Water, everywhere.

Another …day. Another day, but it started with a pretty good swim, and so there’s that. This is why I work out with the dawn patrol; if the day goes well, it goes well. And if it doesn’t, at least you got a workout.

I’m working on learning the butterfly. I’m terrible at it. Wikipedia explains why:

The breaststroke, backstroke, and front crawl can all be swum easily even if the swimmer’s technique is flawed. The butterfly, however, is unforgiving of mistakes in style; it is very difficult to overcome a poor butterfly technique with brute strength. Many swimmers and coaches consider it the most difficult swimming style.

But like I said a while ago: Just keep swimming.

Water is sort of a theme around these parts. Today this story broke:

The state provided its workers in Flint with bottled water in January 2015, 10 months before officials would tell residents the water was not safe to drink, according to state emails released Thursday by liberal advocacy group Progress Michigan.

The decision was unrelated to elevated lead levels that were later found in Flint’s drinking water, said Caleb Buhs, a spokesman for the state Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

Instead, the management and budget department decided to provide water coolers in a Flint state office building after the city sent out a notice saying it had been found in violation of the state’s Safe Drinking Water Act because of high levels of disinfection byproducts.

It just keeps getting worse. This is going to be such a mud bath.

I had the world’s most boring task today (transcription), and a lot of busy work, so my brain feels steamrolled this evening. But hey! So some pix today.

My colleague Chastity did a story on breed-specific legislation, i.e., banning pit bulls, and it’s attracting the expected slapfest in the comments, but I only want to call your attention to this puppy:


That pup is the offspring of, wait for it, a Chihuahua and a pit bull. They lived under the same roof, and the owners never had them neutered because they figured, what are the odds? So now there’s this litter of chia pets (or chit bulls). For some reason, it reminded me of the puppies we meet in the final scenes of “Babe: Pig in the City,” one of my favorite kid movies, and maybe movies, period:


Supposed to be 40 degrees this weekend. Woo. Have a good one.

Posted at 12:27 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

72 responses to “Water, everywhere.”

  1. Hattie said on January 29, 2016 at 1:17 am

    Is this for real? Or are they the offspring of Trump and a pit bull?

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  2. alex said on January 29, 2016 at 7:23 am

    As a youngster I knew some people who had bull terriers (the baby pigs in the bottom picture), but they were impossible as pets. Their first, obtained as a puppy, singlehandedly destroyed the house and couldn’t be trained not to chew on woodwork and furniture. The dog seemed to have no nerve endings and was oblivious to any sort of unpleasant stimuli one might use to redirect it. After about two years, they gave that dog up. They figured that an older, more mature one would be better, so they obtained a six-year-old. This dog was much more mellow, or so it seemed, until it severely mauled their teen daughter and had to be put down. The mother of the family didn’t understand it; she had grown up with bull terriers and remembered them as gentle and well disciplined.

    Some dogs, for whatever reason, are impossible, and I don’t think it has to do with breed necessarily. My brother adopted a mutt that looks to be part yellow lab and it’s just plain nuts, very unfriendly and prone to nipping at people without warning, and at other times as nice as can be. So there is some risk in taking rescue dogs; you never know what they’ve been through and if they’ve been irretrievably damaged somehow.

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  3. Suzanne said on January 29, 2016 at 7:25 am

    I tried to watch the GOP debate last night. Made it an hour. That was all I could stand.

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  4. nancy said on January 29, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Hattie, of course not. In the story, they’re offspring of a pink poodle and a bull terrier, and they always make me laugh.

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  5. beb said on January 29, 2016 at 8:26 am

    It’s a good thing that Rick Snyder is rich, because he has no future in politics. But just letting him retire in 2018 doesn’t seem chastisement enough. I fully support any recall drive, knowing full well that the Lt Governor is as bad or worse a conservative as Snyder.

    Dog are just like people. You think you know them until they suddenly turn on you.

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  6. Connie said on January 29, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Some years ago my best friend and husband bought a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy. Raised in a good household, Baxter was a lovely dog. Except he liked me so much he always tripped me on the stars. I never thought of him as a pit bull, though I knew his breed was considered such. Miss you, Baxter.

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  7. brian stouder said on January 29, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Way back in the day, I was a dog person, and actively disliked cats; had a girlfriend who had a cat who didn’t like me, at all.(Looking back on it, the cat was right about me)

    Now I’m a confirmed cat person, even if Winnie (our kitty) basically just puts up with me.

    My brothers are all dog people, though

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  8. Julie Robinson said on January 29, 2016 at 10:51 am

    No one is going to come out of the Flint morass looking good, except the college professor who brought it to light. Bunch of politicians only looking out for their own interests rather than the citizens they were elected to serve. The same thing is happening in Illinois, where there’s still no budget and social service agencies are now starting to shut down programs. As usual, it’s the little guys who get hurt.

    When I walked into the pool this morning it was empty. Water unbroken and serene. Hubby arrived a couple minutes later and so did another gal, but 3 swimmers in 6 lanes is like swimming in private. Agreed about the near-impossibility of the butterfly; it just makes me feel panicky whenever I try it.

    Probably the guy who windmills his arms on the crawl couldn’t do the butterfly either. He’s usually there both before and after me and he does the turn under the water, so he’s obviously got skills, but he puzzles me. Each arm comes all the way out of the water, is held stiff, and slaps the water as it comes down. It looks painful, and makes a lot of waves if you’re stuck in the next lane, and just strikes me as inconsiderate.

    (Oh gosh. Maybe he has a medical condition. Maybe I’m a jerk.)

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  9. LAMary said on January 29, 2016 at 10:55 am

    I’ve been extremely lucky with my shelter dog adoptions. At least two of them had some Pit in them but they were very sweet. Max, the recently departed boxer dane mix, was fairly wild when I got him. He had three previous owners by the time he was six months old. He was a handful at first Not vicious but really hyper. It all worked out and in his last years he was a total love sponge. Not very bright but gentle and sweet and goofy. Smokey, lab and Georgia the mystery mix breed we adopted a few months ago are great. Both really smart and anxious to please.

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  10. Connie said on January 29, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Governor heckled at Old Town Tavern in downtown Ann Arbor
    And photo of wanted flyer.

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  11. MarkH said on January 29, 2016 at 11:36 am

    This is a bad month for losing music icons: Paul Kantner, RIP.


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  12. brian stouder said on January 29, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Julie, I’m learning more about the ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s (and other practices and rules) with regard to public swimming facilities…from a distance.

    I don’t swim a lick, but a few weeks ago Pam got hired at the surperb Helen P Brown Natatorium*, and she is now learning all the myriad rules/customs/courtesies…but mainly the rules!

    *She’s an administrative person

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  13. Mark P said on January 29, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    I took up swimming while at Georgia Tech when my knees went bad. It was great since it was free and they had a huge pool. I was not a very good swimmer, but I eventually swam a mile each day. Better swimmers would be in the pool when I got there, lapping me regularly, and still at it when I left. I was a pretty decent runner in those days, so it was humbling. I remember a girl who must have though a wide-mesh suit would be sexy, but it was so revealing she was obviously uncomfortable wearing it. I never saw her again.

    Even further back in a previous life when I was a reporter in Augusta, Ga, the YMCA pool was restricted to men only and they swam in the nude. No, thanks. Maybe in a secluded pond, but not in a building on Broad Street.

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  14. Julie Robinson said on January 29, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    When my knees went bad. That’s why I’m there.

    Our neighbors had a pool when I was a kid and they were the best. You couldn’t walk outside without someone calling out to get your suit on. But apparently at night Dad would slip his off, or so he claimed. Said it took him back to skinny-dipping in the creek as a farm boy. I’ve never had the experience but doesn’t it seem like your dangly bits would, well, dangle?

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  15. brian stouder said on January 29, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    …depends on how warm (or COLD!) the water is, I’d guess!

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  16. nancy said on January 29, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    People with bad knees frequently have bad shoulders, as well, which is why you can’t get too judgey about the Mr. and Mrs. Splashys in the pool, although lord knows I do. The elderly lifeguard at my pool is a former coach for the local high school girls’ team, and offers free coaching to everyone in the group who wants it. Over the course of the last year, he has refined my freestyle and backstroke, taught me to flip-turn, fixed my atrocious breaststroke and we’re working on learning the butterfly. I owe him a great debt, because I’ll bet anything I was Mrs. Splashy when I started, too.

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  17. Sherri said on January 29, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    We don’t have a pool, but we do have a hot tub, and my husband and I go out in it at night in the altogether. At least, when it’s not raining, which has been all too seldom this winter.

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  18. Linda said on January 29, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Your pic reminded me of a coworker who owned a cross between a Black Lab and a dacshund (really). I don’t know of it involved levitation or a stepladder, but it was the funniest looking dog I ever saw.

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  19. Peggy said on January 29, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    A friend who vacationed in the US Virgin Islands told me that chihuahua-pit bull mixes are very common there.

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  20. David C. said on January 29, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    You haven’t seen a funny looking dog until you’ve seen something that must have been a German shepherd/basset hound mix. At least that’s what I think it was. It had a shepherd body and head and tiny little basset hound legs. It belonged to an elderly gent we used to meet on the walking trail. It was a great conversation starter.

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  21. Joe K said on January 29, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Ok, give everyone something to chew on this weekend. My prediction for Hillary, and the democrats. I think that the current President doesn’t want her to win so if she gets beat in Iowa and New Hampshire, Obama will secure either Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren to run against Bernie Sanders then put the pressure on the powers that be and have her indicted and convicted.
    Should be interesting,
    Pilot Joe

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  22. Deborah said on January 29, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Very unlikely, Joe.

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  23. Sherri said on January 29, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    It seems extraordinarily unlikely that, regardless of his preferences for the Democratic nominee, Obama was would to indict his former Secretary of State. If he wanted to undercut her, and I see nothing to indicate that he does, there are many ways he could do so that wouldn’t result in so much blow back on his legacy.

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  24. Jolene said on January 29, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    In fact, Joe, Obama recently sat for an interview in which he made it clear that he favors Hillary.

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  25. alex said on January 29, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Where did you hear that story, Joe? It doesn’t square with anything I’ve seen.

    David C, funny you should mention a dog with a shepherd head and torso and Bassett legs because we once had just such a dog. He was truly hideous. He was also the smartest dog we ever had. Showed up as a stray, probably dumped. He hung out until he won us over. Housebroken better than our purebred dogs and genuinely eager to please. He did have some embarrassing habits, though. He was unneutered and when love was in the air he would hump the air and jizz all over the place. And had a yuge dick for a dog. One of my mom’s friends used to remark on how it had been a while since she’d seen one that big and that tumescent.

    The dog vanished one day after taking off in pursuit of a deer after having been our pet for several years. We think he may have been so engrossed in the pursuit that he leapt into the river and drowned.

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  26. Deborah said on January 29, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Alex, when I was growing up in Miami, FL we had a neighbor who had a dog very similar to yours. It was quite an eye opener for us kids. The dog had a Shepard head and dachshund legs, they named him Romeo for a reason.

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  27. Joe K said on January 29, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    A lot of long overnight solo flights, give you lots of time to think & ponder, I know Obama just had a sit down and says he favors Hillery, so I guess we should take him at his word since a politician never lies.
    It’s just a thought we ith nothing to base it on just a hunch.
    Pilot Joe

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  28. beb said on January 29, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    You would think that after a couple months of Detroit Water Flint’s water would start to normalize. Apparently not. The Mayor of Flint the results from some recently lead tests. Readings from 153 parts per million to 4000 PPM. The EPA requires a response for lead readings over 15 parts per billion. International health organizations consider 15 ppb overly generous. So Flint is still getting lead levels 10 to 300 times the EPA action-level. Lucy Rick has some ‘splaining to do.

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  29. beb said on January 29, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Oops. Here’s the link:

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  30. Charlotte said on January 29, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    I’m a terrible swimmer — in part I think because I couldn’t float at all as a kid (I probably can now as an, ahem, middle-aged-lady). Only camper in Camp Osoha history to get my basic swimming award without doing the backfloat. My sinking was witnessed by the camp director, head of waterfront, head of swimming and a few other random counselors (women I love to this day). My dad can’t float either. But at the University of Utah, when I was losing my mind with stress trying to finish my novel and study for my Phd Exams, I started swimming — mostly because they had a beautiful pool up on the bench overlooking the valley. There were always flippers strewn about, along with kickboards, so I started wearing flippers and it made all the difference in the world. I’d go up and swim for an hour or so, even if it was “cheating” and then sit on the nice lounge chairs reading outdoors and it kind of saved my life. Now that my ankles are going, it’d be nice if we had a pool in town, but alas, there’s just a small seasonal one in the summer.

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  31. Dexter said on January 29, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Ohio dog licenses seem to have had another increase in price…I just bought two and paid out $33.50. In early 2009 we took in a feral cat who had taken a liking to our Jack Russell Terrier. We had him neutered but not de-clawed. I figured he might escape one day and return to his feral life and he’d need his claws to survive. Oh he’s escaped many times alright but he always comes back soon, within just a few minutes. His name is Friendo…a reference to that movie, “No Country for Old Men”. It’s homage to Antoine Chiguhr, played by Javier Bardem.
    Wow…HRC’s email troubles really got serious today. Apparently she lied to Lester Holt just last night regarding top-secret messages she sent on her own server. Apparently she did indeed send secret content on servers other than safe government servers.

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  32. basset said on January 30, 2016 at 5:26 am

    Julie@14, they do but it generally is not an issue, at least not that I have ever experienced or heard about.

    Back in the 70s the men’s pool in the HPER building at IU Bloomington was a nude zone, these days it’s probably a multicultural, gender-inclusive diversity-monitored vegan-friendly organically-chlorinated universal welcoming environment or something.

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  33. Julie Robinson said on January 30, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Huh. I swam at HPER regularly in the 70’s and I don’t remember that.

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  34. basset said on January 30, 2016 at 9:59 am

    I do… little pool in an interior room. maybe it was only a nude zone part of the time, I dunno, but it was there. Quarries and Lake Lemon too.

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  35. brian stouder said on January 30, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Public indecency would be a violation of the penal code, I’d say

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  36. Julie Robinson said on January 30, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Basset, I didn’t mean to sound like I was doubting you. I was just puzzled that either I never knew or have completely forgotten.

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  37. beb said on January 30, 2016 at 11:55 am

    One analysis of Clinton’s emails suggested they concerned the military’s drone program, which is the worst kept secret on the world, so not much of a foul. The other suggestion is that at the time sent these were not “secrets” but were only later classified as “secret.” Either way, like Benghazi, the over-riding question is what harm has been done?

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  38. Deborah said on January 30, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    According to my Facebook news feed the New York Times has endorsed Hillary for pres, and the only possible Republican to endorse would be Kasich. But you probably already knew this.

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  39. Mark P said on January 30, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Clinton has said that the information was not classified at the time she sent it. I know for a fact that this sort of thing happens because it happened to me back in the ’80’s. I think it would be very unlikely for anyone in her position to have knowingly sent Top Secret information through an unclassified means. Handling of TS information is in a different league from the way merely secret information is handled. Did the State Department use the actual term “Top Secret”? I have seen news reports where the reporter uses that term for something that is not technically TS. Top Secret is a specific term in the security world. It doesn’t just mean “really, really secret”.

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  40. Sue said on January 30, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    MarkH@11: there has been a lot of discussion lately about why we mourn famous people passing, what psychological reasons for that process, etc., etc. But what I’d like to know is why seeing recent pictures of these folks just upends me. I can’t wrap my head around rock stars and actors being… old! I saw Peter Frampton on Colbert Report a few years ago, and he was old. Old! And Paul Kantner looked like some old retired guy, what the hell? I’d like some analysis of why it surprises me to see them that way.
    Of course, Alan Rickman was gorgeous to the end, because he transcends, what can I say. And David Bowie too, because bone structure, that’s why.
    And Keith Richards looks exactly the way he should, that is: like hell. I totally get the way he looks.

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  41. Charlotte said on January 30, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Okay Michigan people — Michael Moore is contending that the Pentagon has been using abandoned neighborhoods in Flint for TARGET PRACTICE? Is this true? Training in urban combat through Flint neighborhoods?
    Considering the source, thought I’d check here to see if anyone has heard anything.

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  42. basset said on January 30, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Julie@36, no problem, didnt take it that way at all. Some of my memories of that time are… ahh, let’s just say less than reliable… but I did swim there several times.

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  43. Deborah said on January 30, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Charlotte, I wouldn’t be surprised. My husband designed a homeland security facility where part of it is a replica of an urban street. So if they could find a mostly abandoned real urban street to use instead they could save a shit ton of money. I don’t think they use real bullets in in homeland security training facility. Whatever that means.

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  44. David C. said on January 30, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    I wish Michael Moore would shut the fuck up and just use the Google. They did exercises in Flint, they did not use it for target practice. This is his Jade Helm. Bullshit like this doesn’t help anyone, least of all Flint.


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  45. nancy said on January 30, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Oh, I’m right there with your, David. When the book of Moore’s life is written, it will be about how he squandered his considerable talents as a storyteller in favor of being a cheap-shot artist. “Sicko” broke my heart.

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  46. brian stouder said on January 30, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Michael Moore aside*, and taking for granted that the local, state, and national government WILL aggressively move to resolve the human crisis, it looks to me like the basic failure in Flint was (quite literally) one of invincible ignorance on the part of local and state government decision makers.

    Smart men and women, who actually know and understand local water filtration and local infrastructure – the “why we do what we do” – and the consequences of making big changes like changing your water source(!) and changing what treatments to which the water is subjected…were obviously ignored and/or over-ridden.

    How did this happen?

    This is what I’m interested in learning from the emails and so on, of Michigan’s doofus governor (who actually makes Indiana’s doofus look almost learned, by comparison). We already know that Snyder has shit for brains…but who else was involved in this train-wreck of decision-making?

    In other words, where were the smart people? What did they say?

    *I like – more or less – Lawrence O’Donnell, but he basically gave his show over to Michael Moore one evening last week, and the man has absolutely nothing to add to anyone’s understanding of the crisis of today. Moore was most comfortable taking shots at GM, which he repeatedly did, and which has approximately zero to do with the abject failure of governance in Flint, Michigan

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  47. Charlotte said on January 30, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks all — I did a little google, and all the hits were crazy-pants sites. I couldn’t imagine they were launching RPGs into an American city with no one noticing. Sigh. As if Flint didn’t have enough problems …

    Although the paranoid tin-foil hat person inside me wonders whether this wasn’t some sort of experiment to see what someone could get away with — the someones who want to privatize water perhaps?

    Looks like Wisconsin just passed a bill allowing the privatization of water systems: http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/concerns-raised-about-bill-allowing-purchase-of-municipal-water-systems-b99660528z1-367071931.html
    While here in Montana, Missoula has spent the past couple of years suing to buy theirs back: http://missoulian.com/news/local/city-of-missoula-withdraws-appeal-of-m-value-for-mountain/article_23f21f36-846f-5c7b-9343-1654d0ef77bf.html

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  48. Deborah said on January 30, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    I know what you mean about Michael Moore. My right wing sister is always throwing things he says at me, like he’s someone I admire. My sister also quotes stupid things that Barbara Streisand says as if she is the epitome of a liberal that I pay attention to. It’s embarrassing.

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  49. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 30, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Why does the NYT hate John Kasich so much?


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  50. Deborah said on January 30, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Drove down to Albuquerque today just because the high there was 67. Spent most of the time in the car though so what was the point? The high in Santa Fe was 55 or 57 depending which weather app you looked at. Tomorrow and for the next few days the temps are going to drop dramatically. By Tues night the low will be 5 and snow is predicted for the next few days too. I’m getting ready to have a serious case of the Februaries.

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  51. brian stouder said on January 30, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Deborah, I would not have guessed that it gets that cool in Albuquerque or Santa Fe.

    Jeff, I still think Kasich would be a credible president (although I’ll never vote for him)

    I cannot see 74 year old Bernie Sanders being president, period. If Secretary Clinton’s campaign implodes (as in ’08) – and I don’t think it will – then in that case I think we see Senator Warren leap in (although they’ll orchestrate it to look as though she was pulled and cajoled in).

    I think the 45th President of the United States is going to be a Democrat, and a woman – even if not Secretary Clinton

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  52. alex said on January 30, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Well, our fridge with the cabinet newly clad in stainless steel sheet metal looks simply superb. What a gorgeous thing it is to behold. Unfortunately, it let out a long nasty hiss when hubby couldn’t leave well enough alone and decided it needed just one extra tiny sheet metal screw to fasten the fascia down. So we’re going shopping tomorrow.

    The silver lining, as it were, is that we have the metal preformed to fit the same model of fridge so we can get another one of those and just glue the shit on this time.

    Sucks. I made paella tonight and the leftovers now have to go into a cooler and we’ll probably be making care packages with it because our local retailers don’t stock appliances and they generally take a week or two to get here.

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  53. Deborah said on January 30, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Brian, it’s the altitude, Santa Fe is at 7,200 ft. Although 5 is pretty close to as low as it gets around here. Once or twice it has gotten below zero since we’ve been here. The thing is though that it’s almost always sunny during the day so there’s a huge swing from daytime temps to nighttime temps. Albuquerque is usually warmer, because lower altitude and a bit further south (50 miles).

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  54. brian stouder said on January 30, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Deborah – not to jinx it, but winter has been a bust here in Indiana this year. We’ve sort of had an extended Autumn, and now it’s almost February…so springtime is on the horizon.

    And, I ain’t complainin’!

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  55. beb said on January 31, 2016 at 12:23 am

    Brian Stouder – do not be deceived by Kaisch. He is as right-wing as any of them. He’s reason in the sense that Mussolini was reasonable compared to Hitler.

    Elizabeth Warren is not going to run for president. Period. And it’s really too late in the cycle for her to start. Bernie Sanders is in there for the long haul. If Hillary gets kneecapped by the New York Times/Fox News/ Washington Post Bernie will be there to pick up the pieces… If he doesn’t trounce her in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

    At least you can’t complain that Keith Richards has suddenly turned into an old man… he always looked that way.

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  56. Crazycatlady said on January 31, 2016 at 2:10 am

    I want that puppy! Super cute!

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  57. Jolene said on January 31, 2016 at 8:38 am

    I got a kick out of seeing, in this article focused on the release of a new album, that Elton John named as one of his recent enthusiasms, the clip of Aretha Franklin in her fur coat at the Kennedy Center that we all liked so much. Aretha has gotten a lot of mileage out of that performance. Elton says that he plans to appear similarly dressed when he turns 75.


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  58. Della Dash said on January 31, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    I’m quickly checking in to my favorite blog because, even though I’ve let plenty people know I’m going to caucus tomorrow, I’m being coy about whom I’m supporting…knowing all too well the unwanted and unavoidable feedback such a declaration would engender from my more aggressively political friends and family members. Here, however, I feel safe enough to announce I’m caucusing for Hillary.

    If I find the time, I’ll toss in my reasoning, and try to keep up with what you all have to say about everything…but in the meantime, after 2 1/2 years I’m still caretaking my mother, who just turned 90 a few days ago…hanging on to my sanity by an eyelash, while her dementia continues to spiral into chaos…managed by carefully-calibrated anti-depressants and occasional anti-psychotics (never to the extent she turns into a zombie…what would be the point of prolonging such non-quality-of-life?). Coaxing her appetite and feeding her gluten-free, non-dairy, chewable meals is like feeding an orphan baby bird with an eye dropper. Every fall means at least one fractured bone and hours in the ER to double check. Still, there are many things about her condition I’m thankful for…and I love her like the child I never had.

    Nancy, I caught your red-dress pics the other day on the fly…knew you’re smart and funny…didn’t know you’re such a babe.

    I’m always 3 steps behind and off-kilter. I have taken off 100 pounds, so I’m doing something right. Even though some of you will remember me as Della Dash, these days I’ve taken to calling myself:

    Saint Bitch

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  59. brian stouder said on January 31, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    St B – I envy your Iowa caucus thing, and I have a question or two for you.

    1. How long does it take? Our (Indiana) primary is just bim-bam-boom, and you’re done. I’m assuming “caucusing” takes – what? – an hour? shorter? Longer?

    2. Do people try and switch your leanings – or do you say “aye” (or whatever) once, and that’s it.

    3. Whatever else, it sounds kinda fun…and to be honest, I think they should rotate which state gets to go first in presidential primary season (and I bet you disagree!)

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  60. Deborah said on January 31, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Della Dash/ St Bitch, so glad to hear from you again. Please keep us up to date on the caucus process. I too would be for Hillary.

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  61. St Bitch said on January 31, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Even though I grew up in Iowa, with my Dad on the campaign trail for US Senator when I was 10 years old, after serving in the state legislature as an ultra-conservative, where we (my brothers and sister and I) were allowed to sit on his lap and push a green button for “yes”, or red button for “no” on sundry bills up for a vote, when we visited him…it wasn’t until a few days ago that I understood that caucus is a verb as well as a noun. I’m as curious about this antique grass-roots process as you guys, and will report back. My impression is that it’s not going to be around forever…nor am I (having fled Iowa when I was young…will probably do so again when Mom is gone)…so now’s the time to check it out.

    Brian – I don’t disagree…ya’ll are welcome to the barrage of telephinic pollster home invasion.

    Deborah – I’ve thought about contacting you in case you’ve been in Chicago when my local bff and I drive over for theatre (twice to the Steppenwolf, most recently to the Oriental for “Beautiful”) or a concert (YoYoMa and the Chicago Chamber Orchestra). One of these days, it would be fun to meet you…although getaways are rare treats as hoverage for Mom is expensive.

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  62. Sue said on January 31, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Hey hockey people, I hope you’re watching the all star game(s). New format is lots of fun.

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  63. Mark P. said on January 31, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    St.Bitch — My wife and I know all too well the labor involved in caring for an aged parent with dementia. We feel for you.

    I heard on the news that voting in a caucus is by secret ballot. Is that so?

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  64. Jolene said on January 31, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Here’s a good description of how the caucus meetings work. Note that the voting procedures differ for Rs and Ds.

    Looking forward to the first-hand reports, SB.

    Iowa caucuses: Here’s how the voting works

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  65. Deborah said on January 31, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Della/St. Bitch, do indeed let me know when you are in Chicago, would love to meet up. I’ve so enjoyed meeting up with nn.c people. Maybe we can schedule a Chicago meet-up with people not so far away. So far I’ve met Jeff (tmmo), Nancy herself, Scout, Heather and if I’ve left anyone out, shame on me. It’s really been cool to meet up with people face to face.

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  66. St Bitch said on January 31, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Most def…we can talk a Chicago non.c meet-up once spring has properly arrived.

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  67. Suzanne said on January 31, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Well, I don’t know who will win the Iowa Caucuses or the general election, but there may be hope. I visited my 80 year old mother the day after the last GOP debate. My mother, who always, always, always votes straight GOP and still thinks Obama is Muslim, said she watched the entire debate and couldn’t stand any of the candidates. She probably still will vote for whoever the GOP candidate is, but at least the light is beginning to dawn on her that just maybe the pool of candidates this year is very shallow.

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  68. susan said on January 31, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    The pool of GOP candidates isn’t just shallow, it is frightening.

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  69. Joe K said on January 31, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Couldn’t have played out any better in Nashville tonight, the player the fans voted captain and the NHL didn’t want playing going so far as asking if his kids would be embarrassed to have him play,traded then sent to the ahl, scores 2 goals and wins the MVP, raised on his teammates shoulders.
    Also Amazing goal tending.
    Pilot Joe

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  70. Connie said on January 31, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Congratulations to Nancy and Bridge magazine. Newspaper of the year from the Michigan Press Association.

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  71. Connie said on January 31, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    First place, business and agriculture news, “Poverty in Paradise,” a series of stories examining the economic chasm between rich and poor in “Pure Michigan” up north, by Nancy Derringer, Roelofs and Mike Wilkinson. This project also took third place in the Herbert Spencer Best Writing category.

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  72. basset said on January 31, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    passed on the hockey game but walked past the arena on the way to an Art Garfunkel concert two blocks away. Good one too, he still has most of his voice left.

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