Brief hiatus.

I know you guys have come to expect something fresh and new every day here, but the day’s tasks are piling up like cordwood and something’s gotta give.

What’s more, NN.C is taking a brief road trip to a primitive land with no wi-fi, and will not be back until Monday. I’ll leave the doors unlocked here, and y’all can play. Something we might talk about:

More discussion of Obama’s bike helmet.

Habeus corpus — not dead yet.

You’ve all seen that human-ovulation-caught-on-film thing, right? Well, if not, here it is. Shy little ovum!

Mischa Barton: Why?

Finally, a dispatch from our Wisconsin correspondent, in the western suburbs of Milwaukee:

i spent a lovely 15 minutes or so in the basement today with the boys while we waited for the latest tornado siren to stop howling. i’m not complaining, mind you. in greendale’s R section, close to the root river, water levels were up to the bottom of the stop signs. a small town south of here is just waiting for its dam to break–it’s not a question of if it happens, just when. westbound I-94 to madison is closed because one of the rivers is flowing onto the freeway now. (earlier this week, they closed that stretch down and parked semis loaded with sand at regular intervals to provide downward force to offset the upward force from the floodwaters directly beneath.)

but: not complaining. our basement, for the moment, is dry. still, we feel a little shellshocked.

Stay dry, Deb. Good thoughts to all of you caught in the deluge. Me, I’ll be back late Monday/early Tuesday.

EDIT: Oh, this is nice — Ashley Morris, David Simon and tomorrow’s commencement speech at DePaul, from the ChiTrib.

Posted at 12:09 pm in Current events, Popculch, Same ol' same ol' |
 

64 responses to “Brief hiatus.”

  1. harry near indy said on June 13, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    regarding mischa barton:

    damn! it looks like she’s wearing chewbacca’s lower legs!

  2. beb said on June 13, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Everybody’s got to take a break once in a while. Have a good rest and cme back refreshed.

  3. michaela said on June 13, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Man, DePaul has a better-than-usual univ. relations department; that obit for Ashley actually conveys the essence of a real person, rather than the litany of dates and jobs that most colleges would provide. Kudos to them (and, of course, to David Simon for making the gesture).

  4. Jen said on June 13, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    I don’t know if I cringed more at the ovulation pictures (medical gore icks me out, but how could I NOT click?) or the photo of Mischa Barton. That outfit…

  5. brian stouder said on June 13, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Interesting linkage, all around; and I especially loved Senator Obama’s ‘lookin’ all Urkle’ remark! And the David Simon/Ashley Morris story is simply sublime.

    If Simon’s New Orleans saga gets off the ground, it is not too much to say that it will be at least somewhat steered by Morris’s spirit – sort of a Jazz Funeral, writ large.

    This internet thing is amazing

  6. Danny said on June 13, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Very nice tribute to Ashley. It does my heart good to read that.

    Nance, have fun. You’ll be missed. Come back conservative … er .. refreshed, I mean.

  7. Danny said on June 13, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    It is amazing, Brian.

    And “lookin’ are Urkle?” Hahaha!

  8. brian stouder said on June 13, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    And I forgot to say – HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, everybody!!

    And Mrs Griswald…errr…Stouder….tells me that the resort where Lake Delton used to be now touts their ‘huge beach’….and that “The view of the lake is not bad, it’s just different.”

    http://sunsetbayresort.com/

    With a sense of humor like that, we may yet still be Wisconsin-bound, the Good Lord Willin’ and the river don’t rise (again)

  9. brian stouder said on June 13, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Tim Russert (only 58) has passed away.

    Wow.

    Isn’t it amazing how an everyday inevitability like death – which is really no surprise at all – retains the power to suprise?

  10. Jolene said on June 13, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Well, it’s kind of a surprise when it happens to someone who is only 58 years old, especially someone in apparent good health with tremendous zest for life.

    Really sad.

  11. caliban said on June 13, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Most obvious thing: If you go into a clean room, that’s what you wear. If you go into a clean room, you’re a moron without a clue. You stick a sock in it and act like you have a big dick when it’s more or less run of the mill. How stupid are voters? So stupid its beyond comprehension.

  12. deb said on June 13, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    jeeze louise, i’ve been so busy bailing out the basement that i haven’t kept up, so maybe that explains my confusion, but i just have to ask: what the hell is caliban talking about?

  13. brian stouder said on June 13, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Deb – when I first read it, I had no idea at all, either.

    But rereading it, it struck me that “clean room” might refer back to Kerry’s silly picture where he’s wearing the funny cap with the protrusion on top…..but who knows?

    Anyway – sorry to hear that you’re now bailing the basement. Last we saw, your basement was still dry. Sounds like times are (to say the least) trying.

    Here’s wishing you strength…and rapid evaporation

  14. Dexter said on June 13, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Russert…shocking, unbelievable, real, and sad.

    I didn’t know Ashley interacted with Simon, but I am not in the least surprised, as maybe I reported here months ago, right after the HBO East Coast zone showing of “The Wire”, in season one, Simon would blog with us on the HBO Wire site thread.
    He’d answer a few questions and clarify some things that reviewers had gotten wrong. I had a few brief e-exchanges with Simon…he is DEFINITELY no prima donna .

  15. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 13, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Dumas, Orczy, and Flashman — all here, where a NEW Dumas novel is promoted: http://www.spectator.co.uk/the-magazine/features/766981/plumed-hats-rapiers-and-heaving-bosoms.thtml

  16. basset said on June 13, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    ah yes, Colonel Harry Paget Flashman, late of the Cherrypickers and currently on her majesty’s clandestine service… Flashy showed up in an alternate-history story I ran across recently, be damned if I remember the title or who wrote it though.

    for an interesting take on the final death rattle of chivalry and honor, I’d recommend the Otto Prohaska novels by John Biggins – set of four about the various adventures of an Austro-Hungarian naval officer just before and during the First World War.

  17. coozledad said on June 14, 2008 at 8:20 am

    Here’s a death you won’t be hearing much about over the next couple of months. Because it wasn’t some beltway lapdog, or it speaks volumes about the savagery of fundies, I don’t know.
    But the temperatures here were past the hundred degree mark on both days they tied this child to a tree. I ‘m beginning to wonder if there is something wrong with the goddamned water in the South.
    http://www.newsobserver.com/news/crime_safety/story/1106909.html

  18. brian stouder said on June 14, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    cooz – grim article, indeed. The awfulness of it is only deepened by the realization that this is only what we see now – aside from all else that must have gone on before this.

    I don’t subscribe to your point of view regarding Russert, if your ‘beltway lapdog’ was a reference to him; but your reference to ‘the South’ sways me, a little. If the local authorities don’t have some mechanism by which a battered spouse or child (or an uninvolved witness or neighbor) can ‘drop a dime’ and intervene, than there’s no depth too low for things to sink.

    As I get older, “Nanny state” thinking makes more and more sense to me, as opposed to “You’re on your own hook (or in this case, tree) state” thinking.

    The other day, in the book discussion hereabouts, I mentioned that I’d been ‘pulled down the river’ with Huck Finn this past week…and I must say, this story that coozledad linked to immediately reminded me of Huck.

    I found Huck’s adventures much heavier than I ever remembered. Layered onto the compelling advenures of Jim and Huck, is an irredeemably dark tale of all-encompassing ignorance and trickery and fraud and self-justifications; and the ever-present threat of sudden, senseless violence and mob-action and cruelty. In a Disney movie, one can laugh at the fictional villains, but you cannot ‘laugh off’ the enveloping ignorance and evil cruelty portrayed in this mid-19th century allegory about the middle of America.

    (there is a great story from Herman Wouk, wherein he’s accepting the congratulations of an admiral for his book The Caine Mutiny, who tells him “I’ve met every one of those sons of bitches – but not all on the same ship!”)

    By way of saying, cooz’s regional/cultural remark about the South may not be fair, but there is something in it.

  19. Danny said on June 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    “I hope Mr. Cooz will remember, a Southern man don’t need him around, anyhow.”

    Actually, I mean nothing by quoting that lyric. I just like Lynyrd Skynryd. Especially, another song, “Simple Kind of Man.” Great, great song, that one.

    Right now, I’m reviewing technical papers for one of the engineering standards organizations I belong to. This one paper has technical merit, but the writing is so atrocious that I am very tempted to reject it. At one point, the writer refers in a sentence to “him or her” and then coins the abbreviation “HH” for subsequent use throughout the remainder of the paragraph instead of just writing “them.” Wow. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. And this person is a native English speaker, I believe.

  20. coozledad said on June 14, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I think I was being a little unfair, not so much to the South, which is my native country, so to speak, but to fundamentalists. When I read this I automatically assumed these people were members of a down-east megachurch. Forgive me, but the default setting for even many of the more “secular” Southerners in this income group is “They’re mine, Biblically speaking, so I’ll whip ’em”. This includes women, who despite some improvements in employment and education remain chattel, particularly in some rural areas.
    The essential feudal nature of the south has permitted unspeakable poverty to grind on, and at least as a young man, I witnessed stuff that would have been commonplace in Twain’s day. There are broad swathes of the white population down here who would welcome a return to the debt-slavery of the 1940’s, and I believe that was Reagan’s promise to us
    in a nutshell. That’s how the Republicans got this section of the country. I supped with his supporters down here. Racism is what got them off their ass and to the polling places.
    But now they’re poor again, and when they’re down in the mouth, my countrymen are inevitably first in line for the government cheese.
    We’ll have to respectfully disagree about Russert. There are too many intelligent people in the world to have such mediocrities informing public discourse. That goes for that idiot dancin’ fool David Gregory, the unspeakably innocuous Cokie Roberts, and the out and out self-promoting nonentity that is Tom Brokaw. They’ve got blood on their hands. Now we’ve got to listen to them fall over themselves in an orgy of false grief that is opaquely self congratulation. I’m simply unwilling to forgive them for shamelessly rubbing George Bush’s ass in our faces.

  21. coozledad said on June 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Brian: I don’t mean to be combative- when I drink, I’m a preachy little bastard. If it sounds good, I’ll likely go with it.

  22. coozledad said on June 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Danny: There’s actually a pretty good story about Lynyrd Skynyrd, Neil Young and their eventual not-quite-sticky manlove for each other. An edifying tale for the people who would wave the stars and bars. All of us Southerners ain’t evil. But I can just about say with certainty we’re all crazy as hell.
    Has to be the water.

  23. LA Mary said on June 14, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    As Brian said, what happened to that boy is horrible, but what probably happened before is hard to think about. Heartbreaking.

  24. Catherine said on June 14, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    I wish I could believe that abuse like that only occurs in the South.

  25. Catherine said on June 14, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    And taking Brian’s tangent and running with it, Little House on the Prairie was much heavier as an adult re-read. That family was continuously in physical or financial jeopardy. How many times did they start over on a new homestead — like, every single book? Add in Ma’s racism towards the Indians, and it lost a lot of its ability to delight.

  26. Danny said on June 14, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Man, I cannot believe the headline I just saw about some Utah company making a monkey doll and dressing it up in a suit and tie and calling it the “Sock Obama.” This pisses me off. Who are these jerks!

    And who was it a week or so ago who exposed Kathleen Parker for the loser that she is. Was it Judith? I read the letter and then the Kathleen Parker piece and thought that Judith put it extremely mildly in her letter. I mean, Parker actually used the term “blood equity,” whatever in the hell that means, to somehow infer that McCain is more of a full-blooded American and will thus be more trusted/trustworthy.

    Man, I want to puke. I want these people out of the headlines and back under whatever rocks they crawled from.

  27. Danny said on June 14, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Catherine, the 1/1024th of me that is Cherokee had a problem with Little House too.

  28. coozledad said on June 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Danny: I saw that via Lawyer’s Guns and Money, and it’s just to weep. I was raised a soft-racist, but in a more forthrightly anti-black milieu. I had to break with my family when I finally got the word. I keep dreaming we can weather it out, but this country sometimes startles me with its continued insistence on race-baiting. The purveyors of this crap don’t even seem to have an idea of what fresh hells they are creating. For everybody.

  29. Danny said on June 14, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Cooz, I got lucky because even though I come from a long line of southern hillbillies, most of them were not racist at all. I didn’t even really know about it until I was in junior high and there were some racial tensions in school.

    My hats off to you for making that break with your family. Couldn’t have been easy. I’d like to think I would have been that forthright too if the occasion had called for it. As it is, I’ve only had to get in the face of a few acquaintances and one uncle who I never see anymore.

  30. Jolene said on June 14, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Interesting that this topic has come up today. Yesterday, I thought of dropping in to say, “I need some cheering up.” I’d been trying to talk someone out of the “Obama is a Muslim” meme, and it just was impossible.

    The unwillingness to be even a little bit reasonable just was infuriating and heartbreaking. I am really afraid that he could lose the election because of fear and hate, and I think that would be so bad for our country.

  31. coozledad said on June 14, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Danny:Yeah. It was particularly tough with my father, because he had his bright spots, and flashes of real understanding. But he became more and more fearful as he aged, and the whole world that supported him fell away. I forgave my mother’s racism, because her upbringing was stridently abusive, and it may have been a coping mechanism that enabled her to value herself despite vicious punishment. I always thought she had two sides, the angel and the monster. She had good instincts, but under the slightest stress, she’d wheel around and forearm you. I also remember her cooing and rocking me with a blanket after she’d hit me. It really did hurt her as much. She used to talk about how her father used a frying pan to discipline her brother, who joined the navy at sixteen to escape the house.
    When her hair fell out during chemotherapy, you could see where her father used the frying pan on her.

  32. Jolene said on June 14, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    Your mother and mine seem to have had a lot in common, coozledad. Same striking out when under stress, followed by regret, apology, tenderness. Made childhood dangerous, not in the sense that I thought she would do more than hit me, but in the sense that—because her actions grew out of her own state of mind rather than out of any systematic reaction to my behavior—I never knew what might happen, what I might do that would get me in trouble.

    And we were neither Southerners nor fundamentalists.

  33. coozledad said on June 14, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Precisely, Jolene: You just never know what’s going to get you whacked. I like to think of my upbringing as a kind of preparedness for the general craziness of folks, but it kind of fades into a general sense that people permit themselves to be trapped, or their circumstances don’t give them any choice.
    I will say that my own and my wife’s upbringing persuaded us against having children. I really wanted to avoid the possibility of screwing someone up. I have to admit,though, when I meet people who would be our kid’s age, we get along pretty well.

  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 14, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    In the circles i run in, i spent lots of time explaining how and why fundamentalism doesn’t = religious (or vice versa). With more astute folks, i try to move on to fundamentalist doesn’t = ignorant (and v.v.). I don’t “get” fundamentalism,” but i’ve met and worked alongside waaaay too many of ’em to buy the “they are shallow, ignorant people who need certainties in their lives to get by.”

    Ignorance is the common problem of the religious and the secular/scientific, since it undermines both pretty much equally. Ignorance jumps to a default mode of “what i want, right now” as a universal law, and breaks down both community and coherence just as fast.

    The better question is whether fundamentalism is necessarily racist (since ignorance is always so, even if you pretty it up into xenophobia). There are, in my experience, enough fundamentalists who are into “we are all one” as long as you’ve said “yes” to their list of fundamentals to make me doubt that racism is central to fundamentalism. But ideologues who are fairly ignorant of the basis of their ideology jump, in a flash, to a xenophobia that is indistinguishable from racism.

    Is requiring assent to one’s own principles to be considered fully worth listening to a form of racism? You could make that case, but then i think you’d be stretching racism so far as to leave it unuseful as a category. This can be seen in the muddy waters of the immigration debate, where we keep ending up with folks saying it is either racist or ignorant to say a person needs to live in America, or enter legally, to be considered truly American.

    BTW, without meaning to be unpleasant, but i do not understand how habeas corpus applies to Gitmo. Maybe to those who have applied for citizenship, but why to combatants? Geneva Conventions, yes; habeas, no. But if the Supreme Court says it, it’s law. Whadda i know?

  35. Jolene said on June 14, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    In our current situation, Jeff, racism in the straightforward sense of “we don’t like black people” is part of the problem, but a larger part is suspicion about people who are a little different. After the West Virginia primary, I read an article in which someone was talking about how people in that area felt about people who are “not from here”, a condition that could last for forty years.

    When people are that reluctant to open up to a person who is not just like everyone else they’ve ever met, it hardly matters whether the reason is race, religion, or whatever.

  36. coozledad said on June 14, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Jeff: I think there have been austere fundamentalist groups who offer their followers both a sense of belonging to a happy group, and apartness from the travails of a wicked society, that have achieved remarkable things. The Shakers have always struck me as a group that was positively weird, but the fact they wanted it that way makes them oddly respectable. That, and they invented the table saw. It’s just when literalists start resurrecting the copperhead politics of the antebellum south, that I vomit a little in my throat.
    I’m an atheist, but I miss church. I miss the smell of a group of people huddled in an old building, having vainly tried to mask their farm stink with Lifebuoy, and I miss the minister who was acceptable because he was a doddering, ancient thing who didn’t notice you were just about comatose in the pew.
    There’s a church the previous white owners of our property donated to their former slaves. I should send a picture of it. I’d love to visit, but I’m afraid I’d be breaching some arcane code. I guess I did visit one day, purely by accident. We didn’t latch the fence our bull was in adequately, and he got out just in time for Sunday school. When we finally figured out he was at the church, we found him menacing the cars in the parking lot.
    He’s actually very mild tempered, he just doesn’t look it. My wife finally lured him away with a bucket of sweet feed.
    Now every time I meet my black neighbors in town, they say, “I know you, you’re the one with the bull”.

  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 14, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Jolene — when i was pastoring in WV, a lawyer with 20 years of work in the town we were part of, who was born just twenty miles north over a state line in PA, said to me at a Christmas party, “Jeff, our kids won’t even be ‘from here’ in the eyes of most folks.”

    I came back to central Ohio, and talking to a parishoner she was describing a long-time area resident whose son had died, she said “She’s not from here.” I replied, oh, she was born in another state? The answer, quizzically, was “No, she’s from [insert name of town eight miles away].”

    Cooze — They’d be delighted if you visited, i’m almost certain. And i’m almost certain they’d understand if you didn’t become a regular, but if you tried to sing along on some of the hymns, they’d probably let you know the next time they had a [pick one] pitch-in/potluck/carry-in/covered dish dinner.

    It’d be worth it, just for the deviled eggs.

    When it comes to resurrecting copperhead cowled crusaders, there’s usually a toxic mix of a few wanna be Lee’s lieutenants (i coulda been a contender) and a bunch of low life do anything for a case of cold ones yahoos. I’ve never met anyone who was arguing for “respect” for the Confederate Battle Flag (not the flag of the CSA, nota bene) who wasn’t as disingenuous as any creationist or 9-11 hoaxer.

    At least when it comes to creationism, i’ve debated quite a few, and have yet to meet any who (IMHO) actually believed what they were selling. Most modern day racists are as fearful as they are fearmongers, and i don’t entirely know what to do about that, except keep proving them wrong, publicly whenever possible.

    Like going to AME pitch-in dinners with my green bean casseroles and enjoying their deviled eggs in return.

  38. Jolene said on June 14, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Most modern day racists are as fearful as they are fearmongers, and i don’t entirely know what to do about that, except keep proving them wrong, publicly whenever possible.

    I’m sure you’re right and, for the purpose of saving their secular souls, proving them wrong one at a time is a good thing to do, but I’m not sure it’ll work for electoral politics. The focused effort required just isn’t feasible.

    A few weeks ago, I heard Willie Brown, the African-American politico extraordinaire from California,* speak on some PBS interview show, and he said that there will always be some small number of people who won’t vote for a black candidate and that the best thing to do is forget about them and go find some other voters, which Obama is doing. He has launched a national voter registration drive, driven in part by a group of 3,600 fellows recruited to learn organizing techniques by serving in various roles in the campaign.

    This approach seems a little sad, as I’d rather see people change their minds, but it may be the better approach to winning elections.

    *I have the sense I used this Willie Brown quote once before. If so, forgive me, but it’s a good one. He’s one of the pols who understands politics as both a lot of fun and a serious enterprise, and it’s a lot of fun to listen to him. Was formerly the mayor of San Francisco and also the speaker of the California Assembly.

  39. moe99 said on June 15, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    The best way for people to overcome their fear/racism is to have an African American elected and see in a concrete way how unbased their fears are.

  40. Dexter said on June 15, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    Maureen Dowd reports that the French have already accepted the “elite” Obama as President…she wrote that the French love the elite, and Obama, with his RayBans and sneaked cigarettes, and they believe the crusty McCain, with his McBush aura, can’t possibly win. But…they that believe that forget that the American public gave Bush enough support in 2004 to make it close enough for the Republicans to work their craftiness in Ohio and “win” the re-election of Bush. Hey…Bush has less than 30% favorability now, but he was doing the same crap in 2004 and got back in, so those that think he’s done already don’t realize how the electoral college really works. McCain is McBush, and Bush just won 2 elections.

  41. Judith said on June 15, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    We were in England during the election of 2004, and the headlines in all the newspapers were to the effect that they couldn’t believe that Americans were dumb enough to elect Bush again! They not only blamed him for the disaster in Iraq, but also for the increased hurricanes they attributed to Global Warming!

  42. Dexter said on June 16, 2008 at 2:44 am

    I was going to blame the “sharks have developed a taste for human flesh story” on Bush, but Mel17706 at a site called TUG BBS writes this:
    ” Sharks off Mexican coast

    Heard yesterday from a scuba forum that the reason for the rash of shark attacks off the coast of Mexico may be the result of murdered persons being dumped at sea and the sharks have developed a “taste” for human flesh.
    Something to think about while dangling your toes in the water!”

  43. coozledad said on June 16, 2008 at 6:32 am

    Dexter:I wonder how many of those bodies are the waste product of Mexico’s sexual tourism industry?
    http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=9163

  44. MichaelG said on June 16, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    It’s not just in the south, C’dad.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/06/16/MNJT119MI5.DTL&tsp=1

  45. coozledad said on June 16, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Christ. Is it the heat?
    http://achewood.com/index.php?date=06122008

  46. brian stouder said on June 16, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Or if it’s not the heat, nor the region, it might be the dog.

    Baby’s genitals torn off in dog attack

    Updated: June 16, 2008 12:33 PM EDT

    FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A mother woke Saturday afternoon to find her one-month-old baby bleeding after a dog had apparently attacked him. Nicole Hemmick told Fort Wayne Police that after she got home around 6 a.m. Saturday from delivering papers and she went to bed with her one-month-old son. Around 1 p.m., Hemmick told police was woken by her 5-year-old who needed help with the television remote. She noticed that the baby had been moved from his original position. She then saw the baby was missing his diaper and there was blood on him. She immediately rushed to him to St. Joseph Hospital. Police say the child’s testicles had been pulled out of the scrotum. Due to the extent of the damage, the baby was transferred to Lutheran Hospital for surgery. Police and Animal Control went to Hemmick’s apartment with her permission and took custody of the dog, a six-month-old Poodle/Terrier mix.

    In sum, this is why I would never want to be a reporter or a policeman

  47. coozledad said on June 16, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Or the owner of a poodle terrier mix.
    Man. I always knew there was something bad wrong with those dogs.
    I was just reading an article about penis-shrinkage panics in various parts of the world. A lot of men will suddenly become convinced that demonic agencies are shrinking their dicks or causing them to disappear entirely. I was wondering why they don’t happen here, but I guess the sales of Viagra and Cialis, plus the lucrative business of enlargement surgery just bear out the way industrialized societies manifest the disorder.
    The only demon I have to blame is my goddamned Irish ancestors. Bastards.
    Potentially NSFW
    http://www.kirchersociety.org/blog/2006/03/07/a-natural-history-of-penis-panics/

  48. Connie said on June 16, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    In a completely unrelated note I come to share the news that Joseph Decuis Gourmet Dining, a fine restaurant near Ft Wayne previously mentioned on this blog, will have a food stand at this weekend’s Elkhart Jazz Fest. Local paper says they will have gumbo, clam chowder and several items made with Kobe beef, a flavorful Japanese type of beef. I may have to come downtown just to check out the food.

  49. Julie Robinson said on June 16, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Connie, bring lots of cash! Decuis food is marvelous but oh-so-pricey. Best $8 bowl of soup I ever had.

  50. coozledad said on June 16, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    My wife had a huge haul of garlic from the garden this year, and we spent much of the weekend processing it to hang and dry. I made this soup to celebrate, but I’m a salt addict, and had to add a little soy sauce just before serving.

    http://fxcuisine.com/default.asp?Display=151&resolution=high

  51. Danny said on June 16, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Hmm, up until you posted that, I was thinking mexican food tonight. Now I’m wanting garlic.

    I must go eat.

  52. coozledad said on June 16, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    You definitely want to make this with some kind of broth, as opposed to water. I used vegetable broth, but I ‘m willing to bet the French version is beef stock.

  53. basset said on June 16, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    enlargement surgery? they can do that?

    where?

    the surgeon, I mean…

  54. Jeff said on June 16, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Re: the sfgate.com story above — what i was saying about demonic possession. It’s hard to read that and not leave a little room in your mental closet for that category . . . as long as you don’t clear out all your medical science and common sense counsel to make a shelf for it all by its lonesome.

    On the other hand, flinging some salt and water at the guy and shouting “Get ye hence” isn’t as immediately useful as a taser and flexcuffs. But i guess i appreciate the police saving me from another internal debate over capital punishment (i’m agin’ it, but some folks seem to want to work really hard at talking me back into it).

  55. LA Mary said on June 16, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Coozledad, I ‘ve had a soup like this at a friend’s house…a friend from Provence…and she used fish stock. That might just be a Provence way of doing it, but it was really really good.

  56. coozledad said on June 16, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    LA Mary: I haven’t eaten much fish stock, even before I was a vegetarian, but the hardest thing for me to quit was seafood. Thai cuisine and its dependence on fish sauce might reveal broader contact between the ancient east and west, because the Romans doused everything in salted decayed fish (Garum).
    Don’t get me wrong, I love the taste of this stuff, and I’ve tried to make vegetarian versions of fish sauce, but they all fall short.
    One day, one day… I’ll find that perfect seaweed base.

  57. coozledad said on June 16, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Basset: I was overreaching. They can’t actually make it substantially bigger, but they can implant a plastic coated metal bar that will let you rival balloon artists. I don’t know that turning my tiny prick into an eight inch pencil-thin dachsund will earn me any points with the deep vaginal orgasm crowd, but it may very well provide me with a few priceless minutes of enjoyment in the bathtub.

  58. basset said on June 17, 2008 at 12:18 am

    >>they can implant a plastic coated metal bar

    I have heard that called the “Gumby” method.

    as opposed to the…

    never mind. we ain’t goin’ there.

  59. Dexter said on June 17, 2008 at 2:47 am

    Now more feet turn up in Canada! What the hell is going on?

  60. Sue said on June 17, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Brian Stouder: I have a Dells coupon for you, if you want me to pop it in the mail. 20% or 35% off various admissions, depending on how you choose to do it. The website is passporttosavings.com, if you want to look at some details. The website requires you to order admissions in advance. The coupon I have can be used at time of purchase.

  61. MichaelG said on June 17, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Great looking recipe, C’dad. I’ll have to try it.

    An excellent quick stock can be made from shrimp shells. When you peel some shrimp for whatever recipe, merely toss the shells in a small pan of water. Bring to boil and simmer for a half hour or 45 min. Strain and season to taste. Use it for cooking your rice or for your sauce or save it or whatever. It has a sweet flavor and doesn’t taste fishy at all.

    Here’s your demons, Jeff. The follow up stories about the man who beat his son to death tell us that he was heard by onlookers to indicate that he was beating his son to chase out the child’s demons.

    Deputy Singh with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s office in Modesto is on TV all the time. He’s different. A skinny little guy with mod, moussed and spiky hair, he favors purple shirts with white ties. Not your average rural sheriff’s rep.

  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 17, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Re: feet — bet they’ll check them for ethnicity, and could be a shipload of Chinese immigrants trying to sneak into the Vancouver area, laying off the coast waiting for a chance to come ashore by dark, hitting a shoal or something and breaking up. If most of the passengers were belowdecks when it went down, but the water wasn’t too deep . . .

    The most recent Harper’s has an article on a couple that uses tech (side scan radar) to look for drowned people and where to send divers — lots of grisly wisdom.

    Thanks for the update, Michael, i haven’t had the heart to look for follow-up; i hope it’s clear that one way or another, i think demons should be banned, it’s just that i’m not sure banning talking about them will take care of it. Voices, demons, nameless urges . . . get ye hence.

    Brian, a hike around Devil’s Lake is worth a day (10-12 mi., easy but with nice views), and don’t miss The House on the Rock (Neil Gaiman even used it as a plot device in “American Gods”), not far from its more reputable cousin, Taliesin (Frank Lloyd Wright’s first country home near his family cemetery, and where he was brought from Taliesin West in AZ).

  63. brian stouder said on June 17, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Sue, I have forwarded the lead to Pam (the executive of our household); she began negotiations with our hotel yesterday…if she reaches a deal with them (which will happen – or not – in the next day or two), those coupons certainly will be highly desireable!

  64. brian stouder said on June 17, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Sue –

    It looks like the plans are a “GO”! All the attractions at the Dells are giving 50% off to people staying at the resorts and hotels (that famous skiboat show has become a stage show, but hey – that might mean no life jackets on the bikini-clad women, eh?), plus we are free from the minimum-stay requirements, and Pam got a reduction in the room rate.

    If you’re willin’ – you can send the coupons to 2118 Lindenwood in the city of Ft Wayne in the great state of Indiana, and with a zip of 46808.

    (my address is no big secret, unless I was posting with an assumed name, since on Google Earth you can come down the street!)