Frog music.

Grocery shopping is suddenly so complicated. Remember being able to buy a whole chicken, cut up? My local Kroger no longer carries this exotic fare, just the beloved-by-yoga-moms boneless, skinless chicken breasts; chicken “tenderloins,” i.e., fingers; and once in a while there will be a sale on whole thighs. Even drumsticks are something you have to hunt for. And so now my food shopping expands to three venues — Eastern Market for vegetables, Kroger for yogurt and canned stuff and vegetables like onions and potatoes, because while I’m sure Alice Waters can tell me there’s a reason I need to fill my farmers-market bags with artisanal onions and extra-special potatoes, to my proletarian mouth regular old white onions and Yukon Gold potatoes do pretty well for almost everything. My third stop is to the specialty grocery here in G.P. that has better-than-Kroger-grade meat.

It must have been a grumpy weekend, you’re thinking. Yes, sorta. But this helped:

That’s Kate, playing the MacBook Air and Ableton, and her classmates, playing similar machines, except for the guy on the right, who was playing a theremin.

The puppetry procession was Julie Taymor-type big-ass puppets on sticks, the music the final product of Kate’s electronic chamber-music class. The weather was perfect, and we found a parking place. Can’t complain about Saturday.

Sunday brought this, however:

When the Obama administration launched a sweeping policy to reduce harsh prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, rave reviews came from across the political spectrum. Civil rights groups and the Koch brothers praised Obama for his efforts, saying he was making the criminal justice system more humane.

But there was one person who watched these developments with some horror. Steven H. Cook, a former street cop who became a federal prosecutor based in Knoxville, Tenn., saw nothing wrong with how the system worked — not the life sentences for drug charges, not the huge growth of the prison population. And he went everywhere — Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News, congressional hearings, public panels — to spread a different gospel.

“The federal criminal justice system simply is not broken. In fact, it’s working exactly as designed,” Cook said at a criminal justice panel at The Washington Post last year.

Yes, back by (unpopular) demand — the war on drugs!

Law enforcement officials say that Sessions and Cook are preparing a plan to prosecute more drug and gun cases and pursue mandatory minimum sentences. The two men are eager to bring back the national crime strategy of the 1980s and ’90s from the peak of the drug war, an approach that had fallen out of favor in recent years as minority communities grappled with the effects of mass incarceration.

Because it worked so, so well the first time, right?

I can’t even. Let’s hope the week goes better than last.

Posted at 9:39 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

72 responses to “Frog music.”

  1. Sherri said on April 9, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    I don’t think grocery still carries a whole cutup chicken. It’s a search to find bone-in chicken at all. I buy the boring stuff at QFC (owned by Kroger) and go to the nearby PCC, a co-op market, for produce. For a wider range of better meat and fish, I go to Whole Foods. Every time I go out to get groceries, I look at my list and think, okay, which one of these places has most of what I need, because for example, PCC would never carry something so terrible for you as Cokes.

    Somehow I suspect that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III and Steven Cook, a former cop from Knoxville, aren’t going to be focusing their War on Drugs efforts on the white people overdosing on opioids, but on the “inner city”.

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  2. Julie Robinson said on April 9, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Last time Kroger had chicken on sale Mom wanted a couple of breasts, but to get the sale price you had to buy a package of 10. So I track down one of the guys in a butcher coat and ask him if he can please break down a package. “Oh no, we’re not allowed to touch the meat” says he. Really? Not allowed to touch the meat? Arrgh! I brought her some from home instead. Costco carries a big package too, but we have freezer space, and each breast is individually sealed.

    The weekend was beautiful; we spent time outdoors, and even fired the chimenea up for the first time. And now tomorrow is work and it’s going to rain.

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  3. Sherri said on April 9, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Here comes your War on Drugs:

    Sheriff who looks like a jacked-up steroid abuser surrounded by a bunch of thugs in masks. That certainly makes me think the Constitution will be upheld.

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  4. Charlotte said on April 9, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    We’re lucky because we’ve got the butcher shop for our locally-owned 4-store Town and Country grocery chain here in Livingston. I can get big Hutterite Colony roasters (whole) or commercial chicken cut up on or off bone. Also local pork and beef (although lamb, here in deepest sheep country, is nearly impossible unless you buy a whole animal, which drives me nuts). Now produce, that’s another story — it all has to come from so far away. And all my garden has right now are spring onions — lots of them, but a girl can’t live on onions alone.

    Spent the weekend working on a book review of Jim Harrison’s posthumous collection of food writing (and 2 other books), which has it’s charms, but when compared to The Raw and the Cooked, well, it’s an old man’s last book. Good quips though. That problematic old man could write a good quip right up until the end. RIP …

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  5. Deborah said on April 10, 2017 at 3:04 am

    I would have like to have witnessed Kate’s musical performance and the puppets. Seems like it would be fascinating.

    I grocery shop at 3 places in Chicago, Whole Foods for produce and meat, Trader Joe’s for things like nuts, beans, dairy, eggs, cheese, olive oil, flour, paper goods and then a place called Treasure Island for things like peanut butter (I can’t stand natural peanut butter, it’s gotta be Jif or Skippy). I mostly seem to go to Whole Foods though and end up buying stuff there that is cheaper at TJ’s. TJ’s is farther away and I don’t like to shlep from one store to the other for a shopping trip. I always kick myself when I only go to WF, when I get to checkout and see the total. We buy booze and wine at a place called Binny’s. We do this all on foot, rain, snow or shine. I have a really cool cart that I use when I know I’m getting a lot of heavy stuff. Mostly I get small amounts of stuff daily, we have a tiny kitchen, not a lot of storage space.

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  6. Suzanne said on April 10, 2017 at 6:46 am

    There are two words that will tell you why Sessions et al want to restart the war on drugs: privatized prisons. To make money, they gotta have butts in the seats, so to speak.

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  7. David C. said on April 10, 2017 at 6:49 am

    The war on drugs works exactly as planned. Black kids get felony convictions and lifetime bans from voting, white kids get misdemeanor (or less) and get to go to college, have lives, etc. It’s very expensive voter suppression.

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  8. Joe Kobiela said on April 10, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Myself and the Mrs have been doing the blue apron thing, food has been great, easy to fix three meals a week for $60, cheaper than eating out and the best part is we don’t have to sit down and plan a meal. Works great for a couple, a big family not so much.
    Beautiful weekend, slept with the windows open, and now out for a run in t-shirt and shorts.
    Pilot Joe

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  9. alex said on April 10, 2017 at 7:56 am

    I don’t know how Kroger does it, but they almost never fail to be completely out of stock on whatever items on my shopping list were the whole point of the trip. Pork tenderloin tonight? Don’t bet on it. (Make a backup plan that includes “chicken fingers.”) And it they do have some, they’ll be out of rosemary, which is why I like to grow my own.

    Had a wonderful weekend. We built a new enclosure for our veg garden and replaced the edging plants on our driveway. Instead of the overgrown hostas and day lilies that would get run over by cars and look like strange mutant plants, we now have a rock garden full of carpet phlox and creeping thyme and golden alyssum.

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 10, 2017 at 8:04 am

    I can’t grow rosemary. Grew lavender for two years, a whole big bed died the third. Black thumb disease, I think. Any rosemary tips, Alex?

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  11. kayak woman said on April 10, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Deborah, what kind of cart? I do most of my groceries on foot too – Plum Market (sort of like WF) near my house and farmers market on Saturdays. I use a backpack but occasionally a cart would be handy.

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  12. Heather said on April 10, 2017 at 8:47 am

    I ping between Trader Joe’s for essentials, a local place for produce, and Mariano’s for a wider selection of meat and fish–and then I like to patronize a local wine store when I can. I like the owner’s taste and I like to support small businesses. However, my local Aldi, less than a mile away, just reopened–they knocked down their old building and built a nice new one–and I think I’m going to add it to my route. Organic coconut oil and eggs were really a deal.

    Didn’t have much time to enjoy the nice weather this weekend other than some bike rides and keeping the windows open–but it was enough.

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  13. Deborah said on April 10, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Kayak Woman, I have this brand of cart
    I got it at Crate $ Barrel for about $80, about 4 years ago. It folds down for easy storage, it’s tall so I don’t have to stoop over to pull it along. I used to have one of those horrible wire gridded carts which are a pos. All the stuff in my Rolser cart stays dry and protected when it rains etc.

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  14. Deborah said on April 10, 2017 at 8:54 am

    That’s funny I meant to type Crate & Barrel.

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  15. Danny said on April 10, 2017 at 9:27 am

    This weekend as I was pondering my hit-or-miss attempts at pronouncing the French “r-sound” correctly, it occurred to me that Trump may have had a hidden motive for meeting with Xi at Mar-a-Lago. And that is the typical Chinese difficulty with the English r- and l-sounds.

    Xi to his wife: We are going to Maw-a-Rago? Is that how you say that?

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  16. brian stouder said on April 10, 2017 at 9:32 am

    It’s all Greek to me…

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  17. alex said on April 10, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Jeff, I’ve had the best luck with rosemary in a raised bed with a lot of sun, and I amend the soil every year with peat and compost.

    I’ve also grown rosemary and other herbs in outdoor containers close to my kitchen, but they don’t thrive there like they do in the garden.

    My rosemary plants don’t get hit with black thumb disease until after I pot them and bring them inside for the winter.

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  18. Jolene said on April 10, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Many Rolser shopping carts available at Amazon, kayak woman. Wide variety of prices. Just search on brand name.

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  19. Deborah said on April 10, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Another couple of pluses about my Rolser trolley, I use it to cart my laundry down to the laundry room, no lifting heavy baskets and now that I have this foot drop condition and I’m a little wobbly when I walk, it serves as a kind of walker for me when I go shopping, now I push it in front of me like a baby stroller and use both hands on the handle. Many times when I’m out and about with my cart on the streets of Chicago people stop me to ask where I got it, which is a little surprising, they’ve been around for a while by now. Little Bird has one too, she got her’s before I got mine. Once we got rid of the car in Chicago, it became an absolute necessity, although I had it a bit before that.

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  20. brian stouder said on April 10, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Speaking of ‘frog music’, there’s this – from America’s Pravda (Fox News).

    Even making allowances for who they root for, and reading this twice – I cannot decipher what this gobbledy-gook is supposed to mean. (If this is the best that Trump’s apologists can do, the bottom really is out of the tub for our new president)

    Another option being floated around on Capitol Hill would change the House GOP plan to eliminate much of the payroll tax and cut corporate tax rates and possibly requiring a new dedicated funding source for Social Security.

    The change, proposed by a GOP lobbyist with close ties to the Trump administration, would transform Brady’s plan on imports into something closer to a value-added tax by also eliminating the deduction of labor expenses. This would bring it in line with WTO rules and generate an additional $12 trillion over 10 years, according to budget estimates. Those additional revenues could then enable the end of the 12.4 percent payroll tax, split evenly between employers and employees, that funds Social Security, while keeping the health insurance payroll tax in place.

    This approach would give a worker earning $60,000 a year an additional $3,720 in take-home pay, a possible win that lawmakers could highlight back in their districts even though it would involve changing the funding mechanism for Social Security, according to the lobbyist.

    Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, said that all of the trial balloons surfacing in public don’t represent the work that’s being done behind the scenes.

    “It’s not really what’s going on,” Portman said. “What’s going on is they’re working with on various ideas.”

    The White House has not officially commented on any plan, but said in a statement but said a value-added tax based on consumption is not under consideration “as of now.”

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  21. Deborah said on April 10, 2017 at 10:31 am

    We’ve discussed this here before, about rosemary. I can NOT get it to grow in New Mexico, where you’d think it would be easy. Scout said it grows like weeds around Phoenix. I do know that it gets too cold in northern NM to leave it out year round so you have to bring it in, in the winter. I haven’t gotten it to grow longer than a month or so in a pot outside in the late spring. I either water it too much or not enough, have tried all kinds of different locations in sun, partial sun etc etc. Nothing works for me.

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  22. Deborah said on April 10, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Brian, why does anything written about taxes have to be so opaque? Tax forms included. Jeff tmmo had a good rant about this on FB. Jeff, you might want to include it here.

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  23. Julie Robinson said on April 10, 2017 at 10:49 am

    For shame, Danny. Be better than a stale ethnic slur.

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  24. basset said on April 10, 2017 at 11:02 am

    A new Aldi will be opening this Wesnesday three miles from the house (and right next to Kroger). We also have two Publixes within about the same distance… looks like our shopping habits are about to change.

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  25. Sherri said on April 10, 2017 at 11:41 am

    I hope the United employees weren’t wearing leggings.

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  26. Connie said on April 10, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    We have a newish Aldi’s in our neighborhood. I like their cheese. Just a little farther away- where they tore down a huge Ford Plant complex – we are getting another Aldi’s AND a Duluth Trading Store, in outlots by the new super Menards. Getting a Duluth Trading is sort of a big deal – or so says my DDD colleague at the township. Who had wanted to get it for our under development lifestyles center.

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  27. Suzanne said on April 10, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    I would love to have either an Aldi or Trader Joe’s near me, mainly for the wine and cheese!

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  28. Danny said on April 10, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Julie, not an ethnic slur, but a reality of different language difficulties people have when learning new languages. Many Americans do have issue with getting the French sounds correct and likewise with Chinese learning English. And I’m sure that Xi’a English dwarfs most American’s command if Mandarin or Cantonese.

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  29. nancy said on April 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Having watched the Japanese president of Honda accept Truck of the Year honors for their Ridgeline a few years back, I hear what Danny’s saying. He actually hesitated, like he was gathering strength, before saying the name of the truck. And he did pretty well. I wanted to applaud.

    I don’t make fun of accents (too much), because anyone who speaks English with an accent speaks one more language than I do. And sometimes more than one.

    (But I reserve the right to make fun, sometimes.)

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  30. Icarus said on April 10, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    forgive my ignorance, I have some research to do, but how do privatized prisons (prisons for profit?) work? i assumed all prisons were funded through tax payer money?

    also, Gin and Tacos says what I said last week about Trump supporters liking missile strikes much better than I could…

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  31. MichaelG said on April 10, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    I know I must have said it before but Sacramento is a wonderful town in which to shop for food. By far the majority of produce, meat, eggs, etc. and even wine comes from within a hundred or so miles. The Safeway I frequent (at 19th and S if it matters) has a bigger wine selection than most liquor stores in places like KY, TN or NC. The produce is wonderful, always right now fresh with a huge selection. Their meat is OK. Chicken? It’s all there, drums, thighs and breasts of every description along with whole chickens. Mostly I buy meat at Taylor’s Market or at Corti Bros. Both have local free range chickens. They have both choice and prime meat. Meat and fish are excellent. Wines? Corti Bros is legendary, otherwise pick a store, including the internet. I don’t shop at Trader Joes. They don’t have anything I can’t find a superior local version of in another store. Yeah, we’re lucky here. This doesn’t even count the farmers market which is huge and has lots to offer even this early in the year.

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  32. Julie Robinson said on April 10, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Speaking of wine, I need a recommendation, since I don’t drink anymore and the hubster only likes kool-aid wines. We’re staying with friends in a couple of weeks, and I want to take them a nice bottle of wine. They have fairly sophisticated palates and prefer reds, as I recall. I may take them some DeBrand’s too, but they love wine, and they’re saving us the cost of a Chicago hotel room.

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  33. Deborah said on April 10, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Michael G, I’m jealous.

    I have the world’s worst ability to pronounce words in languages other than English. My husband’s two daughters picked up languages so easily it was remarkable to me. His older daughter speaks fluent French, married a Frenchman and lives in France. His younger daughter spoke fluent Italian and lived in Florence for 3 years after she graduated from college. It’s been a few years and she says she’s lost a lot of her ability because she’s lived in Southern CA since then and has no one around to speak Italian with. I have a Danish friend in Abiquiu who has lived in the US for 40 years, she still has an accent but she says when she goes back to Denmark she can hardly understand anyone anymore. I have tried to learn to speak Spanish online, but I’m pathetic. Growing up in Miami we were required to take Spanish in elementary school, then I took Latin in high school partly so I wouldn’t have to embarrass myself trying to speak a different language, since nobody but priests spoke Latin.

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  34. Deborah said on April 10, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Julie, how much do you want to spend? There are some good wines at various prices so it would help to know what you are willing to pay. Do you know if they like California, Italian or French?

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  35. Diane said on April 10, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    My husband just came home from City Market (our local Kroger owned grocery store that is no where near a city) last Monday complaining that they did not gave a whole cut up chicken. I considered it a mundane piece of information, our proprietress uses it for a great opening to a blog post. This is why I am a really dedicated reader but don’t write. I do love nn.c

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  36. Deborah said on April 10, 2017 at 1:58 pm


    Sort of like charter schools, they aren’t necessarily better or cost effective.

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  37. Dorothy said on April 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Just a thought: If they have a butcher’s case displaying meat sitting on ice chips, and if they have a whole chicken in the case, could you ask that they cut it into pieces for you, thereby getting what you want – a cut up whole chicken? I don’t think that falls into the category of what Julie requested (“We can’t touch the meat!!”. I seem to recall having difficulty finding a whole cut up chicken at Kroger last summer, and we just settled on buying a package of breasts and a package of thighs.

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  38. Charlotte said on April 10, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Michael G — When I moved to Davis, the Safeway had a wine tasting room! and tastings on Friday afternoons, which makes sense as their wine school is world famous. I was such a midwestern girl, agog at people with peach trees! in their yards! dropping peaches! on the ground!
    The only thing I really miss from California is the food, especially Asian food — my brother and I used to joke that we’d never own a house, but we ate and drank really well.

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  39. LAMary said on April 10, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I was wondering about the disappearance of chicken parts too. Then I found them at Trader Joes. They carry their own brand and Empire Kosher cut up chickens. Before I found those I was buying whole chickens and dismantling them. I buy the chicken thighs with skin and bones at Costco and I freeze the pouches separately. There are three or four thighs per pouch so I can figure how many I need depending on how many of my offspring will be showing up for dinner. My go to chicken thigh dish is now the basic chicken and rice recipe from Mark Bittman. You can make the basic or add whatever you have around.

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  40. Julie Robinson said on April 10, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Deborah, it’s been 15 or more years since I looked at wine. $25? Or is that ridiculously low these days? He’s originally from Germany, but they are world travelers (and coincidentally, good at almost any language). I just remember being served wine that was a lot drier than my better half liked.

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  41. Connie said on April 10, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    The discussion about chicken parts reminds me that back in my newlywedd days I learned how to debone a chicken. I don’t think you could buy boneless skinless chicken breasts then, so I deskinned and deboned to make my own. Haven’t done that in a long time. These days our chicken breasts come from the Milford butcher. As does Holiday Kielbasa and other sausagey meats. Their location is particularly convenient during farmer’s market season as it is Thursday aft/eve on the street in front of the butcher shop.

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  42. brian stouder said on April 10, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    All I can say is, when 2-liter bottles of Diet Pepsi are at 99 cents, BUY it…but don’t get more than 2 or 3, as it will flatten more quickly

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  43. Jolene said on April 10, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    On PBS tonight: A three-part American Experience presentation on WWI and how it changed the country. Catch it now, before WWIII starts!

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  44. Sherri said on April 10, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    A Costco just opened in Redmond, but I haven’t even been over to it, because with just the two of us at home, and both of us so busy we’re not at home for dinner together many nights, I haven’t felt compelled to shop there. I should go over and check out the meat selection, though. There’s also a Trader Joe’s, but it has the obligatory crowded parking lot problem, so I don’t go over there often, either. The farmer’s market in Redmond opens the first weekend in May, but it’s been so cold and rainy I don’t know what will be on offer.

    Grocery shopping in California was great. Produce was incredible, there were numerous different options all within a mile and a half of my house, and when my daughter was little, I could hook up the bike trailer and put her in it and bike over and get groceries.

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  45. Dorothy said on April 10, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    I can’t stop laughing at Mary’s use of the word “dismantling” to describe cutting up the chicken!

    Anyone in the Columbus area ever try The Butcher and Grocer yet? My son discovered them a few weeks ago and now has me following them on Instagram. He says their sausage is outstanding. Josh bought some for us last weekend and we left without them, so we were sure to go home with them this past Saturday after we visited for a bit. I can’t wait to try them. On Instagram in the last week they showed a picture of sausage with beets and sage. I am DYING to try it! They are thebutcherandgrocer on Instagram.

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  46. Jolene said on April 10, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Tom Sietsema, the WaPo food critic recently wrote about the great things LA restaurants do with vegetables, owing both to the state’s bounty and its ethnic diversity. Worth reading if you are going to be traveling there or, if, like LAMary, you’re in the neighborhood.

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  47. LAMary said on April 10, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    I have a collapsible plastic shopping cart that I bought at Zabars in NYC at least 25 years ago. I like it a lot because it folds very flat and it’s light because only the frame is plastic. The rest is nylon netting. Whenever I use it at farmers markets I get asked where I got it. Just checked the Zabars site and didn’t see it.

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  48. Scout said on April 10, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Deborah remembers correctly – rosemary grows like crazy in the desert. The other herb I can grow easily is oregano. I have a BUSH of it growing for several years now and I keep lopping off big bouquets of it to give away. I have some mint and cilantro right now but in about 4-6 weeks those will burn up in the heat. I’m an OK but not great gardener and when I find something that works well for me I stick to it. I have discovered that for ornamental growies succulents are my gig. We have two large gabion walls in the front yard with inset planters and my succulents plantings in them are the envy of the hood.

    I do the bulk of my grocery shopping at Sprouts Farmer’s Market; it’s comparable to a cheaper, smaller Whole Foods with lots of produce and bulk items in bins. I also do TJ’s and Costco and get just a few specialty items at Natural Grocers and Whole Foods. It usually depends on what I’m closest to when I need something. I don’t eat meat, so I’m unaware of the chicken fingers phenom. Didn’t even know chickens had fingers. Heh heh.

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  49. alex said on April 10, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    …but how do privatized prisons (prisons for profit?) work? i assumed all prisons were funded through tax payer money?

    How they work is like this… Republicans convince people that government can’t do anything right so no one objects when they hand over government functions (like schools, prisons, what have you) to cronies, who shave off a significant profit for themselves and deliver even less for the taxpayer’s dollar.

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  50. brian stouder said on April 10, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    News Alert: Post reporter David Fahrenthold wins Pulitzer Prize for stories about Donald Trump’s charitable giving

    (I bet THIS draws more than a few tweets from our Tweeter-in-Chief)

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  51. Peter said on April 10, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    The Chicago Tribune website has a story about a father and son who got into a gunfight (with the son being shot dead and dad in critical condition) over who’s turn it was to walk the dog.

    Try and top that Detroit!!!

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  52. Suzanne said on April 10, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Zabar’s is just about my favorite store in the whole, wide world. We stop whenever we are in NYC. Best coffee.

    Alex, that is a great description of privatized prisons.
    A young man that I know worked for a time at an Indiana prison (gov’t run). He told me that when there was a riot, and a fire, and, I think someone may have died at a privatized prison somewhere else, he was not at all surprised by the outcome. As soon as trouble broke out, he said, the guards left because they weren’t being paid enough to risk life and limb for the prison. So they simply walked away and let the place burn and inmates die.
    But, hey, as long as somebody makes $$$, right?

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  53. LAMary said on April 10, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Sprouts is pretty great. They sell ground chuck there which might sound like no big deal, but I’ve only been seeing ground beef that’s differentiated by increments of fat content. First bite of a ground chuck burger took me back to my childhood when you asked they guy in the meat department to grind some chuck or round or sirloin for you.

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  54. Deborah said on April 10, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Scout, I envy you that you can grow cilantro, tried that and can’t do it either. We grow a lot of succulents in Santa Fe, but mostly in pots that we take inside in the winter, even though I’ve heard they can survive outside all year. Also we found out that skunks like to chew on them so it’s harder for them to reach the plants in the pots. Skunks don’t climb, we’ve been told.

    When my mom was sick and knew she was dying she taught my sister and me how to cut up a whole chicken for frying. I was 14 then and I have never completely used that knowledge. My mother was a lousy cook but she knew how to cut up a chicken because she grew up on a farm where they butchered their own. I do know how to easily cut the legs off of a whole roasted bird, that’s the only thing I remember and have done many times, how to separate the leg and the thigh cleanly.

    I’m off to the Dr soon, we’re having a thunderstorm so I’ll probably take a cab even though the office is only a couple of blocks away.

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  55. adrianne said on April 10, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Aaaargh. Peggy Noonan wins Pulitzer for commentary. I can’t even.

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  56. Connie said on April 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Pulitzer Prizes! Farenthold!

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  57. adrianne said on April 10, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    And Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad” won for fiction, so there’s that.

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  58. Bitter Scribe said on April 10, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    The reason we get so many lightweights, like Mary Schmich, and straight-up shitheads, like that jerkoff who kept drawing Obama as a stick figure with satellite-dish ears, winning the Pulitzer for commentary, is that the same people keep applying over and over. It’s very much a situation of, keep applying and eventually you win. IOW, the Pulitzer for commentary is like hemorrhoids: Sooner or later every asshole gets one.

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  59. Icarus said on April 10, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Try and top that Detroit!!!

    Detroit: hold my beer!

    last time, promise]

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  60. Danny said on April 10, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    And bringing all of today’s conversation together regarding incorrect pronunciation, trouble finding chicken parts at local markets and Pulitzer Prizes, I was in a speech contest in eighth grade and one of my co-contestants thought the the “Puloitzer Prize” was actually a “Poulet Surprise” whereby good writers could win a chicken dinner. I am not making this up. And I haven’t thought about that in almost 40 years.

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  61. Heather said on April 10, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Julie, Portuguese wines are kind of trendy now and offer good bang for your buck. You can get a good bottle for $20. I’m partial to reds from the Alentejo region but most wine stores here mainly carry wines from the Dao or the Douro regions (also good).

    I always think Northern Italian wines like Nebbiolo are a good bet–less $$ than Barolo but the same grape. In French wines, my favorite is Gigondas. Trader Joe’s carries a good one but I can’t remember the name.

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  62. nancy said on April 10, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    An editor acquaintance of mine remembers a self-evaluation by a reporter who felt he wasn’t getting enough top-level attention, and wrote, “I believe that I am capable of winning this newspaper a Pulletzer Prize.”

    What Bitter said about commentary is true for many, but not all, categories. With cutbacks, there are simply fewer columnists than there used to be. Way, way fewer, and hardly any of the the-city-is-my-beat Metro-page people. The worst is editorial cartooning, where there are, what? Maybe a couple dozen in the whole country? My ex-colleague Jack Ohman won last year, and when I called to congratulate him a few days later, I told him it was about fucking time, because everyone else in his field had already won.

    Plus, I suspect that the big P board feels pressure to honor diversity of all sorts, and threw it to Peggy and that other big nothingburger, Kathleen Parker (a few years back), because they’re nominally conservatives, albeit the thoughtful sort they like to see at cocktail parties and, y’know, “joust” with over the canapés.

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  63. Sherri said on April 10, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Peggy Noonan. She’s barely even worth making fun of anymore.

    Of course, given that the big papers seem so reluctant to try New voices, it shouldn’t be surprising. The columnist I found the most interesting and informative over the past year was probably Michael Hitzlik, at the LA Times, who wrote a lot about health care. I didn’t read him regularly, but when I did, I learned something.

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  64. Deborah said on April 10, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Bitter Scribe “the Pulitzer for commentary is like hemorrhoids: Sooner or later every asshole gets one.” good one. I used to love reading Tbogg’s snark about Noonan.

    Danny, you really wrapped it all up into one comment, bravo! I lived in St. Louis for many years, you learn how to spell Pulitzer when you live there.

    Back from the Dr, lots of tests scheduled, but SI joint dysfunction has been ruled out, damn, I was hoping to get a quick realignment and be done with it.

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  65. Sherri said on April 10, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    There’s been ongoing drama in Alabama concerning the governor and his affair with a former aide, which is finally resulting in impeachment hearings. Uncovered in the hearings was a statement the mistress wrote that she wanted the wife to give when the wife filed for divorce:

    Sadly, even though they don’t seem to love the governor any more, Alabama isn’t likely to take back Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III or undo their voter suppression tactics.

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  66. Julie Robinson said on April 10, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Thanks, Heather. We don’t have TJ’s, but we do have their counterpoint, Aldi’s, who just opened a new store here too. I haven’t been there yet, but it’s bigger and has lots of organics. Or I’ll get some at Costco.

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  67. Sherri said on April 10, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    More of the craziness from Alabama:

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  68. Sherri said on April 10, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    One last Alabama anecdote: the mistress was behind the idea to close a bunch of DMV offices to make it harder for black people to get the necessary ID for voting.

    Just a little pillow talk, you know.

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  69. devtob said on April 10, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    basset — Aldi’s has great everyday prices on produce and German/EU packaged foods.

    The customer service is relatively lacking, e.g., no express checkout lane.

    Worth a regular stop, if it’s convenient.

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  70. adrianne said on April 10, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    On the Alabama Luv Gov: You can’t make this shit up! However, he has stepped down. From my joint: Law360, Los Angeles (April 10, 2017, 9:04 PM EDT) — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley resigned late Monday afternoon as part of a plea deal that saw him admitting to two misdemeanor violations of campaign finance law arising from an alleged extramarital affair with a top aide, coming just several days after he vowed to stay in office.

    “The time has come for me to look for new ways to serve the people of our great state. I have decided it is time for me to step down as Alabama’s governor,” Bentley, a Republican, said in a short resignation speech Monday at the state capitol in Montgomery.

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  71. Connie said on April 10, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Aldi’s tip: bring a quarter for a shopping cart, and byob. Bags that is, or you will pay.

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  72. Bitter Scribe said on April 10, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    Didn’t the dummy in Alabama send love texts to his mistress from a phone that was synched to his wife’s iPad?

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