The swimmer, revisited.

You John Cheever fans who have read his great short story “The Swimmer,” or seen the pretty fair adaptation with Burt Lancaster in the title role, will know what I’m talking about when I tell you my new bucket-list vacation is this: 

Swimming across Iceland. A leisurely trip around the ring road, with detours into the interior, sampling the wonders of the country’s great municipal swimming pools. 

Akureyi, where we are now, is a town of about 22,000. Roughly…what? Defiance, Ohio? Auburn, Indiana? Whatever. Here’s their pool:

That’s just the outside, of course. Phones and cameras seem to be frowned upon in the pool area, so you can google it if you like. But like the one I visited in Reykjavik, it just seems to me to be the ultimate in municipal recreation — turn a few laps, then pop into the steam or one of the several hot pots, watch the towheaded toddlers squealing down the water slides, then a leisurely final shower and on with your day. 

Any anxiety over the fearsome hygiene requirements — nude shower, with soap, before entering  the water — melt away before the la-de-da attitudes of the natives. The showers are full of old women, tattooed women, tan women, pale women, Scandinavian goddesses and their great-great grannies, all washin’ up before they go into the beautiful, clean pools outside. A goddess took her shower next to me this morning, plopping her white-blonde toddler into a tub next to her. Later, I saw her outside with her husband and two other kids. The picture of healthy living under a blazing blue subarctic sky.

Yesterday was whale-watching. I feared we’d be skunked, but it was anything but — after a loop around a puffin nesting ground, we headed for an area where recent reports had been good. We were steering toward a place where a thar-she-blows puff of spray had just been sighted when a humpback suddenly leapt from the water, turning in midair to land in a great splash. And for about the next 40 minutes, that’s how it went,  just whale after whale after whale, mostly humpbacks but also minkes. I was using my other camera, so no pix from me, but Kate captured this with her phone:

[for those with browsers that don’t support the video:

And then we came back, shucked off our overall/PDFs and checked the news of the day. Ugh. 

“I don’t even want to hear about it,” said sensible Alan. But of course I’ve been reading about it for hours now. And I don’t know what to say. For whoever wondered how this was being covered overseas? Can’t say. We haven’t seen an English-language paper since Reykjavik, and that was the alt-weekly. But I’ll keep my eyes open. 

Meanwhile, have a great day, all. Mine is off to a good start. 

Posted at 7:05 am in Uncategorized |

99 responses to “The swimmer, revisited.”

  1. ROGirl said on June 13, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Is the Herald Tribune (the Trib) still published? It used to be available pretty much everywhere in Europe, maybe a day late, although Iceland may be a different situation from the continent.

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 13, 2016 at 7:24 am

    I believe we all need more whales today. Or at least more Lin-Manuel Miranda sonnets.

    My wife’s the reason anything gets done
    She nudges me towards promise by degrees
    She is a perfect symphony of one
    Our son is her most beautiful reprise.
    We chase the melodies that seem to find us
    Until they’re finished songs and start to play
    When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
    That nothing here is promised, not one day.
    This show is proof that history remembers
    We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger;
    We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer
    And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.
    I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story
    Now fill the world with music, love and pride.

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 13, 2016 at 7:29 am

    And if you’ve never seen it, from when Lin-Manuel and Vanessa (high school sweethearts, even) got married six years ago:

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  4. Julie Robinson said on June 13, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Watching the Tonys was healing for me. Theater folk faced down the threat to their existence with some tears and somber moments to be sure, but mostly they just got on with a joyful celebration. Hamilton cast members eliminated the muskets from their number.

    The musical numbers, always a highlight for me, were sparkling. James Corden, holder of a Tony himself, showed that his talents are wasted on a talk show. And every aspect of human life was explored through this marvelous creative art.

    They always perform big splashy numbers, but I almost wish this one from Hamilton had been included. It’s Quiet Uptown, after the Hamiltons’ son has been killed in a duel:

    “There are moments that the words don’t reach.
    There is suffering too terrible to name.
    You hold you child as tight as you can
    And push away the unimaginable.

    If I could spare his life
    If I could trade his life for mine,
    He’d be standing here right now
    And you would smile, and that would be enough.

    There are moments that the words don’t reach.
    There is a grace too powerful to name.
    We push away what we can never understand,
    We push away the unimaginable.”

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  5. john (not mccain) said on June 13, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Having heard the recorded gunshots from the most recent celebration of American gun culture, I really don’t need to read anymore about how you have to pull the trigger for each shot on a semi-automatic rifle. If we can’t ban guns entirely, the least we could do is keep guns that can hold more than one bullet at a time out of the hands of civilians.

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  6. basset said on June 13, 2016 at 10:06 am

    How would you do that?

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  7. Bitter Scribe said on June 13, 2016 at 10:16 am

    We need to have a conversation about murderous religion. I mean Islam. Of course Islam. What else did you think I meant? That other religion that people use to justify homophobia? Of course not. Those folks are just exercising their religious rights, and how dare you call them bigoted.

    –Every conservative commentator I’ve read so far

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  8. Deborah said on June 13, 2016 at 10:19 am

    One day I hope to observe the spectacle of whale watching. I’m back from Seattle where at one time we thought we might do just that while we were out there, but not this time. Seattle was lovely, only a little bit of rain but we were in the hotel mainly with family the entire time. I did make a side trip to Main Street in Bellvue where we went to an interesting store and got some Glassybabies. Sherri will no doubt know what that is.

    I’m glad to be back in Chicago but right now our place is full of workmen taking care of the final work efforts. We’re having a guest over tomorrow evening so we wanted everything to be a complete as possible for her. A designer friend of mine that I worked with in St. Louis is here for Neocon at the Merchandise Mart. Neocon is an annual extravaganza in Chicago for designers and architects, my friend designed one of the showrooms again, we used to do that together a few years back when I lived in St. Louis. It was fun.

    I woke up early Sunday morning to the horrible news while still in Seattle. It was almost not surprising, it happens so regularly these days. Sickening.

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  9. adrianne said on June 13, 2016 at 10:30 am

    This is the key quote for me, from the Tampa Bay Times’ profile of Omar Mateen (from a fellow security guard): “Oh, he hated women. He thought they were objects, he thought they shouldn’t be allowed to drive, he thought he should have his pick.”

    This POS domestic terrorist hated women and gay men. ISIS will take credit for his attack, but he wasn’t inspired by radical Islamists. He’s a hater and a loser who picks on physically weaker people. Sound familiar?

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  10. brian stouder said on June 13, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Forget it, Adrianne. We’re headed right into the fever-swamps, right now.

    Here’s the blazing headline from the top of the fox news website (

    Ex-colleague says shooter spewed racist, misogynist hate but wasn’t fired — because he was Muslim

    So not only we can blame his religion, but also affirmative action! Double bonus!!

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  11. adrianne said on June 13, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Aargh. And the worst reaction is from, who else, The Donald, accused Obama of being a traitor. Oy.

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  12. brian stouder said on June 13, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Pam and I were discussing the ordeal that Trump’s team must have been enduring yesterday, trying to keep that guy from rushing in front of the cameras just to say something stupid or insensitive, let alone hateful or dismissive.

    Aside from him, in the rush of events it was sort of lost on me that Christina Grimmie’s senseless murder was also in Orlando.

    Definitely not a good time to be a police officer (or chamber of commerce member in that town.

    (And woe unto the gunshop that sold the weapons/ammo – especially if it ends up being the same one for both atrocities)

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  13. Julie Robinson said on June 13, 2016 at 11:00 am

    This has hit me really hard. I was in Orlando, visiting my precious kiddos, who go to a lot of concerts. Our daughter was at a concert Friday night at a different venue than where Christina Grimmie was murdered. She said that particular venue didn’t have a good reputation and she wouldn’t go to something there. But this won’t stop them from going, and it guts me.

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  14. MichaelG said on June 13, 2016 at 11:11 am

    No Herald-Trib, ROGirl. But there is a daily European version of the NYT that serves the same purpose and there seem to be English language publications available in most larger cities

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  15. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 13, 2016 at 11:28 am

    I was gonna say “We pray for Orlando…” but we don’t have enough R’s. Church sign composition is harder than tweeting, darn it.

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  16. brian stouder said on June 13, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Jeff – superb photo –

    and – Amen

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  17. LAMary said on June 13, 2016 at 11:39 am

    I couldn’t get Orlando off my mind yesterday. I really am not looking forward to all the garbage we’re going to hear from Trump and his like.

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  18. Sherri said on June 13, 2016 at 11:45 am

    The Tonys were great last night.

    If we want to figure out a way to ban weapons of mass murder, one way to start might be to look at way Australia and Scotland did after they had episodes of mass murder. Instead of blaming the incident on mental illness, radical theology, or gun culture, offering thoughts and prayers, and waiting for the next one, they passed laws. Their laws might not translate perfectly here, but it’s a start.

    One gun at a time.

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  19. Sherri said on June 13, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Deborah, glad you had a good time in Seattle. I do know what Glassybabies are, and think they’re very attractive.

    (handmade glass votive candle holders in gorgeous colors:

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  20. nancy said on June 13, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    We took a hike today. As we were buying bottled water and snacks at the grocery, I noticed a man looking at a local newspaper where the front-page story might have been Orlando — I say “might” because he fumbled putting it back on the rack and dropped it. I thought I caught a glimpse of a rainbow flag, but can’t be sure. Anyway, then it was our turn, and I couldn’t check.

    But I saw the man looking at us funny when we were leaving, which in my paranoia I took to mean he had pegged us for Americans and considered us bloodthirsty and crazy. So, yeah, #readingintothings, but still.

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  21. nancy said on June 13, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    The hike was astounding. You might see country like this in Montana, 100 years ago, But no longer.

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  22. brian stouder said on June 13, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Pam and I just watched Robert Redford and (an almost unrecognizable) Nick Nolte in A Walk in the Woods, and I thought “hmmmmmmm”

    I could do the Appalachian Trail hike…for one day! Sleeping in a tent, under the starry sky, with bears and other critters, and no plumbing……pass!

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  23. Suzanne said on June 13, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Terrible movie, Brian! I read the book that inspired it and it’s wonderful, fascinating, and highly educational! After I read it, I had the same reaction you did that I could do it for a day or two, tops. The movie was just bad.

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  24. Scout said on June 13, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Is it just my computer or is the formatting for this site running off the right side of the screen for everyone?

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  25. jcburns said on June 13, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    What version of browser are you running Scout? (That’s the first question anyone will ask when you’re saying “my computer is…”)

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  26. brian stouder said on June 13, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Well, I’ve not read the book – but generally, it seems to me that, at best, movies only rarely capture the essence of a good book; and then, only fleetingly.

    Many years ago, my high school English teacher assigned us to read Heart of Darkness, which was also when the Cappola movie Apocalypse Now was being released…and oddly enough, the book helped make the movie understandable – even as it was only distantly related!

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  27. jcburns said on June 13, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Brian, as depicted in that film, the Applachian trail apparently leads to a motel and restaurant over on Cheshire Bridge road in and among a few strip clubs and where we get the emissions tested on our truck…here in Atlanta. And last we checked, Mary Steenburgen does NOT run them.

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  28. brian stouder said on June 13, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    But if Ms Steenburgin did, I’d surely whip in there to have my emissions checked, too!

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  29. Dorothy said on June 13, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    My screen looks fine, Scout.

    A friend of mine went to visit family in Boston over Easter and they went whale watching. They tried a couple years ago and got skunked. Not this time – they saw plenty and loved every second of it.

    My Penguins won the Stanley Cup last night and I’m so happy! It’s times like this that I really miss being in my home town. My sister Lou is going to buy me a Post Gazette and mail it to me.

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  30. Kirk said on June 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    As of today, the “commenting today on Nancy’s post” box is covering up the right fifth or sixth of the type. I’m on Firefox.

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  31. alex said on June 13, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Mine’s doing the same thing as Scout’s and it’s really irritating. I’m using Firefox and hell if I know what version. The dang thing doesn’t tell you anywhere what version. The updated one that I installed not all that long ago.

    Is there any movie with Nick Nolte in it that doesn’t suck?

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  32. brian stouder said on June 13, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Wasn’t he in Rich Man, Poor Man (yeah yeah yeah; a tv mini-series, and not a movie) in the last century?

    It was pretty good, as I recall (‘Course, I was too young to vote then, I do believe!)

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  33. BethB from Indiana said on June 13, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Scout, in Safari 5.1.10, my preferred, but very out-of-date browser, the formatting for the comments is just fine. In Firefox 46.0.1, it is running off the screen and wrapping in a strange way to the next line.

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  34. Julie Robinson said on June 13, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    All’s well in Chrome.

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  35. Deborah said on June 13, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    I’m having no problems with the site on my iPad, I’m using Safari.

    I read Cheever’s The Swimmer and saw the movie many, many years ago but now I want to see it again. While I was in Seattle I finished the book I brought (Knausgaard’s My Struggle, volume 2) and I knew I had to buy a book to tide me over on the plane ride back home. There was no time to find a bookstore so I waited until I got to the airport although I usually think airports have pretty iffy choices. This time they had some good ones in the fiction section of the Hudson there. I got a Jim Harrison book which is titled The River Swimmer. It’s actually 2 novellas, the first one which I’m almost done with is called The Land of Unlikeness. The second one is The River Swimmer which I haven’t started. I’m enjoying it so far, the copyright is 2013 and I remember people saying here that his later work wasn’t that great, but I’ve been entertained. Next I’m going to start the biography of Joan Didion that I bought about a month ago and then I’m going to try to find volume 3 of Knausgaard’s My Struggle, I already read volume 4, I accidentally read that one first, but I found it better than 1 and 2.

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  36. basset said on June 13, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Meanwhile, this… and it’s not even in Texas:

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  37. brian stouder said on June 13, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Basset – now there’s an idiot!!

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  38. Scout said on June 13, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    jcburns: Safari. I should probably just reboot. That usually fixes most anything.

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  39. Hattie said on June 13, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    I’m glad you are having such a fantastic time!

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  40. Sherri said on June 13, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Our Penguins, Dorothy, I’m a very happy former season ticket holder. I learned all about hockey from watching Mario Lemieux play, who came to Pittsburgh the same time I did. I’m also a former Sharks season ticket holder, but the Pens have my heart.

    If we can fill the empty Supreme Court seat with someone less dogmatic about the 2nd amendment, we may be able to start chipping away at the gun problem even without Congress. We can’t do much in the states right now because of DC v Heller and McDonald v City of Chicago, but both of those cases were decided 5-4. If we can start putting more limitations on guns in blue states, even though guns can cross state lines, we can start changing the idea of what’s possible, even what’s acceptable.

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  41. basset said on June 13, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    And, Brian, he is far from alone.

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  42. basset said on June 13, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Site looks fine on iPhone 6.

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  43. Sherri said on June 13, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    The hard sell, by Trump:

    The hard sell, of Trump:

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  44. alex said on June 13, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Looks okay on Safari, but on my other computer with Firefox it looks like crap. Also on Firefox it’s been having unhyphenated and bizarre word breaks for a while but I’ve gotten used to that.

    Andy Holt. Marcia Blackburn. The cretins in Tennessee could give our hideous Hoosier pols a run for their money.

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  45. Sherri said on June 13, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Nixon’s AG may have threatened Katherine Graham’s tits, but not even Nixon revoked the WaPo’s press credentials. Donald Trump did because they accurately reported that he linked President Obama to terrorism.

    It would be funny if he weren’t the nominee of one of our two major parties. I normally read history to keep me from getting too freaked out about the present, but I’m having a hard time coming up with a period of history to compare this to.

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  46. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 13, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Another chance to get your breath after these last two days, and a Hoosier songwriter and singer I think many of you know:

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  47. Bitter Scribe said on June 13, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Is there any movie with Nick Nolte in it that doesn’t suck?

    Rich Man, Poor Man
    Who’ll Stop the Rain
    48 HRS.
    Lorenzo’s Oil

    and I’m sure there are many others

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  48. LAMary said on June 13, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    He sucked in the movie version of a Vonnegut book and also in some movie with Katherine Hepburn.

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  49. beb said on June 13, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    JCBurns’ tweak to NN.c has cleared up the old problem I’ve been having in Firefox of lines wrapping in mid-word. I have been on the computer before this so I wasn’t around to see the other problems people mentioned.

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  50. David C. said on June 13, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks for the heads up on “A Walk in the Woods”. I loved the book so much, I couldn’t imagine the movie would come close. I expected it would be grumpy old men in the forest, but if it had been on Netflix I probably would have watched. Now I don’t have to waste that 90 minutes.

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  51. Jolene said on June 13, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    North Dallas Forty. Another Nick Nolte movie that didn’t suck.

    Friends, I am worried that I will not survive until November. Every minute that I hear Donald Trump speak brings me closer to head-exploding territory. I may need to start drinking more.

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  52. Deborah said on June 13, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    So here’s a question for you baseball people: as I was walking earlier today past a hotel down the street where a lot of teams stay when they’re here for games I noticed a lot of autograph hounds following a guy who was entering the hotel, they were clambering for his autograph. These are hard core fans who hang out waiting to spot a player, I’ve seen them many times, they carry around binders that they collect the signatures in, they wait patiently across the street from the hotel entry just waiting for players to emerge. The guy they were after looked very muscular and maybe Hispanic but I don’t really know. They were calling out his name which kind of sounded like Hannibal, but it could have been Sanobel or something like that. The Cubs are playing the Nationals this evening. When I looked up the roster of players and coaches for the Nationals no one showed up with anything close to that name. I suppose it could have been someone on a team playing the White Sox but those teams don’t seem to stay in that particular hotel, at least that’s what I always thought, they probably stay in hotels in the loop area because that’s further south. This hotel is the Weston on Michigan and Delaware near the Hancock tower, so more on the North side of town, relatively speaking. The question is, who was that guy?

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  53. Sherri said on June 13, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Deborah, could they have been shouting Daniel, for Daniel Murphy? He’s not Hispanic, but he is fairly muscular, has dark hair and a beard.

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  54. Deborah said on June 13, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I just looked up the White Sox and they’re playing the Tigers and there’s a guy on that team named Anibel Sanchez, hard to tell from the photo if it’s the same person as the one I saw. I don’t know why I assumed that the teams that play the Cubs would be at that hotel and that the teams playing the Sox would be elsewhere?

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  55. Sherri said on June 13, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Meanwhile, here at home, some idiot called in threats to our local mosque to the Redmond police. I assume it’s an idiot whose bark is worse than his bite, because who else would call the police to issue threats?

    I’m just glad that the people attempting to change the zoning code to prevent a second mosque from being built in Redmond are no longer in front of the planning commission. (Or the city council; that whole attempt got slapped down pretty hard.)

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  56. MichaelG said on June 13, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    There’s another story that has been pretty much submerged east of the Sierra but which continues to get ink and air time here in California. That’s the story of the Stanford rapist who got sentenced to only six months in the county jail. People are outraged and the State Assembly is outraged. Over a million people have signed a petition to have Judge Persky removed. Over a million.

    Thing is, the sentence is even worse. The Santa Clara County jail is rather overcrowded. Policy is and has been for some time, that all county jail sentences are halved. This means that Turner will, in fact, only serve three months if he isn’t out already. Persky is a Santa Clara County judge. Has been for years. He had to know about the county sentencing policy. It’s absolutely inconceivable that he didn’t. Thus he was fully aware that he was really sentencing Turner to only three months, not even the advertised six. So. I don’t know what he was thinking but he sure asked for the shit storm he’s getting.

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  57. Charlotte said on June 13, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    I spent the weekend travelling to Maine for the funeral of a very old friend, sort of my first love, a man who spent his entire adult life working as and training other EMTs. A fireman funeral. Color guard, bagpiper, a fire truck with the ladder basket raised, and a long line of fire and EMT personnel standing at attention for the whole service. So when the Orlando news broke, I went right to Fred Rogers advice to “look for the helpers”. Even amid the gun insanity/political craziness — there are those men and women — the ones who will run into the burning building.

    But mostly I was just sad about my friend, who died too young, and who didn’t tell any of us how sick he’s been the past couple of years. Leaves a wife and two girls in college, and four siblings (two of whom were my late brother’s great friends). Sigh.

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  58. alex said on June 13, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Lorenzo’s Oil is exactly what I was thinking of when I was thinking of sucky Nick Nolte movies. Nolte and Susan Sarandon did fake Italian accents in that one that were so bad it looked like they were making raucous fun of Italians, not playing them.

    Or maybe I’m just being a bitchy bitch because craggy white-haired old farts sporting big yellow-platinum blond hair just gross me out like the Donald.

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  59. MichaelG said on June 13, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    That was rather moving, Charlotte. My condolences.

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  60. Dexter said on June 14, 2016 at 2:09 am

    Deborah, Tigers stay at the Westin Michigan Avenue. Anibal Sanchez is a pitcher, now a relief pitcher who pitched last night. (Sox won in extra innings) Anibal is a very good looking man so maybe the women were squealing for him. He’s married to a beautiful lady so hopefully he wasn’t interested in adoring ladies.
    He’s had a hard spring and summer, losing his starter job and trying to get his shit together by pitching out of the bullpen. He did well last night. The guy autograph seekers hound is future Hall of Famer Miguel “Miggy” Cabrera.

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  61. ROGirl said on June 14, 2016 at 5:16 am

    I don’t mean to diminish the awful, truly horrendous shootings in Orlando, but the aftermath, with the ritualized public expressions of sympathy by bloviating politicians, the saturation coverage by cable news, the knee-jerk reactions by people and groups near cameras and microphones, and now the ratcheting up to a fever pitch of hate, lies, and blame by Donald Trump — it’s all like some elaborately choreographed performance that is playing out in real time. There will be more tragic public attacks that will unfold in very similar fashion.

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  62. alex said on June 14, 2016 at 6:33 am

    And here’s more of that false balance journalism that’s so aggravating:

    It seems to criticize Hillary for weighing her words carefully while lauding the Donald for shooting from the hip. Anything not to offend the sort of Republican reader who doesn’t read Time anyway except maybe to troll the comments and lob turds.

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  63. alex said on June 14, 2016 at 7:12 am

    And here’s a mindblower:

    Omar Mateen used gay dating apps and frequented gay bars before the shooting. He was also dismissed as a terrorist suspect by the FBI because he claimed ties to various jihadist groups that are sworn enemies of one another.

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  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 14, 2016 at 7:38 am

    LA Times wouldn’t let me in, so I found the WaPo version:

    Omar may have had issues, but his dad really seems to be the disturbed one, and his son the “identified patient” of the family. They’ll be picking at this family system for years to figure out what happened here.

    But I’m glad I had to shift over to the Post, because I found this important article:

    “Theoretically the stuff is still edible, but we wouldn’t say it’s advisable,” Halpin told the Irish Times.

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  65. beb said on June 14, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Like so many murderers, the Orlando killer seemed like a perfectly ordinary guy until he snapped and now with his life under the microscope it turns out he had so many issues and conflicts that it’s surprising he hadn’t exploded before this.

    ROGirl#61: I didn’t watch the evening news Monday night because it would be all Orlando, with a half-hour extra segment and the usual interviews with distraught relatives and survivors. It is a script probably written by JFK’s assassination and honed through countless tragedies sense. It’s a live-action, on-the-spot horror flick. It’s disgusting.

    Bog Butter… How do they know it’s still edible if no one has actually tasted it? Do they inject it into a rabbit and wait to see if it dies?

    The likelihood of The Donald being dumped at the Republican Convention seems remote but when he starts mouthing off about being right about Muslims and accusing the President of being a secret traitor I find myself wondering if Trump might get dumped after all. The man is just incredibly offensive.

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  66. Kirk said on June 14, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Site back to normal on my screen today, and without the non-hyphenated bad breaks that had been around for months.

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  67. Kirk said on June 14, 2016 at 8:55 am

    That Time story is just reporting. I see nothing criticizing Hillary or lauding Donald.

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  68. adrianne said on June 14, 2016 at 9:29 am

    “Affliction” by Russell Banks is a fantastic book and movie, and Nick Nolte rocks in the lead role.

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  69. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 14, 2016 at 9:33 am

    beb – archaeologists are weird people. As a member of the Ohio Archaeological Council, I think I’m allowed to say that.

    Never ate something from a dig here, but I’ve consumed a number of wild plants I never would have before learning a little about paleoethnobotany, and you can cut steak with a 4-6,000 year old flint knife. So I don’t doubt someone just took a little taste themselves “in the name of science!”

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  70. Suzanne said on June 14, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I’m using Internet Explorer and the formatting is all messed up. But I am not concerned because when America is made great again, this kind of thing won’t happen.

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  71. brian stouder said on June 14, 2016 at 9:43 am

    I suppose Kirk is right, but I confess that reading that article made me angry.

    I’d like to think we (America) are better than the Trumpian blather that we all knew we’d hear, as soon as the BREAKING NEWS broke –

    but the plain truth is, we’re not.

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  72. LAMary said on June 14, 2016 at 9:58 am

    You’re right, Adrianne. I forgot about Affliction. That was a very good movie.

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  73. Julie Robinson said on June 14, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Charlotte, I’m so sorry about your friend. We always hold a special place in our hearts for our first loves, or at least I do, and he also died too young.

    Suzanne, are you using the latest version of IE? Microsoft is no longer supporting any of the older versions, so they’re vulnerable to viruses and the like.

    Our daughter was interviewed for her church’s online magazine: She’s been non-stop since the massacre happened.

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  74. Sherri said on June 14, 2016 at 10:15 am

    It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I remember Nick Nolte being at least okay in The Prince of Tides.

    He was really good in North Dallas Forty, though, one of the better football movies around.

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  75. devtob said on June 14, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Iceland plays Portugal today (at 3 EDT) in the Euro 2016 tournament, and the Guardian’s Barney Ronay celebrates with a fascinating in-depth article about how such a “very small country” accomplished that.

    And the writing is pretty good, too:

    “Here they come, the Icelanders. Offspring of elves and hyper-intelligent Nordic field mice. So neat. So carbon neutral. So politely amused. Happiness indices, social justice, sustainable power: Iceland always seem to be per capita kings, a place where nothing is wasted, only reproduced.

    “And now they’ve got football, too. Ranked 133 in the world four years ago, the national team have risen 100 places under Lars Lagerback, progress given a compelling narrative shape by the money and care poured into the grassroots during the pre-bust years when the country had more cash than it knew how to spend. This summer Iceland will travel to France as the smallest nation ever to reach a major tournament, not bad going for a lump of volcanic rock halfway to the Arctic with a population the size of the London borough of Lewisham.”

    I assume most of the country, tourists included, will be watching this afternoon.

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  76. Dorothy said on June 14, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Am I the only one who saw (and really enjoyed) the movie Cannery Row with Nick Nolte and Debra Winger? Although I think the supporting characters were much more fun that ol’ Nick was. But he wasn’t too bad.

    The Cubs were in DC last night playing the Nationals. I know this because my daughter and her boyfriend were there.

    Charlotte I’m so sorry about the loss of your dear friend. Your sweet remembrance was lovely to read, despite the topic.

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  77. alex said on June 14, 2016 at 10:59 am

    That Time story is just reporting. I see nothing criticizing Hillary or lauding Donald.

    It’s lousy reporting. The real story is that the Donald is behaving outrageously, not that the two candidates have opposing but equally legitimate viewpoints, one that’s scripted versus one that’s authentic.

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  78. alex said on June 14, 2016 at 11:00 am

    And my Firefox still has the sidebar floating over the text, and the text breaking all helter skelter.

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  79. brian stouder said on June 14, 2016 at 11:04 am

    The real story is that the Donald is behaving outrageously…

    …and he has (thus-far) succeeded! Whether or not the Donald’s views are “authentic”, lots of common folks are nodding in agreement – thus re-energizing our old Know-Nothing party impulses

    That really is news. Depressing news, but news (to me, anyway)

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  80. ROGirl said on June 14, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Chrome is working just fine.

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  81. brian stouder said on June 14, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Alex – read this, regarding Ken Burns, with regard to DJ Trump:

    very good stuff, indeed.

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  82. alex said on June 14, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Hooray for Ken Burns. Thanks for the link.

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  83. Jolene said on June 14, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Just listened to a press conference with staff members from the Orlando Regional Medical Center. Many very impressive medical professionals. They took in 44 patients almost simultaneously (nine died within minutes); called in staff from home, from throughout the center, and from nearby women’s and children’s hospitals; opened multiple operating rooms; and performed one operation after another, sometimes with different surgeons working on different body parts of the same patient.

    And, with all that, the worst thing I heard was that they routinely treat four or five patients with gunshot wounds in a single evening. This was mentioned in response to a question about gun violence. The physician who spoke said, “We treated 44 patients, but, with four or five patients a night, it doesn’t take many nights to add up to 44. It’s a very serious problem, and I don’t have any answers.”

    As with most things having to do with gun violence, things are even worse than they first appear.

    The Center, by the way, is accepting donations to pay for all the care they have provided. It’s very likely that at least some of these young men were uninsured. Their website:

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  84. Danny said on June 14, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    So part of the conversation around the web is that the shooter may have been “self-radicalized” or radicalized by the Internet. The Internet has had an opposite effect on me. I’ve been apathetized.

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  85. Kirk said on June 14, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Media are bad because media don’t say exactly what I want them to. That pretty much sums up the viewpoint of the average Fox News watcher.

    Meanwhile, anyone who missed the speech Obama just wrapped up missed a dandy. After talking about Orlando, the fight against ISIS and congressional failure to try to keep military-style weapons out of the hands of home-grown nut jobs/terrorists, he lit into Trump and the Republicans. He explained his refusal to use the term “radical Islam” and spelled out why it’s a phony issue anyway. He was pissed, and he was at his best. The highlights are bound to be all over cable news and the evening network shows. I highly recommend it.

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  86. Jolene said on June 14, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Kirk is 100% right re Obama’s remarks. Here’s the full version from the C-SPAN website. Impressive and heartening. Worth your time.

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  87. Brandon said on June 14, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Blue Chips was a pretty good movie starring Nick Nolte as a college basketball coach.

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  88. brian stouder said on June 14, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Apropos of nothing much, a few years ago I was watching an early-’60’s Andy Griffith show, and d’ya know who blew into Mayberry?

    Jack Nicholson!

    And that guy was a scene-stealer even then!

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  89. Brandon said on June 14, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    He appeared twice on “The Andy Griffith Show.”

    The Andy Griffith Show (TV Series)
    Marvin Jenkins / Mr. Garland
    – Aunt Bee, the Juror (1967) … Marvin Jenkins
    – Opie Finds a Baby (1966) … Mr. Garland

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  90. Dexter said on June 14, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Dorothy…I was always a Steinbeck fan, and had the pleasure of roaming and exploring the real Cannery Row on the Monterey Peninsula many times. I have read the book and the companion book “Sweet Thursday” many times. When the movie came to Fort Wayne, first run, I knocked off work and saw the first showing. As frequently happens when someone who has memorized the book watches the movie, I was disappointed at parts of the film, but over all I rejoiced that the movie was made at all with those two superstars (Debra Winger was the whore/love interest of Nolte’s Doc character.) I am glad I got to traipse around Cannery Row when it was much the same as it was in Doc’s day, before it became all boutiques and fancy tea rooms and such for the gentry. Steinbeck’s museum is just a few minutes away over in Salinas. National Steinbeck Center…

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  91. MichaelG said on June 14, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Iceland is playing Portugal in the UEFA tourney in Saint-Etienne live right now (noon PDT). I read that 10% of Iceland’s entire population is there to watch footy.

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  92. adrianne said on June 14, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Boy, you do NOT want to piss off Obama. I think he learned years ago not to be the “angry black man” and he suppresses his emotions pretty well. But the latest horror on his watch, and the idiocy of Trump and the GOP’s response…well, I’m glad he let ‘er rip.

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  93. Bob (not Greene) said on June 14, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    The two things that struck me about the Cannery Row was the unmistakable scent of licorice in the air. It came from wild fennel that grew in cracks of the concrete up and down the streets. I read the book over a couple of days while I was visiting there and tried to match the places in the book with what was there then (in 2004). By that time there were plenty of touristy boutiques and gifts shops and antique malls but you could faintly recognize some of it still. And then there was the sunlight. Somehow it seemed more vivid in Monterey in August. Beautiful place.

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  94. Bob (not Greene) said on June 14, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    The one thing. I was going to include the sunlight, but then decided it wasn’t just something I noticed in Cannery Row but in that entire region. WHERE ARE YOU, EDIT BUTTON?

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  95. Dave said on June 14, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Right now, just right now, I was driving while listening to a local radio host that’s semi-listenable at times but today he was going on and on about how Obama didn’t show any rage, his father was a Muslim, he should show some anger. And on and on. Then I got home and shut it off. Oh, Dan Maduri, who’s on a Tampa Bay station, WBBA, but I think he’s on because his father is one of the chain of station owners, he repeats himself a lot.

    One of my old workmates spent some time in LA, was in a bar one day, got to talking to this guy next time him, a far ranging conversation involving politics, religion, I don’t know what all, and when the guy left, the bartender said to him, Nick doesn’t usually talk to someone on and on like that. My friend, who was pretty much oblivious to the entertainment world, didn’t know Nick Nolte from Adam.

    Today, when Trump showed up on my TV, I kind of understood why Elvis used to shoot TV’s.

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  96. Dexter said on June 14, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Bob, the summers are delightful and then comes October when for one month it turns into Dante’s Inferno. Now, time to walk over to Lee Chong’s store, where Doc Ricketts will probably be, buying two quarts of beer.

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  97. Dexter said on June 14, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    I just watched Obama via Jolene’s link to C-Span3. It’s only about 25 minutes and should be watched.

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  98. brian stouder said on June 14, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Dave, I also often give the rightwing yappers 5 minutes or so, when driving to lunch (the national maroons), or home after work (the local maroon)…and they have been especially empty-headed in recent days.

    I won’t fall victim to over-confidence/complacency….but those guys are hurtling toward a (fill in the blank)

    a. tall cliff
    b. deep abyss
    c. stone wall
    d. political wood chipper

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  99. Jolene said on June 14, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Polls released today by NBC and Bloomberg show Hillary opening up a lead over The Donald, whose numbers are dropping. Something to be thankful for.

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