Just because it was Sunday, I threw my bike in the car and took my lard ass off to Belle Isle. Yes, yes, I could have ridden there, but it’s early in the year, the weather wasn’t quite right and I just didn’t want to face that feeling of being very far from home and not willing to pedal another 50 feet.

Good thing, too. The wind was wicked, a stiff 25 miles or so out of the northeast, which meant the windward side of the island was pretty fierce. Even more than cold, I hate riding in a strong wind, and I think I know why — it’s the closest actual cycling comes to spinning class, that sense of pedaling with an anchor. Bleh. But I made my two loops, and then noodled off here and there to see the parts of the island I see less often. The consent agreement between the city and state will call for Belle Isle to be run by the state for a while, and I can hardly see a downside to that, starting with the phase-in of an entry fee. It won’t be steep, and if it discourages the sort of people who’ve treated the island as an after-dark partying stop, so be it. It’s too nice a place to squander.

So around I went, twice, seeing what there is to see. Waterfowl, mostly. Everyone must still be nesting, because there were only two goslings in evidence, but lots of jumpy geese and — ack — swans. You want to see a bird that can make you wish you were dead? Say hi to a swan protecting a nest. I went out on a deserted fishing pier, checked out the boats that were already in the water at the Detroit Yacht Club and watched a men’s eight launch from the Boat Club. Rowing is a sport that’s always attracted me, but never enough to do more than dabble. Watching those guys blow away from the dock, inches above the waterline, made me think there are other ways to get your exercise. Like pedaling against a tough headwind.

Otherwise? Eh, a nice weekend. Eastern Market, laundry, a Saturday-night show in a second-floor performance space, which convened as the ball game was letting out. The Tigers won; you could tell by the facial expressions, but it might have been the elation over getting back to the nice warm car. That wind couldn’t have been fun to sit in.

Bloggage? A little:

The blessing of the purses. Because, that’s why.

A fireball and explosion seen across much of Nevada? Be not alarmed! Probably just a meteor.

And was that a freaky “Mad Men,” or what?

Happy Monday.

Posted at 12:10 am in Uncategorized |

57 responses to “Headwinds.”

  1. Jakash said on April 23, 2012 at 1:31 am

    “ack — swans. You want to see a bird that can make you wish you were dead? Say hi to a swan protecting a nest.” There was a story in the Tribune about a deadly swan attack just last week. “Witnesses told police that Hensley, a Villa Park father with two young daughters, drowned after he was attacked by a nesting swan Saturday morning, causing his kayak to topple. The bird continued to lunge at him aggressively as he struggled to make it to shore before disappearing under the water, authorities said.” Horrible.

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  2. Dexter said on April 23, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Thanks to another fat-ass incompetent umpire, the Tigers actually lost Sunday by a run. With a runner on third base, Ranger Al Gonzalez bunted a ball foul off his knee. Tim Welke, the fat-ass, called it fair, later admitting he had messed it up.
    Manager Leyland was screaming like a mad man…”BULLSHIT!” “You ought to be ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!” (addressed to all the four umpires.)

    I too rode a little bit today in the cold wind. Just three miles here, of a scheduled eight-miler. The wind was just too cold and strong. I walked more than that Sunday, taking the dogs out to three different city parks Sunday. I love my dogs.

    Life runs cold at times…Levon Helm’s death affected me much more than I thought it would. I didn’t know I loved The Band so much…this is sad, and I mourn alongside millions of others.

    Ah yeah…then a phone call…younger brother locked up in the Dekalb County Jail on a D.U.I.
    We have always helped each other out, so I am bailing him out at 9:30 AM.
    Fifty-six year old men are rarely taught a lesson by leaving them rot in jail for a month. He is so drunk they estimate he’ll blow his mandatory 0.00 BAC way into the morning.
    I wondered if he was cycling drunk, but the bail bondsman said in Indiana that is a public intoxication charge.

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  3. alex said on April 23, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Sorry to hear about your brother, Dex. And that poor kayaker.

    So here’s a little day-brightener that I woke up to this morning. I miss having a dog.

    Strange weather. Went up to Fremont (York, really) on Saturday to get the first of my spring garden plants. It’s early, I realize, but my fave greenhouse sells out of its best stuff by the first week of May. I put about a dozen flats in my screened porch close up to the house on Saturday night. Strangely, on Sunday morning, I found that some salvias and a wax begonia in the corner of one flat got nipped really badly. Everything otherwise was untouched, including things that appeared to me to be more exposed. Go figure. Looks like it’s going to be another cold week. Going back next weekend for another truck bed full. May just keep them all indoors.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 23, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Dexter, I think you’re right about 56 year olds and threats — blessings & good luck in nudging him to wonder what life might be like with some different decisions.

    Last night’s “Mad Men” was, from the outset, a “love it or hate it” episode. The LSD midplot matches what I’ve been told, but I’ve seen plenty of internet chatter from those claiming direct experience saying that they were way off. I think the idea that it’s just a slightly more internally disorienting form of intoxicant, with enough inhibition-loosening to create the chance of a candid conversation if you’re not so loosened as to slump into a heap, all “fits” and certainly worked for those two characters.

    The closing sequence shows the classic outline of an abusive spouse, to which there’s little one can add, but I was reminded mainly of all we did to find people and figure out about changes in plans before cell phones. Dang, it’s a wonder we didn’t all just wander around in circles back in those halcyon pre-1998 days. Kids, let me tell you about why we taught Scouts to always have a dime in their First Aid kit, and it wasn’t as a screwdriver to pop open the case of your cell phone to get at the battery.

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  5. alex said on April 23, 2012 at 7:32 am

    There’s a whole generation who’s oblivious to the phrase “to drop a dime on someone” (i.e., snitch).

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  6. Connie said on April 23, 2012 at 7:40 am

    There are a lot of swans on the lakes around here and this year the DNR has authorized nest and egg busting. My husband walks at Wolverine Lake regularly and yesterday he took a closer look at a nest that was empty. Until he saw the swans coming toward him at high speed.

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  7. coozledad said on April 23, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Re swans: Anything that big that can still fly is an ass-kicking with wings. If nothing else, it can be a painful lesson in physics.
    Are swans native to the Americas?

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  8. LAMary said on April 23, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I got beaten up by a goose when I was about 8 years old so I give big waterfowl a lot of space. I don’t have a phobia, but I’m aware of how strong those wings are.

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  9. Dorothy said on April 23, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I’m not crazy about any bird being close to me, so I give them all a wide berth. Hummingbirds are about all I can tolerate when I’m outside weeding. We have two feeders and I no longer jump when that buzzing moves in close, right above my head.

    I cut the grass yesterday on our big ol’ tractor. I wore a hat, gloves, a winter coat and a heavy sweatshirt inside the coat. Did about 4 bathroom breaks and had two cups of hot chocolate over the two hour period it took to finish the job. It could not be ignored any longer. The fuzzy dandelions on the back two acres looked more like snow than dandelions.

    Our truck got sideswiped when we were inside the VA Hospital in Pittsburgh over the weekend. Mike’s aunt was moved to a nursing facility on Friday evening, but then this morning we got a phone call at 7 AM saying she had to be sent to a hospital for a symptom I will keep to myself. Why do I get the feeling this next weeks, possibly months, are going to drive us into near madness?

    Oh and yes – Freaky is the exact word I used to describe Mad Men last night!

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  10. Sue said on April 23, 2012 at 10:34 am

    “Say hi to a swan protecting a nest”
    Or an Oklahoma turkey at any time, apparently.

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  11. MichaelG said on April 23, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I don’t know. Hummingbirds make me nervous. I always imagine one stuck in the middle of my forehead like a dart.

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  12. coozledad said on April 23, 2012 at 11:06 am

    MichaelG: Just be thankful natural selection didn’t favor geese with hovering capability.

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  13. Prospero said on April 23, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I’m sure you’ll all be surprised as hell when I say that years ago, I dropped acid and other hallucinogens quite a few times. First thing about the Mad Men portryal., nobody of my experience or acquaintance ever described it as “turning on”. I suspect the writers are aware of that and it was a fine touch to indicate the phony pomposity of the host. Not exactly William James on truth, though he’d beg to differ, used the right words all off kilter. Music was a constant for me and my friends, and nobody stayed in one place very long. The most obvious phenomenon was that of a group beginning together, usually before midnight, dispersing and somehow ending up together again many hours later, seemingly magically. Hallucinations were mostly aural and visual distortions of shapes, colors and sounds. I never knew many people that claimed any cosmic revelation from eating LSD, but the shared experience definitely produced strong friendships and affinities. Never heard of any relationship casualties from tripping, ever. The host couple at the LSD party were like some boorish jerks I met back in my drug days (would have been in Cambridge, MA) that would expect people tripping to listen to tapes of lectures by Alan Watts andd Ram Dass, when we all just wanted to head out looking for adventures (frequently crises). Overall, my experience of acid was more visceral than intellectual, and far more fun than scary. And no dreaded birth defects resulted.

    I can ride 3 miles to the grocery store with three 90deg. direction changes, windward at all times, no matter what Wunderground.com says about wind conditions. What’s infuriating is facing the same conditions loaded down with 50 lbs. of groceries on the return trip, as if by enchantment. We have giant crows, egrets, herons, turkey vultures, wood storks, redtails, osprey, brown pelicans (my favorite) and a nesting pair of bald eagles here and I love seeing them. Watching herons feed is like a funny cartoon. Feeding crows and vultures are a little creepy and a lot apocalyptic. Watching osprey tear into sea bass is similar to looking at a Frank Frazetta painting. I did wake up on the beach hear once, under the influence of psilocybin, and mistook cruising pelicans for pterodactyls for several moments, a very memorable and enjoyable hallucination..

    I’m starting to think Meagan may be dangerously unbalanced. Best thing recently on Mad Men was Layne delivering a well-deserved beating to Pete the “Slimy Pimp”. We thought that was his just comeuppance for lusting after that kid in Drivers’ Ed. He was more than considering statutory rape. And “caught with chewing gum on one’s pubis” is positively humiliating.

    Geese are trained as watch animals in the orient.

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  14. LAMary said on April 23, 2012 at 11:35 am

    When my kids were little they referred to pelicans as pterodactyls. They both were very much into dinosaurs until maybe age ten, so many things were viewed in that context.

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  15. brian stouder said on April 23, 2012 at 11:39 am

    This past weekend our superb zoo opened up, and the young folks and I spent about 4 hours wandering about.

    The birds to watch out for there are the peacocks, who will saunter up and peck you, if you’re not careful.

    The girls wanted to feed the goats, and since they’re big enough to fend for themselves, I turned ’em loose in there, while I sat on a bench. (The goats are altogether too-easily excitable). Eventually, the girls fed the goats from outside the fence, the better to avoid being mobbed and mugged by them.

    The hyenas seemed genuinely nervous, with two of them pacing and pacing – right up to the window glass. (I think they were indicating that they wanted out of there). Usually, they’re asleep. (Ditto the binturong, who is almost never, ever awake when we visit. He was [relatively] frantic, walking and climbing and looking and descending)

    But the show was well and truly stolen by the pack of rambunctious dingo pups, back in the Australian area. They have seven that were born in January, plus several more – and we must have watched them play and wrestle and bound and yip and tumble for 20 minutes. They never slowed down, and the adults seemed to stand aside and let ’em wear themselves out (parenting 101, I’d say).

    Anyway – maybe the folks on that TV show with the LSD could have saved themselves the trouble and simply gone to Nevada, for a trippy (albeit short-lived) experience, eh?

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  16. coozledad said on April 23, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I had the “religious” experience on LSD. It mostly involved deciding which visuals I found more terrifying: the ones with my eyes open, where people’s faces slid into meaty Georges Braque arrangements, or eyes closed, where I was transformed into a pair of lungs flying through a sandstorm. It would take some serious cash to replicate that for television.

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  17. alex said on April 23, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I did ‘cid, as they called it around here back in my day. Didn’t see Mad Men, so don’t know whether they got it right. I remember driving (yes, driving) and the streets were all green like a clay tennis court. The striped booths in a restaurant were vibrating like a theater marquee in “chase” mode and also visibly inspirating/expirating. At the same restaurant, a rat was scratching and clawing at the window where I was sitting and the paper from my drinking straw was slithering around on the table like a snake. And I couldn’t stop laughing. Or needing to go pee every few minutes.

    One time I was in a car with a bunch of trippers when one, a woman in a nurse’s uniform, got out at a stoplight, dropped her pants and took a giant whiz in traffic to much applause and honking. Amazing we didn’t get arrested.

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  18. Prospero said on April 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    MichaelG. Thanks for the amusing image. We have a large number of butterfly attractants in the gardens here, particularly around the swimming pools. They seem to attract dragonflies in large numbers, which prey on gnats, flies (including horse and deer flies, most thankfully), mosquitos (no me moleste), and they will attack wasps and spiders (though this may be foolhardy)). Dragonflies are the hummingbirds of the insect worlds. Gorgeous colors and awsome aviators. Dragonflies predated dinosaurs, unless you are fundagelical.

    Coozledad, the birdy-doo ramifications alone would be staggering.

    Down on the South End of the Island, known as North Forest Beach, there are feral chickens as in Key West. If our feral cats could be transferred down there, it could solve two problems. We used to have a peacock and his hen living in the canebrake by the beach, where they came from , God knows. The cock would display and shake his remarkable feathers as an audible and visual warning. The birds made a noise that sounded like the a-ooogah klaxon on an antique Ford, that was quite startling out of the blue. I’ve wondered if these birds are descendents of some grandiose avian display from way back when this whole place was plantations.

    Binturongs. Pretty cool.

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  19. Deborah said on April 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    When I lived in St. Louis I was asked to design a sign for the benches in Forest Park advising people not to feed the geese, because when they land they make huge divots in the landscape, messing up the park. That and their gross poo was everywhere.

    I never tried acid, it scared me.

    Trying out a new gravatar, one of the snaps taken by the casting director’s assistant last Friday.

    edit: my hands look enormous and my hair blends into the background.

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  20. Dorothy said on April 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    It’s awfully tiny, Deborah! Wish I could see you a little better!

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  21. Deborah said on April 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Dorothy, I don’t have a clue how to link to a larger photo.

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  22. Prospero said on April 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Do any of you see any use for this sort of textual analysis, or is this databasing gone wild for no apparent useful reason?

    There is a song for “big hands”.

    Our signs say “Do not feed or molest the alligators.” Anybody fracking dumb enough to “molest” a gator, I want to encourage them. Good for the human genome in the long run. I have seen Yayhoo morons throw golf balls at gators, and really wished the gators would retaliate. People are always shaken by how fast these bastards are on land. Creation’s perfect evocation of malevolent intelligence and menace.

    Alex, I was riding my motorcycle once on an interstate Xpressway in Worcester while tripping and began to see fault lines under the pavement, the way they used to look in grammar school geography books, that particular yellow color. Scared the crap out of me.

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  23. Scout said on April 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Our biking plans for the weekend had to take a “heat check” for next weekend. It was in the 100s both Saturday and Sunday. Too early for that; April is supposed to be the ideal month here.

    My baby bird rescue seems to have turned out well. I heard the little ones cheeping from a nest in the next door neighbor’s tree, so they seem to have been able to pass their first flying lessons well enough to get home. The adult birds are much more laid back now too.

    I try to skip over the Mad Men discussion because we will watch the entire season when it hits Netflix, but I did notice the trippy sharing that last night’s episode triggered. I did window pane a few times back in the day, and it was mostly fun, especially in large groups. The people I hung with favored Pink Floyd as the trip soundtrack of choice and we would listen to Dark Side of the Moon for hours. On 8-track. I remember everyone just laughing at nothing. I guess I’m glad I experienced it, but wouldn’t be interested in ever doing it again.

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  24. DellaDash said on April 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    The first few acid trips I took are hazily kalidioscope now…lotta running around; staring at spider webs and such on an overgrown property in Topanga; shying away from any humans I instinctively didn’t like who happened to wander into my proximity sporting cloven hoofs, nubby horns, black-toothed grins, and speaking nonsense in false tinny voices.

    The third trip was a hike through Topanga State Park with my Quebecois squeeze of the moment…a whimsical red-headed moppet of a waif from Montreal, who spoke quack-quack French, was shorter than me, and had stinky feet when his shoes came off (from drinking too much beer, I assumed, and/or not wearing socks). He and I were done not too long after, though not from any hallucinatory insights. Outside relationship forces had come into play.

    Don’t remember much of my fourth and last trip…only that it went sour immediately and turned into a 12-hour ordeal. Post-mortem, I figured I’d depleted whatever brain juice had launched fireworks the other times, and it was time to call it quits.

    Edit: Yeah, Scout, ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ is strongly interwoven into that era.

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  25. Prospero said on April 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Jon Stewart rips Fox News a new one.

    Some great old school soul singing. And I like his cap.

    I was frequently joined by my brother whan consuming hallucinogens, and we were somewhat partial to “In Held Twas in I” by Procul Harum. One memorable occasion, we were visiting a friend at SUNYY Stonybrook and went to the movies under the influence of LSD. Somehow we all got it in our heads we were watching Dr. Strangelove and were finding the movie pretty damned funny, when we realized we were getting some antagonism from the rest of the audience. Turned out it was Failsafe, and being taken very seriously by the crowd. Embarrassing. Felt like we were the ghoul in the Charles Addams cartoon.

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  26. Connie said on April 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Deborah I tried enlarging your gravatar on my ipad and it just got big and totally fuzzy.

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  27. Sue said on April 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    It’s been three election cycles, and all but one of the council members who worked cooperatively over the course of 15 years with various public groups to put this together have been voted out of office, replaced by teaparty/taxpayer association folks who either were openly contemptuous of the project (who needs libraries) or presented themselves as reasonable but implacable opponents (I support libraries, just not this one-at this time-with these people). They were successful in poisoning public opinion, although they did it at a time when that was surprisingly easy.
    They were not quite in time to kill the project completely – I’m grateful that they weren’t paying attention until they were too late to jump in, bless the little dears who couldn’t watch an occasional council meeting to see what was going on – but they are getting their revenge by understaffing and other little starvation tactics.
    So it will be interesting to see them strangling on their words when they are given the opportunity to bask in the glow of metro-wide appreciation for a job well done.

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  28. Prospero said on April 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Big Farm, Big Pharma, they are all out to gouge.

    In what bizarro alternative universe does this make any sense:

    http://crooksandliars.com/blue-texan/mitt-romneys-budget-priorities-less-poo ???

    This is full goose looney.

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  29. brian stouder said on April 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Connie – I love attending my school board meetings; there is one this evening, which should be interesting.

    Lately I cannot reasonably argue against the idea that powerful folks at the state level are actually at war with public education (wherein local boards exert local control on publicly owned and operated schools, which are open to all members of the public, without exception).

    I’m not sure whether their desired end-state is supposed to be a happy happy place, or whether they actually are looking for a much more stratified society

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  30. Prospero said on April 23, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Yippee!!! A new novel by William Boyd. I love this guy’s books, all the way back to Stars and Bars, The Ice Cream War, and The Blue Afternoon.

    The end-state that anti-education GOPers intend is privatization, since that has worked so well in the penal system.Why do anything efficiently with tax contributions from everyone that benefits, when it could be done ineffectively to immense private profit at far greater cost? That is the fundamental question at the foundation of most GOP public policy initiatives.

    Sue, the Jack Russell library is one beautiful building, and the campus heat pump and heat sink/cooling pond HVAC system is state of the art. I worked on a similar mechanical engineering project years ago, for a corporate IBM HQ facility in Framingham MA. The architectural design incorporates elements of old riverside/waterfall mill buildings, a very elegant design strategy, and I particularly like the lofty roof with clerestory. Gorgeous. The location and the inviting design elements of the library will undoubtedly invite lengthy visits and provide a boon to downtown businesses, particularly restaurants. I’d guess, this would go a ways toward making the library and downtown a destination target for day trips. And who had the brilliant idea to name it after a beloved dog breed?

    GOPers whining about the Bishops insisting on social and economic justice. I believe I said this would happen, back when the contraception brouhaha kicked up. STFU, you ninnies or they’ll insist you disavow capital punishment as well. Comical. Where’s that defense of religious freedom now?

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  31. jcburns said on April 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Connie, if you got the CSI people to ‘enhance!’, her gravitar would be huge and razor-sharp and, hey, what’s what reflected in her eye?

    Actually, wait, I have the technology. Click here.

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  32. Connie said on April 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Lovely building Sue. My library is in a 25,000 square foot former country club. But I have $7 million and growing set aside for a new building in 5 years.

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  33. Sue said on April 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Prospero, the building was named after the late husband of the main benefactor, who contributed a large portion of the private donations that made up 40% of the cost of the project. She had some private money, I understand, but she and her husband were both in teaching and believed in whole communities. She died shortly after the groundbreaking, so could not see what she had such a large part in bringing about.
    Connie, the new library takes the place of a library that was 10 years or so past its projected overflow date. And we still had to fight like hell to get it.

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  34. Prospero said on April 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Deborah, The striking first impression from your photo is a lovely smile, and great cheekbones.

    Sue, Superb design, some FLW (or Frank LLoyd Rice, as Roger says)influence, particularly with the access bridge over the rushing water. I kinda figured it wasn’t named for the terriers, but it’s a happy coincidence nonetheless.

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  35. Deborah said on April 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    JC, I thought I commented on your link but I don’t see it here? What I said was it was a weird feeling to click on that link and see myself. I jumped about 3 feet in the air.

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  36. Jolene said on April 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    That library is gorgeous, Sue. And so are you, Deborah. I can see why the photographer was attracted to your ‘look.”

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  37. Prospero said on April 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Striking graphics on grotesquely unequal and unjust division of wealth in American society. What do the CEOs do for the gigantic share? More often than not run the companies and their employee’s pension funds into the crapper? But how can that be. when they are so busy creating jobs and commodifying that all-USA entreprenurial spirit?

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  38. Judybusy said on April 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Great look,Deborah–thanks for sharing. I really hope the project comes to fruition so we can see what the photographer does.

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  39. Prospero said on April 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Take a bow Rick Snyder, you total butthead, and stick your head where the sun don’t shine while you’re down there. This is Robber Baron shit.

    For once in his life, Howard Kurtz serves more purpose than a male nipple. Debunking Mainsteam Liberal Media.

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  40. Scout said on April 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I love that picture, Deborah! Thanks to JC for the assist.

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  41. Prospero said on April 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    A good joke based on statistics and the deadly sins. Or, how is that abstinence education working out in the Bible Belt?

    Theater marquees.

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  42. Prospero said on April 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    An RMoney expose with a brilliant headline. Job creation, my ass, Porgy. Too creepy and downright selfish to be President. More tonedeaf than W. A thug businessman. Bain strategies were basically identical to the derivatives time bomb, only perpetrated on previously successful manufacturing companies. It’s not a stretch to say that the bankiing industry that torched the mortgage economy by creating derivatives was borrowing techniques from private equity robber barons and modifying them to apply to finance.

    Romney has professed his admiration for Ronald Reagan. But judging by his business history, the president he most resembles is Vladimir Putin. Romney has devoted his life to ensuring that every last penny rises to a few hands at the top. And like Putin, he has never shown much concern for the countrymen he tramples along the way.

    Now how does a GOPer vote for that guy? As with the banker/robbers, there’s no rational way to characterize as anything other than raping the American economy for private profit and to damage an opposition political party.

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  43. Dexter said on April 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Bad information was given to the bail bondsman because the cop was unaware that the Dekalb County Sheriff Department does not charge D.U.I. / O.W.I. for cycling drunk, and that indeed was what my brother was doing. He blew 0.19…quite drunk, and he fell off his bicycle and a good Samaritan was worried so they dropped a dime on him and in ten minutes the cop caught him and that meant a night in the drunk tank…the unit he was in did not even have a sink or toilet…just a hole in the middle of the floor, and to use the sink and john he had to buzz for it.
    Small pad on concrete floor, no pillow, bright light on constantly.
    And he’s drunk as seven barrels of owl shit as I type this, sitting in his kitchen….that’s his choice and I ain’t gonna change it.
    I’m experienced in talking to drunks and in interventions, but my own brother just wants to drink, period, end of story. He was charged only with Public Intoxication.

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  44. brian stouder said on April 23, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Dexter, that sounds like no fun.

    I think one of the luckiest elements within my own personal constitution is that, when it comes to alcohol, I’ve always had a glass jaw (so to speak). I think I’ve been well and truly drunk 3 or 4 times in my life, and I was horribly sick each and every time.

    14 years ago, we had a company outing in Chicago, and there was a free bar, and we had a room for the night, and I drank 5 or 6 Molsens (Canadian beer in a green bottle)….and I don’t think I’ve ever been that sick in my life, before or since.
    It was terrible.

    So, icy cold Diet Pepsi (or Diet Coke) is plenty pleasant enough for me, at parties or wedding receptions or whatever else, now and forevermore.

    edit: and speaking of drinking, there’s this guy – whose demise almost surely had something to do with alcohol:


    The lead: An Ossian man died near Chicago Sunday after the Chicago Transit Authority said he urinated on an electrified ‘L’ track in Evanston.

    Edit 2: Deborah and JC, what Bill said!

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  45. Bill said on April 23, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Deborah: what a terrific picture. JC: Yhanks for making it possible.

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  46. Bill said on April 23, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    JC: just a thought. Is it possible to do that with all the photo avatars (except mine, of course)?

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  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    JC, I can’t make out in Deborah’s eye what edition of the Trib she’s got lying on the desk opposite her . . .

    Prospero, the fun part for geek-ligious people like me is that textual analysis was largely generated in the early study of the multiple texts of the various books in the Bible. There’s no real “complete text” until Constantine and the Codexes Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, & Leningradensis, c. 328 CE/AD. So to deduce original materials, you work from a hatful of papyrus scraps starting with dates around 160 CE/AD for the Gospels, thru increasingly longer texts such as the Isaiah scroll, 1Qsa from the Dead Sea collections found above Qumran, dating to before 68 CE/AD, to inscribed texts on copper & silver going back to 600 BCE/BC of the Priestly Benediction.

    So you have some old fashioned puzzle solving & data crunching just to correlate all the bits, arrange them in order chronologically, and even pre-computers you start to notice (since you’ve coded the data down to the root words anyhow) some interesting patterns. Isaiah looks more and more like not one long book, but three crunched together, or at least two (1-39 are clearly by and about an Isaiah, but his name never comes up afterwards, and you can make a strong case by word choice that the last five or six chapters are themselves separate).

    Then you get into the peril-fraught waters of the New Testament, but in fact the textual analysis of the various Johns is fascinating. The more conservative case argues that youthful John the disciple writes as a maturer church leader his eyewitness gospel account (John), then with more experience as an episcope writes the letters (I, II, & III John), and then aged and at the end of his life pens his Apocalypse, the Revelation to John. Progressive textual crit outlines the case for three different Johns or pseudo-Johns. But what I love is applying these tools to even single authors, especially Paul, as you watch his theology and writing develop over time from I Thessalonians to Colossians/Philemon. Scholars have made a good case for I Corinthians being a pastiche of three, maybe four or even five letters, cut and pasted together into a pseudo-single letter.

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  48. Crazycatlady said on April 23, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Mad Men? Meh. Breaking Bad is better. IMHO.

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  49. jcburns said on April 23, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Yeah, Bill, no big secret, it’s in the gravatar spec. Right-click (or control-click) on a user’s gravatar and do “copy image address.” Something like:


    Replace everything after the question mark with s=512–that means you want a 512 pixel image instead of a 50 pixel square one–so you get


    and paste that into your address bar (aka the place where your URLs show up at the top of the browser. Vee-ola.

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  50. Dexter said on April 23, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Deborah, OMG…what a striking avatar. 🙂

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  51. Dexter said on April 23, 2012 at 11:41 pm


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  52. Minnie said on April 24, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Dexter from early this morning, “Levon Helm’s death affected me much more than I thought it would. I didn’t know I loved The Band so much….”

    Me, too. Though I DID know that I loved The Band and Levon’s later music. I’m glad he seized that extra decade and kept on playing and singing until the end.

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  53. Jolene said on April 24, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Speaking of Levon Helm’s extra decade, did you all see this piece from the CBS Sunday Morning show? Very nicely done. Like Dexter and Minnie, he’s been much in my thoughts, along with Moe.

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  54. Jolene said on April 24, 2012 at 12:09 am

    For fans of Elmore Leonard or Justified, here is an interview w/ Leonard that focuses on the show conducted by Megan Abbott, who was briefly a colleague and now has several novels to her credit.

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  55. Dexter said on April 24, 2012 at 2:03 am

    Bill Flanagan did a great job of the Levon Helm piece Sunday morning…right, Jolene.

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  56. Minnie said on April 24, 2012 at 10:16 am

    That was a well-done remembrance of Levon on CBS. Besides his drumming and singing, he had a talent for bringing musicians together – music lovers, too.

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  57. Angela said on April 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    @Dexter 11:41, thanks for reminding me I’ve been meaning to buy that song, and probably the entire album. NPR Fresh Air replayed two Levon Helm interviews last week — one from 1993 and the other late 2000s, after he lost (and found) his voice. The difference was remarkable, of course, but the spirit was always there. I expected the Fresh Air producers to end the program with “The Weight” or another Band classic, but they played “Wide River to Cross.” I did an image search the other day (just for fun) and what strikes me is how in nearly every photo of Levon playing, he’s got an enormous smile on his face. To have that sort of passion *and* talent for something is a rare and precious gift. I have the passion for music, but never the talent! Can barely sing and walk at the same time.

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