Tickling the ivories, baying at the moon.

Sundays recently have been Nance Day — laundry is done, groceries are gotten, chores are (mostly) out of the way, and I have time to read and write, so what am I doing? Googling “dogs playing piano and singing.”

Try it yourself. There is a rich archive of video evidence that this is no one-off dog trick.

I first became aware of this oddity of canine behavior when I visited my friend Deb in Michigan City, and we visited a local restaurant called Maxine & Heinie’s, and no, I’m not sure about that spelling. It was the after-deadline hang of Deb’s newsroom, and Heinie, the co-owner, had a dog named Timmy. I think Timmy was a Boston terrier, but not sure about that, either. Anyway, Heinie had a piano, and Timmy would jump up on the bench, hit the keys with his paws, and howl along. It was very funny, but difficult to live with, so they mostly kept the keys covered, because once he started — and he started every chance he could — he couldn’t be stopped.

There was a grainy video that Heinie would play on the bar TV when requested, of Timmy doing his thing. It was funny. Funnier was the story about how Heinie, who walked home after closing up late at night, was doing so one night with an armed escort; he’d recently been mugged, and the police offered to protect him, probably in return for the usual police discount.

Anyway, someone had left the piano keys uncovered, and as they approached the front door, the cop stopped and drew his weapon. “Someone’s inside,” he said. “Wait here.”

“It’s just Timmy,” said Heiny. “My dog.”

The cop still made him wait while he unlocked the door and entered, gun at the ready. As he hit the lights, sure enough: Timmy. God knows how long he’d been playing.

So, as I said before, this seems to be a common thing. Does anyone have any working theories on why they take so easily to this trick? Obviously it’s something they have to be taught, but as in the case of Timmy, it’s one that many will continue without the reinforcement of praise or a treat.

I guess the short answer is: Dogs are smart in ways we don’t even understand. And mysterious. Which is why we love them so.

OK, then. Second on the Nance Day topic list: Aretha. There is a rather extraordinary interval between her death and her funeral — 15 days. There will be two days of “lying in state,” which I put quotes around because I’m a strict constructionist on that phrase; I think it should be reserved for those individuals whose bodies are displayed in public buildings, like a capital building. Aretha will lie in the Charles Wright Museum of African-American History, which I think would make the ritual, technically, lying in repose, but don’t listen to me. (No one does, necessitating Nance Days from time to time.) This means the media coverage will roll on and on and on, a sort of Princess Diana II. Rosa Parks was the most recent mega-funeral we had here, with a similar build-up to what ended up being a nine-hour service.

We take funerary traditions rather seriously here, is what I’m saying. Especially for a figure so steeped in black history, and church history, and black church history.

However, there are rewards. I’ve been dipping in and out of radio tributes all weekend. How marvelous to hear the whole breadth of her career in a couple hours or so. There’s some other stuff I will say in time, but that time has not yet arrived. It isn’t sinister, so no implication of same. Rather, it’s about artists and artistry and that conundrum they inevitably pose to us — separation.

I see some of you were discussing so-called “access journalism” here a few days ago. I have some thoughts on that. All beat reporting is access journalism, to some extent. If you are covering a beat over time, you must have access to the people you need, and not all of them may be willing or even interested in extending some. So you start approaching the line, with so-called beat sweeteners, i.e., puff or positive pieces on various individuals, so they’ll think kindly of you. And for some, it goes on.

It’s a thorny topic; in my experience, police and political reporters are most often accused of practicing access journalism. Cop reporters, again in my experience which is not necessarily backed up by empirical study, tend to grow pro-cop over time. They spend their time with cops, they see the way the job is done, they empathize. And cops can be real pricks about opening or closing doors depending on how they feel about your work on any given day. On the other hand, without a good cop reporter, you don’t have much of a news organization. Maggie Haberman at the NYT is often singled out as an access journalist on the political side, and I see the argument, really I do. Personally, I think it’s balanced by the good pieces she’s done since January 20, 2017. This latest story, about FLOTUS, got some people on Twitter up in arms, but overall, I think it’s fair. Melania is never going to talk to the NYT for a profile, so there were a lot of anonymous sources, critics and otherwise, having their say about her. To some, any profile that doesn’t refer to her as an evil-enabling former sex worker is going to be seen as LIES LIES LIES, but that’s not the way the job is done.

The one other thing I have to say about that story is this: The photo editing in it is brilliant.

Nance Day needs to have a little fun for its namesake or it’s not Nance Day, so I’ll sign off for now and relax before the usually brutal Monday/Tuesday whirl begins. I hope your week ahead is great.

Posted at 1:41 pm in Current events, Media |
 

47 responses to “Tickling the ivories, baying at the moon.”

  1. jcburns said on August 19, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    I updated the spelling, Nance, and I was going to link to this apparent ‘appreciation thread’, but I read deeper, and, well, there wasn’t much past the original post. Our friend Deb took us there, however, at least once. Oh, and my uncle in Delaware, OH had a piano-singing wiener dog who went by the name of Harry. I thought he was the only one in all the world.

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  2. Kayak woman said on August 19, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Wow! I think I have eaten at Maxine & Heinie’s! Wayback machine to whenever King Tut was in Chicago, a motley contingent of my family made the trek down from the yooperland to see the exhibit. My eldest cousin then lived in Michigan City and we stayed at her house, which was vacant that weekend. Upon returning to Michigan City after the exhibit, we had no clue where to eat. It was Sunday evening and seemed deader than a doornail downtown. My uncle Duke hailed a bored looking cop, who directed us to what *had* to be M&H’s. It was a decent meal but my main memory is how aghast my parents, etc., were about the Lawrence Welk reruns blasting from TV screens. Thanks for the memory (whether or not I am correct about the restaurant).

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  3. Deborah said on August 19, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    My mother’s maiden name was Heine, so maybe it’s spelled that way.

    The film maker Errol Morris has a cute video on his website of his dog “singing” along to him playing the French horn. He says the dog does it every time he plays.

    We’re about to drive my husband down to the airport in Albuquerque, he’s going back to Chicago. I stay in NM 2 more weeks and LB and I have a bunch of projects to complete. Our landlady gave us a fire bowl so we’re putting in another patio for it. The bowl is way to big for the space but it will do until we can find a nice smaller one. We’re also going to do a bunch of artsy stuff that we’ve been talking about for ages, finally need to make.

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  4. LAMary said on August 19, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    My first Great Dane, Charlie, used to sing along when I sang the Ode to Joy. Max, the most recent Great Dane sang along whenever someone played harmonica or violin. He would start out quietly but build to a very enthusiastic performance.

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  5. Deborah said on August 20, 2018 at 12:18 am

    Unbelievable amount of smoke in the air on the way down to Albuquerque all the way from Santa Fe. Usually you can see the Jemez mountains to the west on the way south on Interstate 25 but they were invisible. And on the approach to Albuquerque we could barely see Sandia mountain to the east as you enter the city. On the return we could barely see the mountains near Santa Fe. I’m not sure if this is still from the California fires or closer fires in Colorado and NM that I haven’t heard of. I don’t remember it being like this so broadly before. The airport is 60 miles away.

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  6. Sherri said on August 20, 2018 at 1:42 am

    Deborah, the smoke is pretty bad here too. Canadian wildfires are the source of our smoke. Last week it came in, the winds shifted and cleared it out for a few days, but now it’s back, and is supposed to be here until midweek.

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  7. susan said on August 20, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Smoke east of the Cascades has been at hazardous and very unhealthy levels for at least two weeks. The linked map updates every hour (there is a bit of a lag with real-time, though). First click on the box in the middle that says “Air Monitoring Sites.” Click a dot on the map for local data, and then click through various links within that box (“View Site Information”), then “Pollutionindex” on that next window (WAQA Gauge), then click on that gauge to get to my favorite page, “WAQA Three-Day Chart.” That chart is so beautiful, but it represents horribleness.

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  8. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 20, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Not seeing Sandia is something; it’s pretty much the whole western horizon in ABQ!

    I’m still frustrated at how short a trip we had to make, but glad to have seen your “neighborhood” . . . both of them! We had not yet seen the O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe. Small, but it worked well. I’ll admit for the price I thought “we deserve one more wing” when we got to the end, but it is still well worth the stop for anyone in town.

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  9. brian stouder said on August 20, 2018 at 10:48 am

    This sounds like truth.

    And the truth ain’t true, in the age Trump!

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  10. Julie Robinson said on August 20, 2018 at 11:42 am

    A friend was on a biking trip around the Banff area last week and they had to cut a couple of days short due to the smoke. The organizers felt it wasn’t safe to be breathing it all day while engaged in such strenuous exercise.

    I dunno about Aretha’s family but we waited 10 days to have a memorial for my sister and it allowed us the time to put a lot of thought into the service, rather than rushing into the standard cookie cutter model. We gathered photos and travel mementos, wrote her obituary/biography, carefully chose verses and hymns, prepared music to sing ourselves, and spent hours remembering her. It was actually a very healing time and I would recommend it to anyone who has the flexibility; that is, cremating instead of burying a body.

    Here’s some truth that really is truth: we celebrated our 39th anniversary over the weekend. I sort of can’t believe it’s possible, because surely I can’t even be 39, can I?

    Through all the years of his journalism career, my dad spent a lot of time hanging out at the police station, and I’d even say his closest friends were policemen. They socialized and went on fishing trips together, and he certainly knew a lot of their inside secrets. So I guess it was a form of access journalism, but there were very definite boundaries of what could be reported and what was off the record. I think this happens very naturally when you live in a small town.

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  11. Connie said on August 20, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Julie, my fortieth is next month. So hard to believe we made it so far.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on August 20, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Connie, it’s too hard to fathom. Congratulations!

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  13. Connie said on August 20, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Same to you!

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  14. Jakash said on August 20, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Since I’m the one who brought up access journalism, a couple days into last Sunday’s “zombie newspaper” thread, I appreciate your thoughts on the matter, Nancy. You and Gene Weingarten seem to be on the same page about Ms. Haberman.

    Evidently, neither of you found the twitter thread I posted there as compelling as I did, since you say of Haberman’s shilling: “Personally, I think it’s balanced by the good pieces she’s done since January 20, 2017.” I guess I’ll just agree to disagree about that. As the guy on Twitter noted:

    “Stating it’s ‘impossible to independently verify’ someone’s net worth and then writing an article emphatically stating their net worth to be 3x higher than Forbes estimates, based on one anonymous source in the Trump Organization.. That isn’t journalism. That is free PR work.”

    “Writing an article asserting someone is not a racist because he once dated a biracial woman and once had some black friends, while ignoring mountains of evidence of racism… That isn’t journalism. That is free PR work.”

    “Writing a combined 94 articles on Hillary’s emails & Benghazi whilst writing a princely ZERO on a whole range of Trump scandals from his past… That isn’t balanced journalism. It isn’t even PR work at that point. It is glorified campaigning by stealth.”

    https://twitter.com/Care2much18/status/1021060227096088576

    It certainly *is* a thorny topic. I’m not a reporter, so my opinion can definitely be discounted. But, to me, “beat sweetening” would involve wading through the dumpster fire of disgusting and horrible things Hair Furor has said and done to find the occasional factually accurate positive ones, while reporting on both. It would not involve interpreting debatable evidence in a way that is most beneficial to him, which is what that Twitter thread documents, when the preponderance of the evidence is clearly contrary to whatever bullshit our Charlatan-in-Chief is peddling at any given time.

    As for *any* profile of the (ahem) First Lady, I believe “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” pretty well sums up my feelings.

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  15. Bitter Scribe said on August 20, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Once a police captain threatened to shoot me over a typo. He calmed down once we ran a correction.

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  16. Mark P said on August 20, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    I was about to start talking about dogs, pianos and howling and then I thought, well, why do humans like to pound on piano keys and howl? If you really understood that, as opposed to simply saying that they like the way it sounds, maybe you could start to figure out why dogs do it. On the other hand, if we could figure out why dogs do it, maybe we could start to figure out why people do it.

    Our Atlanta TV weather guys said that smoke from the fires in the West was actually showing up in high, thin layers all the way here in Georgia. I couldn’t honestly say I could tell it was smoke.

    If we’re going to start indicting anyone in the media for not reporting fully on Trump while gleefully slinging any kind of mud anyone in the world said about Hillary Clinton, then a whole hell of a lot of reporters are going to be on the list. I think many in the MSM bent way, way over backwards to avoid being accused of having a liberal bias, so far that they injured their credibility in what used to be the real world.

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  17. basset said on August 20, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Make of this what you will:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/national/wp/2018/08/17/feature/the-un-celebrity-president-jimmy-carter-shuns-riches-lives-modestly-in-his-georgia-hometown/?utm_term=.244a12c9b10f

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  18. Deborah said on August 20, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    This morning LB and I put in a half patio for the fire bowl our landlady gave us for use by the building tenants. What a beautiful day it has been here. Now we’re waiting for the woman who we get firewood from to deliver 4 stumps for sitting on around the bowl. Even though it won’t be the right temp for a fire tonight we’re going to have a small one in the bowl to test it out. We need to make sure it doesn’t smoke out the tenants on the upper floor. If we keep the fires small I think we’ll be OK. The fire bowl is way too big but we are surrounding it inside with large rocks to make sure people keep the fires small.

    Yes Jeff, it was shocking how obstructed Sandia was by the smoke.

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  19. beb said on August 20, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Apparently those electric scooters aren’t as safe as you would think
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/katienotopoulos/e-scooter-injuries-are-becoming-common-in-emergency-rooms

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  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 20, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Basset, that was a great story; I posted it on my FB feed and enjoyed the discussions that resulted from it. That sort of post-presidency is possible, it just hasn’t been tried much. Bless them for doing so.

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  21. LAMary said on August 20, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    My son reminded me that Max the Great Dane sang along with the accordion as well. Max was a very musical dog.

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  22. basset said on August 20, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    JeffTMMO, I think humility in general is in far too short a supply.

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  23. Deborah said on August 20, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    Ahhhhhh. A lovely evening in Santa Fe. Dry, coolish, cicadas in the background, testing the fire bowl. We used the dried lavender stems from our harvest for kindling which smell heavenly as they burn, the fire was small which we hope the residents comply with going forward. Really, it was one of the most pleasant evenings of the whole summer.

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  24. Dexter Friend said on August 21, 2018 at 1:04 am

    A week from today and we will have 41 years post-vows. Plus, we both had a number of years married to others.
    ~
    One of the Nashville murderers is cuffed and one is still loose unless Bassett has an update.
    ^
    I asked our Las Vegas daughter, Lori, if the Cal smoke was choking Las Vegas yet and she said “a little”. The family is gathering in Las Vegas in a couple days to celebrate daughter’s 50th. Part of the Ohio bunch are flying out of John Glenn Columbus and some from Detroit Metro. They’re booked on Spirit Airlines. Since the airlines narrowed the seat width from 18″ to an average of 16.5″, there’s no way I could fit in a tiny seat with enough comfort to fly 2000 miles. The seat pitch angles have also been restricted, making larger people totally uncomfortable. Most of you nallers fly several or many times a year, and you never complain…maybe it’s not that bad in reality.

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  25. basset said on August 21, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Two arrests in Nashville so far, including one who apparently used a credit card taken from one of the victims.
    We took Frontier from Nashville to Las Vegas and back earlier this year and it was just miserable. The seat backs didn’t adjust because they’re “pre-reclined,” that was what the flight attendant said anyway.

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  26. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 21, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Dexter, I flew from John Glenn Columbus to Phoenix to ABQ and back to Midway and then home last month. The breaking point for me is if the person in front of me reclines — I’m 6’5″ and 240. I was next to my wife twice and next to strangers the other two (Southwest) and found it tolerable, if deranged how small the seats are. I’m used to keeping my elbows tucked in; honestly, I prefer window seats and just shove myself into the bulkhead, as opposed to the aisle people offer me but is where it seems like everyone passing grabs or bumps me just out of close quarters. I’ve not yet ended up in the dreaded middle, but people tend to sigh and move over if I’m a late number entering last looking for a single seat; I’ve not yet had reason to look at a middle and ask the aisle to shift, they just size me up, look around, and slide over. Lucky? Could be. But I really don’t find aisle seats more comfortable. You and me and Bubba on a row, probably not a problem because in my experience big guys are used to being wary about intruding into people’s space.

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  27. Julie Robinson said on August 21, 2018 at 8:04 am

    It is that bad but I will put up with a lot to go see my kids, and if it means pretzeling myself in for a few hours, that’s Advil is for.

    On the two Spirit flights I flew this summer they asked for volunteers to sit in the exit rows. It was my first time on the airline, so I don’t know if that’s their normal policy, but it was great.

    Happy 41st in advance, Dexter.

    basset, I loved the Jimmy Carter story. One of our least effective Presidents, but one of the most effective as an ex.

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  28. Deborah said on August 21, 2018 at 8:45 am

    I like the aisle, my husband likes the window. I distract myself from the general discomfort of flying by reading a good book. I start panicking if it’s getting close to my flight day and I haven’t found a good book. Then if I find the perfect book ahead of time it’s hard for me not to read it before the flight day.

    The whole experience of flying is miserable, from the ride to the airport, the depressing environments of airport corridors, the slog through security (even with preTSA), the din of announcements at the gate, delays, cramped quarters on the flight, turbulence anxiety, bad air, all of it is terrible. It’s a wonder that I put up with it as often as I do.

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  29. Suzanne said on August 21, 2018 at 8:57 am

    YES, Deborah. One of the things I fear most about flying is running out of reading material. Once, the TSA agent had me step aside while she dug through my bag. When I asked what flagged it as suspicious, she laughed and said it was all the books! LOL! I like the window, too, and get annoyed at my husband if he tries to talk to me. C’mon man! I am reading (and not feeling guilty about it). What else are you going to do on a flight?

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  30. Joe Kobiela said on August 21, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Worse part of my job is commuting on the airlines, and I don’t have to go thru security. Still to be able to travel across the country in 4hrs for $400.00 is pretty amazing.
    Stick to the main airlines your really only saving a few bucks and the difference in comfort and service is worth it.
    Pilot Joe

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  31. Deborah said on August 21, 2018 at 10:02 am

    We generally fly Southwest, it’s so much more convenient for us to fly from Midway than O’hare. Even when we go to NYC we fly Southwest. I don’t particularly like SW over other airlines, it’s just more convenient for us. When we have flown internationally it’s mostly on American. Our trip to London in Dec was more comfortable than domestic flights, we were in the first row behind the dividing wall from first/business class, so no seats reclining in front of us. I watched 3 movies on the return, because I had neglected to get a book to read while in London.

    LB has her last physical therapy session today, she’s baking cookies right now to give to her therapists, she raves about how nice they’ve been to her and so helpful. I had a good experience with PTs too after my spine surgery.

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  32. Julie Robinson said on August 21, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Even better than a book is an audiobook, so I can turn it up loud if there are obnoxious people around me. Or put on music and read a book on my tablet, where I can make the font nice and big, unlike books. Occasionally I watch something I’ve downloaded, but there’s 20 minutes or so on each side of takeoff and landing where those aren’t allowed.

    Flying out of Fort Wayne on Allegiant there are a lot of inexperienced flyers. On my last flight the couple next to me complained about the cost of food on the plane, and after they perused the in-flight magazine, didn’t know how to entertain themselves. The man spent most of the flight whining noisily about the guy across the aisle, who was talking VERY LOUDLY the whole time. I just turned up the volume as I ate my sandwich and was quite content. Prepare yourselves, people!

    I did offer my sweater to the sweet old couple who were surprised at there not being blankets available. They probably remember the old days when such amenities were standard. I bought my mom a travel blanket that folds up and has a trolley sleeve to put over your suitcase.

    Edited to add that a lot people complain about physical therapists, but the ones I’ve had have been angels on earth. Sounds like LB got those too.

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  33. Bruce Fields said on August 21, 2018 at 11:26 am

    I have an overflowing nightstand and a to-read list that would need a few lifetimes. I’ll never worry about running out.

    Electronics all the way for flying, though; the words per ounce ratio is better, and if your device isn’t too big you can still use it on takeoff and landing these days. But sometimes I’ll also bring along my New Yorker backlog to discard as I travel.

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  34. Bitter Scribe said on August 21, 2018 at 11:29 am

    After 20 months of unemployment, I have a job!

    I’m going back to work for a trade magazine where I worked in the ’90s. I’ve done a lot of freelance work for them, including their last cover story, and when one of the staffers announced plans to retire, the chief editor invited me to apply. I was afraid my age would work against me, but I was able to convince the whippersnappers that I knew all about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the rest.

    (Actually, what’s to know? You organize the content—copy, photos, videos, whatever—drag it to the right place on the admin page, and click “Send” or “Post.” The tough part is generating the content, and before that, thinking strategically about how you want to use online media. But I digress…)

    The editor and I have a lot of respect for each other, understand each other and get along great. The work is right along the lines of what I’d been doing for them as a staffer earlier.

    It won’t all be cake and ice cream. I’m going to have to live by a higher level of discipline than I needed as a freelancer. No more sleeping in on weekday mornings or doing my grocery shopping on weekday afternoons. OTOH, there is that whole “lifelong financial security” thing.

    Sorry to crow, but I just had to share. I haven’t even told my sister. I’m thinking of surprising her by doubling my monthly remittance to her this week (she’s an invalid in bad financial distress) with a note telling her what happened.

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  35. Sherri said on August 21, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Great News, Bitter!

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  36. Deborah said on August 21, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Congratulations Bitter.

    Bruce, I’ve got a lot of night stand books too, but for flight days I need to find a special compelling book that will keep me captivated so I can distract myself from the misery around me.

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  37. Suzanne said on August 21, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    I take physical books but also check out e-books from the library for travel (in case I finish my other books). The nice thing about those is that no one can tell what I’m reading. The bad thing is that if I get tired of reading, I get sucked into some game I have downloaded on the device and use up all the power.

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  38. Julie Robinson said on August 21, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    You aren’t crowing, you’re rejoicing. And we rejoice with you.

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  39. JodiP said on August 21, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Bitter, that’s awesome news! Keep us posted on how you’re adjusting to being on a schedule. I suppose the regular paycheck will help ease the pain….

    Unlike many here I don’t mind flying. Growing up kinda financially insecure, I still find it amazing I can get afford to get on a plane and go anywhere in the world. I am also 5’3″, so the whole seat thing is OK, but I’m always sympathetic to those who aren’t shrimpy. I can’t believe they continue to shrink the seats. I love reading on the plane and load up on Kindle books from the library. I actually keep a separate vacation to-read list. We just booked our accomodations for Vieques, Puerto Rico in January. We’ll be heading to Provence in early October. I feel so lucky.

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  40. Deborah said on August 21, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Yay! Michael Cohen is gonna sing!

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  41. Suzanne said on August 21, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Not sure if Cohen is going to sing, but I think he is at least going to hum.

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  42. suzanne said on August 21, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Holy crap.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-21/michael-cohen-appears-in-court-over-hush-payments-plea-update

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  43. Deborah said on August 21, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Manafort found guilty on 8 of 18 charges, Cohen pleading guilty of among other things being ordered to pay hush money to women (unnamed but by Trump of course) and Trump has a scheduled rally in West Virginia in a couple of hours. They are continuing to fall, wow.

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  44. Sherri said on August 21, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    My dishwasher, which has been on its last legs for a while, is now truly dead. I’d been putting off getting a new one because I need to redo the kitchen, but I’ve been too busy for the last year to work on that. So, the new kitchen will just have to encompass the new dishwasher. A brand new very quiet Bosch gets installed on Thursday.

    In luckier news, I had to shift our annual trip to Ashland and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival a week, and managed to get tickets to all the plays we wanted to see as well as a place to stay, though not the place we usually stay. When I called to cancel our original reservations at the hotel we usually stay, it turns out I had forgotten to make the reservation! Like I said, I’ve been kind of busy the last year.

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  45. The Garden Fairy said on August 21, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    snip>> Does anyone have any working theories on why they take so easily to this trick? <<end snip

    Yep — reward isn't always direct a pat on the head, a tasty treat or a play session that motivates them toward select behaviors. Smaller subsets of dogs are motivated by an appreciative audience or nothing more than a subtle shift in posture from the shepherd they are working with. For the audience-motivated dogs, man, they've figured out how to get a WHOLE ROOM full of folks to "play" with them. Add in some beer, the enthusiasm amps up and the dog is on a roll until closing time. Whoo hoo (thinks the dog)!

    I could draw some parallels to a certain president, but it would be an insult to all piano-playing canines.

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  46. Bitter Scribe said on August 21, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    From NBC News:

    Judge T.S. Ellis told Manafort that he has been found guilty on a variety of counts, and that Manafort would have a role to play in the pre-sentence investigation report that the judge relies on to help determine sentencing.

    Translation: “Buddy, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll make like a canary.”

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  47. David C. said on August 21, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    I don’t know how anyone your height manages to fly, Jeff. I’m 5’9 and 190 lbs, so I’m miserable at around 50th percentile height. From what I hear, airline seat pitch is set for 70th percentile.

    I’ve heard that Mueller will probably hand off whatever counts the jury couldn’t come to a verdict on to New York State so tRump can’t pardon him. Sounds like a good plan.

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