What a lovely day!

So here I am on Memorial Day, staring at a Facebook post that wishes all a “happy” one. Sigh. Every generation that goes by in which it is no longer common to have service members at all levels of society, in most families, and these things are going to keep happening.

For the record: Veterans Day is when we honor all veterans. Memorial Day is when we honor dead ones. It used to be those killed in action, but has expanded to mean those who served and died later — fine with me, as the more we learn about PTSD, the more it seems that even those who came home more or less in one piece may later be considered a casualty of the wars they fought in.

Neither occasion, Veterans or Memorial, strikes me as a happy one. War is hell. You may have read that somewhere.

But as the years pile up between us and our closest serving family member, the more the day just means another long weekend, the official start of summer, a day for barbecues and backyard sprawling, and I suppose that’s fine, too. Free country and all.

My sole connection with the martial was taking Kate to see “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Holy shit, but I could feel my hair being blown back by that one. Of all the genres available at the local cineplex, sci-fi and action are the ones most likely to leave me cold. CGI has taken much of the fun out of watching stunts, and the scripts for dreck like the “Taken” franchise leave me cold. I like my action stories to have at least one foot in reality if they’re set in our world, but Mad Max takes place in an apocalyptic future that makes its own kind of sense. Quite a bit of sense, actually; the imagery was so firehose-like I found myself groping for a remote to stop the action and just examine some of the frames, but no deal — that thing started at a gallop and never really let up. There were nods to the original, sly observations about the present, and on a dark future to come.

Did I mention we saw it in 3-D? Mind-blowing. And then there was this guy. Oh, and these guys. And about a million other guys. Fun fact: The five young women who represent the booty (sorry) at the center of the story include Elvis’ granddaughter and Lenny Kravitz’ daughter.

Other than that, it was a typical weekend with a little extra added on. Cookin’, shoppin’, eatin’, drinkin’. Droppin’ Gs everywhere. You?

I did do something new on Friday, to kick off the weekend — tried a boxing workout at a new place nearby. LOVED IT. But my bad knee HATED IT, which means I now have to figure out a way to float like a butterfly while not actually doing so. The stinging like a bee was easier, and the next day I felt it in my arms in places I didn’t know existed, always the sign of a good workout. It’s a little scary, how good punching feels. I shuffled a mental slideshow of my enemies list on the heavy bag, and did some serious virtual nose-bloodying. Another fun fact: Nearly everyone who works out at this place is female. True, it’s a boxing fitness space and not actual, hit-someone boxing training, but still — you’d think it’d be one place you’d see more men than at a yoga class. Maybe Mad Max is on to something: You want a fierce warrior, pick someone with XX chromosomes.

This weekend also passed without any of us stopping at the Movement electronic music festival at Hart Plaza. Ticket prices this year? $75 for one day, $150 for all three. To watch some guy or guys stand on a stage in front of an Apple laptop? I wish I were kidding.

I don’t think for a minute Jeb Bush is faltering as badly as Charles Pierce thinks he is, but he makes some good points here: He’s whiffing on some very slow pitches.

And as it was a holiday weekend and I mostly stayed away from the internet, that’s what I have today. Short week ahead! Let’s enjoy it.

Posted at 12:31 am in Movies, Same ol' same ol' |

33 responses to “What a lovely day!”

  1. Dexter said on May 26, 2015 at 2:27 am

    http://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp That’s a brief history of Decoration Day / Memorial Day. My aunt who was in grade school in 1925 told of how the whole town turned out at the band stand for solemn music and then all able-bodies souls marched the mile to the town cemetery to decorate graves of fallen soldiers, but also any deceased family members also.
    And so now it is unofficially summer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTsx-wLq2vY

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  2. David C. said on May 26, 2015 at 6:28 am

    I once punched a heavy bag for about 3 minutes. After that, my shoulder wasn’t right for months. It would have been a great workout if I could have sustained it.

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 26, 2015 at 7:51 am

    My son, who turns 17 today, delivered the Gettysburg Address at our village’s 147th Memorial Day observance yesterday. Now I have to crawl around and find all my shirt-buttons . . . but seriously, I think this place (Granville OH) has a wonderful set of traditions around observing Memorial Day — the high school marching band, the DAR, the Scouts both Girl and Boy, the Legion (of course) all march; the town turns out along the main drag then falls in behind us on the way to the historic cemetery, and the program always includes completing juniors from their Gov class presenting Logan’s General Order No. 11 instituting the day, the Gettysburg Address, and “In Flanders Fields,” with a speaker who (in my twelve years of participation) rarely is a jingoistic, flag-waving, “war is grand” pontificator (that would be one in twelve for my experience, and he was not warmly received in the usual cheerful gaggle at the platform after).

    But I always have to bite down on a temptation to shake my head when well-meaning folk come ’round saying to vets “thank you for your service” and wonder if it really would get through if I replied “No, today isn’t about my service, it’s about (pointing) theirs.”

    And the monsignor of the local Catholic parish who had invocation/benediction duties this year (it rotates about) closed with a mighty prayer for the end of war, the promotion of peace, and the strength of a citizenry who always challenge their rulers when sacrifice is called for without clarity or purpose. And the vets in line with their M-1s and flags were nodding approvingly as he came to our “Amen.”

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  4. Dave in CC said on May 26, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Here is some straight talk about Memorial Day that sadly we seldom hear.


    We should never forget our war dead. I hope, nay pray, there will come a day when our war dead will be remembered not as “glorious heroes” but rather as victims of lost peace.


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  5. Basset said on May 26, 2015 at 7:55 am

    No EDM for us but I did just buy Kraftwerk tickets. Been waiting some time for them to tour.

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  6. beb said on May 26, 2015 at 8:43 am

    My Memorial Day reading reading included a report that concluded that military personnel today tend to come from military family, and the members tend to live clustered with other military personnel. Thus the military has little contact with civilians, and vice versa and there’s growing contempt among the military for civilians. However the people writing these reports don’t consider a national draft a good idea for democratizing the military.

    In Ireland the people passed a referendum approving gay marriage. Initially it was thought the vote might be as high as 70-75% yes but ended up as 62%. Considering how had it is to find consensus on anything 62% is pretty damned good.

    And the Duggars are turning into one giant cowflop. Josh Duggars’ original police report has been destroyed, and a politician argues that the people who originally turned over the report to a properly filed Freedom of Information Act request should be fired. The counselor John was referred to later was forced to retired because he was seen as “grooming” the young people placed under him. “Grooming” is part of a pedophile’s MO. Mama Duggar got a mother of the year award from a pastor who had to retire for Adultery. But mostly its the growing number of people speaking out in support of the Duggars. There’s simply no way to put a gloss on this. One incident might have been a “youthful indiscretion” but five times? That’s a serial predator. And his family and his community covered up what he did, without any regard to the effect his behavior had on his sisters or friends.

    Jeb Bush is stuck between Iraq and a hard place. Despite claiming to be his own man, Jeb has not hired a lot of advisers from his brother’s administration and clearly he’s not going to throw his own brother under the bus about the invasion. Of course what Charles Pierce is saying is that if Jeb can’t talk his way out of this question how will he be able to campaign effectively in the general election.

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  7. brian stouder said on May 26, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Good stuff, Jeff.

    It being Memorial Day, and with Shelby and Grant (and their smart phones w/GPS, and some googled-up information from Pam) out running a few errands, we decided to go in search of a particular grave stone.

    It was not for a war veteran (although her dad was a Great War veteran), but instead for an aunt that no one ever got to meet.

    A way-long time ago, I recall visiting the gravesite for my dad’s sister, who was still-born in a home-birth, 90 years ago. In more recent years, I wanted to find it again, and could not – but Pam utilized her internet skills and pointed us into a mostly-forgotten cemetery right on the edge of town. Someone mows the grass there, but head stones are knocked over or partially gone, etc. The whole place is about the size of a high-school gymnasium, and I went searching on the left while Grant went up the center and Shelby went left. Before long, Shelby found a ‘Stouder’ man, amongst several broken stones in the back corner, and so the mission was a success.

    We’ll be headed back there soon, this time with some flowers

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  8. beb said on May 26, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Basset: what, Kraftwerk still tours? They must be, like, ancient by now.

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  9. Connie said on May 26, 2015 at 8:49 am

    What Jeff(tmmo) describes is similar to what happens in my small home town. Parade of vets, kids, bikes, middle and high school band, stops at small corner park for brief remarks then on to the cemetery to lay wreaths on every vet grave. I don’t think my Dad has ever missed it, he comes home from his holiday weekend at the cottage a day early in order to go.

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  10. Jeff Borden said on May 26, 2015 at 9:48 am

    I’m old enough to remember sizable numbers of WWI vets marching in the parades in Lima, Ohio, when I was a small boy. Later, as a Cub Scout, we marched in the parade, which at first seemed cool, but then we realized we couldn’t watch the parade. My dad was one of the silent types. He rarely spoke of his experiences in Europe until very, very late in life.

    Regarding the Duggars, I was aware of them but not of their Quiverfull movement, which I read about online yesterday. Yeeeeeeeesh. Not the kind of household I’d want to be part of. . .How can any child get the attention of mom and dad when there are 18 others competing for that attention? And the role of women really is, more or less, breeding stock. Just one Big Daddy and you’ll be fine, honey.

    Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee came roaring out to defend the Duggars from those nasty bastards in the media and those who decry the hypocrisy of a family that preaches morality to others but fails to meet its own standards. I see no percentage in a presidential candidate standing tall for a molester, but then, I don’t understand the appeal of this odd man and his theocratic ideas.

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  11. susan said on May 26, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Here’s a righteous rant for Memorial Day: 5 Reasons I Don’t Give a Sh*t About Confederate Deaths On Memorial Day

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  12. brian stouder said on May 26, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Susan, excellent stuff.

    As far as I can go, in the other direction, is to repeat the truism that the fratricidal war that the “Confederate States of America” began against the United States was genuinely

    rich man’s war, and a poor man’s fight.

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  13. Dave said on May 26, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    It is said that there was family in my paternal grandmother’s family who went and lived in the woods rather than go fight for the Confederacy, in and about the Christiansburg, VA, area. This is, according to family legend, why there are two spellings of that last name, those who hid and those who didn’t. Quite frankly, I don’t know which is which. For years, I was told my great-great grandfather was a Confederate soldier but have learned this may not be true. If he was, my great-grandfather was born in 1863, and I doubt the birthrate in Virginia was very high in 1863. One wonders.

    Mike Huckabee? Didn’t his son kill a dog for pure torment? When you have your own child do something so repulsive, perhaps it’s easier to harden your heart and make excuses for all sorts of things.

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  14. annie said on May 26, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    From Dave @4 – “We should never forget our war dead. I hope, nay pray, there will come a day when our war dead will be remembered not as “glorious heroes” but rather as victims of lost peace.”


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  15. Basset said on May 26, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Beb, I’m not sure Kraftwerk has toured much at all in the last twenty years or so… this time they are taking the standard 70s band approach of one member from their peak and three guys you never heard of.

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  16. brian stouder said on May 26, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    semi non-sequitur: I was pleasantly surprised by – and really liked – the acappella rendition of Back Home Again in Indiana, by Straight No Chaser

    (one wonders if Governor Dufus is saying “SEE??! They’re ‘straight’, dammit!”)

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  17. Joe K said on May 26, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    I was watching on abc and there was so much echo, you couldn’t understand the song or anything else that was going on. I did hear a rendition by them on tape and indeed sounded good. I thought it was a good race and a fantastic last 15 laps, were you there?
    Pilot Joe

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  18. Kirk said on May 26, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    There was too much echo, but they sounded good, a worthy replacement of Jim Nabors.

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  19. brian stouder said on May 26, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Joe – my two sons and I spent all day pole-day there, a week before the race.

    I’ve attended two 500’s there, which was good stuff; but I’d rather knock around all day in the run-up to the race, as there’s lots to see, and if you walk enough, you’ll see a lot of it!

    ‘Course, when we rolled in a week ago, Carpenter had just had his big crash, and all on-track activity came to a halt, which was concerning.

    We spent a fair amount of time at Gasoline Alley, and saw (amongst many others) Mario and AJ and Bobby (Rahal) and Bobby (Unser) and Paul Page and most of the current field – all milling about.

    As the delay continued (and continued) I was really wondering if they were having a moment like in the Senna movie, where the drivers tell the organizers “We ain’t runnin”….

    but they finally got back on track and did a bit of practice, and then qualifying….and it was very good to see NO cars go airborne during the race…although those things seem to become shrapnel bombs when they crash (spraying everywhere wiwith bits and pieces and chunks)

    We were in Logansport, and they get Indy TV – so the race was blacked out and I listened to Paul Page on the radio, and then watched the telecast that evening – just as we used to do, way back in the day, here in Fort Wayne.

    Gotta love Juan Pablo, who has run the race three times, and won it twice!

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  20. brian stouder said on May 26, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    btw – funniest thing I saw on pole day:

    The crowd was becoming a bit surly, as hour after hour went by, and no racey cars were out on track, and uncertainty was the overall mood.

    At one point, a decked-out Chevy SUV came rolling down the main-straight, and stopped short of Turn One (where we were at that moment), and the Firestone Firehawk mascot guy climbed out, and began firing tee-shirts into the crowd using one of those air-guns.

    Definitely a crowd-pleaser, as the kids scramble for the goodie after it lands in the stands.

    As he came closer to us, he arced one right over the fence and to where some older fellows were seated….and the one old guy picked up the thing, and threw the son-of-a-beotch back out onto the track!

    We all got a laugh out of that, and the good-natured firehawk guy picked it up and shot it to some more kiddos, further up

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  21. Connie said on May 26, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Brian, we used to live in Seymour, the first place south of Indy where you could get Louisville TV and thus watch the race. Hotel rooms and bars would fill up with fans.

    I did the Infield thing with an MSU gang back in the day. AJ won. Once was enough for me. And I remember thinking people in Indianapolis had southern accents.

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  22. brian stouder said on May 26, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Connie, on rare occasions, I’ve had the chance to be up behind the glass in the luxury suites, at MichiganInternational Speedway, and at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    Now THAT’s the way to attend one of these things, lemme tell ya!

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  23. Sherri said on May 26, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    I love hitting things. From my experience with martial arts with a bad knee, I would recommend not trying to float like a butterfly. No need to dance around on the balls of your feet, just move around with your heels down. You’re not trying to avoid getting hit, so no problem. If it’s the pivot for the punch that the’s problem, there are two possible work arounds. One, make sure to lift your heel and pivot on the ball of your foot, rather than twist your knee, or two, switch your stance, so that the bad knee is the front leg. A neoprene sleeve might help it feel better, maybe, but nothing short of a hinged brace is going to provide any protection from further injury, and I’m not convinced how much protection even the highest end hinged braces provide. I have an expensive custom fit hinged brace (insurance covered it), and I wore it when the doctor said I had to for the first six months after surgery, but even custom fit, the thing is not all that comfortable.

    The longer term answer is to beef up your quads, particularly the vastus medialus oblique, the muscle right at the end and on the inside above your kneecap. At least, that’s what the PT was always telling me!

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  24. Sue said on May 26, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    beb, re the duggars: Plus, Ma Duggar has perfected “the gaze”, see photo in attached article. I hoped we were done with that.
    Who watches that show? I’ve never seen it but from what I’ve read it’s pretty creepy. And who doesn’t figure out pretty quickly that this is advertising for an also-creepy subsection of Christianity?

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  25. alex said on May 26, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    I usually find Charles Pierce insightful, but I agree that it’s way too soon to write off Jeb. As a matter of fact, I don’t think there’s any blunder Jeb could commit that would knock him off his perch as the Chosen One of the One Percent. If his most serious competitors are Rubio and Walker, I’d say his path to the nomination ought to be a cakewalk. The man just gave five different answers over five days as to what he’d have done differently in Iraq, and nobody has any idea what he really thinks. In the modern Republican party, that makes him a winner. And in a debate with Hillary Clinton, he won’t be tethered to those pesky things known as facts.

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  26. BethB said on May 26, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Do you suppose any of the Duggars ever read books? Perhaps there’s no such thing as a quiet place in that house of so many people. Just wondering…

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  27. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 26, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    I’m curious to hear anyone’s reaction to this. It’s a story I’ve been tangled up in from both directions: had to give Michael the stiff-arm over the weekend (saying “sorry, it’s not my story to share”) and have been working with the congregation’s members in a number of ways having just in the last couple of months gotten to know and work with Seth. No one saw this coming until a week ago Saturday, and then the suicide last Friday had everyone scrambling.

    The decision to run this as a column from the Editor’s desk with an info piece on behavioral health services (that’s of course hyperlinked in the online version) I think was the best one under the circumstances. There’s a great deal of anger after a suicide regardless, and in this case some of it has been thrown at the paper — which until the obituary ran Monday had said nothing, partly because no one (myself included) was saying anything for the record.

    I don’t see how anyone, individually or the community, is served by saying nothing. And this feels right to me, but I’m asking because, again, I’m too close to this story from both the pastoral and the paper side of the dilemma.


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  28. Sherri said on May 26, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    What an awful situation, Jeff(tmmo). My heart goes out to you and everyone in that community.

    It seems to me like it was handled reasonably. If he were a local politician, I don’t think there would be much question, would there? I don’t know your community, nor do I know how big the church was, but it sounds like the man was considered a community leader, so ignoring the situation just doesn’t seem feasible.

    From a pastoral standpoint, one thing I can share as someone who has contemplated suicide: church does not always feel like the safest place to suffer with mental illness. Everyone tends to put on their best face at church, and it can make you feel even more alienated when you don’t feel capable of doing that. It can be surprisingly hard to be real at church; not everyone is comfortable with that.

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  29. Deborah said on May 26, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Jeff tmmo, what a tough situation. So sad that the guy seems to have felt he had no alternative but to take his life. What a tragedy. I think it was right to tell the truth about the cause of death if that is what you’re asking.

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  30. brian stouder said on May 26, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    What Sherri & Deborah said.

    And, indeed – I hope there is a quiet outreach to the adult staff member with whom the fellow was involved, as well as his family.

    It never ceases to amaze me, how quickly a (seemingly) simple life can become so enormously complicated

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  31. MarkH said on May 27, 2015 at 1:23 am

    As you would say, Jeff, peace, grace and prayers to you, the pastor’s family and the congregation. And yes, the Advocate handled the story most appropriately.

    You Michiganders are likely already aware of this (and Nancy may have discussed it here already), but this food stamps enhancement program is good all the way around. Hats off.


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  32. Linda said on May 27, 2015 at 3:29 am

    MarkH, the double food stamp is sweepimg the nation –good for local farmers and recipients. Here’s more:http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/11/10/361803607/how-double-bucks-for-food-stamps-conquered-capitol-hill

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  33. Jill said on May 27, 2015 at 6:32 am

    Our local farmers’ market started the double coupons two years ago. The first year was slow but it really took off last year. We offered them at the winter market hosted by my church and it was great to see people who often don’t have access to fresher foods able to shop for them at reasonable prices. The pantry where I work gets leftovers from farmers’ markets and our clients know when they’ll come in. People are waiting when the volunteers arrive with the produce; it’s very popular. The growers are happy because they’re the last people who want to see food wasted.

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