Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Hearts & Flowers Day

… or, as us relationship lifers call it: Amateur Evening!

Photo courtesy of ace photographer & funny dude Ozark Hillbilly.

And speaking of flowers, from the Washington Post“How the rose trade lifted Colombia – and nearly erased an American industry”:

The majority of roses Americans give one another on Valentine’s Day, roughly 200 million in all, grow here, the savanna outside Bogota, summoned from the soil by 12 hours of natural sunlight, the 8,400-foot altitude and an abundance of cheap labor.

Thousands of acres of white-tarped greenhouses, some the size of several football fields, are crammed with seven-foot stems topped with rich red crowns. Many are pulled into warehouses by horses, chilled to sleep in refrigeration rooms, and then packed with other flowers onto planes — 1.1 million at a time — to be sold in the United States.

It’s peak season for a massive Colombian industry that shipped more than 4 billion flowers to the United States last year — or about a dozen for every U.S. resident.

The Colombian industry has bloomed thanks to a U.S. effort to disrupt cocaine trafficking, the expansion of free-trade agreements — and the relentless demand by American consumers for cheap roses.

The transformation demonstrates the barreling, often brutal, efficiency of globalization: In 27 years, market forces and decisions made in Washington have reshaped the rose business on two continents. The American flower industry has seen its production of roses drop roughly 95 percent, falling from 545 million to less than 30 million…

Colombians don’t even celebrate Valentine’s Day, but among flower growers, the foreign holiday can account for close to 20 percent of annual revenue.

The volume of the rose trade is breathtaking. In the three weeks leading up to Feb. 14, 30 cargo jets make the trip from Colombia to Miami each day, with each plane toting more than a million flowers.

From Miami’s airport, the flowers are loaded into refrigerated trucks — 200 are needed each day — and from there many go to warehouses in South Florida, where they are repackaged, assembled into bouquets, and then shipped all over the country…

Walmart alone is purchasing 24 million Colombian roses to sell for Valentine’s Day. One of its senior associates, Deborah Zoellick, is so well known in Colombia and South Florida that her travels are closely tracked. That’s because any buying decision by the United States’ largest retailer can single-handedly change the flow of roses on two continents.

This year promised to be especially busy. Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday, a boon for Colombian growers, as they believe Americans are more likely to splurge on midweek sales and still count on extra purchases on the weekend before and after…

You should definitely read the whole thing, because the photos, as well as the stats, are amazing!

Apart from planning for V-Day, what’s going on in your garden/household/photo planning this week?

160 replies
  1. 1
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    Just going to bed, but this post looked lonely with no comments yet.

  2. 2
    Sab says:

    That heart moss photo is kvery cool. Thanks, Ozark hillbilly and Anne Laurie.

  3. 3
    Amir Khalid says:

    Colombians don’t even celebrate Valentine’s Day? That surprises me. It’s a thing in much of Asia, as far as I know.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sab: Actually, it’s a lichen but I have no idea which species.

    It’s peak season for a massive Colombian industry that shipped more than 4 billion flowers to the United States last year — or about a dozen for every U.S. resident.

    So who’s the fuck-up buying the roses I never buy?

  5. 5
    raven says:

    Maria Full of Grace is a great film that begins in the rose business in Colombia.

  6. 6
    Sab says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Lichens also cool, although ours are a bit too frosty lately.

  7. 7
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sab: I find lichens and mosses to be fascinating photographic subjects. I must have hundreds of pictures of them. I have one picture that looks like something from a coral reef, it has 7 or 8 different species in it.

  8. 8
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The Coral Reefers!

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Thanks for sending the picture to Anne.
    It’s another rainy day in GA, but there should be a window to do some yard work.

  10. 10
    satby says:

    Great photo Ozark!

    I’m back home, with a return of the killer cough thanks to dust and pollution, mostly in Cambodia. Left there Thursday morning, arrived home to a foot of snow Saturday morning too exhausted to dig my car out in the airport parking lot at South Bend. So I cabbed it home. I’ll go get it tomorrow, another inch of snow fell overnight. All the critters in fine form, so that’s a relief. Good pictures to follow. I missed you guys!

  11. 11
    raven says:

    @satby: Welcome home! The flight didn’t help your URI.

  12. 12
    JPL says:

    @satby: Welcome home.

  13. 13
    satby says:

    @raven: yeah, I wore a mask the whole time, mostly because my hacking and wheezing probably scared the other passengers 😝

    The dust in the village we were at outside Siem Reap was so bad roadside plants looked like they were made of terra cotta. I started wearing a mask the third day, but that was already too late for my usually well controlled asthma. Made me worried for all those people, breathing the dust, smoke from fires, and pollution has to be like smoking a pack a day.

  14. 14
    opiejeanne says:

    In the late 70s Israel was shipping roses to the US in massive quantities; it was expected to put the Texas growers out of business, and Texas had its own troubles with unexpected cold snaps that seemed to follow the explosion of greenhouse heaters. Maybe the harsh cold caused the heaters to blow up.

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Glad to have you back all in one piece, even if all the pieces aren’t working optimally.

  16. 16
    raven says:

    @satby: I drove convoys on dirt roads in the Mekong Delta with the windshield down, good times! But we did have goggles!

  17. 17
    Cermet says:

    @satby: Like the ‘good old days’ here in the US when coal was king and cities were often buried in the clouds of soot; but then, at least then ‘those people’ knew their place so it was a golden time for white males … or is that such a reference to the showers the orange fart cloud likes to take?

  18. 18
    opiejeanne says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That photo is great. I think lichen is weird stuff, but maybe that’s just me.

  19. 19
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    A lichen is a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria living among filaments of multiple fungi[1] in a symbiotic relationship.[2][3][4] The combined lichen has properties different from those of its component organisms. Lichens come in many colours, sizes, and forms. The properties are sometimes plant-like, but lichens are not plants. Lichens may have tiny, leafless branches (fruticose), flat leaf-like structures (foliose), flakes that lie on the surface like peeling paint (crustose),[5] or other growth forms.[6]

    They are definitely different.

  20. 20
    opiejeanne says:

    @satby: Oh ugh! I’m sorry you’re sick again and please don’t ignore it if the cough from hell doesn’t lighten up now that you’re back. A friend went on a planned vacation to Mexico right after Christmas despite having a “little cold”. She spent a week in a hospital there, with pneumonia. It can sneak up on you. Apparently I have walking pneumonia but I think I’m finally starting to mend, after 7 weeks.

  21. 21
    raven says:

    @opiejeanne: I was sick most of January too.

  22. 22
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @opiejeanne: Also this:

    A macrolichen is a lichen that is either bush-like or leafy; all other lichens are termed microlichens.[2] Here, “macro” and “micro” do not refer to size, but to the growth form.[2] Common names for lichens may contain the word “moss” (e.g., “reindeer moss”, “Iceland moss”), and lichens may superficially look like and grow with mosses, but lichens are not related to mosses or any plant.[4]:3 Lichens do not have roots that absorb water and nutrients as plants do,[7]:2 but like plants, they produce their own food by photosynthesis.[8] When they grow on plants, they do not live as parasites, but instead use the plants as a substrate.

    Lichens occur from sea level to high alpine elevations, in many environmental conditions, and can grow on almost any surface.[8] Lichens are abundant growing on bark, leaves, mosses, on other lichens,[7] and hanging from branches “living on thin air” (epiphytes) in rain forests and in temperate woodland. They grow on rock, walls, gravestones, roofs, exposed soil surfaces, and in the soil as part of a biological soil crust. Different kinds of lichens have adapted to survive in some of the most extreme environments on Earth: arctic tundra, hot dry deserts, rocky coasts, and toxic slag heaps. They can even live inside solid rock, growing between the grains.

    It is estimated that 6% of Earth’s land surface is covered by lichen.[9][10]:2 There are about 20,000 known species of lichens.[11] Some lichens have lost the ability to reproduce sexually, yet continue to speciate.[7][12] Recent perspectives on lichens include that they are relatively self-contained miniature ecosystems in and of themselves, possibly with more microorganisms living with the fungi, algae, or cyanobacteria, performing other functions as partners in a system that evolves as an even more complex composite organism.[13][14][15][16]

  23. 23
    Sab says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I do too.

    Sort of OT. I am an Outlander book and TV fan. In the second season the book author went to Scotland to participate. She had been a biologist before she became a fiction author. Running around Scotland with its gorgeous mountains, glens, forests, lochs and burns, she mostly came back every night and posted photos of weird or beautiful fungi she had found growing on trees. Interesting but strange.

  24. 24
    opiejeanne says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I marvel when I see one, breaking down a big chunk of rock. I don’t think I saw one and recognized it for what it was until I was in my 30s. I think I was in Yosemite and noticed some on a granite boulder and the lightbulb lit up. I’d read about them, read descriptions and explanations of them, but hadn’t had one pointed out to me before then.

  25. 25
    satby says:

    @raven: so you know exactly what it is like there.

    @Cermet: Yeah, the pollution in Bangkok, and where I transited in Delhi were pretty bad too. Wish we could send all the anti-regulations idiots there for a week to breathe that.

  26. 26
    satby says:

    @opiejeanne: I will take care. Asthmatic bronchitis and I have a long term relationship whenever I get exposed to extreme dust or pollution. Which is most of South East Asia, unfortunately. I’m going to have to be better prepared for it if I ever go back. Because we haven’t had that level of pollution in decades. Definitely shortens lives in that region.

  27. 27
    opiejeanne says:

    @raven: I know. I remember and felt bad that Southern California had made you sick.

    Here it’s so bad that the doctors and nurses and front desk people are all out, the clinics/urgent care centers are understaffed, and the pharmacies have repeatedly run out of the prescription cough syrup and other meds. We had to wait 5 days for some of our meds because neither Costco or the other pharmacies could get the stuff.

  28. 28
    satby says:

    @opiejeanne: on the plus side, I picked up most of my prescription meds OTC for less then $20 while I was in Thailand and Cambodia.

  29. 29
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @opiejeanne: There are few places worse than a Mexican hospital, especially if you don’t have someone there to do all the little bits of care that we Americans assume nurses and doctors will do. A buddy of mine had a ruptured appendix and spent almost a week in a Yucatan clinic with lizards climbing the walls and cockroaches the size of minibuses. The doctor saved his life but he was a butcher whose English was limited to “Mooooch poooooossss, Mooooch poooooossss.” His 2 traveling companions managed to care for him, doing everything from wiping his ass to changing his bandages and bringing him food for what little he could eat, while the nurses did nothing more than change his IV from time to time. Long before the doctor wanted them to, they took him out of the clinic and put him on a plane for the US, not knowing if he would survive the flight but knowing for certain he would not survive another week in the Yucatan. He did, and had 2 more surgeries and several weeks more in a hospital once back in the US.

  30. 30
    opiejeanne says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: 6% of the land’s surface? Wow!

    We have gray lichens that look like moss in some of our trees and we are told that it’s a sign of how clean the air is here.

  31. 31
    Amir Khalid says:

    Come to Malaysia next time. The air’s not so bad here — when volcanos are not erupting in the Philippines and plantations in Indonesia are not burning off old vegetation.

  32. 32
    Raven says:

    @satby: Yea, we were only 30 miles from Cambodia where the “Parrots Beak” jutted into SV.

  33. 33
    opiejeanne says:

    @satby: There is that, and it’s a blessing. I couldn’t do that in the EU but I did appreciate that in Ireland I could purchase a stronger athlete’s foot cream, only a little stronger than what is sold OTC here but it knocked down the problem right away. I need to go back because that big tube is running low.

  34. 34
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: In Negril in 1972 I saw a guy wearing shorts eat it on Honda going down a gravel road. You did not want to go to a Jamaican hospital then.

  35. 35
    satby says:

    @Amir Khalid: I would love to!
    I really liked Cambodia and I always enjoy Thailand. But the clay dust around Siem Reap was unbelievable. The local people would wet it down to reduce the dust, then you slid around on wet clay 😆. The tuk-tuk rides were epic.

  36. 36
    Baud says:

    @satby: Having been fortunate enough to travel abroad to many places, I can say that the EPA is one of the best things to happen to this country.

  37. 37
    opiejeanne says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Oh dear God. I’m glad he made it back. I’ve heard some terrible stories, having lived in SoCal most of my life.

    My friend’s six kids are all grown up, like mine, and she was there with the youngest but her twins took off work and flew down to make sure she had proper care. She was born in Guatemala, raised in Los Angeles, and traveled back there fairly often as a young adult to visit family. She was a pretty blue-eyed blond when she was younger, the soul of patience, and speaks Spanish fluently. She did not complain to me about the care in Mexico but the fact that those particular daughters dropped everything speaks volumes about the situation.

  38. 38
    evodevo says:

    As a biologist with background in genetics and evolution, I LOVE lichens …they are pioneers – the first to colonize hostile land environments, and probably among the first on land half a billion years ago, along with cyanobacteria and algae. they are some tough organisms.

  39. 39
    opiejeanne says:

    @Baud: Having grown up in Los Angeles in the 1950s/60s I agree. The smog was so bad on warm afternoons that our eyes burned.

  40. 40
    opiejeanne says:

    @satby: So the dust is a constant issue, except during the rainy season?

  41. 41
    donnah says:

    I’m really lichen that photo.

  42. 42
    Raven says:

    @opiejeanne: Yep, when I was a kid in Whittier in the late 50’s I had really bad breathing attacks.

  43. 43
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: No doubt. Allen’s travails were back in the mid nineties so things may be better now, but he was in a small village clinic with a traveling doctor and that dynamic is still the same over much of Mexico.

  44. 44
    Raven says:

    @opiejeanne: I Korea we used to say it was the only place in the world your could stand up to your knees in. Mud and have dust blowing in your face”! And then there were the hemorrhagic fever bugs in the dirt!

  45. 45
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @satby: You should try breathing in Beijing. You can cut the air with a knife there. And welcome back! So glad for your safe return. We got a light dusting of snow last night, only the second of this winter. The ski industry is hurting and we’re worried about drought.

    Time to leave for goats shortly. Sometimes we wonder why we get up on a Sunday morning to do this, until we start working with the animals, at least.

  46. 46
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Think the Walter Huston/little boy scene in Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

  47. 47
    NotMax says:


    Wish we could send all the anti-regulations idiots there for a week to breathe that.

    Send ’em on an all expenses paid vacation to Lake Karachay.

    Bonus: only need to buy ’em a one way ticket.


    B-J has a source ensconced there now.

    Today: Ireland, tomorrow : ???


  48. 48
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @donnah: Ouch.

  49. 49
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: Can’t remember that specific scene but google took me to a couple others and now I know what movie I’m watching this eve. :-)

  50. 50
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    It’s awesome, isn’t it? Mexico, too – you’re treated as an adult that understands the products which work for your unique body chemistry.

    My conclusion has always been that the excessive number of products on the list of things which must be prescribed is that the number is yet another prop for our overpaid, overcoddled white medical establishment.

  51. 51
    opiejeanne says:

    @NotMax: Yes, we do have a source in Dublin but I want to go back to Ireland and will use any excuse. We finally figured out where mr opiejeanne’s Irish family came from, but I want to spend some time in the genealogy library in Dublin looking for mine. I know roughly when my “John the Immigrant” arrived in Canada but have no idea how he’s connected to anyone there nor where he lived. He was well-educated, wrote a beautiful letter to his sons in Chicago in 1862, a letter that we have, so I imagine he wrote to family in Ireland as well. I may have to tackle the family in Canada first. Someone must have kept one of the letters he received.

  52. 52
    Schlemazel says:

    A maybe interesting note: A lot of those roses enter the US via Orlando International. In the early 90’s it was possible to but beautiful long stem roses for $5 a dozen from street vendors around Central Florida. I don’t know how these people got the roses but they were the freshest I have ever seen & would stay beautiful for a couple of weeks.

  53. 53
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Anybody else watching Sneaky Pete on Amazon? Graham Yost is the writer – he did Justified.

  54. 54
    Schlemazel says:

    @opirjran@satsby@raven – you all stay the hell away from me! I have been healthy all year so far & want to keep it that way!

    Seriously though, hope you are all better & stay that way.

  55. 55
    NotMax says:

    Attempt at following a recipe for the Instant Pot found on the intertoobz to make sweet ‘n’ sour boneless pork ribs resulted in a B+. Perfectly edible but a bit lackluster. Held half the package of meat back, as it was a trial run and now I have a good idea of what to doctor to bring the grade up to top o’ the class level.

  56. 56
    Schlemazel says:

    That is such an odd story. I have had more than my share of medical experiences and never had an issue obtaining any meds or heard of anyone having that problem around here.

    Actually I did have problem with one med. I was prescribed oxy when going through cancer treatment & couldn’t get that at any of the regular pharmacies. Finally had to get it from the hospital.

  57. 57
    satby says:

    @Baud: agreed. And it boggles the mind that greed and stupidity might drag us backward.

  58. 58
    satby says:

    @opiejeanne: yes. At least in the rural areas, which are mostly dirt or gravel roads. Pollution from gas and diesel engines and smoke from cooking fires too.

  59. 59
    Lapassionara says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The photo is great. About what size is the heart? Can’t tell from the random pieces of straw.

  60. 60
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning Everyone 😄😄😄

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    Countdown Clock:
    Five Days Until WAKANDA 😎😎🙆🙌👏

  62. 62
    satby says:

    @NotMax: I’m going to be making something from this writer, whom I think you first suggested. Great call.

  63. 63
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning 🌞!

  64. 64
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemazel: I have had to wait a day or 2 for meds a couple times but I think that has more to do with it being a small town pharmacy than anything else.

  65. 65
    debbie says:


    Welcome back!

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    Glad to hear that you got home safe, satby 😄

  67. 67
    rikyrah says:

    This sick season has been brutal 😠

  68. 68
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  69. 69
    debbie says:


    That’s about when my brother and his friends went there for spring vacation. Someone pulled a machete on them in Negril while they were trying to buy some dope and a couple of them ended up in the hospital. Not a good time for them.

  70. 70
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lapassionara: Those are pine needles, probably shortleaf pine, which are 3-5 inches long. The photo is 10 yrs old so I have no specific recollection of it but would guess it is about 6″ tall by 8-9″ wide. If you look at it closely you can see that it is 3 different blooms of lichen that have grown together.

  71. 71
    Nicole says:

    That was a really cool article, Anne Laurie; thank you for posting it. As another long-coupled, we tend not to do Valentine’s Day- my husband spent too many years waiting tables and yeah, it is Amateur Night. Though, one year, we went out instead on the day after Valentine’s Day to one of the “romantic” seafood restaurants in NYC (eh, it was fine). The tables around us were filled with couples made up of portly, eligible for AARP men and much younger, quite attractive women, and we kidded February 15th must be Mistresses’ Day.

  72. 72
    Lapassionara says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Ah. Thanks

  73. 73
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: @debbie: @O. Felix Culpa: thanks!
    I tried to lurk a bit when we had Wi-Fi, but the firehose of stupid in politics was hard to keep up with. Don’t feel like I missed much.

  74. 74
    Baud says:

    @satby: We, however, missed you.

  75. 75
    Humdog says:

    @Raven: I was a kid in Whittier from 1968 to 1985. We had days at school where it was too smoggy to go outside for recess and we had to sit at our desks.

  76. 76
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: You didn’t. SSDD.

  77. 77
    opiejeanne says:

    @Schlemazel: It’s stunning to me, being from Southern California and having Kaiser for most of my adult life. There are aspects of Washington state that are still a bit like living on the frontier, and now that I’ve said that I can’t remember any specific things that have made me feel like this was the edge of civilization, but there are little things every. now and then. This running out of cough syrup, the kind with an opioid in it so you will sleep, this is something new to us. The nearest place that had any was about 20 miles away and couldn’t fill the order completely. The Rite Aid ran out of the steroids that were prescribed but our grocery store had it. Neither had the albuterol asthma inhaler, though.

  78. 78
    NotMax says:


    If there’s a Costco nearby, no membership needed to make use of their pharmacy.

  79. 79
    Humdog says:

    Th same thing happened to the domestic carnation market. We had huge greenhouses of them in Colorado but it was discovered if you treat carnations with silver post harvest, they last nearly a month. The silver treatment was a pollutant, however, and domestic production was not allowed to use it although we allowed treated carns into the country. I never understood why we would import the carns contaminated with silver to dump in our landfills here. We got the end stage pollutant and the American company that created the silver treatment got their sales but our domestic growers got shafted and the South Americans got poisoned. Yeah international capitalism!

  80. 80
    NotMax says:


    Petal pushers.

  81. 81
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It does feel like a drudgery.

  82. 82
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    Wasn’t quite as dusty when we went, but was dry. Did you get to the Foreign Correspondent’s Club?

  83. 83
    opiejeanne says:

    @NotMax: We resorted to the other ones only after Costco told us they were out. They called all over the place for us for that cough syrup. The one thing I was forced to buy at Rite Aid was because the doc faxed them the prescription instead of Costco because I was so sick I just told them that was ok, didn’t want to drive all the way out to Costco. It’s a whole 5 miles away. I sound like my midwestern grandmother. That was the albuterol. I had the steroid prescription in my hot little hand and the grocery store had it in stock and didn’t gouge me on the price.

    P.S. I hate Rite Aid and will do anything to avoid doing business with them in the future.

  84. 84
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: When I get away, I want to get away from everything, not drag it with me.

  85. 85
    satby says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: oh, no. We were in a rural village outside Siem Reap to reach English in a local school and to build toilets in the village. The build team are my heros! And a family and their neighbors now can use a safe toilet in a brick enclosure instead of having to go into the jungle to go. The only time we were really in Siem Reap was when we went shopping or to Angkor Wat. Your pictures of that were great, btw.

  86. 86
  87. 87
    satby says:

    @Baud: missed all youse guys!

    @OzarkHillbilly: I figured.

  88. 88
    Tenar Arha says:

    Sitting here looking at a rite of passage…I got the offer to join AARP and am now wondering, is it worth it?

    ETA grammar

  89. 89
    chris says:


    I find lichens and mosses to be fascinating photographic subjects.

    That’s a great picture. Come visit Nova Scotia, we have lots of moss and lichens. Pic is from last fall but every year I think about a photo essay on the mosses and little flowers that come to life in the spring and every year I end up with a few phone pics. Maybe this year.

    Since this is a garden thread, a reminder that, depending on where you live, it’s time to look into spraying dormant oil on your fruit trees to kill off the pests that overwinter. Found this article if you want to make your own.

  90. 90
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tenar Arha: I joined. Never read the publication, never use the membership for deals. I joined because the AARP advocate for the financial and health interests of old folks, and they scare the piss out out of Repubs.

  91. 91
    Schlemazel says:

    That just sounds so weird in a modern society. That is painful to hear

  92. 92
    Sab says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Tenar Arha: Yes join. They are to Medicare what the NRA is to gun nuts.Lots of members, and Congress listens to them.

  93. 93
    NotMax says:

    Spoke with Mom on Saturday, who expressed both astonishment and trepidation that she turns 90 later this week.

    Told her “90 is the new 70” and she said she said she felt much better about it.

  94. 94
  95. 95
    opiejeanne says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: We joined. We use our membership for Delta Dental group insurance which has been worth it for us.

    Sometimes we read the articles. One time we opened it up and there was a friend from the Bay Area who was featured in an article along with several other pretty women who do not look their age.

  96. 96
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    Thanks on the photos! I actually limited my number that I took so I could enjoy more with my own eyes.

    If you get a chance to return, though, the FCC is great. Kind of a Hemingway throwback, funky vibe. Got top shelf whiskey, healthy pour for $6 a drink.

  97. 97
    raven says:

    @Humdog: Did you go to Cal High?

  98. 98
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I don’t know if you’ve seen it but it’s fantastic. Robert Blake is the little boy who sells Bogie the lottery ticket that gives them their grub stake.

  99. 99
    NotMax says:


    And will be catching holy hell when she receives the gift shall be mailing this week. “I’ve told you again and again not to spend your money on me.”

  100. 100
    NotMax says:


    And that’s John Huston as the American who Bogey hits up repeatedly for a handout.

  101. 101
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: Yeah, we own it. It’s a great movie, one I have neglected for a couple years. Now that you mention it I remember that bit about Robert Blake.

  102. 102
    raven says:

    @NotMax: While getting a shine!

  103. 103
    NotMax says:

    @Ozark Hillbilly

    For those who enjoy The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, run, do not walk, to seek out The Wages of Fear. Even if you hate watching something with subtitles, this will be the exception.

    The original book of Treasure was written by B. Traven, whose life and history remain murky and mysterious. His novel The Death Ship is one of those which not only remains vivid in memory but shall evermore hold a place of honor there. Movie made based on it is a noble attempt but nowhere near as powerful a the book.

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    WaterGirl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: What an awful experience!

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    SiubhanDuinne says:

    A few weeks ago, you encouraged me to see TotSM on the big screen — which I did, and adored. Wanted to thank you, but then you had the crisis with your son and by the time you returned, the moment had passed. But now that it’s come up organically, please know that I thought it was wonderful and I will probably buy a DVD of it so I can see it again. A justifiable masterpiece.

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    Leto says:

    @Raven: Iraq and Afghanistan were similar, just without the hemorrhagic fever bugs. Apparently a lot of the dust had fecal matter, so that was fun.

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    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    The air’s not so bad here — when volcanos are not erupting in the Philippines and plantations in Indonesia are not burning off old vegetation.

    I was in Miami once or twice when the Everglades were on fire. It’s been 40+ years, but the aroma is … unforgettable.

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    satby says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: the next up is The Philadelphia Story. Can’t wait to go see that on the big screen!

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    Humdog says:

    @raven: Should have gone to cal hi as I lived up the street from it and would play there, swim there, go to games there, but my folks moved me to a Christian high school so I would only date the “right” guys.

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    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: Thanx, on the lists now.

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    raven says:

    @Humdog: My old man was the first B-Ball coach there. I went to Mulberry and we lived right across the street on Rufus.

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    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched it but it is always worth watching again.

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    NotMax says:


    Really, was Walter Huston ever not pitch perfect in any role he took on?

    A favorite scene, the ending of The Devil and Daniel Webster, with Huston as Old Scratch, no dialogue necessary.

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    Amir Khalid says:

    During the great Haze of ’97, everyone in Peninsular Malaysia could smell the trees burning in Kalimantan (the Indonesian part of Borneo) and Sumatra. And at my suggestion (he said modestly) my newspaper ran a quote from a Bob Dylan song:

    How many times must a man look up
    Before he can see the sky?

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    germy says:

    Bad appointments are nothing new with Republicans.

    John Gavin, a Hollywood actor who had major roles in the Roman epic “Spartacus” and Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller “Psycho” before being named U.S. ambassador to Mexico, where he had a tumultuous five-year tenure in the 1980s, died Friday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 86.

    In 1980, he campaigned for his old friend from Hollywood, Ronald Reagan, the Republican nominee for president. After Reagan won the election, he nominated Mr. Gavin as ambassador to Mexico.

    Mexican authorities and some State Department officials were perplexed at the choice. At the time, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, along with consular offices throughout the country, constituted the largest American diplomatic mission in the world.

    Although he had been a Navy intelligence officer and was fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Mr. Gavin had no previous diplomatic experience.

    Mexicans knew him primarily for television in commercials in which he advertised Bacardi rum. Wags joked that an equivalent appointment would be to name Mario Moreno, a popular comic actor known as Cantinflas, ambassador to the United States.

    The Senate confirmed Mr. Gavin for the post in 1981. From the beginning, as the Los Angeles Times noted five years later, “he displayed an instinctive ability to antagonize just about everyone whom diplomats usually try to cultivate.”

    He was absent from Mexico a third of the time, often spending four-day weekends in Los Angeles. He insulted journalists from both Mexico and the United States, telling some that he knew their bosses and could get them fired.

    His meetings with Mexican clergy members and opposition political groups were interpreted as efforts to interfere in the country’s internal politics. There were calls for him to be declared persona non grata and expelled from the country.

    When Mr. Gavin resigned his ambassadorship in 1986, a column in Mexico City’s El Universal newspaper described him as “arrogant, imprudent and meddlesome” and as “one of the most ghastly ambassadors” to Mexico in years.

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    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Another great movie. Cary Grant can always make me laugh.

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    aimai says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Right. Also there’s a huge industry in rose petals to be strewn at weddings and at indian dance ceremonies. We had to buy several thousand petals for my daughter’s dance recital. Who knew that you bought them pre-stripped and packaged fresh?

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    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Perfect quotation! And for sure, both the particulate matter and the associated smells manage to travel great distances and often do significant damage.

    Another related Florida memory, this from my years living in Tampa, is of cold nights when the citrus farmers would put out smudge pots to keep the ripening oranges from freezing on the trees. I expect Betty C. and Adam S. can relate!

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    WaterGirl says:

    Just catching up on last night’s threads. I just watched Torvill & Dean, and for the first time in 7 years with my kitty, she was entranced by what was on my computer screen. She never paid the slightest attention to my computer screen in all these years. Pretty sure she gave them perfect marks!

    And lamh, I wish you had broken the news about our beloved Idris more gently. sniff-sniff

    The big snow they predicted passed us by, so instead of looking out at a beautiful snow-covered years I am looking at brown and green grass. Sad!

    Just 3 days until the two crazy pups come to visit! I suppose it would be a blessing for feet wiping if we could have above freezing and no snow or rain while they are here. For anyone who missed it, my niece’s two 4-month old lab mix pups will be staying with me for 10 days while they are out of state. ‘Cause 2 dogs and 2 cats just wasn’t enough… I have been telling my kitties about the upcoming visit but I am pretty sure they will still not be prepared.

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    Amir Khalid says:

    Another potential market for flower exporters: President Trump might decide he wants rose petals strewn in his path wherever he makes an official visit.

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    WaterGirl says:

    @Amir Khalid: Kudos to you for that one, Amir!

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    JMG says:

    @WaterGirl: Never met a grown cat yet who couldn’t show a puppy what’s what in very short order.

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    Brachiator says:


    For those who enjoy The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, run, do not walk, to seek out The Wages of Fear. Even if you hate watching something with subtitles, this will be the exception.

    Definitely a great movie. I saw a restored version, with scenes not in the release typically shown in art houses. I hope this is the version available now.

    British film critic Mark Kermode absolutely loves the 1977 remake, “Sorcerer,” which features Roy Scheider. It’s very good, but doesn’t hit as hard as the original.

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    WaterGirl says:

    @Amir Khalid: I am done referring to him as “President Trump”. Now he is either “Trump” or “the pretend president”, or anything that has the word orange in the name. This piece of crap pretend president does not deserve the respect of the office that “President Trump” confers on him.

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    NotMax says:

    @amir Khalid

    American Beauty roses, natch.

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    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Me too! Only a week from today! And in March, we get Vertigo, another favorite.

    ETA: Welcome home! So glad you had a productive and enjoyable trip, and that you’re back safely. Now get better, soon and fully.

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    WaterGirl says:

    @JMG: Oh yes. Miss Willow will definitely keep the pups in line, but Mr. Bear always gets stressed when I go away or when we have visitors.

    It’s beautiful to watch Miss Willow, the only “girl” in the house besides me, who is so maternal. When my dogs were pups she kept them in line, but if anyone – dog or cat – got too rough with the puppy, she would step in, always on Team baby doggie.

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    NotMax says:

    TCM alert.

    The Third Man coming up at 3:30 p.m., Eastern time.

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    Brachiator says:


    John Gavin, a Hollywood actor who had major roles in the Roman epic “Spartacus” and Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller “Psycho” before being named U.S. ambassador to Mexico, where he had a tumultuous five-year tenure in the 1980s, died Friday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 86.

    Of course, some diplomatic postings (Britain, France) are often used as rewards for friends and big donors, even if the relationship with the countries involved are seen as important.

    ETA. According to some obits, Gavin was considered for the role of James Bond before it went to Sean Connery.

    I also read someplace that Cary Grant was also sought after by the producers to play Bond.

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    Humdog says:

    @raven: My siblings graduated from Cal Hi from 1972-1975. Were those your father’s years?

  133. 133
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    As a biologist with background in genetics and evolution

    And with that, you have helped me decipher you nym!

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    Amir Khalid says:

    I understand and share your feelings. From now on I’ll stick to calling him just Trump, or der Scheißgibbon.

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    raven says:

    @Humdog: No, 59-61 when it was brand new. I think La Serna came online shortly thereafter. (My previous post has a picture embedded.

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    germy says:

    @Brachiator: I didn’t know Grant was considered for Bond. I thought he’d “aged out” (as Hollywood calls it) by the 1960s.

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    germy says:

    There is a movie theater in our neighborhood that plays classic films on weekends.

    There is nothing like the big screen experience. Last year we saw Rear Window. I’d seen it before on TV and computer screen, but seeing it in a theater was like seeing it for the first time.

    Same thing with Hitchock’s Rope. Seeing it on the big screen, I felt like I was watching a stage play. Intense.

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    Another Scott says:

    @satby: Welcome back! Good luck with the car. Hope you get the conquer the cough quickly!

    Looking forward to the pictures when you’re feeling better and have the time. Don’t rush.


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    Amir Khalid says:

    Cary Grant was in his late fifties when Eon Productions was casting Dr. No. I can imagine them specifying to the casting director a younger version of Cary Grant, but the man himself? I doubt it too.

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    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Wow, that’s a movie I haven’t seen in a million or so years! What a delight — thanks for the link. Must track it down to watch the whole film straight through.

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    Brachiator says:

    @germy: RE: Cary Grant as Bond.

    Apparently, Grant was a friend of the producer. Also, I found this at the James Bond Wiki…

    Cary Grant had accepted the role, but he had wanted his contract to included only one film due to his old age of 58. This caused producers to drop him and Sean Connery ultimately took the role as the first James Bond in 1962.

    Grant aged well and was always charismatic. Maybe he could have been a good Bond. Still I am glad that Connery got his license to kill.

    Roger Moore was 58 when he did his last Bond film.

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    NotMax says:

    @a href=”″>germy

    Walk, Don’t; Run (a tepid remake of The More the Merrier), was his swan song.

  144. 144
    NotMax says:


    @>a germy

    Walk, Don’t Run (a tepid remake of The More the Merrier), was his swan song.

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    Brachiator says:


    Same thing with Hitchock’s Rope. Seeing it on the big screen, I felt like I was watching a stage play. Intense.

    And of course Rope “is notable for taking place in real time and being edited so as to appear as a single continuous shot through the use of long takes.”

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    WaterGirl says:

    @Amir Khalid: Excellent!

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    germy says:

    @Brachiator: Yes, which is why it felt like a stage play. The view out the window; the cityscape. It gradually fades from daylight to night. No cuts.

    There’s a moment in the film where Stewart has an angry outburst. People in the audience recoiled, like from a sudden explosion.

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    Amir Khalid says:

    Moore should have retired from the role before then.

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    Humdog says:

    @raven: I saw your picture but didn’t catch the year. Hello kinda former neighbor!

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    Brachiator says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Moore should have retired from the role before then.

    The money was too good and the producers wanted him.

    Supposedly Tom Hardy and James Norton (Grantchester) are in the running to play Bond after Daniel Craig’s last turn as Bond in the next film.

    Norton is younger, but Hardy has more screen presence.

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    WaterGirl says:

    @Brachiator: But James Norton has that certain something.

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    Denali says:


    Havn’t done the volunteer work abroad that you experienced, but we did visit a school outside of Angor Wat with a tour that was the least equipped of all the schools we have visited on our trips abroad including Turkey, Chile, and Costa Rica. It was heartbreaking. It must have been very gratifying to actually make a difference.

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    dr. luba says:

    @opiejeanne: It may not be Washington, depending on how long ago you moved.

    There have been weird shortages of all sorts of generic medicines in recent years, and very pronounced in this decade. Last spring it was prednisone. Currently it is atenolol….and dilaudid. There are lots of others, of course, but these are the ones I’ve run into. Google “generic drug shortages” and you’ll get a slew of links to the FDA and NIH and others.

    Hospitals are particularly hard hit; so much so that several large hospital systems are banding together to create their own generic drug manufacturer.

    The hurricane damage to Puerto Rico has just exacerbated a situation which already existed, by making IV fluid bags scarce, too.

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    Ruckus says:


    breathing the dust, smoke from fires, and pollution has to be like smoking a pack a day.

    So, like living in southern CA in the 70s.
    Hope you are better soon.

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    Ruckus says:

    We used to have smudge pots all around socal, when we had extensive citrus groves, back in the 50s/60s. Don’t remember when they disappeared, but it was a long time ago.

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    satby says:

    @Denali: yes, it is heartbreaking; and the teachers do a lot with very little. The kindergarten teacher was only 19, but one of the better teachers I’ve ever seen. She attends university after school hours. And her English was quite good.

    I’m trying to figure out how I can support them from here. One of their wishlist items is a large copier / printer so they can duplicate worksheets. For the kids to have pages to color the teacher and I drew pictures on plain paper. I am NOT an artist, so mine were pretty lame, but the kids didn’t care.

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    opiejeanne says:

    @dr. luba: We moved here in 2010 and I heard about the shortages and solutions a while ago, but I’m sure this current shortage is due to the number of flu cases in Western Washington. Prednisone is the drug that the grocery store pharmacy had in stock when Rite Aid did not. The second time I was prescribed it and the first time my husband was, Costco had it in stock.

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    opiejeanne says:

    @Ruckus: I think the last time I knew smudge pots were used was in Riverside in the early 70s.

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    J R in WV says:


    Still a firehose of stupid. The topics change a little from week to week, but the stupid is always the same color. Heh.

    When I was a kid and we would drive to Charleston, the air was yellow in Chemical Valley! You could smell which plant was doing what if you were experienced, but since we were only in town a handful of times a year we were just irritated. A special metals plant was the easternmost source, ammonia at DuPont, Chlorine at FMC South Charleston, pesticides at Union Carbide Institute, agent orange at Monsanto in Nitro and secret stuff at lots of them.

    Much better today, though the regs are vague and much self-reporting is used, so if you believe that such companies will sele-report, OK.

    We’re going to Mexico for an adventure cruise around the tip of the Baja California peninsula, doctor on board, small ship, supposed to be more like summer camp with tiny cabins than luxurious giant liner with casinos and night clubs. No TV, but there’s a bar. Right now I’m having some ear trouble, but family doc thinks I’ll be good to go by departure time. And I firmly believe salt water is good for you in small doses.

    Whales, sea lions, turtles, I would dearly love to see some nudibranches, other sea floor critters. If not, still desert islands with blue footed boobies, Sonoran desert flora and fauna. Wish us luck!!

    Taking some “in case” medications, though.

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    J R in WV says:

    Help, in moderation for some reason, maybe chemical, pollution?

    Arggghhh! Casinos!!!!!!

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