It seemed the weekend was a magic carpet of possibilities 48 hours ago, and here it is, nearly gone. Oh, well. That’s what happens when you let yourself sleep in past 8 a.m. Sleeping in meant Alan could accompany me to the Saturday market, and we ended up having lunch at Vivio’s, a place known for its bloody marys. Of course I…had one. Had two, in fact. Day drinking = nap = more weekend gone, but what the hell. It was cold and windy on Saturday and what else are you going to do? I know people who did a sailing race Saturday. Capsized. I’d rather be at Vivio’s sucking up a second Mary.

Life is settling into its post-Kate rhythms, which are still unclear. Less junk food in the house (yay!), my car is mine again (same!), but of course, Herself is mostly gone. She’s actually home more often than someone “away at college” should be, but she’s gone Monday through Friday, and the house is quieter, and also cleaner.

I can’t say I spent the weekend doing much productive other than the usual laundry/errands stuff, but I wonder if we’re maybe reaching a tipping point on the shooting business. The crazies calling for MOAR GUNZ seem to finally be recognized as crazy, and a certain…angry silence? Maybe? Seems to be asserting itself. Eventually silence gives way to noise, and I hope it’s a useful sort of noise.

In other words, maybe the tide is turning. Maybe we can get there.

And in bloggage, I don’t have much, but I have this: People getting killed by trains, taking photos on tracks. I had a hard time understanding this story, and finally I figured it’s because I live in the Midwest, where trains are overwhelmingly a) freight; and b) relatively slow-moving. It’s hard for me to understand how any American train can bear down on a photo shoot so quickly that people don’t have time to get out of the way. But obviously it happens. HT: Hank.

Let’s watch this week unfold, shall we? It’s about to, whether we want it to or not.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

63 responses to “Vanished.”

  1. Suzanne said on October 5, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Good thing there isn’t a constitutional right to taking pictures on train tracks.

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  2. David C. said on October 5, 2015 at 6:40 am

    JEB?’s “Stuff happens”, as if a tree limb fell on those kids, comment could have been remembered as a turning point if anyone gave a rat’s ass about anything JEB? said. Sue left a comment at the end this weekend’s post that, to me, explained why a mothers against campaign isn’t likely to work. I really don’t know what will work. When a good portion of the electorate believes we need more restrictions on guns, but votes for the nuts who say more guns to keep the army from invading Texas, is there any hope? I think probably not.

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  3. Linda said on October 5, 2015 at 7:05 am

    I read somewhere why people keep getting hit by trains (when they don’t stay out of their way, that is). People generally judge how fast something is coming by its relationship to the scenery as it passes, but trains are so big that they blot out a lot of the background, so people judge them as a lot more slow-moving than they are.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 5, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Jolene, you were talking about the ongoing human quest to find novel ways to die…

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  5. alex said on October 5, 2015 at 7:17 am

    I know things seem hopeless on guns, especially when the gun industry has a well-oiled spin apparatus in place that goes into attack mode anytime anyone says anything sensible. But what the NRA does is indefensible, and I can see it losing the PR battle over time. You’d be amazed how many twits get their tits in a knot any time you refer to the NRA as “the gun lobby.” It’s one and the same, as we all know, but these folks do not like to be confronted with the fact that they’re being duped by a self-serving industry. Makes ’em mad enough to whip out a gun and go on a rampage. The key to changing the tide is to keep the focus on the industry’s rapacious bullshittery. Wayne LaPierre makes Ted Trump sound like Pope Francis. It shouldn’t be that hard to turn his words against him and make him Public Enemy Number One.

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  6. Joe k said on October 5, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Eating breakfast waiting on mechanics in Mrytel beach this morning. Lots of flooding, heavy rain,hugging the coastal areas.
    Pilot Joe

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  7. beb said on October 5, 2015 at 8:18 am

    People walking on tracks, taking pictures on tracks reflects a wide-spread belief that there are no more trains; that all tracks are abandoned. They’re kind of like the people who think because they see a buffalo standing around in a national park that it’s friendly. Well, we have too many people on this planet but this is not how I’d want to cull the herd.

    Bush’s “stuff happens” is as true as it is inelegant. Bush is getting hammered for that while Trump’s “what are you gonna do?” essentially says the same thing but seems to bring less grief. Blogs, like therawstory are doing the most effective thing regarding gun violence by listing every day every gun accident that comes their way. Every day theirs another story, or even two. After a while it begins to soak in that there are too many gun related incidents.

    But nothing is going to happen until right-wing talk radio STFU. Their business model is to frighten people so they’ll come back and learn more about what frightens them. Then someone decides to go out and do something about the horrible people taking over their country and you end up with another massacre.

    Like Nancy, the weekend came and went way too fast but then it was the kind of cold overcast days that makes you wonder why you ever got up in the first place and calls you back to bed to nap.

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  8. basset said on October 5, 2015 at 8:48 am

    buffalo, indeed… reminds me of this knucklehead I had to stop from throwing pebbles at a bull moose in a park in Alaska. “But he ain’t doin’ nothin!”

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  9. coozledad said on October 5, 2015 at 8:53 am

    the Republicans will never stop promoting gun fetishism as long as it provides an opening for them to challenge federal regulatory power. As with all planks of their party, it goes back to their ideological origins in the legal architecture of the slave power. If there were actually enough of a public outcry to demand federal action on gun laws, you can bet your ass the tubercular ghost of John C. Calhoun will show up to hark the beloved loogies of concurrent majority and substantive due process through the face holes of the current crop of fuckpuppets.

    While it may sound like Jeb Bush was just pushing yet another tube of fecal vomit down the front of his shirt, “stuff happens” has always been the default policy setting of Right Anarchists on slavery, native genocide, child labor, wage theft, international arms trade, environmental negligence, lynching, restrictive voting practices, Jim Crow laws, the direct interference of the church in government- anything to destabilize the functions of representative democracy, because they’re principally the cult of the aggrieved white male in service to money.

    The only way to address the issue of guns is to make it lucrative for some sector of the economy to restrict the ownership of guns to the class that gets to own everything else. That’s going to fall to actuaries and the insurance industry. Half a million per gun per year ought to clean this shit up. Failing that, there’s this:

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  10. coozledad said on October 5, 2015 at 9:15 am

    And I hope Nikki Haley isn’t queuing up for any goddamn Federal handouts. The private sector needs to step in and liberty up them washed out roads and flooded homes. Bootstraps time, beyotch!

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  11. BethB said on October 5, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Interesting comment from a Talking Points Memo Prime Member about choosing to vote for Sanders:

    “I can understand your desire for Bernie to win, but I don’t know of any alternate Universe where he comes close. All things being equal, I would vote for Bernie, but all things are NOT equal. In 1972, I was an idealistic McGovern voter, and learned my lesson then. So, you can see from the dates involved that I am rapidly approaching geezerhood, if not there already. My political goal is to help prevent a Republican fascist takeover of government. Their best shot is next year; after that, demographics make it really hard for them. Four years is all they need. So, we just can’t afford to take a chance on Bernie this year.”

    I’m afraid this person is correct–a vote for Bernie is a wasted vote. I wish I liked Hillary better. Maybe Biden??

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  12. Jolene said on October 5, 2015 at 11:04 am

    And I hope Nikki Haley isn’t queuing up for any goddamn Federal handouts

    Apparently, all the SC legislators voted against federal aid after Hurricane Sandy. When they’re riding high, people always seem to forget that their turn under the wheel will come.

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  13. alex said on October 5, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Beth, I heard the same sort of skepticism about Barack Obama at around this time in 2007 and beyond. He clobbered McCain.

    As for McGovern, consider this:

    Unseating an incumbent when the economy’s good is a fool’s errand. This is a different situation entirely.

    And beating a Republican right now should be a cakewalk because there is no GOP candidate who can placate the far right without offending pretty much everyone else.

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  14. brian stouder said on October 5, 2015 at 11:19 am

    …and, not for nothing, but the public opinion polling industry might be losing their footing – given all the new modes of communication, plus ‘caller ID’ (not say ‘id’) – so that the polling results comes from a more self-selected sample of the population

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  15. Sherri said on October 5, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I wish I liked Hillary more, too, but I’m not convinced that Bernie is the answer. Yes, he’s drawing crowds, but are they any more diverse than a Tea Party crowd? We make fun of the Tea Partiers for being lily white, but while Bernie’s crowds may be younger, they’re not much less white.

    Biden’s run for President twice before and barely registered a blip, except for his plagiarism problem in ’88. Everybody like Joe right now, but he’s not actually having to make any choices about what he supports, so it’s possible to project onto that likeable personality whatever positions you want.

    I spent a beautiful Saturday here driving around volunteers to put out door knob hangers for our Mayor for his re-election campaign. I was hoping to do the walking and hanging myself, but we needed people who knew how to read the precinct maps and find the houses where we were doing door drops (we’re in the land of a grid street numbering system laid on a bunch of cul de sacs), so I was a driver. I’ve been coordinating letters to the editor to make sure we get two per week, but the editor of the local weekly free rag has been frustrating me by apparently refusing to print letters unless he has an equal number of opposition letters to print. Grasping the concept of false balance seems to be beyond him. It’s not a question of space; he’s been printing letters about the refugee crisis in Syria and global warming and even a letter last week about how nice people in the US are.

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  16. coozledad said on October 5, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    When you’re down in polling
    And you need some racist cred
    And nothing, nothing is going right
    Close your eyes and think of him
    And he’ll ride that chandelier
    To brighten up even your darkest night

    You just call Peruvian Flake
    and whatever fuckup you make
    He’ll come fumbling to make you look good
    When Trump has laid a cloud in your face
    And your donors are all leaving the race
    Lord he’ll be there
    Yes he will
    if you’ve got the blow.

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  17. Deggjr said on October 5, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    And I hope Nikki Haley isn’t queuing up for any goddamn Federal handouts

    It’s OK as long as the storm is a 1000 year storm. At first, the storm was only a 200 year storm. Then the storm was upgraded to 500 years.

    Anything less than 1000 years and bad things happen to the governor who thanks President Obama for federal aid to the constituents who desperately need it. Then the tea party turns on you and your presidential dreams turn to ashes, ala Chris Christie.

    Governor Haley should upgrade the storm to 2000 years just to be safe.

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  18. nancy said on October 5, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Coozledad’s lyrics are hilarious, but I read that story today in the NYT in a state of extreme bafflement. That edges out into WTF-land for sure.

    And that 2,000-year storm will be matched in five. This gal who covered at least four 100-year floods tells you to bet on it.

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  19. coozledad said on October 5, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Nancy: The ship is sinking and the water’s on fire.

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  20. alex said on October 5, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    With a campaign in that much trouble, what has Jeb got to lose? Although he might do better to hire Nancy Reagan’s former spiritual advisor to host a seance and secure himself St. Ronnie’s endorsement from the great beyond.

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  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 5, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Speaking of sinking ships…

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  22. coozledad said on October 5, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    You could tell where the Benghazi “investigations” were going by the kind of loser trash who were demanding them:

    “Although some Republicans attempted to explain away Rep. McCarthy’s admission, it reflected exactly what has been going on within the Select Committee for the past year-and-a-half,” the letter continues. “It has held no hearings of any kind since January, and it has completely abandoned its plans to hear public testimony from top defense and intelligence officials so Republicans can focus almost exclusively on Hillary Clinton.”

    The Democratic members of the panel then accused the Republican members of using “a series of selective leaks of inaccurate and incomplete information in an effort to attack Secretary Clinton with unsubstantiated or previously debunked allegations.”

    In particular, the letter claims that the committee unfairly portrayed its private interview with former Clinton staffer Cheryl Mills by demanding that the interview be treated as classified information and then leaking parts of the interview to the press. The Democratic members included previously unreported excerpts of the interview with Mills in the letter, and they told Gowdy that the State Department and Mills’ lawyers have five days to identify parts of the interview that should remain private before making the entire transcript public.

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  23. Bob (not Greene) said on October 5, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Jeff (tmmo): It’s media layoff season on a much lower level around these parts as well (though every season feels like media layoff season, if you ask me). One of our direct competitors (Suburban Life) last week apparently gutted what remained of its operation in Cook County, so we’re in the midst of trying to find out just what vacuum has been created. These are papers that have served their communities, in a couple of cases, for 100 years. They’ve been purchased and repurchased (GateHouse royally fucked them up before selling them to their current owner) and repackaged a number of times in the past 15 years. They weren’t much competition anymore, to be quite honest. But it looks like a death knell.

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  24. Sherri said on October 5, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Jeb! isn’t the only Republican candidate who doesn’t think that “free stuff” is the way to woo minority voters. You know, “free stuff” like food stamps. Those are for poor whites, not poor blacks, in John Kasich’s world.

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  25. Icarus said on October 5, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    “People generally judge how fast something is coming by its relationship to the scenery as it passes, but trains are so big that they blot out a lot of the background, so people judge them as a lot more slow-moving than they are.”

    one more thing I have to worry about my kids one day….

    some of the comments above made me think of something either a friend or a commentor in another pond said about not wanting to gun restrictions to be too costly or inconvenient for law abiding citizens. It got me thinking: maybe that is the answer. if you want a revolver or shotgun, fine. But if you want something fancier, $50,000 per weapon ought to do it.

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  26. brian stouder said on October 5, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    One thing I forgot to note was that when I saw the Proprietress’s headline today, I thought she was going to say something about the missing/presumed sunk freighter in the Carribean.

    They said on the news that the last ship of that size to go down was….the Edmund Fitzgerald

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  27. Laurie said on October 5, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    The tragedy with this teenager and the train happened about 15 miles from where I live. I can’t tell you how many people have been deeply affected by this story, including me. The Capitol Limited goes through once a day from DC to Chicago, at almost 80 mph. It’s hard to believe someone wouldn’t hear it but technical people have said you don’t get the noise from the front, it goes out to the sides, and it is much quieter than a freight train. John lived very near to the train tracks, in Boyds, MD, and may just have processed the noise, if any, as background. He was a real firecracker, a kid who struggled with a lot of things growing up, but his life was just coming together, after finding a deep, serious love with his GF at age 16. His classmates adored him. I send out prayers for his family, his GF (who witnessed it), her sister (ditto), the train conductor, and friends.
    Who knew that going onto train tracks is trespassing? I didn’t.

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  28. brian stouder said on October 5, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    And speaking of “Vanished”, and cataclysmic changes – and noting that this is the first Monday in October –

    Issue Number One for me in 2016 is the United States Supreme Court, and Ms Ginsberg’s and Mr Scalia’s 80+ age.

    A major turn could be in the offing…

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  29. Dave said on October 5, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    The tracks are, altogether now, “Private property”. Expect a train at any time on any track, from either direction, but that was a railroad rule. People truly don’t believe they run trains because people don’t have any close associations with trains anymore. Sorry if I sound snarky but I spent a lifetime viewing stupid people playing chicken, trespassers, drivers taking awful chances, people sitting on the track drinking (a personal favorite), people using the track as a four-wheeler trail, and most frightening, little kids wandering around. Over the years, my heart hardened to it because that was the only way I could deal with it.

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  30. Sherri said on October 5, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    One of the high schools in Palo Alto has had a bad suicide problem for several years now, and the method of choice has been to step in front of the train that runs up and down the peninsula. There are multiple grade-level crossings, including one that many students cross regularly to get to school, which is where most of the suicides have occurred.

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  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 5, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    GateHouse needs a knell or two itself.

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  32. brian stouder said on October 5, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    I’ve two brothers who have worked for Norfolk Southern, forever – and one of them (Alan) is heavily involved in N-S’s safety program, and speaks at schools and so on.

    A few years ago I was telling him how I had turned left off of a street (in Indian Village) onto another (Brooklyn Ave), which lands you directly in an R/R zone…and I had no sooner gone ‘round the corner, and the cross-bucks came down behind me! It clunked onto my trunk-lid. There are four tracks there, and I could see the train was on the tracks furthest from me – so I didn’t panic; but my brother immediately insisted I should have backed up anyway (“those cross-bucks will break-away”).

    I was telling him because I thought that crossing, and that intersection, were poorly ‘engineered’ – and it certainly got a rise out of him. (but the crossing remains exactly the way it’s always been – and I’ve gone on and on with our young drivers about that)

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  33. alex said on October 5, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Exciting news at Chez Alex. My partner just landed himself a nice job with excellent benefits at an engineering firm. And I’m probably going to go on his health plan because my employer doesn’t provide dental and vision. This job will have other nice perks as well once he gets through his initial probationary period. It’s been a long time in coming and it’s a great relief.

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  34. brian stouder said on October 5, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Alex, excellent news, indeed. Pam has been sticking her toes back into the job market (although this summer was almost literally a wash-out).

    Sounds like a win all the way around

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  35. Heather said on October 5, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    That’s great Alex! Why dental and vision continue to be separate from health insurance policies baffles me. Especially as one gets older, one or both of these becomes urgent. I seem to be spending about $1000K out of pocket on eye care for the last couple years, and that’s with vision insurance.

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  36. Heather said on October 5, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Er, $1000. $1000K would really bankrupt me.

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  37. alex said on October 5, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    I’ve been spending a lot out of pocket on dental and vision, and it’s true, both of those things are important the older one gets.

    Brian, I know the railroad crossing you’re talking about. The span of tracks to the southwest of it behind Indian Village School is what always comes to mind when I think of children playing on railroad tracks because that’s exactly where I hung out as a wee one. The Psi Ote park was dull, what with its swing sets and merry-go-round and slide and monkey bars and its concrete tortoise for climbing on. And sandboxes full of catshit. The tracks were so much more fun. You could make flat quarters, blow up used condoms like a balloon and pick wildflowers.

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  38. alex said on October 5, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    And I guess our dinner celebration won’t be here:

    Had kind of considered it. It’s our favorite place for ribs in town. I’ve not been impressed with them anywhere else.

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  39. brian stouder said on October 5, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Alex – I’d vote for Cork & Cleaver, because you cannot go wrong – and I heard that they’re putting in an out-door deck…or secondarily – Logan’s is not terrible, and won’t be crowded on a Monday.

    Our 17 year old drives to Wayne pretty much every day – and we live over by Channel 15 (WANE) – so she traverses that crossing pretty much every day…(because Hillegas/Ardmore is a freaking race-track, populated by maroons)

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  40. Jolene said on October 5, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Congrats to your partner, Alex! What’s the job?

    Brian, like you, control of the next Supreme Court appointments is a key issue for me in 2016. That probably doesn’t differentiate between Democratic candidates–that is, any of them would make better appointments than an R–but, along with protecting the ACA, it may motivate me to get involved in the campaign.

    And speaking of getting involved, has everyone here who thinks we need governmental action to reduce gun violence called their reps in Congress to say so? Once you put their phone numbers in your cellphone contact list, it only takes a few seconds to let them know what’s on your mind whenever the need arises, which, lately, is often.

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  41. Sherri said on October 5, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Interesting article about federal government regulation and the commerce clause in the 19th Century: not quite the libertarian utopia some would have you believe:

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  42. Jolene said on October 5, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    “I can’t tell you how many people have been deeply affected by this story, including me.”

    Laurie, I was just talking with one of my sisters about the ripple effect of the Oregon shootings. When you read the stories that quote siblings, spouses, parents, and friends, you really realize how deep, broad, and lasting the pain can be.

    And the same is true for survivors. Partly, I’m sure, because they’re often on TV, I think of this issue in relation to Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly. She was a vibrant, attractive woman before she was shot, not only a congresswoman but also a hiker, a bicyclist, and, generally, a widely loved and much admired person. They had been planning to have a child together.

    Now, Kelly has a greatly damaged wife, and their lives have been irretrievably altered. To his credit, he has turned her suffering into a mission. I think he may still work for NASA in some capacity, but much of his life is devoted to reducing gun violence. I heard him on TV a day or two ago after this latest horror, and he was both knowledgeable and passionate on the topic. Still, it cannot be easy to have had the energetic, articulate woman he married become someone who can walk and speak only with great difficulty. That’s really for better and for worse, in sickness and in health.

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  43. brian stouder said on October 5, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Jolene, indeed

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  44. Jolene said on October 5, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Here’s the NYT story on ripple effects, especially in a small town.

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  45. Suzanne said on October 5, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    The evening of the Oregon shooting I turned on Fox for about 5 minutes, just to see their take. Some woman was blathering about how gun free zones are really criminal target zones and then more of the usual that if we restrict guns, only the criminals, blah, blah blah. I’ve seen little mention of the fact that this campus was not a gun free zone and that at least one guy near the shooting was carrying a weapon. I just cannot understand why so many gun enthusiasts don’t understand the element of surprise and how useless your concealed weapon would be unless you were in exactly the right spot, reacted quickly, and made no mistakes. Not likely. For goodness sake, Chris Kyle, seasoned war vet and crack shooter who was surely armed at the gun range, was killed by a guy standing next to him because he wasn’t expecting it.

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  46. alex said on October 5, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    My partner’s going to be a construction foreman for a steel fabricating firm. He was recently involved in the construction of a grain elevator tower as a subcontractor, which was for him a totally new experience. The engineering firm was quite impressed with his ability to read blueprints and supervise workers and spot mistakes and make things happen ahead of schedule, so they hired him. Previously he was running a small crew building gas station canopies, and the work was irregular with a lot of long-distance travel, down time between jobs and no benefits. His crew got hired too because they’re young and strong and have proven themselves as the kind of construction workers who aren’t just in it for the beer money.

    I do loves me some Cork & Cleaver, Brian. Matter of fact, a friend now works there who was GM of another local establishment that opened to big hype and turned out to be a flash in the pan. It would be fitting to go there and celebrate this good fortune with her, as she’s top-notch at what she does and is finally in a place worthy of her talents.

    All around good news. This is an area where the economy sucks and plenty of good people experience reversals of fortune. It’s a load off my mind, fer sure. We’ll have enough financial stability in our household that I might just be able to pursue my dreams instead of just my needs, but I’m keeping tight-lipped until that happens.

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  47. Jolene said on October 5, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Again, congrats, Alex. Sounds like an interesting job and one with long-term potential too. Am very happy for you.

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  48. David C. said on October 5, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    My brother was killed in a car/train crash. Over thirty-five years later, I can’t figure out how you don’t see a train, but two others in his graduation class died the same way. Should I be asking for a trigger warning? Ah, fuck it. Stuff happens really applies to things like this.

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  49. Jolene said on October 5, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Another reason not to trust Carly Fiorina: She tried to stiff vendors from her California senatorial campaign.

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  50. Deborah said on October 5, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Busy day today, will be like this all week and I go back to Chicago a week from tomorrow. Always catching up on projects I want to get done before I leave. One of my projects is to wax a fabric cover I made for a foam pad for a bench we made for outside. We made the bench out of a toy chest we bought on Craigslist for the seat (painted it) and an old but nice carved wood twin sized headboard we found on the side of the road for the back. We put kindling for our fireplace inside the chest/seat and it sits next to the front door under a portal so we can sit out there and drink our morning coffee, it faces east. I have never waxed fabric before, I ordered some Otter Wax from Amazon, I read the directions and watched some how-to YouTube videos, so here’s hoping it works. One thing about being busy is that I don’t sit and ruminate about all of the gun crazy stuff going on. Jolene, I will call my representatives for sure.

    In less than a week I will be officially on Medicare, I already got my card. So when I get back to Chicago I have a bunch of Drs appointments.

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  51. Dave said on October 5, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Brian, if there’s four tracks at Brooklyn Avenue, that means they’ve added two in the last nearly five years since I regularly went by there. What there is are two main tracks and immediately to the west of it are a couple of yard tracks that run between there and Engle Road. There’s also a switch immediately to the west of it that allows access to the main track at Brooklyn. If a train comes out of that yard onto the main track, the circuit is very short to start the gates and flashers working and a crew is to approach it, only crossing after the gates are fully engaged. I wonder if this is what happened in your case. All it takes is a little caution. Sorry, but I’d probably take much the same stand as your brother, who I don’t know, different department.

    Nearly 48 years ago, two good friends were struck by a train and killed in my hometown, a eventful night I still recall in horror. Another survived it but I recently learned he, too, is gone, dying several years ago at the age of 58. I wonder if his experience at 16 led to a shortened life but I don’t know.

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  52. BigHank53 said on October 5, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    My spouse had to take the Norfolk & Southern safety class for a jobsite she was working on. They weren’t doing anything to the tracks, just working next to them, replacing a freeway overpass. The one detail that stuck out, though, was the fact that any employee of N&S caught sitting on a rail was fired on the spot, no warnings, no appeals, just gone.

    For some reason people seem to think railroad tracks make great backgrounds for photographs, and that particular stupid activity gets a couple dozen people killed every year, too.

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  53. Deborah said on October 5, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    I just realized that today is the third anniversary of my retirement. How time flies. I’m certainly enjoying it!

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  54. coozledad said on October 5, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Deborah: Otter wax is probably your best bet. I’ve been experimenting with recipes to wax some old coats and hats because waxed items are ludicrously expensive. The first hat I waxed is perfect and saved me near a hundred dollars. The first coat I waxed, I mixed too much paraffin in the beeswax, and used a brush instead of molding a bar and spreading the mixture lightly. It is like wearing a tarp, but it works.
    I waxed a jacket properly for my wife. Absolutely waterproof, and it moves and breathes. I will steal it.

    This company makes beautiful traditional outerwear. You can apply otter wax to it and live outdoors.

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  55. alex said on October 5, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Dave, I think Brian was referring to the Nuttman Ave. crossing, not Brooklyn, but easy mistake.

    We did Ye Olde Cock & Beaver on Brian’s recommendation and it was faboo. Our friend wasn’t working tonight, alas, but it was quite the sumptuous treat on a Monday night. Big steaks and perfectly charred on the outside, tender and pink inside. And we even got to feel a little bit of the spirit of the old Rib Room, which was probably the last old-time dingy supper club of its kind around here. At the next table were two old Reaganite couples, the hubbies telling boastful tales of their military adventures while their adoring bouffainted spouses looked on admiringly and croaked small talk in cigarette-seasoned voices with that feminine lilt one only hears anymore at drag shows. Or at the Rib Room, now shuttered.

    Off to beddye-bye.

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  56. Dave said on October 5, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    Yes, and I said Engle Road, when Engle Road is clearly wrong. I got one road crossing ahead of myself. There are three tracks at Engle Road and the south track would have a short circuit, as I referred to in my above post.

    BigHank, they may have told her that but they are most likely union members and that simply isn’t true. There are procedures they have to follow and firing someone on the spot doesn’t happen, unless the employee is on a probation period starting out. They would remove them from service, subject to investigation.

    I’m struck by the Amtrak derailment today in Vermont and the picture of what appears to be an Amtrak employee:

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  57. Jill said on October 5, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Congratulations, Alex! And I hope the new job is a good fit for your partner.

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  58. Jolene said on October 5, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    The publisher of the newspaper in Roseburg, OR has a few things to say about President Obama. Sheesh.

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  59. Deborah said on October 5, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Alex, congratulations on your partner’s new job and your meal at the village meat and cleaver establishment. Love your comments, especially when you capture the personalities of locals. You do it so well.

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  60. Minnie said on October 5, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Jolene, I only hope that the publisher’s graceless comments stemmed from grief and displaced anger.

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  61. brian stouder said on October 5, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Dave – you’re right; Nuttman.,+Fort+Wayne,+IN/@41.0528637,-85.1741318,83m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x8815e5b66b044349:0x902e6f51c4b6ef9c

    If you go west on Engle to where it intersects Ardmore, you cross multiple tracks – and if you turn south on Ardmore, you cross one of those same tracks – so that a good long train binds everything up over there!

    But that satellite photo shows how you can turn left off of Wenonah, onto Nuttman – and BAM! You’re in the RR xing

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  62. MichaelG said on October 5, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    That’s wonderful news, Alex. I’m really pleased to hear it.

    Off to New Orleans tomorrow to be a tourist.

    There’s a Briddish company called Barbour that makes waxed coats. I have one and they’re great. They also sell wax.

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  63. basset said on October 6, 2015 at 5:42 am

    only problem with that waxed stuff, you can’t wash it. Barbour says to wipe down with a damp cloth, that’s not enough.

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