Details, details.

My initiation into e-books is more or less complete; I have a small library, and I’m starting to get a sense of how the format suits, and doesn’t suit, my reading habits. I can tell you one thing it’s great for: Reading in the dark, which is useful when, for example, you’ve accompanied your kid to the Pop Punk’s Not Dead tour at the Royal Oak Music Theatre. Since I got my iPad, I’ve come to appreciate the ability to find a table for one, screw in my earplugs and get lost in my reading — or Angry Birds — while ignoring the clamor onstage.

Another is to save you a trip to the store. I scheduled an interview with a local author three days hence, then downloaded her novel in less time than it took me to move from desk to chaise to start reading the thing.

And, as if we needed another, it gives buyers of Apple products another reason to wallow in smug superiority.

I have two e-book apps on my device — Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s own iBooks. With the Kindle (most titles available for $9.99) app, pages slide by with a touch as though they were on a conveyer belt. In iBooks ($14.99), you get this cool page-turning effect:

(That’s Roy Edroso’s self-published “Morgue for Whores,” by the way — $2.99.) Note the ghostly type bleed-through from the previous page, and yes, that’s the actual backward text of the page. Note around the edges of the frame, where you see a book cover. Note the shadow cast by the turning page. Note the edges of the unread pages.

You can highlight in both formats. Here’s Kindle’s:

Perfectly fine. But here’s iBooks:

The edges of the yellow are ragged, the way they would be if you’d used a real highlighter. And yes, I checked — it’s random. Another highlight will be ragged in a different way.

There are two ways to look at these details. First way: And for this I’m paying $5 more? Are you kidding me?

Second way: If they’re paying attention to this sort of thing, everything you can’t see will be equally fussed over. Here’s hoping.

I leave you with a detail from the Calendar app:

Note the remnants of the previous “pages.” (If I showed you the rest of the page, you’d see that the last time I sync’d all my calendars, it duplicated most events. Which goes to show you someone needs to spend more time under the hood with the code and less fussing over torn pages.)

OK, then. Sweet, sweet Friday, how I welcome your sun-drenched dawn. Here’s hoping I can get to the gym today, so I can spend tomorrow wallowing in stiffness and pain. Bloggage?

One of my Facebook friends directs me to Michigan Senate Bill 821, recently passed by the legislature. Folks, you want to know how nitpicking regulations get that way? Here’s how, from the House Legislative Analysis Section:

Ever since the smoking ban went into effect May 1, 2010, bowling centers have reported an increased number of bowlers wearing bowling shoes when they go outside to smoke. Bowling shoes are not like regular shoes. They have a special sole that allows a bowler to slide along the alley when releasing the bowling ball. If foreign substances are picked up on the sole when a bowler goes outside, the shoe can stick or have no traction, a dangerous situation for a person in the act of throwing a heavy bowling ball down an alley.

Since the implementation of the indoor smoking ban, lawsuits against bowling centers for slip and falls have increased – reportedly, about 30-40 actions have been filed since last year. Proprietors of bowling centers are concerned that their livelihoods may be threatened by dangerous conditions created by the bowlers themselves. Legislation has been offered to create protection from liability for bowling center operators that clearly communicate to their patrons the inherent danger of bowling with bowling shoes that have been worn outside.

Indemnification from personal-injury lawsuits for bowling-alley owners — your government (mine, anyway) at work. It passed yesterday.

The lead singer of GWAR was found dead on the tour bus yesterday. No cause of death has been reported, but judging from the photo? My money’s on embarrassment.

Have to hustle to my morning meeting. Have a great weekend. November, where did you come from?

Posted at 9:07 am in Ancient archives, Current events |

52 responses to “Details, details.”

  1. coozledad said on November 4, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I always figured one of the guys from GWAR would die from heat frostrations.

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  2. David C. said on November 4, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Does the iPad’s reader always look as if you are reading only the right hand side of the book? If so, I would categorize the page turning detail as more cutesy than cool. The backwards text from the previous page is an odd choice too. I’ve never seen that on any book I’ve read. It seems to me to be too clever by half programming that probably could have been allocated to something useful.

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  3. Deborah said on November 4, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Speaking of dead rockers, this happened a few of weeks ago at a hotel a half block away from where I live: “Weezer bassist found dead in Chicago hotel room”. I have no idea what Weezer music is/was like, probably horrible with a name like that.

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  4. brian stouder said on November 4, 2011 at 10:43 am

    And by the way, before the week ends, I wanted to say those were tremendous year book photos, a couple days ago.

    And – how did the all-night bingo party(!) go? For some reason, the idea of an all-night bingo party got me laughing, and THEN I remembered the old Angie Dickinson (and Bruce Dern?) movie Middle Aged Crazy…but we digress!

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  5. Sue said on November 4, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Oh, no Deborah, Weezer’s great. Stupid and fun, with videos to match. Here’s my favorite:

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  6. nancy said on November 4, 2011 at 10:47 am

    If you reorient to a horizontal view, you see pages on both sides. The text bleed through gives it a certain pulpy feel (entirely appropriate for Roy’s book, I should add).

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  7. Dorothy said on November 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Deborah he was a former bassist with Weezer. They aren’t horrible at all! Some of their videos on YouTube seem to be freezing during the Toby Keith advertisement that runs before each video.

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  8. Sue said on November 4, 2011 at 10:58 am

    And of course thinking of Weezer videos made me think of OK Go videos, complete with doggies:
    That’s a happy Friday video, if you ask me.

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  9. MichaelG said on November 4, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I’ve been out of town for the last clouple of days. Pardon me for dragging things over from yesterday but I thought I’d throw my educational background into the bag with everybody else’s. I started at the U of I in Champaign in 1962. Sounds like I may have been there at the same time as a couple of other nn.cers. I was an English major but quit in Dec of my senior year (12-65) and joined the Army. I went back to school at San Francisco State in Jan ’70 and graduated in Jan ’71 with a degree in English. I picked up the same $175 a month from the VA that Dexter received. It doesn’t sound like much now but it sure helped forty years ago. When I split up with my first wife I went to grad school at Hayward State for a couple of semesters while working full time. I rediscovered girls during the first semester and interest in one sort of supplanted interest in the other until school fell by the wayside. Thus ended a long but quite undistinguished academic career. I did have a lot of fun, though. Here’s to Kam’s and Stan’s and all the other Champaign-Urbana watering holes. Also the Boathouse at Lake Merced in SF.

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  10. Connie said on November 4, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I mostly use the free Overdrive app on my iPad, for reading downloaded library ebooks.

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  11. Kim said on November 4, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Thanks for the tip to go back to yesterday’s comments, MichaelG. I’ve often wondered what part of the Midwest the NN.C dwellers are from – and now that I see so many fellow Illini I know why it’s ever-comfortable here. An English degree for me and no regrets. I could’ve learned way more book stuff than I did by spending more time with the books and less with the friends, liquor and hijinx that generally followed. Not a worthwhile tradeoff, it seems, even these many years later.

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  12. LAMary said on November 4, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Regarding yesterday’s thread:
    I’m not quite the oldest here, but I remember veterans selling poppies when I was a child. I always wanted one because I thought they were pretty.
    It’s a much bigger thing in England. Obviously, both the world wars had a much bigger impact there than here. You still come across tank traps and bunkers in Europe. There are parts of cities where no buildings are more than 60 years old because bombs flattened everything.

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  13. Sue said on November 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    LAMary, my grandfather, before he bought a poppy, always asked the person why he couldn’t just use the one from last year. I think he was a WWI vet and so could get away with it.
    I also don’t think you ‘buy’ poppies, they give you a poppy (made by disabled veterans, I think) to commemorate Veteran’s Day and you just happen to have some change or a couple of dollars to donate.
    I always took my poppy and wired it to my purse and carried it around all year. I didn’t see a poppy person last year and the one I had fell off awhile ago. I’ll have to look around this weekend, see if there are any to be had.

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  14. jcburns said on November 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Funny you should call out the skeuomorphic interface elements on iCal, Nance. They’ve been the subject of no small grumbling by those who see them in conflict with the clean beauty of Apple product design and what is almost an extreme minimalism elsewhere in the Mac’s UI. And then there’s those who are driven mad by the untidyness of a tiny corner of torn paper they just can’t tear off of their screens. Seriously. (By the way: this part of John Siracusa’s OS X Lion review speaks to this design change.)

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  15. brian stouder said on November 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    At the end of the last thread, Jenine placed an interesting link about an ex-pat placing poppies at a veterans’ cemetery

    edit – she placed this link:

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  16. coozledad said on November 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    LA Mary: There was a huge WWII army base, Camp Butner, not too far from where I grew up, and I often subbed on a route that had a stretch through one of the former artillery ranges. People are still finding live ordnance. One of my coworker’s kids found a 120mm? round while he was out playing, and set it on her kitchen table. She’d been in the Air Force, knew what it was, and slowly crawled out of the house to go look for a phone at a safer location.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on November 4, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Meanwhile in Michigan, the Republicans in your General Assembly slipped some wording into anti-bullying legislation that allows someone to beat the shit out of you if they have moral convictions. So, you know, it will be all right for homophobes to beat on gays because they can site that fucking passage in the Bible about abomination, a Christian can kick the tar out of a Muslim, etc.

    When there are new ways to be a prick, your modern Republican Party will find them.

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  18. Sue said on November 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Jeff Borden, you can now pack concealed heat in the Wisconsin assembly but you’ll be arrested if you hold up a copy of the constitution or use a camera to take pictures of other people being arrested.
    Things are bizarre all over.

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  19. beb said on November 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    When is an anti-bullying law not an anti-bullying law? When it grants an exception for “convictions.” So if I conviction is that fat people shouldn’t be allowed to live, it will be my Michigan-given right to harassing and bully any fat people I meet. What a country.

    edit: Jeff snuck in with his comment while I was still typing this. *sigh* Oh, this act of our Michigan Republican overlords has made the front page of Bumping Cain’s latest attempt to defend himself.

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  20. Deborah said on November 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    In the 50s when my ex was a kid he lived in England while his dad was an Air Force chaplain. The family lived in a thatched cottage outside of an Air Force base. Years later they got word that an unexploded bomb had been found by thatchers in the roof of that cottage after they lived there.

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  21. caliban said on November 4, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I actually saw GWAR play once. Sort of like KISS with a tad more talent. I just don’t like that style of singing at all. The GWAR guys all have made-up names in addition to their given names. Corey called himself Flattus Maximus, but having seen their show, I’m guessing that’s an accidental extra “t”.

    Whence the poppies. It’s actually a better poem than I remembered. Beats Joyce Kilmer or James Whitcomb Riley all to hell. Not Wifred Owen but pretty good.

    And good ole Wisconsin will not recognize student IDs at the polls. But I’m sure their concealed carry licenses will suffice.

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  22. Jeff Borden said on November 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I’ve long held that the political turmoil of the late `60s and early `70s was the most toxic in my 60 years of life. You could get your head kicked in depending on the length of your hair, the schism between blue collar and college educated was stark and mean vis-a-vis the Vietnam war, our cities erupted in flames every summer, it was the youth movement vs. the Silent Majority, etc. It was a time when I had to scrape the Kent State sticker off the back window of my VW because twice semis had come into my lane way too soon after passing, forcing me to choose between slamming on the brakes and hitting the ditch.

    But now, perhaps, things really are worse. In what kind of a country is it legal to walk into a political assembly carrying a weapon designed for one purpose and one purpose only –the killing of human beings– while it is illegal to walk into the same assembly with a camera or a poster? In what kind of country does an entire political party shut down the economy to benefit .02% of the population? In what kind of country is language inserted into a bill that assures “different” kids will still endure beatings because some religious zealots believe they have the right to punish others based on their own sick beliefs?

    We are living through some sick times. I find some comfort in the thought that this might be the last, violent gasp of a political movement quickly running out of things to hate and demonize, that the main purveyors of these ugly actions are older white men and a generation of more tolerant people are waiting in the wings. . .but then I think of about Citizens United, the national efforts to systemically disenfranchise non-conservative voters, the vast fortunes at the beck and call of vicious pricks like the Kochs, the DeVos clan, the Olins and the Coors and I worry that maybe the game is over and they already won.

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  23. Jolene said on November 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    In my hometown, the American Legion Auxiliary “sold” poppies near Memorial Day to raise money for, I suppose, their own activities and their efforts to support veterans. The quotes are because there wasn’t, I don’t think, a fixed price. They were really collecting donations. Not sure whether they still do this, but the Legion and the Auxiliary do host a local ceremony on Memorial Day.

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  24. Jolene said on November 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Happy to learn a new word, jc. Very interesting article. Not sure where I stand on this, but I think I’d be conservative about preserving these effects. Taken too far such efforts to preserve familiarity, would, as your author suggests, devolve into cuteness.

    Seems like the thing to do would be to examine which of these features really contribute to ease of use or, at least, to perceived ease of use. Otherwise, such features are pretty much doing things because you can.

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  25. Jolene said on November 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Did any of you see the three Case Histories episodes on PBS’s Masterpiece Theater? They are based on a series of books by Kate Atkinson, which I unfortunately haven’t read. I thought the shows were great, not least because of the appealing way that snippets of music were played at critical plot transitions. All the songs are listed on their web site. Assuming compatibility w/ your taste, you.could make a great playlist.

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  26. Deborah said on November 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Jeff B at #22 that’s an excellent comment. Well said.

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  27. MarkH said on November 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Jeff Borden @17 — “cite” not site”. See Connie’s post from earlier this week for reference. Just sayin’….

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  28. Dorothy said on November 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Completely off topic, but it’s Friday and we all need some stuff to read/look at with the weekend coming up, right? I was reading my current TIME magazine and saw a mention of and found out about a recent competition for TIME’s Next Generation Photography. Some powerful images here – this is just one of them. Click on the “projects” link:

    Here’s a link to the three winners’ profiles if you’re so inclined:

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  29. brian stouder said on November 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Jolene, you know – I’ll have to actively go looking for PBS more often.

    Usually cable news pulls me in, although msnbc’s night-time schedule shuffle has thrown me all out of whack.

    C-SPAN on the weekendends is usually at least worth a look (although it often sends the young folks running).

    Last week they had a guy talking about his book about the women who appear in an iconic photograph from Little Rock, during the Little Rock Nine confrontation.

    One of the then-young ladies is black, and she is pictured walking resolutely forward with her head down, while all around her (mostly angry white adults) are frowning and scowling at her….and one white girl, several paces behind her, has a perfectly terrible look on her face. At the instant the photo was taken, she’s screaming some angry thing at the black girl, while sneering at her.

    A guy wrote a whole book about that one photo, and he interviewed the women, who both still live in Little Rock. (so that photo was worth 100,000 words, or so).

    edit: here’s the book, and the photo, which is indeed an example of “details, details” –

    I will add that book to my Christmas list

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  30. Jeff Borden said on November 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I actually know the difference between site and cite. I’m just in a more angry and pessimistic mood than usual and am spraying vitriol in all directions. Hopefully, this will change within an hour or so, when I take the dog to the beach for an hour or so.

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  31. LAMary said on November 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    More off topic, but I have to mention how great my lunch is.
    I bought some AmyLu chicken-gouda-apple sausages at Costco and I brought two to work have for lunch. They are incredibly good and they only have 110 calories each if you’re counting. They taste a lot better than 110 calories would indicate. I ate mine with dijon mustard and a cut up granny smith apple and I feel like a very lucky person having had such a lovely lunch.

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  32. Julie Robinson said on November 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Similar to the loopholes in the anti-bullying law, here in Indiana it’s now legal to bring your concealed weapon into public buildings such as libraries. However, you may not bring it into the state legislature. The hypocrisy is amazing, although I guess we shouldn’t be surprised by anything the R’s do anymore.

    I haven’t seen the Case Histories, but in general the Masterpiece music is excellent. The Adam Dalgleish theme 15-20 years ago perfectly captured the melancholy nature of the main character.

    Okay–just clicked over to the Masterpiece page and Case Histories can be watched online until Nov. 29. Thanks for the heads up, Jolene. I’ll make sure to watch the feature on the music, since that’s one of my passions.

    Edit: LAMary, those sausages sound divine. Alas, no Costco within two hours, only the horrible Sam’s Club.

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  33. Sue said on November 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Since Sunday night is the only time I request the TV, Masterpiece is usually on. I didn’t realize that I had read any of the books or who the author was until I recognized the Reggie story on the last night.
    Unfortunately, I found the music more intrusive than anything although I understood the reason – characters in mystery novels often have identified habits and quirks (way too many foodies and cat owners, if you ask me), so I assumed that’s what it was. **Spoiler alert, don’t read if you want to watch later**: I did find the repetition of the young Jackson seeing his dead sister pulled from the water a little annoying, but I think US audiences were probably seeing two episodes rolled into one, which is why it seemed to repeat more than it had to.

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  34. caliban said on November 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    FBI vs. Jugalos.

    Case Histories.

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  35. MarkH said on November 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I figured as much, Jeff. Just taking the edge off of things. 🙂

    Here in Wyoming, the City of Casper has postponed a vote on allowing concealed carry in city council meetings. Next February, the state is likely to enact its own law dealing with this issue and my state representative friend is confident this issue will be put to rest state-wide; no weapons in public meetings. It amazes me that other locales not seen as part of the stereotypical “wild west” are entertaining such an idea.

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  36. MichaelG said on November 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Had a great lunch as well. A couple of soft tacos at Taqueria Jalisco in West Sac. Yum. Killer salsa fresca.

    I well remember poppies but I haven’t seen any for years.

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  37. LAMary said on November 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Now I might have to hit El Atacor for some tacos for supper. Carnitas with salsa fresca sounds good.

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  38. caliban said on November 4, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Happy birthday Delbert McClinton and Chris Difford. If you ever have a chance to see Delbert live, don’t miss it.

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  39. MarkH said on November 4, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Delbert just rolls on and on, don’t he?

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  40. Minnie said on November 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Caliban: Saw him at the oceanfront right on the sand at the end-of-summer bash at which locals reclaim the beach. Delbert gets right down to it.

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  41. KLG said on November 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Growing up in the 1960s I well remember the poppies on Armistice Day, as it was known then; Remembrance Day in Commonwealth Countries. There were still a lot of Great War veterans around, and I even knew a couple of Spanish American War veterans. One of the worst things to happen in this country is that Memorial Day and Veterans Day are now just an excuse for a freakin’ 3-day weekend. We have forgotten…

    Anyway, I put this up on my office door every November 11th:

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    Lest we forget:

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  42. Little Bird said on November 5, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Remember remember the fifth of November…… And that’s all I got. Something about a gunpowder plot and… yep. That’s it. Poppies are remembered even here in the states. But what of Guy Fawkes?

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  43. moe99 said on November 5, 2011 at 12:52 am

    Just saw Anonymous. Highly recommend.

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  44. coozledad said on November 5, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Andy Rooney’s dead. Cue Mitch Albom.

    It was the eyebrows.

    They were like an umbrella of gravity.

    An umbrella of gravity made of sheep.

    Every Sunday night I’d be right there, with America, watching. There with millions of others, mostly me. Well, nearly every Sunday night.
    Then there came a night I wasn’t there, at his bedside.

    And Andy left us. Ninety two years young.

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  45. nancy said on November 5, 2011 at 9:50 am

    You’re scaring me, Cooz. Or should I address you as Mr. Albom?

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  46. brian stouder said on November 5, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Rooney’s death just as we were discussing the poppies of Flanders fields has a ‘found poetry’ quality all its own – which of course Albom will bowlderize into swill.

    Leaving aside the ‘greatest generation’ stuff, he was indeed an example of a person who experienced the twentieth century in all its modern horror (thinking especially of the death camps he went into), and had the ability to write and communicate the experience to Main Street/barber shop/water cooler America.

    Kindles aside, as long as people can read, we haven’t lost Rooney

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  47. MarkH said on November 5, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Nicely played, Brian.

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  48. basset said on November 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    As I told Mrs. B. just now… he was a real reporter before he started doing that bullshit on “60 Minutes.”

    And, Nance, what’s that second book, about the kingsroad and all?

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  49. LAMary said on November 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    I think Andy Rooney flew in bombers with my late friend Gladwin Hill from the NYT.Walter Cronkite was in their group too.

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  50. brian stouder said on November 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    LAMary, Rooney said something in one of those linked articles that I thought was interesting.

    He said that originally he and the other reporters weren’t supposed to go on missions with the crews. Instead, each was assigned to a different unit and simply reported news, from the safety of the base. But as time passed, more and more guys that each of them knew would come back injured, or not come back at all*, until they couldn’t stand it anymore and felt the need to share the danger.

    So they all had to take gunnery training, and then went along on the missions. Andy’s very first time out resulted in the 1943 Stars and Stripes article (linked above) he wrote about the Wilhelmshaven attack.

    *he repeats the familiar math, that Joe referred to, that the airmen had to fly 25 bombing missions before they could go home, and every mission resulted in approximately a 6% loss…so that the math was statistically against the possibility of living to go home.

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  51. LAMary said on November 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Here’s the wikipedia article about the group of reporters Rooney was part of, and yes, Gladwin Hill was in the same group as Andy Rooney. I don’t recall him ever mentioning Andy Rooney, but Glad wasn’t a name dropper. It was only when I was watching a program about the fraudulent Howard Hughes biography case, and learned that Glad Hill was the expert witness verifying that the voice on the phone testifying that he had never authorized a biography was indeed the voice of Howard Hughes. I asked him about it and he said, yeah, he knew Howard from years back. You know how I name drop? Glad Hill never did, ever. But he knew some of the most fascinating people of the twentieth century. Hanging out with Glad over a cup of coffee was one of the best things in the world.

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  52. brian stouder said on November 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Well, I’ll take Mary’s type of ‘name-dropping’ ten times out of ten!

    Afterall, far from simply dropping names here and there (as a poseur might), we have the absolutely classic rembrance of selling jelly to Leona Helmsley (which rises to the level of oral history).

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