Sunny skies, few clouds.

A delightful last few days and I refuse to let anything harsh my mellow — dinner with friends three nights running, people I like and don’t see often enough. There’s very little that is more restorative, made more so by the dawning realization, as life goes on, that it won’t last forever.

That’s not a cryptic note that I’m dying or anything, just a generalized observation that in the grand scheme of things, we all are.

The lovely weather helped. Motor City Pride ran all weekend, and on Saturday, a small group of Nazis marched past Hart Plaza, surrounded by Detroit police. This led to the usual outrage about police “helping” them somehow, although the alternative — five Nazis march and are stomped by 100 angry counter-protestors — would have been far worse. These folks know exactly what they’re doing and depend on the police to keep them safe in the bargain. They work the system. The system is available to be worked.

In my happy glow, I have only two pieces to recommend, both stone bummers, sorry — this one on how a so-called incel spiraled down into perpetrating a mass shooting, and this one on the radicalization of a similarly rootless young man, via YouTube. And justlikethat, the once-promising technology of the future turns out to be a perfect reflection of our worst selves.

Right now, though, I’m going to turn the laptop over to Alan for the previously discussed battery surgery. Fingers crossed that when the blog comes back, it’ll be on this machine.

Posted at 6:12 pm in Detroit life |

41 responses to “Sunny skies, few clouds.”

  1. beb said on June 9, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    I didn’t feel like reading either of Nancy’s links. I feel down enough on a daily basis without any help. But I will note that there have been a couple article about a study of Youtube’s recommendation system. The tl;dr is that the algorithm for Youtube recommendations tends to push towards more extreme content. Look at a video of your grand kids new swimming pool, following the recommendations and you end up watching child porn. It seems a good idea to never ever post anything to Youtube or Facebook.

    507 chars

  2. Bitter Scribe said on June 9, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    And justlikethat, the once-promising technology of the future turns out to be a perfect reflection of our worst selves.

    Yeah, I often think that the Information Age should be called the Misinformation Age, or perhaps the Disinformation Age.

    250 chars

  3. Deborah said on June 9, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Lovely day in Abiquiu, today was the first performance of the Chamber music festival. Always nice to see members of the community again. We head back to Santa Fe tomorrow morning and then my husband flies back to Chicago on Tuesday, so I have to drive him 60 miles to the Albuquerque airport, ugh. LB and I have some projects to work on in the meantime until my husband gets back Saturday.

    Our trip to France is fleshing out, hard to believe it’s less than a month from now. I added the name of the town in the south of France where we’ll be staying for a little over a week to my weather app so I know what to expect and I also added Paris where we’ll be staying for a little less than a week. Paris is definitely cooler and wetter.

    742 chars

  4. alex said on June 9, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    Too bad more cities don’t take the Betty Loren-Maltese approach. She was the mobbed-up former mayor of Cicero, Illinois, who eventually got busted for federal crimes. But that aside, she was one tough cookie, and when the white supremacists announced they were having a rally in Cicero, she told them they weren’t getting any police protection. They chickened out.

    Gorgeous Friday and Saturday here and we played with our garden and went out for a lakeside patio dinner with a friend last night. Today was rainy and we stayed in working diligently on housekeeping stuff. I’m supposed to be driving my parents to Canada later this summer. I managed to find my passport but it expired more than 15 years ago so it doesn’t do squat for me in terms of getting a new one, for which I will need my birth certificate and social security card which are God knows where.

    I figured a good place to start was a closet where I’ve still got unpacked boxes from when I moved here from Chicago. I dragged all that stuff out. Thousands of CDs and cassette tapes. Art supplies and amateur art galore. Quark XPress and Microsoft Office for Mac, circa 2000. Boxes full of random tschotschkes — key rings, people’s business cards, old photos, matchbooks, copies of old publications in which I’d been published, ad nauseam. But neither of the items I’m looking for.

    Rather than just shove it all back in, I’m taking this opportunity to repaint the closet’s interior (curses to whomever painted it a dark color) and sort and organize and throw away. Man, this is gonna kill the rest of the new week I’m afraid.

    1600 chars

  5. Deborah said on June 9, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Having pared down my existence into small places I know exactly where things are like my birth certificate and social security card. What I can never find are my glasses and my keys when I need them.

    199 chars

  6. Dexter Friend said on June 10, 2019 at 2:24 am

    I hear about incels quite often on the XM station I listen to but I guess I had the wrong impression. The talk I hear says incels are involuntarily celibate because they spend all their sexual energy on porn which they watch on their phones, and then use fleshlights and blow-up dolls . This behavior has led Japanese officials to worry, as young men are generally preferring this lifestyle over dating. The posted article makes incels sound like they are all misogynistic dangerous creeps. Some incels just can’t entertain the thought of the dating game, hence, the involuntary tag. By the way, I don’t really know what a fleshlight looks like, but it really seems disgusting.

    682 chars

  7. alex said on June 10, 2019 at 7:30 am

    Dex, you made my curiosity get the better of me. I googled fleshlight and now I can’t unsee it.

    Today I’m going to continue unpacking my trove of moving boxes from Chicago. Can’t believe I’ve let them sit for fourteen years. Totally forgot about some of this stuff including sex toys and porn that I got gratis working as a reviewer for Libido magazine back in the day. Much of it never left the packaging; I used to decorate with it just for shock value. Glad my tastes have evolved. Haven’t missed it. Doubt the Goodwill would take it, although it might be fun to put some of it in a Salvation Army box just for shits and giggles. There’s one called an “Auto Suck,” a precursor of the fleshlight, that plugs into an automotive cigarette lighter.

    751 chars

  8. Connie said on June 10, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Alex, with just your birth cert you can get a driver’s license that works for both the Canadian, Mexican, and assorted Caribbean borders. I got one with my last renewal.

    170 chars

  9. alex said on June 10, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Connie, are you sure? From everything I’ve been reading, Indiana’s Real ID is not sufficient and I’ll need a passport to enter Canada.

    Still no luck finding my documents. I recall last seeing them in a tan-colored metal lockbox that used to be in my parents’ vault. It’s not there now and I can’t recall if I removed it but I sure as hell can’t find it.

    356 chars

  10. Julie Robinson said on June 10, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Alex, you probably need a new birth certificate anyway. Many of us born in ancient times don’t have the acceptable embossed seals. Depending on where you were born, you may need to get your application notarized, using your driver’s license as ID. Then, if you were born out of state there will be a wait of two-three weeks.

    For new Social Security card, I think you can request it online if you have an account set up. Either way, I’d stop looking and start the replacement process for both documents.

    We have a zippered binder with all our important documents. Since I’ve been through the replacement process several times with various family members, I’ve learned the lesson the painful way. Sometimes OCD pays off.

    724 chars

  11. Icarus said on June 10, 2019 at 9:41 am

    speaking of passports, I decided to renew mine. I dropped off the form at the Post Office on Tax Day, not the smartest move. They had a sign saying they weren’t taking them that day but two of us in line decided to see what happened since we didn’t notice the sign until we were closer to the front.

    They did take the form, pictures, and payments. I got a letter Memorial Day weekend telling me I had forgotten to include a SS#. I must have forgotten because I had my wife fill out the forms for me since my writing is illegible.

    537 chars

  12. LAMary said on June 10, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Alex, I’m waiting for my NJ birth certificate because I will need the real ID card and my drivers license isn’t enough to get one. I think real ID will be required for all flights, even domestic, but sometime next year, but I’ll check on that. It’s taking a ridiculous amount of time for the BC to get here from the Garden State.

    Yes. You will need a real ID to fly even domestically next year.

    433 chars

  13. Kaye said on June 10, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    An enhanced drivers license which allows travel to Canada is available in only five states: WA MN MI NY VT

    A real ID, different than enhanced DL, will be required for domestic flights but will not be valid for any international travel. Ultimately, everyone should have a valid passport.

    287 chars

  14. Connie said on June 10, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    I have the enhanced license. Appears to be available in border states only.

    76 chars

  15. Deborah said on June 10, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Everything he touches…

    88 chars

  16. Sherri said on June 10, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Take Julie’s advice, and get new copies of your birth certificate and Social Security card. Then apply for a passport and get a passport card at the same time. The passport card will suffice for domestic air travel and driving across the border, and entering Federal buildings, when the RealID restrictions go into full effect.

    329 chars

  17. Sherri said on June 10, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Nothing but grifters as far as the eye can see…

    We’ve got the Elaine Chao-Mitch McConnell grift in the news, and today we learned that Brett Kavanaugh has hired as one of his clerks the daughter of Yale Law prof and Tiger Mom Amy Chua, who penned a glowing OpEd about what a wonderful mentor for women Kavanaugh was during his confirmation process.

    Personally, I’d be in favor of a moratorium on hiring SCOTUS clerks from Yale & Harvard, because the whole system has gotten too incestuous.

    506 chars

  18. ROGirl said on June 10, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    I have a passport and a regular driver’s license. Will I need anything else when the new requirements go into effect? When will that happen?

    140 chars

  19. Julie Robinson said on June 10, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    Here’s the FAQ page, y’all: You need the Real ID by Oct 1, 2020, but a passport is also acceptable for flying. Be forewarned that the docs you used to get that passport in the past are not necessarily going to work for a Real ID. They’ve got to be issued by the correct agency and have the correct embossed seal.

    So, if, like me, you’re older and have changed your name, you have to have supporting documentation. My birth certificate didn’t have the seal, so I had to get a new one from the state of Iowa. (It was literally a photocopy of the original with a new seal.)

    If you’re married and changed your name then you also need to prove that with a marriage certificate, and no, the fancy one you got from the church is not going to cut it. If you’ve been divorced you have to show those papers too. Not sure on details since I haven’t experienced that one.

    You’ll also need to prove your address with utility bills, bank statements, medical bills, or the like. We get those electronically delivered so had to scramble to find them.

    All in all it took me three months to obtain all the documents I needed. I went to the license branch twice and was rejected. The first time they rejected my birth certificate but didn’t mention any problems with the marriage license. As hard as it was to get these, it’s no wonder I keep them together and in easy reach.

    1410 chars

  20. Deborah said on June 10, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Easy reading of the Mueller report summaries

    111 chars

  21. alex said on June 10, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Got a new copy of my birth certificate today. I have a W2 if I need proof of my Social Security number and hope that’s good enough. Locally you have to set up an appointment to apply for a passport so I made one for tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

    242 chars

  22. LAMary said on June 10, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    I’m in that process now, Julie. If you request a BC from New Jersey, they wait two months to tell you that they need your marriage certificate before they can send you the BC. That takes at least another month here in LA. Then NJ tells you it will be another four to six weeks to get the birth certificate in the mail. One needs to plan ahead for this one.

    357 chars

  23. Suzanne said on June 10, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    I had almost no problem getting my Real ID driver’s license but I had a valid passport. The BMV employee told me that because I had that, I didn’t need my birth certificate or my marriage license. I also had a W2 form with my address and social security number on it, so that was all I needed. I took a bag full of stuff with me, but did not need them. I had heard horror stories, so I am so glad I took the passport.

    417 chars

  24. Julie Robinson said on June 10, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    A horror story like Mary is going through? Why would they need a marriage license to get a birth certificate? How aggravating!

    Suzanne, they wouldn’t take my passport in lieu of a birth certificate, maybe because I was born in Iowa. It just shows how ridiculous the whole process is. Less about security than getting people off the voter rolls.

    349 chars

  25. MarkH said on June 10, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    A bit OT –

    Ran across this obit while perusing the news sites today. The architectural world, particularly in Chicago, has lost a titan. Designer of the Holocaust Museum, among other things.

    Deborah, I’m assuming you and your husband were acquainted with Mr. Tigerman? (Apologies if you had already posted about this)

    433 chars

  26. MarkH said on June 10, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    Actually the Chicago Tribune’s piece on Tigerman is better, more revealing.,amp.html

    190 chars

  27. Deborah said on June 10, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Not only did I know Stanley Tigerman but I have seen him naked! He was a neighbor when we lived in the building across the street from where we are now, we lived in 900 and he lived in the other Mies building associated with it in 910, we were on the 27th floor and he lived on 29. He used to parade around in the nude with the blinds open on the floor to ceiling Windows. And to be honest I was never really all that impressed with his work and could never understand why he was so revered in Chicago. His wife is nice, Margaret McCurry, also an architect, but he always got the credit for their work.

    602 chars

  28. brian stouder said on June 10, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    When Deborah’s sentence began “And to be honest I was never really all that impressed with his…”

    I began laughing out loud!….and when I realized that “work” wasn’t a euphemism – I laughed again!

    So, as our Proprietress works through her battery-surgery, still this place shines brightly.

    Aside from that, it was surprising to hear that Cleveland had an earth quake today (insert “rock and roll” pun here)

    411 chars

  29. Deborah said on June 10, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    Mark H, I read the Tribune article you linked to by Blair Kamin, the architectural critic for the paper. Kamin refers to the fact that Tigermann made a name for himself with his words not with his buildings. My husband calls that talkitecture and finds it disconcerting. The article also mentions Eva Maddox who was my boss for the 6 months I could stand working with her. I realize I sound awfully negative but that’s how I felt. I was hired by the firm she worked for in 2006 and I was really excited about working with her, but it turned out to be a horrible experience both physically and mentally.

    602 chars

  30. David C. said on June 10, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    We went through our ID hell twelve years ago when we moved to WI so when Mary had to have her license renewed and upgraded to Real ID we had all the documents. My turn is next month. With all the crazy voter ID BS it’s good to check your documents every couple of years.

    270 chars

  31. Deborah said on June 10, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    My husband just told me this story about Tigerman that I didn’t know. In 1975 when my husband graduated from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design he interviewed with Tigerman, who was then dean at Illinois Institute of Technology. Tigerman offered him a job teaching at IIT and my husband said no because he wanted to practice architecture, not teach it. Fast forward to 2003, my husband started teaching at IIT, where he taught for 15 years.

    441 chars

  32. LAMary said on June 10, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    Julie, there was one very bright spot in the real ID project (so far). New Jersey gave me a deadline to get my marriage license to them. It was about six weeks out. I requested my marriage license that day from Los Angeles County. I requested expedited service which cost 47 bucks. My marriage license arrived on the due date for NJ. If I didn’t get I to them that day they would cancel my request and start all over. I called the info number on the email they sent me and got a very nice lady who told me the cut off was 1pm. It was 12:45 edt. She p kept talking to me, went to a different part of the office and told them to not cancel my order. Then she gave me her fax number and stood at the machine, which was not anywhere near her cubicle, and waited for my marriage license. She was chatting to me in a nice south Jersey accent the whole time. Anyway, I made it on time and now I’m just waiting for the department that ships the document to me to get it in gear. Marie Merico, my friendly NJ state employee, probably saved me from another three months of waiting. She was running around that office with her wireless headset on making things happen.

    1160 chars

  33. Julie Robinson said on June 10, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Brava for Marie! When I was working on my sister’s estate, I ran into a few people like that, who really cared about their customers and were willing to cut through the bureaucracy that exists only to further itself. OTOH there was Orlando City Utilities, who I had to contact no fewer than 18 times for her refund.

    315 chars

  34. Dorothy said on June 11, 2019 at 8:52 am

    I wish my friend Jeannette had sent me a cryptic note. It would have softened the blow I got yesterday around 4 PM when I read on Facebook her step-daughter’s thank you to everyone who sent cards and notes, and expressed sympathy on the loss of her step mother, Jeannette. I had no idea. After 9 PM last night I found out it was lung cancer and she passed on May 26.

    I ‘met’ J in March 1988 when I had my name in a quilting magazine for “needle and pin pals.” Yes I was 30 years old and looking for pen pals. Who, like me, were new to quilting. She was from Brooklyn and we hit it off and we stayed friends for more than 30 years. Her husband was a carpenter for NYC, and after September 11, 2001 he was one of the workers at Ground Zero. He was there the day George Bush came. They moved to the Poconos after Lou retired and we didn’t write letters anymore – just emails. But she was important to me and I was devastated yesterday when I realized I’d never get to talk to her on the phone again, or meet up with her and Lou after we retire.

    Since she and I had met in person 3 or 4 times I felt like we knew each other fairly well. I think I still have the mountain of letters she wrote to me. This is a good reminder to not take your friends for granted. If they are on your mind, call them. The last time I had emailed her was in November. She wrote back and said “By the way, I still use your recipe for baby lamb chops and mint jelly – we loved when you made them for us!” This is a mystery that will go unsolved. I have never made lamb chops. She must have been thinking of someone else. But I’m glad that she enjoyed them and I’m sorry she was thinking I was the one who gave her the recipe. I have her recipe for rice balls. In her handwriting. I think I might make them this coming weekend.

    1815 chars

  35. Deborah said on June 11, 2019 at 10:32 am

    Dorothy, may your friend Jeanette rest in peace. You brought a tear to my eye this morning.

    91 chars

  36. Bob (not Greene) said on June 11, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Just had this pop up in one of my feeds. I never knew a thing about this. The loss described here is just jaw-dropping.

    304 chars

  37. Jakash said on June 11, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    Yeah, that’s a stunning and disturbing article, B(nG).

    “For years, what people were able to record was of greater quality than what they were able to play back. ‘Most people don’t realize that recording technology was decades more sophisticated than playback technology,” Sapoznik says. “Today, we can decode information off original recordings that was impossible to hear at any time before.'”

    I was aware that master recordings were crucial to making new issues, but like “most people,” I didn’t realize that.

    525 chars

  38. Dexter Friend said on June 11, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    This is the first time I have heard of this RealID thing, aside from enhanced driver’s licenses. I was told I will need the enhanced license to enter a federal facility or clear airport security. I got mine last year, so I thought I was good. I never had a passport because traveling to Mexico or Canada , I did not need one. I don’t leave the country anymore, and I can board an aircraft with my enhanced licence…why would I need a RealID card? Why wasn’t this damn thing explained to me when I got my enhanced licence?

    527 chars

  39. Julie Robinson said on June 11, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    Dexter, I’m pretty sure they’re the same thing with different names.

    Dorothy, I’m very sorry about the loss of your friend. The older we get, the more the losses add up.

    173 chars

  40. Kaye said on June 11, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    Dexter – You may have a Real ID license. Might be a terminology mix-up. You live in OH, right? OH does not issued an enhanced license. If you provided more paperwork than usual at renewal and your license has a star in the top right-hand corner you are good to fly domestically and visit Davis Bessie.

    301 chars

  41. Deborah said on June 11, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Did I read it correctly above that if you have a passport you can use that for domestic flights too, you don’t need a real ID?

    We have everything we need (I think) to get LB’s real ID in NM, we need to do that. Her passport expired so we need to do that too. We also need to get her TSA pre. She hates to fly and usually takes trains but not always.

    355 chars