"Here ya go, hun."



& links

Feb. 13, 2023

They've redesigned the walk signals at the intersection near the diner, and I hate the new beeps and tweets. On the busy street, you get a two-tone beep, repeated 34 times at 99 decibels. Crossing the other street, you get what sound like bird tweets, nine of them.

The sounds are supposed to help the blind and disabled get across traffic, and I'm all for that, but sweet jeebers it's loud. You can hear the beeping and then the tweeting from half a block away.

And the crosswalk button you're supposed to push is only a trick. The beeps and tweets sound off in a constant rotation, whether the buttons are pushed or not pushed, even when no-one's crossing the street.

Just waiting for the bus there, it kinda drives me nuts. If I lived there, I'd complain to the city, and if they didn't turn down the volume pretty quick I'd vandalize the machinery. Beep beep, tweet tweet, my ass.

"Here ya go, hun," the waitress said as she brought my cheeseburger deluxe. It took a lot of breakfasts and burgers, but that was my first 'hun' at the diner. 

Down the street, they're building a couple of hundred new houses, the closest of which is so close that I can hear the workmen hammering.

My northbound bus stop abuts the 'model house', which is the only house that looks completely finished. Lots of others are close to finished, but none are occupied yet — they don't have walkways to the porch, or grass on the lawn, and they still have "Safety first" signs in all the windows. And anyway, I'd notice moving vans.

And yet, waiting for a bus dang early on Sunday morning — the new neighborhood's only day off from hammering — cars were parked at six of the almost-completed houses. Some workers are sleeping there, saving on rent, and that's brilliant, ain't it?

Among a dozen pre-job errands, I wanted to get prescription glasses. I lost mine about thirty years ago, and since then I've gotten by with cheaters and squinting.

So I went to one of those cheapo chain places, America's Best. The experience was everything you'd expect — robotic and cold, with at attempt at surprise extra fees to make the glasses much more expensive than advertised.

They went above and beyond with the directions, though. The store is at a mall that stretches over about four blocks, so I called and asked where in the mall it was. "We're between Target and Ross," said a cheerful airhead's voice.

Nope. Between Target and Ross there's only a bunch of pipes and broken beer bottles. On foot, it took five more minutes to find the place. It was kinda near Ross, but nowhere near Target.

I'm already missing the 12-month vacation, being able to watch movies and take walks or naps or beat off any time I please. Getting dressed and having a job and commute is gonna eat upwards of ten hours, five days a week.

That's now normal people live, though, and I've done it before.

Damn it.

News you need,
whether you know it or not

Emmett Till relative's lawsuit seeks to serve white woman's arrest warrant 

"Hunger cliff" looms as 32 states set to slash food-stamp benefits 

More than a third of US wildlife at risk of extinction, 'grim' new report shows 

Climate change looms behind South America's heat wave 

Antarctic researchers report an extraordinary marine heatwave that could threaten Antarctica's ice shelves 

As climate change disrupts ecosystems, a new outbreak of bird flu spreads to mammals 

Climate change may be to blame for puzzling New Mexico bird deaths 

Climate change linked to increase in avalanches 

Bill Gates vehemently defends private jet usage: "Should i stay at home?" 

Natural disasters, boosted by climate change, displaced millions of people in U.S. in 2022 

Climate change protesters found guilty over Silverstone track protest 

Texas SWAT team destroys home while searching for the wrong person at the wrong address 

Walton County school resource deputy terminated, charged with relationship with student 

Oakland Police vehicle becomes target for arsonists 

"It's just crazy": Republicans attack US child labor laws as violations rise 

How Republicans are echoing climate change conspiracy theories 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has agreed to apologize and pay $3.3 million in taxpayer money to four former staffers who accused him of corruption 

Roberto Clemente book removed from Florida public schools pending review over discrimination 

Republican election cheating tactics no surprise to Wisconsin's Black voters 

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




Clicks ahoy

Police punish the "good apples" 

Leonardo noted link between gravity and acceleration centuries before Einstein 

Circular Monday 


Ate a Cessna 

♫♬  Mix tape of my mind  ♫

All This Useless Beauty — Elvis Costello 

Cosmic Wheels — Donovan 

Not Alone Any More - Traveling Wilburys 

Sooner or Later — The Alan Parsons Project 

Zor and Zam — The Monkees 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

Daniel Defert  

Carin Goldberg 

Butch Miles 

Albert Okura 

Solomon Perel 

Arnold Schulman 

Phil Spalding  


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. The Asimov quote reminds me of my favorite songwriter since Leonard Cohen: David Berman, who wrote a beautiful poem called

    A Letter from Isaac Asimov to His Wife Janet, Written on His Deathbed

    One night, studying an egg tray in my kitchen, that first novel fell together in my mind: apes blowing blood into the air, the robot nymphs dipping their slender metal legs into an ammonia brook.

    I began those flights from Earth in plywood space capsules, fleeing to a place Satan could not find. That was my hope. Getting away from the chain letters, fever, rats, and unemployment, away from the dark uncles that strayed over the globe, cutting brake lines and loosening screws.

    And as a Jew I asked myself what good are hidden things, and as a Jew I admonished myself for asking. I knew that the best things were hidden, and all of this was said in a private voice, a cousin to the one I used to speak to pets.

    I am writing this under the illumination of an old American stereo. For once I don’t want to know the weather forecast. In fact, I can’t bear to hear it. The jealousy would kill me before midnight. Perhaps they will make jokes at Doubleday tomorrow. I can imagine an intern asking. “What were his last ten thousand words…”

    I want to know too. From my sickbed I’ve seen cellophane rams shimmering in the yard and cardinals that look like quarts of blood balanced in the branches. The doctor calls them apparitions. Perhaps my last words will be random.

    I am so drowsy, here listening to the wild dressage of a housefly, thinking about the loyal robots in my paperbacks. Thinking about the little chalet I would have built for you on Neptune.

    A Neptune indiscernible from Vermont.

    1. That's one of the few poems of the modern era that comes in clearly on my rusty old receiver.

      It's both beautiful and an elbow in Asimov's ribs. "What were his last ten thousand words…"

      The best poetry has a sense of humor.


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