Fresh start.

I was working on a post yesterday, before:

1) House guests;
2) Work;
3) More work;
4) Chinese food and two bottles of wine;
5) RIGHT TO WORK BILLS OMFG LANSING WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP;
6) And probably some other stuff I’m forgetting.

So one more open thread, and we’ll get back to normal business.

Posted at 8:08 am in Same ol' same ol' |
 

142 responses to “Fresh start.”

  1. Dorothy said on December 7, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Yesterday Jolene shared a link to the 2012 pictures of the year (thanks Jo – I loved them!!). On the third page of pictures there was one taken at a memorial service in New Zealand for fallen soldiers who had died in Afghanistan. Embedded in the description of the picture was a link to a video of the soldiers performing a haka. I’d never seen this before, or even heard of it. When I watched it I thought some of my nn.c friends might appreciate it as well. I found it very moving and yes, my eyes welled up. Here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVSJK1jMxPI

  2. Dorothy said on December 7, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Wait – look at this version instead. This is the one I watched yesterday. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI6TRTBZUMM

  3. coozledad said on December 7, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I had a red wine induced migraine a couple of weeks ago that was nearly pain free, except for a kind of tinnitus. Unfortunately, instead of the usual piercing microtones it was Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Not the song- the whole album- Gray Seal, Danny Bailey, Harmony, All the Young Girls Love Alice- the lot.
    For three fucking days.
    The worst part was a kind of vivid recollection of what I was doing when that album was big.
    I wonder if that’s what chronic depression is like.

  4. Mark P said on December 7, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I sometimes read some automotive enthusiast sites and am constantly amazed at how anti-union most of the writers and readers are. One mentioned right-to-work bill in Michigan with an almost gloating attitude.

  5. Mark P said on December 7, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Hey cooz, I used to get migraine headaches. These days I usually don’t get the ache, but only the aura that precedes it. And then the hangover that comes afterwards. That’s a real bummer — a hangover without even having had one drink.

  6. Connie said on December 7, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Hey Cooz, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is the soundtrack to my sophomore year in the dorms. With a little Aqualung in the background.

  7. coozledad said on December 7, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Mark P: My wife gets a disturbance in her visual field where stuff disappears in a certain area. Fortunately she doesn’t have to drive much anymore.

  8. coozledad said on December 7, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Connie: I think my sophomore year it was “The Wall”. And as it turns out, no, I didn’t need that education.

  9. MarkH said on December 7, 2012 at 9:03 am

    It sound like what Mark P and coozledad ares describing is an ocular migraine. At least that’s what my opthamologist calls them. I started getting them infrequently about 15 years ago. Not any pain for me, really, but my visual field is partially blocked for anywhere from 15 minutes to a half hour by a kaliedescope-like moving formation. It’s in the brain, so when you close your eyes, it’s still there. According to the Doc it’s not uncommon, and can be generated by to much MSG.

  10. KLG said on December 7, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I grew up in a union household in the 1960s in a red, right-to-work state, though not as red as it is now. My father’s non-unionized friends were jealous of his pay, his benefits, and his five weeks of paid vacation, and therein lies the story. Anyway, life was good in my hometown, which was unionized more than most others at the time (no more, and life pretty much sucks there), probably as result of wartime shipbuilding that brought people from all over the country. Keep it up Michigan and you, too, can look forward to being a lot like Alabama and South Carolina! Only without the really good football teams.

  11. Jolene said on December 7, 2012 at 9:16 am

    The WSJ visited Fort Wayne and has some interesting observations re the labor market. In particular, they say there’s a bad fit between job requirements and the skills of available workers. Would be interested to know how what those of you who live there think.

    In the meantime, good news on the national unemployment front: 146,000 jobs added and unemployment down to 7.7%. This is despite a “cost” of an estimated 80,000 jobs that would have been added but for Hurricane Sandy.

  12. Mark P said on December 7, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Coolzedad and MarkH, I used to get the visual disturbance, which is called an aura, which then led to the actual headache. The aura started with a blind spot and then the neon sign display. My headaches got progressively worse when I was in late high school and early college. And then they stopped. My mother and brother got severe migraines when younger, and then theirs stopped. Now I occasionally get the aura, but almost no headache, or at least one that ibuprofen stops. But the next day my head hurts whenever I move too quickly. My “migraines” often come in batches of two or three, and I think I can tell that they are at least loosely associated with stress. I have read that getting the aura without the headache is not uncommon. People have told me that they can tell when they are going to get a migraine even before they start getting symptoms. My aura sneaks up on me. What usually happens is that I am reading, and start thinking that maybe I need stronger reading glasses. And then I realize I’m getting the blind spot. If I take ibuprofen right away, I don’t get the headache, which is weird because I don’t think ibuprofen does much of anything for a real migraine headache.

  13. Jolene said on December 7, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Darn. That WSJ article is behind a paywall, but I found that I could access it by googling the title: “A Jobless Dilemma: What’s Wrong With Fort Wayne?” Copy and paste.

  14. Mark P said on December 7, 2012 at 9:18 am

    And, by the way Nancy, thanks for the link to the wool socks. I ordered some for my wife’s cold, cold feet.

  15. Basset said on December 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Cooz, it coulda been worse:

    http://tedvigil.com/photos.html

  16. alex said on December 7, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Mark P, I was a big fan of Car & Driver back in the ’70s and ’80s and although it always had some great writing, the conservative politics were rather irritating, particularly all the grousing about how government regulation and labor unions were ruining cars. Then there was a column maybe around 2000 or so talking about how much more cars cost than they did a few decades previously but also how much more car you get for your money and how great it is that cars are now engineered for safety whereas it had never been a concern before. They used to demonize Joan Claybrook and the NHTSA and it was, in retrospect, not a whole lot different than the sort of teabagger rhetoric that’s circulating now. These days I wouldn’t bother to subscribe. I give it a look in the doctor’s waiting room, but it just doesn’t have the old magic, annoying politics aside.

  17. Connie said on December 7, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Roger Ebert fractured hip doing ‘tricky disco dance moves’

    http://todayentertainment.today.com/_news/2012/12/06/15738754-roger-ebert-fractured-hip-doing-tricky-disco-dance-moves?lite

    More power to him

  18. BigHank53 said on December 7, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I’ve been lucky enough to avoid migraines. Depression, well…been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

    Rivers of ink have been spilled trying to describe clinical depression. The best one I’ve heard so far was this, more or less:

    Imagine somebody has taken out your brain and replaced it with five pounds of roofing tar. You can still think of anything you like…as long as it’s heavy, black, and sticky.

    And it’s never, ever going to come off.

  19. Connie said on December 7, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I just recently had the visual aura part of a migraine, but no headache. It was as if everything I looked sparkled so brightly it hurt, and covering my eyes didn’t help. I described it to my doctor and he defined it as a migraine aura. It was very strange.

    My husband is driving to the other side of the state and back today, but he threatened to get off in Lansing and see if he could get arrested. He’s a long ago UAW member from working a couple of years at the Chevy Truck Engine Plant.

  20. alex said on December 7, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Jolene, without reading the article I’m guessing that it sprung from a local one posted here a month or two ago by Pilot Joe which was a one-sided fluff piece coddling a bunch of shit-wage sweatshops that were whining about people who’d rather be on welfare than work there. If you know anything about these places of employment you’d swear you’d rather be on welfare too. There probably is a bad fit between skills and job requirements. There are all sorts of people with skills who don’t care to do unskilled labor, especially the sort of strenuous work that’s likely to undermine your health while providing no health benefits and as soon as you’re all chewed up they’ll just spit you out.

  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 7, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Speaking of yellow brick roads, this will be of interest to many here from multiple angles:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/04/us/when-hollywood-comes-to-town.html

  22. brian stouder said on December 7, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Alex – I was braced for the same thing (WSJ being a Murdoch/Fox paper) – but it was quite good; it has the ring of truth – and other than a slight nod to the 47% thing (a reference to pick job seekers who are doing better on unemployment than they’d do with a particular new job).

    Jolene – thanks very much. The article should be the talk of the town, and thanks to you, now I’ll know what everyone’s yapping about!

  23. brian stouder said on December 7, 2012 at 10:10 am

    (overly) ‘picky’ (job seekers)

  24. DellaDash said on December 7, 2012 at 10:10 am

    really enjoyed the video, Dorothy…seems there was a little Haka goin on in ‘The Whale Rider’

  25. Little Bird said on December 7, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I get cluster headaches. They come with loss of peripheral vision, blind spots that float around in that constricted field of vision, bright floaty spots, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Oh and excruciating pain.
    It’s not a migraine, because Imitrex should work on that. It didn’t. It made it worse. So much worse.
    But if I catch it right when I lose the periphial vision, one Aleve works fine. Go figure.

  26. Dorothy said on December 7, 2012 at 10:25 am

    My niece who owns Avid Bookshop in Athens GA suffers from migraine disease. She linked to this article on Facebook the other day: http://migraine.com/blog/2-minute-guide-to-migraines/

  27. Connie said on December 7, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Need a good book? Check out the winners of the bad sex in fiction award: http://www.literaryreview.co.uk/badsex2012.php

    Random House, publisher of the “Fifty Shades of Gray” series has announced that every single employee at every level will receive a $5,000 bonus this year. Looks like they made some money.

  28. Pam said on December 7, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Bill and I watched a TV show on PBS about the discrepancy between job seekers and the skills that employers wanted. It took place in Reno, NV. They focused on 2 men who needed jobs – one was young, engaged and needed a job to get on with his life and the other had a wife and 2 kids with a 3rd on the way so we know why he needed a job. The Company made rubber fittings for airplanes and other stuff that required EXACT manufacture or it could be life threatening. The “factory” floor was just a place with different machines that guys punched numbers into etc. They complained that no one was qualified or had knowledge of how to operate these machines. Now, they were very specific for just this one function of making these fittings. So the local folks set up a job training program that cost the taxpayers about $120K to train these guys on how to run these machines (can’t remember how many were enrolled). They also had to add in some advanced High School math classes (trig) to be sure these guys understood what the numbers meant that they were plugging into the machines. The company provided some of their machines that were used in the classes (big of them). Then, Success! Two guys get actual jobs as a result of this training at, are you ready?, $12 per hour. What?! Then the other shoe drops. They interview a professor at a local university who states that if they were just willing to pay more, they would get all the applicants they need. So I’m thinking – who are the Takers here? I was very conflicted about this situation. Is it advisable to prop up this company with free training that perhaps they should be providing in house or should we let the community do it? After all, the community could either pay unemployment or pay for job training for the fittings company. When I was working, companies did their own training, especially when the machinery was proprietary to their business. But I learned that this is a common practice in some European countries where govt. and business are more closely aligned and view well trained employees as a positive thing, rather than income and dividend sucking leaches. Of course, those countries have national healthcare. Training is usually provided at the high school or just post secondary level and a real effort is made to match students with actual jobs. Unlike here, where a student studies something and then hopes that jobs exist for that specialty after graduation.

    The Special was well done because they suck you along, thinking these are big time engineering jobs and no one in this country studies engineering any more. Then you learn the full picture and it’s astonishing. Makes you think hard about the job scene.

    Slate had an article about an entrepreneur in the US who makes the ultimate Hoodie. It’s a hoodie made like clothing was made in the old days, where it’s made of quality cotton fabric with quality manufacturing, made to last, in other words. Having gone through a few crappy hoodies in my time, I jumped on this. These hoodies are made in the US, are of high quality, but cost about the same as the imported junk. How is this accomplished? Turns out that the actual cost of a hoodie made in Asia is about $5 – $7, the rest of the $59+ price goes to the retailer and the middle men. What does this company do? They sell directly via the internet, cutting out all the middle profit takers. When I went to their web site to order this miracle hoodie, they were sold out. Put myself on a wait list. So here’s a company that thinks outside the box, probably because the owner was just sick and tired of buying crappy hoodies which are now like jeans, a must have.

  29. LAMary said on December 7, 2012 at 11:10 am

    The New Zealand rugby team does a Haka before games. Having a rugby and soccer fan in the house has exposed me to lots of Hakas. I proposed a year ago that my company start all meetings with a haka, but I had no takers.

  30. Bitter Scribe said on December 7, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Hey Cooz, FWIW, when I have an earworm, what usually works for me is:

    1) Go ahead and pop whatever’s in your head into your CD player (iPod, whatever) and play it.

    2) IMMEDIATELY play something else that you like, preferably something that’s notably different in genre, tempo, whatever.

    The only danger is that song #2 will become your new earworm. Well, I didn’t say it was a perfect system.

  31. Jolene said on December 7, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Connie, as you probably heard, Publishers’ Weekly selected E.L. James, the author of Fifty Shades of Gray as the Publishing Person of the Year. As they say on their web site, reaction to this selection was “strong.” Particularly creative was the response of Ron Charles, WaPo book critic, who made this video to express his view of the choice. Trust me, it’s a must see.

  32. LAMary said on December 7, 2012 at 11:24 am

    As much as a enjoy this site and our hostess’s writing, and look forward to reading and joining in, I want to let our hostess know that there should be no guilt involved in not entertaining and enlightening me every day. Really.

  33. brian stouder said on December 7, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Well, Mary, I’d second your haka motion, at the beginning of the meeting

  34. Mark P said on December 7, 2012 at 11:25 am

    My mother’s migraines were terrible. I think they could have been called “incapacitating” but, as a working mother, she couldn’t afford to be incapacitated. She had to work, because one salary wasn’t enough, and she had to be a wife and mother at home. Fix dinner. Make sure us kids did our homework. Everything else. She said she would often go to bed with the headache and wake up with it the next morning. Mine were minor league in comparison. I have no idea how she did it.

    Apparently, migraines tend to lessen in frequency and intensity the older you get, so there’s one good thing about getting older.

  35. Dorothy said on December 7, 2012 at 11:30 am

    My oldest sister was equally incapacitated by migraines, Mark. She’s the mother of my niece who suffers from them. My sister seems to no longer have them (she’s 65 now). But for years, she would be in bed for days and often sick to her stomach with them. My niece really struggles, too. I’m amazed her business is doing as well as it is. She blogs/writes for them at migraine.com – a nice side job to bring in a little extra income.

  36. brian stouder said on December 7, 2012 at 11:31 am

    And indeed, I’ll also second Mary’s motion expressing sincere appreciation for our hostess!

    When I saw msnbc go wall-to-wall about the new Michigan ‘right to work’ law, I knew that Nancy and her Bridge crew would be neck-deep in it.

    Here’s hoping Nancy and the other Michigan journalists keep on keepin’ on (even as the fly-over journalists take the easier shots from 30,000 ft)

  37. mark said on December 7, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Jolene-

    The unemployment news was hardly good. As CNBC reported:

    “Also, the drop in the unemployment rate appeared to reflect little more than a continued exodus of workers from the labor force.

    The labor force participation rate, already around 30-year lows, fell further in the month to 63.6 percent. That represented 350,000 fewer workers.

    In all, there were a net 122,000 fewer people with jobs.”

    It takes more than 150K new jobs each month just to keep pace with populatiion growth.

  38. Jolene said on December 7, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Pam: I saw that PBS feature you mentioned, and I agree that this is a thorny issue. My inclination is to say, as this Wharton professor does that, if you can’t find people who have the exact skills you need, you simply have to hire people who seem like good workers and teach them what they need to know–or offer more pay.

    On the other hand, there’s a limit to what you should have to teach people. For instance, I have nieces whose Facebook posts indicate that they don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” I wouldn’t want to hire them to send out emails on behalf of my company. More pay might attract people who understand the difference between single words and contractions, but I’m not so sure. The nieces in question are college grads.

  39. Connie said on December 7, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Jolene, on the library community’s fiction-l list someone brought up the question of training librarians to work with readers who want that kind of erotica. Oh, the reaction. I for one would have no desire to attend such training.

    OTOH My library has multiple hard cover copies of all 3 Fifty Shades books as well as multiple large print (!), audio book, ebook, and downloadable audio. And waiting lists for most. So what do I know?

  40. brian stouder said on December 7, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Connie – and I’m not being a smartass – but what training would a librarian need, in order to serve their constituency better in that regard? I mean, other than staying current with People magazine’s book reviews?

  41. Jolene said on December 7, 2012 at 11:54 am

    mark: You are right. My statement was too positive. Here’s a fuller statement on the jobs numbers indicating that November’s numbers were just OK.

  42. Connie said on December 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    The librarian specialty that does that kind of work is called reader’s advisory. There is a lot of training for that specialty in areas like genres such as mysteries. I assume erotica training would be similar, covering such things as history, classics and past best sellers, major authors, various sub genres, etc. Trust me, while fiction publishing is a lot sexier than is used to be, erotica is not what People is reviewing. So, Brian, I am not the only person in the world who hasn’t read “Fifty Shades” Because it sure sounds like you haven’t either.

  43. Judybusy said on December 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Yes, libraries carry all sorts of low-brow stuff, but I am always amazed at the relatively obscure stuff my county system offers. One can also suggest books, which I did today. I found this book on NPR’s best new book list. It’s an illustrated look at dinosaurs, and questioning why we look at them the way we do. They have other material by the author, so hopefully, they will order it. They also have a wide selection of e-books which I can download on my Kindle free of charge. Can you tell I have a big, giant crush on my library?

  44. alex said on December 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    WSJ article sans firewall. Actually a pretty good read, as fly-by journalism goes. I’m not sure who’s too picky — the workers or the employers — but given how poorly some of these employers pay you can hardly blame qualified workers for taking a pass.

  45. brian stouder said on December 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Connie – true! Fifty Shades has never come to the top of my reading list, but my lovely wife has read it (and the others in the series); and when it becomes a movie, I’ll surely get dragged to it, like that Dragon Tattoo one a year ago (which I found impenetrable)(so to speak)

    But then again, I’ll be dragging her in to see that new Spielberg movie* this weekend, so there’s that

    *the big question is – will it make her cry. My bet is: yup

  46. coozledad said on December 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    If you start directing the readers of erotic fiction via the historic or classic template, there are going to be a lot of unhappy customers. Fanny Hill only has a couple of pages that directly address erectile tissue. I think Daniel Defoe’s erotic outings are similarly circumscribed.

    What you need is a customer sexual interest profile bubble-sheet that establishes whether they should start with Lady Chatterly or Georges Bataille or simply be escorted from the library/bookstore by staffers wearing vinyl gloves (which some will appreciate more than most people will understand).

  47. Peter said on December 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Cooz, if the tiny voice in my head were playing Yellow Brick Road ad infinitum I’d grab a hammer and concuss myself until I felt better. I truly feel for you.

    The whole training issue gets on my nerves. I can understand the desire of manufacturers to have the public sector train their workforce, even to the point of training people skills that could be considered unique to a certain company, but my gosh, whining about not enough workers when you’re paying $12.00 an hour? Nannies around here get that kind of money, and from what I remember, the best you can say about some of them is their ability to stay awake.

    And on top of it, $12.00 an hour and you want them to know Trig? I’ve said it before, and knowing me, I’ll say it again, but in my 38 years of architecture I’ve used trig functions a grand total of 2 times, and even with the low pay rampant in this industry, the last time I made $12.00 an hour was 25 years ago.

  48. alex said on December 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Well, it looks like my link at #44 takes you right to a firewall. To see the article for free, just google this: WSJ Fort Wayne

  49. nitewatcher said on December 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    12 bucks an hour to make a part that if you get wrong can be life threatening? did I read that right? Are you sure there isnt more to the story or something? Shit the lumber mills up here start at $14 just to stack 2×4’s And no math needed other than yep thats 88 to the unit. :) Beautiful up here in Idaho today got 4″ of snow looking marvelous

  50. Connie said on December 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Judybusy, unless they have major budget issues your local library will certainly buy that book. Generally there is no reason not to buy user requested items. As long as it as a real user and not some email marketing ploy of which I see more and more.

    Though I can remember the days when we would not purchase Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty novels because they were considered porn. Today we would buy them and call them erotica.

  51. Connie said on December 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Article about Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty books being republished with a book jacket stamped with a message: “If you liked 50 Shades of Grey, you’ll love the Sleeping Beauty trilogy.”

    http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/in-race-toward-the-erotic-reviving-an-old-trilogy/

  52. DellaDash said on December 7, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    ‘Fifty Shades of Smirk’ is what I call it – a nicely tarted up fantasy about the healing properties of “safe” S&M, and how innocence and beauty can rescue a wealthy, damaged Adonis from his perversions through love.

    A drinking game: throw one down every time the heroin (pun intended) Anastasia says, “Holy Crap!”, and one every time Christian Grey smirks.

    I remember starting to read ‘The Story of O’ while sitting in a Beverly Hills bank, waiting on a friend. Don’t know if I actually had any outer physical reactions (blushing from head to toe…crossing of legs…squirming), but felt caught in the headlights of everyone’s gaze in the place.

    Anais Nin was always my mistress of erotica.

  53. Jeff Borden said on December 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Carol Marin, as fine a journalist as any local TV operation has ever employed in Chicago, writes a column for the Chicago Sun-Times in addition to working for both the paper and as a per diem TV reporter. She wrote a couple of months ago that “Fifty Shades of Grey” was the first book she could remember throwing away without finishing.

    My wife tried the “Left Behind” novels years ago, just to see what all the fuss was about. She managed to slog through the first two, then declared there were simply too many good books still unread to waste her time with apocalyptic crap filtered through a fundamentalist viewpoint. Though she is a voracious reader, she has expressed zero interest in the “Grey” books.

  54. Jolene said on December 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    More music to sample from NPR’s Best Americana and Folk Albums of 2012.

  55. Joe K said on December 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    So the one I posted was a whack job, but isn’t this one saying basically the same thing? Also, played rugby for 18yrs saw Ha- kas. Impressive.
    Pilot Joe

  56. Sherri said on December 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Carol Marin worked in Nashville before she moved on to Chicago, and she did one of the more amazing interviews I ever saw on TV news. She interviewed then Governor Ray Blanton in the waning days of his administration as he was under investigation by the FBI for selling pardons. He sat there on the set and smoked and smirked and dodged and patronized, and she remained utterly professional and on point the whole time. Soon after, she went to Chicago, and Blanton went to jail.

    I wouldn’t mind quite so much paying public dollars to train workers if the businesses didn’t whine so much about paying taxes, and if multinational companies didn’t go so far out of their way to keep profits out of the country to avoid taxes (and in shell companies in Nevada to avoid state taxes.) Google “Double Irish” and “Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich” for some of the details.

  57. Connie said on December 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I just got to do one of the fun librarian things. Newspaper reporter called, wanted recommendations on books to buy for Christmas gifts. I gave him my current list of recommendations, all of which implement technology in fiction in an interesting or even amazing way. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Reamde by Neal Stephenson, and Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by John Sloan. Right now I am heavily recommending Mr. Penumbra’s which combines a medieval secret society with google folk, san francisco entrepreneurs and an amazing mix of interesting characters. Read it or gift it. Or read it before you gift it.

  58. alex said on December 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Pilot Joe, I faulted the Star’s coverage for being one-sided. It had employers talking about their oh so wonderful jobs and how they’re unable to fill them because people are shiftless and lazy welfare cheats. At least the WSJ story talks to actual workers to get their point of view and reveals just how shitty the pay is.

  59. LAMary said on December 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I had the song, “Harper Valley PTA” stuck in my head last week.

  60. DellaDash said on December 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Connie – since I loved both ‘Ready Player One’ and ‘Reamde’, I’ll have to check out ‘Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore’.

    Pilot Joe – if you ever read for recreation, I’m thinking you might like ‘The Dog Stars’ by Peter Heller. It’s a general recommendation, but for you in particular.

  61. Basset said on December 7, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    “Harper Valley PTA”‘s title came from Harpeth Valley Elementary School in Nashville, just a few miles from the writer (Tom T. Hall)’s place. Basset Jr. went there; another dad and I planted the trees out front when the school moved into a new building on the same lot back in the 90s.

  62. Basset said on December 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    And Neal Stephenson has a new book out? “Snow Crash” is one of my all-time favorites, but I quit reading him after “Necronomicon” for fear of math formulas.

  63. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Jeff B., I think a good essay could come out of comparing & conflating “50 Shades” & “Left Behind,” the latter series which I understand is being re-released with updates to fit current realities like cell phones without antennae, etc. But you’re right, the two have some creepy elements in common.

  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    One brief overheard stretch of “Heard it in a Love Song” walking through a mall, and both the music, and memories of Cary Quadrangle, WCCR-FM, & the Elliott Hall of Music were stuck with me for three days. It was kind of nice, actually, although I have no real love for that tune or the fiddler behind it.

  65. brian stouder said on December 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Well, I may not know shit from Shinola, but then again, I guess us non-coffee drinkers (icy cold Diet Pepsi, baby!) don’t really have to be up on the difference….

    http://www.chem.info/News/2012/12/International-Elephant-Dung-Coffee-Sells-for-50-a-Pop/?et_cid=2984144&et_rid=44004269&linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.chem.info%2fNews%2f2012%2f12%2fInternational-Elephant-Dung-Coffee-Sells-for-50-a-Pop%2f

    The lead:

    GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Thailand (AP) — In the lush hills of northern Thailand, a herd of 20 elephants is helping to excrete some of the world’s most expensive coffee.
    Trumpeted as earthy in flavor and smooth on the palate, the exotic new brew is made from beans eaten by Thai elephants and plucked a day later from their dung. A gut reaction inside the elephant creates what its founder calls the coffee’s unique taste. Stomach turning or oddly alluring, this is not just one of the world’s most unusual specialty coffees. At $1,100 per kilogram ($500 per pound), it’s also among the world’s priciest.

    See, I’m thinkin’ Uncle Rush should market this in the US, alongside his silly Two if by Tea thing; maybe he can call it Republican Elephant Shit Coffee – it’s finger lickin’ good!

  66. Dexter said on December 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/kate-middleton/9730056/Duchess-of-Cambridge-hospital-nurse-who-took-hoax-call-found-dead-in-suspected-suicide.html

    I wonder what the joke-topic is today down in OZ..?

  67. brian stouder said on December 7, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Isn’t that heartbreaking? Good heavens… what a terrible corollary to the WSJ article about employers who don’t really want to train their people…

  68. Joe K said on December 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Della,
    Thanks I will look it up. Sounds interesting.
    Pilot Joe

  69. Bitter Scribe said on December 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Brian: Were you aware that coffee made from beans excreted by Asian palm civet cats has been available for years?

    Much of it is exported from Vietnam. Sometimes I wonder if this is their revenge for the war. “Let’s see if we can get the running dog capitalists to drink cat shit!”

  70. beb said on December 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Right to Work laws exist to create a class of moochers to undermine a class of people who are, strictly speaking, “makers,” meaning they are the ones who actually make things of out other things, but are called moochers by the real moochers, the people who profit from the labor of the makers. It’s another black is white, war is peace thing.

  71. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    “War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.”

  72. brian stouder said on December 7, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Speaking of funny language, when I read Nancy’s linked Detroit News article, this passage made me laugh out loud:

    Glenn Spencer, vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Freedom Initiative, in a press release, said: “Workers in Michigan should not have to choose between financially supporting a union or losing their jobs.” Michigan Chamber President and CEO Rich Studley issued a statement saying: “Passage of this legislation will help create and retain jobs and improve our state’s economic competitiveness.”

    The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is headed by Rich Studley?

  73. del said on December 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    That’s Dick Studley, Brian. And that reminds me once again of Boogie Nights’ Chest Rockwell and “How much can you bench?”

  74. JWfromNJ said on December 7, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    RE: 69

    the finest grade of Jamaican blue Mountain coffee, is called rat cut for the same reason, rats eat the berry and expel the bean. If you’re REALLY lucky you can get rat cut pea berry coffee where the bean had two seeds.

  75. Prospero said on December 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Wayne LaPierre is a fucking psychopath.

  76. Danny said on December 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Basset at #62,slight correction. It was “Cryptonomicon.” Definitely one of my favorite reads.

  77. Sue said on December 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    This is the only Fifty Shades thing I’ve ever read, more my speed I guess:
    http://www.suburbankamikaze.com/suburban_kamikaze/2012/05/fifty-shades-of-mommy-porn.html

  78. brian stouder said on December 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Sue –

    That link is the thread winner, and the funniest thing I’ve read in days!

  79. ROGirl said on December 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I once worked for someone who sold educational books, tapes, movies, etc. by mail. He got boxes of books and tapes from a big publisher (Simon and Schuster?)and the boxes were just lying in empty corners of the office. I rummaged through them and took some books that looked interesting, big coffee table histories as I recall. There were also copies of 3 Anne Rice erotic books on tape, which I also took. 2 of them were read by Amy Brenneman.

  80. Sue said on December 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    brian, I love SK, purely platonically of course.

  81. Catherine said on December 7, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Ooh! My whole family listened to Mr. Penumbra’s on audiobook during a recent road trip. Highly recommended for ages 12 – 61.

  82. nitewatcher said on December 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    happy Friday #75 hows the head feel :P

  83. Basset said on December 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Danny, you’re right, it was indeed “Cryptonomicon.” Freudian slip, probably, because any encounter with math formulas makes me wish I was dead.

  84. Linda said on December 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Connie @39

    At our library have HUGE numbers of all the books in the 50 Shades trilogy (and in Spanish, since we have a large Spanish-speaking population), and they are harder to find than hen’s teeth. Our people have come up with a list of erotica we own that’s “just like….50 Shades.”

    I don’t work in fiction (just the facts, ma’m). But it reminds me of the most interesting reader’s advisory query I ever heard of. I was swapping work stories with a librarian who did outreach to a nursing home. An 87 year old lady hobbled up to the bookmobile and asked for a western “where an Indian does it to a white woman.” I asked her how she handled it, and she said she just went through the westerns, until she found a few covers that implied the old lady would get what she was looking for. “At her age,” the outreach librarian told me, “I figured that might be what kept her going.”

  85. Bitter Scribe said on December 7, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    74: That’s not what rat cut coffee means. Google it. For one thing, no rat in the world would be capable of passing an entire coffee bean through its digestive tract.

  86. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I blame you all — my wife is back at her parents to help with her mom’s surgery, and my son just left on a campout, and I am finally doing a bit of cinematic ethnography I’ve wanted to do for years, which is watching “8 Mile,” and it is . . . well, if you’ve not had this experience, the first time you actually hear Eminem rap, it’s to “Sweet Home Alabama.” This is quite a . . . something.

  87. nitewatcher said on December 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I heard someplace that 8 mile spelled backwards is Alabama, or was that racecar backwards is racecar? hmmmm

  88. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 7, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I would watch another movie with this Marshall Mathers fellow in it. He’s . . . effective. 8 Mile is not a movie that’s in my wheelhouse, so to speak, but Eminem is pretty compelling on the screen.

  89. Sue said on December 7, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    ‘that Marshall Mathers fellow’
    MMJeff, you are adorable.

  90. Sue said on December 7, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    And I didn’t remember it was Pearl Harbor Day until 6 p.m. I feel bad.

  91. nitewatcher said on December 7, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Sue the end result is what your after :) btw you the same Sue asking me about them citadel dudes?

  92. Sherri said on December 7, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I remembered it was Pearl Harbor Day because the Seattle Times ran a Washington Post article on the front page. It was an article written by Elizabeth P. McIntosh, a reporter for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin at the time of the attack. She wrote the article a week after the attack, but the paper decided it was too graphic and chose not to run it, so it ran for the first time today.

    http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2019849572_pearlharbor07.html

  93. Sue said on December 7, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Same one. How’s the snow, still pretty? We’re supposed to get some in SE Wisconsin tonight but it will melt by tomorrow afternoon. 9 months without snow, close to a record around here.

  94. nitewatcher said on December 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    snow is still falling we should have 2 feet on the ground by now but nothin until today. are you anywhere near Saulk City?

  95. Sue said on December 7, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    No, north of Milwaukee in extremely red Washington County. Out of my element for sure but I hang with the few hippies left and we all get along.

  96. Joe K said on December 7, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Sherri,
    Thanks for the link,great story by a rest lady.
    Pilot Joe

  97. nitewatcher said on December 7, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    dont they let you parade your hippie ass around in tie dye? :) Could be a new kinda camo thing Sue

  98. Deborah said on December 7, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Lively comments as usual. I’m just now catching up in Charlotte, NC where we’re here to visit with my 93 year old mother in law.

  99. Sue said on December 7, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Now don’t be vulgar, dear.

  100. nitewatcher said on December 7, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    begging your pardon… :)

  101. Dexter said on December 8, 2012 at 1:04 am

    The Military Channel’s new special was shown last night at 10:00. The movie film shot by a doctor that shows the Arizona being blown to smithereens has been digitalized and now it reveals so much more. The show was put together very well, especially for those of us who have not been to Oahu’s Pearl Harbor.
    The most surprising revelation: Winston Churchill was absolutely giddy to hear of Pearl Harbor, because he needed the USA to get into the war and come over to Europe to help crush Hitler.
    I had forgotten that FDR never declared war on Germany, didn’t have to when Hitler declared war on the USA when Pearl was destroyed.

  102. beb said on December 8, 2012 at 10:36 am

    After looking like maybe Hurricane Sandy had shocked NJ governor Chris Cristie into common sense it looks like he’s’ reverted to form when he announced that he would not form a healthcare exchange. I guess he IS planning a presidential run in 2016.

    Mmeanwhile former Republican Florida governor Charlie Crist has decided that he has no future as an R and has switched to the Dems.

    Which raises the question: if Crist can find room in the Democratic party, why can’t Jeff (the mild mannered one)?

  103. Allex said on December 8, 2012 at 10:55 am

    I think Jeff has said before that abortion is his big sticking point.

  104. Danny said on December 8, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Plethora and odds and ends:

    We went to what used to be called “Christmas on the Prado,” at Balboa park last night. Our clan included two of our friends from Vietnam and a friend from northern India with her wonderful little four-and-half-year-old daughter, Urvika, who now has a boy’s-bob haircut because she experimented with cutting her own hair (girls are commonly funny in this regard) and mom had to get it fixed as best she could. Our other friend who was on one of the last helicopters out when Saigon fell and who has a very long Vietnamese name, kept accidentally calling her “Eureka,” and remarked how she has difficulty with long Indian names. She should meet one of my friends from southern India who have five to six syllables per name.

    Last weekend someone (Catherine?) commented that they had finally seen Argo and were probably behind the curve. We saw it last Sunday night and though the reality behind the story was compelling, the telling of it in this film, not so much. In addition, they ripped off a great line from James Caan’s character, Sonny Corleone, in Godfather and gave it to Brian Cranston’s character in Argo. It was the one about Ben Affleck’s character showing up to the airport without tickets and having nothing but his male anatomy n his hand. I guess they figured that it has been so long since Godfather that the current generation would not remember that purloined line.

    The other movie we saw recently was “Life of Pi.” Very good and we liked it a lot, but it is hard to describe (without giving it away). All I can say is, in the same vein as “Frodo lives!”, there should be a “Richard Parker lives!” sentiment.

  105. coozledad said on December 8, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Camille Paglia has entered the end-stage of whatever disease makes you jab a thesaurus up your whizzle:
    http://wonkette.com/491757/camille-paglia-ladies-having-sex-sucked-out-of-them-by-sexy-pop-music#more-491757

  106. Dexter said on December 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I remember reading years ago that the #1, by far, injury admitted to the nation’s ERs on Saturday mornings are sliced fingers and hands, made by men slicing bagels for breakfast.

    I almost had to go myself an hour ago. My wife preheated the oven and didn’t notice at first there was a cake pan in the oven. She removed it (with a hot-pad) and set it on the stovetop, and then I came into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee and casually grabbed the pan…and not so casually dropped the motherfucker! HOT! YIKES! A half-bowl of ice and some water were readied and I soaked my fingers for twenty minutes. Ice is the miracle drug for burned fingers. No ER.

  107. Catherine said on December 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Sherri @92, great article. Did you read that the author went on to work for the OSS and the CIA? She wrote about her experiences in a couple of books, one of which I just put on request at my library.

  108. Dexter said on December 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    32 Years ago today John Lennon left the planet. I have a couple friends in New York who always make the trip to Strawberry Fields on this day.
    http://www.inquisitr.com/429196/remembering-john-lennon-on-the-32nd-anniversary-of-his-death/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYj76eqeSyE

  109. Sherri said on December 8, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Catherine, I did see that. I’ve got holds on both of her books at my library.

  110. Jolene said on December 8, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Sherri and Catherine: Did you see the video interview of the Pearl Harbor reporter? It’s worth a look, if only because she is in such remarkable shape for 97.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/video/thefold/a-reporter-remembers-the-vision-of-death-at-pearl-harbor/2012/12/05/a91c939a-3f3e-11e2-bca3-aadc9b7e29c5_video.html

  111. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 8, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Re: D’s v. R’s — Stephen Dedalus in “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”:

    — Then, said Cranly, you do not intend to become a protestant?
    — I said that I had lost the faith, Stephen answered, but not that I had lost self-respect. What kind of liberation would that be to forsake an absurdity which is logical and coherent and to embrace one which is illogical and incoherent?

  112. Jolene said on December 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Gene Weingarten has a new feature story in the WaPo Magazine. Not quite as gripping as the story about toddlers in overheated cars, but definitely a voyage into a dark place.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/since-1979-brian-murtagh-has-fought-to-keep-convicted-murderer-jeffrey-macdonald-in-prison/2012/12/05/3c8bc1c6-2da8-11e2-89d4-040c9330702a_story.html

  113. alex said on December 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    What kind of liberation would that be to forsake an absurdity which is logical and coherent and to embrace one which is illogical and incoherent?

    Great rejoinder, but I haven’t heard anything logical or coherent from a Republican in years, and I rather doubt you have either. In fact the party’s current platform is so offensive to my sensibilities and insulting to my intelligence that you couldn’t make me vote Republican at gunpoint.

    Maybe I’m missing something? I’m supposed to ignore all of the ugliness and somehow know some higher truth?

  114. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Most of the anti-tax rhetoric is internally logically consistent. It’s absurd, and inconsistently followed by so-called adherents, but the Laffer curve (anyone, anyone?) is a sort of icy logic all its own when it comes to (anyone, anyone?) why lowering taxes is almost always the solution to whatever the question was.

    Keeping in mind that Ben Stein was long one of its foremost apostles.

    Meanwhile, the Democratic party both deeply fears and greatly praises the simple, honest worker en masse. I mean no nasty certitude as to either party, I just don’t find them either one all that compelling as parties. Both have trouble recruiting local talent and building a bench, they just watch 24 hour cable incessantly and anoint those who break through the clutter with high Q-numbers, adding to the screechy extremism on either side.

    Oh, and Navy is now 17 over Army’s 13. Go Navy, Beat Army!

  115. alex said on December 8, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Well, the Bush tax cuts were promised as a panacea that would bring prosperity and jobs and economic dynamism. They’ve been around since 2001 and what have we got to show for it? I’ll tell you what we’ve got to show for it. We have Republican pols doubling down and insisting that the wealthy should be taxed at an even lower rate yet and then the prosperity will trickle down.

    This should be the light bulb moment like the one where the people who were being fleeced by Jim and Tammy Bakker say unh-uh, you are not building a doghouse with central air and a jacuzzi on my dime and telling me that you’re feeding starving Ethiopian children with it.

    Ben Stein notwithstanding—now there’s a self-serving ass to beat all—I remain unconvinced by this economic argument and I’d like to see some evidence.

  116. nitewatcher said on December 8, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Oh man Alex. thanks for that rant. Just what I needed. Kinda like a good fart after a bowl of menudo.

  117. Sherri said on December 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    What can we expect from the Random House-Penguin merger? http://www.esquire.com/blogs/culture/12-books-penguin-random-merger-14793251

  118. Danny said on December 8, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Speaking of economics and polticis, I am curious about the consensus here at NN.C on the the economic crisis or whatever it is one wants to call the current morass we find ourselves in.

    The biggest trigger or cause of the current economic situation seems to be the sub-prime lending debacle. And in addition to the criminals on Wall Street, there seems to be a WHOLE LOT of blame to spread around between both parties. Would any here agree that Dodd and Frank figure prominently into all of this? Just wondering.

  119. alex said on December 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Yeah, I’ve heard Ben Stein talking bullcrap about how Barney Frank made the banks give mortgages to welfare queens, ergo the mortgage crisis. Trying to eliminate redlining and predatory lending had nothing to do with any of it, nosiree, it was just carte blanche for unqualified borrowers to walk in and hold the place up without a gun.

    Far and away the majority of borrowers were middle to upper-middle class and the lenders were willing to put money into bad bets because they didn’t bear any risk—they could just bundle the debts and sell them to suckers.

    I’ve heard that Bill Clinton was responsible for the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the Act that was put into place during the Great Depression to prevent exactly what happened here. I don’t know the whole story, but I know that a lot of the right-wing spin blaming civil rights activists for raping the banks is a whole load of crap meant to appeal to ignorant white folk who are looking for any opportunity to blame the darkies.

    I’m enjoying Nice Danny. I’m glad to see he’s able to bifurcate himself from his alter ego the creepy Nitecrawler.

  120. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Alex, I believe I said it was absurd.

  121. alex said on December 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Well, Jeff, we’re in complete agreement about that.

  122. brian stouder said on December 8, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Regarding politics in general – I have been pondering Senator DeMint of South Carolina.

    Consider: This individual ran for one of 100 seats available in the United States Senate, and won it; and then got himself re-elected to that same body just two years ago, and he RESIGNS that seat and goes for his million dollar a year spot at a think tank?!

    Isn’t this a breaking of faith? What the hell good can our elected government ever accomplish, if the people who get themselves elected aren’t actually interested in governing? – and especially when these people get themselves elected to the highest tiers of our government?

    At the very damned least, there is something seriously wrong when a person can flout his oath of office and betray the citizens he was elected to represent, and not have even one scintilla of shame about it.

  123. JWfromNJ said on December 8, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    RE: #69

    bitter you know you are dead wrong, Silly thin to argue over but Jamaican rat cut coffee has either been eaten and shit out by the mountain rats or had the berry part sancked on by the mountai rats.
    It even mentioned it in that patois wike you sited, and it mentions it here:

    https://www.google.com/#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&tbo=d&q=rat+cut+coffee&oq=rat+cut+coffee&gs_l=hp.3..0i30.2977.9703.0.10333.14.11.0.3.3.0.375.1384.8j2j0j1.11.0.les%3B..0.0…1c.1.YnhUiwVqQtY&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=f523a3129a1137df&bpcl=39650382&biw=1366&bih=608

    in every link but the one you cited!

    so whats your beef here? PRefer cat shit to bat shit of rat shit?

  124. alex said on December 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Brian, I’d be saying good riddance. He’s one of the reasons the GOP is a losing party. He also knows he can bilk the Heritage Foundation for the next four years promising an authoritarian theocratic revolution that’s never going to happen, then disappear into the sunset with a fortune large enough to protect his ass from people who will want to rip him a thousand new ones.

  125. brian stouder said on December 8, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    By the way, Pam and I just returned from watching Lincoln, and she enjoyed it quite as much as I did.

    It had a good crowd for the 6:30 show, and remains on two screens – and this made me curious as to how it was doing, and then I found this:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/04/lincoln-box-office_n_2236611.html

    which indicates it’s doing quite well, thank you very much! (apparently, they need to churn out more prints!)

    Not that it really matters, but I think at Oscar time, it should do well, too (and indeed, I like Sally Field; I really like her!)

  126. brian stouder said on December 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Alex – I agree completely about being glad to see DeMint depart.

    It’s just so instructive as to what sort of a bastard he really is. He tosses away an office that others would dearly love to hold, because he has a more remunerative opportunity?

    How serious would he ever have been, about reaching an accommodation (for example) with politicians he has philosophical disagreements with? Clearly, his primary concern was not the United States – in the abstract, or the actual government of the same; his primary motivation was himself, period.

    I suppose there’s nothing new under the sun about motivations like that, but it is instructive to examine cockroaches like him, in greater detail

  127. alex said on December 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Gidget Goes to Washington.

    She’s actually quite gorgeous for having survived five decades in Hollywood. If you’ve seen the new video of Travolta and Newton-John, you’ll note that despite the fact she’s almost two decades younger than Gidget she could be the spittin’ image of Joan Rivers. In fact every pneumatic showbiz legend looks like Joan Rivers.

  128. Sue said on December 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Alex, Olivia isn’t too recognizable as ONJ anymore, but honestly I hardly notice her because I can’t, I just can’t, get past John Travolta’s GI Joe hair.
    I just keep staring at it and asking myself, doesn’t he know? Who told him that looked good? The same guy who advises Donald Trump?

  129. alex said on December 8, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Sue, the the GI Joe hair is impressive compared to comb-overs and rugs. An entrepreneur could make a fortune off of it for a couple of years until it gets found out and stands out. Maybe someone is.

  130. Little Bird said on December 9, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Actually, I’m familiar with the civit cat coffee. Not so much with rat coffee. But given that a civit cat is not actually a cat, this might be where the discrepancy lies.

  131. Dexter said on December 9, 2012 at 1:34 am

    When I was in the army we trained one day with live hand grenades. We were behind a cinderblock wall , we pulled the pin, we threw the grenade as far as we could and waited for it to blow up.
    I think the US Army Service Academy at West Point, New York ought to bring in the hand grenade training cadre to train the Army Black Knights football team on how to hang onto an object and not drop the summamabitch. I ‘ve been watching football many years and I have never seen or even heard of a team with such a ridiculous case of fumble-itis. Here came the the Army, just 14 yards from the winning score, and QB Trent Steelan and FB Larry Dixon screwed up the handoff for yet another turnover, another fumble. Six more fumbles jujst today. It happened last year, too, as the Army lost due to more fumbles.
    The espn show about Bo Jackson, sport’s last true superman, was very well done, however. I recommend it.

    Anybody know of a cheap car rental place? The bigs are very expensive these days. I need to rent from someplace roughly in the Fort Wayne to Toledo area, because I haven’t replaced the burned-out Blazer yet.

  132. Suzanne said on December 9, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I’m late to the game here, but interesting discussions.

    I’ve wondered for the past few years what happened to on the job training. My last three jobs pretty much haven’t provided any, just a smile and instructions to figure it out. I read somewhere that employers now look at employees as “widgets” and when one widget moves on, their plan is to find another widget to replace it just like the one that left. And then they start whining when they can’t find an exact replica. Employers truly do expect the prospective employee to fund their own training in the hopes that they will be hired…for a barely living wage. Funny how free market economics are only praised when it benefits the employer. Welcome to the feudal state.

    I saw Lincoln over the weekend. It was enjoyable. Sally Field did a great job as Mary Lincoln, although I kept expecting her to jump on a surf board or sprout a nun’s head covering and fly away. I do think it would have been better had it ended with Lincoln walking out of the White House on the way to the theater. The ending seemed a little awkward to me. James Spader was hilarious and Daniel Day-Lewis beyond good.

  133. Danny said on December 9, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Sally Field did a great job as Mary Lincoln, although I kept expecting her to jump on a surf board or sprout a nun’s head covering and fly away

    I heard that it was a hard habit for her to break.

    On-the-job training. A lot of companies are also trying to codify design practices into a flowchart or guideline that would allow them to be all plug-and-play with engineers and technicians. Problem is, most difficult design processes are too expertise-intensive to summarize at a detailed enough level. I just want to retire before Skynet becomes self-aware and a robot takes my place. Hopefully they will give me a pet-bed with “Danny” written on it and not “Fluffy” or some other nickname.

  134. beb said on December 9, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I just can’t understand what Jeff is getting at in his post @111. Perhaps it’s because I value the real world so much that a thing not based on the real world is inherently illogical and inconsistent. The Laffer curve,, for example is one such thing. It takes an obvious point, that too much taxation will suck all the money out of the economy, causing it to stagnant and stretches it illogically to conclude that any amount of taxation will cause the economy to tank. This is absurd because eras of high taxation (the 50s) saw a healthy, growing economy. While times of low taxation (Reagan-Bush and BushII) saw only weak economic growth.

    Moreover, the people who voted to lower taxes are now complaining about the federal deficits without acknowledging their part in creating those huge deficits. Nor did they ever do anything to lower those deficits. When BushII controlled both houses of Congress did he ever try to cut spending? No. In fact the Medicare drug plan Bush introduced only made the deficits worse.

    The Laffer curve is only cover for people who are well off and believe that they shouldn’t have to share with anybody. People who believe in the Laffer Curve are incredible unChristian and I hope they burn in the Hell they also believe in.

  135. Prospero said on December 9, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I know nobody here cares a whit about boxing, but Manny Pacquiao got his butt knocked out against a guy that beat him fair and square twice already and got jobbed on bogus decisions. And Nitewhatever, I did get beat up by a girl one time. I was nine and she was 15. Never lost a fight since. Pretty sure I could kick your spudly ass around. Idaho is that place, where if you are a racist pig LA cop that messes up a slam-dunk murder investigation by fabricating bogus evidence, they have to take you in because of your racist bonafides. And is it any wonder that Idaho’s college football team is called the Vandals?

    And Danny, anybody with your political leanings will have to wait until about age 82 to retire, because, you know, y’all are so concerned about the legacy we’re all leaving to our children.

  136. nitewatcher said on December 9, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Damn swimmer boy cant you even go 1 day without smokin skunk or crack or ground up Goodyear tires..or? I mean its Sunday and all… ?

  137. Jolene said on December 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Today’s WaPo is featuring a story by Anne Hull that captures life at the bottom of the food chain in post-industrial America. MMJeff has met these characters many times. Still, the young girl at the center of the story has spunk, hope, and a firm belief that things can be different. I hope she is able to hang onto that belief.

  138. Danny said on December 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    “This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both,
    and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy…”

  139. MichaelG said on December 9, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Dexter, there are a bunch of sites that compare rental prices. Go to a place like Orbitz and start noodling around or google car rentals. You should get a pretty good look at what pricing is available when. I don’t know that you will find cheap but you should be able to find cheapest.

  140. MichaelG said on December 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I have a new computer with Windows 8. Don’t ask. I wanted to download Google Earth but in its system requirements it doesn’t mention anything about 8. I don’t want to screw anything up. Anybody know if it’s OK to just go ahead and download it?

  141. Bitter Scribe said on December 9, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    JWfromNJ: The rat has never lived that can shit out an entire coffee bean.

  142. JWfromNJ said on December 10, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Bitter – I know what I was told and saw for myself in the coffee plantation but mostly what they showed us were beand with most of the rind chewed away.

    Now here’s what I want for my morning Joe:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/travel/itineraries/elephant-dung-coffee-exotic-brew-50-pop-1C7490082

    I want the job of following them around with a plastic bin. Has to beat journalism.