Smocking hot.

It seems as though I read a while back — which, in this insane time, could mean anything from two days ago to a year ago January — that Trump deliberately uses bad grammar, random capitalizations and misspellings in his tweets, because that’s the way “the base” writes, and it helps them claim him as their own.

I believe it. Or, as we say these days, put that in your pipe and smock it.

Folks, I’m feeling out of sorts this week. Dunno why. I’m just slow and sluggish and fat and farty and tired. My knees hurt, and all I want to do is read about Michael Cohen and his bottomless misery, as well as his future in an orange jumpsuit.

So let’s get to the bloggage, because I have to be back at work in…eight hours.

What was I saying about maybe trying to get into “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”? I don’t think so anymore. I think Emily Nussbaum hits that nail pretty squarely. Reminded me of why I quit watching in the first season.

For you Hoosiers and Buckeyes: The estrangement of the Amish Cook from the editor who launched the column (and, she suspects, cheating her out of her end).

I think I know why I’m not feeling it this week: We reached the end of the most recent Great British Baking Show, and the WRONG PERSON won. Team Ruby all the way here. Or even Kim-Joy. But not…him.

Into the rest of the week, then.

Posted at 9:58 pm in Current events |

51 responses to “Smocking hot.”

  1. alex said on December 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    Bummed to learn Lovina Either isn’t from around here. She’s one of those Michigan Amish.

    I notice as you go north from here that the vow of poverty/plain living seems to take on a different appearance. In our county, the Amish are so spiffy you could eat off of the ground they walk on. When you go further north, up into LaGrange, Steuben, Branch Counties, Amish farms become increasingly squalid and nasty.

    As for Amish cooking, it’s fucking potato flakes and Campbell’s soup casseroles, and they make quite a killing slinging that slop to the tourists in Shipshewanna who come to these parts just to gawk at the primitives.

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  2. Dexter Friend said on December 13, 2018 at 1:52 am

    Alex, here’s hoping you can find a way to get through the holidays without going nutso for a ciggie…I know how that is because I remember the cravings when I smoked them. Back when I smoked the joke was “Quitting’s easy, I have done it a thousand times.” Then the ha-ha…but really, that’s how I quit in 1981…stopping and starting and quitting and saying fukkitt and lighting up…until one day I had quit. Good luck. – I have been driving a different route to Columbus lately…coming into Marysville on 131, which takes me past Amish places, driving alertly as buggies are present or nearby. The farms are neat, the corn shocked up tidily in fields…while up on Michigan’s Territorial Road heading east towards the Fremont area, the attitude seems a little different…more animals for one thing, maybe more stuff sort of out of place , but not much different. There is one stretch where for like 5 miles it’s 100% Amish, a real break from modern things to see and also a feeling of peace , and for me a reminder of seeing Amish up by Lagrange when I was a kid and we visited ancient relatives over there. ~ Ya like crime and have Netflix? “Bad Blood” is sort of a Sopranos show, set in Montreal…sort of addictive viewing, very violent just as I like ’em. Hell yeah, shoot that bad dude , two in the head. 🙂

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  3. Deborah said on December 13, 2018 at 4:30 am

    Hi ho from London. Recovering from jet lag after arriving at our hotel at midnight. My husband bought his laptop so I’m using that now instead of my iPhone which I didn’t get an international plan for, but we did for him so we have at least one working phone.

    I watched 3 1/2 movies on the flight, I like that feature on American Airlines, Crazy Rich Asians which I thought was meh, that Mr. Rodgers documentary which was very moving surprisingly, a movie called Beirut starring John Hamm that wasn’t bad and I forget the name of the one I only watched 1/2 of.

    Nothing more to report yet, not much on the docket for today except a make-up treatment at Fortnum & Mason that uncle J’s caretakers arranged. It’s not something I really ever do, but they set it up and I thought, why not.

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  4. Jolene said on December 13, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Nancy: Was this the season won by a youngish guy named John? What’s your objection to him?

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    • nancy said on December 13, 2018 at 8:31 am

      No, it was Rahul, the chatty self-doubter. He just got on my nerves, and I thought his final showstopper was ridiculous.

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  5. Suzanne said on December 13, 2018 at 7:03 am

    I have spent most of my life in near proximity to Amish. I love talking to people who know little about the realities of Amish life; the many genetic anomalies, the drunkenness, the grocery carts loaded up with Moutain Dew, Hamburger Helper, disposable diapers, and bags of Cheetos & potato chips. Always shocks people.
    A former co-worker who had been an OB assistant at a local hospital for years told me about the white lies they would tell the Amish husbands after their wives gave birth to keep the men out of the new mom’s room—birth was over so the men wanted a little action.
    There are positives about the culture. They do help each other out, if there is a fire or other disaster, they are there for each other with food and carpenters and what3ver help needed. Many now do have indoor plumbing, and most of the men, at least, have computers & cell phones (for business purposes only, of course).
    My mother loved the Amish Cook column and talked about it all the time, but I don’t think any local paper carries it anymore. Interesting article about the Amish cook wars! Who knew?

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  6. alex said on December 13, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Suzanne, the Auburn Star still has the Amish Cook. Probably runs in the other KPC papers too.

    Dex, there are a couple of stretches where the Amish farms are definitely off the charts in terms of trashiness. One is Old Highway 1 (CR 800 East) between 427 and 20 (through Alvarado and Metz) in Steuben County. Another is in LaGrange County between 20 and the town of Ontario, the angling road that is the continuation of Angling Road in Noble County.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on December 13, 2018 at 8:01 am

    The Mountain Dew, oh the Mountain Dew. You wonder if they drink anything else. I hadn’t known about the wars and had been enjoying the new author. She lived in Illinois and was part of a more progressive group. A lot of her recipes were actually healthy.

    My big problem is the keep ’em stupid mentality. Stopping education after 8th grade leads to situations like your editor cheating you from your cut of your work.

    It’s not preparing them for the future, either. The days of supporting a family on a small farm are long gone, and an 8th grade education gets you a job on construction or a factory if you’re lucky.

    I certainly understand wanting to not be part of this crazy world. But they are, and being part of the political process might serve them better.

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  8. nancy said on December 13, 2018 at 8:33 am

    I’ve told my one-night-with-the-Amish story here before, but it’s been a long time. Basically, it’s how I met Alex. One of these days I’ll dust it off for you newer readers.

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  9. Bitter Scribe said on December 13, 2018 at 9:47 am

    I don’t believe that about Trump using bad spelling, capitalization, etc. on purpose. I have no problem believing that he really is that stupid.

    Every time we have a dummy in the Oval Office, it seems like someone keeps insisting that he’s really a secret genius who is playing three-dimensional chess etc. Occasionally this dips into parody. Remember that Saturday Night Live sketch about how Reagan was really a brainiac who spoke several languages and could do intricate calculations in his head and work his aides under the table?

    As for the Amish, I think everyone should give them what they so plainly want, which is to be left alone. It always annoys me when some hack comic writer uses them for laughs.

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  10. Jeff Borden said on December 13, 2018 at 10:19 am

    There were Amish in the area of Northeast Ohio where we lived, primarily around the border of Medina and Wayne counties. At least once per year, a couple would be killed by a motorist cresting a hill and coming upon a black carriage. Back then –late 1960s– the Amish refused to affix the bright orange triangle for slow-moving vehicles, arguing it was a “decoration.”

    As a high school sports writer, I once became lost searching for a rural school. There were some Amish kids in a yard, so I pulled up to ask them directions. They ran back inside their house like their pants were on fire. I’m with Bitter Scribe. Leave ’em alone.

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  11. Joe Kobiela said on December 13, 2018 at 10:38 am

    I knew one that owned a airplane and wanted me to teach him to fly, he did well could takeoff and land just fine and held altitude, he ended up having a medical problem so he couldn’t pass the physical, which was ok because he never would have passed the written test, he couldn’t read. Also used to run a 10k out in Harlen Ind, there was a Amish farm we ran by, every year the family would watch us run by but if a man ran by without a shirt on the father would make the daughters turn around and not look.
    Pilot Joe

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  12. basset said on December 13, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    We used to buy milk from em down in Martin or maybe it was Daviess County, wonderful stuff in glass bottles with about an inch of cream on top. Then the state decided that everyone had to use electric milk coolers, no more spring houses, so the milk supply went underground and you had to know someone to get it.

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  13. Deborah said on December 13, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    I bought an Amish rocking chair handmade from a guy down in Southern Missouri, his last name was Earp, I forget his first name but it’s written on the underside of the rocker which is now in our cabin in Abiquiu. I remember going to his workshop, this was in the mid 80s during my former life. His Amish homestead was filthy, his kids were dirty from head to bare foot. Everyone looked not healthy, it was depressing. The workshop was fascinating though, seeing how the bent hickory was done.

    Today in London was busy, eventually went to Fortnum & Mason, had my face done up, it was interesting but not my thing. I bought some blush because I felt obligated. We bought a few Xmas gifts for relatives and friends etc. Later in the afternoon we went to Marks & Spencer, bought the makings for Risotto, which my husband made and was delicious. The hotel where we stay has suites with kitchens so we ate in tonight, which I enjoy very much over going out all the time. Tomorrow we take a day trip to Brighton because none of us has ever been there before. All of us have been to London many times and are trying to think of places to go that we haven’t been to over and over.We’re having lunch in Brighton so we’re having a light dinner in when we get back, probably wine, cheese, bread, that kind of thing. Saturday my husband and I go to the theater to see True West, a Sam Shepard play, so that should be interesting performed by Brits. We’re trying to find ways to walk around which we love to do, but uncle J isn’t as mobile as he once was so we’re taking lots of Taxi’s.

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  14. Dexter Friend said on December 13, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    When I used to knock back a few beers after second shift at Cricket’s Tavern, Amish would come in and order cases and cases of beer to go. Chuck couldn’t sell as cheaply as the liquor stores did, but for whatever reason they believed beer should only be purchased from bars.~

    John Carlisle is a fave of mine, and nance has mentioned him here before too. This Detroit Corktown series of short articles is top notch stuff, in the mold of something Studs Terkel used to do.

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  15. Julie Robinson said on December 13, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Deborah, I will forever picture Fortnum and Mason as the place you got “a lovely hamper” from in so many of the British books I’ve read over the years. As in for picnics. A wicker picnic basket with wine, cheese, potted meat, etc. Veddy, veddy upper class. Anyone else familiar with these?

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  16. Indiana Jack said on December 13, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Excellent piece on the Amish cook.
    Lovinia’s family is from Indiana. Her mother, Elizabeth Coblentz, wrote the column when it began. The Coblentz family then lived pretty much on the line between Adams and Jay counties in Indiana. I had dinner with them once at their home.
    Not surprised to see Kevin is accused of taking advantage. I dealt with him personally over her column and it did not end well. Business ethics were not his strong suit.

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  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 13, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    I trust y’all have seen this. The caption really pulls the pic together.

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  18. alex said on December 13, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Indiana Jack–

    Glad you’re joining the conversation. I’m fascinated with the genealogy down on the Decatur/Jay line. Some Friends/Brethren ancestry on my mom’s side in Monroe/Pleasant Mills/Wilshire, and trying to learn more about the short-lived Liber College in Jay County funded in part by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Pennville had some interesting connections (Rev. Aaron Worth) with my ancestry in Huntertown/LaOtto and Matthew W. Montgomery, the prodigious author at age 20 of the history of Jay County, lived in Huntertown, Allen County, in his childhood, where his father, Matthew, was a teacher. The senior Matthew was responsible for recruiting Isaac Newton Taylor, Presbyterian pastor, to Jay County, where he founded Liber College, then left in 1858-59 to become a land speculator in Nebraska. Taylor’s son, Robert, was one of Liber’s first graduates and became a lawyer in Fort Wayne as well as an abolitionist/underground railroad operator.

    Dex, Cricket’s in Auburn is open again after a hiatus of a couple years. They have measured pours (overpriced-as-hell drinks if you like mid-to-top-shelf) but the best effing pink-slime-and-bacon burgers you’ll find anywhere around here. Perfect char and that old-school burger flavor that Wendy’s purports to emulate but so poorly.

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  19. beb said on December 13, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    Nancy Pelosi looing chic leaving the White House.
    Not only did she leave Trump in tears but put glammed that cloth horse of his.

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  20. Dexter Friend said on December 14, 2018 at 2:32 am

    Alex, I have noticed Cricket’s is re-born after being closed for quite a while. Cheeseburgers and chips for years, then finally a fryer arrived. Chuck still had it when I quit drinkin’ in ’92, so I never was there when Chucky took over. Hell, I started going there way back when Cricket ran it, when I was a young pup of 22 years. Everybody who drank bottled beer got one of those tiny beer glasses; all bars used them. If you were a heavy drinker who ordered fast and frequently, you got a big glass…about a 12 ouncer. Bob White of supermarket fame drank Bud out of a tall glass…I was about the only other drinker who housed beer so quickly I got a tall glass too. 🙂

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  21. Deborah said on December 14, 2018 at 4:26 am

    So now I have a bad cold in London, am skipping the Brighton trip, darn it, because we’dl be riding in a car for hours and I don’t want to expose everyone to it in those close quarters. Never mind that all day yesterday I had a runny nose but chalked it up to airline air the day before, so they’re already exposed I suppose. That makes me feel terrible because Uncle J’s health is always fragile now. How miserable being sick when on a trip, especially an international one.

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  22. jerry said on December 14, 2018 at 4:38 am

    Deborah, welcome to chilly London – it as mild until you arrived!

    Sorry you are missing Brighton, an interesting city. Recommendations would be The Lanes for lots of antique shops and Brighton Pavilion, although I’m not sure about viewing. And some lovely countryside around there.

    Hope you’re better soon.

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  23. basset said on December 14, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Wasn’t the Brighton Pavilion one of the settings for the Who’s “Quadrophenia” movie? Jimmy down on the beach with a big building behind, maybe that was it?

    About to do something I haven’t done since I retired in September… iron a shirt. Been mostly camo & flannel for some time now.

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  24. Marge Taylor said on December 14, 2018 at 9:46 am

    My complaint on Amish, is the puppy mills they have. i was driving East on
    US 20 from LaGrange to State Rd. 3 and counted 3 signs advertising puppies
    for sale. These people have dogs in their barns with no electricity.
    Think how hot those barns must be in the summer with no fans. Also cold
    now in this season.

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  25. Deborah said on December 14, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Thank you Jerry, it’s better temps today than yesterday. I walked down to the closest Boots (pharmacy) and got myself some decongestant and such. It’s very cold in our hotel room, I spent most of the day in bed until the staff called me about when they could do housekeeping. And someone is coming up in a bit to see if they can make it warmer.

    Julie, they had quite a few of those picnic hampers for sale at Fortnum and Mason. It’s quite a shop.

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  26. Scout said on December 14, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Deborah, that sucks for you to be sick on your trip. Hope you recover quickly so you can enjoy yourself before it’s time to head home.

    We were totally pissed about Rahul winning the GBBS season. He was very good in the beginning but he fell apart in the last few episodes while Ruby and Kim-Joy just kept upping their games. I would have been happy with either of those ladies winning.

    I grew up in Lancaster PA. The Amish are seen for what they are when you live around them. They are abusive to animals and in particular, are frequently under fire for their horrible puppy mills. I’m pretty much over giving cultish religions a pass on scorn. Evangelicals, Scientologists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses… they can all just stfua.

    Speaking of scorn, the FLOTUS’s poll numbers are sinking. Maybe because lately she’s come out of the shadows to advocate for Donald’s horrific policies. And I’m gonna go there: what is up with that horrible brassy blonde dye job? It’s hideous.

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  27. Bitter Scribe said on December 14, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    I’ll never see “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and so have no opinion about it, but I notice that the back cover of the Dec. 17 New Yorker is a full-page ad for it. Guess they can kiss that account goodbye.

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  28. lamary said on December 14, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    FLOTUS is growing hair for a new toupee for POTUS.

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  29. Sherri said on December 14, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    This housing policy wonk is very excited about Minneapolis and their move to end exclusionary single family zoning:

    On my list of things to read are some links about the community engagement process they went through to get there, to reach out beyond the usual NIMBY crowd.

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  30. 4dbirds said on December 14, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    I binge watched both seasons of Mrs. Maisel. I like it for the fashion and a peek into narrow slice of Jewish life in NYC in the 50s. I do get confounded that they gave her two children since they do everything to keep the kids out of the story line. She is never with them, never talking about them and who takes care of them; the housekeeper, her mother or some unseen friend? My favorite is Susie, her manager. She is the best part of the show along with Tony Shalhoub.

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  31. Julie Robinson said on December 14, 2018 at 2:17 pm


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  32. beb said on December 14, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Speaking of Flotus hair for the Potus… What are they going to do about those dark roots? I recall that in the program to donate human hair to make wigs for children with cancer there couldn’t not be any dye used on them.

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  33. Icarus said on December 14, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    So yesterday, while I was on a work call (I work 100% from home) my cell phone, kept getting a call. Usually, spammers and other bots only try once a day but this one was 3x within 5 minutes and left a voicemail.

    I set my headset to mute and listened to the voicemail. It was daycare; I had to pick up my kids because of a threat. Didn’t get the details when I got them (daycare is half a mile from our home) but an email came out that evening stating it was a bomb threat and many other institutions got the same one.

    A friend on FB posted a link that it was a nationwide scam but cannot find it right now.

    To be sure, the teachers and us parents knew it wasn’t a real deal but also have to treat it like it was. We are very close to, if not already, experiencing false alarm syndrome.

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  34. Jolene said on December 14, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    Icarus, today–the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting–someone called a bomb threat into the new Newtown school. So unbelievably cruel.

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  35. Deborah said on December 15, 2018 at 4:39 am

    Well this is just shitty, I wake up this morning to news that the ACA has been gutted and the reasoning behind it being declared unconstitutional is just disgusting. I hope all of the people who want to take away healthcare from millions of people including my daughter, may they rot in hell. Grrrrrr.

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  36. David C. said on December 15, 2018 at 7:19 am

    This judge is a grandstanding POS who wants to be the Federalist Society Queen for a Day, Deborah. This decision will die a well deserved death.

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  37. Suzanne said on December 15, 2018 at 7:26 am

    I haven’t read up on this ACA thing but I thought the Supreme Court already ruled it was legal so I am confused about how a lower judge can say it isn’t.

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  38. alex said on December 15, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Stumbled upon a good read this morning. Perhaps I found it so satisfying because I’m celebrating the fact that the consumerist tyranny of Christmas no longer has any hold on me and I’m not spending any more money than I would in any other month of the year.

    Anyway, here it is:

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  39. basset said on December 15, 2018 at 9:55 am

    My handgun carry permit arrived yesterday, so I guess I am now a card-carrying member of the gun culture. We should all feel safer.

    At the very least, it’s another piece of photo ID.

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  40. Julie Robinson said on December 15, 2018 at 10:08 am

    My concern with the ACA judgment is that it may confuse people who were going to sign up today, which is the deadline. New enrollment numbers were already down and I wonder how many won’t get insurance as a result. I’m sure it will be overturned.

    Alex, we opted out of the consumerist Christmas several years ago and now I welcome the season instead of dreading it. How many of us need more crap? Not us. It frees us up for all the pleasurable Christmas activities and we are much happier.

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  41. Deborah said on December 15, 2018 at 11:29 am

    I hope that’s right about the ACA ruling being a ploy. What a bunch of assholes.

    Miserable day in London, cold and rainy, and not a light rain. Still lots of people out on the streets though. We took a cab to the Sir John Soane house, if you ever come to London check it out, it’s definitely worth a visit, Soane was a very eccentric gentleman and the house is kind of crazy but well done crazy. We’re going to the theater tonight to see a Sam Shepard play, True West, then we’re going to the Savoy for martinis. It’s just my husband and me tonight, uncle J and his entourage are doing something else, I think it’s basically going out for fish and chips. His caregivers went to Portobello Rd today, they do that every time they come to London, I went last year and that’s enough for me. I can’t imagine doing that on a rainy day like today, last year was sunny but bone chilling cold.

    My cold is better except for a tickle in my throat which I hope doesn’t make me cough through the play, I bought lozenges just in case.

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  42. susan said on December 15, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Well, Zinke wimped out. Scared of the investigating Democrats.

    Another one down, 43,000,000 more to go. Go away. Far away. Stop bothering the rest of us.

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  43. brian stouder said on December 15, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Deborah – doggoneit – my heart goes out to you!

    My prejudice is to blame the sickness on the airplane ride. As infrequently as I’ve ever flown, being under-the-weather (so to speak) afterward seemed to be the rule, and not the exception.

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  44. beb said on December 15, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Steve Benen talks us down a bit about the ACA ruling

    and here’s Kevin Drum explaining why the judge’s ruling is insane

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  45. Sherri said on December 15, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    We’ve opted out, too, and I’m much happier. It used to be a real gauntlet, because our anniversary is Nov 28, my husband’s birthday is Dec 10, and my daughter’s birthday is Jan 10. Then throw in the years that my husband and daughter were in two choirs each, and all I wanted to do was crawl into a hole and pretend the holidays didn’t exist.

    And it’s so dark here this time of year. That part hasn’t changed, 8.5 hours of daylight today.

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  46. Julie Robinson said on December 15, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Sherri, I don’t know how you live in Seattle; I found myself getting depressed there, even though I was on vacation visiting our daughter. After having something like 22 hours of sunshine for the entire month of November, we’ve had a few sunny mornings this week and that helped me, but I’m so deprived right now that it’s making everyday life hard.

    This is the main reason we’re planning our retirement for Orlando. I just have to make it through a few more winters. I go as often as I can but it’s becoming more difficult as my mom has become more dependent on me. We have a companion service that comes in once a week for cleaning and whatever, and I’ve been teaching her how to use a grocery delivery service. She gets lonely and fretful without me though.

    The article Alex linked to above about the women’s clothing designer is well worth your time. If I’d been alive and wealthy at the time I’d have bought her stuff. Comfort, pockets, practicality, low heels–trailblazing stuff!

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  47. Deborah said on December 15, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    It’s late in London, but I had to pop in to say that the play we saw tonight was fantastic. As I said it was a Sam Shepard play, True West. One of the main characters was played by Kit Harington who played Jon Snow in Game of Thrones. The other main character was Johnny Flynn who had a bit part in The Clouds of Sils Maria, and has been in a lot of British Television. It’s a great story and the acting was superb. If we didn’t do anything else while here, that play was totally worth the trip, cold and rain be damned. But we are still going to be doing some fun stuff, tomorrow night we go to the restaurant Bibendum in the former Michelin building, we went last year and had one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life. So there’s still certainly some good stuff to come.

    I will say that the decongestion medicine I got here is not as potent as the stuff I get at home, I’m tired of being stopped up.

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  48. FDChief said on December 15, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Regardless of the fate of the ACA ruling, it points out, yet again, that the “conservative solution” to the huge problems with the US healthcare contraption is “Be rich. Or don’t get sick or injured. And, if you do, die quickly.”

    Fuck the GOP. At this point I have no idea why anyone who isn’t an insanely virulent racist, a complete moron, or making more than 100K/yr would vote Republican. That can’t be more than about 20% of the US public, and yet, the bastards can’t be killed off. There seems to be a massive problem here, Houston.

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  49. Joe Kobiela said on December 15, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    Have now made 61 trips around the sun, starting on #62.
    Blue sky’s and tailwinds to all.
    Pilot Joe

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  50. basset said on December 16, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Happy birthday, and may you continue to pass your medical.

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