The chicken gaffe.

From the Who ARE These People file, a Colorado state senator with the charming name Vicki Marble puts her foot so far into her mouth that the drool from her sock could fill a 55-gallon drum.

Short version for non-clickers: At a meeting of the Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force, the senator went off on a strange, rambling speech that managed to blame fried chicken and barbecue for African Americans’ health problems, a lack of vegetables for Mexican Americans’ (“I’ve read a study”) and towards the end, goes of on this sort of Tourette-y thing — “freedom,” “personal responsibility,” etc. I’m not usually one for these long, you-must-listen-to-the-whole-thing files, but this one sucked me in. It has the strange magnetism of a public meltdown, which I guess it was, complete with ridiculous apology:

“My comments were not meant to be disparaging to any community,” she said. “I am saddened they were taken in that regard. I take my responsibility seriously and I hope our work on this committee will offer real solutions to the health and financial challenges of our vulnerable populations.”

And in other entries in the same file, we have Scott Lively, and a typically excellent Dahlia Lithwick piece on him — exploring whether he can be prosecuted in this country for fueling the anti-gay movement in faraway Uganda:

Lively has openly bragged of his own role as the “father” of the anti-gay movement in Uganda, calling his campaign “a nuclear bomb against the ‘gay’ agenda in Uganda.” The question is whether all this constitutes mere speech or something more.

Last year Lively was named in a lawsuit brought by the organization Sexual Minorities Uganda, aka SMUG, that included three claims under the Alien Tort Statute, a law that gives “survivors of egregious human rights abuses, wherever committed, the right to sue the perpetrators in the United States.” SMUG, represented in this lawsuit by the New-York based Center for Constitutional Rights, claimed at argument in a motion to dismiss the suit last January that Lively’s actions over the course of a decade resulted in the persecution, arrest, torture, and murder of members of Uganda’s LGBT community. Federal Judge Michael Ponsor heard arguments in Lively’s motion to dismiss, and last January he seemed to suggest that he saw little activity on Lively’s part that wasn’t protected expressive behavior. But last week Ponsor tossed out the motion to dismiss, allowing the suit to go forward.

But that’s enough weight for a Friday. Here’s Coozledad’s favorite stew bird, Madonna, opening a gym overseas. The grill picture will rock you back in your seat. WITH HORROR.

Is it Friday? How can this be? How can it not be?

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Popculch |

113 responses to “The chicken gaffe.”

  1. Brandon said on August 23, 2013 at 2:52 am

    Here’s Coozledad’s favorite stew bird, Madonna, opening a gym overseas. The grill picture will rock you back in your seat. WITH HORROR.

    So you’re saying Madonna has the scrawny physique of a chicken? Hardly. She’s very, very toned, because she exercises. In her youth, she was more voluptuous, but she looks good either way. Sone days ago, I noted Madonna’s 55th birthday. And in July, it was the 30th anniversary of the release of her debut album Madonna. Thirty years. Maybe Beyonce and Lady Gaga get the attention nowadays, but it was Madonna who paved the way, who not just could sing, but dance, do business deals, set trends, etc. Madonna was and is the Queen of Pop, one of the most accomplished popular musicians of the latter twentieth century. (By the way, her Super Bowl show had a hell of a lot more flavor than Beyonce’s.)

    I follow her on Facebook, so I’ve seen photos of her sporting grills. Not my favorite look, but she’s having fun. Leave Mama Madonna alone. Or don’t. She’s had haters and naysayers all throughout her career, and just proved them wrong.

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  2. Brandon said on August 23, 2013 at 2:54 am

    Also, as I said back on her birthday, Madonna is the world’s most famous Michigander. She may well be the most famous Michigan-born person in history.

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  3. Prospero said on August 23, 2013 at 2:55 am

    Dahlia is the bomb. I am in love with that woman. Madge is just gross. Has been for some time. Ms. Marble is just outre. Whack beyond sensibility.

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  4. Prospero said on August 23, 2013 at 2:59 am

    Brandon, maybe it’s Bob Seger. Somebody actually talented. What passes for music from Madge is about Slim Shady excuse for music. Pure bullshit.

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  5. coozledad said on August 23, 2013 at 3:58 am

    What is Madonna saying to the youth of 1985, today:

    I’ve got too much money to be gnawing another jockey’s crank?

    I’m redoing the tile in my bathroom with my face?

    If I gnaw another jockey’s crank, it’s going in my chest-pack?

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  6. Deborah said on August 23, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Madonna will do anything to get attention, and she’s desperate for it now. I’ve just spent too much time thinking about her.

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  7. ROGirl said on August 23, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Madonna: still without discernable talent, and much, much older.

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  8. coozledad said on August 23, 2013 at 7:55 am

    And she’s not the only self-objectifying cougar out there. Here’s chicken lady in a Katherine Harris spandex shirt.

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  9. basset said on August 23, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Brandon,”stew bird” in this context means… chicken too old and tough to fry, has to be stewed to make it edible.

    not that “edible” would apply. not even the thought of it.

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  10. alex said on August 23, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Madonna’s grotesque. I don’t care how “fit” she is, those sinewy limbs make me recoil with shock. I’ll give her this, though—at least she hasn’t had her face stretched so far that you could bounce a quarter off of it, which is quite remarkable for a hagged-out has-been celebrity anymore.

    (The plastic surgery thing that’s endemic to California is sort of like Down’s syndrome in that all of its subjects look so much alike. The latest of Bob Filner’s accusers could easily be mistaken for Joan Rivers, Nancy Brinker of Komen for the Cure, etc. You’d think that a scoundrel like Filner wouldn’t bother to put his hand on such a bizarre looking piece of ass when there are so many genuinely beautiful women to molest.)

    As for Scott Lively? I’m not particularly a fan of the death penalty, but I think anyone who incites mayhem and murder deserves to suffer it himself, and I think the ban against cruel and unusual punishment ought to be lifted for just such a scumbag so he can die the most slow and miserable and humiliating death possible.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on August 23, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Brandon, not to pile on, but what everyone else said, especially ROGirl.

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  12. beb said on August 23, 2013 at 8:16 am

    No, I think the most famous Michigander is Mitt Romney. Most beloved would be his father George Romney.

    But speaking of polls, did you hear that 29% of Louisianians thought Pres. Obama was to blame for the poor response to Katrina? I suppose more of those blame Pearl Harbor on Obama as well.

    There was an interesting piece on Chris Hayes’ show on Monday (I think) In regards to Detroit’s bankruptcy filing he noted that when business insurance giant AIG went into bankruptcy a lot of senior executive’s pay bonuses were thrown into the pot as well. The executives argued that those bonuses were covered under contract and contracts are inviolate. Since pensions are part of an employee’s contractual compensation package they, also, should be considered inviolate.

    Of course all those Insurance policies AIG was selling, those were contracts, too, but they weren’t sacred or anything. The officers of AIG got their bonuses because they were awesome people who destroyed a billion dollar company, lied about their ability to pay off insurance policies and bought off the best politicians. The rest of us can just grease our asses and wait.

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  13. brian stouder said on August 23, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Well, aside from the racist blonde (who takes a pretty good photograph, I confess), didja see Rachel Maddow’s show from the Great Dismal Swamp last night? It was quite good, especially the bit of video as she and Montravius King, a student at Elizabeth City State University (who is running for City Council, unless the GOP succeeds in kicking him off the ballot) went down a rural highway and Ms Maddow gasped at a very low aircraft….King calmed her; it was apparently the first time she’d seen a crop duster. (I’ve only seen them a time or two, and it’s always jarring when they first appear)

    PS to Alex and Beb – Agreed!

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  14. brian stouder said on August 23, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Here’s a Friday puzzler for you, based directly on a question our 9 year old was working on last night, for school: How many states (of the United States) have you been on the ground in (flyovers don’t count)? Her answer ended up being 9 (Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Florida (I think mine is 22, including her states, plus Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, New York, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and California)

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  15. Dave said on August 23, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Easier to name the states I’ve never been in, Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oregon, I grew up in a family that liked to take big summer vacations. We’ve added to that with our own family.

    If you want to set foot in a state, I suppose Delaware might not count, we merely drove through it on our way to elsewhere and never stopped. Almost the same as a flyover.

    Brandon, we get it, you’re a big Madonna fan.

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  16. LAMary said on August 23, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Wasn’t someone in Pink Flamingos named Connie Marble? I could be confusing my John Waters movies.

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  17. LAMary said on August 23, 2013 at 9:43 am


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  18. Connie said on August 23, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Information about Elmore Leonard’s funeral: A visitation is scheduled at an Oakland County funeral home for best-selling author Elmore Leonard.

    Leonard’s family will receive friends from 2-8 p.m. Friday at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home in Clawson, north of Detroit. A funeral Mass is scheduled at 10 a.m. Saturday at Holy Name Church in Birmingham.

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  19. Dorothy said on August 23, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Twenty-two for me, Brian, with two more that I was technically “in” but never set a foot on the ground. I was in Minnesota at the Minneapolis airport a couple of years ago. And when our son graduated from basic training in Columbus, GA, we took a drive looking for a restaurant and found ourselves accidentally entering Alabama. I’d love to add four more states to my list next year and say I’ve been to half! Going to New England should take care of that.

    I keep forgetting to ask if any of you read (several years ago, probably ) “A Girl Named Zippy” by Haven Kimmel. My sister mailed me her copy a few weeks ago and I read it very quickly. My library had the ‘sequel’ called “She Got Up Off the Couch”, about her mom going to college and losing lots of weight, etc. If you read it, what did you think of it?

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  20. Dorothy said on August 23, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Oh and I can’t say the word ‘marble’ without saying it as ‘margle” anymore. Our across-the-street neighbors in Cincinnati had a son who pronounced it like that when he was four. I like the word better as “margle”!

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  21. adrianne said on August 23, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Brian, my count is 25 states – all 13 original colonies, plus every state east of the Mississippi, plus Texas (land of my birth), Iowa, Missouri and Minnesota. Next on my list: California and the Pacific Northwest.

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  22. Deborah said on August 23, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Me too Dave, easier to name the ones I haven’t been to: Maine, Vermont, Idaho, Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska. I’ve been on a lot of road trips.

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  23. Julie Robinson said on August 23, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Dorothy, I read A Girl Named Zippy and liked it but was unaware of its sequel

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  24. brian stouder said on August 23, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Adrianne – I forgot Texas! – so that puts me up to 23. (loved that long [long long!] tall bridge near Bay Town; and the battleship Texas, near the San Jacinto battlefield; and the Saturn V on it’s side at Houston)

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  25. Julie Robinson said on August 23, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Oops, I hit post too soon. I think a lot of housewives in that era were depressed but felt trapped. My mother finally started to talk about this on our last visit, and it was 50 odd years ago. Remember Betty Friedan and the problem that has no name? Today, in her prime, my paternal grandmother would surely be running a corporation instead of a farmstead, and she would have been more content.

    I have a friend who has visited all 50 states and is starting over to gibe her kids the same chance. With all my physical problems, travel is hard, but I can go anywhere in a book.

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  26. brian stouder said on August 23, 2013 at 10:30 am

    If I had to leave good ol’ Indiana, the state I have the biggest crush on is Maryland; I love that place.

    They have the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, rolling countryside, big vibrant cities, history everywhere, and…the beaches and sun and water at the eastern shore/Delmarva peninsula, where I had the most superb crab bisque for lunch, ever ever ever.

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  27. MarkH said on August 23, 2013 at 10:32 am

    States that do not know me: Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Mass., Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island.

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  28. Peter said on August 23, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Your truly made quite the faux pas last night.

    My lovely wife and I had our last meal at La Creperie on Clark Street; the place closed down last night after 40 years in business.

    I was enjoying my chicken and tomato crepe so much I said “I have to remind myself to order this the next time we’re here”.

    My spouse thought it was funny and laughed, but the waitress and the people at the next table heard it and started to cry.

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  29. Heather said on August 23, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Late to the Madonna talk, but I don’t think she’d be flattered by the “most famous Michigander” label. She’s run so far away from her beginnings, she should be on Jupiter by now.

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  30. brian stouder said on August 23, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Very cold, Peter; very cold

    (but made me laugh!)

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  31. Connie said on August 23, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Wow. I’ve been to 37. Although some, like Maryland, I’ve just driven through on my way elsewhere.

    When I was 14 my family took a month long trip out west in the first RV I had ever seen. We started at the St. Louis Arch, circled around the northern end of the west (Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana) then did the coast of California from San Franciso to Tiajuana. Then return in a more southerly route through Arizona and Texas. A whole week was spent in the LA area visiting theme parks. We all have fond memories of that trip.

    But I have only been to three foreign countries: Mexico, Canada, Germany. Have to get out more. Probably should get a passport first.

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  32. Connie said on August 23, 2013 at 11:05 am

    A Girl Named Zippy was very popular throughout Indiana when it was published, as the author lives (lived?) there and the memoir was set there. I remember I found it interesting but the writing style odd.

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  33. Maggie Jochild said on August 23, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Had to fire up the memory banks to count: 25 states, 7 other countries. But 37 different addresses, and when you factor in I’ve been at this one over 20 years, it reveals how many times my poor mother moved us to follow my father around in his crap job.

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  34. Kirk said on August 23, 2013 at 11:19 am

    30 states on my list.

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  35. Sherri said on August 23, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I’ve been to 36 states, thanks to some long road trips and living in different parts of the country (Tennessee, Pittsburgh, SF Bay Area, and now Pacific Northwest.) At one point, I had chalked up a good fraction of major league baseball parks, but it was long enough ago that many of those parks are now defunct.

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  36. LAMary said on August 23, 2013 at 11:22 am

    35 here. I know when I was a very young we went on a road trip and I suspect we went through New Hampshire and Maine, but I can’t remember for sure so I’m not counting them. Same with Oklahoma. I’m pretty sure I went through it but can’t swear to it.

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  37. Joe K said on August 23, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon ,Idaho, Maine , been in all the rest.
    Pilot Joe

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  38. Dorothy said on August 23, 2013 at 11:37 am

    See Connie, I found her writing style fascinating. I was reading pages aloud to my husband because they made me laugh so much. I thought she expressed herself beautifully and in ways I’d never read before. The second book was good, but different and a bit more serious than the first. I did some research on her and found an interview with a magazine out of Indianapolis from about 6 or 8 years ago. I printed out the article to send to my sister when I return her copy of the book.

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  39. brian stouder said on August 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Best Thing I Read Today

    I could take or leave Vin Scully – but you gotta love this:

    “It has been such an exciting, enjoyable, wonderful season — the big crowds in the ballpark, everybody is talking about the ballclub, and I really respect, admire and love the management — so everything just fell into place,” Scully said. ”I really still enjoy it immensely. My health is good, thank God. So why not? And my wife said, ‘Why not?’ as well.


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  40. Deborah said on August 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I hadn’t heard of the Zippy book before, looked it up on Google and found out the author Haven Kimmel has(had) a blog. She no longer posts on it but you can still read it. She had a great post on same sex marriage, one of the best pieces I’ve read about it.

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  41. coozledad said on August 23, 2013 at 12:30 pm


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  42. beb said on August 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Coolze – depressing indeed. Of course with the speeding stop w/gun it is obvious that Zimmerman is heading for asshole of the decade. And the decade is so young, too.

    A 12 round snug-nose shotgun? That’ll take care of my varmint problem! Though as a penis substitute I don’t suppose it equals a 50 mm (caliber?) anti-aircraft gun with Gov. Christie decided was just all right for New Jersey. Pop off a couple of those and you know you’ve done some damage. Just not sure in which county.

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  43. Minnie said on August 23, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Twenty-three for me, heavily weighted in the Southeast on over to Texas and Oklahoma, Mid-Atlantic up to New York, and states bordering on the Mississippi River up to Iowa on the west bank and Kentucky on the east. Oh, plus Indiana where I turned one year old. Surely would like to see more of the country. My impressions of more Western states were formed long ago by View-Master slides.

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  44. brian stouder said on August 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Surely would like to see more of the country.

    Minnie – you and me both. What is now burned into my brain (from the plane ride west) is the vast expanse of reddish-brown crags and hills, west of my green region. Gonna have to go see it up close.

    Cooze and Beb – that was genuinely unpleasant.

    But the boob-seat got a 1/2 chuckle from me, before I inhaled and left that article in the ether

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  45. brian stouder said on August 23, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    make that “boobsweat“!

    (for $500, Alex)

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  46. MichaelG said on August 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    No Hawaii, No Dak, Del, Rhode Island, New Hamp, Vermont, Mass and Maine. I’m kind of New England challenged. I’ve been in all the others.

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  47. Jakash said on August 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    48. Missing the ones you’d expect. Why are they states, anyway? 😉 (Sorry, Brandon.)

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  48. Prospero said on August 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    How Gopers think about women.

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  49. Brandon said on August 23, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Regarding Madonna: I get it, most of you aren’t fans. That’s cool. I don’t think she was trying to flee Michigan: she grew up comfortably in suburban Detroit (Pontiac and Avon County). Madonna went to New York to study dance and started singing in the clubs there.

    Romney is a flash in the pan. Madonna has had long-time, worldwide fame, and one would be hard pressed to find another Michigander who even approaches Madonna’s level of celebrity. Maybe Stevie Wonder or Aretha Franklin. And Michael Jackson is from Gary, Indiana. Not to mention Frank Sinatra (New Jersey) and Elvis Presley (Mississippi). The point is, Madonna’s influence and accomplishments are undisputed.

    On a very different note, thanks to coozledad for sharing that Balloon Juice link to George Zimmerman’s visit to a gun factory. His story is not over and it will not likely end well.

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  50. Connie said on August 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Brandon, George Romney, Milt Romney’s, father was not a flash in the pan. He was president of American Motors, chairman of the state constitutional convention, governor, and a cabinet secretary at HHS.

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  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    MarkH, I’ve made it to Massachusetts if you count driving from Newport to Providence and back through what I think was Fall River (hi, Lizzie!); but I’ve missed your list plus California, Oregon, Washington, and North Dakota & Minnesota. Well, Minnesota if you don’t count a layover at the airport. That would mean 39 of 50; no Puerto Rico nor Guam as yet, either. I did spend two weeks once in the 51st state, including the Golan Heights.

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  52. Bill said on August 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    All of ’em for me. Lots of business travel. Several long (long ago) car/camping trips with the family, and many Road Scholar (nee Elderhostel) trips.

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  53. Deborah said on August 23, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Globally I’ve been to points in the UK (England, Ireland [both Northern and Southern]) Mainland Europe (Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain), Scandinavia (Finland and Sweden) and Asia (Thailand, Japan, the Philippines). I’ve been to Canada and Mexico but never been to Central or South America. I’ve not been to Africa but Morocco and Tunisia are on my list. Never been to Australia or Antarctica either.

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  54. John (not McCain) said on August 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    “accidentally entering Alabama”

    In the unlikely event I ever write an autobiography that’s going to be the title. Of course the accident was birth. I have nothing but envy for people who can love the place they are from.

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  55. DanB said on August 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Thirty-four states for me (mostly missing the deep South, the northern plains and Rockies and northern New England). A couple of long drives from Southern California to the Midwest for moves added a lot, as did a number of academic conferences.

    And I’d have to say that familiarity with George Romney is a generational thing. I bet you’d have a hard time finding anyone under the age of 40 (and probably older) who could tell you anything about him. It may be different in Michigan, but I’d be surprised. I’m a pretty aware 39-year-old and I think I’ve seen him mentioned here and there when discussing Mitt, but he’s largely vanished from the national consciousness.

    Of course, that’s exactly what Madonna’s fighting against right now. I certainly don’t question her influence on popular culture, but then again, her period of greatest relevance exactly coincided with the period when I was most tuned into popular culture (her music was unavoidable at every college party I attended). But however much people who cared about her in the 80s and 90s may point out that Lady Gaga is working right from the Madonna playbook, the fact remains that Gaga is speaking to her younger fans right now in a way that Madonna never will. Such is the cycle of pop cultural fame and short cultural memories.

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  56. Kirk said on August 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Sherri@35: Yes, I’ve been to quite a number of ballparks that have been torn down, but not to a whole lot of their replacements.

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  57. Rana said on August 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Forty-four states here; the ones I haven’t visited are a mix of to be expected and random hodgepodge: Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.

    My feeling about Madonna is that she was innovative, transgressive, and a trend-setter for a period of time, and during that time, she was impressively influential. But now? What has she done lately that’s the equivalent? I honestly can’t think of anything, and my general impression of her is that she’s settled into the established stereotype of older pop star trying to cling to her youth and relevance, rather than challenging it. So while I can admire her track record, I don’t see much in her current career arc (what does she do now? live off her earnings? I have no clue) that makes her stand out as either noteworthy or even particularly interesting.

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  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Kirk, along with knowing dangerously near as many dead people as I do folks I can call up directly, I’m finding an unnerving feature of aging is the number of no-longer extant buildings that are a big part of my memories.

    Which makes me all the more thankful for Wrigley Field!

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  59. Dexter said on August 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    I have been to 44 states, boots on the ground, but just four foreign countries, dammitt! Vietnam, Canada, Japan, and Mexico. That’s it. Pitiful. When I hit the lotto, I am heading to England to walk where my ancestors traipsed. Of course I have to see the Champs-Elysees in Paris, but if I get to Germany, I am skipping the horrorshow Nazi memorials. I must see Venice, I have to ride a bike in Amsterdam. My pal Greg just got back from Moscow so I’ll take his word for it: nice place to visit, but I ain’t going there.

    Geez, I thought Madonna was a Gay Icon. Guess not. But Baby Jane? Yep…it’s a true “separated at birth”. We used to have a man directing the school bands. He resigned , and for his last concert, he threw away the format and we were treated to a show of Madonna numbers performed by the high school band. It was very good.

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  60. alex said on August 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm


    Very bummed to hear about La Creperie. It had the best patio in the whole city. I loved the coq au vin and seafood crepes especially. The old French guy was quite a character too. He owned a ’58 Caddy at one time and I asked his permission to photograph it because it was such a gorgeous old ride. This was back in the ’80s. He drove us to a parking lot west of the old Dominick’s on Broadway (the one that burned down) because it was vacant and fenced in and he let me have at it. It was nighttime and I was doing long exposures and got some incredible shots. Starbursts coming off the gleaming grille. The sharklike fins.

    Plus ca change.

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  61. alex said on August 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    As for states, very much the same pattern as a lot of people here: Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

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  62. Jeff Borden said on August 23, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Jeff TMMO,

    You’d better squeeze in a visit to Wrigley this season because it will look considerably different in the near future. The Ricketts family is going to erect a huge video screen behind the left field bleachers while an allegedly “see through” advertising sign will rise above the right field bleachers.

    I couldn’t care less about the video screen, but it’s their team and their stadium not to mention their business. One of the things I like about Wrigley is the refreshing lack of advertisements, come-ons, music videos, etc. between innings. They play them at heinously loud volume at Comiskey aka U.S. Cellular Field and it drives me crazy.

    There already is far more signage and advertising than just a few years ago. What hasn’t changed, of course, is the close proximity of almost every seat to the field. Next year will mark 24 years I’ve owned a combination ticket plan with three partners. It should be an interesting season as Wrigley will mark its 100th anniversary, though it was originally naned Weagham Park and was the home of the Chicago Whales of the Federal League.

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  63. Little Bird said on August 23, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I’ve been to thirty states, and four other countries, five if you count the train ride from Spain to Italy that briefly went through the south of France in the dead of the night. We went on a lot of road trips while I was growing up.

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  64. ROGirl said on August 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Madonna, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder? Madonna couldn’t hold their sweaty tissues.

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  65. David C. said on August 23, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I’ve only been to twelve states and two provinces. I guess I don’t get around much.

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  66. Deborah said on August 23, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    I asked my husband and he’s been to every single state except Oregon. And he’s been to more countries than me. He’s been to the ones I mentioned plus Egypt, Brazil, Australia, China. A lot of his travel has been for business and he finds that exhausting (so do I). Business travel is the pits because you’re stressed out because of the meetings you have to attend and then there’s all the connections you have to make.

    I forgot to mention Portugal in the countries I’ve visited.

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  67. Kirk said on August 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Jeff@58: Fenway Park, too. It is a little freaky that I have outlived two ballparks in Cincinnati.

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  68. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Weeghman Park — “Blow, you Whales! Blow!” Ah, those were the days.

    I look at all the classic era pics of Yankee Stadium, Ebbets Field, the Polo Grounds, and Fenway, and they all have a massive “No Betting” sign whichever angle you’re being shown (that, and a huge billboard for Ballantine Beer in all the Yankees’ shots). The shadow of the Black Sox scandal was a long one.

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  69. Sherri said on August 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Kirk and Jeff(tmmo),

    My dead (major league) baseball stadium list includes Three Rivers, Riverfront, Busch, Milwaukee County Stadium, Comiskey, Baltimore Memorial, Candlestick, Cleveland Municipal, the Metrodome, Veterans Stadium, Jack Murphy Stadium (now Qualcomm).

    Some of those are still standing, hosting football teams, but their baseball tenants are gone. Candlestick is gone after this football season, as is the Metrodome, and the Chargers badly want a new stadium, too.

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  70. alex said on August 23, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Right now as I sit here, I’m watching the elderly Alzheimer’s patient across the road, who appears to be momentarily unsupervised, trying to ride a bicycle. Fortunately her caretaker has finally intervened.

    Madonna as gay icon… to the sort who don’t have any taste, maybe. There was just such a group of acquaintances who talked me into attending a Madonna concert with them about ten years ago. I bought an absurdly expensive ticket to join them in the nosebleed section. They hired a limo to take us there. It was memorable only for the elaborate stage consisting of pneumatic pedestals rising and falling which we watched on the Jumbotron because the show itself was microscopic otherwise. I could have wired $10K to Nigeria and not felt as ripped off and had three extra hours of my life to enjoy that I’ll never get back.

    I can see how one might equate Madge with Stevie Wonder or Aretha Franklin in terms of fame and the airplay their music received, but I was never as impressed with her artistry as I was with her marketing wizardry. While other ’80s acts faded into the sunset after having captured some attention for an album or two, she commanded attention with shock-value hijinks like her high-dollar Sex book with the metal covers, and bullet-boob outfits and dry-humping nearly naked men on stage and talk show appearances where she was very forced and affected and said outrageous things just to be outrageous. The all-time greats like Aretha and Stevie didn’t need gimmickry to sell their music because it simply sold itself.

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  71. Sherri said on August 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve only been to three foreign countries: Canada, Mexico, and Italy. Well, four if you count the airport in Copenhagen, which is what my passport shows rather than Italy because of the way the EU works. I’m adding another to the list in just a couple of weeks, though; after we drop our daughter off at college next week, we leave for two weeks in London the following week!

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  72. alex said on August 23, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Candlestick is gone? How can the people of San Francisco stand for such a travesty?

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  73. Sherri said on August 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    They couldn’t stand because the wind blew them over, Alex.

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  74. Scout said on August 23, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    First of all, I like some of Madonna’s music, I’ll admit it. But I’m not a fan of her celebrity persona. Every time I ever saw her interviewed I felt like I needed brain bleach. Speaking without sounding dumber than a bag of hammers is not her forte. The grill pic made me feel kind of sorry for her. For about a half a second.

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  75. alex said on August 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Right now trying to ID a volunteer plant that is simply covered in bumblebees. Amazing. No bees on any of the other flowers at the moment. It’s about eight feet tall and I had thought it might be a sunflower before it blossomed because of its height, but the blooms look sort of like black-eyed susans without the black eyes. The pistils are more greenish and rather large and fleshy rather than needle-like or fuzzy. The yellow petals are drawn back like those of a coneflower. Not sure if this is a native Indiana plant, but I’ve never seen anything attracting so many bumblebees. It was sort of ungainly for most of the summer but is now quite a fetching specimen. Anyone see anything like this before?

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  76. Deborah said on August 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Tomorrow I leave for Beaver Brook so of course my16 year old cat is presenting as being in distress. Today we have been observing her very closely. We had to have her sister put down last year because of kidney failure and it happened when we were out of town so Littlebird, my daughter had to handle the whole put down procedure. I just hope that doesn’t happen again. I fear the worse. The cat is exhibiting everything her sister did. If it happens while I am gone I will have no cell phone service. Bummer.

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  77. Kirk said on August 23, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Candlestick Park hasn’t been a big-league park for a long time, but it’s still there, scheduled to be torn down next year. Paul McCartney is thinking about performing in the final event there.

    Good list, Sherri. I didn’t make it to Memorial, Metrodome, Vets or Jack Murphy, but did see games in Crosley Field, Tiger Stadium and old Municipal Stadium in Kansas City.

    Old Comiskey was one of my favorites. The rabbit-warren-type passages under the stands and the cooked-before-your-eyes ribeye sandwiches had something to do with it.

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  78. Dexter said on August 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Oh yeah, most of the ballparks I visited have been torn down by now. When I was a ballplayer, our team travelled by bus and put on exhibitions in pro parks in the south, mostly, when the big league-affiliated teams were on the road. So I got to play in too many pro parks to remember, including famed Rickwood Field in Birmingham, where I hit one over the fence, only to be robbed by the opposing left fielder. I never forgot his name, Don Frierson. He robbed me alright, he leaped and snatched that baseball back. I have caught batting practice balls in Detroit, Comiskey, Wrigley, and Oakland , but never a game ball. Once in Ann Arbor at a football game the after-TD point-after netting malfunctioned and I caught a football but I had to give it back right away. I still miss Comiskey the most. David Berg Corned Beef sandwiches and Augsburger beer were my fave concessions. Here’s a fact: a friend took a trip to NYC this summer and saw a Yankee game. He said there was a bar open inside the stadium and he felt like having one shot of booze to intensify his buzz , as he had sticker-shock at the beer prices…and to his horror he had to shell out fifteen bucks for one measly shot of bourbon.

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  79. Brandon said on August 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    @Connie: I was referring more to Mitt. George Romney was a very serious and accomplished man. Stevie Wonder is an astounding talent, and so is Aretha. As Michiganders they come closest to Madonna in fame, but even they’re known mostly in North America, maybe the U.K.

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  80. Suzanne said on August 23, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    I read the Zippy book a number of years ago. I remember it as cute, sometimes touching, but not life changing. I wasn’t sorry I read it but I haven’t re-read it.

    I’m not sure how many states I’ve visited…not nearly enough.

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  81. Joe K said on August 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Brian stouder
    If you were at south sides football game tonight at about 7:30, that was me that flew over and dipped a wing at you, and I waved at Alex as I went by slightly east of you about 7:35.
    Pilot Joe

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  82. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 23, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Alex, sounds like a yellow Echinacea, a coneflower variant. I’m not sure if it’s a native or not, but I think it is.

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  83. Dorothy said on August 23, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Cute and touching are accurate, Suzanne. I’d heartwarming and hilarious at times. I’m glad to say I never considered it life changing. I just liked and admired her descriptive turn of a phrase.

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  84. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 23, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Does this seem to match?

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  85. alex said on August 23, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Jeff, these are eight feet tall, far surpassing anything around them. I have rudbeckias and echinaceas out the wazooshias but nothing like this, and the bumblebees couldn’t give a flying fuck about those right now because they’re all over this thing. Someone mentioned to me this evening something called false sunflower or heliopsis but in reviewing it online it has a double layer of petals and doesn’t really look anything like it. Truly a mystery plant. In my experience, eight-foot-tall mystery plants seem to come out of bags of birdseed and are never so beautiful or attractive to wildlife, but this one’s so cool I wouldn’t mind propagating it.

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  86. alex said on August 23, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Sherri, I read up on Candlestick Park and I’m sort of surprised that the happenstance vicissitudes of nature aren’t considered as part of the game. To me it seems sporting if you are adjusting to circumstances beyond your control as opposed to playing your rehearsed best under tightly controlled circumstances where there is no potential for loss.

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  87. Sherri said on August 24, 2013 at 12:25 am

    I’m right there with you, Alex, on the vicissitudes of nature being part of the game. However, as a spectator, I’m less enamored of those vicissitudes. Candlestick was a singularly unpleasant place to watch a baseball game. For day games, you wanted to be sure you were sitting in the sun, because you were going to freeze in the shade, and for night games, well, there was a reason they handed out Croix de Candlestick pins for fans who stayed to the end of extra inning night games. (I have one.)

    AT&T Park, on the other hand, is one of my favorite ballparks.

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  88. Dexter said on August 24, 2013 at 12:58 am

    I have fond memories of my year in California. I would attend Oakland A’s and Giants games every chance I could. Day games at Candlestick were OK…back then (1970) my buddy and I would pick up a few six-packs of Lucky Lager and just carry it into the left field seating section with nobody caring at all. A sixer was 99 cents for Lucky Lager. We’d sit in the sun and well…I got the same feeling that Red got when he was drinking cold Bohemian beer in “The Shawshank Redemption”.
    ” We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men. Hell, we could have been tarring the roof of one of our own houses. We were the lords of all creation.”, said Red.
    However, night games at Candlestick were trying. People wore Alaskan parkas to games in July. I am not shitting you. I will never forgot the night I was just sitting there freezing, having sneaked into a great box seat, and a horrendous blast of wind passed through, picking up a million peanut shells and debris and assaulting me and all the patrons of the game with dirt. That shit was nasty. Many people were so interested in keeping warm that is was impossible to get that excitement going, and that really bothered me, being a veteran of attending many games in Chicago and Detroit already.
    If you jump on The Bayshore Freeway and exit onto I-280 , it’s just 6.5 miles from The Stick to AT&T Park. It may as well be a million miles.

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  89. Prospero said on August 24, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Sherri, Robert Moses tried to make the Dodgers move to the Bronx. Pretty fucking stupid for a genious.

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  90. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 24, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Y’know, I guess I let the eight foot part just blow by me. Wowsa. If you told me it was False Sunflower, I’d say that sounds like as good a label as any, not that I’ve heard of such a thing.

    Right now my lawn is so choked with crabgrass I’m not even sure whether I need to mow it, or roll it. Since I don’t have a roller, I guess I’m mowing.

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  91. brian stouder said on August 24, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Joe – dog gone it, I couldn’t make it the game last night!

    But after reading your post, I asked Grant, and he said he noticed a plane (presumably you!) circling around in the sky.

    Anyway, it was good to see that South Side did reasonably well against those dog-gone Dwenger folks, and it looks like you had beautiful flying weather (especially now that the big Lakeside fire is out!)

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  92. alex said on August 24, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Jeff, I still haven’t figured it out, but I saw some of these growing wild this morning in a nature preserve so I’m assuming it’s a native plant and that some bird must’ve pooped some seeds here. Anyway, I’m glad to see bumblebees congregating here as opposed to yellow jackets.

    We’re in the home stretch of renovating our rental property and it has been quite an eye-opening experience. If this house is any indication, slipshod contractors ripping off little old ladies must be a lot more common than anyone realizes. We discovered that the water softener wasn’t hooked to a drain and was just spilling saltwater all over the floor of the closet it shares with the water heater, which we discovered wasn’t grounded. This is even more egregious than the paint coming off in sheets because somebody didn’t properly prime things, or the half-assed electrical work we found all over the place. The owner was a woman of means and I’m sure she paid a lot for this crap. It’s unconscionable and if there were any way of identifying the culprits I’d report them to the BBB.

    On the bright side, even though it has taken us a year to get things up to snuff, I’m glad we didn’t rent it out as-is like we were originally going to do because it could have been a disaster. Making major repairs with people living there is a lot harder to do. Besides, I think that renters who find things in pristine condition are more likely to respect them and take good care of them.

    We’ve just completed refinishing the kitchen cabinets and I’m now painting the walls. Next up, a new vinyl floor for the kitchen. So far I’m not liking any of the choices at Menard’s, Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. Doesn’t anyone make floor tile in plain white anymore that doesn’t look like it belongs in a mobile home? The problem with the faux travertine and other stuff is that it clashes with the ceramic tile in the adjoining areas.

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  93. Deborah said on August 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Sherri, I forgot where you said your daughter was going to go to college? Good for you taking 2 weeks in London.

    I’m at the airport waiting to go to NY for my Beaver Brook adventure and I’m about to crack my first Elmore Leonard book. My cat is perfectly fine now thank goodness, I hope she stays that way until I get back. At about 1am she just perked up and started eating again. Hard to beleive this BB thing is finally happening, I’ve been looking forward to it for months.

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  94. alex said on August 24, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Have fun at Beaver Brook!

    When Nance was here recently she remarked upon how slender my kitty was and how she lacked that pouchy belly most cats have. I don’t know if it’s the dry food I give her but Pussies is growing a gut and I’m becoming concerned she might be preggers. Is there any definitive way to tell? I’ve been wanting to take her in for shots and an overall physical exam, but not sure how to coax her into a cat carrier. She’s very skittish. She doesn’t even want to come into the house. I suspect she was once a prisoner in someone’s house where she wasn’t well treated.

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  95. Sherri said on August 24, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Deborah, my daughter is going to Whitman College, a small liberal arts college in Walla Walla.

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  96. MichaelG said on August 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    My lawn is practically all crabgrass now. At least it’s hardy. If you cut it, go across the street, look back and squint, it doesn’t look bad.

    I attended an marathon extra-inning game at Candlestick one night. I was with my girl-friend of the day. My thought was to hurry home after the game and – well – you know. This thing went 16 innings and we didn’t get out of there until way after midnight. I think it was two o’clock or so. So much for my plan. Fortunately, we had both been there before and knew how to dress. For some reason, the weather never seemed to be a bother at 49er games. It was amusing, though, to watch guys trying to field punts and kick offs.

    It’s sad to hear that there are older people being ripped off by “contractors”. I’m an older people myself. I’m having stuff done at my house. They should be finished today. The contractors are a father and son who live just up the street. They’re very nice guys who really care about their work. I’m very, very happy with the results (including exterior painting). And yes, their license, bonds, insurance and workers comp are all current and active. I guess I’ve been pretty lucky here.

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  97. Tim said on August 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Vicki Marble’s name and remarks remind me of a sportwriter’s comment on the baseball player Gary Sheffield, after Sheffield made some less-than-astute statement: “His name recalls three cities: Gary, Ind.; Sheffield, England; and Marblehead, Mass.”

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  98. brian stouder said on August 24, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Here’s one of the sillier stories I’ve seen, lately, from the part of Fort Wayne I grew up in. The attached video (no sound) must have made people think a parade was coming

    I suppose, given the genuinely scarey amount of gunfire that occurs in southeast Fort Wayne from week to week, that the police response was a case of ‘better safe than sorry’….

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  99. Dexter said on August 24, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    I’m off the rails again. Recently I accepted an offer to be a contributing editor for Trail Mix, the blog of Craig Crawford, who used to pop up on msnbc and cnn quite a bit for his commentary and opinion. This just means I can submit anything to Craig for him to possibly use as a topic. Today he did just that, using my friend’s story of his trip to Russia a few days ago:

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  100. Dexter said on August 24, 2013 at 6:52 pm
    Fort Wayne workers celebrate a dream.

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  101. brian stouder said on August 24, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Dexter – that was a great article from your friend who visited Russia. I think his opinion of the beautiful Moscow women matches my opinion of the beautiful women within LAX(!).

    And of course, the J-G article on the people from hereabouts who ventured off to the Lincoln Memorial in commemoration of the Dream was superb

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  102. Deborah said on August 24, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Dexter, Interesting articles.

    I’m exhausted after a long day of travel. I’m about to turn in at the Ace Hotel in Chelsea. My room is tiny with a bunk bed, I picked this hotel because it’s fairly close to Penn Station where I take the train to Beaver Brook. I had a most excellent meal at the hotel restaurant called The Breslin, ordered blood sausage that came with a fried duck egg, never had a duck egg before. It was just the right amount of food and I had a good beer to go with it, don’t remember the name.

    I’m actually nervous about tomorrow. I’m so tired now, I hope I can hack it with all the youngens for the next week.

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  103. Dexter said on August 25, 2013 at 1:43 am

    Deborah, the Chelsea Hotel on 23rd may be opening in a few months, but it’s shut down now to transient guests and the management are trying to evict everyone else. Beaver Brook…there are so many places called that…which one are you affiliated with for this trip? The Ed Hamilton talking in this linked page really did a great job on his blog before the Chelsea changed hands and old Stanley Bard was kicked out of his job as manager of the hotel.

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  104. alex said on August 25, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Just saw a red plane passing very close overhead while I was spraying saltwater on my driveway weeds. Was that you Pilot Joe?

    Today going on a big canoe outing at Mongo. Preparing salsa and guac and pasta salad and we’re picking up brats and Italian sausages for about twenty people at Albright’s on the way there.

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  105. Deborah said on August 25, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Dexter, this is where I’m going:

    I’m on the train and soon won’t have cell service.

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  106. joe k said on August 25, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Sorry wasn’t me.
    Pilot Joe

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  107. Little Bird said on August 25, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    The cat is indeed better. I came home from a five hour outing and she yelled at me. So she’s back to normal. I do NOT want a repeat of her sister. I was a wreck for at least a week after that.

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  108. Prospero said on August 25, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Koch Kriminal Konspiracy strikes again.

    Painfully stupid Teabanger in support of Canadian politician Ted Cruz:Canada is not really foreign soil.Best home-school education vouchers can buy.

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  109. Sherri said on August 25, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    How much does an IV bag of saline solution cost? No one’s talking:

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  110. Bitter Scribe said on August 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Meh, Madonna is/was who she is/was. She often seemed like she needed to get over herself, but other than that I had no problems with her.

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  111. Dexter said on August 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Deborah, that was an outstanding link. What a cool place!

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  112. Dexter said on August 25, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    musical interlude…

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  113. David C. said on August 25, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Now the insurance part of health care is pretty much taken care of, even in the roundabout way it was done. I hope now the crazy, out of control cost is next on the radar. My wife recently had Mohs surgery for a small skin cancer. The charge to suture a 1.25″ incision was $2000 (reduced to $1200 with the insurance discount(still horrifying)) and it was $6000 ($4200 after discounts) total. It took only 10 minutes to close the incision. That’s just insane and with our shitty insurance, we’ll be paying it off for the next year and a half.

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