A Note In Every Town

I love  this so much.

Looks like we could use an open thread. I’m headed up to the mountains to enjoy the hot springs today to help a friend celebrate a birthday.

What’s going on in your world today?

Open thread.

70 replies
  1. 1
    Anotherlurker says:

    Very cute! I just might take up the Uke.

  2. 2
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Love natural hot springs. Spent a relaxing afternoon at one in Ridgway when I was there two years ago.

  3. 3
    Balconesfault says:

    Wow, a point for Darrell Issa of all people. He started his questions to the FBI director asking about asset forfeiture.

    He relapsed quickly though.

  4. 4
    WaterGirl says:

    I like that the towns were in alphabetical order. I wonder if some enterprising person from the tourism office for MA will use this in a video or at least post it on their website.

  5. 5
    randy khan says:

    Open thread, so:

    Aussie House of Representatives Breaks Into Song After Passing Same-Sex Marriage Bill

    I’m a little surprised they didn’t chant “Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi.”

  6. 6

    Anybody got novel recommendations? Open to anything but romance, high fantasy, or Literature.

  7. 7
    rikyrah says:

    California ripped by wind-driven wildfires
    Rachel Maddow reports on devastating wildfires that are being driven across California by gusts of Santa Ana winds.

  8. 8
    WaterGirl says:

    CSPAN has the livestream ready to go on their front page, but it obviously hasn’t started yet.


  9. 9
    Origuy says:

    @Balconesfault: Professional interest. He might want to go back to repossessing cars one day

  10. 10
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    The guy in the video reminds me of this:

    “What was he wearing? Well, uh, let’s see, he was wearing a red argyle sweater, and tan trousers, and red shoes… Hmm? No, he’s not retarded.”

  11. 11
    JanieM says:

    My snarky side wants to say that some people have too much time on their hands, but I’m laughing as I say ig, because that’s just the flip side of how much I love stuff like that video. I’m trying to imagine the time it took to map the notes of the song to the list of towns, and just to drive around to all those towns (including islands!), and to make sure the uke was tuned just right at every stop, and (as someone said in the comments) to do the editing, and to make the map thingy……

    Very cool.

  12. 12
    Miss Bianca says:

    Shivering in my office, dealing with spotty Internet and *wishing* I were at the hot springs! Enjoy, TaMara!

    @Gin & Tonic: That wouldn’t have been Orvis, would it? My favorite hot spring! Worth moving back to the Western Slope for, IMHO.

  13. 13
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Anotherlurker: I play the uke (badly). It’s fun!

  14. 14
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Other than Romance, Fantasy or “literature”?

    How about the owner’ manual for a John Deere Gator utility vehicle?

  15. 15
    Tom Levenson says:

    What a hoot. Made my morning. In its honor I will sing the first three notes of Beethoven’s 5th as in about 250 yards, I bicycle from Brookline to Boston to Cambridge about 45 minutes from now.

  16. 16

    @Major Major Major Major: I just finished Boynes’s THE HEART’S INVISIBLE FURIES. It’s really well done. Probably counts as “literature.” :-)

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Major Major Major Major: William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. Or The Peripheral. Also, I’m rereading, all 20 volumes, Patrick O’Brien’s ginormous novel, from Master and Commander to Blue at the Mizzen.

  19. 19
    rikyrah says:

    Russia desire to end sanctions clear in Trump Russia scandal
    Rachel Maddow rounds up the different points in the Trump scandal where, while the Trump team side may be obfuscated, the Russia side is clearly motivated by a desire to end the sanctions imposed after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

  20. 20
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Tom Levenson:
    Sounds a lot like “literature” to me.

  21. 21
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Might be perilously close to Literature, but I really enjoyed Peter Mathiessen’s Shadow Country. The bonus is that you won’t have to ask for another recommendation for a while.

  22. 22

    @Tom Levenson: I really liked pattern recognition, I’ll check out the peripheral.

    Can’t remember if I ever finished O’Brien. Thanks!

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): I’ll look it up. Better not be literature!

  23. 23

    I have been to all of the above except Oak Bluffs!

  24. 24
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Miss Bianca: It was indeed.

  25. 25
    randy khan says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Older: A.S. Byatt, Possession; and Michael Chabon, The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

    Newer: Neal Stephenson, Seveneves; Liu Cixin, The Three Body Problem (although the translation of the second book in the series seems better to me)

    Okay, the older ones might qualify as Literature, in theory, but they still were awfully good, and K&C should be right up your alley, as it’s about comic books (sort of).

  26. 26
    different-church-lady says:

    @sylvania: Really not your best work here.

  27. 27
    WaterGirl says:

    Can we get a thread for Al Franken’s speech in the senate, please?


  28. 28

    @Major Major Major Major: Anything by Agatha Christie, or P. G. Wodehouse. Also too, Oscar Wilde.

  29. 29
    captnkurt says:

    That was adorable! Was a little disappointed he didn’t use the sign for Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg in there, though. It’s in Webster.

    For those interested in bettering yourselves, here is a song to teach you how to pronounce the name :-)

  30. 30
    different-church-lady says:

    @WaterGirl: …and a thread for the FBI director’s testimony? And a thread for the government shutdown? And a thread for the…

  31. 31
    debit says:

    @sylvania: This chucklehead again. What will it take to get this shitstain perma banned?

  32. 32

    @randy khan: didn’t like Kavalier & Clay, but I’ve never been into Chabon’s scene. Finished Seveneves a month ago, he should have stopped after part 2! Three Body Problem is already on my list :) I’ll check out Possession.

  33. 33
    tarragon says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Iain M. Banks’s culture novels. Science Fiction, space opera-ey

    The first book, Consider Phlebas is the weakest. Skip it.
    The second book, Player of Games is great.

  34. 34

    @different-church-lady: those are all distractions from me asking for novels.

  35. 35

    @Major Major Major Major: R. K. Narayan’s Malgudi Days.
    Smiley novels by Le Carre’.

  36. 36
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Just hearing that MSNBC reversed its firing of Sam Seder. Good. I wish they had never fired Martin Bashir way back when. Oh well. Win some, lose some.

  37. 37
    batguano says:

    Does this corporate AMT error prevent the House from just voting on and passing the Senate version of the tax bill?


  38. 38

    I have too much going on, as usual. Working right now. Getting my phone fixed during lunch. Practice tonight. Moving stuff into my new digs. Trolling republicans on Twitter using my ALL CAPS TRUMP-TAUNT VOICE (example: HAHAHA @SENATORCOLLINS SOLD OUT MAINE AND GOT NOTHING, VOTERS WILL FIRE HER SHE WILL NEVER BE GOVERNOR WE ARE COMIGN TO FIRE YOU). (yes, the misspellings are on purpose).

    Juvenile, but it helps get the aggression out.

  39. 39

    @tarragon: thanks, I was looking for a space opera as well as where to start with Banks.

  40. 40
    rikyrah says:


    RNC re-embraces Moore, Democrats call for Franken resignation
    Senator Mazie Hirono talks with Rachel Maddow about how why she thinks Sen. Al Franken should step down, and how so many Democrats coordinated to speak out at the same time.

  41. 41
    randy khan says:


    No, unless they want all of their contributions to dry up.

  42. 42

    @Patricia Kayden: I saw that! Yay.

    @batguano: probably? But you never know how shameless they might turn out to be. Pass the flawed bill and pressure democrats to help fix it.

  43. 43
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Tom Levenson: The Aubreyad! A glass of wine with you, sir!

    I was on my fourth voyage thru’ via audiobook when the CD player in my car broke down somewhere around “Treason’s Harbor”. Haven’t got it repaired yet. : (

  44. 44

    @randy khan: their contributors would not be amused by a massive corporate tax hike.

  45. 45
    Ramalama says:

    @captnkurt: I have a really good friend from Websta. She mentioned the lake’s name many times, but I never could get it right.

    This video reminded me of the conflicting pronunciations for Wareham (Ware-ham) and Dedham (Deddem/Deddum).

  46. 46
    rikyrah says:

    Watchdog or lap dog? Trump team stonewalling tests GOP Congress
    Rep. Adam Schiff talks with Rachel Maddow about how Trump team members have made up lame excuses for not answering questions in the Trump Russia investigation, which they will get away with if Republican leadership lets them.

  47. 47
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Bujold, Vorkosigan Saga (SF) or the Five Gods books (fantasy). She wins all the awards, and for good reason. If you’re comfortable with not having everything explained, try her novellas. “Mountains of Mourning” and “Borders of Infinity” for the SF, “Penric’s Demon” for the fantasy.

    I also keep pulling 1632 off my shelf lately. Time travel alternate history with the UMWA as the heroes….

  48. 48
    jeffreyw says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Have you read the Alterd Carbon books? Coming to Netflix soon.

  49. 49
    tarragon says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    The Culture novels are mostly disconnected. There is an occasional reference or bit of history between them, but I can’t imagine it would matter too much if you just went in any order.

    Bank’s novels Against a Dark Background and The Algebraist are science fiction not set in the Culture series. Both are excellent and standalone.

  50. 50
    Doug! says:

    I would support this if it were any other state.

  51. 51
    Schlemazel says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Have you read Scalizi’s “Lock In”? Not really SciFi but SciFi-ish detective story.
    Bradley’s “I Am Half-Sick of Shadows” is a CHristmas-based mystery that is pretty good.
    An old favorite of mine are Westlake’s Dortmunder series. You could start with “The Busy Body” which was the first although it is not really part of the series it introduces the characters and their MO. Marginally competent NYC thieves never quite manage to pull off the big caper.

  52. 52
    Roger Moore says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Anybody got novel recommendations?

    I would strongly recommend Ancillary Justice. It has a fascinating concept and is very well written.

  53. 53
    aimai says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: So funny! I love all those books–well, I’m not as big a fan of “five gods” as I am of Vorkosigan’s saga. I adore Vorkosigan’s saga and for years read and re-read them. Have you tried Wen Spencer’s Tinker series (a bit fluffier?) or her marvelous “A Brother’s Price” which is a steampunk re-imagining of what would happen in a fantasy world in which women form sister based alliances to purchase a husband, selling off their sons and brothers to do so. I also love 1632, although I never could get into the others.

    You might like SM sterling’s two related series: Islands in the Sea of Time (about what happens when nantucket is thrown back into 1250 BC and the Emberverse/Dies the Fire about what happens uptime when electricity and gunpowder cease to work and our present time is thrown back technologically, but not intellectually, into the middle ages. I love both of these series for their exploration of what it would be like for a modern/intellectual/educated person to have to deal with the physical and technological limitations of previous epochs, and what happens to pre-modern communities when social institutions and ideas like democracy or science get introduced.

  54. 54
    Schlemazel says:

    Hope you enjoy pie asshole

  55. 55

    @Schlemazel: those sound great.

    @Roger Moore: will look it up!

    @tarragon: thanks.

    And thanks to everyone else too! Link limit on posts.

  56. 56
    Schlemazel says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I assume you wanted something light & fun & these mostly qualify. The black dog insists I not read at the moment but when I can bring it to heel the DOrtmunder stuff is often my gateway back.

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    Also, I’m rereading, all 20 volumes, Patrick O’Brien’s ginormous novel, from Master and Commander to Blue at the Mizzen.

    One day, off work because of illness, I caught an Oprah interview with Russell Crowe. He was pitching the movie “Master and Commander,” based on the O’Brien novels. Loved the movie, and then got swept up in the novels.

    Great reads.

    ETA: I got so deep into the novels that I started reading about British naval history. Nicholas A. M. Rodger’s The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain, 1649-1815, the second book in a series on naval history, is a master work that deals not only with sea battles, but with politics, social history, the technical innovations that made the British navy so formidable, finance, training and command.

  58. 58

    @Schlemazel: dark & fun works too (currently reading a Sandman Slim book), but yeah, not looking for anything with Very Serious heft.

    Ever, but also not now.

  59. 59
    wormtown says:

    The farm I grew up on (and family still owns) is on for a nano second around 17 second mark. Cool! Thanks Tamara

  60. 60
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @aimai: If that’s the aspect of the 163x universe you like, then please revisit it via the Dr. Gribbleflotz stories, now collected in an ebook, The Galileo Affair, where among other story threads Sharon demonstrates surgery in Venice and Grantville’s uptimer priest is summoned for an audience with the Pope, and The Kremlin Games set largely in a Russian skunkworks. Uptime middle school science meets Aristotelianism.

  61. 61
    jeffreyw says:

    Stross’ Rule 34

  62. 62
    Kathleen says:

    If you enjoy mysteries I recommend anything by David Baldacci. He’s my go to for plane trips to Tampa and when I need to enter a totally different world and quiet my monkey mind.

  63. 63
    Heidi Mom says:

    @Major Major Major Major: You’ve made my day! Nothing makes me happier than being asked for book recommendations. I’ve just finished and highly recommend Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen. It’s a crime novel set in Atlanta in 1950, when the city has just begun hiring a very few black cops to police black neighborhoods. At the same time, a few brave people are breaking the racial boundaries in housing, white flight rears its ugly head, and the Klan (which includes some police officers) and even uglier groups (as in “Didn’t we just win a war against these guys?”) respond. The author doesn’t pull any punches but includes plenty of humor to offset the bleakness.

    Prussian Blue is the latest in Philip Kerr’s series about Bernie Gunther, a cop and (later) private detective who tries to retain as much honor as he can while staying alive before, during, and after WWII. This is one of his best, IMHO, involving a feud between Heydrich and Bormann, construction at Berchtesgaden in preparation for the Fuhrer’s visit, salt mines, and so much more — serious but very readable, complex but not hard to follow,

    The North Water by Ian McGuire is a pretty dark but gripping novel about a 19th-century whaling expedition where, of course, things go badly wrong. The protagonist, the ship’s surgeon, has to grapple with evil crew members, the weather, polar bears, and his own history. Hope I haven’t made it sound like a run-of-the- mill adventure novel because it most definitely isn’t.

    Doc by Mary Doria Russell is a fictional biography of Doc Holliday, pre-Tombstone. Val Kilmer’s portrayal of everyone’s favorite character in Tombstone, good as it was, only hints at how fascinating and complex Doc’s character and story are. There’s a sequel, Epitaph, that covers Tombstone and its aftermath; I didn’t like it as well because I’m not much interested in Josie Earp.

    Heat and Light by (fellow Dickinson College alumna) Jennifer Haigh is a novel about the impact of fracking and the Marcellus Shale boom on a variety of characters in PA. It hit close to home for me, but you wouldn’t have to be a resident of PA to find this both entertaining and worthwhile.

    “Entertaining and worthwhile” — that’s the sweet spot I’ve been trying to hit here. Let me know if you need more! I also read literature, non-fiction on a variety of subjects, and — my favorite — crime/mysteries/cop novels, everyone, so — requests welcome.

  64. 64
    Heidi Mom says:

    @Schlemazel: You too, huh? Sorry to hear that. When the black dog visits (seems unfair to use that term for depression, as Heidi is a mostly black dog and she brings nothing but light and joy), I reread my favorites — mysteries by John Sandford, Craig Johnson, Robert Crais, Michael Connelly, and the late, great Tony Hillerman; and everything by J. K. Rowling.

  65. 65
    Heidi Mom says:

    @Brachiator: One does get swept up in the novels! Although I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive the (late) author for a certain death that occurs late in the series, and for not telling us in detail how rhinoceroses are best stowed. And the movie is one I’ve seen several times — endlessly fascinating, and with a gorgeous Baroque soundtrack.

  66. 66
    Brachiator says:

    @Heidi Mom:

    One does get swept up in the novels! Although I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive the (late) author for a certain death that occurs late in the series, and for not telling us in detail how rhinoceroses are best stowed. And the movie is one I’ve seen several times — endlessly fascinating, and with a gorgeous Baroque soundtrack.

    I think I know the death you speak of and agree.

    And yep, I loved the movie’s music.

    ETA: I am also looking at your earlier comment here on book recommendations, and adding them to my list.

  67. 67
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I’d strongly recommend N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy if no one has mentioned it yet….

    ETA to give you an idea how much I liked this series, I’ve actually risked the spines of my trade paperbacks loaning them out. ;-)

  68. 68
    gratuitous says:

    If you’re a Car Talk fan, you will find Tom and Ray’s Cambridge (their fair city) at 47 seconds.

  69. 69
    MoxieM says:

    @captnkurt: You fish on your side, I’ll fish on my side, and no one will fish in the middle, eh?

  70. 70
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Tenar Arha: Not a series to start when depressed, though.

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