I been workin’.

Sorry no post for a while; in the past few days I’ve been up and back to Port Huron twice, then up and back from Mackinac. I have a freelance assignment to write/edit the 100th anniversary book for the local yacht club that sponsors the Port Huron-to-Mackinac race, and it was last weekend. Today, two German teenagers are arriving for a few days; we’re a host family for their summer-camp arts tour, a way to close the circle on Kate’s trip to Europe last year.

So it’s been one of those weeks, and will continue to be so.

But here’s what the sunset over St. Ignace looked like on Monday. As the kids say, it’s all good:


Carry on. I’ll be in and out as circumstances allow.

Posted at 11:27 am in Housekeeping |

103 responses to “I been workin’.”

  1. beb said on July 16, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Glad to see you back. The sunset is lovely.

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  2. Dorothy said on July 16, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    How exciting to be hosting German teenagers after the outcome of the World Cup!!

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  3. coozledad said on July 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    If Hobby Lobby gets its way, Republicans won’t have to drive all the way to Lynchburg to get a ol’ fashioned anonymous Christian dick-suckin’.

    They gonna put a glory hole on the national mall!

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  4. Judybusy said on July 16, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I hope the German teens get a chance to see some of the natural beauty around you! The last two pics have been so beautiful.

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  5. LAMary said on July 16, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    As Basil Fawlty would say, just don’t mention the war.

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  6. Bob (not Greene) said on July 16, 2014 at 5:51 pm


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  7. coozledad said on July 16, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Ask them youg’uns for an English translation of this:

    Everything I’ve seen in translation looks more like Kurt Schwitters than Georg Kaiser.
    I love this arrangement. The string and woodwinds pairings are gorgeous.

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  8. Dexter said on July 16, 2014 at 9:39 pm


    Northern Michigan. Summer. I could bore you all with a 10,000 word essay on my memories of there, but I’ll give you a break.

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  9. Dexter said on July 16, 2014 at 9:44 pm


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  10. Judybusy said on July 16, 2014 at 10:16 pm


    Dex, thanks, I haven’t heard Van in a long time.

    Tonight we had dear friends over for dinner who have located to CA for his work. The just re-re-located to Orange County and are having a tough, tough time meeting people. And these people are NOT shy. But, it was so wonderful to spend time alone with them–when they’re in town, it tends to be a bigger gathering. Feeling lucky to have such people in my life today. (Also, it was a perfect Minnesota summer to be out on our new patio. Spinach, tomato, onion quiche and salad on the menu. Several types of cookies made by my wife for dessert.)

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 16, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Dexter, how ’bout this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7jjC8V19jU

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  12. Dexter said on July 17, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Summer fun: (from MLive dot com) “Taking an afternoon trip down the river can be an enjoyable, romantic activity. Unfortunately, for some on the banks of the Muskegon River, they were witnesses to a little too much romance. DNR conservation officers responded to reports of a couple ‘having sex in plain view’ while tubing down the river with a group. The couple was jailed after the male was found to have outstanding warrants and the woman was on parole.”

    Read more on this story and other Muskegon River crime notes here: http://bit.ly/1sp3Ja3

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  13. Dexter said on July 17, 2014 at 1:46 am

    Jeff(the mild mannered one): Yes sir, you picked a favorite of mine, too. And here’s one more favorite activity of mine: http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/705/cache/watermelon-benefits-boy-archive_70572_600x450.jpg

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  14. alex said on July 17, 2014 at 7:57 am

    I recently had watermelon salsa for the first time and if I’m ever on death row it’s going to be my last meal request, it’s that good.

    And it’s simple: Watermelon, cilantro, jalapeños, lime juice. I may be forgetting something here, seems there were five ingredients. Anyway, going to try to make it this weekend.

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  15. Minnie said on July 17, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Dexter and J(tmmo), thanks ever so much for the music. Listening to it just after awakening, the blue sky and light breeze make me optimistic. Think I’ll head to the farmer’s market for a watermelon.

    I miss Prospero and his musical interjections.

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  16. alex said on July 17, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Red onion! Red onion! That’s the missing fifth ingredient to the watermelon salsa.

    When I first tried it I didn’t even know it was watermelon. You’d think that it would be too mushy in substance, but it was quite crisp and brought just the right level of sweetness to the overall mix of flavors.

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  17. Judybusy said on July 17, 2014 at 10:14 am

    I think we’re adding watermelon salsa to the menu for a gathering Saturday night! Thanks, Alex.

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  18. Bob (not Greene) said on July 17, 2014 at 10:36 am

    RIP Johnny Winter, one half of the oddest looking rock star brother duos of all time. The albums he produced and played on for Muddy Waters introduced me both to him and the blues back in the ’70s. Got to see him once, with Muddy, at ChicagoFest back in about 1980 or 1981.


    Also, he and his brother, Edgar, recorded this gem of a Christmas song in 1969:


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  19. Kirk said on July 17, 2014 at 11:01 am

    I saw Johnny’s band in a college field house in the fall of 1970. There wasn’t a whole lot of crowd control; I wound up standing about 15 feet from one of the main banks of speakers. Couldn’t hear much out of one ear the next day.

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  20. beb said on July 17, 2014 at 11:07 am

    People of Walmart

    No charges are being planned. Geez, what do you have to do to get charged with public endangerment?

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  21. Dorothy said on July 17, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Oddest looking due to being albinos. But you knew that, right Bob? My husband is a huge Johnny/Edgar Winter fan. I texted him the news and he replied back that he was considering putting in for bereavement leave. I knew he was (half) kidding. Time Magazine’s website has a story about Johnny’s death and whoever posted the story said Johnny’s childhood water was Muddy WINTERS. *sigh* Where’s a copy editor when you need one?!

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  22. coozledad said on July 17, 2014 at 11:48 am


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  23. Bob (not Greene) said on July 17, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Yeah, I knew that Dorothy. Plus both were stick thin and rocked the stock-straight long white hair. And Johnny had the arms full of tattoos before it mandatory. Not your everyday rock hero types of the time. Remember the cover of Edgar Winter Group’s “They Only Come Out at Night” album (with Rick Derringer (any relation, Nancy?) and Ronnie Montrose on guitar, no less)?


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  24. Snarkworth said on July 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Alex, do you favor any particular kind of chip to go with the watermelon salsa, or just your basic tortilla type?

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  25. alex said on July 17, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Hadn’t thought about chips, Snarkworth. It was so good I ate it like a gazpacho. But if you have self-restraint, I’m sure tortillas would do fine.

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  26. Deborah said on July 17, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Is it true Elaine Stritch has died?

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    • nancy said on July 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      The NYT says yes. Man, they’re dropping like flies lately.

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  27. Scout said on July 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I think a nice lightly salted blue corn tortilla chip would be nice with the salsa. I am planning to make it to take to a pot luck on Sunday. Thanks, alex!

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  28. Deborah said on July 17, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    I loved Elaine Stritch, saw her on Broadway once.

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  29. LAMary said on July 17, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    I saw him at the Fillmore East in about 1970.

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  30. Jolene said on July 17, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    The NYT has a sort of exit interview with Elaine Stritch on its web site.clips and stills from her performances, as well as talking with her directly. Apparently part of a series of videos about aging luminaries. About 25 minutes, but worth it if you have the time.


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  31. Bob (not Greene) said on July 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Nancy, looks like Elaine Stritch was a neighbor of your so to speak. Lived in Birmingham, Michigan.

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  32. Bob (not Greene) said on July 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm


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  33. adrianne said on July 17, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Alex, you could chop up a tomato or two or even some cucumber for your watermelon salsa (and even add some feta or goat cheese). Tonight’s salad: local corn stripped from the cob and lightly boiled, chopped avocado, chopped tomato, scallions and cilantro. Dress lightly with lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Yum!

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  34. Jolene said on July 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    People who like recipes can find many lovely recipes for watermelon salsa online. Lots of interesting variations. Cucumber, in particular, seems to be used often and seems like it would offer an appealing contrast to the sweet melon.

    Your corn salad sounds lovely, Adrianne.

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  35. LAMary said on July 17, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    There were a lot of watermelon with feta and mint and onion recipes around last summer.You can use pretty much any kind of fruit in salsa. Peach salsa, either roasted peaches or raw ones, is very good. Mango is great with turkey burgers.

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  36. adrianne said on July 17, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    The corn salad was great! I boughtbsome watermelon today, so I’m going to indulge in Alex’s watermelon salsa tomorrow nught (will likely add chopped mint and feta, for Middle Eastern flava).

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  37. Deborah said on July 17, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Little Bird has made strawberry salsa which was quite good too.

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  38. Sue said on July 17, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    I was watching CNN for the Malaysia news. I haven’t watched CNN in a couple of years, I think.
    When did Shouty British Guy become a Serious Journalist? Last time I saw him he was being Shouty Jolly British Guy anytime a Royal got married.

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  39. Joe Kobiela said on July 17, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    I’m going to be at the Detroit city airport around 8 Friday morning, do you have a good recommendation where a pilot can get breakfast?
    Also if anyone is looking for a fun movie to take younger kids too, I just saw planes, see it in 3d. It was visually amazing and dang realistic in the flying sequence the attention to detail is incredible, they did their homework on this one.
    Pilot Joe

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    • nancy said on July 17, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      Joe, because you’re a general-aviation pilot I assume you mean “city airport” and not “metro airport.” City Airport is in a particularly bad area, and I’m not sure where to send you, although I can guarantee you there are some good places around there — in all Detroit’s blight, there are wonderful pockets of great food and great people. I recommend you ask the people working at the airport; they’ll know. Just be careful and use your street smarts.

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  40. basset said on July 17, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    I was a reporter in Jackson, Mississippi when Muddy Waters made his triumphant return in, I don’t quite remember, 1982 or so. He had left pretty much on the run about forty years before, but this time he was welcomed at the governor’s mansion, special reception, handshakes on tv and state troopers watching us to make sure we didn’t scratch any of the furniture.

    That night, he played a festival in a cutover cotton field up in the Delta, and I don’t think I will ever again see anything like it. Eliminating a lot of description and detail that I was going to put in till I realized nobody gives a shit, I’ll just say Johnny Winter was onstage with him, playing blazing guitar some of the time and the rest leaning on a two-handed cane coughing and hacking over on one side of the stage. Yes, I know it wasn’t the MC5 but I will never forget it.

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  41. Jolene said on July 17, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    A sad detail in the already incredibly sad story of the plane crash in Ukraine: Some of the passengers–possibly as many as 100–were on their way to the annual meeting of the International AIDS Society in Melbourne, Australia. The IAS is a convention of AIDS researchers, practitioners, and activists from throughout the world, a forum in which the latest information on prevention and treatment is presented. The Dutch president of the society was among those killed. Their deaths are a loss to the world, as well as to their families.

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  42. basset said on July 17, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Indeed it is, but I can hear the hatefulness cranking up already.

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  43. Deborah said on July 17, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    So sad Jolene, just an amazing unfolding of those events on the news tonight. Rachel Maddow had an interesting report of civilian airplanes being shot down during Reagan years, first by Russia and then 5 years later by the US. Interesting.

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  44. beb said on July 17, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    Joe, I’m with Nancy on this – brownbag your breakfast. City Airport (now called the Coleman A. Young Airport as I recall) is no place to wander. Closest place I’d recommend is to take Conner all the way to Jefferson, turn right and drive about a mile to a place called “Legends” – it’s decent, clean and in a better part of town. Over all I’d guess 10 miles from the airport.

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  45. Minnie said on July 18, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Basset, were you with the Clarion-Ledger? Was it still a Hederman paper or had Gannett bought it?

    Not the MC5. Grin.

    We traipsed around Tidewater all day, getting stuck in tunnel traffic but enjoying the music we’d brought along,looking at new art, eating Italian, drinking wine. When we got home and checked the Internet we were – shocked? I don’t know how to react anymore.

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  46. Dexter said on July 18, 2014 at 12:31 am

    A start-up airline used to offer several flights per week from Detroit City to Florida for something like $39. This was around 1990 as I recall. Before the nepotism rule was in place, the factory where I worked would hire whole families to work there, and one family , man, wife, and son + son’s girlfriend took advantage of that great deal and used every bit of their vacation days to fly south for golf and sunshine. They had no fear in driving through that scary neighborhood and Fortuna smiled at them every time, and they never got jacked.
    Years ago while visiting my good friend’s cousin in Detroit, he gave us a tour of the city and I remember that it seemed as if the runway was less than 100 feet from residents’ driveways of their homes! TOO damn close!

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  47. Dexter said on July 18, 2014 at 3:36 am

    On the 96th birthday remembrance of Madiba, the struggle continues in South Africa:

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  48. ROGirl said on July 18, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Elaine Stritch has put Birmingham MI on the map for the theater/NYT crowd. I think they are still just flabbergasted that she left Manhattan for podunk. At least she was cranky to the end.

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  49. Basset said on July 18, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Minnie, the Clarion-Ledger was still Hederman if I remember right, and the front page of the Daily News first local edition was printed on green paper, but I was with channel 16.

    And I remember when Southwest used to go into Detroit City, you’d land real low over a cemetery and the pilot would stand on the brakes and slam everything into full reverse the instant the 737 touched ground.

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  50. Dorothy said on July 18, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Elaine Stritch might have been cranky but she realized that at her age, she needed to be where family would be willing to take care of her. Maybe she couldn’t count on NYC friends to step up when she’d need assistance. I sure would have loved to had a meal with her sometime and just let her do all the talking.

    My FutureFest show opens in 8 days (one performance only) and last night the director walked out on us. The Board who runs the Playhouse decided LAST NIGHT to talk to her (outside the room where we the cast were assembled for a rehearsal) to tell her this staged reading was getting out of hand. Too many props to work with, the set was getting too complicated for breakdown between other shows, and so she got steamed and LEFT US. This is a new experience for all five of us in the cast. We had to come up with an alternate plan (we’re going to do traditional Reader’s Theater on stage, sitting on chairs with music stands to hold our scripts) on the fly last night and we rehearsed last night until 10:15 without the director. The entire cast has not had a lot of confidence in this new director for varying reasons. Four of us had gone to board members with concerns and we were told they’d talk to her. Why they decided to talk to her 9 days before the performance is just beyond comprehension. We have a great story to tell with this show. The cast is strong. We’re going to persevere. But in the meantime, I could not fall asleep last night until after midnight, and woke at 5:30 today. If I don’t have a heart attack this week it’ll be a miracle.

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  51. Joe Kobiela said on July 18, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Thanks for the info,
    Ate at a place called Apple Annie’s on Gratiot rd about 8 north of the airport just pass 12 mile rd, looked to me like once you get past 8 mile things improve a bunch but man south of there, it’s going to take a lot of work to ever get that going again, I wish there was a answer but to me it looks like bulldozing everything and starting over is the only hope. A real shame. Basset you are right, turn final over the Chrysler plant follow the rr.tracks, over the grave yard and your there.
    Pilot Joe

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  52. basset said on July 18, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Joe, let us know when you’re coming to BNA and we’ll eat here, right next to the airport: http://monellstn.com/at-the-manor

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  53. Bruce Fields said on July 18, 2014 at 10:20 am

    We once got a cheap DET-to-BWI flight on Pro Air, getting there by Amtrak from Ann Arbor followed by two city buses.

    Kind of time consuming, but it worked.

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  54. Deborah said on July 18, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Gardening is addictive. We put up a trellis yesterday and I bought a white potato vine for it, the vine is good until it gets down to 20 degrees, in a pot. We put the trellis in place so we can see it through our kitchen window. We have also gotten into succulents, they’re very easy to grow.

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  55. LAMary said on July 18, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Succulents are very easy to propigate too. I consider this a big benefit. I’ve been known to snag a leaf or sprig from some neighbor’s succulent while out walking me dog.

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  56. Jolene said on July 18, 2014 at 11:48 am

    In what must be one of the most stunning examples of bad luck ever, an Australian woman lost family members in the Ukrainian crash and in the earlier lost plane. Her brother and sister-in-law were on the lost plane, and her step-daughter and son-in-law were on the plane that crashed yesterday. Sheesh! What are the odds?


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  57. MarkH said on July 18, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Bob(ng) @23 — Going back to Dave’s response to my question a few days ago, Rick Derringer’s real last name is Zehringer, changed to Derringer early on. I’m still curious if Kate gets asked that question by in-the-know hipsters at her gigs.

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  58. Deborah said on July 18, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Yes LA Mary we got a succulent at Trader Joes for a couple of dollars, hen and chicks. When the chicks get the size of a nickel you can pull them off and stick them in the dirt and they start a whole new plant with their own chicks. We have some other succulents that I have no idea what kind they are, but they grow like crazy and don’t need much water. They like soil that drains well.

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  59. Bob (not Greene) said on July 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    MarkH, Thanks I didn’t know that! Yeah, Zehringer doesn’t really cut it for a glam rock guitar slinger.

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  60. Bob (not Greene) said on July 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Also, MarkH, I also just found out Rick Derringer was in the McCoys, who had the famous recording of “Hang on, Sloopy” which was knocked out of the No. 1 spot on the Billboard chart by the Beatles’ “Yesterday” in 1965. And I have further learned that “Hang On, Sloopy” at least at one point was known as the “official rock song” of the state of Ohio and Ohio State University. The things you find out around here …

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  61. Charlotte said on July 18, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Nice piece on the New Yorker blog about finding Elaine Stritch lost in Central Park —
    “You know, fans recognize me all over the place. But the second you need anything, they’re never around! They’re like the police!” (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2014/07/my-summer-morning-in-central-park-with-elaine-stritch.html)

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  62. Sue said on July 18, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    There are design people here, and artists too. I’d like your comments on this. It almost seems like the article tries too hard to defend the artist, but maybe I’m reading it wrong.
    In any case, I love these photos and I’m sure I’m missing a lot of high-level stuff I don’t even know is going on.

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  63. Dexter said on July 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    52 weird laws from these great states:

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  64. nancy said on July 18, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    In the sort of super-hipster clubs Kate’s band has been playing, she is never asked about Rick Derringer. (I’ve told her to recall him as “my great-uncle Rick,” if she’s ever asked.

    This is probably because she’s never been introduced by her first and last name, to my knowledge.

    Her aunt did get her a T-shirt with his face and just “Derringer,” though. She wears it sometimes.

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  65. coozledad said on July 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Sue: The textiles are a nice touch. The constriction of the space makes them look like paintings. A little like fin-de-siecle portrait work.

    Also a little Haight Ashbury.

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  66. Sue said on July 18, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I’m fascinated by how artists and designers can ‘see’ stuff like that, pull it from somewhere in their brain. I have trouble choosing one paint color for a wall.

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  67. MarkH said on July 18, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Bob(ng) — “Hang On Sloopy” was the official OSU rock song when when I got to Columbus in ’72, and it has been ever thus. And, I had forgotten that Derringer was guitarist with the McCoys.

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  68. Jolene said on July 18, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Elaine Stritch takes a turn on David Letterman, eighteen years ago.


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  69. Deborah said on July 18, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Sue, as a designer I’ll weigh in… Look at the work of my favorite painter Vuilluard. He used a lot of pattern in his work. His mother was a seamstress and worked out of her home, so when Vuilluard was growing up he was surrounded by textile patterns and greatly influenced by that. His work is superb.

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  70. Deborah said on July 18, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Eduard Vuillard

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  71. coozledad said on July 18, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Vuilliard was good. Most of the Nabis’ work has a strong decorative element. Resolutely graphic.

    A lot of them, like Vallotton and Bonnard had strong backgrounds in printmaking. They’d mastered the use of black before they started working in color.

    The photo of the rabbit in Sue’s link is a beautiful use of black and deep hues.

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  72. Deborah said on July 18, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    We have an authentic Bonnard piece in our place in Chicago, it’s only black and white, an etching, the subject is printmaking. My husband got it from his father who was an art collector and had a gallery in Sarasota, FL many years ago. We got a few pieces from him which we have all in Chicago.

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  73. coozledad said on July 18, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Deborah: You might be interested in these early 20th century architectural tapestries. I know I am. I’m faking some up in oils to cover some ugly open wall space:

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  74. Sue said on July 18, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    So, guys…
    How did the artist ‘see’ that those wildly different prints would blend into each other to the point of camouflage? Especially the colorful ones in the first photo?

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  75. coozledad said on July 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Sue: Hours and hours spent in thrift stores and online salvage shopping. An innate sense of draughtsmanship. Lighting. Beautiful subjects. Legal weed.

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  76. Sue said on July 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    An internet search doesn’t show a lot of examples for Eduard Vuillard, I’ll probably get a book from the library on that. Apparently he liked to paint interiors, maybe after I read about him it might finally be easier to pick a wall color!

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  77. basset said on July 18, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Cooze, I want to hear what your neighbors say when you invite them over for an exquisite little Chardonnay and they see those walls.

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  78. coozledad said on July 18, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    I’m not much of a Chardonnay drinker. I’m more into compulsive red wine consumption, which I thought was killing my ass until the back pain I attributed to drink turned out to be a kidney stone.

    I was down to a glass of wine every month but HaHa not now my pisser’s unblocked!

    My neighbors drink tobacco spittle and tightass Jesus. The only way they’ll see the interior of my house is if they come to do a burglary/homicide.

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  79. Deborah said on July 18, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    OMG you know about Gunnar Wennerberg. wow.

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  80. Deborah said on July 18, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    I was involved in some tapestries for the World Food Prize project that I worked on a few years back and I came across the work of Gunnar Wennerberg. The tapestries we eventually had made were gorgeous, they were woven in Belgium and handled by a place in Oakland,CA called Magnolia.

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  81. MichaelG said on July 19, 2014 at 12:31 am

    Sue, google Vuillard and then click “Images”. You will see tons of his stuff. The images aren’t the best but they are a place to start and it is well worth your while. Vuillard is wonderful.

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  82. brian stouder said on July 19, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    So on day one we rolled from Indiana, through Illinois, and stopped in (Des Moines?) Iowa for the night; and on Day Two we rolled across Iowa to Nebraska, and stopped at Pioneer Village, and then spent the night at North Platte. They had an interesting 9-story tall Union Pacific RR observation tower over their massive switching yard there.

    Day Three we pressed out of Nebraska and into South Dakota, and to the Bad Lands – which impressed us all very much (the bison and the prairie dogs gave the stunning beauty of the place a run for the money)…. thence to Rapid City for Mt Rushmore (very cool) and Crazy Horse (another pleasant surprise – very interesting stuff).

    After that, Wind Cave would have to go a ways to impress us, but it did this indeed! Touring in that cavern is worth a thousand words, but suffice it to say, 53 degrees ain’t so bad if you wear a jacket – but a driving rainstorm back top-side is no fun at all!

    Anyway – today we did the parade and rodeo at Cheyenne, and that was altogether Good Stuff!

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  83. brian stouder said on July 19, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Somewhere in there we also visited Wall Drug, which was also a nice Vaction-ey break (think Chevy Chase), and a drive-through zoo with tons of black bears (and one grizzly) – which pleased Chloe very much.

    Battery is going, and Pam is asleep – so I know not where the power cord is for this computer, so TTFN!

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  84. Deborah said on July 19, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Brian, we are taking a similar trip from the reverse in a few days. Up from Santa Fe through the western slope of the Rockies to Laramie,WY, then a side trip to Devil’s Tower as we go East across WY. Then a night in Rapid City, SD before we hit MN where my niece’s wedding is. We’ve seen Mt. Rushmore so we’re not stopping there this time. After we attend the wedding the next day we head to Chicago, after a day there Little Bird flies back to Santa Fe and my husband and I take the Jeep back to NM across the Northern plains and down the a Western slope again. I can’t wait, I love road trips. We’ll take 10 days to do all of this.

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  85. brian stouder said on July 19, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Deborah – it has been marvelous, in the truest sense of that word.

    I knew we’d see cattle in fields, but there are lots and lots (and lots!) of cattle; and the horses in the fields were a surprise!

    Everything is green and lush and there are countless round bales of hay all the way across the country.

    The beauty of the countryside is a continuing source of wonder, to me…and I’m hoping the kids drink in as much of this as possible.

    I did tire (a little!) of having my ears pop all the time, as we went up grades and down grades (and then up some more grades, etc).

    Devil’s Tower was on the itinerary, but we skipped it after the very great beauty at Bad Lands National Park…where the young folks almost ventured too far onto some of those rocky outcroppings.

    Pam has Facebooked more than a few of the photos – but you’ve seen this stuff.

    Driving across the countryside definitely has its advantages over flying over the country!

    (although it was oddly disconcerting that we were climbing and climbing at Rapid City, headed for Mount Rushmore, while the news was breaking about the Russian-supplied bastards who shot down a commercial airliner. As the news-loop began repeating what little they knew, we shut it off)

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  86. alex said on July 19, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Ah, the Bad Lands. My parents took me there when I was maybe six or seven. They told me that in the Bad Lands I could be as bad as I pleased, so I peppered all of my conversation with vulgarity and enjoyed myself immensely. They thought it was cute. Of course, at the time I didn’t know shit about cussing, and it was all just scatology and urination. I didn’t know anything yet about fornication. That was to come from a babysitter in the neighborhood, a junior high girl who evidently didn’t like working for my mother. One afternoon as she was having a cigarette on her parents’ front porch, I stopped to say hello and she taught me the word “fucker” and told me to go call my mother one and see how impressed she would be with my new vocabulary. My mother backhanded me across the room before demanding to know where the fuck I’d learned the word.

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  87. MarkH said on July 20, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Brian, clearly this is a clue that you need to get out more. And “Good Stuff” would be documenting your Mt. Rushmore visit with a selfie while posed on Lincoln’s nose (2nd request).

    Seriously, though, I’m glad you’re enjoying my home state. I live in arguably the prettiest part of Wyoming (Tetons/Yellowstone), but, having previously lived/worked in every part of the state I can testify to its beauty in all its diversity: agricultural plains/hills (mostly in the east), high deserts and the mountains, central and west. Drive safely out there.

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  88. Dexter said on July 20, 2014 at 3:02 am

    alex: shit piss fuck fart…and no we do NOT pee in them to get them pregnant!

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  89. Dexter said on July 20, 2014 at 3:07 am

    Doctor Gonzo woulda been 77 if he had lived…

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  90. Minnie said on July 20, 2014 at 9:01 am

    “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” – HST

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  91. coozledad said on July 20, 2014 at 10:52 am

    It’s no accident Republicans have spent so much time rimming Putin. They’re basically the same actors:

    It’s only a matter of time before our tea trash separatists knock down a civil aircraft with a .50 caliber rifle, now that they’re legal.

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  92. MichaelG said on July 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I just don’t know what to say about the MH17 shoot down. It seems clear that the Russian backed separatists and their Russian mentors thought they were going to shoot down another Ukrainian military transport and goofed. It also seems clear that Putin was in the know from the start about the pending shoot down and was as surprised as anyone when the Ukrainian AN-26 turned out to be a Malaysian 777. He still hasn’t figured out what to say. Other people will have a lot to say starting Monday. I think the American satellite traces will pretty much cover the basics of the investigation into the cause of the crash.

    In defense of the Malaysian decision to overfly Ukraine, the Notice to Airmen closing the airspace below 32,000 (?) feet was just issued that day or the day before and the intelligence that there may be high altitude capable SA-11 missiles in the area was also new. MH 17 was flying above the closed airspace and, in theory, should have been safe. In addition, many other aircraft traveled the same airway that day. It was just pure dumb luck that the plane shot down was Malaysian and not something else.

    Also on the sad side, James Garner just died at 86.

    Continuing with the downer theme, the ending of today’s Tour stage was a real heart breaker for Jack Bauer the New Zealand rider who led the stage for the entire 222 kilometers less a morale crushing meter or two at the wire.

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  93. Jolene said on July 20, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    MichaelG, James Fallows has an op-ed in today’s NYT that amplifies your points re the reasonableness of MH17 having flown that route. Gives a good description of how routes are chosen and, sometimes, modified while underway. The link below goes to a separate piece in The Atlantic that has a very clear chart showing just how many other airlines did fly that route in the week preceding the incident. See the link at the top of the piece for the NYT op-ed.


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  94. David C. said on July 20, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I can’t think of much I didn’t like James Garner in, but I sure wish I hadn’t read his autobiography. Most of it was what you would expect and was a great read. When he said that every man he beat up, and there were a lot of them, deserved it he came across as something of an asshole. I’ll give him credit for always punching up, or at least sideways. He wasn’t a kiss up, kick down person at all. But, I guess I prefer someone to not take such glee in their fights.

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  95. Jolene said on July 20, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    If you’re the sort of person who likes to know how things work, you might be interested in this article re how the missile that hit the plane works and how it affected the people on board. Short answer on the latter topic: They died instantly. Not cheery to read about, but interesting to know.


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  96. MichaelG said on July 20, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks for the excellent links, Jolene.

    David C., I haven’t read any bios of Garner and wasn’t aware of the fighting. I did meet him once in Vietnam. He was on a USO tour and actually came out into the field to meet with us. He’s the only star to do so that I am aware of though I am sure others did as well. He seemed like a great guy and like a regular person. I liked him.

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  97. MarkH said on July 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    David C., you’re talking real fights Garner was alluding to? He never came across (to me at least) as that type of person. Especially in light of Maverick and The Americanization of Emily, one of his best and most under-rated movie ever. RIP.

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  98. David C. said on July 20, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    The autobiography was “The Garner Files: A Memoir”. It seems like he was a likable guy – most of the time. The crews and casts he worked with loved him. But if he took a dislike to you he seemed to have no problem with a nose based blood withdrawal. He was a good liberal, and had a good sense of justice for the little guy, but if he needed to hit someone to make a point then he lost the argument. I just don’t have much respect for someone who resorts to that. That’s why I wish I never read it. I liked the guy I saw on TV and on “The Tonight Show” and I liked 90% of the guy I read about, but the other 10% left me cold.

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  99. Dexter said on July 20, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    MichaelG: Aside from all the surgeries needed to repair broken bones from the horrible TDF crashes in 2014, the Kiwi’s loss today was the most heart-breaking incident in years…I SO wanted him to push through to the end. Someday New Zealand will produce a stage winner, but no more this year. I know a lot of Americans gave up when Lance Armstrong broke their hearts, but this year’s Tour de France has been really entertaining and tense. Yeah, it’s tough to fully understand strategies and tactics of all the teams, but Phil and Paul make it easy to follow, and if you watch everyday, you become familiar with the riders, especially the four fantastic French riders this year. As Paul Sherwen said today, Le Tour has become such an international even even the French have become less enthusiastic of their own country’s staged event, but now that’s all changing with the resurgence of the French world class riders. Sorry, I have not memorized all their names yet.

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  100. brian stouder said on July 20, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Pueblo, Colorado is a pretty nice place to eat dinner, after walking along their river-walk.

    There’s a million more things one could do, but we’re all pretty exhausted – and chillin’ out ’til we meet up with some extended family tomorrow, and then do the Big Drive back east.

    All in all, I’d say this has been a humdinger of a vacation, and one which the young folks will remember for a very long time

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  101. Deborah said on July 20, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Been to Pueblo, CO many times. Brian you’re not that far from Santa Fe, are you sure you don’t want to drop down for a visit?

    I think it’s great that you take your kids on road trips. Taking kids traveling in General is so important for their education. It inspires them to imagine life in other places which can only be a good thing.

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