Nobody has their crap together.


leftovers & links
Tuesday, March 21, 2023

They're still building a few hundred new houses across the street, a soulless development that — still unoccupied — will soon be certified as a boring place to live. Maybe more boring than the 50-year-old but at least real street I live on.

At each of these new houses, there's a cement walkway from the sidewalk, then a few steps up to a short walkway, then one more step up to the porch, and then yet another step up and into the house. That's 6-8 steps, depending on the height of the hillside, to get inside.

The architect's assumption is that nobody in a wheelchair will ever live in any of these houses, or visit, and that none of the residents will ever grow old or have mobility issues, so my assumption is that the architect and builders are asses.

There are over 4,000 known religions currently being practiced, worldwide. Surprisingly to me, Christianity is #1, in number of believers — 31.2% of the world say they believe Jesus died for their sins. Islam is in second place, with 24.1%. In third place is my favorite: No religion, 16%.

The Christian God couldn't even get his message to his believers without garbling it horrendously — there are more than 45,000 denominations of Christianity, many of which believe that the other 44,999+ are all wrong about everything that's important.

Is the Seattle Times even a serious newspaper? Of 13 headlines above the electronic fold today, six are about sports — go Seahawks, so Kraken, go Cougars, go Mariners... 

Here's an idea: Put the sports on the sports page, and the news on the front page.

People who think they have their crap together are wrong, or pretending, or idiots. The truth is, nobody has their crap together. Nobody.

It's deep into the black of night and I've barely slept. Should've been snoring seven hours ago, but instead I stayed up late watching a movie — Invaders from Mars (1953), and then I couldn't hardly sleep. Every time I fall asleep, I go back to some preposterous dream where I'm taking care of some boy about ten years old. He might be me, but that doesn't make him any less annoying. He keeps running off, and I keep looking for him.

Half the dream is from his perspective — he's running from bad guys — and then it's about me again, looking for the kid. I'm not even a father, have no paternal instinct, and haven't babysat a kid in 25 years. Why should I dream about any of this?  And why didn't I take a sleeping pill six hours ago?

Now's the time I ought to be waking up, but there's only been perhaps two hours of sleep, and even that's in pieces.

Then I drift off, and immediately slip into the same dream, right where it left off half an hour earlier, looking for that damn kid. "Difficult boy."

A month or so ago I found a website where you talk and it transcribes what you say. Couple of weeks ago, I wrote about it. Yeah, I know, talk-to-text has been around for years, but still, it blew my feeble mind.

And it was only today that it occurred to me that instead of re-typing every old entry from Pathetic Life, I could simply read the entries out loud at speechtexter.com, and let the website type it for me. All I do now is go back and fix the punctuation. It's already a big time saver, and it's nice on my arthritic fingers, too.

Sometimes my own ignorance astounds me.

Every piece of electronics comes with virtually the same instruction pamphlet. It's always written in English-as-a-third-language, with tiny text sprawled across a single sheet of paper that's been folded into about a dozen small 'pages', and after the borderline English (which always comes first), the same microscopic instructions are repeated in six other languages, probably just as poorly translated.

It's just one of life's many frustrations, but how's about, do your customers a favor and have someone who speaks the language do the translating, and then print it in text humans can read.

I signed up for IndieFlix, which is supposed to be the Netflix of quirky smaller films. I like quirky smaller films, want to show some support and all, but jeepers, I could write three boring paragraphs about how poorly-designed their website is.

I battled it for a few months, but the frustration has outlasted my minimal morality, and I've cancelled IndieFlix. Back to piracy. Yeah, I'm a schmuck.

My bus commute puts me downtown ten times a week, walking a block or two to catch the next bus, so I'm getting reacquainted with the area. 

The world's worst McDonald's is on Third Avenue, and it's been there (and been the worst McDonald's) since I was a teenager, but it's gotten lots worse. It's literally boarded up for COVID but still open for business, with preposterous prices.

In the heart of bumtown, instead of stepping inside, customers queue on the sidewalk, stepping over drunkards and elbowing out the fentanyl salesmen, until you reach a plywood counter held together with four nails. Give your order to the surly man standing on the other side of the plywood, and a few minutes later he'll stack your sack with all the other orders beside him on the counter.

Watch closely, to prevent the crackheads from swiping your cheeseburger.

It's the plywood, though — that's the perfect touch. They can't afford fifty bucks to paint it? The plywood is so old, it's yellowing from age.

And my McChicken sandwiches were cold.

A few blocks from that McDonald's is The Coliseum, once one of Seattle's last movie palaces. It was still beautiful when I saw a sneak preview of Animal House there, and lots of other great and not-great movies. It closed with Tremors in 1990. 

Then it became a Banana Republic, so of course they gutted the interior, but people don't like shopping on a slope so they probably left the steep balconies as they were.

Walking by the place now, Banana Republic is gone. The Coliseum is boarded up, and that doesn't sadden me, it angers me.

If Big Money wants to turn a beautiful old theater into a place to buy cheap women's wear, that sucks but that's life. But now you're obligated, Banana Republic. You can't just leave the old lady abandoned on the corner to die.

News you need,
whether you know it or not

S&P says $30 billion infusion may not solve First Republic's problems 

Smells like 2008 all over again. How many billion dollars will the government spend this time, to make sure rich people stay rich?

UBS agrees to takeover of stricken Credit Suisse for $3.25bn 

This is Frankenstein swallowing Dracula.

Publishers are trying to strange on-line lending, and specifically the Internet Archive 

Two US mothers sue hospitals over drug tests after eating poppy seed bagels 

International Churches of Christ accused of covering up sexual abuse of minors 

Firefox Android’s new privacy feature, Total Cookie Protection, stops companies from keeping tabs on your moves 

World is on brink of catastrophic warming, U.N. climate change report says 

The relationship between climate change and rising disease 

Climate change makes cherry trees blossom early — and puts them at risk 

Philadelphia will pay $9.25M to protesters over police use of tear gas and rubber bullets during 2020 unrest 

Family of Donovan Lewis demand answers after officer involved in deadly shooting retires 

Supervisor in Tyre Nichols’ death retired with full benefits before firing 

Former Daytona Beach police officer sentenced to 25 years in prison in child porn case 

Torrance pays $750,000 to man after police accused of painting swastika in his car 

2 Milwaukee Police officers charged with misconduct for overdose death of man in custody 

DC cop charged with second-degree murder 

Donald Trump threatens to summon a mob — for the second time in two years — to his defense 

Texas abortion law means woman has to continue pregnancy despite fatal anomaly 

Antisemitic tweets soared on Twitter after Musk took over, study finds 

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






My browser history
without the porn

The law shatters the promise, however false, of online anonymity, and you can’t help but wonder what will happen if this data falls into the wrong hands. 

How Reagan's team stole the White House 

This is a story I've heard for years, but never before in mainstream media.

India cuts internet for 27 million people amid search for fugitive 

Sinema wants accountability for bank mess. Hand her a mirror. 

Roger Deakins, on cinematography 

How a Berkeley eccentric beat the Russians — and then made useless, wondrous objects 

A strange Berkeley dream like traveling through time and space to another dimension 

B.I.G. Cinema – remembering Bert I. Gordon 

Do you have a few minutes for a  "brief survey"? 

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

All You Fascists — Billy Bragg with Wilco 

Everything is Broken — Bob Dylan 

I Know You're Out There Somewhere — The Moody Blues 

It's Happening — Biff Rose 

Turn, Turn, Turn — The Byrds 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

Gloria Dea 

Hal Dresner 

Fuzzy Haskins 

Kenzaburo Oe 

Lance Reddick

Dot Wilkinson


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. >Sometimes my own ignorance astounds me.

    Your ignorance never astounds me, brother.

    Re the housing development : You know me and my leg issues - around my area, so many fucking houses have like 2-3 steps up, with NO RAILING. It's stressful and extremely infuriating. I've never seen so many railing-less front stoops as around here.

    1. Yes, man — it so much "goes without saying" that I forgot to say it, but OF COURSE none of these walkways have a railing, and some are a good yard off the ground.

      Such construction ought to be illegal.

  2. >do your customers a favor and have someone who speaks the language do the translating, and then print it in text humans can read.

    Seriously. There are a good number of expats / ESL teachers in Japan and Korea. Get one of them to, at the very least, proofread the English to make sure it reads like a rational string of words. Like, pay on a per-project basis, a few hundred bucks for a few hours work. No need to keep one on staff at salary. Jesus.

    1. I don't want to sound all libertarian or nothin', but the company that does that *will* get a better reputation and sell more doodads.

  3. >The world's worst McDonald's is on Third Avenue

    My brother in Christ, are you nuts? We have been, together, to probably three SF McD's worse than that. To be fair, I've never been to Seattle. But The McD's at the intersection where Haight meets GG Park? The McD's across from the Opera Plaza theater? The McD's near the Metreon movie theater? EITHER one near the 16th and 24th st. BART stations?

    1. What's the criterion? Most of those places, what made them worse than ordinary McDonald's was just the bums and lowlifes hanging around. At the Third Ave McD, it's the managers that make it miserable.

      Btw, I don't know if you keep up with the SF papers, but the Haight and Opera Plaza McDs are both gone — hooray.


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