January, now on ice.

What a difference a weekend makes. I went into it a teetotaler and came out free to imbibe again. The Whole 30 is over. January is over. And I discovered I have knack for curling. Sorta-curling, anyway.

I was invited to a fundraiser by a woman in my boxing club, for a new group that’s trying to help women in difficult circumstances. Alan was under the weather, so I went stag. (Doe?) The house was large and beautiful, but the party was in the back yard. Where I found this:


Now that’s a backyard ice rink. The host said he’s been doing this for his kids since they were little, just knocking the frame together and filling it with a hose. They skate a couple hours a day, and then he goes out after they’ve gone to bed and manually Zambonis the surface, with scrapers and a big squeegee. But we weren’t there to play hockey; backyard curling was the night’s entertainment. I found their homemade curling stones charming — two mixing bowls filled with cement, with pipe handles. We played backyard-curling rules, which was basically ice bocci: Throw a puck down the ice, then try to get your stone as close to it as possible.


The temperature was just above freezing, so the brushing was pretty inconsequential. Mostly we just slid the stones down the ice. Our team was trailing in the final, caught up and was down by one on the final point. The other team had two stones in scoring range and our last player sent his down the lane and knocked both to kingdom come, leaving his close enough to the puck to kiss it. A real Michigan-Michigan State 2015 finish. The prize was any bottle from the booze table, and I chose a nice bottle of champagne. A great way to end Dry January.

And that means the Whole 30 is over, too. Truth be told, it was more of a Whole 15 and a PrettyMuch 15, but it accomplished what it was supposed to do. I lost seven pounds, and while I didn’t break my sweet tooth in half, I held it at bay and learned it was not my master. Didn’t miss alcohol even a little bit. Bread was different, but I broke some habits there, too — I no longer consider eggs without toast a pathetic excuse for breakfast. And not only is it possible to add vegetables to every meal, sautéed vegetables make scrambled eggs pretty damn special, as Mark Bittman can attest.

Now to keep the trend going. My opinion of Paleo recipes has changed, but not by much. I still think most of them suck (TOO MUCH SEASONING), but I’ve found a few exceptions. But I’m never buying a bottle of coconut aminos, and I sorta regret this coconut oil, too, because it makes everything taste like coconut. I like coconut, but not that much.

I was regretting the bottle of unfiltered organic apple-cider vinegar I bought a few months back, once I realized I could never find a way to choke that stuff down like the healthy people do, and why would I want to anyway? Until I started using it to treat a small patch of toenail fungus that appeared on one of my tootsies last spring. It never spread or got worse, but never got better, either. OTC remedies were expensive and did nothing, and my doctor said the Rx solution wasn’t much better, had a potentially serious side effect and wasn’t something he liked to recommend for a non-critical case. “It might go away on its own, or you might have it for years,” he said. “They’re stubborn.” So I sadly stripped off my summer nail polish (that would make it worse, the Internet said) and scowled at it, week after week. Toenail fungus. It sounds like something bums get. I’m sure it is.

Until I thought, what the hell, and started dabbing the spot with cider vinegar twice a day, and dripping a little under the nail. One sock smelled like vinegar, but that was the only side effect. After a few weeks of this, damn if it didn’t get smaller, and smaller, and today is on the verge of disappearing altogether. An old-timey remedy that’s actually a remedy! Could this January get any better?

A little bit of bloggage to start the week.

Michael Phelps in a gold Speedo and a chest full of medals would certainly distract me. I guess he’s the ultimate shiny object. Check out the core strength on that young man. Not to mention the quadriceps. #swimminggoals

Welcome back to DellaDash, aka St. Bitch, who showed up in comments over the weekend. She’s an Iowa caucus voter. I have to say I’m very glad I don’t live there, because I would grow weary of shooting my TV over and over:

A super PAC supporting Mike Huckabee produced an ad for both radio and TV in which two women express doubts about Cruz’s commitment to Christian causes, saying that he speaks in one way to Iowans and in another to New Yorkers whose campaign donations he needs.

“I also heard that Cruz gives less than 1 percent to charity and church,” says one of the two women.

“He doesn’t tithe?” asks the other. “A millionaire that brags about his faith all the time?” They conclude that he’s a phony.

Thanks, Mike Huckabee, you loser, you also-forgotten piece of crap. Thanks for all you do for your country.

Grr. I guess I’m ready to start Monday, then. Hope you are, too.

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

61 responses to “January, now on ice.”

  1. Crazycatlady said on February 1, 2016 at 1:40 am

    My Dad had a long history of working at skating rinks, sharpening skates and driving the Zamboni. He worked at Detroit Skating Club in the early 50’s. I grew up skating, and my Dad would make a skating Rink in our backyard every winter. Thanks for reminding me of those days. My sisters figure skated for a while, but we never curled!

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  2. Deni Menken said on February 1, 2016 at 2:17 am

    Longtime lurker here. Took a bus trip five years ago to a tiny farm town, Triumph, IL. Oldest curling club in the US sits in the shadow of giant grain bins. Spent a great afternoon there learning the ropes. It was the last day I could fake it with my dicky knee, but totally worth it.
    I live in a tiny town near the Quad Cities that was founded as a Swedish Utopian community. We have been simply awash in political ads. My husband and I drove over to Davenport Friday afternoon and stood over an hour in the cold with a mob of the curious to see Hillary speak. It was a two-fer. Bill gave a warm introduction and spoke about ten minutes. He does seem frail and seems to ration his breath. Hillary was simply a powerhouse and came across in a down-to-earth yet earnestly forceful manner. I shook their hands as they ended the event. I think she has the goods, but a lot can happen in the next go- round.
    I am eager to hear about the caucus experience from St. B. And hope the numeric level of ads drops off significantly.
    Enjoy this little corner of the ether so much. Grateful for all the interesting and thoughtful participants. Thanks all.

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  3. Sherri said on February 1, 2016 at 3:08 am

    One of the things I miss about being back East is outdoor ice skating. There was an outdoor rink near the CMU campus, which had a mid-day adult only skate once a week, so us grad students would go over and skate away our worries. That’s where I learned to skate, even learned to crossover, and could sort of crossover going backwards too. My hockey stop got the job done, and I could do a t-stop, though not gracefully. Jumps and spins were beyond my ken. Since there were often just a bunch of us grad students there, we would stop halfway through, and go around clock-wise instead of ccw, just to work on everything from that angle.

    Would love to curl someday!

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  4. Deborah said on February 1, 2016 at 3:34 am

    Little Bird skates, it’s good exercise. She goes to the local community center, it’s quite nice, has a big pool too. She hates to skate when there are too many kids around though because they can be real assholes, she says they’re dangerous. I can’t skate at all, I used to roller skate as a kid but it didn’t help me figure out how to ice skate.

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  5. ROGirl said on February 1, 2016 at 6:12 am

    I bought a jar of coconut oil at Trader Joe’s about 2 1/2 years ago. It’s still sitting in my pantry unopened. When I saute vegetables I use olive oil or sesame oil.

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  6. David C. said on February 1, 2016 at 6:34 am

    I saw your Mitch Albom tweet, Nancy. What an asshole.


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  7. alex said on February 1, 2016 at 6:42 am

    I bought coconut oil some years ago for some recipe, but wasn’t impressed with it. It’s supposed to be able to tolerate heat better than other fats when frying, but alas it does so without good flavor. Then someone told me that it’s good for whitening teeth if you swish it in your mouth fifteen minutes daily, but the shit made me retch after about two and I just don’t have the patience for a full-on beauty regimen at my age.

    In the same vein as the NYT link, some heartening though mixed news about the decline of the religious right. Evangelicals are fully cognizant of the phoniness of politicians who “speak their language.” What they really like is to hear is the vulgar nativism they engage in the other six days of the week. And abortion and gay marriage are apparently trivial matters compared to immigrant job stealers. Who knew?

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  8. Suzanne said on February 1, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Religious right being unmasked really doesn’t surprise me. It never was about God, but about power, and I think I always knew that. Now, everybody is beginning to know but the RR isn’t going down without a fight.

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  9. Alan Stamm said on February 1, 2016 at 7:21 am

    That sports columnist/bestselling author who’s an irresistible pinata gets fresh whacks from a Detroit sports blog http://detroitsportsrag.net/mitch-albom-tells-alleged-rape-victim-how-to-spend-her-money/ and Sports Illustrated senior editor https://twitter.com/emmaspan/status/693905705045200896 for comments on ESPN yesterday about a $950,000 settlement by Florida State University to an ex-student who sued the school after allegedly being rape against by ex-quarterback Jameis Winston.

    SI senior ed. Emma Span yearns “for him to get back to writing The First Snapchat From Purgatory or whatever.”

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  10. beb said on February 1, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Emma Span has my vote for thread win of the day.

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  11. brian stouder said on February 1, 2016 at 9:37 am

    beb – if thread-win was decided with a caucus, I’d be all confused so far – and open to offers from several corners of the room!

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  12. brian stouder said on February 1, 2016 at 9:45 am

    btw, I read this “explainer” twice – and I still have no understanding of the Iowa system


    an excerpt:

    At most Democratic caucus locations, a candidate must get support from at least 15 percent of attendees to achieve what’s called “viability.” If that threshold isn’t met, a candidate’s supporters must realign to a different candidate or to a category called “uncommitted.”

    In other words, if at a caucus of 100 participants, only 10 support Candidate A, they’re out of luck, and they have to pick another favorite.

    After everyone’s standing in their candidate’s corner, the number of delegates awarded at each caucus site is then determined by a mathematical formula.

    It works like this:


    divided by


    And wait, there’s more.

    The activity on caucus night doesn’t directly elect delegates to the Democratic National Convention. The results actually elect delegates — in each of Iowa’s 1,681 precincts — to the county convention.

    Clear as mud, baby!

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  13. Julie Robinson said on February 1, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Although I like coconut, I’m not convinced it’s healthy, so we gave away the jar of coconut oil our son left behind when he moved. Now I read it’s a good deep-conditioner for hair, so you might try that. As I well know, chlorine is hard on hair, even if you wear a cap.

    Michael Phelps: thighs.

    The latest Trumpism is he attended a church where they pass the communion plates around in the pews, and he put his offering in, apparently thinking it was an offering plate. But yup, he’s a good Christian!

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  14. Heather said on February 1, 2016 at 11:47 am

    I’m one of those crazy coconut oil people. Well, not completely, because I don’t think it’s a miraculous cure-all, but it does have a lot of uses. I use it in my coffee (whipped with an immersion blender), because I’m finding my guts don’t care for milk all that much anymore; I make my own deodorant with it (yes it works); I use it as a body oil; and I apply it as a deep conditioner before I go swimming. And occasionally I saute scallops with it.

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  15. susan said on February 1, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Heather, that is all so confusing. Have you ever sautéd your hair by mistake?

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  16. Heather said on February 1, 2016 at 11:59 am


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  17. Sherri said on February 1, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    At least I’m not the only person with a jar of coconut oil in my pantry that I tried once and not since!

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  18. Suzanne said on February 1, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    I don’t like coconut, so if I bought coconut oil, it would be for hair or skin purposes (although I don’t even like the smell). I did make a curry last week that used coconut milk and that was very good. Didn’t taste at all coconutty.

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  19. Jessica said on February 1, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Amen to your doctor for not ordering the prescription remedy for toenail fungus. During the six months I took it, I had three separate and awful anaphlatic reactions, with three trips to the ER. Whatever I was allergic to they never found, and without the liver-function-depressing effect of the fungus meds I have never reacted to it again.

    Biotin and vinegar are doing a better job and not threatening my breathing.

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  20. Deborah said on February 1, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I got something once that I think was called coconut butter. It was formed in a big white cube. It was being sampled on crackers at Whole Foods and I thought it tasted good and would be a good butter substitute. But when I got it home I put it in the refridge and never touched it again until I threw it out after I thought it was probably to old to use. I mean why was I thinking I needed a butter substitute? I love butter.

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  21. brian stouder said on February 1, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    I love the smell of coconut; hadn’t really thought about how useful it is.

    We have a relative with a nut allergy, and that raised my consciousness to just how pervasive nut-products are

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  22. Scout said on February 1, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Michael Phelps’ body is amazing. What is even more amazing are the beer bellies who were brave enough to stand half naked on a stage next to that body. As Alan might say “I suspect alcohol was involved.”

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  23. adrianne said on February 1, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I love that story about Trump tossing cash in the Communion plate!

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  24. Connie said on February 1, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Growing up there was ice everywhere, who needs to make their own rink? In the neighborhood we skated at Mr. Gilley’s pond. At the beginning of every winter a crowd of kids in skates stood in his yard while the bravest one went up and knocked on his door to get permission for another year of skating. Mostly broom hockey and crack the whip.

    Some blocks away was the big pond behind the city ceremony which the city parks department kept shovelled clear and on weekends built a little fire nearby. Just outside of town at the Fish and Game Club there was also at least one big pond always shovelled.

    I never saw inside ice skating until college.

    My dad recently told a story about the city council voting to build an ice rink but voting against funding any snow clearing or ice care. So in high school, when his father was on the city council, he found himself getting dragged out of bed early on weekend mornings in order to go with his dad to shovel off the rink.

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  25. Joe K said on February 1, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Just wonder ing if anyone else watched the live version of Grease last night?
    I watched it after the NHL Allstar game and thought it was really good.
    Tough to do anything live especially with as spread out as the sets were.
    The big dance scene while good was not quite up to the Movie, the gal who played Rizzo should be given a extra shout out her father died Saturday night.
    Of all the live shows that have been on lately, seems this one is getting the best reviews.
    Pilot Joe

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  26. Connie said on February 1, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    I am surprised to say I loved Grease Live and watched it all the way. Vanessa Hudgens blew it away. Loved the ending.

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  27. Julie Robinson said on February 1, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    I saw the first hour and recorded the rest, because Galavant and Downtown Abbey. What a bonanza of TV for me! I’m a big Aaron Tveit fan; he’s from Broadway and was the highlight of the Les Mis movie (Enjolras). They got a lot right, especially performing in front of an audience to give more energy. Julianne Hough is a weak actor, but you already knew that. The slumber party/USO scene was brilliant.

    Of course everyone was too old to be playing high schoolers, just like the movie. And of course the plot is pretty thin.

    I think I’ve written before that I saw John Travolta in Grease circa 1973, in Chicago, and he wasn’t anything special back then.

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  28. St Bitch said on February 1, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Deni @2 – does your tiny Swedish utopia have an adorable giant teapot for a water tower?

    Brian – a recent episode of The Good Wife titled “Iowa”, where Peter Florick makes a (spoiler alert) doomed presidential bid, offers entertaining ‘Iowa Caucus 101’.

    I’ve got my “I’m caucusing for Hillary” sticker via snail mail (ONLY available to those caucusing for Hilary…not for sale or available AFTER the caucus, I’m assured); as well as an introduction to Hillary’s caucus captain for my precinct, who I’ll be able to identify by a blue shirt she’ll be wearing that says “captain”. I’m to arrive at the elementary school library by 6:30.

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  29. Deni Menken said on February 1, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    St. B,
    No adorable teapot but a kind of charming wooden shingled one a bit reminiscent of Petticoat Junction. I took a sticker from Friday night’s event. Sounds like a collectible!

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  30. brian stouder said on February 1, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    StB – good stuff!

    It’s definitely healthy to subject all serious aspirants for the office of President of the United States to such an up-close and personal process, in Iowa.

    It cannot help but be at least a temporary infusion of real-life America, rather than fly-over miles

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  31. Sue said on February 1, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I didn’t realize that caucusing disenfranchises so many citizens. Even Joni Ernst can’t ‘vote’ because she can’t show up at her caucusing site at 7 p.m., she supposedly has to get back to Washington before the snow hits.

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  32. adrianne said on February 1, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Aaron Tveit is from Middletown, NY, where I used to labor for the daily paragraph factory. He’s totally adorable! And he regularly visits the theater kids at Middletown High School to encourage them to follow their dreams.

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  33. brian stouder said on February 1, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Remember when the R’s were wishing that the pesky 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution should be repealed?

    The thinking was ol’ St Ronnie would surely win a third term, if he could run again in ’88.

    Worth remembering (and reminding them) – as I think President Obama would mop the floor with Trump’s dog-show hair-do (et al).

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  34. Jolene said on February 1, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Adrianne, you have probably said “daily paragraph factory” a thousand times, but it’s new to me. Love it. A delightful phrase.

    And speaking of such manufacturing, congrats to Nance and her colleagues for the prize awarded for their work on economic conditions in Michigan, mentioned by Connie in the previous thread.

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  35. Connie said on February 1, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Nobody has good to say about Albom today. http://deadlinedetroit.com/articles/14180/reactions_to_albom_rape_case_coment_idiotic_awful_asshole_stop_talking#.Vq_BlrIrLq4

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  36. Brandon said on February 1, 2016 at 4:09 pm


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  37. Deborah said on February 1, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    I spent a lot of time in Des Moines, IA when I worked on the World Food Prize project there. I was amazed at how many good restaurants they had there until someone reminded me of the importance of the caucus to the political folks. The best ones were near the state capitol so there was that too. Plus there was a lot of farm to table stuff, I remember a big festival that they have every year that had great street food.

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  38. adrianne said on February 1, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Our proprietress is no longer a voice in the wilderness about the inanity of Mitch!

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  39. adrianne said on February 1, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    H/t to Emma Span from Sports Illustrated for describing Mitch Albom as a “sentient inspirational needlepoint pattern.”

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  40. Sherri said on February 1, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    A popular college football blog also takes Albom to task:http://www.everydayshouldbesaturday.com/2016/2/1/10885720/take-the-money-because-thats-all-theyll-give-you

    Yes, a caucus does disenfranchise voters who can’t make it to the event. Having the same states go first in the primary cycle all the time also disenfranchises voters whose states have later primaries and caucuses. By the time Washington Democrats caucus* at the end of March, everything is usually settled.

    *Washington has both caucuses and a primary. Republicans will caucus near the end of February this year. I think that one or both of the parties used to use the results of both the caucuses and the primaries for selecting delegates, but when Washington passed a blanket primary, the Democrats at least stopped using the primary for anything meaningful. Which is just as well, since the primary isn’t until the end of May.

    The Democratic caucus near the end of March will be at the precinct level, and if you can’t attend, there is a process for submitting a “surrogate affadavit”.

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  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 1, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    She’s been in housekeeping almost two months. The nursing home on the other side of the street had hired her last year, then let her go just before her probationary period ended, since the wait list was back up and she was due for a raise and benefits, but she wasn’t too mad because it made her cross the street and apply here, at the hospital.

    Some of her friends warned her they pee tested more often, and you had to really watch yourself. But after the baby, the one she had with the guy who had been around for a while working for that temp agency doing the floors overnight with the beg equipment, she’d pretty much quit weed. It didn’t do that much for her. She’d try something harder, small hits and only on a Friday, especially if there was a Monday holiday, and only then if the guy she was with really pushed for them to do it. She could leave it alone.

    Her supervisor was telling her that she could go to classes at the branch on the hospital’s dime, but that much more work wasn’t really what she wanted right now. Maybe when the baby was in school and she had more time to herself on days off and stuff.

    The work wasn’t too bad, although sometimes she’d think about her mother, and getting to her forties and still crouching and bending and crawling on the floor under beds to pull cords or grab trash, and having a really bad time getting back up: it worried her. A bit. But not so much now, and she could do the work and still not be too wiped out when she got home, not like mom was now with her job on a register at the store.

    They’d had her on the hospice floor this week, which was kind of a problem because it’s really a different company, and something about billing, but the supers would talk to each other and make it work out between hospital rehab and over here. It was quieter, and kind of sad, but the people were always nice to talk to; the staff always encouraged talking to people, not like the supers on the regular floors.

    Down in the kitchenette at the end of the unit, she’d found this minister cleaning up a counter covered with stuff from the night before, and had told him he didn’t have to, and he said he didn’t mind, the nurses were doing some stuff in his friend’s room and he had to be out, and didn’t want to sit and watch CNN. They worked from either end, trashing the cups and spoons and wiping down the spilled cream and sugar and coffee and cocoa, folding back flat the donut boxes someone had bought and everyone emptied, and the crusts and boxes from a couple of pizzas.

    She mentioned, as a story played on the TV, that she was pretty excited about Trump, and he asked her why, not in an unhappy way, but kind of quizzical. What was it about him, he asked her? Well, he just seems to get it, you know? The minister said that he wasn’t sure what about most people’s everyday lives he got, really; she answered that he just got what people were worried about. And he had feelings, you know? The others were all more kind of robots, autopilot talking people saying stuff they already said. Trump is really into it, you know? Plus he doesn’t have to care if he wins or not. Can’t be bought, asked the minister? Yeah, she went on, he’s his own man. Kind of like that white haired guy who only takes little guy donations. Sanders, you mean, he asked? Yeah, the guy running against Hillary.

    You know Trump and Sanders are two different parties, added the minister hesitantly. Oh yeah, she said, but no one cares about parties anymore. No one I know, anyhow. True, the minister said softly.

    She thanked him for helping out; they stood there in the lounge and talked about the man in the hospital bed down the hall, and about their families, and the weather. The nurses came out of the room, and they walked down the hall for the minister to go back in. The housekeeper smiled at him and said: don’t worry about who wins that election. It doesn’t matter either way. It’s all just a show.

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  42. Deborah said on February 1, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Good one Jeff. But I’m still for Hillary.

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  43. brian stouder said on February 1, 2016 at 5:24 pm


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  44. Sherri said on February 1, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I figured out that there was a similarity/overlap between the Trump supporters and the Bernie supporters during our recent mayoral campaign, when the supremely unqualified opponent ran on a platform of anger and “everything is screwed up, kick him out!” The problem for him, as the problem for Trump/Sanders is, nobody was running with them. There were 4 city council seats up for election, one of them an open seat (the incumbent was moving away), and all 4 were uncontested. There wasn’t going to be a revolution without change on the city council. Similarly, there’s not going to be change in DC by just electing a Trump or a Sanders unless they grow coattails. That was one of Obama’s biggest problems: he didn’t have a strong block of supporters even among Dems in Congress. He ran a smart, insurgent campaign, but that doesn’t translate to governing.

    But most people don’t seem to be that interested in governing.

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  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 1, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    I suspect Hillary may well have more non-negotiable principles tied to practical proposals than anyone else in the race, but she’s sure not ringing many bells in my neck of the woods. I’m just not hearing anyone talk about her even to condemn her. But this is just the view from the sixth floor of our local hospital east of Columbus, Ohio, not an in-depth analysis of Iowa, let alone Ohio.

    But I have heard the term “Buckeyes” used for Iowans at least three times in general media in the last month. Someone’s gotta figure that one out — they have Hawkeyes, at least around Iowa City. Don’t mention Hawkeyes or Buckeyes up around Ames. It’s Cyclones up there, or Cy-hawks to the ironically minded.

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  46. brian stouder said on February 1, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    But most people don’t seem to be that interested in governing.

    Sherri – I could not agree more!

    One of the main takeaways I had, from the (somewhat ponderous) Nelson Rockefeller biography, and the JFK book by Reeves (which was OK) – and even the glimpses of Nixon in Woodward’s Butterfield book was precisely what you point to: those people wanted to govern!

    They’d ask for and then read reports; they’d conduct follow-up; they’d make a decision – and then monitor it.

    When Rocky was a young guy – and he’d run circles around Trump, in terms of wealth – he LOVED that stuff! He served on several different policy committees, and then in later years moved up in the Truman admin…and then thought maybe he could do that job (POTUS)

    I don’t see that in Trump (at all); and only glimmers with the others -except Kasich. I don’t like Kasich – and I’d never vote for him – but I know he’d do the real work.

    And HRC has worked and worked and worked. I’ve no doubt she’d hit the ground running, and not waste her opportunity – if she is elected

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  47. David C. said on February 1, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    I don’t know if this makes any sense, but I think Hillary’s appeal is more quiet and introverted than Bernie’s. I know a couple of Sandersnistas and they’re like the joke about vegans. There are ten people in a room and two are vegans (Sandersnistas). How do you tell who the vegans are? You don’t have to tell, they’ll tell you… …over and over and over. I’m not over the top excited about Hillary, but I think she’s thoughtful and and the type who’s inclinations run to how can we do the most good for the most people. I have no illusions that I’ll like everything she does, and like Obama, sometimes I won’t be able to figure out why the hell she’s doing that, but she’ll move things forward. That’s all I can ask.

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  48. Bruce Fields said on February 1, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    If the pollsters have done their (admittedly difficult) job, then Trump’s numbers reflect opinion among likely primary voters. That hospital worker doesn’t sound like a likely voter to me.

    (Also: excuse the derail over a minor detail, but: “Her supervisor was telling her that she could go to classes at the branch on the hospital’s dime, but that much more work wasn’t really what she wanted right now.” Is that one the hospital’s time too? ‘Cause otherwise, yeah, uh, any supervisor suggesting classes to a single working mom of a baby doesn’t understand how babies work, or assumes everyone has a massive support network. No doubt there’s somebody that’s pulled it off, but….)

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  49. nancy said on February 1, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Jeff, that was lovely.

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  50. alex said on February 1, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Other than friends or family, I don’t hear anyone talking about Hillary either. But there’s been absolute silence from those I know to be Republican. I’m sure they know their choices suck.

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  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 1, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Bruce, it’s a nice offer and well meant by the hospital, but as you note, if you have kids, it’s tough to use while keeping the full-time schedule you got that is how you qualify for the coursework. Not a few use it, but it tends to be those who have a partner at home helping or taking the lead on childcare, or ones with their own parent living with them or near enough to pitch in.

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  52. basset said on February 1, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    “It’s all just a show? Just a show? You really think so?”

    They could hear him all the way out in the hallway. He came out the same door the minister had gone in, a big man maybe fifty years old in a nice suit, everyone could tell it was a nice suit, even without the watch and the cufflinks and the perfect shoes. He stood maybe a foot from her and stuck his face right up in hers, the way some men do when they want to scare you. She didn’t scare, not that easily.

    “So tell me this. Exactly why are you here tonight, cleaning this place up at this hour?”

    She just looked at him, calmly, like he didn’t matter.

    “I’ll tell you why. Because you are a loser. You are a loser, and a taker, and you contribute nothing. That rug rat you have at home, the one who goes to the doctor on insurance good taxpayers like me pay for, he is a loser and a taker too. If you just worked harder, if you would just pick yourself up by your bootstraps and make an effort, you could have a good, responsible job in an office and you wouldn’t have to be here in the middle of the night.”

    He wasn’t going to make her cry. No way.

    “But no. You’re here, you and that bleeding-heart preacher, wiping off the counter tops and throwing boxes in the trash. If you weren’t a loser and a taker, you would get off your ass and go back to school and do something worthwhile. And I’ll tell you this, when that Kenyan is out of office and we have a good hardworking American back in the White House, your free ride is gonna be over.”

    She was staring as hard as she could by now. Concentrating. The big loud man turned around and strode back into the room. She could hear him giving orders – what to do with the patient, when to turn her over, what he wanted done now and later. He was still talking, you could hear him clear down the hall, when she clocked out and left.

    She made the last bus home, just barely. Her mother was asleep on the couch when she unlocked the front door, came in as quietly as she could but her mother woke up anyway, enough to give her a tired smile and say the baby was doing just fine and was probably going to sleep through the night.

    She got the baby out of his crib and put him into her bed. She held him tightly, there in the dark, and stared at the ceiling.

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  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 1, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Basset, you might have found him down in the cafeteria, nursing a coffee, muttering to himself about the stupid Medicare rules and the damn doctor telling him she had to go to a nursing home at least for a week, which wouldn’t have to happen if it wasn’t for that idiot foreign surgeon messing up the operation and leaving her still hurting so bad. Everyone in this hospital is just working for the damn government. They’re just playing a game, but it’s my life. Her life. We should have gone to Columbus and gotten one of those doctors who really knows what’s up, or even to Cleveland, where all those Arab sheiks and African rulers go to get their operations. The housekeepers here can’t even clean up the crapper in her room without making a racket.

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  54. Sherri said on February 1, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Grifters gotta grift: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/former-mars-hill-pastor-to-start-new-church-in-phoenix/

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  55. St Bitch said on February 1, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    It was kind of fun…not too jacked up…just low-key Iowa stylee…

    There were two precincts caucusing in different rooms at the school, so it took a while to find the right line In which to stand. Once I’d signed opposite my name on a large official sheet, filled in the ‘attendee’ and ‘Clinton’ circles, and snagged a folding chair I’d spotted while inching to the registration table; I could settle in and scan my fellow Hillaryites, while sipping the maple clove soy decaf latte from a thermos I’d provisioned to sweeten the experience. We seemed to be more ethnically diverse than the younger Bernie crowd, one of whom came over to slap a little persuasion on my unresponsive neighbor…something about…hmmm…something that couldn’t pull my (lack of ) focus.

    Around 7:30 the temporary caucus leader stepped up on a blue plastic stool to call the meeting to order, was verbally voted as permanent leader with “ayes”, and told everyone to get out our calculators…a candidate needed 15% of the attendance count (243) to be viable.

    Head counts ensued. The Hillary camp was a bit of a clusterf**k at first, but third try was the charm.

    First count: Hillary 122, Bernie 102, O’Mally 11, Undecided 8

    O’Mally didn’t have enough votes to be viable, so a period of realignment followed with the unviable votes up for grabs. This was the time to mingle and entice. A cute, tall, red-haired Irish-ish O’Malley guy came over to the Hill-side to excited cooing and cheering. A few more drifted over.

    For the final count, we self-organized into an obedient line to get an accurate count. I asked the two newbies in front of me why they decided on Hillary. “Electability” said the short middle-aged guy. “Same for me…NOT because of gender”, said the pretty young woman who’s an engineer.

    Final Count: Hillary 130, Bernie 108, O’Malley 4

    That gives Hillary 2 delegates and Bernie 2 delegates. The room/caucus approved the slate with “ayes”; the respective camps elected their delegates and alternatives; we all quietly exited the building.

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  56. Dexter said on February 2, 2016 at 1:39 am

    We used to skate with hand-me-down skates on frozen farm ponds or sometimes ice where water had pooled and frozen some winters in corn and wheat fields. There were always enough kids around to get up a hellacious hockey game. Only a couple rich farm boys had f’real hockey sticks and the rest of us used junk we scavenged from piles of old stuff we’d find outside our parents’ garages. Mine was a piece of L-shaped angle-iron jammed between a sliced-in-two sapling and then taped up real tight. One kid’s mom worked in a rubber factory and she got him a long piece of hard rubber onto which he attached the blade of a decrepit old skate. That rubber would flex and he’d hurt more than a few kids firing a hard-frozen puck at them with that stick of his. I got stung more than once and it hurt like hell. The farm boys whose folks doled out healthy allowances usually had a few pucks but sometimes if they weren’t around I remember using all kinds of different stuff for pucks. Sometimes a kid would run home and steal a can of tuna from his mom’s pantry. Once we cut an old baseball in half but the yarn unravelled and it was a disaster. You really needed a hard rubber puck. Many times the rubber worker gave her boy hunks of scrap rubber and that worked really well, of course.
    Coconut oil…my friend Mike bought one of the first VCRs back when they cost many hundreds of dollars and he’d have me over to his apartment after second shift to watch NBA playoff games he’d tape. ( It was years before I ever bought my first VCRs.) He’d make this fucking delicious popcorn with this stuff called coconut oil. It sorta became a craze…then the papers began running stories about that oil causing heart attacks. Fast forward 25 years and doctors said it is heart-healthy. I quit buying it many years ago but that popcorn was so good.
    Trump, Bernie lose, HRC and Cruz win. I watched Cavaliers basketball and also Louisville-North Carolina. It’s moving right along, but I still don’t give a rat’s ass about the 2016 presidential campaigns. I watch the evening news and that’s all I care about it. My wife has turned into a real pol-addict, watching msnbc nonstop for hours and hours, guzzling one Diet Pepsi after another.

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  57. Brandon said on February 2, 2016 at 3:18 am

    Thanks, Mike Huckabee, you loser, you also-forgotten piece of crap. Thanks for all you do for your country.

    He dropped out so you won’t have him to kick around anymore. Expect several more to bow out early this month.

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  58. alex said on February 2, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Something fun from the world of Scandinavian advertising. Just for the heck of it.

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  59. beb said on February 2, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Morning summary:
    Ted Cruz topped Trump by a few percentage points but Rubio is just a couple points behind Trump so the Republicans have a three-way mach going into the next primary. What a choice: Little Hitler, Little Jesus and Little Know-nothing.

    Meanwhile on the Dem side of the caucus Clinton and Bernie are in a virtual tie: 49.8 v. 49.5. Since Iowa was Clinton’s to lose — she lost even though she has the 49.8% of caucusers.

    Finally Huckabee “suspends” his campaign. Seriously, did anyone knowo he was running?

    O’Malley dropped out, too but at least he wasn’t a clown in the clown car.

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  60. Kirk said on February 2, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Dexter@59: I’ve read of more than one NHL player from Canada talking about playing pond hockey with frozen dog turds for pucks.

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  61. Kirk said on February 2, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Or Dexter@56

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