"[Something something] difficult."

Every bus stop in the county has a number, on the sign. If you text the bus stop number to 62550, software will reply with GPS-verified arrival times for that stop, for the next hour. It doesn't make the bus come any quicker, but it's nice knowing how long the wait's going to be.



& links

March 4, 2023
Here's something strange, though: At the Millionaires' Island park and ride, the sign doesn't show the bus stop number. It hasn't been scratched out by vandals or worn away by time; it's a very new-looking bus stop sign, that simply doesn't include that needed number.

Me being a complainer, I sent an email to the transit agency, asking what's the bus stop number, westbound from Mercer Island park & ride?

It took four days for them to reply, and I'm not sure whether a human actually wrote it. "Thank you for contacting Sound Transit regarding the signage at the Mercer Island station," it starts, before telling me, "Your feedback is important" and "We aim to provide clear Information regarding respective routes." It's four paragraphs, eleven sentences, lets me know that the maintenance crew has been notified, apologizes sincerely, and closes with, "Thank you for riding Sound Transit."

But what the bus stop number is remains one of life's unknowns.

There's no bus stop number, but you know what there is at my bus stop? A phone booth — an actual working phone booth. Local calls cost a dollar.

Not sure I've seen a working phone booth since I lived in San Francisco.

For a year, I slept when I was sleepy and woke when I was wokey, but now I'm on a schedule again, and schedules suck. I'd forgotten the frustration of waking up a few hours too early, and knowing I'll be groggy all day. 

Walking a few blocks to catch a connecting bus, I rounded a corner and passed a bush, where a black bum was busily peeing.

What do I care? I don't. There are thousands of homeless people in and around Seattle, and if the city has two public restrooms I don't know where they are. That's why the bushes reek of pee and poop.

Onward to the bus stop, I stood and waited. There was one other man waiting, a Hispanic dude about 30, and pretty soon the homeless guy wandered over to us and started talking, with a very thick accent. He was talking to the other guy, and I couldn't make out anything the bum was saying, and neither could the man he was talking to, and with no bus in view in the distance, it seemed like a fine time for a stroll down the sidewalk.

Walked to the corner and slowly back, and at the bus stop again, guess it was my turn — the bum started talking to me, in a gibberish or made-up language. After a few sentences, I made out the word "food," and usually I have a loose fiver in my pocket for handouts, but I'd paid for breakfast plus tip with my last twenty. I had no money on me.

The man kept talking, and listening carefully I made out a whole sentence — "How do I get food?"

"I don't know, man," I said. 

He responded with lots of babble, with only the word "government" decipherable by me.

"The government makes help hard to get," I said, pretty sure he wouldn't understand my words any better than I understood a fraction of his.

"[Something something] difficult," he said, and I understood 'difficult', the sound of it — and especially the meaning. There's probably a soup kitchen somewhere, but he didn't know where and neither did I. And he didn't seem like a guy who could fill out the forms and make and keep an appointment to answer thirty more questions and then wait 6-8 weeks to find out if he qualifies for government aid. "Difficult," he said again and walked away.

Was I supposed to go after him? Buy him a sack of chips at the bodega down the street? The diner doesn't accept credit or debit cards, but the store does. But, nah. I try to be a decent guy, but no, I'm not that decent.

News you need,
whether you know it or not

U.S. sends brothers home from Guantánamo Bay prison after twenty (unconstitutional) years 

After years of (probably knowingly) fake worries, spooks decide Havana has not been targeting the US Embassy with fictional "energy wave" weapon 

Reddit has asked a California federal court to reject a request to unmask several anonymous Redditors 

Lawsuit accuses NFL of compiling huge database of lewd photos of women 

No charges against cop who locked woman inside police car parked on railroad tracks to be rammed by train 

Dayton cops ask homeowners to volunteer camera footage to Big Brother surveillance system 

Jailer gets probation for sexual assault of inmate 

Disgraced ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio still costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars 

He called 911 for help while suffering from a mental health crisis but was shot while handcuffed on the ground. 

Republican lawmaker proposes lynching as execution method 

Idaho Republicans propose bill to outlaw COVID-19 vaccine 

New state bills restrict transgender health care — for adults 

South Carolina woman arrested for allegedly taking abortion pills 

Texas Republican wants ISPs to block a wide range of abortion websites 

Walgreens caves to anti-abortion Republicans — including in states where abortion remains legal 

Trump White House pressured Disney to censor Jimmy Kimmel 

Florida bill would require bloggers who write about the governor and legislators to register with the state 

Donald Trump releases single with January 6 prisoners 

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






My browser history
without the porn

Milk shakes aren't terrorism. 

Siskel & Ebert review A Star is Born, King Kong, The Seven Percent Solution, The Enforcer, Network, Rocky, and Silver Streak — a pretty good week at the movies 

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

America — Simon and Garfunkel 

Everything is Broken — Ben Sidran 

Night Life — Mary Lou Williams 

Spill the Wine — Eric Burdon 

Won't Get Fooled Again — The Who 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

François Hadji-Lazaro 

Larry "Bucket Man" Hunt 

I never knew his name, because I never asked, but I knew the Bucket Man.

Roger C. Schank 

Wayne Shorter 

Tom Sizemore  


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.

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.

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