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CSotD: Friday Funnies, with a little cheesecake

Between Friends (KFS) has a well-timed arc about junk drawers (starting here), in part because a lot of people are going through their stuff for lack of anything else to do in quarantine and in far more important part because I needed to unclutter before a puppy arrived.

Not that I expected her to get into the junk drawer, mind you.

But, like Susan, I ran into a lot of things that had seemed useful at the moment but whose moment had long since passed. Fortunately, I was in a to-hell-with-it mood that lasted long enough to toss them into the bin and bring the bin out to the dump.

Including the weird cord that I tossed because I couldn’t remember what it went to, until, after it was gone, I realized it was to a TV I intended to give to the thrift shop. Fortunately, I had enough weird cords stashed here and there that a duplicate turned up a day later.

Which really sparked me with joy.

So let’s un-joy things with this

Juxtaposition of the Day

Cornered (AMS)


Rico Schacherl (Freelance)

Nothing too joyful in being laid off, fired, declared redundant, furloughed, canned or frog-marched out, but the euphemisms can be funny.

I’ve only been fired twice, both times because I hung in knowing they wanted me gone but unwilling to make myself ineligible for unemployment. There’s something called “constructive dismissal,” illegal in some places, which is where they make your life miserable to get you to quit, but I’ve never lived in one of those places, and cheapskate employers can get inventive.

Well, as we say in the Granite State, “Live free or die, boys, getting fired is not the worst of evils.”

Cornered provides a good laugh, though it’s more true in healthy times than now. Still, being cut loose from a job where you are not valued is a good thing, as long as you can fake it until something better turns up. And anything is.

I’ve even known people who “retired” early — perhaps pushed, perhaps jumped — and then worked in stores that offered health coverage while they waited to be old enough for Medicare. We could fix that.

And we would, if fewer powerful employers felt like the self-satisfied pair in Rico’s cartoon.

Ask me again November 4.


High-tech Juxtaposition of the Day

(Betty – AMS)


(Brewster Rockit – AMS)

“High Tech” is one of my favorite buzzwords. When I was covering residential real estate development in the 80s, one of my standard questions for builders was “Who do you see as your customers?” and they would almost invariably say, “High tech.”

Without specifying whether they meant the engineering Phd’s who developed the concepts or the proles who assembled the disks, though it only took a temporary downturn in that sector of the economy to bring down the whole house of cards, nobles and serfs alike.

Which goes to show that GIGO applies not just in programming but in economic planning and all sorts of other areas.

As this later strip in the Brewster Rockit arc points out, it’s easier to make things faster than it is to make people smarter. Comic exaggeration only slightly covers the wider implications.


While, in another case of a gag coming along at the right moment, this Real Life Adventures (AMS) shows a smart TV being truly smart, and, with the advent of the football season, I’m seeing more promos for network programs. It’s not a flattering portrait.

If you want to know why we’re in the place we’re in, just flip around the dial and look at what your fellow-voters are watching. You can turn up your nose at Honey Boo-Boo, but it’s not like the other stuff is all Playhouse 90.


Never mind. Here’s a timely piece from Frazz (AMS).

Caulfield and Mrs. Olson have been going back and forth over autumn leaf changes, but it prompts me to offer this advice for leafpeeping in New England: Get here soon.

This foliage map shows northern New England at near peak, but that’s where the rainfall issue she mentions comes in: We’re in a drought, and those pretty leaves may fall quicker than in normal years.

It’s worth the trip: A few years after I moved back East, my ex-in-laws came to visit and, having lived out West all their lives, were blown away by what was, admittedly, one of our best autumns. My ex-MIL said she’d always thought the photos on calendars were re-touched, and I said that was how I felt the first time I saw the Rockies.

Plus this bonus:


Harry Bliss (AMS) jokes about a nunnery brewing beer, but, while it’s monks who are known for craft brewing, if you route your New England leaf-peeping tour a little west and go through Cambridge, NY, you can stop off at the New Skete nunnery and pick up what is reputed to be one of the best cheesecakes in the country.

Or go over to the monastery and get a German shepherd puppy, though I wouldn’t advise leaving a puppy in the backseat with a $60 cheesecake.


Finally, the Laughing Redhead (AMS) offers a salute to ears, and if there were ever a time when having a pair of nine-bar gates on either side of your head was an advantage, this is it. I don’t think the pandemic is a Democratic hoax, but, then again, I’ll bet Obama never has his mask suddenly detach itself from his head.

Teresa Roberts Logan counts on sturdy earpans, nor is she the only one. I was accused of looking like the Unabomber for simply wearing shades, a ball cap and a hoodie, but the pandemic has brought out women who go well beyond that, with, as she notes, glasses, mask and earbuds to keep them cut off from the outside world.

Which is probably a good thing if you have to walk down crowded city sidewalks, plus, with a mask, you don’t get invited to smile half so often.

Adding a literal twist to “Once wounded, twice shy.”


Community Comments

#1 phil von neupert
@ 6:45 am

That’s why we don’t have universal health care in America. How else can they get over-qualified, middle-aged people to do jobs that teenagers won’t do?

#2 Jerry Bierema
@ 6:54 am

Addendum to Murphy’s Law – the longer you hang on to something you don’t need, the sooner you will need it after you’ve thrown it away.

#3 Mark B
@ 8:42 am

FYI, Old Ox Brewery in northern Virginia now has a Frazz Beer, With the cartoon character on the label.

#4 Brad Walker
@ 11:20 am

Jerry — see today’s Pajama Diaries.

Playhouse 90? in Candorville the go-to is Gilligan’s Island.

#5 Barbara Mcclatchey
@ 5:48 pm

Just try wearing a mask, glasses, behind-the-ear hearing aids, AND sunglasses that go over the regular glasses. Then try taking any of it off without pulling the hearing aids onto the floor. Welcome to my world!

#6 Kristen Nieto
@ 4:23 am

Nuns were the original ale makers. Brewing used to be a woman’s field, “alewives,” one of the few businesses we were allowed to run on our own. Until, of course, Catholics decided that brewing = witchcraft.

Glad to see women being more and more associated with beer and its making; we’d been so effectively cut off from that world. Good for this convent!

#7 Charles Bosse
@ 2:18 am

Five years in Boston and I never saw anything to rival a Portland, OR spring, which was drab and grey compared to southern Utah or northern New Mexico after an intense rain. There’s a reason “Zion” National Park got that name.

But I was spoiled. My grandparents lived walking distance from the Rockies (like, you could walk to the edge of town, keep walking up a trail and potentially… keep walking until your lungs or feet gave out). One of my oldest memories was of Old Faithful and I had seen the Grand Canyon from both sides by middle school. And I grew up in a state with hundreds of miles of beautiful beaches, all public by law (except a short stretch owned by a Boy Scout camp from before the law, and I got to spend my time there too). Then there’s Seattle, with mountains (real ones, 14ers and full ranges on either side), lakes, beaches, forests (including latches) so close you sometimes have to remember to pay attention to the road and not the natural beauty while driving through the middle of the city.

After all that, Arcadia is… well it’s nice. Most of New England seems quaint but only a little of it seems charming. People don’t really decorate in the cities either… that was a shock coming from Portland OR, where after a month without a sunny day you can bet putting up lights is more important than getting a good deal on black Friday. And while I still appreciate a good countryside snowfall, Boston almost completely soured me on city snow. On the west coast snow puts cities into a contemplative state, but the East Coast is designed and run to make snow just another burden.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved some things about Boston and New England, but if you think Albany is pretty far west, then you’ve probably missed out on spectacular beauty at a scale that’s hard to imagine.

(Speaking of Boston though, you have to love transit that runs from Braintree to Alewife)

#8 William Ramwell
@ 5:59 am

Barbara Mcclatchey: I’m with you on the hearing aids, which is why I don’t wear behind-the-ear masks.

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