Marching guitars.

First day of spring. Ah, the sweet smell of …nothing green in the air. Not around these parts. The high temperature didn’t reach the freezing mark. The sun came out for a while, but worked only a half day. The birds have been singing their springtime songs for a few weeks now, but other than a few mild days here and there, the weather hasn’t caught up.

But there was this:

Tilted Axes, a strolling band of electric guitarists, organized by Patrick Grant, a Detroit-born-but-since-relocated artist. Each player carried a little Marshall amp the size of a cigar box, hanging from his belt. It wasn’t much of a procession, but it was fun, and you have to admire anyone willing to parade around in 27-degree weather just for the hell of it. Look at those sad little clumps of snow clinging to the base of the parking meters. That’s late winter in hell.

I know, I know — in four months I’ll be bitching about the heat. But right now it’s cold.

Here’s a remarkable piece, and I’m sorry my Russian isn’t good enough to translate directly, but I trust my source: It’s photos of bears huffing gas fumes, and showing the results, i.e., a bear sprawled in the snow, looking much like a homo sapien huffer. Is the need to alter our consciousness the same across all mammalian species?

As for the “50 most perfectly timed photos ever,” I suspect some ‘shopping. But some nice pix, just the same.

Since we’re doing videos, here’s a great one: Donny & Marie singing some Steely Dan:

How can I top that? Well, I have a big story dropping at 8 a.m. I’ll add the link when it does. Meanwhile, enjoy the downslope of the week. UPDATE: Why young people don’t vote in Detroit.

Oh, and thanks to Charlotte for finding this: Welcome to Michigan, Elaine Stritch. If I ever see her in a coffee shop over on the west side, I think I’ll scream. She is SO BEST.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Detroit life |

78 responses to “Marching guitars.”

  1. Sherri said on March 21, 2013 at 1:10 am

    I hope that Fagan and Becker got a big check for allowing that torture to be inflicted on the rest of us.

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  2. MarcG said on March 21, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Yikes! That Donny and Marie piece made me cringe, my ears hurt! What the hell were they thinking?

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  3. Nancy said on March 21, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Wow…what a surreal way to start the morning. The singing, the dancing, the costumes, the freakin’ Ice Angels. Just…wow.

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  4. alex said on March 21, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Probably what good ol’ James Dobson would call squeaky-clean family entertainment. He never met my Hungarian grandmother, who was always raising her fist at the television when the entertainment featured scantily clad women shaking their butts, which was pretty much every variety show until the genre petered out.

    Donny and Marie may have just ruined the memory of that song for me.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 21, 2013 at 7:04 am

    It would have been worth it if they’d done “Peg.”

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  6. ROGirl said on March 21, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Rikki don’t lose that number.

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  7. ROGirl said on March 21, 2013 at 7:10 am

    NYT obit for Harry Reems.

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  8. Alan Stamm said on March 21, 2013 at 7:12 am

    “Why won’t they vote in Detroit?”

    Just asking in hopes that’s the one you’ll be answering in 48 minutes and counting . . .

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    • nancy said on March 21, 2013 at 7:29 am

      Yep, that’s the one.

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  9. Peter said on March 21, 2013 at 8:54 am

    That was sweet little baby Jesus in a manger awful.

    It’s gonna take a lot of Ramones to get those images out of my mind.

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  10. Dorothy said on March 21, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Pandora opened in a new tab IMMEDIATELY to cleanse my ears from that blasphemy!!!

    But…. since Donnie and Marie graced your page this morning ….have any of you seen (on Showtime) Family Band: The Cowsills Story? I caught the last 20 minutes of it two Saturdays ago while folding laundry. And just caught the whole documentary this week. Such a sad story. Yeah they weren’t exactly rock ‘n roll but those kids sure suffered at the hands of their father. And I had forgotten that they were the inspiration for The Partridge Family. Worth a watch.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on March 21, 2013 at 9:13 am

    As awful as it was, and it was plenty awful, most of what’s on today is equally awful as well as rude and crude. How about a good book and music instead?

    Off-topic, a question for Detroiters about downtown hotels. Sarah is being ordained in Detroit, at the RenCen, and we’re looking for a place nearby with the following qualifications: suites with kitchens or at least microwave & frig, takes pets, is clean and not in a sketchy neighborhood. We’ll have a van full of old people with special food needs who can’t eat their meals out. And she’s bringing her dog, which admittedly is small and not yippy. She found the downtown Holiday Inn Express and it gets decent reviews, but I’d love more info from anyone familiar with that hotel or others.

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    • nancy said on March 21, 2013 at 9:18 am

      There’s a Marriott actually in the RenCen, but I’m not sure about suites/microwaves. Other places to try: the Westin Book Cadillac downtown, Roberts Riverwalk Hotel, oh, and the Inn on Ferry Street. The latter is four old houses restored into one business entity. They don’t have in-room microwaves, but I know one of the houses has a kitchen that guests may use. And don’t count out the casino hotels, either. Greektown’s hotel would be two stops away on the People Mover.

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  12. Bob (not Greene) said on March 21, 2013 at 9:19 am


    While the voter registration issue in Michigan may be attributable in part to “motor voter,” I’m finding it hard to understand something like the example you use to start the piece off. I looked at the Michigan SOS site and it clearly shows that there are alternate ways to register to vote, and you can have a state ID instead of a DL. Seems to me, the county clerk or the SOS itself might be able to have an effect by having regular voter drives. While the SOS is a Republican and probably unlikely to want to register a bunch of people in Wayne County, the Wayne County clerk is a Democrat and it would seem that there would be lots of motivation for her to do so. Of course, I don’t know anything about these people and what their level of competence is, so who knows maybe that’s like asking for a moon launch. It just seems to me, as an outsider looking in, that it appears almost as easy to register in Michigan as it is in Illinois. Again, I’m just popping in from the outside, though, so maybe there’s more to it than that.

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    • nancy said on March 21, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Those young people are probably registered somewhere, but just not in Detroit. There are other factors, as well — apathy, a lack of engagement with local issues, etc. They all want to vote for a president or governor, but don’t necessarily care about city council. It was funny, reporting that: If I found someone who was registered, I’d ask, “how much are you paying for car insurance?” and got a lot of people looking at their shoes. An amazing number of young adults drive cars still registered to their parents, I guess.

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  13. Julie Robinson said on March 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Thanks, Nance. I should have said I already looked at the Marriott–no pets, no micros. Between one person with diabetes and another who needs low-salt everything, we’re a traveling par-tay. I’ll check out the other places.

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  14. coozledad said on March 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Cowsills weren’t bad as pop goes-they understood harmonics anyway. One of the girls went on to form an indie band-she may still be playing.

    Donnie and Marie nailed “Too Drunk to Fuck”, but you can only get it on Japanese vinyl.

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  15. John (not McCain) said on March 21, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Speaking of late 60s AM pop, it just so happens that yesterday I received a CD copy of the very first 12 inch LP I ever owned: The Archies’ Jingle Jangle. Maybe it’s the Labatt Ice talking, but it was surprisingly not lame (well, at least not entirely). There’s a couple of songs I would have loved to hear covered by Husker Du or Nirvana. Not to mention that it sounds like Matthew Sweet must have listened to it a million times.

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  16. Dorothy said on March 21, 2013 at 9:49 am

    There was only one girl, Cooz, out of the seven kids – Susan. There’s lots of information about them on the web. Was sort of startled to find out Barry was a victim of Hurricane Katrina – it took them four months to find his body. Then Bill died on the night they were having a memorial for Barry.

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  17. brian stouder said on March 21, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Bob, I started out puzzled, too – regarding the voter-registration connection to car insurance, until finally I got what Nancy was saying about one’s address on two different governmental lists (BMV/voter registration). One would be inviting cancellation of their insurance and/or being stopped from voting at the polling place and/or prosecuted (or sued) for fraud.

    The interesting thing to me is the implication that the insurance companies (who are not especially known for beneficent regard for individual rights or civic engagement) are turning a blind eye to something that the election board (or the damned poll-watchers) will zealously zero-in on.

    It’s tempting to think that a civil-rights issue is hiding in here somewhere, until you think about the fraud upon the insurance companies….or does this further profit them, somehow?

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  18. Minnie said on March 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Saw Susan Cowsill and her band at a house concert last year. Very competent musicians, as you might expect from her long-term commitment to music. Over-used the word fuck, but I figured she was just compensating for that Partridge Family image.

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  19. LAMary said on March 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Other than the horrible banter at the end I think that video is a perfect little gem of TV from that era. The costumes, the ice skates, the guest stars.

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  20. Dave said on March 21, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Say whatever but I always enjoyed their version of “Hair” blasting out of my car radio over 1230, WCOL. Lots of harmony on “The Rain, the Park, and Other Things”, too. I had read other places that their lives weren’t all that pleasant but not much detail, is it anything like Papa Jackson?

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  21. Deborah said on March 21, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Holy cow, Harry Reems drank two and a half gallons of vodka a day at one time in his life. No wonder he died at 65.

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  22. MichaelG said on March 21, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Julie, look for a Courtyard by Marriott, or a Residence Inn or an Embassy Suites. All have reefers and micros. All are very nice and not likely to be located in bad neighborhoods. When you locate a place that seems to work, you can always call and confirm the amenities and locale. Also when you have an idea of what you want you can try Hot Wire or one of those other internet booking spots for the best pricing.

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  23. Dorothy said on March 21, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Bud Cowsill was an alcoholic, squandered the $20 million they probably made over their brief career; beat the shit out of his boys, refused to let son Richard in the band, the only one of the seven kids he did that to, and made moves while he was drunk on 11 year old Susan but she refuted him. When she told him to get the f out of her room and don’t touch her, he punched her square in the face and told her “You wouldn’t be worth it any it anyway.” She said she “Charlie’s Angel kicked him” after he punched her. Maybe that was the beginning of her familiarity with that word, Minnie.

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  24. Bob (not Greene) said on March 21, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Yeah, Nancy, I guess reading the whole article helps.

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  25. Lex said on March 21, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Coincidentally, my erstwhile employer’s weekly entertainment tab today featured a “What’s the most embarrassing thing on your iPod?” story. (I’d be embarrassed to say I have an iPod; my music lives on my phone. But I’m an old coot, so what do I know?) Friend and erstwhile comrade Jeri Rowe admitted to listening to the Osmonds’ “Down by the Lazy River.” Call me a crazy old ex-musician and DJ, but I have always thought there was nothing wrong with that song that better vocalists and more electric guitar couldn’t fix.

    Or a reggae arrangement, for that matter.

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  26. Lex said on March 21, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Also, more cowbell. Naturally.

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  27. Minnie said on March 21, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Dorothy, yes, I cut her a lot – a LOT – of slack for persevering through and beyond a thoroughly awful childhood. That she has formed and held together a band that produces interesting music while touring small venues indicates guts to spare. Good luck to her. Two members of the band were young brothers, cute, smart alecky, talented. They seemed to relate to her in part as they might to a big sister. Charming and touching considering the loss of her siblings.

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  28. nancy said on March 21, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I would say the same thing about “Indian Giver” by the 1910 Fruitgum Company, which lives on my iPod/phone. But that’s not the most embarrassing thing on it. That honor goes to “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast” by Wayne Newton, which I think I illegally copied from the Allen County Public Library’s collection, thinking I would send it around to people as a joke.

    Oh, and “Love Jones.” But I secretly like that one.

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  29. coozledad said on March 21, 2013 at 11:30 am

    I heard “Don’t pull your love out on me baby” at the grocery store the other day. Now there’s some guys who deserve a thorough ass-kicking, even if it’s posthumous.

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  30. Julie Robinson said on March 21, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Hmm…Sousa marches? Very few people appreciate Sousa, but his music makes me boogie.

    MichaelG, you’ve described our favorite hotels. There’s another chain here in the midwest called Country Inns & Suites. Once you overlook the cutesy factor, they offer good, clean space, micro/frig, and great breakfast. The doggy is going to be a very limiting factor but she seems to think she has to bring the little rat, I mean, little dear.

    The Cowsills are another chapter in the cautionary tale of children in show business. Aside from Ron Howard, very few seem to achieve happiness.

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  31. Lex said on March 21, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Nothing embarrassing at all about good Sousa, says the former marching-band member.

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  32. MarkH said on March 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds. Don’t sell ’em short, Cooz. They were part of the original T-Bones who hit it big with, anyone…? ‘No Matter What Shape’, on everyone’s i-pod I’m sure, 1965. Became Alka-Seltzer theme song.

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  33. MarkH said on March 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    BTW, that name was certainly interesting/confusing. Here’s a take from wikipedia:

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  34. coozledad said on March 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I never realized how young “The Left Banke” were when they had their string of hits. They were a big influence on these guys:

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  35. beb said on March 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    A local classical radio station has a daily “Sousa alarm clock” bit where they play a Sousa march at or about 7:15 am. Don’t feel like I’ve got off on the right foor without my daily sousa…

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  36. Jolene said on March 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I love Sousa too. Am always very taken by the military bands that play at public ceremonies. They are soooo precise.

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  37. Prospero said on March 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Reelin’ in the Years is one of my favorite songs, and Donny and Marie version is abominable, particularly withourt any apparent guitars. Walter Becker played bass on the Steely Dan original, but it’s the remarkable lead guitar of Elliot Randall with harmonies from the weapons expert Skunk Baxter that make the song excellent. According to Wikipedia, Jimmy Page loves the guitar work on this song.

    I’ve known a couple of Joe Franks down south. not unusual. Larry Legend’s actual given name is Larry Joe.

    According to the biographical movie abut Sousa, he intended at the start to write ballads. And he should be forever the subject of admiration and gratitude for his contribution as the “seventh Python”, the inspirator of the Giant Foot:

    julie@13: Travel book recommendation, Steinbeck, Travels with Charley.

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  38. MarkH said on March 21, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Sorry, here it is:

    In an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, the characters jokingly discussed how difficult it is for the average person to determine exactly how many people were in the group. Without seeing the name written down, one could assume it was a quartet (“Hamilton, Joe, Frank, and Reynolds”), a duo (“Hamilton Joe Frank” and Reynolds), a trio (consisting instead of “Hamilton Joe, Frank, and Reynolds”), or even a quintet (“Hamilton, Joe, Frank, Ann, Reynolds”).

    “Don’t Pull Your Love Out” was featured at the beginning of The West Wing episode “In the Shadow of 2 Gunmen Part II”. The song was also heard in When Harry Met Sally. “Fallin’ in Love” appeared in The Hitcher.

    A running joke from radio personality Dan Ingram, while a deejay at WABC-AM, involved introducing the group as “Hamilton, Joe, Frank Reynolds and the entire Eyewitness News team,” a reference to the band and a nod to ABC news anchor Frank Reynolds during his tenure as co-anchor of World News Tonight.

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  39. Prospero said on March 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Another Osmond atrocity:

    Not a note sung that is not sharp.

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  40. Joe K said on March 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    While I do agree the Donnie&Marie segment was brutal, I saw Donnie perform in Joseph and the amazing technicolor dream coat in Chicago and he is amazingly talented, and Marie? Quite a looker, and a great voice, and take a look at the angels, they were doing their stuff on ice, which I think would take a lot of talent, especially on that small of a rink, under hot lights which would make the ice soft.
    Pilot Joe

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  41. alex said on March 21, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Joe I saw that same show with Donnie Osmond at the Chicago Theater too. That had to have been in the early 1990s. He is quite a good stage performer.

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  42. Catherine said on March 21, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Go, Ice Angels!

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  43. Scout said on March 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    @ Mark H: What are the odds? I JUST watched that episode last night. Kinda freaky.

    “Don’t Pull Your Love Out” was featured at the beginning of The West Wing episode “In the Shadow of 2 Gunmen Part II”.

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  44. Julie Robinson said on March 21, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Ice Angels were fine except for the lack of toe point, which is possible in a skating boot. We also saw Donny in Dream Coat and he was quite good, but don’t bother with the filmed version, it’s DOA. Wonderful to know my Sousa love is shared!

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  45. Connie said on March 21, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Michigan State beat Valpo.
    Butler just beat Bucknell 68 to 56.

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  46. Dorothy said on March 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Saw part of that Michigan State game while I was home at lunch time. Valpo barely showed up for the game. MSU was ahead by 22 pts. when I came back to the office.

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  47. mark said on March 21, 2013 at 3:39 pm


    You’re piece is really interesting, and well done. Did you look at other variables like race or income? I’ve always thought of that insurance trick as a mainly white, middle class thing.

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  48. Bitter Scribe said on March 21, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    When I hear a marching band play “Semper Fidelis,” it gives me goosebumps. And I was never in the Marines (my father was, though).

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  49. LAMary said on March 21, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I remember seeing the Marine Band “The President’s Own” when I was in high school. They were amazing. They playe Sousa like it should be played. Their jazz ensemble was really good as well. Green Dolphin Street was excellent.

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  50. alex said on March 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Young people cheating on car insurance when they move to the big city is nothing new. When I first moved to Chicago I tried to keep my car registered in Indiana, not only to skirt higher rates but also because of Chicago’s mandatory annual emissions testing. At the time I had a nice Cutlass that had been one of those disastrous GM diesel cars; back in Indiana I had pulled a low mileage 350 V-8 out of a wrecked Delta 88 and dropped it in. Also had to get a new tranny that was calibrated to the gas engine. That car kicked butt — much bigger engine than was available in a Cutlass in those days. Anyway, because it had been a diesel car originally it didn’t have a catalytic converter and there was no way it was going to pass any tests.

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  51. MarkH said on March 21, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    I can’t believe my employer’s filters are blocking “The Bridge”.

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    • nancy said on March 21, 2013 at 5:05 pm

      I can’t, either. Especially if they let this blog through.

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  52. alex said on March 21, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    My employer inadvertently blocked e-mails to and from a law firm because one of the partners was named Hooker.

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  53. brian stouder said on March 21, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    I didn’t understand picture 21; if we grant the assumption of no photoshopping, I don’t get how that’s possibly real.

    Alex – and if another partner was named Blow – fugghetaboutit!

    Complete non-sequitur: my brother and fine young son and I may end up wininging all the way to San Diego (and the navy base there) in 8 or 10 weeks, so lemme know The One Thing We Must Not Miss, while we’re there

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  54. ROGirl said on March 21, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Brian, assume that there WAS photoshopping. I took a digital photography class where we worked with Photoshop, and you can manipulate anything and make it look as real as you want to.

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  55. Charlotte said on March 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Alex — I did the same thing in grad school. I had my brother’s old Toyota 4×4 pickup. I couldn’t afford the tax for bringing a car into California, so I had him register it in Illinois (no physical inspection required in the early 1990s). Then I moved to Utah for my doctorate, and he was living in California, and I let the plates expire. Finally it got towed and I asked a friend of mine, who grew up there — “who do you have to see to fix a ticket here?” He was bewildered by this concept. “You just pay it,” he told me. I was astonished — because the fines weren’t outrageous, there wasn’t this whole other black market in fixing them. It wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t so much I couldn’t pull it together. Got Mr. Toyota out of jail and then he blew a head gasket. Poor Mr. Toyota, he was a good truck.

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  56. MaryRC said on March 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    brian, that picture 21 is real. In the comments below, someone points to a video that shows how it was done:

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  57. Jolene said on March 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    I remember seeing the Marine Band “The President’s Own” when I was in high school.

    Many videos of them on YouTube.

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  58. basset said on March 21, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Which obviously leads to this…

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  59. basset said on March 21, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    I should say Charlotte@55 leads to that. Too slow on the post, the other two just slipped in there somehow.

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  60. brian stouder said on March 21, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    ROGirl, that was funny! the guy in the video looks like Mr Mayhem from the Allstate commercials (which strike me as genuinely funny)

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  61. MarkH said on March 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Pros – great call on Elliot Randall, one of the unheralded guitar virtuosos around. Kicking aside many opportunities to join great bands, he instead became a great session man, a virtual one-man “Wrecking Crew”. Amazing when you read his wiki entry how many invitations he had to join great bands and turned them all down. Oddly, after Steely Dan, the most time he spent with a band was Sha-Na-Na in the ’70s. I have a pristine, and I mean pristine, vinyl copy of Elliot Randall’s New York (1977) downstairs. Gotta go dig it out, looks like.

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  62. alex said on March 21, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Wowee, basset, if that’s what it takes to kill a Toyota truck, then I’m not going to worry too much about going long on the oil changes. Mine just turned 149K and everything still works like new. I was considering brake work 50K ago and still haven’t done it. Replaced the original battery a month ago; it was hemorrhaging Miracle Gro all over the place. All in all, one of the best vehicles I ever bought.

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  63. Deborah said on March 21, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Leaving tomorrow morning to drive to Chicago in the Santa Fe jeep. We had to completely change our route, we were going to take the western slope route up to Laramie and then go east but major snow is predicted so we are taking the southern route across NM into Texas and then up through Oklahoma and Kansas, Missouri etc. Much less scenic but safer in terms of snow and ice. It’s supposed to snow when we arrive in Chicago on Saturday evening. Yuck. It’s been in the 50s and 60s here, I hate to go back to winter, but whatever.

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  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 21, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Do you still get to see the lampblack plant for an hour before you get to it, and an hour behind in the rearview mirror, out there in the desolation of I-40 across the panhandle?

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 21, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Two ripe bananas, a cup of quick oats, a handful-plus of raisins, some cinnamon. Mash and mix and put in globs on greased (buttered) cookie sheet, 350 for a bit over 15 minutes (YMMV).

    Happy happy joy joy. Actually, I did four bananas and two cups of oats etc., since we had four blackening in a bunch.

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  66. Jolene said on March 21, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Wow. Ta-Nehisi Coates almost died. Fortunately, though, he survived to write an essay about it and will be on his way to France in the AM.

    In other news, my niece’s basketball team won a close game in the first round of the state tournament. I know you are all excited about this.

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  67. Kaye said on March 21, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Goodness, anaphylactic shock from “a bad nut”? Glad for the happy ending.
    Glad also for the basketball win. Hope the next round goes as well for her team.

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  68. Crazycatlady said on March 21, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    I would love to see Tilted Axes at Marche de Nain Rouge on Sunday in Midtown. That would heat things up!!!

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  69. Jolene said on March 21, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Another newspaper building sold:

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  70. Danny said on March 22, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Brian, very busy day for me today, but I saw that you might be visiting sunny San Diego. I can give you some suggestions for things to see. Nancy can hook us up by email and phone. Unfortunately, it sounds like I may not be in this time zone when you are. I’ll probably be in Turkey.

    Nancy, please send Brian my contact information.

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  71. basset said on March 22, 2013 at 4:20 am

    Brian, the only time we’ve been to San Diego Mrs. B insisted that we go straight to Dog Beach, even before we checked into the hotel. It is, as you might expect, a beach where dogs can be released to run loose.

    Aside from that, let’s see… I remember a big sushi restaurant that looked like a whale, IIRC it was visible from the main east-west interstate… and if you go to Tijuana be careful to get on the right bus at the border or you’ll end up at the local bus station rather than the gringo/tourist station and find yourself looking out the door toward the tourist strip a few blocks away and wondering if you can make it there in one piece. (We did.)

    Great zoo as well, but you knew that.

    Alex@62, if Toyota or anyone else reputable still made a pickup that size I would buy one today, x2 on that if it were a diesel like the one on Top Gear. Even the Hilux/Tacoma has swollen out of control, I think 2006 was the last year Toyota made the small body and since Ford quit making the Ranger in late 2011 no real mini-truck is available in this country.

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  72. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 22, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Is the Coronado worth the time it takes to get to it? I’ve never yet been west of the Las Vegas airport, so I know nothing other than from books, TV, & movies of California, but the Coronado architecturally looks like something I’d love to see. (And if you’ve never watched “The Stunt Man” with Peter O’Toole . . .)

    Anyhow, I have this horrible feeling that after you had the general visceral view from a distance, the actual experience inside would be “meh.” Danny?

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  73. Lex said on March 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Nance, did you ever hear the Cheech & Chong “Love Jones” parody, “Basketball Jones”?

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    • nancy said on March 24, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      Of course, but it’s one case in which the original is funnier than the parody. “Shucks, a test paper? With nothin’ but my name on it?”

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