The last words.

Peter Green, a founding member of Fleetwood Mac, died in recent days. If you’re only a casual music fan, and think Fleetwood Mac = “Rumours” + Stevie Nicks + the band where everyone slept with everyone else, I’m not surprised. I used to joke that you were not allowed onto the Ohio University campus unless you could demonstrate, on dorm move-in day, that you owned both “Rumours” and Aerosmith’s “Get Your Wings.” And there were a lot of us.

But before they were that band, they were the sort of band that demonstrates how easily so many English musicians understood American blues guitar, absorbed its lessons and mashed it up with their own influences to make something entirely new. (See also: Led Zeppelin.) Anyway, this is the song I always associate with Fleetwood Mac 1.0; it’s great.

Peter Green left the band when he was felled by mental illness. Schizophrenia, I believe, not helped by the hefty diet of psychedelics he consumed. I think there was also a period with one of the cultier religious cults of the time – the Children of God, I think. And then he disappeared, and recovered a little, and played here and there on this and that, and then he died. He was 73.

But get this:

He outlived the man who wrote his obit. This happens from time to time, because media outlets, newspapers in the main, write obituaries for prominent people before they die. Everyone knows this, or should, although when mistakes happen, when someone presses the Publish button accidentally, a few members of the readership always swoon in horror. How dare you, how morbid, etc. In truth, it’s something of an honor to have your obit written while you’re still walking around, because it means you matter enough that the New York Times, et al wants to do it right.

We had a project like this at the Dispatch; we were all given a few and told to work on them between other things. I can’t even remember who mine were, but I do remember we were told to do new interviews with the people, to not just rely on clips. We were even given a suggested opening gambit: “I’m reporting a comprehensive biographical story about you that you will never read.” Most people got it right away, and most everyone was cool about it. My friend Ted did Gen. Curtis LeMay, a son of Columbus. He was a blood ‘n’ guts general in World War II, Air Force chief of staff during Vietnam and George Wallace’s running mate in 1968. Ted played me the part of the interview where he asked him about one of his most famous statements, that if the enemy in southeast Asia didn’t stand down, we’d “bomb North Vietnam back to the Stone Age.” It was pretty amusing; he said he’d been quoted out of context. But of course.

Anyway, LeMay died in 1990, at 83. I’m sure the paper was able to rustle up a comprehensive, well-written obit p.d.q. Or maybe they relied on wire copy, because all ours were typed on IBM OCR copy paper, and who knows where that stuff ended up.

(I took a tour of the New York Times in the early ’80s, and they showed up the drawers where the prewritten obits were. They were not only written, the pages had been designed and pasted up, so that anyone who died on deadline would get their excellent obit in the paper in mere moments. They didn’t let us linger over them; the content was still considered private. But I saw Jimmy Carter’s on top of the stack. Jimmy Carter just celebrated his 74th wedding anniversary, bless him.)

So, what else? Another beastly hot weekend, or Sunday, at least. Low 90s, and fuck that shit. But on Friday we went swimming in the St. Clair River, and that was great. Now it’s Sunday evening, a short week ahead, and yay that.

Some bloggage:

Cintra Wilson on how the St. Louis McCloskeys besmirched Brooks Brothers in a way bankruptcy couldn’t. Sorry, but I still like their fitted white oxford-cloth shirts. Also, Hawaiian shirts and certain haircuts are ruined, the same way the toothbrush mustache was ruined by Adolf Hitler.

If anyone cares, I found Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ floor speech last week to be outstanding.

Here’s a weird story for you radio people, about a ghost station in Russia:

It is thought to be the headquarters of a radio station, “MDZhB”, that no-one has ever claimed to run. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the last three-and-a-half decades, it’s been broadcasting a dull, monotonous tone. Every few seconds it’s joined by a second sound, like some ghostly ship sounding its foghorn. Then the drone continues.

Once or twice a week, a man or woman will read out some words in Russian, such as “dinghy” or “farming specialist”. And that’s it. Anyone, anywhere in the world can listen in, simply by tuning a radio to the frequency 4625 kHz.

It’s so enigmatic, it’s as if it was designed with conspiracy theorists in mind. Today the station has an online following numbering in the tens of thousands, who know it affectionately as “the Buzzer”. It joins two similar mystery stations, “the Pip” and the “Squeaky Wheel”. As their fans readily admit themselves, they have absolutely no idea what they are listening to.

It might be a “dead hand” signal, which means “in the event Russia is hit by a nuclear attack, the drone will stop and automatically trigger a retaliation. No questions asked, just total nuclear obliteration on both sides.”

This is the tone. Alan says it’s begging to be sampled. I agree.

So, then, mini-break is getting close. I’ll try to update before I leave, but if I can’t? Top of the week to all of you.

Posted at 7:44 pm in Current events, Media |

139 responses to “The last words.”

  1. Deborah said on July 26, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    Spending the night at a Hampton Inn in Omaha, Nebraska Where there are like 3 other cars in the parking lot, but that’s fine with me. We drove across Iowa with one remote outdoor pee stop and that’s the only stop we made. Iowa is listed as a hot spot.

    Tomorrow night we stop in Laramie, WY and then Tuesday afternoon we arrive back in Santa Fe, where we’ll quarantine ourselves, except we can go out to our cabin in Abiquiu too, since it’s very remote and we’ll not be around anyone. Looking forward to being done with this road trip.

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  2. jcburns said on July 26, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    I just read Robert Barr’s obituary just to make sure he didn’t have any connections to the current attorney general (nothing obvious.) Amazingly varied career, and the obit mentions that he worked on pre-death obit drafts.

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  3. Deborah said on July 26, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    Well this is scary and helpful at the same time

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  4. Indiana Jack said on July 26, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    In the late spring of 1969, Fleetwood Mac did a free outdoor concert on Hampstead Heath in London. I was there.
    Can’t remember the opening acts, but I’ll never forget Fleetwood’s last number.
    The ragtag audience included a number of skinheads. That neo-fascist subset was just surfacing at the time.
    Their goal that night was pure anarchy: Spoil the event.
    Fleetwood Mac played two or three numbers, and then the beer bottles started flying from one segment of the crowd. After a few crashed way too close to the band, the performance ended prematurely.
    The assholes won.
    And everyone else was denied a chance to hear more of a great group.
    Similar things happened a few weeks later when Blind Faith made its premiere performance at Hyde Park. (Again, I was there.) This time, fortunately, it wasn’t enough to end the performance. But I’ll never forget seeing skinheads who had climbed a few trees toss chunks of concrete into the crowd below.
    The descendants of those assholes are still with us, and will probably also be with us.
    Still, some great music. Richie Havens opened for Blind Faith in Hyde Park.
    And don’t get me started about Jimi Hendrix playing the Muncie fairgrounds in 1968, two weeks after Cream had played at Clowes Hall at Butler. (Yup, I was there for both. Memories like that help keep an old man (71+) young.)
    As to the assholes, there’s only one thing to do: Vote.

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  5. Deborah said on July 26, 2020 at 10:11 pm

    Here’s something mind boggling that I never thought to google before: Louie Gohmert is actually married and has three daughters. Can you believe that?

    Yep, vote!

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  6. jerry said on July 27, 2020 at 2:36 am

    Dexter, I had my arthritic hip replaced last October, I’m 75, and all went really smoothly. I’m walking as well as I ever did, even if not quite as fast as I used to.

    Yesterday was pretty awful. Myra and I walked up to collect the papers and when we were almost home she tripped on an uneven paving stone. Went down heavily on her right elbow. When we got in her arm was heavily bruised, no pain unless she tried to bend it. so off to the hospital. After waiting around, me outside as a result of the virus, she had an X-ray and was then sent off to a different hospital to have the damage reviewed. More waiting around and we eventually arrived back home some seven hours after leaving.

    She has a “significant fracture” of either the radius or the ulna, I think. We are waiting for a phone call to see if she is to go in today for an operation. And trying to fit it into my visit to a different hospital for radiotherapy.

    But we’re amongst the lucky ones; we can just be treated without worrying about where the money is coming from. In the last year we’ve had a hip replaced, a blood clot treated, prostate cancer treated and now Myra’s elbow, all on the NHS. And so far we’ve avoided Coronavirus.

    My best wishes and thoughts to all in the community suffering out there.

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  7. Dexter Friend said on July 27, 2020 at 4:23 am

    Jerry, glad it worked out OK. Here in the USA, we get a pretty good Medicare 80% paid program, then we cough up $400 per month for the 2 of us for supplemental programs, which pay the rest. My gawd… the money that supplement program has paid out is remarkable. I have never used mine but the Veterans Administration people told me I only needed the supplemental if I ventured away from a VA hospital and was taken to a civilian hospital, where I would surely be driven to the poor house, or work house as I believe the UK used to call those places.

    Brian Williams announced the death of John Lewis at 10:40 PM. 20 minutes later the John Lewis death documentary was shown. Many days later John’s corpse was carried across the Edmund Pettus Bridge via horse drawn carriage. Tomorrow the body lies in state at The Capitol. Someday they will bury him. Other cultures bury their dead as soon as they die. I believe it is in Tibet where the body is carried up a mountain and “sky buried”, meaning the bones are picked clean by vultures. I remember the reports from Manteo, North Carolina: as soon as Andy Griffith was pronounced dead, he was immediately buried on his estate there.

    “Rumours”. A friend at work told me to stop by his place to listen to this great album. I immediately bought my own lp and wore it out. Another from that era was the famous double album by Peter Frampton, the biggest-selling double album ever, as I recall.
    Actor/comedian Jay Mohr said , just on Friday, how great The James Gang were. Just a trio, Joe Walsh and “two other dudes”, many could not believe 3 guys could make music so great. In Vietnam, The James Gang and CSNY were our choice on our reel-to-reel tape recorders/players and on our cassettes. What a prolific experience for me to see The James Gang live in Fort Wayne just months after I got home. God, I loved that trio. Joe Walsh is da man!

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  8. Julie Robinson said on July 27, 2020 at 9:20 am

    No rosy glow concert stories from me, just the memory of the guy across the street playing Rhiaaaaaaaaaaanon non-stop at max volume. Sorry, but I can’t listen to Fleetwood Mac to this day.

    Dorothy, I saw your comment at the end of the last thread and hope you enjoy The Dress half as much as I did. The cover makes it look like a piece of fluff, but you’ll find another story woven (sorry!) in, about WWII and the homefront and…well, I don’t want to spoil it for you.

    Is it Monday again? Lots to do, no motivation.

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  9. Bitter Scribe said on July 27, 2020 at 10:20 am

    Curtis LeMay, ugh. During World War II he was the one who came up with the massive firebombing strategy that caused untold death and suffering among Japanese civilians.

    And yes, in its way, it was a daring, brilliant strategy. And we were at war, and LeMay accomplished what he set out to do. But still, ugh. For me, he’s one of those guys where, you may be glad in the abstract that he’s on your side, but you’d rather not have anything to do with him.

    LeMay supposedly once remarked that if America lost the war, he’d be hanged as a war criminal. That sounds like one of those apocryphal anecdotes that lingers because it has the ring of truth.

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  10. LAMary said on July 27, 2020 at 11:39 am

    I’m with you, Julie. A next door neighbor playing Rhiannon over and over. That and Frampton Comes Alive. Of all the “live” albums I’ve heard, that one has more extended audience noise than any other. Okay, we get it. The audience liked the talking guitar stuff.

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  11. Sherri said on July 27, 2020 at 11:48 am

    I guess the Seattle police wanted to show that they didn’t need Federal stormtroopers, they could escalate all on their own, in defiance of a court order.

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  12. bb said on July 27, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks to a 3-month trial freebie of Sirius on our car radio, I had the exact musical cognitive dissonance moment Nancy describes above. While I was out for a grocery run the song “Hypnotized” came on, and though I’ve been familiar with that tune for literally decades, I had no clue who sang it. Sirius always lists the song info, and when I saw the title and artist I actually said out loud: “There’s no way that’s Fleetwood Mac!” Way too bluesy for my brain to connect with anything the Stevie Nicks version of the band ever put out.

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  13. beb said on July 27, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    Dexter, I was thinking that John Lewis’s honors was taking on the character of a World Tour. It was fitting, though, for him to cross the Pettus bridge.

    I, of course, have a copy of “Rumors” but not the Aerosmith that Nancy mentioned. I wasn’t a fan of the group until much later. For that matter I used to find Tom Petty exceedingly creepy for years then a few years ago began enjoying his music. One of these days I got to search utube for a performance of Green’s Black Magic Woman because it is to indelibly linked to Santana in my mind.

    I never over-heard Rhiannon when it came out so I still like the song, but Frampton Goes Alive just set my teeth on edge. I hated every time that song came on the radio. Then, decades later, as am old man he released a decent blues allbum. Go figure

    Curtis LeMay and the firebombing of Japan: I don’t think anyone could have come up with that idea without first thinking that the Japanese were animals deserving extermination.

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  14. nancy said on July 27, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Fleetwood Mac had an interesting in-between album, post-Green, pre-Buckingham and Nicks: “Bare Trees.” The title track is a favorite of mine.

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  15. susan said on July 27, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    Didn’t Curtis LeMay want to nuclear bomb and invade Cuba during the “missile crisis” under JFK; and later want to bomb the crap out of North Vietnam? JFK despised that guy. LeMay is in the long line of despicable Amurccan evil people.

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  16. St Bitch said on July 27, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    I care about AOC’s floor speech – a ruthless slap, gloved in gracious grit.

    That as fitting punctuation to a binge watch of Mrs. America (on Hulu) where Cate Blanchette, romping as Phyllis Schlafly, makes her a pleasure to despise; Tracey Ullman is Betty Friedan come alive; Rose Byrne’s interpretation of Gloria Steinem has me questioning my own impressions from back in the day; Azu Aduba schools me about Shirley Chisholm; Margo Martindale chews up the scenery, as usual, channeling Bella Abzug; along with Sarah Paulson and the rest of a surprisingly robust ensemble cast; all of whom heighten my gratitude for the feminist activists who have agitated for and continue to champion equal rights. It’s too easy to take them for granted.

    So yes, I will be paying close attention to silver-tongued Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

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  17. Mouse said on July 27, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    Kiln House was the first post Peter Green album recorded by Fleetwood Mac.Pretty much overlooked by everyone but had one of my favorites on it,Station Man.The cover art by Christine McVie was way cool also!Bare Trees was one of my favorites too.

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  18. ninja3000 said on July 27, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    It was Jeremy Spencer, Green’s co-guitarist, who split the band to join Children of God.

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  19. Peter said on July 27, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Nancy, you are absolute correct – Bare Trees is a great song.

    I liked Future Days a lot as well.

    Dexter, when you mentioned Joe Walsh it reminded me of a story. Some years back Joe Walsh was filling in for Steve Dahl one afternoon, and at one point he said “Joe Walsh: always on, 24/7. America, sleep soundly – Joe Walsh will look out for you.” I don’t know why, but I still laugh thinking about that one.

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  20. alex said on July 27, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    Military school forever ruined Rumours for me. I had a roommate who played the album endlessly, and who was particularly fixated on replaying the single “Second Hand News” ad nauseam, and before the semester was over I didn’t care if I never heard any of it ever again. Still don’t.

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  21. ROGirl said on July 27, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    Someone from my office has been confirmed covid positive. HR won’t reveal who it is, people are not happy.

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  22. Jakash said on July 27, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    Thumbs up to NN @ 14, and Peter @ 19. If I was gonna chime in with regard to today’s topic it would have been to mention that song. But I wasn’t gonna. 😉

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  23. LAMary said on July 27, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    The in house Brit added all those pre Stevie Nicks/Lindsay Buckingham Fleetwood Mac tunes to the SD card I have in my car so I’ve heard them all many times while sitting on the 10 freeway.
    And there is this:

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  24. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 27, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    I’d watch Margo Martindale in anything. Nice overview of her career here:

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  25. Dexter Friend said on July 27, 2020 at 11:53 pm

    A woman called BL is a Facebook buddy of mine; she was an original Hooter’s girl in Florida, when her pal Lynn Austin was all the rage as the hottest girl in America. Now she refurbishes furniture and is getting married again. Anyway, for a week she was Joe Walsh’s chauffeur.She said he was a perfect gentleman. Here’s another one: my good friend from high school, Larry, has been a HAM radio nut since he was a kid. He has talked and met many, many people with the same passion. Locally, he became friends with the inimitable Bob Sievers of WOWO radio, he assisted Marlon Brando with his radio problems up in the hills around LA, and he talked many times with fellow radio head Joe Walsh. Who could forget “Analog Man” by Joe Walsh? That song was inspired by Joe’s insisting on using only vintage radio sets with tubes. Larry helped Joe once , helped him to acquire a tube Joe needed. I think I may have mentioned Larry before; Larry has installed towers and wired African villages and was invited for dinner at some African nation’s leader’s government mansion. Back home in the USA, he supervised a completely new communications network for Los Angeles County’s Sheriff’s Department.

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  26. basset said on July 28, 2020 at 12:08 am

    Can’t keep up with any of that myself but I did see a RV today with “Adventure Before Dementia” lettered across the back.

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  27. Deborah said on July 28, 2020 at 7:50 am

    Fleetwood Mac was after my time, they came along when I was busy getting my life started doing other things. I don’t know their music at all, except for Stevie Nicks, and barely her.

    In Laramie WY at another Hampton Inn, taking off in an hour or so, should be in Santa Fe by early evening or late afternoon.

    The Hampton Inn in Omaha was really crappy, and I swear we’re never driving through Omaha again. Some out of control traffic engineers created a monster. It’s way overblown for a city of its size, must have cost billions and only makes induced demand. You’d definitely take your life in your hands as a pedestrian.

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  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 28, 2020 at 8:02 am

    A piece of advice for anyone who might need it: if a parent dies and the other parent is developing serious cognitive impairment, try not to have your parent’s will and power of attorney on file at an incompetent lawyer’s office. I went swiftly from mourning my dad to muttering curses at his judgment. I can just hear him “but I did business with his dad for years!” Yes, Dad, and your children went to high school with Jr. and tried to tell you . . .

    That, and we’re up to $9,000 in plumbing repairs to the olde family home as we work towards emptying* and selling it, and we dealt with the aftermath of our distanced outdoor memorial service by pulling up the carpeting that was perhaps unwisely put on the double flight of stairs between the front door and basement/upstairs. No more than 50-100 staples per step, fun with pliers and a screwdriver. A little Olde English and they actually look fine if you don’t bend over and look too closely at the hardwood.

    It’s been weird staying in a Hampton Inn in my hometown these last three visits, but siblings need to stay in the house with their families, and I’m almost relieved not to have to try and sleep in my childhood home as we gut it. The Hampton staff have been sweet and kind, bless ’em.

    *Not only the usual debris of two Depression era babies who had four kids, from it’s 1963 build to the present, but the contents of Mom’s mother’s house were stuffed into it c. 1982, who literally kept string and buttons among other 1930s might-run-out-ofs. Did you know a house can contain four tin paneled pie safes?

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  29. Deborah said on July 28, 2020 at 8:19 am

    So Trump has said on teevee that he doesn’t intend to pay his respects at the capital to Rep John Lewis. The president of the United States is not going to visit a civil rights hero at Lewis’s place of honor In the rotunda. There are no words.

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  30. Julie Robinson said on July 28, 2020 at 9:06 am

    Jeff, I have lived what you are going through more than once, and I have only one word: chocolate. Dunno what to suggest about the attorney, but our daughter went through that with a parishioner and it didn’t end well. As for the house, did you consider selling it as is? At one point do you need to forget about the money and just get out from under it? We spent three years working on Mom’s house over holidays and three-day weekends and it just about killed us.

    Our own version of this is going on again now as we prepare for our move to Orlando. We’re adding a couple of bedrooms and a bathroom to the home there to accommodate all five of us, the whole of which will be ADA compliant with tall toilet, walk in shower, grab bars everywhere, all for Mom. She called yesterday and spent an hour telling me everything is wrong, it won’t work, it’s too small, her closet is too small, the wall of windows will make it too bright, on and on. She doesn’t want to move again, she doesn’t want to downsize more, she will just stay here when we move. She knows no one here and has already rejected Meals on Wheels and a cleaning/companion service as not up to her standards.

    Tomorrow she’ll be 88, and I’m thinking a lot of it has to do with the birthday. But here’s the reality; she will have to downsize, though Lord knows about all her crap still in storage units. We have a pie slice of a lot, and the architect has squeezed out every square inch possible, but there’s less space. She needs a lot of help these days, which is why we sold the house here early and moved a few doors down from her. She doesn’t drive, can barely walk a block, has deteriorating vision, having more trouble with the computer, and hates to make phone calls. There are balance issues and sometimes she gets dizzy. Sounds like a great recipe for living by herself, right?

    Staying in a hotel is actually a good thing. You have a bit more distance and can escape at the end of the day. I always did it when visiting her, starting because of the dust and cat hair, but realizing it was healthy in many other ways.

    I’m praying for you, Jeff, and would appreciate your prayers in return.

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  31. Scout said on July 28, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Listening to Rumours takes me right back to 1977, when I lived in a dilapidated old farmhouse that we (the ex and I) rented from a Mennonite farmer for $100 a month while we saved up for our first house purchase. We didn’t have much back then, but we did have a kick ass stereo system with a pair of Bose 501s. Rumours was in regular rotation with Supertramp’s Crime of the Century, Steely Dan’s Countdown to Ecstacy, McCartney’s Wings Over America, Heart’s Dreamboat Annie, Dave Mason’s It’s Like You Never Left, Frank Zappa’s Apostrophe and Head East’s Flat As A Pancake. We had some rockin parties at that old farmhouse. Music has provided the soundtrack for my life from the moment I watched The Beatles on Ed Sullivan.

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  32. FDChief said on July 28, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    The LeMay thing I actually recall is his running as George Wallace’s VP candidate in 1968. I was eleven, and was just barely aware of US politics, but my Eisenhower-Republican parents were horrified by the Wallace candidacy and that kinda rubbed off on me – not any sort of genuine understanding, just the general sense that there were these two horrible people called “goddamnWallace” and “thatidiotLeMay” who wanted to turn my little suburban piece of Chicago into the Confederacy (not that I understood that, either, except it meant bad things for the eight African-Americans who went to my 500-kid elementary school…)

    So after Halloween my kid sister (nine) and I conducted our annual post-Halloween-tradition – taking the jack-o-lanterns out in the back yard, digging our father’s old wooden longbow out of the garage, and feathering the things with arrows (also the lawn, my mother’s hydrangeas, and probably the cat if he’d been stupid enough to hang around, which he wasn’t).

    Only the Halloween of 1968 we officially named one of the punkins “Wallace” and the other “LeMay” so we could show the Bad People what we thought of them. Somehow it made the whole process more fun.

    What’s kind of even more horrifying to realize about that is that in the 1968 election several weeks later about 13% of the American public voted for those two open and proud segregationists and white nationalists. They took five states: Arkansas, Louisiana, and the heart of Dixie (Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia).

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  33. basset said on July 28, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Head East… one of several bands from Champaign which were popular around that time, along with REO Speedwagon, Starcastle, Dan Fogelberg, and probably others I’m forgetting.

    A few years later, 1984 or so, we drove past a biker bar in Hutchinson, Kansas with a sign out front, “Tonight – Head East!” They may still be out there.

    Just checked, and of course they are, “The Midwest’s Legendary Classic Rock Band.” Good for them.

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  34. Scout said on July 28, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    bassett, that is so cool that Head East is still around! Between the vinyl (which we carefully cleaned with a velvet brush each use) and those 501s, music sounded so awesome back then. It was crisp with real separation between the high and low ends. You could hear every instrument. Those were the days. Yeah, I’m OLD.

    Edited to add – good to see you FDChief!

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  35. ROGirl said on July 28, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    The person from my office with covid came forward today and sent an email to everyone. It sounds like her case is mild. She caught it from her neighbor, even though she stayed outside the house.

    Employees are on M-W and T-Th rotations, I’m not in the office when she’s there.

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  36. LAMary said on July 28, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    Based on what’s in the facebook “likes” lists of my grand nephew and grand nieces who live on the northeast end of Long Island, Breathing East must be a local band there. I thought for a moment that’s who you were talking about and was impressed with their staying power.

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  37. Sherri said on July 28, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    There will always be supporters of the Face Eating Party because there will always be people who are convinced that their faces will never be eaten.

    Just don’t put your face there, they say, smug in their certainty.

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  38. Brandon said on July 28, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    So… any thoughts on Doja Cat?

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  39. basset said on July 28, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    Don’t know, going by the first screen of her Wiki I don’t want to know either.

    Scout, REO is still touring too, with only one original member.

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  40. David C said on July 28, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    I dread having to do that for my parents, Jeff. They told me I’m the executor of their will. I’ve asked them to tell me what I’ll need to know such as the lawyer’s name, where their bank accounts are, and such. They just say “Oh, it’ll be alright”. So if my dad went first and with my mom’s memory being iffy I’m afraid I’ll have to play Sherlock Holmes from four-hundred miles away. Damn my older brother for dying and leaving me to do something like this that I’m completely ill suited for.

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  41. beb said on July 28, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    That Trump won’t view John Lewis in the Rotunda is typical of him. But on the plus if he had gone he would have said something incredibly offense; so by not going he’s doing us all a favor.

    It sounds like LeMay ended up in Dr. Strangelove the one who said “I’m not saying we won’t get our hair mussed.

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  42. Julie Robinson said on July 28, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    David, I had to go through all of that with my sister, except there was no will and no documents could be found in her ruined apartment. All I had was her purse and whatever statements came in the mail. A few months in, I found out she also hadn’t been filing her taxes. It took about a year and a half to get it all settled, and we probably paid half her estate in attorney and accountant fees.

    After that, my mom made a will and added my name to all her accounts. Can you sit down with them and honestly tell them your concerns? Ask if you could all visit the attorney together, so you’d feel better prepared for what it outside your normal skill set.

    FDChief, what part of the country did you grow up in to have hydrangeas still blooming in October? Here in the midwest it’s happening now.

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  43. David C said on July 28, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    Julie, my brother, my sister and I have all tried separately and together. They’re stubborn. They just say it’s all taken care of and we don’t have to worry. It’s probably in a filing cabinet somewhere but my dad has six of them that I know of. We have the same problem with my mom’s health. She has a problem forming short term memories. It was really bad about five years ago until a gastroenterologist she went to for stomach problems discovered she had vitamin B-12 deficiency. Once they started giving her B-12 injections the memory problems completely cleared up. Then they put her on high dose tablets and now it’s back and we’ve all asked if she is getting her B-12 checked because maybe she needs to get injections again. She never says yes or no just “Oh, I have a good doctor, I’m sure he’s checking”. My sister has asked them to put her name on as a person they can discuss their medical issues and she gets the “oh, we’re OK” thing too. They’re so frustrating that we’ve all just given up. My brother, sister, my parents and Mary’s mom have our wills and financial contact information in case something happens to us. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t want to do something so simple that would save us a lot of bother later on, but there it is.

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  44. Sherri said on July 28, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    My brother is the executor of my parents’ estate, because he lives closer, and my parents went over everything with both my brother and I about a year ago. The thing that might have been tricky has already been handled, which is selling my grandparents’ farm. That could have been a pain simply because it could have meant coordinating with aunts and uncles and/or cousins, but it was fortunately sold when just the children were involved, no grandchildren (or great-grandchildren.) My parents still have 30 acres, which my brother and I will sell when they’re gone.

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  45. Brandon said on July 28, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    @basset: To each his own, but I wouldn’t want you to miss out on this.

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  46. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 28, 2020 at 8:24 pm

    Julie, you have a deal! And David, we’ll both pray for you. I work pastorally around plenty of similar situations, and in the end . . . it is what it is. At a certain point, all you can do is hope you aren’t out much as long as you have the comfort of not hoping for anything coming in. Those are the worst cases, where you quickly realize working with a family that a couple of adult children have very specific ideas about how they will come out at the end, and when it’s zero, there’s some major issues (or who gets to move into the house, or which child gets furniture, etc.).

    My sister and I have long known the game is to come out a) with enough to cover some assisted living costs and b) minimize how much it costs us to close out the estate. We’re going to probably come out zero when all’s said and done, and then it’s Mom’s Social Security and what we can throw in depending on where we’re looking. The grim utilitarianism of these days is an icy comfort; the ragged edge of it all scissoring together as the years passed probably contributed to my dad’s passing.

    Sherri, hat tip to your parents for getting things tidy early rather than waiting for later.

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  47. basset said on July 28, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    Thanks for your concern, Brandon, but just the opening frame was enough… didn’t even have to start the video. Just not going there.

    And back to family stuff for a minute… been sorting and filing old photos and indexing them in Excel. About all I can do is search by one keyword and just one. Who can tell me what I’m doing wrong here? I just started a spreadsheet, each envelope of pictures gets a title in the first column, keywords are added in the next few, hit save and move on to the next line.

    I need to set up a website just to share some of these dog pictures.

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  48. jcburns said on July 28, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    The keywords are…comma separated? Tab separated? Just a space between them? Each in quotes? I think it all makes a difference. Oh wait, you’re putting a different number of keywords into a varying number of…columns? Rows? And you’re searching just by typing text into a search field at the top?
    Are you on a PC or Mac, btw? (So many questions.)

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  49. jcburns said on July 28, 2020 at 8:48 pm

    Basset, do you currently have a Gmail (google) account? I ask because I think the real solution for you is to use You can upload an unlimited number of photos, (if you let them store them at slightly reduced resolution, which you’ll never notice); they are sorted and displayed, you can group them in albums that can be selectively shared, it lets you add descriptions (aka keywords) you can then search for, You can also search for faces, readable text in the photo, much more.
    If you’re OK with the Google-ness, it’s a great solution.

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  50. basset said on July 28, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    Mac here, always have been, and no Google… don’t use the cloud either, prefer to keep everything on my own drives with multiple backup.

    Comma or tab separated, I don’t know, I just enter each one in a different cell.

    No quotes, I just enter anywhere between none and five keywords in different columns.

    Tough to ask about this, it is embarrassing to be this clueless.

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  51. jcburns said on July 28, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    Actually, that’s good news. Lemme try to be brief on this. Your Mac indexes all kinds of interesting details about your images—JPEGs—that you can then search for in the Finder itself, Use the ‘Preview’ app to add keywords to the images themselves. Open one in Preview. Do Command-I (‘get info’) and then click on the magnifying glass tab in the little window. You can add or delete keywords from that interface. When you hit Command-S (‘save’) they are embedded in the file and that metadata goes where the image goes. Then you can use a Spotlight search (the always-there little magnifying glass in the top right) to search for any of those keywords and blammo, they come up. There are also ways to just search in certain folders and so on. I put keywords, descriptions, all kinds of metadata right INSIDE the file itself, and then it makes finding them a breeze. (That’s the short version!)

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  52. jcburns said on July 28, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    Couple more notes (sorry, folks who are not interested in this)—the keywords and other file metadata are not some sort of Mac magic…they are in the JPEG file spec itself, so the embedded info is useful on whatever system you move the file onto.
    If you like to use the Terminal (and I sure do), there are many commands that do Spotlight searches and list all the metadata in a file. They are all lightning-fast. Who needs a spreadsheet?

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  53. Deborah said on July 28, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    Makes me realize how woefully ignorant I am about saving my photos etc.

    We are back in Santa Fe, what a stressful trip. Our Covid tests are scheduled for 9:45 am tomorrow, hopefully our results will be as fast as the last time. Meanwhile we are practicing distancing with LB in the condo, wearing masks and staying clear while keeping disinfectants handy. This is weird but necessary.

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  54. basset said on July 29, 2020 at 12:15 am

    Thanks for that guidance, JC, I will try to absorb it. Not cataloging jpgs right now, mostly; I have a suitcase and a few storage tubs full of prints, slides, and negatives, nearly all of them from pre-digital days, and those are what I’ll be working on for awhile. I scan a few, mostly they’re saved as physical documents in file boxes though. Have never used Spotlight or Terminal… or Siri or the keychain, for that matter… and the digital pics I do have filed are mostly organized in Photos albums.

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  55. Sherri said on July 29, 2020 at 2:09 am

    Everything here will continue to be remote at least through the end of 2020. A few months ago, everyone was thinking in terms of coming back in person maybe after Labor Day; now, nothing before January, and everybody is looking at Google’s July 2021 date and wondering if that’s not more realistic.

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  56. Dorothy said on July 29, 2020 at 7:25 am

    I woke a little after 6 and after my eyes were fully opened, saw I had an email with my test results. Negative – what a relief. And now we hope my husband’s results come back soon, too. Our daughter-in-law also was negative, which is kind of astonishing as she and our son have been together 24/7. My daughter might get her results today, too. It’s amazing how laser focused one becomes on this topic – the waiting is not fun.

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  57. 4dbirds said on July 29, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Such good news Dorothy.

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  58. Julie Robinson said on July 29, 2020 at 9:35 am

    Great news, Dorothy, and fingers crossed it continues. How are your son and DIL feeling?

    ROGirl, let me get this straight, a person with Covid is being allowed to work in your office? In person? I’m glad you aren’t there on the same days, but what guarantee do you have that the particles aren’t still in the air and being circulated around the building through the HVAC system?

    jc, I actually followed what you wrote on the third read. Getting photos digitized and organized was one of my goals for the year. It’s tedious.

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  59. jcburns said on July 29, 2020 at 9:38 am

    Sorry, I assumed incorrectly you were discussing images already digitized! I’d advise: start experimenting with Spotlight now…I use it every day. Type in obscure phrases or some of those keywords and you (may) be delighted to find obscure stuff tucked away on your hard drive.

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  60. jcburns said on July 29, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Julie, one of the nice things if you’ve embedded useful metadata (keywords, description, etc) they can all be in one big ol folder on your hard drive—let the indexing do the work. There are ways to ask for pictures just from August 2005, or from August 2005 that have the keyword ‘wedding’, and so forth. We (by that I mean me) are a bit obsessive about location metadata. We capture it from our phone pics, we add it to pics from cameras that don’t have it. Where did we have that great dinner in Nebraska in Summer 2013? The metadata knows.

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  61. Julie Robinson said on July 29, 2020 at 9:55 am

    Useful, absolutely. But no less tedious.

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  62. ROGirl said on July 29, 2020 at 10:24 am

    The information from HR had some gaps. When I came to the office this morning I asked a lot of questions. What I was told is that she was in the office on Tuesday. She came into contact with her neighbor on Wed and got tested the next day. This whole thing has not been handled well (typical for the company). The notification went out late Monday with vague statements about protocol being followed. Some people have opted to stay remote now. We haven’t heard anything from HR since yesterday. Supposed to be a meeting today.

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  63. jcburns said on July 29, 2020 at 11:33 am

    Julie, maybe it’s a point of view thing but I find it way, way less tedious. (Why would I sign myself up for tedium?)

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  64. Dorothy said on July 29, 2020 at 11:42 am

    ROGirl if I am understanding you correctly, I am astonished they are not enforcing the CDC recommendation of the person who tested positive should be self-quarantining. Your HR department is reckless if they are not telling her to do that. Then again, maybe your reference to her being in the office on Tuesday (last week?) and then learning about the contact the next day means she has not been back to the office since that Tuesday. For me, I was in my office on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, morning only. It was Thursday at 10 AM when my son told us he was positive. I have not been back there since.

    Julie – my son has had a mild sore throat, extra tiredness, a little nausea day before yesterday, and today he said he feels some thickness in his throat, but I don’t think he’s had a fever. His wife has had no symptoms. All of us have been taking our temps and they’ve been normal. I found out the secretary of a quilt guild I’m a member of has it, and she’s been feeling just awful. She’s in her 30’s. I emailed her the other day to lend support. She’s been very ill, but still at home. Body aches, fever, headaches, just the worst she’s ever felt, she said. My son has not described his symptoms like that. We FaceTimed on Monday evening and he looked and sounded like himself.

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  65. ROGirl said on July 29, 2020 at 11:50 am

    Dorothy, she was in the office last week.

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  66. basset said on July 29, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Great to hear about your test, Dorothy – hope the other results go well too.

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  67. Deborah said on July 29, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    I didn’t mention this here earlier because I didn’t want LB to see it, but one of uncle J’s caregivers had a fever Sunday and felt really bad, we left uncle J’s Sunday morning and we were standing close to him at some point. I have been freaking out about it, trying to stay calm. All of uncle J’s caregivers have since been tested, and uncle J too, some of them got the rapid test and today the guy who had the fever was proclaimed negative and all of his other caregivers tested negative too, we’re not sure about uncle J’s test yet, he was given it at his home so I think it will take a bit longer. Big relief although the caregiver with the fever is still quarantining for 14 days (or more). My husband and I had our tests this morning, won’t know the results for a few days of course. I feel better knowing all the folks around uncle J have tested negative but still one worries about false negatives, at least I do. I told LB about the feverish caregiver after we arrived back from our tests, it was while we were waiting in the car for the tests to be administered that we got the text that he was negative. I’m spending most of my day outside and will continue to do that until our tests results are in. It’s a good thing the weather is wonderful today, so far.

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  68. Deborah said on July 29, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    Also, I ordered groceries through Amazon and will be picking them up curbside at the local Whole Foods between 6 and 7 this evening. It’s the first time I’ve done this, but now that I know how to do it, it’s probably something we’ll do more often. It was a bit frustrating figuring it out at first.

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  69. Colleen said on July 29, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    I just listened to Michelle Obama’s podcast, with her first guest, President Obama. If you’re looking for some articulate, thoughtful conversation, this is the podcast for you. It’s only on Spotify.

    I miss them so.

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  70. Beobachter said on July 29, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    Michelle Obama transcript at

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  71. basset said on July 29, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    JC, can we take this archiving discussion offline? thanks

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  72. Deborah said on July 29, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    This thread and the comments had me laughing out loud

    As I said before I was amazed to learn that someone actually married him and had 3 daughters with him.

    Edit: you have to click on the second tweet in the thread to read the comments

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  73. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 30, 2020 at 12:15 am

    Deborah should appreciate one of the “singers” here . . .

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  74. Dorothy said on July 30, 2020 at 8:11 am

    Okay we need l.a.mary to check in – there was a 4.2 earthquake just north of LA this morning.

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  75. Deborah said on July 30, 2020 at 10:10 am

    These are John Lewis’s own last words. This is beautiful I’m sitting outside crying after reading this, and it’s hard to cry when you’re wearing a mask.

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  76. ROGirl said on July 30, 2020 at 10:52 am

    He has said this.

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  77. Icarus said on July 30, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Lot’s to comment on so I will break this up.

    Dorothy, i hope the good news continues

    Dexter, I’m hoping your wife is doing well. In February after a typical run, my knee was bothering me. I thought it would feel better like always after a few days of rest. Didn’t. I still did a little running but work and laziness took over. I was gonna get it looked at but then COVID-19. Finally went in last Thursday to see an Ortho and got an MRI on Monday. I guess I”m asking any advice you can give about knees and replacements, though I’m still years away from that.

    JC — love the info. i just found a small box of flash drives with hundreds of pictures i’ll likely never look at again but still would love to be able to find something important. For instance, I did that thing were you take a picture of the paint can (with code) so that you don’t have to save the old paint can itself. Now I cannot find it when I need it. My little douche nuggets decided to put something on the living room wall and when we cleaned it, it took a small chunk of paint with it.

    Finally, I got my first Twitter Troll

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  78. Icarus said on July 30, 2020 at 11:01 am

    part II: my mom is in her mid 70s. The other day I confronted her about something I’ve been begging her to do for years.

    First let me paint a picture. my mom has the mental and emotional faculty of a teenager. Through an unfortunate set of circumstances, she never developed the tools and savvy to navigate Life beyond this stage. In addition to that, she also has a closet full of Bad Decision Jeans which she wears to death. I keep talking to her like she is an adult capable of understanding complex scenarios and making mature, adult decisions. Unfortunately, her brain is not wired correctly to process these directives. It’s kinda like explaining the plot of Inception to your dog…in Latin.

    but i keep trying. I asked her to put together a will and also a box or file cabinet of all her pertinent papers. She is a bit of a hoarder so there is no way I could easily find anything important like the one valid insurance policy she has.

    naturally she met this with anger and yelling. she said that the more i ask the more she will rebel. excuse, excuse, accusation, excuse. i held firm and pointed out all her flawed logic but also that we need to do this sooner than later.

    I don’t really expect anything but I felt like maybe this time I got through to her and she will try to at least start the file cabinet. On the other hand this is the woman who refused to sign forms so I could get financial aide for college when they where giving that stuff away. “but the government already has my tax returns”. Ugh.

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  79. Deborah said on July 30, 2020 at 11:15 am

    I think Trump put that outrages tweet out there about delaying the election to distract from the horrible new report about the economy. I wonder what his Republican enablers will say. Trump is nuts. Seriously.

    Icarus, that must have been not fun growing up with a mom like that.

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  80. Dorothy said on July 30, 2020 at 11:23 am

    More good news today – my husband’s test was also negative. Still waiting to hear about our daughter’s test. She had sad news yesterday. Two weeks to the day when they heard that her partner’s mother was diagnosed with end stage pancreatic cancer, Jodi died. Her son visited her two days later, and spent one good day visiting, but her condition was very apparent. It’s a blessing that she did not suffer long.

    Icarus I don’t know you or your mom, but something occurred to me. Might she be more open to organization if you offered to help her? Or would that just antagonize her more? It’s just a thought.

    I feel almost guilty for looking forward to seeing and hearing President Obama speak at John Lewis’ funeral, which I’m watching as I type. I think having periodic appearances by him give me hope that recovery for our country is not too far in the future.

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  81. Julie Robinson said on July 30, 2020 at 11:25 am

    Herman Cain has died, after fighting Covid 19 for a month. It’s going to be hard to refrain from snarky remarks.

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  82. Jeff Borden said on July 30, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Herman Cain is dead. Louie Gohmert, one of the dumbest of the dumb in the House, has Covid-45. And yet still tRumpanzees deny the realities of the pandemic. And it’s not just them that bother me.

    Illinois and Chicago have done about as well as could be imagined in dealing with the coronavirus. A few weeks ago, it looked like we might be coming out of our quarantine as cases and deaths declined steeply. Well, they’re back on the rise again. It seems people are getting careless and ignoring the recommendations. There’s an area of Lake Michigan right off LSD near where Deborah lives where boaters tie up inside the breakwater to party. Photos from last weekend showed dozens of boats and hundreds of young people enjoying the hot sunshine sans masks. I, too, want a return to some level of normalcy, but until we all get fucking serious about this, it will not happen.

    Goddam I wish we had a strong leader in D.C.

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  83. Suzanne said on July 30, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    We just had a client come into the office where I work. When asked to put on a mask, he very, very grudgingly did so. When he left, he whined about how the masks don’t help because if they did they should have been mandated months ago. And, dammit, the governor has no authority to mandate it and thank god the attorney general stepped in and stop him from enacting consequences for non-compliance. (Never mind that the AG of IN is hot water for groping women).

    What faith I had in people has been eroded to below zero these past 3 years.

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  84. Deborah said on July 30, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    I too have lost so much faith in humanity. What has happened to the human race in the last couple of decades is appalling. Greed and anger are rampant and it keeps getting worse and worse egged on by our president and his enablers. I know you guys (mostly) are the choir but sometimes it does my heart good to express that. As I’ve said here before, we’re experiencing devolution and it’s happening fast.

    I’m spending another day Quarantining outside, nice weather Even though it will get up to 89°. Can’t wait to get our Covid test results.

    Good news Dorothy, hope it continues with your daughter’s results.

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  85. Sherri said on July 30, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Gohmert, usually considered among the stupidest members of Congress, lives in his Congressional office when he’s in DC, doesn’t wear a mask, berates staffers who do wear a mask, and the only reason we know he has COVID-19 is because he was tested because he was scheduled to go to Texas with Trump. How many people has he exposed?

    Could he give Mitch McConnell a big ole hug?

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  86. Deborah said on July 30, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    A Santa Fe gardening report (since I’m outside all day observing everything): now that the neighbors have cut down the trees in their yard which nicely shaded the garden and the building we’ve had to come up with some creative ways to provide shade for the garden. The building is cooked, literally. We have no idea why the neighbors did that, they did it on all sides of their property except where they have an apricot tree. The apricots fall onto our property and we’ve tried eating them. They’re mealy and tasteless and they attract critters. On their side no one collects the fruit so it just lays on the ground and rots. Our vegetable garden on our south side isn’t doing well, only 5 tomatoes are forming and no pepper plants have progressed more than a few inches above ground. And other plant failures. Probably a consequence of bad dirt and too much sun. We water in the morning and the evening. I wish we knew what we were doing, but this is the first year to really try veggies. Our lavender grew well again but the duration of the blooms were much shorter (global warming no doubt). LB has yellow squash and cucumbers growing in some galvanized tubs, those look green and lush but few produce growing, same for the eggplant. The only thing that seem to growing gang busters are runner beans, no pods yet but lots of vines and a few flowers. Our Russian sage plants are doing well too. My husband went to Abiquiu today to do critter patrol. I’ll be interested in finding out how our sad Russian sage plants are doing out there. We’re about ready to give up on having a garden out there, unfortunately.

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  87. basset said on July 30, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Great to hear that about another negative test, Dorothy!

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  88. Dave said on July 30, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    I, too, lose faith in people when I see postings, when I receive messages from longtime acquaintances, one questioning my level-headedness because I think the current person fouling up the White House is worse than terrible.

    I can share in the parents irresponsibility. I may have written it before but we tried to get our parents to make some plan or tell us what they wanted done when they passed away. The only answer any of us ever got was that neither of them wanted to be lying in a funeral home with people looking at them. No plan as to service, nothing about where they wanted their resting spot to be. So, they’re lying in a Scioto County, OH, cemetery, a family cemetery, that AFAIK, was once a corner of an ancestor’s farm, now maintained by the township. Although the overall setting is pretty, the cemetery tends to be a weed patch, it gets mowed twice a summer by the township. Our mother specifically told my sister and myself to never PUT HER THERE. We talked of putting her beside her parents and brother, where we still have two plots, but were overruled by our three other sibs who said we can’t split up our parents.

    Dorothy, may all of your family be healthy.

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  89. LAMary said on July 30, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    Deborah, squash and cucumbers and all the plants in that family may need to be hand pollinated. I’ve had squash plants grow beautifully, lush and green and blossomed but no squash. There are tutorials online about hand pollinating and it’s not too tricky. Eggplant, squash, cucumbers and most melons are in that family.

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  90. susan said on July 30, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    LAMary – Gosh, I have cukes taking over the garden, heading toward the alley, growing inches overnight, tendrils grabbing onto anything and everything. I can’t keep up! And no one around here wants any because everyone else is overrun, too. I have never hand-pollinated cucumbers, and this happens every year. (You’d think I’d learn not to plant so many seeds… but no.) But, I do have LOTS of real live flying and crawling pollinators doing their job. There are lots of things blooming the yard, attracting them. Sunflowers are super for that. So is Greek oregano and lavender.

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  91. LAMary said on July 30, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    My pumpkins, cucumbers and zucchini here in LA are doing fine, but when I had a roof garden in NYC we had lots of blossoms and zero zucchini or cucumbers. Tomatoes did well, but not the other stuff. It depends on what pollinators are hanging around your garden.

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  92. basset said on July 30, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    As a native Hoosier, I have to grow tomatoes wherever I am… not in 5-gallon Firehouse pickle buckets on the deck though, too hot and they have not done well. The squirrels started getting in em this year too… they haven’t yet noticed the plants on the north side of the house, so we have gotten a few from there.

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  93. Julie Robinson said on July 30, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Dorothy, I’m glad to hear about Mike’s negative test, but your poor daughter and partner must really feel like they’re in limbo right now. Will there even be a service/memorial, and then whether or not she could be with him, what wrenching decisions to have to make.

    Deborah, it may be your soil, and it may be the high temps, but watering at night is not recommended for tomatoes and most other veggies. The water on the leaves can promote fungi and blossom end rot. In Orlando the summer is the fallow period for gardens because of the heat. They grow again in the fall, and in the winter/spring. Do you compost? That would be a great way to build your soil.

    We’ve been eating cherry tomatoes in abundance for three weeks, and had our first BLT with the big tomatoes on Tuesday. They are in big pots on concrete, because we don’t have any other place. If we have any extra, I’ll offer them to the neighborhood busybody*, Doc, who insisted we absolutely couldn’t grow tomatoes here, and that if we did produce any, the critters would get them. *Actually, they are ALL busybodies. You don’t mention anything that you don’t want spread around, and fast.

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  94. ROGirl said on July 30, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    With the new Michigan executive order, everyone in my office who can work remotely has to stay home. There have also been 3 more people with covid symptoms. I talked with one of them. She is feeling very fatigued and headachy, is scheduled for a test next week.

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  95. Deborah said on July 30, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    LAMary, LB says she used qtips to hand pollinate the squash and cucumbers earlier. So she’s doing it again now. We have tons of bees on the south side of the yard where the lavender and Russian sage and the veggie garden are. The tubs with the cucumbers, eggplant and squash are on the east side of the building. I had no idea you might need to hand pollinate, good to know.

    I got garden dirt from Home Depot, it was organic something or other. I don’t think it’s the best thing around, but what do I know. Our dirt in Abiquiu is pathetic, we need to figure out how to amend it.

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  96. Deborah said on July 30, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    Julie, all the local info is you must water at night around here, because the sun is super intense in this altitude. A friend of LB’s said you have to water in the morning too, to give the plants enough to help ward off the intense sun during the coming day. So who knows?

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  97. worriedman said on July 30, 2020 at 5:20 pm

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  98. LAMary said on July 30, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    I only water at dusk and/or first thing in the morning before the sun is high. I don’t do both unless the humidity is extemely low. We get single digit humidity here pretty often. On the stuff in containers I poke a finger in the dirt and see how far down it feels moist. You might want to try other varieties of lavender if you’re not getting large flowers. I use Spanish lavender here and it works fine. My brother in Colorado has Russian lavender. Your climate there is about halfway between those two.

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  99. Deborah said on July 30, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    This is of course fantastic

    Our lavender has been great for the last 7 years, this year was good too except the blooming time seemed to be a bit shorter than it has been. They say lavender plants around here only last 6 to 10 years so we may be getting to the end of their lives.

    I think our lavender is English lavender but we seem to have one French lavender plant.

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  100. Scout said on July 30, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    Thanks, Josh, (shakes off the face slap) I needed that.

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  101. alex said on July 30, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    My parents have asked that no death notices be posted in the local media, probably because they fear that I will be immodest like the children of so many of their friends, or bitchy/snarky like I tend to be in my writing generally.

    Just one of many issues we have yet to traverse. It’s great to have a forum where others are discussing such things.

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  102. LAMary said on July 30, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    It looks like I have a job for at least until the end of September, probably a little longer. I have a temp job recruiting epidemiologists for Los Angeles County. Also EMTs and some admin type jobs. Well timed considering the disappearing extra 600 that’s happening.

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  103. Dexter Friend said on July 31, 2020 at 4:24 am

    My last uncle also requested that no notices be sent to any media outlets. So none were. He got immediate cremation, and had secured permission to have his ashes scattered over his plot he had purchased when his mother passed away 55 years ago, so he already had a large stone.

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  104. Dexter Friend said on July 31, 2020 at 4:43 am

    Icarus, research doctors before you take the knife. It’s a big risk as my wife will tell anyone. Cleveland Clinic is so revered, and her first operation was perfect, and then the second one was totally a wreck. Surgery after surgery, trips back and forth across the Ohio Turnpike ad nauseum. Finally, she gave up on Cleveland Clinic. We had to switch to a closer surgeon, as she is not getting better. It’s hard for her, and she’s facing at best two more surgeries down the road. People with great results tell others to go get it done, you’ll be pain free and walk straight…and then you do it and …fuck…it all turns into the worst nightmare. My daughter’s battle with breast cancer over the past two years was difficult, and this knee condition of my wife’s is at least equally tough. And so she lies in a hospital bed, in the hospital, week after week, not improving enough to get another knee. A fucking nightmare, but really…it is worse for many others in the global pandemic.

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  105. Julie Robinson said on July 31, 2020 at 10:02 am

    Dexter, how horrible for you both. When my sister was in long term rehab keeping her spirits up was just as important as her physical recovery. Is there anything you can do to help her in that?

    Great news, LAMary. May it last beyond and beyond September.

    I stand corrected about watering in a dry climate. I’m used to gardening in the humidity of the midwest and even higher humidity of Florida. Carry on and ignore what I say, ladies! Except for amending the soil, I’m pretty sure that one’s universal.

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  106. JodiP said on July 31, 2020 at 10:40 am

    For all the gardeners out there, many states have extension services through their public universities. The extension manages the master gardener program. In Minnesota, you can connect with a MG or go on the website which has a ton of info. I am a master gardener, although this year I have done basically nothing. 🙁

    And lo, here is the site for New Mexico:

    If you google New Mexico extension garden, you get a broader site:

    This will work for any state. They are a great resource because all the info is based on research, not common “wisdom” which can be ineffective or even harmful.

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  107. LAMary said on July 31, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Watching Fauci being questioned by congress and so far the only thing that stands out is that Jim Jordan is a total ass. Fauci didn’t allow Jordan to mess with him, so yet again, Fauci shows he’s a mensch.

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  108. LAMary said on July 31, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Congressman Luetkemeyer from Missouri is also an ass. He wants to know why injuries to high school football players is not being studied as much as covid 19 since there are more football player injuries than covid deaths. Now he’s asking about hydroxichloroquine and zinc treatment.

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  109. ROGirl said on July 31, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    At 10:30 this morning the HR Manager called me and laid me off.

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  110. LAMary said on July 31, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    Jeez, ROgirl. I’m so sorry. It’s never a good feeling to get laid off, but when the employment picture looks so grim it’s really bad. My only advice is to goose your LinkedIn profile. The three companies that were talking to me all found me rather than me finding them.

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  111. ROGirl said on July 31, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks. I have to process this whole thing and see what I want to do next. I am actually glad to be away from all the bullshit I have been dealing with in this job, so this move fits in with the way they operate.

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  112. Deborah said on July 31, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    I’m sitting outside in Santa Fe this morning with a light jacket on, incredibly beautiful day. High temp here will be 82° and low humidity of course.

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  113. Heather said on July 31, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    I’m so sorry, ROGirl. I know a lot of people are in the same boat right now, but I hope it leads to something better for you.

    I got my first COVID test. I feel like this is a new, unwelcome rite of passage. It was the oral swab kind though, so maybe less accurate. I am going away for a short, low-risk getaway next week, and then Monday night I had a weird episode of vomiting–weird because I rarely do. I was super freaked out since gastro issues can be a first sign of an infection, but it came on so quickly, and then I felt better afterward with no other symptoms, so I was 85% sure it was some kind of food reaction. I signed up for a timeslot online and went to a drive-up facility about 20 minutes away. Waited for about 15 minutes–they give you the test and you administer it yourself (which I suppose means less reliability there as well). I got the result back in less than 48 hours–negative. Whew.

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  114. Sherri said on July 31, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    My husband and I are on a short getaway. We rented an Airbnb house on Bainbridge Island on the water for a few days. So, just the two of us, a 35 minute ferry ride from Seattle, and all we’re doing is sitting and reading and watching the container ships on the sound. But we needed to get away.

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  115. Suzanne said on July 31, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    From a Republican strategist:

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  116. LAMary said on July 31, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    The good old Southern Strategy. Pat Buchanan was a real patriot. Molly Ivins, referring to his speech at the GOP convention, said it was better in the original German.

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  117. Deborah said on July 31, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    ROGirl, sorry to hear about your lay-off but it sounds like you have it under control. I don’t know how old you are, I got my last job when I was 55 and then retired right before my 62nd birthday. I’m still thrilled that I’m retired, I can’t imagine having to decide whether to go into an office or work remotely these days. I’m also super happy that I don’t have to think about sending my daughter to school, I feel for the parents who are having to decide about that. How many more people will have to die in this situation?

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  118. Deborah said on July 31, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    I hadn’t listened to Sarah Kendzior for a while. On the one hand she sounds like a kook, but everything she has written about so far has come true. She writes about the Trump administration as a transnational crime syndicate masquerading as a government, which is frightening as hell. She connects Putin, Epstein, Kushner, Michael Cohen, the Russian mob etc etc. it could be an amazing conspiracy theory or it’s absolutely true and we are royally screwed.

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  119. alex said on July 31, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    Well, well, well…

    Fort Wayne’s biggest asshat, a city councilman who makes Trump look like a shrinking violet, landed us in the spotlight at Politico…

    He claims to have become fabulously rich selling mortgage-backed securities. Not that I believe anything that he says. He’s grotesque.

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  120. Deborah said on July 31, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    LB put together the IKEA units for the kitchen today. She’s an ikea master putting things together from them. It looks really good and adds tons of storage space. I was afraid she would need help and we wouldn’t be able to give it to her because of social distancing. But I stayed outside the whole time and she didn’t need my help at all. My husband is in Abiquiu so he wouldn’t have been able to help either. My job was to break down the boxes to put in the recycle bins.

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  121. Jim said on July 31, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    alex #117: I interviewed Charlie Savage for a math award (Sterling Sentinel!) when he was in high school. He helped break a big Trump story for the NYT (don’t remember which) and was one of the primary reporters on the Boston Globe Diocese pedophilia story.

    Jason Arp is woRse than grotesque. OTOH, Jim Jordan made Jim Balls look good by comparison, so the Fort has that going for it.

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  122. Deborah said on July 31, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    We had a 3.8 earthquake 11 miles north of Santa Fe yesterday. I didn’t feel it and only know about it because somebody told me it happened.

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  123. Jim said on July 31, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    All: sorry for my typos. My left arm doesn’t function well, which results in random uppercase E’s and R’s.

    Jim Balls was an autocorrect of Jim Banks. Although I like it quite a bit.

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  124. Suzanne said on July 31, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    Jim Balls is as good as VP My Pants.
    And just as appropriate.

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  125. alex said on August 1, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Jim Balls will never be a Jim Jordan, and maybe that’s a good thing. Balls’ predecessor, Stutz the Yutz, was a Jim Jordan — an outlandishly aggressive douchebag who was an embarrassment to his party back when his party still had some modicum of shame. Balls handily beat a primary challenger this year who was nuttier than he is, if you can imagine such a thing, by being his usual wooden self, not to mention much prettier.

    So about 40 percent of the local student population is opting for distance learning this fall. I’m sure it equates roughly with the number of people who take COVID seriously versus those who want to believe it’s a hoax that will disappear after November 3.

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  126. Jim said on August 1, 2020 at 9:32 am

    I wish I were shocked at this story about Greg Pence’s mall:

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  127. Deborah said on August 1, 2020 at 11:49 am

    I checked the website for the NM dept of health to see if my Covid test result was listed, not there yet. It has only been since Weds so I would have been lucky if it was there. They’re supposed to text me, but they said it was also available on the site. I’m anxious for this quarantining to be over, wearing a mask in the condo, LB has to spray everything down after we touch it. I’m feeling fine, no symptoms, but you never know. I’m sitting outside today again. Not getting much done except for reading, and I keep checking my phone obsessively.

    Dorothy, have you heard about your daughter’s test yet?

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  128. Sherri said on August 1, 2020 at 11:52 am

    Deborah, you’ll like this. The place we’ve been staying on our little getaway is owned by the architect Peter Bohlin and his wife.

    We’re headed home this morning, but it was a nice break.

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  129. Mark P said on August 1, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    Cobb County, just north of Atlanta is a right-wingnut enclave. They are demonstrating against the school board’s decision to have remote learning, since, you know, they are a Covid hotspot. This after about 200 kids and counselors at a YMCA camp in north Georgia caught the virus.

    On the I-don’t-know-anyone-who-has-it front, the people who bought our house and who are now going to buy the lot we own next to them are going to have to delay signing the purchase agreement because they caught it from their kid who plays lots of sports. They live a two-minute walk from us.

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  130. Deborah said on August 1, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Sherri, very nice, how wonderful that you were able to get away for a bit.

    We have an architect friend who lives on Bainbridge Island, haven’t seen her in years, we worked together in St. Louis and I took a trip with her to Ireland in the 90s to observe colors and patterns of a carpet we designed for a project. It was a wonderful trip except that she is Christian Scientist and didn’t want to have anything to do with Guinness Stout and didn’t want me to either. Guinness on tap over there is fantastic, so much better than what you get here in bottles and cans. I ignored her about that, a pint was heaven in a glass. I never drink stout here.

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  131. LAMary said on August 1, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    I think I mentioned it before, but I know two people who have died from it. Possibly three. The husband of the most recent death I know of was on a respirator last I heard. He’s in his late seventies.

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  132. Julie Robinson said on August 1, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    The story about the antique mall Greg Pence owns was in our newspaper this morning, along with photos of the offending items. Not only are they abhorrent, many of them are reproductions being sold as antiques. A little larceny along with the racism if you will.

    The Bainbridge place looks super relaxing, and I remember how beautiful that area is. Just the idea of going anywhere is so appealing.

    We lost a family friend early on in the Covid crisis, someone who was definitely in the high risk area. She was 80 and had numerous chronic, severe health issues, but she also didn’t get out much because of all the health problems. We’ve never heard how she picked it up and feel awkward asking about it.

    Our son mentioned coming for a visit along with his gf, and as much as I want to see them, I also don’t want them to come. The idea of them on a plane fills me with horror. And then of course everyone in the family would want a big gathering to see them, and I think it’s too dangerous.

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  133. beb said on August 1, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    Speaking of traveling and Covid, my dad just turned 99. He had a fall recently, went to the hospital, then to a nursing home/rehabilitation home, had a mini-strike back to the hospital then back to the nursing home. He’s losing weight, getting too weak to feed himself, has trouble speaking and sleeps a lot. Obviously he’s entering the end-stage of his life. My wife and I are going down next weekend to see him, probably for the last time. Because of the virus he can only have visitors twice a week. This has been hard on my sister who has been caring for him for the last decade. Our coming down will take away one of her chances to visit. The nursing home made this restriction recently because people were not following procedures about touching, wearing masks, etc. Stupid, selfish people!

    So we will be traveling (4 hours down 4 hours back) and meeting people who may or may not be infected and laying low for a couple weeks afterwards worrying about every stomach upset, headache or sniffles. What a combination of paranoia and cabin fever.

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  134. Mark P said on August 1, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    I just had a call from my 82-year-old aunt. Her grandson, who is staying with her, was required by the fast-food place where he works to get tested. He has a sore throat and apparently elevated temperature. He is supposed to get results in two or three days. Now we have to worry about him and my aunt.

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  135. Deborah said on August 1, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    I ordered online some of those gizmos that came today that allow your mask to hook behind your head instead of around the back of your ears. Honestly I don’t find that they feel any better. Maybe I just haven’t figured out how they connect so that they don’t push your ears forward which they still do for me so far. Oh well, they were cheap on amazon.

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  136. LAMary said on August 1, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    My older son got tested again yesterday because he had a sore throat. He’s negative. He was also concerned because although he comes home pretty often he stays outside and we talk at a distance. He was here on Wednesday and he came inside the house but went directly out to the deck where he stayed until he went back to his girlfriend’s home. We still were masked and distanced, but he was worried. We’re all still ok here. I go into work Monday morning. It would be bad for me to infect the new employer.

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  137. Suzanne said on August 1, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    Indiana makes The NY Times

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  138. Deborah said on August 1, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    My husband said he ordered our ballots today, to be sent to our address in Chicago, at least he thinks that’s what he did.

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  139. Deborah said on August 2, 2020 at 10:30 am

    So wasn’t Trump supposed to ban Tik Tok yesterday and today sign some tremendous healthcare bill? Not holding my breath. What a liar.

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