Here comes the fun.

Here’s an Opening Day text from a buddy, who was breakfasting at a place where, if you’re a singleton, they seat you at a table with others:

Tigers fans at my table now imitating black people arguing over the price of fried chicken. I’m going to kill them all and then fire a .44 into my soft palate. You can fight for my record collection and cameras in probate, if you’re so inclined.

I didn’t really understand what a mixed blessing the Tigers are, for locals. Every year, someone who lives in the city writes an angry op-ed aimed at suburbanites who descend upon the stadium district on Opening Day, drink themselves into a stupor, and spend the rest of the afternoon scattering trash, puking and urinating on walls. Because (belch) the city is a shithole, (urp) and who cares if there’s one more piece of trash blowing down the gutter (sorry, dude).

Not only was the bar around the corner from my office open at 7 a.m., the Fillmore, around the other corner, was open at 7:30, with live music and — of course — serving liquor. I understand it’s a big moneymaker, but lordy, won’t someone think of the children.

Related: What it costs to propose (via scoreboard) at every major-league ballpark.

At least the weather cooperated. Glorious and soft enough that spring’s promise no longer seems false. A few hardy sprouts are pushing up, although dirty snow piles are still everywhere and our back yard feels pretty hard. As always in these cases, it could be worse, and is, elsewhere.

So, Hobie Alter died this week, at 80. He democratized surfing, then sailing, and along the way — I love obituary details like this — was married five times:

“I have a tendency to get too involved with my projects. I’d go to 4 or 6 a.m., hear the newspaper drop, and know it was time to quit,” he told The Times in 1977. “It’s not the kind of thing that’s conducive to a marriage. It tends to drive everyone around you crazy.”

I’ve sailed a Hobie Cat a time or three, and they are a blast, if a little quick to get up on one hull. But lots of people want exactly that in a fun little beach boat. I regret I never got to try out the 16-footer, which comes with a rig for hiking out; you put on sort of a big diaper, hook on to the mast, and hang your ass way out to counterbalance the heeling boat.

Hobie built himself a career where he never had to wear a necktie, or even shoes. Not bad.

So. A nice easy nine-miler today, basically a grocery run (coconut milk, soup) with a long detour, something to work the kinks out and map the worst of the potholes. Out and back in 45 minutes and, to my relief, everything worked. We’ll see about tomorrow, but as Mondays go? I’ll take it. And that’s no foolin’.

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

43 responses to “Here comes the fun.”

  1. Sherri said on April 1, 2014 at 12:58 am

    $50: Paws, the team’s mascot, conducts a “trivia contest” at the couple’s seats that ends in a surprise proposal. Includes baseball decorated with message and date. $75: Message displayed on scoreboard.

    Does this mean that if you pony up the extra $25, they’ll keep the mascot away from you? Sign me up. (I hate mascots wandering the stands.)

    I like the Busch Stadium package, though: $250 for a tour of the stadium and an on-field proposal (on non-game days.) I like stadium tours.

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  2. Deborah said on April 1, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Every gosh darn day

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 1, 2014 at 7:10 am

    John, a colleague of mine at the next church of my tradition west of me, who worked as a landscaper before and during seminary, joined me in declaring yesterday the beginning of spring. It had to be, because we were covered in mud up to our waists by lunch time. We dug a hundred foot ditch to drain a boggy-at-one-end space where we’re moving the worship area at my denomination’s church camp. It only took two M.Div.s a morning to do with with a mini-backhoe, a shovel and a heavy-duty pair of root loppers.

    Never let it be said that an advanced education can’t get you somewhere.

    Now, 60 tons of 304 road bed back into the area, and we’ll be ready to begin. Thanks be to God for a skid loader and a John Deere tractor with a bucket.

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  4. brian stouder said on April 1, 2014 at 10:00 am

    I think the only way to really, sincerely propose to another person is to do it in such a way that she (or he) has the room to say “no”…which a ridiculously costumed person and a jumbotron pretty much kills

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  5. Bitter Scribe said on April 1, 2014 at 10:01 am

    It could be worse, Nancy. You could be a Cubs fan.

    Opening game: Lost 1-0 to the Pirates in 10 innings. 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Samardzija pitches seven shutout innings and has bupkus to show for it.

    This is going to be a long season.

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  6. Pam (the sister) said on April 1, 2014 at 10:39 am

    A little off topic, but I just answered the phone with: “Hello, no one was hurt and we don’t need a lawyer, doctor or collision repair.” Then, I hung up because that particular number has already called just this morning 15 times!! Yes, 15, not shinin’ you on. Bill was in an accident on Sunday. He got hit by a semi, and fortunately, no one was hurt because the truck wasn’t moving too fast. Bill also got partially out of the way. But, the phone has not stopped ringing for 2 days!!! It’s lawyers, doctors and collision repair companies. And this takes the cake, someone left a “package” on our porch for 1 800 Hurt Now. It was an expensive advertisement that included a DVD explaining their services, but the first thing that you see is Get Money Now. The phone rings approximately every 2 minutes, non-stop and it’s driving me crazy. I’m so glad I’m going out later today. The other guy was cited and his insurance company is, of course, dragging their feet. If they give me too many delays, I will threaten to call one of the ambulance chasers. Is business really so bad that they have to troll the accident reports? I’m fairly certain that some of these callers are “services” and just trying to get referrals for their sleazy clients. Sheesh!!

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  7. Julie Robinson said on April 1, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Pam, we experienced that when one of our family members was in a very minor accident, caused by the other driver. The calls and letters started the next day and someone even sent a guy to our house. Sheesh.

    Not only that, the adjuster from the other insurance company wanted me to sign off on their version of the accident over the phone. I kept telling him I wasn’t even in the car, but that didn’t matter one whit; he kept pressing me and getting unpleasant. After a few minutes I told him I wasn’t talking to him again, and hung up.

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  8. Dave said on April 1, 2014 at 11:11 am

    What Brian said at 4. These elaborate proposals leave me cold, I’ve always thought of that as a private moment that should be shared only by the principals but that must be much too boring. My children have friends who’ve done exactly the opposite, inviting family and friends to be there for the big question. I don’t get it.

    Get off my lawn.

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  9. mark said on April 1, 2014 at 11:16 am

    “Is business really so bad that they have to troll the accident reports?”

    No. The easy legal fees to be made from clear liabilty cases with financially responsible defendants, like trucking companies, are really that GOOD.

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  10. alex said on April 1, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Is business really so bad that they have to troll the accident reports?

    That’s exactly what they do, and even though lawyer “advertising” has been technically “legal” since the 1990s, the way it’s done usually is not. But no one’s regulating it. And no, business isn’t bad at all, it’s booming. Precisely because of ambulance chasers hunting people down and promising they’ll get rich quick.

    I work for a firm that defends people (and their insurance carriers) from ambulance chasers and I can tell you that in the majority of cases the plaintiffs retain counsel immediately, not even giving the insurance company an opportunity to resolve their claims in good faith. There’s no shortage of slacker stoners and other ne’er-do-wells trying to make minor boo-boos into permanent disabilities so they can lay around doing drugs for the rest of their lives, and plenty of not very bright people who are greedy and think their minor fender benders are life-altering experiences that should be compensated with the equivalent of a Lotto jackpot. Few and far between are the lawsuits with genuine merit.

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  11. Bitter Scribe said on April 1, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Actual TV ad in the Chicago area:

    “In a wreck? Need a check? Call Joe Shyster.”

    It used to be a dignified profession.

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  12. Dorothy said on April 1, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Hey Sherri, for one spring season I was a tour guide at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. I really loved doing it – the only negative was the morning I was walking through the dark tunnels under the seats and came upon a worker who was peeing against a wall. I cleared my throat so he knew I was approaching, and then expressed my utter disgust very loudly. I could not see his face (or any other body part), thank goodness, but what.a.pig!!! And I have to put in a good word for stadium mascots. I know a young man who was the Jolly Roger at Heinz Field, the new baseball park. He’s a very talented young guy who is making a name for himself in theater (directing) in Pittsburgh now. Those kinds of jobs are thankless, I’m convinced. Who wants to be inside that friggin’ hot costume during summer days?!?!

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  13. annie said on April 1, 2014 at 11:48 am

    We were at a rock-type concert a few years ago where the lead singer said, “I don’t usually do this but this is for a good friend…” Then a guy came up on stage and with some band music fanfare proposed to the “love of his life” over the microphone. There was a long pause and a woman screamed “oh, no, no, no” and ran up the aisle and out of the auditorium.

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  14. MichaelG said on April 1, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Sorry to have stayed away so long. I know I wrote something about cancer but I can’t recall just when or what exactly I said. I had surgery on 03-07. They excised a large mass on my right thigh along with a large part of my quadriceps. I’ve been recovering from that and just this last Friday (03-28) had all the stitches and drains removed. So I have a Frankenstein scar and a big dent in my thigh but I’m walking and driving and feeling good. One of the characteristics of this type of sarcoma is that it propagates to the lungs. I had a PET scan yesterday which confirmed that I have “abnormalities” on my lungs. A biopsy is scheduled for Thursday and I have a consultation with the chemo Dr. on Friday. So that’s where I stand. Chemo soon.

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  15. Dave said on April 1, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    We were in a wreck in 1991, that I’ve discussed on here before. This was before all the pursuant practices of today but we did talk to a few lawyers, both in Georgia, where the accident happened, and in Fort Wayne. One lawyer, a very honest fellow, finally told us, listen, it’s just a broken leg (my wife), in the overall scheme of things it’s not a major, debilitating injury, and if the insurance company makes you what you consider to be an acceptable offer, you don’t need representation. They did after almost a year, we took it, and that was that.

    I wish I knew who he was because I truly don’t remember, I would imagine he’s retired by now, but I always appreciated his honesty.

    MichaelG, I have been wondering about you, thank you for the report. Best of wishes and good thoughts, it’s about all I can do.

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  16. Joe K said on April 1, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Don’t get pissed but I wonder what the breakdown is on those peoples political party, do you think its 50 50 or is one more prevalent than the other.
    Mad anthoneys for lunch in auburn by the way
    Pilot Joe

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  17. Jill said on April 1, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    MichaelG, I’ve been wondering about you. I’m glad you’re getting around and wish you the best with chemo.

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  18. Deborah said on April 1, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Better call Saul.

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  19. Connie said on April 1, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    So Joe K, does that mean you are sure that only Democrats try to get that insurance/disability money?

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  20. Icarus said on April 1, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    @Bitter Scribe I look at that as progress. In years past, the starting pitcher would pitch a gem and then get a loss when the closer gives up a run with runners charged to the starter (as opposed to a no-decision).

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  21. alex said on April 1, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Joe, there’s no way of knowing what a litigant’s politics are, although in this corner of Indiana it’s probably safe to assume the majority of them are Republican. I occasionally scour plaintiffs’ social media for any evidence that contradicts their claims, and in so doing I often see their political and religious affiliations. Very seldom do I come across liberals or Democrats, but I figure that simply has to do with being in a state where there are hardly any Democrats. Opportunism is a human tendency, not a Democratic or Republican one.

    Ate at Mad Anthony’s last night. Love their Decadent Lenten menu, particularly the whitefish dip and the beer steamed shrimp.

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  22. Dorothy said on April 1, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    MichaelG that is quite an undertaking since March 7th. Whew. I hope the worst is behind you and that chemo knocks the shit out of whatever is messing around with your lungs.

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  23. Bitter Scribe said on April 1, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Icarus @20: That can still happen, though, can’t it?

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  24. Dexter said on April 1, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    MichaelG, best of luck with the chemo. I remember when Lance Armstrong was asked by an interviewer after one of his numerous cancer surgeries,” Do you believe Jesus brought you through this surgery?” Lance, in a hospital bed with huge fresh surgical scars on his shaved head, said ” I believe in chemotherapy, I believe in modern medicine, and I trust in my doctors. That is what I believe in. But mostly I believe in cancer surgery.”

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  25. Judybusy said on April 1, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    MichaelG, glad to hear you’re up and about. Dorothy said it best about chemo! Thanks so much for the update.

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  26. Peter said on April 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    First off, Michael G, good luck and best wishes on the chemo. I hope you gain some strength knowing that everyone on this side of the screen is pulling for you.

    I’d like to agree with you guys about the lawyers, but they’re a very necessary evil. Several years ago my wife and son were in an accident – a very old (80+) guy barreled through a do not enter sign, went the wrong way down a ramp, and drove into our car. We had to fight tooth and nail with this loser’s insurance company, and our insurance company finally had a lawyer who got a reasonable settlement.

    By the way – the old man’s auto insurance company? State Farm
    Our insurance company – State Farm.

    They were basically suing themselves.

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  27. paddyo' said on April 1, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Sorry your ordeal isn’t quite done, MichaelG, but I’m pulling for you in the chemo round. Here’s to better living through chemistry . . .

    Bitter Scribe@5: The sad Colorado Rox have only just begun their 22nd season, so fans here in Denver haven’t begun to taste true Cubbie-style frustration, but yesterday’s 10-1 opening day farce was pretty pathetic. And it wasn’t even at the home launching pad, er, field. Granted, the Rox were mowed down by last year’s rookie of the year on the Marlins’ mound, but still. 10-1 is awful in any park.

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  28. john not mccain said on April 1, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    “not even giving the insurance company an opportunity to resolve their claims in good faith”

    I work for lawyers who defend insurance companies in lawsuits as well. If I were in an accident I wouldn’t hesitate to get a lawyer because I know that insurance companies don’t have any “good faith”.

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    MichaelG, grace and peace to you. May healing rise up and smite your abnormalities!

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  30. coozledad said on April 1, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    What is it the Hobby Lobby do in women require? The lineaments of ungratified desire.
    What is it the Hobby Lobby do in investments require? money. Shitgobs of money. Any fucking way we can get it.

    Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012—three months after the company’s owners filed their lawsuit—show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).

    These people have no belief system. They’re all carnies, whores and cons.

    Mother Jones, courtesy Wonkette.

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  31. Scout said on April 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Keeping you in my thoughts, MichaelG. Glad you’re back on your feet ready to kick some butt for what comes next.

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  32. LAMary said on April 1, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    My car was rearended at pretty high speed about 25 years ago and I had neck and shoulder injuries. My car was totaled. The guy who hit me? His insurance company was nickel and diming me on the rental car, the amount they’d pay to replace my car (it was four months old) and everything else. So I got a lawyer. I ended up getting a new car, reimbursed for my rental, all the medical bills and 35k for my trouble. If the insurance company had just paid that extra 5 dollars a day for the car rental and had given me book value on a nearly new car I wouldn’t have hired a lawyer who made money on the whole thing as well. I think insurance companies are counting on people being nice guys who go along and don’t push back when they’re getting screwed.

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  33. MarkH said on April 1, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Michel G, thanks for the update. Continued best wishes, thoughts and prayers going your way. Chemo can be a bitch, but here’s to continued strength to get through it.

    One dear friend of ours, a fellow native of Jackson and classmate of my wife, has been a very active, healthy person all her 60 years; non-smoker, too. Then three months ago, BAM, stage 4 lung cancer. A shocker just like yours perhaps, Michael G. Chemo is going on in spite of the worst prognosis and it really knocks her down. It may not be a pleasant Spring for us once nice weather finally arrives.

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  34. Kim said on April 1, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Welcome back, MichaelG, and all best on this unexpected adventure.

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  35. Jolene said on April 1, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    MichaelG, I join the others here in wishing you well. Hope the road ahead is not too tough and ends at a good destination.

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  36. Deborah said on April 1, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Michael G, wishing you the best as you go through the chemo treatments.

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  37. Heather said on April 1, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    MichaelG, sending you good thoughts.

    I got rear-ended a year or so ago–very minor, but the other driver’s insurance agency, Progressive, was great. They replaced my fender, paid for a rental, and gave me some $$ for my trouble/any injuries–I can’t remember how much, maybe $1000-1500. I only had some minor neck stiffness, but I did go to the chiropractor a couple times just to be safe. I was pretty impressed with how Progressive handled the whole things. I guess that’s unusual?

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  38. alex said on April 1, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Sorry to hear of the turn of events, MichaelG, but wishing you the best. I hope our levity here most days will buoy your spirits.

    John Not McCain — I know insurance companies aren’t perfect angels but I don’t have such a jaundiced view of them. I can understand them treating even legitimate claimants with skepticism given the amount of outright fraud they have to deal with every single day. I’m a longtime State Farm customer and have always found them pleasant to deal with; fortunately I haven’t had to deal with them much.

    I do remember being about age 20 and getting screwed over by someone else’s insurance company. I got rear-ended by a drunk woman. First cop on the scene was a friend of hers so no arrest and he was rather surly with me never mind that his friend rear-ended my car while I was at a complete stop at a red light. Being a college kid with no credit card, car rental companies were reluctant to rent to me and the woman’s insurance carrier was quite unhelpful despite the fact that I needed wheels. They finally managed to get me a beater from Rent-A-Wreck, then bitched about the cost when their body shop of choice took three months getting my vehicle repaired. Her insurance company made me take my car to a crappy body shop that gave a very low bid because they didn’t include the broken rear leaf springs that they should have noticed. I didn’t notice them either until I got the car back and the ride sucked and welds between the roof pillars and rear quarter panels started popping. The body shop repaired the welds and repainted twice but refused to acknowledge that the leaf springs were anyone’s fault but mine. By this time the case was closed and the insurance carrier was no help.

    I traded that car in on my first Honda, a three-year-old Honda Accord. It was beautiful. On the second day of driving it, I noted the odometer seizing up and the digits failing to turn. I took it to a speedometer/odometer repair shop where I was told it had most certainly been tampered with. I went to demand my money and trade-in back but the trade-in was gone already. So I did a title search on the Honda and found that it had passed through the hands of five separate dealerships within the span of a few days, and none had bothered to fill out the mileage on the title when it changed hands. I was able to determine the identity of the original owner in Michigan. I contacted him. He was a traveling salesman who had just traded the car in for a new one. It had 77K miles on it, not 29K as had been represented to me. He sent me documentation and I sued, naming all of the dealers that had laundered the title. They pooled together a nice settlement to get me to go away.

    As for my old car that had been wrecked, I did a title search on that as well. It turned up in Marion, Indiana, with about 60K fewer miles on it and a few cosmetic improvements. I let the new owners know that it had been wrecked and also driven to death and they also sued. That was a lot of miles on a car in those days. This was the 1980s.

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  39. alex said on April 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Oh, and as for Hobby Lobby’s sincerity…

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  40. Sherri said on April 1, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    MichaelG, I hope chemo goes well and isn’t too tough.

    Dorothy, one of the stadiums I’ve toured was Three Rivers. Another time I got to watch part of a game right behind home plate, underneath the seats where the ground crew watch the game from. The ground crew was a little discombobulated to have a woman down there; they would curse, then remember there was a woman present, look uncomfortable and apologize.

    I feel for the people in the costumes, but I find the mascots generally annoying when they’re wandering the stands while game action is going on. I actually want to watch the game!

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  41. LAMary said on April 1, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    You’re in my thoughts, MichaelG. I hope your treatment and recovery are speedy and easy.

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  42. basset said on April 1, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Seconding what everyone else said, MichaelG.

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  43. brian stouder said on April 1, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    MichaelG – I join with all your other friends hereabouts in wishing you strength and perseverance; and here’s also hoping that there’s not an impending “Big One” earthquake brewing in your part of the world.

    After LA Mary’s reporting of two recent quakes, it caught my eye that Chile just had an 8.1 tonight.

    I think the shifting plate that affected Chile is the same one that affects California, no?

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