Oh, totally.

Did the president really tell the pope he gave an “awesome speech”? Sigh. “Awesome” is one of those words I banter with my 11-year-old about. I tell her I’m really not being a language cop or anything, oh no not me, but it’s a crying shame how we took a perfectly fine word like awesome and stretched its meaning to cover, well, let me give a recent example:

“Have you tried the breadsticks? They’re awesome.”

I’m not opposed to using “awesome” in its slangy sense, but in using it in casual conversation with the damn pope, George Bush has plumbed new depths. See, the Vicar of Christ’s business is awe. He claims to speak for God on earth; he wants to literally be awesome. Awe is, after all, a “feeling of reverential respect, mixed with fear or wonder.” Reverence. Respect. Wonder. That’s the pope’s stock in trade, and our president uses the word the way skaters do, while praising one another’s half-pipe moves.

OK, then. A couple of pix from Michael G, regular commenter and, today, citizen journalist. (Can you feel the awesome?!) They’re from his California perambulations, and of interest to us because? Because we all drink Two Buck Chuck from time to time, and yes, folks, this is where they make it. Note the Napa Valley, “Sideways”-style charm of the entrance to the Bronco Wine Co.:

Show your pass.

As Michael writes:

Bronco is not your typical yuppie winery. There is no sign, no tasting room, no tour, no nuthin. They seem to be a tad shy. Shy to the extent that the property is surrounded by a border of barbed wire topped fencing and screened by very close set cemetery trees. I don’t know the proper name. They’ve always been “cemetery trees” to me. The front gate has a guard shack. This is a quite large facility and the only way to distinguish it from all the other processing plants and packing sheds along 99 is the huge tank farm out back.

Seen here, at a bit of a distance:

The caves.

The road was narrow and there was no place to stop so I took the pix as I drove by. There’s a blurry one of the warmly welcoming entrance to the property and the hospitality room cleverly disguised as a guard shack and one of the caves, I mean tanks where the product is aged. I know TBC has to be referred to by Bronco as “product” rather than wine. You can tell by looking at the place.

So there you are, but as it turns out, there is nothing to be seen at Chuck’s house and that’s just the way they want it. Still, how many people have actual pictures of the place?

Every time I drive around Detroit, I’m reminded anew that we make things here, and making things ain’t pretty. I won’t recall, yet again, my husband’s adventures with industrial food production in Napoleon, Ohio, except to say that it put him off Campbell’s Soup and frozen pizza for life. But making anything on a factory scale is pretty grim; no wonder people like to tell themselves lies about free-range chicken and artisanal cheese. So much easier not to think about.

And that, my friends, is it for me today. Got a couple of projects that require close attention, and I need to give them some. So go forth and have, dare I say, an awesome day.

Posted at 9:41 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

65 responses to “Oh, totally.”

  1. derwood said on April 17, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Awesome post!

    13 chars

  2. Crabby said on April 17, 2008 at 10:17 am


    Hubble Deep Field

    142 chars

  3. whitebeard said on April 17, 2008 at 10:21 am

    awe sum, item on Chinese menu in White House kitchen

    52 chars

  4. Harl Delos said on April 17, 2008 at 10:23 am

    It’s my theory that companies treat their customers pretty much the same way that they treat their employees.

    Soup is good food, but what Campbell’s makes isn’t good soup. Nor does Pepperidge Farm make good bread, and on the basis that everything else Campbell’s makes is crap, I suspect there’s probably ebola hiding in Godiva chocolate.

    And if food is awesome, I want to run the opposite direction. It’s probably made by Campbell’s. Mind you, I love food that has me gaping, just not food that has me gaping in awe.

    Aren’t kids wonderful for what they teach us? Jasper made me realize what I stand for – and what I won’t stand for. (They’re wonderful for other reasons, too, but those reasons are a lot more obvious.)

    When I google for “tall skinny tree”, I find Swedish Aspen, but if I do a google image search for Swedish Aspen, they look a lot more “raggedy” than the tall skinny trees I think of. I’ve reached the limit of my arborial knowledge; it’s time for me to punt.

    990 chars

  5. Kevin said on April 17, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I caught some flak for proposing to ban “awesome” earlier this year:


    It’s my least favorite verbal tic of all, and that includes “youknow” and “knowwhatimsayin.”

    240 chars

  6. alex said on April 17, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Like tubular, man.

    Funny how tubular never took off but awesome did. I think they both entered the national consciousness simultaneously via “Valley Girl,” Moon Unit Zappa’s ’80s one-hit wonder novelty song, didn’t they?

    “Shock and awe,” for which we can thank Mr. Bush or his speechwriters, has come to describe bowel functions on Clindamycin, at least in my circles.

    Edit: Oh, and cemetery trees, at least in this part of the country, are Norway poplars. They’re considered an invasive species and Meijer, the midwest’s answer to Wal-Mart, is no longer selling them in an effort to market itself as the green-friendly big box.

    638 chars

  7. coozledad said on April 17, 2008 at 10:32 am

    I think those may be Lombardy Poplar, planted because they grow quickly. But I’ve only started to be able to identify a few trees recently, so the likelihood of my being flat out wrong is pretty high.
    Bush uses the language he hears on his favorite television programs. He’s a perpetual adolescent, just like his pop, only with a more substance-abuse damaged frontal cortex.

    376 chars

  8. brian stouder said on April 17, 2008 at 10:52 am

    “awesome speeches”…..hmmmmm..

    I think FDR’s visibly angry declaration of war speech after Pearl Harbor has the requisite “feeling of reverential respect, mixed with fear or wonder.”….and Neil Armstrong gave a very short awesome speech, before setting foot on the face of the moon….and of course, President Lincoln gave at least two awesome speeches, and arguably produced three or four other awesome documents (his second message to congress – the forerunner to modern annual State of the Union addresses – deftly mixes practical political argumentation with flights of genuinely inspiring prose, at the end).

    As far as food factories, I remember touring Kelloggs many years ago…the heavily sweet smell (all across town, let alone in the plant) is what I mainly remember. And now, public tours of food production facilities seem to be non-existent (certainly at Kellog, and we went to Hershey last year, where you also cannot actually see the process)

    edit – and maybe that is just as well!!

    1008 chars

  9. moe99 said on April 17, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Actually there’s a Defiance connection to Two Buck Chuck. One of my classmates from DHS is a big distributor of it. He lives out in Reno. Say hi, Jeff, if you’re reading Nancy’s blog!!

    187 chars

  10. Jolene said on April 17, 2008 at 11:09 am

    I think the trees are cypresses.

    From the same web site:

    THE associations of some trees are ineffaceable. Though neither in form nor in color has the Cypress any suggestion of grief or gloom to the dweller in northern Europe who may be ignorant of its name and history, the customs and language of ages have, in its own southern climes, indelibly impressed upon it the symbolism of bodily death and spiritual immortality.

    But it may be that it’s only in Mediterranean countries, esp. Spain and Italy, that cemetery trees are cypresses.

    558 chars

  11. Jolene said on April 17, 2008 at 11:17 am

    My only food factory story: a tour of a potato chip factory years ago when they worried less about liability and sanitation. Warm potato chips. Um, um, good! And, although we couldn’t be sure, there was the possibility that they’d been made with potatoes from our farm.

    273 chars

  12. John said on April 17, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Beechnut Baby Juice factory, Budweiser Brewery, and my favorite, a barrel factory used for wine and whiskey aging.

    114 chars

  13. Mindy said on April 17, 2008 at 11:52 am

    That’s so, like, you know, out there.

    My dear friend worked at that same Campbell’s food factory, in the cafeteria. She won’t allow th stuff in her house.

    Isn’t George H.W. Bush credited with the first overuse of the word “thing” to keep from clarifying ideas and assembling sentences? I remember an article during his presidency entitled That “Thing” Thing that listed how many times he generalized what he was saying with “thing.” It came to mind every time I heard a topic referred to as “that (whatever) thing” until it happened so frequently that I was sick to death of being reminded about the president and it seemed that everyone was too lazy to think.

    669 chars

  14. ellen said on April 17, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Those look too thick and deep green to be Italian cypresses. I would guess a species of juniper that we see in the garden store here in houston that is cheaper and grows a lot faster than Italian cypress, but looks a lot like it from a distance.

    245 chars

  15. del said on April 17, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Let’s please ban the word “visionary” to describe businessmen.
    Whitebeard, you mentioned the Soo in one of your posts. Any connection to LSSU (and its banished words list)?
    My neighbor worked at the Vlasic pickle factory in St. Clair County, MI as a young woman (one of the self-described “pickle hussies).” Refuses to eat relish to this day.

    349 chars

  16. Jeff said on April 17, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Crabby, nice hook, in a Crocodile Dundee sort of way.

    But if Benedict XVI had some half-pipe moves, that would be Hubble Deep Field level awesome.

    (Re: my comment last night on post previous — the superintendent got back in town, and there’s a whole new process afoot which turns out to be policy, albeit only known for sure to that one person, a wee weak spot in the protocols. The one day suspension was for the boy who “told,” while the others all were sent home to next Monday, and they’ll be enjoying Harl’s aptly described boredom confinement during rec and free periods for an indefinite period from there forward in school. And i’ll need to keep my mouth shut until i see what the legal landscape is, but i still somewhat regret the official/sheriff/court involvement. If they just hadn’t drawn the map, and left it at the silly fuse-lit beachball . . . and yes, it turns out someone watched Kill Bill (vol. 1 & 2) with their family over the weekend, just as i suspected, and said as much to the principal when he called me. My inner Tipper Gore is yearning to breathe free . . .)

    1099 chars

  17. alex said on April 17, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Glad to hear some common sense may yet prevail, Jeff. Would-be assassins need love too, particularly those who are only nine years old.

    135 chars

  18. coozledad said on April 17, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I was just reading an ad for “Trader Joe’s” discussing Charles Taylor wines (selling for $1.99 to $2.50) saying that “while our selection of these wines may vary from season to season, the quality never does.”
    I can’t say I disagree.

    235 chars

  19. derwood said on April 17, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    The most disturbing food factory tour was the old Eckrich plant in Fort Wayne. But at least we got the cool hat at the end!


    133 chars

  20. Connie said on April 17, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Kellogg’s twice, where they gave us ice cream with Cocoa Krispies on it once, Fruit Loops on it the other time, and a six box snack pack to take home. I still put Cocoa Krispies on my ice cream.

    The McIlhenny Tabasco factory twice. They send you home with a tiny tiny free sample bottle. The island on which it is located is a garden and wildlife sanctuary, wildlife including alligators, this is Louisiana of course.

    423 chars

  21. Harl Delos said on April 17, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    My neighbor worked at the Vlasic pickle factory in St. Clair County, MI as a young woman (one of the self-described “pickle hussies).” Refuses to eat relish to this day.

    Vlasic was a Campbell company in the early 1990s. They’ve since parted ways.

    A lot of the time, people that work in a food factory will refuse to eat the food produced in that factory.

    The people who worked at Peter Eckrich & Sons home plant on Osage Avenye, though, generally refused to eat any competitor’s product. Management kept moving profitable products out of that factory and unprofitable products in, in an attempt to show that the factory was unprofitable, for use in contract negotiations.

    Funny thing, though. When the profitable products moved out, they got less profitable, and when the unprofitable products moved in, they got more profitable. They had a rather old workforce there, and they had their own ideas about how things should be done.

    A guy reported that a batch of product wasn’t quite right. They checked, and sure enough, it didn’t have the spices it should have. How did he know that? He wasn’t supposed to be tasting it! But when they tried to fire him, the union say, “Hey, the guy just saved you a bundle. You want to punish him for that?”

    The thing is, housewives don’t really decide what to buy, so much as they replenish what their family scarfs down. If you are a stickler about sanitation – and I’m told the folks at Osage were the best of the Eckrich plants – meat tastes good longer. Baloney and hot dogs stay in the fridge until the last piece is eaten, so if the last piece tastes as good as the first, it gets eaten quickly, and Mom buys more.

    Eckrich really went downhill when Swift took over. They put the Swift people in charge, not the Eckrich people, probably because Swift was rather unsuccessful, and Eckrich was quite successful. (You know, like the army uses expert truck drivers as cooks, and expert cooks as truck drivers.)

    And back to pickles: Sechler employees eat Sechler pickles and relish – and their plant in St. Joe is awfully clean. It’s harder to find here in Pennsylvania, but that’s the brand I prefer to buy.

    Jeff, glad to hear the news. Maybe there’s some hope for the schools after all. When it comes to law enforcement, though, I have my doubts.

    2333 chars

  22. Connie said on April 17, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    On the subject of 2 buck Chuck. On our regular trips to Indianapolis we throw the cooler in the back and head to Trader Joe’s where we always stock up on frozen spanokipita and frozen Chinese style dumplings, a couple of bottles of Chuck’s Shiraz, as well as anything else that catches our fancy.

    We are heading down that way Sunday to pick our kid up at the airport, this is the second time in a row that our Indy trip happens on a Sunday, when you can’t buy alcohol in the ENTIRE STATE OF INDIANA! At least Michigan lets Sunday sales be decided on a county by county basis.

    580 chars

  23. nancy said on April 17, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    A friend of mine worked in a chocolate factory in Youngstown. (Brach’s, maybe?) He always said chocolate was the opposite of scotch — you had to learn to dislike it. But soon, sure enough, he did.

    197 chars

  24. Connie said on April 17, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Heinz has a huge pickle factory in my home town and hands out their much coveted pickle pins at the big Tulip Time parade. It was just recently that I drove by there and realized the many giant wooden pickling vats were gone. Must have modernized the process.

    Heinz was one of those places where stay at home wives would go to work for the six week pickle season and earn their Christmas money. And you could also smell pickle season in that part of town.

    Many of those wives also gathered up their children and headed to the blueberry fields. I spent two summers – before High School – in those blueberry fields, and I couldn’t eat those berries for many years.

    672 chars

  25. MichaelG said on April 17, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    No alcohol in Indiana on Sunday? Really? In 2008? How barbaric. Trader Joe has a Shiraz called Purple Moon that sells for $3.99. It’s better than Charles Shaw. Then, at twice the price it should be. The label says it’s made in Manteca so it may come from the same factory as TBC which, by the way, still costs $1.99 at my local Trader Joe’s.

    348 chars

  26. Danny said on April 17, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Jeff, I too am glad to hear that the situation is resolving in a common-sense fashion. And speaking of conflict reolution, guess what I get to do today when I get home from work? I get to, in some polite fashion that I have not come up with yet, gently ask a neigbor to restrain himself when he is (apparently) pleasuring himself in his bathroom. VERY LOUDLY. And repeatedly. Several times a day. For months now.

    Our other neighbors, the single mom and three kids who we have taken under our wing, just told us about this … habit .. that they have had to put up with for a while now. They have a very thin common wall adjacent to this guy’s bathroom. It’s creepy.

    When I heard about it day before yesterday, the girls (my wife and my neighbor) were planning on addressing the situation themselves with his wife. I immediately thought that a bad idea and offered to “chat” with the offender myself. I told them, I couldn’t imagine this going well and I’d rather it be me addressing the situation than them.

    Well, I guess they thought better of it and now it is going to be all of us together so that there are witnesses and protection. And we’re going to do it this afternoon, before his wife gets home.

    Man, I can’t WAIT to get home, YIPPEEE.

    Any advice, folks?

    1284 chars

  27. nancy said on April 17, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Danny, I think a direct approach works best: “Man to man, bro: Stop jerkin’ it so loud, OK? It’s scaring the neighbors. Please don’t make me tell you twice.”

    157 chars

  28. Dexter said on April 17, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Ah, the old Puritan ice cream factory in Kendallville, IN, fifty years ago…unforgettable.
    Jolene, the overwhelming odor from the old Seyfert’s plant was as distinct as the 1960’s stench from Toll Road Gary, Indiana.
    Now I make my own potato chips…nothing is easier, thin slices and hot oil .
    My sister-in-law buys two-buck Chuck by the case. I researched it as I had never heard of it, and found out it is now called three-buck Chuck in Chicago … $2.99 (transportation costs) —my brother is on the phone right now… This was at least two years ago—for all I know they may have had a Wal*Mart type of rollback of prices. Thanks, MichaelG for the photos and to Nance for showing them.
    Forty years ago I panned caramel into long trays at Kraft Foods in Kendallville, and later worked the sanitation shift at night…that place was CLEAN. One dumb ass urinated in a marshmallow kettle and was fired on the spot and the kettle scrubbed for hours , a whole shift, before they used it again.

    1007 chars

  29. Sue said on April 17, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    I suggest two things: pretend that you don’t know what the sounds are (“Listen, we can hear you when you cut yourself shaving” might be a possibility) so the embarrassment isn’t so acute. And watch your back, your car, your family and your pet for at least a year.

    266 chars

  30. alex said on April 17, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Well, Danny, it could be a little awkward if you’re all going on the assumption that what you’re hearing is what you think you’d be seeing if there weren’t that thin little wall in the way. How do you know his noises aren’t emanating from a bowel problem?

    Worst food story I’ve heard: From the Breyer’s ice cream factory in Huntington. A friend had a summer job there while in college. He says the lowlifes working there would regularly hawk up loogies and blow them into the vats and laugh about it, but the worst offense, he told me, was when one particularly skanky old buzzard removed a bloody Band-Aid from his finger and tossed it into the vat where they make the strawberry ice cream.

    Yeah, Indiana’s ripe for a constitutional challenge on its liquor laws. There’s no fathomable reason for the blue law. It’s a relic from the days when the state didn’t think it improper to enforce Sunday as the Sabbath for all. In Indiana, you can go to a casino or a tavern on Sunday and get served, by the way, but you can’t pick up a six-pack at Walgreen’s and drink it at home. Makes absolutely no sense at all.

    1114 chars

  31. moe99 said on April 17, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    OT. News from Muncie Indiana that was featured on talkingpointsmemo.com:


    Now how is it that the GOP big wigs get to look at criminal files?

    223 chars

  32. Danny said on April 17, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Agreed, Alex. Upon hearing the situation, I immediately told everyone that they were jumping to conclusions. Be direct, but don’t assume is good advice.

    EDIT: The counter-argument was that they were sure and that they didn’t want to take the chance that the guy would say, “Hey, I have troubles in the bathroom. Deal with it.” I still think it’s an assumption that should not be made.

    391 chars

  33. Jen said on April 17, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Sechler’s Pickles in St. Joe, Ind., is the only food plant I think I’ve toured, and I still eat Sechler’s, so I guess that means it’s a good one. We went in elementary school, and I remember that we got to see all the pickles in the big wooden vats, sample some of their pickles (they have a lot of interesting flavors) and wear a paper Sechler’s Pickles hat home.

    364 chars

  34. Jolene said on April 17, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Whatever assumptions you make, I definitely would not recommend making this confrontation a group project. I hope you can talk “the girls” out of their plan. I think that, in situations such as this, the best thing is to handle them in such a way that everyone can pretend nothing happened. If lots of people are involved, it’s hard to maintain that pretense.

    364 chars

  35. Dexter said on April 17, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Hear Hear! Just another vote for Sechler’s. The retail shoppe is a ticket to Pickle Paradise. Alas, like Mr. & Mrs. Jack Spratt of fat-lore, I love sweet (candied) pickles and Mrs. Dexter is fond of garlic dills and won’t touch my sweet gherkins. It’s a great set-up for inventory control.
    The retail shoppe (showroom) is still in business…I’ll go there next week and see.

    461 chars

  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 17, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    “Hey, your neighbors felt a little self-conscious about bringing it up, but they hear all kinds of odd noises from your side, that they aren’t sure mean they should knock to see if you’re OK, call an ambulance, or what. I said i’d be happy to just pass the concern along — they’re nice people, and don’t want to be nosy, but don’t want to just worry. I figured you’d want to know . . . hey, how ’bout them Padres?”

    You can’t hide the fact that the neighbors are the trigger, and shouldn’t, but i’d carefully tell my spouse when i’m going over, then go myself. At the first sign of angry denial, back away, smile, and say “Hey, they were just concerned, glad everything’s OK.” Muddled embarrassment is much more likely, to which you respond with a cheerful subject change — he’s gotten the message that he’s been overheard, straining at evacuation or digesting his tripe or whatever he’s doing. No need to belabor the point, no need for a team.

    If you do that, discuss the need for pitching halfheartedly, segue to weather and decline an offer of a beer and return home, only to hear next week nothing has changed, you have a whole different problem which a group appearance wouldn’t have stopped anyhow.

    1216 chars

  37. Harl Delos said on April 17, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Just this month, Colorado became the 31st state to get rid of their Sunday ban on liquor sales. It appears that 13 states have dropped their bans since 2002.

    Newspapers in Ohio don’t accept ads for liquor. The liquor stores are owned by the state, so it’s just a matter of manufacturer ads. And it’s not law, just an agreement among the newspapers. (Hmmm. Don’t you call that illegal collusion?)

    Trader Joe in Pennsylvania can’t sell wine, and the state store, which can, doesn’t carry Two Buck Chuck.

    I’d be VERY reluctant to approach that neighbor, Danny. The traditional response to making too much noise, of any kind, is to pound on the adjoining wall or ceiling, isn’t it? He might be embarassed to know what you’re hearing, and the less confrontation, the better. Nobody likes to be called a jackoff.

    816 chars

  38. Danny said on April 17, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Everyone, very awesome advice. I am grateful. In light of all of this, I plan to lobby to hold this “confrontation” off for at least another day so we can discuss it at home.

    Harl, I too had the same thought about pounding on the wall, but apparently it is mostly the kids who are hearing it when they are home alone. I could not imagine asking a 10-year old girl to confront this situation by herself, even it was just to pound on the wall. EDIT: But you never know. Giovanna may think it is OK and tell her kids to do just that.

    537 chars

  39. Kirk said on April 17, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    The state hasn’t owned liquor stores in Ohio for a lot of years now. My neighborhood grocery became one of the first stores in the state to sell beer, wine and booze as early as 10 a.m. on Sunday several years ago. The clientele became a lot more interesting.

    259 chars

  40. sue said on April 17, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Getting back to “awesome”: my word discussions with my kids usually focused on word origins. I didn’t care if they took a word and used it in a “modern” way as long as they knew the original meaning. By the way, I don’t have the etymology handy, but did you know that “dork” originally meant p***s? Ok, dork isn’t a real word, but you get the idea. Anyway, this blog is awesome. Nancy, you’re a real brick. MMJeff is swell; I suspect Danny is seriously groovy; Whitebeard is the cat’s pajamas; Brian is decent, man; and Harl is… well, there’s no single word to describe him.

    583 chars

  41. joodyb said on April 17, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    no alcohol sales in MN on sunday either. lots of people cross the bridge to Wis.

    i say they’re Lombardy poplars.

    it was Gorant’s in Youngstown. his aunt worked there too. oh, and there’s a bandaid story.

    209 chars

  42. richard said on April 17, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Hillary :sexism::Barack:racism. I know this was dealt with and summarily concluded a couple of days ago. I think it begs the question of what I think is a healthy competition. I couldn’t guess about the variegated nefarious and ignorant opinions from Republicans, abut I think I see an undercurrent in th Waterworld-vast ocean of hardcore Democrats, old-school liberals, “Independents”, and hardline Progressives. (And Lord forgive me, but I believe the “independents’ think iit’s cool to be self-styled iconoclasts and the “Progressives” are are Deanie babies, and not much of this has to do with any ur-culture at all)

    In ’04, when the Enron governor self-destructed, the HoDean faithful latched onto the DNC and the press as villains. Fact is, now Howard Enron Dean is the DNC, and whatever these people thought was the establishment is mounted and ready to ride against Hillary, the Mendacious. If Barack wants to talk about his well-educated and accomplished Granny and throw her under the 18-wheeler wheels, well, that lie is more monstrous than than anything about Bosnia? The old lady never called anybody anything that made the kid cringe.

    But David Sirota, Keith Olbermann, HuffPost and any number of outposts that pick like turkey vultures on one claw and broadcast spin on the other. Their in-knd contributions should be listed as campaign contributions.

    I wouldn’t say either campaign has digressed into racism and sexism attacks except in spin. (If you think anything Bill Clinton has said indicates racism, raise your hand so the Asshole Patrol can throw a net over you.)Progressives hated Kerry, because of perceived NDC slights, and enough of these idiot idealogues voted for Nader to give Kenneth Blackwell all the room he needed to cheat like a bastard. Now it seems they’ve grabbed control and everybody, including their sanctimonious asses might pay.

    There has been some commentary about Hillary losing and having to make amends. Why? Barack already said it. He said he knew that Hillary’s supporters would support him but he didn’t know if his would support her. Dean’s supporters didn’t support John Kerry. How’d that turn out? Kinda like Bolsheviks taking over.

    It get‘s down to who knows what he‘s talking about.
    I don’t have a horse in this race, except that I know for a fact the Republicans are intellectually devoid of intellectual substance, because … well because, since 1960 they’re the party of getting Time Magazine to hype racial differences.

    Way I see it: Clinton campaign has never once raised any race card; Obama’s campaign has seriously brought in gender. In the campaign, Hillary has embraced Obama’s campaign and his has treated her like some leper clone of McCain. Governor Dean was an offshore tool of Enron. Why’s he running the DNC? And why is the mainstream “progressive media” slandering Hillary?

    I don’t care, one way or another, I want Republicans gone, and not because of their policies but because their policies change day to day with the self-serving bull from Dana Petrino. I do not wan’t self-appointed “Progressives” to think they can dictate to attempt a hijack of liberal politics. Here’s the deal. Hillary knows what she’s talking about, Obama regurgitates her ideas in some hazy fashion. That’s an undeniable pattern.

    If Americans are really worried about security, how’d everybody miss how Kerry shut down Osama in the 80sKerry
    shut down Osama in the 80s? Oh, it embarrassed the House of Faud? House of Bush? The Oldtimer and the Freedom Fighters?

    HW bailed on his crewmembers. W couldn’t make any of his appointments, but that was Dan Rathers’ fault. Kerry performed heroically but some Nixon retread played on Faux News four times an hour slandering an actual war hero. People bought this shit. Hillary was never under fire (at least not dangerously) and Barack’s Granny sure as shit never used the N word in his presence (was he so attuned as a kid but didn’t know anything about the times?). I don’t care. Hillary’s made her support clear. Barack says if your not on his side you should compound the astounding error and vote for onanism.

    Kerry should have been the President. Osama would be history or last gulp penury. Even the mis Administration says they’ve fallen down on the banking police aspect that W mocked. Kerry exposed the unitary presidency as an out and out coup by Ollie and the Old Timer, and they reamed him for his efforts, but the effect persevered. The hideous excesses of Iran-Contra were shut down and Raygun had to disgrace himself by pardoning traitors.

    So, as far as patriotism is concerned, since the 80s, the Republicans and the neocons are the traitors. Democrats and liberals bear the flag with or without flag lapel pins. “Progressives” live in some sort of bitter limbo, where they’ve every right to express opinions, but they damage their credibility eith blind support of some guy that’s promising but he’s not, by any any stretch, Bobby.

    It would be a Godsend if the “Progressive ” spinmeisters would back off this astounding horseshit and admit that most of the anti-Clinton crap was their own imaginative spin. If it gets right down to it, Hillary has made it clear she supports an Obama candicay. Far as I know from the public record, Obama might vote for Ralph (his partner in Onanism and omphalaikos-gazing, I am, so the Universe revolves around me), or himself, or a write-in for Reagan. It might be a good idea if statements along these lines were made a little clearear.

    Anyway, the hardcore HoDean DNC types that deplored the DNC lockstep that didn’t exist in ’04 but most certainly rules in ’08 ought to think about the consequences of their behavior.

    6158 chars

  43. whitebeard said on April 17, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Del, re: “Whitebeard, you mentioned the Soo in one of your posts. Any connection to LSSU (and its banished words list)?” Although Lake Superior State University was founded in 1946, well before I left the Canadian Soo in the late 60s for the now-vanished Montreal Star, I never paid it much mind until I started reading the LSSU banished words list in recent years.
    But I do have a funny story about a LSSU student who was returning to the Canadian side after her afternoon art class. I was standing behind her in the Canadian Customs line where you had to declare everything you bought in the retail stores in the Michigan Soo.
    She was not declaring anything. she said, because she never bought anything and endured his repetitive “are you sure, Miss?” questioning.
    He looked to me for help in his quest to uncover blatant smuggling because he was on my bowling team, but border smugglers of contrabrand comic books and cheaper clothes, like myself, never squeal on fellow Customs criminals, so I ignored his uplifted eyebrows.
    Later, at bowling that night, he asked politely whether she had bought anything and not declared it and said she was in the clear now, anyways.
    Well, I laughed, and told him she bought some expensive makeup, a new wristwatch, some cologne and some trinkets at Montgomery Ward and put them in her brand-new purse that was on sale that day.
    I said I could not give him a clue while standing in line trying to smuggle in the three shirts I was wearing, but I wondered why he didn’t spot that she was carrying two good-sized leather woman’s purses. He laughed so hard he missed two easy spares and bowled below his average.

    1659 chars

  44. Harl Delos said on April 17, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    but did you know that “dork” originally meant p***s?

    It meant piss? I guess I’m not old enough to remember that.

    In the early 1960s it meant dick. By the late 1960s, it meant the same thing it currently means: a dickhead.

    and Harl is… well, there’s no single word to describe him.

    And the word dork was right at your fingertips!

    I thank you for your unwarranted kindness. I’d like to deserve it, but I seem to lack sufficient eptitude. Eptness? Whatever!

    In any case, I agree with the nice things you said about the others here, and note that while there’s no single word to describe you, either, the words that come close are very complimentary.

    689 chars

  45. richard said on April 17, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Making things ain’t pretty, Nancy? But what’s pretty? Diego Rivera murals? i>Metrp[olis? Maybe there’s pretty and there’s what’s beautiful and the one doesn’t exist without the other. And perhaps the pretty doesn’t exist without the beautiful in the first place.

    Frank Loyd Wright. It’s all pretty when the water falls and the Inn is available to art critics. I think the designer was keen on the muscle, skin and bone necessary to put all those things in place.

    474 chars

  46. coozledad said on April 17, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Christ: I meant Charles Shaw. Not Taylor. Maybe if Pat Robertson can lend his old diamond business pal a few thousand, he can start a winery,too.
    My wife and I used to live next door to a couple who had very loud, protracted sex. At first we thought they were fighting, and it had gotten out of hand- the woman frequently gasped “You’re killing me…Ahhhggghh! You’re killing me!”
    We considered calling the police until we figured out what was going on, and then we just sat around and listened. These sessions could fill up an evening that might otherwise be spent watching television, playing cards or having sex for a few minutes and passing out early.
    When my wife’s elderly folks visited, we tried turning the volume up on the TV to mask the noise of the neighbor’s bed slamming into the wall so hard the overhead lights were shorting out. We figured they were nearly deaf anyway, so they wouldn’t catch on. But they would surreptitiously turn the volume down when we weren’t paying attention.
    One night, when my wife and I returned from the grocery store, we found her parents just sitting in the room with the television off, with the chairs pointed toward the offending wall.

    1192 chars

  47. nancy said on April 17, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    OK, I’m weeping.

    16 chars

  48. Peter said on April 17, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Well, you know what the Germans say: Those with weak stomachs shouldn’t watch sausages or laws being made. When I was a kid, I went on a tour of the Vienna Hot Dog factory and sat in on a Chicago City Council meeting, and I have now got one weak stomach.

    Oh, the loud sex stories. I think we all have some, but on a tangent, here’s one: Some years back I took my Mom to see her brother and other relatives in the old country.

    A bunch of us were on a large boat bringing people back to the seaport from one of the outlying Croatian islands. On the boat happened to be the town psychologist and a cute young thing he met onb the island. They were going over last night’s activites, with the psyc getting rather graphic, to the point where we stopped our card game. The lady was getting embarassed: “Honee, I don’t think you should be talking about that…” when he replied “Oh, this boat is full of dumb peasants who don’t know any English”. He then yelled out “Hey, isn’t that right! You dumb peasants don’t know any English!” which is when my 70 year old mom replied “That’s right darling, now tell me more about your girlfriends p#$%^”

    1148 chars

  49. Dexter said on April 17, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    My posts today were so out of synch with the ones bordering mine it was ridiculous.
    I certainly don’t have any advice for Danny and his problem. I will relate a little story , however. In my townhouse days, the bedrooms were upstairs and townhouse to townhouse, separated by the ubiquitous thin wall.
    The single mom next door took on lovers regularly and we didn’t need the old inverted water glass against the wall to hear the sounds.
    My wife and I got used to it and what the hell?—we didn’t really think much about it after a while.
    Fast forward about twenty years, and the former neighbor and I found ourselves at a party where booze was flowing.
    We had become work-buddies over the years , but never mentioned those forgotten noisy nights,
    until that party, when , after many drinks, I thought it would be funny to bring up, so I did…”Remember when…?”
    And she just grinned and looked at me and said “We heard you guys, too.”

    948 chars

  50. Dexter said on April 17, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Harl, no offense intended, but your writing style reminds me so much of John Kennedy Toole’s Ignatius J. Reilly, the main character in Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, that I got my copy down from the shelf for a re-read. I have read that book four times since 1982, but it’s time to do it again. It is classic Americana, set in New Orleans. It is the only manuscript Toole finished before his 1969 suicide at age 32.

    470 chars

  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 17, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Let he who is without sounds throw the first moan.

    50 chars

  52. Dexter said on April 17, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Oh, when I worked at Kraft, we could eat all the fresh caramel we wanted, and it was great. It was so good and satisfying, I found I could just pull off a chunk and eat it, and by lunch break, I wouldn’t want much of anything to eat. I was a bit overweight and in my five months there, at age 18, I lost thirty pounds.
    All in all , a totally awesome collection of posts today.

    381 chars

  53. Harl Delos said on April 17, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Harl, no offense intended, but your writing style reminds me so much of John Kennedy Toole’s Ignatius J. Reilly, the main character in Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces

    I started to say “How could anyone take offense at being compared to a pulitzer-prize winning author”, but then I read your post again. You’re comparing me to the main character in a book about dunces. Sounds like I have a future in politics.

    Oh, well. If you’re only calling me a dunce, I’m probably getting off light.

    Since you mention that you’ve read it four times, I’ll take that as an admonishment that I should read it, too. I just ordered it, used, from Amazon. I’m pretty sure it’ll beat the “entertainment” I get coming through the wall; they fight all the time, about the fact that he can’t keep a job.

    802 chars

  54. richard said on April 17, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Awesome? Well, at least its not a complete perversion of the actual meaning, just foolish hyperbole. The one that gets me is nauseous. If you insist on being nauseous, it’s everybody around you that’s ralphing. You may well be, but what you really mean is you’re nauseated (of course, if you pretend to be nauseated, like Chunk in the theater balcony, you might be nauseous). And is there a human bodily function with more, and more inspired, colloquiallisms attached than barfing? Are barf and fart onomotopoetical?

    516 chars

  55. joodyb said on April 17, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    Only one of many paeans to darling bossy in the SeattlePI:


    120 chars

  56. joodyb said on April 17, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    0 chars

  57. richard said on April 17, 2008 at 11:59 pm


    You know the story of John Kennedy Toole’s mom haunting Walker Percy, I guess. Good book, kind of derivative of Mott the Hoople by Willard Manus. Even Walker Percy liked it though, or the old lady impinged on his southern gentleman noblesse. On the other hand, there are Love Among the Ruins, The Thanatos Syndrome, and, most of all, The Second Coming, by the master. Particularly good while the Pope is in town.

    458 chars

  58. Kafkaz said on April 18, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Oh, gosh, it’s so good to settle down to stories about loud sex and scary food at the end of a long day.

    I confess that I love frozen pizza (I’m not unaware that the name “Tombstone” should give a person pause, but I just have to have a Tombstone pepperoni pizza each week, and that’s that), Campbell’s soup (some flavors, anyway) and even Kraft macaroni and cheese. Must be the childhood connections. I’ll eat those little vienna sausages that come in a can, too, and have even happily consumed fried Spam. Apparently has something to do with childhood comforts, and the fact these were foods we could prepare by ourselves. Bologna and cheese sandwiches on white bread with yellow mustard were another childhood staple, and I’d still not turn up my nose at one of those if I were really hungry. Side of chips, please.

    I think I’m a food floozy–all appetite, no taste.

    On the other hand, I do love good cooks–real cooks–with a passion. Also, I love old cookbooks, mostly for the illustrations, but also, if they’re old enough, for the mysterious directions. Anyone old enough to remember when cans were numbered by size?

    1293 chars

  59. del said on April 18, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Whitebeard, I went to Lake Superior State (then) College for a year. My funny border crossing story is that when I was about 18 or 19, after a night of Canadian carousing (with the lower drinking age), the matronly border guard inquired about contraband, etc., to which I became insolent and demanded a strip search. Everyone in the car froze. Silence. Finally, she could hold form no longer and broke down laughing, then waved us through. Awesome.

    Just read about a couple of dorks from Quebec who looked at a map and figured they could smuggle some weed across the border this past winter along the St. Mary’s river. The ice broke and they were rescued. Awesome, eh?

    680 chars

  60. del said on April 18, 2008 at 12:32 am

    Richard, your initials wouldn’t happen to be Michaelj, would they? Maybe you’re channeling.

    92 chars

  61. whitebeard said on April 18, 2008 at 4:42 am

    Del, re: “Just read about a couple of dorks from Quebec who looked at a map and figured they could smuggle some weed across the border this past winter along the St. Mary’s river. The ice broke and they were rescued. Awesome, eh?”
    That is a scary story about global warming because in my day the St. Mary’s River did freeze over and many things were pulled into Ontario on a sled, duty free, so to speak.
    One Soo Ontario radio announcer smuggled in an expensive radio/phonograph the size of a motorcycle and then made the mistake of bragging about his successful smuggling on the air. Customs officials called him on it and he had to pay the duty and, I think, a fine.
    Of course, he always spoke first and thought later, which is why, when giving a plug for the upcoming policemen’s ball in adjacent Korah Township, added that everyone knew that Korah policemen have the biggest balls of all.

    897 chars

  62. Dorothy said on April 18, 2008 at 7:24 am

    Forgive me Harl if someone else beat me to this explanation. But I don’t think p***s was supposed to be “piss.” Put the letters e n i in place of those asteriks and you have your answer.

    Danny I’m glad you’re holding off on the confrontation. But I admit I’m dying to know when/if you do and what the outcome is!

    And I had a Tombstone for dinner last night my ownself Kafkaz. The pepperoni sausage combo is good too.

    427 chars

  63. brian stouder said on April 18, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Joodyb – thanks for the bossy link; it was very interesting! (I was taken aback that she accessorizes with the tags from her deceased dogs!)

    And Dorothy – agreed about Tombstone; although I like to cheat and add more cheese and olives, and whatever else I can grab out of the ‘fridge (we also like the DiGiorno’s – or whichever one it is that has a garlic-bready crust)

    372 chars

  64. Harl Delos said on April 18, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    I’m not unaware that the name “Tombstone” should give a person pause, but I just have to have a Tombstone pepperoni pizza each week, and that’s that

    Those financial ads you see in the WSJ, etc., saying ‘35,000,000 shares of Deviled Eggs, Inc. to be offered, $666.00 apiece, by Dewey Cheatem & Howe’ are also known as tombstones. In theory, it’s because they usually sport a heavy black rule – maybe 18 points – as a border, and because they often are published after the offering is all gone.

    But it should give you pause, even more so than the pizza should.

    James Michael, former editor of Forbes, recently died. Michael was so brilliant, he made Clay Felker look inept. Malcolm Forbes was smart enough to give him free rein. Since Malcolm and Michael both retired, Forbes magazine has gone to hell; as a publisher, Steve Forbes is more of a fucking whore than anyone that Randi Rhodes could possibly name.

    Malcolm liked to tell the story of a recent college graduate who was hired as a broker. On his first day, it turned out, the market was closed, and the brokerage was having its annual party at the yacht club. His new boss was showing him all around, pointing out the managing partner’s impressive yacht, the chairman’s even more impressive yacht, and the yachts of all the various partners. The new guy was getting a little agitated, and finally, his boss said it looked like he had a question. “Well, yes, sir. It’s just that, well, where are all the customers’ yachts?”

    The difference between Malcolm and Steve is that Malcolm knew that, in the end, you have to take care of the customer for your business to survive. Steve stands up for the right of businesses to screw their customers, and thinks something needs to be done to silence the customers who complain. It reminds me of Pearl Buck’s “The Good Earth”.

    1865 chars

  65. Jlang said on April 19, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Yes I am the Defiance connection to Charles Shaw wines but I’ve lived in Palm Springs, not Reno the past 8 years. I’ve been a winery rep for Classic Wines (Bronco Wines distribution arm) for 7 years and I really love the company, owners, and the wines we sell. You have to understand we grow grapes on 35,000 acres in Nor-Cal and crush 340,000 tons a year. So several hundred trucks a day come through that guard gate with grapes in the Fall and juice in tank trucks the rest of the year. We produce over 100,000 cases of wine a day at bottliing plants in Napa, Sonoma, and Ceres (that’s 1.2mil bottles) Those storage tanks hold over 100mil gallons of wine so yep it’s a plant making a lotta product but the proof is in the sales so it must taste ok. I don’t drink it myself because it’s sold only to Trader Joe’s and the owner of the company calls on them. I get tons of wine samples but not any Shaw cause it’s not in my book. I’m sure we and TJ’s do not make a large profit on Shaw wines but it’s a door opener for TJ’s and it keeps our lines running 24/7. If you want to step a few notches at TJ’s try our JW Morris, Napa River, Alexander & Fitch wines. I sell a simliar line to Napa River and know it’s a great value – Napa Valley juice at $4.99 here in CA! Any questions – let me know.


    1303 chars