All the options.

So we were just about to board the People Mover to Cobo for the North American International Auto Show Charity Preview, i.e. the Auto Prom, when Alan said, “Oh my god, I forgot the tickets.” This is the sort of thing you brain your husband for, but fortunately, his office is only two blocks away, so I cooled my heels in the lobby for 20 minutes, mostly people-watching but for some reason this carpet looked very trippy. I think it must have been freshly shampooed, because I don’t remember it being this vivid before:


And soon Alan was back and we were in. The entrance is right near the Ford space, so of course first stop was the star of the show:


That’s the Ford GT. Jalopnik got a little hot under the silks for this, and it’s easy to see why. Supposedly 45 minutes after the presser wrapped up on Monday, you still had to throw an elbow to get close to it. Was the greater threat the puddles of drool or the palisade of middle-age erections? I dunno, but she does have a sweet heinie, don’t she?


You can look, but you cannot touch; she’s one of the cars that sits behind a barrier. You can see why.

At the other end of the spectrum, this little cutie got some attention, too — the Chevy Bolt, an electric vehicle with a 200-mile range and an under-$30K price tag (“after federal incentives,” ahem), aka the Tesla for the rest of us:


I have yet to drive a Volt, so I can’t tell you much about how all-electric feels on the road, but my friends who’ve had them are very pleased. And while we’re talking zero emissions, heads up, Californians:


This Subaru is a hydrogen fuel-cell sedan, “and it fills up in less than two minutes,” the product specialist said. “I guess that’s great, if you can find a hydrogen filling station,” I said, and she replied, “And that’s why we’ll only be selling them in California.” So there. Enjoy your visit to the frozen Midwest, little Subaru. I like your color, anyway.

“Product specialist” is what they call car-show models now, and at the domestic booths, they are a far cry from just eye candy. Most of them didn’t even wear dresses; this pants ensemble is pretty standard:


That ‘Vette has a sharky face, doesn’t it? And that’s about the extent of my interest in Corvettes these days. I mean, I get their appeal, but contemplating owning one is like considering taking delivery of a peregrine falcon or something — it’s just not going to happen.

Speaking of fetching fannies, isn’t this Mini coupe just the bee’s knees?


I love how the taillights make two halves of a Union Jack. “Ooh, when can I buy one?” I trilled to the guy behind the wire. “Never,” he said. “It’s a concept.” Way to break a girl’s heart.

Hey, look, it’s Miss Michigan and what is she doing in an import’s show space? Pointing at a Maserati, that’s what:


I was so struck by her severe hairstyle and distinctly not-Missy gown that I asked what ever happened to Texas hair on Misses. She made a face. So lovely, though; glad to see the raven-haired girls in their ascendancy.

Every year I’m taken aback, again, by the strange visual elements of Auto Prom — the super-bright lights tend to make everyone look like they’re in a Fellini movie. I’m disappointed I saw none of the celebrities who attended, which is to say, I missed Aretha. The fashion trends this year were unremarkable. Lots of black, lots of fab shoes, men in kilts, boobs on display — the usual. This lady wore a churchy hat, but I think it worked on her, don’t you?


And with that, your correspondent’s feet are killing her and she’s going to head home and peel out of her Spanx. But first, she’s going to point at a Maserati, too.


Goodbye until next year!

Posted at 5:19 pm in Detroit life |

68 responses to “All the options.”

  1. Dexter Friend said on January 17, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Wow wow wow…thanks for the photo-shoot. If this guy continues to get tips like this, he’ll be able to buy his choice of cars:

    224 chars

  2. Deborah said on January 17, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    You look great in the photo Nancy. Much better than all the cars.

    65 chars

  3. Sherri said on January 17, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Love that Mini! Just as well it’s a concept car, that way I can’t be tempted by a car that’s completely impractical for where I live.

    133 chars

  4. Sherri said on January 17, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Interesting article about the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge. It’s about to be declared complete, and this article looks at the problems that arose (and may continue to arise) from choosing an untested design. This is all 25 years after the Loma Prieta earthquake demonstrated the compelling need for a new bridge.

    We’re dealing with a similar large, expensive infrastructure project in Seattle, as we need to replace an aging viaduct that not only would likely suffer catastrophic damage in an earthquake, but is slowly sinking into Puget Sound. After much voting and discussion and political wrangling, the decision was made to replace the viaduct with a tunnel, which was to be dug with a drill larger than any ever used before. Unsurprisingly, ‘Bertha’ is currently stuck, and now a tricky process is going on to dig a hole down to Bertha and lift the drill face out to fix it. This requires pumping ground water out of the hole, but not too fast because then the old buildings in Pioneer Square start settling. It’s not clear when they’ll be able to pull the drill face out, how long the fix will take, when Bertha will start drilling again, or (especially) what happens if (when) Bertha gets stuck again, only this time in a location less convenient. But WSDOT assures us that the project is 70% done, for some value of done, even though Bertha has only drilled about 10% of the length of the tunnel. I think they mean 70% of the money has been spent.

    We’re also replacing a floating bridge, though that’s going somewhat better. I think they’ve fixed the problem with the new pontoons leaking.

    1742 chars

  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 17, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    So, this event is about cars?

    29 chars

  6. Basset said on January 17, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Lookin’ good there at the show. The cars too.

    46 chars

  7. beb said on January 17, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    The carpet. Trippy? I think I’d become disoriented looking at it and fall over my own feet!

    The Ford GT. For a penis replacement it doesn’t look like a penis. I think it’s more aerodynamic than the F-35.

    The Mini-Cooper: I dig the fin!

    I like that the Chevy Bolt comes as a hatchback. I like hatchbacks. They’re practical.

    Aw, you made the car model sad… Not bad for a woman in a “desperate” dress. Well, I hope you’re soaking your feet on warm water and you head in cold champagne.

    In other news….

    why is this person still alive?

    You shoot the police chief four times and there’s no evidence of a crime? You know the shooter had to be white.

    Sherri I’ve been following the saga of Bertha, the drilling robot. This has all the earmarks of a fiasco the likes of which will overshadow Boston’s Big Dig for all eternity.

    966 chars

  8. brian stouder said on January 17, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    Love love love the ‘swingy earrings’; and, the million-dollar smile, too! (Well worth the wait)

    Bob and Tom – or whatever the names of those fashion critics are – would say that the dress looks pretty marvelous, too; at least what little we can see of it.

    We can piece together the image of the somewhat cruel-looking shoes (shoes that pretty cannot be comfortable, can they?), and the superb earrings (the reflection in the car window gives us more dimension on them), and the irrepressible smile lighting up the Proprietress’s visage, framed by her beautiful hair….but we’re still getting gypped out of seeing (what appears to be) a lovely dress!

    Kidding aside – it looks like it was a superb evening.

    I’d have checked in earlier, but today was a go-go day for us; Shelby had her first Winter Guard contest today in Plainfield, Indiana (just west of Indy) – so it was about a 120 mile trip to there (on a beautiful day for driving a motorcar, indeed), and then the show, and then dinner with Pam’s (altogether wonderful) mom and dad, and then the trip back, and then across town to school to get her, and then back home again, and THEN to see what was ‘swingin’ here at good ol’ NN.c-land.

    1213 chars

  9. brian stouder said on January 17, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    (btw, Nancy’s swingy earrings have a lot more allure than Miss Michigan’s swingy earrings) (Just sayin’)

    105 chars

  10. Dexter Friend said on January 18, 2015 at 2:45 am

    nance…did the carpet tie the room together?
    “The Big Lebowski”, Coen bros., 1998

    154 chars

  11. alex said on January 18, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Them’s some ouchy looking shoes. And that vertigo-inducing carpet. The cars are cool, but the first photo steals the show.

    Haven’t been to a big car show in years. Used to attend Chicago’s which took place every February. The last one I remember is when Chrysler had what looked like a stunning concept at the time called the PT Cruiser. Don’t see too many of those on the road anymore that aren’t beaters, so you know how long ago it’s been.

    I expect we’ll be seeing more Maseratis working their way into Chrysler’s product lineup. The Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 introduced over the last couple of years are a Maserati hatchback with a false fanny tacked on to make them more sedan-like. The Dart is available with a stick, so I’m told by a young couple eager to sell me theirs, forgetting that they told me when it was brand new about how the sun visors kept falling off without provocation, among other startling glitches.

    The Corvette really has become an old man’s car, its former niche filled by cars like that Mini convertible. I wonder how many units Chevy is selling these days because I don’t see very many newish ones on the road. The ‘Vette needs to get back to its roadster roots and drop all the flab. In my humble opinion.

    1247 chars

  12. beb said on January 18, 2015 at 10:44 am

    I see a lot of PT Crusiers around Detroit also the Chevy HHR, both of which have been a few (not that many) years. I think what’s happened is that because those cars were frequently listed among the “most ugly” cars the resale value plummeted making them great bargains.

    271 chars

  13. Deborah said on January 18, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Alex, I agree about the corvette dropping the flab, in fact I think all those cars have way too many curves and fins. I think the best looking cars are sleek and simple. I like the Fiat 500 because it’s so minimal, same with the original miata. But then I’m a minimalist. I like cars to be either black or white, however we were forced to get a silver Jeep for Santa Fe because it was the only stick they could find for us at the time. Here’s one of my favorite websites, you’ll get where I’m coming from (but I’m not THAT minimal).

    557 chars

  14. Connie said on January 18, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Nancy, I just saw the words sale of the Detroit News. ?????

    60 chars

  15. basset said on January 18, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Being a balding, late-fifties white male with chest hair, I’d be right in the middle of Corvette’s target demographic if I just made more money… but… naah. Not my style, no use in the woods and you can’t carry anything in it. I have driven a Vette once, across the parking lot at the factory in Kentucky, meh.

    So tell us more about car prom. What happens there, who do you sit with, what do you talk about, what’s on the menu, any interesting swag you can put on eBay (, is it tedious or fun or some combination? You probably do a lot better then me at work-related socializing.

    One of those days for us yesterday. Booked a boat ride through a nature preserve about three hours away to look at the sandhill crane migration, thousands of em on fields and islands north of Chattanooga, and due to three traffic hangups on the interstate and forgetting that the place was on eastern time we missed the boat by about twenty minutes and wasted $70. Well, that’s fine, we’ll just go to the scenic overlook and see em from there… forty minutes down county roads later, we are turned away at the gate and told we have to be shuttle-bused in from a school nearby.

    Waited in line awhile, got there, had a nice look at the birds (bought a cheap spotting scope for the event, well, for target shooting too, and felt pretty good about it till I had a look through a couple Leica scopes the really serious birders had brought, amazing detail and I could pick out a bald eagle in a tree a good half-mile away), and went into ‘Nooga to a restaurant we’d found online. Right in the middle of the downtown entertainment district with a cheerleaders’ convention going on and squealing kids all over the place, we can deal with that, restaurant was all smoking section, can’t eat there so we missed out on the reuben-filled egg rolls and local beer.

    Walked around checking wait times for awhile (best one: “Uhh, an hour to an hour and a half.” “Hour and a half?” “Uhh, forty-five minutes.”) and ended up at Five Guys. Sluggish and sleepy drive home.

    Unrelated… I nominate “palisade of middle-age erections” as best line of the year so far.

    2243 chars

  16. MichaelG said on January 18, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Alex, my EX is on her second PT Cruiser. She loves it. Hers is absolutely pristine. She drove me around in it the other day. I’ve had several HHR rentals and that thing is a real pos. Very uncomfortable, horrible ergonomics and you can’t see out of it.

    Great story, Basset. Reminds me of the time I went to Bonneville to watch cars go fast. I was peering through my murky Macy’s binoculars when a guy said, “Here. Try these.” Turns out he was a salesman for some Swedish company that produces high end binos. Can’t remember the name. He wasn’t working that day but had a couple of different pairs of them with him. They were unreal. The magnification, stability and clarity were astounding. The prices were eye watering.

    I am so with you on current car styling, Deborah. It seems as if automakers are all competing to see who can make the ‘baddest’ looking car. Nobody appears to want to make a beautiful car. Witness the ghastly front ends on Audis and Lexus’. Lexuses. Lexi. What is the plural of Lexus? The Corvette suffers from this malady. It is not a particularly attractive car to my eye but its performance places it firmly as a world class sports car. It’s absolutely one of the best in the world, especially at its price point. Now if they could just make it pretty . . .

    1333 chars

  17. basset said on January 18, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Swarovski, maybe? I used to work on a hunting show that had them as a sponsor, really nice stuff. Every Leica product I’ve ever had in my hands has just been a joy to use, makes me miss film… just feeling it wind was something you don’t get anywhere else.

    Chattanooga’s really done a lot with their downtown, I can remember when it was dark and dirty and now it’s a nice walkable mixed-use area with retail, residential, restaurants, offices, nice wide sidewalks and electric shuttle buses. I recommend it if you’re ever within a reasonable distance, take a day to go to the aquarium or the baseball game and just walk around.

    Tennessee just recently started a sandhill crane hunting season and I understand they are very extremely good to eat, don’t think I’d want to shoot one though.

    799 chars

  18. nancy said on January 18, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    If you’ve ever gone to an expensive fundraiser, you know the IRS requires the people putting the party on to estimate about how much they spend per ticket on the party itself, which is deducted from the amount you can write off. So everything you need to know about car prom is explained by the fact tickets cost $400, and $390 is tax-deductible.

    It’s sort of a point of pride that for three hours, you’ll be served cheap champagne in plastic flutes, and that’s about it, although I think a few waiters circulate through the crowd with little canapés, too. The waiters don’t serve you drinks; you have to line up for them, and the lines are long. There are no tables, no seating except what’s already part of the exhibits, although some companies will have private receptions in side spaces, and of course there are afterparties galore. You dress up, you circulate through the show, you drink bad champagne and you leave. There was a Steve Miller concert afterward, but we didn’t stay for it because Steve Miller. It’s a cheap event because it raises millions for children’s charities, and so no one complains they aren’t being pampered enough. This year they sold about 13,000 tickets. Multiply that by $390, and you get a sense of the scale.

    I think a lot of front-end styling comes from the fairly recent adoption of LED headlights. A couple years ago, Ford rolled out a new Fusion with a “mean face” that came from putting the LED lights on the diagonal, and changing the grill somewhat. That thing sold like crazy; I swear, every seventh car on the streets in Detroit is a late-model Fusion. But I don’t mind curves, if they look organic. Styling and engineering have to go hand-in-hand, and I don’t know enough about either to second-guess them too much, but I do know this: People don’t know what they want until you give it to them. I don’t like to see a car that looks too focus-grouped. The other day a Tesla Model S passed me on the freeway, and it was a head-turner for sure, but what caught my eye were the door handles. Of all things.

    2207 chars

  19. Dexter Friend said on January 18, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    MichaelG is right. The HHR was/is such a horrible car GM made them the darlings of their airport lot rental contracts, and people groan from coast-to-coast when they see one in their stall in the lot. They are right up there on the “most-hated-car, alltime” list. Around here, I’d guess 90% of the PT Cruisers are owned and driven by women north of 60 years of age…sometimes way north. I only saw one man around here driving one, and he must have died or turned in his license. There is also a handicappped man of about forty years who drives one here; he has it all rigged up with special controls.

    I am waiting for Dell to call me and we are gonna tear this desktop down to factory setting and install a new OS and then re-install data from a flash drive. This is a “techie” as it gets for me…and that’s with a hand from Mumbai directing mine. Man, those folks at Dell are smart…or they are good at reading instructions from a programmed monitor—either way, I have been amazed at the things they have done lately with this burned-out desktop, which the locals just say, “Duh…it’s your motherboard, dude, it’s toast…”

    1142 chars

  20. basset said on January 18, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Give em the money and stay home would be my preference, but I understand that sometimes you have to get out there and be seen, or at least your company does. Been to a few of those in the past, different job now and not high enough up the food chain to do work socializing.

    274 chars

  21. Sherri said on January 18, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    I haven’t seen too many HHRs on west coast airport rental lots, but several years back I got one when I flew into Atlanta, and you’re right, that thing was awful. I’m not a fan of the PT Cruiser, either, but the HHR is terrible to drive, and unfortunately, on that trip, I was doing a lot of driving.

    300 chars

  22. LAMary said on January 18, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    I see a lot of PT cruisers driven by young Latinos. Either they can get them cheap or they’re considered cool looking enough to compensate for the suckiness. I had one as a rental for a week once and it struck me as being very tinny and underpowered.
    I’m feeling very smug about my Golf.

    288 chars

  23. MarkH said on January 18, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Looking good as usual, Nancy, and thanks for all the pics. For all the talk of styling controversy, radical designs, this stylish new Buick, of all things, seems to be generating the most buzz at the Detroit show:

    On a non-automotive note, Crosby, Stills and Nash lost their long-time drummer, Dallas Taylor, this morning.

    553 chars

  24. Dexter Friend said on January 18, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    LA Mary, the new Golf by VW won damn-nearly every award there was to be had. Car of the year and all the minor trophies.

    Pete Carroll and his troops did it again. How in the hell did they ever win that game? I guess they are good and lucky and who knows what else. That game was thoroughly dominated by Green Bay and yet…they found a way to lose to Seattle’s Seahawks, mainly because their tall guy who is paid to jump high and grab squib kicks missed a kicked ball badly and it bounced off his helmet and was lost, as was the season…I mean…I hate Green Bay because I am a Lions fan, so no lost tears, but that finish for them was ugly-fugly.

    655 chars

  25. brian stouder said on January 18, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Dexter – I know bupkis about football in general, and the non-profit NFL in particular.

    So with that in mind, excuse my ignorance – but, how the hell is it “fair” that we go to overtime and the team that wins a coin toss will win the game INSTANTLY if they score on their first overtime possession –

    but if they DON’T score on their first OT series, then the other team gets the ball – and if THEY score, the first team gets another crack at it?


    It seems like a double advantage to the team that wins a coin flip.

    Why not just flip the damned coin and declare the winner right there and then?

    613 chars

  26. Deborah said on January 18, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Another lovely day in NM, high of 46, very little wind, sunny as usual. We did about a 4 mile walk today but about half of it was vertical so got a little lot more out of it. Sitting by the fire now, thinking about watching a movie “on demand”, but maybe not, perhaps just hopping into bed a reading. Decisions, decisions. More of the same tomorrow when the house high will be in the 50s. I love retirement.

    407 chars

  27. Deborah said on January 18, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    House high? Where did that come from? And I missed an “and” in there regarding reading in bed.

    94 chars

  28. brian stouder said on January 18, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    I think our house high will be about 68, with a slight breeze (as Pam chucks the remote at me) and the possibility of the arrival of a cold front…

    148 chars

  29. Sherri said on January 18, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    I was sure my Seahawks were done about halfway through the 4th quarter, and I’m still not sure how they pulled that out, but I don’t care, they’re going to the Super Bowl!

    Brian, the OT rules are that the first team to score wins, unless the team that won the toss only scores a field goal on the first possession. In that instance, the other team gets a possession. Your other scenario isn’t part of the rule; the first team doesn’t get a possession after the second team scores.

    The rule is sudden death, except in the special circumstance of the first team only scoring a field goal. It used to just be sudden death, but field goal kickers are too good now.

    666 chars

  30. Joe K said on January 18, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Alex, I have a P.T. Cruiser, it’s black and I like it, I can take out the back seats in about 30 seconds and haul a mower or plywood or bags of mulch, and it’s payed for. Love the Ford GT. I know of a guy in Elkhart that has 2 of the new ones they released a few years back along with a original that was raced. He also has a Tesla and I had a chance to ride in it, amazing pick up, nice style, quiet, this gentleman has 3 hangers filled with all sorts of cars, you name it it’s probably there, he told me he has a sickness and needs a intervention, Panteras, Lotus, Ferrari,Mazarati, and they are licensed and he drives them, new vetts? Don’t really like them, always liked the 69-71 style, would rather have a new Mustang.
    Looks Like it’s gonna be a Pats Seahawks Super Bowl unless indy starts playing better.
    Pilot Joe

    825 chars

  31. Dorothy said on January 18, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Are you sure that lady in the hat wasn’t Hermione Gingold?! I could swear I hear someone singing “Pick a Little/Talk A Lot”.

    124 chars

  32. Julie Robinson said on January 18, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    He left River City the library building, but he left all the books to her. Chaucer! Rabelais! Baaaalsaz!

    Cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep, pick a little, talk a little, cheep!

    Goodnight ladies…

    222 chars

  33. jcburns said on January 18, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    I’m sending the Tesla owner a bumper sticker that says “if you’re close enough to scrutinize my door handles, you’re too damn close.”

    133 chars

  34. LAMary said on January 18, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    On a short trip to the art supply store today I counted five PT cruisers and 1 HHR. At work at the hospital I can count five Teslas. Also a lot of the very high end Audis. Doctors.
    My golf is a scant 2 years old so it’s not one of the award winners but it’s probably the nicest car I’ve ever had. It’s certainly the comfortable car I’ve had that is also nicely zippy.

    369 chars

  35. brian stouder said on January 19, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Sherri – thanks; I didn’t catch the distinction between scoring a TD or an FG first.

    I thought I heard the announcer guy say something about each team getting a possession – which sent me off into the tall grass

    214 chars

  36. coozledad said on January 19, 2015 at 9:11 am


    123 chars

  37. brian stouder said on January 19, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Well, it’s too bad about that guy’s dog, but it is good to hear that none of his neighbors were hit by all the gunfire and secondary explosions. Imagine the hullabaloo if this very same set of circumstances unrolled, but the guy left a video claming to be an Islamic martyr.

    (by way of saying, I’ll skip past noting where one hears the commercials for doomsday prepper meals and so on)

    391 chars

  38. brian stouder said on January 19, 2015 at 10:21 am

    and btw – can’t help but note that the preferred pose for the photos of most of the cars in today’s post highlight their profile and backsides…and I like this! (there’s a Great Truth here, I say)

    A car’s ‘face’ used to be what I focused on, but that changed somewhere along the way

    286 chars

  39. alex said on January 19, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Speaking of cars’ faces, the new scowly Fords have nothing on the ’61 Mercury, which stands in great contrast to the smiley Fords from just the year before.

    333 chars

  40. Peter said on January 19, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Some years back a truck backed into my car, and while it was getting fixed the insurance agency got me a loaner – a brand new spanking HHR.

    My God that car was awful. I thought I was driving a 5 foot diameter cardboard tube because you could hardly see out of the sides and back. We called it the Yugo Deluxe.

    When I returned it I noticed that the rental lot had quite a few of them. The guy at the desk said insurance companies love them because they’re SO cheap to rent- no one wants them.

    500 chars

  41. beb said on January 19, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    I wasn’t sure at first whether this was real or a parody but it perfect captures the mood of the Republican Congress: “Mr. President, there’s still time for you to get in line. But if you continue to fulfill the duties of President of the United States that are expressly permitted in the Constitution, you are playing with fire.”

    459 chars

  42. coozledad said on January 19, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    The only thing you could do now, especially with public opinion running solidly against the police unions, is let them all resubmit applications for their jobs pending a review. It could be done in “tranches” so you always have sufficient on duty personnel.

    This white trash needs to go:

    390 chars

  43. MarkH said on January 19, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    The most fun and infectious happy-face vehicle:

    That’s ‘Frogeye’ in it UK birthplace.

    139 chars

  44. brian stouder said on January 19, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Fox News DOES seem to be saying something very like “My God!! The president is acting as if he was the president!” (or, some phrase using the slang word “uppity”)

    The Headline: State of the Union: Obama proposals show president on ‘offense’ despite GOP wave

    and the lead:

    From calls for more infrastructure spending to a free community college push to another tax hike scheme, the highlight reel from President Obama’s looming State of the Union address shows him charging into his final two years in office with little heed for the results of the midterms.

    “tax hike scheme”? “highlight reel”? “charging” “with little heed”??

    Sounds downright uppity, to me

    830 chars

  45. brian stouder said on January 19, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    forgot the link –

    and the main-page teaser is “Lesson not Learned?”

    188 chars

  46. coozledad said on January 19, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    In a letter written in his (Winslow Homer’s) old age, he wrote: “I looked through one of their (sniper) rifles once.’’ The experience, he said, “struck me as being as near murder as anything I ever could think of in connection with the army & I always had a horror of that branch of the service.’’ In the same letter, to demonstrate his point, he included a little drawing of a soldier seen in the crosshairs of a telescope. Beneath it he scrawled — as if channeling Goya’s “Yo lo vi’’ (“I saw it’’) in the “Disasters of War’’ etchings — “This is what I saw.’’

    That “quaint” horror that murder used to instill in even combat experienced Americans is gone. It’s a point of pride with the right. They’re more like Romans, or Serbs shooting pedestrians down in Sarajevo. It’s unnecessary to make an effort dehumanize them. They’re already playing in their own feces like lower order apes.

    That bitch needs some medication.

    1104 chars

  47. MarkH said on January 19, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Sniper warfare wasn’t invented in 2003, coozledad. But then, you know that. Aside from the sheer magnitude, and the raucous silence from the left, what’s the difference here?

    Is not all war murder, no rules? Anyway, I doubt Carlos Hathcock or Chuck Mawhinney lost much sleep over what they did. But Hathcock had it in perspective:

    “Hathcock once said that he survived in his work because of an ability to “get in the bubble,” to put himself into a state of “utter, complete, absolute concentration,” first with his equipment, then his environment, in which every breeze and every leaf meant something, and finally on his quarry.[31] After the war, a friend showed Hathcock a passage written by Ernest Hemingway: “Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and like it, never really care for anything else thereafter.” He copied Hemingway’s words on a piece of paper. “He got that right,” Hathcock said. “It was the hunt, not the killing.”[17] Hathcock said in a book written about his career as a sniper: “I like shooting, and I love hunting. But I never did enjoy killing anybody. It’s my job. If I don’t get those bastards, then they’re gonna kill a lot of these kids dressed up like Marines. That’s the way I look at it.” ” [wikipedia]

    And, no, I don’t give a rat’s ass about Hasselbeck or her like.

    1563 chars

  48. Colleen said on January 20, 2015 at 12:33 am

    We had a PT Cruiser we bought from my dad…it was a great little car. Roomy, good mileage, and when needed we could carry a crap ton in it. Now we are a two Subaru family and pleased with them as well.

    I think I would like Car Prom, though I would have to wear comfortable shoes…..

    290 chars

  49. Dexter said on January 20, 2015 at 5:15 am

    “We can fix this problem, sir, no problem, don’t you worry about a thing.” OK….so they conned me, these charlatans from Dell-Mumbai.
    And when push came to shove, after many service attempts, many, many hours on phone support, and $400 service plans used up, I am promised a session that would definitely work (transfer all data to a flash drive and take the computer down to factory settings and install a new OS), they simply abandon me, refusing to call me back, wasting my two days, and then having an “assassin tech” tell me to just go buy a new computer.
    I feel like I got “took” , and I regret simply listening to other pc users, and their mantra is “never let a pc see it’s third birthday…KILL IT!” Oh, but no…I had to do it my way! I took the bus to Suckerville.
    So I hung up the phone, didn’t even save my data to the flash, and let the computer go back to factory settings, and started over. And the computer has not “acted up” once since then. Who needs 110 bookmarks anyway?

    1002 chars

  50. Dexter said on January 20, 2015 at 5:17 am

    (oh…almost all my data is stored on cloud servers anyway)

    59 chars

  51. Dexter said on January 20, 2015 at 5:35 am

    (and I just installed Chrome and all my 110 bookmarks were there. Modern age. Wow.)

    87 chars

  52. brian stouder said on January 20, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Dexter – whenever we have computer difficulties, my technique is to politely call out “Pamela….” – and then she fixes it. (In a real crunch, she might call her sister)

    169 chars

  53. coozledad said on January 20, 2015 at 7:44 am

    I’m certain John McCain will assist in the dismantling of the drone program, once he quits gambling and shits me that pony.

    What some people might refer to as “states of concentration” are what civilized people have agreed are war crimes. I know the right never lost its boner for William Calley, and they’ve developed their ethical framework from the massacres at fort Pillow and Donelson, as well as from the bitter enders at Petersburg and the murder of captured black federal troops.

    There are delineations against barbarism in war as a purely practical matter.

    Chris Kyle, a US navy Seal from Texas, was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and claimed to have killed more than 255 people during his six-year military career. In his memoir , Kyle reportedly described killing as “fun”, something he “loved”; he was unwavering in his belief that everyone he shot was a “bad guy”. “I hate the damn savages,” he wrote. “I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis.” He bragged about murdering looters during Hurricane Katrina, though that was never substantiated.

    He was murdered in 2013 at a Texas gun range by a 25-year-old veteran reportedly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Imagine that son of a bitch in the steeple of your local Methodist church.

    1307 chars

  54. beb said on January 20, 2015 at 7:53 am

    The bell tower of my hometown Methodist church does not have windows so we’re safe from snipers there.

    102 chars

  55. brian stouder said on January 20, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Where’s your sense of humor, Cooz?

    Hell – the Republican majority in the United States House of Representatives has, in their leadership, a guy who thinks nothing of speaking before a big Klan crowd….and of course – they named the klansman “Majority Whip”.

    This is performance art, baby! We should be laughing uproariously…right?

    346 chars

  56. Heather said on January 20, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Forget the cars–look at those guns on Nancy!

    45 chars

  57. Dorothy said on January 20, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Julie @ 32 – I’ve heard of Chaucer and Balzac but never had heard of Rabelais. Thanks to you, now I have!

    105 chars

  58. nancy said on January 20, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Thanks, Heather. Now that someone has noticed them, I can move on and post something else.

    Seriously, I have been concentrating on my shoulders, what with the swimming and all, and the arms sort of go along for the ride. I never would have been able to wear a one-shoulder dress before starting weight training. Ladies, the dumbbells are your friends. Push those dudes aside and take your place in the weight room.

    418 chars

  59. Julie Robinson said on January 20, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Dexter, how frustrating. You’d have been well on your way to something new by the time you got done spending that much money. I’m wondering if anyone has experience with the concierge service at Costco? It’s part of the purchase price for electronics, and they advertise support staff who are based in this country.

    Dorothy, I’ve got that soundtrack imprinted on my brain.

    376 chars

  60. brian stouder said on January 20, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Lest I veer off and get all fixated on the Proprietress’ (altogether marvelous) guns, and then get fined, suspended, and maybe even lose a draft pick, here’s a non-sequitur.

    Last week, after many revisions and rewrites, and then some more revisions (and dead darlings*), I DID go up there and make a public comment at the school board meeting.

    The PTA lady went first, and then me, and then an insane woman, and then an aggrieved job-seeker.

    Usually there are no public comments, or else only the PTA lady.

    I told Pam that if the insane woman had gone before me, I’d have had to hit the eject button and scrub the mission.

    As it was, the thing went well, and got a good laugh where it was supposed to.

    *thanks to friend-of-nn.c Laura Lippman’s ‘kill your darlings’ approach

    792 chars

  61. Dexter said on January 20, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Still mad, waiting for my promised follow-up call…but did you ever do that? Vent on someone in a rage? Yes, I have, and it makes one feel worse than just letting it go.

    NETFLIX went down too last evening but it took ten minutes and about ten simple steps to correct the problem. Child’s play.
    OK, enough whining from me for a few months at least.

    When I was a kid until I left home my family sat at rapt attention for every word of the SOTU. I heard that tonight the expected TV audience will be 33 million. That indicates what? Obama’s popularity has crested 50% once again. Is it time to just quit televising the SOTU?
    I am not saying nobody cares anymore, just that hardly anybody cares about the SOTU compared to years back.

    749 chars

  62. brian stouder said on January 20, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    and there’s this, about the SOTU –

    an excerpt:

    Let’s figure out who our next president will be. No, not the 2016 thing, no one cares about that yet because it’s still more than a year away. We mean the person who is the State of the Union speech’s “designated survivor” — the person asked to stay away from the Capitol on Tuesday night in case a meteor strike obliterates everyone else in government. That person, the theory goes, would assume the presidency, although there wouldn’t be a whole lot to do until 535 special elections were held. Well, besides appointing a few new Supreme Court justices.

    Hmmmm…I’d go for that Treasury guy with the funny signature

    826 chars

  63. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 20, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Hat tip, Joe K, just on general principles having seen this and picked my jaw up off the keyboard.

    145 chars

  64. Kristen said on January 20, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    It’s very satisfying to gain definition and strength in your arms. My excellent Y instructor (a formidable 50-something woman) has us doing various biceps and triceps repetitions – including curls, kick-backs, upright rows, clean presses..the variety helps and it’s fun to see and feel progress.

    296 chars

  65. Joe K said on January 20, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    I’m not sure that these are real, first the props don’t look quite right and if never seen runway lights flashing like this, plus I’m not seeing any movement of ailerons or rudder. That said it’s still a very cool vidieo, in order to land these birds in a crosswind like this. They would need a ton of left ailerons combined with heavy right rudder, it looks like poor technics,
    Thanks for posting, crosswinds are tough, I always try to carry a extra 5knt to increase stability and help with a go around.
    Pilot Joe

    526 chars

  66. Deborah said on January 20, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    The only exercise my arms get is sawing and chopping wood in Abiquiu and I have a long way to go before mine look like Nancy’s.

    Nancy, do you do your own thing with weights at the gym or do you have an instructor? If you do your own thing, what is your regimen?

    264 chars

  67. nancy said on January 20, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Two summers ago, I worked out weekly with a trainer for the summer. I’d meet with her on Friday, we’d go through the routine, she’d write it down, I’d put it in my phone, and then I’d do it twice more on my own in the coming week until we met the following Friday and did another one.

    I kept them all in my phone, and still rotate through them. They’re just basic full-body routines that take about an hour — legs, back, arms, chest abs. I do free weights, body weight stuff, some of the machines. Pushups, planks, curls, the usual. It’s a little tedious but still is the single thing I do that produces the most results in the least amount of time.

    The owner of my gym has a weekly class with all middle-aged women, and some of those babes do serious lifts. They’re not gym types at all, but they really shape up.

    823 chars

  68. coozledad said on January 20, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Caught the fuckers this time. Always go to the hospital, always get the rape kit.

    Gonna be a frathouse shy of Republican voters at the polls in 2016.

    276 chars