The flabby-thighs chronicles.

First (long) bike ride of the season was Saturday. Fifteen miles at a bit of a clip left me thinking:

1) God, am I out of shape.
2) Even for Detroit, this is a lot of broken glass on the street.
3) I need a road bike.
4) No you don’t. Get your ass in shape and stop thinking equipment is the answer to this scurrying-on-a-wheel feeling.
4) But I’m in my top gear and I’m scurrying! I need a bigger ring.
5) Shut up and look at the scenery.

So I did. It was a gorgeous, warm day, which in Detroit means all the snow is gone, but the detritus of the winter has not yet been cleaned up or overgrown. Belle Isle is not looking good, which makes sense in a bankrupt city I suppose, but a trash-strewn shame just the same. The conservancy folks haven’t gotten busy yet, so we’ll see what we have in another month. And even on a bad day, Belle Isle has the river and a breeze and lots of birds, so — did I say breeze? Whose idea was it to make eastbound the first part of this ride, anyway?

The bike will only come when the right Craigslist bargain drops into my lap. But for now, I think another couple of padded-crotch shorts are definitely in order. Plus a lot more time in the saddle.

All in all, it was a grateful-to-be-alive sort of day. I needed it.

Saturday night was the dilemma of the season: “The Ten Commandments” on ABC or a gorge on “Homeland,” screening as part of Comcast’s free-everything weekend? I did a little of both, savoring just enough of the restored Technicolor cheese-fest and then three straight hours of watching Claire Danes do her face-crumple cry thing on Showtime. “Homeland” has grown on me, although I can see it painting itself into a corner this season, but if ANYone think they’re going to spoil the second half of the season for me in comments, I will CUT YOU. It’s better than any other Showtime series I’ve seen, by a mile. There are those who like “Dexter,” but I watched it a couple times and meh. “Nurse Jackie” had me for a time, but then meh. Dollar for dollar, I’m still an HBO girl. And I hope that soon I won’t be an anything girl, because I’ll be out riding my bike so much.

I hope everyone had a pleasant Easter. We went to Toledo for lunch with Alan’s sister, then to the museum for a couple of hours. It’s a very good museum for a city its size, thanks to the Libbeys and other responsible local tycoons. I spent a little time with “Alex,” a Chuck Close canvas.

I wish I could afford more art. If I won the lottery, my indulgences would be, in order: Travel, art, land. Not a house, land. All I really want out of a house anymore is a fireplace and a decent kitchen, and not even that’s essential. Art-wise, you go through our house, and you can see our starving-reporter days (framed posters), then less-starving (framed prints), then photos, and a painting or two. I still like everything we have on the walls, whatever that means.

Do I have bloggage before I make dinner and we watch “Game of Thrones?” Why yes, I do:

Laugh-out-loud funny is Anne Lamott, describing dating in late middle age, something I hope I never, ever have to do:

…91 percent of men snore loudly – badly, like very sick bears. I would say that CPAP machines are the greatest advance in marital joy since the vibrator. It transforms an experience similar to sleeping next to a dying silverback gorilla into sleeping next to an aquarium.

…Yet union with a partner — someone with whom to wake, whom you love, and talk with on and off all day, and sit with at dinner, and watch TV and movies, read together in bed, do hard tasks together, and to be loved by. That sounds really lovely.

Who is killing the prosecutors of Kaufman County, Texas? (Texas has a Kaufman County? Who knew?)

In Detroit, “garden supply centers,” particular those with “hydroponic” on the sign, is a nudge-wink that means “medical marijuana will be in your future sooner than you think.” Apparently this is the same elsewhere, too, although for one couple, it just meant fresh vegetables year-round. To the police’s embarrassment.

Monday awaits! Enjoy your week, y’all.

Posted at 12:25 am in Current events, Detroit life, Movies |

80 responses to “The flabby-thighs chronicles.”

  1. MichaelG said on April 1, 2013 at 1:18 am

    I agree with you about art, Nance,. I have a number of nice things on my walls that I haven’t spent a lot of money on but framing – holy shit. Getting something nicely framed these days costs a fortune.

    As I ‘ve gotten older, I’ve dropped thoughts of having property. I wish I could sell out and move to a condo. Fuck mowing the lawn. I’m not under water in my house anymore but I don’t have the bunch of equity that I had hoped to have by this time. So I’m stuck here for the foreseeable future.

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  2. Linda said on April 1, 2013 at 5:04 am

    I’ve been in the gym religiously all winter, only to discover–as I do each spring–that the gym muscles are NOT the same as the gardening muscles. Last Friday, I found out all over again.

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  3. ROGirl said on April 1, 2013 at 6:35 am

    David Kaufman (1813-1851) was the first Jew elected to Congress in Texas.

    I have a bunch of prints and posters (some hand printed) that need to be framed. Now that I’m back at a decent job I can afford to pay to get it done, but it’s very costly.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 1, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Χριστός Ανέστη!

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  5. David C. said on April 1, 2013 at 7:06 am

    I didn’t think I needed a road bike either. Now I have one and I don’t know what I did without it. For Christmas, I got clipless pedals and bike shoes. I tried them out this weekend and I don’t know what I did without them. If you are looking for a road bike on craigslist, try to find a nice higher-end mid-80s Trek or Fuji. Great bikes and you’ll prevent one from being turned into a fixie by some hipster.

    If, God forbid, anything happened to Mary, I can’t imagine wanting to date someone younger than I am. I guess I want someone who remembers what it was like to have our President assassinated, to have seen someone walk on the moon for the first time, to see our country however haltingly work to grant full rights to everyone, who knows what it’s like to get up in the morning and have knees sound like snapping kindling. But I guess I’m funny that way.

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  6. John Ferguson said on April 1, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Re: Kaufman, Texas: see Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (2011).

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  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 1, 2013 at 7:31 am

    One of the more interesting new friends I’ve made in the last two years here in Licking County, Ohio posted this today on his Facebook profile — his name is Bob Ney:

    I will be announcing a new business tomorrow morning!

    This is an exciting change for me. I am forming a company with Jack Abramoff. We are going to be consultants for John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi and a few others as this catches on. We have been hired due to the gridlock in Washington D.C. and the inability of Government to function.

    A quote from the Speaker “Although it saddens me, and everything saddens me, I feel it is time to be bold and move forward with “Fresh Ideas”. Leader Pelosi followed up with “I am for any new ‘Fresh ideas’ as the Speaker and I have been here for years…”

    It will be a full service consultant/advice venture. Amongst the duties will be to advise the leaders on: travel within the domestic 50 States and abroad, how to really solve the national debt, comity and getting along through recommended sushi and wine dinners, ethics training and pitfalls.

    The business is called “Fresh Ideas” we think it will be a hit.

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  8. alex said on April 1, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Great April Fool’s joke, Jeff, but then it’s believable because that scurrilous fraud has always said things with great gusto that were laughably untrue.

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  9. beb said on April 1, 2013 at 8:02 am

    The murder of the Texas DA, his wife and two months earlier one of his assistants is disturbing. And when you add in that the killer of the Colorado Prisons chief fled to Texas it makes you wonder if there is indeed a cabel plotting the assassination of law enforcement officers. And proving once again that the biggest threat to America are the bigots and crackpots internally, and not foreign powers.

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  10. Suzanne said on April 1, 2013 at 8:09 am

    The paper this morning had an article about the Texas DA which stated that he was concerned for his safety and carried a gun with him everywhere. So much for the notion that if all citizens were armed, we’d all be so much safer.
    Easter was fine, but now there is snow in the forecast–SNOW–and I can’t get that Louisville basketball player’s fall out of my head. I didn’t even really care about the game, but it is March Madness. I knew it was bad when I saw it. Legs don’t bend where that leg bent.

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 1, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Alex, if it makes you feel any better, Bob is quite done with politics. The question is what you have to do to be in politics and keep your head, while getting closer to solutions. Between pure ideology and pure personal profit seems to be a vast, largely empty wasteland in the valley of the shadow of the Capitol.

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  12. Peter said on April 1, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Oy, you are surprised maybe by observant Texans?

    /Users/perdelyi/Desktop/Lisa meets Mr. Bergstrom.pdf

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  13. Peter said on April 1, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Jeff TMMO, did you create that Bob Ney entry? Whatever, it’s on Slate, who said they found it 35 minutes ago and it’s the funniest thing they’ve seen so far today:

    And sorry that I can’t do screen shots right. I’ll work on that.

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  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 1, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Nope, that’s Bob himself.

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  15. Prospero said on April 1, 2013 at 9:59 am

    We watched the first three episodes of Top of the Lake.. Peggy in warmups and Grace Hannadarko in dementia. excellent. Like Who killed Rosie Larson, only good, with some definite David Lynch strangeness for its own sake thrown in. And a really upsetting demise in Walking Dead. And Call the Midwife Season 2 first episode was harrowing.

    Went 30 miles RT Saturday to get conch fritters for lunch. Great bike weather. Love them slugs.

    Shouldn’t Americans as a class have legal recourse to get orders of protection requiring Ney and Abramoff to stay 1000 yds. from any aspect of the political process. Those SOBs should be sharing a permanent residence at a Club Fed somewhere.

    That Louisville hoops injury was a little too Theissman-like, without LT of course. Gruesome. Still, it pained me to watch a Pitino team win in the end. There is no shortage of despicable little cheating shits in the annals of college hoops, but Little Ricky is as slimy as they come. I mean, he’s Coach Cal slimy. Like the Barry Switzer of BBall.

    Kinky Friedman is the most famous Tejas Jew I can think of. I still wish he’d run against Perry. And his band is named the Texas Jewboys. Kinky also wrote a hilarious mystery novel called The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover. He’s also a recording artist:

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  16. Dorothy said on April 1, 2013 at 10:01 am

    I kid you not – I used the word ‘detritus’ in a sentence last night, when I gestured at my husband’s living room end table and asked him to please clean up all his ________, and he oooohed and ahhhhhed at my choice of words. I loved that I just opened up nn.c and read that same word on the screen.

    My boss was in London last week on business, and she just told me that she walked up to a theatre box office hoping to see a play starring Helen Mirren. Couple in front of her were arguing with the ticket seller about the fact that they only wanted TWO tickets, not THREE, and what were they going to do with a third? “HELLO?!” said my boss. I am just pea green with envy this morning.

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  17. Charlotte said on April 1, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Linda — yes. I am with you … that special combination of crouching and digging is just not something you get in the gym — I need to get my bike back out. It’s sunny and nice here, and we’ve gone from howling winds to mostly breezy. Himself spent Easter horn hunting and came home happy, sunburned and exhausted after walking several thousand vertical feet up and down a local mountain … I need to get back in shape, because hiking with him means going straight up as fast as you can, then meandering back down.

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  18. nancy said on April 1, 2013 at 10:33 am

    On pedal clips: Is it true you fall over a few times before you figure out how to clip in and out? I really don’t want to do that.

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  19. Angela said on April 1, 2013 at 11:22 am

    My 60-ish parents babysat my little niece a couple weeks ago for her parents’ first overnight away. My mom was so worried she wouldn’t be able to hear the baby cry over Dad’s CPAP machine that she made him leave it at home. He snored so loudly she was worried she wouldn’t be able to hear the baby cry. (She slept in a chair in the nursery, in the end.)

    Re. pedal clips: That has been my experience. Fun!

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  20. brian stouder said on April 1, 2013 at 11:43 am

    That whole CPAP thing strikes me as a money bucket.

    Guys my age and older, fortunately not stricken with anything in particular, and having insurance, are just sitting there, asleep in our damned chairs in front of the teevee…and by gosh – that annoying snore is just the ticket!!…if you’re a stakeholder in one of our palatial hospitals or the endless number of stylishly dressed vendor/courtesans within them.

    I suppose some folks actually need continuous positive airway pressure to sleep; but I’m betting not nearly as many as who are being sold this particular bill of goods.

    The Texas terrorists are like the latter-day incarnation of the sort of goons who used to throw printing presses into rivers, and lynch the ink-stained wretches who dared to print news and positive abolitionist opinion, not so very long ago.

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  21. Judybusy said on April 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Nancy, I am not terribly coordinated–always hold that handrail going down steps!–and I’ve been doing clipless for over 16 years. I fell twice, including once when I was completely stopped at a light. One time, in one of my most amazing feats of physicality, I manage to pop out and land upright, screeching to a halt when a left-turn pick-up didn’t see me. I was so impressed with my cat-like self I forgot to yell at the guy.

    I originally got them to do a charity 500-mile bike ride, which involved months of training. I’d get them if your going to do lots of really long rides. I ride just a little now, and keep them because I’m used to them. For a casual rider, doing 15-20 miles a few times a week, I don’t know if it’s worth it. If you go ahead, practice riding on grass.

    Thanks so much for the Lamott link. I gave my niece one of her books for confirmation last year, the best this non-believer could do.

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  22. Prospero said on April 1, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    It sounds terrible to say this, but after our divorce, my ex unwittingly facilitated my middle-aged dating experience by hiring pretty young au pairs that were always eager to be included in whatever restaurant, beach or movie my daughter and I were headed out for. This frequently led to more extensive friendships.

    I do not snore, according to women I’ve slept with, unless I’ve really had too much to drink.

    I see people tip over because of pedal clips pretty frequently. Since I carry a first aid kit and bike tools, I always stop to help. More than one unfortunate has expressed some variation of the following: “Can you take those GD things off the pedals.” This is another good way to meet women when you’re a middle-aged old fart. I can understand pedal clips if you’re racing, but for recreational riders, they seem like an asinine affectation.

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  23. Heather said on April 1, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    We took a nice ride this weekend too, the first long one of the year on Chicago’s lakefront path. A little windy and overcast, but we were grateful for the temps in the high 50s! My boyfriend uses those clips, and he says it’s easy to clip in and out. I still don’t have a road bike–I have a cheapie Chiorda mixte that goes fast enough and looks stylish. I would like to get a folding bike to take with me on trips as well as to the office, so I could tool around on my lunch hour. Maybe when I get my tax return.

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  24. Prospero said on April 1, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Big news: fracking doesn’t actually cause earthquakes. But managing the millions of gallons of contaminated frackwater generated, by storing in injection wells, sure as hell causes earthquakes, and undoubtedly winds up putting carcinogenic chemicals, like lead and benzene, and stuff like H2SO4 into groundwater. Between the mountaintopper coal companies fouling the watershed for the entire east coast and frackers poisoning groundwater with carcinogenic chemicals they refuse to identify, good luck with drinking those carbon based fuel sources when the water supply is altogether fracked up.

    And everyone eager to have the Keystonepipeline from Canada to Port Arthur run across her land should take a look at this.

    And the propaganda about jobs generated by the pipeline? Bushwa:

    Proponents of the pipeline claim it will create tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of jobs. This is simply not true. The most recent State Department assessment, written by contractors hired by the pipeline developer, found that constructing the pipeline would create 3,900 temporary jobs, and just 35 permanent jobs.

    Heather: LL Bean has a nice folding bike that has a coaster brake and single gear drive, so it’s simple and maintenance-light. Around $300. I’ve ridden one and it was comfy .

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  25. MichaelG said on April 1, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Licking County, Ohio. If there were a Licking County here in California the country would be papered with jokes.

    It occurs to me that we haven’t heard from Rana in a long time. Rana, you out there?

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  26. Bitter Scribe said on April 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I hate to reveal my ignorance, but are pedal clips those things you stick your feet into so that you can apply torque on the upstroke as well as the downstroke? Seems like it only makes sense, especially for people who ride long distances.

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    • nancy said on April 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      The “things you stick your feet into” are the old technology. Now there’s a fastener on the pedal which mates with a piece on your shoe. Once you get the clip in/out action down, it’s fairly simple, and like whoever brought this up — David? — I’ve been told it’s a great advance. You generate power all the way around the cycle. However, there’s a learning curve. I was told to expect to fall several times until I got it down. I guess I should do as I’m advised, and practice on grass.

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  27. MichaelG said on April 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    No way that pipeline would create tons of jobs. There will be a bunch of temporary construction jobs but that’s it. My guess is that there would probably be more than 39 permanent jobs for administration, inspection, maintenance and repair, but not that many more. And don’t forget, as of now, all of that oil is transient oil that will end up in Asia. Some may be refined in the US before being shipped out but it will still be shipped out.

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  28. Prospero said on April 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    John Cornyn says French people are going to Mexico so they can sneak into the USA. Somebody should ask Sen. Cornhole why a French person would want to immigrate to the USA. Inferior health care? Shorter paid vacation?

    Ya know how all the gun apologist nutcases say that background checks wouldn’t have helped at Sandy Hook because the guns were all legally purchased by the gunman’s mom? According to the Newtown cops, Adam Lanza had his own gunsandammo. And some sort of marksman’s training certificate from the NRA.

    Michael G.@27: Well, there will be the repair and spill cleanup crews. Refining will be in Port Arthur, TX because it can be shipped as diesel from there to China without paying any US tax on the material. Note: The permanent jobs estimat is from industry experts advising the State Department. The jobs bonanza aspect is clearly a bald-face lie.

    Way I see the pedal clips, you are always pedaling downward on one side of the bike. And don’t you just press a latch with your skipole when you want to release?

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  29. Prospero said on April 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    20th Century history of taxation in America.

    And nothing refined from the Keyston tar sands oil will be sold in American markets, even though some of it is sold now as relatively inexpensive diesel, to Midwestern American farmers. When that diesel is removed from the American market, farmers’ fuel costs will increase, so food will cost more for Americans. The whole deal holds basically no benefits for Americans, and the risk of catastrophic spills is obviously serious. One Tim McVeigh size bomb and the breadbasket looks like Gulf Coast brown pelicans after the Deepwater Horizon.

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  30. alex said on April 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Somebody should ask Sen. Cornhole why a French person would want to immigrate to the USA.

    And somebody should ask this Georgia peach why straight people would want to pretend to be gay in order to get marriage benefits when they could just marry anyway and nobody would give a flying frig whether they cohabited at the same address.

    Talk about grasping at straws.

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  31. Prospero said on April 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Well, Alex, it happened in an Adam Sandler movie, and she can prove it.

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  32. Bitter Scribe said on April 1, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Prospero took the words right out of my mouth. This may be the only time an Adam Sandler movie was taken seriously by anyone not directly involved in its production or distribution.

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  33. BigHank53 said on April 1, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Yep. the entire point of the Keystone XL pipeline is get the oil to an export site where there are no export duties. Otherwise, the increased costs of extraction and refinement would make the stuff less competitive. Subsidies for renewable power, though…can’t have the government picking winners and losers, if I remember last year’s campaign slogans properly.

    I’m a mountainbiker myself, so my view on clipless pedals is somewhat biased. I couldn’t ride without them because I’d be spending all my time trying to put my feet back on the pedals. I did fall over a few times when I was learning how to use them twenty years ago. The pedals have gotten better since then, but I’d still recommend practicing on grass to turn the twist-the-foot release into a reflex.

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  34. JWfromNJ said on April 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Wondering how many of you are watching “The Americans,” on FX? This show has me hooked with the twists and turns and 80’s attention to detail. Keri Russell is OK, and pretty vicious as Elizabeth, but Matthew Rhys character Phillip is fascinating. Two great performances. And I admit, the martial arts and fight scenes have me captivated. For those watching, please step out of my blind spot, was a memorable line.

    I think this has the potential to be as good or even better than Homeland – it’s less predictable. The only downer is FX seems to have way too many commercials.

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  35. Sherri said on April 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I thought I had seen something like the Ware injury before (not counting the Theismann injury), and I was right. An opposing player suffered a similar injury in a game against UW a few years ago – no contact, just landed and the leg snapped:

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  36. Danny said on April 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Thought provoking article.

    It’s not particularly political, but when politics are broached, it’s a pretty even-handed pox-on-both-of their-houses sort of deal.

    Folks, very, very busy for me and so I have not been able to participate (“Hooray!!!” say more than a few).

    Jeff, Coronado is a great place for a day visit. We like to take the ferry over sometimes, rent bikes and spend the day. The Hotel Del cannot sustain a whole day unless you hit the beach, but it is a nice place to have a drink and listen to some music. I can highly recommend the Babcock & Story Bar on a Saturday night. Robin and I visited there just a few weeks ago to celebrate my birthday.

    Also, I am curious as to if you still are watching the History Channel miniseries from a defensive posture. I have enjoyed some of the recent episodes greatly. Jesus’ calling of Matthew was poignant, to say the least.

    Nancy, clips are great. I was proud that for the first week, I did not fall even one time. Then the second week I got comfortable and stopped and forgot that I was clipped in and fell over. Did this three times that week and never have in the nine years since.

    Also from a quick scan…some of you had some bad news…sorry for that… some of you have had some good news…glad for that.

    Sorry, that is all I have time for now. Bye.

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  37. Danny said on April 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Oh heck, here’s one more doom and gloomer.


    The $900 million that Stockton owes to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System to cover pension promises is its biggest debt. So far Stockton has kept up with pension payments while it has reneged on other debts, maintaining that it needs a strong pension plan to retain its pared-down workforce.

    The creditors who challenged Stockton’s bankruptcy petition are the bond insurers who guaranteed $165 million in loans the city secured in 2007 to pay its contributions to the CalPERS pension fund. That debt got out of hand as property tax values plummeted during the recession, and money to pay the pension obligation fell short.

    By 2009 Stockton had accumulated nearly $1 billion in debt on civic improvements, money owed to pay pension contributions, and the most generous health care benefit in the state – coverage for life for all retirees plus a dependent, no matter how long they had worked for the city.

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  38. MarkH said on April 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    JW, hooked has as well on The Americans, but where was it last week? There’s usually a repeat sandwiched between Justifieds on Tuesday with a new episode Wednesday night. Except last week. Unless I missed a re-scheduling. Both Russell and Rhys are great, with Russel making good on her butt-kicking performance in Mission Impossible III. Twists and subplots galore, especially with Noah Emmerich’s troubled FBI agent finally banging the hot Russian mole Nina.

    Last season episode for Justified tomorrow night. Lots of new loose ends to anticipate, as well as a few tied up neatly. And, what of Constable Bob, who, played by Patton Oswalt of all people, proved last week he can take quite the on-screen trimming. And they even let him work in his comedy act while he got the s*** kicked out of him!

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  39. Prospero said on April 1, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    the most generous health care benefit in the state – coverage for life for all retirees plus a dependent, no matter how long they had worked for the city.

    Who held the shotguns to the heads of those Stockton public servants to make them sign those contracts? And who held their families sitting on bombs while they looted the pension fund and health plans they signed on to. By GOPer logic, as applied to USPS, Stockton should never get out of baankruptcy until they fund the pension and health plans through 2070.

    Please step out of my blind spot, before he laid them out like gutted halibut at Fultons. Yeah, a very good line. I toyed with the show until they showed footage of the imperial ahole Al Haig claiming he was in charge after Raygun got shot.

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  40. alex said on April 1, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Here’s a more nuanced look at Stockton’s problem. Which is really just California’s problem. The pox visited upon one house by the other one that’s on its deathbed.

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  41. Prospero said on April 1, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    And Danny, that false equivalency, both sides do it, that just doan’ fly. Obamacare, which the GOPer House has voted to repeal 35 times while not deigning to vote on a single of the four jobs and infrastructure bill sent up by the WH, was the Heritage Foundation plan a few years ago, anchored in the principal of personal responsibility. Then it was Romneycare. Then, it became negrofied, and now it is Marxist, Kenyan anathema. Explain to me when Democrats ever acted like that about anything proposed by a GOPer president. Save the gray matter. It never happened.

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  42. alex said on April 1, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Try, try again.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 1, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Danny, it got better. And I did note in a sermon of the past week (there were six, I forget now which one) that they got right something often missed, in the circumstances around Jesus’ birth and youth: crucifixion was an almost daily reality along the roads of Galilee and in the minds of Jews all around Judea and beyond. It was a commonly used tool of terror and oppression by the Roman Empire, and anyone sticking their finger into that particular buzzsaw could not say they had not idea what they were getting into. Which I think is a compelling bit of context for the events of Holy Week from Jericho to Bethany to Gethsemane, let alone atop Golgotha.

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 1, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    In my weary state of woozy-semi-coherence while trying to pretend to start a normal week in my normal ways, I’m finding myself imagining reading Anne Lamott’s account of a blind date with Prospero, then seeing his post describing the same evening. That’s just the sleep deprivation, right? Did I confuse some other things?

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  45. Prospero said on April 1, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Mark H: I kinda thought Patton Oswalt was more or less obnoxious stunt casting at first. But Bob vs. the psychopathic professional murderer was brilliant. Bob has got to be back to be in on a caper with Raylan nest season. I see evil befalling Winona before the babby arives, which means I see Raylan at his deadliest and most sardonic.

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  46. David C. said on April 1, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    I’ve use my clipless (odd name because you clip into them, but clips are the old fashioned things with the cage for your toe and straps) pedals on two rides of about 10 miles each. I haven’t come close to falling. I found them very easy to use. I don’t know if road pedals are more difficult or not, but I am using mountain bike pedals and shoes because I wanted to walk and it’s a lot harder with road shoes. I did fall using my rat-trap pedals with toe clips last year. That’s what scared me into going clipless, but I’ve never had to get out of the in anger, so to speak, so I may have a surprise coming. I really do feel the difference using them. My normal cruising speed is about 15 mph. Using the new pedals, I was easily going 16 mph on the first ride of the season. Not bad. I just may do “Race the Lake” 90 miles around Lake Winnebago. Lots of my co-workers do it and some of them are older and seemingly more out of shape than I am.

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  47. Danny said on April 1, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    they got right something often missed, in the circumstances around Jesus’ birth and youth: crucifixion was an almost daily reality along the roads of Galilee and in the minds of Jews all around Judea and beyond. It was a commonly used tool of terror and oppression by the Roman Empire, and anyone sticking their finger into that particular buzzsaw could not say they had not idea what they were getting into.

    Jeff I came to that same oft missed fact in a somewhat more indirect manner through Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

    At the end, a bunch of them are on the crosses declaring that they are the real Brian so that they can get pardoned. One guy who is up there with his spouse says something like, “I’m Brian and so is me wife!”

    Prospero and Alex, do not conflate the two articles. They are different. Or better yet, read the first article more closely. It’s fairly critical of everyone including Milton Friedman who is of the Chicago school. That should make your Keynesian hearts happy and it’s really an interesting read.

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  48. Prospero said on April 1, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Jeff tmmo: Nothing could convince me to have anything to do with an identity-theft-fest like online dating. And I generally come across as fairly charming and witty on first meeting someone that hasn’t stolen from me nor dissed the President in racist fashion. I read the LaMott piece and it’s sort of funny, but she certainly seems to poke around Sex as a subject a lot after putting it out front she’s not interested. I don’t go on dates. I have this strange life partner for the last 10 years, looks and acts kinda Ray Bolgerish in the Wizard. We get along famously except for nights when I lock the Henckels in the car. She’s only 10 years my junior. I worry about what happens to S. if I die first. She can barely take care of herself, and she’s been with men in the best that were cruel. I do not want to burden my daughter with her extended care, while I want Emily to have everything I’ve got left when I shuffle off. Lord knows.

    If I’m mountain biking, I want to be able to get my feet , or at least a goodfoot, down on terra firma PDQ. I did come down off a trail on Camelback in Phoenix once and ended up in a private pool. Right through a gate. It was one of my brothers’ partners, steaks were on the grill, and Sierra IPAs were chilly.

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  49. Sherri said on April 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Justified has been great this year. Constable Bob and the thug was great, but even better was Tim and Colton discussing Tim’s book.

    I’m also hooked on The Americans. I don’t get Showtime, so I won’t get the second season of Homeland until it comes out on DVD. Which is just fine – plenty to watch right now with Game of Thrones and Doctor Who starting back up!

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  50. Prospero said on April 1, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Here ya go Danny: they all do it. Nope, and nobody ever went out of their stinking way to let anyone knows where the President’s daughters were.

    Look at this odious porky little shit telling people where the Presiden’t kids are:

    His excuse is apparently that the Obama daughters weren’t going to get butt-naked drunk and involve the cops the way the Shrubco twins did. I’d say this is stalking that is a slam-dunk conviction. And don’t give some predilection away by commenting Danny.

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  51. Danny said on April 1, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Umm, Alex, that Krugman article is a bunch of crap. There is no gridlock when it comes to the fact that public employee pension funds in California are totally out of bed with reality. If there had been gridlock, that would have been great, but as it was, that stuff sailed through every year and here we are in this mess. The system is broken out here and even Krugman can’t avoid that fact as he equivocates here:

    I’m not suggesting everything in California is just fine. Unemployment — especially long-term unemployment — remains very high. California’s longer-term economic growth has slowed, too, mainly because the state’s limited supply of buildable land means high housing prices, bringing an era of rapid population growth to an end. (Did you know that metropolitan Los Angeles has a higher population density than metropolitan New York?) Last but not least, decades of political paralysis have degraded the state’s once-superb public education system. So there are plenty of problems.

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  52. MarkH said on April 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Stockton, California? Bankrupt??! The Barkleys are spinning in their graves.

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  53. Prospero said on April 1, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Sherri, Ya think Raylan shares some DNA with Jim Rockford. He’s more lethal, but as far as knowing what game is about to go down, Rockfish was a master. And for afficianados, ther is no reason not to admit that the Maggs season may have been the most awesome TV season since Avengers II and all of Terriers. Terriers was the best TeeVee Americaine thing in years. Donal Logue rules.

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  54. Danny said on April 1, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Prospero!!! Quick!!! There’s a a squirrel!!! Go chase it!!!

    Bush!!! Cheney!!! Haliburton!!! Nazi’s, oh my!!!

    There’s non-sequiturial muck-raking to be done, Sir!!!

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  55. Prospero said on April 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Jim Garner and the queen of movies, Lauren Bacall. There was never anybody a bigger star. Garner should have taken over for Bogie. Handsomer, smarter, clearly tougher. All of the women in the thirties and forties, sorry, Lauren Bacall. This woman exuded sexuality, sensuality, and beauty.

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  56. MarkH said on April 1, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Um, I do believe that breitbart guy got pwned, Pros. The first lady and daughters were in Sun Valley last week. I beileve the MSM was on it, and I have friends in Ketchum/Hailey who spotted them.

    Pros, no question Winona is in for it, as the previews have noted. Raylan unleashed, indeed. Also, I’m disappointed that you let your hatred for Haig get in the way of latching on to the editorial tool he was in that story line. The Soviets were certain he was staging a coup, because, well, that’s what happens in their dominion in an attempted assassination. They couldn’t possibly believe they were wrong.

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  57. Prospero said on April 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Lame, Danny, I’m smarter than you are and your little pantomime, can’t see the point. But seriously Mes Vieux. There isn’t anything remoteley resembling the Party of Noe. You are smart enough to know that is bullshit.

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  58. alex said on April 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Umm, Danny, there is the fact that public employee pension funds are out of bed with revenue, but then so are private pensions because the Medical Industrial Complex is sucking far more than its fair share out of both and (here’s where you get to enjoy some equivalency) both parties are too cowardly to do what’s really necessary to rein in medical costs. But you are not going to convince me that Reaganomics is the answer.

    The fact remains that money has never been cheaper to borrow and doing just that is what is needed to jump-start the economy and obstructionism is the only thing preventing it.

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  59. Prospero said on April 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    MarkH: You have Breitbrt asshole types following the not quite teens daughters of the president? You are scum.

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    • nancy said on April 1, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      Prospero, knock it off. Mark lives in the west and his comment wasn’t offensive. Stop being an asshole.

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  60. MarkH said on April 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Pros — Donal Logue, yes. He will regain prominence when SAMCRO returns in the Fall, as he should.

    If I’m not mistaken, Garner and Bacall were actually an item at one time, in the ’80s(?).

    “obnoxious stunt casting”. I thought the same thing, though not as obnoxious. Oswalt fit the character as written, in my view

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  61. Sherri said on April 1, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Pros, when Raylan gets kicked out of the marshal’s service, he can move into Rockford’s trailer on the beach.

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  62. basset said on April 1, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    I see why Ann Lamott never married.

    Meanwhile, brought our golden home from the vet this afternoon… she appeared to feel better and even ate a little. Everything’s still short-term, but at least she’s comfortable.

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  63. MarkH said on April 1, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Pros, did you actually think I was sticking up for that breitbart guy?

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  64. basset said on April 1, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Or maybe Ann Lamott did marry at some point, I see she has a son…somewhere in there I got the impression she never had, not gonna go dig back through the story and document it. I’m 57, though, and if I were single, based on that article I wouldn’t go anywhere near her.

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 1, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    James Garner was/is a star who somehow never quite found his niche, or maybe the right role. Jim Rockford is the closest thing we’ll see to Travis McGee, I think; his turn in Robert Benton’s “Twilight” (screenplay by Richard Russo) was a hint of what might have been. Not to run down “Maverick” or “Support Your Local Sheriff.”

    I’ve got the Winokur biography on my Kindle, and haven’t gotten around to it for a year. Maybe it’s time.

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  66. Jolene said on April 1, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    I liked James Garner in Murphy’s Romance, a sweet little movie co-starring Sally Fields.

    Jeff, what is “the Winokur biography”? Your phrasing suggests that we should all know what it is, which makes me feel like I should find out.

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  67. Charlotte said on April 1, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Here’s the thing that drives me nuts about Justified — the first couple of seasons they seemed to pay attention to the exteriors — now they just shoot it in those canyons near LA. Southern Califorina near-desert looks *nothing* like Kentucky! Grrr …

    Basset — Anne Lamott found herself accidentally pregnant in her 30s and wrote a terrific book about the weird experience of having a baby when she felt, as a recovering alcoholic, like someone who could hardly take care of herself. She can be very funny … and … she can grate on your nerves.

    Also — loved the triumph of Constable Bob!

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  68. Tim said on April 1, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    If you like how James Garner played his roles (and I do), see “The Americanization of Emily,” a subtle anti-war (or anti-hero) movie. Julie Andrews is excellent in it, too.

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  69. Deborah said on April 1, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Basset, you are right that Ann Lamott never married. She has a son who also has a kid now. I like some of her writing (especially Bird by Bird, which is about writing) and even went to a book signing where she spoke a decade or so ago, she was very funny.

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  70. Jolene said on April 1, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Agree, Tim. I saw that movie a long time ago and barely remember it, but I remember liking it.

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  71. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 1, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Jolene, here’s the link, Kickbackified:

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  72. MarkH said on April 1, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    beb @9 — Wonder no more, as we don’t know the half of it. Here is a first hand account going back 20+ years of where these arayan groups have been heading, and they are here. It will get vicious. It already has in Kaufman County.

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  73. Dexter said on April 2, 2013 at 1:44 am

    In ’98 we vacationed in Atlantic City , NC, where I rented a Trek mountain bike for a week. When the week was up, I felt anxiety pangs…I didn’t want to give up the Trek, it was such a great bike. I bought it.
    I went to the mailbox place after boxing up the bike and they mailed it home for me. It was a tad beat-up, so I got it for a C-note. Best hundred bucks I ever spent. I still have it.

    I never witnessed a broken leg like Ware suffered Saturday. The Louisville player broke his leg damn-nearly off. It broke a full 90 degrees and bone was sticking out, of course. I did see a soldier’s arm broken like that in that plane I was in that smashed hard into the ground and violently spun half way and skidded on a wing. That was horrorshow for sure. I am sure the basketball kid had immediate first-class care. That kid on that airplane in Vietnam had a helluva hard time until the chopped came for him.
    I used toe clips for many years, then I got tired of them, and abandoned them. My brother has been using clipless pedals and cleats forever it seems, and wouldn’t think of riding without them. I have yet to take a ride of any significance this year, just running short errands…today it was about 30 degrees and freezing. It got up to 40, but it was Opening Day. I watched a lot of baseball.
    Easter was in Toledo. I was very close to the Art Museum at my daughter’s house, but I have never gone inside the museum. A thing to do.
    The best show on TV, with just one more episode this season, is Showtime’s “Shameless”. The Gallaghers continue to drop my jaw in horror and shock every Sunday night.

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  74. Danny said on April 2, 2013 at 5:08 am

    I had an interesting evening tonight with a bunch of fellow prog-rock dorks in So Cal up in La Mirada. Three of us from my San Diego workplace drove up to see Steve Hackett, the guitarist of Genesis fame, in a small venue that seated about 1200 souls total. The tour is dubbed the Genesis Revisited II Tour and the set list was comprised entirely of early Genesis from the beginning in 1970 to when Hackett finally left the band in 1977 (after Peter Gabriel had in 1975) and they began to turn pop.

    Though I own all of Genesis’ early catalog and have listened to it many times, I still have problems identifying some songs. I think this is mainly because for me, some of their early songs lack a certain melodic center or continuity. One of the most famous of these is called “Supper’s Ready.” It is a 20-minute-long prog-fest having some bright spots, but also having an over-burdensome amount of haphazardly cobbled together sections indicative a disjointed group effort to fill time (Hey, Tony has this bit he wants to try!)… and unlike Yes, the noodling of early Genesis does not, for me, approach virtuosity.

    Don’t get me wrong, when early prog-style Genesis was good, it was unsurpassed. Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is an absolute masterpiece. But much of there early catalog seemed to me to be more a work in progress due to a lack of musicianship and direction.

    Anyway, despite being dog-tired, it was worth making the trek to watch these musicians play some music that they cared about for an intimate audience who cared in return. Being a prog concert, the men’s room had the long line and the women’s room none. Progressive rock has always been and will always be “chick repellant” and the wife was not in attendance. HA!

    Mr. Hackett seems to be holding up well and still has a full head of hair, but the coloring suggests he is using Just-for-Prog-Rock-Stars or some such.

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  75. David C. said on April 2, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Danny, I used to love The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Now when I listen to it, I love the first half, and the second half just plods along until it finally wheezes its last with It. It’s not very satisfying and not a good way to tell a story. You’re right about the musicianship of the early catalog not being quite up to snuff. They’ve admitted as much. It really wasn’t until Milwaukee boy Daryl Steurmer came on board as their touring guitarist/bassist that they kicked it up a notch to keep up with him.

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  76. David C. said on April 2, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Nancy, here is a great bike security device. Invented by a Detroiter, for Detroiters presumably.

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    • nancy said on April 2, 2013 at 8:24 am

      Thanks. I was amused by all that talk of “Detroit bike thieves” when the guy was robbed in Brighton, an exurban community probably 30 miles from the ghetto. I guess it’s possible the thieves were shopping in the proverbial sleepy little town, but my guess is they were a) white; and b) professionals selling to other white folks.

      And, of course, the rest of the story was funny, too. I was fooled until I wasn’t. 😉

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  77. beb said on April 2, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Since we don’t get HBO or Showtime I have no idea what most of you are talking about. I was amused when Danny said he didn’t have more time to comment in his first posting, then proceeded to chime in throughout the evening and get into it again with Prospero. Those two… We have a couple cats who are like them. One gets into a hissing fit whenever the other comes near, but the hissing just attracts the attention of the other cat, drawing him even nearer.

    Pensions, like any large pot of money, are endless targets for grifters. And it’s endlessly tempting to shave a little off the required payments to fund something important today thinking that the shortfall can be made up later. But of course it never can. Are pension payments too generous? Considering that you will be living on a fixed income for the next 20-30 years: no. The problem is that since most people do not get a pension they are jealous of those who do and wish the worst for persionners.

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