This summer hasn’t been dry like the last one. In fact, as we’ve all been complaining about lately, sometimes the humidity has been suffocating. Since I’m walking a dog again, I’m paying more attention to the lawns and hedgerows around the neighborhood. And this is what I’m seeing:
Toadstools. Everywhere. One of my Facebook friends uploaded a photo of something that looked like an inflamed penis with extra-awful gonorrhea — bright red, oozing something brown at the top. “All over the lawn,” she notes. Lovely.
Fortunately, the dog has no interest in them. But I’m seeing all sorts of varieties. I know very little about mushrooms, fungi and the rest of it. I know they’re not morels, though.
Want some more pictures? Here’s something shipped along by a friend, who found it in his mother’s belongings:
You northeast Indiana journos will recognize the unmistakable, but un-bylined, prose style of the late Jim Barbieri. He could always get excited by a good fire.
I was out in the world today, hanging with a couple of former G-men for a story. We came across one of the Detroit Blight Authority projects. Man, these people aren’t screwing around:
They cleared a sizable block, a truly cursed one, plagued not only with empty, burned-out houses but also an ad hoc dump. The authority cleared the houses, cleared the trash, cleared much of the brush and trees. The plan is to grade it all when it’s done, then plant with a special grass/wildflower mix that doesn’t grow over a foot high. You get a sense of how much they’ve taken down by the pile of wood chips behind it. It’s not a total scalp job; there are still plenty of trees left. But there will be fewer places to hide for drug-using, trick-turning and other malfeasance. The sound of that industrial chipper was something to hear. The proprietor of a drug house nearby certainly seemed impressed by it.
And with that, I’m tapped. Slept badly, but up extra early to at least get a workout in. Which I did, but I’m paying with gritty eyes at 10 p.m. Some bloggage:
Remember crack babies? A long-term study on them just ended. Guess what it found? Ahem:
The team has kept tabs on 110 of the 224 children originally in the study. Of the 110, two are dead – one shot in a bar and another in a drive-by shooting – three are in prison, six graduated from college, and six more are on track to graduate. There have been 60 children born to the 110 participants.
The years of tracking kids have led Hurt to a conclusion she didn’t see coming.
“Poverty is a more powerful influence on the outcome of inner-city children than gestational exposure to cocaine,” Hurt said at her May lecture.
I am shocked, shocked to learn the state of Indiana lies to its residents. But not really:
But an honest analysis gets in the way of politics, particularly when we are talking about an ambitious Republican governor like Mike Pence.
One can only hope that, at some point, the public at large will begin to ‘get’ the games and lies opponents of healthcare reform have been playing ever since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. When you have a situation like what we are seeing in Indiana, it becomes difficult to understand how anyone could avoid acknowledging that the disingenuous behavior of the anti-Obamacare forces truly knows no bounds.
Taking my gritty eyes to bed.