Car culture, with snow tires.

I read Rebecca Burns’ interesting explication of Atlanta’s snowpocalypse, which is also a criticism of sprawl and bad urban planning, while I was sitting at the car-repair place. My car has entered its nickel-and-dime years, but as long as the nickels aren’t too numerous, I figure it’s worth hanging on to.

It was a long repair, though, and stretched over the lunch hour. While the garage is smack in the middle of a highly developed stretch of strip malls, it appeared the only non-fast food option was a pizza joint about half a block away. I zipped the Parka of Tribulation (its rebranded name; I think it sounds more biblical than “parka of misery”) and headed out.

Good lord, but walking in St. Clair Shores is a royal-ass pain. It’s one of those suburbs with older roots, but that really blossomed in the glorious age of the automobile. Why would anyone walk anywhere when you can get into your shiny chariot of freedom and drive? Last summer, when I needed to get there after a two-day repair, I decided to ride my bike — it’s only a few miles. But there simply wasn’t a way to do it that didn’t involve taking a road that would be risky to life and limb. So I ended up going all the way on the sidewalk (Harper Avenue, for you locals), which I absolutely hate to do, but why not? It’s not like anyone walks on them.

Certainly they’re not all cleared of snow, as I discovered today. Between the biting winds, the snow piles and the agog looks of passing motorists — looky there, someone’s walkin’ — I’d had just about enough of my winter stroll almost as soon as it started.

But the car steers correctly now, at least. Just in time for another snow squall. More coming, too.

New Orleans in two weeks. It’s going to be in the 70s there this weekend.

Wendy’s having a fierce chew at my feet as I write this, really working her Nylabone down to a nub. It seems to scratch a deep itch for her. The world is more hospitable to her now that the temperature has risen above 20 degrees. We took a longer-than-normal walk today and she enjoyed every step.

I don’t have much more. How’s your weekend looking? Kate will be starting another physics project — a cardboard boat — and there’s a party in Detroit for Ragnarok. I’ve been told it’s mainly an excuse to burn shit, so I’m really looking forward to it. The weather says it’ll be snowing. Quel surprise.

Have a great one, everybody. It sure took us long enough to get here.

Posted at 12:30 am in Same ol' same ol' |
 

85 responses to “Car culture, with snow tires.”

  1. Dexter said on January 31, 2014 at 4:14 am

    I think the worst short bike ride I ever took was the cold winter day when I drove to Pontiac, parked at The Phoenix Center, took my bike off the car rack and rode out to The Pontiac Silverdome for a Lions game. It seemed like a good idea, as I employed this plan at many sporting venues over the years. It was awful, as the snow made it difficult to utilize the little bit of pavement not occupied by cars. Of course the streets were backed-up and crawling slowly towards the Silverdome lots. I remember people staring , glaring at me, kids pointing at me, as I suppose they wondered how this guy who had to ride a bike out amongst all the cars could have cash to buy a ticket…maybe most of them thought I was a “canner”. I survived the ride, but I was very glad at the end to re-mount the bike to the rack and head to a Hungry Howie’s for a pizza to go.
    I contrast that to a Tigers game I attended, parking for free in Corktown and riding over on Michigan Avenue and having few cars pass me until I nearly got to Woodward to head to Comerica Park. Saturday noon-time Detroit was nearly car-free; all the Tigers traffic comes in off the freeways.

  2. David C. said on January 31, 2014 at 6:59 am

    If it wouldn’t be cheating, try to find V3c water resistant fiberboard for the boat. In my previous life as a packaging engineer, I was the most popular guy in the plant at cardboard project time. The stuff in nearly indestructible.

  3. Mark P. said on January 31, 2014 at 8:11 am

    I went to NO for Mardi Gras in about 1983. It was freezing. The first souvenir I bought was a yellow and purple knit cap, which I wore the whole time. As you may know, in very cold weather the kidneys work overtime (no reason to sweat all that fluid out), so the portapotties were overflowing onto the street.

  4. beb said on January 31, 2014 at 8:23 am

    I still think Atlanta’s problems with snow is that the ground hadn’t frozen in advance. Here in Detroit we tend to get freezing weather long before the snow comes so the ground is cold and the snow doesn’t instantly melt into ice.

    I was struck by how much Detroit resembles Atlanta. Detroit is divided by I-94 which runs through Chicago and up to the Blue Water Bridge to Canada. It’s a busy freeway and packed during rush hour. There’s a constellation of small towns in the suburbs north of Detroit, may which seem only a mile wide, and largely all bedroom communities. So we have the small flocks of political and school units. Not sure how well organized they are. But where Detroit differs from Altanta, I think, is that the regional density is half that of Atlanta and Michigan is flat enough that the city could be laid out in a grid with major roads throughout. If the freeway becomes blocked there’s always surface streets to get you home.

    So the cardboard boat… does it just have to float or does it have to have someone sitting in it? And is duct tape allowed?

  5. nancy said on January 31, 2014 at 8:28 am

    The Grosse Pointe North Cardboard Boat Regatta.

  6. Kim said on January 31, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Mark P. – Nancy’s NO mention got me thinking about 1983 Mardis Gras, when five friends and I decided over Monday night beers at Murphy’s in Champaign, IL to experience Mardis Gras firsthand. We cashed a couple of checks at the currency exchange across the street, hopped into the only car between us (a Nova)and drove through the night. Spent the day and night overindulging, then got back into the car so the Australian (a math Ph.D. candidate) in our group of liberal arts slackers could get back to T.A. duties at Altgeld. Subsequent trips have been different in that they involve hotels but it’s a city built for fun.

  7. coozledad said on January 31, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Sarah Palin with a dick, he is. Another Republican shart who’d fuck a hog in a pit of shucked oysters if it would get him on TV.
    http://www.tmz.com/2014/01/30/george-zimmerman-celebrity-boxing-match/

  8. Mark P. said on January 31, 2014 at 8:48 am

    beb — I’m not sure about Atlanta, but 60 miles north where I live the ground was frozen and the snow blew around like fine dust. But even there, traffic compacted the snow into something a lot like ice, and at intersections there was enough standing traffic for long enough that the packed snow did become ice. Where the snow had not been driven on, like the road up the mountain to where our house is, there was some traction. If it had had traffic, it was slippery as hell.

  9. Jolene said on January 31, 2014 at 9:02 am

    A weather guy on TV agreed w/ you re the importance of ground freezing, beb. Said the fact that it isn’t consistently cold makes snowfall in the South a different animal than in the North.

  10. coozledad said on January 31, 2014 at 9:03 am

    There are some nice boats in those pictures. The one made of Gorilla Tape and toilet paper boxes looks like something I’d slap together.

    If you could find some of those cardboard ribs they use to pack heavy appliances, and laminate a bunch of flat stock with epoxy resin, you could frame up a ship of the line.

  11. nancy said on January 31, 2014 at 9:12 am

    The rules for this thing keep changing, I think at the insistence of the guys who have to clean out the pool filters.

    This year: No paint, no epoxy and only cardboard and duct tape as materials. (Duct tape only to be used along the seams. Alan had a brilliant idea: To use mailing tubes as gunwales, which will stiffen the whole thing. So that’s where I’m off to now — the cardboard packaging store.

  12. BigHank53 said on January 31, 2014 at 9:36 am

    To make everyone feel better about cardboard boats, enjoy the Quebec City Ice Canoe race:

    http://www.jaunted.com/story/2014/1/2/1519/30226/travel/Feeling+the+Chill%3F+Then+the+Ice+Canoe+Races+at+Quebec%27s+Winter+Carnival+Are+NOT+For+You

  13. Jeff Borden said on January 31, 2014 at 10:45 am

    The only problem with karma is that it often takes too damned long to even things out. George Zimmerman initiated that encounter with Trayvon Martin and apparently was getting his ass kicked by the kid before he pulled out his portable penis and killed him. Zimmerman ought to be in prison, but sooner or later, he’ll get the treatment he deserves.

  14. brian stouder said on January 31, 2014 at 11:05 am

    That cardboard boat thing looks quite interesting. Presumably you really can’t do a full-up pre-race test, as the boat will only last so long in the water. And, a question that is begged by the requirement that duct tape only be used for joining pieces (as opposed to providing a smooth, water-resistant surface) is – what are the construction restrictions for the hull? For example, of one wanted their hull to consist of parallel widths of cardboard, then they would have parallel strips of duct tape, yes? ‘Course, then you’d need to buttress the strength of the hull….maybe a double hull, with cardboard tubes between the layers?

  15. beb said on January 31, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    So duct tape fabric is out of the question for the cardboard boat. So well as paint. So no waterproofing at all. And it take an hour and a half to paddle the length of the course? Or was that a minute and a half? “1:33.15″ is so confusing as a length of time.

    Mark P, your description of how snow acts in your region is pertty much what happens up here. Fresh snow generally gives some traction but if driven over a lot quickly becomes compacted and melted into ice. Maybe the midwest is lucky that it is, for the most part, pretty flat.

    Boingboing has an article about an Omaha cop who was videotaped roughhousing a prisoner and got fired. he then joined a gang of cops who raided the house of the man who videotaped him, which was described as brutal and yet, somehow he got his job back. What kind of police force as we growing in America. Increasingly they sound just like the gangbangers they’re supposed to arrest.

  16. Scout said on January 31, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Personally, I would like to kick Damon Feldman in the nuts for even extending the offer to Zimmerman under the auspices that he is a “celebrity”. I just hope whoever gets into the ring with GZ pulverizes him.

  17. brian stouder said on January 31, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    GZ is in the same circle as OJ now; famous for getting away with murder.

    I do not know what to think about Ms Knox….

  18. Dexter said on January 31, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    brianstouder: I just don’t want to get all weepy, “O the poor little pretty girl, so innocent, and bullied by the foreign courts like this…” and find I am walking with the rubes down the carny midway. Wonder of wonders, Time Warner Cable now provides us with al-Jazeera Network (after promising they would NEVER carry that “terrorist vehicle” ) and I saw a long interview with Knox’ lawyer, the one that looks like the son of The Wolfman and Salman Rushdie. He says there is absolutely no evidence that Knox was ever in the killing room, “not a hair, not a fingerprint, not a drop of any DNA…” and this case has a long way to go before Italian courts possibly shall order extradition. I was happy she was released and returned to the USA. Now I am letting the hint of doubt creep into my brain like the man who realizes he may have been swindled.

    beb, I have not driven in downtown Atlanta since 1977, so I have no idea how their back-up “let’s take city streets instead of I-75″ plans work, but a few times I have plotted ways to get to downtown Detroit and (mostly) Tiger Stadium (in the old days) using quick-moving streets like Fort.
    One time I drove up US 23 and attempted to enter I-94 Eastbound for Detroit by Ann Arbor, and it was a parking lot, took me a half hour to go a few hundred yard, then I joined the parade and went in reverse back to the entrance ramp, backing up on the shoulder. Christ almighty, what would the fine have ben for THAT trick? :) No Tigers game that day; I went back home.

  19. Mark P. said on January 31, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Slate has another view on the snow-traffic problems of Atlanta (http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/01/atlanta_s_snow_fiasco_the_real_problem_in_the_south_isn_t_weather_it_s_history.html). Tracy Thompson blames it on racism. She specifically mentions antipathy to region-wide rapid transit and blames the typical southern racism for that. She ignores the fact that one of the counties most rabidly opposed to rapid transit is Cobb County, which has a very large population of conservative types, a very large percentage of which aren’t from around here. They’re carpetbaggers. And conservative carpetbaggers are just as opposed to having “those people” get access to their well-to-do neighborhoods as any racist, redneck Georgian.

  20. brian stouder said on January 31, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Dex – agreed completely about the creeping feeling with regard to Ms Knox.

    Aside from her, some years ago, we drove down to see the Mouse, and we left our driveway in Fort Wayne at about 3 pm. We hit Atlanta at about 1 am, and shot through there like shit through a goose.

    On the northbound returning trip, we hit Atlanta at about 5 pm, which was the end of the world as we knew it.

    Chicago is much more fun to drive around, and they have Lake Michigan blotting out everything to the east…!

  21. Jolene said on January 31, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Susan Page, a USA Today reporter who spent a substantial amount of time w/ Ms. Knox at the time of her trial, said today that, in her opinion, Knox would not have been convicted in a US court. She didn’t give a view as to guilt or innocence, but said that evidence had been mishandled in such a way as to render it inconclusive.

    Apparently, there’ll be another appeal now, so more months (at least) before the Secretary of State has to make a decision re extradition.

  22. brian stouder said on January 31, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Jolene – won’t that be something!

    Our flying monkeys must be rubbing their hands in anticipation of the black men (the president and the AG) turning white girl over to them ferriners (I heard shit-for-brains-Sean refer to precisely that, the other day; Oxy Rush cannot be too far behind)

  23. Julie Robinson said on January 31, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    As to her guilt, I haven’t a clue, but I was listening to the same program as Jolene. It’s unlikely this country would agree to extradite her because it would be double jeopardy.

    I also heard that part of the Atlanta problem was that they sprayed brine on the roads, but not in time for it to dry before the storm hit. Brian Williams said the governor “fell on his snow shovel” as he took the blame.

    My only visit there, save for the airport, was during the ’88 Democratic convention. The resulting horrible traffic put us several hours behind schedule so we decided to crash at the nearest hotel, where we tuned in to that night’s speaker, one Bill Clinton. As he droned on and on and on, I said he was such a windbag that he clearly had no political future.

    Would anyone care to hear my 2016 prognostications?

  24. brian stouder said on January 31, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Julie – well, I think Chris Christie is completely kaput…..so now you have me worried!

  25. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 31, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Julie, I said the same thing that night. Which should cure me of political analysis forever. (And yet…)

  26. Jolene said on January 31, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Jeff, you and Julie witnessed what we’ve now seen many times–Bill Clinton stepping in it. You just hadn’t seen his recovery a few nights later on The Tonight Show. Has any politician ever had more comebacks?

    Speaking of Christie being kaput, the news is saying that David Wildstein, the official who set in motion the GW Bridge closures, is saying that he has evidence that Christie knew of the loan closures in advance. Am not sure yet what that evidence is. Stay tuned.

  27. Sherri said on January 31, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    My only question about Christie is, has he been smart enough about all his dealings that he’ll avoid prosecution? He’s always been a bully, and made way too many enemies over the years, so you have to believe there’s someone out there willing to roll over on him.

  28. brian stouder said on January 31, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Jolene – one assumes that the first person to make an immunity deal will get the best deal…and Mr Wildstein appears to be making a strong bid to be that immunized person.

    There’s probably a great boardgame* here; something akin to a railroad game where you suck the money out of one company to get the best stuff for another and then dump it on one of your competitors. (see 1830 – a truly marvelous game!)

    *tonight is gamenight for the fellows and I, after Pam and I are done at Chloe’s school – where they are showing their science experiments tonight. Chloe did the ‘why does an egg float in saltwater, but not freshwater?’, after we failed completely on getting honey to crystallize (at all!) with various amounts of dilution….but once again, we digress!

  29. Kirk said on January 31, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I ran across al-Jazeera America on Time Warner in Columbus a couple of months back. Don’t think they beat the drum about adding it, but it provides professional work with an interesting perspective. And it has a lot of faces familiar to pople who have been watching network and cable news in recent years. We also get CCTV, Chinese state TV.

  30. basset said on January 31, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    We have al-Jazeera America in standard def on Comcast here in Nashville… have watched it a few times and have not been impressed. poor storytelling, unimaginative use of visuals, and overall nothing to make it stand out.

    On another topic… asking for support for a particular cause may get this post taken down, but I wanted to share that there’s an online petition which asks that animal abuser Michael Vick – you know, the football player who had a fighting-dog kennel – be replaced as the keynote speaker at the Raleigh, NC, chamber of commerce’s “Evening of Champions” dinner.

    https://www.change.org/petitions/erin-anderson-raleigh-nc-replace-michael-vick-as-keynote-speaker-at-2014-evening-of-champions#invite

    And some perspective, from the NY Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/sports/football/before-signing-a-strong-arm-teams-should-heed-vicks-dark-past.html?_r=0

    On a happier note, Mrs. B. and I are just back from watching a beagle field trial – beagles are released in brushy fields to sniff around till they smell a rabbit, then barkbarkbark and run around as the rabbit gets away. Most entertaining, and no animals get hurt.

  31. Sherri said on January 31, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Since Amanda Knox is from Seattle, her story has been covered pretty extensively in local media, but I can’t say I have any insight into whether she’s innocent or not. There’s a retired King County Superior Court judge who has followed the case and reviewed the evidence, and he thinks she’s not guilty. Sen. Cantwell seems to be supporting Knox. If the conviction isn’t overturned on appeal again, I suspect there will be pressure put on Italy not to file extradition papers.

    On Michael Vick, I don’t want to defend him in any way, but I do have one question about him: how much punishment is enough? Unlike so many other athletes, Vick didn’t actually skate on his crimes; he served time in prison, and didn’t get a lighter sentence because he was a famous athlete. I find it interesting that Vick is still such a lightning rod, while other athletes who have arguably gotten away with more serious offenses don’t attract that kind of attention (see Ray Lewis, for example, who at the very least covered up evidence of murder.)

  32. Deborah said on January 31, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    I drove Little Bird down to Albuquerque to the airport this morning, her grandfather’s memorial service is tomorrow. He was a Missouri Synod Lutheran Pastor before he retired, we’re still not sure if her father is going to be there. He told LB that he would not but some of the family members think he will show up because they were going to bribe him with getting his Dad’s vehicle. we’ll see.

    It’s been a quiet but productive day, just me and the cat. It’s been trying to rain or snow, wish it would for the sake of the drought. Got a fire going now, it’s all good.

  33. basset said on January 31, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    He “didn’t get a lighter sentence because he was a famous athlete”? How do we know that?

    Sentence or not, if he had been, say, a railroad laborer (I use that example because I’ve been one myself) and gotten locked up for the same crime, he may well have found the same kind of work again after he was released but he sure as hell wouldn’t have been the main speaker and role model at a chamber of commerce dinner.

    Playing in the NFL is, of course, pretty much close to the pinnacle of human achievement, so we have to give him a break there – that little interruption over a few dead dogs was just a bump on the road back to greatness.

  34. Sherri said on January 31, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Well, for one thing, the federal judge gave Vick a longer sentence than his plea bargain had arranged for. Vick served time in Leavenworth, not some white collar jail.

    And America usually loves a redemption story; Vick would hardly be the first convicted criminal to be the main speaker at a chamber of commerce dinner. Like I say, at least he served his time. Like I said, check out Ray Lewis; here are a couple of links.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/news/19/06/04/lewis_agreement/

    http://blog.lakelandchamber.com/2011/03/forum-2-0-the-lakeland-chamber-e-newsletter/

  35. alex said on January 31, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    I don’t have a dog in the Michael Vick fight. ;)

  36. basset said on January 31, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Sherri, if he were not a football player, he would not have been treated that way. Same thing with Ray Lewis; they did terrible things,they did or did not pay the price, when that was over they went back to being treated like some kind of superhuman being because they were better than most at playing some stupid, violent game.

    Kill somebody, help kill somebody, torture a few dogs – that’s just natural manly aggression. We’re talking here about men who are, or at least were, starters in the National Football League, and why the hell don’t all those sissies and puppy-lovers just leave them alone?

  37. Sherri said on January 31, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Basset, I’m not defending him. I’m asking, why has Michael Vick been singled out, among all the bad actors in professional sports, for this kind of protest years after he served time for his crime? I’m not attacking you; this is not a one-time protest of Vick. This has been an on-going thing, and I genuinely find it interesting.

  38. Dexter said on January 31, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Julie R.: Unfortunately the Italian courts do not recognize double jeopardy, that’s a American thing, by which I mean I do not how many countries recognize it, but the USA is one. I suppose whoever in the Judicial Branch answers the presumed-to-come request for extradition from Italy won’t use that as an argument to refuse extradition. This case is really a difficult one to comprehend. O sweet mysteries of life, I guess….

  39. Basset said on February 1, 2014 at 4:06 am

    Sherri, I can’t address what’s happening with other criminals and abusers, but I believe Vick’s being “singled out” here, poor thing, because an organization representing Charlotte’s business community is setting him up as a public role model and advertising what a wonderful human being he is, how he has overcome adversity to be the kind of man we would want our sons to be. And getting locked up for awhile doesn’t erase what he did, it just means he got caught.
    I suspect that you, and the Charlotte chamber of commerce, would not approach this situation the same way if he were a child or elder abuser or not a high-profile, major-league athlete.

  40. Charlotte said on February 1, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Here’s the Humane Society of the US on Vick and the work he’s done since his conviction: http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/dogfighting/qa/vick_faq.html
    Not saying it excuses him, but he does seem more repentant than say, OJ.

  41. ROGirl said on February 1, 2014 at 11:27 am

    More f’ing snow!!!!!

    Make it stop!!!!!!

  42. Sherri said on February 1, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Basset, again, I am not defending him. What he did is reprehensible. I just have found it interesting that there has been this ongoing protest against Vick in particular.

    There are dozens of professional athletes who have committed domestic abuse against their wives or girlfriends, and are still in demand as speakers without a peep of protest.

  43. nancy said on February 1, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Sherri, the first thing you learn in the newspaper business is that a story about a person being pistol-whipped will be met with a shrug, but any sort of violence against an animal brings people out of the woodwork with wallets open and tempers set on stun. And they never forgive.

  44. Dexter said on February 1, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Snow overnight here as well. And now it’s going to be around zero degrees F as well very soon. It’s sunless, meaning dreary. And my friend in Fort Myers, who has lived there for many years, is contemplating moving “further north” to get away from the hated snowbirds who clog the Applebees and the roadways, tripling, quadrupling the locals’ commutes. I guess. What’s worse, dealing with perma-ice under perma-snow, or slogging it along in Fort Myers , dodging geezers stagger-driving down the highway? :(

  45. Dexter said on February 1, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Interlude: This is the real spirit of Detroit:
    Levi Stubbs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53d9IE7hm8M

  46. Basset said on February 1, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Sherri, certainly there are others in demand & they shouldn’t be either… but they are pro athletes, and in our culture that gets you a lot of slack.

    Again… how would you feel about Vick getting that speaking gig if he’d abused children, gotten locked up for awhile, and paid some money to a prevention group?

  47. Sherri said on February 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Basset, I don’t really care what the Charlotte chamber of commerce does. I don’t feel one way or another about Michael Vick. I just find it odd that, like Nancy says, when it comes to animals, people never forgive, but when it comes to abusing women, for example, it’s not nearly as big a deal. And that’s true whether it’s a pro athlete or not.

  48. MichaelG said on February 1, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    I sort of tend to agree with Sherri on this. I think Michael Vick is a pos but he has been singled out. What about all the spousal abusers? Look at Bonds and ARod. Why were they singled out for such strong prosecution with all the dozens of other offenders in MLB who are skating?

  49. basset said on February 1, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    I would say the same thing if Ray Lewis, for example, was in the same situation… or if someone who was not a NFL player was arrested for the same crime.

    And what about “all the spousal abusers”? I’m all for prosecuting them as well, but, again, I think there’s a double standard for athletes. Remember the posts we had here awhile back about an ex-NFL player neighbor who caused trouble several times before the police would do anything about it?

    If Vick has been “singled out,” what do you think would be appropriate treatment? And, I ask one more time just to see if anyone responds, if Vick had been a child abuser would he have come straight out of prison to a NFL job and speaking gigs?

  50. Sherri said on February 1, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    I don’t think being a child abuser would have changed things at all, unless maybe he had sexually molested children. Then he’d probably be too toxic. But I’m not sure why that matters. Is beating children worse than killing dogs? Is beating women not as bad? Is none of that not as bad as covering up a murder?

    Again, my question is, what is the appropriate punishment? After someone has been convicted and served their time, what are they supposed to do? Wear a mark of shame and hide from public view? Rightly or wrongly, that’s not what we ask of anybody else. Personally, I think he’s served his time, and if someone wants to hear what he has to say, well, that’s their business. I don’t have to go listen. At least he served his time.

    There has been an organized protest against Vick that I haven’t seen raised against any other athlete with a criminal past, and I’ve been following sports a long time and can name a lot of athletes with a criminal past.

  51. coozledad said on February 1, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    If this video is anywhere near true, my unit came up against the Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler in the Hürtgen Forest before I even got out of junior high. By the time I got to college I’d lost both legs and arms.

    Still had my M1, though.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw5jEp3ZwR0

  52. Sherri said on February 1, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    If you want to talk about child abusers and whether there would be protests about them, and you’ve got a strong stomach, read about R. Kelly. He’s a R&B singer, not a professional athlete, but same difference.

  53. Sherri said on February 1, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Or read this: http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/an-open-letter-from-dylan-farrow/

  54. beb said on February 1, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Maybe I can’t forgive Michael Vick because he was abusing (killing) animals but maybe it’s the way teams bidded for him after he came out of prison. It was unseemly in the way that Oliver North went from indicted criminal freed on a technicality into a highly paid radio host. Yes, Vick paid his debt to society though I wonder whether his right to vote, often rescinded for felons, has been restored. The fact is that most felons often have trouble finding work ever again after prison because society rarely forgives. Inviting a convicted felon to speak at a Chamber of Commerce seems highly tasteless.

  55. Sherri said on February 1, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Basset, I’ll agree with you that inviting a convicted felon to speak at a Chamber of Commerce is highly tasteless.

    I ran across this article about a deer hunter. Be careful when you’re out there!

    http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20140131/NEWS01/301310032/Wounded-deer-turns-tables-La-hunter?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1

  56. Jolene said on February 1, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    The reason most felons can’t find work after being released from prison is, in part, the same as the reason they ended up in prison in the first place. They have limited education, little work experience, and few marketable skills. Having a criminal record just makes an already bad situation worse.

    Michael Vick differs from most felons in that he has a rare and highly valued set of skills.

  57. MichaelG said on February 2, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Off topic but great photos.

    http://extras.denverpost.com/archive/captured.asp

  58. Connie said on February 2, 2014 at 1:30 am

    In the pictures at MichaelG’s link I couldn’t help but notice how many of the children – boys and girls alike – were wearing clothes made from flour sack fabric.

  59. Sherri said on February 2, 2014 at 2:30 am

    This really should be a movie: http://happynicetimepeople.com/nixon-burger-king/

  60. Sherri said on February 2, 2014 at 2:42 am

    I’ll be rooting for the Seahawks tomorrow, but in memory of Prospero, let me give a shoutout to former Georgia Bulldog and current Denver Bronco Knowshon Moreno.

  61. Joe K said on February 2, 2014 at 4:26 am

    The pictures from the Denver post are worth a look. I wonder what the ages of the homesteaders were from pie town.I bet they are younger than they look.
    Pilot Joe

  62. brian stouder said on February 2, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Those photographs are wonderful; and Sherri’s Burger King link is worth checking out.

    I’d buy tickets to that movie

  63. basset said on February 2, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Sherri, that kind of thing is rare but it does happen. Standard procedure when you’ve shot one is to approach it from behind as it’s lying there… reach out with your gun or bow, poke it in the eye and see if it reacts. Never had one stay around and try to retaliate, though.

    We used to read the Clarion-Ledger when we lived in Jackson, been thirty-plus years and I don’t remember if it was a Gannett franchise then. The front-page link to the bionic-pancreas story was particularly interesting for us after Mrs. B’s tribulations so far:

    http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20140202/NEWS01/302020034/Bionic-pancreas-could-manage-diabetes-by-2017?nclick_check=1

    Last whack at the dead horse: I wouldn’t mind having a convicted felon speak at a Chamber dinner, maybe a stock manipulator or something, but not an animal abuser. Whether he’s mended his ways or not, still too many mental images would come up.

  64. brian stouder said on February 2, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    basset, I get what you’re saying, and I do not particularly agree or disagree; in fact I think you and Sherri have reached a common ground: felons can offer worthwhile input to respectable audiences (such as a Chamber dinner) – depending on what particular sort of crime the felon committed.

    If we want to make an exaggerated parallel – Vick himself was an abused being; having a survivor’s mentality and a rare set of talents that suited him to make a fortune in an essentially barbaric and brutal ‘game’ wherein most of the participants are almost certainly NOT going to last long, and yet he managed to survive; and where there was the lure of large money to be made, if one can possibly manage to beat the odds.

  65. Jolene said on February 2, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Bill Moyers is interviewing David Simon, creator of The Wire and Treme, on his PBS chat show today. Should be interesting. My local listings say it’s on at 5:30 PM today and 9:00 AM tomorrow. YMMV.

  66. MarkH said on February 2, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Philip Seymour Hoffman has died. WTF.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304626804579358943360702878

  67. Joe K said on February 2, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Herion overdose for Phillip Seymour Hoffman
    Pilot Joe

  68. Jolene said on February 2, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Found with the needle in his arm, the NYT says.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/03/movies/philip-seymour-hoffman-actor-dies-at-46.html?hp&_r=0

  69. nancy said on February 2, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I keep thinking of that heroin scene in “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.”

  70. Jolene said on February 2, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Here is a nice little essay on PSH from an unexpected source–political reporter Dave Weigel, who comments on Hoffman’s performance as a CIA agent in Charlie Wilson’s War.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2014/02/02/rip_philip_seymour_hoffman_here_s_one_of_his_best_scenes.html

  71. Deborah said on February 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    The Philip Seymour Hoffmann death is quite a shock. Such a talented actor, in NY opinion.

  72. Deborah said on February 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    My opinion not NY opinion.

  73. brian stouder said on February 2, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Both, really..!

  74. Suzanne said on February 2, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Hoffman. So sad. Doubt was one of the best movies I’ve seen in years.

  75. Carolyn said on February 2, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    What? New Orleans? Do you need recommendations? Was last there in March – spring is a wonderful time to be there.

  76. Dexter said on February 2, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    So many people think they are so smart, so with it, they can handle H. I suppose there are millions of H addicts in this country. I have two extended family members who fuck with it. Scares me to death, and a half-panic sets in when a celeb-death brings it to Page One. Goddam it. Have you ever tried to talk to a young person about heroin use? I have a little experience in the treating of addicts, but it was 40 some years ago in Vietnam when I was a medic. Heroin was everywhere and a lot of GIs used it and some got hooked really quickly. As sad as is the aftermath of even what the doctors called a “candy habit”, (rapid onset of addiction, easier to kick if the user wants to badly) , it is still a powerful attraction to young and old junkies alike. But I am no expert, never once tried it (after seeing guys puke their guts out upon first snort) , it still baffles me, and the carnage keeps rolling through.

  77. Sherri said on February 2, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Scares me, too, Dexter. I’m afraid I might like the feeling too much.

  78. Deborah said on February 2, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Dexter, my husband had experiences with guys in Viet Nam who got quickly hooked on heroin. It sounds scary how fast and devastating it became.

    I mentioned earlier that I made a big batch of black beans on Friday. Since then I’ve gotten greedier and greedier, first I just made the beans and ate some Friday, then Saturday I had the beans with 2 eggs, then today I had the beans with 3 eggs and sharp cheddar. Each day that I’ve had the beans I’ve had a fire in the fireplace and I’m suprized I did’t have an explosion if you know what I mean.

  79. Basset said on February 2, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Walking around the mall right now, trying to distract myself from introspection. No idea who PSH was but I know way too much about the H.

  80. MichaelG said on February 2, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    I was in the Nam relatively early, ’66, ’67 and ’68 and was in regular army units (no draftees). People smoked some weed but it wasn’t a big deal. I guess things really changed after I left.

    The Seahawks flat beat the crap out of the Broncos. I didn’t see it coming but whew! Hats off to Seattle and to Pete Carroll.

  81. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 2, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Re: talking to heroin users . . . They say to you, with either resignation or defiance, “the shit works.” Your job, if you’re trying to help them make the decision to stop using, is to figure out “works to do what?” The answer is usually “mutes the pain,” “numbs the weariness & anxiety,” or some other version of “helps me feel less bad” rather than “ohhhh, it feels so good” which you just don’t hardly ever hear.

  82. Sherri said on February 2, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    I didn’t drink to feel good; I drank not to feel. That’s why heroin scares me. That not feeling is actually really comfortable for me.

    But I’m happy about the Seahawks!

  83. MichaelG said on February 2, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Sherri, what are you saying? That scares me. Are you OK?

  84. Kaye said on February 3, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Universal Studios can make me feel as if I am swinging on a web like a spider and Disney can make me feel like I am hang-gliding over orange groves when I am really sitting in a theatre chair. Can’t someone use similar technology to simulate an acid trip or a heroin high? People could have the experience without becoming physically dependent on the chemicals. Can you tell I’ve never been a drug-user? :)

  85. Sherri said on February 3, 2014 at 12:41 am

    MichaelG, I’m fine. I’m sober almost 12 years now. I just remember what it feels like, and I never want to go back there.

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