More goobers.

Sorry about the midweek no-show. I find my energy, and mood, and energy, and sleep patterns…undulating this week. Time to go back on the bedtime marijuana, I fear.

In the meantime, there was another state capital demonstration in Lansing today. They string a big banner between the columns (you can see it here) that reads FREEEDOM. I assume the three Es are probably a reference to Mel Gibson’s big speech in “Braveheart,” because none of those people actually read books, I suspect. Everything is a pop-culture reference, and I’m missing out on pop culture, the older I get. Psst: I never saw “Braveheart.” A friend told me it was long as hell and “it takes Mel Gibson like 45 minutes to die,” and I noped out of that, oh yes I did.

But throw in video games and movies that I wouldn’t see at gunpoint, and half the time I feel just out of it. But at least I’ve read a few more books than these goobers. I listened to about five minutes of the speakers; one did a whole bit on the “admiralty flag” thing, which was a joke on “King of the Hill” years ago. Ai-yi-yi.

Meanwhile, one of these aforementioned goobers showed up with an axe. Not sure what it was about, but it was confiscated.

Oh, and look — he has a criminal record. What a nice man.

This is really getting to be an embarrassment. I’d say, “We’re not really like this,” but clearly, we are.

More bad news today: Our city pool won’t open on schedule, and probably won’t open at all. I was hoping they might have early-morning lap swimming at the very least, but it’s looking like no go. This sucks. I haven’t been in a pool since mid-March and god knows when I’ll be in one again.

At least it’ll be warm this weekend. Although rainy, too. Yesterday was sunny:

Hope yours is good.

Posted at 9:48 pm in Current events |

79 responses to “More goobers.”

  1. Brian stouder said on May 14, 2020 at 10:05 pm

    Marvelous photo! My lovely wife works at the Helen P Brown Natatorium (adjacent to the best high school in Fort Wayne)(South Side, of course!) and 2020 will definitely be a rough year….

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  2. Suzanne said on May 14, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    I am watching the Michelle Obama documentary Becoming on Netflix. We have lost so much in the past 3 years. I am crying.

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  3. jcburns said on May 14, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    Maybe the Es in ‘FREEEDOM’ are placeholders for Ks.

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  4. LAMary said on May 14, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    KCRW is doing a podcast about medical marijuana next Wednesday.

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  5. Heather said on May 14, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    I miss swimming too. I’m craving being in and near water so much I have incredible urges to take baths. And it sounds like the Chicago lakefront isn’t opening anytime soon–another blow.

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  6. beb said on May 14, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    This article from RawStory kind of captures the whole essence of the Lansing protest
    “You calling me an idiot?” One protester without a gun was complaining to husband and wife protesters armed with long guns that they were muddying the issue.

    I was born and raised in Mishawaka, IN so it’s a little disappointing to find the Princess City on the national news because a clerk asked a customer to wear a mask and got hot coffee thrown on her then was beating up. It’s not so much that he didn’t want to wear a mask but he responded with psycho amounts of violence. If he were a dog he would have been shot on the spot for that.

    It’s late, I’m tired and my Christian charity has all evaporated away. People like that should be locked up in prison for 20 years.

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  7. Sherri said on May 14, 2020 at 11:38 pm

    Some days, the rampant stupidity is too much to handle.

    I’ve been adding more and more to my home gym. I’ve got a good array of dumbbells now, and my new barbell just arrived. I still haven’t been able to order plates to put on the barbell, but as those come back in stock, I’ll be ordering those as well.

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  8. Deborah said on May 14, 2020 at 11:48 pm

    Man the goobers are coming out of the woodwork. I would be so embarrassed to call myself a Republican.

    Obama’s one word response to the ridiculous recent Trump tricks, “vote”.

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  9. Julie Robinson said on May 15, 2020 at 12:10 am

    Stop! Hold the presses! Has the proprietress has gone gray?!?! We need deets. Is it one of those deals where you cover the coloring with gray, or do you have to bleach it out first? Because surely your hair doesn’t grow that fast? This is important information for those of us who are approaching skunk status.

    Our Y is supposed to open in a couple weeks, and since I only use the pool I’ve been contemplating going. It seems like all that chlorine would kill the virus, but what about the locker room, eww. Could I just wrap myself up and put a towel on the car seat, then shower at home? Probably the hot tub will stay closed because there’s no way to social distance there.

    Anyway, I’ve been sewing masks like crazy for my Orlando family, because my dearest husband decided to GET ON A PLANE and take a little trip to visit them. Yes, you read that correctly. He willingly paid money to possibly pick up Covid19 by going through one airport, getting on a plane, then going through another airport. He decided he needed a vacation.

    I hope and pray I didn’t say goodbye to him for the last time.

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  10. Jason T. said on May 15, 2020 at 1:56 am

    Our city pool won’t open on schedule, and probably won’t open at all. I was hoping they might have early-morning lap swimming at the very least, but it’s looking like no go.

    My best guy friend and I are both avid fans of outdoor swap meets and flea markets, and yesterday we were discussing whether or not there was any way for those to be open this summer.

    On the one hand, they’re outdoors, and it’s easy enough to keep a table’s width of distance between you and other people.

    On the other hand, do you want to have to have someone at the gate forcing people to wear a mask?

    What happens when you let them in and they insist on taking the mask off, because FREEDOM?

    What happens when they insist on congregating in a tight group?

    Do you want to be the person who has to tell them, “Hey, guys, break it up”?

    If you do, then what’s the likelihood that one of them has a handgun and will pull it out? (Hell, at some of these events, pistols and knives are on sale.) Then what?

    So, yeah, I guess they have to stay closed.

    This is really getting to be an embarrassment. I’d say, “We’re not really like this,” but clearly, we are.

    Well. Yes.

    I truly believe 80 percent of Americans are decent, good people, just trying to be helpful to one another and get through their days with a minimum of fuss.

    But 20 percent of Americans are increasingly nasty and violent, are just itchin’ for a fight every day, and are now being egged on by the President of the United States.

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  11. Dexter Friend said on May 15, 2020 at 3:30 am

    Joe and Stacey looked good on the split-screen interview show with Lawrence O’Donnell. Lawrence was sorta hoping Joe would announce Stacey as his veep but all he got was Joe saying Stacey “could do it”.
    I keep hearing Governor Gretchen is right in the VP mix, but now we hear Kamala Harris is right there too. Klobuchar and Warren also…none of these would surprise us. Gillibrand is still hoping from the outside as well.

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  12. ROGirl said on May 15, 2020 at 4:45 am


    OTOH, plans are firming up for a return to work. Production support people (prototype and testing) will start week after next. We office drones to start the week of the 1st, with the 2 day rotations and closed on Friday for cleaning.

    If I were a praying person, I would pray for this country to recover from Trump.

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  13. Connie said on May 15, 2020 at 7:18 am

    So people in Illinois are planning on spending their weekend at the newly opened bars in Wisconsin..

    I studied the Black Plague as a college history major, and have read every plague related novel out there, starting in junior high with Michener’s Hawaii. Those piles of bodies in the streets are stuck in my mind. We have already seen a few indoor piles of bodies in Detroit.

    So, two great plague novels:
    The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson. The black plague kills most of Europe instead of the actual 30%. The civilizations that develop in the mid and far east view that empty land as haunted and prefer not to visit it. Let alone live there.
    The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. Time travel gone bad. A young well vaccinated student finds herself stranded in the fourteenth century. Won every sf award out there.
    And some nonfiction: A Distant Mirror, the Calamitous Fourteenth Century by Barbara Tuchman.

    Got any plague stories to recommend? The Andromeda Strain by Crichton is still thrilling. Book and movie.

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  14. alex said on May 15, 2020 at 7:43 am

    You think the goobers with guns are a menace now, just you wait until Trump gets clobbered in the election and refuses to be a good sport about it.

    Our office is having a soft (that is, voluntary) reopening next week. So far the only people expressing any interest in returning are those with screaming babies at home keeping them from getting any work done. On June 1 we’re all supposed to return, although they’re going to reassess things if our stupid state starts having a second wave, and they’ll allow high-risk individuals to remain at home if they wish. So I may just be forced to divulge my age and diabetes and history of cardiac stenting, which I hadn’t planned on doing otherwise.

    The return doesn’t sound like much fun. We’ll have to wear masks except inside our own offices with the doors closed, have our temps taken and use hand sanitizer constantly. Totally not into it.

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  15. David C said on May 15, 2020 at 8:25 am

    We’re supposed to get back to our offices on June 1 too. In our building, we’ll be checkboarded and work two week in the office and two week at home because the dumbasses bought into the open office bullshit. They say they’re going to get proper cubicles, but that’ll be months if not years away because the office furniture industry has been selling the shit out of open office. All the collaboration that we weren’t able to do because open office kills productivity is going to be even more damned expensive when they have to replace all the offices because because they couldn’t foresee that making everyone work in each other’s petri dish was a pandemic waiting to happen.

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  16. Mark P said on May 15, 2020 at 8:46 am

    I’m turning 70 on Monday and retired for a few years, but I’ve been doing a few half-day jobs every year at home for my old company. Then, back pre-corona, my old boss recommended me for a six-month, part-time gig at a government office in Huntsville, Al. It hasn’t started yet, but I’ve been keeping track of what’s going on there. They sent all non-essential workers home, and now they are planning to reopen in phases, 25 percent at first. Everyone has to mask except in their own offices or cubicles. I guess they’ll be calling me up before too long.

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  17. nancy said on May 15, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Whoever asked (Julie?) upthread: Yes, I decided to stop coloring my hair last summer. I used to say I didn’t feel as old as my hair said I was, but I’ve decided there’s also a line where your hair has to match your face, or otherwise you look like Ronald Reagan. So last July I told my hairdresser it was time, she agreed, and now I’m so happy, I wish I’d done it sooner. Add in that I got a cut the last weekend before the salons were closed, and I feel almost smart, or at least lucky. Now to let it grow out a little and start thinking about changing the cut, or maybe adding some snow-white highlights here and there. Cronehood, here I come.

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  18. Jeff Borden said on May 15, 2020 at 9:27 am

    One of our best friends –I believe she is 71 or 72– stopped coloring her hair a couple of years ago and says she has never received so many compliments at any point in her life. Embrace the gray or silver or white. . .especially now.

    Connie, I don’t know if you are focusing exclusively on novels, but “The Hot Zone” is a non-fiction account of the Ebola virus every bit as compelling and terrifying as any novel. The premise that Earth sees mankind as an infection and periodically culls the herd certainly seems logical considering how we have abused this poor planet.

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  19. Snarkworth said on May 15, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Connie, may I recommend “Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague” by Geraldine Brooks. It’s based on the true story of a village in England that quarantined itself to protect the larger area. Nobody came in or out; outsiders dropped off supplies. It worked.

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  20. Suzanne said on May 15, 2020 at 9:44 am

    My kids had to read The Hot Zone in high school. Both have commented in the past few months that they wish they had paid closer attention to it. My son bought a copy and is rereading.

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  21. Deborah said on May 15, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Connie, Terry Gross interviewed an author a couple of days ago (or maybe it was yesterday) who wrote a book about the 1918 pandemic, it sounded interesting. Sorry I don’t remember his name or the book’s title.

    I’m very happy with my white hair color, it’s been white for nearly 35 years. My husband didn’t get gray hair until he was in his early 60s but he still thinks his hair isn’t gray. I know a woman who has beautiful slate gray hair, but she thinks she doesn’t have a gray hair on her head. That’s weird. When they look in the mirror they see what they want to see.

    The moth infestation in Santa Fe is creepy, can’t wait until it’s over. So far we’ve had about 8 or 10 get inside but the garage is loaded with them. They usually come to the higher elevations later in summer and they go for the mountains. Apparently they’re tasty treats for bears. I’m conflicted because they’re pollinators which are needed, but they creep me out because they get disoriented when they’re inside and it seems like they fly right at you.

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  22. Sherri said on May 15, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Spillover, by David Quamman, is a good non-fiction book about animal infections crossing over into humans.

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  23. Julie Robinson said on May 15, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    Anyone who is going back to work in an office needs to forward this to their manager stat: The author is an immunologist who explains all the problems with being in an enclosed space. You can social distance and wear masks around others, but the virus can be carried through your building’s HVAC system and deposited in your office all the way across the floor from the person who coughed, sneezed, or just breathed it out. It’s an informative and terrifying article.

    And here’s another, from a church who had a birthday celebration right before the shutdown: Of 41 people at the gathering, 24 caught the virus with two dying. They stated six feet apart, washed their hands frequently, etc. etc. The quote that haunts me is this: “Think about the oldest person that you hang out with and visit and take care of. Are you willing to give them up?”

    Given what we also know about singers taking in deep breaths and expelling more air than when speaking, it’s another reason churches need to stay online.

    On a much shallower note, I think this is my chance to see what my hair looks like it its natural state for the first time in over 20 years. Fingers crossed it will look half as good as Nancy’s does.

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  24. basset said on May 15, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Too bad these are sold out:

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  25. Dorothy said on May 15, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    I dyed my hair for just a few short years, but in 2005, I think, I got tired of keeping it up. So I went natural. I am so glad I did. I’m all about accepting the inevitable – saggy jowls, grey hair, a few wrinkles (I’m lucky I don’t have very many), and it’s just a happier existence, for me, to accept who I am. These things are minor and so much better than the alternative (i.e. BEING DEAD).

    Basset that’s a great mask. I primarily wear my mask made from Democrat fabric. No one has said anything negative to me about it, but I’d wager more than a few are thinking negative thoughts when they see me. Another thing I don’t give two shits about: what someone thinks of my political affiliation. But I have some Wizard of Oz fabric, too, so I fussy cut out the face of Dorothy and pieced some great orange and pink batik fabric around it. It’s my fancy mask – for when the Democrat one is being washed. I have a Steelers mask, a Pirates mask, and many other great fabrics available for when I want something new. This is the plus side of being a fabric collector that I never saw coming. I’ve given away most of the 230 or so masks I’ve made. I’ve started a bag of them to take to the shore with us, a vacation we are all very much looking forward to and pray will happen.

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  26. Sherri said on May 15, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    From 40 years ago:

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  27. Sherri said on May 15, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    Why do we not hear anyone in the media calling on Trump to resign? Does anyone doubt that if a Democrat were in office and fucked things up this badly, calls for resignation would be everywhere, even in an election year?

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  28. Bitter Scribe said on May 15, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    For a week or two last year, the cable stations were showing “Braveheart” over and over. I would tune in and watch until something stupid made me hit the remote. Usually took about two minutes.

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  29. LAMary said on May 15, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Sherri, I wonder about the same thing. He’s so corrupt, so incompetent. I think he’s also losing it. Maybe dementia? I seriously worry about what will happen in the next election. There’s so much potential for things to get real ugly real fast whether he wins or loses, just in different ways for each scenario.

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  30. Sherri said on May 15, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    I need some ideas. My husband has been working non-stop; we’re lucky that he has a good setup for working from home, but his workload increased because of the pandemic, as usage of the product he works on increased and shifted characteristics.

    So, he hasn’t had any time off this year. And the hobbies he normally does to recover are singing with a couple of choirs (not happening anytime soon!) and playing squash (gyms are all closed). He’s using my home gym and taking regular walks, but I need some ideas of something we could do on a vacation day.

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  31. Dave said on May 15, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    I’ve never seen Braveheart and I may have said this before, my uncle was an extra in the scene where English horses fall on spears the Scottish raise. They spent three days filming that in Arizona. My uncle was in a horseman’s club and there’s pictures of him dressed in the garb of the English.

    Sherri, if the situation were reversed, the repugnant ones would be screaming their heads off. We all know that.

    It’s a good time to be retired, OTOH, we have great concern for our children and grandchildren.

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  32. Dorothy said on May 15, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    Sherri how about a drive to a picnic location? Near water perhaps. Bring a cooler of foods that you can serve cold, a blanket for putting on the ground if you can’t get to a picnic bench, some binoculars to look for eagles or something (I’m kind of afraid of birds but being out in the open like that, I’m thinking it might be fun to see them up close). Have some good music queued up on an iPad and sing your hearts out to some familiar music! We went out for ice cream last night and “It’s Alright” came on the oldies channel. We started to sing it together (Mike has an AWFUL voice but he sounded great for this song!). It was so much fun and we were only 1.5 miles from our house! Motown songs are great for singing in the car.

    It’s alright, have a good time, cuz it’s alright WHOA it’s alright!

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  33. Julie Robinson said on May 15, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    Forgot about Braveheart; we watched it at home which was good because I could leave. Early on William Wallace marries his sweetheart, and I remember thinking it would probably go downhill from there. Sure enough, SPOILER ALERT, the local Lord took his first rights with the wife, and before you knew it, Wallace was being drawn and quartered. Mel Gibson seems to delight in blood, I seem to have an aversion, so I don’t watch anything he’s in or directs.

    Dorothy, I can’t think of anything better than a picnic, weather cooperating of course. Maybe a little bird watching thrown in? Anything outdoors.

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  34. Scout said on May 15, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    I second the Dr Bromage piece Julie recommended. I read that a few days ago and forwarded it to everyone I know including my boss and co-workers. Luckily our office is fine to continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future. AZ Gov Doucey (Douchey) was doing pretty well with keeping the state shut down until Don Coronaleone graced us with a visit, then suddenly we gotta open up. Thing is, most people will not risk restaurants, gyms or salons anyway, so all this accomplishes is denying unemployment benefits to people in those professions. What a choice; work and die or stay home and starve. It’s unbelievable how badly our ‘leaders’ managed to fuck this up in a multitude of ways.

    Spouse and I managed to get free tests at a drive up facility yesterday. It was a self administered nasal swab. The results came back quickly and we are both negative. That is a relief since I am the one doing all the shopping for us and my octogenarian parents. Masked, gloved and armed with disinfectant sheets, of course.

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  35. beb said on May 15, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    I think the proper word isn’t that Nancy has gone grey but that she’s become a silver fox! Part of her work at Deadline Detroit is doing a podcast / radio show? with Craig Fahle so her picture is always on the site. I’ve seen her pictures with grey hair for so long I can’t remember what her hair originally looked like. It looks good on her.

    Hair on men is so strange. I used to have dirty blond hair on top and a reddish beard. My beard has gone white while the hair in top has all but receded but remains dirty blond.

    Call for Trump to resign, which any other person would seriously consider, would only make Trump did his heels in. He will never be a “quitter.” He’ll burn the country down before “quitting.”

    In the words of my favorite president: “vote.”

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  36. susan said on May 15, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    Sherri @30 – Here’s an idea for the weekend. Add in a basement with cardio/weight-bearing activity stairs, you’ve got a real travel AND fitness plan.

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  37. Deborah said on May 15, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    Sherri, are the Cascades open? It’s been a long time since I hiked there but it was spectacular. A drive out to Mt. Rainier and a secluded picnic there? Again it’s been a long time, so maybe I’m misremembering the distances. I just remember breathtaking vistas.

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  38. kayak woman said on May 15, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    My company reiterated this afternoon that a decision won’t be made until mid to late July on when people should return to the “office” (huge global financial tech company). Even then people won’t be strongly encouraged to return if they aren’t comfortable, which I probably won’t be. Telecommuting works well for us, which is not a surprise since almost all of us do it at least some of the time anyway. My only issue is spending way too much time with The Pensioner (my retired husband).

    I never have colored my hair and it almost always looks like “COVID hair” anyway. I just pull it back into an [ugly] ponytail and move on. Yours looks great though.

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  39. Deborah said on May 15, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    We were scheduled to go back out to the cabin today, but have had a slow leak that we repeatedly filled in the back right tire on the jeep and this morning it was just about flat so my husband took it in. There was a nail in it, but they were able to repair it instead of having to replace it. So today I made more chicken wire and willow stick cloches for our victory garden in Santa Fe. Somehow miraculously we’ve managed to keep the skunks and raccoons out, it’s taken moth balls, ghost pepper powder and ex-lax and the chicken wire but we’ve been successful so far. My brother-in-law who lives in Pasedena told us about ex-lax, we used it once before and it worked for a while but you have to keep it up. By the way, the moth balls do nothing to discourage the moth infestation.

    I’ve been so inspired by the videos of the young Chinese woman who is extremely productive and full of energy, I linked to her previously in an earlier thread. Here’s the link again, I highly recommend watching these videos if you haven’t seen them before.

    Dorothy, I think of you as being a highly productive person, which I find very impressive, making masks, knitting, quilt making etc. you are an inspiration too.

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  40. LAMary said on May 15, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    My Covid-19 look.

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  41. LAMary said on May 15, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    I guess none of us realized what those guys armed to the teeth were doing in Lansing last month.

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  42. Deborah said on May 15, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    LA Mary, I couldn’t get your link at #40 to work.

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  43. basset said on May 15, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    Watching the Michelle
    Obama documentary on Netflix right now. Happy, supportive families. High-achieving kids. So depressing, so unreal.

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  44. Deborah said on May 15, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    Connie, I said earlier that an author was interviewed on Fresh Air and I didn’t remember his name or the title of his book. He was just interviewed by Chris Hayes tonight, his name is John Barry and the book is “the Great Influenza”.

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  45. LAMary said on May 15, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    Tiny Url has failed me. Next pet I get is going to be named Tiny Earl, no matter what it is.

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  46. Sherri said on May 16, 2020 at 12:21 am

    I read John Barry’s The Great Influenza probably ten years ago; it’s fantastic. So is another book he wrote: Rising Tide, about the 1927 Mississippi flood. Both are books I regularly recommend.

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  47. Sherri said on May 16, 2020 at 12:33 am

    Good news! State legislator/domestic terrorist Matt Shea isn’t running for re-election.

    Three of the collection of clowns who filed to run against Inslee declared themselves as “Trump Republicans.”

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  48. David C said on May 16, 2020 at 10:39 am

    When a bomb thrower like Shea decides not to run again, I wonder what worse they have up their sleeves. They never ride off into the sunset and they always have a scheme.

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  49. Sherri said on May 16, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    Shea is definitely not riding off into the sunset. But since he got kicked out of the Republican caucus, he probably decided to spend more time building his Christian militia and run around with the Bundys.

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  50. Suzanne said on May 16, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    I am mystified that all through my schooling, I do not recall even one mention of the 1918 flu pandemic. I assume that since coincided with the end of WWI, it was overlooked, but it was such a huge deal, it’s amazing to me that it simply was not mentioned. Or not that I recall.

    Although, maybe it’s the deep state keeping that informtaion from us and the deep state goes back that far! Hmmmmm.

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  51. Deborah said on May 16, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    I was in college when I started going to old cemeteries in the rural Midwest doing tombstone rubbings, that’s when I started to notice lots of death dates around 1918, especially of young people, I started to realize something happened. I talked to my grandparents and great aunts and uncles about it then that’s when I became aware of the major pandemic. I don’t remember learning about it in school either.

    Although I didn’t pay Attention to much history about the WW1 era. It wasn’t until we drove through France when I was in my 40s that I started to want to learn more about it. I always say that travel is a great way to pique your curiosity about lots of things.

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  52. diane said on May 16, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks for the article. The mention that the “top two” vote getters will go on to the primary reminded me that I wanted to ask whether you liked that primary system. I don’t really understand it and don’t know if it is a good thing or a bad thing.

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  53. Sherri said on May 16, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    Diane, I think the top two primary is generally a non-issue here. Washington has never required party registration in the whole time I’ve lived here, so most people don’t register as one party or another. Party structures are pretty weak; while partisan identity might be fairly strong and reliable, the parties themselves are fairly weak here and don’t wield a ton of power or influence in terms of driving voter turnout. So the switch from party primaries to nonpartisan top two primaries hasn’t really made for dramatic change.

    Yes, there are situations where both candidates in the general are from the same party, but in those cases, the other party never stood a chance of winning the race anyway. There are seats in the legislature in my area that a Republican just isn’t going to be competitive for, and seats in Eastern Washington that a Dem has not shot for, no matter who they are.

    That was less true even 5 years ago, but it’s not the top 2 primary that caused the change, it’s the demographic change of the area and the continuing devolution of the GOP. Until just 3 years ago, my state senator was Republican, and now I think there’s one legislator who represents a corner of King County who’s a Republican, and the rest are Democrat. I think the last remaining GOP statewide office holder, Secretary of State Kim Wyman, will lose this fall, too. I think she’s the last Republican statewide office holder on the west coast.

    So, that’s a long-winded answer to say, any impact of the top two primary is lost in the noise of bigger changes.

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  54. David C said on May 16, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    The only reason I knew about the 1918 flu epidemic is my great-grandmother died from it. That made my grandmother’s childhood pretty hellish. She was shifted to various aunts and uncles who didn’t want her around.

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  55. LAMary said on May 16, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    My father lost two siblings, both young children, in the 1918-19 flu. My mother’s brother’s wife lost both her parents. Paterson, NJ was a crowded city full of tenements then so it spread quickly. The silk mills there attracted a lot of immigrants. Most of my father’s brothers and sisters left school when they were very young to go work in the dye houses rubbing spots out of silk. He and two younger siblings managed to finish high school.

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  56. Diane said on May 16, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Thank you Sherri.

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  57. Julie Robinson said on May 16, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    My father-in-law was only a toddler when Spanish flu took his pregnant mother and the wheels came off his dad’s life in a big way. The father spent years traveling, working as a carny, chasing the next dream. Sometimes Ray would be farmed out to relatives, sometimes he’d travel with his dad, but it was a precarious existence. They spent one winter in West Palm Beach, sleeping under the piers and fishing every morning, hoping they’d earn enough for meals that day.

    When he got old enough Ray joined the CCC. I asked him about it a few times, having heard that it was very strict, almost like being in the army. He told me loved it for its sense of stability, but most importantly because they got three square meals a day. It was the first time he remembered not being hungry, and it seemed a fair trade-off to him.

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  58. Deborah said on May 16, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    Diane, are you experiencing the Miller moth infestation where you live in Colorado?

    Our cabin in Abiquiu is on a finger Mesa off of a mountain called Sierra Negra which is in the Carson National Forest. There’re a lot of remnants around of work done by the CCC during the Great Depression. There are Camp site remnants and land contouring that dates back to that time. It’s pretty fascinating.

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  59. diane said on May 16, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    Not yet at least. I’ve heard that they are in south eastern Colorado but we haven’t seen them up here in the mountains.

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  60. Deborah said on May 16, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    Shoot, I completely forgot to watch the Obama commencement address tonight. I hope to be able to find a video of it, surely that will be available.

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  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 16, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    Deborah, here ya go!

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  62. basset said on May 16, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    Watched the space station go over tonight… not quite as cool as what the rest of y’all are doing, but we like it.

    Amazing how just a picture or a short conversation can kick me into misery, but I am still bummed about that Michelle Obama documentary last night. A family where everyone is high-achieving and positive and supports each other, surely that was fiction.

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  63. Dexter Friend said on May 17, 2020 at 1:28 am

    I did not know there is a docu on Netflix featuring the former FLOTUS. My sister-in-law worked at the same law firm in Chicago where Michelle worked, Sidley Austin. Michelle had just moved on when my sister-in-law started as a medical expert there.

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  64. alex said on May 17, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Dahlia is in fine form, as always:

    I don’t recall if they ever talked about the 1918 pandemic in school, but I knew about it because my grandmother’s sister survived it. I also heard plenty about polio in the 1950s and knew people who were permanently impaired by it.

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  65. Dave said on May 17, 2020 at 9:47 am

    I don’t think I ever heard the 1918 pandemic in school and the only people I ever recall talking about it were my maternal grandparents. They were living in Kingsport, TN, then, parents of two small children (my mother came later), and the entire family next door to them passed away. I don’t know how many family members there were or much else about it but I know they and everyone else were scared.

    It doesn’t seem like school history classes would barely make it to WWI before the school year would end. You would barely make it to the twentieth century in the final weeks and rush through it to mention WWII. I don’t think I realized how long WWI was until later, I had thought of it as a two year war.

    As for polio, I’m sure I have said before that my father-in-law was a polio victim, 30 years old, married father of a 3 and 4 year old, months in a iron lung in Columbus. He learned to walk again with the use of two canes and had a motorized wheelchair at work. He was a project planner, manager, I’m not sure, at North American Aviation, which later became Rockwell, by Port Columbus. Like many polio victims, it affected his health in other ways and he passed away when he was only 55. He had an older sister who also had polio but not as drastic as his, it did leave her with a lifetime limp but she lived the longest of all her siblings.

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  66. Deborah said on May 17, 2020 at 10:23 am

    I had a good friend as an adult, who had polio as a child, she and her 3 sisters had it. My friend died when she was in her sixties, she wasn’t in the greatest health all of her life, she was tiny, barely 5′ tall and thin as were her sisters. One of the sisters had a misshapen leg. Her parents had an in-ground pool built in their yard to help the young girls exercise. In-ground pools were not that common and the parents didn’t have a lot of money, but they felt it was necessary. After the parents died my friend bought the house they had lived in and I swam many times in that pool, LB learned to swim there.

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  67. basset said on May 17, 2020 at 11:21 am

    So, Dexter, how did the other folks at the law firm like Michelle?

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  68. LAMary said on May 17, 2020 at 11:53 am

    Martin Shkreli requested release from prison so he could develop a cure or vaccine for Covid-19. A judge turned him down. Yay judge.

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  69. Mark P said on May 17, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    One of faculty on my reading committee was from Australia. He was on crutches or in a wheelchair as a result of polio he caught as a kid in Australia.

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  70. dianr said on May 17, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    In case you missed it on Twitter, I think George Takei’s tweet on President Obama’s address is worth sharing:
    Dear Donald: Who knew that ObamaGate meant Obama shows you the Gate?

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  71. diane said on May 17, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    In case you didn’t see it on Twitter (I usually miss the good stuff), I thought George Takei’s tweet on President Obama’s commencement address is worth a share:
    Dear Donald: Who knew that ObamaGate meant Obama shows you the Gate?

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  72. Dexter Friend said on May 17, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    basset, there were a few weeks in between when Michelle left and my sister-in-law started. Michelle wasn’t Big News back then.

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  73. Sherri said on May 17, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Can anyone explain the I won’t wear a mask position to me? I get that they’re hot and uncomfortable; I’m claustrophobic myself. And I don’t wear a mask walking around outside. But if I walk in the grocery store, I’m wearing a mask, out of consideration for my favorite checker Annie, who has asthma and is exposed to hundreds of people all day. I don’t want to be the reason she gets sick.

    Is there any reason other than I’m free, white, and 21, so I have a constitutional right to be a selfish bastard, while calling myself a good Christian and a patriotic American?

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  74. Julie Robinson said on May 17, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    Freedom! Guvmint bad. Socialism bad. First Amendment. Second Amendment. Maga! Lather, rinse, repeat.

    My high school government class was taught by a formerly famous jock turned football coach, so it wasn’t very thorough. One thin I did pick up is that my rights end when your rights begin and vice versa.

    I’m very disturbed when I see pictures of families hiking together, which is outside, but they drove four hours together in a car to get there. Plus all crammed together for their beloved selfies. Or of our local farmers’ market, where they’ve supposedly distanced vendors, and everyone goes one way, blah, blah, blah. Then you see pictures of young families. Why would you take a baby or toddler into such a situation?

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  75. David C said on May 17, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    They don’t know the difference between liberty and fucking license. They think that everybody gets to decide for themselves, but in reality the ignorant and irresponsible decide for everybody. These are the same assholes who wanted leper colonies for AIDS patients. The patients we had more of than necessary because another dotard president didn’t give a shit either. They are beyond reasoning with.

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  76. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 17, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Wait. Edgar Maddison Welch drove a Prius? It’s like the Tiger Thing . . . I’m already stuck and the story just started. I mean, c’mon.

    FYI, I live in a beautiful place and my wife has a great job, but I am HIP DEEP in this stuff, every blessed day and most nights. Plus the Nephilim. Which are basically a pre-history QAnon thing.

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  77. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 17, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    “I think he knows way more than what we think,” she said.

    This is what they all want. The idea of knowability; that there’s someone, no matter how improbable, who understand what’s going on. Conspiracy thinking is just the reassurance that even if obscured, there’s someone who’s got this all figured out already.

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  78. Sherri said on May 17, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    Yet, not a one of these freedom-loving mask haters ever said a goddamn thing about having to take their shoes off in airport security! Anything was okay to prevent a 1% chance of them evil Muslims attacking us, but nothing is okay to prevent the spread of a virus.

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  79. basset said on May 17, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Thought probably so, Dexter, just didn’t know if she’d made a big enough impression that they were still talking about her.

    Nobody’s mentioned here that Phyllis George has died. Had one brief encounter with her when her husband John Y. Brown, former owner of the Kentucky Colonels, was running for Kentucky governor. Campaign stop in a little town, I think Russellville, their helicopter landed in a vacant lot and I was in the media pack waiting on them. I was coming off knee surgery at the time and one leg was wrapped in what was essentially a hip to ankle velcro cast, sticking out straight and walking was a challenge.

    We were still using two-piece camera rigs at the time, camera head and video recorder separated by a thick cable. Camera was on a tripod, recorder was on the ground, I bent over to check something on it and here they came, headed for the podium. Stood up as quickly as I could, hit my head on the bottom of the camera, almost fell over and heard this sweet voice… “are you all raaaaht?” She did have a nice smile.

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