A chill.

Rain, cold, snow, sleet. More of all on the way. Open thread, while we wait for spring.

Sorry. I had an all-day meeting Monday and I learned to play Texas Hold’em. It made me miss five-card draw.

Posted at 12:19 am in Same ol' same ol' |

65 responses to “A chill.”

  1. Dexter said on March 19, 2013 at 2:34 am

    Hank reviews “Top O’ The Lake”, a Sundance premiere, which I watched last night.
    It’s a seven-part miniseries.
    For some reason, Sundance is not an HD channel on my Time Warner hook-up, which sucks, as I am cheated out of the fantastic full beauty of the New Zealand scenery.
    This is a very creepy show. Not as creepy as a David Lynch production, but Jane Campion has a lot of odd in her as well.

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  2. Linda said on March 19, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Why would I not be surprised that it’s a “very creepy show?” Is that a prerequisite with TV shows these days? Missing 12 year old girls? Zombies? Nurses who steal dope and screw around on their husbands? Teachers who deal dope and kill folks? I’m really glad I don’t have cable, because even though I’m not Little Mary Sunshine, TV seems to be full of creeps. Just hearing about shows makes me glad not to see them.

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 19, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Punxsutawney Phil is now in the federal witness protection program, having given testimony that’s as flawed as most government informants’.

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  4. Alan Stamm said on March 19, 2013 at 7:22 am

    While awaiting spring (I think I see it!), warm visions of outdoor playtime in our state are newly posted at Pure Michigan’s channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/puremichigan

    Tourism promoters at the Michigan Economic Development Corp. will shell out $13 million (their largest single-season buy ever) to show the spots 5,000+ times nationally on 27 cable channels.

    So hold on . . . it’s coming!

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  5. alex said on March 19, 2013 at 7:45 am

    I had a comp lit class in college in the ’80s about film. The big transition the prof spoke most about was from the ’40s when the Catholic League of Decency made sure that if there were an adulterer or other ne’er-do-well in the story he/she had to die in the end to the ’60s/’70s, where pure unadulterated evil was visited upon the American middle-class family. The Hills Have Eyes was one such movie.

    Anyway, I hardly go to the movies anymore. So what’s it all about now?

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  6. Suzanne said on March 19, 2013 at 8:00 am

    We just finally got cable tv in the past year (mainly for the husband to watch sports)and I’m not impressed. There’s a whole lotta junk on 24 hours a day. I’ve yet to see much history on the History Channel. People kept bugging me to watch Duck Dynasty so I finally did and my life is not changed for the better. I did catch the last 15 minutes of the movie Signs, which makes me want to see it in its entirety, and the last hour of Capote a few weeks ago, which was interesting. Otherwise, I’d just as soon watch PBS or read a book.

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  7. Basset said on March 19, 2013 at 8:10 am

    A little frozen fog in Nashville this morning but I may dare to set a few tomato plants out next weekend. Weedeater won’t start, so it must be spring.

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  8. alex said on March 19, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Capote was good—that’s one I did manage to see. And the recent posthumous revelations about the liberties he took in writing In Cold Blood make it all the more watchworthy. I want to see it again.

    So Suzanne, you’re local. What do you think of the local GOP’s makeover efforts? Why would they put former city council member Liz Brown in charge? I can see this is a doomed effort already. That woman has never been able to control her mouth, she’s crazier than all get out and so abrasive you wouldn’t want her as an emissary even to white trash like herself let alone people of color, women, LGBT, etc. She alone is probably responsible for having made many lifelong Republicans into sworn Democrats. It’s as if the party at the national level were to choose David Duke James Dobson for this kind of outreach. What are those numbskulls thinking?

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  9. beb said on March 19, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Jeff@3 made me laugh.

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  10. alex said on March 19, 2013 at 8:19 am

    That’s Duke OR Dobson. Miss that frigging edit button.

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  11. 4dbirds said on March 19, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Sunday, I made the mistake of lingering a few minutes on “Gypsy Sisters” on TLC. From what I can tell they are only gypsies because they say they are. Mostly they’re what we used to call Trailer Trash. Anyway, my daughter and I ended up watching the entire first season marathon and I feel a little dirty.

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 19, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Revisiting a theme from yesterday: there seems to be a fair amount of confusion about what restorative justice is, and isn’t. Restorative justice is NOT about lighter penalties or fewer consequences for offenders — in fact, it can result in more, when that’s what is called for in an agreement between parties. I have done victim/offender mediations where the offender, after hearing the victim’s perspective and understanding the impacts of their action, has asked for and committed to more follow-thru than the judicial process would impose . . . and I’ve had victims lean in and say to the person who did them harm “No, I think that’s more than is really called for. What I need to see you do is [blank].” And some of those remedies are simple, and simply mind-blowing, but consistently result in healing for ALL parties, and a healthier community in the final outcomes.

    One of my trainers in mediation talks about a kid who had been bullied, who had a victim/offender mediation where the kid impacted spoke, and his mother, and two of his teachers, and the bullies were so stunned to realize just how awful they’d been (okay, three were and one never did get it), and offered a list of things they’d do. The mediator turned to the youth affected by the actions, and asked him what he thought about their offer, and was stunned to hear “That seems like a bunch of stuff that just won’t help. All I want? I’d like them to come to my house and have dinner with me and my family.”

    The kid’s mom was taken aback, and it took her a while to say “Um, sure.” The other kids’ parents offered to bring over food, and the bullies saw how the mom struggled to say “yes,” but did. And the dinner happened, except one kid who’d been accused of causing harm said he preferred to go to court. As the mediator said “I never knew what happened with him, but I didn’t feel good about his future.” The dinner? It went great, and not to get all afterschool-special, but they became friends. The other kid left the school district, and everyone wondered if it was the kid, or the parents who couldn’t deal with the idea of the meal.

    Are all mediations like that? No, but you can’t get to these kinds of outcomes in the judicial process. You can’t, and shouldn’t ever order a victim to have an offender to their house for dinner. But the harmed party can ask the offender to serve meals at a shelter or work at a food pantry, and then offer to show up and work with them. That’s the kind of outcome we get, not always, but often. Judges don’t get to do that, even less so with myriad sentencing standards legislation from the Statehouses.

    Restorative justice. It’s where good stuff happens.

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  13. MarkH said on March 19, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Jeff, that’s a GREAT story. As you said, it may not often have that outcome, but I have to believe that most bullies are like those in your story: they really don’t have a clue how their actions affect the victims. This kind of mediation is important especially in school districts that don’t walk the talk about bullying. Like mine here. Your posts are a treat; lead on.

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  14. MarkH said on March 19, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Cable and satellite TV packages are about 60% junk. It’s how it’s subsidized. These channels pay a fairly large sum to the providers for a guaranteed spot in each package and we don’t have much choice. Seriously, fully half are shopping or infomercial channels. My wife an I are in the process now of reassessing our TV time and trying to figure out how to ditch DirecTV without missing the 25 or so channels we like out of the 160 in the package. And it’s not one of the higher end packages and we don’t have HBO, ShowTime, etc. Now that there’s NetFlix, Hulu plus and others, it should be easier, but we’ll see. If it wasn’t for news, sports and documentary channels, I’d ditch it in a heartbeat.

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  15. brian stouder said on March 19, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Well, the tv-machine brings me msnbc and F1 racing, and Tara Brantly’s local morning news. I will say that last night when Rachel was on her opening exhortation, she went so far into the weeds that I hit pause (I love the “pause” option that dvr’s offer) so as to ask our fine young 17 year old if he realized just how ‘off’ she was. (short version: President Lyndon Johnson was ALL SET to end the war in Vietnam – just 4 days before the 1968 election! – when evil Republican Candidate Dick Nixon DERAILED it and therefore gets the blame for everything that occurred in that war from that moment forward) and had a conversation with our 17 year old son, to see if he was noticing how much baloney was being blown all over us. (He argued in favor of her point – but waddaya gonna do, eh?)

    So anyway, this past weekend Pam and I visited my buckeye brother and his lovely wife in Pioneer, Ohio, and went to dinner in Toledo. It was one of those Japanese steakhouses – where the chef clinks and clangs his (or her) knives and squirts oils onto the hot cooking surface (creating a short-lived inferno), etc. Fort Wayne has a place like that, too – but I’ve never visited it, so that was a First. And THEN – my brother wanted to stop at that huge casino in Toledo, and I’ve never been in one of those, either, so THAT was my second First of the night.

    The casino was stranger than I was braced for, I mean “braced” almost literally. After parking in the parking garage, I was immediately struck by how much you could feel the building swaying and undulating. We proceeded onto an elevator and into the casino, where that gentle wave-riding sensation persisted. (would this be on purpose? A sort of cruise-ship ambiance?).

    And the ambient sound in the casino was flat-out strange. Y’know how, on Star Trek, whenever they beamed down onto some strange new world, there was always an ethereal music – or tone – pervading every scene? That’s exactly what they had there. Above all the people talking and laughing, and the various (and somewhat annoying) music and sounds from all the slot machines, there was this tone – or sustained flourish – that seemed to meld with all the perfumes and lights and glitter.

    It had an altogether interesting (although not enthralling) Ohio ambiance, on the banks of the mighty Maumee river

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  16. Bitter Scribe said on March 19, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Since this seems to be an entertainment-heavy thread: What’s with all the movies coming out that depict black presidents getting blown up? I thought Hollywood was supposed to be full of Obama acolytes.

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  17. Dorothy said on March 19, 2013 at 10:59 am

    We watched the first hour of Top O’ the Lake, and recorded the second. Early morning doctor appointment ensured I had to get to sleep early so I could wake up early. It was creepy – and I’m also sad not to see it in HD, Dexter.

    Jeff linked to the big news at Kenyon yesterday. Our 19th president seems to be a terrific guy. We were introduced to him at 4:00 yesterday, and then at the reception afterwards I made friends with his 11 year old son, and showed him the pool and foosball tables inside the lounge. I’m looking forward to learning more about this exceptional young man, Sean Decatur.

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  18. Connie said on March 19, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Brian, my first ever Japanese steakhouse experience was in Fort Wayne years ago. Upstairs over the gas house?

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  19. Scout said on March 19, 2013 at 11:05 am

    We have this most-TV-is-crap-especially-cable discussion from time to time here, and once again I am in total agreement. We got rid of our cable about 4 years ago and the only thing I really missed was HGTV. Since then, we loaded up on streamable devices and have never looked back. I can watch all the HGTV I want, and Netflix and Hulu Plus give us everything else. We just started watching West Wing on Netflix. They have all 100 and some episodes. This is a series we missed when it was on network, and we are really loving it.

    Jeff, your posts are always so “This American Life” and I love them.

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  20. Judybusy said on March 19, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Jeff, thanks for sharing your experiences with restorative justice. That took so much courage on the part of the bullied kid!

    I tend to not watch much network/cable TV either, but we find stuff on Netflix–the latest is a French cop series called Spiral. It can have some gruesome crime scenes, but the writing and characters are so interesting. We’ve had fun figuring out the French judicial system, too. I’ve also become enthralled with Dr. Who, and am working my way through the latest iteration when my partner works evening shifts.

    I like being out and about with friends, too, or having them to dinner. I also volunteer with a couple different things, so I usually have a pretty full calendar.

    The WC today in MN was about -8, and tomorrow morning it’ll be -20. For some reason, I’m not terribly upset. I think it’s partly because we didn’t get our first snow till mid-December, so it hasn’t been all that long. I plan to go XC skiing on Thursday–we got a couple inches of snow on Sunday, so the trails should be in good shape.

    Bitter, we all know that if there is a person of color in any sci-fi or horror flick, they always die. It happened as recently as with Avatar. When I first saw the Hispanic female pilot, I thought, “I’ll be so mad if they kill her off,” and of course that’s what happened.

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  21. Dave said on March 19, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Takaoka of Japan, Connie. It’s still there, although we’ve not been there for a long time. Our youngest loved going there and that was his birthday request a couple of years running, when he was about 12 or so, which means we’ve not been there in about 13 years.

    I’ve read articles that report that ESPN is one of the main reasons cable and satellite plans are so high. We have satellite and I am certain we’re paying for more than the value we get. We also don’t have any of the premium channels. I look for the costs of Hulu Plus, Netflix, and the like to go up as more people decide they can live without cable/satellite.

    My brother and I were talking last night about casinos, our parents were never card players, we never learned how to play, as we got older, we didn’t develop any interest in it, consequently, today, can’t play poker, can’t play Euchre, for crying out loud. We agreed that we could play Old Maid. The only casino I was ever in, I think it was that “tone” Brian speaks of that was one of the things that made me want to leave as quickly as I could. Meanwhile, our sister and her husband love those places.

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  22. Dorothy said on March 19, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Deborah – did your husband ever locate his laptop??

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  23. Charlotte said on March 19, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I TiVo’d Top of the Lake so we could watch the Celtics (or what’s left of them at this point in the season) narrowly miss beating the Heat. I still can’t get used to Ray Allen being on the wrong team. I got rid of tv for a while last year, and the only issue was sports. I can get everything else on streaming … then my internet provider crapped out, and because I work online, it was back to cable.

    And Jeff, I’m with you on the restorative justice — those boys are morons, but if we can save them, we should try. We’ve got a great drug court system out here — one of the judges has been nominated for our Federal bench (don’t get me started on the judicial approval backlog — f*ing GOP). I taught university long enough to know that a lot of kids are still that, just kids, for a long time (also, see the ski bum years). While I’m not on the CNN bandwagon, I do feel bad for them. They screwed up their lives and that girl’s life … here’s hoping there’s someone in the system that will help them straighten out.

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  24. MarkH said on March 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Brian – I’m no Maddow fan, but she is onto something and you need to dig a little deeper. The latest declassifying of LBJ’s WH tapes sheds even more support to the allegation that Nixon may have commited treason in 1968 with an end-around the government on the peace talks. It’s not as simple as “LBJ was going to end the war” and I don’t believe Maddow intended that. After the Tet offensive, hawks in the administration talked Johnson into ending the war. At the same time word came that the North Vietnamese were going to make some major concessions at the peace table. This would not bode well for Nixon who was already campaigning on ending it himself. He sent his own emissaries to contact the North, tell them to hold out for a better deal from him after the election. Anyone here think that sort of thing is beneath Nixon? The BBC has has as good a story on this as anyone:


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  25. Mark P. said on March 19, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Jeff, that was a great story.

    Ah, yes. TV. We’re in the same boat as almost everyone on cable or satellite — way more junky channels that we never watch than good channels that we do. There is an argument that it works the right way as it is, but I suspect that streaming is going to change all that eventually. We can’t stream because we rely on a cell modem and we have too low a limit with too high a bill as it is. So we end up paying lots of money to DirecTV for lots of channels we don’t watch just to get a few that we do. One day I hope we can get a decent internet connection, and then it’s goodbye satellite.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on March 19, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I’m of the opinion that nothing –nothing– was below Richard M. Nixon.

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  27. Jakash said on March 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    “Cable and satellite TV packages are about 60% junk.” I’m sorry, MarkH, but that testimony seems to me to be about as accurate as Punxsutawney Phil’s. Maybe only 60% of the CHANNELS are junk, but I bet the overall percentage of less-than-“must-see TV” PROGRAMMING would have to be well into the 90’s. It seems that many channels might have a couple of shows that are well-respected that we miss out on by sticking with over-the-air reception. But, we’ve gone from regretting that we don’t get to see those shows any more to being relieved that we don’t need to even try to keep up with all of them. For the select ones in which we are REALLY interested, well, that’s what Netflix and DVDs are for. Sure, we watched “The Wire” 8 years after everybody else did. You can’t have everything…

    Also, FWIW, deciding not to care about and/or watch big-time sports nearly as much as I did in my youth has certainly been a net plus. And there you have “a few minutes with Andy Rooney.” Oh, and stay off my lawn…

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  28. Bitter Scribe said on March 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    The only time I venture into casinos is when I stay in one in Vegas for a trade show. And their layout is extremely annoying, in that to get anywhere you have to pass banks and banks of slot machines. If you have no sense of direction, like me, it’s easy to get completely turned around.

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  29. nancy said on March 19, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Who mentioned “Olympus Has Fallen” a while back? Aaron Eckhart plays the president in that one, which looks like a veritable feast of bad-movieness — another in the long list of “Die Hard”-in-another-place, in this case, the White House). Morgan Freeman is the speaker of the house, I believe. At least, that’s what I glean from the preview.

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  30. Peter said on March 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I’d love to agree with Jeff, but in my mind that one’s up there with the Russkies killing Kennedy.

    Then again, I could see Heinz Kissinger doing that and then funneling the info to Nixon.

    Speaking of which, doing an Epic Rap Battles of History between Kissinger and Cheney to show who’s more evil would be highly entertaining.

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  31. MarkH said on March 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Oh, in my post #24, I should have said the ‘doves’ in LBJ’s admin.

    Jakash, the packages are made up of channels many of which are junk, yes. So, upon further consideration, I might dial my estimate back to 45-50% junk.

    In light of Jeff(mmo)’s post above on restorative justice, here’s the flip side about how bad things can get. A horrible ending to a horrible story in Jeff’s own back yard.


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  32. Jeff Borden said on March 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    I see that unindicted war criminal Donald Rumsfeld sent out a Tweet today marking the 10th anniversary of the ill-fated invasion of Iraq and complementing all those responsible. This smug bastard runs a close second to Five-Deferment Dick Cheney as the leading a-hole of the W. administration.

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  33. Jakash said on March 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    brian s.,
    With regard to your casino visit, what you missed out on (evidently, since you didn’t mention it) by visiting a casino in the Buckeye state rather than in your own Hoosier wonderland was the pervasive haze of tobacco smoke. I think there may be a rather significant correlation between smoking and gambling, because visiting a casino in Indiana a while back reminded me of the old days of walking into dive bars anywhere. And not in a good way! It’s amazing how repellent that smoke has become to me, given that I used to be accustomed to spending entire evenings surrounded by it. Now I believe that many casino-frequenters would be at the opposite end of the spectrum, but if I were choosing where to gamble, the state with the non-smoking casino would get my business every time.

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  34. Dexter said on March 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Brian Stouder, I hope your cable provided you the Formula One 58-lap Grand Prix from Melbourne, Oz, last Sunday. I love that style of racing, the tight passing on the short straightaways, the hard cornering, the balance of miles driven / tire changes. It is just so much more entertaining than listening to every NASCAR TV personality and their mandatory deep southern twangy drawl for four hours. Maybe I’d get sick of the Ozzie way of announcing if I had it on every Sunday, but I don’t. I hear “boogedy boodegy boogedy” and I cringe. But hey, some of my best friends are hillbillies, don’t get me wrong. 🙂

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  35. brian stouder said on March 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Dex – I very much enjoyed that F1 race from Oz; and Malaysia is coming right up!

    But, I did miss Bob Varsha

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  36. Prospero said on March 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Mark H.@24: So that’s where Rummy and Cheney got the idea for making a deal with Khomeini. Wascawee Weepubwicans. Why I loved Argo. The Carter administration actually did something to get those six out, while GOPers were going behind the government’s back to make sure the rest didn’t get out until after the election.

    I watch the Weather Channel and every time I hear the statement that it is “brought to me by my local cable company”, as if it’s a gift out of Time Warner’s pure munificence, my TeeVee is in danger of being hit with the remote. I think there is plenty of good stuff amongst the dross on TeeVee. And this strikes me as another good reason for selling pot in liquor stores. Mediocre drama is improved immensely by a joint or two.

    And that Iraq adventure? It paid for itself right? $2.2trillion worth. Right?

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  37. paddyo' said on March 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Jeff B., Rummy will always hold the “Miscongeniality” title in that crowd, particularly around the Iraq misadventure. Flags ought to be at half-staff, if not flown upside down altogether, today and every anniversary. Inglourious basTURDs, all of them.

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  38. Jeff said on March 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    MarkH, if that’s not some form of borderline or dissociative disorder, I’ll eat his “Killer” t-shirt.

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  39. Julie Robinson said on March 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    We had a lovely long weekend in Chicago visiting with our daughter after her successful ordination interview and I’m just getting back to the rest of the world. But when I grow up I want to be like Jefftmmo, fighting the good fight.

    We tried cable and weren’t thrilled with the offerings. Nowadays we share Netflix and Hulu+ with our kids and that covers everything except sports. Happily we are only interested in IU basketball and for that we visit a lovely lady from our church who shares our passion. It’s win-win; she gets regular visitors who can monitor her well-being (she’s 88), and we get to see IU play. SO much better than going to a bar!

    And LAMary, I completely understand about your son and the maryjane. Ours does not indulge that way, but his video gaming is similar as a way to escape the world. The difference is that he’s older and it’s legal, but the end result is disengagement.

    Casinos mystify me. I’ve always needed to live frugally, and I can’t equate throwing my $$ away with being entertained. But, to each his own. If that’s what floats your boat AND you can afford it, fine.

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  40. brian stouder said on March 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Y’know, I was every bit the rube from Indiana in that casino; never spent a cent in there, and got a free icy cold Diet Coke, to boot.

    My brother put $50 into a slot machine, and stopped when he was $75 ahead. His wife put $20 into another, and stopped when a nickel was left (too little for another spin).

    But I WILL throw away $3.00 ($1 per sheet; 3-sheet maximum) on the NCAA basketball tournament, since I got dragooned into running the office pool.

    I also got to set the rules, so I say the lowest scoring sheet wins $3. Of my three sheets, one of ’em will be absolutely as bad as I can make it!

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  41. Julie Robinson said on March 19, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    That reminds me of the quote I read from the manager of the local off-track betting parlor, which hasn’t performed according to the company’s expectations. It was something about Hoosiers not being as sophisticated in their gaming preferences, or some such double speak. I read it that we have too much common sense to go bet on televised horse races.

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  42. Little Bird said on March 19, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Laptop still missing. There have been MANY phone calls made. Deborah and her husband are camping tonight so I figured I’d answer for her.

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  43. Dorothy said on March 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks, LB. Fingers crossed that some honest person picked it up and will turn it back in at the airport. Miracles can happen!

    The smoke in the casinos when we were in Vegas in December were a huge turnoff for me. If we go back, I’m going to try to find a casino that doesn’t allow smoking inside. My husband really wants to go back – gambling wasn’t my thing but he enjoyed it. We didn’t lose too much money. I’m a big ol’ cheapskate and like to hold onto my hard-earned cash.

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  44. brian stouder said on March 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    The one thing I thought was interesting was the real card games with real dealers; but those were $25 right at the get-go!

    Nope; not even tempting, at that price

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  45. Dorothy said on March 19, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    *WAS* not were. sigh.

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  46. Bitter Scribe said on March 19, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    You know why casinos are so insistent on letting people smoke inside? It’s because if you make someone step out for a smoke, his head may clear and he may realize how much money he’s losing.

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  47. Jakash said on March 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Well, brian, in Vegas you can play blackjack for a dollar at some of the less noteworthy casinos. Then again, I noticed an inverse relationship between the amount of the minimum bet required and the number of smokers at the table and casino, in general. The lower the limits, the higher the smoke concentration, which was unfortunate for me, as I was definitely seeking the cheap tables…

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  48. Sherri said on March 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    The last time I was in a casino was in Reno. I had been skiing in Tahoe and was heading back home to the Bay Area when I hit a massive pot hole and ended up with two flat tires. The best option was to get towed to Reno to get the tires replaced, and by the time that was done, it was late and I didn’t feel like driving home. The advantage of casinos is that because they make money off gambling, the rooms are cheap. So I headed over to Circus Circus, spent the night (but no money gambling!) and got a fresh start on new tires the next morning.

    I’ve never been a slot machine player. I always figured I could put my money in a soft drink machine, and almost every single time, I’d get a soft drink, or I could put my money in a slot machine, and most of the time I’d get nothing. Seemed like an easy choice to me.

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  49. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    I just laid down a bet of $4000+ in a brightly lit, shiny place with weird ambient music and staff that are almost too friendly, with themed uniforms and everyone has teeth that are just too dang white as they smile and ask constantly if we’re fine.

    We’ll see how this wager on my son’s orthodontia turns out. If he ends up playing hockey, or antagonizing bikers without having a good blocking move and friends at his back, I lose, right?

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  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    (No smoking, though. But per Jakash, it’s a high roller kind of place when you get right down to it.)

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  51. Julie Robinson said on March 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Jeff, don’t forget to lay down a little extra for the lost retainers. They ought to build at least one replacement set in the price tag since every kid I know has lost them at least once.
    Usually at lunch. Pawing through the lunchroom trash in search of retainers seems to be a rite of passage.

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  52. Sherri said on March 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    No kidding, Julie. I still remember that spaghetti was the meal of the day when my daughter and I did the dumpster dive for the lost retainer (and no, we didn’t find it.)

    Even at $4K, though, it’s cheaper to do the orthodontia now than to be doing it at my age. I’ve got over $10K invested.

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  53. Deborah said on March 19, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Little Bird doesn’t know this but on our way from Santa Fe to Abiquiu where we are camping on our land my husband got a call from Midway’s TSA and his laptop has been found, he picks it up Mon in Chicago.

    And miraculouly I am getting wireless service while on our land in Abiquiu!

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  54. Prospero said on March 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Good nutrition news aboutburgers and bacon.

    Lost retainer:


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  55. Jolene said on March 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    My niece lost her retainer twice. Found it in the trash the first time; my brother made her pay for the second.

    Good news re the lost laptop, Deborah. I’m sure it was a huge relief to find it.

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  56. Dexter said on March 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    It must be Divine Intervention, the reason I have never entered a casino’s gaming area.
    In 1974 we couldn’t get in because at least then, underage kids couldn’t enter, and my wife’s young sister was with us on that trip. It was someplace on the north shore of Tahoe, near King’s Beach, California, just on the Nevada side.
    Another time we happened upon Soaring Eagle casino in Michigan.
    I was looking for the Meijer store. I wanted to go in and look around, but my wife freaked the hell out and insisted I not go in. In 1995 I passed a casino out in the middle nowhere on US 30 in Iowa. Again, I could not stop, trying to outrun a giant blizzard.
    My daughter lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, and still I have yet to venture there; my wife has been there many times, and yes, now she always goes to casinos. A few years ago she went with the other daughter to Republica Dominicana, and she gambled there as well.
    I gamble several days a week, as many do, on the state lotteries. I never win more than a couple bucks, and almost always lose. But…ya never know! And now Ohio has new casinos in Toledo and Columbus, and Cincinnati just open theirs. My youngest daughter’s husband’s parents go to the one in C-Bus all the time. They love it. I just buy another Mega Millions ticket. All is well.
    Say, if you have even a casual interest in besibol, Caribe-style, tune into MLB Channel tonight. Republica Dominicana v. Puerto Rico for all the marbles in the World Baseball Classic from San Francisco, California. I dug out my D.R. ball cap my wife brought back for me from there. GO D.R. !
    These games have been fantastic. I expect no less tonight. And watch the seagulls . Thousands of them, flying low in the late innings. Very odd.

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  57. brian stouder said on March 19, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Hat tip to Diane Ravitch, for this nugget on Detroit’s ‘Emergency Manager’ who apparently cannot manage his own emergencies…


    the lead:

    Ooops, this is what PR types call “stepping on the mesage” and politicos dub “bad optics.”

    Keyvn Orr, the attorney appointed to get Detroit financially straight, was hit with with four tax liens on his Maryland home in four years for income and unemployment taxes, Joel Kurth and Chad Livengood of The Detroit News found via online sleuthing. They note that the situation is ironic “since Orr is tasked with improving tax collections.”

    State records show Orr, who was appointed emergency manager on Thursday, has two outstanding liens on his $1-million home in Chevy Chase, Md., for $16,000 in unemployment taxes in 2010 and 2011. Two other liens of more than $16,000 in unemployment and income taxes were satisfied in 2010 and 2011, records show.

    Orr said he didn’t know anything about the liens when shown records of them Friday morning by The Detroit News.

    “I don’t know what they are,” Orr said, as his new boss, Gov. Rick Snyder, sat next to him in The News’ offices. “That’s surprising to me, to be honest.”

    Why would a Marylander get the job? And how can he own a million dollar house, and still keep making the same mistakes year after year? (I suppose one question answers the other)

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  58. MichaelG said on March 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Dexter, that casino at North Shore sounds like the Cal-Neva. It was a storied old place. I really used to like it. Sinatra was once a major partner. Google it.

    The gulls will be coming inshore for shore because there is a storm brewing. Also they turn up in the late innings because of the good pickings. Lots of peanuts etc.

    And a sigh of relief to you, Deborah.

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  59. Suzanne said on March 19, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Alex @8, that Allen Co GOP story is rather humorous. I don’t live in Allen Co, so I can sit back and watch. But seriously, sending out some woman to ask the unwashed masses what they need? Laughable, since I expect that when those unwashed masses ask for soap and water they will be told they didn’t earn it, so no, remain unwashed and really, we don’t do unwashed.

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  60. Prospero said on March 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    The great Margaret Atwood discusses the difference between Men’s novels and women’s novels,

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  61. brian stouder said on March 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    I finally read Alex’s link, and immediately tripped over the term ‘LBGTQ’.


    What’s the Q?

    And Uncle Google dithers; could be ‘queer’; could be ‘questioning’; could be ‘LBGTQIA’ instead (questioning, intersex, asexual).

    I guess, after all these years, that makes me SMAL (straight, monogamous, assexual, and lucky)

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  62. Julie Robinson said on March 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Questioning. I picked that up at the parents’ orientation at IU. And speaking of sexuality, here’s a great story about a sane response to the Westboro Baptist haters: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/03/19/174737257/house-across-westboro-baptist-is-painted-with-gay-pride-rainbow?utm_source=NPR&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=20130319

    Apparently our son was on the local news tonight talking about riding his bike in the cold and wind, but I can’t find it anywhere on their website.

    Deborah, wonderful news!

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  63. LAMary said on March 19, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Ah yes, dumpster diving for retainers. I think I’ve done that three times. Twice for one one, once for the other. We found them every time, but I’m glad I will never again have to dig in a school dumpster full of rotting food and bees.

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  64. alex said on March 19, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Retainers are a big waste of money anyway. How many kids do you actually see wearing them? About as many as you’ll see in their Aunt Pearl’s hideous Christmas sweaters, that’s how many. I had one. I don’t know what ever became of it. Never dove in a dumpster for it. For all I know it’s still in my mom and dad’s basement somewhere. And my dentition is still as lovely as the day they took all the crap off, save for the coffee, cigarettes and red wine in the interim. I kind of wish I still had my winking incisor. It would have made me look unique.

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  65. basset said on March 19, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Joe, were you at JWN today? I was just looking at FlightAware and saw a 310, N770MV, which arrived from Fort Wayne yesterday morning and left this afternoon.

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