Under the river.

Down the tunnel, under the river and out into the gun-free (or gun-fewer), single-payer health care world of Windsor! America Junior! Now this is what I call a midweek palate-cleanser.

And why am I here? Because I got a note from our sometime commenter Jason T., who is in the neighborhood honeymooning with his new bride, Denise. They came over from Pittsburgh, where they were wed this past weekend. I should probably add they’re not honeymooning in Windsor, but in the Ontario coastal area of Lake Erie, where it’s pretty and Canadian. They thought it might be fun to get together. And I agreed, so here we are, in some faux-English pub, with a Morris Minor permanently parked outside and some rather mediocre fries. (Not that this stopped me from eating a bunch of them.) My eye keeps getting snagged by the TV over Denise’s shoulder, which is tuned to something called TSN, which I believe stands for The Sports Network. (This is Canada, after all.)

And can you believe it? They’re not covering gymnastics or swimming or very special stories about pluck and grace under pressure. They’re covering rowing. What a miracle.

When I got home, I tried to find CBC or some alternative to NBC. Nothing. People, THIS IS NOT A FREE COUNTRY.

Jason and Denise and I went to a couple of places in Walkerville, a neighborhood of Windsor so called because it exists in the shadow of the Hiram Walker distillery, which during Prohibition was a little like having Gus Fring’s underground meth lab operating across the street. They took the tour. So should we, some lazy winter Sunday.

Why am I facing 10 p.m. as a puddle of fatigue? Maybe because I woke up at 3:15 a.m., laid awake until 6, dozed fitfully until 7 and then called it quits. Fortunately, some good bloggage.

What divers look like, mid-dive.

Another excellent Detroitblog, on one day of police activity.

And if you haven’t seen Stephen Colbert riding dressage, you are missing something wonderful.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Stephen’s Dressage Training Pt. 2
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive
Posted at 12:29 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

46 responses to “Under the river.”

  1. Deborah said on August 2, 2012 at 3:11 am

    The Detroitblog link is excellent. As I’ve mentioned here before I lived in an iffy neighborhood for the first 7 of the 23 years I lived in St. Louis. Much tamer than inner city Detroit but still dangerous. It was wearing.

    The crazy photos of the divers reminds me of a woman I once worked with who was a high diver in the Atlanta Olympics. She came in 4th, I think that was the only one she competed in. She grew up in Cinncinati, and she said every weekend her parents drove her to Indianapolis to practice in a pool that had special bubbles to decrease the impact of her body entering the water. She said it was brutal.

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  2. Deborah said on August 2, 2012 at 4:14 am

    Something seems to be wrong with editing, at least on my computer. I tried to edit the first sentence of my comment at #2, when it didn’t show up immediately I came back to check it much later and it still hadn’t appeared.

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  3. Dorothy said on August 2, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Would have posted this in the comments yesterday but something weird was going on with the upload at flickr, so I had to reboot. That was at bedtime …. so here you go. Jeff (tmmo) and I bumped into each other at the Fair yesterday. I admit I was keeping an eye out for him since I read in the comments yesterday that he would be there the same day as me. Doesn’t he have great dimples?! And he got to meet my mister, too.


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  4. ROGirl said on August 2, 2012 at 6:40 am

    The live streaming on the NBC site is only available if you have cable and your provider carries CNBC or MSNBC, otherwise you’re SOL.

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  5. Prospero said on August 2, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Deborah, iffy St. Louis is documented well in Nat Lampoon’s Vacation, one of the greatest movies ever made.

    And Dorothy, how was Jeff recognizable, the tmmo aura?

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 2, 2012 at 8:15 am

    My aura is khaki.

    It was a delight to meet Mike, less so to finally have my first and last deep fried pickle. Meh. I might have enjoyed it better if I could have had one dill spear for one dollah, but had to accept six or seven for five bucks, and no one around to share them with (Dorothy & Mike had moved on to the Tilt-a-Whirl, I believe). The ducks at the DNR pond where I was waiting for the All Ohio Youth Choir weren’t interested, either.

    Next time, I stick with deep-fried mushrooms & broccoli, but if the place doesn’t blanch the broc before battering and frying, don’t do it.

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  7. basset said on August 2, 2012 at 8:35 am

    And, inevitably, some of those or maybe some similar pictures got… repurposed:


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  8. brian stouder said on August 2, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Dorothy and Jeff, that is a superb photograph for summer 2012; the sort of image we only see once in a blue moon.

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  9. Dorothy said on August 2, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Prospero – Jeff lives about 40 minutes away from where I do. He knows where I work. About 3 years ago he emailed me (or something) and said he was coming through town. He came by my office and we had a nice chat out on Middle Path. I was pretty sure I’d recognize him again – oh, that and we’re Facebook friends so that helps.

    Brian – speaking of blue moons, I heard this morning that there will be a second full moon on the last day of this month, which is my birthday. That’ll be a nice 55th birthday present, don’t you think?

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  10. beb said on August 2, 2012 at 9:14 am

    A couple of interesting items frin the Detroit Free Press.

    A police officer saves a Jimmy Johns employee who choked during a bet that he could swallow six pieces of Italian meat. Having watched a lot of “World’s Dumbest” episodes I’m reaching the point of thinking that people who hurt themselves during dumb things should not be rescued from their own stupidity. More Darwin Award winner to reduce the surplus population.

    The other was an interesting editorial from the Freep’s best political writer, Brian Dickerson.
    Michigan Right to Life actively recruits and endorses anti-abortion candidates but tries not to let any one know who it is they endorse.

    And since I can’t not talk abouit politics, I’d like to mention a feature Rachel Maddow did last night about Romney’s lying. While overseas this week he was asked if he had ever paid less than the 13% in taxes on the one tax return he did release. (The other was an estimated taxes not an actual tax return. And the one he did release didn’t detail his Swiss bank accounts or Cayman Island holdings so, for purposes of election, even that isn’t a full disclosure.

    Romney’s answer was that he would have to look it up. To the extent that he has accountants pay for it all, this is probably true. Though if he had paid no federal taxes one year that would have stuck in his mind. A couple days later the network reminded Romney that he had promised to get back to them on that and hadn’t. Rachel suggested that he probably never will. Because this behavior was rather like what he did ten years ago when he was running for governor of Massachusetts. The Mass. constitution requires that gubernatorial candidates has to have lived in the state for seven consecutive years. Mitt assured everybody that he had, then tax filing were revealed that he was listing Utah as his principle residence which working on the Olympics there, and was claiming a large tax rebate on his mansion there, which he listed as his principle place of residence. He just kind of brushed it off, but clearly he wasn’t eligible to run for governor because he hadn’t been a MAss. resident long enough. It’s all lies for him, whatever needs to be said to get buy at the moment.

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  11. brian stouder said on August 2, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Dorothy – yes indeed, I DO think that will be a very cool present for your ‘once-in-a-blue-moon’ birthday! How did Mike arrange for this, eh?

    And, in case I forget when we get to the second full moon of the month, here’s wishing you a very happy birthday in advance

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  12. Deborah said on August 2, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Beb, I think you meant “get by” in your last sentence, but “get buy” is way more accurate about Rmoney.

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  13. alex said on August 2, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Basset, that calls to mind a front-page newspaper photo from a couple of years ago taken in Fort Wayne during the National Day of Prayer. It depicted a self-described “prayer warrior” whose grimacing visage looked like a desperate plea for Dulcolax.

    The nonchalant tone of Detroit police reports is rather jolting if only because it illustrates how easy it is for people to come to accept the most heinous things as the new normal. Something to bear in mind when intelligent, reasonable, moderate Republicans defend the indefensible, i.e., what their party has become.

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  14. Prospero said on August 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Having done it, I’ll tell you that most divers look scared as shit mid-dive. Think going down a hill in a Radio Flyer. And it seems to me any kind of diving is more of a sport than sitting on a dancing horse.

    Beb, that RMoney business is all Lying for the Lord in the interest of the White Horse Prophecy.

    And how do hunters in Canada manage without AKs? Just better shots that like less lead in dinner?

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  15. LAMary said on August 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Jeff, is the DNR pond for ducks who have signed an advance directive? Why have something that sad at a fair?

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  16. basset said on August 2, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Actually, the AK and its cousin the SKS are barely adequate as deer rifles… not real accurate and the bullet’s too light. The AK’s worldwide success is mainly due to low cost, simple and relatively low-tech construction which means it can stand up to dirt, abuse, and untrained users, and its ability to spray a lot of lead at short to medium range, not to mention the former Soviet bloc flooding the world market with subsidized supplies.

    An interesting and highly credible reference: http://www.amazon.com/The-Gun-C-J-Chivers/dp/0743270762

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  17. nancy said on August 2, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Those without time to read Chivers’ book might enjoy this voiceover speech by Nicolas Cage’s character in “Lord of War”:

    Of all the weapons in the vast soviet arsenal, nothing was more profitable than Avtomat Kalashnikova model of 1947. More commonly known as the AK-47, or Kalashnikov. It’s the world’s most popular assault rifle. A weapon all fighters love. An elegantly simple 9 pound amalgamation of forged steel and plywood. It doesn’t break, jam, or overheat. It’ll shoot whether it’s covered in mud or filled with sand. It’s so easy, even a child can use it; and they do. The Soviets put the gun on a coin. Mozambique put it on their flag. Since the end of the Cold War, the Kalashnikov has become the Russian people’s greatest export. After that comes vodka, caviar, and suicidal novelists. One thing is for sure, no one was lining up to buy their cars.

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  18. Prospero said on August 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    I thought Lord of War was a good movie. But I liked Con-Air, so what the hell do I know?

    $Palin thinks boycotting Chik-Fil-A is an attack on freedom of speech. Pussy farts.

    Oh. And Dan Cathy’s being “crucified”. Consider just stop giving, Moose-stasha.

    Olympics soundtrack:


    Ray and Dave for the win.

    The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.

    — Bertrand Russell, The Triumph of Stupidity (1933)

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  19. coozledad said on August 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Who coulda knowed that the first national het pride rally would look like the display room at a funeral home specializing in oversize work?
    Honestly, it’s horrifying to think that these people lie on top of each other and exchange fluids. Especially with all that stuff wadded up in their alimentary tracts.

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  20. Danny said on August 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Nancy, one of my favorite lines from that movie went something like this: “I’m guessing that this is not about the alcohol or tobacco.”

    Jim Rome thought the divers looked like the people in the movie Total Recall whose eyes were ready to pop out of their heads when they were gasping for air on the surface of Mars without pressure suits.

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  21. nancy said on August 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Excellent find, Cooze. The photo of Huckabee surprised me. Looks like he’s back to digging his grave with a knife and fork.

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  22. coozledad said on August 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Maybe he switched to a hand trowel and a bucket.

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  23. Prospero said on August 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm


    Jim Rome looks like the people in Total Recall whose eyes were ready to pop out of their heads when they were gasping for air on the surface of Mars without pressure suits. Jim ought to try actually doing a sport for once. Closest he ever came:

    It’s OK not to ever have been an athlete. Most people aren’t. But making a living mocking the gifted is lamer than the guy in Acts 3:2.


    That’s wannabe OG Jim Rome doing his best Ned Beatty in redneck heaven imitation.

    cooze, The idea of those geezers engaged in sex is probably more inducive to runny bowels than beet milkshakes. Hi, I’m Todd, and I’ll be your server tonight. Our specials tonight include the hot-ass crackers in khakis… No disrespect intended (tmmo), I’m sure you rock your aura.

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  24. LAMary said on August 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I mention Bill Bennet one day and next day there he is in a slide show with a bag of greasy chicken. I think I’ll go back to not ever thinking about Bill Bennet and maybe he’ll go away.

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  25. Prospero said on August 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    LAMary: His brother was Clinton’s lawyer. Interesting T-day conversation. Fat bloviator with a serious gambling problem preaching about morals. Another poster boy for abstaining from sex and eating.

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  26. LAMary said on August 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Aside from being a hypocrite, I have a problem with his Book of Virtues. He made a lot of money from that book which was a collection of uncopyrighted material he threw together. It was later turned into a cartoon show. I’m more of a Road Runner or Daffy Duck sort of person myself.

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  27. nancy said on August 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I had much the same problem with it, Mary, and I think I wrote a column about it. Reprint Aesop’s Fables, add a paragraph of explanation after each — for parents too dense to see the moral lesson in “The Tortoise and the Hare,” I guess — cash check, repeat.

    Then the gambling thing happened, which made me say ha-ha-ha.

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  28. Danny said on August 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Or was it “Ha-Haaaaa” ala Nelson Muntz?

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  29. Charlotte said on August 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Okay — that was not Colbert’s first time on a horse …

    And have you seen Boris-on-a-rope? http://gawker.com/5930882/londons-dangling-mayor-becomes-latest-delightful-british-meme/gallery/1

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  30. paddyo' said on August 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Deep-fried, indeed . . .

    I was struck by how, in every one of those Chick fil A slideshow photos except one, nobody was actually eating any of that, uh, stuff — least of all, the pandering politic-ho’s.

    I poked around the corporate website a bit and test-drove the “meal calculator.” I was surprised to find that a large “sweet tea” actually has fewer calories and less sugar than a large Coke, thought not by much — both are built to kill. Or should I say, built to help those killer sandwiches down the hatch, most of which carry enough sodium to fill Lot’s wife.

    Oh, and there was this gem in the official statement about yesterday’s “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” demonstrations (“not a company promotion; it was initiated by others”):

    “The Chick-fil-A culture and 66-year-old service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”

    Yeah, “in our restaurants” maybe, but let’s you ‘n’ me ‘n’ your “friend” there go outside, pretty boy . . .

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  31. Prospero said on August 2, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Paddy, I’m all Detroit by upbringing but all-Southren by nature and by choice. And I say Sweet Tea is an abomination of both sugar and caffeine. And Chic-Fil-A chicken isn’t horrible, but it sure as shit isn’t Southren by any stretch. Parbly Delaware. This man knew how to make chicken:


    And he would have been proud to have Liberace at the Pickwick:


    And Phyllis woud parbly support Cathy if she could work it out of her Depends contract. And then bats flew out her cooch.

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  32. Prospero said on August 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Didn’t Bennet’s wife do something like rinse, repeat. Although, typing “Bennet’s wife” is tickkling my gag reflex something awesome, and I’m flashing of Rumsfeld.

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  33. Prospero said on August 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    I love the way Ann Telnaes draws Scalia, and she’s got a good ear for his most ridiculous statements.

    How many Canadians use US Health Care?

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  34. Danny said on August 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Okay so Kurt Angle, for those of you who may not know, is a wrestler. Currently he is a “professional wrestler” (or “wrassler” as I call it), but in his past life, he was the real deal (2X NCAA Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist in freestyle). In the clip below, he thinks he can go for gold again … comedy gold. Good stuff


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  35. Jolene said on August 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Charlotte, I love the Boris-on-a-rope meme, especially the one in which the kids are using him as a toy and one in ehich he’s hanging from the car mirror. Wish I had one for my car. Would definitely give me a reason to smile while stuck in traffic.

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  36. beb said on August 2, 2012 at 5:08 pm


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  37. brian stouder said on August 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Speaking of “Under the river”, and aside from the homophobia-fest at the chicken joint, here’s another fast-food headline splashing (so to speak) across Fort Wayne’s local media


    an excerpt:

    Multiple viewers sent NewsChannel 15 a picture using Report !t of what appears to be someone urinating on a plate of nachos. To view the picture, click here.


    Welcome to the world of silly kids and mobile 4G wireless (and brainless) access to social media

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  38. MichaelG said on August 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I heard Mayor Johnson interviewed on NPR a couple of weeks ago and really liked him. He’s funny, engaging and very bright. And a helluva salesman.

    What Basset says about the AK is true. The thing is simple and stone reliable. The SKS on the other hand is a piece of cap with its tinny little fold out bayonet. It’s light, inacurate, unreliable, cheap and prone to blow up in the users’ hands. I wouldn’t touch one with a ten foot pole.

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  39. Deborah said on August 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I finally got a chance to watch the Colbert dressage video. That had me laughing like an idiot here in the office. Good thing it’s after hours and not the entire crew around.

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  40. uncle rameau said on August 2, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks for the link to the AARP article, my brother needs to see this as he did not have the perspicacity to move to Canuckistan in 1979 like me. He still thinks I owe W a great debt for keeping me safe from sharia law. I’m more scared of Shania law.

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  41. Bitter Scribe said on August 2, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Nancy, I thought you were exaggerating, but I hit Google Books, and you were right! It’s nothing but a pastiche of public-domain pabulum. My God, what a racket. Can you please please please link to the column you wrote about it?

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  42. Jolene said on August 2, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    MichaelG, Johnson was in the US recently to promote a book about London. I saw him on various chat/comedy shows, and he was very funny in every instance. Best line, though, came from David Letterman, who cast a concerned look at Johnson and said, “How long have you been cutting your own hair?” if you’ve seen him, you know how a propos that comment is.

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  43. Jolene said on August 2, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    More dangling Borises: http://dangleboris.wordpress.com/

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  44. alex said on August 2, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Shania law.

    Just about split my sides over that one. Amen.

    As for Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A, glad I don’t partake of any of it.

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  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 2, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Can someone who has (in the past, of course) been to a Chick-Fil-A fill some of the rest of us in as to what the appeal is in the first place? Having not eaten at one, and only knowing that their schtick seems to be waffle fries in the same way Arby’s has tried to build an image around curly fries, they don’t seem to have much of a distinctive market niche. Or are they just to chicken what Arby’s is to roast beef, or Hardee’s is to grease?

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  46. Dorothy said on August 3, 2012 at 9:45 am

    The only time I had Chick-Fil-A was when I lived in Greenville, SC, about 8 years ago. Once was enough. The office where I worked frequently had lunch meetings and we used about 5 or 6 different restaurants to provide the boxed lunches. C-F-A was one of those. I don’t remember anything outstanding about their food. I was and still am a Chipotle kinda gal. The food I miss the most from Greenville, though, is from here: http://sabrosomexicangrille.com/

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