A salad at home

leftovers & links
Friday, May 26, 2023

Every morning it's a three-block walk from where I get off my inbound #99 bus, and where I get on the #550 or #554 to Millionaires' Island. I kinda love that walk, across a few of downtown's seediest blocks. It's more interesting than anything that happens at the office.

There's a black man most mornings who looks about 40, kneeling at the same spot on the side of the street. The first time I saw him, I assumed he was a bum just doing something bummy, but he seemed very serious about it, and he was there kneeling again the next morning, too. He looks earnestly toward the early morning sun, so presumably it's a religious thing. Maybe he's Muslim, and that way lies Mecca. Or maybe he worships the sun.

I have no respect for what that man believes, but weirdly I respect that he believes. 

Three days out of five he's kneeling there as I walk past. When I don't see him it means I'm running a few minutes late, and if I'm early, he'll be walking toward his kneeling spot. My times vary a bit, but his kneeling doesn't. And he's always wearing a Seahawks jacket, because there's more than one god.

After work, my bus was moving slowly across the bridge, in heavy traffic on what's amusingly called a 'freeway'. With not many seats available, I was in one of the sideways seats, which I despise, but they're better than standing. You sit facing someone else across the aisle, and it could've been a pretty woman, but no, that's not what fate dealt me. I got an ordinary-looking man, talking on a cell phone.

By 'talking', I mean exactly that. This was no conversation, it was one man barking into his phone, for the 17-minute ride across the lake. After we'd reached the mainland, he paused for perhaps 15 seconds to allow the other person to say something, but then resumed non-stop talking into his phone, until we reached downtown and he stepped off the bus, still talking.

Certainly I'm weird about such things — I don't like talking, don't like phones, and utterly abhor talking on the phone — but this was incomprehensible to me, both figuratively and literally, since it was all in Spanish.

Now I'll become the cranky old man remembering that things were better in my day, and even McDonald's was better. In my day, sonny, when I worked at McD, they never let up on grinding employees to be nice to the customers, smile, say thank you, and all that outdated jazz.

Fifty years later, things have changed.

Bad bus luck left me standing around one fine evening after work, and I had a hankering for fast-food — specifically, a McChicken, which is usually on the cheapo menu. Four McChickens makes a nice dinner, with Alka-Seltzer after.

There's a McDonald's in the rusted industrial area south of downtown, and there I was so I walked in, but nobody was taking orders. There were no cash registers. They only have kiosks, where you push buttons to place your order, and pay by plastic. No cash allowed.

I object to that on several philosophical grounds, but I have a debit card and like McChickens, so I placed my first-ever order by kiosk, or tried to. Got as far as seeing a picture of four McChickens and two of their crappy pies on the screen, but the button for "make your purchase" wouldn't respond, despite my, uh, hitting it pretty hard.

There was no 'help' button, so I walked to the counter and stood there, but with no cash registers nobody works at the counter. "Excuse me," I said to two employees, but the first ignored me and the second said only, "Use the kiosk," as she walked past.

Other people were using the kiosk and walking out with food, so my kiosk must've malfunctioned. Or maybe you need an app and a smart phone, or you have to join the Ronald McDonald Club.

If you know the secret, please let me know, but my bus was due soon, so I had a salad at home, with no Alka-Seltzer needed.

News you need,
whether you know it or not

Catholic clergy sexually abused Illinois kids far more often than church acknowledged, state finds 

He visited the U.S. for his daughter's wedding — and left with a $42,000 medical bill 

Eating disorder helpline fires staff, transitions to chatbot days after unionization 

New report reveals over 122K are held in solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails 

Right-wing US Supreme Court delivers "catastrophic loss for water protections" 

Climate change is making New Jersey and New York into wildfire hotspots 

Snowpack predicted to retreat in California's mountains due to climate change 

California cops illegally share data with anti-abortion states, civil rights groups say 

He begged police to let him take his heart transplant medication to no avail 

11-year-old calls 9-1-1, gets shot by police 

Cop in SUV tries to kill moped driver 

New Jersey towns quietly paid $87M to settle lawsuits against cops 

Clarence Thomas's newest opinion would literally bring back child labor 

Most challenges to LGBTQ literature sexual are filed by just 11 people 

Florida Republican Chair is a flat-earther 

RNC chairperson thinks global economic chaos will help the Republican party 

Republicans want children to work in bars on school nights to fill "labor shortage" 

Mom who complained about Amanda Gorman poem shared antisemitic conspiracy and praised Proud Boys 

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


My browser history
without the porn

Only the good die young: Henry Kissinger at 100 

What do I do if I don't like a book at the library? (a step-by-step guide) 

Charging domestic terrorism is intended to make the cost of protesting too high 

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

Autobahn — Kraftwerk 

I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You — The Alan Parsons Project 

Last Day of School — Boston 

Poppy Girls — The Wiz 

The Tide is Turning — Roger Waters 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

Kenneth Anger 

Don Bateman 

John Dunning 

Rick Hoyt 

Bill Lee 

Roger Mills 

Chas Newby 

Sheldon Reynolds 

Gerald Rose 

Zachary Strong 

Tina Turner


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, 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. Captain HamasseryMay 27, 2023 at 3:00 PM

    Re Kissinger, I found this on the Simpsons Shitposting subreddit. It was originally about Mr. Burns:


  2. Also, I ordered a hard copy of Dunning's Encyclopedia of Old Time Radio about 18 months ago. It's quite incomplete, as there are just a metric fuckton of shows that barely survive, with only a couple of episodes, or don't survive at all. But it's been a helpful resource.

    1. Seemed like a cool old dude. Bought a few books from his store over the years, but never read any that he'd written, and didn't know of his connection to OTR until reading the obit.

      I love the obits. It's where I do most of my limited learning these days.

  3. Claude Reigns, SighMay 27, 2023 at 4:05 PM


    1. She was always luminescent. That clip almost makes me want to see the movie, but — nah, no horsey movies for me.

    2. Have you seen it already, though? It's the greatest children's film ever made, and a total work of art. Carroll Ballard, who then made Never Cry Wolf. Both films are sublime.


      Children's films nowadays are cunty Pixar Harry Potter CGI swill.

    3. Actually, I think Star Wars (1977) is the greatest children's film ever made, but I digress...

    4. You may have tried talking me into THE BLACK STALLION a while back. Someone did, but I still haven't seen it. I have a gut-level distaste for kiddie/horsey movies.

      Farley Mowat's NEVER CRY WOLF is one of the all-time greats, though. Carroll Ballard & Teri Garr? I dunno, maybe.

      But yes, absolutely, to STAR WARS as a great children's movie. Too many moviemakers don't understand that kids aren't required for a kids' movie.

    5. Send the kids to the balcony. I want to enjoy Star Wars without excess bodily fluids unless they're my own. It's a circle of life thing.


  4. In honor of Tina Turner, I'm offering a live (sorry) version of Eric Burdon and his band playing River Deep, Mountain High. Since Eric Burdon left War and formed the Eric Burdon band (roughly 1971), he's been singing this song and, partway through just singing the words "Tina Turner, Tina Turner, Tina Turner" over and over again. He does this a couple of times in this vid, but you have to listen fairly closely to hear him. Of course, virtually all the people who go to see him are singing "Tina Turner, Tina Turner, Tina Turner" most of the way through the song because that's how Eric decided to honor the beauty of her voice and expression fifty years ago, and he (and I) have been doing it since. When you were a young boy did you have a puppy that always followed you around? Hoooooooowl, Hooooooooowl.

    This is the other side of the refrigerator story about Eric. Inside the refrigerator the light's still on. Tina Turner, Tina Turner, Tina Turner.



    1. Tinaturnertinaturnertinaturner! Another great story I never knew and couldn't have made up. Other than that, well, it's an adequate cover but it only makes me want to hear Tina sing it.

  5. Here's her Hall of Fame cover without the 30 punch-ins and overdubs of the other recording of her. This is what she sounds like unmanufactured.



    1. It's my favorite tinaturnertinaturner song, and this performance is goosebumps. Couldn't possibly have been as impromptu as they make it seem, right? It *seems* like a what-the-hell moment, we'll do it in B-flat and let's jam...

    2. I think it's pretty impromptu. Paul Shaffer was the musical director and he hired all the musicians, both the well-known and the Union fill-ins. They've all played the song before for somebody. All they need is the key, and Paul gives them that.

      And they were all at the afternoon soundcheck/rundown, so they know what's coming. Also, there's somebody competent at the console/mixer, and he/she is turning down the mix on anybody who sounds a little off-key.

      But it's likely about as impromptu as anything you'll see on TV.

      Like this tune, which was likely performed after one runthrough. They call them professional musicians for a reason. . . . .By the way, there are a few clams in here. You'll hear some of them.



    3. I didn't notice any clams, and it's a fine performance. What floored me was Byron Allen. Jeez, he does everything — standup comedian, TV star, billionaire, owns the Weather Channel, and plays a fine backup guitar. Renaissance man, man...

  6. I forgot there was a time when Teri Garr was the prettiest woman in the world. Mon dieu.


    1. She's certainly not unattractive, but she's always seemed more *real* to me than most movie stars. There's a person in there.

  7. By the way, I've never heard you talk about the film "One From the Heart". As a former Tom Waits fan, I felt obligated to watch the whole thing. It had a certain something, but I don't recall what it was.


    1. I saw it, but don't remember it except Teri Garr and, to a lesser extent, Nastassja Kinski. Oh, and Lainie Kazan — always loved her. And Harry Dean Stanton.


The site's software sometimes swallows comments. For less frustration, send an email and I'll post it as a comment.