Bad moms.

Wednesday is upon us, and I’m still mulling over last night’s entertainment — with Alan off this week (pulling the boat, putting storms in the doors, that sort of thing), we’re doing weeknight thing we never get to do otherwise. Staycation fun, peeps! Monday night was open-mic comedy night at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, at which we were the only white folks and I heard more N-bombs than in a month of streaming hip-hop. And last night we saw “The Florida Project,” a spectacular micro-budget film about poverty in the Sunshine State. I can recommend it highly, for standout performances and an almost perfect mastery of tone in a story that’s essentially plot-free but still has a lot to say.

What plot there is revolves around Moonee, a six-year-old who lives with her mother Hallee in a dive-y motel near Disney World. Hallee has the emotional maturity of maybe a seven-year-old, so they get along like aces. Moonee is charming and fearless, and her mother is the same way, only in the adult you can see the sociopathy that lies beneath. (I don’t recommend this to Jeff, unless he can fit it in during work hours.) As a journalist, all I could think about were the stories I and my colleagues have been writing for years, calculating how far behind Moonee must be in school by now (even as a first-grader, yes), her behavioral deficits, even the toll her diet – which seems to consist solely of waffles, jelly sandwiches on day-old bread from the food bank, soda and pizza – is taking on her baby teeth. The film takes place over part of a summer, when Moonee and a couple of friends run wild through the motel, and others like it nearby, having charming kid adventures, while her mom tries to avoid work but still make the weekly rent on the $38/night room they share.

Things happen, expected things. But the story still feels like a series of snapshots laid in a row. Both thrilling to watch and deeply unsettling. Find it at an arthouse near you.

I see somehow the comment thread on the last post skated off on a tangent about wind turbines. Michigan is starting to add them here and there, primarily in the Thumb, but the ones we see most often are on the Canadian side of Lake St. Clair, and by “see” I mean that driving home on a dark night when it’s reasonably clear, you can see their red lights blinking way over the water.

A more vivid experience was a few years ago, when we drove to Stratford for a little theatuh, and took the Port Huron route, which is less freeway and more country road than you get by crossing in Detroit. It was a foggy day, and these behemoths were obscured until we were almost upon them, and they’d loom up out of the mist, turning slowly. Very dramatic, like something in a fairy tale. It was almost enough to distract from the unexpected (for an American, and especially a Michigander) pleasure of driving on a well-maintained, non-potholed road.

Canada. They get the job done.

I have yet to see a driverless car on the roads around here, although truth be told, you wouldn’t know one to see it – they still have people sitting in the driver’s seat. There’s a robot bus running around north campus at U-M in Ann Arbor, not sure of the human-override factor on that one, although my guess is, they have one. The technology isn’t advanced enough yet, but it’s getting there, and fast. David Leonhardt wrote a column about testing a driverless Volvo that got to the heart of the adoption problem, I think:

I expect that we will agonize about using them, out of both legitimate caution and irrational fear. Any driverless crashes will be sensationalized, as has already happened, while we ignore tens of thousands of deaths from human crashes. But I still expect that driving will be revolutionized sooner than many people now understand. …Those researchers at Penn and Chicago also studied the circumstances in which people get comfortable with computer control, and found a theme: When the choice isn’t all or nothing — when people have “even a slight amount” of control — they are more open to automation.

That’s where driving is headed. The shift will be gradual, not sudden, as Google’s chief economist, Hal Varian, told me. Cars will handle many tasks, while a human driver will have override power. The combination won’t be perfect, but it can be much better than the status quo.

I suspect he’s right. What he’s describing sounds like the cake-mix problem I read about somewhere. Duncan Hines is fully capable of producing a just-add-water cake mix, but they don’t, because customers prefer to add an egg and half a cup of oil. It makes them feel like they’re baking, not just phoning it in.

It’s funny. I know people who are terrified to fly for fear of crashing, but think nothing of driving every day, when statistically one is leagues safer than the other. But the feeling of control is powerful, no doubt.

I was charmed by the WashPost’s account of David Letterman’s Twain award ceremony. Perhaps you too.

Posted at 10:44 am in Current events, Movies |

135 responses to “Bad moms.”

  1. Deborah said on October 25, 2017 at 11:09 am

    The Florida Project is a movie I’d like to see but I know I couldn’t drag my husband to it so I’ll have to wait for it to come out on Netflix or go by myself.

    I like driving a stick for the same reason, it makes me feel like I’m controling the car, stupid as that is nowadays.

    We watched the final episode of the Vietnam series last night, I missed a few but my husband watched them all with great interest.

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  2. Suzanne said on October 25, 2017 at 11:11 am

    The Florida Project sounds a bit like a long episode of Honey Boo Boo.

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  3. Jakash said on October 25, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Curses! The dreaded “post a comment at 10:32, a new post goes up at 10:44” nn.c. nightmare! ; )

    Deborah and I both just commented on the old post about birds flying into high-rises, FWIW. It’s a much bigger problem than that caused by wind turbines, which was brought up earlier.

    Anyway, Deborah, there are just so many awesome buildings in Chicago, and the one you worked on is right next to the Spertus Institute with its intriguing diamondy facade. I must embarrassingly admit that I’ve walked by that 618 building a dozen times and never “looked” at it. I will next time! Cool project…

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  4. Jolene said on October 25, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Another follow-up from the last thread—this one for alex. Today’s NYT Cooking newsletter contained a link to a collection of pressure-cooker recipes. Though the title is general, the collection was assembled in response to the popularity of the Instant Pot, so give it a look.

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  5. Dorothy said on October 25, 2017 at 11:52 am

    I miss David Letterman so much. But I’m happy that he seems so comfortable in his retirement. Thanks for linking to the article. He’s one of my favorite people ever.

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  6. Heather said on October 25, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Every time I get nervous in turbulence, I remind myself that I take a much bigger risk driving to work every day.

    Off-topic, but my terrible boss is constantly fighting me on the amount of time I say I need to do things. I think I’ve mentioned here before, but I get scheduled 7 hours of tasks every day (no say over which tasks) and an hour of “flexible” time. He’s bringing down the hammer on not letting us ask for more time if we need it, so I want to make sure we have enough hours at the outset. Having to explain over and over again that I am not a machine, that I need breaks, that part of work includes reading and responding to email, taking care of admin tasks, talking to coworkers, etc., not to mention that as a writing professional with 25 years of experience I know how long it takes to do things, is really wearing me down.

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  7. Deborah said on October 25, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Jakash, that Columbia College building I worked on is OK, not spectacular like its next door neighbor that you mentioned, the Spertus building. I should add that I worked on the CC “ghost” building (as we called it) early on and then again at the very end, others in my group did the hard parts of working out the details. The final effect is easy to miss though, it’s not unusual to completely miss it when you walk by. The birds may notice it more than people do, at least we hope it really makes a difference in bird collisions.

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  8. jcburns said on October 25, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Maybe needs to be just one continual timeline, punctuated visually by Nancy’s longer posts. Nah, too Facebooky.

    And speaking of that, are Facebook users now (I’m not one) more sensitized to the idea that the ads they encounter might be targeted from organizations (not just Russia) who don’t wish them well…who might just be trying to move their attitudinal needle in a new direction slowly, slowly over time?

    The ads I DO see in Twitter and Instagram (the latter as you know owned by Facebook) apparently don’t show up on the website version of Instagram (at least with the content blocker I have in place) and the Mac app version of Twitter doesn’t seem to have any? few? of the insidious “promoted tweets.”

    I think we have to continue to have a conversation about the role of online advertising in funding the content we wish to consume…maybe it becomes an even broader conversation as Trump’s FCC makes what used to be known as LOCAL television fade away. (Nancy, I think this means that your commentator gig on Fort Wayne TV will never reappear.)

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  9. adrianne said on October 25, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Heather, your boss sounds like a total micromanaging a-hole.

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  10. Dave said on October 25, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    An article about “The Florida Project”, from this morning’s Tampa Bay Times:

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  11. Heather said on October 25, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Adrianne: Pretty much! I have told him that other departments think the way we work is insane and his answer was “well I can’t control what other people think.” Umm, that’s not really what you should take away from that comment.

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  12. Sherri said on October 25, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    That’s FAKE NEWS, JC! I didn’t need no Russians to tell me how to vote!

    I’m not a Facebook user either, though I do use Instagram. I use a third party app to read Twitter, and the sponsored Tweets don’t show up at all. (That this is possible tells you much about why Facebook is an enormously successful company and Twitter can’t figure out how to make money.)

    The real challenge with Facebook and Twitter is not just the ads, it’s how things go viral. Bots and troll farms post shit, and it gets amplified organically thanks to the design of the two platforms. When a substantial portion of the country has been trained to treat as equal to the NYTimes, or even better, then full disclosure on advertising isn’t going to solve the problem, it will just move to the fake news realm.

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  13. jcburns said on October 25, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Just noticed this from yesterday: Twitter is making big changes to promote ad transparency. I’d kinda like them to be literally transparent (i.e. invisible), but hey, this is a start.

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  14. Icarus said on October 25, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    “Curses! The dreaded “post a comment at 10:32, a new post goes up at 10:44” nn.c. nightmare! ; )”

    story of my life. Do comments on older posts get closed after a certain point?

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  15. nancy said on October 25, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    The problem with Facebook advertising is indeed a lack of transparency. We’re all familiar with the fast-talking “paidforbyJonesforpresidentHaroldSmithtreasurer” at the end of TV ads (with a written version in print ads). That needs to be standard practice for online ads, too, especially when dark money is finding its way into more and more campaign advertising. Especially in Michigan.

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  16. Little Bird said on October 25, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    RIP Fats Domino….
    Been listening to some of his hits this morning.

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  17. Randy said on October 25, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    I can’t explain it, but whenever I drive past wind turbines I have to fight off a feeling of dizziness.

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  18. susan said on October 25, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    deborah @1

    Regarding stick-shift cars, the people I know who like to drive, and buy (although, as you know, it is getting harder and harder to find new cars with sticks), manual transmission vehicles are women. And women over a “certain age,” as they say. That is so funny. Think about the people you know who drive them. Bet they are mostly women, no? (disclosure: I’m one o’ them wimmin. And as I recall, so is our blog hostess.)

    Also, I thought you might enjoy listening to this podcast, about the building of a church in Barcelona, La Sagrada Família, designed by Antoni Gaudí. I bet you are familiar with it!

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  19. basset said on October 25, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    When we were in England this spring, I was surprised that just about every taxi, small delivery van, tour van, and other commercial vehicles around that size seemed to be both manual shift and diesel.

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  20. Julie Robinson said on October 25, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Did you know Disney workers start at $10/hour? We had a couple of former Happiest Place on Earth employees at the house last week, making posters to picket outside the gates.

    Heather, how much longer do you have to work there? I had a similar boss, only the person started as Dr. Jekyll, always telling me what a great job I was doing. Then one day Mr. Hyde appeared, giving me a verbal warning and telling me I wasn’t working hard enough. I ended up leaving when my sister had her first heart attack and needed helped for several months. Looking back I’m sure the person had become psychotic and that it was the very definition of a hostile work environment. I should have fought it, but I just wanted out. I wish a better outcome for you.

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  21. Scout said on October 25, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Heather, you have my sympathy for having to deal with a micromanaging jerkwad who thinks that his greasy fingerprints all over everything is the ticket to justifying his existence. He’s the kind of guy I imagine my son (a management consultant for Deloitte) would deem extraneous to the operation.

    I saw a trailer for “The Florida Project” and thought it looked like one I’d like to see. The premise sounds similar to The Glass Castle, a memoir I had been unaware of until it came out as a movie. It was one of those reads that had me exclaiming “holy shit!” out loud and often. I heard the movie adaptation was good. Has anyone here seen it?

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  22. Jolene said on October 25, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Another example of dark money entering local politics: A friend is leading a citizen initiative in Tucson, AZ seeking support for a half-cent increase in the sales tax to pay for high-quality early childhood education. The campaign had been going pretty well, but, now, in the last few weeks before the election, the Koch brothers have come in to fund commercials and mailings opposing the initiative. They’ve also funded a phone-banking operation and a door-knocking campaign.

    It sucks. There are lots of families in Tucson too poor to afford good childcare, and there’s lots of evidence that early childhood can help kids—especially poor kids—in lots of ways. Further, many basic needs—food, medicine, clothing—are exempt from sales tax, so the standard argument that taxes are regressive doesn’t apply. The organizers estimate that the tax could raise enough revenue to provide good preschool education for 8,000 kids to school. Seems worth half a cent per dollar of spending to me.

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  23. coozledad said on October 25, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    The president is a shit for brains. He and his party need to be jailed, and gradually offshored to some Russian shithole where they can live as craven serfs honestly:

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  24. Julie Robinson said on October 25, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Scout, I read Glass Castle when it came out and the biggest shock is not that she became successful, it’s that she forgave her parents.

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  25. jcburns said on October 25, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Icarus @ 14: Right now comments are closed on posts older than three or four months, as I remember. That’s just a broad-brush spam preventative, really.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on October 25, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one nervous about the Orange King’s fixation on generals, Cooz. It gives me the willies when he refers to them as “my generals.” Fuck you. They’re OUR generals.

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  27. Sherri said on October 25, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    There have been millions spent on the state senate race in my district, almost $2.5M by the candidates, and more by PACs. Even with disclosure laws, it’s hard to follow the money. WA law requires the disclosure on mailers not only of the PAC paying for the mailer, but the top 5 donors, but that’s easy to get around with a level of indirection. There’s a Republican PAC that has as a single donor another PAC, so all they have to list on the hit piece they’re sending out are these two anodyne names, Working Families PAC and The Leadership Council. I haven’t tracked down these particular one, but all you have to do to further hide the donors is to create a 501(c)4, and funnel the money through that, because those orgs aren’t required to disclose their donors.

    There was a single $17.9M donation to fight Merrick Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court, and we don’t know where it came from.

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  28. Charlotte said on October 25, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Florida Project looks terrific — but then I’m a sucker for anything with Willem Defoe.

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  29. Deborah said on October 25, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Susan, yes I’ve been to Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, a masterpiece. And yes it is getting harder and harder to find stick shift cars, we’ve pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that the next one will probably have to be an automatic, but hopefully a hybrid or fully electric.

    Heather, when I had a horrible boss who I’ve described here before, I came up with some strategies to avoid having to deal with him or to keep my sanity if I couldn’t avoid him altogether. The main one, it was a big enough office 200+ people and lots of departments, I found other higher ups to please in different departments and made it my duty to keep them as happy as possible. Then when I had to deal with my shitty boss I treated it like going to a movie or reading a book, it became fascinating to sit and watch him perform his schtick, then my coworkers and I would get together and howl with laughter. Also there were the rants I would indulge in when I got home. It made it a lot easier to live through. Somehow using all of these tricks (and others) I stuck it out for 12 years with him as my boss. I must be a masochist.

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  30. Peter said on October 25, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Cooz, I seriously think that Kelly’s being nice to Trump and publicly lying about that condolence call so he can get his balls back intact when he leaves.

    Fat chance of that happening, mister.

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  31. Peter said on October 25, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Susan, I’ve been to Sagrada Familia many years ago, when the rebuild was going on in earnest, and I have a really difficult time with the place.

    I don’t know if the podcast mentions it, but this is not a parish church or cathedral; it’s a shrine that was to be built as a sin offering for the “faults” of the Catalans; namely, their socialist nature (and this was BEFORE the Spanish Revolution!). It’s similar to Sacre Coeur in Paris, that was built as an apology to God for all of the free thinking and free sex Commies in Montmartre during the Commune.

    To me, it’s like if Putin decided to start building the Palace of the Soviets – that ship has sailed. Better that the shell of Sagrada Familia had been left alone as a curiosity – a Watts Tower – a great design to a bad idea.

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  32. Heather said on October 25, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks for the tips and support, everyone. They do help keep me sane! Julie, the company is paying for me to earn my master’s (no, I don’t have to stay a certain amount of time after I graduate), so I want to stay until I graduate in the spring and then find another job. Fortunately my boss is not in my office–if he was I definitely would have quit by now. Deborah, I do try to take an observant approach to be entertained, but it’s hard dealing with both Trump AND him. Narcissists trying to control my life wherever I turn! I also try to remind myself to focus less on my angry thoughts and more on how great it will be once I’m in a job where people actually want me to be challenged and appreciate my ideas and creativity.

    He’s actually a smart guy in many ways and could really be a great asset, but insists on being the “star” in everything and his ego is tissue-thin. I know he’s already behind on this big organizational change he spearheaded, but he promised more than he could deliver, in part because he didn’t consult with the people who would be actually doing the work.

    I sometimes get angry at myself that I stayed at such a dysfunctional company for so long, but then again if I hadn’t, I never would have earned a master’s degree and developed more confidence in myself. So.

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  33. Andrea said on October 25, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Deborah, Subaru makes a hybrid car that has both manual and automatic transmission options in the same car. I can choose whether to drive my car in Manual mode or automatic. It is not the same, exactly, but it is an option.

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  34. brian stouder said on October 25, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    I had a ’71 Cutlass 2-door – chocolate brown with a black vinyl top (does any car have vinyl tops anymore?), which had a Hurst-Olds transmission (and the shifter was on the floor), so you could put it into D, or push the shifter to the right and drop it into ‘1’, and move it to ‘2’ and then ‘3’ (as you beat the guy you were next to at the red-light)….a great car!

    Owned it for about 6 weeks, and then totaled it on Calhoun Street (after school), when a guy turned in front of me to get into the McDonalds (which isn’t there anymore)…and that guy was an insurance salesman!

    Here’s a palate polluter (as opposed to a cleanser):

    Those guys are crazy

    (I watched the president’s impromptu press conference at lunch, and it was laughably bad…so leave it to Fux/Shit-forbrains Sean [et al] to immediately shine the turds!)

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  35. Deborah said on October 25, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Peter, I learn something every day. I had no idea that Sagrada Familia represented that. Interesting. I’ll have to do more research. and my favorite Gaudi designed place in Barcelona is Park Guell.

    Heather, it sounds like you have realized what you can get out of your employment at the company you work for and are getting the most from it. I also recognized that my horrible boss had some redeeming qualities, not as a boss but as a designer and a father, his kids were fantastic, the three of them interned at some point or another (nepotism of course, but whatever) and I really admired their abilities and their personalities so the guy did something right. He was divorced so maybe it was the mother that did all of the hard work? Anyway many times I have to admit that I did learn some stuff from the guy. One of the things was not to immediately back down if a client challenged your design idea but to defend it in an as articulate manner as possible, be prepared at meetings to do so, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. At least I tried. Sticking up for your expertise and your ideas was worth it even if not everyone appreciated it, he taught me that.

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  36. Deborah said on October 25, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    I have mentioned here before my interest in the Bowe Bergdahl case. It will be interesting to see how it ends Trump has of course complicated it, maybe to Bergdahl’s favor.

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  37. Sherri said on October 25, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Always remember, the biggest scandal is that Republicans don’t want people to vote.

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  38. Dexter said on October 25, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    We cannot watch network commercial TV without seeing how robots are already taking over our driving, side closeness warnings, approach warnings, auto-danger braking systems, and then a news story shows another driverless vehicle, so by the time all cars are pure robots, we will have been accustomed to the fact. The larger aspect in my view is that by 2040, merely a finger-snap in automotive history, Great Britain will have banned petrol-powered vehicles and all cars will be mandated to run on electricity. No hybrids.

    There was a docu on some cable station some time ago about those Kissimmee motels near Disney World. Tough way to live.

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  39. Jerry said on October 25, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Bassett at 19: I don’t know the split between stick shifts and auto here in the UK but I’d guess there was a significant majority for sticks. I’ve never owned an auto or even driven one.

    As for the preponderance of diesels, some years ago the Government heavily pushed diesels as against petrol vehicles based on the better fuel consumption. Given the current emphasis on air quality there is now a push in the opposite direction!

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  40. Icarus said on October 25, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Well if Ed says so, it must be true:

    Manuals no longer outperform their self-shifting counterparts in any area. The historical advantage they had in fuel economy is gone along with any performance advantages. If you think manual transmissions are more fun, by all means go for it. Do what you enjoy. But they are in no way empirically “better,” and in fact by any performance or economy measure they are now worse than modern self-shifting units.

    Like many Chicagoans, my wife and I drive to the nearest EL station and park our car on the nearest* side streets. I remarked the other day that self parking cars would not do well here because all the impatient people who drive down the street above speed limit (only having to stop 30 yards later at the stop sign) make it hard enough for a human to try and park. The self parking cars do it By-The-Book, actually stopping and maneuvering into place from the middle of the street. Can you imagine one of those stopping to park only to find an inpatient driver right up its bum because they didn’t pay attention to the turn signal (something else most Chicagoans fail to use when parking or otherwise).

    *the streets closest to the stations are of course permit parking only.

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  41. Deborah said on October 25, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Jerry, I admire the Uk and Europe in general where you don’t need to own a car or ever even drive one because the public transit is so good, trains, buses, taxis etc. not to mention bikes and pedestrian infrastructure, we have a lot to learn in the US. Maybe someday.

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  42. Deborah said on October 25, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    All day today I’ve been thinking about my use of the word collisions when I described birds crashing into windows and I believe it’s inaccurate. The prefix “co” suggests that 2 or more things are colliding and since birds are the only things moving, not the windows, “collisions” isn’t the correct word. Just thought I’d mention that, not sure what word I should be using?

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  43. Jakash said on October 25, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Jerry @ 39,

    “Given the current emphasis on air quality there is now a push in the opposite direction!”

    I’d hope so. One of my primary immediate impressions of London back in the 90s was that it smelled strongly of diesel exhaust…

    I used to drive a stick years ago, because it was a compact, cheap car, primarily. I had no problems with it, but this fascination folks have with them never grabbed me. Especially in a stop-and-go place like Chicago, I was more than happy to switch to an automatic for the next car and haven’t looked back.

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  44. beb said on October 25, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Driverless cars seem like so much wishful dreaming. There are too many unexpected situations that I doubt one could program all the options into a computer. And then what happens when someone hacks the car — as they will because everything gets hacked eventually!.

    On the hand things like collision-avoidance braking, lane departure detection and blind-spot radar all seem like very useful and largely unobtrusive apps. I think self-driving cars will stop there because fully autonomous driving is just too hard.

    Peter @30: Gen Kelly has already auctioned off his balls the minute he disputed the events of that condolence call in Florida. I suspect he had to do it or be fired by Trump and felt his honor wasless important than keeping Trump in check. But still, Kelly has become a deplorable embarassment to the military.

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  45. Jakash said on October 25, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Re: collision. I’d have never realized that, Deborah, and I consider myself a dedicated nit-picker. FWIW, the Audubon article I linked to this morning uses collision in referring to birds hitting buildings.

    But how about impact, strike or crash?

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  46. David C. said on October 25, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    The 100% self driving car is something that will be 5 years away for at least the next 20 years. What we’ll get between now and then will be like GMO foods. Neither as useful as the proponents think or as dangerous as the detractors believe.

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  47. susan said on October 25, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    deborah @42 – I think collide is the correct word to use for a bird striking a window.

    collide (v.)
    1620s, from Latin collidere “strike together,” from assimilated form of com “with, together” (see com-) + laedere “to strike, injure by striking,” which is of unknown origin. For Latin vowel change, see acquisition. Related: Collided; colliding.

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  48. Hattie said on October 25, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Damn! I love your blog.

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  49. Sherri said on October 25, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    I’m with David C on fully autonomous vehicles. The rapid progress in solving the first 80% of the problem obscures just how difficult the last 20% is. We may see fully autonomous cars in limited environments, but I believe we’re a long ways from fully autonomous cars being the dominant vehicle.

    Software is hard.

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  50. basset said on October 25, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Jerry@39, our Liverpool tour guide drove us around in a black cab… got to talking with him about operating costs, if we figured it right he was paying close to $11 a US gallon for diesel. Does that sound about right?

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  51. alex said on October 25, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    We get lots of bird collisions at our house. Kitty finishes them off if they don’t wake up in time.

    Tomorrow’s my 17th annual 39th birthday. To celebrate, we’re heading to Chicago for the weekend. And we’re taking my car with a stick. I love my stick. Always had one, including all of the years I lived in Chicago, where I can proudly boast of never having had an accident or a ticket. Hope at least someone will continue making them. I was bummed to see Honda is discontinuing the Accord coupe for 2018, and also the V6 engine, but at least you’ll still be able to get a manual for the immediate future on the newly restyled Accord that looks rather indistinguishable from the current Hyundai Sonata.

    Tonight in the Instant Pot I made chicken with a dijon/sour cream sauce that was similar in many respects to the French tarragon-dijon recipe with heavy cream that’s much more intensive in terms of time and labor. Thanks for the link, Jolene, although it looks like I’ll have to subscribe to the NYT cooking newsletter in order to see their recipes. It’s probably worth doing as I’ve collected a number of NYT recipes over the years that are keepers, and their intro to the Instant Pot which I read many months ago is what sold me on the idea of getting one.

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  52. Suzanne said on October 25, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    My husband had a manual car when we were first married. It was our only car, but I never learned to drive it comfortably, partially because it was our only car & I was terrified I would wreck it. That along with my husband telling me over and over how much a new transmission would cost if I messed it up.
    So, I ❤️ my automatic vehicle.

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  53. Sherri said on October 25, 2017 at 9:23 pm

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  54. Bitter Scribe said on October 25, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Regarding “The Florida Project”: A motel room that costs $38 a night comes out to $1,178 a month. You could rent a nice apartment in most places for that kind of money, but you’d have to come up with at least one, and probably two, months’ rent in advance, plus pass a credit check etc. Yes, I know it’s a movie, but poor people get screwed over in this country in many all-too-real ways.

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  55. Sherri said on October 25, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    The Seattle Times decries attack ads in classic both-sides fashion.

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  56. Jolene said on October 25, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    . . . it looks like I’ll have to subscribe to the NYT cooking newsletter in order to see their recipes.

    Worth doing in my opinion. It’s a small moment of pleasure when each issue arrives in my mailbox, as the pictures are so great. The recipes too, of course, but it’s the pictures that draw me in.

    I don’t think you have to subscribe to get the newsletter or the Cooking app, but, even if you do, it’s worth the relatively low cost of an annual subscription. Journalists need to eat!

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  57. Jolene said on October 26, 2017 at 12:12 am

    Sherri, is this your candidate?

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  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 26, 2017 at 1:09 am

    Bitter Scribe — those places work off the fact that the $650 a month place demands that you put up $1300 in cash to walk in the door, so if you can’t scrape up that amount all at once, you end up in the weekly rip-off rental which costs you net $1200 per month paid by the week. Which is why, a few weeks ago, we started 25 years ago to push back against that very thing.


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  59. Peggy said on October 26, 2017 at 1:56 am

    I have a 2015 Subaru that beeps at me if I drift across the lane marker without signaling, if the car ahead of me moves and I don’t, or if I approach too quickly to something in front of me without applying the brakes. It applies the brakes if I don’t. 2017 cars warn you if you try to change lanes with something in your blind spot. We’re already driving driverless cars. We’re just not admitting it yet.

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  60. Dexter said on October 26, 2017 at 2:16 am
    NPR ceased Best of Car Talk a month ago, and in one of the archived shows Ray mentioned that for quite a few years now automatics are equal to sticks for mileage. I have driven now for fifty years plus, and while I had fun shifting my many VW Bugs & Buses, automatics are fine with me…I used to hate having to drive the deuce and a half truck which had been converted to an ambulance in Vietnam because the clutch wasn’t adjusted properly and it was difficult to operate, and the old Yale forklifts in the factory were so horrible my knee ached every night long after a shift on one of them. Yeah, I truly loved speed-shifting my VW Karmann Ghia, but I hated it when my Chrysler Cordoba’s transmission just ceased working at a stoplight one night.
    Jerry, I had read the newer diesels for small European & GB cars were so clean-burning the smell was only detectable if you stuck your nose by the exhaust pipe. That must have been a crock of bullshit. Back to petrol-power, Bob’s your uncle, everybody’s happy!

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  61. Jerry said on October 26, 2017 at 3:25 am

    Bassett at 50: I’ve just done a quick check and found a website which suggests that the cost of diesel is just over twice as high here as compared to the US. I did a conversion and found the cost per US gallon to be about USD 6.50. Vehicle fuel is heavily taxed here and has been for years. I can’t remember the figures now but the cost of crude oil was only a fairly small part of the pump price.

    As regards cars in town, there is a proposal to build a block of flats nerve where I live with no parking spaces. The argument is that the site is a hundred yards from a railway station, buses run outside and there will be a small supermarket near by. Thus, no need for a car.

    It sounds very reasonable but some journeys which are simple by car are slow and inconvenient by public transport. From my house I can walk 20 minutes to the station and the train takes 20 minutes into central London. My wife is currently rehearsing for a show in a hall about 12 miles away. By car about half an hour – no major roads so fairly slow. By public transport about an hour and a half with plenty of waiting round for the next bus to arrive. Not very pleasant when she sets off to return after 10 at night.

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  62. ROGirl said on October 26, 2017 at 6:59 am

    At least with driverless cars there won’t be assholes driving on the expressway with one hand on the steering wheel and the other hand clutching their phone, while they are looking down at it instead of looking out at the road. And it’s not just on the expressway, either.

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  63. coozledad said on October 26, 2017 at 8:46 am

    A boo-hoo-hoo
    boo-fuckin’ hoo
    a boo-hoo-hoo-hoo

    Actually, I’m sort of surprised he’s on a predator trip. I thought he’d be the kind of guy who sucked latrine cakes saved from the RNC.

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  64. coozledad said on October 26, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Obama: “You know that Mark Halperin? He was kind of an actual dick.”

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  65. coozledad said on October 26, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Imagine that margarine faced mediocrity coming at your ass all bad touchy after he’s been fellating Chuck Grassley. I’m frankly surprised someone didn’t whip out a can of bug spray on that shit.

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  66. coozledad said on October 26, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Auotograph on back of print:

    “You and me, Mark. After you help get me elected, you’ll have all the pussy you can trap in your office. MAGA.”

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  67. Sherri said on October 26, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Yes, Manka is my candidate, though your link is broken. The correct link is

    Englund has tried hard to run on Seattle, drugs, and income taxes, falling back on the importance of balance of power when those don’t work.

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  68. coozledad said on October 26, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Next up, Chuck Todd accused by self of trying to “scissor” in mirror.

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  69. Peter said on October 26, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Deborah at #36 “Trump has of course complicated it…” If I had a nickel for every time a person could say that, am I right?

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  70. Peter said on October 26, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Bitter at #54 – some years ago my son was in the state science fair and we drove down to Champaign. The local paper had an article about people living in a former Holiday Inn and how they had to struggle with the $600.00 a month – which got them a hotel room and a shared kitchen with a hot plate and microwave. On the next page were the local real estate listings – you could buy a ranch house with a big lawn etc. for 60K – your MORTGAGE payment would be less than $600.00 a month – you’d get a whole house for what they were paying for a hotel room!

    I think about that, and our commander in chief, and I think that God is going to bitch slap me in the afterlife for not doing something about this.

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  71. Judybusy said on October 26, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Hi all, I finally have time say more than a quick hello–the new job keeps me busy. It’s cooking that’s got me responding. You may be aware that Christopher Kimball left Cook’s Illustrated. He began a new magazine, Milk Street. Have I mentioned this before? We love the recipes, which tend to be international and not too fussy. There is a TV show and a podcast. I haven’t checked either of those out, but plan to listen to a podcast today.

    In other news, my wife returns today after a two-week medical services trip to Rwanda. I am so excited to hear all! I was running low on coffee, and made a mental note to pick some up today. Then I remembered she is buying about 20# there! 5:30 can’t come quickly enough. I am bringing the dog to the airport, so my better half will be sitting in the backseat with Miss Cora for the short ride home.

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  72. Julie Robinson said on October 26, 2017 at 11:09 am

    The Disney/Universal area may be different, but in our part of Orlando $1100 might get you a garage apartment, utilities not included. Affordable housing is a pressing problem here, as we learned when we were looking for a new place for my sister. Our daughter is part of a coalition working on this, but it’s an uphill battle.

    Oh, and if you accessible housing? Nearly impossible to find, and what’s out there has a two year waiting list. It was a big stressor for Jeri, as her landlord had switched her from a lease to month to month status.

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  73. Deborah said on October 26, 2017 at 11:37 am

    We pay $900 per month, plus utilities for the 2 bedroom (plus garage) apt in Santa Fe that LB lives in full time. We get that rate, only $50 more than we started with 5 years ago because we’ve made improvements to the apt and grounds on our own dime, and time. Our landlady knows a good thing when she sees it. For about the last month LB has been letting a young friend who was otherwise living out of her car, use the extra room for free. This young woman had been working in sustainable farming and Americorp and had never made more than $12,000 a year. She graduated from college in 2008 or so when job prospects were beyond dismal, and she’s from that part of Ohio that you all have mentioned herewith. She can’t expect help from her messed up family. She’s a very sweet young woman, got a job at Trader Joe’s and is trying to pull herself up by her bootstraps, saving enough now for a deposit and first month’s rent for an affordable place of her own, which is hard to find in Santa Fe. Maybe she’d be better off in a larger city, more job prospects but that would make it harder for her to her pursue her interests in organic and sustainable farming. I feel for young people today.

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  74. Sherri said on October 26, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Affordable housing is a big issue here, even though the area has been adding housing at a pretty fast rate. The tech companies are hiring at a pretty fast rate, too. One big problem is that it can be difficult to find a place for a family, affordable or otherwise. Most of the apartments being built are one bedroom or studios.

    Condos aren’t being built at anywhere near the rate needed to lure empty nesters out of their single family homes. Washington has condo liability laws that make developers reluctant to build condos, because the liability for defects is higher and last longer than for any other type of housing. I know a lot of people like me, who would be interested in selling our houses and moving to a condo but don’t want to move to an apartment and pay rent.

    (Assuming I ever get my daughter launched!)

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  75. Julie Robinson said on October 26, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Honestly, part of the reason we bought the house in Orlando now was to help our kids have a nicer and bigger place than they could afford on their own. They pay us rent, but not what they would have to on a place like what we bought.

    Before we decided to move to Florida when we retire we were looking at condos and villaminiums in Fort Wayne; mostly they’re building villas. They were all outrageously expensive and had those extra fees, almost guaranteed to rise. We decided we could stay in our current house and contract out all the outside work for much less than moving.

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  76. Suzanne said on October 26, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    I know there is an affordable housing problem in large cities caused partly by demand and partly by investors buying up housing, converting it into luxury housing which is being bought by overseas firms or the super rich (often the overseas super rich) as an investment because no one actually lives in them for 99% of the year.

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  77. Deborah said on October 26, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    The building we used to live in, another one of the Mies buildings on LSD is a condo building and lots of the units are owned by people who bought as investments and don’t live there, many are rented out. The building we live in now across the street from the one we moved out of, is a Co-op and the rules are that you must live in your unit at least part time and are not allowed to rent your unit except for once, up to a year during the time you own. That’s for people who go on sabbatical or whatnot. We prefer the building we’re in now for lots of reasons but one of the main ones is that the residents take better care of the public spaces (like the laundry room and exercise room) because they own them, there are few if any renters. I don’t really understand why renters tend not to keep their places up, it seems to me that pride of place is missing, and I suppose that’s obviously because they don’t own and many are so busy working full time and multiple jobs that they just don’t have time to do much else. LB’s neighbors in Santa Fe are surprised that we keep up the yard and made improvements when we don’t own there but it feels like the right thing to do, to us. We’ve made all of the improvements we’re going to make there, now it’s just maintenance, I mean there is a limit of course. The landlady has replaced the washer, dryer, refrigerator and dishwasher there, which were all old and in need of replacement, but since we’ve been such good tenants she’s been very good about replacing them in a timely manner when we ask. we have spread out our requests to be fair to her. People have asked us why we don’t buy a place in Santa Fe instead of renting and we don’t really have a good answer for that except we’re not ready to do that, if ever, it just isn’t on our list of things we should do.

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  78. Scout said on October 26, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Check out this shithead running for Jeff Flake’s seat. AZ politics can be so terribly embarrassing.

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  79. alex said on October 26, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Speaking of hotel rooms as residences, do you remember a 60 Minutes expose from some years back where entire floors of luxury hotels in NYC had been given over to Section 8 housing? The elevators wouldn’t stop at these floors so guests would never accidentally stumble upon these floors. 60 Minutes managed to get their cameras inside and it was squalid as all fuck.

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  80. Sherri said on October 26, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    The affordable housing problem here seems to be primarily driven by demand. And while affordable has a technical definition, there is difficulty finding housing at almost any level.

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  81. Suzanne said on October 26, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Of course there is affordable housing in much of the Midwest except many of the large cities. It’s affordable because demand & wages are so low. My husband, out of curiosity, looking at housing prices in small towns in NE Indiana. Found a decent home in Lynn, IN for about $30,000 but it’s Lynn, IN. So I always kind of chuckle when areas tout their low cost of living because it’s more complicated than that.

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  82. Sherri said on October 26, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Or there’s the Houston approach, which is to not bother with that pesky zoning.

    Now, zoning is definitely part of the problem. Way too much of the area here, particularly in Seattle is zoned for SFH, and homeowners generally fight upzoning and density. In the ‘burbs, they hate it anywhere, not just in their neighborhood, because they think it brings traffic and destroys the character of their town.
    Trying to convince people that adding housing means that fewer people would be commuting into Redmond and that would at least slow down how much worse traffic is getting never seems to work, even though everyone knows that Redmond doubles in size during the day.

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  83. Peter said on October 26, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Scout, first off, congrats on the nuptials and honeymoon.

    That guy is a keeper – or do I mean creeper.

    Leave it to the GOP to have someone even zanier than Kelli Ward run for that seat.

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  84. Deborah said on October 26, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Well, well, LB has informed me that she got her card for medical Marijuana in the mail today, so we’ll be finding out how that works. should be interesting, she’s allowed to buy 8oz within a 3mo time period. I have no idea how much that is in regards to a typical hit, but it seems like a lot to me. Hopefully this will help her deal with the anxiety and stress that messes with her fibromas (tumors).

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  85. Scout said on October 26, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    8 oz is a shit ton of weed! I buy 1/8 oz at a time and it lasts a month. I also buy a lot of topicals and there are some pretty good edibles, but again, a tiny bit goes a long way unless you are a long time stoner. Pro-tip for day use bud: Champagne OG gives a nice body effect and you still have lots of energy and creativity.

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  86. Colleen said on October 26, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Fort Wayne always touts its housing affordability, which is great if you’re never going to move from there, or you’re coming from a more expensive city and getting a ton of house for your money. We made squat on the sale of our home, and finding a place in the Tampa area was a challenge. We were very lucky that family had the resources to help us. Without that, I am not sure what we would have been able to pull off. Proving once again that how you do in life has a lot to do with the family you are born into….

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  87. Dexter said on October 26, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    With techies and their ballooned salaries already having driven many people out of San Francisco, Sacramento is now facing a housing crush/crisis,according to a story in San Francisco print media. It’s all about Bay Area refugees needing homes. Sherri, I have skimmed several stories about Seattle also dealing with new people cramming in. Then I heard Portland is no longer a haven for wanton young folks looking for a new start. So, where to go? A new poll states Boulder, Colorado, is where more happy people live these days.

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  88. basset said on October 26, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Nashville. You’d be surprised.

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  89. Dexter said on October 27, 2017 at 2:15 am

    A radio producer I listen too is 34, and grandfathered-in to an Astoria, Queens apartment at $700 per month. Should I be on a list and an apartment becomes available today, I would pay $3,500 to $5,000 monthly rent. From what I surmise, it ain’t no palace, either.
    I also have a Facebook pal from Staten Island. Retired Starbucks barista, income only age 62 social security, but qualified for a Section 8 deal.
    Apartments like Deborah’s Chicago place , if in Manhattan, would go for probably $4,000 per month. So nobody like me or most of us here could ever live in Manhattan. New York is for the uber-top-middle class on up to the real upper crust.
    If my house collapsed I could move to a little modern apartment a half mile away for $400 monthly rent. .

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  90. adrianne said on October 27, 2017 at 5:50 am

    I really feel sorry for the millennials I work with in NYC — a reporter from my former joint just got hired here, and he’s renting a room out in Flushing. He says he barely has enough room to turn around. Older people (like me) live out in the burbs, and endure a long commute to work. So there’s tradeoffs all around.

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  91. David C. said on October 27, 2017 at 6:17 am

    Before my uncle left NYC about 25 years ago he had a 4th floor walkup studio apartment on 81st and Lexington that went for $1500 a month, which seemed like a lot at the time. The eight apartments in the building have been converted to a single family and last sold about five years ago for $1.4 million. So everyone in Don’s strata have moved to Brooklyn and now I understand Brooklyn is starting to be Manhattanized.

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  92. coozledad said on October 27, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Republicans are murder trash.

    Once again, if you’re unaware of this, at a minimum you need a gut check; you should probably get your head examined, and you may need some damned medication.

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  93. coozledad said on October 27, 2017 at 8:49 am


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  94. coozledad said on October 27, 2017 at 8:52 am

    That sweet, sweet grift.

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  95. alex said on October 27, 2017 at 9:44 am

    And we’re off to Chicago! With a stop for cheap booze and cigarettes on the way out, as well as a toothbrush, antiperspirant and contact lens solution.

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  96. brian stouder said on October 27, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Cooz – that ‘heads I win/tails you lose’ contract is pure theft!

    And – here’s wishing safe travels to Alex & his family.

    Pam has a shot at attending a weekday performance of Hamilton in Chicago (tix through the Fort Wayne Parks Department) – depending on how quickly she can jump into the (electronic) line, once they become available (we’re thinking 1 second past midnight on the first day of the sign-up)

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  97. brian stouder said on October 27, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Meanwhile, Spain (Spain?) seems to be spiraling, in a genuine constitutional crisis.

    We went through that sort of crisis, once….(and hopefully never, ever again)

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  98. Deborah said on October 27, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Alex, if you find yourself with some extra time, and somewhere in the vicinity of my neighborhood or the loop area, I’d love to meet you. Not sure how you could contact me except through Nancy, she has my email and maybe still my phone number. But I understand how it can be when you make a weekend visit, there’re lots of things to do and so little time.

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  99. coozledad said on October 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Where the suppuration began is the rape culture endemic to the enslavers who mortgaged black bodies, in what was white trash’s longest spin at the roulette wheel. I want to be careful here to note there was no distinction of merit between a plantation owner and some daughterfucker huddled in the woods, waiting for scraps and hoping God would snuff his life out with the last of his teeth; the difference was purely one of an available line of credit. Because they were all daughterfuckers.

    The slaver fucked a fourteen year old child he purchased at market as a ”fancy lady.” He then sold the children of that rape, in the words of one former enslaved woman “like you would an ox.” But as long as he had slaves, even if the cotton market was in one of its periodic tailspins, he could sell shares of them to European investors in a massive collateralized debt scheme that drove the economies of every industrialized western nation. That state of affairs has experienced no significant shocks or setbacks since the Civil War, and the grudging changes implemented to reverse those conditions have now been reversed through Republican policy, with the assent of a majority racist white electorate, gerrymandering where necessary, fraud wherever possible, and an open invitation to a hostile state to subvert the electoral process.

    So when we talk about Mark Halperin, or Bill O’Reilly, or Poppy Bush, or any one of the numerous instances of predation that have been catalogued out of an infinity of silent screams, we’re talking about something fundamental to the American character-the cult of the trustworthy white male.

    This cult is inseparable from the notion of American exceptionalism, the streak of American authoritarianism that enabled the Republicans to overturn the postwar order, and the idea that whites have an uncompromised moral standing.

    Halperin and Poppy Bush, O’Reilly and that childfucker Denny Hastert?
    That’s us, motherfuckers. Rotting from the goddamn head down. For four hundred plus years.

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  100. alex said on October 27, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Staying in Old Town. Will give you a jingle.

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  101. alex said on October 27, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    And if Heather’s interested in a meetup we’re having dinner with our mutual friend Celia Bucci tomorrow.

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  102. Heather said on October 27, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Oh darn, I have dinner plans with another friend coming to town tomorrow. If that changes, I will ping Celia. Have a great visit! We’ll have to meet up one of these days.

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  103. brian stouder said on October 27, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    What Cooz said!

    Aside from that – looks like we’ll be heading for Calhoun Street Soups and Salads this evening…

    so, despite the rain and the chill-winds, there’s that.

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  104. brian stouder said on October 27, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    OK – this got me chuckling –

    President Trump gave a Twitter shout out to Lee Greenwood, the singer and composer of “God Bless the USA,” for his birthday Friday morning — but he tagged the wrong Lee Greenwood.

    “Happy birthday to the great @leegreenwood83. You and your beautiful song have made such a difference. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” the president wrote in an early morning tweet.

    However, the Lee Greenwood he tagged was a New York-based lawyer.

    “I get this a fair amount, but certainly not at this level,” the lawyer wrote on Twitter soon after the president’s message.

    Our Chief Twit, in action.

    (and btw – Greenwood’s song is fairly incoherent, if you ask me. “Where at least I know I’m free”..???)

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  105. Connie said on October 27, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    I have always hated that song. For the ten years we lived south of Elkhart hearing that song outside meant the church down the street was about to shoot off fireworks and we needed to get the dogs inside.

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  106. Deborah said on October 27, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    I see that Orin Hatch is considering retiring and that Romney probably will run for his seat. As much as I’m not a fan of Romney, at least it won’t be a Bannon selected white supremacist, wing nut. Romney did come up with the program in MA that became the model for Obamacare, so there’s that.

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  107. Deborah said on October 27, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    Categorize this comment under, be careful what you wish for. Today’s weather in Chicago was quite cold, I don’t think it ever got above 40, or at least it didn’t seem so. I have been pining for cooler weather, so I got it for sure.

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  108. susan said on October 27, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Here we go. Mueller files first indictment/charges.

    The charges are still sealed under orders from a federal judge. Plans were prepared Friday for anyone charged to be taken into custody as soon as Monday, the sources said. It is unclear what the charges are.

    I’m not getting my hopes up, though.

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  109. coozledad said on October 27, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Susan: Fake Dems and Republicans only recognize one color of criminal. And the color scale tracks with the severity of punishment.

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  110. Sherri said on October 28, 2017 at 12:20 am

    Will anybody be willing to concede that maybe, just maybe, their view of Hillary Clinton was perhaps influenced unfairly by the picture drawn not only the right wing noise machine but also by the Very Serious People like Halperin and Wieseltier who treated women like shit?

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  111. Dexter said on October 28, 2017 at 3:16 am

    Here it is, the middle of the night and just before hitting the hay, I decide to quickly check the obituaries and bam-bam…two men I worked with, side by side for nearly thirty years each, and both younger than me by a few years have passed away. I liked them both and one of them was even with me the night I met my wife, many years ago. He disappeared one day and never came back to work, and nobody seemed to know what had happened to him, but he was accounted for, just sick somehow. We had run around for years, playing softball, going to White Sox games in Chicago, drinking a helluva lotta beer, going out for coffee and papers a lot. Then *poof* gone, and now dead.
    The other guy was the coffee makin’ man at work, was a fireman who told stories like the year he was on a firetruck, working the Indianapolis 500. Both men were good guys and I am not stunned, as they were both in their 60s, I am just taken aback a little bit. See ya on the flip-side, Rick and Robin.

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  112. Suzanne said on October 28, 2017 at 9:22 am

    I guess this is why GOP types don’t get the problem with the O’Reilly, Weinstein, and the perv of the day. They think it’s perfectly fine to allow yourself to be debased to get what you want. How the game is played.

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  113. Deborah said on October 28, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Had a good time with Alex, his partner and their friend/host and Heather this morning at my place. It was good to meet another nn.c person face to face (I have met up with Heather a couple of times before but she and Alex had not met before). So let’s see, I’ve met Scout, Jeff tmmo (while I was in NM), LA Mary (in well, LA), Nancy herself, Heather and now Alex. Am I forgetting someone?

    One of these days we should have an all Chicago (and burbs) meet-up. I’d be happy to have it at my place. There are quite a few Of you all in this here community.

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  114. basset said on October 28, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Hmmm… I’ve met Pilot Joe (in Auburn) and Nancy herself (in Detroit). Far as I know we have only had one other member around Nashville, not sure she’s still here.

    Meanwhile, this… the media produce such beautiful children:

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  115. Jill said on October 28, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Deborah, there’s an article on the Trib website about the new Michigan Avenue Apple store needing to dim its lights because of birds flying into the windows. They needed your design help.

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  116. Heather said on October 28, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Sherri @110–exactly! This stuff doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

    It was wonderful to meet up at Deborah’s and finally meet Alex as well as her husband, plus Alex’s partner and friend. And the bonus of finally getting to go inside one of the Mies buildings I have passed hundreds if not thousands of times on Lake Shore Drive in my life.

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  117. Deborah said on October 28, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    My husband and I have to go to a fundraising gala at the Drake tonight that we are loathe to go to. It’s so depressing to have to attend ‘, get all dolled up, and eat rubber chicken with people we have to nod to with smiles on our faces, clients of my husband’s. Ugh, I hate this part of his job.

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  118. Deborah said on October 28, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    We’re back from the fundraising event and it was everything it promised to be which was horrible. I just want to go to sleep now.

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  119. coozledad said on October 29, 2017 at 11:19 am

    The genius of Matt Monro:

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  120. Deborah said on October 29, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Hilarious, Coozledad.

    You’ve all probably seen this graphic before showing the growing opioid addiction and overdose problem If you look closely at the first map, representing 1999, you’ll see a red hot spot in NM. That’s Rio Arriba county, where Abiquiu is. Not Abiquiu per se but the surrounding area has a huge heroin problem, has for years and years now the surrounding areas/states have caught up with it.

    Oops, that link didn’t work. I’ll try to find a different one.

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  121. Deborah said on October 29, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Here’s a link that works

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  122. Deborah said on October 29, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Am I the only one not doing much today?

    So who’s getting indicted tomorrow? And for what? My guess is it’s going to be Manafort, probably for money laundering but I hope it’s also for collusion. If they can get him to take a deal and sing so much the better. But I’m totally speculating. I really have no idea.

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  123. brian stouder said on October 29, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Deborah – present!

    My first guess was also Manafort, but I heard a commentator say it could well be a lower-level person, who will have his (or her) arm twisted, until they co-operate.

    A total non-sequitur: I grab a weekly free paper called the Waynedale News. It’s always interesting, and has odds and ends about a part of Fort Wayne where an uncle of mine used to live and work, and which also has Wayne High School – where we our daughter graduated, and where our youngest daughter will probably go.

    Anyway – I was reading the fluffy-piece about Fort Wayne’s scarey legends and tales, as Halloween approaches,

    and I tripped over this:

    When it was built in 1930, the tower was the tallest ever constructed in Fort Wayne. And each of the building’s 22 stories is said to be occupied by a different ghost. The specter on the top floor is said to be a man who committed suicide by jumping from one of the tower’s highest windows. The ghost on the fourth floor is rumored to be that of a racist woman, who shouts curses at minorities she sees from the window.

    which made me say ‘Oooooooooh-kay!’

    (In any case, one cannot complain about the cost of the paper)

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  124. Jolene said on October 29, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Alex, I happened across a notice saying that Melissa Clark, NYT food writer, has a new cookbook with recipes for the Instant Pot called Dinner in an Instant. Looks appealing. Less than $15 at Amazon.

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  125. coozledad said on October 30, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Not just obstruction. This is a collusion investigation.

    Murdering traitor trash. Mueller might have to ship him to Ukraine for trial.

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  126. coozledad said on October 30, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Manafort selected Pence to run as veep. His co-indictee Rick Gates stayed on with the Trump campaign after Manafort left. Manafort was at the meeting with Don Jr. and Veselnytskya.

    At this point, you’re either with Mueller, or the Russians. Susan Collins has already signaled she’s with the Russians. Trey Gowdy, Russians. Paul Ryan, Russians.

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  127. Deborah said on October 30, 2017 at 9:14 am

    The associate Rick Gates will hopefully be the one to sing, he stayed on with the campaign after Manafort left. Maybe too much of a peon to expect a pardon.

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  128. Suzanne said on October 30, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Anyone else read this John Boehner profile in Politico? Pretty amazing piece.

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  129. coozledad said on October 30, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Joko should be out here soon talking about cheeseburger emojis:

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  130. coozledad said on October 30, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Treason, motherfuckers.

    1. Conspiracy Against The United States.

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  131. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 30, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Sherri @ #110 – exactly, and I’d like to see some, what do you call it? . . . journalism done on that very topic.

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  132. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 30, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Lots of sizzle with the “conspiracy against the United States” charge against Manafort & Gates, but the steak may be where you first see the Trump campaign mentioned —

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  133. brian stouder said on October 30, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Just as intersting – if not moreso that Manafort’s headline is this from CNN:

    George Papadopolous, former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty for making false statements to the FBI, according to records unsealed today.

    Papadopolous lied to FBI agents “about the timing, extent and nature of his relationships and interactions with certain foreign nationals whom he understood to have close connections with senior Russian government officials,” according to the complaint.

    In a March 2016 email, Papadopoulos offered to set up a meeting between top Russian officials and top Trump campaign officials, under the subject line “Meeting with Russian Leadership — Including Putin,” according to the source.

    The early chorus – from the Oxy-Rush/Shit-for-brains-Sean crowd – that Manafort’s transgressions aren’t “collusion” – got decimated even before the noon news cycle (let alone the evening news)

    Edit: looks like Jeff and I tripped across the same story!

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  134. Sherri said on October 30, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Jeff(tmmo), being blunt among friends here, I hope, but you, who voted for Hillary with gritted teeth, are among the people that I’m wondering if you’re willing to reconsider your view.

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  135. brian stouder said on October 30, 2017 at 11:04 am

    And of course:

    The President has reacted to this morning’s news in two tweets, saying “this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign,” and asked why “Crooked Hillary & the Dems” weren’t “the focus.”

    A second tweet added: “…Also, there is NO COLLUSION!”

    Donald J. Trump
    Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????M

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