Wednesday Bag o’ Black Eyes

black eyed pea bagYes, those are black-eyed peas on today’s bag. Lame, but I’m not feeling especially clever this morning. I woke up with a swollen black eye, fallout from Monday’s removal of a basal cell skin cancer from my forehead. They said it might swell, and boy did it. I’ll post a photo below … I don’t want to lead off with it and frighten you away. While you’re mentally steeling yourself for post-surgical shock & awe, let’s take a quick look around the webosphere.

Sarah Palin* says we elected a pinprick. Well, at least she acknowledges his election, which is more than some residents of Earth Two will ever do (they call him President Asterisk, because he wasn’t really elected, you see … oh, never mind).

Things are getting pretty bad in Washington DC. For me to admit that is something. Normally, when my friends conflate partisan political kerfuffles with Armageddon, I remind them that things were once much worse than they are now, and cite the War of 1812 and the Civil War as points of reference. I wonder, though, whether political discourse is now sinking to Civil War-era levels, when the president was reviled in the press as a long-armed ape and members of Congress engaged in fisticuffs on the floor … and how long it’ll be before Washington breaks down entirely.

I noted with interest yesterday’s storming of the WWII Memorial, which had been closed by the National Park Service as part of the government shutdown. Sure, it was a teabagger protest, but for once I’m with them: the national parks belong to us. Here in Tucson, they’ve closed Saguaro National Park, including its popular and heavily used hiking and biking trails, and I expect they’ll try to shut off access to hiking trails in the Coronado National Forest as well. They say a skeleton staff of rangers will keep citizens out. But can they, if citizens force their way in? Are those rangers even being paid? Strap on your guns and go visit your national parks, sheeple … it’s not every day we get to play Thunderdome!

But then I saw this, and reconsidered:

shut down notice

Maybe we can reoccupy our parks without guns. That would be nice.

Speaking of health care, I hope the ACA works, I really do, but millions of Americans have been left out of the plan and will continue to have no health care other than what they can pay for themselves. I’m still holding out for single-payer. Since joining the USAF in 1973 my wife and I have been part of a single-payer health system (military, then Tricare, now Medicare plus Tricare), and it works great. I feel no less free for benefiting from government-sponsored medical insurance, and simply don’t understand what all the ideological fuss is about.**

For those of you who haven’t yet succumbed to streaming TV, I just want to say this: since spring we’ve watched little else. Every night we check the on-screen cable channel guide and with rare exceptions there’s nothing worth watching. Every night we wind up watching something on Netflix or Amazon Prime, the two streaming services we pay for. If I could figure out how to cancel my cable TV subscriptions and keep just the two streaming services, I’d do it in a minute. We’re watching back episodes of Justified, both the British and Swedish versions of Wallander, the BBC Sherlock Holmes series with Bumbersnatch Cummerbund (?), movies and documentaries, old MST3K episodes, The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, all of Breaking Bad right up to the final season that ended last Sunday (the one thing we did watch on regular cable TV) … and we’ve just scratched the surface. For us, it’s been more than worth it. And there are no commercials!

Except for the streaming channels you don’t have to pay for, which are supported by commercials … and lots of them. The other night I tried to watch a Buster Crabbe Buck Rogers movie on Crackle, one of the “free” streaming movie channels. Crackle stopped the movie every five minutes to show the same three-minute Lexus commercial over and over. I made it through 20 minutes and finally had to shut it down … the constant, repetitive interruptions were so painful I couldn’t go on. So if you do decide to get a Roku box and try streaming TV, be warned: you get what you pay for, and the good stuff isn’t free.

Okay, are you ready to view the carnage? Behold my awful visage*** and tremble!

Photo on 10-2-13 at 7.24 AM #3
You should see the other guy (I wish)

* Herself a c*nt, and a massive one at that.

** Actually I do. Rick Santorum spelled it out for me when he said “”I don’t want to make blah people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.”

*** Yes the beard is gone. Moustache too. I got tired of maintenance and upkeep and declared a government shutdown of my face.

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