Double down.

I went to a party Saturday night. Somehow I ended up in conversation with two younger men, one of whom was a former major-league ball player (third base). They were friends of the host, in town for a weekend of sports and gambling.

They were staying at one of the downtown casino hotels, and the night before they, along with the father of one of them, had won more than $40,000 between the three of them. Baccarat.

“Like James Bond,” I said.

He got the reference, always a good sign in an age when James Bond now plays Texas Hold’em.

“So, what are you going to do with your winnings?” I asked. Both said they intended to go back to the casino that very night and keep playing, and that if they lost it all, they wouldn’t consider it a bad day at all.

“It’s entertainment,” one said.

I honestly don’t get it. If I were fortunate enough to win more than $20,000 in one sitting, the last thing the pit boss would see are the soles of my feet, leaving in a hurry. I know this is how casinos work. I know this is why they’re one business you almost have to work to fail at (ahem, POTUS), but it’s still baffling. The conversation moved on. It took a few unusual turns, but ended with my plus-one, a girlfriend, offering common-sense therapeutic relationship advice to the third baseman, which he received gratefully.

“I never thought of that,” he said.

Truth be told, he reminded me of Tim Robbins’ character in “Bull Durham.” But that’s a pro athlete for you.

What a weekend, all around. Fall arrived after a day of strong winds. Friday started hot and humid and ended chilly and overcast. Saturday, however, was perfect sweater weather. I bought apples at the market, and considered the last peaches, but passed. I bought some last week, and they took a while to soften, but they were fine and delicious. There’s always a day when I buy the last peaches of the summer and they’re terrible. Better to end on a high note, like any love affair.

So now it’s well and truly fall. The windows are closed, although today was lovely. I hit the gym, like an idiot. Should’ve been out on the bike, but at least I rode there and back. But leg strength needs a certain focused attention, and today was leg day. Google “Bulgarian split squats” and pity me, because I sure pity myself.

On to the bloggage!

So much of this stuff seems old, because most was gathered last week, before Thursday/Friday slipped out of my grasp. But what the hell, here you go:

Provocative headline: Everything you know about obesity is wrong, and totally worth the read.

You may have seen this already, but I found it so, so infuriating. It’s choir-preaching for sure, but to those of you who might wonder why women don’t report sexual assault, a sobering report about one young woman who did. Conclusion: Texas sucks, but so does everyplace else.

One of those cool NYT data presentations, about the links between counties via number of Facebook friendships. You’ll be mousing over this one all day.

Finally, because we need some good writing, Hank looks at twofour terrible TV shows, one of them a rebooted “Magnum P.I.”

So, “Magnum P.I.,” what am I to make of you? What is there to say about a show nobody asked for that oozed up anyhow from pop-culture’s toxic nostalgia barrel and now premieres Monday on CBS? Revived from your 30-year rest in the rerun crypt, you have achieved a new existence, Magnum — dipped in heavy gloss and buffed to a shine. Tires squeal, things explode, Dobermans bark. Still we feel nothing.

… You are not good at the thing you’re trying to be, New Magnum, and instead of resurrecting a feeling, you’ve run right over it with that bright red Ferrari. Instead of declaring a creative or timely purpose (like your network friend and fellow exhumee, “Murphy Brown”), you are merely a piece of content placed between commercials. Your existence is cold and cynical, Magnum, predicated on the previous success of reboots such as “Hawaii Five-O” and “MacGyver.”

On to Monday, folks. Hope the week goes well.

Posted at 7:15 pm in Same ol' same ol' |
 

73 responses to “Double down.”

  1. basset said on September 23, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Murphy Brown: didn’t see the first one, don’t care about the second.

    Obesity: couldn’t get all the way through it but what I could stand seemed to make sense. I’m larger than average myself, six feet one and 270, been over 290 at times of high stress, and all I can tell you for sure is that shaming doesn’t work. I was noticeably lighter in high school but my parents and brother called me “sausage boy” most of the time. Even when I got down around 220 at IU playing shirts and skins basketball was still difficult… and riding my bike on the Natchez Trace a few years back while a bunch of hunched-over spandex-pants Serious Riders blew by me yelling “Outa the way, fatass!” is another memory I’m not going to lose.

    Actually, shaming does work… if you’re trying to help the shamers feel better about themselves.

    Finally subscribed to Netflix today, Mrs. B wants to see “The Crown.” Somewhere in the first few screens is “here are a bunch of our programs, pick three so we’ll know what you like.” I picked one. Nothing looked interesting, nothing looked like anything I could relate to at all. Once I find the screen which shows available movies maybe I can do better.

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  2. Sherri said on September 23, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    Bulgarian split squats – respect! Leg day is always hard.

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  3. basset said on September 23, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    And say more about the relationship advice… I can only imagine the levels of entitlement which a major-league ballplayer must feel.

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  4. Suzanne said on September 23, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    I am with you, Nancy. If is won a bunch of $$ at a casino, I would take the money and run. The one and only time I visited a casino, I won $5 on a penny slot machine and quit. The people I was with were stunned.
    “Why not try to get more?”
    And me promptly saying “Why would I want to lose this $5 the I did not have when I walked in?”

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  5. Suzanne said on September 23, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    And there is this interesting wrinkle in the Kavanaugh fracas
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/senate-democrats-investigate-a-new-allegation-of-sexual-misconduct-from-the-supreme-court-nominee-brett-kavanaughs-college-years-deborah-ramirez

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  6. alex said on September 23, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Suzanne, you beat me to it!

    Somehow I have this feeling that Kavanagh’s dick is gonna be poppin’ out all over the place and he’s gonna withdraw his sorry ass from consideration.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on September 23, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    Just read the new allegation. How many more before Thursday? He has got to go now.

    Just heard this week that my dad was a gambler, and a good one, according to the cop who told my mom. What an astonishment; then I remembered him teaching us kids to play blackjack using M&M’s in place of chips. Maybe not so astonishing. He and his cop buddies hung out a lot.

    Heading to Illinois tomorrow with Mother for some business stuff of hers and family history explorations. Who knows what new stories I may hear?

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  8. Hank Stuever said on September 23, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    Four shows, but who’s counting? (Could only fit two in the headline.)

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  9. garmoore2 said on September 23, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    The article on obesity really hit home. I was overweight for some time (~240 lbs; I’m 5’4”) until I went with a medical weight loss program through one of the hospitals in Grand Rapids. The examples of fat-shaming are very real. What the article doesn’t spend much time talking about is how being obese often results in being treated like you’re invisible, like your opinion counts for nothing. There has been some progress in recent years, such as the AMA recognizing obesity as a chronic disease. Not all doctors have caught up with this change in the perception of obesity, though. Society certainly hasn’t caught up.

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  10. jcburns said on September 23, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    Hank’s reviews: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/magnum-pi-manifest-and-the-problem-of-reviewing-falls-dreadful-new-shows/2018/09/23/7f606370-bdf4-11e8-be70-52bd11fe18af_story.html

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 23, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Hank, I am so sad about the Magnum, PI story. That alone makes me want to start watching radio more closely.

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  12. Sherri said on September 24, 2018 at 12:59 am

    When Senate Republicans heard about the new allegation last week, they started calling to accelerate the process. So I don’t expect this to cause trump to withdraw Kavanaugh, either. Never mind that Kavanaugh should be impeached from his current lifetime appointment on the bench, I fully expect the Republicans to force this nomination through.

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  13. Jakash said on September 24, 2018 at 1:04 am

    Well, with all due respect to the Proprietress, I didn’t find that Huffpost article nearly as worthwhile as she did. I read it last week, after seeing it recommended elsewhere. Fat-shaming is both unhelpful and deplorable. I get that and agree with it. But, while the NYT article cited in the piece indicates that the total number of calories consumed has declined, it quotes a researcher as noting that “the food part of our diet is horrendous and remains horrendous.” So, let’s try and make it a lot less horrendous, huh?

    The conclusion from Huffpost: “…there is no magical cure. There is no time machine. There is only the revolutionary act of being fat and happy in a world that tells you that’s impossible.

    ‘We all have to do our best with the body that we have,’ she says. ‘And leave everyone else’s alone.'”

    That’s the “new paradigm” touted in the sub-headline? It doesn’t seem helpful to me, at all. I’m overweight, too. It’s a struggle to keep myself from becoming *more* overweight. I look at the way people in photos looked 60 years ago and conclude there’s a way to *not* be overweight that does not involve surgery or life being a pleasure-less trudge. If I went with the “revolutionary act” of being happy about being fat, what level of fatness would I attain before deciding that that’s the “body that I have?” I’ve had quite a few, and I know for sure that the one I have now could easily be a lot larger than it is.

    “There is no magical cure.” But there are things one can do. Some folks succeed, many don’t. Some have given up on trying. I certainly don’t blame them. But everything I know about obesity is most assuredly *not* wrong.

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  14. Dexter Friend said on September 24, 2018 at 1:41 am

    I don’t how to handle large sums of money, acquired instantly via lotto or casino, or amassed slowly over decades, because I never had any money to speak of. Athletes aren’t all morons, Hard Knocks, the HBO show featuring one team each year in training camp, featured a young player trying to lure his rich teammates into his mindset, as he claimed if you did this, you could conservatively earn 10 % on your investments, or more, like he did, earning way more than 10%. He was greeted with catcalls; none of them believed anyone could possibly get 10% in 2018…this isn’t 1974 after all, when checking accounts paid that at credit unions.
    Dennis Rodman, known today as Korea’s Kim’s buddy, once lost $2 million in an hour on the wheel in Las Vegas…never thought a thing of it. I am like nance but more extremely…I gave my wife the business when she got ahead on a game in Las Vegas by $18 and ended up losing a lot more. “Ya shoulda quit”, said I. I have never played a nickel in a casino. Me, now I bet sure things…the Ohio Lottery. I mean, of course, sure loser.

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  15. nancy said on September 24, 2018 at 5:29 am

    Oops. Changed text, added link. I was tired.

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  16. David C. said on September 24, 2018 at 6:10 am

    I can understand, sort of, people going to casinos for the card games. It least that’s somewhat social. But I can’t for the life of me understand sitting and jamming coins into a slot machine. That seems sad and pathetic.

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  17. ROGirl said on September 24, 2018 at 7:00 am

    A lot of treats — donuts, cake, coffee cake, cookies, etc. — are brought into the office on a regular basis. Choosing not to have something may mean having to turn something down more than once.

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  18. Dave said on September 24, 2018 at 8:48 am

    I’ve been to a casino one time. I won $38 in a slot machine and I kept it. I hated the noise and all of the smoke and I’ve never been a gambler. If I won $20,000, well, it wouldn’t have gone back to the casino.

    I truly know little or nothing about card games or gambling in general. OTOH, I do play the lottery four or five times a year, when I’m feeling lucky. I won $90 once, so I have to be in the loss column, this over a period of nearly 40 years, dating back to whenever the first Ohio lottery started.

    Speaking of obesity, a story in the Tampa Bay Times Sunday from a anorexia survivor: http://www.tampabay.com/features/humaninterest/I-was-hospitalized-for-my-eating-disorder-Here-s-what-Netflix-shows-get-right-and-wrong-about-it-_171551099

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  19. basset said on September 24, 2018 at 8:53 am

    Mrs. B and I were in Las Vegas this spring & didn’t see a single gambling machine which took coins – we were surprised that they all seemed to work on some kind of card. Still didn’t play em.
    Going to look at a house today, we had always intended to move out to the fringes of the city when we retired and now it may actually happen.

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  20. Mark P said on September 24, 2018 at 9:39 am

    I lived at Lake Tahoe for a while back in the ’70’s. I went into a casino only when a visitor came to visit. Gambling in general and slot machines in particular are good examples of intermittent reinforcement. Slot machines are an almost perfect example, almost like a Skinnerian lab machine built specifically for that purpose. Usually when I went into a casino there were dozens, if not hundreds, of little old ladies working two or three slot machines at a time. They were bussed up from towns down in California just for the gambling.

    I played the slots a few times and once played roulette. I won a dollar and was so excited my heart was racing. I quit while I was ahead.

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  21. Sherri said on September 24, 2018 at 9:48 am

    How far out on the fringes, Bassett?

    If I were playing the kind of stakes at a casino that would win me that kind of money, the only reason would be that I had decided to do so in a serious way and study the game and play like a pro even if I didn’t want to be a pro. I’m not interested in doing that, and don’t like casinos.

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  22. Bitter Scribe said on September 24, 2018 at 9:49 am

    I’m probably the only Greek in the world who doesn’t gamble. I can’t imagine putting up enough money to win anything close to $40K, but if I did, like Nancy, I’d leave skid marks.

    OTOH, if the guy was a former major league ballplayer, maybe $40K to him is like $400 to an ordinary person.

    Casinos, as far as I can tell, are all about getting you to keep playing so the house odds will eventually kick in. Why do you think, when smoking was starting to get banned in one public place after another, casinos fought so hard to allow it? It wasn’t because gamblers like their cigarettes more than other smokers. It’s because, when you’re far ahead or far behind, stepping out for a smoke might allow your head to clear to the extent that you realize the smartest thing is to not go back inside.

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  23. Deborah said on September 24, 2018 at 9:55 am

    I played blackjack once and immediately lost $20, it happened in one second, I had no idea what I was doing. I hate casinos, they’re really ugly, unpleasant spaces to be in, all of Las Vegas is ugly to me. Nevada has beautiful desert areas though.

    I’m not overweight but I have 12 lbs I’d like to lose to get back to my pre-surgery weight. When I was younger, when I’d gain more weight than I wanted to it went to my hips, now it goes to my belly. Why is that?

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  24. Jeff Borden said on September 24, 2018 at 10:11 am

    I attended the service Saturday for one of my best friends, a fellow named Doug Robarchek who worked at the Charlotte Observer for some 30 years and was a humor columnist for the last several of those years. Doug was a singular personality. . .born into extreme poverty in Grand Island, Neb., who taught himself through reading great books and traveling anywhere his budget would allow. He spent enough time in Paris to qualify as a true boulevardier. He was also one of the funniest people I’ve ever known. Attached is a linked to a YouTube video of his dearest friend, Greg Ring, delivering Doug’s last words to his friends.

    This is the way I’d like to go out. (Nancy, the service reminded me somewhat of the ceremony for Paul Clymer.) Anyhow, if you want to experience someone who honestly laughed in the face of death, I invite you to listen.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap_YOKrcTww&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop

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  25. basset said on September 24, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Agree with you on Las Vegas, Deborah… we went there to see the Cirque du Soleil Beatles show and left the next morning for Zion National Park. Main problem I have with Las Vegas is that you’re a mark wherever you go.

    Sherri, we’re looking in one of the outer-ring suburbs, Kingston Springs. Have to have trees and broadband access, after these last couple rounds with Mrs. B we need to be on the ambulance run as well. Told our realtor early on that whatever kind of house we bought I would have to be able to pee off the back porch and he took it in stride, it’s a guy thing.

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  26. Mark P said on September 24, 2018 at 10:43 am

    Bassett, I think I know what you mean by being able to pee off the back porch. When I was looking for a house in Alabama I told the agent I didn’t want to see my nearest neighbor. Unfortunately that ended up meaning some of the most country-Alabama houses you can imagine. Think bathroom sink plumbed to drain directly down into the crawl space.

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  27. Suzanne said on September 24, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Local radio station just reported that Rosenstein is going to resign.

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  28. Deborah said on September 24, 2018 at 11:26 am

    If I were Rosenstein I’d wait for Trump to fire me. I hope he doesn’t resign. Time to start planning street protests again.

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  29. Sherri said on September 24, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    I was wondering what outer ring meant these days for Nashville. I’m least familiar with the area west of Nashville on I-40.

    I’ve lost about 40 lbs over the last year and few months and added muscle. I look leaner now than I did when I weighed less than I do now, because more of the weight is in muscle. But I’m a crazy person. I’ve been willing to keep to a rigid plan, eating on a schedule, eating many of the same foods over and over, only eating out once or maybe twice a week. I eat more calories than I ever have, but I also work out more than I ever have (and it’s not a ton of work on cardio machines, which I hate.)

    I didn’t do it to lose weight, I did it to lift more weight, and that focus made it easier, I think. I could probably relax the plan and keep off most of the weight, but if I went back to eating the way I used to eat, I have little doubt the weight would go back on.

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  30. Deborah said on September 24, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Peeing off the back porch? Sounds gross to me, I wouldn’t want to go out barefoot after that and step in it. If my husband did that at the cabin, I’d bean him. He wanders out a ways and pees into the juniper bushes sometimes, I don’t know if that’s good for them.

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  31. Deborah said on September 24, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Jeff B, what a fantastic eulogy, he must have been a great guy.

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  32. Jakash said on September 24, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    I don’t hate gambling, nor do I hate casinos like some folks do. The problem for me is that the “intermittent reinforcement” never has a chance to sufficiently kick in before I run through the amount of money I’m willing to lose. There are many casinos in the Chicago area, which we visited a few times when they were new and it seemed like a cool novelty. But it was almost always brisk “punishment” that I was dealt, and the idea of driving 40 minutes to a casino in order to run through my allotment in a half an hour got old real fast and we haven’t been back in, well, over a decade at this point.

    That being said, if I were the kind of person to travel somewhere specifically for the sake of gambling and I won $20,000 the first night, I could see taking maybe 2 or $3000 of that and going back the next night to see if I could win more, while keeping 17 or $18,000 off limits as real money. Blowing all $20,000 the first chance I got wouldn’t be “entertainment” to me.

    A big additional deal breaker is the smoking, though. I’ve really been spoiled by the no-smoking laws and, while I used to put up with smoke in bars and elsewhere, while not liking it — now being behind a single smoker walking down the sidewalk is aggravating to me. I still really find it hard to believe, in this land of freedumb and “money is speech,” “I’m a militia” and “any regulation is jackboot thuggery,” that laws prohibiting smoking so many places ever got passed.

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  33. Deborah said on September 24, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Speaking of smoking, we saw the movie The Wife Saturday night with friends (who happen to both be writers, we all weren’t terribly impressed with the movie). Throughout the characters smoked. Its time period was 1992, so I guess people could still smoke in public spaces then, especially in Stockholm where much of the movie took place. The husband character was often admonishing his son for smoking and his wife too in one scene. It was odd. I so vividly remember people smoking in the office, in restaurants and bars and on airplanes. Nowadays it’s hard to believe that actually happened.

    And speaking of peeing off the back porch, the city has turned off our water in our 2 buildings again today. Weeks ago unfortunately we had invited friends over for dinner tonight. The water is supposed to be back on by 5, our guests will be here at 6, so hopefully everything will be back in order by then. We filled up large kitchen pots and a large plastic bin with water before the shutdown in case it’s not back on before they arrive. Fingers crossed.

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  34. Jakash said on September 24, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Well, leaving aside the issue of having dinner guests, based on what you’ve told us of your set-up in Abiquiu, I can’t imagine that there are many, if any, folks in your buildings better psychologically prepared to deal with the absence of indoor plumbing than you, Deborah. ; )

    (I had to double-check the spelling of Abiquiu — spell-check offered “Ubiquity.” Uh, don’t think so…)

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  35. Icarus said on September 24, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    ” I look at the way people in photos looked 60 years ago and conclude there’s a way to *not* be overweight that does not involve surgery or life being a pleasure-less trudge. ”

    food was different back then. It wasn’t as processed and some people didn’t have enough of it.

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  36. Deborah said on September 24, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Jakash, it took me a long time to remember how to spell Abiquiu, but it’s indelibly ensconced into my spellcheck now. However my spellcheck does get confused when I type ABQ, the official designation for the Albuquerque airport.

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  37. Colleen said on September 24, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    I share Jakash’s attitude on gambling. I enjoy Las Vegas. We go to the Hard Rock casino here in Tampa a few times a year. A hundred bucks is a big kitty for us to start with. So we aren’t gambling the rent money.
    I am fat. I am less fat than I was a year ago, but will probably always be a big girl. I really do wish we lived in a world that let us be happy with ourselves. I am working very hard at that.

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  38. Jakash said on September 24, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    “food was different back then. It wasn’t as processed and some people didn’t have enough of it.”

    Yeah, Icarus, there’s a lot more processed food today. Some people still don’t have enough of it, but most in the U. S. did then and do now. I’d use the spell check suggestion of Ubiquity (from #34) here, rather than what it was suggested for. 60 years ago, one wasn’t confronted by food being readily available in so many places and situations. Nobody would have thought that drinking 44 ounces of Coke while driving somewhere was an acceptable thing to do (as I did for many years.) For instance. Regular people with regular, non-dieting diets seem to have been significantly thinner. There are a lot of reasons for that, but it seems to me that if one ate (and drank) in a similar fashion to the way they did, one might have similar results. (I’m not suggesting that would be easy or even possible for many people today.) Then again, there were a helluva lot more folks smoking cigarettes back then, too, which may also have been a significant factor…

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  39. basset said on September 24, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Sherri, we live in Bellevue now… between 40 and 100 in southwestern Nashville. “The Springs” is maybe eleven or twelve miles further out and north of 40.

    Definitely getting a lot more density here, though. The MSA’s about a million-nine right now, with another million expected by 2040, and big tracts of buildable land are hard to find in the county. (cranking up to a planning rant here, but wait, I’m retired…)

    Deborah, a man should pee on the ground, actual unpaved dirt, once in awhile. Keeps us centered.

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  40. Sherri said on September 24, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Basset, my parents live just a few miles outside the MSA, just over into Montgomery County, along 24. As all the old family farms get sold off, houses are getting built all around them. They have 30 acres as a buffer, and just sold my grandparents’ farm to someone local they’ve known all his life, who doesn’t plan on developing anytime soon.

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  41. suzanne said on September 24, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    We lived out in the country on a 10 acre plot when I was a kid. My dad and brother peed outside all the time. There wasn’t anyone around and they’d be out mowing or some other outdoor activity, and just stop and go.

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  42. Julie Robinson said on September 24, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Call me prissy but I find peeing outdoors slightly traumatic. I’d be fine if it never had to happen again. But I understand wanting space around me and privacy; to be able to walk outside and put my feet on the ground. Just not to pee on.

    We were so poor for so many years that the idea of going to a casino still seems like a waste of money. If I’m gonna blow some money take me to the theatre please.

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  43. basset said on September 24, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Sherri, I know the area… lost out on a house in Pleasant View because we looked at it on a Sunday afternoon and they’d had seven viewers since it went on the market Thursday, owners ended up what was essentially an auction among all the buyers’ reps and we didn’t participate.

    Similar deal with this house, only one other prospective buyer since it had been on the market just three days but the seller’s agent started trying to play us against each other and we had said going in we weren’t gonna do that.

    Suzanne and Julie, as I said… it’s a guy thing.

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  44. Sherri said on September 25, 2018 at 12:01 am

    Yeah, basset, life in a hot real estate market.

    Go another 10 miles down 41-A from Pleasant View and you’ll be at my parents’.

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  45. Sherri said on September 25, 2018 at 1:23 am

    I’ve always thought that the idea that conservatives were single-issue votes fixated on abortion was nonsense, and I think Kavanaugh demonstrates this. The Federalist Society has produced a whole list of candidates for SCOTUS guaranteed to overturn Roe, and presumably many of them don’t have a history of sexual assault and lying to Congress, or mysterious hundred thousand dollar baseball ticket debts. If abortion is what matters, why not dump Kavanaugh and move on to the next name on the list? Murkowski and Collins wouldn’t even have to express concern, much less worry about potentially not voting for the nominee.

    No, I think the motivating factor is resentment, or if you want to dress it up, status anxiety. It’s supposed to be their country, and it doesn’t feel like it anymore, because they don’t get to ignore those other people anymore.

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  46. Dexter Friend said on September 25, 2018 at 1:30 am

    Peeing…as an old man when I hit the road nowadays I stick a plastic urinal under the seat for emergencies…never used it until last week. I stopped for gasoline on the way to Columbus and went inside to find the old out-of-order sign on the door. No option but to use my gear, and I broke in the screw-top urinal. I just pulled to the side of the station and discreetly used it. I began carrying the urinal jug when on a trip to Columbus I got stuck in massive delays on I-270 and I suffered…also I take a diuretic pill on doctor’s orders…it takes a while to get used to taking it, because it works and works well, and timing is the keyword, or well, you WILL piss your drawers!

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  47. Deborah said on September 25, 2018 at 6:39 am

    I agree with you Sherri, about the “why Kavanaugh” motive.

    Dexter, when I was in Bangkok on a business trip in the late 90s, traffic was unbelievable, the men used to keep what they called a comfort cup in their cars for the purpose you described. One of the doormen in our building handed my husband a brochure when we came back to our building one night after being out, the brochure was about a gizmo the doorman had invented and had made and apparently sells for peeing in your car. We thought it was hilarious.

    Our water finally came back on at 6:30 yesterday evening, a half hour after our guests had arrived, thank goodness they didn’t have to use the toilet during that time. We had a bin of water in the bathroom for flushing in an emergency. The city actually had turned the water back on at 4:30 but it took a couple of hours for the pressure to build back up.

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  48. Suzanne said on September 25, 2018 at 6:41 am

    Sherri @45, sort of. I think for the McConnells of the world, the Ryans, the Trumps, it is all about white man’s grievances and need to feel that they are on top. They have played it brilliantly because for millions of people, the vote for a pro-life candidate negates any negatives. Electing Trump, no matter if he blows up the country, destroys the rule of law, and makes the US the buffoon of the world is worth it to end abortion. For people I encounter every day, it really is that simple. God is in charge so if we stop the evils of abortion, the rest will sort itself out. They really, truly believe this.

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  49. alex said on September 25, 2018 at 7:24 am

    One of my dad’s law school buddies was married to a crazy lady who subscribed to all sorts of kooky right-wing conspiracy theories and attended a church where the pastor promised that God was planning an epic flood to punish America for abortion. He encouraged his congregation to move to higher ground. This lady seriously wanted her husband to pack up with her and move to Nebraska where she was certain they’d be safe, and give up their fabulous property on the St. Joseph River in Elkhart. Hubby got her to compromise and they moved into a sterile and graceless McMansion in Bristol. Then she croaked and left him there all alone, but at least my parents no longer have to suffer her company in order to enjoy his.

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  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 25, 2018 at 7:26 am

    Out west, Basset, the trail guides will tell you to pee on a rock, not on the ground. It’s a leave-no-trace thing. Above a certain elevation, you’re breaking up the soil which has a micro-ecosystem thing going on in the crust; also, the pee spot makes animals dig (they’re going for your salt). Of course, at a Midwestern elevation and temperate hardwood forest environment, it probably doesn’t matter as long as you don’t end up walking in it.

    First thing we have to teach new Scouts, though: when you leave your tent in the middle of the night and don’t want to walk to the latrine, this is where you get to know the lay of the land really well. Small elevation changes are important. Might want to plan that out by daylight before you go to bed. Stuff rolls downhill, kids.

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  51. basset said on September 25, 2018 at 7:53 am

    Hmmm, never thought of that. Next time I’m out topping up the salt lick on the hunting lease I’ll add my own little natural contribution.

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  52. Deborah said on September 25, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Don’t despair ladies you too can pee off the back porch, on a rock or juniper bush https://express.google.com/product/4378738766516897606_10020056354640852365_5620207?mall=WashingtonDC&directCheckout=1&utm_source=google_shopping&utm_medium=product_ads&utm_campaign=gsx

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  53. Jeff Borden said on September 25, 2018 at 8:29 am

    This whole Kavanaugh thing is getting skeevier by the day. And now he claims he was a virgin in college? A blandly handsome rich boy from an elite prep school saving himself hardly squares with the shit he wrote in his high school yearbook. Not that young men don’t lie through their teeth about sexual matters, but still.

    I agree with Suzanne. This massive push to seat Kavanaugh –who is credibly accused of perjury as well as these sexual assaults– is driven by white male grievance. What I don’t understand is how blind the Republican Congress is to how this is playing to women. Last night, the odious Ted Cruz and his wife were driven from a D.C. restaurant by chants of “We believe the accusers.” I know Washington is a liberal bastion, but a scan of letters to the editors in newspapers across the nation suggest women are pretty pissed. If that translates to a big turnout, perhaps even all the gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics won’t be enough.

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  54. JodiP said on September 25, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Deborah, I really want to know what you made for dinner! Also, I heard about Maria Hadden, who is running for 49th ward Alderwoman in Chicago. You can hear a great interview with her and another activist, Kina Collins on today’s Pod Save the People.

    Since we’re on the topic of toilets, etc. We don’t flush every time we pee in order to cut down on water waste.

    Julie, I’m with you about not gambling. So many more things and experiences to spend money on!

    This week is very fun for me. The NAACP chapter meeting was last night, and I learned about this theater company. The annual fundraising luncheon for Clare Housing is tomorrow, then Hamilton (!!!) on Thursday. I think I shared I’m doing a meet-n-greet brunch on Sunday for a woman running for county commissioner. I am having a blast planning the menu.

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  55. Sherri said on September 25, 2018 at 11:15 am

    I just listened to the first episode of the new season of Serial. This season spends a year in a typical American courthouse. Highly recommended!

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  56. Deborah said on September 25, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Jodi, I made ravioli with roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers and capers along with a salad. We buy the ravioli frozen from an Italian place nearby. I used the last of the tomatoes uncle J grew that we brought back to Chicago, in the salad. Everything else came from a jar or plastic bag (salad). I had put the water in the pan much earlier when the water was still on to cook the ravioli in. As it was I didn’t start anything actually cooking until 7 so we had running water by then anyway. Our guests are friends we can be casual with, we don’t feel we need to knock ourselves out making fancy shmancy stuff for them. They showed a Power Point they had made of their trip in their RV up to Nova Scotia, while that may sound boring, it was actually very interesting and they rigged up our TV with an HDMI cable so we watched it on our large flat screen. Our dessert was gelato and cookies from the same Italian place. Now we want to take a trip up to Nova Scotia, maybe not in an RV though.

    My husband thinks McConnell has one goal in mind, to ram through the vote for Kavanaugh even if they lose it. All to force Heitkamp, McCaskell and Manchin to vote against it so they lose their elections and then the Senate will stay in Republican hands. Sounds like a reasonable theory. McConnell sounded craven and desperate yesterday.

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  57. Deborah said on September 25, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Everywhere I go these days I see people with clip boards signing people up to register to vote and/or to get absentee ballots. They were at the farmers market on Saturday, they’re on the streets, everywhere. And this is in Chicago, a strong blue bastion, hopefully they’re out in force all over the country.

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  58. Jeff Borden said on September 25, 2018 at 11:50 am

    CNN is reporting the UN General Assembly erupted in laughter when the Orange King this morning declared his administration has done more than any other administration in American history. We’re now officially a laughingstock nation.

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  59. Sherri said on September 25, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Kavanaugh saw how well the I never had sex defense worked for Clinton, so he chooses to use it anyway?!?

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  60. Jakash said on September 25, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    From Jeff B. @ 53: “What I don’t understand is how blind the Republican Congress is to how this is playing to women.”

    While I hope the Blue Wave splashes right up into McConnell’s face, before washing away his majorities, I’m certainly not counting on it. 53% of white women managed to vote for Il Douche a month after the pussy tape came out, after all.

    From Deborah @ 57: “McConnell sounded craven…” If there’s been a time, at a minimum since Obama was elected, that he *hasn’t* sounded craven, I’ve missed it. What a cynical dick!

    Sherri @ 59: It probably would have worked for Clinton if he hadn’t had to testify under oath during an investigation. As somebody who would know, our (ahem) current president’s strategy and advice for anyone like him is: Deny, deny, deny. “‘You’ve got to deny, deny, deny and push back on these women,’ Trump said, according to Woodward. ‘If you admit to anything and any culpability, then you’re dead. … You’ve got to be strong. You’ve got to be aggressive. You’ve got to push back hard. You’ve got to deny anything that’s said about you. Never admit.'”

    The facility with which many are willing to believe a guy like Kavanaugh, while questioning the motives of any woman accusing him, is heartbreaking. Just as a matter of common sense, who has more to gain by lying?

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  61. Jakash said on September 25, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    For some much-needed comic relief, check out this tweet about a new mascot for the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. The mascot itself defies belief, the replies to the question “What do you think??” are priceless.

    https://twitter.com/FOX29philly/status/1044245257892827143

    I was already LingOL after reading some of those. Upon seeing this I was crying and gasping for breath:

    https://twitter.com/ConorRyan_93/status/1044377116748451846

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  62. beb said on September 25, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    It’s instructive what Republicans bring up in defense of Kavanaugh. One senate candidate complained that if Kavanaugh gets rejected because of his alleged attempted rape when he was 17 that no one would want to run for office. There’s an assumption here that all man have tried to rape woman at some people in their life but I’m pretty sure that the vast majority has not. But also there’s the assumption that attempted rape when done as a teenager isn’t real. Or perhaps the assumption is that women don’t matter. I suspect at this point it’s a matter of pride that they push Kavanaugh through for for a news cycle “Own the libs”.

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  63. Deborah said on September 25, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    It may be true that Kavanaugh didn’t have sexual intercourse during high school or “many years” after but that is beside the point. If he tried to tear a young woman’s clothes off or grope her, or grind his body onto her (not to mention holding his hand over her mouth to muffle her screams etc) against her will, that’s sexual assault. Plus if he waved his dick in the face of a young woman semi-passed out on the floor, that’s sexual assault. Doing any of that without consent is sexual assault. Because it didn’t culminate in full on penetration doesn’t mean it wasn’t sexual assault. So Kavanaugh can say on the teevee that he didn’t have intercourse in high school, which sounds a lot like Clinton saying “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” (as Sherri said above) because he didn’t have penis in vagina sex with her. They both tried to use a weak technically to sound innocent. I didn’t watch the interview and I have no intention to do so.

    I keep saying that the thing that I find the most damning in what is coming out in this whole fiasco isn’t the sex (although that’s bad too) it’s the grooming and entitlement of the “ruling” class. Starting in prep high schools and maybe even before that.

    Another thing that I find damning is the connection of the Catholic Church in regard to what happens at elite prep schools and what has been reported about sexually abusive priests. No offense to any Catholics here but how did that tony Catholic prep school let such behavior happen and be bragged about by students in yearbooks. And when you read about the rampant sexual abuse by priests it makes you wonder what is going on here.

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  64. Sherri said on September 25, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    I’m no fan of Bret Stephens, but I like him better than he does Ted Cruz.

    https://twitter.com/JamieOGrady/status/1044573625096044545

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  65. Jakash said on September 25, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Among all the other things about “Ted” Cruz, this is small potatoes, but it’s so telling: “Because he never got over being the smartest kid in eighth grade.”

    And then there’s the first comment on that tweet: “I’m reminded of the Al Franken line, ‘I like Ted Cruz more than most of my Senate colleagues. And I hate Ted Cruz.'”

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  66. alex said on September 25, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    So Kavanaugh can say on the teevee that he didn’t have intercourse in high school, which sounds a lot like Clinton saying “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”

    Nah, sounds more like Clinton saying “I smoked marijuana, I just didn’t inhale.”

    I read that one of Kavanagh’s 65 female apologists now regrets having lent her signature to his letter to Congress upon learning that Kav and his fellow classmates made a joke of her in their yearbook, calling themselves the “Renate Alumni.” Set into type beneath a photo of the football team, yessirree, and the faculty advisor allowed it to be published that way. Renate claims she never fucked any of them.

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  67. Deborah said on September 25, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Good point about Clinton, Alex.

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  68. Icarus said on September 25, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Alex @ 49: I meant to respond sooner. According to legend God promised no more floods. So that pastor was leading the flock astray or implying that God is a liar.

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  69. Jakash said on September 25, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    At the end of his online chat today, Gene Weingarten of the WaPo writes: “Trump at the UN … sustains, I think, my unpopular view that he has a sense of humor. He handles this adroitly.” https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/un-laughs-after-trump-claims-his-admin-has-done-more-than-almost-any-other

    As much as I hate to give Hair Furor any credit for anything, I have to agree with both of Weingarten’s points. He *does* have a sense of humor, and he did handle that response to his bullshit about as well as he could have.

    “Didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s okay”

    The instructive point, to me, though, is that he was surprised by the reaction. Why would he be? Because he’s a tone-deaf, deluded narcissist, of course. But also because he seldom trots out his nonsense before an un-selected, objective audience. He can tweet whatever he wants, and ignore the replies. He tries to limit his interviews to Fox News acolytes as much as he can. And then, most of his speeches are to friendly, clueless “rally” crowds. Nice of the U. N. to give him a bit of a reality check, not that it will make any difference…

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  70. Dexter Friend said on September 25, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Trump is a lying snake in the grass, a phony who, as JB wrote, bragged about his admin’s accomplishments and was hooted into a statement saying “well, I wasn’t expecting that sort of reaction, but that’s OK.” Three hours later he began kissing ass and toasting António Guterres, completely out of sync with UN protocol for speaker luncheons. His backwards nationalistic patriotism coupled with isolationism and his cutting off aid to Palestinians and damn-nearly every other country is insane. American aid was never charity, it’s a stabilization tactic used for decades, but Trump does not seem to understand that, or any sort of diplomacy…I heard him today, and he’s itching to go to war with Iran, just saying outlandish accusations. He’s fucking crazy.

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  71. Jolene said on September 25, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    If abortion is what matters, why not dump Kavanaugh and move on to the next name on the list?

    FiveThirtyEight recommends exactly this strategy, but points out that timing is crucial.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-gops-least-worst-option-is-if-kavanaugh-withdraws-and-soon/

    Apparently, they have scheduled a vote for Friday after the Thursday hearing, so, clearly, they’re not expecting to spend a lot of time thinking over whatever Prof. Bazely has to say.

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  72. Peter said on September 27, 2018 at 9:34 am

    So much on the plate today –

    Jodi @ 54 – Good luck to Maria Hadden – based on my dealings with that ward office, Joe Moore, the current alderman, is dumber than a box of rocks.

    Our Virgin Brett – I do go off on tangents, but the item that really gets me is the yearbook page. Who in God’s name was the editor? Where was the faculty advisor? I went to an all boys Catholic high school, and all communications (yearbook, school newspaper, school TV station…) were reviewed by the principal’s office in a process that would put communist regimes to shame. At that time, varsity football games were on Sunday afternoons – we had 90 minutes to write a story, finish the box score, and develop the photos, in order for the priest to review and approve the material so we could get the proofs to the print shop by 10:00 so they can get the paper printed and available before 7:30 Monday.

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  73. Peter said on September 27, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Oh, and something light hearted to balance the day – The White Sox have two pitchers named Hamilton and Burr.

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