It’s official: After a lifetime of sneering after retirees moving to warmer climates, I now totally get it. It occurred to me today that I could live the rest of my life at 72 degrees and three weeks before the summer solstice. I have more energy, eat better, find exercise a temptation and not a chore and feel optimistic about the day ahead.
Florida! I take it all back! Except for that part about the heat and the bugs.
Yes, it was a good weekend. Got out, got around, lazed around re-reading a Travis McGee novel. Make a homemade pizza topped with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, spinach, garlic and fresh mozz. Made hamburgers. Drank some craft beers and pinot noir. Watched, via Netflix, “The Way,” which I expect you religious types have seen by now, and “Drive,” just to see if it was still disappointing, and yes it was. Had a 20-mile bike ride and a short sail. If that ain’t summer living, I’d like to know what is.
A little bloggage? OK:
Why are colonoscopies thousands of dollars in the U.S. and only hundreds in the rest of the developed world? The New York Times explains:
The high price paid for colonoscopies mostly results not from top-notch patient care, according to interviews with health care experts and economists, but from business plans seeking to maximize revenue; haggling between hospitals and insurers that have no relation to the actual costs of performing the procedure; and lobbying, marketing and turf battles among specialists that increase patient fees.
You don’t say.
How did Michael Douglas develop oral cancer? Now it can be told:
Michael Douglas – the star of Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction – has revealed that his throat cancer was apparently caused by performing oral sex.
In a surprisingly frank interview with the Guardian, the actor, now winning plaudits in the Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, explained the background to a condition that was thought to be nearly fatal when diagnosed three years ago. Asked whether he now regretted his years of smoking and drinking, usually thought to be the cause of the disease, Douglas replied: “No. Because without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus.”
Mercy. Well, this is why I believe in HPV vaccination. Does the world need any more discouragement of this practice? I think not!
What else can split Republicans? How about Common Core?
The opposition’s momentum was evident this week in Michigan, where Republican lawmakers moved toward delaying Common Core despite entreaties from former Florida governor Jeb Bush, a respected voice within the party on education and one of the most vocal GOP champions of the new standards.
Bush, who is considering a run for president in 2016, defended Common Core during a closed-door lunch on Tuesday with state House Republicans in Lansing, then reiterated his arguments Wednesday in appearances with Snyder during a policy conference on Mackinac Island.
“Do not pull back. Please do not pull back from high, lofty standards,” Bush said in a pleading tone. He described Common Core as a “clear and straightforward” strategy that would “allow for more innovation in the classroom, less regulation.”
Good luck with that. And good luck with the week ahead.
Dexter said on June 3, 2013 at 2:50 am
I heard a lot of discussion about the Liberace movie, and all of it was bad. Bad acting. Ridiculous casting. (Scott was 17, Matt Damon is 41) “Animalistic” sex scenes were mentioned.
So, I thought this damn thing was going to be HBO’s biggest bust. Ha! I heard that after a week, it is now HBO’s most successful project ever. Ever? HBO has done some mighty fine projects in the last 20 years and even before that.
I had seen Douglas on TeeVee a couple years ago and he looked 3/4 dead. I was shocked he was cast as Lee.
I watched it finally, just last night, as I had recorded it earlier. And it’s not too bad. Damon never can play 17 , but he is a great actor and he really was great playing the wacked-out Scott. Hey, no way is this HBO’s gem of gems, but it’s worth a look. Douglas just nails the Lee character, really.
I had a thought come to me as I was walking the dogs while gazing at cranes at the local watershed project ponds. Sunday was the best day of the year. Perfect. 68 degrees, a breeze, broken cloud cover, some sun peeking through.
We were doing deep house cleaning so I couldn’t lollygag around outside all day, but I wanted to. If my wife didn’t keep after me and the house, I would live like a goddam slob. So much easier. But…the stove looks brand new and the floor is mopped, and there is not one speck of dust in this place. Oops…there goes one floating by…musta missed it! 🙂
Deborah said on June 3, 2013 at 3:19 am
Florida, the heat, humidity, bugs and politics. I grew up in Miami, I will never go back, I have no family left there to even visit. Every year I say that I love cold weather and then February rolls around. Maybe the tea party can do something about getting rid of February?
David C. said on June 3, 2013 at 6:19 am
Mrs. C and I are seriously considering Portland. I can tolerate rainy, chilly winters easier than I can Wisconsin snow and bone chilling cold. If I can negotiate life amongst the Walkernistas, I can surely find a fitting detente with the hipsters.
coozledad said on June 3, 2013 at 7:07 am
Does the world need any more discouragement of this practice? I think not!
I initially misread that as a disparagement of cunnilingus, to which I was going to say “It’s more of a calling than a practice” and
“Like so many other things, it’s probably best enjoyed by people who don’t look like Jack Elam… yet”.
I’m starting to have ominous problems with syntax. Jello and wheelchairs can’t be far away.
The fundie opposition to HPV vacines is just more of that obscene misogyny that finds its purest expression in the mass graves back of the Magdalen laundries.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 3, 2013 at 7:39 am
On one level I saw “The Way,” which I’m doing a severe injustice to by saying this, as an extended plea to Charlie Sheen by his father & brother, to calm down, talk to some professional therapists, and take his meds as opposed to everything else he’d been taking.
And apparently, it worked. This is how Hollywood families talk to each other, I guess. But I will admit (non-spoiler spoiler) to tearing up during the incense-burner scene in the cathedral at the end.
Jack Hitt’s book is a rollicking read that I suspect inspired Cheryl Strayed to write “Wild,” and his “The Way” doesn’t have hardly any intersection with the movie other than the route. But I recommend all three (movie, Hitt’s book, Strayed’s “non-fiction” memoir). Jack is a pseudo-semi source for the movie, but not much in terms of content. Recently, he walked the Camino with his sons; there was a good piece in the NYT (magazine or travel section, I don’t recall) on it.
Julie Robinson said on June 3, 2013 at 8:45 am
Having spent a summer living in Florida, the nicest thing I have to say is that it’s pleasant to spend a week visiting during the winter.
Drive put me to sleep. There are very few action flicks that manage to engage me, in fact, Inception is about the only one I can think of. Without interesting characters, I drift off. I found myself closing my eyes several times during the most recent Iron Man, which wants to pretend it’s witty and ironic but is just a lot of pounding music and explosions.
We enjoyed The Way as a father/son story, but also because a dear friend walked the Camino the year before the movie filmed. I spent the whole movie thinking about her experiences and jotting down questions for a good, long chat with her.
The highlight of our weekend was a concert our son’s professional chamber chorale gave. They mostly sing sophisticated classical stuff, and I like that, but this was all Broadway musicals, my very favorite. Not only that, he had three major solos and he nailed them all. It was parental bliss, I gotta say. After so many years struggling with bipolar, he changed his lifestyle in positive ways, and that makes the mountain top doubly sweet.
brian stouder said on June 3, 2013 at 8:55 am
Julie – marvelous post; and Bravo!
Prospero said on June 3, 2013 at 9:08 am
And here I thought all along that Michele Bachmann was right and HPV just made you go to bed smart one night and wake up the next morning a retard.
Just one more thing I was pretty good at you aren’t supposed to do any more. Cunnilingus is why I took six years of Latin. Maybe that’s why I woke up stupid this morning.
Melissa said on June 3, 2013 at 9:15 am
I came to Saskatoon (from Toronto) for a one-year contract in 1996. I stayed. The first winter I was so spooked that I invested in high end long underwear, mitts, Sorel boots and parka. I discovered that dressing well and sunshine make all the difference. Saskatoon gets more sun that any other city in Canada. It shimmers.
My father said that, as he aged, he could bear the cold much better than the heat, so maybe its a genetic quirk.
Dave said on June 3, 2013 at 9:19 am
I didn’t get Florida, either, for years and then I got old. Because we didn’t get to go this year due to my parents aging issues, we survived winter here in Fort Wayne and me, mostly in Central Ohio. My father left us on May 15 and now we’ve got my poor, dementia-addled mother to take care of, another difficulty and putting it in terms of “another difficulty”, makes me sound cold and heartless. It sounds so cold and heartless to say I sure hope we can go to Florida next winter but I sure hope we can.
Oh, and for the other folks here, I’ve learned what happens when aging parents make zero plans for aging and zero plans for death. It’s awful, leaving it to the children. How is it that parents who were realists all their lives become everything but, totally in denial about their sadly declining condition and abilities?
Yes, Julie, Florida is no place to be in the summer.
Dorothy said on June 3, 2013 at 9:24 am
I hope we’ll be able to be “snow birds” in about ten years, maintaining our home here in Ohio and staying several months in a warmer clime. But not Florida – most likely North or South Carolina will do. Both would be closer to our daughter in Virginia. Heck, Virginia might actually be a good alternative. As long as I don’t have to slog through snow from November through March, I’ll be happy just about anywhere.
Our son is “in country” only a week and his wife found out on Saturday that his debit card was hacked and duplicated. It was used in northern Mississippi (where he’s never been) at a Taco Bell, a KFC, gas station and an ATM withdrawal. The bank was notified and the card cancelled, and we informed the FRG contact person for his battalion. Several other families reported they’d also been hacked. Wonder what the odds are that this generated from within Camp Shelby, or at the least, Biloxi, where many of the soliders spent their four-day leave in mid-May? At least he doesn’t need his card over there. I’m mailing him Rice Krispie treats, a new mattress cover he requested, Irish tea bags and a couple of magazines this morning. I hope it arrives sooner than the three weeks we’ve heard is the average delivery time.
Julie Robinson said on June 3, 2013 at 9:38 am
Hacking accounts of soldiers in deployment is a new low. Shame, shame, shame. Our nephew was in Iraq during Desert Storm and he requested baby wipes and knee high pantyhose. Baby wipes is obvious, because they didn’t get to shower very often, but pantyhose? Turns out they’re great protection from sand fleas. But maybe the military has come up with something better in the years since then.
Dave, we’ve seen that from both sides too and are in the process of working with a financial advisor/retirement planner right now. I’m trying to push Mom towards that too; you’d think that at 80 she’d know it was time, but pulling teeth might be easier!
I’m thinking about Bitter Scribe today, who shared devastating news with us late yesterday. Please send your kind thoughts and prayers that way.
Prospero said on June 3, 2013 at 9:40 am
I believe Biloxi is the most beautiful place name there is. And the “o” is pronounced more like a “u”. And you can see N’awlins from there on a clear night. Third down 110 to go. Do they still show Canadian football in Detroit?
FLA? Jorts and mullets and Bud Light. Oh my.
brian stouder said on June 3, 2013 at 9:42 am
Dave – my condolences to you and yours. I’m still mowing the yard at mom’s house; pull my finger and I’ll tell you a funny ‘ghost story’ about that.
I think I’m in Fort Wayne until the end of the movie. One thing I cannot resist saying about Florida: that state has got to be the single biggest example of a Public Relations makeover in existence. I think Florida, I think Sun/Beach/Mickey Mouse/Oranges/Race Cars….but, as The Warmth of Other Suns – and the (seemingly) out-of-left-field Treyvon Martin case – teaches us, that state has an exceptionally cruel history, and a palpable mean streak.
PS – Dorothy – that debit hack is an infuriating story! Anyway – sounds like your son has a great mom
Judybusy said on June 3, 2013 at 9:56 am
Bitter Scribe, I am so sorry to hear of your friend. Death is almost never easy, but a suicide is particularly hard for so many reasons. I hope you find a place for the kitty, too. Thanks, Julie for saying something. I was in the garden much of the day, and so wasn’t online at all Sunday.
LAMary said on June 3, 2013 at 10:09 am
If what you are looking for is 72 all year round you would be wiser looking at the central California coast. Probably never lower than 40 degrees, and that would be at night in winter, and along the coast probably not over 85 in summer. To me it’s a lot prettier than Florida, not as buggy for sure, and if you’re cold in the winter you can head to the desert for a few days, in summer you can go to the mountains. Santa Barbara is too rich for my blood, but places like San Luis Obispo or Cambria are livable.
adrianne said on June 3, 2013 at 10:19 am
I spent a year after college graduation working in Miami Beach, Fla., for a pre-Internet startup called “Viewtron,” sponsored by Knight Ridder. It flopped – great idea, wrong technology – and I was laid off, which got me out of South Florida, thank God. While it provides great material for crime novelists, I found South Florida hell on earth for the weather, surly neighbors, frequent riots, and bugs the size of cats. Will I ever go back as a snowbird? Don’t think so.
nancy said on June 3, 2013 at 10:22 am
Many of the Viewtron people ended up in Indiana, and boy, did they have stories. My favorite was that copy editor, name escapes me, who told about how clean you had to keep your kitchen, just to keep even with the roaches, let alone ahead of them. He said he stumbled out one morning, dropped two slices of toast into the toaster and pushed the button. A cavalcade of bugs came pouring out, which prompted him to unplug it and carry it by the cord out to the dumpster.
Yeah, I think central Cali is more my kind of place. Somewhere I can see the Big P on at least an every-few-days basis.
Scout said on June 3, 2013 at 10:23 am
I enjoyed The Way for the most part, but felt it got a bit bogged down in the middle, which I semi-dozed through. I saw two movies yesterday at our local art house. The first one was Before Midnight with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, which was a series of intense conversations. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but found myself thinking about it last night and this morning, a good indication it was actually better than I initially thought. The second was Frances Ha, which was quirky and funny, and featured a heroine who screws everything up in a most endearing fashion. I’m glad I saw them in the order I did. And since it was 109 here yesterday the movie theatre was really the only sane choice. I had dinner with my partner’s aunt and cousin visiting from Milwaukee, here to visit another relative in the hospital, and they were in shock and awe at how we manage this kind of heat. Summer in Phoenix is no place for sissies, I tells ya. Just idiots like me.
MarkH said on June 3, 2013 at 10:28 am
I agree with LAMary on retirement climes. In a general sense, West, not East. Four Corners area is one place; dry, temperate. Higher altitude if you can find it. Deborah has the general idea.
Scout said on June 3, 2013 at 10:40 am
Appropos of nothing except that I attended a baby shower on Saturday, and in which the bun in the oven’s name is to be Mason, I found this interesting. http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/610-would-smell-as-sweet-geo-popularity-of-given-names
If I were that mommy-to-be I’d probably rethink that choice.
Dorothy said on June 3, 2013 at 10:51 am
Very sincere sympathy to you, Bitter Scribe. Wish I could help with the kitty.
Charlotte said on June 3, 2013 at 10:55 am
Good for Michael Douglass — my beloved stepmother damn near died from HPV two years ago — wound up with anal cancer, twice. I’m a harpy about it with all my teenage friends, and then threaten them with gory details if they don’t get lined up for the vaccines.
And Bitter Scribe — I’m so so sorry. My Chuck lost his best friend to suicide — B. left his two elderly dogs and a note on Chuck’s door. He still can hardly talk about it … it’s a terrible terrible loss.
Mad Men anyone? Will the Peggy-Joan alliance triumph? Or go down in flames?
adrianne said on June 3, 2013 at 11:12 am
Nance, I know Andrew Jarosh and I were Viewtron refugees, kindly rescued by Richard Battin, but I don’t remember a copy editor and his nightmarish experience with cockroaches. I do remember once walking up the stairs to my apartment in North Miami Beach and hearing land crabs scuttling underneath. Then I let myself into the apartment and there’s a gecko splayed on the wall. Eeek!
mark said on June 3, 2013 at 11:25 am
“…the Peggy-Joan alliance…”? I must have watched a different episode, as I saw no alliance. I’ve thought the show presents it as a given that women don’t form meaningful relationships, or even effective alliances, with each other.
JWfromNJ said on June 3, 2013 at 11:26 am
I’d trade with you to have autumn again, a proper garden, and snow. OTOH my wife loves it here but she is cold even in July. It has never been above 101 here in recorded history, which the midwest,great lakes, and ny area can’t say. But it may hover at 99 for four months and thunderstorms around 4 every day, but possibly across the street it will be sunny.
We do have the oddball news win almost every day, either in lovely Port St. Lucie or New Port Richey. Come on down…
brian stouder said on June 3, 2013 at 11:33 am
Here’s a digression; sort of an urban goat-roping to parallel one of Cooz’s rural ones, except that he knows what he’s doing whereas I’m clueless.
Pam and I believe in using the garage for (Pam’s) automobile, and in recent times other items (bicycles and the mower and the blower and lawn chairs and so on and so forth) were really beginning to encroach….so a shed for the backyard seemed to make the most sense.
Several neighbors have the wooden ones, but those things seem to go to hell after just a few years, so we were thinking one of those attractive plastic ones – which are also a little less expensive than the wooden ones.
So, about 8 weeks ago Pam and I bought one of those plastic storage sheds you can get from a big-box store, and which you build yourself. And indeed, it came in four ‘big boxes’, which we loaded into the minivan (off of a fork truck), and then lugged onto the back porch.
We knew we needed level ground for the structure, so we also bought 30 bags of gravel, and 70 of those square flat brick-like things (pavers). After dumping all the gravel in the designated spot, over the ensuing several weeks, I went back and got 30 more…and then 30 more after that….and then 30 more after that! (lost count of how many times – but we’d have been ahead to have a dumptruck come and dump a load in the side yard!)
Eventually, we placed the pavers on the (now fairly impressive looking) gravel bed, and things looked level, and my level indicated level (more or less) and we began shed-construction.
It wasn’t level enough.
Then, it (finally) hit me that we would never, ever get it level enough with gravel and pavers; to build the plastic shed in such a way that it would hold together would require a wooden base, built by someone who knows what they’re doing (ie – not me).
This fact is not stated or suggested or hinted at anywhere in the instructions.
Thinking about it made me chuckle; you go into the Big Box store, and there are all these nice, weather-tight sheds on display – on (perfectly level) cement floors in the store, or out on the parking lot.
So anyway, we got my brother – who can do these sorts of things – to build us a base last week, which we placed on my (very nice) gravel bed (he pointed out that my gravel will help drain away the rain-water, which is a good thing); and then Pam leaned on me to get the damned shed built this weekend…which we did!!!! WOO HOO!!!
And let me just say – the instructions were just about 1 notch better than flat-assed nothing (or maybe 2 notches), but they were good enough, I guess.
And now it’s Monday, and I’m all stoved up; but the damned shed is built. And if we had it to do again, we’d get the wooden one and pay the extra to have them build it
brian stouder said on June 3, 2013 at 11:52 am
btw – read the Michael Douglas link, and my main takeaway was –
he endured all the exceedingly unpleasant chemotherapy and so on – and his cancer was defeated and he’s been clear for two years.
So, thinking of Jolene and the challenging turn of events she is enduring – all I can say is Huzzah!!!
LAMary said on June 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm
Four Corners is a great part of the country. Hovenweep and Chaco Canyon are two very magical places in that part of the world; both worth the trouble of getting there.
beb said on June 3, 2013 at 12:28 pm
Last week my daughter mentioned something she’d seen on the internet. Cheerios had put out a new ad that was generating a lot of controversy. In the ad a little girl asks her mother if it was true that cheerios was good for the heart. We cut away to the father sleeping on the couch. When he wakes up there’s a pile cheerios on his chest. It’s really sweet. But the mother is white and the father is black. Oh the horrors of an interracial marriage.
I gather the ad was running on YouTube and the Mfr General Mills had to close off comments because so many bigots were seething.
Meanwhile “The Hub” a cable network that specializes in children shows and family-friendly movie has just launched a new cartoon called “Shezow” where the main gag is that a boy puts on a magic ring and gets transformed into girl superhero Shezow. The boy doesn’t get transformed into a girl, just dressed in a girly costume. So here’s a major family oriented entertainment operation that’s OK with a show about cross-dressing. What a world. What a world.
It’s been a long time but I can not remember ever being discomforted by the hot weather of summer like I am now. I hate winter but find that it’s easier to dress to keep warm than it is to keep cool.
Dexter said on June 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm
My daughter loves Florida so much she is having a beach wedding there in the middle of July. That means I will be spending the hottest ten days of the year in Florida.
I spent a year in Monterey, California and I swore I would live in Central California when I got out of the army, but it never worked out. The summers are fantastic there; cold spring rains can be dealt with. It gets extremely hot in October, but it only lasts a month. Nice area.
Dexter said on June 3, 2013 at 1:18 pm
Michael Douglas is clarifying his Guardian interview:
…never said cunnilingus caused his cancer…
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm
Peggy well and truly bailed Joan out in her confrontation with RePete. I think there’s a chance of an alliance, especially as the two agencies amp up their hostilities.
We’ve ended the summer of ’68 with enough evocations of the Tate murders to give us all the willies when anyone is out in California . . . but the sharp, sudden, angry disconnect in the Carnation conference room over Dick Nixon vs. Dutch Reagan: whoa. That was fascinatingly played: the NYC crew simply didn’t know what to do with that. They see Nixon as competent *enough* and the guy who’s turn it is, and looked like they weren’t even sure who Reagan was, but could tell there was strong emotion around supporting him. Draper was as surprised at strong feeling in politics that way as he was bemused by Megan’s passion at watching the Chicago DNC protesters get whacked; echoed by Cutler (Harry Hamlin) shrugging off Vietnam’s travails and his continued bafflement at Ginsburg’s rage, thinking “I was in the Air Force” is an all-purpose coverall.
The last two weeks have made the whole season worth-watching; is it two, or three left to go? I think three, which means look out on June 16 . . . it’s the penultimate episodes where the really shocking stuff tends to happen on “Mad Men.”
Julie Robinson said on June 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm
As dedicated DIY’ers we have repeated Brian’s scenario more times than we’d care to admit, but dang it, when the manufacturer only uses little diagrams without words (IKEA, I’m talking to you!), it ain’t easy. Sometimes you learn that you do need to hire a pro, which is why we’ll soon be spending what could have been a nice week away on getting a tree removed. A nasty, tricksy tree that is dead and threatening the garage.
If you’ve just had lunch, don’t read this next paragraph yet, it’s a Florida bug tale. The last time I was there, after my sister almost burned her house down, I dropped her off at work that first morning, and noticing the tires were low pulled into a gas station. I had no idea as to psi, so opened the glove compartment. Do you remember the first Raiders of the Lost Ark movie, when they finally open the ark and a swarm of vile creatures fly out? Make those all insects and you have an inkling. In my face, down my clothes, making a stink, etc.
After screaming like the little girl I apparently am, I called my ever patient husband and sobbed for several minutes. He rather sensibly advised renting a car for the rest of my stay, and since I wasn’t paying the bills, I did. But I still had to deal with all the filth and bugs at her house and storage area. Multiply that three weeks by the five months I spent helping her the last time and you have a pretty good idea why my Florida memories aren’t so positive.
brian stouder said on June 3, 2013 at 2:07 pm
Julie – bugs do me in; I don’t ‘do’ bugs well.
And indeed – I’d probably crash if a sudden swarm emerged from the glovebox while I was driving
coozledad said on June 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm
I always thought people who supported the Romney campaign were the same as the sadass midlevel employees who would pay a hundred dollars to take the company shuttle to go hear some evangelical capitalist fucktard tell them they weren’t worth a damn and they needed to change their lives or buy a vitamix or kiss their bosses asses some more, and who would come back to work giddy, thinking they now had the key to not being a po shithead no mo.
Well what d’ ya know.
Don’t ever let a Republican tell you anything about a business, except how to inherit the fucker. They don’t know jack shit except snookering
the bewildered and the dumbstruck.
Prospero said on June 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm
I think Jeb is pleading for the only thing that keeps Marvin from moving into his house permanently.
SC has that giant roaches problem solved. We just call ’em Palmetto bugs, and we let a hungry green anole share our abode.
I love Monterey Cali. I worked as a helper on a garbage truck in Monterey one spring. Carmel would be a nice place to live. Hilton Head used to have that sort of climate, but our last three summers have gotten hellish. Anybody still claiming the climate’s not changing is a liar or a fool, or a GOPer, but what the hell, it’s always cooler on the beach.
Solving climate change.
brian stouder said on June 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm
Cooz – excellent link.
Governor Jindal to the contrary notwithstanding, the R’s are the stupid party, well and truly. Common Core excites the electable frauds like Bush of Florida, and loses the true-believing home-boy nuts (who live in Glenbeckistan).
Another example are the ‘three scandals’ (or whatever) that emerged this past month. I still think the AP one is the most chilling and troubling – and the one that can most readily (and truthfully) be laid at the feet of the president…so of course, the Republigoons skip that one, and beat on the Benghazi nothingburger for another four weeks, until they replace it with….linedancing IRS employees?
I think it is a genuine dis-service to the country for the (dis?)loyal opposition to focus on frippery and silliness when they should be seriously holding the administration’s feet to the fire over the very heavy-handed treatment that the national press has gotten.
LAMary said on June 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm
The only bugs that I’ve had issues with here in CA are ants, fleas and termites. I won’t see an ant for a year then suddenly I have a parade of them coming in my kitchen window. I’ve learned how to prevent flea infestations but before I did, every year was a battle once the weather warmed up just a little, and every house with any wood in its structure has termites here. You can see clouds of them swarming at times. It never gets cold enough to kill off any of these little bastards so it can be ugly, but it’s not like Florida. We also get tree rats here. They live in the palm trees.
Judybusy said on June 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm
Oh, I just love the human spirit sometimes. Old Finns doing fun stuff with plant material.
brian stouder said on June 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm
JudyB- I liked the one guy’s Michelle Chamuelle glasses!
(and not for nothing, I think she’s the only one who can beat Blake’s blonde country kiddo)
MichaelG said on June 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm
The Central Coast, Pizmo, Atascadero, Paso, is a wonderful place but don’t kid yourself. It does get hot in the summer. Also it is very expensive. Monterey is considered more Northern Calif than Central Coast and has the climate to show for it. San Diego has the best weather in the state but really, the weather isn’t bad anywhere. Even Sacto isn’t bad although, according o my IPhone, it’s supposed to be 104 on Friday and 106 on Saturday. It always cools down at night to allow for good sleeping.
Sherri said on June 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm
I’ve told my husband I’m never leaving the West Coast, and will consider living anywhere between Santa Barbara on the south end and Seattle on the north end. Ideally, Portland would be the northern boundary, because it’s really a little too dark up here around Seattle, but I’m not ruling out staying where we are because other than the dark, it’s pretty nice.
I really like the lack of bugs here. We don’t even have the ants that we used to have to stay on top of in California.
Sherri said on June 3, 2013 at 3:52 pm
Cooz, the best part of the Romney story is in the Time link, where we find the following:
More than 20,000 pages of vetting material had been gathered awaiting Romney’s sign-off—so many documents that they had to be transported to Boston from the transition’s Washington, D.C. headquarters by train since they wouldn’t fit in the overhead compartments on the US Airways shuttle. (The documents were deemed too sensitive to put in checked luggage).
Cause, you know, there’s no intertubes or portable digital storage devices or printers in Boston.
brian stouder said on June 3, 2013 at 4:07 pm
Indeed, if the prospective president doesn’t trust electrons, it makes one wonder how Willard moved all that cash down to the Caymans….
brian stouder said on June 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm
(I’m envisioning grim-faced bagmen with handcuffs on their carry-ons)
Suzanne said on June 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm
The Romney article reinforces my belief that Romney’s biggest flaw was that he truly did not grasp that he couldn’t just RIF all the citizens he thought were not adding value to USA Corp.
jcburns said on June 3, 2013 at 5:24 pm
A Chicago Sun-Times ex-photog grabs his iPhone and documents suddenly-unemployed life. As you might expect, his photography is clever, creative, and professional. You’d think they’d need more of that, not less.
beb said on June 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm
The more you guys decribe your part of the country the better ol’ Michigan sounds, cold winters and all. No Hurricanes, few Tornados, or earthquakes, decent sized bugs that don’t hide in gloveboxes…. It almost sounds like paradise.
You know, when a Wonkette article sounds like an Onion article life has gotten too twisted.
MichaelG said on June 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm
We were talking about that Michael Douglas cancer from cunnilingus story and started to wonder what his wife might have thought. I mean people would have looked at her thinking “eeewww, she’s nasty”. And then he made it worse by saying the cancer was caused by the HPV. Now where is she supposed to have caught that? Or where did he get it? Things must be a tad frosty at the old Douglas homestead. Or is he even still married to C Z-J?
Dave said on June 3, 2013 at 6:52 pm
Brian, guess I have to pull your finger for your ghost story because we’ve already got one of our own with a picture, no less. We are seeing what we’re seeing, a picture in the dark snapped via Skype of my nephew with what may be a face to his left side, taken two days after my father’s passing.
Florida is a bizarre place, the house we inherited is in a retirement community so it doesn’t give you a realistic feel, although we’ve been going there for years, what with in-laws living there, we’ve not experienced or heard of the kind of adventures that JW relates to us, even though New Port Richey is only 20 miles or less north of us.
brian stouder said on June 3, 2013 at 6:54 pm
I suppose the easy joke is that the twists and turns in Michael Douglas cancer story will set tongues to wagging – but we’ll skip the easy jokes
Prospero said on June 3, 2013 at 6:58 pm
Tuukka Rask. Bruin’s win tonight, and it’s all over but the shoouting. They made the Pens look pretty bad in Game 1. Sid the Kid couldn’t even win the faceoffs.
I think it can be said safely that RMoney’s biggest flaw is that he’s made of papier mache and non-recyclable plastic. And his wife has a “coupla Caddies”.
Our ocean is much cleaner looking than the California oceaan. Ours looks blue and green. The Pacific looks like rinse water. It’s gray.
Grim-faced bagmen AKA Mortimer and Randolph Koch.
California public radio employs more staff photographers than the Chicago Sun-Times.
Prospero said on June 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm
This ninny could be the heiress to Bachmann’s throne.
LAMary said on June 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm
You’re just looking in the wrong places, Prospero. The Pacific is a lovely blue green color. When you see a big wave coming in if you look just below the crest, through the translucent part, it’s a spectacular backlit blue green glow. I grew up close to the Atlantic and yes it’s blue. A different blue from the Pacific. The North Sea is grey. Been there, swum in it, froze my petunias off. It’s grey and cold.
Dorothy said on June 3, 2013 at 9:08 pm
Tom and Lorenzo have been speculating that there is much foreshadowing about death in Mad Men this year. Death among someone close to Don Draper. And we’ve been watching Game of Thrones from the beginning – Mike has read 4 of the books I think. But I will NOT watch last night’s episode after some spoil-y stuff I read on line today. I might be done forever watching it! I know much of it was from the books, but they expanded upon the theme and I don’t like hearing what was changed.
brian stouder said on June 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm
Our 17 year old son Grant and I will see/touch the Pacific for the first time ever in a few weeks…and hopefully I don’t freeze my petunias off (although if I do – I’m sure it will be an infinitesimally smaller loss to the world than if LA Mary lost hers!)
Crazycatlady said on June 4, 2013 at 12:36 am
My sister has a condo in Florida. I’ve been there a few times and I’d have to say I could see myself there in my senior years. It’s a 55 and over community, so no kids. It’s quiet yet close to the Gulf of Mexico. Dolphins and manatees abound. Air conditioning everywhere. Nice people in the condo community. *sigh* It will never happen. Beb hates it down there.And I think I would miss Detroit a whole lot. So be it.
jwfromnj said on June 4, 2013 at 2:20 am
Stouder F T W at 52.
Here’s the upside to Florida. At our old house, which was a rental, I dealt with moron 20 somethings who delighted in setting our trash on fire, and multiple arrests of our former NFL player neighbor, one of which resulted in my fat ass rescuing a deputy and months of drama as a result. On paper the old place was a desirable community.
I weighed the “trailer” shame factor but we bought a very nice doublewide that has the 2006 hurricane standards. It’s lushly landscaped. they cut the grass and trim, mow, and edge twice a week. It’s so quiet. We have a pool, gym, community center, etc., and everyone waves and wants to be neighborly.
Yesterday a father and son we hadn’t met before showed up and carried my huge antique pine desk, a heavy credenza, and an upright freezer in for us and refused cash. We have dozens of friends here, with a large Red Sox nation fanbase, and l enjoy the talk to me during the playoffs banter.
We did have an odd incident yesterday though – a lady driving past the UHaul smashed into the side shattered her mirror and pax window, and kept going. Go damage to the truck, but I chalked it up to the liklihood that cocktails might have been involved and it was better for her to eat about $1500 in damages to a nice Toyota Avalon.
basset said on June 4, 2013 at 7:06 am
Being from Indiana, I didn’t see an ocean till I was maybe eleven or twelve, and that was at Wilmington, NC. I expected blue water and was most disappointed that it was gray.
Judybusy said on June 4, 2013 at 11:35 am
Thanks to The World’s Best Co-worker, I have morels to cook with–he foraged and is sharing. What are some people’s favorite ways with these fungi?
brian stouder said on June 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm
JudyB – whereas I’ll do mushrooms on pizza, and every-so-often on steak, the appeal of these wild things (which could possibly kill you) is lost upon me.
But my lovely wife LOVES those things, and just fried up a fresh batch the other evening.
I’ll ask her what her batter is – but I think it’s something very simple.
Charlotte said on June 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm
Morels won’t kill you — they’re one of the easiest wild mushrooms to identify. My favorite is to sautee them with butter, some shallot, and a little cream at the end. On rice, on noodles, on sauteed chicken. My sweetie actually does them on a pizza — which horrified me the first time. I thought the tomato sauce would cancel them out, but it’s actually quite delicious. Also — eggs. Morels and scrambled eggs are marvelous — asparagus goes nicely too.
Himself has been finding small but steady caches — it’s an odd season here this year. The early hot spell seems to have really messed with the usual morel spots.
Prospero said on June 4, 2013 at 12:54 pm
One more reason it was gratifying to see Boston humiliate Pittsburgh in the NHL playoffs last night. 6-1 in a playoff game in the NH Lis like losing a football game about 63-7. Embarrassing. This Matt Cooke guy is a total goon. I understand he has some nefarious history with the Wings as well, but I doubt any city despises the bastard the way Boston does, after he ended the career of the very talented Marc Savard with a deliberate and flagrant cheap shot a few years ago.
Gorgeous photos of amazing places.
Rim shot for Brian@52.
jw’s neighborhood sounds nice. But for me, FLA is jorts and mullets. And I wonder how those dumbass looking haircuts got named after the stupidest bait fish on earth.
Prospero said on June 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm
Best thing on ESPN last night? Yasiel Puig game ending double play throw from warning track. Laser guided.
Shrooms of any kind go very well on a Boboli homemade “white” pizza with spinach, asiago, parmagiano, mozzarella and romano. It’s good to mix the cheese with some OO to get a moist consistencey without the ‘maters.
alex said on June 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm
Looks like the Proprietress has the day off. And a nice day to be off, too! Wish I could be outside in this gorgeous weather.
Here’s a rather thought-provoking piece on the subject of libertarianism. It asks a simple question: If it’s such a great idea, why has no nation in the world ever tried it?
Deborah said on June 4, 2013 at 1:51 pm
We sauté morels in butter with a tiny bit of garlic, add cream and serve over homemade pasta. They are $49 a pound at Whole Foods, Judy Busy your friend is a saint.
nancy said on June 4, 2013 at 2:07 pm
Ditto the sauteing with garlic and a little cream, but then you could ladle that over a nice piece of rare beef. And achieve nirvana.
Sorry I’m a no-show today. Nothing to blame other than a long day yesterday. See y’all tomorrow a.m.
LAMary said on June 4, 2013 at 2:09 pm
Slight variation on the garlic and cream. Try sour cream. Also very nice on rare beef.
Dexter said on June 4, 2013 at 2:18 pm
Alright, now the Michael Douglas story is being broken down, and according to XM 103 radio host Fez Whatley, the only reason Douglas made his proclamation about his cancer being caused by straight oral sex is that because he is just coming off the highest profile of his portrayal of the biggest gay icon in history, he simply wanted to erase any doubt in the public’s eye that he wasn’t the teeny-tiniest bit gay, why…he loves to eat that …well, you know. He loves to lick that thing SO MUCH that, by gawd, he got cancer from it! Now that is proof!
Of course, he got his cancer from cigarettes, and some are saying drinking as well. Damn, how much booze do you have to drink to get CANCER from it?
Personally, I have never heard of a man getting cancer from the tongued nasty…have you?
Dexter said on June 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm
Shit. I need an edit button. was not wasn’t
brian stouder said on June 4, 2013 at 2:24 pm
Great minds (Nancy and Mary) think alike!
I’ve never tripped across the “rare” suggestion for ‘shrooms before.
I liked Alex’s link.
Another reason that libertarianism is a half-baked idea?
The lead from this (no doubt Romney-style) example of minimal governmental interference into the free market :
BEIJING (AP) — A fire breaks out in a Chinese factory, and panicked workers discover one exit after another is locked. That describes not only the poultry plant fire that killed 119 people Monday, but a toy-factory blaze that left 87 workers dead 20 years earlier.
As long as the unimpeded capitalist locks the door that impedes your exit and ensures your fiery death, all is well
brian stouder said on June 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm
‘rare beef’, that is
Dorothy said on June 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm
Well Dexter I can’t say for sure what caused Mr. Douglas’s cancer, but there was this story that was linked to his claim yesterday. Ten thousand additional cancers fueled by HPV? That would be a lot of people to keep Michael Douglas company.
Prospero said on June 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm
Just heard from B&N, there is a new Thomas Pynchon novel due out 9/17. Oh boy.
LAMary@69: That’s stroganoff territory. A very good thing when it’s cold outside.
Ingenious bicycle accessory.
brian stouder said on June 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm
Pros – that damned thing would just mess up my glasses!
As for the delightfulness of ‘shrooms, if you ask me, they don’t hold a candle to what Michael Douglas was having…but we digress!
brian stouder said on June 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm
and by the way – what IS it with Buckeye bumpkins and exotic animals?
A 7-foot alligator found in an Ohio man’s basement is malnourished, has bone disease from a lack of sun for 15 years and was being taunted by teenagers on a regular basis, authorities said Tuesday. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton confiscated the 15-year-old gator from its owner on Sunday in the southwestern Ohio home where it was being kept after a video was posted on Facebook showing the reptile being taunted. The video shows a young man laughing as he throws beer on top of the alligator, which jerks back in surprise and bites the small, hard plastic tub where he was kept in the basement.
mark said on June 4, 2013 at 3:34 pm
Brian @72: The article you linked to states, prominently: “The bolted doors, clearly a violation of Chinese law, …”
If you want to use bad logic to reach a false conclusion when extrapolating from isolated incidents, the obvious one in this case would be that laws against locked doors don’t work. That is bad logic, but not so bad as ignoring the actual presence of laws and regulations to claim you have a point about what happens when laws and regulations aren’t present.
mark said on June 4, 2013 at 3:39 pm
And I’m not aware of anything in Beijing that serves as an “example of minimal governmental interference into the free market.” I’ve seen lots of things that serve as an example of a communist government with far more people than jobs that places very little value on the lives of individual citizens.
Prospero said on June 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm
Interesting library design in NYC. The bleachers are a brilliant touch.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Prospero said on June 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm
Mark@78: That’s libertarianism. Talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. Pass laws that make it seem you aren’t self-absorbed monsters, but don’t bother enforcing them.
brian stouder said on June 4, 2013 at 3:48 pm
Mark – it’s all pointless unless it’s enforced, yes?
And how often did we hear the preface “job-killing” before the any mention of OSHA?
And note, the ‘a’ in OSHA stands for “administration” – since you can have all the laws you want, and not affect anything if they aren’t administered, yes?
If you recall the infamous Romney 47% video, you might also recall that the bartender who shot the video felt compelled to do so after hearing Romney rhapsodize about a factory tour he had in some god-forsaken place (India or China – can’t remember which) whaere the workers were stacked in, and lived in the same facility….he loved it! It looked like a money-making machine, to him, and a worthwhile investment.
mark said on June 4, 2013 at 4:03 pm
Prospero- If you think China is “libertarianism”, then you’re already too far into your cups today.
Brian- Are you not willing to consider the obvious point that there is a balance between the good achieved by regulation and the burden it may create. Although you repeatedly claim that those “stupid” other people oppose all regulation, that is a straw man that ignores the issue and merely gives you a vehicle for throwing out snide little nicknames for people you don’t like. In the real world, there is a balance to be achieved and reasonable, informed and well-intentioned people can disagree over where lines should be drawn. Opposing a new regulation does not equate with wanting to put 6 year-olds in factories or being in favor of killing workers.
brian stouder said on June 4, 2013 at 4:13 pm
Are you not willing to consider the obvious point that there is a balance between the good achieved by simply writing a regulation, which you are philosophically opposed to ever enforcing… and the burden it may create.?
In other words – I’ll trade you strawmen. In your argument, the fact the Chinese government wrote a safety regulation trumps the fact that they simply do not enforce them!
Not enforcing such regulations is cheaper, and this is good for business; enforcing the regulations is more expensive (or “burdensome” if you like) and rankles the Romneys (and other investors) of the world.
To be clear, it was the Republigoons* who picked this fight, in the last election, about “burdensome government”…and if you agree with their criticism, than you and I simply disagree.
*as long as I have to hear the term “DemoCRAT party” – which the flying monkeys have somewhat succeeded in main-streaming – then I shall use the term “republigoon”.
4dbirds said on June 4, 2013 at 4:13 pm
My heart felt condolences Bitter. I am grieving too. My son Sean, died on his sleep in our home April 8. He was 30 and it was a monumental shock to us. We still don’t have a definitive cause of death. My heart is broken and I feel as if I’m faking my way through each day.
Sherri said on June 4, 2013 at 4:17 pm
It turns out, Gordon Gee couldn’t skate by with insulting Catholics, despite all the money he raises. Of course, I’m sure he’s got a very generous retirement package.
mark said on June 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm
“*as long as I have to hear the term “DemoCRAT party” – which the flying monkeys have somewhat succeeded in main-streaming – then I shall use the term “republigoon”.
Yes, Brian, you hear that soooo often. And it is such a horrible slur. Poor you. That’s your excuse for incessantly reducing the conversation to name-calling?
Jolene said on June 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm
Oh, 4dbirds, I am so sorry. I was thinking about you just yesterday. Now I understand why we haven’t heard from you in a while.
As you may have read, I am dealing with soe medical issues, but expect to be well enough to carry on a conversation. If, in the weeks ahead, you would like to have someone new to talk with, please call me. Nancy has my contact info. I know we are almost neighbors, and I would welcome the chance to meet you.
Prospero said on June 4, 2013 at 4:27 pm
21st Century Chinese government capitalism is pretty much the John Galt dream scenario. They certainly have next to nothing to do with Communism any more. And passing laws to try to pass for human and making sure they are never enforced is certainly a libertarian idea,
Deborah said on June 4, 2013 at 4:33 pm
4dbirds, so so sorry. I wish you peace as soon as possible.
Julie Robinson said on June 4, 2013 at 4:39 pm
4dbirds, I am so, so sorry. I can’t imagine anything worse. You’re looking for answers and reasons and sometimes they take forever or come back as inconclusive. It just stinks. Thank you for telling us, it must be very hard. As you mourn, I hope your good memories will eventually overcome the sadness of his death, but I know that too will always stay with you. My thoughts and prayers for your healing.
Sherri said on June 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm
So sorry for your loss, 4dbirds. There are no words.
LAMary said on June 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm
That’s awful 4dbirds. I am so sorry.
brian stouder said on June 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm
4dbirds – I cannot imagine what you and yours are enduring.
I hope you and Jolene DO get a chance to sit down and share a few moments
beb said on June 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm
Such terrible news, 4dbirds.
MichaelG said on June 4, 2013 at 5:20 pm
What a terrible thing! I am so sorry for you 4dbirds. All our thoughts are with you.
And Jolene, please heal quickly and get back to 100% very soon.
Judybusy said on June 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm
Oh, 4dbirds, I am so very sorry to hear of your son’s death. Only 30! I have had other friends who have lost children, and they always loom large in your heart. Sending you much love and what comfort I can. And thank you for sharing this news with us–I too, have missed your voice here.
Jolene, I hope you recover quickly. How kind of you to offer to spend time with 4dbirds. I hope that works out.
blue girl said on June 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm
Delurking, 4dbirds, to send you my condolences. I am so, so sorry. Wishing you peace.
Suzanne said on June 4, 2013 at 6:18 pm
Oh, 4dbirds! I don’t even know your real name but my heart goes out to you, mother to mother. Our bond with our children is one that never breaks even when your heart is breaking. Thoughts and prayers for comfort.
Dorothy said on June 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm
Oh 4dbirds! I’m so very sorry for your family, especially for you! My daughter is 30. I can’t exactly put myself in your place, but I do hope you feel the support from all of us here. I’ll be thinking of you – sending you as much strength as I can muster in cyber space.
Jerry said on June 4, 2013 at 8:03 pm
4dbirds, please add me to those who are thinking of you at such a terrible time.
Charlotte said on June 4, 2013 at 8:23 pm
4dbirds! Oh. Oh. I lost my brother without warning, and it’s … well. You know. My heart goes out to you.
Prospero said on June 4, 2013 at 8:39 pm
Pia Zadora? Really? Nice mug shot.
alex said on June 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm
I’m so sorry, 4dbirds. Sending you a cyberhug.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 4, 2013 at 10:49 pm
4dbirds, we’re all so very sorry you’ve had to deal with this sort of tragedy. I just spent the day with a family burying a 16 year old daughter, and truly, there are no words. I’ll join Alex in wishing you a cyberhug and our sorrow.
Minnie said on June 4, 2013 at 11:07 pm
Oh, 4dbirds, what shock and sorrow. Sending you comfort.
And, Jolene, hope the treatment plan is exactly what’s needed for you to be well.
4dbirds said on June 5, 2013 at 12:10 am
Thank you so much. I do appreciate the condolences. I had to deal with thinking about a child dying because of my daughter’s cancer, but you never know the horror of the nightmare until you go over the cliff. It is as bad as they say. I have a good support system and am seeing a therapist. I know I will get better but it will take time.
4dbirds said on June 5, 2013 at 12:10 am
Jolene, I would love to meet up with you. I can travel your way.
Danny said on June 5, 2013 at 12:34 am
Wow 4db, so very sorry. Just finishing up a very long work day here and my eyes were so tired I thought I had misread because I could not wrap my mind around the tragedy. How unbelievably sad.
Rana said on June 5, 2013 at 4:05 am
4dbirds, I am so, so sorry.
Kim said on June 5, 2013 at 8:02 am
4db – peace and grace to you and yours as you figure out the way ahead.