Sea and sky.

I just spent 30 minutes reading reader comments on Monday’s SCOTUS decision on the Texas abortion laws. It’s a scourging of sorts, I guess. But what it really made me want to do is look at a nice picture from Iceland. This one:


Sea, sky, mountain. Gray, gray, gray, and light. Ah, much better now.

That’s the kind of day it was. I’m headed for bed.

Posted at 12:12 am in Current events |

67 responses to “Sea and sky.”

  1. Dexter said on June 28, 2016 at 1:14 am

    This is copied text from the Auburn (Indiana) Star newspaper. In all my years living either in or on the fringe of farmland, this is only the second time I have read or heard of this phenomenon…and the first time proved to be arson.
    “By Jeff Jones

    BUTLER — Several stacks of large, freshly-cut bales of hay are believed to have spontaneously combusted, causing a fire in a pole barn just before 6 a.m. Monday, Butler fire officials said.

    The pole barn, at 6395 C.R. 20, contained approximately 100 bales of hay, bundled in four-foot by four-foot squares, Butler Fire Chief Jeff Shultz said. The fire had already consumed a semi and tractor in the pole barn when firefighters were dispatched…” The fire departments simply let the whole damn thing incinerate…too much to do to extinguish it anyway, and everything in there was already toast.

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  2. Jerry said on June 28, 2016 at 2:31 am

    England 1 – Iceland 2

    That’s England out of Europe twice then. Though I only care about one of the exits.

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  3. Jerry said on June 28, 2016 at 2:34 am

    Sorry previous comment suffered from premature submission – a problem at my age.

    I’m going for a short walk in the country, with luck in the sunshine, when I shall share my disgust with my fellow walkers over a consoling pint.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 28, 2016 at 7:01 am

    Dexter — it can happen, but it usually takes some additional factor. Waste paper or something else that can combust. Otherwise the bales just get really hot, and usually hottest within. But if it’s too damp, oddly enough, it’s a major hazard. Harvest them right after a rain, and you’ll lose a bunch over the next week or so. But usually they combust (not burn, really, but rapidly breakdown) out in fields where a farmer took a chance on timing and such, and oh well. If wet bales got taken inside of a wooden structure, that was just plain bad/inexperienced farming. Because you’re pretty much guaranteed to have that outcome.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 28, 2016 at 7:05 am

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  6. alex said on June 28, 2016 at 7:33 am

    I’ve seen several such fires in my lifetime. It’s the same phenomenon as when you see spires of flame shooting out of a landfill. Densely packed vegetation gives off heat when it decomposes, and hay bales are particularly vulnerable.

    So the local legislators are all weighing in on Texas with faux outrage about abortion clinics being substandard, filthy dumps and the Supreme Court deliberately wanting it so. At the bottom of one local item, it’s mentioned that our city hasn’t had a clinic in years, but doesn’t go further to explain that the last one was driven out by a campaign of intimidation and stalking of the workers and an absurd level of micromanagement by the state.

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  7. Dorothy said on June 28, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Dexter I’m looking forward to watching Ray Donovan on our dvr once we get back home. GoT is not my cup of tea anymore but Mike loves I it, so I watch with him. But I’m wearying of it.

    We are really enjoying our time in Indy. The team we’re cheering for plays at 10 this morning. If they win they play next at 1pm. We’re checking out of our room shortly and heading to breakfast. I thought this break would give the hubster a chance to get away from work, but he’s done long conference calls at 7 am yesterday and today, and worked at least 7 hours yesterday, missing all of the volleyball games. It’s giving me insight in a small way to what engineers talk about. It’s all way over my head. I’m dazzled by their knowledge of such complicated things.

    When I have more time I’m going to share a story about something my 11 yr old great niece said to me yesterday. It put tears in my eyes. Her parents and teachers sure are doing something right.

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  8. Dorothy said on June 28, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Crap. I forgot to say I spotted Paula Malcomson on an ep of Six Feet Under a couple weeks ago. She’s a terrific actress. The entire cast of Ray Donovan blows me away.

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  9. Dave said on June 28, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Dexter, I remember several such fires blamed on that in my youth, when the area I grew up in was still farm and not sprawled out suburbia, including one great classic barn on a childhood friend’s farm.

    Ray Donovan seems like it would be the kind of show I would enjoy but I haven’t got Showtime or HBO or any of those channels. When our kids were growing up, I didn’t want them, and today, it seems like there are so many shows that one can watch by streaming or shows on cable channels, that I don’t see how anyone can keep up, unless they watch TV all the time. I’ve been putting off watching the final season episode of “The Americans” because I know I’ll have to wait until next January or February for it to start again.

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  10. Deborah said on June 28, 2016 at 9:05 am

    I watched the season finale of Game of Thrones with Little Bird, she’s a huge fan, but I didn’t have a clue what was going on. I was marveling about the sets and special effects. Boy would it be fun to be a designer for their production.

    We went to a chamber music concert in Abiquiu on Sunday and afterwards we were invited to a potluck dinner at an artist friend’s house. On the way to the potluck we passed some construction of what appeared to be a base of a lookout tower. We were told by our friends that it’s a movie set for some film that’s happening there. On the way out we noticed some of those yellow arrow signs that we’ve come to know are there to alert film crew trucks where to go. The signs said “Juarez”, so I Googled it to see what the film might be, but it was confusing. One site said Juarez was the code name for a Wolverine 3 movie but that it was filming in New Orleans. I also noticed that there’s a 1939 Bette Davis movie called Juarez, which is about the president of Mexico during the wars with the US, and that Napoleon is part of that bit of history in some way. So I’m wondering if they’re filming a remake of that film. That makes sense that it would be in the location of the set we saw, the landscape is incredible there. This is what it looks like the White Place, Abiquiu. Georgia OKeefe painted it quite a bit.

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  11. Deborah said on June 28, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Sorry, I thought that was a link, if you want to see it Google, White Place, Abiquiu or Plaza Blanca, Abiquiu.

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  12. beb said on June 28, 2016 at 10:03 am

    People who are opposed to abortion will always find something to criticize about clinics. Like Trump, they lie without concern.

    Not noticed on Monday was another Supreme Court decision which sent Virgina Gov. McDonnal’s corruption case back to Virgina. The court could not see corruption when they see it. Making phone calls for donators, telling subordinates to take meetings, etc. are not “official duties” of the governor and therefore not acts of corruption. The way the Court sees it unless you are caught accepting a bag with “swag” written on it from a man stroking his handlebar mustache he are not a crook. How can we wring corruption out of government when the courts close their eyesto the most obvious types of bribery?

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  13. Deborah said on June 28, 2016 at 10:22 am

    I’m waiting for Little Bird to get done with the last session of major dental work that she’s had throughout this past year. Thanks to Obama, her dental and medical needs are all getting taken care of. The dental visits started out rocky, they kept cancelling them at the last minute which was frustrating but they eventually got scheduled. It took a lot of patience.

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  14. MichaelG said on June 28, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I’m happy to hear that medical needs are being seen to, Little Bird and Deborah.

    I (regrettably) saw numerous hay fires in Vietnam during the war. They can go on for days.

    Yesterday was 107. The TV says today will be 108. The A/C guy is supposed to be here first thing tomorrow. Can’t wait. Meanwhile, it’s 66. I have every door and window open and the whole house fan going to suck air through the place and to replace the hot air in the attic. It’s the fact that Sacramento cools off at night that makes it livable.

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  15. Sue said on June 28, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I’m sorry Jerry. I followed the game online on the Guardian’s website, apparently people are a little miffed at England’s team, and the coach.
    But they have the Norse gods on their side, that’s quite an obstacle to overcome I hear.

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  16. adrianne said on June 28, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Great story in the New York Times today about Michigan’s failed experiment at greatly expanding charter schools. Surprise, suprise, grifters have taken over the system. And in the meantime the children suffer. Here’s the money quote, for my purposes: “Michigan leapt at the promise of charter schools 23 years ago, betting big that choice and competition would improve public schools. It got competition, and chaos.”

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    • nancy said on June 28, 2016 at 11:29 am

      That is a great story, Adrianne, on a topic that I can’t really talk about because of my day job. But I highly recommend reading it. Link here.

      Oh, and guess who’s one of the biggest charter tycoons in the state? Bill Coats, the former supe in Fort Wayne. When he was in that city, he was despised by the conservatives, who hated that he (among other things) renovated a primarily African-American high school and added a pool. Now he’s making serious bank on their favorite education “reform.” Strange bedfellows.

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  17. jerry said on June 28, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Well I’m back from my walk feeling refreshed by beautiful countryside and friendly chat which avoided football (totally) and Brexit (almost totally). A lovely walk spoilt only by some footpaths which seemed to diverge from their mapped routes. And the fact that the pub had no food! They made up for it with Larkins bitter from the brewery about two miles down the road. The pub has a planning application under consideration to extend the kitchen. But as the pub was built in 1520 there are considerable constraints in what they are allowed to do.

    You can see how lovely it all was here – sorry I don’t know how to make a link.

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  18. Judybusy said on June 28, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Jerry, that looks so wonderful. One of my plans is to go is England and wander about or bike the country lanes.

    Speaking of England, I am listening to the most charming, interesting book by a woman who was in service in the 1930s. It’s called Memoirs of a Kitchen Maid, by Mollie Moran. She’s still alive, and knows how to tell a tale. I have read reviews, and the book also has pictures, so I will have to order that from the library to see them. A few weeks back I had also read Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abby; I may have mentioned it. It was also a wonderful read, and I happened to come across both by chance while browsing.

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  19. brian stouder said on June 28, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Judybusy – browsing at books may some day be a lost art, but I love that, too…and I’ve made a habit of bringing the young folks with me to the library (or bookstore) so that they might also discover the pleasantness, too.

    Aside from that – Adrianne’s link is not to be missed; and in fact all of this is front-of-mind, as I attended last night’s very quick (less than 30 minutes!) Fort Wayne Community School Board of Trustees meeting – and the unexpected goodies that emerged from that were the impassioned remarks from friend-of-nn.c and board president Mark GiaQuinta, regarding a thing I did not know about.

    To wit:

    short version: the “tea party” folks are looking to revive their hostility with public schools….and one of our board members is going to join them*!

    Good God! Fowler-Finn and Coats (and the dysfunctional board we had back then) steered our district right into the rocks…and this group – who are holding their meeting in South West Allen County’s area (read: affluent suburban, lilly-white segregated school system) apparently wants to return to those days.

    *it’s unclear to me whether Ms Jehl will actually agree with them, or whether she intends to school them (so to speak); but one would assume this road will take us the wrong direction in any case)

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  20. Julie Robinson said on June 28, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    And didja’ notice the meeting’s organizer lives outside the district? And the meeting itself is being held outside the district? Where’s that poop emoji when I need it?

    I’m listening to the Lady Almina book right now. My expectations were low as I thought she was just a socialite who gave her house over during the WWI. Instead I learned that she asked to set up the hospital, did it with her own money, and was a nurse herself. Were she alive today she might be running the country.

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  21. Suzanne said on June 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Re: Schools and competition. I’ve long wondered at the true conservative’s passion for competition as if that will solve all woes. Competition can lead to outside the box thinking and creativity but just as often it leads to cheating and chaos. You can’t refine and perfect what you are doing if you are constantly looking over your shoulder to see who is gaining on you and trying to figure out how to thwart them. Look what it’s done for churches! Free giveaways of iPads and who knows what else to get people in the door, constant searching for new programming and innovative ways to get your message out, and new and fun ways to engage potential members all the while keeping current members from getting bored. Has it led to long term growth? If you read the data, no.
    Charter schools are mainly a way to monetize education, thus making it palatable to free market devotees. If it can make some bucks, it’s gotta be good!

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  22. Deborah said on June 28, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Jerry, you could link to your photos everyday as far as I’m concerned. Reminds me of our last trip to the UK awhile ago. We took a bus out to wherever Sissinghurst is (I’ve forgotten). We got dropped off in the town and then walked on paths out to the garden. It was lovely. My husband and I would love to take a walking tour of the Lake District some day, where they cart your luggage for you between Inns. Someday. But then there’s an Iceland trip too.

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  23. brian stouder said on June 28, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Charter schools are mainly a way to monetize education, thus making it palatable to free market devotees. If it can make some bucks, it’s gotta be good!

    Yes – a (public) money-grab, and a concurrent EVASION of public oversight; a complete abdication of civic, sensible, and responsible duty

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  24. Sherri said on June 28, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    If Prospero were around, he would mourn this death along with me, but Pat Summitt has died. If you’ve ever watched a women’s basketball game, if you even know women’s basketball exists, Pat Summitt is part of the reason why. She was a relentless ambassador of the game, and won more college basketball games than anyone. She was also from my hometown, and in the way of the South, we were kin. Her grandfather and my great-grandmother were brother and sister, but I never knew either of those people. The people I did know were her grandmother and my grandmother, who were best friends. I talked to Pat a few times when she would come to Stanford to play a game; she didn’t know me, but all I had to do was tell her who my grandmother was, and she know who I was.

    She had early-onset Alzheimer’s, and died at 64. If you want to get a sense of who she was, this SI profile from 1998 is a good place to start.

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  25. Deborah said on June 28, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    I remember reading that Pat Summitt had early onset Alzheimer’s, it didn’t seem that long ago. It seems that she went fairly quickly which has to be a blessing. At least I’d want to go quickly under those circumstances, but maybe that sounds cruel?

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  26. brian stouder said on June 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    I’m with you, Deborah; I’d prefer the rapid exit, if the control circuitry gives up the ghost

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  27. Sherri said on June 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    She was diagnosed in 2011. Early onset Alzheimer’s often progresses more quickly than late onset Alzheimer’s. She continued to coach for a year after her diagnosis, but was definitely showing changes. She was still in public for probably another year after that, but the last couple of yeas, has seldom been seen. She was in a care facility for the last year or two, I believe.

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  28. Deborah said on June 28, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    As I’ve mentioned here before my husband’s uncle has Alzheimer’s and he’s doing far better than any of us imagined. We just saw him a couple of weeks ago at my husband’s brother’s wedding in Seattle. He stays very active, lots of travel and he also has 2 helpers who keep him going. He’s a wonderful man and it’s so rewarding to see him doing so well.

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 28, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Just saw Trump’s plane making a low pass over my house – I’m guessing while he was going from Western PA over to eastern Ohio by road, his plane bopped over to Port Columbus for fuel etc., heading back to pick him up at Wheeling later (he gave a speech in the ‘Burgh area a few hours ago, is in St. Clairsville this evening).

    Thanks to Pilot Joe, I thought to come in and check Flight Aware, but found this:

    Which I guess makes sense. But seriously, it was low enough to read the T on the tail, and the Rump on the fuselage.

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  30. Scout said on June 28, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Some charters schools are better than others, perhaps if there is a specific focus. For instance, there is a very good Performing Arts HS here in Phoenix, and it is well respected for its arts curriculum as well as the academic side. Most of the kids that go there would be eaten alive in public school. That is what a charter school should be, not just a private school stealing funding from public schools so that Susie Special Snowflake doesn’t have to take PE with her lessers.

    I guess it should be surprise that the TX supreme court has biffed on this one:
    Texas: As dumb as Arizona, just bigger.

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  31. susan said on June 28, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Jeff tmmo @29 –

    Looks like DJT bought the jet from Paul Allen (registration history), who really is a billionaire.

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  32. brian stouder said on June 28, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Scout – I can agree with much of the sentiment you express.

    My bottomline is, if charters and for-profits and all the rest are going to be funded, the money for them should be appropriated specifically for them, by the legislature – and not grabbed away from the publically owned and funded, publically controlled school systems.

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  33. Deborah said on June 28, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I’ve mentioned this here before,that Little Bird didn’t spend any of her schooling in anything but parochial or private schools. Her father was the principal of the Lutheran school she went to in St. Louis from kindergarten until 8th grade and then she went to a Lutheran high school for a couple of years until she transferred to a private school where she finished out her high school years. The public school system in the city of St. Louis was pretty awful, if she would have gone to the public school in high school where we lived in the city she would not have survived. I don’t know how it is now, but I don’t think it’s much better. The thing is that as I’ve said here before, I never gave it a thought about paying taxes to the public schools and paying tuition for private schools. I figured it was just the way it was, it never occurred to me that it should be any other way. People who expect to get vouchers to pay for their kid’s educations other than public schools, I don’t get that. It’s just wrong to me. If you choose to send your kid/s to other than public schools for whatever reason, ok, but don’t expect public money to do that.

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  34. Joe K said on June 28, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Along with Pat Summit, Buddy Ryan who was the bears defensive coach when they won the super bowl also passed today.
    Pilot Joe

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  35. Julie Robinson said on June 28, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    I’ve watched three of my husband’s family go from Alzheimer’s and I believe all of us would have preferred they go fast. Themselves included.

    Our kids went parochial because sadly, when they started, our public schools were in disarray under the administration that boasted they’d spent $1 million fighting desegregation. It was a huge decision because we’d both grown up in public schools. It’s a thrill to see how they’ve battled back, and today I doubt we’d make the same decision. Schools are my second favorite area of taxes to pay, after libraries of course!

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  36. Suzanne said on June 28, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Apparently, guns don’t kill people but duffle bags do.

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  37. David C. said on June 28, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    In Washington State, pharmacists have to do their job. What a concept.

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  38. Jolene said on June 28, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Duffle bags, crazy mothers, crazy mothers-in-law. There’s no end of odd things happening with guns.

    For more entertainment, google “toddler shoots”. Saw a headline recently that said during some recent period, more Americans had been killed by toddlers than by terrorists. Orlando may have changed that, though my own view is that Mr. Mateen fit better in the crazy category than the terrorist category.

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  39. Charlotte said on June 28, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Charter schools are illegal in Montana — and because of the low population, we don’t have many private schools (a scattering of evangelical ones, and a small Catholic school system). Our current state legistator is a charter school lobbyist, who won largely because the woman who ran as a Democrat ran 2 of the laziest, most entitled, bullshit campaigns ever. We’ve got a good’un running this time around … but I have to say, our lone high school has its problems, but by and large, graduation rates are going up, and kids are getting into ever more prestigious colleges. And it forces *everyone* to deal with one another … oh! and we even have real lunch ladies again, cooking local food — things are looking up, at the moment anyhow.

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  40. Sherri said on June 28, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    I don’t think Tina Brown likes Boris Johnson very much:

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  41. Sherri said on June 28, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    We have a handful of charter schools in Washington, though they are currently in limbo. It took three tries on the ballot before Gates could get charter schools approved here. Nine opened, but the state supreme court has declared the law forming them unconstitutional, because they don’t meet the definition for “common schools” under our state’s constitution. The state supreme court is also currently holding the legislature in contempt for failing to fund public schools at an appropriate level, and that may escalate soon, with the possibilities of the court shutting down school or cutting off tax breaks.

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  42. Deborah said on June 28, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    I don’t get these buffoons who are getting / have gotten positions of power like the idiot in Toronto who’s name escapes me, Rob something, Boris Johnson, Trump, Berlusconi, etc. what in the world is going on that these people have managed to get positions of power in the world? It’s as if people have decided that leadership is a big joke or something.

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  43. Suzanne said on June 28, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Deborah, I think they have decided leadership is a joke. That’s what comes from 30+ years of “government is the problem”. If you truly believe that, why would you want to be involved in it?

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 28, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Well, Adrianne and Nancy, that NYT story on Michigan charters really . . . it just pissed me off. Sorry.

    And there’s stuff I’d like to say regarding Ohio education legislation that I can’t because of one of my jobs, but I’m getting closer to where I’m considering quitting it just so I could be a wee bit more vocal about some of the fecal aspects of that racket. But I’d be happy to be fired if one of my multiple supervisors was displeased to read that I said our State Senate is giving every appearance of being bought and paid for by charter bottom feeders.

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  45. Jolene said on June 28, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Sherri, a Financial Times reporter on the tube described Boris Johnson as having “extremely flexible” views, a perspective that Brown seems to share. Pretty sad that such a dramatic undertaking is driven by such base motives: xenophobia and personal ambition. Not a pretty picture.

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  46. Dexter said on June 29, 2016 at 1:27 am

    Every time I watch “Orange is the New Black”, and see Kate Mulgrew, I think she is a dead ringer for the late Pat Summitt.
    I always rooted against her Vols teams because they and Geno Auriemma’s CT Huskies always dominated women’s BB, basically until Brittney Griner made Baylor a big favorite for a while…I sometimes root for an underdog.
    Big news yesterday in my extended family…my grandson Justin’s half-brother Jake Genot signed a letter of intent to play D-1 soccer at UD Mercy (Detroit, division one NCAA) Jake was a helluva player at Sylvania (Ohio) Northview HS the past 4 years. Go Titans!
    Worst part of vacation? After securing reservations and preparing an itinerary, all you can do is wait. In March, 2011, I got my Black Labbie, Pogo. In well over five years, I have been with that dog every day. It will be strange away from her for 15 days.

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  47. Dexter said on June 29, 2016 at 1:37 am

    Take it back…oh yeah, I did board the animals for ten days when the entire family went to Florida for our daughter’s wedding.

    We discussed meat markets, specifically Albright’s of Corunna a few weeks back…Tuesday we went to Angola (IN) to Harger’s Old Fashion Butcher Shoppe. It is laid out pretty much like an old time butcher shoppe, for sure.
    My wife bought a basket of varied stuffs , all was great until we had to wait twenty minutes in line to check out…they use a phone-line credit card reader like it was freakin’ 1980. I got damn-nearly hypnotized watching the clerk drumming his fingers on the counter , working hard to speed up that fucking card reader.

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  48. Dorothy said on June 29, 2016 at 5:53 am

    So I had a conversation with my 11 year old great-niece Chirsten one day during this volleyball tournament. She asked me if I had noticed a homeless woman who was sitting on the sidewalk shaking a cup asking for change as we left a parking garage on Monday. I said yes I had seen her. Then I told her that on our first night, Saturday, as Mike and I walked to our hotel after dinner (this was around 11 PM) I saw a homeless man half sitting and half laying on the edge of an outdoor planter. It appeared he was either asleep or maybe had passed out drunk and was laying in the dirt and flowers. I spotted a guy in a suit with his cell phone pointed at the poor dude, and he was moving around to take pictures from several angles. I didn’t say anything because who knew if the photographer would come back on me, but I wanted to say “Shame on you for taking those pictures. Give the guy some dignity.” And little Chirsten said “Sometimes I think when people do stuff like that, they’re trying to make themselves feel better about themselves.” I was blown away at her ability to see that. Really did give me pause and a few tears in my eyes.

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  49. Bob (not Greene) said on June 29, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Of all the music legends that have died in the past year, and the parade never seems to end, this is the one that hits me the hardest. RIP Scotty Moore

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  50. Deborah said on June 29, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Out of the mouth of babes, Dorothy, it revives my faith in the next generation to hear things like that.

    We’re off to Abiquiu today where they’re installing the windows and two doors on the upper level. Next week they install the 10 doors on the lower level. They started yesterday, my husband was there all day, I was a little nervous to be there when everything got delivered and taken off the truck because the road up to our land is really bumpy, but everything made it ok. There are 10 windows on the upper floor. The construction should be complete by the end of July, fingers crossed.

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  51. jerry said on June 29, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Judy if you manage to get to England I can’t recommend Kent too highly for country walks, although as a Man of Kent I would say that. Some beautiful, quiet country with some stunning old buildings. Yesterday’s pub was built in about 1520.

    Deborah: Sissinghurst is one of the glories of Kent with a garden created by Vita Sackville-West. Her family owned Knole House in Sevenaoks which was inherited by her brother. Another stunning building. You speak of walking in the Lake District. The scenery is more spectacular and then there’s always The Yorkshire Dales, the Derbyshire Peaks and Dartmoor and Exmoor out in the west. Nothing as grand as you can see in America; all is to a much smaller scale. But still some real beauty. You mention 10 windows upstairs. Knole was apparently a calendar house with 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances and seven courtyards, although changes to the building have destroyed that claim.

    As for my photos we normally walk once a fortnight and I try to make some record on Flickr soon after our return.

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  52. jerry said on June 29, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Boris Johnson is a man of considerable intelligence wit apparently great charm and a marvellous way with people.

    He is also as far as I can see unscrupulous and dishonest. Totally out for himself and to hell with other people.

    An ideal politician, you might say.

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  53. brian stouder said on June 29, 2016 at 11:53 am

    And he looks like The Donald- which is apparently ‘the go’ this year

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  54. MichaelG said on June 29, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    You’re killing me, Deborah. We need to see pictures.

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  55. Sue said on June 29, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Voucher schools in Wisconsin now receive more state money per student than public schools. Nice little scam we’ve got going here.

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  56. nancy said on June 29, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    This is so depressing, representing an utter failure of what politics is supposed to be — compromises between competing interests. Now everything has to be a blitzkrieg for your side, because soon or later the pendulum will swing (and your actions today are hastening its movement) and it will likely all be taken away.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I have a scab-picking urge to read Rod Dreher from time to time. He’s a natural-born hysteric, lurching from manufactured crisis to crisis. Currently he’s working on a book about the need for Christians to withdraw from public life, and every post is informed by this attitude. He’s flipping out about the recent SCOTUS decisions on abortion and especially on the birth-control case. Many of his commenters have pointed out that this pushback might not be so hard if the state hadn’t pushed so much in its chipping-away strategy toward abortion rights. Even this largely Christian audience wasn’t fooled that these restrictions were about “women’s health.”

    In Michigan, of course, the atmosphere is further distorted by term limits. Why make friends in Lansing? Why learn to get along? Why think long-term? You’ll be out in six years no matter what you do, so always be thinking what your next office is going to be. Madness.

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  57. Dexter said on June 29, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Hell’s bells…I thought Boris Johnson was widely popular. I think I got that from a 60 minutes clip from years ago.
    I remember when Margaret Thatcher came to speak and be honored at Hillsdale College, just minutes from my home. She was welcomed and cheered at that bastion of conservatism and biblical text.
    I think of her much the same way Declan MacManus does…

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  58. Dexter said on June 29, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    or perhaps you prefer Billy Bragg’s thoughts in song…

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  59. Scout said on June 29, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Deborah @ 42: Your comment made me think of this article. It’s a long read, but pretty darn insightful.

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  60. MichaelG said on June 29, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    So $560 later I have A/C. Also at 95, it’s 10 degrees cooler than it has been so things are comfy here.

    Went to the Doc this afternoon and had the drain and stitches out. Feels pretty good.

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  61. Deborah said on June 29, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Good article Scout.

    MichaelG, I can only post photos on Facebook, and you have to be a Facebook friend of mine to see them. Anyone here who wants to be a friend, my last name is Beckett and you know my first name, just send me a friend request on FB and I’ll happily accept. I have some new photos from today to post on my timeline but I haven’t done it yet since we just got back. Remember folks, the place is tiny, less than 200 SF of interior space, it’s narrow and long and tall, very unusual for a cabin. The final skin isn’t on it yet so it looks pretty rough around the edges, but it is a cabin, remember. I’m really happy with the way it’s looking, can’t wait for it to be finished.

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  62. Sherri said on June 29, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Trump is sending mass emails for donations to members of Parliament in the UK, Iceland, Australia, Denmark, Finland, and Canada. That soliciting campaign donations from foreign nationals is illegal is almost beside the point in the face of the level of incompetence shown. Trump can’t even run a grift well.

    Even so, he’s still polling around the 40% mark. If someone even moderately competent decides to pick up Trump’s bigotry and xenophobia and run with it next time, especially now that Trump has riled up the marks, what happens then?

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  63. nancy said on June 29, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    As I recall, the original plan Deborah sketched out for their N.M. house was a series of freestanding “rooms” comprising one larger homestead, connected by short walkways. A kitchen room, a bedroom, a living room, etc. Because weather isn’t much of a factor there, it makes a very deliberate sense. What I’m seeing in her Facebook photos isn’t quite suggestive of that. DB, with your permission, I’d be happy to download and post a couple; tell me which ones.

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  64. Jill said on June 29, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Who knew so many people on FB share your name, Deborah? Luckily I remembered where you grew up so I could figure out which was you by high school. I would love to see your photos of your place.

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  65. alex said on June 29, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Got through most of the Atlantic article posted by Scout over dinner alone tonight after a meeting. True, porkbarrel horse trading is a tiny slice of the fiscal pie and if it does that much good I’m all for it. Indiana lost one of its big breadwinners–and commonsense legislators–when the nutbaggers tossed out Dick Lugar. We have a blue-dog Dem in his place now who has to constantly showboat his pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gay bona fides and the Republicans still hate him and make him out to be a Bolshevik and could topple him in a New York nanosecond.

    I wish this national nightmare were over. I hate this era of politics.

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  66. Deborah said on June 29, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    We just got through watching 2 episodes of the new season of Orange is the New Black. I still haven’t posted anything new of FB. I promise I will tomorrow. Nancy, you’re sort of correct about our plan, we are doing a number of small buildings that together will comprise a full “house”. But they won’t be connected by a walkway, they will be purposefully separated from each other so that you will be forced to spend time outside on the land when you go from one to the other. That is our experiment for now anyway, plans may change down the road. Who knows? The first building is this cabin, the next one is a bath house and after that, a kitchen house and so on. We originally had planned that each one would be less than 200 SF partly to avoid having to get a building permit for each one. It hasn’t quite worked out that way, for various reasons we went ahead and got a permit for this cabin and we’ve decided to get permits for all of the buildings. It’s a long story, it’s late and it’s been a long day. Good night.

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