Three points? Whatever.

So, Miguel Cabrera clinched baseball’s triple crown night before last, and where was Detroit’s highly paid celebrity sports columnist? Beats me. I hear he’s on a book tour, but wherever he was, he wasn’t in the paper today.

Mitch did write about Cabrera. On September 23rd. First paragraph:

I remember Carl Yastrzemski. All the kids followed him. It was 1967, the Summer of Love, but for boys sporting high top sneakers and baseball cards in our bicycle spokes, it was the summer of the Triple Crown — or another summer of the Triple Crown. Frank Robinson had won it the year before. And being wide-eyed fans, we figured someone would win it every year.

Ooooohkay, then. Tell me, though: Did anyone ever put baseball cards in bicycle spokes? I remember that trick, but you used playing cards. Baseball cards were for trading, but then, if you’re phoning in yet another soft-focus remembrance of the good ol’ days, it sounds better to make them baseball cards.

Oh, I just don’t have it in me today. It’s the end of the week, it’s been a long one, and Mitch isn’t my problem. But considering this guy is now writing about twice in a blue moon, don’t you think he’d have the time to give us a better ending than this?

Cabrera stays away from newspapers or Internet sites or even TV shows about sports. He said he was spending time watching movies or playing with his kids to keep the pressure off when he’s not at the park. He even has read a few books.

“‘Fifty Shades of Grey?'” someone joked.

“Huh?” he said.

“‘Fifty Shades of Grey?'”


Right. Who needs 50 shades of grey when you’re chasing three points of a crown?

And that, as Deadspin might say, is how the winner of the Red Smith Award puts a cherry on top. Booyah.

So let’s go to the bloggage, and congratulate Deborah on her well-earned retirement. Now she can write to us about the Frito pie at the Santa Fe Woolworth’s.

Tina Fey on the end of “30 Rock.” I would so like to work in a writer’s room. It sounds like a newsroom at its best moments:

What are some of the made-up words you’re going to miss from the 30 Rock world? What are your favorites?

I mean, sometimes they come out of skits, skits that we’re shooting in our writers room, so that’s where “lizzing” and “high-fiving a million angels” came from. Some of them came from my daughter [Alice] when she was smaller and didn’t speak as well. [Laughs.] “I want to go to there.” I remember our head of post, when we were trying to cut that episode down to time, said, “We could cut that,” and I was like, “I think we should leave it,” and I’m so glad we did, because you never know what’s going to stick in people’s brains.

Why should hurricanes get all the good stuff? The Weather Channel announces it will name winter storms this season. Bundle up for Orko!

Eh, I’ve hit a wall. Have a great weekend, all, and I’ll see you back here Monday.

Posted at 12:40 am in Current events, Media |

97 responses to “Three points? Whatever.”

  1. Danny said on October 5, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Hit a wall? Weekend? Why is everybody in bed? Are you all sleeping? Hello?

    Hattie is probably the only person up right now. I think she lives on the Hilo side of the big island.

    A word I learned this week: vog = volcanic fog.

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  2. Jerri said on October 5, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Nancy, I’m not a Mitch Albom fan but he’s right about the baseball cards in the spokes. At least that’s how it was done in my hometown of Freehold, NJ, also Bruce Springsteen’s hometown. Bruce wrote about it in The Angel, on Greetings from Asbury Park:

    Baseball cards poked in his spokes, his boots in oil he’s patiently soaked,
    The roadside attendant nervously jokes as the angel’s tires stroke his precious pavement…

    (It was a lucky day for me years ago when I found my way here from Laura Lippmann’s site. Thank you!)

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  3. Dexter said on October 5, 2012 at 2:29 am

    I can sleep when I’m dead, godammitt! 🙂

    I was a kid with a coaster brake bike in the late 1950s. I lived in wild country in NE Indiana, but we did get to a store once a week or so , so I got to buy my baseball cards inside of bubble gum packs. In the cluster of three houses out in the middle of nowhere, on a dirt road lived a few kids, thank gawd. There were three girls which we never interacted with, a baby, and five of us boys who played together constantly. We had hundreds of baseball cards. One I remember that popped up incessantly was Bill Bruton of the Milwaukee Braves. Poor old Bill was spoke fodder, big time. There were only a few cards that escaped eventual spoking, one was Mickey Mantle. I never remember seeing a Willie Mays card, but I recall that Pittsburgh Pirate cards were plentiful, and the Bob Friend card was big for us because that’s my brother’s name too. Vern Law was another one, as was Ted Kluszewski. A player named Wally Moon kept showing up in my stack . Almost all others ended up ruined in the spokes. I remember stealing clothes pins and attaching a card to the fender supports with the card “just so” to allow a nice noise from the spokes clicking against the cards. A dually was both sides. Bad asses always had duallies. Meet the bad ass Dexter. But we wuz cool! I never saw any of us using playing cards. It was always baseball cards.

    Miguel Cabrera and Josh Hamilton ( Texas Rangers) both avoid the champagne celebrations. Both seem to have their drinking problems in check. This makes me feel good, as the road to happy destiny includes side-stepping flying champagne and beer.
    God Bless ’em both.

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  4. nancy said on October 5, 2012 at 3:48 am

    Ok, Mitch wins this one. It was old playing cards in Ohio.

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  5. David C. said on October 5, 2012 at 6:26 am

    They probably started naming winter storms because it’s in Jim Cantore’s contract that he won’t stand out in a storm that isn’t named. I suppose what qualifies for a name will have to be set on a sliding scale. Two flakes in Atlanta, two inches in D.C., and two feet here in Wisconsin seem to cause the same amount of bedlam.

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 5, 2012 at 6:43 am

    You could use both, but it was understood that baseball cards didn’t hold up as well. But playing cards were harder to come by: you got baseball card packs for a quarter, and used your triples and quadruples on the spokes, but if you laid down a buck for a pack of cards, you were ruining the whole 54 card deck unless you used the instruction card or one of the two jokers, and for whatever reasons people hated to do that. So your third or fourth Jose Cardenal went into the spokes.

    None of this should be interpreted as a defense of Mitch per se. It’s not Nancy’s fault she didn’t grow up as a boy.

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  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 5, 2012 at 6:45 am

    (I’m waiting for Phase II, which will be naming rights. “Merle, brought to you by Home Depot.”)

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  8. Deborah said on October 5, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Frito Pie, here I come! They moved my exit interview up to 9. Then my group is taking me out to lunch at the Art Institute at noon, it will be hard for me to stick around after that. Feels great, but reality hasn’t really sunk in yet.

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  9. Deborah said on October 5, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Naming rights: in the book Infinite Jest the years had naming rights instead of numbers. Imagine the Year of Home Depot instead of 2013.

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  10. Dave said on October 5, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Deborah, for awhile, you think you’re on vacation and then the thought enters your head that you’re not on vacation, this is for good. After that, it settles in that you haven’t a job anymore, no occupation, what is has become was. Over a period of several months you learn to believe it and the acceptance of thinking, “I’ve earned this”.

    Having said that, you might dream about working, you may even wake up some morning and wonder in that first sleepy thought why you didn’t get up in time. Perhaps not, I had a former co-worker tell me the other day that he’d never once had a dream about work. After nearly two years, I can’t say that.


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  11. JWfromNJ said on October 5, 2012 at 8:10 am

    The baseball cards made a stronger sound when new, but would crack and get softer after a short time. Playing cards were more resiliant but raiding my father’s poker set was not a good move. I come from the era when you could steal your younger sibling’s Garbage Pail kids cards, and also a non-fan of professional football, I had no compunctions about using those if I bought the pack for the gum.

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  12. alex said on October 5, 2012 at 8:43 am

    It was playing cards in Indiana. You could weave them into the spokes for looks, or you could attach them to one of the fender supports with a clothespin and ride around with your bike making a farting noise.

    Congrats, Deborah!

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  13. brian stouder said on October 5, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Well back in the day, my mom and dad were weekly bridge players, versus the neighbors down the street. Plus, mom was a big solitaire player back in the days when you played solitaire with actual cards, rather than on a computer screen(!!) – so we always had old playing cards all over hell, and if I had cards in the spokes they were hearts or spades or clubs or diamonds (and may well have been Bicycle brand, but who knows?) – so Nancy’s comment made perfect sense to me.

    (and indeed, we built houses of cards, and often they’d have a garage with matchbox cars in them; or little forts with cards, with extensive walls. If you were good, you could put a second story onto your house…and I was never any good at that)

    SO, I’ll be this thread’s suck-up!

    PS – Deborah, I envy you very much, today

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  14. coozledad said on October 5, 2012 at 8:55 am

    For Christmas in ’63? 64? my older brother got a D-battery powered plastic motorcycle engine replica that clamped onto the center post of the bicycle and went vrrr. There were some lame-ass toys in those days.

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  15. Dorothy said on October 5, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I have Deborah envy already and she still has a few hours of work left! Well, not work really. What does one DO on one’s last day? I’ve had three or four “last days” in the last 10 years since we moved several times. It’s an odd feeling. You can’t really start a new project. I seem to remember neatening up my files or something. All you REALLY want to do is run the hell out the door and don’t look back. Anyway, enjoy your day, Deborah. Maybe when you come back from Santa Fe and I find myself in Chicago sometime next year, we could meet for lunch. I have a brother who lives in Chicago, but he’s retired, too. I haven’t visited him in about 8 years so maybe it’s time I do so.

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  16. Suzanne said on October 5, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Congrats Deborah! I envy you big time!

    My goal right now is to find a job I can actually retire from!

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  17. Julie Robinson said on October 5, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Deborah, congratulations! Have a bite of the nnc community’s virtual celebration cake, and enjoy.

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  18. Jolene said on October 5, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Yes, congratulations, Deborah, very exciting. Hard to imagine a more appealing life than one that combines time in New Mexico and time in Santa Fe.

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  19. Jolene said on October 5, 2012 at 9:23 am

    New unemployment rate of 7.8% this AM. Lowest rate since O took office. Hooray!

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  20. LAMary said on October 5, 2012 at 9:25 am

    When I worked for a vicious executive search firm, your last day was the day you told your boss you were leaving. In fact, your last minute was when you told your boss you were leaving. They didn’t want you to take any files or call any contacts before you left. Since one had to be a shark to work there, everyone took all that stuff before telling the boss.

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  21. coozledad said on October 5, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Jolene: Upward revision of July and August numbers, too. Bammerz obviously mau-mauing the BLS.

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  22. coozledad said on October 5, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Romney: “This is not what a recovery looks like.”
    Not enough white guys, I guess.

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  23. Jolene said on October 5, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Bammerz obviously mau-mauing the BLS.

    In fact, Jack Welch, the former GE CEO, said that on Twitter this AM. Fortunately, he was rapidly and widely smacked down.

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  24. brian stouder said on October 5, 2012 at 9:58 am


    Imagine you’re a mostly deaf oxy-addict and a sex tourist, with more money than you can burn; and you have to spend three hours a day in a sound-proof room (not that you can hear the difference) essentially talking to yourself –

    and you have to defend the notion that all the national polling is a fraud and a left-wing conspiracy, and that all the bad economic news is TRUE (and understated, by the left-wing ‘main stream media’), while all the good economic news is a damned LIE – foisted on us by that same bunch of totalitarian thought-police people.

    Especially considering all the millions and millions (and millions) of dollars that that guy (amongst others) gets, in exchange for doing that job….wouldn’t it get old?

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  25. brian stouder said on October 5, 2012 at 10:07 am

    It just hit me!! This positive economic news is PROOF that Obama was sandbagging on Wednesday evening; which in turn PROVES that this report is totally fabricated! Don’t you see? First – we let the Romney run on and on, and cheer up his supporters all across the nation, for 2 days…and THEN we release this terrible (for the challenger) and totally fabricated economic news on the Friday – thereby crashing the good feelings and insuring the president’s re-election!

    The conspiracy is at once just too beautiful, and yet exactly what you should expect from a whip-smart Kenyan usurper who is too lazy to do his job, and who likes to play basketball and sleep, when not annoying the male-white-guy Real ‘Muricans, who live in Real America, which excludes all cities that have any non-whites living in them!

    Write it down; this’ll be the talking points, by sundown

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  26. Jenine said on October 5, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Yay Deborah! I’m glad they shifted that interview, 4:30 on a Friday is not civilized scheduling. Hope you float out on a cloud.

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  27. Peter said on October 5, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Congratulations, Deborah, on making it out alive.

    I’m glad they moved the exit interview up, although it’ll be tough to handle the time between the interview and lunch.

    At one time I worked for a large bank, and my exit interview was scheduled at 10:00 on my last day. Got in late, and got a call – we’re really busy, would you mind coming in for a couple of hours next week? I said sure, left, and didn’t come back.

    And that turned out to be a great gift – because I worked for one hour on February 1, and got in a car accident requiring hospitalization on February 28, my old employer had to pay for the health care – and their policy covered the deductible as well. Try doing that today!

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  28. Scout said on October 5, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Deborah, I am so happy for you. And yes, envious too! Santa Fe is such a cool place.

    In South Central PA it was playing cards. I don’t recall anyone using baseball cards and I hung out with a lot of boys.

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  29. Sue said on October 5, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Deborah,congratulations. I will not being joining your ranks anytime soon.
    I seem to recall both playing cards and baseball cards in bike spokes. I also recall my dear, sweet older brother asking me if I wanted to play a game called 52 pickup. Sure, Jack, how do you play?
    Older brothers. I tell ya.

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  30. Andrea said on October 5, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Congrats to Deb!

    Scout, where are you in South Central PA? I’m in York County right near the MD/PA line.

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  31. Little Bird said on October 5, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Yay Deborah!
    I’ll have the chili waiting for you! See you tomorrow!

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  32. Mark said on October 5, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Short. That’s what they call it when you know you’re leaving. Responsible people who are leaving a job work diligently up until a certain point, and then no one expects actual work any more. They’re short. That’s different from RIP. RIP is Retired In Place. That’s what some older workers become when retirement is in sight and they have what used to be called “job security.” The RIP period might last a few months or even a couple of years. I’ve worked with some RIPed people. And after my years working in my field, I don’t really blame them any more.

    I see retirement in my future. I haven’t told anyone at work yet, but it’s no more than seven months away. And, to tell the truth, I’m already feeling a little short.

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  33. Bob (not Greene) said on October 5, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Congrats, Deborah! Being able to leave a career on your own terms from a company that values your contributions over the years is a gift. And you won’t have to deal with Chicago winters anymore!

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  34. Charlotte said on October 5, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Congrats Deborah — seconding Bob@33 — an experience few in my generation will ever have (we have layoff stories).

    Too young for cards in bicycle spokes, but the Red Sox fan with whom I live was filled with wonder that it had happened again after all these years … personally I liked Cabrera’s low-key happiness. Nice to see instead of the me!me!me! grandstanding.
    Also a happy day in our house yesterday as the door to the Red Sox clubhouse slammed soundly on Bobby Valentine’s ass …

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  35. MichaelG said on October 5, 2012 at 11:56 am

    How wonderful, Deborah and how well earned. Congrats and I can’t wait to join you. Another year or so.

    It was playing cards when I grew up in suburban Chi-town.

    Lots of stuff in the Bay Area this weekend. UCLA at Cal, Ariz at Stanford. Giants playoff games, Niners and Bills, Americas Cup racing, Huge bluegrass festival, Columbus Day Parade, Fleet week and lord knows what else. The As won’t be in town, though. They’ll be back east somewhere playing I forget who.

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  36. Sherri said on October 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Enjoy, Deborah!

    What’s even more impressive about Cabrera’s Triple Crown is that he put up those numbers while moving across the diamond back to third base, a position he hadn’t played regularly in five years. Third base is more difficult defensively than first base, and it would have been reasonable to expect the switch to have an impact on his batting, and he still won a Triple Crown.

    Charlotte, the only reason I’m sorry to see Bobby V go is that I’ll miss the soap opera. I couldn’t believe the Red Sox hired him; this was an utterly predictable screwup. I guess someone decided that after nice guy Terry Francona, the Sox needed a jerk of a manager, and Bobby V is the biggest jerk around, so let’s get him.

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  37. coozledad said on October 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Video proof of the second coming of Nixon.
    Hairgel says it’s a hanky.
    It’s too stiff for that, but as long as we’re entertaining bullshit explanations, it’s probably a business sized envelope full of meth.

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  38. Jakash said on October 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    As for cards in the spokes, it seems to me that one used whatever cards you had around available for ruining on any given day. I’d say we used both in Ohio. My parents played cards fairly often, so there were plenty of old sets of those, but I had a growing number of baseball cards with many of the same characteristics (they came with a horribly stale piece of gum) and players as Dexter. I remember all the guys you mentioned, Dexter. Some other memorable names I recall that might or might not have ended up in the spokes — Don Mossi, Dick Howser, Joe Pepitone, Earl Battey, Bill Monbouquette, Camilo Pascual and, of course, the immortal Tribe corner combo, Max Alvis and Fred Whitfield.

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  39. Jolene said on October 5, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Big Bird went to WAMU, a DC-area public radio station, this AM. He sought consolation about his impending unemployment from Diane Rehm and filled out a job application.

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  40. coozledad said on October 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    On a warm summer’s evenin’ my campaign bound for nowhere,
    I met up with Jim Lehrer; he was too too tired to work.
    So we took turns a shoutin’ at the president in his darkness
    And I pulled my little notepad out, and tried to wipe my smirk.

    Lehrer said “Son, I’ve made my life out of reading rich men’s feces,
    And knowin’ what they’d pay me by the way they held their eyes.
    So if you don’t mind my sayin’, I can see your jenga pieces.
    I am personally shitting razor blades, and I can sympathize’.

    So I slapped him with my notepad like a desperate old employee, who was trying to bum me for a raise, and nearly doused his lights
    And he got deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression.
    Said, “If you’re gonna play the game, boy, I’ll help you win it right.

    You got to know when you’re senile, and you’re washed up with the penile
    There’s a time to huff that marching talc, and a time to smoke
    You never pull them notes out when the camera’s a blinking.
    There’ll be time to check your cheat sheet, while I have a stroke.

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  41. John (not McCain) said on October 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    “Naming rights: in the book Infinite Jest the years had naming rights instead of numbers. Imagine the Year of Home Depot instead of 2013.”

    My personal favorite was the Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment. Damn I miss DFW!

    Congratulations on your retirement!

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  42. brian stouder said on October 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Cooz – well done! (as always)

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  43. Dexter said on October 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Congratulations, Deborah. Today you get to be manic-depressive for a day, as tears come welling up and out as you make your final departure out the door, followed by a short numb period, then total eye-popping exhilaration, which soon fades.

    After a few weeks, almost every retiree thinks “How did I EVER find time to go to work?”

    I remember some old guys who came back inside the factory all the time in their retirement days…some organized the bowling league, some just liked to look around, like ghosts, knowing they didn’t have to work anymore. Some said retiring was their biggest mistake, but most left and never came back. Come December I’ll be retired ten years, and I have never returned.
    The worst part of retirement, by far, is reading newspaper obituaries. In ten years, I have lost many co:workers. But this isn’t a day to think about that stuff! Go have fun! Oh Hell Yes.

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  44. Dexter said on October 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    coozledad, you ain’t weird but y’shore iz diff’runt. 🙂

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  45. Sue said on October 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I know I should be making some snarky comment about how over-the-top this is, but I’m just going to say that it’s flat out awesome:

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  46. brian stouder said on October 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Sue –


    And I do mean –


    I scrolled down through the photos; did she say what they spent?

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  47. Judybusy said on October 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Congratulations, Deborah! I hope by now you are out of the office for good!

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  48. Jeff Borden said on October 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Regarding the naming of winter storms, I recall a time in the early 1980s when one of the male hairdos co-anchoring a Columbus newscast –I think it was Doug Adair– chimed in following a weather report about a very cold front driven by an Alberta clipper.

    The hairdo asked, “Are they naming winter storms now like they name hurricanes?”

    The poor weatherman had to pretend he was in on the joke while reminding the empty-headed hairdo that Alberta was a Canadian province.


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  49. Sherri said on October 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Naming rights also reminds me of the book Jennifer Government by Max Barry, in which everybody’s surname was the name of the corporation they work for.

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  50. Dorothy said on October 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Sue, it’s awesome but also kind of making my mind blow up, thinking of how much money was spent for a NINE YEAR OLD’s birthday party. I guess if you have a lot of money this is standard procedure, but the excess is just too much for me. I hate to tell Camille’s mother, but Ma would NOT have been proud of this display. She would have been mortified.

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  51. brian stouder said on October 5, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Sherri – and then, if we retire, or if we lose our job, or if we work for the government (including in the military) then our last name is….Moocher?

    Or maybe Fortysevenpercent?

    Or Romneyforsaken?

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  52. brian stouder said on October 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Or maybe our names would all end up hyphenated, reflecting our working lives. By the end of one’s career, one’s last name might be Walgreen-Entitledmoocher-Ford-SevenEleven-Entitledmoocher

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  53. LAMary said on October 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I would bet that the cookies at the Little House on the Prairie party cost more than the Ingalls family spent on food in a year.

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  54. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Happy retirement, Deborah. Make something wonderful out of this gift.

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  55. Heather said on October 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Did the Ingalls gals even have birthday celebrations? If they did the birthday girl probably got some store-bought candy or a new doll at most. It looks like a beautiful party though.

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  56. Dorothy said on October 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    You’d win that bet, Mary.

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  57. Dorothy said on October 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I should not let this bother me so much but I’m almost pissed when I think again that she would think Ma would be proud of her for getting details right about something. To me this means she has not learned anything about values after reading the books. I know she was trying to recreate some things that no longer exist in this world. I just wish she had not done it to this degree. Maybe have someone there to teach the girls how to embroider and they could make their own pillowcases, ice the cookies themselves, that kind of thing. I’m shaking my head thinking of how much good could have been done with all the money she spent on this, like stock the food pantry for the homeless in the nearest town. You guys probably think I’m nuts but I’m just being honest.

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  58. brian stouder said on October 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Dorothy, only a kook would think you’re nuts.

    Plus, the girls that show up in the pictures are clearly not the story.

    That’s maybe fair enough; the post focuses on the flub-dubs and so on, and not on the young ladies at the party.

    Still, the effect is similar to reading a Nieman Marcus catalog

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  59. Sherri said on October 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    This wasn’t a party for a 9 year old. This was a party for a mother living through a 9 year old.

    I liked the part where she said she didn’t want the food to be too excessive.

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  60. Sherri said on October 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Brian, if I remember the book correctly, if you have no job, you have no surname. If you have more than one job, you have a hyphenated surname. It was a pretty scathing satire, and pretty funny.

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  61. Suzanne said on October 5, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    “This wasn’t a party for a 9 year old. This was a party for a mother living through a 9 year old.”

    Yeppers! Most of this stuff is mom reliving the glory days.

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  62. John (not McCain) said on October 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    “Or Romneyforsaken?”

    Oh, the perils of speed-reading through comments. I may now have nightmares about Mitt’s foreskin.

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  63. coozledad said on October 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Speaking of dolls in the context of the Little House books reminds me of this from Grayson Perry, regarding his Charms of Lincolnshire exhibition:
    “A crucial figure in my early life was my teddy bear, so I was understandably drawn to include some of these spooky totems in the childhood landscape; dolls. Dolls are loaded with many associations in my mind. They are at once innocent and dead, they fascinate and repel, talismans of love and voodoo. The doll might have been the Victorian child’s only toy, imbuing it with concentrated emotional power. Nowadays a girl can drown under a mountain of easily disposable pink plastic. In the nineteenth century childhood was stalked by disease and consumed in hard work, different shadows fall on kids today.”

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  64. brian stouder said on October 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Sherri – sounds interesting….

    Imagine if you worked for Johnny On The Spot Porta-Pottie, and your name is Misty.

    (Our proprietress would once have been Nancy News-Sentinel; and might now be Nancy Bridge; and any family with multiple jobs could have some interesting hyphenation, yes?)

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  65. brian stouder said on October 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    John not-McCain –

    Oh the horror!

    The horror!

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  66. crinoidgirl said on October 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    No, Dorothy, you’re not nuts. You’ve outlined what I think was so wrong about that birthday party.

    And, happy retirement, Deborah! I hope to retire in ten years.

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  67. Sherri said on October 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Dude, you’re not supposed to tweet that, especially when you’re only the third string quarterback:

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  68. Kath said on October 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I think a lot of the interest in Little House comes from the TV show, so they may have missed the message of the books. I recently saw a one woman show by Allison Angrim, who played Nellie Olson, called “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch.” Apparently, the Little House show is very popular with the home school crowd who want to return to this idyllic time. Allison referred to them as “Bonnet Heads.”

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  69. Bob (not Greene) said on October 5, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Hey did Prospero fall off his bike again? 5 pm and not a word.

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  70. Prospero said on October 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    RMoney’s “crisp” debate performance:

    And isn’t it fracking weird how the adjective “crisp” popped up all over the place within minutes of the end of the RMoney rudeness seminar? Anybody here ever heard debate performance described repeatedly as crisp. “Frankly”, I thought RMoney’s waiting/listening impersonation of a Russian Orthodox ikon both disconcerting and creepy as hell. I watched the debate at my brother’s house, while I was up there helping him install a Pergo laminate floor in a huge finished room over his garage. Mark is an accomplished plaintiff’s trial lawyer. He says the hardest thing to deal with in court is an opponent committed to serial lying. Once you decide on a lie, it’s easy to stick with it and to make all your subsequent statements conform to the original lie. And as with the Presidential debate unwritten rules, decorum prevents judt calling your opponent a liar. RMoney lied his ass off. The next GOPer that spouts that Medicare cut lie would be struck dead with a lightning bolt if there were a just God in heaven. And some RMoney campaign shitheel said of the President: “When you aren’t that bright, you can’t be that well-prepared.”

    Deborah, heartfelt congratulations, and, since you’re heading for Billy the Kidland, Yeehaw. Now you get to Mooch on the economy, by getting your SSI money back, for another month at least. And I pray you never need the Medicare money back. Here’s a good musical sendoff to New Mexico:

    Nancy, your critique of Homicide a few days ago, just repeats some old tire points of received knowledge. The quick cuts and shakycam. Yep the Homicide creative team wisely cut back, when every TV drama started imitating ad Nauseam, including Homicide’s vile Friday night competition, Sonny goes to Frisco. The network forced the creative team to excise Jon (Crosetti) Polito from the best ensemble cast in TV history. Oh, and it was that. Among the actors introduced to mass audiences by the casting staff on Homicide were the aforementioned Jon Polito, Edie Falco, Mekhi Phifer, Gloria Reuben, Clark Johnson, Jon Polito, Giancarlo (Gus Fring) Esposito, and critics’ goto supporting TV actor Zeljko Ivanek. And great, and previously badly underrated actors like Yaphet Kotto, Melissa Leo and the inimitable Andre Braugher became household words.

    The crap about the alleged decline in quality after the first two seasons is just repeating self-serving nonsense spouted by network executives that buried their best show on Fri. nights and manhandled casting and creative decisions, to the detriment of the series. Seasons 5 and 6 were dominated with tales of the criminal royal family, the Mahoneys. Not until 2010 and Mags’ family of Bennetts has TV seen a familial criminal conspiracy so compelling. Mags could have been modeled upon Luther, in fact. And when Luther died and his sister Georgia Rae took over, she nearly made luther seem benign.

    Aside from anything else, the three-episode arc in the first season concerning Tim Bayliss’ first case, the child-murder of Adena Watson and the interview of the elderly araber played by Moses Gunn in his last role, is untouched by any other episodic TV, ever.

    No Rmoney, for Godsake, to paraphrase Creme and Godley.

    I spent the last couple of days at my brothers house up in Beaufort, next to Parris Island installine a composite floor. What a case of muck and mire for hire. the Pergo boards are manufactured to fit together tongue and groove. Only problem was, these were purchased two years ago and moved and stored many times in the interim. There was not a square corner to be found. Finally, I decided it was time for masonry nails and putty joints. That floor ain’t gonna float, but it sure as shit will look good and serve the purpose. The frustration involved when two planks of flooring that should both have straight square edges line up with gaps between them is difficult to describe. And all of the dimensions were metric.Aaaarrrrggghh.

    cooze: That reminds me of the clown in the kids’ room in Poltergeist.

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  71. Bob (not Greene) said on October 5, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Edit: actually no Prospero since Oct 2, when people got on him for dissing Fender guitars.

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  72. Bob (not Greene) said on October 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Edit 2: right on cue!

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  73. Little Bird said on October 5, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Wouldn’t plain sugar cookies, home made bread with honey, and other simple foods have been much more in keeping with the books? And instead of giving the guests crocheted items, TEACH (okay, maybe show) them how. Not even Nellie’s birthday would have warranted this much extravagance!
    Loved the button candies though.

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  74. Little Bird said on October 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Bob (not Greene), I figured he was recovering from an exploded head over the whole The Wire vs Homicide thing.

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  75. Sue said on October 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I think there was much of which Ma did not approve, and looking at the series from an adult’s perspective, I actually find Ma kind of scary. Repressed and rigid. Yes I know it was 140+ years ago, but Laura always has to wear red and Mary always has to wear blue, down to their hair ribbons? And Laura has to become a teacher because someone’s got to follow in Ma’s footsteps and Mary went blind and couldn’t do it?
    So this party woman may not know Ma very well but I’m not going to get mad at her because the party she planned might have angered someone like Ma, who seems a prime subject for some serious literary scholarship.
    Of course, yesterday or the day before people were casually discussing the enemas their mothers routinely gave them, so against that baseline maybe I don’t know what constitutes unacceptable motherly behavior.
    But anyway, I can’t get on board being angry about this woman’s party; she has real talent (and money) and lucky for her kids they get to have a good time while mom establishes what’s obviously going to be her post-kid career.

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  76. Sue said on October 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Little Bird, vanity cakes is what you would serve. From On the Banks of Plum Creek.
    gods. Even after all these years I know those books back and forth.

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  77. ROGirl said on October 5, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    An interesting follow-up to the butt chugging thread. I mentioned it at work today and someone said he had heard of it, but not in the context of frat boys. An old friend of his (they’re no longer in touch) was a heroin addict, and butt chugging was something that heroin addicts in Detroit did. Instant high on a bottle of beer.

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  78. Danny said on October 5, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Hmm, had a comment from several hours ago with one link and it must be in moderation purgatory.

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  79. MichaelG said on October 5, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Prospero, what Deborah will be receiving and what I draw are not SSI. SSI is disability insurance paid to children, survivors and those who can’t work. It’s a type of welfare payment, not something they’ve earned. Deborah will and I already draw plain old fashioned social security. That’s money we’ve paid into for decades and which we have earned through the sweat of our honest labors. I got kind of sensitive to the distinction when I went into the SS office one day and it was full of fresh off the boat, (OK, plane) immigrants wanting to draw SSI. I was the only person in the (admittedly small) SS office who had well and truly earned my benefits.

    I must confess that we never had a party like that for our daughter. Just had lunch today with the Ex. Very pleasant. She sure was looking good. Sigh.

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  80. Prospero said on October 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Little Bird, nope, only noticed that today. But I’m still correct, and The Wire is one of those badge-earing hipster things than almost anything but drinking PBR or Falstaff or some other dogass beer.

    And any of you explain to me how commenting that Gibson makes better guitars disrespects Fenders. Fenders gained whatever cachet they have for selling lower, so old times blues types could afford them. BB always had an SG and paraded around like he was a good guitar player. A good BB King blues line is rarer than Mitt RMoney actually telling the truth. And can anybody explain that Russian Orthodox ikon look on Mittens’ face between questions? Was he thinking about his planet after his apotheosis after he Lies for the Lord to fulfill the White Horse Prophecy? Virgins? I mean look at that meth addict shit. He was practically drooling.

    Hey Bob. I’ve never fallen off the bike. I’ve been run off with contact by assholes with GOPer stickers and bad intent. But, excuse me, you are being a dickhead.

    I’d say I never said anything derogatory about Fender guitars, unless you think opining that Les Pauls are better guitars, is somehow denigrating Fenders. Sorry, Coming up short.Did I ever say anything about Treme or The Wire, aside from the fact that bost series were glommed on by hipsters and thaat your gonna take a bleeeaaaating if you ever say a disparaging word. Sorry, good as the Wire is. I’d rather watch two hours of Tank Girl. It’s one thing to be a Wire devotee, but not admitting they robbed Homicide live, you are lying like a bastard.

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  81. Bob (not Greene) said on October 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Right, registered republicans with demo-radar on board are targeting you on purpose, whooping it up and crying, “Take that Caliban!” as they drive off. Stop being such a irretrievable asshole, and people wouldn’t be dickheads to you.

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  82. LAMary said on October 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Sue, I remember On the Banks of Plum Creek more than the others. I remember the girls had their braids tied with colored thread, not ribbons. I think maybe they got ribbons as a gift for Christmas or something?
    Nine year olds can easily learn how to do simple crochet. My older son used to watch me crochet when he was about that age, so I taught him how to do a few stitches. Now he makes scarves and caps for his friends. I also taught him how to macrame and he makes guitar straps.

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  83. Little Bird said on October 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    It’s official!! Deborah has left the office building!! She’s in a cab on her way home!

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  84. Rana said on October 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Two thoughts on that birthday party:

    1) It is more elaborate and expensive than our wedding, at which we hosted and fed about ten times as many people.

    2) What happens next year? And the years after that?

    2.b) This daughter is either going to take a vow of poverty and live off grid where her mother can’t reacher her, or she will become the most frightening bridezilla ever.

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  85. Deborah said on October 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I’m retired! It was exactly as Dexter said it would be, not to sound like Billy Joel but it was sadness and euphoria.

    Thanks for all of your kind words. Now I’ve got to pack.


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  86. Prospero said on October 5, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Have I ever acted like I thought I was smartert. I am but fuckck y’all. I am smarter than y’all/

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  87. Bob (not Greene) said on October 5, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Well, at least you’re consistent.

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  88. Catherine said on October 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    The LHP party:

    1. I wish I could have talked either of my daughters into that as a theme. They loved the books but not *that* much.

    2. I’m going to pull out that link anytime I’m accused of going over the top on a party. My DH was irritated that I spent forty bucks on a chocolate fountain this year. Maybe I’ll just whisper “quilt cookies” at him and he’ll leave me alone.

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  89. Catherine said on October 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    And Deborah, congratulations and enjoy the next chapter! It’s lovely to leave a job on such a high note.

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  90. Joe K said on October 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Running a 10k @ the Mennonite church in Stryker on Saturday with my daughter.
    Ride on out and cheer us on. I’ll be in the I love Romney shirt. Can’t miss me.(lol)
    Really a Disney Marathon shirt. 9:30am start.
    Pilot Joe

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  91. Dave said on October 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Only of interest to those who grew up or lived in Central Ohio of a certain age and/or watched Chiller Theater and Channel 10:

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  92. Danny said on October 5, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Okay, I am not waiting for moderation or whatever tech glitch is responsible. Here is what I wanted to post with the url altered in case that is the problem.

    Deborah, congratulations. Retirement has not even entered my mind at this point. Crap, I can barely relax on a vacation!

    Dexter, I always suspected you were a bad ass… Love the duallies story!

    And now for something completely different.

    science.slashdot. org/story/12/10/05/1438228/astronomers-search-for-dyson-spheres-of-alien-civilizations

    From the article summary:
    An article by Ross Andersen makes note of Freeman Dyson’s prediction in 1960 that every civilization in the Universe eventually runs out of energy on its home planet, a major hurdle in a civilization’s evolution. Dyson argued that all those who leap over it do so in precisely the same way: they build a massive collector of starlight, a shell of solar panels to surround their home star. Last month astronomers began a two-year search for Dyson Spheres, a search that will span the Milky Way, along with millions of other galaxies.

    I love sci-fi and knew of the concept of the Dyson sphere, but I wasn’t aware that it’s purpose was energy production.

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  93. Sue said on October 5, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    No, it was ribbons, some kind of dress-up occasion and the girls didn’t notice until Pa swung them up into the wagon, then Laura and Mary looked at each other and remained quiet because they didn’t want Ma to notice and change the ribbons back.

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  94. Little Bird said on October 6, 2012 at 12:09 am

    I remember a situation when Laura and her sister ended up with the others ribbons. And that whole day the looked down and marveled at seeing the other color. I don’t remember the reason, but that scene always stuck with me. Keep in mind, I read the first of the books nearly 30 years ago, so it’s been awhile.

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  95. Prospero said on October 6, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Baseball cards were never coated with some form of plastic, so they didn’t hold up to spokes music. They were just cardboard that wore down fast, and if we used them it was a Don Demeter or a Hank Aguierre. Playing cards wer cated and stood up for a while.

    Deborah, make sure to bring all of your Edward Abbey books into the wilderness, possibly Americas’ finest writer. And on the subject of the high desert, he is unparalleled. And listen to Jimmie Dale Gilmour and Graham while you are reading that:

    Anyway, you’re just the wave, not the water:

    And seriously, Bob. anybody that is buying the endless stream of RMoney lies is either stupid or a stone racist asshole. No other two ways about it. And I’d love for some jackass troll to point pit a single thing RMoney said that was atually true? You want your President Lying for the Lord, you got that shit, He’s incapab;e pf telling the truth. And please explain the creepy
    russian Orthodox ikon stare omto space. Was he thinking about jos planet when he’d Lied Enough for the Lord? Every sinble thing he said was a lie. Lying for th Lord means getting rid of the uppity Chocolate guy.

    I’ve ordered the Little House books. I imagine I’ll enjoy them, and I’m hoping to put the Michael Landon bedwetter shit behind.

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  96. Prospero said on October 6, 2012 at 8:31 am

    GOPers. Attack veterans everyday when they get home:

    This has become an outright assault on these folks. They’re leeches, like first responders and teachers. We need to fire all of them. That is the RMoney line. Or it was a few weeks ago.

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  97. beb said on October 6, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Hey. Danny, I saw that article yesterday, too. I’m a bit cynical about the odds of finding a dyson sphere surrounded civilization or distinguish it from a brown dwarf star, but more power to them nonetheless. A dyson sphere isn’t itself an energy collector, it’s a least-mass structure for building a sphere, and would then be lined with the actual energy collecting material.

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