Hot dogs and burritos


leftovers & links
Thursday, March 30, 2023

On my walk from the Millionaires' Island bus station to the office, there was heavy jackhammering going on at the brand new and not-yet open light rain station.

It's a case of classic incompetence. The island and eastside rail extensions, long under construction, have been delayed by at least another year, because four miles of concrete needs to be blasted apart and re-poured. It was mixed wrong.

That's a substantial oopsie, isn't it? I'll probably be dead of old age before there's a rail connection to the island where I work. 

It's the kind of screw-up where heads ought to roll, but there've been no news reports about heads rolling. Sound Transit doesn't know how to roll heads.

"It's going to be just fine," says an executive in that article from last summer. "There are issues in all megaprojects. You have issues you must overcome, and we will overcome every one of these issues."

When I dream of flying, I only get a few feet off the ground, but it's a great convenience for going up stairs — floating, instead of all that climbing. And it's great fun, soaring a few feet above the crowd in public spaces.

In a recent dream, I flew down a flight of stairs from an open concourse to what must've been a bookstore below, where a man was reading poetry at a microphone, for an audience. I think it was the late Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

When Larry finished, I floated toward the aisles of books, but a very nice 30-something woman flagged me down to offer me a copy of her zine. All I could give her in exchange was an URL, because I don't do a zine any more. All I do is blog, and occasionally fly.

She said thanks, and I happily brought her zine home. It was full of poetry, and I sat in my recliner to read it, but fell asleep in the dream and woke up in the recliner without the zine.

After a rough day at the office — they showed me a new task, and I thought I understood it but boy did I not — I decided I needed something better for dinner than anything I could make, so I tried Matt's Weenies on East Marginal Way.

I ordered and ate a Chicago dog, a Seattle dog, and an order of fries. The prices were reasonable, and the dogs were pretty good, but a little light on the fixins. The fries were thin, but good. The service was quick and friendly. The place seemed clean. All in all, everything was better than OK, but I ate my food standing at a thin counter, because Matt's has no seating except on picnic tables outdoors.

I'm an old, fat man who doesn't want to eat standing up. And also, this is Seattle, where it rains a lot. Gotta stand up to eat when it's cold outside, and when it's hot those few tables will be jam-packed, so I can't see making Matt's into a habit. 

On a different afternoon, I finally tried Aliberto Jr's. It's a local chain of Mexican fast-food places that didn't exist last time I lived here, and which I've ignored since moving back.

I want real burritos, not chain burritos, so I've eaten at half a dozen Mexican places in Seattle. Some of them even pretend to make "California-style" burritos, but they're all liars. For a decent California-style burrito, you must go to California.

And what's worse than so-so burritos is that all the local places I've tried have served only small or small-ish burritos, or big but unimpressive burritos at very steep prices.

Into Aliberto Jr's I walked, carrrying low expectations, and figuring I'd have to buy two burritos to get one burrito's worth of burrito. A  "monster burrito" jumped at me from the readerboard menu. For $8.49, the sign promised "meat, rice, beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, lettuce, sour cream and cheese," but it didn't say what the meat would be. As if I care. It's a monster burrito, so presumably it's Godzillameat.

I ordered it, and the service was slow, mostly in Spanish, and sorta surly, but the burrito was tasty, messy, and enough. The meat was hamburger, surrounded with other yummy slop. The burrito was as big as it could be without being ridiculously big, but it was enough to fill me up, without emptying my wallet. 

It's not El Casitillito, but it's the best burrito I've had since El Castillito, and there are chairs so I'll be back to Junior's.

I went back the next night, actually, and bought three monster burritos — one for that night, and two for the fridge and microwave the next two nights.

For three days in February, I worked for the Post Office. Then I stopped showing up, but since I'd never met the boss or even been told his/her name, number, or email, I never explicitly quit.

In the mail, I've now received notification that I'm suspected of job abandonment. They're asking whether I'll want union representation at my hearing.

We're all searching for something, and have been, for the entirety of our lives. We grow old, wrinkled, and our hopes fade, but we never stop looking.

Have you found it? Do you have it?

Check your pockets, please.

News you need,
whether you know it or not

Stop stopping the presses: The Texas Observer will continue to observe 

Most of Norfolk Southern video leading up to East Palestine derailment is gone 

Agatha Christie novels reworked to remove potentially offensive language 

As with Roald Dahl's rewrites a month ago, why is this "bad news"? 

In the first run of Pathetic Life, I sometimes used the word 'retard', but times have changed and now that's considered rude, so as I've retyped the pages, poof, for the most part I've edited that word away.

That's not censorship, it's good manners.

Climate change is reshaping the Alps 

Climate change wreaks havoc in southern Africa 

Global water crisis could "spiral out of control" due to overconsumption and climate change 

Black man in traffic stop suffers broken jaw, two broken orbitals, broken cheek bones, and five to six missing teeth in accidental fall, police say 

Ex-detective pleads guilty to bribery in towing scandal 

When inmates are near death, Jailers get to decide whether families are called

 • Virginia officer fired after killing an unarmed man suspected of shoplifting 

7 California officers charged after killing another black man who died saying "I can't breathe" 

No jail time for cop who stole more that $30,000 in merchandise 

Chicago police union leader warns of resignations, "blood in the streets" if election doesn't go his way 

Cop gets 14 years for distributing cocaine 

Angry Fox News chief said fact-checks of Trump’s election lies "bad for business" 

Red state Republicans are rolling back child labor laws 

Wisconsin school district bans kids from singing a Dolly Parton-Miley Cyrus song about unity 

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






My browser history
without the porn

"Fact-checking" is a feeble, inadequate way to respond to racist, antisemitic incitement
by Dan Froomkin

Millionaire publisher declares he's broke (1974)
by Warren Hinckle

The Chicago Seven and the '60s
by Jonah Raskin

♫♬  It don't mean a thing  ♫
if it don't have that swing

Eve of Destruction — Barry McGuire 

Gypsy - Fleetwood Mac 

Jessica — The Allman Brothers 

Over at the Frankenstein Place — Rocky Horror 

Stuck in the Middle with You — Cornbread Red 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

Christopher Fowler 

Paul O'Grady 

Nicholas Lloyd Webber 

Jim Mellen 

Randall Robinson


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, Katameme, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, One Finger Medical, Two Finger Magical, Miss Miriam's Mirror, Nebulously Burnished, RanPrieur.com, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration. 

Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo, 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. The FALLING DOWN clip was a hoot. We saw that, you and me, at some theater out in the Avenues that's probably been torn down years ago. It has a rightwing undertone that bothered me but mostly I liked it. Not as much as wherever we ate before the movie though…

    I've always pronounced it "earl." UPS is a brand name often spoken aloud where I work, but if it wasn't I'm sure I'd call it "ups."

    As for us-pus, I'm mostly wondering when they're going to pay me for my work.

    Was Agatha ChristIe an asshole, or simply an uppercrust white woman of her time? I've long heard she was an asshole, but I never met her, and she seemed perfectly nice on DOCTOR WHO.

  2. I definitely thought it was possible we saw it together. Vague memories.

    I always use initials - Yew Pee Ess, Yew Ess Pee Ess, etc.

    I'm unsure about Agatha, but Virginia has listened to a lot of her stuff on Audible, and some podcasts about her. I'll ask her opinion.

  3. Nowhere else for this comment to go. First of many or last of a breed, I don't know which. . . . .

    I have no idea what a pop song is, or the difference between pop and rock or the name of that chord John Sebastian plays at the beginning of each chorus, but once in a while I can look at beauty and know it for what it is.

    On my own phantom list of the best pop songs of my life is Mr Sebastian's "Darling Be Home Soon". Yeah, he sang it at Woodstock high on acid and on Sullivan with Zal yuckin' it up, but it's as close to a perfect song as Jessica, above. Of the hundreds of thousands of songs that have passed through BMI and ASCAP since 1962 (the year I accidently tuned to pop radio) "Darling Be Home Soon" has always stopped me from talking or driving responsibly or paying attention to anything but Sebastian's gentle rhymes and lovely melody.

    Here's Sebastian . . . . .


    And here are the lyrics . . . . . (It's OK to shoot the moon)

    And talk of all the things we did today
    And laugh about our funny little ways
    While we have a few minutes to breathe
    Then I know that it's time you must leave

    But, darling, be home soon
    I couldn't bear to wait an extra minute if you dawdled
    My darling, be home soon
    It's not just these few hours, but I've been waiting since I toddled
    For the great relief of having you to talk to

    And now
    A quarter of my life is almost past
    I think I've come to see myself at last
    And I see that the time spent confused
    Was the time that I spent without you
    And I feel myself in bloom

    So, darling, be home soon
    I couldn't bear to wait an extra minute if you dawdled
    My darling, be home soon
    It's not just these few hours, but I've been waiting since I toddled
    For the great relief of having you to talk to

    So, darling
    My darling, be home soon
    I couldn't bear to wait an extra minute if you dawdled
    My darling, be home soon
    It's not just these few hours, but I've been waiting since I toddled
    For the great relief of having you to talk to

    And beat your crazy head against the sky
    And see beyond the houses and your eyes
    It's okay to shoot the moon

    Darling be home soon
    I couldn't bear to wait an extra minute if you dawdled
    My darling, be home soon
    It's not just these few hours, but I've been waiting since I toddled
    For the great relief of having you to talk to

    Written by: JOHN SEBASTIAN

    Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, CARLIN AMERICA


    It's a damn C chord. The odd sound must be in the melody, and it resolves at the speed of light. There's genius there somewhere.

    1. It is a beautiful song, one of my favorites too. It's a sub-genre of pop — the song that's exactly sweet enough without becoming cotton candy. Others include "Cherish," "Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme," "Do You Wanna Dance," "Dedicated to the One I Love," "My Girl," and a few others I can't remember at the moment.

      Dang, the one I want to remember right now, I simply can't.

      "Darling Be Home Soon" is one of the very best, though.

    2. . . . and it's the only really stunning song Sebastian wrote. Daydream is a nice little song and Welcome Back bought his house and paid his mortgage all these years and there were other nice songs, but none touched by magic the way DBHS was.


    3. The only really stunning song? Seriously? Try listening to his first solo album, John B Sebastian, sometime. I love every song on it. How Have You Been? is a sweet story. Red-Eye Express has a terrific groove. She's a Lady is so sweet. The Room Nobody Lives In, What She Thinks About...OK, I Had a Dream is a bit much of hippie utopia overdose, but Rainbows All Over Your Blues is a pleasing country-rock number.

      Obviously, I dislike reducing people's careers to one or two songs. I knew a guy who insisted the Byrds had two good songs in Mr. Tambourine Man and Turn Turn Turn, the two most overplayed tunes, ignoring so many terrific songs from their first six albums. -- Arden

    4. I owned John B Sebastian on vinyl and I played the heck out of it. Of course, DBHS wasn't on that record, and there were some nice tunes. So if I overstated, I'm sorry. I still can't think of a Sebastian-written song that's better than DBHS, but I'll concede that JBS has songs that are considerably better than any Lovin' Spoonful album.

      I wouldn't want to reduce Sebastian's career to one song. He made significant contributions to folk rock and the culture. I am asserting that he never wrote or performed a song as good as Darlin' Be Home Soon.

      As for the Byrds, covering Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan is a nice start, but the Byrds recorded songs that were performed better. They were there early and often. Roger McGuinn and David Crosby make a great combination.

      I will yield to your point and say that DBHS was Sebastian's best song.


    5. And John! Don't sleep on Gene Clark! Their best writer! And whose solo work on White Light (aka Gene Clark) and No Other plus his collaboration with Carla Olson of the Textones, the album So Rebellious a Lover (not my idea of a great title) is all worth listening to! -- Arden

    6. I'm familiar with Gene Clark's work, but not that album. I'll check it out. I'm familiar with the Textones because one of my favorite guitarists, Kathy Valentine, played with them for a while. I have one of their old albums on CD.


    7. The songs Gypsy Rider, Fair and Tender Ladies (the country standard), Why Did You Leave Me Today and one other that slips my mind at the moment are the highlights. Yes, Textones and Kathy Valentine excellent. Agreed! -- Arden

    8. It wasn't the song I was thinking of, but Cass Elliot's "Dream a Little Dream of Me" belongs in this conversation...

  4. Oops, I forgot - I did ask Virginia, she's rather certain that Agatha was just a standard privileged white Englishwoman of the time. "N*****" was just the word used by most of that station to describe any dark-skinned person.

  5. I've only visited Seattle, but you folks have Taco Time NW which is also not a Cali burrito but it is very good!

    1. Taco Time NW makes good burritos, yeah, but they've gotten preposterously and prohibitively expensive. For about $5 they'll give you a burrito the size of a hot dog without the bun, and for $11 it's a burrito half the size of Aliberto's $8.59 monster.

      I am done with Taco Time NW.

    2. Bellingham always had better burritos than Seattle, due to the large migrant farm worker population and college students. Sadly, the two best places - Bandito's Burritos and Casa Que Pasa - are long since closed.

    3. Sadly, my time in Bellingham has been brief and hurried, and if I ever ate Mexican there it was probably at Taco Bell. I feel deprived, though. Casa Que Pasa sounds like a poetic burrito.

  6. Wow. The n-word, spoken casually because who could possibly find it offensive? Republicans never evolved past that.

  7. Sorry I know next to nothing about tacos.

    This is an addition, not a correction. The quote from Dr Hunter Thompson is from early in his career: he was still a few years away from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the vehicle he drove crazily through most of his professional life, but the photo is from the last couple of years of his life when back and hip pain crippled both his movement and his writing. He looked like a different person in 1966 because he was. Just a note to clarify, sent with my best wishes.


    1. Anyone who;s the same person twenty or thirty years later must be a very boring person, and HSJ wasn't that.

      Most of the imagery is stolen from other blogs, but that one I made myself, so the historical inaccuracy is on me. So are too many ants, because I stupidly left an open can of butter on the floor.

      Don't ask how the butter got into the can. Long story.

    2. How did the butter get into the can?

      with affection,


    3. You've answered your own question: "With affection." How else does butter get into a can?

      Sorry, man. The actual answer is too boring to type. :)

    4. I'm not even sure who that is — is it Brando? Yikes.


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