That day is done.

Well, today was better. Slept almost seven hours — four hours and 20 minutes of it “deep,” according to my sleep tracker, which may just be shining me on, but the placebo effect is real — and ate mostly protein and vegetables today, and feel 79 percent more like myself today.

And I was a regular Phelps in the pool today, if by “Phelps” you mean Edwin Phelps, DDS, age 67, who was once a lifeguard at Ocean Beach and was quite the backstroke talent for his city pool’s summer team in 1964. But I did the whole Monday workout, the dreaded 400-400, 300-300, 200-200, 100-100.* I got out feeling tired and so f’ungry I felt like stopping for an Egg McMuffin AND a puck of hash browns. But I restrained myself, ate healthy(ish) and learned later today there’s a very good reason a swimming workout leaves you hungrier than most. Short answer: Your body burns energy doing the work, and keeping warm. No wonder the athletes keep those Olympic Village kitchens working more or less around the clock.

And I made a little progress on a project today, so: Yay me. Tomorrow is another day.

I do not, however, look anything at all like this woman, whose rather provocative blog is probably blowing AMB (angry man-boy) skulls to pieces all over the planet. In a nutshell: She is a young, beautiful, slender athlete who exercises outdoors in scant clothing, and you wouldn’t believe the abuse. Like how? Like this:

Earlier this summer I headed to a local park in the South End of Boston to push myself in an outdoor bootcamp workout I was testing for the upcoming week of classes I teach. It was a hot Saturday afternoon and halfway through my workout I had a guy come over to me from across the park and start talking to me from a few feet away. I took my headphones out thinking he was asking me something, instead my ears were filled with profane things he “wanted to do to me”.

Last week I was going for a run before work to clock four miles for my half marathon training. I ran past a parking garage that has an attendant in the front to direct traffic between cars exiting and people crossing. A thankless job, I smiled gave him a wave to thank him and kept running. I took two steps before he yelled after me a “MM HMMMM”. Like he was salivating over a steak.

Yesterday I was walking to the laundromat to drop off clothes before heading out to teach a class. Walking out of the laundromat I decided to sneak in the 7Eleven next door to see if they carried my new favorite ice cream brand so that I could come grab some after class. A man so kindly held the door open for me, I thanked him and walked inside. They didn’t have the brand so just 60 seconds later I walked back out and he was sitting on the other side of the street watching me come out. I turned down the side walk and he crossed the street to follow me. He even yelled at me to stop and wait for him.

I will freely admit that even if I had a body like hers, I probably wouldn’t go running in a sports bra and compression shorts. But I also demand that she should be able to without having guys howling at her. But of course, the real fun of this piece is in the sewer of the comments, which you should not read unless you’ve removed all guns, knives, hanging ropes, etc., as well as disconnected your gas lines, because some of these people make you want to stick your damn head in the oven.

The only men who catcall me anymore are homeless guys in Detroit, and honestly, as long as they’re not total fucking creeps about it, I don’t let it bother me. Nothing like an old dude parked next to a 40 and a bag of his worldly goods telling you you look like Beyoncé to start your day off right.

I SO wish Coozledad was still with us, so we could hear his colorful opinion about this feeb, charged with the homicide of his neighbor, upon whom he (the shooter) had regularly bestowed racial slurs and! Hit the neighbor’s mother with his car. Oh, and yeah, he was drunk. But you’re gonna love his mugshot, because that is the face of the master race.

With that, let’s hit second gear on this week.

* Swimming nerds eyes only: 400 pull, 4×100 freestyle, 50+50×3 back/breast, 3×100 IM, 200 kick, 4×50 on your medium interval, 8×25 sprints. It takes me a solid hour and change, but I’m slow.

Posted at 12:02 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

76 responses to “That day is done.”

  1. Sherri said on August 16, 2016 at 1:14 am

    I don’t think she’s that scantily clad for a workout. Everything’s covered. I don’t work out in just a sports bra and compression shorts, but I do regularly work out in compression tights and a tank, and I don’t have a 25 year old slender body. AMBs don’t make me want to put my head in an oven, they make me want smack them upside the head and say, grow up, it’s not all about you.

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  2. Sherri said on August 16, 2016 at 2:15 am

    Here’s the tank only an AMB could love:

    Be sure to check out the fan photos.

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  3. Jerry said on August 16, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Sue @48 yesterday asked about handguns in the UK. Basically they are a no-no. In 1996 there was a school massacre at Dunblane which shocked the whole country. Legislation was passed which basically made handguns illegal. I’m not a shooter and don’t keep up with laws in this area. There was a lot of fuss but it has held. It is still possible to own shotguns and sporting rifles but you need a license from the police.

    So finding a handgun is a big deal and implies criminality.

    In many ways knife crime is more of a problem.

    And of course police here are not routinely armed. Given concerns about terrorism there is pressure for more armed police. I can understand this but also have concerns that if police have guns they will be tempted to use them at the first sign of problems rather than as a last resort. We already see this with tasters.

    Northern Ireland is different.

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  4. Nancy P said on August 16, 2016 at 6:04 am

    What kind of sleep tracker do you use? I’m in the market for one.

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  5. David C. said on August 16, 2016 at 6:33 am

    That’s quite something, Sherri. Like Trump would do anything but cower in the corner when the bullets are flying. But he’s tough, he’s going to have Chelsea arrested when he’s pResident. She made him mad by not inviting him to her wedding. Poor little thing.

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  6. alex said on August 16, 2016 at 6:43 am

    I mentioned last week that the German tourists I was chaperoning in Chicago asked many questions about the American gun problem. Just as it is in England, in Germany virtually no one owns a handgun or sees any need for one, and a citizen who wants one must meet some very stringent requirements. My guests were appalled at the gun industry’s argument that everyone is safer when everyone is armed. Inured to mayhem, perhaps, but not safer.

    Some of you may have to pardon me for saying so, but I can’t help but suspect that on some level some of the women who recount catcalling experiences are humble bragging. I’ve known a few women who seek constant affirmation of their physiques in casual conversation, and when they’re not talking about getting hit on by men they’re talking about the abuse they take from other less attractive women. Gay gym rats play the same game, and it wasn’t about poor, pitiful them at all, but rather to make the rest of us feel inadequate.

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  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 16, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Fortunately, thought I often regret it as to the burners for cooking, we have an electric oven.

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  8. Dave said on August 16, 2016 at 8:12 am

    That man in Tulsa, some people ought to be in jail and not out walking around. He was awaiting trial for hitting one of those neighbors last year but here he is, out walking around, and he kills the man. He is 61 and now he’s arranged for his accommodations for the rest of his life, ending someone’s life for some stupid reason. White supremacy, yeah.

    Since I never haunted gyms and never was part of the workout crowd, I can’t comment on the folks who are but I, being rather the shy and retiring type, could not imagine saying those things to any female I didn’t know at all. How someone can be so crude is something I’ve never grasped. I often wonder, do these sort of lines actually work on someone?

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  9. alex said on August 16, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Unfortunately, Dave, those lines do work at least a small percentage of the time and the pickup artists don’t quit until they find themselves a mark. I’ve seen vulnerable, inexperienced young women and men fall for it.

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  10. Suzanne said on August 16, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Watching the Olympics the past few days, can anyone enlighten me on why the women in track and beach volleyball (have not seen any of the regular volleyball) wear next to nothing as opposed to the men? I really noticed it in the track foot races. The men wear tank top kind of things and shorts; most of the women had shorts like a swimsuit bottom and midriff baring tops. Just curious why. If short short shorts are more aerodynamic, why don’t men wear them?

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  11. Julie Robinson said on August 16, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Suzanne, I was accused of shaming and belittling women (Facebook, natch) by remarking on the uniforms, so I hesitate to comment, but here’s the article I was pointed to:

    Until 2012 the women had to wear bikinis, but now they mostly choose to, yet the reasons (heat and sand getting everywhere) don’t seem to trouble the men wearing long shorts and a tank top. It says the men need room to display their name and number (also absurd to me–there are only two of them), yet the women have space to display those on their bikini tops.

    Draw your own conclusions.

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  12. Bob (Not Greene) said on August 16, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Nancy, thanks for the workout. A nice 1,800 yards. I’m doing that one today after work (no more morning practices for me).

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  13. Danny said on August 16, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Suzanne, I suspect it is because the sport is associated with the beach, but there is undoubtedly a chauvinistic ratings grab going on too. Board shorts would probably be more comfortable for both sexes. The only place I wear speedos is the lap pool and I opt for the knee length ones.

    And the there is biking. There is a real advantage to biking in spandex because it keeps the relative motion between your body parts to a minimum to avoid chafing. When I started biking twelve years ago, it took me about two years before I graduated to spandex because I just didn’t get into it, but as the mileage of my workouts increased, it was necessary to get the right gear.

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  14. Danny said on August 16, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Nancy, nice swimming set. It surely breaks up the monotony to mix it up, but I left off doing intervals years ago. During the weekdays, I usually just get in and do 7k straight. Takes me a little under two hours because my pace is about 1:30 per hundred. On weekends, I do some back and fly. I avoid breast because though I have a good kick for that stroke, I don’t like what it does to my knees. With all the endurance sports I’ve done over the years, my knees have gotten a little noisy and my goal is to be ambulatory in my advanced years and to never need a knee replacement.

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  15. Danny said on August 16, 2016 at 9:57 am

    One more comment on swimming for you, Nance. I think I just gravitated toward the long distance straight workouts as my work/life balance tipped towards the numerator. Not watching the interval clock allows me to decompress. Keeps things simple. I just concentrate on form and breathing sometimes strokes per length.

    In fact another pointer is to monitor your stroke count. I got a lot smoother when I started working on that. I’m usually around 12 to 14 strokes per 25 yards (with flip turns). Nils Jorgensen, father of the Olympian swimmer Lars who went to the high school I’ve swam at for twenty-give years, gave me that tip one day years ago.

    He was funny. This fat old 70-something Scandinavian who was sitting in a chair with umbrella in front of the lane adjacent to mine giving a private lesson to a 13-year-old girl who was an up and coming all-American swimmer. The girl was doing some long set and I was doing intervals. He leaned over and with a thick accent said, “Dahny, why so many strokes? With your height, you should be no more than 14 and I count 16 to 18. Very inefficient.”

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  16. Danny said on August 16, 2016 at 10:01 am

    * I know swum is the part participle, but I’ve always resisted this usage. Apologies to you professional writerly types out there.

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  17. brian stouder said on August 16, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Well, the superb Simone Biles broke my heart a little, last night; but she’s such a tough athlete – a genuine, accomplished Olympian – and (I betcha) she’ll be back.

    Other than that, I was a little surprised that they ran some of the hurdles races in the rain. I think my grand-total of Rio-Olympics watching is about 3 hours, so far. I’m a sucker for gymnastics/swimming/diving/track, but I skip right past water polo or volley ball or bicycle racing (etc)

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  18. Heather said on August 16, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Maybe some women enjoy catcalling or use it for some kind of validation, but no women I have ever known did. Take it from someone who dealt with it a lot when I was younger: it’s not a compliment or anything to brag about. It feels intrusive and often scary. Also, it doesn’t really matter what you are wearing. Yes, wearing what the woman in the blog does will probably garner more attention–but I was once catcalled wearing khakis and a puffy down coat.

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  19. nancy said on August 16, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Heather: They’re out there. It should not surprise you to learn many are right-wing libertarian types who invariably say something like, “I’ll start getting bothered when it stops, ha ha.’

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  20. brian stouder said on August 16, 2016 at 11:43 am

    A genuinely odd story for the Fox News website to headline, but they did:

    right along side another front-page story about how the heroic Republican contingent within congress has referred Secretary Clinton’s testimony to the Department of Justice for possible perjury prosecution.

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  21. Heather said on August 16, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Nancy, I’m sure that’s true, sadly. I sometimes notice that the catcalling has ceased but my response is more like “Whew, one more piece of bullshit I don’t have to deal with anymore.”

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  22. Suzanne said on August 16, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Good Lord! Read the comments to that Fox News story on Goebbel’s secretary! Gems like this:”not too far into the future – the Purge is coming for liberals – that will be a good day”

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  23. Deborah said on August 16, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    I went to David C’s link of The Donald not being invited to Chelsea’s wedding and got caught up in the sink hole of celebrity gossip. There were links to pictures of Jerri Hall and Rupert, gross, they’re married now. It’s interesting how closed a circle the celebrity social set is, not surprising though since their worlds revolve around each other.

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  24. basset said on August 16, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Don’t particularly miss ol’ Cooz but I do wonder what we did to drive him off.

    Meanwhile, this – channel 6 in Indy dared to interrupt some dumbass dating show with tornado warnings and folks got all excited:

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  25. Jakash said on August 16, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Breaking news: Some men are pigs and will catcall a lithe young woman running by in what could pass for her underwear. Many more will undoubtedly leer at her. “What do I deserve?” she asks. Well, at a minimum, she evidently deserves a blog post where she features a half-dozen photos of herself. I’ve trained for and run marathons in hot weather and somehow managed to do it in a t-shirt and mid-length running shorts, but I realize this isn’t about me.

    Obviously, nobody should be accosting this or any woman, but when women dressed professionally on their way to work are subjected to random verbal assessments, her post doesn’t seem very noteworthy. Personally, I found that video of the woman just walking down the street in New York and drawing loads of unwanted attention to be more telling. Of course, she’s young, and everything old is new again. I’m sure in Trump’s America, where civility and political correctness will be paramount, obnoxiousness toward women will rapidly become a thing of the past…

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  26. Scout said on August 16, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    The unwanted objectifying of women is real. I suspect the AMBs who do this are acting from a place of their own insecurity, that they know the “hot” chick they’re verbally harassing is way out of their league. Like the open carry idiots or the jerks in the monster trucks, they’re likely compensating for… something.

    When I checked out Erin’s blog, like Alex, I too caught a whiff of humble bragging. That, coupled with the multitude of selfies of herself looking ohsolovely, she certainly seems to have a high self opinion. But she is gorgeous and works hard to further refine the gifts of fortunate genetics, so yeah, if I looked like her I’d probably flaunt it too. It still does not excuse the bad behavior of the AMBs who harass her. It should not be a woman’s responsibility to avoid treatment that men shouldn’t be doing in the first place.

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  27. Sherri said on August 16, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    If she were wearing just a t-shirt and running shorts, she really would get comments, because she wouldnt be wearing a bra! The point being, the bra is another layer.

    Maybe it’s an east/west thing, but what she’s wearing really isn’t that out of the ordinary out here. It’s less than I’d wear, but I’m old. I don’t wear baggy though, because I find the compression tights/capris more supportive, and a tighter fitting top made out of the moisture-wicking fabrics more comfortable, because I sweat like a horse. A cotton t-shirt gets wet and sticks to me.

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  28. basset said on August 16, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    I spent about ten minutes this morning explaining the significance and background of “Free Bird” to a Liberian. Not sure I got through to him.

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  29. Sherri said on August 16, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    We have met the enemy…

    But it’s really important that we take our shoes off and not take liquids through security and that Jeff(tmmo)’s church have a plan for an active shooter, when it appears that JFK didn’t. I know that the shooter didn’t exist, but having a plan for evacuating the airport seems important, right?

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  30. Jakash said on August 16, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    “another layer” Obviously can’t have that, now. Ever looked at photos of baseball fans in the 40’s, wearing suits and ties to a game in July? Not suggesting that that made any sense, but I find it hard to believe that a microfiber shirt over her top would be a deal-breaker. That said, to be sure, it ain’t up to me, and her choice of active-wear doesn’t warrant remarks or approaches from strangers as she’s out and about.

    And there are plenty of women dressed like that out on the running paths in Chicago; it’s not just an East-West thing. I marvel at what’s considered acceptable, but I’m way old, too. For what it’s worth, I’d never heard of “compression shorts” until today, but I guess I’ve seen them without knowing what they were called or what the point of them is…

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  31. Dorothy said on August 16, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Suzanne @ 10 – over the weekend I said the exact same thing to my husband. I was not basing the idea on the women in the Olympics (although I know they wear very short shorts), but instead was thinking about this past June when we went to Indianapolis to see my great-niece in Jr. National Volleyball Championship matches. The convention center was packed to the gils with girls ages 13-18, all wearing shorts that are essentially a second pair of underpants. After awhile you don’t really think about it since you’re surrounded by them. Oh and the majority (99.9%) wore black shorts. When I saw a team in purple ones I did a double take. When I caught some men Olympians playing volleyball this weekend, it’s the first thing I thought of. Why the disparity?! I should ask my niece, mom of the girl who played in Indianapolis. Maybe she has some insight.

    I can’t tell you the last time I was cat-called. I’m too old and chubby for that to happen anymore. I never reacted (or tried not to) but one time some guy said something that made me take notice. He was walking near me after I left the bank on my lunch hour in 1976 or so (out of high school; my working girl era). He said “My what a nice stride you have!” “Pardon me?!” I said. I didn’t get it at first. Then he said “You have a great stride. Oh, and nice legs, too!” Then he went on his way. Not exactly cat-calling but there you have it. Anytime I hear guys doing that I always think they sound so desperate and dumb-ass-y.

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  32. brian stouder said on August 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    It’s less than I’d wear, but I’m old

    Well, entre-nous* –

    Women with curves are hot, older or not!

    (My bet is – the vast majority of men who cackle like crows when a young lady jogs by don’t have daughters)

    *a term I learned from the Proprietress, decades ago

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  33. Sue said on August 16, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    “Don’t particularly miss ol’ Cooz but I do wonder what we did to drive him off.”
    Yeah me too. I don’t believe he’s the drive-offable type.
    Also basset, your comment yesterday re megachurches and not knowing the pastor – until I went to a Protestant church I didn’t know you were supposed to have any interaction with the clergy. Priests were Up There, we were Down Here. Which was fine with me. Scary buggers. (Sometimes literally apparently.)

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  34. Sue said on August 16, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Jerry, thanks for the info on handguns in the UK. I’m still surprised and kind of embarrassed by my reaction, laughing at the police response to a gun in a home. I guess I’m more indoctrinated than I thought.

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  35. beb said on August 16, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    I sympathize with the woman jogger Nancy linked to but I suspect that her desire to be not sexually harassed is swimming up a stream of masculine hormones. Men objectifying women is like dogs sniffing each others butts. The best you can hope for is for the men to keep their thoughts to themselves.

    I doubt that most of these oglers are angry man-boys. These dudes are too busy protesting “Oceans 8” the planned remake of Ocean’s Eleven with an all female-cast. These are just guys who have censor between brain and mouth.

    I have tried hard to avoid watching any of the Olympics just because. But have seen the odd snippet of the woman running competitions and thought it was odd that they were running in what amounted to a bikini. Perhaps like the woman Nancy linked to, these Olympians find loose clothing binding as they sweat around the course. But odds are some man designed their costumes.

    I have watched the odd non-Olympic Beach Volleyball competition and the women there are have worn those skimpy bikini’s. Sure it’s a beach sport but why not compression pants instead of those low-riders?

    Another oddity is the cover-ups women bring to the beach. Here they are getting a tanin next to nothing when they decide they want to get a drink. So they pull on a pair of daisy duke cut-off jeans that barely covers more then their bikini and now they’re ready to go out in public.

    I think the putting one’s head in the oven to commit suicide was a British convention, and even then before they switched from coal gas to imported natural gas. Natural gas is simply methane. Methane is flammable but not poisoning. At most it would display a little of the oxygen in the oven but probably not enough to kill you. Coal gas is made from coal through a process of incomplete combustion. It consists of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. These are also flammable gases but the carbon monoxide is a poison that attacks the bloods ability to carry oxygen. Breathing in a little of that will kill you, methane not so much.

    I hope Coozledad was not run off by anything said here. I suspect that he’s been busy with the election.

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  36. brian stouder said on August 16, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Well, and I may well have my fun-facts crossed up, but I think the original Olympics were conducted without clothing

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  37. beb said on August 16, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    France is in an uproar (it maybe it’s just one beach that had banned Muslim women from wearing a burqkini. This is a long-legged,long sleeve opaque, form-fitting suit. It’s about as revealing as Victorian swim-wear. The question iswhy are they upset about it. They cite “national security.” France isevery bit as crazy about Muslims as America, they just don’t feel like they have to hide it like we do.

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  38. susan said on August 16, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    American burqkini. Bet they did that in France, too, at the turn of the last century.

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  39. Danny said on August 16, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    France is every bit as crazy about Muslims as America

    beb, I’m not sure this is true. I was over in France recently, a few days after the Nice attack, and I got a different vibe. No one seemed to be foaming at the mouth or freaking out and the news coverage was pretty even keel too, without histrionics or vapors. Additionally, one of my close workmates is a Muslim from Egypt who spent his teenage years living in France. He has nothing but good things to say about France.

    And I mentioned a week ago that the wife and I, while we are learning French, we are watching a lot of French movies. A few of these movies have had Muslim characters and in all cases, it’s been a normal/sympathetic character portrayal.

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  40. Heather said on August 16, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    “The best you can hope for is for the men to keep their thoughts to themselves.” That would be fine. Not sure why so many men find it so difficult to do.

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  41. basset said on August 16, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    I’m a straight male and I do notice and appreciate how women look – if that’s “objectifying,” well, I guess I’m just another lecherous pig. Keep my thoughts to myself, though.

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  42. susan said on August 16, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Heather @40 – Because their thoughts are in their crotches where their brains are?

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  43. brian stouder said on August 16, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    basset – Amen!

    Not saying whatever crosses one’s mind, whenever one thinks it is, literally, civilized.

    One might give a pass (so to speak) to someone who has Tourette syndrome….but otherwise, it’s reasonable to expect civility and common courtesy, in public

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  44. Sherri said on August 16, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Oh, please make it so:

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  45. Heather said on August 16, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Thank you Brian. No one is trying to say that men shouldn’t have sexual thoughts about strangers. Just maybe not share them with said stranger without an invitation.

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  46. Deborah said on August 16, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Santa Fe celebrity sighting: Little Bird and I saw Ali McGraw at Whole Foods just now. She looks fantastic for a 77 year old, she looks way younger than me (65).

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  47. MichaelG said on August 16, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I hear the catcall thing all the time at home in Sacramento. I honestly don’t know how women put up with it.

    Clothes? Lots of young women here in Barcelona are wearing those ass shorts. There was a gorgeous young woman on the bus this AM who had on a pair of loose shorts which was cut so that her butt cheeks were vividly on display. She seemed oblivious, just carrying on a conversation with some guy.

    I haven’t heard any catcalls nor observed any untoward behavior here but that sure doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Nor have I seen any hostile behavior toward Muslims but, once again, the fact that I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it doesn’t occur.

    I was in terminal B4 at JFK on Thursday night. Just across from the gate was a bar over full of people watching the Olympics and it got quite loud with cheering and clapping. But there never was any thought that the din was anything other than partisan crowd noise.

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  48. Sherri said on August 16, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    It’s not Trump, it’s his supporters, and it’s not about economics, it’s about status:

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  49. Sherri said on August 16, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Unless that secret controversial plan involves some serious desegregation, it’s probably a waste of time. Given the administration, I assume the plan will be turning more money over to charters. What say you, Nancy?

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  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 16, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    My son got tapped for both the pregame and halftime show block in the Marching 110. That is all.

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  51. Peggy said on August 17, 2016 at 12:31 am

    Nothing like an old dude parked next to a 40 and a bag of his worldly goods telling you you look like Beyoncé to start your day off right.

    This had me just laughing and laughing. So true.

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  52. TheGardenFairy said on August 17, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Susan @38 — Thanks for the link to the Potthast site; was unaware of it. Grew up in Cincinnati & when I didn’t learn how to read in suburban public school, ended up in private. That meant sleep-overs in homes with Potthasts and Twachtmans on the wall. For a Midwestern girl that vacationed in Indy while classmates hit Nantucket, Potthast’s images were the fodder of daydreams.

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  53. Danny said on August 17, 2016 at 9:31 am

    You know, if I was an Olympic diver and screwed up and found myself well outside of medal contention, I’d be tempted to do a cannonball. And I think the effect would be doubly awesome for a synchronized team in the same situation. And whose to say it wouldn’t lead to sone interesting endorsement deals down the road.

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  54. alex said on August 17, 2016 at 10:37 am

    This morning’s No Shit Sherlock moment, brought to you by Slate:

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  55. TheGardenFairy said on August 17, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Is it any surprise that in the Bermuda Triangle between the lands of Boehner, McConnell & Pence we have the Creation Museum & Ark Encounter? 😛

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  56. Mark P said on August 17, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Once upon a time, about 30 years ago when I was a pretty decent long-distance runner, a couple of guys catcalled me. I was stopped at an intersection, standing behind a traffic light control box that hid me from about the bottom of my shorts up, so all you could see from the street was my legs. A car with two men pulled up and I heard them commenting on me, or on the “me” they thought I was. When I stepped out from behind the box, the look on their faces was priceless as they realized they had been ogling a 30-something year-old bearded man.

    I have to admit that I was a little surprised that they couldn’t tell a man’s legs from a woman’s, but I guess one long-distance runner’s legs look pretty much like another’s.

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  57. brian stouder said on August 17, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    When you’ve got gams, you’ve got gams, baby!

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  58. alex said on August 17, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Who needs gams when you’ve got a Twacht?

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  59. brian stouder said on August 17, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Good stuff!

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  60. Sherri said on August 17, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Hey, the long-awaited Trump pivot is happening. With the head of Breitbart now taking charge, Trump is pivoting from Putin to AMB!

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  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 17, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Long conversation this morning, with echoes of the current political explosion all through it.

    Middle aged single woman, working at a major retail anchor in our local, not-small/not-major mall. In the whole department store type anchor footprint, there is ONE, a single solitary salaried store manager. There are three hourly paid ASMs, and perhaps forty employees at any given time. The managerial work (covering roles, dealing with absence/sick/quit, opening & closing) is done by a third layer for the most part, all around $11-$16 per hour, none of whom have guaranteed hours. If you are the designated person for a shift, and people don’t show up, even if it’s your day, you get texted. If you don’t respond to the text within an hour, you get written up. The list of write-uppable stuff just gets more fun from there. You may have six people in the store if you’re lucky; if a key person or the wrong person doesn’t show, you have to get someone there or show up yourself in an hour and/or before next stated break. With a relative at a hospital? So? Day off? Do you want hours next week? Everybody else has to be kept to 20 hours or less; minors can work within certain rules, and you can’t have two minors on overlapping registers, except to meet pay limits per shift, you pretty much have to most evenings.

    And the pastoral challenge: can you help me figure out what to do if I quit? Because said person can’t take it anymore, but has a bachelors degree and a certification for teaching, tried it in 20s and it just never worked (classroom discipline is both a skill & an art, not everyone can figure it out). Past 35, hard-worker, willing, but not willing to go into “upper” management training to be shuffled to sister stores 30 and 60 and 120 miles away in hopes of someday getting offered a salary and benefits job with the company in Tahlequa, Oklahoma or Kalamazoo, Michigan. Family, friends, roots . . . you know.

    Amazon is opening up in a few months nearby, as is another similar type retailer, both of whom want “thousands” of seasonals. We’re talking 4-8,000 seasonals at peak. For which there are maybe hundreds of potential steps-up to year-round — which may or may not be full-time year-round — and even for those, no path “up.” No path clear to permanent, salaried, benefited, stable jobs. They still exist around us, but the bottom-line I see is that they all require you to make every step, rock to rock, across the torrent without a slip. One wet foot, and you’re back into the hourly/seasonal labor force. Do well in high school, in college, in first job, second-step move-up, and you may find the mezzanine level seating. Stumble once — quit the wrong job, get the wrong charge on a Saturday night, make the wrong move to a doomed company and fizzle out your employment and means in the end-game — and you are off the conveyor belt and there’s no other ladder, companionway, access tunnel.

    Logically, you might think these folks are all Bernie-Elizabeth-Hillary fans, but the vast majority of them are Trumpians, at least as a twitch if not a full-throated declaration. They’re stuck in ongoing resentment over the reason for a slip that, to be fair, they *can’t* put behind them. The path forward is dim and choked with brush. But they’re all still hung up about why grandpa’s job is no longer around, and how they are not getting a break when kids who had the right parents did . . . and you realize we’re still talking about a nearly 20 year old court involvment . . . and why the problem is China or Mexico or Washington, enemy alien bases all three.

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  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 17, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Think about that the next time you walk thru or shop in a Macy’s, Sears, Penney’s, Elder-Beerman, Von Maur, Dick’s, Nieman-Marcus, or similar anchor store. They open and talk about jobs: ONE salaried & standard-benefited position in the whole operation. I assume this is similar at Walmart, Costco, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. It’s nice to say you have cost-sharing or education credits or even some health benefit extra for associates, but what gets missed is that a place that not long ago had a dozen semi-professional full-time careers in the TO is now one “actual” job and 40 other hourly in descending increments “positions.”

    What would it take for more businesses to actually *employ* people, as opposed to staffing roles? And how much are *we* the problem, always wanting to pay 30 cents less for plastic thimble-caddies and disposable diaper dumpsters, complaining about not enough registers open of the 40 lanes even though we could have gotten what we just bought at a place that employs two people full-time (since they’re the owners)? But it’s 8 cents less a yard at Wally World, so we’ll drive out there and get it cheaper.

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  63. Sherri said on August 17, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    She should be resentful. She’s being screwed. The problem is that companies treat employees like shit because they can, because we’ve broken unions and made shareholder value the only thing that matters.

    Maybe with a teaching background there are other kinds of training programs she could be qualified to lead, without the discipline issues? Might get jerked around with hours less.

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  64. brian stouder said on August 17, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Well said, Jeff, as always.

    I’m with Sherri on the person with the teaching credential. Teacher slots are open right now, and the trend is that more will be (here in Fort Wayne, I believe FWCS has begun the year with 40+ full-time openings)…so a person with a credential would stand an excellent chance of being hired

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 17, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    She is good one on one. We’re starting with some of the tutoring shops and possible district aide jobs that pay decently; it’s just that groups (let alone full classes) are not her thing. It’s not a character flaw, it’s just not what she can handle. But one-on-one, she’s great. Problem is most of education in the public sphere requires you to be able to enter the cage full of juvenile hungry felines with a chair, no gun, no whip, and make them jump those hoops without calling the office. That’s a rare enough gift, and God bless all who can summon that skill up.

    Sherri, even with my GOP hat on, I agree. I don’t understand why there’s no union organizing in these places at all (and I’m sure someone will be able to show me how it’s all conservative union suppression, but they don’t even seem to be trying). Of course, threatening a strike in big box retail — you’re just driving more customers to online orders. Of course, the UPS guy is union . . .

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  66. Suzanne said on August 17, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Jeff, all that is so true and it’s so hard to convince people who have been fortunate enough to find a permanent job that is a good fit and stay there that in so many companies, there is no path up any more. It has been laid bare that what is good for business is often not good for the employees or the cities where the businesses are located. What continually surprises me is that while people know they are being screwed, they just can’t figure out who is doing the screwing. I cringed when I heard that Macy’s was going to close a boatload of stores but their stock went up because they were cutting costs. Heck, I could have saved a ton of money when our kids were young by keeping them locked up naked in the basement and feeding them once a day but as a parent, I’d have been thrown in jail for that behavior; a corporation is rewarded.

    And why people think Trump will help is a mystery to me. His economic plan includes no estate taxes with the tax revenue to be offset by disallowing deductions. Great. Which means that hospital wing that you took your kid to with some mega millionaires name on it will probably not be upgraded and the next one not built at all. The super wealthy donate a bit to leave a legacy, but mostly they do it to reduce their tax bill. No deductions for them at tax time will quickly trickle down to the least among us but not in a good way.

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  67. alex said on August 17, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Not much that makes me laugh out loud anymore, but this had me in stitches:

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  68. Sherri said on August 17, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    There is a lot of union suppression, but I would guess that it’s a tough to convince people who think Trump is the answer that a union is the answer. From what I can tell, the most effective union these days is SEIU, and I think they’re having success with people of color more than with white people.

    There have been some scattered attempts to unionize at Walmart I think, but generally, when an attempt at organizing happens, the company has required meetings where they do the hard sell about how the union will just be stealing part of your paycheck, and unions mean we’ll have to close. Then you have Tennessee, where politicians were threatening to take away Volkswagen’s tax breaks if the employees in Chattanooga voted for a union.

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  69. Sherri said on August 17, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Oh, and on your young woman, I was thinking more in terms of opportunities to teach adults. Groups of adults might be easier.

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  70. Sherri said on August 17, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Josh Marshall on Trump’s move into full-on alt-right:

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  71. susan said on August 17, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    TheGardenFairy @52 – Yah, I grew up in Cincinnati, too, and with a Potthast on the wall above the couch. One of his bathers-at-the-shore paintings, as in the one to which I linked. He did quite a few of those. Our grandfather bought the painting in the 1920s for $200 or so, according to Dad. One day, when the insurance guy came over to assess the house contents for insurance purposes, he espied the painting and noted that it was worth quite a bit these days. American art was hot. Really? He said he’d give my folks a huge chunk of change for it right then and there, but that they could probably do better at an auction of American painters that was coming up. Holy moly. Dad did NOT want anything that valuable in the house. He did not want to worry about someone breaking in and taking it. He did not want to insure it. So they opted for the auction, as an anonymous seller. They got more than $35,000 for it!! Then they went to Africa to see the big cats.

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  72. David C. said on August 17, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Jeff, our niece is in much the same boat, except she’s 27. She has a bachelors degree, teaching certificate, and could only find work at charters making not much more than the woman you are counseling. She now is a manager at Target making less than she would teaching, but at least it’s full time with benefits. Her hope right now is to get into Costco and I’m afraid any hope of teaching is gone. She’s engaged and her fiance has a degree in hotel management. He’s working the floor at Meijer. I doubt the two of them together make what I made when I got my first job as a mechanical designer 30 years ago and that was with an associates degree. I don’t know what the future holds for them, but I don’t see that they’re going to have an easy row to hoe. It seems like some of the better gigs available are in technical fields that only require an associates degree. That may be somewhere you could steer the woman you are trying to help. Although how do you go back to school without steady hours so you can plan a schedule. I wish her well. I hope she finds some kind of lifeline.

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  73. Charlotte said on August 17, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Since all’s fair — the Fug Girls on the lovely, mostly-naked men of the Rio swimming and diving:

    The job thing isn’t much better even up here in the upper echelons. I’m quitting my Cisco gig (which has been contract/no benefits since they laid me off in 2009) because my manager is awful, and because without renegotiating they’ve turned a peaceful part-time production gig into a full-time program management gig (for what I call “Cisco full time” which means you spend your 40 hours going to meetings and somehow get your actual work done on your own time). But I can because my house is paid off, and I have enough freelance stuff lined up to get me some more freelance stuff — and I’m also old enough to know people now who can/will hire me. I hope. And I have two half-finished novel manuscripts that its beyond time to finish and start the whole find an agent/try to sell process. So I can quit my job. I think. At least this is what I keep trying to convince my anxiety-dreams … but a kid right out of college now? in a part of the country where there aren’t jobs? or even if there are jobs — how are they going to find a place to rent/buy?

    Oh, and then Cisco announced another huge layoff today. There are so few “blue badge” folks left anymore — most groups are one or two Cisco managers and a cascade of “red badge” contractors reporting to them …

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  74. Sue said on August 17, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    When Act 10 went into effect and it became very clear our local wasn’t going to survive, about 7 of us became ‘at large’ members, more in a show of support than anything else – we knew there was little they could do. But one of the things we were told was that AFSCME was revamping in WI, rethinking what a union is and how better to reach out to all members. Members like me, without actual representation, might be able to draw on union resources in the event of an employment issue. Not actual representation, but access to a clearing house of information and contacts.
    So here we are, several years later, and the newsletters haven’t changed, and there has been no outreach, no attempt to get information out on how they are changing, and AFSCME keeps on lumbering along pushing the same old buttons. It’s been disappointing, and embarrassing in a way.

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  75. Deborah said on August 17, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    I’m so glad I’m retired. I only ever went after four design jobs in my life and got each of them. I only regretted one of them, I knew I’d made a big mistake my first day on the job. I said to myself that I’d work there for a year because I didn’t want to burn any bridges, but I couldn’t make it past five months. I was so happy to give my two weeks notice at that place and my last day there I couldn’t even stand to stay the whole day, I left at noon. One job I stayed for 18 years and the others about 7 or 8 years each (except for the 5 month one). I had a few teaching jobs before I got into design. I worked in the design field for a little over 30 years, I honestly don’t miss the day to day slog but I do miss the stimulating feeling of interacting with creative types from time to time.

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  76. TheGardenFairy said on August 17, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Susan @71 — Wonderful!

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