Our motley human family.

Well, chalk up one accomplishment to the Whole30 — I discovered spaghetti squash tonight, one of those things I’ve only had in restaurants and thought best left to the experts. When I want spaghetti, generally I just reach for the box in the pantry. But with an imperative to cut out grain, well, time to try new things, so tonight, spaghetti squash and meatballs. And damn, it was pretty good. You can’t cut one of those suckers with a sawzall, but an hour in the oven at 400 degrees and it softens right up and the innards turn into a nice neutral, spaghetti-shaped base for anything you want to put on it.

Write that down. You might need to avoid grain some day.

And so we veer from cooking to crazy: The Florida Atlantic University professor who became obsessed with the Sandy Hook tragedy, and made it a campaign against the bereaved survivors, has been fired from his tenured position. Good, but… How does any rational person believe this sort of thing? Is he insane? How else was his craziness made manifest in the world? It’s hard to understand how a person can live in this sort of dream world, and still function well enough to pass in the reality-based one.

And here’s a different kind of crazy story, also involving tragedy with children. It’s hard to turn away from, but one of those long-form narratives that always leaves me feeling a little squicky: The Long Fall of Phoebe Jonchuk, from the Tampa Bay Times. If you have the stomach for it — I should say here that I don’t recommend it for Jeff, who sees this sort of thing on the regular at his office — it’s very compelling reading, but at the end, ultimately I’m left with the same thought: And now what changes? The spoiler-free tl;dr: A crazy man killed his 5-year-old daughter. “The system” was given approximately 1 million chances to stop him, and failed. Along the way we are given a look at how desperate and squalid some people’s lives are, and yet, as they continue to have functioning ovaries and testes, can and do bring children into the world, who inevitably suffer the worst of it.

And it happens, and continues to happen, over and over. This is Florida, and I have no doubt it will happen again and again and again, alas. Which is why I feel squicky after I read these things. I want something to change.

Don’t want to leave you with a bummer to start the weekend. How about a unique OID pet adoption opportunity?

A Detroit dog shelter will soon be offering an fairly unusual pet for adoption: a hermaphrodite dog, which the shelter’s director hopes might provide therapy for transgender residents.

…The dog is a silvery-gray pit bull mix named Cody, who arrived at the Detroit-based rescue shelter on Tuesday. The dog was listed as a male, but upon inspection Cody turned out to have both sex organs.

She’s still in medical rehab, so not even technically adoptable yet.

Have a swell weekend! Seven more days until Auto Prom, so I have to hit the gym.

Posted at 8:58 am in Current events, Detroit life |

85 responses to “Our motley human family.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 8, 2016 at 9:04 am

    And now what changes?

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 8, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Anyhow, on a more cheery subject (not), I read with relief and dismay about the professor who lost his tenure, deservedly yes, but c’mon — he’s unhinged, right? This guy seems to be able to function in general at a high level, but he’s got . . . okay, I am NOT a clinician, but I have to pretend to be one quite often and our psych guy tells me to just check in with him when I do, and — he’s unhinged. That’s not DSM-5 language, but he’s a Cluster B *something*.

    And on that theme of “and now what changes” I thought, as I read about the delusionally aggressive prof, about this article I’d just read: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/01/05/why-a-notorious-anti-islam-radical-turned-on-the-federal-government-in-oregon/

    How are they not two peas in a pod, but also as dissimilar as cheese and chalk, while equally “untouchable” until they *do* something. I can vent, but what I can’t get to is “and so this is how law and practice should change.” Because you know what? In the Newark area alone, I could find you five of the tattoo angry Islamophobic guys just by sitting at the UDF near the register for a couple of hours late in the evening. You can’t lock them all up, and how do you keep guns out of their hands if they don’t have a concluded DV on them?

    Fridays are a good day for despair. Gives me Saturday to dig deep for some hope before preaching on Sunday.

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  3. Peter said on January 8, 2016 at 9:24 am

    I will never understand whack jobs who will insist that something like Sandy Hook never happened. I mean compared to them the birthers, moon walk deniers, and Kennedy conspirationists seem like British academics.

    My theory is that events like Sandy Hook and Charleston involve THOUSANDS of people – not only the victims and their extended families, but all of the police, medical professionals, firemen, ministers, counselors, classmates, bystanders, and their extended families, and it only takes JUST ONE person to spill the beans and show proof that it was a hoax, with the sure promise of a big payday from some news source for it, and – nothing. You mean to say they were all paid off?

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  4. alex said on January 8, 2016 at 9:38 am

    The Florida prof looks like a classic case of narcissistic personality disorder (a bully utterly devoid of empathy, in other words) who was cynically abusing the freedom to be a contrarian that academia affords. It’s not all that uncommon. I’ve encountered some nutty profs who espoused ridiculous ideas for apparently nothing more than shock value. Good riddance to that sumbitch.

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  5. Suzanne said on January 8, 2016 at 9:40 am

    I used to work with a guy who believed the twin towers were brought down by the government, that the plane that went down in PA didn’t (Beamer’s wife made up that “Let’s Roll” thing), that the miracle on the Hudson was staged to bring back trust in commercial air travel, and, from his Facebook posts, that Sandy Hook was also faked. He seemed like an otherwise decent, intelligent young man. As Peter said the number of people who would have to be paid off & kept quiet in all this is astounding, (this young man did mention the Rothschilds to me at one point. And the Bilderbergers, so I guess that’s who) but I guess if you are that far removed from reality, you could believe that is possible, too.

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  6. Deborah said on January 8, 2016 at 10:39 am

    First let me say congratulations to Sherri on the swearing in, I didn’t get a chance to do that in the last thread.

    Regarding the strange conspiracy theories, there will probably be an explanation for it someday what with all of the research that is being done in the field of neuroscience they will probably figure out just what part of the brain is responsible for delusions and poor judgement. Then maybe they’ll figure out a way to cure it.

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  7. Dorothy said on January 8, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Several years ago we started to make a spaghetti squash (mostly for the type-2 diabetic hubby) when I’d be in the mood for pasta and sauce. It really is delicious, but I can’t cut one in half to save my life.

    Speaking of fired professors, did y’all know about this? https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/01/05/wheaton-is-planning-to-fire-professor-who-said-muslims-and-christians-worship-the-same-god/

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  8. ROGirl said on January 8, 2016 at 10:47 am

    It’s lizard brain thinking. Fear of the unknown unhinges some people. I still don’t get it.

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  9. Deborah said on January 8, 2016 at 11:00 am

    I just read an article in the Washington Post from Jan 6 about the prof’s firing. Then I read the comments, I could only get through about 4 or 5. Wow, there really are some deranged people out there. We have a neighbor in Abiquiu who believes in the chem-trails conspiracy theory and talks about it all the time, no one argues with her because it’s useless. Maybe it goes back to cave man times when it meant you had a better chance of surviving if you looked for other meanings behind what was in front of your eyes, or something. It’s really strange to me.

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  10. Mark P said on January 8, 2016 at 11:01 am

    I was going to comment about an Atlanta man who killed his two-year-old son after a police standoff. I googled it to get the details and found too, too many stories about other kids being killed. I wonder just how sick we are; I suppose this kind of thing has always happened in some form or another, but now we have instant access to the story.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on January 8, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Spaghetti squash is a favorite among the paleo crowd, as is pizza crust made from cauliflower. The crust is a royal pain to make, doesn’t hold together, and ruins both the cauliflower and the pizza, IMHO.

    Congratulations, Sherri, and we’d love to hear about the issues you’ll be deciding on (as you can, of course).

    And Judybusy, I finally got to read the Smithsonian article about Hamilton you linked yesterday–thank you. It prompted me to listen to the cast recording again and bask in the storytelling as well as the music.

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  12. Charlotte said on January 8, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Livingston is home to the smoking ruins of the Church Universal and Triumphant — once an enormous, vibrant cult full of crazies who believed in the end of the world, the Violet Flame, and Mary Clare Prophet (who, um, got Alzheimers and lost her “direct connection” to the gods and goddesses of the world). So we see a lot of vestigal conspiracy stuff — there are a couple of coffee houses in particular where you can check in any morning with the state of the Astral plane, and hear about how the moon walk, chem trails, and several other things are “not what they seem.”
    On the good news front though — our local paper did a story on local gun shops (one of which is the pawn shop at the end of my block) and both of them thought the president’s proposals were both sane, and might help them keep guns out of the hands of crazies. So there’s that.

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  13. nancy said on January 8, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Cauliflower pizza sounds revolting, and reminds me of Lewis Black in “Inside Out,” confronting broccoli in the same venue: “Congratulations, San Francisco! You’ve ruined pizza!” Cauliflower fried rice, I must say, intrigues me. Might try that one.

    When I vacationed near Charlotte many years ago, the owner of the dude ranch could do a very amusing impersonation of Ms. Prophet in her regular TV show.

    And the one person I know who ever ventured a 9/11 conspiracy theory to me lives in a very remote area. I always imagine people like that snowed in for months at a time, first with a ham radio set and then with the internet, just feeding their nuttiness. It’s like a form of cabin fever. In more populated areas they work in room lit by a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling, at a dedicated card table.

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  14. MarkH said on January 8, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Elizabeth Clare Prophet.

    CUT established its roots in Charlotte’s area when they purchased the Royal Teton Ranch just north of Yellowstone Park from Malcolm Forbes. I was living and working in that area when they arrived, alarming the locals if I recall. Some years back I stumbled upon Prophet’s cable TV program. Bizarre to say the least. She died six years ago. Here’s the story, but you can get the gist in the first few paragraphs.


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  15. Jakash said on January 8, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Speaking of cauliflower, anybody see this in the NYT the other day? Here’s an offbeat main dish for your Whole 30 table, NN. Don’t know if you’ll find it “revolting” or not. ; )



    (From the previous thread, but this morning!) We saw “Punch Drunk Love” and liked it pretty well, too. But, as you noted, that’s an “Adam Sandler movie” about the same way as “Stranger than Fiction” is a “Will Ferrell movie.” Not written or directed by him, and not very representative of his usual work. And, hey, I write oeuvre about as little as the next guy. Thought I’d give it a shot, but, had this been a conversation, I’d never have tried to SAY it. ; )

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  16. alex said on January 8, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    I used to overhear 9/11 conspiracy garbage from a table of dickheads who were regulars in the cafeteria of a Chicago office building where I worked. They believed that George W. Bush detonated bombs inside the World Trade Center and that the planes crashing into the building were just for show.

    Not to blame Hollywood or television, but I suspect that some people who watch nothing but action thrillers and CSI may be prone to having a very warped take on reality. My partner had an employee at one time who I wouldn’t call stupid exactly, but he listened to nothing but talk radio and watched nothing but violent programming. The first time I heard the word Bilderberger it came out of his mouth.

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  17. nancy said on January 8, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Stop whatever you’re doing and spend some time with the #BundyEroticFanFiction Twitter stream. It’s hilarious:

    Ammon ran a hand through Ryan’s hair, then eased him down, whispering “I grant you unlimited grazing rights.” #bundyeroticfanfic

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  18. Scout said on January 8, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    The POTUS’s executive order which was about as milquetoasty mild as possible to address gun violence has created a tsunami of crazy from the ammosexual faction. I can’t even read comments sections attached to stories about this, they make me physically ill. Speaking of President Obama, one year ago today I was fortunate enough to be able to see him speak in Phoenix and he came close enough to get some good pictures. https://www.facebook.com/jeanne.smith.14203/posts/10152692405997857

    Spaghetti squash is a bugger to cut unless you roast it first. Just remember to stab it a few times with a meat fork so it doesn’t explode all over your oven.

    Cauliflower pizza crust does not appeal to me, but I have made cauliflower mashed “potatoes” and they’re great. I served them to unsuspecting company and nobody even knew they weren’t eating potatoes.

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  19. Brandon said on January 8, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Some other paleo pizza crust ideas.


    I wonder if pizza crusts can be made with kalo.

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  20. Jolene said on January 8, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Great pictures, Scout. What was the occasion for him to be in Phoenix?

    I watched the town hall last night, and it was the essential Obama: calm, patient, reasonable, logical, and respectful of the opinions of others. Then I listened to the talking heads on CNN, and I wanted to kill myself–or them. Honestly, they were just awful. Absolutely determined to find fault with and mischaracterize what he had said. I’m glad to hear about the reactions of Charlotte’s friends because there wasn’t much to be happy about in what I heard last night.

    I cannot understand how people think it’s OK that we have more gun homicides in this country in two than the UK has in a year.

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  21. Scout said on January 8, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Jolene, he was here to speak about the resurgence of affordable housing. Before he arrived at the High School for the speech we attended, he visited a community in South Phoenix for which a colleague, Jerry Cook, was the architect. Here is a picture from our website of the visit to the community. http://www.cookarch.com/#!affordable-housing/clt5

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  22. basset said on January 8, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Meanwhile, lottery tv… it had to happen:

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  23. beb said on January 8, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    I thought I had posted a comment here yesterday but it never showed when I looked for it later at home. So either I didn’t actually post anything or maybe… I just switched from Firefox to Chrome because work won’t support the most recent Firefox but does support the most recent Chrome. Chrome is just enough different from FF that it’s disorienting but not as back as Internet Explorer, which seems like it was designed by throwing darts at a wall.

    Meanwhile here’s an Only in Detroit moment:
    Now I suspect the man is suffering from obsessive sarcasm because he was being interviewed by a woman after he’s dropped a load on the street and didn’t want to talk about how stupid that made him look. The tell is his claim to have come from Mars. But still, a Detroit-weird moment.

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  24. Kirk said on January 8, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    The Bundy erotic tweets are at least as good as the Kim Davis co-worker tweets (although it’s hard to top “The media drank all our fucking coffee.”)

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  25. susan said on January 8, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Jakash @15 – I tried one of the Times’ recipes last year, which called for roasting a whole cauliflower in that manner. They never show all the smoking oil and splashed-up smoking oven when they open the door (both the oven door and the kitchen door…). I vowed never to do that one again. Same goes when they show you how to roast a whole chicken at 450-500°. OMG. That is even worse in the smoke category. AND you are forced to clean the oven afterward because of all the spattered chicken fat all over the inside of the oven. Awful. Seared chicken fat smoke all over the house. Nope. Nope. Nope. I guess if you have a stove outside, mebbe.

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  26. Charlotte said on January 8, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Mark H @14 — There’s still speculation about the bunkers full of weapons and tanks down in Corwin Springs. CUT still has a lot of money, and Livingston has a pile of folks, many of whom gave all their money to the church. I missed the heyday, the aftermath is mostly just local color plus occasional eruptions of irrational madness with guns (like this guy, the Pontiff: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/the-sovereign-aren-t-free—-paradise-valley/article_a2f380ce-4521-11df-b917-001cc4c002e0.html)

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  27. Deborah said on January 8, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Good to know Susan, about the mess from roasting a whole cauliflower, I had seen that same recipe that was linked to in the comments and it looked fantastic. I bought a head of cauliflower yesterday and was planning to make that but now maybe I’ll do something else with it. I agree with Scout about cauliflower mashed potatoes, hmmm maybe I’ll make that instead.

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  28. Judybusy said on January 8, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Well, I’ve made a whole roasted cauliflower several times; I don’t recall the baking temp, but after baking, it’s tossed with capers, olive oil, lemon juice and parsley. Quite tasty, and I don’t remember a big mess in the oven. You could also just roast it cut into pieces and tossed with olive oil and dress once cooked.

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  29. Scout said on January 8, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    I’ve made roasted cauliflower too; it was cut up, tossed in olive oil and spices and roasted at 400. After about 40 minutes I removed it and tossed it in tahini and lemon and roasted it for about 30 minutes longer. Delicious and no spatter in the oven.

    #bundyeroticfanfic twitter winner:
    Ammon’s and Jed’s passion smoldered, like 50,000 acres of illegally backburned Federal grazing land. #BundyEroticFanFic

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  30. Jeff Borden said on January 8, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I had dinner this week with one of my oldest friends from back in Columbus days, who like me moved out of Ohio in the mid-1980s. He skipped Christmas with his brother in another state because his nephew is a full-blown Alex Jones acolyte, who not only believes that Sandy Hook was a fake, but also that we are all being poisoned with mind-controlling drugs from chemtrails. The nephew is such an insistent twit that he ruins every family gathering, so my pal just said, ‘Not this year.’

    There’s enough troubling reality in the world. What kind of person wants to make up even more horrors?

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  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 8, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Don’t forget tackamarks. http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?45266-Tacmars-or-Tackamarks-coded-signs-on-roads You see, when the NWO/black helicopters/FEMA army comes, they will flip the roads to the British Empire model under Admiralty Law (that’s what the gold fringe on courtroom flags means is that in that room, Admiralty Law prevails, which patriots will not acknowledge), so the occupation forces will drive on the left side of the road — and the tackamarks will be, in their IF goggles, facing the flow of traffic, while hidden (FOR NOW!) on the “back” of traffic signs which point in the American fashion.

    I wish I could call and fully engage Childrens Services when a parent starts talking about them & chemtrails. But I can’t even get intervention on a parent who repeatedly provokes their kid into tussles, claims DV on the juvenile, then walks back the whole thing when they get attention into the home they don’t want. And then no-shows on the next conference. School nurse is as upset as I am, and yet if we haven’t witnessed anything, no one can take step one into the home until . . . what?

    Give me the rest of the cookies. It’s not even 5 yet.

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  32. Jolene said on January 8, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    The piece on Phoebe Jonchuk is impressive work. Very detailed reporting drawing together info from lots of different sources, including many that reach back in time.

    Because of something I saw on Twitter, I particularly noticed that alcohol abuse was mentioned as one of John Jonchuk’s many problems. The tweet, by Mark Kleiman, a well-known professor of public policy at UCLA said, “I’m all for universal background checks, but if you want to reduce homicides – with guns or anything else – just raise alcohol taxes.” He went on to say that research has shown that a 10% increase in alcohol taxes leads to a 3% decrease in violent crime, under current conditions in the U.S.

    I know the idea that alcohol plays a huge role in an amazing amount of costly–in both human and economic terms–damage, but it was arresting to see that quantification and also to see someone thinking along different lines in the “what to do about gun violence” discussion, not that I think we are any more likely to tax ourselves for this purpose than we are to do anything that will make a real difference in controlling how guns are sold.

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  33. Jolene said on January 8, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Missing phrase: Should be “the idea that alcohol . . . [causes] . . . damage is not new, but . . . “

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  34. alex said on January 8, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    “I want you to take me like Obama takes our freedoms,” Jed whispered.
    The sound of a Carhartt zipper was his only reply.

    My fave.

    Where’s Cooz? He could take the gold in that literary competition.

    Well, got my computer back and it didn’t cost too much and wasn’t anything serious. Just full of construction dust. And needed a few performance tweaks. Now it’s running like greased lightning again.

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  35. Dexter said on January 8, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Ever have authentic Sicilian pizza? I had one on Cape Cod a long time ago and never forgot it…there are no meat nor vegetable toppings, just sauce, cheese, and a perfect crust. And that plain-sounding thing was the most memorable pizza I have ever had. Perfect.

    See ya at the Auto Show…after I hit the bazillion-gazillion dolla’ Powerball jackpot Saturday, I shall have some car-buyin’ decisions to ponder.

    Today would have been Elvis Presley’s 81st birthday, and it is the 69th birthday of The Thin White Duke, aka David Bowie.
    Also, on this date a mere 142 years ago my grandfather Jonas Claude Meyer was born; that would have been in 1874. He hated the name Jonas and legally changed his name to Claude J. Meyer. My aunt told a story…Grandpa, who had taught school a while, applied to the New York Central for work, took the testing, and was hired. There was main district headquarters for that railroad in Cleveland, and the brass had held a contest to determine who their smartest worker was based on the scores of the initial hire-in tests.
    They booked a giant ballroom in a fancy hotel in Cleveland to administer this test/contest. As he did in the initial test, Grandpa aced this most difficult test and won the contest. He received what Aunt said was called a “loving cup” and a few shares of NY Central stock, and a promotion to Chief Mail Clerk of the Chicago-Cleveland leg of the New York Central Line.

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  36. MarkH said on January 8, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    In the “I learned this at nn.c dept.”, what is this ‘chemtrails’ thing? What am I missing here? I usually am aware of all the conspiracies.

    Oh, wait…this isn’t something cooked up by Brian Stouder’s employer, is it?

    Great story Dexter. Your grandpa was only a month older than mine (mother’s side). Born in Feb. 1974, George Beauregard was raised in Coulterville, PA, south of McKeesport, where he went to work the steel mills on the Monongahela. Lost his right eye in a blast furnace accident in the 1920s when mom was a tyke. Was spry and healthy otherwise up until a stroke a week before he passed in April, 1971 at 97. I am amazed when I think that I knew someone who was alive during so much history of this country. Presidents US Grant through Richard Nixon for starters. Also, 30 years prior to the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk through landing on the Moon.

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  37. MarkH said on January 8, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Check that, Dexter – 1874.

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  38. alex said on January 8, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    Saw this intriguing food story today:


    Not sure where to buy it n Fort Wayne but dying to give it a try. Salivated just reading about it.

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 8, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    You may call them “contrails” but those who understand what the government isn’t telling them know that they’re really chemtrails, the visible part of a secret experiment done to keep us docile and under control. [/endAlexJonesVoice]



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  40. Jolene said on January 8, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Sounds like amazing stuff, alex. Would love to try it.

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  41. susan said on January 8, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Sounds like Asian fish sauce, Alex. Same kind of thing. I use that in all sorts of things: pasta sauce, baked chicken, salad dressings. It’s my “secret ingredient.” Heh.

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  42. Deborah said on January 8, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    Now I’m wondering where I can get that stuff in Santa Fe. Colatura di Alici, hmmm.

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  43. Dexter said on January 9, 2016 at 12:40 am

    NETFLIX went global a few hours ago. I do love the service, but still…every goddam time I hear about a movie that sounds intriguing NETFLIX either never heard of it or “This film is available on disc only.” I thought discs were out and streaming was in…nope, not at Netflix. I refuse to go back to archaic mailing of videos…I never wanted that service after I borrowed a couple NETFLIX discs and had to mail them back. This time it was a six-year old Ricky Gervais movie, “Cemetery Junction”…and NETFLIX never heard of it. Rats.
    And so much blather about cable being superior to satellite dish reception during “weather”. It’s rained steady all day as promised and only a third of my cable stations are playing…that’s on all three TVs. I wanted to dvr two old movies but that’s out as well…no signal. I missed all my sports last evening…no reception.
    And what a true hero that Philadelphia cop was…shot eleven times by a deranged domestic ISIS asshole , and still chased the wacko down enough to tell his fellows which way the sonuvabitch went, and then he was captured. This criminal had traveled to Saudi Arabia as well as Egypt but apparently was not being watched by any authorities, and he attempts to rub out a cop just “because”….

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  44. David C. said on January 9, 2016 at 6:18 am

    I’ve had spaghetti squash and it’s OK. Maybe we didn’t cook it enough, because the texture was crunchy. I didn’t think it was that good of a substitute for the real thing. The cauliflower pizza crust sounds vile. I find most food substitutes don’t really hold up. I had a vegan feed me a grilled portabella mushroom as a replacement for a hamburger. It’s so meaty, they said. It tasted like a grilled mushroom. Not a bad thing in itself, but no proper replacement. My wife makes celery root noodles. They’re shaped like noodles anyway and they taste fine, but they’re not noodles and if I was jonesing for noodles they wouldn’t make the grade. It seems like food should be what it is and if you are trying to whack it into the context of another food you’re always going to fail.

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  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 9, 2016 at 9:48 am

    If you cook ’em enough, they really do come out of the squash looking and tasting like full-size spaghetti. Not angel hair, but very pasta-like. I cut mine in half before roasting, but it’s a bear even when you’re a big guy with a large knife.

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  46. alex said on January 9, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Thanks for the tip, Susan. I have Asian fish sauce for the occasional Thai salads that I prepare but it hadn’t occurred to me to try it in other things. I had been using anchovy paste to give pasta sauces a more seafoody taste but I’d bet a touch of fish sauce would be even better.

    This talk has got me jonesing for “Boo-yah Bouillabaisse,” a recipe in one of my cookbooks that takes about ten days less to prepare than the Julia Child version. You can also find it online at oprah.com. We tried it about a year ago and it’s a keeper.

    However my kitchen’s still too trashed from construction work to attempt it this weekend. We’re in the final stretch of re-grouting the tile floor, including the spot where the range sits, so probably no cooking right now. Yet to come are new countertops and a bunch of woodworking and drywalling. Also cutting into a cinder block wall to route some plumbing for our new clothes washer that arrives today and an air vent for the dryer. Quite an unpleasant state of upheaval, but we’re saving a ton doing the work ourselves and getting the kitchen we want.

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  47. Joe K said on January 9, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Finished the Disney World Half this am.
    Very humid, but finished in 1:54, hanging with the mouse till Thursday
    Pilot Joe

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  48. Joe K said on January 9, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Finished the Disney World Half this am.
    Very humid, but finished in 1:54, hanging with the mouse till thursday

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  49. brian stouder said on January 9, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Sherri – just viewed the photo from yesterday’s thread; marvelous!

    It takes a particular aggregate of commitment and strength-of-character to raise your right hand and swear to do your duty – in front of God and everybody! – and then do it.

    Your plan commission can only be the better for having you on it.

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  50. MichaelG said on January 9, 2016 at 10:55 am

    I discovered Colatura di Alici while browsing on line a couple of months ago. It’s available at Amazon. I forgot what I paid for the stuff but it’s not cheap. Colatura di Alici is a modern interpretation of garum, the ancient Roman condiment. Garum was a big deal to the Romans and apparently they used it in everything. It is similar to Asian fish sauce but has a stronger, fuller flavor. I use it in all the ways you describe above. Excellent stuff and a little goes a long way. You want it as a background rather than as the major flavor.

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  51. susan said on January 9, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    And I just read this. Garum, two days in a row! Note the last paragraph in the article:

    Finally, the study suggests that fish tapeworm, which was present in only France and Germany during the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prevalent in six countries during the Roman Empire. This is likely due to the popularity of a sauce called garum, which contained uncooked, fermented fish pieces. It’s diffusion through the empire probably led to the spread of fish tapeworm, reaching areas where the parasite was not endemic.

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  52. alex said on January 9, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Susan, it looks like your first link isn’t working. The second link mentions Zingerman’s. Think I need to go take a weekend road trip up Nancy’s way but probably not before we get our kitchen done.

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  53. Connie said on January 9, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    JoeK, my niece did the Disney marathon this morning, as part of some sort of group, in purple shirts, having to do with leukemia fundraising.

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  54. Jakash said on January 9, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    “It seems like food should be what it is…” I largely agree with this attitude, David C. There are plenty of ways to eat vegetables that don’t require one to imitate hamburgers or hot dogs, or whatever. Not surprised that a portobello sandwich tastes like a mushroom. But that’s fine, if you like mushrooms — it’s saying “hey, this is just like a hamburger” that’s the problem. I’d much rather choose to have some Thai dish with tofu than pretend like I’m eating a hot dog that’s actually made with tofu, myself. That being said, spaghetti squash does look a lot like spaghetti, and, as with spaghetti, I’m tasting mostly the sauce I’m using when I have it. But it’s pretty good, regardless of whether you compare it to pasta, or not. Anyway, it seems like a much more logical and tasty gluten-free choice than making pizza crust out of cauliflower or bread from rice and potato starch…

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  55. Dexter said on January 9, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    alex, bring a credit card with plenty of wiggle room left before you start for Zingerman’s. I was disappointed my driver and wife didn’t want to go there after I was released from the VA hospital a mile and a half from the deli last November.
    Just as I loved that Cape Cod Sicilian pizza years ago, I must recommend another favorite simple food, and that’s Zingerman’s matzoh balls in that great chicken broth. Ya gotta get there kinda early because it sells out quickly.
    Here’s a menu for ya:

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  56. Dexter said on January 9, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    alex…this must be the oldest item on that menu…#1 on the menu…I remember having it way over 20 years ago. It’s really really good:
    Zingerman’s corned beef with chopped liver, leaf lettuce & our own Russian dressing on double-baked, hand-sliced Jewish rye bread from Zingerman’s Bakehouse.
    $12.50 $15.50

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  57. Sherri said on January 9, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    A small serrated knife is better for cutting a spaghetti squash than a big knife. It’s slow and tedious, but you saw your way around the squash rather than trying to cut the thing with a big knife. The little knives that come in the packages for carving Halloween pumpkins work pretty well, though some of them are a little too cheaply made to hold up.

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  58. Dexter said on January 9, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    I see we have lots of haters here, so here’s some “hip-hop-lite” , topic appropriate today, to get us on the same page…it’s billion dollar fever from Powerball, as Bruno Mars contemplates his win…

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  59. susan said on January 9, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Alex- Well, dang. Wonder why that link was empty? Here’s the full ugly URL:

    That should work!

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  60. alex said on January 9, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Haven’t had a good matzo ball soup since I lived in Chicago, Dex. Now I have a hankering for that too.

    My partner’s not going to grout the floor under the stove today after all, so bouillabaisse for dinner it is. Think I’ll prepare a shopping list and head on out. Besides, with this winter storm coming, it would be nice to hole up with some comfort food.

    And probably should buy a Powerball ticket while I have a chance. Was reading yesterday that your chances are better when the jackpot’s bigger, although not sure exactly how that works.

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  61. susan said on January 9, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Wow, what a menu at Zingerman’s. Sure ain’t a kosher deli, though. Not sure it would be any better than Izzy’s in Cincinnati. THAT was the best Reuben I’ve ever had. Oh, yummmmm. (Guess they ain’t kosher, either. Not that it matters.)

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  62. Dexter said on January 9, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    My Irish buddy Drew , from Newtownards, UK (east of Belfast at the top of Strangford Lough) is celebrating a birthday today with https://www.nuggetmarket.com/media/images/irish_soda_bread.jpg
    and Bushmill’s.

    Also some of these delicacies: https://www.facebook.com/places/Things-to-do-in-Newtownards/104123332958968/

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  63. Sherri said on January 9, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Alex, your chances of winning aren’t any better with a bigger jackpot. What increases is your expected value, which is your chance of winning multiplied by the jackpot. Here’s an article that explains it with charts rather than equations: http://www.businessinsider.com/powerball-lottery-expected-value-jan-9-draw-2016-1

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  64. MarkH said on January 9, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Odds are odds and they don’t change for any reason other than an increase or decrease in the number of choices you have, as Sherri’s interesting article points out.

    What do you think the odds are of hitting 1,2,3,4,5 powerball 6? Same as any other choice you might make, 292 million to 1.

    BTW, word is that ticket sales have bumped it to $900 million for tonight’s drawing.


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  65. susan said on January 9, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Our Dad always called the lottery a fool’s tax.

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  66. Deborah said on January 9, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    We bought 4 power ball tickets and among other things a spaghetti squash. I haven’t yet made the roasted cauliflower either so we’re all set for a few days. We were going to make my husband’s favorite for dinner tonight since it’s his last night in Santa Fe before he goes back to Chicago but they didn’t have the main ingredient at the Farmer’s Market or the grocery store which is brussles sprouts, so we’re making something else instead which involves broccoli, another favorite of his. It snowed again here yesterday evening and the streets are pretty slippery so we walked to do our errands. I got some great snow boots a few months ago at REI and were they ever worth it. I don’t have to walk like a constipated penguin on the ice, they have great traction. At least it was sunny today so even though it didn’t get above 32 it felt great. It’s not supposed to snow again until next Saturday. I see that it’s snowing in Chicago now, I won’t be going back there until Feb 23, lots of other stuff going on between now and then though.

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  67. brian stouder said on January 9, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    One thing about these odds-articles that I question is the claim that winning the lottery is a thousand times LESS likely than to –

    Be killed by an asteroid strike (1 in 700,000)


    Where does this statistic even come from? (insert ‘hurtling through millions of light-months of interstellar space’ here)

    As far as I know, nobody has ever been killed by an asteroid strike.

    Since there are 7.4 billion human beings on earth, we should expect that the certainty that a person (or people) WILL eventually win the lottery, then 10,000 people should be killed by an asteroid strike, too….

    unless the variable they’re (so cutely!) hiding behind is time itself…that is, some one (or ones) WILL win the lottery, either tonight or in the very, very near future – whereas, theoretically, over the next 100,000 years some asteroid may hit the world, and flatten an entire region, and kill untold number of hundreds of millions of people – so that our odds, as one individual amongst those tens of millions (at some indeterminate time in the future) actually are that ‘good’…..in which case, I say Balderdash!

    By way of saying, I threw away $6 on this lottery. Just to show my age (and ignorance) – I had decided to throw away $3 – and THEN learned that the tix cost $2 instead of $1…!

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  68. MarkH said on January 9, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Had to share this for those on militia-watch:


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  69. alex said on January 9, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Brian, I remember a Time-Life book about science when I was in grade school that showed a picture of an old lady who got hit by an asteroid. It crashed through her roof. She lived in rural Arkansas or someplace like that. She was exposing her right hip and butt cheek, which were discolored and disfigured, but it was sort of hard to tell exactly what the damage was because it was a grainy old black-and-white image.

    Deborah, your constipated penguin quip had me laughing out loud. That’s exactly what it looks like when people are navigating on ice.

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  70. beb said on January 9, 2016 at 7:05 pm


    The mystery here is who called the police? And why?

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  71. basset said on January 9, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Mrs. B and I were down in Columbia, Tennessee today, a city maybe forty miles south of Nashville and a little larger than Jackson, Michigan… ran up on a home auction and stopped by to see what we might find.

    When we got there, the auctioneer was working on a wooden box maybe a foot and a half cubed with a T handle sticking out of the top, looked like one of those dynamite igniters in the Road Runner cartoons and I guess it was, went for $550 if I remember right. So the spotters or helpers or whatever they call em handed the buyer his prize and the auctioneer says, on the mic, “Glad we didn’t sell that to no Muslim.”

    Nothing of interest to us at the auction except a few guns I don’t really need (Winchester Model 70 in apparently well-kept condition was the best one, if that means anything to anyone here other than me), so we moved on. Woulda been big fun to buy the Bushmaster AR-15 (civilian version of a military rifle) that they had on offer and tell em “hey, you just sold that to a liberal!” but too expensive a joke for me. No use for it anyway, I have always said the 223 round is too light for deer and anyone who wants to use an AR for home defense just doesn’t get it.

    Mrs. B. is happy tonight, I finally got Sirius radio streaming in the house so we don’t have to be in the car to listen to Cousin Brucie on Saturday night. Thirty-eight years ago we woulda been in the Cadillac Party Lounge with our friends drinking forty-cent drafts, now we listen to satellite radio at home and do a couple loads of laundry. Getting old.

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  72. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 9, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Basset, if you get Sirius for your car, is there a way to use that inside the home? I’m about to do the former and am wondering about the latter.

    A Bushmaster just doesn’t seem much more useful for home defense than a baseball bat, unless you’re trying to discourage intruders across a 100 yd lawn around your residence.

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  73. basset said on January 9, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    There is a way to do that – you can download a Sirius phone app, at least they say so but I never could make it work. You can get a streaming/cast extension for Chrome, though, then you go to the Sirius online page at player.siriusxm.com and stream that. I have a Chromecast, the Sirius page looked for it and prompted the connection.

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  74. alex said on January 10, 2016 at 12:55 am

    I’ve got Sirius for the car and they have an app for home too but haven’t activated it. I like what I stream at home better and wish I could stream it to the car.

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  75. Dexter said on January 10, 2016 at 1:49 am

    I got a Christmas gift in 2006 of an XM boombox which I attached a Sportscaster XM radio to and it has worked perfectly for nine years now. I don’t like Howard Stern (that filthy bastard) so I passed on Sirius stations, only signing up for the XM side.
    Today at 8:00 AM on Deep Tracks, XM 27, Ron and Gail Bennington have their “GPS Show” which focusses on a particular city’s music and musical influence. Today, London, mid 1960s. I heard only the last 12 minutes of the afternoon running of this show so I will be up to hear the entire thing at 8:00.
    Basset, on The History Channel last evening the entire program block was shows about military snipers. It was gruesome as hell! I watched during football game timeouts and halftimes…that was enough for me. Damn, what a violent lifestyle. Those guys can pick a guy off (if they figure their Kentucky windage correctly) from one and two-tenths mile away.
    Powerball schmowerball I say…two dollars down the shit-hole. 🙁

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  76. basset said on January 10, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Some amazing shots out there:


    the apparent record right now is held by a Brit with the army rank “corporal of horse”… turns out that some British army units don’t have sergeants because the root word of that name comes from “servant” and they are not servants, so they call em “corporal of horse” instead, one rank higher than corporal.

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  77. Deborah said on January 10, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Is it true that no one won the Powerball yesterday?

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  78. David C. said on January 10, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Yes, it is.

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  79. Deborah said on January 10, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    My husband’s flight to Chicago is delayed 3 hours because the plane was to originate in Columbus, OH, then Atlanta, then Dallas and it got held up in Columbus. What’s going on in Ohio?

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  80. Sue said on January 10, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Holy smokes.
    Miracle whip.
    Pillow cases.
    Not just shampoo but conditioner too.
    ‘plastic silverware’
    French vanilla creamer (but not plain American creamer, apparently)
    Fresh veggies, followed by four kinds of ciggies and one brand of chewing tobacco.

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  81. Sue said on January 10, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Oh, sorry… THREE kinds of ciggies.

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  82. Deborah said on January 10, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Those guys aren’t Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts are prepared.

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  83. Dexter said on January 10, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    I have never gotten in the air on-time from Port Columbus…once we waited seven hours. My daughter lives there and lately they have been using Rickenbacker International every time they can to avoid the discouraging outlook of flying out of Port Columbus.

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  84. susan said on January 10, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Sue, one cannot have both mayo AND Miracle Whip. Sorry. You gotta choose one. Sheesh. Throw rugs to tie the rooms together. 4-inch “aprans”? To cover their tiny dicks? I’m with JJ MacNab: Send them several hundred boxes of tampons.

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  85. basset said on January 10, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    I’ll say again… put a fence around it, nobody comes in, nobody goes out, they’ll leave when they get hungry.

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