The old man.

For some reason I found myself reading the cover story in the current issue of Rolling Stone, about Justin Bieber. I managed to avoid Bieber more or less entirely; he either fell just outside of Kate’s teen-idol sweet spot, or she never had one at all. (I suspect the latter; smart girl.)

Anyway, he’s really terra incognita, so I read nearly all of this stupid story (no link; firewall), pegged to his recent screwups. And it was sort of fascinating, with many rich details of what you might call Graceland Life, that zone that rich entertainers and sports stars can afford to live in, surrounded by yes-men and layers of lawyers, managers, fixers and others who make unpleasantness go away. I learned that Bieber carried $75,000 in small bills, packed in two duffel bags — carried by underlings — to distribute to strippers’ G-strings at a Miami club. A photo array in the article featured a devastating headline: “The Wolf of Sesame Street.”

And I learned that many trace this arrested infant’s current spiral to the re-entry of his once-estranged father into his life. Pa Bieber, a brawler, recovering addict and all-around swell guy, has taken his place in the charmed circle.

And that reminded me of something I read over the weekend, a book excerpt about Lance Armstrong. A chunk of it concerned J.T. Neal, Armstrong’s first real mentor, who served as guess-what to him in the early days of his career:

Neal’s first impression was that the kid’s ego exceeded his talent. Armstrong was brash and ill-mannered, in desperate need of refinement. But the more he learned of Armstrong’s home life, the sorrier Neal began to feel for him. He was a boy without a reliable father. Linda Armstrong wrote in her 2005 autobiography that she was pleased that her son had found a responsible male role model, and that Neal had lent a sympathetic ear to her while she dealt with the rocky transition between marriages.

Neal soon recognized that Armstrong’s insecurities and anger were products of his broken family: He felt abandoned by his biological father and mistreated by his adoptive one.

Neal, ironically, was diagnosed with cancer around the same time Armstrong was. But he didn’t survive. And that reminded me of Pete Dexter’s several stories about Cus D’Amato, the boxing trainer, who made Mike Tyson into a profoundly dangerous heavyweight fighter, and then died, leaving the 19-year-old bereft and at the top of a very fast ride straight down. A father figure who left before the job was done.

Fathers. They’re so important. I bet Jeff could write a few million words about that one.

Yesterday we were talking a bit about music, yes? Their albums — especially “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now” — were part of the soundtrack of the ’70s, but I haven’t given Little Feat much thought, so I read this Slate piece on the band with some interest. I don’t know if I’m down with the first sentence; “the most underrated band of the ’70s,” really? But what the hell, it’s just pop music.

I wasn’t entirely convinced, but there were some good memories in those video links. “Willin’,” I told someone the other day, is the trucker song America was too stupid, and too busy making “Convoy” a smash hit, to appreciate.

And while it may seem the long way around, I followed a link in the piece to a Rolling Stone reader poll on the best live albums of all time. Just to see what the other nine were. And when I saw that “Frampton Comes Alive” was included by not the J. Geils Band’s “Full House,” well, that’s when I knew what a Rolling Stone reader poll is worth: NOTHING.

Some people I knew in Indiana would have an annual party in honor of Lloyd Lowell George, Little Feat’s founder, who died young. While Peter Frampton yet lives. I ask you.

And now we come to the end of the week. I’m headed out tonight to see a friend and former student play in his new band at the Lager House, one of those Detroit institutions. The band is called Clevinger, named for the character in “Catch-22.” It’s been so long since I’ve read the book I can’t remember, so I asked Wikipedia to tell me about Clevinger:

“A highly principled, highly educated man who acts as Yossarian’s foil within the story. His optimistic view of the world causes Yossarian to consider him to be a ‘dope,’ and he and Yossarian each believe the other is crazy.”

One piece of bloggage: If the Detroit Tigers can replace an entire goddamn baseball field’s worth of grass in the depths of this winter, why can’t we send a manned mission to Mars? Surely it can’t be that hard.

Posted at 12:30 am in Detroit life, Popculch |

50 responses to “The old man.”

  1. jerry said on March 7, 2014 at 4:00 am

    Yesterday there were comments about British actors with lousy American accents. There are some Brits who produce, according to comments by Americans, superb American accents. Damien Lewis, for example. Then there are Americans attempting to speak like a Brit. Some are very good Renee Zelwegger (sp?) and Gwynneth Paltrow come to mind but others are dire. The worst example is probably Dick van Dyke’s cockney accent in Mary Poppins; we all fall about laughing because it is so bad.

    Of course I hear a voice and recognise an American accent which to an American is probably very suspect. Part of the problem, of course, is the sheer range of accents. And that applies over her as well as in the US. There are Brits who I find hard to understand as their accent is so strong. I’ve just checked and found this link – sorry you’ll have to cut and paste – which has a collection of English accents which may give some idea of the sheer range there is. And Henry Higgins in Pygmalion refers to identifying the street someone lived in from their accent. Not usre how realistic that is but certainly there are village accents which differ over fairly short distances.

    Sue (at 33) asked about flat a’s in Another Brick in the Wall. I suspect it was just an effect of stress patterns in the song rather than any significance, althoug there are people who pronounce their a’s like that.

    And the reason I’m not heard of often is twofold: firstly time difference – I read the blog when I get up and there aren’t often any comments then; secondly much of the discussion is about the US, of course, and I really don’t have a view on sports or local politics – just find the blog and comments interesting.

    1767 chars

  2. jerry said on March 7, 2014 at 4:11 am

    Yesterday Julie (at 10) referred to 98% of British TV as dreck. I object strongly. I’d support the recommendation of Graham Norton – he always seems to be enjoying himself so much and having a good time. And I’m loving Line of Duty – a police program looking at corruption and so on in the police. I think only 95% is crap! And just catching up with Breaking Bad on DVD – we don’t have satellite.

    Of course the good stuff by and large is exported while the crap stays at home.

    What I do think is good is BBC radio. I listen to much more speech than music on the radio and the range on BBC Radio 4 is great. The Foreign Office has always funded the World Service but is stopping doing so from next year leaving the money to be found from the license fee. A great shame and I believe a very shortsighted way of saving money.

    828 chars

  3. Deborah said on March 7, 2014 at 6:06 am

    Jerry, I always enjoy your comments with a British perspective. I worked in London for a time in the late 80s and was surprised how many cultural differences we have. I didn’t notice many accents that I didn’t understand there, but I find that when I watch TV or movies that have actors with British accents I have to turn up the volume to understand what they’re saying. When I was in Northern Ireland for a project I was at a loss, I found some people there impossible to understand.

    485 chars

  4. ROGirl said on March 7, 2014 at 6:18 am

    When I was a teenager my family lived in England for 3 years, and while there was a lot of dreck on TV — cheesy game shows with smarmy hosts, low rent comedies with bad sex jokes and double entendres — there was also stuff that was peculiarly British that I didn’t think would succeed here, but was funny, such as some comedians who had variety shows. One of those shows was Monty Python.

    On the other hand, I also remember a show called “The Black and White Minstrel Show,” which featured white performers in black face doing musical numbers. It was surreal.

    565 chars

  5. Dexter said on March 7, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Always nice to read what Jerry has to say, 🙂
    Little Feat is one of those bands who escaped my attention, but I have a comment on J Geils Band. Especially anyone who was a kid around Philadelphia in the 1970s will always say Peter Wolf and his band were the best live band in history. I could never get past that irritating “Centerfold” song , which I hate even now, but it was their asshole fans who made me hate the band as well. And I have reported this before but for emphasis I repeat: NYC, December, 1972, The Academy of Music (an old movie theater which took the name of the huge old opera house which at one time stood across 14th Street, and is now the location of the new Palladium) and my friend and I went to see BB King, who unfortunately was opening for J Geils. Those fucking drugged-up kids BOOED BB KING resolutely, but BB held his ground and finished or at least almost finished his set. BB was wailing on Lucille and the kids were chanting “j GEILS!” like they do, over and over.
    Frampton takes a lot of heat these days, but “Frampton Comes Alive” makes my list of greatest live albums…I love that old double vinyl I still have.

    Bieber is another of the kids who just has it all and is maybe a little bored with it. When he was on Letterman and said he signed papers endorsing a fragrance which netted $60 million in six months…well, money is no issue with this kid. He’s probably raking in between $90 mil and $100 mil yearly now. That’s his share, his official income. Michael Jordan the 50-something year old former basketballer grossed $90 mil in advertisements last year.

    Catch-22 is one of those books I read every seven years or so. It caught my eye 44 years ago so I have many readings in by now. Clevinger … what an odd name for young folks to assume as a band name. Clevinger was right at the top of my “most hated characters” list. He thought Yossarian was a nutcase, when it was Clevinger’s failure to assess the death-possibilities he lived all around that drove Yossarian closer to the depths of true insanity. I knew guys like that in Vietnam as well. God I hated them.
    The most unforgettable scene in the movie is where McWatt grinds Kid Sampson’s torso to bits with his propeller. Wow.

    2257 chars

  6. Basset said on March 7, 2014 at 7:19 am

    I’d go along with most of that list, although “Live Bullet” should be closer to the top and “Full House” and King Crimson’s “USA” should indeed be on there – I have a framed J. Geils poster over my desk at home, from a show my freshman year at IU in the fall of ’73. Opening acts: Mark-Almond and Strawbs. post-Rick Wakeman.

    326 chars

  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 7, 2014 at 7:29 am

    British radio is a sign that you folks could still rule the world if you wanted to, because you certainly command our ears.

    On fathers and children and families, I just wanted to toss out that I’m very much agnostic on this much-bruited New Jersey story about a girl suing her parents for a last semester at Catholic high school and for college. You drill down in what news accounts we have (forget the pointlessness of TV coverage on it), and there are disconcerting notes about a parental breakup having triggered this sequence, and ambiguity around this whole question of “did she leave, or was she kicked out.” I’ve been through too many juvenile court family mediations where I began thinking the parents are doing their best and trying to maintain standards, and end up working to keep my face from showing my shock when it becomes clear that, no, despite their earlier absolute comments, they DID kick the kid out, feeling fully justified in doing do, because the kid was simply complicating the adult’s desire to live their own life on their terms, and hey, both sides play this stupid “they’re 18 now” game. I’ve heard fathers and mothers say to me, utterly without irony, “isn’t it time I get to do what I want to do?” Dad in the piece is not leaving me with confidence that’s he’s being firm as much as he’s enjoying getting to tell people how wounded he is, never a good sign.

    The human capacity for rationalization and couching selfishness as “trying to do the right thing, and no one understands” is endlessly fascinating, but when it’s aimed at kids (and magic date aside, this is still a kid IMHO), it’s something you have to confront without just pushing at them so they raise their defenses one stage higher. The dad of the friend where this girl is living may himself be a big part of the problem, or he may just be trying to help a kid who has no other adults in her corner. Or the two “dads” (one a former chief of police, one a former municipal official, so I smell micturition match right there) have their own issues between them being played out through the daughters.

    But this is more complicated than “spoiled* daughter uses broken legal system to further destroy Western Civ.” That’s the only part of this I’m sure of.

    *The only way we “know” she’s spoiled is because her PARENTS keep telling anyone who will listen that THEY spoiled her. Uh huh. So the way to mitigate that is to cast her out and cut her off now? Again, I’m not saying give the girl what she wants, when she wants it. I’m saying this is a family systems tangle that is NOT just about an unruly 17.99 year old, or an entitled 18 year old.

    2645 chars

  8. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 7, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Oh, and it’s Lowell George, not Lloyd (insert British joke *here*). Loved “Little Feat” in college, went to a couple of their concerts. Just enough against the grain to keep you intrigued and immersed even if you weren’t high, which was true of most of the rest of the crowd. My brothers were Dead fans, but I had a heart for Feat; heard the reunion band in seminary in Indy on a double bill with Bonnie Raitt which was amazing all around.

    439 chars

  9. alex said on March 7, 2014 at 7:57 am

    It’s not just Brits who do American well. Consider Australians Sam Champion and Simon Baker. Or South African Charlize Theron.

    British comedian/actress Tracy Ullman probably has the best ear of anyone. She has pulled off just about every American dialect convincingly. I wish she’d resurface with a new show or something because she’s one of the funniest entertainers ever.

    376 chars

  10. Basset said on March 7, 2014 at 8:20 am

    And two of the Feats were in Bob Seger’s band for awhile. Quality.

    67 chars

  11. Julie Robinson said on March 7, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Jerry, I’ll readily give you the extra 3%, and heartily agree on BBC radio. I’ve streamed a little and been amazed at what’s offered. Music of every type, original productions of books, short stories & plays, gardening (of course!), and the marvelous, marvelous World Service.

    It’s disheartening to think that World Service will be cut. Didn’t I read that the license fees (more properly, licence in England are frozen until 2016? Or is that just for TV?

    462 chars

  12. beb said on March 7, 2014 at 8:52 am

    My daughter was particularly taken by the billboard put up before the US-Canada Olympic hockey match that read “Loser Gets Bieber.”

    And speaking of father figures… I am always amazed by the story how an African elephant reservation solved its rogue elephant problem. When male elephants hit adolescence they’re pushed out of the herd and join up with a bunch of other male elephants. The sanctuary was just being started so it was mostly a herd of females and adolescent males, and the males were attacking everything in sight — cars, rhinos, whatever. They were becoming so dangerous that the park rangers were having to euthanize the worst of them. Then they got the idea to bring an older male elephant from another park. And the old man cracked heads and shows them how they were supposed to act, ending the sanctuary’s problems.

    That and stories about how elephants grieve over the death of any of their kind make me think they are among the most human of the animal species.

    Did Frampton have a career beyond just that one live album? Because all I ever hear was that one cut from it and I’m sick of it.

    I’ve gone to very few rock concerts. One of them was Neil Young’s where he had three opening acts, Sonic Youth, and two other other similar punk/garage bands. I don’t know what Sonic Youth was playing that it sounded like a cat fight and certainly nothing like why I’d come to this concert. To this day I hate them, with a passion.

    A manned mission to Mars? Actually, it really is that hard. For one thing the Tiger’s ground crew did not have to drag their oxygen around with them all the time.

    1627 chars

  13. coozledad said on March 7, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Thirty or forty years ago it was much easier to discern the regional accents here in NC. There was a distinct “Virginia” accent further north, and at the outer banks they spoke what some linguists think is a preserve of Elizabethan English. My girlfriend from Devon said they just sounded like oiks to her.

    She described my central North Carolina rural accent as “Dublin, when you’re paying attention, but sometimes you sound like a Glaswegian huffing rubber cement”.

    We had a friend from Sudbury via London who sounded like Pete Townshend or Roger Waters until he would say “No, no, no!”

    Phonetically it was “NiaOhh!, NiaOhh!, NiaOhh!” and it sounded like someone stood on the cat.

    691 chars

  14. Maggie Jochild said on March 7, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Back in the 1960s, when local talk radio wasn’t entirely white-supremacist hate or full of Jeezus grifters, my mother kept the big radio on the dining room sideboard tuned in to a San Antonio station every waking minute. I learned a great deal from the array of speakers who came through. My favorite, though, was a linguist from some Texas university who could listen to a caller for a minute or so, then identify which county in Texas they had grown up in. (As long as they were a native Texan to begin with.) Accents were that distinct before television homogenized our language.

    586 chars

  15. Kirk said on March 7, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Peter Frampton’s solo stuff was pretty lightweight, but he deserves credit for making Humble Pie the excellent band it was on the Rock On album (which featured Shine On, maybe the band’s most recognizable song), He took just enough of the rough edges off the band to make it really good.

    287 chars

  16. Scout said on March 7, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Emily Blunt does American pretty well. If you were to see her in Sunshine Cleaning without having seen her in anything else, I’ll bet you wouldn’t be able to tell she’s a Brit.

    Speaking of British TV, we discovered the charming Miranda Hart while watching Call the Midwife, and then discovered she had a slapstick comedy series on the BBC before she got the Chummy role. We’ve seen two seasons of it and found it to be quite entertaining.

    My top pick for best live album ever is Paul McCartney’s Wings Over America. He and Denny Laine really rocked it. The ex-hub and I owned most of the albums on the RS top 10 list back in the day, but I was never a fan of live albums, so it was easy to be magnanimous about them in the split. I, of course, retained custody of all of my Beatles albums I had from when I was a kid. Still have them even though I have no turntable.

    873 chars

  17. Joe Kobiela said on March 7, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Saw J. Geils while working security in Fort Wayne, in the pit in front of the stage, those guys rocked, Live Bullitt, Full House, Live from the Fillmore with both the Allmen Brothers and Humble Pie, who had Frampton playing with them at the time I believe.
    J. Beiber, if I would have been his pilot coming to the Super Bowl his spoiled little ass would have been standing on a ramp some where in bum fuck northern New York.
    Pilot Joe

    435 chars

  18. Basset said on March 7, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Frampton is still recording and touring – he was in the band for that Beatles tribute that CBS did last month.

    110 chars

  19. coozledad said on March 7, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Peabody award material:

    124 chars

  20. CathyC said on March 7, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Pilot Joe, you were the first person I thought of when I read about that Bieber flight and wondered what pilots could do. lol’d visualizing your solution!

    154 chars

  21. Dave said on March 7, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Remember walking into an Athens, OH, record store on N. Court St. in 71 or 72, “I Don’t Need No Doctor”, was playing at full volume, it sounded good. I’ve liked it every since.

    Frampton was a rock star in England in the sixties, one of the bands (The Move) that didn’t make it across the Atlantic. He was most recently seen in the CBS Beatles tribute.

    You’ve all brought up live albums I’ve not heard in years, “Live Bullet”, and “Live at Fillmore East”. Makes me want to yell, “Whippin’ Post”.

    Mild-mannered Jeff, enjoyed your insights and you made me go to the dictionary, had no idea what micturition might mean. There was a girl here in Tampa Bay with the same name who made the news because of all the hateful messages she got on Facebook. She said she responded to all of them, told them she wasn’t her and that they might want to temper their remarks. One can only imagine.

    I’ve known a couple of parents who, when their children turned eighteen, they had much that attitude. Grateful that my parents didn’t.

    Oh, and today, Peter Frampton lives in Indian Hill, a well-off Cincinnati suburb. Just as I’ve read that Eric Clapton lives part of the time in the Columbus area, because his current wife is from there.

    1245 chars

  22. Julie Robinson said on March 7, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I never went to a rock concert until I was in college and saw Carole King. So some may say I’ve still never been to a rock concert. However, I was fortunate enough to see a lot of theatre, symphony concerts, and ballets, so I’m not complaining one bit. And both Mom & Dad went with enthusiasm; what a great example that was.

    There are four seasons of Miranda and will be more to come, but not for a year or two because she’s so busy. I’ve only watched a few episodes so far and am reserving them for when I need a short pick-me-up.

    And talk about hard to understand accents, I tried to watch a show about the last month before WWI, and missed so much of the dialogue I was utterly lost. I’m gonna have to wait til it comes out with subtitles. The main narrators were Scottish and German, and I did better with the German than the Scot.

    We’ve had sun here for three whole days! Forecast has some 40’s in it. And just when I’ve finally mastered backing out of the tunnel that is our driveway.

    1004 chars

  23. Sue said on March 7, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Jerry, thanks for checking in!
    I watch lots of British shows via Public TV and now Netflix and have gotten better at ‘hearing’ dialogue but there are still some shows that have me missing entire chunks of dialogue. Inspector George Gently takes place in ‘the north’ and boy howdy sometimes I think I need subtitles.
    When I hear southern American accents I think of Gone With the Wind’s descriptions of the different regional accents. I seem to recall that even Rhett’s accent was cool, or something, because of where he came from. To my ears (which can distinguish different Chicago location accents and can sometimes place someone in a northern location by their accent), southern accents are interchangeable, I can’t place anyone. I think that’s odd.

    760 chars

  24. Charlotte said on March 7, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Bill Payne of Little Feat lives here. I’ve seen him around once or twice but he’s off with the astral plane folks — I think he might have been involved in CUT (Church Universal and Triumphant), but not sure. He gives off that purple flame vibe though.

    I watch a lot of British TV because my day job involves a lot of fiddly-but-boring computer work and I find I track better if I have something on — procedurals mostly. Loved Vera, and George Gently and Blue Murder and even the sleepy-but-reliable Midsomer Murders. Also — Spiral (Engregages) — a French show that’s just terrific, but too engaging, especially with the language issues, to watch while I’m working. For a fun romp there’s also Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries out of Australia — worth it for the costumes alone! And I loved loved loved Miranda! So thrilled to hear there are more planned. What I think I like best about Brit TV, aside from the pacing, is that they cast people who actually look like regular people — it’s not all gorgeous people pretending to be normal.

    Okay — off to buy new chickens! They said the shipment comes in Friday mornings. Spring!

    1138 chars

  25. BigHank53 said on March 7, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I first saw Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and had no idea she was not American until watching her interview on the DVD, so I’d say her accent passed. There are still some strong regional accents here in the US, and they can be tough to sort out. Local knowledge helps. In The Perfect Storm, Mark Wahlberg not only has a North Shore accent, he has a Gloucester accent–the only one in the film that doesn’t come out of an extra. You wouldn’t think an accent would change much in ten miles, and you’d be wrong. Of course, he grew up in the area, so he heard the difference between a Revere accent and a Swampscott one.

    651 chars

  26. Dave said on March 7, 2014 at 11:39 am

    What Charlotte said about British TV is true, we’ve often remarked on how the people look like regular people instead of some beautiful person pretending to be a cop or whatever. We first noticed this watching British comedies on PBS on Saturday night.

    253 chars

  27. jerry said on March 7, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Julie (at 11. The World Service will continue but funded now from the license fee rather than by the Foreign Office. And indeed the license fee will be frozen.

    Personally I think the fee is incredible value for money. However there are people in the Conservative Party who would like to see the BBC funded by adverts or some other method than a license. And some who would like to see it disappear completely, leaving us in the warm and comforting embrace of Rupert Murdoch – my blood runs cold.

    Charlotte (at 24) I’ve not seen Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries but having seen a good deal of Australian television I’d say 99% of that was crap. But I loved Spiral and hope there will be more series. BBC4 has a regular foreign Police/Detective spot at 9pm on Saturday nights. Currently enjoying Salamander from Belgium. And hoping Inspector Montalbano returns.

    866 chars

  28. Bruce Fields said on March 7, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I recently watched all four seasons of Engrenages with the subtitles off, hoping that would help my iffy French comprehension without feeling too much like work. You can follow a lot of the plot while only catching half the dialog.

    232 chars

  29. Scout said on March 7, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Charlotte, you’re so right about Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries! We binge watched that whole series in January and it had slipped my mind until you mentioned it. We loved it! Essie Davis is delightful. We loved that she is an older actress playing the role of a great beauty.

    275 chars

  30. Deborah said on March 7, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Baking bread, drinking beer and dancing with my cat.

    52 chars

  31. Dexter said on March 7, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Baking bread here, too, and for my first time knocking out a pan of cornbread from scratch, the stuff turned out pretty good. Now for a melted butter drenching and a cuppa black tea. My cat is very frisky tonight as well, and the dogs were very happy to have a slice each of leftover meatloaf adorning their dog food plates as a topping for their dry food. I am so bad tonight…I almost always take my tea plain, but tonight to complement the cornbread I took two sugars. How bizarre. And yes, I do win the “most boring Friday night” trophy. 🙁

    549 chars

  32. Julie Robinson said on March 7, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Dexter, we made pizza and watched a DVD, but I’m not calling it boring, I’m calling it decompressing.

    101 chars

  33. LAMary said on March 8, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Made pasta carbonara and an arugula salad, watching The Bourne Supremacy, at least for now. Bourne movies put me to sleep.

    122 chars

  34. Sherri said on March 8, 2014 at 1:27 am

    Maggie, if you’re into Scandinavian television, I can highly recommend Borgen. It’s not a procedural, more of a Danish West Wing, but it’s outstanding. I’ve finished the first two seasons and have one more to go.

    212 chars

  35. beb said on March 8, 2014 at 10:38 am

    My heart goes out to the people who have family and friends on that Malaysian flight. What a horrendous loss of life.

    I don’t think I ever heard of the Keurig one-cup coffee system until Nancy mentioned it. But not only are the machines expensive but so are the packets used to create the single cups of coffee. So someone designed a refillable packet for the coffee. Less waste and cheaper coffee. But Keurig, apparently, is taking a page from the computer printer industry. They are planning to bring out a new generation of coffee-makers with DRM (digital rights management) meaning that their machine will only work with genuine Keurig coffee packets! What a wonderful world we live in.

    693 chars

  36. brian stouder said on March 8, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Pam and I hit anniversary # XXI, and therefore also hit Cork and Cleaver, and had a very nice dinner. Then, we went across the road and visited Hobby Lobby. Political considerations aside, Pam wanted some scrapbooking stuff for next weekend, and they have a good selection.

    So we’re wandering the aisles in there amongst a bustling Friday evening crowd of shoppers, and they announce over the loudspeakers that the store would be closing in 5 minutes…! It was five minutes before 8, on a Friday, and they were shooing their customers out? Well, whatever.

    And then it was home for cheesecake (one of those multiple-flavor/variety cheese cakes…everyone ends up happy) and viewing the Catching Fire dvd. I was impressed by how much of the book made it onto the big screen. It made me wonder how the author dealt with the jarring quickness with which the movie (necessarily) dealt with the nuances and plot turns.

    919 chars

  37. Maggie Jochild said on March 8, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Sherri, Borgen is on the list to try, thanks for the recommend.

    What I love about British and Scandi drama, especially crime drama, is that solutions do not inevitably involve guns and violence. No mandatory car chases. In my opinion, it’s far more effective to have to outwit someone. The other huge plus is they will actually talk about and acknowledge the complicated effects of racism and class oppression on society, verboten topics in all but “special issue” American television.

    And yes, the people look like actual people. Plus the women are not forced to be anorectic and have long hair (talk about a uniform — this has really changed since the 70s). I was delighted that the first partner of Jonathan Creek (Maddie) was played by Carolyn Quentin, plump and at least Jonathan’s apparent age if not a few years older. But she was way hot, and it was a believable chemistry. Unfortunately, they have now replaced her with a skinny blonde who is always having to fiddle with her long hair.

    1009 chars

  38. brian stouder said on March 8, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    So, I clicked Nancy’s last link (about Tiger Stadium and the snow and the new turf and Opening Day on March 31) – and it lead me to this article, and now I don’t know whether to shit or wind my watch

    327 chars

  39. Connie said on March 8, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Maggie Jochild, my issue is all the female law enforcement professionals with their cleavage hanging out at work.

    113 chars

  40. Dexter said on March 8, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    beb, My daughter and her family use only the Keurig w/ disposable units of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. I see no need, I wouldn’t want one of those units. I use the Mr. Coffee style, not necessarily the Mr. Coffee brand. I have a coffee station upstairs here at the house and a coffee pot in the kitchen downstairs. I am more in tune with “The Old Man” (Richard Harrison of ‘Pawn Stars’). “What happened to having a coffee pot and having coffee ready all the time?” I know…people want their coffee in their cups instantly , no sitting around getting bitter in a heated pot. That problem I take care of: I brew a pot and pour it into a good thermos that keeps it hot for hours. By 3:30 PM I am done with coffee for the day and then later in the day I have a cuppa tea about half the time, but always a little tea a short while before bed…a sorta dumb/
    stupid habit, but I do it.

    894 chars

  41. Deborah said on March 8, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Dexter, a little chamomile tea with honey before bed is perfect.

    64 chars

  42. Dexter said on March 9, 2014 at 1:10 am

    Dave, yep, Clapton has four homes and one is in Delaware, Ohio, which he likes as he says the area reminds him of Merry Olde England.

    133 chars

  43. coozledad said on March 9, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Michelle Bachmannn says at its core, the conservative movement is an intellectual movement.

    Here’s one of her intellectuals:

    At least the Nazis are in the open, now, instead of playing the Jeebus card 24/7.

    316 chars

  44. brian stouder said on March 9, 2014 at 11:53 am

    “The Jews are the problem,” Boykin can be heard saying. “The Jews are the cause of all the problems in the world.” An unidentified person responds, “I know, I know, that’s why we’re trying to fix everything.”

    The event’s organizer, Frank Gaffney, has accused CPAC’s organizers, the American Conservative Union, of having ties to the Brotherhood.

    Cooz – I read the link and the circular logic of those folks gave me a headache. I did tune in, on C-SPAN, for a few moments yesterday, and was taken aback at how you really cannot parody these people and their ridiculous and unhinged attempts to grasp reality.

    I saw most of Ms Palin’s speech, and then baled out. The most interesting thing to me were the crowd shots.

    Lots and lots of white folks, with a fair amount of angry YOUNG white folks, and that was about it. (and even THEY didn’t seem very genuinely enthusiastic; occasionally most of them would be roused to all stand and applaud whatever pissant platitude was just uttered, but many look quite disengaged)

    1055 chars

  45. Dexter said on March 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm


    78 chars

  46. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 9, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Nancy lost a neighbor, I see.

    Fords and Firestones and Hudsons . . . but read the obit for the guest starring role of “Night Train” lane.

    259 chars

  47. alex said on March 9, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Hope you’re still in business, Dex. I lost a laptop to a glass of wine a while back and now I have one of those clear rubber keyboard covers. I also have a My Book external hard drive that backs up my shit every day. (My shit that cost $2.5K to salvage off of my last old dead hard drive, that is–about a decade’s worth of photos, correspondence, documents, etc.)

    364 chars

  48. Deborah said on March 9, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Can you imagine a more horrific place than that place in True Detective? Where did they ever find that location? What was that before? Holy cow that was creepy.

    160 chars

  49. Jolene said on March 9, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    The show was filmed in South Louisiana, Deborah, so whatever they began building the set with must have been there.

    115 chars

  50. Deborah said on March 9, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    What I meant are those multiple underground vaults that culminated in that room with the round hole at the top. What was that used for originally? It didn’t look at all like something built for the show. Certainly the wooden ritual structures were added which made it even creepier.

    282 chars