Gimme the keys.

It takes all kinds, but for me? Small towns have always given me hives. I’m happy to drive through them and stop at the local antique store or whatever, but to live in one? Not for me. I need a decent library, a movie theater where I can see something first-run, a bookstore or two and — very important — a surprise around the corner once in a while.

So it’s always bugged me how small towns always have the benefit of this chin-chucking, patronizing and completely false presumption of innocence. Looks like Michael Schaeffer agrees with me:

Last Sunday, a New York Times reporter visited Maryville, Missouri to report on the existence of a grave threat to the town’s bucolic, Real-America essence: “Ever since The Kansas City Star ran a long article last Sunday raising new questions about the Nodaway County prosecutor’s decision to drop charges against a 17-year-old football player accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl, the simplicity of small-town life here has been complicated by a storm of negative attention.”

Leaving aside the dubious victimology—poor Maryville, battered so cruelly by the dark-hearted Kansas City media and their relentless “negative attention”—the paragraph also represents a great big logical problem for anyone who read the Star story, or even the 20-odd inches of stellar Times copy that followed the clunky lede: The whole point of a story of rape allegations dismissed by a political-prosecutorial complex intimately connected to an accused assaulter’s state-legislative relative is that… Maryville never featured any of that simplicity in the first place!

It’d be easy to beat up on a reporter who was tasked with following a competitor’s story and slipped into cliché. In fact, the reductio ad Rockwell is a common tic of journalistic visits to small towns, especially those put on the map by infamy. And it’s one that really ought to stop. Decades of culture wars have left us with a set of social rules where it is largely OK for rural types to slander their citified co-citizens (cf. Sarah Palin, small-town mayor and “Real America” stalwart) but where urbanites can’t dis the country folks without being deemed elitist (cf. Barack Obama, Chicagoite and “cling” apologizer).

Oh, yeahhh. Small towns, we are frequently told, are wonderful places to raise children — as though no one in a large city ever successfully launched their offspring into the world. They’re close, loving and supportive — something no urban neighborhood is possibly capable of. Everyone knows your business? That’s love, child, love and concern. Spare me. Srsly.

So, was it necessary to kick off the blog with such rancor? Yes, so I could properly contrast it with this OID story, about as OID as they come, really — a carjacking, a “good Samaritan” in pursuit, a shootout and a second carjacking, all in the neighborhood of one of my bike routes this summer:

A good Samaritan who chased down a carjacking suspect on the city’s east side Thursday morning ended up being seriously wounded in a gunfight with the suspect after the stolen vehicle was ditched into a canal of the Detroit River.

Sharlonda Buckman, a 2013 Michiganian of the Year and chief executive officer of Detroit Parent Network, stopped about 8 a.m. Thursday at a BP gas station on the 10700 block of East Jefferson Avenue to buy some aspirin when she said an armed man forced her from her 2011 Chevrolet Traverse.

…Three men nearby witnessed the carjacking and came to Buckman’s aid, with two giving chase to the suspect. Police say one unnamed man, who was driving a 2009 blue Ford Focus, shot at the suspect with his licensed firearm after the suspect let the SUV sink into a Detroit River embankment near the Edison Boat Club.

I put good Samaritan in quotes because it’s pretty obvious this situation, bad as it was, only worsened when the guys in the Focus came to her aid. And after the good guy and the bad guy exchanged gunfire? The bad guy stole the good guy’s car, too.

The Freep’s story had the better headline: Detroit police: Man carjacks woman, sinks SUV, shoots witness

Granted: Not an often small-town occurrence. But it makes the big-city papers more interesting.

Well, here we are at the end of the week. It’s looking up, now that I’ve met a new eye doctor who is going to carve that cataract out of my eye and — he says — improve my vision significantly. What joy. I tell you, if you’d told me on New Year’s Day that my 2013 would contain a chilly spring, a lovely summer and two eye surgeries, I’m not sure what I’d have said. But I guess I’ll get through it. Not much of 2013 left.

Just two bits of bloggage left, then:

Ezra Klein on Obamacare chutzpah.

And Coozledad posted this in yesterday’s comments, but it bears repeating, as a North Carolina party hack explains just what the voter ID law there is all about.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Detroit life |

97 responses to “Gimme the keys.”

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

    My friend of 44 years grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, and Syosset, LI, and as a young adult lived in both Manhattan up by Columbia and in Brooklyn. Finally the crime got to him, and after a stick-up (kids, guns) and several break-ins during the dangerous 1970s there, he left forevermore to a tiny town in northern Connecticut.
    I was born in a small town and most my life lived either in small towns or in the rural lands outside of small towns. I did live in San Antonio and near San Francisco in the military, but in civilian life, I always thought I’d live in a city, a city large enough to have all the major sports franchises was a good starting point, because those cities would also have everything else close by. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Biggest place I ever got mail in was Fort Wayne.
    A few years ago I read Tom Oliphant’s “A Prayer for Gil Hodges”, a true story about the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers’ World Series win. Oliphant describes his childhood in New York; how exciting it was compared to my cow-shit life! I always hankered for the excitement of living in a city as I lived in and moved around from one rental house to another, always in or near little towns. Adulthood found me scratching out paychecks and I had no recruit-able talents to lure employers to woo me to some exotic station in life.
    A little country living is great for the soul, but to stick an excitable boy in a bleak rural rental house ? There are better ways. My old friend will visit NYC if he has a damn good reason, but he also likes leaving the place quickly as well nowadays. I still wish I had taken enough time to live there long enough to decide if it really wasn’t for me…or was.

    1706 chars

  2. Deborah said on October 25, 2013 at 2:35 am

    I have actually been to Maryville, MO. I have relatives who lived there, I have no idea if they still do. My mom was born and raised in a tiny (microscopic) town not far from there. My rightwing sister lives in a small town in Minnesota. And our land in NM is outside of Abiquiu, which was given a choice at some point in history to be a pueblo or a village. It chose village. There’s a post office and a general store (the store is named in a Hillerman novel or two). That, and I went to college in a small town in Nebraska. The rest of my life I have spent in cities. Some bigger than others.

    594 chars

  3. Suzanne said on October 25, 2013 at 6:40 am

    I live in a small town. What you said. Nothing to do, lots of meth activity, mostly the young people who have any brains go to college and move away. If you move to small town America, after 20 years, you are still an outsider. There are the same problems as many big cities, but no one talks about them. Don’t ask, don’t tell.

    328 chars

  4. alex said on October 25, 2013 at 6:54 am

    True dat. The Fort Wayne papers are loaded with journalistic cliches about knavery and debauchery and worse when they happen in a bucolic small town. As happens all the time. It calls to mind Dan Quayle’s hometown of Huntington — the Land of Family Values — where a steady string of autoerotic asphyxia deaths in the 1980s had the sociologists scratching their heads. Was this a network of sex fiends sharing tips and tricks? As one friend from that locality told me, “A guy would say he was going hunting and would be back in a couple of days. Then they’d find him in the woods hanging from a noose with his pants down and pornography laid out on the ground in front of him. The cops needed to see about ten of these before it occurred to them that they weren’t murders.”

    I subscribe to a paywall paper with internet access to its sisters in the four counties surrounding me and the cliche is particularly worn out these days, what with meth labs in homes full of children being about as commonplace as cows grazing and pillars of the church embezzling and fornicating at least every other week. I daresay the crime beat around here is ten times spicier than that of the Sun-Times and Trib any day of the week, and beats the hell out of the Fort Wayne papers, which have little to report besides gas station holdups and drive-by shootings in the black ghetto.

    Yay, let’s hear it for “real America.”

    1411 chars

  5. Basset said on October 25, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Once again, I have nothing to contribute except a totally unrelated link:

    182 chars

  6. Danny said on October 25, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Yelton and his comments aside (shudder), I’ve never understood how requiring a valid, state-issued ID amounts to disenfranchisement. If you can’t get your act together enough to possess a normal form of identification that all functioning adults must have to transact within day-to-day society, you probably don’t have the capacity to make an informed political decision.

    379 chars

  7. Judybusy said on October 25, 2013 at 8:35 am

    I grew up on a farm in west central Minnesota. There was a lot I liked about that upbringing: fresh air, lots of unstructured time, playing in the woods, the animals. I was lucky: as the oldest girl, I was assigned the easy indoor work. It was different for my older brother, who from about aged 12 was basically a hired hand for a man who didn’t hesitate to yell,demean or hit if things didn’t go his way. Thanks, dad. There were lots of ugly things happening all the time in that small community. Not better, and not worse than the city. Neighbors come to your aid in both places, if you’re lucky enough to live near kind-hearted people. This is why I can not stand Garrison Keillor, with his myopic, saccharine view of life in Minnesota. Also, it’s all about upstanding, Lutheran white people, when Twin Cities is wonderfully diverse.

    Danny, there also many people perfectly capable of getting their IDs who I don’t think are well-informed enough to vote, but requiring sufficient knowledge to vote would be entirely a far too subjective test. It’s one of the things we put up with living in a democracy. All this voter ID stuff is about suppression. Period.

    1165 chars

  8. beb said on October 25, 2013 at 8:37 am

    That NC party hack has since left his job, though sure to be replaced by someone just as racist. The Gawker article Nancy links to calls him “oblivious” whicyh kind of implies too stupid to know better, but it sounds like the man was just too honest. The man admits that he’s been called a bigot before. So he knows who he is, what he is, but feels entitled to say so. The sad thing is that when presented with evidence like this the courts will still ponder the “legal” basis of the law and ignore the clear intent of the law.

    I get tired of hearing Republicans talking about who are the “Real” Americans who apparently are always small town people. It seems to strange when one looks at the movies and cartoons from the 30s and see that everywhere rural people were regarded as hicks, know-nothings and fools. I guess since urban societies have embraced the Democratic party, the Rebublicans have had to embrace the rest.

    Speaking of meth culture, there was a link on BoingBoing to a recent study on rats with drug addictions. This was a repeat of a classic study on rats and narcotics but with one difference. The rat enclosure was designed to be as close as a human could make it to a rat paradise. Plenty of room, food, toy to amuse them, other rats… And what they found that rats with addictions placed in this “paradise” stopped taking so much drugs. Which suggests that drug use and addiction has more to do with depression and a sense of helplessness than it does to actual body chemistry. So it would appear that the solution to so many meth labs is more and better jobs in the country.

    1605 chars

  9. nancy said on October 25, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Danny, run that one by a 90-year-old woman who doesn’t drive, lives on a shoestring and for whom just getting to a polling place is akin to climbing K2. They’re out there. Voter ID is a solution to a non-existent problem.

    221 chars

  10. alex said on October 25, 2013 at 8:49 am

    And consider the new law in Texas:

    Danny, I refuse to believe you have your head up your ass. I think you know fully well what these laws are doing and that you applaud their intent.

    280 chars

  11. coozledad said on October 25, 2013 at 8:56 am

    If you can’t get your act together enough to possess a normal form of identification that all functioning adults must have to transact within day-to-day society, you probably don’t have the capacity to make an informed political decision.

    Translation: It has been my privilege to vote in what I perceive to be my interests, and I am on board with limiting the franchise to people who resemble moi, despite my having been ringed through the nose like a shoat and duped in favor of a succession of ineducable grifter trash, sabateurs of the economy, and shallow, lubricous confidence men.

    The fact is Voter ID was what the Republicans ran on, but they expanded the bill to restrict early voting, change voting locations, restrict student voting, abolished same-day registration, pre-registration for seventeen year olds… in all it morphed into a much larger package added to another bill at the end of the legislative session.

    If you were an informed voter, you would know these things, Danny. I question your fitness as a citizen (and if you were voting in North Carolina, I can now challenge your vote at the polls, and hold the line up by making a big scene, dumbass.

    1190 chars

  12. Alan Stamm said on October 25, 2013 at 8:58 am

    How absolutely perfect is the name Buncombe County, NC, really?!

    64 chars

  13. Julie Robinson said on October 25, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Small town life in DeKalb/Sycamore was great: clean air, a university with a thriving cultural scene, and Chicago just down the road. The problem? Dad was the news & sports guy at the one and only radio station, and also had a morning call-in show. He knew everyone in town, and they all knew us. Although it kept me on the straight and narrow I couldn’t wait to get to IU where I could be anonymous.

    We watched that Daily Show clip last night and were incredulous. How do these guys stay in power?

    506 chars

  14. coozledad said on October 25, 2013 at 9:13 am

    The law is unconstitutional, anyway, and Eric Holder’s justice departmenthas challenged and will eviscerate it. Pat McCrory will be going down on a whole lot more than Art Pope, because his Attorney General has already said publicly that the law is basically a planter’s wish list from the Articles of Confederation.

    That Attorney General, Democrat Roy Cooper, will go on to destroy McCrory in 2016, because the Republican party has been reduced to the rump of its toothless sisterbuggering ultratrash.

    505 chars

  15. brian stouder said on October 25, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I’ve never understood how requiring a valid, state-issued ID amounts to disenfranchisement. Well, a good tea party patriot would ask how we ever did this back in the days of Washington and Jefferson? Well, being white and male was (literally) prima facie evidence that you were a valid voter, right there. Aside from that, I used to work in the polls, back when they used those big clunky mechanical machines, and another big element was that neighbors voting in neighborhood polling places were known to one another. You signed a poll book, where a previous example of the voter’s signature was.

    For the record: “Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

    It seems to me that the 15th Amendment is – or SHOULD BE – an insuperable obstacle to this horse shit. It seems to me that the burden of “proof” that a voter is acting fraudulently should be upon the damned “poll watcher” who makes the accusation, and not upon the voter.

    1206 chars

  16. Charlotte said on October 25, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Julie — Leland was not DeKalb/Sycamore. My mother used to actually threaten us in high school that if we screwed up she’d send us to live with our grandmother and finish high school in Leland. Very small. Very closed-minded. My cousins wound up okay, but they both went to school in Chicago (Leland reaction: Chicago?! Who’d want to go to Chicago? Where there’s all them black people and all that crime?).
    Livingston’s small, but hardly typical. For one thing, while there’s a baseline population of ranchers and railroaders, there’s a huge proportion of the populace who comes from someplace else, and who did interesting things. Writers, painters, actors, musicians, and a smattering of money people. The problem is the kids. I had a long chat with a girlfriend yesterday who has a very very bright 13 year old, who wants to apply for the scholarship to St. Pauls that’s earmarked for a Montana kid every year. My friend (and her husband more so) is horrified at the idea of sending her kid away at 14 or 15, but the high school here isn’t very good, and this is a kid who will get in trouble if she gets bored. It’s a real problem, and not just for this one. I’ve had this conversation a number of times over the years. It’s a terrific town for adults and for little kids, but once they hit high school age, there’s meth and four-wheelers and beer parties in the woods with kids driving and riding in pickup trucks and dope and unchallenging classes at school and all of it.

    1480 chars

  17. Connie said on October 25, 2013 at 10:41 am

    In the 2008 presidential election a large group of retired nuns living near Notre Dame in South Bend were denied the right to vote due to not having photo ID. They had never in their lives had or needed photo ID.

    I left my small town home town as soon as I could. Everyone knew who I was and who my father was, many remembered my grandfather, who ran the Main St. store founded by my great grandfather.

    406 chars

  18. Julie Robinson said on October 25, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Charlotte, there were many from DeKalb and Sycamore who never went to Chicago or even over to NIU. I’m forever grateful to my parents, who were always eager to go to every single play, concert, lecture or dance recital. Leland sounds a lot like the small town in Iowa my mom came from and also couldn’t wait to escape.

    318 chars

  19. Deborah said on October 25, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Danny, my daughter is intelligent and perfectly capable of making informed decisions to vote. She has a degenerative neurological condition that keeps her from being able to drive. It took us a couple of months to figure out how to get her a state ID when she moved to our place in Santa Fe. Part of the problem was all the bills are in my name and she didn’t have the right papers to prove she was a resident. Plus it cost her $40 not the required $10 because she didn’t know the place she went was a contractor to the DMV. Just one of many stories why it isn’t easy for just anyone to get an ID.

    597 chars

  20. brian stouder said on October 25, 2013 at 11:25 am

    And that $40 sounds a very great deal like a poll tax, which is unconstitutional and – I’d like to think – unAmerican

    117 chars

  21. coozledad said on October 25, 2013 at 11:38 am

    brian: This land was made for them:

    80 chars

  22. Jeff Borden said on October 25, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Danny’s facile remarks sound a great deal like one of my tea party cousins, who simply cannot believe everyone isn’t like him with a nice car, gas in the tank and the time to drive somewhere and obtain a proper ID. Reading through the onerous efforts being taken in Texas, I found that almost 60 counties do not have a local DMV office, where folks might obtain a state-issued document. For some Texans, that little journey will take 250 miles. That assumes, of course, that the person seeking it can take a day off of work for a long, round-trip journey. . .that they have a functioning vehicle that can make the trip. . .and that they have the money for the gas.

    Let’s not even get into the whole name matching game they’re playing down there, where a well-regarded and very, very white judge was almost denied the right to vote because the middle name on her driver’s license is her maiden name, while on her birth certificate her real middle name is emblazoned.

    Increasingly, I believe, conservatives see that they are losing across many fronts and see the best way to retain power by marginalizing, if not eliminating, the voting rights of those who do not align with their stated goals. They can no longer win the argument in the court of public opinion. Most of the nation has seen the GOP devolve into tantrum-throwing, Bible-thumping, anti-intellectual nativists who cannot be trusted to work the levers of power. So, screw it. . .they’re more than happy to just keep the “wrong” kind of people from voting.

    It’s one of many, many reasons why I cannot foresee voting for a Republican in a national election.

    1625 chars

  23. Prospero said on October 25, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Maybe the Cali Worker Compensation Board will send Maryville $38grand to alleviate their pain and suffering and mental anguish.

    Danny@6: I live in a very wealthy (in general) community that engulfs a smaller poor community like an amoeba feeding. The only way to get a state issued ID that is considered valid at the polls is to travel 15 miles off the island to the DMV. The local GOPer sherrif’s department and DMV rules make it difficult to get IDs. Forms are only in English and there are no translators. And no, I’m not talking about illegal immigrants, I’m talking about elderly people that are citizens that have been here since Castro’s revolution. I know these people. A cab ride is approximately %50 roundtrip not counting time waiting at the DMV. I can ride my bike there, and have, at great risk to life and limb in the oceans of urban assault vehicles, but I seriously doubt that most people my age could manage it. The bridge approaches are killer hills, and the crosswinds on the bridge could knock a Tour de Francer over. Obviously, this presents a hardship and an obstacle to the most basic right guaranteed to Americans for a lot of people. Of course you don’t get it, none of these things would present a molehill of an obstacle for you.

    Would you like to try explaining the Tejas exclusion of State University System picture college IDs and acceptance of CC licenses is possibly anything other than an attempt at voter suppression? Or the penalties some GOPer state legislatures are imposing on parents when their kids decide to vote where they go to school rather than in mom and dads gerrymandered safe GOPer districts where their votes are certain to be nullified in an ocean of conservatron group-vote.

    Anyway Danny, no offense, but you sound very Antoinettish, as in Qu’ils mangent de la brioche. Try to keep your head when the Teabangers turn into a horde of irate Madame DeFarges and Robespierre Jrs. armed with AKs. Those whackos will eventually come around to eating the rich if their meth-mouths can manage it.

    2057 chars

  24. Jeff Borden said on October 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Okay, Prospero, you’ve made my day. I can just see fat cats like the Koch Brothers fleeing an angry army of cannibalistic meth head tea baggers carrying torches, AK-47s and forks. . .ravenous for the soft, white flesh of the richest of the rich.

    Now that is a horror film I’d pay to see!

    290 chars

  25. Peter said on October 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Sorry for my long winded response:

    I think, if you take all of the politics and race out of it, that you need to show a bar coded ID to vote is a good idea. When I go to the pharmacist to get my Claritin D fix, they scan my drivers license and it shows that I’m still good (or sometimes, over the limit) for my monthly fix. If you can easily get a card, it shouldn’t be a big deal.

    But that’s the problem – WTF should it be so hard to get the card? Well, you know why, and that isn’t right. And for Deborah’s daughter to pay a higher fee because they’re a contractor/vendor? Why couldn’t they contract out to the Postal Service, like they do with passports? Once again, you know why.

    That bugs me to no end, along with the long voter lines, and the name matching, and the other little games. A lot of elections didn’t turn out the way I hoped, but that’s life. What gets me is that the perpretators don’t even hide behind an excuse – other than claiming it prevents uneducated sheeple from influencing an election. Oy.

    At the last election, I was the deciding “judge” for one voter – he had moved away a few months before the election, didn’t get anything changed yet, and wanted to vote. I said sure – he had moved nearby, he had all of his information with the old address, we had a ballot for him – what the heck. Two of the judges (one each, R, and D) went nuts – this guy is just scamming us so he could vote a second time. Really? He’s part of an elaborate secret scheme cooked up by the Koch Brothers/ACORN to have people relocate before an election so they can vote twice and tip the results? Really?

    1634 chars

  26. Prospero said on October 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Borden@22: Well said Jeff. “their stated goals”–As I see it, it’s sort of like Jesus boiling everything down to the Grat Commandments, which you are as unlikely to hear from a fundagelical preacher as you are from some holier-than-thou GOPer politician, Praise Jesus. In the case of GOP goals, it boils down to

    1. Make Obama a one-term President, and

    2. Defund Obamacare.

    These people are so delusional as to believe both are still possible, when the opposite is a fait accompli.

    504 chars

  27. Prospero said on October 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Borden@24: Rob Zombie will direct.

    34 chars

  28. Little Bird said on October 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    The folks at the contracted place nearly didn’t allow me to get my ID because my bank statement didn’t show the activity (and they needed to see activity WHY?) on the same page or side of the page as my address.

    211 chars

  29. Prospero said on October 25, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    I must say, in Little Bird’s place, I’d have gone berserk and ended up in the hoosegow, or whatever they call it in New Mexico.

    Rich White Republican.

    Whenever voter ID comes up, I’m reminded of how much cash Shrubco spent trying to ferret out vote fraud, and the fact that they purged the ranks of US attorneys in doing so. When they hired new lawyers, the first interview question was “Do you consider yourself a loyal Bushie?” Of course, since most of the new hires were graduates of Regent, Pat Robertson’s fake law school, the answer went without saying. In the end, they found zilch, zip, zero, nada. The great ACORN voter registration fraud turned out to amount to people that the organization paid by the name writing in names like Popeye and Donald Duck. ACORN istself reported that shit, not any election officials. Oh, and those GOPers claiming ACORN swung the 2012 election. It ceased to exist three years before that. The last verified instance of organized vote fraud took place in Neh Hempsha in the last GOPer presidential primary. It was organized and paid for by ferret-face James O’Keefe, the well known GOPer Daniel Sefretti of his generation, who has yet to be prosecuted by Neh Hempsha officials, who are undoubtedly GOPers.

    1324 chars

  30. ROGirl said on October 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    The voter fraud shibboleth has about as much validity as the poison in the Halloween candy fear. Voting is not the equivalent of buying cold medicine, and I find the hoops I have to jump through to buy the stuff when I have a cold are excessive, intrusive, and big brotherish.

    276 chars

  31. Connie said on October 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    It took me several tries to get a Michigan driver’s license when we moved here three years ago. All the paperwork requirements had to be original, so a printout of my paperless bank statement was not acceptable, I had to go to the bank and get a “real” one. I had even more trouble with my husband’s proof of address, until we discovered that my proof of address paperwork could be used for him if I showed them our 30some year old marriage license.

    451 chars

  32. Deborah said on October 25, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    What we ended up having to do to get Little Bird a state ID is to rig up a phony sublet agreement. I got a copy of a lease agreement at Kinko’s and filled it out as if I was subletting the apartment to her, which was not in the least true but they wouldn’t take other papers she provided. So in the end it took a kind of deceit to get it, which is ludicrous when you think about it. Not that she wasn’t a full time resident, but she couldn’t prove it any other way. Also NM is so far a state that doesn’t require a photo ID to vote, yet, but they’re talking about it. Little Bird needs an ID for other things too. I only brought up her plight to prove that not everybody is as lucky as Danny, not by a long shot.

    712 chars

  33. brian stouder said on October 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Voter fraud!! Voter fraud!!

    Another Chicago-land gangsta – sullying the Real America where honest people can express their fears and prejudices without fear of disagreement

    176 chars

  34. brian stouder said on October 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Speaking of “Gimme the keys” – a digression.

    Y’know about those Emerald Ash Borers?

    Well, our neighborhood pretty much lost the Borer War, and the city finally got to our neighborhood and took out dozens of trees from the city-strip between the streets and the sidewalks. And today, the stump removal guys got to the stump near the end of our driveway – in fact while I was home for lunch. The machine is impressively scary looking; a gas-engined rotary thing, that’s like a cross between a buzz saw and a maul. The rotary blade is probably 5 feet in diameter, and is mounted on an apparatus that – at a fairly rapid pace – swivels left and right, and moves steadily downward, as the stump disintegrates; it made for an impressive sight.

    And then, when it was time to go back to work, I clambered into the driver seat and started the engine and looked back…and THEN discovered that the back window on my car was completely blown out! The safety glass didn’t allow it to disintegrate, and you could see the impact point for whatever hit it, on the left side.

    Our working theory is that the impressive stumping machine, which hurled any number of wood chunks and debris onto our driveway and yard, also chucked a projectile toward my Pontiac with very great effect!

    So Pam and I – but mainly Pam! – walked across the street where the stump removal guy was then working, and asked him about that, and he said “call the company”….which we did.

    And now, the games have well and truly begun!

    1585 chars

  35. Prospero said on October 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Alan@12 Buncombe County? Serendipitous. Made my day.

    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. — H. L. Mencken, in A Carnival of Buncombe

    So Mencken predicted Shrub, pretty much exactly.

    The reason the cold medications are difficult to get at is that Teabangers and small town drug kingpins use them to cook meth.

    So GOPers believe government should have no role in ensuring American citizens’ rights to vote, but should be all over limiting those rights to right-thinking people.

    732 chars

  36. Deborah said on October 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Good luck with that window Brian.

    33 chars

  37. brian stouder said on October 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks, Deborah. Pam’s on the case, so it will come out right

    61 chars

  38. Jolene said on October 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    More humor from North Carolina. Must be hard for people there to get any work done with all this entertainment about.

    217 chars

  39. redoubt said on October 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Nobody asked me, but: FAQ #2 was part of a number of “changes” effective July 1st, 2012; I had to renew by the 19th, in person. Over the course of two days, at three separate DMV locations in three separate counties–Sites #1 and #2 were six and five hours behind schedule, respectively–I was able to renew. I could take personal leave to do so; many others aren’t so fortunate.

    477 chars

  40. brian stouder said on October 25, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Jolene – and again I say – this is why I love Ms Maddow. I can dvr her show, and if she becomes mired in something I can ff ’til we’re to the next thing….and she skewers maroons like that guy.

    I cannot do the Daily Show; just can’t.

    I suppose Stewart, et al, are simply the 21st century version of the Carson monologues of yester-year, only for the whole show – and this is a good and healthy thing.

    But those guys just aren’t for me.

    453 chars

  41. Jolene said on October 25, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    More on the healthcare exchanges from Ezra Klein et al.: What’s working in the state exchanges and what isn’t working (yet) in the federal exchange.

    203 chars

  42. Deborah said on October 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    North Carolina is getting to be about as bad as South Carolina.

    63 chars

  43. Deborah said on October 25, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Politically that is. they both have some beautiful landscapes.

    62 chars

  44. LAMary said on October 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I’ve become very fond of Steven Colbert’s show. I watch Jon Stewart and SC with my young’uns and I’m glad they get the political references.

    140 chars

  45. Jolene said on October 25, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    I’m eager to see the movie Jon Stewart shot over the summer. Will be interesting to see what he brings to a format that offers a different set of constraints and opportunities.

    176 chars

  46. Prospero said on October 25, 2013 at 6:52 pm


    May I beg to differ. The element of purely stupid inbreeding is more influential in SC. Like, Bubba and bubba’s sister BubbaNC is more of a “learned vicious racism” kinda place. SC is more like Good, beneficent massa and obedient thankful slaves. More genteel, ya know. I’ve thought about leaving the aLow Country. Ashevill are, in the US, or buying guns and moving to someplace on some feeder to the Arkansas. But iff the shit hits the fan, it’s a beach village in Uruguay. I know people here have a low opinion of Oliver Stone, but

    545 chars

  47. Dexter said on October 26, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Are you going to move to San Francisco? Bring lots of money. Tons.

    149 chars

  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 26, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Jolene, ditto.

    I had my eyes opened to the political & economic realities of the health care pantomime when I was lobbying and working to craft the initial CHIP legislation for WV back in the late 90’s, with the invaluable help of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (peace be upon them). The outwardly unspoken, but generally understood wild card was the question of how many Medicaid enrollments would be the collateral damage of aggressive promotion of CHIP. My first reaction was anger, my second was to do the math and realize that there was an actual, challenging, near-insoluble problem here.

    For years, we’ve known but not said out loud that of the pre-expansion legislation alone, those who qualified for and received Medicaid were less than 60% of those who would technically qualify, and if everyone who qualified under the current Medicaid legislation actually finished applying for it, our state & federal budgets would go “spunnnngggggg.” So what to do? And some legislators opposed CHIP for fear of what in five years we’ll be on the hook for.

    This is what the exchanges in many states are revisiting. It’s going to be an interesting calculation come the end of tonight’s game!

    1208 chars

  49. Deborah said on October 26, 2013 at 5:01 am

    Nancy Nall Derringer is quoted on Neil Steinberg’s blog

    138 chars

  50. David C. said on October 26, 2013 at 7:08 am

    People who haven’t had to get a new (not renewal) driver license or ID really don’t realize how difficult it has become. When we moved to Wisconsin and had to get new licenses, we knew we had to have proof of who we were and where we lived. I had a passport and a bank statement. My wife had her birth certificate, our marriage license (to account for the name change), and our bank statement. All is well right? Nope. I sailed through. Her name is listed at the bottom of our bank statement as the co-holder of the account. So that’s not good enough. Her name had to be on the header with our address. We go to the bank and they can’t add it there as there was only one line on the header. She doesn’t work outside of the home, so there was no pay stub. We put all our utility bills under my name – just because we didn’t think we would need to do otherwise. So we called all our utilities and got the same answer as the bank. There were no extra lines on the header. So we asked all of them if they could put the bill under her name. They all do credit checks and therefore wouldn’t do it because she has no income and they don’t consider joint income. Our appartment lease wouldn’t work, because we needed an original and we only had a carbon copy. We finally found a very nice customer service rep at Wisconsin Energy, who I’ll always be grateful to because were at the end of our rope, who said found he could fit on one line of our bill Dave & Mary C. David and Mary C. wouldn’t fit. Neither would David & Mary C. It was a nightmare. How do those who don’t have the time we did, and aren’t as persistent as we were get through? We almost gave up ourselves. My mother is 75 years old and was born at home. She had no birth certificate. When she needed one about 30 years ago, she was able to get one through the affirmation of her older sister of her birth date. Do they do that anymore, I don’t know, but I assume it’s a lot harder because everything feeds into security theater. You just can’t glibly say just get an ID. It just isn’t that easy.

    2060 chars

  51. Deborah said on October 26, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Wow, David C, sounds exhausting but so true, having had a similar experience with my daughter. It just stinks to high heaven.

    125 chars

  52. Julie Robinson said on October 26, 2013 at 11:04 am

    A couple of years ago, when Indiana tightened its rules for drivers’ licenses, I realized I needed to get a certified copy of my birth certificate. Since I left home, I’d been using a certificate, which, despite a seal, was ruled as only a copy, not an original. (Mom swears it’s the one they got after I was born, but who knows?) It had been fine for a passport, marriage license, and new Indiana license when I moved here.

    The whole process took about three months, and the first step was a notarized application. I used my Indiana drivers’ license to get it notarized, and if anyone notices that my license was the document I needed the birth certificate for, you are brighter than the average Indiana legislator.

    The certified copy was simply another copy of what I already had, reprinted larger and on certificate paper with borders, kind of like what you buy at your local office store.

    To top it all off, when it was time to renew my license, the bureau sent me an email that I could reapply online, without visiting the office. It also meant I didn’t need all those documents that were supposed to be presented, including the new/improved birth certificate and marriage license, to show my name change. What a waste of time!

    1242 chars

  53. beb said on October 26, 2013 at 11:33 am

    The obsession with identity has gotten so bad and the things we offer to prove our identity so flimsy we may as well be implanted with chips at birth. The all important birth certificate is a piece of paper that asserts that so-and-so was born on this day to the following parents… As long as you are close to the assumed age and sex, anyone could claim to be you on the basis of the birth certificate and no one could prove otherwise. The social security card that is sometimes important to getting a driver’s license, it likewise is just a piece of paper with a name and SS# on it. There’s no way to prove that the bearer of it is who the card says it is. Yet we need these pieces of pictureless paper to get the all important picture-ID now required for life. There’s no more proof that you are who you assert yourself to be so me may as well forget about security or go all in and chip everyone.

    And frankly I hate the idea of being chipped.

    951 chars

  54. dull_old_man said on October 26, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    My sister-in-law fought the system for months to get her driver’s license when she moved from one state to another. She needed proper ID, of course, and it turned into a Kafka novel. She was born in an Army hospital (her dad was in the service), and she found out that the birth certificate she had used her entire life was issued by the federal government. To fight terrorists, the system now requires a birth certificate issued by a state. [The states keep the official records of births and deaths.]

    The state where she was born wouldn’t give a birth certificate without proper ID. All her proper ID was in her married name, so she needed a certified copy of her marriage license. And that needed proper ID … and so on. These were different states, 1,000 miles away.

    775 chars

  55. alex said on October 26, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Celebrating the big 52 today! I spent it power washing a house and getting stung in the nape of the neck by a pissed off hornet. The house (our investment property) looks stellar after knocking off all the grunge and cobwebs.

    I came in all cold and soaked to the skin with my hair full of gritty crud, soaked for a while in a hot bath and got myself spruced up. My honey’s taking me out to the most fab place up on Crooked Lake that has ginormous king crab legs and the tenderest steaks. Not sure which I want. Oh, bullshit, I want it all. And their escargot appetizer. We’re meeting friends there and having a gastronomic blowout to beat all.

    The renovation process on the house has been going on for better than 14 months now, and at this point all that’s left to do is have the carpets cleaned and touch up some paint. (And get the woodworker who’s refinishing some of the doors to get the lead out.)

    I share my birthday with Hillary. And I share my age with no one but my friends here.

    1001 chars

  56. Joe K said on October 26, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Enjoy the captains cabin Alex.
    And sincerely happy birthday,
    Pilot Joe

    73 chars

  57. Sherri said on October 26, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Happy Birthday, Alex! I’m spending a beautiful, sunny fall weekend in Walla Walla with a happy college freshman. I heard her sing last night with the chorale, and watched her fence this morning with the fencing club (singing is an old avocation, fencing is something she has taken up at college.) She has settled in well, and I’m a happy mama.

    343 chars

  58. Deborah said on October 26, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Sounds like a good day Alex. Nothing like a sense of accomplishment. Happy birthday too.

    88 chars

  59. coozledad said on October 26, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Happy birthday, Alex. By all means, get it all goddamn.

    55 chars

  60. brian stouder said on October 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Happy birthday, Alex! Sounds like it was a busy busy day.

    Last Saturday, our 15 year old daughter – a freshman at Wayne-New Tech – and I helped plant perennial flowers and a couple trees at her school. A steady rain fell the whole time, but it was great fun. Then, on the way home, we stopped at a gas station and bought some icy-cold Diet Pepsi before continuing home.

    I got out of my soaked clothes and went to take a shower – and only THEN discovered that my forehead and cheeks were covered with mud! (heaven only knows what the gas station attendant thought when I walked in)

    587 chars

  61. Danny said on October 26, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    So let’s get this straight. Many of you think that getting a proper ID from a governmental entity is so onerous that it is akin to an insurmountable hardship, yet when the folks are complaining about the difficulties in registering for government health care, it’s not that big of a deal (hey, it’s just a few glitches!) and it’s mostly just republicans (racists, all!) trying to scare people?

    393 chars

  62. brian stouder said on October 26, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Danny – somehow, we’ve been voting since long before there were Departments of Motor Vehicles.

    Also, there are several Constitutional prohibitions against taking votes away from citizens.

    And indeed, time and again, certain groups of people actively try and disenfranchise other groups of people, on the probably-correct assumption that this will buttress their otherwise forlorn political prospects.

    We need to rethink a lot of this stuff, I suppose.

    For example, why should voting be on a single day? Why can’t we have a national week of open polls, or longer if need be?

    I do think that voters going to polls, “in the flesh”, is better for us than absentee ballots. Therefore, transportation to the polls is a good thing.

    As for ID and all the rest, if we have to move beyond neighborhood polling places (which I think are marvelous and should be maintained), then some other universal method of determining who is who will have to be devised.

    None of this has anything to do with the ACA, so we’ll skip that red herring.

    1046 chars

  63. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 26, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    52 is good, so far. Happy fellow 52-day, Alex!

    46 chars

  64. Brandon said on October 26, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Alex, Happy Birthday. Have fun and good grinds!

    47 chars

  65. Danny said on October 26, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    As for ID and all the rest, if we have to move beyond neighborhood polling places (which I think are marvelous and should be maintained), then some other universal method of determining who is who will have to be devised.

    You mean like an ID. Thanks, Captain Obvious. Geesh…

    288 chars

  66. coozledad said on October 26, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    OK. So Danny is a stupid dead man. Did we not know this already?

    64 chars

  67. Deborah said on October 26, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Danny, We haven’t yet braved signing up my daughter for the ACA, so I don’t know how that will go. Hopefully we can do it from the comfort of our own home, hopefully on line but it may involve a phone call or two. It will probably be frustrating but doubtful that it will take two months and multiple bus trips but you never know.

    330 chars

  68. coozledad said on October 27, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Deborah: If you have any trouble, contact Legal Aid. They will probably be hosting an event in your area, and they’ll set you up with a navigator or guide. Lots of folks here are helping with an end run around Republican and insurance company efforts at nullification.

    Down here we’re working through the non-racist, non big-box churches, Legal Aid, the League of Women Voters, and with the support of various Democratic groups acting independently. You at least have your own state exchange. Our governor counted on us just rolling over. He thinks we’re just as stupid and listless as the white trash who voted him in.

    622 chars

  69. ROGirl said on October 27, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I was half listening to the news last week and heard that a republican politician in the south wanted to return to the practice of indirect election of senators. The people just can’t hew to the party line when they exercise their right to vote. Can’t remember who made that proposal.

    284 chars

  70. Charlotte said on October 27, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I enrolled for healthcare via the Federal site (our mouthbreathing state legislature shot down a half-built state site). It took about 2 hours. My tips are: use a browser that doesn’t have do-not-track and adblocking software enabled. When the site hangs, about half the time, simply using the back button to the previous page worked to jog it loose. When that doesnt’ work, logging out and logging in worked for me — had to re-do a few pages, but it worked. It was kludgy, but for individual health insurance that will actually cover health care, I’m pretty happy.

    Slate just had a pretty good piece about how Voter ID laws are biting women especially hard:

    I lucked out in Montana it sounds like — getting a license when I moved here was pretty easy. Too easy — allowed my father, who lives in Prague, to get one too using my address (yes, I agreed. And I even paid his 25 year old speeding ticket from Maine because he had no money. As for renewing, he’s on his own.)

    1109 chars

  71. MichaelG said on October 27, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Happy Birthday, Alex! Hope you aren’t feeling too awful this AM.

    Not everybody has to go through the Federal site to sign up for health care. Many states operate their own sites where residents can enroll.

    210 chars

  72. Little Bird said on October 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Coozledad, thanks for the advice! I’ll keep a look out for such an event. It would certainly be helpful to have someone guide me through it.

    141 chars

  73. David C. said on October 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    RIP Lou Reed. Being a Lou Reed fan in Caledonia, MI in the mid-70s definitely classified me as strange.

    217 chars

  74. Prospero said on October 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Charlotte reminded me of a very fine piece of music, Possum Goes to Prague. Ritchie Blackmore. Whoda thunk it?

    What really bit the GOPers in the ass in the shut-down-the-governemnt to save rill Murrkans from the socialist evil of Obamacare fiasco was that they believed in polls that said a majority of Americans don’t like the law. They believed people that bemoaned the ditching of the public option and the people that won’t be satisfied with anything other than single payer, Medicare for all were actually on their side. Silly racists, they forgot that welfare is for Tebangers more than it is for blappeople. Denying that the confederate flag waving yahoos dislike President Obama because of the melanin content of his squamous cells is unmitigated BS. That is the problem,

    Whatever it may have been in the past. the GOP is currently the party of obstinate and unfettered racism. There is just no getting around that fact.

    Happy belated birthday, Alex.

    ROGirl@69: They want to return to installing Senators by state legislatures. May the best gerrymanderer win. That fool in Tejas that wants to kick Cali, NY, Mass and Conn out of the Union? You go guy, I’ll move immediately and you will be left without your Texas-sized share of my tax money in the Bumfuck that’s left. Budget crisis, schmudget crisis. Red states spend and blue states pay for it. Meanwhile, these assholes don’t admit to being beaten on an issue. As they were. clearly, on health care. They have the perfect Conservaton activist court and still couldn’t get anywhere. And Granny Starver Ryan is going to pull this shit again over privatizing SSI. That may be stupider than trying to ignore the fact that Obamacare is the law of the land. It’s my money you dumb bastard. Any problem at all with funding SSI should be taken care of at the top, i.e. changing the payment threshhold to $150grand.

    2069 chars

  75. brian stouder said on October 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    RO Girl – yes; a constant meme amongst the Flying Monkeys of the Rightwing Airwaves is that we have to repeal that dog-goned 17th Amendment. Then – we could gerrymander the US Senate, b’God!

    And Danny, if you read today’s Dahlia Lithwick column, you’ll see that all this ‘voter ID’/voter suppression crap from the republigoons may well go away, once the maroons figure out that it’s probably costing THEM as dearly as the people they derisively target. (Republican women who live in ‘red’ states are probably getting disenfranchised badly enough to cost the R’s elections)

    735 chars

  76. Prospero said on October 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Rock ‘n’ roll animal. And that’s the Detroit boy Dick Wagner on guitar. And really, that’s Mitch Ryder’s song more than it is Lou Reed’s.

    Better opening riff than Satisfaction for my money. Lesley West stole it shamelessly for Mississippi Queen.

    Lou Reed was married to the sublime Laurie Annderson.

    449 chars

  77. Jolene said on October 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Deborah and Little Bird: Here’s a place to start in finding local help re signing up for Obamacare in NM. Hope this goes well for you.

    158 chars

  78. Prospero said on October 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Lou Reed wrote an entire album about dying. but the best Lou Reed album is New York followed closely by Ecstasy Both made in his 60s. Astounding. I’ve got his entire collection of songs, including some boots and the album Lulu that he did with Metallica. I figure if this guy could make it to 71, I might too. Best song? Probably Sweet Jane, although Rock Minuet is pretty amazing:

    519 chars

  79. nancy said on October 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    “New York” was released in 1989, Pros. He was still under 50 then. And “Ecstasy” was released in 2000, when he was 58. Sorry. It’s the editor in me.

    148 chars

  80. Prospero said on October 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Danny: I’ve got an ID, it’s my voter registration card, issued by the State of SC. The idea that somebody is going to swing election results by voting three or four times with that piece of paper is absolutely preposterous. It’s a myth, like Raygun’s welfare queen. It’s more or less hilarious how GOPers talk themselves into believing unadulterated bullshit for the sake of the bullshit itself. Do they understand that Nancy Raygun was six mos. preggers when Roonny’s divorce from Jane Wyman was final. Values, right? The self=delusion required to be a modern sonservatron is mind-boggling. Claim to be Christian? Yeah, right. Claim to be fiscally responsible? Yeah, Shock and Awe paid for itself. right Wolfowitz. Go lick your comb, while the adults actually include the credit card invasions and occupations in the national accounting. The GOP brings new meaning to the term “willing suspension of disbelief”.

    Read ’em and weep.

    Thanks Nance. They still both sound very new to my ears. And way better than most everything else coming out contemporaneously. And both albums are awe-inspiring. In the bright future of musical influences, for Mike Stipe, Pete Buck, Bill Berry and Mike Mills, the Velvets were absolutely seminal. R.E.M. has done some astounding Velvets covers. particularly of Pale Blue Eyes, a song somewhat to the right of Wild Horses on the gorgeous meter. I guess time just flies by, or something like that. It is hard to believe Ecstasy has been around that long.

    2157 chars

  81. Little Bird said on October 27, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks Jolene! I’ll bookmark that!

    35 chars

  82. Prospero said on October 27, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Crap. Lulu is almost three years old. It’s strange, but kinda good. I have tried heroin, mostly because of the song. I found it to be more like Ramone’s Chinese Rock than the L0u Reed song.I would have liked to see Lou Reed play with Sonic Smith and Mrs. Sonic. Kindred spirits, without a doubt. Patti Smith on a Velvets song:

    Amazemo guitar solo. And buy Patti’s book about her and Mapplethorpe. You won’t be sorry. She’s a very good writer. Wry and observant.

    511 chars

  83. Prospero said on October 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    And Nancy, you’d have to say pretty good output for that late in life. I hope you do as well. I imagine you will. I have always kinda seenyaas the Fannie Flagg of the Tubes. And I mean that with profound respect/ To churn out that many outstanding columns in such a short time, that woman was a riot. But to also, while doing that, produce a masterpiece like Fried Green Tomatoes, That is amazing. She wasn’t ErmBa Bombeck, but she meant to be.

    446 chars

  84. brian stouder said on October 27, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Lemme just say, Prospero – VH1 has a sublime (sublime) show about Pearl Jam.

    All I can say is – nothing is better than those guys, when they’re on.

    One of the very, very few rock concerts I’ve ever attended was to see Peal Jam in West Lafayette on a Thursday night, some number of years ago.

    I guy I work with won the tix off the radio, and didn’t want to be up all night on a worknight(!) – he gave them to me for free (for free!!!)

    It was – from start to finish – superb

    484 chars

  85. brian stouder said on October 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Whoa – I just saw the “output” comment directed toward our Proprietress…I agree with the Pros’ intent, and I gotta say – he’s a brave man to have taken a swing at expressing that, and then clicking “submit” when he read what he wrote!

    236 chars

  86. Basset said on October 27, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    “White Light, White Heat”… name of my dorm floor’s intramural basketball team at IU ca. 1974. I believe “Rock & Roll Animals” was already taken.

    151 chars

  87. Charlotte said on October 27, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Brian –did you know that Senator Jon Tester was Jeff Ament’s middle-school music teacher? They do fundraising concerts for him all the time …. your music trivia answer for the day.

    183 chars

  88. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 27, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    We’re going to be co-enrolling folks in ACA when we do the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) through our housing coalition here at the church. That, and our Medical Loan Closet team is trying to overcome their technophobia enough to offer assistance; we need more under 70 volunteers . . .

    360 chars

  89. Sherri said on October 27, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Jeff(tmmo), I love your Medical Loan Closet, and wish I were close enough to volunteer!

    87 chars

  90. brian stouder said on October 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Charlotte – I didn’t know that! My opinion of Testor just leaped upward, too.

    Ten was exceedingly popular right in a particularly fraught period in my life, and it just seemed to capture so much.

    Looking back on it, the music is still marvelous, but it also strikes me as very ‘male’…and lately I very much like music that’s more female (if that makes any sense)

    PJ has an album called “Lost Dogs” – which is a compilation of singles that wouldn’t fit their other albums…and this album is pretty much my favorite, anymore. (It includes their cover of Last Kiss. I heard an interview that asked Eddie about how explosively popular their cover of that ballad was, and his deadpan [so to speak] answer was something like “We do well with songs about dead teenagers)

    775 chars

  91. Danny said on October 27, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Aging hippies are now remembering Pastor Chuck Smith. It should be going on for another two hours. They showed a paddle out that 100’s of surfers did a few weeks ago. Very cool.

    218 chars

  92. brian stouder said on October 27, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Interesting clip, Danny. I did see many real-live San Diego surfers at Dog Beach on the last day we were there. Looked like fun, but they’re still crazy, imo(!)

    160 chars

  93. basset said on October 27, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Dunno about Pastor Chuck Smith but when Mrs. B., Basset Jr. and I took a family trip to San Diego a few years ago (part of our national panda tour, took us three years but we eventually saw all the pandas on display in the USA), Mrs. B. insisted on going to Dog Beach before we even checked into our room.

    305 chars

  94. brian stouder said on October 27, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Basset – it is no joke to say that all the dogs I saw were AVID to get to the beach/romp on the beach/play in the surf, right up to whenever their people called it a day and hauled them out of there

    198 chars

  95. Dexter said on October 28, 2013 at 1:56 am

    *snark comin’ on* I was surprised to see no mention of Edith Head’s certain dedication to Moe Howard.

    130 chars

  96. Dexter said on October 28, 2013 at 2:09 am

    “J.R.” lived a long time with a new liver…so did Mickey Mantle, so does “Gomer Pyle” Jim Nabors to this day. Well, now we know the doctors at the famed Cleveland Clinic are not miracle workers. Lou Reed got a new liver in May, proclaimed he felt “stronger than ever!”, and died Sunday of end-stage liver failure.
    Velvet Underground never flew all that high in my part of the Midwest, but oh my how they changed the rock and roll scene in New York City. Now of course I regret that I never stopped by CBGB’s when I made several trips to see my friend there in the mid-late 1970s. I became a huge Lou Reed fan with the release of his 14th album, “New York” and when he came out with the startlingly blunt and wonderful “Magic and Loss” in 1992 I was amazed. So I guess I got 24 years of being a big fan even if I did miss the first part of his career. He was a giant…my Facebook page is bustin’ out at the seams.

    921 chars

  97. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 28, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Sherri — we lost access to the video, but it was cool when Jacob did a 360 turn in the middle of the room: imagine a two car garage renovated with a drop ceiling and shelving all along the walls (but with the big door still in place for moving in and out the big stuff), looking like one of those rooms they have next to the shrine at Lourdes or Chimayo. Walls covered in crutches and canes, folded wheelchairs and piled shower & commode chairs, stacks of bed pads and adult diapers, cases of nutrition drink; here a row of bedside urinals (male & female), walkers of every type & color with no wheels, two wheels, skids, hand brakes, a few with bulb horns. And of all we have in-house and in stock, there’s twice that “out there” in the county. There’s a 20×20 office to one side, and it’s got shelves full of catheter supplies, diabetic test strips, and lots of stuff that I forget what it’s for, but people come in asking for it.

    Not only do we get stuff people don’t need anymore, or materials from families after a person has died, but nursing homes and home health care operations bring us stuff that’s “left over” — once you’ve broken open a case of adult diapers, and used two of twenty, you can’t use any of those other eighteen for another patient officially: so they bring them to us, and we can give it away. Nobody pays a dime for anything; the church covers the phone and utility costs, and we get just enough in donations to pay for the bleach and anti-bacterial cleaning supplies we use to “process” donated goods. And we’re jammed up; if I could talk another church in the county to take over Tuesdays & Thursdays, we’d give ’em a pile of stuff to start and all the counsel they can wish for. We started with Mondays ten years ago, added Wednesdays three years later, and have been up to Fridays for a couple, and we’ve got the traffic to justify two more days and I suspect Saturdays would be popular. We got out of motorized wheelchairs (they’re just too tricky to work on, and everyone wanted us to pay them for them, and we were burning up volunteer time explaining that we wouldn’t pay) & powered lift chairs (upholstery & bed bugs just got beyond what we could handle), and there’s a big church over on the county line between us and Franklin County that does hospital beds because they have a larger storage space. We have a wide selection of bed “furniture” to adapt regular beds (overhead bars, side rails, grab handles mounted on a board that goes under the mattress, etc.), just not the whole powered bed.

    Anyone whose church is interested in getting into this sort of ministry we would be happy to advise; you need space, consistent volunteers, and access for adults who are often mobility restricted to get in and out of your location. Beyond that, once started, you will be amazed how fast stuff comes in. People are so dang happy to not just trash this stuff, but once they don’t need it (recovery or death), it takes up space and is a reminder of unhappier days. But to see how happy it makes people to drop it off with us, and see the “garage” full of similar material, and usually meet some people coming by to pick up as they’re leaving . . . it’s a good thing.

    3229 chars