Save our ship.

Oh, I have been neglectful of you, haven’t I? I’m trying to squeeze all the summer out of summer, while also doing a little census moonlighting and prepping for the next election. I find myself, at the end of the day, staring blank-faced at the wall, often.

But here’s a few minutes before I have to make dinner, so here goes.

Also, from time to time something like the Trump boat parade in Texas happens, and I might have to be convulsed with laughter for 24 hours or so. I forget how few people have done much boating, and don’t know how something like this happens. If you’re among them: Big boats make big wakes. As Alan sometimes says when a big ol’ cruiser passes us, “Man, imagine how much gas it takes to move that much water out of the way.” Lots of big boats together make lots of big wakes. Wakes are just waves, and when they hit other waves, they “reflect,” or are bounced back. Sometimes it happens naturally, via a big wind shift — sailors call these conditions “washing machine” waves, but it also happens when wakes crash together.

Now add a bunch of small boats, driving into this washing machine. It’s difficult to steer through them safely, and given the skill level of many boat owners, well, you see what happens. A smaller boat can take a big wave over one quarter, then another, and pretty soon it’s swamped and it’s everybody into the PFDs (which they probably weren’t wearing to begin with) and try to grab something that floats.

To put it more simply: There are reasons narrow channels, harbors and other crowded areas are often designated no-wake zones.

But you can’t have a big celebration without some speed! Get them MAGA flags flapping! Also, in probably the most-used news photo from Saturday…

…notice the forward blue flag on the one boat looks like it’s about to dip into the water. That’s not exactly a sea anchor, i.e., a small underwater parachute to stop a boat quickly, but it would probably be destabilizing. Anyway, whoopsie! Hope everyone can swim.

No one was hurt, although at least five boat owners are probably asking themselves whether this was the best idea they ever had.

This looks like the same boat from a different angle. Yeah, that’s a big ol’ nope from me.

Otherwise, the weekend is…going. Saw friends Thursday and Friday, did the grind on Saturday, ground some more today, and tomorrow? Ribs on the grill because why not. Also, potato salad. It’s not really the end of the summer, but it’s the end of a big part of the summer, so I’m here for every bit of it.

The weather is shifting, as it does at this time of year. Nice. Cooler nights, warm-but-not-miserably-so days. This is my time, brief as it is.

Now, to work on other things. Happy week ahead.

Posted at 8:05 pm in Current events |

83 responses to “Save our ship.”

  1. Deborah said on September 6, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    We’re spending tomorrow getting our plants ready for the freeze Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing our house plants inside and a couple of those pots (geraniums) are big and heavy. Then we have a couple of tomato plants that are producing, not a lot but we might try to cover those and see if we can save them since it will warm up again. We’re going to lose our runner bean plants that have been so pretty and green with their vivid red flowers which attract hummingbirds. Sad about that. We’ve got squash, cucumbers and eggplants which have produced next to nothing but they’re green and have had flowers. And nasturtiums and marigolds those aren’t going to make it either. Can’t do anything about it though. Sad. It’s brown way too long in northern NM so it’s sad when it’s done being green way too soon.

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  2. David C said on September 6, 2020 at 8:32 pm

    It’s vacation week, so of course it’s going to be mostly raining. I didn’t have big plans or anything. I smoked a bunch of chicken leg quarters today and was planning on smoking a rib roast and a couple of pork butts. We’ll see how much of that happens. The Rs seemed to have settled on he didn’t mean it, he was just being an asshole as an explanation for tRump’s POW/KIA dissing. It’ll work for the MAGAts but I suspect about 2-3% will peel off. Let’s hope so, anyway.

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  3. Deborah said on September 6, 2020 at 8:39 pm

    The telling thing about MAGAts is how many say it doesn’t matter what Trump says disparaging the troops. It says how despicable they are, maybe more than Trump if that’s even possible since Trump is the ultimate in despicable. Have they no shame? Wait, I know the answer to that.

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  4. Deborah said on September 6, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    LB has a friend who has a motor boat he takes out on the lake in Chicago. He told her at the time he got 3 miles to the gallon or maybe it was 3 gallons to the mile? I just remember it was a shocking number.

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  5. Sherri said on September 6, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    I’m not a boater, but lots of people around here are. One year, our neighbors took us out on their boat on Lake Washington to see the Blue Angels perform. Calm day, very deep lake, lots of boats mostly stationary, and I remember that as being pretty choppy. I wasn’t surprised that boats sank.

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  6. Dexter Friend said on September 7, 2020 at 3:44 am

    WJR’s J.P. McCarthy was curious about a rich pal’s new cruiser he had just put-in at L. St. Clair, years ago. The question of fuel capacity and cost was asked. “If you have to worry about gas costs, you never could afford this boat.” Old theme, but today, appropriate.

    My wife’s 2 previous kids vacationed every year at their grandparent’s dockominium at Spring Lake, where boaters took The Grand River out to L. Michigan. Once we were there and took the old man’s cruiser out towards the big lake. As we approached Lake Michigan, old Granpa had to go below to check something and told ME to take the wheel. So what, ya say? Well…I never in my life had tried to navigate a huge cruiser, let alone with boats fore, aft, starboard and stern. Also, Coast Guard boats were at the river mouth…Finally, Gramps got back up there, and wildly grabbed the wheel from me, made some quick corrections and saved a crash I almost made happen. Well, in a few minutes we saw the Coast Guard had shut down access to Lake Michigan because of bad weather . And, well, I never again boarded a cabin cruiser where there was any chance a crazed old millionaire would authorize me to take command. Oh…that millionaire geezer? Gave every nickel to some crackpot preacher. And so it went.

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  7. Dorothy said on September 7, 2020 at 6:30 am

    Speaking of census taking, on Friday a car pulled up across the street from my house. I was trimming some weedy growths around my yard while Nestle rolled around in the grass. The woman who had parked the car walked tentatively toward my driveway and asked if she could ask me a few questions – she was with the census folks. “Of course!” I said. It wasn’t about my house, but my neighbor who, she said, had been ‘dodging’ them. I only know the guy’s name, he’s been here since December 2018, shares custody of his 8 year old and 5 year old with his ex and he gets them every other week. As we were talking his mother walked out and shouted a question about did I need anything at Kroger, she was heading there. “No thanks!” Naturally I said that his mom doesn’t live there but when the kids are there, she’s there during the day but she has her own house.

    I’m just wondering – does ‘dodging’ the census mean he’s just throwing out the paper form he got in the mail, like we got in the mail? I just find that odd – who has something against the census takers?

    Employees at the university where I work have to work today, but they’re giving us the day before Thanksgiving as a day off instead. Our covid numbers are starting to drop but then a photo of a huge group of unmasked students eating at a local Mexican restaurant on Friday night circulated on Twitter, and I’m guessing an uptick in virus numbers will be happening.

    ALSO – our oven is not heating up properly so we’re going to buy a new one. Who here among the readers has ever changed from an electric stove to a gas stove? We know there’s a gas line to the house because we have gas heat and a gas dryer. Was it difficult? Expensive?

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  8. David C said on September 7, 2020 at 8:23 am

    It’s really hard to say, Dorothy. It all depends on how good the access to the existing lines and the kitchen is. If it’s an open basement below it should be relatively inexpensive. Maybe $200. If the access isn’t very good the cost could be pretty shocking. I’d get an estimate on the cost for the gas line before ordering the oven.

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  9. Deborah said on September 7, 2020 at 8:29 am

    I would love to have a gas stove, never had one anyplace I’ve ever lived. If we ever build phase 2 of our Abiquiu project it will have one, which will run on propane.

    Snow is back in the forecast for Santa Fe on Wednesday.

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  10. Mark P said on September 7, 2020 at 8:36 am

    Dorothy, I considered not answering the census just to taken my six-millionth of the population from my red state. I also feel virtually no civic responsibility toward this country any more.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on September 7, 2020 at 8:56 am

    David C is right, I think, it just depends whether or not there’s a line close enough. Have you ever pulled the unit out? There may be a line there, unused, because the previous homeowner preferred electric. My dear late MIL was convinced that a gas stove would kill everyone with the fumes, never once considering the gas furnace or water heater.

    We wanted to put in a gas stove in Orlando but found out there’s no gas on the street and it would have to be propane. Not only is it pricey, you have to find a place for the tank, and we’re running out of space on our tiny piece of property. But the kitchen renovation will have to wait longer anyway because the bids for the addition all came in super high. We’re looking for alternate contractors now.

    I appreciate Nancy’s explanation of wakes, having zero experience with boats. Growing up in the prairie area of Illinois, there weren’t any lakes nearby. The few times I’ve been on a boat I’ve fought nausea from the diesel smell, even pontoons, so I appreciate that our little Lake Shannon in Orlando prohibits motors of any kind. We have one of those little paddle boats, and kayaks that we store for neighbors, with paddling privileges. We want to build a dock, because wading through 10 feet of muck to get out on the lake is not so fun.

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  12. alex said on September 7, 2020 at 9:24 am

    Dorothy, we replaced an electric range with gas several years ago. The kitchen had been reconfigured at some point in the past and so there was a gas line inside the wall but not at the present location of the range. We had a plumber come in and for about $700 as I recall he was able to route the line to the appropriate location and conceal it but this also led to a substantial kitchen remodel involving removal and reconfiguration of cabinetry. So you never know what you’ll find but if you’re lucky there will be a gas line right where you need it.

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  13. Dorothy said on September 7, 2020 at 9:27 am

    Thanks friends. My husband feels sure that there is a gas line below the kitchen floor. He’s going to go look again in the basement to see if he can verify. Also the house used to belong to a couple who built the house, and I found out kind of accidentally a few years ago that a woman who works here at the university is best friends with this couple. This woman is godmother to two of their kids. So I sent her a quick email this morning asking if she could ask the former owners if they recall if there is a gas line under the kitchen. You can see I’m trying all angles to find this out! But I was confident the people who read and comment here would have sage and helpful advice. I was right!

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  14. Jeff Borden said on September 7, 2020 at 10:22 am

    I’ve followed politics since John F. Kennedy was elected president –a very big deal for an 8-year-old Catholic boy that JFK was the first Catholic in the Oval Office– but I’ve never seen anything like the tribal devotion tRumpy engenders in his followers. Look at the boat in NN.C’s photo above. It appears to be flying eight (8) tRumpy flags. Most of the people on those boats are wearing their tRumpy hats and T-shirts. WTF? That stuff isn’t cheap, either.

    I have zero merch from any political candidate among my scores of T-shirts and hats. Well, I do have a red ballcap that says “Make America Great Again” in Russian. No doubt once tRumpy slinks away, these items will become treasured keepsakes to those who were drawn to his brew of racism, hate and stupidity, reminding them there was once a president who said out loud what so many of them felt inside.

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  15. Icarus said on September 7, 2020 at 10:32 am

    Universities should just have the entire week of thanksgiving off. Students are even less engaged and Most of the MWF and Tu/Th classes models lose a day not to mention if you have a 3 hour course that only meets on Thursdays.

    I had a Monday night class standing in the way of me getting a week home or just the usually break and I had to bring my psychology professor a T-shirt from the billy goat tavern to get excused.

    What is the advantage of gas versus electric for ovens?

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  16. David C said on September 7, 2020 at 10:41 am

    For the oven itself electric is better. When you burn natural gas one of the byproducts is water vapor. That’s not ideal for a lot of baking or roasting. For the cooktops, gas is better. It heats quicker and responds quicker when you turn the temperature down. The ideal for a range would be a gas cooktop with an electric oven. Some are made that way, but not many.

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  17. Bitter Scribe said on September 7, 2020 at 10:48 am

    Trump will deny, deny, deny that he trashed veterans, but he doesn’t even have to do that. His supporters would believe that veterans are a bunch of garbage if Trump told them it was so.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on September 7, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Huh, that’s news to me, David. We’ve had gas at all our homes but our apartment is electric, and the oven is crap. Of course, the burners are crap too, so maybe the unit is crap.

    Icarus, on a gas stove you have almost instant control over the temperature and it’s also a steady heat. Electric cycles on and off so you’re getting too hot and too cold instead of even heat. Gas appliances are more expensive, but much more energy efficient to use. It’s been a rough adjustment, with many burned eggs for the first couple of months. I turned a burner all the way to high for boiling water and the heat was nuclear. We agreed it shouldn’t go higher than six.

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  19. Suzanne said on September 7, 2020 at 11:05 am

    Bitter @17 what you say is true. And if Trump, after trashing veterans says he did not trash veterans, the Trumpistas will say that is also true. They believe whatever he says at any given time.

    I had a conversation yesterday with a friend, a very smart woman who owns her own business, has a daughter married to a transgender man, who said she doesn’t know who to vote for because she can’t stand Trump but Biden is almost equally awful. Does she not understand that under Trump her daughter’s loved one & her daughter are at risk? I don’t get the ignorance.
    My response was that I was going with the Lincoln Project’s assertion that this is not a choice between candidate A & B but a choice between candidate A or not having a democratic country. I doubt I made a dent but maybe. She even said she hoped the Senate would go blue so they could impeach Trump. But vote for Biden? Didn’t think she could do that.

    I do not understand the pretzels people will twist themselves into to avoid voting for a man like Biden.

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  20. Mark P said on September 7, 2020 at 11:45 am

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — there are no undecided voters, there are only Biden supporters, Trump supporters, and Trump supporters who are too embarrassed and ashamed to admit it. The last are the worst because they know what a terrible man Trump is and will still vote for him.

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  21. Sherri said on September 7, 2020 at 11:47 am

    When we redid our kitchen, we replaced our gas cooktop and oven with a electric induction range, and it’s great. It gives you the quicker response of gas, and is more energy efficient. Unlike electric element and gas cooktops, all of the heat is in the pan; you’re not heating the element or burning gas to transfer heat to the pan. It’s safer and easier to clean, as well. You can’t catch a dish towel on fire.

    You might have to replace your pots and pans, because not all pots and pans work. If a magnet won’t stick to the bottom of the pan, it won’t work.

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  22. Dorothy said on September 7, 2020 at 11:55 am

    I just like cooking with gas on a stove top so much more. You shut off the burner after you’ve cooked something, the heat stops instantly. You don’t need to move the pan to an open burner (i.e. cool burner) to avoid burning what’s in the pot. Or you don’t accidentally put a plastic container down on top of a hot stove top and have that plastic melt all over the damn stove top. I’ve only done that a couple of times but it’s such a pain in the ass. As far as cooking inside a gas oven, I have no idea what’s good or bad about it. I just know it’s what I started cooking on (at my parents’ home) and what I had in my first two houses after I got married. Then we moved away from Pittsburgh 18 years ago and have had 4 different houses. Some were gas/some were electric stoves. I prefer the gas.

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  23. Sherri said on September 7, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Dorothy, on a induction range, the only reason the burner itself gets hot is because of heat transfer from the hot pan. You turn the burner off, and there’s no more heat being generated, and the only residual heat is the heat of the pan. If the pan isn’t on the burner, even if the burner is still turned “on”, it stops. Unless there’s something that a magnet can stick to on top of it, there’s no induced magnetic field, no heat.

    You can stick a paper towel under a heating pan to catch boil overs, and the paper towel won’t burn.

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  24. Jakash said on September 7, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    “But vote for Biden? Didn’t think she could do that.”

    Oh, no, I’m sure that’s a well-informed, rational opinion. Right. Anybody who has lived through the last 4 years in this country and is debating whether they can vote for Biden just is not open to fact-based discussions. The “I’m no Trump fan, but I just can’t vote for Hillary” folks were bad enough. But at least with her you could wrap your head around the misogyny and the Wild Bill factor, as well as the 25 years of bullshit that Republicans had tried to pin on them. Can’t vote for Biden — a reasonable, seasoned guy whose son was a veteran? You can evidently “stand Trump” along with his racism, misogyny, xenophobia, incompetence and corruption much better than you’re claiming.

    tl;dr for this comment? Then, what Mark P just said!

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  25. Bitter Scribe said on September 7, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    It seems that one of the wildfires plaguing California was touched off by pyrotechnics at an outdoor “gender reveal party.”

    Attention rich Californians: I know fireworks etc. are fun, but maybe you could do without them for a while, as long as your state is a tinderbox?

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  26. LAMary said on September 7, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    For one thing, gender reveal parties are stupid. For another, amateur fireworks are dangerous and obnoxious. And it’s sucking so much here. While it isn’t over 110 today, not even 100, it’s humid and the air is so bad. There is ash on everything. The power went out on Saturday, came back early Sunday, went out again and we still have no power. No air conditioning when the temperature is 110, the air is like bus exhaust and all your devices for getting information are running out of power, makes a person whiny. I sat in my car for forty minutes with the motor running, parked in my driveway, charging everyone’s phone. All the stuff in my fridge is rotten. Some nearby idiot is running a generator that sounds like a semi parked outside my door.

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  27. Snarkworth said on September 7, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    During fire season, would it kill the gender reveal people to just, you know, use a cake?

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  28. LAMary said on September 7, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Would it kill gender reveal people to just tell their friends? It’s like people who have six people in the room while they’re giving birth. I recall walking by rooms in the labor and delivery wing and seeing people crammed into the room. My husband and the doctor and a nurse were with me. That was fine. I’m not a prude but I wouldn’t want the 11 year boy cousin and the 16 year old and her boyfriend watching me giving birth. And, while I’m cranky as hell, I hate the orchestrated videos of a soldier returning home and his kid get the surprise when he jumps out of box at school or is the guy dressed as a clown at someone’s birthday party or something. If ever there was an intensely emotional moment for a kid, that’s it, and why make it a prank and video it?
    On a less obnoxious note, having a gas stove has allowed me to make coffee every morning, power or not. Grinding the beans is a pain in the ass but I assign that to the 26 year old. I’ve hung on to that Chemex pourover pot for longer than most pourover connaiseurs have been alive, and the hand cranked bean grinder was a purchase I made after that last long blackout. Urban survival skills, coffee snob edition.

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  29. Deborah said on September 7, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    I used a hand cranked coffee grinder in the Abiquiu cabin for the first couple of years but after we got the solar charging Yeti/Goal Zero battery that you can plug a device into I have an electric one out there now. I did like the ritual of hand grinding, it took me about 10 minutes and I looked out at the landscape while I did it, but that got old, not the looking out at the landscape, but the hand grinding.

    We moved the house plants inside this morning, some are going back out after the cold snap is over. We have two giant pots of geraniums, those are staying inside until next spring because they’re super heavy. They’re on rollers but getting them in and out of the front door is a royal pain. We have one tomato plant in a pot, the others are planted in the ground so they’ll die, but as I’ve said we weren’t getting many tomatoes on them anyway. They keep changing the forecast for snow and the low temps so we really don’t know what to expect for sure.

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  30. LAMary said on September 7, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    The hand grinder I needed about twenty minutes of cranking to make a ten cup pot of coffee. Three intense coffee drinkers in this house and Chemex’s idea of a cup of coffee being 5 ounces changes the equation. As a wee child of 8 or so I used to hand crank the Dutch grandmother’s coffee but that was somehow a treat. The grinder was a wooden box with curved plates on the side so you could hold it between your knees, a metal crank with a little Delft looking knob on top, and a drawer on the side that the ground coffee went into.

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  31. Jakash said on September 7, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Sounds like it’s much easier (though not cheaper) being a beer snob, rather than a coffee snob. Kinda glad I never developed a taste for coffee better than pre-ground bags at the supermarket. (I realize that brands me as a philistine!)

    That report from the front lines in California sounds awful, LAMary. Regular life in Groundhog Day America is bad enough; I’d really have a hard time dealing with the power being out AND the air quality being shitty on top of it. I hope you at least get the power back soon.

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  32. Heather said on September 7, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Gender reveal parties are obnoxious even when they don’t start environmental disasters. Parents-to-be already get a baby shower! If you also get a gender-reveal party, then I get a single-for-life party and my friends and family can throw me a big celebration and buy me lots of stuff too.

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  33. Deborah said on September 7, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Not a gender reveal party but when my niece got married to her farmer boyfriend they had their reception in his big metal barn and the main event of it was blowing up a giant can of some kind of explosive out in a field. First they passed around the can for people to sign, then one of the groom’s nephews was supposed to shoot the can and he kept missing, he was about 9 or 10. They kept having him move closer to it, I was scared out of my wits that when the can would explode it would blow the kid’s head off. Finally, they had to get someone else to hit the can with their powerful rifle. I don’t remember who actually did it because I couldn’t look, I had my head buried. It made quite an explosion, I wonder how deep the crater in the earth was. We left early. What this had to do with the marriage of my niece and her husband, I have no idea, except he’s a big gun nut. They gave their son a rifle for his third birthday.

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  34. Dorothy said on September 7, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Why haven’t we discussed our disdain for gender reveal parties on this site before?! Mary I almost jumped off of the couch reading what you said @28 – I agree so very strongly on both of those issues (the videos of soldiers surprising family with an early arrival). Gender reveal parties – just the idea of them – set my teeth on edge and infuriate me and I can’t quite figure out why. It just seems like a stupid ritual and I blame it on the presence of cameras in all of our hands these days. Too many people can’t resist the urge to make a big deal about everything and everything these days. I prefer more intimate ways to tell these kinds of details. Seeing the tears in my son’s eyes when he and his wife told us they were pregnant – then about 2 months later when we knew it was a girl. It’s so much better to hear it just straight from them – not in a crowd of people who don’t necessarily deserve to be among those hearing it for the first time. Knowing what it took for them to get pregnant – the infertility they’d been dealing with – a gender reveal situation just seems so frivolous and self-involved and pointless. This is me trying to be polite to anyone who reads here and thinks they are cool. This is my opinion – but I share it freely and I’m not known among my family for being someone who ever holds back how she feels about something. But you all know that already.

    And ever since my son did his first deployment in Afghanistan as an MP, and he told us about situations where soldiers got in trouble doing something really wrong and broke stringent rules – or carried on a relationship they should not have been doing – there are myriad ways for a soldier to get in trouble and get sent home. So he told us not to always believe when you hear about someone coming home early and getting to surprise their family – it’s likely they pulled some shit and were SENT home. Instead of being embarrassed or ashamed for their behavior, they call attention to themselves and set up these contrived situations. Now I’m NOT saying each and every case is like this – but if you know what goes into deployments and how much planning goes into getting them in country, then getting them out, it would be rather unusual for someone to be allowed to go home ahead of the rest of the group. I’m always skeptical now when I see those clips on t.v. I’m sure sometimes parents keep the arrival date a secret from their kids to pull off a surprise – the returning soldier likely is coming home just as expected – but maybe they want to surprise some members of their family. I happen to think this is not really nice to surprise like that – as Mary said, it’s intensely emotional and some people might think it’s cruel to do that, rather than something to be happy about.

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  35. Sherri said on September 7, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    Maybe we should call them what they are: genitalia reveal parties, not gender reveal parties. Hey world, the ultrasound tech saw a dick!

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  36. Sherri said on September 7, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    Rockin the Chucks!

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  37. Dorothy said on September 7, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    Icarus @ 15 – at our University students are not getting a fall break this year. Today I had to work and classes were held (Labor Day). They are going straight through to the Tuesday of Thanksgiving week – then not coming back to campus for two months, mid January, to start the spring semester. That is, of course, to reduce the chances of them going home on break or over Thanksgiving, possibly exposing themselves to Covid, and bringing it back to campus before Christmas break. So we can’t really send students home before that week. Every day is crucial to getting their work done for the entire semester, which runs for 15 weeks. Final exams are being done before they leave for Thanksgiving, and from what I understand, for the first week or two of December they are doing school work but it’s nothing that would be covered on a final exam, which they’re taking in November.

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  38. nancy said on September 7, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    You’re being way too hard on gender reveal parties. They’re just baby showers with a twist. Granted, the over-the-top stunts are stupid and dangerous, but the ones I’ve seen are harmless. In one, the couple opened a box and a pink balloon floated out. In the other, they cut into a cake and the interior was blue. Big deal.

    I think some rednecks took hold of the idea and added explosives, and ruined it.

    I did see one on Twitter the other day: Two gendered “babies,” i.e., adults in those big plastic sumo costumes like you see at carnivals, duked it out for a minute. The “girl” knocked down the “boy” and so: Girl’s in the oven. It was silly and funny.

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  39. beb said on September 7, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    I thought fireworks were banned in California because of the drought. Not that it would stop idiots from getting some, you know, for freedom. I don;t even know when “gender reveal” parties became a thing. And there are so many non-explosive ways to do it. But I guess people just look for an excuse to throw a bigger party than the next person and of popping confetti filled balloons are good enough then blowing off an M80 with confetti has to do. Will the people hosting the gender reveal party be held liabable for all the damages? Face jail time? It’s kind of a cruel thing to do to a couple just starting out in life but it’s only fair that they face some kind of repercussion.

    Dumbkirk. I knew that boats can kick up waves but I never thought they could kick up waves as massive as the ones in the picture. Those poor people with the sunk boats. So much misery just to own the libs.

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  40. Julie Robinson said on September 7, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    A cousin lives about 20 miles from the Valley Fire in the San Diego area and she describes conditions much like yours, Mary. They have power but no AC, and she said it’s like living right by a campfire, 107° and smoky. You are to be congratulated for your barista skills, but just so you know there are also battery operated grinders.

    Also, couldn’t agree more about the gender reveal parties. Of course (creaky voice), in my day gender reveal happened when the baby got far enough out for the doctor to see what was what. Why do you need a party to tell everyone? Why do you need an epic proposal? Why do you need an epic prom date proposal? Everything today seems like it has to be extra extra extra. There’s plenty of joy in modest and humble celebrations. I blame the media. (How’d I do? Oh wait, get off my lawn!)

    At IU we always had class on Labor Day. Also, if you took summer classes, Memorial Day and July 4th.

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  41. Jakash said on September 7, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    “You’re being way too hard on gender reveal parties.”

    Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

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  42. Deborah said on September 7, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    Sherri at #36, it took me a minute to figure out what you meant, I watched the video a couple of times before I got it. Also loved the way she bounced down the stairs in them. Maybe she should wear them when she debates My Pants.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 7, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    [lifts his White Russian towards Jakash, smiles]

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  44. Jeff Borden said on September 7, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    “This is not ‘Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.”

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  45. Jakash said on September 7, 2020 at 5:31 pm


    There was an incident like that in Arizona in 2017. The guy responsible cooperated and got a plea deal.

    “Under his plea agreement, Dickey will pay $100,000 in restitution when he is sentenced Oct. 9 and another $120,000 in monthly installments of $500 for the next 20 years. Dickey also will be sentenced to 5 years of probation.”

    The fire reportedly did $8.2 million in damage. “Ordering Dickey to pay $8.2 million to cover the cost of the fire would have been ‘like getting blood from a stone’ because he could never come up with that much money…'”

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  46. Dexter Friend said on September 7, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    I ground beans daily for years and still do, but when I found Bustelo cans and vacuum packed bags in the store several years ago, things changed. I now usually make coffee using Bustelo ground coffee, espresso grind. It’s the best ever, although Peete’s Keurig cups are almost as good. Also, Folger’s 1851 K-cups are really good. I average using just 5 K-cups per week, as I usually brew with a coffee pot.

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  47. Deborah said on September 7, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    I’m baking a peach/apple pie, it was supposed to be just peach but the peaches I bought had some bad spots and I had to cut away a lot, so we had a few Granny Smiths so I peeled and added those. I found a wonderful way of making my crusts look pretty, I rolled them out on parchment paper and that made all of the difference when I put the first one in the pie plate and then the second one on top of the peaches/apples they didn’t fall apart like they usually do. I think it’s the prettiest pie I ever made, hope it tastes good too. We decided when we eat our slices we’re going to drizzle a little bourbon over them. We forgot to buy vanilla ice cream though.

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  48. LAMary said on September 7, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Well the power just came on. I am not assuming this is a permanent situation. I think gender reveal parties started when amniocentecis became common, not seeing a weenie or a lack of weenie on the ultrasound. I still think they’re obnoxious, sorry. Dorothy, Julie and I are just going to sit here on our bench and judge you. And thank you Julie for including giant proposal things and prom dates. I’m being very “get off my lawn,” I know, but I don’t think it should cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars to go to your prom. I’m off to pick up a Target order in a masked and socially distanced sort of way with a minimum of fanfare other than the spontaneous cheering in the street here for the power being back on. Almost three days with no power was not only uncomfortably hot, it was a level of disorienting that made the pandemic even stranger. So many people have saying they didn’t know what day it was. We didn’t know what time it was. The fires have made the sky the same dull grey almost 24 hours a day.

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  49. LAMary said on September 7, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    Beb, fireworks are illegal here. Have been for years other than the professional fireworks shows. This means nothing. This year it sounded like Beirut in the seventies for two months every damn night, and in less crazy years it sounds like Beirut in the seventies on New Years Eve, Chinese New Year and July 4. I live on a hill and from the top of the hill you can see the explosions all over LA.

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  50. Sherri said on September 7, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    It doesn’t take much to set off a wildfire in the west this time of year. It does not rain in the summer, so everything is super dry by now. The hottest temps in California are often in September and October, as the Pacific high pressure systems are transitioning to the winter patterns. During this in between time, the high pressure area will form so that instead of the winds coming from the ocean, they come from the mountains, so no cooling breeze, no morning fog.

    We’re hot and breezy this week up here in WA, too, but nothing like CA, and our rainy season usually starts sooner. We’ve been lucky this summer with fires so far.

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  51. Julie Robinson said on September 7, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    We’ve had two lengthy power outages, one in subzero weather, so we had to leave the house. We stayed with friends and went back every day to check the pipes and gather a few things. Somehow I never had what I needed for the next day and was always wearing mismatched clothes. It gave me great empathy for people who don’t have homes, and helped me understand in a very small way the barriers to pulling their lives together. We experienced a fast devolution despite having jobs and cars and a stable past. The space between coping and not coping is very thin and easily breached.

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  52. susan said on September 7, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    We have, and have had, some big fires east of the mountains, Sherri. Right now there is a huge one, the Evans Canyon fire NW of Yakima (76,000 acres, 40% contained). Another very large, and growing fast because of the wind, took off last night from the Colville Rez, headed south and jumped the Columbia River at Bridgeport, and is now running south to Moses Coulee and Hwy 2. Mansfield and Bridgeport residents have been told to “get out NOW.” It’s moving so fast, I haven’t even seen any size estimates. They are trying to get people to safety.

    This shit is scary. The air is yellow and hazardous.

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  53. susan said on September 7, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    Map of fires. The Cold Springs fire, the one that jumped the Columbia River, is that huge red swath in the middle of the state. Smoke has closed I-90 in some areas, as well as Hwy 2, and many state and county roads.

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  54. Deborah said on September 7, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    “ The space between coping and not coping is very thin and easily breached.” so true Julie, I was a single mom for a time. I had a good job but I was always worried about how easily We could fall through the cracks if something happened. It wouldn’t have taken much.

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  55. Sherri said on September 7, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    You’re right, Susan. Lucky is relative. It’s not as bad as it was a couple of summers ago, but we haven’t escaped without fire.

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  56. Carolyn said on September 7, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    Census moonlighting: YES.
    Sending you enumerator love.

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  57. LAMary said on September 7, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    I’m looking out the window at those yellow skies right now. At night the moon looks yellow and bright, and there is so much particulate matter in the air that the brightness of the moon reflects off crud in the air so it never gets dark.

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  58. Dorothy said on September 7, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    I know you already made the pie, Deborah, but I can’t remember if I shared this link here or just on Facebook a couple months ago. This was damn delicious.

    FYI we found the gas line in the basement. We have a gas water heater and a gas furnace. Hopefully it won’t be too difficult to run a line to the kitchen for a new stove.

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  59. Suzanne said on September 7, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    Life is funny. I ran across this poem today, and thought of the recent car discussion right here on this forum.

    First line:
    “Engine like a Singer sewing machine, where have you
    not carried me-to dance class, grocery shopping,
    into the heart of darkness and back again?“

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  60. Deborah said on September 7, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    Dorothy, I didn’t remember it at the time but I think that’s where I got the idea to add bourbon. I wish I’d thought of it before I baked it. We haven’t had any pie yet. We had a big dinner. LB made zucchini boats with cheese and meaty red sauce, so we’re waiting until we’re hungry again.

    These Halloween Karen Masks are terrific

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  61. Deborah said on September 7, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    OMG the pie is so good with a little bourbon drizzled over it. Doing this every time from now on.

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  62. Deborah said on September 7, 2020 at 10:07 pm

    Trump world hairspray per capita. I just read this on Twitter.!

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  63. Sherri said on September 7, 2020 at 11:55 pm

    Lucky was the wrong word.

    The smoke has made it to Western WA now too.

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  64. Sherri said on September 8, 2020 at 12:03 am

    The SeattlePD enveloped Capitol Hill in tear gas night after night, and whether you were a protestor or just lived there, you couldn’t escape it. The gas the SPD uses apparently effects menstrual cycles.

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  65. Icarus said on September 8, 2020 at 8:49 am

    This lady claims she invented the gender reveal.

    I met her once at a ChicagoNow function and we were FB friends until a falling out about a super bowl TV commercial. she conflict with other CN bloggers so I feel it wasn’t me.

    I don’t care one way or the other about gender reveal parties as long as it’s just a shower with an added twist. Given the dynamic of my family, I was able to tell who I wanted, when I wanted that we were expecting and the gender, but kept the names to ourselves.

    Dorothy @ 37 – I meant in Normal Times. We are lucky to have classes of any structure right now.

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  66. Dorothy said on September 8, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Of course you did – sorry Icarus! I think most higher ed institutions are doing the same thing this year. Sorry to be repetitive.

    Has anyone else Googled “gender reveal opinions” since yesterday? I will never not think they are just stupid. As with most topics on the internet, there are zillions of websites and blog posts to get through. I read maybe 5 or 6 of them and decided this one about sums up how I feel about it. I agree – there are so few surprises left in the world these days – why not wait until the day the baby is born to find out? We did the same thing in 1983 and 1985. I originally wanted to know ahead of time, but Mike said (kiddingly) that he would not be in the room with me when I gave birth if I found out and told him. In the end I was really happy that we found out after the baby was delivered. It really was wonderful to find out that way. And we had all the time we needed to buy gender appropriate clothing.

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  67. LAMary said on September 8, 2020 at 10:24 am

    The power returned around 4:30 yesterday. Altogether we were without power for 40 hours, all while the temperature was 99-109 degrees. In a covid free world we would have been at the movies or in mall or something. My neighborhood was low on the list of priority areas for electriciy restoration. There was a map on the LADWP website showing where the outagages were and when they expected to get them fixed and the time for this zip code kept being pushed out. There was literally cheering in the neighborhood when the power came back on. I could hear it all over the hill. I guess we all made the mistake of not living in a more posh neighborhood. I still think gender reveal parties are stupid.

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  68. susan said on September 8, 2020 at 10:43 am

    The town of Malden. Gads. How horrible. Fire moved too fast to do any protection.

    The Coldsprings Canyon/Pearl Hill fire, that huge fire I referenced above, reached 175,000 acres overnight. Zero% containment. I bet it started by someone off-roading in dry vegetation. Or target-shooting.

    There are fires all over eastern Washington, now. Labor Day weekend-full of fools. What else could it be? There hasn’t been any lightening. Also, I just saw a chart noting that there hasn’t been any rain for 90 days here (non-wetting rain days: 0.10″ or more of precipitation in a 24-hour period). But the record rainless streak in this region is 237 days. Things could always be worse!

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  69. alex said on September 8, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Not to get all politically correct or anything, but gender revelations should be left up to the child whenever they see fit to announce it.

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  70. Jeff Borden said on September 8, 2020 at 11:34 am

    I read an article a few weeks ago online that was utterly depressing in a doomsday kind of way. The author suggested that within a few years, we will fondly remember this time as the “good old days.” He predicted mass population movements away from “fire zones” and “flood zones,” which will get worse not better as climate change marches on, and severe shortages of energy, food and water as droughts, floods and other severe weather phenomenon proliferate.

    We’ve wasted four years by electing a climate change denying moron. If he’s reelected, we’ll waste another four.

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  71. Sherri said on September 8, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    Read Adam Serwer. The article is long, but made me feel more hopeful than anything else has in a while.

    Subscribe to the Atlantic if you can. Adam Serwer and Ed Yong alone are worth the price of admission.

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  72. Scout said on September 8, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    Both my granddaughters had GR parties with their firsts. It was a family affair that involved balloons and tinted cake. Nobody was harmed and it was a fun family get together. One granddaughter just had her second baby and there was no GR party this time around. As is typical with second babies, there are also a lot less pictures floating around of him, and I’m sure his baby book will be mostly blank.

    The sunken MAGA boat parade was hysterically funny. Sorry, not sorry. The best part is when the creatives fire up the photoshop machine.

    Our skies in Phoenix are thick with CA smoke. The sun is all hazy with an orangey glow, very other worldly. After high heat warnings for the past week, tomorrow it is supposed to be 89 degrees and in the 60s at night. Then it will get hot again for another several weeks, because of course it will.

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  73. susan said on September 8, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    The ultimate gender reveal.

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  74. Jakash said on September 8, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    “Poseidon for Biden” is excellent, Scout. Folks are so clever.

    Jeff B., re: “good old days.” Indeed. I’ve seen on Twitter somebody pointing out that, while articles say “it’s the hottest year on record,” or whatever, the scary part is that we’re not realizing that right now we’re experiencing the “coolest” years in certain places that there’ll likely be for the foreseeable future.

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  75. Deborah said on September 8, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    I see on my weather app that Colorado is being hammered with rain and snow, we’re getting a lot of wind and somewhat cooler temps but nothing like what is expected this evening. The winds are 30-40mph with gusts of 60mph. We have a limb on a large tree on the edge of our parking lot that has been hovering over the electric line, I called the awful electric company in New Mexico (PNM) two weeks ago, they said it could take 10 to 14 days before they’d be able to get someone out here to trim it. The limb is resting on the line now and violently moving it back and forth so it will be a matter of time before we lose power. I called PNM again today and they said they won’t do anything unless the line comes down. I just hope no one gets hurt.

    I’m expecting any minute for some right wing asshole to say “how can there be global warming if it gets this cold in NM this early”. You just know they will. Dumbshits.

    And I second what Sherri said about subscribing to The Atlantic. So worth it.

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  76. David C said on September 8, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    Another for the everything tRump touches turns to shit folder.

    “The newly renovated White House Rose Garden is under repair less than three weeks after it’s official unveiling. The garden is experiencing “issues with water drainage” and “some minor complications with updated construction,” a source with knowledge of the garden troubles told CNN. New sod is also being laid down.”

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  77. Charlotte said on September 8, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    My Himself was deeply disappointed to discover that a gender reveal party is not a party one throws to reveal one’s own gender …

    Enough with the pink/blue boy/girl crap. It’s gotten so rigid in the last couple of decades, and I’ve had university students in such turmoil over gender issues.

    Huge wildfire here this weekend. Somehow a fire started off a very popular trail (cigarette? cough cough?) that leads to the big M on the mountain outside of Bozeman. Blew up, went over the ridge, burned a bunch of houses, raced up the canyon toward Bridger Bowl ski area. Three firefighters had to jump into those foil tents, which means you really think you’re going to die. Horses set loose, bears on the run, evacuation orders coming for side roads further and further up. Luckily yesterday was in the 50s and raining all day — snowed up there.

    We have very large signs on the fridge up at our vacation rental — no fires, no shooting, no fireworks. And we live in fear of idiots like the ones a couple of years back who nearly set the front field on fire with a campfire they built on the lid to the septic tank?!?

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  78. basset said on September 8, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Subaru being, of course, the vehicle of choice for tree-huggers, golden retriever owners, and other un-American losers, this month’s online owner’s magazine included a recipe for apple and kohlrabi salad.

    I dunno, a horse would probably like it.

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  79. Sherri said on September 8, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    I think everyone who lives in the West should be required to read Young Men and Fire, by Norman Maclean. Put it in the middle school curriculum.

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  80. David C said on September 8, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    Mary and I talked about moving out West somewhere after I retire. The more we looked at it we decided to stay in the water rich Midwest. I don’t see how there won’t be wars, perhaps interstate wars, over water in the not too distant future.

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  81. Deborah said on September 8, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    Dinner tonight that LB is making, a New Mexican meatloaf with green chiles, cheddar and crushed tortilla chips (with other ingredients too). Sautéed Shishto peppers on the side. For dessert were having leftover peach/Apple pie, but this time I’m melting some butter and then adding bourbon to that to drizzle over the pie with oak aged vanilla gelato.
    If you’ve never had shishitos, I highly recommend them, they are mild and really tasty. All I do is wash them and sauté them in butter, I don’t trim them or de-seed them. You hold on to the stem and pop them in your mouth, then bite off the stem. Scrumptious. I think shishitos are all over the place but I never heard of them before I came to NM.

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  82. LAMary said on September 8, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    I read that McLean book years ago, but here I am. And those water wars? The reporter I first worked for at the NYT Denver bureau did a long piece for the Sunday mag about that very thing, probably in 1976 or so. But droughts have become much longer and frequent just in the years I’ve lived in California. Climate change is really beating up the west.

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  83. Colleen said on September 8, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    I think over the top gender reveals and proposals and “promposals” have come about in part because people think they are starring in their own reality shows. I’m with Julie…there are plenty of special moments in life that don’t have to be a big production to be special….

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