The supply chains.

It was a few days before the lockdown, sometime in March it must have been. I was still working downtown several days a week, and as we often do, my editor and I walked a couple blocks to a fancy grocery store in search of lunch. Normally the place is pretty crowded at the noon hour, but there were maybe one-third as many people as you’d typically see.

I remembered that Quicken, the biggest downtown employer, was testing a work-from-home model ahead of an anticipated shutdown, still a few days away. I looked at the shelves of expensive cut fresh fruit, which would normally be walking out the door with well-paid office people, and got a glimpse of how these cascading dominoes would fall. No one buys the fruit, the fruit gets tossed, the order for more fruit cancelled.

Last weekend I thought I might try a new baking project: Bagels. But I’m running low on flour and the flour shelf at Kroger is as bare as the one for toilet paper. So no bagels this week. I recently read why I can’t get flour – because lots of people are baking now, and the flour supply chain isn’t set up for a flour surge in spring. In late fall, yes, during Christmas-cookie season, but not now. So no flour.

It turns out the American economy is like a spider web, and supply chains are the strands of the web, and you can’t mess with one without the whole web shaking. Or maybe it’s like an early Model T, back when you had to get out of the car to turn the crank starter, and if it wouldn’t catch you’d have to fiddle with the spark and the mix and if you didn’t get them all working right, you weren’t going anywhere.

I don’t have any great conclusion here, only that “restarting” the American economy isn’t going to be simple or easy. Every day I feel luckier to have a job. Every day I wonder what I’d know with the top economists in the world as close as the phone on my desk, and marvel at how one man who has that advantage could tweet about overflowing churches on Easter Sunday. Also, I’m interested in how things work, how cars are made, how the president can just demand that an automaker start turning out ventilators (because it’s so damn easy) how Big Flour sets up its own supply chains to get the wheat to the mills, etc. I suspect most people never even think of that stuff. I try to consider it from time to time.

I’ve been getting out more with the warmer weather. Everyone is still moving off the sidewalk when you pass, wearing masks and otherwise behaving as though their lives are on hold. This won’t go away quickly.

So, a little bloggage:

I stumbled across this podcast via the NYT’s “The Daily,” and was transfixed. Called “Rabbit Hole,” it traces one young man’s journey into the alt-right web, thanks to YouTube’s algorithm that kept feeding him more, leading him ever deeper. It’s really good. You want to know how radicalization happens? This is how it happens.

Also, this may amuse some of you students of bad writing. It’s a column by the former attorney general of Michigan, who ran unsuccessfully for governor last year. In it, he speculates that the reason the Detroit Lions suck and Tampa Bay can nab Tom Brady is? Anyone? Yes, state income taxes:

It is not too far afield to suggest Tampa was able to bag the “GOAT” because Brady’s nearly $60 million for the next two years will go yards farther in low-tax Florida than high-tax Massachusetts. Massachusetts income tax rate of 5.5% is one of the highest rates in America. They don’t call it “Tax-a-chusetts” for nothing. Florida has no income tax. Calling signals in Raymond James Field in Tampa, instead of Gillette Stadium in Foxborough could save Tom Brady a cool $3.3 million. Joining Florida in the zero income tax huddle are the states of Texas, Nevada, Washington, Tennessee, Alaska, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Wyoming. Other states in the Southeast and Southwest have low income tax rates and are in the game. But on the sideline, on the bench, are high tax states like Michigan.

Brady is not the only free agent to have presumably eyed the income tax rate landscape of NFL cities while planning for the future. The Miami Dolphins reportedly were able to snag Byron Jones, the top cornerback in free agency, partly because he favored Florida’s tax scheme over high-tax New York. The general manager of the newly coined Las Vegas Raiders, cited the move away from (Oakland) California’s sky-high income taxes as major incentive to recruit top talent due to Nevada’s zero income tax rate. Seattle’s rollicking, deafening and (zero income tax rate) crowd is often called the Seahawks 12th man. But, I’d wager low income taxes make for better touchdown dances in the end zone too. Just ask Brady’s favorite and newly acquired Tampa Bay receiver Robert Gronkowski.

What else does Massachusetts have, boys and girls? Excellent schools? Yes! A highly educated workforce and the businesses that depend on it? You betcha. How did they manage all this? Fairy dust, surely. That terrible sports wordplay – “joining Florida in the zero income tax huddle,” etc. – runs through the whole thing, too. Even a person who reads Albom regularly winced. Also, note how he suggests Brady went to Florida for the tax advantages, then just assumes it’s true in subsequent paragraph, where Brady “presumably eyed the income tax rate” in making his decision.

Oh, well. Wednesday awaits, and I have to get up early.

Posted at 9:33 pm in Current events |

130 responses to “The supply chains.”

  1. Peter said on April 28, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    “Joining Florida in the zero income tax huddle are the states of Texas, Nevada, Washington, Tennessee, Alaska, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Wyoming.”

    Who can forget that Super Bowl between the Sioux Falls Sluggers and the Cheyenne Shockers? Oh wait, I just forgot…

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  2. Sherri said on April 29, 2020 at 12:19 am

    While state income taxes are a factor in free agent decisions, there are several things the guy seems unaware if, particularly with football.
    One, players don’t necessarily live in the states where they play; they may only be part time residents. Two, they have to pay income taxes on money earned in games played in other states. So, when they play a road game in California or Massachusetts, even if they live in a no income tax state, they owe income tax for the salary they earned playing that game in that state.

    It’s a bigger deal in sports like baseball, which not only has higher salaries, but plays a lot more games.

    A real challenge can be for Canadian teams in US professional leagues, who have to pay their players in US dollars. When the spread between the currencies is big, like it was in the early 2000’s, that was a big deal, particularly in the NHL, which didn’t have a big money US TV deal to spread a lot of revenue to all the teams.

    But sure, state income taxes are one factor in free agency decisions. So are a host of other factors, just like with anybody’s decision to take a job.

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  3. beb said on April 29, 2020 at 1:27 am

    The list of states with zero income tax looks like the same list of state that get more from the federal government than they pay in. Also at the bottom of most every other list.

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  4. beb said on April 29, 2020 at 2:21 am

    Here’s an article on why we are going to have food shortages in the coming months
    tl;dr — monopolies in the food industry. Thanks Reagan. Also Thanks Bork (America’s Worst Lawyer)

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  5. David C said on April 29, 2020 at 6:56 am

    This ties in pretty well with the 2009 Today in nn.c history “Pig flu! Panic!”. Nothing much has changed in the past eleven years except the competence of the people we hire to manage it. Not eating pork because “swine flu” isn’t a whole lot different than punching an Asian because “Chinese virus” except not eating pork didn’t hurt anybody but the pork producers.

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  6. SusanG said on April 29, 2020 at 7:02 am

    Once a week, I shop at Aldi’s. Plenty of flour, sugar & baking supplies.

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  7. Peter said on April 29, 2020 at 7:27 am

    Susan, I was going to say the same thing about the Trader Joe’s by my house when I remembered they’re owned by a different branch of the same company.

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  8. David C said on April 29, 2020 at 7:42 am

    At least in our grocery, if you want Gold Medal or Pillsbury flour you’re out of luck. There’s a good supply of store brand though. If you go to the natural section there’s plenty of Bob’s Red Mill and other brands nobody has heard of.

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  9. Alan Stamm said on April 29, 2020 at 8:34 am

    Even a person who reads Albom regularly winced” could be the best sentence I read today, though Wednesday still is young.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on April 29, 2020 at 9:11 am

    Sherri, you speak of a sports/taxes issue I didn’t know about, and I know you can also address Washington state property taxes in regard to no state income tax. Our small and modest home in Florida carries taxes four times higher than our large home in Indiana did. I mean, it’s gotta come from somewhere, right?

    We visited our daughter when she was working out there, and conversations always seemed to turn to property taxes. I remember one couple telling us their monthly tax payment was higher than their monthly mortgage payment.

    Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s don’t have the same parent company, but the original owners did have the same parents. It was one company until 1960, when the owner brothers decided to split from each other and formed two separate companies. Fort Wayne locals will remember a similar situation when the Hyde Brothers bookstore split and became the Hyde Brothers and Every Other Book. The brothers literally went down the aisles and grabbed every other book on the shelves for the new store, thus the name.

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  11. Icarus said on April 29, 2020 at 9:20 am

    they have to pay income taxes on money earned in games played in other states. So, when they play a road game in California or Massachusetts, even if they live in a no income tax state, they owe income tax for the salary they earned playing that game in that state.

    This is one of the many things I wish we’d get rid of in our draconian tax code. I know it’s money on the table and it pays for things but it just seems like in the effort to get a large sum from well paid sportsball figures, it hurts the average citizen when tax time comes.

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  12. David C said on April 29, 2020 at 9:28 am

    The Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord split came about because of a disagreement over selling tobacco products. Aldi stores are Aldi Süd and Trader Joes is Aldi Nord. The US is the only market where they coexist. The rest of the world they split up just like they split up Germany.

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  13. Randy said on April 29, 2020 at 9:29 am

    Sherri, as a Winnipeg Jets fan, I can say I feel the pain in my wallet when players are paid in US dollars. The current salary cap is approx. US$77M, and over the past season, that translated to approx. $110-115M in Canadian dollars. The NHL is still a gate-driven league, so tickets here start at $125 for nosebleeds, and top out around $300. The team has been competitive for a few seasons now, but for the first time since arriving in 2011, games did not sell out.

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  14. SusanG said on April 29, 2020 at 9:49 am

    Trader Joe’s isn’t a fer-real grocery store. It’s more like a toy store for foodies. The first time I went to a TJ was 1970’s in LA. Hipster before there were hipsters. Aldi’s is a proper grocery store, although a European grocery store, not American. Here’s the scoop on the relationship between Aldi’s & TJ’s.

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  15. jcburns said on April 29, 2020 at 10:36 am

    May I point you towards Pig Flu! Panic! in today’s today in nn.c history, today…?

    We still (clearly) don’t understand the flu. Or viruses.

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  16. Bitter Scribe said on April 29, 2020 at 10:59 am

    By this guy’s logic, Kansas should be the most thriving state in the Union after years of relentlessly slashing taxes under Sam Brownback. Instead, the state went so broke that the schools literally had to close early. The voters threw the Republicans out, and the Democrats are now trying to stanch the bleeding.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on April 29, 2020 at 11:42 am

    The Orange King didn’t use the DPA much, but by cracky, when his beloved meat is threatened by shortage, he waddled into action with orders them to remain open. Since his EPA has been slashing regulations, dropping fines and generally shrugging off enforcement, I feel sooooooo confident the meat emerging from these industrial hell holes will be super safe to eat.

    Years ago –and long before Mike Rowe– the Wall Street Journal had a reporter doing horrible jobs and writing about them. One that still sticks with me was his story about working in a chicken processing plant in Arkansas. It was fucking medieval. Temperatures are kept very cool, so he was always cold and stiff; the birds come flying by on conveyor belts where workers with sharp knives slice them up, which isn’t easy with stiff fingers; there was an inch or two of chicken blood on the floor, which was slippery and smelly. There’s a reason only the most desperate of job seekers will work at one of these places.

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  18. nancy said on April 29, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    My editor at DD worked in a pig slaughterhouse. He had to cut the kidneys out as the carcasses went by. Every 10th one or so would squirt pig pee in his face.

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  19. Icarus said on April 29, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    My BIL and I troll each other on FB a bit, not the healthiest way to pass the time of this Shelter at Home, but here we are. There is a FB page called America’s last line of defense that posts Onion like articles and MEMEs presented as actual articles that blast Hilary, Obama, and Liberals.

    I shared one of those articles with him and he bought it hook, line and sinker.

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  20. Charlotte said on April 29, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    Supply chain issues have been a low-level obsession of mine for decades, and one reason I’ve done so much work over the years building up my garden, and my local food sources.

    Livingston as a whole has been doing this deliberately since probably 2008. Our Food Bank also has a commercial kitchen for rent, and partners with a local vegetable grower. We can process, freeze and store just about enough veg to feed our seniors and food bank guests for most of the winter. The kitchen crew trains people to work in the (formerly thriving) tourist restaurant economy. The Hospital and school system are also hooked into the same web of local food producers supplying local needs. Meat’s not a problem, we’re surrounded by cattle and sheep ranchers, and have a couple of younger ranchers who’ve started doing pork and chicken. Although I rely on the Hutterites for my chicken. They do great poultry. Also grow a lot of local produce of the non-fancy sort: carrots, potatoes, green beans.

    And yet — there is always going to be stuff you can’t get. I ordered a 50lb sack of King Arthur flour out of the commercial supply on the chance that flour is just going to be gone until next fall’s harvest (harvest? remember that?). I ordered several kilos of coffee beans and liter tins of olive oil on the same principle. Now that the garden is coming in, and because my freezer is still full of meat and tortelinni, I think I can get by with only going in the grocery store every other week?

    Also about to rebuild my veg garden. At 56, it’s clear that I’m going to need a different config, and probably to raise the beds another foot so I can keep growing stuff for the next, let’s say optimistically, 20 years? Luckily, the woman who cleans for me is really a gardener/sustainable ag person. So we’re going to chat. Throw a little more $$ back into the local economy.

    Because it’s going to be a grim summer without the transient tourists. The summer home people will be a good boost, but Yellowstone isn’t even looking at opening until mid-June, and then only partially. They rely on foreign students for summer help, who come for the adventure, and are willing to live in dormitories. Which isn’t going to work this year.

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  21. jcburns said on April 29, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    We have friends who live in Norwich, Vermont, literally 100 yards from the King Arthur Flour corporate headquarters. They have a nice café in their lobby. Wonder if it’s still open?

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  22. Sherri said on April 29, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    Julie, what’s really high here in no income tax Washington is sales tax: 10% where I live. Property taxes are higher than some places, lower than others, but very complicated. There are caps on how much the amount a city can collect from property tax can go up from year to year, regardless of the appraisal, which means that part of the property tax doesn’t change in a predictable way. The legislature finally resolved the education funding lawsuit by dramatically raising property taxes in the Seattle area and lowering them in the rest of the state, so that’s also a challenge as we deal with a housing shortage.

    And now a global pandemic. I can’t even begin to guess what’s going to happen to any of this as a result of that, but it’s definitely going to blow up budgets.

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  23. Bitter Scribe said on April 29, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    In the course of my career, I’ve toured maybe a dozen meat and poultry processing plants. Working in those places is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

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  24. Julie Robinson said on April 29, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    Who else is turning vegetarian?

    Our 4-H troop took a tour of a chicken processing plant when I was a kid, and I was convinced it was probably the worst job ever.

    The King Arthur headquarters also have a marvelous store and demonstration kitchen, and of course you can watch them baking behind windows. The company is now employee owned and socially active, and I heart them big time.

    We also visited the Ben & Jerry’s headquarters on the same trip (as well as a dairy cooperative), and oh what a contrast. The social awareness is but a thin veneer over big corporate behavior.

    Indiana does have low property and business taxes, but state and local income taxes are now almost 6% and sales tax is 7%. When I moved here 41 years ago the sales tax was 4% and state income tax was either nothing or super low. I don’t think we’re a low tax state anymore.

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  25. Heather said on April 29, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    I just bought some expensive meat from a local farm. $60 for a pot roast cut and some lamb chops. I guess it’s not that crazy, but definitely more than the grocery store. I’d have bought more, but they were sold out of a lot. Indeed, industrial meat production is pretty harrowing, not just for the workers but the animals as well. I try to eat meat sparingly but I’m always going to have some, and I prefer to choose from places where the animals have been treated well and slaughtered as humanely as possible–and now I’m thinking about places that treat workers humanely as well. No more Smithfield for me.

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  26. Linda said on April 29, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Found lots of big bags of flour at my grocery, but no yeast. The yeast shortage is real, and so people are doing sourdoughs. I went for salt risen bread, equally yeast free, because keeping the starter at 90-100 degrees for twelve hours is still easier than finding yeast.

    My experience at living in an income tax haven state was Tennessee. No income tax, at least then, but they taxed the hell out of everything else. My state and local sales taxes in Shelby County were about 10 percent, and it included food. Getting rid of or flattening income taxes is just a Whack a Mole game, and the little guys never win.

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  27. Suzanne said on April 29, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    We don’t eat nearly as much meat as we used to and I buy much of it from local farmers. I do get chicken from Aldi and sometimes salmon as they have an excellent seasoned salmon at a reasonable price. I toured that Fair Oaks Farm in Indiana a few years ago and was unimpressed. It looked like the cows just stood in this cramped barn all day.

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  28. Deborah said on April 29, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    LB has been making no knead bread lately. It only takes 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast, but we’re running low, none to be found around Santa Fe.

    We’ve been super busy doing outdoor chores around the condo. I’m exhausted, ready to go back to Abiquiu and relax, although we’re planting Indian rice grass out there now and that’s a procedure. Our construction area is still not back to its original natural state. The environment out there is super fragile.

    We’ve been so busy we decided to order out this evening. We ended up choosing pizza just because it’s easy and they deliver. My husband has the car in Abiquiu so we’d have to walk, we figured everything we ordered would have been cold by the time we walked back.

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  29. LAMary said on April 29, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Deborah, check local restaurants and bakeries. I got a pound of yeast from a restaurant. A little pricey but not too bad. They were also selling flour but I thought 15 bucks for five pounds of flour was over the top.

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  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 29, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    Hey, David, Bob’s Red Mill is right up there with King Arthur Flour in my book!

    We had a bunch of us split up a pound brick of yeast from Gordon Food Service; in this county they were the only ones with any yeast for a few weeks, but only in the big bricks! A little porch pick-up shuffle, and Granville East bakers all got what they needed. One of the little bright spots of this hoo-raw’s nest of a spring.

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  31. Sherri said on April 29, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    No yeast here, all purpose flour back on shelves, but no whole wheat flour.

    Gov. Inslee made it clear today that the stay at home order would be extended beyond May 4, while also showing all the metrics that go into the decision. We’re way short of the testing capability we need, the primary bottleneck being supplies like swabs. He mentioned more than once in the press conference that he’s asked for the administration to use the DPA to produce testing supplies, but has faced resistance. He said he’s been told we’re getting a shipment of swabs next week, and he’s hopeful that promise will be kept.

    The news conference was chart and graph after chart and graph, all of which are also accessible online. No one should be able to claim he’s making arbitrary decisions, though that won’t stop some.

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  32. LAMary said on April 29, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    I’ve got two ten pound bags of flour on the way and I’m going to find a neighbor who wants of one of them. I have one of those pound bricks of yeast too. The twenty pounds of flour might sound stupid but the shipping was free. Lots of other flour online was a little cheaper by the pound but had 15.00 shipping charges or gave a shipping date two months out. My twenty pounds was 30 bucks. Not too bad. It should arrive by next week.

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  33. basset said on April 29, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    Still, as Linda said, no income tax here in Tennessee, and our sales tax situation here in Nashville is nearly the same as hers was in Memphis, 9 3/4 per cent… on top of that, the Mayor’s budget for next year includes a property tax increase of about thirty per cent. Plenty of flour at Aldi, though.

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  34. Sherri said on April 29, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    I wish we had an income tax in Washington. Funding government via sales tax is terrible, and we’re about to get a dramatic lesson into one of the reasons why: high volatility. Sales tax revenues are going to fall off a cliff. Income tax would be less volatile, even in an environment with high unemployment. There are still lots of people working, particularly higher income workers. Even in the middle of the pandemic, tech companies are still hiring.

    Boeing, on the other hand…

    Unfortunately, it will take a constitutional amendment for us to get a state income tax, and that’s close to impossible, even in the wake of the pandemic, I think.

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  35. basset said on April 29, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    Had a non-corona-related doctor appointment today. Everyone in the office was masked up, most of them wore gloves, and I was asked to wash my hands before I sat down in the exam room. Mentioned to the tech that I needed a song to make sure I washed long enough, she suggested “Happy Birthday”…

    “That, or how about the first two lines of ‘Free Bird’?”

    (blank look)

    “I don’t know that one.”

    Well, she’s young and came here from Muncie, so we’ll let it go this time.

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  36. Connie said on April 29, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    A couple of weeks ago I bought a pound of yeast from a local restaurant. I have made several loaves of four ingredient no knead bread.

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  37. Dave said on April 29, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    Hey, she fled Muncie, Basset, that’s a start.

    We went to Costco today, no toilet paper or paper towels, letting in a limited number of people but the line we stood in moved fairly fast. Most people had masks on but not all. There were signs everywhere that said starting May 4, you will wear a mask. Pence probably never goes shopping, anyway.

    No state income tax in Florida, other than sunshine, Florida doesn’t really have a lot to offer. With the tourist trade taking the hit it will take (I suspect) for the next several months, it may become even more grim here. Some things are opening back up on Monday next. I could comment on Florida’s governor but where to begin. The previous one was even worse and now he’s a senator.

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  38. beb said on April 30, 2020 at 12:37 am

    Jeff from 17 — Smithfield meats will have less than 1% human flesh per FDA regulations (rev).

    Basset @35: I have come to hate “Free Bird.” It is such a long, loud, slow song. Every time it comes on the radio I think I’m going to die of old age and/or boredom before it ends.

    Grosse Pointe Ministry of Funny Walks. Google it.

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  39. Dexter Friend said on April 30, 2020 at 3:07 am

    beb…Kevin Matthews was a radio show host on a Chicago radio station, possibly WLS-AM, in the late 80s and early 90s as I recall. He had characters appear who were inventions of Kevin’s mind and were expressed in Kevin’s altered voice. One was Jim Shorts, born on Halloween. Anyway, the recurring joke was Freebird. His many fans attended concerts and would always start yelling “Freebird!” at inopportune times. And it is a weird tune, I hate it and always have, but many think it’s just so wonderful.

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  40. alex said on April 30, 2020 at 8:53 am

    Charlotte (upthread)–

    We’ve demolished our garden thanks to a black walnut tree dropping its babies all over it the last few summers and contaminating the soil for peppers and tomatoes, which have become increasingly anemic despite annual augmentation with fresh soil and peat.

    So we have a ginormous and very straight walnut trunk for sale. And we’re building new waist-high raised beds that will be filled with fresh soil and will also benefit from much increased sunlight and we won’t have to do so much back-breaking work in our dotage. Win win.

    Julie (upthread)–

    As diabetics, we’re fast becoming pescatarians. The grocery stores have abundant supplies of frozen fish and it’s relatively easy to prepare quick meals with it. As they flash freeze fish when it’s fresh, we find it’s also not as rotted and smelly as the stuff they sell as “fresh.” (Same goes for fruit.)

    Not worried much about flour as we use relatively little of it except very small amounts when cooking. We keep it in the fridge and it lasts a long time there. We have no trouble finding bread in the stores because we’re eating whole grain bread and nobody seems to want that stuff. I toast it crisp in the oven munch on it during the day whenever I need a snack and it keeps just fine in the open air.

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  41. Suzanne said on April 30, 2020 at 8:56 am

    I am about to order some SAF Instant yeast. It’s great yeast. I usually buy it locally at one of the organic food stores, but I don’t feel like driving there. I’ll pay a bit more, but at this point, the less I go out, the better.

    Also, I am currently reading Sarah Kendzior’s new book Hiding in Plain Sight.
    Her podcast Gaslit Nation is very good and she’s pretty much been right about Trump and what is happening all along. The book is sobering and terrifying in all honesty.

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  42. Suzanne said on April 30, 2020 at 9:05 am

    I retract my earlier statement. Looks like mail order places are out of SAF yeast, too! I have some yeast, but not enough to get me through the pandemic. [Commence crying]

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  43. Julie Robinson said on April 30, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Alex, I was a vegetarian before I married mister meat and potatoes, but over the years I’ve worn him down and we don’t eat much meat anymore anyway.

    Suzanne and anyone looking for yeast, if you’re a Costco member they carry the gigantic yeast bricks too.

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  44. garmoore2 said on April 30, 2020 at 9:12 am

    King Arthur Flour is still selling one pound bags of instant yeast on its website. I keep the yeast in an airtight container in my freezer.

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  45. LAMary said on April 30, 2020 at 9:21 am

    Suzanne, keep checking Amazon. That’s where I found my SAF yeast. It was 12 dollars for a pound. Really check out restaurants and bakeries too. Lots of them around here at least are selling baking supplies and produce.

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  46. LAMary said on April 30, 2020 at 9:36 am

    Just checked Amazon and they still have SAF yeast, 18 bucks for a pound package and delivery by May 8.

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  47. ROGirl said on April 30, 2020 at 9:38 am

    Panera is selling groceries, check with them for yeast.

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  48. Suzanne said on April 30, 2020 at 10:25 am

    I found the yeast on, of all places, Etsy! Price wasn’t bad either and shipping not terrible. Go figure. Etsy.

    Life is strange.

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  49. Jakash said on April 30, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    We’ve preferred frozen to fresh fish for years. Cheaper, usually better quality and fresher than fresh, which has often been frozen somewhere along the line, anyway. Just had arctic char last night, which was very good, indeed.

    “(Same goes for fruit.)” Seconded. Many vegetables, as well, depending on the source of one’s fresh vegetables. No garden here, alas.

    Just back from the store. This time they had lots of tomato products — spaghetti sauce, canned tomatoes and sauce, but little pasta. Not many frozen vegetables either, though we got our limit of 4, including the last two broccolis.

    We’ve been buying Ezekiel 4:9 bread for quite a while, primarily because they have one with 0 mg. of sodium. It’s frozen to begin with, so a good quarantine choice. Never any supply issues with that. Today, as a lock-down treat, we bought a cinnamon raisin, too. Even that has only 60 mg. sodium, which is very good for store-bought bread, from what I’ve seen.

    Are folks aware that Swiss cheese has much less sodium than other varieties? I wasn’t, but am now.

    Of people I saw, there was only one without a mask. As of tomorrow, masks are required in stores in Illinois, supposedly.

    This comment seems like a solid candidate for whatever the opposite of thread-win is… : )

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  50. Little Bird said on April 30, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    I just saw a post in one of my local FB groups that says pizzerias (the good non-chain type) might be a good place to get yeast. At least one here in Santa Fe is packaging it and selling it. Not sure what I would do with 16oz of yeast but I sure wouldn’t run out any time soon!

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  51. ROGirl said on April 30, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    Got the letter from the IRS notifying me of a direct deposit to my bank account (it’s there). That hideous signature is on it.

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  52. Julie Robinson said on April 30, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    My mom got one of the those yesterday and she was furious. She can’t wait to get her absentee ballot so she can vote against him.

    One of the charming aspects of living in this apartment is the tiny yet big wildlife refuge behind us. We’ve seen an amazing variety of birds and other critters, including a pair of mallards that comes to glean the seeds from the bird feeder that the squirrels have shaken to the ground. The male always, always guards the female while she eats, then they waddle back down to the crick, as I’ve taken to calling what my husband says is probably just a drainage ditch.

    Yesterday we were getting ready to go do our grocery pickup, opened the garage door, and a tiny ball of fluff scurried in, cheeping loudly for mom and dad. It ran back out and wandered up and down the front doors of the other apartments, cheep-cheeping the whole time. It was amazingly loud. We tried to chase it and finally captured it, carried it around to the back, and released it next to the creek bank.

    Happily it went towards the water at once and we can only hope was reunited with its family. Dennis said it weighed no more than an ounce.

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  53. Scout said on April 30, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    I’ve been a vegetarian for 12 years and vegan for 1 year now. I do not often mention this because it does not any change minds and it tends to lead to tiring conversations like ‘I need my protein’ or ‘Why, if you don’t eat meat do you eat meat substitutes’, etc. My reasons are a mixture of health and animal advocacy. The latter is why I am glad there will be slow down of the slaughter. If anyone needs any tips on plant based living, let me know. It’s a whole lot easier now than it used to be because so many more people are aware of the benefits and have at least partially adopted it, like meatless Mondays, or eating less red meat.

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  54. LAMary said on April 30, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    I got one of those trump letters the other day and chucked it out immediately. I don’t even want his signature in my house.

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  55. Joe Kobiela said on April 30, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    You could #1 send your check back, or better yet donate it to a foodbank or other charity.
    Pilot Joe

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  56. Dorothy said on April 30, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    Mary lost her job recently, pal, so you should keep those comments to yourself if you feel so compelled to even think them. It’s not HIS money anyway so the letter he sent out is meaningless and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

    I’m going to research knead-less bread. I have some quick yeast in my closet and I think the label says it expired a month or so ago, but I will not toss it out. I made some Crunchy Jumble cookies today for the first time and heavens, they are tasty. Rice Krispies AND mini chocolate chips. A nice antidote for a cold, crappy rainy day.

    We had lime something tilapia last night, frozen before I baked it, and it was delicious. We don’t do red meat a lot but tonight it’s Italian drip beef in the crockpot with salad and cottage potatoes as sides. And fresh cookies for dessert!

    Speaking of that letter from Trump, anyone know how we could pile them all together and make some perfectly appropriate toilet paper out of them?

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  57. LAMary said on April 30, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    Joe, we could vote this egomaniacal psychopath out of office. That would be a good long term solution. It’s not his money. He did not originate the idea to send a check to every household, and more than a few of the small business payroll protection plan “loans” went to big companies, not small businesses, some of them big campaign donors. I’m out of work so I need that relief check so I’m not going to be giving it away, although when I do make money I’m pretty generous. I don’t do fundraisers for veterans then put the money in my own campaign fund. If he’s willing to put his name on anything having to do with the way the pandemic is being handled here it he can add it to a few thousand death certificates.

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  58. Marge Taylor said on April 30, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    Julie, If you need a net to capture one of your critters, buy a hoola hoop at Dollar Tree. Cover
    with a old lace curtain. Works good to contain the
    community cats. Glad you were able to get the baby
    back with his family.

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  59. LAMary said on April 30, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Dorothy check this one out. Also on this site is a recipe for no knead cinnamon rolls.

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  60. ROGirl said on April 30, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks for coming through, Joe. I was waiting for your comment.

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  61. David C said on April 30, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    If he’s willing to put his name on anything having to do with the way the pandemic is being handled here it he can add it to a few thousand death certificates.

    Perfect LAMary, 100% perfect.

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  62. Joe Kobiela said on April 30, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    You are the type of person this check is meant to help, glad you got it and when you get back on your feet I am betting you unlike others will pay it forward.
    Pilot Joe

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  63. David C said on April 30, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    You should have shut up while you were behind, Joe. You don’t know a goddamned thing about, nor is it any of your goddamned business what anyone does with their checks. For all I care, you can take yours, fold it five ways, and put it where the moon don’t shine. Nobody set up Joe Kobiela to be the arbiter of who deserves checks and who doesn’t. None of those 60,000+ people deserved to die either, but they did.

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  64. Jeff Borden said on April 30, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    Since we already give heavily to a number of charities, we plan to spend our “socialist” money to defeat the festering, malignant tumor currently infesting the Oval Office and his henchman, Moscow Mitch McTreason.

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  65. beb said on April 30, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Dexter @39 reminded me of a Neil Young concert my wife and I attended many years ago. I was one of his early acoustical tours and was really great. It was the first time I ever heard “Like A Hurricane” played on a pump organ. Maybe not the most successful idea but still awesome to see and hear. Anyway, as the concert was getting underway, someone yelled out “Play Freebird.” At the time I had no idea why anyone would expect Neil to play anyone else’s music. Now I guess it was one of those fans of that Chicago DJ. The concert was held in the gorgeous Detroit Fox Theater. Ah, them were the days.

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  66. Joe Kobiela said on April 30, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    David C.
    It was meant as compliment,sorry you don’t see it that way.
    Pilot Joe

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  67. Jakash said on April 30, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    It seems that the “Free Bird” shout-outs pre-dated Kevin Matthews’ furthering of them, though Dexter is right about Matthews promoting the idea of shouting “Free Bird” at random concerts in the ’80s and ’90s.

    FWIW, Wikipedia says: “The phenomenon began earlier in the 1970s with The Allman Brothers Band’s ‘Whipping Post’ and Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’ but then took off with ‘Free Bird’ by 1979. On Skynyrd’s first live album, 1976’s One More from the Road, Van Zant can be heard asking the crowd, ‘What song is it you wanna hear?’ The calls for ‘Free Bird’ led into a 14-minute rendition of the song. During the beginning of the song he would make the comment about ‘playing it pretty’ (e.g., ‘Play It Pretty for Atlanta’). Kevin Matthews claimed to have further popularized it in the 1980s from his Chicago-area radio show.”

    Alas, the source for that paragraph is evidently a paywall-protected Wall Street Journal article from 2005.

    Regardless, I love “Free Bird,” whatever that may say about me…

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  68. Jeff Borden said on April 30, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    I used to be snarky about the musical taste of others, but sheesh, if a song or an artist makes you happy, go with it. “Freebird” is probably my least favorite Lynrd Skynrd song. Gimme “Saturday Night Special” any day. But I have dear friends who get almost teary-eyed when it comes on, so rock on. (I’m also no fan of “Stairway to Heaven.”) I attribute my ambivalence to long jams (and jam bands like the Dead and Phish) to the music of my youth, when the average tune was three minutes or less. (When The Doors released the long version of “Light My Fire” while I was in high school, I was the only guy in my circle who thought it was just repetitive.) Steven van Zandt has said on his SiriusXM radio show that he thinks a well-crafted, tight little song of 2:30 minutes is harder to create than Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.” I’m not sure I agree, but I do love a great, tight little tune.

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  69. Deborah said on April 30, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    We too are giving our stimulus money to defeat Trump and some Republican senators, if we’re even eligible for checks. I’m giving mine to defeat Susan Collins, McSally, Lindsey Graham, Cory Gardner and above all Moscow Mitch. My husband is giving his to the Biden campaign. If we got checks they got sent to our Chicago address, so it might be a while.

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  70. Julie Robinson said on April 30, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    Well, I’m not sure I’ve ever listened to Free Bird but I have heard the introduction to Stairway to Heaven, does that count? I totally geeked out over the Stephen Sondheim 90th birthday celebration on Sunday night, and if that makes me out of the mainstream, I’m fine paddling along in my little side stream of Broadway enthusiasts.

    Marge, are you telling me the ducklings are going to make a habit of getting lost? Nooooo…

    We’ve been walking around with the furlough rain cloud over our heads for the last couple of weeks, and today the sun came out. I hope that soon it will be shining brightly for you, Mary, and anyone else in the same situation.

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  71. LAMary said on April 30, 2020 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks, Julie. I have a lot of friends who geek out on Broadway tunes. My friends Martin and Jim Van Treuren are Broadway actors. They’re identical twins too. Between them and a friend I’ve known since kindergarten I am informed of every Broadway thing on Facebook these days. If you are by any chance a Gilbert and Sullivan fan as well, you can catch my friend Martin Van Treuren playing the Major General and Ruth in Pirates of Penzance. He got great notices in the NYT for his performance but unfortunately the run was cut short by 9/11. You can find a you tube of Martin doing both roles on You Tube and I know he’s a friend of mine so I’m prejudiced but I think it’s fabulous. Just google Martin Van Treuren Pirates of Penzance and you’ll see all six foot three of him in drag, channeling Maggie Smith, playing Ruth and then the Major General.

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  72. Julie Robinson said on April 30, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    He looks fun! Maybe take him to Marie’s Crisis?

    We had two miracles today. First, we heard we will still have an income. Second, Dennis lost his phone out on his walk and after we spent more than an hour looking for it, a young couple riding their bikes asked if they could help us, and came back just a couple minutes later, triumphant, and I’m too tired to fix that run on sentence but extremely grateful.

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  73. Deborah said on April 30, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    My husband came back from Abiquiu this morning, he didn’t tell me that on Monday he went out on a hike and had a bad fall on some rocks. His arm is swollen but he doesn’t think it’s broken and doesn’t want to go near a medical facility at all. He can move his arm every which way but it’s tender, he also scraped up his chest, but didn’t tear the shirt he was wearing. He’s super lucky he didn’t hit his head. I tried talking him into going to see a dr but no way is he willing to do that. He’s also suffering from major allergies, and so am I. We’ve not spent much time in NM in April, we think it’s the juniper bushes shedding pollen, lots of people suffer from that around here. Today was a very depressing day and to make it worse we watched the movie “Parasite” this evening, I had seen it before but my husband hadn’t. Big mistake.

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  74. LAMary said on April 30, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    Martin is a lot of fun and also a really good guy. Both of the twins are. You can catch both of them on assorted Law and Order episodes, usually playing professors or doctors. Both are good singers, dancers and actors. Martin is currently teaching acting with the Barrow Group in NYC, a well respected theatre group.
    Small glimmer of light here…I heard back from someone who is recruiting for contact tracers and my healthcare recruiting experience is pretty transferable to that job. It’s working remotely too, so if they offer I’d be able to start as soon as I clear the crap out of my home office.

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  75. Julie Robinson said on April 30, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    Deborah, can you do a telemedicine call? Most of the docs around here are offering it, and that way they could probably tell if he needs an xray. I got an email that my next checkup has been changed from in person to a video visit, and I’m thrilled. I didn’t want to go the office either.

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  76. Dexter Friend said on May 1, 2020 at 1:58 am

    Jakash, I listened to Kevin Matthews every day at lunch…he claimed to live in a beat trailer out in a rural area. He held many shows in the old Vic Theater by the el tracks. He was a hilarious dude, and Steve Dahl had to follow him…but you know, Dahl and Meier could hack it.

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  77. ROGirl said on May 1, 2020 at 6:18 am

    Good luck on the job front, LA Mary.

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  78. Dorothy said on May 1, 2020 at 6:18 am

    Mary I’m so glad you have a possible lead on a job! I was actually thinking that would be an important job that I might want to try if I was being laid off. But I’m being furloughed – I really expect to be called back in July or August since I think faculty will be teaching in at least one or two ways come the Fall semester. I’m especially glad to hear you can do that job remotely. I’ve only been on unemployment once in my life and that didn’t last long – I got called back to work part time at the University after a program I was hired to support got cancelled after six months. One week into my unemployment I was rehired but without benefits. I am pretty sure I have to prove I’m applying for work, right, if I’m to collect unemployment? Well two of my fellow secretaries are furloughed starting today so I’m sure they’ll fill me in on the details so I walk into it with eyes open on May 16.

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  79. Connie said on May 1, 2020 at 6:38 am

    The recipe LAMary posted for four ingredient no knead is the recipe I’ve been using. Except I have quit baking it in the big pan and just shape it to bake on my bread (pizza). Stone. It is so nice to make bread without hauling out my giant mixer. I also made half a batch of dough into cinnamon rolls which turned out pretty good.

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  80. LAMary said on May 1, 2020 at 9:23 am

    During the stay at home directive we don’t have to prove we’re looking for another job. I don’t know about your state. Since I’m over sixty I’m encouraged to not go out at all, so interviewing for most jobs would be tricky. I had to go to my old office on Monday to hand over my laptop and get my personal stuff out of my desk and that was the only time I’ve been out of my house or yard since March 13. The stuff in my desk was hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, Kleenex, Emergen-c and Ricola. I had a cold the last week I worked.

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  81. alex said on May 1, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Had my first video doctor’s appointment last week and the only downside is I didn’t get to weigh in on a scale or get my blood pressure taken, the only two things that are improved while my blood sugars have gone the other direction.

    Yay LA Mary! I hope it comes through for you.

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  82. Deborah said on May 1, 2020 at 9:50 am

    That’s great news LAMary, I hope it works out.

    I’m almost 70, and I’ve been out of the house to go to the Abiquiu cabin, to the grocery store and a couple of times to CVS and Home Depot. I wear a mask and gloves at stores, always. I couldn’t function if I didn’t go out to those places. I take neighborhood walks to see the flowering trees and gardens, I rarely see anyone else on the streets. There are 100 cases in Santa Fe county and 14 cases in Rio Arriba county where the cabin is. The drive out to and back from the cabin is especially nice to do every few days, with mountain views and now that it’s greening up, it’s even better.

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  83. Deborah said on May 1, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Julie, believe me I’ve suggested my husband FaceTime his Chicago Dr about his arm. If she recommended an X-ray he probably wouldn’t get one, he’s really nervous to go to a medical facility at this time because of the virus. I’ve offered to get him a sling to keep his arm in place but he doesn’t think he needs it. He can be very stubborn, after he had a motorcycle accident about 20 years ago, he wouldn’t go to the dr for days and it turned out he had 3 cracked ribs along with lots of abrasions and bruises. He goes to his dr for basic health reasons but not when it comes to bodily injuries, he’s weird that way.

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  84. 4dbirds said on May 1, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Congrats on the job lead Mary. Hope it pans out. Deborah, hope your husband feels better soon.

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  85. Jeff Borden said on May 1, 2020 at 11:09 am

    The effects of Covid-45 have hit us. My 93-year-old uncle fell on Thursday in the home he shares with my aunt, who also is 93. He gashed his head, but worse, broke his hip. He is alone in a hospital in Northern Kentucky because, of course, no one is allowed entry during the epidemic. My aunt and my cousins are heartsick they cannot be with him. They know what a broken hip means at his age. They want to be with him in what may well be his final hours, but were going to have to settle for a videoconference later today with a physician. He won’t be a coronavirus statistic, but it is keeping those who love him most away, so perhaps he is a victim. As have been all those others who passed away alone in a hospital bed without the comfort of nearby family members. It’s so damned sad.

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  86. LAMary said on May 1, 2020 at 11:37 am

    I was contacted by a company with around 50 hospitals for a recruiting job for two locations. I said I’d be interested if I could work remotely and I was told that was not possible. Even pre pandemic most places offered the option of working remotely, maybe attending a meeting in person once a month. I asked if there was an office for just the recruiter and no, there wasn’t. The pay range sucked. The location sucked, and I’ve been aware of this company for long time and I know it’s not a great place to work. It gets 2 out of 5 stars on Glassdoor. I told the HR person who contacted me that I’m over 60 and that working on site in a hospital was not a great idea. She said she’d talk to her HR VP about the remote option and call me back. Haven’t heard anything yet and I suspect I won’t. This group hospitals is owned by one person and he his family in most of the executive positions. I’ve worked in two places with that situation and it’s not pleasant. In fact, that’s what gets mentioned most in the negative reviews in Glassdoor.

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  87. Sherri said on May 1, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    I’ve got Biden’s campaign ad right here: when we get a vaccine, who do you trust to get it distributed to everybody who needs it, regardless of money, status, party, or what state you live in?

    That won’t convince any Trumpers, but they are impervious. It should remind everyone else that the stakes of this election are life and death, not just for the country, not just for the marginalized, but for all of us.

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  88. basset said on May 1, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Local public radio here did an outstanding John Prine special the other night:

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  89. Sherri said on May 1, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    I’m really struggling with the magical thinking I see out in the world. On the one hand, I’m see:

    -Bay Area counties extend stay at home order until the end of May

    -Washington’s stay at home order will be extended today

    -Amazon announces that Seattle and Bellevue workers will be work from home until at least October 2 (Microsoft is indefinite, right now, Zillow has already announced WFH for all of 2020)

    -the Senate physician says there aren’t enough tests to test all the Senators when they come back into session (median age in the Senate is 61.8)

    I also see states reopening restaurants, gyms, tattoo parlors, etc. I see Mike Pence saying “he didn’t know” he was supposed to wear a mask to a hospital. Trump uses the DPA not to make sure we have adequate testing supplies and PPE, but to keep the latest source of outbreaks open, meat-packing plants. MLB continues to talk about putting on a 2020 season, and the NFL continues to act as if they’ll have a totally normal season. And, of course, armed terrorists storm legislatures.

    Do these people really think their money, status, political party, or guns will keep the virus from them? Do they really believe it will only happen to those people? They seem to act that way.

    I knew early on that things were going to be bad. I guess I still held some slim hope that Congressional Republicans might figure out that they needed to do something, that they would be forced to face the reality of the incompetence and might think it was time to try to save themselves, but evidently they’d rather be on a sinking ship than out in the water with the rest of us.

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  90. Julie Robinson said on May 1, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    Well, darn it, both Mary and Dorothy without jobs. I’m so sorry, and pray that things will get better. And for Jeff’s uncle too, and his family. We know someone who was wintering in Florida when a heart problem presented itself and now she has to have a valve replacement done. It’s the same situation as Jeff’s uncle, having major surgery and no family can visit. Added on was they couldn’t even meet the surgeon first, only speak on the phone. Who would blame them for feeling terrified?

    The bread recipe looks great and I’m glad to see you don’t need a Dutch oven because we downsized our kitchen along with everything else. A couple of commenters said they had good luck with bread pans, and those I’ve still got. Cinnamon rolls too? So tasty.

    After breaking two sewing machines needles, it’s times for a break. The sun is out and I have three flats of flowers and nine pots to plant them in. Hope it’s a good/goodish weekend for all.

    Re magical thinking, our insider at the Magic Kingdom says they’re staying closed until next year. We’ll see.

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  91. Jakash said on May 1, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Dexter, I mainly heard Kevin Matthews when he would be on with Steve and Garry. I was certainly familiar with Jim Shorts…

    As for the Vic Theater — I saw John Prine there, among others. I don’t recall what the event was, but I shook Eddie Murphy’s hand in the lobby one night. In later years, they started showing double features of second-run movies there, utilizing their alcohol license to create what they call “Brew and View.” Ah, good times…

    Yeah, Sherri @ 87, exactly. Gee, I remember there being a big argument about whether the scandal with Ukraine involved a quid pro quo. Then folks argued that if he got away with that, he’d be emboldened. Flash forward (not very far) to now. With regard to financial aid for blue states, the Maximum Leader flatly states: “If we do that, we’ll have to get something for it.” He’s quid pro quo-ing (a lawyer might say “extorting”) the majority of citizens of the United States.

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  92. alex said on May 1, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    Finally I can say that I knew someone firsthand who has died of coronavirus.

    Just spoke with the daughter of an elderly neighbor lady who was in a nursing home recovering from another illness. Daughter is livid. They denied to her that her mother had Covid-19 until after she had died from it. It’s been in the news that this same facility has had numerous deaths and infections but they kept reassuring the daughter that it was not an issue, even though she was not allowed to see her mother and had very limited contact by phone or Facetime. Daughter feels that she was lied to throughout this ordeal and feels very distraught.

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  93. LAMary said on May 1, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    Alex, I think if all the long term care facility deaths are counted honestly the death rate will be a lot higher than what we currently see.

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  94. susan said on May 1, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Ah yes, Georgia…. Speaking of magical thinking that ain’t magical at all. Covidiots, all right. Branch Covidians.

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  95. Suzanne said on May 1, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Just listened to the IN governor’s presser. Basically opening back up. Relying on people to not be stupid.
    Medical person all but said that she expects an uptick in cases, but oh well, what can you do, our hospitals have proven that they can handle the surge.

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  96. Julie Robinson said on May 1, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    We listened too, and it worries me. Hubby’s office is currently planning on reopening Tuesday but with lots of restrictions, extra cleaning and face mask wear.

    A friend of our family died fairly early in this, presumably of Covid 19 according to her husband. Her health had been precarious for a few years with COPD, pneumonia, heart problems, diabetes; easy pickings for the virus. She wasn’t in a nursing home, but like others, I do think the numbers have been kept artificially low.

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  97. Suzanne said on May 1, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    My take on Indiana’s governor is he is afraid of the gun toting snowflakes coming to his doorstep so he’s relaxing the restrictions. He contradicted himself when he said one of the criteria for reopening was a lower number of infections for 14 days. Cass County had 1,000 new cases just last week, which was a huge surge. So, it seems like he’s not following his own advice.
    What it boils down to is the state is running out of unemployment money. If they tell a business they can reopen and workers refuse to go back because they think it’s unsafe, they can’t file for unemployment.

    Holcomb’s plan takes the responsibility off his hands. He’s telling people to distance, sanitize, etc, but they aren’t now. Last visit to Walmart, maybe half the people were wearing masks. If people congregate In an unsafe manner, he’s clear of responsibility because he asked them not to. And who will monitor the stores to make sure they are limiting how many people enter? The governor pretty much said it’s going to be up to people to report stores not doing so because the state can’t monitor everything. If I walk in to Best Buy in a week, I have no way of knowing if they are over their 50% capacity.In this red state, I can guarantee they won’t monitor much at all.

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  98. Sherri said on May 1, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    I don’t think there’s been a single state yet with 14 days of declining infection numbers, which was the first criterion for opening back up.

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  99. Icarus said on May 1, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    Unemployment Insurance is messed up by design.

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  100. Jim said on May 1, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    Suzanne: the “open Indiana” plan excludes, Lake, Marion and Cass counties. The governor said he was well aware that workers at the Tyson Cass County meat plant (900+ positive of 2200 workers) live in different counties.

    At least two van loads of Burmese workers from Allen County (several of whom are positive) are in that group.

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  101. Deborah said on May 1, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    In Santa Fe the grocery stores I’ve gone to since the lockdown, all monitor the number of people going in and coming out with clickers, and you have to stand in line with 6 ft distancing markers on the ground. Almost everyone wears masks and a lot wear gloves too. In Abiquiu I see fewer masks but people seem to be distancing. I’ve only been to the general store in Abiquiu once and that was a few weeks ago. It seems to me that most of the people in northern NM are taking it seriously. As I’ve said before the Pueblos are being hit harder, the part of NM that’s in the Navajo nation on the western side of the state have 50% of the deaths. I read that many of the homes there don’t have running water, lots of poor people in poor health in general.

    I forgot to mention that my mother-in-law turned 101 a couple of days ago. None of her family could be there but the home she lives in had a nice celebration for her with people standing at their separate out door patios or balconies. One of her full time caregivers took videos. It was sad to see my m-i-l, a shadow of her former self after her broken hip and surgery. When my husband calls her she only answers in monosyllables. Breaks my heart because she was so sharp for so long. She is ready to go.

    I wake up every morning now grieving, I haven’t felt like this since my mother died when I was 14.

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  102. Jakash said on May 1, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    Regarding whether or not the death toll of the virus is being under-counted, this article was in the NYT the other day:

    “Total deaths in seven states that have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic are nearly 50 percent higher than normal for the five weeks from March 8 through April 11, according to new death statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is 9,000 more deaths than were reported as of April 11 in official counts of deaths from the coronavirus.

    The new data is partial and most likely undercounts the recent death toll significantly. But it still illustrates how the coronavirus is causing a surge in deaths in the places it has struck, probably killing more people than the reported statistics capture. These increases belie arguments that the virus is only killing people who would have died anyway from other causes. Instead, the virus has brought a pattern of deaths unlike anything seen in recent years.”

    “U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Is Far Higher Than Reported, C.D.C. Data Suggests”

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  103. Dexter Friend said on May 1, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    I dunno…I mean, Al Franken resigned because of a “Me Too” charge. And Joe is not yet the official candidate. I hope that the matter is soon resolved and Joe is indeed rewarded the candidacy…but if he is proven guilty of sexual attack, he will be deposed. Andrew Cuomo is very popular right now, we all know that. Who knows?

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  104. Suzanne said on May 1, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Indiana, according to their Dept of Health website, has tested just under 100,000 people out of 6.7 million population. Boy, that gives great data for opening up the state!

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  105. Jakash said on May 1, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    “Welcome to my new hobby: the fed-up women of art history.”

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  106. alex said on May 1, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    Dex, Al Franken might have been our next president if it hadn’t been for that Republican hit job. As for Biden’s accuser, the GOP’s gonna make hay out of it and the press is gonna make mincemeat out of her:

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  107. Sherri said on May 2, 2020 at 1:57 am

    My husband has been WFH since Mar 4, and will be WFH indefinitely, but if he got the choice right now, even without the virus, I think he’d opt for a split week – 2-3 days at work, rest work from home. Which wouldn’t have been true even a couple of years ago, but our broadband connectivity is so much better now, and the tools are good enough, if still lacking in some key ways*.

    *The startup he did in the mid-90s involved remote meeting and collaboration, and while the infrastructure underneath has made the experience better and more seamless, there are some things they did in their system to capture so of the indirect communication that gets lost moving from real life to digital life

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  108. beb said on May 2, 2020 at 9:22 am

    According to Huffpost Dear Leader is inviting a forest fire of biblical proportions this July 3rd by reinstating a fireworks show at Mount Rushmore. The monument sits in the middle of the Black Hills Forest, which has been devastated by a beetle plague that has killed thousands of Ponderosa pines.

    God, he’s like a little boy chasing from one new toy after another. He’s beginning to make Kim Jong Un seem like a sober and restrainted leader.

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  109. Deborah said on May 2, 2020 at 10:55 am

    Beb, that same beetle infestation hit NM, it traveled up to Canada. We lost every piñon tree/bush on our property, there’s still a lot of dead wood everywhere. Yet they allow fireworks, it’s beyond me.

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  110. basset said on May 2, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Ten years ago we were flooded. 500-year or 1000-year or something-year level of rain for several days, the Cumberland River through Nashville was high and got higher when a dam had to be opened to keep it from breaking, and the Harpeth River right behind our house had nowhere to go. We got water over our counter tops, as did our entire neighborhood, and much of the city had it even worse. We got an apartment and spent five months rebuilding, back in the same house now although we’ve been looking for awhile.

    Not sure how to add a pic right here, or if I even can.

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  111. Deborah said on May 2, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    I suppose by now you’ve all seen the photo of the woman carrying a sign at the Open Illinois protest that read “Arbeit Macht Frei, JB”. That’s German for “work makes you free” or “work sets you free” and was/is prominently displayed above the gate to Auschwitz. The “JB” refers to JB Pritzker, the guv of IL who also happens to be Jewish. And the woman claimed she wasn’t a Nazi and has Jewish friends. Shame, shame, shame on her. Disgusting.

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  112. Sherri said on May 2, 2020 at 1:33 pm

    Forget the fire risk. All summer events here have pretty much been cancelled because of the risk of crowds. Not a lot of social distancing at any fireworks display I’ve attended.

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  113. beb said on May 2, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    Here’s a nice article about some of the wonder wall art that can be found around Detroit:
    It’s about two dozen photos. It’s a nice way to spend some time even if you don;t live around here.

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  114. David C said on May 2, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    The Experimental Aircraft Association airshow/convention here has been cancelled this summer. That’s going to hurt, but I fully expected it. It brings over a half million people to the area. That’s a big deal in a city of 66,000.

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  115. Suzanne said on May 2, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    I made that no knead bread from LAMary’s recipe. Turned out great!! And super easy.

    Also, this about sums it up

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  116. LAMary said on May 2, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    Thank you for the credit, Suzanne, but that was a Jo Cooks website recipe. I’m glad you liked it.

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  117. Connie said on May 3, 2020 at 6:38 am

    That bread recipe is all over the internet, I don’t think it belongs to anyone.

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  118. Sherri said on May 3, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    Want a clear demonstration of structural racism? Here:

    Try telling me that if the people threatening the store employees had been brown, the response would have been the same. White people threaten store employees, mayor changes the rule. You know if brown people had threatened those store employees, the people making the threats would have been arrested and the rule would have remained in place.

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  119. Brian stouder said on May 3, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    Sherri, agreed, 1000 percent! Our oldest daughter (home from IU Bloomington) and I were just discussing this very thing. Corollary: Imagine if a bunch of young black men showed up at the state capital building, with assault weapons on their shoulders and in their hands. If this were a movie, I’d guffaw at the silly notion that the sons of bitches would get away with such an overtly reckless act of domestic terrorism, without getting even a parking ticket….

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  120. LAMary said on May 3, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    At least one of those guys at the statehouse was from LA. He’s a white supremacist who shows up all over the country to join demonstrations. This makes it even more clear that this is nothing like a grass roots movement.

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  121. LAMary said on May 3, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    If you’re interested, here’s a report from Keck USC Medicine about Covid 19. I don’t know how often it comes out. A critical care nurse educator I know shared it with me.

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  122. beb said on May 3, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    I’ve always thought that the fastest way ti gun control legislation is for more Blacks to open-carry.

    PS – the well-organized militia that is the forgotten half of the second amendment refers to “slave patrols” of Virginia and elsewhere.

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  123. LAMary said on May 3, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    And one more link, this one from New York Magazine:

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  124. Heather said on May 3, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    While in theory I agree, beb, that would mean a lot of black people would get arrested or killed. A young man in Georgia was just killed by some white guys for jogging through their neighborhood.

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  125. Jim said on May 3, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    beb: that’s how the gun control laws in the 1970’s got started. Black Panthers were open carrying while they conducted social programs, and (California officials) started to take action. Couldn’t have that.

    Like Brian, I’m guessing the experience of the current protestors wouldn’t translate across racial lines.

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  126. Deborah said on May 3, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    We came back from Abiquiu a day early because of my husband’s arm injury. I put my foot down, when he said it was more painful, we stopped and got a brace and a sling and I’ve insisted that he not use that arm at all, including driving. He wants to see how things go the next couple of days and if they don’t improve I will insist that he contact his Chicago Dr. I think he has a hairline fracture in a bone near his wrist, but I am only speculating. If it’s a hairline fracture it may not even show up in an X-ray like my heel bone fracture only showed up in an MRI. The only thing you can do for that kind of a fracture is to keep it immobile and weight free to let the bone heal. I forbade him to lift anything or do anything with the effected arm which will make it hard to be out in the cabin unless I do all of the chores which I’m not crazy about. Existing in an environment without electricity and running water is chore intense. We shall see.

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  127. Suzanne said on May 3, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    Being Indiana governor must make people stupid. So Gov Holcomb thinks we can open up Indiana with no problem, just social distance and be safe, and then does this.

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  128. Deborah said on May 3, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    If you’ve been watching Trump in office, on TV, on Twitter, for the past 4 years – especially during this current crisis! – and you don’t think he’s the most deranged, unstable, aberrant, soulless, sociopathic president of our lifetimes, then I don’t know what to say to you. Saw this on Twitter, and this is something I do not understand of people like Pilot Joe. I really don’t.

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  129. Brian stouder said on May 3, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    Deborah, here’s wishing for all the best for your husband and you

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  130. David C said on May 3, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    This is what it’s come to. A man is dead because his daughter refused to wear a mask. There’s really no hope for us, is there? This is it. It’s not going to get any better. At some point it may get marginally better, but the prion disease has taken hold of 40% of the population. They’ll make our lives miserable until our hearts stop – probably from stress.

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