Bridge has been running occasional stories about public servants — or workers, or tax-sucking leeches, depending on your political frame of mind — who aren’t elected. Yesterday’s was about a prison guard, and I learned that as bad as all of the jobs I’ve had in my life have been, at times? They haven’t been as bad as this:

A prisoner goes on “stool watch” when he’s suspected of smuggling in drugs by swallowing a balloon containing a controlled substance. The inmate is forced to sit on a special stool that has a bag below it to catch the inmate’s feces so it can be checked for the drugs.

Repulsive mental picture to the contrary, I’m pleased to learn this, as it gives me a new term for something that will almost certainly be unpleasant:

“No, I can’t go to dinner tonight. Waiting to hear back from the client on that thing last week. You know, stool watch.”

“Getting a test back today in Chem. Total stool watch.”

You can tell it’s almost the end of the week, can’t you? Feelin’ a little hit-the-wall here. All things considered, I’d like to watch a little of “Full Metal Jacket” and drift off to sleep. Love that Lee Ermey.

So, a little bloggage:

Charles Pierce on the new season of “Treme.” (He likes it.)

OID: Stay away from this place, Mr. Funny Car. Just keeeeep driving.

A friend of mine had severe performance anxiety while trying to produce a sperm sample for in vitro fertilization. Tells a funny story about it. Kinda like this one.

And now if you’ll excuse me? I’m going to go pass out.

Posted at 12:55 am in Detroit life, Same ol' same ol', Television |

89 responses to “Waiting.”

  1. Dexter Friend said on September 21, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Matthew Modine is on the radio circuit promoting the new iPad Diary for Full Metal Jacket app. It’s $14.99.

    Treme fans grew to love Coco Robicheaux. Now I find out he passed this summer, and that is a bummer.

    A Facebook pal of mine was ratted out on the radio a few weeks ago. He was eating something gooey and a tooth broke off and he swallowed it. He is not rich, and he had to screen his own waste for a few days, and last I heard, did not find the tooth, which may indicate it lodged somewhere in his alimentary canal. Yuck and damn.

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  2. Prospero said on September 21, 2012 at 4:38 am

    Stool watch is waiting for the next RMoney rearticulation. Except that is actually the refisting stool watch. Or the rebaptism. Or the Rinse Previous. Who woulda thunk an obscenely wealthy whitebread guy could be that bitter and jealous of all those lucky ducky poor people that don’t pay taxes.

    How is that photo Drudge-worthy aside from ethnicity?Racists? No racists up in here.

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  3. Prospero said on September 21, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Isn’t autumnal the finest word ever coined? Or is it boreal? No, wait, it is, assuredly, crepuscular. As in the brilliant Richard Thompson song he was such a gentleman he shared with his ex:


    She’s a good singer, but she will always be Mrs. Richard Thompson. And when I kick it, I do want the mother of my child there with me. And she knows it.

    Keef didn’t score with the boring satisfaction riff, It was when he turnred the chord progression upside down on The Last Time. Way better song.That is the greatest riff. How ar people so fracking stupid the don’t get that? This sort of stupidity is why America’s version of representative democracy ain’t gonna work. I vote the Tony Joe White ticket:


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  4. beb said on September 21, 2012 at 8:11 am

    stool watch pretty much sums up the entire campaign season.

    I got a laugh out of Sen Harry Reid yesterday. Sen Scott Brown was supposed to debate challenger Elizabeth Warren last night and mid-day Scott started saying there were too many important votes coming up so he wouldn’t be able to fly up to Mass. for the debate. So Reid canceled all votes for the rest of the day. Just so Brown would not miss his debate.

    It’s like with his hearsay claim that Romney hasn’t had any taxes to pay for the last ten years. No body knows if it’s true, except Mr. Romney and until he produces the returns to show it false Reid can keep on twitting about it as long as he likes. Who knew the man was such a good elbower?

    NASASpaceFlight is a website for space geeks. It’s very informative and an excellent way to keep up with the latest goings-on with the space program. Currently people are waiting for SpaceX’s next launch of a cargo capsule to the International Space Station, so, yes, they’re bored. Someone in comments quipped about how much software can dance on the head of a pin. Like the old angels question. Well, today somneone took the size of an average memory chip, estimated the size of the head of a pin and calculated how much RAM that would be. Surprisingly a lot. Then someone wrote in to correct his math. Then someone wrote in to inquire if the head of the pin was flat or round… Engineers are so funny in a dry, esoteric way.

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  5. alex said on September 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Stool watch—I think that’s the clinical term for what Coozledad recently referred to as a Hot Carl. Some people are willing to do it sans pay, so if the state wants to save cash as it purports, maybe it should put its personnel advertising dollars into other media.

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  6. brian stouder said on September 21, 2012 at 8:58 am

    After reading the excellent Bridge article, gotta agree that the ‘Stool-Watch’ concept is a useful one.

    Without belaboring (so to speak) the point, it reminded me that the task of watching Romney speeches wherever they occur are just like that.

    And indeed, the prison guard with the positive attitude pointed out that when they find contraband material amidst the unpleasantness of the search, it is an uplifting feeling – since they know they may have prevented injury or death for themselves or the other guards, at the hands of whoever ultimately ingests the substance on offer.

    But now, as Anne Romney commands, it is time to “Stop it. Just stop it.”

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  7. Prospero said on September 21, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Treme is one more TV series that is not as good as Homicide: Life on the Street. Like “The Wire” wasn’t. The “Araber” arc was as good as you get. The “Edina Watson” interrogation of Moses Gunn was as good as TV is ever going to get.

    And Scott Brown realizing he’s way over his head, That is priceless. Guy is a moron.

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  8. Dorothy said on September 21, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Not quite as interesting as stool watch, but it made me think of this story: My son is a felony probation officer. Two weeks ago he was asked to witness an arrest for a fellow officer. They do this in case the pre-arrest search turns up any contraband or weapons on the individual before he’s taken into custody. So this young guy was emptying his pockets and all the while pleading that it was not a good day to be arrested. He had things to do! Then he said “Ahh man, c’mon, I can’t do this today. Tomorrow I’m going to have a circumcision!” It was all my son could do to keep a straight face. He also offered that there were no volunteers in the office to check to see if the kid’s story was legit. He was arrested despite his pleas.

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  9. LAMary said on September 21, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Opposite of stool watch? I have to spend the middle of the day today building the huge stupid booth my company uses at job fairs,(we’re checking for parts that need replacing) and that would seem to be a drag because it’s going to be really hot today. BUT the Endeavor will be flying right by my workplace about the same time I’m outside. We’re across the freeway from Universal STudios, and there’s a scheduled flyby.

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  10. brian stouder said on September 21, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Mary – despite the hot day, that would be very cool indeed!

    You must issue a complete report

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2012 at 9:41 am

    I just get asked to witness urine samples when I’m the only male in the building, but I’m on the diversion side, so . . .

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  12. MichaelG said on September 21, 2012 at 9:48 am

    The Endeavor will be doing a fly by of the Capitol about 9:30. The roof of the parking garage should be a great place from which to watch. Unfortunately I have a conference call at 9:00. Hope we can get it done quickly or that the shuttle is late!

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  13. Prospero said on September 21, 2012 at 10:05 am

    How things go:


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  14. coozledad said on September 21, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Seems like a good day for some Elvis Costello. How about “Goon squad”?

    Mother, Father, I’m here at the jail
    I can’t come home ’cause I’m on the scat detail
    I got my orders
    They gave me the plan
    They said I’d get a bonus and some Playtex for my hands

    I could be the guy who watches murderers get the juice
    Or in the cafeteria keeping hell from breaking loose
    They pat some boys down on the back and pat some on the crotch
    But I never thought they’d put me on the

    Stool watch
    I’ve come to look you over, and directly in the eye
    Stool watch
    if you push a baggie out
    You can kiss that shit goodbye.

    Some will shit a ball point pen
    One guy crapped a chunk of foil
    It was a marinated turkey breast
    With sage and olive oil

    And you must find the proper place
    To mark it on the form
    There’s even a thermometer so I can tell how warm

    I could watch the chain gang with an automatic pump
    and kneecap some poor bastard when he tried to get the jump
    We pat some boys down and we keep the whisky or the scotch
    But I never thought they’d put me in the

    stool watch ….

    Mother, Father, I got my degree
    In criminal justice and philosophy
    I wish i hadn’t studied hard cause it seems somewhat absurd
    How much do you have to know to fork through someone’s turd?

    I’ve heard all the alibis that ev’ryone’s forgotten
    “I ate that twenty years ago. That fucker should be rotten.”
    They pat some good boys on the back and pat some on the crotch
    But I never thought they’d put me on the…

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    • nancy said on September 21, 2012 at 10:13 am


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  15. brian stouder said on September 21, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Agreed on the win, and – ewwwww!

    And MichaelG – full report from you, too!

    And Pros – that article is a must-read for all nn.c trolls who think we all blindly love President Obama.

    I seriously disagree with his approach to public education; and if Romney were an ’80’s style Republican who espoused faith in LOCAL government (as opposed to national government) – instead of general hostility to ALL government, I could vote to fire President Obama.

    But apparently, that train has left the station

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  16. Julie Robinson said on September 21, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Ugh, you couldn’t pay me enough to do that job, so huge kudos to those who have to. One of our kids swallowed a tooth and we had to fast-talk to convince said child that the tooth fairy would accept a note from Mom & Dad in lieu of the actual tooth.

    But the comparison to the current campaign is apt, and I have equal enthusiasm for any close encounters.

    Brian Williams has been reporting almost nightly on all the trees that were cut down along the shuttle’s final path on LA streets. I’ve been lucky enough to watch a launch, as well as take the spaceport tour in Florida, and it is way cool.

    Also way cool: our son is singing tonight in a huge performance of Carmina Burana as it’s rarely seen, with the local ballet. I had only known it as a choral work, and he says the ballet is stunning.

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  17. LAMary said on September 21, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Julie I saw Carmina Burana with dancers in Philadelphia about forty years ago. It was great.

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  18. brian stouder said on September 21, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Speaking of greatness, don’t miss the end of yesterday’s thread, where Dex gets The Last Word.

    And speaking of The Last Word, the public service announcement by the West Wing’s cast, centering on the good ol’ Michiganian non-partisan ballot was indeed featured in its entirety on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show last night, followed by an interview with the Michigander state supreme court candidate herself – which was very good.

    MSNBC generally pays LOTS more attention to the Michiganers than to us Hoosiers. (Other than when Lugar was felled by the troll from under the bridge, you’d think there’s Ohio [always] and Michigan and Wisconsin – and that’s it. Not sayin’ that ain’t true, but still!

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  19. Prospero said on September 21, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Julie, having taught public High School, I can guarantee you nobody could pay you enough to take that job either. It helps to be a physically imposing male, and it is still scary. GOPers have made kids hopeless and it’s difficult to disagree with them.

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  20. nancy said on September 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Brian, Julie, Alex, et al in Fort Wayne:

    This letter leaves me sort of speechless. Is this the new normal at the News ‘n’ Sentinel?

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  21. alex said on September 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    The claims aren’t a whole lot more ludicrous than anything Kevin Leininger publishes on any given day. And he’s supposed to be a journalist.

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  22. Julie Robinson said on September 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    When it comes to reading the N-S, it’s all about the comics for me. So I can’t really say, but it’s good to have someone calling them on their crap. As to why they published the letter, their photos from readers show they’ll publish anything to fill the 10 or so pages they typically produce most days.

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  23. brian stouder said on September 21, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    and, the first online comment on the thread following the letter is:

    Recent reports have confirmed that DHS and other federal agencies have issued contract requests for 1.4 BILLION rounds of ammunition including 7.62 boat tail rounds typically used by snipers. By any measure, that’s a lot of ammo for people who Mr. Silver describes as “public servants.”

    and this is why the ol’ News-Sentinel is a paper I used to read.

    But to be fair, WOWO embarrasses the community every day, with their non-stop rightwing local/national yapper radio formula.

    They’re front of mind right now, because they were in the middle of a bomb-scare at an FWCS high school this morning


    and I’m tellin’ ya now, I won’t even glance at the comments section that this will draw

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  24. Linda said on September 21, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    stool watch pretty much sums up the entire campaign season.

    Beb, pick up your internets at customer service.

    Actually, Republicans wouldn’t call that a blood-sucking leech position if it were filled by someone at a privately run prison. Of course, it might have some escape issues, but that’s the price we pay for freedom from big government.

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  25. Suzanne said on September 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    That N-S letter. Bless the author’s heart for trying to bring facts into his rebuttal, but I know the kind of people who write these things (I think I worked with the guy’s wife for a time). Bringing in all the facts in the world won’t change their minds because the likes of Glenn Beck have so convinced them that everyone else is biased and lying. Everyone, even the most well regarded fact checking organization is suspect. Everyone.

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  26. Deborah said on September 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Stool watch is all the things I won’t miss about work, two weeks from today.

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  27. Sue said on September 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Those demanding public ‘servants’, always making life difficult for people just trying to live their lives:

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  28. Joe K said on September 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Stool watch, sounds like a punk band.
    Living the dream in Arkadelphia Arkansas.
    Pilot Joe

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  29. MichaelG said on September 21, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Our building is located on the river bank in West Sacramento just across from downtown Sacto. (Enter ‘Ziggurat in West Sacramento, CA’ in Google Earth to see all.) I-5 is on the East side of the river. We went out to the sixth floor roof of the parking garage next door at about 9:00. From there we could see the STRS Building and garage next door to the north and the skyline (such as it is) of Sacramento across the river. It was plain that the top of every building was crowded with people.

    South of the Ziggurat (our building) is Raley Field, a triple A baseball stadium. The parking lot was filled with cars and people who turned out to see the show. In fact, there’s still an almighty traffic jam as I write this forty five minutes after the show ended. Sacramento came to a total halt with the whole town in the streets to see Endeavor.

    At about 10:40 the shuttle aircraft, with its companion T-38, flew in a northerly direction right up I-5, 200 mph at 1500 feet. It was slow, beautiful and majestic, so slow and close that one felt that it could almost be touched. The 747 with the Endeavor on its back seemed almost to be bowed in the middle. The two mated aircraft make for one very large flying contraption and yes, majestic is a good word to describe it. The aerodynamics must be beyond goofy. The engines drowned out the clicking of the zillions of dollars of camera equipment that people had set up on the garage roof. If you’ve seen a large aircraft do a flyby at an airshow, you will know what I mean. People cheered as it flew past.

    It continued north for some minutes disappearing into the haze. Then it reappeared in the northeast flying back toward us, passing over the Capitol and downtown before heading off to the southwest and San Francisco. What a spectacular sight.

    It was a wonderful Friday event, we had a perfect spot and I’m glad we took the time to see it.

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  30. brian stouder said on September 21, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    MichaelG – that was a superb report!

    I envy you and everyone who got to see and experience the spectacle

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  31. MichaelG said on September 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    By the way, that 747 was delivered to American Airlines in late October 1970 and sold to NASA four years later. It’s hard to believe that it’s 42 years old.

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  32. brian stouder said on September 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Once at an airshow at Grissom, I got to see a B-52 do a slow, smokey pass (8 engines!) – and then a few minutes later it came back around and did a pass so fast that it was directly overhead before you could hear it….and of course, the giant plane was older than me!

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  33. Deborah said on September 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    MichaelG, great report, I would have loved to have seen that. What a great way to inspire people about the space program, especially kids. I can’t wait to see LA Mary’s comment.

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  34. Prospero said on September 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Arkadelphia is in Mississippi Joe, It’s where the grandfathers of the Teabangers murdered them civil rights activists. And Ronald Raygun laucnched his campaign. We had a B-29 fly through our backyard a few years ago, on its way to landing at HHI airport. Pretty amazing. No Betty Grable, unfortunately.

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  35. Jim Neill said on September 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    There’s an Arkadelphia, Arkansas, Pros…


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  36. MarkH said on September 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Additionally, there is no Arkadelphia in Mississippi, Pros. There is an Arkadelphia Baptist Church on Arkadelphia Road in MS, but that is just north of Meridian.

    Amazing that you would confuse this with Philadelphia, where those murders and Reagan’s speech did take place.

    Also amazing that you would think that PILOT Joe could get confused like that.

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  37. Sue said on September 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Joe should have made a left turn at Albukoykee, obviously.

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  38. Deborah said on September 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Off topic but CNN online has a slide show of fall colors around the country. The last slide shows a part of Carson National Forest in New Mexico. Our land in New Mexico backs up to CNF, but I think this photo is probably taken closer to Taos. Little Bird texted me a photo from the mountains around Santa Fe, a lovely golden glow from the turning Aspens.


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  39. Deborah said on September 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Again, I can’t seem to edit #38, should be the photo “was” taken, not “is” taken. Is editing not allowed anymore?

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  40. Peter said on September 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    That Salon article brought back a lot of bad memories when we were trying to conceive. He had it easy – I was given a cup and told to go down the hall and use one of the toilet stalls.

    Could it get worse? Sure could! Let’s just say during the production process the office manager banged on the toilet room door and announced in a loud enough voice to be heard in the parking lot: “Mr. ____, Mr. ____, COULD YOU PLEASE STOP MASTURBATING AND GIVE US YOUR INSURANCE CARD AGAIN – WE COPIED THE WRONG SIDE.”

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  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Why, with all that, Prospero, you might even think you’re wrong about Tea Party activists all being violent murderous racists.

    I can’t be too discouraged about life and unpleasantness; had a lovely bipartisan moment here in the Land of Legend as we opened a new, spacious, soon-to-be accredited Child Advocacy Center today. Caring for kids who’ve been abused and molested is a pretty good way to get folks to drop the politics and pull together. We’re getting two forensic interviewers out of the deal, already have fully trained NPs thanks to our community hospital, and our camera & recording system comes from a police department in the county that got it busting a “skill games” parlor that had a bit more going on than met the eyes of the law, and that city donated the full deal (like new!) without a qualm or request for a receipt.

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  42. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    (Box score, two Dems, two Repubs, and two non-partisan mayors working together. A good day for the body politic. Now God send we not need this facility as much next year as we have in the year past.)

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  43. MarkH said on September 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Wrong Airport Landings Dept.: I knew it has happened before, but did not realize how often it was that military and commercial pilots can turn into Wrong Way Corrigan. Check out this list:


    Deborah, trust me, the more you list all these reasons you chose New Mexico to land post-retirement, and the longer you’re there, the less you’ll look back at Chicago. I left Ohio over 30 years ago for Wyoming, and fall colors (currently just days away from a full explosion in the Snake River Canyon) are just one of the many reasons I never regretted it. Enjoy.

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  44. MarkH said on September 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    What Deborah said: no editing anymore, Nance?

    Peter, not that I disbelieve you, but you HAVE to be making that up.

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  45. Danny said on September 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Been a bit too busy this week to read or contribute, but here are some interesting quick hitters to consider.

    Salman Rushdie says the outrage is manufactured:


    “And I think certainly, if we look at what’s happening now, this is very much a product of the outrage machine,” Rushdie said. “Yes, there’s this stupid film…and the correct response to a stupid film on YouTube is to say it’s a stupid film on YouTube, and you get on with the rest of your life.

    “So to take that and to deliberately use it to inflame your troops, you know, is a political act,” Rushdie added. “That’s not about religion, that’s about power.”

    And then of course there are the facts that the murder of the four Americans in Libya was a pre-planned terrorist attack.

    All of this by way of saying that everyone who was been tripping over one another to assign blame to the “stupid film” was wrong. And this apparently includes the administration which is now contradicting itself.

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  46. Danny said on September 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    MarkH, got your emails. Sorry that I have had absolutely no time to respond. I will try again this weekend, my friend!

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  47. LAMary said on September 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    What Michael said.
    I was up on the seventh floor of the newest part of the hospital, standing by the huge windows facing south. We saw the shuttle heading north. It made a shart turn over Universal City, then headed to Griffith Park. We had a great view of it. Then it went around mountain to fly over JPL, then came back around and flew very close to where I was standing. It was about a block away. There were two fighter planes escorting it. All the rooftops around us were full of people waving and cheering and pointing. It was an amazing event.

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  48. LAMary said on September 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    It didn’t make a shart turn. It made a sharp turn. Shuttles don’t shart.

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  49. brian stouder said on September 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Very, very cool.

    Everyone loves a parade, yes? Even one with only one float – albeit an almighty impressive one!

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  50. Danny said on September 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Mary, are they cutting down a bunch of trees still or did they find a way around that?

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  51. LAMary said on September 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    As far as I know they’re cutting them down with the promise of planting three for every one they cut down.

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  52. Sherri said on September 21, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Peter, IVF is a torture I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. You men go through some embarrassment, but the female side of things is no fun at all. Ovaries (literally) the size of softballs and hormones that gave me such a raging case of PMS that I wanted to rip the head off anybody who looked at me funny were just part of the process.

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  53. LAMary said on September 21, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Brian, you would have loved it. I’m sort of a NASA geek on the quiet, but I think anyone would have been blown away by the flyover. Especially when it came back around the building where I am. It was so close and low. I was standing with nurses and patients and they were all ooohs and aaahs and wows.

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  54. Danny said on September 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    I heard that they were nice, big mature trees too. Seems a shame they cannot find a work-around.

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  55. LAMary said on September 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I know, Danny. I hate to see beautiful healthy trees cut down.

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  56. brian stouder said on September 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    So, Danny and Mary lost me at the bakery, with the talk of trees coming down – but good ol Uncle Google pointed me to this article


    and now I get it.

    And – one had to love this pun:

    Clearing an unobstructed route for the retired spaceship to take from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center will require cutting down nearly 400 trees in all, and the temporary removal of hundreds of utility poles, street lights and traffic signals, officials say. But the science center, which is organizing the two-day move, promises to plant 1,000 new trees in place of those taken down. It also has vowed to keep traffic problems to a minimum and avoid disruption of electricity and other utility services. “It’s quite an endeavor,” science center president Jeffrey Rudolph said of the project. He told Reuters planning began the day after his museum was chosen in April 2011 as one of four permanent venues for NASA’s newly decommissioned space shuttles.

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  57. Sherri said on September 21, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Everybody in Seattle is jealous that LA got the shuttle. We’ve got a beautiful Museum of Flight up here. (www.museumofflight.org)

    A flyover would have been wasted here this morning though; we shifted into fall weather a couple of days ago, so the sun is gone.

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  58. Jolene said on September 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    James Fallows has a snippet of amateur video showing the Endeavor flying near a Google facility. Argues that the whooping and hollering by these geeks, all likely younger than the space program, shows that a renewed push into space would be great for the country and would find many willing participants.

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  59. Catherine said on September 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    It is kind of a shame about the trees. Some of them are ficus, which is a fighting word here in Pasadena and other LA locales. The pro-ficus group says they provide lovely, full shade and grow quickly. The anti-ficus group says they destroy sidewalks, cause people to trip & fall, and drop crap everywhere. Google “Pasadena ficus war” for more. …And these are the issues on which we make our stands…

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  60. brian stouder said on September 21, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    And with a name like “ficus” – one can just imagine the opposing protest signs that passionate proponents and opponents would wave at each other

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  61. Danny said on September 21, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    It is kind of a shame about the trees. Some of them are ficus, which is a fighting word here in Pasadena and other LA locales. The pro-ficus group says they provide lovely, full shade and grow quickly. The anti-ficus group says they destroy sidewalks, cause people to trip & fall, and drop crap everywhere. Google “Pasadena ficus war” for more. …And these are the issues on which we make our stands…

    I am pro-ficus. Repair the sidewalks when you can and until you can, tell people to stop looking at their smart phones and start watching where they are walking.

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  62. Deborah said on September 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    I just lost another comment twice??

    Mark H, I will only be spending 1/3 to 1/2 of my time in New Mexico at least that’s the plan now, because of my husband’s business we will keep a place in Chicago. That may change but I like the idea of having the best of both worlds to spend time in.

    I told this story here before but that won’t stop me from repeating it. When Chicago was vying for the shuttle, Mayor elect Emmanuel asked my company to put together a book which would be shown to President Obama to try to convince him to help bring it to our city. I got to design the book. I was thrilled. We didn’t get one of the shuttles of course, so I guess it wasn’t convincing enough. Of course there was way more to the decision then a book.

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  63. Prospero said on September 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    14.1% I paid 23% in 2011. Next year I’m taking back my Social Security and I won’t be paying any fed income tax. Lucky Ducky, right Willard? I will be paying property tax and sales taxes out the yinyang asshole. Gutdom what a flaming ahole dickhead.

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  64. Prospero said on September 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    At the risk of sonding like the old fool Chuck Heston, Ayn Ryan will get his granny-starving hands on my SSI moey when he pries my cold dead hands off it.

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  65. Jolene said on September 21, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Have you guys paid attention to what is going on around the world today? In Pakistan, nineteen people (19!), including three police officers, have been killed over perceived insults to Islam. Of course, as w/ the previous riots, they are heavily provoked>/a> by people attempting to undermine existing governments or by extremists wishing to make themselves important by making a lot of noise. Ahmadinejehad, of Iran, spoke at a military parade, accusing the U.S. of hiding its contempt for Islam behind a screen of civil rights and freedom of expression. The Prime Minister of Pakistan is seeking laws throughout the world banning blasphemy. Such responsible world leaders.

    Meanwhile, 30,000 people marched in Libya to show their regret for what happened to our ambassador and his colleagues there.

    What a world, what a world.

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  66. Joe K said on September 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Saw three shuttle launches, the best was a 3am launch, always wanted to see one come in and land.
    Charter to the Notre Dame Game Saturday, unfortunately don’t get to go to the game, but they put out a spread for the pilots;
    Pilot Joe

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  67. Prospero said on September 21, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    My apology Joe. I was all lost in the Raygun glitter. And re Notre Dame, I despise that football team, but Denard claiming he could outrun Usain Bolt? Earthquake game. Damn what a fool Denard.

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  68. Prospero said on September 21, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    And Jolene, how about this:


    And the Libyans that tried to save Ambassador Stevens’ life.


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  69. Prospero said on September 21, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Margaret Hamilton rocked.


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  70. Prospero said on September 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    If your cable gets Turner Classic, Paths of Glory is on at 9:15. A great movie.

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  71. Prospero said on September 21, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Justice Scalito, the originalist:


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  72. Kaye said on September 21, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I still do not understand the official reasons the shuttle retirement places were chosen but suspect it has to do with money. Though maybe it was just a geographic thing. In any event, I find it incredible that NYC and LAX are hosting shuttles while Houstom (Houston!) and the Air Force Museum in OH are shuttle-less. I cannot speak with authority re: Houston but for certain no trees would have had to die for a shuttle to the USAF Museum. Saw the Discover in DC shortly after its arrival – very cool!

    On a different topic . . . seeing how great Bill Clinton looks since recovering from a heart attack is causing me to consider a vegan diet.

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  73. Connie said on September 21, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    GQ article about Grand Rapids’ Art Prize: http://www.gq.com/entertainment/art-and-design/201209/artprize-rick-devos

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  74. Connie said on September 21, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Charity sues Mitch Albom: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/21/mitch-albom-haiti-orphanage-lawsuit-sued_n_1903668.html?utm_hp_ref=detroit

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  75. brian stouder said on September 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Prospero – loved the Margaret Hamilton/Gunsmoke scene, and then your link lead me here:


    I love love love that movie, and that scene. And no matter how many times I see it, including twice just now, I can never make out what she is saying after ‘What a world! What a world!”

    It sounds something likeshe’s crying “The phone! The phone!” – but that can’t be it; maybe something about “home” or “bones” or….what?

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  76. Catherine said on September 21, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Jolene @65: Yes; and yet we argue about ficuses (ficii?).

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  77. brian stouder said on September 21, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    (she says this at 43 seconds in)

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  78. alex said on September 21, 2012 at 11:55 pm


    One year out from a heart attack myself, I can tell you a vegan diet don’t mean jack. It’s lipids oozing out your pores that keep your skin youthful and your lipid funk makin’ ’em wanna fuck you.

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  79. MichaelG said on September 22, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Simple, Kaye. The shuttles were designed in Los Angeles and built in Los Angeles. All of them. And the testing was conducted at Edwards which is just a few miles from Los Angeles. Houston was merely involved with control activities once the shuttles were operational. There is no place in the country that deserves a Shuttle display more than Los Angeles.

    And I am as unhappy as anybody about the trees. Those are (were) beautiful, mature trees. So plant twice the saplings. It will still look skinned for years to come.

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  80. MichaelG said on September 22, 2012 at 1:38 am

    I agree that Florida would merit a shuttle for display purposes but that’s not Los Angeles’ problem.

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  81. Sherri said on September 22, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Jill Lepore’s article in The New Yorker is a fascinating history of political strategy, and particularly how “socialized medicine” and fear of turning into Hitler or Stalin or Great Britain was used to fight back against Truman’s proposal for health care for all funded through payroll tax.It was the first step towards taking away our freedoms and making us Communists!

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  82. Sherri said on September 22, 2012 at 2:50 am

    Hmm, messed up the link: here is is: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/09/24/120924fa_fact_lepore?currentPage=1

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  83. MarkH said on September 22, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Brian — According to a script I saw online, the witch says, “Look out! Look out! I’m going! I’m going!” Doesn’t really sound like it, though.

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  84. nancy said on September 22, 2012 at 8:46 am

    “Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness! The phone, the phone! I’m going…ohhh…”

    Clearly one of the crew had neglected to silence their cell, even though there are multiple signs on the set. Probably a rookie.

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  85. brian stouder said on September 22, 2012 at 9:06 am


    Or, one of those dog-gone flying monkeys

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  86. Jolene said on September 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Sometime back, I made this rather unusual apple pie (note the absence of cinnamon and the separate baking of the apples). Was really delicious and got great reviews. If you’re looking for something a bit different, give it a shot.

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  87. Laura Lippman said on September 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Prospero, I am late to this because various things kept me away from Nancy’s site until this evening, but I have to say that your critique is the kind of thing that drives me nuts. Not because it’s different from mine, or because the two shows you disdain were created by my husband (and Homicide was not, in fact) but because it’s the equivalent of this:

    “Hot fudge sundaes are just another thing that aren’t as good as chocolate cake, just as carrot cake wasn’t as good as chocolate cake. Chocolate cake will always be the best.”

    This isn’t to quarrel with an opinion, just a plea that personal preferences be stated as such. (“I have always preferred chocolate cake to hot fudge sundaes.”) Or that assertions be framed in some larger context, such as the (very critical) article about Treme published over the weekend in the LA Review of Books. You like “Homicide” better than “The Wire” or “Treme”? Fine. But if you’re going to say it’s better, then say why.

    I will say that my most beloved college professor told me a story about how he once observed that Lolita wasn’t a very good movie and Alfred Appel, who basically made his career on all things Lolita, said: “In your opinion!” And my fave professor said, “Of course it’s my opinion. Whose else would it be?” So one can argue that personal preference is always implicit. But it makes me crazy — crazy enough to dare to disagree with someone online, which I almost never do.

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    • nancy said on September 24, 2012 at 8:01 pm

      Thanks for saying that, LL. I generally don’t respond to Prospero when he makes pronouncements like that, but I agree.

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