February 13

"It takes about four weeks to get the results back," said the guy at the fingerprint and background check office on Tuesday, but on Thursday someone from the US Postal Service called, and said I'd passed scrutiny. My start date is February 13.



& links

Jan. 22, 2023

And without a job interview? I'm wondering, is skipping the job interview an oversight, or did my résumé knock someone's garter belt off?

I do have decades of experience doing similar work in offices, but that's only pertinent if the work is actually similar, which I hope, but the brief description on-line when I applied was vague.

I think the job entails sitting at a sorting machine, eyeballing envelopes eternally as they ride by on a conveyor belt, and inputting zip codes eight hours a day for the rest of my life. Sounds mind-deadening, but my mind's dead already.

With no interview, I've had no chance to ask any questions about the job, so I didn't even know where I'd be working. The listing only said something like, "South Seattle, Building# 42-BQ." When I asked, the woman on the phone translated that into an address, and a few clicks on the internet shows that there's decent bus service.

When I asked what the job was, specifically, she said she didn't really know. "I'm just HR."

I'll make a test run on the bus one morning, to make sure the commute is workable and walkable. If it's a sloggish commute but the job's OK, maybe I'll eventually move someplace closer to the Post Office.

So my year-long 24/7 movie vacation ends in three weeks. At an age several years older than my father when he retired and died, I'll be starting a new career.

In good spirits after the phone call from USPS, I stepped into the kitchen to celebrate with an extra big salad, but while I was making it, Dean came home from work via the library.

We haven't spoken since late last year, the last time I told him not to talk at me so much. Thought we were making progress, but I guess all the not-talking was just a coincidence. Soon as he saw me, he gave me several week's worth of talking — first about the books and movies he'd checked out from the library, and then just an endless monologue about cooking at the restaurant and what he's planning to do with all the food L brought home last week.

On and on he spoke, and I listened while I was making my salad because what else could I do? But when I'd finished with greens and croutons and dressing, I inched toward my bedroom door, and Dean followed me, still talking. I closed the door while he was still talking, and he still talked for another twenty seconds or so.

What a long, unpleasant dream I've just had, all about a friend and me murdering someone, presumably for some reason but unexplained in the dream. We had an elaborate plan for doing the deed, but things went wrong like in most movies, and that's what it felt like — a movie, long and complicated, scripted by Paul Schrader, based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith, and directed by Chuck Jones.

The cops were there but couldn't find any evidence, and me and my pal were sweating but outwardly cool, until our intended victim — who we thought we'd killed — knocked at the front door. I looked at him through the peephole, and he looked at me through the peephole, and he jabbed a knitting needle through it and into my eyeball, and that's when I woke up with a mild headache.

There was lots more to the dream than that — something about a see-saw and merry-go-round, and then a diner with smoky cigarette haze, and more crazy sideplots with lots of drama.

As my head cleared and heartbeat slowed and I checked my eye for needles, I wondered and still do, did people have dreams that complicated in the 1800s, the pre-cinema age? Or were dreams back then limited to more ordinary life-based events?

Today I'm spending the day with my brother Clay, at his house, and I love the guy but I'm not looking forward to it. We'll watch a movie, but not a good movie, and he and his wife and our pal Leon will all be talking too much during the show, and when we're talking before and after the movie, none of us will really have anything to say.

Yeah, I know — I'm a terrible guy, terrible brother.

The most frustrating part is the forever ride to Clay's house, and back. For reasons I'll never fathom, he and his wife bought a house out in the suburbs of the suburbs. To get there, I'll take a half-hour bus ride to Southcenter, a horrid shopping mall, and wait at the bus stop for Leon to meet me and drive us the rest of the way. It takes an hour and a half total, and that's if traffic isn't too bad.

And then, of course, another hour and a half coming back. 

And I hate cars. Leon's a decent driver, but I'm decrepit and he's even older than me, and an hour on the freeway is always a risk I'd rather avoid. 

I won't say yes to another invitation to my brother's house. It's one thing, giving three hours to the ride while I'm unemployed and doing nothing seven days a week. But once I'm working? When I'll have just two days to myself on the weekend, and that's it? Hell if I'll do it then.

News you need,
whether you know it or not

Failed Republican candidate visited officials' homes falsely claiming election fraud before allegedly targeting them in shootings, police say 

70% of drugs advertised on TV are of "low therapeutic value," study finds 

Most abortion bans include exceptions. In practice, few are granted 

4th-grader discovers megalodon tooth 

Grand Illusion Cinema to be torn down

Damn. That's Seattle's finest movie house. I could bore you with a long list of great movies I remember seeing at the Grand Illusion, including, of course, The Grand Illusion (1937). The article says they're hoping to find a new location, but still, this is bad news for northwest movie buffs.

Mystery links
There's no knowing where you're going




Clicks ahoy

Could ultrasound replace the stethoscope? 

A stethoscope costs about thirty bucks, and works, and never malfunctions. A cheap ultrasound machine starts at about $5K, and needs maintenance, and replacement within none too many years.

So of course ultrasound will replace stethoscopes.

The newspaper thief, by Paul Modic 

I was feeling a little giddy, sneaky, stupid, and wondering what is wrong with me, but also felt pretty calm as a righteous vigilante. I figured he’d be upset but he deserved it, right?

Ex-Amazon employees explain the almost impressively cynical way Amazon Smile started 

The intent of the program was to be cost neutral — the amount Amazon donated to charities was about equal to the costs it saved by not having to pay Google for advertising clicks.

The many ingenious ways people in prison use (forbidden) cell phones 

Electchester remains basically as it was imagined in 1949: a surprisingly affordable city-within-a-city full of electricians.

The first driver's license 

Armored subway cars 

Survey shows use of "their" as an ungendered pronoun has more than doubled since 2007 

10 times America (is known to have) helped overthrow a foreign government 

The first family of human cannonballing 

Life in a drop of seawater 

♫♬  Mix tape of my mind  ♫

12-Bar Original — The Beatles 

First We Take Manhattan — Leonard Cohen 

It's a Gas — Alfred E Newman 

Nobody's In Love This Year — Warren Zevon 

Working for the Man — Roy Orbison 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

David Crosby 

Thomas Hughes 

John Grazier 

James Lowenstein 

Ted Savage 

Gino Odjick 

Brian Tufano 


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.
Special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always extra special thanks to my lovely late Stephanie, who gave me 21 years and proved that the world isn't always shitty.


  1. Oh c'mon, we know you need the money but you're really doing it all for US, I am continually amazed at your voluminous output, onward!!! Eeeeeeeel P

    1. Sounds like I'm an ass when I say it out loud so I'll say it: You're invited to read it if you want, but everything I write I write for me.


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