Halfway through.

Apologies for yesterday’s no-show. I spent much of Monday on the road, driving to and from Battle Creek. I get out into farm country so seldom these days that it comes as something of a shock to see fields and lakes and freeway exits with Steak & Shakes. Come to think of it, I don’t see much fast food these days, either. GP has zoning prohibiting drive-throughs, with only one sad, grandfathered-in Wendy’s, and much of the fast food in Detroit between here and my office is dicey for one reason on another – cleanliness and security, mainly. Once I got off the freeway at Harper and Cadieux with a late-night, mad craving for Taco Bell. The drive-through window had one of those bulletproof plexiglas turntables, a detail of commerce you folks in the nicer neighborhoods don’t see so often, I imagine.

I used to love a long, solitary drive, but yesterday’s left me back-achey and cranky. It was the lunch that did it. I went to a craft brewer in downtown B.C. and had a mediocre, indifferently served roasted-squash soup that tasted like canned pumpkin-pie filling, and burnt ends slathered in a syrupy barbecue sauce. How hard is it to do these two dishes halfway decently? Not very.

Should have gone to Steak & Shake. Or had a bowl of Battle Creek’s finest. I’m sure a whole box of Honey Bunches of Oats would have contained less sugar than that soup.

Tuesday was better. Long swim, with lots of variety; the elderly lifeguard/retired coach who runs the early-morning swim puts a different workout on the board every day, and offers free advice to everyone who wants it. It’s a generous gift. Thanks to Tim, I’ve learned flip turns, corrected my terrible breast stroke and am on my way to mastering the butterfly, a stroke I’d never have dared try before. And my freestyle and backstroke have improved as well. When I think of the swimmer I was when I got in the pool just two years ago, it’s sort of astonishing – I’m surprised I didn’t drown or anything. He does all this for probably something close to minimum wage and the impetus to get out of the house in retirement. AND he’s running a summer program at a local park, which I will sign up for as soon as I’m able.

The tree across the street is having a glorious bloom, too, and it’s in my sightline as I write this. So y’know: Little things.

With that, let’s get to the bloggage, then:

I hope you guys can read this, as it’s a WSJ link, but I can, so fingers crossed. A rumored “fountain of youth” drug has seniors clamoring to get into the trial:

A few people said they craved significant life extensions—complete with retirement benefits. “The thought of living on until 120 years old fills me with great excitement, and also the thought of drawing my pensions until then would be an amazing gift,” a 71-year-old British man wrote.

Others seem motivated by their dread of an emotionally and financially challenging decline. “It’s not so much a fear of dying, it’s a fear of living in pain and agony and being a burden to everyone else and my wife and so forth,” said Bill Thygerson, 70, a retired missile-systems engineer.

Many who raised hands, including Mr. Thygerson, of Huntsville, Ala., already live carefully. He has cut way down on sugar and red meat. He’s a gym regular. A few years ago, he got back to his college weight. (“I did have three vegan cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday,” he confessed.)

Is this what I have to look forward to? Pain and agony and vegan cupcakes? Maybe I should hope for a terrorist attack or instant-death car crash. (Note the Brit, thinking about pensions. As if, America!)

A Michigan substitute teacher is fired. Why? Because she spoke the word “vagina” in an 8th-grade art class, discussing the work of Georgia O’Keeffe:

Harper Creek Community Schools released a quote from their school handbook, indicating teachers are required to get advanced approval when discussing any form of reproductive health.

Wint says even so, she is still in disbelief she was dismissed.

“I honestly had no words, because I’ve always been an advocate of not censoring art and music and writing,” she said.

Now to wait for the primary returns to roll in. Happy Wednesday, guys.

Posted at 12:15 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

90 responses to “Halfway through.”

  1. Dexter said on April 27, 2016 at 1:07 am

    The older I get the more I abhor fast food, especially hamburger meat in any form. A man on a radio show recently shared that Taco Bell beef is a concoction shipped in in plastic squeeze tubes and it is in the form of a paste. Not for me. A few years ago when nance linked a story about American hamburger originating in at least nine countries and all mixed together and packed for supermarkets, that cured me. E coli stories have been around for decades, and listeria contamination has killed people, most famously Michigan old folks who ate Sara Lee Hygrade Ballpark frankfurters 20-some years back. Since then I always boil sausage links and hotdogs a full seven minutes on high boil, even if sometimes this splits the meat tubes.
    *sigh* Our little plans were Wednesday breakfast at 8:00 in a good little local restaurant and then I was to cut the grass. Late this afternoon the VA called and said I have to catch up with my diabetic foot care… exam, then get the orders in for new compression stockings and two new pairs of these damn-comfortable shoes for people like me. As I have oft repeated, my civilian doctor’s group here never followed up on anything like this. Breakfast will be in our kitchen, a quick scrambled egg, a bagel, mango juice, and a big thermos of black coffee for the road.

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  2. Deborah said on April 27, 2016 at 4:40 am

    We can see Georgia OKeeffe’s house from our land in Abiquiu. The vagina comparison in her paintings is pure speculation. Lots has been written about it. Still it’s hard not to make that association though when you see her work. http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/mar/01/georgia-okeeffe-show-at-tate-modern-to-challenge-outdated-views-of-artist

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  3. Linda said on April 27, 2016 at 5:20 am

    While I’m not keen on fast food, a friend talked me into getting a hamburger at Al’s in Green Bay, Wisconsin–for breakfast. I was reluctant, but it was an old fashioned hand made burger, and delicious. I forgot what a good burger can taste like–meaty and juicy.

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  4. David C. said on April 27, 2016 at 6:25 am

    A vegan cupcake? As opposed to the regular meat cupcake. I guess it’s like the beef jerky I bought a couple weeks ago that was labeled as gluten-free. People don’t know WTF gluten is other than someone on the TV said it’s really, really bad and is going to kill you and it’s lurking in food waiting to get you. I see people in the natural section of the grocery store filling up their carts with the same processed crap everyone else eats, but free of something. Because a kid given Annie’s mac and cheese is sure to be healthier than I kid who eats Kraft. He probably doesn’t even need any vaccines. It’s a wonder to behold.

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  5. ROGirl said on April 27, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Vaginas are in the eye of the beholder?

    Judy Chicago’s vagina imagery WAS intentional.


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  6. Kristen said on April 27, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Folks sure are squeamish about the word “vagina”, aren’t they? I don’t fully understand why so many persist in narrowing in (no pun intended) on the vagina, as if it’s the only part of women’s exterior reproductive anatomy. I prefer the term “vulva” myself; it’s more comprehensive and accurate. And anyway, O’Keefe’s flowers look more like the vulva than close-ups of the vagina, don’t they? This collective ignorance of the rest of a woman’s lady bits is, according to yesterday’s NYT, contributing to an increase in young women requesting genital cosmetic surgery to trim and shape their (perfectly normal) labia! **cringe**

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  7. Suzanne said on April 27, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Yes, David C! I work with a guy that buys raw milk, spends all kinds of cash on only grass fed meat, antibiotic free chicken, drinks organic tea, etc. and brags that he hasn’t been to a doctor in years. But then he speaks with joy about taking his kids to Chick-fil-A, or his wife to Texas Roadhouse for date night, and shows up at work with “organic” prepackaged microwaveable food (preservatives? No doubt!) or “natural” salsa & chips. He always mentions his digestive problems as well (for which he drinks komboucha-no Doctor for him) so I’m not sure the diet is working very well.
    I try to eat well, but within reason. We are all gonna die someday, after all.

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  8. alex said on April 27, 2016 at 7:29 am

    I think the NYT story on teen twat tucks is another one of those utterly bogus trend stories. Teen-aged girls getting surgery? Really? Who pays for it? Who signs for it? Does any parent, no matter how rich, seriously indulge a daughter who wants such a thing?

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  9. Heather said on April 27, 2016 at 7:57 am

    David C., vegans don’t eat any animal products, including butter and eggs, so vegan cupcakes substitute other items for those ingredients. I’ve had some really good vegan desserts and some not so good. I’m not vegan but I find the list of foods that don’t really agree with me growing as I get older, including dairy. But I just reduce my intake, I don’t cut them out completely.

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  10. adrianne said on April 27, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Two words have forever turned me off to Taco Bell: Meat hose.

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 27, 2016 at 8:07 am

    There was a really interesting article in Slate a few years back, which I’m too lazy to look up, which made a set of comparisons between fast food meats, and pointed out that Taco Bell’s taco meat was the least meat-ified of all, with up to 40% filler in it — and set the hook beautifully at the end of the piece by making the case that theirs is perhaps the best meat for us and for the planet, with soy and oat fiber mixed in being both an authentic cuisine (“extenders” being the term, and the practical reality for less meat-centric diets, where among other things meat is just pricier and less common, so to make up a serving you “extend” the meat protein with other materials mixed in, just like grandma’s meat loaf), and easier on the ecosystem. The author suggested that we’d all be better off if our Big Mac or Patty Melt had more oatmeal and such blended into the so-called 100% Angus.

    All of which gives me a frisson of superiority as I get my four soft tacos and two sides of guac (squeezed into cups out of a caulking gun!) at the Bell for lunch . . .

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  12. beb said on April 27, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Since I, too, get off the freeway at Cadieux, like Nancy, I was wondering what Taco Bell she was thinking of since the nearest, anymore is the one at the Venior exit. There used to be a Taco Bell at Harper and Houston-Whittier but that closed at least 5 years ago, was razed, the lot left abandoned for years before a Checkers was built there. But, yeah, that place used a turntable to serve drive-thrus. It’s interesting that the post office on Harper just north of Cadieux using a bulletproof shield for its clerks but the Grosse Pointe PO, just a couple miles away does not. As if Detroit criminals couldn’t drive the couple miles to hold up the place…

    I’m not fond of dying but, seriously, who wants to live to be 120 with all the aches and pains that develop when you’re around 60?

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  13. Randy said on April 27, 2016 at 9:18 am

    About 10 years ago, we took a family vacation to San Diego, with a two-day stop in LA. Completely unaware of the city, we booked a hotel in Koreatown, pretty much within the blocks that had burned to the ground during the Rodney King riots. We had to park our car behind a gate. We went for a walk in the evening, cautioned by the front desk to stay on the main drag. For some reason we went to Burger King, where the entrance was monitored by an armed guard. I have to hand it to BK, their Whoppers taste the same everywhere.

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  14. Joe K said on April 27, 2016 at 9:29 am

    We buy our meat at Albrights in Corunna, old fashion walk up to the counter meat market along with a small store and Deli, They will make you a ham salad sandwich to go. Meat is cut there, have ordered ground chuck and watched them grind it, place has a line on Friday and Saturday in the summer.
    Vagina? 9 months getting out, rest of your life trying to get back in, if your a guy, or I guess some gals.
    Pilot Joe

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  15. Andrea said on April 27, 2016 at 9:41 am

    I am not a vegan but have used a vegan chocolate cake recipe for over 25 years. It is my family’s favorite and I get extreme compliments every time I bring it anywhere. It is super moist and chocolatey. It just does not have any eggs or dairy in it. I don’t know that is especially virtuous otherwise– plenty of sugar and flour in it to make the carb watchers turn away.

    Online trolls have been a topic here before. Has anyone seen this? http://www.chicagomag.com/city-life/April-2016/MoreThanMean-Julie-DiCaro-Sarah-Spain-Mean-Tweets-Video/

    Apologies if it was posted before.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on April 27, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Agreed, Whoppers taste the same everywhere: inedible.

    Same for Taco Bell. I am spoiled by good home cooking.

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  17. nancy said on April 27, 2016 at 9:50 am

    One of Alan’s colleagues is Canadian, and crosses the bridge/tunnel every work day. One night, both were backed up forever, and rather than sit in traffic, he stopped at an IHOP to have a midnight breakfast. He had to stand for a patdown search before he was led to a table. #DetroitPride

    That was, indeed, the Taco Bell I’m thinking of, beb. It was a while back. Now when I eat TB, it just tastes like over salted toxic waste.

    Also, what do you (beb) think of this story, about an apparent MDEQ culture of gaming water samples to get a better result?

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  18. Deborah said on April 27, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Alex, when I was in high school in the late 60s girls were getting nose jobs left and right, so parents do pay for plastic surgery for their daughters, even back in the day. I worked with a woman who paid for her high school daughter to have a breast reduction. I had heard about the vulva surgery a few years ago when one of Little Bird’s friends had to have some surgery for medical reasons and was shocked to see photos of the cosmetic surgeries her doctor did, she told us about it and we looked the Dr up on the Internet. The website showed before and after pictures and the before photos looked perfectly normal to me.

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  19. Deborah said on April 27, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I know I’ve said this here before but I’m always astounded that Santa Fe has at least 2 Taco Bells. With all of the delicious little taquerias around town, why would anyone go to TB? A lot of the taquerias are drive-up and take-out so people can’t be going to TB to save time (or money).

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  20. A. Riley said on April 27, 2016 at 10:01 am

    The stat that really surprised me in the NYT cosmetic surgery story was the one about more than 70% of girls and women between 12 and 20 shave or wax their pubic hair. What? Seriously? More than 70% (And how did they come up with that stat?)

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  21. LAMary said on April 27, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I haven’t finished my morning coffee yet and I was recalling a discussion I think happened at this site about the words vagina and vulva being used correctly. Then I get to a comment about vegans not eating animal products and I read it as vaginas not eating animal products. I’ll just leave that there until I wake up more.

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

    Who can possibly pick a single entry to nominate for Thread Win, today?

    (And we’re not even to lunch yet!)

    (and when we are, no Taco Bell for me)

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  23. alex said on April 27, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I’m happy to report that I’ve completed my first week on a largely vegetarian diet devoid of sugar and white flour and I’ve completely given up alcohol.

    I haven’t felt so energetic or clear-headed in years and noticed the difference within just a few days. I think I can live without those things.

    Love the store Joe mentioned, Albright’s. They also have one of the best selections of cheeses I’ve seen anywhere. Alas, I’m pretty much relegated to light fluffy stuff like feta or mozzarella now, and won’t be eating their brats or ribs anytime soon. I’ll go there for beef tenderloin, though.

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  24. Mark P said on April 27, 2016 at 10:18 am

    I never have beef anything out, especially Taco Bell. Sometimes chicken, but you can’t beat a couple of bean burritos for a cheap, filling, reasonably good lunch. My friend who has lived in New Mexico says that many hispanics there like TB, despite the multitude of wonderful Mexican restaurants out there.

    I suspect that shaving pubic hair and female genital mutilation I mean labia reduction surgery are both the result of the ubiquitous presence of pornography. I suspect that the female actors started shaving in order to make the external genitalia more visible. I also suspect that “perfect” female bodies from porn have become the standard in some circles. Personally, I don’t like the look of breasts with cantaloups slipped under the skin, and hair is just fine.

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  25. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 27, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Someone get LAMary another cup of coffee.

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  26. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 27, 2016 at 10:20 am


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  27. nancy said on April 27, 2016 at 10:25 am

    A. Riley, and anyone interested in the topic of pubic grooming, you might be interested in Neil Steinberg’s column today.

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  28. nancy said on April 27, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Correct on the porn thing, too, MarkP. Shaving of both sexes’ junk is ubiquitous now. Not only for better visibility, but also for the “to make the tree look taller, trim the bushes around it” effect.

    I’m done now. Work to do.

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  29. MichaelG said on April 27, 2016 at 10:51 am

    I got here to Barcelona maybe a week or two early. The women are just transitioning from jeans to shorts and just beginning to leave their coats home. For some reason I’m attracted to Spanish women.

    The other day I went to buy a bus pass. One does so at a subway station where there are machines. I fiddled and fiddled with the goddamn thing trying to get it to take my money. I couldn’t figure out which end of the bill to lead into the slot. The picture on the machine was different from the bill in my hand. I appealed to the guy at the machine next to me for help. He didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Spanish but it was easy to pantomime my problem. He fucked around with the bill and the slot with no success until his 10 year old son explained the problem to him. There were six or eight different types of tickets costing varying prices. One has to select a ticket before trying to stuff money into the machine. I did so and voila!

    There is no ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) in Spain or Europe, for that matter. Thus no grab rails in tubs or toilets or several other things that make things easier for some people. There are ramped cut outs at street corners and lifts for buses.

    A hamburger is not necessarily fast food. There are plenty of good places serving excellent burgers.

    Shaving is fine, it can always grow back. It’s the permanent stuff like tats and piercings that I question. And that genital mutilation, my God!

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  30. Colleen said on April 27, 2016 at 10:56 am

    We have an Albright’s on the south side, which we frequent with some regularity. The Husband likes their ham salad, and we both feel better buying hamburger from them instead of the grocery store. That said, I like Taco Bell.

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  31. alex said on April 27, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Jeff at 26–

    Schadenfreude indeed. And no wonder he’s not hitching his star to Cruz’.

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  32. LindaG said on April 27, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Five Guys. That’s all I want to say. 🙂

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  33. susan said on April 27, 2016 at 11:29 am

    David C @4 – Back in the 1980s (or so), when cholesterol numbers became a thing, I would see atop the bin of bananas at the grocery store little helpful signs noting, “Cholesterol-free!”

    PT Barnum is alive and well. “To the Egress!” the sign on the door noted. (Now, what african animal is that?) The sign led to outside stairs. You had to pay to get back in to his American Museum.

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  34. Heather said on April 27, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I always think of a plea Tina Fey made when she was doing the news at SNL: “Ladies! Please! You need hair down there!” All I can say is, ingrown hairs are not a good look. I am glad I came of age in an era where total depilation was not a must.

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  35. brian stouder said on April 27, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Alex – and don’t forget, the Sainted Knight anointed the Donald.

    And nobody* crosses the Sainted Knight; not nobody, not no-how!

    *no elected official in Indiana, that is

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 27, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    For anyone who would care or even just be amused — while I am sternly forbidden from sharing this on social media per se, because his friends and friends’ parents will see it there, my son has chosen Ohio University and their School of Music for this August. He’s working tonight on his audition video for the Marching 110, and will enter as a music education student, on clarinet but keeping his vocal work going as much as possible, as he’d like to keep open the ability to teach both band and choir in secondary ed.

    Now I have to go buy a bunch of green outerwear . . . and we’re a Bobcat household now!

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    • nancy said on April 27, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      I will teach him the Bobcat secret handshake. In my day, it consisted of handing someone a can of Rolling Rock. Don’t know what it might have become in this century.

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  37. brian stouder said on April 27, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Marvelous stuff, Jeff!

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  38. Suzanne said on April 27, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    And to think Pence seriously thought about a run for POTUS. Maybe he should have. HE could have been to one with the silly smile on his face standing behind Trump last night, instead of Chris Christie.

    And where, oh where, have all those Ben Carson supporters that I know gone since he dropped out and decided he loved Trump. I haven’t heard a peep outta any of them that I know when a few months ago, they couldn’t stop talking about him.

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  39. FDChief said on April 27, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Well…once you’ve trimmed the shrubbery I guess the next step is to amend the soil, right?


    “’18 Again’, a vaginal rejuvenation & tightening gel is redefining the term women empowerment. It is a powerful and natural answer to intimate feminine concerns. A remarkable product to empower the new age women. Visit http://www.18again.com for more information.”

    Wars and lechery; nothing else holds fashion…

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  40. FDChief said on April 27, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Oh, and you can also make sure that the soil, while rich and fertile, is also “Clean and Dry”


    This is apparently an Indian thing more than Western, as I discussed here: http://firedirectioncenter.blogspot.com/2012/04/cleaning-up-at-y.html

    But the “adult wet wipes” thing is purely Western: http://www.firedirectioncenter.blogspot.com/2013/02/shakes-head.html

    Because a clean beaver gets more wood, amirite?

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    • nancy said on April 27, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Having scrolled through your links, I think I can answer the “merkin” question. A guy I know who was studying the history of syphillis (don’t ask) says the merkin came about to cover for syphilitic hair loss in that region, an advanced-stage symptom. Or so I’m told.

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  41. LAMary said on April 27, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    I always thought that syphyillis was the most common STD, but I learned from my ex husband that gonorrhea is more common. (don’t ask)

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  42. Deborah said on April 27, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Hastert gets 15 months in prison.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 27, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Nancy, does it include learning what 33 means on the bottles/cans?

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  44. alex said on April 27, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    But at his age he probably won’t get any of that male on male action he so enjoys.

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  45. Sue said on April 27, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    ‘living on until 120 years old’
    No. If all you’re going to do with your extra 20 – 40 years is drive your golf cart around The Villages and complain about how good the youngsters have it these days, you should be politely requested to absent yourself from the premises. Mandatory continuing education and/or community service, that’s what I say. Keep your brain and/or your body active, whichever is most functional. But of course if you’re having any issues you’ll be able to rely on your 70 – 90 year old children to help out every day.
    Of course, the problem will solve itself when a bunch of politicians with taxpayer-funded retirements decree that 100 is when social security kicks in.

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  46. Little Bird said on April 27, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    I’m amused that today’s topics seem to be vaginas and tacos…… There’s a joke there just WAITING to be made!
    And I can’t for the life of me think of one that wouldn’t embarrass or anger my mother.

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  47. Brandon said on April 27, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Or had a bowl of Battle Creek’s finest. I’m sure a whole box of Honey Bunches of Oats would have contained less sugar than that soup.

    Honey Bunches is made by Post, based in St. Louis. Kellogg’s has Honey Smacks, which is among its finest cereals.

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    • nancy said on April 27, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      While I do *so* appreciate your frequent corrections and additions to my imperfect prose, Brandon, be advised that Battle Creek is home to both Kellogg’s and Post facilities, and in fact the Post factory there makes Honey Bunches of Oats quite often. The locals can tell you when it’s happening, by the smell.

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  48. ROGirl said on April 27, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    If anyone watches Outlander, this season takes place in pre-revolutionary, decadent France. To bring that point home, there was a scene of an aristocratic lady undergoing a Brazilian wax, although that wasn’t what they called it.

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  49. Sherri said on April 27, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    LindaG, Five Guys, yes. Replaced In-N-Out as my fast food burger favorite.

    I wondered early on when the Flint story broke and it became apparent that the test results had been gamed to hide the problem where else it had happened, because it seemed unlikely that Flint was the only place. I would suspect that it’s pretty widespread that if a water utility gets a marginal result, they go back and get a few more tests in a location likely to push them below the level needed to report, because reporting is going to be painful, and besides, it’s mostly poor people affected and they don’t pay for government anyway, right?

    Taxes are the price of civilization, and we’ve decided we don’t want to be too civilized.

    I’ve stopped being surprised at what parents, particularly affluent ones, will pay for or do for/to their children. There’s a big scandal finally breaking here that’s been brewing for years about a local public high school football team and illegal recruiting and a private school/diploma mill and an out of control booster club, and that’s in the most affluent part of biggest suburb of the area, not some dead end where football is the only thing people care about and the only chance kids have to get out of town.


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  50. Jeff Borden said on April 27, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Well, well, well.

    Sen. Raphael Edouardo Cruz, generally considered the most unlikeable douchebag in a Senate filled with them, has announced failed H-P executive, failed California senatorial candidate and failed Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina as his running mate. If anything, Ms. Fiorina is even more unlikeable than the Canadian turned Texan, but she has the added bonus of destroying a major American company and shipping 30,000 jobs –that’s thirty thousand jobs– overseas while at H-P. Her blatant lies about Planned Parenthood selling baby parts resulted in a loon killing six at a PP in Colorado Springs because he was a “warrior for the babies” and was not gonna let that baby parts selling continue, no sir.

    Presumably, she would be the attack dog on Hillary Clinton this fall, so I understand this move at a tactical level. But mother of Cthuhulu, this creates one of the most unlikable pairings since Kim Kardashian hooked up with Kanye West.

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  51. alex said on April 27, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Just shows that Cruz couldn’t have gotten anyone else to join him on his doomed ticket. I’ll bet the establishment Republicans are having a cow about now.

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  52. Jolene said on April 27, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Jeff B., you beat me to it. I was about to post something about the compounding of unpleasantness that will be the proposed Cruz-Fiorina ticket. How clueless must Ted Cruz be? If all the politically (and otherwise) unappealing candidates in the Republican pack were rank-ordered on a dimension of people you would not want to have a beer (or, really, any interaction at all) with, Fiorina would be at the top of the list, followed closely by Cruz. F’in incredible.

    And, yes, Five Guys is the best for burgers. Here, you can even have them delivered, and they’re still hot and tasty when they arrive.

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  53. Jeff Borden said on April 27, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Jolene, I was thinking the only worse choice would be that creepy “pharma bro,” Martin Shrekli.

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  54. LAMary said on April 27, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Randy, Koreatown is gentrifying. It’s a cool place to go now.

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  55. Jakash said on April 27, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    My, what a lively discussion today. Gotta say, that commercial Steinberg wrote about is clever, though certainly indicative of the current “standards” on TV these days. What amazes me even more are the pharmaceutical commercials that are evidently required to verbally list a host of horrifying side effects (not just the 4-hour variety, either.) Having them printed in tiny print on a piece of paper when you picked up a prescription, to be ignored by all, was one thing. Having a staid TV voice read them out loud seems like it would dissuade more folks from trying whatever the drug is than the rest of the commercial persuades them. I’m just happy that there’s a mute button on the remote.

    As for the topiary topic, while I don’t doubt that porn was the major impetus for the grooming revolution, it certainly got a boost from Howard Stern. Back when he was on regular radio and I occasionally tuned in, it seemed like no interview with darn near ANY woman would be complete without his requisite inquiry as to the nature of her undercarriage maintenance.

    Re: Nancy’s “make the tree look taller” reference. Seems to me that, if the underbrush is creating THAT much of a problem of visibility, trimming is just going to highlight the fact that one is equipped like a second-grader…

    Heather @ 34, I remember that SNL show you referred to. The way I recall it, Amy Poehler also said something like “time was when a lady’s secret garden was as large as a slice of New York pizza…” Or some wittier version of that idea.

    Jeff (tmmo) @ 43, I don’t doubt that you’re aware of most of the theories for the “33”, but the idea that there were 33 words in the “pledge” on the bottle and it was kind of a printing mistake to include the actual number on the first bottles always sounded plausible to me…

    There. Not only has this comment been way too long, it’s been disgusting, as well, alas. ; )

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  56. Kirk said on April 27, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Rolling Rock was a decent lager back in the day, before Anheuser-Piss bought it.

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  57. FDChief said on April 27, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    A toupee for the Black Syph, eh? Hmmm…

    And we just got our very own In-N-Out in Oregon, away the hell downstate in Medford. All the Californian expats went wild, of course, and as I was working down there I gave it a shot. The burgers are fine; no better than Burgerville’s but a hell of a lot cheaper, and about par with Five Guys. The fries are atrocious; limp and doughy, and getting them “animal style” just means slathering a bunch of Thousand Island dressing on the limp, doughy fries. Gah. Mind you, Five Guys fries are pretty awful, too.

    I think the whole In-N-Out cachet is having a “secret menu”. It’s like a cheap way to be in Skull and Bones only with tacos.

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  58. Dexter said on April 27, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    I remember when Jack and Lois Albright joined the IGA chain, puzzling their loyal clientele, but everybody got used to it. The original Albright’s was downtown Corunna, where the post office moved when Jack and Lois built the new store sometime in the 1960s…I remember the move. They had just installed an ice cream bar in the old store…I loved going in there …I guess that was 56 years ago. Jack had some heart attacks but survived quite a few years , then naturally, Jack and Lois passed away and are buried just south of town in that peaceful Corunna cemetery.
    Sons Dave and Fritz and daughter Kay ran the store then. Years later Fritz started as meat manager at Joe’s Meats in Carmel, if I remember correctly.
    I had no idea Albright’s had stores elsewhere…I never get there anymore. I played high school baseball with Dave who caught… Dave driving his Corvair Monza to the games. Fritz and I were big baseball fans and I went with him and his folks to Tiger Stadium a couple times.
    Dave’s gotta be pushing 68 now…I wonder if he’s retired….

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  59. adrianne said on April 27, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    So this was a large part of my day (and Law360 reporter Diana Novak Jones was pictured in the middle of the media scrum – she had a seat in the courtroom, along with AP, Bloomberg and the Chi-town newspapers):


    This is despicable on so many levels. Even at sentencing, all Denny had to say was that he had “mistreated” some student athletes. Luckily, the judge was having none of it and described him as a “serial child molester.”

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  60. Dexter said on April 27, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    33… http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/389/why-is-there-a-33-on-rolling-rock-beer-labels

    In the 1980s my brother did senior portraits in high schools in Ohio for George Woodward Studios of Bellevue. They had contracts to do several Cleveland high schools. Brother would say “Smile…say Budweiser” and the kids would retort: “Nah, man! LITTLE KINGS!” Yes, Little Kings…tasty beer in little bottles, perfect for smuggling into high schools.

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  61. Brandon said on April 27, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    While I do *so* appreciate your frequent corrections and additions to my imperfect prose, Brandon, be advised that Battle Creek is home to both Kellogg’s and Post facilities, and in fact the Post factory there makes Honey Bunches of Oats quite often. The locals can tell you when it’s happening, by the smell.

    So it is. And Post was started in Battle Creek, as I just found out.

    your frequent corrections and additions

    Don’t worry; you’re not the only one:)

    The locals can tell you when it’s happening, by the smell.

    We were in Kau years ago, when the sugar refinery was still operating, and there was a thick aroma much like fermented cereal in the air.

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  62. Sherri said on April 27, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Ah, smells. On our drive to Walla Walla to visit our daughter, on US Highway 12 between Pasco and Walla Walla, along the beautiful Columbia River, is Boise Paper. You’re driving along a particularly scenic part of the river and you can’t wait to get past it because it stinks so bad.

    Speaking of the Columbia River and water quality, there’s concern that a second double-walled tank at Hanford may have a leak. Here’s a story about what that means: http://www.wired.com/2016/04/us-playing-dangerous-game-musical-chairs-nuclear-waste/

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  63. Joe K said on April 27, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I’ll see your paper plant smell and raise you the Plymoth Ind rendering plant on U.S. 30. Although I think it may be closed now, you could smell it when you flew over it.
    Pilot Joe

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  64. Deborah said on April 27, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    The company I worked for in St. Louis designed the headquarters for Kellogg’s back in the 80s. I worked on some of the graphics for it but I doubt that any of it is still around.

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  65. Deborah said on April 27, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    That headquarters was in Battle Creek by the way.

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  66. David C. said on April 27, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    So what other stuff from porn do people think is normal now? I’m not sure I really wan’t to know. Just a contemplation.

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  67. Jakash said on April 27, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Yeah, Pilot Joe, even counting going by Gary, I think the smell near Plymouth may be the worst I’ve come across. That was a rendering plant? I just noticed that it seemed to be in the vicinity of a big green-covered swamp that you’d drive by on the east side of town.

    Seems this blog’s audience tilts more toward the automotive, but I loves me a reference to the beers of yesteryear. How many of these did you quaff, back in the day, Dexter? (“The day” only going back to the ’70s, in my case, and the list being largely midwest-centric.) Falstaff, Top Hat, Wiedemann, Olympia, Hamm’s, Stroh’s, Blatz, Andeker, Huber, Red White and Blue, P.O.C., Braumeister, Old Chicago, Black Label, Grain Belt, U-Save-Alot, Augsberger, Iron City, Hudepohl. Any on there you DON’T remember? I’m sure you could easily add a dozen more. If you’d have told me when I was buying a case of some of that swill for $3.89 that I’d be paying $9.99 for a six-pack of “craft” today, I doubt that I’d have believed you. But I do.

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  68. FDChief said on April 27, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Re: Post, sugary cereals, and the Dark Ages of Breakfast Foods:


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  69. Deborah said on April 27, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    My Dad drank Blatz or Pabtz when I was a kid, he and a neighbor down the street would watch the Friday night fights and split a bottle, that’s all I ever saw him drink until I was in college, then he started to drink a “highball” every once in awhile. We had this enormous cabinet with a tiny little black and white TV screen, the neighbor didn’t have a TV, all he cared about was watching boxing. My Dad would let me and my sister have a sip of his beer and we thought it was tasty, especially the foam.

    I used to get this great Mexican beer called Superior that I can’t find anymore. Does anyone know if they still make it? This was back in the 70s-80s, when I used to get it.

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  70. Jolene said on April 27, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    My dad drank Hamm’s, the beer from the land of sky blue waters. We drank Stroh’s when I was in grad school at Northwestern. I must have had Olympia when I lived in Seattle, but most of my beer-drinking way back then took place in taverns where we bought schooners or pitchers. In those pre-craft beer days, we bought by volume, not by any characteristics of the beer.

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  71. susan said on April 27, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Jakash @67 – You forgot Burger, Schoenling, and Bavarian, well, for other Zinzinnati biers that went by the wayside. Waite Hoyt and Burger = Reds.

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  72. Jakash said on April 27, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    I don’t know that I’d ever heard of Superior, Deborah. Which is saying something. Good reason for you to have preferred it, though. “Superior — Once the front beer of Cervecería Moctezuma. Its marketing slogan was ‘La Rubia que todos quieren’ (‘The blonde that everyone loves’) referring to its pure yellow tone.” ; )

    Evidently it was first brewed in 1896; the brewery is owned by Heineken now, and it’s still around, somewhere, in some fashion.


    “we bought by volume” Ding, ding, ding!! We have a winner! Indeed, Jolene. Nothing like an icy schooner of whatever’s cheapest…

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  73. nancy said on April 27, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Hamm’s is hipster beer now, Jolene — the new PBR, in fact. I bought a friend a round a year or so ago and he asked for one. I’m like, “No, really go ahead and get something good, I’m having an Oberon,” but that’s what he wanted. Go figure.

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  74. Joe K said on April 27, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Started Drinking Carling’s in highschool, went to the brewery on our honeymoon, got Ruddy with Hudophol playing rugby in Cincinnati old style in Chicago, 32oz Blatz cruzing around town, but mostly was a Bud man.
    Pilot Joe

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  75. Suzanne said on April 27, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    I think the Plymouth, IN rendering plant must be closed. I’ve driven down good old Hwy 30 a number of times the past few years and haven’t smelled it. It’s a smell you don’t soon forget.

    Back in the day, we bought some Star brand beer. I think it was from Iowa. It was something like $2.99 a case.

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  76. alex said on April 27, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Good to know about the rendering plant. Going between Chicago and the Fort I’m still in the habit of turning the AC to “recirculate” and then going back to “fresh” at the main roads on either side of the place.

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  77. basset said on April 27, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Cincinnati? Fehr’s XL, 99 cents a sixpack at Osco Drug back in the early Seventies… “it’s always Fehr weather.” Stuff was vile, had that nasty formaldehyde smell.

    And those seven-ounce Little King longnecks were just right for slinging at highway signs out of my roommate’s ’69 Chevelle.

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  78. BethB from Indiana said on April 27, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Years ago when going to visit relatives in Ohio, we’d drive through Chillicothe which had a paper company or at least a mill; the smell was awful. It seemed to last for miles.

    Deborah, I’m listening to a Stuart Woods mystery on CD, Family Jewels, and there was a reference to Abiquiu, NM. I thought, “I’ve heard of that–Deborah’s building a house there.”

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  79. Deborah said on April 27, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    I like Dos Equis and Bohemia, I see that they’re made by the same company that made Surperior. But Superior was, well, superior.

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  80. Deborah said on April 27, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Cool, BethB. It’s not exactly a house, it’s a cabin. An unusual cabin because it’s linear and tall, with 14 doors and 6 windows. The windows look exactly like the doors but they don’t open. Anyway, Abiquiu is a beautiful place. Just ask Jeff tmmo, he’s been there a few times.

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  81. adrianne said on April 27, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Here in New York/Pa., the teen beer of choice was Genesee Cream Ale, also known as Green Death. It was horrible and cheap.

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  82. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 27, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Well, here’s the mission church: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153492261654679&l=9ea979b7d5

    And a few more in and around the neighborhood, if you can call the vastness of northern New Mexico a neighborhood! — https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153492254134679.1073741966.811054678&type=1&l=5d2aa8be57

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  83. jcburns said on April 28, 2016 at 5:36 am

    In New England the cheap-enough-for-college-students-in-the-70s beer was Narragansett. Once I got to Ohio University, Rolling Rock seemed like luxury incarnate.

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  84. Andrea said on April 28, 2016 at 8:13 am

    We lived down the block from the Schoenlings when I was a kid. Every family got a case of Little Kings for Christmas and they always brought the beer for the block party. They has taps built into the wall of their downstairs family room.

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  85. beb said on April 28, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Nancy @17: I thought I had answered that but apparently not. Gaming the system by over-sampling is pretty common. When your job depends on keeping the plant open you do stuff like that. What you need is someone who’s job is not dependent on keeping the water plant open to look at the numbers and decide whether you have a problem or not.

    5 Guys has probably the best french fries I’ve even had but their burgers are meh. I prefer BK fir drive-thru or home cooked.

    The family of Tamir Rice has received a $6 million settlement for the murder of their son by the Cleveland police. The head of the police union thinks the family ought to spend that money on classes on the dangers of handling fake guns. My first thought that the money might be spent mounting portraits of Tamir Rice in the lobby of every police station in Cleveland with a plaque that reads “$6 million fine — Think before you shoot.” My second thought was that the six million ought to come out of the police’s pension fund as a sharp reminder that mistakes are costly and that everyone suffers when the police kills.

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  86. Deborah said on April 28, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Nice Jeff. Here are some more photos of Abiquiu taken by a neighbor who has a place on the other side of Sierra Negra from our place http://internet.cybermesa.com/~kempter/gallery_pages/abiquiu1.php, there are a few other galleries of Abiquiu on that website. Kirt, the photographer is a geologist and leads a lot of hikes in and around the area.

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  87. Kirk said on April 28, 2016 at 8:45 am

    BethB@78: I grew up 30 miles from that paper plant. When the wind was right, I could smell it as I walked to school in the morning.

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