Blame Canada?

Greatest invention of summer: The Bluetooth speaker. With no trouble at all, you can have high-fidelity outdoor sound. No wiring required — just pair it with your phone, boot up Spotify and enjoy.

Worst invention of summer: The Bluetooth speaker. Because your neighbors, the ones who think Christian rock is the cat’s ass, all have them, too. Also, they are deaf, or at least have no concept whatsoever about what constitutes a polite volume level in a densely platted neighborhood.

I have two neighbors with these things. One I like, the other I can’t stand, even though he’s throttled way back on the behaviors that made me despise him, i.e., insane fireworks displays and shooting squirrels with a pellet gun. Now that he’s got a bomb-ass backyard speaker, he’s back on my shit list. His concert starts in late afternoon, generally with hip-hop before abruptly switching to what Kate calls butt rock, i.e. undistinguished radio filler that sounds like the lead singer is bearing down on a toilet somewhere.

The nice neighbor also has fairly terrible taste, but his problem is repetition — when he likes something, he puts it on repeat. Last summer it was Mumford & Sons, i.e., slow banjo/fast banjo/slow banjo. This year it’s something I don’t recognize, but it, too, is first cousin to butt rock, and like I said, the same few songs over and over and over. And over.

Some years ago, when we had our lake cottage, a neighbor’s speakers cranking AC/DC cycled through the same album three times before I went over to ask him to either turn it down or put on another record. The front door was standing open and our neighbor was snoring on the couch. I walked in and turned off the stereo. He never stirred.

You might ask why I don’t call the police. First, because I like the one neighbor, and I don’t think there’s a code in the Uniform Crime Reports database for lame taste in music, and as for the other one, well. I’m making it a practice not to call the police for annoyance issues. I just don’t trust police anymore, and besides, it’s a minor issue, all things considered.

Alan likes to sit on the patio in the dark on warm nights, sipping a drink and listening to KEXP out of Seattle on our own Bluetooth speaker. Turned very low. For what that’s worth.

I guess I should be glad none of the neighbors have teenagers. This was our outdoor-music alternative, as I grew up in a time before the boom box.

Anyway, how was y’all’s weekend? Mine was OK. Got a lot of stuff done, but I’m recovering from one of those bike rides where you feel great, oh let’s go fast and far, and then you get to the turnaround point and realize you are running on fumes and now have to go all the way back. If I hadn’t looked like death warmed over I’d have stopped for a hot dog somewhere, but my hair was dirty and sweaty, my legs were hairy and even a coney-island crowd would have looked askance. So I powered home, ate some leftover spaghetti, showered and went to bed with a book. All told, not a bad Sunday.

On the way, I thought about the news coming out of the G-7 conference in Quebec City, and saw a tweet somewhere that said something like, when are we going to face the reality that the President of the United States is an agent of the Russian state? Can’t disagree.

At least we had the Trooping the Colour ceremony to watch. I know it’s part of the queen’s birthday celebration, even though her real birthday is in April. I confess I don’t know exactly what it means, except that it has something to do with dressing up real fancy and riding horses in even fancier uniforms. The Royal Family’s Twitter had a bunch of pictures, but if you want to know who’s who in those big furry hats, I hope you can recognize family members from their noses, because that’s all you can see.

And speaking of horses, I watched the Belmont with my heart in my throat, once Justify jumped out to set the pace. Noooo, don’t do such a crazy thing, I thought. This is a 1.5-mile race, and its history is full of early leaders that faded to sixth place in the stretch, but Justify was the real deal, leading wire-to-wire. He was beautiful and clean for his winner’s circle appearance, whereas all the horses that had been behind him had dirt all over their chests, heads and legs. Justify’s dirt. He’s a true champion.

I’ve been enjoying David Letterman’s Netflix series, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” at least until the Howard Stern episode, which debuted this month. Easily the weakest of the bunch, but I’ve never been a Howard Stern fan. He just isn’t interesting at all.

And now we head into the weekend, having alienated our closest and most loyal allies. Maybe we’ll be in a shooting war with Canada soon. Signs and wonders.

Posted at 6:39 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

47 responses to “Blame Canada?”

  1. LAMary said on June 10, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    I spent a week in Knoxville going through training for my new job. While her students were doing some sort of written exercise, our trainer asked if we wanted to listen to music. She gave us the choice of Christian, Country, or Christian Country. The last option won.

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  2. David C. said on June 10, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    It was a nice weekend. Two of Mary’s sisters came to visit. They made us twice glad. Glad when the came. Glad when they left for home. They’re trying to arrange for all four sisters to come next year. tRump was like a monkey with a machine gun at G-7. No surprises there. In a day or so we’ll find out, after the dick-measuring preliminaries, if we’ve all been sold to NK, along with all the remaindered copies of tRump’s books, for a sack of magic beans.

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  3. Colleen said on June 10, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    When I worked in sterile processing, we were tuned to Pandora on shuffle. We all chose stations, so we all got to listen to something we liked, and we all had to listen to something we disliked, but a co worker enjoyed. If I never hear Evanescense or today’s country music again, I will be just fine.

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  4. Julie Robinson said on June 10, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    Our kids have three(!) of those Google Home speakers, including on the lanai, so they can just tell Google to play their lists from Spotify. I’m not sold on those things to be begin with, but it gets worse. They have my sister’s old TV mounted out there too. They see this as the gateway to epic summer parties. I see it as the gateway to annoyed neighbors. You’re only young once, I guess.

    We painted all day yesterday and traveled home today so I’m exhausted. I’m only home for three days and then I take my mom to Iowa. But who cares about anything else, because tonight are the Tony’s. This is my favorite night of the year.

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  5. beb said on June 10, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    If we get into a shooting war with Canada I will promptly surrender and demand National Health Care as a POW!

    I thought only people in the ‘Hood suffered from neighbors with loud speakers and awful taste on music. Sorry to hear that even Grosse Pointer have that same problem.

    I wish Trudeau had advised the Orange Menace that the G7 could early become the G6 and live happily ever after.

    I don’t know if it’s a class issue or a gender issue but I doubt that anyone at McDonald’s or National Coney Island cares what you look like. They just want you’re money. Just remember: no matter how bad you may look, you’ll still look better than “People of Walmart.”

    When I heard that Belmont had a dry track I thought Justify was screwed. He seemed like such a mudder. I was amazed that he did well on a dry track and lead from the start. Wow! What a horse! And now he gets all the fillys money can buy.

    Given a choice of music to listen to I’d have asked for Electric Swing both because it was unlikely anyone in KY had ever heard of it, but also uptempo big band music is kind of fun.

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  6. Joe Kobiela said on June 10, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    Justify or justifly as I like to call him looked great, especially with wheels up on the silks and seeing everyone in the Winners circle with wheels up hats on was pretty cool. But man what about Gronkowski, last place in the back stretch all the way to 2nd,what a charge. Pandora is like a gift, I have a couple dozen artist on mine, everything from big band to the Detroit Cobras,Drive by truckers,Corb Lund,Here come the Mummy’s Southern culture on the skids, just hit shuffle and kick back on the deck.
    Pilot Joe

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  7. Sherri said on June 10, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    In DC for a quick trip to go to the ACLU membership conference, got in town in time to hear Bryan Stevenson give the keynote. Tomorrow morning starts off bright and early with a panel that includes Dahlia Lithwick!

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  8. Deborah said on June 10, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    We spent a nice Sunday, went back to Abiquiu only for the Chamber Music Festival’s first concert there. Of the three pieces they played the last one, a Shostakovich was so good it made me weep. We are donors so we got invited to the afterparty, which is always fun getting to hang out with the performers. We stopped at the cabin after that so I could water what we are calling our “mistake garden”. We are trying this and that to see what might actually grow out there. My husband leaves for Chicago tomorrow where he will be for a week tending to business. I’ll stay in Santa Fe to help LB, she gets an MRI the end of the week to see if they can figure out what the deal is with her hip. Her wheelchair comes via Amazon tomorrow, I expected it to be expensive but it was fairly reasonable. We’re of course hoping the use of the chair will only be temporary, and then we’ll just keep it in the garage for who knows what future use will be required.

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  9. Deborah said on June 10, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    Earlier in the year we had talked about some international travel at this exact time. Since we ended up going to London unexpectantly before the Christmas holidays we thought that maybe that was enough international travel for awhile. Now I’m so glad we made that decision because it would be soooo embarrassing to be an American in Europe right now. What an imbecile Trump is.

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  10. Jerry said on June 11, 2018 at 2:37 am

    I spent Sunday at the London Tai Chi Competition. Very enjoyable but I returned home on my knees!

    There were almost 50 children competing. Two Inner London primary schools practice Tai chi as part of their physical education syllabus. They were really well behaved. As well as various hand forms there were sections for spear, sword and sabre forms. And a couple of Qi Gong sections as well – individual and group.

    Everyone very friendly and helpful with a couple of masters providing some individual advice on the sidelines. I met a man who had started learning karate when he left the army in 1950. He was planning to give up running his Tai Chi group in six months time as he’d always said “I plan to stop when I’m ninety”. I’d have put him at 80!

    Only bad part was the medals took forever to hand out.

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  11. Linda said on June 11, 2018 at 6:08 am

    We had an incident a few years back when one neighbor had rap cranked up super loud, and the guy across the street took umbrige, and cranked up…bagpipe music. It was the battle of rap vs Scotland! I just laughed.

    BTW, cops are probably happy that you aren’t calling with neighbor complaints. They are a pain and rarely end well. The police do overreact sometimes, but also are put in the position of doing neighbor interaction and social work in our society because people are so isolated and don’t care about or know each other.

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  12. alex said on June 11, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Butt rock…

    I always thought Mavis Staples sounded like she was bearing down on the toilet with “I’ll Take You There.” I’ve never heard anyone grunt and scream for mercy like that except when passing a three-coiler.

    Here’s an article that defines “butt rock” more generally as just crap:

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  13. Suzanne said on June 11, 2018 at 9:02 am

    “Butt rock” makes me think of all those singers, many female, (although I can’t think of any names right now) who sing every song like they are straining to do something. It’s especially prevalent on the Christian rock stations. Not a fan of the singing but I love the term. It’s a perfect description of the sound!

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  14. Deborah said on June 11, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Alex, that article on the difference between head rock and butt rock was fantastic, I highly recommend it. I’d never heard the term butt rock before but now it’s seared in my brain.

    When driving around Abiquiu, car radio access is as sketchy as internet access in the cabin. I find myself mostly listening to a station from Taos called KTAO which may be the only solar powered station or at least it was the first one. Taos is huge on solar power. Anyway, it plays not terrible music depending on who is DJing. It does play country rock sometimes which you can imagine. The lyrics are often about some guy who spent his last dollars on cigarettes and is meeting his girlfriend’s parents and they’re appalled that his job is that he’s in a band and on top of that he has long hair and tats. Over and over again. Not my cup of tea but survivable. We have a bottom of the line Jeep out here with a shitty radio and we’re not technically equipped to figure out how to hook up our phones to play through it. We got a cord gizmo and tried it a few times but it is sketchier to use than the radio. If we use our phone the passenger finds a tune then sticks it in the cup holder to amplify the sound. Archaic.

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  15. Jeff Borden said on June 11, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Not long after Justify won the Triple Crown, this joke popped up: “Justify said he will not visit the White House after his victory. ‘If I wanted to see a horse’s ass, I would’ve finished second.’ ”

    Rain, rain, rain in Chicago this weekend. And it’s raining this morning. It was one of the worst possible weekends for shitty weather: Blues Fest, Wells Street Art Fair, Lit Fest, Rib Fest, Midsommarfest. . .all drenched in steady, heavy rain with a few hours of just cloudy weather in between downfalls. Ordinarily, we’d have cycled through those events over two days, but I just opted for Midsommarfest, held in what was once a predominantly Swedish neighborhood but is now evolving into a very gay-friendly area. (Lakeview is still the epicenter of gay life in Chicago, but Andersonville is coming on strong.) Within two hours, music ranged from country to swing to R&B to jazz. Lots of terrific women vocalists on the stage, too.

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  16. Peter said on June 11, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Jeff B at #15 for the win!

    Butt Rock: Didn’t that start in the ’50’s with Sreamin’ Jay Hawkin’s “Constipation Blues”?

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  17. Icarus said on June 11, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Might I recommend a couple of low cost tech items:

    QFX WiFi/Bluetooth Speaker 
    Dayton WiFi Audio Adapter

    You can connect to the speaker with Bluetooth but also to your WiFi which should have a farther range and theoretically better quality audio.  Admittedly, this one is a bit of a challenge to set up, especially if you have several of them like I do, but you cannot beat the price. 

    In our next house I may spring for a stereo receiver with WiFi but for now I’m using the Dayton Audio Adaptor, which does the trick.  I cannot get celestial radio or CDs into the into my speakers but I can play Spotify et al on the speakers the previous owner put into the kitchen ceiling.  The dongle also works with the QFX speakers so it’s a PoorTechDudes solution to full home streaming.

    From previous thread:  Jeff TMMO: you are correct about all that’s packed into “She’s Leaving Home Tonight”

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  18. Judybusy said on June 11, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Sherri, that’s so exciting to be able to hear them speak. a friend of mine works for the ACLU, and he posted about Brian Stevenson. Mr. Stevenson also helped develop a memorial to lynching. Be warned: the first paragraph is a graphic description of a lynching.

    The only time we bring out the Alexa is when we have a party/gathering on the patio. I’m sure the laughter is louder than the music!

    I finally turned the corner on the garden this weekend–lots of weeding, planted the seedlings. I also decided it was time to get rid of the rock/landscaping fabric ugliness that ran along the north side of our house. I hired that out, though. Next Saturday, soil gets delivered, stepping stones installed, plants getting planted. I can do all the install, and find it really fun.

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  19. Heather said on June 11, 2018 at 10:51 am

    I also get very annoyed at people who blare music at the beach. Why do they assume that everyone wants to enjoy their janky taste in tunes? Especially when it’s crowded. At least I don’t have to put up with it at home since the neighbors who did this moved out a few years ago.

    As Jeff pointed out, weather was terrible for the most part in Chicago this weekend. I took the day off today planning to get to the beach or have a bike ride, but it’s yucky again. Oh well, maybe I’ll get some writing projects done instead. Sunday went to the Printers Row Book Fair downtown and got about four books, so that should keep me busy for a while. Also saw “Solo” (enjoyable, but as my friend said, could have used 80 percent less smirking) and “Ocean’s 8” (not as good as the other Ocean’s movies, sorry to say, but worth it for the clothes, Cate Blanchett, and Helena Bonham-Carter’s comic stylings).

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  20. Bitter Scribe said on June 11, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    I can understand the obsession with certain tunes, because I get that way myself. When I like something, I play it over and over until I’m sick of it, then I move on to something else.

    But I cannot understand people who blare their music, especially outdoors or at night. For me it’s strictly headphones after 10:30. Heather has it exactly right: why do people assume everyone else wants to listen to their music?

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  21. Suzanne said on June 11, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Bets on how long before tRump wants a personal portable toilet?

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  22. alex said on June 11, 2018 at 12:43 pm

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  23. Jakash said on June 11, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    I was already forming in my own mind a lesser version of the second paragraph of today’s post while I was reading the first paragraph. Seems to me that there’s not nearly enough appreciation for either quiet or ambient natural sounds in today’s culture. But, I suppose today’s fixation with listening to *something*, be it music or a podcast or whatever, whenever and wherever possible largely just represents a technological improvement on the transistor radios of my youth. (Which never particularly appealed to me, either, FWIW.)

    Dexter said yesterday: “That nearly 2 1/2 minutes was more fun that the tiresome NBA Finals Friday.” Nancy says that her heart was in her throat. Am I the only one who watched all three races and thinks that having the best horse just go out and win all of them, pretty much being in front the whole time, is *boring*? To me, it was very much *like* the NBA Finals. One-sided, dominant excellence. Boring. Yes, yes, he’s a great horse.

    Congrats to Pilot Joe are in order, I suppose, though I would *much* prefer having no advertising at all worn by the participants of any pro sport.

    Hmmm… Even given my history of “get off my lawn” posts, these observations seems distinctly crotchety. ; )

    Coincidental for me that Alex mentioned Mavis Staples @ 12. We just saw her close out the Chicago Blues Festival last night. Whatever one thinks of her voice, she’s still out there putting on a show a month from turning 79. She had performed at Bonnaroo the night before, for crying out loud… Speaking of “butt rock,” she did accidentally refer to The Hideout, a beloved, rickety, Chicago music venue and bar where she recorded a live album, as The Outhouse. So that was funny.

    We lucked out with avoiding the worst stretches of the weather, and managed to hit the Lit Fest for a few hours yesterday, as well. I thought the fog downtown was pretty cool, for a change of pace. The crappy weekend certainly didn’t help out with their attendance figures any, though, I imagine.

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  24. Scout said on June 11, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    We love our Sonos system, we have three speakers and are planning to add a fourth to the screened patio (aka the catio). We live in a neighborhood of small homes on big lots, built in the 50’s, with 6 foot concrete block privacy walls, so unless somebody has a live mariachi band (it’s happened) we can’t hear each other’s outdoor music. And in the summer most people are inside with the a/c on full crank anyway.

    This is a good summary of Trumpie’s big G7 weekend adventure.
    Rob Reiner @robreiner Jun 10
    When an American President attacks our closest allies and embraces a hostile enemy power who is trying to destroy our Democracy and democracies around the world, we can only conclude that he has been compromised and is in a conspiracy to commit treason.

    The iconic photo:

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  25. Colleen said on June 11, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Suzanne, I think you are referring to “vocal fry”, an affectation common among young women, both when speaking and singing. It is becoming common enough on NPR that I find it distracting.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on June 11, 2018 at 4:56 pm


    Apparently, John Bolton sent out the same photo, but added a compliment. . .something about the set of the Orange King’s jaw. LOL. All I could think about was the set of his jowls.

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  27. Charlotte said on June 11, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    I have an old-school hippie neighbor in his 60s who, when the sun is shining and he’s feeling good about life, plays his guitar and sings in the backyard. He’s terrible, but such a great guy, and it’s such a genuine expression, that hearing Mike in his yard 2 doors down is one of the joys of small town life.

    Our other summer sound this year — babies! I have at least 8 kids under 5 who have moved onto our block in the last year or so. First thing in the morning 4-year-old Roman singing out “Hi Hank!” to my dog , and afternoons you can hear the toddler meltdowns — 4:30 across the street, dinner time next door — the other night the kid kitty-corner threw an EPIC toddler meltdown. Now that all “our” girls are grown — I find it a lovely sign of life in the neighborhood.

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  28. Deborah said on June 11, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    I love all the hilarious photoshopped versions of that Merkel photo, but the original is pretty good on its own.

    Well LB’s wheelchair came today and we took it out for a spin. It turns out it’s too much for me to push on the crappy Santa Fe sidewalks. We went to the Railyard where there’s an REI, to get some safety equipment for it, like a bike flag, a neon safety vest etc. The REI is .8 of a mile away and that was waaaaayyyy to far for the first walking/pushing outing for me, it’s a fairly flat walk but even mild inclines were brutal. I ended up walking back from REI to the apartment by myself to get the car and pick up LB. Like I said previously she gets an MRI on Saturday, we’re hoping it’s not a hairline fracture or a peripheral nerve sheath tumor which can happen to people with NF as LB has. Hoping it’s just some ligament or tendon issue which may clear up with physical therapy and rest.

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  29. Deborah said on June 11, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    Wow, this seems like a plus for Detroit

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  30. brian stouder said on June 11, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Lost a longer post, just now. Suffice it to say – our fine young son and his group left Fort Wayne for the Detroit airport earlier today, for their flight from there to Paris (they should have been wheels-up at about 9 pm, this evening) – and thence onward to Morocco.

    An interesting blend of pride/apprehension/curiosity/anticipation, on this end.

    Truly, this world is the oyster for the young folks, and it gives one some consolation (and a sense of perspective) as the national news swirls about, this evening

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  31. Joe Kobiela said on June 11, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    Go to flight put their airline in, should be Delta and flight number, you should be able to track them the whole way.
    They are over the Atlantic at 37000 ft doing 400kts,in a 787
    Pilot Joe

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  32. Deborah said on June 11, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    Brian, so good for your son to go to Paris, good for him, what is his group that is headed there? Anytime that you travel internationally you learn so much.

    I went to Abiquiu this evening for the only purpose of watering the “mistake garden”, I listened to The Band’s The Weight on the radio and couldn’t stop dancing while driving it was delightful.

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  33. Deborah said on June 11, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    Jolene, Sherri, judybusy, I feel bad that I haven’t responded on FB yet about my 7 book recommendations. Partly because I’m agonizing which books those would be and partly because this latest health issue with LB has been distracting. I feel bad about taking so much time on this.

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  34. Jolene said on June 12, 2018 at 12:02 am

    I wouldn’t invest too much energy in the books issue, Deborah. If you have the time and inclination, good. If not, also fine.

    Hope Little Bird’s scan reveals a problem that can be solved, or, at least, ameliorated.

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  35. Dexter Friend said on June 12, 2018 at 1:57 am

    Props to Spotify for sure, and I listen to it mostly on my desktop for album sets. For fave groups, I have an XM old-school boombox wired up. And plenty of YouTube of course. The only time I get mad at unwanted music blaring is when the next door neighbor’s adult punk-ass son has a bunch of friends over…they drink, they get loud, and instead of sharing stories of army adventures in Vietnam, Germany, or Korea like we did, they outdo each other with stories of all the prison stretches they have done. One day I counted 8 of these guys and all but one had been in some state pen…the other one had only done time in the regional jail about ten miles east of here.
    Some young guy got busted for something in front of our house. One, then two…then three, 4 cop cars , guns drawn, the kid spread out over the trunk of the car; three young girls exited and milled around, the driver was quickly cuffed, then the car was searched by that crew of cops and a new police dog for 45 minutes or maybe more…then a van came and suitcases were switched from the car to the van (a civilian van, not a cop vehicle), and the van left. Then the flat-bed hauler grabbed up the car in question.
    That record eater was quite a deal…never had one. I bought a record player from an Alden’s catalogue, and as a bonus , 100 45 rpm records. Most were recording studio junk and crap, but one I recall, and it finally appeared on YouTube a few years ago: The Contours with “Pa, I Need A Car!” It still is a kick-ass tune.
    Call the cops or not? When my Black Labbie was younger she’d escape and run amok…about 5 times the cops helped me catch her, forever grateful. Also, quick cop-response time helped that one time I yelled at a guy,who was punching a pregnant woman next door, and he promised to come right back and kill me, and the cops caught him and yeah, he had a gun, a huge one, and was drunk, first day of parole from Jackson Prison, MI.
    But now they won’t help with dogs…ya gotta call the dog warden, who only has an old answering machine.
    Trump. This Canadian stance from Trump is so fucking embarrassing. I was glad to see The Worm Dennis Rodman show up in Korea…he’s Un’s basketball buddy, maybe he’ll soften Un up for the Orange King from America.

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  36. Jakash said on June 12, 2018 at 1:59 am

    David Simon’s tribute to Anthony Bourdain:

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  37. alex said on June 12, 2018 at 6:07 am

    That was an excellent read, Jakash. Thanks.

    I saw the other day that David Simon has been engaged in a war of words with Twitter, don’t remember where, but here’s an item in Variety:

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  38. Suzanne said on June 12, 2018 at 8:19 am

    Yes, Brian, track the flight on Flightaware. It’s great!

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  39. Connie said on June 12, 2018 at 10:45 am

    I just overheard an interesting conversation at the library. Women said to young girl “it’s ok if you look, everyone looks. I have a disease called neuroblastoma that makes my face like this. It doesn’t hurt.” They talked for a few more minutes, then she turned toward where I was standing, noticed my name tag, and started talking to me. She told me she always tries to have a non frightening conversation with kids who are unquestionably staring at her. So something interesting at work today.

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  40. Jakash said on June 12, 2018 at 11:54 am

    I like “Fat Man and Little Boy” as a caption, but this guy’s “When you’re almost done picking teams in gym class” is cherce, as well…

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  41. Jolene said on June 12, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Connie, one of my sisters had polio as a baby. (She was born in 1951; the vaccine became available in, I believe, 1954.) She has one leg that is smaller and shorter than the other, so walks with a limp. I was once with her when a little boy remarked on her gait, and his mother shushed him. My sister said that she wished that, in such circumstances, parents would give their kids matter-of-fact answers, as your library patron did. It’s not as if people with disabilities don’t know they have them.

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  42. Peter said on June 12, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Oh, I need to go to confession: After the Sunday talk show diatribe, when I heard that Kudrow had a heart attack my first thought was “I hope you DIE you SOB and you take that big fat blob of a boss with you!!!”

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  43. Little Bird said on June 12, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    I have a couple of Bluetooth speakers and they occasionally try to turn themselves on when someone in the building tries to connect to their own Bluetooth device… it’s even creepier when it’s someone NOT in the building does!
    The wheelchair is going to take some getting used to, but it’s letting me get around in way I couldn’t for a few weeks, so I’ll figure it out. I told Deborah that it must feel weird pushing her adult daughter around in what amounts to a stroller for grown ups. It sure feels weird being the one pushed in said stroller.

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  44. Connie said on June 12, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    LB, using a wheelchair has given me biceps! Wheelchair pushups are a regular part of my PT focusses home exercisee program too. Remember you are pushing your own weight! Sort of like weightlifting.

    These days I only use a wheelchair for a short time before bed, after I have taken my foot off.

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  45. Deborah said on June 12, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    While I was pushing LB in her chair yesterday my shoulders and arms were getting a workout which is good because I usually don’t get much of that. The hardest part was keeping the chair from crashing into the curb because the sidewalks in Santa Fe are so bad I had to use the streets and they’re sloped side to side for runoff and if I wasn’t in the middle of the street the chair kept wanting to roll to the edge. Luckily the residential streets aren’t that busy and most pedestrians walk in the street instead of using the crappy sidewalks anyway so drivers are used to watching out on side streets (mostly, but of course there always asshole drivers who don’t get it).

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  46. basset said on June 12, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Brian, say again why the group is going? Missed that part of it.

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  47. Jolene said on June 12, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Netflix has announced that it will keep Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown for several months, so, if you’re a subscriber and are inclined to view his opus, you have plenty of time.

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