Digging out.

Sorry so late updating today. As others have noted, we’ve had a complication hereabouts. The school cancellation came by robo-call at 5:45 a.m., which rather ticked off the house’s phone-answerer, because we’ve known this storm was coming for days, you could see its vast pink-and-white mass bearing down on us from the west, and most schools cancelled last night. At least there wasn’t the 6 a.m. answering chorus of snowblowers, mainly because it was still coming down so hard we were in what’s-the-point territory. I was able to go back to sleep and make it clear until 8:30 a.m. — pure luxury.

Anyway, I’m going out in a bit with the video camera. So maybe we’ll have something to add for the weekend.

In the spirit of the already wack-a-doo schedule, then, let’s make this a leftover stew today. First, an announcement:

Last year’s NN.C commenters’ holiday photo submissions were so nice, let’s us all do it again, shall we? For the week between Christmas and New Year’s, let’s see if we can assign a face to some of the names in our community. I know a lot of you have blogs and already put up pictures there; if so, give us a link. It’s just that this is such a close-knit little group already, it’d be nice to put a face with a name. You know where to send things — my first name at nancynall.com. If you’re shy, send a picture of Christmas out your way. Because God knows, there’s not a lot to talk about that week. Historically, anyway. Knock wood.

A little bloggage:

Maybe we are reaching the blogging/fair use/who’s-zooming-who tipping point sooner rather than later. The Chicago Reader has problems with the Huffington Post’s sticky-fingered blogging style. Good posts on it here and here. The latter post sums it up nicely:

I’m sure that someone is thinking, “hey, you get lots of inbound links from a popular site, and they link to you directly from their local homepage, which helps your SEO.” Whatever–they’re still taking other people’s content, in my non-expert but reasonably well-informed opinion well outside the bounds of fair use–so that they can get more pageviews and SEO advantages for themselves by taking the entirety of other people’s work. They’re taking all of it. Real people–my colleagues–wrote those. You can give us the inbound links, which helps you, us, and everyone, without taking entire pieces of work.

Preach, my bruthuh.

Maybe I’m showing my age here, but I came of age in newspapers when the prime visual element in them wasn’t the USA Today dumbass graphic, the “charticle” or any of the other graphics so common today, but a big-ass, black-and-white photo. Tri-X Kodak film, ASA 400 pushed to 1600, baseball-size grain heavily burned and dodged in the darkroom. Pictures like this. And this. I like video fine, but there’s nothing like a still to say “news” — at least to me. All this by way of setting up a link to this 2008 Year in Photos collection, with many jaw-dropping images. (All in color, however. RIP, Tri-X.) Warning to dial-up users: These are big, high-res images that will take a while to load even on fast connections. Be patient.

Finally, an idea so silly it could only come out of Detroit, but at the same time crazy enough that it just might work. I’d drive one, anyway: A Cadillac Volt. Shut UP. Too expensive for me, but I’d love to drive one to, say, a Whole Foods parking lot in Santa Monica. I’d be Chili Palmer, only greener.

The problem with cold-weather outdoor art is, some people always have to overachieve. Note the fish.

With that, I think the battery is charged and I’m ready to go out again. Bon voyage, Danny, you bastard, heading off to Hawaii. The rest of us will be down here, reeking of two-stroke engine enhaust (from the snowblowers). Spare a kind thought.

Posted at 12:01 pm in Holiday photos, Housekeeping, Media |

103 responses to “Digging out.”

  1. Kevin said on December 19, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Nancy…we in New Orleans are putting Huff and HuffPo on notice before she, and it, gets to be a problem here:

    “Dear Ms. Huffington:

    There’s a young man who sits in a drab cube outside my office. His name is Alex Woodward. Talented fellow. While you’re up in Malibu, bathing in koala milk or whatever, dictating your latest “progressive” missive while you plan your next Bill Maher appearance, Alex spends every day typing listings into a database for the benefit of our readers in print and online. He works hard, he does a damn good job, and, like most journalists, he’s not paid enough. But we do pay him a living wage, which is more than you do for most of your flying Web monkeys….

    “If you or your minions ever copy-and-paste anything out of our copyrighted publication (or from our city’s fine bloggers), you’ll find out just how P.O.’d we can get down here in the 504.

    “We don’t need you, we don’t want you, and we’re not scared of you. We’ve got Southern lawyers, we’ve got righteous anger, and we’ve got bloggers with tongues sharper than a Beverly Hills surgeon’s knife.”

    And spare me the “news aggregation” argument. HuffPo takes the totality of a writer’s work, puts it on their site, and then sells ads around it. Hell, they’ve been caught stealing people’s copyrighted images from Flickr:


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  2. nancy said on December 19, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Good for you, Kevin. Now if we can only do something about WordPress Direct, we might get a movement going.

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  3. beb said on December 19, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    My daughter came home with a note saying school would be closed today because of the storm. “What storm?” I wondered. That’s what I get for not watching local news anymore.

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  4. Colleen said on December 19, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Covered in ice here in The Fort. UGH. Last count, some 90K people are without power.

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  5. whitebeard said on December 19, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Starting to snow here in Connecticut, 16 inches expected; state employees and major company workers released on staggered schedule beginning at 10:30.
    All schools closed because last year’s December storm had students trapped in school buses for up to eight hours. Still have power at my house but thousands in New England who lost power in last week’s ice storm are still in the dark.

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  6. coozledad said on December 19, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    I was wondering if insurers in the North and Midwest are as hardassed about coverage for homes with woodstoves. We don’t carry homeowner’s for that reason.
    I’d think that a wood fired heater would almost be a necessity out that way.

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  7. Kirk said on December 19, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Problems getting on puppycam today, but here’s a new one (more Shiba Inus):


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  8. Crabby said on December 19, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    72 degrees here in Southern Ohio – unseasonably warm, not a snowflake in sight.

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  9. Deborah said on December 19, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    30 degrees and a slushy mess in Chicago. I work in the loop, just got back from getting lunch and forgot to put my rubber boots on, now my shoes are soaking wet, clear through. Snowed last night and this morning, mixed with rain and ice. We leave for New Mexico for the holidays tomorrow morning, I hope the airports have cleared up by then, but I doubt it, more of this is predicted.

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  10. moe99 said on December 19, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    how do you post a picture, just out of curiosity? As a picture or as a web address?

    Nothing like answering my own question…..


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  11. Jolene said on December 19, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    moe, your link doesn’t work. It goes to a page that says:

    This content is currently unavailable

    The page you requested cannot be displayed right now. It may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may have expired, or you may not have permission to view this page.

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  12. jeff borden said on December 19, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Sure, we here in Chicago are having lousy weather and we are already sick to death of winter. I’m still hobbled by a particularly vicious strain of flu that won’t quite let go of me –thank God for Alka-Seltzer Cold Plus– and we also plan a holiday trip to sunny Florida tomorrow assuming O’Hare has managed to scrape the crud off the runways.

    Then again. . .we could be in Wasilla, where the mother of Levi Johnston, father of child being carried by Bristol Palin, the daughter of our photogenic veep candidate, Sarah Palin, has been arrested on felony drug charges. No word on what kind of drug is involved. If I were a betting man, I’d put my cash on methamphetamine.

    Just think, a few breaks one way or the other, and the Palins would be the Second Family, or whatever the vice-presidential clan is called. And our beguiling veep would have for a potential mother-in-law someone with a felony drug arrest on her dossier.

    I will again express my utter astonishment that Sarah Palin so quickly and thoroughly won the hearts of the cultural conservatives and Evangelicals. I half expect Dog the Bounty Hunter to turn up somewhere in the family tree.

    And, according to many, she is the new face of the GOP. God help us.

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  13. basset said on December 19, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Ah yes, Tri-X pushed to 1600 in D-76… and a Canon FTb. been a long time for that. for color, GAF 500 or Ektachrome pushed two stops.

    71 and a stiff wind in Nashville, gusts up over 30 mph. inlaws in Michigan are expecting a foot or more, though.

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  14. whitebeard said on December 19, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Basset, I’ll see your 1600 Tri-X and raise you a F-stop or two on Panatomic-X (ASA 32) with fantastic resolution (think of tilting the enlarger to project the image through the doorway into the next room’s wall before you could see the grain).
    Also could be flashed during Microsdol developing process to produce black and white positive slide. Fun to work with.

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  15. coozledad said on December 19, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    I would have thought pot. They had a meth lab in the house.
    You know when the press came to call during the “Let’s get to know Levi” thing, these people were shitting razor blades.
    “God damn honey. CBS is here. Lock the damn basement door oh holy fuck!”

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  16. Kirk said on December 19, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    It used to be legal to grow pot “for personal use” in Alaska. Maybe Sarah took care of that.

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  17. Andrea said on December 19, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Dodging bullets here in Southern PA near the Mason Dixon line. Buckets of rain all day with temps hovering around 34 or 35 degrees. Otherwise, I think we would have received at least 6 or 7 inches of snow.

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  18. Colleen said on December 19, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    F 11 and be there.

    So, who wants to lay money on whether Levi and Bristol actually DO get married?

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  19. LA Mary said on December 19, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    The rumor I heard was that young Track ( or whatever weird ass name the oldest son had) took the join the service rather than go to jail route after drugs were found.

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  20. brian stouder said on December 19, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    My God – that is a very depressing story (about Palin’s baby-daddy’s mom). I have spent a little time in the past few days back in the warehouse, helping assemble things, and in the process listened to the rock’roll radio more than I normally do. Could easily digress massively on all the familiar sounding lyrics that I never really listened to before (Alice Cooper’s “Only Women Bleed” offended me profoundly!); but upon seeing this story about Levi Johnston’s mom, the first thing that bounced through my brain was Neil Young and Rockin’ in the Free World

    (thanks to Google:

    “I see a woman in the night
    With a baby in her hand
    Under an old street light
    Near a garbage can
    Now she puts the kid away, and she’s gone to get a hit
    She hates her life, and what she’s done to it
    There’s one more kid that will never go to school
    Never get to fall in love, never get to be cool.”)

    The part about the ‘one more kid who’ll never go to school’ struck me as I listened to it a few days ago, and came right back again with this news.

    Also – just got back from my mom’s end of Fort Wayne – Southeast Fort Wayne – and there are many houses down there that aren’t worht very much, and which now have whole trees smashed into them, or large limbs. My mom’s house had a very large limb smashed through its kitchen window; my brother and I addressed the immediate situation, and began making plans for how to deal with the remains of the tree – which is all over the driveway and yard.

    But what is so depressing is – you can bet that many of the other houses that took hits won’t be recovering any time soon, if at all. And on top of it, the whole area is without electricity (Pam’s and mine came back on this afternoon) and it is said that it might be Sunday, or some indeterminate time later before power comes back.

    And – it’s going to get cold tonight.

    What do you suppose will happen, then?

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  21. nancy said on December 19, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    What do I suppose will happen? I suppose Grandma Stouder will be spending the night with her grandchildren, for starters.

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  22. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 19, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    OK, here’s two sets of recent photos of our village and the family (ok, wife and son), with my mug making an appearance between my son and . . . well, click the third link.




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  23. jeff borden said on December 19, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    The criminal complaint lists six felony charges. Folks, those are some heavyweight indictments that would mean significant jail time if proven, even up there in Alaska. Brian, to your musical point, I saw a reference on another Web site that suggested the whole Palin clan and those around it were sounding more and more like a bad country song.

    I worked with a guy at the Charlotte Observer who had labored for a paper in Alaska. He said there were two seasons –winter and getting ready for winter– and one past-time — getting effed up. He had a Jack Russell terrier that required special booties, lest the poor animal’s paws freeze to the ground in the deep cold of the long winter.

    Looking at the projects from the el train on many a gloomy morning, I felt a whole lot less judgmental toward the people in those crumbling buildings who were hitting the pipe or swigging the muscatel to dull themselves to their reality. Maybe it’s the same for a lot of folks in Alaska.

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  24. Jolene said on December 19, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Your son has a great “show all your teeth” smile, Jeff. Cool pic of the two of you w/ Ms. Clinton.

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  25. jcburns said on December 19, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Sammy and I watched the weather from Lansing closely Wednesday and Thursday, and made our exit after dinner on Thursday. Made it down through Ohio with the storm on our heels…decided to get far enough south to be sure we wouldn’t be driving on frozen roads. As we passed between Dayton and Cincinnati on I-75 near midnight, saw ice/sand trucks posted in the median all along the route…ready for whatever came. We spent the night in Florence, KY (“Florence, y’all”, says the water tower there) and drove through warm, gusty rain to Atlanta this afternoon. Phew. Youall stay safe up there.

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  26. beb said on December 19, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    The snow was so bad when I got home from work that I couldn’t turn out of the street into our driveway. Immediate stuckitude! After a lot of to and froing I finally out mostly out of the single track in the street and grabbed the snow blower. Wow, there were drifts higher than the mouth of the blower. After years when the whole concept of having a snow blower was pretty moot (Snow? I don’t get no sticking snow around here!) I am fricking glad to have one this year.

    I’m a big Neil Young fan in general and always liked “Keep in Rocking in the Free World” Also the song following it, “Crime in the City.”

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  27. Kirk said on December 19, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Friend of mine told me his daughter recently saw Neil and Wilco at a concert in New York City. Said that Young closed with “A Day in the Life,” which I can imagine was dynamite.

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  28. Joe Kobiela said on December 19, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Sitting here at Willow Run Airport waiting on my freight. Flight up here was good, on top a cloud deck at 7,000ft and no ice, unlike Tuesday, watched the sun go down. Just wondering about Big Al Gore and his Globel warming. Know a lot of people that would disagree right now.
    Pilot Joe

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 19, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    That’s George Gobel warming, Joe, and i hope you’re carrying a load of candy canes, cocoa mix, and a full manifest of misfit toys with those GPS umbrellas Santa’s SAS elves use.

    Jolene, i love my son’s smile, too; Chelsea was fast and coherent on her feet for 90 minutes with a room full of college students and emeritus professors who were not there just to cheer her on — she kept popping singles and doubles back off of some wicked sliders and curve balls. No home runs, but a very solid job on some AAA pitching. I almost wince thinking of Sweet Caroline to say this, but we’ll be hearing from her in her own right someday.

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  30. del said on December 19, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    A friend set up my website for nothing. I was rather dismayed when he posted a picture of me that he’d taken with his cell phone at a party. I was three sheets to the wind and mid-gulp laughing when he got the shot. His caption read simply, “If the man is on your back, gimme a call.” About a year later I finally fixed it and put in my own pic, but can’t reduce it to an appropriate thumbnail size without distorting my face. It’s at szuralaw.com

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  31. brian stouder said on December 19, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Whoa!! Del and Jeff are flat-out handsome!

    I ain’t…but if you go to Pam’s blog you can see some funny Christmas-related pictures. Each kiddo wanted a go at snapping a picture of the rest of us, and the result is worth a laugh.


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  32. moe99 said on December 19, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    I posted my picture on my blog site. I generally don’t since, I don’t advertise the fact that I’m female. Somehow I don’t get as much sh*t if folks don’t know that generally. It’s down a ways on the right hand side.


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  33. Jolene said on December 19, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    Love the last picture in your series, Brian. Always nice to know what kind of shoes everyone is wearing.

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  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 19, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Lovely Wife and i are watching DVD of “White Christmas” (don’t worry, we watched “Holiday Inn” the weekend after Thanksgiving, we’re not liturgical heretics!), and in the opening post-WWII montage, there’s a “Variety” hedline “Wallace & Davis Act Boffo!”

    What happened to “boffo”? We need to bring that word back. NN.C is boffo, people! Please consider using “boffo” this week.

    (But not the phrase the chorine just used — “not a kiss my foot, or haaaave an apple.” That one goes nowhere.)

    Boffo! 2009’s hot new word.

    (OMG — Moe is the Eiffel Tower! Who knew? And Brian, your picture is the one under the header “Twilight,” right?)

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  35. brian stouder said on December 19, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Nice pic, Moe; it looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree (judging by the graduate!).

    Jolene – if we’d have known Chloe was going to behead us all, I’d have worn nicer shoes! We took another picture by a statue called “Abraham Lincoln, the Youth” in front of Lincoln Life (where we parked that day) which finds him leaning on an axe with a book in his hand – a marvelous statue, of which I finally succeeded in getting Pam to snap a pic (it helped that we parked in front of it!). And Jolene – I’m sure I speak for many when I say – now it’s YOUR turn!

    Jeff – I think that Pam might see me that way if the night is black as pitch, and overwhelming passion engulfs her (which is to say, never argue with success, or, if it works don’t fix it!)

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  36. Catherine said on December 19, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Boffo pictures, one and all! Brian, your son is as tall as you are!

    We’ve worked our way through the Holiday Inn and White Christmas liturgy already, with a stop in Whoville (the real one, NOT the one with Jim Carrey) and a ride on the Polar Express. I’m not sure what’s next but I think it might be the original Die Hard.

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  37. brian stouder said on December 19, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Catherine – yes – and he’s very, very 13. Really, thinking back, the early teen years have got to be the hardest. The combination of expanding awareness and gaping insecurities is something I remember very well. (and somehow, Grant is NOT reassured when I tell him I never kissed a girl ’til I was 18!)

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  38. Jolene said on December 19, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Here you go, Brian. The baby, I should say, is borrowed. It’s owing to the pride of grandparents that I appear in his company.


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  39. brian stouder said on December 19, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Jolene – what a marvelous picture! I think the little feller has chosen one of your books that he’d like to borrow!

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  40. Jolene said on December 19, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    The other star, if the two of us can be said to be such, in that photo is the pumpkin, which played a central role in our vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner. We had “Spicy Fall Stew Baked in a Pumpkin,” the stew being a combination of corn, onion, red pepper tomatillo, olive oil, garlic, cumin, oregano, and chili powder, accompanied by Poblano-Cucumber Salsa. Really delicious and great color for a Thanksgiving dinner.

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  41. Catherine said on December 19, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    I hear from friends with older kids that if you can get through 14, it gets easier. I’m girding my loins and trying to store up good memories now — 11 being very pleasant, in my experience.

    Jolene, another boffo picture!

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  42. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 19, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Behold the blue pumpkin! Gourd and guardian of the holiday season . . .

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  43. Deborah said on December 19, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Love the photos, it’s so cool to put a face with a name. Great idea. Brian, Chloe’s photo of your family is priceless.
    On a completely different note – I find the news about Bristol Palin’s baby daddy’s momma hilarious. What a bunch of yahoos. The whole lot of them.

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  44. basset said on December 19, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Joe, what’s your tail number on that airplane? so we can get on Flightaware and see where you are…

    and, Jolene, with a vegetarian college freshman in the house I need that pumpkin recipe.

    no Pan-X for me, Whitebeard, I was a Tri-X and Ilford 400 kinda guy.

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  45. LA Mary said on December 19, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    The teen years are the toughest on the kid and on the parent. I swear my 14 year old is like a 2 year old in some ways, wanting mutually exclusive conditions. He wants attention and to be ignored, direction and autonomy. To be cool and to be above all that. I’m looking forward to 15, 16 anything higher than 14.

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  46. Jolene said on December 19, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Basset, you’re a lucky man. Some good person posted the recipe, along w/ a photo of the dish, on flikr. (Our dish looked a little prettier. YMMV) The recipe calls for hominy. My hostess substituted fresh corn, but I’m sure frozen corn would work too. The recipe is from Vegetarian Times, October 2008. I have a pdf copy. If you’d like that, I could send it to Nancy, who could send it on to you. Or, you could post your email address here.

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  47. Catherine said on December 20, 2008 at 1:30 am

    If only the 14 YOs were as easily distracted as the 2 YOs…

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  48. Jolene said on December 20, 2008 at 1:46 am

    Perhaps you need different distracters, Catherine.

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  49. Catherine said on December 20, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Do tell! Nothing illegal or icky, ‘kay?

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  50. Joe Kobiela said on December 20, 2008 at 1:54 am

    I was in 98dm tonight and for the next week. Last week it was 87334. You can also put in gwb in the airport line and look at the departures. Next week I should be going to tvc traverse city. Last week I flew5600 miles, went to Pensacola on Thursday and Burlington Vermont on Sat.
    It was a long week.
    Pilot Joe

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  51. moe99 said on December 20, 2008 at 2:15 am

    Love the pix of everyone. Jolene, yours made me laugh out loud! Brian and Jeff, great families to go with the great guys. And Del, you are so young to be so distinguished! I am honored to be in y’all’s company.

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  52. Dexter said on December 20, 2008 at 2:31 am

    I shot thousands of ASA 400 Tri-X myself…and the picture that immediately came to mind as “most outstanding—news without words” was this: (that’s Jack Valenti under the air nozzle)

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  53. Dexter said on December 20, 2008 at 2:35 am


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  54. coozledad said on December 20, 2008 at 8:41 am

    I cant send a photo until I get my end of year Brazilian. Maybe this time they’ll only take the hair.

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  55. Danny said on December 20, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Everyone, great pictures. Brian, you guys looked wonderful and I don’t know if it was the lighting or what, but you really cleaned up nice in that picture you entitled “Twilight.” It’s not very Christmas-y though.

    Here’s some relatively recent holiday pics of us.

    Robin destroying a turkey. Sarah Palin would be proud. Vegetarians, avert your eyes.

    And here’s Robin with George Hamilton’s son. Man, between the sun and the chlorine from swimming and biking, I’m going to look like a raisin with a shock of white hair if I make it to my 60’s.

    We’ll try to get some new ones soon. Oh, and did I mention we were flying to Hawaii today? It might have slipped my mind…HeeHee.

    Jeff, I own White Christmas. I think my favorite scene is when Bing and Danny do the sister act in drag. I also like “Snow.” And Vera-Ellen was a wonderful dancer, but her anorexia was apparent.

    We’re liturgical about our holiday movie viewings too. Gotta have the 1951 Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim in the mix.

    Aloha, everyone!

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  56. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 20, 2008 at 10:22 am

    No, no, no — 1938, Reginald Owen as Scrooge and Lassie’s grandfather as Cratchit: accept no substitutes!

    (Enjoy the islands, and Merry Christmas…)

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  57. basset said on December 20, 2008 at 11:19 am

    what Joe and I have been talking about is a site where you can put in an airplane’s registration number and see where it’s been flying. or look at an airport and see who’s been coming and going.

    for example… here’s one of Joe’s recent trips, Van Wert, Ohio to Auburn, Indiana:


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  58. brian stouder said on December 20, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Great pics, Danny; but you look like Don Johnson’s younger brother, more than George Hamilton’s son!

    Dexter – that news picture is definitely loaded with subtext, and moment, and heartbreak. Rachel Maddow had Annie Leibovitz on last night, and they had an interesting discussion about photography, wherein they displayed a photo that she snapped of Marine One lifting off the White House lawn with the disgraced RN aboard. The picture was striking because it was the moment ‘after’. The big Marine Sea King helicopter is less than 10 feet in the air, and several Blue Dress uniformed Marines are busily rolling up the carpet (amidst what has to be a tremendous down-wash of air). The photo captures a compelling moment, but (as they discussed) such pictures wouldn’t normally run, in the news in those days. They had space (column inches) for The Moment (the president’s wave, and then disappearance into the aircraft), and that’s it. Life magazine was defunct, and cable news/internet didn’t exist for us, so there was no demand for these compelling ‘other’ moments around The Moment. (by way of saying, wouldn’t it be interesting to see 3 or 4 more pics, of the moments just before they pulled together that group on the plane in Dallas, or maybe one in the moment just after?)

    Anyway, Dexter, you clean up pretty good, yerownself!

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  59. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 20, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Shouldn’t encourage y’all like this, but this is a) funny, and b) the punch line is that he ducked both — Mother Jones does the Shoe-Tosser

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  60. del said on December 20, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Very funny Jeff. Still, I found the “oozinator” unsettling.

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  61. alex said on December 20, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Sorry late to the party but my Internet and TV have been out since the ice storm hit yesterday morning. As for pix, just got home with my new Canon PowerShot and the battery’s charging. The old one bit the dust recently and still had pix on it that needed downloading to the computer but alas a drunk visitor mistook it for her own and walked off with it.

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  62. Julie Robinson said on December 20, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Our power finally went out for good and we’re staying at friends with power but no internet, so I’m just popping in long enough to say whoever said southern California is a hellhole right now is very welcome to come to Fort Wayne. Ice is coating everything, limbs are down everywhere, and half the county has no electricity. A little rain wouldn’t bother me at all right now. Still trying to figure out how to host a party on Monday with no juice. It’s a stange run-up to Christmas.

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  63. brian stouder said on December 20, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Yes – it remains bad around here.


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  64. coozledad said on December 20, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    I hope you all are managing to stay warm. At least kerosene is running fairly cheap these days.

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  65. Andrew Jarosh said on December 20, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Merry Christmas, Nancy. Glad to see the news from Detroit isn’t getting you down. I survived the Gannett purge here as well; they even sent me for a week of advanced assigning editor training at Poynter in St. Pete just two weeks before the hammer fell.
    BTW: It’s Saturday night, around 8 p.m. The weather is 68 degrees, slight breeze off the Gulf. December here has been gorgeous. I miss snow Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It has no purpose the other 363 days!

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  66. Dexter said on December 21, 2008 at 2:12 am

    Coozledad: We (NW Ohio) will be getting 40 mph winds ripping through here in about 6 hours, and the weather service says it will knock down branches and “trees and power lines will fail”…meaning a helluva mess may be upon us because all the trees are covered in thick ice. uh-oh. Yikes. For good measure, it’s dropping to around zero and some wind chills will be minus 25 degrees.

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  67. coozledad said on December 21, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Christ. And here I am in in NC bitching about mud. It’s early in the winter though. We usually get some of that action from mid-January through March. I hope you’ve got a couple of Aladdin lamps and a gas stove.

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  68. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 21, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Speaking of ice storms — just read, trying to confirm this statement: “GM has 96,000 employees but provides health benefits to a million people.” Which makes the case that the federal bailout we need isn’t for the auto industry, but for how we provide health care in this country.

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  69. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 21, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Can’t find another source, but 300,000 retirees, say 200,000 spouses with that, and if the average worker has three dependents x 96,000, you’d be close enough to call it a million, so it’s probably true.

    Time to listen to the choir cantata! Happy 4th Sunday of Advent to all . . .

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  70. nancy said on December 21, 2008 at 10:30 am

    JohnC could probably confirm that figure (his wife’s a GM supplier). I think GM has far more than 96K current employees, however. The last figure I heard, pre-downsizing, was over 300K worldwide. They lost quite a few over the last year, but not that many.

    A million is close enough, I think.

    Two things would turn that company around tomorrow — a national health-care plan and a return of easy credit.

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  71. brian stouder said on December 21, 2008 at 12:43 pm


    General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 266,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services.

    ….and I didn’t even hit the Google, but only gm.com

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  72. brian stouder said on December 21, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    …and this was good stuff, too


    an excerpt from Myth/Fact:

    Myth: GM doesn’t make cars that people want to buy

    Fact: 9.3 million people worldwide bought GM vehicles last year. That’s more vehicles than any other automaker in the world sold. And in the U.S., which is the world’s largest market, GM sold more vehicles than any other manufacturer in 2007, and it has sold more than any other automaker to date in 2008.

    In 2008, the Chevy Malibu was named North American Car of the Year, and the Cadillac CTS was Motor Trend’s 2008 Car of the Year. In 2007, the Saturn Aura and Chevy Silverado won North American Car and Truck of the year. Those awards are given and judged by automotive journalists.

    Customers have responded just as enthusiastically as the critics. Although total U.S. vehicle sales are down almost 15% so far this year (through October), a number of GM cars and crossovers have enjoyed significant sales increases:

    Chevy Malibu +39%
    Pontiac Vibe +36%
    Pontiac G6 + 4%
    Cadillac CTS +15%
    Saturn Aura +7%
    GMC Acadia +2%
    Buick Enclave +88%

    October 1, 2008

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  73. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 21, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Brian, the global employment clouds the health care issue; i was just fishing for the US number alone, which seems solid for the 96K/1 million. Nancy’s closing point is true, but i’ll bet nat’l health care alone would fix most of it.

    And if you look at conservative figs for auto worker pay, they neglect to point out that non-union hourly pay for non-Big-3 auto makers would be much lower if it weren’t for Big 3 union contracts. It’s a false comparison to say (i’m vaguely recalling) that ave. hourly wages/benes are $24 for total workforce, $50 for non-U, and $75 for union auto workers, therefore UAW folk are over paid. Without that wage pressure, all auto could be a swingeing $35 to $40 an hour, and the loss of that purchasing power in the consumer economy would be much more negative than car costs being a bit more.

    Oddly enough, Henry Ford knew that. Which makes it a bit of poetic justice that his company is doing better than the others. Cranking down on UAW wages is a stupid argument, but hey, we are, after all, known as the Stupid Party for a reason.

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  74. Danny said on December 21, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Okay, no personal pictures yet and we got in late yesterday and couldn’t see in the dark, but I woke up this morning 50 feet from the ocean with this exact view. We’re in Kahana. The island in the distance is Molokai, I think. Wow.

    Can’t wait to see the rest. We stopped at the Costco right next to the airport yesterday and picked up some 100% Kona coffee. Very good. My sister-in-law is finishing up a graduate program at Harvard and did not make it all the way from Boston yesterday due to weather. We pick her up in a couple of hours and then we have a quorum.

    I know some of you have been here, but for those who haven’t, I’m hooked already and we haven’t even really done anything yet.

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  75. nancy said on December 21, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Eight — 8 — degrees here. I hate you.

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  76. brian stouder said on December 21, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Hah! According to National City Bank, at 4:22 the temperature in downtown Fort Wayne was TWO – 2- degrees!

    And the wind is HOWLING!! The ice-coated tree limbs are clacking and (increasingly) snapping

    The young folks and I made the HUGE mistake, today, of going to Jefferson Pointe to do some Christmas shopping for mom; all the stores that have the things she listed are easy walking distance from each other there……”easy” unless the freakin’ wind-chill factor is minus-40 or some such! Good God, it was COLD!!

    Heading from Michaels to Brighton turned out to be an epic march, into the teeth of the cold winds…and then Brighton’s wasn’t where they were supposed to be!!! The girls became more or less distraught, and their dad was ENTIRELY distraught, by the time we made it to Brighton!! But the blingy sales women at Brighton immediately served us all fresh warm melty chocolate chip cookies, and then all was well again…until we embarked on the walk back to the car (we had left it running, back near Michael’s, with Grant listening to the radio!)

    Honestly, I think reports of the death of traditional (all in-door) malls are GREATLY exagerated!!

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  77. LA Mary said on December 21, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    I’ve been to the Big Island and it was amazing. Honolulu, eh, you can keep. It’s sort of like Santa Monica but smells slightly better.

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  78. Jolene said on December 21, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    I’m about to leave to visit my family in ND. Current temp -4. Ridiculous.

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  79. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 21, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Way to make us all break Number X on Sunday, Danny. Can’t wait to see the next picture . . . we’re in double digits here (that would be 12, but still).

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  80. nancy said on December 21, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    It’s now 6 degrees. I’m upgrading to “Go fuck yourself, Danny.”

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  81. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 21, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Well, we’re now at 9 degrees, so much for double digits; Nancy, wouldn’t that be a Number VII violation? (Or is it a venial sin, not a commandment?)

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  82. brian stouder said on December 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    National City Bank time, 6:08 pm; downtown temperature 1 (National City Bank net worth: less than zero; but we digress)

    One degree…which is a lonely number!

    The wind gusts are said to be up to 40 mph; we had a gust a few moments ago that opened our latched storm door. I now have the thing ‘locked’ – we’ll see if that holds it

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  83. basset said on December 21, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Colder than an accountant’s heart out there…

    talked with my college roommate earlier today, he’s in Rolling Prairie out past Michigan City & says it’s so cold his cattle won’t come out from behind their windbreak, he has to carry their hay to them.

    22 in Nashville right now, break out the Hawaiian shirts.

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  84. Catherine said on December 21, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    The relatives in Iowa are at -2 and 50 mph winds. Meanwhile, here in Pasadena… Does it count as cold that we can still see the snow on the mountains from last week?

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  85. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 21, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Rolling Prairie’s where Oprah built a big old country home, but last i heard she never went to it anymore and it was on the market. Nights like this might explain why.

    If you’re of a certain age, as many of us around here are, your Christmas memories may include the song “I Believe In Father Christmas,” by Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, or ELP (they were the group that wasn’t The Moody Blues). U2 has re-recorded it for the global AIDS campaign, but either group’s rendition carries the same message —

    They said there’d be snow at christmas
    They said there’d be peace on earth
    But instead it just keeps on raining
    A veil of tears for the virgin birth

    I remember on Christmas morning
    A winter’s light and a distant choir
    And the peal of a bell; that Christmas tree smell
    eyes full of tinsel and fire

    They sold me a dream of Christmas
    They sold me a silent night
    They sold me a fairy story
    But I believe in the Israelite

    I believed in father Christmas
    I looked at the sky with excited eyes
    ‘Till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
    And I saw him through his disguise

    I wish you a hopeful Christmas
    I wish you a brave new year
    All anguish, pain and sadness
    Leave your heart and let your road be clear

    They said there’d be snow at Christmas
    They said there’d be peace on earth
    Hallelujah, noel, be it heaven or hell
    Christmas we get what we deserve

    I wish you a hopeful Christmas
    I wish you a brave new year
    All anguish, pain and sadness
    Leave your heart and let your road be clear

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  86. derwood said on December 21, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Do you suppose PNC Bank will keep the time/temp number up and running?

    Pic of me from work holiday party circa 2000.



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  87. basset said on December 21, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    The WLS 890 tower is around Rolling Prairie someplace, too. grew up listening to John Records Landecker & them on the school bus in Indiana, WLS in the mornings and WAKY from Louisville in the afternoons.

    looks like the inlaws might not get here for Christmas, they have a new foot and a half of snow in northern Michigan on top of the foot they already had.

    I remember that ELP song first time around… hell, I remember hearing “Lucky Man” from the first ELP album on our Curtis Mathes “home entertainment center” over WAOV in Vincennes and thinking that was really big-time progressive radio.

    it’s no less depressing than any other piece of Christmas music, though. this time of year I try even harder than usual to stay out of the malls.

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  88. brian stouder said on December 21, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Derwood, I can’t decide if I like the shoes better than the tie, or the tie better than the shoes….but they work!

    (and, not for nothing, it seemes to have been working with the attractive woman with the sensible shoes on)

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  89. Jolene said on December 21, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Terrific! I just took a quick glance at your picture, Derwood, and didn’t notice the great details. Am glad Brian’s comment made me look again. Excellent taste.

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  90. whitebeard said on December 21, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    It definitely is a white Christmas here, 10 above, sleet on top of snow on top of freezing rain on stop of snow, not that I was worried, and 10 above. And here is my Facebook profile http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=607325916

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  91. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 21, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    “‘Records’ truly is my middle name . . .” and it really was, too; when i’d go into Chicago, in hs and college, you could go up in the Stone Container Building and watch the broadcast for WLS on the fifth floor from the lobby, and sometimes the djs would come out and talk to you, or an engineer would let you see the studio equipment — saw my first digital tuner in there, and the biggest Ampex reel to reel, which they still were editing with razor blades and zip tape.

    Bob Sirott is still on the air, now a TV old guard guy, and WLS is another lame shoutfest station. WFMT is still pretty cool, though, and XRT. *Some* things don’t change.

    Derwood, i hope you still have those shoes. They rock like WXRT — you’re “A Lucky Man.”

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  92. Connie said on December 21, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Never got above zero today in my neighborhood.

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  93. basset said on December 21, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    went to a college radio convention in Chicago in 1974 and visited WLS and WCFL… Yvonne Daniels was on at WLS, went to CFL late at night and Gary Gears must have told us twenty times not to get into radio, you won’t make any money, there’s no security, after awhile it’s not fun any more and it looked like it sure wasn’t for him.

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  94. brian stouder said on December 21, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Love the whitebeard! My question is, have you always had the beard, or did you add it in recent years?

    When I was a kiddo, I had a mustache, but never a beard (Maloley’s allowed mustaches but not beards) – and after getting divorced (it’s a short story – but boring) I dumped the mustache and haven’t had one since.

    But, in thinking about whether I’d ever grow it back (Shelby saw a picture and asked me that question), I recalled that young folks want facial hair, so as to look older and more worldly, and older fellas want to be clean shaven, so as to look as young as possible…..and maybe at a certain age, one would want gray whiskers as their ‘stripes’ in life (one could then ‘pull rank’ in any discussion)

    But the bottom line we arrived at was – Pammy likes ‘clean-shaven’, (and she wins all debates, anyway) so that’s it!

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  95. whitebeard said on December 21, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    Brian, I stopped shaving on doctor’s orders when I had an eye operation (detached retina) in 1971 and decided I liked the professorial look. It started out red, then speckled, then white.
    I let my hair grow long in 1995 when we were battling in the courts in Canada to get our grandson back, liked the look again, although grandson and wife insist on a ponytail thingee to keep it out of my eyes when I am with them in public.
    But I leave my hair loose for my photo with the column in the newspaper.

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  96. Dexter said on December 22, 2008 at 1:00 am

    I have great memories of terrestrial radio, too, but now I have been converted. Satellite radio has won me over to a great extent, except for now-and-then check-ins with local stations. For talk and music, Sirius-XM is a wonderful alternative for just $13 a month.
    Oh, it’s minus two F degrees right now, but the wind chill is minus one. Go figure that one…it’s windy but these ice-covered trees have not wreaked havoc…yet.
    I listened to the Lions on 590 AM , Kalamazoo, for a while Sunday. They lost 42-7 to N’awlins. One more , at Green Bay Sunday, and it’s over…Shaun Cody of the Lions said “…we laid an egg.” Yep. Oh-and fifteen now.
    Since the Lions and Cleveland are so bad, and since it’s difficult to get them on the radio (I don’t have the Sirius football deal) , and since I don’t give a shit about the Colts and Bears, it’s hard to pretend to be a football fan here. I guess I want the NY Giants to win; unlike baseball, where I can hate the Yankees, I don’t hate any football teams, and I only mildly dislike Green Bay and Denver. And Washington. I guess I always root against Seattle and Carolina, too.
    The Lions are the only team I ever saw play live, quite a few times, but now I would not care if they took the Tiger Stadium wrecking ball to their billion dollar Ford Field and just quit the NFL.

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  97. Dexter said on December 22, 2008 at 1:50 am


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  98. basset said on December 22, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Blizzard of ’78… two months into my first tv-news job in Cadillac, Mich. with a CP-16 film camera and a Pinto station wagon. Those were indeed the days.

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  99. LA Mary said on December 22, 2008 at 10:58 am

    It’s raining again here. Not particularly hard, but the forecast is lots of rain and wind. It’s about 50 degrees. To me this is like April in New Jersey, but the local news makes it out as the apocalypse. People forget how to drive in LA when there is weather.

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  100. brian stouder said on December 22, 2008 at 11:59 am

    People forget how to drive in LA when there is weather.

    People in Indiana – who get winter every year! – forget how to drive, at least for the FIRST snowstorm of the year. We get better after our ‘refresher course’ (which hopefully isn’t a “crash course”!)

    I suppose, though, that every year there really IS a large number of new drivers who haven’t had to deal with icy (or in your case, drenched) bridges or what to do when the rear of the car wants to swap ends with the front

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  101. LA Mary said on December 22, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    The clown I saw swerving in and out of lanes in his Escalade, tailgating on wet, slippery freeway was not a new driver. He looked mid thirties and very macho. I know I was impressed with driving and his car.

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  102. brian stouder said on December 22, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    I HATE macho-macho men in their macho driving machines!

    Saturday, our city was an ice-coated wreck – branches down everywhere, streets that varied (in a flash) from dry and salty-white to slick-as-hell icy-white, and as Pam and the young folks and I drove along, I noticed the grill of a Ford Expedition filling my rear-view mirror! I’m not kidding – I really thought the guy was going to bump-draft me.

    We were on a two-lane road (Sherman Street) which includes parked cars and many pedestrians – and the guy crossed the double-yellow lines to pass me!!

    Only rarely do I blare my horn at morons like that guy, but he earned one; and Pam decided I hadn’t blared enough, and she reached over to lean on the horn some more!!

    And the funny part? As we progressed through downtown, one redlight after the next, he jackrabbited away on the green, and stopped at the next red, and at each red, I ended up right with him!

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  103. derwood said on December 22, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    It rains in Indy and people forget how to drive.

    Unfortunalty the Christmas Chucks went to Goodwill this year. My feet got wide along with my waist so they no longer fit. I worked at Fort Wayne National for 11 years and wore them with a suit to our No Spouses Invited Christmas Party held at the FW Country Club. It was a formal affair…well cept for my shoes.


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