Two terrible columnists.

I’ve been aware of Salena Zito’s columns for a while now. The Pennsylvania-based writer, previously a nobody, rocketed to stardom after her work in 2016, where she essentially predicted Trump’s election, and came up with the “literally, not seriously / seriously, not literally” line that was quoted so often in the shellshocked days afterward.

I didn’t read many of them, though. I leave that to people like Roy, who carries the duty through life like Jesus’ cross. Someone has to do it; I’m glad it’s him.

Others have pointed out the gaping holes in her work – the jes’ folks sources, salt-of-the-earth Real Americans who turn out to be GOP county officials; the oddly well-constructed and perfect quotes that she just happens to overhear at gas station mini-marts; and so on.

The Detroit News has been carrying her work, and by Thursday, when she most often runs, my week has begun to slow down and I can savor every word. By the time I get to this kicker, the italic line at the end of most columns, I’m usually testy, and this doesn’t help:

Salena Zito is a CNN political analyst, and a staff reporter and columnist for the Washington Examiner. She reaches the Everyman and Everywoman through shoe-leather journalism, traveling from Main Street to the beltway and all places in between.

OK, then.

I read the one that ran today. It’s about minor-league baseball, because of course it is: It’s the sport most beloved by Everyman and Everywoman. Zito wore some leather off her shoes and took herself out to the ballgame, where she wrote this memorable scene-setter:

Altoona, Pennsylvania — As the scent of fresh-cut grass delicately fills the air, so do the aromas of hot dogs and hamburgers coming from the grill on the lower deck. Just past right field, there is an amusement park where you can hear the slow clink, clink, clink of the roller coaster as the carriage climbs its ancient wood scaffoldings. The kitschy music found at any ballpark in America echoes throughout.

The pitcher has taken the mound; the catcher is crouched in position; and an eternity passes as glances and signs are exchanged. The pitcher winds up, stretching his left hand behind his back. The ball sails toward home at a smidge over 90 mph, and POP! It lands in the weathered glove of the catcher.

POP! The clichés have really loaded the bases here, haven’t they? The scent of fresh-cut grass, hot dogs and hamburgers. Oh, and you say there’s an amusement park nearby? And can’t forget the sound a pitch makes in the “weathered” glove of the catcher, which in my world is called a mitt, but OK whatever.

I used to tell writing students: Tell me what you see, but learn the difference between meaningless and meaningful detail. If you’re describing something we’ve all seen, strive to describe it in fresh vocabulary. The sights and sounds of the modest, minor-league ballpark are pretty familiar in Zito country; think of something to notice besides the way the grass and hot dogs smell.

But what do I know? Nobody’s asking to put me on CNN.

This passage, describing the people watching from outside the fence, just chapped my ass:

Today, despite the relentless sun and heat, locals steal a peek of the taxi team from the fences located hundreds of yards away, along the parking lots or near the amusement park.

They say they are here just to hear the crack of the bat, or to follow the signals, or to see the game they love, or maybe even to catch a ball knocked out of the park.

I’ll bet my next 50-percent-smaller paycheck that there is no way in goddamn hell she hoofed it out to the cheapest seats to talk to any of those people. True, “they say” is pretty ambiguous in that she doesn’t quote anyone directly, or use quote marks, but if a normal Altoonan said they were there to “hear the crack of a bat” (and aren’t they all aluminum these days?) or ** “see the game I love,” I don’t know Everyman and Everywoman the way Salena Zito does.

Finally, any column about minor-league ball in Pennsylvania that doesn’t shout out Jim Brockmire? I have no use for.

Then there’s Gary Abernathy, the other Luckiest Man in Journalism, whose podunk newspaper’s endorsement of Trump in 2016 won him a contributor’s seat in the Washington goddamn Post, tries his Everyman best to sneer at the Lincoln Project, and ends with this amazing paragraph:

Among Never Trumpers are consultants, officials and pundits who have long been at the center of the Republican world, respected by conservatives who shared their vision and worked to achieve their common goals. But many of them were always somewhat misled, mistaking respect for love. They tell themselves now that Trump has corrupted the GOP. In fact, the GOP has long been the party it is today, just waiting for Trump to come along. That’s the hardest truth of all for the Never Trumpers to accept.

Ooooo-kay then!

I’m out at the tail end of an amazingly stressful week. I’ll debrief you all on the election here – an 18-hour day for yours truly, but a rewarding one – after the weekend. In the meantime, I will ask you: Note that the Republicans are not hesitating to use an unmedicated manic-depressive as a weapon against Joe Biden.

It’s only August! I can’t wait for the October surprise.

** Smarter sports fans have informed me pros don’t use aluminum bats. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Posted at 3:46 pm in Current events, Media |

125 responses to “Two terrible columnists.”

  1. Sherri said on August 6, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    No aluminum bats in minor league or Major League Baseball.

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  2. jcburns said on August 6, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    But Sherri, is there crying in Minor or Major League Baseball?

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  3. Deborah said on August 6, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    See Sherri, this is what I love about the internet, I would have never known that about bats in the major/ minor baseball.

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  4. Jakash said on August 6, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    Gee, I’m a lefty, big-city weenie version of an Everyman. I’d say that I’ve enjoyed hearing the crack of the bat, seeing the game I used to kinda love, or even hoping to catch a ball knocked out of the park. What I’ve never done, or thought about, is showing up “to follow the signals.”

    Hair Furor has outdone himself today — a completely amoral, porn-star humping, camel through the eye of a needle-riding, 9th Commandment-obliterating carnival barker attempting to denigrate a lifelong, practicing Catholic. This is top 5 hypocrisy territory, even with all the competition he regularly provides:

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 6, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    Hillsboro, Ohio is a lovely little village in the Paint Creek valley, jam packed with Hopewell Culture ancient earthworks. Never had Gary on any of the tours or programs I’ve done down there. Can’t imagine staying in that bad a mood in Hillsboro. Just down the road in Bainbridge is the one room museum of the first dental school in the United States.

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  6. Icarus said on August 6, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    re Jakash at 4

    my understanding of theology is one must be mighty powerful if they can “hurt God”

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  7. Deborah said on August 6, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    Something, something, motes and beams

    1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
    2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
    3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
    4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
    5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

    — Matthew 7:1-5 KJV (Matthew 7:1-5

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  8. Sherri said on August 6, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    Aluminum bats, which aren’t really aluminum anymore but made of various alloys, are used in amateur baseball because they’re more durable and easier to hit with. The “sweet spot”, the place on the bat where the ball jumps of the bat when you hit it, is bigger on an aluminum bat, and it’s possible to do things with weight distribution in aluminum bats that can’t be done in wood. Basically, to hit the ball the hardest, you need to find the heaviest bat you can swing the fastest, and with aluminum bats, it’s possible to put more of the weight at the end of the bat and less in the handle.

    These bats aren’t used in the majors and minors and a couple of high level summer amateur leagues because one, tradition, and two, concerns about safety. At the higher speeds the pitchers are throwing in the professional leagues, it’s considered too dangerous to have balls coming off the bat any harder and faster, with the pitcher in such a vulnerable position.

    Safety concerns have not stopped widespread use of maple bats in the bigs, though. Maple is a finer grain wood than ash, which was the traditional wood for bats, and it is more difficult to tell when the grain is completely straight. Maple bats have a much higher tendency to break into multiple shards which go flying into the field and stands. Players and fans have been hurt by flying shards of maple.

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  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 6, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    Hurt God? Hurt . . . God?

    I had to play that clip twice to convince myself he said it. It didn’t take half as long to convince me there are people around me who believe it’s a hazard to consider in this election.

    Plus: God, guns, Bibles. All pretty much a triple co-equal string of words, which he tells us he can remember in order. God, guns, Bible. Hurt.

    John 11:35.

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  10. susan said on August 6, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    Ash wood has a sweet, maple-like smell (ironic!) when it’s sanded. Maple doesn’t.

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  11. beb said on August 6, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    I’m surprised that J(TMMO) didn’t recognize that every time a person sons they hurt god. (God’s feelings).

    It’s starting to get embarrassing the more Trump talks the more he talks gibberish.

    The last line of Gary Abernathy’s column which Nancy quotes is absolutely on the mark. The Lincoln is appalled by Trump is everything they have done over the years has lead to this white supremist moron in the White House. And every law that he breaks is a law they have always wanted to break. They just can’t stand he is an uppity Queens boy who thinks he’s as good as they are.

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  12. David C said on August 6, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    The latest thing in bats is composite bats. The woman who cuts my hair has a daughter who plays travel softball and was furious that the coach recommended a $300 composite bat for the team members and they each have to have their own bat. I didn’t need my own bat until high-school. Anyway, it sounds like when the coach recommends, the parents feel obligated to buy. It’s been 45 years since I bought a bat, but I don’t think they were near that expensive. The bat CPI must be through the roof.

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  13. indiana Jack said on August 6, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    Don’t know Zito’s work, but I know a hack when I read one.
    Abernathy gives me heartburn.
    It took no backbone at all to back Trump in the context of his market and his readers. He was preaching to the choir.
    Oppose Trump and make it clear he was (and is) unfit for office and tell that to Ohio and Indiana readers. That was the road less traveled by in 2016.
    Trust me, I know.
    Abernathy took the easy and lazy path. Another hack.

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  14. Peter said on August 6, 2020 at 10:33 pm

    “They tell themselves now that Trump has corrupted the GOP. In fact, the GOP has long been the party it is today, just waiting for Trump to come along. That’s the hardest truth of all for the Never Trumpers to accept.”

    Talk about a stopped clock being right twice a day. It’s hard for me to admit it, but he’s absolutely right – the GOP has long been a racist, misogynist, xenophobic party who’s only goal is to hold on to power so the rich can get richer, and Trump just says the quiet part out loud. They’re made for each other like tainted peanut butter and runny jelly.

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  15. Michael said on August 6, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    “That swing was harder to watch than a high school production of Equus.”

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  16. alex said on August 7, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Restless tonight. Can’t sleep because I just can’t get my head around this.

    Today a colleague whom I used to respect tried to foist some conspiracy theories on me and seemed to take umbrage when I wasn’t having any of it. I mean, I’ve always been fairly adept at diplomacy with old-school Archie Bunkers and drunken uncles but this new generation is throwing me for a loop.

    The conspiracy theories (and no I’m not making this shit up):

    1) That actor Tom Hanks is a child sex trafficker who’s hiding in Greece to avoid extradition;

    2) That the online retailer Wayfair is in the business of shipping child sex slaves hidden inside furniture; and

    3) That the liberal media are protecting Hanks and Wayfair by not reporting on these important stories, instead attacking Donald Trump as a distraction.

    I’ve heard confessions that haunt me to this day about some very lurid stuff but I’ve never found anything so disturbing as people who are this matter-of-factly stupid and yet otherwise intelligent. I need a sleeping pill.

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  17. beb said on August 7, 2020 at 12:49 am

    Child sex trafficking is a big part of the Qanon conspiracy continuum. There are so many facets to their conspiracies that there is no one central belief. I’ve also heard that Wayfare was involved. I had no heard that Tom Hanks was involved. That’s new to me. The stuff is almost debunking-proof because if you point to any evidence counter to their claims, why that’s because you’re part of the vast deep state conspiracy. It’s stuff like that make me wonder how will we ever recover from Trump.

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  18. Deborah said on August 7, 2020 at 5:33 am

    I just recently noticed a chili roaster being set up in a grocery store parking lot. It’s that time of year again in NM. They hadn’t started roasting yet so I didn’t get a whiff of that wonderful smell. I haven’t been to the farmers market for weeks, partly because we were out of town and then self quarantining and partly because it’s full of tourists but at least they’re very strict about mask wearing there. I’m going to have to go this Saturday and brave it enough to get some roasted green chilies.

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  19. Michael said on August 7, 2020 at 6:13 am


    “And wearing masks makes it easier for child traffickers to hide the identity of the children being smuggled.”

    That’s actually an argument I’ve heard.

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  20. Suzanne said on August 7, 2020 at 6:38 am

    Alex, I have had those conspiracy conversations more often than i can stand. Just yesterday, a man I know pretty well, a county councilman in my area, a decent person, husband, father, etc. told me that the COVID virus is similar to the virus that causes malaria and that’s why we need to drink lots of tonic water to keep COVID at bay, as the quinine in the tonic will kill the virus. A quick internet search will tell you the cause of malaria isn’t a virus, but obviously he never did a search.
    I also have an elderly aunt who goes outside in the morning and rests her bare feet on the dew for a time because, you know, the dew pulls the toxins out of your body. Medicine is so simple, isn’t it?

    If you’ve never spoken to one of these people, consider yourself fortunate. It’s hard to digest that an otherwise perfectly normal, rational, responsible adult believes this garbage.

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  21. Mark P said on August 7, 2020 at 8:43 am

    Deborah, I was in ABQ 20-25 years ago in chili season. We stopped and bought a basket of them. My friend and I ate chilis when my parents went into the grocery store. The back of their little SUV smelled like roasted chilis for weeks. I would stick my head in there
    for a hit every once in a while.

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  22. alex said on August 7, 2020 at 9:03 am

    I remember being in Santa Fe in August and the chili roasting going on at the Jackalope store. Need to order me some Hatch chilis online. I grow Anaheims in my garden but they just aren’t the same.

    Made the mistake of accepting a friending invitation on Facebook from an in-law who’s an uneducated asshat. One of his friends called me a commiecuck so I called him a cousinfuck and things are devolving from there. Will be unfriending and I’m unconcerned about having to explain. My partner has done the same with some of his family.

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  23. Julie Robinson said on August 7, 2020 at 9:51 am

    Alex, I just had a similar experience with a casual friend from high school, short of the nasty language. She’s been paused for 30 days and will probably be unfriended after that. In the week we were friends, I didn’t learn anything about her life except that she’s a raving lunatic. I still don’t know about her family, work, or anything else, because all she posts is politics.

    Another friend thinks we should all just get Covid so we develop herd immunity, yet won’t consider getting the vaccine. She also believes that hospitals are inflating case numbers to earn more money. This is someone I was once close to, but she’s about to get the boot too.

    I’ve read all those other stories too. I push back with info from Snopes, but they believe Snopes like they believe the NYT. With older family members, I block the source of their lies. Others are blocked. Life is too short.

    Anyway, I call BS on that first column. She’s writing about a practice, for cripes sake. Is she in line for the Albom chair?

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  24. basset said on August 7, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Never heard of a baseball “taxi” squad before, only in reference to football. Refers to the old days of pro football, when players who didn’t quite make the team would be found jobs as cabdrivers, etc. to keep them in reach for possible future use.
    And, “hundreds” of yards away? Far side of the parking lot, maybe… very few baseball fields stretch more than 135-140 yards at their furthest point from home plate, too far to see most signals unless you’re the Astros.

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  25. basset said on August 7, 2020 at 10:02 am

    And, while I’m being picky about it, the team caps shown in that photo represent the minor league teams affiliated with the Detroit Tigers, not minor league teams in metro Detroit. The nearest of those teams is in Toledo, and the furthest is in Florida.

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  26. nancy said on August 7, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Columns tend to move on the wires without photos, but web postings require them or social-media engagement is sacrificed. So they dug up a picture of the Mud Hens. Doesn’t bug me.

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  27. Hank Stuever said on August 7, 2020 at 11:14 am

    In New Mexico, it’s green chile, not chili.

    Sorry, but I just can’t let that one go.

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  28. basset said on August 7, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Thought probably so and it doesn’t bug me either, except that the caption says the pic represents teams in metro Detroit and it doesn’t. Not a big deal, just being compulsive.

    Sat by the Cumberland River for a few hours yday watching barges cycle through a lock (at Cheatham Dam, Sherri) and herons hunt in the water, that was a nice break.

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  29. David C said on August 7, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    I’m so sick of hearing about herd immunity. Smallpox was around for 2+ millennia and we didn’t get herd immunity until the vaccine and didn’t eradicate it until the 1970s.

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  30. Sherri said on August 7, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    The taxi squad is new for baseball this year, because the minor leagues are shut down. It’s for the same purpose, to have a pool of players handy.

    Lots of things different about baseball this year.

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  31. Mark P said on August 7, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    Chile/chili, Spanish/English.

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  32. Jeff Borden said on August 7, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Regarding the LIncoln Project, I’ll embrace the old “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” trope, but it’s true the people behind it are hardly exemplary Americans. Bloody Bill Kristol has never seen a war he didn’t like. Steve Schmidt took us much farther down the road to tRump with his decision to make $arah Palin the veep for John McCain. The rest have worked extensively with the grifters and creeps that seem to populate the GOP. Still, the group has a knack for getting under that creepy, puffy orange skin and that’s good.

    Thank dog someone has called out Gary Abernathy. Not sure why, but when I read his shit online, my blood boils. As NN notes, he’s certainly one of the luckiest men in journalism. It strikes me funny that prestige papers like the Post, NYT, etc. give such prominent space to shallow thinkers and dolts in the name of equal time. No conservative operation of my knowledge does anything similar with progressives.

    BTW, a story about tRumpy’s assault on the USPS. My wife has control over some money her folks left their grandson and granddaughter. Our niece, who dropped out of college as a freshman, has moved to the Detroit area and needed $5,000 for some kind of tuition. I had to send it UPS because we were so nervous the Postal Service wouldn’t get the money to her in time. The motherfucker is trying to kill something Benjamin Franklin launched. I hate him so much.

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  33. Deborah said on August 7, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    Hank, thanks for that correction, I’ve often wondered about the proper spelling but never bothered to look at advertising signs where they’re being roasted, I guess. Mostly I’m dazzled by the smells and watching the rotating drums being roasted with the propane flames. The sound is cool too.

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  34. jcburns said on August 7, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    Those “we gotta have a picture for a web posting” imperatives result in some of the most awful use of clip art, and image after lousy image that are just plain misleading in their lazy inaccuracy.

    I hate (hate, hate) that these sites require some sort of image, any sort of image for a linked story that wouldn’t be worth casting in lead type, if that was still a thing.

    “Dry weekend in Atlanta,” and here is a generic picture of the sky because we have heard most weather occurs there.

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  35. Scout said on August 7, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Chile and chili are both correct, but in the Southwest it is considered a faux pas to spell it chili when referring to peppers.

    This is horrifying. Seriously, wtf?

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  36. Suzanne said on August 7, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    Indiana is doing well. Record number of COVID cases.
    Will the governor close things down? I’d put my money on NO.

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  37. Julie Robinson said on August 7, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    And because we’re doing so well, there’s absolutely no need to vote by mail. So unless I lie, I cannot get an absentee ballot. I’m uncomfortable with that.

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  38. basset said on August 7, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    On a more positive note, found the pickles at Costco today. And they’re quite tasty, shouldn’t take long to eat em up and repurpose the juice as tofu marinade.

    Slight progress on the photo filing, don’t think Excel is ever gonna be my friend though.

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  39. Deborah said on August 7, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    On our road trip up to Chicago we made a roundabout route to avoid the Mt Rushmore area, but we passed through Sturgis (no stops whatsoever) and it is a one horse town. The only thing it has going for it is the motorcycle event in the summer so it would be decimated without it. It may turn out to be decimated with it this year because of the virus. It will be very interesting to find out how the event effects the town, it will take a couple of weeks to find out of course.

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  40. Sherri said on August 7, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    Want to be my neighbor?

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  41. alex said on August 7, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    You can’t tell people who won’t wear helmets to save their own lives to wear a mask for the same purpose. I guess Darwin’s Law is a greater force of nature than we ever gave it credit for.

    The shitters in my rental decided to take a dump today. Turns out when the plumbers came out two weeks ago they roto-rooted the sinks and not the toilets and now my poor hubby’s snaking them. Going to Home Depot and maybe grab dinner if we can manage to unsee/unsmell the poo water.

    And so starts the weekend.

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  42. Dave Kobiela said on August 7, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    My wife and I took a day trip yesterday from our home in NE Indiana to our son’s home in Sterling Heights, MI. It was our grandaughter’s 8th birthday, so we did a surprise drive-by with a “Happy Birthday” and big “8” and balloons extended through the sunroof. We had a short socially distanced gift opening in the front lawn, then headed home.
    Down on US 12, just past the guy selling various Trump/Pence and Confederate flags, we stopped at a local meat market. We donned our masks, and I noticed the “Face covering required” sign on the door.

    We looked around a few minutes, noting that no employees were wearing masks. We bought a package of raspberry chipotle marinated chicken breasts, (going on the grill tomorrow) and my wife put our package in the car. I took a minute to read the full text of the mask notice on the front door, and it was “interesting”.
    1. Thanks to our “lovely” government, you must wear a mask, unless you have a medical condition.
    2. Due to government HIPAA regulation, we are banned from asking what your medical condition may be.
    3. Therefore, if you are not wearing a mask, we will just assume you have a medical reason.
    4. Enjoy your shopping visit.

    If I had read this before our visit, we would have gladly turned around and shopped somewhere else. We weren’t surprised to see several “RECALL WHITMER” yard signs as we were leaving town.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 7, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Julie, ego te absolvo.

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  44. David C said on August 7, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    No thanks, Sherri. I’d be afraid of being made fun of by McMansion Hell. With lawyer foyer and a shot of the too busy roof, she’d roast me on a spit.

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  45. LAMary said on August 7, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Basset, you found Grillo’s? They are tasty. My current thing is splitting one lengthwise and eating it with a bratwurst on a piece of pumpernickel. A little a dijon mustard too. Remember that was Obama’s other scandal. There was the tan suit and there was requesting dijon mustard. Then Michele’s bare(extremely toned) arms upset folks. Shameful.

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  46. LAMary said on August 7, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    Or my neighbor.

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  47. No name, please, but Nancy knows who I am said on August 7, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    As you know, Nance, I worked in one of the same newsrooms as Salena — though not, thank the gods, at the same time.

    My former colleagues who did work directly with her, loathed her. She was — so am I told — a teacher’s pet with the management.

    Even then, other reporters suspected her of fabulism, but when it was brought to the attention of the highers-up, they were the ones who came under suspicion.

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  48. LAMary said on August 7, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    If you haven’t seen this Nike ad already, please take a look.

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  49. Deborah said on August 7, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    That Nike ad is fantastic.

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  50. alex said on August 7, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    Baby be mine. (Neighbor, that is.)

    We live in a relative dump. But as they say, there goes the neighborhood. Bull market baroque.

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  51. LAMary said on August 7, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Isn’t it Deborah? Amazing, brilliant, moving and hopeful.

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  52. Sherri said on August 7, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    It will be interesting to see what the neighboring house sells for. The market is pretty hot, and houses in this neighborhood never stay on the market long. It will probably sell this weekend.

    Our neighbors’ youngest graduated from high school this year and the divorce was final about the same time. The last couple of months have been spent fixing the house up to sell it.

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  53. jcburns said on August 7, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    Dave K, saw that “lovely government” notice, apparently word for word, on the door of a True Value hardware in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan today. Staff was not wearing masks, but hey, behind plexiglas….(I’ll take any shielding I can get).

    Wonder where they’re cutting, pasting, and printing that garbage from?

    (Edit: I just googled “‘lovely government’ HIPAA” and…holy crap. Vast nut case conspiracy.)

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  54. Deborah said on August 7, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    My husband is hopeful that they have a buyer for uncle J’s Arizona property. The asking price was way below what uncle J paid for it and the prospective buyers offered 1/4 less than that. Then they did an inspection that turned out to be a 52 page document of picky stuff, so maybe it’s not going to happen. My husband is still optimistic but I don’t know why?

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  55. basset said on August 7, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    Went into a Wendy’s in west Nashville today, maybe five or six people working and exactly one of em had a mask on all the way. Don’t like being a male Karen but I did get my money back, manager pulled an attitude (“them masks slips down!”) and I was relieved to get out of there.

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  56. FDChief said on August 8, 2020 at 1:26 am

    I’m fortunate not to be acquainted with either of these “journalists”, but outside their lack of literary merit I have to give the second idiot credit for pegging the Lincoln Lads; it hasn’t been long enough since Darth Cheney was creating his own reality to forgive the bloody sins of people like Gerson and Kristol and Boot. Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is still my enemy.

    And rhapsodizing over minor league baseball is…oh, about seventy years too late. It’s not an entirely awful way to laze away an afternoon, but the minors as they exist now are a just a sad reminder of what happens when you let cash become your ultimate value.

    The Altoona Curve – presumably the team that Zito is supposed to be describing – is the Eastern League AA farm of the Pittsburgh Pirates so is in business to provide players for the Pirates. The Pirates run the club for the benefit of the Pirates. The Curve won the whole Eastern League in 2010; after the season the Pirates canned the manager who had helped get them there.

    Bill James used to use the example of one minor league manager – I want to say it was Tommy Lasorda, back in the Sixties – forwarding faked box scores to the big club to make them think he was playing the people they wanted him to play rather than his best lineup so his team could win ballgames.

    So if Zito REALLY wanted a great column she could have talked about minor league baseball as the sad metaphor for the United States 2020; a colorful but empty shell, a hollow show that entertains the rubes but is all run for the benefit of their distant owners and masters.

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  57. Dexter Friend said on August 8, 2020 at 3:41 am

    The News article is at least a year old. O.B. (Organized Baseball) cancelled all minor league games for 2020 months ago before the season started. The Altoona team is called The Curve, for the famous railroad Horseshoe Curve nearby. That team is definitely an O.B. club. A friend just returned from a ’round the Great Lakes tour, and posted pics of a game in Traverse City. The team is the Pit Spitters, a name I adore. I had to research…the team is amateur, not pro. Game on.
    Sherri explained thoroughly about bats so no need for me to add on. Today as I left the hospital from my visit, I tuned in the Tigers game in Pittsburgh. (It ended up 17-13 Detroit) , and I was thinking about the new rules for 2020, universal DH, start extras with a man on 2nd base, reliever must face 3 hitters unless the inning ends, 28 man rosters now, and I just thought I would not be surprised if they used aluminum bats, but as Sherri posted, if they did that, within a year a pitcher would be killed as a hit baseball would knock his head off.
    13 years ago Mike Coolbaugh, a first base coach for the Tulsa Drillers was killed by a hit baseball, and 44 years ago LA Dodgers catcher Steve Yeager nearly bled to death when ten splinters from a hit baseball/broken bat situation occurred. It’s now 100 years since Carl Mays killed Cleveland’s Ray Chapman with a pitched baseball, the only death like that so far.

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  58. David C said on August 8, 2020 at 6:39 am

    Minor league baseball is exploiting young people with a dream of playing in the major leagues. It’s shitty but better than football and basketball outsourcing its minor leagues to universities so we end up paying for what are usually the highest paid public employees in the state – the coaches. When I’m your benevolent dictator I’m going to rid universities of everything but recreational sports that anyone can participate in just for the fun of it.

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  59. Suzanne said on August 8, 2020 at 7:32 am

    One of the coffee shops in my town also announced (via Facebook) that they would not be asking anyone why they are not masking up because of HIPPA. It’s a nice coffee shop, too, but I will not be returning there any time soon. My sister-in-law’s hubby is an attorney and he assures me that HIPPA does not cover being asked what medical condition keeps a patron of the business from wearing a mask, which I assumed.
    There are almost no restaurants anywhere near us that I would consider eating at anymore. We’ve gotten carryout from several and notice, when picking it up, that the place is full of maskless people, crowded together.
    It’s not a surprise that COVID cases are rapidly expanding in IN.

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  60. alex said on August 8, 2020 at 8:28 am

    FDChief, I wish there was a “like” button because that was a worthy commentary in its own right. Not to mention it made me laugh hard enough to almost pee.

    Bush league baseball has become all the rage in Fort Wayne ever since the city built a new stadium as the crown jewel of its downtown revitalization effort. And it seems to be working. It’s now surrounded by half-million-dollar condos where squalid slums used to stand, and real estate prices have skyrocketed everywhere within its radius. I once sided with the naysayers who thought it would be another overly subsidized boondoggle but it has outperformed even the rosiest expectations.

    I have yet to attend a game there, and may never, but there’s no shortage of rubes to keep it in business.

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  61. Suzanne said on August 8, 2020 at 8:41 am

    This is concerning.

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  62. Deborah said on August 8, 2020 at 10:38 am

    Heather Cox Richardson wrote a great explanation of the USPS massacre in her daily essay, Letters From an American. Sorry no link.

    Once again the Republicans are doing everything they can to suppress the vote, and killing USPS has the added benefit for them to privatize it and create a few more oligarchs. It’s all so out in the open now, no trying to hide their goals anymore, Trump has almost normalized it all.

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  63. Julie Robinson said on August 8, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Alex, the stadium is beautiful and it’s fun to go to games there and wander around, soaking up the atmosphere. I always run into people I know. That’s the upside. The downside is that they’re playing baseball, and after a couple of innings I’m done.

    I read the Heather Cox Richardson article and did a little more research on her claim that DeJoy and his wife have investments in competitors to the USPS. It came to light as a disclosure when the wife was nominated to be ambassador to Canada that at one point they owned UPS and trucking company JBHunt. She pledged to divest those assests, but Snopes says it’s unclear as to whether that has happened. She also hasn’t been confirmed yet, but I guess she couldn’t get in to Canada anyway, right?

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  64. LAMary said on August 8, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    I used to like to listen to baseball on the radio when I was doing something like washing dishes or ironing. It’s also good when you’re stuck in traffic in LA. When I worked at a place that was not very far in miles but was two hours away in traffic, used to listen to the Dodger games. Two guys would talk baseball for a half hour before the game. One of them was sort of a jerk. The radio station decided to add a woman to the team and that guy was freaking nasty to her on the air. The other guy would jump in to try to shut him up but I lost my taste for baseball on the radio for a while.

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  65. Julie Robinson said on August 8, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    Too late for the edit button; DeJoy and his wife owned stock in UPS and the truck company, not the companies themselves. My bad.

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  66. Deborah said on August 8, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Yes Julie, they didn’t/don’t own the companies but they have a shitload of stock in them. Typical.

    LB and I walked to the Farmers market this morning and I bought 2 lbs of freshly roasted green chiles, we’ll see how far that goes. I wore a mask and a face shield because there’re usually lots of people there, even though they all have to wear masks and it’s outside, it makes me uncomfortable. When I got back from the market I made myself some eggs with cheddar and some of the green chiles. Very good, not super hot just the way I like them.

    LB skinned and de-seeded the chiles and divided them up in small freezer bags for future use. They freeze really well and last a long time in the freezer.

    My mask of choice these days is a bandana. I like the way it feels and when I don’t need to have it on my face I can just pull it down around my neck like a scarf. I ordered a pack of 24, 100% cotton ones in all colors, LB likes them too. The masks that hook around your ears didn’t quite work for me (too loose) and the plastic gizmos that make those masks hook behind your head didn’t work at all.

    People are getting very creative with their masks, I saw some terrific ones at the market, usually on young women.

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  67. Jeff Borden said on August 8, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    The USPS is a juicy target because it is unionized and has a large percentage of people of color in its ranks. Some folks forget that the Post Office is also used as a bank by the rural poor, so even more incentive to kill it.

    It was created by a Founding Father (Ben Franklin) and employs more than 100,000 military veterans. Oh, well. Anything to maintain power, right?

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  68. Deborah said on August 8, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    Our veggie garden project seems to be a failure, but it was our first try so, lessons learned. It’s on the south side of the building which was probably mistake number one (gets too hot), our dirt isn’t good, we should have dug down further and replaced more with good dirt, not bagged from Home Depot. Our neighbor cut down 2 trees that were providing some necessary shade. And we probably haven’t fed them plant food enough. Here we were so concerned about critters getting our produce, we spent a lot of time make cloches to keep them out and it turns out we don’t really have produce for them to steal. The only thing that grows spectacularly are runner beans, and they have pretty red flowers that the hummingbirds love. Next year we’re planting beans and more beans. We’ll see if they actually produce beans but right now they’re lovely. We have like 5 tomatoes total on the 4 or 5 tomatoes plants we have, 2 baby yellow squashes, no cucumbers, radishes were miniscule, etc etc. It’s depressing but at least we’re learning, and it has been fun to watch things grow from seeds instead of buying plants, so there’s that.

    We’ve already been making plans for next year and it will be completely different.

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  69. LAMary said on August 8, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    The nicest and best fitting mask I have is from Echo, the company that makes scarves etc. The pattern is very nice and it’s got a strip of metal on the top edge so it fits closely to my nose. This reduces the fog on the glasses which is really annoying. I wore it to the office of the company I’m working for when I picked up my laptop. It’s definitely a suitable for office wear type mask. It was more expensive than most masks. That’s the downside but it wasn’t ridiculously expensive.

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  70. 4dbirds said on August 8, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    LAMary, I read that a bit of first-aid tape on the top of the mask and nose eliminates fogging. Yesterday, my daughter and I spent most of the day at Georgetown University Hospital, with CT scans, MRIs and having a special mask built for targeted radiation. I can’t believe we are going to have a 2.0 on our childhood cancer journey. I broke down and wept last night and then got over it. I felt safer in the hospital than anywhere else. Everyone was wearing a mask and respecting distances.

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  71. LAMary said on August 8, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    I’ll have to try that with the tape. I think all glasses wearers have the fogging issue and it can be frustrating. Survivable, and not enough of a reason to not wear a mask, but a little annoying if you’re in a place where masks are necessary.

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  72. Julie Robinson said on August 8, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    I’ve been sewing masks since this mess began and tried probably 20 different patterns. After much tweaking I found the perfect one for Dennis, who has to wear one at work. I even ordered some IU fabric through the local quilt shop and he is the envy of the office.

    But I wear glasses and I still haven’t produced the perfect mask for me. They need to seal tightly at the top, which I’m working towards with shape and a long piece of flexible wire. Tape of any kind would tear up my skin.

    4dbirds, you are entitled to tears. I pray peace and strength for you.

    Deborah, there are sun shades just for gardens; I wonder if something like that would help you in the intense heat. Have you talked to other gardeners out there? Maybe the growing seasons are different. In Orlando this is the off season and they don’t even try to grow anything, just too darn hot.

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  73. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 8, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    I live in a fog anyhow, so I find it easy enough to live with. All the right thinking Christians in my county are gearing up to emphasize the godliness of not wearing masks or doing distancing — one of the four churches which have had COVID outbreaks decided, or the preacher did, to respond to contact tracing and even to the media, saying “yeah, we had a 42 person outbreak here, but we’re being faithful to the Lord!” and on the principle of there’s no such thing as bad publicity, sure enough their attendance SPIKED last Sunday. Yes, for admitting to TV and newspapers that they were an outbreak site, but meeting in person, like God commands* us to do.

    And at my last cabinet meeting there was a lengthy digression into how onerous two-deep leadership is as an absolute expectation for youth programming, and the re-eruption of a couple of other stupid moves I’d been fending off for years which will become church policy come Monday. I told our board moderator “you understand that if I hadn’t given notice before, I would after that meeting” and she replied that it had already occurred to her. I regret abandoning the field of battle, but I just can’t fight these battles on my own anymore, plus fifteen funerals since Jan. 3 where almost every one entails some last minute changes which compromise the precautions I’d so carefully negotiated with the family I had previous contact with.

    Seriously, no children’s program should operate a day without a two-deep policy that has zero exceptions. I could curl your hair with eleventeen stories of why, but it’s just common frickin’ sense. And these are the same damn people who think mask wearing is some kind of gummint plot to restrict our freeeeeeeedoms.

    Then I come home and learn Trump thinks his juvenile scrawl makes a piece of paper into an expenditure authorizing bill.

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  74. Brian stouder said on August 8, 2020 at 8:39 pm

    Jeff – truly and sincerely, I say to you – Amen!!

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  75. beb said on August 8, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    By “two deep” youth leadership do you mean that no youth leader is allowed to be with kids alone? With the never-ending stream of abuse allegations this does seem like the only safeguard.

    I’ve always been struck by the phrase “God helps those who help themselves.” Why should God answer one’s prayers about the virus if they don’t at least wear a mask or socially distance. And since God (or Jesus) said we should lock ourselves in a closet to pray doesn’t that mean He doesn’t require big church services? While I don’t believe in higher beings it does seem that too often Religious Leaders are more interested in public adoration than in bringing people to faith.

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  76. Sherri said on August 8, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    My husband has found that tape does help with the glasses fogging problem.

    Julie, you might find these wipes helpful when you need to use tape. I use them because I’m allergic to adhesive:

    Jeff(tmmo), the church is another institution I’m not sure is going to survive. Transformation is needed, and too many people don’t want it.

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  77. Julie Robinson said on August 8, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    Sherri, I hate to say it but I think you may be right about churches. Neither ours here or my daughter’s in Orlando have a significant population under 70. Those who are younger come once a month or so and are not significant givers. After the pandemic I see no reason why earlier habits will be resumed, and attendance will drop even more.

    My facial skin is ultrasensitive and would be torn apart by any kind of tape. I’m a delicate flower, she says in her best southern drawl. I’ll just keep on refining my mask patterns.

    Jeff, you deserve a break now. Go in peace.

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  78. Suzanne said on August 8, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    This talk of church politics, Jerry Falwell’s zipper, and other crimes and misdemeanors, all seem appropriate as we just finished watching the movie Spotlight on Netflix. I have a hard time, too, seeing how most churches survive after this pandemic on top of all the sex scandals and other abuse that has percolated to the top the past few years. It’s also interesting that the people I have encountered that express the least interest in attending are the millennials and the 60ish bunch, at least among my friends and acquaintances.

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  79. LAMary said on August 8, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    Julie, maybe some close rows of elastic thread sewn on the edge, like smocking? Back in high school I made a couple of dresses that had rows of elastic smocking on the bodice and on the sleeves. It’s sort of a soft shirring. The only pain in the neck aspect of it as I recall was the bobbin had to be hand wound with the elastic thread.

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  80. Deborah said on August 9, 2020 at 12:21 am

    I wear my prescription sunglasses all the time when I have a mask on, the glasses help tamp the fabric around my nose and I rarely have fogging. Could just be the differences in shapes of people’s faces I suppose.

    My husband and I started watching the Danish/Swedish TV show, “The Bridge” tonight, we watched 2 episodes of season 1. It’s excellent, a Danish friend who lives in Abiquiu told us about it and for some reason I decided tonight was the night to try to start watching the series. It took forever to track it down, but finally found it on iTunes, even though it said it was on Amazon Prime. I recommend it.

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  81. Mark P said on August 9, 2020 at 12:29 am

    You all have probably seen the story of the high school student who was suspended for posting a pic of students crowding down a school hall, most not masked. The school has just notified parents that there are six students and three staff who have tested positive there. The student has been reinstated, but who would want to go now? The school had also had more than 20 cases, apparently before classes resumed.

    It seems to me that the absolute minimum you should expect of a school system is that they not actually harm their students, but that is apparently not an opinion that is shared universally among school system administrators or parents.

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  82. Deborah said on August 9, 2020 at 12:30 am

    Well, so much for a folded bandana, darn it

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  83. alex said on August 9, 2020 at 12:54 am

    My brother and his family belong to a UU congregation in Georgia. They joined to find like-minded people and they’re meeting remotely these days.

    We were chatting on the phone one night recently, and my brother told me that a few months ago he was waiting to join a Zoom meeting along with an elderly Black congregant and my brother asked this man how he felt about the George Floyd incident. The man became tearful and said no one had asked him that before. He said that he was quite upset about it and that he had endured a lifetime of frightening experiences with police and that he was glad to see black grievances being taken seriously for once.

    My brother also asked the same of a Black female colleague at work and she revealed things he didn’t know about, including a recent incident where police were called to the office to investigate because someone had reported a Black female in the building after hours even though she had legitimate business being there.

    And yet I encounter people who are not only oblivious and choose to remain so, but are antagonistic. God help us.

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  84. LAMary said on August 9, 2020 at 1:13 am

    Deborah, again, my go to mag for recommendations of practical stuff, New York Magazine, has an article about face masks preferred by professionals. One of them is made by fruit of the loom, three ply cotton knit and cheapo on Amazon.

    Fruit of the Loom Reusable Cotton Face Mask (Pack of 5) (White)
    Sold by: Asher’s Apparel

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  85. Sherri said on August 9, 2020 at 2:09 am

    I’ve experimented with a variety of masks, and the ones I like the best for the couple of times a week I go to the gym are these:

    Fits well, doesn’t make me too hot, more secure than ear loops.

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  86. David C said on August 9, 2020 at 8:53 am

    I’ll have to try the Zensah masks. Cotton is no good for anything sweaty and damn the Cotton Council for making everyone believe otherwise.

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  87. Deborah said on August 9, 2020 at 9:15 am

    New Mexico is doing way better in flattening the curve than surrounding states. I attribute that to the Governor

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  88. Cindy said on August 9, 2020 at 10:10 am

    My first week of teaching high school is done. Everyone is required to wear masks; that is not a problem. But juggling new technology for livestreaming lectures (and taping and uploading) is rough. About 15% of our kids are virtual. I feel as if I’m doing three jobs at once.

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  89. Julie Robinson said on August 9, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Mary, some of the ladies in my mask group advocate elastic and I’m going to try that soon. The last couple I made with wire were pretty good, just not perfect. One of the blessings of this damn disease has been the communities of sewists that have cropped up online, supporting each other with ideas and free patterns. It’s been neat to see young women discovering sewing for the first time and branching out beyond masks.

    New Zealand hasn’t had any cases of Covid for 100 days. Could that be because they have a caring and empathetic leader who explained the challenge in calm and rational terms?

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  90. Rob Domenick said on August 9, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Was this an old column by the despicable Selena? Minor League baseball has been cancelled for 2020!
    The only thing happening at the ballpark in Altoona is the Pirates extra squad members holding workouts there. And if not covered in other comments, all professional baseball leagues use wooden bats exclusively.

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  91. Rob Domenick said on August 9, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Was this an old column by the despicable Selena? Minor League baseball has been cancelled for 2020!
    The only thing happening at the ballpark in Altoona is the Pirates extra squad members holding workouts there.

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  92. LAMary said on August 9, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Sewists is a much better word than Sewers. I only wear masks to do pick up at the grocery store, walk the dog and hang with my older son when he comes to visit so cotton is fine. I wash masks every time I use them. There’s a little clothesline full of masks on my deck, based on the theory that the ultraviolet rays will kill anything the washing missed, although with the extremely limited contact I have I doubt there’s any cooties in there other than my own. There’s a ziploc bag on the shelf near my front door full of clean masks so anyone going out can grab one and then drop it in the basket next to the bag when they come in.

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  93. ROGirl said on August 9, 2020 at 11:26 am

    I applied for unemployment on Friday. It’s all online now and very easy. I have already started applying for jobs, so I will have documented evidence when I submit my answers.

    I went to the office on Wednesday to turn in my laptop and get my stuff out of my desk. My manager’s manager was there and I asked him if we could talk. He was OK with that, it would be my exit interview. I started off by saying if I had known what my manager was like I wouldn’t have taken the job with him. He raised his eyebrows above his mask, wanted to know why, and I told him a few things. People in the company know what my former manager is like, but I hadn’t shared my experiences with anyone in management while I was working there. I had thought about it, but didn’t want to just be a complainer or whiner. Now it didn’t matter.

    He had to end it for a zoom meeting, so he asked me if I would send him an email. I ended up writing 4 pages and sent it on Thursday. I’m not expecting anything to change, because the company put him in a job that he shouldn’t be in, and I know he will deny everything, but I felt a great sense of satisfaction in writing it and knowing that it will probably be shared with other members of management.

    I have also gotten support from people in the company who are sorry to see me go, so that has helped.

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  94. Deborah said on August 9, 2020 at 11:53 am

    I ordered some masks from LA Mary’s link to NY Mag. The ones I ordered have adjustable ear loops and come with filters that you can insert. They come higher up on the nose too than the ones I have. I’m bummed about the folded bandana not being very effective because I really like them and now I’ve got 24 bandanas coming from Amazon today. Maybe I can figure out how to use them with filters of some kind. I tuck the point of the bandana down into my shirt, which they didn’t mention in the cnn article so that might make it more effective. Maybe?

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  95. Julie Robinson said on August 9, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    Deborah, if you have a sewing friend, she or he could make masks using the bandana fabric on the front.

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  96. LAMary said on August 9, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Deborah, here’s this:

    I have done this. I used covered elastic hair ties rather than rubber bands. They’re softer and won’t get tangled in your hair. These are good ones:

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  97. beb said on August 9, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Schools, crowded hallways and the virus: That was sort of inevitable – the crowded hallways being posted on the internet, suspending the student who posted the pictures instead of trying to correct the problem, and of course the rapid discovery of infections. But the thing that comes to mind is: why are students moving between classrooms at all? It would be better to have the students stay in one room and have the teachers move between classes. I know teachers like to personalize their classrooms and put up displays specific to their field of instruction but in an age where there is so much on-line instruction already the personalized classroom doesn’t seem that important. Most subjects just need a blackboard, a projector and a lecturer. A one-room school house might be the best compromise for education during a time of the plague.

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  98. Deborah said on August 9, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    LAMary, I did that bandana mask with rubber bands when it first came out that we should wear masks and I didn’t have anything but a couple of bandanas. Maybe it was because I used rubber bands because I no longer had any hair ties, I found it to be very uncomfortable. Also they didn’t say anything about filters back then or at least I didn’t hear it. Like I said before the thing I like about the fold over Into a triangle bandana and tie behind your head Is that when you want to take it off your face you just pull it down under your chin and it’s like a regular scarf around your neck.

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  99. basset said on August 9, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    Saw a safety-orange mask at Home Depot yesterday… deer season approaches.

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  100. LAMary said on August 9, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    I hated the rubber bands too. The coffee filters I used were the basket type. They’re softer than the cone ones and they tend to be pretty cheap. I had some leftover from some defunct automatic drip pot.

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  101. Deborah said on August 9, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    As someone who is often a pedestrian, this makes me want to scream bloody murder and these monsters are everywhere in Santa Fe and for that matter all of NM.

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  102. Suzanne said on August 9, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    I always assume that the men who drive those big a$$ trucks are compensating for something. Wonder what it could be??

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  103. David C said on August 9, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Nobody got any butch points for driving an 80s Toyota pickup but they were the most useful, properly sized pickups ever. They lasted forever too. So many of the big-assed pickups you see on the road are never used for hauling anything more than groceries because they’re leased and they’d be killed by excessive wear and tear charges if they were used as they show in the ads. I don’t know why I should put my ass on the line for their bougie, he-man chic.

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  104. Deborah said on August 9, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    This will be my last comment about masks, I promise. My bandanas came today, and I bought Mr. Coffee filters, I can tuck 2 or 3 of the filters in between the triangle fold and it works just great. The filters stay in place no problem. Now I have plenty of mask options.

    Lol, Suzanne, I wonder what it could be.

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  105. Dorothy said on August 9, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    I’m getting the sense that I need to make a few masks and mail them to Little Bird to share with her Mum and Dad. When I get time I’ll attend to that. Just to see if they’ll fit them okay.

    I have a question. We mailed our request for absentee ballots for the November election. If I wanted to deliver them in person to the county election board, can I do that to bypass the Post office? I find it so hard to believe that 45 can do what he’s doing to f*** up the USPS. My father is rolling over in his grave. He was a long time employee of that institution – he was a mail sorter. I feel like I’m taking it personally every time I hear of more shit that F-Face is doing to screw up the vote-by-mail issue.

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  106. David C said on August 9, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    That’s how it works here, Dorothy. We can either mail them back (they already have the proper postage on the return envelope) or drop them off at the city clerk’s office. We have a web site that tells if our ballots have been received if they’re mailed. Our ballots for Tuesday’s primary were mailed to us over a month ago. We mailed them back and they have been received by the city. Even if we have a month for the mail to arrive for the general, our ballots will be hand delivered.

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  107. Connie said on August 9, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    Out township has an inside drop box available during office hours and an outside 24 hour drop slot. Ballots must be received by the time polls close. Clerks are looking for a change in the law allowing them to begin counting absentee ballots earlier rather than waiting until polls close before they can begin slitting envelopes. We had a three way write in campaign for township supervisor and the almost 3,000 write ins went to the count to be counted. Results expected tomorrow.

    I am working for the Census, knocking on doors. My county was one of the two early kickoff counties in the state, everyone else starts tomorrow. I spent much of Saturday and Sunday driving around the southern portion of South Commerce lake, visiting some beautiful beach homes. Interesting so far. And lots of dogs.

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  108. LAMary said on August 9, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    If anyone is looking for a way to donate to the people of Beirut, Doctors Without Borders has a special fund. This is one of the most ethical charities in the world and they make the most of every penny donated. There are thousands of people in Beirut with injuries from flying glass, including many children and the hospitals in Beirut are overwhelmed.

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  109. Heather said on August 10, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Woke up to the news that there was massive looting and chaos in the Chicago Loop last night. What’s being lost in the media coverage is it’s because the cops shot a 15-year-old on Sunday. Bodycams were turned off or not used, apparently. People on the south and west sides are desperate and the city is focused on protecting high-end stores and doubling down on policing instead of the cause of the problem–decades of disinvestment in Black communities and massive inequalities in resources, etc. God help us.

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  110. Joe Kobiela said on August 10, 2020 at 11:45 am

    May want to recheck your facts about Chicago. The police shot a 20 year old after he shot at police while being chased,someone then fed false info to a mob, that the police shot a child. This happened on the magnificent mile not in the south side. It’s spreading.
    Pilot Joe

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  111. Heather said on August 10, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    Joe, don’t you dare lecture me about facts in Chicago. I live here and have done so for a long time, unlike you. Yes, the initial reporting was wrong about the age. If you lived here you would also understand you can’t trust the police’s narrative (maybe read up on the LaQuan McDonald case, for which an officer went to jail and an issue that made Rahm Emanuel decided not to run for reelection, because he knew he’d lose after it came out he helped the police cover it up).

    I suspect people targeted the Mag Mile because of their frustration and desperation. Personally I can’t get too upset about some businesses with insurance getting looted while Black communities are in disarray, mainly because they’ve been ignored and written off for decades while being subject to police brutality the entire time. This isn’t an isolated incident that happened in a vacuum. The city needs to go after the root of the problem–more policing is a band-aid at best. So maybe stand down on this one.

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  112. Jeff Borden said on August 10, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    The Big 10 has announced the cancellation of football this fall. I fully expect the NFL to make a similar statement soon.

    Thanks to our “rugged individualism” and our embrace of “freedumb without responsibility,” the virus is still going great guns. We are the laughingstock of the world, folks. Rwanda has done an excellent job combatting the virus while we flounder. Rwanda.

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  113. 4dbirds said on August 10, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    “It’s spreading.” And there it is. The racism.

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  114. Jeff Borden said on August 10, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    If only we were as angered and appalled by corporate looting as we are by those who smash store windows and grab shit.

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  115. Heather said on August 10, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Or as angry about people being shot by police.

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  116. Joe Kobiela said on August 10, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    Look me up after your house or the stores you shop in get burned and looted, and Jeff I can’t stop thinking of the poor woman standing in front of the burned out target in Minneapolis crying asking where am I going to go for my food and medicine? But that’s ok in your world because Target showed a profit?
    Pilot Joe

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  117. 4dbirds said on August 10, 2020 at 2:09 pm


    Why do you come to this site? Do you hope your posts rile us up and you get some satisfaction from it? Do you admire some of the people here and maybe want to find that sliver of yourself that may embrace redemption from reading their posts? I find you vile myself. So let me tell you that I don’t care if a fucking building burns down, if my child didn’t come home because some policeman shot them for just doing something while going about their business, I would burn down an entire city you fuckwit.

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  118. Heather said on August 10, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    Joe, is it OK with you that people on the south side already lived in food deserts, can’t get a public education that’s on par with those offered in white neighborhoods, worry about their children being shot by police, and are facing having utilties shut off/being evicted because they don’t have jobs or the money to pay? You want to talk about violence–now that’s violence. Why are you so surprised that people who have suffered that for decades are lashing out? I’m personally surprised they didn’t burn down our cities sooner.

    Your knee-jerk response of “but what about mah property” is part of the problem. PS: a lot of people get their medicine via the USPS, which is being destroyed by your Dear Leader.

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  119. Heather said on August 10, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    If anyone cares to edify themselves about what’s really going on instead of just spewing the same sad points, I suggest you read this post by local writer Coya Paz:

    An excerpt:

    “People are DESPERATE out here. There aren’t jobs. There aren’t places to go to *literally* cool down. People are struggling to buy food and stay in their housing. The city has offered almost no economic relief and yet we hear that the police overtime budget is almost entirely spent – as always, we are spending almost half of our city budget on policing and almost no money on programs to build the economy and wellbeing of poor people in this city. We are tamping down on people instead of investing in making their lives LIVABLE.

    It is the deepest form of stonewalling and gaslighting to be critical of the expression of anger and not of the CONDITIONS that create anger. I don’t want to see any violence in our city. I think of how “this moment” has seen a proliferation of neighbors helping neighbors, of mutual aid, of artists turning their creative efforts to support their communities. But where is that creativity from our mayor? Why has she chosen to double-down on protecting stores and statues and corralling dissidents instead of thinking about how to provide relief- from fear, from hunger, from heat?”

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  120. Deborah said on August 10, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    Well Joe, that did happen in my neighborhood at stores where I shop and I am surprised it didn’t happen sooner given the way Chicago has treated the poor and people of color for decades and decades. People can only take it for so long and then it explodes. As others have said here better than I can, how are powerless people supposed to be heard when no one has been listening for ages. I don’t like violence or looting for the most part but in this particular instance I can certainly understand it.

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  121. icarus said on August 10, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Pilot joe, you sound like the comments section of any post related to the looting in Chicago today. Or the handful of conservative friends I keep on Facebook to keep my bubble in check.

    “Oh why can’t they be good negroes and protest in a way that doesn’t impact me, like MLK”

    Ignoring of course the MLK got beat up and eventually assassinated* for his troubles.

    It’s almost as if whyte people sense their time on top is over but don’t understand why.

    * assassinated as in killed for political reasons

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  122. Deggjr said on August 10, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    (HIPAA) Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

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  123. Deborah said on August 10, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    I’m trying to get back into the groove of walking 10,000 steps a day so I was out on my daily walk on the biking/running/walking trail along the Santa Fe River (which is barely a trickle these days). Four young boys around 13-15ish we’re advancing towards me, maskless, and when they got even with me a couple of them started exaggeratingly fake coughing towards me and they all thought it was hilarious. I was wearing a mask and ignored them but I was disgusted. This is what it will be like for kids in school. Bullies with shitty parents will be preying on kids with masks. It makes me sad.

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  124. Deborah said on August 10, 2020 at 7:08 pm

    I will add in case Joe gets any ideas, that those kids were non-Hispanic white boys and judging by their clothes and haircuts they weren’t poor.

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  125. LAMary said on August 10, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    Here in the county of Los Angeles our Sheriff’s department never fails to piss people off. Two stories today. Best one, two black teenagers in an unincorporated area where the sheriff’s dept acts as the police called 911 when a white man was yelling at them and threatening them with a knife. The deputies showed up and cuffed the two black kids while people watching yelled at the deputies that they were cuffing the wrong people. It’s a video, shared all over. Strong work, Sheriff Villanueva. Second one: another unicorporated area with the SD acting as cops. Predominantly black neighborhood, no black officers, no regular officers assigned to the area. They switch all the time. The deputies don’t know the area, the people, or the issues. They don’t respond, they hassle residents. There are deputies who are members of a sheriff’s department gang called the executioners, gang tats and all.

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