A few days away.

This weekend seems to be all about luxury for me. I’m house-sitting/nannying at my friends’ house two miles away from my own. They’re in London, but their 15-year-old twins are here, and the dogs need to be fed. So this is really a pretty sweet gig — the girls are self-sufficient and look after themselves, the dogs just need to be let into the yard from time to time, and the house is very pleasant. I basically just sit around and wait to do practically nothing, ensuring there is an Adult Presence on call and no teen ragers take place, because the midcentury modern furniture is too nice for that.

This must be what it’s like to be in a harem, only I don’t have to screw anyone. I never realized how much I do on a typical Saturday until I didn’t do anything. It felt pretty good.

(Of course, this means I’ll have to do the laundry Tuesday, when I get home, but eh, no biggie. There’s something to be said for watching the rabbits play on the front lawn as the sun comes up, listening to the coffeemaker burble away in the kitchen. Also, the bed I’m sleeping in is vast and has a firm mattress. After all this exertion, I took a siesta yesterday afternoon that was the best nap of my life.)

Here’s my buddy Leo. We’re reading the Times together.

And besides lounging, that’s what this weekend has been about, for me: Reading the Times. Reading the Post. Reading reading reading reading, because I don’t want to miss a nuance of the news breaking this weekend, which, like so many things, has been right in front of us all along. I’ve been checking Deplorable Twitter for reaction, and — this house having cable TV — an occasional Fox News fly-by, but there’s nothing there you wouldn’t expect. Just crickets or BFD. I expect we’ll have to wait for another round of pulse-taking out in Red America to find out what they’re thinking.

A few days or weeks ago — who can say — I saw a story about a farmer who was starting to suffer from the agricultural tariffs. He was feeling the pain, he said, but he just had to keep believing the president knew exactly what he was doing, and all would be revealed soon. I’ve seen less childish belief from first-graders talking about Santa Claus. I expect that’s what’s going on out there now.

So! How was your weekend? Leave links in the comments, if you wish. There are so many stories about what’s going on out there, I feel like I can’t pick just two or three, especially when so much of what I read is behind paywalls. But there’s this, from Politico, on what’s going on in North Carolina, and it’s free:

In the two weeks since Thanksgiving, Bladen County has been the focus of investigations into irregularities in the race for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional district. Specifically, how did the Republican, Mark Harris, win 61 percent of the absentee-by-mail votes when Republican voters only requested 19 percent of all absentee ballots? How did he manage to win the county at all, given the fact that it has three times as many registered Democrats as Republicans?

The numbers are close enough to jeopardize Harris’s apparent 905-vote victory over Dan McCready and might even force a redo of the election. That a small-scale fraud in a rural county of only 35,000 people could have fudged the result of one of the most watched Congressional races in the country is a reminder once again of the outside influence of economically left behind places like Bladen County, where the poverty rate is 20 percent and the median household income of $32,396 is about half the national median.

Local and national news outlets have done a fairly convincing job assigning blame for this fraud to a man named Leslie McCrae Dowless. A lifelong county resident, Dowless took money from an organization that took money from Harris’s campaign and, in turn, handed that money out to anyone willing to go door-to-door and persuade people to request and then hand over absentee ballots. A few of the foot soldiers have confirmed their parts, and several voters signed affidavits saying someone took their unsealed and incomplete ballots, which is illegal.

A fruitcake true-crime story for fruitcake season, via Laura Lippman. I’m only halfway through, but it’s wonderful, and so far, there haven’t been any murders.

With that, I find that I grow weary of this back-breaking labor, and need to relax some more. Happy Sunday, all.

Posted at 9:43 am in Current events |

61 responses to “A few days away.”

  1. Jim G said on December 9, 2018 at 10:45 am

    What I’ve learned from Faux News headlines is that Trump has been totally exonerated, but boy is “Individual 1” in trouble.

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  2. alex said on December 9, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    If Red America wants to continue living with its head up its ass that’s fine with me. I’m not sure how Fox will manage to sustain the illusion that Trump is president once that’s no longer the case, but I’m pretty unconcerned about it.

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  3. brian stouder said on December 9, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Don’t miss the end of the comments on the last thread; goodies from Dexter and Deborah….who (earlier in that thread) also indicated she has an upcoming trip to Paris – which sounds like fun (if not riotous fun!)

    This story elucidates Fort Wayne’s ongoing banking debacle –


    …and one can just picture our latter-day Mr Potters, chuckling about the financial trainwreck.

    Key passage:

    This wasn’t how things were supposed to go.
    Rick Childs, a partner in accounting firm Crowe Horwath LLP and Decatur native, said every bank merger causes some disruption, “but this was more of a ‘perfect storm.’ ”

    Childs, who wasn’t involved in the transaction or transition, noted that Flagstar bought branches as opposed to a whole bank. When an entire bank is acquired, the selling bank usually continues its data processing systems until a chosen conversion date, which often is a month or two after the deal closes. That allows more time to ensure that no customers fall through the cracks.

    But when a bank acquires branches only, customers are typically removed from the former bank’s computer system when the branch property changes hands.
    “So there likely wasn’t a fallback to being able to use the Wells Fargo system,” Childs wrote in an email.

    “The (website) outage then occurred, which not only affected the transferred customers but also the existing Flagstar customers,” he said. “Then the domino effect started. More calls than usual because of the acquisition and all the existing customers calling in as well.”
    The result was confusion, which sent customers flocking to the branches. “Ninety-nine times out of 100, Flagstar wouldn’t have experienced that combination of issues all at once,” Childs said.

    If all that wasn’t bad enough, Monday was the day Social Security recipients received their final Social Security checks before Christmas. Jason Hoffman, manager of Flagstar’s downtown branch, said that date always tends to be the bank’s busiest day of the year.

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  4. beb said on December 9, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    The first thing I noticed in the fruitcake story was the dropcap “O” floating off in space, widely separated from the rest of the word it belongs to. An epic web-page design fail. If you do a dropcap properly… don’t do it!

    Later I discovered the link was tl;dr.

    I was struck by the comment of the Wisconsin republican who complains that the incoming Democratic governor doesn’t represent real Wisconsin, provided you take away Madison and their other large city. Right. Eliminate half the state’s population… then it looks like a Republican state.

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  5. LAMary said on December 9, 2018 at 2:08 pm


    We live in weird times.

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  6. Deborah said on December 9, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    We arrived in St. Louis, it’s quite depressing this time of year. It’s lovely in the spring, lots of trees. I lived here for 23 years, looking forward to seeing old friends. We took the Metrolink (rapid transit) from the airport because we remembered how awful the cabs used to be, but when we roared past the taxi stand all the cabs looked brand spanking new, maybe because they’re competing with Lyft and Uber now and had to upgrade? The Metrolink ride was fine except that we had to wait 20 mins for it, not like Chicago by a long shot, and the route has dismal views but at least St. Louis has a transit system. It’s cold here too, no relief in that regard.

    My husband is reviewing architect student’s final projects of the semester at Washington University on Monday and Tuesday. He taught there many years ago, we moved to Chicago 15 years ago. I will be spending my time here having coffees/lunches/drinks with good friends so it should be fun for me.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on December 9, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Apparently Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, has declined the offer of being Trump’s next ex-chief of staff. Pretty smart, if you ask me. And things must be pretty be “interesting” in the Conway household, as George and Kellyanne seem to be on opposite sides of the issues now. Can this marriag e be saved? It’s feeling more and more like a soap opera every day.

    John Dean, who knows more than a little about impeachable offenses, says Congress will have to impeach Trump after the Cohen revelations. Anyone else feel like we’ve been here before? I keep thinking it all has to end soon and yet it doesn’t.

    Anyway, we enjoyed some down time with my mom yesterday visiting the botanical gardens, all decked out for Christmas, then walking next door to the Embassy Theatre for the Phil’s Christmas concert. Mother is still a farm girl at heart and we had to pull her away from petting the reindeer so some other little ones could get a chance!

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  8. David C. said on December 9, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Julie, I think the Conways are like the Carville/Matalins. Their aren’t we funny opposites attract thing keeps them at the front of the gasbag show Rolodexes. It’s just a job they do.

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  9. Suzanne said on December 9, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    I figure KellyAnne & George are like James Carville & what’s her name (who looks as strung out and used up as KellyA). It’s a game to them and only a game. They have money and privilege and enjoy watching the little people squirm.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on December 9, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Y’all may very well be right. How they can live with that level of cynicism is beyond me.

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  11. alex said on December 9, 2018 at 8:05 pm


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  12. Sherri said on December 9, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    The mere existence of a news story involving Jerry Falwell and a pool boy is either a sign that I’ve been very good and Santa brought me a present early or I’m a really bad person for enjoying it so much. Probably both.

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  13. alex said on December 9, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Sherri, I first read the Falwell & Pool Boy story last May and hoped the mainstream media would give it the attention it deserves. Maybe now it’ll happen if the rumors are true that Cohen was blackmailing them. I don’t know about Santa, but I’m newly convinced that Yes there is a God and his sense of humor is fucking wicked.

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  14. Deborah said on December 9, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    Sherri, Alex, Jerry Falwell and a pool boy!!! Links please!

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  15. LAMary said on December 10, 2018 at 12:40 am

    Seconded, Deborah

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  16. Sherri said on December 10, 2018 at 1:13 am

    As Alex notes, the story is originally from May: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/aramroston/jerry-falwell-jr-michael-cohen-pool-attendant-lawsuit

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  17. alex said on December 10, 2018 at 5:52 am

    And there was this: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/25/jerry-falwell-miami-hostel-liberty-university-trey-falwell-215528

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  18. David C. said on December 10, 2018 at 6:03 am

    Hillsdale II at Liberty U. This should be enjoyable.

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  19. Suzanne said on December 10, 2018 at 6:34 am

    Didn’t the president of Hillsdale have a tawdry affair with someone and then someone connected with it commit suicide? I am trying to remember details & I am too tired to look it up. It was quite a few years ago.

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  20. nancy said on December 10, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Yes, Suzanne. He allegedly carried on a longtime (as in, several years) affair with his daughter-in-law, who spilled it all at his bedside when he was hospitalized for something I forget. The whole family was there, and as you can imagine, it was a bombshell. Then she went to some gazebo on the central campus and shot herself. At the time, the National Review turned on him, although he had a few defenders, who said she was mentally ill, disturbed, etc.

    He left the job, and I think he’s dead now. But I believe the defenders’ narrative has picked up a few more believers. That’s the problem with suicide — you’re not there to counter them.

    The Wikipedia entry on him.

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  21. Deborah said on December 10, 2018 at 8:42 am

    Wow, those Falwell links are bizarre tales. Why is it that so many of those religious hyper types end up in scandals?

    It was good to see old friends last night but the restaurant was disappointing. It’s sad when a familiar haunt deteriorates. We used to go to the place at least once a week, the food was simple but always good. Last night it was glop. So sad. Last month they celebrated 35 years in operation, I don’t expect it to last much longer.

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  22. Peter said on December 10, 2018 at 9:29 am

    I hope this link works, because it sums up my feelings about 45 so well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcSN2PDmZa0

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  23. Peter said on December 10, 2018 at 9:47 am

    And now that Mr. Ayers has turned down Trump’s job offer, and rumors are that Nick Mulvany and Steve Mnuchin have also said no, let’s play today’s parlor game – who’s going to be the next WH Chief of Staff?

    – Steve Doocy
    – Sean Hannity
    – Jeanine Pirro


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  24. Connie said on December 10, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Interesting article about Flagstar Bank. About a year ago I spoke with a Flagstar bank rep at a local business expo type deal. I told him I only banked at local banks and/or credit unions. He went on to explain all the ways I could consider Flagstar Bank a local bank and swore they were a Michigan only bank. Though clearly they have at least added Indiana and Wisconsin.

    I stick with my local credit union.

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  25. Bitter Scribe said on December 10, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Since this site seems to have a lot of dog lovers, I’ll throw this out there: Have any of you ever tried “calming treats,” and do they work?

    I don’t have a dog myself, but the people who live beneath me do—a neurotic shelter rescue who drives me nuts with her spasmodic barking. During my Christmas shopping Saturday, I stopped at Petco and picked up a canister of treats for hyper/nervous dogs. They have melanin, chamomile, L-theanine and God knows what else. I left it outside their door (wrapped as a Christmas gift, with a bow and everything, so it would present a message a little friendlier than “use these to shut up your damn dog”).

    Well, so far they seem to be working; I haven’t heard nearly as much barking. But a few days isn’t enough time to really tell. Do any of you use “calming” treats or pet food, and what has been your experience?

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  26. beb said on December 10, 2018 at 10:37 am

    For Chief-of-staff roulette I’d say Jared Kushner will be picked. There’s no one else he trusts willing to work with him.

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  27. 4dbirds said on December 10, 2018 at 10:41 am

    I really don’t care about what red America thinks. I just don’t. Had two Holiday parties this weekend. I didn’t have anything to eat before arriving at the one on Friday, was handed a drink and the servers made sure the glass never emptied. I was quickly stewed and have little memory of the event. I don’t need to be conked on the head twice. It will be diet coke from now on.

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  28. RayR said on December 10, 2018 at 10:51 am

    You don’t need anything fancy for calming treats. Just cut up some bread into large chunks and let it dry out for a few days. When a situation arises where the dog usually starts barking, toss down a chunk of dried bread for the dog. Works like a charm.

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  29. Jakash said on December 10, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    So “SmockingGun” is trending on Twitter, of course, thanks to the Stable Genius — er, I guess that’s Tariff Man, these days.

    I was going to pick “Every time you tweet, a comma gets its wings.” as my favorite reply,


    but then I saw that a guy had posted a Calvin and Hobbes homage, so gotta go with that!


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  30. Dorothy said on December 10, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    We had a quick trip to Pittsburgh this weekend to surprise my brother who turned 70 on Dec. 4. Nestle went along with us and it was a delightful way to spend time with family; best of all was Sunday when we were almost ready to leave town but had to stop in the Strip District to buy a new Steelers outside flag. (If I had known how yesterday’s game was going to turn out, I might’ve waited until next year to buy a new flag). I was knitting in my car while Mike bought the flag and lo and behold, one of my cousins crossed the street! I honked the horn and jumped out of the car so fast it’s a miracle neither he nor I were hit by another vehicle! He is an attorney in the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office.

    And now we are getting excited for our first ever trip to NYC this Thursday. We have tickets to two Broadway shows, a list as long as both of my legs and arms of things we want to see and do, and only four days to do them. Hopefully we’ll make it through our time there without any major mishaps.

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  31. Little Bird said on December 10, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    If you line up pictures of Tomi whatshername, Ann Coulter, and Kellyanne Conjob, they look like a visual representation of the stages of meth.

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  32. Julie Robinson said on December 10, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Little Bird for the thread win!

    Hey Bitter, why shame shelter rescues? No one in my family ever had an animal that wasn’t a rescue, whether from a shelter or dumped in front of our house. There are plenty of AKC registered purebreds that are neurotic and noisy.

    Dorothy, how exciting! What shows are you going to see? I am only a little jealous, because we’re going to Orlando next week. And there will be SUN.

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  33. Bitter Scribe said on December 10, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Julie, I wasn’t shaming shelter rescues, just stating a fact. Her owner explained to me that she barks a lot because she has “separation anxiety,” which probably is tied up with whatever issue put her in the shelter to begin with. I’m sure there are lots of rescues who are perfectly quiet, peaceful animals. If I ever got a pet (which I can’t right now), it would undoubtedly be from a shelter.

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  34. Deborah said on December 10, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    It seems like there is more and more pressure being exerted on Trump, but not yet enough. It seems to me that it’s time for influential people who aren’t necessarily political to get vocal about what a corrupt POS Trump is. I mean people like Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffet, Lawyers, Doctors, writers of all types, scientists etc, they don’t have to be wealthy just influential. I keep waiting to hear from designers I read about, people from all walks of life. Now is the time to weigh in. IMHO. They need to put the pressure on. This is serious.

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  35. LAMary said on December 10, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    I had a neurotic mutt we adopted after finding her and her littermates dumped in a vacant lot. She was destructive and barky. A friend recommended basic obedience training with a real trainer. I had a great dane at the same time and the trainer worked with both for the price of one. After about a month no more barking, no more shredded sofas when I was out. It wasn’t cheap but it wasn’t killer expensive either.

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  36. Deborah said on December 10, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    In my former life with my ex we got a cute little puppy at the humane society, she looked just like a German Shepard but was a mutt. We named her Hildegard after my German mother who loved dogs. I wanted to get a trainer for Hildegard (the dog of course, my mother died when I was 14) but my ex didn’t want to spend the money. She really needed training, she was a barker and quite wild. I had to wash my hands of the relationship with the dog when I left my marriage. I often compared the way my ex treated me during our marriage with the way he treated Hildegard, basically neglect. I feel a lot of guilt about giving up on her. She eventually ran away from my ex and his wife. In my dreams she found a good home, but I doubt it.

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  37. Julie Robinson said on December 10, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Bitter, didn’t mean to shame you; as I reread it comes off a little harsh. Please forgive me. As LAMary suggests, the pooch could probably use some training, though if its owners are gone most of the time it is going to experience separation anxiety. And they maybe should have a cat instead.

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  38. LAMary said on December 10, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Back when Stephen Colbert was on the Colbert Report he referred to the people on Fox and Friends as Gretchen Carlson, Steve Doocy and Guy Who Isn’t Steve Doocy.

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  39. alex said on December 10, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    My mom turns 90 later this month. (She was always one of those people who complained about getting screwed by Christmas by having a nearly coinciding birthday.) Anyway, her few surviving relatives want to throw her a surprise party. I’m sure she’s totally not into it, but I think she’d be into it once we got her there, however we cajole it into happening. So that’s my big project for this month, even bigger than Christmas itself, which is no big deal in my family anymore.

    I need to enlist my dad’s help (he’s 91) and hope that he’s (a) listening and (b) remembering what I tell him, including (c) keeping it a secret. We’re going to try to get my brother up here for this from Atlanta. My brother who’s been trying to discourage my parents from driving down there for the holidays because we both think they shouldn’t be driving anymore, especially long distances in winter storms. So much so we’re both taking vacation time next summer and I’m renewing my passport so that we can take them where they want to go (Canada) instead of letting them try to go there by themselves anymore. And we’re going to have to go suffer bad George Bernard Shaw plays at Niagara on the Lake.

    Well, this is what I left Chicago for Indiana to do 14 years ago and they haven’t needed any help from me so far, so I suppose I should count myself lucky. Except I haven’t quit smoking and don’t know how the fuck I’m going to drive 8-10 hours without it.

    And I need to find my long lost passport and renew it by then.

    Dread. Just like Mama’s gonna feel about her surprise 90th birthday party I’m sure, because that’s just so us.

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  40. Bitter Scribe said on December 10, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Julie: No worries, we’re good.

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  41. Sherri said on December 10, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    Facebook and Twitter are catching well-deserved flak, but Google doesn’t seem to draw the same level of criticism, despite YouTube being a toxic shithole.


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  42. Deborah said on December 10, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    Alex my husband’s mother turns 100 in April, she’s funny because she says she wants no hoopla but on the other hand she would like it to be a great big deal and have us throw her a nice party. She reminds us of the gestures Johnny Carson used to make when an appreciative audience gave him a big round of applause for a good joke. One hand would go up in a humble “stop” gesture and the other hand would be beckoning for more applause. It’s a pretty amazing feat to live to 100 and still be sharp as a tack and a lot of people want to celebrate that with her. She’s being very coy about it.

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  43. Sherri said on December 11, 2018 at 1:31 am

    More on YouTube: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/hateful-conspiracies-thrive-on-youtube-despite-pledge-to-clean-up-problematic-videos/2018/12/10/625730a8-f3f8-11e8-9240-e8028a62c722_story.html?utm_term=.2ab7fbaf0bd0

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  44. JodiP said on December 11, 2018 at 9:20 am

    So much to love on this thread–the civil discourse between Julie and Bitter Scribe, dog training, more info on how social media is having a negative impact. I read on Significant Digits this morning that Google+ had a big date exposure:

    “52.5 million users: Google+, Google’s failed social network, will shut down earlier than planned after the discovery of a new “privacy hole” that exposed the data of 52.5 million users on apps that used the Google+ API. The service will shutter in April. I’d tell you that if you were using the service, you should prepare a migration plan, but, let’s face it, you’re not.”

    We got a lot of help from dog training we got through the Humane Society. We really liked their philosophy of positive reinforcement and approaching training as a game. Our dog didn’t have major stuff, but training helped her go from good to great!

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  45. LAMary said on December 11, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Dog training is pretty rewarding too. My neurotic dog was having a hard time learning sit and stay. “Stay” especially. When she finally figured out what we were asking her to do, I swear you could see the expression on her face change. It was “Ohhhhh, I get it.” The trainer was laughing, I was laughing. It was sort of like the first time my oldest son tasted ice cream The look on his face was amazing.

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  46. Bitter Scribe said on December 11, 2018 at 11:37 am

    I could never figure out what the hell Google Plus was supposed to be, other than that annoying thing that hung around the corner of my screen. Does anyone know anyone who ever actually used it?

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  47. Suzanne said on December 11, 2018 at 11:50 am

    I tried Google+ for a while, but almost no one I knew was on it, so the only people I followed were people I didn’t know. Had a few interesting discussions with random people, but I have not checked it in years and years.

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  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 11, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    I’m six of ten, but it gives me a good reading list for after Christmas.


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  49. lamary said on December 11, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    I’m watching a company town hall meeting. I have heard the phrase “deeper dive ” 5 times

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  50. susan said on December 11, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    “going forward” is a corpor. phrase that drives me up the wall

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  51. Jolene said on December 11, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    On PBS tonight, a presentation of a concert by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with Itzhak Perlman: The concert is in remembrance of the people killed at the Tree of Life synagogue, but, according to the TV schedule, it only lasts an hour, so tonight’s performance won’t contain all the elements mentioned in this article.


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  52. basset said on December 11, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Two of ten for me, but I’m from Martin County.

    No James Whitcomb Riley anthologies? No as-told-to accounts by former Knight players? What kind of list is this, anyway?

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  53. Julie Robinson said on December 11, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    basset, I’m no better than you, but I’ll use the excuse that I didn’t grow up here. I have read several books by Vonnegut, and several by Michael Martone. My hubby went to high school with him and always makes a point of swinging by when he has a book signing. His stuff is weird. There, I said it.

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  54. Deborah said on December 11, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    I just experienced a heartwarming early Christmas saga at the hotel bar where I’m wasting time having a glass of wine waiting until it’s time to go to the airport to go back to Chicago. A marginal gentleman came in, dressed clean but shabbily, he parked a big duffle bag on the floor and commenced pulling out handfuls of Christmas cards that he distributed ceremoniously to the bartenders, waitresses and hostess. They responded graciously as if they’d been handed large checks. It was sweet, they obviously knew the guy well, supplied him with diet Coke’s gratis and told him they were going to take their cards home and cherish them. He must be a regular street person who comes around often. The guy engaged them in repetitive conversation about sports etc, he must have been autistic or something. It made me tear up. The staff could have been dismissive and rude to the poor guy but they weren’t at all. He left very pleased. Gave me hope.

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  55. Dorothy said on December 11, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Deborah that’s a lovely story!

    Mary @49 and Susan @50 – my blood pressure goes sky high when I hear ‘at this point in time’. Why don’t they just say ‘now’?! And Jolene thanks very much for the tip about PBS tonight. I’ll be tuning in.

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  56. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 11, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    And in central Ohio, “The Christmas Schooner” has made its way here from Chicago, and darn it, it made me cry. I grew up with the story of the “Rouse Simmons” as a kid in Chicagoland. Friends of mine from church are directing and playing a lead — and it’s a really good show if you’re in the Columbus area, through this Sunday.


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  57. Deborah said on December 12, 2018 at 8:55 am

    I opened my eyes this morning 11 minutes before our ride to the airport was due. Thank goodness I packed last night and all my stuff was set out. So no shower this morning, I’m lucky I had time to brush my teeth. We’re at the gate at OHare in plenty of time for our trip to London. We got back to Chicago late-ish last night after our St. Louis trip, I should have set an alarm but I was so exhausted last night it slipped my mind. My husband is a total crab after all the stress to get out the door. I’m too tired to even be cranky. Missing an international flight is one of my nightmares.

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  58. Connie said on December 12, 2018 at 10:06 am

    So my husband got a mystery package yesterday. It contained a bottle of Tabasco 150th Anniversary Diamond Reserve Red Sauce. So he’s a hot sauce man and will be glad to have it. But nowhere on the box or included paperwork did it tell him who sent this gift. I pointed out that we visited the Tabasco factory twenty years ago and perhaps they remembered us and sent us this special gift. He pointed out that was three addresses ago. https://countrystore.tabasco.com/products/150th-anniversary-diamond-reserve-red-sauce?fbclid=IwAR3LpD6mm89PCJSjpmqJcFzzydsWG20SqLvfdxJbILprFGshMV2U8cyxtIo

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  59. susan said on December 12, 2018 at 11:43 am

    $35!!! How cool someone sent it to you, because I bet you wouldn’t pay that for a 6 oz bottle of hot sauce. Well, I sure wouldn’t.

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  60. Scout said on December 12, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in the clink. Naturally Twitter was the place to be for the breaking news.

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  61. Dexter Friend said on December 12, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    I bought another bottle of Tabasco a week ago…like the elderly pitch-lady says about Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, I put that **** on EVERY-thing. I like Frank’s , but I am a Tabasco man from since I was a little kid. Sometime, perhaps around 1979, National Geographic Magazine did a photo story on the place down in Louisiana, and recently a cable network aired a doc on the home of Tabasco. Enjoy that special treasure.

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