CSotD: Monday Sweep Out

There’s not much new going on in the political realm, so I thought I’d clean up a few things that either could have run this past Friday but didn’t, or that won’t wait until the next.

In his weekly wrap-up blog, Wayno noted that he could have put a sash on the traditional Old Year figure in this Bizarro (KFS), but that, “with the universally-acknowledged suckiness of this year, the vast majority of people did get it.”

I did, but he was still courageous not to label the old fellow.

New Year’s cartoons are a bit like obituary cartoons in that it’s hard to come up with anything terribly original, but everyone expects them and wants them.

Still, they’re not a bad way to wrap up the old year or point to the next.


Some years offer more meat than others: New Years 1916 was a chance to either celebrate what had been a good economy in 1915 or what was clearly on the horizon for those who dared to look.

We’ve certainly had a lot of rumbling about what, as Wayno puts it, a sucky year 2020 has been and I doubt many will be sorry to see it go, though I’m not sure what they think 2021 has in store that’s going to make it all better, at least for the first quarter or so.


For my part, I’m with Rube Goldberg from 1914, since, in the past half-year, I retired, acquired a new puppy and had a computer unexpectedly crash, which is to say my income went down by 2/3rds just as two expenses — one planned, one not — came on the scene. So it goes.

I’m not sure what Goldberg’s poor sucker was planning, but, these days, drawing money from your IRA has a January 1 significance and I’m just waiting for the calendar to turn over so I can pay off my credit card while putting the tax burden somewhere it won’t add to 2020’s bottom line.

While hoping for the new year to have fewer vet bills and technical disasters.


Which fits in with the financial planning advice in Pardon My Planet (KFS).

I had a doctor’s appointment this past week and, in detailing some family history, I said that, while my father and his mother both died in their mid-60s, I’ve already passed those dates and am more like my mother, who is 96.

“I can’t afford to live that long,” I added, though I wasn’t asking him to intervene.


Still, Vic Lee and I aren’t the only people to whom the perils of longevity have occurred. Sandra Bell Lundy dropped this Between Friends (KFS) strip back in 2006 and it still makes me laugh. And shudder.

Though this 1998 Arlo and Janis (AMS) is still the one I want etched on my stone.

But I don’t want to “go back knowing what I do today” because I wouldn’t do half that stuff if I had the sense I’ve acquired since.

I’ve always suspected that the reason starfish can re-grow an amputated arm is because they’re too dumb to know it’s impossible. Most things 19-year-olds experience are done on more or less the same principle.

(Digression: You’re not supposed to call them “starfish” anymore, because they’re
not fish. You’re supposed to call them “sea stars” because they are enormous
glowing superheated balls of gas, many times the size of the Earth.)


Juxtaposition of the Holiday

(Monty – AMS)


(The Barn – Creators)

I bought a duck the other day in case I don’t get the traditional phone call Wednesday from my son who never remembers any sooner and says, “You’re coming over for dinner tomorrow, right?”

This year, we might take the governor’s advice and go remote, and, unlike Monty, I know a whole turkey and fixings is way, way, way too many meals for a single guy and that you can’t get the same effect by cooking part of a turkey. Or part of a fixing.

All of a duck works pretty well.

It also works later in the weekend if you do end up over at the kids’ place.

Meanwhile, the Barn touches on one of my favorite rants, which is that advertisers are several generations removed from “like Mama used to make,” since Mama was besotted with TV dinners and canned tamales and other post-WWII conveniences.

Though as our nation becomes more diverse, we’ve got more Mamas from places where they still cook.

I’m particularly jealous of people from India because the spices in their cooking are so specific and precise that outsiders don’t stand a chance of getting it right. One of my sons had an apartment in a complex with a lot of Indians, and I’d walk down the hall towards his place smelling the smells and thinking, “To hell with him. I want to go visit these people!”

And we’ve got a half dozen Chinese restaurants in town, but if you check out Yelp, you find that all the Chinese-American kids from Dartmouth go to a hole-in-the-wall convenience store place known as “the Chinese restaurant at the gas station” because she doesn’t make standard “Chinese restaurant” food.

She makes food like Mama used to make and probably still does.

The other part of this is that there’s a significant return to cooking among Yankee-bred types that means, if you don’t mind quinoa and other food-alternatives, we’ve got a generation that shuns their grandmothers’ frozen meals and actually knows their way around the kitchen.

So my g-grands at least have some good meals to look forward to, even if we’ve totally screwed up the rest of their world.

Which in turn reminds me of a guy I met from the “Greatest Generation” whose unit was pushing through southern France and had outrun their supply lines, but anyone who caught a rabbit or bartered for a chicken would bring it to him, because he had grown up the poor son of Italian immigrants and could light a fire under his metal helmet and turn absolutely anything into a really good meal.

That, you soulless beancounting Milo Minderbinders, is the true meaning of “Everybody owns a share.”



5 thoughts on “CSotD: Monday Sweep Out

  1. Wayno: The robe is supposed to be white, the beard is to short, I’ve never seen the old year in a top hat, and probably many people got lost trying to figure out what the eyeball and the stick of dynamite on the crutch were about.

    “because they are enormous glowing superheated balls of gas, many times the size of the Earth”

    Great minds…

  2. Then there are the microwaves in Japan which are also the ovens as the American-style monster that stands on the floor with burners on top and broiler beneath are mostly non-existent here. Ours (micro-oven) will hold a whole up to mid-sized turkey, but the drawback is you can’t use both together nor the microwave for an extended time after the oven. Too hot.

  3. I gained a little bit of family history this week when my sister found a Navy site with photos of our great uncle who commanded the USS Scorpion, and a personal account he sent in. At Constantinople, the authorities actually confiscated the ship, and Uncle Herbert is said to have won it back in a bridge game.

    Some of those existential strips remind me that around 1980, my friend Rich posed the question to several of us (it was in an APA): “You go to school, you graduate, and then what? Years and years of just living?” It really resonated with me at the time, because that’s how it looked to us young kids. I fell out of touch with Rich several times, but I’m pretty sure we’d be in touch now if he was still alive.

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