Mercy, I’m late today. That’s what happens when you put your work-work ahead of your fun-work. This is spring break for Wayne State, which I thought would be an easy one for me, but instead I found myself at two different city council meetings, and while it was in no way enjoyable, it was probably a good thing for me, as it’s easy to forget what you’re asking your students to do on a week-to-week basis.
I’m all for town-hall government, but there were times this week that I yearned to be my old colleague Andrew Jarosh, who was apparently the de facto timekeeper at Fort Wayne City Council meetings for years. I didn’t know this until I talked to someone who attended one to make a presentation.
“If someone is talking and wanders off point, Andrew catches the clerk’s eye and taps his watch,” he said. The clerk would then remind the speaker of the time limit. This apparently happened several times in a single meeting. I thought it was merely funny at the time, but now that I’m inflicting these things upon myself, I see it as nothing short of an act of heroism for everyone who wants to get out the door before 9 p.m., and preferably 8:30, and even better, 8 on the dot.
I actually tried the watch-tap on Monday, but the person whose eye I caught has no power to move things along.
What is it about a podium that makes some people believe they’re in a Norman Rockwell painting, or maybe wearing a toga and orating in Latin? It’s like a letter to the editor, only live. I think I’ve mentioned before that the letters column in most newspapers is the only thing that can make otherwise reasonable people use phrases like “I think not.”
So that’s what I did this morning instead of blogging: Parsed a liquor-license hearing for the readers of my other site. Liquor laws are never simple, alas. Most people don’t understand how much government is involved in crafting the streetscapes they experience every day, and how much is left to the invisible hand. The various social networks I’m connected to have lately featured local people offering their opinions on what “should” fill a recently vacated retail space, what “they” should get to go there. Patience I have for these discussions: Approaching zero, unless I need to tone my eye-roll muscles. People throw any number of daft ideas on the table. So far no one’s suggested a dog massage parlor, but that’s about the only thing left out.
Tomorrow is Me Time, then. I’ve been trying to find time to edit a video I shot last fall. Maybe I’ll find the time. Likely I won’t.
In the meantime, any bloggage?
Just posted on the last thread: The latest Ponzi schemer, arrested in California, was a big fan of the GOP in general and Mitch Daniels in particular.
What does Tina Fey have to promote this month? I agree with every word Tom & Lorenzo say about this unfortunate magazine cover.
Oh, and it’s St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not the least bit Irish, unfortunately. My friend Emma Downs is, however, and just posted on Facebook that her sister Nancy was named for this song, so I guess, just for today, I’ll claim it, too:
Connie said on March 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm
I’m not the least bit Irish either. As one of Dutch heritage I am wearing my touch of Orange. Go William of Orange! Oh, and Go Butler!
Julie Robinson said on March 17, 2011 at 12:27 pm
Well, I am the “least big Irish”, which I know was a typo, but we Irish girls do tend to run big. You gotta be sturdy if you’re digging potatoes and delivering 12 kids.
We listened to a lot of the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem and I still have one of their Irish songbooks. It’s more difficult musically than it sounds.
nancy said on March 17, 2011 at 12:32 pm
Thanks for the edit, Julie. We all know that the least big Irish are actually leprechauns.
JayZ(the original) said on March 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm
Nancy Whiskey brings back wonderful memories for me. I met the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in the early 60’s when I worked at The Rising Moon, a folk music club in Chicago’s Old Town. Sang a lot of Irish rebel songs with them at “hootenannies”.
del said on March 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm
Nancy, you’ve gotta go to Nancy Whiskey’s pub in Corktown. A true dive corner bar in a post-apocalyptic Robocop neighborhood. 2/3rds of the lots are vacant now. Best time is after midnight on Saturdays, musicians fininishing gigs elsewhere come to jam. Electric blues mostly.
coozledad said on March 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm
I’m Irish, of sorts, so I’ll add a verse to that Clancy Brothers song.
Well I went drinking in the morning
and blacked out in St. Mary’s pew
Buggered raw by thirteen clergy
A dozen priests: the bishop too.
beb said on March 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm
I remember liking the Clancy Brothers. The only song of their I remeber – or rather the only line of any of their songs I still remember goes:
“Hark! I hear the temple bells…
“They’ll all be open now…”
Which I believe makes it a drinking song.
Only in Detroit….
Suzanne said on March 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm
1.I think Mitch Daniels IS a leprechaun.
2.Once he is out of office, the Hoosier state will discover that he had been operating a giant Ponzi scheme.
Deborah said on March 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm
Happy St. Pats to you. Still in New Mexico, taking a break from hiking and reading, heaven. Coozledad, as usual you had me laughing out loud with your added verse. Jeff (tmmo) I’ve been reading your comments with great interest lately. No disrespect taken about my living in the middle of a city. That’s why we come to New Mexico usually 4 times a year, to get a breather. We are lucky to be able to do so, I certainly realize.
We were in Santa Fe yesterday looking at wind power equipment, and have decided to keep thinking about solar instead, we found the wind turbines to be quite noisy. But on the way we found a great food coop and it made me wonder why there aren’t more of those in places like Chicago. The green markets in the summer are great, but quite expensive.
Sorry I’m so off topic today.
John G. Wallace said on March 17, 2011 at 1:57 pm
I never went as far as to “keep time,” although everytime a certain school board began a power point presentation (in the wrong hands that software is great for making things take 3 times as long as needed) I would have them e-mail me a copy then read my airliner news, and aviation blogs, and then if time allowed, SeriousEats.com
I once had a friendly relationship with an elected official in NJ who was a great guy and thoughtful in his decisions. He also would spend 15 minutes talking on even the simplest matters. One day he asked me how I thought he did at an event. I told him (and this applies to many public figures) that if he looked at me and I was writing anything it was because he wasn’t saying anything. We remained friends and collegues always wondered what made him adopt brevity in his public discourse.
MichaelG said on March 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm
I’m Irish. My grandparents were born over there. I even used to go out and get drunk on March 17. It’s been a while, though.
What’s the story with the ‘Detroit News’ and their now ex-auto reviewer? Hmm. auto reviewer.
del said on March 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm
MichaelG, I’ve never trusted the Detroit papers’ car reviews anyway. Still, it’s sad to see.
Dorothy said on March 17, 2011 at 2:15 pm
My maternal grandfather, Timothy McCarthy, was born in 1897 in County Cork. So I can claim some Irish blood.
In September 2001 I went to the Irish Festival in Pittsburgh and I saw a group there – I even have one of their CDs but their name escapes me at the moment. However, one of the songs they did really stuck with me: Mari-Mac. I found a different group’s version on YouTube. It’s not really a video but it is the song, with the lyrics (which you’ll need if you want to understand what they are saying). Can I follow along? I think not!
paddyo' said on March 17, 2011 at 2:42 pm
My no-longer-secret secret is that while my name is all Irish (Patrick O’Driscoll), I’m really only one-quarter so — my dad’s father came over from Waterford on a boat to San Francisco (yes, the lonnnnng way) at the turn of the 20th century, and witnessed the 1906 quake and fire from across the bay in Oakland . . . but he married the American-born daughter of French immigrant parents whose marriage ceremony was the first non-native wedding in one of the old Spanish California missions (San Luis Obispo). (On my mom’s side, it’s a whole raft of Brit Isles folks embodied in some occupants of the Mayflower.)
Can’t say I’m a fan of the Clancys, but I sure like Cooze’s new verse @ 6. I’m more a fan of The Chieftains m’self.
But today, I’ll offer something I like better than all: Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett’s take on Danny Boy . . .
LAMary said on March 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm
I’m with Connie on the House of Orange team.
Kirk said on March 17, 2011 at 2:56 pm
Very nice musical interlude, paddyo’
Connie said on March 17, 2011 at 3:15 pm
Oh man, another buzzer beater. Go Butler. Good thing I’m the boss, though the rest of you can watch your team’s game online at work too as long as you keep the volume down and read something work related.
MichaelG said on March 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm
Danny Boy? Shane Macgowan will show you a non-treacle version:
paddyo' said on March 17, 2011 at 4:38 pm
The Pogues! Nice, MichaelG . . . thanks for that.
Jolene said on March 17, 2011 at 5:08 pm
Another holiday contribution: History of St. Patrick in three minutes.
Also, today’s bit of knowledge from the CIA Factbook: Median age in Japan = 44.8. Egypt = 24.3. US = 36.9. What an amazingly varied place the world is! Absent any other information, these differences in age distribution have huge implications for the future of these countries and, because we’re all hooked together somehow, for us.
This essay gives some insight about Japanese politics and how they might play out in the wake of the present crisis.
Even though our politics are so complex–with party factions, interest groups, and regional coalitions–it’s easy to get trapped in monolithic views of other countries.
Dexter said on March 17, 2011 at 5:40 pm
I love it when St. Paddy’s rolls around because I consider it my personal first day of spring.
My only Irish blood : mother’s grandmother .
Around here diners advertise “Traditional Jiggs Diner” for St. Paddy’s, but I finally researched it and the Jiggs Dinner refers to “cod jiggers”, fishermen off Newfoundland and Labrador who ate frequent meals of salt beef. Ha. Nothing at all to do with Ireland.
I remember how J.P. McCarthy (WJR-AM Radio 760 morning man of years past) used to have such a kick-ass St. Paddy’s show every year. I always listened to it, and the corned beef and cabbage haters dominated.
And even if it irritates the hell out of true Irishmen to hear about corned beef and cabbage, I have been making it for 35 years, every year, and only once a year, and today I made it again. It was perfect, wedges of just-right cooked cabbage and some nice boiled potatoes and the perfect slices of the boiled and simmered corned beef brisket. I was going to make currant scones too but with this new dog I am so busy.
She has horrible issues with food aggression and she also eats nasty things and she pots inside if I miss a couple hours with no outside break for her.
Her St. Paddy’s menu , besides her regular doggie meals: a nice bite of deer poop, washed down with ditch water with a bite of crappy rotted vegetation for good measure. Then, a nice surprise for me a half hour later, on the rug. Damn. Glad I have a closet full of cleaning products.
maryinIN said on March 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm
Maybe the Orange team can explain — do you also wear orange on the real Orange Day, July 12? Never understood why Orangemen would want to acknowledge St. Patrick’s Day in any way at all. I celebrate March 17 but July 12 goes by without my noticing.
Deborah said on March 17, 2011 at 9:56 pm
I don’t know, maybe I’m getting to be a tightwad in my old age, but $15 per mo for the NYT digital version seems steep to me. I will probably not partake. Interested in what you all think. Sorry if you’ve already discussed this. I’ve been on vacation, and haven’t been up to speed here.
Joe Kobiela said on March 17, 2011 at 10:10 pm
Being a charter pilot has it good times, like a few weeks back a trip to Fla and a chance to see a shuttle launch. Then again there are nights like tonight, a night in beutiful Fort Dodge Iowa.
Happy saint pat day all.
sarah said on March 17, 2011 at 10:13 pm
Nancy Whiskey……I’ll take it too! Love that song!
By the way…..Emma wasn’t joking when she said our sis Nancy was named in honor of that song:)
nancy said on March 17, 2011 at 10:15 pm
I would never suspect such a thing. Emma always keeps it real.
sarah said on March 17, 2011 at 10:39 pm
One of things I love about the girl!
Crazycatlady said on March 17, 2011 at 11:23 pm
Not surprised about Mitch Daniels. I still hate him- he sold the leasing rights to the Indiana Toll Road for 99 years to an out of country firm in Australia. The money from the lease has already been completely spent. The Toll road raised prices and fired booth workers. Now the toll road is a cash cow for the corporation and a rip off for us infrequent toll road customers.
susan said on March 17, 2011 at 11:42 pm
I’ve always liked Ian and Sylvia’s version of Nancy Whiskey…They’re Canucks, not Irish, but, eh, so what?
Dexter said on March 18, 2011 at 12:23 am
Deborah: Now with Frank Rich over at New York Magazine, and since I have not read The Times’s other columnists religiously since the 2008 election year, I will just continue to get my info from the LA Times, both Chicagos and both Detroits.
I do believe The Times is being fair,and they have been warning us for a long time, and it’s no big emotional deal at al for me to just move on. Besides, it’s still fun to read the Post and the Daily News.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 18, 2011 at 6:43 am
It seems to me that not enough members of the Sulzberger family has watched “The Apprentice.” Price point is everything — $5 woulda gotten lots of “well, OK, type in the credit card number” reactions. $15, and I’m only curious to see how they manage the vast gaming of the “linked views are free even over the 20 views limit per 28 days.” I can already imagine the websites that will get set up to gleefully evade the paywall, and the ultimate retreat of the NYT behind a higher paywall . . . and a further descent into internet irrelevance.
They could have, meanwhile, made a potful of money. Maybe not as big as they think they deserve, but that’s the problem right there.
Dexter said on March 18, 2011 at 8:14 am
JmmO. A few years ago when TimesSelect was initiated and The Gray Lady had her hand out if you wanted to read Frank, Tom, Nick and Maureen, it was easy to circumvent the charges if you surfed a little while…lots of bloggers were posting the columns. I thought that was wrong so I obtained a password, but then sometimes I would copy and paste a juicy column to certain friends, and that was wrong, but these folks didn’t read The Times regularly so they just would have missed the story. This time I just have no desire to pony up.
Deborah said on March 18, 2011 at 8:43 am
I would pay $5 per mo in a New York minute. Maybe even $10. But for some reason $15 seems too much for what it’s worth to me. We will see how much I miss it. The weird thing is I buy the Sunday Times and read it at the Lavazza coffee place in The Drake for $6 a pop from the little commisary there and don’t bat an eye. That’s $24 a month just for the Sunday edition. The experience of that is worth it to me.
ROgirl said on March 18, 2011 at 9:00 am
Will the paywall cause more NYT journalists to jump ship? I’m not going to pop for the subscription. How this whole thing unfolds will be interesting.
del said on March 18, 2011 at 9:04 am
I gifted my mom the NYT’s print version, I’m thinking I may take over online access to that subscription. I think their strategy’s been clever in letting people grow accustomed to their paper online while maintaining high quality, meanwhile the regional papers’ quality has diminished to the point that they’re no longer much of an alternative.
Jolene said on March 18, 2011 at 9:27 am
Deborah: You could probably get a weekend-only subscription for less than $24/month and get the use of the web site free.
I, too, wish it were a little cheaper, but they have done some great reporting over the past few months–in Tucson, in the Middle East, in Japan. It costs money!
prospero said on March 18, 2011 at 6:09 pm
Who made this shit up? No shit? Are there people rthat actually care about folks? Know what, there are are. Are we supposed to thing nothing means shit. There qre people it qctuqlly meqnw whit. Believe it ior nit, we care bout trying ro make rhtings halfwqy swxwnr. YOU QEE QOMWRHINFG QRONG QIRH RGIA ?
WELL, YOU XQN’R.
prospero said on March 18, 2011 at 7:41 pm
Rhose Makem Bros. are barely Irish. If you want Irish you’ll listen to the Irish rover. Tjis land was alwaus ours. There are are people that keep theses things seriously. I love your beillliant jocularity, I vouldn’t excuse what a dummgass. But I undersrand you ,ean the best What ever you ,ean very fine whar ever. ,
we ar3n’t qhol3w.