Cerebral blockage.

After a few weeks of emailing crossword completion times back and forth with Eric Zorn, I stopped doing the Chicago Tribune/LA Times online puzzle on a daily basis. We were both shooting for a sub-five minute time, and once we made it, the fun went out of the game.

But I’m back into it, and lately my interest is in seeing how my aging brain works. Today’s asked for the first name of the former Soviet premier named Kosygin. I knew I knew it, but my Russophile brain refused to cough it up. As it turned out, I got it via the clues in the other direction, but didn’t go back to check the answer. At mid afternoon, it popped into my brain: Alexei. Of course, Alexei. Alexei Kosygin. I knew it at 3 p.m. but couldn’t dislodge it with dynamite at 8 a.m.

Maybe Dave Barry is right — as we get older, our brains fill up with song lyrics and there’s no room for anything else. At 2:30 p.m., driving home from the boatyard, I heard Burton Cummings on a Canadian talk show called Q. He sang “Laughing” live in the studio, I sang along in the car and didn’t miss a word.

Mental exercise. It’s the easiest kind, except when it isn’t.

My time today was over 7 minutes. Crappy, for a Tuesday.

Yeesh, I’ll be glad when election season is over. I know the animosity will remain, but it might drop a few notches. Perhaps Janice Daniels, mayor of Troy, will be recalled. A Tea Party darling, her first significant act of office was rejecting a transit center the local chamber of commerce had been working to put on the ground for years. Oh, and she also mentioned on her Facebook page how she was going to give up her I (heart) NY tote bag because “queers” could get married there now. For a taste of how she rolls, here she is in action just this past Monday, maing a mess of the simplest and easiest duty of her office — presenting a proclamation to a worthy local resident. Deadline Detroit sums it up, if you don’t have video capability:

For some reason (maybe voices in her head told her it would be a good idea) The Janice interrupted reading the proclamation to say Kerwin’s “Distinguished Citizen” honor was awarded by the “Troy Democrat Club.”

For starters, there are two kinds of people on the planet. The first kind of people understands the Democratic Party’s name is the Democratic Party. The second kind are the clinical morons who say Democrat Party.

Ah yes, the Democrat party.

So, a little non-political bloggage?

Hank Stuever gave his lecture at the University of Montana Monday. Read all about “Liner Notes for the End of the World: My Adventures in Covering American Pop Culture” in the Kaiman, the campus paper.

With all that my colleague Ron has been writing about the importance of early childhood education, I was amused to read this, in the Journal Gazette, although frankly, I’m not surprised to learn that a contributor to the Indiana Policy Review finds the idea “thorny.”

Back to work tomorrow, after a Tuesday off to take the boat out. It’s out, with hopes for more water next year, or else we’re screwed.

Posted at 12:40 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

84 responses to “Cerebral blockage.”

  1. Joe Kobiela said on October 24, 2012 at 12:57 am

    To quote the beach boys, sail on sail on sailor. Voting done!! Actually voted last week but took the mother in law and her 93 year old neighbor in Tuesday. What a hoot. Have no idea which way they voted but felt like I did my duty. Leaving dtw for mco with the wife around noon. Going to go chase the mouse around Disney for a few days. Really want to meet Minni but heard she was in the insane asylum, she’s fucking goofy.
    Good night and don’t forget to tip your waitress.
    Pilot Joe

  2. Sherri said on October 24, 2012 at 1:50 am

    I wish my brain were only filled with song lyrics. Mine’s still got theme songs from old TV shows and advertising jingles, too. I wish I’d forgotten the theme song to Gilligan’s Island rather than my debit card PIN, but no chance of that!

    On the theory that I’m more likely to remember something old than something new, my new PIN is from a telephone number I had 30 years ago.

  3. Dexter said on October 24, 2012 at 2:03 am

    As soon as I read “Kosygin” I knew it was Alexei. I know about the madness, though…once for about five minutes I could not remember John McCain’s name.
    I have been retired for ten years come December, and sometimes I’ll recall someone from work that I have not thought of in all this time, and I cannot put a name to a remembered face.
    In September I got my license plates stickers at the BMV office, and the lady saw my name and said she remembered me…my wife babysat her kids decades ago and now they all have kids too…and I only remembered the kids’ names vaguely, and not the lady at all.
    When I see someone I used to work with or knew years ago, I’ll say “Hi, how are you? I’m Dexter from work.” That eliminates the embarrassment for them in case they don’t remember my name.
    I don’t really know what I think anymore…this year has seen many of my friends die, most in their late sixties or early seventies. Two more passed in the past ten days, one just last Friday. I’m sort of numb. Nobody in my family except my maternal grandmother died younger than 82, but none of them breathed in and handled nasty industrial chemicals for 30-some years either.
    The worst feeling was when I ran to the keyboard here and started to Facebook message my friend in Texas about the baseball playoffs but before I tapped out one letter I instantly recalled he was dead; he died a few months ago, and I knew it, but in my joy I first wanted to share it with my baseball buddy. It felt like a chop to the gut when the instant-reality hit me. Fuck .

  4. Dexter said on October 24, 2012 at 2:09 am

    When I just read Sherri’s @#2 I tested myself …was it 867-5309? So I Googled it, and by gawd I was right…a steel trap for a mind, that’s me. :) Copied from Google: “867-5309/Jenny” is a song written by Alex Call and Jim Keller and performed by Tommy Tutone that was released on the album Tommy Tutone 2…”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vlfq8ytWpxY

  5. Sherri said on October 24, 2012 at 2:43 am

    As a friend of mine used to say, mind like a steel trap, mangles everything that gets inside it…

  6. Deborah said on October 24, 2012 at 2:56 am

    Names are the thing that I started to forget as I got older. I used to be a person who would never forget a name, it has gotten to the point where I started just saying hi without adding the name just in case I get it wrong. Embarrassing.

    I can’t imagine doing a crossword puzzle in less than 5 minutes.

    They do that Democrat party on purpose just to bug us. My sister does it all the time. I never respond to it hoping she’ll quit, but she keeps doing it.

  7. Sherri said on October 24, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Next to Marco Scutaro, this is the best Giants story. Brandon Crawford, the Giants shortstop, grew up going to Giants games, and the picture with this story is just priceless: http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Brandon-Crawford-living-the-dream-3930508.php

  8. jcburns said on October 24, 2012 at 6:03 am

    There was a moment during the 3rd debate when I thought Obama would, after listening to Romney babble on, including the phrase “the Democrat party”, turn and say “It’s Democratic, Governor. And if we can’t trust you to get that tiny little point right, do you expect us to trust you with our country?”

    That moment would have brought me to my feet in relieved applause.

    I think if we ignore it it just becomes codified, like “fewer” and “less.” I blame Roger Ailes, by the way, whether he had anything to do with it or not.

  9. alex said on October 24, 2012 at 6:11 am

    Finally, that Teabagger cretin Mourdock goes all Todd Akin on us and with fortuitous timing. He’d been burnishing his moderate bona fides these last few months and trying to make people forget all of the other stupid things he said during the primary. This one’s likely to get some national press. Good to know God intended him to be an also-ran.

  10. Jolene said on October 24, 2012 at 6:57 am

    I don’t know if you’d call it “press,” Alex, but Mourdock’s faux pas was the talk of Twitter last night. And, since Romney had cut an ad for him, he was forced to respond, saying, of course, that he rejected Mourdock’s statement.

    If what I read last night is correct, Romney has cut only two ads for other R candidates–the one for Mourdock and one for Mia Love, the black GOP House candidate from Utah. Not sure what’s distinctive about those two races. Maybe It’s that they are both close enough where his endorsement might make a difference, but in states that are red enough that he doesn’t need Dem votes to win.

  11. alex said on October 24, 2012 at 7:08 am

    The Mourdock story led the news on GMA just now. Fabulous!

  12. alex said on October 24, 2012 at 7:11 am

    So today Donald Trump is supposed to be making some sort of announcement about Obama. I imagine he’ll hold up what he purports to be a Kenyan birth certificate or something. Let’s hope it puts another nail in the coffin of the Romney campaign.

  13. Suzanne said on October 24, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Janice Daniels inability to speak properly reminded me of a function I attended at which Marlin Stutzman was supposed to speak, but sent his chief of staff instead. I sat there appalled as he had to only read a letter from the Congressman but that gave him trouble. Couldn’t pronounce words, completely mis-pronounced others, and then sat on the dais behind the next speaker rolling his eyes, fidgeting, and displaying his boredom with wild abandon. It was embarrassing to watch.

  14. coozledad said on October 24, 2012 at 7:47 am

    We can’t afford to let nuclear weapons fall into the hands of fundamentalist whackjobs.

    Maybe we can get the blue helmets to arrest the Republican party.

  15. nancy said on October 24, 2012 at 7:51 am

    When I heard about the Mourdock thing last night, I stopped by Mark Souder’s Facebook page to see if he had any reaction. He called it “a perfect answer” and expressed admiration. This morning, I dropped by again to see if any of his gal pals might be correcting his thinking on this issue. The whole post was deleted, proving the man’s moral courage once again.

    When Akin stepped in it, Souder wrote a lot (in the same venue) about how rape-induced pregnancies are really tough moral hairs to split, but “women just can’t see it,” or some such. “They really are very single-minded about it,” etc. My man in Washington for a decade. Ah, memories.

  16. alex said on October 24, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Perfect answer indeed. Even Souder would have known better than to say such a thing when he was in office, although he certainly came close many a time, injecting God’s will into all kinds of places it didn’t belong. The man wasn’t even smart enough to get a room. Wonder how his marriage is doing.

  17. beb said on October 24, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Mourdock and Akin seem to be in a race to the bottom. The problem is saying “God has a plan” for every rape means that God also has a plan for every woman killed by a rapist, or by an jealous husband or boyfriend. And that your mother’s alzheimers is God testing… who? You or your mother. Its unclear. And why is God testing us all the time?

    I love the atheist line, “I believe in God, just one less than you do…”

    I’m not as upset as some people over Republicans calling their opponents Democrats or their party the Democrat party. Logically if its the Democratic party then members should be called Democratics. But they’re not.

    My memory has never been good. I didn’t even recall that Kosigin was a premiere of the Soviet Union let alone what his first name might have been.

    • jcburns said on October 24, 2012 at 8:43 am

      “Logically if its the Democratic party then members should be called Democratics. But they’re not.” The amount of logic in that sentence will not begin to fill the thimble I conveniently have here by my computer. Read this, especially the part about grammar…unless you are a grammar doubter.

  18. nancy said on October 24, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I remember, one TV sweeps month long, long ago, when a local TV anchorwoman in Fort Wayne — no more a journalist than a walrus is a ballroom dancer — was given a “project” to do. The subject was something about “God’s miracles” or angels or some such. It wasn’t a religious discussion or one of those “miracles” like someone recovering from a serious illness. It was a weeklong series featuring people who believed that white people with halos and robes had saved them from something terrible.

    It was utterly preposterous. The editors threw in harp music and visual effects here and there, and even this blonde anchorlady looked uncomfortable, “interviewing” people who said things like, “And I was driving home in the snow, and it kept coming down, but just when I thought I’d have to pull over, it’s like a celestial tow truck came down from heaven and started towing my car down the road. I arrived safe and sound, and I credit my guardian angel for that.”

    Whenever I think of people who would pat a rape victim on the arm and tell her that if she conceives, it’s just the will of God, I think of tow-truck lady.

  19. coozledad said on October 24, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Utah GOP fundraiser, accused of rape, shoots self.
    My wife asks would it be irresponsible to speculate that this suicide was assisted?
    Good timing, dude:
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/10/greg_peterson_suicide.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

  20. coozledad said on October 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

    it’s like a celestial tow truck came down from heaven and started towing my car down the road. I arrived safe and sound, and I credit my guardian angel for that.
    That’s what I call hitchin’ up your wagon to Jesus’ magic carpet.

  21. Jolene said on October 24, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I have a 20-year-old niece who has found Jesus and taken to posting rapturous statements on her FB page. It’s all I can do to bite my digital tongue.

  22. Peter said on October 24, 2012 at 9:30 am

    My recollection of the Democrat term was that it started at the ’80 GOP convention; several Reaganites referred to the opposition as the Democrat Party because they weren’t Democratic, in that they shunned politicians, like PA Gov. Casey, who were democratic and pro-life, whereas Republicans welcomed all, pro-life and pro-abortion, into the big tent.

    I am naive enough to think they really believed that until the morning after the convention when they woke up and collectively thought “Wow – if people believe that they’ll buy anything”.

  23. coozledad said on October 24, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Asked my lord if he wanted to drive
    I couldn’t make it through the snowstorm alive
    I wanted to get home and fix myself lunch
    But my ass already chewed the seats up a bunch

    Jesus you can drive my van
    Yes I’m throwin’ up my hands
    Jesus you can drive my van
    While I take a siesta

    I told my Lord “Stop by the Safeway.
    My refrigerator’s empty today.”
    There’s peanut butter and some Smucker’s jam
    But I’m jonesin’ my ass off for a daisy ham.

    Chorus

  24. nancy said on October 24, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I think Carrie Underwood got there first.

  25. del said on October 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

    All of this talk of angels reminds me of a line I read in an LA Times article today about an Italian court’s conviction of those scientists for failing to predict and warn of that earthquake. The Italian court was reported to have descended into “medieval magical thinking.” Excellent expression.

  26. coozledad said on October 24, 2012 at 9:53 am

    I’ve hit black ice before, and Carrie Underwood’s strategy didn’t occur to me.
    A song about being able to bite 1/2 in. steel bar stock into pieces with your anus probably wouldn’t get much traction with her crowd, though.

  27. Mark P said on October 24, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Doing crossword puzzles is excellent preparation for doing crossword puzzles. If you do them long enough, you begin to recognize and even remember clues and types of clues. I go through it in cycles. I do crosswords for a while, and then lose interest. And then I start up again.

    Miracles. God sends a tornado to destroy your town and kill a bunch of people, but saves your life by having the wall fall down around you while you pass through the window. That God. What a joker.

  28. Jenine said on October 24, 2012 at 10:07 am

    @ Crazycatlady from yesterday’s Halloween discussion — I wish I could see you in your nurse’s cap and full regalia. I have decorated an umbrella like a giant jellyfish and will be floating down the sidewalk under it when I take the kids trick or treating.

  29. Bitter Scribe said on October 24, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Slate had a fascinating (to geeks like me) article a few months ago on “crossword celebrities”–persons in the recent or distant past who almost never appear in print nowadays except in crossword puzzles, because their first or last names are spelled in a way that is useful in putting together a crossword.

    What was fascinating about the article is that the author developed some sort of formula to determine each person’s “Shortz Factor”–the degree to which his or her fame is solely a function of crosswords. It compared the number of a given celebrity’s appearances in crosswords to the number of his or her “legitimate” appearances in New York Times news stories. I’m talking about people like comedian Arte Johnson (the “verrry interrrresting” guy on “Laugh-In”) and architect Eero Saarinen (designed the TWA terminal at JFK). I don’t remember who won.

  30. MichaelG said on October 24, 2012 at 10:29 am

    I saw your friend Mourdock on the local news here this AM. Inspiring guy.

    Mourdock aside, Rana, the young man’s comments you posted yesterday truly were inspiring.

  31. Dorothy said on October 24, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I’m so glad I have lots of company when it comes to this memory thing that currently bugs the crap out of me. I knew the Alexei Kosygin answer immediately, but I’m pretty sure that’s because the high school exchange student we had in South Carolina was named Aleksey. Same/same. And jc, don’t get me started on the less/fewer thing. I don’t have to worry about turning into the Crazy Old Lady because I’m already her. I yell at television ads all the time because they confuse less/fewer all the time. Makes me even crazier when news anchors (local t.v.) do it, too. I’ve been known to email them with my complaints. I’m sure I’m on some kind of warning list somewhere.

  32. Prospero said on October 24, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Greg Peterson, the GOPer fundraiser and Rohypnol distributor, is being baptized after the fact today, by Bishop Willard M. RMoney. Pallin’ around with date rapists, eh Mitt?

    All respect to your sports acumen, Sherri, but Zito is the Jints story. Remember when the As had Mulder, Zito and Hudson? Hudson is still good, for the Braves. Mulder is long gone, I think.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/si_online/news/2003/03/30/aces_wild/

    The striking thing about GOPers calling the opposition Democrat Party has always been the utter obtuse redneck childishness of it. Purely playground churlish. And fracking stupid.

    You know, God was my copilot:

    http://www.zazzle.com/god_was_my_copilot_tee_shirt-235182308498151140

    Scribe: ___ Sumac. _____Saarinen (Eero’s daddy). Musician Brian ___.

    Dunday NYT used to have the Diagramless Puzzles that were extremely difficult. The current Sunday puzzles are longer than they are difficult. The really hard puzzles in NYT these days are Saturday.

  33. Bitter Scribe said on October 24, 2012 at 11:13 am

    The NYT puzzles start out easy on Monday and get progressively harder as the week goes on. By Saturday it’s good night nurse. I can usually do the Monday one in few minutes, but more often than not I can’t even get the Saturday one started.

  34. Catherine said on October 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Remember that bitchin octopus? It had babies! 6,500 of ‘em!! http://www.scpr.org/blogs/news/2012/10/23/10666/photosvideo-rare-argonaut-octopus-hatches-6500-bab/

  35. Catherine said on October 24, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Alex @12, the rumor on the Trump announcement is that he has copies of unfiled divorce papers filled out by Michelle Obama around 2000. We shall see — it hasn’t hit my newsfeed yet — and I’m not sure what it would prove anyway.

    Meanwhile, there are allegations that Romney perjured himself in a client/friend’s nasty divorce. I’m shocked, shocked! http://www.tmz.com/2012/10/24/mitt-romney-tom-stemberg-staples-lied-perjury-divorce-case-maureen/

    Why yes, I probably do get too much of my news from TMZ.

  36. DellaDash said on October 24, 2012 at 11:26 am

    The lyrics that keep going through my head, after Wolf-in-Sheep’s-Clothing-Romney poured (artificial) Log Cabin syrup all over his “peaceful planet” proclamation in the 3rd debate; are from one of my favorite Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry songs:

    “Hypocrite inna broad daylight,
    Parasite inna dim light

    Dreadlocks in moonlight,
    Baldhead at sunrise”

  37. Mark P said on October 24, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I was going to comment on the memory thing, but I forgot.

    I sometimes think to myself, mainly because no one else is interested in hearing it, and get to a really good point, go for just the right word to complete the thought and … it’s nowhere to be found. I know I put that word away the last time I used it but now it’s gone. It drives me crazy. There are two ways to remember the word. The first is to forget about wanting to remember it. That lets my memory librarian kick around the dusty corners of the word storage vault and eventually dredge up the word. The other way is to go directly to my offline memory storage facility – Google. Google is a true miracle. I admire the programmers of that search engine more than I can say.

  38. Sherri said on October 24, 2012 at 11:32 am

    All due respect, Pros, but the major hardship Barry Zito has fought back from is getting paid a 7 year, $126 million contract while being no better than a bottom of the rotation pitcher. I’m glad Zito’s pitching better now, but he’s no Vogelsong when it comes to stories.

  39. LAMary said on October 24, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I’ve never been good with names. Great with faces and a lot of stuff about the person whose face I recognize, but not names. About 23 years ago I was working in DDL Foodshow, a silly fancy food store and restaurant in Beverly Hills, and I saw a woman come in whom I immediately recognized. She came over to my area and said, “Do I know you?” I replied, yes, I went out with your brother John once in 1971 in Philadelphia. You were in my 3D design class with Frank Zadlow. Her name? No clue until she told me.

  40. alex said on October 24, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I never thought much of Gloria Alread, celebrity ambulance chaser, but I’m an admirer today. The Mitt’s about to hit the fan if these papers get released.

  41. Connie said on October 24, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Rape victim pregnancy the will of God? How was it my long ago died at birth baby was also the will of God? Does this make sense to anyone? Is there any wonder I left the church for good right around that time?

  42. Connie said on October 24, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I remember all the useless stuff and struggle with the important today staff. I know all the words to all the old songs, including numerous hymns for which I have provided for you the lyrics. My cousins will no longer play Trivial Pursuit with me.

    Our family word for that moment when that lost word from yesterday finally comes to you is “aurora borealis Moment.” It dates back to the night we watched the northern lights in Leelanau County and couldn’t think of that word. The next day at lunch I leaped up from chair, threw my arms in the air and hollered “aurora borealis!”.

  43. Catherine said on October 24, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Just tying it all together, I guess Gloria Allred is actually God’s instrument, doing his will.

  44. del said on October 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Sorry to hear that Connie; it is no wonder that your views changed thereafter.

    And as to your knack with lyrics, and forgetting words, there is this from A Flock of Seagulls’ I Ran at 2:42:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Maj6OpJz1hk

    as you probably remember…

  45. coozledad said on October 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Trump announces he will give a couple of thousand dollars to the charity of Obama’s choice if he releases his college transcripts and passport applications.

    Mitt Romney has gently cupped this man’s testicles and promised him an afterlife planetoid. We are officially the world’s most embarrassing country now.

  46. LAMary said on October 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Your Aurora Borealis moment is my Foghorn Leghorn moment. I nearly went off the road in the mountains in Colorado when I finally remembered the name of the loudmouthed rooster in Warner Brothers cartoons.

  47. nancy said on October 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I would have remembered aurora borealis, but I’ll sit for seven centuries before I can remember the southern-hemisphere version. Yes, it has a different name. I have to look it up every time. Aurora australis.

  48. Sherri said on October 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I’m trying to figure out what the stupidest thing I’ve heard in this election season. Mourdock and Akin, while offensive, aren’t really contenders, because they’re just saying what they and the pro-life movement believe. Republican’s jumping on “you didn’t build that” is just the usual taking out of context nonsense stuff that happens every election cycle. Mitt’s “binders full of women” is hilariously inept, but not really stupid, and the 47% remark wasn’t meant for public consumption.

    My two contenders are Mitt’s complaint about the President not calling the Benghazi attack terrorism for 14 days and how we have fewer ships in the Navy than in 1916. Both of them are stunningly irrelevant, and the first has the added benefit of not even being true.

    I like the 1916 Navy one for the win, though. Benghazi happened during the campaign, and the Romney campaign had to think on its feet, something they’re demonstrated they are really bad at. The Navy jibe, on the other hand, was a total unforced error. You can imagine them sitting around brainstorming, and someone mentioning that we have fewer ships, and everybody thinking what a great zinger that will be, not thinking how stupid their candidate will look when the obvious rejoinder about what else we have fewer of than in 1916 is made.

  49. Linda said on October 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Here’s another test of God’s will–what did God intend when a pregnancy threatens the life of a mother? Clearly, that health condition was the will of God, or how else did it happen? This would seem to argue against abortions even if they threaten the mother’s life.

  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    FYI — in conservative circles, the word is going around strongly to back away from Trump, refuse to comment on Trump, and not to let Trump become a player in the media froth these next two weeks. It’s generally known what The Donald is saying will be “big, big news,” and it’s old news with no relevancy, and GOP & conservative sources are pretty much united in telling everybody “duck, let it pass, move on.”

    As anyone who follows my Facebook feed has heard over the last year, I actually think Trump is a monkeywrencher first and foremost (just for grins and giggles), and could care less about political parties either way, let alone tax policy. I’d bet he pays less than Romney does percent-wise in federal taxes. And I wouldn’t be shocked to hear he gets paid by some third party to throw out some of the moronicality he puts out there; Trump is chronically short of actual cash.

  51. Linda said on October 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Is “monkeywrencher” the polite Christian term for what everybody else calls and attention whore?

  52. del said on October 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Sherri, to add to your list of contenders — the absurd press conference held while the events of Benghazi were unfolding.

  53. Mark P said on October 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    “It was God’s will” is another way of saying that there is no way that a rational, humane person could possibly do the thing in question, but since God is omnipotent, we had better not ask too many questions.

  54. Dexter said on October 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I ‘ll never forget one night in 1974 when the Aurora Borealis was going nuts. I was living in Auburn, Indiana in a townhouse with no trees around, and we had just returned from a drive-in movie. The entire northern sky was flashing crazily…I couldn’t go inside and I just sat on my Ford Pinto’s hood and watched it. Damned if I recall what movie we saw, however.

    Since I brought up 1974, I heard an interview yesterday with Linda Blair, who we all knew as Regan the Possessed in “The Exorcist”. She told how she used to date the 25 year-old Rick Springfield when she was 15, and her mother gave them her blessing. Today, Springfield would be thrown into the can for fifteen years…oh well…ancient history to them.
    Blair also was like a sister to the band members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and was devastated when the plane went down. Blair now is heavily involved with sheltering and placing animals, mostly dogs. She rescued over fifteen hundred dogs during the after math of Katrina way down yonder in New Orleans.

    Where was I? Oh yeah…Mourdock. What a dumb ass, to say something like that on election eve! I hope none of you voted for this moron. Jesus!

    Sherri, thanks so much for the background on Brandon Crawford. It is indeed a rarity a fan fro birth becomes that team’s shortstop.
    Back in 1978, Lorn Brown was the radio voice of the Chicago White Sox. He had been an Andy Frain as a young boy. Andy Frain is Chicago code for uniformed usher with a nice big round cop-hat. The last White Sox player to live in Bridgeport (location of the White Sox’ US Cellular Field) was Pete Ward, circa 1968.
    In the glory days of the mid-50s Brooklyn Dodgers, almost all the players lived in the Ebbets Field neighborhood.

  55. Jeff Borden said on October 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Instead of opting for songs about god taking the wheel, I prefer the hilarious Bob Wayne country tune, “Driven by Demons.”

    Lyrics:

    Then I got 50 dollars …
    On my way back to Panama City
    I got half a pound of moonshine,
    For my friends in Tennessee

    Now I’m ramblin down that highway
    Red and blue lights is all I see
    Well that don’t matter,
    Let them try and catch me,

    I got demons driving me
    Yeah, be driven, my things
    They tell me where to go
    Yeah, be driven, my things, demons please drive me home

    Now them cops are shootin at me,
    Shit my rear window just got broke
    And now I’m sweatin bullets,
    and brother this ain’t no fucking joke
    I got my foot hard on the pedal and there’s metal grinding gears

    Well thank good them Demons are driving, or I’ll be looking at 10 long years
    So be driven by demons, they tell me where to go
    Be driven by demons, demons please drive me home

    God damn there goes a rear tire,
    And there’s sparks all shootin out,
    No I can’t help but wonder
    What them demons plan on doing now
    You see if i get caught up by the police,
    In this here 47 chevy coupe

    I’ll wind up in the .. Chuggin Bologna soup
    So be driven by demons, they tell me where to go
    Be driven by demons, demons please drive me home

    Well that don’t look like the way home demons
    That looks like the … police department
    …in handcuffs, god damn be driven by demons, they tell me where to go
    Be driven by demons, demons please drive me home.

  56. Rana said on October 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Linda @49 – According to Joe Walsh, pregnant women’s lives and health are no longer threatened by pregnancies, due to the miracles of Science.

    Yeah, I greeted that with the raspberry and rude gesture it deserved.
    (Nice refutation here, too: http://www.livescience.com/24127-fact-check-walsh-pregnancy-can-kill.html )

  57. Prospero said on October 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I believe Syria as “Iran’s route to the sea” is as stupid as Jerry Ford claiming that the Balkan States were never dominated by the USSR. Anybody that votes for someone that doesn’t know about the Persian Gulf next to Persia should lose their right to vote forever. That is the untold depth of Willard’s ignorance on display, and it makes the USA a laughingstock. I seem to remember he also expressed profound ignorance worthy of Bushco regarding the differences between Shia and Sunni. Then, there was the boneheaded offer of a $10grand bet to Rick Perry. Having to have carriers and subs explained to you is pretty fracking sorry, though. Just goes to show, being a major league crooked pension looter and off-shorer in the bidness doesn’t take a lot of intelligence, just cunning and venality. But Jeez, Willard, the Persian fracking Gulf? Gawdamighty, what a moron.

    Trump claims he wants to see how the President’s birthplace is listed in his college records. I went to two colleges and one grad school, and I don’t think any of the three ever asked me or cared where I was born.

    Jeff (tmmo), calling Trump a monkeywrencher insults Edward Abbey’s Monkeywrench Gang. Doc and George Hayduke live. As do Bonnie Abzug and Seldom Seen Smith, the fallen away LDS.

    I had to hear that demons song for myself:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tkx3FtNytc

    Great rockabilly guitar playing.

  58. Sherri said on October 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Here’s how to stop those Halloween tourists we talked about the other day: http://www.gocomics.com/theknightlife/2012/10/22

  59. Bitter Scribe said on October 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Prospero: I dislike Romney as much as you do, but let’s not go nuts. Ford’s utterance that there was no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe (not “the Balkan States”) was in a class by itself for sheer stupidity, especially since, when the moderator called him on it, Ford doubled down. Romney’s statement doesn’t come close. I don’t think anyone’s ever will.

  60. Mark P said on October 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    The problem with Romney’s statement about Syria being Iran’s access to the sea is that everyone – and I mean everyone – should have heard by now of the threat that Iran poses to the passage of shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, or the reports of threatening behavior by Iranian boats when US ships pass by Iranian shores. Or any number of other things that have been reported widely in the US about Iran and its shoreline. If he doesn’t remember any of that, he is truly stupid. Or at least monumentally ignorant.

  61. Little Bird said on October 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    If we’re going to take the “it’s the will of God” route, why go to doctors at all for any reason. After all, it MUST have been his will for whatever ails you!
    I know that’s the Christian Scientists (oxymoron anyone?) take on things, and still think its weird.

  62. Deborah said on October 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Back in my former life, church going days, there was a mother of 3 who was pregnant with her 4th when they found out she had breast cancer. She and her husband decided not to have her go through chemo because it would harm or obliterate the fetus. Instead they tried to pray away the cancer. Of course she died leaving her 3 children motherless and the fetus was never born. That was the beginning of the end of my church going days. I stuck with it for another decade but I found that egregious.

  63. del said on October 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    It’s okay not to have answers. Quote from Thomas Doyle’s poem:

    There was little room for chaos
    in such a tight view
    occasioned by the glimpse of time one life affords.

  64. Sherri said on October 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    We regularly deploy those Navy ships Romney is so worried about to the Straits of Hormuz because of the threat Iran poses to shipping in the area.

  65. Jolene said on October 24, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Apparently, Romney had made the “Iranian route to the sea” error on other occasions. It’s one thing to screw up once, but to get it wrong multiple times requires real cluelessness.

    But, really, I don’t have the sense that Mitt cares at all about anything in the rest of the world, except as it affects American business interests. His sense of other people’s motivations or how his chest-pounding might be perceived around the world seems remarkably shallow.

    But I am feeling a little better this afternoon. A new poll (forget which) shows Obama up by five in Ohio, and the substantial early voting already completed favors Obama 2-1.

  66. Prospero said on October 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Deadbeat FauxJoe Walsh was talking about white women.

    According to the CIA World Factbook, Iran has a navy. On TV news it seems to be comprised mostly of Boston Whalers, but they also have six of those boats that go underwater, a couple of destroyers, and some missile-bearing surface craft.

    Speaking of Burton Cummings, isn’t that the most Canadian name for a rock ‘n’ roll singer anyone could ever think of. My brother and I took dates to see BC and the Guess Who at Meadowbrook at Oakland University in the Summer of 1970, just before Burton kicked Randy Bachmann out of the band for becoming a mormon. It was sold out when we got there, so we had to climb the 8-ft. chain link fence. The band was excellent, and the standout song, which I hadn’t heard before was Key. Still a favorite, on the Canned Wheat album (they’re from Winnipeg). Clever lyrics fulll of biblical references. Somewhat pretentious. Excellent harmony singing. Good Troweresque guitar solo. Brilliant drumming. The band’s second best song after Raindance. Where’d ya get the gun, John?

    Willard is twice as rich as the last eight presidents combined.

  67. LAMary said on October 24, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    A woman I know, who had two kids already, found out the baby she was carrying would be born with severe birth defects and was encouraged to terminate the pregnancy. There was no chance of the child, if it made it all the way to being delivered, would live very long. She had a very difficult pregnancy. She and her husband decided to pray a lot to make things alright. The baby was born with major problems. They asked doctors to do everything they could to keep the child alive. There were multiple surgeries. He lived five weeks. In that time they went through every dime they had and then some. They lost their house, declared bankruptcy, and the husband filed for divorce. About three months later the older of their two children committed suicide at age 12.
    I don’t know what we should learn from this, but I do know that prayer doesn’t change an unborn child who is essentially in a reverse fetal position due to spinal deformation. The mother knew this from early on and even if she could not bring herself to terminate the pregnancy, maybe the prayers should have been answered with a voice telling her to let go of the baby and hold on to the rest of her family.

  68. Jolene said on October 24, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    I want to be respectful to religious people. I know that faith and church membership is central to many, including many here. And I know that much good flows from people’s efforts to live out their faith, but sometimes I just want to scream.

    I just don’t think there’s much evidence that God is messing about in human affairs. Why does it make sense to say that the pregnancy of a rape victim is a consequence of God’s will, but the rape was somehow outside of divine purview? Or, as someone above pointed out, why is one family saved in a tornado, while the neighbor’s child dies after its chest is pierced by splintered wood driven by powerful winds?

    It’s not easy, perhaps, to accept that we are here on this planet for no obvious reason and are at the mercy of forces that are beyond our control, but wouldn’t it be better to face that and live accordingly than to rely on unsubstantiated and contradictory claims to get us through the night?

  69. coozledad said on October 24, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Religion itself isn’t the problem so much as the way it’s deployed like a cudgel to preserve more ancient, blood borne hierarchies. It’s fine to use bronze age and classical poetics as a palliative for suffering and uncertainty. When it feeds misery, it’s time to turn aside.
    Carl Jung was right about one damn thingSentimentality is the superstructure erected upon brutality…”

  70. Rana said on October 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    coozledad, I agree. While I have no problem with people turning to religion to provide comfort and a way of coping with the mysteries and unpredictability of life for themselves, I get very angry when they try to speak for other people or impose their chosen ways of behaving through force or coercion. Just because some woman somewhere out in the world is able to find comfort by perceiving her situation as the result of “God’s will” does not justify denying me the basic human right to control my own body. And when it’s a male person, who will never have to face such fraught decisions, who is blithering away about the holiness of his choices while enacting laws that deny me the exercise of my own, I get very, very angry.

  71. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 24, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Prospero, no insult to Hayduke was or could be intended. Since, theologically, I would have to say “Hayduke lives!”

    The dilemma of religion in the public square is that if faith is purely personal, it would never have any policy implications at all, yet we vote for people, not policies. So I think the answer is not to say Mourdock is appalling because he has a certain set of beliefs, but that, having asserted that these are the beliefs he has, one might be opposed to him because those result in certain policy outcomes that you find appalling.

    Talking about God’s will in specifics is always going to get you in trouble. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, just that you always have to be ready to face the consequences while being ready to give a full account for what you believe. “Always (be) prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…” (1 Peter 3:15 ESV)

  72. Charlotte said on October 24, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Cooz! I’ve been looking for the source of that quote for ages — Doris Lessing says something to the effect that “sentimentality is the flip side of violence” in (I thought) the 2nd volume of her memoirs, but I’ve never been able to find it again.

    I’m sorry Detroit people, after rooting for the Tigers during the playoffs, I think my loyalty has been reclaimed by the Giants — my years in the Bay Area + their goofball personalities + their great park with the windows to the sidewalk where anyone can watch for free and the boats in the cove. I’m having nostalgia for SF …

  73. Jolene said on October 24, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Jeff, that is a great Bible verse–one that I hadn’t heard before. I like the idea of “a defense . . . for the hope that is in you,” especially one delivered with gentleness and respect, even as I doubt that there are many such defenses that I would find convincing. Still, I always like a good argument, and am sure it would be a better world if more people were willing to put their beliefs to the test of a public defense.

  74. Sue said on October 24, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    “God’s will” has gotten many a soul through unimaginable pain. It’s helped billions over the ages, though I sometimes think the comfort is often more for the speaker than the recipient.
    “God’s will” as a factor in the shaping of public policy, however, is the kind of thing that leads to government control over individual women’s bodies, right down to forced pregnancies. And it is remarkably weird that God stops talking to these legislators the minute these kids are born. It reinforces my belief that if there were a god interested in the minutiae of human lives, he could prove it to me by smiting the hell out of these assholes.
    On a completely unrelated note, I’m surprised this bunch isn’t in the middle of a flame war regarding Miss “Shuck and Jive”. Poor dear had the misfortune to make the most obviously racist statement of the campaign during the same news cycle that is covering Mr. God Sends His Goodness Through Rape and Mr. Please Pay Attention To Me I’m Donald Trump.

  75. basset said on October 24, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Picture Burton Cummings in white polyester slacks, white loafers with gold buckles, a white polyester sport jacket with a blue and red lollipop pattern, and a disco shirt with the collar out over his coat… onstage at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute, August 1974 on their last tour, Domenic Troiano on guitar, Burton all squinty-eyed and red in the face… have some pictures around here somewhere.

    And he is 65 this year? Can’t be.

    “Live at the Paramount” is still one of the great rock live albums, and “#10″ may be the best rock LP that as far as I know never made it to CD.

  76. Jolene said on October 24, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Worth a read, even at this late hour: TNC on the labor of pregnancy.

  77. Prospero said on October 24, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Jeff (the mild-mannered one)@71. And if you believe that you’ll be reanimated as the Lord-God of Kolob? You are most likely whack. And how many virgins are waiting for you.

  78. Prospero said on October 24, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    And I must say, if RMoney gets elected and I can’t escape to Ecuador or Belize, and I decide on suicide to maximize the take for my daughter, I’d really like to take the Glen Canyon damn with me, because I tried swimming to the bottom of Lake Powell, but it’s 900ft.

  79. Prospero said on October 24, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    The Jints seem like a juggernaut. I was sure Verlander would shut their asses out.

  80. Prospero said on October 24, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Didn’t McCarver, back around the third, say Peralta didn’t contribute much power? The guy is atrocious, the John Madden of MLB. Madden went all Fred Flintstone with sound effects instead of language, and I was a good HS football player but he sure never said anything I didn’t already know. McCarver condescends to the fans, as if nobody could understand baseball but Tim McCarver. He was a decent player, but he wasn’t Mike Piazza. Of course, at the plate, nobody was for a catcher. And that’s a fact you Johnny Bench acolytes.

  81. Sherri said on October 25, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Hey, Prospero, look up Nichols Law of Catcher Defense. Timmy must have been a great defensive catcher.

  82. Dexter said on October 25, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Prospero, Sherri, I had to laugh when McCarver called a pitch a split, then said no, it was a fastball, then a slo-mo replay clearly showed it was a split, and McCarver said “always trust your instincts.” That guy is just way past his time. Remember when Harry Caray’s last years in the booth yielded only drunken babbling from old Harry? Remember when Ron Santo (my favorite player of all time) rarely knew anything about any of the players, and never anything about new players for the opposing teams, and apparently couldn’t see well enough to figure out what was going on down on the field.
    I never liked McCarver’s announcing , ever, and it’s certainly time for him to retire. He’s an old 71.

  83. Eric Zorn said on October 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    6:26, for old time’s sake. Thanks to the song-lyric clue. My recollection is that you beat me just about every day, which I attribute to my low levels of vitamin B-12 and public school education.