Sick, sick, sick.

In my bottomless masochism, I subscribed to Will Sommer’s Right Richter newsletter. It’s not the reading that’s difficult; Sommer covers the nutso right for the Daily Beast, and man. Man. It’s hard to believe this isn’t just pro wrestling.

The newsletter is free, and if you follow the link above you can get it, too. I’m going to quote more liberally from the latest issue this week than I generally do, just so you can get the gist here:

Two of the internet’s greatest galaxy brains are at war.

On one side: InfoWars chief Alex Jones, who’s been scrambling to get headlines after getting booted off of nearly every social media platform.

On the other: Joe Rogan, the mixed-martial arts commentator, hallucinogen enthusiast, and bro god who doubles as the gatekeeper to the quasi-conservative, quasi-mystical Intellectual Dark Web.

Jones and Rogan used to be pals. The InfoWars chief was on Rogan’s mega-popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, less than two years ago, racking up millions of views for his one-time chum.

But now, Jones will only describe Rogan as a pig he’s going to gut.

“Joe Rogan, metaphysically, is a Christmas hog,” Jones said Wednesday. “And I’m going to politically haul him up by his back legs and slit his throat. His blood will fill buckets — politically, not violently.”

The beef between the two started at least last summer, when Jones, beset by social media bans and lawsuits over his conspiracy theories, watched his influence start to wane. But the feud has turned red-hot after Rogan interviewed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey — and failed, in Jones’s view, to press Dorsey enough on why InfoWars was banned from Twitter.

Enraged, Jones has “declared war” on Rogan, claiming that he’s working for the CIA and George Soros. In his response video, Rogan said he’s just too busy to be a CIA asset.

Jones insisted that Rogan promoted Bitcoin to his audience as part of a scheme to make himself and Dorsey rich off the backs of his “sucker plantation” audience. Naturally, Jones doesn’t mention that InfoWars, too, went wild for Bitcoin in 2017.

Even Rogan’s enthusiasm for the hallucinogen DMT has come into play, with Jones claiming that Rogan is using the drug to mind-control his fans.

It’s tempting to say that of course this is pro wrestling. Because no one could be crazy enough to believe this. But then you wander…well, take a Facebook profile I found myself marveling over the other day, one I’d found while following a comment back from a right-wing deplorable in northern Michigan. I learned that this person, a woman who also lives up there, is convinced she is being poisoned by, among other things, vaccines, fluoridation, chemtrails and 5G internet radiation. She lives remotely because that’s the only way she can feel safe.

Imagine a mind like that, hearing Alex Jones tell you Joe Rogan is using DMT to control his fans. You’d scoff, I’d scoff, but someone who thinks the internet is giving her cancer? Please, Mr. Jones, tell me more. The other day I was thinking about quackery, for some reason, remembering, yet again, the fabulous Flo Ripley, my high-school health teacher, who taught us about chiropractic and osteopathic medicine, how they differed from the traditional sort (at least as practiced in this country), other topics related to how medical con men work, and how we might know when we were being bullshitted. And then the laetrile story broke big — I think Steve McQueen traveled to Mexico to get this cancer cure that Big Pharma wanted to keep from the people, but spoiler alert, he died of cancer anyway. I read these stories at 16, 17 years old and said, Why, this sounds like bullshit. As I recall, Coretta Scott King did the same thing, although I don’t know whether she was after laetrile. Steve Jobs tried to treat his own cancer with “nutrition” and all that.

All dead. And now we have Goop, vaccine “hesitancy” listed as a public-health threat, fluoridation panics and myriad other ignorance afoot in the land, aided and abetted by the internet. And Alex Jones, of course.

So this is going to be it for me for a few days. We’re packing our bags for a long weekend away, Alan burning auto-show comp time and me? I just need some time away. Of course I am still sick. I went to see my doctor and begged for a Z-pack, because I was sure all this crud had migrated to my ears and become a bacterial infection.

His cold-hearted reply: “It’s viral. I had it. My wife had it, everyone has it. Antibiotics won’t do any good and might give you diarrhea.”

So on I go. In week three now. Maybe I’ll spread this to the whole world before I stop coughing.

Posted at 6:29 pm in Current events, Popculch |

132 responses to “Sick, sick, sick.”

  1. LAMary said on February 6, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    My go to remedy for colds that won’t go away is Chinese hot and sour soup followed by a coconut popsicle. First it gets the mucous flowing then the popsicle soothes your throat. It doesn’t cure anything but it tastes great and you feel a little better for a while.

    264 chars

  2. Julie Robinson said on February 6, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    The virus from hell; I’m so sorry. Mom had it last winter and by the fourth doctor visit I begged for antibiotics. I really thought it was turning to pneumonia and she was going to die. She didn’t, so I guess they were right?

    I have a great addition to the name game we were playing last week: Klanitra. To me, it sounds like the name of a medicine you’d get for yeast infections, but some mom and dad 19 years ago looked at their little baby girl and thought that was the perfect name for her.

    Today, on February 6, I picked luscious fresh strawberries and this is why I love Orlando. The end.

    602 chars

  3. Julie Robinson said on February 6, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Correction, the name is Clinitra, or possibly Clinetra. Still sounds like yeast medication. Maybe even more.

    108 chars

  4. BigHank53 said on February 6, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    At least if you’re staying in a hotel the hot water heaters are big enough that you can take forty-five minute showers and steam the hell out of your sinuses. Mind you, I’d take a forty-five minute shower just for the heck of it anyway.

    I picked up a variant in New York State three weeks ago–snot filled sinuses to begin with, then it’s gradually crept down my throat. My hypochondria lobe is convinced it’s going to turn into bronchitis, of course.

    I think my personal favorite conspiracy theory was the one circulating about the little reflective stickers on the back side of road signs, which were supposed to constitute some kind of secret code to aid the UN troops that were poised to invade…any day now. I encountered that one about the same time I encountered chemtrails.

    It’s a miswired religious impulse, as far as I can tell. Many of us need to believe that SOMEONE is in charge of things and it isn’t all random chance. Since the Almighty keeps refusing to put an appearance folks are left to grasp at whatever straws they can find: Men in Black, the Illuminati, pedophiles operating out of secret tunnels, the Trilateral Commission, drug-runners from Mena…anything that means that the bad things happened for a reason.

    1253 chars

  5. Suzanne said on February 6, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    I think you are correct, BigHank. It does seem more prevalent among the devout, at least in my experience, for the very reasons you state. When something bad happens, and God didn’t step in and stop it, it’s got to be somebody’s fault be it the chemtrails or overly processed salt or vaccines. It simply cannot be that life is incredibly random because that is even scarier than the attacks of Satan. You can pray him away; you can’t pray away the randomness of life.

    475 chars

  6. Deborah said on February 6, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    Tonight at Uncle J’s we had a big family dinner again with a bunch of little kids with colds sneezing and coughing everywhere. I tried to keep my distance, I hope I can keep from getting sick again. I don’t want to go back into that so soon after finally crawling out of it. Sigh.

    284 chars

  7. basset said on February 7, 2019 at 12:06 am

    Connie, continuing the Newaygo County thread from yesterday… you may have noticed that Michelle Obama’s book mentions vacationing with her family in White Cloud when she was little.

    Would be nice to know a realtor up there but we already have the land, Mrs. B’s family has a farm east of Woodville. House is abandoned, fields are rented out, the men of the family used to gather there for deer season but the last time I went a few years ago there were only three of us and there’s been at least one year since then when nobody hunted.

    539 chars

  8. ROGirl said on February 7, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Haven’t been sick yet (knock wood), despite the continuous hacking, explosive sneezing, and evacuation of gallons of snot, since the beginning of the year, of the woman who sits on the other side of the cubicle from me.

    219 chars

  9. Bitter Scribe said on February 7, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Regarding the virus: Bad weather plus a kindhearted boss have meant I’ve worked from home six of the last eight days, so I haven’t gone out much and thus have been protected. But I’m going to Atlanta next week, so maybe my luck will run out.

    I’m just starting research on an article about foods/ingredients that boost the immune system. My task will probably be complicated by the possibility that there’s no such thing; all those claims may well be a crock.

    Regarding Joe Rogan: Didn’t he play the lunkhead studio employee on “Newsradio”? That show had its moments but was just schizophrenic, and not in a calculated way. It’s like the writers couldn’t figure out what they wanted it to be.

    Alex Jones, of course, is a real schizo. Or at least he portrays one convincingly.

    783 chars

  10. Mark P said on February 7, 2019 at 10:52 am

    I think the previous comments are on the right track regarding religion and nuts. Personality is a function of the brain, and the human brain is very complicated. It has developed a lot of capabilities that give humans a survival advantage, but which also lead to some odd behaviors. We are very good at recognizing patterns, but we also see Jesus in a piece of toast. We are good at figuring out cause and effect, so we naturally think there must be an ultimate cause when a tree limb falls on a little boy and kills him. I suppose it started off by people thinking that there must be someone inside the tree doing things like that, and there must be someone controlling the weather, or the ocean. That urge leads some people to become scientists and some to become preachers (or, in my brother’s case, a scientist and a preacher). But something goes wrong in some people. A wheel fell off, a gear didn’t mesh, a wire wasn’t properly soldered. Someone misplaced a decimal point in a line of code, or made a sign error, or put too few brackets in an equation. Those people can still tie their shoelaces, they can make change at the grocery store, and they can order a double cheeseburger, large fries and a milkshake at the drive through. But they also think the ghost of Elvis is flying a black UN helicopter dropping bombs that make some people gay and others get abortions, and that Hillary Clinton is operating a factory in the desert Southwest that runs on meth and makes Mexican babies who vote Democratic. Those people used to get their conspiracy neurons firing by reading the Enquirer at the checkout or listening to late night AM talk radio, but now they can enjoy all the conspiracy theories they want in the comfort of their dark, shuttered, smelly homes. They aren’t deplorable, they’re defective.

    1810 chars

  11. Heather said on February 7, 2019 at 11:04 am

    Well, I seem to have caught the crud. My indoor allergies and asthma have been acting up for the last month or two, so I thought maybe they were just getting worse, but I think at this point it must be an actual cold. Sneezing, coughing, sore throat, etc. Froggy voice is in full swing. I’ve got a guy coming to clean my furnace today, have been wiping off various surfaces hoping to contain some of the germs. I bought some turmeric root a while ago, going to make a tisane to see if that cuts down the inflammation.

    And Bitter Scribe, yes, Joe Rogan was on NewsRadio. That was a great show, but it never recovered from the loss of Phil Hartman after he died.

    661 chars

  12. Bitter Scribe said on February 7, 2019 at 11:08 am

    Mark P, great comment.

    What scariest to me is that those people have the same vote I do.

    91 chars

  13. FDChief said on February 7, 2019 at 11:20 am

    It’s probably useful to consider how scary it is to conceive of a world in which many, even most, events are simply a coincidence of multiple random variables. No gods, no fates, no higher plan; you succeed or fail, live or die because of a random germ or a stray gust of wind drops the branch on your head instead of the ground beside it.

    Throw in how hard it is to accept that a hell of a lot of Life is confusing, complex, and dissatisfying, you can kind of get how for a big chunk of humanity it’s really comforting to have a convenient explanation that makes the world less scary and chaotic AND makes you the possessor of Secret Wisdom.

    It’s nuts, of course, and, worse, in a republic it makes you prey for scumbags like Jones and Rogan who will use your fear, confusion, and credulity to do things like get moronic real estate grifters in a position to steal from you. It’s very human, but also monstrously stupid and self-destructive.

    956 chars

  14. Deborah said on February 7, 2019 at 11:33 am

    What has been astounding to me is how many of those people are out there. I thought it was a much smaller percentage than it seems to be. I’m not at all sure that reason and rationality will prevail.

    201 chars

  15. basset said on February 7, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Very well put, Mark P.

    22 chars

  16. Jeff Borden said on February 7, 2019 at 12:08 pm


    The tens of millions of Americans who still believe in the Orange King despite the dumpster fire of his administration convinced me the number of lunkheads is much larger than the 5% to 10% I’d estimated. It’s pretty clear there’s a good 35% of our fellow citizens easily swayed by fear, ignorance, anger and hate.

    326 chars

  17. Suzanne said on February 7, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Tax time will be interesting this year. I have already seen a couple of letters to the editor in the local paper expressing frustration that the amount of tax money owed is way up from last year. I’ve seen a number on Twitter as well. Maybe when Trump’s big legislative “win” hits checkbooks in a bad way, it’ll wake people up a bit.

    343 chars

  18. FDChief said on February 7, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    The appeal of Trump is something that no amount of economic pain will shatter for the 30-40% of white America that sees him as their magical leader, because the magic is racism and theocracy.

    I have liberal friends who keep stuttering at the degree to which these MAGAt lunkheads vote and cheer for people who see them as so much soylent green. But my view of them has always been that they DON’T see voting for robber barons who will rape them economically as a negative…provided those robbers rob and rape brown and black and heathen and lib’rul people HARDER.

    It’s not that they’re voting “against their interests”, it’s that their racism IS their interest. Their white supremacy, their Christopathic commitment to ensuring their God gets to rule the lives of the godless and the skeptics, their hate of the poor and the dark and the uninhibited are the interests they’re voting for.

    And that, frankly, is death to a nation that supposedly promises “equal justice under law”. It is an explicit demand that the poor and the dusky and the godless and the liberal must be ground under heel, or the MAGAts will happily burn the joint to the ground rather than compromise so much as a millimeter.

    I honestly don’t see a way out of this. How the hell do you go on when a third or more of your populace would rather wreck the place than accept the idea that they need to press 1 for English and trade in their Hummer for a Leaf and make their boss pay a 70% marginal tax rate?

    That’s the really galling part. It’s one thing to die because you’re caught up in a storm fueled by the ideas of a Marx, or a Hitler, or a Stalin, or a Mao.

    But to be punked by people driven by freaking Alex Jones, Ann Coulter, and Rushbo? It’s like dying because you tripped over the enormous shoe of Bozo the Clown; there’s no goddamn dignity in it.

    1840 chars

  19. Bitter Scribe said on February 7, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Paul Krugman had a good column in the New York Times recently about racism and economic appeal. He pointed out that the American public as a whole wants things like Medicare for all, higher taxes on the ultra-rich, and a better social safety net. But at the same time, a near-majority of white voters are motivated by sheer racism.

    This is how Southern politicians maintained their grip on power through the early to mid-twentieth century. It’s also how Trump won. He made enough vague gestures toward economic populism, by talking about things like trade and protecting coal, to resonate with working-class whites, while hooking them with his racism.

    It’s also why there is no constituency for the “socially liberal, economically conservative” politician so beloved of certain pundits. A nitwit like Howard Schultz will never get anywhere, because no one really wants policies that favor the rich, especially when they’re untethered to racist appeals.

    Krugman’s conclusion is chilling: A racist politician who is also a true economic populist would tear up the pea patch.

    1075 chars

  20. FDChief said on February 7, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    The social programs of the New Deal – from Social Security through the GI Bill – were set up to exclude minorities for a reason. FDR and Truman knew perfectly well how racist their nation and, particularly, the southern wing of their party was. It always kind of amazes me how invested so many Americans are in not accepting how deep racial hatred goes in our national character and history.

    The only thing I see between that white populist and power is the other central tenet of American life; wealth. The Framers were well-off white guys who liked it that way. Our governance is based on that. So I don’t see a real red-meat leveler getting past the structural defenses erected around wealth. The Depression was a one-off that allowed FDR to convince the rich that a little money was a good trade for heading off Red revolution and the lamppost. They hated it and have worked tirelessly to reverse it. Now, absent a genuine danger from the Left? They’re back on top. Look at how few hangings we had after 2008.

    The only “populist” I see coming up through the GOP is the Trump-variety fake sort. And the Democratic Party won’t tolerate the racism anymore.

    1174 chars

  21. Julie Robinson said on February 7, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Suzanne, we are going to owe something like 2K more in taxes this year with no additional income. We are middle-middle, nowhere near a six figure family, so yes, I’m a little irked to think that the very wealthy are paying less.

    There’s a rule that if you haven’t withheld enough you have an additional penalty, so we started having way more taken out of each paycheck. They’ve lifted the rule for this year only, but I still think there will be a lot of howling come April 15.

    It’s the Reagan tax cut all over again, the one where the little guys actually pay more.

    572 chars

  22. beb said on February 7, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    My sympathies, Nancy, on your persistent illness. Nothing can bring you down like feeling miserable for weeks at a stretch. My sympathies to Deborah as well for the same reason.

    The situation in Virginia has reached the level of farce. The governor is accused of racial insensitivity (wearing blackface 35 years ago). The Lt. Governor is accused for sexual assault and/or rape. The next in line is the Attorney General admits to having worn blackface once. And the next in line after him is a Republican. Since the people of Virginia voted for a Democratic governor, I think this guy is out of bounds. The choice seems to be between a Republican and aguy who once wore blackface. Considering that this is Virginia, I would argue that it would be hard to find a white guy who hasn’t worn blackface.

    800 chars

  23. Sherri said on February 7, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    I struggle to imagine where a race-baiting economic populist would come from. Capitalism and white supremacy are so intertwined in this country in so many unexamined ways that I don’t even know how you would create such a candidate.

    234 chars

  24. Liz Davis said on February 7, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    I agree with your all of your acute observations, especially this one.

    “It’s not that they’re voting “against their interests”, it’s that their racism IS their interest. Their white supremacy, their Christopathic commitment to ensuring their God gets to rule the lives of the godless and the skeptics, their hate of the poor and the dark and the uninhibited are the interests they’re voting for.”

    This could not better stated. I enjoy Nancy’s blog and the comments from the readers.

    514 chars

  25. Sherri said on February 7, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Bezos to the National Enquirer: Go fuck yourself.

    122 chars

  26. Sherri said on February 7, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    What’s happening in Virginia (and could happen a lot of other places) just confirms two things for me:

    -there is no meritocracy

    -we need to elect more women, especially women of color

    191 chars

  27. Deggjr said on February 7, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    I hope Bezos goes full Hogan/Gawker on the National Enquirer. Deeper Pockets Justice is unfair but maybe for once it will be unfair in the right direction.

    156 chars

  28. alex said on February 7, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Cheers for Bezos. May his manhood stand proudly for all the world to see.

    73 chars

  29. beb said on February 7, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    The Mad Biologist wrote:
    Essential he explains having lived in Virginia for some time and states that the state was very racist for some time and that it would be hard to find someone who hadn’t worn blackface or knew someone who had worn blackface.

    I agree with Sherri that the only solution is to elect more women of color.

    Rep. John Dingall has died. He will be missed.

    444 chars

  30. icarus said on February 7, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    They do have a peculiar line of succession down there

    165 chars

  31. Suzanne said on February 8, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Reading about the Bezos affair with the National Enquirer, I can’t help but think of Hamilton and the Reynolds affair. “You can’t hold this over my head if I spill the beans first!”

    189 chars

  32. Deborah said on February 8, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Are successful men stupid? I mean did Bezos think he could get away with dick pics? He was married, she was married, both with children. What were they thinking? With all of the hacking being done how did they think they would not be found out? Of course AMI is disgusting, no excuses there but how stupid of these people to think it won’t get out. For all we know Bezos has had dozens of other affairs and hasn’t been found out so maybe he thought he was invincible. Maybe they just don’t think it’s a big deal, second nature or something. It’s weird to me.

    558 chars

  33. Deborah said on February 8, 2019 at 9:35 am

    This is part of a tweet by Patton Oswalt: Bezos Blackmail Backlash Puts Pecker in a Pickle Over Penis Pix

    105 chars

  34. Jakash said on February 8, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    That’s good, Deborah @ 32. I saw a screenshot of a Huffpost headline: “Bezos Exposes Pecker” that’s a little more succinct. ; )

    I’m not familiar with the Hamilton and Reynolds affair, but I assume he had to make do with charcoal drawings of his dick?

    255 chars

  35. Suzanne said on February 8, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    All the scoop.

    107 chars

  36. beb said on February 8, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    Buzzfeed has a nice tribute to the late Rep. John Dingall.
    Dingall was noted for his witty twitter posts. So they ran a bunch of them.

    Deborah asks if all successful men are idiots. I’d like to say #notallsuccessfulmen but history seems to prove that the more people dependent on a men the lower his “smarts” become.

    Rachel Maddow had a interesting piece about the National Enquirer / Bezos affair. The parent company, AMI had entered into a consent agreement that they would be absolved of all previous crimes if they come clean about Trump. BUT ONLY, Rachel noted, if they avoid future crimes. And if it can be shown that they were trying to blackmail Bezos… that immunity goes away. AMI could be in for a world of hurt.

    818 chars

  37. Jakash said on February 8, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    A Twitter comment I saw to a post about the Bezos bombshell wonders how similar the letter that Bezos got was to ones that Lindsay Graham and/or Rand Paul may have gotten. Hmmmm…

    Thanks for the link, Suzanne. Was that “the Callender affair?” I used to know about stuff like that! But it also shows how out of the loop I am by not having seen “Hamilton.” Anyway, good analogy…

    387 chars

  38. LAMary said on February 8, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    I think Bezos and his ex had lived apart for a while and his wife was aware he was seeing other women. From the statement they released when the divorce was publicized it looks like they both were going on with their lives and relationships while still married. It wasn’t one of those scummy adulterous type things like all the Trump divorces.

    343 chars

  39. Suzanne said on February 8, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    In a nutshell, Hamilton had an affair with a woman, which may well have been set up by her husband. Hamilton’s political enemies found out that it happened and that he had been paying off the woman’s husband to keep it quiet. They thought Alexander H. might have been getting the bribery money from the US treasury. To prove he wasn’t stealing from the government and to get ahead of any possible blackmail, Hamilton published a lengthy account of the affair. “See, you can’t blackmail me about something everybody already knows!”
    It was quite the scandal.

    570 chars

  40. Julie Robinson said on February 8, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Hamilton had an affair with Maria Reynolds while his wife was away, her husband blackmailed him and he paid. Political rivals thought he had used government money and threatened to expose him. So, he showed them by confessing in the Reynolds pamphlet and it didn’t go as he’d hoped.

    Instead of exonerating Hamilton, it ended any hopes of the Presidency and came darn near to wrecking his marriage. In the show, his wife Eliza sings “Burn”, during which she burns all their letters and says she will erase him. Youtube it, it’s pretty devastating.

    How many southern white men have neither had an affair or dressed in blackface? It’s looking like a very small number.

    A personal confession: in my youth I acted in a lot of plays, and I have portrayed both an Asian and a Native American, with extra color on my skin and slant-eyed makeup. I’m horrified by it now, but without anyone of either ethnicity in the area, those of us with black hair played those parts.

    Today, I wouldn’t produce the one show, but what do you do about South Pacific when everyone in town in lily white? It’s a conundrum for which I don’t have the answer.

    1141 chars

  41. Sherri said on February 8, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Pecker, of course, has been friends with trump for years, and has allegedly buried dirt on trump. How does trump respond to blackmail?

    134 chars

  42. Scout said on February 8, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Not all successful men are idiots. Off the top of my head – Exhibit A: Barack Obama; Exhibit B: Robert Mueller; Exhibit C: George Clooney

    137 chars

  43. Sherri said on February 8, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    To all the conservatives who think that trump is worth it because of the courts: go fuck yourselves is the nicest reaction I have right now.

    252 chars

  44. alex said on February 8, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Julie, speaking of South Pacific…

    I vaguely remember that the album cover of the original Broadway cast recording had a guy in dark greasepaint with a grass skirt and coconut tits portraying a hula girl.

    208 chars

  45. susan said on February 8, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    sherri @42 – and Mitch McConnell can go fry to the blackness of his spirit. And he can go fuck himself. I don’t care which order.

    Let alone the damned death “penalty” should be abolished forever.

    198 chars

  46. Dexter Friend said on February 8, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Albert Finney passed on yesterday,according to The Mirror. He was 82 and I thought he was much older. Not a fan of his art, nonetheless my wife and all 3 daughters adored his movies. ~ My flu shot has worked so far. I am glad my V.A. doc insisted I get my shit together and get the shot, starting 4 winters back…I have not been sick since. __ Modern technology in the form of Facebook portal allowed me to have a gab-fest with my uncle in a LaPorte, Indiana assisted living home . He’s nearly 93, his body is frail, but he is sharp as a tack in memory and being aware of the world. He misses his farm, chopping amd sawing wood, driving, and total independence, but he’s accepting.

    695 chars

  47. Julie Robinson said on February 8, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Oh boy. Our version did the coconuts and grass skirt only. Plus a magic marker tattoo of a ship on his belly, which he rolled as suggestively as was allowed in 1974.

    166 chars

  48. Deborah said on February 8, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    Here’s an interesting tidbit I found out while at Uncle j’s house (we’re back home now): remember that young girl Jamie Closs who was abducted and escaped in Wisconsin? Uncle J has a place in northern WI that is 15 miles from where the girl was kept, and the caretaker for Uncle J’s compound has a daughter who knew the abducter, in a very small graduating class in high school of only about 36 kids. Larry, the caretaker said that the kid wasn’t as strange as you’d think, just very quiet, a straight A student and everyone from around there was flabbergasted when it turned out to be him.

    590 chars

  49. FDChief said on February 8, 2019 at 11:47 pm

    Re: the Jones-Rogan catfight…

    My Bride came into the room when I was watching a game between two teams she knew I disliked.

    “Why the hell are you watching these people?”

    “I’m rooting for injuries.”

    208 chars

  50. Suzanne said on February 9, 2019 at 9:09 am

    Wow, Deborah! That makes the whole kidnapping story creepier than it already is. It sounds like this guy developed a fixation on the girl, who he apparently didn’t even know. It’s so awful.

    193 chars

  51. Sherri said on February 9, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    We got another 4 inches of snow, before the last 4 had melted, and it looks like more to come.

    To be fair, Priuses are not good in the snow.

    208 chars

  52. Sherri said on February 9, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    NSFW, and weird that this was an ad campaign!

    135 chars

  53. beb said on February 9, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Sherri, I think you now have more snow this season than Detroit has. Maybe we should send our unused snowplows out your way.

    124 chars

  54. Sherri said on February 9, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    We had a really warm January, and had had no snow until this past week. Now we’re below freezing every night and a chance of snow as far out as the forecast goes!

    The biggest problem is that we have a lot of hills and trees, it gets above freezing during the day, and some parts melt more than others, then we get the refreeze at night, so you get patches of packed snow and ice everywhere.

    396 chars

  55. Jakash said on February 9, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Thank you, Suzanne and Julie (#38 and #39) for the tl;drs on the Hamilton-Reynolds thing. I had read the article that Suzanne posted, so I understand what she was referring to. My question (#36) was whether that stuff was “the Callender affair,” or not. Upon further review, I’ve read that it was not. The Callender affair, a term I recall from decades ago, evidently refers to Callender’s later besmirching of Jefferson (whose side he’d previously been on) with charges regarding Jefferson and Sally Hemings, among other things. For whatever that’s worth. (Mainly, I just don’t want Suzanne to think that I hadn’t followed the link she provided!) : )

    658 chars

  56. Jolene said on February 9, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    So far, 2019 is, for me, turning out to be a series of unexpected–and unfortunate–events.

    Having recovered from emergency surgery in early January, I learned this week that I’m about to be booted out of my apartment, which is a condominium that the owner has decided to sell. I’ve lived here for more than ten years, so it’s not surprising that I had gotten used to the idea, but now he wants me out by the end of March.

    Years ago, I moved to the DC area for a job, from which I am now retired. I don’t have much of a community here, and, especially as I am no longer young, have been thinking about moving somewhere closer to a family member. Seems like a reasonable idea, but it doesn’t solve solve the problem of what to do next.

    Which family member? The sister who lives in ultra-expensive Seattle? The sister who spends half the year in Arizona and the other half in Wisconsin? The brother and sister who live in North Dakota? (For that one, the answer is easy. Not moving back to ND. But the Twin Cities, which are an afternoon’s drive away are a possibility.)

    Then, there’s the question of what sort of place. Another apartment? A retirement community? Or, possibly, buying the place I’m currently renting? Something temporary until I have more time to look, or something that would preclude having to move twice?

    I’m posting this in the spirit of the standard job-hunting advice: if you are looking for a job, tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job. If anyone has ideas or recommendations, I’d be happy to hear them.

    1547 chars

  57. Deborah said on February 10, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Jolene, Sorry to hear you’re having to go through more stress after fairly recently having surgery. Of all of the places you mentioned the Twin Cities would appeal to me. And again, if it were me, I’d be in the city in a high rise type situation, where you would have an elevator, no yard or driveway to deal with, walkable to grocery shopping etc when down the road you have to give up driving as we all will eventually. Your landlord isn’t giving you a lot of time to find a new residence it seems to me. Good luck.

    It’s not just the Catholics, Baptist preachers are doing it too

    707 chars

  58. Sherri said on February 10, 2019 at 11:26 am

    I wish I could be more encouraging about Seattle, because it’s a wonderful area in so many ways, but housing is ridiculously expensive. I’m assuming you want to stay in a big city, so going far enough out to where costs are reasonable would not be attractive.

    Portland isn’t cheap, but not Seattle levels of expensive, not far from Seattle, and a cool city.

    366 chars

  59. Jakash said on February 10, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    This is pretty cool:

    “Icy rain creates ‘ghost apples’ in Kent County, Michigan.”

    121 chars

  60. beb said on February 10, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    Sherri, I dodn’t realize Seattle got snow at all. The thawing and refreezing you describe is the norm out here in the midwest. We don’t have as many hills as you do, though, but it can still be treacherous. I commented about the snow you’re having because in Detroit we’ve had an uncommonly low amount of snow this year. Snow is pretty to look at but a mess to get around in.

    Tempting fate here are two long reads for a Sunday afternoon:
    the tl;dr the cost of college is too high, too many businesses expect college diplomas and student loan servicers are dishonest.

    the tl;dr here isn’t that Cardinal Spellman was a groper but the Church assigned a priest to babysit him.

    911 chars

  61. beb said on February 10, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Before I retired I was doing the analyses discussed here
    This is a very straightforward, well balanced report. At least IMHO. The problem can be solved by re-plumbing the schools but they don’t have the money for that.

    326 chars

  62. Sherri said on February 10, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Beb, we usually get some snow most winters. A single 5 inch snowfall isn’t normal, but not that unusual, but back to back with an extended period of below freezing temps and more to come, is pretty unusual. Looks like we’ve got two more storms coming, one right after another, a small one tonight and a big one tomorrow evening.

    There can also be a big difference in snow depending on where you are. I live about 350 above sea level, while downtown Redmond is about 50, so it’s not an unusual occurrence for snow to fall at my house while it rains in downtown. There’s also this phenomenon called a convergence zone, where the winds which have been split up by the Olympics crash into the Cascades and recollide into each other, causing storms and heavier snowfall. I live in the southern end of the typical range of the convergence zone, which means we get an unusual amount of hail. Almost always small, but it was surprising to me how often we got hail until I learned about the convergence zone.

    1010 chars

  63. Julie Robinson said on February 10, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Jolene, I don’t really have any advice for you except to ask if there’s any way to rent for another month or two. I saw my sister make some poor decisions when she had to find another place fast. How do you feel about winter? You’ve lived in a milder climate, but are you prepared for Minnesota? Of those choices I’d go for Arizona, just because I passionately hate winter.

    373 chars

  64. Jolene said on February 10, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Julie, my first response was the same as yours: Ask for more time. I did and even offered to pay extra rent during the interval, but my landlord is convinced that he needs to be able to put the place on the market ASAP.

    I lived in both Seattle and Tucson in years past and love both. Tucson certainly has the cost-of-living and also ease-of-living (less traffic, fewer parking hassles) advantages, so I may end up there.

    I grew up in North Dakota, so I’m familiar with the idea of brutal cold. And there is an easy solution for that problem: Stay indoors. I’m actually more put off by Minnesota’s mosquitoes. At a lakeside family reunion a few years ago, it proved to be impossible to remain outdoors.

    And, Deborah, your recommendations are consistent with my preferences: High accessibility, low maintenance.

    812 chars

  65. Sherri said on February 10, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    I would say the tl;dr of the Peterson piece (which is worth the read) is that Boomers have screwed Millennials mightily. (White) Boomers and their parents were given a tremendous leg up by the government, and in turn, they shredded it rather than extend it to the next generations.

    281 chars

  66. Deborah said on February 10, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Jolene, I’ve only been to Tucson a couple of times buying groceries before we went down to Uncle J’s ranch in Tubac so I’m not familiar with it as a city. I love the desert SW though obviously, so I can see how it might be a delightful place to live, It also has a university there so that’s a plus. It has more altitude than Phoenix so you wouldn’t have the hot summers as much.

    379 chars

  67. Dexter Friend said on February 10, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    I know less about Seattle than any other US city so I am surprised it is so expensive, much more than Portland. A good friend from my army days left a good job in Rochester, NY (his daddy got him into an office job at Kodak when that was a going entity, but he hated it), jumped into his green VW Bug, picked up his beautiful GF and headed out on a whim to Eugene, as he had read what a cool place it was. On the way, he and his lady stopped by my townhouse apartment and he tried to get me to pack up and just leave Indiana and caravan to Eugene with them. He had already researched , and found he could easily begin work in a medical facility, as could I, as we were both experienced former army medics, and they needed young men in that field for work in that skill level and pay level. Problem was, I hated medic work and I was working in the highest paid factory around, so I bid him bon voyage, and that was that. Back to Seattle, I remember in 1989, Michigan Wolverine basketball won the national title in the Kingdome, barely beating Seton Hall. I was going to fly out there, but I backed off and didn’t go…and never went to Seattle since. But I have seen the snow on TV…good luck Sherri.

    1207 chars

  68. Julie Robinson said on February 10, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Doesn’t Minneapolis also have a very high cost of living? Maybe not as high as Seattle, I dunno.

    We really liked Tuscon, much more than Phoenix. Friends who live there confirm that Phoenix tries to pretend it isn’t in the dessert, while Tuscon embraces it. They xeriscape and legally protect the saguaro cactus. The vibe there was just better than Phoenix.

    362 chars

  69. Deborah said on February 10, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    Holy cow, Jolene, I just took a quick glance at rentals in Tucson on Craig’s List. Very affordable.

    101 chars

  70. David C. said on February 10, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    We’re thinking of where we want to retire. We’re not going to retire for another ten years, but even now the Southwest seems risky. The last thing we want is to move down there and have to become water refugees. It looks like we’re going to start some wicked feedback loops on climate. So we’ll probably stay in the Great Lakes watershed. We may be cold, but we’ll have water.

    376 chars

  71. Deborah said on February 10, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    I hear ya David C, maybe if I was 20 years younger I would take it more seriously. Sad to say if it doesn’t impact me directly.?My big issue politically has been healthcare because selfishly of my daughter it effects me directly. I will be dead before the issues in the US Southwest become unsustainable so maybe that’s my POV, as sorry as that is.

    352 chars

  72. Sherri said on February 10, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    Other than minor inconveniences, I’m fine. Various meetings and appointments keep getting cancelled and rescheduled, but I have AWD, chains if needed, and am comfortable driving in snow, so I can get around. Power has stayed on so far, and we have gas fireplaces that will keep us warm if the power does go out.

    I’m supposed to compete in a powerlifting meet in Puyallup on Saturday, down near Tacoma. I’m hopeful that will still happen!

    446 chars

  73. Jolene said on February 10, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Yes, Deborah, of the places I’ve mentioned, Tucson* is definitely the most affordable. And you have the distinction between Tucson and Phoenix right, Julie. I lived there and taught at the U of A for five years. I moved away, though, in 1990, and there’s been a lot of change since then.

    *Julie, it’s Tucson, not Tuscon.

    321 chars

  74. basset said on February 10, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Dexter, how’d your medic friend like it out there? Did he stay?

    Mrs. B and I continue to look for retirement houses, I would recommend Nashville and he rest of Middle Tennessee.

    181 chars

  75. alex said on February 10, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    Puyallup. Disposable diaper of the south.

    41 chars

  76. Julie Robinson said on February 10, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Well that’s embarrassing. Between my poor eyesight and clumsy fingers, I should never type on a phone. Ah well.

    111 chars

  77. alex said on February 10, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Jolene, if I were faced with the same issue I’d be torn between places where I have a natural connection versus places that capture my imagination versus places that offer a high quality of life for the money. And I still don’t know where the fuck I want to live.

    I guess the best way to look at it is as an adventure. You don’t have to be locked into anything if it doesn’t suit you. I note that a lot of my parents’ friends dispersed upon retirement to Naples and Scottsdale and places like that. None of that made them happy. They found people like themselves but not like their friends.

    If you can afford to stay put maybe that’s what you should do. Support systems count for a lot.

    690 chars

  78. Jolene said on February 10, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    If you can afford to stay put maybe that’s what you should do. Support systems count for a lot.

    Support systems do count for a lot, but my social support system here is pretty limited. Since finishing college, I’ve lived in Seattle, Evanston, IL, Chicago, Champaign, IL, Tucson, Boston, Pittsburgh, Maryland, and now Alexandria, VA. That sort of itinerancy tends to strain social connections. That’s what prompted the thinking about moving that I had been doing before I learned that the condo was being sold.

    Still, staying remains an option. This place is affordable, and I may buy it and stay for a few more years.

    What’s killing me now is time pressure. I’ve always been better at generating alternatives and identifying pros and cons than making decisions, and it’s killing me to have to make up my mind so quickly with so little information about some of the possibilities.

    898 chars

  79. Dexter Friend said on February 11, 2019 at 12:45 am

    basset: My buddy, Eric, has been in Eugene 45 years now, I assume. He didn’t like phones or pen and paper so we had very limited contact . I called him 20 years ago and he said he still loved living in Eugene. He was a rock and roll fan but fell in with a bluegrass crowd . When we all switched to cellular phones and quit land lines, he never sent his number. I hope he’s still kicking. He was a very skilled medic in Vietnam, he treated wounds expertly and he was very good with sewing up gashes. Me…not so much! ~ Nashville , newsworthy twice… a 24 year old musician was shot to death by a pack of kids, 12 to 16 years of age I think it was…also Middle Tennessee State on the news because of their school which teaches music production.

    759 chars

  80. Kaye said on February 11, 2019 at 2:52 am

    Jolene- That is a tight deadline for a major life decision. I vote for buying the condo which is buying time to carefully consider where you wish to live in the future. No point in packing up to move around the block to buy time. The real estate market there stays strong and with Amazon moving in it will probably get better. My two cents. Best wishes whatever your decision.

    376 chars

  81. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 11, 2019 at 7:11 am

    Jolene — prayers for peace of mind and discernment to you, and I hope you can find a reliable source to just check “how easy will it be to sell this when I’ve made my next decision?” If the market is pretty good to sell it on, I’d certainly be tempted to stay put for now, just make sure you don’t back into a tight parking space with it.

    339 chars

  82. basset said on February 11, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Dexter: indeed it was 12 to 16. they held their victim up in his yard, shot him, fled to the Walmart that Mrs. B and I use and hid a loaded pistol in the store before police arrested them and took another loaded pistol off them outside. The people you’d expect to be talking about it are saying what you’d expect them to say.
    MTSU does have a good audio/video production program, a lot of the aspiring singers & writers seem to go to Belmont U. at the foot of Music Row.

    479 chars

  83. Jolene said on February 11, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    I’ve been checking current listings and recent sales, Jeff. It’s generally an encouraging picture. The big question is what happens in the next 3-5 years. More demand because of an influx of people working at Amazon? Increased competition from newer, more luxurious developments? Predictions, you know, they’re so hard. Always about the future.

    344 chars

  84. Icarus said on February 11, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    Oh Jolene, sorry to hear. I’m sure you’ve already thought of all the obvious options and maybe even some unorthodox ones.

    Sounds to me like you need to Marie Kondo your condo and put everything in storage. Then do the AirBnB thing with each sibling at different seasons to see which city really suits you. Maybe a good time to see some other countries as well?

    367 chars

  85. brian stouder said on February 11, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    A totally unrelated Good Thing, which will make you smile!

    150 chars

  86. Dorothy said on February 11, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    Jolene I was going to chime in and also suggest if you HAD to move I was going to suggest (1) choose which sibling you felt you could most depend on if you got to the point that you needed someone nearby and (2) the weather in Arizona would probably be a big factor in a decision, at least it would be if I were facing a change like that. I hope you’re able to find a resolution quickly but not TOO quickly!

    As you know my daughter lives in the same city as you and she, too, is in a condo that she is renting. If the owners decided suddenly to sell, she would not be able to afford to buy it. They’d have to scramble to find another apartment.

    650 chars

  87. Deborah said on February 11, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Our landlady in Santa Fe is, we think, in the early stages of dementia and she lives alone. She forgets she said something five minutes later. She has indicated that she wants to sell, previously, but then she never does anything about it. She has asked us if we’d want to buy it, but she wants more than it’s worth and the other owners in the condo association are problematic. None of the owners live there and one is downright psychpathic. She is visiting her brother in Phoenix currently so we’re anticipating that her family will realize she probably can’t live alone much longer and they’ll want her to sell the condo and probably the house where she lives. We’ve rented from her for 6 1/2 years and it wouldn’t be the end of the world to move LB someplace else. It would be great if my husband could design a small house for her and we could build, but land is super expensive in Santa Fe, and rare to find a vacant lot in an area she’d need to be in because she doesn’t drive. So it might be necessary to relocate her to Taos or someplace like that. We have been looking at Craig’s List for about a year now, but mostly we just don’t think about it until we have to.

    1174 chars

  88. Sherri said on February 11, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Storm #4 is currently snowing after storm #3 brought another 3 inches last night. The biggest annoyance is we’ve now missed a second week of garbage and recycling pickup. Fortunately, we don’t generate a lot of garbage anymore.

    Here’s a shot of our back deck, which shows the cumulative effect:!Atkosto9G5MX-mn2v_hQgOevc-TR

    353 chars

  89. Scout said on February 11, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Jolene, a friend of mine is facing eviction after being in her place for almost 7 years, so I can sympathize with what you are experiencing. As much as I bitch about the summers here, I honestly cannot conceive of living anywhere other than AZ. (Except for southern CA, and I can’t afford to live there.) Tucson is actually a bit cooler than Phoenix, but there are other great areas in the state that enjoy ‘the four seasons’, like Payson or Prescott. Even if you do live in the desert, the cooler mountain climates are always a short drive away. Good luck, and I’m sorry that you are being displaced. That sucks.

    I didn’t watch the Grammys, but my son was there last night. He texted this link and said, “Watch this the whole way through with good speakers. It was the highlight of my night and maybe even restored a little faith in the industry.”–TXhOdbyrkrecL6oEZGHt8Oz7SUFnVJpM-flbXjfHp02dP4

    987 chars

  90. beb said on February 11, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    I have, in the past, argued that Virginia Gov. Northam should stick it out. That position is getting hard to support after he called the first slaves sold to Americans “indentured servants.” While indentured servants were often treated like slaves they did have a route to freedom. Those Africans did not. Calling them indentured servants is clearly an effort to whitewash slavery.

    382 chars

  91. Sherri said on February 11, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Amanda Ruggeri writes about skiing for Deadspin, and I always enjoy her pieces.

    169 chars

  92. LAMary said on February 11, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    I don’t know about prices there, but Flagstaff is a great college town in AZ. You get some snow in the winter and the university has a lot of things going on.

    158 chars

  93. Jolene said on February 11, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    Flagstaff and Prescott are both nice places, but the idea is that, if I have to move, I should move somewhere that strengthens my connections to people. I’m more or less fine now, but I’m turning 70 in the fall. While there may be many good years ahead, people do not generally become more self-sufficient as they approach 80. I could be an exception, but I’m not counting on it.

    379 chars

  94. susan said on February 11, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    beb @89 – It might be a matter of legal definitions. Here is a comment I read on, by Peter G., a defense attorney who often comments on that blog, referring to a book written by a colleague, A. Leon Higginbotham, A Matter of Color:: Race and the American Legal Process. The Colonial Period:

    Higginbotham’s scholarly book examines slavery from a legal perspective. He notes that the first 20 Africans arrived at Jamestown in 1619 on a Dutch-flagged ship with an English crew (he does not call them pirates) who had seized or stolen them from a Spanish ship they had attacked. These Africans were sold as a form of property to Jamestown settlers. The dispute about whether they were slaves or “indentured servants” has to do with the limited legal vocabulary of the time; English law in 1619, which applied to the Jamestown colony, did not provide for slavery as we understand that term. But that is not to say that slavery in fact (if not in law) did not exist. That is, these Africans did not enter into a contract to provide their labor for some period of time, in exchange for something of value to themselves. And their children were not free until and unless their freedom was purchased from the settler that “owned” the parent. So, while the term “indentured servant” was used prior to the 1660s, Higginbotham says, to describe their status in legal documents, the facts of their condition were essentially what we would call today “slavery” — even if not entirely regulated by a detailed, written “slave code” as came to exist some 40 years later.

    1704 chars

  95. Julie Robinson said on February 11, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    Jolene, your last comment reminded me of something a doctor told my mom, that you should move before you have to. If you move to a new place while you’re still mobile and driving, you can learn the community, make connections and choose medical personnel yourself.

    If you wait too long others will make those decisions for you.

    My mom didn’t take his advice, and she sees now it was a mistake. Just the move itself exhausted her and decorating the new place more burden than fun. She had to stop driving and her world shrank fast, since she didn’t have a chance to make new friends. It’s just me and my husband.

    I think the storage idea and trying out different areas is a good one.

    694 chars

  96. Suzanne said on February 12, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Julie, yes. My husband’s aunt,who is in her low 80s, just moved from Indy to the Southwest where all 3 of her children live. She is of sound mind and body and her kids really had to push her to move. But they realized that if they waited, she might fall or become ill or have a stroke or something and then moving her near them would be impossible. My in-laws were apoplectic about it (“Those kids forced her against her will!”) but she seems happy in the warmth and sunshine and can live her remaining years with her kids all within a few minutes or few hours of her. I hope the same for myself!

    602 chars

  97. Deborah said on February 12, 2019 at 8:52 am

    LB is on the train returning from her trip to her friend’s funeral. It hit a vehicle at a crossing and was stopped for about 5 hours. She doesn’t know exactly what happened, they weren’t giving much info, she assumes there was a fatality. On the train trip out they had engine problems at some point and it was stopped for 3 1/2 hrs causing her to miss her connection in Kansas City so she had to wait 6 or 7 hours for the next train. This time it happened after she made her connection but not that far from KC. I think this may have cured her from not liking to fly. Not that delays don’t happen in airports, but it seems like Amtrak has lots more problems. If only we had train systems like Europe.

    709 chars

  98. Deborah said on February 12, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Scout, you must be happy that Gabby Gifford’s husband, Mark Kelly is running for McSally’s senate seat. That seems like a slam dunk.

    136 chars

  99. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 12, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Jolene and Julie, may your tribe increase — as someone who spends a big chunk of his pastoral care time working with adult children and older members of my church in denial about needing in-home care at the least, assisted living and/or stopping driving at the other end of the usual spectrum of “Jeff, could I talk to you about my mom?”

    I have leaders in our church who will drive home from church following folks home to help document for them that, in fact, they’re not driving okay, that they’re endangering others with their erratic and veering passage down the roads. It was fascinating to me that, in my first real conversation in cardiac care with a beloved 96 year old member (Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, POW briefly in the Battle of the Bulge, just missed being shot by SS as prisoner, crossed Remagen bridge in time to hear it collapse in his tent on the other side) who hadn’t been able to speak for a week’s worth of daily visits to the hospital . . . but when the coughing had subsided, his main topic was at his assisted living the tally of who still has a car, who still has a license (not identical categories, btw), and who last drove. He mentioned a mutual friend, two years older than him, still having a car in the lot at the facility. “But when did Orville last drive it?” I asked.

    “Oh, it’s been years. But he’s still got it!”

    1360 chars

  100. Little Bird said on February 12, 2019 at 10:35 am

    The train hit a car at a crossing, and there was indeed a fatality. We are six hours behind. This has been one helluva trip. Anxiety inducing, emotional, and frustrating. I don’t think I’ll be taking the train again. I know the accident isn’t their fault, but still, no more.

    277 chars

  101. Sherri said on February 12, 2019 at 10:41 am

    The snow will transition to rain as the warmer air moves in, they said.

    The warmer air never made it to my house, and it kept snowing. Another 6 inches. I really prefer having some breaks in my winter weather!

    213 chars

  102. Julie Robinson said on February 12, 2019 at 11:05 am

    LB, how miserable, especially for a trip already filled with sorrow. I wish you some joy and relaxation now.

    109 chars

  103. Deborah said on February 12, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Uncle J, a wealthy man has the following to get him through his days, a full time caregiver, a part-time care giver, a housekeeping team of 2 ladies and we show up nearly every week that we’re not in NM from Weds to Fri. He doesn’t yet need things like diapers and he can eat normally and he still travels (with an entourage). He has a full time (year round) grounds keeper for his lake compound in Northern WI and a couple who take care of his ranch in Arizona, which he is going to sell, thank goodness. He has a longtime financial assistant who worked for his company for many years and is trying to retire, a stock broker, and a woman who takes care of his trusts, a lawyer that he meets with weekly. Not to mention visits from “children” and “grandchildren”, from his second wife from her previous marriage who died and was the love of his life. My husband is his power of attorney so he manages all of this now. It takes a village. He doesn’t want to ever be in a home and he never will have to be, thanks to his money. Most people can’t afford anywhere near this support.

    1079 chars

  104. Sherri said on February 12, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    The big problem with getting multiple snow storms so close together, topped off by a heavy wet snowstorm last night, is that there’s a lot of snow piled up on trees. Some of those trees are falling down now, so there are now numerous road closures and power outages. We’re lucky, we still have power, though a big chunk of our area lost power this morning.

    Oh, and in the places where it did turn to rain, flooding.

    I’m ready to return to our normal gloomy drizzly rain, thanks.

    490 chars

  105. Scout said on February 12, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Deborah, I am indeed very excited about Mark Kelly. Nothing is ever a slam dunk, but he is a good candidate to run for John McCain’s seat that is being place held by Martha McSally. If he wins, both Senators from AZ will be Democrats and THAT is inspiring and exciting.

    I completely agree that moving before you have to is preferable to waiting until you have no choice. My parents decided to make the move from PA to AZ four years ago. Dad was 82 and Mom was 76 at the time. They were living in the house my Dad designed and built 42 years earlier and it was really hard for him to let it go, but it was built on three levels with only a spiral staircase and it had become too hard for them to take care of it. I am an only child so there wasn’t anyone else there for them. So they decided to make the big move and they have never regretted it. They have so enjoyed all the quality family time they now get with me, my kids, their kids and now there are going to be two great great grandbabies who are both due in March. They joined the YMCA, the Phx Art Museum, The Desert Botanical Garden, The Heard Museum and The Musical Instrument Museum. They chose their own doctors and they belong to the Senior Center which arranges trips to theaters and the opera. They’ve made friends. And yes, they are now developing some age related health issues and I am able to be there to advocate for them and help out if they need anything extra. I am so grateful to them for being brave and leaving the only place they had ever lived to make a 2400 mile move to be close to all of us.

    1575 chars

  106. Dexter Friend said on February 12, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Deborah , Uncle J sounds like he has Gatsby-like money. No, he’ll never need to be placed in an old folks’ home. He’s like one old person in ten million with a set-up like that, and regardless of that massive wealth, he has friends who care, and family who love him. He’s lucky in about 100 ways.

    Icy goddam hell here, as I am sure for many of you nallers as well. Giant Chinese elm tree on neighbor’s yard which hangs over our house shed a dozen large limbs but miraculously they all cascaded onto the neighbor’s cars and house, while a giant limb laden heavily with ice hovers over our house…insurance company says there is not a fucking thing I can do, since negotiations between me, the neighbor, and the tree service rep yielded nil. Guess what? If , or when, that branch falls onto my house, MY policy assumes loss recouping, not the neighbor’s. It will take a court case, lawyers and all, if I atempt to prove the tree was in a state of fall-danger…ain’t that the shits? Oh well…the fucking sword of Damocles hanging, hanging…waiting.

    1062 chars

  107. Jolene said on February 12, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Your comment, Jeff, reminds me of a conversation I had when we were trying to arrange care for my parents, whose living arrangements collapsed suddenly when my mother became ill and unable to monitor my father.

    The woman I was speaking with noted that, in terms of losing independence, the women wept over giving up houses, and the men stormed about being made to stop driving.

    It was a perfect description of them, and, I must admit, l seem to be following in my mother’s footsteps–not something I ever wanted to do.

    525 chars

  108. Dave said on February 12, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    I imagine this is the crossing accident your Amtrak train was involved in, LB. Sorry your rail trip was so unpleasant. We rode the AutoTrain twice last year and had no delays.

    Those people who do what this driver apparently did have no consideration of the poor folks on the engine who unwittingly are made part of their demise. I know of several stories and was involved in one.

    468 chars

  109. Julie Robinson said on February 12, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Congratulations, Scout! If I’ve read correctly you’ll be a great grandma. That’s pretty exciting.

    Jeff, we have a couple of retired nurses who volunteer their time as parish nurses. More than once they’ve been able to help along the decision making process when it’s time for someone to leave their home.

    Like you, a lot of what my daughter does is social work. She is looking to start a parish nursing program, though right now her only nurse is a single mom.

    469 chars

  110. beb said on February 12, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    We had freezing rain overnight. Which caused a brownout in our section of the power grid. We have had a lot of power outages, which is very annoying. And some power cut-off as they service the switching equipment but they haven’t fixed whatever is the root cause. The ice, oddly enough, readily peeled off our car this afternoon as we went to camp-out at Starbucks. (I’m writing from there now). It’s pretty seeing the ice hanging off the branches of trees but it’s no fun for the trees.

    I’m glad to hear that Mark Kelly is running for the AZ senate. I hope he wins.

    The newsreport that Dave linked to sounds like “suicide by Amtrak.” I’m sorry LB had so much trouble on her trip.

    688 chars

  111. Scout said on February 12, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Julie, you did indeed read correctly. I will be great grammy to Raelynn Grace, due on 3/10 and Anthony Thomas, due on 3/28. Both granddaughters had baby showers within the past few weeks and lordy, the amount of STUFF these tiny people apparently require is astonishing. In clothes alone, the babies are going to need several costume changes a day just to wear everything once.

    377 chars

  112. Sherri said on February 12, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Congratulations, Scout!

    23 chars

  113. Deborah said on February 12, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Oh geez Dave, yeah I thought that it might be a suicide on LB’s train. Geez, so sad. What a world we live in. Totally can’t blame the train for that.

    149 chars

  114. Dave said on February 12, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    What are Mark Kelly’s chances in Arizona, as a proponent of stronger gun laws? Just wondering. I know two votes he won’t get, my gun-nut uncle and my cousin, his son.

    168 chars

  115. Scout said on February 12, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Dave, as I said upthread, nothing is a slam dunk, but AZ is slowly turning blue as the snowbirds are dying off and more young people and minorities are registering to vote. The rural areas can be quite hillbilly, but the main cities are very progressive. He is well thought of and so is Gabby, so, I guess we’ll find out.

    322 chars

  116. Jolene said on February 12, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Scout: Early procreation must be a theme in your family. You look awfully young to be a great-grandmother! Congratulations on the coming arrivals. Hope all goes smoothly.

    170 chars

  117. Deborah said on February 12, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Going to Uncle J’s tomorrow where we’ll be until Friday. I would love to stay in Chicago, but such is life. I did my research today about who I’m voting for mayor, at least for this round. There are so many candidates this time I doubt anyone will get 50% so there will be a runoff. Assuming Prekwincle and Daley will be in the running, maybe Chico? I think the final vote will be in April (?) when I’ll be in NM so will need an absentee ballot for that.

    462 chars

  118. Scout said on February 13, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Are you OK, Nancy? Hopefully you are just busy and don’t have some crud that’s kicking your ass.

    This is how every Dem needs to respond to the pearl clutchers on the right who are ever so selective about whom they decide to be outraged by.

    330 chars

  119. Scout said on February 13, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    Found this on FB. It’s brilliant.

    “”Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?” Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England wrote this magnificent response:

    A few things spring to mind.

    Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.

    For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.

    So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

    Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.

    I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.

    But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

    Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.

    And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

    There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.

    Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.

    Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.

    And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.

    Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.

    He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.

    He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.

    And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.

    That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.

    There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.

    So the fact that a significant minority – perhaps a third – of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think ‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
    * Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
    * You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

    This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.

    After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

    God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

    He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.

    In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.

    And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:

    ‘My God… what… have… I… created?

    If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.”

    3963 chars

  120. susan said on February 13, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    scout @118 – Who wrote that?

    28 chars

  121. beb said on February 13, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    I want to reply to the material susan @93 quoted. It was very eye-opening and I can see where it kind of justifies Northam calling the first slaves brought to America “indentured servants” but it still seems tone-deaf especially for a govenor who has pivoted to make race his key focus for the rest of his term.

    This news report from Buzzfeed is inexplicable and disturbing.
    He was a 20 year old black man, slumped over in a Mercedes and apparently unresponsive. Police were called. Then more police were called. When he finally woke up (due, I believe to the police shouting at him) his first instinct was to reach for a gun on his lap, at which point six officers rained around 20 bullets into him, killing him. To me it seems like another case of panicky, trigger-happy cops but how often does someone pass out in a Taco Bell drive-thru? I can’t thinking if he had been white he would be alive today.

    Nancy did say she would be on vacation for a week or so, and it has been only a week. Still I hope she is OK.

    1128 chars

  122. Scout said on February 13, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Susan @119 – The guy’s name is Nate White and he comments frequently on a forum called Quora.

    138 chars

  123. Scout said on February 13, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    I got the answer to my earlier question – Nancy posted this article on FB a few hours ago.

    287 chars

  124. Jolene said on February 13, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Odd story, indeed, beb. Hard to imagine a person falling asleep in a drive-thru lane.

    85 chars

  125. Sherri said on February 13, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    I would guess that most instances of people falling asleep at the wheel at unusual places like drive-throughs involve alcohol, but that shouldn’t mean a death sentence, and probably wouldn’t for a white guy.

    Our snow is turning into nasty slush. All the main roads are clear now, and Redmond is finally able to start on some of the secondary roads. On the city FB page, where they announced this, there are numerous comments from residents of a master planned community called Redmond Ridge. RR is the bane of my existence: a large development well outside the urban growth boundary in unincorporated King County which causes all sorts of problems for us to deal with without contributing any revenue. What are these residents commenting about? Asking that the snowplows come plow their streets!

    Which is the real reason RR is the bane of my existence: they seem to think they live in Redmond! (They complain mightily that they can’t vote in city elections…)

    972 chars

  126. Suzanne said on February 13, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    That description of Trump was spot on and describes so many others on the right, such as Ben Shapiro or Mike Huckabee. Their level of humor never gets past about 6th grade when fart jokes or bullying the weird kid on the playground are the ultimate in funny.

    Also, I found this very interesting in light of the Southern Baptists vying for the silver medal in the sexual assault oplympics:

    Maybe my second paragraph is more closely tied to my first than I had previously considered, now that I think about it more.

    575 chars

  127. Dexter Friend said on February 13, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    I parked right beside my front porch to off-load groceries last night, and had no idea the van would simply freeze in place overnight. I used cat litter, old car floor mats, old rags, anything I could jam under the tires to get just a little traction and get moving. I did this for 2 hours. I called a wrecker…on little tug with the winch line , moving the van 6 inches, I was free. The service call was insured, but I am just sick of ice encasing everything and making a step an adventure requiring walking poles fitted with the spiked tip.

    546 chars

  128. Deborah said on February 13, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Scout, that Trump screed by the British guy was hilarious and spot on. I looked at the link you provided and read more of his stuff too. I love to read things like that.

    169 chars

  129. Sherri said on February 13, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Dexter, I recommend Yaktrax for walking on ice. When Walla Walla was hit by multiple ice storms a few years back, I sent a pair to my daughter, and she reported that they were wonderful for making her treacherous trek across the icy campus easier.

    247 chars

  130. susan said on February 13, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    I do not recommend the YakTrax that have only coils for gripping. Being an avid walker for years, I found that particular kind is good for about 6 to 7 miles before the coils start to uncoil. They clearly aren’t made for walking miles at a time. They’re probably good for walking from here to there. I suggest finding a variety that has spikes or cleats, or maybe a combination of spikes or cleats with some coils at the heel; and with a velcro™®© strap that secures them over the top of the foot. There are a LOT of styles, from wimpy

    782 chars

  131. susan said on February 13, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    … to heavy duty. Google snow/ice shoe grips or check on eBay or Amazon to see all the choices. Really, those coils don’t last very long.

    193 chars

  132. Dexter Friend said on February 13, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    thanks for the icy-walk tips…

    31 chars