Hot again.

The workload eases a bit, and the temperature soars — story of the summer, but I guess it could be worse. Nothing is burning here, and thats better than large swaths of the country at the moment. But by this time of the season, I’m weary of day after day of miserable heat.

But the seasons are a wheel, and the wheel, it turns.

You might think this is a lead-in to advising everyone to read the NYT magazine piece on climate change, and you can if you wish, but honestly, it’s so depressing I wouldn’t advise it unless you prepare by first removing all hanging rope, razor blades, barbiturates and your garage door, because cuz, you’re going to want to use it. I started the piece and put it down. I’ll finish it later. When I’m feeling a little, how you say? Stronger.

It was a good weekend. Got a lot done, Kate came through, and we actually had a meal together. I made eggplant with tomatoes, and it was delicious. Had enough leftovers to make it my omelet filling this morning, which I ate all by my little self while Alan and Kate slept in.

(I don’t think I’ll ever “sleep in” again. The other day I made it to 7 a.m. and it felt like noon.)

So this was a big weekend, news-wise. There was a big Unite the Right march out in Portland, which I followed only glancingly, via a couple of good tweeters who keep up with this stuff — @willsommer and @jjmacnab. The latter passed this along Sunday; VOP is Veterans on Patrol, a very strange group that is currently combing the desert around Tucson looking for the pedophile human trafficking ring they’re absolutely certain is out there:

Please, don’t be alarmed.

Meanwhile, Claude Brodesser-Akner (Taffy’s husband) put on some camo shorts and hit the Pennsylvania Trump rally, just to eavesdrop:

An older married couple in front of me stopped short as an impromptu merchant passed by, selling buttons, $10 for 3.

Trump Space Force. Trump as Rambo. Trump smiling above the words ‘Mr. President.’

She settled on a “Deplorable Me” yellow minion, evocative of the fictional yellow creatures that populate the “Despicable Me” film franchise.

The guy next to me selected a Trump Space Force button, and promptly affixed it to his hat.

“We need a President with NO foreign policy,” her husband was saying. “That’s what I wanted to tell Paul Ryan and all his cronies: ‘Who made us big brother of the world?’ Screw that.”

For some reason, this made me think of a guy who used to live near us in Fort Wayne. He came to a block party and told a story that included him stating how he decided whether or not to go to high school classes based on what the cafeteria was serving that day.

“I never cut class when they were having apple crisp,” he said.

I’d bet two paychecks that guy, if he voted, voted for Trump. And now this is what we have — an empowered electorate who thinks foreign policy is stupid.

Yeah, well, screw that.

I need a palate-cleanser. How about the fabulous Dr. Jen Gunter, debunker of Goop nonsense, on how “wellness” is harmful:

So what’s the harm of spending money on charcoal for nonexistent toxins or vitamins for expensive urine or grounding bedsheets to better connect you with the earth’s electrons?

Here’s what: the placebo effect or “trying something natural” can lead people with serious illnesses to postpone effective medical care. Every doctor I know has more than one story about a patient who died because they chose to try to alkalinize their blood or gambled on intravenous vitamins instead of getting cancer care. Data is emerging that cancer patients who opt for alternative medical practices, many promoted by companies that sell products of questionable value, are more likely to die.

Moving the kind of product that churns the wheels of the wellness-industrial complex requires a constant stream of fear and misinformation. Look closer at most wellness sites and at many of their physician partners, and you’ll find a plethora of medical conspiracy theories: Vaccines and autism. The dangers of water fluoridation. Bras and breast cancer. Cellphones and brain cancer. Heavy metal poisoning. AIDS as a construct of Big Pharma.

She told a funny story on her Twitter a few days ago about how she objected to the Goop stories suggesting — they often only suggest, hey, just asking questions! — that underwire bras are linked to breast cancer. One of the authors, she said, accused her of carrying water for bra makers. Yes, a tool of Big Lingerie!

That’s a job I want. Man, bras are expensive. I’m sure a discount is part of the compensation package.

More heavy weather ahead. Y’all take care, now.

Posted at 8:43 pm in Current events |

59 responses to “Hot again.”

  1. Deborah said on August 5, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    We’re back in Abiquiu where it poured on us during the last chamber music performance of the season. There were umbrellas but the runoff from them got me soaked. Not complaining about much needed rain, it kept it cool too.

    I saw a map somewhere online that showed the areas that are getting smoke from the northern CA fires and sure enough NM was shown in a light red on the graphic and I can attest to the accuracy of that. There is a general haze, the Sangre De Cristos are hard to see from our cabin right now.

    We actually are starting to see some grass stubble where we planted some seeds, finally, and our Russian sages are doing well. We didn’t know what we were going to come back to.

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  2. Suzanne said on August 5, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    I am so tired of the conspiracy thinkers among which I include the people who follow all sorts of dubious medical advice. I had a friend who is a teacher tell me in all seriousness that there is a cure for cancer but oncologists won’t let anyone know because they’d lose money. I used to work with a woman who brought a Tupperware container of supplements to work every day. She also called the police on a crop duster flying over a field near her house thinking it might be a terrorist. Don’t even get me started on essential oils…

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  3. Julie Robinson said on August 5, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    Ugh, the supplement people and the essential oil people and the probiotics people and the premium hair products people. I’d feel a whole lot better (nah, not really) if they weren’t all trying to sell them to me as part of a multi-level marketing scam, I mean scheme. And if they weren’t so expensive, but just for me, just for today, they’re prepared to let them go for this one *low* price.

    It’s steaming hot here too so I stayed inside except for watering the essential plants. I’m sewing backpacks that our church fills with school supplies and sends to kids all over the world. If anything can save us, it’s education, so this is my raised fist to ignorance and tyrants. 27 so far.

    We saw Newsies at our local theatre last night. Just plain fun. I mean, dancing boys, who can beat that?

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  4. Diane said on August 5, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    …”’trying something natural’” can lead people with serious illnesses to postpone effective medical care.”

    And it’s not just uneducated or stupid people. Steve Jobs anyone?

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  5. Bitter Scribe said on August 5, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    Yeah, didn’t Jobs die because he thought he knew more about cancer than his doctors? The man was a remarkable fool in some ways.

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  6. Mark P said on August 6, 2018 at 12:09 am

    I think what Jobs’s death shows is that you can be a certain type of genius without being all that smart in a general sense. I don’t know what type of pancreatic neuroendicrine tumor he had but some physicians thought he could have been cured with early surgery. Although, what that surgery might have entailed is pretty scary.

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  7. Dexter Friend said on August 6, 2018 at 2:24 am

    …for the guy who never missed high school cafeteria apple crisp, it’s Ricky Gervais’s “Derek”

    I think Bill Maher is a pompous ass but I watch his show on HBO because I love his writers’ work, good current commentary. This week I agreed with Maher, I thought Q at the Trump rallies lately meant Queers had infiltrated the hall. Then I found out the awful truth, and isn’t it just so fucking disgusting?
    My wife’s car lasted her 19 years, but the tow truck is supposed to haul it to salvage in a few hours. It’s not safe anymore, and this means another car search. Alex and a few others recommended online Car Gurus last winter and I have found several possibilities. The search continues.

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  8. David C. said on August 6, 2018 at 6:22 am

    Mary is big into supplements/primal diet and it drives me nuts. She often doesn’t feel good, but it’s a collection of vague symptoms that doctors can’t put a name too. So she heads to the internet where there are so many quacks who help you self-diagnose and who just happen to sell the supplements for what ever condition they’re pushing. She’ll read through the list of symptoms and say “That’s just how I feel”. I didn’t sleep well last night, and she says “you need a B-complex”. I have allergies and I’ve had them since I was a kid and it’s “well, if you got grain out of your diet”. We’ve pissed away a lot of money on that crap, but I guess she doesn’t have any other expensive hobbies so I try to look at it as her hobby. I do dread if she ever gets something acute and she shuns standard treatment.

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  9. Sherri said on August 6, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Speaking of Steve Jobs, I ran across this excerpt from a forthcoming book from his first daughter, the one he didn’t acknowledge until forced to:

    One reason I never bought into the Jobs worship in Silicon Valley was because of how he treated her.

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  10. JodiP said on August 6, 2018 at 9:57 am

    My otherwise sensible math teacher niece has been selling essential oils, as part of a MLM scam, of course. I get invited to all her events, but will never go. I hope to see her in September and suggest the science in the manual entitled “Evidence-based Essential Oil Practice” my not be solid. I expect this to go exactly no where. I love herbs–they can be very soothing–but for real medical care: nope. I have some lefty online friends who swear tumeric cures cancer.

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  11. Joe Kobiela said on August 6, 2018 at 10:04 am

    My wife is a breast cancer survivor. I doubt very seriously that her brother who is a doctor would let his sister go thru a double mastectomy and chemo if there was a cure.
    People who think that the medical or insurance people are with holding a cure make me sick.
    Pilot Joe

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  12. Heather said on August 6, 2018 at 10:18 am

    David C., I’ve heard that about allergies too–“just give up gluten and dairy!” I have cut down on both quite a bit but I don’t notice any difference. They have improved, but I think that’s due to the many medications my allergist has me on.

    My old eye doctor pushed a lot of supplements that she also conveniently sold, one of the reasons she’s not my eye doctor anymore. Admittedly fish oil was/is helpful for eye dryness, but she wanted me to take probiotics and some type of anti-allergy supplement. The probiotics/gut health angle is interesting–I think there is a lot to this but unfortunately we just don’t have enough of an understanding of it yet to use them effectively. For instance, there are lots of different strains of probiotics and I think most of the studies are on one or a few specific strains. Then how do you know which strains are best for your particular mix of gut flora, etc.

    Besides fish oil, I’ve found magnesium supplements to be beneficial for me–a massage therapist suggested it for muscle soreness, and I’ve also noticed I don’t get as many heart palpitations as I used to. My blood pressure has gone down significantly too–apparently magnesium has been shown to have just a small effect on that, so I don’t know if the change is entirely due to taking it. But everyone reacts differently to these things.

    Anyway, this all reminde me of a story a friend who worked in the vitamins/supplements section of Whole Foods once told me: Someone asked what would help a person with a brain tumor (!). He said, “A doctor!!”

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  13. Sherri said on August 6, 2018 at 10:23 am

    I avoid all MLM sales things like the plague. I think early exposure to Avon and Tupperware scarred me.

    I have been using a chiropractor for a year, though, and it has made a difference. He’s actually done very little in the way of adjustment on me, mostly soft tissue work, but it has increased my mobility and flexibility in my shoulders and hips, key areas I need for powerlifting. I’m also taking various supplements to support my training, though I don’t know how much good they do. It’s harder to tease out the effects of those from also eating a healthy diet and getting good sleep.

    I still take my prescription meds, though. And I certainly wouldn’t avoid treatment for a condition in favor of supplements and alternative cures.

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  14. Sarah said on August 6, 2018 at 10:36 am

    That conspiracy diagram reminded me of a book I read a while back ‘Foccault’s Pendulum,’ which seemed to try to tie together every conspiracy theory in the world from the knights templar to the illumanati. Lousy book, could barely finish, only turned the pages to see how it ended, it it ended with everyone being killed “mysteriously.” Which is the only worse book ended than the main character waking up to find it had all been a dream. My dad’s serious dementia/mental health issues became obvious when he started to actually believe the conspiracy theories he amusedly and harmlessly followed over the years. He turned his life savings into silver, which he hid around the house. He stockpiled a survival room. How anyone (without a diagnosis) can look at that chart as anything serious is beyond me.

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  15. Bitter Scribe said on August 6, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Heather: This blog post by a dietitian is a good guide to different varieties of probiotics.

    I don’t go in for medical woo-woo, but my podiatrist suggested I start taking Centrum for muscle cramps, and it’s like a miracle drug. I used to get horrible cramps in my feet and calves at night, especially after working out. I would have to leap out of bed and stretch out. Since I started on the Centrum, they vanished.

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  16. Mark P said on August 6, 2018 at 10:56 am

    The gut is a world unto itself with its own ecosystem. Lack of a normal, healthy population of bacteria can apparently cause some pretty bad effects. I’m sure you have all heard of fecal transplants. Sounds nasty but apparently can work on at least some cases. They are working on less gross ways to introduce healthy bacteria.

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  17. Deborah said on August 6, 2018 at 11:10 am

    I call MLM Ponzi scheming. In my former life at church there were a bunch of them.

    I loved Foucault’s Pendulum. I had been to that museum in Paris that is the culmination of the whole book, and my husband had been to an Umbanda and Candomble (spelling?) ceremony in Brazil, we both read the book and thought it was a great story,

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  18. Sherri said on August 6, 2018 at 11:20 am

    The record for days above 85 degrees in Seattle is 27, set last year. If this week’s forecast holds, that record will be tied on Thursday. The last day above 85 last year was September 28.

    We’re making our annual trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival later this year, in hopes of avoiding the triple digit temps we encountered last year.

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  19. alex said on August 6, 2018 at 11:44 am

    I know a couple of migraine sufferers who tried giving up dairy at the urging of their doctors and they swear by it now.

    I’m on prescription Lovaza fish oil per my primary physician, who says the promises that fish oil improves brain function, lowers heart disease risk, makes your hair grow thicker and glossier, etc. are all bullshit claims, and that the stuff sold in the health food stores is worthless even when it comes to the one thing that fish oil really does, which is lower your elevated triglycerides.

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  20. Deborah said on August 6, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    I buy peppermint oil and spray it on the threshold of any doors we happen to have open in the cabin (we have 14 doors in this tiny cabin) to keep critters out. So far it seems to work we haven’t had any critters inside yet. But I can’t find it anywhere but in the essential oils section in stores and that makes it super expensive. If anyone knows anyplace else to get it let me know. I found out about using peppermint oil from a friend of LB’s who had mice eating the lining of wires in her car because the linings were made from a soy product. Apparently it’s a big problem out here.

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  21. Jakash said on August 6, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Yesterday, a commenter named David Kirk added this link to last week’s McDonald’s thread. It’s certainly on point for that post, rather than this one, but it’s pretty funny, so I’m re-posting it here. It’s 3 years old and has 6 million views, so perhaps y’all have seen it before…

    A woman, unhappy with the lengthy line at the drive-through window, is grudgingly forced to leave the friendly confines of her car to venture inside. Uh, her brief but passionate minute and 44 second report of the service she received therein is cherce, indeed. “McScuse me, bitch?” “I knocked her ass down.” “And fuck you McDonald’s on Dorset!” (“Not all the other ones … I like all the other ones.”)

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  22. Scout said on August 6, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Last week was a doozy in Phoenix for weather. Especially high temps, humidity and two massive rolling dust storms with microburst activity. These used to be rare and now they are not only increasing in occurrences, but in intensity.

    President Stable Genius is evidently on a mission to continually up his kookoo bananas quotient. Sunday edition:

    I think there is a place for essential oils and certain supplements for health support, but not in lieu of medical science when real illness strikes. However, as I may have mentioned before, what has helped my arthritis, insomnia and skin ailments the most is MMJ. Give me the herb over Humira any day of the week.

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  23. Icarus said on August 6, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    My wife is a Nurse Practitioner and she swears about the benefits of probiotics, of course not as an absolute or end all to all things.

    Deborah @ 20 Uncle Google says $5 for 15 ml at Target? not sure if that is high or low?

    I use to go to chiropractors; not sure if they benefited in the short term but caused issues later on.

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  24. LAMary said on August 6, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    I give my dogs fish oil and it seems to help with dry skin issues. I give myself iron and b12 for my anemia. I can’t swear it helps. I massage my feet with lavender oil and it makes me feel better for a while. Probably because any massage feels good and lavender smells good.

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  25. Peter said on August 6, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    I probably won’t buy the book, but Rick Wilson does get high marks from me for the title: “Everything Trump Touches Dies”.

    I have to admit without getting too gross that I’m taking probiotics for only one reason, and it works like a charm: I’m able to throw my used poo poo panties (Young Frankenstein reference) in with the rest of the laundry without the hazmat squad being called.

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  26. Deborah said on August 6, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    Icarus, I’ve been buying 2 fluid oz for $22, that’s 59.5 ml. So I guess it’s not as expensive as I thought. I can buy it in smaller quantities but then it’s a pain to pour those little bottles into the 2 oz spray bottle I bought. I put the empty bottles with residue in them behind things to help keep critters away from hidey holes. It’s surprising how long the scent stays in the empty bottles.

    I big benefit of spraying on the thresholds is that it makes the place smell great. Our thresholds are all wood, Spanish red cedar so basically mahogany, the oil makes them look good too.

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  27. David C. said on August 6, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    As skeevy as the supplement industry is the pharmaceutical industry is doing its best to catch up or maybe it’s always been in the lead. I read a lot from Vinay Prasad, MD. He’s an oncologist and researcher at Oregon Health & Science University. He also knows statistics backward and foreword. I understand just enough statistics to know he’s legit and he tears apart most of the recent so called breakthroughs in cancer drugs. The studies seem to be pretty shoddy and with right to try legislation they seem to be getting even worse. I can’t say there aren’t any legitimate breakthroughs. My cousin is in remission from malignant melanoma because on one of them. It’s the same drug that was given to Jimmy Carter and he’s in remission too. So, I guess what I’m saying is that we need to be nearly as skeptical about prescription medicines as we are about supplements.

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  28. alex said on August 6, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    Peppermint oil is great for repelling mice, but it comes in the dinkiest bottles. I’ve seen it suggested that you soak cotton balls in it and place them in your pantry and cabinets.

    I find probiotics helpful after a course of antibiotics for the reasons cited by Peter. Speaking of which, it really sucks having to carry around antibiotics and diabetic meds (you take them with meals) because I forgot mine at the office and now I have to go back. Tomorrow they slice up my face and perform a “flap surgery” to close the hole where they cut out my basal cell carcinoma.

    My mom had this recently and she says it’s quite something. A mole that used to be on the bridge of her nose is now somewhere else entirely. The skin looks sort of like that of a fire victim and the nose is overall misshapen with one nostril smaller than the other. She says they can’t do plastic surgery on it to make it look normal again for about a year. Of course, the doctor hasn’t braced me for any of this.

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  29. Colleen said on August 6, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    I have come across some interesting things. Patients who refuse chemo, saying “that stuff will kill you”. Yes, and so will your cancer. There was a patient who used cayenne pepper on an open wound breast cancer, thinking that would treat the tumor. I refuse to believe that the cure for cancer is known, and companies are keeping it under wraps to stay profitable. First of all, new treatments will make them tons of money. The biologic treatments that are individually tailored to a patient’s cancer? EXTREMELY pricey. Plus, cancer isn’t just one disease, so there will never be just one cure for cancer. They have made some big advances with melanoma, but that treatment doesn’t help the patient with pancreatic cancer one bit.
    Chemo sucks. There is no other way to put it. But if I have early stage cancer and that’s what science has determined will give me my best chance to keep it from metastasizing, I am going with the chemo, not the apple cider vinegar and turmeric.

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  30. Deborah said on August 7, 2018 at 8:16 am

    It is currently 52 at 6:15am mountain time, high today will be 93. That’s high desert for you.

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  31. Suzanne said on August 7, 2018 at 9:59 am

    It happens again. How are people this stupid? Trump said he hates Mexicans. He meant it.

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  32. Connie said on August 7, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Alex, my flap surgery was done immediately following the Mohs procedure, by the same doctor.

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  33. Sherri said on August 7, 2018 at 11:44 am

    West Virginia is going to experiment with allowing troops overseas to vote in the midterm election via a mobile app. This is such a colossally bad idea on so many levels that it’s hard to even know where to start, from the security of the company’s servers to their use of “block chain” (not really) to the security of mobile phones (particularly bad for Android devices), but let’s start here: who controls the network that a soldier’s phone connects to overseas?

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  34. Sherri said on August 7, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    OMG, y’all, Betsy DeVos’s summer place:

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  35. Jakash said on August 7, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    That link @ 34 is certainly fun, Sherri. Thanks for adding it to the mix. It includes this apt observation:

    “Even though Betsy is riffing on the shingle style, there is a difference between architectural complexity and a mess, just as there is a difference between a masterful use of vocabulary and replacing every word in a sentence with the longest synonym you can find in the thesaurus.”

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  36. Connie said on August 7, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    I drive by that DeVos house on a regularly basis. Couple more blocks, turn left, a couple houses down and you’re at my friend’s house. DeVos’ have torn down or moved numerous classic lake front mansions to make room for their home and its guesthouse. They originally put in a helicopter pad, then had and lost a zoning war with the city over it. The DeVos/Van Andel crew also own the large complex once known as Point West, which means access to the Holland lighthouse is very limited. One of the Van Andel nephews has built a big ugly house just across the channel from the Holland State Park. You may be trying to see the lighthouse, but that house is awfully prominent in the view.

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  37. beb said on August 7, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    And this is why we need Democratic Socialists — because no one deserves to have that much money.

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  38. Deborah said on August 7, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Betsy DeVos is a caricature of a rich person, tasteless and clueless. So is Trump. Peas in a pod.

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  39. David C. said on August 7, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Kate Wagner is a treasure. McMansion Hell is one of the best/funniest websites around. I can’t see a small octagonal window anymore and not think “Ahoy mateys”.

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  40. Julie Robinson said on August 7, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Sherri, thank you for the laughs and the accompanying rage. beb, my son would say the same.

    My lifelong Republican mother says she won’t vote for a single R in November. She no longer recognizes her party.

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  41. alex said on August 7, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    No flap surgery for me! Yay!

    The doctor took one look and said the wound is filling in nicely with granular tissue and if I keep it bandaged for the next three months with Silvadene on it, the result will be better cosmetically than if he performed surgery.

    It still looks ghastly when the bandage is off, though.

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  42. Dexter Friend said on August 7, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    True love wins. Chevy is the very last brand I would buy, but fuck that, this was to be my wife’s car, and so it unfolded, this love story.
    Yes, we bought a damn-clean used Chevy Impala today. I had to pay a little extra because of the 4 brand new tires and the work the dealer had done to re-new it to almost new car status, or driveability anyway.
    Getting plates at the BMV has changed, the mood, the time it takes…on July 2 the Ohio enhanced licencing program went into action. When I go for my license renewal, I shall need to bring a certified birth certificate, my utility bill, my gas bill, well, it’s 5 documents altogether with my name on them. Without the enhanced status, I’d not be allowed to fly commercial planes, nor enter any federal building in the USA. I mean, gee, the VA is a federal building and many of those geezer-vets don’t drive…I suppose they need an enhanced non-driver’s ID…helifino.

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  43. brian stouder said on August 7, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    Tremendously good news, Alex! Here’s hoping it’s part of a continuing winning-streak for you and yours.

    Here’s a completely disconnected, political non-sequitur.

    I’ve been pulled into Michael Beschloss’s LBJ book (“Taking Charge”); really it’s simply transcripts from LBJ’s taping system (which did in RN, but we digress), along with explanatory footnotes and comments from Beschloss…and I’ve found it to be enthralling.

    Reading this thing, with our current-day president in office, the book is equal-parts reassuring, and troubling.

    If LBJ was a jerk (and he comes across as a towering jerk, at least to me), still – he knew what the job was, and who all the other players were, and how to deal and delegate and move the needle.

    Our current president has all the bluster and unfounded self-confidence that LBJ ever had, and even fewer brains….which is troubling – as one sees the Vietnam entanglement growing and tightening upon LBJ’s administration – considering 2018 issues with Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China

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  44. Dexter Friend said on August 8, 2018 at 2:42 am

    I have to come to believe that the old Native gods of the areas around Gitchee Gumee and Michi-Gami (lakes Superior and Michigan) are making the area we live in most hospitable. They seem to guide jetstream rampages away, and they keep tornado outbreaks from wreaking havoc, generally , anyway. Much of the land doesn’t have the horrible flooding like throughout Appalachia down the seaboard, and we’re not dry enough to experience California fires. We don’t have ridiculous desert heat and we have lovely spring and fall weather. Winter sucks, but 3 outta 4 ain’t bad. We could venture to Florida to harvest Rock Pythons out of the Everglades or swim in algae-bloom stench water at famous beach towns. Year by year, and quickly at that, right here between Chicago and Cleveland, Paradise on earth exists.

    Alex, brother, I feel your pain, or try to imagine it. I just Google Imaged Mohs . Holy shit, I didn’t know that was what is called Mohs surgery and Mohs flaps. Best wishes my friend, stay positive.

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  45. alex said on August 8, 2018 at 6:50 am

    Brian, the one thing you can say about LBJ, or Nixon, or any previous president is that whatever their politics, they put the good of their country first. Trump only puts himself first and has no consciousness outside of himself whatsoever.

    I was heartened to see Dan Coats stand up to him about Russia. Even if I disagree with Coats about most things and detested his cynical gamesmanship during the Obama years over the Iran treaty, at least I know he’s an honorable public servant at the end of the day.

    Dex, I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to look up images of Mohs surgery and flap repairs. (Though I think it’s possible I looked it up years ago and that’s why I put it off too long.)

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  46. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 8, 2018 at 7:25 am

    Alex and Brian, I’m wading through a hip-deep (often eyebrow deep) mess in my regional church matters; state level for us, basically what many of you all would know as a diocese or synod or conference. And aside from the fact that the last regional executive got caught holding the bag when the last of the bag’s contents, after years of plenty, ran out — one of the things going through nearly a century of minutes and budgets and records has shown me is that we’ve had good guys and jerks, caustic cynics and sweet-spirited pastors in the senior leadership positions over the years, all sorts of personalities with a not-unexpected bias towards the larger-than-life and bombastic, but in general they all knew the stupid details. They understood how stuff worked, and the awkward finicky processes that had to be worked with care and passion and time and attention to get anything done while herding cats. Clergy in leadership are as bad as congresscritters, all used to being the big frog in their variously sized smaller ponds, and not always playing well with each other even on simple problems.

    But again and again, I see where a mix of diplomacy and guile, weighty influence and persistent conversation, have gotten things done — until about twenty/thirty-five years ago or so. In the Nineties, we began a series of both professional leaders hired and elected leaders called for a term (in our church, a regional minister might work for decades, but moderators change every two to four) who simply didn’t seem to understand their own rules, nor did they seem to care. Lots of speeches and impassioned rhetoric, but the work of governance was just . . . dropped. Processes just ground along on pure inertia, and budgets operated on auto-pilot even as the input parameters were changing fast.

    No surprise that we crashed, but I’m looking around and wondering if there’s something that happened in the Reagan years that began this more generally; in a variety of organizations, I see a widespread indifference to the nuts and bolts stuff that LBJ and yes, RMN seemed to know so well and relish in the workings of. Parliamentary procedure is seen as oppression and random discussion the norm, few know how to read the financial reports and questions about them treated like a digression from what “we’re really here to accomplish.” When in any non-profit, financial oversight continues to be our primary legal obligation. And now, for me, with the implosion, a widespread general silence broken by very quietly phrased queries about what’s to be done. But until the realities of empty coffers and overdrawn accounts forced a look into the abyss, there was a general top-down outright resistance to actually discussing or deliberating on facts and operating procedures.

    Two funeral week and a friend with newly diagnosed stage IV awfulness, and one of those two funerals is for a three-week old, so I’m of a mind to throw all this stuff up in the air and see who catches it, but I’m stuck being our LBJ right now, and there don’t seem to be any other crusty SOBs out there ready to take up the role. Thanks for letting me vent, gang. Plus Balderson won; I did what I could here for O’Connor, but we now have a number — 10%. That’s how many voters are like me and my wife, ready to change parties or at least voting patterns over the Orange Terror. And we needed 11%. It should make Nov. 6 interesting in places that don’t need 11-12% to switch.

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  47. Suzanne said on August 8, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Jeff, I think the problem you mention, of people not knowing or not caring about the nuts and bolts of an operation, is an epidemic that is way worse than most think. I’ve started a number of jobs the past 10 years or so and have launched my kids into jobs. Time and time again I, and the kids, have been frustrated in a new place by the utter lack of anyone bothering with the nuts and bolts of the job. My son, for example, recently started a new job in which he has to enter information into a database. But can he get anyone to sit with him and explain how the database works? No, he’s just struggling through it and trying to ask relevant questions but, you know, you don’t know what you don’t know. I have had the same issue, over and over. I am given the broad parameters of what I am supposed to be accomplishing in the job, but nothing on how to get from point A to point B. For example, at one job I was told that I could only order supplies from approved vendors but could I ever get a list of those approved vendors? Nope, not in the two years I worked there.
    I saw the same mentality when my kids were in school. The teacher would, for example, assign a research paper but give them no more than a cursory (if even that) notion of how to start, how to research (good sources vs bad), how to organize the research, etc. Nothing. Just pick a topic, research it, and make your best attempt.
    It seems that the “how” of so many things is now seen as irrelevant. Just try to figure it out. Or leave a huge mess. Whatever.
    In a nutshell, Jeff, the situation you are describing does not surprise me at all.

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  48. nancy said on August 8, 2018 at 9:43 am

    A friend of mine’s daughter just graduated from college and snared a job at a Hot Company here in Detroit which I won’t name, but take my word for it — it’s hot, with a big national profile, butt-kissing publicity, etc.

    On her first day she was shown to an open-plan office, told to choose an empty desk and then asked, “So, what would you like to do here?”

    How …modern.

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  49. JodiP said on August 8, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Sherri, thanks for #34–really tasteless house and funny takedown of DeVos and her ilk. There is a note in the first pic “Open the podbay doors, Hal” which reminded me of this clip.

    Alex, that is great news about not having additional surgery.

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  50. Heather said on August 8, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Bitter Scribe, thanks for the link about probiotics. I have about a half bottle left of some that got good reviews on Amazon but I’ll refer to that article if/when I order more.

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  51. Deborah said on August 8, 2018 at 10:59 am

    I don’t remember ever having a training session for my chosen profession of graphic design. Maybe it’s because I started at the bottom and knew I had everything to learn I took it for granted that it was just the way it was. When computers started to be the way of the world they gave us a few lessons which I learned nothing from. I learn by trial and error, and research at the time when I know I need to learn something to get it done. You can tell me how to do something and even show me how to do something but if I don’t need to know it immediately it’s useless to me.

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  52. Snarkworth said on August 8, 2018 at 11:13 am

    I recall the “training” I got at some of my high school jobs (diner waitress, retail). It consisted of telling me to do something, giving me no instructions how, then screaming at me when I did it wrong.

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  53. Brian stouder said on August 8, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    This whole concept of ‘doing it the right way’ is very ‘front of mind’s for me right now….I’ll bore y’all with that another time

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  54. beb said on August 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    According to an article I read recently, saying that Betsy DeVos is a caricature of a rich person is misleading and somewhat self-deluding. She is exactly like how a rich person acts. The gaudy excesses of her house is how the rich demonstrate their wealth. At least according too the article.

    I’m still a little confused how a house that big can have only three bedrooms. Or why it has ten bathrooms. Well I know that when you gotta go you gotta go so maybe a lot of those ten bathrooms are in anticipation of potty emergencies.

    You got to hand it to Trump. When it comes to putting foxes in charge of hen houses he has no missed a trick. The man is like a “bizarro” president. Every thing he does is the opposite of what a real president does.

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  55. Sherri said on August 8, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    I got some out of left field news last night. I’ve been invited to be the keynote speaker at the Carnegie Mellon Sports Analytics Conference in October. I find it kind of disorienting that stuff I did 20-30 years ago is suddenly garnering so much attention. It’s nice, but I’m not used to this kind of attention. I’ve always felt more of the shouting into the void kind of person!

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  56. Julie Robinson said on August 8, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Congratulations, Sherri! I wonder how many other women will be speaking.

    I thought the three bedroom, ten bathroom thing was odd too. Apparently Betsy likes to entertain but not for overnight guests?

    In my hometown a couple spent lots of moolah restoring one of the historic homes, then put it on the market for 1.3 million. It’s not a million dollar kind of market; it’s not even a 500K kind of market, and the house had lots of peculiarities that wouldn’t make it easy to live in.

    My mom and I looked it up yesterday; after being on the market for over a year, no one wanted it even at 330K and it’s gone into foreclosure.

    Betsy’s house may be in a vacation area and on water, but I can’t help but wonder what its resale value would be.

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  57. basset said on August 8, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    And when they give you a nice big plaque or trophy or something you won’t have any trouble lifting it…

    the Beatles took their famous walk across Abbey Road 49 years ago today. And, looking around the office, I don’t see anyone who would give even the slightest tiny sliver of a shit about it.

    Mrs. B continues to improve but she’s probably gonna be in there awhile yet.

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  58. basset said on August 8, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    Meant that first part for Sherri. No edit button today, at least not on this phone.

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  59. The Garden Fairy said on August 12, 2018 at 12:25 am

    @46 JeffMMO — Agree this is an insidious problem. I suspect it may be fall-out of the corporate down-sizing of the mid-80s. Middle-management was devalued and dismissed so stock holders could gain. Organizations appeared to function, but the skeletal structure left behind may be unraveling. This shows up in volunteer organizations, as well, but my musings too detailed to get into. Bottom line, nobody understands the operational side of anything anymore.

    Regarding the essential oils/ supplements thread… in plants, oils are often the compounds elaborated to ward off pests and disease, so where’s the logic in _concentrating_ them then inhaling or applying to the skin? Safety and efficacy should be established through controlled research, not by exposing yourself or your kids to unlimited doses. After a warning more than a decade ago, lavender and tea tree oil have returned as an issue of concern —

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