A weekend of wonders.

Hey, everyone! I finally saw “Black Panther.” And…well. I didn’t dislike it. In fact, I found a lot to like about it. The costumes were fantastic, production design ditto. Can’t complain about the acting, certainly, and the script was pretty good, too. It’s taken this long, but now I can state with confidence: I just don’t like comic-book movies.

I felt the same way about the equally praised “Wonder Woman.” Every story is the same hero’s quest, every outcome predetermined. The fight scenes go on and on and ON, and ever since Chinese kung-fu movies decided human beings could run straight up walls, what’s left for superheroes to do? Apparently Black Panther’s suit “absorbs kinetic energy” and allows him to dish it back out in equal measure. So you shoot at him, and he only gets stronger. Wow, how exciting.

The most interesting character in the story is the bad guy. (And — spoiler alert — he dies in the end.)

Why is this so hard for writers to understand? People’s flaws are as important as their strengths, maybe more so. They’re the shadow that makes the light more defined. The worst thing you could say about T’Challa, i.e., Black Panther, is that he’s too good. Bor-ing.

Good thing the outfits were so fab. And T’Challa was hilarious on “Black Jeopardy.” But the people talking about this being a Best Picture nominee are full of it.

That was the second cultural event we took in Saturday. The first was the Tom of Finland show at the local contemporary-art museum. For those not up on Tom of Finland: He was to leather daddies what Alberto Vargas was to pin-up girls. Google if you dare, but much of it is porn, with comically outsized dicks. This pretty tame piece gives you the idea, though:

Well, hello sailor. At the Tom of Finland 🇫🇮 show.

A post shared by nderringer (@nderringer) on

I still chuckle whenever I see a bunch of kids dancing to “YMCA.” Gay culture seeped in under the door, and hardly anyone noticed.

And then, because last week was our 25th anniversary, we went out to dinner on Sunday night, a rare event for us. It was great, at a pop-up space in Hazel Park run by a photographer I worked with once when I was a freelancer. Four courses with twin themes of Thai and Springtime, which meant fiddlehead ferns in chili oil with something called a 63-degree egg, which is, I learned via Professor Google, a thing. It was amazing — almost an egg pudding. The menu was full of wonders, including soft-shell crabs and avocado ice cream. The photographer seated us at the table closest to the action, so we could watch the cooking and the plating and all of it. Quite a night. I woke up with a food hangover today, but pushed through. I don’t expect to be hungry again for two days.

More Instagram? Sure why not:

What else happened this weekend? Oh, right: Two people in England got married. Don’t tell me your problems with the dress, because I’m not hearing them. That dress was perfect for a 36-year-old divorcee marrying into a royal family in front of 1 billion eyeballs. Of course, there were 2 billion photos, but for my money, I love the official ones released by the palace, if only because it captures the royal family in all its weirdness. I know Phil and Betty are now in their 90s, but man, he looks like a cadaver these days. I expect he won’t truck with having a little concealer dabbed around those sunken black eyes. The kids are adorable, of course. All these pictures needed was a corgi or two.

And with that, I’m out and offline. I need to sleep off 2,000 calories, still.

Posted at 8:00 pm in Detroit life, Movies |
 

53 responses to “A weekend of wonders.”

  1. Bitter Scribe said on May 21, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    Regarding the sameness of comic book superhero movies, Anthony Lane of the New Yorker had a typically hilarious take in his review of “Avengers: Infinity War”:

    At stake, as ever, is the fate of the universe. Why must it always be the universe? What’s wrong with the fate of Hackensack? Doesn’t anyone care what happens to South Dakota, or Denmark, or Peru? I would think better of Captain America, say, if he had a cat named Smudge, which needed saving before anything else, but no. All that seems to matter is the entirety of creation—something that nobody, apart from gods and show ponies, should bother to fret about.

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  2. Deborah said on May 21, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    I didn’t realize until this post that the bride had been married before. I thought the dress was fantastic. And the bride’s mother is quite a handsome woman.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on May 21, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    I’ve known for many years that comic book movies bore me. They’re. All. The. Same.

    Did I read that the corgis have all died now? Meghan, forgive me, the Duchess of Sussex, brought her beagle, though, and apparently Betty and beagle have bonded. Well done, Duchess.

    Something else I really loved: one of the little bridesmaids refused to wear the flower garland in her hair, and THEY LET HER. Think about how highly choreographed the entire day was, but someone listened and respected her choice. Bravo.

    Phil has looked cadaverous for a few years. I wonder if he’s anemic.

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  4. College said on May 21, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    I always wonder how they get those small children in royal weddings to do as they are told and not have a meltdown. Little kids are like nitroglycerin…you never know when they will go off….

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  5. Colleen said on May 21, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    Stupid autocorrect…

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  6. Suzanne said on May 21, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    I watched the whole darn wedding. I loved her dress and loved her mother’s dress, Camilla’s hat not so much. I know nothing about the bride’s first marriage, but the couple looked so darn in love, it made me happy. That 19 yr old cellist played so beautifully, it made me cry.

    Anyone watch the Masterpiece Theater Little Women? Marmee was superb but overall, it was not great. Ok but nothing more.

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  7. Deggjr said on May 21, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    Our son used to watch cartoons where the villain wanted to take over the world.

    “Son, why would they want to do that?”

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  8. Heather said on May 21, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    I thought the same thing about Phil. Maybe they won’t put concealer on him because of that scene in The Crown where someone chides King George for wearing makeup to look less sick.

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  9. beb said on May 21, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    If I wanted intense psychodrama instead of breathtaking special effect I watch the Dr. Phil show. If I’m going to spent $20+ to sit in a darkened room to eat popcorn and diet coke, I want action and a predetermined happy ending.

    Prince Phil, at 94 (?) retired from public events last August as I recall, and I caught a note about him just returned from having surgery. By comparison with his peers (ie other men in their mid-90s), Prince Phillip is surprisingly alive.

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  10. alex said on May 21, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    Now that was some interesting-looking Thai, nothing like the vanilla Thai around here. The night before my last heart cath? That was following a meal at our local Thai place where a thin and relatively flavorless gruel is placed atop vast amounts of bleached white rice. My blood sugar reading in the ER that night was just shy of 400 and I didn’t even have any alcohol with dinner, just water. It was the rice, I’m pretty sure. Never gonna touch that stuff again.

    And speaking of Tom of Finland… Here’s a cheeky piece I wrote twenty-some years ago about that whole scene. I put on like I was blasé but man that shit freaked me out:

    https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/cool-and-collected-for-the-love-of-leather/Content?oid=889333

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  11. Jolene said on May 21, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    One more royal wedding piece: a CBS Sunday Morning feature on the family of the 19-year-old cellist. Pretty remarkable.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/video/the-kanneh-masons-the-family-that-plays-together/

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  12. Andrea said on May 21, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    The Trib had an excellent tweet regarding the wedding:
    https://twitter.com/chicagotribune/status/997798528444436480

    At least this NU grad thought so…

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  13. basset said on May 22, 2018 at 7:05 am

    Julie, the Queen has stopped breeding corgis because she didn’t want to continue the line after she dies – two of them are still alive, though, so I guess she has to hang on awhile longer.

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  14. Dorothy said on May 22, 2018 at 7:17 am

    I could not sit through more than a half hour of Little Women on PBS. It was awful. I saw comments on a Facebook PBS post about the show and the majority of the comments were very negative. I guess they didn’t show it to any test audiences.

    Julie I smiled at your choice of words, saying someone ‘respected’ the choice of the little girl in the wedding party to not wear her garland on her head. I think it was more like they resigned themselves to it, and decided not to argue with her as that would’ve made the situation much worse. Kids at weddings are usually such a delight. I can hardly wait for my niece’s wedding on July 7. My granddaughter is just starting to walk, and the wedding will be a place to dance and play with cousins she only met last September at my mom’s funeral. She loves to move to music. Her daycare has music on steadily. When we visit her at home I’ll play songs in my iTunes library, and I love watching her bounce and twist to it.

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  15. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 22, 2018 at 8:42 am

    A friend sent this to me, and I’m far too lazy to retype it, but most browsers will do the heavy lifting for you. I was delighted to get the bulk of it without clicking “translate,” but apparently this joke is all the rage over in Deutschland (hint: Trottel = Fool) . . .

    Donald Trump ist zu seinem ersten Staatsbesuch bei Angela Merkel in Berlin. Nach ein bisschen Small-Talk fragt er Merkel, was das Geheimnis ihres großen Erfolges ist. Merkel sagt ihm, man müsse nur viele intelligente Leute um sich herum haben.

    “Wie wissen Sie so schnell, ob wer intelligent ist?” fragt Trump.

    “Lassen Sie es mich demonstrieren” antwortet Merkel. Sie greift zum Telefon, ruft Wolfgang Schäuble an und stellt ihm eine Frage: “Herr Schäuble, es ist der Sohn ihres Vaters, ist aber nicht ihr Bruder. Wer ist es?”

    Ohne zu zögern antwortet Schäuble: “Ganz einfach, das bin ich!”

    “Sehen Sie”, sagt Merkel zu Trump, “so teste ich die Intelligenz der Leute, die um mich herum sind”.

    Begeistert fliegt Trump zurück nach Amerika. Zu Hause angekommen, ruft er sofort seinen Vize Pence an, um ihm dieselbe Frage zu stellen. “Es ist der Sohn deines Vaters, ist aber nicht dein Bruder. Wer ist es?”

    Nach langem hin und her sagt Pence: “Ich habe keine Ahnung, ich werde aber versuchen die Antwort bis morgen herauszufinden!”

    Pence kommt einfach nicht drauf und beschließt, Rat beim ehemaligen Präsidenten Obama einzuholen. Er ruft ihn an: “Mr. Obama – es ist der Sohn ihres Vaters, ist aber nicht ihr Bruder. Wer ist es?” fragt er Obama.

    “Ganz einfach, das bin ich!”

    Glücklich, die Antwort gefunden zu haben, ruft Pence bei Trump an und sagt triumphierend: “Ich hab die Antwort, es ist Barack Obama!”

    Trump brüllt ihn total entsetzt an: “Nein, du Trottel, es ist Wolfgang Schäuble!”

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  16. Suzanne said on May 22, 2018 at 9:03 am

    I had to use Google translate, but Jeff, that is almost not funny because it’s too close to the truth!
    I don’t know what is more depressing: the fact that the USA is being run by a bunch of not-too-bright criminals or the fact that they are pulling it off.

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  17. Diane said on May 22, 2018 at 9:04 am

    I thought the dress was perfect and timeless. Love the picture with Meaghan’s mother surrounded by the royals!

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  18. susan said on May 22, 2018 at 10:58 am

    I didn’t see Betty smile. Not once. Why so grumpy, Bet?

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  19. Suzanne said on May 22, 2018 at 11:45 am

    David Beckham’s wife looked full on pissed any time I saw her on camera. Made the Queen look positively giddy in comparison.

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  20. Jakash said on May 22, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Yes to no on the comic book movies. We haven’t seen Black Panther yet — it just hit the Redbox, so we might — but we saw Wonder Woman after having read enough glorifying of it. The first half of that was swell and I enjoyed it a lot. The second half or final third, or whatever — just nonstop bullshit like any other superhero movie. I was actually surprised, because, based on what I’d read, I expected something — I don’t know — different or better, perish the thought. Of course I’m *well* out of the demographic they need, so as long as the countless superhero movie stars stay off my lawn, I guess we’re good…

    I don’t know why people would have problems with that wedding dress, but I’m not the target demographic for opinions about that, either.

    0 for 3 with the contemporary art, but we do like Thai food and Springtime!

    We watched the first episode of “Little Women,” which neither my wife nor I liked very much at all. The 1994 Winona Ryder version is still the gold standard for that, IOHO. As the 6-hour 1995 BBC “Pride and Prejudice” adaptation is for that warhorse…

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  21. Brandon said on May 22, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Tom of Finland was a biographical movie released last year.

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    • nancy said on May 22, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      Saw it. It was a disappointment, but did pique my interest in seeing the show.

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  22. Jolene said on May 22, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Three years ago, the Post said that the Queen was not getting any more corgis because she was afraid they might trip her, an eminently reasonable fear. An article published in April after the death of the last one, says that she still has two dogs, both dachshund/corgi mixes. Lots of pix with doggies in both of these articles.

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  23. Jolene said on May 22, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Until, oh, yesterday, the blanks requiring my name and email address were always filled in automatically. Is there a reason why that changed?

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  24. beb said on May 22, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Since I don’t live in San Francisco I never had any idea what the “Scooter Problem” was all about. I saw some photos as a parking lot where someone quipped “Look at all those dockless vehicles!” — a joke that went completely over my head. Then I saw a bit on TV about the problems of electric scooters. There are two kinds: one where you have to return them to a location (called a Dock) and those you just drop on the sidewalk. These are the dockless scooters. That so many people just leave them in the middle of sidewalk traffic is what has made them a nuisance in SF and elsewhere. Besides the hazard they present to pedestrians there’s the matter of recharging the scooters at night. The owners of these scooters have a program when they pay people to go out to collect and recharge the scooters. It’s another “gig” society job. And like every gig job it has it’s downsides.
    https://slate.com/technology/2018/05/charging-bird-scooters-overnight-is-like-a-much-less-fun-version-of-pokemon-go.html

    Seems like if you lay out a system people will find a way to scam it. It’s an interesting story.

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  25. Icarus said on May 22, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    beb @24

    For a buck you can ride a nearby scooter to your back door after lunch and charge it later that night for $5. I’m not an MBA, but the math seems to work out.

    I wrote a piece once about whether or not gaming the system was bad. My position was that it was only bad if your gaming “hurt” someone else. This falls into the hurts someone else bucket

    Instead of being a fun activity, it disrupted my evenings and highlighted petty cheating all around the neighborhood.

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  26. basset said on May 22, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Here in Nashville, the Bird scooters had a cease & desist order and a serious hit & run accident in their first week:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.tennessean.com/amp/606639002

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  27. Sherri said on May 22, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    The scooter problem is a special case of the bike problem. Dockless bike shares have become popular on the West Coast, wherein you use an app to rent a bike and then leave it wherever when you’re done. There are multiple companies involved, and some companies are better than others about how fast they collect the bikes left around, well, everywhere. As you might imagine, this annoys some people to no end. The bike shares are heavily used over on the University of Washington campus, for example, and the groundskeepers aren’t so fond of them. There have been bikes thrown in the lake and brake lines cut.

    There is no bike share program in Redmond yet, though bike shares from Seattle do show up here. It’s coming, though not without complaints from people about the “pollution” of these bikes on our streets and sidewalks.

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  28. David C. said on May 22, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    WTF? A coin? Grow up, Cheetolini.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44217116

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  29. Deborah said on May 22, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Chicago has a bike share program called Divvy, that seems to be quite popular, but what do I know. I just think biking on city streets is dangerous at this point and something I’d never do in a million years, but again, what do I know. They have made progress with bike lanes etc in the city but I don’t trust car drivers at all. It’s going to be a while before practices in Denmark and the Netherlands take on here. Not that we shouldn’t keep trying to make it work but Lordy it scares me to death to think about trying it at my age.

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  30. Scout said on May 22, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Agreed about Little Women. We watched about a half hour of it and turned it off because we were both nodding off.

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  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 22, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Jolene, try typing into each box the first letter of your usual . . . I think a Chrome or Safari update caught you.

    Updates. Feh.

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  32. Rana said on May 23, 2018 at 12:08 am

    Deborah, same. The Divvy system seems to work well, from what I observe, and I like the idea of biking here (so nice and flat!) but… no. Navigating an actual bike safely along the arterials around here requires a degree of awareness and coordination and trust in the attentiveness of drivers that I just don’t have.

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  33. Dexter Friend said on May 23, 2018 at 1:12 am

    trying this again…a note pops up saying it’s already posted and I am trying to duplicate-post it. Well, Nixon said he was not a crook and by gawd I am no ‘bot!

    __>> I don’t like comic book movies because I am an adult, I say. My son-in-law is 42 and all he watches are Star Wars films, no news, no sports, just Star Wars. OK. People are just different, gawd bless ’em anyway. Few understand how I can sit and watch entire basketball or baseball games. Football, only Detroit Lions games get the full attention live from me. RedZone fixes the rest. Of course, same for Michigan Wolverines football and basketball…full alert attention all the way through.
    I know more guys named Tom or Thom than any guys named anything else, but Tom of Finland, nope. Christ, I sound tragically un-hip, but I say, just for me…fuck tattoos. I have three daughters, all tatted up, and you ought to see the grandkids (in their 20s now), tattoos on arms and legs and ankles and I suppose in other places. One granddaughter, the one who is 28, also has the tongue piercing with the ball atop her tongue. When I found out (from TV, not family) what a tongue-ball is for, I do believe I muttered right out loud, “Jeezuss H. Kreist.”

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  34. Icarus said on May 23, 2018 at 8:49 am

    To each their own. Some people like comic books, some don’t. Some like Royal Weddings and all that comes with it, some don’t.

    I think Tattoos have come a long way in terms of cultural acceptance and meaning. I never wanted one and if I had, I couldn’t think of anything unique that someone else didn’t already have which is more my lack of imagination than anything else.

    My prediction, based on how Moose & Squirrel* react to music, is Natasha* will get a tattoo and Boris* will not.

    * how i refer to my kiddos on my blog posts

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  35. Icarus said on May 23, 2018 at 8:54 am

    @Deborah My wife and I tried doing some biking on 2016 when I started my now-not-so-new job. We would go to Jefferson Park blue line station and lock our bikes there.

    The problem was Milwaukee is terrible in terms of drivers respecting the bike lane or bikers and any good side street was also a good “short cut” for cars to avoid traffic on main streets.

    Finally Nightingale got a Divvy subscription/membership but for some reason they do not have bikes at the largest transportation hub on the northwest side (jeff park).

    Now I am WFH 100% and responsible for getting kids to and from daycare and preparing dinner. Many an evening I get a text from her that the Irving Park bus is running late or will hit cluster traffic at Six Corners and I’m like….could you just renew your Divvy and do a runabout from IP blue line to our house!

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  36. Suzanne said on May 23, 2018 at 10:12 am

    I have no tattoos and I am pretty sure my kids don’t either. I have a niece who is all tatted up with the grim reaper and other things. Another niece got a butterfly or rose or something on her hip because, she said, you don’t gain weight there. I had an inner hysterical laugh on that one.

    My issue with tattoos is always the permanence of them. Maybe it’s just me, but what I thought was meaningful and cool at 20, well, most of it has passed on into oblivion by now. And I’d be stuck with that wrinkly stretched out butterfly on my now more copious hip. Or a quote from a book that I thought was life changing at 25 but reread at 50 and thought was really dumb.

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  37. Heather said on May 23, 2018 at 10:53 am

    I’m always a bit nervous about talking about biking in Chicago (don’t want to jinx myself) but I’ve been doing it for more than 25 years with only a few close calls. I’m very careful–I choose my routes for less traffic, keep an eye up ahead for any potential doors opening in my path, if there’s a big truck coming up behind me I’ll pull over or slow down to let them them pass, and I generally assume that most drivers aren’t paying attention, even if they are. Cyclists here get a lot of guff but as both a driver and a cyclist I can say that drivers are wayyyyy more dangerous. I’ve also noticed an uptick in pedestrians who aren’t paying attention, either because they’ve got their headphones too loud or are looking at their phones. I still love biking here.

    Charlotte has a couple dockless bike sharing program and the one I used, Spin, was pretty cool. On the app they make it clear that you should put the bike in an obvious place but one that doesn’t block traffic. It looked like people generally obeyed those rules. The only problem was when I went to one of the more outlying neighborhoods there wasn’t a bike in the area when I wanted to go back to the hotel.

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  38. Deborah said on May 23, 2018 at 11:29 am

    I’m an extremely defensive driver, I assume the other drivers aren’t paying attention and are reckless. I drive like the little old lady that I am. I walk that way too, always looking out for the crazy drivers. I read up a lot about city walkability. The experts say that bad driving is often the fault of bad road design, curves and multi-wide lanes encourage drivers to speed. Most cities need to put their streets on a diet, narrowing the lanes. Four way stops and round-abouts are safer for pedestrians than stop lights, that isn’t intuitive but they say that cars slow down and pay attention more where they are confronted with those. One thing that ticks me off is when drivers expect to be thanked when they stop for a pedestrian at a marked crossing. I can’t tell you how many drivers have yelled “your welcome” at me after I cross. Like I’m supposed to thank them for obeying the law. I usually give a little wave of appreciation as I cross but sometimes if I’ve got grocery bags or whatnot, it’s not possible and damn it, it’s not required. Car drivers have a sense of superiority on the road in our society and that has got to change.

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  39. Judybusy said on May 23, 2018 at 11:37 am

    I will be biking more soon–just have to get my tires pumped up. Part of our freeway system is undergoing a major overhaul for the next 3 years which will greatly impact my commute because a lot of traffic will be pushed onto two arterial city streets. Happily, the bike route I use is different, and I have an alternative driving way that is gorgeous, along the Mississippi on a parkway. Sure, it’s longer, but much less stressful. However, getting out of the city to see my family will be a major pain.

    I feel like posting something happy today: we recently bought a piece by this artist, Laura Pereira. It’s of a sandhill crane in flight, and the piece is about 3 by 2.5 feet, fully framed and already on the wall. If you click on “portfolio”, there is a painting of a butterfly that is similar in style.

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  40. Jakash said on May 23, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    “I can’t tell you how many drivers have yelled ‘your welcome’ at me after I cross.” If you’re getting that many people that actually stop, it seems to me that you’re ahead of the game, Deborah. I’d say I can count on both hands the number of times somebody has stopped for me waiting at a crosswalk where there’s nothing to *make* them stop. And when they do, I’m more than happy to give them a nod or thank-you gesture. Obeying the law it may be, and Chicago has actually done a fair amount to attempt to influence driver behavior in this regard, but most folks are either unaware of the law or have little interest in following it.

    I’d pretty much second Heather’s observations and techniques with regard to biking in Chicago. I was once doored on Dearborn (alliteration FTW!) courtesy of a clueless person, and T-boned by a new-to-biking toddler on a mixed-use path (not my fault, but both her mother *and* I could have probably been more careful.) That one left the child unscathed but my bike seriously messed up. But I feel like the payoff for putting up with the boring flatness of the local landscape is that it’s a fine place to bicycle, and the fact that so many hipsters are out there every day, year-round, at least makes the inattentive/obnoxious drivers more aware than they would otherwise be. And I’d still rather take my chances on a city street than a curvy 2-lane country road, where the scenery may be much more calming, but the random driver may be zooming by at 65 mph.

    But, hey, I “don’t want to jinx myself,” either. Knock on plastic!

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  41. Peter said on May 23, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    I read today that a primary candidate that Mr. Pence campaigned for lost her election in Texas.

    I’m not having any schadenfreude, because I have a thing for politicians with whacky names, and although she’s no Crystal Ball, it’s a close second: Bunny Pounds.

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  42. Dexter Friend said on May 23, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Enjoy every pedal stroke. I biked for 60 years but have aged out of it. Not some decision I made , Mother Nature did me in…arthritic hip ruined my ability to painlessly pedal and sit on a saddle. I have gotten used to driving everywhere, but although I accept my fate, I do not like it. I have kept all my bicycles because none has much cash value and I still like to look at them.

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  43. Deborah said on May 23, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    LB got a bike that she rode in Chicago along the lake trail. Then when she moved to Santa Fe she didn’t ride anymore because of the topography, so she sold it for $50 to the guy who lived upstairs. The front tire got stolen while the guy had the bike parked out front of where he worked. Then he left it at the building when he moved away. So LB has her bike back now sans tire.

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  44. Jolene said on May 23, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    Bike-sharing became popular quickly in China, but not popular enough. Too many companies got into the business, putting too many bikes on the streets. Now, as these photos indicate, there’s a huge oversupply.

    Would be great if some of these bikes could find their way to poorer countries, where people can’t afford bikes. Bill Gates has been saying recently that the ability to afford a bike vs. not is a major step forward in economic development, as it enables kids to more easily get to school and small farmers and craft workers to more easily transport goods to market.

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  45. David C. said on May 23, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    Deborah, I’ve lived with roundabouts for about five years and in my experience, they’re terrible for pedestrians. The roundabout they’re building here are too large, too fast, and the crosswalks are too close to the circle. We have many near us, usually on two busy streets and I rarely see pedestrians use any of them. They not suicidal. I looked for studies and more or less, they don’t look at the effect on pedestrians. Probably, because they don’t want to know. One study done in Minnesota said they “greatly reduce the level of service” for pedestrians. My translation of the is “you’re on your own”. My closest call, as a pedestrian, was at a signaled crossing. I had the walk sign but some idiot flew around on a right turn without looking for anyone in the crosswalk. I can’t imagine how removing the signals are going to help that. So as a frequent pedestrian, I hate them.

    https://streets.mn/2017/11/17/are-roundabouts-safer-for-pedestrians/

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  46. Jakash said on May 23, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Some awesome photos there, Jolene. Alas, the link didn’t work for me, but taking some stuff off the end of the link brought it down to this, which does seem to work:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2018/03/bike-share-oversupply-in-china-huge-piles-of-abandoned-and-broken-bicycles/556268/

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  47. Jakash said on May 23, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    A good Twitter thread, reacting to this report by Matthew Yglesias:

    “A majority of Americans — 59 percent — say in a new survey that Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia and the 2016 campaign has not yet uncovered evidence of any crimes, even though in reality, Mueller has already obtained five guilty pleas and 17 criminal indictments.”

    https://twitter.com/JamesGunn/status/999317215869456389

    “But the fact that most of his support comes from IGNORANCE & not the illogical mental gymnastics of so many folks here on Twitter is important. So I’m reminding myself again (and you too) our job is not to argue with those whose minds have been right-wing-media’d into oblivion.”

    “They are lost. Our job is simply to spread the most simple, easiest-to-understand information: Our President is trying to stop an investigation into his own activities, of which many, many crimes have been discovered, including those of his campaign officials.”

    “And, more importantly, our job is to VOTE, and to impel other folks (LIKE ALL OF YOU PLEASE) to VOTE…”

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  48. Sherri said on May 23, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    I used to bike in California, but not here, where I live on top of a big hill. However, I’m looking at e-bikes now, the pedal assist ones, and I test drove one a few weeks ago up my hill. It made a huge difference. E-bikes are becoming popular out here. There are a couple of stores in Redmond selling only e-bikes, plus the 4 other cycle shops I know of sell e-bikes in addition to traditional bikes.

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  49. LAMary said on May 23, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    Philip Roth. R.I.P.

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  50. Deborah said on May 23, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Why don’t more Republicans say things like this? https://amp.thedailybeast.com/senator-jeff-flake-to-harvard-law-grads-trump-debased-presidency?__twitter_impression=true

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  51. Jolene said on May 24, 2018 at 12:54 am

    I’m puzzled as to why URLs that I copy directly from websites sometimes work and sometimes, as Jakash notes @ 46 don’t. Of course, I should remember to check the link after posting, but is there some logic as to what causes the failures?

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  52. Dexter Friend said on May 24, 2018 at 12:55 am

    Our county’s local bike shop sold those e-bikes last time I visited the shop. I should have tested one. At the time I wasn’t giving up the idea that bikes should be people-powered.

    But here’s the reason I had to stop here tonight: https://www.ajc.com/news/crime–law/verdict-georgia-rape-victim-wins-civil-suit-against-security-company/qxV7IgxqpiRgd6cVeYqUVL/
    the rape case in Georgia, USA. 14 year old girl raped on a picnic table in 2012. A security guard was the perp and got off easy, IMHO, with a 20 year sentence. The young lady is 20 now and in college. Her civil suit gained her a $1,000,000,000 verdict. The defendant was the security company. What financial institution would cover a billion dollar payout? The jury asked , as if this was the movie “The Verdict”, if there was an upper limit of a payout compensation. “No”. OK, then we award her a billion dollars. —Now, I believe she is worth it, but who has the money now, ready to pay over to her? Are guarantors of security companies required to be prepared to have that kind of cash? I just hope this award figure isn’t some kind of symbolic victory and the security company and the guarantors cry malfeasance or whatever the term is and the victim ends up waiting forever and never seeing a fucking nickel.

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