Good stories, well-told.

We were talking — I was, anyway — about how print isn’t dead yet, not always for the reasons you might think. Today the NYTimes posted yet another multimedia package, “Gun Country,” which I recommend you check out.

It’s deceptively simple. Seven linked stories on one theme, told through a photo montage and an edited audio interview. It’s only simple until you look at it, and realize how many more photos had to be taken to get the 50 or so used in each montage, how many interviews had to happen to get the perfect narrative, how much time the reporter and subjects had to spend together for trust to be established. Hell, how long did it take to get just the right seven people.

My favorite: “Father Language.” My least-favorite: All the rest. But this is a 360-degree view of gun country, and that brings me to my point. I said years ago that I hoped the first expeditions into video storytelling by newspaper journalists might remake the form, at least somewhat. That hasn’t happened; TV news is as stupid and shallow and showboat-y as it’s ever been. (And here in Detroit, the biggest showboat is none other than ex-newspaperman Charlie LeDuff.) But it’s interesting, isn’t it, how newspaper journalists can tell excellent stories with video, but what would you expect from your local TV crew, print-wise? Not bloody much, unless it’s a personal appeal to donate to the United Way, because the pretty-lady anchor is the honorary chair, or some such.

You know what’s hard? Audio editing. The few times I’ve tried it, it made me nuts, trying to cut an interview, interspersed with my own questions, background noise, what have you, into a coherent thread. I think it’s almost easier to do video — more places to cover your missteps. NPR, you guys get a deep bow. It’s tough.

That’s not to say all print people are pros above reproach, although I’d like to salute the New York Post, where even a case of raving mental illness isn’t enough to get you moved to a quiet spot on the editorial page:

The president of the United States, leader of the free world, standard-bearer for everything upright, good and wholesome about the nation he leads, lost his morality, his dignity and his mind, using the solemn occasion of Nelson Mandela’s memorial service Tuesday to act like a hormone-ravaged frat boy on a road trip to a strip bar.

Yes, it’s the selfie story that would not die, although the photo is the least of it for Andrea Peyser:

In front of 91 world leaders, the mourning nation of South Africa and Obama’s clearly furious wife, Michelle, the president flirted, giggled, whispered like a recalcitrant child and made a damn fool of himself at first sight of Denmark’s voluptuously curvy and married prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

Not to be outdone by the president’s bad behavior, the Danish hellcat hiked up her skirt to expose long Scandinavian legs covered by nothing more substantial than sheer black stockings.

Danish hellcat! That’s the spirit.

Finally, a little Detroit real estate porn for you Californians, New Yorkers and Chicagoans. I’ve been to this house, both before and after its restoration, and folks, it’s a jaw-dropper — a Tudor that curves in a gentle arc. It’s spectacular, and at only three-quarters of a mil, probably less than a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.

I’m limping into this weekend, but I must march out the other side, because it’s now or never for Christmas shopping. Hope yours is great.

Posted at 12:33 am in Detroit life, Media |

83 responses to “Good stories, well-told.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 13, 2013 at 1:45 am

    Was the Danish prime minister supposed to be wearing slacks to a funeral? How odd, how sad. The Post, I mean.

    I’m giving my siblings goats for Christmas. Not as would warm Coozledad’s heart, but close enough. Through Heifer Project, International.

    250 chars

  2. Jolene said on December 13, 2013 at 2:33 am

    Ms. Peyser has quite a repertoire of sexist insults. She refers to Schmidt as a hellcat, a cupcake, a tart, and a bimbo. Pretty strong stuff for a person she’s never met, based on her observations of a conversation she didn’t hear,

    231 chars

  3. Deborah said on December 13, 2013 at 6:03 am

    That NYT Gun Country piece was excellent. I was riveted by all of the stories, especially the one narrated by the funeral director.

    131 chars

  4. Prospero said on December 13, 2013 at 6:46 am

    This is grotesque no matter how you look at it. But, ya know, that is your GOP. The Danish hellcat is just not doing it for me. Is there something about that woman that is supposed to be sexually intriguing? Well she’s smart and pretty. Other than that, people are too gutdom stupid for me to partake.

    Jeff: I’ve got a kid niece that loves the heifer gifts.

    The Returned is astounding if you like creepitude.

    500 chars

  5. brian stouder said on December 13, 2013 at 6:58 am

    Prospero, you’re over thinking it.

    The woman is ite-whey, and the president is lack-bay. It’s the oldest offense in the world, and could get a lack-bay guy kilt in many small towns….. and the photo captures the ‘secret code’ completely, including the (seemingly) diapproving (but powerless, or course) lack-bay woman/wife.

    It’s not even a dog whistle, so much as raw meat – for the Oxy-Rush’s and shit-for-brain-Seans of the world

    438 chars

  6. David C. said on December 13, 2013 at 7:03 am

    I used to give a couple of goats a year through Heifer until I started getting calls every week asking me to give more. One or two calls a year are OK. Every week when I’ve told them that all my charity budget is spent for the year is too much. I now give my goat money to a local charity that buys school clothes for children, and to the local food pantry.

    357 chars

  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 13, 2013 at 7:47 am

    David, they’ll get the same reax here if they try that. I hope they’ve reformed…

    The VanDusen mansion pics just make me think “if I lived there, my feet would be cold all the time.” And I hate to wear boots in the house.

    225 chars

    • nancy said on December 13, 2013 at 8:07 am

      The older I get, the less I drool over houses. (As one man told me at a home tour in the very neighborhood of the Van Dusen house, “You’re in love until your first $1,400 gas bill arrives.”) But the VD house is very special, and full of great details. Of all things, I remember the second-floor laundry room, which I think was originally called the Linen Room, because it has an enormous built-in table for folding long tablecloths, etc. I would kill for such a detail. Also, the curve elevates it from just another baronial Tudor to something very cool. The main second-floor hallway follows the curve, and the third-floor ballroom, likewise.

      643 chars

  8. basset said on December 13, 2013 at 8:05 am

    First thoughts after watching “Father Language”:

    Wish my dad (who was from more or less that part of South Carolina) and I had done that.
    Wish I had known either of my grandfathers.

    Since it was a NYT story, I’m still waiting for the hook, the surprise, the compelling moment that would prove these gun owners are the homicidal mouth-breathers that all civilized people know anyone who doesn’t vehemently oppose gun ownership to be.

    439 chars

  9. nancy said on December 13, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Speaking of house porn, over the years I’ve known a few people wealthy enough to build fabulous, over-the-top, now-I-have-arrived showplaces — thousands of square feet, indoor pools, outdoor ponds, this, that and the other thing. And none of them stayed very long. Going in, it was all “yes, this is very expensive, but this will be the house I will die in. It will be a place for our children and grandchildren to gather. It will be our Great House, our castle.” And so on.

    Within five years, it was all about the unused space, and the heating bills, and the maintenance, and oh I just want a cozy nest, etc.

    The Freep runs a weekly feature called House Envy, and I’ve never seen a less enviable set of domiciles. (With some exceptions.) Last week’s was typical — 11K square feet, four kitchens, five fireplaces, blah blah blah. Do note the “library,” where not a single book can be seen but does appear to have at least one Thomas Kinkade masterpiece. Alan said the foyer looked like a Nordstrom’s.

    1115 chars

  10. coozledad said on December 13, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Isn’t that where they filmed Indisputably Anal IV?

    57 chars

  11. Jolene said on December 13, 2013 at 8:44 am

    That Farmington house is grotesque, but I would take the Van Dusen house in a heartbeat–beautiful windows, beautiful staircase, beautiful tile, so any details.

    160 chars

  12. Peter said on December 13, 2013 at 9:05 am

    My gosh, that was some house. Personally, the chandeliers look underwhelming for the space, but I’m not big on hanging lights anyway.

    But that masonry – English bond and raked joints – oh yeah…..

    201 chars

  13. Heather said on December 13, 2013 at 9:51 am

    There was a house for sale recently on the West Side of Chicago that was an old, neglected mansion–it had been lived in but not maintained. However, it had all (or most) of the original details–beautiful wood staircase, fireplace, etc. Just amazing. I wish I could find the link, but it was being offered for something like $150K. Of course you’d have to put about a million dollars into it to restore it, and you’d be living in a very, very bad and dangerous neighborhood. I hope someone with good taste buys it (or bought it).

    530 chars

  14. Jenine said on December 13, 2013 at 10:51 am

    “the third floor ballroom” as opposed to the 2nd floor ballroom where they keep their bicycles.

    95 chars

  15. Jeff Borden said on December 13, 2013 at 10:52 am

    While it gets crowded when we have sleepover guests, I’m absolutely thrilled we bought a small house on a tiny Chicago lot (25-feet by 150-feet) more than 20 years ago. And still, there are rooms we almost never utilize, so it’s clear we could have gone even smaller. (When we were shopping for houses and mortgages, all the brokers were chiding us because being debt free and having a good credit rating meant we could afford “a lot more house” with a much larger mortgage.) It’s probably safe to say we bought the neighborhood, not the home.

    I look at houses the way I look at SUVs. If you have a lot of kids or a big extended family, perhaps a mini-mansion is the right way to go, just as SUVs may well be appropriate for the same folks because they have a lot of people and things to cart around. But just a big ass house for the sake of having a big ass house? Nope.

    874 chars

  16. Deborah said on December 13, 2013 at 10:52 am

    My new motto is, think big build small.

    39 chars

  17. Julie Robinson said on December 13, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Gorgeous house, but like most of us here my dream house needs to be something that won’t give me nightmares over expenses. And when I look at homes I usually see a lot of features that make it obvious the house wouldn’t really be practical. A lot of huge kitchens would be horrible to actually cook in, due to their poor design. When I see nine bathrooms, I think nine toilets to scrub.

    Our niece has been involved in saving a historic house here in the Orlando area, the Capen House of Winter Park. It’s the usual story: rich people buy a house with the intention of razing the house and putting up a McMansion

    614 chars

  18. Julie Robinson said on December 13, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Dang it, my hand drifted while I was thinking!

    Anyway, long story short, they have saved the house, and because of its location had to cut it in half, and are floating each half across a lake to its new home. The owners have made every step difficult, insisting on hiring a photographer to document that no trees were harmed, making them build a ramp over a crummy swimming pool that they’ll inevitably rebuild anyway, etc. They even made them remove a boathouse and then rebuild it. It has been a long and difficult journey to say the least.

    545 chars

  19. Charlotte said on December 13, 2013 at 11:46 am

    One of the best parts of growing up in Lake Forest was getting to play as a kid in so many terrific old houses. Although, nightmares of upkeep. I remember being very small — 4 or 5 and standing on boards balanced on bricks in the basement of my cousin’s big old mansion-y house — tornado warning, torrential downpour, and we’re in a basement a foot deep in water. We thought it was a great adventure (and we used to lock my younger brother in the walled-off area where the leaves went in the fall — a fancy compost heap I suppose? Poor little guy.

    Got into it with a childhood friend over the gun issue this morning — love it when my most evangelical friend who is always posting things about Jeeesus posts about how “badass” having a handgun makes you when those bad bad black people from Great Lakes and Waukegan bother you. I poked her about the 6th commandment, and asked if Jesus would open the door with a gun? Sigh.

    930 chars

  20. Jeff Borden said on December 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Speaking of great stories in the NYT, have any of you been reading about the homeless little girl, Dasani, and her efforts to stay alive, fed, clothed and educated while her mother lives in a city shelter? It’s a killer story.

    226 chars

  21. Prospero said on December 13, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    This is grotesque no matter how you look at it. But, ya know, that is your GOP.

    The first House designed by Frank Loyd Wright is for sale for around $2mill. Half what a typical McMansion might cost.

    Amazing arrangement and performance of my favorite Christmas song. Maddy Prior’s voice is why the English language has the word “celestial”. And there is a comma between “merry” and “gentlemen”.

    All those photos? SI photographers don’t use motor drives and Tri-X by the case for nothing.

    675 chars

  22. MarkH said on December 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Pros, your Christmas song link doesn’t work.

    On McMansions, it all depends on your definition and where it is. Location, location, location, y’know. Out here, that $3/4 million Van Dusen price is just below average home value for Teton County, although the home itself would go for probably $3-5 million if it was here. Only 3% of the land in this county is private (national park, national forests, state, and fish & wildlife land make up the rest) and a fourth to a third of that is protected by conservation easements. Supply and demand way out of whack, so you end up with ‘McMansions’ of this caliber and price:

    Not even the Cheney homes approach most of what’s in that link.

    762 chars

    • nancy said on December 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      Those are beautiful houses for sure, Mark, but from what I can tell, they look nestled well into wooded areas. What’s the chance they’ll burn during the next fire season?

      170 chars

  23. brian stouder said on December 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Well, I dunno about wildfire, but the weather-terrorists around here are currently bidding up the expected snowfall we’re supposed to get, beginning this evening.

    2-4” predictions were quickly trumped by the reliable 3-5” dodge; and the adventurous ones place are now predicting the high end at 8” (my guess is we’ll get between 1” and 3”).

    Our 15 year old and all her friends are planning on attending a dance at their school Saturday – and this is the one darned detail that makes me think that we may indeed get the most dire weather, thanks to the Murphy’s Law-effect.

    604 chars

  24. Danny said on December 13, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I was at first confusing Peyser with Paglia. Now it makes better sense… not that Paglia is ever demure in her criticisms.

    124 chars

  25. MarkH said on December 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Very good chance, as you suspect, Nance. Twelve years ago, there was a major fire near that area that started in the forest, got too close to some of the homes. Since then, there has been a major campaign by county fire officials to get homeowners clear brush and trees from close proximity to existing homes, and for new construction to place the homes away from treed and obvious combustible areas if possible. As insurance companies have come in to the picture to pressure homeowners, it has mostly worked.

    However, last year, Sept. 8, (and I didn’t post about this back then), we had another major fire here that could have been a lot worse. An arrogant neighbor in my subdivision violated a county-wide open fire ban and lit some garbage in a barrel in his yard during high wind conditions. He left it unattended and it got away quickly. Although it ultimately moved away from adjacent homes like mine, it threatened the town, and, well, here’s a pretty good brief video record. My house in just to the south of the source on the main subdivision road.

    Within ten days it was contained, but as you can see, even when there’s only grass or sage, dry conditions will rule the day. Heroic efforts on the part of firefighters in a region already stretched thin for covereage at that time made all the difference.

    Compounding matters, that was the day of the annual Logan (UT) to Jackson bicycle race. Hundreds of bicyclists ended their 200 mile+ trek in a serious traffic snarl as they went on the highway right by Little Horsethief Canyon. Five miles south of the fire source, one bicyclist was killed when he went off a bridge and fell 35 feet into the Snake River.

    My neighbor still hasn’t been criminally charged, as the county has punted any legal action to the forest service, where most of the damage was done. No loss of life or injruies or damage to property, $9 million in costs. Mr. Firebug has only recently been presented with a bill for a part of the damages.

    The fire threats will only get worse going forward as dry conditions persist.

    2266 chars

  26. brian stouder said on December 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    an “active shooter” is in a school 8 miles east of Littleton?

    Mayday mayday mayday

    173 chars

    • nancy said on December 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      It’s a suicide, Brian. Just another sad story.

      46 chars

  27. brian stouder said on December 13, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Good heavens.

    I just do not know what to think of stories like this one.

    True enough though, that despite the horror in this story, it is relatively “happy”, considering the 1st anniversary of Sandy Hook tomorrow

    218 chars

  28. Lex said on December 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    During my single encounter with her — online, nigh onto two decades ago — I decided quickly that Andrea Peyser takes money to play “let’s poke the liberals, or even just people with common sense, with a stick.” She’s not crazy, she’s just corrupt.

    249 chars

  29. MarkH said on December 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    The Arapahoe school is less than a mile from my sister’s house. I can’t figure how he got the shotgun past the door in this post Sandy Hook day and age.

    152 chars

  30. Dexter said on December 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Just one of them…who can ever forget any of them? This is Jesse Lewis and his daddy.

    157 chars

  31. Sherri said on December 13, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    It was a particularly Seattle-ish kind of day today, where everything is the same shade of gray and it’s raining but you don’t actually get wet because the drops are so fine, so I needed a dose of cheer. Fortunately, Katie Baker highlights the month’s NYTimes wedding section today:

    We were just discussing propriety (or lack thereof) at funerals. Weddings take it to a whole new level.

    490 chars

  32. Basset said on December 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Back to audio editing for a minute,,, Nance, ever edited audio tape with a razor blade and sticky tape? Or film with a scraper and glue? That’s how we did it in the old days, and you kids get off my lawn.

    206 chars

  33. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 13, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    White tape, and the block mounted on the front of the Ampex. Good times, good times.

    84 chars

  34. basset said on December 14, 2013 at 12:16 am

    JeffTMMO, does “It’s tape ooditing time in Tooterville Township!” ring a bell?

    Meanwhile, here ya go, Cooze… the original 1972 version with alternate mixes, a flat transfer, isolated tracks, 5.1 remix, the whole deal:

    I am calling my local record shop in the morning to see if they have it, if not I will abandon my effort to buy locally and get it from Amazon. Really. I mean it.

    467 chars

  35. Danny said on December 14, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Basset, I went to see them this last summer on July 14 (Bastille Day!) in San Diego at an outdoor venue called Humphreys by the Bay. They did three albums in their entirety (The Yes Album, Close to the Edge, Going for the One). The new singer, Jon Davison, is great. His voice is very close to Anderson’s in quality and he has all of the range. Geoff Downes was with them on keyboard. It was an awesome show.

    Like with many groups who are touring these days, Yes had several higher priced ticket packages and I sprung for the medium-priced one that guaranteed first 10 rows and included some promotional items, among them a signed copy of the 5.1 mix of CttE. They had a more expensive package that also included a Meet & Greet, but I am not really interested in shaking their hands for $250.

    802 chars

  36. coozledad said on December 14, 2013 at 10:32 am

    I used to smoke, and I think I know what Len is thinking in this picture:C’mon Chesterfields, keep me in this game!

    basset: Stanley Whitaker, US Army, Thai stick:

    329 chars

  37. Danny said on December 14, 2013 at 10:41 am

    “Colorado teenage gunman had ‘very strong beliefs about gun laws’ and Republicans”

    On his Facebook page, he seemed to make fun of Republicans, writing “you republicans are so cute” and posting an image that read: “The Republican Party: Health Care: Let ’em Die, Climate Change: Let ’em Die, Gun Violence: Let ’em Die, Women’s Rights: Let ’em Die, More War: Let ’em Die. Is this really the side you want to be on?”

    Wow, something set this guy off. Wonder iff’in he done did came across one of dem dar targeted congressional district maps on dat dar internet.


    751 chars

  38. alex said on December 14, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Danny, as long as you’re going to politicize it you might as well religionize it too. From the Denver Post:

    Pierson was a dedicated, bright student from a religious family that attends Bible study meetings.

    {double snort}

    Read more: Arapahoe High gunman held strong political beliefs, classmates said – The Denver Post
    Read The Denver Post’s Terms of Use of its content:
    Follow us: @Denverpost on Twitter | Denverpost on Facebook

    605 chars

  39. Danny said on December 14, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Alex, apparently it was lost on you, but I am in fact I am doing the exact opposite by inferring how absolutely idiotic it is to do so.

    135 chars

  40. alex said on December 14, 2013 at 11:20 am

    And I’m the second coming of Jesus and I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

    81 chars

  41. beb said on December 14, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Hey, Jesus! You can’t sell that bridge. I already bought it!

    60 chars

  42. coozledad said on December 14, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    If I’m gonna buy anything from a Jew, he better be white.

    57 chars

  43. basset said on December 14, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Interesting track there, Cooz… reminds me of Starcastle. “Thai stick” I can understand, it’d help… but what’s that about Stanley Whitaker and the army?

    156 chars

  44. coozledad said on December 14, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    He was in it. Stationed in Germany during the demobilization of Vietnam, I think.

    81 chars

  45. coozledad said on December 14, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    basset:I’ve been listening to that song for years and only recently realized it’s flamenco. Straight up.

    104 chars

  46. Joe K said on December 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    You want to watch fun exciting football?
    Try the army vs navy game on right now.
    These kids play there guts out, knowing their not going to the nfl.
    The game played the way it should be.
    GO ARMY,
    Pilot Joe

    210 chars

  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 14, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Go Navy, beat Army(again)!

    26 chars

  48. Basset said on December 14, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Googled him right after I posted , Cooze… He does sound like an interesting character.

    Meanwhile … without Howe, Anderson, and the elder Wakeman it’s not really Yes. Shook Rick Wakeman’s hand once, wrapped all around mine & I’m a fairly large guy.

    259 chars

  49. Danny said on December 14, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    I am not that much of a purist anymore… can’t afford to be because they are all getting older. Jon Anderson had a respiratory health issue a few years back and has said that he really can’t do the long tours anymore. Rick isn’t really inclined to either. I’ve met them both a couple of times. Nice chaps.

    This new touring incarnation of the band was pretty solid from a performance standpoint. If you close your eyes, it sounds pretty damn right. The singer was good and at least Downes was part of the group when they put out Drama, which was a pretty good album, IMO (Machine Messiah rocks).

    602 chars

  50. Basset said on December 14, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    I saw them a few years back with Benoit David and Oliver Wakeman, who was close enough on most of the older stuff but looked like he wasn’t particularly enjoying it.

    And I can see how this TV host thing is working out so well for Rick… saw him give a talk on film scoring at a film festival and he just played the piano and told stories, funny as he’ll and I would pay to see him do it again.

    399 chars

  51. brian stouder said on December 14, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Well, the Murphy’s Law Effect mixed with the weather front, and we got about 8″ of snow, and our daughter’s dance got cancelled. But on the bright side, some friends and her still organized an outing, and off they went.

    And – I DID pay the voluntary (and probably highly regressive!) tax, and bought not one, not two, not three – but FOUR of the mega-millions lottery tix, for the $400M drawing – and we had three numbers on one ticket, and WON $5!!!

    So NOW we have a $1 profit in-hand, and we’re pondering another ticket or two before Tuesday’s $500M drawing.

    If we win the damned thing, we’ll start a foundation and hire Jeff TMMO as a director, and the Proprietress to handle PR/external communications, and then fly to Bimini (or maybe the Caymans,eh?)

    779 chars

  52. Joe K said on December 14, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    I know where you can find a pilot.
    Pilot Joe

    54 chars

  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 15, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Brian, thank you; I’m currently a research fellow at the Institute for Eclectic Studies.

    88 chars

  54. Dexter said on December 15, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Yeah, Go Army. 12 straight beat-downs in The Big Game series vs. Navy. 🙁 I watched the whole damn game, played in light snow which turned to raging snowstorm which switched to “wintry mix”…freezing rain, more rain than ice pellets. It was played in Philadelphia. Here in Ohio we got 5.7 inches of snow, a pain in the ass for sure.

    brian, for one MILLY-YUNN dollars
    I will coach you on how to spend $550 million dollars for the slight fee of just ONE MILLY-YUNN DOLLARS ! I have day-dreamed a plan that has gone on for 40 years. First, we get you a prepaid AMEX Black, ten million dollar amount, just for odds and ends…. 🙂 Then we call one of those legit foundations that help rubes like us who never had bottomless piles of cash…Google is full of advisers!

    822 chars

  55. Sherri said on December 15, 2013 at 1:48 am

    No, Dexter, you got it all wrong. You need to charge Brian a percentage, not a flat fee. You can’t be a real financial thief I mean adviser if you’re charging flat fee!

    168 chars

  56. DellaDash said on December 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Greetings from Dementialand, on the banks of the Mississippi where it bends east-to-west.

    It’s too cold today to escort Mom to her Baptist-roots church…even with a choice of two (inherited)fur coats in which I can bundle her. She refuses to wear a hat, and I’ve forbidden the infested wig.

    My naïveté about the day-to-day impact of an unrelenting assault upon my nerves, by a mother gone haywire, turned out to be almost abysmal; once I’d made the lock, stock & barrel last May. Ironically, Mom’s fall three days after my arrival, resulting in three broken bones (none of which required surgical replacements), offered some breathing space (in between hospital/rehab visits) to impose some order on this suburban condo before chaos, in the form of a tougher-than-she-looks-87-year-old, descended full force.

    Anyway, I’ve been learning to choose my battles, or ways to avert them.

    Not having so much as lurked in the last 8 months, it’s possible the reason for my jumping in now has already been a subject of discussion, since this is a Stouder hangout. Never mind. Brian, have you read “My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry That Led to the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln” by Nora Titone? I’m reading it for one of the local library book clubs I’ve joined; am not quite finished; and am very interested in your bloody thoughts.

    1358 chars

  57. brian stouder said on December 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Della, I’ve not read it, but it sounds interesting! Two books specifically about Lincoln’s death that I’ve read are American Brutus – a fascinating book about Booth, and the one about the near-theft of Lincoln’s remains.

    But – I will add My Thoughts be Bloody to the Christmas list, and report back to you!

    (Good ol’ AL has the almost unique quality – amongst historic and transformational leaders – that the more you read about him, the more admirable he becomes!)

    471 chars

  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Della, blessings in your choices. Picking the right hill to plant a flag on is exactly key, because you can’t fix everything and later you’ll find yourself thinking “that wasn’t as important as it seemed at the time.” I’m buying out two Adult Protective Services caseworkers (county of 160,000 and we have two, total, sheesh) the biggest bucket of flowers I can afford this week, because the last six months I have worked those women like pack mules. And they’ve taught me much.

    Seriously, I’m sending them a giant bouquet. Elder protection and guidance is an art which no one, not even LISW-S programs, can teach.

    617 chars

  59. coozledad said on December 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Best damn movie ever made. Best part, best actor for it:

    100 chars

  60. brian stouder said on December 15, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Cooz – good stuff…and the women almost start twerking at the outset of “Dem Bones”.

    To me, I suppose he’ll always be Lawrence

    130 chars

  61. Sherri said on December 15, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    So many great O’Toole movies to choose from, but in honor of the season, one of my favorite Christmas movies:

    152 chars

  62. alex said on December 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    He had the perfect name for a porn star. And he was born with it.

    65 chars

  63. nancy said on December 15, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    The hell with Lawrence of Arabia. BILLY JACK DIED TODAY.

    222 chars

  64. coozledad said on December 15, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    What in hell are Jean and the kids at the school going to do?

    61 chars

  65. coozledad said on December 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I wonder how many obits will use “One tin soldier rides away”. Kill me.

    71 chars

  66. nancy said on December 15, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    I think this is required:

    151 chars

  67. Deborah said on December 15, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    My reaction is that Peter O’Toole and Billy Jack should be much older than 81 and 82. That makes them less than 20 years older than me. Back when I saw those movies they seemed way older than me.

    Enjoying a lazy day of going out for breakfast at a French place in town because I was out of coffee, reading the NYT and some of the blogs I enjoy. It’s cold out there, the temp is not that bad but the wind makes it seem much colder. Maybe I’ll watch an On Demand movie tonight.

    480 chars

  68. Suzanne said on December 15, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    I remember seeing Billy Jack in my younger years and thinking it was just about the best movie I had ever seen. I saw it a few years ago on cable and could only watch part of it. So bad. But the passing of Billy Jack does make me feel old.

    241 chars

  69. Deborah said on December 15, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    After seeing that “One Tin Soldier” link I realized that the location of that shoot was about 20 something miles away from where I am right now. I’m definitely going to have to watch the movie again to see what I recognize.

    223 chars

  70. coozledad said on December 15, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I think it’s a tragedy Tom Laughlin and Joe Don Baker never teamed up to do WALKING ERECT:THE FINAL PUSSER.

    107 chars

  71. Jolene said on December 15, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    I feel a bout of commemorative film-watching coming on. Thanks for the link to The Ruling Class, Cooz. Have never seen that, so it will definitely be on the list.

    Your link led to some great interview clips. You might like this one, Sherri. In it, O’Toole talks about meeting Katherine Hepburn and asking her to join him in Lion in

    343 chars

  72. Jolene said on December 15, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Whoops! Forgot the link. Here it is:

    69 chars

  73. Kirk said on December 15, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    The Ruling Class is one of my favorites, too. Funny as hell and dark as hell. A truly outstanding performance.

    110 chars

  74. Connie said on December 15, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    The R uling Class is the strangest and funniest movie I have ever seen.

    I have a very painful sprained wrist. Doc says, splint, elevate, ice, motrin, hydrocodone. Some things are very hard to do onehanded. Such as opening the motrim bottle.

    243 chars

  75. Jolene said on December 15, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Wait until you try to hook (or unhook) your bra, Connie. I once broke my wrist. Made it very difficult to get dressed.

    118 chars

  76. Sherri said on December 15, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Thanks for the clip, Jolene. O’Toole mentions that there’s one part he really went after, Eli Cross in The Stunt Man, another classic performance:

    189 chars

  77. brian stouder said on December 15, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Well, when it comes to hooking/unhooking bras, let me just say – I’ve never had a broken wrist (nor even a sprained one) and I’ve always been very hard-pressed to manage to hook or unhook one of those things; even with two hands, bright light, and undivided attention. (on second thought, maybe I cannot claim fully undivided attention)

    The person or people who designed those things seem to have purposely made things difficult

    439 chars

  78. Kirk said on December 15, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    And now Joan Fontaine has died, too.

    36 chars

  79. Kirk said on December 15, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    And Ray Price is fixing to. Tough night.

    40 chars

  80. Jolene said on December 15, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Michael Caine, Sean Connery, and Peter O’Toole are in the same box in my brain. Just looked up the ages of Connery and Caine, and found that they are, in fact, age mates of O’Toole. More sad days to come.

    204 chars