always. And no, I don't lean as I sit.

We're all the center of our own universe, and you think of your anus as being exactly in the center of that center, but it's not, at least not for me.

I hate football, but I'm becoming a big fan of Seattle Seahawks home games. They're wonderful! 

My too-talky flatmate Dean has season tickets, so he leaves a couple of hours before game time, and gets home an hour after they're finished. For about six hours, I can roam into the kitchen, take a shower, take a poop, all with no chance of being cornered for conversation. 

Whether the team wins or loses I do not care, but play, Seahawks, play!

Yesterday, though, was a disappointment. I fell asleep and slept through most of my cherished alone time.

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

New York to pay $26-million to men wrongly convicted of killing Malcolm X 

Their exonerations in November — Islam's was posthumous — came as allegations of racism and discrimination in the criminal justice system were again prompting national protests and political debate.

Russians used a US firm to funnel funds to Republicans in 2018; Dems say the FEC let them get away with it. 

On his second day owning Twitter, Elon Musk spreads baseless right-wing conspiracy theory on his feed 

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

• Climate change isn't 'coming', it's underway. It'll kill billions, and we're not doing squat about it.  



• All cops are bastards, or they know who the bastard cops are and do nothing about it, which is the same thing.  




• Republicans are the enemy of common sense, common decency, simple truth, and democracy.  



Other links I liked

• New York Times headline from 2025:
America's emerging dictatorship has liberals on edge. But for some, the stability and absence of hard choices is a welcome change 

• "Thank You, and Goodbye"
David Letterman remembers Warren Zevon, 20 years later. And I never knew, never would've guessed it was Letterman shouting "Hit somebody" on Zevon's brilliant "Hit Somebody" hockey song.

Have the smart people ruined baseball? 

Kentucky meat shower 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

♫♬  Mix tape of my mind  ♫

• "Trouble" by Cat Stevens

♦ ♦ ♦

The End

Billy Al Bengston
Lady Blood
Mary McCaslin


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. Thanks for the Zevon/Letterman link. Last time I checked, the entire show was on YouTube. If you're a Zevon fan you've already watched it. If not, what the fuck have you been doing with your life? There is almost nothing on TV or radio that is genuine and comes straight from the heart. That's 44 minutes of love and friendship, and a glimpse of mortality (and three incredibly good songs).


  2. Jesus and Maria, you're on today. The essay at the end of the link you provide (Have the Smart People Ruined Baseball?) is well-written and well-reasoned. I read junk physics only because I can't understand the real thing, but anybody can grasp "spin" with a pinch of imagination. This writer has considerably more than a pinch. He's from two generations later than I am, but sitting on a davenport with my Grandfather in 1955 watching the Giants play the Dodgers (both New York) is as fresh in my mind as yesterday. A little fresher if the truth be known. This guy can write, and he can think, another dying art.


    1. I think I saw the Zevon farewell the night it was on. Maybe I'm mistaken, and I saw a rerun. Haven't seen it since, and you make me desperate to, so it's happening now.

      Watching baseball slowly commit suicide is sad. I still love the game, and wish the people running it loved it, too. I can't stand watching, can barely stand listening. I'm following the World Series by keeping a tab open with an ongoing box score.


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