Good lord, will you look at Nashville these days? I wonder if we should send the Bassets dry clothes, a blank check or a snorkel. If you didn’t see the comments late last night, here’s the dispatch from Chez Basset:

Cleanup continues in Nashville… haven’t been in position to hear much about the rest of the city, but on my street everyone seems to have friends, volunteers, whoever coming by to help dump the contents of the house out into the front yard.

My house and the one next door are only 35 yards from the Harpeth River, which is normally down a little hill, the other side of a treeline and down maybe a ten- or twelve-foot bank. Sunday morning, though, it was counter-top high through our place, and I just added a few pictures of the result to my stream here.

So… we lost lots of books, all the furniture, all electronics and major appliances, clothes, so on, so forth… but I have been amazed by the level of help and support we’re receiving. Friends are putting us up and feeding us, co-workers are coming by to help shovel out, a total stranger walked up to me as I was getting into my storage unit and gave me stacks of boxes, tape to stick them together, and a dolly, all the wet clothes out of our closets are piled in a friend of a friend’s garage and they’re letting us wash them, visitors came down our street handing out food and drinks… really helps make it a lot more bearable.

That said… our house will have to be stripped to the bare frame from about eye level down to the ground, doors, windows, and HVAC replaced, it’s gonna take awhile and be expensive. We have insurance, though, and an apartment, and a storage locker… we’ll get through it.

You always get through it. But nothing short of all-consuming fire destroys a house quite like a flood. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating if you’ve never been through one: In a fire, pfft, it’s gone, but after a flood you can actually recognize your wedding album or Christmas decorations. It’s just that they have a thin layer of brown slime covering them, and sometimes it smells like raw sewage, too.

In 1993, a photographer and I went to Iowa to cover the flooding of the Mississippi and its tributaries in Iowa. (Fort Wayne media loves a flood. If we can’t have one ourselves, we’ll go looking for others’. I bet they’re on their way to Nashville now.) A homeowner took me through his house, which had filled to the gutters with Raccoon River floodwaters. “Check this out,” he said, opening the washing machine. It was full of water the color of chocolate syrup, reeking of poo.

I think he was planning on taking the insurance money, tearing the house down and buying something on higher ground. Floods are pretty awful.

So Basset, we’re thinking about you. Anything you need, say the word.

While we’re on the subject of misfortune befalling the NN.C community, J.C. set up a page compiling all of Whitebeard’s comments on one page, just as he did for Ashley when he left us. The comments are separated from that which prompted them, but oddly enough, they make a certain kind of sense. I see he was one who joined us aprés-Goeglein — his first is March 1, 2008. It’s now on the right rail, whenever you want to check in.

I’m going to have to make this a short one today — my schedule for the rest of the week is insane, and tonight I’m taking Kate to a school-night concert, the second of the year, a treat because she gives me no problems (other than refusing green vegetables) and regularly brings home sterling report cards. We’re seeing a band called Cobra Starship, and I wish I could tell you more about them, but in the age of the iPod, I have never even heard a single note of their music. For all I know, they could perform hip-hop in the nude, and if they do, please, don’t spoil the surprise. I’m certainly grateful that my kid is into the indie bands, because that means I only have to drive to the Fillmore, which is downtown, and not to the bleedin’ Palace of Auburn Hills, the arena-size destination in Outer Mongolia, Oakland County.

So let’s skip right to the bloggage, eh? There’s some good stuff today:

Oh, look: The co-founder of the Family Research Council is caught red-handed arriving home from an extended vacation with a rentboy. No, really, an actual rentboy, hired from As lame excuses go, this one certainly takes the pink-frosted cupcake:

Reached by New Times before a trip to Bermuda, Rekers said he learned Lucien was a prostitute only midway through their vacation. “I had surgery,” Rekers said, “and I can’t lift luggage. That’s why I hired him.”

It doesn’t trump “hiking the Appalachian Trail,” but “please, Lucien, come over here and help me lift this” is certainly a strong contender. The luggage-handler notes that he is uncircumcised. Strange qualification, mmm? I’d say something here, but honestly — what more needs to be said? How about this: The man with the heavy luggage is the author of a book entitled “Shaping Your Child’s Sexual Identity.” Dan Savage’s blog entry on this is titled, “Is Every Right-Wing, Anti-Gay Christian Bigot Sucking Off Rent Boys?” I think the answer is clear and simple: Yes.

The New York Times had a recent blog entry about the theft of Facebook account data, which coincided with a weekend of hinky activity in friends’ Facebooks. FB is sort of on probation with me already; I really don’t want to give up my account, but if they can’t keep it more secure and respect my privacy, I might have to give it the heave-ho. Via LGM, the blog on the Top 10 reasons you should quit.

Finally, you baseball fans probably know Ernie Harwell, the voice of the Detroit Tigers for decades, died yesterday. As local news goes, this is on a level with an al-Qaeda strike on the RenCen. But of course everyone knew this was coming — Harwell announced his terminal cancer diagnosis months ago — and so everyone had time to plan coverage. A loyal local correspondent looked at Mitch Albom’s column and made this incisive comment:

I was looking at the Freep this morning for the coverage of Ernie Harwell’s death. Of course I had to read Mitch to see how Mitchy he got. He didn’t disappoint, as I’m sure you saw. But it occurred to me that this passage is what is especially maddening about the guy:

“…simply by doing the same gentle thing over and over, simply by being there, by remaining consistent, pure, good and true, even as things around him became anything but. Ernie stood out because he stood still. He was reliable as a rock. A soul in a void. A heart in a sometimes heartless world.”

This takes an excellent observation, turns it into a wonderful turn of phrase – “simply by doing the same thing over and over again” – then over-writes it into oblivion. There it is, a glimpse of the old, great sportswriter, smothered by the sappy pap celebrity.

Yep. I’d also note the faux-meaningful phrases — what, pray tell, is “a soul in a void” — but as concise summations of What’s Wrong With Mitch go, this is pretty good.

And now I have to get to work. Have a good day, all. I’m off to search for earplugs.

Posted at 9:37 am in Current events, Housekeeping |

51 responses to “Neck-deep.”

  1. Jen said on May 5, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I’m not terribly familiar with their music, but my sister loves Cobra Starship, and she has pretty good taste in music. She even saw them live at a free concert at IU, and said it was a fantastic show. The only song of theirs I really know is the song they played over the closing credits of that cinematic masterpiece, “Snakes on a Plane.” I’m sure you’ll have fun!

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  2. crinoidgirl said on May 5, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I’m not much into sports, but I liked reading Mike Downey, before he moved to a nicer climate. And when this Mitch guy showed up, I thought he was a really good writer, and read him too. Oy.

    eta: “Cobra Starship” seems to be the perfect band to use on the soundtrack to “Snakes on a Plane”.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on May 5, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Oh, Basset and family, how horrible, especially with your wife recovering from surgery. I’ve been through a basement flood a couple of times here and once with Mom. Be merciless in tossing “stuff” and focus your energy on photos that can’t be replaced. You may be in for some disheartening days, but we found that playing favorite music and looking for opportunities to laugh were vital to keeping our spirits up. Best wishes to you.

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  4. brian stouder said on May 5, 2010 at 10:36 am

    FB is sort of on pro­ba­tion with me already

    Indeed. I have always kept FaceBook on a short leash. For instance, as my ‘friends’ list grew, I decided it should never exceed 30; and whenever it did, I went back in there and pruned it back to 28 or so. The hinky nature of the site always rankled; “new and improved” software and features, that assertively refused to be ignored bugged me. For example, I once learned how to put photos up there, and then when I had a nice one to place last night, I learned that they “improved” their software, and wanted to force me to download more software to enable it. So last night, when I tried one more time to do that magic, and failed, I decided it was time to vote Facebook off the island.

    Have you ever fooled with terminating them? Pictures of many of your ‘friends’ pop up, saying things like “Pam will really miss you” or “Are you sure you don’t want to hear from Jolene?”. Proceeding on, It DEMANDS to know why you want to do such a thing. It’s a multiple choice question, and you cannot skip past; and when you pick one, an “explain” box opens, and requires a response. By this time, I was somewhat angry. I typed in there something like “skdfjh”, which it accepted.

    Then, you graduate to the “security words” that are written strangely, and which you must retype. I swear, on the first go-round, the one word is simply not a word at all – it is unreadable. By the second go-round on that, you get words you can read, and then one more “Are you double darn sure??” sort of a message. So – I got all the way through that, and then got the message that my account was “deactivated”. “Deactivated” seems to foreshadow zombie-like revisits from FB, or even an opportunity for our spammer/fraud friends. So now, although I think I have buried Facebook, I have the unsettled feeling that they are not inclined to stay buried.

    So anyway – Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

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  5. Randy said on May 5, 2010 at 11:12 am

    There was a period of time where the CBS and NBC channels we received here in Winnipeg came from Detroit. Ernie’s call of a ballgame nicely offset the shock of watching the Detroit news. I seem to recall that when Mitch was a full-time sportswriter, he co-hosted a sports show with Denny McLain, late on Sunday nights. I don’t remember much of it, except that Mitch showed no signs of the pompous git he would become.

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  6. Sue said on May 5, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Mitch does just fine on The Sports Reporters on ESPN. It’s like he’s two different people.
    Brian, pass me that margarita pitcher, will you? You’re hogging it.

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  7. nancy said on May 5, 2010 at 11:46 am

    I’ve always said — seriously, I have said this — that Mitch is at his best on the radio, and that probably comes across on TV, too. I think it’s because his aw-shucks normal-guy persona is such a stark contrast to most of the psychotic ego monsters behind the nation’s talk-radio microphones. I saw Mitch speak at a writing workshop, and he was just fine. If it’s hard to square that guy with the stories you hear about temper tantrums over the slightest change in his copy, etc., well, more than one person has had a dark side.

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  8. brian stouder said on May 5, 2010 at 11:47 am

    That’s a pitcher? I thought it was my glass! (pass me the chips and that green sauce)

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  9. LAMary said on May 5, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I think we should all go to El Atacor for some tacos al pastor and some potato tacos with guacamole. Twenty tacos for twenty dollars, including incredible salsa, lemon wedges, sliced carrots, radishes and jalpenos on the side. They have carnitas, carne asada, chicken, sesos, cabesa, lengua and um, lip tacos as well as al pastor. I haven’t tried the lip ones.

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  10. paddyo' said on May 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Here’s to drying breezes and quick repair/reconstruction for the Bassets . . . and condolences on the loss of so much of the stuff of your daily lives . . .

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about New Orleans (something we all should keep doing), what with “Treme” and Ashley and the impending oil-slick disaster in nearby Gulf waters. I covered the first eight days of Katrina and saw a lot, then covered Rita a month or so later, and finally went back to New Orleans in mid-November (hmm, just about the time where “Treme” is set) for some follow-up work. It was then that I could visit the address where an old newspaper buddy had set up housekeeping just a month before the hurricane hit. (He fled to Alabama during the evacuation and did not return, except to salvage what was left.)

    Jim’s little rental bungalow in the Lakeview area just east of City Park was, of course, a mess. There was the ruin of his old sports car, hunkered in the carport, and the front door was open to the world. By then, Jim had been back to reclaim what little remained of a lifetime of belongings. He and Trish had stowed a few boxes of papers and such in the attic; everything else, including his grandmother’s ancient player piano and a lot of artworks and such, was mush. Don’t know if the house was reclaimed, scraped off, or what. Life went on.

    I’ve lived most of my life out of natural harm’s way except for earthquakes in my native California (OK, big exception) and the potential across the West for wildfires. Disaster is disaster, whether in flood country, hurricane country, or tornado country. But damage by rising water seems particularly heartless — usually not violent or explosive or instantly life-threatening like the others . . . just relentless, unstoppable, and damaging all the same.

    All the best to Basset.

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  11. alex said on May 5, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Tacos al pastor… Say, are those accompanied by flautas al rentboy?

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  12. beb said on May 5, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Ernie Harwell had a wonderful voice. It carried well over the tinny quality of most radios. He spoke in measured tones. Not slowly per se but at a pace one could understand easily. He described the game clearly and fairly and had an incredible fund of stories about the players. When you listen to Ernie you felt like you understood the game, even when you didn’t. People like that can’t be replaced.

    My wife’s on Facebook and keeps inviting me to join but I find that I just don’t to be that accessable to the world. Maybe it’s part of my Crank-Old-Man syndrome, which I think ought to a acknowledged disease in the PDR, but too often I wonder ‘who are these people, and why would they care what I have to say?’ She has complained about FB constantly changing their design. It reminds me of a committ about why newspapers can’t compete with Craigslist even the ones trying to still listinga from CL. The interface is so plain and simple that people can get right at what they want. Web designers should live and especially die by KISS – keep it simple.

    I never could understand the thinking of the Log Cabin Republicans. So you’re gay and conservative, the Republican party will never accept you. Except the never-ending dribble of revelations of gay Congressmen, congressional aides, and conservative pundits. It’s like the Republican Party is just one vast closet. Dan Savage has it right, “Is Every Right-Wing, Anti-Gay Chris­t­ian Bigot Suck­ing Off Rent Boys?”

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  13. LAMary said on May 5, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    >>Tacos al pas­tor… Say, are those accom­pa­nied by flau­tas al rent­boy?<<

    Not at the North Figueroa location. Only at Santa Monica Boulevard.

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  14. Rana said on May 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Argh, Facebook. Its very ubiquity is the problem!

    If I thought I could trust them with my financial information (hah) I’m at the point where I’d be willing to pay a yearly subscription fee just to retain complete and full control of my data. As it stands, users have no leverage, because the only ones paying FB are advertisers and app developers. It’s unsurprising that our complaints don’t have much long-term effect.

    (Plus I’m firmly convinced that the original founders not only didn’t have a firm grasp of privacy, but a bad case of TMI disorder; from the early days FB was all about sharing juicy, juicy gossip within an in-group – if “privacy” existed, it was only in hiding from the curious eyes of people outside the privileged realm, not from other users, who were allowed to know and share everything.)

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  15. Julie Robinson said on May 5, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    As a relative newbie on Facebook, I have really enjoyed conversing with old friends who live far away, but yesterday I was creeped out by several friend suggestions. None were friends of mutual friends, and none lived in areas where I know anyone. Where did those come from, and am I being suggested to other strangers?

    Brian, if you read Nancy’s link, it says that deactivation is not the same as deleting your account. Maybe a silver stake through its heart is necessary.

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  16. nancy said on May 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Every time I think I’m done with it, someone I really miss and would love to reconnect with turns up in my friend requests. And, as Nora Ephron once pointed out about e-mail, as soon as a new communications forum comes along, we immediately figure out how to use it, and what niche it’s good for. I’m on FB, Twitter and here, and am a different persona on all three. Hell if I know how it turned out that way, it just did. Severing FB would feel a little like cutting off a limb — I’d survive, but I’d sure miss it for a while, and probably a long while.

    Also, FB is becoming increasingly important in our little arts community. It’s the way you get word out about your shows, screenings, one-act plays and all the rest of it. I’d miss that part of it, too.

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  17. coozledad said on May 5, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I never thought of a “smooth, sweet, tight ass” as a prerequisite for handling luggage, but I guess it works, in a classical Greek sort of way, as in “Tell that strapping young man with the uncut eight inch cock to fetch my amphorae, Epididymis. I’m about to give him a symposium on mentoring!”

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  18. Sue said on May 5, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Cooz, ‘strapping’ doesn’t work here (well, maybe as a verb, not an adjective). Someone who chooses a ‘slender, blond escort’ with ‘delicate features, guileless eyes, and sun-kissed, hairless skin’ is not looking for ‘strapping’.

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  19. LAMary said on May 5, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I guess it depends on what you consider “luggage.”
    That photo of the good reverend? It screams gay. The cover of his book? Gay. I know there are self hating gays. I think I’m related to one. But making a career out of hating what you are is hard to understand.

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  20. coozledad said on May 5, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Sue: My Greek is rusty. “Softly belted?”

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  21. Kath said on May 5, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    All of those guys are like that. When I worked for the ACLU, I was on the radio debating a guy from the state level equivalent of the Family Research Council about sodomy laws. His main contention was that we had to keep the sodomy statute on the books because gay sex is so much better than straight sex that if it were legal everyone would be doing it.

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  22. Jean S said on May 5, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    best to the Bassets. I’ve been through major (and minor) earthquakes and grew up in hurricane country, but I’ve never done a flood and don’t care to…

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  23. Peter said on May 5, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I am so sorry for the bassetts…I’ve had the flooded basement a few times, but it filled and drained out within a few hours, and each time it made me realize how much worthless junk I own.

    On the other hand, if the water made it into my living areas I would start babbling incoherently.

    Nancy, I think you’re right about fires vs. floods. I’ve also heard that when it comes to insurance, you’ve got an easier time with a fire – kind of easy to see what’s gone, and they don’t nitpick about what’s useable or not.

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  24. LAMary said on May 5, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Epi­didymis is a good name.

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  25. Sue said on May 5, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Have we ever discussed whether it’s arrogance or a death-wish that causes these guys to do career-killing things right out in the open? This guy was caught getting off a plane with his boytoy. Very basic common sense would have told him to take a few minor (like not walk together) or major (like take separate flights) precautions.
    Of course, that’s just my suspicious mind. Apparently he took this young man on a ten-day vacation to share the word of Jesus and help him see the error of his sinful ways.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on May 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    There are some experts in psycho-sexual behavior who would say guys like Rekers want to be caught. Or, maybe he’s done this a lot and became overly confident he would never be caught? It’s hard to say. All the simple measures noted by you above would’ve kept Rekers from the public eye.

    I’m sure within a few days, we will read that Rekers is seeking counseling and that, yes, God already has forgiven him for any transgressions.

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  27. LAMary said on May 5, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Maybe Ted Haggard will counsel him and convert him to straightness.

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  28. ROgirl said on May 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    And maybe all the other self-hating gays who make a career out of being anti-gay will come out and admit their true sexual orientation.

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  29. Sue said on May 5, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    ROGirl – in which case, GROUP HUG!

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  30. Dexter said on May 5, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    FOX Sports Detroit is airing a nice thirty minute tribute to ol’ Ern. I just watched it ; it’s nice.
    Tomorrow starting at 7:00 AM Ernie Harwell lies in repose at Comerica Park for public viewing.
    I sat in the garage with my Granpda and listened to Ernie and George Kell on WJR in 1960, Ernie’s first year with the Tigers, and for nearly every summer after until the end of Ernie’s career.
    We used to take Sunday drives when I was a kid. I remember being astounded as I turned the AM car radio…Ernie Harwell was broadcasting games on stations all across the wave band. It must have been hundreds of stations, state wide. Even in the late 1980s, when my family went camping “Up North”, I played around with the transistor radio and found the same results.

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  31. joodyb said on May 5, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    it all happened over the weekend, nancy:

    sending waves of warm and dry to bassett and kin.

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  32. alex said on May 5, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Kath @ 21 and Sue @ 25—

    I think both things you pointed out are really part of the same phenomenon. I’ve never empathized with fetishes like sadomasochism, but I once heard a guy explain why he was a kink. He gets off on imagining the shock his Roman Catholic immigrant grandparents would feel if they were to find him trussed up in a harness taking huge objects up his ass. Violating taboos and risking ignominy are for some an enormous sexual thrill. Oh, and this guy formerly worked in a high position at a very conservative publication.

    The real question ought to be what sort of contraptions and costumes were in the luggage Mr. Reker, er, um, Lucien was toting.

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  33. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 5, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    There’s an actual website called No, I’m not gonna go look.

    Seriously, I try to be a responsibly forthright social conservative. Really. But the folks who make a whole career out of ranting, raving, let alone mainly doing their preaching about personal sexual choices always leave me with an off kilter sense of their own general stability. It just isn’t the heart of the Gospel, it isn’t the key issue in proclaiming the Good News, it isn’t where God’s main concerns lie.

    I hope to not offend unduly by saying I’m equally put off by mainline Protestant efforts to make sexual liberation the heart of a denominational message, and three or four of the mainline general/national offices of such seem to think that’s the core issue of the day. They leave me as uneasy in their own way as Dobson and this odd duck do on the other extreme. That’s my reaction, anyhow. There’s a great deal of loneliness and alienation out there, and a need to find a way to feel connected to something, someone, some greater link than hooking up, and YMMV, but that search for purpose & meaning isn’t going to be resolved in any sexuality-based framework. It’s a source of refreshment that can turn out to be a poisoned well or give you strength for the journey, but it isn’t the destination.

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  34. alex said on May 5, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    I’m equally put off by mainline Protestant efforts to make sexual liberation the heart of a denominational message

    What, are the women’s auxiliaries now selling lingerie and dildoes instead of homemade pies? When did this happen?

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  35. coozledad said on May 5, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    You haven’t been reading your bulletins, Alex. There’s a kind of “Devilled eggs my ass! Give me the electronic ones!”” attitude prevailing among the ecumenicals.

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  36. MichaelG said on May 5, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Jeez, Mary, you’re in great form today.

    I’ve just gotten home from a couple of days in Barstow where the best restaurant in town is Denny’s. Your post on El Atacor really hurt. Dinner tonight was cheese and crackers. OK, goat cheese and flatbread but it’s still cheeze and crackers. I still feel bloated from the shit I’ve eaten for the last couple of days. I need to be smarter when I order. Even in a dump.

    Boy, the cats are really going at it tonight outside my window. Sounds like true love.

    I joined FB a year or so ago and haven’t really updated or sought friends since. Now I just kind of lurk. It’s something that takes a whole lot of work and a whole lot of time and I just don’t feel motivated to spend my life there.

    I never heard Ernie Harwell but some of you Midwestern folks may remember the great Jack Brickhouse who did Sox and Bear games when I was a kid. There’s a real art to doing sports on radio. Here in the (extended) Bay Area the legends are Bill King and Lon Simmons.

    Best of luck, Basset. Starting over is tough, I don’t envy you but my best wishes are with you.

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  37. MichaelG said on May 5, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Alex, I remember fifteen years ago or so when every joint had lingerie Wednesdays. Models with bras and panties between beers at noon. Heavily attended. They do that back East?

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  38. MichaelG said on May 5, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Cooz, who gets to hold the remotes?

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  39. Dexter said on May 6, 2010 at 12:00 am

    MichaelG…I have too much content to list all my fave baseball announcers here, but I’ll relate my best Jack Brickhouse anecdote.
    Jack was nearing the end and wasn’t so sharp anymore. The Cubs were playing in Pittsburgh and a Pirate shot a sharp ground ball up the middle into center field.
    Jack said “A ground ball to second base, Trillo throws it to first for the third out, and after five innings, Cubs 3 and Pittsburgh 3.” And dead air—then some shuffling, muffled voices, and Jack comes back on the mic with “that was a base hit….”. I loved Jack Brickhouse, though…he was great, and he used to do Sox games on Channel 44 I think it was.
    My one year in California was the same year Harry Caray was there, 1970, when Harry was doing Oakland A’s games. He hated it. After he came to the White Sox in 1971, on the radio and after a few Falstaffs, he said his year in Oaktown was akin to “being stuck in Siberia”. Not Harry’s cup of tea. That damn old Harry Caray was drunk most of the time in the booth…he’d stack up his paper beer cups just like all the ballpark drunks used to do…he didn’t give two shits.

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  40. moe99 said on May 6, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Saw the first episode of Treme tonight, courtesy of a bootleg, and it was fabulous! A New Orleans funeral is quite an event!

    btw didn’t take a day but now Focus on the Family (now known as the Family Research Council) is saying, “Rekers, who dat?”

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  41. basset said on May 6, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Thanks again, everyone… I actually hadn’t seen the stuff from downtown myself, just heard about it. the city government dept. I work for does, among other things, GIS and mapping… so we’re involved in the damage assessment, without me though.

    Dry clothes we have, we’ll get by on the money, there’s probably a snorkel somewhere in that pile of crap in my front yard… what we need is furniture, I just went to Wal-Mart and bought two queen-size air mattresses.

    Julie, thanks for remembering the surgery… just to prove that these things come in threes, my only surviving brother died last week. All that together has led to a very interesting thought process, will hold that for later though.

    We move into the new apartment tomorrow. Meanwhile, more pics… including one with me in it:

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  42. Denice B. said on May 6, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Growing up in Detroit, Ernie Harwell was Legend. I spent a lot of time with my paternal grandparents and they were die hard Tigers fans. Every game the radio was tuned to WJR. (Now a Right Wing Rush Limpballs and Hannity propaganda station.). Ernie knew all the players and all the plays. When there would be a pop fly into the stands, Ernie would say “A nice young man from Algonac, Michigan will take that one home!” We wondered how he knew that so fast! And when a batter struck out, he would say “He stood there like a house at the side of the road and watched that one go by.” I wrote him a letter years ago, and he wrote a note back thanking me (!) for being a loyal Tigers fan. He was, and always shall be, the best.

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  43. Dexter said on May 6, 2010 at 2:09 am

    DeniceB: How nice! Ernie thanked his fans like that, for sure. In the tribute I watched, Ernie told of finding a turtle atop a fence post, and of course we all know that means someone put the turtle up there. Ernie said he was on a great fence post himself and it was his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who put him there. Ernie loved his bible studies and prayer meetings; I remember former Tigers closer Todd Jones telling what a great spiritual guidance prayer partner Ernie was to him. It’s easy to take pot-shots at goobers like Rekers, but no one would dare question people like Ernie Harwell and Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter about their sincere faith.
    I got a few baseball autographs when I was a kid in the sixties, and today the one I prize most is of Dodger great Gil Hodges, who was from Indiana. He signed it for me in 1964. And on May 1, 1920, the longest major league game in history was played between the Dodgers and the Boston Braves…26 innings, and Leon Cadore and Joe Oeschger both threw all 26 innings. 46 years ago I wrote to Mr. Oeschger and he sent me back a nice autographed card. He died 24 years ago.

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  44. Linda said on May 6, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Kath @ 21:
    Much of what passes for culture war conservativism is that while traditional life reflects the natural order of biology (straightness, monogamy, traditional sex roles), the “other” is so attractive that it has to be forcibly tamped down, or everybody would be doing it. If they really believed in the first premise about the “natural order,” of course, this would not be true.

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  45. brian stouder said on May 6, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Basset – those pictures look like a genuine nightmare. But – it was good to see you got ol’ John safely evacuated(!)

    It looks like you’re ‘keeping an even strain’, which presumeably is the key to successfully dealing with such a protracted, unpleasant (to say the least) turn of events.

    Here’s to keepin’ on ‘keeping on’

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  46. MichaelG said on May 6, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Ken Levine had a good Harwell tribute here (scroll down):

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  47. brian stouder said on May 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Mary – the menu you posted has given me a strong desire to head for Don Chavas

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  48. LAMary said on May 6, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Brian,Don Chavas and El Atacor are very different from each other. El Atacor has formica tables and most people take their order to go. Chunks of red peppers in the guacamole? What is up with that? I understand that El Atacor is very popular at about 2am when Footsie’s bar closes and all their patrons wander down the street for something spicy and a little greasy to stifle the hangover. Personally, I have not experienced El Atacor in that way. I hear Footsie’s has good live music so I may have to give it run.
    Bonus LA info: Footsie’s is the site of filming very often. I think it is the bar in lots of movies and TV shows since I see the trucks full of cables and lights, guys with ponytails and backwards baseball caps, and craft services trucks parked there very often. It’s on my list of places you’ve never been to but recognize instantly because you’ve seen it on TV or in the movies along with John Marshall High School and El Matador county beach.

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  49. brian stouder said on May 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    El Ata­cor has formica tables and most peo­ple take their order to go

    I get your drift. Over on Laura Lippman’s blog, she asked people to tell about the best pizza they ever ate, and got a wide variety of answers; the place I IMMEDIATELY thought of was a place called Bruno’s in Logansport, Indiana. To be charitable, the place has ‘lots of character’ (it’s a dump). One canNOT eat there, it’s carryout only. If 5 adults are there at the same time to pick up their pizzas, a sixth person simply cannot get in. And the pizza? – is marvelous!! None better anywhere, at any price.

    As for sights around Los Angeles, I’ll have to get that list from you, and then come see, someday. (Adam-12 taught me LA police codes; I still know what a 4-11 is)

    By the way, Nance’s linked article about the child molesting* Focus on the Family guy taught me a new word:


    (don’t ask)

    *the article points out that this guy has been a foster parent/adoptive parent for young boys on several occasions, so I predict that this will become a criminal case, in due course

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  50. LAMary said on May 6, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I already knew what it meant, Brian. I took four years of Latin in high school so I know what copro is. Twenty years ago I got an emergency teaching certificate during a serious teacher shortage here in LA. I went to a cattle call sort of interview at LAUSD headquarters and made it through four very nice chats with teachers and adminstators. Then I had to interview with a guy who was real shit. His name was Corpolongo, but I started calling him calling him Coprolongo when it became apparent he was not an ally. I have no idea if he knew what it meant.

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