Overnight sensations.

Late update today — sorry. Been a rather busy week, but as often happens when we gallop through Monday and Tuesday, things are improving.

I have a story in Deadline Detroit today; it turns out the filmmakers who made that video for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are not only Detroiters, but I already know one of them. She used to work for the advocacy firm where Bridge had its Lansing office for a spell, so I mainly recall her as one of the young people who worked in the bullpen, who I sometimes chatted with on my way to the coffeepot or giant vat of peanut butter-stuffed pretzel nuggets. (That is a disgusting-sounding snack, I know, but I tried one and soon was filling a bowl with them to furtively carry back upstairs. I’d never buy them, however, because I’d fear the disapproval of others in the checkout line.)

Anyway, Naomi’s reaction to the 2016 election was to start attending socialist-feminism discussion groups, which led in a more or less linear fashion to her quitting her job and starting a new media company for socialist candidates. And that led them to make the Ocasio-Cortez video, which is fantastic and partially credited for her success.

Predictably, the comments on the story are whack. I thought of contributing to the discussion, drafted a comment, then trashed it because why engage, and on the internet of all places. I’ll paste it here, just to get it out of my system:

Hi, everyone. As the writer of this piece, I think some of you are overlooking an important point: It’s easy to make fun of socialism. So many spectacular failures, yes. But you are also forgetting what led to it, and why it’s appealing to so many younger people. The Gilded Age and industrial revolution after the Civil War led to an era of great wealth for the few, while the working class toiled in backbreaking labor, for little money and with few to no protections, as a nervous middle class looked on and wrung their hands.

(Yes, an oversimplification. Bear with me.)

Many of these young people talking up Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others are graduating from college — if they went to college — with mortgage-size debt into a gig economy with a shrinking middle class, exploding wealth for the top tier, and a political class that simply *does not hear them.*

You look at her platform and say it’s crazy. Medicare for all? Every Western democracy has some form of universal health care that won’t impoverish those who need it. Free public college? Maybe not four years’ worth, but a two-year associates degree wrapped into a slightly longer term in high school — all paid for from the school aid fund — is called middle college, it’s happening in Michigan, and you should google it.

Judicial reform? When poor people sit in county jails for nonviolent offenses because they can’t afford $500 bail, that doesn’t seem crazy. Housing as a human right? Good news, kids! All the decent jobs are in those cool big cities you like so much. Bad news, kids! Rent is a zillion dollars a month, and even your decent-job salary won’t cover that. Also, those cool cities need bartenders, teachers, waiters and so on, so that Ivanka’s apartment can be kept clean and her children minded while mom’s at work. But for those people? Womp-womp.

My point: This doesn’t sound crazy to people who are dealing with these realities. And what is the reaction? Sneering at those who didn’t major in STEM fields, because if you studied art history you *deserve* to be poor, losers! (One of the most successful people I know, a C-suite vertical blur, majored in English lit. He says analyzing poetry and novels taught him problem-solving skills he employs every day.) Health insurance for those gig employees? You can’t have that, because Obamacare = tyranny. Help with housing? Get a couple roommates, or move to the ex-ex-exurbs and enjoy the 90-minute commute. Judicial reform? You should have thought of that before you rode your bike on the sidewalk, or talked back to a policeman (Blue lives matter!!!) or sold a couple joints to an undercover officer.

And so on. I’m not taking a stand here, and I realize that wading into any internet comment section is a waste of time. (I’m also not going to engage with any of you further, because see previous sentence.) I’m only making a plea for empathy, to try to step out of your own shoes and into someone else’s. You can learn a lot.

It wouldn’t have done any good, of course. Which is why I deleted it.

God, the last 48 hours have been a blur. Clemency for the Oregon rancher/arsonists. NATO. Kavanaugh. Where to start? I don’t think I will. Instead, let’s be stupid on this fine July afternoon. A screen cap from the Axios newsletter a couple days ago, because I don’t have a Wall Street Journal subscription:

There’s a restaurant around the corner that does this with hot chocolate, inserting skewers laden with doughnuts, cookies, gigantic marshmallows and stuff like that, drizzled with chocolate syrup. I see a lot of kids in there who seem to be celebrating birthdays; maybe next they’ll balance an entire chocolate cake on top. But adults are supposed to know better. A $55 bloody mary! Surely we’re in the end times.

Some commenter-community news: Snarkworth has published a book – “Same River Twice,” available in the usual places. I haven’t read it, so I have no opinions about it other than Books Are Good, and Writing Books Is So Hard That They Should All Be Celebrated. (Unless we’re talking about Dick Cheney’s memoirs, or whatever.) Congratulations, Snarkworth. Now go write the next one.

Posted at 3:36 pm in Current events, Detroit life, Housekeeping |

77 responses to “Overnight sensations.”

  1. Mark P said on July 11, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Our wealthy, white, old-man overlords have done a pretty good job brainwashing those whose brains are small enough to fit into a coffee cup. Socialism would solve a lot of problems, except where to park the company jet between “business” trips. But try to convince a man sunk to his neck in debt and bullshit that a hand up is a good idea. No, no, a hand up might help someone whose skin is the wrong color.

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  2. Suzanne said on July 11, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    So correct, Mark P. Everybody’s concerned that someone might be getting a bit more than they are. It’s the way you view the world and it’s one thing I increasingly notice out here in rural ‘Murica. Paranoia. Everyone from your doctor to your mail carrier to your mayor to the cashier at the local grocery; they all have it in for you, are all trying to pull one over on you.

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  3. David C. said on July 11, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    The funny thing about the uber-wealthy hitching their wagons to tRump and Putin is Putin is thought, by some, to be the wealthiest man in the world. He gave the Russian oligarchs a choice – half for me, half for you. You stay out of prison and I won’t put polonium in your tea. Is there any sane person who couldn’t see tRump offering the same deal? Right now we’re at the Frankenstein’s monster throwing the little girl into the pond part. The little girl isn’t them or one of their kids, so why should they care. Their monster is, sooner or later, going to turn on them.

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  4. alex said on July 11, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Everyone from your doctor to your mail carrier to your mayor to the cashier at the local grocery; they all have it in for you, are all trying to pull one over on you.

    And yet those same people are the biggest suckers for the oiliest preachers and pols. And multilevel marketers. And gold coin scams. And cock succors. They love being had. They just need to be flattered in exchange for their trust.

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  5. Dexter Friend said on July 11, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    This disgusting US President just made an ass of himself again. I had to take a break only to watch Croatia knock England out. Trump disgusted me, the Croatian victory in The FIFA World Cup semis just saddened me.
    Fancying drinks up…my son-in-law dumps all types of flavorings into his coffee, while until a few months ago I always took my java strong and black. I posted about this last March…today, I still take most of my coffee black, but with breakfast, I have a cafe au lait. The one I bought while in the waiting area at Cleveland Clinic was so good I was converted.
    I understand why nance didn’t post her comment. At work, I used to run my mouth about socialism and how and why I believed in socialism until I was basically considered a commie weirdo by some, so my last few years of work I worked night shift and kept my trap shut. I watched the Michael Moore movie again recently, the one about who to invade next. Moore interviews Scandinavian and French people , including kids at school, and the result shows what a superior system they employ. Socialized medicine is opposed here by the people who need it. I don’t fucking get it. Cortez is a wonder of her own making, winning by face-to-face door-knocking for votes. I praise her dedication.
    This Kavanaugh deal … shee-ittt. I hate Mitch McConnell and his comments about needing a speedy vetting just remind everyone of his treatment of Merrick Garland. I heard we should not expect a vote until the 1,000,000 documents relating to the Bush/Kavanaugh alliance are read and analyzed…certainly post-Labor Day.

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  6. Colleen said on July 11, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    We seem to be a nation of people lacking empathy. The ability to take a walk in someone else’s shoes is sorely lacking.
    I agree with Suzanne…so many people are afraid the other guy might be getting something for nothing.

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  7. Suzanne said on July 11, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Absolutely, Alex @4. If any of you ever watched King of the Hill, there was a character, Dale Gribble, who was of the same mentality. Conspiracy theorist to the core. But he could never see that his son looked exactly like the hired help that his wife was “very good friends” with. It’s like that. They are so sure everyone is trying to screw them over that they don’t notice that the Tea Party sorts and Trump actually ARE screwing them over.

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  8. Deborah said on July 11, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    There’s a great piece in the July 2, New Yorker called “Little St. Don” by George Saunders. It’s hilarious and depressing at the same time. I’m catching up on print versions that my husband brought back from Chicago or I’d include a link. Plus there’s a paywall with a limited amount of clicks if you don’t have a subscription. It’s the one with the Barry Blitt illustrated cover of frightened kids hiding in the skirts of the Statue of Liberty. I love Blitt’s covers.

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  9. beb said on July 11, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    People who think socialism is evil should be required to watch Metropolis — and not even all of it, the first 10-20 minutes of it with its marching hordes of dreary, ill-garbed workers, run-down building and poor lighting… that is the end-state of unrestrained capitalism.

    I do worry that “socialism” still has such a negative context, like “liberal,” “progressive” or “Democrat,” that being a Democratic Socialist will be a liability. But I’ll take a Dem. Socialist over a “New Democrat” or a DLC Democrat or a Yellow Dog Democrat any day.

    The $55 Bloody Mary sounds like something Alton Brown (of Good Eats) would concoct. Sure it wold taste great but takes two hours to make and requires buying new kitchen appliances. My daughter found a website that talks about all the really expensive foods you can buy, like a $70 hamburger. I can’t see it. But then I’ve so old that $10 for a meal seems expensive.

    I think Dexter asked the other day if the kids being rescued from the cave in Thai land were sedated. I read tonight that they were.

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  10. Deborah said on July 11, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    I forgot to mention that peanut butter stuffed pretzels are one of my favorite foods. Trader Joe’s sells them and that’s the only place I’ve had them from.

    I can’t remember if I mentioned that I’m back in Abiquiu, UTI is not completely gone but much better. Friday night we go to the Santa Fe opera to see Candide with two other couple friends. The husband of one is a violist and the wife of the other couple is pianist. We’re having a tailgate dinner in the parking lot before the opera. Lots of people do that with fine china, linen and silverware. We aren’t going to be that shmancy, but it should be interesting with the two professional musicians.

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  11. Jakash said on July 12, 2018 at 12:59 am

    An A+ Dale Gribble reference and analogy @ 7, Suzanne!

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  12. Dexter Friend said on July 12, 2018 at 3:40 am

    Yeah, the kids were sedated and the doctors in charge seemed to know what they were doing…and one family member of a rescued kid said he was very critical of that coach, but then said something like it is what it is, and it appears , at least for now, the coach isn’t going to be “Frankensteined”, with a torchlight parade to his home. The coach was properly the last one out, and the weakest, because he took little food , giving most of his share to the kids, and I guess his survival skills and his mastery of meditation and all that helped the kids use little energy and keep up their spirits.

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  13. ROGirl said on July 12, 2018 at 5:31 am

    As an art history major who ended up working on quality systems in the automotive industry, I can relate to the idea that the analytical and problem-solving skills that I used in my studies and research serve me well in my current role. I bring a perspective that engineers don’t have.

    Peanut butter pretzels are addictive and delicious. I prefer the no-salt variety.

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  14. alex said on July 12, 2018 at 7:18 am

    Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, which is the best argument in favor of a liberal arts education. The second best argument is that well-rounded people understand the vast difference between Soviet communism and Western European socialism and cannot be snookered into believing that health care and education are the work of the devil and not a basic human right.

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  15. basset said on July 12, 2018 at 8:37 am

    When I was 24 $55 was about half my rent.

    About the coach… this cave is some kind of local tourist attraction and it’s not unusual for groups to go in there. You can see handrails on some of the CNN pictures of the cave mouth. How deep they went and why we don’t know, not sure how aware he was of the upcoming rains either.

    I was living in Bloomington and doing a little caving when I brought the future Mrs. B down from Michigan to meet my parents. We went caving first, trip went long and we were four hours late for the big Sunday dinner. Mama Basset was not pleased.

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  16. Bitter Scribe said on July 12, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Nancy, may I say that IMHO it’s a shame you decided not to post that well-reasoned and (typically) well-written comment. Yes, the jerkasses would have been jerky, but at least you wouldn’t have let them have the floor completely. And who knows, you might have reached someone.

    As far as I can tell, the “reasoning” of people who decry socialism (without being able to define it) goes something like this:

    1. Venezuela is socialist.
    2. Venezuela is poor.
    3. Therefore, socialism causes poverty.

    Maybe if they had included a philosophy course in their precious STEM curriculum, they would understand the concept of failing to distribute the middle term of a syllogism.

    Dexter Friend @5: I started out watching the England-Croatia match as a neutral, although I did think an England-France final would have been just too cool. But I quickly became disgusted with Croatia’s style of play. I don’t mind that they’re aggressive, but I couldn’t stand how they kept yapping at the referee (one midfielder in particular) after getting called for blatant fouls that they were lucky not to get carded for.

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  17. Julie Robinson said on July 12, 2018 at 9:39 am

    That was an excellent and well-written article from Nancy, but I think it was smart not to engage the trolls. This is about the only site where I read the comments, much less engage. Almost universally they devolve into name calling and much worse. Let the article stand or fall on its own merits.

    Besides, we’re already living in a socialist state. Social security, Medicare, food stamps are all socialist. I have no problem with this. It could also be argued that my mortgage exemption is socialist, as are tax credits received by corporations. It’s just semantics.

    BTW our son is a member of the Democratic Socialists. It’s one of two cards he carries proudly, the other being his union card.

    Deborah, I LOVE Candide but it’s rarely performed in its entirety, so I’m a little envious. I’ve only seen segments live, but by the middle of Make Our Garden Grow I’m always a mess of tears. There’s a pretty good version on DVD with Kristin Chenoweth and Patti LuPone.

    I’m taking off for Orlando this afternoon and then heading to Boston and Vermont along with our daughter. It should be an epic trip.

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  18. JodiP said on July 12, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Deborah, so envious of your night out at the opera! When we’ve gone to the opera (or any other music) with musician friends, they can alsways provide a depth of appreciation that is wonderful.

    I am pretty sure I have mentioned this book before. Written by a Finnish journalist, she explains what socialism is in Finland, and the shock she experienced moving ot the US. The only critique I have is stylistic, in that she uses the phrase, “the Nordic theory of love” a bit much. From my skim, the author does a good synopsis of the system of government there in this article.

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  19. Sherri said on July 12, 2018 at 10:43 am

    To Millennials, the Cold War is something they studied in history class. Most were born after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Socialism doesn’t have the same negative connotation to them.

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  20. Sherri said on July 12, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    This is an interesting article about a group of people the author calls Trumpverstehers, the “Trump understanders”.


    I take issue with several things in the article, though. Cohen says they aren’t bigots, racists, misogynists, or homophobes. I disagree; they are, they’re just more civilized about it. They’re not racist, but have issues with affirmative action. They’re not homophobes, but maybe same sex marriage has moved too fast. They’re not sexist, but women don’t make as much in the workplace because they drop out and have babies. Everybody who isn’t a white, straight, Christian man is practicing identity politics, and should focus on what’s really important.

    If Cohen understood this about this group, he wouldn’t be surprised that they aren’t moved by the cries of infants torn from the arms of immigrant mothers. Those mothers shouldn’t have come, would be the reaction of these oh-so-civilized not racist, not-bigoted Trumpverstehers.

    It’s a common thing to use how someone treats wait staff, for example, as a judge of their character. Why shouldn’t it be equally valid to use as a judge of character whether they abstract away the humanity of people they haven’t encountered in person?

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  21. Suzanne said on July 12, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    I think most of the Trumpverstehers are racist, bigots, misogynists, and the like, but they have no idea they are. Not a clue.
    This line sums up most of the Trumpverstehers I know: …”they view with relief the victory of one crude and buffoonish barbarian chief over a much larger and more sinister tribal confederation. In a corrupt state, at least a wrecker like Trump may do some useful work of creative destruction.”
    However, they have no idea how that destruction might end up. It might lead to something better, but more likely, it’ll destroy the good that is already there. But they don’t consider it. These aren’t deep thinkers.

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  22. Bitter Scribe said on July 12, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Sherri @20: You are so right. To me, anyone who says, in effect, “I’m not a racist, but Trump’s racism isn’t a dealbreaker for me” is making a distinction without a difference.

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  23. Dexter Friend said on July 12, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    I am curious…fellow nallers, have your local gas pump prices exploded north? Ours jumped 38 cents two nights ago and nine more cents today. A 47 cents jump per gallon is unusual indeed, here in NW Ohio. I found Sunoco pumps where the jump hadn’t taken effect today, and a young stud dude in a real shiny Mustang came inside saying he was damned if he was going to fill up in Defiance because gas had hit $3.09 and one place out east of Defiance was holding at $2.99. The manager of the Sunoco said, “So you drove here (Bryan) just for cheaper gas?” He said, accurate quote here: “Fuck yes I did.” ~

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  24. Dorothy said on July 12, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    I’ve tried pretzels filled with peanut butter and they’re tasty. I keep a jar of Jif at my desk in a drawer, and have Snyders Snaps pretzels sometimes, and a dip of a pretzel into some peanut butter makes for a nice treat when I need a pick-me-up before lunch!

    Deborah our son was in Europe. Can’t disclose much more than that. I was glad it was not a return to Afghanistan. He got home this morning and Olivia definitely recognized her daddy, even let him hold her at one point. We hugged and kissed and then got the hell out of Dodge ASAP so they can have their important family time. Their smiles were amazing. I’ll put some pictures on Facebook eventually, but they want to keep this low key since the reason he came home early is because of Meg’s dad is near death. Not exactly a reason to celebrate. There are some shots on Instagram where I don’t connect with nearly as many people as I do on Facebook.

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  25. Suzanne said on July 12, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Yes, gas in NE Indiana jumped a bunch today. I filled up yesterday and paid $2.80-ish and today, I noticed that all the stations were $3.08 or so.

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  26. Scout said on July 12, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Last night my wife and I watched Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette on Netflix and to say that we were blown away is an understatement. It is like nothing we’ve ever experienced before. I will not describe it because I think it’s best to watch it without preconceived expectations.

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  27. Snarkworth said on July 12, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Nancy, thanks so much for the plug. The book is a mystery, and it’s also available on Amazon.


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  28. LAMary said on July 12, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Off topic. This makes me happy. Serena Williams made the final at Wimbledon.

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  29. David C. said on July 12, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    As of this afternoon, gas is where it’s been for the last month, more or less. $2.799/gallon.

    Bitter Scribe @16. If you added philosophy to STEM they’d just end up being turned into a bunch of God-damned Libertarians. I don’t know what you could add to the curriculum to make them (us, I’m one of them) more well rounded. I read. Maybe sit them “A Clockwork Orange” style and make them watch something other than Fox News?

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  30. Deborah said on July 12, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    Snarkworth, I don’t have a kindle, will it work on my iPad?

    I’m currently reading Armistead Maupin’s More Tales of the City, I got it off of the free books bin at Op Cit books in Santa Fe. Now I’m going to have to get the first volume, Tales of the City. Maupin moved to Santa Fe a few years ago, don’t know if he’s still living there.

    I also just reread Hemingway’s short (very short) story Hills Like White Elephants. I read it through twice, what a great short story, I had forgotten how good it is.

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  31. Rana said on July 12, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    I’m impressed by those gas prices. Here in Chicago it’s been north of $3.50 for regular for a while now.

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  32. jcburns said on July 12, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    Deborah, download the (free) Kindle app for the iPad and it works just great. Also just discovered today that many libraries that use Overdrive for their ebook lending (Atlanta-Fulton County is one) also offer ebooks to borrow through the Kindle app, which is way better than downloading yet another app. Just borrowed something from Atlanta’s library from a tiny cottage in Michigan. Pretty cool!

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  33. Julie Robinson said on July 13, 2018 at 12:05 am

    Overdrive is great. It’s so popular at our library that I often have to wait two or three months for the books I want. First world problems, right?

    Snarkworth, which platform gives you better royalties, the publisher or Amazon? I love mysteries and read a whole book on the plane on my way here. Ebooks are great because I can bump up the font and read them on my phone. Or my tablet, but on a plane the phone is better.

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  34. Jakash said on July 13, 2018 at 1:45 am

    Well, something strange seems to be afoot. I haven’t bought gas in a while, but Dexter’s comment and Rana’s follow-up got me to check Gas Buddy. It shows a north-side Chicago Speedway that we occasionally hit is at $3.19, and the “Lincoln Park” Costco at $2.99. No gas in Chicago is usually even close to an Ohio price, in my experience. I don’t think those particular prices have changed much in the past few weeks… yet! (To be clear, those are a couple of the cheapest prices — there are plenty at $3.49 and above.)

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  35. Connie said on July 13, 2018 at 6:27 am

    Overdrive also has a cool new app called Libby that you might like.

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  36. Connie said on July 13, 2018 at 7:57 am

    A tip or two for those of you using your library’s Overdrive service. Unless you have a relatively large local library, your library is part of a larger consortium. If the consortium is not on top of purchasing, they may have only one copy for the entire consortium.

    Overdrive makes it possible for consortium members to add additional copies for your own library card holders only. This is called an advantage plan. I spend an additional $1,000 a month on Advantage plan titles. If your library has an Advantage plan you will not see those titles unless you log in before your search. We mostly select Advantage plan titles to address those long waiting lists.

    Your library may have additional ebook services, not just Overdrive. Look for Hoopla, RBDigital, Axis 360 and other links on their page. If they have one of the new (card) catalog systems you will see Overdrive and other online access titles in your initial catalog search along with the in building hard copies. If they have one of the even newer card catalog systems your search result may have a live link in it.

    Our 50 library metro Detroit shared system went to a completely new system (catalog and checkout) some six weeks ago. Very complicated software changeover which we are still figuring out. Not all ebook and e-audio holdings have made it into our new catalog. Yet.

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  37. Snarkworth said on July 13, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Julie, I think the publisher gives me a slightly better royalty than Amazon.

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  38. JodiP said on July 13, 2018 at 10:05 am

    I absolutely love Overdrive. Like JC, if I run out of reading material on vacation, I love that I can just get a new book. You can also watch movies and get audio books. I haven’t figured out how to use my smart TV to access the movies. I think it would be pretty putsy with how the “typing” is done on the screen.

    Very much looking forward to the weekend. Tomorrow, our local master gardener program is having the annual learning tour, and I am volunteering in the morning at one of the gardens. It’s always so fun talking with other passionate gardeners!

    On a less happy note, WaPo has an article about the 6 children killed by their adoptive mothers. As a social worker and just a human being, I was really struck how one black relative seemed to be 86’d very quickly, and how the white adoptive parents got away with years of abuse and neglect because “these women look normal”–a quote from a social worker’s notes. They lived for a time in a small town near where I grew up. There were many reports of bruises, underfeeding, etc. MN Dept. of Human Services has not yet ordered an investigation, according to the article.

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  39. Connie said on July 13, 2018 at 10:12 am

    I have no idea who this guy is, but in his Forbes piece visiting Detroit He goes to the Schvitz. https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisakocay/2018/07/12/claude-vonstroke-guide-to-detroit/#4598e25d5eb6;

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  40. Julie Robinson said on July 13, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Our library also has Hoopla, and the Orlando library has Overdrive, Hoopla and RBDigital. We also have Flipster for magazines, though I don’t find the interface very friendly. Still, if I want to look up Consumer Reports, it comes in handy.

    Plus, I still go to the physical library and check out audio books on CD that I rip to the computer for putting on my mp3 player. Listening to those is how I fall asleep.

    Snarkworth, the link from your publisher’s page doesn’t work for reading on the Kindle app; it says it can’t be found. You may want to pass that along to them. The Google Play link did work, and your book was only $3.82. It’s on my tablet now, waiting to be read. Congratulations for getting it written and published.

    After looking at the Orange County Library page, I think I’m going to see if I can get a card down here. I feel like I should qualify–our property taxes are three times as much as in Allen County.

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  41. Brian stouder said on July 13, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    When we went to Toledo a few weeks ago (to catch Wicked) it struck us how gas prices – at the same chains (Speedway, for example) – were all 30 cents lower AS SOON as we crossed the Ohio line! In fact, another chuckle-worthy thing we noticed was the cluster of wind-turbines planted just over the line in Ohio….

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  42. Connie said on July 13, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Not long ago some of you were amused when I told you there was a turkey outside my office. He’s still around, here’s his picture. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1770444566336562&set=a.152583048122730.26570.100001131077374&type=3&theater&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic&notif_id=1531499907167589

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  43. Suzanne said on July 13, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    But Brian! Indiana’s corporate taxes came in lower than expected this past fiscal year so they gotta make up the difference somewhere! Gas tax!

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  44. Dorothy said on July 13, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    I live in Ohio and was in PA for a wedding last weekend. PA taxes make the gas prices really high compared to Ohio My boss told me her family refers to Pennsylvania as ‘Expennsylvania” when they drive through it on the way to New York to visit family.

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  45. Snarkworth said on July 13, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks for the heads up, Julie. Hope you enjoy it.

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  46. Icarus said on July 13, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    For the majority of my life, I have essentially been a fill up the gas tank once a month person. So the price of gas doesn’t *really* affect us currently.

    I am now 100% WFH and Nightingale takes public transportation to the hospital so I am using our cars as runabouts to daycare and some mid-day errand running.

    If we do move to the South, this will obviously change for the worse. I’m pretty sure electric cars in Memphis pretty much have a virtual “please harass me” bumper sticker.

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  47. Deggjr said on July 13, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Meet the Press interviewed Senator Rounds (R-SD) on Wednesday. With all the negative political news the interview was grimly encouraging.

    Rounds stated the Trump’s trade was was hurting South Dakota agriculture right now. One example: the value of SD agriculture is down $750M since March 1st. Rounds says (paraphrase) the base trusts Trump but they want action now. The base has realized there have been no new trade deals to replace the deals Trump dropped.

    It’s almost as if the strong supporters of the President want his policies to only hurt other people. I don’t understand people who think they can burn down half their own house and not get singed themselves.

    Interview here: https://www.msnbc.com/mtp-daily/watch/rounds-sounds-the-alarm-on-trump-trade-strategy-1275006531827 Full desperation starts around 5:00.

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  48. Suzanne said on July 13, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    There is this tie-in with the interview you posted, Deggjr.

    I am trying to have sympathy for these voters, but it’s hard. I still can’t understand how anyone who spent 5 minutes watching Trump on the campaign trail can be surprised by anything he is doing.

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  49. Deggjr said on July 13, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Same here Suzanne on sympathy … but 528 has Trump’s approval rating at 42.3%. Reducing that number by 6% can only help. If it doesn’t then we can all suffer together as bi-partisans.

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  50. Sherri said on July 13, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Misogyny as policy: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/07/abortion-family-separation-and-how-the-trump-administration-uses-female-pain-as-punishment.html

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  51. Dexter Friend said on July 13, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    The energy in London was uplifting…I watched msnbc coverage and oh wow, man! All sorts of signs against “NATO’s Agent Orange”; my favorite: “Don’t Usually Make Signs, but CRIKEY!” Trump loves to stir up shit, lying today in his London presser, again. Immediately, msnbc cut to live news, as Rod Rosenstein revealed more about the hacking by Russian creeps. My gawd, we need new standards for definition of snail’s pace.

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  52. David C. said on July 13, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    I sure would have liked to see the queen whomp tRump Aunt Esther style with her purse.

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  53. FDChief said on July 13, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Re: the comments section and the Trail of MAGAt Tears…it’s worth recalling that somewhere between 25 and 40 percent of the US public is some combination of out and proud white power racist, Ayn Rand fantasy wanker, and/or Christopathic bible-banger. These are the American kapos Frick said back in the first Gilded Age he could hire to shoot the other half of the country that loathed him.

    There’s really no help for these people. They’d rather burn the place down than give the people they hate a place at the table. They can only be destroyed.

    Sadly, the 20-30 percent who are lazy and dumb don’t get that. So we’re pretty much screwed.

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  54. Deborah said on July 13, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Getting ready to go to our opera tailgating picnic and then Candide. I’m exhausted, hope I don’t fall asleep during it. We are bringing all finger foods, figs with gargonzola wrapped in bacon, caprese on toothpicks, prosciutto wrapped melon and endive spoons with chive, cilantro and lemon zest goat cheese with pimentos. None of it required much cooking but there was a lot of assembling. The other two couples are bringing other things, I know not what. Everyone is bringing wine. LB came up with our menu but I tweeted it a bit and we both prepared everything.

    I read that Trump dissed the queen by walking in front of her and keeping her waiting. My guess on purpose.

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  55. Deborah said on July 13, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Tweaked not Tweeted

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  56. Mark P. said on July 13, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    The best thing that can be said for Trump is that he is an embarrassment. And I mean that literally. It’s the best thing you can say about him.

    Gas prices here in NW Georgia are around $2.65, and have been for some time. Twenty or so miles away along I-75 the prices are higher, but I’m pretty sure even they haven’t gone up much in the last few days. The local TV news anchors usually freak out when gas prices go up, and they haven’t done that yet.

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  57. LAMary said on July 14, 2018 at 12:10 am

    Best sign at the London demonstration was “all and all he’s just another prick with no wall.”

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  58. Deborah said on July 14, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Wow, 250,000 protesters in LONDON! Not even this country. The big baby icon is brilliant, that’s exactly what he is. We need to keep that going.

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  59. Deborah said on July 14, 2018 at 11:36 am

    The opera picnic was delightful, a few sprinkles, but looking out over the Sangre DeCristo foothills with cloud shadows was spectacular and there was even a rainbow. The opera itself was meh, unfortunately. If anyone is familiar with Candide the story is all over the map, literally. It’s hard to bring coherence to it and the conductor didn’t do it musically last night. The production was good. The visuals during the closing piece were spectacular. It was interesting to get the perspective of our musician friends. I feel like I’m getting harder and harder to please as I age.

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  60. Julie Robinson said on July 14, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    There are a half dozen different versions of Candide, as different arrangers and even Bernstein himself tried to tame the beast. Sounds like you got an untamed version, Deborah, which is a pity; the music is so glorious.

    Right now our son and a bunch of his friends are here making yard signs for a candidate who can’t afford to buy any. I’m not gonna be the person who tells them not to tilt at windmills. Oh well, at least it’s a fun social occasion for them.

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  61. alex said on July 14, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Blowing a perfectly good Saturday at Jiffy Lube. Jiffy my ass.

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  62. beb said on July 14, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    I know it’s too late to edit now but you might have wanted to reconsider your last sentence.

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  63. nancy said on July 14, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Does JiffyLube like Astroglide, or Swiss Navy?

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  64. brian stouder said on July 14, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Pammy wants to know what I’m cackling about, over here!

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  65. Deborah said on July 14, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    We’re trying to find out from some Finnish friends we have in Helsinki if any protests are planned there the next few days while Trump is there. Have any of you heard of any?

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  66. Deborah said on July 14, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    An answer to my question https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1K3110

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  67. alex said on July 14, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    I almost asked for some Astroglide when I saw the bill.

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  68. Deborah said on July 14, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    We have gotten our car serviced at the dealer’s ever since we bought it 6 years ago in October. Our thought was if we did that consistently they would know the car and do right by it. Of course since we bought the jeep the service reps and mechanics have turned over many times. I don’t think we’re being swindled but the customer service has deteriorated from year to year. Inevitable I guess.

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  69. Dexter Friend said on July 15, 2018 at 1:05 am

    For years we had our fleet of old cars lubed and had oil changes done at Walmart. Never after my wife’s car was deemed impossible to service because of a crookedly inserted oil pan plug which was unremovable. I took it to my mechanic who had no problem. Hey, Walmart has some excellent mechanics, but they also hire some real goofballs for oil changes.

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  70. beb said on July 15, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Recently I took my car in to the dealer to fix a noisy muffler. The service manager looked at the issue and told me that the break was in the exhaust pipe near the catalytic converter and would cost about two grand to repair because they, apparently, were obligated to replace the whole system. The service manager then advised me that a muffler shop could probably fix it for a lot less. So I went to a shop and the welded in some flex hose for $150 and did it in 40 minutes. I was surprised that the dealership couldn’t do that themselves. I guess there was different rules for dealerships and 3rd party repair shops.

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  71. brian stouder said on July 15, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Major, major breaking news in Fort Wayne….I cannot call it “good” news – but certainly “welcome” –


    Police have arrested a man in connection with Fort Wayne’s most notorious cold case.
    On Sunday morning, the Fort Wayne Police Department and Indiana State Police arrested 59-year-old John Miller of Grabill for the April 1988 homicide of April Tinsley. According to a probable cause affidavit released to the media Sunday, Miller’s DNA was matched to DNA recovered from Tinsley’s underwear in 1988.
    Thirty years ago, the 8-year-old Tinsley was abducted from her south-central Fort Wayne neighborhood as she walked to a friend’s home to pick up an umbrella. The first-grader’s body was found by a jogger three days later in a ditch along a road in southern DeKalb County.

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  72. Julie Robinson said on July 15, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Just read that while sitting in the airport with our daughter who is the same age as April. The opportunities she’s had in the last 30 years are not lost on me. I can only pray her family will have some peace.

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  73. Sherri said on July 15, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    I don’t believe in capital punishment, which is the only reason I have for not advocating that Mitch McConnell be hung for treason and drawn and quartered for what he has done to enable the destruction of our country. It was within his power to take a pivotal stand and prevent the election of a man who was not only obviously unqualified for the presidency, but clearly bent on great destruction. Since the election, he has had opportunities to act as a restraint, and has chosen not to.


    Sometimes I feel like Arya Stark with a kill list: Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Newt Gingrich, Roger Ailes. Trump isn’t even worth it; he wouldn’t be where he was without the others.

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  74. beb said on July 15, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Good News, Sherri, If I recall Correctly, Roger Ailes has already died, You can take him off your bucket list.

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  75. beb said on July 15, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    The sad thing about Sherri’s list of people who are traitors to their country is that they all shout have died 20 years ago before their evil coulld have gotten hold.

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  76. Dexter Friend said on July 15, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Of course, I was glued to the tube today for the finale of The World Cup. At the 52′ mark, some idiots rushed the field dressed like cops. I think those protests are ridiculous. Guess who it was? Pussy Riot, a-fuckin’ with Putin, whom they hate with a passion, and was there sitting on a throne-like chair in a private box with the president of FIFA and some other big shot. The “rioters” were captured in a jiffy, and we can assume were confined to a Moscow dungeon, awaiting Putin’s word on degree of punishment. Actually, the criminals were proxy for Pussy Riot I believe… https://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Pussy-Riot-claims-on-field-protest-at-World-Cup-13076770.php

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  77. Sherri said on July 15, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    As long as Fox News lives, I’m not sure Ailes is truly dead, but fine, replace him with Karl Rove. Or Dick Cheney. Or both, I’m flexible.

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