Year by year.

Kate was born two months after my next-door neighbor had her second child, and decided to quit full-time dental hygienin’ and start her own business and otherwise craft a working-mother-of-small-children income. Which meant she had time to babysit Kate along with her own, Allison (two years older) and Drake (the new baby), and I could go back to work knowing my precious infant was in good hands.

And so Kate spent the first seven years of her life living next door to these two kids, with whom she spent half of her days, even after preschool started.

In other words, they were the three musketeers. Here’s Halloween 1997:


I don’t know why that picture is so small; I need to rescan it. (Pre-digital.)

It turns out if you keep feeding and watering children, they’ll grow. Five years later:


And two years after that:


I’m not sure why Drake was a ghost in both these years, except that it’s pretty easy. Here’s 2008, a non-Halloween shot:


And then it was 2013, and Allison graduated from high school, and we went to Indiana for her party. She’s headed for Oregon to get a job and find herself and do the things when you’re 19 years old. One last picture:


I’m hoping Allie gets the Purple Dreadlocks scholarship at Reed College. She’s smart enough.

It was a great trip, brief as it was. The near-perfect weather has made the farm fields of Ohio and Indiana emerald-green and perfect. The new Fort-to-Port road between Toledo and Fort Wayne means no more white-knuckle passing of semis on two lanes. Alex’s garden looks like a Thomas Kincaid painting. The party featured beers buried in piles of ice, and vividly-frosted cupcakes. If anyone had a better time on Sunday, I don’t know how.

Then came Monday, and these were the events, which will be the bloggage. Because I don’t trust myself to express opinions about them:

The Washington Post was sold to the founder of I see several possible outcomes of this, and many are not good.

The collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts is being formally appraised as part of the city’s bankruptcy process, prompting morons all over the globe to express ignorant opinions that drive me insane, which is why I ask that you not read, for example, the stupid ones under this Gawker item, because it will make you insane if you have even a few facts about the situation in your head.

Elmore Leonard had a stroke. He’s recovering, but still. Eighty-seven. Stroke.

Oh, and did anyone read this Sunday piece in the NYT about the artificial-joint cartel? You Hoosiers should check it out; it’s a necessary counterpoint to the bootlicking local coverage.

All of which is to say, Monday is behind us and let’s hope the rest of the week improves.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |

31 responses to “Year by year.”

  1. Dexter said on August 6, 2013 at 1:44 am

    My friend from my childhood recently retired from Zimmer in Warsaw. I have spoken to him a couple times over the past few years about these joints because he is , after all, an expert.
    He agreed with me that I will probably be better off to wait until I am 65 to get my hip replaced because of the ridiculous out-of-pocket costs I would incur by using my retiree insurance from my former workplace. From what I have learned, I am going to stay away from DePuy replacement joints and try to see if i can find a surgeon who believes in Smith & Nephew artificial joints. The formerly disgraced pro cyclist Floyd Landis had the Smith&Nephew hip joint implanted and was cycling shortly after.
    Brian Williams, my go-to guy for evening news on NBC, goes in tomorrow for a total knee replacement. My blogger pal Rico out in Santa Rosa, California, had major shoulder reconstruction done just a few hours ago. People are getting these things taken care of…all anybody needs is a ton of cash and/or a great insurance policy. And no pre-existing conditions.

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  2. ROGirl said on August 6, 2013 at 6:20 am

    So the idea that the DIA’s art could be sold off wasn’t just the idle speculation of a local journalist (did it first appear in the Free Press?). Maybe he had a tip from an insider. The first visit by Christie’s was cloaked in mystery, the EM denied any involvement, nobody else revealed who was behind it. Now that this whole scenario is out in the open, it feels like an inevitability that the EM is going to try to put at least some art is going to go on the auction block. But not without a fight.

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  3. Jolene said on August 6, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Interesting speculation on potential Amazon/WaPo synergies:

    Some of these ideas are good.

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  4. Jolene said on August 6, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Love the kid pics, by the way. It’s wonderful to have this kind of shared history and the photos to remind you of it.

    One of my nieces just posted a picture of herself on her 18th birthday and, gadzooks, she could pass for a grown-up. I guess I knew it would happen, but, still, shocking.

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  5. Suzanne said on August 6, 2013 at 7:30 am

    I read the NYT joint replacement piece over the weekend. It just made me mad. I work with someone who has a several times a week diatribe against Obamacare. I did mention the NYT piece yesterday at work and commented that a relative of mine, who works for an insurance provider, told me that yes, they do set limits on what providers get reimbursed because if they didn’t, providers would charge whatever they darn well wanted for everything. Of course, according to the NYT article, they do anyway. But, by gum and by golly! We have the best health care in the world. Right? Right??

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  6. alex said on August 6, 2013 at 8:06 am

    I hope Jeff Bezos fires Jennifer Rubin.

    As regards artificial joints, to hear Senator Dan Coats tell it, Obamacare imposes such punitive taxes on the industry that it’s stifling innovation and killing jobs. To which I say My Ass.

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  7. Connie said on August 6, 2013 at 8:08 am

    I remember a comments discussion about how to hem the witch costume Kate is wearing in one of those pics.

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  8. coozledad said on August 6, 2013 at 8:11 am

    The DIA raid is just a function of letting a bunch of lowlifes off for the crime of destroying the economy. They feel empowered to take anything they want now they’ve got us conned into believing they’re the arbiters of value.
    The sad thing is, they are beginning to get their hands on things of intrinsic value, instead of commodities whose prices they can distort at will.

    They’re doing the same thing to institutions of government here in NC, wrecking in a few months what took a century of effort to build.

    One mushy centrist former tool of the Reaganites, D.G. Martin, compared them to the fascists. Another old Dixiecrat compared them to the Taliban desecrating the Buddhist statues of Bayman. We’ve let them have things that are beyond their puny-ass comprehension, and they’re going to take the wheels off them and set them on blocks out by the trailer. They’re a kind of doppleganger mated to our species, and they’re begging for a kick in the nuts.

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  9. beb said on August 6, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Aside from the question ‘why would the founder of Amazon want to buy a failing newspaper?’ there’s the matter of how much he paid for it. $250 million is just not much money for the premiere newspaper in the premiere news town in the country. As with the sale of the Boston Globe to the owner of the Red Soxes, he got it basically for a song.

    What he plans to do with it is currently a mystery but it wouldl be interesting if he fired all of those lame-assed conservative columnists and replaced them with center-left writers.

    As for the DIA. A friend in the art world warned that by the time all the lawyers and middle-men end up getting their fingers into the pie there won;t be any money left for Detroit. Already yiu can see this with Christie’s $200,000 contract to evaluate the collection. This may sound like chicken-feed to Christie’s or the Emergency Manager but to the rest of us this is a lot of money. And it implies that there’s no one in the DIA that can assess their own collection, determine which items are not entrained and so on. Why are we giving so much money to an outside firm.

    You would also think that the State of Michigan would have some interest in preserving such a wonderful culture heritage by offering a couple billion to become the new legal owner/preserver of this collection? But, no. The state is controlled by a gang of vandals and looters disguised as a political party.

    I’d say more but I’m too busy seething.

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  10. brian stouder said on August 6, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Cooze – you are obviously a low-information voter. Oxy-Rush (et al) have this all figured out, and you’d be amazed how simple the whole problem really is.

    Detroit had a black mayor for years and years, and therefore – we gotta loot the museums there; really, it’s more of a cultural rescue of those items.

    Ditto for the black guy who is now president (fer gawd’s sake!); if a US embassy gets attacked, it is HIS fault, dammit! And he slept the night of the Benghazi attack (at some point) because y’know, he’s got no work ethic…so it’s doubly HIS fault.

    And he insists on acting like a president, with the free plane and free Caddy limo and free SUVs, so the Republigoons in Congress HAVE to do the government shut-down thing again this fall – and again – it’s gonna be HIS fault!

    Honestly, you cannot even parody the gang of thugs that call themselves “Republicans” anymore

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  11. brian stouder said on August 6, 2013 at 9:11 am

    (was going to add, after the Benghazi remark, that here we are in August – which is to say, weeks away from the 12th anniversary of 9/11 – and the US government is acting on just the sort of intelligence that the previous WHITE GUY received, and promptly ignored….and you can actually HEAR the right-wing talkers working to explain how this, too, is yet another failing of our current president)

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  12. Julie Robinson said on August 6, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Newspapers don’t do themselves any favors when they decide it’s okay to change delivery times, either. Now the Sunday JG doesn’t promise to be here until 8, when previously it was 7. I’m gonna have a cranky guy on my hands every Sunday now, because his routine is disrupted in a big way.

    Jeopardy crushed the dreams of yet another contestant last night. She wrote Waitin for Godot instead of Waiting for Godot and sure enough, Alex winced and told her she was wrong. I think we need to demand a Congressional Investigation; after all, it’s not like Congress has anything else important to do.

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  13. brian stouder said on August 6, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Julie, I gotta say, Jeopardy really is irritating me.

    During the course of the game, when contestants hurriedly give verbal answers in the form of a question, they should be counted wrong when their grammar is wrong, yes?

    For example – if the proper response is “What are geese, Alex?” and the contestant says “What is geese, Alex?” – then Alex should say “oh no, sorry, that’s incorrect” etc, right?

    Aside from that, whenever Mr Leonard dies and leaves this earthly existence, I pledge NOT to traffic in anything Mitch Albom has to say about it, here in the hallowed cheap seats at NN.c

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  14. Pam said on August 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I get sooo angry over these medical cost stories. We have become a country of suckers (as in, one is born every minute), and we can’t seem to convince the redneck republicans to come over and vote on our side. We now fulfill many of Bill’s prescriptions from Canada and most of those drugs are sourced in Germany. One of his drugs actually cost about $600 every 90 days. From Canada the cost is a little over $100. When Bill had his shoulder surgery for a torn rotator cuff, I decided to carefully inspect every bill and call them if I couldn’t understand what the bill included. That was an eye opener. They don’t really want to tell you. Bill got a sling with a foam bump up thing and it cost $113!! When Medicare and our insurance paid their portions, it ended up costing us $14.50 which is what we believe the thing was worth in the first place. WHAT A RACKET!!! The Healthcare industry is nothing but organized crime!

    A friend of mine was born with one withered hand so is very dependent upon the other hand. I guess due to constant use, he was having nerve problems which the doctor said would eventually lead to the complete disability of his remaining hand. Surgery was the required solution to keep use of his one hand. The insurance company said No for some stupid reason so he had to pay out of pocket for it. Just like the NYT article, he ended up going to Germany and getting the surgery for about $33,000 (includes all of his travel and recovery expenses) versus over $100,000 here in the US. And can you imagine the cost of his complete disability if he lost the use of his only working hand?

    This is just a stupid, stupid problem to have and this country is stupid to allow it to happen.

    You’ll have to tell me some time what’s up with the DIA. I haven’t really been following the story. I’ve read where the art works could be worth billions, so naturally the sharks will circle morsels that tasty.

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  15. Connie said on August 6, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    It seems to me the DIA must maintain a valuation of their collection, at least for insurance purposes. So why spend $200,000 on Christies?

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  16. Jolene said on August 6, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    A touching letter from Gene Weingarten to Jeff Bezos:

    And I agree with you, Alex, firing Jennifer Rubin would be a huge step up. There isn’t a trace of wit or warmth in her writing; to me, her writing signals that she is a mean, humorless person. Mark Thiessen is of the same ilk and is, in addition, less intellectually able.

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  17. adrianne said on August 6, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I actually find the Bezos purchase of WaPo to be good news. I’m convinced that the nutty practices of corporate journalism, (25 percent profit margins, anyone?) has brought our business to the brink. I’d much prefer billionaires like Bezos and Buffett to own the newspapers and expect a more reasonable rate of return, which is completely achievable. Look at what’s going on right now with Gannett (more newsroom layoffs? that’s the answer to what ails you?) to see that it’s way past time for alternatives.

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  18. Sherri said on August 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    A followup on the hip-replacement story:

    Maybe globalization will drive down costs in the US?

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  19. Jolene said on August 6, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I agree, Adrianne, that the sale creates interesting possibilities. The Posties I read regularly seem to love their organization; their admiration for the Grahams seems both deep and genuine. No one seems to have seen this coming, so there have been lots of expressions of shock and apprehension. But lots of people sound really hopeful and eager to see what Bezos might have in store. As a reader, I’m curious too and hoping for some interesting, creative innovations down the line–ideally, innovations that keep the many talented Posties employed.

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  20. brian stouder said on August 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    surgeries over-seas actually becomes a fairly major United States TSA concern, as our nihilistic enemies apparently are working toward implanting explosive devices into an attacker…

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  21. Prospero said on August 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    WaPo will now be all about “content”, whatever the fuck that means. Probably NY Steve King’s press releases, Stories about babies stolen by dingoes, probly. Didn’t know WaPo was for sale, but sure as hell glad the Koch Kriminal Konspiracy didn’t buy it. Wonder where Dana Milbank will find a job, and how they can squeeze in a couple of more bunch-backed spider columns from Krautheimer every week. And whither Cilizzza and J. Capehart. I may have to start reading comics elsewhere. One thing is for certain, from now on, all those fools ranting about WaPo being the liberal MSM are going to be left with their Longdongs in their hands.

    Thiessen is sorry as a columnist not named Cal Thomas can be, but less intellectully able than J. Rubin? That may not be possible within the realm of the human genome. Rubin is a moron that spouts crap repeatedly that Peggy Nooonan said the day before yesterday. And she believes every word of it, for Christ’s sake.

    Brian@13: With regards to Mitch Albom having the gall to comment on Mr. Leonard:

    Aside from all that, those Halloween pictures made my day. We paid for nanny’s in our family, which was expensive but had it’s benefits too.

    And did y’all see that beside killing funding for WIC and other food assistance programs, Iowa Steve King introduced an amendment to the farm bill negating state laws preventing animal cruelty at Big Farm factories. That guy is a whole nother kind of asshole. His farm subsidies are safe though:

    Keeping prioities straight.

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  22. brian stouder said on August 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    By the way, our Proprietress certainly posted some marvelous photos of the young folks! I would have guessed the second-to-last one as having been shot at the Zoo (at the pedestrian tunnel that goes underneath Sherman Street, and leads to the African Veldt)…but then I noticed the snow and thought “nahhhh”.

    SO my official guess for the pleasant stone wall backdrop with park benches is: The Grand Wayne Center downtown…..maybe….or maybe not!

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  23. Jolene said on August 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    David Remnick, of The New Yorker, on the sale of the Post.

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  24. coozledad said on August 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Funnyman Richard Cohen does it again.

    It happened the night before we were planning to go away for the weekend. In the morning I called her place, but there was no answer. I called again — and then again and again. Worried, I rushed over to her apartment and finding an open window, I climbed in. A young black man would probably have forced his way in using a brick or some other object close at hand, causing hundreds of dollars in property damage, but as a white man, I, Richard Cohen, have had uncanny luck finding open windows and doors. No one was home. Suddenly, her phone rang. It was my roommate, Neil, who knew where I had gone because of the trail of toilet paper stuck to my shoe. Linda had just called, he told me knowingly. She said she had overslept /been hit by a car/ developed malaria. She said she was at home.

    Bolded bits mine, but unnecessary for comedy.

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  25. LAMary said on August 6, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    When I was on Jeopardy they got me on my pronunciation of stalactite. They said I said stalagtite. During the commercial break I appealed to the audience, which was in part made up of a group from my neighborhood senior center, coincidentally. They booed the decision but it made no difference.

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  26. Prospero said on August 6, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    As for WaPo columnists,I prefer the bone stupidity of Rubin and Thiessen to the unadulterated sophism and condescension of Will and Krauthammer. The four are equally laughable, but the latter two seem smart enough to know what they foist on WaPo readers is an utter Crock O’Crap. And people take those guys seriously, no matter the vile partisan stench of their spews.

    Superb and somewhat depressing story about autism.

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  27. Prospero said on August 6, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    The last thing the House did before Oompa Loompa left on vacation was to vote for the rfortierth franking time to repeal ACA Obamacare. Goldbrickers.

    The leniency with which Jeopardy allows for surnames without given names bugs the crap out of me. And it’s entirely transparent when people do it because they are clearly not sure of the correct name.

    My daughter Emily has a close friend from her overpriced kindergarten days that she has remained in touch with. It’s a wonderful friendship I get to see on Facebook now. One more reason I don’t just cancel that garbage. I think Rachel was a scholarship kid, because her single mom was a nurse’s aide at Boston City Hospital and they lived in JP, Boston’s version of just north of the South Bronx. The two of them were inseparable for a few years, particularly on my custody days and weekends.

    LA Mary: did you aske them if they meant “stalagmite”? I’d have been pretty pissed off, considering what some contestants get away with

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  28. Prospero said on August 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Legal rape by cops in Tejas. I say don’t wait for them to secede, kick their asses out.

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  29. LAMary said on August 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    I didn’t ask, Prospero. I just ate it.

    At this moment, the president of the US is probably about a quarter mile away from where I’m sitting. He’s on his way to Jay Leno which is taped about a block and a half away from here. I’ll wave for you all.

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  30. Deborah said on August 6, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    I was instructed by the guy who cut my hair to get some special shampoo that would counteract the brassiness of my normally white hair. Apparently high mineral content water can turn white hair sorta yellowish. So I bought the shampoo and used it today, when I poured the amount suggested in my hand in the shower it was a dark, dark purple. I thought my hair was gonna turn out to look like your friend’s daughter’s but alas it looks exactly the same, no less yellowish.

    I think it’s great that young people today are more free to experiment with their identity through hair color.

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  31. Sherri said on August 6, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    There’s a lot of competition for the Purple Dreadlocks scholarship at Reed. Lots of smart people there experimenting with their identity through hair color (and through other ways.) My daughter decided it wasn’t for her when we visited, and interestingly, it wasn’t because of the gender neutral bathrooms. It was because there were too many people smoking.

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