Who’s in charge?

The breaks on the local “Morning Edition” used to contain a segment where the host would interview a staffer about what was hopping on Twitter that morning. (It still may, for all I know, but I only listened to “Morning Edition” on my trips to Lansing, and I rarely go these days.) I don’t know if it had something to do with the staffer’s youthful voice or what, but this segment always chapped my ass. It had something to do with the nomenclature, maybe?

“People are talking about Flag Day a lot today,” she’d report, and my teeth would clench. “People?” Could we be just a little more specific? On the other hand, “tweeters” would be even worse, and finally, I’d think: Who fucking cares what’s trending on Twitter? The whole thing reminded me of the endless meetings throughout my newspaper career, about how we might attract younger readers. The answer was always the same: Pop music coverage! Even little Fort Wayne had a pop-music writer (for a while, anyway). It didn’t work.

I thought of that the other day when I was navigating the Free Press website, where a full-on push to video is well underway, and you can no longer get the weather forecast unless you’re willing to watch a video. This was a piece on the reaction to the new Miss America, who is of Indian descent, and whose victory was apparently objected to be some of these people. The segment, which I can’t find a day later, featured a reporter in front of a strangely minimalist backdrop, again quoting people who tweeted mean things about the new Miss A. But some people were supportive, she added, true to journalistic form. And so two minutes of my life went trickling down the drain.

This has been one of those weeks for news, when Twitter became a place to go for news, only most of it was wrong.

I’m so old — how old are you? — I’m so old that I remember one of my college classmates reporting on the standard at the Associated Press, where he was working an intern-ish first job, far away in Montana: When in doubt, leave it out. If you weren’t absolutely sure of a fact, you didn’t put it in a story.

What a concept. I’ve been told that viewers today will forgive early errors on a breaking-news story, as long as they’re promptly corrected, but speaking just as one news consumer? I’m not having it anymore. I stayed away from the coverage of the Naval Yard shooting until late in the day, hoping the facts would assert themselves within a few hours. Yesterday, I went to bed believing the gunman had wielded an AR-15 rifle and had been generally discharged from the Navy. Wrong. I guess in the future, I’ll have to wait two days.

Early in the comments yesterday, a few of you were talking about particular news events, which by general consensus are reported differently by traditional media outlets. Suicides, for one — newspapers don’t report them unless they happen in spectacular ways. If a jumper from the top deck of a parking garage lands in the middle of rush-hour traffic, for example. If the suicide is famous. A few other circumstances. But generally, we know that suicides reported in the media can encourage potential suicides into taking the step. So we don’t.

Bomb threats, for another. Bomb threats beget bomb threats, and nearly all of them are empty, so? Don’t report them.

I’m starting to think racist-tweet stories — and most stories — should go into this category, too. I know I mentioned a racist-tweet story yesterday, but I’m thinking racist tweets aren’t news. I’m thinking racist tweets — all tweets — are just a reflection of the vast and imperfect human family, and hence? Not news.

We really need to figure out how we’re going to cover these stories in the future. Breaking news is exciting, until it isn’t. Like eating potato chips. But news isn’t potato chips.

So. Let’s cut this short and get to some good bloggage:

A great interview with Linda Rondstadt in the San Francisco Chronicle. As you’ve probably heard, she can no longer sing. But she can talk, and she has a lot to say:

She stays in touch, mostly by phone, with a wide range of friends from her musical career. They include the singers Jackson Browne and Aaron Neville, songwriter Jimmy Webb and her longtime recording engineer, George Massenburg. “There’s a certain kind of intimacy that happens when you spend so much time polishing a phrase or a harmony part with someone,” she reflected, “that never goes away. I feel a special kind of kinship that’s different from my other friends, even if it doesn’t necessarily move into your daily life. They may be living somewhere else and you hardly ever see them. But you can just pick up right where you left off. It’s almost like love. No, it is love.”

I love people who are that unguarded.

Remember when Jeff said something about the Insane Clown Posse, something about how they call themselves family, and just like real family, they can do horrible things to one another? They were right. Gawker has the actual complaint. It’s awful. What white trash these creatures be.

It’s Wednesday! Halfway through the week. Enjoy it.

Posted at 12:30 am in Media |

45 responses to “Who’s in charge?”

  1. Joe K said on September 18, 2013 at 2:29 am

    How old am I?
    When I asked the girl working the register at penguin point about a senior discount she said she already added it in.
    I’m 55
    Pilot Joe

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  2. ROGirl said on September 18, 2013 at 6:45 am

    The misinformation reported as fact just reinforces my theory that nobody knows anything. I’m being facetious, but there’s a large portion of what passes for fact or truth or knowledge that is in reality wild speculation, bad judgment, misreading of the situation, etc. A big part of the problem is that people want answers when there aren’t any, or when answers require thoughtful analysis and time. They want to feel safe, and throwing a quick response out can accomplish that for some, but that answer can be spectacularly wrong, and it may never get corrected, or if it does, it will go underreported. Or it can end up negatively affecting the outcome of the situation.

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  3. David C. said on September 18, 2013 at 6:48 am

    You get senior discounts at 55? I guess 55 is the new 65 as well as the new 35. I am 54 and I don’t feel very senior. Maybe this next year will do the trick.

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  4. alex said on September 18, 2013 at 8:03 am

    And Joe, if you’re a veteran, you can have it put on your driver’s license and get thanked for your service and ten percent off your purchases at a bunch of retailers including Home Depot. My partner, a former Marine, has saved us thousands.

    I read the Linda Ronstadt piece yesterday and was disappointed to learn that she has lost her lovely voice. I wasn’t particularly a fan in the ’70s when her pop songs were being overplayed to death, but I got hooked in the ’80s when she came out with her album of torch songs backed up by the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. She didn’t have the classic brassy voice of the ’40s, when female singers really had to belt it out from the stage without the benefit of modern amplification devices, but she made me appreciate music of that era when I’d never cared for it or wished to learn about it. An amazing performer.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 18, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I’m wrestling with what workplace environment expectations anyone can have when the sign on the door is Psychopathic Records and the company logo is a guy running at you with a meat cleaver.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on September 18, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Jeff, I’m with you–why take a job at a place like that? But, ewww.

    Joe, at 55 you get 3% off at Kroger on Tuesdays. They don’t really publicize it and I only learned because I was at customer service when another person asked about it. The other secret Kroger policy is that if you are overcharged, take your receipt to the service desk and you get the item free. Only one item; if you bought three the other two have their price adjusted.

    And Joe, was it you who pointed us to the NOAA page from the National Weather Service? No annoying videos there.

    I heard bits and pieces of the Linda Ronstadt interview and am looking forward to reading her book. Although I’m not a pop music fan, I loved the bits I heard about creativity and working with other artists.

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  7. Randy said on September 18, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Billy Connolly just found out he has Parkinson’s.

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  8. Bob (not Greene) said on September 18, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Oh no, a thread with music involved! Now you’ve done it, Nancy!

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  9. Peter said on September 18, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Alex, I think whatever classic brassy voice Linda Ronstadt had was used up by the time she left the Stone Poneys (I checked – that’s the correct spelling). Still, the album of Mexican classics was fantastic.

    I had a high school history teacher who said he never read the news sections of the daily papers – too much misinformation. He would only read newsmagazines – they had the time to filter out the mistakes before they went to press.

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  10. brian stouder said on September 18, 2013 at 10:34 am

    …and THEN there are news stories that are strangely evocative, like the opening scenes of a __________movie (fill in your fave movie maker)

    like this one (click to see the haunting photo of the muddy but still sharp Camaro)


    the lead paragraph:

    Two decades-old cars containing six skeletons were recovered from a lake in a remote, sparsely populated area of southwestern Oklahoma, officials said Tuesday — potentially solving a pair of cold cases that have bedeviled local authorities for years. Oklahoma Highway Patrol officials stumbled upon the mud-covered cars — a blue 1969 Chevrolet Camaro and a 1950s-era car — while testing new sonar equipment during a training exercise last week at Foss Lake, near the tiny town of Foss (population: 157) in Custer County, authorities said

    I’m thinking David Lynch, given that the side-by-side cars are apparently unrelated (and went in a decade apart)…but the Cohen Brothers might be the better pick, if there IS a connection between the two

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  11. Charlotte said on September 18, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Suicides don’t get reported out here, but they’re unfortunately so common that we all know what “died unexpectedly at home” means in an obit. Sigh.

    Video on websites is a scourge. I can read so much faster than I can watch something. Makes me crazy.

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  12. Bob (not Greene) said on September 18, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Just this very morning reported on what may well have been a suicide, but police aren’t ruling out accidental. It happened on a gun range inside a local gun shop, which I believe made it newsworthy. Guy was a frequent flyer with the local cops.

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  13. coozledad said on September 18, 2013 at 11:35 am

    brian: There’s a catfish in that lake who wonders when they’re going to throw in another can of people.

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  14. Dorothy said on September 18, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Two weeks ago today we had a neighbor two houses up from us “die unexpectedly at home.” We are thinking it was probably a suicide but we didn’t know them. The house sits back in the woods; the wife is a local elementary school principal. The funeral was in Syracuse. Sad all the way around.

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  15. Kim said on September 18, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I’m so old, I keep giving driving directions using landmarks that are no longer here.

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  16. brian stouder said on September 18, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Cooz – and indeed, some fisherman’s ‘secret spot’ – where he always got the biggest, juiciest fish – no doubt just got ruin’t!

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  17. beb said on September 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Here’s hoping this connects to the database. I’m older than Pilot Joe but I’ve only used my age once so far to get a discount – to get an annual pass to the Metro Parks system. We have used it so few times this year that we probably would have come out cheaper buying daily passes but there is always the intention of going there more often.

    Jon Stewart had two good bits on The Daily show last night about CNN’s day-long campaign of misinformation and non-information. In the first he talked about how channels like CNN fill their regular day – which was a series of clips of people talking over each other and ended with a split screen of an orangutan masturbating and the Monster from Young Frankenstein singing “Putting in the Ritz.” He concluded that all the “vomit on the screen” was a feature not a bug.

    The second bit involved his whole crew of “reporters” trying to cover the height of the CNN building and ending with the intruding on other reporters and one man describing how he was passing gas at that very moment. You kind of had to watch the video to see how it expertly builds.

    I get annoyed by Yahoo news items linking to videos. First I cant watch them at work since my browser is “too old” by which it’s a five year old version of Firefox that I can’t upgrade because the computer is locked down. And even at home Id rather read (honestly, I just skim) the article then watch a video.

    I’m also annoyed the increasing number of sites that run a pop-over ad when the page launches that has to be closed because I can actually read the site. I know advertising is how these places survive but do they have to be suck dicks about it.

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  18. LAMary said on September 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I’m 60. I never thought I’d get this old. Neither of my parents lived to be the age I am now. I don’t feel as old as 60 sounds, but I think I am realizing that any thoughts I have about reinventing myself have to be considered in the context of my age. The horizons aren’t limitless.

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  19. Deborah said on September 18, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I use the senior card whenever I can, some places require that you be at least 62, so I qualify. Although no one has ever asked to see my drivers license to verify that I’m eligible. I assume that I look my age, white hair and wrinkles gives it away.

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  20. Dave said on September 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Database error when trying to read the balance of yesterday’s comments. Just so you know, JC.

    Pilot Joe, I know what you mean when you find out they’ve already thrown in the senior discount, everyday you look in the mirror and think, I don’t look so bad but then someone does that and you wonder how you really look to others. Of course, I am a little older than you, about eight years older.

    I’ll use the senior discount, if they want to offer it, I’m fine with using it, thinking that I’ve earned it by living this long.

    There are stores in Florida that offer senior discounts at 50. The Florida department store chain Beall’s (pronounced Bell’s) is one, the took my wife completely by surprise when they asked her age when she was about that age.

    Add me to the list that hates the increasing use of video, I don’t want to have to take time to watch the video when I can skim through or read a article at my leisure, as it were.

    Linda Ronstadt was interviewed yesterday on Fresh Air on NPR. I also heard pieces of it and intend to go back and listen to the entire interview.

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  21. Jeff Borden said on September 18, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Nancy’s comments on how Twitter and other forms of social media reveal the whole wonderful and/or disgusting facets of humanity leads me to wonder if I’m well-served by exploring them. I try to be hopeful about the future because of my ongoing contact with college age people. The other day as I walked into my classroom at the community college where I teach, there was a heated discussion going on among four male students: a Coptic Christian, a Hispanic Catholic, a deeply religious Muslim with roots in Romania and Iraq and an Iraqi born in Baghdad City whose first name is (honest) Jihad. The topic? Their fantasy football teams.

    But when I dive into Facebook or the comments pages on certain sites, my heart sinks and my gut hurts. I guess there always will be racists, homophobes, sexists, conspiracy loons, religious zealots, etc. Just checking out the Starbucks page after its CEO decided not to allow armed coffee-drinkers into his stores led me to a cache of some of the ugliest, nastiest and flat-out stupid comments ever offered up by gun nuts. Most seemed gleeful that someday an armed monster will enter a Starbucks, slaughter the customers and then –nyah, nyah, nyah– won’t you be sorry you didn’t let them come in with their Glocks and Colts.

    How does this make my life better by knowing these goofs not only exist but pretty much hate my liberal ass????

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  22. Sherri said on September 18, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Winding up my last full day in London – we fly back tomorrow afternoon. Somebody (Brian?) asked at the beginning for a top 3 and bottom 3, so here goes.

    Top 3: British Museum, seeing the RSC do Hamlet, and a tie between the British Library and the Churchill War Rooms. Bottom 3, or biggest disappointments: the Imperial War Museum had closed its big WWI and WWII wings for refurbishment two get ready for next year’s centenary of WWI, the cost of things in London, and the rain. Really, London went out of its way to try and make us Pacific Northwesterners feel at home, by being gray and rainy most of our trip.

    And London is an expensive city, no question. Prices don’t look too unreasonable until you remember that you have to multiply by 1.6! But it’s been a wonderful trip, and we’ve enjoyed ourselves so much. And we still love the Tube!

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  23. Deborah said on September 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Sherri, Your trip sounds fantastic. London is expensive, even back in the late 80s when I worked there, my weekly expense reports were outrageous.

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  24. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 18, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Database errors come and go, you just have to refresh a few (dozen) times. It always comes up . . . eventually!

    Lots of conversations recently with people getting ready to die; all of them have said variations on “it all went by so fast, I don’t really feel 89 to myself” and “it’s been a good life, and I’m ready.” The fourth situation is a man not much older than me who is sorting through treatment decisions on a third recurrence of cancer, with “I’m not worried about going, I just don’t want to leave [Blank] alone.” So we’re still tossing hospice & palliative care back and forth with one more round of aggressive experimental, and I’m just the sounding board. He’s got my support either way, but I’m afraid pneumonia may resolve the symptoms on their own.

    But I still don’t like getting automatic senior discounts at 52 . . .

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  25. Scout said on September 18, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I have absolutely no problem claiming my discount at any place that considers 55 “senior”. Getting old does not have that many rewards, might as well take advantage of any we do get!

    Fry’s (west coast Kroegers) gives 10% off the total bill on the first Wednesday of the month. Additionally, they send us coupons based on the stuff we track us buying, and the coupons are typically anywhere from $1-3 off and some are for free products. My September receipt was $230 before all the discounts took my total down to $147. $40 of that was for two $25 iTunes cards that had a $10 coupon. Pretty sweet deal.

    I use Twitter to find out what’s the buzz and if it appears there is something I should pay attention to I then seek out real news sources. I am pretty careful about who is on my feed so I do not see much racist crap except for people re-Tweeting it to shame someone.

    I was happy to read the statement from the CEO of Starbucks this morning. I think it was a good call and fuck the gun nuts.

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  26. LAMary said on September 18, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    I have to wonder what kind of weird ass world we’re living in when the CEO of a coffee shop company has to ask people to stop bringing in guns.

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  27. Bob (not Greene) said on September 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    So the guy who blew himself away inside a local gun shop had not only been convicted on a violent felony in 2009, he (as part of his sentence) had to undergo treatment at a mental health facility. He was discharged in 2012. Yet he is able to walk into a gun shop, load up and get on the firing line?

    I called the state police about what’s required to use a shooting range and some media officer emailed me back and said that shooting ranges aren’t required to check for FOID cards. I emailed him back and asked how that actually squared with the law, since it says nothing of the kind. It DOES say that out-of-state residents can use shooting ranges in Illinois without a FOID card. Guess what? The guy used a Michigan ID. So a violent, mentally disturbed man was able to possess a loaded gun in this place legally. Except, of course, that the guy didn’t live in Michigan anymore. He lived in his mom’s basement in a neighboring town. Oh, and it appears that he intentionally spelled his last name wrong on his Michigan ID. Makes it tougher on some gun shop employee to quickly confirm a criminal record that way.

    They’re all lucky he didn’t start firing away at the rest of the gun enthusiasts in the place.

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  28. alex said on September 18, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Bravo to Starbucks and to any other business or institution courageous enough to take a stand against the NRA and its legion of dupes. Anyone so paranoid that he or she needs to be armed in a Starbucks (or a library or any public building for that matter) is a fucking mess who needs to be disarmed as far as I’m concerned.

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 18, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Mary, you’re living in a country where this was the heart of mainstream entertainment for decades, let alone our violent wresting of the continent in the first place. We’ve got a long way to go to get the general population less enamored of guns and gunplay.

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  30. LAMary said on September 18, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    From what I heard this morning on the local news, Starbucks is sick of people coming in with guns displayed for all to admire or fear or whatever. People do that to make a statement and that statement is not appropriate or necessary in a coffee bar. It makes people who aren’t showing off their guns uncomfortable. I know I would be a little reluctant to let someone know they had cut in front of me in line if they were obviously packing. So other than intimidation and daring someone to say something, what would the purpose be?

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  31. brian stouder said on September 18, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Well, and – it gives a new meaning to ‘doubleshot espresso’, too.

    Seriously, this firearm thing is completely out of hand. I confess, though, that it makes me smile that our gun-nut friends might alienate their own lunatic-libertarian friends – if they disagree that a private business can say “you’re not welcome to bring your damned guns onto our property”

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  32. Scout said on September 18, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    LAMary – I think the point these people are trying to make can also be made with a monster truck, if you catch my drift.

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  33. Jeff Borden said on September 18, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    The gun craziness shows no signs of abating.

    In Appleton, Wis. last week, two gun fans strolled toward the weekly farmers market with their AR-15’s slung over their shoulders and holstered handguns on their waists. Predictably, people panicked and called the police.

    The two men were cooperative and explained they were exercising their Second Amendment rights. They were not ticketed and were allowed to leave with their guns. But during the course of their questioning, they were handcuffed and placed in separate cruisers. Now, word is they are being backed by some gun group to charge the cops with illegal search and detention.

    I honestly do not know what possesses someone to think they need to pack an assault rifle and a handgun when going to a farmers market in an idyllic little town like Appleton. Do they fear being robbed of their produce? Are they worried about an attack from an angry ear of corn?

    I truly feel for the cops, who are in a lose-lose situation. If they stop and question the gun toters, they may be open to some kind of lawsuit. If they ignore the gun toters and said gun toters wind up killing or injuring someone, they’ll be in the crosshairs for that, too.

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  34. Deborah said on September 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    My first thought when I hear about guys toting guns around like in Appleton, WI, is tiny little penises.

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  35. LAMary said on September 18, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Most definitely, Deborah.

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  36. LAMary said on September 18, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I’ve lived in Paterson, N.J., Philadelphia, NYC, Denver and Los Angeles and I have never been in a situation where I needed a gun or where a gun might have been useful.

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  37. MarkH said on September 18, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    As Charlotte said, the West has a higher per-capita suicide rate than the rest of the country and it is woefully underdiscussed.

    However, coincidental with today’s mention of how newspapers handle such matters, the week brought this bizarre news here in Jackson Hole: a hiker came upon a body alongside a trail about two miles off a county road. Heavily decomposed, perhaps partially buried, the body of the man was discovered with his head severed and about ten feet away. Initially invesitgated as a homicide, as there were indications of another person there, sheriff’s detectives now classify the case as a suicide, or “funeral in the wilderness”. The autopsy determined the man had advanced stage cancer and the body had a high level of medication. A suicide note of sorts was discovered on the body. The victim and family members have been identified and contacted. The conclusion is he wanted to die his way in an outdoor paradise. A family member offered to assist him and travelled with him from Philadelphia. A spot was found for the mission which was accomplished. Then the family member just left the body there. Not much else is known yet. Our local weekly picks it up from there:


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  38. Suzanne said on September 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    LAMary, yes. This “The horizons aren’t limitless.” For me the most difficult thing of getting older is knowing that many things I dreamed of doing will never be done (traveling to Europe, writing something publishable, having a job I love). My parents’ generation talked about aches, and pains, and facing changes in the world, but never the loss of limitless horizons. I’ll take the senior discounts, though!

    Guns at the farmer’s market?? Where do these people come from??? Did it ever occur to them that a “bad guy” might surprise them and use their weapon against them, or that something could happen and the other yahoo with an assault rifle won’t be able to figure out who is bad from good?

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  39. Charlotte said on September 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Wow Mark — I know a couple of people up here who like to yak about how they want to leave their body to the grizzlies, but that really is doing it (although? chemo and grizzlies? ick.) When I was finishing Place Last Seen I had an … interesting conversation with the SLC coroner about what might be left of a small child’s body after a winter in the Sierra. Really, I told him. It’s a novel. I’m writing a novel. Still expected the cops to show up.

    The age thing is funny for me — I was a miserable young adult but love being “grown up” and having a (knock wood) reasonably stable life, home, relationship, community. My face was never my fortune, so watching girlfriends go through the inevitable waning of their looks is interesting — “welcome to my world” is sort of how I feel about it. But with so many dead family members, I look at ever big decade birthday (50 is in December) as a triumph. I’m not crazy. I’m not a drunk. I’m not dead. I’m not bankrupt. It’s all good. I do worry about old old age — with no kids and a grandmother who went to 102 — my adopted twins claim they’re taking care of me, but they’re nine, so I’m hardly holding them to the bargain. Mostly just socking money away and paying things off.

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  40. basset said on September 18, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    I’m 58, been getting senior coffee at McDonald’s for several years and have not once been questioned. Also old enough to remember Linda Ronstadt in hoop earrings and Daisy Dukes.

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  41. MichaelG said on September 18, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Ahh, Linda Ronstadt. I wrote a long comment about her a month or so ago. Including Daisy Dukes.

    I’m getting old. I’ll be 69 in a couple of weeks. Mid October. It looks like I’ll be able to retire in about April or so of next year. I’m ready.

    I had meetings, etc. until noon today and then drove back from Alturas. That’s a long hike – 150 miles on a two lane winding mountain road from Alturas to Redding and then another 170 miles down I-5 to Sacto.

    When they fired up all those old cars this AM it sure made one understand why there are smog laws. The smoke and stink was unbelievable.

    I carried and used a weapon during the Vietnam war. The draft was in effect at that time and lots of Americans saw and used weapons and witnessed the effects of such usage. For the last few wars (what a horrible concept – the last few wars) we have had a volunteer military and the exposure to war and its effects has been confined to a very few people relative to the population. I haven’t owned, used or even touched a gun since I left the army.

    I wonder if seeing all the footage of weaponry and its usage has fascinated lots of young and now not so young people who have no real experience of guns. Nobody whom I knew in the army would have ever pranced through a farmers market with an M-16 on a sling and a pistol in a holster. What a couple of strokers. Truly, I wonder what effect the lack of a draft has had on there being all these idiots out there who romanticize guns. If we still had a draft there would surely be fewer big starry eyes looking at weapons.

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  42. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 19, 2013 at 12:06 am

    I was working with a fire service captain who also teaches at our state fire academy, about the same age as me, and he’s amazed that, for the most part, the candidates who come thru his program have never handled a chain saw or a firearm, and he’s more baffled by the former than the latter. But power tools are generally a revelation to them all, so the various iterations of the “jaws of life” all need to be taught them before getting to the hydraulic cutters and power releases. They just finished an abandoned house drill where they spent more time on “Chain Saw 101” than they did on the former syllabus of “cutting through support framing 202” et cetera.

    MichaelG is definitely onto something.

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  43. MarkH said on September 19, 2013 at 12:39 am

    The wife and I will both be 62 in December, me on the 11th and Deb on the 14th. I do not feel my age and am only reminded when I look in the mirror. My wife is the same way only she does look ten years younger. We don’t take much advantage of the senior deals – yet. Looking forward to the permanent senior National Park pass next summer, though.

    Turning colder here with the first snow on the mountains; mid 20s tonight and only mid 60s Thursday.

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  44. MarkH said on September 19, 2013 at 12:39 am

    The wife and I will both be 62 in December, me on the 11th and Deb on the 14th. I do not feel my age and am only reminded when I look in the mirror. My wife is the same way only she does look ten years younger. We don’t take much advantage of the senior deals – yet. Looking forward to the permanent senior National Park pass next summer, though.

    Turning colder here with the first snow on the mountains; mid 20s tonight and only mid 60s Thursday.

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  45. LAMary said on September 19, 2013 at 11:49 am

    At 48 I started a new career and it was easy. To be completely immodest about it, I left my younger colleagues in the dust. I’m still working in the same field but in a different place and I’m fine, but if i have to move, which my ex is pushing hard for, I don’t know if i can afford to live in LA. At least with two dogs three cats and two sons who are not thinking of going off on their own. I don’t know if I could walk into an interview in some city where housing is affordable to me, and get them to hire me. I’m 60.

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