CSotD: Thursday Potpourri

A little political humor on a day I don’t intend to be political at all. As I’ve said before, however, the news is so absurd that it’s hard to satirize, and I appreciate Ruben Bolling for being able to do it simply by treating Donald Trump as a six-year-old, at which point his behavior becomes amusing rather than appalling.

Not to worry. We’ll be appalled at length, tomorrow.

If you’re reading this in Hoboken, Liam Simonelli’s cartoon is also political, but for everyone else it’s a humorous comment about e-bikes. The city council there has proposed a regulation on e-bike delivery people, requiring them to register, to wear helmets and reflective vests and to stay off the sidewalks.

I hit a paywall before I learned all the details, but the councilman behind it all has spent some time making deliveries himself and reports that it is possible to stay off the sidewalks and obey traffic laws without falling seriously behind on your orders. Who knew?

I happen to think motorized vehicles and bicycles are two different animals, and if you have to license a Vespa you ought to have to license any two-wheeled vehicle that approximates one, but I’d settle for keeping them off the sidewalks.

And if we were talking politics, I’d bring up yesterday’s cartoon about how raising the minimum wage means fast food costs more, but we aren’t, so I won’t go into a rant about how anyone who can afford to have a Happy Meal delivered is making too much money.

Possibly by working too hard to be able to take a break and go get a burger.

For my part, I model my life on the fellow in this Jonesy cartoon, except that my best friend is too short to drink out of the toilet.

So she just uses one of her apps to have someone come over on an e-bike and deliver a $25 pint of water.

Zits (KFS) just went through a depressing story arc in which Jeremy tried to go to a dance without his mother interfering in his life. My memory of high school is that I wasn’t home a whole lot, but not because I was actively attempting to avoid anyone who lived there. One more reason why, if I were Jeremy, I wouldn’t have sold that VW bus: It was large enough to sleep in.

But this one did remind me of one of the oddities of rural life: We didn’t have a florist.

What we had was a funeral home, and so at prom time, the guys would go there and consult the mortician’s wife about corsages, which she would then order from the florist in the city who furnished their funeral arrangements.

AFAIK, she didn’t help the girls with their make-up.

Frazz (AMS) also reminds me of my youth, when we did have snow days not because it snowed more then but because our school district was 30 miles long and the buses had to go get kids in shifts. Whether it was safe for the kids to stand out in three feet of snow waiting, it wasn’t always guaranteed that the plows would get everywhere before the buses needed to.

In my day, we didn’t have to walk uphill through the snow, but, if we had, we’d have dressed appropriately. I covered a school board meeting in Maine where the heating budget came up and a board member asked the principal if she could turn down the heat a few degrees and have the kids put on sweaters.

She replied that the kids didn’t bring sweaters and that a lot of them didn’t bring jackets, either, which brought a round of agreement from board members who marveled at the little nincompoops they’d see standing at the bus stops in shirtsleeves on mornings when it was near zero degrees.

The kids in Snug Harbor are smarter than that:

Note that Wallace the Brave (AMS) and Amelia are both wearing mittens, even if Spud is the only one in a full parka, so we can assume it really is cold out.

I think he’s got the whole concept of protection and storage space right, but then I wear a size 7-7/8 hat, so I may not be entirely neutral on the whole thing.

The Other Coast (Creators) sent me scrambling to find out where Adrian Raeside lives, because Jef Mallett is a Michigander and Will Henry is from Rhode Island, so the depictions of winter in Frazz and WtB are realistic enough.

The answer is Whistler, BC, which makes sense because, while Vancouver weather barely qualifies as Canadian, Whistler is up in the Rockies and most certainly gets all the winter you could ask for.

For some reason — most likely this year’s minimal snowfall — we seem to have had more than our usual share of unprepared hiker rescues in New Hampshire and Vermont this year, and, no, they haven’t all turned out well.

As with our volunteer firefighters, the people who go out on these missions are trained and skilled so while they’re unpaid, it still costs money to send them out. Those who take spectacularly foolish chances can be made to pay the damages, though it usually makes the news when that penalty is enforced.

In any case, if the fellow had a big brain, he’d have been wearing a parka, right?

Juxtaposition of the Day

Arctic Circle — KFS

Stephen Collins

I’m never sure when people are kidding. I saw an article in the NYTimes about “wild skating” which is like “wild swimming” which is to say it happens outside and not at Rockefeller Center but the scary outside where possums and rattlesnakes lurk behind every tree.

I do know all about natural herbal whatevers, some of which make perfect sense and many of which fall under the category of Hippie Voodoo.

Deadly nightshade is a good punchline, but leave us not forget that, long before Roe v Wade, women took pennyroyal to “regulate their periods.” It has also been used in cooking and brewed into tea, but it’s potentially toxic, which means it might kill you.

But whatever Stephen Collins is talking about is perhaps only happening in Britain or at least where I don’t have to hear about it.

Let’s keep it that way.

12 thoughts on “CSotD: Thursday Potpourri

  1. “As with our volunteer firefighters, the people who go out on these missions are trained and skilled so while they’re unpaid, it still costs money to send them out.”

    Unpaid? Really?

    1. My 35-year old daughter has spent many hours in unpaid training and exercises as a member of search and rescue. She spent extra time in more (unpaid) training to be certified as a wilderness first responder. She also has to buy her own personal equipment and all the appropriate levels of clothing. Fortunately, there is a barely large enough population of self-supporting volunteers that the general population is, in many cases, able to survive the consequences of their actions outdoors.

  2. All this talk of snow days and dressing inappropriately is amusing to me since I went on a long walk Tuesday for the first time since November and had to take my jacket off because it got too hot.

    And it’s not even March yet.
    In January, we were freezing our nuts off no matter how many layers we put on.

  3. As a bicycle mechanic going on 55 years now, and as someone who’s commuted by bicycle for longer than that (my preferred rides are still the classic “English racer” 3-speeds), I bought my first e- bike last year. It’s addicting, especially when you need to do more than five miles at a stretch.

    First off, NO bicycle, pedaled, powered, or whatever combination of the two, belongs anywhere but on the street or marked bicycle trails, fully following all local traffic laws. Completely, in a manner that those car drivers who incessantly complain about our presence, don’t.

    And those Class 2 (e-bikes that have a throttle, and don’t depending on the rider pedaling at all to get forward motion) ‘bicycles’ have no business being classed as bicycles in the slightest, even if there is a crankset, pedals, and a chain. They’re electric motorcycles, and should be legislated at least to the level of ‘mopeds’ (which in Virginia is 49cc or under if ICE, top speed of 35mph, title and registration are mandatory, as is a DOT legal helmet – but no driver’s license, motorcycle endorsement, or motor vehicle insurance).

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