A long fall.

I don’t know about you, but clicking the link to Felix Baumgartner’s historic skydive today was either the best or worst thing I did Sunday. Unlike some people, my cable internet came through and I had a clear, glitch-free picture the whole time. I checked in at about 6,000 feet and really couldn’t turn away.

By the time they reached this moment…

…my heart was in my mouth. When I stopped to consider the scientific value of such a stunt — and at this point, I’m going to call it a stunt, unless someone corrects me — I was distracted by the amazing photography. The balloon was literally a shiny object, and watching it grow larger as the air pressure abated only increased the drama. The description of the thing was “an inflated dry cleaning bag that would fill the Los Angeles Coliseum,” and it looked so utterly fragile. I guess I was utterly suckered in that sense.

I don’t know how important this exercise was. I’ll take Red Bull at its word that the data the mission gathered was important, but I don’t think this was another Mars Rover, either. Joe Kittinger was a nice touch. His gentle reminders to Baumgartner to reply to each directive gave the final moments of the flight some extra drama. What if he hadn’t answered back, or had a panic attack? Would it be possible to talk the guy down when he’s 24 miles above the earth?

Baumgartner’s stab at Neil Armstrong’s speechifyin’-in-a-sentence was a little lame, but that might be because once he let go of the capsule and fell into the void he disappeared from sight so quickly I gasped. Two seconds and he was a dot. Now there was a visual. In space, no one car hear you scream, but I think they must have heard me.

Watch for yourself. That’s pretty dramatic.

Did I just fall for a worldwide free-media publicity barrage for a vile soft drink? You tell me, but I enjoyed it.

And that was the weekend. We saw “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” which Kate said was the best movie she’d ever seen, so I guess that’s an endorsement. My former student Dustin had to work, but at least he got a good story out of it:

Some of the concertgoers at a late-season Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson concert at DTE Energy Music Theatre will have the chance to compare the venue’s acoustics to those at the Oakland County Jail.

Later on, Rob Zombie is quoted, and referred to on second reference as “Zombie.” Excellent.

Oh lord, another Monday. Let this week pass smoothly, please. Hope yours does.

Posted at 12:13 am in Current events, Detroit life |

79 responses to “A long fall.”

  1. Danny said on October 15, 2012 at 1:21 am

    I think Zeppelin came out with a new concert video this week. You should turn Kate on to that (if possible).

    Well, Robin’s back went out on her after surfing (but getting better), so a quiet few days on Kaua’i. When we landed, we found out that the Urgent Care closed at 4 PM on a Friday (an “island time” phenomenon). Luckily, one of my best friends is a doctor and he called in a prescription for us at the local Costco. It’s good to know a certified drug dealer.

    Went to a small Hawaiian church this morning and learned how to sing “How Great Thou Art” in Hawaiian. Very cool. Mostly everyone on the worship team had kicked off their “slippahs” and were barefoot. Love these guys. We are planning to extend our stay and do church at the beach next week.

    Sorry I have not gotten around to pics. The volcano was amazing. We hiked down to the caldera through tropical rain forest with the occasional steam vents from the activity down in the bowels of the earth. When we got to the crater, I peed on it to make sure the fire was out. 🙂

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  2. Dexter said on October 15, 2012 at 2:26 am

    That was worth the nine minutes viewing time. Amazing , start to finish. It wasn’t on my mind because of Sunday being the craziest TV day in my life, I swear.
    We had the Tigers vs. New York Yankees at 4. Before that, the battle of Ohio, Bengals vs. Browns, and also the Lions were losing to the Eagles, only to rally and win. At 8 the Cardinals played the San Francisco Giants in Game One of the NLCS.
    Sunday is also cable premium heaven, and I just had to watch Boardwalk Empire, Treme, Dexter, and Homeland.
    I did well, only missing Dexter. I recorded the last half of the Giants baseball game and will watch that now, and Dexter will be OnDemand later on today.

    Homeland is just plain tense and scary. Brody is just a monster. OMG, this is must-see TV.

    Treme is also tense and a great show, and Boardwalk is just as good. I am glad we have OnDemand because Sunday night is impossible, with all the great shows jammed together.
    I don’t watch any series at all on any other night, and I am too impatient to just watch one Sunday show OnDemand per night.

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 15, 2012 at 6:24 am

    FYI, if you get to the Air Force Museum at Wright-Pat in Dayton, and go all the way back thru the third display hanger, and go up the stairs in the silo all the way back of that, there’s a nice little display telling Joe Kittinger’s story. Next time I go, I’ll have to see what they add to note Felix’s accomplishment.

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  4. Suzanne said on October 15, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Wow. That fall. Even if you paid me millions, I could not, would not do it. I have to really talk my mind out of panic when I fly. It’s cool to look out the window and see things on the ground, until I think about where I am and where the ground is, and how much space there is between the two.

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  5. James said on October 15, 2012 at 7:07 am

    That was my question. What exactly was being “scientifically” proven?


    That’ll show those gravity-defying fundies.

    We’re watching Homeland and Dexter, although we missed both in favor of The Walking Dead, which was more of a butchery lesson than an episode this time. Eh…

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 15, 2012 at 8:02 am

    If you recall from “The Right Stuff,” “There was a demon that lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him would die. Their controls would freeze up, their planes would buffet wildly, and they would disintegrate. The demon lived at Mach 1 on the meter, seven hundred and fifty miles an hour, where the air could no longer move out of the way. He lived behind a barrier through which they said no man could ever pass. They called it the sound barrier.”

    Baumgartner was the first body not surrounded by a vehicle to pass thru the sound barrier, and as before, on that same day 65 years earlier (with a stick of Beemans in Chuck Yeager’s mouth), no one was quite certain what would happen. Would your body spin uncontrollably, no matter what your skydiving skills? Could you survive the sonic shock, even with a pressure suit around you? If there’s to be high altitude escape options for future near space travel, those questions have to be answered outside of the wind tunnel and computer modeling. That’s what Felix did. He killed the demon by proving that he’s more of a tiger, but one you can tame.

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  7. Judybusy said on October 15, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I will have to watch the video later–it looks amazing.

    I am floating today because I got to see Cassandra Wilson last night at an intimate, schwanky jazz venue, The Dakota. The way her voice just fills the air, covering all with sonic honey, is incredibly moving. The man who introduced her said the Dakota had been trying to get her there for twenty years. Let’s hope the next visit isn’t that far off!

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  8. JWfromNJ said on October 15, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Well written JTMMO!

    I was afriad for the guy, and questioned the merits of doing that. But seeing him land more gracefully that the local skydivers was amazing. The benefits – or the spin – is gleaning information that could help future astronauts make high altitute emergency jumps. The shuttle’s after Challenger had a pole device outside the door to facilitate jumping out, but that would have required the craft to be in level flight. And at about 8,000 feet. The first few Vostok’s had the cosmonaut jump out – which led to people questioning Yuri Gagarin’s records.

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  9. nancy said on October 15, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Judy, we saw Cassandra Wilson this weekend, too. On Friday, at Orchestra Hall. She made a couple of snarky comments from the stage about being asked to provide an intermission, and some other stuff that seemed to suggest she found the audience too old. Then, on her Facebook page, she replied to a fan who asked her to play in Detroit again, and said something to the effect that she hoped she could, but not in Orchestra Hall, because “orchestra halls are so 20th century.” WTF? Maybe next time she can get booked in a bar. See if she likes the green rooms any better.

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  10. Judybusy said on October 15, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Oh, Nancy, that’s too bad. The Dakota is basically a big bar, seats about 150. I still think she’s a national treasure.

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  11. nancy said on October 15, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Oh, it was a really good show. I love her voice, her band, everything.

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 15, 2012 at 9:29 am

    A scientific friend of mine passed along this fascinating tidbit: Felix’s jump, to scale on a standard schoolroom globe? From one millimeter above the surface.

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  13. baldheadeddork said on October 15, 2012 at 9:32 am

    The scientific value of Bomgartner’s jump is on the thin side. Some people who saw the project from up close during the development stage have said that the suit designed for this is a breakthrough compared to current spacesuits. But from what I’ve read, that’s about it.

    The biggest claim the team is making is that it will help astronauts and very high altitude pilots bail out in the upper atmosphere. That is questionable at best. The only reason a pilot would eject at that altitude is if the aircraft left him or her no other choice – either eject voluntarily or get thrown out as it disintegrates around you. That happened to a SR-71 crew on a test flight in 1966 and only one member of the two-man crew survived, the other was killed when the plane broke apart at Mach 3.2.

    Here’s the funny or the cool part: That pilot, Bill Weaver, survived because his flight suit and parachute did everything that Bomgartner’s suit did or could have done for him yesterday. At the moment the plane broke up the suit inflated just as Bomgartner did manually and became a survival pod. A drogue parachute deployed automatically to keep his body from tumbling out of control, just as Bomgartner’s suit would have done had he come close to being incapacitated. And Bomgartner should go into the record books for being the first skydiver to break Mach 1 in a free-fall, but Weaver was thrown into the void going three times as fast, and at a lower altitude where the air density would have been much greater.

    So how a pilot could be saved while flying in the upper atmosphere has been settled for a few decades. Bomgartner proved it worked again, and his suit might have some design breakthroughs that make it easier to use (If it’s strong enough to survive an ejection and the wear of regular use.) but that’s it. What we know about the physiology and processes didn’t change yesterday.

    And I think that’s okay. If a sugar water company wants to give Bomgartner a seven or eight-figure check to jump out of a capsule at 127,000 feet because no one has done it before, good for both of them. Not everything has to have a great meaning. As marketing it’s more interesting than any soda campaign I’ve seen, and the aviation geek in me is happy if the only lasting effect is if this gives Joe Kittinger what the movie Apollo 13 gave to the real astronauts and ground crews.

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  14. Deborah said on October 15, 2012 at 9:54 am

    What happened to the capsule after the jump?

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  15. JWfromNJ said on October 15, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Dexter – Brody is a little more complex than your description as a “monster”.


    We still don’t know everything that Abu Nazir put him through or what really happened with Issa. Season one implied he and Nazir were lovers.

    His wife is the grabby one.

    Brody opted to listen to his daughter at the end of S 1 and is loving to her, like when he discusses his faith.

    I’ve been hooked from day one but in some ways it’s too predictable or heavy handed like 24 was.

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  16. Jolene said on October 15, 2012 at 9:57 am

    The photograph at the top of this page is, by itself, worth the price of admission. Just gorgeous.

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  17. Jolene said on October 15, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Grabby? Not sure what you mean by that, JW. Say more.

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  18. nancy said on October 15, 2012 at 10:03 am

    The capsule was detached from the balloon and fell on its own parachute some time after Felix landed. Don’t know where, precisely, it came down, but I saw a picture of it in a brown, scrubby-looking area, and I understand it was nearby.

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  19. LAMary said on October 15, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Check your backyard, Deborah. It might be out there.

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  20. Dorothy said on October 15, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I saw “Perks” yesterday as well. Knew nothing about the book or the story but I know it’s a very popular book with the youngsters. It was sweet and sad and I’m glad I didn’t know anything ahead of time. Enjoyed seeing my city a few times in the scenery shots. We’re hoping to catch “Argo” this coming weekend when we’re on vacation for a family wedding in Florida. Movie will be viewed at night after the sun has gone down. I’m bringing two (2!) bathing suits! I’ll be a little more covered up for the wedding, of course.

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  21. JWfromNJ said on October 15, 2012 at 10:30 am


    Grabby in that she seems to want power more than her husband, she knows he is very troubled and violent, but she wants to be in the elite Washington circles when they came from a modest background. She shuns her daughter, she sleeps around (although so does Brody), she knows things Carrie has told her that should be of concern.

    It’s her pushing him to be Randall Flagg’s running mate – oh, sorry, mixed reference. But while most people would want him to decompress, get PSTD treatment, and most likely disability (so he can join thr 47%) she’s pushing this complex but troubled man into the oven. Plus she may remove her disguise and reveal she’s a lizard (V).

    I have to admit after the season one finale I thought the show wasn’t going to be able to ramp up the tension but it has. Some things aren’t plausible – no cameras in the CIA offices, etc.

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  22. BigHank53 said on October 15, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I’d say the scientific value of Baumgartner’s jump can by summarized by noting the record he broke had stood for fifty-two years. It’s certainly cool, and the footage is gorgeous. It should be; Red Bull can afford nice cameras.

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  23. adrianne said on October 15, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Nance, thanks for the video link to the big fall. Don’t want to argue about scientific findings, blah, blah. It was just a take-your-breath-away endeavor.

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  24. Prospero said on October 15, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Previous use for ballons that size has been missile defense testing, to give the bullet a target. And Raytheon and the military still couldn’t hit a bullet with a bullet. A couple of $trillion down the outhouse hole.

    And that is Mr. Zombie to the NYT. And I think my money’s on Zombie in a fistfight with Marilyn Manson, unless Dita von Teese gets into it.

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  25. Sue said on October 15, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I saw a movie called “Bernie” this weekend, I think it is what is called a ‘little’ movie. I came away with a new level of respect for Jack Black; he’s not just the manic “School of Rock” comic actor, he’s an exceptional physical actor. I liked the movie a lot. I still reflexively dislike Matthew McConaughey but anyone willing to wear those glasses deserves another look.
    And it rained this weekend, pretty much all weekend, oh hallelujah. I think I heard that the Milwaukee area is still short about 5″ for the season, even with the rain we got.

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    • nancy said on October 15, 2012 at 11:09 am

      I LOVED “Bernie.” I told Kate when it was over that if my church had featured music like “Love Lifted Me” as sung by Jack Black, we’d still be going.

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  26. brian stouder said on October 15, 2012 at 11:09 am

    The photos I’m looking forward to are Dorothy’s bathing- beauty Florida shots, when they vacation.

    I didn’t watch the Red Bull big fall show (until I saw it here), but I DID see the F1 race from Korea, which turned out to be a Red Bull tour de force, too.

    I suppose if we’re going to have an odd-ball Austrian looking for world-wide attention, our 21st century iteration beats hell out of the 20th century one

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  27. JWfromNJ said on October 15, 2012 at 11:13 am

    My church’s new musical director played “Little Wonders,” by Rob Thomas to weeks ago and he can sing, before that he’s played Sting and Bruce Honsby. We’re lucky to have him, and he scores video games for a living while finishing up his masters as a composer.

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  28. Charlotte said on October 15, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Thanks for the info on the capsule — I’ve been wondering about it — that’s a pretty sophisticated piece of equipment to just let float away. And I have to say, I found Kittenger talking Baumgartner (who apparently had several bouts of panic attack during the training process) through the jump really touching. I mean jeez oh pete — science or no science, that was as scary as scary gets. I did some adventure sports in my 20s, but nothing like *that*!

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  29. MichaelG said on October 15, 2012 at 11:32 am

    We had our own Austrian here for several years.

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  30. brian stouder said on October 15, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I’m thinking that I will not have tuna for lunch today.


    SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a 62-year-old employee was cooked to death at a southern California seafood plant for tuna maker Bumble Bee Foods.


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  31. Connie said on October 15, 2012 at 11:41 am

    My church did feature “Love Lifted Me’ though not by Jack Black. I still know all the words and am sitting here singing it in my office. Didn’t keep me going to church..

    Do check out the google doodle today and click it all the way to end of story.

    I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
    Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
    But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
    From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

    Love lifted me!
    Love lifted me!
    When nothing else could help,
    Love lifted me!

    Jack Black’s version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE7XEDrdcYs&noredirect=1

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  32. nancy said on October 15, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Excellent, Connie. Thanks. And thanks for this…


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  33. brian stouder said on October 15, 2012 at 11:50 am

    That is hysterical!

    The girls are gonna love seeing that ‘cat’astrophic leap, when they see it this evening!

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  34. brian stouder said on October 15, 2012 at 11:55 am

    And one other thing; I was downcast after reading yesterday’s Journal Gazette, with the photos of the horrible Tea Party billboard and the lynched effigy of the president…

    and now today there’s at least a marginally good piece of news:


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  35. Bitter Scribe said on October 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Severely OT, but I can’t help it and I know this bunch will be appreciative: A study has been released showing that getting HPV vaccinations does not make young girls promiscuous.

    That someone actually had to spend a lot of time and money studying this is a sad, pathetic commentary on the state of scientific and sexual enlightenment in this country.

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  36. beb said on October 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    At the time I was fascinated by the news’ framing of the jump. (I was going to say NBC, but there was no network news yesterday, every channel had some football lined up. In fact I’m surprised that the ALC games are only available from TBS. Where are big four networks on all this?)

    But anyway, the framing was that this was a stunt and how long do people ever remember a stunt… I’d never seen a news segment so dismissive of what it was covering. Then, reading Nancy’s comments above, focusing on how this was sponsored by Red Bull and what a disgusting product Red Bull is, and how should we cheer on an advertising stunt from such a disgusting drink (words to that effect) and I realized that much the same thought had gone through the news clip’s producer’s mind as well.

    Trying to find scientific value in this sky dive is silly. What scientific value came from climbing Mount Everest? None, absolutely none. But scores of people attempt it each year “because it’s there.”

    Mostly one has to admire a man nervy enough to think he can do a 20+ sky dive and survive. That takes guts.

    And that is a great picture, Nancy.

    Danny, peeing on a volcano, yeah, that’s teach it! (LOL) Sounds like a great vacation.

    I’m still surprised that the Tigers are in the playoffs. They seemed so inconsistent this year. But I’m rooting for them. The first game against the Damned Yankees was a nail-biter that had us down to the quick. The second game, I’m surprised wasn’t a blow-out by the Yanks. So there was a bad call. I’m sure the Tigers have lost games from bad calls in the past so it all balances out, and with it the Yankees are at all good they’ll be able to come back and win the series.

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  37. Jolene said on October 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Great rendition of Love Lifted Me. Thanks for posting. I love Jack Black in most things he’s done. Recently, he was on the Letterman show, as one in a series of guests impersonating Mitt Romney, who has refused to be on the show. The idea is to show Mitt that being on Dave’s show would be a great experience. Enjoy.

    And, yes, thanks for the cat jumping from space too.

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  38. beb said on October 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Bitter Scribe, you’ve been around here for a while, is there anything, in the whole dang world that could be considered “off topic”? That’s what I love about NN.C, everything is up for discussion.

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  39. Connie said on October 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Tickets are still available for this week’s Tiger playoff games, $79 and up. And Series tickets if it happens, more like $259 and up.

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  40. Prospero said on October 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Michele Bachmann said that the HPV vaccination caused an intelligent teenager to wake up one morning “mentally retarded”.

    Google doodle.

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  41. Dorothy said on October 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I loved the Jack Black clip – thanks for that Jolene! I could hardly stop laughing at when he walked out in those high blue jeans. Good thing it’s lunch time here at my office, otherwise I’d have had to explain what was making me laugh so hard.

    Brian I can guarantee you there will be no photographic evidence of me being in a bathing suit in Florida unless my beach cover up is located on my body, and not laying on the towel beside me.

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  42. brian stouder said on October 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Well, you have busted my bubble (so to speak!)

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  43. Jolene said on October 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Grabby in that she seems to want power more than her husband, she knows he is very troubled and violent, but she wants to be in the elite Washington circles when they came from a modest background. She shuns her daughter, she sleeps around (although so does Brody), she knows things Carrie has told her that should be of concern.

    It’s her pushing him to be Randall Flagg’s running mate – oh, sorry, mixed reference. But while most people would want him to decompress, get PSTD treatment, and most likely disability (so he can join thr 47%) she’s pushing this complex but troubled man into the oven. Plus she may remove her disguise and reveal she’s a lizard (V).

    I think you’re being too tough on her. Taking a lover, whom she genuinely seemed to love, after eight years of her husband’s absence is hardly “sleeping around.” The tension in the family stems from Brody’s inability to be honest about what happened to him and what he has become. I don’t think she had the faintest desire to be in elite political circles, but, having been pulled in, she is treating the enterprise as legit. So, again, there’s tension because she is playing it straight while her husband’s real loyalties lie elsewhere.

    Am very curious to see what’s going to happen now that it’s been revealed that Carrie was right about Brody.

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  44. Julie Robinson said on October 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Warm & sunny sounds great to me, Dorothy. I’m heading for the opposite corner of the country on Thursday, to visit our daughter, who lives north of Seattle. I don’t expect to see much sun except from our dear girl, who has the appropriate nicknames of Sunny/Sunshine. I’m really hoping I can lick this cold before getting on that plane.

    Almost any clean love song can be used in church if God is understood as the source and object of the love. Though I once lost a wedding gig when I refused to sing You Light Up My Life with the original lyrics of “it can’t be wrong when it feels so right”.

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  45. Dorothy said on October 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    When we sit down tonight to catch up on the shows we DVR’d last night, I’m thinkin’ Homeland has to be first on the list! I watch The Good Wife while it’s “live”. At 10 PM we’re usually too tired to stay up for anymore shows. We follow Treme, Dexter, Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, Walking Dead and The Good Wife. Anyone else here watching “Call the Midwife”? Too many conflicts on our DVR to record it Sunday night/Monday morning, but we found out our PBS station is (happily) repeating it at 3 AM on Fridays. Really loving it in our house. Especially since it’s stories began in 1957!

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  46. Prospero said on October 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I was disappointed that Carl hadn’t kicked the bucket between Walking Dead seasons. And I could do without Hershel too. Call the Midwife is delightful, and the new Upstairs Downstairs had the Kennedys, Jack and his dad Ambassador Joe to a fancy dinner last night, but Jean Marsh is no longer in the cast, which is disappointing.

    Women’s suffrage has been the downfall of the USA.

    That ol’ Appalachian trail-hiker my disgraced ex-governor Mark Sanford steps in the shit. This seems somewhat more flagrant than the Joe Bidenism regarding chains, which I’m fairly certain was a muffed reference to indentured servitude, rather than to race. But chucking spears? What a fracking dumbass.

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  47. Sue said on October 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    But Prospero, that’s good! A tea party female who doesn’t think women should vote removes one tea party vote from the ballot box! Yay!
    What do you mean she’s going to vote? That’s pretty nasty and double minded.

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  48. coozledad said on October 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I guess if Tommy Thompson were running in Indiana, his horribly disfigured son’s racist remarks would have put him over the top.
    As it is, if he manages to win Wiconsin, he’ll have to battle Mourdock for the title of most appalling mutton-faced racist in the chamber.

    Another instance of Mitt Romney stealing federal money, and denying health care to kids- can’t wait to hear the bleeding heart rightard response to this:

    But hey, at least they weren’t goddamn fetuses.

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  49. Prospero said on October 15, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    With Arlen Specter’s death, it’s worth noting his crucial effort in preventing Robert Bork from becoming an SC justice. The last reasonable GOPer.

    Another whole CEO threatening his employees to influence their votes. Gawdamighty what a dick.

    Sue, first thing is somebody needs to explain what diabolical means to that midgebrained jackass.

    Lindsay Lohan’s fellow travelers on the GOP bandwagon. (A very funny Chuck Norris takedown at the end.) Very sorry buncha has-beens. Pat Boone, who got ricch by the white breadization of Little Richard’s glorious and joyous raunch backs RMoney by bashing another brother? Quelle surprise.

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  50. Dorothy said on October 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Prospero I read that Jean Marsh had a stroke and is in only episodes 3 and 6 of the new “series.”

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  51. Prospero said on October 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    That’s sad news, Dorothy. She’s a great actress.My ex-wife and I saw her in a production of the TS Eliot play The cocktail Party at Brandeis once. A very fine play and a wonderful performance. We were both fans of U/D. but not as fanatical in our dedication as we were to Poldark, a rip-roaring show with great lead and minor characters. A good bit similar to Wuthering Heights actually. We have a DVD set of it. Lots of buckles swashed.

    Chainsaw Jack should STFU like TK about the latest BLS employment numbers:


    Light painting, a very cool video:


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  52. Prospero said on October 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Ron Raygun and his asinine fairy tale about the welfare queen. Maybe Oldtimers explains this but I don’t think so.

    And now GOPers have another hero from the past endorsing Willard Ananais RMoney, Frederick Doglass:


    In Yiddish, that’s called chutzpah. I had no idea Mr. Douglass would have signed on to the treasonous Norquist Pledge.

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  53. beb said on October 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    This could be an interesting development

    It’s more vest than bra, monitors temperatures all over the breast. Cancer shows up as persistent hot spots. Claims to detect cancer as much as 6 years sooner than a mammogram. Sounds promising.

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  54. Deborah said on October 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Beb that breast vest would be fantastic. I remember it was dear
    Moe who comment here years ago about the hilarious description of getting a mamogram was like squeezing your breasts in a refridgerator door etc. Mamograms are painful but necessary, it will be nice not to have to do that someday.

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  55. Prospero said on October 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Next time RMoney claims he doesn’t know what the President is talking about when the subject of outsourcing jobs to China, he should be made to explain Bain’s stewardship of Sensata. He also should have to explain his relationship with Bain in general.He has obviously lied, either to the SEC or to the American people.


    Obama v. RAygun on employment

    Next time RMoney claims he doesn’t know what the President is talking about when the subject of outsourcing jobs to China, he should be made to explain Bain’s stewardship of Sensata.

    Why putting a Mac-10 to my temple would not convince me to vote for a GOP candidate:


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  56. Jolene said on October 15, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    The cancer-detecting bra does, indeed, sound fantastic. Seems like it would be possible to develop schedules so that you wouldn’t have to wear it all the time. If they could be made so that they could be worn intermittently over a period of, say, two or three years, the cost would be more reasonable.

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  57. Deborah said on October 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I wrote #54 while I was at the DMV (called MVD here) while Little Bird made her second attempt to get her NM state ID. I made that comment on my iPhone which I often make typos with. I find it really hard to type on those darn things. Little Bird was successful this time, thank god. What do people do who don’t have a safety net to help out getting things like that. This will eventually help her get health insurance for her pre-existing condition among other things.

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  58. Prospero said on October 15, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Rosie Perez’ funny video about how RMoney is a dickhead.

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  59. coozledad said on October 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    And the Lord said: Suffer the poor to come unto the house of beans and franks, but avoid them in person. Even when washing pre-washed dishes for a photo op, let the man who would sink his hands beneath the waters select a waterproof wristwatch or one of inexpensive manufacture. For he that has gained a news cycle and lost a Rolex is the kind of douche who is not merely weak at managing perceptions, but needs assistance breathing:

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  60. Prospero said on October 15, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    If Willard can quote an American Enterprise Institute study to defend his Pooka tax plan, Obama should counter with this graphic representation of GOPer plans for:

    http://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/healthcare/news/2012/08/24/33897/infographic-how-much-more-will-the-romney-ryan-medicare-plan-cost-you/ Medicare.

    Ed Gillespie claims AEI is non-partisan. I know Center for American Progress is not, but I believe them to be more honest.

    Why the internet is a mixed blessing.

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  61. MaryRC said on October 15, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    I think this season of Upstairs/Downstairs really suffers from Jean Marsh’s absence, or maybe because it had to be quickly re-written to write her out.

    I’m disappointed because it’s such a fascinating period in British history what with the abdication, the advent of war and the rise of fascism in Britain. It would have been great if we could have seen Lady Persie swanning around Berlin and schmoozing with Hitler like Unity and Diana Mitford, or what the Duke of Kent really got up to in his leisure time. But they obviously didn’t have the budget for this. So it’s just sort of historical name-dropping with a few seconds of the Duke of Kent here and Lady Persie phoning from the midst of Kristallnacht there (the Mitford girls would have been cheering the Nazis on instead of begging to be rescued). It’s starting to remind me of one of those parodies in Monty Python or Blackadder that made fun of this very type of BBC costume drama, with Bryon and Shelley and Sam Johnson all dropping by and delivering one line.

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  62. Deborah said on October 15, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I just filled out my absentee ballot for Obama et all in the upcoming election. I hope I did everything correctly. It gave me pause, what if I had extraneous marks on the ballot that I had not intended or some such. Tomorrow it goes in the mail to the Board of Election Commission in Chicago and then I’m done.

    I was going to campaign for Obama here in NM, and I will if there is anything I can do to help, but I have found out it’s a pretty blue state as it is and may not need much help from me.

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  63. MaryRC said on October 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Ryan’s pretend-dish-washing photo op — honestly, what kind of person does this? And gets his kids involved too? Does he really think that a homeless shelter is just there as a prop?

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  64. Julie Robinson said on October 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Deborah, I bought a stylus to use on my tablet, which also has those annoying tiny letters. It’s not perfect, but it helps a lot.

    Love the cancer-detecting bra idea, hate getting squashed.

    The new Upstairs/Downstairs is highly inferior to the old one, with season two even worse than season one. I think I read somewhere that BBC didn’t renew it.

    Meanwhile, has anyone been watching the new season of Downton Abbey? Not to sound like a little girl, but OMG!

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  65. MaryRC said on October 15, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Julie, I think another problem with the new U/D is that there’s no one upstairs to root for. Lady Agnes is a harpy, Lady Persie is a pill, I can’t believe Sir Hallam wasn’t canned from the Foreign Service long ago for being a doofus and I don’t believe for one minute that Alex Kingston’s character could be a member of the aristocracy, let alone Lady Maud’s sister. The actor who plays the Duke of Kent is very attractive, though!

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  66. Jolene said on October 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Julie, how are you watching the new season of Downton Abbey? I thought it wasn’t being released in the U.S.

    Deborah, the Obama campaign will certainly find something for you to do. Could be calling people in other states or helping w/ GOTV efforts.

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  67. Julie Robinson said on October 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    MaryRC: Duke of Kent, word.

    Jolene: (ahem, cough, cough) They are posted at some sites. It’s my understanding this might not be fully kosher, but I’ll be watching them again in January when they run here.

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  68. Sherri said on October 15, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Man, if you’re going to do a fake dishwashing photo-op, you could at least make it look good. Maybe splash a little something on the apron so that it looks like it didn’t just come from the laundry.

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  69. Deborah said on October 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    I’m gonna have to look for a stylus, I seem to be all thumbs when it comes to the tiny keyboard of the iPhone. On the other hand so many young folks only use their thumbs, both of them, to type. How do they? Beyond me.

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  70. Sue said on October 15, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Paul Ryan, devout old-school Catholic, needs to visit a confessional pronto.
    No wonder the nuns are following him around.

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  71. Prospero said on October 15, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    Deborah, try Amazon for styli. I got a trio of them for less than a buck. Very nice. And a good way to work for the President is to work for resposible Congressional representation. Think what employment figures would be had the House not kiboshed so many public sector jobs. The “six studies” crap is something the President should nail to the wall. These mofos just lie like it is going out of style. It’s the bikini chart. 5.4 million private sector jobs produced, even with the Shrub backwash, and my earlier link displayed how GOPers have different standards for Dem and GOPer Presidents. Raygun got a pass, Obama doesn’t. I’m sick and tired of this massive and flagrant mendacity. Kaiser Foundation says that Ryan’s Medicare Plan would cut benefits by 60%. RMoney says this doesn’t reflect their actual plan. Do they explain the actual plan? NFW. This is beyond comprehension.

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  72. Crazycatlady said on October 15, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I had a patient once who had to wear a ‘shock vest’. She couldn’t have a pacemaker, so she wore a vest which had an automated defibrillator in it. It was such a cumbersome thing and it just was unbearable for her. I like the idea of a defibrillator bra!

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  73. Prospero said on October 16, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Is the deficit a problem, or is it, as Dickless Cheney said, deficits doan mean shit?


    How do these aholes get away with this total perversion of facts?

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  74. Sherri said on October 16, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Hey, sports fans, guess who the NHL has hired to help hone its message during the lockout? Frank Luntz! “Shared sacrifice” is evidently the go-to phrase…


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  75. ROGirl said on October 16, 2012 at 5:55 am

    As I was watching Upstairs Downstairs on Sunday I was also thinking how soapy and unengaging the story and characters are, especially in comparison with the original. The Kennedy’s show up for dinner and Jack pukes in the kitchen? Lady Persie is rescued from Germany after boffing the Nazi high command? Not someone I have been rooting for.

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  76. Dorothy said on October 16, 2012 at 6:26 am

    I accidentally read an update about Downton Abbey when reading something at another site yesterday. It was kind of a big deal, what I read and now I”m mad at myself for giving in and reading it! Yes the new eps come on here in January. I think Jean Marsh’s stroke was not too serious, hence her ability to be in 2 of the 6 episodes. But yes to whoever said they thought it wasn’t renewed past this current season. I did read that last week, too, somewhere on a website.

    I’m going to be limited in posting here in a few weeks as I’m having my second basal joint arthroplasty surgery on my right thumb. (That was awkwardly said. It’s the first such surgery on my right thumb – I already had the left thumb done in July 2011.) I won’t be texting, typing, writing or doing much knitting for about 8 weeks. It’s all good, though. I can’t wait to make the pains in that thumb joint stop. I have a terrific surgeon so I’m going into this surgery with much less trepidation than I did for the first thumb last year. It’s three weeks from today – hence why i’m voting early. Could not risk stopping by my Board of Elections on the way home from surgery and accidentally voting for the weasel Mitt while I was loopy on pain killers and leftover anesthesia!

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  77. Deborah said on October 16, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Dorothy, Sorry to hear about your thumb problems, sounds like surgery does the trick for you. I have started to have pain in the MCP joints of both my index fingers. It got worse this summer for some reason. The twisting motion is when the pain hits, when I remove or close the gas cap on a car, or simply opening a water bottle cap or anything like that. It’s not bad enough for surgery, I’m hoping it subsides. Maybe I need to cut back on red wine. Oh woe.

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  78. Dorothy said on October 16, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Sorry to hear about that pain you’re having, too, Deborah. I take Celebrex daily for my arthritis and it helps a lot. I have a bad left knee too, and I am expecting to have a knee replacement next spring. I will be glad to get off the Celebrex if these surgeries take care of the arthritis problems. Celebrex is expensive!

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