Having a pour.

Friday is the best day of the week for a lot of reasons, but lately because we usually see friends Friday night for some food or drink or both. A changing group, and changing venues.

This past Friday we went to a newish place in Hamtramck, Rock City Eatery, which if you like artisanal is pretty much artisanal to the bone. The menu, both liquid and solid, changes often, and this past Friday, they had “the Bourdain” — a roasted shank bone, split lengthwise with the marrow exposed. Of course you eat it, because YOU ARE CARNIVORE, and at the end the waiter comes around and asks if you’re ready for your whiskey.

Excuse me? Turns out it’s part of the dish. Once the bone is clean you stick one end in your mouth and the waiter pours a splash of Jim Beam down the trough.

I thought this was terribly clever until I did some Googling, and found it’s been around for a while. Yes, there’s a website: Bone Luge.

So that’s one of the lessons Friday night will teach you, and I have to say, it makes more sense than tequila body shots. They also had a very nice craft cocktail: Grapefruit old-fashioneds, which autocorrect just tried to change to “old-fashioners,” so beware of typos throughout. I really wish it wouldn’t do that, except when it comes in handy.

It’s a vivid, sunny day as I write this, and it promises to be vivid and sunny for Opening Day, too, which cements my decision not to chance the madness downtown tomorrow. I find myself with little tolerance for drunks anymore, and I guarantee you 99 percent of the ones downtown tomorrow will not be Bone Luge sorts of drunks. But the good news is, higher temperatures the rest of the week! I can get the bike out! Kate can use the car all she likes, because my needs will be met by the two-wheeler in the garage.

I splurged on a new taillight for it this year, and am eager to try it out — it projects a moving bike lane on the pavement as you ride, which I hope will not alarm motorists around here too much. Truth be told, I was more interested in the super-bright main light and the rechargeable nature of the unit itself. I’ll also be rocking flashing LEDs on the front, but as always, my fate this season will be in the hands of the Lord. Fingers crossed. I only have 15 pounds until even the CDC and the state of Michigan no longer consider me overweight, and I’d like to reach it by summer’s end.

Bloggage? OK.

I was amused by this photo of wee Prince Georgie with his parents, giving the firstborn/only child’s look at the family pet: Are you my brother? I’m sure George will get another sibling or two before his parents close the baby factory, but until then, the cocker spaniel will have to do.

I assume this essay of life advice is written by the same Charles Murray who wrote “The Bell Curve,” so someone explain why I should take a word of it seriously. Is a racist clock correct twice a day?

I don’t know if this Timothy Egan essay on the horrific mudslide in Washington counts as “too soon,” but I believe every word:

…who wants to listen to warnings by pesky scientists, to pay heed to predictions by environmental nags, or allow an intrusive government to limit private property rights? That’s how these issues get cast. And that’s why reports like the ones done on the Stillaguamish get shelved. The people living near Oso say nobody ever informed them of the past predictions.

And if they had, they probably would have lived there anyway. Because it’s beautiful.

And the week awaits us! Let’s show up for it.

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

44 responses to “Having a pour.”

  1. Sherri said on March 31, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Yes, that is the same Charles Murray. He’s got a new book to promote. I will say that he and his wife wrote one of my favorite books about the space program: Apollo, the Race to the Moon. Go figure.

    I’ve been too depressed about the mudslide to mention it. That the first words out of the mouth of the county emergency manager were that no one could have known was unbelievable. You don’t even have to listen to pesky scientists to know that the hill was prone to mudslides; there was a big one on that same hill in 2006, that just barely stopped before reaching houses, and that was just the most recent big slide there. But people kept building houses there, and the county kept letting them do it.

    Oh, and budget cuts may wipe out the helicopter team that rescued the survivors: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2023259169_mudslidehelicopterfundingxml.html

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  2. Dexter said on March 31, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Have you caught the latest “Vice” yet on HBO? Greenland’s dirty filthy 80% ice cap is melting off at the astonishing rate of 23 feet per year. That’s 23 feet of depth.
    Modern pollution has turned the pristine white ice damn-near black and filthy-brown.
    It’s great to see bicycle postings again. I will get my bike out today, Sunday was busy and in the early evening I was glued to the Wolverine-Wildcat game, another high tension crazy nail-biter in this best tournament in history. Kentucky moves on, but M gave them the best David v. Goliath showing they possibly could have. No regrets…best , biggest team won. 🙁
    Whiskey rolling down the bone-flute…what a crazy concept. But Jim Beam? Oh well, maybe they just don’t appreciate Austin Nichols Wild Turkey 101, but what do I know? It’s been ages.
    Nice King Baby, and a beautiful dog. Gee, a beautiful wife, nice digs…that William, man…he must have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, ya think? 🙂

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 31, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Blind pigs, acorns. Hey, my wife told me I was right once back in 2011, so . . .

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  4. David C. said on March 31, 2014 at 7:00 am

    It’s fortunate that there isn’t much evidence for the moth effect where drunks and the mindless are attracted to bright lights and other fascinating things. The X-Fire looks purpose built for that sort of thing.


    I did my first bike ride of the season yesterday. It was a 10 miler with half of it into the teeth of a 25 mph wind. The ride home was a lot of fun though. I hit 23 mph.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on March 31, 2014 at 8:03 am

    It’s supposed to be 65 here today, and I’m planning on cutting my work day short to get in a bike ride too. I’d love to hear a review on the light, because kids on bikes at night, even adult kids? Just sets all my mommyworries on high alert.

    Sherri, our daughter used to live 35 miles away from the mudslide area and said the roads washed out regularly and “everyone” knew the dangers. There’s a certain independent spirit out there, as personified by one of her former parishioners. In her late 70’s, she cut all the wood to heat her house every year. Folks like that, with few economic resources, are going to be very hard to move out.

    Anyone else have a lawn that looks freezer-burned?

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  6. Julie Robinson said on March 31, 2014 at 8:04 am

    How is it possible to hit submit once and post twice?

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  7. beb said on March 31, 2014 at 8:09 am

    People who build in mudslide zones are just like the people who build on the beach in known hurricane zones. It’s never a case of “if a hurricane comes” but when. I wonder how much housing LA would lose if it had to ban building in known mudslide areas?

    I see Albuquerque had a police riot yesterday during protests of police violence. I’ve read way too many stories where the police decide to taser who’s already down or shoot someone because the tasering wasn’t enough to bring them to their knees. Or who was seen to be reaching for “something”.

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  8. alex said on March 31, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Julie, my yard looks freezer-burned all over, particularly my English ivy. I’ve never seen it anything but green before and this year it’s crispy and brown and obviously quite dead in a lot of places.


    Lest we forget, Bill Bennett also peddled books of unsolicited advice. Right-wingers are obsessed with telling others what to do when they’re not busy trying to legislate what others do. Whether they’re right about any of it is beside the point because it’s never any of their goddamn business.

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  9. Suzanne said on March 31, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Re: Charles Murray. Marry young? That’s such great, uplifting advice for people like my young adult children who would love to get married & settle down, but aren’t finding anyone. Once again, it’s the “here is a great life plan” advice that if you aren’t able to manage, well, then you are obviously a loser.

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  10. nancy said on March 31, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Never fear, Julie, I deleted the duplicate. Whenever I do that, WordPress tells me, “Looks like you’ve already said that.”

    My yard looks freezer-burned, and I think we lost our dwarf rhododendrons, which are dead at the top and seemingly still alive below the snow-insulation line. Their status was always year-to-year, so I guess I’m not surprised. It’ll be interesting to see how everything fares this year.

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  11. brian stouder said on March 31, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Chloe and I walked around the block yesterday, and what I was noticing was all the random (and grungy) litter; wrappers, caps, papers, and odds and ends…all of it grey/muddy/weathered, and most of it near where garbage cans would go on garbage day.

    And – no small amount of doggy fecal matter, in various stages of disintegration, on and near the sidewalks.

    Plus, a fair amount of disintegrated street material (mostly displaced patching, I think) in the city strips, from all the plowing.

    But – it was a great walkabout nonetheless!

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  12. coozledad said on March 31, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Travelling all the way to Vegas to publicly felch Sheldon Adelson? That’s what Republicans call dignity!


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  13. Julie Robinson said on March 31, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Thanks, Nance. I didn’t get the warning message, I swear! Mondays.

    We took a turn around the yard and noticed a lot of evergreen browning, who knows about the rhodys, they really like it a little warmer. Some tulips and daffodils are finally clawing their way through the earth, but my crocus are still only about half an inch up. They were magnificent last year, but it may be the end for them, too. Funny how we mourn plants.

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  14. Connie said on March 31, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Some time ago we talked a little about the new documentary about the Medora Indiana boy’s basketball team. Medora is one of the most depressing small times I have ever spent time in. Any way the film will likely be on your PBS station this evening on the Independent Lens.

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  15. Charlotte said on March 31, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Snow here. Again. It’s pretty though — that wet spring snow that sticks to every branch on every tree. But snow. Again. I’m waiting for the White Walkers to show up.

    Felt the Yellowstone Earthquake — must have been a couple of small ones before hand, because I was sure someone was walking on the roof, which was implausible, but I was half asleep. Didn’t shake the house — sounded like a boom. We thought Big Sky was doing avalanche control, sometimes we can hear them on the rare calm morning.

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  16. Deborah said on March 31, 2014 at 10:42 am

    It was in the mis 60s here yesterday and I did some gardening, weeded the lavender bed and pulled weeds from out of the cracks between the pavers in the walkway. We lost some lavender plants not because it was too cold but too dry. We’ve been watering already. I’m going to have to think of some plants that need less water like chamisa or something like that. I wonder if Russian sage needs less water? Spring has certainly begun here, flowering fruit trees but not many flowers yet.

    Charlotte what is the elevation of Livingston?

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  17. Deborah said on March 31, 2014 at 10:42 am


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  18. Dorothy said on March 31, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Since we moved here in November, I have no idea what plants/flowers/shrubs will be blooming. I think there might be forsythia coming out on three or four shrubs – we’ll likely know in two or three days because it’s supposed to reach the high 60’s every day. How I’m going to miss my lilacs and butterfly bushes at my previous house! I see opened crocus when I walk the dogs at many of our neighbors’ mailboxes, and definitely see daffodil and tulip leaves getting taller every day. I should be putting a bib on myself in addition to carrying poop bags when I walk the boys – the sight of the green growth just about makes me salivate!

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  19. Joe Kobiela said on March 31, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Brown here in Auburn also, snow mold I guess. I was in Destin Fla Saturday morning for a hour, it was heavenly, good to see green again even if it was for only a hour.
    Just a hint, make sure you spell bone luge correctly, not boner luge, yikes!
    Pilot Joe

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  20. Jolene said on March 31, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Some good news re Obamacare: An estimated 9.5 million have gained coverage due to the ACA. When people tell you that more people have lost coverage than have gained it, you can tell them they are wrong.


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  21. susan said on March 31, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Deborah @16- Russian sage can be weedy if you are not vigilant. Have you considered planting native plants/shrubs that come from your area? They know how to “deal” once they are established. I have planted two-thirds of my yard (the non-garden part) with natives, and it is so beautiful and independent of the faucet. Lots of bees and birds. Another benefit is that my neighbor, a grass-lawn nazi, hates it.

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  22. Heather said on March 31, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Hmm, I may get that bike light! Looks pretty cool.

    Had a nice day for a bike ride in Chicago yesterday–mid-50s–except by the lake, where it was 15-20 degrees colder. We skedaddled out of there and headed instead to the river, where there is a nice paved path that goes underneath bridges. Today it’s supposed to be around 65, and I’ll be stuck in the office all day. Then back to 40s for the week.

    I also went to Home Depot (finally got around to painting a wall of my entryway with chalkboard paint, which I have wanted to do for months) and they still don’t have any outdoor plants. My balcony looks pretty sad.

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  23. Sherri said on March 31, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Julie, it’s always hard to move people out of their houses, though it’s been done before. A first step, though, is to stop building new houses after the 2006 landslide. And to stop allowing logging on the area. Nobody in the area is going to take kindly to that, either, but how many lives is it worth? Or, if you want to put in terms of taxes, which the people around there hate, how much money is the rescue/recovery effort costing? Now that they’ve lost everything (and I doubt many had mudslide insurance), how and where are they going to start over?

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  24. Basset said on March 31, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Connie, when I briefly worked on a railroad tie crew in the mid 70s we repaired track between Medora & Fort Ritner – seemed to be a standard issue small Indiana town back then but a lot can happen in forty years. The doc’s on public tv here tonight but I don’t know that I’ll watch it; managed to avoid high school basketball when I was in high school, so why stop now? The trailer was probably enough, plucky youth overcoming their problems and finally succeeding, so on, so forth.

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  25. Jeff Borden said on March 31, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Charlie Pierce has a lovely takedown of the Sheldon Adelson blow fest over the weekend, particularly the bowing and scraping Chris Christie had to do when he referred to the “occupied terroritories,” which apparently is not the favored term of ultra-rightist Zionists like our boy Shelly. It required a private meeting with Shelly to expunge the stain from our favorite bridge-blocking governor.

    Thank you, Roberts Court, for giving multi-billionaires like this creepy old fart the power to select our candidates.

    And Americans are encouraged to worry about external threats like Putin or al Queda as we burn our own country down from within with the plutocrats as the arsonists.

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  26. fdchief218 said on March 31, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    The Murray piece is a complete puzzlement. Marry young because you’ll bond over struggling poverty and look back on those early years with fond nostalgia? Take religion seriously because all religions from Jainism to orthodox Roman Catholicism have the same valuable message for you, and if you hang out with people of faith you’ll find how wise they are? (what, this joker never heard the words “Fred Phelps”?) Don’t worry about your income because poverty suckage is overrated? (Chaz, Mister Micawber would like some words with you, and the words are “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.”)

    Throw in the bizarre notion that you can distill the wisdom needed for a happy lifetime into a page of text (or 200 pages of doorstop AEI-approved blatherage, whatever…) and you have the perfect sort of example of why so many people who actually take the time to stop and think about what they read, read Murray’s work and start turning the page back and forth and upside down like someone looking for Waldo in a “Where’s Waldo” cartoon.

    But at least his executive summary lets you save yourself the two-hours-of-life-you-won’t-ever-get-back you’d burn reading his damn book.

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  27. Jolene said on March 31, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    A treat for insomniac fans of Cleveland celebrities: Drew Carey is, for tonight only, hosting Craig Ferguson’s late night chat show on CBS. Connie Schultz, former Plain Dealer columnist and wife of Sen. Sherrod Brown, will be one of the guests. Also appearing are Carl Reiner and Joan Jett.

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  28. Jolene said on March 31, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    An honor for Indiana: Most meth busts.


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  29. LAMary said on March 31, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Deborah, I’m sure there are lots of places to get native plants there.
    Also, if you’re looking for seeds and very detailed descriptions of drought tolerant plants that would work in your climate try the Hudson Seed catalog. I enjoy just reading it.

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  30. alex said on March 31, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Looks like Indiana’s favored to hold onto its top spot in the fewest teeth per capita rankings.

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  31. Peter said on March 31, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Heather, the Lowe’s in Lincolnwood has plenty of flowering plants, and all I could think is that these poor babies will freeze before they get planted…

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  32. coozledad said on March 31, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Indiana ain’t never gonna edge out Alaska in wine cooler assisted sprog dropping. There’s just too many hours in a day and night there.

    And a shout out to my home state for the highest ratio of fingers and toes to residents.

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  33. MarkH said on March 31, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Deborah, Charlotte is at roughly 4,500 ft. in Livingston, we are at 6,200 ft. here in Jackson Hole. I was surprised to see that you are even higher up at roughly 7,200 ft., making Santa Fe the state capital at the highest elevation.

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  34. Charlotte said on March 31, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Thanks Mark — we’re not very high here, but then again, my first garden was in Telluride, which is 8750 elevation (the mnemonic is my old friend Rasta Stevie’s band name).

    Deborah — you should invest in a copy of the Sunset Western Garden book. It’s what i consult first when I’m looking to plant … My garden still uses more water than I’d like, but I have a lot of very hardy shrub roses and fruit bushes. I think this summer might be the year I finally invest in a bunch of dryland perennials like some of the yarrows, more echinacea, and different salvias.

    And … it’s snowing again.

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  35. Connie said on March 31, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Nancy, I heard you on Michigan Radio. I heard your name just as I turned off the car, so I sat and listened for a bit. Graffiti? I read the article.

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  36. Deborah said on March 31, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    My niece (youngest daughter of my right wing sister) just sent my daughter an invitation to her wedding shower, she listed 3 places they are registered, Target, Walmart and a gun shop somewhere in Minnesota. Yikes! Plus Little Bird lives in Santa Fe and my niece lives in a small town west of Minneapolis, so this is obviously just a request to get gifts. I never heard of sending an invitation to a shower to someone who lives at least 1,500+ miles away. Have you?

    LA Mary, I got most of the plants we planted last year at Plants of the Southwest and some at Home Depot. I surely won’t be purchasing any from Home Depot again, those all died post haste. The lavender I bought at the Southwest plant place did great all summer and fall but some obviously didn’t make it through the winter. Unless, they will revive which I am waiting to see.

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  37. Deborah said on March 31, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    OK, I looked it up it’s 1,198.9 miles away.

    And Charlotte, I’ll look into that plant catalog.

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  38. Julie Robinson said on March 31, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Deborah, if there’s an Extension Service around there they can give you good guidance too. Our local folks are a treasure, and they also have an amazing display garden.

    And yup, I’d say it’s a naked ploy for gifts.

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  39. Charlotte said on March 31, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Deborah — The Sunset Western Garden book isn’t a catalog, it’s a big reference book. I use it more than any other book in my gardening library — but I did get a terrific catalog the other day from High Country Gardens who turn out to be in Santa Fe. I’ll probably still buy from the local nurseries, but that one is really tempting.

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  40. brian stouder said on March 31, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    A digression:

    So, after our super FWCS superintendent delivered a superb road-show at the various high schools, explaining the upcoming budget crunch, I was moved to write to our state representative, Martin Carbaugh…and to make a long story short, his people wrote back to ask if I’d like to meet with him and gab about this issue.

    So next week, we’ll meet in a Starbucks – which will be an all-time first for me (do they even have Diet Pepsi there?) – and my mission will be to make and support one point (that our public schools are in the business of producing well-rounded citizens of our community, and that it is much easier to knock down our public schools than it was – for previous generations – to build the remarkably good school systems that we have; and that it is for us – the current generation – to maintain and improve our public schools for the next generations, and not to destroy them) – and then exit the meeting on a positive note.

    What could possibly go wrong, eh?

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  41. Deborah said on March 31, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    We tried planting seeds last year and got zilch. I think our soil is really poor, so don’t know what to do about that exactly. We did buy some dirt in bags and used that mixed in with what was already here, really hard work because the soil here was super hard packed. It took us 3 hour to dig a hole last year to plant a small pine tree, which is doing great, by the way.

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  42. alex said on March 31, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Well, Brian, I hope you’ll hold Mr. Carbaugh’s feet to the fire and get him to explain how diverting public money into private hands is an improvement for anyone but the private hands. Conservatives — the very people who purport to be against waste — are all for it when their cronies get to do the wasting. I rather doubt my rep, Mr. Kruse, will treat me to a sit-down at Starbucks and hear me out about why creationism doesn’t belong in public schools. He already knows the answer. It doesn’t. It belongs in off-year election campaigns.

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  43. Kirk said on March 31, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Craig Ferguson show without Craig Ferguson? That might make it tolerable.

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 31, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Dang. Mi esposa and I did not think to register at a gun shop. My mom had to harass us into registering at all in the first place, but it was just Lowenstein’s in Valparaiso. But if we had registered at Fetla’s for sporting rifles . . . our whole lives would have been different.

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