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. @ Arthur – Different results in different browsers probably indicate a cache effect. Try a forced page reload, or clear the browser’s history. I agree with Bill that he has no control over the information that WordPress produces, but you might try looking at the page source code (before and after), and see if the image URL shows up there.

  2. OK, I just checked in Firefox, Chromium, Internet Explorer, and Edge, and the page works fine. Images show up. I am now very curious what the mystery browser is. I speculate it’s either very obsolete, or some sort of caching issue as @Kilby surmises.

  3. When I logged in here a day or two ago, I could see the images etc. but could not read the comments (links grayed out). I got a popup saying that site didn’t have certificate-of-some-sort 1.3, which Firefox wanted, but that I could accept. to use certificate 1.2 (I think) for the site for now — but that at some point Firefox would no longer be letting me do that. So I accepted that option and then/now see everything as I normally did.

    Foolishly, I didn’t make a note as to the exact wording, but I did assume that if I had that problem somebody else here would also have it, and the odds are 99.9%+ plus that any other person here would be more technologically savvy than I am and would have reported it and explained to Bill how to “fix” it at his end (if in fact it needed said fixing). But it looks like that hasn’t happened.

    If I get the message again at some point I will of course report back with better detail.

  4. “Second best” evokes Will’s will, which left his wife the second best bed, and engendered continuing argument among historians and critics over whether that was a putdown or simply a designation of a valuable furnishing.

  5. Speaking of different browsers, what do you guys see as my Gravatar? I noticed today on the phone it was my real photo in dark red sweater, gray hair and pointy mouth-beard. But back on desktop with Chrome, it’s Truffaut in hat and cape. (Not completely mystery, as both those and others I have set as icon at different times.)

  6. Thanks, Carl.
    Now that we’ve entered description land, I wouldn’t know what to say about yours besides 3-D graphics with distorted perspective on telegraph pole and birds.

  7. @ Mitch4 – Ditto, I see hat & cape, but this is the first time I’ve zoomed in on it: up to now I thought it was a captured icon from one of the Dr. Who stars.

  8. larK, thanks for the mention, I think I saw it then but had in fact just changed my Gravatar (and following discussion by other CIDUers of their troubles with the service) so “regeneration” was not a surprise. I was surprised today to notice the other picture, on my phone.

    I think we discussed whether the browsers, and WordPress as server, (1) pull in the gravatars at download time, even for old posts, or (2) always pull them in, in principle, but are not in all contexts equally eager to refresh, or (3) sometimes store them [on Word Press server] along with the posts, so that an avatar might permanently remain the same on a particular post, even after changed at Gravatar service by the user and appearing in a new form on newer posts.

    The appearance of an old one on phone today — but for a new post — is puzzling, but more likely (2) than (3).

  9. It is definitely not (3) — I have observed, much to my annoyance — that past posts get the new gravitar upon update of the gravitar. This really annoys me, because it totally ruins my associative memory (I saw a post with a picture — the two are cross-indexed in my memory), and it really annoys me because this is exactly the opposite of what you are trying to achieve with the use of an icon! They are supposed to make things easier, not more difficult! (Are you LISTENING to me, all you UX designers?!!)

  10. B.A., Netscape Communicator was last updated in 2002. Navigator in 2007.

    WordPress quite properly feels no obligation to support software that obsolete.

  11. It works on my very old Firefox (10.0.12). It doesn’t work on my very old Opera (12.02). It doesn’t work on the lurker’s Opera (12.18). It’s not a caching issue, as I delete the cache every time I shut down, and the problem is still there after a restart.

    Bill, I was not overestimating your abilities. Nor was I *expecting* you to come up with a fix. I wanted to let you know in case you could remember doing something different for those that worked vs. those that didn’t *and* thought it was worth the trouble.

    Today, those that didn’t work still don’t. Flesh https://godaddyandthesquirrelmustbothdie.wordpress.com/2020/09/09/flesh/ does.

    I’m willing to go the extra step of running Firefox. I wanted Bill to know about the problem because it’s very hard to tell when lurkers become ex-lurkers and why.

  12. @ B.A. – It depends on what you mean by “these” days: that strip is dated 2007.
    P.S. @ larK – I’ve recently discovered that articles that appear in the Smithsonian’s e-mail newsletter are not necessarily new material. That one about Garfield was written in 2013.

  13. Well, maybe “sounds like” not meaning “could be mistaken for” but just “shares some features, like a Spoonerism”.
    But I think Arlo is avoiding acknowledging hearing “pedantic” as he then would have to admit being pedantic (tho correct!)

  14. Have I mentioned the trifecta morning when I was driving on the portion of W 55th Street in Chicago known as Garfield Blvd, and listening to NPR / WNYC program “On the Media” cohost Bob Garfield was interviewing Jim Davis, creator of the Garfield comic and marketing empire?

  15. @Kilby: I wasn’t posting it as breaking news, the gossip in the article is mostly from the early 80s, anyway. As I said, *I* recently came across it, not that *it* was recent (or not — frankly I didn’t even bother to look at the publication date); what I found interesting was the sheer cattiness of the piece, and the fact that it was associated with Smithsonian.

  16. @ larK – Only later did I notice that those articles are marked as “From the Archive” in the newsletter. I agree that the tone of the Garfield piece doesn’t conform to their usual standards. That probably belongs under the heading of “This is the opinion of the individual author(s), and does not represent the opinion of our organization“; similar to the standard boilerplate found on nearly every movie DVD with commentary in the bonus features.

  17. The vast majority of “colds” are not caused by corona viruses. They are usually rhinoviruses, a different class.

  18. That’s just an expression, Kilby: I also don’t think they’re actually kids.

    Now that THAT’S settled, though, what the hell is Tia Carmen talking about?

  19. B.A. asks: Now that THAT’S settled, though, what the hell is Tia Carmen talking about?

    I gotta ask more broadly, what the hell has been going on in Baldo the last couple weeks? There is this strange pickup romance going on between Tía Carmen and this stranger, Gregorio, who started up with her at the produce counter. Drawn in a more detailed, approaching realistic style than usual. And she has been telling him her story and the family history – how she came to be a mother-figure for Baldo and Gracie when their mother, Rosa, was killed in a car crash. With the two kids as passengers! (And which they survived, as we know – Gracie because she was in a child car seat, Baldo because he had his soccer ball along and it cushioned his impact.)

    Whatever the symbolic import of the kumquats in this episode’s dialog, they have been part of this storyline from the outset. That’s how Carmen and Gregorio met, both reaching for the kumquats. [Looking again – no, they were both reaching for tomatoes, but after that he showed the bag of kumquats he had gotten.] And there was some suggestive banter about them previously. (“But enough about my kumquats, Carmen … Tell me about you.”) [BTW, still “usted”]

    BTW, the word appearing in Baldo en Español is “naranjitas” which looks like a diminutive of “naranja” (“orange”). Google Translate gives English “kumquat” as Spanish “naranja china” (“Chinese orange”), and in reverse for Spanish “naranjita” gives English “Little Orange” which is apparently a name (?), while for Spanish “naranjitas” gives English “oranges”, not bothering to do anything about the diminutive.

  20. I wasn’t familiar with the expression used by Olivier, “do a cattleya”, but was happy to fiind the first search result pointed to no less a figure than Proust.


    in the early part of ‘Swann in Love’ we learn that Swann (the womanizer) and Odette (naughty courtesan) like to ‘do a cattleya’ (‘faire cattleya‘ in the original). I profess, I had to look this one up as my botanical knowledge of tropical flowers is limited to the sorry specimen of a peace lily crying out for water in the living room. A cattleya is a species of orchid, and a rather blousy one it is too.
    Odette wears them on her bodice and Swann takes to ‘rearranging’ them as part of his attempts at love-making. In time, ‘to do a cattleya’ becomes a euphemism for the general act of amorous fondling:”

  21. Now that THAT’S settled, though, what the hell is Tia Carmen talking about?

    He has a bag of kumquats. You can read some flirtiness into that if you like. A few of the commenters on GoComics hate the artwork and/or story. If will end tomorrow though.

  22. As I recall, this sequence (a repeat from a few years ago) was intended to show — in telenovela (soap opera) style — Carmen’s romance. Then she suddenly told Gregorio she wanted to grab his kumquats, he thought ¡Oh Dios, es una loca! and he was never seen again.

  23. Thanks for pulling my comment out f moderation, and replying with the term I was forgetting – yes the style (or story) seem to be cast as telenovela.
    But the byplay about his kumquats is made inescapable by his expression in this current strip.

  24. REMEMBER, TODAY – 12 SEPTEMBER 2020 – The Reuben Awards and NCS Fest go Virtual

    Today, starting at 10 AM, the National Cartoonists Society will present the second annual NCS Fest and the 74th annual Reuben Awards. This virtual event is free and open to the public.

  25. OK – thanks – now I can try to find out why mine’s ‘stuck’. Last time this happened, we got notification that GoComics was doing something to scr*w up the rss.

  26. “Can she really not understand what [a] difference it makes?”

    I’ve clothes-shopped with girlfriends; I’ve clothes-shopped with Hubby; I’ve clothes-shopped with stepdaughter from her age of 18 months to 14 years. Not ONCE has the question ‘for you?’ or ‘on you?’ been uttered. Something is either ‘cute’ or it isn’t. In this case, context doesn’t matter.

  27. @ Mitch4 – (“naranjita“) – It’s never safe to trust a Google translation without independent confirmation. Looking on the Spanish version of “Wikipedia” reveals that “naranjita china” is a possible alternative name for “kumquat”, but it is not widespread at all: there is no “citrus” reference listed for just the word “naranjita”. If you look at the artwork, it’s pretty clear that the original intent was “little oranges”, the fruit is clearly too big to actually be kumquats. I guess the authors decided that “little oranges” was too awkward for the English version, and went for a simpler linguistic alternative.
    P.S. @ “the symbolic import of the kumquats” – Even though it would clearly be far too suggestive for “Baldo”, my initial fear was that “naranjita” might be a slang expression for what are normally called “cojones” (“nuts”). As I suspected, they “han provocado una creación de sinnúmero de palabras” (“have provoked the creation of innumerable words”), including “bolas, cojones, cocos, huevos, entrepierna, [&] pelotas“, but (thankfully) notnaranjitas” (the feminine ending should have been enough of a tipoff).

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