A few minutes on Lucky Place.

I drive I-94 from my house to downtown Detroit, or pretty much anywhere west of me, and almost everything is west of me. So I’m on I-94 a lot. The roads that pass over it are identified with signage, and one has always intrigued me: Lucky Place.

Detroit is an old city, with old-city ideas about what you call the things we drive on to get from one place to another — they’re streets, roads, avenues, boulevards. Not for Detroit the cutesy-poo ideas of suburban developers, with their Ways and Lanes and Crescents, all suggesting either some generic English countryside (Andover Lane) or a darling daughter (Helen Promenade). So right there I was intrigued. The neighborhood Lucky Place cuts through is not in any danger of gentrifying soon. It’s near the Chene-Trombly Market, a large party store, as they’re known locally, that serves as a freeway landmark and has appeared in two or three books. Not long after we moved here, a couple of winos hot-wired a nearby backhoe and used it to tear out the front door of the place. The loss to the business, besides the door and structural damage: $200 in liquor. They were just thirsty.

That none of the writers thought to mention nearby Lucky Place seems like authorial malpractice. Lucky Place should be the title of a crime novel. Or maybe it’s too obvious.

This morning I had an appointment downtown that ended early, so I decided to take surface streets home. I further decided that this would be the day I would finally see Lucky Place from anything other than the freeway.

The map was a help, telling me that Lucky Place isn’t much of a street at all. I said it “cuts” through its neighborhood? It barely scratches it, running from a back gate to the Cadillac assembly plant, across I-94 and not even a block into the neighborhood on the other side. Not a through street, the freeway so close that the noise would be a constant, only a few houses. But Lucky Place-bound I was, and after a short drive, there I was.

If you’re going to visit a street like this, a morning like Friday was a good day to do it — we had a heavy, wet snow the day before, and even dead or diseased trees look good trimmed in white. I arrived just as it was starting to melt off and fall in wet, slushy splats.

Google Street View indicates this house was still more or less intact in 2013. Not so much today:

There are two tires stacked on the collapsed porch roof. I see this often, and always wonder who would bother to lug them up there, and why.

The trash is still being picked up, but it looks like only two of the houses are still occupied:

But as always, it’s all in where you direct your attention. On the other side of this thicket is another street with old houses and vacant lots. But look at it just so, in the snow, and you could be anywhere. You could be up north somewhere:

As often happens, the street of my imagination and expectation was better than reality. But I’m glad I stopped. Now I know.

(I should note that others have investigated before me. But I took pictures.)

So, here we are, well into Friday. Just one bit of bloggage today, but it’s a good one: An intriguing story about latter-day vampires in Florida, and by that I mean medical hucksters trying to sell aging boomers on the quackery of “young blood” transfusions. Yes, it was a joke on “Silicon Valley” last season, but now it’s in the Sunshine State. Scroll down to the photo of Christine Lynn and ask what the odds are that she belongs to Mar-a-Lago.

A good weekend to all. Stay lucky, my friends.

Posted at 1:07 pm in Detroit life |

94 responses to “A few minutes on Lucky Place.”

  1. Peter said on March 2, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    I’m sorry this will sound racist, but I think Christine Lynn and Sammy Sosa have gone to the same skin clinic….

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  2. alex said on March 2, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    I think you’d have to be an even bigger fool to be a member of Mar-a-Lago.

    There are a couple of local restaurants I boycott because they let grifter financial planners hold “free” dinners there for suckers.

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  3. Deborah said on March 2, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    I’m one of the weirdos who avoid interstate driving as much as possible. What little driving I did in Chicago, I almost always used surface streets except when I drove to Midway when I would take 55. The Dan Ryan scares the bejesus out of me and I never figured out which names went with which freeway, except for the Dan Ryan. When I drive the Jeep from NM to somewhere on a road trip I try to take blue highways because it’s more fun, on the first day anyway.

    There was a guy in that young blood transfusion piece named Conboy, but he was actually one of the good guys. Funny.

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  4. Deborah said on March 2, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Peter, I Googled Sammy Sosa now, and looked at images, I see what you mean.

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  5. Suzanne said on March 2, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    What is it with all the medical/nutritional/exercise hucksters out and about now? Young blood? Ick.
    A co-worker just told me that her trainer at the gym assured her that one should only use Himalayan sea salt because all other salt was full of bad chemicals used as preservatives. Huh?

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  6. Deborah said on March 2, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    LB is voting today in Santa Fe, it’s the last day for early voting. She just got a call from someone about one of the mayoral candidates, saying the candidate’s sister just died, like she should vote for him out of pity? She wasn’t planning to vote for him anyway.

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  7. beb said on March 2, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    I was going to post a long essay Thursday night but decided not to for fear that it would be the last post on that thread before Nancy started a new one. When this Friday morning Nancy hadn’t started a new thread I went ahead a posted the essay. And minutes later Nancy started a new thread. I’ll be banging my head against a wall for a while.

    By the way nice pictures Nancy. While I drive 94 a lot I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sign for “Lucky Place.” It does sound like a Carl Hiaasen novel. Oh wait, that’s “Lucky You.”

    Just as there is no south side of Detroit (that’s Windsor, Canada), Nancy has no East Side of Grosse Pointe, that’s the Detroit River….

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  8. David C. said on March 2, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    So Peter Thiel is going to die in spite of the young blood transfusions. Best news I’ve heard in a while. Maybe he’ll die because of it. When I got a blood, the consent form for the transfusion was longer and listed more potential problems than the one for the abdominal surgery I had afterward.

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  9. basset said on March 2, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    I would hope you are being careful and more aware than usual on these explorations. You never know what’s out there.

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  10. Mark P said on March 2, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Bev — My essay was second to the last in that thread. Not much better.

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  11. alex said on March 2, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    beb, I read your magnum opus and I agree that the case smells pretty fishy. In Indiana, an at-fault driver is liable for whatever the damages are regardless of whether the parties in the other vehicle were properly restrained.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on March 2, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Oh those wacky West Palm Beachers. More money than judgment, obviously. I will say, though, that I feel younger here in Orlando not having to deal with the rain/snow/gray weather they’re having at home.

    We visited a nursery today and bought flowers and flowering shrubs. One of Sarah’s neighbors went along and helped pick plants, since I don’t know what grows down here. She has a very Orlando job, she’s a landscape designer at Disney, and she laid the plants out for us here too. It’s going to be beautiful, and along with all the veggies in the front yard, a totally different look than when we bought the house. We bought a new lawn mower, and now we have almost no lawn at all.

    I wish for better times for Lucky Place, but suspect they aren’t coming. What ever happened to the urban farm movement in Detroit? An increasing number of homeowners in this neighborhood are turning their lawns into gardens. No Homeowner’s Association covenants, which helps a lot.

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  13. David C. said on March 2, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    I like a front yard veggie garden. My friend Zbigniew is from Poland and wanted to put a garden in his back yard. The HOA rules didn’t allow it. He was so mad. He told them even when he lived in Poland under the communists they would let you grow tomatoes. The HOA said they have to maintain standards.

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  14. beb said on March 2, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    david c. — In Poland under the communists they needed all the fruit and vegetables they could get so it was counter-productive to ban growing veggies at home. In the US not so much. Suggest your friend call it a “Victory Garden” than they’re not being patroitic if they don’t let him have one.

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  15. Mark P said on March 2, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    beb not Bev — there! I finally got autocorrect to let me have it!

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  16. alex said on March 2, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    We’re in an old lake community where there’s always been some confusion regarding what constitutes the front or the back of your property. In any case, we have no prohibitions on growing veggies anywhere we please, so we do it in the few spots that get any sunlight. Those are mostly near the water’s edge. On the other hand, we have neighbors who grow stuff by the road. It adds to the rural charm, what little we have left of it anyway.

    Today Meijer announced it’s building a new superstore just a couple of miles away on East Dupont, evidently displacing a big ugly trailer park. This was after Kroger announced it will be building a new store at an adjacent site. It’s gonna be such a clusterfuck I’ll probably just keep on doing my shopping in Auburn.

    The Kroger on West Dupont is one of the most poorly planned stores I’ve ever seen. The store itself isn’t bad. It’s just that they enlarged an existing store and took up a fair amount of what little parking it had and getting in and out of that place is a freaking nightmare from hell. Then they have incompetent boobs directing traffic, which only makes matters worse.

    The pace of development around here is just mind-blowing. All kinds of tacky fake-Craftsman architecture going up overnight too, but it’s driving up the price of everything. My property values have benefitted except I’m not planning on selling.

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  17. susang said on March 2, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    I can’t believe you guys aren’t discussing Sunday-Beer in Indiana. After all, this is 202 years of tradition out the window..

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  18. David C. said on March 2, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    Beb, he’s a Canadian citizen and not long after that he was laid off, so he and his wife moved back to Canada and to this day is happily growing a huge garden.

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  19. Julie Robinson said on March 2, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Alex, my mom lives almost across the street from that Kroger and it is the very definition of a cluster. Yet it’s always busy because there’s nothing else close. I’m not clear where Meijer is going, but she thinks they’re too big so we’ll prolly still be going to the cluster. Yay.

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  20. basset said on March 2, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Sunday beer? Does it still have to be warm if you buy it in a grocery store? I remember paying $3 for a six-pack in Terre Haute in probably 1971 and being outraged at the price, it was Sunday and I was underage though so that’s what it costs. Drank it while we watched REO Speedwagon play for free in Fairbanks Park, back when they used to rock.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on March 2, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    Yes, I think it can’t be chilled, but someone here will correct me if that’s wrong. I think that was to mollify the liquor stores. Since I have no interest in drinking anymore I haven’t paid much attention. I think it’s just beer and wine, not the harder stuff.

    I looked up where Meijer will go, and saw it’ll be three years before it’s open, so it’s not going to relieve the Kroger store pressure any time soon. Last time we were there they were rearranging the store, so all the eldsters who go there were shuffling around trying hopelessly to find their cereal. Including us.

    On edit: just saw that the liquor store across the street from our church will be selling cold beer on Sundays. 12-8, so I guess if the service runs long one could run across and pick up something, but it won’t help if we run low on communion wine.

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  22. susan said on March 2, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Here is a lovely story about a couple of Michiganders (is that correct?), Jerry and Marge Selbee. Jerry figured out a way to game the state lottery, and then when that particular game was discontinued, found out about a similar lottery game in Massachusetts, and soon started gaming that one.

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  23. beb said on March 2, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    One of the Irish folksongs I heard as a kid ended with “Hark the temple bells… they’ll all be open now.” which I always supposed referred to their liquor licensing laws.

    My Dad lives in Indiana and when we go there we sometimes end up shopping on Sundays and were puzzled/amused that the Meijers there would have one aisle closed off. I never looked closely at what was there beer or liquor since aisles of wine were readily available. Now that I think about it, maybe the aisle was closed because it contained refrigerated cases of beer. I’m surprised that this is a 200 year old tradition. Just goes to show how backward Indiana is.

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  24. Suzanne said on March 2, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Funny thing with liquor laws in Indiana is that you can visit a winery or brewery on Sunday, taste & buy all the wine or beer you want. I was in Bloomington, IN a number of years ago and bought some wine at the Oliver winery on a Sunday. Then I stopped at Target & noticed they had the same wine I had just purchased at Oliver on the shelf, but because it was Sunday, it was not for sale there. The same darn wine.

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  25. alex said on March 2, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    The local wineries and brewpubs capitalized on the old laws. Wonder if they’ll take a hit now that you can buy whatever you want wherever you want. I always assumed you had to be a hardcore drunk or pretty hard up to drink any of the shitty local wine.

    The stuff at Oliver winery is particularly revolting. They sell a honey meade that reminds me of the crap in the doctor’s office when you’re having a glucose tolerance test.

    Oliver was founded by Corky Oliver, who was one of my dad’s law professors at IU.

    Lot of viticultural entrepreneurship in our area in recent years. I suspect those places will just have to fall back on the other part of their business, which is serving as reception halls for low-budget weddings.

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  26. Deborah said on March 2, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    In NM, northern NM anyway you still can’t buy liquor of any kind before noon. I have been at Trader Joe’s at 11:57 chomping at the bit to run over and get my bottle of wine for dinner later. I can’t tell you how many times I forget about that timing. Many years ago when I lived in Dallas where LB was born, we lived in the dry part of town. We had to drive across the Trinity River to buy any alcohol. There were no liquor stores or grocery stores in the area where you could buy anything. I always thought that it encouraged people to drink more, because you’d more likely buy a case of beer rather than just a six pack because it was a hassle. Then you’d have this case of beer just begging you to drink it.

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  27. Deborah said on March 2, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    I should have said “noon on Sunday”

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  28. Dave said on March 3, 2018 at 12:49 am

    They used to cover up the beer and wine on Sundays in Indiana grocery stores and/or block off the aisles but somewhere in time after we moved there, the laws must have changed and they quit doing that. Beb, the only place cold beer could be sold in Indiana was in a liquor store and I don’t think from reading that the new law is going to change that. That beer you saw covered in Meijer was not cold.

    Alex, we always went into Kroger’s from Coldwater Road by the 1st Source bank and frequently parked on the Coldwater Road side by the building. We always thought it was easier to get in and out from there. We first moved out to Perry Township in 1986 and watched all the development happen. We knew it was coming. It may have been good preparation for where we live now, in the the most densely built-up county in Florida.

    A Kroger’s store on East Dupont has been rumored for years.

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  29. susan said on March 3, 2018 at 2:03 am

    You couldn’t buy fresh meat on Sundays in Warshington state until the early 1970s. All the meat display coolers were covered up with paper.

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  30. Dexter said on March 3, 2018 at 3:12 am

    It ain’t just beer. Unless I heard a bogus report, it going to be similar to Michigan and Illinois: booze.

    If I found myself on Lucky Place, I’d hightail it to the nearest party store and begin buying online lotto tickets—how could I lose?

    I had no idea grocery stores sold warm beer on Sundays in Terre Haute in 1971. We always drove to the old dog-shit smelling State Line Store just off I-69 in Michigan. I quit drinking in 1992 but I remember drinking beer in Indiana taverns on Sundays in the 80s.

    I just watched a movie on TCM OnDemand that was so damn good it blew my mind: 1937’s The Grand Illusion. Mostly French and German spoken, with captioning. How I never have seen this classic war movie beats the hell out of me.

    Deborah, I access The Loop usually by merging onto the Dan Ryan Expy around 59th street. When I was 18 it made me nervous but then later on as the years passed I just stayed slow in the locals , usually to exit at 43rd, 39th, or 35th for Sox games, or cut over to LSD on Cermak Road-22nd Street. For Cubs games I’d drive up past the museums to Belmont and make my way over to Addison & Clark. The old LSD S-Curve used to be tricky because usually the lane markers were worn away and it was a Champs d’Elysees -like cluster, until they improved the curve’s dynamics in the early 80s. Sometimes I would take I-94 up to North Avenue and then just take Sheffield to Wrigley Field. I always loved driving in cities, been at the wheel in just about all the big ones except Miami and Seattle. Worst traffic: solid stop, stop, go a little…stop and stay stopped, then go ten feet—all the way from South San Francisco to south of San Jose. It was many years ago on The Bayshore/101, and it took over 4 hours to go 60 miles. I really do think the best smoothest freeway trip was just this Wednesday.

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  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 3, 2018 at 6:48 am

    Dexter, you brought back some fond memories there. Learning to drive on Chicago’s freeways was a great way to start out; when folks complain about traffic and driving in Columbus, Ohio I just try to keep the smug look off my face.

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  32. basset said on March 3, 2018 at 6:52 am

    Dexter, I don’t remember where the Terre Haute beer came from but I don’t think Indiana grocery stores sold it on Sunday then.
    I do miss Stroh’s.

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  33. alex said on March 3, 2018 at 7:11 am

    So the Michael Graves house in Fort Wayne is now an Air BnB rental: https://www.airbnb.com/users/54290879/listings?user_id=54290879&s=50

    Elsewhere I see that it’s also being used as a live music venue, and they tell everyone to Uber and Lyft it there because of limited parking.

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  34. alex said on March 3, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Much as I’m pissed at the NYT and subscribe to the WaPo instead these days, the Times still produces some outstanding literary journalism, like this long but worthy read. (Link stripped of the paywall, for those of you who’ve exceeded your monthly quota.)

    The story drove home some of my own frustrations and feelings of helplessness with regard to a friend who became schizophrenic. I requested a wellness check on her a few years ago when she’d gone completely batshit and she has never forgiven me for it. But at least she doesn’t call in the middle of the night anymore to tell me that she’s being wiretapped by foreign intelligence agencies.

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  35. Julie Robinson said on March 3, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    The story reminds me of so many, like Debi Thomas, who won an Olympic figure skating medal and went on to become an orthopedic surgeon, but now lives in squalor in a trailer, peddling gold. Most of those who partake of our church’s free meals and food vouchers, any one of whom would be a full-time job to attempt to help.

    Also, my sister.

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  36. Joe Kobiela said on March 3, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    I read the reviews on the Graves house, seems like everyone that stayed had great things to say about the house and owner, guy is a sound engineer at sweet water.
    Pilot Joe

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  37. Julie Robinson said on March 3, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    The story reminds me of so many, like Debi Thomas, who won an Olympic figure skating medal and went on to become an orthopedic surgeon, but now lives in squalor in a trailer, peddling gold. Or most of those who partake of our church’s free meals and food vouchers, any one of whom would be a full-time job to attempt to help.

    Also, my sister, who I tried to help countless times over the last 15 years of her life. I would clean out her place, organize her, talk to her about hoarding, and try to get her into counseling. Six months later you couldn’t tell I’d been there. At her next to last place a neighbor called adult protective services, but since she was in the hospital for a fall at work the complaint was dismissed.

    After she retired and moved to Orlando, my kids went over and cleaned, took her out, and helped her in any way possible, but the clutter and filth grew until they couldn’t stand to be in her place anymore. So we hired and paid for cleaners, and she would find an excuse to fire them after one or two times, by claiming they stole from her or put things back in the wrong places. As in: the food in the refrigerator was on the wrong shelves.

    We were attempting to get her into assisted living, but she resisted, viewing it as prison. So she died by herself in a bug-infested home. This is a woman who was almost always the smartest person in the room, who earned a master’s and ran a 30-person department, but couldn’t manage her own life.

    Could we have declared her a danger to herself? It was discussed. It would have been the end of the relationship. I tried. We all tried. I’m convinced we couldn’t have done more. She wanted to be independent.

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  38. Brandon said on March 3, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Who knew Indiana not only produces wine, but has done so since the 1700s? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_wine

    As for the mead:
    “This wine defies traditional mead styles. We carefully source orange blossom honey to avoid the off character that non source-specific honey can have. It’s light, citrusy, and refreshing, with subtle honeycomb flavor.”

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  39. Dave said on March 3, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Jeff at #31, I used to think the same thing about Fort Wayne traffic vs. the Columbus traffic when I first moved to Fort Wayne. However, that faded with time but I thought Fort Wayne was full of terrible drivers for years after I lived there and would seethe when people would say it was those idiots that came over from Ohio. Now, I know they may have had at least part of a point because most of those folks came over from rural western Ohio. I left thinking Fort Wayne was full of terrible drivers but here in Florida, there’s plenty of terrible drivers.

    Another person who ended up badly was Erin Moran of Happy Days. One has to wonder if there was any history of abuse in her past to set her down that path or ja mental imbalance.

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  40. brian stouder said on March 3, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    The links in this thread have either been extraordinarily good, or else I’ve just not clicked enough in the past; but the gamblin’ Michiganders and the heart-breaking mental illness of the once-ascendant young woman…and even the air-bnb house (which looks to me like nothing so much as a dentist’s office) are all good stuff, indeed.

    In that regard – here’s a bit from Fort Wayne’s Journal-Gazette, which (despite an error in the caption) got our household’s attention, and caused smiles all around


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  41. basset said on March 3, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Alex@25, I have to disagree with you on Oliver’s Mead… it is indeed quite sweet and I don’t generally like sweet wine but I’ve been drinking it since it cost $1.69 for a brown bottle sealed with wax. A little ditchweed from the Region gave it, let’s say, an extra dimension but we’re way past that now.

    This retirement business is starting to get real, the loan for the retirement house was approved on Friday. Plan is to buy one, sell the house we’re in now, and pay the loan off, hopefully coming out a little ahead. Told our realtor that we had two basic requirements: no HOA and I have to be able to pee off the back porch. You might be a redneck…

    Speaking of that, I am greatly enjoying the new Sirius Skynyrd/Southern Rock channel. If they leave that up and start a prog channel as well I will subscribe to Sirius for the rest of my natural life.

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  42. Deborah said on March 3, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    LB and I watched the fully painted, animated film Loving Vincent. Really liked it. Funny, the Polish writer and director of the film is named Dorota Kobiela. Any relation Pilot Joe?

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  43. basset said on March 3, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    Uhh, cancel that, they just played Kid Rock…

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  44. Joe Kobiela said on March 3, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    Highly possible.
    Pilot Joe

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  45. Joe Kobiela said on March 4, 2018 at 12:06 am

    Whats the channel number for Skynyrd?
    You might enjoy Channel 60 outlaw country, also I enjoy underground garage.
    Pilot Joe

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  46. Dexter said on March 4, 2018 at 2:39 am

    JmmO: In Columbus traffic can be hazardous too as you know. A couple years ago we were forced to go to a kid’s birthday party at that Chucky Cheese up by Dublin, close to that Trader Joe’s I never found. Very narrow lanes on major surface streets , as narrow as Boston’s Old North End. Packed full of cars on those streets, long long lights—not a nightmare but reminiscent of the old FW Bypass on a Friday, before I-469. Moider, I tellz ya.
    I just thought of another hell-bent for-leather freeway: any Detroit freeway in the early 1970’s, driving in hard rain at night. The divider lines were totally worn away and you just had to know exactly where you were from memory. A newbie passing through? Oh HELL no…chaotic. My late best buddy Frank had this 1968 green VW Bug and Frank said he could drive better drunk than sober, plus he lived there, so we’d careen the Lodge and the Ford and the Fisher freeways to hit the rock & roll bars. Just a helluva rock and roll scene. Since I was not driving, I had no idea where we were, but what wild days those were.

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  47. Sherri said on March 4, 2018 at 2:51 am

    It was a funny thing. I always seemed to have a conflict when it comes to kid birthday parties at Chuck E Cheese’s. I never ever specified that the conflict was my desire to keep my sanity, but it was true, that conflict required me to be somewhere else!

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  48. basset said on March 4, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Skynyrd’s on channel 30. As I said last night, though, Kid Rock is reason to immediately change the channel. Already have a radio button set to 60, and to 59.

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  49. Connie said on March 4, 2018 at 9:34 am

    My freeway is two freeways north of yours. I rarely get down to 94, as my east west metro drive tends to be 696. Friday I did Walled Lake to Woodward, for a meeting in Ferndale. Instead of Lucky Place I get the Detroit Zoo sign.

    That was my second time driving with hand controls on the freeway. Going good. I even drove briefly in the nasty snow on Thursday, from body shop pickup to rental car return place. I have a shiny new bumper.

    We got to the car rental return simultaneously with another return. As we chatted inside she said ” snow was never this bad in Japan.” She stepped up to the counter, and the clerk (white guy with Britishy accent) began speaking Japanese with her. I was impressed.

    And I love my new purple glasses.

    Shiny new bumpers cost $752.

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  50. alex said on March 4, 2018 at 10:52 am

    My gripe about Fort Wayne drivers is that they’re always asleep at the wheel whenever they’re at the head of the line. They wait to be prompted by honking before taking notice that the signal has changed.

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  51. Dave said on March 4, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    One thing I learned when our son lived in Miami is that if you’re not moving within about one second of the light turning green, someone is going to honk their horn.

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  52. Deborah said on March 4, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Is the I94 that is in Michigan the same I94 that runs up the state of Florida? I should look at Google Maps. I94 in Miami was built when I was in 2nd grade, our house was just a few blocks from it and my elementary and Jr high schools were in sight of it. I remember standing out on the athletic field of the school listening to the pile drivers as it was being built. When it was finished they put up a fenced in pedestrian crosswalk over it so kids could walk to school on it.

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  53. Deborah said on March 4, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Actually, scratch that, I think it was I95. As I said I hardly ever drive interstates if I can help it, and I think I94 runs through Chicago too? Shows you how out of it I am when it comes to interstates.

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  54. brian stouder said on March 4, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    My complaint about major streets and boulevards in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is that we have lots of ‘Death Race’ lanes.

    So, you’re proceeding through an intersection, in the right-hand lane, and then you find out that, at the other side of the intersection, the lane you’re in will end.

    If you’re in the right-hand lane, you can gas it – and almost assuredly the guy in the next lane over will gas it just enough to keep you pinned.

    State Street does this at a couple of places, as does Coliseum Blvd (and several other boulevards)….and just to mix it up, a very nice 4-lane portion of Hillegas Road (which bridges over two railroad lines) has the left-most (passing lane) end shortly past the red-lights – which ALWAYS features racing and/or gamesmanship to see who has to “give” first.

    Honestly – I don’t know if our designers are that stupid, or that smart (traffic tickets have to be much easier to dole out, with roads like that)

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  55. Mark P said on March 4, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Back when I did a LOT of driving up and down and back and forth across the country it always seemed to me that Indiana tags = bad driver. Of course for me, living close to the Ga-Al line, Alabama drivers were terrible, until I moved to Alabama and discovered that Georgia drivers were terrible.

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  56. Sherri said on March 4, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Deborah, odd-numbered interstates run north-south, while even numbered ones run east-west. The numbers start in the south west and increase as you move east and north, the opposite of the pattern for US highways (though both follow the even for east-west and odd for north-south.)

    Mark, Atlanta drivers are the worst.

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  57. beb said on March 4, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Basset: Skinnard is on my shit-list for dissing Neil Young but in general Sirius radio had been an unexpected treat when we upgraded from an HHR to an Equinox. We listen to the B B King/Bluesville channel a lot. One of the surprises there was the number of white boys featured there. You would think blues was the domain of black musicians (and it is) but Eric Claptin played the blues, the Rolling Stones has some blues tunes. As did Hot Tuna, Janis Joplin and others. Bonnie Raitt, who I thought of as a Country infused rocker has also shown up there. Bluesville has a pretty eclectic definition of Blues but it’s all good. One of the first songs we heard on Bluesville, and one I wish I heard more often was “There are too many dishes in the sink,” which is about how a man knows his wife is cheating on him. And is, and I’m probably messing up the title, “I wish my dog could live a lot longer,” something I think all dog lovers would agree with.

    Connie: for some reason I didn’t realize you were local. We drive 696 a lot, too. Often to the Zoo, a wonderful place for a good walk as well as some fine exhibits.I’d glad to hear that you’re doing well with the hand controls. Driving 696 last week must have been a challenge with all the potholes. This winter has been terrible for roads.

    Deborah: Even numbers Interstates run east-west (with exceptions) I-94 runs from Detroit to Chicago and on west. It wouldn’t be in Florida. Odd numbered Interstates run North-South. I-75 runs from the Michigan UP down through Florida. One of the exceptions with I-94 is that near our house it runs out of land and turns north and runs up to Port Huron.

    I think every city considers it’s drivers to be the worst in the country.

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  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 4, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    I bounce back and forth between Margaritaville & 40’s Junction.

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  59. Jakash said on March 4, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Part of I-94’s general westward course is heading northwest from I-80 in the south suburbs of Chicago up to Milwaukee. For quite a bit of the time it’s going straight north. I-90 also goes north-south for a stretch through Chicago. I guess based on the numbering starting in the south and west, I should say 94 is heading southeast from Milwaukee and going south through Chicago, though…

    We don’t have Sirius, but when its available in rentals, ’40s Junction is one I’ll always add to the presets…

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  60. brian stouder said on March 4, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Pearl Jam, baby!

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  61. brian stouder said on March 4, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Total non-sequitur; I guess I’m getting to be an old guy, as I’m looking forward (at least a little bit) to seeing the Oscars.

    I’m nearing the finish of a good biography of Judy Garland (Frances Gumm) – who was probably the first famous person I ever had a crush on, and who remains ageless and amazing.

    The first part of the book (by Gerald Clarke) reads a little bit like proto-The Voice; right from the get-go, the youngest Gumm had “it” – but it was the late-’20’s and early ’30’s, so what’s the path into that business? (Her mom Ethel figured it out, more or less)

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  62. Deni Menken said on March 4, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    I am a complete sap about the Oscars and will be fixing a special dinner and tuning in to all the red carpet shenanigans. We have seen enough of the front runners to have opinions and preferences. I am rooting for Richard Jenkins who was the drama dept. star when I was in school. Saw the Shape of Water last night and I kind of think Three Billboards may have the edge. Three hours or so of diversion is always delightful.

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  63. Julie Robinson said on March 4, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    deni, was that high school or college? He grew up in the next town over from me, and the community Facebook pages have been full of excitement over his nomination. Someone even drove by his childhood home to snap a picture. He’s a few years before my time but he interviews well, and mentioned he’s been married for 48 years. That made me think well of him.

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  64. Deni Menken said on March 4, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    Julie, he was two years ahead of me at Illinois Wesleyan. I was sad for him when The Visitor didn’t deliver for him. That was a very good film and resonates more nowadays. Here’s hoping.

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  65. Julie Robinson said on March 4, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    He’s always quietly wonderful. Maybe not showy enough for an Oscar? Haven’t seen Shape of Water yet, so can’t judge.

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  66. Joe Kobiela said on March 4, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Checked out channel 30, don’t think you should eliminate a whole channel just because they played a couple of artist you don’t like, hell every channel I listen to has songs I don’t like but I just change it when I don’t like the song, I don’t agree with Springsteen or Neal Youngs politics but I still listen to their music.
    Cheers Ya’ll
    Pilot Joe

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  67. Dorothy said on March 4, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    I’m really hoping that Allison Janney wins. Then I can brag that she and I were in the same movie (Liberal Arts)!

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  68. basset said on March 4, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    Springsteen’s an automatic channel switch for me too… along with the Doors and any rap/hip hop. I wouldn’t stop listening to 30 just because they play one obnoxious dumbass, just don’t get between me and the channel button when he comes on.

    My main Sirius channels now are Skynyrd, 18/Beatles, 27/album rock and 119/BBC World Service… or maybe it’s 120, have a button set to it anyway. Redneck Comedy used to be funny, not so much any more.

    Beb@56, I think Neil Young was OK with Skynyrd’s comments, I base that on several lines in “Walk On”:
    I hear some people been talkin’ me down
    Bring up my name, pass it ’round
    They don’t mention happy times
    They do their thing, I’ll do mine

    Several lyrics sites had it this way, I’m not so sure he didn’t say “they go their way and I go mine,” though, and I’m not gonna dig out the cd and see at this hour.

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  69. Connie said on March 4, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Beb, I am exurban, west of West Bloomfield. If you have had cider at Longs Farm you have been in my neighborhood.

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  70. Deborah said on March 4, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Dorothy, how were you in the movie, Liberal Arts?

    I gave up on the Oscars. I didn’t last very long this time. I think I’m just tired, we made a day trip out to Abiquiu and boy was it windy. In like a lion, out like a lamb, I believe is the saying for the month of March.

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  71. Jakash said on March 5, 2018 at 2:08 am

    Well, this makes me feel pretty foolish. This whole awards season, and despite having seen “The Shape of Water,” I’ve thought Richard Jenkins was J.K. Simmons, in that I thought he’d already won an Oscar for “Whiplash,” which we never got around to seeing. Which made comments 61 through 64 rather confusing, but at least they prompted me to figure out my error. That’s the price I pay for watching the movies but not paying any attention to the handicapping or the hype surrounding the awards, other than watching the actual shows. I suppose tonight’s went pretty much according to form. I don’t know if Jordan Peele was predicted to win for his “Get Out” screenplay, or not, but that was the most pleasant surprise to me. Very tough category, but I think that was a good choice. Can’t really argue with any of the others. Having seen 7 out of the 9 BP nominees, I didn’t have a clear favorite. “Water” was impressive, though a fantasy about a love affair with a fish creature is not really my cup of tea. I kinda found Three Billboards the most compelling, and the acting was brilliant, but some of the situations and lack of consequences seemed a bit over the top. And, while I’d like to have loved “The Post,” I enjoyed it and thought it was very good, but didn’t love it. Not that anybody’s asking! ; )

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  72. Dexter said on March 5, 2018 at 3:10 am

    I listen to XM on an official XM boombox, and It’s 18 Beatles, 20 Bruuuuce, 22 Pearl Jam, or Grateful Dead most of the time. This weekend 18 played a lot of the Bruce tour when he honored the standards like “Old Dan Tucker” and “That Dirty Little Coward that Shot Mister Howard” and “Erie Canal”. Just awesome. I also heard some duets with the great Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine). Every day I digitally record 4 hours of random music and listen through an earpiece when I walk my dog or am doing mundane household chores. I prefer a tablet to a little smart phone’s screen so I don’t have phone apps, but everyone else does, so everyone with sat-radio listens via the XM app.

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  73. jcburns said on March 5, 2018 at 4:02 am

    Sherri, I am an Atlanta driver and I will put my careful maneuvering and turn signal usage up there with anyone’s. That said, I’m a believer that if the residential speed limit is 30, then going 30 is ok no matter how many of those “Drive as if your kids lived here” signs people have put up. Drive the speed limit, I say. Carefully and with your full attention I say. And while I’m “saying,” let me add you can have a very nice life driving inside the I-285 perimeter in Atlanta and avoiding the freeways.

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  74. ROGirl said on March 5, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Watched 3 billboards the other night and I agree with jakash about it. It left me unsettled, it was so over the top and the separate parts didn’t add up to the way it ended.

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  75. Deborah said on March 5, 2018 at 8:23 am

    In Santa Fe, every other car has a Texas license plate and Texans are reviled by the locals. Complaints about Texas drivers are common. No particular city that I know of, just Texas in general. There are lots of California plates too for some reason.

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  76. Suzanne said on March 5, 2018 at 9:03 am

    I watched about 30 minutes of the Oscars. I’d only seen Lady Bird and The Post, so I didn’t really much care who won. As usual, I didn’t know who half the presenters were, and I got tired, so I went to bed.

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  77. Dorothy said on March 5, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Deborah – I used to work at Kenyon College. Allison Janney and Josh Radnor are alums of Kenyon. Josh Radnor wrote the screenplay for Liberal Arts and wanted to film it there. The summer he filmed it, employees occasionally got emailed to ask if anyone could show up for background work – no lines, no pay, just the fun of being in the movie (maybe), if the scene didn’t get cut. So the day I was able to work background, I was filmed (over and over and over again) walking from one building to another, a distinct path, and it just so happened I was to cross right in front of the two main characters as they walked along the path and were carrying coffee cups. You can see me for about 2.5 seconds. I was just tickled to see what happened on the set that morning since I have done lots of community theater. I never laid eyes on Allison Janney or Richard Jenkins, who were also in the movie.

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  78. Deborah said on March 5, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Cool, Dorothy. I love Allison Janney, glad she won. I mentioned this before but when I was 16 I was in a crowd scene in the Elvis movie Clambake. I was not impressed by that at the time because I didn’t think much of Elvis movies.

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  79. Sherri said on March 5, 2018 at 10:42 am

    JC, I should have been more specific: Atlanta freeway drivers are the worst. I’ve seen some of the craziest stunts pulled on freeways in Atlanta.

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  80. Bitter Scribe said on March 5, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Where I live, the streets are named after Cubs players from the mid-1980s: Monday Drive, Kingman Drive, Mercer Lane, Matthews Court, Lyle Avenue, etc. Suits me just fine.

    Regarding the Oscars: For once, both the Best Actress and Best Actor were from movies I’d seen. I’m so glad Frances McDormand won, and I loved her positively giddy speech. I also liked it how they awarded Best Actress after Best Actor. Doing it the other way routinely for decades seemed like one more way of denigrating women—trivial maybe, but still annoying.

    And yes, I know you’re not supposed to call them “best” anything. I love how Jodie Foster had an “oops” moment when she did just that. (I also love how I’m not the only one to have noticed how Jennifer Lawrence just towered over Foster—apparently it was all over social media.)

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  81. Sherri said on March 5, 2018 at 11:54 am

    The streets here are mostly numbered, with the origin in Seattle and NE, SE, SW, NW either prepended or appended to the street. So, even though I live in a suburban development, the streets are named with a Seattle number grid. The challenge is, a grid doesn’t fit very well with the suburban love of cul de sacs. How did they solve the problem? Just reuse the street name! Before the days of widespread GPS usage, we were constantly getting confused people at the end of our cul de sac looking for the higher house numbers that existed in the cul de sac a block over with the identical 177th Ct NE name. A neighborhood near me has 5 different instances of 101st Ct NE.

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  82. Deborah said on March 5, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    In Santa Fe, finding your way around can be extremely confusing because there are many odd single lane streets that are more like alleys, our building is on the dead end of one of those “lanes”. Plus many street names change when you come to a cross street, so one side of the intersection the street has one name and the other side has a different name, in some cases they change like that 3 or 4 times. Then there are streets that have very similar names, like the street named Osage, there’s an Osage Ave, Osage Dr, Osage Lane, Osage Circle and on and on. There are two Alto Streets, one is sort of a normal street that parallels the Santa Fe River and the other is a dirt road that is right on the bank of the river. Many people stop us while we’re walking down one of the Alto streets to ask directions, it’s way too confusing for me to explain what the logic is and which house has which number.

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  83. Scout said on March 5, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    We saw Shape of Water and LOVED IT. The Oscars for best pic and best director were well deserved. This movie was so brilliantly shot, cast, directed and edited. I highly recommend streaming or renting it. Allison Janney winning for I, Tonya was also well deserved. I was surprised how Lady Bird was shut out of everything, I liked it quite a lot. I still haven’t seen Get Out, 3 Billboards, Phantom Thread or Coco and I want to. I hope Coco returns to theatres because that one is probably the most big screen worthy.

    Lane change. This is unsettling: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/its-worse-than-we-thought

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  84. Connie said on March 5, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    I have the DVD for Three billboars at home, which is the closest I have gotten to seeing any of the nominees. I watched the Academy Awards for the first time in a couple of years. And just before that I watched Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

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  85. Suzanne said on March 5, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    I guess on a positive note, I called a old, dear friend this weekend for the first time in years. We had a great conversation and she told me that her very conservative, 90 year old mother has changed her political party from R to D because of all the insanity the GOP is foisting on this country. This woman has been a faithful GOP voter all her life, until now.
    Even my mother is starting to see the light. What made her think was Trump wanting to arm teachers, which is one of her grand-daughter’s profession. I fear it may be too late, though.

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  86. Icarus said on March 5, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    I refuse to watch the Oscars until they just make it only about the 5 categories we are really interested in. Heck I’ll even compromise and accept a few of the extras but we don’t really need an award for best grip in a foreign documentary!

    meanwhile, this is kinda funny


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  87. Dorothy said on March 5, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Have any of you seen Mudbound on Netflix? It’s remarkable – sad and wonderful. Please make sure you watch it. We saw it Saturday at home.

    I’ve been meaning to add to the conversation about driving in big cities. Just this one tidbit: My brother Dave’s ex-wife Mary was from Chicago. She still lives there I’m pretty sure. Anyway, when they would drive to Pittsburgh to visit my parents, Mary was not shy about sharing her feelings about Pittsburgh streets (she hated it). Once she was heard to say “If you can drive in Pittsburgh, you can drive anywhere.” The roads are not easy to follow and nothing makes sense unless you know the area. She was used to the North/South East/West grid of Chicago.

    Deborah my oldest sister is 70 and for a long while now she has not been able to drive on highways. She’s gotten pretty shaky about just regular driving too – a fear that seems so opposite to how I always thought of her – the trailblazer in the family who had a car before our dad did. I hope I’m not like that in 10 years when I turn 70. I love the independence and freedom of driving.

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  88. Julie Robinson said on March 5, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    When I moved to Fort Wayne I struggled with the streets that had to be fit around the rivers, and changed names frequently, and I got lost a lot. I came from a very small town, and this was the big city to me. But I think everyone thinks drivers where they live are the worst.

    If anyone has seen both Pan’s Labryinth and Shape of Water, how would you compare the levels of violence? Pan’s was more than I can handle, so I’m a little leery of Water.

    My daughter and I watched Lady Bird together, and we’d been led to believe it would leave us weeping and hugging each other. It didn’t happen, though we did recognize ourselves a few times and chuckle. The plot seemed very predictable down to the last scene. I’m glad it had so many women involved and that it got nominations, but otherwise it was good, not excellent.

    Count me another member of the Alison Janney fan club. Just not enough to see I, Tonya.

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  89. Jakash said on March 5, 2018 at 5:22 pm


    Oh, I suppose 3 hours and 45 minutes is an unreasonable amount of time to take handing out a couple dozen awards? Hmmm… there’s no question about that! ; )

    Gotta mention, though, that your boycott cost you the priceless moment of hearing Laura Dern say “And the Oscar goes to … Icarus.”


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  90. Deborah said on March 5, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    Good to know Scout, you are the only person I know who has seen The Shape of Water. It was one of the movies on our list to see but we just didn’t get it done yet.

    We are going through the hell of trying to connect a new cable box to our TV. It’s so exasperating. We went to the Xfinity store to see if we could get someone to help us. Everything they told us didn’t work.

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  91. Deborah said on March 5, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    LB and I saw Lady Bird together, liked it a lot, but Julie as you said, it just didn’t seem like Oscar material to me.

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  92. Sherri said on March 5, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Dorothy, Pittsburgh was definitely the most difficult city to learn to find your way around in in the pre-GPS days! I swear I was still getting lost driving through Schenley Park after living next to it for five years! I told my husband that I believed they moved the streets around at night.

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  93. Dexter said on March 5, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    In 1986 I took a R&R from work to head for baseball spring training. My brother and I were going to O.D. on baseball games. Made it to Lake City, next morning my knee had swollen ridiculously big. I had no idea but knew I had to get back home or get to a hospital. I opted to drive home immediately. The little Citation car wouldn’t allow me to sit in any other spot in the car but the driver’s seat. I sprawled my swollen right leg across the console and drove and braked with my left foot. In Atlanta, on I-285, the slowest traffic was motivating at 90 mph and I ain’t exaggerating one mph. There I was, going 95 mph sitting sideways , driving with the wrong foot…horrowshow scene. Somehow I made it home, began seeing doctors and surgeons…medications finally worked after months of solid unwavering pain. I had to work like that, just nightmarish. Final DX: massive onset of gout, centered in the knee joint. When I finally quit alcohol, that all ended. My real point is that I have never been driving on such a crazy racetrack as I-285 around Atlanta Georgia. Two years ago on I-15, for a long stretch, we cruised at 100 mph, but traffic was light, no cops, everyone was heading to SoCal at the same speed, no problems, that day anyway.

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  94. Bitter Scribe said on March 5, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Dorothy and Sherri: I drove in Pittsburgh once. That was enough. I found out that they didn’t call that old ballpark “Three Rivers Stadium” for nothing.

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