The third signs

At breakfast with my mom yesterday, she didn't say anything in the entire hour that she hasn't said to me a hundred times since I moved back to Seattle last year:



& links

Feb. 19, 2023

• You disappeared for all those years.

• You need to get your teeth fixed.

• How's your cat?

• I don't understand why you rent a room in a house, instead of getting your own apartment — or you could move in with us.

• [Six anecdotes from my childhood.]

• You need to lose weight.

• I don't know why you take the bus instead of driving.

• Do you ever hear from April?

• Do you ever hear from Margaret? 

• You should visit your father's grave.

• Are you still looking for work? 

• etc, etc, etc.

When breakfast was finished, Mom needed one more coffee refill she could sip very slowly, and like every Saturday at breakfast that's when I said goodbye.

At a few intersections along my homeward bus, the street signs have something extra. They're like any street sign, like the one in the picture, but under the street and avenue a third sign names a nearby church and points toward it.

That bothers me, and I don't think it's legal.

Sometimes you'll see third signs like that pointing toward a library, a community center, or a school, but those are government operations. A church is not.

A third sign pointing to the Methodists or Baptists mingles church and state on a signpost dug and painted and maintained by the government. It's downright unConstitutional, and I am tempted to email the ACLU, or simply bring a screwdriver and stepladder and take the third signs down.

A few of the blogs I (used to) read regularly have fallen head over hindquarters for artificial intelligence, and it's so... artificial.

They're writing more and more about Bing's flailing AI, and ChatGPT, Buzzfeed+AI, AI Seinfeld, AI music, AI writing, AI porn, AI mirror tests, AI-generated movie reviews, and blah blah AI blah.

We're at the dumbest moment since NFTs and "the metaverse."

Speaking of bullshit, there's this article at Vox, asking What if President Biden simply ignores the court ruling, expected imminently, that'll ban abortion pills like misoprostol?

It's nothing but piffle journalism, a waste of whatever time it takes to read it.

The judge deciding the case is one of Trump's loon appointments, so it's likely he'll grab America's women by the pussy. President Biden, though, would never defy a federal judge. He'd be impeached and removed from office by the end of the week if he did, but more to the point, he wouldn't be Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

Might as well talk about, What if California declares war on Texas?

Only a week ago this morning, I was doing laundry so's I could start my career at the Post Office wearing clean underwear. It turned out to be a brief career.

Whatever job is next, it needs to be soon. I've got the rent together for March, but after that my life savings will be spent. Maybe it's time to do "anything legal for $15 an hour, plus bus fare."

News you need,
whether you know it or not

Who is behind the $100-million ad campaign rebranding Jesus? 

Ohio residents demand answers after release of toxic chemicals: "You're telling us the air and water are safe. Why are we getting sick?" 

Dumping 1M gallons of radioactive water in Hudson is "best option," per Indian Point nuclear plant owner 

Advertising comes to baseball uniforms 

Hobby club's missing balloon feared shot down by USAF 

Aliens may be creating black holes to store quantum information, scientists say 

Wisconsin city decides it's OK to eavesdrop on private conversations at city hall 

Nearly 30 dangerous feedback loops could permanently shift the Earth's climate, scientists say 

World to face wars over food and water without climate action, EU green deal chief says 

Black man wins lawsuit after cops arrest him for going to his house 

7 staff members suspended after elderly man dies at Rikers 

A corrupt Chicago cop destroyed hundreds of lives

Another Republican Congressman was elected on lies 

Conspiracy theorists think walkable cities are really open-air prison dystopias now 

Pence calls for privatizing Social Security in Fox News interview 

Fox News feared losing viewers by airing truth about election, documents show 

Republicans take aim at risque jokes and romance novels with anti-sex bills 

Fox News' election fraud source was a "time traveler" who talked to the wind 

Florida teacher is fired for posting viral video of empty classroom bookshelves 

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




Clicks ahoy

Welcome to Louisiana's Cancer Alley 

Selling out still sucks 

Best way to save money? Just eat two meals, says the Wall Street Journal!  

The Onion: It is journalism's sacred duty to endanger the lives of as many trans people as possible 

Observe American justice in action 

What do the childhoods of exceptional people have in common? >95% grew up with grand advantages. 

Who invented Christianity? 

On Coming Attractions, Siskel and Ebert were disappointed by One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest  

A time traveler's guide to visiting ancient Rome 

All the Fast & Furious movies at once 

♫♬  Mix tape of my mind  ♫

Allentown — Billy Joel 

Dedicated Follower of Fashion — The Kinks 

Flowers on the Wall — The Statler Brothers 

Isn't She Lovely — Stevie Wonder 

Oh, Well — Fleetwood Mac

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

Guido Basso 

Marshall "Eddie" Conway 

Emil Gotschlich 

George Miller 

Huey "Piano" Smith 

Stella Stevens 


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 ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, CaptCreate's Log, LiarTownUSA, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, RanPrieur.com, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration.
Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Captain Hampockets, John the Basket, Dave S, Name Withheld, 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. Being a fan of Huey Smith and 1950s-60s R&B (and, of course, Little Richard) I figured Piano Smith was long dead. Of course I should have sent him a post card letting him know he enhanced my life when it seriously needed enhancing, but had that occurred to me I'd have considered the post card undeliverable. Now it is.

    We love the things we love for what they are.


    1. Always liked the piano boogie sound, and "Rockin' Pneumonia" of course, but the story of having Smith's voice removed from "Sea Cruise" so a white singer could have a hit — jeez, what a country.


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