Waiting out the rain.

Should have known the good weather wouldn’t last long. I’m sitting in my living room in utter gloom, all the shades wide open, and it’s as dark at 9 a.m. as it will be at 9 p.m. What could it be? Why, more rain on the way. Yippee, rain.

Alan took the boat out for its shakedown over the weekend, and said the lake is full of floating logs and other debris washed down in recent deluges. Which immediately sent me spinning back to 1973 and my first visit to Michigan. I’m 15, and my friend Paul has invited me and two other girls to his cottage in the Les Cheneaux Islands, in the U.P. Every night we tuck a couple 12-packs of Stroh’s under our arms and go to someone else’s cottage to party, or else they come to us. This involves much night boating under the blackest skies and brightest stars I’ve ever seen. Paul knows the water and can navigate the whole area without lights, but every night as we leave his grandmother warns us about “deadheads.” The winter was tough, the spring rains heavy — you might be reading about 1973 elsewhere this week, as the Mississippi floods — and the retreating ice tore up a lot of docks, leaving their timbers still floating here and there. That’s a deadhead. You don’t want to hit one in your boat, and responsible boaters, when they spot one, are expected to tow them to shore, if possible. They are the car-swallowing potholes of the seas.

Paul’s grandmother, Cor, had a very distinctive voice, and as soon as we got out of the house we’d repeat her warnings to one another, in the Cor voice: “Why, your mother and John Pumphrey were coming home one night, and they found a piano crate! Floating in the channel at Dollar Island! Thank God John was using the spotlight! That’s what I’m talking about! You just never know!”

We never used the spotlight. We didn’t hit any deadheads, although “watch out for floating piano crates” lived for years as an in-joke in our gang. And now I’m telling her stories. And somewhere Cor is laughing.

Rain coming any minute now. Come on, rain.

I shouldn’t complain. ROGirl just posted this Daily Mail photo spread of mind-boggling images from Joplin. How on earth do you survive something like that? And speaking of mind-boggling, it’s worth a scarce NYT click-through for the photo with this story; the caption tell us the photographer captured the image “from outside her front door before seeking shelter.” That would have to be the case, because otherwise, that camera would be 15 miles away, under where the flying cow came to rest.

Yeesh. Let’s skip to the bloggage:

Lance Armstrong’s clay feet continue to erode. I made up my mind a long time ago that St. Lance was almost certainly dirty, but that doesn’t negate the good he’s done, or tried to do, does it? Would he be an effective fundraiser for cancer if he were merely the 20th-best cyclist in the world? Complicated people, complicated questions. But simply dirty; I just don’t see how it could be any other way.

A friend of mine ruined “The Sound of Music” for me some years back, by pointing out the obvious: “Captain Von Trapp is old enough to have a daughter who is 16 going on 17, right? And Maria is a novitiate at the abbey, so she’s how old? Eighteen, maybe 19? The nuns keep calling her a girl, anyway. So when he marries Maria, he’s choosing a wife who is barely older than his daughter. And the daughter calls her ‘mother.’ Sorry, too creepy for me.”

I had never thought of this. The only thing that bugged me was how a landlocked country like Austria could have a navy. (Answer: The Austro-Hungarian Empire.)

Anyway, she sent me this yesterday, a letter to friends announcing the end of the engagement between the captain and Baroness Schraeder:

Please, friends, don’t worry about me. While I was a bit startled to be thrown aside for someone who flunked out of nun school, I assure you that I will be fine, and my main pursuits in life shall continue to be martinis, bon mots, and looking fabulous. You’ll also be glad to know I have retained custody of the Captain’s hard-drinking gay friend, Max. Anyone who gets tired of sing-a-longs should feel free to look us up.

A few notes on “King Lear,” a play you can’t even begin to understand until you’re 40, and maybe not even then.

And with that, I’m going to put a pork shoulder in the crock pot with some cumin, onion and dried peppers, add a little water and see what comes out in a few hours.

Posted at 10:06 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

71 responses to “Waiting out the rain.”

  1. Judybusy said on May 25, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Yes, all that devestation certainly puts things in perspective. I don’t think it’s getting much national coverage, but a tornado came through Minneapolis this weekend as well, and did a great deal of damage to one of the poorest sections of the city. Many people there are renters without much insurance.

    I love the image of boating at night, being able to see so many stars. The occluded night sky is one of the biggest drawbacks to city living.

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  2. Mark P. said on May 25, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Down in Georgia we could use some of that rain. It has been one of the driest and hottest Mays in many years. Of course we don’t want the type of rain that accompanies the type of storm this area and the area immediately to the west saw a few weeks ago. Last weekend I cut up part of a huge oak that had fallen nearby, and the property owners have enough still on the ground for two or three years’ worth of firewood. And despite many, many downed gigantic oaks and some scattered damage (my cousin’s house was almost destroyed by one of those oaks) my area was not hit all that hard compared to Alabama.

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  3. MichaelG said on May 25, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I can’t speak for the balance of the country but the Joplin disaster has been receiving extensive coverage on local TV here in Sacto and the NBC evening network news has originated from there with, again, extensive coverage. I don’t think it’s being ignored.

    From yesterday but ever timely: I was wondering if Prospero had a decoder ring he could sell me.

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  4. Nancy Pevey said on May 25, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Those photos of Joplin are incredible. Thanks for sharing.

    And, yes, send some rain down to Georgia.

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  5. MichaelG said on May 25, 2011 at 10:42 am

    On looking at your post again, Judy, I guess you were talking about a twister in Mpls. No, that didn’t get much national coverage – here at least.

    We’ve had a lot of rain this year and temps have been ten degrees below normal for the whole year so far. It’s cool and rain is forecast for today.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on May 25, 2011 at 10:44 am

    MichaelG, based on this quote from yesterday, “irt is worth gibibg”, I believe it’s a new art form.

    There was a story on NBC the other night showing flooded fields next to those where the drought was killing the crops. Talk about a double whammy. Farmers have to be incurable optimists.

    It’s worth scrolling down all the photos in the comparison story just because it’s so hard to get a handle on the destruction. Also, it said 1500 are still missing. The story was from two days ago–anyone see a more recent figure?

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  7. Judybusy said on May 25, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Yes, MichaelG, I was talking about Minneapolis. The area affected is relatively small, but devastating to those in the middle of it. The local city and county resources have been overwhelmed in dealing with it. It’s an area of the city that is plagued with foreclosures, crime etc. In recent years, there has been an attempt at revival, and this is a true blow to those efforts.

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  8. Dorothy said on May 25, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I read somewhere that Maria Von Trapp was not in love with Georg when she married him – she loved the 7 children more, but eventually came to love him a great deal. She was nearly 23 when they married and his eldest daughter (second born in the family) was 8 years younger than she was. The movie was (as most movies are) a fictionalized version of their life stories. I still find it incredibly romantic despite the real truth getting in the way.

    I wish I could do more than tsk tsk and feel sick at my stomach looking at the Joplin devastation.

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  9. Suzanne said on May 25, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Read a history of the Von Trapp family a number of years ago. Their “escape” was not the drama in the movie. They went off on vacation and never came back. They weren’t nearly as good looking, either, as the Hollywood version.

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  10. Randy said on May 25, 2011 at 11:41 am

    I’d like to believe Lance Armstrong was clean, but it is nearly impossible to hold on to that story now. But the interesting detail I want to learn is how the “most tested athlete in the history of sports” was able to test negative so many times? With testers randomly knocking on his door? I think some more people are going down with him.

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  11. basset said on May 25, 2011 at 11:46 am

    About the Austro-Hungarian navy… try “A Sailor of Austria” by John Biggins, the first of several novels about the adventures of a young officer in and around the First World War:


    Most interesting but they didn’t sell, last I heard Biggins was teaching medical English in Poland but he does have a newer book out which may be the start of another series:


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  12. Dexter said on May 25, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Just checking in, not a lot to contribute, as I have too been following the Joplin catastrophe. Last night the tornado sirens were wailing there again, but no touchdowns. More were killed in Oklahoma, however. Right now we are having another severe thunderstorm…it is dark and raining hard and the boomers are here…ho-hum, eh?

    Tonight , at MoMA in NYC, a special screening for the 40th anniversary of the release of “A Clockwork Orange”. I hear the extra material in the special 40th anniversary dvd pack has a lot of good stuff. Malcolm McDowell, funny and endearing as ever, was on with Opie and Anthony (XM 105) today. What a character that guy is…one of my favorite celebs ever. His anecdotes today about Stanley Kubrick were compelling radio.
    Holy Shit! Is it ever storming here! I better start unplugging this computer and the teevee.

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  13. jcburns said on May 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I really wish you all could hear an audio file of Nancy’s impression of the fabled ‘Cor.’ It’s coffee-spittingly hilarious.

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  14. adrianne said on May 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I can’t forget Nance’s inimitable Cor stories from the lake. The phrase that sticks with me ends with “…and then their boat was swept into the shipping lanes.”

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  15. Linda said on May 25, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Yes, Georg had about 25 years on Maria when they married. But she was a grown-up. The weirdest thing about the play and the movie was the telescoping of time–in reality, the Von Trapps were married more than 10 years and had a couple of kids of their own before the annexation of Austria by Germany, after which they fled. As Suzanne notes, they just took off like civilized people and never came back.

    Fun fact: Von Trapp’s first wife was an English heiress– her granddaddy invented the torpedo.

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  16. Deborah said on May 25, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Miserable day in Chicago. I walked to work in the pouring rain, really stupid thing to do.

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  17. nancy said on May 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    As for Lance’s tests, that column points out what Tyler Hamilton told “60 Minutes” — the bad ones go away. I think the secret of drug-testing in general is that it’s highly imperfect, and there’s a lot of money in figuring out how to stay one jump ahead.

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  18. LAMary said on May 25, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I occasionally listen to the Car Guys on NPR, and one time the Puzzler question was, ” Other than being car brands, what do Audi, Volvo and Fiat have in common?” The answer was they are all Latin words, but one guy submitted the answer, “those were the names of the three youngest children in the Sound of Music.”

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  19. beb said on May 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    After looking at this p[ictures of Joplin, Mo. you have to wonder how horrible a person Rep. Eric Cantor can be to argue that Joplin shouldn’t get any relief funds until they’ve been off-set elsewhere. This is the kind of thing that needs to be hung around the neck (as in placard) of Republicans. They don’t care about the suffering of the little people.

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  20. brian stouder said on May 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I think Mary just won the thread! (that Car Guys anecdote had to be a 9.6 on the Guffaw Scale!)

    Lance’s real punishment is that he now faces asterisks next to his accomplishments, for the rest of his (presumeably shortened) life

    edit: regarding Cantor – it will be pleasant when he explains what he “really” meant; and then, forevermore we can refer to him as Eric ReCanter.

    I did get a schadenfreude-fix when pill-popping Uncle Rush spent 10 minutes (the biggest dose I could stand) working mightily to dismiss the Democratic electoral victory in New York – which Moe pointed to.

    I think Rachel pointed out that this was Jack Kemp’s old seat, near Buffalo. I find this deeply satisfying…

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  21. ROGirl said on May 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Lance has kept up the pretense for so long. You didn’t want it to be true, but the evidence has been slowly accumulating for years now. The grand jury has finally made it inevitable that he will have to own up. It won’t be easy to hear.

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  22. Mark P. said on May 25, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    I suspect that use of illegal substances was widespread in bicycling during the time Armstrong is supposed to have used them, and not just on the USPS team. I also suspect that it was well known to officials. How could it not have been if it was as widespread as it seems to have been? The interview on 60 Minutes implied collusion within the testing community. Apparently not every bicyclist reported to have passed drug tests actually passed them. Now we can all be shocked – shocked!- to learn that professional athletes will do anything they have to to win.

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  23. LAMary said on May 25, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    RE: pork shoulder. I’ve been buying the two packs of pork tenderloins at Costco. Each part of the package has two tenderloins. I coat the tenderloin in a mixture if soy sauce, Asian chili garlic paste, and sherry, brown it, and then braise it with a little rice vinegar and some extra soy sauce. This is really nice. Spicy and also very moist and flavorful. I take it out of the pan when it’s still a little pale pink inside and let it rest for ten minutes or so. I heat up the sauce left in the pan, add some soy sauce or sherry to it if needed, and pour it over the meat. It finishes cooking while resting and it stays very tender and moist. We eat it with rice and Chinese broccoli.

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  24. paddyo' said on May 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    The first video in that long Daily Mail page on Joplin was stunning in the length of destruction. That chopper flew on and on and on, miles at least, and the wreckage still continued.

    And the still photos from the air look more like aftermath shots of WWII bombing targets after squadrons of B-17s had passed over. Think Dresden or others . . .

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  25. Linda said on May 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Beb–the Republicans get dumber by the New York minute. They can say to hell w/defaulting on our debts because that’s an abstraction to most people, but to hell with tornado victims? What will be their next voter-pleasing stunt? Dousing puppies with gasoline and throwing them in a furnace?

    As for their doubling down on the Medicare disaster, they are like the Bourbon dynasty. They never forget anything, and they never learn anything, either.

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  26. brian stouder said on May 25, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Linda – I am going to swipe your Bourbon bonbon; good stuff!

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  27. moe99 said on May 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    There’s a new movie a la Atlas Shrugged coming out about Sarah Palin. At Balloon Juice, they’re trying to give it a title. Win. Win.


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  28. Sherri said on May 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    It’s inconceivable that Lance wasn’t using various substances during the period in question. Almost all the top cyclists he was racing against and with have eventually tested positive, or have been discovered with incriminating evidence (syringes in hotel rooms.) The risk of getting caught is low enough and the (short term) benefits of using are high enough that the incentive to use performance enhancing drugs will always be there.

    Lance won’t be the first athlete who used PED’s yet avoided a positive test; Marion Jones never tested positive, either, but went to jail for perjury for lying about her steroid use to a grand jury.

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  29. prospero said on May 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Lance is a remarkably despicable asshole for dumping Sheryl Crow Like he’d ever get another woman that beautuful and talented. Are you a moron Lance? What a dumbs. The guy is an ahole, but he’s not likely a juicer I think Bonds is falsely accused. The main evidence seems to be that, older he got, more he looks like Magic, Seriously, look at Magic when he tried to play D on Lsrry back in school. he ws skinny. ooh t Mgic now,is barry bondz. He’s gigantic.Bigger than Bonds’ by a mile you morons.

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  30. LAMary said on May 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Sheryl Crow? I thought they deserved each other.

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  31. Jeff Borden said on May 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Moe, thank you for sharing. Those were hilarious. My favorite is “True Grift.”

    Given the horrible approval ratings SheWho now has, I can’t imagine anyone will buy a ticket to see this two-hour horror film. Ordinarily, I’d predict Faux News would run it in a prime-time slot, but if Jabba the Hutt, err, Roger Ailes really believes she is stupid and is hurting the conservative movement (as reported in a recent magazine profile) then that route will be closed.

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  32. MaryRC said on May 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Moe, funny as those titles are, I think the best title for Sarah Palin’s movie is at the Rumproast blog: Mrs. Snit Goes to Washington.

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  33. Julie Robinson said on May 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I’m torn between “The Lyin’, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”, and “From Within Sight of Russia With Love”. But they’re all funny.

    It’s looking like John Edwards may be indicted on violating federal campaign laws for payments to cover up violations of his marriage:

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  34. MichaelG said on May 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Well, Brian, here’s Audi’s take on F-1: (from Autoblog)

    “Though rumors persist that one of the Volkswagen Group’s brands could make the jump into Formula 1, Audi is adamant that it won’t be the one to do so. According to the company’s motorsport boss, F1 bears “no relevance to the road.”

    The German automaker most prominently races Le Mans Prototypes, like the new R18 TDI pictured above. Is that really so different from F1? Audi points out that over the course of a 24-hour race like Le Mans, just one of its cars covers more distance than an entire F1 season, its average speeds are 20 mph higher than in F1 and they use 42 percent less fuel in the process.”

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  35. Dexter said on May 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Ever exit a redeye and have any kind of activities planned?
    All you want to do is get to a bed and sleep, right? Imagine you are a baseball player and have to check into a hotel, and in a couple hours head for the next stadium to get ready to play a major league game. Many times teams only get two-game series, so it’s another airport, another hotel, another stadium, and so on.
    Air travel is better than bus travel, sure, but it is exhausting when the players are supposed to be in peak form every day.
    My point is this: numbers are down this year. The play is weak, mistakes are made more often, and some clubs like the Chicago Cubs seem to not even care…and the White Sox already went through a long stretch like that.
    I didn’t give it much thought, but an announcer blurted it out one day last week: it’s the banning of amphetamines.
    Ballplayer apparently used great quantities of them in the past to cope with the exhaustion.
    I remember reading how “greenies” were passed out like candy all through baseball’s storied past. Players like Joe DiMaggio constantly drank coffee to get through.
    Now that amphetamines are banned, what can athletes use? Do energy drinks work that well? I see players such as Kevin Youkilis of Boston guzzling Red Bull between innings, not trying to hide it at all. Does Red Bull really work? I never had one.

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  36. LAMary said on May 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    It’s not raining here but the locals complain it’s cold. This means low seventies during the day, fifties at night. It’s a beautiful spring because we had a very wet winter. Lots of flowers everywhere. A fence I go by every morning has dark purple morning glories, reddish purple bougainvillea, and orangey yellow bougainvillea completely covering at least thirty feet of fence. Behind the fence is a jacaranda tree in full flower. The jasmine is blooming and at night you can smell it in the air.
    Bring your tents. Come visit. I have a small house but a big backyard.

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  37. brian stouder said on May 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Does Red Bull really work? Depends on your point of reference.

    Red Bull is a major sponsor in NASCAR, and they fully fund TWO teams in Formula One(!!), which is somewhat astounding; the annual sponsorship must amount to hundreds of millions of dollars – and that’s before you look at other stuff that Dietrich Mateschitz*, the guy who invented the stuff, throws his (seemingly endless) money at.

    By way of saying, whatever is in that Red Bull swill, they certainly must make an awful lot of profit on each and every can!

    Aside from that – I’m a gonna get a tent and a Coleman and head west someday, Mary! So far, I’ve never been further west than Lincoln, Nebraska (or Houston, Texas, if that’s further west – can’t quite tell). Your part of the world looks like a marvelous place to visit, at least compared to northern Indiana during monsoon season.

    Michael G – I think Audi is right; F1 is a very good place to lose lots and lots (and lots) of money, in a big hurry. But I do enjoy the spectacle

    Anyway – gotta go; gasoline was at $3.66/gallon, and is spiking to $3.97 as we speak. ‘Course, by the time I buy 10 gallons, and then buy an icy cold Diet Coke** or two (Shelby always wants one, too…can’t imagine where she got that preference from), I have spent my savings!

    *Forget Captain Von Trapp – the Austrian you want to hook up with is ol’ money-maestro Mateschitz; and indeed – he’s only in his early 60’s… so our demographic here is much less scandelous than the Von Trapps

    **that’s MY “energy drink”, I suppose

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  38. LAMary said on May 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Gas here went down thirty cents a gallon. Now regular is only 4.07.

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  39. Mark P. said on May 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    LAMary, I would swap our weather for yours any time. We have had 90+ degree days and warm nights off and on for some time now. We’re headed to the mid-90s next week, with high humidity.

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  40. alex said on May 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Does Red Bull really work?

    Tastes like shit and people are buying it. I’d say it’s a goldmine. If the Republicans figure out how to flavor their politics with it we’re doomed.

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  41. Connie said on May 25, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    As Nancy noted here it is rain, rain, and more rain.

    So what is it with Oprah? Am I the only person in the world who has never watched her show and just doesn’t care?

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  42. Joe Kobiela said on May 25, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Any one looking at radar in Ill now? I am stuck in Keokuk Iowa, trying to get back to Auburn, don’t think its going to happen. Looks like a Hampton inn night. I’m good but not stupid.
    Pilot Joe

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  43. nancy said on May 25, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    We’re flooding like crazy in the GP, although NN.c’s basement is dry (so far). Morning deluge followed by afternoon deluge followed by what looks to be an evening deluge, too.

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  44. MichaelG said on May 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    It rained all day here although it seems to be tailing off now. Watered my lawn. Average temp here for this time of the year is mid eighties. Today it reached 54 degrees. That’s thirty degrees back of average. Brrr.

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  45. LAMary said on May 25, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Remember the story about Newt’s Tiffany account?


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  46. Deborah said on May 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    As I’ve mentioned here before I’m sort of obsessed with the John Edwards/Rielle Hunter fiasco for some reason. While I was in Charlotte this past week I was hoping to see Rielle, Edwards bought her a house in the area that my mother-in law and sister-in-law live, I’m told. I would not do anything but gawk at her, if I saw her, of course. That’s one of those unexplainable stories to me like Clinton and Lewensky. What makes rich and powerful men fall like that. With Edwards it’s now got criminal undertones not just moral ones. And the sex tape, how could he have been so stupid as to let that happen. As he is reported to have said about her “What an idiot!”. When you read about the Allison Poole character based on her (by Bret Easton Ellis), this woman is a train wreck.

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  47. prospero said on May 25, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Wow. I just heard on ESPN that the new Lakers coach had dealt with an ego bigger than Mike. My opinion is there is no possibility that there is a bigger ego than the guy that the NBA changed the rules for, Mike cheated. Mike seriously contributed to basketball being a He reached in outrageously, he travelled so much J would have blushed, I mean, he cheated his ass off and got away with it. Anybody that says otherwise is a liar. That asshole cheated his ass off, and he most certainly pushed off on his so-called signature play of his career. Did Larry or J or Magic ever just flat out cheat and get away with it? Nope. That was be like Mike and that David Stern bullshit. Seriously revolting, As is failing to pay your dad’s gambling debt when you are richer than the assholes that own Nike, and letting some thugs just kill him. And Mike goes all Oprah. What an asshole. How is it that anybody that’s a sports fan think Mike is anything but an asshole. I mean, that is seriously a mystery. Gut hung up his dad to dry and treated rules like horsecrap. Mike’s whole career was like Reggie sticking his ass into center field.

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  48. beb said on May 25, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Adding to Nancy’s comment at 43. It’s 60 degrees this week in Detroit. Next week it’s supposed to hit 90!


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  49. prospero said on May 25, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Sorry for going off on sports, but Michael Jordan is as obnoxious as Oprah and plainly as teflon-coated. Even basketball neophytes know two steps withut a dribble is travelling, and the other team gets the ball. Unless you’re Michael Jordan, He walked all over everyone and the Commissioner obviously said, you don’t call that. He was supposedly a great defensive player. He never played defense, period, but reached in, only D he ever plyed in his life. Michael Jordan–the most astoundingly overrated plyer in the history of professional sports. He cheated and got away with it. It’a not like Reggie sticking his asshole into the outfield, which is the most disgusting incidence of flat-out cheating since the black sox.
    What Jordan did was cheat like a bastard every single time he handled the ball. He knew he was cheating his ass off and he was arrogant about it. What a flaming asshole. The league still shows video of Mike clearly, unquestionably pushing off Bryan Russell. He cheated . And he knew it. His entire career was cheating, and whatever anybody says, that’s a fact. Give J Jordan’s steps not called. Dunks from halfcourt. Give Larry those extra steps. He wouldn’t take them, he was a purist, and he woud have called himself on all sorts of bulshit Jordan just took for granted. People that idolize this ahole clearly never played a sport.

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  50. moe99 said on May 25, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    None other than Michael Brown is now on national media criticizing President Obama for being in England and not returning post haste to respond to the tornadoes in Missouri and elsewhere.

    Heckuva job, Brownie!

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  51. brian stouder said on May 25, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    What makes rich and powerful men fall like that. With Edwards it’s now got criminal undertones not just moral ones. And the sex tape, how could he have been so stupid as to let that happen. As he is reported to have said about her “What an idiot!”. When you read about the Allison Poole character based on her (by Bret Easton Ellis), this woman is a train wreck.

    Deborah, word; except I have to say, if his mistress is a tran wreck, then Edwards is a mid-air plane crash*

    I like to look at beautiful women just as much as the next guy, and indeed, chasing after them was all sorts of fun, back in the day. At some point, a person should realize that when you chase after another person, sometimes that other person allows you to catch them….and then you have this other human being in your life, with all the attendant complexities and so on.

    Back in the day, it used to amaze me that big time athletes and movie stars would patronize prostitutes, when they could easily have any number of other women, and not have to pay them….until it finally hit me that, of course, that’s entirely wrong! No one is ever “free” – least of all a person you have taken advantage of and discarded.

    So the prostititutes are the equivalent of a cheeseburger from a drive-though; quick, cheap, and easy.

    But what about a guy like Edwards? A wealthy lawyer, one would think, would spend his own money to care for the baby-momma that he chose to inject into his life (or inject with his ‘precious bodily fluids’**); but instead he uses campaign money? What??

    Was he actually more afraid of Elizabeth finding out, then of breaking campaign finance laws?

    Well, maybe he actually was!

    *and as a non-sequitur, what is with all these near-miss airplane diversions, with regard to the First Lady and the Vice President of the United States? If I was a little more jaded, I’d begin to think these are simmering threats against the President of the United States, from…..someone

    **thanks to Dr Strangelove

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  52. Bob (Not Greene) said on May 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Michael Jordan cheated like crazy and Barry Bonds is falsely accused. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Prospero!

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  53. Jolene said on May 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Re the pricing of Red Bull, I can’t seem to find it again now, but I read something yesterday saying that the decision to price it at $2.00/can was part of their marketing strategy. Based on cost, it could have been the same price as soda, but, at that price, it wouldn’t have been seen as a distinctive product. The guy who lived launched the company believed that, without that cachet, it would have been much harder to gain market share.

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  54. Mark P. said on May 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Jolene, that reminds me of a test a software company did many years ago. They had an expensive product that did not sell many units. So they started reducing the price. With each price reduction, sales went up. But the, at a certain price, sales started to decline. They concluded that if the price was too low, people thought it must not be any good.

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  55. Jolene said on May 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Some interesting details re tornado prediction from the NPR web site:

    Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog notes that “the first tornado warning wasn’t issued until 1948, and virtually all tornadoes from the 1950s and earlier hit with no warning. On average, tornado deaths in the United States decreased from 8 per 1 million people in 1925 to 0.12 per 1 million people in 2000.”

    He adds that “had this year’s tornadoes occurred 50 years ago, I expect the death toll would have exceeded three thousand” because so many fewer people would have gotten adequate warnings.

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  56. Deborah said on May 25, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Finally an official explanation of why Guiness tastes better over there http://www.slate.com/id/2295487/

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  57. Kim said on May 25, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Not sure how many of you (besides Jolene and Hank) follow the WaPo, but Mike Wise offers his path to redemption for Lance:

    If I am Armstrong today, and I have seen the public tide change after Sunday’s report, I hold my first authentic news conference in more than 10 years. I talk about fending off that deadly disease, how many millions were inspired to overcome their own battle.

    I talk about the millions of dollars raised from those yellow LiveStrong bracelets, and how a man no bigger than an accountant transcended not only his own niche sport but all others as well, becoming a national symbol for perseverance.

    In my money-shot moment, I would look in the camera, a la Tiger Woods, and say I lied because I didn’t want to let down the people who believed in me, or the people who would give generously when they heard my story.

    Get the whole column here.

    If Lance did that, I suspect it would be a bigger miracle than his conquering cancer.

    Well, hell. I should slow down enough to read Nancy’s well-chosen links. This has been a crazy week, and I am nowhere near Joplin.

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  58. prospero said on May 25, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Bob NG Michael Jordan didn’t cheat, on the floor? He didn’t push off on his signature basket? Are you blind? Do you think David Stern didn’t direct officials to drive up merchandise sales? Did he not reach in and deserve a foul call on virtually every steal he ever recorded? And was it an impossibility that any NBA ref would ever call MJ for travelling or reaching in? Well nobody was ever going to call anything on Jordan. And the feds can carry this shit on forever, but they will never prove Barry Bonds did anything wrong. They chose to bring this shit to court. They seem incapable of proving anything. Of course anybody that thinks steroids or HGH would improve someone’s ability to hit a baseball is pretty much an idiot, anyway, and anybody that doesn’t think Bonds is a hOFer is fucking dumb in the first place. Ladies and gentlemen, kiss my ass. Jordan made it at least three steps and no call. If you missed that, you clearly don’t no dick about hoops. He was also a supremely sorry excuse for a baseball player and couldn’t play golf to save his life, as is relatively obvious from the famous $half-mil check he wrote to the sorry ass club pro that kicked his ass. But with all his cash, MJ couldn’t pick it up for his dad. And Republicans buy shoes too. He’s a disgrace, no matter how you look at it.

    So Bonds is a villain and Jordan isn’t? Bullshit. Bonds is a dick in all probability, but Michael Jordan knew for a fact every time he got away with walking, and he revelled in it. What an asshole.

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  59. brian stouder said on May 25, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Pros – I will cop to utter ignorance on NBA basketball. I will watch the occasional NCAA basketball game, and these are almost always entertaining; but NBA has never caused me to stop for more than 20 or 30 seconds, before continuing to channel-surf. NBA officials don’t seem to call ANY travelling, nor goal-tending, nor anything else, against anyone, ever.

    As for baseball, if we can forgive flatly dirty play from guys like Ty Cobb, or Pete Rose (although I wouldn’t have conceded anything with regard to Rose, 35 years ago), then certainly we should ease up on Bonds.

    Btw, the first thing that almost always crosses my mind when Barry Bonds’ name comes up, is that he’s the son of Bobby Bonds, who Sparky Anderson once said was the best player in baseball.

    At that time, Sparky pretty much ranked up there with God, in my opinion; if he said Bobby was the best, then that was it. It made a huge impression upon my brain, the remnants of which still remain (remnants of the impression, that is!)

    Therefore, I guess Barry has always struck me as the son of the best player in baseball, according to God – so to speak.

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  60. prospero said on May 25, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Pulleaze. Jordan didn’t walk enough without getting called he couldn’t have circumnavigated the globe several times, and he didn’t know he was walking. Right. And he absolutely did not play any defense but matador, Reach in when the guy had blown by you. Jordan rules, according to David Stern. Anybody missed that just was not watching hoops. Like when will it dawn on an NBA official that LeBron actually just trampled a defender? Oh, right. When he’s retired. I do hope MJ understands he cheated and that’s what made him remotely like J and Larry znd Magic.

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  61. Bob (Not Greene) said on May 25, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Pros, Bonds has admitted–under oath, to a grand jury– that he used the cream and the clear. He says he didn’t know what it was. Really? You believe that? Everyone he turned on to Greg Anderson and Victor Conte seemed to know what the stuff was. In addition to being an absolute asshole of a person, Barry Bonds was the platonic form of cheater. That you swallow his victim act so completely is baffling, especially coming from a guy who believes that a ref not calling traveling or a foul on a reach in is proof that a player has “cheated.” did you ever actually watch MJ play? What, did he cast a spell on everyone so they conspired to make him great when he actually was a bum?

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  62. prospero said on May 25, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Actually Brian, back in Sparky days, it was probably the ultimate baseball gentleman, Walter Alston. I was born in Cincinatti, but good lord, I despise the Reds more than the Giants disgust me. In modern baseball, there are two atrocities nobody paid for: Juan Marichal hitting Johnny Roseboro with a bat, and Pete Rose trashing Ray Fosse’s knee for no other reason than that he was probably high as crap on dexadrine. Oh, and attacking Bud Harrelson who he had about 60 lbs. on. Ain’t that a man? That’s why the Reds always sucked and why Pudge would take Bench in a fight.

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  63. prospero said on May 25, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Actually Brian, back in Sparky days, it was probably the ultimate baseball gentleman, Walter Alston. I was born in Cincinatti, but good lord, I despise the Reds more than the Giants disgust me. Cinci gfans were the famously most vehement, along with St. Louis, for attacking Jackie Robisnson, rednecks. In modern baseball, there are two atrocities nobody paid for: Juan Marichal hitting Johnny Roseboro with a bat, and Pete Rose trashing Ray Fosse’s knee for no other reason than that he was probably high as crap on dexadrine. Oh, and attacking Bud Harrelson who he had about 60 lbs. on. Ain’t that a man? That’s why the Reds always sucked and why Pudge would take Bench in a fight.

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  64. Jolene said on May 25, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Any Twitter users here? My account is suddenly not working. The timeline (i.e., the list of tweets from people I follow) is empty, and Twitter is telling me to “Find some interesting people to follow”, but my profile shows that I am following people.

    Haven’t seen anything on Google or Facebook to suggest that there’s anything wrong w/ Twitter, but I can’t figure out why my previously functional account should no longer work.

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  65. nancy said on May 25, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Jolene, I’m seeing lots of chatter about that elsewhere, and my own timeline is hit or miss.

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  66. Jolene said on May 26, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Yes, I finally found the page that gave me that info. Apparently, it’s been going on for quite a long time.

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  67. Dexter said on May 26, 2011 at 2:43 am

    nance, at 6:30 Channel 24 Toledo reported 3.1 inches Wednesday afternoon in A2.

    Cell phone shots, emailed to the local stations, confirmed baseball size hail in Findlay, tennis and golf ball size hail heading NE from Findlay towards Sandusky and Huron. Cars were destroyed by 100 mph hail stones roaring out of the sky, dangerous as hell. No one remembers baseball sized hail around here, only in Oklahoma, Texas, eastern Colorado, Kansas, usually.

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  68. brian stouder said on May 26, 2011 at 7:51 am

    So, a quickie. I did find gas for $3.66/gallon last night, even as almost all our usual fueling places leaped up to $3.97.

    As I’m fueling, another happy customer said to me something like “Ain’t this crazy? I blame the government!”.

    This made my chin drop, and I (somewhat impulsively) said “Naah; it’s Freeee Enterprise!!” and I genuflected toward the whirring gasoline pump. Thankfully, the fellow chuckled and went on his way.

    And this morning, on the way to work? Several more of the stations that had jumped to $3.97/gallon are now at $3.66 again. And, I bet you an icy cold Diet Coke that the fellow at the gas station will happily credit “Freeeee Enterprise” for the drop, even as he remains upset with “the government”, in general!

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  69. coozledad said on May 26, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Looks like they’ve located the guy who can really fire up the Republican base:

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  70. brian stouder said on May 26, 2011 at 9:14 am

    And isn’t “Ratco Mladic” just a wonderfully Harry Potter-style (or Dickens) villain name?

    Maybe the R’s can find someone named T Pardy Tahell to run for national office (although it will be fun to see signs imploring their eventual nominee to keep his “mitts” off Medicare)

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  71. beb said on May 26, 2011 at 9:17 am

    I don’t understand why the government is going after John Edwards. You’s think the man had suffered enough. He lost the election. He lost the affection of his wife and children. He has been disgraced in front of his peers. And now they want to nail him for spending what has to be a trivial amount of his campaign money on his mistress. Just fine him with no admission of guilt and let it go at that. Spend the DOJ’s time on serious crime like the Fraudsters in the finance industry.

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