End of the line.

And so this is new year’s, and what have you done? (To mangle a little John Lennon there.) I’m not much for end-of-year wrap-ups — I had plenty in my newspaper years — and I’m a big believer that the future arrives every day, every minute and every second right on schedule, so if you want to make a resolution, why wait for January 1? Even our calendars are electronic now, so we don’t get much of a charge from starting a new one.

Me, I stepped on a scale today, to come to terms with the holiday damage. The result? Three pounds, which for me counts as “no damage.” Yay me. I did have to say goodbye to a dream this December, after I went running — once! — and paid for it in knee pain for days and days and days. Friends? I will never be a triathlete. Give my space in the June event to someone with better joints.

2014 wasn’t the best year, but it was a long way from the worst. Hello, 2015.

On the off chance you’re short of reading material, this is the time of year when lots of media outlets/great writers publish their best-of reading lists, and I guarantee you’ll find a lot you missed the first time around. So here are a few suggestions:

The 20 most popular recipes of 2014, from the NYT. A lot of these look great. Bookmarked. (By the way, I’d be interested in reading a story about the evolution of food photography. When I started at the Dispatch, the paper had its own kitchen, where the food writers worked. Photo shoots were serious business, with large-format cameras and perfect, and I mean perfect, presentation. Lazarus, a local department store, loaned tableware and accessories. Then we moved into another era, with extremely shallow depth of field, where a plate might be photographed from the side with the biscuit in the foreground in sharp focus and the sweet potatoes on the other side of the plate out of focus. Now we see plates that look like someone’s already been eating from them, complete with dirty silverware. Any photogs in the house? Discuss.)

Longform.org’s best-of list, packed with goodies. We already went through “The Case for Reparations” back when it was published, and I know I mentioned “The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie,” too, but I bet it was less-read than Ta-Nehisi Coates’ epic. Those are Nos. 1 and 2. The list goes on and on from there. Refill your drink before you settle in.

A bunch of Nieman Fellows (the Harvard competitor to the Michigan program I did) and high-profile journos pick their best-ofs. Some duplication with other lists, but lots of new stuff, too.

Another list, by Gawker writers. Not as bad as you’d expect. In fact, some good stuff here.

To Michigan football fans, Congratulations on the purchase of your new Harbaugh!

Finally, not a list, but a shortish piece by Charles Pierce on something we should all never forget, especially as it pertains to Steve Scalise, GOP majority whip.

With that, I wish you all the best possible 2015 and the best possible last year of 2014. I’m going to take a shower and go buy some salmon for dinner.

Posted at 10:32 am in Media, Same ol' same ol' |

77 responses to “End of the line.”

  1. brian stouder said on December 31, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Happy New Year to everyone hereabouts, and especially to our Proprietress.

    Loved the Pierce piece; any and all patriotic Americans should have something approximating this understanding of their country

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  2. susan said on December 31, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Here’s a nice list of the “The Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves,” from the small blogs of the intertoobs. There really is a lot of good writing and thinking beyond the most well-known sites. I think our Proprietress could enter something for next year’s Jon Swift Memorial Roundup.

    And here’s to a peaceful 2015!

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  3. Kirk said on December 31, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Steve Scalise: stupid racist, lying racist or both? I’ll take C.

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  4. alex said on December 31, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Funny you should mention food photography. Back when I lived in Chicago, I knew some advertising art directors who had to prepare food for the glossy newspaper circulars of the two big local grocery chains, Jewel and Dominick’s. Real food couldn’t handle the heat of the studio lighting or the hours of work involved, so they made stuff out of clay and styrofoam and papier mache and painted it by hand. They did magnificent work. I was told they did the same thing at R.R. Donnelly, which did both our photography and printing when I worked in the marketing department of a large retailer.

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  5. coozledad said on December 31, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    If you care to watch the Republican party at the local level, you’ll find there’s no place they won’t go to stroke that murderous little Confederate id. Down here they were retweeting stuff directly from Britain First, and the winner of house district 2, a purple faced fratboy, Larry Yarborough, couched his whole racist campaign against the NAACP.

    The Republican party has numerous parallels with the feudalist dreams of secessionism and nazism: they’re pro torture, pro empire, pro secret detention, pro extrajudicial capital punishment, pro police state, anti woman, anti black, anti muslim, anti jew, anti education, anti science, and they’re beginning to start ripping at the fabric of the western culture they claim to hold superior. We knew they were coming for Mark Twain, because in their eyes he was a race traitor. Now they’re blaming Shakespeare for the “decadent West” and all that turning away from God.

    The south’s poison has leached across the country and you’re going to be stunned just how big a shitheap it’s going to become. Golden Corral is the standard of cuisine, and Jethro Bodine is your school superintendent at 250-300 grand yearly.

    Maybe it’s karma for the way the eurotrash skullfucked the Indians. I’m not a big believer in it, but evil has a way of being the only thing that will answer itself.

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  6. davidkirk said on December 31, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I was never involved with the large format cameras and food and never used a stylist. I entered into it with the digital age. I never cared for the food crums scattered about just so Williams-Sonoma style but did embrace selective focus as a means of putting the attention where it belonged, on the food.


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  7. brian stouder said on December 31, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Cooz – my hope is that making people put down the dog whistle and state what they believe is something that will continue.

    Although I know I’m grasping at straws, maybe the shame (if any) that they feel will propel them to some other place.

    (I know I’m grasping at straws because, for example, my lovely wife had a somewhat jaw-dropping conversation with a person she was friends with in high school. Her old friend unashamedly defended segregation – leaving Pam flat-footed and chin-down)

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  8. Jolene said on December 31, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Thanks for pointing out the Pierce essay. I particularly appreciated that he noted how today’s Republicans are forever drawing attention to Robert Byrd’s KKK membership and Republican votes for the Civil Rights Act–as if we hadn’t noticed that the two parties had completely changed places on these issues.

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  9. Dexter said on December 31, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I miss the giant-size wall calendars put out by lumber yards and banks. They always had a little icon for any holiday or historical date, and Christian (only) holidays were numbered in red. We always had one hanging in the kitchen. If someone brought a second one into the house Mom, banished it to the garage or basement.
    Running was over for me years ago as my hip got worse. Long story short, I visited four ortho-docs, each told me for various reasons I am not a candidate for hip replacement or re-surfacing. So that’s that. I’ll try again sometime, maybe. Now it’s finally become too painful to ride a bike more than a mile. Gettin’ old.
    I didn’t mention it in 2014, but I did achieve a weight loss of 14 pounds , which is better than gaining that much. From my heaviest, six years ago, I have lost 76 pounds and still the life insurance tables say I should have been dead eight years ago. Wotta they know?
    And sure, Jim Harbaugh is a quirky guy, but M did the work and laid down the $49 million for six years and got a real proven recruiter and winning coach. The last time they hired a losing-record coach who was not up to the task at all. We Wolverine fans have suffered long enough and believe me, the intensity and passion is already back in our hearts and we can’t wait for kickoff next fall…well, we can wait. We do love spring and summer.

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  10. alex said on December 31, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    my hope is that making people put down the dog whistle and state what they believe is something that will continue

    Just read an item where Newt Gingrich was defending Republican Scalise on the grounds that the Dems forgave so much worse, i.e., Hugo Black and Robert Byrd for their KKK affiliations. Never mind that this happened when the Dems were still the party of Strom Thurmond.

    Discourse can’t get any more absurd than the Republican Party simultaneously taking credit for being the Party of Lincoln while dog-whistling Dixie. Of course, the people who’d vote for them probably can’t walk and chew gum.

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  11. Jolene said on December 31, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    iPad Question: if someone sends me a PDF file in an email message and I download it, where does the file go? Where do I go to look for it again days or weeks from now?

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  12. coozledad said on December 31, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Of course, the people who’d vote for them probably can’t walk and chew gum.

    That’s a lot of it, and there’s also the fact that words don’t mean anything to them. Syntax itself is just another link to their braying guts, and whatever hormones the hunger/crap cycle are spraying at the moment.

    Power is always its own justification. Their relationship with language isn’t any more sophisticated than people who believe their name on a slip of paper possesses some supernatural power, or that speaking in tongues isn’t the most primitive manifestation of human shamelessness.

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  13. Jolene said on December 31, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    On the PBS NewsHour last night, Jeffrey Brown interviewed Ann Patchett, a novelist, and Daniel Pink, a business writer, about their favorite books of the year. Each of them named three or four, and it’s a quirky list–not the same lot as I’ve seen on most other best-of lists.

    A video of the interview and a transcript are at the link below. Also, check out the additional video below the main one in which Patchett and Pink talk about the joy they find in reading.


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  14. Jolene said on December 31, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    If I were Ta-Nehisi Coates, I would really be busting my buttons–and pressing The Atlantic for a raise.

    His article is on the two best-of lists that Nancy posted above; he was at the top of David Brooks’s list of Sidney Awards that I posted yesterday; and, he is mentioned twice on this list of “articles we wish we’d written” by Business Week writers.


    Quite an accomplishment. I’m interested to see what he does next.

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  15. Sherri said on December 31, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    From the longform.org list, one of the pieces I found fascinating was number 9, Whitewood Under Siege, about the world of shipping pallets. A whole world of infrastructure I knew very little about, differing standards, people who create businesses around the margins, attempts to cut those people out, all in service of moving the stuff we buy from place to place.

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  16. Jolene said on December 31, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Whoops! I see that I posted the wrong link in my comment re the Patchett/Pink video. Here is the correct one.


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  17. brian stouder said on December 31, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    I’ve been greatly enjoying a Christmas-2014 book called Hoosiers –


    And indeed, I had no idea how much of a son-of-a-bitch William Henry Harrison was; indeed, when he was a slave holder, even when he was Territorial Governor of Indiana.

    Slavery was legally allowed in Indiana, up ‘til WHH was out of the picture, and they wrote the state constitution – but even then, “indentured servitude” was allowed if it pre-dated adoption of the state constitution…!

    I would have missed that, on a quiz.

    Generally, human beings tend toward narrow thinking, and basic cruelty

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  18. Jolene said on December 31, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Here’s a list that you can work your way through quickly and that guarantees at least a few smiles. It’s a collection of the year’s best photos, put together by WH photographer, Pete Souza.


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  19. Joe K said on December 31, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    If you really want to try running, go to a running store not foot locker or some such store but a good running store and have them fit you for shoes. They will film you on a treadmill both walking and running and analyze your gait and recommend shoes for you, this should help with the knee pain. Also start slowly, minute running minute walking, and slowly increase over three or four weeks till you can run a mile straight then start increasing your mileage every two or three days by ten percent, take rest days every 3 days or so and cross train on your bike and swimming.
    Pilot and runner,

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  20. beb said on December 31, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Jolene @11: I;m not an ipad person but can’t imagine they’d do things any different from a laptop. If the pdf were sent as part of an email it would remain a part of the email unless you choice to save the attachment separate from the email, and even then it would still be part of the original email. If the email had a link to a pdf at an external site then I think the file is downloaded into temporary memory as the application (a pdf reader) opens and is trashed as soon the application closes. To save the file you need to reload it then look for the “save” button, and use it. If the file was automatically downloaded then check your desktop. But again, I’m not a ipad guy and they may do things differently.

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  21. Sherri said on December 31, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    beb, unlike Windows, iOS doesn’t expose the file system to the user; “files” aren’t a concept. Jolene, the PDF file should remain as an attachment to your email, and you’d go back to the email to find it. Or, alternatively, you can save the PDF in something like DropBox or Evernote or OneDrive, by touching the icon in the upper right corner while viewing the PDF to bring up the menu of options of things to do with the PDF. Obviously, you’d have to have installed one of those apps first.

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  22. Basset said on December 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    The twenty or so pounds I lost through walking this summer have all come back. Running has never been enjoyable for me. Haven’t seen the insurance tables and don’t care to, I probably should have been dead years ago just for reasons of karmic balance.

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  23. Jolene said on December 31, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Thanks, beb and Sherri. I knew the file stayed with the email, but wasn’t sure where it would go if I downloaded it. Your explanation answers that question, Sherri.

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  24. Deborah said on December 31, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    I have a lot to read for the next few days, quite a collection of “best of”.

    We are picking up a friend of Little BIrd’s this evening from the airport in Albuquerque. LB turns 40 on Friday, so her friend is in town from St. Louis for the big bash. My husband and I are going to spend Friday night in Taos so LB and her friends can make a ruckus and won’t have to worry about the old folks. I can’t believe my daughter is about to turn 40.

    I put on a few pounds that I need to lose before the end of January. We’re going to NYC for our annual trip then and I’m wanting my pants to fit properly.

    Happy New Year to all. I haven’t given any thought to a resolution for 2015, 2014 sure went by fast.

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  25. Judybusy said on December 31, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    LB 40? I always imagined her in her late 20s–funny the picture we build of people!

    Well, I hope 2015 is good one for us all here. May our lives be filled with kindness, good food, and beauty. And intelligent writing, obviously.

    And an update on my partner: getting a CT to rule out any other disruptive organ, as she began experiencing new pain two days ago, 10 days after her surprise appendectomy.

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  26. MichaelG said on December 31, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Happy New Year to all!
    Judybusy, I hope your partner is OK.

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  27. Dexter said on December 31, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Deborah, the first thing I noticed about Manhattanites , on my first visit in 1967, was their speedy gait. I could keep pace then, at age 17, but by the time 1980 rolled around and I was 30, and tried to keep up with Tall Paul, a Manhattan friend, who had long legs and walked like a professional speed-walker, I was struggling to keep up. Now, I’d be a slow-moving hazard on any NYC sidewalk. I saw the HBO special with Fran Lebowitz in which she criticized tourists who slow down fast-moving natives in Manhattan. She was serious. They really scoot along. All that walking keeps them slim, also. I believe the slimmest Americans are the sidewalk pounders of New York.
    Have fun on your trip there.
    My resolution , the first I have made in decades, is to lose a pound a month.
    Like I say, it’s better than gaining a pound. I only eat half-portions anymore anyway, so I should be able to at least not gain weight.
    It’s Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper in my house tonight…I love that woman! HAPPY NEW YEAR!! http://entertainthis.usatoday.com/2014/12/31/kathy-griffin-anderson-cooper-new-years-moments/

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  28. Deborah said on December 31, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    I don’t think Little Bird looks like she’s turning 40 so there’s that.

    Regarding food photography, in my job as a design director I got to know or know of a lot of photographers. One friend did mostly food photography, the stylists did a lot of work up front making things look edible. I never art directed a food shot and I’m glad of it, art directing photography in general is pretty tediously boring, so much waiting time while everything is being set up between shots. You’d be lucky to get 3 or 4 different shots in an 8 hour day. Photo shoots are expensive because there are lots of behind the scenes people involved. When I was in that shot for the advertising campaign for a carpet company a few years back there were 8 or 10 people involved including a producer, a casting director, a make up, hair and clothing stylist, a prop stylist, the photographer himself and at least 3 or 4 of his assistants running around, not to mention the art director and me, the model. It was crazy.

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  29. Suzanne said on December 31, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Manhattanites don’t walk quickly and every time I’m there, I remark on how few really fat people I see. I’m sure it’s all that walking.

    Funny story. A young woman I know lived in NYC for a few years and when she visited Chicago, it made her crazy. “They walk so d**n slow!!”

    I’ll have to check out these best of reading lists. I just started “All the Light we cannot see” and so far, it is wonderful!

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  30. Suzanne said on December 31, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    That should be Manhattanites DO walk quickly. Gah.

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  31. Deborah said on December 31, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    If anyone here followed the Serial podcasts (which it doesn’t seem many of you have from what I can tell, from my queries) there is now a new wrinkle in the case. Jay has come forward (the so called accomplice to the convicted guy) and has given a new interview (not to Sarah Koenig) in which he admits that he lied to the police about various things. Not that he lied about the guy he says did the killing but various other details which sheds a new light on his credibility lo these many years later. Anyway, this story lives on and I still find it interesting.

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  32. MarkH said on December 31, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Happy New Year to you all in NN.C-land from frozen Jackson Hole. It is -8 here right now, headed to -25 tonight. Central Wyoming is even colder and in the midst of that we had a tragedy there last night. The rustic and beautiful little town of Dubois lost good portion of its downtown in a fire. Located in what’s known as the Warm River Valley, it’s rare for it to have sub-zero temps, but that’s what else firemen from as far away (45 miles) as Riverton had to deal with. Check the photos here:


    No loss of life or injuries, but businesses and a lot of history was lost.

    I hope all of you have a blessed New Year and we can carry on here throughout 2015!

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  33. Sherri said on December 31, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Hey MichaelG, do you have an alibi for Christmas Day between 2 pm and 7:45 am the next morning?!


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  34. Sherri said on December 31, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    More details about the mother who was shot by her two year old: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2025348711_apxwalmartshootingidaho.html

    I don’t understand how her father-in-law can think that having a loaded gun in a purse accessible to a two year old is “not the least bit irresponsible” even if it had a “special zippered pocket.”

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  35. Jolene said on December 31, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    In the last sentence of the story that Sherri posted, the father-in-law says, “She was taken much too soon,” as if a supernatural force were responsible for this incident.

    Undoubtedly, the woman meant to be a responsible gun owner, but I’m not sure there is such a thing when children are involved. They’re just too unpredictable. You don’t want the first time your son shows you he knows how to operate a zipper to be when he unzips a puch containing a gun.

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  36. Jolene said on December 31, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    If you’re a Netflixer and looking for a televised alternative to football tomorrow, check out “Happy Valley”, a six-part miniseries with a female copper as the central figure in a complex crime story. I really liked it. A good story and good acting from a strong cast. Took me a minute, but I eventually realized that one actor whose voice and face were familiar was the dreaded O’Brien (Siobhan Finneran) from Downton Abbey. Here’s a quick review from the NYT.


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  37. Sherri said on December 31, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    There’s little in the world more dangerous than a curious two year old.

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  38. Sherri said on December 31, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Jolene, I had totally missed that Clare was O’Brien! I liked Happy Valley as well.

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 31, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Happy New Year, y’all. Waiting in a nursing home rehab wing with family, praying for healing to one and all.

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  40. Joe K said on December 31, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Want to spend a nice 90 minutes, check out the movie Madison on Netflix, I saw it years ago with the wife, I think we were the only ones in the theater, just a little feel good movie.
    Happy New Years ya’ll
    Pilot Joe

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  41. MichaelG said on December 31, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Mmmmmm boy, Sherri. This stuff sure is good.

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  42. brian stouder said on December 31, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Happy New Year, all y’all!

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  43. brian stouder said on December 31, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Oh, and I bet your slacks will fit just fine, in any case, Deborah!

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  44. Heather said on December 31, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Happy Valley is great. I love British dramas. I am now watching “The Bletchley Circle” on Netflix, which is about four women who were British codebreakers during WWII and use their skills to solve crimes in postwar Britain.

    I just got back from a very indulgent dinner with friends, and with any luck I will be fast asleep when the clock strikes midnight here. Happy 2015 to all. The first 3/4 of 2014 were good for me, the last 1/4 pretty awful, and it sounds like the entire year wasn’t kind to a lot of people. Hoping 2015 brings more happiness, fulfillment, and peace to us all.

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  45. Jerri said on January 1, 2015 at 12:17 am

    Pilot Joe and fans of aviation, a friend’s husband, Bill Harrelson, is flying over Antarctica right now in his Lancair IV in an attempt to break the record for circumnavigation from pole to pole. He started this 5000 mile leg, the most hazardous of the 6, from Punta Arenas, Chile earlier this afternoon and should land in Hamilton, New Zealand in 16 hours or so. If interested, you can follow N6ZQ on Spidertracks:

    or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ZQ-Pilot/863477070381846

    Nancy, and all who post and lurk here–all the best to you and your families and friends in 2015. This site means more to me than I can say.

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  46. Dexter said on January 1, 2015 at 2:01 am

    2015. I walked the dogs and came back to the TV and Kathy had somehow dyed Anderson’s white hair pink and blue. Anderson eventually stuck a dark watch-cap on his head and it had a big piece of lint on it which I wanted to flick off. All the rest of the New Year’s Eve TV couples and groups seem phony in a Holden Caulfield sense of the word. It’s gotta be Kathy and Anderson or the Three Stooges marathon on IFC.
    I know we are all enjoying cheap gasoline, but you can’t top this one: my son-in-law is a razor-sharp aggressive bargain hunter. He shops at Giant Eagle in Columbus, and two days ago cashed in some savings-points on his card and bought 30 gallons of gasoline, 15 in the SUV and 15 in three gas cans and the pump showed the price…$0.00. Now THAT’s cheap gas!

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  47. Deborah said on January 1, 2015 at 2:14 am

    It turned midnight a short while ago in Santa Fe, this is the first time I’ve stayed awake for it in probably a decade. We can hear a few neighbors out shooting thier guns off. Creepy. Had a nice evening, drank some Prosecco with cheese, crackers and salami in front of a nice fire in the fireplace. A nice beginning.

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  48. adrianne said on January 1, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Shameless name dropping: I got to meet Mr. Coates and another social justice warrior, Danny Glover, at the Sidney Hillman awards in NYC in May. They are most pleasant men. Also got to meet the Palm Beach Post writer who won for her story on Florida’s for profit prison operators – what could possibly go wrong? And she knew a mutual friend of NN.C and me, Caroline DiPaolo, nee Mittermaier, formerly of the Fort Wayne News and Sentinel. I inherited Caroline’s fantastic aerie in the West Central neighborhood. Everything is connected!

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  49. Joe K said on January 1, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I heard about this on another sight, it’s neat that you know this guy.
    What a adventure, 14hr legs, gives a whole new meaning to wearing a “poopie suit”
    My longest leg was back from McAllen Texas to Auburn 6.5 hr non- stop. Also he is doing 196 kts and only burning 9.6 gallons a hour my 310 burns 25 hr at 165kts and my 421 burns 36hr doing 190 kts.
    Added up my running mileag for the year, 1651 total miles run in 260 days ran for a average of 6.3 per day ran and 31.7 miles per week.
    Best to all in the coming year, may we all respect each other and our opinions.
    Pilot Joe

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  50. basset said on January 1, 2015 at 11:04 am

    So, Joe, do you just carry a Gatorade bottle and throw it out the window when it’s full like a truck driver? 🙂

    I must not watch enough TV. Mrs. B., Jr. and his girlfriend had the countdown on last night, I recognized Anderson Cooper but asked who that annoying woman was. When Taylor Swift showed up I left the room and fell asleep reading… happy new year, everyone.

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  51. Jerri said on January 1, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Joe, Bill got to the South Pole and the winds were so strong that he didn’t think he could make it to even southern New Zealand on the fuel that he had. He turned back to Punta Arenas and will rest for a few days. He can still continue to go for the record because he did reach the Pole. It’s an amazing feat however he does it and he’s got a lot of flying left to go.

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  52. Joe K said on January 1, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Well Basset, some would say a mt dew bottle would be big enough but the gator aid works better, but I don’t throw it out. Glad he didn’t try to push his fuel, would be a bad place to come up short.
    Kicking back watching the Hawks and capitols out door hockey game.
    Pilot Joe

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  53. Charlotte said on January 1, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    New Year’s Day dawned with a bang here — Himself sat straight up just as it was getting light and said “I think that was a cow call.” Two cow elk and a calf 15 feet off the back porch, then as we got up and our eyes focussed, we saw more elk, then more elk, then over on the other side of the house, coming up the gully by the firepit, there were forty or fifty. Over the course of an hour or so, probably 200 elk walked through the yard, up the drive, or across the hillside heading back up the slopes of Emigrant peak. They’d been down in the harvested hay fields below us all night. It was astonishing.

    *And* my darling Hank-puppy was a trooper. Never barked, whined a little bit because he had to pee, but by the time we let him out after the last of the elk had moved uphill, he stuck his nose out the door, and sat on the top porch step for probably five minutes just sniffing the air and trying to parse what had just happened. Never made a move to chase any of them, didn’t bark or kick up a fuss, just a perfect boy.

    MarkH — saw the pictures of Dubois — what a shame, but good for those firefighters saving what they did in those temps. Worst nightmare — a fire like that at 20 below.

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  54. Deborah said on January 1, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Charlotte, what an amazing Experience. I’ve never seen more than 15 or 20 elk at a time and I thought that was spectacular. I hope I get to see something like what you saw some day.

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  55. brian stouder said on January 1, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Adrianne – I’m no family-tree person, but I wonder if your DiPaolo (by marriage) friend is connected with my mom’s DiPaolo family.

    As far as I ever knew, my mom had two brothers and a sister (Rocky, Marty, and Fannie – no doubt Americanized versions of their names)

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  56. Dexter said on January 1, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Kate Snow of NBC Nightly News was at the anchor desk New Year’s Eve and they ran a detailed segment on the ones we lost in 2014. It seemed like a longer list than ever before, maybe because because so many entertainers I was a fan of passed. As the list proceeded to December, Joe Cocker was mentioned, and my throat tightened and closed and I felt a tear welling up…from nowhere it hit me, then as quickly passed. I guess I thought more of his work than I even knew. Both English Joes gone now; we lost Joe Strummer (The Clash) many years ago of a bad heart.
    Sid Caesar passed away of old age in 2014. Since I am older than most here, I remember his comedy hit, “Your Show of Shows”, from the 1950s. As my friend Ron said, “if Sid passed away in the 1950s his funeral would have been as big as a president would have had…”, and he was right. Sid Caesar was the biggest TV personality in the world. His show was must-see TV, and there were only two networks then (ABC was still in the womb) , so just about everybody watched it…you had to, who wanted to be the only one at work or school who couldn’t participate in the water-cooler re-hash, laughing as hard as when it was shown, and it was done live as I recall, pretty sure it was.
    Watch this video, and imagine you are watching live black and white TV, your whole family an d grandpa and some cousins whose TV was “on the fritz” are crowding around awaiting the show to start… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNbT9Lf9xZo

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  57. LAMary said on January 1, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    My favorite NYT recipe didn’t make the list but I recommend Longevity Noodles. It’s become a favorite here at the family homestead.

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  58. adrianne said on January 1, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Brian, anything is possible. She grew up in Ft. Wayne as Carolyn Mittermaier and is now managing editor in Palm Beach.

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  59. Julie Robinson said on January 1, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    We saw elk in Colorado while we were visiting our daughter, coming back from town at night on the way to the camp where she was working. There weren’t any lights on the road, with not much help from the sky, and suddenly our son (who was sitting in the back seat–eagle eyes!) yelled for us to stop. Just in time, we braked and were immediately surrounded by the magnificent and huge creatures. It was simultaneously awe-inspiring and heart-stopping, as we recognized how close we’d come to disaster. In the battle of elk vs. Ford Escort, I’m pretty sure elk would win, though it wouldn’t have been pretty in any manner.

    Dexter, I watched that montage on the news last night. It was very well done, the way they grouped people and transitioned. Sad.

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  60. Hattie said on January 1, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Happy New Year! Always a treat to read about you, your doings, your opinions!

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  61. Deborah said on January 1, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Dexter, I’m old enough to remember Sid Caesar, I’m 64. Wasn’t Imogene Coco on that show too? Lord I haven’t thought of that in ages. It was funny, I remember being amused by how long and hard my parents laughed while watching. We always watched as a family, me, my sister and parents. We had a B&W TV that had an enormous wooden cabinet with double doors opening out to a tiny radiused cornered screen inside. The screen had a chamfered bronze colored frame around it. Below the screen was the speaker faced with a knubbly bronze-ish colored fabric. I can remember every detail of that TV including the knobs and the cabinet pulls on it. Weird how your mind can remember somethings so well and others are lost in the fog.

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  62. Jolene said on January 1, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    I saw a big herd of elk in Colorado. We were in Rocky Mountain National Park and hiked to a place overlooking a big grassy area like the one shown in the video below. When we arrived, the area was empty, but, toward dusk, the elk started coming down out of the surrounding mountains and bugling. The males were cutting into the herd, trying to steer females away from distractions. The combination of their maneuvers and the bugling was quite dramatic.


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  63. Jolene said on January 1, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Here’s that NBC video. It is, indeed, very well done. Anymore, what I notice in these montages is how uncomfortably close in age the recently departed are to me–some of them, like Joe Cocker, several years younger.


    Your TV sounds like the first one we had, Deborah. We didn’t get it until I was about six or seven. Younger people are amazed when I tell them I learned to read before I ever saw a TV.

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  64. Dexter said on January 1, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Yes Deborah, we could reminisce long hours recalling in great detail the furnishings of our childhood homes. I too recall things like that in great detail…Mom even washed clothes using a wringer washer, and then the clothes went to the clothesline. The day the Motorola TV came was so special…it meant Saturday morning cartoons and afternoons of Mickey Mouse Club and Howdy Doody. There I go, ramblin’ again, like The Stranger in “The Big Lebowski”. Oh…I watched Jeff Bridges in “True Grit” again a few nights ago. That’s one fine film, and I believe it’s on NETFLIX…I happened to have a dvd. Did Hailee Steinfeld ever act again? I guess I could check IMDB now couldn’t I…

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  65. brian stouder said on January 1, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    True Grit is a tremendous, tremendous movie; and I understand that the Coen brothers were very much involved with the movie Unbroken – so it should be good stuff, too.

    When I was a kiddo (through the mid-60’s through the 70’s) there was Ed Sullivan and later Carol Burnett – so that today’s talent shows (thinking of The Voice, et al) remind me of those “variety shows” (more or less).

    My favorite TV show, for years and years, was Hawaii Five-O. We had (what I thought was) a big (21″?) Zenith, hooked to the roof-top aerial, and there was a fine art and practiced skill to getting the TV optimally “tuned in”.

    Our TV was black and white.

    I remember once – I must have been around 12 (so about 1973) – it was Christmas Eve and we were at my Uncle Gregg’s house – a fancy one off Winchester Road (not far from the then-new Wayne High School, which was one of the fancy twins [along with the identical Northrup] which had a planetarium!) – and there I saw something which stopped me in my tracks!!

    It was the first time I’d ever seen Hawaii Five-O in full color and on a massive (25″?) screen; the show was SO GREEN!! I was gob-smacked; it was like a totally different thing, to see it in color.

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  66. Kirk said on January 1, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Our grandfather bought our family its first TV after he arrived for a visit one afternoon to find me and my sister bawling. We were used to visiting our across-the-street neighbors to watch the Mickey Mouse Club with their kids, but we couldn’t that day because they weren’t home.

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  67. Jolene said on January 1, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    My grandparents had a TV before we did, so I would see it occasionally when we visited them. I don’t remember any particular shows from those visits, but do remember hiding behind a big chair when there shooting scenes in Westerns.

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  68. Kirk said on January 1, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Both my grandmas blocked out time in the afternoon so they could watch their “stories,” aka soap operas.

    And one of them would get so nervous when my grandfather was watching professional wrestling that she’d have to go out on the front porch. She thought they were killing each other, even though Grandpa told her over and over that it was fake.

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  69. brian stouder said on January 1, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    I’m with grandma!

    Even though I know movies are fake – I have a glass-jaw when it comes to blood and gore. I can just imagine how your grandma must have felt – seeing Dick Da-Bruiser (et al) grabbing/pulling/throwing/slamming each other!

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  70. Deborah said on January 1, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Many of the scenes in True Grit were filmed in Abiquiu, NM so for that reason alone I’m a fan. It has the added benefit of being a really good movie too.

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  71. Julie Robinson said on January 1, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    As wonderful as Hailee Steinfeld was in True Grit, she was equally horrible in Romeo & Juliet, which is the only other thing I’ve seen her in. To her defense I will say that the whole thing was execrable and that Romeo was beautiful but equally horrible. ‘Twas a disappointment.

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  72. Dave said on January 1, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Our TV was a Motorola, in a blond cabinet, a record player on one side and a TV screen on the other, with doors that closed. It matched, more or less, the rest of the blond furniture my parents had. I believe it may have been a 17″ screen.

    I honestly don’t remember my parents watching Sid Caesar but I do remember them watching Steve Allen on a Sunday night show.

    I still remember when my grandparents got a color set, which they won, how they’d watch it without adjusting the color very much and it was such a chore to watch it with them. I’m sure others remember the first color sets they watched and how each family member seemed to have their own idea of how to adjust the color perfectly. Today, we turn them on and there it is.

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  73. MichaelG said on January 2, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Sid Caesar was one of the seminal guys in early TV with Ernie Kovacs. And yes, his partner was Imogene Coca. They were great.

    My mom had a Speed Queen wringer washer. There was no such thing as a dryer in those days that I am aware of.

    Jolene, you are several years older than Joe Cocker? That makes you – I blush.

    Our first TV was seven inches. My dad used to spend Saturday mornings bent over the tube tester at the Rexall. I remember ALL of those early TV shows. Remember flop over? That pulsing diagonal stripe crap? My grandmother had a huge TV. Must have been all of 14 – 15 inches. Maybe 17”? Wrestling, bowling. Wow. First color TV I owned was a used one I bought when I married my first wife. I’m guessing 21”. Now I’m thinking my 65 incher may be a tad small. Like Brian, I was blown away by my first look at a color TV. It was to be a long time before I owned one.

    The Oregon FSU game was pure pleasure. The Ducks really got into the FSU team’s head. Especially into Winston’s head. I loved it. Whatever they teach at Florida State, they don’t teach Sportsmanship.

    As a U of Illinois guy I am a born hater of Ohio State but I was still most pleased to see them beat Alabama. What’s with all those cops in Smokey Bear hats at games in the south? Standing there glowering during post-game interviews.

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  74. Jolene said on January 2, 2015 at 1:23 am

    MichaelG, I thought I remembered seeing that Joe Cocker died at 57, but, after looking up an obit, I see that he was 70. So, in fact, I am several years younger than he was. Glad that got straightened out. It’s bad enough when people near my age, but older, die. Even worse when younger people die.

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  75. Sherri said on January 2, 2015 at 2:34 am

    MichaelG, those cops in the Smokey Bear hats are state troopers: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&id=2631660&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos1

    The Oregon offense is a thing of beauty when it’s working. I love to watch it.

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  76. David C. said on January 2, 2015 at 6:50 am

    All I remember about our TV when I was young was that it didn’t have a UHF dial, just a little silver plate covering the hole where it should have been, and that we could never adjust the vertical hold knob to the point where the TV vertically held.

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  77. Jolene said on January 2, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Any Billy Joel fans here? Just got an email from my PBS station saying that, tonight, they are broadcasting a concert honoring him for winning the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Previews at http://video.pbs.org/video/2365388393/

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