It figures.

I go through that entire brutal winter without so much as a sniffle and then, just as the sweet, sweet summer is dawning, I get a cold — sore throat, the whole nine. Yesterday I came home from work, crawled into bed, and didn’t get out until Alan brought me Thai takeout.

And today I am absolutely slammed.

So open thread for today and maybe tomorrow.

Posted at 8:02 am in Same ol' same ol' |

80 responses to “It figures.”

  1. Deggjr said on May 29, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Get well soon!

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  2. Hattie said on May 29, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Bummer! Get better soon!

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  3. Dorothy said on May 29, 2014 at 8:54 am

    They beat me to it, Deggjr and Hattie did. Hope you’re on the mend quickly.

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  4. Alan Stamm said on May 29, 2014 at 8:58 am

    For anyone who welcomes yet another fine Maya Angelou, NYT columnist Charles M. Blow has one well worth reading:

    “Reading her words, for the first time, I could see myself and my life in literature. . . .

    “She demonstrated to me, even as a child, the overwhelming power of a great story well told, the way it could change hearts and change history. I am forever in her debt for that.”

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  5. coozledad said on May 29, 2014 at 9:19 am

    I wrenched my back climbing a maple tree to trim some dead limbs before they fell on the service connection to the house. One of them dropped on the service connection anyway, and pulled the tensioning wire slack.

    We didn’t lose power, but we had to bolt the wire back to the house. We would have called a tree service, but the last time we did that was in the aftermath of a mall shooting around Christmastime, and one of the arborists couldn’t stop going on about “Them poor people ain’t gone have no Christmas this year. If someone was gone shoot someone they ought to shot them some niggers.”

    I refuse to hire any locals to do anything here anymore. I’d rather have the house catch fire and have a sore neck than give an evil stupid fuck a dollar.

    Politicians are always going on about how “We need to attract jobs to Person County!” Well, if they’re serious, they need to open up a dog food plant and whirl about half the residents up in it before any sentient beings will set foot in the shithole.

    My wife and I were in downtown Durham a couple of nights ago for a voter registration seminar, and we ate here:

    We ate outdoors, and from our table you could see the old Hill building which is undergoing a 48 million dollar renovation into a boutique hotel, modern art museum, restaurants and bars.

    It’s a big/little liberal city just kicking ass everywhere you look.

    Once you get back to poor old Roxboro it’s all Western Sizzlin shitheads and poormouth. In the words of one of our Democratic group: There’ll never be anything nice in Roxboro, anyway. The rednecks would fuck it up.

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  6. brian stouder said on May 29, 2014 at 9:59 am

    We are deeply into end-of-school-year activities/recognitions/culminations – and the Big G – Graduation! All of this is making me feel lots older. It really must be a strange and wonderful thing, to be a teacher. It’s really striking me, this year, how fleeting everything is*. Now I recall teachers that seemed a bit gruff, back in the day, and I begin to see that it was probably a defense mechanism. If I had been a teacher, I’d have to have been gruff, or else I’d be one of those people who always has watery eyes and a cracking voice.

    *And also yesterday, one of the local TV news channels did a 5 minute story yesterday on truancy and the connection of truancy to crime. They recorded the whole report at South Side, and made a point of including lots of outside shots (of our grand old institution) showing the ivy-covered walls and Greek columns…as if the entire damned problem exists in big ol’ scarey South Side…and absolutely NOT at one of our suburban mega-schools. To my last conscious day on Earth, I will love public schools, and especially desegregated public schools

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  7. alex said on May 29, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Ah, takeout Thai. Too bad the only one that’s reasonably close to our home is so mediocre and overpriced that I wouldn’t patronize it if you put a gun to my head.

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  8. Jolene said on May 29, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Whiz kids on TV: National Spelling Bee semi-finals on TV right now. Finals at 8:00 PM EDT tonight.

    Any former competitors here? If so, do you remember the word you went out on?

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  9. adrianne said on May 29, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Brian. love your comments about teachers being gruff to keep from welling up. Our youngest son is graduating from high school, too, and going on to college to learn how to be an elementary school teacher. He’s inspired by some excellent public school teachers he’s been lucky to have over the years.

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  10. Deborah said on May 29, 2014 at 10:25 am

    I’m sitting having coffee at a little Italian place in the lower level of the Hancock building on Mich Ave. I was going to the post office also in the lower level but I didn’t realize it owns an hour later than I thought, and rather than lug my big box that I’m mailing to Santa Fe I decided to get some coffee and a pastry here and wait it out. Now I could kick myself for not coming to this place more often instead of Starbucks. This is a chain too but there are only of few of them in Chicago that I know of. The coffee and pastries are much better than Starbucks.

    Brian, I went to a useless public high school in Miami, FL. I used to skip school at least one day every other week, and I was Miss Goody Two Shoes. I wonder what the hoodlums did? Of course this was eons ago.

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  11. Deborah said on May 29, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Opens not owns, damn autocorrect.

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  12. brian stouder said on May 29, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Deborah – I’m sayin’ your school was the exception that proved the rule!

    Really – the whole subject of public education is just astounding, to me.

    In our lifetimes, public school has gone from being segregated, and then a bumpy transition to de-segregated, and now into a nihilistic RE-segregation process, which is also a bare-naked money grab by just the sorts of people that Cooz is always colorfully skewering hereabouts….

    And President Obama is on exactly the wrong side of it all.

    When we wake up – as surely we will – and find that Johnny STILL can’t read (at least according to the standardized tests supplied by WTF Research Associates), and indeed – the charter school (which is all that’s left) won’t even accept him….

    then people will ask how the hell we got to such a point

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  13. Sue said on May 29, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Oh, an open thread. Here goes:
    Last week I saw a cool young lady with blue hair. She was obviously cool because she had blue hair; that’s a standard indicator. Except I noticed her hair was the exact shade as the blue rinses old ladies used to get. I felt sorry for her and her sudden uncoolness, even though she was unaware that she had gone from awesomely cool to old lady in a heartbeat.
    But I wondered… when was the last time I saw what we used to refer to as a blue hair? Do they do that anymore in salons? I can’t remember the last time I saw one. Until of course last week when I saw a twenty-something blue hair.

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  14. Kim Ellis said on May 29, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Brian, I for one am glad the news station gave Northside a rest. They usually do their public school=crime stories there because it’s closest to the station. I think our urban schools are doing great considering they are fine examples of the united nations. There is a good percentage of kids that come into the system not even speaking recognizable English (I am talking high school age, too)

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  15. brian stouder said on May 29, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Yes – I have read that 74 different languages are spoken within FWCS. (I’m assuming several of those are dialects from major languages)

    And when the kiddo shows up, she gets in (hence “public” school) – as opposed to ‘our’ picky parochial schools – who now feel entitled not just to vouchers (which itself is absurd) – but also actual appropriations of money for their own renovation/enlargement projects.

    How can this possibly be anything other than an assault on real public education, and a money grab at that?

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  16. alex said on May 29, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Sue, the blue rinse fell out of fashion in the last fifteen years or so and was replaced with that frightful beige color you see on so many old ladies now.

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  17. Judybusy said on May 29, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Nancy, my wife got a horrible chest cold over the weekend. I hope yours is not as bad!

    Sue, I bet that young woman and her cohort are too young to remember the blue rinse. So, technically, still cool!

    You may recall we’re in the middle of finishing our basement. We had to find another (real) contracter to finish the job. Did the final walk-through today, wrote the downpayment, and the gal cave, bathroom, etc, should be done in 4 weeks! They brought us TWO chocolate babkas from a really good local bakery. Babkas are rolled, yeasted breads with, in this case, chocolate in them.

    I have been working non-stop on the garden, too. Last night, I began installing brick mowing strips around the various beds. I got 2/3 done, and realized that 95% of them are higher than the lawn, defeating the purpose. I just laughed; it won’t take that long to re-do, and it will look really cool. Related to the basement guys, they are all serious gardeners (one’s wife got a rain barrel for Mother’s Day. My people!) and will be building me a new compost bin that the former sorta-contracter backed into and ruined. He promised to make a new one, but yeah, that never happened. He thought I was a little weird about how upset I was and insistent he actually do that first before work continued on the basement.

    The Minneapolis public schools are pretty good if you aren’t a kid of color. The disparities are large and very stubborn.

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  18. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 29, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Well, I’ll take up the truancy debate for a moment, but I will try to be brief. Truancy, we think, is our best early indicator for crime. When a student is presenting with chronic truancy (10% of school days, so 18 unexcused absences by year’s end, 9 by Christmas, etc.), they are somewhat at risk for unruly status or other adjudications*. They are unambiguously at risk for not graduating, no matter what age/grade the truancy is exhibited (grade school, middle school, high school of course). There are clear correlations between even chronic absence in pre-K programs and graduation/school success.

    But the correlation between truancy and adult criminal behavior is, to the surprise of some, hard to trace and may well not exist.

    We pursue attendance and truant juveniles and their families in the juvenile courts because a) the law says we have to, and b) it seems to be an early indicator of possible later offenses, so if we can divert the behavior or change thinking/decision making processes around school attendance, we should be diverting juveniles from later court involvement. I say with some hesitation that it is still not clear that it does so, although I believe it does enough that I can collect my stipend on occasion without an uneasy conscience. We use truancy as a tool to open up a family that is going through stress and crisis but won’t reach out for support or assistance; the law on school attendance gives us a lower-level crowbar to pry the oyster open, and then help people pick their own pearls.

    But what is attendance as an issue, and chronic truancy? It is unambiguously an index of socio-economic issues in that district. Increase poverty/school lunch rates, increase the truancy rate. Give me a a school district with a 3% free & reduced school lunch figure, and I’ll bet you a pile of tater tots that their daily attendance rate is around 97-98%. It’s not a matching curve: a school with a 45% free & reduced won’t have 55% attendance averages, but they’re going to push down below 80%. The two figures move in tandem, just not in parallel. Increase poverty rate in a district, and that district will have a corresponding increase in absence . . . which leads to school failure cycles, which leads to drop out rates up around 25-35%. We focus our efforts on those schools, but we can’t get them to the 3-4% of the better-off districts.

    Why is this true? It’s so obvious we keep forgetting to talk about it. Low income families move often, don’t know the neighbors or the neighborhood, have less access to cars or repairs, work non-negotiable schedules that don’t adjust for the school day of children in the home, don’t have or make use of medical care and tend to get more colds, flu, sniffles, even MRSA & lice, all of which are harder to knock down and are more likely to come back . . . leading to more absence.

    Yes, rich kids skip school. But not much. The chronic truant cases that move to charges and an appearance before the bench, which is my theoretical “failure point,” are generally low income single moms and/or unmarried couples with 1.5 jobs between them on rotating schedules, or a single parent at home who receives disability or some other benefit that is marginally holding the family together. They almost always show clear signs of serious depression on the part of the adult in the home, and often on the part of the juvenile, too. There is frequently a history of trauma, clinically defined, which has no provision in the code to allow for. And usually there is a fragmented history of unsuccessful interactions with the mental health safety net.

    So crime often pops up in the picture, but the idea that truancy = increased youth crime, or even truancy & drop-out = increased adult criminality, so if you get/force/push kids into attendance, you will reduce drop out without diploma and reduce crime on the street — it’s not true. In many cases, we are the first external agency to come to the door or call them or reach out in any way . . . and believe it or not, even though I start my calls by saying the charming words “I’m Jeff, from the juvenile court,” the parent/guardian is almost always happy, even to the point of tears, that someone is calling to say “I want to help you get your child to school.” They need help, don’t know how to access it or feel helpless about trying, and are sagging back into despair and resignation about their child’s future. The simple offer of “hey, how can I help?” is transformative for 30-40% of the parents I reach. Another 30-40% need more structure, more reinforcement, and yes, some threats — plus suggestions for positive steps, like asking them to commit to making an appointment with a counselor I can connect them with — and they can turn things around.

    The last 20-30% are just broke, not well in the head or heart, may or may not have addiction issues (about half he said, guessing), and are broke. Without money or hope of making any in the near future. And if they don’t go get TANF or are already sanctioned by JFS, I can’t do better than the usual sheaf of $10 an hour 20-30 hour a week temp-to-hire positions, and if they can’t/won’t do that, then I just pass them along to the tender mercies of the grimmer end of our system. With a silent prayer.

    *Adjudication is the term because juveniles are neither guilty nor innocent; they have a complaint and/or a charge, and they admit or not admit to their status or offense. If they deny unruly or whatever, and go to court, they are adjudicated unruly, and disposition determined by the court. If they admit, they may come over to our shop, which is diversion/family intervention services, versus probation or, in very few cases, committal to DYS which is the state juvenile prison system. But they’re only guilty of something if they’re “promoted” to adult status and transfer to Common Pleas Court. In Ohio, anyhow.

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  19. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 29, 2014 at 11:58 am

    No, really, that was brief. For me. On this subject. 😉

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  20. Bob (not Greene) said on May 29, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Deborah, L’Appetito! I used to go there regularly when I worked at a company in the Hancock Building back in the early 2000s. They have good little deli section too.

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  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 29, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    From the lit review link, in a magistrate’s look at his 40 truancy-only cases one year:

    “Of the 40 truants, only three revealed no readily discernable underlying problem. A wide range of issues surfaced among the 37 remaining students including child neglect, abandonment, mental and physical health concerns including substance abuse among both parents and students, and 18 prior referrals to health and human services (Heilbrunn, 2004). Mental and physical health problems, poverty, and family dysfunction can contribute to truancy…”

    The point being that the whole truancy-crime discussion is bass-ackwards if not entirely misplaced. But too many public officials think “crack down on truancy, and we solve problems!” No, unsolved problems are why we have truancy. Look at what we need to fix those problems, and truancy goes down to just Deborah skipping every other Friday for a Coke, which clearly did not blight her life.

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  22. coozledad said on May 29, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Butterstinker holds gun to child’s head, gets a slap on the wrist.

    This guy and his old lady should be stirring asphalt for the remainder of their lives.

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  23. Sherri said on May 29, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    The “crack down on truancy” model is yet another case of applying middle class solutions to problems that aren’t middle class. “If my kid were skipping class, the only reason would be to cause trouble, so that must be the reason for everybody.”

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  24. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 29, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Yep. Can’t resist poking one more through the mail slot at y’all —

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  25. brian stouder said on May 29, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Thread win for Jeff tmmo!!

    and despite (almost literally) Jeff’s eloquent dismemberment of the idea that truancy = more crime, therefore fighting truancy = fighting crime, the exact opposite point was the explicit point of the teevee news report that (visually) trashed my urban school.

    And so a point that can be conclusively, factually dismissed has instead been graphically and viscerally advanced.

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  26. brian stouder said on May 29, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    By the way – my lovely wife would kick me in the shin if I didn’t mention that our fine young son, who is graduating next year, has – so far! – never missed a single day of school from kindergarten to the present day; and he’s never had a tardy, either.

    Credit for this goes very heavily to him, and also to his mom – or at least his mom’s side of the family (farmers)

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  27. brian stouder said on May 29, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    “graduating next WEEK!”

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  28. Dexter said on May 29, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    I drive old beaters, hoopdees, hunks of junk. I would definitely give these bros the work if I had the chance.

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  29. Heather said on May 29, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    I haven’t seen any blue rinses on anyone, hipster or oldster, but I did see a slide show somewhere of purple and lavender hair–which I really liked. Maybe when I finally go 100% gray I’ll do it.

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  30. Connie said on May 29, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I saw an employer dress code that required hair, if dyed, to be natural colors.

    I saw a woman at a quilt show whose white hair was what I can only call tie dyed, yellow pink and blue.

    Sally’s Beauty Supply has temporary colors on mascara wands. I wanted to use one to put pink and blue stripes in my blonde hair, but I’m just not brave enough.

    Cataract surgeries are done and I have perfect distance vision. Need reading glasses for close-up. Very glad I did it.

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  31. Sue said on May 29, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Still an open thread, so…
    What is WRONG with these people?

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  32. LAMary said on May 29, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    If you are a really vain man, say, 61 years old, and you’ve been going gray since your thirties, and you switch from a sort of posh place for haircuts and the occasional rinse to take the yellow out of your otherwise silver white hair to a really cheap chain haircutting place, you can have old lady blue rinse hair.
    The last time I saw this person, sitting across from me at an arbitration, I was startled by how much his hair resembled my late Aunt Mae’s hair. The rest of his look was Palm Springs gigolo. Gold chain, three shirt buttons open, loafers and no sox….

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  33. Deborah said on May 29, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Connie, my daughter has some hair chalk that she got at Sally’s Beauty Supply. It washes out very easily. Little Bird has a natural white streak in her otherwise reddish brown hair, she sometimes colors her white streak pink or blue with the chalk. My hair started turning white at about her age now (late 30s), so I guess she’s following in my footsteps. I have thought about using the chalk on my hair too (which is all white now) but I’m too much of a chicken. I think I would go more with pink rather than blue if I ever do it.

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  34. Sherri said on May 29, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    A friend of mine who has long silvery hair puts a nice purple streak in it. I have no gray, and probably won’t for a very long time. My 75 year old mother barely has enough gray to notice.

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  35. Deborah said on May 29, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Yes, Bob (ng) it was L’Appetito in the Hancock building. I’ve been in there many times to buy ravioli from their freezer case. But for some reason I never thought to go there for coffee and a pastry in the morning. Maybe because I usually would go in on my way home from work to pick up the ravioli to make for dinner that night. The ravioli is delicious by the way, they have many kinds, I like the pumpkin or butternut squash best.

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  36. brian stouder said on May 29, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I have so little hair that worrying about its color would be the same as re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic

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  37. Sue said on May 29, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    A guy came in to the office yesterday with the usual scraggled-back ponytail, a look I just loathe. You got long hair, fine, but brush it and neaten things up when you put it in your ponytail, ok?
    Anyway, the magenta wash he had applied didn’t cover all the gray/yellow. It was just awful. Streaks of purple-pink among the little snarls with an undercoat of the gray/yellow. What was he trying to accomplish? Usually you do this kind of stuff to improve your appearance in some way, even if that improvement is all in your mind. Wow he looked bad.

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  38. Deborah said on May 29, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Sue, I’m not crazy about the wispy, scraggly ponytail look on men, older or young men. Could someone explain it to me? It always seems like I mostly see it on balding men, like if they can’t grow it everywhere they grow it long.

    My hair is thinning, everyday there are white hairs all over what I’m wearing. I wear my hair in a side parted bob, have for years, but I can see the day coming when it will be too thin for that style, I’ll get it cut short and wear it as fluffy as I can get it then. Many days I pull my hair back into a mini-scrunchy (I know I’ve mentioned this here before). I like the thickness of the scrunchy because it sort of hides how thin the bundle of hair really is.

    I’m a little bored today, I’ve already walked nearly 9 miles, vacuumed the place and reorganized my medicine cabinet. I’m going back to Santa Fe on Monday so I’m tying up loose ends until I’m back in Chicago in July.

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  39. Deborah said on May 29, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Holy cow!,0,7671801.story

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  40. David C. said on May 29, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Brian, is your son really healthy or does he go to school no matter how sick he feels. When I was going to school, I had a classmate who never missed a day, but there were times when she look like death warmed over. Someone really should have sent her home from time to time, but I guess once you get a streak started, you don’t want it to end. Congrats to your son.

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  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 29, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Respect the streak.

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  42. MichaelG said on May 29, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Nowadays I have chemo hair. I have about three white hairs left on my head and few elsewhere as well. Can’t wait until it grows back. I feel like people are staring at me. My daughter finally got a real teaching job in Auburn with benefits, retirement and all. It’s so close she can walk. I’m a happy camper.

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  43. Pat W. said on May 29, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    After eating the Acai goodies…with all the antioxidants…you are sick??? Say it ain’t so…! Hmmmmm…. indicative of the positive/negative benefits of the product???? (…hope you feel better).

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  44. Sandy said on May 29, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I am a high school teacher who gets really choked up this time of year. They are like my own children. My goal is to be a positive influence in their life…and teach them some math.

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  45. Sherri said on May 29, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    The news is pretty good at safety-net hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid; Harborview in Seattle saw its proportion of uninsured patients drop to 2% this spring.

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  46. brian stouder said on May 29, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    David – he gets his health from his mom – rock solid.

    Sandy – the transient, fast-paced nature of the thing has really been striking me over the past few years. My hat is off to you, and all teachers, for the work that you do and the lives that you positively affect

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  47. Dexter said on May 29, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Hans the Weimaraner has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. My daughter Sandi is very sad. He was a beautiful fun dog. They spent thousands on chemo to try and cure the cancer. That dog fought cancer for three years! Ah nuts. Life is a rocky trip, eh?

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  48. Jolene said on May 29, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    MichaelG, you may be surprised to see what your hair looks like when it grows back. Before my chemo, they told me that, when mine came back, it might be a different color or curlier, and they were partly right. It’s the same color as it was before, but is much curlier. Fortunately, since I don’t get to choose, I kind of like it this way.

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  49. Jolene said on May 29, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Dexter, my condolences on the death of Hans. Always so hard to lose a pet.

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  50. Jolene said on May 29, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Something that popped up in my Facebook newsfeed: a list of Netflix movies expiring in the next few days. There’s also a list of movies added this month in a column at the right at this link.

    Made me wonder why Netflix doesn’t provide this info as a service to customers. Seems like it would be pretty easy to send out a monthly email with a “What’s New?” list and a “Catch It Before It’s Too Late” list.

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  51. Jolene said on May 29, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Also just saw a headline that said Steve Ballmer may buy the LA Clippers for $1.8 billion. Not decided yet, but good to know that being a racist, sexist, adulterous pig doesn’t get in the way of making buckets of money.

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  52. MichaelG said on May 29, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    I heard that, Jolene. I’m curious to see what it’ll look like.

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  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 29, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    If this was posted earlier here, I missed it; so . . .

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  54. MichaelG said on May 30, 2014 at 12:09 am

    I’m sorry to hear about Hans, Dexter. I know how that can hurt.

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  55. basset said on May 30, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Me too, Dexter. Tell us a good story about him.

    Meanwhile… Oak Hill, Tennessee is one of those landlocked rich-folks communities inside a larger city, in this case Nashville, and early voting is underway to elect city commissioners. Oak Hill is all residential, no commercial, even the municipal offices are outside the city limits:

    Anyway, they just fought off some commercial development so “Keep Oak Hill Residential” is a major issue this time around. Which led to this, can’t have those “self-described secular humanists” running things:

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  56. beb said on May 30, 2014 at 8:37 am

    My sister went through chemo last year and it’s been interesting seeing her hair grow back. Around Christmas it was maybe an inch long and lay flat on her head, salt-and-pepper colored. Really looked good on her. Saw her again just last weekend and her hairs a couple inches longer and starting to be very curly. Also a good look. I’m happy for my sister, and I’m happy that MichaelG is recovering so well.

    My beard has turned all white but my hair remains brown. I was wearing it shoulder length with I met my wife but now it’s a standard men’s short cut. Long fringe hair and a bald top is not a good look if you ask me.

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, a book collecting Jeff’s comments on his work in the juvenile justice system would be great. Eye-opening and easy to read/understand.

    And in the “some people have too much time on their hands” department…

    Students at Utah school were surprised to find their yearbook pictures had been photoshopped to make them more modest. Not that the originals of the pictures were immodest. The link has a number of before and after pics to show what happened. One wishes the principal was as interested in his students learning as he is in them (in this case only the girls) being “modest.”

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  57. Jill said on May 30, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Sorry to hear about Hans, Dexter. Three extra years makes the treatment sound worthwhile but it’s never enough.

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  58. Judybusy said on May 30, 2014 at 10:51 am

    My condolences about Hans, Dexter. I liked bassett’s idea of giving us a story or two!

    MichaelG, wonderful news about your daughter. You must be happy and relieved for her.

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  59. brian stouder said on May 30, 2014 at 11:29 am

    MichaelG – that was indeed tremendous news about your daughter.

    And – here’s hoping that, at the appropriate time, maybe Dexter and his wife come across another little pup (or kitty) that fits into the home.

    And finally, I don’t dislike Gwyneth – but she might oughta’ hire someone to edit her tweets/posts/texts before they go into the world

    PS – and I don’t dislike General Shinseki, who President Obama just fired. He looks like a stand-up guy with a terrible job

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  60. Sherri said on May 30, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Ah, the dread secular humanists. Back in high school, I remember being asked by our preacher’s wife if they were teaching secular humanism at my school. I thought she was joking, but she was completely serious. If she’s still working as a pharmacist, I’m sure she’s opposed to dispensing anything that might cause an abortion, though as hard as it is to believe now, abortion just wasn’t an issue in the 70’s in fundamentalist/evangelical circles.

    I went on to read the next article in the Nashville Scene, which pointed to a Daily Beast article about the paranoia of Christian financial adviser and pitchman Dave Ramsey when it comes to gossip, which by his definition apparently means criticism of any kind. Reading the article, even though there was nothing about how he interacts with women in it, I couldn’t help but wonder when, not if, the sexual harassment cases will get filed.

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  61. Basset said on May 30, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Even as a non-Christian, I used to listen to Dave’s radio show pretty regularly, mainly to hear calls from people who had gotten themselves into massive debt and either dug their way out of it or didn’t know how to, even went to one of his arena events.

    Lost interest, though, when those calls became harder to find among the commercials, teases, more commercials, right-wing politics, moralizing, and even further right-wing Christianity. Save up, be careful with your spending, don’t go into debt, I get that… the rest, I can do without.

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  62. Sherri said on May 30, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    My church regularly runs his Financial Peace University courses, though I’ve never taken them. His basic financial advice is reasonable, though doing a little proof-texting and calling it Biblical rubs me the wrong way. I mean, there’s really not much difference between his advice and the advice you’d find in “The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need” by Andrew Tobias, who’s a gay liberal (but doesn’t use that as schtick to sell his books.)

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  63. LAMary said on May 30, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I’m 61 and I have zero grey hair. I don’t color it. I picked the right grandmother to take after hair-wise. Got the Dutch grandmother’s height but not her grey hair, and the German-Danish grandmother’s hair. One grandmother was six feet tall, the other barely five. Glad I got it the right way around. Both of them lived to be feisty old ladies into their mid-eighties.

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  64. brian stouder said on May 30, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I’m now 1/2 year older than my dad lived to be, but my mom lived to be a feisty old lady in her eighties.

    But my dad was handsome, and he kept his hair; but his dad was bald, and my mom’s brothers were bald – and I am, too! (for the most part)

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  65. brian stouder said on May 30, 2014 at 5:08 pm


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  66. LAMary said on May 30, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    My dad and my ex father in law both went bald early on, so I tell my sons their chances are not good for keeping all that luxurient hair they now have.

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  67. MichaelG said on May 30, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Doesn’t that bald stuff descend through the female line? Look at Brian, his Mom’s people were bald and so is he. Mary, what do your brothers look like? Do they have hair? My Dad was bald but my Mom’s people had hair. I have (had until chemo) hair and expect to have it again one day.

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  68. LAMary said on May 30, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    My brothers range from nearly bald, greying blond with a greying reddish beard, and very thick grey hair.

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  69. MichaelG said on May 30, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    It’s conclusive, Mary. Flip a coin.

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  70. brian stouder said on May 30, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I think MichaelG and LAMary just won this dog-gone thread!

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  71. Jolene said on May 30, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    On HBO tomorrow (Saturday) night: The gala celebrating the induction of new members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Some comments about it at the link below.

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  72. Dexter said on May 30, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    I know Ben reads this blog, so let me just say Ben, I congratulate you as you move away from the daily grind at The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and tackle the projects you have been wanting to devote time to.

    Ben Smith is leaving his position at the Journal-Gazette in August.

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  73. alex said on May 31, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Doesn’t that bald stuff descend through the female line?

    I’ve heard the same thing and can vouch that it’s bunk. The men on my mom’s side all have enviable hair, thick and wiry and no receding hairlines. My dad’s bald. So’s my brother, and I have typical male pattern baldness though to a lesser extent. Despite the thinning, I’m blessed with color that won’t quit, and if either of my parents are any indication I shouldn’t be seeing any gray until I’m in my 70s.

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  74. Dexter said on May 31, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    My dad’s dad died at 85 with thick salt & pepper hair, 100% non-balding. Mom’s dad was bald a a goddam cucumber at age 26, save for the fringe. I am freakishly very clone-like to my mom’s dad. Ancient photos from 115 years ago compared to my picture at age 26 reveal Hotel Overlook similarity to Jack Torrance’s presence in the 1921 photo. However, and here’s a great comparison, Grandpa’s diet of three balanced meals a day, cooked at home by a great cook, my step grandma, to my diet of frequent fast food meals and yes, I took fries with that, plus a penchant for beer in my 20s and 30s (which Grandpa eschewed) made a great discrepancy in the cloning…Grandpa had a slim waistline and I bought Big & Tall since I was 30.

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  75. Deborah said on May 31, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    My grandfather on my father’s side was tall and thin, but no one else in the family got those genes except me and two of my girl cousins. All of the men in my Dad’s family were slim but not tall and all of the women were not tall or slim, except for my grandmother who was very skinny but also very short (think Granny Clampit on the Beverly Hillbilly’s). My mother’s side were all short and plump, and so is my sister. Odd how that all works out.

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  76. brian stouder said on June 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    non-sequitur: Let me just say, Chloe (our almost fact, she hits double digits next week!) and Shelby (our almost 16-year old, who hits that mark next month) and Pam (the looks-like-a-29-year old lovely wife!) caught Maleficent yesterday at the theater and all I will say is –

    GO SEE IT!

    In a word, Maleficent is magnificent. (and on several levels)

    No ifs or buts about it – good stuff

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  77. Deborah said on June 1, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Tomorrow Morning I fly back to NM and I’m trying something I’ve never done before, I’m using my IPhone with my boarding pass on it. Just to be safe in case some weirdness happens with my phone I also printed it out. I feel like the old lady I am because I printed it out too. I mean what could happen with my phone? I remind myself of my grandmother who kept two clocks during daylight savings time, one with regular time in case someone would have gotten confused or something.

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  78. Sherri said on June 1, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Printing it out just makes sense Deborah. You’ve never used your iPhone as a boarding pass before, so you’re not sure it will work smoothly, and it makes sense to have a backup handy.

    I experimented with using my iPhone as my boarding pass (and printed out the paper boarding pass as backup), but ultimately decided it was less convenient than a paper boarding pass. Maneuvering a carry-on, my backpack, and then getting my phone in the right position to scan without the phone timing out to lock screen was just more of a pain than handing the gate attendant a piece of paper.

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  79. Dexter said on June 1, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Deborah, For years I worked in one time zone and lived in another. I always kept my watch on work time, meaning when I was home I always had to mentally add an hour. I missed one wedding due to my time zone nightmare and always hated having to speed home to make it to the bank on Fridays. When I was on vacation for a week or two, I’d set my watch to whatever time zone we vacationed in, and always had to think…am I sure this is right? I know many people absolutely hate wearing a watch but I have to have one on at all times. Pulling a phone out of tight fitting jeans to check the time is damn ridiculous.
    It’s summer alright. Uncomfortable mowing in the bright sun, sweating. Chugging quarts of water now. Man, I got dehydrated .
    We only had one graduation party this year, a lavish affair in a new banquet hall with really great food and the popular extra-fancy cupcakes and great homemade ice cream. The place was air-conditioned and very nice. The word must have gotten out: don’t come here lugging in cases of booze and beer and ruining this party. I have been to graduation parties in the past where these kids get all fucked up and it was sad.

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  80. Deborah said on June 1, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Dexter, I wear a watch too. I also wear my fitbit on my left wrist along with my watch.

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