We had a power surge today that appears to have fried our internet. Open thread until we get it sorted out? As always, thanks for your patience.

Posted at 8:01 pm in Housekeeping |

37 responses to “Alas.”

  1. alex said on April 9, 2014 at 8:28 pm


    Says the proud owner of a My Book backup system that was purchased on top of the $2,300 cost of rescuing a hard drive with half a lifetime’s worth of data on it. Still trying to figure out how to keep it all up in a cloud as well, in case the earthly components take a hit in the kind of natural disasters that are always occurring around here. Like toppled stemware.

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  2. Sue said on April 9, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Here’s something for the open thread. There are so many layers in Wisconsin Republican politics these days, the only thing I wonder is who set him up. Nothing else – including the whole thing going down in a bar – surprises me at all.

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  3. Sue said on April 9, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Let me correct that – the only thing I wonder is who ARRANGED to set him up. It’s almost certainly in-house, so to speak. Wisconsin Republicans brought O’Keefe in, and I would love to know who.

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  4. coozledad said on April 9, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    This ought to catch a bunch of us in paroxysms of sentimentitious agony. The Remastered rerelease of Elton’s masterpiece:

    I like this piece, but it’s an elision. Elton decided he was going to be the new Beach Boys, and he made an effort in astoundingly good faith. I can’t hear this album without thinking of Pet Sounds or Smile.

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  5. Connie said on April 10, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Yellow Brick Road was the sound track in the dorms my sophomore year of college.

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  6. brian stouder said on April 10, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I liked this, both for the image and for the story

    And the John Hancock touch is just sort of Seinfeld-funny!

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  7. Deborah said on April 10, 2014 at 11:53 am

    I’m having a back and forth with my rightwing sister regarding Obamacare. She’s all about “fraud” with the “you can keep that” statement, and she says Republican’s are not trying to take healthcare away from people like Little Bird (obviously, her niece). But then how does she explain states like Florida? I don’t know why I do this, I know it’s futile, it won’t change her mind one iota and it raises my blood pressure which has always been in the low range.

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  8. Basset said on April 10, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Listening to “Yellow Brick Road” for eighteen hours straight? On mushrooms? CooZ, it’s all yours…

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  9. brian stouder said on April 10, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Deborah – my default, rearguard, emergency reserve line consists of:

    a. Affordable healthcare insurance is STILL be provided by private insurers

    b. In my whole 30+ year working career, my employer has provided the insurance. The coverage was always good, and the premiums have always, always risen – and risen dramatically, over the years

    c. THAT meant that we hired fewer people than we might otherwise have, and a bit less actual spendable cash…aka – a drag on the economy

    d. The model for ACA – competitive maketplaces of private insurers, with premium subsidies from the government, came from the old-style conservatives (like I used to be) – Heritage Foundation, et al.

    I bet if Jack Kemp were alive, he’d be a Democrat

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  10. beb said on April 10, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    The thing with the “If you like your old policy you can keep it,” was that most people are not happy with their current life insurance. If you’re paying $50 a month for a policy with a $20,000/year deductible, that is not a good policy. It’s cheap but you had better not get sick. The Republicans keep throwing up these people who are paying more for their new policy but only because their old policy was so very bad.

    This is a lot like the “You didn’t built that” canard the Republicans were running with in 2012. They quoted the president ourt of context because the incontext clearly explained what he was talking about.

    Deborah, there’s no way to win with your sister. Her mind is made up and facts will not alter her opinion. You could try to point out that pre-existing coverage can only work if every one is mandated to get coverage so as to spread the costs around. In fact Obamacare is a lot like a house of cards, you can’t go pulling things you dislike out of it without the whole thing collapsing. You might ask her why the Republicans haven’t come up with a replacment for Obamacare is they’re so opposed to it.

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  11. alex said on April 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Deborah, I know a few people who, like your sister, are irrationally foaming at the mouth about Obamacare, but they know better than to harangue me with it. I simply tell them that I know people who are benefiting from it, which is true, and that I refuse to listen to any such talk. If that doesn’t work with your sister, it would be perfectly reasonable of you to hang up, walk away, whatever, but you should really make your wishes known that it’s an off-limits subject and stand firm.

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  12. Icarus said on April 10, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I look forward to the day when the republican/conservative rhetoric around ACA/Obamacare changes from “it’s a bad idea” to “it’s a great idea but we would have implemented it so much better.”

    The first Rule of data recovery is: Backup, backup, backup. The Second Rule is: you can have two files on a hard drive that goes back. One is the file you absolutely want (that picture of someone special, the draft of the great American novel, etc) the second one is the file you absolutely want gone forever (that embarrassing poem, that angry email, humiliating picture). The one you don’t want will be recoverable in 30 seconds…the one you really need is lost forever.

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  13. nancy said on April 10, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I back up so much that if I were a truck, I’d never stop beeping. New router purchased and installed, blog back to normal after midnight tonight.

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  14. Charlotte said on April 10, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Here’s an interesting piece about a young poet who bought and rehabbed a house in Detroit — especially his reaction to the “ruin porn” tourists. (I usually avoid Buzzfeed, but someone pointed me to this one and it’s good).

    Also, a link to where you should change your passwords in the wake of this Heartbleed HTTPS hole:

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  15. Charlotte said on April 10, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Here’s an interesting piece about a young poet who bought and rehabbed a house in Detroit — especially his reaction to the “ruin porn” tourists. (I usually avoid Buzzfeed, but someone pointed me to this one and it’s good).

    Also, a link to where you should change your passwords in the wake of this Heartbleed HTTPS hole:

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  16. coozledad said on April 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm


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  17. Dexter said on April 10, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    A few weeks ago Yahoo! refused my sign-in and insisted I create a more detailed password, mixing up upper and lower case, including more numbers and ampersands and pound signs. And now the news as to why:

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  18. brian stouder said on April 10, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Ahhh, the internet!

    On one hand, you can go to a site (like this one) and be heard; on the other hand, one musn’t forget that, at any time, one can possibly be culled from the herd.

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  19. Kim said on April 10, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Cooz, that’s a brilliant and amusing observation from TBogg, which made for an excellent literary snack this afternoon. “My tongue slapping her uvula back and forth like a speed bag” – did Lynne Cheney help to write this?

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  20. brian stouder said on April 10, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    I first read that as “vulva” – and that really conjures a different image…!

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  21. Julie Robinson said on April 10, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    What do people think about Colbert replacing Letterman? His show already had in our house, and I’m happy for the right-wing character to go away.
    It’ll leave a hole at Comedy Central, though.

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  22. Icarus said on April 10, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I was just saying the other day, what Late Night TV really needs is another middle aged white guy hosting a show on free TV.

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  23. Jenine said on April 10, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    @Icarus, that made me laugh! But I’m still pro-Colbert, hot and cold running Colbert.

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  24. Icarus said on April 10, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    @Jenine, I am too. I’m slightly concerned we won’t get the same tongue-in-cheek humor we are accustomed to from his right-wing character, but I’m willing to give the show a chance, if I can stay up that late. we go to bed very early these days (and usually watch Colbert Report on repeat).

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  25. coozledad said on April 10, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Does this bacon-hearted child-diddler believe for a minute David Letterman wouldn’t have bough tickets to see him beaten with staves and thrown into a river?

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  26. Deborah said on April 10, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Love Colbert, I think he’s super talented and witty.

    Just now Little Bird and I were walking to the store and the Google Maps vehicle drove by us, twice, once going and then again when we were going back home down another street. Hoping to see us sometime in the future. I’m not sure how long it will be before it shows up.

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  27. Jolene said on April 10, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Colbert is a great choice. I love The Colbert Report, but he has a much wider range of talents than he can display in that format.

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  28. Basset said on April 10, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    I have never seen Colbert, not even once. If Rushbo’s against it, though, I’m gonna start.

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  29. alex said on April 10, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I suspect Colbert will break away from his current schtick and make the new show its own unique thing, and I think he has the talent to do just that. A lot of people are saying that Jon Stewart would have been a more natural choice, but I don’t think CBS would let Jon Stewart be Jon Stewart. If he can’t shriek the word “fuck” at least three times a minute he would lose the one thing that makes him at all special.

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  30. MichaelG said on April 10, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Thanks, Charlotte. That was a very fine Detroit story. The account of the author’s neighborhood makes Oak Park, where I live, look like paradise.

    I had my lung biopsy yesterday. It wasn’t anywhere as bad as I had anticipated.

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  31. LAMary said on April 10, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    I hope the Colbert will still have guests who have written interesting books that aren’t on the best seller list and quirky intelligent people who aren’t selling anything.

    I probably won’t be able to stay awake long enough to watch him when he moves. I catch Colbert at 8:30 now. We west coasters get some cable stuff twice.

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  32. alex said on April 10, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Yay MichaelG! That’s some good news.

    Yesterday I got ahold of one of my best friends from college who had moved to San Francisco about a year ago. I had no idea he moved back to the midwest in January or had been diagnosed as terminally ill. Same thing as Roger Ebert only no prosthesis, just a mask. He’s handling it with his characteristic good humor and is blogging about it.

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  33. Sherri said on April 10, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Good news, MichaelG!

    I’m back from Tennessee. Air travel is so variable these days. At the Seattle airport, we didn’t have to take our shoes off or take laptops out of cases. My husband didn’t even take his bag of liquids out of his carry-on. We only had to go through the metal detector, not one of the naked human machines. In Nashville, everything had to come off and out, and we had to go through the naked human machine. The NHM complained about my husband’s watch and wallet(!); he was told that he is supposed to take everything out of his pockets. My husband still forgot to take out his liquids, and I didn’t forget, but decided to rebel, and nothing happened. Can we just admit that this is all security theater, and let me keep my shoes on?!

    We flew into Chattanooga, getting in around midnight. We had reserved a rental car from Avis, noticed that their desk in Chattanooga closed about the time we were due to get in, called ahead of time to that desk and verified that someone would be there to allow us to pick up our car. When we got there, of course, nobody was at the Avis desk. Fortunately, the Alamo desk was open and they had cars, so we rented from them, unfortunately at a higher price. We weren’t the only people screwed by Avis, the woman ahead of us in line at Alamo had also reserved a car and couldn’t pick it up.

    On our flight home from Nashville, the gate agents were begging people to gate check their carry-ons, so we did. We made a point of verifying with the gate agent that our bags would be going to Seattle, since we were flying American to DFW and Alaska to SEA. She assured us that they would be at baggage claim. We got to baggage claim for Alaska, and my bag was there but not my husbands. We went to Alaska’s baggage counter, who sent us to American’s baggage counter. Fortunately, my husband’s bag was at American’s counter; they had put it on a different flight which actually got in before ours.

    The best part of the flight was that we got to fly on a 737 that was fresh from the factory, only delivered to Alaska a week ago. The seats were not as bulky as older seats, which meant that there was more leg room. The person in front of me leaned his seat back, and I barely noticed. It was a big contract with the 737 we had flown out on USAir, which had no leg room at all.

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  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 10, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Rejoicing with you, MichaelG.

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  35. Deborah said on April 10, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Yay MichaelG.

    Little Bird and I visited the bar at the Cocteau Theater this evening to see what it would be like. This is attached to the theater owned by George RR Martin in Santa Fe, which is not far from our place. Boy was it disappointing, it seemed like a suburban bar in anywhere USA. Too bad it couldn’t be better. So much possibility, but so wrong in every way.Would love to give him some advice.

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  36. LAMary said on April 10, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Good news, Michael.

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  37. Julie Robinson said on April 10, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Michael, did you mean the procedure wasn’t so bad or the results? Either is good, I guess!

    We watch Colbert the next night on Hulu. Hubby gets up at 5:30 every morning so we’ll definitely be time shifting the new show too. And he did say he’ll be retiring the character.

    Today I finally got to take that first bike ride. The wind almost knocked me off the bike multiple times, but it felt great.

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