Don’t fence me in.

Deborah asked yesterday about the pay model that Andrew Sullivan’s trying. He wrote today that the first day of the fund drive raised $333,000, with more than 12,000 jumping in. I wish him well, really I do, but I won’t be one of them. And I don’t see a pay model for NN.c anytime soon, barring catastrophe (job loss, etc.). It will be very difficult to do even under those circumstances. I lack Andrew Sullivan’s towering sense of his own worth.

I don’t read the Daily Dish, and haven’t read Sullivan (much) since 9/11/Iraq war. (Isn’t he the one who came up with the infamous “fifth column” observation? Why, I think he was.) My boss is a fan, and occasionally passes stuff along, and I gather he’s not as much of a douche as he used to be. But the site simply isn’t important enough for me to consider it a cheap magazine subscription. If you read his initial post on this, you know it’s not the entire site going behind the wall, just some longer posts, and even then, you get a few freebies a month before the wall goes up. That will suit my Andrew Sullivan needs for pretty much ever.

Still, I want him to do well. Writers should be paid, and he obviously has lots of readers. I also want to see various forms of pay-for-content schemes duking it out in the marketplace. Maybe one will work for me.

When we were doing GrossePointeToday.com, we were approached by a micropayment site, whose name I forget now — Jingle, Ka-ching, something like that. Here’s how it worked: You designated a monthly amount you were willing to pay for online content, sort of like a public-radio sustaining pledge — $10, $15, whatever, billed to your credit card. When you read something online that you liked, and that site was a Ka-jingle member, you clicked a button. At the end of the month, your ten bucks would be divided between all your clicks. If you only clicked one, they got $10. Two sites, $5 each. And so on. I don’t think it got off the ground, as I have never seen their logo anywhere, but the idea is interesting.

After 9/11, when “warblogs” were all the rage, a lot of them had “tip jars” through Amazon or PayPal, but I could never bring myself to put one up. If I accepted even a dime, I’d feel obligated, and I have enough obligations already. I always tell myself that if this gets to be too much of a grind, I can walk away without guilt. Believe me, there are many, many, many days when I’ve given a little less than my all here. If it bothers any of you, you’ve been kind enough not to say anything.

To my mind, the best free-to-pay transitions will be like Sullivan’s (and Talking Points Memo, which is trying something similar): Most of the site remains free, and premium content is there for paying customers.

No, I’m waiting until I do something else, I hope a book (and not lose my job and tumble into the fiscal abyss). Then, I’ll ask you to buy it, but this joint, for now, is and remains what it’s been since January 2001 — just a little key-clattering for fun, to take or leave as you see fit.

John Scalzi, as smart about balancing the paid-writer/unpaid-blogger life as anyone, mentions just a few of the headaches here:

To anticipate the question of whether I would/should/could do something like this, my short answer is that even if I could – a proposition I consider questionable for a number of reasons — I would prefer not to. Among other things it requires keeping track of subscriptions and handling customer service issues and doing all sorts of other stuff that I already know I would rather drag my tongue across a razor than to do. If I were hard up for cash I would probably put advertising up on the site before I did a subscription scheme. But I would be far more likely just to write something and put it up for sale; that seems to me to be the easier and more effective route for me.

In the ’80s, when I lived in a four-unit apartment building across the hall from Jeff Borden, he made an interesting observation about the party culture of the time. This is when cocaine was starting to appear at parties among the cool set, and Jeff said the ritual surrounding it was interesting and a little depressing.

Marijuana, he said, was a social drug. Light up a joint at a party, pass it around, make some friends. Cocaine was anti-social; you found a buddy or two, maybe someone you wanted to impress, and asked them to meet you in the bathroom for a special treat. You probably saw these duos and trios coming out of a bathroom or back bedroom many times, eyes glittering, noses twitching, expressions smug and superior. Sucks to be you, loser. This site will remain marijuana for the foreseeable future, or at least early ’80s-era marijuana — cheap or free, just mildly intoxicating, a giggle at best, sometimes a headache. Those other bloggers can deal in stronger stuff in their paywall bathrooms. But not here.

Bloggage? Some:

This is so outstanding, but be warned, it’s the unbleeped version: “Downton Abbey” cast members mash it up with “Breaking Bad.” Stephen Colbert’s staff are geniuses.

And while we’re on the subject: Vince Gilligan talks about crafting the final season.

Ezra Klein: Good riddance to the worst Congress in history.

A good weekend to all, and the full-week grind restarts Monday.

Posted at 12:48 am in Current events, Media |
 

113 responses to “Don’t fence me in.”

  1. Dexter said on January 4, 2013 at 2:56 am

    ” This site will remain marijuana for the foreseeable future, or at least early ’80s-era marijuana — cheap or free, just mildly intoxicating, a giggle at best, sometimes a headache. Those other bloggers can deal in stronger stuff in their paywall bathrooms. But not here. ”
    :)
    I think I am in the right place. When the coke-heads moved into my favorite clubs and bars, I quit going there…by the early 80′s I had turned to dive bars populated by old guys drinking shots and beers. I mean that I didn’t want to get involved with stuff that held no interest to me; like heroin, I likewise never once tried coke. I can’t deny I have some Luddite tendencies, getting a vcr five years after everyone had one, not having a home pc until about 1999 or so, and only getting a hi-def TV two years ago, and still not with smart-phone, but I am open to new ideas at least, like new music. I am on a budget, being retired, but by foregoing every new thing I can afford what I call essential, such as Showtime and HBO and a sports cable package.
    I bucked at most paywalls too, not that I resent writers being paid…but if I start paying The New York Times and all the others who now want dough, like the LA Times and many others, like my local, The Toledo Blade, then I have to cut out another group of cable stations or give up satellite radio, or cut out other stuff, so it’s hard decisions. But anyway, we don’t need no stinking cocaine or ecstasy (now called “molly” in powder form) or anything but the sweet smell of ditch-weed drifting over the Nall Room at NN dot com.
    Check out
    http://craigcrawford.com/
    for more on Andrew Sullivan’s bold new experiment.

  2. Deborah said on January 4, 2013 at 5:31 am

    I get your point Nancy, about obligations and headaches, makes sense. But still NN.c is a big part of my day, well worth a subscription to me. When you write that book I’ll definitely buy it and tell all my friends to buy it.

  3. David C. said on January 4, 2013 at 7:16 am

    It looks like I’m a sub-Luddite compared to you, Dexter. I have no hi-def, no smart phone, no cable (only streaming – got to get my Tigers baseball fix somehow), a land line, the stereo components I bought in high school 36 years ago. Most of my stuff is old and will be patched up as best as I can until it dies and only then replaced. I guess I don’t much feel like making big contributions to the Chinese economy.

  4. Jolene said on January 4, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Better yet, Deborah, follow Hank Stuever’s example. Whenever a friend writes a book, he buys extra copies and gives then away. A terrific practice, in my view.

  5. beb said on January 4, 2013 at 8:02 am

    I was wondering if Ezra Klein was going to qualify the headline “worse Congress ever” with “so far.”

    He does. The 112th was worse than any Congress before it, but probably less worse than the 113th which just started.

  6. Basset said on January 4, 2013 at 8:23 am

    No ditch weed here, Dexter… more like primo homegrown, and none of that fancy crossbred hydroponic grow-light stuff either.

  7. Julie Robinson said on January 4, 2013 at 9:00 am

    It’s one thing to pay for the NYT, but when smaller papers like the Indy Star (or even, as rumored, those here in the Fort), go paywall, it just seems comical. Would you pay to read Kevin Leininger? I really don’t see that happening.

    Nevertheless, I’m happy to do my bit with the Kickback Lounge. Hope it helps in a small way.

    More Downton fun in the form of a quiz: http://www.npr.org/2012/12/28/168212819/quiz-are-you-down-with-downton. I’m a DA addict, but I missed the question of where Matthew was wounded for a final score of 14/15.

    Have a great weekend, all!

  8. Kim said on January 4, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I’m with you on the paywall for Mr. Sullivan and Co.: best wishes, but I won’t be forking over any cash because I don’t value it.

    NN.C I would pay for and I will definitely buy the book, Stuever-style, and I’ll do it through the Kickback Lounge. Booyah!

    On how to monetize the mighty Internets, though, it’s a topic in which I’ve invested the last five years. Our model has been profitable and growing since Day 1, so if any of you journos out there are interested in jobs in Columbia, SC, do contact me via the NN.C CEO/CFO/queen of all content.

  9. Jolene said on January 4, 2013 at 9:11 am

    More Downton: NPR has a two-part interview with cast members.

  10. Mark P. said on January 4, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Well, Nancy, I know you will hate to read this, but you and your blog are actually an inspiration. There are a few blogs I read regularly, including this one, and I have tried to model my approach on them. My content is not nearly as heavy and meaningful, nor as regular, but I like the way you do things. And you have collected quite an interesting community of commenters here.

    All the journalism talk reminds me of the days (many years ago) when I was a reporter. It makes me look back with a sense of nostalgia and deep, deep gratitude that those days are gone, all at the same time.

  11. alex said on January 4, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Sullivan’s an okay read from time to time but I can’t imagine paying for it. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten past the fact that he launched his career as a talking dog, really—a gay conservative sellout. These days I’m not sure what his orientation is—politically—but he’s not one of the writers who makes me seek out his work.

  12. coozledad said on January 4, 2013 at 9:33 am

    alex:I think Sullivan finally got a glimpse of just how venal the right is at its ugly little heart, a concept some foreign born Americans must witness in action before they’re willing to acknowledge it. Either that, or he decided he didn’t have the stomach to enter the pit and fight for dogmeat that’s already been chewed over by more conventional shills.

    He seems to have sidestepped his mea culpa and taken residence in a panic disorder.

  13. adrianne said on January 4, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I’m with Nance on the idea of the free Intertubes tends to devalue all writers, photographers, editors and others who toil in the depths of journalism. My newspaper in the Hudson Valley went to a paywall about two years ago, and the earth did not fall in. Nearly all of our subscribers signed up for online access as well, and our page views took a dive, but not horribly.

    I don’t know what the solution is, but it does seem that more newspapers are going to the paywall model. I happily pay for the dead-tree New York Times weekend edition, and my online access is free as a result. Still, not sure what’s the best alternative.

  14. Deborah said on January 4, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I read The Dish regularly and enjoy it, not every single post but most. I like that Sullivan includes relevant poetry. I will probably subscribe. And yes, Coozledad, he does go into panic attack mode fairly often which is annoying. After the first presidential debate, he declared Obama a goner, I thought quite unfairly. He did see the error of his ways eventually. I also like that about him, he admits it when he’s wrong.

  15. Deborah said on January 4, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I will add that I do not do my share with the Kickback Lounge and I feel guilty about that. We’re kinda negative about Amazon, if we order online we usually do it through Barnes & Noble because they have brick and mortar stores, there’s one a few blocks from us and I’d like to encourage that. Not the same as independent bookstores of course which are my first choice of where to buy books. Santa Fe has a nice one in the plaza area. I love to browse in bookstores and there are hardly any left. On the other hand I read somewhere lately that France has thousands and thousands of bookstores even with online sources and ebooks. Why is that?

  16. Scout said on January 4, 2013 at 10:27 am

    I’m definitely in the right place, I have always been more of a mellow than a twitch. As for Sullivan’s bleg, I passed right over it thinking, why would I do that? There are times (when his panic attacks kick in, mostly) that I boycott him for weeks at a time.

    Write the book, Nancy – I will buy it and send copies to every reader in my life and brag that I “know” you! Thank you for this site, and I like that it is structured the way it is. None of us feel like putting forth 100% every single day, why should you be held to a different standard?

    Happy New Year to the best on-line community in the land.

  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 4, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I’m curious what anyone else here thinks about this idea, from John Scalzi: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/01/03/killing-my-voice-mail/#comment-418882

  18. nancy said on January 4, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Totally down with that one, Jeff.

  19. 4dbirds said on January 4, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I consider this blog a gift. So glad it is here.

  20. Deborah said on January 4, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I don’t get why voicemail is annoying? One of my happiest memories happened when voicemail was first installed where I worked in the mid 80s. For our boss’s 50th birthday we completely filled his office with balloons. We had rented a helium tank to do it and spent much of the day sending each other chirpy, squeaky voicemails. I don’t think there was a dry chair in the office by the end of the day.

  21. Julie Robinson said on January 4, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Our son’s message used to be something along the lines of I don’t listen to voice messages I’ll see your number and call you back. Which Mom & Dad, being of a different generation, saw as incredibly rude. Just like Scalzi, he didn’t listen to the messages so now you get the box full message. Which Mom & Dad find doubly rude. Kids! What’s the matter with kids today? Why can’t they be like we were, perfect in every way?

  22. Prospero said on January 4, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Commentary on Andrew Sullivan’s new venture. $330,000? Sounds like a case for PT Barnum to me. Lot of money for just being a GOPer that isn’t entirely nucking futs, or, as Driftglass says “Repeating as epiphany stuff thoughtful liberals have been saying for 30 years.”

    Personally, my hope is that Sullivan will show up less frequently pontificating on TV, to, ya know, protect the brand.

  23. Jakash said on January 4, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    To be fair, NN, Sullivan has admitted and apologized for how stupid and credulous he was about the Iraq War on many occasions. As Deborah notes, he’s one of the few bloviators who will actually own up to his mistakes.

    I’m not a faithful reader of his blog (similar to Scout’s boycotting, I avoided it entirely between his meltdown over the first debate and the election) but, to me, his is one of the few places to find an entertaining, reasonable, conservative voice these days. Not that there’s any reason to seek such a voice out, of course… That being said, he’s been pretty well ostracized by conservatives over his embrace of Obama in both elections and his railing against the excesses of the current Republican Party. And, needless to say, his support of gay marriage.

    As I commented yesterday, setting off a firestorm of replies (uh, not), I think the $19.99 is pretty reasonable, given all he and his staff put up on that blog, and I think his rationale for what he’s done is very well-considered. Few could hope to emulate his model with much hope of financial stability, though, and, alas, I won’t be one of the ones jumping in to finance his efforts.

    In the comments to that Scalzi piece linked to in this post, a reader expressed surprise that he doesn’t have a “tip jar” for his blog. That seems like a reasonable possibility to me, but Scalzi responded: “I really don’t need the money and don’t see the need to ask for money here if I don’t.” Now, I found that refreshing. A guy in 21st-Century America who is not solely motivated by the acquisition of more cash? Fascinating.

  24. nancy said on January 4, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Noted about Sullivan’s walkback on the fifth-column business, but ultimately, I think my feelings about him lay more with that piece Prospero just linked to. He’s basically a canny little hustler, which is fine, but not my cuppa.

    I am indebted to him for some NYT magazine piece he did a while back on taking testosterone via gel application, which led to a number of parody pieces here and there. I never think of that product without calling it “testosto-grease,” which one of the parodists named it.

  25. Prospero said on January 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Deborah@20: Funny story. Friend of mine once hacked the office PA (for announcing incoming calls) and played bits and pieces form Angus and Bon and Malcolm during a workday. Mostly “Dirty deeds done dirt cheap”, “highway to hell”, and “I’ve got big balls”. Even the boss was cracking up. Very unprofessional. And immacheer. But pretty funny.

  26. Prospero said on January 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Many more total nutbags in the GOP’s future. Witches and legitimate rape as God’s will proponents.

  27. susan said on January 4, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    I bet y’all would like this little documentary (of sorts–not sure what to call it): “Bad Writing”

    It’s streaming for free the entire month of January, says the blurb.

  28. 4dbirds said on January 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    My dad died in 74, before wide use of voicemail. Wish I had a voicemail from him.

  29. Prospero said on January 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    FreedomWorks is actually grass roots.

  30. Sherri said on January 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Sully may have apologized for the Fifth Column stuff, but I don’t think he’s ever apologized for promoting Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve in The New Republic when he was the editor there. Or for Betsy McCaughey’s “No Exit” piece, which shamelessly misrepresented the Clinton healthcare plan.

    Sully’s been wrong about a lot. He’s apologized for some of it. The apologies are nice, but he’s been passionately wrong about far too much. I quit reading him years ago, and I’m not interested in paying to keep him shouting wrong things.

  31. MarkH said on January 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Even Chris Matthews doesn’t have him on his weekend show much anymore, but, Sullivan an actual GOPer? Srsly, Pros??

  32. Sherri said on January 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Kevin Drum has an interesting piece on the link between leaded gasoline and violent crime: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

  33. Suzanne said on January 4, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Julie @21…It’s not just kids! My husband’s parents and mine have cell phones, but none of them knows how to check the voicemail. My in-laws only turn on their phone when they want to use it, so you can never reach them that way (even when you’re meeting them somewhere and want to let them know you will be late, or the place has closed, etc.) so their mailbox is full and has been for years.

    And in other news, the state senator in these parts of IN wants to pass a law making it mandatory to say the Lord’s Prayer in public schools. There is an agree/disagree online poll @ http://www.wane.com. The “agrees” are winning.

  34. Dexter said on January 4, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Craig Crawford looked up his trade on wiki and posted what he found:
    “… thought I’d see how wiki defines it:
    Journalism is the activity or product of journalists or others engaged in the preparation of written, visual or audio material intended for dissemination through public media with reference to factual, ongoing events of public concern. It is intended to inform society about itself and to make public things that would otherwise be private.

    A journalist collects, writes and distributes news and other information. A journalist’s work is referred to as journalism.

    A reporter is a type of journalist who researches, writes, and reports information to present in sources, conduct interviews, engage in research, and make reports. The information-gathering part of a journalist’s job is sometimes called “reporting,” in contrast to the production part of the job such as writing articles. Reporters may split their time between working in a newsroom and going out to witness events or interview people. Reporters may be assigned a specific beat or area of coverage.

    Depending on the context, the term journalist may include various types of editors, editorial writers, columnists, and visual journalists, such as photojournalists (journalists who use the medium of photography).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journalist

    nice breakdown here, from text for elementary school students:

    Journalism comes in several different forms:

    I. News
    A. Breaking news: Telling about an event as it happens.
    B. Feature stories: A detailed look at something interesting that’s not breaking news.
    C. Enterprise or Investigative stories: Stories that uncover information that few people knew.

    II. Opinion
    A. Editorials: Unsigned articles that express a publication’s opinion.
    B. Columns: Signed articles that express the writer’s reporting and his conclusions.
    C. Reviews: Such as concert, restaurant or movie reviews.

    Online, journalism can come in the forms listed above, as well as:

    Blogs: Online diaries kept by individuals or small groups.

    Discussion boards: Online question and answer pages where anyone can participate.

    Wikis: Articles that any reader can add to or change.

    The best journalism is easy to read, and just sounds like a nice, smart person telling you something interesting.”

    http://www.robertniles.com/journalism/

  35. LAMary said on January 4, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    I’m with Scalzi and our hostess on voicemail. I think people have by now have figured out I’ve stopped checking it.

  36. Jakash said on January 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Sherri,
    I’d never heard of Betsy McCaughey until Sullivan posted a comment the other day from an e-mail in which the complaining person mentioned her as a reason why the person wouldn’t be subscribing to The Dish. Interestingly to me, rather than just link to his mea culpa from 2009 with regard to her article, that he posted on his own blog, Sullivan linked to this snarky blog post by somebody else that included a link to the piece from his own blog: http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2009/10/andrew-sullivan-takes-responsibility-for-the-infamous-betsy-mccaughey.html

    His comment the other day to the reader that sent the e-mail, and others listing various shortcomings of his for not subscribing:
    “People can make decisions about this based on whatever they like. But I hope the criterion is not some sin I have committed in the past or some outrageously dumb thing I will inevitably say in the future. Those can either not be undone or are integral to this blog.”

    Not that anybody needs to read or care about any of this, nor that I am as much of a fan of Sullivan as my comments here might make it appear. He may be wrong a lot, he may be “a canny little hustler”, he may be “a case for PT Barnum”, but he’s an interesting writer who I think tries to present all sides of an argument on his blog, through his numerous links. When something big happens in the political world, I find his blog to be the most efficient place to see what the arguments and reactions have been, from all across the spectrum. Though it’s not like I’ve carefully scouted out all the other options.

    That being said, rather than the political commentary, which is surely the heart of the operation, it’s really the more serendipitous posts and links, which are also plentiful, that are the primary reasons I visit that blog to whatever extent that I do.

  37. Dorothy said on January 4, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I find voice mail to be invaluable when I’m trying to get hold of someone and I’m driving and cannot text. (My new car came with Bluetooth so it’s not a safety hazard to be driving and on the phone – for me anyway). Two people I know in my theater group in this town purposely keep their voice mailboxes full because they hate voice mail. I get supremely irritated when I call them and cannot leave a message. I missed a meeting at someone’s home out in the country once because I got turned around on the back roads, and the GPS wasn’t connecting. And I was supposed to be taking the notes at the meeting. Not making yourself available to someone by blocking your voice mail is, to me, rude.

  38. Sherri said on January 4, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Jakash, there’s presenting all sides, and there’s cooperating with people promoting lies. Sullivan’s too willing to jump into the latter category for my taste.

  39. Minnie said on January 4, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I don’t get the voice mail hate, either. Is the recipient’s time so valuable that they can’t listen for 15 seconds? If so, I’m not significant to them. That, plus texting on my antediluvian cell phone is a royal pain. Yes, I’m feeling grumpy today.

  40. Ann said on January 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Interestingly enough, Nancy (see, that’s something a real writer would never say–why say it’s going to be interesting, just say it), I regularly lump you and Andrew Sullivan together. It’s part of my argument that the best writing on-line is being done by real journalists. I’m a serious Dishhead, and promptly signed up for the new model. Like many people, I once hated him (I’m particularly remembering one despicable piece on HIV he did for the New York Times), but he’s changed a lot and is happy to admit he’s changed, and will probably continue to change. I like his regular calling-out of the Fox media machine (I’m reminded of the Chicago Reader columnist who once had a regular feature with the subtitle “We read Bob Greene so you don’t have to”), his enthusiasm for Obama, and a wonderful choice of well-curated links. I like his View From Your Window contest, which I can never get, even when it’s Chicago, but am amazed at the readers who spend hours pouring over Google street view to figure it out each week. (That’s one thing he’s firmly keeping behind the paywall. You can see the contest on Saturday without being a subscriber, but not the answer on Tuesday). Maybe part of the difference is that I work in a world full of gay men and people living with HIV, so I’m interested in his frequent posts about both topics that might be of less interest to others. Even so, I probably skip 30% of his posts (in particular, his passions for both marijuana and testosterone). But since he’s posting 30 times a day, there’s still plenty to like.

    For readers who might want a recent taste of what I enjoy, let me suggest this column http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2013/01/the-2012-dish-awards-the-winners.html

  41. Judybusy said on January 4, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    My biggest issue with VM is that I listen, think, “Yeah, I’ll get back to that person,” then promptly forget for a day or two. Fortunately, this involves only my mother and a friend of ours who refuses to do even email. For work, it’s indispensible. I wouldn’t mind texting, but I’m thrifty. I don’t have a personal cell, but a Blackberry from work that I use, and my employer would get charged for texts. I have pretty much trained my friends not to text me. Email and FB are great, and I use them basically to arrange to actually SEE my friends. We can then natter on in person.

    Deborah, I loved your story of the helium-enhanced voice mails!

  42. alex said on January 4, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Count me as another who doesn’t understand all the hating on voice mail, although now that I own an iPhone I can see where some of you may be coming from. It really is an unwieldy piece of crap and the sound quality sucks. I’m not impressed with it and haven’t even begun to explore its potential because I don’t have any time to waste. I’m also getting older and blinder and my fat fingertips are just not suited to a tiny touch-screen keypad that auto-corrects every fricking thing I type with the wrong word anyway. I guess if you have kids who don’t communicate with you in any other way than texts or primal grunts, you get used to texting, but I’m not sure I ever will. I never understood texting in the first place. It seems to me that if you want to talk to somebody, it’s a whole lot easier to just talk, dammit.

  43. nancy said on January 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Here’s my VM problem: Too many people don’t know how to do it correctly. By that I mean keep it short and to the point, and don’t try to cram too much information in there. I have been leaving messages for people for years, and I think I have the right mix down, but at least once a week I find myself burning offering to Steve Jobs for visual VM on the iPhone, which can be deleted unplayed.

    If your message is just “call me” — I will do so when I see the missed call.

  44. Scout said on January 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Checking back in to say that the link to the Ezra Klein piece is well worth the click. It is something I may not have found on my own, so thanks once again for an excellent bloggage nod, Nancy.

  45. brian stouder said on January 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    1. My cell phone rarely rings (and when it does, 99% of the time it’s Pam)

    2. The texting thing puzzles me. Is it a fad? Or has it become The Way Things Are (in which case, I’m now hopelessly out of date)?

    3. Phone mail is something I deal with at work, and which is a non-issue for me, otherwise (see #1 above)

    4. But I do “get” that if you’re an outside sales person – or otherwise have a non-static workplace – that phone-mail on your cell phone is a fact of life. But if it were me, I’d have separate phones (and strict segregation between them) for work and personal use.

    5. Whatever Nancy ever decides for this establishment going forward, I’ve got no room to bitch. And if I ever win an obscene amount of money from the lottery (or whatever), I’ll buy her out the way Dick Armey’s astro-turf guy did; and if she continues writing, so much the better.

  46. Prospero said on January 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    MarkH: Andrew Sulllivan isn’t a GOPer? The party may not want teh Gay, but he’s died in the wool and a pillar of the Log Cabin. You display the thinking that makes the GOP’s future really grim. It’s like the song, You’re Not Irish. Which continues, “You can’t be Irish, You don’t play Danny Boy”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnHn8jWUTIM

    Purity tests for a political party must certainly be a death knell. To paraphrase $Palin, How’s that Big Tent workin’ out for yeh skeeves?

    How exactly is Voice Mail any different from talking into an answering machine? I agree with Alex about sound quality. I put every call on speaker so I can hear the bloody thing. Maybe I damaged my ears at the Grande and at Altamont, but I have no problems in everyday life, so I doubt that’s it.

  47. LAMary said on January 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I listen to voicemails from cell phones for my job. I’d say about a third of them have some key piece of information missing due to bad signal or background noise. “Hi this is kkkhkks.” Please call me at kkkhs nine kksrs one.

  48. Jolene said on January 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Andrew Sullivan may be wrong a lot, but not so wrong that he is “died in the wool” GOP” or “a pillar of the Log Cabin.” On the contrary, he thinks the GOP is, largely, a bunch of anti-intellectual fundamentalists who dishonor conservatism by seeking to intervene in what ought to be private matters while failing to meet public responsibilities for creating and maintaining a decent polity. And he regards the Log Cabin Republicans as masochists who are unwilling to see the truth about their (mostly) homophobic party. If you haven’t picked up those ideas, Pros, well . . . I’ll leave it there.

  49. Prospero said on January 4, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    When the TV football season turns bad, as it did last night with the Colin Klein show vs. Oregon, we tend toward movie night. I had a random email from iStore offering Trout Fishing in the Yemen for 99cent and we thought it worth a try. A superb movie in both our opinions. We share a predilection for Ewen McGregor since seeing Shallow Grave, Danny Doyle’s debut and a fracking hilarious black comedy. Anyway, taking a cue from one of my brothers, and risking Basset’s opprobrium for bringing up that talented and entertaining trio with whom I’m blessed, critics should be useful and say “if you like this, you will probably like this. There is some simplistic sense to Chris’s paradigm. Give him a break. He went to Princeton, where he played football and joined an Eating Club, and then to UVA Law. I doubt original thinking was at a premium. Anyway, what I intended to say was that anybody that thinks Local Hero is a great movie would probably like this a good bit. It’s touted as a “rom-com” which is deadly to me, not quite so much to my squeeze, though she got ballistic during The Breakup when Jen Anniston did the Beardless Clam walk. Anyway, we really liked this movie about really good and intelligent people finding each other, despite one of us being diagnosed and medicated and the other less well-adjusted but having escaped psychiatric clutches. We give it two big thumbs up. Next on our agendum, Killer Joe, and we both like McCoughennehy, for obviously different reasons. And Local Hero is one of the greatest movies ever made, especially with the second best soundtrack ever written. Ry Cooder wrote the best for Long Ryders.

    Now I hope it’s pretty obvious to anybody of sound mind, all of that was my opinion. Nobody in a civilized world should be made to point out that what issues from his mouth or keyboard is his opinion, nor to defend it as anything else.

    Mary: You sure that wasn’t KRS-1? One of the best R.E.M. songs:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGXVyDsOV2w

  50. Prospero said on January 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Jolene@48: If you’re correct, Andrew Sullivan is both self-flagellating and self-destructive. I wouldn’t have said this cat was intellectually dishonest had it not been pointed out to me.

  51. Sherri said on January 4, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Pros, if you turned away from the football game last night, you missed the truly unusual one-point safety!

  52. Prospero said on January 4, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Sherri, Colin Klein was atrocious and I really dislike Oregon. Hurry-up? That was Nebraska and it took 2-1/2 quarters to nail that down. Dawgs buried them and scored at will when it counted. Now, i was accused of talking big about UGA vs. Bama. NOPE. DIDN’T DO THAT. DAWGS PROVED AS CLOSE TO AS GOOD AS BAMA AS ONE COULD GET. Pretty obvious. Dawgs would trash ND. They can’t play pass D to save they’re lives.

  53. Prospero said on January 4, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGXVyDsOV2w
    I’ve seen the onepointsafety

  54. Dorothy said on January 4, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Texting is fabulous. We used it extensively in Vegas last week. The casinos and streets are so loud, you could not hear if you called each other. We could tell each other where we were so we could meet up at the correct place. And you can “talk” without being overheard by those nearby. Comes in handy if one of is at the store (and the other is @ home) and we need to remind the shopper of something not on the list.

  55. Ann said on January 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I now hope people will leave voicemail because if they do, google voice attempts to turn it into text and email it to me. Since I check my email far more often than I do my phone, it’s the way I’m most likely to know I’ve missed a phone call. Plus the transcriptions are often hilarious.

  56. David C. said on January 4, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    That was the first one point safety I remember. I thought it was a dead ball after a PAT failed. You learn something new every day.

  57. Sherri said on January 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    It is a dead ball in the NFL, but in college, a blocked PAT can be returned by the defense for a point, and a two point try can be returned by the defense for two points.

  58. MarkH said on January 4, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Prospero, did you read Sullivan’s blog the night of the third debate? No one that giddily cheering Obama on they way his running commentary did could ever be labeled GOP.

  59. Sherri said on January 4, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Lance Armstrong considering coming clean, so to speak: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/05/sports/cycling/lance-armstrong-said-to-weigh-admission-of-doping.html?_r=0

  60. Catherine said on January 4, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    It’s the damn “call me” voice mails on my cell that make me want to scream. I see that there’s a missed call and I see your number. Why did you make me stop what I was doing and spend a minute and a half just to hear you say, “It’s me, call me?”

    And with that, there goes my calm the eff down resolution.

  61. Deborah said on January 4, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Just watched the episode of season three of Breaking Bad called The Fly. Good lord it was like watching Waiting for Godot. Looking forward to the end of this season, and then there’s season four to go after that. Will I make it? It’s getting tedious.

  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 4, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Minnie #39, Scalzi’s point and to some degree my own interest in trying this is a) it’s not about your 15 seconds not being worth it, but the 45 seconds of menu blather I have to listen to waiting for the start of the actual VM, where whether 15 seconds or 5 minutes, the key info is always right at the beginning (hence my forced attentiveness to the rote menu voiceover) or at the end, which if I miss I have to play over and listen to all the way thru . . . leading to b) what LAMary said, that so many VMs have crackle-drop-garble right when the number is said or the date is mentioned.

    Add in that at least two-thirds of the VMs I get are no more than “please call me back” and I’m still seriously tempted, even with my pastor hat on, to try this approach. But I’m hesitant because of the older people who are just barely comfortable with VM, and for whom texting is still like trying to swing upside down on the monkey bars.

  63. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 4, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Suzanne #33 — but *which* Lord’s Prayer, with “debts” or “trespasses”? Or that modernist heresy, using “sins” & “sinned”? It’s not like you can just require the Lord’s Prayer, next you have to specify which version!

    And do you end at “and deliver us from evil” with a pause for the principal to list the announcements, and THEN say together “for thine is the kingdom, and the power . . .” or do we do it all straight through, and then: is it a close with “forever, Amen” or “forever and ever, Amen”? Whichever one you pick, you’re affirming, not to say establishing a particular faith tradition.

    Maybe it’s simpler if we pass legislation ordering that all schoolchildren repeat together the Golden Rule, which as every schoolchild knows is “Those who have the gold, make the rules!” That’s the version you know, right?

  64. Dexter said on January 5, 2013 at 1:05 am

    Having no interest in watching Johnny Football of A & M run an Oklahoma team into the ground in the Cotton Bowl, I watched NBC Dateline; the show was about a brutally murdered teen girl in West Wendover, Utah-Nevada line, which is a fairly recent case.
    What a horrible way to spend a Friday evening. Such a gruesome killing by a boy and a girl in sort of a mixed up state of jealousy and hatred, rehashed at every angle for two full hours minus a commercial every seven minutes or so, it seemed.
    I am done with these shows, they do me no good…they’re goddam depressing is what they are. Keith Morrison is also quite the ghoul; Christ, he looks like a talking corpse. I guess that fits right in with the topic. CREEPY.
    So today the NFL playoffs start. My teams, the Browns, the Lions, and the Bengals actually have a representative this year. Go Bengals. Beat them Texans!

  65. Prospero said on January 5, 2013 at 6:02 am

    Jeff, The actual Church added that Power and the Glory bit to the Liturgy some time ago. Why, I don’t know. Trying to lure back Anglicans, I suppose. Around the same time Catholics started holding hands while saying the prayer, and at the end of the pew, with the Holy Spirit, like the I’m not in favor of establishing religion, but I’m a wartorn veteran of teaching in public schools in America. Believe me, the pledge is a joke, as if it wasn’t written by an avowed Socialist inn the first place, and had the “under God” shit added by the . Oops, I meant Joe McCarthy and the Knights of Columbus.

    Deborah, that is a very good Breaking Bad, and I quit watching when Walter let the love and possible savior of Jesse’s life die like Jimi. Then I went back and he almost killed a kid to force Jesse back to his side. Walter White is evil, and no two ways about it. What is DEA man going to do about it?

    Johnny Football has to be the lamest sports sobriquet ever, just barely surpassing Donnie Baseball, the worst manager in the storied history of the Dodgers. And having survived Joe fracking Torre, that says a lot.

    And MarkH, GOP bought Andrew Sullivan, GOP owns Andrew Sullivan. It’s the Pottery Barn Rule. Nest you’ll be disclaiming Colin Powell and Condi. Can a political party shrink to be smaller than its own balls?

  66. basset said on January 5, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Deer season ends tomorrow at dark. Took one last Sunday that’s been in the shed all week, will cut her up as soon as the morning gets a little warmer then head out to the field and try for one more. Making sausage tonight, have a venison bacon recipe that looks good and may give that a shot as well.

  67. coozledad said on January 5, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Here’s another sexually ambiguous right wing douche lining up for his turn to suck wingnut grift titty:
    http://wonkette.com/495689/barack-obama-ruining-detroit-with-illegitimate-babies-unwed-whore-moms
    Just sit back and watch them white trash dollars roll in.

  68. Minnie said on January 5, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Jeff(tmmo)@62, you make a good point about time wasted waiting for the message itself, which may or may not be intelligible. I now dread getting a phone call from friends who have up-to-the-minute cell phones that offer everything but a clear connection.

    Just catching up on reading this morning – Jan. 3 thread: “Songs of Ignorance” is nigh on to perfect.

  69. Prospero said on January 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    That thing about coke and pot? Pot would leave you high for hours. Halucinegens for many hours, Coke would get you high for a few minutes. It always seemed very stupid to me, Kinda Republican. And, GOPers claim Ron Paul but the want to expel Andy Sullivan? Big Tent, y’all. What a fracking buncha hoarse’s asses.

  70. MarkH said on January 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Bassett — Get breakfast ready, I’ll bring the Great Northern Coffee and we’ll remininsce about Big Ten campus radio in the ’70s.

    Prospero, I will admit I don’t read much of Sullivan’s stuff, but eanough that I still think we’re talking about two different Sullivans. At least in the terms of the GOP you love to vilify.

  71. Dexter said on January 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    A song about writer’s block…just listen to this woman’s voice:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59XhvM4Ywvo

  72. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    WCCR, 90.1 FM, “The power from the towers” broadcasting from the sixth floor of Cary Quad; in this half hour, we’re playing right through side one of “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway,” by request from 3rd floor B unit, where the sophomore engineers need some mellowing heading into finals week . . .

  73. Danny said on January 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Nice, Jeff. Over the past year or so I have purchased two Genesis boxed sets. One was the the 1970-1975 set (all with Gabriel) and the other was the 1973-2007 Live set. Prog-wise, I don’t generally like them as much as Yes, but Lamb is absolutely brilliant and I do like their Pop era.

    Dexter, higher register voices tend to appeal to me more. I am a big fan of Enya’s older sister Moya (Máire) Brennan and Sarah Lacy’s voice of Eden’s Bridge voice is heavenly:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLXvGNUOtZM

    The whole arrangement is worth a listen, but 0:35 is a good intro point, her voice starts at 0:52 and the first chorus is at 2:26.

  74. MichaelG said on January 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Pros, Oregon was simply better than K State and flat out beat them. I was also a bit surprised by the one point safety.

    Two games where I love to see both parties would lose: OK vs. A&M and Notre Dame vs. Alabama.

    I have no general problem with voice mail other than, as MMJeff observed, we have to listen to what seems like an hour of options and sales crap from the provider.

    I also wish that people would slow down when leaving their numbers on vm. So many of them have their numbers blocked and then recite them so fast that I can’t understand what they are saying and I’m not going to spend twenty minutes chasing around trying to dig up the number. This is a problem on my work cell, not my personal one.

  75. MichaelG said on January 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Two games where I would love to see both parties lose:

  76. Prospero said on January 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    MarkH: The GOP villifies itself without my help, and I’d be glad of its demise. But holy shit, Andrew Sullivan has been a GOPer almost as long as Arlen Specter was. They eat their own.

    And the best QB in the country, College wise, MichaelG was Aaron Murray.

    MichaelG: As Georgia was clearly better than Big Farm. And FLA was crap. Like in shit-the-bed.

  77. Basset said on January 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Jeff TMMO, all we need to round that out is a lid of ditchweed from up in the Region, a jug of Boones Farm, and a freshman elementary Ed major from someplace like Gas City who’s just thrilled to meet someone who’s actually on the radio…

  78. MaryRC said on January 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Sullivan did himself a lot of damage over his attempts to prove that Sarah Palin wasn’t the mother of her youngest child Trig. I’m no fan of Palin’s but this went beyond the pale. Granted, he didn’t start the rumor himself, it was already circulating even before the child was born but he just would not let it go. There is plenty of eye-witness testimony that Palin was clearly pregnant and that her daughter Bristol (the baby’s true mother according to the conspiracy theory) was not. If anything, his claims gave Palin and her fans one more reason to regard herself as a victim of the mean, unfair, vicious left.

  79. Deborah said on January 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Yeah MaryRC, Sullivan’s attachment to the Palin pregnancy theory was odd to me, he seems like such an intelligent man and that seems so stupid to me. I still like reading his blog though.

  80. Jakash said on January 6, 2013 at 12:05 am

    MaryRC, Deborah,
    I can’t deny that Sullivan went WAY overboard on the Trig thing, and that it did a lot of damage to his reputation. I would only remind everybody that it was in the context of the President of the United States being harassed until he felt required to produce his long-form birth certificate, while She-Who’s media manipulation was so effective that she managed to be a political force while never answering any unfriendly questions. She didn’t exactly establish a track record for veracity during her political career, either.

    Also, one of the many things he’s been wrong about is that he seemed almost certain she’d run in 2012, and he considered her worth monitoring because of that. Ever since she declined to enter the race, he’s barely mentioned her at all, as far as I can tell.

    But you’re right that, in the end, his interest in that topic only made SheWho a more sympathetic character in the eyes of many.

  81. JWfromNJ said on January 6, 2013 at 2:44 am

    For the few of us that like Springsteen & Eddie Vedder together there are a bunch of new videos of them on YouTube from Wrigley Field. I’d pay an insane amount of $$$ to see them together.

    Start from Atlantic City and follow the search for “Vedder Springsteen”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXbagZWjUkY&feature=player_detailpage

  82. brian stouder said on January 6, 2013 at 9:51 am

    So in the past 6 weeks, I’ve experienced the singular unpleasantness of jury duty, and then (separately!) testifying under oath*, and now we can add to the list: sitting down for an hour with a funeral pre-planner**, and 4 brothers.

    Live on this earth for enough revolutions around the sun, and I guess you’re bound to do all these things, almost by default.

    *at the hearing establishing guardianship for my mom’s affairs
    **she was a very pleasant lady, and efficiently worked through a checklist, plus all the questions and decision-points that we have. Biggest surprise (to me): it was decided to have an open-casket viewing of our mom. I was (quietly) in favor of no-box (for lack of a better term), but wadda ya gonna do, eh?

  83. brian stouder said on January 6, 2013 at 10:14 am

    A friend of nn.c (or two) pops up, here

    http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20130106/EDIT07/301069983/1021/EDIT

  84. alex said on January 6, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I took Sullivan’s support of Obama to be just like that of David Brooks in 2008—more of a protest vote than anything, a sane assessment of their own party gone mad but not a full-throated endorsement of the Democratic party. Sullivan, however, seems to have made a genuine political conversion of sorts whereas Brooks wussed out and walked it back and has made himself an even more irrelevant hack than he was.

    Sullivan’s “fifth column” swipe at the mainstream media was particularly egregious and I think demonstrates amply where his political sympathies were just a decade ago. In hindsight, however, I’d say he was right. The media were treasonous. They failed us, the readers and listeners.

  85. Prospero said on January 6, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Free Mr. Bates.

    Hugh Bonneville interview.

  86. Jakash said on January 6, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Tying together the topics of NN’s last two posts, Andrew Sullivan has linked to the Hamilton Nolan piece from Gawker referenced here on Thursday, only 3 days AFTER our esteemed Proprietress… Part of the excerpt he highlights, about “confessional essays”:
    “Mostly, they offer run of the mill voyeurism tinged with the desperation of attention addiction. For those who own the publications, they’re great—they bring in the clickety-clicks. But for the writers themselves, they are a short-lived and ultimately demeaning game.”
    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2013/01/generation-memoir.html

  87. Prospero said on January 6, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Pretty sure Sign the Apocalypse is upon us.

    A superb essay about Joni Mitchell, by Zadie Smith.

  88. Kaye said on January 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Brian, hoping for you to have the serenity to accept the things you cannot not change. Yhough it may not seem like it now, knowing the end is near is a gift.

  89. Dexter said on January 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    JWfromNJ, thanks for the link. Someone else posted it on my Facebook and I listened a bit and of course I love it. I have seen Bruce but only four shows, The Joe in Detroit, Pontiac Silverdome, Columbus St. John Arena and Columbus Schottenstein Center. I also saw Eddie but only on the street…not a show. A freakish thing…Eddie was back in Chicago for a show that night and I was about to enter Wrigley Field for a Cubs day game, and a guy comes riding onto Waveland Avenue where the people stand and try to grab batting practice homers. Now, I thought the guy was just a dead ringer for Eddie and forgot about it. The next day The Trib had a photo of him stopped on that bike, just gazing at Wrigley Field, so it was him alright. Even if I had been convinced it had been him, I wouldn’t have charged him seeking an autograph. Too old for that shit. :) The thing about Eddie is that he is so short of stature. He sounds big when he sings, but he ain’t. He’s just a little fella.

  90. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Basset, I never met a single female who was impressed by my being a DJ . . . unless it was on a remote, doing a dance for some Greek event, which was how we kept the station running 20 or 30 times a year. Standing up there spinning records live was a great gig, except the women who came up to talk to you at those events always had an inebriated, unhappy Izod polo shirt wearing semi-ex-boyfriend nearby. Some of my friends had close calls getting to optimistic about those meet-ups.

    What are you saying about the quality of Kankakee valley agricultural product? That’s some of the finest topsoil in America, fella. Ditchweed, indeed.

  91. Basset said on January 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Never did the Greek thing, in fact I think I stepped foot in a Greek house a total of three times in five years at IU and was working for two of them. I don’t know that “impressed” was the best description, usually it was a good conversation starter before she inevitably said she had a boyfriend or I was such a nice guy or she was really a lesbian or… something.

  92. Basset said on January 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    The story I always heard on “ditchweed” was that it was what you find along the roadsides up in “the Region” in NW Indiana… wild plants descended from hemp cultivated around there during WW2. Could be true, I suppose.

  93. Minnie said on January 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    C. 1969 friend pulled into my driveway wearing a proud and conspiratorial grin. He opened the trunk to his beat up car to display a bounty of limp “ditchweed” he’d harvested while visiting grandparents up in Iowa, as I remember it, though it could have been Indiana or Illinois. We smoked and smoked that stuff and never got high. We did get headaches every time, which we blamed on roadside pollution from vehicle exhausts. ‘Course it could have been the mold that had begun to form on those leaves and stems. Hey. It was free and plentiful.

  94. Prospero said on January 6, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Downton creator Julian Fellowes talks about the show.

  95. brian stouder said on January 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Though it may not seem like it now, knowing the end is near is a gift.

    Kaye – True.

    As fate would have it, my brothers and I scheduled that pre-planning meeting with the funeral home a week ago, and yesterday we got it done. As evening fell, mom had visibly taken a turn for the worse, and at 1:15 today, as Pam and I were at Kohl’s selecting a top for her to wear, my blasted cell phone rang.

    Pam and I exchanged looks – and I handed the phone to her(!) – and she got the word from my next-oldest brother (I’m #4 out 5) that mom had passed away.

    It is funny, really, how a thing you see coming from a mile away finally occurs – and it still manages to surprise.

    Anyway – we were literally right on the doorstep of achieving legal gaurdianship – and with it the ability to pay off the bills and expenses….and now that’s a dead letter (so to speak), and my next oldest brother is saddled with the responsibilities of being the executor of mom’s will.

    One is tempted to lament the thousands of dollars spent on the lawyer and the surety bond and all the rest, which turned out to be utterly unnecessary; but on the other hand, one does what one must – based on what one knows at the time. This remains true whether we’re talking about temporal issues, or eternal ones, I think.

    And now, I shall try my hand at writing an obituary. It won’t be a humdinger like the one shared hereabouts a few weeks back; but it will be ours

  96. nancy said on January 6, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    So sorry, Brian. It’s never easy, but you get through it. Courage.

  97. Prospero said on January 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Bad behavior.

    And more bad behavior.

  98. alex said on January 6, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    My heart goes out to you Brian. I’ve been dreading the inevitable day myself and know that it could happen any time. We’re both of the same vintage. I was born in October of ’61. We probably know some people in common from South Side.

    Bassett, I didn’t know about the Region having a wild ditchweed problem, but Kosciusko County, which is midway between the Fort and the Region, has cops doing surveillance on the county roads in summertime because people come from all over to harvest the crap that grows naturally there. This is supposedly the result of environmental contamination from hemp factories in the old days.

    I knew some people who dealt in ditchweed back in the ’80s. They’d soak it in Pepsi to make it sticky and give the illusion of resininess and also increase its weight, which would increase its sale price. I’m sure there were plenty of suburban teens enjoying the placebo effect and no harm was done.

  99. Danny said on January 6, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Brian, so sorry to hear of your loss. Strength to you and yours.

  100. Prospero said on January 6, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Michele Bachmann really has her head up her anus.

    And I’d sure love to hear what the great Molly Ivins would have to say about this bullshinola from Tejas. Secession would be greaaat for the rest of the country.

  101. Jolene said on January 6, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    My sympathies, Brian. It’s tough to become an orphan no matter what your age.

  102. Minnie said on January 6, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Very sorry, Brian. I know how sad all of you must feel right now and hope you can comfort one another.

    I’m glad you had taken care of the administrative work. Several years ago we experienced something similar. On Friday my husband, who already had power of attorney, and I went to the funeral home to plan his father’s service, purchased a burial plot (which just happened to be right next to my father-in-law’s parents), and ordered a tombstone. We anticipated that Tony had weeks to live. On Sunday he died. We were so glad to not have to scramble in the midst of mixed grief and relief.

  103. Dexter said on January 6, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    So sorry, Brian. My mom passed at that hospice just off I-69 south of The Fort, nine years ago. By only fate, I was with both Dad and Mom when they died, Dad in a nursing home, which he fucking hated. When I awoke the day of Mom’s funeral, I had the sinking feeling I was not going to be able to get through that day; I had been warned by a grief counselor that for whatever reasons, some men take their mom’s death harder than their dad’s death. I was much closer to Dad, but I was able to get through that one OK, but I was struggling the day we buried my mother. When we finally left the cemetery, I was OK, but that day was one rough experience. Stay strong.
    Oh…there was some minor deal to be taken care of before we settled everything at the funeral home, and my younger brother said “I’ll do it, I have power of attorney”-and the funeral director cut him off and curtly told him “not any more.”

  104. Sherri said on January 6, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Sorry for your loss, Brian. That it was expected doesn’t remove the sting.

  105. Danny said on January 6, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Dexter, my dad passed suddenly and well before his time in 1991 and as shocking and hard as that was on me, it will likely pale in comparison to the day that my mother passes. Mother’s are special. Some are very special.

  106. MaryRC said on January 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Brian, I’m very sorry for your loss.

  107. Deborah said on January 6, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Brian, so sorry, my condolences to your whole family.

    We arrived back in Chicago a short time ago. Our cat is glad to be home although she got used to Santa Fe, especially the fireplace. She’s a heat seeker.

  108. Adrianne said on January 6, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Brian, so sorry to hear about your mom.

  109. MichaelG said on January 6, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss, Brian. Knowing that it’s coming doesn’t diminish the hurt.

  110. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 6, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Blessings on your obituary, brother Brian, and grace and peace to you and yours. Life is a surprise, which is the problem and the glory of it.

  111. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 6, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Basset, it was cultivated officially for war purposes up in the Kankakee valley, and it does grow in innumerable ditches. Of the quality or even flavor of it, deponent knoweth not.

  112. brian stouder said on January 6, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Thanks everyone; Pam and Shelby and I just got back from watching Les Miserables, which was nothing short of therapeutic.

    When Anne Hathaway comes for Jean Valjean at the end, how can you not cry? Really, it was the perfect way to end this strange day.

  113. Dexter said on January 6, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    What good is winter if a guy can’t have hockey to watch on the tube?
    From an espn report, it seems there will be a seven-to-nine day training camp , a 48-game shortened season, but a full playoff season. Fire up the Zamboni and sharpen those skates. I’m dying for some hockey.

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