Always look ahead.

In honor of his 60th birthday, Eric Zorn published a column called, I hope at least somewhat ironically, “My 14-point plan to be a good old man.” I reached that milestone a few weeks ahead of Eric, and never even considered such a thing, but admittedly, I no longer have a column deadline, and might well have if I did.

For the record, I don’t even consider myself close to being old. I get what he’s saying, though — at this age you can see senescence on the horizon, maybe closer. People you know are starting to die, sometimes of aggressive cancers that just show up one day, announcing time’s up.

On Tuesday you’re fine. On Friday, you have a few weeks left. It happens.

I read Eric’s list, and I approve of it. The tl;dr might be: Your body is one thing, but you can always be young in heart and spirit. I have young friends, real friends, not just my friends’ adult children. I listen to new music when I can. I respect a lot of their art, popular and otherwise. I consider that younger people as a group have many things better figured-out than my generation did at their age. I have hope for a better future, which I further hope will arrive before a totally horrible future comes beforehand. I’m sorry that the boomer generation, of which I am a part, is going out so disgracefully, even though the president is way older than me and I consider him part of a different subset. Unlike lots of young people, I don’t think my generation is the worst ever, or, in the current slangy parlance, Worst. Generation. Ever. Can’t we all get along? We need our confederates.

I was thinking this while reading a piece by a former colleague, a man I once liked very much, who seems to have taken a different path, desiccating into a bitter husk. It’s possible it was written on a bad day – we all have them – but it made me sad. I won’t link to it, in the interest of keeping a certain peace. Practicing kindness seems the best option here.

The other day I was sweating through the final moments of my weight workout when an old man started…I guess he was flirting. It wasn’t anything serious or creepy, just a semi-obvious I see you and I like what I see exchange. At first I was baffled, as he seemed to be much, much older. Then I realized he’s maybe 5-6 years ahead of me, so entirely age-appropriate if I were into it. He picked himself up off the mat where he’d been doing crunches and walked off to the locker room with the step of a far younger man. Here’s to you, you spicy geezer. I hope I have that confidence when I’m…your age.

Bloggage: A pretty good take on Facebook, what ails it and how it should be fixed. And it should be fixed.

The Case of the Infamous Dossier gets more complicated. Still sorting through this one.

Finally, from the comments, I know a lot of you have been getting junk phone calls lately. Me, too. I have a 734 area code, a souvenir of my first cell phone being purchased in Ann Arbor. I make a lot of calls to people who aren’t in my network, so I answer them all, but lately when I see not only the 734 area code but the first three numbers of my own, I let it go, then immediately block it. Lately, I’m starting to get weird email, too, and I wonder if it, too, is a new scam.

One of my private email addresses is first initial/married name -at- a popular domain. And a couple months ago — about the time I started posting my resume on job-search sites, a huge mistake I regret — I started getting email for Norma MyMarriedName, who also uses first initial/last name. She appears to be a very busy lady, buying stuff online and signing up for gym memberships and all sorts of stuff. One included her street address, which I figured had to be a fake, but I G-mapped it and lo it exists, and in Newark, Ohio, no less. We don’t yet have your down payment, Norma, and without it we can’t guarantee delivery by Christmas, wrote someone at Montgomery Ward. (It still exists, yes!) It doesn’t seem exactly…legit.

It keeps happening. I’ve started hitting Unsubscribe on some of them, and by doing so I’m wondering if I just delivered the full contents of my inbox to the Russians. If so, have at it! It’s the address that I mainly use for crap, so enjoy my utility billing notices and unread New York Times Cooking newsletters, Boris.

But who doesn’t know their own damn email address?

Time to punch down the pizza dough and consider toppings. Good midweek to all.

Posted at 6:40 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

123 responses to “Always look ahead.”

  1. Deborah said on January 9, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    I get robocalls at rude times, early morning and dinner time. I don’t answer but they continue. Most now have my area code and the first 3 numbers of my number. It’s so aggravating, I would never buy whatever they’re selling just because they’re bugging me, but I guess enough people do to make it worth their while. Who does that? I need to get that service that I linked to here a few months back that will answer your robocalls and keep them on the line with hilarious comments.

    We have young friends too that keep us sane, mostly they’re my husband’s former students who are from all over the world, some are friends of our children (who aren’t that young anymore). I enjoy having friends of all ages.

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  2. Icarus said on January 9, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Funny you should mention that Nancy, I get emails at my gmail address for another person with my name, a Jewish lawyer if I’m not mistaken from the hanukkah cards and Philadelphia bar association newsletters.

    Also, my wife has an Ann Arbor area code but here in Chicago everyone incorrectly assumes she meant 773 which is the area code that transplants and hipsters believe is for city dwellers not realizing that 312 is the true Chicago area code

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  3. Icarus said on January 9, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Also re previous thread, while I thought the Oprah thing was just a thought experiment (she hasn’t said anything has she?) just saw that Trump apparently stated he would beat her.

    If he is working so hard to obliterate what his predecessor did, imagine how much he’d flip out to find he’s losing to a black woman in the poles and eventually the election!

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 9, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Newark, Ohio? My plan to subvert your internet presence has been revealed, dangnabit.

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  5. Jakash said on January 9, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    “773 which is the area code that transplants and hipsters believe is for city dwellers not realizing that 312 is the true Chicago area code”

    312 is the *original* Chicago area code, and still the area code for the greater downtown area. Most city dwellers who reside outside the greater downtown area are 773, as I’m sure you’re aware, Icarus. If they’re old enough — cough, cough, uh, well I guess that applies to the topic of the post — many had their area code involuntarily switched from 312 to 773 when it was introduced in 1996/7. For whatever that’s worth!

    312 was largely ruined for me by Goose Island naming their lamest beer after it, though…

    I mentioned when the junk phone calls were discussed in comments before that we not only get loads of such calls with our area code and exchange, but have, on a few select occasions, gotten junk calls from our exact number.

    Jeff (tmmo) has fallen victim to the dreaded “last comment on the old thread” syndrome. At 4:15, he posted a brief, interesting take on racism/nationalism in the Republican party, for those scoring at home.

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  6. Dorothy said on January 9, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    I mentioned a few months ago about getting calls from a number whose first six digits match mine. It was some dumb sales scheme, a guy with a strong Indian accent and when I called him out on it, he called me nasty names. He hung up but I called the number back (I was in a pissy mood and should not have done that), and the guy who really owns that phone number answered. Now I know they are cloning numbers to try to get us to answer. I’m as weary of them as the rest of you are; lately if I answer an unknown number I tell them what they are doing is I’ll legal and they’re likely headed to jail when they get caught. It gives me a wee bit of satisfaction. It’s juvenile, I know, but I’m in the I-don’t-give-a-shit stage of my life.

    I’m the same age as you, Nance. Trump is 11 years older than us. I really don’t think of that as ‘way older’ than me. (Not being argumentative but I just disaree) My oldest sister is 70, my youngest sister is 53. I guess because of the age spread in my big family I look at age differently. I think Trump is considered part of the beginning of the Baby Boomers, who were born a year or so after WWII ended. Anyway, I feel like I’m a young 60. I’ve heard several times from colleagues who say I look much younger than that. Behavior and attitude can help in that regard along with lucky genes. Physically I have glaucoma, have had a knee replacement and both thumb joints replaced. That’s where my age lines up with my body I guess. You’re sure right about the quick turn around sometimes. My son’s father-in-law has pancreatic cancer and he’s 4.5 years older than me. He likely won’t survive the year, maybe even six months.

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  7. alex said on January 9, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    Cheers for Zorn, but I’m not sure I can quit eating like I’m 25. (Although tonight I did put half my dinner in a box, delicious though it was.)

    I ported my residential 773 number into my cell phone back in the early aughts and still have it. And when I get calls from 773 with my old exchange from East Lakeview, I make sure to answer the phone and fuck with them and cuss up a storm.

    For unwanted e-mails, I set up a spam folder on my iPhone. I never open the e-mails. I just hit “edit” and move the e-mails to the spam box. Supposedly by not opening them the sender gets the message that they’re not being read and the spam folder learns what to look for and intercepts spam automatically. Like those free gift messages from W a l m a r t and C o s t c o with the spaced-out lettering — all that shit now just goes to spam and I never even see it.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on January 9, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    Nothing makes you feel old like losing a sibling. At least that’s the perspective from working on my sister’s estate for a full day. And getting 10 robocalls during that time.

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  9. Joe Kobiela said on January 9, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    I have app on my phone called Mister Number, after downloading it I have almost eliminated all unsolicited calls, its free and it works, Try it.
    Getting old sucks, I turned 60 last month things hurt that didn’t use to, I knew it would 18 years of Rugby, 30 years of factory work will do that, but I keep running I have had so many people tell me, I wish I wouldn’t have stopped because I can’t get going again, take some advise, keep moving never stop, walk, run, bike, swim, lift weights, be a young old person not a old young person, and congratulation on getting hit on Nancy, you’re working out is paying off.
    Pilot Joe

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  10. David C. said on January 9, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    I rarely use a cell phone. In fact I still have a flip phone. I don’t have much problem with junk calls on that. For our land line, we have VOIP that we’ve set to only accept calls from certain numbers. We tried blocking numbers, but it got to be too much. We would block one number, and we would soon start getting calls from the same place, just one number off. It’s a bit of a pain to have to get numbers when we have some business dealing with someone who says they will call later but it’s better than getting all the junk calls. For e-mail, the gmail account we use when we order something online does a fairly good job of filtering out junk. We have another account what we only use for friends and family. We’ve been able to keep that pretty much free of junk.

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  11. LAMary said on January 9, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    Wusses. I just turned 65 last Saturday. I only feel old when my sciatica surprises me with a stab in the hip. That’s been happening sporadically since I was 40. I have lived to be older than either of my parents did. My mother died at 50 and my father at 60. One brother died at 41. I never thought I’d live to be 65.

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  12. Jakash said on January 10, 2018 at 12:53 am

    Here’s a 9:41 video of Eric Zorn on a local PBS show last night discussing the column that Nancy starts her post with. There’s also a brief print interview with him below the video:

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  13. Dexter said on January 10, 2018 at 3:30 am

    I tell people I have early-onset old age…at 68 I walk with two canes or a rollator walker. At least the VA took some responsibility for my problems, confirming it was Agent Orange that contributed to my physical maladies.

    I get robo calls from someplace that promises to re-pay the money I sent them…fucked if I know, only I assume for sure it’s a scam.
    The Suzuki car? Fucker was a lemon…started just fine Monday, Tuesday I popped in to ask if I could test drive it 2 miles again, and it was dead. And…I came to realize I do need a higher-sitting car or van…low cars kill me trying to enter.

    Death…all but one uncle have passed, my wife has lost brother and sister, probably 85%> of people I worked with in the factory that used thousands of horrid chemicals and asbestos furnace screens have croaked, mostly from cancer and a few from motorcycle wrecks. I have lost a brother in a different way…he won’t talk to me and I think his wife moved way over by the Mississippi River with him so nobody will visit…I assume his boozing did it, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, A.R.D. , or plain old wet brain, whatever you want to call it. Yeah, that shit’s real alright, and it is sad. It would make me mad but I know it’s a disease and for sure, AA works miracles, but if a drunk does not buy the premise, kiss him goodbye.
    Man, this ordeal my wife is going through is wearing us both down, her lying in a hospital bed with no knee joint for another 37 days before surgery, and now she is getting moved to a lower-intensity care-giving nursing home, as critical constant care is no longer needed. The grieving for losing the elderly dog has settled, I am grateful I can cook for myself, do laundry and sweep and mop as needed, and haul her laundry home and wash and dry it, but I am getting a bit edgy and concerned, as long surgical stays in hospitals get old fast.

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  14. ROGirl said on January 10, 2018 at 5:32 am

    If you get calls from a fake Microsoft number, go to the Microsoft website and report the number to them. Eventually they stop, but they can start up again under a different phone #.

    I turned 61 in October, just had my eyes examined a month ago, and found out I have cataracts, beginning stages of development. Other than that, I am healthy, working, trying to filter out the bullshit and not get caught up in the mishegas. It’s not easy, but this helps.

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  15. Deborah said on January 10, 2018 at 8:13 am

    I’m 67. Cataracts, check. Back problems, check. Hearing going, check. Occasional foot problems, check. Skin sun issues, check. Aside from those minor things I’m in good health (knock wood). But little things can wear you down too. In a couple of days we head out to NY and I’m dreading the airport time. The stress of that is exhausting. In a couple of weeks I have to do it again when we go to LA with my husband’s students.

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  16. basset said on January 10, 2018 at 8:19 am

    62 here as of last September, Congrats on the gym approach, take it as a compliment and enjoy the ego bump.

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  17. Suzanne said on January 10, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Dexter, thinking of you. Your ordeal sounds awful. As Chekhov said, “Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out.” Your day to day has gotten much more wearing in the past weeks.

    Anyone else find it funny that the testimony on this Trump Dossier is released and suddenly, Trump seems to be wanting to play nice with Dems on immigration? And is going to the Davos meeting?

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  18. adrianne said on January 10, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Beginning of the end for Trump and co. on the dreamers: U.S. District Judge William Alsup just issued an injunction against any further action on the dreamers. And, yes, Alsup quotes liberally from Trump’s own Tweets. Oh, the irony!

    From the Washington Post: A federal judge in San Francisco issued a nationwide preliminary injunction Tuesday blocking the Trump administration’s decision to phase out a program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

    The injunction by U.S. District Judge William Alsup says those protections must remain in place for the nearly 690,000 immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program while a legal challenge to ending the Obama-era program proceeds.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the decision to terminate the program on Sept. 5 and said no renewal applications would be accepted after Oct. 5. Under the administration’s plan, permits that expired after March 5 could not be renewed.

    But Alsup ruled that while the lawsuit is pending, anyone who had DACA status when the program was rescinded Sept. 5 can renew it, officials said.

    The judge did not rule on the merits of the case but said the plaintiffs would suffer irreparable harm if the Trump administration ended DACA before the legal dispute is resolved.

    “Plaintiffs have clearly demonstrated that they are likely to suffer serious irreparable harm absent an injunction,” Alsup wrote. “Before DACA, Individual Plaintiffs, brought to America as children, faced a tough set of life and career choices turning on the comparative probabilities of being deported versus remaining here. DACA gave them a more tolerable set of choices, including joining the mainstream workforce.”

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  19. Dave said on January 10, 2018 at 9:01 am

    I’m 67, my mother lived to be 90 but her last five years weren’t very nice and my father made it to 85, he did much better until his last year when everything started giving out on him. I’m the oldest of five and they’re all alive and doing reasonably well. Still, and I suppose this is true of all of us who live long enough, there’s not a month that goes by or even a couple of weeks, that someone I knew somewhere along the way dies, in all age ranges. Just a couple of months ago, our old neighbors lost their oldest daughter to cancer, she was only 31. One never knows.

    My ears ring, it’s a constant nuisance that sounds louder some times than other times. I’ve had radiation treatment for prostate cancer, which we hope was effective, we’ll find out next month. Some nights, I don’t sleep well, even though I believe sleep is essential to good health, I still don’t. OTOH, the last two nights, I’ve slept eight hours and wonder how does that happen.

    Dexter, I can only try and send some positive thoughts your way, I don’t know if that works but I do it. Also, as far as cars go, I’ve read that Suzukis and Mitsubishis are the worst cars sold in America. I don’t know that much about it but I do remember, when we went to Costa Rica, those cars were everywhere. I always wondered where they were sold because you don’t see that many in the places I’ve traveled.

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  20. Peter said on January 10, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Wow, a lot of meat on the table today….

    Last week I took my two interns to see a friend who’s rehabbing a building in Pullman, and he was nice enough to invite us over to his place for some early morning cookies and beverages.

    Although we all agreed on Trump Making America Great Again as only he could, my friend’s main complaint about our leader is his very apparent senility. My friend’s the same age as Trump, and he said his parents both died from Alzheimer’s, and he’s in constant fear that the same fate will happen to him, and soon, maybe as soon as Trump….

    I know that from the perspective of a young person, people in our generation all seem old, while we see big differences. For me, there’s a big difference between people of my age and Trump’s – and that’s Vietnam. I remember all of the talk about Clinton – and Bush – avoiding service in Vietnam. For me, if I dropped out of high school on my 18th birthday and joined the Army that day, and went to basic training the day after, and would have been sent to Vietnam the day I finished basic training, I would have arrived after Saigon fell – and I’m 61!!

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  21. Alan Stamm said on January 10, 2018 at 9:45 am

    You miss some fine recipes in those NYT Cooking n’letters, Ageless One.

    JS, in the current slangy parlance.

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  22. susang said on January 10, 2018 at 9:58 am

    2017 was an interesting year. I went to the inauguration; I went to the women’s march. I went to Paris. Then between other travels, I was diagnosed with fourth-stage lymphoma.
    I never thought I was too special to escape cancer (my mother, a true Betty, smoked while pregnant for all of her four children, lung cancer has my name written all over it), but lymphoma caught me off guard.
    “What causes it?” I asked. Answer, old age.
    Bitchn. Good news, in remission. I blame Trump. Why not?

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  23. nancy said on January 10, 2018 at 10:41 am

    1946-64 covers a lot of ground. I tell people you’re either a Woodstock boomer or a disco boomer. I’m a disco boomer, and while my siblings were Woodstock boomers, the gulf in our experiences as teens and young adults feels very wide.

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  24. BethB from Indiana said on January 10, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Dexter, I feel your pain, and I’m sorry about your wife’s extended hospital/rehab stuff prior to surgery and then more of the same after surgery. I am sending good thoughts for her eventual recovery after this ordeal and for your steadfastness as her caregiver. Take care of yourself, too.

    I am 68 and my husband turned 85 today. He is “thinking” he wants knee replacement surgery, but he’s worried he won’t wake up from it. I think he won’t do the rehab after and the recommended exercises before surgery to make the whole thing successful.

    I also, selfishly, worry about myself if he has the surgery. He is my helper. I use a rollator in the house, and a regular walker (no wheels, tennis balls, or slides) outside. I drive and will be his chauffeur for the duration, but there will be other things that I will find very difficult or impossible to do. It is very worrisome because I want him to be at his best, and if the knee surgery is best for him, then he needs to do it. On the other hand, as I think I have said here before, we are one calamity from assisted living–something I vowed I would never do after going through over ten years of it with my parents.

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  25. Jolene said on January 10, 2018 at 11:00 am

    My sibs and I bookend the baby boom generation, the first born in 1946 and the last born in 1964. And yes, those are very different experiences. My brother, born in ‘64, just shrugged during a recent conversation about the turmoil of the 1960s. The touchstones of that era are just words to him. For me, they were life.

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  26. Deggjr said on January 10, 2018 at 11:01 am

    I feel ‘bitter husk’ is a real danger for me. My wife has health issues and I need to advocate for her. We are in frequent contact with insurance companies/benefit administrators/health providers and some of those contacts are contentious. It takes a certain mindset to go into those contacts. It’s important but not easy to shift out of that mindset when the contact is over. There is a clear path to Karen Spranger.

    At one point Comcast discovered through an ‘audit’ that we owed them $1/month for a piece of equipment we didn’t have. It was a cheap price to pay for evidence I was’t an old crank. Then Comcast discovered a $10/month piece of equipment and it was time to drop the gloves.

    It seems that at age 60, ‘if’ becomes ‘when’.

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  27. Jolene said on January 10, 2018 at 11:05 am

    Can you afford or will Medicare pay for some help to reduce the strain of your husband’s rehab, Beth? When my mom had knee replacement surgery, she had a physical therapist who came to the house in the immediate aftermath. Not sure how long that lasted, but am pretty sure it was a Medicare benefit.

    Dexter, I share the sentiments of others re your wife’s circumstances. It sounds really tough. I hope there is a good outcome at the end of it all.

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  28. Mark P said on January 10, 2018 at 11:37 am

    What a coincidence. I just posted on my blog today about my brother’s metastatic pancreatic cancer diagnosis, which he got just before Thanksgiving. Here are a few random facts about pancreatic cancer. Average age of diagnosis: 71. My brother is 70. One-year survival rate for all stages: 20 percent. Chance of recurrence for pancreatic cancer caught and treated at the earliest stage: 50 percent. It’s a death sentence, but then so is being born.

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  29. basset said on January 10, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Woodstock boomer here. I remember watching the JFK funeral parade and the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, both on channel 10 from Terre Haute, which was one of two channels we could get at the time. TH didn’t get a NBC station till 1965 or ABC until the early 70s.
    And the first Beatles album was released on this day in 1964.

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  30. Sherri said on January 10, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Born in 1962, I don’t really share many of the Boomer touchstones. Disco was dying by the time I hit college, MTV was on the rise. We used to have MTV on in the background all the time.

    In the past year, I’ve completely changed my diet, my workouts, and my sleep patterns, and have dramatically improved my mood and my health, except for high blood pressure. That seems stubbornly resistant to lifestyle changes in my case. I had to increase the dosage of my BP med, and I suspect my doctor is going to want to increase it again, because my BP isn’t consistently staying down where she’d like.

    I’ve made a number of new friends in the past year who are in their 30s, and I’m really enjoying spending time with them. They’re smart, creative, and fun. I also spend time with adult children of friends, but that’s different; it’s a little harder to think of them as peers, because I always see the little kid, plus I know their parent’s perspective on what’s going on in their lives.

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  31. Suzanne said on January 10, 2018 at 11:55 am

    And now, Darrell Issa is bailing out of the good ship GOP! A person can’t keep up anymore.

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  32. Heather said on January 10, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    I guess I’m a youngster here at 47 (48 next week!). I’m already having a few health problems, nothing too horrible (asthma is the worst of it) but a sign of things to come I guess. And I’ve outlived my mother and my maternal grandmother, who died at 42 and around 46 respectively, both from cancer. I would love to lose 10-15 pounds as I suspect it’s putting a strain on my body, but right now with school and work I just don’t have the time to put in as much exercise as I normally do. Also I hope to get a job in the city so I can stop driving to work about 1 hour each way, which is affecting my health. Anyway I think any change in that area is going to have to come from eating less, especially drinking less. I’m not a lush but I do have a glass of wine every day usually. That plus a sweet tooth means the calories add up.

    Anyone else reading about the Fusion GPS transcripts? It’s pretty horrifying. The GOP is really compromised. Not sure what we’re going to be able to do if they won’t impeach.

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  33. Jolene said on January 10, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    The transcript Senator Feinstein released yesterday doesn’t reveal much new about what Trump et al. did or didn’t do with regard to the Russians. It’s mainly important because the testimony it contains contradicts the story that the GOP has been pushing about possible FBI misconduct in their investigation of the Trump campaign prior to the election. Matt Yglesias has written a good analysis of the contents of the transcript and, especially, why it is important in defending the FBI and the Mueller investigation from charges that they are (or, in the case of the FBI, were prior to the election) engaged in a “witch hunt” to take down Trump.

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  34. 4dbirds said on January 10, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    My mother died on Monday night. Thanks in advance for the condolences but I mainly write it to celebrate her life. She was 95 and lived an interesting and fulfilling life. She left the farm with my dad and they made the army a career. They traveled and raised us all over the world and my mother embraced and encouraged all of us to embrace the new, the strange, the different and the other. She was of a liberal persuasion and worked in political campaigns, dragging all of us kids around to hand out flyers and encourage the women of the 1960s that was okay to vote differently than your husband and it wasn’t canceling out his vote. She took me down to Planned Parenthood when it opened up in our town to see how she (meaning me) could help in the office. I never heard her say anything bad about anyone’s color, religion, clothes or home. She distrusted most men and would tell me to learn a skill and not end up cooking biscuits at 5am for some ‘cowboy’ (we were living in Texas). We managed through good healthcare, good pensions and some luck to keep her in our homes the last ten years. She was also warm, dry, fed, had a dog nearby to pet and was taken to any movies or dinners we went to. She fell last week and with that fall everything went downhill. After morphine for pain we knew it was a matter of time. I will miss her.

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  35. Scout said on January 10, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    I’m also 60, and don’t feel any affinity with the majority of the boomer generation especially as it relates to faux news watching and conservative ‘values’. I was 6 when the Beatles first performed on Ed Sullivan, though, and I remember it clearly. That moment made me an instant Beatlemaniac. It is sad that they were already onto solo careers by the time I was old enough to go to concerts.

    I’m lucky to be in pretty decent physical shape for an old crone. My spoose and I did a 9 mile hike in Sedona over the weekend with no aches that a little magic topical couldn’t address. Use it or lose it, as they say.

    One thing we noticed while up north is that tRump supporters up there are more stupidly proud of their love for the Orange Hellbeast. We saw more pro-tRump bumper stickers in three days up there than we’ve ever seen here in Phx. One camo wrapped vehicle was driving around with giant tRump flags flapping. Disgusting.

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  36. Deborah said on January 10, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Scout, I was 6 when I watched Elvis on Ed Sullivan.

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  37. basset said on January 10, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    I was 8. Dexter, what was the seller’s excuse when the Suzuki wouldn’t start? I had something similar happen at a Ford dealer with a really long driveway, the Fiesta (this was years ago) I was looking at quit just before we got to the main road and I walked back. No, I don’t want you to fix it, no, there’s nothing you can do to earn my business today.
    4dBirds, sorry to hear about your mother but it sounds like there was a lot to celebrate, not the least of it being that she could spend her last years with her family. So many seniors can’t.

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  38. Carter Cleland said on January 10, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    65 in early April. Woodstock generation. Never registered for the draft, but living in the North Shore Chicago suburbs, there weren’t many of my peers being called up. Getting inundated with calls from Medicare salespeople, anyone have any tips bout the process? Looking forward to being off the ACA, as it costs me and my wife $1722./month.

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  39. BethB from Indiana said on January 10, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    I was 14. We rushed home from Youth Fellowship in time to yell and scream with everyone else.

    4dBirds, I want to echo basset’s sentiments in #37. It was wonderful that she could be at home with family.

    Jolene, we have Medicare Advantage plans mainly because that’s the most economical way to have health care AND our many, many medicines covered. We have coverage for home rehab or a step-down hospital program, and we can afford to pay what insurance doesn’t.

    I’m just not sure how long my extremely stubborn husband will tolerate either one. For a retired physician, he has some very bad habits concerning his own health, especially his type-2 diabetes.

    If I needed to, I could pay for some hourly home health aides to assist me with some of the things that John usually does.

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  40. Deborah said on January 10, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    4dbirds, I’m so glad that you got to enjoy your mom in your life. She had a good long one, and it sounds like she enjoyed it too.

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  41. A. Riley said on January 10, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    63 here — but my sisters are 8 & 10 years older than I, so I got to have their music within earshot.

    I think not having kids of my own keeps my mind flexible (at least that’s what I tell myself). I’m delighted to report that my church music director welcomed me into the madrigals choir — high school kids, but they like having some adults around — and my voice blends.
    Yay!! Those long-ago voice lessons still work!!!

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  42. basset said on January 10, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    8 for the Beatles, I should say, not Elvis.

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  43. LAMary said on January 10, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    I just signed up for medicare and I was inundated with calls, email and junk mail for months. I chose to go the PPO route and sign up for a separate dental plan. Medicare costs me 134 per month, my supplemental is 128 and I think dental is going to be around 30. I might go to an advantage plan next year. I’m just trying this one out.

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  44. David C. said on January 10, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    I’m 58. I went to the doctor for my annual med check for my high blood pressure. He said I’m creeping up to pre-diabetes (pre-pre-diabetes?). Anyway, my uncle just recently passed away at age 78 and was in pretty miserable shape for the past ten years. He was type 2 diabetic and didn’t take care of himself at all. I’m not going to make that mistake. So I’m working at losing 35 lbs I don’t need by doing a 5:2 diet. Five days of normal eating, two days of 24 hour fasting with one small meal per day. I’m down 7 lbs and the fasting is supposed to help reset your insulin resistance, so far so good.

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  45. Icarus said on January 10, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    David c @44

    Is that consecutive days or do you do the 5 then the 2? I can see how two days of fasting with only one meal per deal would be a setup for failure

    Also, I assume any exercise would have to be during the 5 days normal eating.

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  46. David C. said on January 10, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Some do the fasts on consecutive days. I don’t. I think I’d be a wreck at the end of the second day. I only walk on my fasting days. The other days, five sets of intervals on my bike trainer (30 seconds of max effort followed by two minutes active rest (pedaling slower)) followed by walking or free weights. It seems to be working for me. I think because, for me, prohibition is easier than moderation.

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  47. Rana said on January 10, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    Heather – I’m also 47, so have a wave from another GenXer. (One thing I like about being born in 1970 is that it makes figuring out my age easier…) I feel I’m still pretty youthful – no major aches and pains, and unlike many of my cohort I’m so far not experiencing any perimenopause stuff – but I do want to flip the bird to presbyopia. I’m nearsighted, so I can still see things close up if I hold them about an inch from my eyes, but I find myself resenting the loss of the 4-8″ zone of clear focus in front of my face. I was also amazed at how fast it happened – one week, perfect (for me) vision, the next, hello reading glasses.

    Re: email dopplegangers – that coinage is from a friend of mine, who has an entire stable of them. Turns out that there are a LOT of people who share her name who are also crappy at remembering their email addresses. So she gets strange random emails for these other people, and, of course, there’s no way of telling them that they gave out her email instead of their own. Mostly it’s just the odd subscription or something, but one time she was getting email related to one of the doppleganger’s work searches, and it made her really uncomfortable to be privy to that.

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  48. Dexter said on January 11, 2018 at 2:35 am

    bassett: The owner said he didn’t understand, why, it started right up for him earlier…OK…but I really needed something that sits higher. My daughter told me to check Craig’s List, so I did…nothing suited me. Later, I remembered a used car place owned by an ace mechanic. He said he had nothing I wanted, paused, then said maybe I’d like to buy their family van, as his wife decided she wanted a new one. This guy put new tires on last month, installed a crate motor (re-conditioned and made like new) , basically has this van like-new, and now his wife wants a new one. So tomorrow I write a check for it. It’s only 17 miles away, too. I like that. He’s going to come tow my old van away as a trade-in, too, and I’ll just ride in the wrecker and drive the “new” one back and my troubles are over, as Walter Sobchak ( John Goodman) said in “The Big Lebowski”.
    Thanks for the positive energy sent to my wife and me as we plod along slowly. In the super-secret program I am a member of I have learned much about gratitude in the tough times; pity parties are for fucking losers and we all know there are many degrees of suffering worse than what we may be dealing with. What the hell, it all goes by so fast anyway…why, it’s 2018 already? And we’re still here? Yes we are. As that famous great American George W. Bush once said, “Bring It On.”—bad analogy…that sorta backfired on the dumb s.o.b. didn’t it. 🙂

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  49. Jerry said on January 11, 2018 at 3:07 am

    Dexter, you have my sympathy and best thoughts, for whatever good they do you! It’s the long hard grind that wears you down. But good news about the car.

    I sound like Nancy’s oldest reader – an honour I’m happy to lose. I’m 73 and in good health for my age. Hearing aids, statins and a stick when I walk to support an arthritic hip. My father died at 57 and my mother at 96. So I seem to be like my mother but her last years she was confused and unhappy. It really felt like a happy release when she finally died. She used to complain about how much she disliked getting old and I’d tell her she probably preferred it to the alternative, not a good comment in the last five years.

    Reports that scientists are looking for ways to extend our life span to 120 and more leave me horrified. I’d prefer a shorter life with good physical and mental health to an extended period of dotage.

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  50. Suzanne said on January 11, 2018 at 6:23 am

    I am on the verge of 60, which sounds old, but what can you do? I am a Boomer, technically, but without the stable job prospects, steady job history, and the way things are going, could be without Medicare. I remember the deaths of JFK, RFK, MLK, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and many others (although I may have to use Google to jog my memory). I remember the Vietnam War and the 68 Dem Convention riots on TV although the fall of Saigon occurred when I was in high school, so in 68, I really had no idea what was happening.
    Still fairly healthy, a statin here, a joint pain there, but otherwise, it could be worse. Watching my parents and my in-laws hit their mid to late 80s doesn’t give me a lot to look forward to, though. Getting really old is not for weenies.

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  51. alex said on January 11, 2018 at 7:39 am

    56 with stents, statin, blood thinner, fenobibrate and omega-3 and my labs are still shitty because I managed to get all the bad genes from both sides. I’m a tail-end Boomer but identify more with Gen-X because when I came of age the economy sucked, the Reagan Revolution was in full swing and the future looked like the bleak dystopia that has finally been realized.

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  52. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 11, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Alex, I’m right there with you, and it continues to baffle me that I’m supposed to be a Boomer. Born in 1961, I’m just not feeling it. I remember fragments of the day Kennedy was buried but not when he was shot; Vietnam was a map on a fifth grade teacher’s closet door who had a son there, and strange names on Huntley-Brinkley; ’68 was a string of assassinations and riots in Chicago on my doorstep; Watergate was a TV presence but not very well understood by me — I really didn’t start following national politics until Jimmy Carter’s campaign. So like you, I think I’m more a proto-Xer than a late Boomer.

    Putting my parish pastor hat on — I spend more time talking people, patients and/or their decision-making family members, through the Medicare/Medicaid rules on nursing home/rehab facility stays than I do praying with them. The protocols and durations keep changing and I’m barely able to keep up with helping prompt people to ask the right questions, let alone knowing reliable answers. The nurse/medical staff friends I used to check in with for guidance are almost all saying “heck, Jeff, you’d be as likely to know as I would right now: they keep changing them!” It was clearer and more consistent ten years ago, but now . . . got a significantly overweight older person who had leg fractures and surgery, with muddled medical messages about weight-bearing and mobility, now in rehab and frightened to go home with spouse who is limited physically themselves. Doesn’t want to stay in the dorm-limbo of a nursing home for rehab, but knows even with all the work the church has done building an exterior ramp and grab bars inside, one-legged life at home is hazardous . . . some staff say “you should stay” and others say “we aren’t making measurable progress so you have to go home” and the team meetings end with everyone hedging — then insurance sends a grim letter that’s at odds with what little they did say. Folks in those situations need an advocate working with them through this, because they feel like everyone has an angle of self-interest that isn’t taking their needs into consideration.

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  53. Jolene said on January 11, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Jeff, you’re not supposed to be a Boomer. Maybe that’s why you don’t feel like one. Demographers generally define the baby boom generation as all those born beginning in 1946 through 1964. Of course, there’s some arbitrariness to these limits, but 1961 would be pushing the boundaries of what I think most population scientists would define as baby boomers.

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  54. Jolene said on January 11, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Ohio voters, did you know that Mitch McConnell and Cory Gardner (Colorado senator in charge of Senate campaign committee) have been talking with J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy about running against Sherrod Brown? Would be a tough race for Vance, I think.

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  55. alex said on January 11, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Most demographers seem to agree that Gen X started in 1961:

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  56. adrianne said on January 11, 2018 at 10:30 am

    I’m a 1961 baby, and I still feel like a young Boomer. My younger brothers are firmly Generation X, though.

    There’s an astonishing story in the Cut, New York magazine, on the writer who compiled the list “Shitty Media Men.” Here’s a key takeaways: “When I began working in magazines as a new college graduate in 2013, I was furtively warned away from several of my industry’s most well-known abusers. Over the intervening years, I’ve met these characters in various guises. There was the hard-drinking editor who had worked in all the most prestigious editorial departments, who would down whiskeys until he was drunk enough to mention that he could help your career if you slept with him. There was the editor who would lean too close but who was funny enough that he would often charm women into consensual encounters that were then rumored to turn abruptly, frighteningly violent. Last summer, I saw two of the most notorious of these men clutching beers and laughing together at a party for a magazine in Brooklyn. “Doesn’t everyone know about them?” another woman whispered to me. “I can’t believe they’re still invited to these things.” But of course we could believe it. By then, we’d become resigned to the knowledge that men like them were invited everywhere.”

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  57. Icarus said on January 11, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Whenever I try to remember, I play back the lyrics of a commercial for WLUP-FM 97.9 FM, aka The Loop

    if you were born between 1945 and 1965, you’re part of the Baby Boomer Generation

    I suspect they took a little creative license in order to make the hook more sleek.

    Gen Xer here (1969)

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  58. Suzanne said on January 11, 2018 at 11:12 am

    The LOOP! I loved Johnny B in the mornings. “Moo moo, I love you, I know you’re a cow but anything will do”. I had forgotten all about the WLUP. Thanks for the memories.

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  59. Connie said on January 11, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Oops. Posted this in wrong place. Here it is again. I am definitely a boomer. As a twelve year old I was a serious news reader, was so absorbed in Woodstock happening. As a very young teenager I found 1968 in general to be a very scary year.

    62 in Sept just like Bassett. Husband is six years older, retired.

    I am waiting for paperwork to be signed by my doctor before i can order my hand controls for my car. But anyday now. And sometime this year I will get a new prostheses with a bending ankle, which probably means learning to walk all over again.

    Someone asked me about physical therapy and the gym. When I start at the gym I will probably book a couple of trainer sessions to get started, which is way cheaper than physical therapy. My health insurance pays for a max of 30 pt sessions a year and I used all 30 last year. I am saving this year’s sessions for the new bendy ankle foot and for my next training step which is mastering walking on bumpy surfaces like my back yard lawn. So that is me in the new year.

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  60. brian stouder said on January 11, 2018 at 11:25 am

    We seem to have a lot of ’61 models on the show-room floor here (I’m March/’61er, myself)

    I recall everyone crying in the misty way-back, which was from what my mom called “that weekend” – when President Kennedy was murdered, and then – on live TV – Lee Harvey Oswald was shot to death

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  61. Deborah said on January 11, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    It’s 57 freaking degrees and raining in Chicago, I’m in a coffee shop sweating. Weird.

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  62. Judybusy said on January 11, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    4dbirds, your mom sounds like a wonderful person. Thank you for sharing her story.

    I was born in ’65. There is so much that I just grew up with an took for granted–all the assisinations, Presidential fallibility, and the moon landings.

    I am purposely mixing up my reading to take care of myself–so not all political stuff. Currently, I’m totally sucked into the memoir of Al Worden, who was on the Apollo 15 mission. I’ve loved learning more about the training and what happened on the actual mission. He was involved in a big scandal that involved selling postal covers, and he’ll be describing that soon….Compared to what we’ve got going on now, it seems like really small potatoes. If you haven’t read much about these missions, I highly recommend the book.

    I also just want to share I’m flying high with a great result for a client I helped out. Don’t have time for details, but sometimes the criminal court and social service system can really work together to benefit folks. This is exactly why this job was created, and it’s so satisfying we got it right! Even though it’s “not my job” I personally signed the young man out of the jail and walked him out to his new group home staff.

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  63. Catherine said on January 11, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Moira Donegan’s article is here: The part that resonated personally:

    “…When I first shared the spreadsheet among my women friends and colleagues, it took on the intense sincerity of our most intimate conversations. Women began to anonymously add their stories of sexual assault; many of the accounts posted there were violent, detailed, and difficult to read. Women recounted being beaten, drugged, and raped. Women recounted being followed into bathrooms or threatened with weapons. Many, many women recounted being groped at work, or shown a colleague’s penis. Watching the cells populate, it rapidly became clear that many of us had weathered more than we had been willing to admit to one another. There was the sense that the capacity for honesty, long suppressed, had finally been unleashed. This solidarity was thrilling, but the stories were devastating.”

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  64. Deborah said on January 11, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    I’m reading my third Haruki Murakami novel now, the first one I got for myself, “A Wild Sheep Chase”, I liked it, sort of, and I talked about it for days after reading it, so I think I liked it better than I thought I did. Anyway since I talked about it so much my husband thought I was really into Murakami, and he gave me three of his books for Christmas. I read one, “Norwegian Wood” while I was at the cabin in Abiquiu. Again, it was OK but not spectacular. Now I’m reading “Kafka on the Shore”, and it is by far better than the other two. The last one is “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage”. I might take a break from Murakami after that. Since I’ve been spending so much time in airports and on planes, I needed some reading material. My husband read the biography of Sam Shepard and has been trying to get the book Shepard wrote about dying, but has yet to find it at a bookstore. He doesn’t like to order online if he can help it.

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  65. LAMary said on January 11, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Sixty isn’t old. Sixty five isn’t either. I need all you people younger than I am to stop telling me I’m old.

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  66. 4dbirds said on January 11, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    I’ll be 63 in March. I have a young disabled adult at home who needs my life insurance so I will work for as long as they will have me. Once I retire, the life insurance gets chipped away each year to nothing. I have a good job, nice co-workers and an eight minute commute. I can’t complain and I don’t. Luckily, I was smart enough to get my daughter granted disabled status by our employer so they will cover her healthcare even into my whenever retirement. Our attempts to get her SSI have all failed, although this year we will do it again, with a lawyer. I am an insulin dependent diabetic but keep tight control of my numbers. I take a statin and a ‘kidney protector’ although I don’t have high blood pressure. I walk and recently yoga. I hope to get to 95 just like my mom.

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  67. Scout said on January 11, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Hear, hear, LAMary!

    4dbirds – thank you for sharing. Your Mother sounds like she was a lovely person who lived life to the fullest. That is the model we can all aspire to.

    I think all (most) here would enjoy this Twit-thread:

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  68. Deborah said on January 11, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    I have two friends in Abiquiu who just turned 80, I would never have known it about one of them, he’s a professional violist, he does a lot of hiking and is extremely fit. The other guy was an artist, he dabbles now, his wife who is 75 is still a practicing artist, he’s in pretty good shape too. If I can be as active and sharp as those guys when I’m in my 80s I will be happy. As I’ve said here before my MIL is 98 and as sharp as a tack. My dad died at 80 and my mother when she was 48, my grandparents lived until their mid 80s, obviously I hope I can stay healthy as long as possible.

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  69. beb said on January 11, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    68 today. The brain still things I’m young but my body disagrees.

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  70. Scout said on January 11, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Happy Birthday, beb!

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  71. Jerry said on January 11, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Beb, happy birthday, youngster

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  72. David C. said on January 11, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Judybusy @ 62. I used to work for Al Worden at what was BFGoodrich Avionics Systems. He was a VP and for a short time President of the company. At one Christmas party he was riffing on what a great guy Generalissimo Franco was. The wife of our then company president was born and raised in post-war Germany. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such fury in someone’s eyes. Al was interesting to talk to and quite charming, but politically he’s a troglodyte. I also read his book and think his explanation of the scandal didn’t really hold water.

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  73. Jolene said on January 11, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Donald Trump’s elegant speech has prompted the Washington Post to modify its standards regarding acceptable vocabulary for use in headlines.

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  74. David C. said on January 11, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    The Times’ will probably be “Mr. Trump compared countries to excrement-filled low-lying areas”.

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  75. Jakash said on January 11, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    White House Director of Social Media tweets: “It’s time to end #ChainMigration!”

    Woman replies with choice genealogical take-down:

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  76. Jolene said on January 11, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    The NYT uses “shithole” in its first paragraph and, on the website, in a subhead.

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  77. Deggjr said on January 11, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    Jeff TMMO @52, that’s what I mean by advocacy. At some point you can shrug and for you it can’t be any other way. Otherwise you’d be sucked dry. But for us frequently there is no tomorrow. Two lessons from the advocacy experiences:

    1) There is no right, there is no wrong, there is only leverage. This is from a labor negotiator. Right/wrong is a distraction.

    2) Sometimes you lose. It’s just not possible to go undefeated.

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  78. alex said on January 11, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    Shithole in the Journal-Gazette! Shithole in the Journal-Gazette!

    This beats Katharine Graham and Mike Wallace talking about Bill Clinton and Vernon Jordan talking about pussy on 60 Minutes.

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  79. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 11, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    Deggjr, thanks. And Judybusy, hat tip to you! Sounds like good work.

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  80. alex said on January 12, 2018 at 6:43 am

    No shithole headline this morning at the Journal-Gazette. It’s still in the text, though. They probably got a bunch of calls from cranky Trump supporters, I’m guessing.

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  81. ROGirl said on January 12, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Anderson Cooper really went all in on shithole last night. It was kind of awesome. Some Trump flunky kept saying the language was “salty” and he pushed back and said it was vulgar, and tried to get the guy to say whether Trump meant the entire continent of Africa, which of course he wouldn’t answer.

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  82. Jolene said on January 12, 2018 at 7:00 am

    On Twitter, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said it had been asked by its publisher to remove “shithole” from the lede of the AP story it had posted on its website.

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  83. Connie said on January 12, 2018 at 8:09 am

    A few days ago our hostess shared the story of Karen Spranger, the rather odd Macomb County Clerk. News today is that her attorney has quit due to non-payment.

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  84. Judybusy said on January 12, 2018 at 10:43 am

    David C @72, wow, that is disappointing. Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about his explanation. He was a very smart guy, and not to have picked up on the shadiness of the German guy….

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  85. Sherri said on January 12, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    There’s a lot of focus today on trump’s language, on his using shithole to refer to countries, and the inappropriateness of that “vulgar” or “salty” language. The problem isn’t his language, it’s that he’s racist as fuck.

    Even for people who only regard racism as a personal issue and not a systemic one, how much more evidence is necessary to conclude that trump is racist? Supporting trump requires at least condoning racism, and no amount of disavowal changes that without action.

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  86. Deborah said on January 12, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Bingo Sherri, you hit the nail on the head, it’s not the language (although that’s pretty disgusting) it’s the racism. The guy is pathetic.

    I watched the Letterman interview with Obama on Netflix this morning and it was depressing because we now have such an inarticulate, racist, bastard for a president. Obama was smart and funny and it made me sad and angry. What a mess we have on our hands.

    Lousy weather in Chicago today, I walked to do a couple of errands and the last block back to my building I could barely walk it’s so windy. Our building is moving, which it always does in strong winds.

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  87. basset said on January 12, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Pretty unpleasant here in Nashville too, freezing rain since before dawn and snow coming. City schools and offices, the major universities and a lot of private businesses are closed… time to break out the slow cooker. Honey garlic chicken legs, trying something new.

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  88. Peter said on January 12, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    There’s a silver lining to everything: My inner Dave Barry is saying that 45 and the Shitholes (or how about Shitholes 45) would be a great name for a band.

    Sen. Tim Scott got the best burn when he said that all Republicans are not racists, and you’ll see Republicans speak up and denounce Trump for his racism, and then you got him….and Mia Love….and that’s it buddy, the rest of them are racists. Wake up and smell the coffee bro!

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  89. Sherri said on January 12, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Once upon a time, not all Republicans were racists, though it wasn’t just the acceptance of the Dixiecrats into the party that changed things. Luminaries like Buckley and Rehnquist did just fine on their own.

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  90. basset said on January 12, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Now this was weird… opened the front page and all I saw was the first line of text and “time’s up.” Not just for a brief flash either, took several seconds before the rest of the page loaded. Hope that’s not a sign.

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  91. Icarus said on January 12, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Lousy weather in Chicago today

    I was looking forward to my first run of the year, outdoors in the snow but I got busy with a project and suddenly it’s 1:30 CST. I’ve decided to skip the run yet again. I’ve given myself permission to take a little time off this January while all the exercise rats are clogging the gyms. No official mileage goal this year.

    I’d like to think some of my friends who supported Trump would at least acknowledge that this is no way for a head of state to act, but all I hear are crickets.

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  92. Peter said on January 12, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    The best responses I’ve seen:

    “Despite 55 years of covering the Mets and Jets, only today has the NYT used the term shithole.”

    “Until today, if you googled ‘Trump” and “shithole’ all you got were a lot of hotel reviews.”

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  93. Suzanne said on January 12, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Nothing Trump says or does surprises me, but the complicity of the GOP does. I sit here day after day, and think, so, this how the Nazis took over.

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  94. David C. said on January 12, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Oopsie-doopsie. tRump’s lawyer paid a porn star for her silence a month before the election says the lame-stream, liberal media, Murdoch-owned, Wall Street Journal.

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  95. Peter said on January 12, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    David C – Hubba Hubba, talking points memo is reporting that as well….

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  96. Deborah said on January 12, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Wow, what an end to the week in Trumpville, shitholes and porn stars. What next?

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  97. David C. said on January 12, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Would it be greedy to hope for the pee tape to come out?

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  98. alex said on January 12, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Even Time Magazine is reporting about the porn star. And using the word shithole. Fuckin’ A.

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  99. Sherri said on January 12, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    The Seattle Times, which loves both-siderism and bipartisanship and loathes the estate tax, bluntly calls trump a racist.

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  100. Dexter said on January 12, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Ice storm, slippery roads, no new used van…supposed to be here tomorrow late morning… no big deal. It’s icy everywhere here, even my covered porch is black-icy. All vehicle doors frozen-stuck; I had to really work on them to get ’em open.
    Why did Dr. King’s nephew meet with Trump? He didn’t know Trump is a raging racist asshole?

    Monday, Dr. King’s day. If I get back to D.C. I want to see his sculptured monument and tour the African American Museum…but I think Dorothy wrote it’s hard to get into that place because of high constant demand for admission. After all the monuments and statues and sculptures and historical sites I have visited , there is one that stands out, meaning it moved my soul greatly in sadness and remembrance, and I have mentioned it before, and it’s my pilgrimage, in 1968, to the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, 4 years and 9 months after the 9-15-63 bombing. The visit put me into an ethereal state, and a somber ethereal state at that.

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  101. basset said on January 12, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    I’ve been to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, back before it was upgraded into the National Civil Rights Museum… pretty hard to get in there for the same reasons, I’ve heard, and I don’t get to Memphis much if I can help it. Quite a memorable experience, though, to stand outside the Lorraine early on a Sunday morning and just vibe, looking at the window Ray shot from and the motel balcony.

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  102. brian stouder said on January 12, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Dexter – places like that genuinely affect me, also.

    A summer ago, the young folks and I went south-southeast (wedding in the Florida Keys) and stopped through Charleston, SC…and – although it wasn’t on my radar, we rolled right past the AME church where the young racist puke committed his atrocity.

    As we realized what we were seeing, we agreed that the only appropriate thing we could do…was roll on, as we discussed why some people do the things they do (we were fairly certain that the place didn’t really want terrorism-tourists; nor did we want to be that).

    The major-big battlefields we’ve visited – especially Sharpsburg/Antietam – similarly induce an odd combination of awe and dread.

    One thing that made my jaw drop, there, was when we spent the night at the Piper Farm (think Bloody Lane) – on the battlefield. Mind you – when the sun goes down there, it’s very, very dark. One’s imagination – and the realization of just how completely terrible that particular field was – made a huge impression upon me.

    The next morning, at breakfast in that house, I asked the lady whether the building near the house had always been there; it was where the lawn mowers and other storage was, for the park. She said “It was slave-quarters”….and I was absolutely astounded!

    I think (or maybe it’s just a hope) that the National Park Service has since bought-out the folks who owned that B&B – and transformed the storage shed back into the historical reminder that it should be. Hell – one finds oneself on the scene of one of the most horrible battles of the war – and the park could have a very powerful, historic display of the main cause of that war, right there.

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  103. Dexter said on January 13, 2018 at 3:14 am

    My great-great Uncle Joshua , a 1st Lieutenant of the Indiana contingent , made it up through various battles, including battles around Shiloh, and met his reward on the battlefield at Chickamauga in September, 1863. When I carried a letter he wrote just before dying , into the Information Station, my wife and I were instant V.I.P.s. All the rangers wanted to see the letter, they donned thin gloves and read it, asked politely to copy it for the purpose of blowing it up and putting it on a large section of wall so everyone could read it. I agreed to that. We were thanked profusely over and over, give cold sodas, and walked back to our car like we were dignitaries…which, for one day, I reckon we were. . EBERLY, JOSHUA



    DATE OF DEATH: 09/20/1863

    BURIED AT: SECTION F SITE 2364 Click to view the cemetery map



    (423) 855-6590

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  104. basset said on January 13, 2018 at 5:36 am

    Sent from my iPhone

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  105. Joe Kobiela said on January 13, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Rest in peace Keith Jackson, a great play by play man, called a lot of sports action.
    Pilot Joe

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  106. alex said on January 13, 2018 at 11:34 am

    I think they could have lightened up his fake tan just a tad, no?

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  107. brian stouder said on January 13, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Dex – a tremendous story!

    Specific remembrance of individuals in those terrible battles makes visiting these places all the more ‘real’, and human; and not just crusty old history

    While I’ve not yet visited Chickamauga, Pam and I did roll down to Shiloh, years ago.

    In fact, it was our honeymoon(!)* – and we spent the night in Corinth, Mississippi, since when you’re at Shiloh, you’re literally in the middle of nowhere!(When we were back in the parking lot near the Park’s visitor center, young folks were stepping off a school bus, and a little girl was asking ‘Are we gonna get lost ag’n?’)

    But it is indeed a very beautiful, terrible “nowhere” to be, between the curving, wide river and rolling wooded countryside.

    Any of these big battlefields we’ve visited always has large Indiana memorials, and that was where it really hit me – that if I was a Fort Wayne boy in that (otherwise beautiful) wilderness, with thousands of charging enemy soldiers in my front, and that big wide river at my back, I’d might as well be on the other side of the world (as you were), rather than Tennessee.

    *We went to Nashville for our honeymoon, and I talked her into adding a stop at Shiloh, before she (or, really, we!) knew how far away it was, down a national parkway from there to Shiloh

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  108. brian stouder said on January 13, 2018 at 11:54 am

    Alex – great link!

    And – how long before they spot the typo in their headline?(!)

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  109. adrianne said on January 13, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Brian, you’ve probably read Tony Horwitz’s “Confederates in the Attic” already. If not, I strongly urge you to do so. Tony worked at the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel for a short time before going to the Wall Street Journal and the rest is history.

    Lots of ghosts around Civil War battlefields, but I’m Irish, so we have a long affinity for ghosts.

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  110. Heather said on January 13, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    A false missile alert was sent to Hawaiians this morning. Just the alert (“this is not a drill”) would have taken years off my life.

    I just booked a flight to Spain for just $700 (from Chicago all the way through to Seville) to visit some friends who are staying there for a month. Every time I leave the country, I pray there is one to come back to. I’m not kidding; I have a lot of anxiety about that.

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  111. Deborah said on January 13, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    New York report: it is a fine sunny day here, cold and brisk. There are giant piles of Christmas trees along the curbs, which is hilarious. We went to the Met after an early lunch to get our first look at the Michaelangelo drawings. They’re fantastic of course and so many, there must be hundreds and you can get right up to them, you have to get close to study them. But there were throngs of people and that made it quite warm. I felt faint at one point and had to search for a place to sit down, not easy to find. We had lunch at one of our favorite places, Cafe Sabarsky, which is in the Neue Gallery, a museum a couple of blocks from the met that has German and Austrian art, the Klimt painting of the woman in gold is there, which is stunning. They made a movie about the painting starring Helen Mirren Our hotel is near Columbus Circle so we walked up through Central Park to the museums. Tomorrow we go back to the Met, early to try and avoid some of the crowds and then I want to do some shopping with some Christmas cash that my MIL gave me.

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  112. Jakash said on January 13, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    There’s a somewhat well-known “obnoxious servers shtick” hot dog stand called The Wiener’s Circle on the north side of Chicago that has upped its sign game lately. Today’s message: “People from all countries welcome at this sh-t hole.”

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  113. Deborah said on January 13, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    When we landed in NY at LaGuardia both my husband and I had to use the restroom and we both came out of our respective places saying the same thing, “what a shithole”.

    When I was still in Chicago yesterday it was cold and knowing I was coming to NY and doing a lot of walking I decided I need some warmer gloves so I went to North Face in the Hancock building and was beside myself trying to find some warm gloves that would fit my long bony fingers. I ended up having to buy men’s size XL and they feel and look like a baseball mitt, they’re so big and fat I can’t even fit them in my coat pockets when I’m not wearing them. They are, I must admit, very warm but so inconvenient.

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  114. susan said on January 13, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Deborah , try mittens. They’re warmer than gloves. I wear the kind that have half-fingers inside a flap that you can flip back to pick up quarters on the side-walk. And they are blaze-orange so that people can see me when I cross the street. Heck, some trail friends said they can see me walking on the trail on the other side of the river (more than half-a-mile across).
    Kind of like these.

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  115. Dexter said on January 14, 2018 at 4:28 am

    My purchase has pleased me; the van arrived today and the broken van was hauled away. I have driven modern cars but never owned one…remote start system, self-opening side doors and back hatch, everything works but the dome lights, new tires , fresh oil change, new battery…and I am glad I didn’t cave in to suggestions to just quit looking and going crazy and lease a brand new car…sacre bleu! The only new cars I drive are rentals, my last new car was a 1977 Honda CVCC. Bah, humbug to new car buying. Best thing? I wrote a check and it’s paid for…a new car? Would have taken me years to pay it off.

    I am already tired of the shithole stuff. I am sick and tired of all Trump’s bullshit. It wears me down thinking of it. Our old-age thread makes me take stock: I ain’t got the energy to protest and I just wish Trump would step down and disappear. I feel like the cheerful Pollyanna felt when mean old auntie tried to harness Pollyanna’s jubilant outlook and happiness. What a stupid fuck we have at 1600 Penna Ave.

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  116. basset said on January 14, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Speaking of stupid… I have never heard of “YourVoice America,” or of a host on that channel, radio show, website, whatever it is named Bill Mitchell, but the BBC quotes a tweet from him this morning about the Hawaii false alarm:

    “You know, I almost believe some moonbat in the Hawaii government sent out that warning on purpose just to try and harm Trump.”

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  117. Bill said on January 14, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Any car prom photos? I hear there were tons of pickup trucks.

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  118. alex said on January 14, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Lovely day at home cooking. Over a week ago my mom got whatever bug’s going around and hasn’t felt like cooking, so neither of my parents are eating much except for prepared foods. So this morning I made a big batch of rosemary chicken noodle soup. Stewing on the stove at the moment is a big pot of Hungarian goulash — the real deal, not hamburger and macaroni. And next up is stroganoff, and for that I’m going to cheat and use my Instant Pot.

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  119. brian stouder said on January 14, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Alex – that all sounds perfectly marvelous; I can just about detect the aroma, from here!

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  120. alex said on January 14, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    My partner smelled it from the driveway when he got home. Which probably explains my energy bills this winter, but anyway. I sent him to the store for some porcini shrooms and a bag of frozen peas for my stroganoff.

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  121. Deborah said on January 14, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Another day at the Met, we had breakfast at Cafe Sabarsky and got to the Met around 10:30, we got right in. By noon the place was packed again, even more so than yesterday. I spent most of my time at the David Hockney and August Rodin exhibits because the Michaelangelo one was mobbed again. We walked down Madison Ave after leaving the Met and I found a fantastic deal on a Commes des Garson jacket that is smashing. It’s a very sculptural garment made out of the most interesting fabric. The original price was astronomical but I got it for the amount my MIL gave me for Christmas, she will be so pleased to know that. We are going to the theater tonight to see this Tomorrow we go to the Met one more time. It is quite cold, but we have warm coats, scarves and gloves so no problem. I want to go to the Strand bookstore before we leave on Tuesday, and the Highline.

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  122. Julie Robinson said on January 14, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Alex, you’ve inspired me to get out the instant pot again, or at least to put a cookbook for it in my library queue. I need to stop being intimidated.

    My mom has been sick too and it’s been a long week. She doesn’t have the flu, according to the doc, just one of the other nasty viruses out there that make you miserable and last forever. She said her cough could linger for another 4-6 weeks.

    It’s scary. I feared it was turning to pneumonia but she’s better today. Praying for more improvement tomorrow.

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  123. Jolene said on January 14, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Everything you wrote about sounds delicious, but I am particularly attracted to the chicken noodle soup with rosemary. Rosemary is wonderful stuff. The bakeries at two of our grocery chains make a delicious rosemary olive oil bread. Makes great grilled cheese sandwiches and heavenly toast. If you can find it where you shop, give it a try.

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