Beware the ice dragon.

Because this is the news of the hour, the temperature as I write this is -6. And my cold has settled in my chest, so I am hacking like a tubercular hobo. At times like this, I just need to relax and remind myself: By Saturday, it’ll be above freezing; by Sunday, it’ll be in the 40s. And by then, I hope to be on the road to recovery. It’s Wednesday. That’s only half a week away.

What’s the saying about parenthood? The days are long, the years are short. At times like this, it’s the hours that are long. The days will fly.

(I can’t think too hard about that stuff, either. It just reminds me that someday I’m going to die, and I haven’t seen Moscow or St. Petersburg yet.)

Hope all of you are OK. I’m actually feeling a little better, now that I’ve eaten something healthy (spinach-mushroom frittata, avocado toast) and am on my second cup of coffee. I can work at home, and I intend to. Because I’m not sure my car would even start.

I have to say, it’s a good week to be sick, because I’ve been able to read all about Howard Schultz. I love it when a heckler can get this specific:

But otherwise? What a maroon. It really points out how much CEOs and others at that rare-air level surround themselves with butt-kissers. And it seems so…logical for one of these guys to know that, and work hard to find people who will tell them the truth. That just seems like good business; who wants liars and flatterers around them all the time?

Don’t answer that. We all know.

This turned up late in the last post’s comments, and I wanted to pass it along: That Trump’s ideas about duct-taped women, prayer rugs in the desert and smuggler supercars all can be found in a cheesy movie that came out last year — “Sicario: Day of the Soldado.” Rachel Maddow did a whole bit about this, but Stephen Colbert did, too, and his features jokes about Howard Schultz, so that’s the one I’m linking to.

And with that, I must turn my efforts toward making my living. Stay warm if you’re in a cold place, cool if not. And send decongestant thoughts my way, OK?

Posted at 10:06 am in Current events |

81 responses to “Beware the ice dragon.”

  1. basset said on January 30, 2019 at 10:35 am

    22 in Nashville this morning. Been looking through a venison cookbook I bought yesterday & just encountered a recipe for haggis.

    We probably won’t be trying that one.

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  2. Bitter Scribe said on January 30, 2019 at 10:42 am

    I may have said this here before, so apologies if I’m repeating myself, but I hope someone rounds up some of the 6,000 Starbucks workers Schultz laid off 10 years ago and gets them to talk about his “leadership.”

    If it comes to that, which I don’t think it will. I think he’ll fade faster than the aftertaste from his overpriced coffee.

    If you really want to know what a cheap, useless bastard Schultz was and presumably still is, check out this article in Deadspin from a guy who used to work in the Seattle Supersonics front office (and had to field calls from fans pissed because the team was moving to Oklahoma).

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  3. Deborah said on January 30, 2019 at 10:48 am

    I’m at day 12 of the cold from hell. Just when I think it’s getting better, it takes a slide back to stopped up and runny nose at the same time. Thank goodness this one hasn’t turned into a cough, there’s nothing I hate worse than coughing until your rib cage is sore. I think I’ve gone through 3 packages of NyQuil singlehanded. I take it during the day too, because the daytime stuff makes me too jittery.

    It’s sunny out, but frigid. I can’t see out the windows though, they’re completely iced up, on the inside. My husband is going bonkers because it’s way too cold to open a window and he’s OCD about keeping them clear. He doesn’t want either of us showering today to add to the fog.

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  4. alex said on January 30, 2019 at 11:04 am

    We managed to round up Pussies and her heated house and move them into the garage, where she’s been putting up quite a racket. Wish she would understand it’s for her own good. Must suck not being able to bury your poop, although I must say watching her attempts on the driveway in the powdery snow have been quite entertaining.

    I decided to take the day off and stand guard over the furnaces of the three old homes I’m responsible for. So far the only problems I’ve encountered are intermittent loss of the internet and a barrage of work-related e-mails on my cell phone.

    Later I plan to enjoy chicken and sausage gumbo I made Sunday from a Bon Appetit recipe. It came out the best of any gumbo recipe I’ve ever made.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on January 30, 2019 at 11:13 am

    Hubby’s office is closed today, amazingly, so we’ve been down in the basement cleaning out crap. It’s too damn cold; who cares whether it’s 5 below or 15 below.

    I have to confess that I don’t understand why Starbucks is so popular, although I also don’t drink coffee. It’s super expensive. I can see it when you’re traveling, but for home or office, can’t you just get a coffeemaker? What am I missing?

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  6. Deborah said on January 30, 2019 at 11:27 am

    I got some really, really sad news just now from LB, she called to tell me that her best friend died in St. Louis. This is someone LB has known since she was 15, stayed in close contact with all of these years. LB has been in her friends weddings (yes plural) and visits fairly often. They don’t yet know the cause of death, Judith (the friend) hadn’t been feeling well for a few days and collapsed last night, she died in the hospital. She was about 40. Also one of my Facebook friends. LB is a wreck, she could barely speak.

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  7. Sherri said on January 30, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Terrible news, Deborah. So sorry for LB’s loss.

    As CEOs go, Schultz isn’t that bad. Starbucks is typically rated as a good place to work, and they have given health insurance even to part-timers for a long time, unusual in the food service industry. Still a terrible idea for him to run for President, and the idea that there’s a large chunk of the electorate eager for a socially liberal, economically conservative candidate is mistaken. There aren’t that many billionaires!

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  8. Jeff Borden said on January 30, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Didn’t Ronald Reagan used to mistake films for actual events, particularly as he was sliding into dementia? I go back and forth on whether the Orange King is simply an insufferable asshole who refuses to learn or is well along the road to debilitating mental illness. His rejection today of all the dangers cited yesterday by U.S. intelligence agencies could be either, I guess.

    Meanwhile, if it’s possible the “stable genius” came up with the prayer rugs at the Mexican border from “Sicario: Day of the Soldato,” perhaps he took his entire border wall idea from Robert Rodriquez’ cheesy action movie sendup “Machete,” where Robert DeNiro plays a Texas politician banking on a hardline against immigrants as his ticket to election. The link is to the fake commercial in “Machete.” See if it doesn’t sound a great deal like the garbage that spew from the Oval Office.

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  9. dorothy said on January 30, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about LB’s friend, Deborah. I heard earlier this week about the death of a young woman on her 30’s after a serious wreck on MLK day. She lingered until Friday. Leaves behind a husband and two year old. Heartbreaking.

    If you’re coughing so much (Nancy & Deborah) have you considered seeing a doctor in case it’s bronchitis? Also the last cough I had the doc prescribed tessalon perles and they helped me a great deal. Just a suggestion.

    It’s -7 here. Home from work with a fire going and getting ready to rent The Wife on amazon prime. I’d love to go work upstairs in my sewing room but don’t want to leave the fire unattended.

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  10. Sherri said on January 30, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    Margaret Sullivan on “center-lane journalism”:

    Much like white men decry identity politics without grasping that white men also have identity politics, centrists decry ideology without accepting that they have an ideology.

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  11. Suzanne said on January 30, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    So sorry to hear about your daughter’s friend, Deborah. So sad.
    I had that cold from hell last winter. Every time I would decide it was time to call the doctor, I’d feel so much better the next day. So I wouldn’t call. And within a few days, it would come back and I’d feel horrible again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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  12. Deborah said on January 30, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    What makes it even sadder about LB’s friend is that she was married to a good guy and they had a 2 year old daughter (or maybe she’s 3 already? time flies). It’s definitely sad to think what will Gwennie remember about her mother.

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  13. Dexter Friend said on January 30, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    From afar, I always enjoyed reading Breslin and Hamill whenever I saw them in print. Jimmy died in 2017, and last night I watched the cable special on their lives and careers. This is truly must-see TV. Many topics covered in detail, such as the infamous Central Park rape case and of course Son-of-Sam , David Berkowitz. Looks like Pete is in a wheelchair now. They surely did stir shit up in their time.
    Here, cold , and a squirrel worked his way into the garage and somehow got into the house and went on a tear. Coffee pot knocked to the floor, heirloom vase knocked down and shattered, other stuff knocked around, portrait knocked off the wall, frame twisted…kitchen decorative bowls on the wall knocked off. Finally I chased the thing outside. Goddammitt! I hate those squirrels, and making it worse was my wife turning totally into freak-out mode.

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  14. Julie Robinson said on January 30, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Deborah, and LB, I’m so sorry. It’s hard enough to make friends, but to lose one of so many years is especially devastating.

    Last winter my mom was sick forever and I kept thinking it was going to turn into pneumonia. It wasn’t the flu, but another similar virus so they absolutely refused her antibiotics. I had her to the doctor four times and I honestly thought we were going to lose her. They threw everything but antibiotics at her–those Tessalon things, inhaler, nose spray, I can’t even remember what else. It was three or four months before she got better.

    Here’s what you call a first world problem. Our son put in some fancy light bulbs that you control through the google home system; apparently you just tell google to turn them on, off, or higher or lower. This happened while our daughter was out of town, and the system stopped recognizing her. She couldn’t turn on the lights. She had to text him and have him do it remotely. I REALLY hope they get this figured out before I get there or I’m gonna get cranky.

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  15. alex said on January 30, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Speaking of center lane journalism, here’s our local paper flogging liberals for not showing up to a local town hall meeting, thus putting reporters in the uncomfortable position of having to call our congressman a liar:

    What a wet noodle. Go smack yourself with it, Journal-Gazette.

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  16. LAMary said on January 30, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    My son figured out that those prayer rugs were for flying over the fence/wall/barrier Aladdin style.

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  17. Suzanne said on January 30, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Oh, Jim Banks. I wouldn’t call him a liar so much as a “dumb as a box of rocks” tea party stalwart. He has his talking points and that’s all he has. I’ve written him, called his office, commented on his Twitter feed but to no avail. He just plows ahead with his tunnel vision. What an idiot.

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  18. LAMary said on January 30, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Reagan used to talk about a brave pilot who stayed with his injured turret gunner when their plane went down over the Pacific, quoting the pilot saying he wouldn’t leave the gunner alone. It was pointed out that there was no way anyone could have heard or witnessed this conversation but that didn’t stop Reagan from repeating the story. It was actually from a movie.

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  19. alex said on January 30, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Suzanne, I can’t believe we’re quibbling over whether things Jim Banks says are dumb or dishonest. They’re both, but above all they’re ludicrous.

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  20. Deborah said on January 30, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Right this minute we have direct sun on our windows on the west side and it’s not making one bit of difference on the ice which is inside. It is definitely cooler in here today than it has been the last few days. It’s usually too warm for me, but I have on my light down vest over a thick wool Irish sweater over a cotton turtleneck. Yesterday I would have been boiling with all of this on in here. The temp is now up to -15 with a windchill of -45. It’s supposed to get up to -12.

    Dexter, I would be doing the exact same thing your wife did.

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  21. Suzanne said on January 30, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    Truth, Alex. Truth. Banks = Dumb AND dishonest.

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  22. JodiP said on January 30, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Deborah and Nancy, I hope you get well very soon!

    How devastating for LB, especially when it came out of nowhere. My sincere condolences to her.

    I didn’t relize there was a new post, so re-sharing stuff I wrote on the old one….Air temp is -17, WC -31. Quite an improvement over the -50 WC this a.m. Our water intake pipe froze (!) but 20″ with a space heater fixed that.

    If it’s clear tomorrow morning before sunrise, look SE, and you will see the crescent moon, Venus and Mars prettily arranged. I caught the view around 7:25 this am.

    Pod Save the World has a good discussion on the Venezuelan situation. They don’t think sending 5000 troops to Columbia would be a good idea….

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  23. FDChief said on January 30, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    Re: the whole “duct-tape-where-the-white-women-at?” thing, the Occam’s Razor answer is “shit Trump made up”. It’s really that simple.

    No, the pernicious part is how many of our purported fellow citizens will choose to believe the lie because it matches their racist prejudice. We’ve got a lethal plurality of voters who will support anything if it makes their enemies – liberals and anyone browner than cream of wheat – sad.

    Your daily reminder that the GOP must be destroyed.

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  24. ROGirl said on January 30, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    If he repeats it enough, people (the rubes) will start believing it. That’s his reason.

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  25. Sherri said on January 30, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    When I said Schultz hadn’t been involved in local or state political issues, turns out, he *really* hasn’t been involved. As in, he seldom bothers to vote:

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  26. David C. said on January 30, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Jeff Borden @ 8. I remember hearing a story about Reagan getting a tour of the White House during the transition. They were showing him the Presidential portraits and pointed out Grover Cleveland. Reagan said he played him in the movies. Nobody could figure out a movie that Grover Cleveland was a character in. They finally figured out it was Grover Cleveland Alexander, an old timey baseball player who Reagan did play. So the old git wasn’t as one with reality from the beginning.

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  27. Joe Kobiela said on January 30, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    Nice obituary today, would love to buy you one of those hotdog’s some time. I also see via the 13:13 that here come the mummy’s are in the D this weekend, do yourself a favor and go see them, there fantastic.
    Sympathetic thoughts to L.B. on her loss.
    Pilot Joe

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  28. beb said on January 31, 2019 at 12:27 am

    I had to run some errands around Detroit today. As long as the winds wasn’t blew it didn’t too bad but if the caught you it just sucked the heat right out of ya. Took forever for the car to warm up.

    My wife did some baking this evening. The kitchen was the nicest place in the house to be — so warm.

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  29. basset said on January 31, 2019 at 1:29 am

    Just got in from seeing Peter Asher & Jeremy Clyde, I am old enough to remember them when one was half of Peter & Gordon and the other was half of Chad & Jeremy. Great show, stories, old pictures & film, and they sang as if they were both a lot younger than 70-something. Was the last night of their current tour, go see em when they come round again.

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  30. Dexter Friend said on January 31, 2019 at 4:28 am

    basset: Peter Asher is fascinating to listen to, being right there as the classic Beatles tunes were being written and performed. He hosts shows on Sirius-XM on The Beatles channel from time to time. Paul hung around the Asher estate when he was dating Jane Asher, of course. Peter is a great storyteller, painting pictures with stories of how many of those songs were born. His song with Gordon, “I Go to Pieces” was a big fave of mine.

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  31. Connie said on January 31, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Here in the metro area we not only have negative temps, we have a potentially dangerous natural gas shortage due to a fire yesterday at a processing plant. We are following the requests to keep heat turned down to 65, and have gotten out extra blankets. All of our township buildings are closed. They have made it clear that this is serious.

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  32. Deborah said on January 31, 2019 at 9:32 am

    It only got down to -16 this morning instead of -20 that was expected. Only.

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  33. basset said on January 31, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Dexter, he is indeed a very interesting guy to listen to. Seen him twice now, the first time without Jeremy. McCartney lived at the Asher family townhouse in London for two years and his room was right across the landing from Peter’s.
    And I see that Peter Jackson has been given access to 55 hours of Beatles film that was shot for “Let It Be” and is making a new movie out of it, to be followed by a cleaned up and reissued version of “Let It Be” itself… yes! YES!
    The rooftop concert was 50 years ago yesterday. When we were there in early 2017 the former Apple office building, or at least the ground floor, was an Abercrombie Kids.

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  34. Connie said on January 31, 2019 at 10:33 am

    It is so serious that GM has shut down entire plants.

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  35. Deborah said on January 31, 2019 at 11:00 am

    I certainly never heard of this before from CNN
    “…a weather phenomenon known as cryoseism — and dubbed a “frost quake.” It happens when water underground freezes and expands, causing soil and rock to crack.”
    Can make a loud booming sound, apparently heard in Chicago. Scary.

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  36. Icarus said on January 31, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    Deborah @ 35

    our house, like many in this section of the Portage Park* Neighborhood, is over 100 years old. So I definitely heard some sounds of the house conflicting with the cold. Cryoseisms or whatever, it is very scary not from a shock value but from the pocketbook 😉

    My unpopular opinion is that many people are acting as if this is radioactive fallout instead of cold air. That’s not to say that you can be outside for prolonged lengths of time without consequences, severe frostbite comes to mind. But you can survive going from your home to a car and to a heated building if you have the ability to do so. If you have to wait for a bus or train in the elements, that is another thing entirely. Still, as long as you bundle up and the wait isn’t too outrageous, you will survive.

    Of course, I grew up here so maybe I’m biased.

    * I’m hesitant to refer to it as Olde Portage Park which has something to do with a split from Old Irving Park over dogmatic changes and a particularly contentious game of Monopoly.

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  37. Deborah said on January 31, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    I’ve only lived in Chicago about 16 years (on March 1st it will be 16 yrs) and I will say this is the coldest it has been in all of that time. But I will also say that the first year we lived here through the winter there was much more ice on the lake, more long sustained cold than the extreme but short blast we’ve just had. There is some ice on the lake but it’s not nearly as much as I remember from that first year. I haven’t acclimated to the cold yet this winter because I’ve hardly been out in it, since the middle of January when we got back from NM I’ve pretty much had a bad cold the whole time. I used to walk to work almost every day rain or shine, snow or scorcher so I didn’t feel it as much as I do now. Plus of course I’m older.

    Our building did some creaking the night before last that I’d never heard before, but no loud booms or anything like that. We’ve been assured by the folks in charge of the building that everything is OK, so that’s good. Our interior temps are actually colder today than yesterday by a couple of degrees but they’ve said that’s because of the continuation of the low temps outside over a couple of days, that makes sense. We didn’t ask but they sent out an email to the residents so I guess some people have.

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  38. Jakash said on January 31, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Icarus, I’m aware of the “suck it up, it’s just winter” mentality, but to pretend that this week in Chicago has not been different doesn’t make sense to me. Personally, I don’t have any items at the ready for bundling up my face, which could’ve evidently gotten frostbitten in 15 minutes, or less. During traditional winters, I get by fine without even using a scarf. The Postal Service canceling mail delivery is not business-as-usual, nor do I imagine it was an overly-cautious decision, or one made lightly. If your 100-year-old PP homestead has a garage, as I imagine it does, good for you. Loads of people who park on the street aren’t so fortunate, and AAA was swamped to the extent that they had to limit responses yesterday to emergencies. I hate the over-hyping of routine weather events as much as the next guy, but a once-in-a-generation cold snap is far from routine (though it may become so, one fears.) Essentially, I can see why yours is an unpopular opinion. : ) And I’ve been here since before the -27 in 1985…

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  39. Sherri said on January 31, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    I’m not sure Schultz could beat trump in a straight up head to head vote in Seattle, and Seattle hates trump.

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  40. Icarus said on January 31, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    oh Jakash, sorry if I wasn’t clear. it’s not a one size fits all belief. Admittedly, from my spring marathon training days, when you are training in winter, I have enough gear to make me look like Winter Soldier sans metal hand ( )

    Surely you have gloves, scarf and a hat…that would get you through most of this. And if you live here surely you know about the different coats needed:

    My 100-year-old PP homestead not only has a 2+ car garage but it has a driveway and doors that open to the alley and the driveway, so I have options. Note: the downside of this is you lose a lot of storage space.

    Tl/DR: if you have the option to stay home, stay home. if you have to go to out, bundle up and limit your exposure.

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  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 31, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Cheers to y’all in Chicago:

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  42. JodiP said on January 31, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    Like many, I have been reading about the weather. I lived through this cold snap, but don’t remember it. The high temps followed by lows in parentheses from February 2 to the 5th, 1996: -12 (-27), -17 (-32), -11 (-26), 4 (-23), 13 (-6).

    Currently WC is -11. I’m meeting a friend after work. I will be walking about 5 blocks outside, but I’ve got good gear, so should be OK. I also have the audiobook Becoming by Michelle Obama, read by her, so that will be enjoyable!

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  43. Dexter Friend said on January 31, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    We’re going back down from 2F to 0 but I feel we are over the hump. I took Pogo Labbie Dog out to the country for a short walk and a poop. I bought some doggie boots but she chewed them off before she got to the door… I tapered off and nearly eliminated McDonald’s but today I went for a sausage egg cheese biscuit. Their senior coffee at 79 cents is a good deal. 18 years ago a senior coffee was 29 cents. ~ Trump is trying to make the woman who kicked his ass last week look like a whimpering idiot, but we all see through that idiot Trump . He is saying “…maybe we should tear down the wall at the border near Tijuana and then the illegals would come pouring in and Nancy would come to me begging for a wall…” And Pelosi said , or inferred, fuck you and your never-gonna-get wall.

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  44. Jakash said on January 31, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    Thanks for the reply, Icarus, and the Winter Soldier image, as I’m not familiar with the gentleman (though I guess it’s easy enough to figure out from his name!)

    I’m the kinda guy who has 2 coats that suffice for spring, fall and winter, so, while I appreciate your wardrobe, I’ve never felt that special clothes are required for the small number of days that it’s 10 or below around here in an average winter. (Oh, 3 coats, if one counts the dressy trench coat.) Also the kinda guy who’s run two fall marathons, but knew I’d never be up for the winter training required for a spring one.

    My main point was that these 2 – 3 days really have been extraordinary. Yes, one can survive them, and people are, even while working on power lines or fighting fires — but “cold air” understates it, IMHO, as evidenced also by the South Shore and Metra trains that were sidelined. A refrigerator has cold air, but not like this. I think this has been a rare instance of the hype and warnings being warranted. But, I’m repeating myself. Sorry!

    Your concluding advice is apt, indeed.

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  45. Jakash said on January 31, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Jeff (tmmo),

    Those are some gorgeous, dramatic winter images. These, uh, not so much, but they are kinda funny and/or gross, so there’s that…

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  46. Joe Kobiela said on January 31, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    While I didn’t run outside the last 2 days mostly due to the wind I did run inside at the ymca 10 laps=1mile however I have run in temps below zero 2 Monday’s ago it was -10 with no wind, I wore wicking long johns, top and bottom, Nike tights, long sleeve wicking running shirt and a wicking sweatshirt, sock hat, and fingerless mitten gloves, my shoes have sheet metal screws in the soles for traction on snow and ice, no face cover, ran a comfortable 5.5 miles. The trick is in the wicking material now available it keeps you dry and warm.
    Pilot Joe

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  47. Joe Kobiela said on January 31, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    While I didn’t run outside the last 2 days mostly due to the wind I did run inside at the ymca 10 laps=1mile however I have run in temps below zero 2 Monday’s ago it was -10 with no wind, I wore wicking long johns, top and bottom, Nike tights, long sleeve wicking running shirt and a wicking sweatshirt, sock hat, and fingerless mitten gloves, my shoes have sheet metal screws in the soles for traction on snow and ice, no face cover, right an a comfortable 5.5 miles. The trick is in the wicking material now available it keeps you dry and warm.
    Pilot Joe

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  48. Joe Kobiela said on January 31, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Sorry for the double post.
    Pilot Joe

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  49. alex said on January 31, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    Glad the cold snap is over and so’s our cat, who’s been spitefully pooping and peeing on the doormat in the garage during her captivity. She’s back outside and seems fully acclimated.

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  50. Deborah said on January 31, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks Jeff tmmo, you can see my building in some of those photos, you have to enlarge them somewhat, but there’s one that you can actually see my windows if you know where to look.

    We’ve been watching the frost on our windows melt all day. It’s getting close to 0° finally. Kind of reminds us of Clifford Still paintings

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  51. brian stouder said on January 31, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    Excellent Chicago photos, indeed.

    If, in Sandburg’s Chicago

    The fog comes
    on little cat feet.

    It sits looking
    over harbor and city
    on silent haunches
    and then moves on.

    then this polar vortex must come on Buffalo hooves; cracking and cackling; and coldly persisting rather than quickly moving on

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  52. Dexter Friend said on February 1, 2019 at 1:47 am

    It’s still cold as a Wisconsin well digger’s ass but by gawd it’s February. Trump called in reporters from The New York Times to complain about all the money he was losing from being the fearless leader. “So what if some people stay in the hotel, I am still losing big money here.” ~ The “Empire” actor’s story of a beating in Chicago, culminating in a noose his attackers placed around his neck…well…the story is standing on shaky legs. Could it have been a lovers quarrel gone over the boundaries? There were something like 17 security cams running and not one shows any altercation where the victim pointed. The only people at all in the 2:00 AM videos were the Subway sandwich maker and two men sharing a cigarette or just conversation on a sidewalk. Fishy, fishy indeed.

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  53. Deborah said on February 1, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Waking up this morning the lake was white as far as the eye could see. We could actually see it clearly through ice free windows. The lake is breaking up a bit now. Looking forward to taking a shower and going outside today. I haven’t washed my hair in a week (eewww) I read that walking around with wet hair wouldn’t help my cold, even inside.

    They haven’t revealed the cause of death of LB’s friend yet. She apparently collapsed after walking a few blocks to pick up her daughter at daycare.

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  54. Icarus said on February 1, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Dexter Friend @ 52 when the Empire Actor story broke I invoked my usual, yet also unpopular, Let’s see how this develops stance. I try to apply that stance judiciously, because all too often, more information comes out later that makes early responses look foolish.

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  55. brian stouder said on February 1, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    And for a complete (or, ‘komplete’) non-sequitur, this article caught my eye:

    the lead*:

    Fort Wayne police arrested a man Thursday after finding drugs and paraphernelia inside his home and a storage unit.

    Detectives received information that Khristopher K. Kropp, 52, was dealing methamphetamine from his home at 1014 Huffman Street. Further investigations led detectives to get a search warrant for the home.

    Do you suppose mom and dad actually hung that guy with that ‘KKK’ name? Or did he change his name to that? (akin to getting a ‘born to lose’ tattoo upon one’s forehead)

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  56. Brandon said on February 1, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    I don’t think anyone has ever mentioned Empire on this blog before the news of Jussie Smollett’s assault.

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  57. beb said on February 1, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    In addition to fire fighters and linemen, don’t forget the water dept. workers who have to go out and fix broken mains in this weather. Deborah @35 mentions “cryoseism” a word I admit to never hearing before but the shifting earth from soil contracting from the cold is familiar enough: it breaks water mains forcing crews to go out, dig them up and make repairs. True they cut off the water before starting but the area is soaked in water and will conduct away heat as fast or faster than air. Those guys need as much sympathy as the fire fighters — and those guys need a lot.

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  58. Deborah said on February 1, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    I just got back from walking 2 miles, it was about 20° out there, and sunny. I can not fathom how workers could have been out in the frigid temps of the last few nights. It wasn’t windy at all while I was out, but I was plenty cold with hat, ear muffs, scarf, puffy coat with layers under it, plus lined snow boots. I’m happy to report that the sidewalks were clear, not slippery, but there were a lot of signs out to be cautious of ice falling off of the tall buildings in the neighborhood. Thank goodness tomorrow will be in the 40s so maybe I’ll finally stop commenting on the weather.

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  59. basset said on February 1, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    Here’s a change of topic, then. My first pension check arrived yesterday. I feel old.

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  60. Joe Kobiela said on February 1, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Feels good doesn’t it?
    Enjoy it you deserve it.
    Pilot Joe

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  61. alex said on February 1, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    Brian, I’ll admit that one escaped me. I just thought it was po folk being kutesy like my kin that named their daughter Karolyn. Horrible thing to do to their child. Look how he turned out. Khristopher is a whole lot worse than Karolyn, though, who has actually made a decent life for herself.

    Basset, how the fuck did you manage to be a member of our generation and get a pension? And one that’s not insolvent?

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  62. basset said on February 2, 2019 at 2:33 am

    I was one of those government bureaucratic drones, wasting your tax dollars and accumulating undeserved rewards. Just go ahead and shoot me.

    Joe, it does indeed feel great but I’d be coughing up blood if I tried to run 5.5 miles in ten below, or at all.

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  63. Suzanne said on February 2, 2019 at 8:25 am

    Don’t get me started on people naming their kids odd things, be it a made up name or a regular name spelled oddly. Wiilyam instead of William, in place of Portia let’s spell it Porsche (met this woman), Windward because the parents saw the word on a map (another true story), names like that. Do they understand how sick & tired that kid will get of having to spell his or her name over and over and over? Or having people snicker about the name?

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  64. basset said on February 2, 2019 at 8:40 am

    And there’s the unconfirmable story about the twins named after hospital food, Lemonjello and Oranjello…

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  65. Julie Robinson said on February 2, 2019 at 10:06 am

    After a lifetime of correcting the spelling or pronunciation of Julianne Pigott, (with a sister named Jeralynn, nicknamed Jeri) I was pretty happy to become Julie Robinson. We gave our kids plain-jane names. Of course, I have learned there are a lot of people out there with the same names, which comes with its own set of problems.

    Hubster worked for the same company 27 years and started pulling a pension at 60. Supposedly it is airtight, note I said supposedly. It’s not enough to live on but it goes a long way towards paying for our retirement house in Orlando. We are really lucky because we also have a 401K and the company put in 50 cents for every dollar invested. We always saved the maximum and it was pre-tax. Now if we could just figure out health insurance. I have a feeling that’s gonna be the gotcha.

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  66. Sherri said on February 2, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Julie, I thought that going from Sherri Menees to Sherri Nichols would mean not constantly have to spell both names, but discovered that Nichols gets misspelled constantly, and not in the expected way (the extra ‘l’). Nickels is the most common, with Nicholas next, and the occasional Nicols.

    We landed on a name that is both familiar and uncommon in her generation for our daughter: Susan. And at a pretty young age, she made it clear that she was Susan, not Sue or Susie.

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  67. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 2, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Basset, congrats! We who still labor salute you. Make the most of your retirement; I couldn’t make most of the stuff I help with in our community happen without retired people. An awful lot of social service back in the day was backstopped by stay at home moms, and that niche is now all yours, retired folk! Thanks for your help, and I get inspired by talking to retired people who are trying new things and doing something different, even if its often “but not until I get that other hip replaced…”

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  68. Julie Robinson said on February 2, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Incredibly, some people can’t spell Robinson either.

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  69. David C. said on February 2, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    When I saw some poor kid named Daevydd I wanted to turn his parents in to social services.

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  70. Jakash said on February 2, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    I dunno, Suzanne, I kinda like Porsche. It’s a nice sound, and there may be more people who know how to spell that than Portia. I’d never actually *choose* to do that, but at least it has a bit of panache, especially when compared with the names and spellings that make it seem like the person never left the holler…

    Basset, it seems pretty clear to me that the vast majority visiting these comment threads appreciate the role of government and its workers in our society. Plus, most of us don’t have any guns to shoot you with, even if we wanted to. ; ) Regardless, congrats!

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  71. Deborah said on February 2, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    I think I’ve told this story here before but that never stopped me. My maiden name is one letter short of being an obscenity, and believe me I was called that way too many times as a kid. My first married name was unspellable and unpronounceable by people seeing it for the first time. After I divorced I came up with my new last name which is close to my maiden name, and the same initial as my married name. When I remarried I kept my name because I had clients who knew me by that name and besides I like it. I have thought about changing it now to my husband’s name but I don’t want to go through the hassle of changing driver’s license, passport, credit cards, social security, etc etc.

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  72. Suzanne said on February 2, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    Speaking of names, I have been long curious if Urban Meyer has siblings named Rural, or Village or Suburban.

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  73. David C. said on February 2, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Have you heard the new season of “Farm to Taber”, Sherri? It’s wicked good.

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  74. brian stouder said on February 2, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    And further on names, a young lady named Chevel (her spelling) won The Voice this past season; presumably her parents really liked that particular Chevy.

    I’d probably be named Galaxy (for the old big Ford)….

    PS –

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  75. Sherri said on February 2, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Just listened to the first episode, David C. Wicked good, indeed. I’ve spent the last year and a half learning how to look at things as systems, and she’s talking about agriculture and food as a system, and I’m eating it up, so to speak!

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  76. basset said on February 2, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    And let’s not forget the Buddy Holly plane crash, sixty years ago almost to the hour.

    Thanks, Jakash… I wasn’t as serious about that as some of you all may have thought.

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  77. Sherri said on February 2, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    You know, I think I have a different idea of what honorable is than do many white Southern men of my generation…

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  78. basset said on February 2, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    Go on…

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  79. Sherri said on February 2, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    Ralph Northam was president of the honor court when he was at VMI, a public school which did not allow women when he and I were college age.

    Ralph Northam is not behaving honorably, in my opinion.

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  80. JodiP said on February 3, 2019 at 10:43 am

    I don’t mind creative names. One of my tasks at the jail is to look up people in the social service system to see if they are open to county services. Often these folks are from impoverished backgrounds. Yes, one could argue that naming your kid something conventional is easier, but I’ve come to see that giving a distinguished name could be a way to fight back against and gain some power in a system designed to keep you impoverished.

    In other news, the cooks among us may appreciate a cookbook recommendation: I mentioned a couple weeks ago I’d recently, belatedly found out about David Lebovitz. His book, My Paris Kitchen, is a delight–full of good recipes, color photos and stories. I bought a copy and it’s full of bright orange post-it notes of things I’ll be making.

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  81. brian stouder said on February 3, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    Sherri – the best laugh of the day I had today was when I saw the clip of Northam and his wife at the podium, and the disgraced governor is taking questions about his statement that – while he’s not in the photos in his yearbook(!!), he DID do the black-face thing back in the day when he’d do his Michael Jackson/moonwalk schtick.

    A reporter followed up on that and asked if he could still bust that move (or whatever) – and it appeared he was ready to do it when his wife interjected, and stopped him!!

    Looks like Virginia elected the wrong one, in that couple!

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