Hi-def and dumb.

We were having a cheeseburger in a bar on a summer evening – oh, lost pleasures of life– when I started watching the Tigers game on the TV. It was new and hi-def, and after about five minutes of this, I wondered why anyone would bother attending a major-league game in person again.

Oh, sure, it’s fun to take oneself out to the ballgame from time to time, eat peanuts and crackerjack, blah blah blah, but the parking, the traffic, the bathrooms, the $10 beers, the blast-furnace sun. How much nicer to watch in your own home, in such clarity that it’s like you’re there.

All of which is saying that even if I were a Trump-lover with a “ticket,” whatever that means when hundreds of thousands are sold for an arena that holds maybe 19,000, a few brain cells might fire and I might consider staying home and watching the thing on C-SPAN.

All of which is a callback to events of the weekend, which in the way time gallops today, apparently happened 15 years ago.

But who cares if that stupid git has a full house or not. This is a far more worrisome story:

Public health workers, already underfunded and understaffed, are confronting waves of protest at their homes and offices in addition to pressure from politicians who favor a faster reopening. Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, said more than 20 health officials have resigned, retired or been fired in recent weeks “due to conditions related to having to enforce and stand up for strong public health tactics during this pandemic.”

I think it’s interesting that in Michigan, the abuse is heaped upon our female governor, a Democrat. In Ohio, which had restrictions nearly as severe as Michigan’s, but a male Republican governor, the abuse instead goes to…

Ohio’s public health director, Amy Acton, shifted to an advisory role after enduring months of anger over the state’s preventive measures, including armed protesters at her home bearing messages including anti-Semitic and sexist slurs. One Republican lawmaker linked Acton, who is Jewish, to Nazi Germany; another called her a dictator.

These stupid fucking idiots. Also…

Georgia’s public health director said last month that she receives threats daily and now has an armed escort. Pennsylvania’s secretary of health, who is transgender, has come under fire over the state’s handling of the pandemic, including from a county official who resigned after saying at a recent meeting that he was “tired of listening to a guy dressed up as a woman.”

I’m sensing a theme here. Anyone else?

Oh, I am damn peevish this week. The heat broke, briefly, so we can open the windows and hear the constant fireworks. I’m going to read a book and go to bed.

Posted at 9:34 pm in Current events |

92 responses to “Hi-def and dumb.”

  1. beb said on June 23, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    We put in our air conditioners just before the heat broke but that meant we could closeup the house and only hear muffled fireworks. Our grey cat came out of the basement log after midnight that night. I read that citizens unhappy about the noise surrounded deBlasio’s house to keep him awake all night the way the fireworks have them. But what’s he going to do? Tell the cops that the fireworks are the work of antifa so they’ll go around and break some heads?

    Back when we were so much younger my wife and I went to a few ball games each year. This was at the old Tigers Stadium, The food wasn’t as expensive then but the horse trough urinal in the men’s room was a good reason to hold it in. While it was true that you couldn’t see the play as well as you could on TV there was a sense of pleasure just being there, watching the wide view of the game instead of just the camera’s tight focus. We always git 3rd base side seats which were cheaper than first side seats. Those were the days…

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  2. alex said on June 24, 2020 at 6:07 am

    Those horse trough urinals…

    The first time I wore shorts peeing in one of those things it dawned on me just how much of other peoples’ piss I’d been wearing on my clothing having finally felt it.

    And if disillusionment about “toilet plume” and toothbrushes weren’t bad enough, it’s now being touted as a COVID threat to boot.

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  3. Mark P said on June 24, 2020 at 8:45 am

    It’s the Day of the Triffids.

    I’m not sanguine about the future of the US even if Trump is defeated.

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  4. Julie Robinson said on June 24, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Peevish has been my mood for the last month, or if I’m honest, two months. So many idiots, so much hate, so much rage at the hate. A group I’m part of is reading and discussing How to be an Antiracist, and it’s tough sledding. (Duh, right?) I’m not going anywhere and not planning to go anywhere and am responsible for my mom who is also in a funk.

    But yesterday, oh you beautiful day, the heat and humidity broke, and I could enjoy being outside. Even better, the Orlando Planning Commission approved our variance request, which means we can build our little two bedroom addition on our tiny house. There will be be five adults living there, and even with the extra space it will still be crowded, but it’s probably the best news we’ve had all year.

    Now, on to the challenges of building from afar. Normally I would hop on a plane and consult on all the details and that won’t be happening. Our architect will be helping us and of course our daughter is there and will do video consultations when needed. Something to get excited about at last!

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  5. Suzanne said on June 24, 2020 at 9:50 am

    I can’t shake the feeling that we are living a dystopian novel.
    But I don’t like dystopian literature.

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  6. Jeff Borden said on June 24, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Isaac Asimov said many years ago, “The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’ ”

    And dog know we have an ignorant asshole in the Oval Office.

    This would’ve been my 30th year as a Cubs season ticketholder (nights, weekends and holidays only) until Covid-45 hit. It’s a 12- to 15-minute bicycle ride for me to Wrigley Field and I generally limit myself to two beers, which with tips still set me back $25. The tickets have soared in price every year, which is generally the rule of thumb for any athletic tickets.

    But at my age it is no fun sitting in a frigid seat for games in March and April when the wind is whipping off Lake Michigan, which is only a half-mile to the east. And the political activities of the Ricketts family, which owns the Cubs, is terribly distressing to me. One of them is tRumpy’s campaign finance chair and another is the governor of Nebraska, a right-wing knob who is promising to deny state funds to any municipality that requires face masks in public. I’m not at all sure I will continue.

    Yet on a fine summer day with the lake waters sparking in the sunshine and the ballpark filled with fans, it is an experience like no other. An example: A couple of years ago against the Washington Nationals, the Nats ace Max Scherzer had just utterly dominated the Cubs lineup and Chicago trailed 3-0 in the bottom of the ninth. A hapless reliever walked a batter and gave up a couple of singles to load the bases while collecting two outs. With the count 3-2, pinch hitter David Bote hit a grand slam. The crowd went crazy for a full 10 or 15 minutes. No one wanted to leave. Even typing this I get goosebumps at the memory. And THAT is why attending a game in person is sometimes worth every one of the hassles you alluded to above.


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  7. LAMary said on June 24, 2020 at 11:43 am

    With you 100% Suzanne. It’s not a good feeling.

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  8. Dave said on June 24, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    These seem like the worst times that any of us have ever seen. We’re all too young for WWII, the Depression, or the 1918 pandemic. We do have Vietnam, the protests of the 60’s, the civil rights movement, but all of this has hit us in bulk form, everything at once. That, added with the knowledge, good and bad, that we learn about almost as it happens, plus all the lies, nonsense, and utter garbage that gets posted elsewhere every hour, does nothing to ease our collective minds.

    Having the horrendous people in the national government does nothing to help ease our minds.

    I just clicked on 2018’s entry, Tired of this. Just the thing to read to tell us it can and did get worse.

    Enough, already.

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  9. Sherri said on June 24, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    I want anybody who thought 4 years ago “oh, it won’t be so bad, there are checks and balances” to apologize to those of us who recognized that yes, it was going to be that bad.

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  10. Deborah said on June 24, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    We haven’t had assassinations yet, but I wouldn’t make any bets that there won’t be.

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  11. Sherri said on June 24, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    Depends on how you define assassination, Deborah.

    The families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor might disagree.

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  12. Scout said on June 24, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Suzanne @#5 – Ditto. Even though I have much to be grateful for in terms of good health (so far) and having a job I can work from home, I find myself having the blues quite often. I know part of it is having to witness the absolute awfulness of so many selfish, belligerent and destructive assholes who are working against any kind of meaningful recovery from this whole mess. I miss my kids, my grandkids and especially my great grandies who aren’t even going to know me when I finally do get to see them.

    This gave me a chuckle, hope it cheers all of you up too, even if for just a moment.

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  13. Deborah said on June 24, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Sherri, I would call those cases straight up unadulterated murder. To me assasination is when a prominent figure is killed for their position of power or their political or cultural beliefs. I realize that to the families of those killed by the police there’s no difference.

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  14. Bitter Scribe said on June 24, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Jeff Borden @#6, I hear you about the Ricketts family. I keep trying to remind myself that they brought the Cubs their only World Series title for 100+ years, but almost everything about them, politically and personally, is just fucking awful.

    I’ve considered switching to the White Sox, but as you and all other Chicago baseball fans know, that’s the equivalent of a sex-change operation.

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  15. Icarus said on June 24, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    I can’t shake the feeling that we are living a dystopian novel.

    as a fan of dystopian literature, I would say we are living in the prequel phase. The part the protagonists look back on and say ‘this is how it all began.’

    Jeff Bordan @ 6: not to nitpick but Wrigley Field is a tad more than half a mile from the lake, or even the lakefront. But I’m with you…I decided a long time ago not to go to a sporting event unless it’s on someone else’s’ dime, like when my company bought tickets for a couple of outings at Wrigley and Sox Park in 2017 and 2018…or a very special occasion like my wife buying tickets for our whole family for the 2019 (?) Cubs vs Tigers in Detroit.

    Sherri @ 9: it was others saying Checks and Balances that talked me down from the ledge. I do think our Checks and Balances system has helped, just not in any measurable, noticeable way. Kinda like how seatbelts and airbags help against a garden variety car accident but were never designed to prevent a coked-up, blind drunk guy driving 110 mph in the wrong direction on a snowy downhill road aside a cliff.

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  16. Jeff Borden said on June 24, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    My ability to estimate distance is equal to my ability to pilot an F-35.

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  17. Deborah said on June 24, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    At the risk of showing how ignorant I am about these matters: let’s say Biden wins, the Dems flip the senate and the House stays a Dem majority, then can’t Biden fire a lot of Fed prosecutors and Fed attorney’s generals and their deputies (not states AGs of course) that got appointed by Trump? What about judges? I get that Scotus Justices can’t be fired, but can’t they add justices to the current 9? Can they add judges to the various Fed districts too?

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  18. Icarus said on June 24, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    How long is the term of a Supreme Court Justice?

    The Constitution states that Justices “shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour.” This means that the Justices hold office as long as they choose and can only be removed from office by impeachment.

    Has a Justice ever been impeached?

    The only Justice to be impeached was Associate Justice Samuel Chase in 1805. The House of Representatives passed Articles of Impeachment against him; however, he was acquitted by the Senate.


    I do seem to recall a history class where my prof said a sitting president could ask a SCOTUS to step down, but he/she is free to tell them to go to hell.

    Eric Zorn suggested that RBG should have stepped down during Obama years and let a younger, healthier liberal judge take her place.

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  19. Dexter Friend said on June 24, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Summer is here. I turned on Toledo 13 news to watch any updates on two bodies found in an apartment here, but there was live coverage of a shooting and perhaps a standoff, then they jumped to a story of a murder over on Detroit Street…half the time it’s either Detroit or Lagrange Streets.
    Football is sorta made for TV, but I always got my batteries charged by being there in Michigan Stadium. One thing…after many years, I can recall stuff I saw in person; events on TV blur into the past quicker…and in sports bars, notice next time: people are playing electronic games, talking…maybe one lone person is staring at a TV. I have concluded sports bars have TVs on simply to create an ambience, and to provide instant scores for gamblers to monitor.
    As one who , since 1963, has attended roughly 800 MLB games, in many many ballparks, I can say for me and baseball religionists like me, it’s just the only place I wanted to be if I was near a stadium. TV baseball is a great, wonderful substitute, but goddammitt, there is much more going on than seeing a pitcher’s ass as he stares in getting the catcher’s signals, and the hitter wagging a bat. There is constant defensive movement , there is a coach flashing signals, maybe even a dumb asshole running onto the field. I just like live action better. But now, for oldsters like me who just cannot afford to go, who can’t get comfortable in seating anymore, I am grateful I have TV for sports.
    And yeah, Carla Lee was transported to a rehab center near hear. And so, my older step-daughter called again to lay down the law as she sees it: sell our house and move to senior living in Las Vegas so she and her kid can help mom out. But like I reported earlier, after 72 hours I feel the Las Vegas crud engulfing me and I just wanna fly the fuck out of that furnace of a valley. 2 B continued….

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  20. Suzanne said on June 24, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    Here’s a complete jackass

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  21. LAMary said on June 24, 2020 at 11:36 pm

    I don’t gamble and I don’t drink so Vegas does not appeal to me at all. Every time I’ve been there it’s been on a freebie. All expenses paid. And I hated it every time.

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  22. basset said on June 24, 2020 at 11:49 pm

    We went to see the Cirque du Soleil Beatles show, then got the hell out of there and headed for Zion National Park up in Utah. Las Vegas ain’t, as Bill Monroe used to say, no part of nothin’.

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  23. Deborah said on June 25, 2020 at 7:05 am

    I’m not a Vegas fan either, I can’t imagine having to live there, or Florida. I spent my childhood in Florida, no thanks. I had to go to Vegas for work a few times and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. My husband has horror stories about Las Vegas when he was working on a design project for MGM Grand there.

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  24. Dorothy said on June 25, 2020 at 7:15 am

    My son got married in Vegas in 2012 and as much as I enjoyed the family experience and was happy with the event itself, I really didn’t find Vegas appealing. Once was enough to find out what it was like, but I don’t need to do that again to reinforce my already negative feelings about the place. My husband wants to go back, and I’ll happily wave good-bye to him when he heads to the gate at the airport.

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  25. Peter said on June 25, 2020 at 7:48 am

    Bitter @ #14; I’m the only White Sox fan in my extended family, but I respect my in-law’s Cub fandom – my brother in law said that he hates the Sox so much he wouldn’t cheer for them even if they were playing the Packers.

    But switching from the Cubs to the Sox because of ownership? You don’t like the Ricketts so you’ll go with Jerry Reinsdorf? Hoo boy…

    I give the Ricketts credit for putting a lot of money into the franchise and Wrigley Field. Sure they’re getting a great return on investment, but the Wrigley Co. and Tribune made a lot of money off of the Cubs as well, and they didn’t put nearly as much into it as the Ricketts.

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  26. Suzanne said on June 25, 2020 at 8:13 am

    No interest in Vegas, either. I have been in casinos several times when we’ve been near one for other reasons (French Lick, Lake Tahoe) but I only played a slot machine once and that was enough. Won $5. I can play games on my computer for nothing so I don’t really get it. My parents went to the casino in Michigan City, IN all the time. I never did understand the lure, but to each his own, as they say.

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  27. Mark P said on June 25, 2020 at 8:45 am

    At least at Lake Tahoe if you walk out of one of the casinos you’re in the middle of a beautiful area and the weather is great great all year long. Even in the winter if it’s not snowing it’s pleasant outside. At Vegas you’re in the middle of a barren wasteland where no one would want to be if they didn’t have a gambling problem.

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  28. Suzanne said on June 25, 2020 at 8:58 am

    Mark P, no kidding! We were in Tahoe for a wedding and I marveled that with all that gorgeous scenery anybody would want to be sitting in a casino. I’d love to go back someday.

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  29. Deborah said on June 25, 2020 at 9:38 am

    It’s stories like this that make me happy to vote for Biden, not just against Trump, read the whole thread, it’s long but worth it https://twitter.com/amandalitman/status/1275845500189761539
    I was disappointed that Biden was going to be the nominee but now I’m relieved, he’s really the right person, right now, when we need the healing.

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  30. Heather said on June 25, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Yes, Lake Tahoe is really nice. I was there for a week for a family reunion several years ago and never saw in the inside of a casino. Lots to do and see.

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  31. LAMary said on June 25, 2020 at 11:42 am

    I hope Biden surrounds himself with good people when he’s elected. Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Yang, Amy Klobuchar and other smart, savvy people. I think he will.

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  32. 4dbirds said on June 25, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    I love playing poker and will spend hours playing it in a casino. I will go to Vegas every third year or so to play an event in The World Series of Poker. When there, I usually go to a high end restaurant and indulge. I like the pools there too and if its not too crowded and I can find a shady place, I enjoy reading a book while covered from head to toe. I don’t play any other games or slot machines. Poker is the only game where the house has no advantage what-so-ever. It is mainly math, risk and reward percentages with a tiny bit of bluffing, not nearly what the movies want you to believe. I don’t think I’ll be playing poker for quite a while. It is a dirty/unsanitary game even in the healthiest of times. You are packed tightly around a table, people are talking, coughing, sneezing, eating, drinking, touching and playing with chips and cards. Nope Nope Nope, not going to a casino to play for maybe a couple of years. Luckily there are a couple of small online sites that still let Americans play.

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  33. LAMary said on June 25, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    Disney is dismantling its Splash Mountain ride, removing all the Song of the South stuff and replacing it with Princess and the Frog as the theme. The park isn’t opening mid July as they previously announced. The park employees, referred to by Disney as “cast members,” complained about the unsatisfactory health and safety precautions and the state of CA has not given the go ahead for reopening. To me, Disney is sort of like Vegas. I don’t get the appeal. It’s incredibly expensive, the lines are long. My kids never liked it when they were of the age that should. They preferred the old fashioned Santa Monica Pier with a roller coaster, very cool ferris wheel, and games where you can win stuff. They had no interest in talking to a giant Goofy.

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  34. 4dbirds said on June 25, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    You and I agree on Disney, LAMary. Well all amusement parks for me. Hate the lines, hate the crowds, hate the heat and the rides make me sick to my stomach.

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  35. LAMary said on June 25, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Right now the rates for a ticket, a one day ticket to Disneyland is 180-260 dollars. So if a family of four goes they’re not getting out for less than about 900 bucks. That’s if they don’t eat or buy any souvenirs.

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  36. Deborah said on June 25, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    Ditto on Disneyland/World. I don’t get the appeal. When LB was 5 we went to Disney World in the summer, it was hot as hell and all LB wanted to do was go back to the motel and swim in the pool. My sister and her family loved it, my Dad too. I never understood why. They all thought I was nuts.

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  37. beb said on June 25, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    The Dixie Chicks have decided that maybe “Dixie” isn’t something to be proud do, so now they are “The Chicks.” I am proud of them for taking that stand. I just wonder isn’t “chicks” a derogatory term as well?

    There was also some controversy over the singing of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” a wonderful Negro spiritual. I think it was being used as an anthem at some football team.

    There was an interesting article about the conflict between Liberty and Equality. The Constitution essentially guarantees both but often liberty is seen rights of an individual over the community while equality emphasis the community over the individual. Liberty says a person has the right to become a billionaire while equality says we should tax the rich to feed the poor. The question isn’t whether one is better than the other so much as how do we balance the two.

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  38. Julie Robinson said on June 25, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    In Orlando, a LOT of people buy annual passes. Our daughter’s group of friends have young kids, so when they come to town they go to Disney. She says if you go twice it pays for the annual pass. She hears a lot of “we paid thousands of dollars so you will have fun” through gritted teeth, sees a lot of meltdowns.

    Universal has a younger and hipper vibe and our son has his annual pass there. I think that’s going to change, as he’s dating a Disney employee.

    Me, I’ve got bad feet and am much more interested in seeing the sun set over our little lake. Or maybe buy a few more theatre tickets.

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  39. David C said on June 25, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    I always figured Disney World was as boring as Mickey Mouse cartoons. Seriously, has anyone ever laughed at a Mickey Mouse cartoon?

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  40. LAMary said on June 25, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    Lots of people here have annual passes and if you look around a parking lot here you see plenty of cars with a mouse ear shaped sticker that says they have purchased an annual parking pass at Disneyland. I no, I’ve never laughed at a Mickey Mouse cartoon. They’re lame. I have enjoyed Pinocchio. The animation in that movie is pretty spectacular. Interesting since old Walt was an anti-Semite and he hired all these German and Austrian Jewish refugee artists to work on his films. Give me Warner Brothers cartoons any day. Daffy and Bugs were far superior to any Disneys. The smartass stuff really appealed to me as a child.

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  41. Colleen said on June 25, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    I like Vegas. I just go with it and enjoy it for what it is. It’s kind of fun to be somewhere so over the top.
    I also like Florida. Since we moved here three years ago, my depression has been SO much better. Funny what not living under a permanent gray cloud in the winter can do for one’s mood. And i like heat and hate cold. So it works for me.
    But I don’t get Disney. Seems too much like forced fun.

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  42. Jessica Weissman said on June 25, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    A decade or so ago I did some work at one of the theme parks in Orlando, helping them set up a skills management system to improve retention.

    Every Friday I’d fly home to DC, sharing the plane with families who had been at the parks for a week. LOTS of the kids were overwhelmed and miserable after having had so much intense fun. Most of the parents were just not up to controlling the kids after all that fun.

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  43. Deborah said on June 25, 2020 at 8:28 pm

    We’re back in Abiquiu but just for one night, because of scheduling complications.

    Our car fix turned out just how we thought, they can’t find anything wrong. The car stalls out then the engine light turns on, then it starts up a little while later but the engine light stays on.

    Then when my husband started the car up to take it in, no engine light. He still took it in and supposedly they checked it all out and found nothing wrong. As I said the last (first) time this happened they said it was a computer glitch, had to special order a part to fix it, that was a few months ago. Anyway, we don’t feel confident that this won’t keep happening.

    It’s very dry here, June is the driest month but May was too, so it’s brutal. Plants are gasping, we cart water in each time we come for our Russian sages. I’m afraid they’re not going to make it unless we get a good monsoon season this summer. Fingers crossed.

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  44. nancy said on June 25, 2020 at 10:11 pm

    My best friend had a high-school acquaintance who married “her best friend,” and then they went off to Disney World for their honeymoon.

    They loved it so much that they — get ready — relocated to Orlando. Then they bought some sort of year-round pass, and god knows what that cost. They started going every day, or close to every day, eating most meals in the restaurants, etc. The “cast members” befriended them. They were so totally immersed in the Disney experience they might as well have been Snow White and Goofy themselves. Chose to remain childless, so they could keep on being kids themselves.

    “What the hell,” I asked my BF. She shrugged and said she couldn’t explain it, but she was absolutely, positively sure that the husband was gay.

    As for me, I always thought it would be interesting to embed with a team that designs roller coasters, and write a book about the entire process, from market research to the first ride. They’re so much more complex than they were when I was a kid, and technology is embedded in truly amazing ways.

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  45. Julie Robinson said on June 25, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    It’s a weird thing. Before he changed jobs, our son worked near Universal and went there twice a week to walk. It was a group of friends who played tennis two days a week, and walked at Universal two days.

    And you know they break the annual pass into monthly payment plans with reduced costs for accepting some blackout days. Then you also get your Magic Band for the Fast Pass system, and you can go the special seasonal events, and find your favorite restaurant, and on and on.

    But there’s an entire portion of Orlando that was there before the mouse, and that’s where our home is.

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  46. Suzanne said on June 25, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    The book Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire by Kurt Andersen has a whole section on the Disneyworld & adults phenomenon. It’s kind of creepy.

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  47. LAMary said on June 25, 2020 at 11:34 pm

    A former co worker’s daughter went to Disneyland for her honeymoon. I asked the co worker why someone would want to go to a child oriented place to do some seriously adult things? Not just sex, but being married. My co worker thought it was sweet. I think my grand niece went to Disneyworld for her honeymoon. She’s from the “how am I related to these people?” side of my family. She just told me she’s getting a divorce.

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  48. beb said on June 26, 2020 at 12:49 am

    Deborah @43 – ditch the car. I had an Alliance that developed that problem. The engine would just stop and moment later it would start again but there was no rhyme nor reason for it. I took to several mechanics and could find anything wrong. A comment years later suggested that a cracked block was leaking radiator fluid causing a momentary short. I don’t know. But with no one able to find a problem you’re left with replacing the engine or replacing the car.

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  49. Dexter Friend said on June 26, 2020 at 1:31 am

    Tahoe is a magical place, that first view from way up high on a mountain is stunning. I then became disillusioned when at the shore the water was all polluted by construction waste and old rotted boards and crap.
    It’s been 50 ears, er…years since I went to Disneyland. It was on my early “bucket list”; that’s why I had to go by myself, as I worked in the army hospital in Monterey and my friends and I all worked fractured schedules with different days off. So, like a big fucking weird nerd, I went to Disneyland by myself just to see it…that or never ever go at all. In 1986 we did it right at DisneyWorld; my daughter was 8. Perfect. My fondest memory: the smorgasbord at the Scandinavian pavilion in Epcot. Remember, I wrote yesterday I have been to 800 MLB games and still hunger for them. Well, once was enough for both Disney extravaganzas. However, until I was 40, I was crazy for roller coasters. My first was as Santa Cruz…that amusement park has been there like forever. Cedar Point, King’s Island…wherever a roller coaster was , I’d seek it out. Now…sheeee-itt…that’s a kid’s game. I’d just fucking die on a roller coaster.

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  50. jerry said on June 26, 2020 at 1:49 am

    Ben @ 37: England rugby fans have adopted Swing Low as their anthem. Apparently it goes back to a very talented England player, Martin Offiah, whose nickname was Chariot (Chariot of Fire) and fans would serenade him with it.

    Never been to any of the Disney places but a couple of years ago we took our six year old grandson to Legoland. It was not too crowded, it was during term time, but a very hot day. He enjoyed it but it seemed to be full of signs which might just as well have read “This way to the merchandise” – my niece and her children love it but I don’t have any plans to revisit.

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  51. jerry said on June 26, 2020 at 1:50 am

    Or even Beb – blame fat fingers, old eyes and poor proof reading

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  52. BigHank53 said on June 26, 2020 at 4:19 am

    I’ve met a few people who worked at Disney parks, and that always seemed more interesting than attending as a guest. Two of ’em were trained performers (dance for one, clown school for the other) and they spent a lot of inside character costumes. The other worked in food service, and a bunch of the stuff that Disney does is just nuts. The parks consume so much food they eventually got a full-time broker on the Board of Trade, buying beef and lettuce and potato futures so they’d never be short of junk food to stuff into tourists.

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  53. Colleen said on June 26, 2020 at 8:20 am

    Beb! I once had an Alliance. The headlights used to just go out willy nilly as I was driving down the road. This was when I worked nights, so it was especially problematic.

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  54. David C said on June 26, 2020 at 8:27 am

    I had a Renault Fuego. I think those were worse than Alliances. I was on a first name basis the service writer at the AMC dealer. That’s not anything that’s particularly good.

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  55. Mark P said on June 26, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Dexter, my first view of Tahoe was after riding my motorcycle from Pennsylvania. I had just spent most of two days riding across Utah and Nevada in July. It was hot and desolate. I stopped at the top of the pass from Carson City to eat some lunch and the scent of the pines was overwhelming. It was like going from hell to heaven.

    I was there from July 1976 to the end of 1977. Then at least they were very strict about things like construction runoff because everything that happens in the basin ends up in the lake. They were very concerned about maintaining the water quality. I’m surprised crap would end up anywhere near the lake.

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  56. Jeff Borden said on June 26, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Michigan residents. Just saw this story this morning about a massive annual party on Lake St. Claire? I’d never heard of it.


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  57. nancy said on June 26, 2020 at 9:35 am

    I went to Jobbie Nooner last year. This year, wouldn’t come within 100 yards of it in full PPE.

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  58. LAMary said on June 26, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Harking back to the hostess’s Icelandic vacation, here is what would have been Iceland’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest, an annual must see event at Casa LAMary.


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  59. Julie Robinson said on June 26, 2020 at 11:50 am

    That’s got to be a parody, right? Ironic? It certainly is hilarious, between the costumes, painted cardboard instruments, and the crowd going crazy at the “choreography”.

    Netflix has a movie about Eurovision dropping today. Maybe someone here with Netflix can watch and tell me if it’s worth the time, or if it’s more like the other 98% of Will Ferrell movies I’ve seen. There’s Elf, and then there’s…well, I’m not sure if there are any others that are even semi-okay.

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  60. Deggjr said on June 26, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    We’ve been to Disney World twice, both times on ‘bring your family’ business trips. The first trip seemed creepy with all the animatronic talking heads looking at me and speaking to me.

    The second time our kids were rounding into interesting people. Time in line together became quality family time. That trip is a great memory.

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  61. Sherri said on June 26, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    “I have rape-colored skin. My light-brown-blackness is a living testament to the rules, the practices, the causes of the Old South.

    If there are those who want to remember the legacy of the Confederacy, if they want monuments, well, then, my body is a monument. My skin is a monument.”


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  62. Scout said on June 26, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    Disney, Universal = places I avoid. I have never understood the attraction of paying through the nose to mingle in huge, rude crowds. Vegas holds even less appeal, it’s just gross. It’s a spectacle at night, but walk the strip in the daytime and it’s seedy. Give me a couple weeks in Barcelona or Siena or on Maui. Those are my happy places.

    Three days after schmoozing with sHitler, McSilly and a few assorted R congressional halfwits, maskless and with no distancing, our idiot Gov Douchey is now begging people to wear masks and stay home as AZ becomes one of the country’s biggest hotspots. It doesn’t take a stable genius to realize that what FL, TX and AZ all have in common are ass kissing R Govs who pushed to reopen too early and then refused to enforce common sense measures.

    It’s depressing to live in a state that is trending on twitter for the MAGAchurch rally on Tuesday plus the anti-mask protest in Scottsdale, where a city council member started his speech saying “I can’t breathe.”

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  63. Sherri said on June 26, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Speaking of the Trump rally in Arizona, can anyone explain to me why a church could host a campaign rally for a candidate? I mean, it was pretty explicitly a campaign event, right?

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  64. susan said on June 26, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Speaking of the Chicks (beb @37), this gave me goose bumps.

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  65. LAMary said on June 26, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    Julie, I think Will Ferrell is playing the lead singer in that Icelandic group in the Netflix movie.

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  66. Jakash said on June 26, 2020 at 3:31 pm


    I’m with you regarding Will Ferrell, but I’d put “Stranger than Fiction” on the very short list. 🙂

    As for today’s… no, thanks.

    “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga contains inspired ingredients and laugh-out-loud moments, but they’re outnumbered by the flat stretches in this overlong comedy.”


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  67. Peter said on June 26, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    Oh my God – my first car was a Renault Alliance as well – my second car was a Honda Accord only because every week I heard my wife say “You know, if we had a Honda Accord, we wouldn’t have a problem with (fill in that week’s disaster).

    In the How Times Have Changed Department: One of the ’85 Bears said that when he was drafted and signed with the team, he took his ENTIRE signing bonus (minus taxes) and bought a new car – a 1983 Renault Alliance Sedan, but it was a manual – he didn’t have enough money for an automatic.

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  68. LAMary said on June 26, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    Long time ago a guy I worked with bought a Renault Le Car. Within a few months he was referring to it as Le Shit.

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  69. Julie Robinson said on June 26, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    Stranger Than Fiction completely escaped my memory, and even after reading its IMDB entry I barely remember it. Maybe I’ll watch it again. And I also spy Dan Stevens in the Eurovision movie, yet another actor who left his hit TV show for a series of forgettable movies.

    TGIF I guess, but we’re going to work on my mom’s storage unit #1 so I can’t say I’m thrilled.

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  70. beb said on June 26, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Nancy @57 – Damn Straight! All those “Early Open” states have exploding levels of new Covid cases. Back to hunkering down.

    The governor of New Jersay has asked that anyone coming from a high Covid area (like Arizona) quarantine for two weeks. Trump, who just left Arizina, is refusing to, because he’s not a “civilian.” He’s not in the military so he must be a civilian. Just I wish I could see a governor surround an airport with State Police to tell Trump that he’s not welcome there and will not be allowed to leave the grounds.

    I wonder if the Governor of New Jersay could make an emergency declaimation to close golf courses since Trump has come to play golf.

    Some people are saying that Trump will resign before November to avoid the sting of defeat. Why can’t he retire NOW and spare us all the grief?

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  71. Suzanne said on June 26, 2020 at 5:53 pm


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  72. David C said on June 26, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    Most US residents will be banned from the EU. So much winning.


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  73. Deborah said on June 26, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Well I’m glad this guy finally got a conscience in 2008 but holy crap he caused a lot of pain https://twitter.com/wendellpotter/status/1276158510955401216

    You have to read the whole thread.

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  74. beb said on June 26, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    I’m sorry but Wendell Potter’s apology comes 12 years and tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths too late.

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  75. Deborah said on June 26, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    I can’t wait to go to France again. They won’t even let Americans go there right now. Hopefully in the fall but that’s even doubtful now.

    Our fence repair on the south side of the condo building in Santa Fe is close to being complete. It looks so much better, it has been leaning-in ever since we got here 8 years ago to the day yesterday. We’re having a bit of a celebration tonight to mark 8 years since we’ve had a presence here in New Mexico. Hard to believe it’s been this long. Time flies. I remarked tonight that I’m going to be 70 my next birthday and we ended up playing the Simon and Garfunkel piece “Old Friends” and of course had to wipe tears away as it played. But here we are.

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  76. Deborah said on June 26, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    Question: Do any of you have Xfinity mobile? We have AT&T and it seems exorbitant, always going up. I returned our cable box at the Xfinity store today because we quit cable in Santa Fe and they were promoting their mobile capabilities. It sounds more affordable, but I hadn’t heard anything about this until today so I’m trying to find out more about it. I’ve checked online but of course they make it sound fantastic. Would love to hear from someone who has it and can confirm that it works well and has extensive reach. I can’t find anything about its availability while in Europe either.

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  77. LAMary said on June 26, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    ATT is so hateable. Right now I’m trying to take my son, his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s mother off my account. They want off too. I added them all years ago when the girlfriend and her mom weren’t able to get their own account, and they’ve been paying me for their share every month, so no real complaints other than they’re ready to get their own account and keep their same phone numbers. My son and I have been trying for three months to get them switched. The most recent attempt had us passed along four times through different customer service people. The final one said we needed to go to a specific ATT website to do it. I went through lots of screens, lots of steps to get to a screen that said I was not eligible to transfer billing because I had services other than mobile phones on my billing. I don’t. I got rid of ATT for my landline, internet and satellite three years ago. So after TWO HOURS I got booted out. Unbelievable. Then of course I got a survey email asking me about each of the service reps we spoke to. I hate ATT. Deeply.

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  78. Dexter Friend said on June 27, 2020 at 4:08 am

    Scout at 62: I never realized what a fantastic city Barcelona is until I watched “Ride with Norman Reedus” when he motorcycled around there. What a cool-lookin’ place.

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  79. Deborah said on June 27, 2020 at 8:04 am

    I’m going through another high anxiety phase. I woke up at 1:50 this morning and never went back to sleep. Everything I read on the news is horrifying yet I can’t stop looking at it. It’s just amazing to me that anyone would vote for a republican, ever. They’ve been wrong about absolutely everything.

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  80. Suzanne said on June 27, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Deborah, for many Trumpers, especially evangelicals, it isn’t about right or wrong, isn’t about what you can clearly see. They believe this is an epic spiritual battle. Trump is fighting for their side. Their side is white, Christian nationalism which they think is what God wants. They believe if they stay the course, although there appears to be death & destruction now, they will win in the end.
    Take a listen to this. It’s only a few minutes.

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  81. Connie said on June 27, 2020 at 9:06 am

    Nancy, are you still working for MACRA? Their Facebook voice has really amped up lately due to the issue of the Confederate veteran and slave child in the Allendale Veterans Memorial.

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  82. susan said on June 27, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Consumer Reports ranks AT&T dead last as a cell phone service provider.

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  83. Deborah said on June 27, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    If you haven’t read this yet, do. It’s extremely powerful https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/opinion/confederate-monuments-racism.html#click=https://t.co/nJFuVQahth It’s in the NYT, so paywall, but you get a few free clicks.

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  84. Heather said on June 27, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    Wendell Potter has acted as a whistleblower against health insurance companies for years and currently fights for healthcare insurance reform, so I’d say he’s atoned for his past actions.

    The Chicago equivalent of Jobbie Nooner is probably the Playpen–an informal gathering of boats across from Ohio Street Beach downtown, where young folks use water taxies and dinghies to boat-hop and get hammered. And it happens every weekend at least! Or used to–Lori Lightfoot has said not this summer. https://blockclubchicago.org/2020/05/22/chicagos-playpen-closed-to-boats-this-summer-lightfoot-says/

    On the other hand, enforcement of the beaches being closed is practically nil, so who knows if they’re bothering with watercraft. I rode my bike to the beach Thursday afternoon and there were plenty of people and monitors just hanging out. To be fair, what could they do? Parking is blocked off so at least that keeps the numbers down I don’t get freaked out being on the beach (obviously since I went), as long as they aren’t totally crammed, but I did see a bunch of young men playing basketball and sans masks to boot. Sigh.

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  85. Julie Robinson said on June 27, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Today was a complete disaster in trying to clear out my mom’s crap. We were supposed to go to storage unit #1 but couldn’t even finish the garage. She only slept three hours, working herself up all night, and started stuttering almost immediately. She only stutters when she’s very upset. She almost had a meltdown when I went through a box without her, thinking she was going to lose something precious.

    95% of her stuff is old clothes, books, newspapers and magazines, VHS tapes recorded from TV, cassette tapes, and the like. Totally worthless, but she has to curate each item as if museum quality.

    Sometimes the idea of getting her moved down to Orlando feels hopeless.

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  86. Heather said on June 27, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    I posted earlier but I think it got eaten or stuck in moderation. Anyway, Wendell Potter has been a whistleblower exposing health insurance companies as well as an advocate for health insurance reform for many years, so I would say he has atoned for his sins.


    I think the Chicago equivalent of Jobbie Nooner would be the Playpen. It’s an ad hoc gathering of boats across from Ohio Street Beach every weekend, where people boat-hop using dinghies or water taxies. Lori Lightfoot has said it’s not happening this year, but she also said the beaches are closed, and let’s just say enforcement is lax, so I doubt the police are monitoring watercraft closely. But who knows.


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  87. Deborah said on June 28, 2020 at 11:27 am

    The Playpen is usually right across from our building in Chicago, it stretches from about Walton or Delaware to Navy Pier. It’s loud and raucous and invariably someone dies each year there from a combo of drinking and irresponsible boating. The boat police usually break it up around 6 pm thank goodness.

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  88. Sherri said on June 28, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    This is what a modern day snake-handling church looks like.


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  89. basset said on June 28, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    “Everyone entering the building for the service is required to touch the ham before entering the building…”

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  90. susan said on June 28, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    “Anyone refusing to touch the ham outside the front church doors is not permitted to enter the building.
    GBC reserves the right to allow any Orthodox or Hasidic Jew to enter without touching the ham.”

    Hmmm. What about Muslims…oh, wait. Never mind. What was I thinking.

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  91. annnie said on June 28, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    Is this a joke? What does “touching the ham” mean?

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  92. David C said on June 28, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    I think it was Newt Gingrich who suggested the way to keep Muslims out of the country was to make everyone entering eat a ham sandwich. It’s just stupid moronic shit from stupid morons.

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