Pop-ups, two kinds.

I was up very early Saturday morning (PSAT chauffeur duty) and after dropping off the testees, thought I’d take the long way to the Eastern Market. It’s important to do that every so often — step out of your groove, that is — if only to foil kidnappers. I drove down Mack Avenue, which goes from Grosse Pointe through the worst of the abandoned east side, and deep in the latter region I passed a building with the brick facade painted black, yellow caution tape stretched here and there, and this painted over all: HAUNTED HOUSE.

You have to laugh. Much of the surrounding neighborhood resembles a haunted forest, but what the hell, why not add a house? Of course no one was there at that hour, but later that day Alan and I were coming back from our evening o’ fun, and decided to drive past. Smoke was rising from the site; is it possible someone actually torched it? As we got closer it was revealed to be someone cooking barbecue on the sidewalk, presumably for the patrons.

While I applaud the entrepreneurial spirit, you couldn’t pay me enough to go through that thing.

Our evening’s entertainment was this, a pop-up Euro-style biergarten, now in its second year of popping up. The beer was great, the bratwurst even better, and we ran into some people we know. Not a bad evening for about $30.

Pop-up businesses keep your city on its toes, and well-fed with barbecue. And brats.

Then, today, raking leaves. Because that’s what you do here in KeepUpYourLawnville.

Oh, and there was a pie. Apple, with Northern Spies. Which means that no matter what else happened over the weekend, it was a success.

I know we’ve gone over the Lance Armstrong story to almost an enervating degree, but I had the time to absorb this NYT story, about how the case against him was built, and it left me, once again, sort of agog at the guy:

Antidoping officials on multiple continents had pursued Armstrong for years, in often quixotic efforts that died at the wall of silence his loyal teammates built around him as the sport’s global king. Armstrong kept the dark side of his athletic success quiet, investigators and cyclists said, by using guile and arm-twisting tactics that put fear in those who might cross him.

And from the USADA report released last week:

On July 23 in the 18th Stage at the 2004 Tour de France, (Filippo) Simeoni (who testified against Armstrong’s doctor) joined a breakaway. However, Armstrong rode him down and threatened if Simeoni did not return to the peloton Lance Armstrong would stay with the break and doom it to failure. As a consequence, Simeoni retreated to the peloton. There was no potential sport or cycling advantage for Armstrong’s maneuver. In fact, it was dangerous and impetuous, as Armstrong rode away from his supporting teammates to catch Simeoni, wasting valuable energy and unnecessarily incurring greater risk of a mishap while riding without assistance.

As Simeoni and Armstrong fell back to the peloton, Armstrong verbally berated Simeoni for testifying in the Ferrari case, saying, “You made a mistake when you testified against Ferrari and you made a mistake when you sued me. I have a lot of time and money and I can destroy you.” Armstrong was captured on video making a “zip the lips” gesture which underscored what Armstrong had just said to Simeoni about how Simeoni should not have testified against Dr. Ferrari.

This sounds like the behavior of a Mafia enforcer. And yet, I’m still hearing what a good, if flawed, man he was. I’m sure he did it all for the love of cancer patients.

Something for Jeff and Brian — a man who actually saw Abraham Lincoln shot at Ford’s Theater, appearing on “To Tell the Truth.”

His dream was to be an architect. He settled for carpentry. And earlier this year, he was the one who alerted the city that they might have a collapsing grocery store on their hands. A sweet story about an ordinary guy. It put me in mind of the assistant manager at a movie theater who, during the freakish F4 tornado in Van Wert, Ohio, a few years ago, had the presence of mind to scope out the building, correctly identify the strongest part (the bathroom), stop the movie, herd everybody into the bathroom with only moments to spare, and all survived. (In fact, he was the only one with an injury of any kind — a cut on his arm. A couple of cars ended up in the seats where everyone had been sitting. A hero who woke up that morning and probably thought, “Hmm, what a warm day for November.”

Finally, paranoia in Northern Michigan.

Happy week, all. Two weeks until the election.

Posted at 12:38 am in Current events, Detroit life |

63 responses to “Pop-ups, two kinds.”

  1. Sherri said on October 22, 2012 at 2:26 am

    My ballot goes out with tomorrow’s mail. Done! I miss precinct voting, but voting by mail is much easier. The way Washington does it can make for some long delayed results, though; ballots only have to be postmarked by election day, not received by election day. When we basically had a tie for governor eight years ago, with multiple recounts, it made for a drawn out process.

    My annoyance of the day is that I have to go to the bank and get my PIN reset on my debit card. I’ve had the same PIN for 9 years, and I’ve used it regularly, but today, I just could not remember it. It’s just gone, poof. I can remember phone numbers from 35 years ago, but a 4 digit PIN I’ve used for 9 years? Lost.

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  2. Dexter said on October 22, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Two hours ago I saw the first one I have seen since I was in Yosemite forty-two years ago. I saw a shooting star, just screaming across the northeastern sky. I remember seeing them as a kid, and I remember seeing one as I was camped under the stars for a few nights in Yosemite, but it’s been a long drought for me in the shooting star sightings. They are spectacular.

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  3. Dexter said on October 22, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Mr Seymour’s story…Oh My God! Who would have thought someone would have been alive in 1956 who had seen the assassination? As another character from TV in those days would have said, “Great Caesar’s Ghost!” That would have been Perry White, editor of The Daily Planet in Metropolis. The actor was the great John Hamilton. And it was great seeing the cast of “To Tell the Truth” again. We watched that show all the time.

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  4. Deborah said on October 22, 2012 at 4:12 am

    Dexter, you probably saw a meteor from the shower called Orionids. It peaked in the early hours of Sunday but will continue for a day or two. Was it in the southern sky?

    They say on any given night if you are in an area where the stars are very clear you can see one “shooting star” per hour.

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  5. Deborah said on October 22, 2012 at 4:13 am

    I just reread your comment Dexter, you said it was in the northeastern sky.

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  6. MarkH said on October 22, 2012 at 4:19 am

    Nancy, the show was I’ve Got A Secret with Gary Moore, and I found this video on YouTube and posted it here earlier this year. Brian acknowledged it then. Mr. Seymour died two months after this appearance.

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  7. Danny said on October 22, 2012 at 4:21 am

    Whenever it was we were on Mauna Kea (2 weeks ago?.. it is all running together now), we saw three in the span of about a minute. NOt sure of the direction, but I think it was northeastern.

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  8. Danny said on October 22, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Interesting time at church on Kaua’i this morning. Part of the worship service was with three hula dancers. And before anyone gets the wrong idea (cough:: Brian :: cough), it was not the hula dancing that involved scantily-clad Hawaiian hotties with coconut shells cupped over their breasts. It was actually one of the more worshipful expressions I’ve ever experienced (not the the other kind of hula is half bad either ;-))

    This particular local church was doing a youth and homeless outreach at one of the local beaches and several of the members told us something I found surprising: Apparently, there is a very high incidence of teen suicide on the islands. Not something I have researched for veracity, but if true, very sad.

    Despite whatever the movie The Descendants offers as commentary, life is life on the islands.

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  9. Brandon said on October 22, 2012 at 5:24 am

    @Danny: as a born-and-raised Hawaiian (of kanaka descent), I’m always interested in tourists’ impressions of Hawaii. What did you think of Hilo?
    Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, et al. Every hero’s feet of clay will be discovered sooner or later.

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 22, 2012 at 6:49 am

    Danny, if you haven’t read Susan Orlean’s “Life’s Swell,” you will appreciate it even more now: http://www.outsideonline.com/adventure-travel/north-america/united-states/hawaii/Life-s-Swell.html

    That “I’ve Got a Secret” video I fear I’ve reposted too often, but I’ll have to do it again now. In my dad’s Civil War organization, I’ve met half a dozen of what the SUVCW calls “True Sons” which are sons of Civil War veterans who married late in life to younger women. There’s still at least a couple alive today, elderly men whose fathers fought at Arkansas Bend and the Siege of Petersburg. But to shake their hand, and hear their faint recollections of childhood hearing their father’s stories: it’s quite an experience leaping across centuries.

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  11. alex said on October 22, 2012 at 6:53 am

    Then, today, raking leaves. Because that’s what you do here in KeepUpYourLawnville.

    Well, here in KeepOuttaMyBiznissville, I just rode around on my Cub Cadet and mulched the ankle-deep leaves into a powder. The widowed gold-digger next door has been showing me up by bagging her leaves every day. She also runs a vacuum cleaner on her driveway. (She’s the toxic hussy who broke up an old couple’s marriage and then got their house. No sooner had she married the old man when he keeled over dead.) She has been a bit frosty lately, owing to the upcoming election I suppose. In 2008 when Obama won, she placed a black jockey statue in her back yard and positioned it in our faces, basically.

    I hope to go vote early on my lunch hour one day this week. This one’s a real nail biter.

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  12. Danny said on October 22, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Brandon, we loved Hilo. Stayed on Nene Street at a B&B close to Richardson’s. We did this because we wanted to be close to the volcano and observatory and also because we are not really “resort tourists”.. we like to mingle. And I would say that Hilo probably is the least “touristy” of the places we stayed on this trip and was probably my favorite (though I love Kaua’i too).

    And I know that the Coqui frogs are not indigenous, but they were charming. We’re driving back from dinner that first night (from Ponds Restaurant… very, very good) and my wife thought the car was making a noise and slowed down and asked me to roll down my window. When we stopped with the windows down, we said, “What the hell is that?!?” and then proceeded to laugh our asses off. It was like a “My Cousin Vinny” moment. However, we slept like babies during all of it (which for you mainlanders, lasts from sundown to about 3 AM .. a total cacophony).

    Brandon, another impression I have of Hawaii is the extreme kindness of the people and richness of the culture. I have only a cursory, naive awareness of it as a tourist (something I hope to educate myself on in the future), but it seems like at least there is some impetus for the culture to be nurtured and continued. I am very glad for that, because if it were to pass or to be absorbed and dissolved into general Western culture, it would be a terrible loss for all of us.

    Also, I have reached the conclusion that I never want to live on Hawaii. I think it is best left for only true Hawaiians to live there and to be the rightful caretakers of it… but I do want to spend a considerable amount of my disposable income occasionally visiting there and enjoying it with the blessings of the people.

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  13. beb said on October 22, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I was fascinated by some of the tricks Armstrong is alleged to use to enhance his performance and the efforts to find tests that would identify. It was a fascinating look into chemistry. But mostly I think about the steroid scandal in Baseball. Only one person was ever prosecuted (I think) for using steroids and he was prosecuted not for using the drug but for lying to Congress about it. But one has only to look at all the thick-necked monsters playing the game today to realize that everyone takes steroids. And that they have to take the drug just to keep up with all the others taking the drug. And that’s how I feel about cycling and Lance Armstrong. Prove to me that no one else in cycling was doping and I’ll share in the hate on Armstrong.

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  14. brian stouder said on October 22, 2012 at 9:19 am

    As The Atlantic introduction says, the hook within the Lincoln assassination witness video never gets old; it jumps across a century and a half, and reminds us that “history” lives among us every single day.

    At the Lincoln colloquium last week, they had an afternoon discussion of 21st century American slavery.

    Short version: yes – it’s no longer legal, but it continues apace, as close as next door*. Even leaving aside the human trafficking of young girls – and their serial rape by one john after the next – a kiddo (usually from another country) selling $1 trinkets door to door, or at the street corner could well be enslaved.

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  15. brian stouder said on October 22, 2012 at 9:20 am

    *Ron Soodalter was one of the speakers at the event, and he wrote this book:


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  16. Dorothy said on October 22, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I saw shooting stars several times when my husband was out of work for 7 months from late in 2000 until June of 2001. I always attributed spiritual meaning to them, holding out hope they indicated that we had good news coming soon. I’m not sure if that was valid or not but eventually we DID get good news in the form of a job in Cincinnati! Life has been pretty great since then (minus colon cancer and our fathers’ deaths).

    Julie how was your trip to the Northwest? We had a terrific time in Florida. I’ll put pictures on Flickr in a few days when I can take the time. Facebook trumps Flickr these days for immediacy of sharing. The bride loved looking at my pictures last night – they left this morning for a nice long Virgin Islands honeymoon. My nephew was the groom. We met so many great young folk who are friends of theirs, and spent some quality time with three of my four brothers. I felt honored to be the only sister invited from among our sibs. I think there were about 75 guests at the wedding. They had to really show restraint with the guest list; I hope my other sibs weren’t too disappointed they weren’t invited. I could easily get used to temps in the 80’s in late October.

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  17. Icarus said on October 22, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Ran the Detriot marathon this weekend so I finally got to see many of the places Nancy has written about here.

    Detriot missed an opportunity. Many runner tourists were in town but few restaurants were open on Sunday and the ones that were were not prepared for extra patrons. All those tourist dollars not collected. What a pity.

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  18. Catherine said on October 22, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Re Armstrong: Bullies gonna bully.

    Great story from the guy who was in the theater at Lincoln’s assassination. Human wormhole, indeed. I finally mostly finished Team of Rivals, so here’s a question for the Lincoln people: Who is your favorite member of Lincoln’s Cabinet, and why? Doesn’t have to be one of the “rivals.” Or are they interesting at all? There’s a new bio of Seward out — heard the author on Fresh Air & he was interesting, but I’m going to wait before picking up my next 750-page history book.

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  19. brian stouder said on October 22, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Gotta love Seward; he and they Tycoon* were ‘on the same page’, once they were through knocking heads. Plus, gotta love the somewhat poetic parallels between President Obama of Illinois and SecState Clinton of New York – who defintitely constitute a present day ‘team of rivals’!

    *my real favorite is of course John Hay – who isn’t in the cabinet but who is the sort of intellegent functionary/witness to history that I would hope to be

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  20. Joe K said on October 22, 2012 at 11:23 am

    From one marathoner to another, congratulation! Hope you hit your goal, you had great weather.
    Hanging in Minneapolis
    Pilot Joe

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  21. Prospero said on October 22, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Not defending Lance, but. Neither USADA nor any other anti-doping agency ever produced a positive test, aside from the compromised test the French tech took home with him for the weekend. At the least, this tells me these agencies are technically incompetent cash cows, generally run, like traffic schools, by people with the opportunity and wherewithal to put others under their control. Doping was clearly, and probably still is, rampant in cycling, and none of these self-appointment law enforcement types ever managed to do a fracking thing about it. I don’t find the Simeoni story very compelling, beccause it requires a belief that all that chase and pelloton stuff is actually some sort of explicable strategy. For me, cycling strategy is a tad beneath soccer (crossing or downfield).

    I managed a business through a tornado, once, years ago in Athens GA. My challenge was simple. The place was T. K. Harty’s saloon (of America’s Most Wanted infamy). The bar was in a n old Southern Railways freight depot built with walls of four interlocking brick wythes. We might have lost the roof, but major ordnance wasn’t likely to damage those walls. As the storm approached, the electronic cash register died. We had 30 or so patrons in various states of inebriation. I got my boss Ted harty on the phone, and he told me where to find a crank to operate the register. When I was less than enthusiastic, he said “What the hell. Give ’em free PBR until it goes by. No Heineken.” A good time was had by all. Free hipster beer (it wasn’t yet in those days) makes a jolly crowd. I actually saw the twister from our kitchen door, dismantling a trestle (not the trestle) and strewing railroad ties in the air. Loudest thing I have ever heard in my life, no doubt. Didn’t save anybody from the storm, but I was told years later that a child had been conceived in the pitch dark but for candles bar, and no injuries were sustained.

    Ted Harty’s murder:


    Congratulations on the long run Icarus.

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  22. kayak woman said on October 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Small world: I was also at that popup thing on Saturday with my daughter & a bunch of her friends. I left before 6. I don’t spend much time in Detroit but with my daughter now living in Ferndale & hanging around in the city, that may change.

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  23. Prospero said on October 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    A right-wing Super PAC has now pledged $4.5 million to, in their words, “war game” against and “bury” Tammy Duckworth.

    just got that message from Tammy Duckworth’s campaign against deadbeat Joe Walsh. Nice choice of words, you assholes. Tammy says the Iraqis didn’t manage to bury her and she thinks Joe Walsh won’t either. That language is just boneheaded.

    Paul Broun? My question is one my dad used to raise regarding this ignoramus: “Who in the world is dumb enough to go to this guy for medical care?”


    I had a dream early this am of Tagg Romney streaking by the alert Secret Service agents and getting coldcocked by the President of the United States. GOPers. The shit that comes out of their mouths.


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  24. jcburns said on October 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Spent the morning watching (thank you Nance) PBS Frontline’s “The Choice 2012.” Which, as a well-made documentary should, rounded out Mitt and Ann, Barack and Michelle…made them more understandable as complete human beings.

    And then after lunch came across this, which challenged my charitable interpretation of the Romneys. I really think that if you come from the patrician class, it must be nigh on impossible to “get” the struggles of those who are trying to live on unequal pay.

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  25. nancy said on October 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Parody site, John. Parody site.

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  26. jcburns said on October 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Urp. Okay, I’m back to being charitable. For now.

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  27. 4dbirds said on October 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    The “True Sons” comment made me realize, I have a distant cousin, almost a century old, who remembers my GGG-grandfather(born in 1830ish). He was quite old when she was a child but she lived only a few houses down from him in a tiny Missouri farming community so remembers him well. That great-great. was in turn the younger son of my gggg-grandfather who was born in 1790. So today in 2012, there are only two degrees of physical touch separation between me and an ancestor who was born in 1790.

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  28. mark said on October 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    After threatening to destroy someone, I always make the “zip the lips” gesture. Mafia? Sounds more like the playground.

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  29. Danny said on October 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Interesting, about 15 years ago or so, this idea had also occurred to me of degrees of separation spanning over time with events during the civil war and before. I remember it well, because it was around this time that I had decided to start recording on video conversations/interviews that I was having with my grandparents to chronicle their lives for posterity.

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  30. Danny said on October 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    mark, that is kind of funny, now that you point it out. You would more expect a finger being drawn across the throat than the lips.

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  31. Prospero said on October 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Still racist after all these years.

    America: just seconds away from a clean getaway. All convinced of our post-racial bona fides, certain of our moral and cultural evolution, ready to embrace the multihued palette of a vibrant mixed-race society… then we elect a black president and that old Devil comes slithering out from under the carpet, crawling in from behind the drapes.

    My that is well put. But Ann Coulter says there are no racists anymore, just liberals pandering to black people and calling GOPers racist. Kommissar Karl has renounce all that and the Southren Strategy is no more. Michell Malkin vouchsafes her word on that.


    And for everybody that sees nothing untoward with young Master Tagg owning voting machines, I offer this story from an internet friend of mine:

    First day of early voting in Texas and already we’re in trouble. I don’t tweet, but can somebody please pass this on? These electronic machines are NOT to be trusted. This morning Charlie Gunn’s ballot review turned up a significant list of candidates for whom he had NOT voted, and (surprise, surprise) they all were, shall we say, significantly to the right of his positions. The election judge was summoned, she discarded that e-ballot and Charlie started over, but needless to say, if he had not gone over the ballot in detail before he pushed “Vote” he would have cast votes for people he did not choose. BE CAREFUL OUT THERE; CHECK EVERYTHING!!! And no, we are not making this up. It really happened.

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  32. mark said on October 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    If Armstrong were serious, he would have followed up with the “closing the lock, throwing away the key” gesture.

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  33. Dexter said on October 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm


    It appears that Mo Rocca’s new documentary “Electoral Dysfunction” won’t be appearing on either Fort Wayne or Toledo PBS stations. What’s that all about, dammitt!? 🙁
    I heard Mo i-viewed this morning by the Stephanie Miller crew and the doc sounds worthwhile.

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  34. Little Bird said on October 22, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    The Orionids can be seen in all quadrants of the sky, but most of the action is in the southern sky. Also, this shower is supposed to continue until November 7th. The peak was this past weekend. But if you have a clear sky, and find yourself awake in the wee hours of the morning, check it out!

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  35. Prospero said on October 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Upstairs Downstairs was an absolute hoot last night. Lady Agnes and some whack, typically Brit scheme for a Ladies Exercise League to raise spirits in the face of the gathering warclouds, including a public jumping-jack-off in Hyde Park, for God’s sake. More seriously, the Holland household is threatened with disgrace because of publication of an erotic Lesbian-themed Roman a Clef involving a member of the family. The two lovers actually make out briefly, a Masterpiece first, I believe, and one of them is sturdy old Aunt Blanche played by the estimable Alex Kingston, who has moved on to the love that dares not speak its name from her old days of miscegenation with Eriq LaSalle on ER. Meanwhile, members of the downstairs staff are severely put upon by clueless Lady Agnes (actually having something to do during the day is beyond her comprehension), resulting in a visit by the maid Beryl to the Girls Friendly Service, a sort of union for housemaids. Who knew? And finally, a scene with Jean Marsh as indefatigable Rose. But it’s apparent that Ms. Marsh is not over the effects of her stroke, and it’s too sad to watch closely.

    Todd Akin’s campaign spokesman just said, “If Claire McCaskill were a dog, she’d be a ‘Bullshitsu.’”


    All the best campaigns quote Dumb and Dumber.

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  36. brian stouder said on October 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Akin sounds more and more like an aboriginal outcast from the Fukowi tribe

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  37. Prospero said on October 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Some information on Electoral Dysfunction:


    There was previous doc called electile dysfunction about the 2006 election between Bob Casey and Sanitarium in pA. Snappier name, already taken.

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  38. Prospero said on October 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    One of my favorite jokes of all time, Brian. Along with “Yeah, but these Fokkers was Messerschmitts.”

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  39. Danny said on October 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Brandon, saw this article in Hawaii this morning. Interested in your thoughts. Do most Hawaiian’s consider the U.S. to be occupying Hawaii illegally? I hope not. I hope it is just more of a concern that a bunch of stupid haole’s don’t ruin something good, because that is something I can get behind too… even as a haole.


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  40. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Brian, what I can’t wait for is to see Tommy Lee Jones playing Thaddeus Stevens. Talk about some inspired casting. And that was one hardcore dude. He and Sumner would have needed nothing less than blows across the skull to shut them up.

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  41. brian stouder said on October 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Well – and Seward to a lickin’ and kept on tickin’, when another in Booth’s terror-cell slashed him in his bed (the SecState had been thrown from his carriage and had slings and casts and so on, which saved his life, no doubt, when the knife-weilding maniac came at him)

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  42. brian stouder said on October 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    make that “took a lickin'”, etc

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  43. Prospero said on October 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    If you subject yourself to the “debate” tonight, remind yourself that when RMoney invokes “small business” he is including Bechtel, the world’s largest engineering firm. Oh, and the Tribune Company. Small business my ass.


    I think I’d rather watch the Stafford and the Lions. (Suh after Cutler sounds like fun.), or the triple feature of Hepburn Tracy movies on TCM.

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  44. MichaelG said on October 22, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Nobody gonna watch the Giants?

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  45. Suzanne said on October 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    That eyewitness to Lincoln’s assination gives one pause to think about the long term ramifications of things like slavery. Yes, the slavery of Lincoln’s time is gone, but with scant generations in between then and now. It’s no wonder it’s still working itself out and why it’s so difficult to just “get over it”. Truly, the sins of the fathers are visited on the next generations.

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  46. Dan B said on October 22, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Thinking of degrees of separation from the past. My grandfather was born in Ironton Ohio in 1898, and grew up in Ashland, Kentucky. (I’m 38; he was well into his 40s when my mother was born). He had a pretty amazing life himself, but I’m thinking mostly about his relationship with his grandfather, whom he knew very well. His grandfather wasn’t quite a civil war vet- he was part of a group that had volunteered to protect Cincinnati if it came under attack- but certainly lived through the war. He was a surveyor in the region, and my grandfather helped him out sometimes, which led him to meet the Hatfields and the McCoys.

    His grandmother (so my 4-greats grandmother) was born before the Revolution. When her parents came out to the Ohio River valley, she was an infant. When camped on banks of the river, an enormous panther came into the camp, picked up the baby with its teeth and started to carry her off. The parents managed to get the panther to drop the baby by throwing chunks from the fire at her. She apparently loved to show her scars from it to her grandchildren.

    So I guess I’m two degrees of separation from the Civil War, three from the Revolution.

    And speaking of near descendants of historic figures, Pres. John Tyler (1841-45) has two living grandchildren.

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  47. Deborah said on October 22, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    More on meteors: we went to a fascinating place in the plaza today that had a bunch of meteorites on display. The guy who ran the place told us some amazing facts that I’ll never remember. But the one that gobsmacked me is that between 4 and 6 tons of meteor remnants fall to earth EVERY DAY! I had no idea. A couple of weeks ago a meteor exploded over California, I forget where (Sacramento?) that weighed about 7 tons before it exploded, as big as a full sized moving van. They are in the process of looking for the pieces. Apparently the bits are extremely valuable.

    Little Bird got a Santa Fe public library card today, so were gonna go check out some books on meteors.

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  48. MichaelG said on October 22, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    The meteor didn’t hit around here, Deborah. I think it was somewhere in Southern Cal. I heard in passing that they did find some piece(s) but don’t know any details.

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  49. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Hat tip, Suzanne @ #45. We still have echoing in the body politic the subtle reverberations of justifying the slaughter of Indians, economic policies to break up and sell south family units before they could develop, and a nagging sense that the best neighbor is one who will help you raise a barn, but whose house should be at least one barnyard away from mine. Add in a nagging insistence that to succeed we need one more room on our cabin than daddy had, one more window (with real glass in it!) than grandpa, and better trade goods in our pantry and parlor than the Grundys do down the lane, and you have most of the forces that amplify through modern media to contort our social self-understanding.

    I like to explain to church folk: if you travel around the world, people never sitting in the front pews is not a cultural universal. Churches most places fill front to back, which is what you’d expect when you think practically. So why are the US & England normally the reverse? The answer is pew rents, which have been gone for a century or more in this country. The “best” pews were the most expensive . . . and were rented to families that infrequently occupied them. So there were usually half a dozen vacant pews in even a crowded, popular church in the 1800s. There were no pledge cards, and even the offering was a different thing than we know in church life today. Pew rents made up the main budget for most Protestant congregations, and it reinforced for generations an almost negative connotation to sitting up front.

    Hardly anyone knows this, yet there’s almost a physical tug against going right down to the front pews in churches to this day. And that’s just about where you sit in church. (FYI, in modern, megachurch congregations where the model is more that of the rock concert? Folks fill in from the front. The old strictures are fading…)

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  50. Prospero said on October 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Supreme GOPer asshole Ken Cuccinelli strikes again. Even for such a flaming partisan hack, this POS is particularly shameless. And I know nothing about this particular miscreant, but he sure looks kinda Aryan nation in the mug shot. Diickhead should be charged with federal civil rights violations. And compare this with the GOPer wailing and gnashing of teeth over the trumped up ACORN registration fraud fiasco. in which ACORN actually identified phony registrations and turned in the perpetrators. IOKIYAR.

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  51. Catherine said on October 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Novato. I just heard on the radio that they verified a 2-inch chunk of meteorite that hit someone’s house.

    Re Lincoln’s advisers, I am growing fond of Edwin Stanton, myself. I am interested in how tough he was and the way he kept the trains running on time, and yet how distraught after Lincoln’s death. And it is probably Godwin’s bias, but Salmon Chase just sounds like an ass.

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  52. Prospero said on October 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Another shining moment in the GOPer chickenhawk history of the RMoney family. Subhuman behavior, in my opinion.

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  53. Sherri said on October 22, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    My grandfather’s grandfather fought in the Civil War. He enlisted December 2, 1861, in the 49th Tennessee Infantry in Clarksville, TN (my family’s hometown since about 1800), and fought one battle at nearby Ft. Donelson. He was taken POW in the Confederate defeat, eventually released in a prisoner exchange, and discharged from the army in March 1863 for being “over the age” (he was 38). My grandfather’s father was born after his return from war, and was named after the lieutenant in his company.

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  54. JWfromNJ said on October 22, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    How about a psycho NFL neighbor update. As I noted last week he cocked an automatic weapon at my son and to his surprise found out a fat man in papa bear mode isn’t afraid of guns. He retreated into his house, but not before kicking and stomping my obama sign and then when I dropped my hammer in the street and he dropped a stack of rebar, he realized I would hit him, so he ran like a pussy.

    Cops came out, questioned my son, I may have referred to the one deputy who always comes out and never does anything, and tells us he played in the NFl so he is a good guy, as deputy dumbass, chided them for not standing in a long green line for their fellow officer who got his ass beat.

    they leave to get a warrant, he barricades himself in the house, but as his drunk luck would have it he came back outside while they were dialing for a warrant and promptly passes out face first in th driveway – so they have probable cause. The try talking to him, he orders them off his (parents) land. runs, gets tasered three times, and guess what, they find a gun matching the description my son gave, with a round in the chamber.

    They revoke his bond on the first case, his lawyer perjurs himself and admits he is a witness now, they file for a speedy trial. We have to go to family court to get a permanent restraining order. His folks list the house for sale – Trulia says it’s worth $143k, they want $185. bought it for 345K, right before the market shit itself.

    it didn’t strike us as real until we heard the gun evidence and that it matched what our son said. The deputy who got attacked came to visit yesterday, he told me he is pissed that half the department thinks the defendant is a nice guy cause he played in the NFL.

    My wife and I now think the grudge started 2 years ago when I told him Peyton Manning is a pussy and a closet homo, not realizing they both went to Tennesssee.

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  55. Deborah said on October 22, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Right you are Catherine, http://pasadena-ca.patch.com/articles/rock-that-hit-northern-california-home-is-confirmed-chunk-of-meteor

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  56. coozledad said on October 22, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Sherri: A lot of my folks participated in the Civil War. It was a kind of workfare that briefly promised to lift them from an unimaginable poverty. I’m certain that the planter/investor class were ultimately disappointed in the livestock they had to choose from to fight their war, which may account for why they hoarded and withheld even the few available necessities such as shoes, coats and canned goods.
    The planter class were forward thinkers, and had the good sense to ring home the sense of inferiority that bad employees so richly deserve.

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  57. coozledad said on October 22, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Bob Schieffer hasn’t finished sucking Bush’s dick.

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  58. Sherri said on October 22, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Cooz, I think my ancestor’s participation had less to do with workfare and more to do with being between Grant’s army and his objective, Nashville.

    Go Giants! This replay camera Fox has is way cool.

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  59. basset said on October 22, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    And after Ft. Donelson fell, the Confederates realized they couldn’t hold Ft. whatever it was called in Clarksville so they left it undefended and the Union army walked into Nashville without a fight.

    Not watching the game or the debate here, have been going through the pics I took at my niece’s wedding over the weekend… but, Sherri, here’s how that replay camera works:


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  60. Sherri said on October 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Thanks, basset, that’s cool. Fox has fallen in love with the camera tonight showing Hunter Pence’s broken bat hit, but I’m more impressed watching things like how the ball deforms when it hits the bat and how the bat wiggles after a hit. I mean, I know it happens, I studied physics, but it’s still cool to see it!

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  61. coozledad said on October 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    No Libya remarks from Romney. Drowning game for him there.
    Also,he’s unable to comment on China because their trademark is stamped on his cheap white ass like a polystyrene Ken doll.

    Cokie Roberts and David Gregory will give it to Romney on the basis of his natural asshole pheromones resembling an Aramis knockoff.

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  62. alex said on October 22, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Now this is what I like to see:

    Obama convinced me tonight…Romney seemed lost at sea. As an undecided, I was just scared of Romney’s lack of knowledge/strategy. He channeled Sarah Palin, not Reagan.
    Reply · 38 · Like · Follow Post · 21 minutes ago

    Mark Williams · Top Commenter · Writer at David J. & Mark S. Williams Productions
    Uh Oh. We are now at “Angry Conservative Media Bias Alert-Defcon-1”.
    Reply · 29 · Like · Follow Post · 28 minutes ago

    Paul Carlisle · Top Commenter · Jersey City, New Jersey
    Why is it that when Romney is watching Obama speak he constantly wears a funeral home greeter’s expression?
    Reply · 23 · Like · Foll

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  63. brian stouder said on October 23, 2012 at 12:13 am

    I enjoyed the debate immensely.

    The president tattooed the governor, and once again, the governor made a very big deal about a disputed fact, and he was simply wrong.

    It reminds me of an old line that I’ve liked ever since I read it in an article in The New Yorker, many years ago (and indeed, it may have been borrowed from somewhere else). Paraphrasing – Mitt Romney may often be in error, but he is seldom in doubt.

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