Random Comments, 2020 Edition

Same as the Late-2019 list (which is being closed because it’s gotten too long) and the previous versions, this will be accessible indirectly from the Your Random Comments link in the left sidebar. I wish WordPress made this simpler, but then I wish a lot of things.

[Edit Oct 1, 2020 EditorM:  We’re trying placing all these Random Comments series in the left sidebar for direct access.  Let’s see how it looks and try it out.]

Please remember that this is intended for public comics-related (or comics semi-related) comments only: if you want to send me a CIDU, or a comic for some specific folder (Ewww, Oy, etc), or you want to inform me of a typo, please e-mail me at .

Also: A list of the site’s most recent comments can be found in the left sidebar. A database of all the comments, compiled by larK, is here.

And the site’s FAQ is here.


  1. Andréa,

    Buffalo wings are chicken wings made with a sweet BBQ sauce. The recipe originated in Buffalo.

    Don’t try them if you don’t care for reeeally sweet BBQ.

  2. I lived in Buffalo for a year – this was 1972/73. The local culinary specialties we learned about, that you could order out form all sorts of places around town, were a roast beef sandwich called “beef on weck” and an interesting kind of sauced spicy chicken wings. This was before “Buffalo wings” became nationally popular, and that name got attached.
    No, we didn’t go to the Anchor Bar, and never knew until looking it up recently that that specific place is supposedly the creator of Buffalo-style hot wings. But by that time you could expect to see them at any hole-in-the-wall.

  3. Chak: No. Buffalo wings are fried dry and then tossed with Frank’s hot sauce and butter, and maybe some vinegar and maybe some cayenne. NOT sweet. You’ll get laughed out of Buffalo if you call those “Buffalo wings”.

    Source: My wife is from Buffalo, her family mostly still lives there, and I’ve seen several of them send “Buffalo” wings back in restaurants in other cities when they weren’t even close.

  4. As I recall, the original recipe used margarine. I would substitute butter as well. But yeah, not a sweet BBQ sauce.

  5. Brian, I think you’re right. Back when margarine was supposed to be healthier and thus more common…

    I remember 5 cent wing nights. That was a LONG time ago!

  6. Yes, Buffalo Wings, or “Buffalo Chicken” flavor is more heat and not so sweet.
    I didn’t know if the perceptible thickness was just from baking and layering or mixing the base sauce with something thicker. Brian in STL says margarine or butter, I thought maybe yogurt. Or yoghurt as we used to write.

    The fit with the ZITS works better for hot than sweet, too. The cliché is teenagers, particularly boys, gobbling down Flaming Hot Cheetos.

  7. Oh yeah!

    (And I do even have THE BIG PICTURE on my GoComics list. )

    It must have been the note about “17 year old males” that short-circuited my brain 🙂

  8. I’ve never had Buffalo wings, and if I got the wrong description, it was probably a practical joke from a guy who knows I don’t like spicy. Sorry for the false info.

  9. I’ve never had any, either . . . the thought of chicken wings, which would be just crunchy bones, doesn’t appeal. If it’s just a way to carry sauce to the mouth, I’d rather just spoon it up and forgo the chicken bones, senkuveddymuch.

  10. Wings are not devoid of meat. The meat to bone ratio is somewhat lower than other cuts. Then there is the great “flat versus drummette divide”.

  11. More important that flat vs. drummette is “How many wings does a chicken have?” If you buy a dozen wings, will they need 6 chickens to supply them, or just 3? Way too many places count wing parts rather than wings.

  12. @ Brian in StL – “With a timely “Dune” reference.
    I noticed the allusion, but I didn’t understand why this would be the right time for “Dune” until I looked it up, and discovered the upcoming movie (which is still three months off). I sure hope it will turn out to be better than the last attempt (but it really couldn’t be any worse than that horrible stinker).

  13. I’m no expert , but I think the main Dune reference point is just the obsession with SPICE, which in the Dune saga is a sort of mystical drug, created probably in the biology of the huge sandworms that are treated by the humans as demigods. SPICE was used in ritual consumption that could elevate the human shaman to uncanny powers. At the same time, it was something like an ordinary drug in Tst addictive force.

    It seems unlikely that modern Pumpkin SPICE scan do as much, but it does seem craved by some.

  14. @ Andréa – The allusion to Dune is (mostly) the line “The Spice must flow!” (see the penultimate panel). In Herbert’s trilogy umpteenology of “Dune” books, the “spice” turns out to be a psychotropic drug used by pilots to permit them to navigate between stars. It’s available on only one planet, so whoever controls the spice effectively controls the galactic empire.
    P.S. Here’s a bit of comic commentary about the 1984 movie, which you should definitely not bother to watch:

  15. I’ve not even read the books[s], so I know I’d never watch the movie[s]. I did break down and watch ‘My Blue Heaven’ for the umpteenth time last week; I needed something ‘feel goodish’, and that does it every time. It’s the only time I liked Steve Martin.

  16. Speaking/writing of Sting . . . I only know him thru a ‘solstice’ (NOT Christmas) CD, ‘If On A Winter’s Night’, which is probably why I didn’t recognize his portrait. I’d know his voice anywhere, tho.

  17. Hi all,
    Aaron here again. I realize I’ve missed most of the discussion on this topic but it seems like you are interested in having this site continue, and that there are people willing to do the legwork to keep it going. I think that’s great – again, I can’t say enough how meaningful it is to see all the appreciation for this community my dad built.

    I’d be happy to turn over maintenance of the site to a committee of readers, as was discussed earlier in this thread, and it would save you from having to start from scratch. I don’t know his WordPress password but I assume I can reset it via email; I also assume I could add admin privileges for others through his account. Did anyone else already have admin privileges?

    Also, interesting that he apparently had some posts queued up and ready to go. Appropriate for Yom Kippur in particular I suppose.


  18. rec.arts.sf.written had a long discussion of the upcoming Dune movie. Reports are that it will only cover the first half of the book.

  19. On the whole, an electric, veg-o-matic experience. Opus, I think you’ve just given us a synopsis of 2020.

  20. I was going to add an anecdote about how I recorded the Dune movie on my betamax when they first showed it on TV, adding like about a half hour of cut footage and an introduction to make it more watchable than the movie version had been, and just when we got to the climactic fight scene with Sting at the end, my tape ran out (I think there was a football game before-hand than ran long), so we invested 2 and half hours and never got to the conclusion… but instead, I see Aaron has posted here, and I want to make sure that Mitch above all sees it, so I don’t want to contribute to thread drift and spam…


  21. Hi, Aaron,

    Thanks for thinking about that sort of option. I do think this reader community would be interested in continuing on this site, if that could be worked out.

    Since you are posting from the CIDU Bill account I assume you are logging on to Word Press that way and can access the dashboard or control panel for this site — that can of course work even if you don’t have the password in hand, since the PC or browser may have held onto some credentials that let you bypass entering the password. That’s perfectly fine for going ahead with adding people to the site’s administrative team.

    If this works, I will embed a screenshot that illustrates where in the dashboard that happens.

    Best regards,

    ==Mitch Marks

  22. larK, please let’s have your Dune stories! (I saw Aaron’s post in my email notifications, and have responded. But I am not really the only pivot point person to represent the community and I hope others will check soon.)

    Mine are more with the books than movie(s). I read the first one serialized in Analog whenever that was, like mid 60s? I think that was during the experiment with large format, which combined with the title change (it had been Astounding with a remarkable history) was hoped to make it come off more as a “quality magazine”. It must sort of worked — my parents sprung for a subscription.

  23. Raleigh: Oh. Maybe I could distract you with the tale of the time I
    fell into the water and was almost eaten by a hammerhead shark.

    Queen: Yes. All right, try that one.

    Raleigh: Well, Ma’am. [with a flourish] I fell into the water.
    [pauses for suspense] and was almost eaten by a shark…
    And the funny thing is, its head was almost exactly the
    same shape as a hammer!

  24. Community “adoption” of Bill’s account sounds like the fastest and easiest way to get up to speed with very little loss of continuity. It’s also seamless for the readers and commentators.

    One possible downside is the risk of internal conflict among committee members, but that exists with a replacement site too.

    Another would be the usual challenges and annoyances that come bundled with WordPress hosting.

    The final one I can think of would be determining who pays WordPress, with what funds from where, and how. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d really hate to see this space offered for rent to advertisers.

    Other than those points, it sounds to me like a winner, but I’d like to read others’ thoughts too.

  25. I agree with everyone, and I join everyone in thanking Aaron for his and his family’s generosity of spirit.

    The cost can be divided. It’s really quite low–my one for-pay WordPress site is $50/year.

  26. I can pay the cost. You and others here have already done well over $50 of work in figuring out technical issues (assuming your time is worth something).

  27. Those are all quite generous — probably it should be shared nonetheless, even though some individuals would not feel the pinch to provide individually. I would say it’s a matter of affirming that the community has many “stakeholders” as we say nowadays.

  28. Forgot this next step — this pops up after clicking on “Invite” button on People screen (Step 3 of previous screenshot).

  29. Thank you, Aaron. That is very generous.

    WW, I would certainly be willing to toss a loonie or toonie your way. Though low-value cross-border transactions are troublesome.

    I think it is vital that we do not burden Bill’s family with the financial cost of running the site. I think we also should not impose on them in any other way. If they would like to be involved in the site in any way, that’s fine, but, from Aaron’s comment it seems they are happy to set the site free. So we have to uncouple everything that might be connected to Bill’s accounts. E-mail, bank, hosting, etc.

  30. If the community takes over this site, then we become responsible for maintaining the archives and Bill’s scheduled posts. It would be very sad if those were lost somehow in a transition to a new site administration account.

  31. It may seem ungrateful not to want to accept such an eminently kind and sincere offer from Aaron, but I am more worried about the social implications of continuing to use this website, rather than the technical problems of setting up a new one. This CIDU community was forged and encouraged by Bill’s personality and extremely sensitive management. Separating and redirecting the accounting links for this system would probably be a solvable problem, but I just don’t feel comfortable with our committee assuming the rights to Bill’s list of moderational “stop” words, and I really don’t think that any of us should have access to the (presumably short) list of “banned” user IDs and e-mail addresses. That was (and is) extremely sensitive information, and should be kept private. (In the future, we may be confronted with the need to lock down an unruly user, but that is a problem that needs to be solved by us. We can refer to Bill’s principles, but not his data.)
    If Aaron wants to keep this address running in parallel to the new site, it would be nice to see whatever Bill still has in the queue for the next year or two, as sort of an occasional “Visit from Elijah” effect (presumably mostly on popular holidays, like Halloween and Christmas). However, I don’t think it would be fair to Bill to turn this into a “zombie” website. It’s OK for us to camp out and freeload for a little while, but please: let’s build a new home, one that will do justice to Bill’s imposing legacy, without imposing any sort of technical, financial, or moral legacy upon his family.

  32. Responding to CaroZ’s thoughtful remarks and questions from SEPTEMBER 29, 2020 AT 6:17 AM.

    If the community takes over this site, then we become responsible for maintaining the archives and Bill’s scheduled posts. It would be very sad if those were lost somehow in a transition to a new site administration account.

    The mechanisms of a possible transition are not clear yet, but as I see it, if a new cadre of managers/editors are added under their own accounts as Administrators, that does not mean removing or downgrading the CIDU Bill account. So posts that he has already scheduled will still appear as scheduled by the WP software — as we have seen happen twice successfully already. (I have no idea if there are more.)

    A different question arises for contributions / suggestions that readers had already sent in and Bill had no opportunity to read, process, and possibly post. 😞 They would still be in the inbox for the public announced email account on GMX.

    I don’t think the new managers/editors should, or would want to, take over that account. Even though it is supposed to be just for CIDU stuff, there may well be some stray personal correspondence or family matters there. So perhaps someone could log in to it ONCE — or better, ask Aaron if he would do this — and identify and FORWARD OUT the public CIDU submissions, for the new editors to receive and process.

    Any changes to the site by the new managers/editors would be small and slow in coming. (Except that new posts would be identified by new editors.) But one thing needed quickly would be to replace the CIDU submissions address shown in a small graphic with a new address, that the cadre would be receiving, so that there would be no further reason to intrude upon Bill’s email.

  33. @ Andréa – But that is exactly the point: this site is broken, it has lost its most crucial component. If you (and Aaron) will permit an impious comparison: this is like a car that has had a catastrophic engine failure. Even though we might be able to install some new spark plugs and get it running again, it still remains that most of the chassis does not belong to us. Aaron has been extraordinarily kind to offer a long-term, potentially permanent loan, but I still think we should leave this car in its home garage, and visit it occasionally to pay our respects, but take out a lease on a new machine for our future cruising.
    P.S. We will have to adopt a new submissions address anyway, and I think we’ve already agreed that the “squirrel” URL is of no value. It would also be good to correct a few of the items in the CSS that Bill was unable (or unwilling) to edit. All of this says (to me) that we would be better off starting with a clean slate.

  34. @Kilby: you’re seeing it as “Bill’s thing.”

    I believe a lot of people are seeing it as “That place Bill created.” Keeping it going after Bill is gone is not disrespectful, any more than (say) reading a magazine after the founder passes. And of course it will change. That doesn’t in any way diminish Bill’s work, creativity, and dedication–it means it’s still alive. Your suggestion is that it should stop changing … which is synonymous with “die.”

    I don’t see that as respectful or desirable.

  35. @larK — Are you the person who said you have some familiarity with Trello, or experience in organizing w*rkflow? [Censored for Lapin’s sensitivities! “-) ]

    Whether as a continuation on the present site, or a new setup, when there is a team rather than one person receiving submissions, corresponding with senders, uploading media, and composing and scheduling posts, there will likely be some mess and even lost items, or else some measure of a system. So far, the team exploring a new site came up with only something both sketchy yet cumbersome. ! [Fact, the bumbling was mostly mine own. ]

    So, larK or anybody with experience or skills in that area, and ready to contribute anything from high-level advice to hands-on tooling, please get in touch! Editors@cidu.info

  36. @ Carl Fink – I am not arguing against change, I am arguing for it. The single most important resource belonging to CIDU is the sense of community that we share. If we can establish a place for us all to continue to florish, then this community will continue to grow and evolve. I’m also not saying that there is any sort of a “bad aura” in the current site: I simply contend that this current CIDU website is far too connected with Bill and his personal, private data (and preferences) for outsiders to “take over”. If someone (anyone) is installed as the new “manager” for this (old) website, it will require an enormous amount of effort to identify and separate the public from the private aspects. This is simply not a job that anyone outside Bill’s family should be doing, and I don’t think it would be a good idea to start operations with that kind of legacy, nor do I want to ask Aaron to do that work for us. Let’s leave it here as a memorial, and move the community to a more flexible, wholly-owned property. I am sure that Aaron would grant us a direct link, and possibly a built-in redirection to the new URL. We can move forward on that new site, continuing to invite people into our new home, and Aaron can retain the former site for whatever purpose he sees fit. I might not check in here every day (or week), but I certainly will check for new posts at least once a month, just to see what things Bill wanted to share with us before his untimely departure.

  37. I agree with Carl Fink.

    I think there’s merit in both the viewpoints that (1) Bill would view someone taking over the blog as taking something from him and (2) Bill would view someone continuing the blog as a respectful continuation of his creation. The latter personally makes more sense to me, but in the end, I would want to respect whatever Bill would have wanted. I can’t claim to know what Bill would have wanted, but I think it’s reasonable to trust that Aaron is the best judge of the most respectful way to handle his father’s creation.

  38. Kilby, I think everyone agrees that we don’t want to impose “any sort of technical, financial, or moral legacy” on his family. I’m not sure I understand why you feel this is implied in taking up Aaron on his offer. I think the idea is that Aaron would hand over the website to new administrators, and they would take over all the technical and financial work of running the site. On the other side, if Aaron doesn’t hand over the site to someone, but he wanted to keep it running as a memorial, he would have to spend money on it. And without at least some maintenance time it will likely end up dominated by spambots, or with most of us blocked in permanent moderation, or both.

  39. blocked in permanent moderation

    Actually a minor question but needing to be decided if a management succession plan does go thru — do we want our comments held in moderation from the last couple weeks to be released en masse when someone visits the control panel? For mine, I kind of think not.

Comments are closed.