Dried-plum face.

I’m a fan of prunes. Not gonna apologize. I’ve eaten them since I was a kid, although less in adulthood — their famous fiber-richness makes me fart, which becomes less cute in a woman as she ages. But for a quick sweet that doesn’t cost much, calorie-wise, you can’t beat a prune, and I buy a box from time to time.

I’ve watched the contortions of the California Prune Board over the years as they try to overcome their image as producers of something old people gum in a vain effort to get their bowels moving. Some of these have been more successful than others. You see prunes now offered in individual wrappers; I guess you’re supposed to toss a few in your gym bag or purse for when you feel your energy flagging. Then there was the rebranding as “dried plums,” which didn’t do any good, I gather. They’re back to prunes, but it appears this year’s marketing strategy is snob appeal:

You can see a package of the individually wrapped ones peeking out there.

Who knows if this will work in boosting American per-capita prune consumption. I have a booklet somewhere of prune recipes, and once tried to tempt my family into eating some prune bran muffins. (It didn’t work.) They weren’t very good — the heat from the oven made the prunes kind of leathery, and the batch turned out tasting a little like commune cuisine, c. 1970. No, your best bet with prunes is just to eat a couple at a time right out of the box. And then spend the next couple of hours in a private place with good cross ventilation.

Let’s have a linkfest today, shall we? I’m tired and I’d like to get some Christmas shopping done this afternoon. So…

Whoever came up with this gimmick — destress the law students at exam time with an order of puppies to go — certainly earned their paycheck. How do I get one? I’m under stress, too. Maybe with a side of kittens.

Whenever Newt Gingrich considers the world outside the Tiffany’s showroom, he steps in it. I can’t believe this guy was ever a teacher. I’d love to see what Rate My Profs would do to his doughy ass.

Guns N Roses — what’s left of them — played the Palace last night. One of my Facebook friends just posted that her husband left at 11 p.m., and they still hadn’t taken the stage yet. Axl must have had some doughnuts to clean off the backstage buffet yet. Anyway, sounds like no one missed much; an “inescapably generic experience,” the DetNews critic said (without mentioning the delay, oddly). Show still went three hours, with Axl leaving the stage during the many extended guitar solos. Doughnuts…mmmmm….

A short video that’s basically an audio clip, filed under Strange Bedfellows.

OK, I must flee. A good weekend to all.

Posted at 9:08 am in Current events, Popculch, Same ol' same ol' |

84 responses to “Dried-plum face.”

  1. coozledad said on December 2, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Newt’s the perfect standard bearer for his party. I can see him on a railway platform in 1940’s Paris, smug, intransigent, and squeezed into a gendarme’s uniform overseeing the deportations of undesirables.

    It’s funny he would say he helped “fight communism in the congress” when it’s obvious he would have been a made to order minor GUGB functionary. Someone ought to photoshop a picture of Stalin fondly patting his bigass head.

    433 chars

  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 2, 2011 at 9:45 am

    RateMyProf — Newt Gingrich (multiple institutions)

    * 0 0 0 0 (one out of five stars)

    [ ] (Hotness index – zero)

    Prof. Gingrich is disorganized, but very smart. The problem is he talks about stuff that isn’t in the syllabus, or even related to the class topic. I learned a lot, but got a C. Skip this guy’s classes.
    * * – two stars

    Dr. Gingrich is already ticked that he’s not getting tenure, and taking it out on his classes. If anyone years from now finds this prof’s name on a class somewhere else, look out! He’s mean, vindictive, and always talks past the bell and gives you a creepy angry stare if you dare leave, but he doesn’t stop talking.
    * – one star

    Gingrich is a lecturer here at Kennesaw this semester, and he’s always late for class, runs long, and talks about whatever he was just talking to someone on the phone about out in the hallway. He thinks he doesn’t have to prepare for these classes, and some of the students are so star-struck they suck it up, but he’s not really teaching anything. He’s “visioning,” whatever that is. Sounds like a way to pick up a check without delivering the goods, but I’m working two jobs to stay in school. Sorry I took the class, and you would be too.
    * – one star

    This so-called academic has been a train wreck for years, I see. Should have checked this website before signing up for the “celebrity” seminar. For as much as [Ivy League school] charges in tuition, you’d think they might have checked RateMyProf. Rambles all over the place, pays waaaaay too much attention to the blonde pre-law women in the class, and when you point out he got something wrong, suddenly turns into a freaking maniac. I’m trying to drop and get into another actual class even after the deadline: when I told my advisor who it was with, he said he’d pull some strings and help me out. And rolled his eyes. They know.
    * – one star

    [Disclaimer: this website is for entertainment purposes only. Do not select your academic schedule based on information found here. All rights reserved.]

    2099 chars

  3. Scout said on December 2, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Dear God, please let Obama run against Newt next year. Thank you, Amen. I love a post that includes both gas references and gasbags. Theme Friday!

    Happy shopping, Nancy. As usual, I’m procrastinating, despite promising myself that this year I wouldn’t.

    257 chars

  4. Bitter Scribe said on December 2, 2011 at 9:51 am

    In one of Carl Hiaasen’s novels–I can’t remember the name, but it doesn’t matter because he basically writes the same one over and over–the shlubby new husband of the hot babe is an ad exec who tries to rebrand prunes as “dried plums.” He gets kidnapped and fitted with a shock collar. A little extreme, but the right idea.

    325 chars

  5. Dorothy said on December 2, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Thank you for reminding me I have a bag of dried, sweet mango in my cabinet here at work. Never had a prune but I do love my dried mango!

    And YES to what Scout said about the election possibility.

    200 chars

  6. Suzanne said on December 2, 2011 at 10:03 am

    And there is this Newt-ish tidbit…

    Dang it. And I was going to quit my job, have my husband quit his, get food stamps, and head out on a beach vacation. Good thing I read this before I quit…

    310 chars

  7. brian stouder said on December 2, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Nancy, that was a genuinely upsetting Newtie link.

    I truly think he is a George Wallace* sort of fellow, well satisfied that the stuff he says to his crowds will make all the heads bob in agreement*; and certain that, really, everyone who knows anything SHOULD be in his crowds.

    Give him a few years, and his dinner circuit lecture will include the aside that he was instrumental in the ultimate killing of Sammy bin Laden, and that – really- all the best parts of the Health Care Reform Act came from him.

    Anyway – I think the crash of Republican presidential candidates STILL have some more head-butting to do, and don’t forget that the secessionist governor of Texas has lots and lots (and lots) of money to spend.

    If he doesn’t fold up shop, the guy he will hit will be Newtie, since the people who support Newtie are the ones up for grabs

    *forgive me; couldn’t resist the ‘bobbing heads’ thing, since Lawrence O’Donnell reminded us all of a great early ’90’s (Gail Sheehy?) article on Newtie, that recounted how he had the wife of a neighbor giving him a blow job in a car on the driveway at a cookout…but we digress

    1159 chars

  8. Jolene said on December 2, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Those course evaluation comments are hilarious, Jeff. So absolutely on target. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a politician more in love w/ himself–and more clueless about how the other 99% lives–than Gingrich.

    His claim that his influence-peddling doesn’t constitute lobbying had a similarly Marie Antoinette-ish quality. He claimed that he didn’t need to lobby to make money as he was doing so well making speeches. Just outrageous.

    440 chars

  9. Bob (not Greene) said on December 2, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Something with prunes in it, you ask? Make this. My God it’s good.


    130 chars

  10. Jakash said on December 2, 2011 at 11:01 am

    The fact that Newt has been surging in the polls lately is just chilling. Here’s my dilemma with regard to this pathetic Republican field. Should I be rooting for the worst candidate to come out on top, thus giving Obama a better shot in the general election? Or should I pull for the best (not that such a distinction is obvious) so that, in the event that the economy and 4 years of attacks from both sides cost Obama the election, at least we’ll be left with someone competent? My conclusion is to not pay much attention and hope for the best in the long run. This policy has not worked out well in the past.

    612 chars

  11. Kirk said on December 2, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Sorry, just saw the discussion on yesterday’s thread. But around our shop, the distinction was between “journalist” and “newspaperman” or “newspaperwoman,” as in, “A journalist is a newspaperman who’s out of a job.”

    215 chars

  12. Suzanne said on December 2, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Bob NG that recipe has me drooling with delight…

    50 chars

  13. LAMary said on December 2, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Oh jeez, Bob(n)G. I have to make that stew. Since I still don’t have any power it’s going to have to wait. I have a gas stove, so I can cook. I just don’t want to shop until I know I have a refrigerator. So far, 33 hours of no power, no phone, lots of closed roads here in the wilds of LA.

    289 chars

  14. Dorothy said on December 2, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Oh Mary I’m sorry to hear that. Hope your temperatures aren’t too cool so you are not all shivering.

    That stew recipe looks mouthwatering-ly good. Note to self: buy brandy ASAP. We have a small local shop that has an outstanding butcher counter. I’m going to get some pork loin cut up there and save it for this recipe. We made two different soups this week and I may do another one this Sunday: potato, parsnip and bacon.

    430 chars

  15. MarkH said on December 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Jeff(mmo) — I am assuming what you put in post #2 is real. If not, that’s just brilliant.

    92 chars

  16. Sherri said on December 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I can sympathize, LAMary. We had a big windstorm up here several years back that knocked out our power for four and a half days. After the house temperature dropped to about 45, we had to go camp out with friends who had a wood stove.

    234 chars

  17. Jolene said on December 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    There’s also the famous Chicken Marbella from the Silver Palate cookbook. No picture at this link, but this is a great recipe.

    250 chars

  18. Jason T. said on December 2, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Today the pits, tomorrow the wrinkles! Sunsweet marches on!


    105 chars

  19. LAMary said on December 2, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Overnight it’s down in the 40s outside, but with a good comforter and two big dogs on the bed, I’m not cold. The huge dog would like to also be on the bed but that would be a bit much. Last night I slept very soundly for seven and a half hours. Night before nearly no sleep because the wind sounded like the storm scene in Master and Commander all night. I got up at 4:30 and went outside to look at the damage. Luckily none of my trees went down, just a lot of limbs, leaves and sticks all over. I had to move lots of stuff to be able to get my car out. Between my house and my son’s school I must have seen a hundred downed trees, mostly eucalyptus.

    651 chars

  20. Hattie said on December 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    There was a prune plum tree in our neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, that had the sweetest fruit you can imagine. Prune plums are wonderful fresh, and I think they would grow where you live. One of my favorite things to eat is German style plum cake, which uses fresh prune plums. The dried ones? Meh.
    A friend of mine grew up on prune plum farm in Santa Rosa, California, and she will have nothing to do with prunes in any form.

    433 chars

  21. Deborah said on December 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    OK Bob NG, now I know what I’m having for dinner Sunday. A half hour until lunch and my stomach is growling like crazy. I have a lunch meeting so I can’t leave for lunch early. I like prunes too but usually don’t eat them unless I’m having an intestinal problem.

    262 chars

  22. beb said on December 2, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    LAMary: 33 hours? Oy! Life without electricity is h-a-r-d….. Hope you get your power restored soon.

    Prunes are OK but what I find wickedly tempted are dried apricots. Thick and chewy and oh so sweet. By the way how does on translate “D’noir” would that be “of the dark” prunes? Wouldn’t “Noir Prunes” be enough exoticness for them?

    I love Carl Hiassin’s books. I would disagree that he writes the same book over and over but then he does have certain themes that do appear in every book — that Florida is full of shyters, scam-artists and crooks, that said shyters, grifters and destoryers of the environment deserve a healthy dose of poetic justice. Of the many he’s written I think I like the one about the hurricane best. That would be “Stormy Weather” and features the shock collar Bitterscribe mentions

    817 chars

  23. Julie Robinson said on December 2, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    LAMary, I was thinking about you yesterday as we were talking to our nephew, who lives in Pasadena. He was stuck on the road for hours trying to get to work and finally the police told people to go home. He was panicking about getting to the airport today to make it back for the funeral. His wife just posted that the schools are closed and it looks like a war zone. I sure hope it’s all over now and your power comes back soon.

    431 chars

  24. Jolene said on December 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    The world is getting ready for Christmas, and The Atlantic’s In Focus section has been collecting pictures. Among others, there’s a great one of the prez and his daughters at last night’s tree lighting.

    Speaking of which, why do we have to have such an ugly national tree? Draped w/ that netting, it looks more like it’s been captured than like it’s been decorated. The NBC Nightly News showed both the national tree and the tree at Rockefeller Center, and the contrast was striking.

    Meanwhile, how about the drop in unemployment? Even w/ all appropriate caveats, hooray!

    698 chars

  25. Heather said on December 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    A friend in LA reported that he had to be freed from his home via chainsaw this morning. As cold and snowy as it gets in Chicago, I have to say that I don’t worry too much about natural disasters living here–if my power goes out, it’s for a few hours max. It’s a luxury that may go out the window with global warming–who knows?

    329 chars

  26. Jolene said on December 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Dear Lord, there is going to be a presidential debate moderated by Donald Trump. What have we done to deserve this?

    227 chars

  27. LAMary said on December 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Yesterday afternoon the department of water and power was saying my neighborhood would get power back in 24-48 hours. So either this afternoon or tomorrow. Lets all say a prayer for my freezer contents.
    On the other hand, showering by lantern light isn’t that bad, and I’m glad I still have a Chemex coffee pot.

    312 chars

  28. Catherine said on December 2, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Pasadena is a mess, but at least our power is mostly back on. Altadena (N of us & not technically a city of its own) is going on 36 hours without power, as is Sierra Madre (NE). All the schools are closed and I have my kids plus two of their friends so far; possibly more to come. Family and friends are streaming through to recharge batteries, borrow coolers, use wifi, or just get warm (Mary, you’re welcome too). Everyone knows that this is nothing compared to ice storms in other parts of the country, but we suck at actually *having* weather.

    551 chars

  29. caliban said on December 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Mary, just don’t open the freezer unless you absolutely must. We’ve gone several days with nothing going bad.

    Geographical distribution for the US 1%. The note explaining how Bridgeport shows up here is fascinating. My sis-in-law went to Bridgeport U, so I’m familiar with the home of PT Barnum. Bridgeport is a poverty-scarred, mean streets, dangerous place, apparently surrounded by gated enclaves of hedge fund managers, the very guys in the Jarvis Cocker song at the next link.

    Still running the world.

    The WaPo article on the DC tree lighting has a comments section, which actually has anti-obama comments. I hope asshats like that are getting professional help.

    863 chars

  30. Bob (not Greene) said on December 2, 2011 at 2:03 pm


    I saw the photos on the LA Times site and all I can say is — “Holy shit!” What a mess. And what’s up with those eucalyptus trees anyway? Are they the silver maples of the West Coast?

    192 chars

  31. del said on December 2, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Hattie, my neighbor worked for a Vlasic pickle factory as a teenager, called herself one of The Pickle Hussies. She will have nothing to do with relish in any form.

    Beb’s comment that “Florida is full of shyters, scam-artists and crooks” reminds me that the Florida Constitution has a homestead exemption for those grifters who wish to protect palatial homes.

    And caliban, the comment to your link on Running the World sums it up: That song slanders all vaginas.

    472 chars

  32. Dorothy said on December 2, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Yee Gods the pictures at the LA Times! Mary (and anyone else who is there) I’m so glad you are all right! The roots on the tree(s) in picture number 5 – I am speechless.


    268 chars

  33. LAMary said on December 2, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Eucalyptus are beautiful, but they get blown over way too easily, and they will catch fire and actually explode in a wildfire situation. It’s all the oil in the leaves and bark that makes them so flammable. I have one big on in my backyard and I keep telling myself I need to get rid of it. I have a lot of trees in my yard so there’s a weekend of raking and bagging in my future.

    380 chars

  34. mark said on December 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    OK, I’ll admit my ignorance and ask what the heck is a “fresh prune plum”?

    74 chars

  35. caliban said on December 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    LAT windstorm account. No fatalities.

    Friends of Wilber the Windsock.

    292 chars

  36. LAMary said on December 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    We were out searching for more D batteries last night and what was really frightening was seeing pedestrians just strolling out into traffic. There no traffic lights, street lights,and most of the buildings along streets have no lights. Californians are taught the pedestrians have the right of way, but if you can’t see the pedestrians, it gets dicey. I saw two near misses last night on Figueroa Street, a very busy street.

    425 chars

  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    MarkH, note the disclaimer at the bottom. 😉

    Grace & peace for calm and co-operation in SoCal; I had no idea it was this rucked up there after the windstorm until reading this. Thanks for the update, and I hope you have power on and open roads soon. There may not be as many free chainsaw operators showing up in Pasadena as we have in non-urban Ohio; stuff gets cut and cleared before the county or the utility makes it onto the scene.

    444 chars

  38. paddyo' said on December 2, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    To MarkH, a beLATEed reply on yesterday’s thread about Charlie LeDuff —

    On Charlie’s “reporter vs. journalist” distinction, I meant nothing more than a little virtual tweak in the nose to a guy who has always seemed to wear his against-type attitude about newsgathering a little over-conspicuously. That’s all, no deep or deeper meaning on my end . . .

    And actually, I always considered myself a newspaper reporter first, too, and hated when the journalism society (there’s that word again) I belonged to in college, Sigma Delta Chi (aka SDX, but not a frat, just an group) changed its name to “Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi” and finally dropped the SDX part altogether.

    “Professional” does tend to torque some folks who think the word shouldn’t apply to an occupation unless there are exams to pass, like boards or bars or something. (Insert old “I’d-never-EVER-pass-a-bar” reporter jokes here . . . )
    The word doesn’t torque me so much, but I’m with the Blogmistress on the notion that what we do (or in my case, did) is a craft first.

    And I am so with you 100 percent total about the 100 percent totally awesome “Deadline U.S.A.,” the best newspaper/reporting/journalism/whatever-you-want-to-call-it movie ever . . . with the best final line ever, too:

    “That’s the press, baby. The press! And there’s nothing you can do about it. Nothing!” (Bogie’s Ed Hutcheson, shouting into the telephone as the printing presses roll . . . )


    1501 chars

  39. Deborah said on December 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    LA Mary, can you see the stars since so much of the city is out of power? A friend of mine was in San Francisco when that bad earthquake hit and so much of the city was in darkness. He said it was eerie that you could see the stars so clearly in the city for the first time he could remember. One of the things I love about our land in New Mexico is that it’s so remote, away from city lights you can see the gazillions of stars so clearly.

    440 chars

  40. LAMary said on December 2, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Deborah, there are parts of town where lights are on adjacent to parts where the lights are not on, so no, we don’t have that nice starry sky reward for all the chaos.
    My sons, on the other hand, are tacking up yard cleanup signs and plan to make a little money this weekend. I trust they will not charge too much, or at least give senior citizen discounts.

    359 chars

  41. brian stouder said on December 2, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Mary, Newtie would never approve of that sort of mis-education.

    Senior citizens should be charged MORE – since their options are fewer; and if they can’t pay – give them a high-interest loan.

    There’s no reason on Earth not to take every last advantage you possibly can, y’know

    282 chars

  42. caliban said on December 2, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    We’re major fans of the blueberry-infused cranberry raisins. Our Bi-Lo sells a great versio of trail-mix (storebrand), that we get and mix with the blueberry and pomegranate craisins. The mix has walnuts, almonds peanuts, dried apricots, dates, banana chips, pineapple, papaya, cashews, filberts, and pumpkin seeds. This is my daily staple. And it’s excellent, and no two tubs are ever exactly alike.

    edit: Brian,

    Listening to Newt yammer about child labor and public assistance programs makes me wonder whether this isn’t the basis of his entire political philosophy. (Had not read it in some time. Absolutely the most brilliant piece of satire ever produced, I think.)

    727 chars

  43. LAMary said on December 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Hey, this morning an older woman in the neighborhood who could not open her garage door without electricy, offered my son $20 to help her. He got the door open and refused the twenty. Such a fine young man.

    206 chars

  44. MarkH said on December 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Well, then Jeff, me being a little slow on the uptake, as I said, Brilliant!!

    paddyo’, that’s what I thought. It just took me a little by surprise that someone called themselves a reporter first, in this day and age. Kirk’s comment rings true as well.

    While I still take issue with your (and Nancy’s)take on the “profession” aspect of newsgathering (but, yes, it IS a craft), triple AMEN to your comments on Deadline USA. Here’s that great final scene:


    Wish it was on dvd.

    527 chars

  45. caliban said on December 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Another very good thing GOPers are contorting themselves hideously to criticize. Do they believe in freedom of speech, democracy in principal, human rights, or don’t they. Fact they would hate to admit: the repressive thugs that have been running Myanmar and keeping the courageous Suu Kyi under house arrest, are exactly Ron Raygun’s favorite form of government. Raygunites would probably like to put some of the colonels and generals up at the WHISC (aka SOA, rebranded just like Xe), to hone their brutal repressive techniques. But this is Obama and Clinton doing the right thing, the right and intelligent way. So, it must be wrong.

    848 chars

  46. MarkH said on December 2, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Deborah, the altitude in Abiquiui helps as well. As you are there, we are also at about 6,000 ft. here in Jackson Hole. When there is no moon the thinner atmosphere makes for some astounding star viewing.

    204 chars

  47. caliban said on December 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Suitable musical accompaniment for the Southland windstorm.

    Fascinating thing about the LA storm picture gallery, the wide ethnic variation suggested by the names of the residents given in the captions.

    297 chars

  48. LAMary said on December 2, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Caliban, that’s one of the great things about LA.

    49 chars

  49. caliban said on December 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Remember when some GOPers were more or less decent people, like Danforth?

    103 chars

  50. paddyo' said on December 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Saddest thing to see in those pix of the aftermath of L.A.’s Santa Ana winds was somebody chainsawing the remains of a jacaranda tree in Pasadena. That arboretum of a city against the San Gabriels has hundreds of them, and nothing’s prettier than when they’re all in rich bluepurplelavenderlilac bloom. Blows me away, so to speak . . .

    I grew up about 15 miles farther east, in the flat part of the San Gabriel Valley, in half-Anglo, half-Latino Azusa and environs. My neighborhood was former orange groves, cleared away in the mid-’50s for no-money-down flat-roofed suburban tract houses for the Baby Boom. All our trees (just five on our small lot) were remnant oranges, a couple of them still productive, and not very big. So the annual attack of the Santa Anas spared our young neighborhood, usually.

    LAMary, perhaps you’d agree that nothing is as fragant, as visually iconic and yet as cursed in fire-prone California as the eucalyptus. I can’t imagine my native state without them, but I’m not sure California ever needed them. Thanks (I guess) go to those fortune-seeking Aussies who brought them in during the Gold Rush, though officials in the Golden State subsequently did vigorously promote their planting and spread at one point . . .

    1349 chars

  51. brian stouder said on December 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Remember when some GOPers were more or less decent people…?

    Yes…and George Wallace was a Democrat!. He’s top-of-mind lately, since last weekend’s latest C-SPAN installment in their series about consequential people who ran for the White House and lost; last week’s focus was Wallace, and they had his daughter on the show.

    They asked the question – would Wallace be a Republican today? – and the experts quickly concluded that, yes, he would be; but his daughter piped up and pretty emphatically said NO – he’d still be a Democrat. (the daughter is up in the ranks of the Alabama Democratic party, and an Obama supporter)

    It was an intriguing little bit of discussion, given just how recently – 40 years ago, give or take, that all the lunk-head racist anti-intellectual know-nothing reactionaries were Democrats, because the damned Republicans emancipated the damned blacks and fouled up their whole racist/oppressive regional regime in the 19th century……right up ’til the damned mid-20th century Democrats insisted on letting those people VOTE!!

    By way of saying (again), it always amazes me how very little things ever really change.

    1170 chars

  52. LAMary said on December 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm


    The link above gives you an idea of what lots of local streets look like when the jacarandas are blooming.

    Eucalyptus smell wonderful and as I said earlier, they are beautiful. I can’t bring myself to have mine cut down, as much as I know it’s a good idea. I brought it home in the back of a Honda in 1983, and now it’s about 40 feet tall.

    The other smell that’s evocative of LA to me is night blooming jasmine.

    534 chars

  53. Deborah said on December 2, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Caliban, your Danforth link doesn’t work. My husband designed a Federal Courthouse in St. Louis that was named after Eagleton. At the grand opening of the building in the late 90s, Danforth (Republican) spoke and Eagleton (Democrat) of course, was there. It was one of the most moving speeches I’ve ever heard, he had such warm things to say about Eagleton and he spoke so eloquently. Kind of hard to imagine that happening today with all of the partisan bitterness going on.

    475 chars

  54. caliban said on December 2, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Here’s the Danforth link:


    Jacarandas are beautiful, like lilac blossoms on real trees, and the name is just cool. George Wallace was a classic Dixiecrat, but more than a member of a political party, he was an opportunist to the bone. The story of his first political campaign in which his opponent espoused virulent racist and segregationist sympathies is legend, after which George Corley vowed he’d never be out n******d again.Sounds like a GOPer to me.

    544 chars

  55. Kim said on December 2, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Go, LAMary’s boys! The great thing for the kids is that sort of kindness pays for itself over and over. I think we middle-agers call it karma.

    I feel for you, being out of power. We were out for 13 days in the aftermath of a hurricane. It’s a form of suffering, but the flip is how it brings a neighborhood together.

    319 chars

  56. Deborah said on December 2, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Caliban, I read the Danforth link, thanks for resending. He is absolutely right about the GOP and coming from him should make them ashamed of themselves, but of course they’re not. My right wing sister thinks Danforth is a RINO. Sigh.

    234 chars

  57. Dexter said on December 2, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I worked in a candy factory twice, we made Kraft Carmels. Not caramels, carmels. We could eat all the hot carmel we desired, and I never got sick of it. I would eat a small glob of it and then not even feel at all like eating lunch, and I lost thirty pounds in a few months.

    Like Hattie, we had a plum tree in our yard when I was a kid. I loved them, especially when extremely ripe. That got me hooked. Also, Mom made stewed prunes regularly, and every diner had them on the breakfast menu, and I’d order them out as well. I have loved plums and prunes my whole life.

    I was gone all day and have just come here to nn.c for the first time today, and believe it or not, I took a box of prunes with me for the drive to Indiana , and I ate six of them altogether. You are not alone, nance.

    I remember Mom telling me prunes “make you go”, but I ate them because I loved them. Back then, like fifty-five years ago, they came out of the box much harder than the delicious ones of today. We really had to work at eating them “raw” then, so we always ate them as “stewed prunes”. The modern prunes really are a totally different product.

    I was in Florida and in strip mall I spotted a bakery. An older lady with a strong Eastern European lilt sold me a prune Danish. Unforgettable it was.

    1307 chars

  58. basset said on December 2, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Anyone here aside from me familiar with persimmon pudding? Might just be a southwestern Indiana thing, I dunno, but with a few hard frosts already past us the persimmons should be in prime condition down in Martin County.

    And, Beb, I put up some comments about Bucksnort a few days ago, down at the end of the thread, not sure if you saw them. Headed that way in a few hours to make another attempt at filling the freezer.

    427 chars

  59. del said on December 2, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Prune filled pierogi are delicious too Dexter.

    46 chars

  60. Crazycatlady said on December 3, 2011 at 12:02 am

    I happened to have a crappy day doing errands and stuff I didn’t want to do. I got home and grouched about this and that.Then my daughter found an instant cure. She handed me one of our foundling kittens. He’s a darling little gray model and his brother is a sleek black kitten. In just a few minutes, the gloom lifted. Depression Hurts. Kittehs Help!

    351 chars

  61. David C. said on December 3, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Dorothy, your RW sister is unfortunately right. Danforth is a RINO in today’s Republican Party. He’s in good company though. Presidents Ford and Eisenhower, Senators Percy, Hatfield, Baker, and many others couldn’t have a ghost of a chance of being elected in today’s party. We’re all worse off for it. I come from a family that in the not too distant past were all Republicans. We all say that we didn’t know that goddamneddemecrats wasn’t one word until we got into high school. Now, except those with a fundamentalist religious bent, we almost all vote Democratic. It’s truly a shame that the bomb throwers have taken over.

    632 chars

  62. Connie said on December 3, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Basset, it’s a southern Indiana thing in general I think. Around Seymour, people sold persimmon pulp on a table in the yard. I never cared for it. We had a persimmon tree in our yard, and people who actually liked the stuff would come and harvest. Persimmon pudding? Sweet orange slime.

    289 chars

  63. Dexter said on December 3, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Sometimes at church bake sales back in the late 1950’s , old women would sell jarred preservatives, and I recall seeing persimmon jelly…but I can’t recall ever even tasting any.

    My grandparents’ farm was my favorite, most wonderful eighty acres on earth. Grandpaw perfected the growing of tiny watermelons, about the size of a softball, and they were great. He also had built a grape arbor years before me, and we were allowed to eat all the grapes we wanted after he got too old to make his grape juice. He had several varieties of apples that you have to go to a retro-orchard for now, hearty apple from these trees that few had access to: the Russets, Grimes Golden, and he grew an apple that was or at least resembled the Arkansas Black, and others I have no idea as to their make-up genetically.
    It was quite a place, but one thing I never got an answer for: why were there so many paw-paw trees on that farm when nobody ever touched them? I thought they must be poison. They resemble fat bananas and of course people ate them, but never in our family. I’d ask my grandmaw and my uncles and they just say “oh those are just those old paw-paws” and drop the subject.
    I bet someone here has had a grandparent who made something with paw-paws…right?
    nance…did you ever see them marketed at Eastern Market?

    1330 chars

  64. nancy said on December 3, 2011 at 9:58 am


    I’ve never seen them at Eastern Market, but you made me curious. I googled and found this NPR piece from earlier in the year. Now that I see a picture, it occurs to me I’ve probably seen them on trees here and there, but never knew what they were. They don’t look very big.

    417 chars

  65. caliban said on December 3, 2011 at 10:21 am

    All of this discussion of fruit reminded me of pawpaws, which in turn, reminded me of a favorite Detroit Tiger from my youth, Charley “PawPaw” Maxwell. Good, memorable, not a “great” ballplayer, from felicitously named PawPaw, MI. These things grew indigenously in the woods around our house in Bloomfield Township, and were generally used as ammo in neighborhood warfare. Didn’t hurt really, but certainly fouled clothes, with mom ramifications at home. For some reason, when we heard about PawPaw Maxwell, we knew it was a native fruit but equated it with persimmons.

    edit: Charley Maxwell once hit four consecutive homeruns against the Yankees at old Briggs Stadium in a Sunday doubleheader.

    875 chars

  66. MichaelG said on December 3, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Mary, it’s been windy here with lots of downed trees and power outages but nothing like L. A. Glad to hear you and your boys are safe. My power was out for around 56 hours a couple of years ago and my freezer contents were fine. Just don’t open the door. I know the temptation to open it and check can be almost irresistible.

    333 chars

  67. Dexter said on December 3, 2011 at 11:26 am

    caliban, Charlie Maxwell was famous not only for his nickname, but for his prodigious play on Sundays. He was rarely used at all in the night games during the week , but come Sunday, out in the bright sunlight, he was the most feared pinch hitter in the American League.
    Ernie Harwell really played up the Paw Paw nickname, but others simply called Maxwell “Sunday”.
    Charlie Paw Paw Maxwell, from Paw Paw, Michigan, would really hammer the right-center field seats with his long, long home runs. And when he actually played for nine innings, almost always during the first game of a doubleheader (more sunlight, natch) he’d be a real threat to blast two homers.

    673 chars

  68. Dexter said on December 3, 2011 at 11:34 am

    nance…thanks for that link. I bet my relatives simply didn’t like the old man’s paw paws and that is why I was sort of deprived of ever tasting a paw paw.
    Now, next time I am out in the woods and I see them, down the hatch.
    Oh well…at least I got to eat those delicious tiny watermelons, and all the other great stuff from that farm.

    342 chars

  69. caliban said on December 3, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Right, Dex. The four homer double-dip happened on a Sunday, I believe.

    Now, for some reason, this reminds me of the first major league at bat of Purnal Goldy. 6-5 guy, first AB mashed into the seats.

    202 chars

  70. Dexter said on December 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Right on, caliban. I had that game on the radio. Purnal Goldy, a Detroit instant-legend, indeed ,had one magic day in baseball. I remember his two home runs that day were monster shots way back to the top of the upper deck at Tiger Stadium.
    The Tigers had the next Mickey Mantle! Then, nothing. Purnal Goldy ended up with three home runs , total. He died at age 71 a few years ago. The pitchers figured him out, and that was that. His legacy: one of the coolest baseball names ever.

    493 chars

  71. caliban said on December 3, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Best Tigers game I ever saw in person. Earl Wilson one-hitter, in which the impeccable big guy hit three homers. We were in usual dead center bleachers with the neighborhood old-timers passing the pint of Ancient Age and listening to great stories about Hank Greenberg and Negroe League heroes. When Earl came out to warm up, we could hear Freehan’s glove pop 450 ft. away. Pretty sure this was ’68. Tiger Stadium was electric. All-time great OF.

    edit: Malamud, Kinsella and Lardner could not have made up Purnal Goldy’s name up by committee. It’s the baseball equivalent of the great AFL name, Elbert “Golden Wheels” Dubenion.

    630 chars

  72. brian stouder said on December 3, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Well, whatever I think I know of big-league baseball begins and ends with mid-70’s to early ’90’s Cincinnati Reds.

    George Foster was, I thought, an amazing hitter; which is saying something for a player on such a bat-laden team. But leaving that aside, I remember sitting way up in the red seats in right field at Riverfront, and Dave Concepcion – their great short stop – smacked a homer(!); and in the same game, Rose hit an off-the-wall triple (indeed, it would probably have been an inside-the-park HR for almost anyone else). I don’t recall getting to see Foster do anything particularly remarkable that evening.

    You just never know

    644 chars

  73. Jolene said on December 3, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Check out this paragraph from Chris Cillizza’s analysis of the wreck of the Cain Train.

    “When he started, Herman Cain never had any thought that he could win,” explained one adviser to another candidate in the Republican presidential field who was granted anonymity to speak candidly. “ He figured he might be able to sell some books and double his speaking fees. Then something great and awful happened, the dog caught the car. And of course, dogs don’t know how to drive cars. So he had no idea what to do with it.”

    Love the understatedness of, “And of course, dogs don’t know how to drive cars.”

    754 chars

  74. brian stouder said on December 3, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Jolene, while watching Cain guide his train onto the siding in Atlanta today, Pam and I began speculating as to whether he WAS going to “suspend” – or whether he was going to shovel more coal into the firebox and go full-steam ahead. His remarkes remained aggressively ‘all ahead-full’ for about 10 minutes, and his crowd was with him, up ’til he finally shut things down.

    His speech was a little strange, but could have been summed up as “Leave aside 9-9-9; I’m now 100% in Palin-mode”.

    It was almost poetic the way he literally unveiled his new website, on the backdrop on his outdoor stage.

    Sarah Palin may have been a sub-par vice presidential pick, but history will remember her for her groundbreaking sheep shearing paradigm, the franchise now very much owned by Mr Cain.

    That said, Cain’s bus is prettier than hers was, too.

    And, not for nothing, but I was struck by the stridency of the lyrics to Cain’s campaign song – set to that music from the commercial where the fellow lights a cigarette at the end. Did you hear it? It seemed to me to be sharply acidic/angry/accusatory; rather than, say, forward-looking, hopeful, and can-do (as one might expect a campaign theme to be).

    Uncle Google provides this link:


    and I learned that the guy who wrote this intended it as a Tea Party anthem….which makes this passage fairly ironic, now that the Occupy movement comprises “the people in the street”, and are the ones that some people “make a joke about what we believe”

    Pay no attention to the people in the street
    Crying out for accountability
    Make a joke of what we believe
    Say we don’t matter ’cause you disagree
    Pretend you’re kings, sit on your throne
    Look down your nose at the peasants below
    I’ve got some news, we’re taking names
    We’re waiting now for the judgment day

    1904 chars

  75. caliban said on December 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm


    Truly disgraceful GOPer logrolling. Trading off screwing over the EPA and the people it protects for corporate criminals? How is this remotely good government?

    Strangest CFB day ever. LSU can play a buncha guys that will be academically inelligible before their bowl game, because they don’t care who wins this game. Dawgs don’t care. They play to the bone. Supposedly it doesn;t matter what LSU does, they play in the NccG. Sawgs don’t buy this shit, I’ll guarontee, as Justin would say. LSU cheats like a bastard and damages HS kids with oversigning. LSU attacks injured players. The coach is a shitheel.

    738 chars

  76. Dexter said on December 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Brian, George Foster was a great hitter, he was so damn thin it amazed me the way the baseball jumped off his bat. Those stupid polyester baseball unis of the 1970s, with the tight elastic waistbands made Foster look like even thinner.

    caliban: I am halfway through “Going After Cacciato”. It is quite a read. Tim O’Brien is a wonderful interpreter of the US War in Vietnam. His outlandish scenarios illustrate the crazy, sometimes wonder-filled things that happened in that war. I have told some people about the gory and hard things I saw as a result of combat, but there are a lot of stories I could have told when the occasion arose, but never have because they would sound so outrageous, people would think I was some sort of sensationalist. Just everyday, mundane things that never warranted incorporation into a spoken tale.
    O’Brien is great at weaving these anomalies into his text.

    901 chars

  77. Dexter said on December 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Brian, George Foster was a great hitter, he was so damn thin it amazed me the way the baseball jumped off his bat. Those stupid polyester baseball unis of the 1970s, with the tight elastic waistbands made Foster look even thinner.

    caliban: I am halfway through “Going After Cacciato”. It is quite a read. Tim O’Brien is a wonderful interpreter of the US War in Vietnam. His outlandish scenarios illustrate the crazy, sometimes wonder-filled things that happened in that war. I have told some people about the gory and hard things I saw as a result of combat, but there are a lot of stories I could have told when the occasion arose, but never have because they would sound so outrageous, people would think I was some sort of sensationalist. Just everyday, mundane things that never warranted incorporation into a spoken tale.
    O’Brien is great at weaving these anomalies into his text.

    897 chars

  78. Kirk said on December 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    George Foster: wrists of steel

    30 chars

  79. beb said on December 3, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Bassett, I hope you had a successful day filling your larder. I did see you comments about Bucksnort. I even mentioned it to Crazycatlady (my wife) incase she didn’t go to nn.c that day. I appreciate your brief description of the town. Like Climax, Mi, it’s a name that can’t be said without chortling.

    With Cain out of the picture it looks like we’ll be stuck with Gingrich, a fundamentally corrupt and amoral man.

    418 chars

  80. basset said on December 3, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Didn’t get a shot off but at least I saw some, which is better than I’ve been doing. I may go back tomorrow, depending on weather… maybe I can pick up a few phone photos of Bucksnort in the rain.

    198 chars

  81. moe99 said on December 4, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Dexter, Tim O’Brien is an alumnus of my alma mater: Macalester College. Very proud of him.

    92 chars

  82. caliban said on December 4, 2011 at 2:41 am

    Brian, Reds are tainted by Pete. Mr. First steroids. His behavior attacking Harrelson gives it away. Bench? Most overrated player in MLB history. Pudge was a better catcher. Piazza was way better at the plate. Them’s facts. I don’t see how those Reds were all that great. Dodgers took them down, repeatedly.

    307 chars

  83. caliban said on December 4, 2011 at 2:45 am

    And which position could hide Pete’s butcher fielding? Not even 1B. He was a hack. Truly awful in the field. Who we could compare for hitting? Ichiro. A master of the glove. No comparison.

    188 chars

  84. caliban said on December 4, 2011 at 10:32 am

    0 chars