Friday, October 27, 2023

The Buckeye State

Image by Rupert Kittinger-Sereinig from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now, haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   



Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device 

"The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it." -P.J. O'rourke 

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),

It occurred to me that it has been quite a while since I have written much, if anything, about my tired little town, one of many in a tired little valley that doesn't look like a valley.  

{Tired? A valley that doesn't look like one?}

As to tired, Dana, Hooterville is in the heart of the rustbelt, and despite heroic efforts to revive it and the valley in which it's located, it remains rather rusty overall.

As to the valley thing, if you found yourself passing through, particularly if you were a Yinzer (a native of Pittsburgh like me), you'd be unlikely to notice that you were technically in a valley. 

The 'Burgh is in a clearly defined, deep valley that conforms to the definition of a valley that I learned in geography class under the tutelage of Sister Mary McGillicuddy. I wonder if there's a commonly used word for a very shallow valley? 

Just a second, I'll be right back. 

Huh, according to Google/Generative AI (Generative AI is experimental. Info quality may vary.) there are a ton of names for shallow valleys including dingle, bunny, thrutch, etceterutch. My personal favorite is cwm, a Welsh word pronounced kuum. I caught a rabbit in the cwm, so we had a Welsh rabbit for dinner. 

And now that I think about it, isn't there a tiny town in West Virginia called Dingle Bunny?

{There's something really wrong with you, you know that, right?}

Living in the Rustbelt ain't all bad. For example, recently our three-burner stove--which I bought new down at the BestBuy 16 years ago, the one near damall?--which originally had four burners transformed, literally overnight, into a two-burner, both of which were clearly not long for this world. 

Not good, particularly given the current cash flow crunch here at Casa de Chaos. However, in short order, we secured a surprisingly decent one from the next tired town over for $100, and the old one vanished the next day.

{A hundred bucks! Vanished?}
As to the price... it's better not to ask any questions. Pay the money, load up the stove, say thanks, and get out of Dodge. As to vanished, we have a very dedicated and discrete group of voluntary recyclers in the area who are happy to deal with anything made of metal left out on the curb.

We once shoved a very large, very dead air conditioner out of a first-floor window and into the yard, intending to drag it to the curb the next day. In about an hour, a very polite, if somewhat disheveled gentleman knocked on the front door to inquire if we had made funeral arrangements yet for the dead appliance in question. 

He recycled it quickly and efficiently with our blessing and our thanks.

There's an off-year election coming up, (11/7),  in which the good citizens of the Buckeye State will decide if, going forward, weed, with the requisite sin tax and no shortage of silly Rules&Regs, will be recreationally legal, not just medically legal as it is now.


Well, after all, it is a weed, and I'm led to believe it's not difficult to grow, particularly since instructions, advice, and equipment are easily acquired. My favorite caveat? You can legally grow your own, as long as you don't have more than six plants, 12 if there are at least two adults in the household that are 21 or older. 

After all, like tobacco, you're not allowed to use it till you're 21. However, it's still legal to join the military or star in a porno if you're at least 18.  

Also, possessing more than 2.5 ounces is illegal, but that's not silly. That's just Ohio trying to make sure that sin and state and local sales taxes are being collected, and that the shady-looking dude that hangs out in front of the 7-Eleven and his colleagues aren't dodging both sales and income taxes and underselling their legal competitors. 

This might seem odd given that the Republicrats, the party of small government, currently have an iron grip on most of our carefully gerrymandered state, but maintaining a full-time, two-house legislature, 24x7 x365 ain't cheap. Neither is maintaining numerous tired, tiny towns that all have their own government employees, school systems, police departments, zoning boards, etc. 

Having friends in low places, I could have weed delivered to my front door, with no delivery charge, by making a phone call. I haven't been a regular user in decades but I'm voting yes so that those who do choose to indulge can do so knowing the source of the product and know that nothing dangerous/crazy has been added to tweak its potency. 

There's another issue to vote on this year, a proposed constitutional amendment no less, that guarantees abortion rights to the women of Ohio. This, as you might imagine, has generated endless Sturm und Drang... all of it unnecessary. 

Long story short:

Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supremes but Ohio already has a law in place restricting abortion (21 weeks and 6 days), a law the majority of its citizens support.

The masters of morality in control of the Ohio Legislature pass a law that limits abortions to the first six weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest, that is promptly, and currently, blocked by an injunction. 

A ballot initiative, a broadly worded amendment (thus guaranteeing endless litigation if it passes) to amend the Ohio Constitution to include abortion rights is added to the ballot. 

Money is pouring in from outside Ohio by people and organizations on both sides of the issue to fund information/disinformation campaigns. 

Our 76-year-old, five-foot-tall governor (whose son is an Ohio Supreme Court justice) and his wife have released their own ad. They both look right into the camera and lie their bums off, stating that if the amendment passes partial-birth abortion will be legal in Ohio. 

They neglect to mention that there's a federal law in place that bans that barbaric procedure nationwide.   

{Ain't it cool that the German phrase Sturm und Drang sounds like what it means in English? Is Mike Dewine really five feet tall?}

Nah, I lied. Go Buckeyes!

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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I post links to my columns on both Facebook and the social media site formerly known as Twitter so you can love me, hate me, or lobby to have me canceled or publically flogged on either site. Cranky don't tweet (X-claim?).

Friday, October 20, 2023

In Other News...

 Or, In Case You Missed It...

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now, haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   



Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device 

Things come and go in the news cycle like waves of fever." -Adam Curtis

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),  

On my website, underneath the picture of the very happy baby taking a sink shower, it says Don't demonize, compromise. 

Given the state of The Republic, and the state of its citizenry, it would seem that what it takes to hold a republic together (the same thing it takes to hold any sort of relationship together, compromise) often gets lost in the shuffle. 

Being a (the) glass-is-half-empty sort of dude, I worry that many of muh fellow 'mericans (Lyndon Johnsonese for my fellow Americans) are so caught up in never-ending Blue team vs. the Red team dramas that they're oblivious to the need for compromise to maintain a peaceful playground. 

{Lyndon who?}

However, World Aquatics "...formerly known as...[the] International Swimming Federation, is the international federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee... for administering international competitions in water sports" according to Wikipedia, is setting a good example.  


 Last year World Aquatics decided to ban transwomen from competing against women born that way. 

{Just what is a woman anyway?}

However, they also promised to experiment with adding an "open" category for 50 and 100m races in which transwomen are welcome. 

From a post on the SwimSwam website: “This pioneering pilot project highlights the organization’s unwavering commitment to inclusivity, welcoming swimmers of all sex and gender identities,” a quote they attribute to World Aquatics. 

Unfortunately, for some reason, no-body has taken them up on the offer according to an article on The Guardian website. Go figure.

Penis Pics in the News:  Financial sextortion, " which predators befriend victims online under false pretenses, entice them to send incriminating photos and then demand payment under threat that they’ll expose the photos to family and friends," according to the Washington Post has become a RBFD "with teen boys being specific targets."

Given the number of horror stories/specific examples cited in a very detailed article, I agree. Geesh, sometimes I'm grateful that...

{Let me guess, this is today's official reason you're glad you're old.}

Getting older, Dana, getting older. However, I was a fairly modest young man of um... average dimensions back in the day so I probably wouldn't have...

{Ah geeze!}

Hey, I checked alright, and I'm delighted to say that...

{Moving on... please?}

Absabalutely. According to "...Lauren Coffren, executive director of the Exploited Children Division at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)...NCMEC, which serves as a clearinghouse for records of abuse, received more than 10,000 tips of financial sextortion of minors, primarily boys, in 2022...

By the end of July 2023, NCMEC had already received more than 12,500 reports... ."

{Looks like the perpetrators of the famous Nigerian Prince scam have moved on to greener pastures.}


The Nigerian Prince is alive and well according to a firm called Abnormal Security, and is using artificial intelligence technology to improve his/her/their bottom line. 

"Abnormal recently uncovered more than a thousand attacks targeting organizations using at least 70 unique email addresses."

{Oh, please. Surely nobody falls for these things anymore, and they're easy to spot 'cause of the goofy spelling and grammar.}

"Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors have long been characteristics of an attack, making them easy to spot even if they did land in the inbox. But with the rise of generative AI, this is no longer the case."

{I've heard that one of the ways teachers and professors can spot papers written by AI is by noticing the spelling and grammar of a given paper is just too perfect. Still, I can't believe that the "Nigerian Princes" are fooling anyone.}

Note from my first quote that they're targeting "organizations" nowadays. There must be a reason... Also, they're not still sending 'em out because they never work. It's my guess the organizations in question don't want word to get out and that for the bad guys it's like they're playing the lottery with tons of free tickets, knowing that, occasionally, they're going to win.

Dear The Guardian, I'm sorry that like many formerly profitable newspapers, you're finding it hard to make a buck, or in your case being UK-based, a quid.

The Guardian, quoted at the beginning of this column, has been around for just over 200 years. It's not been either privately owned or run by a profit-seeking corporation of some sort since 1936

"Profits are reinvested in its journalism rather than distributed to owners or shareholders." -Wikipedia

It describes itself as being a centre-left publication; I think that clearly-left(wing) is a more accurate description but I'm not a regular reader. But of course, I support their right to describe themselves as they please, and to hold whatever other opinions they please as well. 

{You spelled center wrong.}

No, I didn't. 

Ironically, given their political/social/cultural stances, they became a non-profit way back in 1936 to get around paying "death duties"(taxes). When a newspaper owner died back then, death duties also occasionally killed his/her/their newspaper. 

{Okaaay. But why...} 

Because when I land on their website, which only happens when I click on a link while doing research, or a link in something I'm reading sends me there I'll be asked to "Fund independent journalism for $5 per month" and/or "Register: it's quick and easy," that is to say, provide them with my email address. 

But they promise not to sell it, or any of the info they collect on me... if I click on a button or two. They just want to serve me better. 

Occasionally, I've been met with a relatively lengthy message that informs me that I've been to their site __ times now so I really should consider contributing. Fine, you have my permission to sell any data you compile on me -- although you don't legally need it and will do it anyway if I don't opt out.

If not for what must be some seriously bad karma that has resulted in... well, never mind, there are enough whiney, retired Boomers with pathetic fixed incomes loose in the world, I'd be contributing to newspapers left, right, and center to keep 'em all going. 

Good luck, and think about trying truck lorry driving school.  

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Scroll down to leave a comment, share my work, or access my golden oldies.   

I post links to my columns on both Facebook and the social media site formerly known as Twitter so you can love me, hate me, or lobby to have me canceled or publically flogged. Cranky don't tweet (X-claim?).  


Friday, October 13, 2023


Actually, I did no such thing. 

Image by James Oladujoye from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now, haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   


Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device 

“The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination.”                                                                                           -Ibram X. Kendi

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),

If you've decided to read this column because you wanted to know what happened when an alleged adult, a sexy senior citizen no less, ate nothing but pizza for 30 days please accept my apology. 

Big BUT, given that you're probably smarter than I look, you probably weren't deceived by my clickbait headline for a single second. You probably decided to check it out just to see what the humbug is. Or maybe, like me, you love pizza.


A humbug, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is, among other things, "something designed to deceive and mislead." This brings us to P.T. Barnum and Ibram X. Kendi (aka, Henry Rogers)

{It does?}

Let us proceed in a logical manner, my dear gentlereaders. Pizza to humbug to P.T. Barnum to Mr. Rogers/Kendi. (I apologize if Mr. Rogers/Kendi prefers the non-gendered honorific Mx.).  

{What's Mx. short for, mixed up?}

I've always liked pizza, but nowadays I love pizza, particularly pepperoni pizza, particularly Ianazone's (my local pizzeria of choice) pepperoni pizza. I confess that Cranky is to Ianazone's pepperoni pizza as Garfield is to lasagna. 

The older one gets the more jaded/sated one becomes and the list of Earthly pleasures (L.E.P.) that stir one's, um... assorted appetites, shortens. However, until our devolution into a race of cyborgs is complete, ya gotta eat, regardless of whether you're the type of H. sapien who lives to eat or eats to live. 

I'm more the former, I'm baffled by the latter. Anyway, that's why so many people of a certain age are enthusiastic eaters; eating remains on their LEP list till the game is up and their toes are pointed heavenward. 

P.T. Barnum was famous in his day for perpetrating humbugs on the public. Everyone knew, that like clickbait, what was promised might not be what was delivered, but you never knew for sure unless you showed up -- and bought a ticket.

Unlike our present era, which provides all entertainment all the time, people had fewer options to choose from and they knew that odds were they would still enjoy themselves.

From an article posted on the Smithsonian Magazine's website written by Jackie Mansky: 

"Barnum's career trafficked in curiosities, which he served up to a public hungry for such entertainment, regardless of how factual or ethical such displays were. His legacy in show business stretched from the American Museum to "P. T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome" (the predecessor of “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey” circus) near the end of his life. Each were full of bigger-than-life ideas marketed to an audience interested in mass, and often crass, entertainment." 

The article is primarily about what an awful person P.T.B. was and what awful people his customers were, not having had the advantage of our woke sensibilities. This not being an article about Wokies, I shan't mention the absurdity of applying, en masse, present standards to the sleepers of the past. 

Nor for that matter, will I bring up judging people of the present based on the hoped-for standards of a future Utopia. 

I won't even mention certain "reality" shows or "wrestling." 

{Shan't? Shouldn't that be shalln't?}

I will, however, point out that "freak shows," though rare, still exist, and are nowadays put on by the "freaks". Also, I've discovered that you can find a lot of graphic videos about this sort of thing on the web if you're interested. 

I'm not, but I wouldn't post such a video even if I were. This is a column written by a gentleperson, for gentlepersons. Gentlepersons are discrete about their personal predilections and feel no need to advertise them or demand acceptance for them by the general public. 

I have, however, stumbled on a family-friendly, and quite enjoyable YouTube video titled Two Innocent Girls Turn Into FREAKS!

Now, Mx. Kendi's humbug is closer to a Bernie Madoff-style humbug than a P.T. Barnum-style humbug. For the record, please note I've used the gender-neutral honorific Mx., and haven't used the former Mr. Roger's "deadname."


In case you have a life, that doesn't include an obsession with following current events, according to Wikipedia:

Ibram Xolani Kendi (born Henry Rogers, August 13, 1982) is an American author, professor, anti-racist activist, and historian of race and discriminatory policy in America.   


A Zulu/Xhosa word for peace. 

Mx. Kendi, in spite of being the child of middle-class privilege (if he had been raised in Flyoverland instead of NYC it would've been upper-middle-class privilege) has devoted his life to battling anti-black racism. Dr. Kendi has a Ph.D. in African-American Studies. 

Recently, Dr. Kendi, a hero to both those battling anti-black racism and those who make a comfortable living from same, has come under attack by the racists who battle those who battle anti-black racism for allegedly perpetrating a BLM-style humbug at work. 

Dr. Kendi, who founded and runs Boston University's Center for Antiracist Research, and his colleagues, can't seem to account for most of the $50,000,000 or so the center has received since 2020. 

You may have encountered the famous for-a-minute quote allegedly spoken by one of Professor Kendi's fellow professors who worked at the center, "I don't know where the money is."

According to an article in The College Fix (one of my favorite sources of input), Dr. Kendi explained what's actually going on in an interview he granted to BU's student newspaper:

“'Not everyone wants to build an antiracist society; that is clear,' Professor Kendi told the Boston University student newspaper when asked if coverage of the downfall of his center has been fair."

Although Dr. Kendi and the gang at the Center for Antiracist Research haven't generated much in the way of tangible results and Dr. K. hasn't published a paper in four years he has published a couple of Children's books including my personal favorite, the Antiracist Baby Board Book.

{Is there a pop-up version?}

Also, he gave a lot of speeches, in person and virtually, for a modest remuneration. I don't know if his audiences were/are as satisfied as P.T. Barnums were. 
Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Scroll down to leave a comment, share my work, or access my golden oldies.   

I post links to my columns on both Facebook and the social media site formerly known as Twitter so you can love me, hate me, or lobby to have me canceled or publically flogged on either site. Cranky don't tweet (X?).