Sorry the Poor Man link was wrong yesterday. It’s fixed now. Funny how no one pointed this out until late in the evening. Of the dozen or so out there actually reading this, you’re going to have to get on the ball with calling me on these screw-ups. Lord knows I should do it.
(I have no idea who reads this blog, or where they come from. The Two Guys Living Room Web Hosts either didn’t install site-tracking software or didn’t tell me how to find it. For all I know, it’s you, that other guy and my family. On the other hand, I don’t need another thing to obsess over, so maybe it’s all for the best.)
I’ve been meaning to write something about widgets, the li’l applications that could, the best thing about the latest Mac OS. Hit the F12 key, and a self-selected array of widgets bloom on your screen; hit it again, they go away. J.C., NN.C’s web adviser, tells me “they’re basically teeny web pages,” but they’re really the right thing at the right time — all the teeny web pages you need to check every day, but without having to go look them all up.
My widgets (current): sticky notes, local traffic, local weather, local weather radar, calendar, daily reading from the Tao Te Ching, cocktail-recipe database, dictionary/thesaurus, IMdB, and my current fave — a tiny little postage stamp that tracks my Gmail inbox. It’s blue when there’s no new mail, but turns red when I have any waiting.
I change them a lot, though. I keep a blood-alcohol calculator in the wings, a world clock, a metric-conversion table and a flight tracker. When Deb came to visit a few weeks ago, before I set out for the airport to pick her up, I checked the flight tracker to see if she was on time. (She was.)
Kate chose the Gmail tracker, a Frogger game knockoff and a floating Apple logo. Plus weather. She’s obsessed with weather.
Lately I’ve been trying a new one, a gas-price tracker. Today it said the Mobil station at the end of the block had regular for $2.24 a gallon. I went down to fill up. Oops — $2.70 a gallon.
Nobody’s perfect. They’re a cinch to get rid of, I’ll say that.
Bloggage: It’s not just a tough town, it’s a tough state.
MichaelG said on August 17, 2005 at 8:41 am
I’m here. Been reading you for several years — since the original Bob Greene post. I don’t comment often, but I read every day. Whatever happened to Greene?
Dorothy said on August 17, 2005 at 9:20 am
I think Nance said some months ago that he got a job at the NY Times?
Loulou said on August 17, 2005 at 9:33 am
I’m from New Mexico, Nancy.
Loulou said on August 17, 2005 at 9:34 am
I’m from New Mexico, Nancy.
joe said on August 17, 2005 at 9:35 am
Been reading N.N. since she started in Fort Wayne,Must have been what 82 or so? remember a picture of her standing by the old bus depot. Had a rugby party there once but that is another story. Also we really all need to send her a Fruit cake recipe. She loves it. I once sent here a sample piece I got in the Mail.
4dbirds said on August 17, 2005 at 9:54 am
I’m from the DC suburbs, been reading since Bob Greene.
Andrea said on August 17, 2005 at 9:59 am
Andrea from Wisconsin… read daily, pretty much never post. Thanks for sharing Nancy!
Maureen said on August 17, 2005 at 10:29 am
Long time, semi-regular reader. I read something yesterday that sums up what I like (and dislike) about this blog. From Andrew Sullivan’s guest blogger, Walter Kim:
Other than Jen-and-Brad celebrity gossip and the serial popular novels posing as crime stories such as this Aruba thing, this hyped-up so-called politics is all people have to talk about now, it seems. I remember when people talked about themselves. At the dinner table and in the diner you heard about that sports car-from-a-kit your neighbor was building, about some lady’s kidney tumor, about who was wooing another man’s wife, and about the bear that was eating from someone’s apple tree. These little stories added up to life. You got a sense of how people were actually managing. Now you hear what they’re thinking. What a bore. Most of them can’t think, and have never tried, and are just repeating what others think and adding their own misinterpretations and biases. I could care less, frankly. I’d rather hear about what somebody’s doing to get rid of the bat infestation in their attic.
But that’s just me. (No letters, please. Tolerance! Diversity!) I get my political dose from other venues and come to nn.com for the bat infestation stories.
brian stouder said on August 17, 2005 at 10:39 am
regarding the unreported bad link –
as for me, I read the terrible story that the last link pointed to first, and that was it for me – I was done.
Stories like that one (and indeed, that story in particular) are the sort that I read the headline and glide past. The selfish truth is, the haunting effect upon me of the awfulness of all those specific recitations of wicked cruelty – especially against babies – is something I will actively avoid.
Years ago Nance’s old paper had a story about a guy who blasted his children (and then himself) to death while his soon-to-be-ex-wife was at work one Saturday morning, specifically so as to leave the horrible mess for her to find.
One detail that (for some reason) struck me was that the children had bowls of cereal and were watching cartoons when the assault occurred. I rarely ever read stories like that anymore…and of course there is no end to them.
So while I missed the poorman link, still ol’ Nance caused me to read a story I had been actively evading
mary said on August 17, 2005 at 10:44 am
Typical of the LA resident stereotype, I have no idea when I started visiting your website. Like whenever.
As for tunneling pit bulls, what is there to say? I know there are some nice ones and I know there are stupid owners who encourage them to be bad dogs, but there is no question they have instincts that can make them undesirable neighbors.
I have a neighbor who rescues dogs. I mean he RESCUES dogs. It’s a freaking religion with him. He’s got a pit bull named Olive who has gone after every dog on the block. He refuses to admit it’s his dog that is the problem. He says he has socialized Olive, and she’s no long aggressive. Bullshit. My dog still has a limp from her last non-aggressive encounter with Olive (Olive was on a leash, but managed to get one good bite in before he pulled her back) and that was four years ago.
danno said on August 17, 2005 at 10:52 am
I’ve been reading you (not in the gay ‘snaps’ way) since FW days. I miss that column BTW. When will you be writing for Indy Monthly again??? Keep up the good work.
danno said on August 17, 2005 at 10:53 am
BTW, what ever happened to Emma Thompson? I thought she had great potential.
Claire said on August 17, 2005 at 10:55 am
I’m currently a Michigander living in Royal Oak. I found your blog via one of your comments over at Amy Alkon’s blog earlier this year. Really enjoy reading your blog. I am a technical writer by profession, but live vicariously in the blogging world through people like you! I post occasionally and read your words here almost every day.
janet said on August 17, 2005 at 11:04 am
I am a former Royal Oaker living in Chicago, and I drop in daily. Rarely post. But I love seeing my old haunts through your fresh eyes.
Jill said on August 17, 2005 at 11:06 am
I’m over in Grand Rapids, and was thrilled when you moved from FW to Detroit, as I get a little more of a local angle.
I’ve read what seems like hundreds of blogs trying to find someone who’s “voice” is as magnetic as yours, without luck.
Also, there was that Slate shoutout to NN.C a few months ago, so there’s that guy too.
mary said on August 17, 2005 at 11:14 am
I’m so glad you fixed the poor man link. It made my day. What it made it, I’m not sure, but I’m alternating between grinding my teeth and giggling.
Mary O said on August 17, 2005 at 11:42 am
Add me to the list of loyal readers who rarely posts. And I’ve turned my brother on to your site as well.
Been reading since Greene, and enjoy many things about your site, mostly though I like your posts about Kate, who is about a month younger than my own daughter (though she’s in fourth grade this fall). We go through the same things at about the same time, including the Barbie cheerleader Halloween costume of a few years ago.
Mary O said on August 17, 2005 at 11:43 am
And I’m from the DC suburbs, though the very close-in ones, too.
Laura said on August 17, 2005 at 12:04 pm
I live in Bexley, OH. Been reading since Bob Greene. Enjoy visiting your site most every day.
Laura said on August 17, 2005 at 12:07 pm
Still waiting for the dirt on RL Stine or Laura Lee Schaffer, though 🙂
brian stouder said on August 17, 2005 at 12:13 pm
I’d a thought we’d have a riff on Maddonna’s spill off a horse by now – especially the absurd “BREAKING NEWS” treatment it got on the 24-hour news stations
(I guess it was indeed bone-‘breaking news’, anyway)
Claire said on August 17, 2005 at 12:16 pm
Read the fixed link finally…oy.
In the late ’80s, I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Francis Collins (director of the Human Genome Project at the NIH) at the University of Michigan where he collaborated in the discovery of the gene for cystic fibrosis. His is one of the more eloquent expressions of a synthetic relationship between faith and science (theistic evolutionist): http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/transcripts/collins.html
Alexander in NY said on August 17, 2005 at 12:58 pm
I don’t remember how I came across your blog, Nancy, but I’ve been a fan for a long time. As for your pal, Richard Cohen, what’s up with this?:�This is not a major story. It’s a crappy little crime and it may not be a crime at all.”
–Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen this morning on Valerie Plame�s outing
Debbie said on August 17, 2005 at 3:10 pm
The pit bull thing was the lead story Tuesday in The Saginaw News, where I work as a copy editor. We had a follow-up story on Wednesday. Guess what it said? “We’re shocked, shocked, that there’s gambling at Rick’s.” Plus it reported a few additional anecdotal traumas, which, frankly, if they’d happened to me or anyone I know, would be LEAP-YEARS beyond anecdotal. Honestly, in the five years I’ve been here, I think Saginaw rates about par among cities this size in terms of pit bull stories. The zoo angle makes it sensational. Well, hell, where WOULDN’T pit bulls burrowing into a zoo and killing and maiming the animals be sensational? It’s a story without end … anywhere. “Pit bulls don’t kill, people do” … Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.
MarkH said on August 17, 2005 at 3:19 pm
I rarely post, but watch regularly from Wyoming. Like others, found it through the Bob Greene column. Glad to have found Nancy, too, after all these years since we worked together (sort of) at the Dispatch (1980 or so).
I don’t always agree with Cohen, but he can sure surprise, like this morning. He may be right, too. Or, maybe he just doesn’t like Vanity Fair. Or Michael Wolff.
Mindy said on August 17, 2005 at 4:31 pm
Loyal Nance fan checking in from the Fort. Sent a few emails to her work address once upon a time after reading amusing stuff in print then got the idea to hunt for her out in cyberspace. Was delighted to find the blog; it was less than two years old at the time and I clocked in when the counter was around 20K. Then Bob Greene happened. Am very sad to have lost Nance’s local angle but happy that the blog is here.
Fruit cake recipes? Didn’t we lose someone who was pissed about recipes appearing here? Just wait until Thanksgiving!
Dorothy said on August 17, 2005 at 4:48 pm
“I’d a thought we’d have a riff on Maddonna’s spill off a horse by now ”
Brian – I sent the link about Madonna’s mishap to my son in Columbus with the subject line “She wins.” Four years ago, on his 16th birthday, my son was pushed on a basketball court during his birthday party and got a compound fracture of his left arm. But Madonna’s got him beat. She broke lots more bones on her 47th birthday. Wonder if she got loopy on morphine like my Josh did?!?
mary said on August 17, 2005 at 6:07 pm
I wasn’t aware of the Bob Greene connection, so off I went a-googling. After reading what you wrote about him, I felt I had to find a photo of his toupee. I did, and it was worth the search. Bad toupees say so much about a person.
Dave said on August 17, 2005 at 6:09 pm
Been reading you since I first moved to the Fort in 1986 and this site since the beginning. Always enjoyed your take on things, couldn’t always agree but look in almost every day. Yeah, and we share OU and Central Ohio backgrounds, too, maybe that’s part of what’s kept me a regular.
Carmella said on August 17, 2005 at 6:09 pm
I’m originally from FW, I read Nance’s column from the get-go. I listened to her on WOWO, I watched her on …WANE was it? Big fan from way back! Glad to have the blog!
Deborah said on August 17, 2005 at 8:29 pm
Never posted before. I’ve been reading nn.com for a few months now, found you through Lance Mannion, found him through James Wolcott, found Wolcott through Tbogg. Don’t remember how I found Tbogg. Anyway, I enjoy them all (and then some like Neddie Jingo) daily.
Great blog, I’ve told all my friends about you.
Oh and I live in Chicago.
Jolene said on August 17, 2005 at 9:57 pm
I’m here in Alexandria, VA. Can’t remember how I found you either. Like others, I read you almost every day (and I catch up w/ what I’ve missed when I skip a day or two). I love your links and share your politics, I think, insofar as I know your views. It’s so nice to hear from someone who pays attention to politics but doesn’t rant or engage in what you have, in the past, referred to as the Internet “smackdown.” It’s hard to avoid when there’s so much stupid stuff floating around; one wants to challenge it. You have a great voice—smart and witty. Keep doing what you’re doing, and I’ll keep reading.
kim said on August 17, 2005 at 10:57 pm
I’m a teensy bit late to this party, but I, too,(a Chicago native who now lives in/reads from Yorktown, VA) came to NN.C via Bob Greene. And I cannot believe I’m saying this, but thank you God for Bob Greene. Appreciatively yours, Nance (may I call you “Nance”?)!
alex said on August 17, 2005 at 11:39 pm
And I’m extremely late to the party and yet have been one of the earliest fans–since Nance landed in the Fort in ’80-something just out of college. Oh, how I envied her then. She had a column. I was just out of college like she was and all I had was a lunchtime cash register and no prospects for a career whatsoever.
She was audacious. I remember at the time all these people ranting about this little gal from Ohio ripping on their hick town like it was her own. How dare she? Well, she made it her own. She was truly a citizen as good as any and better than most. I moved on to Chicago for eighteen years yet continued following her work because she had her ear to the ground in my hometown better than any native. Always wondered what the heck this caliber of talent was doing in Fort Wayne, Indiana, when she can entertain with the best of them. But I was glad for it. And I’ve seen firsthand what sort of meritocracy her former employer is, particularly since it’s been Knight-Ridden.
The web site’s been a daily staple for me since not long after its inauguration. It’s my home page. Regardless of the locality of the slant, or the slant of the locality, whatever, it’s the writing that has me hooked. Glad you’re still making time for it, Nance. My day wouldn’t be the same without it.
Angie said on August 18, 2005 at 10:09 am
May I just say — ditto to Alex’s comment, from a newer reader (about 3 months) in NE Indiana.
vince said on August 18, 2005 at 10:28 am
Checking in from Oregon: your voice reaches the left coast!
After meeting Nanc during her Ann Arbor vacation/studies/fellowship/boondoggle, I instantly became addicted to her daily ramblings. Perhaps because they’re such well written rambles.
Like Alex, I wondered why such a talented voice had stayed in FW so long.
And just think. We all get to enjoy her for free!
Gina said on August 18, 2005 at 12:10 pm
A little late in commenting, but I’ve been reading NN.com since the Bob Greene deal (Sept. ’02?). Former Chicagoan who thinks reading a Bob Greene column is akin to gawking at a train wreck, now living in Colorado. Don’t miss a day.
joodyb said on August 18, 2005 at 3:31 pm
I have told 37 people to read your blog.
Karen said on August 18, 2005 at 5:00 pm
A day late, but here goes… I’m a long-time lurker, and don’t even remember what brought me here in the first place. Now it’s a daily check-in from here in the lovely Silicon Valley, where my job has nothing to do with computers.