West to Washtenaw.

I was at Wallace House today, the Ann Arbor clubhouse of my old fellowship. Of course I took a lap of the first floor, and noticed that a couple of Mike Wallace’s Emmys had been added to the shelf in the library. Is it possible to pass a major award and not pick it up and make a little acceptance speech?

And take a selfie, of course. This one’s blurry, but you can see Mike peeking over my shoulder:


Since I was in town, I took Kate to lunch to celebrate the near-end of her first semester. She has one final to go, some sort of live performance of an original digital-music composition, so, y’know, no pressure. We went to a noodle bar, of which there are now ten thousand in Ann Arbor. I had the bibimbap I’ve been craving for weeks; Kate had pho. And that was lunch. Because she doesn’t read this blog, I can reveal that I stopped at the MDen and bought her a sweatshirt with her school name on it, for Christmas. I bought it because she showed up for lunch wearing a UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs T-shirt. A friend goes there, and gave it to her at Thanksgiving break.

“Would you wear branded merchandise from your own school?” I asked.

“I guess, but not here.”


“Because everybody knows where you go to school here.”

This girl needs to walk through the Harvard Coop. I bet half their merch goes to non-students.

So. I guess you guys will have something to say about the debate, but I can’t add anything — one of the advantages of cutting the cord is, you don’t have to feel guilty about not watching CNN.

So what happened?

Posted at 9:58 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

67 responses to “West to Washtenaw.”

  1. Suzanne said on December 15, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    The GOP debate is beyond horrendous.

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  2. basset said on December 15, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Watched “Muscle Shoals” on public tv, with many fund-raising breaks. Wearing an IU t-shirt.

    Mrs. B. went to Ferris State, and when we first moved here I used to get funny looks for wearing a FSU shirt… same colors as Florida State, wear FSU with a bulldog on it and people will stop you in the mall and ask where the Seminole is.

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  3. alex said on December 15, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Skipped the debate tonight due to exigencies:

    1) Rental property with busted toilet seal and web of roots (roots!) just barely underneath floor level. How the shit and TP got past this mess all these years God only knows. And how the roots got here is another mystery. And how to get rid of it, well we’re going to try a metal drywall mud stirrer that you attach to a power drill for starters and then go from there.

    2) Took delivery of my new gas range with convection oven (“true convection” they tell me because it has a fan with its own heating element–I can make Martha Stewart shit now instead of Rachel Ray shit, and America’s Test Kitchen shit to boot). It’s gorgeous. But it’s going to be days before I can think of anything but shit, which is not much incentive for cooking.

    Well, at least I didn’t watch the GOP debate, which I’m sure was even more unappetizing and full of shit than anything I’ve seen today.

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  4. brian stouder said on December 15, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    I watched about 60% of the debate; popped back and forth to msnbc/Lawrence O’Donnell (I missed all of Rachel, though) – and I got my Trump-chuckles…and an early Carson cackle (for his opening statement, which was limited to a minute and a half, and in which he asked for a “moment of silence” for the California shooting victims!)

    So it was all a-to-b-to-c etc; nothing new…a lot like eating movie popcorn; good enough, but then tiresome and messy.

    Anyway, that’s a great Emmy-selfie…I’d say you won it for Best Earrings!

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  5. brian stouder said on December 15, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    (Best Earrings in a nonfiction blog, eh?…)

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  6. brian stouder said on December 15, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Forgot to say to Alex – I hear you, brother! After our summer of water-related household disasters, my heart goes out to you!

    Leaving aside toilet drains, the drain-pipe from our washer was so ossified, we broke concrete to cut out a length and replace it. The photo of that pipe scrap, crammed full of ossified Oxydol (or intractable Tide, or whatever) is one for the family album

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  7. Dexter said on December 16, 2015 at 1:01 am

    I had to check to see what tee I am wearing, since I probably have 200…it’s an oldie my kids got me, maybe 12 years ago, with Homer , drunk in undies, captioned “American Idle”. Perfecting the loser-theme, I also am adorned w/Cleveland Browns sweatshirt. UCSC is a great school. I have been there many years ago. I even tried to get my daughter to visit but she was so determined to be an Ohio State alum she only gave a couple cursory looks at U Toledo and BGSU before saying “I TOLD you I want to go to Ohio State!”
    The debate was dull as dishwater…I kept flipping to a network I did not know I had…AHC or something…showing myths and truths of world history. I learned Lincoln is not signing for the deaf from his massive chair, and a “Where’s Waldo” style chiseled image of Robert E. Lee is not really there at the back of Lincoln’s head, it’s just hair. I too learned the true story of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella’s financing Chris Colombo (the queen dismissed him but old Ferd called him back and scrounged up a little cash and arranged some rich folks to kick in the rest. $135 K by today’s dollar).
    Colombo thought the world was pear-shaped and mis-calculated the distance to what turned out to be “las amerigas” , thinking it was 2,000 miles, but it was ten thousand. Actually, everybody knew the earth was round since about 100 B.C. Washington Irving invented the myth about old Chris being laughed at when he told people the world was round, not flat. Just a story.
    FX’s “Fargo” ended up S2 Monday night. After an incredible rock-em-sock-em season, Monday was just a wrap, which was fine. There was a little homage to “Raising Arizona” and that made me go to Netflix to watch it but…not available for streaming. Since my cable bill is so damn high I never activated the dvr feature on the cable boxes. If I got all the movie and entertainment networks I bet my bill would top $300. It truly is ridiculous.

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  8. Sherri said on December 16, 2015 at 1:34 am

    Instead of watching the debate, I went to the swearing in of the city council members and mayor this evening. Since I was involved in convincing one friend to run for city council and in getting her campaign going (until no one opposed her and we could stand down!) and worked on the mayor’s campaign, it was very satisfying!

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  9. Dexter said on December 16, 2015 at 1:44 am

    OK…here’s my PSA for the year. I wasn’t going to post it anywhere but Facebook but what the heck. Here goes.
    I drove my 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 to and all around Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, San Francisco, even a few days exploring Los Angeles (home of The Doors), never wearing a seat belt once. Decades rolled by, a hundred car titles passed through my hands as owner then seller, and sometime in the 1970s I began wearing seat belts. On December 15, 1986, I became a member of “Saved By the Belt” a thing Indiana cops gave out at little ceremonies to people like me, to call attention to belt usage.I worked evenings and never went to collect my certificate, but I appreciated the chance. I was driving 55 mph, sunny day, rural two-lane, and from the left a 3/4 blind diabetic old man blew a stop sign and hit my Chevrolet Citation so damn hard the collision nearly cut the car in two. A split second slower and I would have been crushed to death. The ambulance took me to DeKalb Memorial where I was examined and pronounced lucky…very lucky. My friend Tom was listening to the scanner and heard my name and rushed to the hospital and he and his son drove me home, where I was so sore I could barely move to get out of the car. I was still boozing then and Christian Brothers brandy got me sedated enough to sleep by the second night,
    So it’s been 29 years now, eh? I NEVER leave a parking spot without clicking that seatbelt. I was saved by the belt. Maybe you’ll be lucky too.

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  10. Deborah said on December 16, 2015 at 2:28 am

    I watched about one half second of the debate after it had been on for a bit. I was so disgusted I turned off the TV and immediately went to bed, very early (mountain time). Now I’m wide awake and feel like I’m getting a cold. It was brutally cold yesterday and I was out and about in it, that probably didn’t help.

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  11. Sherri said on December 16, 2015 at 2:45 am

    Seattle then and now: http://www.seattletimes.com/photo-video/photography/panoramic-photos-from-top-of-space-needle-show-seattles-growth-since-1960s/

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  12. David C. said on December 16, 2015 at 6:25 am

    I saw logo merch for the college I attended (Ferris State) only once. That was here in Oshkosh. I asked the guy if he went to Ferris. He said no, he got it for $2 in the bargain bin at the Jansport outlet. So if I ever see anything else for Ferris, I’ll know where it came from.

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  13. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 16, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Debate highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDAmPIq29ro

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  14. beb said on December 16, 2015 at 8:05 am

    There was a cute photo on, I think, Gawker, last night where all the Republican candidates were dressed as Darth Vader. But only because regular people still shy away from making Hitler comparisons to them. But seriously Trump is Wannabe Hitler, Cruz is Minime Hitler, Huckabee is Christian Hitler, Jeb! is Hitler’s littler brother, Rubio is Swave Hitler, Fironi (sp) is I’m-more-of-a-man-than-Hitler…

    You get the picture.

    The Republicans have had far too many debates considering the tongue-bathing they get on a nightly basis from the Media. The Democrats needs more debates simple as a way to get Democrats on the TV.

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  15. brian stouder said on December 16, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Pam and I really like The Voice, and last night that show was down to its grand finale….

    and Blake’s blonde probably would have won, but Blake had one other person in the final (who I didn’t like at all), which split Blake’s YUUGE! legion of fans’ votes… so that the fellow with the glasses (and a beautiful voice) on Adam’s team won.

    If you don’t watch that show, none of that makes any sense – but it was a lot more entertaining than the other group of people struggling for fans’ votes last night!

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  16. LAMary said on December 16, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Alex, we had the same root/toilet experience. We tried the drywall stirrer and it didn’t work. My son rented some sort of tool of destruction at Home Depot and that worked and now we put root killer down the toilet every month or so.

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  17. basset said on December 16, 2015 at 9:44 am

    David C, Mrs B was at Ferris in the mid 70s, back when it was still Ferris State College and there was a pharmacy-themed McDonald’s across the street.

    Found a Wartburg cap at a yard sale here in Nashville last summer, guy was some kind of logo wear salesman and had a whole tent full of his samples.

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  18. Suzanne said on December 16, 2015 at 9:47 am

    The low light of the debate for me was the discussion of whether or not it’s OK to kill children in pursuit of stopping terrorism. Cruz was really all for it. When asked the question, point blank, the kindly Dr Carson launched into some rambling discourse about kids not liking brain surgery either, but ultimately, it’s good for them. Pro-life candidates at their finest.

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  19. alex said on December 16, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Thanks for the heads up, LAMary. I’m skeptical that our current efforts will be successful but don’t want to pay a plumber, so renting one of those machines may be our next move.

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  20. Deborah said on December 16, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Here in Santa Fe people talk about how beautiful Aspens are but they’re horrible to have around your house because their roots get into your plumbing and sewer lines. Our landlady yanked out 2 beautiful Aspens in the front of our building to the dismay of the other condo owners, this was before we moved in but the neighbors haven’t stopped complaining about it. One of the owners planted 2 Bartlett pear trees in the same place and they stink to high heaven in the spring, but no root problems apparently.

    Many years ago (late 70s) when I lived in Dallas with my ex and Little Bird was a toddler, our sewer line collapsed, I think it was New Year’s eve and what a pain that was. We had to go out and dig up frozen earth, split through a brick planter out front, because it happened on a holiday we couldn’t get help right away. The sewer line had been made out of a tarpaper material, because it was made during WW2 and they needed all the iron for munitions or whatever. The pipes were expected to last about 30 years which was about right. I don’t have any memory about what we did for using the bathroom, but it must have been ugly since it was all torn up for a couple of days.

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  21. Jeff Borden said on December 16, 2015 at 10:27 am

    I made an effort to watch some of the debate, but it was all such shallow bullshit I gave up and returned to my reading. Not a word on the odious trade deals Obama is pushing. Not a word on addressing our crumbling infrastructure. Not a word on economic disparity or closing enormous corporate tax loopholes or shoring up Social Security. Not a word about the assault on voting rights. As usual, Rand Paul made an intelligent comment about our woebegone foreign policy, but he is so nutty on other issues I could never see myself voting for him under any circumstances.

    ISIS or whatever you want to call them is not much of an organization and certainly not comparable to the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan. . .which our Republican cousins love to invoke. But its leaders aren’t dumb. If I were an ISIS leader, I would launch a big, noisy, bloody attack on a soft target in America in mid-October, understanding clearly how a fearful population would vote for Big Daddy Warmonger in a second. Our leaders would follow that script like it was a high school play.

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  22. mouse said on December 16, 2015 at 10:42 am

    @ Dexter on the last page—They still do the hams at Joe’s,good as ever.Gina still makes ham and bean soup with the bones but only in the wintertime.Since I am in Florida,I won’t get to enjoy any this year.

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  23. Charlotte said on December 16, 2015 at 11:09 am

    @Dexter — we lost a teenager this week and five other kids were hurt in a pickup truck rollover accident. The driver is a big tall kid, 7 feet, and my friend the high school teacher tried and tried and tried to get him to accept at Western MT where they wanted him for basketball. But he wouldn’t go, and had no family support, and six months later was driving a truck full of drunk teenagers, went off the edge, overcorrected, rolled and now he’s in a coma in Billings facing charges if he pulls through. We’re all just gutted.
    Shann Ray read from his terrific new book, American Copper, the other night — he’s a local hero here by his real name, Shann Ray Ferch, where he won 2 state basketball championships (against Indian teams, almost never happens). Great guy, teaches at Gonzaga, and a terrific writer. Said yeah, of course he’d be happy to be a contact for Park High kids, so Natalie, my high school teacher friend (also a terrific writer, but who can make a living, so she took a teaching job when one came up) gave his email and an essay about basketball to this year’s version of the big kid with no family support who is waffling about college.
    Seatbelts people. Wear your damn seatbelt. If my brother had been wearing his, he might still be here today.

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  24. Jolene said on December 16, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    For Dorothy and any other Letterman fans, an interview with Dave, published in The Whitefish Review, which is, apparently, a Montana literary magazine. Lots of talk about growing up, growing older, childrearing, Montana, and what it’s like having a big, bushy beard.

    I watched the whole debate and, OMG, how awfully damn depressing it is to think that one of those people could become president and, even worse, that there are people who want them to. It is beyond awful that people are killed by terrorists, but it’s worse that politicians use the fear of such events to stir up support for their campaigns.

    The last straw was Chris Christie referring to Barack Obama as a “feckless weakling.” Just outrageous, and so, so wrong.

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  25. brian stouder said on December 16, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Jolene – but you must admit – JEB! versus the Donald was pure comedy gold, yes?

    Imagine if 1960 TV/media was where it is now.

    Barry Goldwater versus Nelson Rockefeller versus Dick Nixon – plus a few field fillers – 5 or 6 times on live TV?

    Hell, nuclear annihilation was on offer then, let alone American apartheid….those guys would make Trump look positively refined

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  26. ROGirl said on December 16, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    When the Brady Bunch was originally on TV I watched it once and thought it was the dumbest show in the world. To me, watching the Republican debate would be like watching the Brady Bunch.

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  27. brian stouder said on December 16, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Rand Paul does remind me of Alice, a little bit….

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  28. alex said on December 16, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Jolene, I’m not the least bit concerned that any of those kooks could ever become president. If the Republicans think it’s a winning strategy to repeat the same mistakes not just over and over but more emphatically each time, then they’re not just stupid by Einstein’s definition but fucking insane. Though I skipped the debate, I’m thoroughly enjoying watching the ghastly slow-mo trainwreck that is movement conservatism.

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  29. Kirk said on December 16, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Not sure what the point of watching a GOP debate is. I already know how disgusting they all are. I don’t need to be further outraged or depressed. I haven’t wasted a minute on such crap. From highlights I see on news programs, it looks like the Jerry Springer Show, five minutes of which was more than enough for two lifetimes.

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  30. Sherri said on December 16, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Totally different topic. I know there are a number of bicyclists here. I’d like to bike more, but I live on top of a steep hill, and while there are some hard core bikers who can do this hill, I just don’t see myself becoming one of them. I’m also not that interested in putting the bike carrier on my car, loading my bike, driving somewhere to bike, and reversing the process. I’d like to be able to bike to run an errand. I used to do this in the Bay Area, with my daughter in a trailer and then in a tow-a-bike, but it was flat there.

    That’s a long-winded way of asking if anybody here has any experience with electric assist bikes. I’m intrigued, but they’re also pretty expensive, so I’d like to know more.

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  31. Judybusy said on December 16, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Charlotte, I am so sorry to hear of your community’s devastating loss.

    Sherri, I can’t help out with your request; wish I could.

    On a totally non-related subject, I know many here have feelings about trigger warnings, and now I do too. I heard the most ridiculous one on our local NPR station today. The story was about pharmacists working long hours–sometimes 12-14 hours without a single break. To eat. To sit. To use the bathroom. So, there’s an effort to mandate that yes, they should get breaks. They shared a couple stories about what can happen. One pharmacist shared that she had her period, couldn’t get to the bathroom and bled all over the floor due to heavy flow. One guy had to pee in a cup. Really? We now need trigger warnings to share details about basic bodily functions?! I think it also plays into the shaming that sometimes happens around menstruation.

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  32. Deborah said on December 16, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Our landlady in Santa Fe used to be a pharmacist before she retired. We took her out to dinner once and she told us stories similar to what you mentioned, Judy Busy. I thought she might be exaggerating a bit, but maybe not.

    Charlotte, what a sad situation. Sorry to hear it.

    No experience with electric assist bikes but have thought that we should look into that for Little Bird too. She can’t drive because of her condition and there is some topography in Santa Fe that would make it helpful to have.

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  33. Charlotte said on December 16, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Ooh! Here’s the electric-assist bike I want: http://organictransit.com/ You can even get one with a seat in the back (but how do I keep the dog from slipping off the seat? hmmm….).

    Good news this afternoon — one of the kids I mentor got herself into Princeton — both her dad and her grandfather went there, which helps, but she’s worked hard and I couldn’t be more thrilled for her. Our little Park High School so far has a kid each accepted to Brown, Andover and Princeton … not bad for a school of 300 kids total.

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  34. Deborah said on December 16, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Jolene, oh thank you for that David Letterman link. I have felt for our spot in New Mexico, Abiquiu, the way he feels about his spot in Montana. Somehow it felt like home the very first time I saw it. It’s hard to explain and lord knows I’ve tried. We have pretty harsh winds too but that combination of wind and quiet is so true. You just have to experience it.

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  35. devtob said on December 16, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    I’ve had lots of experience biking up major hills, and most of them ended with me walking.

    Bike as much of the hill as you can, stop and get your breath back to normal, then walk the rest.

    Walking a bike up a hill is still excellent outdoor exercise, and I feel no shame at all in being careful about stressing my physical limits.

    That, and I don’t have an extra grand or two for a bike with a battery for the hills.

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 16, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Wind and quiet. Mmmmm. Amen.

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  37. alex said on December 16, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Trying out our new convection oven tonight on filet mignon. Seared it in butter first, now letting the oven do its thing. Supposed to be an excellent method for a perfect steak.

    LAMary, the power drill attached to the drywall mud stirrer did the trick and the toilet in our rental property is back in working order. My partner didn’t spare me the details. He said that, aside from the smell, the mess resembled my Flemish beef stew.

    Right now waiting for the steaks. After they’re done I’m throwing a corned beef in to make sandwich meat for the rest of the week. I love cooking with gas. And convection cooks more evenly while taking less time at a lower temperature.

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  38. annie said on December 16, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    I needed a trigger warning for Alex@37’s Flemish beef stew story.

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  39. Jill said on December 16, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Sherri, someone I know got an electric assist bike a few months ago and he’s very happy with it. I have no first-hand experience.

    Way to go, Charlotte. Congratulations on the Princeton acceptance.

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  40. alex said on December 16, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    They weren’t a-shittin’. Perfectly pink steaks. I’m also impressed with how the range doesn’t seem to get scary hot while it’s going at full tilt like my old electric did. And we’ve got a quiet new dishwasher. Life is good.

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  41. Connie said on December 17, 2015 at 6:49 am

    Alex, we have been happily using the sear and roast method for steaks ever since getting a flyer about it in an Omaha steaks gift package. They have directions and a timing chart on their web page.

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  42. MarkH said on December 17, 2015 at 9:16 am

    annie @38 – well played. Sheesh.

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  43. Peter said on December 17, 2015 at 9:43 am

    OK, I’ll admit to being weak, but if any of you saw Jimmy Kimmel last night, the Dr. Suess Trump book that Jimmy ghost wrote (“Winners Aren’t Losers by Donald Trump) was priceless. I would do just about anything to get a copy of that book!

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  44. Sue said on December 17, 2015 at 11:01 am

    So it appears that Sheldon Adelson has bought himself a newspaper?

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  45. ROGirl said on December 17, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Charles Foster Adelson?

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  46. brian stouder said on December 17, 2015 at 11:30 am


    (I now picture that ol’ guy sleddin’ in the desert around Vegas)

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  47. FDChief said on December 17, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I couldn’t force myself to to watch the thing, but apparently at one point the guy that Pierce likes to call the Libidinous Visitor said this:

    “We have spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that frankly if they were there and if we could have spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges and all of the other problems, our airports and all the other problems we have we would have been a lot better off I can tell you that right now. We have done a tremendous disservice not only to the Middle East but to humanity, the people that have been killed, the people that have been wiped away and for what? It’s not like we had victory. It’s a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized, a total and complete mess. I wish we had the $4 trillion or $5 trillion.”

    And not a single one of the other idiots on stage even tried to bleat anything about how Dubya “kept us safe”.

    So Il Douche having just said that the single biggest policy action of the last Republican administration was a massive, multi-trillion-dollar fail…and nobody could deny he was right.

    But at the same time Trump and all the other idiots (except Paul) were foaming at the mouth about fighting the same “War on Terror” that brought us this ginormous heap of expensive fail.

    It’d be hilarious if it wasn’t so goddamn tragic.

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  48. alex said on December 17, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Indeed. I don’t think there’s even a Democrat who has spoken as truthfully or forcefully about Iraq. He just scored some serious points for balls, and up to now I didn’t think he had any.

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  49. Dexter said on December 17, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    At the urging of a friend to do so, I called TWC and flat-out told them that last big increase to my bill was the last, and I was going to quit them straightaway if they did not get my bill under two hundred dollars immediately. It took 35 minutes and a couple transfers and waiting, waiting…and they did come through. They added STARZ back, which I had switched out for Showtime when “Homeland” burst upon the national landscape, they doubled my internet speed, and they activated my dvr service while lowering my monthly billing $11. So I have calmed down a bit.
    Anyone else get a snicker out of #1 making fun of #2? NYPD boss made LA’s chief look a bit silly for over-reacting, right? I heard 1,200 schools were closed in SoCal, under the “safe not sorry” umbrella of fear. NYPD chief made a lot more sense than the LA guy.

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  50. Scout said on December 17, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Who needs to actually watch the GOP ‘Debate’ when you already know what those assholes are going to say? And besides, there’s plenty of post-kabuki theater commentary to choose from so you simply don’t have to subject yourself to the aggravation. Like this from The Rude Pundit, who concludes:

    “5. In the end, the debate was not just a pathetic contest to see who could make more Americans shit themselves in terror, but it was a night of craven chest-thumping, trying to prove who would be the superhero to stand firm and prevent the hordes of terrorists and immigrants and Hottentots from overrunning the country.

    They repeated the same shit over and over. Trump was the most over the top with the tautology of his rhetoric, saying he wants to make America great again so he can make America great again or something. Who knows what the fuck that crazy motherfucker would really do other than lie to us about how shit’s out of control? He looked like he wanted to face fuck Jeb, which was awesome.

    Fiorina tried to show she’s the cruelest motherfucker of the bunch. Rubio tried to make up for his slightly less-savage view of immigration (which Paul called “amnesty,” even though it isn’t close) by saying he’d fuckin’ kill everyone, he’s a madman, you can’t stop him. Kasich was present.

    Man, ISIS members must have been laughing their asses off.”

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  51. Sherri said on December 17, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    There are many things about Robert Heinlein’s politics that I find problematic, but I think that a number of people would benefit from a reading of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, if only to learn that “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”


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  52. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 17, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    My son’s accepted at OU, Kent State, & Bowling Green today. Which means a February full of Fine Arts auditions around the state, which I bet won’t be damp & balmy anymore. But it’s still a hurdle passed for him, and a good day at Chez MMO!

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  53. Brandon said on December 17, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Jeff, congratulations!

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  54. Sherri said on December 17, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Congrats, Jeff(tmmo)! That makes for a less stressful holiday!

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  55. Deborah said on December 17, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Wow, Jeff seems like that went fast. Cool! Congrats to you, your wife and the boy.

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  56. Jenine said on December 17, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Good news! Congrats to the Younger Mild Mannered One!

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  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 17, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    The hard part is gonna be that, while I suspect (and don’t trust me, I’m his dad) he will soar through all three auditions, too, he kind of sorta wants to go to OU first and foremost . . . but so does the young woman who has been first chair to his second for six years, who has harassed and mocked and teased him mercilessly for all that time, and while I’ve tried to keep him mindful that this is partially about the head-games of chair placement, etc., she’s just plain mean. I could say a bully, but it’s all been not only verbal but adroitly just off to the side of what the director (one for three years, the other now three, but both seeing the same thing) can call her on. So it continues.

    Does he go where he’d like to, but also walk in with a load of history waiting to continue, or pick a second choice (and Kent’s School of Music is darn impressive) and trust in the fresh start? I’m of the mind that, wherever you go in life, you will work around, near, or under someone like [Blank]. The Lovely Wife thinks he needs to ditch Athens, we’ll drive twice as far, no problem, go to Kent and get away from that b. . .ad person.

    To which I say “but the Marching 110 is bigger than a hundred and ten . . .” and she says “and they still will both play clarinets.” The Lad shrugs, sighs, and says “I dunno, we’ll see.”

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  58. Jolene said on December 17, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    He didn’t want to be the dot on the I at Ohio State?

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  59. David C. said on December 17, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    The nice thing about college is that it’s a reset for everyone. The high school BMOC, or BGOC in you son’s case, start off dead even and the skills you use to succeed (bullying or whatever) in high school probably don’t work. So it’s all a fresh start. My nephew was in the music program at Central Michigan and he said at college level everything was much more relaxed although a lot more work. The best thing, he said, was no band parents. According to Steve, Toddlers and Tiaras mothers were mild compared to some band parents. Anyway, I’m sure your son will do well wherever he chooses.

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  60. David C. said on December 17, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    I just saw pencil-necked pharma-bro douche-canoe Martin Shkreli was arrested and charged with security fraud. Things are looking up. Maybe he can play his $2 million Wu Tang Clan record for the boys in the block.


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  61. Jolene said on December 17, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    A propos of nothing, there have been some terrible reports of child abuse in the news lately. The latest was an article that crossed my path describing a couple in Sedro-Woolley, WA, who’ve just been convicted of killing their adopted Ethiopian daughter. In this instance and some others I’ve read about recently, the parents were, they say, motivated by certain religious principles on child-rearing. Just awful, awful, awful.

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  62. Sherri said on December 17, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Amazon playing around with drone delivery may get a 60 Minutes report, but this is more interesting and more real – getting into the air cargo business: http://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/amazon-in-talks-to-lease-20-jets-to-launch-air-cargo-business/

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  63. Sherri said on December 17, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    As Cheney said, deficits don’t matter: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/12/17/can-we-stop-pretending-that-republicans-care-about-the-deficit-now/

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  64. Sue said on December 17, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    David C.:

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 17, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Ah, band parents. (Of which I are one.) But yes, that. I hope he chooses Ohio U. *if* that’s where he sees himself best fulfilling his gifts.

    Ohio State has never been on the radar, for a variety of reasons, foremost being their unaccountable bias against woodwinds.

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  66. Jill said on December 17, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    Congratulations to your family, JTMMO. That removes a lot of pressure.

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  67. Jolene said on December 17, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Wow, that is an esoteric prejudice. I guess humans can use pretty much anything to create status hierarchies.

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