This just in.

At the dawn of my career, a smart colleague observed that our industry was ripe for a shakeup. We hadn’t really changed that much since the Civil War, he observed, and while it would take time before his speculation happened, it wasn’t so much in the grand scheme of things.

Every so often I think the same thing about TV news. (I also think I’ve written this before. Have I? Well, I’m old. We repeat ourselves.) It’s been the same for, like, EVER, especially the local variety. Co-anchors: Male and female. Reporters: Gene Eric Ethnic and older white guy. Weather: Panic-stricken. Sports: Duuuude. And so on.

So when I read this piece on Romenesko, a list of consultant-approved words and phrases “to help reflect and promote urgency and a ‘happening now’ feeling in a newscast,” well. Been there, heard that:

* we do have some breaking news right away
* rapid developments
* this story is rapidly changing
* you saw it here first just minutes ago
* we are going to be covering this live for you
* breaking overnight

In other rapid developments, a story you must read — how a bassist who had been fired from both Soundgarden AND Nirvana became a Special Forces soldier:

So in 1993, while living in a group house in San Francisco with the guys in Mindfunk, Everman slipped out to meet with recruiters; the Army offered a fast track to becoming a Ranger and perhaps eventually to the Special Forces.

…Everman started waking up early while his bandmates slept in; he went biking, swimming, got in shape. One day, with zero warning, he resigned. He put all of his stuff in storage. He took a flight to New York and went to an Army recruiting office in Manhattan. A couple of weeks later he was on a flight to Georgia. “Was I nervous?” he asked. “I was a little nervous. But I knew.”

When he arrived for basic training at Fort Benning, his hair was cut, his nose ring was removed; he was as anonymous as every other recruit. At 26, he wasn’t an old-timer, but he was close to it. Training had been going on for about a month when Cobain committed suicide and Everman’s rock past was discovered, which gave more ammunition to the drill sergeants. There was a lot of “O.K., rock star, give me 50.” Everman insists he didn’t expect anything else.

Finally, how to drink past the age of 28. It was more like 26 for me. But we all hit that wall.

Holiday eve! I hope we all feel the freedom on Thursday.

Posted at 12:30 am in Media |

78 responses to “This just in.”

  1. Nc said on July 3, 2013 at 2:40 am

    Who remembers Overnight? How can a virtual explosion in media delivery options over the past 30 years not have generated a single nightly news show I would watch?

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  2. coozledad said on July 3, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Reading that story about Justin Everman, I remembered riding around in vans with a band, living in a band house, and all that ugly band politics. I’m surprised he didn’t just try and take an axe to them right there, like Skip Spence.

    He says being in a band is similar to being in the military, because of the intense focus. That’s true, but there’s another similarity: Getting out increases your odds of not being mortally fucked up.

    My band was having some stuff mixed down at a place in Chapel Hill, and the engineer had a coffee table book open to a picture of Keith Moon surrounded by about twenty shirtless women.

    The engineer said “That ain’t gonna happen again.”

    All I could think was it didn’t even happen then, not with Keith and his whiskey dick, unless he got one of those subcutaneous direct to penis injections they used to give pornstars to keep them from dragging it across the set like a duck. And then his old man’s heart would have burst right there.

    The band thing is also about learning just how much you are alone, and why don’t you go be alone with someone you give a damn about instead.

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    • nancy said on July 3, 2013 at 8:38 am

      Beautifully put, as always.

      Oh, and I remember “Overnight.” That might be the last real innovation in TV news.

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  3. alex said on July 3, 2013 at 8:48 am

    28? Pussies.

    I remember Overnight with Linda Ellerbee and watched it devotedly when I was in college, even after pounding a drink or ten and smoking enough ganj to give a second-hand buzz to an entire dorm. And still make it to classes the next morning.

    Overnight was good TV. I want to go back and read Ellerbee’s autobiography that she wrote shortly after the show was cancelled because she said it so well—produce smart programming and people will appreciate it because they resent being treated as if they were stupid. I guess she didn’t anticipate the rise of Fox News and people who love being treated that way.

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  4. John (not McCain) said on July 3, 2013 at 9:35 am

    More more news! I loved Overnight and Ellerbee!

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  5. Kim said on July 3, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Cooz, another perfect observation and I thank you.

    Linda Ellerbee was the shizz.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on July 3, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Another Ellerbee fan here. She was too honest for TV. Local news is a waste of my time.

    By the time I was legal at 21 I had finished being fascinated by drinking, and for many years one glass of wine on Friday nights was sufficient. Now I don’t drink at all because my pain meds say no alcohol, and the only time I miss it is when I’m among a group who is sharing a bottle of wine, and that’s just to be part of the social experience.

    On the other hand: chocolate.

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  7. Connie said on July 3, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Used to Watch Linda Ellerbee do Nick News at Night with my daughter. Real news for kids. What a concept.

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  8. Deborah said on July 3, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I’m currently on a program to cut back the wine consumption, I’ve been reading about the increase of cancer risk with alcohol. I have too much cancer in my family to mess around with that. On the other hand they say one glass of red wine is good for you, so who knows?

    I’m kinda nervous, in about a half hour I have my first video conference with all the people who are going to be at the Beaver Brook school.

    56 degrees in Santa Fe this morning and it rained last night!

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  9. Jeff Borden said on July 3, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I try to avoid local TV news whenever possible. There’s just not much there, though the fabulously flashy computerized weather forecasts are kind of cool.

    We spent last week in the mountains of Highlands, N.C. where the local news came from Spartanburg, S.C. and as Nancita noted above, it was pretty much the same collection of “types” as are present here in Chicago. I did give the sports guy props for noting the Blackhawks victory, given that hockey isn’t exactly real popular down there.

    I was struck again by the great beauty of North Carolina and the natural friendliness of its people, but the takeover of the legislature and the governor’s office by the hard-core tea baggers casts a pall over the whole state. Bastards snuck a Texas style anti-abortion bill into a law prohibiting Sharia law –one of the major problems facing North Carolinians, I guess– and they’re already busily changing the way votes are cast to make it harder for people of color and the young to vote.

    And to think this was considered a “progressive” Southern state not so very long ago. Heartbreaking.

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  10. Prospero said on July 3, 2013 at 11:07 am

    From last night:

    Homer Bailey did seem to have a strange bug up his ass for a guy that just had his team make some great plays behind him while he got a no–hitter. All I could think of was Clayton Kershaw, who pitched a four-hitter against a more formmidable hitting team in the Denver launching pad on the same night, and is always a cheerful and polite interview subject and has not complained about paltry run support (worse than all but one NL starter) all year. Try a stool softener Homer.

    Dorothy: You don’t treat a concussion, you treat the headache, with acetiminophen, since aspirin and ibuprofen may increase bruising on your brain, and you monitor symptoms. Dizziness, unilateral weakness, continued drowziness, neck pain, confusion after more than a few days–see a doc. This regimen was a problem for me, since I take Naproxen for arthritis.

    For late-night news, what about the Pretentious Howdy Doody Jimmy Earl Carter Flagellation Show during the time Rummy and Dickless were bribing the Ayatollah with weapons deals to prevent the October surprise. That was sure as hell some major league liberal biased MSM, boy howdy. Of course, these days, nincompoop correspondents to the editor accuse the LATimes of liberal bias. My prof for JRL 101, Intro to Media (or whatever) was an acquaintance of Linda Ellerbee, who came to the class to lecture and answer questions for two days. The auditorium in which the class was held was SRO for the great lady’s appearances. She drew a larger crowd than Christiane Amanpour, who was not so famous way back then. More people than Jack Anderson, who was widely reviled down south at the time, and who had a major security detail of campus Barney Fifes and Deppity Dawgs.

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  11. Mark P said on July 3, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Jeff Bordon — the “progressive South” is a coalition of native bigots and Republican carpet baggers. The first can’t stand blacks, browns, poor people, or independent women, and the second can’t see them.

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  12. nancy said on July 3, 2013 at 11:35 am

    It’s happening everywhere, but demography is not on their side. My former employer, the fishwrap, ran a story yesterday about a rally in FW against gay marriage, and virtually every photo featured a wall-to-wall view of gray heads.

    Here’s a better photo gallery, from the other paper. Page through it and speculate on who will prevail via the sands of time. The second photo in the group (backs of heads, with one woman holding a small sign) is particularly instructive.

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  13. Mark P said on July 3, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Nancy, that’s right. I think right now in Georgia that if enough black and Hispanic voters could be motivated to vote (assuming they can actually cast ballots once the Republican state government finishes enacting new voter ID laws), they could get a majority Democratic state house and senate. Of course I am assuming Republican=bad and Democratic=good just for shorthand. Unfortunately, once the gerrymandering is complete, it might be hard to do that on a district basis, but gerrymandering won’t affect the statewide races.

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  14. Dexter said on July 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    “And so it goes.” I watched many hours of Ellerbee’s “Overnight”.

    The drinking thing…just one man’s way of dealing with his love for alcohol. One thing I believe, non-scientific, but a belief held by many of my friends: we have a finite number of drinks allotted to us. We bunch them all up into the first thirty years of our lives and by 30 or earlier, problems will arise, and then we have to really slow down, get a plan, or quit booze and beer altogether. Or die, or go crazy, or end up in a hospital nursing an amputated-by-lawnmower foot or some such shit.
    But, if you love wine or whatever spirit, you won’t ever quit, why should you? Very few can or will ever kick. It’s the search for the ever-increasing buzz that is impossible to control for most…even when an alcohol-induced arrhythmia had me wearing a Holter monitor around, all wired up like a lab project, I still drank booze for ten more years. Oh well. Drink up and don’t blow off any fingers tomorrow night.

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  15. Dexter said on July 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Hey, I am an old man staring at a twelve hundred mile drive in a few hours…does this 5-Hour Energy stuff work or just make one jumpy and nervous?

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  16. alex said on July 3, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    If you were wearing a Holter monitor once upon a time, don’t you dare touch that shit.

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  17. Prospero said on July 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Jeff: There is a great Walker Percy novel called The Second Coming that is set in the NC Appalachians around Asheville, including the cave with the petrified sabertooth. Percy is so good at settings that the NC landscape is another character in the book. And those friendly hill folk also connived to hide Eric Rudolph from the FBI and keep him clean and well fed for years. That is authentically evil. Rudolph was a good ol’ boy version of a Tsarnaev.

    I thought of the Civil War afficionados here when I read this story in this week’s Sunday NYT. Gettysburg Eddie Plank was a hellaciously good pitcher:

    Plank had eight 20-win seasons. With 326 victories, he ranks 13th on the career list and 3rd among left-handers, after Warren Spahn and Steve Carlton. He also threw 69 shutouts (fifth on the career list), completed 410 games (16th) and posted a 2.35 E.R.A. (21st).

    I like those pictures of angry preachers defending marriage with the Budoir Noir ads bouncing around on the same page. Maybe those folks whose marriages are threatened should try some marital aids.

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  18. MarkH said on July 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Nancy, thanks for the link to the Everman article. Have to save it for later due to length. What a twist. My nephew went through Army Ranger training and was in for four years. Brutal. Three tours of nighttime missions in Iraq. He doesn’t talk about it. What you might see on the Military Channel’s documentaries doesn’t cover all of it. Now a cop in Missoula, he’s the toughest guy I know.

    Jeff Borden, you’re a reporter. Please detail how North Carolina is “busily changing the way votes are cast to make it harder for people of color and the young to vote.”

    Ever since the SCOTUS Voting Rights law decision, I have been trying to get a handle on the implications. Since the law itself only pertained to a limited number of states, what are the risks to every state? Gerrymandering is a non-issue as it has always been there and always will be. If these sdtates are starting immediatley to disenfranchise voters, what are the specific efforts will they try that don’t violate other voting protection laws? It can’t be explained away as simply as, “the crackers have taken over”. While there is truth to Roberts’ statement that times have changed, they haven’t changed THAT much. So why mess with these safeguards? On the other hand I don’t have a problem with voter id regs that prevent non-citizens from voting.

    Not trying to start brawl here, just some thoughts.

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  19. coozledad said on July 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    The Republicans in North Carolina have drawn sharp distinctions about what the party labels actually mean. This holds true nationally as well. Republicans are coward extremists who try to slip their theocratic shit into bills, both as a sop to the illiterate base, and as a tool to pry more money out of the taxpayers and distribute it to the rubbish they’ve made cause with.

    They’ve got their ruling that lets them restrict the franchise- handed to them by the Bush appointees of the court. Let the shitsacks try and enforce their poll tax when we bus in pissed-off voters to crowd the polling places and swamp them.

    The Republicans have fu-u-u-cked up.

    You won’t be hearing the “Looks like the black ‘uns were to lazy to show up, heh heh.” The Republicans just said goodbye to the female vote as well. You’ll see some Confederates (and yankee neo-punkass confederates) getting their racist, misogynist guts kicked out of them like they should have in 1865.

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  20. MarkH said on July 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Nice try, cooz. The attempt at a poll tax was a start, but your political rant says nothing about the mechanics of such efforts. At what level does is start, all the way to the basement of the county clerks’ offices, the legislature, state senate? Individual operatives operating behind the scenes?

    On the other hand, here’s a truly heartbreaking story out of North Carolina:

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  21. Mark P said on July 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    MarkH the problem is not that voting problems aren’t illegal it’s that now to fight it you have to bring suit. Before the Justice Dept could catch it before it took effect.

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  22. Julie Robinson said on July 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    It’s not in the photo gallery, but my favorite sign said “Straight Against Hate”. Very succinct, and summarizes my own feelings.

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  23. coozledad said on July 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Oh, and MarK H, You’re not paying attention. I’ve spoken with several of our legislators here. The crackers have taken over.
    And once the Roberts court gutted the voting rights act, the voter ID law will not have to comport with section five. Therefore elderly and poor voters will be taking on the burden that is lawfully the state’s. So much for that freedom shit.

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  24. alex said on July 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    MarkH, here’s some recommended reading on that very subject. Let us know what you think.

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  25. coozledad said on July 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Mark H: Here’s some more fah-reedom. The protesters here in NC who’ve been arrested at Moral Mondays are having their mugshots and employment histories posted on Art Pope’s Civitas website.
    Originally Pope and McCrory took a page from the old Bull Connor playbook and said “They’s mostly outside agitators.” They took the mugshots down after any scrutiny of them revealed they were 95% North Carolinians: Liberals, Independents, and (former) Republicans.

    Your brand is shit down here.

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  26. Prospero said on July 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    NC’ GOPer state legislature is taking a shotgun approach to vote suppression. North Carolina just passed a law that imposes a tax penalty on the parents of college students that choose to vote where they live most of the year instead of in mom and dad’s safely gerrymandered district. That is vote suppression plain and simple, and it is clearly illegal, but with the Scalito revision to the VRA, there is nothing to stop gerrymandered lily-GOP state legislatures from screwing voters over that way. This is an example of why VRA should have been expanded, not reamed out.

    Unless you figure the League of Women Voters are one of those liberal leaning organizations. Sorry, the ignorance of that accusation is staggering. It’s more like the LWV’s bias towards truth and fairness.

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  27. Prospero said on July 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Any GOPer that uses the words “vote fraud” to justify the major league vote suppression that is the GOP’s only response to their embarrassment at the 2012 polls should be put in public stocks until a single example can be presented. In PA, where a GOPer statewide officeholder was absolutely gleeful in admitting publicly to vote suppression based upon gerrymandering the state legislature into GOP hands (dickhead was proud of himself, and claimed PA was in the bag for RMoney–how’d that work out asseyes?), there has been no case of voter fraud whatsoever since 2000. And the old ACORN shibboleth doesn’t hold a drop of water. Hourly workers for ACORN tried to jack ACORN by using fake names and ACORN vetted them and exposed the fakes to voting registrars all over the country. It’s likely the forgers of false registrations were trainees and troops of James O’Keefe, AKA, Weasel, who engineered Neh Hempsha’s only incidence of voter fraud in the last two decades and should go to jail and be disenfranchised for it.

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  28. Adrianne said on July 3, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    MarkH., read this if you’re really wondering about the practical effects of the Voting Rights ruling:

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  29. Judybusy said on July 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Hey, here’s a palate cleanser—a Pinterest board mocking child modeling. I especially love the names given to the various kids.

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  30. David C. said on July 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    The wingnuts are sure Romney lost here in Wisconsin because there were buses full of people from Chicago (blahs, I’m sure) going from polling place to polling place to vote. Funny enough, they all saw it, but nobody thought to take a picture or follow the bus. I guess they were too busy not standing in line at their suburban polling places for hours to follow any bus.

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  31. Prospero said on July 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    It’s not surprising that GOPers and other right-leaning idealogues can’t see the damage the Scalito wing neutering the VRA does to the Constitution and the integrity of the American election system. Their last two moments of electoral glory were Blackwell stealing Cuyahoga County Ohio, and the same activist justices stopping the state law mandated recount in FLA to appoint Shrub.

    DavidC@30: Right. ACORN did it. Sort of like that iconic GOP photo of the last two Black Panthers terrorizing black inner city voters that really wanted to vote against President Obama. Pathetic.

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  32. Prospero said on July 3, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    The Google Doodle for Franz Kafka’s birthday is a delight.

    Wingnuts in WI should wake up, smell the coffee, and admit to themselves they have their Koch-infused teabanger governor to blame for Willard blowing the state.

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  33. alex said on July 3, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Preparing my first two garlic scape dishes of the season. I have plenty of immature ones coming and right now just harvesting those that are at their peak. For a boating party tomorrow I’m taking a garlic scape bean dip and a garlic scape guacamole. Salivating at this moment just thinking about it.

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  34. Prospero said on July 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    This camper is really expensive, but I want one.

    Don’t forget your flotation device, Alex.

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  35. Judybusy said on July 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Alex, I may have to buy some scapes at the market. The garlic I planted last fall didn’t make it. Not a one.

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  36. coozledad said on July 3, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    I’ll quote Paul Fussell here again. If this doesn’t piss you off, you don’t deserve to live:

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  37. Deborah said on July 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Loved the Google doodle.

    Coozledad, North Carolina gets more disgusting every day. I wish my mother in law didn’t live there in Charlotte, else I’d never set foot in that state again. What a mess. My MIL is a democrat now, she used to be a republican, she is totally in the minority in her retirement home. She made a good friend there who has been a life long democrat, it has been a godsend for her. The prejudice in that place is unbelievable.

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  38. Prospero said on July 3, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    It just cracks me up when Teabanger politicians turn out to be crooked. Of course the constituents of assclowns like McDonnell are the same morons that keep voting for the bastards that promoted term limits back in the Newticles dark ages. Those bastards keep running, like, ya know, Boehner and Yertle McConnell.

    Meanwhile the Randolph and Mortimer Duke Kriminal Konspiracy has taken a line from Grover Norquist and requiring politicians to sign a pledge to oppose any government action that might alleviate the consequences of climate change. Suckers. The President is bypassing Congress, legally, you dumb bastards gave away all that cash to half the GOPers in Congress and they can’t help. Cracks me up. And this behavior is equally treasonous as the chickenshit GOPers signing the no taxes pledged for chubette groundhog Grover. Read Article III, Section 3, US Constitution. Death penalty, you bunch of shits for brains.

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  39. Prospero said on July 3, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Of course, there are no female state senators in NC. And the GOPer goober-nor of NC says tacking the anti-abortion clinic crap onto a ludicrous bill banning Sharia law is a crock of shit.

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  40. alex said on July 4, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Judybusy, I’ve had mixed results with trying to plant garlic and I’m guessing that it must like loamy soil because that’s where it has been most prolific on my property. And it’s underneath a walnut tree, which generally makes for a toxic environment for a lot of plants, but the garlic doesn’t seem to mind, nor do lilies and roses. (And those annoying redbud saplings with runners you just can’t kill.)

    The garlic was here thanks to the previous owner and has spread like crazy in the one major flowerbed it inhabits. I’ve attempted to start garlic groves elsewhere but haven’t had much luck. One that I thought had become established has completely vanished this year, while another that disappeared a summer or two ago has re-emerged. So perhaps they can go dormant for a while, and perhaps they take their sweet time in getting established, like asparagus does, so don’t give up hope just yet.

    After cutting the scapes off, I try to mark the garlic stalks with a piece of tape so that I can identify them in the fall, which is the time to harvest the cloves from the ground. I don’t take all; rather I break off some and leave some so that they’ll return. Cutting off the scapes in early summer is supposed to make the cloves in the ground grow bigger.

    Here’s a link I just found that told me all kinds of things I didn’t know. They prefer full sun? Really? Mine are thriving in shade, some in very deep shade as a matter of fact. And they prefer it weed-free? Hah! It does say they like loam, which confirms my suspicions there.

    I first learned about scapes from my dear friend Cecilia who’s a first-generation American whose parents came here from Italy. She’s a gifted cook—a gourmand, really—who can figure out how to make something wonderful out of just about any ingredients at hand. Last summer she pulled off an incredible feat. We were boating and swimming with friends at their beautiful lake home and that evening our hosts decided to order in pizza. They kept getting put on hold and then losing the connection and when they called back the number was busy. They were about to give up and call it a night when Cecilia said she wanted to see what they had in their pantry. Bisquick? Check. Fresh tomatoes? In the garden. Olive oil? Check. And some other herbs and ingredients in the garden, pantry or freezer. Check check check. She made up a pizza on a ginormous cookie sheet and cooked it on an outdoor gas grill. It beat the hell out of anything that could have been ordered in. One of the best meals ever and everyone who was there remains impressed to this day.

    I look forward to her next visit, which may be next weekend. We’ll have plenty of scapes to play with and tomatoes too. She’s a natural who can wing it with outstanding results, whereas I’m just someone who has a practiced repertoire. I love it when we get together and play with food.

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  41. basset said on July 4, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Picked our first tomatoes of the year in a pouring rain just a few minutes ago… tomato omelet coming up when Mrs. B. wakes.

    I’m trying potatoes in a barrel this year – you put some dirt in the bottom, plant your tater sets, when they grow up some you cover them in more dirt and repeat the process till either the barrel is full or the season is over. Still on the first phase right now, but it seems to be going well. We get used food-grade plastic barrels from a place that has some connection to the bakery business, last ones we bought had held vanilla or caramel flavoring and the car smelled wonderful on the way home.

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  42. Adrianne said on July 4, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Alex, I first learned of garlic scapes when I picked up a bunch of the strange curly shapes from our CSA farm in the Hudson Valley. Now I like to use them in a variety of pestos and other creations. They’re quite tasty.

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  43. Prospero said on July 4, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Dave Alvin. Merry 4th.

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  44. alex said on July 4, 2013 at 10:01 am

    The scapes have quite a bit less bite than the cloves, so you get the full flavor of garlic but much smoother. Put them in a food processor with some premium olive oil and it makes a great dipping oil for bread or oil for sauteeing, and if you keep it in a sealed jar it’ll last for many months. That is, if you don’t devour it all on the same day you make it.

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  45. brian stouder said on July 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Happy Fourth, everyone.

    I think the total number of times I’ve been drunk could be counted on the fingers of one hand, and last time I was intoxicated was 15 years ago this summer (remind me to tell you that story!). In short, you can have lots more fun with an icy-cold Diet Pepsi (or Diet Coke) in your hand.

    Alex and Basset – you guys make gardening sound like fun. One of these days, I’d love to do more of that sort of stuff; especially the potato thing.

    And as for our current political mish-mash, I think I’m in favor of attaching riders to all manner of new public laws for all states – that require all affected men to undergo catheterization.

    Want to renew your drivers license? That will require you to whip out your…identification, and other necessaries, and be catheterized.

    And of course, also and specifically including if you are identified as a potential father of an embryo, for which a woman is being compelled to undergo a transvaginal ultra-sound examination.

    If the woman names multiple potential fathers, they should all be catheterized, and this should be mandated; a violation of the penal code (so to speak) if they refuse.

    And remember, do NOT say “but this would be unnecessary and it makes no sense”, because – as we have learned – the expressed purpose of this is simply to make an impression – or a point – to the person forced to undergo this unnecessary thing.

    btw, I’m ass-deep into Jon Meachum’s Jefferson book – somewhat fittingly for the 4th of July – and, while I’m enjoying Meachum’s very-readable book, my opinion of TJ is still in the toilet.

    One gets the impression that, while he (TJ) would be interesting to talk to, he’s NEVER waste a moment talking to a regular person…whereas my beau ideal of an American politician – Abe Lincoln – would surely waste a minute or two (or 15 or 20!) of his life to yap with someone as common as me.

    Just sayin’.

    And further btw, spare a thought for the 150th anniversary of the single most consequential day in the American Civil War. On this day, peace and quiet swept across the killing fields at Gettysburg, while at the same time US Grant accepted the surrender of an entire Confederate army at Vicksburg, thus allowing the Mississippi to “flow unvexed to the sea”.

    The racist, fratricidal (and indeed genocidal) so-called “Confederate States of America” was largely “dead on it’s feet” from that point forward, although it took them another year and a half to finally give it up.

    And it is not too much to say – lots of old white folks in 2013 seem to genuinely rue the day

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  46. basset said on July 4, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Gardening IS fun, Brian… and I suppose it helps me satisfy some deep-seated need for food security, knowing how to raise vegetables, shoot game, and preserve the results. Just put a few jars of pickles into the canning pot, our cucumbers haven’t really started producing yet so I only did four pints… sliced zucchini is draining and will get pickled later today, that’ll be something new.

    Mississippi didn’t celebrate the 4th of July for many years because of Vicksburg – I remember sitting in a state legislative hearing there in the early 80s and hearing some crusty old mossback from Hattiesburg snarling about how his state didn’t observe “that Yankee holiday.”

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  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Technically, Brian, a massive thunderstorm system swept across the Gettysburg region on this date 150 years ago, bringing a mix of relief and added anguish to many of the wounded, let alone the survivors. Flash flooding drowned a number of incapacitated casualties on the battlefield, but those who had no access to fresh water at the too few springs were able to wash and drink. The storms also aided Gen. Lee in extricating his forces from contact with Gen. Meade’s troops, and starting to slide south past the modern site of the Eisenhower farm and down towards Falling Waters and the Potomac crossings.

    Re: John Adams — He famously wrote Abigail in 1776 of his anticipation of this week for Americans in the future: “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

    Many have heard this statement, and most know the ironic note that Adams thought it would be July 2, the day the resolution passed, which would be commemorated in years to come. But too few know the next lines of their July 3, 1776 letter: “You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”

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  48. Prospero said on July 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Jeff and Brian, did you read that story about Gettysburgh Eddie. one of the greatest pitchers in the history of MLB? I believe that is way cool. Sixtie something shutouts.? That is ridiculous.

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  49. Connie said on July 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    I am at my husband’s family reunion in Cadillac Miichigan, where I have been listening to 90 plus year old Aunt Mary talking about working at Willow Run during WW 2. She says they turned out one B24 every 63 minutes, and she told about the “midgets” that worked inside the wings. Her job involved a large Cardex machine which held an inventory card for every part used. She talked about how important the union was to her and how she a “young blond newlywed” Felt protected from management. She told a story that today we would call sexual harassment. Very interesting..

    I used a much smaller cardex system many years later to track textbook inventory at the MSU bookstore.

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  50. Deborah said on July 4, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Connie, my mother was “Rosie the Riviter” during the war. She moved to LA then because she was from a tiny German farming community in northwestern Missouri that had seen some trouble because they were German. She carried a lunch pail everyday to the aircraft factory and said she really enjoyed her job, not sure exactly what she did there but it involved fine detailed work that was better suited to someone with small hands. After the war she moved back to the midwest and married my Dad who had been in the Navy stationed in the Carribean. My Mom died when I was 14 so I didn’t get the whole story. I wish I could talk to her about it now.

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  51. Deborah said on July 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm


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  52. basset said on July 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    German communities… I remember my parents getting a car note at the German-American Bank in Jasper, Indiana around 1970, and at the time you could do your banking in German there if you wanted, don’t know if that’s still the case.

    Connie, enjoy the trip and have a pizza for me at that bowling alley place on 55 west, if I remember right your family owned it? We will be headed for Caberfae later this summer.

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  53. Connie said on July 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Sorry Bassett, the cousins sold the Pines this year after 35 years. I wonder if pizza is still half off on Thursday.

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  54. MichaelG said on July 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    It’s 109 today, the seventh straight day of temps above 105. My A/C is falling a little behind and it’s 82 here in the house. My system is good to about 100 but is seriously taxed at 109. Tomorrow is expected to top out at 93. Whew! It ain’t Scout’s Phoenix but I’m a big wuss.

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  55. MichaelG said on July 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Whoops, the TV weather just said it hit 110 today.

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  56. basset said on July 4, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    The Pines… I was in Cadillac from late 77 to late 79 working at TV 9/10 and spent many a night there. Lived out 115 for awhile, then in a trailer where the Home Depot is now and finally above the Montgomery Ward store on N. Mitchell. Mrs. B. wasn’t Mrs. B. yet, she worked at an animal clinic on Airport Road and lived above Stephan’s drugstore, also on N. Mitchell.

    (Explaining the 9/10 reference for those unfamiliar with the area… it is so thinly populated that the local TV stations are all on one channel for the southern part of the market and another in the north. CBS is 9/10, NBC is 7/4 and ABC is 29/8… Fox is in there somewhere but I have been gone from there quite awhile.)

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  57. Prospero said on July 5, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Black Hills, in a 442 convertible , most beautiful young woman I have ever seen. And she was a Jesus freak.

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  58. Bitter Scribe said on July 5, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Black Hills, in a 442 convertible , most beautiful young woman I have ever seen. And she was a Jesus freak.

    The prettiest girl I ever dated was a Jesus freak. I think it’s just one of the many, many ways God has of tormenting us.

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  59. coozledad said on July 5, 2013 at 11:14 am

    The IRS scandal is starting to burn the stupid Republicans who pushed it. You can tell by the distancing.
    It was Issa’s creature, abetted by Bush embeds. The story never had any legs, just dicks.

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  60. Prospero said on July 5, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Issa burned down his own chopxhops and defrauded the insurance carriers. What a fracking tool. Stellar GOPer though.

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  61. Prospero said on July 5, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Scribe@58: And I think about her every day.But I’m happy where I am. And God, she don’t torment me.

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  62. coozledad said on July 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Can the senate initiate hearings and appoint a special prosecutor? Cause some Republican trash needs to rot in a jail.
    In light of the latest evidence, some of Issa’s colleagues have begun singing a different tune. Virginia Congressman Gerald Connolly, a Democrat and a member of the House committee that got the ball rolling on the IRS inquiry, now calls the IRS dustup a “gross distortion of reality.” “We replaced the leadership of the I.R.S. over this,” he told the Times. “We have subpoenas out. We are deposing employees. And we have damaged the president.”

    Congressman Charles Boustany Jr., a Louisiana Republican and chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, was forced to admit, “We haven’t found political motivation.” Republican Senator Roy Blunt echoed that sentiment, saying that maybe Issa and others had been wrong when they made the very serious charge that President Obama abused his power and forced the IRS to attack his political enemies: “I don’t have any reason to believe there wasn’t targeting of conservatives, but it might well have been a lot more than that as well.”

    That last quote is Bluntonian for “My side done cooked the books again.”

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  63. Judybusy said on July 5, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Cooz, you’d think any self-respecting Dem would be deeply suspicious of Republican charges before deciding to join the fray. They are so clearly out for blood!

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  64. MichaelG said on July 5, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Too much! 110 yesterday and 82 today. Feels great. It’s been a very pleasant day.

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  65. coozledad said on July 5, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Judybusy: I don’t want to suggest there aren’t a lot of Dems who aren’t afraid of their shadows, but in this case maybe they (or at least Elijah Cummings) were feeding Issa enough rope to hang himself. Looks like they snagged a few others if that’s the case.

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  66. beb said on July 6, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Cooz, I think the real culprit here is a complaisant media that takes anything the Republicans says without investigating on their own. The whole IRS thing would have died aborning if some reporter had thought to ask the people in the IRS if they had targeted other groups.

    Meanwhile the AP is all a-twitter because of what appear to be legally secured warrants to rummage in their communication files. But no one in the press seems terrible upset that the NSA has been collecting data on who we telephone, e-mail or chat with or even write letters to! This only difference between this and a Police State is that the government doesn’t “disappear” people. Except for Bradley Manning.

    And this has been your Saturday morning Rant…..

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  67. brian stouder said on July 6, 2013 at 10:29 am

    During this week off, I’ve been clearing the room by switching to The Zimmerman Trial (more protracted than the Zimmerman Telegram, but we digress), and it was pleasing to see Shit-for-brains-Sean Hannity play his pathetic part.

    I confess, SFB-Sean actually (and unwittingly) did a genuine public service, with GZ’s utterly remorseless “God’s Will” public proclamation (with regard to GZ’s shooting-to-death an unarmed 17 year old young man, who had committed the unforgiveable sin of being black and in GZ’s neighborhood).

    It would be even more pleasing if the ridiculous Zimmerman interview conducted by SFB-Sean turns out to be the thing that necessitates George taking the stand and having to face a cross-examination (I think the chances of that happening are approximately 0.00000001, but who knows?)

    Leaving that aside, if you love public schools, as I do – check out this:

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  68. brian stouder said on July 6, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    So OK, now I’m officially an old fuddy-duddy.

    The women and the young folks and I went to the multiplex today, and the women mostly went into Heat (so to speak), while the young folks and I went into The Lone Ranger movie…and I was really quite put-off by that movie.

    I don’t disagree with Mother Jones, as far as they go –

    but my problem was the jarring, starkly graphic, and remorseless violence in the movie. They seem to have simply failed to answer the question – is this a Disney movie for young folks, or is this Cohen Brothers blood-fest in the west?

    They seem to want to be both, and ultimately fail to be either

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  69. Sherri said on July 7, 2013 at 1:49 am

    I’m such an old fuddy-duddy I hardly even go to movies anymore. I prefer television.

    Or, even better, and probably a sign of increased fuddy-duddiness, live theater! I’m in Ashland, where I’ll see ten plays in a week: Really looking forward to Lear.

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  70. beb said on July 7, 2013 at 11:44 am

    My daughter and went to see Despicable Me 2 yesterday and had a lot of fun.

    Since reports have been that The Lone Ranger is really tanking at the box office we won’t have to worry about a sequel.

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  71. coozledad said on July 7, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Battery acid tanned fucksock Rick Perry says 2016 is an “option that’s there”.

    Other Rick Perry options include:

    1. Retrieving the golfballs from his ass with a decorative wooden salad fork.
    2. Macrame.
    3. More benzodiazepines.
    4. Branson.

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  72. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Branson? They have standards there.

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  73. MaryRC said on July 7, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Charles Saatchi has announced to the press that he is divorcing his wife Nigella Lawson, who moved out after he was photographed holding her by the throat, because she failed to publicly come to his defense.–201377

    The announcement is the classic “look what you made me do” rationalization of the abuser, starting with the passive-aggressive “I feel that I have clearly been a disappointment to Nigella.”

    When I read that sentence I heard the voice of someone I used to know in my head: “Well, CLEARLY I have been a DISAPPOINTMENT to you.” Meaning that of course I’ve done nothing wrong, it’s you who are finding fault.

    Well, at least she’s out of there. I’m glad she had the courage to leave.

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  74. coozledad said on July 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    MaryRC: I’ll bet she can make him a po’ boy.

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  75. brian stouder said on July 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Rick Perry is a stooge straight from Central Casting.

    But I confess, a good-looking idiot like him probably cannot help but look at Senator Cruz and think “Why hell! I can be a New-nited States Senator, if HE can be!”

    The Lone Ranger movie is a genuine train-wreck; really bad. If I was a movie reviewer, I’d give it a zero.

    Clearly they had a big budget, and could have done whatever they wanted – and they simply didn’t know what they wanted.

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  76. beb said on July 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Production of the Lone Ranger movie was halted because the projected $250 million budget was way out of line. But since most of the money was going to talent, like Depp, etc., there wasn’t much they could do to reduce costs. Supposedly they came in at $215 million. Talk is that will be a bigger fiasco than John Carter or Battleship.

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  77. alex said on July 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Just heard the funniest musings from a friend and had to share:

    so, 4/20 in Golden Gate Park–here’s the story:

    Scott decided to go swimming at the USF pool down the street from the Haight/Stanyan intersection entrance to the Park–and the major gateway entrance for the 4/20 Day celebration in one of the meadows, so I thought–this sounds fun–and went down to hippieville to shop for awhile and then meet him for lunch at Whole Foods (his lunch, anyway),and then walk over to the park.

    There was a steady, and I do mean steady stream of all kinds of people into the park entrance–a siginficant stoner parade, chicks in flowing long dresses and corn rows, skater dudes, hippie guys in top hats–but a surprising number of polo shirts and khaki shorts. Many people bringing chairs and coolers.

    One began to get whiffs of pot in the air, but that’s not at all strange here, even just walking down the main streets…one thinks nothing of it. I’ve had several days when I thought I achieved a contact high just getting from Hayes Valley back to the Castro, which can’t be much more than a mile and a half, tops.

    Anyway, so finally we make our way into the park and just past this field where kids are playing soccer, a meadow opens up with thousands of people and a pot cloud the size of Hiroshima. The walking path is lined with tables of people selling edibles (lots of rice krispie cakes and cookies with special ingredients), and walking vendors with boxes full of joints selling individuals and then the occasional market table with bongs, t shirts, etc. The diversity of the crowd was pretty amazing.

    I no longer smoke anything, but I figured I could buy a cookie, so I ended up just choosing one hippie and bought two cookies to bring home. By this point, Scott and I figured we had to get out of there because it was getting crowded, raucous and I think we were the only two people who weren’t completely fucked up out of 5 or so thousand surrounding us. The Hiroshima cloud had, by this point, grown to include Nagasaki in size, and it sat inert over the entire scene.

    I did indeed have one of the cookies when I came home. I ended up fucked up for about two days–and after that, I was too scared to have the other and threw it out. When I say fucked up, I mean I could not function in the reality of the world I was living in…I had no idea what the fuck my name was, let alone how I’d gotten to SF in order to buy said cookie and go all fucking crazy. It was likely no pot but high PCP cookie…Hippie Hill, indeed!

    That’s my first–and likely last–4/20 Day story–evah!

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