Two glorious days.

We had a spectacular weekend, weather-wise. I bet you did, too, as I gather this blessing of sunshine and warmth was granted to most the country east of the Mississippi, and after last weekend, we wuz OWED. So both days had a bit of work, but also fun, and nothing you say will make me feel guilty about that.

So’s how about some photos, then?

Saturday’s big event was a brunch to honor the retiring head of the journalism fellowship I did back in the day. Over to Ann Arbor to eat eggs, drink mimosas and enjoy some fellowship one more time. I took a walk though Wallace House, too. Charles, the retiring director, loves editorial cartooning. In 2000-01, Milt Priggee, who worked for the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, was a member of the class and drew the seminar speakers. Many of these pieces are framed and hanging on the wall. Never noticed this one before:

snyder1

Of course, the subject doesn’t look like this anymore, and he has a new title now, too:

snyder2

“In happier days,” as they say.

Pat Oliphant visited during our year, and many others. He talks about current events and sketches at the same time, and these great, loopy caricatures emerge from it. Charles always has the best ones framed, and they’re really filling the place now. This one is over the stairs:

nixon

You really can see why cartoonists truly mourned Nixon’s exit from public life. The nose, the brows, the hairline and boom, there he is.

Took a bathroom selfie, and yes, the whole quote runs around the perimeter. (Improperly attributed to Voltaire, some say.)

bathroomselfie

And after all the catching up and email addresses were exchanged, it was off to north campus to shlep a few things home for Miss Kate, who will be rejoining us in just a couple more weeks. Where did the year go? Michigan dense-packs its academic year, and then that long summer — it’s great for out-of-classroom learning for sure. I found her enjoying that perk of college, outdoor studying:

katestudies

Change a few details, and that could have been me, once upon a million years ago. Also, she’s prettier, and studies more.

Seeing her with her devices reminds me that we saw “Steve Jobs” later that night, which was perfectly fine, if you like Aaron Sorkin talkfests, which I must say don’t always hit me the right way. I give it points for taking a different approach to the ol’ biopic, and structuring it in a novel way, but I did doze off for a few seconds here and there. Worth a watch if you’re an Apple person, maybe less so if you’re not.

And then Sunday was a bike ride, first long one of the season, maybe 15 miles, followed by a draft beer. If you had a better Sunday than me, well, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Not a lot of bloggage — the newspapers are oddly uninteresting on weekends like this — but maybe two things. First, the aforementioned Farm to Fable package from Florida (and everywhere, really), which pries the lid off the locally-grown myth. Like a lot of great reporting, it points out things that are lying in plain sight, but it does it in a readable, genial, well-designed package that seems perfectly suited to the content. We’re talking food here, not rapacious charter schools, so the amble-with-me-into-this-thicket-of-lies approach works really well:

What makes buying food different from other forms of commerce is this: It’s a trust-based system. How do you know the Dover sole on your plate is Dover sole? Only that the restaurateur said so.

And how can you be sure the strawberries your toddler is gobbling are free of pesticides? Only because the vendor at the farmers market said so.

Your purchases are unverifiable unless you drive to that farm or track back through a restaurant’s distributors and ask for invoices.

I did.

For several months, I sifted through menus from every restaurant I’ve reviewed since the farm-to-table trend started. Of 239 restaurants still in business, 54 were making claims about the provenance of their ingredients.

For fish claims that seemed suspicious, I kept zip-top baggies in my purse and tucked away samples. The Times had them DNA tested by scientists at the University of South Florida. I called producers and vendors. I visited farms.

My conclusion? Just about everyone tells tales. Sometimes they are whoppers, sometimes they are fibs borne of negligence or ignorance, and sometimes they are nearly harmless omissions or “greenwashing.”

This approach is getting some meta-journalism attention, too. It’s the first investigative series I’ve seen compared to Netflix. So there’s that.

A charter-school smackdown Brian should enjoy.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to enjoy the golden light of the day’s magic hour and mentally prepare for the week ahead. Hope yours goes well.

Posted at 12:01 am in Media, Same ol' same ol' |
 

69 responses to “Two glorious days.”

  1. Dexter said on April 18, 2016 at 3:11 am

    Same weather here, but I came inside to watch the Detroit Pistons give their all and nearly slay Goliath, the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was kids versus great seasoned veteran players, and the Detroiters nearly snatched a win. Then the highlite…the Red Wings rebounded from two smashing beat-downs in Tampa to beat the giant bullies at The Joe. It was a fun game to watch. The weekend was marred when I made a horrible mistake. I heated a turkey roast in a foil pan and forgot to hide away the pan …the Labbie dog got it and shredded it and I was afraid she ingested enough aluminum to plug or cut her guts, but she is fine and I learned another lesson…I can never let my guard down around this wonderful animal.

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  2. Joe K said on April 18, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Enjoyed the weekend although the black Hawks took a dump on the ice, losing to the blues, read a nice story in the Chicago Trib about the greening of Detroit, very interesting, tuned up the bikes and did a couple of short pedals with the wife,really enjoyed the weekend.
    Pilot Joe

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  3. Deborah said on April 18, 2016 at 9:05 am

    We had shitty weather in NM this weekend, snow and rain, April is the cruelest month here. It’s all spring like and then whamo winter hits hard again. My husband arrived here Saturday to spend a few days. I go back to Chicago on Weds.

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  4. Judybusy said on April 18, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Just a glorious weekend in Minneapolis. My brother lives in Denver and texted a picture of his patio covered in lots of snow. I got a good start to the garden clean-up, visited a wildflower garden with friends and then had lunch at a forward-thinking Swedish restaurant that I adore. Had a fantastic meal Friday as part of outreach for the non-profit I support. Watched the first two eps of the new Bosch season with another friend. My wife didn’t want to wait to watch Bosch, so she spent that time working on making the world’s most labor-intensive macaroons.

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  5. Deborah said on April 18, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Judy Busy, what is the name of the Swedish restaurant? I get to Minneapolis every once in awhile because of my relatives nearby and I like to find good places to eat there. Also, I like Scandinavian food.

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  6. Judybusy said on April 18, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Deborah, it’s Fika, connected to the American Swedish institute. Also, a new French restaurant opened, called St. Genevieve. You need reservations, and they do it by Facebook. So many great places to eat in this town–I could go on and on!

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  7. Diane said on April 18, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Judybusy, would you be willing to share the macaron recipe? They are very labor intensive and I have taken several stabs at them without much success so far.

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

    Oh, Diane, they are in this intense book by Jacquy Pfeiffer called the Art of French Pastry. They take 6 days, because you let various ingredients age, and then once baked the macaroons sit for 2 days to improve before they’re eaten. I was able to find the book at the library, and after perusing it for an hour, my wife bought it. He gives very detailed, clear instructions. If you love pastry, be sure to see the movie, Kings of Pastry, featuring Pfeiffer and two other chefs as they attempt to earn the highest accolade in French pastry, the MOF.

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  9. Julie Robinson said on April 18, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    It was a glorious weekend and I am so, so sad to be stuck inside now. The capper to my weekend was taking my mom to a band concert. Because strings are great and all, but you just can’t beat good old band music. It was a Marine Band, so they did a few requisite patriotic numbers and finished with The Stars and Stripes Forever. I just love that stuff. However, if they were using it to recruit, they’ll have to raise their eligibility age a good 50 years. No youngsters at’all.

    I almost posted the farm to table link last week, because the initial story led to a lot of discussion in our house. Along with organic, it’s a concept I’m wary of precisely because of the lack of oversight. If I’m going to pay $4.69/lb for a tomato (at a store near our kids) then I want to be like the Portlandia episode where they go to the farm where the chickens are being raised. Of course they took it too far, but it’s satire.

    Maybe 10 years ago when the local honey craze started, I paid way too much for a jar after grilling the guy on bee location and being assured they were from his backyard. The hubster then grilled me, and noticing the label was thick, peeled it off to reveal another from a national manufacturer.

    If you know the people and can check it out yourself, which is not always possible, then it’s fantastic. Otherwise you open yourself to getting ripped off.

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  10. Dorothy said on April 18, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    If you peel a label off of our honey, Julie, you’ll just have the surface of the bottle visible. We don’t pull those tricks on people. We had our labels made when we used to live in Mount Vernon but they have Mike’s cell number on it, which hasn’t changed. So we can still use our labels. He asked me to dream up a name for his business: Sunset Apiary is what I came up with.

    I used the word glorious to describe this weekend more than two or three times. It truly was the best weather we’ve had in forever. Two back-to-back days of it! Mike split one of his beehives successfully and he tilled up an area out front in our yard so we can plant a new pussy willow (tree? shrub?) that we bought two weekends ago in Cincinnati. I’ve always wanted one and this one was so healthy, and only $29.95. I’m thinking about putting annuals in that space – I always buy perennials but this year I think I’ll experiment. We are on a corner right off of a busy road so our house really is the first one people see when they turn into our subdivision. I like having nice flowers there on display. We are using an old wooden ladder that was Mike’s grandfather’s as a trellis for some climbing hydrangea. They are new plants so they have not really bloomed yet. I’m hoping this year they will. We have had several people comment on the clever idea of using an old ladder for a trellis. Which makes me happy but I’ll REALLY be happy when there are flowers wrapped around it.

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  11. Dexter said on April 18, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    If Jeff Borden traveled back in time and guested on “What’s My Line?” , he would not fool anybody…nobody looks more like a university professor. 🙂

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  12. basset said on April 18, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    has Kate picked a major yet? And is the band still going?

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    • nancy said on April 18, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Sound engineering, and yes.

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  13. Sherri said on April 18, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    As I suspected yesterday in my report of my legislative district caucus, the caucus disorganization and chaos was not limited to my district. I heard later that my district caucus was still going at 8:30 (I was home treating my migraine.)

    The Sanders delegates felt paranoid that the chaos was intentional to somehow or another (I’m not sure how) throw things Clinton’s way, but I saw a dysfunctional process being run by too few volunteers to support too large a crowd who didn’t know what was going on. Since I’m allergic to dysfunctional processes, can’t handle large crowds for that long, and was getting a migraine, I had to leave after 5 hours.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/washington-democrats-feel-the-burn-of-disorganized-legislative-district-caucuses/

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  14. basset said on April 18, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I was on the fringes of the sound engineering/stagecraft program at IU in the mid 70s, which proved useful when I took Mrs B to Sun Studio in Memphis recently… apparently the tour guides there engineer sessions at night, got talking with ours about some old microphones they had on display, similar to some we used back in the day (RCA ribbon mics, 44s and 77s) and he had us stay behind for a private tour of the control room. The antique stuff is still in use there, and the newer gear is pretty well hidden.
    The regular tour includes the opportunity to pose with a mic allegedly used by Elvis… they caution you not to kiss it, apparently that happens sometime and it’s unsanitary.

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  15. alex said on April 18, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    … they caution you not to kiss it, apparently that happens sometime and it’s unsanitary.

    Surely Elvis’ cooties are dead after 39 years. 🙂

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  16. Deborah said on April 18, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Sound engineering seems like a very interesting major. Out of my realm of understanding but fascinating none the less. Good on you Nancy for having such a talented, smart and interesting daughter.

    Thanks Judybusy, Fika is definitely a place I’ll try next time I’m in Minneapolis.

    I often wondered if I’ve ever walked past Jeff Bordon on the streets of Chicago. I honestly think I sat next to him and his wife at a movie one time after he commented about the Roman Polanski movie, The Ghost Writer. So Dexter, where did you see a photo of him? Did I miss something?

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  17. Jolene said on April 18, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    I had no idea sound engineering was a possible major either. Guess I thought musical techies learned their craft by hanging out in recording studios. But then, I have only a dim understanding of what sound engineering might be. Does the field have more to do with making recordings or with designing and building equipment for recording sound?

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  18. brian stouder said on April 18, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    1. I love love love the photos! At 1,000 words/photo, today’s post pretty much takes us through the week! Our 17 year old has a day-long “job shadow” at Eli Lilly in Indy later this week. I cannot imagine just how valuable this truly is, for an intelligent young person such as our daughter.

    2. That charter school smack-down that Nancy shared was very good stuff, indeed.

    Truly, if Shelby’s (genuinely wonderful) experiences at Wayne/New Tech is the alpha of public schooling, the situation described in the Freep’s article is the omega.

    It is pretty much heart-breaking to see the way these (mostly Republican) jackals literally knock the brains out of our public schools, with any number of Big Lie tactics (gotta corral them-there teacher-unions! Gotta make the schools accountable!! – accountable to “standards” written on an etch-a-sketch, and changed every single year! Gotta support them-there charter schools and church schools, and take it on faith that those folks give two figs whether kids from the wrong side of town reach adulthood having ever read a book, or done algebra, or cast a vote, or know that we supposedly believe that all people have inalienable rights, etc)

    If I live to be 99, I’ll still always believe that the single most important thing we as a society do, is to ensure and provide genuine education for all our citizens, at least through the 12th grade, if not further

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  19. Jolene said on April 18, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Sherri,I heard similar stories re the caucuses from another Seattle-area friend. Sounded like a real mess.

    I don’t know why we put up with these complex procedures and inadequate election facilities. Seems like an area that is ripe for interventions to increase standardization and efficiency.

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  20. Sherri said on April 18, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Jolene, starting the process with a primary instead of a caucus would have been a major step forward. Especially in Washington, where there are no lines to vote in a primary, because we vote by mail (and the ballot only had to be postmarked by election day, not received by election day.) One of the people in charge at our caucus, who is also on the board for the state party, tried to explain why we don’t use a primary in Washington (even though we will have a Presidential primary next month, it won’t count for anything for the Democrats), and while he said a bunch of things that were all individually true, they didn’t add up to a case against a primary. The only explanation I can give is that organizations tend to act to preserve the organization, and the Presidential primary in this state was established by initiative, not by the parties, so the parties don’t want it.

    (The gist of the argument the guy presented was that we have a Republican Secretary of State, so we needed to elect a Democratic Secretary of State, who supports the Voting Rights Act in WA, same day voter registration, pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds, and who would be an ally in Olympia, and then we could have nice things like a primary. I perhaps should mention that this particular person and his influence in my local Dem organization is one reason I avoid my local Dem organization. The other reasons are the other people in charge. Like I said, I have an allergy to dysfunctional processes and groups, and it’s too much trouble and not worth it to try to do something about this group.)

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  21. basset said on April 18, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Alex, I don’t think it’s Elvis’s cooties they’re concerned about. The guide told us it was one of five mics which had been there since the place opened and that “everybody” had used it – between that and tourist saliva from no telling where, there are probably germs on that thing that’d scare the shit outa penicillin.

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  22. Joe K said on April 18, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Perhaps young Kate will end up back in the Fort working for Sweetwater Sound, wouldn’t that be a turn.
    Basset, always heard that a lot of newer artist want to use the old technology some thing about the sound, however you and I know that with out the sound mixing they do now they would be unlistenable so not sure if going back the old way would be advantages for the pop country artist.
    Pilot Joe

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  23. beb said on April 18, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    When will people learn that Republicans don’t have an ideology. All they are interested in is being in power so they can shift public money into private hands.

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  24. David C. said on April 18, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    If the parties were smart, I know, I know, they should eliminate caucuses. They’re just to easily gamed and too limited in the scope of people they can attract. Compared to what we usually get today, maybe the smoke-filled rooms weren’t such a bad idea, but then Obama would never have been chosen in one, so maybe not. Whatever is done, we take too long and spend too much money electing a President.

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  25. Deborah said on April 18, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Sorry, to say this but IMHO the Dems need to quit dicking around with Bernie and pour all of their resources into decimating the Republicans as they are now, because we really do need an opposition party that is sane and responsible. This is not about an election, this is about governance. If the Dems want a government that will get things done they/we have to get serious about down ballot candidates as well as the president.

    I’m crabby right now.

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  26. Deborah said on April 18, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    I hit send before I added that we’re going to Ten Thousand Waves, a Japanese spa in Santa Fe, for a hot soak in a private tub outside, maybe I’ll emerge in a better mood. Here’s hoping.

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  27. Julie Robinson said on April 18, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    I’m Crabby Right Now would be a great name for a rock band. Maybe Kate will produce them someday.

    I’m a little crabby myself; have a stupid cold and too much to do.

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  28. Sherri said on April 18, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Okay, the weather is officially weird. It’s 86 here today. In April. The normal average is 58. It was in the 80s yesterday, and is supposed to be in the 80s tomorrow. It used to be that three consecutive days in the 80s wasn’t that typical in August, and now we’re having it in April? If we’re going to start routinely having stretches of days in the 90s here in the summer, I’m going to have to start looking into air conditioning.

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  29. basset said on April 18, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Oh, I dunno, I like Tourist Saliva for a band name… some kind of real crude and stupid punk stuff.

    Joe, they sure do, and that’s driving a lot of the vinyl revival too… backlash against the digital, over-processed approach. Autotune (software which can correct singing off pitch) oughta be illegal.

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  30. Diane said on April 18, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Judybusy-thanks! My library has the book but it is checked out. I’ve requested it and I will eventually report back how I do.

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  31. Sherri said on April 18, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Ah, Dahlia.

    One of my kids wonders why I still need to bother going to my reporter job at the court if it’s just going to be a tie all the time

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/supreme_court_dispatches/2016/04/supreme_court_headed_for_4_4_tie_on_obama_immigration_plan.html

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  32. Sherri said on April 18, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    As the saying goes, it’s what’s legal that’s criminal.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/18/business/dealbook/wall-street-veterans-bet-on-low-income-homebuyers.html?ref=dealbook&_r=0

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  33. Sherri said on April 18, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Deborah, I’m with you. It’s about governance.

    I really don’t have any problem with the passion of the Bernie supporters, especially the young twenty-somethings who have no knowledge of how these things have happened before and will happen again. But I get frustrated at the people older than me sometimes. Like the gentleman older than me who questioned me as to whether Hillary would really try to overturn Citizens United, since she was benefiting so much from it. You know, the Citizens United case wasn’t that long ago; have even people involved enough to show up at caucuses forgotten why Citizens United wanted to overturn McCain-Feingold? (Hint: they’re part of the vast right wing conspiracy…)

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  34. Sherri said on April 18, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    The Sanders campaign itself has now picked up on the analysis done by amateur election law experts on the web regarding Hillary’s joint fundraising committee. An actual lawyer who writes about election law isn’t impressed: http://electionlawblog.org/?p=81996

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  35. Jolene said on April 18, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    The people, including Bernie Sanders, who want the Supreme Court to overturn Citizens United seem to be operating with a problematic understanding of how the Court works. The Justices are not going to simply hold a vote one day when it occurs to them that the country might be better off absent that decision. It can only overturn it’s previous ruling if a relevant case comes to them that deals with exactly the right issue and provides a constitutional opening for a reversal.

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  36. Dexter said on April 19, 2016 at 1:07 am

    …bad day for grandkids…one in a Las Vegas hospital with a nasty kidney stone, one witnessed a stabbing murder at the McDonald’s she works at in Las Vegas…some folks dragged the victim inside the McD’s, put him on some tables, and my granddaughter tried to stem the blood-flow with stacks of napkins…too late. And the grandson in Toledo was rushed to surgery when the tissue around what had been diagnosed as a broken bone erupted and this may have been some massive infection and not a broken bone at all. Bad day for my poor wife to try to celebrate her birthday. We postponed our plans until Wednesday.
    To top the day off, I was questioned by a young state trooper as to why I was parked alongside a ditch in a rural public field where I have parked and walked my dog or dogs since 2003. He thought I had passed out , I guess, and ran off the road? Anyway, he was just checking up on the old geezer with the cane. What a day.

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  37. Sherri said on April 19, 2016 at 1:29 am

    Hope your grandkids recover soon, Dexter.

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  38. MichaelG said on April 19, 2016 at 4:57 am

    That’s horrible, Dexter. I hope everybody is OK.

    It’s been a while but I’ve been kind of busy. The ship is called the Windstar.

    http://www.windstarcruises.com/Yachts/

    It’s fairly small as cruise ships go. We have about 140 pax on board. The captain is Briddish and – are you ready? She’s a black woman! Can’t be a whole lot of black female cruise ship captains floating around out there. I had the opportunity to talk with her one on one the other day. She’s a delightful person. I spoke with her again last evening as we were about to depart Tangier. She was a tad annoyed about having to have a pilot aboard although she expressed it obliquely, not in an outright complaint. The departure didn’t look all that difficult to me.

    I also found myself having a glass of wine at the bar with what appears to be the only lone female guest on board. After the “where are you froms” I learned that she was from Seattle. The cruise director came up to speak to her. I thought the tenor of the conversation a bit odd until the penny dropped. She’s from Seattle. Windstar is headquartered in Seattle. I looked at her and said “You’re the Lady From Seattle”.

    She it although she said that she was the manager of shore stuff for the Med. She arranges all the tours and excursions etc. She also admitted that, while she didn’t have any specific brief, she would be observing things on the cruise. Again, a delightful, reasonable woman. I had dinner with her that evening at a two top. I learned a lot.

    That’s it. More later. In Malaga now and it’s time to go and look at the place.

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  39. David C. said on April 19, 2016 at 6:12 am

    I can’t see myself on a cruise ship, ever. Except maybe the river cruises you see advertised, er, sponsored on PBS. That way I could at least swim to shore when the norovirus strikes.

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  40. basset said on April 19, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Cruises don’t appeal to me at all but I might make an exception for that one.

    “Lady from Seattle”? Am I missing something?

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  41. MichaelG said on April 19, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Seattle is HQ. She’s the lady from the head office.

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  42. Dorothy said on April 19, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Yikes what a job that would be – going on cruises to (somewhat) secretly observe all Things Cruise-y. When we were in Puerto Rico in February I saw a guy in the hotel in San Juan wearing a Trip Advisor hat. I asked him if he worked for them and he said “yes”. I wouldn’t mind that kind of a job at all.

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  43. basset said on April 19, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Right, I see that, but I thought the “Lady from Seattle” was a character in their advertising or something… at the very least a person known to the clientele.

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

    Well, we had quite an eventful soak at the Japanese spa yesterday evening. My husband fainted dead away when he got out of the water at some point to have a drink of the lemon water that they supplied us with. He stood up too fast after feeling a little light headed, that happens sometimes when you’re in really hot water for a long time. It scared me to death, he sort of crumbled to the ground, didn’t hurt himself surprisingly. He didn’t remember going down at all, really blacked out. Then later when I went to get dressed I couldn’t find my pants that I had worn into the spa. I had lost my pants. I was afraid I was going to have to walk back to the car in my underwear, but Little Bird’s friend who works there helped me find my them. They had fallen out of my bag while I was in the sauna, I had checked for them there already (with a towel wrapped around my bottom) but when she used a flashlight she found them way back under one of the benches.

    So, we’re driving my husband down to Albuquerque today, he flies back to Chicago this afternoon and I go back tomorrow, only I will take the train then bus down to ABQ.

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    • nancy said on April 19, 2016 at 10:18 am

      If ever a comment needed a #whitepeopleproblems hashtag, this one did. It made me laugh out loud, although i’m sure it was scary at the time.

      Sorry no post today, guys! Mondays leave me feeling reamed out.

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  45. Connie said on April 19, 2016 at 10:20 am

    So Nancy, local reaction to lead in water at your schools? http://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles/14766/tests_show_six_grosse_pointe_schools_have_elevated_lead_copper_levels#.VxY-XHq1U8I

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    • nancy said on April 19, 2016 at 10:29 am

      Still developing, Connie. With an anemic weekly and closed Facebook groups, it’s hard to say right now. Right now it looks like the exposure is pretty limited to particular fixtures in schools, which suggests it’s not systemic, but more localized. But I really don’t know. Judging from how many vaccine hysterics we have around here, I’m betting on a blowup at the next board meeting.

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  46. brian stouder said on April 19, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Deborah – now <that's how to shivtzing!

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  47. brian stouder said on April 19, 2016 at 10:21 am

    that’s

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  48. Deborah said on April 19, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I will say that walking back to the car in my underwear probably wouldn’t have been a big deal as part of the spa is clothing optional. Little Bird’s friend one time had to revive a woman who had fainted in that part of the spa, and while she was on the ground dealing with the woman she looked up and realized she was surrounded by 5 naked guys gawking at the situation. Her head was of course down below crotch level when she looked up.

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  49. brian stouder said on April 19, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Must have looked like a convention of Mr Magoo impersonators (or a conclave of bald-headed bishops!)

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  50. alex said on April 19, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Well I just got slammed with a reality check at the doctor’s office this morning. Six months ago I had normal labs. This morning I was told that my A1C has crossed the diabetic threshold and that I have probable fatty liver disease. Now I’m going in for a liver ultrasound. So I’m officially through with alcohol. Wish me luck.

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  51. brian stouder said on April 19, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Good luck!

    I’ve entered into the doctor loop: see the family doctor, follow her referral to the specialist, schedule for tests, schedule for results, etc etc etc

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  52. MichaelG said on April 19, 2016 at 11:16 am

    The Lady From Seattle is not a big deal. All the crew know who she is, there’s nothing secret and she’s not writing evaluations or anything like that. Her job is to meet with all the tour operators along the way and she spent a couple of hours doing that yesterday in Tangier and will meet with people in Malaga today. Anything else would be noted if there were something out of the ordinary. She’s really a very nice person. Still . . .

    Big drills this AM for the crew. The lifeboat drill included lowering two boats into the harbor here in Malaga. All was observed by a Spanish Maritime inspector. Female. And my Air France flight down to Lisbon from Paris had a female captain. These women are everywhere!

    Yesterday was Tangier. Enormous amount of construction going on. I don’t know where all the money is coming from but there’s a lot of it. The place was cleaner than I expected, there were some very interesting architectural examples and details, but meh. I wasn’t much taken with the place. There were people around but not smiling. There was just this air of, I don’t know, – oppression hanging over the city. And there’s something downright creepy about all the women being in vails, some of them totally covered face and all. Everything was just a degree or two off into another dimension. It’s not the third world aspect. I didn’t feel any of this in, for example, Vietnam. Suffice it to say that I have no immediate plans to move there.

    Malaga! Malaga on the other hand is spectacularly beautiful and sparkling. Especially having just come from Tangier. I swear, the light is brighter here and the colors richer. What a breath of fresh air. The streets are covered with trees and filled with people and cars. Had a very nice, uneventful time except that my camera battery died suddenly and I couldn’t fine a replacement in town. I didn’t feel like going to Corte Ingles the big department store which was a tad far anyway.

    There are three cruise ships here. One is Windstar. A second is the smaller French one that looks like a racy Windstar It’s called Le Ponant and according to the web site carries 64 pax. The third is a monster called the Celebrity Reflection. It’s 1047 feet long and carries over 3000 pax.

    A couple of people mentioned in the comments that they don’t care for cruises. I was one of them. Things have changed. With my health issues I decided to try one. It would be a way to see several places without a lot of effort on my part. So far I couldn’t be more pleased.

    I went for a small ship for a lot of reasons. I just couldn’t see one of those large things. Getting on and off must be a real bitch. I could see standing in line for everything. Here you wait for nothing. Not a drink, not a waiter. How many people on those monsters get to have a genuine conversation with the Captain? With a company exec? The pax here are all experienced travelers and around 75% are on their second, third or fourth Windstar cruise. They know how to behave and a friendlier bunch I couldn’t imagine. I would not travel on one of those huge ships.

    Fashion note: Two tone paint jobs on new cars. They look quite nice.
    Travel tip: Restaurants don’t hand out glasses of water in Europe. If you want water you order it and pay, typically, a Euro for it.

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  53. Jenine said on April 19, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Good thoughts your way Alex as you find out more. Sorry you got such rude news.

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  54. Judybusy said on April 19, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Dexter–yikes, especially for the grandkid that witnessed and intervened in the murder. I would encourage you to encourage her to see a mental health trauma specialist, for real. About 10 years ago my partner witnessed a horrible bleedout at the hospital in which she worked and was part of the unsuccessful revival team. She went to a therapist she’d seen before who knew about EMDR, a specialty interviention that sounds absolutely nutty, but works. I believe this really helped lessen the impact of that event.

    Alex: crap. So sorry to hear that.

    Deborah, hilarious.

    MichaelG, so glad you are for the most part having a fabu trip! If I were to ever cruise, that would be my way as well.

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  55. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 19, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Granville, Ohio has already had our lead-based uproar — it’s also more fixture-based, according to results I’ve seen. Everyone is sending their kids to school with bottled water and telling them to avoid the drinking fountains, which doesn’t matter because they’re all shut off. The school has it up in the office, but it’s now officially uncool to drink that, you have to have your own purchased classy bottle of water to be cool.

    My son carries his Philmont Nalgene , just to cement his geek credentials after not going to prom so he could finish his Eagle Scout project. Poor kid is cursed by his parental environment. Meanwhile, only five arrests and one ambulance call to prom this year, down from last April.

    I can’t wait until high school is over. OU is trying hard to turn his head, but I think he’s leaning Kent State, for access to more world music and production classes and experiences like what Kate is getting at UM, it looks like. But that Marching 110 thing has a gravitational field all its own . . . ten more days to make a final decision.

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  56. nancy said on April 19, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I don’t talk about Kate much these days, figuring her life is her own and she can write about it if she likes, but just a few notes:

    She recently decided she’s transferring from the more engineering-based sequence into the artsier one, as she’s more interested in performance and music rather than how it sounds coming out of a speaker, or in a performance hall, or in writing software to affect both of these. So far she’s had some great teachers, including her extremely laid-back computer-music prof, who won her heart on the first day talking about climbing Mt. Fuji in a group, listening to the music of the wind and the trickling creeks, while everyone around him was entranced with their phones. The baseline of this message, PUT DOWN YOUR DAMN PHONE ONCE IN A WHILE, didn’t seem to take. But she liked him.

    She also has an acoustics teacher who is blind, but apparently has the hearing of a bat. It’s said she can walk into a room, speak a few words and tell you how far away the walls are, and make a usually accurate guess on what their surfaces are. For that class, she had a found-object instrument assignment. After constructing a pan pipe of of copper plumbing, and having it rejected as not a true found object, she opted to play the bicycle for the class, a la Frank Zappa. She got an A.

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  57. Julie Robinson said on April 19, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Yikes, indeed, to both Alex and Dexter and the grands. I will say, I gave up alcohol some 15 years ago when I started some pain medication for my feet, and it was surprisingly easy. I don’t take it anymore but I haven’t had any desire to drink, so I haven’t. Wish giving up food went that well, but if you’ve crossed the diabetes line you’ll have to work on that too. I keep plugging away because of watching my sister’s diabetic decline.

    Jefftmmo, we had to sit one of ours down at the table and say we weren’t getting up until a decision had to be made. It was late in April, right before all those May 1 deadlines. Sounds like he has good choices, and he’ll be okay wherever he goes.

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  58. nancy said on April 19, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Oh, and Jeff: Your thoughts on senior year mirror mine entirely. The last year of high school is as stressful for parents as it is for kids, and 70 percent of it is unnecessary. When she collected that diploma I felt like I’d broken a tape in a very unpleasant marathon.

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  59. LAMary said on April 19, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Neither of my sons had any interest in going to the prom. One of them had a steady girlfriend at the time and she wasn’t interested. I feel lucky.

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  60. Sherri said on April 19, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Jeff(tmmo), my husband will dither over a final decision between two good choices forever. I finally tell him to flip a coin; it’s often quite clarifying.

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  61. Dexter said on April 19, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    All quiet so far today…my wife is having a small dinner party tonight for her sister and who knows who else….
    My lawn service guy took a truck driving job (I just found out today as the grass got way-higher and higher) so I decided to hell with paying out a couple C-notes a month (I did last year because I was in physical therapy for this damn hip and the therapist saw me mowing and told me to cease and desist and hire a lawn service), but I figured what the heck, I’ll see if I can handle simply guiding this self-propelled Toro across my little yard and of course the mower fired right up and the mowin’ was easy.
    I felt all loosened up so I aired-up the tires on one of my bikes and took off on a short ride…felt damn good to be ikn the saddle again. I have been re-born. Yeah. Right. 🙂

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  62. Jenine said on April 19, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Yay Dexter — Mowing and riding too!

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  63. brian stouder said on April 19, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Sounds excellent, Dexter!

    I, too, mowed the other day – for the first time with the self-propelled thing.

    Loved it! Shoulda’ made that change years ago; you still get fresh air and exercise – and I didn’t even break a sweat

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  64. beb said on April 19, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    I had to replace my old electric mower last year because the deck (housing?) was rotting away. Not self-propelled or anything just better clearance and sharper blade. Wow! was that easy to push around.

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  65. Jakash said on April 19, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Good for you, Dexter. Nice to hear both activities went well. We should have broken out the bikes last weekend, but didn’t. Need to use Nancy’s and your references to biking for extra motivation…

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  66. David C. said on April 19, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I thought all the copper plumbing in the Detroit area has been “found”.

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