The bleary moon.

Sorry for the late entry today. It was another evening out, although I had the distinct pleasure of driving home into the rising full moon, which registered not as a crisp round disk of light but rather roundish, with a smeary side. For days, I’ve been fretting about my upcoming eye surgery, wondering if I really, truly needed it. What’s a little smudge in one’s central vision? It’s only on one side, etc. Last night settled it. I want to see a rising full moon in sharp focus. Also, I’m seeing way more typos in my work these days, and I can’t handle that.

One more week. Then I will suffer for my sight.

But as I’m getting a late start here and really should be working, I’ll keep this brief:

We’ve had a bit of a dust-up here the last couple of weeks, right here in Grosse Pointe. A brand-new student club at one of the high schools, the Young Americans for Freedom — called that to distinguish them from the Young Americans for Slavery, I guess — announced they wanted to bring Rick Santorum in to speak. The national chapter had fronted them his $18,000 fee, and he was going to address the student body on “leadership.” This was originally scheduled for during school hours. Some parties objected to this, and it was abruptly cancelled. Then it was uncancelled, with an opt-in permission slip attached. It was, in other words, from beginning to end, an administrative fumble and a giant win for the Young Americans for Freedom, which lurves this sort of thing.

So then the day for the visit arrives, which was Wednesday. The speech was live-streamed. I didn’t see it all, but I saw enough. “A nothingburger,” went one description. And as you might expect, it went off without a hitch, but there was one hitch-ette: One of the kids at the school tweeted “Hey Mr. Santorum, would you sign this bomb for me?” I gather the kid is known as a joker, and he’s a kid, and while the tweet was thoughtless, you’d have to live in a police state to see this as a credible threat. Even the local police seemed more irritated than alarmed. But it couldn’t end there with a stern talking-to, a grounding and the suspension of the Twitter account.

No, now the Wayne County Prosecutor is getting involved.


OK, off to the mangle. The best email I got yesterday follows. For you non-journos, a style guide is the collection of individual style quirks of a particular publication; whether you capitalize The in The New York Times, say, or if Road should be spelled out or abbreviated. Sometimes they get really baroque, and the one from Penthouse magazine is a minor classic of the form. Anyway:

I’m working on our in-house style guide. It’s one of those projects that could turn into one’s life’s work, if one were so inclined. Really, there is no end to the crap that has to be explained. To maintain my sanity, I’m having some fun. I thought you’d appreciate this excerpt:

penultimate: Means next to last. Example of how not to use this word: “We were called the Rock Bottom Remainders, and when they write the penultimate history of rock ’n’ roll, we will not be in it.” Now you know something Mitch Albom doesn’t.

And you know what? She’s right.

Good day, all. Good weekend, all. See you Monday.

On edit: A good read on the Boston carjacking victim. Tasty morsel within:

The story of that night unfolds like a Tarantino movie, bursts of harrowing action laced with dark humor and dialogue absurd for its ordinariness, reminders of just how young the men in the car were. Girls, credit limits for students, the marvels of the Mercedes ML 350 and the iPhone 5, whether anyone still listens to CDs — all were discussed by the two 26-year-olds and the 19-year-old driving around on a Thursday night.

Posted at 8:57 am in Detroit life |

72 responses to “The bleary moon.”

  1. coozledad said on April 26, 2013 at 9:09 am

    From Santorum’s Poo Pep Rally:
    “You’ve been lied to. You’ve been lied to by a culture that tells you it’s all about you. That’s what the culture says, that it’s all about you. I think that’s, umm, I’ve shared this with a group before about how America has changed over the last 50 years. Did you know up until the mid-1950s, there was no word teenager? It didn’t exist. You were a child or you were an adult.”

    This from an ego driven fart who just won’t quit stinking. What is this all about if it isn’t all about you, Frothy?

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  2. Dorothy said on April 26, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I only saw the moon at 6:00 this morning when I got out of bed, and it was casting a long shadow on my living room carpet as I made my way to the kitchen. But when I did my usual visit to Facebook after I changed the water in the dogs’ bowl, I saw a co-worker said “The moon looks goofy tonight.” And one of her friends posted this link in her comments:

    My point being – I don’t think it was just your recently wonky eye last night.

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  3. Suzanne said on April 26, 2013 at 9:16 am

    I will never be able to take Santorum seriously after I learned that he & his wife took their dead baby home to, what? show the other kids? That was too much for me.

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  4. Judybusy said on April 26, 2013 at 9:25 am

    The moon in Minneapolis last night was veiled by light clouds, with darker bits of cloud moving over it. It was a very pretty sight. We’d just gone to a community college production of Avenue Q (a friend is the musical director for their productions) and it’s been a while since I’ve laughed so hard!

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  5. coozledad said on April 26, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Suzanne: What is it about with Republicans and the veneration of medical waste?
    Does Babs have a shelf full of uterine linings at the Bush library? A collection of rags?
    I can hear the guide now: “This section of the exhibit deals principally with the heavy days. Those of you who have just eaten lunch may wish to rejoin us at the menopause exhibit down the hall.”

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  6. Maggie Jochild said on April 26, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Coozledad, I just spewed Lady Grey tea everywhere. Best of the week.

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  7. Prospero said on April 26, 2013 at 9:48 am

    YAF goes all the way back to Bill Buckley in 1960. Buckley and some buds produced an idealogical screed called the Sharon statement. Bunch of effete Richie Riches. They were particularly active during the VietNam war, since their asses were never going near it. I didn’t either, but I wasn’t a rabid suppporter of the escapade. My draft board (Royal Oak, MI) had the highest incidence of volunteers of any board in the country. Probably Fr. Coughlin’s influence. So I went 1A and took my chances with my shitty number 88 and made it through. Anyway,I got into altercations at anti-war demonstrations with YAFers a few times. They tended toward slapping and scratching. Pulling hair.

    From the online etymology dictionary:

    teenager (n.) teen ager, teen-ager; derived noun from teenage (q.v.), 1922. The earlier word for this was teener, attested in American English from 1894, and teen had been used as a noun to mean “teen-aged person” in 1818, though this was not common before 20c. Fracking idiot. Maybe bringing the dead baby home was just the Sanitariums expressing their profound Alic Cooper fandom. I found his gouging of a PA school system for $70 grand for home schooling his kids in MD or VA at least as appalling. Still don’t quite see how he didn’t end in the slammer for that. And you know that Santorum would insist with a straight face and martyred mien that rude kid hates his freedom. Rich conservative martyrdom and victimization is a powerful emetic.

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  8. Judybusy said on April 26, 2013 at 9:52 am

    On a more positive note, activist Irshad Manji has created a YouTube channel featuring people taking stands and action to make our world a better, more just one. Here is a video about a high schooler fighting to get real sex ed in her Lubbock, TX school. Love how the preacher the school brings in has this awful sex-shaming message of “doing it like dogs in the street.”

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  9. Charlotte said on April 26, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Decades ago, when I was at Beloit, the UW Young Republicans decided to send an envoy down to deal with us hippies. We set up a schedule and just tag-teamed the guy into the ground. Debated him relentlessly in the Union until he lost his voice entirely and had to crawl back to Madison. One of our finest hours.

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  10. Joe K said on April 26, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Lost another one today, rip no show Jones. George Jones dead.
    Pilot Joe

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  11. velvet goldmine said on April 26, 2013 at 10:40 am

    This surgery is approaching fast! Forgive me is this has already been discussed, but are you giving the keys to this site or to FB to Alan or Kate so they can assure your loyal fans that you are grumpy but healing on schedule?

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  12. adrianne said on April 26, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Even the goobers in Pennsyltucky finally turned on Rick Santorum, and he found no love there during the presidential primary season. My schadenfreude moment this year came when I read a political story saying that Rick is seriously considering running for the Repub nomination for president in 2016. Please, Ricky, do it – I’m begging you!

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  13. MarkH said on April 26, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Not much context there, Charlotte. Did the YR guy have a specific mission in “deal[ing] with us hippies”, or just a (very) brave attempt at spreading conservative doctrine at a very liberal liberal arts academy.

    BTW, here’s someone that agrees with you on Max Baucus. A pretty good take-down, actually.

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  14. brian stouder said on April 26, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Joe – hard not to like that guy, at least a little.

    I believe he got a DWI for driving his rider-mower down the sidewalk ‘while intoxicated’

    That’s more forgiveably ‘country’ than Randy Travis’s travails, but we digress.

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  15. Kirk said on April 26, 2013 at 11:09 am

    My memory of YAFers at Mizzou centers on a speech given there by Bernadette Devlin. A bunch of them showed up and tried to heckle her. Can’t remember what she said, but it was good enough to expose them as ignorant fools to the extent that they walked out.

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  16. coozledad said on April 26, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Someone trying to wreck up Boehner’s life:

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  17. A different Connie said on April 26, 2013 at 11:34 am

    That story in the Patch about Santorum could use some editing.

    The Grosse Pointe South High School student taken away from the school Tuesday after he tweeted a statement referring to a bomb and Rick Santorum remains in police custody while the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office reviews the case.

    Sounds like R.S. is in custody. We can only hope.

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  18. Prospero said on April 26, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Not your average Chechen jihadis.

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  19. MarkH said on April 26, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Here’s a nice appreciation of George Jones, warts and all. It is a testament to the guy that he lived this long given the alomst structured abuse to his body.

    In my first geophysical assignment after leaving Columbus, I was sent to the Black Warrior Basin in NE Mississippi/NW Alabama. Lo and behold, one day here comes George through the little town of Aberdeen, MS, drunk, of course, with the resultant brief incarceration for DUI. The townsfolk were thrilled. Brian, I’m not sure if he actually got a DIU, but he was drunk on the mower and on his way to the liqior store as his then-wife had hidden the car keys.

    In any case he has indeed “Stopped Loving Her Today.”

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  20. adrianne said on April 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Ruh-roh, CBS-TV in Detroit. Rick Santorum was NOT a vice presidential candidate:

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  21. alex said on April 26, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    As a middle manager at one of my former places of employment once said: “Who needs copy editors now that computers have spell check?”

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  22. beb said on April 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Harry Potter and the Demon of Auto-correct

    It popped into my head because “spell check” clearly refers to checking one’s spell. The app for finding typos would be “spelling check.”

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  23. Dexter said on April 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Last night’s full moon was fantastic…so bright, full illumination of my back yard as I midnight-walked the doggies.

    And another yearly physical at the doctor office park. I was edgy , nervous, as my old pal Clarence used to say, “nervous as a whore in church.” I mean, after being checked out thoroughly, I thought this is the time he would see a breakdown somewhere, a flaw in my physical makeup that was going to lead me down a path of rapid destruction and waste.
    Even my fondness for sweets like pie and cake and candy didn’t budge the dial on the A1C test.
    I got off with a warning: lose weight. Same old song. I’m going to lose twenty pounds this summer. Sure I am. 🙂

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  24. Dexter said on April 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    …and hey, if you find yourself outside and see a snake, please don’t pick it up and throw it into the bushes. It might be packing venom up behind those fangs. RIP, poor confused reptile handler.

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  25. Dave said on April 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Yes, the moon was beautiful last night. While doing aging parent duty here in Central Ohio, I went out about midnight and took it all in. I thought it might be bright enough to take a cellphone picture of my parents house but my aging cellphone (not a smartphone) wasn’t up to the task.

    Dexter, I turned 63 this month and I’ve been going to lose the same twenty pounds that I managed to take off twenty years ago AGAIN. With all the sitting around I’ve done this winter and early spring, that’s not happening. Sigh.

    Parents don’t know it yet but we’re making arrangements to move them. I’ve four siblings and we’ll all be there to tell them. It’s getting to be more than we can continue to do.

    I hate bad spelling. I hate that it’s becoming commonplace and worse yet, acceptable. Oh, and that it did require a apostrophe, didn’t it?

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  26. Dave said on April 26, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I hate that it is becoming commonplace. Yeah, ok.

    Australia is chock-full of poisonous creatures. You’d think the field hockey player would have been more careful.

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  27. Jolene said on April 26, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Tough, but worthwhile, story on the progress toward recovery of the Boston bombing victims.

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  28. brian stouder said on April 26, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    do NOT miss Nancy’s late-edition addition, about the late-night cruise and the fellow who was precisely the man that Tamerlan aspired to be (at one time), and failed.

    It WILL make a compelling movie

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  29. Bitter Scribe said on April 26, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Adrienne @20: Wow, that’s funny.

    In the most hyper-technical sense, you could say that Santorum was “a vice-presidential candidate” because he and Gingrich at one point considered teaming up on a ticket. The problem was that each of them wanted to be at the top. (Nancy posted a link to this some weeks ago, IIRC.) So he was a VP candidate, if only briefly in Gingrich’s mind.

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  30. MarkH said on April 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Dave, you bring up an excellent, and for me, an irritating point. What has happened to careful editing of the basics in news stories? Missing or misplaced articles and qualifiers abound, casual misspellings are so…’whatever’. And I’m talking about major and/or award winning publications and news organizations. Go to any news site right now and your likely to see some small missing ‘trifle’ that can change a meaning completely. Like those Santorum lines Adrianne and A different Connie point out.

    Dave and Dexter, same with me. Just got my blood results back in preparation for our annual local health fair and exam. I just turned 61. Five years ago my fasting glucose was in a good range, but since has started creeping up to pre-diabetic level. Last year it was 99. Last week it went to 101, just over the threshhold. My A1c is good at 5.5, though. Same with cholesterol. LDL/HDL ratio was always OK at about 3.0, total number 180. Now it’s hit 4.0 / 206. My 20 pounds to lose has now become 30 (or more).

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  31. Jolene said on April 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Some time back, I exchanged notes re copyediting w/ one of my favorite WaPo reporters re what I perceived as an increase in errors of various kinds. He acknowledged the problem, but said that, in the paper’s straitened circumstances, it was more important to invest in reporters than in copyeditors. Since then, I think they’ve tightened up some, but they’re likely still leaner in that department than they’d like to be.

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  32. brian stouder said on April 26, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Go to any news site right now and your likely to see some small missing ‘trifle’ that can change a meaning completely

    See – a great pun!

    And again I say – do not miss Nance’s late-linked article on the guy who got car-jacked, and who does not want to be famous.

    (If such a thing happened to me, I’d give the scoop to Nance, of course)

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  33. nancy said on April 26, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    I can handle the editing errors if the publication is honest about it. Patch, I’m convinced, goes up largely unedited. Which is fine, I guess — I know how hard it is to work an online news site — but I don’t think they will allow as how much is done on the fly. On the other hand, they haven’t really touted their journalistic bona fides much lately.

    I’m more worried about breaking news. Yes, we all know that things get twisted in the fog of war, so to speak, and we’ve all seen the research that shows the public will forgive you as long as you correct your mistakes. But just in the last two days, I’ve learned a number of details of Boston, including:

    The younger Tsarnaev brother was unarmed when he was captured. The “final gun battle” was actually a bunch of police throwing off shots because they heard shooting and thought they were being fired upon. And, the driver of the Mercedes wasn’t “released,” as we were told last week, but literally ran for his life. Why were these things reported as though they were firm? There’s a way to report this without saying, precisely, that something you don’t know happened, happened. “We’re hearing shots” is not the same as “Police and the suspect exchanged gunfire.”

    I think we’re going to see some swinging pendulums very soon. No wonder all these conspiracy nutters start screaming from the monkey cages when these things happen. They think they’re being lied to, when the truth is, they’re just hearing stuff being pulled out of thin air.

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  34. Brandon said on April 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    This book came out over ten years ago, but looks like a good history of the concept of American youth.

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  35. Brandon said on April 26, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    YAF has been around for decades.

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  36. Sherri said on April 26, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I would like to think we’d see some changes in breaking news soon, but the same thing happens over and over again. Remember Sandy Hook? For hours, the shooter was misidentified as Adam Lanza’s brother and his mother was identified as a teacher at the school. Much worse happened in the reporting of Katrina, and the only result is that most people believe the original reporting. The initial reporting from Columbine wasn’t much better; see Dave Cullen’s book on that, as depressing as it is.

    This is a big part of why I stopped watching TV news over 10 years ago; when there’s a breaking story, a lot of what you’re hearing is wrong, and you’re hearing it over and over again. At least when I read it on the web, I have more control over how much I read the same misinformation, so it doesn’t get pounded into me.

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  37. brian stouder said on April 26, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    I again (and stupidly) gave Oxy-Rush a few minutes this afternoon, to see what the Lunatic Line of the day is, and this is what I learned:

    America is purposely being undermined by the black president.

    The guy actually pointed to the ’50’s tv shows (of his youth) and said that America is dead, and in fact today’s anti-American liberals deny that such an America ever existed.

    OK – then I changed the station to Rock 104 and continued to my lunch destination.

    But suffice it to say, Oxy-Rush does not understand America any better than the Boston bombers did.

    For one thing, if he read The Warmth of Other Suns – a genuinely superb and very readable bit of recent American history – he might perceive that a white male son of a successful Missouri lawyer WILL have a very different memory of mid-to-late 20th century America; different from, say, a black American born into a rigid caste system in rural Louisiana (or worse – rural Florida), and who managed to escape with their lives to Chicago or New York or Milwaukee or Detroit – there to start over again, from zero.

    Uncle Rush might even recognize the very same exceptional American traits therein that he always ascribes to white males – if he could bring himself to look at Americans who are black as…Americans who are black!

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  38. MarkH said on April 26, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Brian – confidentially, I’m mortified as that was not intended. But it does make the point…I guess.

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  39. Kirk said on April 26, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Within a couple of minutes of each other after the “gun battle” that wasn’t, CNN was reporting that the guy was in Beth Israel and Fox was reporting that he was in Mass General.

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  40. Suzanne said on April 26, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    My favorite piece of Boston news being revisited is the guy who owned the boat where the bomber was hanging out. I saw a brief interview the other night with him. He did not see blood on the covering but had climbed the ladder to readjust the covering which seemed to be loose. He admitted he was a bit obsessive about the boat. While doing so, he could see in and saw lots of blood and A GUY! He said he really could not remember getting off the ladder and running into the house to call 911 he was so freaked out. And he said the boat is history and he does not want another. Great interview!

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  41. David C. said on April 26, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    To the YAFers, Freedom or more likely FREEDOM! = I get to do what I want to do and you get to do only what I want you to do.

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  42. Prospero said on April 26, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Kirk @39: On the Globe site, there was a photograph that sure made it appear the kid had been taken to one of those franchise, walk-in MacClinics someplace on Mt. Auburn St. Both Beth Israel and Mass General are pretty far from the scene of the capture. Closest would have been St. Elizabeth in Brighton or Newton-Wellesley.

    The more I have thought about YAF back in the day today, the more it reminded me of those GOPer shitheels that pulled the Brooks Brothers Riot (Tantrum ) in FLA in 2000.

    The company Ron Paul keeps. Scum of the earth. Ol’Ron be needin’ that economy sized bottle of A200

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  43. Prospero said on April 26, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Richie Havens coverage from the Guardian. Includes an amazing vocal performance live at Glastonbury, fronting the Brit band Groove Armada.

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  44. basset said on April 26, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Depending on who you believe, during the famous George Jones lawn-mower incident he may or may not have been headed to Colonial Liquors in Nashville, a shop I visit probably more than I should to see what kind of cutout/remainder wine they’re selling 3 for $10.99 or 3 for $15. The contents of the 3 for $21 shelf are wasted on me. George and Tammy lived maybe a couple of miles down the road, not far from Minnie Pearl and the governor, and if the story’s not true it should be. Some of the older guys who work there say it is.

    I’m sure our modern country stars are all over the TV tonight, talking about how much George Jones meant to them; maybe some of them actually knew who he was before today. Even after losing a step or two to advancing age, he was still one of the few remaining great trad-country voices; with him and Vern Gosdin both gone, that leaves us with Merle Haggard, Gene Watson, and… nobody else I can think of.

    Can’t see the moon tonight, too cloudy with rain on and off since late afternoon. Marathon race here tomorrow, apparently it’s a large one and quite a big deal on the marathon circuit.

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  45. Kirk said on April 26, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Amen to most of what you say, Basset, and thanks for mentioning Gosdin, a truly great but largely forgotten singer.

    I finally got to see Jones (with Merle) about five years ago. It was, I think, my third lifetime visit to the Ohio State Fair.

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  46. Joe K said on April 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    The music city marathon IS a big deal, if you get a chance hang out around the 23-24 mile mark. That’s when you really see how hard it is to finish a marathon, I’ve run 12 marathons and no 2 are the same. My best was a 3:47 and my worse was a DNF, hit the wall at 23, it was 80 some degree and 95% humidity, never ran Nashville but would love to some time.
    Pilot Joe

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  47. basset said on April 26, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    A few months before Vern Gosdin died he played a VFW post in west Nashville, wish I’d gone.

    Joe, no offense but I am not going anywhere near the marathon tomorrow if I can help it… running has always been drudgery at best for me, even when I was seventy pounds lighter and did it every day, and I have never understood how anyone can claim to enjoy it. I’m sure not interested in watching someone else running.

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  48. Tim said on April 26, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Responding to Nancy’s comment on the Boston reporting: “I think we’re going to see some swinging pendulums very soon.” While we know the basic core of the story now, I believe it will take months, possibly years, to peel away the half-truths, rumors and falsehoods that have attached to the story in the last 10 days. I’m thinking of the book “Columbine,” by Dave Cullen, that was published 10 years after the school attack. The book exploded several of the story lines that were accepted as fact soon after the shooting — for instance, that the shooters were loners who had been bullied. There’s a natural rush to use a familiar framework for the facts we think we know.

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  49. Dexter said on April 27, 2013 at 3:04 am

    basset, for me it has been 48 years since I enjoyed running. When I was a young teenager I actually enjoyed getting out of last period classes in the days just after basketball season, changing into track clothes and running shoes and just running rural roads until nearly dark. Some days 8 miles, but some as much as 12, and once in a while 15 miles.
    I find it hard to believe that was really me, as now I walk with a walking stick or I choose one of my canes, not for style but to steady my gait and relieve the pressure on my bad hip.
    This is why I love my bicycles so much…I can ride pain free most days and a bicycle doesn’t limp like I do on the pavement when walking. I haven’t been able to run in ages.

    I remember when The Beach Boys released this tune. The questions it pondered were too much to even contemplate for a young boy. I wonder how many men can look back and say yes to all the questions…not me.…

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  50. Brandon said on April 27, 2013 at 3:20 am

    I’d take what James Kirchick writes with a big grain of salt.

    Manti was just chosen by the San Diego Chargers.

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  51. BethB said on April 27, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Apropos of nothing: I saw an unusual sight yesterday when I was driving home–four teenage boys playing catch in the side yard of a farm house. Isn’t it sad that such a thing is “unusual” these days? Kids are more likely to be inside on their computers or cell phones or playing a video game. I know I am being rather judgmental, but I have heard too many teenagers say they were bored because there is nothing to do, and I’m thinking, “ride your bike or play a board game or read a book, for God’s sake.” Off my soapbox now.

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  52. beb said on April 27, 2013 at 11:03 am

    BethB, playing catch is, for me, the unusual part. Baseball seems so last century around here (Detroit) What I see are kids playing basketball. In the street with one of those portable hoops, often well into twilight…

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  53. beb said on April 27, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Useful knowledge for the visiting Brit or the Traveling American – 50 British terms not used in America.

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  54. Prospero said on April 27, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    New Stooges album. With James Williamson, the guitar player from the Raw Power album.

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  55. Danny said on April 27, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Dateline: Turkey. I mentioned a few weeks back that I was coming to Turkey on biz travel. Been here a few days now and the people are really cool, the country is pretty (except the smog), but the coffee absolutely sucks butt. You have basically two choices

    1) Turkish coffee, which is not only a lot like, but it is exactly like drinking coffee grounds and Copenhagen snuff mixed with enough sugar and milk to gag you or,

    2) Nescafe, which is what you might drink if you were an astronaut on a trip to Mars or Uranaus (along with Tang), but is not something one should drink on Terra Firma.

    At least I had one day to myself and went down to see Ephesus (Efes in Turkish). Unfortunately, there is also an Efes Pilsner beer (which is mighty good) and if you ask directions to Ephesus at 9 AM in the morning, they must just assume that you are a lowly, alcoholic American pig-dog and ask you in unbelieving tones, “Eh, you want beer!!!??? Now??!?!”

    Another issue I’ve had in Turkey is that there are very, very few cognates between Turkish and English. I did my best to learn a few phrases on the way over, but I stupidly forgot to learn the obvious one, the one for bathroom. I was looking for one the other day and after exchanging Turkish “Hello’s” with a nice lady who wanted to help, I said a few words like “bathroom,” “restroom,” “water closet” to her inquisitive countenance that registered only a puzzled look like when your dog cocks his head sideways in a “what are you saying, master” sort of way. Oh well, I eventually found it and didn’t have to pee my pants.

    This is the farthest I ever been away from home. It’s an odd feeling. Canlt wait to get back.

    Nancy, hope your surgery and more so, your tortuous recovery goes well.

    Everyone else, listen up. While she’s out of commission, I’ll probably pretty much run things around here and there will be a reckoning, bitches… 🙂 Totally kidding.

    Asta, from Toorkeeee

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  56. Danny said on April 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Oh, the food is good too. Salads are amazing and tomatoes are very tasty over here. If I had a coffee maker and a gas mask for the smog, I’d be set.

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  57. David C. said on April 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Danny, do they still use the Turkish Lira in ridiculous denominations? I once worked at a company that was doing business in Turkey and the boss made us all Turkish millionaires by giving us 10 100,000 lira notes each. If I remember right it was worth about $50 at the time.

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  58. Prospero said on April 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Real tomatoes first time ever Danny. What passes in the USA is cardboard pulp. I envy your sojourn in another worl. I’ve been to Morocco. Rhythm in all the music is different. It’s a marvellous feeling. There is nothing as invigorating as hitting the jetway and out of the country. Now country reminds me. Ain’t nobody sings remotely like Possum anamore. He most certainly drove to that liquor store ’cause his license was burned. and that gas-guzzler was the on’y vehickkle gettin’ him cllose. I am not a fan of how George Jones sang, but, he was always just tryin’ to sing like the greatest ever songwriter Nashville ever claimed.

    Whatever Danny. You are staying kinda clean, right?

    All I can say is:

    Kiss my mouth way down south

    You know you mean it. I,m sort of a jerk? Not ever, not to ever wonder, of you. If you say I am, You’re lying. I lovekids

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  59. basset said on April 27, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Best George Jones article I’ve seen yet, and it’s nineteen years old:

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  60. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 27, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

    (Sorry Danny, had to say it.)

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  61. MichaelG said on April 28, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Pros, I agree with you about those horrid pink, hard, dry supermarket tomatoes but isn’t there a farmers market near you? Here there are beautiful, red, juicy flavorful tomatoes available if you look for them. In season, of course.

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  62. Dexter said on April 28, 2013 at 1:40 am

    Danny’s coffee lament reminds me of my trip to the HHH Metrodome in Minneapolis for the International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous in 2000. In the great room where we registered and picked up our packets were thousands of coffee-craving AA’s being serviced from pushcart-kiosks inside the hall, selling tiny cuppas for $2.50 , and they were only about 2/3 filled.
    I’ll never forget one man in the crowded washroom. He had a huge backpack with this distinctive electric coffee pot lashed to the back. He had located a plug-in and his coffee pot was very similar to the first AA coffee pot
    but electric, of course, and not stove-top. This guy quickly procured his fixin’s, a large bag of beans and a grinder, and he ground up a cup of beans and he used tap water from the washroom sinks and he made a pot of coffee for himself. And he saved about ten bucks. I bet that guy never went anywhere without a coffee pot.

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  63. Linda said on April 28, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Agree with MichaelG. Tomatoes are just as good in the USA IF you buy them in season–and from a local market. Supermarket tomatoes are from strains that are created to ship and store well. Better yet, grow your own if possible. This year, I’m going with Big Beef, an old-fashioned beefsteak tomato.

    Same thing, I found out, with figs. It’s worth it to overwinter the little tree in my garage. Last year, I got a couple of dozen from a 2 year old tree that were heaven. The fresh figs they sell in Ohio are horrible, and it’s because they are developed to ship and store.

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  64. coozledad said on April 28, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Linda: Have you tried growing any of the blue tomatoes? They’re supposed to be rich in anthocyanin, an antioxidant.
    We planted some that were developed at Oregon State. The parts of the fruit exposed to the sun turn a deep blue.

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  65. Connie said on April 28, 2013 at 10:03 am

    American in Paris food blogger David Leibowitz,, regularly visits the mideast and writes about the food. He raves about the salads and also mentions the Nescafe.

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  66. MichaelG said on April 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    I’ve never seen a blue tomato. There are some brown ones around here. They’re red inside when you cut them.

    I spent some time in Milano a few years ago and visited a couple of farmers markets. The produce was fabulous. It looked like something out of Sunset Magazine. I was told that a lot of it came from Sicily and Sardinia. The produce in the Supermarket I frequented was also excellent and cost about the same as here in Sacto.

    You had to weigh and bag your own produce. They had the same type of machines that we see at self-serve checkout counters here in the US. You didn’t pay though. The machine would spit out a tag that you attached to the bag and took with you to the check out. No self-serve checkout counters though. All were staffed. The shopping carts were all attached to a rail. You would drop a One Euro coin in a box to free one. When you replaced the cart after shopping you would get your coin back. This place was brand new, having opened about four months before I arrived. It’s still the best supermarket I’ve ever seen.

    I think Lebovitz is very good. I’ve always liked him.

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  67. coozledad said on April 28, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    MichaelG: I haven’t eaten any blue tomatoes yet, either. We’re growing some this year. They’re a pretty recent development, using natural breeding techniques. there have been blue tomatoes, but the new strains have been developed for fruit size consistency and better flavor.

    Most vegetables have anthocyanic compounds in them, and we’ve got a nativized blue mustard that grows in our yard even in the cold months. It’s not horrible, but it’s a little strong by most culinary standards, including those of mules, who are slightly less picky than humans. They rarely eat it.

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  68. Rana said on April 28, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Blue tomatoes sound entertaining – I wish I had a space to try growing some in!

    In other news, this piece of reportage on the investigation into the ricin-laced letters sent to Obama, a Senator and a judge is brilliant:,0,408315.story

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  69. Linda said on April 28, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Cooz, I thought I heard of every tomato possible, but the blue one is new to me–never saw them around here. Even Totally Tomatoes doesn’t have them. But I found an online place that does, but the shipping fee was $13. Yikes! Do you know where I can buy seeds cheaper?

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  70. coozledad said on April 28, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Linda: Try these guys:

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  71. coozledad said on April 28, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Here’s the listing for the OSU blue:

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  72. Linda said on April 28, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Thanks! I’ll see what else to bundle in, since they have a minimum $15 order.

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