Another sketchy day.

We seem to be having connectivity problems again. It’s late, and I really don’t have what it takes to sit here and negotiate with it again. Open thread, if you can get through, OK?

Two links: The worst graffiti in Detroit. I like boobs!

Death of an adjunct. Keep this in mind when you’re paying tuition.

Let’s try for better luck tomorrow.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events |

24 responses to “Another sketchy day.”

  1. Deborah said on September 19, 2013 at 3:08 am

    MichaelG, I’m making your cherry coke braised pork shoulder later today. is there anything else I should know about how to prepare it? Congrats on what you said on the previous thread about being able to retire in April. I’m certainly enjoying my retirement.

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  2. Dexter said on September 19, 2013 at 3:22 am

    “Cum Guzzler” is a term I never heard until a few years ago when it kept being used by the twenty-somethings as a good-natured insult on some XM shows I listen to. But everybody knows Ricky is a twat, no need to spray paint it on a wall. 🙁

    Another year, another birthday yesterday, we celebrated by going to a little produce market and buying Cortland and Honey Crisp apples, and having sesame chicken and pork lo mein at my fave little Chinese place .

    Lance Armstrong, Duke Snider, James Gandolfini, Greta Garbo, Robert Blake…all of us were born on September 18. Well, it is an open thread!

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  3. alex said on September 19, 2013 at 7:59 am

    The adjunct story was pitiful and Duquesne deserves to be shamed mightily. Makes me wonder how long it will be until the universities’ source of underpaid labor will be tapped out. With education costing what it does today, people with advanced degrees sure as hell won’t be working for those kinds of wages.

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  4. Dorothy said on September 19, 2013 at 8:49 am

    You forgot Frankie Avalon and my co-worker Mary, Dexter! Happy birthday a day late.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on September 19, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Alex, it’s not just that they won’t work for those wages, it’s that they simply won’t have advanced degrees. Who will go on to get a doctorate when they face huge student loans with no prospect of repayment?

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  6. coozledad said on September 19, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Margaret Mary Vojtko should have had the good sense to be born into a “family of intellectually intimidating academics” with a road map of which asses to tongue, like Megan McArdle. Then she could have left her parents’ house at age thirty two and landed a gig with a right wing think tank praising the virtues of the hard work of the rich.

    Anyone can teach French. Only a few have the brains to eke out a living on a trust fund.

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  7. brian stouder said on September 19, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Happy birthday, Dex!

    Age is funny.

    How is it that I see myself in the mirror every morning, but if Pam snaps a photograph, the person who is supposed to be me looks so different? (balder, rounder, more untucked)

    Anyway, I nominate Sherri to give us another paragraph or two on her trans-Atlantic trek.

    The whole process of international travel sounds interesting (and intimidating) to me.

    For example, the first thing Grant and I did when we flew west was to miss our connecting flight in Chicago…and that event reverberated for the rest of the journey. One can only imagine how fouled up things would have been, if we had been travelling internationally

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  8. Sherri said on September 19, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Right now, I’m at Heathrow waiting on my delayed flight back to Seattle. There’s a problem with the toilets on the plane we’ve been told, but we haven’t been told how long the delay will be. Takeoff was supposed to be right about now, and my free Wifi at the airport is about to expire. Not really looking forward to 9.5 hours on a plane; the downside of international travel. At least it’s a direct flight – no chance of missing my connection!

    BTW, security at Heathrow was much more pleasant than at any US airport I’ve been to. There was someone at the entry handing out plastic bags for your liquids, with table area for dealing with them. You then scanned your boarding pass, and an agent directed you to a screening line. You got to keep your shoes on, but you did have to take iPads and Kindles out of bags. Then through a metal detector, and done. Keeping my shoes on made me much happier.

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  9. Charlotte said on September 19, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Okay — for everyone feeling old — Elaine Stritch adjusts to life in Detroit:

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  10. Dorothy said on September 19, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I don’t fly often, Sherri, but when I do I wear slip on shoes for that reason. I’m much more comfortable in tennis shoes, or sneakers, but the lacing and unlacing at security is a pain in the keister. Here’s hoping you’re in the air by now and reading this later tonight when you get home.

    Anyone know someone in the Dayton area with an apartment to rent out, short term lease? Making phone calls to find one is a big time drag. Thank goodness my boss isn’t in today.

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  11. Sherri said on September 19, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Still at Heathrow, they couldn’t fix the loo, so they had to do a plane change. In the process, they had to move a 747’s worth of people from one building to another without forcing us all through security again. That involved two elevators and a long underground tunnel because we couldn’t take the normal train between buildings. Kinda cool for an infrastructure and logistics junkie like me, though it doesn’t quite make up for a flight that’s delayed 3.5 hours.

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  12. brian stouder said on September 19, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Charlotte – thanks for the link to that truly marvelous article, about Ms Stritch’s return home.

    I laughed out loud right at the beginning, and then half-way through. It’s very well written, and Ms Stritch comes right across

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  13. beb said on September 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Arrgh! It’s talk like a pirate day. Also “Faikled to connect to database day. Arrgh!

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  14. brian stouder said on September 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Avast ye matey!

    GEORGE: (Reflecting on his life gone wrong) This McKigney guy had a few good years.. (To Kramer, bitter) How could you forget to turn off an iron?

    KRAMER: Well, I was excited because Jerry was putting on the puffy shirt.

    GEORGE: My whole life is ruined because of the (Mocking, bitter tone) “puffy shirt”.

    JERRY: (Pointing out) It didn’t do me any good either! That benefit was the worst show I ever did. Some of those heckles were really uncalled for: “Avast ye matey” – what the hell does that mean?! “20 degrees off the starboard side – the Spanish Galleon!” – there’s no comeback for that!

    ELAINE: (Reflecting) Well, it got me fired from the benefit committee.

    KRAMER: You know all those stores canceled out on her? She’s finished. (Concluding) We’re (Leslie and him) finished.

    JERRY: Really? What happened?

    KRAMER: (Showing pure irony) I just can’t be with someone who’s life is in complete disarray.

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  15. velvet goldmine said on September 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Could get here through Google, but not the direct route. Getting on comments was also hit or miss.

    I’ve been corresponding with one of my professors, a tenured English prof, for about 15 years. In the last few years, his living circumstances have gone drastically downhill. At one point he was scanning student cafeteria IDs at the same university at which he’d been teaching. Then even that job was taken away. Like the woman in the article, he’s in his 80s.

    Most of what led to these crapulous circumstances to do with a daughter with a pacemaker and a mental health problem. The daughter had been kicked out of the nursing home she’d been living in, after some severe state cuts. So whatever advantage he had as a tenured professor couldn’t really protect him, unless he was prepared to ignore his daughter’s needs.

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  16. brian stouder said on September 19, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Here’s hoping Sherri is safely aloft and hurtling toward home on this sketch day at nn.c.

    And speaking of ‘sketchy’, ever wonder what happened to Andy Taylor once he and Helen were done with the whole Mayberry gig?

    H became a truly crappy AP writer, apparently.

    This is the stupidest, most double-talky article I’ve read in at least a day and a half –

    Two sample excerpts tell the tale, but there’s more. The lead:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Here’s the truth about a government “shutdown.” The government doesn’t shut down.

    got that?

    And THEN – after many “but”s and “if”s –

    Let’s say the government runs out of cash on Oct. 18, the earliest date at which default might occur, according to estimates by the Bipartisan Policy center, a Washington think tank. Were the impasse to continue into November, a host of major payments due on Nov. 1 — including $25 billion in Social Security benefits — would be delayed two weeks

    onward and upward, eh?

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  17. Deborah said on September 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Sherri, it’s actually a good thing they found out the toilets had a problem BEFORE anyone boarded. I was on an international flight once where the toilets broke down mid-flight. That was horrible. Sorry your new flight was delayed though. When I worked in London we flew in and out of Gatwick not Heathrow. I have had flights to other international locations that had layovers in Heathrow and found it to be run down and sad. I’m sure there are newer, better terminals there than the ones I’ve been in, they were pretty gross. Many US airports are awful too.

    I’ve been surprised when other countries don’t require that you remove your shoes. That to me is the worst part of the TSA experience. I always seem to have complicated shoes to remove standing up. I always sit at the other end when I put them back on, but that means I have to carry the tray to a seat while wearing only my socks on my feet, or worst of all being barefoot.

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  18. Scout said on September 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    I have a good friend who is an adjunct prof. She lives with complete uncertainty as to what her course load will be from semester to semester and subsequently how much money she’ll make. They keep dangling the possibility of becoming a staff prof which keeps her hanging in there despite the fact that this has been going on for about 8 years now. No benefits, no security, no guarantees for enough to live on. She’s a nervous wreck most of the time, but especially at the end of a semester. Meanwhile universities keep charging more and more for a basic education. It really sucks.

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  19. brian stouder said on September 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I’ve flown maybe 10 or 12 times, and have seen airports in Fort Wayne, Detroit, Toledo, Columbus, Charlotte, Houston, Atlanta, Greensboro, Baltimore/Washington, Newark (LaGuardia), Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Diego….and aside from the cool historical aircraft displays at O’Hare, and the race cars at Charlotte, and the free cookies at Fort Wayne(!), I gotta say that LAX really impressed me the most.

    LAX has an ambiance all its own

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  20. David C. said on September 19, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Perhaps Duquesne University should quit looking for a religious exemption allowing then to treat their staff like shit, and listen to what their pope (who this agnostic thinks is going to be a gem) has to say about social justice.

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  21. MichaelG said on September 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Happy Birthday, Dexter!

    The story of that poor woman at Duquesne is appalling.

    Deborah, I didn’t really have a recipe, just the concept of using cherry coke. Jolene suggested looking for ‘pulled pork cherry coke’ on google. There are several recipes there. Sorry if I misled you. My Ex’s cherry coke recipe was really good, though.

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  22. beb said on September 19, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    As impressive as Pope Francis has been with his comment about how the church should not be so obsessed with gays, abortions and birth control, it’s important to remember that he hasn’t changed church policy on any of this. He just wants to spend more time on ministry.

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  23. Charlotte said on September 19, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    The adjunct issue is a core scandal of higher education. I don’t understand why anyone puts up with it, except that there seems to be a core group of academics who feel that jobs outside of academia constitute a sort of death. They want to teach. They want to stay in academia. And so they take these terrible terms. I taught one year as a visiting writer, but for much better terms than an adjunct (it’s how I bought my house). Occasionally, I look at the adjunct jobs at MSU, but for that kind of money, does it even make sense to drive over the pass? I think I could make better money working retail.

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  24. Deborah said on September 19, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    MichaelG, we did the pork shoulder braising with the cherry coke and a few of our own additions and it was amazing. We are leaving for Tempe in the early morning and will be packing the pork for sandwiches-along the way. We’ve found that relying on road food that you find along the way is not always smart, so we tend to bring our own. This should be delicious. Thanks for the suggestion.

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