Crickets in the evening.

How about a nice mid-week link salad? Because all I have to report today is: Summer, she is fading. I swam on the dawn patrol at the city pool, and it wasn’t even dawn. The lifeguard was dozing, which means he wasn’t much of a lifeguard, but what the hell, we were all good swimmers.

“Can I get you a cup of coffee?” I asked as I was leaving. (Gently. I’m not an asshole.) He’ll be back at college soon enough; I think this is the last week for dawn-patrol swimming. And then comes Labor Day, and alas alas alas.

September and October will be glorious. I hope, anyway. Just a lot less light.

So have yourself some tasty readin’:

It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten canned tuna. Truth be told, I’ve liked it a lot less since they started packing it in water or even dry(ish), in those little pouches. And I liked it even less when I learned more than half of what is sold as tuna isn’t even tuna but something called escolar. I cannot deny that I still have a baby-boomer’s fondness for greasy tuna sandwich from time to time, but I have an excellent fish market at the end of my block, and I’d rather eat from their weekly offerings.

So here’s a little WashPost piece on how Americans have gone cold on canned tuna, for a variety of reasons. Hats off to the editor who resisted making “Sorry, Charlie” the headline.

The GOP might have had a chance to win a Senate seat this November, but it’s not looking good right now. One of a million reasons.

The original op-ed referred to in this Gawker rant is amazing. A cop explains how to avoid being a victim of a cop: Just do everything the cop says. OK. A few years ago, a cop made a Detroit couple perform sex acts in front of him. Is that what he means? Clarification is needed.

Great job, Officer Wilson!

And with that, happy hump day.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events |

42 responses to “Crickets in the evening.”

  1. Dexter said on August 20, 2014 at 2:51 am

    I too used to always have tuna cans stocked, and a tuna salad sandwich was always a quick lunch option. The steady pounding into my head of mercury concerns was probably the main reason I rarely eat canned tuna now. I may have eaten one canned tuna sandwich this year, but it may have been last year. And then we began hearing all the other concerns listed in the text of the post today, and now, tuna seems like a poor option. Tuna packed in water, more healthy, I guess…but I too opted for oil-packed when I have purchased a can in the past few years.
    Carol shopped today and brought in fresh fruit today, apples, peaches, apricots, blueberries, so we won’t eat canned fruit at all for a while.
    Another diet change for me: almost all meat except bacon has vanished from my diet. Since the hamburger reports came out (reported here by nance a few years ago) I just can’t eat that shit. Hotdogs usually skeeve me out also. I used to eat beef liver, that’s not happening anymore. It’s not a moral issue, it’s that over time I have lost the desire to eat most meat. I don’t enjoy chicken or fish nearly as much as I used to.

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  2. Sue said on August 20, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Off topic but I need opinions:
    Can anyone recommend a good pressure canner? Looks like mine is done. It’s old and of the ‘put the weight on and anxiously monitor the noise for 50 minutes’ variety. I’d really like to get away from that if I could. In my search I don’t see a good variety, the prices are all over the place and I don’t know what improvements are out there or worth the extra cash.
    Food preservers – any advice?

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  3. Deborah said on August 20, 2014 at 7:45 am

    I’ve got a can of tuna in the cupboard that I’ve had for months. I think I’ll make a tuna salad sandwich for lunch, but I don’t think we have any mayo.

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  4. brian stouder said on August 20, 2014 at 8:21 am

    My mom used to make “tuna salad” – basically tuna and mayo, as Deborah says.

    And dad used to eat sardines out of a can.


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  5. brian stouder said on August 20, 2014 at 8:38 am

    …and pickle relish (in the tuna salad)

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  6. Deborah said on August 20, 2014 at 8:48 am

    I make tuna salad with a little chopped onion, celery and mayo, no pickle relish for me.

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  7. beb said on August 20, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Hello, my name is Brian and I like canned tuna. — what do you mean AA only deals with drinking? Oh, down the hall and to the left….

    Anyway, I’ve had water-packed tuna for so long I don’t recall what oil-packed tuna tastes like. Anyway, after you mic in the mayo it’s all the same. We just had some last week. Hmmm, good.

    And since the “cat-food commission” – aka the people who want to cut social security – want to drive us all into poverty I just want to note that tuna tastes better than cat food smells.

    Both the Gawker and NYMag pages failed to load properly. The Gawker piece was at least readable, not so NYMag. Whatever happened to the World Wide Web goal of gracefully degrading to accommodate whatever browser you’re using. Nancy has a nice, clean web-design. Why can’t more pages be like Nancy.

    The thing about the original op-ed about “Always do what the policeman tells you to do” is that while it’s good advice it also like the advice Black parents in Ferguson have been telling their children — Don’t drive too late at night or too early in the morning. Don’t drive with more than 4 in a car, etc. It’s all good advice but also the advice guards give to prisoners and the last I heard, we’re not prisoners.

    Besides if you’ve ever watched “Cops” you know that cops like to scream at people at the top of their voices commands like “getonthegroundgetonthegroundgetontheground.”

    When people yell at me the first thing I do is freeze up. And since I’ve not obeyed them within 5 seconds I’m being recalcitrant and therefore deserving of harsher punishment. It’s a recipe for escalating violence — on the cops part.

    And it’s no surprise that there are people who are supporting the police officer involved. A lot of people secretly harbor the deserve to kill a black man, just to watch him die.

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  8. Wim said on August 20, 2014 at 8:53 am


    People really seem to love the Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker. You can get it for around eighty dollars. Unfortunately, you’d still have to deal with the rattle and anxiety, plus the expectation that eventually you’d have to replace the seal, If you’re willing to spend over another hundred dollars, you might want to try the All American 921 21 1/2 Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner, which has an automatic overpressure release and adjustable psi settings. No anxiety: no rattle. Also, no seal to replace, ever.

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  9. Sue said on August 20, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Thanks Wim. I’ve tried replacing the seal, no dice. I’m hesitant to start replacing any more parts.

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  10. LAMary said on August 20, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I occasionally buy the nice Italian canned tuna in olive oil for pasta dishes or tuna with white beans.

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  11. Minnie said on August 20, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Sue, we have an ancient Presto used only for canning, so I’m not up on modern pressure cookers. However, a friend who is a chef uses his nearly every day. I’ll find out what he has. Might not talk to him for a couple of days, though.

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  12. Jolene said on August 20, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Sue, the All American canner gets good ratings on lots of consumer web sites. Here’s one:

    Also found this video comparing it to a Presto of similar size and functionality.

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  13. Charlotte said on August 20, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Hi Sue — I have the Presto and it’s worked fine for me. Replaced one seal but other than that, it works great. I’d love the All American, but I don’t do that much canning, and can’t justify the price.

    I’ve switched from canned tuna to canned salmon for the most part. Costco has nice, sustainable wild salmon in cans — they say the mercury isn’t so bad, and I don’t know, I won’t even order tuna in sushi anymore — they’re beautiful fish and we’re hunting them to extinction. (BTW — Dan Barber’s new book, The Third Plate, is really interesting on this and a bunch of other food topics.)

    That op-ed was flying around my internet circles yesterday. Terrifying. Unfortunately, in fight or flight I go right to fight — which would not serve me well with these new cops. And I just keep thinking of that poor 2 year old, who got burned and deafened when the cops threw a flash bomb in her crib when they did one of those middle of the night raids. It all makes me heartsick.

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  14. Julie Robinson said on August 20, 2014 at 10:08 am

    No boomer fondness for tuna here, though I used to make the dreaded tuna noodle casserole occasionally until the family revolted. Now I only buy it for giving to the food bank. I do get to experience it’s special fragance frequently since my office mate likes it for lunch. 🙂

    Only Wednesday? What a long week it is.

    We did the replacing the parts thing on our pressure cooker and none of them made a difference, so we ditched it. Haven’t replaced it because I do.not.can. Bless you if you do, I hated every moment of it.

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  15. Deborah said on August 20, 2014 at 10:09 am

    We wanted to can tomatoes this summer but haven’t found a good place to buy fresh ones around here. In Chicago I can buy bushels of them at the farmers markets.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on August 20, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Argh! Its not it’s! Can’t believe I did that!

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  17. Charlotte said on August 20, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Good piece on Al Jezeera, Fergeson and the Cult of Compliance, that someone linked to in the comments on the Jezebel piece about that astonishing cop op-ed in WaPo:

    And Deborah, you might not have tomatoes there, but are they roasting chiles yet? Yum. We have a guy at our farmer’s market who moved up here from New Mexico, and brought his chile roaster with him. Sells out in moments …

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  18. Deborah said on August 20, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Yes, the chili roasting is going strong now. They have them in the parking lots of some of the grocery stores as well as the farmers market. Yesterday in Taos I had a burger with roasted green chilis on it, wow was it good. I love the smell of the roasting chilis.

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  19. brian stouder said on August 20, 2014 at 11:12 am

    All I know is, when we were way-west earlier this summer, we missed out on the pancake breakfast at Cheyenne (dang-it!)

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  20. alex said on August 20, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Time to order me some Hatch chilis again. I grow Anaheims, which are the same thing, but they taste very different coming out of Indiana soil.

    My fave deli makes a mean tuna salad — not with mayonnaise but with citrus juices and capers — and I often have it a couple of times per week.

    I haven’t had any dealings with cops in a long time, but the last time I got pulled over, the cop wanted not only my driver’s license but IDs from everyone in the car. I’ve heard this is becoming increasingly common. And they now have a new window of time within which to stop random motorists — the date between expiration of your tags and the date the BMV finally mails you your new ones, never mind you renewed online well in advance of the expiration date.

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  21. Sherri said on August 20, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Alex, about half the states have some form of “stop and identify” law (, which is I assume the authority the police in your state are using to require id from everyone in the car.

    The whole “cult of noncompliance” thing in the article Charlotte linked to is a big problem, even when it doesn’t escalate to lethal violence. A couple of years ago, the Seattle PD decided to crack down on jay walking, and that led to several incidents of police violence. Why yes, of course the violence was on people of color – you don’t think they were cracking down on tourists jay walking at Pike Place Market, do you?

    Those were just the minor incidents; Seattle PD is now operating under a consent decree from the DOJ because of numerous (and more serious) incidents of police violence on minorities.

    The ACLU is very busy these days.

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  22. brian stouder said on August 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    On a lighter note, if I were a policeman, here’s a mug that would make me believe in ‘stop and frisk’. The guy looks like he just stole his mom’s purse.

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  23. Deborah said on August 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Ha ha, funny Brian.

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  24. Dexter said on August 20, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    The Braxton Miller story is resonating all over Ohio it seems; here in the extreme NW corner of Ohio it’s the #1 topic everywhere I eavesdrop. Is it super-intense in the newsroom there?
    I have been around all sorts of sports fans in many different USA venues and settings, and I have never been near any people as dedicated and loyal (and obnoxious) as the followers of Brutus Buckeye.

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  25. Dexter said on August 20, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Uh-oh…looks like I was caught in a band-width-theft caper…here’s a free domain pic of Brutus.

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  26. Kirk said on August 20, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    I was working the night he was hurt, but I wasn’t in sports. Our guys broke the story of the injury, though ESPN had him missing the season first. I’m sure it’s been quite intense in sports since then. The two main guys who cover OSU football work their tails off anyway.

    Too bad for Miller, who apparently is a pretty good kid. As a Buckeye football hater, mostly because of the fans, it’s no skin off my ass.

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  27. MichaelG said on August 20, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Want some canned tuna? Try Spanish products which go for prices from $10 to over $100 per can.

    Here in Sacto’s Oak Park everybody walks down the middle of the street.

    I don’t like to see a kid get hurt but you’ll never catch me shedding tears for any misfortunes suffered by the Ohio State football program.

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  28. Deborah said on August 20, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I didn’t have breakfast this morning, so I’m having a rare lunch of guess what? Yep, a tuna salad sandwich on toasted bread. Had to buy mayo and celery.

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  29. Deborah said on August 20, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    OK, my lunch was good, but now I don’t want to have another tuna salad sandwich for at least another year. Burp.

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  30. brian stouder said on August 20, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    A buddy and I went to a nice southwestern-style restaurant, and I had some nice rice and some beefy/saucy stuff and some beany/saucy stuff, and a tall cool glass of water (it was lunch special #3)…

    which was good – but when I got more or less the same thing in Pueblo on the river-walk (which was very cool, and which Fort Wayne will eventually develop, too, I think), it was approximately 112 times better!

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  31. Sherri said on August 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Details about the kind of equipment our militarized police forces now use:

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  32. brian stouder said on August 20, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Looking at Sherri’s link, I’m reminded that probably the single greatest lie I learned as a child – the biggest hoax and the most egregious distortion of reality – was this idea of the existence of a mid-1960’s human sheriff in small-town North Carolina named Andy Taylor.

    This (literally fantastic) unarmed sheriff DID have an incompetent, highs-strung, armed (even if with the bullet in his pocket) deputy, so there was at least a nod toward what the hell was happening across America (and the American south) of that era.

    I suppose, looking back, that one big thing I should have noticed was that Mayberry pretty much never had any human being who wasn’t white. (and certainly not after sundown)

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  33. alex said on August 20, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    ’60s television. Yes, there was idyllic Mayberry putting a friendly face on the embittered south. There was Bewitched, wherein an omnipotent woman was voluntarily subservient to a spineless man. Not exactly a full-throated “I am woman, hear me roar.” There was I Dream of Jeannie, wherein military man finds vexatious babe in a bottle who doesn’t appear to grant any of his wishes, carnal or otherwise. There was Green Acres, Petticoat Junction and the Beverly Hillbillies — wow, no wonder southerners have a chip on their shoulder, as if the Civil War and the Voting Rights Act hadn’t been punishment enough.

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  34. Jolene said on August 20, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    After hearing about the racial configuration of the Ferguson Police Department (53 officers, three of them African American), I did a bit of googling to see what the entry level requirements for a police officer are and found that, unsurprisingly, most departments require a clean criminal record* and prefer candidates who have completed at least one or two years of college.

    These requirements, of course, work against the hiring of many inner city residents, a population characterized by high school dropout rates and high rates of early involvement with the criminal justice system. It’s beyond tragic that so many young people don’t realize how much they are foreclosing their life chances when they screw up–either by leaving school without graduating or by acquiring a criminal record. And, to the extent that overpolicing of minorities plays a role in the acquisition of those records, the police are, in fact, contributing to the production of a population excluded from many aspects of citizenry.

    I happened across this article, which has some disheartening statistics re how many people in a community like Ferguson might be excluded from becoming police officers by virtue of having been convicted of a crime, regardless of what the crime was or how long ago it occurred.

    *In some of the towns I looked at, including St. Louis, the admission requirements seem to provide some latitude for youthful indiscretions, but not much. That’s probably as it should be, but, again, it shows how enduring and pervasive the effects of youthful bad acts can be.

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  35. Jolene said on August 20, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Speaking of idyllic conceptions of cops, I have been recalling my earliest experience with a police officer. I was about six years old, and was waiting with my sisters in the car while our mother went into a nearby bakery to buy bread. My sister, Nancy, who was just a few months old, somehow got her leg pinched in the car seat (or something like that; can’t remember the exact details, but she was somehow stuck) and was hollering like crazy. A policeman came by on foot, heard the commotion, opened the door, and rescued Nancy. I think he may have waited with us until Mom came back, but that detail is fuzzy too.

    He was very sweet to us, and we thought this was quite the dramatic rescue. And, of course, the story had a moral, which was that the policeman was your friend. After this event, my mother explicitly told us that if we were ever in trouble, the thing to do was tell a policeman, who would certainly provide whatever kind of help was needed.

    It’s almost embarrassing to tell this story as it draws attention to how benign my childhood was–at least in terms of physical safety–compared to what so many kids experience.

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  36. MichaelG said on August 20, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    It hit 77 degrees here today. The average for August 20 is 92 degrees. What a beautiful day it’s been.

    Alex, Barbara Eden, during the I Dream of Jeannie days, was selected as the woman with the most beautiful navel. I didn’t argue.

    That observation about early criminal records foreclosing a whole life and career was really spot on, Jolene. How many people think of that? How do you tell kids?

    I see a lot of police activity in my neighborhood and they really seem to try to work with people. I’ve talked with them any number of times and have observed how they interact with my neighbors. Of course I’m an old white guy.

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  37. Deborah said on August 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    There was a Pew Poll recently that showed the incredible disconnect between black and white perceptions of Ferguson, I can’t find it now or I’d link to it. I read about it on the BBC site which I thought was interesting, because I hadn’t seen it on CNN or other mainstream sites.

    Also, there’s a skateboard park that was built near the plaza in Santa Fe, finished last year, so relatively new. Yesterday we noticed that someone had spray painted “#Ferguson” a couple of places around it. So even dinky little Santa Fe has become interested in the events there.

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  38. Deborah said on August 20, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Having lived in St. Louis for 23 years from 1980 until 2003, I think this is a pretty good analysis

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  39. Dexter said on August 20, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Ferguson’s problems certainly have not slowed down activities in downtown St. Louis…the Redlegs are playing the Cardinals and every night this week it appears the baseball stadium is packed full.

    Kirk, I didn’t know you aren’t exactly the #1 Buckeye fan. Good to know, though. We get Buckeye football on our local FM radio station. I listen sometimes, and I will say Paul Keels and Jim Lachey are really good broadcasters. Keels even does a few Reds baseball games when the staff is stretched thin, and he’s good at that as well. He’s also good doing basketball games.

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  40. Jolene said on August 20, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Ferguson is news all over the world, Deborah. Buzzfeed published a set of front pages from many different places, and they all had images of cops, tear gas, and crowds in Ferguson. Of course, I couldn’t read the headlines, but I think it’s safe to conclude they weren’t flattering.

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  41. Deborah said on August 20, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    But Jolene, if you read the Pew Poll, there is an alarming percentage of white Americans who could care less about Ferguson, if memory serves only about 27% care at all. It’s really depressing.

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  42. Jolene said on August 20, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    I wasn’t saying anything about the attitudes of individuals, Deborah, just that the events were prominent in the news.

    Here are the results of the Pew poll you mentioned. Blacks and whites do, indeed, view the situation differently.

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