What immortal hand or eye?

Like many of you, I spent seven hours of my life watching “Tiger King” on Netflix this week. Kate and I got into it; it was our mother/daughter quarantine jam.

I have two (2) experiences with so-called private zoos to share before I get into “Tiger King.” When I was at Bridge, I reported on a story about some bills that were introduced not long after the 2012 incident near Zanesville, Ohio, when a mentally disturbed owner of a private zoo — a state, after watching “Tiger King,” you may assume most of them live in — killed himself, but not before opening all his cages and freeing his animals to roam. By the time the police were done dealing with the grisly aftermath, I believe most of the animals were dead and at least a couple had “disturbed the corpse” of their former keeper, which is how they put it at the news conferences.

There’s only one reference to this in “Tiger King” — a brief snippet in the opening sequence, in which the governor or someone says, “We were amazed that anyone can just own a tiger or lion.” Yep, they can, and my story, which seems to have been re-topped with maybe some editing notes lost in a CMS migration or two, because that’s really not my style, only scratched the surface of the weirdness of private zoos.

In Michigan, as I remember it, some members of the traditional zoo community — facilities like your city’s zoo, with a board of directors and responsible habitat duplication and so on — were pushing legislation that would have made private zoos like the one in Zanesville much harder to establish and run. The legislature, always happy to help out a pal, countered with a bill to protect a single roadside outfit in the Upper Peninsula, where orphaned bear cubs were available for visitors to pet, hold and have their photos taken with them.

As I worked on this, I was introduced to the tension between the AZA, or Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the ZAA, or Zoological Association of America. What’s the difference? Here’s me:

“The confusion is that AZA and ZAA are basically two different things,” said Tara Harrison, veterinarian at Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo and an opponent of the legislation. “The AZA is the gold standard.” It is the accreditation body that recognizes the zoos most people visit, five in Michigan – Potter Park, the Detroit Zoo, John Ball Zoological Garden in Grand Rapids, Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek and the Saginaw Children’s Zoo.

The ZAA, Harrison said, is for smaller, frequently privately owned “roadside zoos” where visitors can not only see animals, but sometimes interact with them.

To differentiate the two, Harrison says, she points to the AZA’s 70-page application for accreditation, as well as numerous protocols pertaining to safety of animals, enclosures and visitors, veterinary care and more, while the ZAA’s, available on its website, “is three pages.”

Here’s one of the pushback bill’s co-sponsor’s take on Big Zoo:

Hune thinks the difference is also one of size and market. The AZA, to him, is the big-money, big-zoo club trying to quash the entrepreneurial upstarts who represent competition for not only visitors, but prestige. The use of the term “roadside zoo” is offensive to many who keep these smaller facilities, and rely on tourists or limited trading of animals to survive.

Very Tea Party, that guy. But reporting gave me an excuse to go visit his family’s camel farm on my way home from Lansing one day:

To Hune, who raises Bactrian camels on his parents’ farm outside Fowlerville in Livingston County, the Zanesville incident was an outlier, a rare and random act by a mentally unstable individual. Not that he would deny animals can be dangerous – in 2004 his father, David, suffered a skull fracture when one of his son’s camels picked him up by the head as he worked nearby.

“It wasn’t an attack,” said the younger Hune. “He just wanted attention.” The incident left the elder Hune with a plate in his head, but that didn’t dampen the family’s enthusiasm for exotic livestock; four camels still live on the farm, along with ponies, donkeys and a few head of cattle David Hune raises for freezer beef.

Anyway, my point is: There are legit zoos and there are “Tiger King” zoos, and I bet even the ZAA wouldn’t want shit to do with that guy. Which brings me to my second anecdote, which happened years ago, when I was sent to write about a private zoo, with tigers, down in southern Ohio, around Logan. I took my friend Becky along for company on the drive and what the hell, how often do you get to spend a day at work visiting a tiger outfit.

This zoo, near Logan, was pretty much a dump, run by two guys who drank beer most of the day and messed around with their animals. I really don’t remember much, but I remember feeding time, which was terrifying. One guy came out with a bucket of meat and the other guy drew a large-caliber handgun and covered him.

“Is that necessary?” I squeaked.

“Oh yeah,” the other guy said. Dinnertime ended without serious incident, but it made me far more appreciative of the Columbus Zoo, where the big cats managed to be fed without Smith & Wesson getting involved.

Anyway, like I said, Joe Exotic, the titular star of “Tiger King,” was leagues beyond these guys — a narcissistic, half-nuts redneck who ran a private zoo in Oklahoma where he bred and sold tigers to terrible people and antagonized a particular animal-rescue sort named Carole Baskin, a feud that led to his downfall. My takeaway: Don’t pick a fight with a deep-pocketed woman married to a lawyer.

That’s really the TV Guide synopsis. It is so, so much weirder than that. I lack the energy right now to describe it, so I’ll defer to New York magazine:

Every time you think you’ve gotten a handle on what exactly the crimes are in this true-crime series, Tiger King throws you another curveball. Thought it was going to be about illegal animal breeding? Well it’s also about murder. But not the murder you thought! Well okay, yes, it is about the murder you thought, but it’s also about more murder. All of that seems like plenty for one series, right? Ha ha, there are also cults! And polygamy! And everyone has lions and tigers just lying around their homes, all the time! Tiger King is absolutely “good,” in that I watched all of it as quickly as possible, often with my jaw on the floor.

…There’s a whiff of class tourism here, not that different from shows like Toddlers and Tiaras or Here Comes Honey Boo Boo — shows that treat their subjects like sideshow acts in a circus, where the circus is poverty. You feel okay watching this?

No, not entirely. But I did. It beat watching CNN.

Kate and I went for a much-needed bike ride today. The river was blue, the sky was blue, and it was warm for once. It felt very good. Of course, the information never stays at bay for long:

Have a good weekend, all. Stay separated.

Posted at 8:17 pm in Current events, Television |

59 responses to “What immortal hand or eye?”

  1. Deborah said on April 2, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    LB and I had a long afternoon encounter with the upstairs neighbor, he’s 28 and it turns out he’s a Bernie bro. Our conversation turned fairly heated but ended up ok. We agreed to disagree. He’s a smart young man so it took thinking as clearly as I was able. His take on the future post virus is bleak. He expects lots of violence. I don’t agree. He thinks we all should buy guns to defend ourselves against the hungry and desperate. I’d never heard anyone say what he said, so it was eye opening.

    507 chars

  2. alex said on April 2, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    That’s one killer brunette bouffant and eye paint. Is that you or Kate?

    Well, I played hooky from work today too. I was close enough to answer any urgent e-mails but busy beautifying my real estate. It’s supposed to be a shitty weekend so I figure I can stay in then doing office work and take care of fun outdoor stuff now.

    So I thought I’d dress up my rental house. Found a soft golden color that matches the flagstone on the front. My partner made some shutters for the porch windows and the raw wood looked wonderful against the stone and the paint swatch matched the raw wood closely and looked like it would make a good trim color.

    And so I painted the garage door in the soft golden color and it’s the loudest fucking screaming yellow I’ve ever seen!

    So Plan B. Loud fucking screaming yellow turns out to be the perfect base for faux wood gel staining, so we’ll give that a whirl. I have some experience and it’s not hard to make a steel garage door look like wood. The hard part is sealing it with a clear water-based product so it doesn’t end up looking like shit. So that’s what I’m going to do tomorrow while it’s still warm and dry outside. Phase I anyway. Faux painting with gel stain requires a second go-round 24-48 hours after the first.

    Wish I’d listened to my renter. She’s out of town looking after her mother and we were face timing this morning and holding up swatches next to the stone and she liked a muted bronze color that picked up the stone color and would probably tie everything together much more subtly. It also picked up some purplish-brown in the roof that otherwise looks green and black at first blush.

    I love decorating. It’s my true calling. And it’s calling me away from mundane office work.

    1749 chars

  3. Julie Robinson said on April 2, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    Alex, we could have used your skills when we were putting up pictures at the apartment. We didn’t exactly fight, but let’s say our patience with each other wore thin. In the end I stopped caring, just wanted to get it over with.

    In Orlando Disney employs 70,000, including our son’s girlfriend. She works on the business side, and is just finishing her MBA, hoping to move to upper management. She and pretty much everyone else received furlough notices today. Then there’s Universal, Sea World, all the hotels and restaurants and shopping centers, and it multiplies exponentially.

    The process of filing for unemployment in Florida is a total cluster, brought to you by a series of Republican governors who knew, and declined to make improvements.

    755 chars

  4. Suzanne said on April 2, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    We watched all of Tiger King. It’s strange, weird, and disturbing. I can’t say I enjoyed it but it does hold one’s attention. I live in a rural area so it hit a little to close to home; the guns, the brushes with the law, the ignorance. It brought to mind the guy down the road who, a number of years ago, tried to run his girlfriend over with his pick-up truck because he was angry. The reaction from one of his old classmates ( who is college educated, successful computer guy) was “He’s a good guy except when he drinks. Then he gets a little mean. But he’s a good guy.”

    It is worth watching to see Joe Exotic’s run for office which shows how Trump became President. People liked Mr Exotic because “he speaks his mind.” Never mind that his mind is full of rot.

    787 chars

  5. LAMary said on April 2, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    Julie, it’s been a total bloodletting here too. All the theme parks, hotels, restaurants, touristy areas like Hollywood and the beach cities are hurting. It’s also very sad what’s happening to the cities in the San Gabriel Valley. Several of the towns are predominantly Chinese and that’s where the really good Chinese restaurants are. Lots of them started losing business as soon as the news of the virus in China arrived. So many have closed, probably for good. The racism is so stupid. The supermarkets there are empty. Even the Asian restaurants that are Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino and Thai are suffering. They have tried to keep things going with takeout and delivery but lots aren’t going to last very long.

    715 chars

  6. Julie Robinson said on April 2, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    Bloodletting is a good description. And a tweet from the unemployment office has helpful suggestions such as using Internet Explorer, and on a laptop or desktop computer. WTF? IE isn’t even supported by Microsoft anymore so is vulnerable to viruses. They are “working” on developing a paper form.

    296 chars

  7. basset said on April 3, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Anniversary number 39 for Mrs B and myself tomorrow, no dinner out this year though. We did finish the thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle, so there’s that.

    152 chars

  8. Julie Robinson said on April 3, 2020 at 9:25 am

    Happy anniversary, basset and Mrs. B, and here’s to a great celebration as soon as possible. Can you do a carryout meal? Around here lots of places are keeping busy that way.

    Kate must really feel adrift these days. She had an exciting next few months planned and poof, all gone.

    So, back to the Kroger online ordering saga. They sent an email this a.m. that they were making pickup orders free, so I hopped on to check it out. If you have an online account already, for electronic coupons, you can set a default location.

    It’s not super easy to navigate, and not everything is available; I’m mean, this household runs on tea and they didn’t have ANY. Eventually I stumbled my way through and learned there are no pickup times until Tuesday at 6 pm. That’s okay with me, and you can even add items up to midnight the day before. Since I just made a Costco run yesterday I was mostly ordering staple items like dry milk, split peas and lots of cat food.

    Regarding elderly parents ordering online, Mom spends a lot of time on her computer every day since she’s a news junkie. No way would she figure out the Kroger site. We’ve been taking care of her shopping for her and I figure this is just another method.

    1221 chars

  9. basset said on April 3, 2020 at 9:27 am


    Sorry about the long link, not sure just where to trim it.

    194 chars

  10. Bitter Scribe said on April 3, 2020 at 9:38 am

    A few years back, I saw a YouTube video about this rescue place somewhere in Texas that specialized in taking in and caring for tigers, lions and other big/exotic animals that had been discarded by or removed from their owners. Most of those owners were rich assholes who wouldn’t or couldn’t take care of them any more. A few of the animals came from cheesy circuses, and there were probably some from roadside zoos—I don’t remember. The tenders were very affectionate with their lions and such, no Smith & Wessons, but they made sure to keep behind sturdy wire fences.

    576 chars

  11. alex said on April 3, 2020 at 10:13 am

    My parents finally got their Kroger account established, then went to pick up an order but found that it hadn’t been placed because they’d forgotten to click a button. So they did it over again and found there won’t be any pickups or deliveries for a while.

    Meanwhile getting ready to do some faux wood grain on a garage door. All the walkers yesterday who praised the screaming yellow door will probably be surprised (or relieved) to see that it’s not the finished product.

    478 chars

  12. LAMary said on April 3, 2020 at 11:32 am

    In hope that I will someday go grocery shopping again, I bought myself three jazzy new reusable shopping bags. This was inspired by an email from a company that sold me some shopping bags in the past. They’re having a sale and you can get a very attractive huge, well made shopping bag for 3.89. Some are a little more but not much. I had nineteen dollars left on a Visa gift card so I went for it. The site is RuMe and the bags are cool looking and well made. The markdowns are major. Just passing this along in case someone is looking for a cheap and practical present for theselves or someone who needs reusable bags.

    621 chars

  13. basset said on April 3, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Thanks, Julie… we’ll probably just pull a couple steaks out of the freezer, tried this approach awhile back and it seemed to work well:


    Been trying to give blood but the local blood drives seem to fill up immediately.

    308 chars

  14. Randy said on April 3, 2020 at 11:52 am

    We are currently weathering a blizzard – total accumulation of 10-12 inches expected. Snow in April is typical, and in good years (the norm) it does not contribute to Spring flooding. Our issue here revolves around sandbags – many river properties will require dikes to guard against swollen rivers. Sandbagging is very low-tech and labor-intensive, the key is dozens of people form chain-gangs to toss the sandbags down the line. Our provincial government is “reviewing options” to sandbag with social distancing practices intact. We’ll see how that turns out.

    561 chars

  15. LAMary said on April 3, 2020 at 11:53 am

    Since I’m encouraging consumerism in a time of crisis I’ll add one more cool online shopping site. Calamityware. Even if you don’t buy anything their stuff is amusing.

    167 chars

  16. Deborah said on April 3, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    Randy, where do you live? It snowed here in Santa Fe exactly 6 years ago today, it turned up on LB’s Facebook. I can snow here even in May.

    I’ve got a sunburn on the left side of my face, because of the way I was sitting outside yesterday afternoon. It looks like it’s going to be another nice day, only I’m afraid if I sit outside now the upstairs neighbor will come down and rant again.

    391 chars

  17. Randy said on April 3, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Hi Deborah, I live in Winnipeg, a go-to city for at least one Simpsons joke. Our main concern every year is the water that will come from North Dakota, as the Red River flows north through Fargo and Grand Forks, through Winnipeg, and drains into Lake Winnipeg. North Dakota has had a lot of snow this year, so they are making flood preparations as we speak.

    357 chars

  18. Nancy F said on April 3, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    @LAMary #12: I was at Trader Joe’s in Oakland yesterday. As we were waiting outside in a socially distanced line, an employee announced that reusable bags were no longer allowed inside the store. (My backpack was OK, though.) Other stores are also starting to prohibit reusable bags, or requiring that customers who use them bag their own groceries.

    349 chars

  19. Heather said on April 3, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    I’m not going to watch Tiger King. I hate anything with mistreatment of animals, even in fiction.

    Well, this is a minor complaint in the scheme of things, but I broke out in a very itchy rash last week on my hands and wrists, apparently from a sweater, and now it’s moved into a full-on stress rash or eczema outbreak to my neck and face. At least there’s no one to see me, but it’s adding to my anxiety right now.

    417 chars

  20. LAMary said on April 3, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    My son broke out with eczema from lots of handwashing. I just have extremely dry, cracked cuticles.

    99 chars

  21. Dorothy said on April 3, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    I was going to chime in here and mention that reusable shopping bags are now banned here in Dayton, but Nancy F beat me to it. We have finally gotten into the good habit of bringing the bags – AND remembering to bring them into the store! – and now they are temporarily banned. NBD.

    I am not going to watch Tiger King. My daughter did and from what I”m reading and hearing, I don’t think it sounds like something I”m in the mood to digest. We’re keeping up with Better Call Saul, signed up for a free month of CBS All Access to watch Picard (so far I”m not impressed after 4 episodes), and just generally staying away from any shows with upsetting topics. I am a very stoic person but for three weeks now I can sense myself getting more and more anxious.

    Heather I have eczema (only one really yucky spot on a shin) and use CeraVe which is very good, and available in stores. I also have a prescription for triamcinilone, in case you can get one from your doctor. I hope your rash is just temporary and not really eczema.

    In my work email today we got notified that we’re being paid through April 30, but after that there will be layoffs. I expected this would be coming. I am the only year ‘round secretary in our department so it’s possible only I will be kept on the payroll, possibly moving to part time pay instead of full time. I’d be okay with that. I’m grateful for what we’ve been paid so far while working from home. Not many people have been able to say that.

    One of my colleagues notified us this morning that her dad (in his 70’s) tested positive for Covid19. He fell off of a ladder outside his home in February 2019 and has been in nursing care full time since then, having had multiple surgeries and difficulties with his health. But he was getting better. Before this pandemic started, she’d shared good news that he was likely going to be discharged in about a month. He lives in upstate New York. But now he’s sick with pneumonia, not expected to recover and has declined the use of a ventilator. My heart is breaking for her.

    2086 chars

  22. Connie said on April 3, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    Bassett, we have been cooking cooking steaks that way for several years now. A sear and roast chart with info about cooking times for various weights and thicknesses always comes with an Omaha Steaks order.

    206 chars

  23. Sherri said on April 3, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    Happy anniversary, basset!

    26 chars

  24. Heather said on April 3, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Dorothy, thanks for the CeraVe tip. I did get a prescription for triamcinilone last week–it’s working, I think, but not very quickly. My neighbor gave me a bottle of calamine lotion, which helps a lot with the itching.

    I’ve been having a lot of skin reactions to things the last couple years so I’m not sure what’s going on. I’ve been developing more food allergies and sensitivities, so maybe that’s a part of it. I recently developed an allergy to shrimp (got a welty rash on my chest), which is really a bummer. So far things like oysters and scallops seem OK though.

    572 chars

  25. Jim said on April 3, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    Maybe people will be smarter than this by next week:


    140 chars

  26. alex said on April 3, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks Bassett! We got Omaha steaks for Christmas and have been meaning to break them out. Just haven’t felt like squandering them on a nothing-special day. Maybe we’ll do it this weekend.

    Got the faux-painted garage door done this morning, first coat anyway. It looks faboo. Ordering a waterborne urethane sealant with UV protection online. Feeling accomplished.

    367 chars

  27. Jenine said on April 3, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    @Alex: thank you for letting the rest of us share vicariously in your project progress. The screaming yellow made me laugh.

    123 chars

  28. beb said on April 3, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    It’s nice to know that certain types of masks can be autoclaved and reused. That will help some with the shortage. I wonder to what extent other articles of PPE can be sterilized like that? Maybe the gowns. Some types of gloves might be sufficiently heat-tolerant as well.

    More and more I see Trump’s failures as a president in a time of crisis as not so much his failings personally but an overall Republican disdain for government in and of itself.

    And Ammon Bundy, that syphilitic blister on the face of The West, has vowed to protect any store what choices to violate the Idaho stat’s shelter-in-place ordinance. I can’t help thinking that any man who is opposed to the rule of law and hates the federal government ought to be helped along in his way, but showing him the exit to this country. Let him become “A Man Without a Country.”

    I went to a local Costco to get some needed supplies (candy, candy, candy) and was fascinated by their response to social distancing. The store has two large side by side entrances where people entering and exiting the store could intermingle. Stacks of pallets have been set up to prevent that commingling. Now you exit straight out of the building. Stacks of pallets lead along the front of the building to a serpentine staging area where you entered the building. Sterilized carts were available there. Inside pallets of product had been lined up to close off access to the check-out lanes except at one point were people staged before being sent to an open lane. (I’m not sure how well they maintained the 6 foot spacing there). The over-riding thought of all this is: “boy, they had a lot of pallets on hand!”

    1666 chars

  29. Julie Robinson said on April 3, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    Sander’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels, beb?

    Our Costco was similar, except you lined up on the side of the building before entering. They were also staging up front, but weren’t letting the next person go to the register until the previous person had exited.

    It really is a crap shoot. I’m just doing my best.

    320 chars

  30. Suzanne said on April 3, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    I really need to visit the grocery soon. Amazing how much food you go through in a week when you are always there. It’s just 2 of us but it still amazes me. I can’t imagine what it’s like in a house with a couple of kids. Last week the fridge was stuffed full; now it’s almost empty.
    I am nervous about going to the store but plan on going really early before it gets crowded.

    386 chars

  31. LAMary said on April 3, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    I had eczema on my shins for a while. The skin on that part of your leg is so thin. You feel like you’re going to scratch right through the skin. My doctor recommended Amlactin and that seemed to work. It’s over the counter.

    226 chars

  32. LAMary said on April 3, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    Reusable bags won’t be forbidden forever and four bucks for a bag that’s usually 12 and in my experience worth it isn’t bad. I wash my bags pretty often and I have some that are easily ten years old. I also have quite a few that have migrated to the homes of my sons’ friends and never came back so it’s a good time to replenish the stock.

    340 chars

  33. Maria said on April 3, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    On my walk today I noticed that about half the people I saw were wearing masks, and for the first time no one said anything or even made eye contact. Kind of eerie.

    164 chars

  34. basset said on April 3, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Thanks, everyone… 39 years ago tonight I was in a Red Roof Inn in Kalamazoo, drinking Stroh’s with the men of our wedding party and getting mentally prepared for the big day ahead.

    Don’t think I’ve ever had an Omaha-brand steak. We get ours from a middle school teacher who runs cattle on the side, grass fed and politically correct.

    343 chars

  35. Dexter Friend said on April 4, 2020 at 2:03 am

    It first hit me 50 years ago, to the day, possibly, at the San Francisco Zoo. As a child I had seen caged and penned animals at Brookfield Zoo and at travelling circus visits, and never gave it much thought. That sunny windy day in San Francisco was when it hit me that I do not like zoos. It was a feeling in the pit of my guts; this wasn’t fun or enlightening, this was awful. Same thing happened during my visit to San Diego Zoo. Twice later, I succumbed to family pressure for visits to Toledo Zoo and once to Franke Park Zoo and once to Lincoln Park Zoo because kids like zoos, so I went along to help with the kids. Anyway, out of curiosity I tuned in to the Joe Exotic Show. I lasted maybe ten minutes. I have it figured out that this kind of shit depresses the fuck out of me. I hate it, and will never watch it.

    830 chars

  36. Connie said on April 4, 2020 at 5:33 am

    Beb said “candy, candy, candy.” My thing right now is “cheetos, cheetos, cheetos.” And the drive thru is open at the Dairy Twist down the way.

    As a kid we always had big family reunion picnics at John Ball Park Zoo in Grand Rapids. I thought of it as Lions and Tigers in small, mostly concrete enclosures. I went to the Detroit Zoo every summer, so knew they could be better.

    386 chars

  37. David C said on April 4, 2020 at 6:11 am

    The absolute worst part of John Ball Park was their elephant – one solitary elephant. She just paced around and around her concrete cell. It might be a false memory but I think she was shackled. At that age, I didn’t know how social elephants are, but I knew something was wrong. So I’m with Dexter as far as zoos are concerned. For all their talk of helping endangered species, if they aren’t returning them to the wild they’re not doing the animals one bit of good.

    467 chars

  38. LAMary said on April 4, 2020 at 11:29 am

    I live not too far from the LA Zoo. There have been a lot of improvements in the last twenty years but it’s still a zoo. When my kids were little they would go to Zoo day camp for two weeks every summer. I would drop them off in the morning before the zoo was open and pick them up when it was closing. In those time periods there were no other visitors and I would go to my favorite places: the tiger area and the orangutan area. Both were large areas where the animals could wander around, hide, or in the case of the tiger habitat, swim in a pond. The orangutan used to come up as close to me as possible and do things like put a palm frond on her head or look at me upside down. I swear she was trying to communicate. She had a burlap bag she would play with and she’d put that over her face, then take it away. Her keeper and I agreed that there was a lot going on behind those eyes. At the end of the day, when the zoo was mostly empty, the tigers would roar. You could hear the roars from every part of the zoo. Seeing them up close was a real privilege. So while a lot of what goes on at zoos is terrible, props to the LA Zoo to try to make things better for some of the animals there and I think what I got from seeing those two very endangered species up close will stay with me forever.

    1301 chars

  39. Jakash said on April 4, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Well, I hate to be obnoxious — obviously not so much that it keeps me from being obnoxious, alas — but the Wayback Machine of anniversary nn.c posts offers up this today, from 4/4/11.

    “I only ask that they stop pretending legalized medical marijuana isn’t the best thing to happen to recreational pot smokers since the invention of Zig-Zags.” True dat, and, unlike so many other boogeymen, an example of an actual slippery slope.

    But, the kicker: “For what it’s worth, I’ll be surprised if it’s still legal in 10 years.” A year to go, but that prediction is not looking good. 😉

    602 chars

  40. Jakash said on April 4, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg hasn’t finished viewing “Tiger King,” but similarly to our Proprietress, it’s evidently a “quarantine jam” for him and at least one of his sons. To accompany it, he offers this throwback to a column from 2000 with a “list of commonsense tips to help you avoid tiger-induced injury.”


    397 chars

  41. Carter Cleland said on April 4, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Heather, just remember to use the Dove Fragrance Free bar soap for all hand and body washing. I went to WI for a week w/o taking any along, and my hands broke out pretty badly. I also liberally apply Eucerin Eczema Relief lotion around-the-clock.

    246 chars

  42. LAMary said on April 4, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    Watching the trump dump. He’s in good form today. He wants all the sports venues opened very soon.

    98 chars

  43. David C said on April 4, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    Like he fucking closed them and can open them up whenever he decides? The owners may be vicious assholes, but they’re not stupid vicious assholes. Making the customers and the players they’ve invested a lot of money in sick is a shitty business plan. Only a failson like tRump or Jared would be that stupid.

    307 chars

  44. Sherri said on April 4, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    Look away from the spectacle. Pay attention to what’s happening, not to what he’s saying.


    157 chars

  45. Deborah said on April 4, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    Yeah, I get that we should look away from the spectacle, but the press who asked Trump about his firing of the IG guy today gave him the opportunity to get his totally bogus reason out there for his base. We have to quit giving him these opportunities. It’s unbelievable, the things he says now and he keeps getting the opportunity to say them, over and over. It is getting worse and worse. He’ll say and do anything now. How can anyone think this guy is legit? He’s a criminal, idiot.

    485 chars

  46. Deborah said on April 4, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    On another note, I ordered a pair of blue jeans from Uniqlo and wanted them shipped to NM, maybe a month ago. I needed another pair there because my only blue jeans don’t fit me now. So they didn’t arrive and they didn’t arrive and then I got an email saying they weren’t delivered because of bad weather, which was like, Huh? There has been no bad weather around here. So I sent Uniqlo an email asking what the deal was. I realize there’s a global pandemic going on, but was I ever going to get my jeans or what? They responded with the same story about bad weather. And they’ve done this multiple times since then. I was flummoxed that they keep blaming it on bad weather instead of the global pandemic and then LB suggested that maybe they don’t want to say that because they’re an Asian company. That made sense. I’m willing to wait extra long to get my jeans because of the circumstances but at least tell me if I’m ever going to get them, please.

    952 chars

  47. LAMary said on April 4, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    Trump’s answers about the IG and the captain of the Roosevelt were ridiculous. Trump ranting on about the whistle blower, saying Schiff was a crooked, sleazy politician and that Captain Crozier was inappropriate really pissed me off. I didn’t expect a good answer but the orange ogre was really on a roll today.

    311 chars

  48. Deborah said on April 4, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    Trump is a freak show like the bearded lady or the sword swallower. He’s entertainment and it’s extremely dangerous. We’re obsessed with what he’s doing no matter how much it disgusts us. This is the spectacle like The Tiger King. We’re repulsed and compelled to watch at the same time. What can we do about this?

    314 chars

  49. Deborah said on April 4, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    So here’s something that’s both creepy and calming: I’ve been reading about people who’ve had bad coughs in Dec/Jan and maybe they actually had the virus then and had no idea. So when we got back from France to the US, my husband had gotten a really bad cough. we didn’t take his temps then because we didn’t know to do that. In some ways it’s a relief to think this might be a possibility because, we survived, I didn’t get his malady and neither did LB, since we were around him then. And enough time has passed that we know he/we didn’t pass it on. But wow, gives you something to think about.

    596 chars

  50. susan said on April 4, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    Deborah @49 – Couldn’t your husband get a blood test for presence (or absence) of COVID 19 antibodies? If they are, then he had the virus, and you’d know. You’d also know whether or not be over-confident…

    366 chars

  51. diane said on April 5, 2020 at 12:03 am

    I agree completely with Dexter @35. I can’t stand zoos. I also don’t like animal movies, so Tiger King is clearly not for me. We have been quarantine binging on Babylon Berlin which is far enough out of my wheelhouse. But it is captivating in its own weird way and I am always a sucker for a period piece with great costuming.

    334 chars

  52. Dexter Friend said on April 5, 2020 at 3:35 am

    The meeting was in Saigon, for instructions for Captain Willard. After roast beef, the topic surfaced. The orders came down from Nha Trang, II Corps HQ (A half mile from where I actually was stationed for a while). Captain Willard’s mission: to go upriver and find Colonel Kurtz and terminate his command. The civilian spook in the suit then said: “terminate with extreme prejudice”. Apocalypse Now, a 1979 film.

    Well, Martin Sheen is too old to deal with missions anymore so we must not fail in our mission to terminate Trump’s command with extreme prejudice…at the ballot drop off mailbox or whatever system shall be employed to vote. Our mission must be to remove this crazed maniac from office in 2020.

    715 chars

  53. beb said on April 5, 2020 at 3:56 am

    Julie @29 — no, I jones for Nature Valley sweet and salty peanut bars. Got then with and without chocolate. My wife loves salted caramel but me not so much.

    Dexter @35 — The first zoo I went to was the Potawanimee (sp?) in Mishawaka, IN. It was a school trip, maybe 3rd grade. I don;t have much memory of it except that the animals were all in small barred cages and the place seemed like a dump. When my mom was alive we’d go there (this was like 10 years ago) and the place was really nice. Natural habitat enclosures, lots of room. It was a pretty nice place. Toledo is a smallish zoo but really nice and not at all like a prison. I would hate any zoo that kept their animals in small barred cages.

    David C @37 — Detroit gave their pair of elephants a few years ago. I kind of miss them but, really their enclosure wasn’t big enough for two elephants and as they are communal creatures it wasn’t healthy to just keep two.

    Every day Trump does something that for any other president would be ab impeachable offense. Sometimes I think Pelosi ought to just draw up letters of impeachment every time Trump does something intolerable just to remind him that he is not normal. Every day another impeachment.

    At least the Commander of the aircraft carrier got an ovation from his crew. They know what loyalty means.

    1326 chars

  54. Dorothy said on April 5, 2020 at 7:29 am

    I tried watching the White House daily briefings using closed captioning but even that got me too riled up. I had to stop. If there was anything of any real consequence revealed, I’d read it in a legitimate news source. As far his bloviating, day in and day out, I know I’ll read about his comments on this site, on Twitter, and also on legitimate news sources. So a more placid existence is what I aim for; avoiding seeing him even with the sound turned off is working for me.

    Yesterday felt almost like a normal Saturday, except for the masks we wore to Kroger. We weeded our gardens, swept up grass on the sidewalks from the cutting on Thursday, cooked burgers and dogs on the grill, played with Nestle in the yard several times. I sewed some more masks and got to the post office too late (8 minutes!) to mail some to my sisters in Virginia and Georgia. I’ve made 43 so far and I’ve got 12 more to make today. Two more sisters in New York and Pennsylvania accepted my offer to make them some, and I offered to neighbors across the street. I like being a good neighbor. You never know when you need a favor in return. But truly, it just feels good to be nice to neighbors. We’ve been lucky in 40+ years to have mostly wonderful ones.

    1250 chars

  55. Jakash said on April 5, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    I’ve found it very easy to avoid ever watching the Maximum Leader do anything. Never watched any of his reality-show bullshit, never watched a Republican debate, have never watched a rally, and never watched one of his official speeches. I’ve seen short snippets here and there on Twitter, invariably when somebody is pointing out something ridiculous or embarrassing that he’s said, but even those are a bit much. So, I’m certainly not about to start watching these “pressers” now, when his lies have been costing lives even more blatantly than in the previous years. Knowing that he revels in the attention and assuming that he considers these media opportunities the replacements for the rallies he can not glory in at the moment makes the decision even easier, not that it needs to be.

    I just remain dismayed that every fucking thing in this country has to be a political litmus test. Should one shelter in place? Should one “socially distance” oneself? Should one wear a mask? The fact that there are so many fuckers in this country whose answers to those questions are based on what a clueless reality-show host / casino bankrupter / porn-star-screwing Lothario thinks about the matters makes one weep for the state of the nation. When one isn’t screaming, of course…

    We hit Whole Foods for the senior hour this morning. I’d say about half were wearing masks, half not. This in light of the screaming headline right below the masthead in the Tribune today:
    “Officials: Use masks outside.”
    On the upside, it was the first time since the hoarding began that we were able to avail ourselves of store-brand pasta. Got everything else on our list, too.

    1680 chars

  56. Julie Robinson said on April 5, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    Can only tolerate the orange cheeto king filtered, preferably in print because on radio or TV I have to hear his voice.

    I haven’t sewed any masks for lack of fabric, but last night Mom found some packed away. In the meantime I hauled out all our boxes of wall decor and pictures and have them spread throughout the apartment. It’s taking a few days and we’re still not done.

    Then a certain entitled relative called and demanded I sew masks for her family. Did she call while we were attending (online) church? Did she continue to text the whole morning? Yes and yes.

    Did she call me to ask? No. Did she call my husband* to demand? Yes. Was she so loud and shrill she gave me a headache? Yes again. Will I be in a hurry to make any for her? I don’t think so.

    *In his defense Dennis said only that he would ask me.

    827 chars

  57. Deborah said on April 5, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    My husband came back from Abiquiu this morning and told me for the heck of it he found himself listening to religious radio in the car. He was disgusted by what was being said, that satan wants to keep us apart, that people should not listen to satan, blah blah blah. What is wrong with people?

    France is much more restrictive than we are here in the US. You can only go to the grocery store once a week, you have to sign up online for permission to go. You get fined if you’re out and about and don’t have the permission on your phone. And they’re going to change it to every 10 days for being allowed to go shopping for food. When you get to the grocery store someone sprays your hands and wipes down your cart for you. You can’t bring your own bags/carts. You’re allowed to walk your dog, but you have to have the dog with you obviously. You have to wear masks and gloves when you’re out or you get fined for that too.

    Everyone is saying that this week is going to be devastating. I can’t believe how much I detest Trump now, more than ever, he is despicable.

    LB showed me a video of how to make masks out of your old leggings, we tried it and it works great, very comfortable.

    1190 chars

  58. Suzanne said on April 5, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    Diane @51, I finished all the Babylon Berlin episodes there are. It is captivating! My husband would wander in every now and then when I was watching and ask me what it’s about and I would tell him I really couldn’t say because I really couldn’t. It gives such an idea of what Germany was like between the wars and all the political ideologies that were in play that led to the Nazis coming to power.
    I highly recommend it!

    431 chars

  59. David C said on April 5, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    We don’t have a sewing machine, but Mary and I are sewing masks by hand. Mary’s looks pretty good, mine looks scruffy but functional. That’s how things always are at our house, so OK. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Julie, send them a needle, thread, a pattern, and some fabric and tell them you don’t have time.

    314 chars