Did somebody break the Internet last night? Half my favorite sites are down or refuse to load past the background/flag/one obnoxious ad stage. Gonna have to wing it today. Probably just as well, because today is the last day of my Giant Wad of Text project, and I still have quite a lot to chew. So let’s just do an utterly stupid post today.

The other day I was glowering at myself in the mirror — every day, I give you another chance to wake up transformed into utter beauty, and every day you disappoint me — when I noticed my glower line is pretty much permanent now:

It's frozen that way.

In some ways, it’s not so bad. I finally figured out why I like “The Departed” so much. It’s like looking
into a mirror:


Hard to imagine critics once thought Leo DiCaprio was too pretty to play real grown-up parts. (Leo, artist-to-artist: They said the same thing about me.) The transforming effect of the glower!

Some call the mark of the glower a “frown line.” Nah. It’s concentration, although lately, it’s the look I wear pretty much permanently when reading the news. For instance:

A prostitution ringleader kills herself rather than face eight years in prison. Her clients remain, among other places, in the U.S. Senate.

Here’s another: On the five-year anniversary of the Mission Accomplished farce, the president’s spokesman suggests an edit for the infamous banner: “President Bush is well aware that the banner should have been much more specific and said ‘mission accomplished’ for these sailors who are on this ship on their mission.”

Glower, glower.

Gas prices soar beyond the clouds, customers start buying small, more-fuel efficient cars, and Detroit? Is caught mostly unprepared.


Giant wad of text, still unwritten?



Looks like “did you really call your wife a cunt” has replaced “when did you stop beating her” as the neutron bomb of candidate questions. Defense strategy’s the same: Get huffy, refuse to answer.

See ya.

Posted at 9:32 am in Uncategorized |

52 responses to “Scowly.”

  1. coozledad said on May 2, 2008 at 9:51 am

    And Bush’s pal Berlusconi comes back into power while his followers raise fascist salutes, saying “We are the new Falange”. The FBI pressures jurors in the political prosecutions cases, and does a little burglary.
    And the Madame said she was worried she’d be “suicided”, like a couple of her hires.
    You can’t elect criminal families to positions of authority. They will transform your country into an unrecognizable stinking heap of shit. Americans appear to be incapable of processing this simple bit of information.

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  2. coozledad said on May 2, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. The Secret service arrested the Baptist Minister who asked that question of McCain.

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  3. brian stouder said on May 2, 2008 at 10:14 am

    well, this article on physical appearance didn’t make me glower (or scowl), but it did make me laugh!

    an excerpt that made me raise me eyebrows (and crinkle my [ever-expanding] forehead) –

    It’s a strange time when “American Idol” contestants become as known for their outward appearance as they do their music. Past winner Carrie Underwood talks about her weight in the May issue of InStyle, saying, “I’m content with 90 percent of me,” she noted about her comfort with her body.

    hmmmmmmm… assumes this is 90% by weight moreso than by volume (gotta have curves, yes? Or maybe she DOES mean the other way around)

    Since her days on “American Idol” in 2005, Underwood has hired a trainer and dropped four dress sizes, going from a size 8 to a 2. “She came to the show not knowing what Manolo Blahniks were,” an “Idol” insider told OK! magazine. “She won, and it became about what designer she was wearing, how her hair looked and that she was an ‘average-sized girl.’

    Well, I STILL have no concept of what Manolo Blahniks are (shoes? bags? an eastern religious cult?)…but the bright side is that if you can afford a trainer, you can become happy with 90% of your body – and you’ll have to replace 100% of the clothes you cover it with

    She told In Style: “I think about what I look like probably more than I should. Some days I step out of the shower, put my lotion on and I’ll be like, ‘Ugh, ew, ew.’”

    hahahahahaha!!!So – the humble reader is sorta accidently invited to picture this 90% acceptable, naked wet body being slathered in lotion.

    Given the choice between a successful life where one’s stock in trade is what others think of how you look, or (instead) what you think – I’d take the latter. ‘Course, it’s just unfair that there are people (such as the proprietress) who can switch-hit!

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  4. John said on May 2, 2008 at 10:22 am

    ‘Course, it’s just unfair that there are people (such as the proprietress) who can switch-hit!

    Wahhh????? Nance is playing for the other team???? Did I miss a news flash?

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  5. whitebeard said on May 2, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Ah, sweet Google, where I only rate a paltry 608 entries at last peek, but as for “The Spanish designer Manolo Blahnik creates the most sought-after shoes in the world,” and his 990,000 entries, I confess a total lack of knowledge and firsthand sightings.
    But I, too, claim a glowering appearance (even when I smile, damn it). It has made for questions like “what precinct do you work out of?” when meeting police on the street or at a party.

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  6. Sue said on May 2, 2008 at 10:55 am

    You identify with Leo DeCaprio because of his frown line. That’s nothing – when I’m at the beauty salon getting a touch-up, waiting while the dye sets, with my hair spiking in all directions, I look in the mirror and see… Edward Scissorhands!

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  7. Danny said on May 2, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Michelle Obama has quite the glower line. And she juts out her jaw a lot. Seems kinda tightly wound…

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  8. Dorothy said on May 2, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Speaking of hair and such, I’m eating lunch in the presence of (notice I didn’t say “with) Jamie Lee today. I actually do pattern my haircut after hers. I just love the way she wears it and I’ve been carrying a picture of her around for 5 years or so. I go to those not-very-expensive haircut places and always seem to have a new stylist, to whom I have to show the pic of JLCurtis.

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  9. brian stouder said on May 2, 2008 at 11:23 am

    I’ve been carrying a picture of her around for 5 years or so

    hmmmmmmmm….if I was gonna carry a picture of a non-family person, who would it be?

    Maybe Patricia Heaton….or if it had to be same-sex, like Dorothy’s, maybeeeeeeee…..Eddie Vedder!

    (now THERE’S a glowing example of a glowerer!)

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  10. Dorothy said on May 2, 2008 at 11:26 am

    It’s teeny tiny, Brian, and fits nicely beside the picture of my dear departed dog, Atticus! (known in our family as Schmaddy actually)

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  11. WhiteBeard said on May 2, 2008 at 11:26 am

    I carried around a picture of a lovely British Sunbeam shaft-drive motorcycle for five years when I was in my teens; maybe that is why my sister kept on setting me up with dates (with girls, not bikers)

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  12. Sue said on May 2, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Brian: mine would be Colin Firth in his Mr. Darcy wet shirt garb. Yes I know it was not in the book. Or possibly Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon, in any costume, thank you. But since I don’t even carry pictures of family members, that would be an odd thing to do.

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  13. Catherine said on May 2, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    At last! Someone else with an Alan Rickman fetish!

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  14. Sue said on May 2, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Catherine: I do not watch action movies. Except Die Hard.

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  15. Jeff said on May 2, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    And the conservative candidate beat the socialist incumbent for Mayor of London — — so the deluded masses seem to be spreading . . . or could it be that left-liberal solutions to public policy questions justifiably don’t inspire confidence in the electorate?

    I’m not saying Rs are right because Ds are wrong — both can be, not infrequently disastrously are both wrong — but could people be leaning as much towards McCain as away from Barack and Hillary? (Sen. Vitter, on the other hand, should be made to attend the funeral, or better yet, the autopsy; his brother is a very nice scientist and effective administrator at Purdue in Indiana as dean of the School of Science.)

    If McCain wins, he will be the seventh Naval officer to hold the Oval Office since 1960. Is this coincidence, something ominous, or a sign that folks like leaders in the Executive branch? Clinton and Obama could yet inspire my confidence as effective senators, but i’m not hearing a thing to make me want them as President. Could we do better than McCain? No doubt, but that’s not the menu selection this round.

    Give me a Republican president, and please get us some higher wattage Democrats to push back in the legislative, and i’m a happy and content citizen.

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  16. Danny said on May 2, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Jeff, something you posted a few weeks back got me to thinking about the whole governent as a central clearinghouse for redistribution of wealth thing.

    On the one hand you have to have taxes because individuals cannot always be trusted to be magnanimous and unselfish towards their fellow man. And on the other you have that governement is not very trustworthy as a well-organized, benevolent charity. Some beauracracies are efficent, but this is very, very far from the norm. The best that can be said as concerns redistribution of monies is that governement is very much like an extremely inefficient charity. Often, the reality is more like a very EVIL charity that bilks the masses, lining their own pockets and those of their cronies.

    Both you and I are perosnally invested into charitable giving as individuals. Just neither one of us trust the government much with the forced tithe of taxes.

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  17. beb said on May 2, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    I have little sympathy for the American car companies who seem to go from week to week being shocked by developments that were obvious five years ago. Things like a high mileage car (which I’d consider as something with 40 MPG highway) or a low cost entry car that’s made in the US that might create brand loyalty when those early college owners upgrade to something bigger? No, they’d rather cry about the impact of CAFE on their bottom lne than do something about it.

    I’ve heard that the DC Madam both predicted she would be murdered amd have it made to look like a suicide and that she would under no circumstances go to prison. So her death may or may not be suicide but if I were the police involved I’d damn well treat it as murder until better evidence proves otherwise.

    Looks like “did you really call your wife a cunt” has replaced “when did you stop beating her” as the neutron bomb of candidate questions.

    Since most men don’t call their wives that word (except during or following a divorce) I doubt that it will ever replace “When did you stop beating your wife?” as campaign dynamite. Of course most men would simply deny ever using that word, something McCain couldn’t bring himself to do, even though there is no tape of the incident in question. That you can get arrested (or at least questioned) by the secret service for asking a presidential candidate a rude, but non-violent question seems a hard blow to the principle of free speech.

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  18. moe99 said on May 2, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    An engineer’s guide to cats. Hope I’m not duplicating this, but seemed we needed a little light for today.

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  19. Danny said on May 2, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    My best friend here in San Diego knew the DC Madam. He is a contractor who did some work for her. She mysteriously disappeared and stiffed him on the bill for something around $1000. It wasn’t until the story hit the national news a year ago that he was able to piece together that her mysterious disappearance coincided with her first (and now only) stint in jail.

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  20. Dorothy said on May 2, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Ahhhhh…. Alan Rickman!! That voice!!!

    Jamie Lee was extremely entertaining. But she talked so long I think half the women there have bladder infections now from holding it so long. It was lots of fun, though. Despite the fact that I spent the last half hour listening to her by crossing and uncrossing my legs several times.

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  21. John c said on May 2, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Beb, and Nancy:

    I saw that NY Times story on small cars too, including the line to which I assume you are referring: “The trend toward smaller and lighter vehicles with better mileage is a blow to Detroit automakers, which offer fewer such models than Asian carmakers like Toyota and Honda.”
    The problem is this: It is ridiculously untrue. I just spent less than five minutes on three websites: GM, Honda and Toyota. GM has more 30-plus MPG cars than the other two combined, and then some. I’m not sure if Bill Vlasic is the new car guy here or not. But this is a shockingly lazy mistake that I’m guessing will be corrected tomorrow.
    High gas prices are a problem for Detroit because the big three sell so many pick-up trucks. Guess what. Toyota and Honda are desperately trying to sell pick-up trucks too. They just can’t make good ones … yet.
    Meanwhile, the best response to Hillary and McCain’s shameless pandering with the gas tax relief idea comes from … Jim Press, the President of Chrysler, on page one of the Freep. Asked about the suspending of the federal gas tax for the summer, he said: “A piece of the polar ice cap the size of Rhode Island just disappeared. Why for the summer does it not matter?”

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  22. nancy said on May 2, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Good job calling out Press’ comments; he’s right.

    (Slight ulterior motive: They want gas to stay high because it will sell more cars than a return to the recent status quo. But his comments are sound, just the same.)

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  23. brian stouder said on May 2, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Dorothy – just for the record:

    I went to lunch today with my lovely wife, and Chloe (who will be 4 in June); we went to a nice Mexican restaurant (Cebolla’s) near Glenbrook mall (which is where they were before lunch!) (and their achilles tendons were intact). Chloe had scored a Minnie Mouse teeshirt and some very nice new ‘tap taps’ at the mall (her name for glittery shoes with hard heels), and she and I had to make a potty run midway through lunch, tapping across the restaurant and back in the process. Before leaving to go back to work, I bummed a dollar off of Pam, so as to be able to get a big icy cold Diet Coke; all in all, a very pleasant time.

    So then, I had just taken a sip of soda, and scrolled down to your JLC-lunch post, and now – my nose is burning (I guess you can say I snorted Diet Coke)

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  24. alex said on May 2, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    John C, I beg to differ as regards Toyota trucks. I have one. In all respects it beats the crap out of any American full-size I’ve ever driven, including its high resale value.

    I have a new GM product that gets 30-plus. When it’s not in the shop getting repairs under warranty, that is. I’m trying hard to love it, really I am. It’s lotsa fun with the top down.

    I saw yesterday that Honda already has a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that’s going to be tested in southern California. 68 mpg.

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  25. moe99 said on May 2, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Nancy, here’s a nifty Bush Administration scandal in the making involving Dow Chemical in Michigan:

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  26. Dexter said on May 2, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    The Departed was much more enjoyable the second time around…I have watched it 4 times and now I think I understand all the twists and turns Marty gave us to deal with in that movie.
    Matt Damon’s character was so repulsive I just wanted to punch him in the nose. A good film to study for “glower”, this is true…Leo had little to be happy-faced about in this movie.
    Oh…I had trouble loading sites yesterday and emptied my cache and double-checked to see all cookies and stored passwords were deleted…and my Dell took off like a jackrabbit again.

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  27. brian stouder said on May 2, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    This may or may not work, but when Dexter said “my Dell took off like a jackrabbit”, it reminded me of our latest addition –

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  28. Jolene said on May 2, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Jeff, the WaPo recently reported an analysis of the proposals of the three presidential candidates by the Congressional Budget Office demonstrating that the combination of tax cuts and spending proposed by McCain would result in increasing the federal deficit by more than those of either Obama or Clinton. Fairly impressive achievement for a self-proclaimed fiscal conservative.

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  29. Sue said on May 2, 2008 at 4:41 pm


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  30. nancy said on May 2, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Come on, Jolene — you know he said he didn’t know much about economics.

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  31. Jolene said on May 2, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Good catch, Nance. He certainly seems to be doing everything he can to support that claim.

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  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 2, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Not to glower, or anything, 😉 but you could believe that the tax cuts Bush put into action were a bad move, but that revoking them now is worse. Obama and Clinton avoid that problem by not only reversing them, but adding a bunch of clever revenue enhancements that may turn around and bite harder than they think.

    Obama is truly gutsy to stand against the summer gas tax holiday thing, as bad fiscal policy and bad energy policy; that he doesn’t talk more about a carbon tax is simple pragmatism which i can respect.

    But Jolene, McCain and i could wish that it wasn’t the choice, but that further increases of the deficit are better overall economic policy than pumping a short-term yippee through the system. McCain by way of Holtz-Eakin is surely wanting to hammer the stupidity of the tax “rebate” more than he is — see my comment on Obama and the carbon tax above.

    Clinton and Obama have lots of hope in “windfall profits” targeted tax hikes as a panacea for the budget, and they just don’t work the way you think they’re gonna. Sounds nice to make rich Uncle Lester pay for our household bills along with his, until Uncle Lester gets tired of the practice and moves to the Seychelles. You want to encourage Uncle Lester to say in the neighborhood and help your kids through college, which he’d do, except you hit him too often for gas money when they were toddlers.

    You want simple cut taxes/cut spending candidates, Google Ron Paul. Now there’s a fiscal conservative, but i ain’t voting for him. He could have been Calvin Coolidge’s running mate, but for 2008, he’s not even out of the gate.

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  33. sue said on May 2, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Just watched An Engineer’s Guide to Cats. Thank you Moe99, great way to start the weekend.

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  34. nancy said on May 2, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Yeah, me too. I always wondered who bought those ugly-ass sofas you see in cheap furniture stores. Now I know — engineers.

    Funny vid, though.

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  35. moe99 said on May 2, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    One more very entertaining youtube for the weekend:

    Brings new meaning to paper dolls……

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 2, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    FWIW, the place i’m preaching the next two Sundays needs me to fill in because a score of their members and the pastor are in Greensburg, KS, helping rebuild the Green-burg there on the prairie, which would not have gone so whole-hog environmentally sustainable without a last minute, personal “how much do you need?” check from one . . . . . Leonardo DiCaprio.

    They will have the highest efficiency, most renewable buildings in the state (and beyond) thanks to Leo’s call to the city manager to say “i hear you have a gap to do what you want to do — how can i help?”

    Now that, more than glower lines, tells me Leo is a grown-up. And i’m a fan. Three-fourths of Al Gore’s talk leaves me smelling politics, not compost, but the point that we need energy independence is indisputable on multiple levels (Chris Matthews is soooooo running for Senate after his thrice-attempted flail at McCain tonight, for saying something he’s been saying for, oh, five years or more.) Leo is putting his money right where his star-power normally kisses up, and i am really, really impressed.

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  37. Jolene said on May 2, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Very interesting, Jeff. Not surprisingly, there’s a web site about the project, and there’s a show about it on The Discovery Channel tomorrow evening and other shows to follow.

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  38. caliban said on May 3, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    John McCain’s middle name may be Dubya, but he show’s here he’s capable of disernment far beyond the Pretzeldent’s capabilities. Takes of man of refined sensibilities to smoothly parse the nuances of appropriateness of his own application of the C word to his trophy wife and a Sun City Harridan calling Clinton the B word.

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  39. brian stouder said on May 3, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    OK – we’re far enough down-thread on a Saturday that this digression might be forgiven (or not)

    but check out this article –

    an excerpt:

    Like many boys in the South, Sam White got hooked on the Civil War early, digging up rusting bullets and military buttons in the battle-scarred earth of his hometown. As an adult, he crisscrossed the Virginia countryside in search of wartime relics — weapons, battle flags, even artillery shells buried in the red clay. He sometimes put on diving gear to feel for treasures hidden in the black muck of river bottoms.

    But in February, White’s hobby cost him his life: A cannonball he was restoring exploded, killing him in his driveway. More than 140 years after Lee surrendered to Grant, the cannonball was still powerful enough to send a chunk of shrapnel through the front porch of a house a quarter-mile from White’s home in this leafy Richmond suburb.

    And here is a quote that made me scratch my head –

    White’s efforts seldom raised safety concerns. His wife and son Travis sometimes stood in the driveway as he worked. “Sam knew his stuff, no doubt about it,” said Jimmy Blankenship, historian-curator at the Petersburg battleground. “He did know Civil War ordnance.”

    hmmmmm. The “no doubt about it” has presumeably been supplanted…..but this terrible story strikes me as a sort of odd metaphor for where the Civil War exists in America’s consciousness…somewhat submerged, a little weedy and obscured from view….and yet still capable of suddenly and surprisingly thundering back into our consciousness (especially during a pareticularly historic presidential race, featuring a decidely unusual frontrunning Illinois Senator)

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  40. Dexter said on May 3, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    My cat died last year and since we have two dogs we haven’t replaced him. What we are missing! Thanks for the cat vid, moe!

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  41. Jolene said on May 3, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Quite a story, Brian, and an even better interpretation. I take heart from the many findings showing that, for young people (under 30? under 40?) race just isn’t such a big deal. Also, from seeing the many accomplished African Americans in all kinds of fields. There’s a world of difference between the kind of childhood my nieces and nephews and, I imagine, your kids are having and the kind many African American kids still have, but the more AA adults there are who have good jobs and decent houses, the sooner such differences will disappear.

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  42. John said on May 3, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    The Internet’s tubes got plugged last night. They’re deplugged now. Phew.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 3, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Ah, in much of Appalachia, the most common last words of the suddenly deceased are “Hey, watch this!”

    Somehow, “no doubt about it” should fit in there.

    For my own venture into off-topic self-indulgence —

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  44. caliban said on May 3, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Ah, in much of Appalachia. who’s really good? Matt Damon is. If you saw Basketball Diaries, or <iGangs of New York, you know Leo is.

    What’s the best Robert DeNiro? I’d say it’s <b<Midnight Run</b<. Hands down. What’s the best Johnny Depp movie? Hard to say.Scissotkands? Briilliant. Benny and Joon? Well, it’s got the most gorgreous woman. But then, there’s Don Juan de Marco. Purely brilliant.

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  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 4, 2008 at 7:06 am

    Fun pictures:

    Whatever else is going wrong with newspapers and the internet, all the staff photogs love the gallery feature, where all the pictures they wish people could see other than the one on the front page and the one on A3 can go — plus, they regularly sell prints and t-shirts and mugs with ’em, so it pays its way.

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  46. brian stouder said on May 4, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Jeff – GREAT article on the happily rainy mounds museum grand opening!

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  47. brian stouder said on May 4, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Well, it’s a very sunny, beautiful day here in Fort Wayne, and in addition to the cottony clouds in the blue sky, and the cardinals and robbins and sparrows flitting about, we shall see if we can catch a glimpse of Senator Obama downtown at Headwaters Park in a few hours.

    Details as they develop…

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  48. Jolene said on May 4, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Tell him hello for me, Brian!

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  49. Hattie said on May 4, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    We’re falling for this fascist stuff about if the streets were only clean and the poor people would shape up and work hard everything would be hunky-dory. Yes, let’s all move to Singapore, where everything is right. As Friedman says in his op-ed column today.
    Even around here I’m seeing a lot of scowly faces. I can’t scowl because I am congenitally optimistic and good natured. It’s a character defect of mine.

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  50. caliban said on May 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    World Press Freedom Day.

    And in Appalachia, fat people are considered ‘kindly chuffy’ and Santy Claus comes down the chimley.

    And Brian, little Alan Price probably had it right:


    When there’s a bluebird singing by your window pane
    And the sun shines bright all day through
    Don’t forget boy
    Look over your shoulder
    ‘Cause there’s always someone coming after you (la la la la)

    When everything in life seems just as it should be
    At last success seems just around the door
    Don’t forget boy
    Look over your shoulder
    ‘Cause things don’t stay the same forever more (la la la la)

    Hope springs eternal in a young man’s breast
    And he dreams of a better life ahead
    Without that dream you are nothing, nothing, nothing
    You have to find out for yourself that dream is dead (la la la la)

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  51. caliban said on May 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    If that link didn‘t work, this one should.

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  52. brian stouder said on May 4, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Mission Accomplished!

    Missed shaking Senator Obama’s hand, but I DID get to shake Michelle’s hand – which might have been my first chice anyway

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