The lazy train.

Another link salad today, because I have been a lazy, reading, organizing, car-less lump today. A persistent rattle in the right front quarter put the ol’ Volvo in the shop, and of course that led to brakes and all I can say is ow-my-wallet. But I finished one book and started another, ain’t nothing wrong with that.

Who’s going to this New Year’s party? Can I go too?

The best White House photos of the year, as selected by the chief WH photog. You’ll be scrolling for an hour. So many wonderful shots.

The folks I buy greens from, most weekends.

Happy new year, all! In a couple weeks, NN.c enters its 15th year. Holy shit, how’d that happen?

Posted at 9:56 pm in Uncategorized |

77 responses to “The lazy train.”

  1. Deborah said on December 31, 2015 at 12:02 am

    Jolene, from the last thread, you’re certainly right about the EMILY acronym. I looked it up on Wikipedia, also her name is spelled Malcolm, not the way I spelled it previously.

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  2. ROGirl said on December 31, 2015 at 6:08 am

    This is long, but entertaining.

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  3. Alan Stamm said on December 31, 2015 at 7:00 am

    A Bon Appétit article that begins “The next time you find yourself in the East Side of Detroit” is, well, bon.

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  4. alex said on December 31, 2015 at 7:26 am

    No New Year’s party for moi, although some Hennessy in hot tea might do wonders for my sore throat. I’ve been hit with the one-two punch of sinusitis and bronchitis these last few days. My partner’s getting symptoms also, in addition to painful cervical nodes, which I haven’t experienced, at least not yet. This seems to happen about once a year, usually during winter sometime.

    Never happened when I lived in Chicago, which was amazing given the daily routine of riding public transit crowded with people who were sniffling and hacking, touching escalator handles and elevator buttons and in general being exposed to a whole lot more cooties than now. I think I’ll do my officemates a favor and stay away again today.

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  5. Connie said on December 31, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Alex, hoping your reference to cervical is some kind of spellcheck error.

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  6. Peter said on December 31, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Has it only been 15 years? It seems so much longer – I thought was around for quite a while when 9/11 hit…

    I hope everyone has a good, prosperous, and healthy 2016. May we survive the presidential election, floods, and fake terrorists.

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  7. MarkH said on December 31, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Actually, if I take Nancy’s last paragraph correctly, entering the 15th year means next month will mark 14 years of nn.c. Like many of you, I got here through her dressing down of Bob Greene. 2004?

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  8. Jolene said on December 31, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Alex, Connie and I want to know what you meant by cervical nodes, as we are pretty sure your partner doesn’t have a cervix.

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  9. Deborah said on December 31, 2015 at 9:30 am

    NN.c will be 15! I think I found it in 2003 or 2004, it’s been a blast. I’ve “watched” children grow up and sadly have “witnessed” a few commenters go on to their glory, Ashley, White Beard, Moe, Jayzee and Prospero. Thank you Nancy for keeping the place going all this time.

    My New Year’s one word resolution this year is going to be “respect”. We live in a world full of disrespect and it’s time I tried to do my part to turn that around in my own tiny way. I don’t want to turn into the church lady by any means, I know this resolution is going to be a hard one for me to keep.

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  10. brian stouder said on December 31, 2015 at 9:30 am

    On the face of it, a book titled “How Not to Die” has to be fiction – since we know how this all ultimately comes out…unless he means it’s really a “Die the right way” book, recommending a specific (presumably smoother) road to eternity.

    Anyway – happy birthday to the NN.c blog! I believe I found this place about 10 years ago, thanks to Uncle Google. I don’t remember precisely the sequence of events that led me to tumbling in here, but I always liked Nancy’s column in the News-Sentinel, until her humble readers simply lost her when she outgrew that place.

    I do recall that I almost immediately ended up afoul of our departed friend from New Orleans (called me a “troll”; and on reflection, he was right!), but soon enough I caught-on to the rhythms of this place (or so I think!) – and it became my favorite seat in the www theater.

    Anyway – I selfishly look forward to many more years of nn.c goodness!

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  11. nancy said on December 31, 2015 at 9:33 am

    My time here started in January 2001, the second or third week of the month, as I recall.

    If you have 20 minutes today, watch the presidential edition of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. It’s hilarious.

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  12. MarkH said on December 31, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Ah, that settles it, Nancy. nn.c will turn 15, then enter its 16th year come the end of next month.

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  13. Julie Robinson said on December 31, 2015 at 10:10 am

    A certain someone in our house who loves cars & coffee has been eagerly awaiting the new season, and watching it will be about the extent of the celebration in our house. We’re off to Illinois in the early am to work on cleaning out my mom’s house again. I am so looking forward to getting it on the market and not spending every three-day weekend there.

    Since Alex hasn’t answered us I googled cervical nodes and it turns out they’re lymph nodes in your neck: ♫ The More You Know ♫.

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  14. Judybusy said on December 31, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Julie, you beat me to it! I knew enough to know cervical would have to do with the neck. It all sounds terribly painful, Alex. May recovery be quick for both of you.

    Soooo, in a few weeks, I will be appearing here even less than I already do. My current job has downtime, allowing me to follow the conversation here and occasionally put in a bit. On January 29th, I begin a new job in my county. For many years, I’ve been applying for supervisory positions but have typically been told “you have a great background and interviewed really well, but we were looking for someone with the right set of skills” which is code for “we already had someone picked out but have to open the position to applications.” However, last spring I interviewed with someone in the interviewing group (which I’ve done every time) and she gave me good advice: look for special projects to take on to better position yourself. So, I’ll be moving to the Public Defender’s office to help the disposition advisors access mental health and chemical dependency resources more readily for their clients. In my county, there has been an initiative to address the problem of those with these problems intersecting with the criminal justice system, and this position was created to help address a part of that. I’m very excited, as I’ve been in my current job for over ten years, and it’s a chance to use my skills in a very different way. Plus, my supervisors are smart, well-respected women, so I will definitely learn tons.

    As of January 18th, we’ll be in Puerto Rico, where I really unplug, so you won’t hear from me much beginning at that time. As all of us do, I so much appreciate the smart conversation here and will miss it very much. Thank you, Nancy, for creating this community.

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  15. alex said on December 31, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Connie and Jolene, I was just going to get back to you on that and Julie beat me to it. I didn’t realize it was such uncommon parlance, but then in my work I’m so immersed in clinical terminology that words like nuts and tits don’t even come naturally anymore.

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  16. Jolene said on December 31, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Ah, yes, the cervical spine.

    The cervical spine (neck) is delicate – housing the spinal cord that sends messages from the brain to control all aspects of the body – while also remarkably flexible, allowing movement in all directions, and strong.

    We need an etymologist to tell us how the same word came to be associated with such different parts of the body.

    Congratulations on your new job, Judybusy. Sounds like a great position, and it’s good to know that a public agency is taking this forward-looking view on the interface of criminal justice and behavioral health issues.

    Like others, occupies an important place in my mind and heart. I’d be bereft if it were to go away.

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  17. brian stouder said on December 31, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Jolene – me, too!

    Here’s an article from today’s Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, about the passage of time, and the ending of things

    The lead:

    In the fall of 1904, a little more than 111 years ago, a group of women known as the Ladies Society of Lutheran Hospital came together to provide a basic service for the new hospital, which was scheduled to open in days. According to an article on the society written about 20 years ago, they sewed sheets, pillowcases, bedclothes, towels, washcloths and even nurses’ uniforms.

    and the kicker:

    On Dec. 11, the organization held its final meeting. Only 17 of the remaining 43 members attended. The final $100,700 in the society’s account was donated to Visiting Nurse. At the end of today, the society will cease to exist.

    Click the link if only to see the photograph of the original group of women

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  18. Icarus said on December 31, 2015 at 10:59 am

    “$1,000 in scratch-off lottery tickets ” much more if any of them are winners. which makes me wonder, are those tickets tracked somehow? i suspect you could only prove the ticket came from that store, not that it was among the batch stolen.

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  19. Diane said on December 31, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I’m pretty much a lurker but an almost daily one and I do want to say how much I appreciate this space, both Nancy’s posts and the comments. Wishing you all a 2016 of joy.

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  20. Mark P said on December 31, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Cervix is from the Latin for neck, and in English it refers to a neck, most often “the” neck. The other cervix is the neck-like part of the womb. So, same word, different parts of the body. I suppose they have to be distinguished by context.

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  21. Jolene said on December 31, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Thanks, Mark. Makes sense.

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  22. beb said on December 31, 2015 at 11:59 am

    “Rocky Rocco at your cervix…” — Firesign Theater.

    A comment by Avedon Carol on her blog lead me here, probably in 2004. It’s part of my morning read every day.

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  23. Jolene said on December 31, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    To amplify today’s anatomy lesson, it appears that only the adjectival form of cervix is used to refer to
    the spine

    Cervical spine refers to the first seven vertebrae, with the other segments being the thoracic spine and the lumbar spine. The individual vertebra are referred to by number. So, for instance, doctors speaking to each other would immediately understand the level of impairment of a spinal cord-injured patient upon hearing that the patient’s spine was severed at, say, C-7. As Julie said, the more you know.

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  24. MarkH said on December 31, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    More from the “…passage of time, ending of things” dept.:

    The end of 2015 also makes the end of a 131 year old newspaper, that likely outlived its time a while ago. The McKeesport (PA) Daily News ceases publication with today’s issue.

    I submit this because my family roots are there and it was a part of our lives when we lived in Pittsburgh. Another sad tale of the disappearance of a print newspaper. At its height, the News’ circulation was 41,000+ in 1971, now it’s about 8,000. A reflection of the severe downturn of a once vital steel town just outside Pittsburgh. Sad to visit the old homestead these days, although Pittsburgh itself has transformed very nicely.

    The good news is that NN.C’s own Jason T., who has the last word in the attached article, soldiers on in the are with Tube City Online, his virtual news source keeping tabs on things in the Mon Valley. Lead on, Jason, hope you’re well.

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  25. Connie said on December 31, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Icarus it seems at least possible that each ticket has some kind of unique identifier in its bar code.

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  26. Kirk said on December 31, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Firesign Theatre references always welcome.

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  27. Connie said on December 31, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Because we are all bozoes on this bus.

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  28. Brandon said on December 31, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    The earliest post I could find:

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  29. BethB from Indiana said on December 31, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    I echo Diane@#19. This is my go-to site each day. I wish I had found you all back in 2001. I’ve only been here for a couple of years. My loss.

    I look forward to reading all of the posts and comments as the 2016 election goes into full-swing with primary season looming. I know I can count on sane (or mostly so) conversation here.

    We are having a quiet evening at home tonight with my sister’s gift of white chicken chili for dinner and perhaps a little Maker’s Mark later on. We celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary tomorrow.

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  30. Dexter said on December 31, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    “Telling Tales” in the News-Sentinel was my intro to nance’s work, followed by radio shows on WGL-AM 1230 and WOWO-AM 1190, and some TV also, then lost track until on a whim I Googled, and found this place. End of year, missing Moe, Whitebeard, Prospero, others who may have passed on, passed by, lurked and then disappeared.
    New’s Year’s Eve…tamales and Vernor’s ginger ale. For some stupid fucking reason the college football important games are on tonight, when folks are out partying their asses off, not home watching ads which generate sponsor profits. Stupid is as stupid does, the dumb asses.

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  31. alex said on December 31, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Today while rifling around in my parents’ house to find my favorite gold ring that my mom was going to have repaired by a jeweler friend (and then forgot where she put it for safekeeping), I came across an old Telling Tales clipping squirreled away by my dad. I’ll have to get that out and see if the Proprietress remembers it.

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  32. Suzanne said on December 31, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    I found this blog by looking for something on Mr Goeglein (who is now the darling of LCMS Lutherans, BTW). I remember listening to Nancy on the radio back when I actually listened to WOWO. I generally read everyday & have learned a lot! Here’s to 15 more years!

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  33. Jolene said on December 31, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    if you liked Seinfeld’s chat with the president, you might want to check out others in the series. There are several ways to access them. You can download a free app called Crackle to play on your tablet or smartphone, find them on YouTube by searching for Crackle, or go to

    He’s been doing about half a dozen of these conversations each year for several years, and many are delightful. Lots of famous comedians, but also some less well-known. There’s also a feature called “Single Shot,” in which outtakes from the interviews are organized into collections on various themes.

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  34. beb said on December 31, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Republican man are the worst. They just can’t help being awful…

    How does one go from allowing a woman to breastfeed in public to saying that breastfeeding gives a strange man the right to grab that woman’s breasts?

    I, too, miss Moe, such a smart and thoughtful woman. I didn’t become a regular here soon enough to really know Ashley or Whitebeard. Prospero was always a challenge. 90% of the time his comments were ignorable but the other 10% was some good stuff. NN.c has been a good place to be. Happy New Year and the best for coming year.

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  35. MarkH said on December 31, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Happy NewYear to all my friends in NN.C-land, from Jackson Hole, where it’s -15, heading to -25 before morning. Hope you’re all safe and well!

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  36. David C. said on January 1, 2016 at 8:45 am

    I don’t exactly know how long I’ve been around these parts. I know it was before Goeglein-gate or Goeglein-ghazi for a more modern update because I remember someone drive-by commenting that Nancy unleashed her minions on poor Timmy. I couldn’t help but think that these are the most polite, respectful minions on Earth. I do know I was linked here from the late, great Doghouse Riley and from here I went to Lance Mannion and who knows where else.

    Happy have to go out and buy a new calendar today because this useless holiday really isn’t on my radar at all and I forgot, and really it should be moved to a time of the year with a shortage of holidays anyway and not clog up the calendar with two holidays within a week Day.

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  37. alex said on January 1, 2016 at 11:20 am

    And now (drumroll, please)…

    From the cherished trinkets’n’mementos drawer of my dad’s desk, filed away among passports, jewelry and rare stamps and coins…

    A brittle and yellowed Nancy Nall column, date unknown, but evidently published shortly after a British Royal visit to the U.S. In her photo, she’s rockin’ a fabulous asymmetric bob, a cowl neck top layered with some dangly necklaces, and a youthful visage with a bright smile.

    Without further ado…

    Hi, Cruise; bye, Brie; W says so

    I am looking at a copy of W magazine. That’s just plain W, by the way. If you have to ask why, stop reading right here. Your address is obviously in Outsville, and there’s no sense frustrating yourself any more.

    The issue I’m looking at is the Ins and Outs issue. This is the list of lists, the arbiter of What You Should Be Doing and Wearing and Seeing and Oh, You Know.

    I like this list more than any other because it is current for approximately 10 days. Any that promises any more is certainly not In. Remember the national mouth-foaming over the royal visit just a few short weeks ago? Ditch those proper tweeds (I mean, they were from J.C. Penney, you know). British royalty is Out, English country anything is Out, and so is an unfortunate woman named Pamela Brown “(because she bows to foreign royalty),” W whispers.

    I love W’s list. I have to. After all, I live in Fort Wayne, where much of the populace still hasn’t gotten the word on polyester and CB radios. In a town like this, W can put you several years ahead of the game. In enough to be absolutely Out, which is the most In place to be, after all.

    W’s In list is so In that even I, a regular reader of Spin, Interview and, yes, a subscriber to Vanity Fair, cannot identify many of the in people and places. Tory Island, for one, is definitely In, so In as to rate a color photograph (Outs get black and white). Couldn’t find it on a map to save my life. Anthony Sher is In; so is Horst Buchholz. Who’re they?

    Who cares? When you’re In, you’re In. No one had heard of Dianne Brill a few months ago, either. Since then she’s been outstandingly In (portrait in — gasp — Vanity Fair) and is now Out (probably for the same thing, this time in People).

    What else is In? Cocktails. In cocktail glasses, none of this tequila sunrise stuff. Apalachicola oysters. Crisp white gloves for day. The fitted head wrap. Tom Cruise. Old Sinatra tunes. TV programming with more respect for the audience (oh, please).

    Out? Princess Stephanie (I knew it; that little brat hasn’t done enough to justify attacking paparazzi in nightclubs). Maureen Reagan. Quilted handbags with chains. Unwed celebrity pregnancies. Lawyers. Hollywood hair. Female body builders. Sylvester Stallone.

    It’s difficult to determine what makes something In or Out. Overexposure killed quite a few of the unfortunate (black sunglasses, Nancy Reagan red, cocaine, Brie cheese, Joan Collins and Michael Jackson). Others forced themselves out through their own obnoxiousness (perfume strips in magazines, MTV, talking about your drug and alcohol problems on national TV). Some you can guess by the tone of the (one presumes) ultra-In editors (“Out, Out, Out: kissing headwaiters” or “talking about money, money, money and deals, deals, deals”).

    And what makes the Ins? If you have to be told, you’re not. And if you can’t see the innate appeal of “having dinner in the bedroom with a fire roaring and classical music playing while drinking a fine red bordeaux,” you’re brain dead.

    I scoured the list for something we in Fort Wayne might have to be proud of, but couldn’t find much. The owners of Fortmeyer’s Restaurant will no doubt be pleased to see that “authentic truck stops” are In; they might want to add goat cheese to the menu because it’s In, too. And I was heartened to see stirrup pants, an Out, already in the sale pile on my last trip to Glenbrook Square. I knew those saleswomen were lying when they said they “flattered all figures.”

    And finally, we can take comfort in these words, the last on the Ins and Outs list:

    “Though the idea has been copied the world over, W started the In and Out list. And that’s why we can confidently say that all In and Out lists are OUT.”

    (I’m guessing this was the royal visit when the Queen gifted Ronald Reagan with a horse, and during the ceremony the animal sprouted an enormous raging hard-on, evoking gasps, titters and guffaws from the assembled celebrants.)

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  38. MichaelG said on January 1, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Happy New Year from another who was brought on board by the Bob Greene post.

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  39. Dave said on January 1, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Didn’t our hostess start up this site about the time she was losing her column? I swear, the haziness of time gets more confusing, err, foggy, err, vague, err, hard to decipher every year. It seems like I started checking in near the beginning but I was a regular Telling Tales reader and, indeed, kept my subscription to the dying paper (surely it’s dying, isn’t it?) until we recently moved.

    I’ll say one thing, they must try to keep their subscribers, when we cancelled our subscription, they called us three times to see if there was something they could do to bring us back. The third call, somebody believed that we really had moved out of Fort Wayne and weren’t going to be getting the paper anymore. Yep, we’re with all the other grey heads in Florida now, we’ll see how that goes.

    Happy New Year to you all, may you all be here for a long time.

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  40. Dave said on January 1, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    CANCELED or CANCELLED? I see that CANCELED is the proper spelling in the U. S. but CANCELLED is the preferred spelling in the rest of the English-speaking world, including Canada. I didn’t know that.

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  41. Deborah said on January 1, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    We are back in Santa Fe now from our Arizona trip. Tired for sure. A couple of things I didn’t mention before, a bit after we entered AZ we saw the first Ben Carson bumper sticker, many of those were spotted throughout. We also saw a bumper sticker from a car with Texas plates that said “Never forget Benghazi”. We left AZ yesterday morning and spent the night in Quemado, NM so we wouldn’t be driving when all of the drunk drivers were out. The place we stayed was pretty pathetic, but our rooms were only $60, not worth even that though, we had no wifi or cell phone/internet service of any kind, plus our Dish TV service didn’t work. I finished my book before the evening was over so it was super boring. I finally went to sleep around 10:30 so missed the New Year’s hullaballoo if there even was any around there, I did hear guns going off earlier in the evening. In the outskirts of Quemado is the Lightning Field by the artist Walter DeMaria which is run by the DIA foundation. The town of Quemado is sad but the Lightning Field installation is pretty cool, we went there a few years back here’s a link about it if you’re interested

    Little Bird cooked a lot of the meals in AZ, all good stuff.

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  42. Basset said on January 1, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Some appropriate music:

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  43. Sue said on January 1, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Basset, you commented a couple days ago about the 1940’s house. I didn’t see that one but I watched the Edwardian manor house series. I liked it and didn’t, found the chef with the dirty fingernails disgusting, and the lady of the manor crying at the end because she felt she had found what she was born to be kind of pathetic. It was interesting but, I don’t know, off somehow.

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  44. Sue said on January 1, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    I came to Nancy through Eric Zorn – he posted quotes once a week or so (?) and I followed one of Nancy’s. Never looked back, I’ve been hooked since.
    Beb, I stopped reading Prospero’s comments, I just couldn’t handle him anymore. I had a private correspondence with Whitebeard for awhile, he told me about his grandchild and the legal fight to get custody. Such a good man. I cried when Moe died more than for some people I actually know.
    I seem to recall Nancy mentioning more than once that she started this blog to keep her writing skills sharp, but I can’t say if she was between jobs at the time or if that was during her university thing.

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  45. Sue said on January 1, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Things are so much more civilized in England. You would NEVER see this in Wisconsin.

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  46. basset said on January 1, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Sue, I didn’t see the Edwardian House series but I hear you on the fingernails… we used to watch the “Two Fat Ladies” cooking shows and their hands were pretty nasty a lot of the time.

    Far as I can remember I came here during the Bob Greene takedown. Sue, I’m with you on Prospero, I got frustrated with him on more than one occasion and he didn’t seem to have a whole lot to say besides some combination of Detroit/Catholic school/swimming team/my brothers/MC5/fuck you. Hate to, as Mama B. used to say, “mock the afflicted,” but I never could quite relate to him.

    Sympathy for his problems, been there myself and continue to be, but I never could get hold of whatever it was he was saying. Unless, and it’s quite possible, I am a complete idiot with no conception of how the world works and no appreciation of true Detroit music, in which case he was completely brilliant and providing a valuable service by reminding me of my many shortcomings.

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  47. Jolene said on January 1, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    I can’t be sure, of course, but I think Prospero was often deep in his cups when we heard from him, which, if true, could account, to a sugnificant degree, for his idiosyncrasies.

    And, yikes, I just turned on some news recorded earlier and heard that the governor of Illinois had ordered a whole county at the southern tip of the state (Alexander County) evacuated. Sounds bad, to say the least.

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  48. Sue said on January 1, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    basset, you’ve got it right, Prospero was very clear on reminding us of his superiority, and it was hurtful and irritating. And the ‘fuck you’ rants were the final straw for me. But at the same time it was so heartbreaking when his family wrote and said ‘thank you for being his friend’ after he died. That said so much and hit hard.

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  49. LAMary said on January 1, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    MarkH, I’ll take Jackson Hole at any temperature. It’s a very beautiful place.

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  50. Dexter said on January 2, 2016 at 1:13 am

    Fortmeyer’s truck stop did have good grub. Mom and Dad would drive there to eat, hell, I remember Christmas Day, 1964, we had a very nice afternoon dinner there, then went to a movie. A few years later Holiday Inn built a hotel close-by, I got a job there and sometimes I’d find myself at Fortmeyer’s having a meal. Now that hotel is a knock-off brand motel…Quality something?
    Whitebeard was a Facebook pal. He lived in a New England ancient huge home that was a challenge to keep up, the freezing pipes and the furnace and so forth. I actually read his work before I came to nn.c, as he wrote an auto column ( I believe), for The Hartford Courant, which I read online then as I have a friend living in that area of Connecticut.
    Ashley was one of a kind, and it was cool that nance clued us in about him. A Renaissance Man. Goodnight you FUCKING FUCKMOOKS!

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  51. Sherri said on January 2, 2016 at 2:35 am

    Prospero was challenging, to be sure. He liked me, because I could hold my own with him on any sports topic, so I never took abuse from him. That made it easier to shrug off his drunk ramblings. He’s not the first problematic man who gets along fine with me because I know sports. I swear, nothing puts a potential mansplainer back on his heels faster than demonstrating a knowledge of sports.

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  52. basset said on January 2, 2016 at 6:19 am

    I’ll admit to occasionally being pretty well cupped while posting, trying to cut back though. I’d be interested in hearing Prospero’s story and how he got to where he was.
    Sports, I can talk about hunting and fishing, and car racing up to a few years ago, don’t care about the stick and ball stuff. As I heard it described once, I “lack the football gene”… didn’t know IU was in a bowl this year till I got an invitation from the local alumni chapter to watch the game in some sports bar.
    Deer season ends tomorrow, I have fired one shot so far and that in the first hour of opening day back in November.

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  53. basset said on January 2, 2016 at 6:30 am

    Jolene, I was in that part of Illinois the last time they had really bad flooding, believe it was in ’93… was still doing tv news then, back in the days of analog tape and great big satellite trucks. I remember coming across a bridge on the Mississippi and seeing muddy brown water from one horizon to the other, that’ll make you feel insignificant.

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  54. ROGirl said on January 2, 2016 at 6:43 am

    His rants became increasingly incoherent, and I reached the conclusion that he was drunk a lot more of the time towards the end, but when Prospero wasn’t drinking I found him compelling and not dull. I shared his love of Thomas Pynchon and I think I grew up very near his childhood home (although we had very different backgrounds), so I could relate to some of the topics that he wrote about. But yeah, his obsessions were tiresome, and in the end it was sad.

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  55. Dave said on January 2, 2016 at 8:27 am

    He was always right and the rest of us were too stupid to understand it, which carried out into his daily life. Didn’t he tell us at least twice about bicycle wrecks he’d had with some sort of motorized vehicles and in both of them, he’d failed to stop when he should have but don’t those idiots know he’s on a bicycle? Seems like that’s how I recall it.

    He was a great teacher, we know this because he told us so, and the University of Georgia should always win. I thought someone might post a little more about him someday, as they said they would do when they posted after he passed away but that didn’t happen. I always suspected that by the time he started posting here, he would have been a person that would have been very hard to be around on a daily basis.

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  56. Deborah said on January 2, 2016 at 8:46 am

    I liked Prospero, not at first, but he grew on me. I thought he was smart but troubled.

    I was so tired last night I could have fallen asleep standing up. I went to bed obscenely early and still feel like I could sleep more. And I didn’t even do any of the driving on our car trip.

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  57. alex said on January 2, 2016 at 9:26 am

    I was here before Goeglein or Greene. Nancy told me she was blogging on the side in addition to writing her column and I was immediately hooked. Without the limitations placed on her by the paper she was free to exercise her talents to the fullest, and I believe this helped her develop the confidence she needed to win that Knight-Wallace scholarship. Indeed the whole blogging experience and how the Internet was changing the newspaper business was central in her bid for acceptance into the program, as I remember.

    I love a good read with my morning coffee, or really any time of day, and in addition to her own work she steers us toward all kinds of other good reading, as do the commenters here. It’s great fun being part of a self-selected group of people who are relatively like-minded, which is to say intellectually curious, good-natured and witty. (Liberal of course comes automatically with those three qualifiers.)

    Happy New Year everyone!

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  58. alex said on January 2, 2016 at 9:31 am

    And I miss that damned edit button. Fellowship, not scholarship.

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  59. beb said on January 2, 2016 at 9:48 am

    January 1st is the day a lot of laws go into effect and books who’s copyright has expired goes into public domain. There’s an organization that likes to remind us what would have gone into the public domain if the law remained what it was before 1978. Anything published 56 years ago would have gone into the public domain. Instead nothing published since 1923 has had it’s US copyright expire.

    Two works entered the public domain this year because it’s been 70 years since their author’s death. Hitler’s Mein Kampf and Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl. Except that a Swiss foundation is arguing that “Diary” is still in copyright (and therefore generating revenue for the foundation) because Franks’ father edited the diary which makes him a co-author and he died in 1980. If this theory prevails there are going to be a lot of books “co-written” by the publishers…

    In anyy case translations of the Diary are still under copyright.

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  60. beb said on January 2, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Forgot the link to the article:

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  61. Jakash said on January 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Though I’m just a lurker who occasionally tries to shout down from the cheapest of the cheap seats, to use Brian’s charming analogy, I’ll chime in. Like Sue, above, I was directed here first by references on Eric Zorn’s blog. I found that this was and remains a very fun and interesting place to electronically visit. This is one of only a few blogs I’ve paid any attention to, but it’s interesting to me that NN has maintained a strong following and delightful regular Commentariat, with much more of a community feel than the others. EZ, on the other hand, has all but abandoned his blogging and, sounding kinda like a victim of Stockholm Syndrome, opined a while back that maybe blogging was very “aughty”, or something to that effect. (Meaning that, while it was swell in the first decade of the millennium, “the aughts”, it’s largely been left in the dust by Twitter and Facebook, at this point. Evidently this is what the folks at the Chicago Tribune prefer to believe.)

    This blog, Neil Steinberg’s and the late, lamented Dish from Andrew Sullivan, et. al., demonstrate that that’s not necessarily the case. Not to blame Mr. Zorn, let me be clear, since it was changes to the freaking Tribune website, where his blog is maintained, that largely destroyed what had been a fine blog with an informed and feisty Commentariat.

    Anyway, here’s to many more years for nn.c. I realize that nobody will care about this comment, but I just wanted to point out the wisdom shown by NN and Steinberg in hosting their blogs independent from the machinations of a large, indifferent, often clueless corporate entity.

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  62. Kirk said on January 2, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    I’ve known Nancy since before blogs were invented. When I learned long ago that she had one, I figured it would be worth checking out.

    Dave@55: Amen. His team/school/music/etc. great; all other teams/schools/music/etc. horseshit. And way too much baiting; I wound up ignoring it.

    Jakash@61: Don’t sell yourself short. Yours is a most worthy comment.

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  63. MichaelG said on January 2, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    I’m another one who liked Prospero. He had, I suspect, a lot of demons and a lot of pain. He was a very bright guy and his flaws were easily ignored here in a way they wouldn’t be in a bar or in someone’s living room. I miss him.

    I remember reading nn.c daily during the run up to the award of the K-W Fellowship. I believed then and still believe that it was Nance’s work here on the blog that was responsible for her getting the award.

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  64. beb said on January 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Spot the letters from space…

    satellite photos that form the letters of the alphabet. With short descriptions of where each picture comes from.

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  65. Dexter said on January 2, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    XM 20 (E Street Band channel) XM22 (Pearl Jam), and XM38 (Ozzy’s Boneyard) as well as Lithium (XM34) are going out of their way to really kick out the jams the past few days.
    A friend was reminiscing about how, about forty years ago, surf and turf restaurant dinners were a staple in many places. I haven’t seen it on a menu in years. Just one of those things that petered out, I suppose.
    Tea time. Twining’s Earl Grey. Milk. Too many English telly shows from NETFLIX. I am 2/3 done with “Broadchurch”. It’s a good ‘un.

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  66. alex said on January 2, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Dex, they still have surf & turf at Woods Too, f/k/a Lake of the Woods on — where else? — Lake of the Woods. Call on Monday before they go to market and you can order yourself a five-pound lobster! And their prices are a whole lot more reasonable than you’ll find in most places. Captain’s Cabin on Crooked Lake has surf & turf too but it’s as teensy as it is pricy.

    Tonight just turf in this house. Boeuf Burguignoin simmering in the oven this very minute. Ina Garten recipe only I added a bouquet garni of parsley, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. Big fun throwing a half cup of cognac on the veggies and lighting it.

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  67. Dexter said on January 2, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Lake of the Woods…we ate there once years ago. Seems we had steaks. I know we had steaks at Bill’s Steakhouse, Bronson…is that joint still open?

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  68. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 2, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    I believe I started checking in here because of posts Amy Welborn made about the early Bob Greene rants Nancy had posted; back then, I was sympathetic to the intentions he seemed to have for speaking up on behalf of children in the foster care/child protective system, but bothered by his . . . wallowing. And that wallowing is what developed into a serious case of missing the forest for the trees, shrubberies, and undergrowth, which made me wonder what I was missing. Hence my interest in seeing what this Fort Wayne columnist was catching that I had fumbled. And all this was (I think) well before Greene’s complete implosion and termination.

    So was that 2002-ish? I just recall reading this blog first on my iBook clamshell, and yes, it was tangerine!

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  69. Jakash said on January 2, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Jeff (tmmo),

    New Year’s Eve, before turning in at whatever time after the excitement, I noticed that they were about to replay the Peach Bowl on ESPN2. Thought “hey, maybe they’ll show the Granville H. S. band halftime performance, since it’s the middle of the night”. So I “taped” it. Today, checking it out, I was disappointed, but not surprised, to see that the replay hour meant — not that they’d show halftime, Lord knows — but that “for time considerations”, they skipped from about 4 minutes left in the first half to 13 minutes left in the third quarter. D’oh! So that they could show the uber-important Holiday Bowl after that, donchaknow! ; )

    And, thanks, Kirk @62.

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  70. alex said on January 2, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Bill’s in Bronson is still there far as I know, Dex. It’s been about two years since I was there but I’m sure I’d have heard about it if it were going bye-bye.

    Well, the Ina Garten version of Boeuf Bourguignon is super-rich. It doesn’t even taste or smell like wine. Or cognac. And per the reports it supposedly tastes even better the next day, so I look forward to the leftovers tomorrow. One thing I marvel about now that I’m cooking with gas is that the initial grease that I create with bacon stays liquidy and doesn’t burn or evaporate like it did on my electric range when browning other stuff in it. This may also have to do with the fact that I’m using an old-fashioned black dutch oven and not an enameled Le Creuset; don’t know for sure, still experimenting. The fond dissolves with minimal effort rather than requiring a lot of elbow grease and permanently staining the pan, which tells me I’m on the right track. All in all I love cooking with gas and can’t believe I waited this long to replace my funky old electric range.

    Tomorrow gonna have to suck it in and suffer some restaurant fare as we’re gonna say farewell to a favorite bartendress/server who’s moving on to bigger and better things now that she’s a college grad.

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  71. Deborah said on January 2, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Today is Little Bird’s birthday, she’s been binge watching “Pillars of the Earth”, a Christmas gift from a friend. Our gift to her is a trip to visit this friend in the DC area in Feb. She’s had a lot of people wishing her well, it’s been a good day. Last year was a milestone (40 years) so she had a big party, this year it’s just the three of us, but we’ve been kinda tired from our trip so that’s OK.

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  72. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 2, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    Jakash, thanks for the attempt — actually, they were part of the massed bands playing before the game; halftime was Houston & FSU’s bands (Florida State won halftime, but certainly not the game). They had the 1000 students from 15 bands (out of 9 states) come out on the field pre-game to play “Shut Up and Dance With Me,” and the National Anthem. As all of us parents said up in the third balcony, if there was a B-list celeb or aspiring recording star “performing” the Star Spangled Banner, it would be on TV. But a thousand young people learning in one rehearsal how to play it together, and well . . . nahhhhh!

    Have to say that I saw the pre-game and halftime coverage of the Rose Bowl where the national network actually put significant band time on the air, not just behind the bumpers. So kudos to them!

    There’s a Peach Bowl Band Festival that we were invited to, and in our category, the concert band, jazz band, and field show/marching band each won first place with gold honors; they also got second in parade judging ut with gold honors. It’s the first time our school ever has gone to a bowl event, and it was pretty exciting for all of our merry crew. Plus most of us had our first experience of “Medieval Times” for New Year’s Eve, which if you’ve gotta go, I think should be on New Year’s Eve. But don’t follow that at 12:20 am with 12.5 hours on a bus . . .

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  73. brian stouder said on January 2, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Jeff, congratulations on the Mission:Accomplished!

    Happy New Year, everyone…can you believe it’s 2016? I wasn’t even used to writing 2015, and now we’re forever past that…!

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  74. Sherri said on January 3, 2016 at 2:42 am

    Happy Birthday, Little Bird!

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  75. beb said on January 3, 2016 at 11:11 am

    This is good news for Detroit:
    The headline is kind of misleading since it’s not about urban farming but how letting kids play with construction equipment and encouraging them to join the operator’s union apprentice program. As the article notes, the pay is good and qualified employees are in demand.

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  76. MichaelG said on January 3, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Happy Birthday, Little Bird!

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  77. Jakash said on January 3, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Jeff (tmmo),

    Double D’oh! Of course, the college bands would have played at halftime. Don’t know how I failed to think about that. Cool that your band did so well, though. Congrats, and I imagine that made up for at least a few hours-worth of the bus ride. ; )

    Yeah, I noticed that they showed the halftime bands at the Rose Bowl, which was appreciated. Special treatment for the spectacle at “The granddaddy of them all”, I guess. But the same network couldn’t deign to show the TBDBITL at the Fiesta Bowl, alas. Fortunately, one easily finds their “Back to the Future” performance online, FWIW:

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