Insert local reference here.

“Low Winter Sun” just aired its third episode, and I am watching out of a sense of duty — it was shot here in Detroit, the story relocated here (from Britain, I understand), friends worked on the crews, etc. My tax dollars at work. I want it to succeed. So far? Not an unqualified success.

I do give Ernest Dickerson, who directed the first two episodes, a great deal of credit for finding the visual interest in the city. He gets the ruin thing, of course, but that’s not all he gets. The cameras have found some largely unseen (even by locals) corners, particularly down near the end of Alter Road, one of my favorite bike routes. He sees the way someone who’s been here a few times (but hasn’t been jaded to it all) sees, so I can’t complain about the look of the show or its setting.

What has bugged me are the local touches to the dialogue, all of which sound like they were gleaned from a one-sheet sent over from the Free Press features department. One character cuts down another, saying something like, “You haven’t gotten a thrill like that since you were 15 and got a blow job hand job at the Dream Cruise,” truly a laugh line, as the Dream Cruise is attended almost exclusively by older people who generally have to plan for blow jobs hand jobs, with medication.

This week, there was an exchange about coneys. Detroit has two next-door neighbor coney islands in the middle of town, American and Lafayette, and allegedly there is a great tribal thing over which one you patronize. You know me, I’m just a tourist here, but I find both equally gross, and I keep waiting for someone to point this out in the many stories I’ve read about this great dividing line. (Interestingly, I have never, not once, heard a native express a preference for one over another, although they’re always doing so in newspaper and magazine stories. Whatever.)

I keep thinking about “The Wire,” in which the city of Baltimore was, as the critics like to say, a character in the story, and the difference between it and “Low Winter Sun.” I think it comes down to David Simon and his writing staff’s deep familiarity with the place. Simon, of course, worked as a police reporter there for years, and had a long embed with the homicide squad. That’s how you get wonderful details that became plot points and other great moments in the show — the Sunday truce, the exchange between the tourists and the stoop-sitting corner kids about the Poe House, and the two cops eating crabs in an interrogation room, one scooping out the guts with his fingers and reproving the other for being too much of a pussy to eat them.

It’s the difference between really knowing a city and only being here for the scenery and tax credits.

Last week on “Low Winter Sun,” one cop tells his partner that he took a woman “across the border, to Windsor.” No one would say that here; they’d just say Windsor, or across the border. Not both. That’s forgivable, though, because most non-Detroiters don’t know where Windsor is, and judging from how often the Canadian border is even left off locator maps in major newspapers, maybe we should be glad the line wasn’t, “I took her across the Canadian border, to Windsor, Ontario. That’s a province in Canada, Frank, not exactly equivalent to a state in the U.S. More a regional thing.”

I’m going to keep watching, because the show isn’t bad. I only wish they’d hire a local to read the scripts first. (I think I’m available.)

So, speaking of local weirdness, I was amazed by this story in today’s Freep, about a longtime political fixer — sort of a professional connector — suing a judge over an unpaid bill. The fixer, a woman named Jean West, brokers appearances by candidates running for office at local churches, senior centers and neighborhood groups. This was the part that hit me:

The 77-year-old plaintiff, a retired nurse who dived into politics after helping the first black woman get elected to Detroit’s City Council, called it a first. Never in her 43 years of working on campaigns had she ever gone unpaid, she said, despite her old-school methods.

When candidates seek her services, West brokers deals with a verbal contract and a handshake, promising to get them into as many Detroit churches as possible. And when she wants to get paid — her typical fee is $350 per week — the clients meet her in her backyard or at her dining room table and pay her, usually in cash.

No invoices. No formal contracts. She gets paid.

She’s suing for $3,500. Do you think the attention she’ll draw from the IRS will be worth that much?

Via Jeff the MM, one of those great Telegraph obits, of Col. Julian Fane, deceased at 92, a war hero:

On May 28 they received a message to make a break for it and head for Dunkirk. Fane, at the head of a small group of men, managed to slip away in the darkness. He was wounded in the arm by a mortar bomb as they scrambled through hedges and over ditches, guided by the flashes of guns on the coast and the light from burning farm houses.

At 3am they hid up in a barn and grabbed some sleep. During the day, the Germans arrived and the farmer climbed up a ladder and whispered to them to stay concealed under the straw. The next night, Fane and his men crept past an enemy bicycle patrol which was fast asleep under a hedge beside a towpath.

On June 2, after covering more than 20 miles of enemy-held country, he was standing in the doorway of a small terrace house close to the beach when a bomb fell nearby. The house collapsed and he was blown into the street.

His party reached Dunkirk in time to be evacuated back to England. Fane received the first of his MCs for his part in the fighting withdrawal.

Finally, I have nothing to say about a certain Disney pop tart a few years past her sell-by date, and her activities of the past couple of days, but before you write her off entirely, ask yourself whether this girl still lives inside her somewhere, and how she might be encouraged to reassert herself.

In the meantime, I just wish she’d put her damn tongue back in her mouth.

Posted at 12:30 am in Detroit life, Popculch |
 

67 responses to “Insert local reference here.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 27, 2013 at 12:58 am

    This no doubt is an indication of my growing lack of ability to be indignant about the right things, but I wonder how many of the folks waxing rhetorical about the latest NSA revelation (we’re all shocked, shocked that employees misused the keys to the company search engines to research their booty calls) also have those little tags on their key chains to use when you buy coffee or coneys or those rolled-up tubes of crunch and grease with “meat” and “cheese” along with your gas, or for swiping at the pharmacy or grocery emporium.

    Do people realize these bar coded tags that WE manage for them are a way for the chain stores to closely track what we buy, when, and in what quantities, so they can target our receipt ads, bonuses, and probably our e-mail notifications? We’re GIVING away for a 3% discount on Krispy Kremes more data than the NSA can ever hope to garner.

    On the other hand, if you have 51 minutes to spare or even, bless you, 100, this is a great way to spend them. Jean Vanier is my personal Miley Cyrus. Or Madonna. Or whomever.

    http://www.onbeing.org/program/wisdom-tenderness/234

  2. Sherri said on August 27, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Okay, can we call a moratorium on accusing those of us who are unhappy about living in a surveillance state of being unaware of the degree to which other organizations are tracking us? I dare say I’m more aware than most people, spend more effort than most people avoiding tracking, and yet can still see a difference between making a choice to allow a company to track information on my buying habits in exchange for convenience or a discount, and secretly being tracked without my consent or a warrant by my government.

    The only tag on my key chain is for my gym membership; does that give me permission to be indignant about the NSA?

  3. Dexter said on August 27, 2013 at 2:17 am

    I watched it alone, as my wife doesn’t care for the show, and when Joe Geddes told Frank he drove “her across the border, to Windsor”, I sort of mumbled to myself something about “Jesus, Joe, Frank knows that bridge goes to Windsor.” Yeah, that made me just cringe, and I live a good ways from Detroit, but I know a little bit about the place. Those guys got their blind pig up and running in record time…from planning to cashing in in one scene change sequence.

    Sometimes before a Tigers game, way back when the games were at Michigan and Trumbull, I’d take whoever was in my ball game crew that day down to Lafayette hotdogs. Like the worker who witnessed the murder scene body-dump into the river, there was never any fucking around trying and hoping that those American hot dogs had somehow improved. It’s Lafayette for this kid. Neither place is close in quality to the Fort Wayne Main Street place, “Fort Wayne’s Famous Coney Island”.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fort-Waynes-Famous-Coney-Island/177198582617

    And Sergeant Carter visits Barack Obama and gets a shiny medal clasped around his neck.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-awards-medal-of-honor-to-staff-sgt-ty-carter-for-heroism-in-afghanistan/2013/08/26/ec4daf58-0e66-11e3-8cdd-bcdc09410972_story.html

  4. Prospero said on August 27, 2013 at 6:39 am

    A truly great band:

    http://www.hitfix.com/immaculate-noise/the-replacements-reunited-live-this-weekend-stream-the-whole-set.

    Yeah, Windsor isn’t exactly across the border the way Mexico is.

  5. Alan Stamm said on August 27, 2013 at 7:02 am

    For the record: The flaccid line on ep. 2 of LWS was about a post-Cruise hand job, not that it alters your valid point.

    • nancy said on August 27, 2013 at 8:43 am

      Thanks, Alan. Fixed.

  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 27, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Sherri, I’m not saying you can’t decry misuse at all, please continue! But I’m amazed at how oblivious people are about information they’re spending quality time *helping* corporations maintain and manage incredibly detailed databases about our personal choices, and when you point it out to people (or cashiers) they say “but it’s just used for inventory and stocking” or something like that. Maybe so, but the potential is there, and the odds are someone at Kroger corporate has checked out a date in the system, etc. Plus, I end up in line pretty often behind people who have *dozens* of those scan tags for various businesses.

    But my point was not to say the one phenomena means you can’t critique the federal misuse (or gathering) in the first place. Yet there are lots of people making a reflexive reaction to that news who aren’t looking at how privacy is being nibbled away from a whole ‘nother angle.

  7. alex said on August 27, 2013 at 7:57 am

    This week, there was an exchange about coneys. Detroit has two next-door neighbor coney islands in the middle of town, American and Lafayette, and allegedly there is a great tribal thing over which one you patronize. You know me, I’m just a tourist here, but I find both equally gross, and I keep waiting for someone to point this out in the many stories I’ve read about this great dividing line.

    Nancy, you always manage to get off at least one line that has me howling. And I’m sorry, Dex, but the appeal of Fort Wayne’s Famous Coney Island is completely lost on me. My parents recently had lunch there on a whim and I thought their description was spot-on. They hadn’t been in that place in probably forty years. What they found so remarkable, aside from the inedible fare, was the unique mix of people. In this town, you almost never see so many middle-class people and hoboes in the same room together. I suppose the latter like it because those soggy dogs don’t require any dentition, they don’t have to panhandle for more than five minutes to afford lunch and they won’t get ejected for smelling up the place.

  8. beb said on August 27, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Since I’ve already accused (errantly) that Low Winter Sun was filming in Canada to get better views of Detroit, I won’t say any more about the show.

    I don’t understand nancy’s disdain for Coney Islands. Is it the idea of mystery meat in a tube or a hot dog slathered with spicy mystery meat? Or something else. And does Nancy also disdain Chicago dogs or New York Dog, which are like Coney Islands but with different toppings?

    There have been such a stream of young woman coming out of the Disney Studio system who immediately crash and burn that I wasn’t immediately sure which one Nancy was talking about. The T&L link cleared up that confusion but aside from her oerchance to sticking out her tongue I thought her outfit was pretty nice for a big-time stage performer. Of course it would look tacky on anyone else, but compared to what she wore on stage it was reserved and tasteful. Except for her hair, That was just dumb.

    I’ve often wondered what kind of sick atmosphere exists within Disney Studios that produces so many train wrecks – Britney, Lindsay, Vanessa, Selena, Miley… Outside of Disney the only other train wreck has been Amanda Bynes, who at last report was responding well to Schizophrenia drugs.

    There is one big difference between the data collection done by everyone else and that by the NSA. Everyone else – Krogers, Google, Starbucks, etc., just want to more better target ads at you. They don’t care if you’re black or white, gay or straight, Christian and Muslim. They don’t care is your liberal, conservative, communist or anarchist so long as they can find better ways to sell you crap. This is pretty annoy in and of itself but essentially harmless. The NSA on the other hand is scooping up all this data without ever telling us, contrary to US law which forbids spying on US citizens. It’s compelling ISPs to collect this data whether or not the ISP wants to and then it looks through this data to find some linkage that suggests someone is a bad actor. And the best results it can point to often turn out to be conspiracies A) in some idiot’s mind or B) arrests developed through normal police work. This is a huge, invasive police state that hasn’t been shown to keep us any safer and costs the US $billions every year. This is what the Tea Parties should be complaining about if they weren’t so obsessed with black people getting their money.

  9. Kim said on August 27, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Pros – that link made my week, so thank you. If I hadn’t just had to cough up two college tuitions I’d head home to see the ‘Mats. Paul Westerberg is the Minneapolitan chronicler of my life.

  10. brian stouder said on August 27, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I’m with Alex – the allure of Fort Wayne’s Coney Island (and Power’s too) is lost on me…even as I understand that the mystique (or misty stink) and attraction for others is genuine.

    To this day, you may well run into Ian Rolland (local retired captain of industry and lion-hearted pillar of the community)at Coney Island, or any number of top-flight lawyers or judges from the court house.

  11. LAMary said on August 27, 2013 at 9:29 am

    I wonder what goes on at Mousewitz too. What’s with the culture there?
    On the other hand, I’m cutting Miley some slack because she’s young and is being encouraged to flaunt it. She has a lot of talent and I’ve heard her say some very reasonable things over the last couple of years. Let’s hope she stops with the stupid stuff and realizes she has a great voice before she becomes Lindsay or Britney.

  12. Peter said on August 27, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Nancy, I work with a few former residents of Detroit, and to a person (two are women) they swear allegiance to Lafayette.

    One told me he had a furniture installation downtown and made it to Detroit just before 7:00 a.m. He had a little time to kill, and he said the first thought that popped into his head was getting a Lafayette. Which he did. Breakfast of Champions.

  13. Bitter Scribe said on August 27, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Hey, just be grateful there haven’t been any howlers (so far) on “Low Winter Sun.” Once a TV show with “Chicago” right in the title ended with the characters looking out at the sun setting over Lake Michigan.

  14. Basset said on August 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

    We had a coney place here in Nashville for awhile that was supposed to be the genuine Detroit article, down to the twelve-packs of Vernor’s and Faygo stacked around the counter… I thought the dogs were good, dunno if they were authentic. Local specialty here is “hot chicken,” dipped in hot sauce and rolled in peppered breading before deep-frying.

  15. Julie Robinson said on August 27, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Coneys. I just clenched everything south of my rib cage.

  16. Mark P said on August 27, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Miley just discovered that she had boobs and a pussy, and she thinks everyone else is going to be as amazed and pleased as she is.

    Maybe eventually she will grow up.

  17. velvet goldmine said on August 27, 2013 at 10:45 am

    The “Jolene” performance reminds me that Dolly Parton is Miley’s godmother. I think a visit from Auntie Dolly is in order. She knows a thing or two about getting out from under an image as a sex joke and becoming a first-rate artist.

  18. Heather said on August 27, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I heard this morning on the radio that supposedly Miley’s performance was a preview of Robin Thicke’s new video, which features a lot of twerking and tongue stuff. Still, ugh, what a spectacle.
    http://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/robin-thicke-releases-give-it-2-u-music-video-after-miley-cyrus-performance-2013268

  19. MichaelG said on August 27, 2013 at 10:52 am

    There was an excellent place here in Sac called Capital Dog. Only stuff that belongs on a hotdog are dark mustard, chopped onions and sauerkraut Anything else is a felony.

    Ms. Cyrus isn’t anywhere near as cute as she thinks she is.

    What is with this fad for people getting inspirational sayings tattooed on themselves?

  20. Dorothy said on August 27, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Scribe you reminded me of a complaint I have about some television shows. I know it happens in more than one but right now the only one that comes to mind is Grey’s Anatomy: when they have the characters waking up in the morning and it’s BRIGHT inside their bedrooms. In the WINTERTIME. And they are DOCTORS. The point being – it should be pitch black outside because they’re probably getting up at 5:00 or maybe 6:00 and it’s STILL dark outside. Bothers the crap out of me.

    And now it’s my turn (this week) to say You Kids Stay Off My Lawn!

  21. alex said on August 27, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I’m kind of mystified at the outrage over Miley Cyrus. For years people have been going apoplectic at the sight of her wearing makeup or earrings or showing too much shoulder or thigh. I guess if she’s the star of a children’s television show she’s expected to dress like a frump in her public life for the rest of her life. So I’m applauding her coming out.

  22. Sherri said on August 27, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Dorothy, it’s especially bad on Grey’s Anatomy, which is supposed to be set in Seattle, where the sun doesn’t rise in the winter until 8 am!

    (Grey’s isn’t filmed in Seattle.)

  23. Scout said on August 27, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I finally saw the VMA thing that has so many clutching their pearls, and my thought was that it is much ado about very little. I was more annoyed by the tongue action than anything else. I loved that Jolene video.The girl has some real talent, and I hope she gets some better management advice to direct it towards producing “real” music like that. I think she just wants to get out from under the Hannah Montana baggage, and hopefully once she does, she’ll be fine.

  24. LAMary said on August 27, 2013 at 11:30 am

    A lot of doctor shows are filmed in the hospital where I work. My office has been in DC, Miami and either Long Island or Massachusetts. The signs said Suffolk County Medical Center. The corridor I’m on used to be a patient care area but it isn’t anymore. Most of the rooms still look like patient rooms so it’s great for filming. My office used to be the room the occupational therapists used on the transitional care unit. When I moved in there were drawers full of pipe cleaners, yarn and beads and a huge cabinet full of old VHS tapes. Most of them tapes sent to MPA members for Oscar nomination consideration.

  25. mark said on August 27, 2013 at 11:34 am

    “Miley just discovered that she had boobs and a _____,”

    And she just discovered that her ass compares unfavorably with that of butt-challenged cartoon character Hank Hill and that of an ordinary roasting hen.

    http://theboombox.com/butt-shaming-miley-cyrus/

  26. brian stouder said on August 27, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Alex – I cannot work up any shock or dismay; mystification, on the other hand, I can do.

    What fascinated me yesterday (besides that new-to-me word) was that Ms Cyrus managed to put everyone off.

    My own unscientific sample includes our 15 year old daughter, who used to watch her Disney show, and who expressed…not disgust, but more than disdain (sort of a tribal response, as in ‘she’s not in the tribe anymore’).

    Pam and I were taken aback, but not offended, per se.

    What was the plan? Did the plan work?

    If our daughter and her friends are still talking about it next week (regardless whether with disdain or admiration), then I’d concede Alex’s point and think that it DID work.

    But right now it looks like a wipe-out

  27. James said on August 27, 2013 at 11:39 am

    I saw the rerun of the MTV thing.
    “Twerking” is one thing, but that tongue lolling looked neurological. As a geezer, I found the whole act the opposite of sexual. Anti-sexual? Nasty?

  28. brian stouder said on August 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Now that the president has commented on the Australian collegiate baseball player’s senseless killing, what will Kathleen Parker say?

    And indeed – how will Fox-nation process this news? My prediction: incoherent screeching from Flying Monkeys of the rightwing airwaves, and then lots of Fox interviews of those same Flying Monkeys by one of their own corporals, Shit-for-brains-Sean Hannity…

    and maybe even the thoughtful (compared to the excitable man-boy Monkeys) and reflective Kathleen Parker her-own-self will get some face-time amongst the female news-models over there

  29. alex said on August 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Parker spoke too soon. So did this dweeb. He watches Fox News so you don’t have to.

  30. brian stouder said on August 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    That guy might not be King of the dweeb’s but he’s certainly a Dweeb King courtisan.

    How many things are wrong with this passage?

    Did King really die, as former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi suggested, for a “living wage,” paid medical leave for workers and affordable child care so “the power of women can be unleashed”? Did King really die to ensure citizenship to illegal immigrants, as Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of LaRasa (The Race), insisted?
    My parents weren’t bigots, but neither were they civil rights activists. They were simply traditionalist Christians who taught their kids to treat others as they would want to be treated themselves. Maybe that’s why, even as a child growing up in the 1960s, King’s dream of a colorblind society appealed to me. Perhaps it’s also why I find efforts to highjack the civil rights movement in pursuit of goals antithetical to its original intent so distasteful.

    It is precisely like folks who want to argue that the American civil war was NOT about slavery, but instead “state’s rights”.

    Is ol’ Kevin intellectually dishonest (for partisan reasons), or just block-headed? Hmmmmmmmm

  31. Mark P said on August 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Most of the people manning the fire hoses and working the police dogs in 1963 in Birmingham probably considered themselves good, traditionalist christians. And they probably went to church the Sunday after the children’s march, but they didn’t have to worry about bombs going off at their churches.

  32. MarkH said on August 27, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    “Now that the president has commented on the Australian collegiate baseball player’s senseless killing, what will Kathleen Parker say?”

    Brian, I have been looking for the president’s comments you describe to no avail. None of the major news sites has it, but there’s plenty on his focus on the Syrian situation. Google has nothing as well. Can you provide a link?

  33. Dorothy said on August 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I found this, MarkH: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/27/20210088-obama-prays-for-slain-ballplayers-family-cites-extra-measure-of-evil-in-killing?lite

    There’s a link on that page to a newspaper in Australia.

  34. MarkH said on August 27, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Great, thanks, Dorothy.

  35. brian stouder said on August 27, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I heard the news on television; here’s a link Uncle Google supplied me:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2402897/Obama-praying-family-murdered-Australian-baseball-player-Christopher-Lane.html

    President Barack Obama has passed on his condolences to the devastated family of an Australian baseball player who was gunned down as he went for a jog in Oklahoma.

    In a statement released more than a week after the tragic death of Christopher Lane, the president said he knew the victim’s loved ones were going through trying times.

    ‘As the President has expressed on too many tragic occasions, there is an extra measure of evil in an act of violence that cuts a young life short,’ White House spokesman Matt Lehrich told the Herald Sun.

    ‘The President and First Lady’s thoughts and prayers are with Chris Lane’s family and friends in these trying times.’

  36. Dexter said on August 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Nance, I heard people pronounce the place’s name like this: La-fee-ETTE, with the word’s syllables all scrunched up. Lafayette, West Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana. I knew a co-worker from Lafayette, Louisiana,an African-American, and he too said it the same way.
    Then came ‘True Blood’, and the gay cook was called Lah-fay-ett, spoken slowly, accent on each stretched-out syllable. Lahhhh-fayyy-ett.
    Well, OK…but then I heard it pronounced like that by Joe Geddes in the show on TV. That ain’t right…people don’t say it like that in Detroit, do they?
    http://challengedetroit.org/blog/jaredberman/files/2013/04/lafayette_coney_island_hot_dogs_coneys-with-everything.jpg
    The link shows the delicious Lafayette Coneys…who can even say Americans are better in any way?

  37. Connie said on August 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Out here in exurban Detroit our coneys are Leo’s and Lulu’s and L. George’s, each of which has several restaurants. In fact Leo’s has one in Chicago.

  38. Connie said on August 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    My cajun ex sister-in-law from Lafayette LA pronounced it with an accent on the fay.

  39. brian stouder said on August 27, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    My father-in-law, a life-long Cass County, Indiana person whose genuine intelligence is second to no one I know, pronounces Lafayette “Lay’-feeyet”.

    This through me off for years, but now I’m used to it. (he also uses the phrase “just as leave”, which we previously discussed here, and which stems from a German phrase, iirc)

  40. brian stouder said on August 27, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    make that “threw”!

  41. Dexter said on August 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    brainstouder: Not even the locals say “Pee-rue” anymore, but that’s the way the founders pronounced Peru, Indiana.
    And even though it’s spelled “Archbold”, the old timers used to always say “Arch-ee-bald” for the little Ohio town next door to me. Now those folks have died off, and the new kids all say “ARCH-bold”. But we have discussed this stuff before here a few years ago, you’re right. One more, though…I remember Hilliard Gates saying “WATER-loo” for my old hometown, when everybody there said “Water-LOO”. Ho-hum.

  42. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 27, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Apparently, people in Detroit have guns: http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2013/08/27/big-cat-causing-stir-in-detroit-is-shot-dead/

  43. brian stouder said on August 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    A friend of Pam’s has two (2!!) of these large cats.

    They’re quite beautiful, but at 2 am I don’t think I’d want one (or two) of these creeping along the top of the sofa, or down the hall to where I’m asleep

  44. beb said on August 27, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that the cat is dead. According to the article it was half Servel, an African wild cat. I thought, from its spots that it was larger wild cat species.

  45. brian stouder said on August 27, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Our zoo has a serval, and she’s not very big, but she has long legs, and can jump about 10′ straight up(!)

  46. beb said on August 27, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    It had to happpen:
    http://mileycyrustwerkingonreality.tumblr.com/

    Not as funny as Hillary txting but the third picture – Miley twerking on the Egyptian riots – i pretty funny.

  47. alex said on August 27, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Brian, Cass County is known not only for PEE-ru but GalVESTon.

  48. MarkH said on August 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    A friend / client of mine breeds these savannah cats up in DuBois, where he recently moved from Okalhoma. They are beautiful, very expensive and can sell for up to $14,000 – $20,000.

    http://www.a1savannahs.com/

  49. MarkH said on August 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    OKLAHOMA!

  50. brian stouder said on August 27, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    oh yes! PEErue it is!

    And I got into an argument with a salesperson hereabouts who used to live in Walton, who insisted on pronouncing Burnettsville as “BURNettsville” (which is how I used to pronounce it) instead of “BurnNETTsville” (which is how Pam’s people in Cass County pronounce it).

    Just have to roll with it, eh?

    (and oddly enough, everyone pronounces ‘Rensselaer’ the “right” – or at least, the SAME – way; but when it comes to Versailles, fuhgetaboutit!)

  51. Sherri said on August 27, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Incredible Rim Fire videos from Air National Guard planes dropping fire retardant: http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/08/26/california-air-national-guard-rim-fire-video

  52. MichaelG said on August 27, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    I was just going to link to those videos, Sherri. They are, indeed, terrific.

  53. Deborah said on August 27, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Well the Beaver Brook tumbler still isn’t up to speed but for those of you interested, here’s a link to a flickr set taken by one of the participants. I’m the white haired old lady in some of the shots. The food here is amazing, a Chilean guy is the house chef and he is most interesting to talk to especially about South American politics. The guys running this show are brilliant, Zach and the two instructors are helpful, articulate and extremely talented. We’re building a sauna, only 144sf so doable in the amount of time we have. What fun: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sikelianos/sets/72157635251680441/

  54. Joe K said on August 27, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    If your wondering about the continuous landing gear call, if you retard the engine or put in flaps to landing configuration with out the gear down, you will get either a orn or in this case, a voice telling you landing gear, study’s have shown a female voice will get the pi,ots attention quicker than a mail, we call here “bitchen Betty”
    Fire bombing is pretty close to flying combat I have been told.
    Pilot Joe

  55. Dave said on August 27, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Actually, not to be contrary, but Miami County is better known for Pee-rue.

    Back in the 1970′s, I traveled to Pee-rue on a regular basis and everyone there pronounced it that way then. As for today, I couldn’t say but, as Brian has noted, Lafayette was Lay-fee-ette, which was very offsetting to me.

    The lady who used to trim our late Bichon is from Gal-VEST-on, and that’s where I learned that proper pronounciation.

  56. Sherri said on August 27, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    If you want a palate cleanser from all the Miley twerking, check out this, from a recent Kristen Chenoweth concert: http://gawker.com/kristin-chenoweth-caught-off-guard-by-fans-wickedly-go-1200767046

  57. Dexter said on August 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Gal-VEST-on is ringing a bell alright. Now who wants ice cream? http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/kitchen/linardic/wm_hc_ice_250.jpg

  58. Suzanne said on August 27, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I’ve been tired of Miley Cyrus for years and this last bit of twerking just solidifies it. Disney picks young things of some talent and some attractiveness (but I’ve honestly seen just as good at high school choir competitions), markets them as wholesome (remember Britney talking about how she was saving herself for marriage? Anyone? Anyone?), uses ‘em up, and then lets them loose on the rest of us. And we are not better people for it. I don’t have high hopes for Miley.

  59. Dexter said on August 27, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLLQk6CGe2w

  60. MichaelG said on August 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I hope you looked at the videos to which Sherri linked. The big aircraft are staging out of three bases, McClellan here in Sacto, Castle in Atwater and I forget the third. The C-130 in the video, MAFF 6 is working out of McClellan. I’ve seen video on the news of it being serviced there. There are nine MAFF C-130s and two big DC-10’s working the fire. I don’t know how many CalFire S-2s and helicopters are working and I don’t know how many other contractor aircraft are also working. As you can see and hear in the videos, each large aircraft has a lead in plane guide it to the target. In the videos, the lead in plane is visible at the end of the sequence when it drops smoke to mark the target and then departs upward and to the left. I’m guessing that the lead in aircraft are CalFire OV-10 Broncos. Air traffic control must be interesting.

    The fire is huge at 180,000 acres or about 280 square miles. The area is remote and is a series of very steep canyons. There are no roads to speak of. It simply isn’t possible to position hand crews to fight much of the fire. Even if it could be done it is too dangerous. The main effort is to the west and northwest where there are populated areas and to the east. As one CalFire spokesman put it, they aren’t trying to fight this fire so much as to herd it away from populated areas. Still, there are almost 4000 people on site fighting this thing. Altogether, the numbers are stupendous.

    San Francisco derives its electric power and its water from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir on the east end of the fire. The fire has burned right up to the reservoir and a major effort is being expended to save power generating facilities and lines and to save water lines. Hence the emergency declaration for the City of San Francisco. SF could potentially lose water and power although the firefighters seem to have the upper hand here.

    The only good thing about this monster is that it is in such a remote area.
    The inciweb link: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3660/

  61. MichaelG said on August 27, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Great pictures, Deborah and you’re looking awfully good yourself. The food looks delicious.

  62. Sherri said on August 27, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    One correction, Michael; SF only gets a small part of its electrical power from Hetch Hetchy, and it’s pretty easily replaceable. The water, though, serves customers as far south as Palo Alto and Mountain View, if I remember correctly. They’ve been moving water down to the other reservoirs in the system in anticipation of ash contaminating Hetch Hetchy.

  63. brian stouder said on August 27, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    What Michael said!, and, the food looks great

  64. brian stouder said on August 27, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Forgot to say – Sherri – that was a wonderful, wonderful palate cleanser!

  65. Judybusy said on August 27, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Oh, Deborah, that all looks fantastic! You look like a natural with that drill. I think my favorite photo was the one woman with cement in her hair.

    I read a piece earlier today by a black woman criticizing Miley’s use of the black female body. Too tired to mess with the HTML. http://groupthink.jezebel.com/solidarity-is-for-miley-cyrus-1203666732

  66. Brandon said on August 27, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Miley Cyrus is not a bad singer. But there was no artistry to her performance. Check out Madonna’s performance of “Like a Virgin” on the inaugural VMAs in 1984, or her rendition of “Vogue” in 1990. Then you tell me.

    If anything, Miley’s performance was so ridiculous, you just have to laugh. But Robin Thicke’s suit was outstanding. Could he be the Tom Jones of the 2010s?

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