Kibbles ‘n’ b.s.

The day we took our first Jack Russell terrier home, the breeder gave us a deli container of food – Iams Eukanuba. “I’ve always fed my dogs Eukanuba, and they’ve done well on it,” she said.

So we took Spriggy home, gave the bag of Purina we’d already bought to the shelter, bought a bag of Eukanuba and never looked back. Sprig lasted until a month shy of his 18th birthday. So when we adopted Wendy, we bought a bag. I couldn’t find it at my beloved locally owned pet store (Lou’s, the best in town), so I bought it from a regional chain a few blocks away, one with a very all-natural, snooty kind of nothing’s-too-good-for-my-fur-baby vibe. They had a frequent-buyer’s program, and I dragged that punch card around for the more than two years it’s taken to buy 12 bags. On Saturday, I took it in for my free 13th bag.

“Just to let you know,” the clerk said, “but we’re not going to be restocking this when the inventory is gone. It has…corn in it, which is contrary to the Snooty Pet Store philosophy.” All this delivered in a sort of of-course-you-agree airiness.

I stood there thinking, “If it weren’t for the Chinese and their poisoned pet food, this place wouldn’t exist.” Also thinking, “If this is a ploy to get me to pay even more for dog food, it ain’t gonna work.” You can put organic lamb and mountain blueberries in kibble, but we’re still talking about an animal that will eat its own poop, and with gusto.

Any suggestions? This place gets on my nerves.

So, then. Perhaps you’ve heard about Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who recently learned the man who he thought was his father, wasn’t. His real father turned out to be Sir Anthony Montague Browne, an aide to Winston Churchill. But until you’ve read his mother’s marvelous explanation of how this happened, you really haven’t lived:

Gavin Welby, my ex-husband, was a very strong, possessive character. At the end of March 1955 he was bullying me to leave my job as personal secretary to the Prime Minister and run away with him and marry him in the United States where his divorce was being finalised. At the age of 25, as I was, the pressure became too great and in the end I found myself unable to resist.

One feature of this pressure is that I was already drinking heavily at times. Although I could then ensure that this did not affect my work, it was later to develop into serious alcoholism during the 1960s which only came to an end when I entered rehab in 1968. I have not drunk alcohol since.

Although my recollection of events is patchy, I now recognize that during the days leading up to my very sudden marriage, and fuelled by a large amount of alcohol on both sides, I went to bed with Anthony Montague Browne. It appears that the precautions taken at the time didn’t work and my wonderful son was conceived as a result of this liaison.

Girl, that sort of thing happens all the time. Relax. You got a fine boy out of it. He grew up to be Archbishop of Canterbury! Blood will always tell. I’m sure he’ll forgive you.

You might have heard that Andrew Sullivan, the ultimate bad penny, is back on the job, or will be soon, this time at New York magazine. Roy makes the case for not forgetting Sullivan’s background, in case you need to be reminded, you fifth columnist.

God, here comes Tuesday. No entry tomorrow, alas — journalism awards tonight, so I’ll be curling my hair and getting my Oscar dress steamed.

Posted at 12:19 am in Current events, Media, Same ol' same ol' |
 

88 responses to “Kibbles ‘n’ b.s.”

  1. Sherri said on April 12, 2016 at 12:54 am

    Sullivan was also responsible for running the deeply dishonest “No Exit” article by Betsy McCaughey to torpedo the Clinton healthcare proposal.

    Meanwhile, here’s a grisly story from Seattle for you. Middle class single mom goes on date with man she met on internet, body parts wind up in recycling bin: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/body-parts-in-seattle-recycling-bin-identified-as-those-of-missing-mother/

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  2. Jakash said on April 12, 2016 at 1:38 am

    I must admit that I wasn’t paying attention when Sullivan committed many of his atrocities, e.g, the Fifth Column nonsense or the “No Exit” article. I did start paying attention much later in his run presiding over the best blog that I was aware of. (Though, admittedly, the sample size of blogs I’ve frequented is minuscule compared with most of you, I imagine.) He is certainly a flawed guy and I agree that some of his “apologies” for earlier thought-crimes have been lacking. But, we lefties love to decry the nattering of the hidebound, anti-elitist morons who get most of the publicity in the right-wing echo-chamber. I’m not even a particular fan of Sullivan’s, as a straight, agnostic, liberal intellectual lightweight. But if somebody who evolved from Bush cheerleader to a significant supporter of Obama, somebody who is vehemently anti-torture, someone who understands that climate change is not a hoax, who supported this “liberal” Pope from the get-go, unlike the vast majority of conservatives, somebody who spoke eloquently about the actual left-leaning message of Christianity as contrasted with the ridiculous version promoted by the “Christian Right”, can be so casually dismissed based upon his previous sins, I don’t know what hope there is for any common ground with those who haven’t been True Blue all along.

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  3. Brandon said on April 12, 2016 at 2:46 am

    But if somebody who evolved from Bush cheerleader to a significant supporter of Obama … can be so casually dismissed based upon his previous sins, I don’t know what hope there is for any common ground with those who haven’t been True Blue all along.

    Yes.

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  4. David C. said on April 12, 2016 at 6:22 am

    So a suggestion to hand make raw artisinal pet food in your very own kitchen would pretty much be a non-starter? We do that for our cats, but kibble gave one of them the shits and they refuse to eat the pre-made meat based cat food. Therefore, every three weeks or so we have to grind up a few packages of chicken thighs and add vitamins and package it and freeze it. It’s a real weekend morning kill, but what that’s life.

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  5. Suzanne said on April 12, 2016 at 6:47 am

    Wonder how the Seattle woman met the guy online. My daughter has done quite a bit of online dating through dating sites. She always does the first few meetings in a very public place, but it does creep me out a bit.

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 12, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Take a (metaphorical) bushel basket with you to those awards, and I hope you fill it. Of course, by saying that I’ve jinxed you, but I do hope Bridge MI is rightly honored. I wish Ohio had us one of you’ns.

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  7. Deborah said on April 12, 2016 at 7:51 am

    When we first got our cats they were shipped to us by the breeder (I know, I know, if I were to do it again today I’d get a rescue). The breeder made her own food made from beef, bone meal and I don’t remember what else, they came with a package of her frozen food that we fed them until it was gone. Then we went out and got them some good healthy canned cat food from the snooty pet store and they would not eat it, at all. So for a few months we continued to buy the frozen hand made stuff which was shipped to us by the breeder. We gradually weaned them from the breeders food by mixing more and more of it with the canned stuff until it was only the canned stuff. We also always put dry food out for them for the sake of their teeth. We never actually saw them eat the dry stuff but the kibble level in the bowl always went down so we knew they were eating it. I miss my cats.

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  8. Deborah said on April 12, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Oh and Nancy, good luck tonight, Bridge deserves to win a bunch.

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  9. alex said on April 12, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Sullivan’s conservative argument in favor of gay marriage was one of the best things he ever wrote, but he lost me as a longtime subscriber to the New Republic with his otherwise incomprehensible views. It had been a reliably center-left publication and had introduced me to such great writers/thinkers as Dahlia Lithwick. It went to hell under his reign and I’ve never gone back.

    His metamorphoses, particularly from shilling for Dubya to adoring Obama to despising Obama, strike me as opportunism. I’m not sure what political bandwagon he thinks he hopping aboard this time and don’t care.

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  10. Icarus said on April 12, 2016 at 8:06 am

    When the twins get bigger we plan to get pets again (our cats passed away just as Moose & Squirrel were arriving on the scene). We are thinking a dog and two cats. Anybody have success with that combo or bad experiences?

    wow 2 years to go through 12 bags…how big were those bags? What would have happened if you didn’t reach 12 bags by the time they ran out of inventory ?

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  11. Connie said on April 12, 2016 at 8:22 am

    My friend’s retirement job is for Blue Mountain Dog Food. She spends each Friday, Saturday, Sunday, at a different big box pet store in greater Cincinnati, promoting Blue Mountain and handing out samples. She says it is a fun job but hard on the feet.

    Our first rescue dog and only mutt came with a starter grocery sack of generic dog food. We mixed it with our newly bought bag of Purina. That dog very carefully picked each piece of generic out of her food bowl and set it aside. When the Purina was eaten she ate the set aside generic. Awfully picky for a starving mutt that gained 10 pounds in her first few days with us.

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  12. Snarkworth said on April 12, 2016 at 8:42 am

    I liked Andrew Sullivan’s blog for the incredible variety of the posts, introducing me to topics I never would have found otherwise.

    However, his obsession with Sarah Palin’s reproductive system seemed a bit much for a gay man.

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  13. Kirk said on April 12, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Our boy James eats Blue Buffalo, made with turkey and taters.

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  14. Deborah said on April 12, 2016 at 9:38 am

    I too liked Sullivan’s blog, I came to it late in the game after all the war talk. I did think it was weird when he got all into Sarah Palin’s last pregnancy, he insinuated or outright claimed that it was Bristol’s first kid (or something?) and that Sarah faked the pregnancy. I usually skipped those posts. As with nn.c I liked the comments, so I kept reading until he quit. I never subscribed, not because I didn’t want to but because I couldn’t get my computer to work through the subscription process for some unknown reason.

    Today is a busy day before a travel day.

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  15. Danny said on April 12, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Speaking of meeting people online, about two years ago I was up in LA in business and one evening I went out to a sports bar in Rendondo Beach to catch a baseball game. So I’m sitting at the bar sipping a beer and a guy in his thirties is sitting a couple of seats away when a girl comes in and meets him and sits in the seat in between us.

    They start chatting and introducing one another and eventually get around to their background and families. At some point the guy relates that his widowed father in his sixties has remarried a good looking women also in her sixties. He goes on to describe her has very nice and affectionate and a real huggie type with the whole family and circle of friends. Then he says one day he gets a phone call from his friends who saw his new stepmom on a porn website.

    Apparently his father films her In gangbang scenes. At the house where he grew up. On the couch that he has sat on many times for family visits since his youth. His friends helpfully told him he might want to keep away from one particular end of that couch on future visits. Just sayin’.

    So the young lady related some mundane facts about her family. I mean who can match that story. Then, not long after, she announces she had to get going,they hug … lightly, exchange bye-byes and she leaves.

    I look over at the guy and ask if that was his girlfriend and he says that no, they just met through an app called Tinder. I told him apologetically that I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation and that dude, that was quite a story, but he probably should have saved it for the second date.

    Geesh! Only in LA! I couldn’t tell you who won the baseball game. But that stepmom, she’s a hugger!

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  16. brian stouder said on April 12, 2016 at 9:54 am

    I think Danny has this thread won!

    Egad – the question one would have to have is – was the guy that stupid, or that brazen?

    Either way, a sure-fail way to manage a first-impression

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  17. LAMary said on April 12, 2016 at 9:58 am

    I have had two dogs with corn allergies. Their ears get inflamed and itchy and smelly. There was a nice little local pet shop that recommended Avoderm and that kept my first great dane going for nearly 13 years, which is ancient for a great dane. Then the nice pet shop closed and I couldn’t find avoderm so I took a risk and switched to Kirkland (Costco) lamb and rice and all the dogs liked it and seemed to do fine. A snooty all natural expensive pet shop opened near my office about four years ago and I stopped in to check out the inventory. A clerk asked what I was looking for and I told her I wanted to make sure I was feeding my dogs good stuff. She showed me a few brands, then very quietly said, “Costco lamb and rice is very good stuff. Don’t worry about it.”
    So I recommend Kirkland lamb and rice or chicken and rice. One drawback for you is the bags are 40 pounds. I imagine it would take Wendy a while to eat that much.

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  18. Pasquinn said on April 12, 2016 at 10:12 am

    I’ll second that motion for Kirkland brand. I get the grain-free turkey, and the dogs’ coats have never looked better. They love it, too.

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  19. Deborah said on April 12, 2016 at 10:13 am

    M waiting for the blind guy to arrive, I’m at the new place. The guy is going to measure the windows for the horizontal blinds we selected. There’s an old joke about a woman, just out of the shower hears a knock at the door, when she asks who it is and the man says, “the blind guy”… Well you can guess the rest or you’ve already heard it ages ago.

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  20. brian stouder said on April 12, 2016 at 10:19 am

    OK – Deborah’s blind guy is making a surge for thread-win…I guess this will all comes down to the Super Delegates

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  21. Judybusy said on April 12, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Best of luck tonight, Nancy! May the Bridge team need a cart to carry all the awards.

    Icarus, when we adopted our dog 6 years ago, we had 3 cats in residence. We tried to get a rescue dog who didn’t bother cats. We followed advice on keeping them separated at first. It has all gone really well. Two of the cats soon assumed an “I don’t care how big you are, we were here first” attitude, regally ignoring her most of the time. The third took a long time to come out of the basement. She is the last cat left, and regally ignores the dog except when drinking out of her water bowl. I think she knows this bugs the piss out of the dog. The dog trots into the room, standing over her to get her away from the bowl. (We of course, do try to interrupt this behavior.) Of course the dog thinks she is entitled to any canned food the cat leaves in her bowl, but shrugs when we point out her hypocrisy.

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  22. Connie said on April 12, 2016 at 10:27 am

    My daughter’s big mutt dog is seriously allergic to most everything. Both his skin and his ears get inflamed and itchy. She has tried every hypoallergenic dog food out there, and is now currently paying through the nose for vet prescription dog food.

    Real trick was training two dogs not to eat from each other’s food bowl. Little dog does not need expensive hypoallergenic dog food.

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  23. Julie Robinson said on April 12, 2016 at 10:39 am

    We’re going through this with my mom’s cat, who is 17 or so and has kidney damage. She wouldn’t eat the prescription stuff, or the other prescription stuff, or almost anything she gives her. Vet took the RX stuff back, but I swear she spends more feeding the cat, or trying to feed the cat, than herself. You see where this one’s going. It’s very hard on the elderly living alone when they lose their animals.

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  24. David Edelstein said on April 12, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Sorry, I’m a big fan of snooty pet food stores–at least the truly independent ones where they love your dog or cat, maybe more than they love you. I’ll pay extra for organic and for Mom and Pop brands. My beautiful mutt loves Fromme, which is grain-free and none of the big stores carry but may smaller ones do. It’s not snobbery to want to give your dog what’s best for him or her AND for the small-business economy AND for the planet.

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  25. Sue said on April 12, 2016 at 10:42 am

    My daughter married The Guy She Met On The Internet last December. So sometimes there is a happy ending.
    Icarus, at one point we had two kids, five cats and three dogs. Hard on the furniture but on the other hand not much need for activity planning.

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  26. Jessica said on April 12, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I met my spouse of nearly 20 years (3 of them legal, thank you Maryland voters) through the predecessor of the Internet, the personal ads. We emailed and talked a few times, then met in an extremely public place. It can indeed work out.

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  27. Connie said on April 12, 2016 at 11:19 am

    I work in a public library and I was just visiting some of the volunteers in the Friends of the Library book sale sorting room. I couldn’t help but notice that they had established a “Mitch Albom” labelled sorting shelf. Which means people are getting rid of a lot his books by donating them to the library.

    For the last year plus we have also been waiting for “Fifty Shades of Gray” series books to over take the “Twilight” series books as most donated book.

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  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 12, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    . . . or book-shaped object.

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  29. Icarus said on April 12, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    @judybird, any idea if it would have been easier if all of the pets arrived at the same time?

    @sue, yikes! yes our twins are doing a great job of destroying our furniture. I won’t be able to donate anything, just burn in effigy I imagine.

    I’m casting my vote for Danny for thread win. I wonder if they guy only meant to share a portion of the story and got nervous and shared too much. As much as I face planted in the dating world, even I knew enough not to share something like that EVER.

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  30. Jolene said on April 12, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    I fed my dog Purina Lamb and Rice. He was healthy and had a beautiful coat. Water and kibble, with the occasional treat. An uncomplicated diet. Wish my own we’re so easily managed.

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  31. Judybusy said on April 12, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Icarus, I really don’t know. If you have the resource, I would call your local Animal Humane Society. Many of them have animal behaviorists available to answer questions like that. Having professed ignorance, I will now offer forth this: I think getting one of the animals first and acclimating them for at least a month before getting the next animal is probably best. Going into a new home is really stressful for animals. They have no clue they have just hit the pet lottery and found their home! Adding in another animal I think would just add to the stress, and each animal would be adapting to you, the kids, new surroundings AND another animal. However, I had very good success bringing home 2 six-month old kittens who had been sharing the same cage at the Humane Society. They always got along. My partner’s cats were siblings when she adopted. I don’t think I would bring home a dog and cat at the same time. If I adopted cats who were strangers, I think I’d do it one at a time, too. Have others had different experiences?

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  32. Scout said on April 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Check out chewy.com. They have your brand and also a grequent buyer’s club.

    https://www.chewy.com/s?query=eukanuba&nav-submit-button=Submit+Query

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  33. alex said on April 12, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    I like Eukanuba because it makes dogshit come out just like chocolate mousse. Although it looks rather more like a salmon mousse, really. But it’s light and fluffy and disintegrates rapidly while Purina shit is like getting tar on your shoe. Although it looks rather more like shit. And smells like skunky reefer.

    We feed our kitty Iam’s because that’s what a friend who’s a cat fanatic recommended. It made our lean and mean little foundling into a fat little cuss, though. But she won’t eat anything else. Of course she won’t even eat this if it’s more than an hour stale.

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  34. basset said on April 12, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Alex for thread win, that first sentence is all it took.

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  35. Sue said on April 12, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Icarus, the first baby came when we had an elderly dog who did not grow up around children. We kept them apart and things were fine. The cats at the time were not interested in children, and vice versa. Later on they all made friends to differing degrees.
    We didn’t choose most of our pets, they chose us. It worked out, I think in part because we never used pets as a lesson in responsibility for our kids. They were all pals together and much cuddle time was had by all.

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  36. brian stouder said on April 12, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    basset makes a good point, but if you want to swing the convention, it’s gonna take some wheelin’ and dealin’.

    (assuming the Paul Ryan dawg-face pose): and let it be known, I am not seeking it!

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  37. Danny said on April 12, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    O/T

    basset, check this ranking of Yes albums, worst to best. I mostly agree, but think Drama was ranked too low. And I have still never heard a live version of Close to the Edge that I prefer above the studio version. For whatever reason, the beginning guitar solo never seems to have the same punch and borderline out-of-control frenetic pace of the studio version.

    http://www.stereogum.com/1802728/yes-albums-from-worst-to-best/franchises/counting-down/

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  38. BethB from Indiana said on April 12, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    I met my husband of twenty-two years via a personal ad in the newspaper in 1992. We wrote letters at first via a PO Box (for me), then long phone conversations, and finally a first date to the Indianapolis Symphony where he was a volunteer. We’ve been together ever since and married in January, 1994. I don’t think I’d try Internet dating if I were single again because I’d be too scared, so I’m glad the print personal ads were the way to go back in the “dark ages” before the Internet.

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  39. Kirk said on April 12, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    We have two across-the-street neighbor couples, who live two houses apart, who both met on the internet. Both marriages appear solid.

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  40. Sherri said on April 12, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Update on the murder in Seattle – this was evidently their second date, his criminal history was more extensive than first reported, apparently he killed her in her home: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/police-treating-slain-nurses-renton-home-as-crime-scene/

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  41. Sue said on April 12, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Oh gods I just… He’s such a tool.
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/scott-walker-tries-pay-off-campaign-debt-with-ill-fitting-shirts

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  42. Deborah said on April 12, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Seriously? Leftover, ill fitting T-shirts, what a doofus.

    Today turned out to be frustrating for me and for Little Bird. One of the neighbors there, an owner of one of the units in the building we’re in there has been trying to turn his unit into an Air BnB place instead of just renting it out long term. His girlfriend is pregnant and he’s moved in with her and I guess he needs more money than he can get renting his place out normally. Our landlady is totally against him doing the Air BnB thing and so are we. All we need are people coming and going who won’t give a hoot about the grounds or the neighbors. The landlady found a way to block him, because if he does it, it will turn the building into a commercial venture of a different kind and cause the condo association’s insurance to go way up. He of course doesn’t want to have to pay for the insurance and so he lambasted Little Bird, like it’s her fault. He doesn’t lift a finger around the property and he’s behind on his association dues (we know that because our landlady told us). We do a ton of work around the property and have made many improvements on our own dime that will allow him to charge more in rent. It makes me furious that he cornered Little Bird today and yelled at her. She held her own but still, it’s totally inappropriate for him to have done that. What a creep. Thank goodness he’s mostly not around anymore.

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  43. Sherri said on April 12, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    This hasn’t received nearly as much attention as Sanders’ interview did, but here’s the transcript of Clinton’s interview with the NYDN editorial board. It’s long and wonky and enormously full of detail.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/transcript-hillary-clinton-meets-news-editorial-board-article-1.2596292

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  44. basset said on April 12, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Very interesting, Danny, thanks for that – I wouldn’t have put “Yessongs” so high just because it’s really badly recorded, although I did spend a lot of my time at IU listening to it.

    Deborah, your neighbor’s outburst sounds like it was indeed inappropriate. Don’t you have a male relative or friend who can explain that to him?

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  45. Deborah said on April 12, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Basset, it doesn’t have to be a male. I intend to give him a piece of my mind if I see him when I’m there.

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  46. alex said on April 12, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Just watched the Ken Burns documentary on Jackie Robinson the last two nights. Very well done.

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  47. LAMary said on April 13, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Deborah, let me know if you need NJ born and raised backup.

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  48. Connie said on April 13, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Hey Dorothy “popular Pittsburg restaurant Primanti Brothers” is opening in my neighborhood. Can you give me a preview?

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  49. Suzanne said on April 13, 2016 at 6:45 am

    I watched some of the Robinson documentary, too. His family lived with Carly Simon’s family for a while. Astounding! Or maybe I’m just late in knowing this. And his wife-what a wonderful, intelligent, gracious, groundbreaking woman. I wish I’d seen the whole program.

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  50. Deborah said on April 13, 2016 at 7:03 am

    I read a biography of Carly Simon, my brother in law gave it to me for Christmas. Her family was amazing. Robinson was a good friend. The Simons owned a building in Manhatten that they lived in and a lot of interesting people stayed there from time to time.

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  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 13, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Since we know Nancy is recovering from having strained a hamstring carrying large numbers of small metal sculptures home last night, I have a threadjack request, if you will.

    How do y’all think we could respect privacy and personal integrity, while not waiting until people who have built up a bit of record in DUI and/or substance abuse have their behavior rise to the level of losing custody of their children? I do NOT think we should allow (constitutionally or otherwise) random drug screens of parents of small children without cause, but we have lots of folks who are already on the “cause radar” who are working hard to evade their court-ordered drug screens — and we have something around .5% of the children in this county “in care of the county” through Children Services (foster care, kinship care, that sort of thing). The numbers are down a bit, but have leveled off . . . and in the “systems” we can’t predict exactly WHO is going to lose custody of their kids, but we are working with populations out of which almost ALL of those who will lose custody will come from.

    From all the wit and wisdom and thoughtfulness we have here: what approaches would you find acceptable to address this problem? You don’t lose your kid to foster care just for getting arrested for possession or public impairment (unless there was violence involved and you go to jail and you don’t have a relative who can pass a background check, and that does happen regularly if not often). It takes repeat issues that end up out in public, and proof in court that you cannot/are not able to keep your child safe and/or healthy. Again, I don’t know which of the families we deal with will get there, but all the ones who get there are already in front of one or another of the three main agencies working with children and family issues. How could we have a healthy intervention before it becomes court-ordered and the price of getting your kid(s) back?

    Any suggestions will at the very least be considered and appreciated, and I promise never to quote any of you by name without permission!

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  52. Heather said on April 13, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Danny’s story about the Tinder date sounds pretty mild based on some stories I’ve heard. It sounds more like the guy was trying to tell a funny story and didn’t think about how it would come off. I haven’t had any awful experiences but I always go with my gut when I sense weirdness or see boundaries crossed right away. You all know that guys sending pictures of their junk to ladies they haven’t even met is considered almost normal now? It’s kind of unbelievable. I haven’t got one yet (whew), which I attribute to being older, but my coworker who is only a few years younger than me has gotten some. At least that kind of thing helps weed out the weirdos right away.

    Pet food: Mine gets some sort of venison and green pea blend. I was giving her a bit of wet food too but lately she isn’t touching it. And she’ll pretty much only drink water out of a running tap now. This is by far the pickiest cat I’ve ever had. Lucky she is so cute. My neighbors downstairs got a kitten a few months ago and the vet made them promise to only feed it wet food as she said there was evidence dry food causes kidney damage?? I’d never heard that before.

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  53. Julie Robinson said on April 13, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Heather, your cat might enjoy a pet fountain. They recirculate water rather than it going down the drain, with a cute bonus if your cat likes to play in the stream. I always heard the opposite about wet/dry food, but maybe there’s been a change. Kidney damage is what mom’s cat is facing, and I have a very bad feeling about tomorrow’s vet appointment. The cat stopped eating three days ago.

    Sorry Jeff, I got nothing. See aforementioned paragraph about distraught elderly mother, as well as other family members with serious health issues, as well as a job, and I’m too overloaded for anything more.

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  54. Jolene said on April 13, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Connie: Here is a PDF of Primanti’s menu. If you scroll down a bit, you’ll see that Primanti’s is a place where they put French Fries on sandwiches.

    Of course, there are places in Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, where they put French Fries on salads>/a>.

    I never understood this. Aren’t French Fries supposed to be crisp?

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  55. Danny said on April 13, 2016 at 9:29 am

    I dunno, Jeff. Maybe an informational handout or packet that broadly describes the flow of how the system works, up to and including losing custody. Something that shows the various tollgates, decision points and expectations that have to be met to ensure the family unit stays cohesive and healthy as possible.

    Of course, this would have to be massaged and presented to accentuate the altruistic bent. Maybe it could be couched in a few summary case studies, some showing cases that have been resolved successfully and one or two which have not.

    Problem is, I suspect literacy and attention span are not some if the core competencies of the folks that are “in the system” in these situations. Bur somehow people need to have the expectations communicated to them in hopes that they get a dawning awareness of what they may encounter if they don’t make an effort to improve.

    The tone of this is undoubtedly one of the challenges because some people respond to a softer approach and some need the harder message. Maybe you need several tailored approaches based upon your best guess of navigating personality types. One size does not fit all.

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  56. David C. said on April 13, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Dry foods are terrible for cats, Heather. The way I’ve head is the worst canned cat food is better than the best dry. Cats are obligate carnivores and their digestive tract isn’t made to digest vegetable matter. One of our cats had nearly died from intestinal and kidney problems when we were feeding them dry food. They were chunky monkeys too. When we switched them to raw they slimmed up and are in perfect health. They used to go through a couple of bowl of water a day when they were on dry, now we put out a small dish of water and they hardly touch it at all. Keeping their litter boxes clean is easier too, just a couple of tiny poops every couple of days.

    About 30 years ago, the Grand Rapids Press started a personals page. It ended when they started taking men seeking men and women seeking women sections which freaked out all of GR. But anyway, I found the ads quite entertaining, especially the men seeking women. I remember one in particular where the man’s ad was easily about three as long as typical and was more complete than most of the military specifications I’ve read. One thing that stood out and I’ll never forget is he was seeking “a medium glamour-type figure”. The whole thing described exactly no woman that I’ve even known. Somehow, I think if he found anyone it was in a meet hot Asian women ad in the back of some sketchy publication.

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  57. Jolene said on April 13, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Suzanne, check your local listings. It’s very likely that the Jackie Robinson program is being replayed. Or, if you have Roku, check to see whether it’s streaming on the PBS app.

    Did you know, by the way, that Rachel Robinson and her daughter accompanied President Obama to Cuba?

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  58. Jolene said on April 13, 2016 at 9:41 am

    The link to FF on salads that I screwed up above: http://www.simplecleanandhomemade.com/pittsburgh-chicken-salad/

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  59. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 13, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Attention spans and impulse control are clearly on the table as confuting factors, and for those less well-supported in their personal network than Julie, whom I’m just going to assume is not a threat of harm to self or others (you sound weary, but not dangerous, which is not meant to take your sorrows lightly!), there are definitely some parents, young and not-so (30s & 40s) who are just juggling more than the heart can bear, and they self-medicate their sorrows because either they have no personal network (family, friends, church, other clubs or connections), or because the network they have is itself a source of stress.

    Danny, we have started in my end of the juvenile court something in the last year we call the STEP program, which is a quick and friendly but firm one hour “what to expect if your child keeps offending” event to which you are strongly encouraged to attend if you’re trying to make an initial unruly filing on your child . . . or if some entity has begun a filing on your child. These STEP program meetings aren’t any help for the parent/guardian who wants us to take their child off their hands, or want us “to put a scare into their kid, because they ain’t listenin’ to me” but for 60-75% of those going through the very visual and example oriented outline, they go home and start doing some parenting, rather than waiting for others to start doing what really hadn’t happened at home.

    And once in a while, the clinical person in the front of the room for STEP picks up on cues that lead to a parent being pulled aside, and we make an expedited referral for MH services to that kid/family, because it’s a kid spiraling fast. That’s a whole ‘nother population than our young parents losing little kids to foster care — for which drug courts have helped, but often not soon enough/fast enough to avoid the CS taking custody, and that’s what I’m trying to figure out how to get inside of the loop of.

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  60. Connie said on April 13, 2016 at 9:52 am

    You may recall me posting about having the Detroit Institute of Art’s Inside Out program paintings in my neighborhood. Now they are coming to my township. Three are being installed outside my library as I post. I am looking forward to finding all of them various locations around the township. I have one on either side of the Library’s front door, and one near the road by our blue bench.

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  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 13, 2016 at 9:53 am

    One size, tho’, ain’t ever gonna fit all. Truth.

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  62. Connie said on April 13, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Thanks Jolene, I will add that my daughter puts potato chips on her ham sandwich.

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  63. Heather said on April 13, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Julie, she does have a fountain . . . and still waits for me to run the tap! I only hope that if she ever gets truly dehydrated she will know enough to go for the fountain. Cats. What’re you gonna do.

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  64. Little Bird said on April 13, 2016 at 10:29 am

    I was breaking down cardboard boxes and had a box cutter in hand, so idiot neighbor wisely kept his distance. What REALLY bothered me about the whole exchange was when I pointed out that he does nothing to help maintain or improve the property, he said “it’s not my job”. So basically we’ve improved the property enough to where he thinks he can take advantage of the situation and make money off MY work. The asshat.

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  65. MarkH said on April 13, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Since Dorothy has yet to weigh in, take it from another native Pittsburgher that Primanti’s is the bomb. While maybe not to everyone’s taste for sure, there’s something for everyone. Here is the main website with photo of the signature fish sandwich with fries and cole slaw:

    https://www.primantibros.com/

    Jolene, are you from York, PA?

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  66. Jolene said on April 13, 2016 at 10:48 am

    No, I just happened to find that link to the menu online. I did, though, live in Pittsburgh for eight years.

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  67. Connie said on April 13, 2016 at 11:06 am

    The Primanti’s will be very close to one of our favorites, Pei Wei, which I would describe as PF Chang’s downscale sister restaurant. Same food, order at the counter, no fancy statues. We will occasionally go there for take out, though it is a good twenty minute drive.

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  68. john (not mccain) said on April 13, 2016 at 11:18 am

    “If I adopted cats who were strangers, I think I’d do it one at a time, too. Have others had different experiences?”

    Very much so. About 22 years ago, we were looking to adopt cats and ended up taking 3: two of them, ages 3 and 6, were not related but had been together for a couple of years. The other one was an 8 week old kitten. We got the kitten a day after getting the other two. Got them in all together in one room and, after 5 minutes of hissing, they started sniffing each other and got along like BFFs without a problem over the next 18 years without a problem until they died.

    About a year after they were gone, we ended up taking in two kittens whose next stop was the shelter if we didn’t take them. We were told they were sisters, but turns out one of them was a brother. We’d only had male cats before and thought we didn’t have to worry about getting him fixed until he started spraying and was at least one year old. That turned out not to be the case, so we now have 4 cats (one guy and three girls) who are all related to each other and basically have never been apart.

    For two years, everything was fine and they got along great. Then the strangest thing – the SO accidentally stepped on the male cats tail. He screamed and for some reason that made the other 3 go nutso. Hissing, scratching and all out fighting like I have never seen outside a nature show. At this point, the first two get along okay, and the two little ones get along okay, but if we put them all together it’s like Israelis and Palestinians. I wish I could figure out how to make them all friendly again because it’s a major pain, especially for the SO who is home all day.

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  69. MichaelG said on April 13, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Well, here I am in Lisbon. The plane ride(s) were not bad but the turn times were insanely short. An hour each in Seattle and Paris.

    Now I’m in this hotel I picked off the internet. Beautiful old place and nicely located. The people are extremely pleasant. Really nice folks. But the place is ancient. The room is small, the bathroom tiny. The light switches are rotary types that must date back to the 1930s. There are two outlets scattered throughout the room. One here, one there. Oh, and one in the bath. Speaking of which, the ancient bath tub has wood covering its side and it’s a good three feet high. I have no idea how I’m going to get in and out of that thing without killing myself. The tub is completely walled in with the exception of a couple of feet that are open to allow the victim to clamber in.

    I’m going to check out the bar, get a bite to eat and crash.

    Back in the days when I was employed, I had a female friend who sometimes dated people she met on some web site or other. One day she went out with a guy. They had a decent time even if no sparks were struck. A week or two later the guy turned up as Sacramento’s new chief of police.

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  70. brian stouder said on April 13, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    MichaelG – you rock.

    Danny – I think you gave Jeff a tremendous answer.

    And Jeff – that ‘friendly but firm’ meeting sounds absolutely golden, if the folks involved want to steer away from the rocks.

    If I don’t accomplish anything else in this lifetime (and I probably won’t!) – I will always try and claim some small credit for how marvelously our young folks have been proceeding into their liives

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  71. Jolene said on April 13, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Today is the White House Science Fair. You can check in here between 1 PM and 3 PM EDT to see what’s going on. Likely to be some cute interactions as the exhibitors explain their projects to the president.

    Good luck with that tub, MichaelG. In my next residence, I’m aiming for a walk-in shower.

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  72. Scout said on April 13, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Danny, your ideas were very thoughtful. I had no idea what to offer to the conversation, but reading what you wrote made so much sense.

    MichaelG – wow! I love reading about your travels. My SO, her son, his partner and I are all traveling to Rome, Florence and Venice in May. We’re all really looking forward to that. Any must see tips from you or anyone in the group who has been would be appreciated.

    Our vet is also on the wet food bandwagon. She put our heaviest cat on a diet recently and advocated that she get mostly wet food. Mickie has lost 3.5 lbs and has so much more energy. Four of the herd of five love wet food, but one of them refuses to touch it.

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  73. Joe K said on April 13, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Just did the early voter thing,
    Now I don’t have to listen to endless commercials
    Vote early vote often.
    Pilot Joe

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  74. alex said on April 13, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Trump or Cruz?

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  75. Jill said on April 13, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    MichaelG, I am laughing imagining a victim clambering into the tub. Enjoy yourself.
    I second the recommendation upthread for Fromm dog food. I get mine from petflow.com. Someone else mentioned chewy.com, another site I like for pet products. They have wonderful customer service people.

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  76. Sherri said on April 13, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    I’m afraid I don’t have much in the way of concrete advice, Jeff(tmmo), because I can’t tell you what convinces people to stop before things spiral out of control. The big realization I had was that alcohol was part of the problem, not the solution, that when bad things happened, alcohol was there, not making things better, making things worse.

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  77. Bill said on April 13, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Scout @ 72: Florence – Uffizi. Be sure to order tickets in advance. You can wait in the walk-up line for several hours. Rome – definitely the Vatican museum and St. Peters. Get advance tickets. Venice – the Peggy Guggenheim modern art museum. Guess I go to a lot of museums.

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  78. brian stouder said on April 13, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    So – my day-by-day history calendar (Christmas present from Chloe) reminds that 155 years ago today, Fort Sumter surrendered to the traitorous “Confederacy” (19th century America’s version of ISIL) –

    and lucky for us, the year before, the Republican party did not nominate the person who showed up at the convention with the most delegates; but opted for someone else

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  79. Brandon said on April 13, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Re: 73 and 74. Maybe Kasich. Pilot Joe and he share an initial.

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  80. Joe K said on April 13, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Alex,
    Cost you a dinner at Shortys in Garrett to find out.
    Lol
    Pilot Joe

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  81. alex said on April 13, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    As long you spring for a round of booze beforehand.

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  82. Sherri said on April 13, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Scout, look into Context Travel (www.contexttravel.com). Five of us (My husband, daughter, me and two friends) did a Context tour of the Borghese in Rome, and it was amazing. I did it because my daughter was 12 at the time, and I thought it might help her get more out of it than just looking at a bunch of art without knowing much about it, and it made a huge difference for her and for the rest of us. We also did a Context tour of the Uffizi in Florence.

    Definitely check out the Duomo in Florence, and read Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King about the building of the Duomo. If you’re adventurous, not too claustrophobic, and it’s not blazing hot, you can even climb up to the top of the Duomo.

    We were a bunch of techie geeks, so we very much enjoyed the Museo Galileo, which is full of old scientific instruments. We also enjoyed just wandering into random churches; of course, St. Peter’s and the Duomo are amazing, but you never knew what you might find.

    And the food! Amazing. I figured that since we were walking so much, we could consume as much gelato as we wanted.

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  83. Heather said on April 13, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Scout: I lived in Rome for a year many moons ago . . . if you are interested in the ancient city I suggest getting tickets for a tour of the Domus Aurea–it’s a huge house built by Nero that was literally buried by the next emperor, so it’s all underground (bring a sweater). They’ve only excavated a tiny part of it. It’s sort of an unusual thing to do and it’s more evocative than the Forum. The two museums on the Capitoline Hill (I’m blanking on their names) are a must for sculpture. Ostia Antica is also cool–it’s kind of like Pompeii, but just a short train ride outside the city. For the Renaissance era, I also recommend the Borghese Gallery. The Vatican I suppose is a must although it’s always so crowded. I didn’t even get there until my third or fourth trip to Rome.

    Florence: My favorite spot is the Pazzi Chapel for its beautiful symmetry. Also Santa Croce because that is where Lucy Honeychurch fainted in “A Room with a View.”

    Venice: Get away from Saint Mark’s Square and visit some of the other sestieri. They are just as beautiful and evocative, and way, WAY less crowded.

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  84. Scout said on April 13, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Re: Italy –
    I am writing down what each of you have recommended. Thank you! This is preferable to google by a factor of one million.

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  85. Deborah said on April 13, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Scout, I haven’t been there for over a decade but I can run some names of places by you that might still be there (besides museums). Give me some time to remember. I’ve been yearning to go back to Venice lately. If you have the chance to take a side trip to Verona, do it.

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  86. Deborah said on April 13, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    I’m back in Santa Fe and it’s beautiful here, Spring has definitely sprung as compared to Chicago at this time. The furniture That was shipped here from Chicago looks fantastic, it looked very faded there but here it looks super vivid and colorful, I guess it’s the quality of light here, that and the fact that its surrounded by so many other bright colors

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  87. basset said on April 13, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Don’t care about cathedrals and such but I would go to Italy just to eat.

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  88. A. Riley said on April 13, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    In Rome, go see the church of San Clemente — and make sure to take the archaeology tour underneath. It goes all the way down to the old Mithras temple underneath and the Roman street paving. You can even see (and hear!) the original little stream flowing along under there. It’s beautifully maintained and lighted — easy enough to visit and fascinating.

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