Another exhausting week behind us, a semi-exhausting weekend ditto, and another exhausting week ahead. I’m planning to return to the office for one of my jobs, and maybe the other, but only one day a week, and only if it feels OK. As is happening elsewhere in this stupid-ass country, cases are on their way back up. One bar – one! – in East Lansing was the center of 80-some positive COVID tests. A student dive, of course, the sort of place where, if you’re close to my age, you might have attended a drink-and-drown night in the pre-Mothers Against Drunk Driving days.

The bar owner say They Did Everything Right – and you know it’s true, because they told Mitch Albom – but The Customers, They Just Wouldn’t Listen. OK, whatever. The horses are out of the barn now, anyway, and one galloped all the way to Grosse Pointe, where we had our own mini-spike in the young-adult crowd last week, culminating in 23 new cases confirmed on Friday. One of the bar patrons had his own rager the previous weekend, while symptomatic, and apparently infected a bunch of other people. Oy.

We ate dinner out Friday on a patio, but I’m wondering if even that is safe enough, in these conditions. Might be back to pizza and carryout and my own cooking for the foreseeable future. I did get an antibody test, as part of my blood-donation testing last week. Negative. Probably wouldn’t hurt to hit one of the drive-through test sites one of these days, too.

At least it’s summer, and it’s been pretty, so let’s do some pictures, eh?

Driving home from the market, I glanced right and saw this street:

The crop is a little unfair; there’s an abandoned house just out of frame to the left. What caught my eye was that massive willow tree, and the very saturated green-ness on an overcast morning. The remains of the sidewalk on the right side remind us that once upon a time, this was a residential city street and didn’t always look like rural Mississippi. There’s more housing just beyond the green, but needless to say, this isn’t the fancy neighborhood. Although I turned 90 degrees to the right and spotted this streetlight something-or-other:

Check out that brickwork. Once upon a time, we were a country that believed there was nothing wrong with making a public building beautiful, even a utility center. During the worst of the Detroit-is-crumbling era before the bankruptcy, a local TV reporter did a piece on streetlights, most of which were decades old and didn’t work. Some circuits were so old they had to be turned on manually, as in someone had to show up and throw the switch; this building looks from that era.

That was a weird time, especially in winter. Driving through some neighborhoods was like entering the haunted forest, it was so dark. Not anymore, though – new LED lights everywhere. When LED streetlights fail, they sometimes start strobing, I have since learned. People online call this their disco period. Very festive.

Saturday morning market:

#NoFilter. And mine, all mine. We put some of them on cake Saturday night and drank too much wine. Hey, it’s mojito season.

Finally, a Sunday bike ride before it got too hot:

A rod on every post at the fishing pier. This is my turnaround. Seeing the water always gives me a lift.

So, bloggage? Some.

Neil Steinberg offers some talking points on how to respond to your terrible friends and relatives asking about black crime in Chicago.

When Sherri floated the possibility that Trump might resign ahead of the election and cut a deal with Pence to pardon him, I thought, yeah interesting, and Alan said no way. Maybe not so no-way anymore. The president is losing, and it’s starting to dawn on him:

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale was blamed internally for the Tulsa rally failure. Some people complained about him trumpeting that 1 million people had requested tickets, a boast that fell flat when thousands of seats sat empty during Trump’s speech.

Parscale has been a target of some Trump allies who argue the campaign is lacking a coherent strategy and direction. But people close to the president insist that Parscale’s job is safe for now. Trump, who visited the campaign’s Arlington, Virginia headquarters a few months ago, has told people he came away impressed with the sophistication of the organization.

Oh, he was impressed? That changes everything.

Finally, a little good news for you boaters, out of Buenos Aires:

Days after Argentina canceled all international passenger flights to shield the country from the new coronavirus, Juan Manuel Ballestero began his journey home the only way possible: He stepped aboard his small sailboat for what turned out to be an 85-day odyssey across the Atlantic.

The 47-year-old sailor could have stayed put on the tiny Portuguese island of Porto Santo, to ride out the era of lockdowns and social distancing in a scenic place largely spared by the virus. But the idea of spending what he thought could be “the end of the world” away from his family, especially his father who was soon to turn 90, was unbearable.

So he said he loaded his 29-foot sailboat with canned tuna, fruit and rice and set sail in mid-March.

Twenty-nine feet isn’t much larger than ours. I can’t imagine doing this. But then, I’m not Juan Manuel Ballestero, brave mariner.

So come on then, week ahead.

Posted at 6:32 pm in Current events, Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |

111 responses to “Super-spreaders.”

  1. Brian stouder said on June 28, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    These are strange days indeed, and we have an incompetent (at best) national executive who is not asking the right questions nor tending toward the right direction; indeed, in golf terms, we seem to be on an errant tee shot. Forget the rough – we seem to be into the pond and in need of a penalty drop. And indeed, here comes the Second Wave of Covid-19, just in time to derail another school year (for example) and wrench the election process*. All hyperbole aside, these times are easily the most trying of my adult life…..and (one has the feeling) we ain’t seen nuthin’, yet…. * I say, we held national elections during the American civil war, and nobody better try to wrench them in 2020….

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  2. Suzanne said on June 28, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    I do not believe this is the second wave of COVID. We haven’t come through the first yet. School in the fall will be a nightmare and I am glad my children are done with all that, although now I worry about their jobs. Our niece is just a few years out of college and was recently laid off.

    People are just so selfish and stupid. Last weekend, my husband’s sister & her daughter & daughter’s boyfriend came to visit the elderly parents. So what did the 3 of them do Saturday night? Visited a bar until the wee hours of the morning.
    Other sister-in-law’s two adult children are coming from out of town next weekend so she wants us all to get together! Spread the COVID from state to state. That’s the way to do it.

    Also, do watch the documentary Athlete A on Netflix. The star of the show is really the journalists from the Indy Star who broke the USA Gymnastics story. It proves why we need journalists.

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 28, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    Second peak of first wave.

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  4. Deborah said on June 28, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    As I’m sure you all are experiencing this too, I was surprised that Nancy had a new post on a Friday evening. But of course it’s Sunday. I have lost all track of time. I thought this would happen when I retired but it didn’t, somehow I always knew what day of the week it was even in Abiquiu until the quarantine started. At least that’s how I remember it.

    This latest scandal with Pootie and the bounties seems pretty fricking damning for Trump. We’ll see how it effects his campaign. Not hearing any concern by the craven Republican legislators though. They are so stuck with him.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on June 28, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    A long, hot and exhausting weekend here too, but the picture of strawberries reminded me that we’ve had local berries three weeks in a row from the farmers’ market up the road. And they were Omigod good.

    We’ve had strawberry shortcake, strawberries with angel food cake, strawberries in fruit salad, strawberry compote over french toast, strawberry rhubarb crumble, but no strawberry pie. We froze three quarts, and took some to a family member who repaid us with strawberry jam.

    Next up: blueberries, tomatoes and sweet corn, oh baby. These are the compensations of living in the midwest.

    My sewing machine has rebelled from making masks, and has to go in for a spa treatment. And I’m trying a different grocery store for pickup. Life is so exciting.

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  6. LAMary said on June 28, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    The only excitement here, and excitement is not the right word, really, is that my ex butt dialed me and while it was not a warm and friendly call, it was not like the last call we had three years ago.
    My sons are both gainfully employed. One doing Postmates in posh neighborhoods and getting 80 dollar tips and the other selling merch to bands. He’s killing it. They also will build a website for the band. They sell t shirts, buttons, mugs and…wait for it…masks. You can get death metal band mask. I noticed that the African American guy who won a congressional primary in NY the other day was wearing a Wu Tang Clan mask, so it’s a trend.

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  7. beb said on June 28, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    That saturated green of the willow tops street is what I like best about spring. After a dread grey winter that burst of color, the intensity of always lifts my spirits (later comes lawn mowing with is not as uplifting…)

    I don’t drive around Detroit all that much but even so there are some many incredible buildings out there, mostly abandoned, always run down but with such fascinating brick work. Supposedly it’s more expensive than building a shoebox style building but I think the extra details makes them not just a building but a striking building. If I weren’t so lazy I would go around and pictures of some of these buildings and post them somewhere (I do have a Flickr account) but, alas, I am lazy.

    Hmmmm. Strawberries and the small juicy ones to boot!

    It’s strange to see all these fishing poles set out there and nary a fisherman in sight. I’m sure they were just out of range but the lack of people is so 2020.

    It’s hard to me to believe that Trump would quit ahead of the election. That would make him a quitter instead of a loser. I’m not sure which he would consider worse. Of course quitting to get pardoned by Pence might be the only way for Trump to avoid prison (or suminary execution for treason (that Putin paying bounties thing).

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  8. Mark P said on June 28, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    Have you seen the Trump campaign ads? They’re hitting Biden for his support of crime bills that disproportionately hit blacks. Are they so deluded they think African Americans are going to vote for Trump because of that?

    I have seen our appointed senator Kelli Loeffler’s ads crowing that she was totally exonerated on the trumped-up accusations of the liberal media, but very carefully never mentioning what she was accused of.

    Mask wearing at Walmart was slightly higher today than the last time I was there.

    Brian, we’re not in the pond, or even on the golf course. The ball landed in the parking lot of an abandoned shopping mall six blocks away and rolled under a burned-out dumpster.

    And yes, we are still in the first wave, a fact that might be dawning in the dim mental recesses of several Republican governors who thought the pandemic was over.

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  9. Ann said on June 29, 2020 at 12:01 am

    Last night I was waiting for Nancy to chime in on the Grosse Pte situation and had the opposite reaction from Deborah–that’s right, it’s not Sunday yet. I’m joining the crowd that says we should stop talking about waves, which imply an ebb and a flow, a peak and a valley. Instead let’s talk about dry tinder on the forest floor, which is what we all are until the vaccine fog comes in and we won’t be so dry, or something. We’re staying right where we are until then, except that we have to go back to Chicago for a couple of weeks in August to pack up the condo to move to our new place up here. I adore Chicago. But my mother is here, the dog and my husband love it here, my brother is buying a retirement place here, and I can bear the winters better if we have a winter place where I don’t have to worry about five day power outages (this last winter) or a month of hanging a space heater in the crawl space so the pipes don’t freeze (winter before last). And some of the things I really love to do in Chicago–take the el to the loop and take photos of the Thanksgiving Day parade–aren’t as attractive as they used to be. So at least I’ll be a swing state voter before November. Wish me luck.

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  10. basset said on June 29, 2020 at 12:20 am

    Nance, next time you go by the fishing dock ask the out of picture fishermen what they’re catching.

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  11. Mark P said on June 29, 2020 at 12:43 am

    Ann, there was some expectation that there would be waves, that the cases would ebb during summer just like the flu, and then come back in the winter. It’s not looking so much like that at this point. There’s so much about this virus that is not like the flu. It was probably a mistake to make any comparisons since we knew so little, but even real-life experts thought it would behave in at least a somewhat similar fashion. I keep hoping that there will be a safe and effective vaccine within a year or so, but I am not convinced it will happen. I don’t think we know even now how long people who have recovered will be immune, and that does not bode well for a vaccine.

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  12. LAMary said on June 29, 2020 at 1:12 am

    The strawberries here are hit and miss. I had some about two weeks ago that were fabulous. The basket I bought on Saturday not so much. I got some red plums from Costco and made the plum torte recipe from the NYT. It’s one of their most popular recipes and I kept intending to make it but a plum loving member of the household usually ate the plums before I got to them. Not this time. Made it today and it is so good. The tart red plums worked well. It’s already half gone.

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  13. Sherri said on June 29, 2020 at 1:23 am

    You may have seen the video of the white couple waving their guns around at the BLM protestors marching by their house. I thought you’d all enjoy this story about their house:

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  14. Connie said on June 29, 2020 at 5:42 am

    Sixteen quarts of strawberries in two weeks. Some frozen, some shortcaked, and yes, there was a pie. Mom’s recipe. There is one last bowl ready to eat. The local strawberry season is short and sweet.

    Yesterday I was going to post a link in the comments to the Covid from East Lansing to Grosse Pointe story but decided Nancy would do it. Do read the news stories about it. Story of stupid people.

    So my three steps and their many kids took my 88 yr old father out to eat on Fathers Day. To a fondue restaurant. I can hardly talk to him on the phone any more I get so mad.

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  15. Deborah said on June 29, 2020 at 7:20 am

    I think that St.Louis house is on Lindell Blvd, not far from where I lived in St. Louis. I had no idea it was so lavish inside. It’s just a few blocks south of Delmar which is the line of demarcation in St. Louis, north of Delmar is mostly black, south of Delmar is mostly white (sort of). St. Louis is very segregated. I missed the story about the owners of that house waving their guns around, I’ll try to google it.

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  16. Dorothy said on June 29, 2020 at 9:27 am

    That house is really something, isn’t it? All I can think of when I look at the pictures is “who has to dust all those surfaces?!” and “All that money put into that home and who’s going to want it after those people are dead?” And after I saw the video of them standing there with guns, threatening protestors, I just thought “Those people have no clue how to handle guns.” Deborah – the article says at the very top that it was edited to remove the address of the house. We know why!

    I know I shouldn’t do it but once in awhile I engage online with angry replies to commenters about mask issues. This morning I thought that maybe I should change my tone. Just encourage them all to go maskless – stay together in large groups, keep doing that as often as they can, and maybe once they all (mostly) get sick, that will teach them a lesson. A young man I know in Pittsburgh started a huge issue at an Italian restaurant on Route 19 there. He called ahead of time to ask if they were wearing masks, keeping tables further apart, and was told yes to all of his questions. So he went with family and ate on the patio. No employees were wearing masks, and when he exited the restaurant after dinner (had to go through it – the patio was behind the place), was stunned to see the place was packed and no distancing was being followed. He contacted the owner via email and got a reply telling him “I never want you to step foot in my restaurant again.” He put it on Facebook, it went viral, and the Health Department visited the place. Found 11 violations and boy howdy did the story blow up big time.

    I will forever be mystified as to people’s attitudes about masks. I like this catch phrase I read over the weekend: Mask It! It’s better than a casket!

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  17. susan said on June 29, 2020 at 10:00 am

    To go along with that, “Six feet apart or six feet under”

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  18. Julie Robinson said on June 29, 2020 at 10:02 am

    Ditto on the house. It’s obscene.

    Dorothy, just sic Randy Rainbow on all the mask doubters. A nephew who lives in Hawaii commented on the lack of mask wearers when he came through the Fort Wayne airport. I told him the non-morons were staying home. Then a friend of a friend made a sneering comment to me that when “smilin’ joe was president we’d all be required to wear masks 24/7/365”. I told him both of those sounded just dandy to me.

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  19. Little Bird said on June 29, 2020 at 10:04 am

    That house is not on Lindell, but it is nearby. I went to school with some kids who lived on the same street. I just forget the street name.
    I went to school with some very rich kids.

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  20. Sherri said on June 29, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    As Washington moved to requiring masks everywhere, a tea shop in Seattle posted a sign telling people to remove their masks. It was not well-received.

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  21. Deborah said on June 29, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    LB was right, that house is on Portland Place not Lindell Blvd, still close to where we used to live in St. Louis. The protesters were marching to mayor Lyda Krewson’s house. I knew Lyda when I lived in St. L, her husband was shot and killed by a black man out in front of their house in the Central West End, when they were exiting their car. Their kids saw the whole thing and they were pretty young when it happened. I lived in St. Louis at the time all of that happened. I don’t know what the deal is recently with Lyda, but a lot of people in St. Louis are mad at her for some reason. I always like her, for whatever that means. I finally saw the photo of the ridiculous couple waving their guns around.

    On a completely different note, one of LB’s friend’s is getting a Covid test today. She was at our place on Tuesday, because she had just found out that she’s pregnant and couldn’t wait to tell LB. They social distanced while she was out on our patio, but no one was wearing a mask, I was out there too. LB’s friend spiked a fever over the weekend and since she’s pregnant (and 45 years old) she wanted to get tested as soon as possible. We’re on pins and needles now awaiting the results.

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  22. Sherri said on June 29, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    The worst outbreak in Washington is in the Yakima area. Yakima has a white population that thinks the whole thing is a Democratic hoax, and a Latinx population employed in food-processing.

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  23. LAMary said on June 29, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    I have a friend who is the manager of an ER a little east of Yakima and he says he’s had a lot of people with minor complaints coming into the ER again. That had pretty much disappeared a few month ago, but it’s back and he’s got to politely turn them away after determining they are not seriously ill or a positive Covid-19 case.

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  24. LAMary said on June 29, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    I somehow missed the fact that trump retweeted the photo of those folks in St. Louis pointing guns at protesters, but I would have been safe assuming he would. Those are his sort of folks, although he would have had all the woodwork in the house painted gold.

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  25. Sherri said on June 29, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    More on the gun-toting couple. That house is only appraised at $1.15 million? Huh. I could get more than for my house.

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  26. Bitter Scribe said on June 29, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    One way I have kept myself sane during the last four years is by telling myself, over and over, that Donald Trump’s election was a hideous fluke. We’ll see in November whether I still live in the country I thought I did.

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  27. Deborah said on June 29, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    Sherri, It’s a bargain to buy in the city of St. Louis. St. Louis county is a different story. There’s a weird arrangement where the city is not in the county even though it’s surrounded by the county. The Central West End in the city has a lot of old mansions which must cost a fortune to maintain. But there’s a mix of high rises (we lived in a few of those) and lesser buildings, plus small shops, bars, restaurants etc. it’s a great walking neighborhood, lots of big beautiful trees, but many people don’t want to live there because of its proximity to the black part of town.

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  28. Connie said on June 29, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    Deborah, people in St Louis are mad at the mayor bcause she doxxed a bunch of constituents. She read out loud letters supporting defunding the police, including names and home addresses of the writers.

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  29. Julie Robinson said on June 29, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    It’s that old real estate saw about location, location, location, isn’t it? If you plopped our Fort Wayne house in our Orlando neighborhood, it would be worth five or six times what we sold it for here. And the lot would have four homes on it there.

    The picture of the Detroit public building reminded me of subway entrances in NYC that we saw last summer. We were constantly awed by the architecture and even art projects in public places like the subway. I’d argue that almost all buildings constructed recently are fugly, and not just those for the government. Think of churches in giant metal sheds that look to me like the farm buildings just becoming popular when I was kid because they were so cheap to put up.

    This morning I passed a subdivision where every house was an expanse of vinyl siding without any details. The windows looked like cutouts, the roofs had no overhang, and of course they were all in three shades of neutral. No landscaping or flowers. Barren of beauty, barren of design, barren of thought–what would it be like to live there? I shudder.

    All of these things are in my mind as we begin our own, much smaller building project. The addition is required to match the materials and color of the house, which we would do anyway, and we are working with an architect who loves mid-century modern and lives in the neighborhood himself. It won’t be visible from the street but that doesn’t really matter.

    We have another meeting tonight to talk about the contract. Anyone have recommendation for clauses to include or not include? He has mentioned shared savings and early/late clauses, and while I understand the terms I’m not so sure of the implications. We don’t want the project to be abandoned in the middle, as our lanai was, so late penalties make sense. But if we give an early finish bonus, would we be encouraging them to cut corners just so they meet the deadline? Anything specific about forms of insurance? I can see now all the mistakes we made with our previous project, but like then, we won’t be there in person to oversee things.

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  30. beb said on June 29, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    In a surprise move the Supreme Court rejected Louisiana’s restrictive abortion law. Once again Chief Justice Roberts sided with the liberals to avoid giving Trump’s critics another thing to bash him on during an election year. This was over the requiring abortion provided to have “admitting privileges” as a local hospital. There is no evidence that such a law was needed. Next up will be the fetal heartbeat laws that outlaw abortions at 6 weeks. I wish someone would declare that it’s not a baby until it can breathe on its own! Which happens around 24 weeks. Any time before that the fetus is non-viable. I’d also like to see someone (a President) say that Religious Freedom means as much freedom FROM religious as freedom to practice one’s religion.

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  31. Mark P said on June 29, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    We dined in at a fast food place last Friday. They had a sign up telling patrons what they were doing to keep everyone safe, including requiring all employees to wear masks. About half the employees behind the counter were not wearing masks, and a couple of those who were wearing them had them down below the nose. I sent a message to the corporate office telling them about it, but who knows how much good it will do. It is a southern chain, so probably run by Trumpers.

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  32. Deborah said on June 29, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    So my husband signed me, LB and himself, up for Covid tests at the New Mexico Department of Health. They’ll be on Thursday at 10am, drive through. We’re all kind of anxious because of LB’s friend and in a couple of weeks my husband and I may be driving to Illinois, although I won’t be going if the virus is through the roof, but my husband has to go because of his uncle. Have any of you been tested?

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  33. Sherri said on June 29, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    Here’s why I think Trump will resign before his term is up. He’d rather quit than lose. Even though I don’t think Biden would prosecute him, I think Trump believes he would, because that’s what he (Trump) would do. He doesn’t want to leave the country to avoid prosecution, he hates to travel.

    And I think he’s headed for an epic loss. 50% of the country strongly disapproves of him. Despite voter suppression work, we’re seeing high turnout in elections. Covid isn’t going to go away, and this administration isn’t going to suddenly become competent, even if they decide to acknowledge the obvious. Besides, to effectively respond to the crisis, they’d have to risk the support, or at least the enthusiasm, of their base, by doing things like withdrawing the brief they just filed with the Supreme Court seeking to overturn all of the ACA.

    Plus, Jared is going to take a more active role in the campaign, supposedly. That pretty much guarantees epic failure.

    I don’t think there’s a Robert Mercer or a Steve Bannon to come to the rescue this time. The pandemic means than Biden won’t be out on the campaign trail feeding the political press his assortment of stupid gaffes for them to both sides, so the story is all going to be about Trump and his awful tweets. There will be the Dems in disarray stories to try and balance them, but I don’t think that has the same resonance. Plus, Biden’s a white guy, so it’s harder to work up that visceral hate. If he were Josephine, I’m sure there would be stories about how there’s just something about her you can’t quite trust, or she’s too shrill, or some other nonsense, but no, no misogyny in the political press, none at all.

    So, I think he’ll quit rather than lose, and of course, blame the fake news media for turning the country against him, and go back to Mar-a-lago and do interviews on Hannity and Fox and Friends to get his attention fix, until his dementia gets too embarrassing even for them.

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  34. Sherri said on June 29, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    Another reason I think Trump is doomed: just look at how people and companies are starting to react to him. Twitter starting to label his tweets. Reddit just took down r/TheDonald. Twitch just suspended Trump’s account. Companies pulling their ads from FB because it won’t do anything about Trump.

    Change is happening.

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  35. Jeff Borden said on June 29, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    I’d argue the coronavirus crisis has put a couple of torpedoes into the conservative ship. By relying on state and local governments to handle the crisis in piecemeal fashion, the virus has raged uncontained and shows no sign of ebbing. A broad federal response was called for, but “big government” is anathema to American conservatives. There will always be trogs, but this crisis shows the weakness of a decentralized approach.

    Lose, resign, choke on a Filet-o-Fish, I don’t care. I just want it over.

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  36. 4dbirds said on June 29, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    Deborah, my daughter has been tested twice in the last couple of weeks for two medical procedures. They required the tests before admitting her. We drove up to the Drive-In site at Bethesda. Just a few cars, they took her ID, insurance card and did the swab up the nose test. They really get up there as my daughter was groaning the entire time. Both tests came back negative. We were informed of the results about 30 hours later (both times). I myself, have not had the test.

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  37. Sherri said on June 29, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    It’s the money-laundering. That’s the core business of the Trump Organization.

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  38. basset said on June 29, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    Just spent two and a half hours online and on hold trying to sign up for Medicare. I have till September, it might take that long.

    Decompressing tonight after finishing a writing project with way too many little interlocking parts, it’s Civil War stuff though so I will say no more.

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  39. basset said on June 29, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    Maybe those dock fishermen are hauling in a few of these:

    Largest fish I have ever caught was a white sturgeon in the Columbia River out west… an epic battle to say the least.

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  40. David C said on June 29, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    Julie, we’ve built two houses and I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no winning with contractors. The only thing that works is watch them like a hawk, catch things early, and make sure they’re fixed before they go on and tell you it’s too late. If you’re financing it, the bank can be somewhat helpful by not giving the contractor their draw until they’ve completed their benchmarks but usually they just pencil whip it through. They care more about getting more business from the contractor than from the customer. It’s as stressful as anything I’ve been through except maybe illness and death in the family.

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  41. LAMary said on June 29, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    Sign up for Medicare online. It’s doable. Their website isn’t bad.
    1.5 mil for that house? I would get close to that for my house, and trust me, it’s no renaissance manor. Not even close.
    And, yes. Trump is even more corrupt than most people suspected. He’s laundering money and not even blinking when he finds out his Russian besties are paying bounties to kill US soldiers. I suspect he can’t. Can’t blow that warm fuzzy relationship with Putin.

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  42. Sherri said on June 29, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    “ One person familiar with almost all the conversations with the leaders of Russia, Turkey, Canada, Australia and western Europe described the calls cumulatively as ‘abominations’ so grievous to US national security interests that if members of Congress heard from witnesses to the actual conversations or read the texts and contemporaneous notes, even many senior Republican members would no longer be able to retain confidence in the President.”

    Right, because nobody in this administration ever talks to anybody in Congress, so they’d be shocked to hear that Trump is unprepared and sucks up to dictators while treating female heads of state poorly. Shocked, I say.

    Republicans know, they just don’t care.

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  43. Connie said on June 29, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    Bassett, you can sign up at your local social security office. Make an appointment!

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  44. Julie Robinson said on June 29, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    Oh David, you don’t encourage me at all! We are hiring our architect to also be a project manager since we won’t be there. Normally I would fly back and forth a few times but I’m not comfortable getting on a plane. We really like him a lot; he and his wife have become friends that we have over and they’ve joined our daughter’s church. He’s overseeing a roof project there quite ably and as a gift to the church. We know he’s a good guy, but he also has to educate us since we’re such newbies. I feel a lot better since we talked.

    One of his suggestion was to start a Pinterest page of ideas. Who can tell me some good sites to look at? I don’t even know what style I like, except not pretentious but not sterile. We were joking with him that we thought we were moving up in the world when we bought some IKEA furniture; previously everything had been hand me downs.

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  45. Deborah said on June 29, 2020 at 8:48 pm

    My humble advice to you Julie, is stay away from “style”. Start with what you want it to do, and how you want it to feel (Inside and out). Style is extraneous and you may find yourself unhappy down the road.

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  46. David C said on June 29, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Having someone else to do the project management sounds like a great idea, Julie. If we ever build another house (over my dead body) that seems like a better way to go.

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  47. Dorothy said on June 29, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    I don’t do a lot on Pinterest, Julie, but I am an avid Instagram user. If you know how to start a ‘collection’ that might be a way to start gathering ideas. Search using hashtags. Or maybe do both – Pinterest & IG. Use what’s available, I’d say. Especially if it’s without fees. Also, use your library (assuming they are back open – ours just re-opened last Monday) to look at books and take pictures of designs you like from books you borrow. Then start a folder for ‘new house ideas’ on your phone.

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  48. Julie Robinson said on June 29, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    Style was my husband’s word; he asked me what kind of style I liked.* And really, it’s just a couple of rooms. The outside and floor plan are already decided on; there are two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchenette. Both bedrooms will have a wall of windows opening onto the pool. So it’s little things like flooring and the bathroom tile and fixtures, and lighting. But I get myself all worked up about making bad decisions.

    We’ve actually been talking and thinking about this for 18 months, and the architect has drawn up three or four sets of plans, refining them each time we talked. It was completely theoretical and was in limbo for several months while we went through the variance process. And now, boom, it’s not theoretical anymore.

    Our library is reopening next Monday, yay I guess, but I’m still wary about going places. I did think about running in and grabbing a bunch of magazines.

    *I’m like the Supreme Court justice and pornography, not sure what my style is, but I know it when I see it!

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  49. jcburns said on June 29, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    Julie, I’d like to warn you away from Pinterest…it’s a very intrusive site that vacuums up as much information about you as it can, providing very dubious utility. Just open a folder (directory) on your desktop and start dragging images right out of your browser directly into the folder. Become familiar with how to do quick screen grabs (it’s easy) and use that for the stubborn sites that resist your localized version of ‘pinning.’ The images you want to show your family and contractor types need not be shared with the world. Think simple.

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  50. Julie Robinson said on June 29, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    Thank you jc, I’ve avoided Zoom too. Our nephew works in IT and he warns us away from it constantly.

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  51. deni said on June 30, 2020 at 12:16 am

    Had the nasal swab for Covid as part of protocol for a scheduled procedure at UIC Medical clinics at Iowa City the last week of May. Drive through. Very efficient. It is uncomfortable and very invasive. Never got a look at the swab but it is not a Q-tip. My nurse was upbeat and very encouraging through the procedure, which takes about a minute. Worth it to get the all clear.
    Returning for a consult tomorrow which does not require a test.
    Hoping this is a non-event for you both.

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  52. LAMary said on June 30, 2020 at 2:46 am

    Seconding the Zoom and Pinterest warnings. This might sound like a cheesy suggestion, but I have seen architecture and decorating articles in New York Magazine online that I thought were pretty great. They also look for deals on furnishings and other household type stuff. I just bought a new bed from one of the articles.

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  53. Dexter Friend said on June 30, 2020 at 3:21 am

    I notice all the artwork on masks, and I’ll pass. I wear an N-95 surgical mask over the regular mask that loops my ears. There is confirmed Covid-19 in the surgical rehab where my wife will be until August, but with extreme caution they allow one visitor,and that’s me. Of course I should not be anywhere near there but no family members are local. I leave the masks on all the time, I sanitize, and when I leave and get to the car I douse my hands with a shot of 91% alcohol. And this virus is growing like the 1958 “The Blob”.

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  54. basset said on June 30, 2020 at 3:56 am

    No in-person visits to the Social Security office here, which you find out after a half-hour on hold trying to book one. Website is a lot more difficult than it seems at first, you set up an account and it wants you to sign up for SSI with no way to get to Medicare… call the help line and it refers you back to the website.

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  55. ROGirl said on June 30, 2020 at 6:14 am

    I’ve been looking for design ideas for remodeling my front porch. A site called is good for generating a lot of pictures. Try different search terms to narrow it down.

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  56. alex said on June 30, 2020 at 7:13 am

    ROGirl, I love and have found it very helpful when choosing color schemes.

    Basset, my office deals with the local Social Security office quite a bit and things are on hold there. All of the staff are working from home and I’ve been told that they follow federal rather than state guidelines and therefore won’t be reopening for the indefinite future.

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  57. basset said on June 30, 2020 at 8:36 am

    A state agency that I do some occasional work for reopened its offices yesterday, which I’m told may help me finally get paid… applied for a vendor number in March and still don’t have it.

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  58. diane said on June 30, 2020 at 9:56 am

    So Goldman Sachs says not wearing masks is going to hurt the economy and within two days Pence and McConnell are out there wearing masks. Good that they are wearing masks but how f’ing more obvious could it be that their souls are rotten and that they are dumb. Rotten soul: Masks weren’t important (and were a great tool to continue to divide the country) when health professionals were saying that wearing them would save lives but are important when a financial institution says they are. Dumb: They couldn’t figure out on their own that people dying in droves might be bad for business?

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  59. Connie said on June 30, 2020 at 10:04 am

    Bassett, I just signed up for medicare and their web site is not easy. When you get to the ss page that shows your possible future bnefits, farther down the page there is one skinny line about signing up for medicare that you can click on. I will add that when I tried to do it during business hours I failed. At 5 a.m. I succeeded.

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  60. Connie said on June 30, 2020 at 10:25 am

    I will add that on the ss page the links don’ t always look like links.

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  61. Brian stouder said on June 30, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    Here’s something that angered me, here in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In local news, we learned that hundreds of guys had some sort of pickup truck rally at Glenbrook around midnight….hundreds. And what did they do? Sqeal tires, race their engines, display their flags (including the treasonous one)…..and what did the police do about this mass-trespass upon private property? They sent a strongly worded text to the crowd, telling them to leave or face arrest. No pepper-spray, no teargas, no rubber bullets. Things that make you go “hmmmm”

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  62. Suzanne said on June 30, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Brian, I thought the same thing! How odd that these trucks showed up in such numbers that people were urged to leave the mall and it’s handled with kid gloves by the cops. “Please leave the area, if it’s not too much trouble.”

    Could they be more blatant??

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  63. Scout said on June 30, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    I had a swab test at a drive up testing site about 6 weeks ago. It was uncomfortable but not painful. I got the result (negative) about 24 hours later. I should probably do another one soon since I am the family shopper for us and also my octogenarian parents. I wear a double mask, gloves and carry disinfectant wipes with me when I go out, and then wash up thoroughly when I return.

    I think sHitler will resign instead of losing too. Once he realizes his hope of staying in office to protect himself from being charged for his crimes is futile, he will manufacture a health crisis and hope it generates enough pity to be left alone once he’s out. Maybe he’ll flee the country. Who knows, but all I want is for this dystopian nightmare of his presidency to end.

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  64. Sherri said on June 30, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Meanwhile, in Aurora, CO, cops showed up in full riot gear to break up a violin vigil being held to memorialize Elijah McClain, who was killed by the Aurora PD. Pepper spray was used to disperse the “illegal gathering.”

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  65. Julie Robinson said on June 30, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    The truck “rally” damaged the parking lot too, as opposed to the courthouse demonstrators. It was one of two bizarre events over the weekend, the other being prosecutor Karen Richards coming out of her mansion for an hour to speak with protesters. These are indeed very strange times we live in.

    I took a quick look at Houzz and can see it will be a giant time sink. Thanks, all!

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  66. LAMary said on June 30, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    The Medicare website must have changed or maybe it’s swamped. I signed up on the website two years ago when I turned 65. I did it on my lunch hour at work and it took about around fifteen minutes. It’s true that they put some important things in tiny fonts. I knew that going in since I have to use the site for my job a lot. I used to check the ratings of nursing homes, ownership the nursing homes, name of administrator, etc.

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  67. Deborah said on June 30, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    Julie, I’m including this link as a possible inspiration for you Our neighbor across the hall from us in Chicago is a well known Interior Designer, he fixed up this bungalow in Palm Springs as his get away place. It’s fairly small, simple and has a nice mid-mod vibe, without being slavishly devoted to mid-mod. It’s bright and airy, colorful too. A couple of rooms over looking a pool in FL, seems like bright and colorful would be in order. Robert’s place across from us in Chicago is mega cool, he combined 2 units together he bought the first one in the late 60s and when his neighbor moved he bought that unit and renovated everything. Here’s his website, I like his work it’s very understated and simple, nothing over the top.

    My good friend Pat who lives in St. Louis went to that protest past that mansion where the couple waved their guns around. She said it was very peaceful and orderly, no one broke down any gates, the police escorted them across a busy street to the entrance of the street. She said most of the protestors (protesters?) were white, Pat is black btw.

    I don’t remember having too much trouble signing up for social security and basic medicare on line, but when I signed up for the prescription part of medicare 2 years later, that was a headache, I should have done it at the beginning.

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  68. Scout said on June 30, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    Deborah, I LOVE that Palm Springs bungalow, but then, I love Palm Springs design in general. My favorite show on HGTV is Desert Flippers. They’re located in Palm Springs, but their design aesthetic will work for a midmod inspired theme anywhere, especially Florida.

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  69. Connie said on June 30, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    The Washington Post tells me the male equivalent of a Karen is a Ken.

    If you enjoy watching Karens on Instagram: karensgoingwilds by pavel. They’re all there.

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  70. basset said on June 30, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    Finally got signed up today, extended wait on hold and I got through to a nice lady in Seattle who was very helpful and showed me how to get where I needed to go… while agreeing with me that the whole process was not nearly as simple and open as it should be.

    no telling how many committees and working groups were convened to work out the content of the SSI website and extended on-hold voices.

    and back to the St. Louis gun couple for a minute… I’m surprised someone didn’t get shot by accident there, it’s obvious that neither of em had any idea what they were doing.

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  71. Julie Robinson said on June 30, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    Thanks, Deborah–both of those are similar to what I want. Lots of white and then colors, especially lots of blue. (Although I call BS on the pansies outside the door, unless it was during their brief cool winter. Pansies are cold weather plants.) The flooring is probably the biggest question. The rest of the house is terrazzo and bamboo. I like the bamboo but it doesn’t seem very sturdy. Still, it might be better for my mother’s room than tile, since rugs are a trip hazard for her and tile is pretty unforgiving.

    Our daughter bought a disco ball that screws into a light fixture and was having a socially distanced dance party last night. So, that’s her vibe.

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  72. Deborah said on June 30, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    Julie, I’m sure the pansies were props, that’s what Robert would do. He’s the nicest guy, one of the best neighbors we’ve ever had anywhere.

    We have all tile floors in Santa Fe, in the winter we have lots of rugs down and we have a cowhide that we put in the living room. The problem with rugs is maintaining them (shaking and vacuuming), tile is so easy to keep up. We have off white tile in the kitchen and bathroom and tan-ish tile everywhere else. I wish it was authentic saltillo tile but alas it is not, we have fake beams too, which is unfortunate. also rugs can be a tripping hazard as you say. In Chicago we have travertine marble floors that have radiant heat below, they are fantastic, my favorite part of that place.

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  73. David C said on June 30, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    Fake news. The male equivalent of a Karen is a Kevin.

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  74. alex said on June 30, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    Love the Kleinschmidt house. And he collects Ellsworth Kelly, who did a lot of vibrant geometrical painting in the ’60s and ’70s. I became a fan of Ellsworth Kelly because my mom was inspired by his use of color and pattern and she incorporated it in some wall hangings that she designed which I consider to be some of her best work. Wish I could share a photo of the one in my living room.

    Actually, I have a friend who posted a picture of herself in front of it on Facebook. Don’t know if it’ll link, but we’ll give it a try:

    It always reminded me of coral snakes sort of.

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  75. Deborah said on June 30, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Oh gee Alex, that link doesn’t work for me and I’d really like to see that.

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  76. alex said on June 30, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    Facebook’s always a little dicey when it comes to links. Would love to share that.

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  77. jcburns said on June 30, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    I think I’ll be happy when we get past the namecalling phase of this, and start consistently modeling positive behavior that our fellow humans will aspire to, no matter what their name (or their ‘assigned shaming name’) might be.

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  78. LAMary said on June 30, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    jcburns I’m with you on the name calling. The nightly fireworks hell here has started several fires, luckily all were put out before they got too serious. Two roof fires, four brush fires. But on the local “next door” site there people posting crap like, “all the entitled Karens don’t want people to have a good time, blow off a little steam.” In reply you get some lightly closeted racist saying, “these people don’t care if they burn our houses down.” Lots of “these people” comments. I had a brush fire behind my house, only a fifteen foot wide street between that fire and my wooden fence. I am being a Karen for getting upset about that? Today we had a one acre brush fire very close to two houses. There were six water dropping helicopters and 62 firefighters keeping it from taking out a neighborhood, which it would have done. It was downhill from the houses. I was on my deck with my son, watching it and talking to a friend who lives very close to the fire, telling her to grab her dog and come to my place. I went on the “next door” site and bitched about the damn fireworks again and got called a karen again. It doesn’t help solve the problem. It corrupts it. The fireworks are still booming, I hear sirens right now, probably cops trying to catch someone in the act of blowing up something that rattles the windows. The coyotes are all howling and yipping with the sirens and a lot of people lose sleep not just from the noise, but from the anxiety.

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  79. Mark P said on July 1, 2020 at 12:36 am

    Around here it’s not fireworks, it’s someone shooting a large caliber pistol, or maybe a shotgun. There’s a turnaround at the end of a dead end we can see across the gap from us. It’s littered with dozens of shotgun shells, plus a smaller number of .223 shells fired off as rapidly as possible. That doesn’t count the rifle shots off in the distance.

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  80. Dexter Friend said on July 1, 2020 at 3:22 am

    Goddam, LA Mary, that’s scary stuff. 25 years ago neighbors were shooting fireworks to the moon but one fiery fireball didn’t make the moon, it landed on my garage roof and set it on fire. I had just gone outside to see where all the noise was coming from and I witnessed it. I had a garden hose right there and the stream barely reached the smoldering fire, but I made contact and poured hose water on it for a good 15 minutes. I was still fairly nimble then so I patched the burned spot with a few shingles and it was minor only because I was quick to respond. On top of the LA surge of The Bug, you must be a nervous wreck. Best wishes.
    My wife’s numbers are looking good in the surgical rehab unit, and the Covid-19 is not spreading, just the one office worker, but I am still leery as hell going in there. I am going to get a plastic face shield very soon. If I would get sick, my Columbus area daughter would care for my dog and cat. Oh…in a few days I am going to be allowed to push my wife out onto a sunny patio for a short period. She’s looking forward to that. She says the food is simply gourmet selections, no complaints whatsoever there. The staff are just great with her.

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  81. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 1, 2020 at 8:05 am

    Dexter, I’m delighted your wife is happy about the food. That made me smile!

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  82. Deborah said on July 1, 2020 at 8:20 am

    This article does show some damage to the gate at Portland Place in St. Louis, so must have happened after my friend walked through it during the protest By the way We lived on the poorer end of Westminster mentioned in the article, in my former life when I was married to my ex.

    After looking at my Chicago neighbor’s Palm Springs bungalow I was reminded of Albert Frey, a mid century architect in Palm Springs, he created desert modern I’ve always liked his work

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  83. Suzanne said on July 1, 2020 at 9:01 am

    I have read a number of articles from The Bulwark and I have been impressed overall. I know it’s a bunch of disgruntled conservatives who are anti-Trump. The articles that I have read are generally well crafted and well thought through. I may have posted this one before, but it’s one of my favorites.

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  84. Connie said on July 1, 2020 at 9:21 am

    I ordered a face shield and assorted masks from The masks came immediately. The face shield is on back order.

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  85. Deborah said on July 1, 2020 at 9:43 am

    Suzanne, that Bulwark article was excellent. I read the never Trumpers daily, I think they’re doing a great job, I even donate to the Lincoln Project. I think they’re instrumental in Biden’s good poll numbers. Yeah, I realize they’ve also been instrumental in how we got to Trump in the first place, and I don’t mean necessarily that they voted for him, but some did. I’m not going to be a purist, let’s get rid of Trump first, then see what happens.

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  86. Julie Robinson said on July 1, 2020 at 9:58 am

    Connie, there’s a company in my small hometown that makes face shields, Upstaging. They used to make sets for traveling bands and pivoted quickly to masks and dividers. They aren’t cheap, but I’m pretty sure they have stock, since they mobilized to make shields for schools in the fall. Now the Illinois Dept of Education has decided against shields in favor of masks, so they should have plenty. It’s a good company, and when the crisis started they immediately started producing shields and giving them away to local health providers.

    Dexter, I’m so glad your wife is happy and well cared for at rehab. I’ve known too many people who didn’t have that experience. Still, I know you’re both counting the days until she can get home.

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  87. Deborah said on July 1, 2020 at 11:03 am

    I was given a face shield by a friend of LB’s. I’ve only worn it once when I went to the farmers market in Santa Fe, I wore it with a mask, so belt and suspenders. The market is fairly heavily populated as the summer progresses and a lot of tourists go there (lots of Texans), but it’s mostly outside, the inside part is a big warehouse type building with open garage doors all along one side. People waiting in line social distance, everybody wears masks, and I mean everybody but when walking around it’s harder to social distance with people walking past too closely. I was the only one I saw there also with a face shield. LB was with me, she didn’t want a face shield so her friend didn’t give her one. I would only use a shield also with a mask, it seemed like too much breath would escape out of the sides and bottom. LB is getting a face shield that’s connected to a baseball cap.

    I’ve been looking into taking a train sleeping car to Chicago instead of renting a car. Have any of you done that since the virus started? With a car trip I’m nervous about using public bathrooms and staying in hotels. We looked into renting a small RV, but it would cost $5,000 so never mind. The sleeper compartments on trains have their own little bathrooms and I’d wipe everything down in the compartment first thing. We’d stay in the compartment the whole trip, a little over 24 hours. But if there’s a stoppage for some reason, sometimes they make you take a bus to the nearest station to wait for another train or something like that. No thanks, I’m not getting on a bus these days.

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  88. Sherri said on July 1, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Nextdoor is a more toxic environment than FB, in my experience. The crazies who are too crazy for the local FB group collect over on Nextdoor.

    The name-calling may be annoying, but It does highlight a real phenomenon: people who use their privilege to humiliate and endanger those they regard as less than. That the names are being appropriated and expanded beyond that is expected, of course, and serves to take the sting out of the name when it is applied accurately. The next stage is probably “I’m not a Karen, but”

    You know, if we had a functioning federal government, flying would probably be the safest way to travel right now. If the FAA would require limited capacity and masks, so that each airline didn’t have to make that decision on a competitive basis, and worry about losing passengers when they enforced masks, the air flow systems on planes seem to be pretty good. But without the backing of the government, even the airlines who are setting good standards have difficulties enforcing them, because all the burden is placed at the lowest levels.

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  89. Sherri said on July 1, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    As I get notification today that the big annual fundraising luncheon for the nonprofit my daughter works for (and that I have supported for years) will go virtual this year, in *October*, it really grates on me that Trump is holding a big fireworks show at a defaced mountain with no social distancing.

    I mean, I figured out months ago that it was unlikely that we’d be safe to gather in groups of size before a vaccine, but it’s still hard to live with so many people in power who refuse to face reality.

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  90. Scout said on July 1, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Suzanne @83, that Bulwark piece is really very good. After reading it, this one caught my eye, and since it has been discussed here, I thought many of the nn.c crew would be interested too.

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  91. Sherri said on July 1, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    This appeared on a local FB group and gave me a chuckle:

    Stole this and changed it just a bit…
    Welcome to the Freedom Cafe! We trust you to make your own choices if you want to wear a face mask. And, in the same spirit of individual liberty, we allow our staff to make their own choices about the safety procedures they prefer to follow as they prepare and serve your food.
    We encourage employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom, but understand that some people may be allergic to certain soaps or may simply prefer not to wash their hands. It is not our place to tell them what to do.
    We understand that you may be used to chicken that has been cooked to 165 degrees. We do have to respect that some of our cooks may have seen a meme or a YouTube video saying that 100 degrees is sufficient, and we do not want to encroach on their beliefs.
    Some of our cooks may prefer to use the same utensils for multiple ingredients, including ingredients some customers may be allergic to. That is a cook’s right to do so.
    Some servers may wish to touch your food as they serve it. There is no reason that a healthy person with clean hands can’t touch your food. We will take their word for it that they are healthy and clean.
    Water temperature and detergent are highly personal choices, and we allow our dishwashing team to decide how they’d prefer to wash the silverware you will put in your mouth.
    Some of you may get sick, but almost everyone survives food poisoning. We think you’ll agree that it’s a small price to pay for the sweet freedom of no one ever being told what to do – and especially not for the silly reason of keeping strangers healthy.
    Full credit should go to:

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  92. Sherri said on July 1, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    We have the New Deal to thank for Carl Reiner.

    “ Then one day his older brother, Charlie, mentioned seeing a newspaper article about a free acting class being given by the Works Progress Administration, the New Deal jobs agency. Carl tried his hand at acting, found he was good at it, hung up his machinist’s apron and joined a theater troupe. He also acted in summer stock.”

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  93. Suzanne said on July 1, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    Sherri @ 91, that is perfect! I heard some of the IN governor’s press conference today. We were supposed to be open by July 4 (he had stated that there would be parades!) but he has dialed that back a bit as he’s watched other states‘ openings backfire. Indiana’s numbers are rising a bit and he apparently does not want to be Florida. He refuses, however, to mandate mask wearing because he trusts Hoosiers to do the right thing. He doesn’t trust Hoosiers to not text & drive, though, because a new law against that went into place today.
    The Health Commissioner strongly suggested that people wear masks but stated she also didn’t want to mandate it because, you know, that makes some people mad and then they will dig in their heels and refuse to wear them.
    So we can’t mandate something that will save my life, my loved one’s lives, or anyone else’s life because it might make people mad. Mmmmmkay.

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  94. Julie Robinson said on July 1, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    Suzanne, I think it was already illegal to text, and now it’s illegal to hold your phone while driving. Locally they cancelled the fireworks, although they said that was partly because they feared the demonstrators downtown. Our neighbors are setting off plenty of their own so I guess I’m okay with that. Tongue in cheek.

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  95. LAMary said on July 1, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    It’s been illegal to text or hold your phone here for a few years. Thank goodness. I’ve been nearly creamed by someone cruising through a stop sign while looking at their phone a few times. Mostly in the vicinity of a high school near here.

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  96. Suzanne said on July 1, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    Ok I stand corrected. The new law is that it’s now illegal to hold your phone in your hand and talk while driving but my original point still stands. Distracted driving hurts people so the Governor pushed for a law. Not wearing masks also hurts people but all he’ll do is show some commercials and ask people to pretty please wear masks because he is sure people will be responsible and anyway, if he mandates it, people will be mad.

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  97. Deborah said on July 1, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    Sherri, loved that Freedom Cafe piece.

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  98. David C said on July 1, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    It’s strange to think but hands-free phoning is just as bad. It’s the act of talking that’s the distraction. Speaking with someone in the car isn’t. They’re sharing the same situational awareness as the driver. So when things get hairy the passenger is helpful in a way that the person on the phone can’t be.

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  99. Deborah said on July 1, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    So my husband and I made a big mistake today, we walked to the Plaza in Santa Fe and once we got there we realized it was full of tourists not wearing masks. Probably many from Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona where as we all know the virus is rampant. You could tell they were tourists partly because they weren’t wearing masks and also because they were taking photos of everything and blocking the sidewalks, major give aways. We dodged as much of it as we could, my husband wanted to visit his favorite wineshop and he had a conversation with the woman who works there about the situation. She said the governor today said that people coming into NM from certain states will be required to quarantine for 14 days, but we have no idea how they will enforce that. Not going to the plaza again for a long, long while, which is unfortunate because it’s a nice place to walk around usually and we had heard that they were giving citations to people not wearing masks, but we saw none of that. Tomorrow we get our drive thru tests, looking forward to that.

    One of the more bizarre things we saw was a young couple ahead of us on the sidewalk, both wearing masks surprisingly, but when they stopped to take a photo, the guy taking a picture of the girl she turned sideways and hiked up her skirt to reveal her thong encased butt, and when I say encased, I mean barely. She obviously knew we could see it all and she laughed about it with her companion afterward. It was weird, I’ve never seen anyone do that on a public street in my life.

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  100. Deborah said on July 1, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    We’re freaking out about the fireworks in northern new mexico as usual. I can’t believe they allow them to be sold and used around here during drought conditions which is almost always. What is wrong with people. We no longer have pets so that’s not a problem but a roman candle landing on your roof is a big, big deal. Now that we’re part owners of this complex i’m even more concerned. Yikes.

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  101. LAMary said on July 2, 2020 at 12:14 am

    The fireworks are booming tonight, as usual. I looked up the first time someone mentioned it on the Next Door group and it was May 22, so no, the fireworks are not about the protests related to George Floyd. Someone just forwarded an article to me about another fire, right next to where the brush fire was yesterday. It was in a house and the garage there was illegally converted into living space. The people in that space had over 100 boxes of illegal fireworks in there. Half the building was burning. I don’t want to think about what would have happened if the houseful of fireworks caught fire. If you can imagine my neighborhood, a hill full of canyons, many of them covered in dry grass, and lots of old, wooden houses, like mine. There is a fireworks task force now and I’m sure that house full of fireworks on Mount Washington is getting some attention. Know what else sucks? I’m job hunting and if I get a job at a hospital I’ll get a preemployment drug test because hospitals have federal contracts and weed is illegal. I can’t use my stash of THC gummies to sleep through the explosions. I have to be drug free so I don’t eliminate the possibility of working someplace that accepts Medicare.

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  102. Dexter Friend said on July 2, 2020 at 3:09 am

    I did the old veteran’s duck and cover right outside the rehab unit as I exited my car yesterday when a bomb exploded. Whatever it was it was loud and reverberated all around the neighborhood there. I hate loud fireworks , especially the surprises. Tonight here at home it’s been blissfully quiet. The criminal who just got out of prison hasn’t been raising hell next door 24-7 like he was before he broke parole and got sent back.

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  103. Deborah said on July 2, 2020 at 7:48 am

    There is something disgustingly wrong with Americans, I’ve been reading that in many states health officers are getting death threats. This is completely out of control and I blame it on the despicable president and his salacious rhetoric. I can’t wait until November, then January when he’s gone.

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  104. Sherri said on July 2, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    If you look at the numbers, the area where Washington has consistently been lagging behind where we need to be is in testing. We’ve also consistently been getting crap supplies from the federal government. I have to wonder, are we being punished because our governor is critical of the president?

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  105. Suzanne said on July 2, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    Well, well, well. Epstein’s cohort finally got arrested

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  106. Deborah said on July 2, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Well, this morning we all got tested for covid. It was a piece of cake, got it done at the NM Dept of Health parking lot, we had reservations. They really do stick that swab way back, it didn’t hurt but felt weird for an hour or so after, sort of like I had to sneeze. LB’s friend still hasn’t gotten the results of her test so we don’t know if we were actually exposed. I forgot to ask our tester how long it will take to get our results.

    I suppose now that Epstein’s cohort got arrested my unhinged right wing sister will email me because she thinks we were best buds with her and Epstein when they were in NM.

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  107. LAMary said on July 2, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    I just saw a story about Covid parties at a college in Alabama. Supposedly everyone puts money in the pot and after the party the first person to test positive gets the pot. I think this is like the candy bowl myths of the seventies where young people allegedly put all their pills in bowl at the party and everyone just grabbed some. It was a myth made up by someone who wanted people to be that stupid. I think the Covid party story is the same.

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  108. Jenine said on July 2, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    @LAMary I saw that bit about Covid parties on FB too. It definitely rings of urban legend.

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  109. Sherri said on July 2, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    Republicans understand that this election isn’t about the centrist white voter; do Democrats?

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  110. Julie Robinson said on July 2, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    Or key parties? Did those ever really exist?

    Hubby called at 2 to say the office was closing early for the holiday. Early three-day weekend, here we come! So we went to Costco for some excitement, hah. It was nice to be in a store where everyone was wearing a mask.

    I am actually excited for the weekend because Hamilton drops tomorrow on Disney+ and our son shared his login with us.

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  111. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 2, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Epstein’s consort might also have some interesting observations, both fiscal and potentially behavioral, about the Current Occupant. Of course, I doubt Prince Andrew or Bill Clinton are having good days, either.

    Wherever they’re keeping her, I bet she gets checked every five minutes, and they’ve changed the battery pack in the hallway camera.

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