Dreaming of the northern lights.

I had the house looking pretty damn good, although we’re not hosting Thanksgiving this year; Kate is staying in California until Christmas and Alan has to work, so I’m going stag (doe?) to a friend’s. I dusted, vacuumed, straightened and plumped all the pillows, so of course today Alan said it was a good day to start painting the family room and now that is what he is doing.


As for me, I spoke to Kate earlier. She locked her bike somewhere on Venice Boulevard yesterday and came out to find it missing both wheels. They’re special sizes, so it may well be easier for her to just get a new bike than try to track down replacements. That someone or many someones likely saw this happening in broad daylight and did nothing to stop it only underlines the essential pitilessness of the adult world for this new member of it.

Ah well. In another month she’ll be home, then probably staying home until mid-February, when the album she recorded for her senior thesis is released, and the band starts on first a U.S. tour (including SXSW!) and later, on to Europe. I keep pointing out she’s doing just fine and not to get so stressed, but then, my bike wasn’t stripped of its wheels, either.

A peaceful weekend, other than the cleaning. Ran into a good friend at the Eastern Market, and we went for coffee. He told me about the book he’s writing. It’s gonna be great, especially if he takes all my editing suggestions. Seriously, he’s a great writer and has a deep understanding of his subject (Detroit) and knows it better than almost anyone. I can’t wait to read it. And he inspired me to get back to work on something I’m writing. Not a book, but a longer essay/column I’ve been picking at for a while. Stay tuned.

Man, night comes on quickly these days, and we haven’t even seen the worst of it yet. Every so often I daydream about spending some unspecified future winter in Reykjavik, just renting an apartment from Halloween through the end of February and settling in for the hygge. I think I could do it, once I got used to it: Swim in the morning, soak in the hot tub, then tank up on coffee and wait for a couple hours of dim sunlight before it sinks again and the long night commences. There would be sandwiches. There would be pickles. There would be lots of reading and DuoLingo and meandering writing like this. The aurora borealis overhead so often it becomes routine. I think it’d be pretty great.

But this is just fantasy. Because of course we live in a hellscape, where the president intercedes to pardon/restore the rank of a war criminal. Where so-called moderate Republicans are silenced in the GOP of m-f’ing Wyoming, for god’s sake. Where a former Fox News exec tries to drum up followers for his allegedly “center-right” political news aggregator by employing Macedonian teenagers to whip up the proles and other media illiterates, on both sides (for once!).

Want something beautiful to read instead? It’s 7,000 words, so it’ll take a while. It took me one bus ride home, last Friday, but it stayed with me all weekend: “The Jungle Prince of Delhi,” by Ellen Barry in the NYT. I hope to one day write a sentence like this:

The door swung open, and before me stood a man in tiger-print pajamas.

Until then, I write here. Ah well. Have a great week ahead, all.

Posted at 5:33 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

79 responses to “Dreaming of the northern lights.”

  1. alex said on November 24, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Sorry to hear Kate’s bike got chopped. It wasn’t unusual in Chicago to see mangled frames held to signposts with Kryptonite locks and the rest of the parts missing. These days I see the bike stores selling bikes in the $2K to $5K range and I’m glad mine’s a vintage 10-speed nobody would want to steal.

    Glad to see the Wyoming GOP is eating its own. Maybe they’ll put Liz and Dick Cheney on a spit and give them a nice sear.

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  2. Deborah said on November 24, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    LB sold her Chicago bike to a neighbor guy upstairs in Santa Fe. He rode it to work until the front wheel got stolen there. When he moved out he left the bike with LB so she still has it sans wheel. She doesn’t ride around on a bike in Santa Fe because of the topography compared to Chicago. So for now it just hangs in the garage unused.

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  3. John in Bellingham said on November 24, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    Sorry to hear about Kate’s wheels. Unless she was looking for an excuse to get a new bike, she should go to a bike shop and get new wheels; wheels wear out or get stolen pretty frequently, so any competent bike shop will either have replacements in her size or be able to order them, for a lot less than the cost of a whole bike.

    She should also consider “locking skewers” so this doesn’t happen again. Some of them require a special tool to remove the wheels; others make it so that the wheel can only be removed when the bike is upside-down. Unless she’s a professional cyclist who needs to be able to change a wheel mid-race in a few seconds, she doesn’t really need the quick-release skewers that made it so easy for someone to steal her wheels.

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  4. beb said on November 24, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    And the Secretary of the Navy, who wasn’t about to let a deplorable Seal get away unpunished has been asked to resign. At least the Secretary decided it mattered to share a piece of his mind. It makes me wonder if a president (l\say the one after Trump) can “unpardon” a war criminal?

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 24, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Saw this, and immediately thought of you, Nancy:


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  6. Dexter Friend said on November 24, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Never have I had wheels jacked, just entire bicycles. I have told this here years ago, how I thought I had the foolproof anti-theft devices, all used at once, Kryptonite lock, thick industrial chain interwound through the wheels, seat , and handlebars… and industrial big Yale padlocks, and the logging chain I personally case hardened myself at work. Right… chained to a Detroit city lightpole on Plum Street adjacent to Tiger Stadium, and gone without a trace post-game. An entire oversized backpack of security , heavy as hell to carry…worthless to seasoned Detroit bike thieves. Oh…we film lovers are in agreement that “The Bicycle Thief” is one of the greatest human interest stories ever. TCM showed it and I thought they had botched the title, then as I watched it, I noticed scenes I had never seen before…a rogue print was discovered and the English title was changed to “Bicycle Thieves.” It’s worth another viewing for the newly-discovered scenes. ~ beb: Retired Supreme Commander 4-star admiral James Stavridis is absolutely livid with Trump over this whole fiasco. The admiral said the Navy head told Trump “Then give me a direct order.” Trump is fucking up everything. His one hour ramblings on Fox News was as weird as Nixon talking to presidential portraits all those years ago.

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  7. David C. said on November 25, 2019 at 8:18 am

    With battery power tools that can cut down big, beautiful walls in no time flat, bike locks don’t stand a chance. Like Alex said, sometimes your best protection is a bike too shitty to steal.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on November 25, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Happy, happy Birthday to Nancy!

    So sorry about Kate’s bike. Especially since she doesn’t have a car out there. Why are people such crap.

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  9. Jeff Borden said on November 25, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Getting ripped off is a passage of adulthood. Months after I started my first real job in Columbus, I maxxed out my new credit card to purchase a bigass stereo system that cost $700 in 1974 bucks. I returned from the night police beat around 2 a.m. one morning to find my apartment door ajar. My stereo was missing. So was the TV, the clock radio, a cheap Timex watch and a coffeemaker. My LPs were piled by the door, so the thieves must’ve been scared off before they could take them away.

    I still owed $500 on the gear. At $165 per week, I went without entertainment for quite a long time. Because, of course, I had no renter’s insurance.

    Get Kate to buy a beater bike. I found one for $50 at Play It Again Sports. It’s ugly as hell. Attracts zero attention.

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  10. JodiP said on November 25, 2019 at 10:32 am

    Happy birthday, Nancy! I too, am sorry to hear about Kate’s bike. I hope she can put it into persepctive, because it sounds as if she’s got an amazing year coming up with her music.

    I had a near-perfect weekend. Lounging, reading, a little housework, seeing friends, including those with a three-week old baby. Brought food to them. Met up with an amazing college senior Sunday that I’ve talked about in the past. He’s getting lots of great mentoring and connections to set him up. I told him about the Rhodes Scholarship and to look into it. Another friend for dinner last night with his 12-year-old newish adopted son. The young man wanted some leftover kung pao tofu instead of the potato-sausage hash I’d made! We then played a great game of Uno with lots of friendly trash talking. The only disappointment is that we missed the boat on the Downton Abbey movie which we’d planned to see. It’s coming to a great second-run theater soon, though. And we got to watch another episode of The Crown.

    A podcast showed up on my feed called Scattered; it’s about the story of of Cuban immigrants as told by their son. I highly recommend it.

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  11. Deborah said on November 25, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Here’s a link to Scattered https://www.npr.org/podcasts/770761889/scattered

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  12. Suzanne said on November 25, 2019 at 11:15 am

    Just started watching The Crown this weekend, so I am only as far as the coronation. It’s great! How factual? No idea but it’s well done.

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  13. Jakash said on November 25, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    I’ve gone with the “too shitty to steal” urban bike theory for a long time. My bike is significantly older than Kate, and I think cost $170 when I bought it. I just use a thick coil for locking it up; one time I returned to it during a nighttime outing to find the coil half sawed through. The perpetrator must have been interrupted. Despite always imagining I better get a new one, or a better lock, I still use that same coil 2 decades later… I wouldn’t mind a new bike, so I just figure if it ever gets stolen, that’ll be some motivation.

    Thanks to Deborah and Jeff Borden for their thumbs ups on “The Irishman” in previous threads. I wanted to see it in a theater (we don’t have Netflix, regardless) but was procrastinating. Their mentions helped keep in on my radar, so we managed to pull the trigger on it last night. I wouldn’t quite say that the 3 1/2 hours *flew* by, but I certainly never lost interest. An excellent piece of work, all around. Uh, “How factual? No idea but it’s well done” would fit here, too…

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  14. Scout said on November 25, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving week, Nallsters. Only 2.5 workdays this week, so I’m jazzed. Add to it that the co-worker who loves to bake brought in homemade apple pie this morning, and it’s not a bad Monday at all.

    This weekend I set a record for the earliest I’ve ever put up the xmas tree, but it’s only because I finally ordered a replacement for the old one that was starting to look like a thrift shop clearance item. I wanted to make sure it had all its parts, which it does. It’s a beautiful, realistic looking Balsam Hill. This one is not pre-lit, so right now it’s sitting in the living room naked and dark until I buy some new lights and dig out the box of ornaments. But it’s up and “fluffing”.

    I spent most of the rest of the weekend in various theaters; a volunteer orientation to be an usher for the Herberger on Saturday and on Sunday a shift working concessions at a Ballet AZ pre-pro student performance of Cinderella. And on Saturday night a concert at the MIM to see a singer/songwriter friend (https://mim.org/events/teneia/) who is on tour. Maybe I’ll see Kate there someday. The acoustics in the venue are top notch and the performers always comment on how much they love to play there.

    Bummer about Kate’s bike. As others have said, a beater bike is essential if you regularly need to leave it unattended. But the rest of the news is so exciting for her.

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  15. Deborah said on November 25, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    I just got back from purchasing the food items I’m bringing to the Thanksgiving dinner at Uncle J’s “daughter’s” house (i’m putting that in quotes because she’s actually his step daughter in-law, from the love of his life second wife who died, [whew, that’s complicated] and she has been very good to him over many years and he thinks of her as his daughter and her children as his grandchildren). She lives down the street from uncle J, so it’s easy to get there once we get to Uncle J’s. I’m making roasted brussel sprouts with a yogurt horse radish dip/sauce. It will be an hors d’oeuvre with a toothpick in each sprout head. LB made this for us once and my husband is gaga for brussel sprouts.

    I’m coming off of my low carb diet this week, adding carbs back in a day at a time as is recommended. I lost a total of 17 or so lbs so I can gain back 5 in France and still be where I wanted to be. I’m glad I did it and it wasn’t hard at all, except for the occasional craving for a good old fashioned sandwich made with 2 thick slices of bread.

    I also went to the AT&T store today to get our international cell system set up for our trip, one week from today! We had this the last two or three international trips we took but it got messed up last summer so I wanted to do it in person, hopefully that won’t happen again.

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  16. Jakash said on November 25, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    Converts often make rock-solid Cult 45 members.

    Rick Perry, prophetically, on the Marmalade Mussolini in 2015:

    “He offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued.”

    Rick Perry on the Maximum Leader, these days:

    “‘Mr. President, I know there are people that say you said you were the chosen one and I said, ‘You were.'”

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  17. jcburns said on November 25, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    Happy birthday Nance. You are way, way younger than this photo, but seeing these road signs reminded me of you.(And yes, this is Broad at Front.)

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  18. Ann said on November 25, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Happy birthday! One of my high school classmates is married to a man who was, until recently, a state senator, Republican of course, in Wyoming. He was one of a group who tried to get Medicaid expansion there. He lost the next primary to a black woman with stronger pro-Trump, anti-abortion, anti-immigrant sentiments.

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  19. Mark P. said on November 25, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Jeff (tmmo), those contrasting photos almost made me laugh, and then shoot myself in the head. This world is far, far stranger and less believable than the most nightmarish fiction an alcohol-addled hack writer could ever come up with.

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  20. lisa said on November 25, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    My husband and I don’t travel much but we went to NYC in September. He loves bicycles and he owns 40. He wheels and deals for them. When our daughter lived in Cle, he bought her a 30 year old Schwinn and I think it’s still his proudest moment when we drove it up to her.
    When we went to Brooklyn to see her, we saw thousands of bikes locked to light poles. Most had no tires and handle bars. This fascinated Rick to no end. We came upon one bike with a note attached that said, “whoever put their lock on my bike today, I’m asking you to please take it off so I can go to work tonight.” Rick thought that was hysterically funny. Our daughter kept the bike he bought her but bought a new one when she moved to Brooklyn because the one he gave her is too heavy to go up and down three flights of stairs with on a weekly basis. The bike she bought cost $800!
    Where we live the same bike would go for $100 tops.
    Sorry that Kate had that happen to her.

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  21. Deborah said on November 26, 2019 at 9:48 am

    I wasn’t able to access nn.c this morning until now.

    Shouldn’t it be pretty easy to tell if Conan the dog is male or female? Unless his/her injury was in that area I guess. Of course, I think it’s all a bunch of reality TV hooey. Who wants to bet that was a stand in for the photo op?

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  22. Deborah said on November 26, 2019 at 9:52 am

    This should make an interesting Thanksgiving meal https://www.sunset.com/food-wine/pantry/kiva-cannabis-gravy-thanksgiving

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  23. LAMary said on November 26, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Happy Birthday a day late. My new job, yes it’s another freaking new job, had two birthdays yesterday. I’ve been there three weeks and had four birthday cakes and one potluck.

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  24. alex said on November 26, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    It’s twoo. It’s twoo. What they were saying about the 2020 Subaru.

    Our local dealer put up a tutorial on Facebook just to show people how to work the heat:


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  25. JodiP said on November 26, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Deborah, I read the line too quickly and thought it was cannibal-infused gravy!

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  26. Deborah said on November 26, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    I ordered the book, Impeach by Neal Katyal (and somebody else), it came out today, I hope to get it before Monday so I can read it on the flight, I will proudly read it at my seat, flashing the cover around for others to see. It’s not long so I may leave it on the plane after I’m done for someone else to pick up on their way out the door. Hopefully.

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  27. susan said on November 26, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    I’m so glad my car (2015 Forester) has knobs for heat, fan, and where to send the heat or coolth. And radio with knobs and real buttons. And a display screen about 3″ x 2″. Those big-ass screens are a huge distraction as you try to find what you need. How are those different from operating a g-d cell phone and texting while driving?

    Also, too, clutch pedal and stick shift… So retro!

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  28. 4dbirds said on November 26, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    “The Jungle Prince of Delhi,” was great reading. I loved the research she put into it and and how insane but remarkable the mother was. As a vet and someone who taught the Geneva Convention to fellow soldiers for a while, I am appalled by the navy seal and most of all by Trump. Believe it or not, troops don’t want to serve with murderers. I wonder how PFJ will defend it.

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  29. alex said on November 26, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    Suzanne, I love manual transmission and I’m glad there are still a few carmakers offering it. It’s standard on this vehicle — the only Jeep product that has ever received a favorable review in the automotive press — and I might seriously consider it, Honda loyalist though I am.

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  30. Scout said on November 26, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    We’re hosting dinner (vegan! gluten free!) for 10 and 60% of us would love the cannabis infused gravy, but alas, the other 40% would not. We cook with infused EVOO and coconut oil all the time, though. I’ve never slept better in my life.

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  31. Suzanne said on November 26, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    The Jungle Prince of Delhi. Unreal. Unbelievable. Unsettling.
    And would seriously make a great opera.

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  32. susan said on November 26, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    alex@29 – Alas, Subaru no longer makes manual transmission Foresters, as of the 2019 model. Stick shift was a major reason I bought that car. It was the “base model”! I think the Crosstrek, Impreza, and MRX still come with standard.

    I, too, love driving a manual trans, but then I have been my whole driving life.

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  33. susan said on November 26, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Scout, I’ve been curious how one “infuses” cannabis into anything? How does that work?

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  34. Deborah said on November 26, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Me too on the manual transmissions, don’t know what we’re going to do for our next car.

    I’ve never infused anything with pot but they make oils and such, so it seems easy. LB has a friend. Who’s an expert on cooking and baking with the stuff. I don’t know if LB has tried cooking it. She has a medical card so she’s legal.

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  35. Deborah said on November 26, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    I’m at uncle J’s, we took a different route to get out here and it made it feel like thanksgiving. My husband had to pick something up in Barrington so we took the interstate that far and then from there we took back country roads past farm houses and fields, it was so much nicer than the white knuckle, semi zooming past, driving on the interstate. Julie, I think you said you grew up around that area, what town?

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  36. Dexter Friend said on November 26, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    The shitty bike theory never worked for me. I had a clunker one-speed 1951 model Sears J.C. Higgins outfitted with a basket with which to run to the store. It was a chrome frame. Stolen, painted with black spray paint by a neighborhood hoodlum-kid. My brother-in-law was friends with the parents and he knew the thief, a 14 year old boy, was his friend’s son. He arranged a meet-up at a bar where my bike, all beat-to-hell with bent rims etc., was returned and we all went inside for beers, where the parent pulled out a small roll of tens and twenties and wanted to cover the damages. I didn’t take any cash, just drank a few suds and left with my battered bike. This was 42 years ago and the bike is in the garage, and has not been ridden in 7 years, but I can see it out the kitchen-to-garage window, and I like looking at it.

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  37. alex said on November 26, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    When I was a grade schooler my bike got swiped from our garage. Some months later my brother spotted it in the bike rack at the junior high and called my mom who called the cops and we all went over there. The bike had a shitty spray paint job in a different color but my brother still recognized it and we had papers with the serial number. They tracked down the kid who claimed to be its owner and who also claimed to have fished it out of the river. He surrendered it but by then I had a replacement and the stolen bike was pretty beat up.

    Not sure how you infuse cooking oil with cannabis but I learned how to make bomb-ass baked goods by powderizing weed in a coffee grinder and then slow-roasting it over low heat in a nonstick pan. Then you just mix it with your flour. I learned this from watching a Canadian Youtube video back in the early aughts so I could make brownies for my then boyfriend’s terminally ill mother. Most of the family got into them and she barely got any, and they were all fucked up out of their minds.

    Honda and Mazda still offer manual shift, and I hope they continue until I need a new vehicle, but my current car’s a Honda so it could be a long time before it needs to be replaced.

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  38. Heather said on November 26, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    I’ve got four bikes–one is a Bridgestone I got in college, so it’s about 30 years old (still rides great), a vintage 3-speed Raleigh, a fold-up bike, and a cheapo mixte I got off Craiglist several years ago that now needs some serious work. I just use a U-lock and feel secure that nobody really wants these bikes that badly.

    I want something lighter than can go fast but will still hold up for commuting, shopping, etc., but researching bicycles is daunting. And yeah, I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars. I’m thinking I might head to this place called Working Bikes in Chicago that refurbishes old bikes and sells them, but of course the stock is just what they have at the moment.

    I really love riding instead of driving whenever possible. My temperature cutoff is around 37 degrees though. It’s just not fun when it’s colder than that. I think last year I actually rode my bike on my birthday in January, which was a little alarming from a climate change standpoint.

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  39. Julie Robinson said on November 26, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Yep, I grew up in the country between DeKalb and Sycamore, and we always took the back roads up to Rockford. Back then, we went there a lot, as there weren’t any specialists in town and shopping was limited. It was closer and easier to head to Rockford than the Chicago suburbs, although we did that too. We were so excited when CherryVale Mall opened up. The last time I heard anything about it was because someone was killed there in gang warfare. Rockford hasn’t fared well.

    Can’t ride my bike anymore because of the knee pain. Consulted a surgeon, he said surgery wouldn’t help. Giving the bike away.

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  40. David C. said on November 26, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    I’ve made my peace with automatic transmissions. I just hope next time we buy a car, we can get one with an automatic instead of a continuously variable transmission.

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  41. LAMary said on November 26, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    I think VW still makes Golfs with manual transmissions.

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  42. Deborah said on November 26, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Uncle J has 2 exercise bikes and a rowing machine which I use when I’m here. The bikes are really complicated with digital screens and I’m always confused. Those are the only bikes I’ve used in years. As a kid I bought myself a used English racer (that’s what we called them any way) with baby sitting money. I loved it and rode all around the neighborhood with abandon. It’s very flat in Miami, it was easy peasy. It had 3 speeds, and skinny tires and was black. I have no idea what happened to that bike after I lost interest whenever that was.

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  43. Dexter Friend said on November 26, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    English racers indeed…every country boy’s wish. One of our little group did go into bicycle racing around Indiana, but back in the mid-1950s we all rode one speed heavy bikes. The neighbors had good factory wage money and their kids all rode shiny Schwinns from Uncle Win in Fort Wayne. Dad bought us J.C. Higgins bicycles, and the oldest kid across the road taunted us: “Sears junk! Sears junk!” Fuck that guy! Actually, he was a good kid, taught me how to fire a .22., skin trapped muskrats…yeah! FUCK that guy! (I hated the trap lines and killing anything..just hated it, and abandoned all that before I was 9 years old.)

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  44. alex said on November 26, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    VW will no doubt be reliable for manual transmissions for the foreseeable future. My friends in Europe say that nobody drives automatics over there and you can count on VW to provide America with sticks forever.

    I just don’t consider buying VWs anymore after my last one. It was a wonderful car and I loved it, very zippy and fun to drive and very solid-feeling. But things were always breaking, like the slide-out cup holders, the power moonroof, the power windows, the power seats, just like a cheezoid flimsy GM car, only it was always very expensive to fix. On top of that, the local dealership service department made some colossal blunders that I consider simply unforgivable, like installing my replacement struts upside down in the front, and not even bothering to attach them in the rear, where they were simply free-floating. I was lucky the thing wasn’t doing cartwheels on the expressway.

    I trust Consumer Reports and they don’t give any of the German cars very high marks for quality. Their vaunted reputations have mostly to do with their ridiculous prices.

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  45. Dexter Friend said on November 27, 2019 at 3:38 am

    Geez, Alex, that service department was worse than when I went to a service station for a simple oil change and the mechanic drained the oil, then must have been distracted, and forgot to add any new oil and sent me down the road. After two miles the tappets were howling. I figured it out quickly and walked home, got the VW Microbus, and drove back and got my oil.

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  46. basset said on November 27, 2019 at 7:11 am

    Dexter, something I’ve been meaning to ask for awhile… you mentioned playing baseball years ago. Tell us about your last game.

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  47. LAMary said on November 27, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Alex, my 2000 Beetle got pretty sucky after a few years but I’ve had a Golf hatchback and now a Golf wagon since then and they’re fine. I buy the certified used ones at the dealership and get a warranty. I really like my Golf wagon. I really liked the hatchback too. Both very peppy. The Beetle had some cool qualities but that moonroof started leaking, then it started burning oil, and so on.

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  48. Jenine said on November 27, 2019 at 10:10 am

    @LAMary: congrats!? on the new job. I hope the office celebrations are kinda fun rather than oppressive obligatory.

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  49. Connie said on November 27, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    My brother makes cannibus infused butter, then his friend makes chocolate truffle bonbons from it. And you can buy an electric butter/oil infuser at your local dispensary.

    We thought my brother was dying from his stage four kidney cancer last year, when he was unexpectedly hospitalized for several weeks due to what turned out to be a nasty case of pneumonia. It has been a long slow recovery, and now the unexpected news that he is first, in remission, and now, declared cured. A very rare occurence for kidney cancer. All signs of metastization are gone on his scans. Due to his participation in a clinical trial of one of the new immunotherapy drugs.

    He also notes, unfortunately, that he has just learned that the emergency room protocol for someone with one kidney is very different from the standard protocol.

    Lots butter infusers on Amazon.

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  50. Connie said on November 27, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    That emergency room bit is missing “kidney stones.” I was editing but ran out of time.

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  51. Deborah said on November 27, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    I went to Costco today, something I haven’t done for ages and ages, was expecting a mob the day before thanksgiving in uncle J’s town but it wasn’t bad at all. All in all it has made me want to get a membership again. I’ve read that Costco is a good company for the people who work there.

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  52. Julie Robinson said on November 27, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    Happiest of Thanksgivings to all!

    We are cooking two 15 pound turkeys for the gathering, and I’m feeling like we got off easy. My other shopping is finished, so I’m staying out of the cold and windy conditions, cozily catching up on TV and ironing. If we don’t lose power I’ll be good for a month.

    Did anyone else get a Washington Post subscription offer? I’m already a subscriber, but this was for $30/year. Grab it while you can.

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  53. Julie Robinson said on November 27, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Deborah, Costco is a good company to work for. I wish our son had stayed with them, but the one hitch is working evenings and weekends, and he is in several performing groups. They pay well and even part-timers get 401K’s and health insurance. The insurance was $5 or $10 per pay period and had good coverage. They also close early enough on weekends for the youngsters to go party, and always close on holidays like Thanksgiving. And despite all that, they are highly profitable.

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  54. Scout said on November 27, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    There are going to be lots of products coming out to use for infusing cannabis once it’s legal everywhere, I’m sure. What works the best for us is to bake the flower at a low heat for about 45 minutes (to release the terpenes) then add the oil and bake for another 45 minutes. Strain the oil through a cheese cloth and save the flower separately for salad crumbles. We do an EVOO batch that we use in mostly anything savory we saute. And we do a coconut oil batch (fractionated so it stays liquid) that we use in brownies. We buy the gluten free brownie mix from Trader Joe’s, it takes 1/3 c of oil. We cut an 8 x 8 pan into 16 pieces and one piece is excellent for a good night’s sleep. I use a hybrid, indica dominant flower.

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  55. Heather said on November 27, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Connie, that is so great about your brother! Your family is having a special Thanksgiving this year, I’m sure.

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  56. susan said on November 27, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Costco does well by their employees, with good pay and benefits. I see some people still working there after more than a decade. Try that, Wallfart. They also close on major holidays so their workers get the days off: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, 4th o’ July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Try that, Wallfart. Good reasons to support them. And mebbe buy stock, if you are into that. I bought some shares, oh maybe 10 years ago or so, at ≈52 bucks, per. Now it’s at 303! Holy sheeit. Makes me want to be a capitalist.

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  57. basset said on November 27, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Just the three of us at our big meal tomorrow and we’ll eat late, after Jr. gets off work. Sitting in a treeline overlooking a soybean field right now and waiting for deer to show up… we have all the meat we need so any others I “harvest” this season will go to a statewide charitable program which grinds donated deer into burger and gives it to food banks.

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  58. Sherri said on November 27, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Costco does treat their employees well. You know why? Costco doesn’t hire business school grads. MBAs are not wanted at Costco.

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  59. alex said on November 27, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    LAMary, congrats on the job!

    I adore the Golf wagon and I was disappointed to read recently that it’s being discontinued, although like I said above I’m sort of disinclined to try VW again after my last experience. But I figure when the time comes to do some car shopping I’ll see what’s available, affordable, etc. Anymore I like to get a three-year-old certified used car coming off a lease. Cars typically depreciate by almost half at that point.

    We’re having sustained high winds here today with some powerful gusts. My tenants next door lost the rear windshield of one of their cars to a tree limb this morning and I feel especially bad about it as we just rented a Genie lift a few weeks ago and pruned the hell out of that tree just so that something like this wouldn’t happen.

    Our outdoor kitty has for some reason been reluctant to use her heated house even though it’s been her hideaway for years. She has disappeared entirely today and I’m not sure where she could be taking shelter but hope she’s okay.

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  60. Sherri said on November 27, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    If Dahlia is freaking out, we all should be.

    Everyone seems to assume vast quantities of courage in other people that they cannot seem to find in themselves. Yet somehow, our greatest worry in the coming days will be how to remain civil with one another over a large bird and its cute little cranberry accessories. The president believes that he is above the law and has foreclosed any attempt to prove otherwise. The president seems unable to conceive of himself losing an election. The president is counting on all of us to merely hope that something somewhere gets done about all this stuff at some point, but to never actually do anything ourselves beyond passing the stuffing around. This year, what I am most thankful for is the people who are trying to do that something themselves.


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  61. ROGirl said on November 27, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    My power was out all afternoon, just came back on about 10 minutes ago. High winds started this morning, preceded by teeming rain. At least it didn’t snow.

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  62. Dexter Friend said on November 27, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Well, Basset, here goes…first of all I did not get signed to an Organized Baseball Minor League contract. My chance to report to two tryouts in Florida were cancelled by Uncle Sam and his dirty little war. I played on a team that travelled the southern USA, playing local teams in venues from one Major League stadium (White Sox) to many pro-minor league parks in NC, SC, GA, MS, AL, WV, D.C. area, VA, KY, TN, IL, IN, WI, MI, and later on up the seaboard into Canada, which I missed because I had to report to Fort Knox, US Army. My last game I remember well, as it was my best game I had in the two years I played and rode that old red retired Greyhound. I called Dad from a pay phone to tell him about my game that night, in Waterloo, Wisconsin. He said he had some news, and I was not surprised as he told me I had to get back to Indiana and prepare for leaving for a couple years. The team owner had a new Buick he drove, never riding our bus, and after we had a game in East Chicago where I didn’t play and took tickets at the gate, he drove me home. For my two years on his team, playing for only meal money, he gave me a handshake and a baseball and wished me luck, and my baseball career ended right there in front of our house. After I got out of the army, I realized I was never going to get another invitation for a pro tryout, so that was that, as they say.

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  63. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 27, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Dexter, while you were “over there” did you harbor hopes that you might have one more shot, or did you leave fairly certain those two years would wipe that particular slate clean?

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  64. Deborah said on November 27, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    That’s a good story Dexter. Well maybe not good that you had it ended because of the draft, but an interesting slice o life story none the less.

    Lots of strong winds in uncle J’s town too. No snow, spitting rain.

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  65. LAMary said on November 27, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    Since Tom and Lorenzo swore they would not comment on any of the Trump family’s clothing, can we get catty about the outfit Melania wore to speak to middle school kids? I’m asking before I start something.

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  66. Deborah said on November 27, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    LA Mary, I thought it was odd that it appeared she wore her coat through the whole speech, granted it only lasted about 5 minutes. It made it seem like she just wanted to spend as little time there as possible. Was it an outdoor venue? I watched a video of it, she was booed somewhat in the beginning then it was just noisy throughout her speech, then they booed fairly loudly at the end. Did the gop have her attend on purpose hoping for the crowd to behave that way so they could complain about rude Baltimore kids? Makes you wonder.

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  67. Deborah said on November 27, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    I meant to also say that I can imagine a whole different vibe if it were FLOTIS Michelle Obama who had given a speech there.

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  68. LAMary said on November 27, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    It’s a full length leather or suede coat with matching pants and boots and she wore it indoors. It looked like an upscale storm trooper ensemble. She’s worn coats indoors at several photo ops. I find that odd.

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  69. Mark P said on November 28, 2019 at 12:23 am

    I drove a 2001 Golf diesel for about 10 years. Very little trouble and great mileage. We got a 2011 Jetta diesel and fortunately traded in 2015 before the VW emissions cheating scandal broke and made all VW diesels worthless. Since learning what “German engineering” really means I wouldn’t even consider a VW.

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  70. Dexter Friend said on November 28, 2019 at 2:11 am

    Scorsese has pulled off his greatest work yet, finally convincing Pesci to come out of retirement to surely earn nominations for best supporting actor and Best Actor awards in February. This movie is mind-blowing, do not miss it. (Netflix). Pacino plays a role (Jimmy Hoffa) that Nicholson perfected, and makes it work. DeNiro is great in this role as the Irishman in a mob world. Keitel is in there, too…the old gang together again, maybe for the last time. Who knew Sebastian Maniscalco could act? He’s a great stand-up comic, but he has chops here, too. Old Bo Dietl has another short scene or two as well. This is the best film by far of 2019 and even of the last 8 or 9 years. Wow. Man ….

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  71. nancy said on November 28, 2019 at 6:44 am

    Maybe Melania wanted to wear a bulletproof vest.

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  72. Julie Robinson said on November 28, 2019 at 7:45 am

    Melania has no original ideas, so she looks around for people to copy. Kate Middleton has wowed the world with her coat dresses and I’m pretty sure that was in Melania’s head. If there’s anything in there except desperation and planning her escape.

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  73. basset said on November 28, 2019 at 7:56 am

    Dexter, you could get an interesting book out of those baseball stories… just tell em to a recorder, include lots of detail, get em transcribed and go from there. Good games, bad games, travel, places, people you knew… I’d read it.
    What was the team called?

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  74. Suzanne said on November 28, 2019 at 8:22 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to all you here on this informative blog!

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  75. LAMary said on November 28, 2019 at 11:07 am


    This is not a coat dress. She’s wearing a coat for a photo op in the oval office.

    Oh look. Another one. https://tinyurl.com/txv2fgp

    And one more

    She wears coats indoors. This is odd.

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  76. Deborah said on November 28, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Happy Thanksgiving all!

    We’re having a doozy here at uncle J’s. His old “friend” is causing all kinds of stress for everyone, she sucks all the oxygen out of the room, she’s a raving narcissist. We have to see her again this afternoon before it’s all over.

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  77. alex said on November 28, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    I weighed in at a comments section where people were venting outrage at the Baltimore kids for booing Melania and others were taking cheap shots at her. So I commented “In the Bible, Jesus said to be kind to whores, so that should settle it.”

    Getting ready to put my 24-pounder on the grill, dry brined in kosher salt, with Penzey’s Revolution seasoning and some finely chopped rosemary and sage and rubbed all up inside the skin, which I just slathered generously all over with tarragon compound butter.

    Power went out at my parents’ house last night where we were supposed to be having a big pre-Thanksgiving dinner with out-of-town family visiting. So we decamped to my place and took the half-baked lasagne out of the oven and finished cooking it here and had a fab meal on hastily set tables with mismatched dinnerware. Sometimes you have more fun rolling with adversity than if things had gone off without a hitch and people are talking about making this a new tradition, even if the power doesn’t go out. It came back on after midnight. Apparently three trees down the street took out a power line. They were able to restore power on my parents’ side of the street but their unfortunate neighbors won’t get it back until sometime today.

    Happy T-bird day to all and happy belated to Nancy.

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  78. Julie Robinson said on November 28, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    We’re into hour four at the crazy Robinson Thanksgiving Theatre. We’ve missed the last couple of gatherings. I kinda forgot.

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  79. Dexter Friend said on November 29, 2019 at 1:00 am

    JMMO: I was just grateful I had the chance to play in all those ballparks, mostly pro fields, especially Comiskey Park, home of the White Sox. After two years away, I had lost my edge and was ready to try college, then after a while ran out of money and had to go to work. ~ basset, 15 years ago a reporter on a newspaper somewhere around Newport News, Virginia had picked up on a couple remembrances I had written on blogs about those days on the baseball team and said he’d write a feature story if I’d give more details, so what the hell, I did it. If it ever got picked up by his editor, helifino. The team I played on was the Indianapolis Clowns, which in 1968 was a barnstorming team with no home, just a guy’s house in St. Pete, FL, who retained the rights to the team from a man named Syd Pollock who used to be Abe Saperstein’s right-hand man with the Harlem Globetrotters in the 40s and 50’s. After the 1967 riots, Ed Hamman, the owner, decided that having some white players might stave-off a race riot against an all-Black team, so I and five other white guys made the team after a tryout in Winston-Salem, NC. After the Negro Leagues ended after the best players filtered up to MLB after 1947 and Jackie Robinson, the only team that continued on as a barnstorming team was the Clowns, with nothing at all to do with Indianapolis, Indiana. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwir_snT3I7mAhUBQ6wKHYSSCNEQjRx6BAgBEAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.biblio.com%2Fsome-are-called-clowns-by-heward-bill-gat-dimitri%2Fwork%2F1908841&psig=AOvVaw3I8DEV2jk4O-46L33DEBKp&ust=1575092942026685 This book was written 5 years after my time by Gat and Heward, who I obviously did not know. The clown on the book cover is the same Ed Hamman who ended up owning the lot. Ed was business manager of the Harlem Globetrotters, that’s how he met Syd Pollock and Abe Saperstein. Some of the players in the 1976 movie, ” Bingo Long and the Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings” were my teammates…shortstop Birmingham Sam Brison, one-armed first baseman Stevie Anderson, and “Midget” Dero Austin, all in the movie. It pops up on cable once a year, still. It has big stars, Billie Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, Stan Shaw, others. It’s too much for me to try finding an agent and write a book…my army buddy from 49 years ago has been trying to get his book published for 7 years, about resisting the war from within the enlisted ranks…just no hits.

    Today John Carlisle of The Freep starts a series on small towns. He’s a great reporter and this material is his sweet spot.

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