Low-rent lunch.

Today at work we had a lunch meeting with some important people, and we ordered in subs from a well-known national chain that, I guess I should say, is not Subway. My bun was stale and the cookie was cold, which made it tough and not particularly good. Of course, even with these shortcomings, I pretty much ate it all, because that’s the way I was raised. Leave edible food on your plate? Unless you’re gagging or maggots are crawling on it, you clean your plate, girlie.

Hard to break those habits, isn’t it? But we filled out a very sternly worded feedback form on the website.

Are French children taught to clean their plate because of the starving ones in China? Good question. Answer: Probably not.

The food was bad, the meeting was better, the day was a parade of sniffles, but! Fewer sniffles than yesterday. The corner may have been turned, and I feel better, although my voice is worse. So what, I don’t work in radio. But let’s skip to the bloggage.

Eric Zorn looks at the Michael Brown/Ferguson situation and observes the truth is complicated:

Yes, Brown never even said nor pantomimed “hands up, don’t shoot.” But Wilson’s exoneration is not tantamount to an exoneration of American law enforcement in how it interacts with minority communities.

Yes, the explosion of destructive rage in Ferguson was rooted in a lie, a lie that advocates should disown, as Capehart did. But that lie is rooted in a broader truth.

A lie can reveal a truth — such an ironic message, and it’s the one many are missing about Ferguson. Brown may not have done what we’d like him to have done, but the incident didn’t touch off weeks and months of protests over nothing, which is what the DoJ report revealed.

I’m beginning to think of “Empire” as the guy you fall madly in love with for three days and then wake up, climb out of bed and say, “What was I thinking?” Tom and Lorenzo at least partially agree. Great fun, but the season is over, and you just know they’re gonna fuck it all up next year.

At least John McCain tried gentle correction. Rick Santorum just stands there. What a profile in courage.

Have a great weekend, all. I’m-a try to get better.

Posted at 12:29 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol', Television |

67 responses to “Low-rent lunch.”

  1. Dexter said on March 20, 2015 at 3:10 am

    It’s been years since I have had a Subway. My favorite chain used to be Blimpie’s. I used to stop at one in Archbold a long time ago. I never had a stale bun or anything but tasty experiences from that little area inside a Marathon station. I have been conditioned to the point where I cannot eat hamburger meat at all these days. The only fast food that still appeals is ice cream, and to celebrate the coming of spring later this afternoon, I had a DQ banana split, which evoked sticker shock: $4.49, because I asked for a few crushed peanuts on top.

    I just did not have time to cram “Empire” into my viewing schedule. One show I love but nobody seems to know is even on is “Schitt’s Creek”, the Eugene Levy project which co:stars Chris Elliott…it is on POP-TV. I think it is just gut-splitting hilarious.

    And I have followed the continuing Ferguson saga, and it appears to be a long hot summer is on the way.
    The 20 year-old who got 20 stitches in his forehead because of a scuffle with cops at UVA is troublesome. The UVA student was reported to be drunk and belligerent, was trying to illegally enter a bar (must be 21), was profane and loud with cops as they cuffed him…and he is getting apologies from everywhere and sympathies from UVA faculty and administration people. Well, if you are 20 years old and drunk, you don’t go challenging a bar doorman/bouncer to allow you into a bar to get drunker, right? It’s a shame he got all fucked-up in the face from the arrest action, as he screamed at the police they were “fucking RACISTS!” over and over… 20 years ago the phrase was “you have to take responsibility for your actions”…well, that has disappeared. The 20 year old is an honor student. I mean, is that a pass to let a bouncer/doorman let you in to a drunk-fest when you don’t even have the fucking smarts to obtain a fake ID?

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  2. Linda said on March 20, 2015 at 3:59 am

    Re: the Santorum story. The real big story in American politics is the continuing crazyification of the GOP and conservatives in general, and the inability of the mainstream press to confront it. The story is, if you notice, only picked up in the lefty press. It’s not a conventional gotcha story, or a sex scandal, so nobody can speak truth to power, as long as the crazy hold such power. And conservatives are now the captives of their crazies, the half-willing sorcerer’s apprentices.

    My conservative brother tried playing the “all sides have crazies” game with me. I told him to Google Obamacare and holocaust. After doing so, he changed the subject.

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  3. Basset said on March 20, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Norman Blake was on “Fresh Air” last night, so Basset Jr. and I huddled around a table radio like it was the 30s and we were listening to a fireside chat or something.

    Firehouse subs here, good sandwiches and they will sell you a five-gallon, food-grade pickle bucket for $2 which you can take home and use to make kraut or hard cider.

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  4. alex said on March 20, 2015 at 8:01 am

    I’ll give Santorum the benefit of the doubt just this once. When people that stupid go on a harangue about religion and politics I really don’t want to engage with them either.

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  5. coozledad said on March 20, 2015 at 8:16 am

    I see it as a missed opportunity to connect with the base. This is when you haul out that jar of pickled fetus, prop it on the lectern and say “Now ma’am, don’t you go upsettin’ little Brandii Skyler”. Then you put it to your ear and in a quivering voice “What’s that, sister Christian? You say the nice lady needs to reach down into her purse and grab a couple Paxil and step outside for a smoke?”

    Or at least start telling the story of how the Reagan Library let you handle his VHS copy of Song of The South

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  6. alex said on March 20, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Cooz for the win.

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  7. beb said on March 20, 2015 at 8:37 am

    A bloggter (Boooman?) talked about the time he was caught trying to enter a bar when underage. The bouncer took him aside, the police were called. They took him away, but not in hand-cuffs. He wasn’t actually arrested, and he wasn’t beat-up. Admittedly he wasn’t drunk and belligerent. He also wasn’t black. Cops arrest drunks all the time. they seem to be able to do it without putting twenty stitches in the drunks head will doing so. You got to wonder why this black kid was different.

    In defense of Rick Santorum, John McCain’s gentle chiding of a crazy person happened several years before the GOP went all-out crazy. It was possible to object that Obama wasn’t a Muslim or a tyrant or an ill-legal alien. Today the crazy is so deeply ingrained that to correct the woman would probably have gotten Santorum lynched.

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  8. Jolene said on March 20, 2015 at 8:38 am

    In case you wondered about nukes in Charleston, here’s the back story.

    You just have to wonder how the woman in the Santorum video has lived this long without having an incapacitating stroke.

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  9. beb said on March 20, 2015 at 8:41 am

    It’s early in the day but it feels like Coz for the win.

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  10. Jolene said on March 20, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Last night, Jon Stewart* had quite an analysis of how Fox treated the two DOJ reports, including a comparison to how they handled the mist recent report on Benghazi. If anyone at Fix paid attention to this, they’d be too embarrassed to go back on the air again, but Bill O’Rielly has proven that not even straight-out lying is grounds for shame.

    *This link goes to the full version of last night’s show, but the relevant piece is first.

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  11. brian stouder said on March 20, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Cooz’s book suggestion (‘Gotham’ – NYC history up to the end of the 19th century), which is on my to-read list, almost certainly will address the rise of the penny press and the American way of doing “news”. One thing that Holzer’s (excellent) book about Lincoln and the power of the press has sensitized me to, is the accepted mythology that we, the people, always maintain – regarding “the press”.

    Is there such a thing as “fair and balanced” or “mainstream media”? Maybe in hind-sight we can ascribe these labels, but the one constant that I’m struck by is the presence of one ingenious person (usually an ego-centric man) who runs things and pursues his own world-view – from the 1840’s and Greeley and Bennett – to modern times and Bradlee and Ailes and Limbaugh (et al).

    Really, the Flying Monkeys of the Right Wing airwaves are the most direct descendants of American media pioneers and muck-rakers. I think the change is – it’s easier* to for “the other side” to see the worst (and/or most extreme) untruths that are being trafficked; so that’s relatively more healthy for us, I think.

    Anyway – that’s my .02 worth, on the press. (and/or the penny press)

    *Forget “right wing media bubble”. If you were in the 19th century, and could read, how many newspapers might you get to see with any regularity? One or two? – and then, how much effort would you expend to read the thing? You’d miss a lot of what it was nattering on about, and you’d have little against which to judge what you read.

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  12. Bitter Scribe said on March 20, 2015 at 10:28 am

    If you’re ever tempted not to vote, remember that Santorum Crazy Lady almost certainly will find her way to the polls.

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  13. Sue said on March 20, 2015 at 10:48 am

    McCain was a gentle correction. Santorum was silence. The next one will be agreement, and it will happen sometime before November of 2016.

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  14. Jeff Borden said on March 20, 2015 at 11:15 am

    How delusional do you have to be to think you have a shot at the presidency if you are Rick Santorum? I understand why asshats like Mike Huckabee flirt with the run. He has books to sell –and apparently snake oil cures, too. Donald Trump has a powerful addiction to attention, so he’ll talk about running. Mooselini also has books to sell and a TV show to promote and a SuperPAC to fund for her own personal usage. Most of the other clowns have some similar money-making scams at the heart of their alleged interest.

    Santorum, in contrast, doesn’t seem to have a financial play going. He wasn’t just defeated in his Senate race, he was thrashed. By all accounts, he is a miserable prick to be around. What the fk is he thinking? Is his bubble that impenetrable?

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  15. alex said on March 20, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Santorum runs a Christian movie studio. Sort of a lower-profile undertaking than the others you mention, Jeff, but he benefits from making political noises the same as they do.

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  16. adrianne said on March 20, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Rick Santorum looking “uncomfortable” at the podium just made my day when TPM linked to it. And the first thing out of his mouth? Well, I’m not in the Senate, so I’m not responsible for all the crazy stuff we’ve let Obama get away with. Not a word to refute her hate-filled, crazy diatribe. Not. A. Word. What a profile in courage. Repubs will deserve everything they get – like not winning the presidency for another generation – as long as they encourage the lunatics.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on March 20, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Oh, man, thanks Alex. I forgot about the Christian film studio.

    Given how poorly those movies fare at the box office –unless you have Mel Gibson behind it ala “Passion of the Christ”– I can’t see him making much money. Then again, I know absolutely nothing about faith-based entertainment beyond the amusing stories I see occasionally on the Creation Museum in Kentucky, which is losing $18 million in tax credits because it will only hire Christians. Now that’s entertainment!

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  18. Jolene said on March 20, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Santorum and his wife have recently published a book about their disabled daughter too. Speaking to small audiences of crackpots in South Carolina doesn’t seem like the greatest sales strategy, but maybe it’s the best he can do.

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  19. Suzanne said on March 20, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Rick Santorum creeps me out. I had a discussion a while back with my Fox News loving brother-in-law about how I would never vote for a man who brought his dead baby home for the other kids to see. He thought I’d made up the story until another relative came to my rescue and verified it.
    Pro-life is one thing; drag your dead baby around with you is another entirely.

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  20. Deborah said on March 20, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    We are back at BestBuy about the iPhone. It’s a long long story that I’ll spare you, but we’ve been here for over an hour trying to get this straightened out. I would advise that you should never buy an iPhone with AT&T carrier at BestBuy, no matter what kind of deal they give you. Never again. I am now expecting all kinds of erroneous charges showing up on my AT&T bill and it will probably take months to get straightened out.

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  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 20, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Bitter Scribe @ #12 — exactly.

    The thing I’ve noticed in church life is that the people who go around acting as if they’re on the edge of an apoplexy event all the time are never the ones who die of a stroke. No idea why this is, but I’ve learned you can’t wait for a self-resolution to those situations: you’ve gotta plow in and at least make it clear what can and can’t be said in your presence. You may not be able to change them and their . . . “minds”, but you can convince them there’s no upside to trying out their bile-stream while you’re in the room. I think that’s progress of a sort . . . especially when it starts to embolden others to follow your lead. If it ends up being just that ranter and two smokers out off the back door trapped listening to them until the cigarette is done, you’ve limited the damage. Apologies to the smokers in the house!

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  22. nancy said on March 20, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Alan had an aunt who was a lifelong hypochondriac, or at least, one of those women who learned, early, that illness would always get attention. Literally all her life, she was complaining of something or other — weak heart, “nerves,” and my personal favorite, a “dead bowel.”

    “Her bowel is dead,” Alan’s mom told us, as she huddled on the couch under a blanket in the next room. “Everything goes right through her.” I said, perhaps a bit too flippantly, “Everybody needs to say goodbye now, then, because you can’t live with a dead bowel.”

    Anyway, sometime around her 60th birthday, the siblings began grumbling that she would outlive them all, and what do you know, she did. Past 90, as I recall.

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  23. Dexter said on March 20, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Crohn’s disease is sorta like dead bowel. I had a buddy who was in hospital several times a year; they’d operate on him and take out a small section of bowel each time.

    Celiac’s disease is another miserable disorder. All I know is that when a celiac ceases eating wheat products things in general and especially energy levels improve.

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  24. Kirk said on March 20, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    I generally avoid dealing with the Best Buy cult.

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  25. Bitter Scribe said on March 20, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Dexter @23: I’ve heard of people with celiac rejoicing that “gluten-free” is the big food fad, because it means they have lots more foods to choose from.

    Problem is, the fad is driven by people who don’t have celiac disease at all but have somehow convinced themselves that going without gluten is good for them anyway. Once they figure out that it really doesn’t matter much, the fad will collapse.

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  26. Deborah said on March 20, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    LB has an aunt, my ex-sister-in-law, who enjoys poor health, has been that way all of her life as I have been told. It’s always something. She was one of those people you hated to go out to dinner with or worse yet have over for a meal because she was “allergic” to everything. One time she’d be allergic to something then the next time we’d see her she would be gobbling that particular thing and it’d be something different that she claimed to be allergic to.

    We spent 2 hours at BestBuy again. So a total of 4 hours of my life at BB in the last couple of days I will never get back again.

    Happy first day of spring! It’s coldish and rainy in Santa Fe today, but rainy is desired around here so it’s all good.

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  27. BethB said on March 20, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    FWIW, I had an American History teacher back in high school who said that the only two unbiased newspapers in the world (this was 1967, mind you) were The Manchester Guardian and The Christian Science Monitor. I think we were having a class discussion about William Randolph Hearst at the time.

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  28. brian stouder said on March 20, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Beth – did you chuckle covertly?

    (the temptation would be for a theatrical guffaw!)

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  29. Dave said on March 20, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    A second cousin’s wife passed away just this week, Alzheimer’s, but for years, you didn’t dare ask her at family reunions how she was doing, because you’d get such a long earful. Poor lady had, at one time or another, every disease and could go on and on and on.

    I’ve had but one Iphone and wouldn’t hesitate to get another but I wonder at all the issues Little Bird is having, Deborah. I thought switching would be simple, when you stay with the same carrier but I may be naive.

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  30. BethB said on March 20, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Brian – I was a naive sixteen-year-old who probably did nothing but keep my head down as I took notes. I probably have that notebook somewhere–time to weed the back room of useless crap.

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  31. brian stouder said on March 20, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Our 16 year old daughter, who can occasionally be outspoken, is much more as you describe – serious, studious, and focused on the task at hand.

    On the other hand, I was always a lack-luster student…

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  32. brian stouder said on March 20, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    (luckily, Shelby takes after her mom!)

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  33. Deborah said on March 20, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Dave, We bought replacement iPhones at Target before and had no problem whatsoever getting everything transferred from old to new using the same carrier (AT&T). I think the problem is BestBuy. If I had it to do over again I would go directly to an AT&T store to replace the smashed phone. We maybe would have paid a bit more but the lack of a hassle would have been worth it. We went to Target first and they had a fantastic deal for replacement, but no phones available, so what’s the point?

    Paul Krugman, lays out a clear explanation of “an enormous, destructive con job” that the Republican Congress is trying to feed us http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/20/opinion/paul-krugman-trillion-dollar-fraudsters.html?_r=0

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  34. alex said on March 20, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Every now and again I come across hypochondriacal insurance claimants diagnosed with “conversion disorder” after they’ve been hospitalized with paralyses or other neurological symptoms that have no medical cause and are psychologically induced. This seems to happen a lot to people who are heavily invested in winning lawsuits.

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  35. Dexter said on March 20, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    BethB, When I was a school teenager I was active in The Young Democrats. My peak was the fall of 1964 when we hit the bricks leafleting houses for LBJ and all the state and local candidates.
    I was duped one time when word came that a Cuban man was lecturing in the courthouse auditorium. We were told this was to be an honest , fair assessment of the 1959 revolucion de Cuba.
    Instead, this man was an anti-Castro zealot and a Batista disciple, the theme was the gallant fight the old government troops put up against Castro, and a vague outline of his vision of a future return to imperialism and ouster , quickly, of Fidel & Company. His purpose was to collect cash to use against Castro. The cash bucket filled quickly; I was a kid so of course I had no money for that guy, and even though I really didn’t understand el revolucion then, I just thought this guy was creepy and I was not in his camp at all. But…if you were anti-communist in any form in those days, you had an audience.

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  36. Charlotte said on March 20, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    My mom is a combination — some real issues, but for decades she had a doctor who would cover for her. So the bleeding from her bowels wasn’t from the combo of a bottle of vodka a day + celebrex — it was “rheumatoid arthritis”. When she fell and hit her head and had a massive head injury (also booze-related) I had them test for everything under the sun — no arthritis, her lungs were in startlingly good shape despite decades of smoking and her liver was in surprisingly good shape. And somehow, the head injury story got rewritten so it wasn’t booze either. I think it was probably my fault, most things are. It’s so frustrating — we cycle through 3-5 year circuits of me helping her out, her blaming me for her life and cutting me off. I’m enjoying a hiatus at the moment, fully expecting there will be another disaster where I’m called in to help out. Her mother lived to 102, so there’s that too.

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  37. Dave said on March 20, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Deborah, our last phones came from Target. There’s a lady in a Target in Fort Wayne who is very knowledgeable. We’re Verizon subscribers, we know we spend more than we could using something else but it works about everywhere and we’ve never had any kind of issues with them. It’s very tempting to look into something like Consumer Cellular when our two years run out, though.

    Dexter, I sometimes find it odd the things I remember but when Castro first came to power, I remember my father saying someone would shoot him within six months. Now, my dad’s gone and Castro is still going.

    There’s a man up the street from us in Florida who came from Cuba before Castro came to power. He tells us he’s been back once since they came to power and would go again if the Castro brothers die.

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  38. Basset said on March 20, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Dave, we’ve had good results with verizon, better than at&t anyway, but my iphone doesn’t work along 65 in Kentucky until we’re right outside Louisville or along 31 between Indy and south bend. Mrs b’s flip phone, yes, iphone is dead though.

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  39. Sue said on March 20, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    You know, I don’t think even Wisconsin politicians are this big of assholes. And that really is saying something from a state where they’ll kick a kid out of the gallery for having paper and crayons.

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  40. Dexter said on March 20, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Ten years ago I was listening to a guy complain about a dishonest phone salesman. The guy had told his elderly mother she didn’t need a land line and the phone company came out right away and disconnected everything. The guy had already bought his mom a top-of-the-line cell phone with the promise it would get signal out there , way out in the Ohio countryside on the farm/ranch where the guy had a stable of horses on his mother’s property, but she lived alone in the big farm house. Of course the phone didn’t get any signal at all out there. He was so stubborn about it, wanting the cell phone to refund him the money, but he had signed a contract and this was just about to drive him back to the booze jug. He ended up having to have the phone company hook up the and line again, at his cost.
    My personal pet peeve is that my Samsung tablet buffers constantly when I try to watch Netflix. Oh well.
    I did get a ray of hope Friday. Phone rang, it was the Veterans Administration calling from Battle Creek. I have to get there for my “compensation exams”, the final step before I am told what my VA pension will be. It won’t be a flood of dollars, just a 10% disability compensation probably, but every couple hundred bucks helps. 🙂

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  41. Jolene said on March 20, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    Wow, Sue, that is surely one of clearest examples of assholery I’ve ever seen, and I am not a young person. I’ve seen plenty.

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  42. David Edelstein said on March 20, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Rick Santorum just topped John Edward (the communicator with people who have passed over, not the philandering dimwit) as the BIGGEST DOUCHE IN THE UNIVERSE.

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  43. MichaelG said on March 21, 2015 at 12:13 am

    Good for you, Dexter. It’s a start. I’m pleased you’re getting some of the benefits you have coming. In a while you can apply to have your allowance increased.

    I’ve recently been exploring the idea of going to Cuba. To do it legally one has to sign up for a tour with some kind of cultural exchange group. There are bunches of organizations selling tours to Cuba now. It sure didn’t take long. Look on the net. To go by yourself is illegal so you have to go to some third country like Canada or Mexico and travel from there. I’m too old and tired to deal with that kind of adventure. Even with one of the legal groups you have to bring along all the cash you think you will need. Credit and Debit cards don’t work in Cuba and there is no source of cash on the island. Yeah, it makes me nervous. Still, it seems like a charming place and I love the music.

    I despair of the Democrats ever growing a pair of balls, the Republicans are growing increasingly unhinged, Bibi seems to want to destroy Israel and anything else he can get his hands on, ISIS is getting stronger, the whole world is going to hell. Fuck it. I’m off to Spain on Tuesday to spend my kid’s inheritance.

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  44. Dave said on March 21, 2015 at 12:27 am

    Basset, when our son lived in Nashville, he had Sprint and he had no signal across most of Kentucky on 65. We still had flip phones in those days and had no issues.

    Dexter, that guy should have tried harder but that’s what I think. My father wanted his contract canceled before his two years was up, he was ailing and not using it and thought it wasted money. I called and they did not want to cancel it, even though I explained that he was under hospice care. He kept asking me if I understood their position. I kept telling him I didn’t understand their position at all and I knew they could cancel it without penalty. When i asked to speak to someone else, he said, “Did you say he was on hospice and doesn’t that mean he’s not getting better? Oh, I think we might be able to cancel”.

    I think their goal is to keep you on the phone until they batter you into giving up.

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  45. Bob (not Greene) said on March 21, 2015 at 12:45 am

    MichaelG, I recommend the Rioja and jamon. Fuck it. Live a little, have a second bottle for me.

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  46. Deborah said on March 21, 2015 at 3:50 am

    MichaelG, Cuba is a place I’ve always wanted to go. One of these days I will. On another note, I read recently that some California wines have high levels of arsenic, but the wine producers there are vehemently denying it. So when you’re in Spain, drink up.

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  47. alex said on March 21, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Dave, my partner and I have Verizon and we’re out of contract and we’re seriously considering other options. We never use anywhere near the amount of data we’re paying for and we get a very poor signal where we live. When we complained a while back, Verizon even sent techs out to our house and they confirmed that coverage here is lousy, but they wanted to sell us something that could be hooked up to our computers to boost signal in the house. We decided against it. We also find that signal is always very poor in the town of Auburn.

    Some of these pay-as-you-go plans look a lot more appealing. I don’t want to be locked into a contract anymore and think it’s probably worthwhile to buy a phone up front instead of paying a high monthly bill in perpetuity. Anyone have any recommendations in this regard?

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  48. susan said on March 21, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Alex @47 – TracFone. You buy what you use. No contract. And you can rollover your accumulating minutes if you purchase a year’s worth of minutes card. The TracFone I bought (a flip) cost 10 bucks, but wasn’t even the least expensive! I have a plugged-in landline at home, because it works, it works when the power goes out, it sounds better than any cell-phone, it doesn’t cut out mid-conversation (It’s the cell-phone callers that cut out. Man, I can’t stand that!), I don’t have to recharge it. I use the TracFone in case I need to call someone while on the road (try finding a working phone booth…) or when I’m out walking or for texting on the train, and it gets great coverage. (But I hardly ever use it. That’s how-come I have 6600+ minutes. heh).

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  49. David C. said on March 21, 2015 at 11:43 am

    I thought I was the last one in the world who still had a land line. I find that reassuring.

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  50. Deborah said on March 21, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    We have landlines in Chicago and Santa Fe. In Chicago we are required to have one for the connection to the doorman, we actually have 2 landlines in Chicago come to think of it, the other one is for DSL. Our building doesn’t let you have DSL on the same line as the one for the doorman. When we first moved there in 2003 they did not have internet cable available so we had to get DSL which meant we had to have a separate line. I keep meaning to call about cable availability in the building and switch if it is there now. In Santa Fe we have a landline phone through Comcast. We did that because when we got this place cell phone service was spotty, but it has improved a lot in the nearly 3 years we’ve been here. I also keep meaning to call Comcast to get rid of this landline. Our AT&T bills and Comcast bills are outrageous. I really need to do something about it.

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  51. Deborah said on March 21, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    I just called our building’s office in Chicago and they do have internet through cable now so I’m going to get that and get rid of DSL and our second landline. Unfortunately we are still required to have a landline hookup to the doorman.

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  52. Deborah said on March 21, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    I just called Comcast and discontinued the landline in Santa Fe, saving $50 a month. Thanks guys for giving me the incentive to finally get this done.

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  53. MichaelG said on March 21, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Jamon and Rioja. You bet. You can get decent varieties of both for very reasonable prices. You can also pay astronomical prices for the very best. I saw a whole ham said to be about eight kilos that cost E850. Yeah. Almost a thousand dollars for a ham.

    I still have a landline. The satellite people and the alarm people demand it and I need it for my DSL. I haven’t talked on it in years. I could get all that stuff on cable but I’ll be fucked if I’ll ever do business with those evil trolls at Comcast again.

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  54. Sandy said on March 21, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Regarding cell phones: we have been Virgin Mobile customers for over a decade. Once you buy the phone, it costs about $38 a month, no contract, unlimited everything except 300 talk minutes. Customer service, when we rarely require it, is immediate and friendly. We had spotty service on our journey to Yellowstone, but in Indiana, no problems.

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  55. Suzanne said on March 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    I always do my phone stuff at the Verizon Store. Got an older model iPhone there for super, super cheap. I dislike Best Buy with a passion; it’s loud & they always try to sell me something I don’t want. Last computer I bought was from Office Depot. They were very knowledgable, low pressure, asked me about a few extras but when I said no, they smiled and said fine.

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  56. Deborah said on March 21, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    We have AT&T because I hate Verison with a passion. Not that I’m crazy about AT&T but it didn’t give me grief until this latest replacement and I blame that on BestBuy. I’m so sick of dealing with these companies now I could scream. What a waste of time and money. Makes me want to throw all of the devices, phones, TV and computers out the window. But you gotta have em and they know that.

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  57. brian stouder said on March 21, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    I plainly confess that I’m illiterate when it comes to iPhones and all the rest.

    We still have a landline, which we almost don’t use, and which mostly rings with junk calls.

    I have a cheapy-deepy trac-phone that might have cost $10, and which has no features other than making and receiving phone calls.

    Pam, on the other hand, along with our two oldest does the iPhone thing, and I think she’s contract-free, but don’t quote me on that.

    All I know is – when we did the western trek last year, to Mt Rushmore/Badlands/Cheyenne- the capable phones were stars of the game; and when Grant and I flew to San Diego two years ago, his phone was a huge, huge positive, as we navigated around the area (to the zoo, and to the Midway, etc)

    And when Apple made a LARGER quarterly profit than the oil companies last year(!!), I was only amazed for a minute, before accepting the logic of it

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  58. Jolene said on March 21, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Here’s an interview with President Obama from HuffPost. Worth listening to just to hear the calm demeanor of the person who actually has to deal with all the problems in the world, compared to the off-the-rails presentation of the crazy lady in the Santorum video.

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  59. Jim moehrke said on March 21, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    We still have a landline, partly because we have had it since 1975, and partly because it’s the key to so many store loyalty schemes. But we did cancel the long distance, since we make those calls for free on our iPhones.

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  60. Sherri said on March 22, 2015 at 2:55 am

    I really want to not be cynical about TED talks. I want TED to be full of good ideas and interesting talks. Unfortunately, either they don’t do enough curating, or they don’t know enough to do enough curating, and talks like the one Paul Tudor Jones gave are too common.

    Paul Tudor Jones is a hedge fund billionaire. He’s aware, though, that rising inequality presents a problem to billionaires like himself. If the gap between the billionaires and everybody else gets to big, then usually something will happen to narrow that gap, not always in a pleasant manner, through revolution, war, or, if we’re lucky, higher taxes. He, of course, doesn’t want any of those options, especially not the higher taxes one, so he’s got a different solution: he’s started a non-profit to monitor just corporate behavior. He’ll poll everybody for what just behavior means, then monitor and report companies on how well they do. (Here’s the magic bit) And then the invisible hand of the market will come down and reward those well behaving companies.

    Or, I’ve got a simpler idea. Let’s just tax money earned by hedge funds as ordinary income rather than capital gains income, for a start, and then move on to eliminate the distinction between capital gains and ordinary income entirely. We can raise the rate on high incomes.

    Here’s Paul Tudor Jones at TED: http://blog.ted.com/justice-capitalism-and-progress-paul-tudor-jones-ii-at-ted2015/

    (BTW, I’m only trying not to be cynical about TED talks; I’m just fine with being cynical about hedge fund managers.)

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  61. Dexter said on March 22, 2015 at 3:32 am

    If you are a Sprint customer and are having signal issues like we had when they upgraded the towers, Sprint will send you a small unit that looks like the old Motorola Surfboard modems. It works through the modem on our desktop computer and boosts signal strength up to 100% , and works up to about 250 feet from the machine, called an “Airave 2.5” It’s totally free, shipping free too. Ours went bad and Sprint sent another right away. If the power is out, we still can connect to the tower 2.7 miles away, but the Airave 2.5 works better in the house and in the yard.

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  62. alex said on March 22, 2015 at 10:13 am

    We still have a land line, but it’s part of my cable internet package and it’s cheap. It’s great for screening calls; I give the number out to people I don’t want calling me at work or on my cell phone. I may have mentioned here a while back that a former high school classmate who’s a paranoid schizophrenic blew into town and tried to insert herself into my life; that’s where this comes in handy. And I’m listed in case lost contacts need to find me.

    We’re on the “no call list.” Even so, I generally don’t pick up when I don’t recognize the number or the number is blocked, but every now and again I pick up reflexively without looking and more than a few times it has been someone trying to get me to give up my credit card number by telling me I’ve won a prize but must pay a small shipping fee in order to receive it, the prize being a gift card to a retail store worth thousands of dollars. This scam is evidently quite successful for it to be so prevalent.

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  63. alex said on March 22, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Warren Buffett’s a billionaire not of the hedge fund variety and his concern about inequality isn’t violent revolution; simply, his businesses do best when there’s a strong middle class with money to spend, money the middle class otherwise doesn’t have when it bears the brunt of taxation. He doesn’t benefit from tax cuts to the wealthy because they cool the economic engine instead of heating it up.

    As for hedge fund managers, they’re just parasites who skim money off of the economy, often doing it damage in the process. The only popular revolution they’re afraid of is the one calling for regulation of the financial sector. By all rights, their activities would be outlawed.

    And that’s my two cents’ worth for this lovely Sunday morning. I spent most of the night on the toilet after what had seemed like a great dinner out featuring lobster ravioli. Today I have a pounding headache, probably from dehydration.

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  64. brian stouder said on March 22, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Here is an interesting story, which I was lead to by Diane Ravitch –


    the lead:

    Bent over their computers in Salt Lake City, a dozen cyber sleuths scan the vast reaches of the Internet for contraband. Only, they’re not hunting traffickers of drugs or sex.

    It’s standardized testing season across the U.S. — and they’re on the lookout for student tweets about the tests. The web patrol team works for Caveon, a test security company charged with protecting the integrity of new Common Core exams developed by the publishing giant Pearson. To that end, they’re monitoring social media for any leaks about test questions. News of the surveillance broke this week, sparking a firestorm. The American Federation of Teachers even circulated a petition demanding that Pearson “stop spying on our kids.”

    And I found the cavallier closer genuinely chilling

    “Our philosophy is, if someone in China can type in your child’s user name and see what they’re posting publicly on social media, shouldn’t the people who are the trusted in adults in a child’s life see that information?” Frydrych said. He responds to critics who worry about privacy violations by quoting a student tweet he spotted while monitoring a school: “Twitter is not your diary. Get over it.”

    My 2016 vote for president, and every other vote I cast locally and nationally will be based on a go/no-go public education litmus test.

    It’s amazing (but then again, not really) how corporate buccaneers and TED-types shift seamlessly from assailing public education, to advocating for continued public expenditures into some new game where the rules are shifting and undefined, beyond what “someone in China” might (or might not) do….all the while stuffing public dollars into their pockets

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  65. Dave said on March 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    We still get calls from those who tell us we have computer issues but haven’t had a call such as the one Alex describes for quite some time. I usually tell the computer callers they’re liars and hang up, but I did take delight in telling one that I did indeed have Windows and was looking out one. Trite, I know, but . . .

    We’ve got a Frontier landline, as part of our Internet service. Without the phone, the service can’t be suspended when we leave for the winter. Yet, Frontier still charges a service fee when the account is suspended.

    Verizon is here in the Tampa Bay area but Verizon is actively selling everything not related to wireless. It was announced about a month ago that Frontier would be moving into the area and taking over Verizon service in January, 2016. Is Frontier expanding into a withering market, as they buy up Verizon landlines, cable, and ISP service? I’ve had no issues with Frontier signals nor the service people who’ve actually been to our home (mostly Verizon veterans) but you never know what you’re going to be told when you call one of their helplines. We don’t have Verizon here in FLA, we’ve got Bright House.

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  66. beb said on March 22, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Brian Stouder @64: I’ve heard about this spying, too, and as I think about it, the honesty of student testing seems rather important, so looking for evidence that students are cheating seems a positive. Compared to the NSA’s vacuuming up everything, breaking encryption, planting backdoors in Cisco servers(*) and such, I think the test monitoring is reasonable, but should be monitored by outside groups to prevent abuse. I saw today on Yahoo that an Indian university has expelled hundreds of students for cheating on their exams, so, yeah, this is a serious business.

    (*) I read just this last week that Cisco will ship serves to fake addresses in order thwart the NSA from intercepting their servers and compromising them with spyware, backdoors, etc. It’s to the point where US tech companies complain that they’re losing business because no one trusts US made tech.

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  67. Deborah said on March 22, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    We took my husband to the Albuquerque airport this afternoon. On the way back to Santa Fe we witnessed a wild high speed chase by multiple cop cars chasing a white SUV. The chase exited the interstate and proceeded right into the city of Santa Fe. I wouldn’t be surprised if it all culminated in a horrible crash. We’re watching the news now to see if there’s any info about it.

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