Sunday Morning Open Thread: Could Be Worse

The first of our daffodils have opened, near the south-facing front window that leaks heat. They’re not looking very prosperous — I suspect because it was a cold winter without the usual snow cover to protect them. But they’re showing defiantly yellow against the brown-grey winter detritus, and here north of Boston that means we can generally assume that Spring is due, give or take one last ‘surprise’ snowstorm.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t have the courage to share (nor, I suspect, the Washington Post to publish) this entertaining but also terrifying photo-essay on the proud winter sportspersons of Michigan’s Upper Pennisula:

Yoopers, a name for residents of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, don’t just endure winter, they embrace it, creating plenty of outdoor fun during their months of never-ending cold and snow.

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is one of the coldest and snowiest regions in the United States. Snow can fall from October until May, producing 150- to 300-plus inches of snow a year. Much of the snow falls as lake-effect snow, which occurs quite frequently, particularly in areas near the southern shore of Lake Superior. It’s not uncommon for snow to fall during five or six months of the year.

So what’s their secret to surviving and embracing their long, cold winters? Yoopers have learned to dress for the weather and accept their frigid, frozen fate with a good attitude. Cold and snow is just a part of life in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, much like heat and humidity is part of life in Florida.

And it’s possible a few of them may go just a little crazy during those long winter months, if the photos above and some that follow don’t make that obvious.

Devon Hains, a photographer who shoots surfers in the frigid water of Lake Superior during winter, took some amazing shots during the peak of the polar vortex last January when temperatures plummeted below zero in Michigan.

I asked Hains how the surfers keep warm in such cold temperatures? “They use a 9 mm thick wetsuit and keep a five gallon jug of hot water in their car nearby so if they ever experience an influx of cold water into their suit, most often in a boot, they can pour hot water into their suit and head back out,” he responded…


Devin Hains, Washington Post

I managed to live in Michigan for fifteen years without ever visiting the UP. In my defense, my first freshman roommate was a proud Yooper, and it took her as long to drive home to Iron Mountain (on the far western side) as it did for me to drive back to the Bronx, partially because the NYC-bound roads were in rather better condition.






192 replies
  1. 1
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    “They use a 9 mm thick wetsuit and keep a five gallon jug of hot water in their car nearby so if they ever experience an influx of cold water into their suit, most often in a boot, they can pour hot water into their suit and head back out,” he responded…

    He means a dry suit. Water is supposed to get into a wet suit, that is why it’s “wet”. And anyone who says they’ve never peed in their wetsuit is either a liar, or never had to wear one for more than an hour or 2.

  2. 2
    Mary G says:

    That looks like hell.

  3. 3
    raven says:

    Just to make sure i DID send garden pics last week.

    Attachments
    Sat, Mar 16, 6:33 PM (8 days ago)
    to AnneLaurie

    Here’s some shots.

  4. 4
    Raven says:

    Izzo is a yupupper, Iron Mountain.

  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The first of our daffodils have opened,

    Not fair. My daffodils still haven’t bloomed

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    Ugh, Iron Mountain. Not the most oppressively drab and dreary city I’ve ever been to but certainly in the bottom decile.

    Went there for a job interview when the ink was still wet on the B.A. and turned them down after visiting.

  7. 7
    J R in WV says:

    I’ll just note that they were only able to locate 2 guys crazy enough to be playing in the water in sub-zero weather. So I won’t call that typical UP behavior, which I bet mostly involves getting closer to the wood stove with spirits to drink.

    I hate insomnia. I have a kitty who love me very much, and loves to sneak onto me in the cold wee hours to sleep, which for a very long time was wonderful. But now I ache, and need to move around more, which upsets kitty. And other distractions, like numbness in my hands…. grr. I love to sleep, too.

    I grew up in a night shift family, and being awake into the wee hours, and sleeping til whenever was the lifestyle, when Dad was getting home from work at 3 am. I still lean that way naturally.

    WE have a ton of daffodils along the driveway, they’re been gorgeous for several weeks now. Other spring things are happening, the maples are brilliant scarlet in bloom. Not as showey as the fall color, the blooms are only 3/4 of an inch, but the color is far better than the fall reds, more saturated.

  8. 8
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: I’ve written about my wild trip to take my sis up to the Soo to meet up with her hubby who split the draft. I almost froze to death hitching back in August!

  9. 9
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @J R in WV: I love it when the maples bloom. I know the dogwoods and redbuds are soon to follow.

  10. 10
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: We’re having our ancient dogwood cut down after one last bloom

  11. 11
    J R in WV says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Yes indeed, just a few more weeks of sunshine and they’ll be out.

    We have a lot of redbud, a few serviceberries, and still some dogwood, in spite of the new fungus that’s supposed to put the dogwoods down.

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    FYI, Yooperdom in full flower in the movie Escanaba in da Moonlight. IIRC still available on Amazon Prime.

  13. 13
    raven says:

    @J R in WV: Full bloom in Georgia.

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Alien turns 40:

    It has scared generations of filmgoers; triggered sequels, prequels, computer games and graphic novels; and made a star of Sigourney Weaver. But most of all, the film Alien – which is about to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its first screening – has spawned an academic industry unsurpassed by any other film.

    Over the past four decades, dozens of books, hundreds of journal articles and innumerable college courses have analysed, frame by frame, Ridley Scott’s story of a bloodthirsty creature stalking the crew of the spaceship Nostromo. No other film, not even The Godfather or Psycho, has generated quite that amount of attention.

    And now that academic outpouring is about to reach a new peak as the film approaches its anniversary next month. Events will include the release of new Blu-ray versions of the film, the screening of a documentary of its making, Memory: The Origins of Alien; and the staging of a two-day symposium, 40 years of Alien, that will be held at Bangor University in May. Speakers will give talks on “Alien and race, ethnicity and otherness”; “Alien and psychoanalysis”; and “Alien and neoliberalism, post-industrialism and the rise of multinational corporations”. Proceedings are scheduled to be published by Oxford University Press.

    “The amount of academic work that has been written about Alien is phenomenal,” said Alice Haylett Bryan, a fellow in film studies at King’s College London. “But in a way that should not be surprising. The film contains themes about motherhood, gender politics, post-humanism, biology and so much else. Almost everything we can do in film studies we can do through Alien.”

    Just watched the trailer again. I still love how the graphic slowly comes up on the screen and the tag line, “In space, no one can here you scream” is perfection itself.

  15. 15
    Betty Cracker says:

    Spent most of yesterday installing backsplash tile in the kitchen. My hands are cut to bits, and I keep finding mortar in my hair. Today, I am Grout!

  16. 16
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: And it makes me sad. We had an absolutely glorious one out by our septic tank, at least 40 yo. Sadly, in the process of putting in the badly needed septic field roots had to be cut and it died a couple years later.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    @Betty Cracker

    Jewels of the East Buttcrack collection?

    ;)

  18. 18
    David says:

    Kind of a weird article on winter in the U.P. with no photos of ice fishing or snowmobiling.

  19. 19
    Sab says:

    I am watching the reddest sunrise I have ever seen right now. I hope it doesn’t bode ill for today’s weather.

  20. 20
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My problem is that we put up this gingerbread her dad took off the house owned by the One eyed Confederate In Appomattox and you can’t see it when the tree is full.The sad news is you can’t see it in this pic.
    https://flic.kr/p/VnoLKi

  21. 21
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @J R in WV: The fungus hasn’t gotten here yet, either that or our dogwoods are immune to it. I have mentioned in the past that I have an over abundance of dogwoods and a meager representation of redbuds, a situation I intend to remedy at least a little bit with the planting of one in the new “water feature garden” I am installing. I am as fond of their heart shaped leaves as I am of their purple blooms.

    Last year my serviceberries barely bloomed at all, no idea why. Looking forward to a strong return this year.

  22. 22
    Drunkenhaufrau says:

    Our beloved pug, Buster, just passed away. 14 years. I’ve been coming here since before we got him. It hurts like hell.

    When I am feeling up to it, I need to figure out what to do with all his nice stuff. So another doggy can use the life jacket, for instance.

  23. 23
    Ruckus says:

    @J R in WV:
    Welcome to my world. It’s 4am here and I can’t sleep. I want to sleep, It seems like a good idea to sleep. But the migraine says no, bugger off.
    Maybe I’ll give it a try again, see if sleep will come, blissful or not. Who knows stranger things have happened.

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sab: Red sky morning, sailor takes warning.

  25. 25

    @Ruckus: Bummer. Sleep is good for a migraine. Give it another try.

  26. 26
    Jim Parish says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.

    (Or is it “sailors”?)

  27. 27
    Sab says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I know. The weather prediction was sunny and cloudless, but now these gray clouds are rolling in.

    @Ruckus: Good luck on the sleep thing. I was awake from 1 am to 3 am. I did get back to sleep until 7.

  28. 28
    Barbara says:

    Lingering winter has not prevented the beginning of seasonal allergies. Surprised at how quickly they came out.

  29. 29
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim Parish: @Sab: I was never a boy scout but my older brother went Eagle and my old man got heavily involved so I picked up a lot of that shit by osmosis.

    Hopefully those clouds will just roll on by, Sab. I got nothing but rain to look forward to today.

  30. 30
    Ruckus says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    @Sab:
    Yeah sleep is good. But these days I wake up feeling worse than when I go to sleep. This getting old crap is less fun than it’s made out to be. At least I’m not alone. I thought that getting up might be better that laying there. I was, once again, wrong. Giving it another try. Flip side and all that.

  31. 31
    satby says:

    @J R in WV: well, I caught an hour’s snooze from 6:30 to a few minutes ago. I don’t have a recliner though I knew several people swear they are more comfortable than their beds (they all have health issues). I just have a wing chair and ottoman, but it works when I’m tired enough. Hope you catch a nap.
    @Ruckus: you too Ruckus, feel better soon.

  32. 32
    Nelle says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau: I’m sorry. It sounds hard.

  33. 33
    Zinsky says:

    A good buddy lives in Marquette in the UP. Beautiful in summer – dreadful in winter. He says he hates it if the air temperature gets over 60 degrees. He belongs in the UP! He also drinks more beer than most European countries. It will be interesting to see how the Yoopers deal with legal cannabis which is coming soon. How many drunken Yoopers are going to get higher than a kite and fall into Lake Michigan? Time will tell…

  34. 34
    Immanentize says:

    @Raven: The gingerbread is far less interesting than the one-arm Confederate.

  35. 35
    Immanentize says:

    Nice day ahead. We had a dusting of snow yesterday morning, but it’s supposed to get to the mid fifties today, but cloud over. I’ve got nothing in my yard yet, but the trees seem to have changed ever so much pushing toward buds.

    When I was in Texas a week ago, I saw some beautiful redbuds and Bartlett Pears in bloom. But I was too early for the mountain Laurel with their purple flowers and grape coolaid smell.

  36. 36
    satby says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau: Condolences on Buster’s passing. To be a beloved pet is their heaven on earth, and you gave that to him.

    And any rescue would probably love to have his things for foster dogs, unless there’s a chance that after a time you may want to rescue another dog yourself.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Immanentize says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau: so sorry about Buster. I know here the rescue places do take donations like that (plus food donations)

  39. 39
    Sab says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau: I am sorry about your loss. He must have had an amazing life with you if he had a life jacket.

  40. 40
    frosty says:

    @Ruckus: @Sab: @J R in WV:
    In the last few months I’ve noticed a strange sleep pattern. Four hours after I turn out the lights I wake up enough to check the time. After that I doze. I’m sure I’m getting at least some sleep because I can remember some of the dreams. But it’s not the solid totally knocked out sleep like the first four hours.

  41. 41
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  42. 42
    rikyrah says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau:
    Sorry for your loss 😢😢😢

  43. 43

    @Drunkenhaufrau: So sorry for your loss of Good Boy Buster.

  44. 44
    JeanneT says:

    My son went to college in the UP (Northern Michigan U in Marquette). By the time he moved back down to the lower peninsula, he had become the guy who was running around all winter w/out a coat or winter boots, because it wasn’t really cold here. My niece started school there this year and has lived through a winter with 180″+ of snow and the full brunt of all those polar vortexes: she’s now got the rights to sneer at all of us pansies south of the bridge.

    I’ve long had the dream of moving to the UP, but I think I have passed my physical capacity to adapt at this point.

  45. 45
    Immanentize says:

    Keeping my fingers crossed — another blessed day without a Trump tweet?

  46. 46
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau:
    Please accept my jackal condolences too. Hang on to Buster’s things for a while before you give any of them away. I know it’s a little too soon to say this, but the next doggie to have need of them could be your next doggie.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    debbie says:

    @Mary G:

    Hence the trident.

  49. 49
    debbie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I don’t need to see it again. We were late and had to sit in the front row. Yikes!

  50. 50
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau:

    I’m so sorry!

  51. 51
    rikyrah says:

    Update on the stranded cruise ship of the coast of Norway

    https://twitter.com/safariwithselle/status/1109792128199204865

  52. 52
    burnspbesq says:

    I’m not a fan of the first few weeks of Daylight Time, but it was nice to sit on the back deck this morning in 64-degree weather and watch the sky turn color.

    I’m starting to find more things to like about my new home state.

  53. 53
    debbie says:

    There are finally some crocuses alongside the snowdrops and lots of green shoots that will turn into daffodils and tulips. Spring is late here. I wonder if all the rain we had has rotted out bulbs and stuff.

    Even worse, some yards are being remade. They’re ripping out large, beautiful azaleas, clearing out beds of snowdrops and crocuses, and leaving large empty spaces, probably to be filled with stupid, ugly bushes that need little maintenance. These are old Victorian and Colonial homes, and these changes are very jarring. This town is a declared arboretum, but I guess the flowers and shrubbery don’t matter.

  54. 54
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Zinsky:

    How many drunken Yoopers are going to get higher than a kite and fall into Lake Michigan? Time will tell…

    Now now – they could fall into Lake Huron or Lake Superior too. They have options.

  55. 55
    Sab says:

    @mrmoshpotato: Back in my misspent youth a couple of friends and I swam in all five great lakes on the same day. Lots of driving.

  56. 56
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    Update: I won the election and am now Democratic county party chair.

  57. 57
    Amir Khalid says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:
    Congratulations and good luck.

  58. 58
    Sab says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Congratulations!

  59. 59
    jeffreyw says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau: Condolences. The name reminds me of a shoe factory we had in town in the ’50s. I have the vaguest memory of the company mascot being named Buster Brown but I disremember whether he was a brown haired boy, or a bulldog in a bowler.

  60. 60
    Plato says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    Congrats. A well deserved win for a true grassroots Democrat.

  61. 61
    Heidi Mom says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau: So very sorry for your loss.

  62. 62
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Sab: Madness!

    What order and how long did it take?

  63. 63
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: You have my sympathies.

  64. 64
    debbie says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    Congratulations!

  65. 65
    Sab says:

    @mrmoshpotato: We started in Michigan by the Mackinaw bridge. Then we drove across the bridge and the UP to Superior. Then we came back down across the LP to Huron. We crossed over to Canada at Sarnia. Then we went down to Erie, and ended up in Ontario at Toronto. Started at 4 am, ended at sunset, all on Labor Day. We probably could have done it all by daylight if we’d done it in June, but that would have been a bit brisk.

  66. 66
    debbie says:

    @jeffreyw:

    Buster Brown Shoes. A little boy and his little dog.

  67. 67
    debbie says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau:

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  68. 68
    debit says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau: I’m so sorry.

  69. 69
    Kay says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    Yay! That’s exciting. I’m on the board but I was an emergency appointment after a failed coup and then got re-elected, which is the easy way to go. I was the incumbent!

    My whole experience in the local Party has been like this- I was an Obama delegate only because everyone else in my CD was running as a Clinton delegate- it’s white and Right-leaning. I got the entire Obama vote :)

    I’m going to run as a delegate in 2020, but I don’t know for which candidate yet. Right now it’s Warren or Mayor Pete. I need an underdog to win. Make the same Obama play again :)

  70. 70
    Immanentize says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:
    Yeah! Effort wins!

  71. 71
    jeffreyw says:

    @debbie:

    Buster Brown Shoes. A little boy and his little dog.

    So I guessed both ways and was right both times! 😉

  72. 72
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    Kay, I saw a PAC ad for Gym Jordan on Friday night (America First Policies, or something similar). Do you take this to mean they’re worried about Jordan’s seat or they’re confident of Trump’s reelection?

  73. 73
    Immanentize says:

    @jeffreyw: then there were also Poll Parrot shoes for kids

  74. 74
    WereBear says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau: I’m so sorry for the loss of Buster. An era ends with them.

  75. 75
    Kay says:

    .@KamalaHarris will announce at a rally Saturday in Houston that she would make the largest-ever federal investment in teacher pay — staking claim to a huge pocketbook issue that affects millions of public workers, including many who help form a key Democratic voting bloc.Christopher Cadelago added,

    This is smart. The teachers strikes were the biggest labor action of the last 30 years. They were massively underplayed by media, IMO. The most interesting part is how they were TRULY “bipartisan”- red states, blue states, cities, rural areas. West Virginia teachers shut every public school in the state down. That’s amazing.

    They all decry “partisanship” but they had this red/blue action going on right under their noses and they all ignored it. The Koch Brothers didn’t ignore it. They’re pouring money into shutting it down. They noticed there’s a lot of unrest in some very red states.

  76. 76
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @jeffreyw: More like you were halfwit… Ooopps, I mean half right both times. ;-)

  77. 77
    Drunkenhausfrau says:

    Thank you all so very much!!! This is my first stop every morning and last stop at night. You are the best community in the inter tubes.

  78. 78
    The Pale Scot says:

    Just watched a nice lite piece about champagne on France24,

    Champagne: All you need to know about France’s famed fizz

    Great visuals of Taittinger’s cellars, Jose’s job sounds cool, but I think I’d go mad rotating 40,000 bottles a day.

    It’s gardenieish

  79. 79
    Kay says:

    @debbie:

    I don’t know but I read Trump is worried about the rust belt. That’s why he’s making all these visits. I haven’t noticed any difference among his supporters here but they wouldn’t tell me if they were unhappy anyway.

    The economy is slowing here. None of them are working overtime and bankruptcies are up. They borrow too much in boom times so they get in trouble almost immediately when overtime stops. Not all of them. Some of them recognize it’s a short term, cyclical lift and they don’t borrow on it. They need to pay down debt when they’re working so they can weather the inevitable downturn but IMO there was a lot of pent-up demand because we got hit so hard in the last recession. They were ready to spend. There’s going to be a lot of repoed $52,000 trucks. The trucks cost more then their houses are worth.

  80. 80
    Argiope says:

    @debbie: They can’t be worried about Jordan’s seat. I’m in his district and despite a full court press in my county to get his Dem opponent elected, she got the same 1/3 of the vote that she got in the previous 2 tries. Heavily gerrymandered. The only way he loses his seat is if the district changes (or live boy/dead girl..and even then, I doubt it.)

  81. 81
    WaterGirl says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Congratulations!

  82. 82
    jeffreyw says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    @jeffreyw: More like you were halfwit… Ooopps, I mean half right both times. ;-)

    Hey! Now’s not the time to quibble over ‘ho killed ‘ho!

  83. 83
    WaterGirl says:

    @Drunkenhausfrau: I am so sad for you and Buster.

  84. 84
    MomSense says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau:

    I’m so sorry about Buster. I hope it’s some comfort that he had such a happy life with you.

    I’d hold those things just a little longer – you may find a pup who needs you.

  85. 85
    Xavier Onassis says:

    I lived in the mountains in Colorado for three years, never saw it snow in July but it snowed every other month. Actually it wasn’t that bad. It was a “dry cold” that didn’t get into your bones the way a humid cold does. The wind could be wicked though.

  86. 86
  87. 87
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    Those fucking trucks. Having committed to focusing on trucks over smaller cars, what are the carmakers going to do when no one can afford them and want to buy smaller sedans instead?

  88. 88
    Kay says:

    @Argiope:

    I hate to say it and Democrats hate when I say it because they like getting so much attention, but I wouldn’t put a ton of resources into Ohio if I were the national party. There’s just better investments. Even Georgia looks like a better investment, long shot though it is. Use the money to shore up WI, PA and MI and let OH go. Maybe Clinton was ahead of the curve writing us off early. It’s ridiculous. We have people in the county Party who expect presidential candidates to come here. It’s AT MOST 8000 votes. Their time is better spent elsewhere. Do they want to win or do they want attention and ass-kissing? They can’t have both.

  89. 89
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @jeffreyw: This is supposed to be a ‘appy occasion…

  90. 90
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Betty Cracker: Are you doing the mosaic thing? I’d rather dig ditches

  91. 91
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Sab: Red dawn, sailers be warned

  92. 92
    debbie says:

    @Argiope:

    Well, there was something at the end of the ad about thanking President Trump, but there are plenty of other Rethuglican Congresspeople who could have been used in Jordan’s place.

  93. 93
    jeffreyw says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    @jeffreyw: This is supposed to be a ‘appy occasion…

    And it still is! Plenty of folks make do fine with the one arm!

  94. 94
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie:

    what are the carmakers going to do when no one can afford them and want to buy smaller sedans instead?

    Declare bankruptcy, close assembly plants, abrogate union contracts, send their billions to the Cayman Islands…

  95. 95
    Kay says:

    @debbie:

    I sort of get it. I might be biased because they’re my clients and I love my clients, I really do, but cars mean a lot to some people. Not me, but I have other things I spend on. I’m too cheap to borrow on something that depreciates – that would make me ill every time I looked at it :)

    In a weird way the car becomes MORE important if they’re living in a ramshackle house. They sometimes make fun of my car- not in a mean way, but in a “you’re a miser” way. It’s just a used sedan. I try for “unremarkable”. My mechanic likes if I get a popular used car because he knows how to fix them, he’s seen so many. He hates “unique” :)

  96. 96
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Amir Khalid: @Sab: @Plato: @OzarkHillbilly: @debbie: @Kay: @Immanentize: @WaterGirl: Thank you, all. It was a rough road getting there (was the recipient of a barrage of cyber-bullying from a few self-proclaimed “progressives” who didn’t like a decision I made – not a fun experience), but the meeting itself went well and had a good spirit to it. Ms. O and I went out afterwards for a celebratory jalapeno and cucumber margarita and green chile cheeseburger at a favorite local dive, then watched the Big Sick (sweet movie) before I crashed from exhaustion. Today I do nothing…except read BJ, do a crossword, and maybe a little gardening.

  97. 97
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @jeffreyw: What are you gonna do, bleed on me?

  98. 98
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    Halp! in moderation. Maybe too many people replied to?

    Pending release, this is what I wrote:
    Thank you, all. It was a rough road getting there (was the recipient of a barrage of cyber-bullying from a few self-proclaimed “progressives” who didn’t like a decision I made – not a fun experience), but the meeting itself went well and had a good spirit to it. Ms. O and I went out afterwards for a celebratory jalapeno and cucumber margarita and green chile cheeseburger at a favorite local dive, then watched the Big Sick (sweet movie) before I crashed from exhaustion. Today I do nothing…except read BJ, do a crossword, and maybe a little gardening.

  99. 99
    Anya says:

    How long does it take to read a report? William Barr has been reading the Mueller report for 48 hours.

  100. 100
    ThresherK says:

    Spousal Ms ThresherK and I saw an interview with Kathy Griffin on CBS Sunday Morning. Apparently two years ago she held up a mask of Trump with ketchup on it, dripping like blood, in a photo shoot, and the world ended.

    (Yes, I missed it then. I must have been paying attention to more important things at the time.)

    This interview was loaded with framing language and phrasing about her I’ve yet to hear any media people give to, say, Bill O’Reilly, Jeanne Pirro, Milo Y, or Tucker Carlson. It was CBS’ “you-a culpa” (ugh–I don’t know Latin) event.

    So, fuck you, CBS.

  101. 101
    jeffreyw says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Well, we all need someone we can lean on
    And if you want it, you can lean on me

  102. 102
    Argiope says:

    @Kay: We are no longer a swing state, from what I can tell. There’s still that Sherrod magic where he somehow cuts through, but absent a candidate with many of his characteristics (White, male, LONG history of union support), I think Ohio goes R in 2020. Many of the union folks in the steel industry up here were considering his opponent because they liked what Trump was doing with tariffs–and these are people who were reliable D voters in years and decades past, in a county that just edged D in the midterms with a tremendous amount of GOTV work. So if the national party is just swimming in money next year, sure, spend some of it here….but not a lot of it. There’s a reason we’ve recently been number 2 nationally in Black infant mortality rates—ahead of Mississippi, Alabama, the usual suspects— and I believe it’s all the subtle “economic anxiety”.

  103. 103
    The Pale Scot says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I just discovered Jonathan Pie, Brexit: What’s the f**k is going on?
    He’s a Jackal fur sur’

    Led me to NextUp, a streaming stand up comedy outfit.

  104. 104
    rikyrah says:

    Phuck Outta Here.
    Warren was just in the Mississippi Delta. And, she was well received.

    Bernie ain’t talking about Civil Rights😒😒

    Marcus H. Johnson (@marcushjohnson) Tweeted:
    “Of the more than 1,600 people who came to see the candidate (Bernie), fewer than 40 were black.” Sanders and Warren are talking a lot about civil rights. Not many blacks are listening. – The Washington Post https://t.co/mtuoFRSQJx https://twitter.com/marcushjohnson/status/1109626208872853506?s=17

  105. 105
    Argiope says:

    @debbie: Interesting. I wonder if it’s because he’s been such a pitbull in defense of Orangemandias and they are just highlighting that fact? Though we are in the middle of a gerrymandering court case, and maybe they are worried the districts will be redrawn sooner than 2020. That would be, of course, fantastic…but seems unrealistic from a timing perspective.

  106. 106
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    This was a smart play by her. Good issue.

  107. 107
    rikyrah says:

    @rikyrah:
    Referencing Warren:

    Derek John Honore (@derek_honore) Tweeted:
    @Rosiecvec @6Perch @marcushjohnson Exactly. She’s going on to black spaces, talking to black folk, and they are responding. Why are they painting her with the same brush as Bernie? https://twitter.com/derek_honore/status/1109781618011586561?s=17

  108. 108
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    Help Andrew Gillum and his voter registration project.
    Support Stacey Abrams ‘ voter registration project.
    Find someone with a similar one in North Carolina.
    And, get people registered in Texas.

    This is all money better spent than wasting it on Ohio.

  109. 109
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @The Pale Scot: “sleepwalking the country into a food blender” I love it.

    eta: I forget, is he talking about the UK or the US?

  110. 110

    @rikyrah: Speaking of clueless “woke” liberal men, some Indian men were mansplaining to Indian women on Twitter why Jacinda Ardern’s covering her head in solidarity with the Muslim women in NZ was wrong.

  111. 111
    Amir Khalid says:

    @debbie:
    Go broke, and fly to DC in fancy company jets to beg for another government bailout?

  112. 112
  113. 113
    Suzanne says:

    @Kay:

    There’s going to be a lot of repoed $52,000 trucks.

    It absolutely boggles my mind that people spend this much money on their vehicles, especially when they are not financially secure in other arenas of life, like housing, as you mentioned.

    Let me also be honest and note that I dislike very few things as much as I hate the F-series of trucks, as their drivers rarely seem to know how to park them, nor how to drive them without blocking the sight lines of everyone in a more appropriately sized vehicle.

  114. 114
    rikyrah says:

    Marcus H. Johnson (@marcushjohnson) Tweeted:
    I would argue two things:
    1. The Dems moving to the left over decades is an outgrowth of the southern strategy-white conservatives/rural continue to leave Dems for GOP
    2. Dems haven’t moved anywhere near as far left as GOP has moved to the right. Not close https://t.co/k3uJ9LzTWf https://twitter.com/marcushjohnson/status/1109612586511798272?s=17

  115. 115
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    Agreed. ESPECIALLY if they’re spending it on tv ads in Ohio. Just cut off that fucking subsidy. Zero that out.

    We just lost a wonderful young man who ran for state senate last cycle. I canvassed for him and helped him file his campaign finance reports – easy- he raised like 3000 dollars – you file online and I was scrolling past box after box- 3000 dollars doesn’t go very far. He thought he was going to win because in my experience competitive people always think they will win- it’s how they put effort into it. They believe. I did not think he would win, but I do this myself- I can have a horrible case and if I go to hearing the morning of I am completely and utterly convinced I will win – it’s like magic. I think you need it, or you’d just give up.

    He’s moving to Columbus, where he can win a local election. I told him “go, get the fuck out of here, stop hitting your head against a wall”.

  116. 116
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Suzanne:

    their drivers rarely seem to know how to park them

    If you are speaking of their parallel parking skills, that is a talent rarely needed out in the country and the cidiots in their first truck have a real hard time getting used to the difference in size.

  117. 117
    rikyrah says:

    Marcus H. Johnson (@marcushjohnson) Tweeted:
    Bernie actually believes he can win. He wants to take the Trump model-win a plurality while driving up everyone’s negatives. He uses dishonest tactics like having a campaign staffer pose as an objective journalist to attack opponents. Definitely Trumpian https://t.co/PxH6Au1IGQ https://twitter.com/marcushjohnson/status/1109556776234557440?s=17

  118. 118
    jeffreyw says:

    @Suzanne:
    That’s why I drive an F-150, to see over the tops of those cars that are always inching ahead at stop signs. Invariably, the drivers of those roller skate are glaring at me for no discernable reason.
    //

  119. 119
    Kay says:

    @Suzanne:

    The F-150 is WILDLY popular though. They make it because people want it. I have clients who have 2 or 3, different model years. My husband calls them “5 acres and a pond” which sounds snobby but is absolutely dead-accurate. That’s how they can have so many vehicles. They dig the pond because they like ponds but also because they’re too far out for fire hydrants so they get a break on homeowners if they have a water source close to the building.

    My middle son loves cars. He buys junkers that run. He’ll have 2 or 3 at any one time. He calls them “backups” and he lends them out to friends. He lived in an urban Toledo apartment for a time and I told him he couldn’t use 4 parking spaces- the complex was putting stickers on them. He was out of there in 3 months. Now he has a long driveway and a pole barn. The new trucks don’t make sense but a backup for a used car makes a lot of sense. They sometimes don’t start :)

    Some of them are frugal. We have a thing here where they inherit the property – the ground- and they build a house in stages. They dig the cellar first, and so forth. They live in a trailer on the property until the house is finished and they pay as they go. At the end they have a house they own free and clear.

  120. 120
    rikyrah says:

    👏👏👏👏
    This is how every Democrat needs to be talking.

    CBS News (@CBSNews) Tweeted:
    Rep. Jeffries: American people deserve to know if Trump is “a legitimate president,” a “Russian asset,” the “equivalent of an organized crime boss” or “a useful idiot who happens to have been victimized by the greatest collection of coincidences in the history of the republic” https://t.co/mQWDdNjRWT https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/1109833573224329217?s=17

  121. 121
    Suzanne says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Nah, I’m talking about the people with giant trucks that don’t fit in the typical parking spaces around here. I used to work in a building that had a parking garage with compact spaces as well as the larger 10’x20′ spaces, but the compact spaces were closer to the elevator. So instead of parking in the larger spaces but walking further, multiple truck owners would park so that they took up FOUR compact spaces (God forbid anything damage the paint on the truck). Just yesterday, Mr. Suzanne and I went to dinner and tried to park our compact in a typical space, but the F-series extended cab truck was too long for the single space in which it was parked, and we couldn’t fit because the truck took up half of the second space. To say nothing of my neighbor whose truck is literally too long for his damn driveway and the back end hangs over the sidewalk, so the kids walking to school have to walk in the street.

    @jeffreyw: I wish many scratches and splatters on the trucks of people who do what you just describe. I’ll be waiting at a stop sign, getting ready to turn, when some douche in a giant truck comes up and totally blocks my view so I can’t turn safely. 49 times out of 50, I will also note that this giant vehicle is carrying…..nothing.

  122. 122
    Suzanne says:

    @Kay:

    The F-150 is WILDLY popular though. They make it because people want it.

    Sure, but people want all kinds of stuff that’s irresponsible, harmful (12 MPG?! Are you effing kidding me?!), or just plain douchey.

  123. 123
    Ruckus says:

    @satby:
    Did get back to a fitful sleep, migraine med finally finishes off the worst of it. But the coming back to human part takes a while. It’s not just a headache. The entire left side of my body is affected, the head worst of course. Now it takes about 12 to 24 hrs to recover. It was fun when I was getting 3 to 5 a month. Now that I’m down to about one every 4-6 weeks…….. But the next day is recovery day and when you have so much other shit going on and you are oldish you end up not actually recovering the same. (this has been going on for decades) Oh well the bright side is the migraine is over.
    And I know that my brand of suffering is just one among the many here. Getting old isn’t for sissies.
    How’s the rest of the night crew that can’t sleep either?

  124. 124
    MomSense says:

    @Suzanne:

    Oh man, I feel your pain. Since it’s cold here, they back their trucks into four spaces and leave them running while they are inside shopping or whatever.

    Oh there is a Florida man woman game going on. Google Florida man or woman plus your birthday for the one that matches you.

  125. 125
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    On another note (if this isn’t a fully deceased thread), any suggestions for a good book to read today? I don’t do horror or much “serious” (aka depressing) literature. I like mysteries that focus more on character and discovery than brutality, fantasy of the Tolkien genre, spy novels a la LeCarre, non-narcissistic memoir, and travelogues. And random other stuff that is fun to read. Thanks!

  126. 126
    debbie says:

    @Suzanne:

    Even worse, they all think they can back into parking spaces with ease. My bumper proves otherwise.

  127. 127
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Anya: Depends on how fast his lips can move.

  128. 128
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Kay: 8 acres and a pond is fine. I live in an apartment complex in Houston. About half the vehicles are large pickups and SUVs. In shining undented condition.

  129. 129
    Suzanne says:

    @MomSense: I have such a strong mental association between the F-series and rude/terrible drivers that I refuse to ever own any Ford at all.

  130. 130
    debbie says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    When I was living in Boston, I had two male Indian roommates (one replaced the other). I can’t imagine either ever stirring into the slightest wakefulness, let alone full wokefulness.

  131. 131
    Ruckus says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau:
    Come back to hear about Buster. Sorry for your loss.
    frosty:
    My primary doc at the VA is new and I just had an appointment. I told her about the same as you, REM sleep but not 8 hrs worth, maybe 4 and dozing for another 2 to 3 is my normal night as well. She didn’t come right out and say it but my impression is this is a fairly common night time experience for seniors and especially now. There is too much shit going on, we know it’s shit, we know only time will change that and we aren’t sure we (both individually and the entire country) have that much time left. It makes our days and nights unsettling.

  132. 132
    MomSense says:

    @Suzanne:

    I know. They’ve been ruined. My grandfather had them when he owned a farm – but they were the old ones that had a vinyl bench seat and the stick on the dash. I helped load and unload a lot of wood, hay, and manure out of those old trucks.

  133. 133
    KSinMA says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Good on you!!!

  134. 134
    Barbara says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Not new, but I have enjoyed the Aurelio Zen mysteries and the Charlie Resnick series. The final installment revolves around a cold case that occurred durinf the coal miners’ strike of 1984. Set in Nottingham. I’m with you on prioritizing character over violent twists. Believe it or not, some in this series have no murders at all!

  135. 135
    MomSense says:

    @Ruckus:

    I’m not sleeping much at all but in my case I think it’s hormonal. I wake up feeling like I have an internal temperature of the sun.

  136. 136
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay:

    I can have a horrible case and if I go to hearing the morning of I am completely and utterly convinced I will win

    I have long referred to this as litigation psychosis.

  137. 137
    Suzanne says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    About half the vehicles are large pickups and SUVs. In shining undented condition.

    I live in Phoenix. Maaaaaaybe 1 out of 50 pickups or SUVs that I see on the road or parked are actually used to carry or tow anything apart from the solo driver on their daily commute, likely to an office or service job. And the paint jobs are ***flawless***.

    @debbie: TRUFACTS.

  138. 138

    @debbie: This was a well known journalist with liberal bona fides who was worried about what message Ardern’s head covering sends to the women fighting to throw off the hijab in Iran. He was taken to task by women of Twitter.

  139. 139
    debbie says:

    @Argiope:

    The PAC is made up of former Trump administration officials and is somehow entangled in Cambridge Analytics.

    Their spending seems “odd,” but they sound like they’re the #1 PAC for Trump. Alas, poor Karl…

  140. 140
    debbie says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Heaven forfend there be any show of respect. :/

  141. 141
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Suzanne:
    My 4×4 is lifted, but only 3 inches. The bungholes in the jacked-up pickups are all for show. They are way too top heavy to be safe on an off-camber road.

  142. 142
    SenyorDave says:

    The F-150 is WILDLY popular though. They make it because people want it.

    Sure, but people want all kinds of stuff that’s irresponsible, harmful (12 MPG?! Are you effing kidding me?!), or just plain douchey.

    Choices. If they were able they would realize that if you drive 25,000 miles a year an F-150 is an extraordinarily expensive car to operate (if gas is $2.50 a gallon, that’s more than $5k in gas alone, plus F-150’s have very high insurance costs). If you spend an extra $4k annually year on your car and you are lower middle class, you might hit 65 and wonder why you have little to no savings.

  143. 143
    Another Scott says:

    (Checks clock…) ‘morning everyone.

    ICYMI, Charlie Pierce on Buttigieg:

    […]

    From there, Buttigieg, openly gay and married to a high school drama teacher named Chasten, talked about what a blessing it was for him to have his husband as a complete part of his family when his mother got sick and his father died, almost simultaneously. It was a genuine moment drawn from a new and more humane country, which is what he seems to be offering the voters along with himself.

    But whoever the Democratic nominee is, that person is going to have to begin with the unshakable conviction that we are living through a dangerous aberration as a country, and that some 65 million of our fellow citizens arranged for that to be the case, and that many of them seem either perfectly content, or dully willing, to do it again. Many of those people do not need to be wooed. They need a bucket of ice water over their heads. That is the reality of the 2020 election, set in stone already.

    Yeah, but…

    One thing that Charlie, and so many other commentators, miss (or at least don’t talk about enough) is that the playing field isn’t level. Without voter suppression, Hillary would have won (and Kerry might have won before her) and we wouldn’t be talking about a binary choice between depending on Democrats or trying to flip red precincts.

    I’ve got no problem with Mayor Pete showing he’s willing to reach out to GOP voters – it’s how he got elected in the first place in a deep state after all. He’s not doing it the same way that McConnell and the Teabaggers are doing it and that matters. The national party recognizes the need for it too – the mantra of running and supporting Democrats everywhere.

    I had forgotten that he ran for DNC Chair in 2017:

    […]

    Many progressive figures in the party were equally impressed by the South Bend mayor.

    “I thought he ran an impressive campaign,” Jeff Weaver, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ former campaign manager, said on Saturday. “He coalesced a lot of support coming from a red state, and I think people were very impressed with his ability convey a powerful message. I think there is certainly a future for him in the party if he wants to have a national profile.”

    Buttigieg also got the nod from former President Barack Obama’s top staffers, including David Axelrod and Dan Pfeiffer, who said they’d be watching the mayor’s next moves.

    Perhaps lacking the credibility of a serious challenger, Buttigieg’s bid raised his national profile without damaging him in a way that negative press stories bruised Perez and Ellison.

    In the final week of the campaign, some media outlets were enamored with the mayor. He attracted local press attention in states like California. The left-leaning outlet Salon said Buttigieg was “shaking up the race” for DNC chair by airing out the toxicity of the fight between Perez and Ellison. And he garnered positive coverage for his debate performance on CNN.

    Still, part of Buttigieg’s appeal to many Democrats may also prove to be a liability.

    His red-state pedigree is untested outside of a fairly small arena. He’s won two elections in a left-leaning college town, and he would face an uphill battle running for higher office in his home state.

    Republicans maintained their hold over the Hoosier state last year: US Senate favorite Evan Bayh bungled his attempt to retake his seat, while Republicans also maintained their control over the governorship. Buttigieg’s only experience running for state office was a bid for state treasurer in Indiana in 2010 — he was pummeled by opponent Richard Mourdock by more than 10 percentage points.

    But many supporters feel the DNC race marked the birth of Buttigieg’s national career.

    “He’s using today as a jump-off point to something else,” said Verdejo, the North Carolina DNC member.

    When asked what that could be, Verdejo replied: “Senator. Or even president, why not? Swing big. He looks good onstage, speaks well. He’s a rockstar. He represents all that this party is about.”

    At least one person close to the mayor agrees with that.

    “I’ve always joked with him like he should run for president,” Buttigieg’s partner, Chasten Glezman, said in an interview Friday. “Because I think that he’s genuine, he’s authentic, and he’s exactly what this country needs.”

    He certainly seems to be in a hurry to move up. That can be a good thing, or not so much…

    tl;dr – it’s still very early. We need to remember the importance of turning out every possible vote.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  144. 144
    Immanentize says:

    @Suzanne:
    My sick burn in Texas for guys driving F-150s is:
    Couldn’t afford a 250?

  145. 145
    Kelly says:

    Oregon Ducks women’s second round game is at 6:00 pm and the men are at 6:30 pm. Fortunately we have Tivo.

  146. 146
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Barbara: Thank you for the recommendations! Charlie Resnick is new to me…off to amazon to check out Kindle downloads.

  147. 147
    debbie says:

    @ThresherK:

    FWIW, malum vestrum.

  148. 148
    Immanentize says:

    @MomSense:

    a vinyl bench seat and the stick on the dash.

    On the dash? Or on the steering wheel stem. What my Grampa called “three on the tree.”. (but he was a woodsman)

  149. 149
    debbie says:

    @Immanentize:

    I drive to Target. I park away from others. I go in. When I come out, I’ve got pickups (of the four-door variety) on either side of me. Backing out in my Civic takes practically forever because of other pickups speeding down the rows without looking. Bastards all.

  150. 150

    @debbie: Also covering one’s head at a funeral is not just a Muslim thing, Sikhs and many Hindus do it too.

    ETA: I have also seen older Indian Catholic women wear black veils to a funeral or services following a funeral.

  151. 151
    Kelly says:

    Trilliums are blooming our earliest wildflower.

  152. 152
    Immanentize says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:
    Have you read Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle? Historic fiction, great characters, mysteries, power plays, Issac Newton versus Leibnitz, gold heists, pirates…. All wrapped up in a great discussion of awakening scientific reason in the world.

  153. 153
    MomSense says:

    @Immanentize:

    Yup that’s it.

  154. 154
    Suzanne says:

    @SenyorDave:

    If you spend an extra $4k annually year on your car and you are lower middle class, you might hit 65 and wonder why you have little to no savings.

    I have recently found myself in a higher income bracket than I ever really imagined—-though I also have more student loans than I ever really imagined—-and the idea of flushing an additional $4K down the drain every year makes my head hurt. Of course, I kept my last car well past 200K miles and I intend to do the same with this one.

  155. 155
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    I see those trucks here in socal. A jacked up 4×4, so high in the air that it would be unstable off road and that $50K truck actually costs about $80K. And they get such good mileage, with prices rising towards $4/gal. A current stock F150 actually gets about 22 mpg. Not all that good but double what my 98 Ford van got.

  156. 156
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Immanentize: Ooh, sounds fascinating. Will check the Baroque Cycle out too.

    On a completely other note, are there any legal protections against cyber-bullying and defamation? That’s apart from the question of the wisdom of pursuing legal recourse. Just wondering, based on recent horrid experience.

  157. 157
    WaterGirl says:

    @MomSense: That’s your trump rage. :-)

  158. 158
    Immanentize says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: It’s not my best area, but States have really taken up the slack on Cyber bullying laws. The answer is generally, “yes” but it has to involve physical threats or threats of blackmail — especially for adults.

  159. 159
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Immanentize: Thank you. Didn’t experience either of those, but the emails were grossly defamatory in character – i.e. gross misrepresentations and outright fabrications. I survived, but have never experienced such full-on viciousness before. It was unsettling. I can see how young people with limited ego strength could be driven to suicide from such attacks. We need to change the culture, starting with ousting the bully in the White House

  160. 160
    Argiope says:

    @debbie: I am shocked, shocked I tell you, about their undisclosed funding! Seems like maybe this is a thank you note to Gym now that the report is finished. At least that’s my best guess.

  161. 161
    Immanentize says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: well, straight up defamation is always actionable.

    ETA. And the service provider might do something about it?

  162. 162
    trnc says:

    Brexit question: Does anyone here know what the EU didn’t make a new referendum the condition for an extension? I thought they would still rather have the UK remain in the EU, but maybe not at this point?

    Obviously, I will accept wild speculation in lieu of knowledgeable answers.

  163. 163
    Kelly says:

    @Ruckus: Here in the Cascade foothills the jacked up trucks have extra illegal headlights that they seem to use with impunity. Curses upon everyone shining more than two headlights into my eyes.

  164. 164
    opiejeanne says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett.

  165. 165
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Immanentize: Based on my mad internet research skillz, I believe that the emails – circulated widely to stir up the rabble – qualify as defamatory. That said, the challenging question is whether pursuing legal recourse does more harm than good. These folks like to style themselves as the righteous martyrs of True Progressivism™.

  166. 166
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @opiejeanne: BJ is truly an all-service blog. I LOVE the commentariats’ wide-ranging interests and literary recommendations.

  167. 167
    J R in WV says:

    @satby:

    @J R in WV: well, I caught an hour’s snooze from 6:30 to a few minutes ago. I don’t have a recliner though I knew several people swear they are more comfortable than their beds (they all have health issues). I just have a wing chair and ottoman, but it works when I’m tired enough.
    Hope you catch a nap.
    @Ruckus: you too Ruckus, feel better soon.

    Well, I went back to bed and got nearly 4 more hours, so yay! If you add it all up it’s a whole night’s sleep. I’m getting used to catching 3 naps and calling it good. I have read that people used to always sleep in two or more stretches, in order to be sure the fire was going and the lions, tigers, wolves weren’t sneaking up on the camp.

  168. 168
    Fair Economist says:

    @frosty: That is actually a fairly common sleep pattern. Before electric lights it was the norm – they called them first sleep and second sleep. I do it a fair amount myself.

  169. 169
    Suzanne says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: I really like the Dublin Murder Squad books by Tana French.

    I just finished Gilead by Marilynne Robinson yesterday, and I was a basket case for the rest of the day.

  170. 170
    Fair Economist says:

    @Immanentize: I loved the Baroque Cycle except that I thought the round the world trip dragged on far too long.

  171. 171
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau: My condolences. They leave such big paw prints on our hearts.

  172. 172
    debbie says:

    @Suzanne:

    Marilynne Robinson

    One of my all-time favorites!

  173. 173
    Ruckus says:

    @Fair Economist:
    I used to look like I was going 90 miles an hour awake and then sleep for 10 hrs straight. That was a very long time ago. It wasn’t but a few years ago when I started to sleep more than 6 hrs any night. I got back to 8-9 hrs. But that is once again long gone. Now if I even attempt 8 hrs I wake up hurting more than when I went to bed. And no it’s not the bed. I’m this way no matter where I sleep.

  174. 174
    J R in WV says:

    @Argiope:

    They can’t be worried about Jordan’s seat. I’m in his district and despite a full court press in my county to get his Dem opponent elected, she got the same 1/3 of the vote that she got in the previous 2 tries. Heavily gerrymandered. The only way he loses his seat is if the district changes (or live boy/dead girl..and even then, I doubt it.)

    But there are live boys, a hundred OSU wrestlers have sworn that they told Gym Jordan that there was sexual harrassment going on in the wrestling locker room.

    I can’t believe he’s still stone-walling that issue, acting like nothing has happened, etc. And getting away with it, as it all happened so far away from DC and the media centers of the East Coast. He was a legally required reporter at the time, also too, so is prone to indictments eventually.

  175. 175
  176. 176
    Fair Economist says:

    @trnc: The EU does not want to seem like it is dictating to the UK. They are requiring a substantial change for a long extension but don’t want to demand a specific one.

  177. 177
    J R in WV says:

    @Suzanne:

    I dislike very few things as much as I hate the F-series of trucks, as their drivers rarely seem to know how to park them, nor how to drive them without blocking the sight lines of everyone in a more appropriately sized vehicle.

    When we had an F-350, which I needed to tow the backhoe on occassion, I always parked on the far edge of the parking lot, where I could use two spaces without being a prick. But in general, you are correct. Most folks driving those giant trucks are inconsiderate jerks parking as close to the door as they can, and using up at least two spaces to do so. Or 3 if more clumsy than average!

  178. 178
    J R in WV says:

    @Ruckus:


    How’s the rest of the night crew that can’t sleep either?

    I woke up at 5 or 6, went back to bed around 8 and managed to sleep til almost noon, so it added up to, um, nearly 9 hours total. I’m good, except for missing some of the pretty morning. Sunrise was pretty, lots of red and violet and pink. Then back to bed hurray!!

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    Kay says:

    @Immanentize:

    It’s necessary though, don’t you think? You can’t go all sad-sacking in there. I don’t understand the lawyers who throw their own clients under the bus. I won’t participate. “He’s a piece of shit”.

    If there’s anyone who should defend you it’s the defense – we’re not their parents. We can’t be all sad that they have misbehaved again. Be all in. Jesus. So disloyal. We have a newer lawyer in town who I love, she was my next door neighbor when she was in high school. Her mother was this absolutely revered school nurse, the kind who would call sick kids at home to check on them if she thought they had bad parents. Nice people. She’s always so sad because…people are horrible. She had a practiced liar in there and we had a bench conference because it had turned into a ridiculous fictional account and she said “he perjured himself” and magistrate said “ya think?!” So funny. They’re bad! But they’re OURS :)

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    J R in WV says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    I’m reading Elisabeth Bear’s newest SF publication right now, name of “Ancestral Night” which has good characters in space with action and suspense – a Pirate Treasure novel of sorts. Highly liked at my end.

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    Origuy says:

    Buster Brown was the boy. His dog was called Tige.

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    Miss Bianca says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Yay!!!

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    Miss Bianca says:

    @Drunkenhaufrau: So sorry to hear of the loss if your sweet Buster. I am with Amir: keep his things for a little while. You never know when another furball will come rocketing into ypur life, and it may br sooner than you think. Ask me how I know!

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    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Miss Bianca: Ooh, do you have a new friend? Please share.

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    Ruckus says:

    @J R in WV:
    I can’t go back to bed. If I do I find that I’ll be up till 2 or 3 am and then a week is shot. I think it’s mainly that I still work and have to get up on work days at 6:45 to get to work on time. I try to go to bed at 10. That never works and it’s always at least 11. And often I just lay there wide eyed and bushy tailed and get to sleep about 1 or 2. I imagine that when I retire my day will start at 10am and end at 2am.
    On the pickup thing, I know people who use theirs to actually haul stuff. I did when I owned my machine shop. And I had a van when I owned my bicycle/triathlon shop, sure wasn’t going to put bikes in a pickup bed so that anyone could grab it whenever they wanted. But people who own a full sized pickup to drive to work empty by themselves? Yeah, I don’t get that at all, even if the new ones do get much better mileage than they did not long ago.

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    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Ruckus: I never imagined or aspired to owning a pickup, but after moving to a rural area where we have to bring our own garbage and recycling to the Waste Transfer Center (which trashed the interior of my beloved old CRV) and pay high fees for having larger items delivered, I got one last year. They don’t make them small any more. Just big and HUGE models, it seems. I bought a slightly used Nissan Frontier from Hertz and I love it – except for parking in Trader Joe’s parking lots which are nightmares regardless of vehicle size.

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    trnc says:

    @Fair Economist: Ah, ok. Thanks.

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    Ruckus says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:
    I’ve owned one Toyota, two Nissan, three Ford pickups. Two of the Fords were Rangers, about the same size as your Nissan. But for the last one I needed to haul construction materials for remodeling my house and driving in snow country so I had an F150 4×4. With the small engine/manual trans it did OK mileage for what it was. But that was 20 yrs ago and I haven’t needed a pickup since. I now drive a compact car that gets 30-40 mpg and rent a pickup or van if I need one. And have driven it 9700 miles in 2 1/2 yrs. Pickups are OK if you actually use them for carrying stuff. But one doesn’t really need a full sized pickup or SUV to go to the grocery store once a week.
    And you are right that most of the mfg don’t make small pickups any longer. Toyota makes mid and full sized, Ford once again makes mid and full, GM mid and full, Nissan mid and full…
    Americans seem to not like compacts all that much, even if we don’t actually have all that much room and our gas is expensive. But is that gas really expensive as in most of the rest of the world? No it isn’t. We are about half the price as in most of the EU and Hong Kong is about 3 times what we pay. If we taxed gasoline properly so that we could reasonably pay for the infrastructure we drive on, we’d be paying double as well. So while we should pay more and those big trucks would really cost to drive them enough that people would purchase better mileage vehicles, we don’t.

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    Mart says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: When the Alien popped out of the guys belly I ran out of the theater. When I got enough strength to go back in my wife and a couple of high school girls sitting next to us made what I consider unseemly comments about my manhood for the rest of the film.

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    Pence's Weiner says:

    @Mart: Dur.

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    texasdoc says:

    @J R in WV: Not only do large trucks take up more space in the parking lot, they make life more dangerous for cyclists. The kinds of injuries sustained when hit by a truck or SUV are more life-threatening, since the chassis is higher. I have a particular beef about the Ford F-150, since I was hit by one while I was riding in a marked bike lane. The total tally: broken L tibia and fibula, fractures of the L clavicle, shoulderblade and two ribs, pulmonary contusions, concussion–and, when I hit the ground, fracture of the R clavicle. The chassis of the truck hit my head and chest, which would not have happened with a sedan.

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    Kayla Rudbek says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: some of my recommendations: The Goblin Emperor, Lynn Kurland’s Nine Kingdoms series, Jean Johnson, Lois McMaster Bujold, John Scalzi, Steven Brust, Diane Duane, Terry Pratchett, Lindsay Buroker.

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