Screaming obscenities at the heavens


leftovers & links
Monday, May 1, 2023 

Here are a few text messages Mom meant to send to someone else, but accidentally sent to me, over the past few weeks:

• "Has Nikki decided whether her birthday dinner will be at Olive Garden or Applebee's? (My reply: Who's Nikki, and are these are her only options?)

• "I think I owe you $20 for Walgreens incontinent pants." (My reply: Not me.)

• "Doug is working at a lawyer's office, can you believe it? I thought he hated lawyers, but he says it's only a 'temp job' whatever that is. I asked but he didn't really answer." (My reply: I answered.)

There's a bee in my room tonight. How it got in, I dunno — the windows have been sealed since last summer, but there it is, buzzing around, bumping all the windows, and fascinating Izzy, my cat. She's chasing the bee around, and she's a smart cat and it's a stupid bee, so Izzy's gonna catch it and kill it and get stung in the process.

I've opened the window and tried for five minutes to shoo the bee back outside, and what's my effort earned me? A second bee flew into the room.

Well, I tried to be a good guy, but I'm not willing to give the bees my whole afternoon, or any more effort at all. I'm borrowing a can of spray deodorant from the communal bathroom, and two bees are about to die.

The worst thing about being old is that people you know and love keep dying.

My brother Dick has a surgery coming up, and from what he says, the doctors seem relentlessly pessimistic about it. At every appointment, they tell him again how serious the situation is, and that the odds are against him.

Why? Even if the prognosis is absolutely fatal, what's the help in saying scary things every time they see him? Shut the hell up ought to be part of "First, do no harm."

And a friend is headed to hospice, where optimism isn't even allowed. Cool lady, and a genuine poet who's going to leave great stuff unwritten.

You try to say the right things to someone who's dying, and what's worst is having experience at it, from trying and failing to say the right things to other people who've already died.

Never have I ever known the right thing to say to anyone, and usually there is no 'right' thing to say. So I say whatever comes to mind, which is often nothing.

Mostly I want to scream obscenities at the heavens, but there's nobody listening and you can't leave a message.

One fine but probably fictional day, I would love to do my laundry and not have Dean say, as I walk through the kitchen with a plastic basket full of pants and underwear, "Oh, you're doing laundry today?" or "It's laundry day, I see."

45 minutes later, as I'm passing through the kitchen twice more, on my way to moving the clothes to the dryer and on the way back, I would love to not endure small talk from Dean about the weather, the local team, and what he's cooking for dinner tonight.

An hour after that, when the laundry is done and I'm bringing it back to my room, I'd like to not hear Dean say again, "Oh, you're doing laundry today?" or "It's laundry day, I see."

"It goes without saying," is the cliché, and I said it to him three times today, but for Dean there is nothing, nothing in the universe that goes without saying.

It shouldn't take three minutes to cross the street, and I agree with everything the lady says in this video. I only wish she'd said it without the unnecessary piano in the background.

Google Doodles were a cute idea, but enough already. At first, Doodles were for special occasions, but now there's a new Google Doodle almost daily, and I can't remember the last one that did anything but annoy me.

At home and at the office, I use and recommend the Hide Google Doodles add-on for Firefox, and Doodle Blocker for Chrome, so I rarely see the dumb doodles. Whatever Google's doodling about today, though (Sunday 4/29), it must be a very special occasion, because they've invented a Doodle that can't be removed. Leaves droop down from the URLbar onto the screen, and even using an ad-blocker, blocking the doodle also blocks everything on the page. Fancy tech indeed!

After seeing the leaves twenty times today, I've taken the hint and left. Now I'm test-driving DuckDuckGo again, hoping it's gotten better than the last time I tried it — and it has, while Google keeps getting worse, so maybe this time I'll stay...

DuckDuckGo is also noticeably quicker than Google, since it lacks the evils of cumbersome tracking tech.

Guess I'm totally the titular cranky old fart today, so here's something else:

I'm fat, so I gotta buy at least 2XL and preferably three of the Xs. This was never a problem, until the past few years, when suddenly the companies that make menswear stopped understanding the human body, or at least the fat human body.

My belly is big, so manufacturers are now making the clothes big all over, even in the length of the sleeves. Every jacket and hoodie I've purchased in the last several years has had arms for a gorilla, with cuffs dangling four inches below my wrist.

My arms are of normal human length. I'm not Stretch Armstrong, nor Elastic Lad, so I end up at a tailor's shop, paying another $25 to have the arms shortened.

Ten years ago I was fat, twenty years ago I was fat, but always I could buy a windbreaker without alterations.

After the milk shake and mold incident, I don't have a light jacket for summertime, so I was looking at what's available on Amazon, until remembering what's happened with each of the jackets I've bought since circa 2015.

Screw it. I am done paying for clothes and then paying for alterations. Found a long-sleeve flannel shirt that looks shitty but fits, and that'll be my "summer jacket."

News you need,
whether you know it or not

Cheap field drug tests are finally getting called out by courts as the bullshit they are 

Climate protesters paint case housing Degas ballerina sculpture in DC 

It's messy, maybe sad, but some lawbreaking's gotta be done — this, and much more like this.

An exhibition proposes alternatives to removing contentious statues 

This story is set in Madison's Chazen Museum, where admission is free, so it became a favored spot for my wife and I while we lived there. The museum got a few grand out of those free admissions, too.

The Chazen is one of many things I miss about Madison. It was always a chill and smart place to spend a day, and it sounds like it still is.

Seattle libraries, transit branch into social work to take on mental health, drug use 

With Sound Transit, it's always something:
Seattle light rail crippled when station's roof collapses

Average sea surface temperatures have soared to record highs — and stayed there 

Climate change alters rain pattern across India 

Warming climate could soon mean serious, untenable blazes in urban areas of Alaska 

Married cops plead guilty to ripping off Fraternal Order of Police 

Cop gets probation for molesting girls, 8 and 12 

Shrouded in secrecy: The killing of Oliver Hernandez Jr. 

Santa Monica police knew of Eric Uller's molestation arrest but let him be youth volunteer 

Former Colorado cop is the first to be convicted of failure to intervene after watching brutality 

Abuse, harassment, sexual misconduct are among the latest allegations against the West Virginia State Police. 

For family of Trader Joe’s store manager killed by LAPD, impending trial brings anger 

From Oklahoma to Tennessee to Montana, Republican-held state legislatures are targeting Black and trans elected officials 

Republican plan could limit food aid for nearly 1 million people, USDA says 

Johnson says climate change could be good for Wisconsin 

Florida town filled with Disney fanatics, support for DeSantis fades 

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


My browser history
without the porn

Cars have made American cities uglier and more dangerous. Here's the solution: Make parking impossible. 

Bud Light: A transgender woman promoted a beer and now, judging by the tabloid frenzy, it's a cultural schism that has ripped apart a nation 

Movie and TV camera techniques, understandably explained 

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

Bohemian Rhapsody — Queen 

Get Ready — Rare Earth 

Knockin' on Heaven's Door — Guns N' Roses 

Maybe I'm Amazed — Paul McCartney 

Stay — Jackson Browne 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

Frank Agrama 

Tim Bachman 

LeRoy Carhart 

Leon Levine 

Steuart Padwick 

Robert Patrick 

April 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, Dumnezero, 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.

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