May I borrow that pen?

I was reading the paper yesterday and came across one of those stories we’ve discussed before – the public shaming of someone caught embezzling. There’s something so uniquely humiliating about seeing these items bought with purloined funds; the evidence tags only underline the foolishness of risking liberty, fortune, reputation and family for something that inevitably looks shabby under a courtroom’s glaring lights.

This case hasn’t gotten this far; the accused is still only accused, but the feds are not shy with their filings in this case, in which an executive for Fiat Chrysler allegedly siphoned funds from a company training fund into his pocket and from there into various other pockets around town. He had the mansion and the swimming pool and the Ferrari and the “outdoor kitchen,” but this story is about his fondness for expensive fountain pens. He bought two — two! — $36,000, limited-edition (aren’t they all?) MontBlancs, with mother-of-pearl this and sapphire-embedded that. They were, the story labored perhaps just a teensy bit too hard to underline, issued to honor Abraham Lincoln, who I have to think would have guffawed at such a thing. (I shudder to think of the gewgaws yet to come to commemorate our 45th president.)

Anyway, not only does this guy have to squirm under the magnifying glass of those with subpoenas, he also has to endure the scorn of the pen community:

“This is a guy trying to live like how he thinks rich people live,” said Eric Fonville, president of the Michigan Pen Club, a collectors group of about 130 members. “Nobody would buy a $40,000 Montblanc. True millionaires don’t spend money like that.”

It so happens I agree, but someone must buy the things, or MontBlanc wouldn’t go to the trouble to make them. I guess they’re all tacky people.

But the shading is not over:

Iacobelli does not appear to be a serious pen collector. Fonville, the pen club president, had never heard of him until the indictment.

“He’s not a part of the pen-collecting community,” Fonville said.

And with that, a disgraced former Fiat Chrysler executive imagines life in a cell, and when everything he writes with resembles a crayon.

Stay honest, people. Or you could find yourself publicly shamed by a pen-club president.

So, we now march into the weekend. Hot and steamy here, which I guess is sorta-Indian summer, although I thought that had to come after the first frost, and we haven’t had that yet. I’m going to do the NYT mini crossword and ask you once again to read my Schvitz story, so I can be web-traffic queen for a day.

This other Bridge link will be live after noon EDT today. It’s about a crappy poll that claimed Kid Rock could beat Debbie Stabenow in the Michigan Senate race. If you follow the link within it to the FiveThirtyEight debunking, you find this remarkable passage:

After Delphi Analytica released its Michigan survey (it has released eight polls in all), I received a direct message on Twitter from Michael McDonald, a source I had spoken to before. McDonald follows political betting markets and had previously contacted me about another survey firm, CSP Polling, that he believed was a shell organization started by some people who use PredictIt, a betting market for political propositions. McDonald said that CSP stood for “Cuck Shed Polling.” Like Delphi Analytica, CSP Polling doesn’t list anyone who works there on its website.

A betting market for politics? Really? Talk about fools and their money.

Good weekend to all.

Posted at 9:14 am in Current events |
 

75 responses to “May I borrow that pen?”

  1. Icarus said on September 22, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Why am I more surprised that pen collecting and subsequent clubs are a thing but not surprised at a $40K pen?

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  2. Bitter Scribe said on September 22, 2017 at 10:06 am

    I shudder to think of the gewgaws yet to come to commemorate our 45th president.

    May one of them be handcuffs.

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  3. brian stouder said on September 22, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Funniest line in today’s post (imo) –

    “He’s not a part of the pen-collecting community,” Fonville said.

    Last weekend when Chloe (our 7th grader) and I visited our (altogether marvelous!) downtown library, they had on display a local retired business person’s extensive (exTENNNNNNNsive!)collection of…….swizzle sticks, which he collected over the course of his long career

    Who knew? There were hundreds – thousands!- of them, with whatever restaurant’s/bar’s/hotel’s/club’s names and logos and phone numbers and so on.

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  4. Jeff Borden said on September 22, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I may invest in a $40,000 pen. Perhaps I’ll be able to sell it at a profit when my health care insurance soars to infinity and beyond as Sens. Graham and Cassidy smile and nod benignly as one-sixth of our economy is set ablaze.

    Man, I hate Republicans.

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  5. nancy said on September 22, 2017 at 10:29 am

    I hope Alex drops in to tell you about his cocktail-straw collection. Maybe someday he can exchange them for a new liver.

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  6. brian stouder said on September 22, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Say – Uncle Google helped me out –

    http://www.wpta21.com/story/36395066/drink-up

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  7. Jolene said on September 22, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Great little story, Brian. There really is a collector of everything and, for many, many things, a community of collectors.

    Fess up, people. What do you collect?

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  8. brian stouder said on September 22, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Well, I have several ‘used-to’ collections; I used to collect models (does anyone build models anymore?) – had a shelf of cars (I remember building an orange, 1/25th scale Mazda with ROTARY ENGINE!..and the doors would open) and semi trucks (my dad was a truck driver, when I was Chloe’s age) and a few airplanes.

    Speaking of the olden days, one of my older brothers had an extensive collection of Playboy magazines (back when it was mostly all breasts – without the biological shots) which I occasionally perused; and books (printed and bound – not in electrons!) have always been pleasant to accumulate…

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  9. Suzanne said on September 22, 2017 at 11:09 am

    I’ve been downsizing lately. My husband often takes the swizzle stick from drinks home, but not exotic places like Cuba or Hawaii. I got rid of a bunch of them.
    The only pens we collect are the ones we pick up at conferences or mistakenly take from a restaurant when signing for the credit card.

    I sort of collect chicken things but by accident. I bought a couple of lovely pottery chicken planter/vase items at garage sales because I liked them. Suddenly, everyone assumes I am collecting all things chicken! My husband kept going to the antique store & buying me more until I told him to stop. Other people buy give chicken ornaments, etc. I try to discreetly get rid of them if possible.

    Best part of the pen collector story, I think, was this: “This is a guy trying to live like how he thinks rich people live…” Lifestyles of the rich & famous!

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  10. Heather said on September 22, 2017 at 11:23 am

    I assume it’s a fountain pen. As a left-hander I can’t use those–the side of my hand smears the ink. Bics for me. I do have a nice non-fountain pen an old boyfriend gave me years ago but I have yet to go to the trouble of finding replacement ink cartridges for it.

    I think the only thing I have that could qualify as a collection are European issues of Vogue–from Italy, France, and a few other countries in there, dating back to 2000 or so. I used to get them when I went on vacation and ask people to bring one back for me when they went to other countries. They take up a lot of space and I’m thinking I might try to sell them on eBay.

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  11. Bitter Scribe said on September 22, 2017 at 11:36 am

    I can’t think why anyone would use a fountain pen except to do calligraphy or leave an fancy, impressive signature on a diploma or some similarly significant document. Using them in everyday applications just seems ludicrous.

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  12. Deni Menken said on September 22, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Fish bowl furniture! Since our childhood goldfish never survived long enough to merit a trip to the dime store for a gaudy castle or cheesy mermaid hugging an overly friendly diver, I search out these vintage ceramic treasures. They are hard to find (look for a little hole near the top that allows air to escape) and not expensive.

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  13. Judybusy said on September 22, 2017 at 11:46 am

    I use an inexpensive Parker fountain pen I’ve had for decades to write in my journals. One for life stuff, the other a garden journal. I am a lefty, but the way I hold my pen, it doesn’t smear.

    As for collecting, well, plants and cookbooks. We buy a new book or two per year. Neither of us likes clutter, so we don’t collect/buy a lot of things. I do like to get prints when we go on vacation. We have a large fake old-timey map of Puerto Rico which we got framed.

    PR of course, has been on our minds a lot the last few weeks. Still haven’t heard from our friends there.

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  14. Dorothy said on September 22, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Does it count as collecting if you buy it, cut it up and repurpose it into quilts? If so, then I collect 100% cotton quilt fabric. And yarn for knitting or crocheting purposes.

    Actually we collect penguin Christmas ornaments. YEARS ago (1976 I think) Mike and I were on a trip to Erie in December and I needed to use the bathroom. The roads were dicey and we were trying to make good time. Kidding around he said “I don’t want to stop – maybe you could just open the door if I slow down, and you could waddle like a penguin and pee as I drive real slowly?” Laughing at that almost made me pee my pants. So ever since then, we’ve had a thing for penguins. People think it’s because of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team and that’s just not true. But it helps to be from Pittsburgh. So we keep an eye out for penguin ornaments, and a couple of years ago we finally got an artificial tree just for the penguin ornamements.

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  15. brian stouder said on September 22, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Dorothy – that sounds a great deal like a thread-winner, to me! Especially because you laughed – whereas I think Pam would have ‘crowned’ me, if I said that to her, in similar circumstances

    (once, we were on a roadtrip, several states away, and we made a pit-stop, and I emerged from the gas-station/c-store with a gift for her…little piggy salt and pepper shakers. This made her angry, and she remained perturbed for another hundred miles or so…!)

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  16. Deborah said on September 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    LB collects salt and pepper shakers, the tacky ones especially. She has them from all over the world, hundreds of them. People send them to her or bring them back for her after traveling.

    My husband and I collect books. I have a small collection of glass Alvar Aalto vases. Aside from that I seem to be collecting lots of aches and pains.

    I got two fancy pens in my lifetime, one for being named a Vice President and the other for something work related that I don’t remember. Unfortunately I promptly lost both of them.

    Some architects love Mont Blanc type pens, they carry around multiple pens with different colored inks in them for when they draw their napkin sketches. A famous architect did that and then a bunch of them copied him. I don’t remember who originated it but a Chicago architect, Helmut Jahn used that pen technique for his drawings but I don’t think he originated it. Nowadays architects don’t draw by hand much, they mostly use computers.

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  17. Connie said on September 22, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Like Dorothy I have a large fabric collection. And an odd assortment of dolls wearing dutch costumes and wooden shoes. And some delft. And probably more, still packed since the quite a while ago last move.

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  18. Scout said on September 22, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    My weakness is bowls. Hand thrown ceramics especially, but I am also drawn to non food use ones too and have a few really cool metal and crystal singing bowls. I also love hand drums of the African and Indian (east and west) varieties. But I’m not really a collector, I am extremely selective and will give away bowls and drums to friends if new finds catch my fancy. The only other things I find irresistible are beads because I make a lot of my own jewelry.

    Dotard is my new favorite word. It is the perfect word for the giant orange fart stain polluting the Oval.

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  19. Jakash said on September 22, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    “it helps to be from Pittsburgh” Rather than explaining to a clerk that it’s because you’re commemorating the time you were asked to “waddle like a penguin and pee” alongside a moving car on a frozen highway? Indeed! ; ) Or I suppose you meant that it helps because there’s lots of penguin stuff to be had there…

    Hey, most of you folks are old enough to have saved restaurant matchbooks, aren’t you? Perhaps that’s too low-rent for this fine group. Neither of us smoked, but that was a fun little memento to hang onto, and we have a bunch. Due to the nature of the restaurant industry, so many of the places are gone now, but we still have these little reminders. But I always tried to differentiate between “saving” and “collecting.” We didn’t try to get them from places we hadn’t been to, for instance, we just hung on to the ones we naturally acquired. Alas, those days are long gone — smoking took quite the hit, while the swizzle stick probably marches on!

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  20. Connie said on September 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I also collect what I call my Christmas Village Libraries. They usually get put up at work for the holidays. I have only the library from dozens of different Christmas village sets. Several from Dept 56, including a bookmobile. One from Hummel. Most are miscellaneous anonymous makers and sold at inexpensive places like Joann’s and Lowes. I have forty some total. It’s a stupid collection, library people love it. I have had pictures on facebook.

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  21. alex said on September 22, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    I used to collect matchbooks but being a smoker and living with smokers, they never lasted. We got a fabulous collection dating back to the 1950s when we bought our deceased neighbor’s house to use as an investment property, and my partner smoked those all up in a month’s time.

    Yes, I have a cocktail straw collection. It’s quite something to behold.

    I have some model cars, but I’m not the enthusiastic collector I once was. Had a bunch from my childhood that were kept in my parents’ basement and they might have been worth something if my parents hadn’t let their toddler grandchildren play demolition derby with them.

    I’m really not much of a collector of anything these days; more of a declutterer.

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  22. Dorothy said on September 22, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Oooh I forgot! I collect refrigerator magnets too. Ask Jolene – she saw a picture of my fridge on Facebook a few weeks ago and was duly impressed! Or scared – I forget. Ask Jolene how she felt about it!

    That’s funny jakash. I’m not sure what i mean by tying in Pittsburgh to the penguin thing except I’ve had people who see my Christmas ornaments assume that I collect penguins because I’m from Pittsburgh. We even did penguin wallpaper in my son’s room back in our first house. It was white background, with black & white penguins playing with red and yellow beach balls.

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  23. Bitter Scribe said on September 22, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Once I wrote a profile of a local fireman who collected Santa Claus figurines. He must have had more than a hundred of them, from thimble-size to larger than life.

    Anyone out there of a certain age from the Chicago area remember the Polk Bros. Santa Claus? Polk Bros. is a long-defunct chain of appliance stores. One year when I was a kid, if you bought a refrigerator or something from them, they’d throw in a lifesize plastic illuminated Santa figure or statue or whatever you call it. They were everywhere that Christmas. When my family was out driving, whenever my sister or I spotted one, we would shriek “POLK BROTHERS SANTA CLAUS!” Drove our parents nuts.

    Anyway, years later, I asked that fireman whether his collection included one of those. He said eagerly, “No! Do you know where I can find one? I’ve been looking all over for one!”

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  24. Peter said on September 22, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Many years back we interviewed a prospective intern whose resume stated that her hobby was collecting hotel room keys. My boss said we just HAVE to interview her, and we did, and hired her, and never asked about the collection.

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  25. Peter said on September 22, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    BTW the Tribune is reporting that McCain will vote no on the latest TrumpKKKare health bill.

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  26. Deborah said on September 22, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Oh Peter, I hope the Tribune is right about McCain, and now we have to hope that Rand, Susan and Lisa also vote no, and maybe a bunch more too. This deathcare bill is the worst.

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  27. Jakash said on September 22, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Yeah, “dotard” is a choice insult for Dolt 45. Hard not to pronounce it “Doe-tarred,” though.

    “do·tard (dōdərd) noun
    A word you didn’t previously know existed, but googled today and said, ‘Damn, that’s pretty accurate.'”

    On the other hand, “Um yeah #dotard is funny and all, but did we miss the part where Kim Jong Un promised nuclear war against the US?”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/world/asia/trump-north-korea-dotard.html

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  28. Connie said on September 22, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Oh! I still have two Barbie cases filled with dolls and clothes. Unfortunately Midge got a haircut. Have the original Skipper doll in there. I had the original Barbie but she didn’t make it this far.

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  29. basset said on September 22, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I knew a producer some years ago who traveled a lot for work and collected (unused) airsick bags, most of them from really obscure airlines. Covered the back of his office door.

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  30. Jeff Borden said on September 22, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Numerous news sites report McCain won’t support his buddy Huckleberry’s death care plan.

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  31. brian stouder said on September 22, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Basset – I bet that guy heard the same joke, again and again; along the lines of being an “award winning” producer with a distinct impact upon his audience (etc)

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  32. Deborah said on September 22, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    I usually take the unused airsickness bag for a bookmark. I read throughout every flight I take and usually try to start a new book with each trip. I throw the bag away when I’m done with the book though. They’re usually generic, all white with no logo or anything on them.

    I’m sitting in a salon waiting to get my hair drastically cut. Heather gave me the name of this place and her stylist. I’m so excited about finally figuring out what I want to do with my hair. LB got hers cut a couple of weeks ago and it looks so cute it inspired me greatly.

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  33. David C. said on September 22, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    The no true pen collector fallacy is a new one on me.

    I don’t collect anything but dust.

    I don’t think the new health care failure was anything but a ruse to get the RWNJs off McCain’s BFF Lindsey Graham’s ass. It saves McConnell the trouble of even having to hold another vote. So, on to fucking blue states using the tax code.

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  34. Little Bird said on September 22, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    The salt and pepper shaker collection is indeed quite large, so large that it fills two bookcases that have had additional shelves added. I’m running out of room! But S&P shakers are cheap….
    the hospital wristband collection is one I wish would stop growing.

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  35. brian stouder said on September 22, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Little Bird – Agreed!!

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  36. Heather said on September 22, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    I was going to say earlier that I collect little houses–ceramic or wood–but I don’t have all that many. Then I went to a little art museum out in the Chicago suburbs at lunch and ended up buying a necklace with a little ceramic house pendant. So maybe that’s my new collection.

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  37. Julie Robinson said on September 22, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Dorothy, thank you for the visual, which almost made me pee my pants. There haven’t been a lot of laughs today, so it was much needed.

    Jeri was also a quilter and one of her legacies will be about 50 plastic bins of quilt fabric. She had been too sick to sew for the last few years but still took pleasure in collecting. The quilt ladies at church will help get it out to people who sew, and I hope some can go for quilts to be sent out internationally as part of relief efforts. She had lived in several different countries when she was younger, and had a passion for helping people.

    Like LB she had an extensive collection of hospital bands, and it’s a blessing to know she won’t have to endure any more hospital visits. I’m glad that she died at home and not in an institution, even though it meant a delay in finding her.

    We arranged for her cremation today and are tentatively setting up a memorial service. It’s pretty handy to have a pastor and musicians in the family when it comes to that. We’re working on a digital slideshow, and I’m making a playlist for visitation time. Have I mentioned how terrific my kids have been? She was so, so proud of them.

    Mother has needed to cry a lot, but she is also accepting that Jeri had so much pain and suffering the last several years that her life was really, really hard. This last year especially, with congestive heart failure, almost any effort exhausted her and she spent a lot of time in bed reading books on a series of kindles I sent her.

    Thank you all for your caring messages of concern. I’ve never even met any of you in person but I feel your love and support.

    And I used to collect shoes, but once I developed plantar fasciitis I changed over to purses. I am not proud of how many I own.

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  38. adrianne said on September 22, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Julie, I’m so sorry to hear about your sister. Glad you still can laugh.

    Today’s thread is one of the best ever for nn.c. Like Brian, I burst out laughing at the “he’s not in the pen-collecting community” comment. Could there be a more perfect example of throwing shade?

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  39. basset said on September 22, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    I don’t fly much but it seems to me barf bags are indeed generic these days… the collector was maybe twenty years ago. Had an interesting job though – going to natural disasters all over the world and making films which were then sent out to churches to support theor relief efforts.

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  40. Jolene said on September 22, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    So, on to fucking blue states using the tax code.

    They aren’t done screwing with healthcare yet either. They’ve been sabotaging the ACA all along in ways that aren’t highly visible. For instance, they cut the budget for advertising signup dates and such by 90%, they cancelled contracts with community organizations that provided navigator services to help people sign up, and they shortened the signup period from 90 days to 45 days. And, just today, they announced that the website where people sign up will be down for 12 hours on three of those days. Have I said recently that I hate them? I hate them.

    But on to cheerier things. Scout, it sounds like we could be roommates. I love pottery bowls too. In recent years, I’ve bought few of them because space, but I hold fast to those I have. Also love pitchers.

    Lately, though, I’ve mainly been collecting lampwork beads, which, though expensive, have the advantage of being small. Here’s an example. They can be made in any shape or color and, as with any kind of craft work, most are crap, but the best are like small paintings.

    I’ve made only a few pieces of jewelry, but want to do more. I certainly should, if only to save my heirs the trial of figuring what to do with all these beads.

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  41. Jolene said on September 22, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    More beautiful lampwork.

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/550713103/lori-lochner-handmade-artisan-lampwork?ref=shop_home_active_10

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/539492760/jasmin-french-dove-in-love-lampwork?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=jasmin%20french&ref=sr_gallery_48

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  42. Julie Robinson said on September 22, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Beautiful bead, Jolene. Yeah, I collect jewelry too. Massively. I don’t make my own beads, but I do create custom necklaces and earrings. Oof. I have a lot of jewelry.

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  43. Jolene said on September 22, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Still more. This is a tiny taste, but want you to see the variety.

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/247764161/inca-trek-lampwork-beads-handmade-red

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/189790340/sra-lampwork-bird-bead-1-donna-millard?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=lampwork%20bird%20beads&ref=sr_gallery_37

    I’ll stop, but, if you are interested, Etsy, eBay, and Facebook are all good places to look for lampwork beads.

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  44. LAMary said on September 22, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    I guess I collect perfume. Latest acquisitions are Santal 33, Kai, Clementine California and Tea, Citron, Mint. By latest I mean acquired over the last 18 months or so. Some of these suckers are expensive. Some were very generous gifts.

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  45. Deborah said on September 22, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    As Jolene gave you examples of lampwork beads (which are beautiful), here are examples of glass Alvar Aalto vases http://www.bohero.eu/Repository/Cached/ProductPictures_iittala/IITTALA_Alvar_Aalto_vase_160_95_clear_Bohero-canvas-640.jpg I only collect the clear glass ones.

    Julie, good to hear from you, I have been thinking about you a lot.

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  46. Suzanne said on September 23, 2017 at 9:44 am

    The Lutheran Hospital mess in Fort Wayne has made Bloomberg news
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-21/debt-sickened-a-hospital-giant-now-the-doctors-are-revolting

    I’ve talked to two people in the past week-one who works for IPFW & one for a Lutheran associated physician group-who both mentioned swirling rumors of IU Medical wanting to open a hospital in Fort Wayne. That would explain CHS suddenly announcing they plan to build a new St Joe hospital. Sell Lutheran to IU, use the profits to build a new hospital. Speculation on my part, but logical.

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  47. ROGirl said on September 23, 2017 at 10:51 am

    I collect vintage costume jewelry, have been finding good stuff at estate sales. I have also gotten some nice artwork, pottery pieces, purses, kitchen stuff, clothes. It’s fun going through very posh houses and seeing how the 1% lives.

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  48. Pam said on September 23, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Having the opportunity to encounter collectors almost constantly, nothing amazes me anymore. Including the resident of Port St. Lucie, FL who contacted me through ebay about 2 days after the storm blew through, eager to buy a glass candy jar. Really? I thought. His post office was closed “until further notice” so that was out of the question, until he contacted me again, informing me that delivery was now possible and please send the jar. OK . . .

    But you can be smart about it. I know a man who had an extensive glass animal collection that he sold and with the proceeds, bought his son a college education. Swizzle sticks and salt/pepper shakers won’t get you that.

    The best sales I’ve ever attended were those auctioning off the (temporary) possessions of an embezzler. Embezzlers, I’ve noticed, always buy the best stuff because they’re not paying for it. Once attended a sale of the items of 2 hillbilly women and all of their appliances were bright red, every single one. You can’t buy good taste I suppose. The story of how the police recovered the jewelry from their relatives is a hoot, but too long. So the $40K pen doesn’t surprise me a bit, nor do the comments of the other pen collectors.

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  49. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 23, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Jolene, our local Smithsonian affiliate museum has a glass shop (part of our local legacy, Heisey et alia), and intermittently they offer lampwork bead making classes. I made a couple of batches for my wife’s pseudo-Pandora collection; not as nice as what you link to — I need lots of practice — but they are fun to do with a skilled artisan advising you along the way.

    http://attheworks.org/

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  50. Deborah said on September 23, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Today is our official 17th wedding anniversary, unofficial 27th. We were going to go to an Arthur Miller play at the Goodman but neither of got our act together to get tickets so we had a lovely dinner at our place (risotto with scallops that my husband made) with a good bottle of wine. It was heavenly to sit up in our perch over the lake.

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  51. Jolene said on September 23, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Jolene, our local Smithsonian affiliate museum has a glass shop (part of our local legacy, Heisey et alia), and intermittently they offer lampwork bead making classes.

    There are a lot of studios and shops around the country that offer such classes. I follow a lot of beadmakers on FB and often see posts from one or another of them about workshops they are teaching. I haven’t pursued that idea myself. I’ve never been especially good at things that require fine motor skills, and my artistic talents, such as they are, run more to choice and arrangement than to original creation.

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  52. brian stouder said on September 23, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Congratulations, Deborah. I’d say your husband ‘won the lottery’ in Y2K!

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  53. Deborah said on September 24, 2017 at 9:48 am

    From what I’m reading online it sounds like Trump has upset the sports world. Sherri?

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  54. David C. said on September 24, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I wouldn’t be surprised if entire teams take a knee today. Cheetolini needed a needed an applause line for his trip to the Klan rally in Crackerstan and it’s going to blow up in his face bigly. Weak.

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  55. Deborah said on September 24, 2017 at 10:57 am

    I hope you’re right David C, but there are a lot of racist assholes in this country right now who’ve been unleashed by this president. Love your term “Crackerstan”.

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  56. Deborah said on September 24, 2017 at 11:32 am

    The high for Chicago today is expected to be higher than the one for Phoenix! And it’s the end of September. It’s going to get up to 90 again here, for like the 4th or 5th day. Really not enjoying this.

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  57. Sherri said on September 24, 2017 at 11:53 am

    The NFL won’t take a knee today. There are too many white players who are inhabitants of Crackerstan, and too many NFL owners who donated to trump. Yes, trump annoyed the owners with his comments, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell even issued some lame-ass statement about that never explicitly mentioned trump, but really, the owners just want the whole issue to go away. They aren’t blackballing Kaepernick out of a misguided sense of patriotism, they’re blackballing Kaepernick because they’re afraid he’ll distract from their primary purpose of making money. Never mind that Kaepernick has the bestselling Niners jersey, even though he’s not on the team, and is among the top ten selling jerseys in the league, and is a better quarterback than a number of starting QBs in the league.

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  58. Jakash said on September 24, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Yeah, Deborah, afraid I’m gonna have to blame you for this heat. Everything was going swimmingly around here until you returned! (Except that the weather wasn’t very good for swimming until now.) ; ) I figured we’d pay a price for the largely cool and mild end of August/beginning of September, but I wasn’t anticipating this development. Plus, I’m prepared to announce that the fall colors around here are gonna be duds, too. After making the rounds of various spots in the city, it seems that the trees are stressed and befuddled. Some turning way early and already about done, some turning, but a bleached-out yellow instead of a vibrant color, some just having the ends of the leaves turn brown… Some combination of the dry spell we’ve had, along with the weird temperatures has done a number on them. Given the things going on around the country and world, I realize that this doesn’t even register as a problem, but it’s a bit of a disappointment, nonetheless…

    Oh, and we drove by your building on LSD yesterday and could easily see The Architect’s Handkerchief plopped on your lawn while backed up at the light at Chicago. I guess I like the concept better than the actual sculpture, but it’s better than nothing, maybe?

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  59. Sherri said on September 24, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Here’s what happened in the first NFL game of the day, in England: http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/20800784/baltimore-ravens-jacksonville-jaguars-kneel-lock-arms-national-anthem

    And evidently the Steelers plan to stay in the locker room during the anthem, which is what I expect you’ll see more teams do. That was the norm until 2009, when the NFL decreed that teams must be on the field for the anthem because, patriotism or something.

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  60. David C. said on September 24, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Did they play “God Save the Queen”. If I was a player, I’d stand for that one.

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  61. jcburns said on September 24, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    I’d stand for “Deacon Blues.”

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  62. Deborah said on September 24, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Jakash, ha ha my husband said the same thing about my return, he came back 3 weeks before I did because of his teaching gig and the weather was glorious. I get here and it’s crap. A lot of people like the heat I guess, but not me.

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  63. beb said on September 24, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Davis C. prediction has already come true.
    https://sports.yahoo.com/jaguars-owner-shad-khan-unites-players-defiance-trump-143949834.html
    Both teams knelt for a game played in England.

    Then there’s this:
    https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/baby-whose-mom-chose-giving-165224991.html
    The baby the mom who gave her live to bear has died. So she ultimate sacrifice was for nothing. Only it was worst than nothing. This woman already had five children. The fetus would have been baby number 6. Her decision to go ahead with this pregnancy deprives her existing five children (all but one of them minors) of a mother. This is not just a selfish act, it’s a crime against humanity. And who’s idea was it that she needed six children? I’m guessing her religion. Had to be “fruitful and multiply,” wouldn’t get an abortion to save her life so she could try again later…. It just pisses me of that people think she was being heroic when she was just being selfish.

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  64. beb said on September 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    David C @60. Yes they played “God Save The Queen.” And Yes, they stood for that.

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  65. Suzanne said on September 24, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Trump ever play football? Seems to have some brain damage.

    Also, when Tim Tebow knelt on the field, was he disrespecting God?

    Best tweet of the day was something along the lines of:
    If I never watched football before and continue to not watch, whose side am I on?

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  66. David C. said on September 24, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    She got what she wanted, Beb. She had a glioblastoma, so she was a goner anyway. She gets to be an anti-choice martyr and her husband gets to fleece the gullible by telling them what an anti-choice martyr she was.

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  67. ROGirl said on September 24, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Never mind impeachment, is anyone taking odds on when he will declare a new country and secede from the United States? Crackerstan, indeed. Trumpland uber alles.

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  68. BigHank53 said on September 24, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Now, I use fountain pens all the time–I have three within arm’s reach right now. I find them more comfortable to use since they require no pressure to get ink to flow. Ballpoints are now painful for me to use.

    But the thing about fountain pens is that you run out of actual physical improvement at about the $300 price point. Anything more expensive than that is just paying a jeweler to make the pen body fancier, since the pen nib (the bit that does the actual writing) is already gold (or maybe titanium) and isn’t going to get any better. I’ve admired some limited-edition pens but I’d never pay for one. Dropping $36k on one is just stupidity–the guy may as well have hung a sign around his neck that read “They saw me coming.”

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  69. Deborah said on September 24, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve seen on line that quite a few players have taken the knee (or whatever it’s called) or sat the anthem out, but I don’t know how many did that before Trump’s remarks and tweets because I never pay attention to football (or any other sport). All the players who have participated in the protest seem to be black and the white players sometimes have put their hands on the shoulders of the kneelers or held their hand. Is there a protocol that it’s only appropriate for the black players to kneel or sit?

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  70. David C. said on September 24, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    What a surprise, NASCAR owners are climbing over each other to plant a big wet kiss on tRump’s fat ass on the anthem thing.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/latest-24-nfl-players-kneel-anthem-london-50056552

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  71. Sherri said on September 24, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    The Seahawks players stayed in the locker room for the anthem, but issued a pretty clear statement about why: http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0703693166775115313-4

    There had been a number of players kneeling or sitting prior to today, none white, with a few white players indicating support. There are more today, more teams remaining in the locker room, but there is still a stark color divide.

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  72. basset said on September 24, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    “we drove by your building on LSD yesterday…”

    Whoops, wait a minute, back up, wrong assumption…

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  73. Sherri said on September 24, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Dan Rather on trump’s remarks about NFL players: https://www.facebook.com/theDanRather/posts/10159366068600716

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  74. Suzanne said on September 24, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Episode 6 of Vietnam War documentary-1968-utterly & completely depressing. We never learn. We never will.

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  75. Jenine said on September 25, 2017 at 9:34 am

    All bright red appliances actually sounds like a fun kitchen to me…

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