I was thinking about Donald Trump today, not in the hard-thinking way, more the staring-at-the-ceiling sort of woolgathering you do when you’re a little spacey. Slate ran a story that featured a photo of him in his newest fashion accessory, that ass-ugly MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN hat.

I say “ass-ugly” knowing that some of you might be wearing a similar hat right now, or own a few. Hell, I hardly ever wear hats, and even I own a few. No one in the world would judge you for wearing America’s favorite hat, unless you were wearing it with a zillion-dollar custom-tailored suit, in which case you look ridiculous. Equestrians, whose show clothes range from blazer-type coats to tails, will sometimes pop a billed cap on to cover helmet hair, and it looks sort of dumb with those outfits, too. Everything from the neck down is saying “Downton Abbey,” while the head cries, “Dew Drop Inn.”

Of course, candidates sometimes dress in silly outfits. Even supercool Barry O. was photographed in mom jeans. To err at the closet in the morning from time to time is human, to forgive, divine.

And I forgive Trump his hat, but bottom line, I have a problem with men who can’t come to terms with baldness. It’s so common, and detracts so little from a man’s appearance, and is such a light burden to carry compared with all the stuff women have to worry about — bums and breasts and face and thighs and whatever else the fashion-and beauty-industrial complex is on about at any given time. When the trend toward skull shaving began (almost certainly by some guy sensitive about a receding hairline), I thought, good for you, guys. Fight baldness with baldness! Whatever.

Seriously, though, I say this with love and candor: Women don’t really care whether a guy has hair or not. Maybe some do, but it’s been my experience that once you select for the important qualities — personality, sense of humor, basic sanity, etc. — you can’t be picky about the rest of it. And I’m absolutely sure that even women who want a guy with enough hair to run her fingers through do not prefer a toupee to a shortfall up top. I’ve never trusted men who wore them, because they’re so ridiculously obvious to all that you have to wonder who, exactly, he thinks he’s fooling. Bob Greene, Jim Traficant, John Travolta — come on. We see, we know, we pity. Pity is not an attractive emotion.

Nor is vanity. Pride in appearance is not the same thing. Vanity is pride taken to an unattractive length. Pride is accepting baldness. Vanity is a toupee.

So there’s Donald Trump running around in that stupid hat, apparently because the wind blows in Iowa and on helicopter pads, telling the world no one is tougher than him. Even though he can’t bear to face his own natural head in the mirror. Give me a fucking break.

Here’s something else I was thinking about, after hearing about it on the drive home: Heroin. The White House is rolling out a small program in the worst-hit states for heroin addiction, concentrating on treatment, not incarceration. On the one hand, yay, good idea. I guess it beats horsewhipping the CEOs of the major pharmaceutical companies that started this problem in the first place, anyway.

I was reflecting on how often government is the one left to clean up the messes that the free market creates. Make no mistake, you can draw a straight and true line from the efforts of Purdue Pharma and others to create a wider market for opiate painkillers in the late ’90s to the heroin epidemic (and related health issues) we have today. It’s not even debatable. I remember sitting in the office of a former colleague, who blamed the problem on those damn drug abusers, who just couldn’t leave a perfectly good, incredibly powerful narcotic drug alone so that it could help people with real pain issues. What was so great about Oxy? I asked. Well, he explained, it was time-release, so a person wouldn’t have to cycle through ouch-ahh-ouch-ahh so often. That strikes me now as exactly the sort of thing a certain sort of person would see as a brilliant advance in technology. Unintended consequences are just that — unintended. If they’re not intended, you shouldn’t be held responsible for them.

Anyway, I’m glad the administration is finally treating drug addiction as a public-health problem. And I’m sorry that horsewhipping isn’t part of the solution, too. Progressives are always squishy on punishment, I hear.

Sorry for the no-show for most of today. Sunday was busy, and then we just decided to go sailing. By mid-August, the number of sunny, hot and windy days no longer feels unlimited.

Happy Tuesday, all.

Posted at 6:55 pm in Current events |

58 responses to “Woolgathering.”

  1. Colleen said on August 17, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Totally agree about bald men. Combovers and toups fool no one and they just make one look silly. My husband is bald…it didn’t make me like him less when we first met. I think most women are ok with baldness.

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  2. Dexter said on August 17, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Hat wearer here…just was gifted a “boonie hat” replica like we wore in Vietnam a million years ago. I wear a leather porkpie (my avatar photo) and wide-brimmed straw hats, wool caps in winter, but mostly ball cap style caps. So what did this post find upon my noggin? A ball-style cap with a logo—“Pigeon Key, Florida, Est. 1908”. You know Pigeon Key? It’s a ghost key; when the new bridge was built they just left Pigeon Key out there, with no connection to the other keys.

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  3. Suzanne said on August 17, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Not exactly heroin addiction, but when my kids had their wisdom teeth out, I can’t for the life of me understand why they were each given a prescription for enough Vicodin to last them a couple of weeks or more. I’m not sure they ever took any of them.
    I took the nearly unused bottles of pills to a secure prescription drop box in our area (which someone tried to break into recently), but wondered how many people didn’t and how many of those type of pills wound up in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

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  4. alex said on August 17, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    If the reports of a few weeks ago are to be believed, the Donald went so far as to have a flap reduction surgery on his scalp, which is why his hair is so bizarrely askew and probably why he’s wound so tight. It was reported that he abused his ex-wife in a fit of anger because she had recommended the plastic surgeon who disfigured him, although she now corroborates his denial of the story (and lives sumptuously on his money without having to endure his insufferable company for it).

    Best toupee story I ever heard was from a friend who was a foster child during his teens and had been placed in a gay couple’s home. He’d been thrown out by his own family for being gay and evidently the social workers (this was in the ’70s) were progressive enough at the time to place him with older gay role models rather than in some fire-and-brimstone hellhole like the one he had come from. One of his foster dads wore a rug and was under the misimpression that his partner had no idea, and he swore my friend to secrecy as my friend was privy to his early morning grooming regimen which always took place while the partner was still asleep. One morning as my friend was eating breakfast and getting ready for school, the dad with the rug had been washing it in the bathroom and left it in the sink with the water running while he stepped out momentarily and went into the kitchen. Then he heard his partner get up unexpectedly. So he ran out into the back yard and snuck around to another door to get back into the house hoping he wouldn’t be seen by his partner. His partner found the wig in the sink and presented it to him when he came sneaking back in.

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  5. MichaelG said on August 17, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    I once asked my 72 year old barber what he thought of comb overs. He said he doesn’t do them. “I just tell the guy that he’s the only one who doesn’t know he’s bald.” My barber is an irascible semi-retired fuck and does pretty much what he wants to do.

    Hats? Don’t own one. Have never worn one. Will never wear one. I got in trouble in the Army a couple of times for being uncovered.

    With all the fire coverage on TV these days maybe you’ve seen California fire fighters in orange jump suits? They’re inmates. California has long used inmate crews to supplement CDF crews. The inmate crews get paid like a buck or a buck and a half an hour. They live in fire/forestry camps and do forestry maintenance work in the off season. Which basically doesn’t exist anymore. The jobs are very highly sought after in the inmate population and are essentially trustee positions.

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  6. basset said on August 17, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Growing bald spot in the back, noticeably thinner on top for the past few years, I just keep it short. Lots of ball caps and hats, though… nothing to do with baldness, I just wear em and have for most of my life.

    sometimes a black felt Indiana Jones in the winter, khaki version in summer. And a fetching orange fleece facemask in deer season, it rolls up into a kind of loose watch cap.

    Gonna be sixty next month. Just go ahead and shoot me.

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  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 17, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Basset, at our age, who would shoot us? The meat is stringy and tough and not even that good for the sausage grinder with enough fennel. Just enjoy the round number and have one of whatever on me. (Good luck collecting, but I’ve gotta get to Tennessee someday . . .)

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  8. Bill said on August 17, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    i have male pattern baldness and wear a baseball style cap to keep from getting sunburned.

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  9. Deborah said on August 17, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    My hair is thinning, at nearly 65 (in October), my husband who turned 68 has been losing his hair for the last couple of years. His is minimal, so is mine, but it makes you pause when you look down at the drain after you’ve showered and washed your hair. Comb overs and toupees are not the answer, but it makes you look your own mortality in the face for sure.

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  10. Basset said on August 17, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Stringy and tough for you lean cuts… let’s just say I would be well marbled. Wouldn’t mind a nice long low-temperature stewing, though.

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  11. beb said on August 17, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    I refuse to do a combover. It’s more noticeable than being bald. I wear outside to avoid sunburns but I think any man who wears a hat indoors is an asshat. You’re bald, deal with it.

    I think Bruce Willis popularized the bald look.At least I don’t recall seeing men shaving their head before him. It looks good on some, terrible on others. Black men seem to pull off the shaved look better than whites.

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  12. MichaelG said on August 17, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    OK, I have to admit that, other than a couple of chemo induced interludes, I have always had a full head of thick hair. This thicket of curly stuff does get me, though. I don’t use a comb any more. I just run my fingers through it after the shower and go.

    Hard to feel sorry for you young folks. I’ll be seventy one in a month or so and I know there are a couple of folks here older than I am.

    Airplane ride in a couple of days. Starting to get my stuff together.

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  13. susan said on August 18, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Beb, two words: Yul Brynner.

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  14. MarkH said on August 18, 2015 at 2:44 am

    Otto Preminger, Telly Savalas, Theo Marcuse:


    Also Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Sinead O’Connor.

    I started going seriously bald in my late 20s, male pattern complete by mid-40s. Now, at 63, I’ll catch a glimpse of my reflection and am startled to see my dad. (I know, supposed to come from the mother’s side; all my Mom’s male relatives were bald)

    We see that Alan is gloriously bald, and as you do, Nancy, my wife has always been more than OK with my pate. Never seriously considered doing anything about it.

    I frequently wear a hat, always have. I have so many baseball style hats from over the years stuffed away, drives Debbie nuts.

    Among the worst comb-overs ever is that of Pat Buchanan.

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  15. Wim said on August 18, 2015 at 6:08 am

    I’ve usually worn hats, as I’ve usually worked out-of-doors in all extremes of weather. I responded to balding by shaving my head until I went back to the Lead Belt to bury my father and people were acting really hinky around me. My sister met me at a motel and I asked her was it my imagination, and she said no, the people in the lobby got uptight the minute I walked in. “They think you’re a skinhead,” my mother told me later. There was some sort of an Aryan Brotherhood presence in the area. For a few years after that, I grew what hair I have really, really long.

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  16. alex said on August 18, 2015 at 6:16 am

    It’s a myth that you get hair from the men on your mother’s side. My dad’s completely bald on top and so’s my brother, and mine’s thin on top with a bald spot in back. The men on my mother’s side all had the fullest, thickest heads of hair of I’ve ever seen.

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  17. David C. said on August 18, 2015 at 6:22 am

    The only thing worse than a comb over, or a rug is Scott Walker’s story about losing his hair in an under sink plumbing accident. Is it so hard to say “Hey I’m going bald, I don’t like it, but there isn’t anything I can do about it” instead of conjuring up a ridiculous story to prove your domesticity bona fides.

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  18. Joe K said on August 18, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Dr Evil was bald, in other news visited Antetiem battle field yesterday. Stood in bloody lane, walked Burnside bridge, looked over the cornfield. 12 hr 23000 casualties, sobering in a major way.
    Dexter you ever play baseball in Hagerstown Maryland? Went to a game there last night, 3rd oldest minor league stadium in the country, first place Willie Mays played in the pro’s
    Pilot Joe

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  19. beb said on August 18, 2015 at 8:29 am

    MarkH: oh, come on… Sinead O’Connor’s a woman. she shaved her head as a political protest, not baldness. And Blofeld/Dr. Evil are fictional characters. Yes, there were people who shaved their heads before Bruce Willis, but not many. Willis seems to have started the trend of shaving heads.

    Thinking about Trump… I was struck by the couple bloggers who, after his Hannety interview wondered if Trump suffers from ADHD, since Trumps responses to simple questions tended to ramble all over the place, as if he couldn’t focus on a simple answer.

    I saw in the Free Press this morning that someone is floating the idea of Detroit bidding for a summer Olympics. Oh, God. Please, no! The Olympics have always been a huge drain on local economy without producing and returns after the event. In fact after the event the host city is stuck with acres of unused and unusable structures.

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  20. Connie said on August 18, 2015 at 8:31 am

    My husband has stopped cutting his hair and now has a gray pony tail down his back. We each have two bald brothers so perhaps he is showing off. He says the only people who don’t like it are me and his mother.

    Over the weekend I read Best American Sports Writing 2014. Lots of good stuff from surfing to mountain climbing to murdering NFL quarterbacks – two of them – as well as an F1 story for Brian. Most of the sources are main stream, Atlantic, New Yorker, but Deadspin is represented with “Mant’i Teo’s Dead Girlfriend. Recommended.

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  21. brian stouder said on August 18, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Wasn’t it in this space (whether from Nance or one of us) that there was a link regarding how one’s voice always sounds strange to the person (compared to what we’re used to hearing, when we talk)? Similarly, I think I look balder in photos than I look in the mirror….but in any case, baldness is my lot. The upside is, a few years ago Pam bought some electric clippers, and she can mow down what hair I have in just a few minutes – saving us $15(?) a pop. Also, I look heavier in photos than I otherwise think I look, from behind my nose, but waddaya gonna do, eh?

    Joe – Antietam is definitely a haunting place.The anniversary of the single bloodiest day in American history is one month away.

    Years ago, the Piper Farm house (Bloody Lane leads to it) was a bed and breakfast, and we stayed the night there. Let me tell you – it gets DAAAAAARRRRRK there at night, and you can practically feel the ghosts brushing past you. If you get the chance, there is a marvelous restaurant on South Mountain – I remember great steaks there – and it’s close enough to Camp David that the walls sport photos of various presidents and other personages (I recall a funny one of Henry Kissinger, dining with vigor, on what looked like the same steak dinner I ordered).

    If you visit Sharpsburg, there is an obtrusive block in the towm; and if you read the obscured plate on it, you’ll learn that it was the auction block upon which enslaved people were sold away from their families, some years ago

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  22. brian stouder said on August 18, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Unobtrusive; and Connie, thanks for the tip on the F1 piece. (I betcha it’s about Jules Bianchi)

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  23. Danny said on August 18, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Maybe Trump oughta run as the “wig” party candidate?

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  24. brian stouder said on August 18, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I’d say Danny is in the early lead for Thread-Win; and indeed – The Donald is the Perfect Know-Nothing, too (literally and historically, as the Know Nothing’s central principle was anti-immigration xenophobia)

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  25. Connie said on August 18, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Brian, nope it is about a designer: In “The Art of Speed,” Ben McGrath explores the glamorous world of Formula One racing, “the caviar to NASCAR’s Cheetos,” as it tries to break into the American market. McGrath focusses not on the drivers in the cars but the engineers and designers behind them, and in particular on Adrian Newey, the “Michelangelo of motor racing.” In a sport where fractions of seconds are worth millions of dollars, Newey has designed some of the world’s fastest cars. “He is often said to perceive solid objects not by their outlines but by the flow of air currents around them,” McGrath writes. “In a sense, he sketches speed itself.”

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  26. Bitter Scribe said on August 18, 2015 at 10:30 am

    As far as I’m concerned, Trump isn’t even the most ridiculous presidential candidate with respect to hair loss. That would be Scott Walker, who, when asked about his skin yarmulke, came up with some preposterous story about hitting the top of his head on a cabinet door, with his hair around the area falling out from the resulting trauma.

    Walker’s supporters have since tried to spin this as sarcasm, but I’m not buying it. To me, Walker looks dumb enough to think people would believe a story like that (if not believe it himself).

    Nancy, I read your passage on opiates three or four times, and I still can’t figure out where you’re coming from. Why was your colleague so off-the-mark about Oxycotin? Who is the “certain person” who would consider time-release pain relief an advance in technology, and why is he or she wrong? And if the “straight and true line” from opiate painkillers to heroin addiction is due to “unintended consequences,” why should those pharma company executives be “horsewhipped”? This wouldn’t bother me so much, except I’ve been reading you for years, and this is the first time your meaning has ever not been clear to me.

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  27. Kirk said on August 18, 2015 at 10:32 am

    While we’re on the subject or hair vanity, what about people who color their hair?

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    • nancy said on August 18, 2015 at 10:48 am


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  28. Julie Robinson said on August 18, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Alex, I’d never heard of flap reduction surgery and had to look it up. Even without following the links my reaction was ew, ew, ew. Why oh why would someone go through what looks like an incredibly painful surgery? Just imagining it gives me the willies.

    In happier news, it’s 36 years since I married the best man in the world. He’s lost some hair since then and mine has gone gray, but we carry on.

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  29. nancy said on August 18, 2015 at 10:47 am

    BS: Forgive. I probably left too much unsaid. My colleague was one of those rah-rah libertarians who thinks the market can take care of everything, and businesses do so much good that they should only rarely be held responsible for their missteps. In this case, the legit pharmaceutical industry created a need, filled it and then stepped away when the house caught fire, saying, essentially, oops. (Actually, I don’t think they’ve even said that, although a couple of PP execs did get prison time.)

    Do a little reporting, and you’ll be appalled at how badly opiates are prescribed in this country. Kate, for example, was given a scrip for sort of a junior-varsity Vicodin when she had her wisdom teeth out. She never needed it — I think she took one, and that was on the bubble — but they went ahead and handed her the scrip for 10 or 20 as part of her pre-op prep. A saner policy would be to give her the super-ibuprofen (or none at all, as the Rx version was just 600 mgs in one pill — three Advil, in other words) and then have her call *if* she needed more. But that would impede the smooth running of the oral-surgery factory where she had the extractions done, and that can’t happen. When I was checking the police reports, people were always reporting bottles of Oxy and Vicodin missing from their medicine chests, taken sometime in the weeks or months between the time they got them and when they needed them again. Their kids, friends, cable guy or anyone else lifted them.

    So I was being sarcastic there, and it didn’t come through. I was tired, sorry.

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  30. ROGirl said on August 18, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Isn’t Donald Trump functioning as this year’s Pat Buchananish candidate? He’s not the social conservative that Buchanan was, but the zeitgeist has changed since then. The anti-immigration rhetoric still resonates, though. He could end up doing well in the New Hampshire primary. It’s hard to say at this point who will swarm up from the pack to become more attractive to the non-fringe Republicans.

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  31. brian stouder said on August 18, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Connie – I will look for it. Adrian Newey ‘has the magic’, when it comes to car design.

    It’s no joke to say that rules in the series actually change because of him, as he makes silk purses out of sow’s ears

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  32. Judybusy said on August 18, 2015 at 11:18 am

    There is a social work supervisor at my workplace who has grown his hair long, and swirls it around his head to hide the bald. It’s so remarkable that a friend of mine immediately knew who I was talking about, even though he works 12 blocks away. He’d seen the guy on his walks around downtown.

    Deborah, completely unrelated, but did you catch the Fresh Air interview with Alison Bechdel and the Fun Home musical writers? I’m in the middle of now, and highly recommend it.

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  33. Bitter Scribe said on August 18, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Nancy–OK, I think I understand now.

    It’s just that I have a little different perspective, due to my sister, who has had chronic, undiagnosable pain for almost 40 years. The only way she can function is by taking massive doses of heavy-duty opiate painkillers–I’m talking morphine and Dilaudid. This is all heavily regulated by the feds.

    The indignities she has to undergo are incredible. For instance, she has to submit to regular urine tests to prove she’s taking the meds and not reselling them. Just finding a doctor willing and able to prescribe those meds in those doses is an ordeal. One guy she had depended on got cracked down on by the DEA (the most useless, feckless federal agency IMO outside the TSA) and had his license yanked, just for writing heavy-dose scripts, without the slightest evidence that they were being abused. When she goes into the hospital, it’s a nightmare, because the hospital personnel are always unwilling to allow her to take her meds in the doses she needs. The last time she landed in the hospital (after shattering her hip in an accident), I literally had to smuggle her pills in to her.

    My point is that, maybe prescription painkillers are being liberally handed out on some occasions, but there’s still an inordinate amount of suspicion directed at those who genuinely need them, as well as their doctors. There’s an unhealthy attitude among a lot of doctors, and others, that pain meds are somehow sinful.

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  34. Hattie said on August 18, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    What is Michael Moore conveying by wearing one of those hats when he has a full head of hair?

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  35. Charlotte said on August 18, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Two good posts on the recent grizzly bear predation in Yellowstone here: https://lodgetrailmedia.wordpress.com/

    All the internet outcry, and no one noticed that the same week they killed a different grizzly over in Cooke City for getting into garbage cans.

    Looking forward to the eventual report — that a grizz everyone “knew” and had lived in proximity to for 20 years could do this is one of the most perplexing parts of the whole thing. I’ve had to re-route my morning dog walks due to huge piles of chokecherry bear shit (a black I think, but still, not waiting around to find out).

    Hair — the men on my dad’s side of the family all go grey very young, but not bald. Himself seems the same (although as the person who cuts his hair, it’s getting a little thin on top. He doesn’t want to hear that so …shh.)

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  36. Scout said on August 18, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    What makes The Donald’s hat thing funny is that he is wearing it to keep the combover from flapping in the wind. Everything about The Donald is hilarious; his punchable face, his annoying accent, his silly hair and his absurd platform. Making mass deportation (at a cost to taxpayers estimated somewhere between $1-2B) the centerpiece of his campaign is insane and addresses nothing that will really help the middle class. I suppose he thinks that it somehow ties in to the “Making America Work Again” narrative because once we get rid of all those undesirable brown farm workers, real ‘Murkans will flock to those jobs. As if.

    The only R candidate who seems reasonable is Kasich. I have problems with most of what he stands for, but at least he isn’t a cartoonish buffoon like the rest of them.

    Ball caps are fine on most men, especially with casual dress. My Dad and both sons-in-law are bald and wear caps all the time to prevent sunburn (definitely necessary here in EasyBakeOven, AZ). Like Nancy points out, The Donald looks ridic wearing those caps with a kajillion dollar suit.

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  37. nancy said on August 18, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    BS — that’s a really good point, and I’ve heard that argument made before. (Especially as it applies to veterans.) Nevertheless, PP’s strategy was to expand the market for heavy-duty opiates by handing them out for conditions that would never have required them before, like dental pain. They’re poorly monitored by lots of docs, who can’t find a balance between over- and under-prescribing. At any rate, when you have a drug that is suddenly being handed out like breath mints, and a huge social problem builds behind it like a wave, you have to look at all the contributing factors.

    I know a woman who broke her sternum in a near-fatal accident some months ago, who was facing months and months of opiate use. I can’t imagine going without it — the drugs made it possible for her to function, period — but at the same time I hope she has a lock on her medicine chest.

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  38. brian stouder said on August 18, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Scout – couldn’t agree more: watch out for Kasich of Ohio, because – Ohio!

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  39. Jolene said on August 18, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    A couple times, I’ve been in the position of getting more pain meds than I needed (e.g., for post-op pain that didn’t last long), but being glad to have them when something else happened that hurt a lot, but didn’t require a doctor visit (a badly sprained ankle*) or for which I had to wait a couple days to get help (a bad toothache).

    I also used up the leftovers from my cancer surgery to cope with the all-over aching that I got from chemotherapy weeks later. Despite giving me pages and pages of info re potential side effects and some anti-nausea meds, my doc didn’t anticipate that I might have bone and muscle pain that would defeat large doses of ibuprofen.

    That set of circumstances probably doesn’t add much in terms of policy-making, but it does illustrate both how people end up with spare narcotics in their medicine cabinets and, yet, may not have what they need for real pain relief.

    *Ordinarily, it would be best to get an X-ray to rule out a fracture, but having previously had both a broken ankle and multiple sprains, I knew what I had in this most recent incident.

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  40. Jolene said on August 18, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Scout, the figures I’ve seen for the cost of mass deportation are much, much higher than you suggest. As the article linked here indicates, there are many uncertainties about how such a thing would be accomplished, but any informed estimate is many billions.

    Google “cost of deporting illeg aliens” for links to other analyses.

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  41. Dexter said on August 18, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Alex, a few years ago I told about Jack and Tom, two middle aged gents from Eagle Rock Los Angeles. Jack was my ex’s half-sister’s dad, and Tom was Jack’s partner. My ex and I stayed in a motel but hung around the apartment where Jack, Tom, Cheryl and her kid Tiffany lived in harmony. Jack and Tom were both office managers , Tom in Orange County, Jack in downtown LA. In the evenings, Jack would mellow out differently than Tom. Jack sat in a recliner in some sort of silky gown, wearing a full stylish wig, all the while styling another wig for the next night to wear, freely sharing fattie joints, saying “pass it to Pasedena” and laughing. Tom sat on the couch with a giant tub of popcorn and many cans of Coors Banquet Beer.

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  42. brian stouder said on August 18, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Well, and if we’re going to ponder the costs of this deportation fever-dream, don’t forget the moral costs. Really and truly – how different from, say, ISIL, would we look to the world – if we round up hundreds of thousands, and then millions and more millions – of human beings, and then forcibly re-locate them? When the pictures of mass starvation and rampant sickness reach us (and you know that will be the follow-on effect), how believable will our denial of responsibility be?

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  43. MarkH said on August 18, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    beb @19 — YOU come on. Get a sense of humor.

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  44. Sherri said on August 18, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    You can’t make this stuff up: http://www.salon.com/2015/08/18/george_zimmerman_partners_with_florida_anti_muslim_zone_gun_shop_owner_to_sell_customized_confederate_battle_flag_paintings/

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  45. Bitter Scribe said on August 18, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Brian @42: Not to mention when the criminals in the home countries, some of whom will be wearing government uniforms, get to work on the forcibly returned refugees.

    I’ll take Trump seriously on this when he rounds up every “illegal alien” working for him and has them sent away.

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  46. A. Riley said on August 18, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Take it from all the women I know — bald is fine, combovers are icky (some ickier than others).

    But oh, I do have to implore all the men who like to wear ballcaps, please please *please,* I beg you, if you must wear a ballcap, please please *please,* get the kind without that darn plastic fit-band and *do not* wear it backwards. There is *nothing* uglier than that stupid plastic fit-band cutting across someone’s forehead.

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  47. Heather said on August 18, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Vicodin never did much for me. I mean it worked for pain but I never got a high from it. Of course I only took my recommended dose, so . . . on the other hand I got some muscle relaxants after I broke my shoulder blade (because I would about pass out if I had a muscle spasm) and ohhh, mamma. Those were nice.

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  48. Kirk said on August 18, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Nance27a.: That’s what I thought.

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  49. Sherri said on August 18, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I believe that the way to get a high from vicodin is to crush it and snort it, rather than swallow it. (I have no personal experience with this.) In general, the faster a drug can be delivered to your bloodstream, the more intense the high.

    I’ve never gotten a buzz from taking vicodin orally, but I was given morphine by IV right after my C-section, and that was some sweet stuff. I’ve had IV Dilaudid after surgery, and it didn’t make me feel nearly as good, even though Dilaudid is stronger, and it made me itch.

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  50. alex said on August 18, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Dex those sound like some fun relations. Very old school.

    One of the things I’ve seen in my work is a lot of long-term dependency on opioids and doctors having a very difficult time getting patients with no objective clinical etiology for their subjective pain to wean off. I think it’s safe to say that pain clinics know they have a fair percentage of clientele who are addicts who aren’t ever going to change and who would be a danger to themselves or society if they got cut off from their drugs.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that some patients don’t like their long-acting OxyContins and Opana. What makes them long-acting or slow-release versus short-acting or quick-release (and an intensely good buzz), is the coating on them. So they crush them up. And run out prematurely and want more and make up stories about the dog eating them or the neighbors stealing them.

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  51. Kirk said on August 18, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    I’ve never gotten what you’d call a buzz from vicodin, but it has given me a generally pleasant feeling while also helping deal with pain. One vicodin plus one doob did wonders for a pinched nerve in my neck many moons ago.

    A friend of mine who has plenty of experience with recreational drugs recently underwent an emergency appendectomy. They gave him oxycontin to take home. He said he took one and quit because he couldn’t stand how it made him feel.

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  52. alex said on August 18, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Kirk, it’s like cigarette addiction. It may not even be pleasurable at first but once your body gets used to it you can’t live without it. I know someone who was hooked on Vicodin and buying it on the street, paying huge sums for it and putting himself in danger. I’ve never thought Vicodin would be worth so much trouble, but people who take it long-term do get dependent on it.

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  53. Dexter said on August 18, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    …and I recently gave up my Aleve dosage because of the nsaid scare. 🙁

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  54. Suzanne said on August 18, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    My kids got enough vicodin to last them a couple of weeks, too, when having their wisdom teeth out. I couldn’t understand it. I’m not sure if they took even one. I had vicodin or something similar when I had my wisdom teeth out in the mid-80s. I took one and it made me feel so strange and nauseous I switched to Tylenol.

    I work with a libertarian type guy like your colleague, Nancy. The market is the solution to everything as it is obviously a benign force that only wants what is best for us if just left unfettered. There’s no greed in business, no siree. Business only wants to provide us with jobs that will allow us to live wonderful, happy lives. I try really hard to keep my mouth shut. He’s also only in his mid-30s, so I figure he’s not really discovered that things in life often aren’t what they seem.

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  55. Deborah said on August 18, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Any pain killers I’ve ever taken after surgeries or what ever made me nauseous and that was worse than the pain so I’ve limited their use to a short, short amour of time. Little Bird was given quite a bit of pain killers after her recent surgery (last fall) and those made her constipated so she only took them for a very short time too. She still has a lot of them leftover but has no desire to ever take them again because of the side effect. What do people who are addicted do about those side effects?

    Judy Busy, I will definitely listen to the Alison Bechdel Fresh Air interviews when I get a chance. We had to go to Taos today for business (the Abiquiu building project) and we only have a week left before both Little Bird and I leave Santa Fe for a couple of weeks in the midwest. Little Bird is going to see her old doctor (an excellent Dr, a specialist in her condition) in St. Louis and I’m going to be dealing with the last gasp of the construction of the Playground https://www.facebook.com/brubakerplayground so it’s a busy week before we leave. The Grand Opening for the playground is Sept 5, from 11 until 12:30. It’s going to be quite a party so if any of you are in the area please come.

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  56. LAMary said on August 18, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    My son had three wisdom teeth removed yesterday. Today he had to report to jury duty. He called me on his break and said he sat through voir dire in a Vicodin haze. He has to go back tomorrow.

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  57. brian stouder said on August 19, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Mary – I remember voir dire. In hindsight it was darkly humorous. At the time it was somewhat intimidating

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