Six months.

Friends, I’m going to be away for a few days next week, so you have to play nice. We’re going up north for another half-week of vacation, and that’ll be the end of mine in this insane year.

I was looking through my recent photos when it occurred to me we’re coming up on six months of everything changing in Detroit, in Michigan, in the country, in all of our lives. Of course the virus marked that milestone a few weeks ago, but March 15 was when the stay-home orders began and it all hit home. So for my final post until late next week, here are 19 images from my life these past six months.

It begins:

This was actually March 6, but the last night out like this we had, at Shadow Show’s set at Third Man Records. The girls were worried no one would come because of the big Bernie rally at Cobo, but they eventually showed. This was a Friday night. The Michigan primary was the following Tuesday, and that night, after the polls closed, the governor announced the first cases had been diagnosed in Michigan.

Pretty soon, this is what the toilet paper and cleaning products aisle looked like at my local grocery. We had about a dozen rolls left at this point.

But you could still get cleaning wipes, if you were willing to pay $50 for this industrial-strength (80 percent alcohol) variety. And people did.

The checkout line at the still-no-TP grocery store was not, shall we say, reassuring.

Hey, everyone remember their first virtual cocktail hour? God, my hair was short.

Then we all settled in to wait for spring. I told Kate this would surely be contained by Memorial Day. But we were still close enough to the beginning that sights like this seemed worth a snap:

My trainer tried a socially distanced outdoor workout for a couple weeks. Soon it was derailed by stricter stay-home orders, though:

Then it seemed we all just settled in for the long haul. I went for a bike ride and found this cardboard customer at a closed bar. (Is that Conor McGregor?) At least one person was having a good time.

Oh, fuck you:

Ran this before, but a sign of the early-spring times: A socially distanced teen hang.

Yes, I too had a baking phase.

Because this is Grosse Pointe, this was inevitable:

Then, in the midst of everything, this happened:

Thank god the bars opened again — for about five days before one place in East Lansing became a super spreader and the whole sector had to shut again, at least indoors. Dig that plexiglas:

Oh, fuck you II:

And then the weather got warm and it almost seemed normal again, given that you could eat and drink outdoors with friends. Masks became commonplace. And sights like this seemed to blend into the scenery:

Drive-through Covid testing.

If Michigan were a more temperate climate, we could maybe live like this for a while. But summer is dwindling, so no more meals al fresco:

May this all end soon, and may all your tests be…

Posted at 8:00 pm in Current events |

166 responses to “Six months.”

  1. jcburns said on September 10, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Safe travels, Nancy! Great photo essay. I especially like that it doesn’t have an ad dropped in every three pictures.

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  2. Deborah said on September 10, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    My husband finally got his Covid test result after 10 days – negative, but it’s almost beside the point at that stage.

    The sun came out this afternoon, made things seem better even though it was still way unseasonably cooler than normal.

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  3. Dexter Friend said on September 11, 2020 at 2:09 am

    Late May I guess, I reported here at nn.c a teen gathering I witnessed in town here, just like the one in the picto-journal above…the kids were chatting safely while sitting on their cars’ hoods in a church lot.
    I still have not entered a restaurant since hell surfaced, but I do drive-thru fast foods.
    A week from now I will go to south of Columbus for my birthday party, and to see my wife, who is set-up there with home-health care , nurses and my daughter are caring for her as she hopes to get well enough to have that final knee replacement. Yeah, hell really surfaced. She is strong of mind but has been totally bedridden since the middle of June. All I did this summer was care for the house, cooking, laundry, pet care. So what the hell, what else could I do? Middle daughter and her husband (now second in command of a flight operation in Port St. Lucie, FL) are flying up for my party , then heading to Toledo for a wedding. I just received a few N-95 masks after waiting for 10 weeks, and I’ll be wearing them for sure. If I get The Bug, I’ll likely have a hard recovery, as I have all the warning conditions on the list.
    So I am looking forward to some ribs , probably Smokey Joe’s to go, and a slice of lemon cake next week. 71 looms. Fuck, who woulda ever bet an old boozer like me, pack of smokes in my pocket, would have cleared the 70 hurdle and is still chugging along,albeit with canes and a rollator? I quit the smokes 39 years ago and the booze and brew 28 years ago…maybe that helped a little. 🙂

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  4. Dorothy said on September 11, 2020 at 6:17 am

    Happy birthday a little early, Dexter. We’re traveling today, too. Headed to a baby shower in Pennsylvania (it’s tomorrow) and seeing Mike’s cousin today (dinner at her house) and my sister tomorrow, among other relatives. My niece is having twins in December and they decided to have a shower three months early so it could be outdoors and safely distanced. It felt so odd to pack a suitcase last night. A little dangerous, a little dumb, but also tantalizing. All meals will be to go, Nestle is coming with us because pet care fell through, so that puts an underscore on the need to eat in the car or hotel room. I’m taking 6 masks that I sewed myself. I made a mask for the grandmas-to-be and for my pregnant niece. I’ve never made two quilts in such a short period of time before – I only had about 5 weeks’ notice that the shower was in September. I hope she likes them.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 11, 2020 at 8:06 am

    Happy birthday Dexter, and safe travels, Nancy. Off to sell a house and say goodbye to sixty years worth of memories; farewell to Da Region one last time!

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  6. Deborah said on September 11, 2020 at 10:14 am

    My husband and I will be traveling Thursday back to Chicago via rental car, still can’t imagine getting on a plane. If we were flying out of ABQ, we’d have to take a shuttle to get there, with other people packed in it too, for an hour. No thanks. After our trip up to Chicago and back in July we’ve got the quarantine roadtrip down pat. I’m looking forward to being back in Chicago, I’ve been in NM 6 months except for that brief trip. I can’t wait until we can go to France like we were supposed to in June, but that won’t happen anytime soon. Maybe even not until next June?

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  7. Deborah said on September 11, 2020 at 10:15 am

    Happy Birthday Dexter.

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  8. LAMary said on September 11, 2020 at 10:43 am

    I’ve been out of the house seven times since March 13. Once to return my laptop to my previous employer, twice for curbside pickup for groceries, once for a short meetup with a friend, sitting at opposite ends of a picnic table in a park, once to pick up a laptop from my new employer, once for a long drive the other day to charge the household’s cell phones in my car and once for a haircut. There was a little goodbye gathering outside my front door for the nice guy across the street who is moving into a senior living village. That was five people, masked, standing quite far apart, shouting to a nearly deaf guy, telling him what a great neighbor he was. I guess that counts as going out, so make it eight times.

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  9. 4dbirds said on September 11, 2020 at 10:56 am

    Happy birthday Dexter. I am unfortunately out of the house at least two or three times a week. My daughter usually has one or two appointments a week for her treatment and there are always prescriptions that need to be picked up. Once the targeted radiation starts (they are still, mapping the radiation plan and the physicists say it keeps failing the QA tests. Somehow I think that is a really bad thing and means they can’t reach this tumor without sacrificing healthy brain tissue) we will be going to DC everyday for six weeks. Right now, I am waiting for my daughter to eat something because she has a follow up appointment with the ophthalmologist. She has herpes in her eye. Herpes. This is eye that has tumor involvement. The doc said herpes in the eye is common and can be either simplex one or two. Since she’s had major surgery there, is stressed and immune-suppressed they don’t seem surprised she has it. Also I hate everything that Trump has done to this country and to real people. Personally, I think he has blood on his hands.

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  10. Jeff Borden said on September 11, 2020 at 10:59 am

    We’ve done a lot of delivery of meals, but haven’t been in an eatery since March 13. That may change tomorrow. We’re invited to a very small outdoor wedding –including the bride, groom and minister there will be seven of us– and the groom wants to treat everyone to a celebratory brunch. Since Johanna is more compromised than me because she has COPD, we’ll see what the dining set-up looks like and make a decision then. We won’t hesitate to leave if there’s a bad vibe.

    Anyone watch the Chiefs-Texans game last night? Apparently, classy Kansas City fans lustily booed the moment of silence for social justice before kickoff. If the covid doesn’t turn me into a misanthrope, people like those KC fans will.

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  11. Deborah said on September 11, 2020 at 11:27 am

    I probably get out 3 or 4 times a week to go to a grocery store or Home Depot or someplace like that. The virus is much less prevalent in NM. I have picked up food outside a restaurant maybe 2 times, had delivery once, been through drive throughs maybe half a dozen times. The last time I was in a sit down restaurant was in mid-march, in Chicago with Heather.

    Our 20th wedding anniversary is coming up Sept 23rd and my husband suggested we go out for dinner in Chicago, sit outside, but I’m not ready to do that. So we’re going to cook something special, get a good bottle of wine and sit up in our perch by the lake and look out on the city. I’d much, much rather do that anyway since we’ve been away from our place there so long, and I like it.

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  12. LAMary said on September 11, 2020 at 11:54 am

    It is very smoky here. Like snorting an ashtray smoky. If we were not hiding at home I would be heading for someplace less smoky, but I don’t know where that would be. There are fires up and down the whole coast. The Bobcat fire is the closest to me, maybe 15-20 miles away. As of this morning it had burned 24,000 acres and was six percent contained. This is one fucking apocalyptic summer.

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  13. Sherri said on September 11, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    It is 9/11, the day 3000 people died in the attacks in 2001. This week, about 5000 people died in the US from COVID, and it was just another week, seven months into the pandemic and still no adequate response from trump.

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  14. Icarus said on September 11, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    I have to say, you are taking stronger precautions than we are. That said, I worked 100% from home even before the virus and don’t interact with people much outside my family. My wife was able to WFH once the (prestigious, well funded downtown chicago) hospital finally relented and let anyone who could, work from home. I’m sure their marketing department spun it differently.

    Once the requirements loosened, the hospital expected everyone back ASAP…like zero transition time. We have some important dates coming up at the end of the month (birthdays and our anniversary) and don’t know what to do to celebrate them.

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  15. Icarus said on September 11, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    from the last thread, Jeff Borden…you brought back a memory. In the early 90s I interviewed for an internship at Crain’s Chicago Business. Not only didn’t I get it but I screwed the pooch by sending in a thank you letter for the interview and I guess I wrote “Crains'” instead of “Crain’s”. probably the last nail in my wannabe journalism career.

    I think some here have mentioned having hoarder family members. My mom gave me a few push lawn mowers to try and sell. They are in bad shape and I’m getting no bites on FB marketplace and LetGo…I’m thinking of just putting them in the alley for the scrappers. Should I tell her that or tell her that someone gave me $20 for all for parts? which does more damage long term? I’m worried she will expect every piece of junk she has to fetch some money.

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  16. Sherri said on September 11, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Mike Lofgren calls it genocide.

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  17. ROGirl said on September 11, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Happy birthday Dexter.

    I got Biden/Harris and Peters yard signs and have put them out. There are a lot in my neighborhood.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on September 11, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Oh, that’s a hard one, Icarus. My mom is a hoarder, my sister was a hoarder. My sister was less attached to her stuff, and I often would find unopened sacks of stuff from Walmart trips and even gifts. For her the thrill was in the acquisition. She was usually pretty happy to have someone clean it out and get rid of it. (Not that it helped, because within a month or two the place would be junked up again.)

    My mom doesn’t want to part with anything. The other day she told me that she is her possessions. I joked and said of course not, you are your thoughts and your deeds and the people you’ve influenced. No, she was quite adamant, she is what she owns. (Insert line from Rent for the musical theatre nerds.)

    It’s an existential attack to ask her to get rid of anything, despite its usefulness to her or even lack of any value. She thinks the worst junk is great and worth something. It’s possible your mom is in this category. We’ve tried to approach this by emphasizing how many needy people are out there, and how much her crap will help them, even if not strictly true.

    So we’ve talked about her furniture going to the Habitat for Humanity Resale store, where any money earned will go to build more homes. She approves of that. I have even gotten her to recognize that scrappers provide a useful service and need what they earn from collecting. If you’ve tried to sell then mowers, that seems like the approach to take. Good luck, you will certainly need it!

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  19. Jakash said on September 11, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune weighs in on whether Bob Woodward should have revealed his tapes earlier.

    “Woodward’s conscience should be clear. His recordings and his book are coming out less than two months before voters will be deciding whether to rehire Trump for a second term or to replace him with Democrat Joe Biden. It is a time when such revelations may actually make a difference…”

    “Do we want a coach or do we want a cheerleader? Do we want a president who will level with us, adult to adult, or one who will treat us like children and lie to us because he thinks we’ll panic? Woodward’s recordings underscore that choice for voters who are still undecided or who aren’t feeling motivated to get to the polls. They couldn’t have come out at a better time.”

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  20. Scout said on September 11, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    I woke up this morning to the smell of smoke. When I went outside the sun was an otherwordly shade of yellow orange and shrouded in haze. I saw this latest wave of CA smoke roll in yesterday afternoon. It was clear and blue to the east and it was gray and hazy to the west. The setting sun looked like a planet. Climate change is a clear and present danger.

    I’ve been working from home since March 13. We haven’t been to a restaurant since then, but we do take out once a week. We shop for groceries once a week (masked and armed with wipes) for ourselves and my parents. They are the only family I’ve seen because unfortunately my children and grandchildren keep photographing themselves unmasked at their in-law family gatherings. I can tell from unsubtle remarks they make that they think I’m being Michael Jackson/Hugh Hefner level crazy and it breaks my heart that they really don’t get it. Otherwise, we have done outdoor things like hiking, biking, swimming and kayaking, usually just the two of us, but sometimes with friends who have also been super cautious and we all wear masks and stay distanced. I’ve had two swab tests, one in May and one in August, both negative.

    Read on twitter this morning – “It takes us about 4 days under “trump” to match the entire 9/11 death toll.”

    Nancy, I loved this photo journal so much that I shared it on FB.

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  21. Sherri said on September 11, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    This is the level of paranoia white people in rural areas have come to: they’re more afraid of imaginary threats of antifa than of a wildfire they can see coming their way.

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  22. 4dbirds said on September 11, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    Where is Joe The Fucking Pilot now that we know that his beloved leader facilitated the deaths of thousands of Americans?

    4dbirds, the hard working civil servant.

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  23. JodiP said on September 11, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    I have been working from home since late March, except for a 7 week stint at a county-run hotel for vulnerable homeless people. I’ve eaten on patios 4 times, and one indoor meal to celebrate my wife’s new job.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve been to a grocery store. We’ve had gatherings with friends on our patio. A couple times we’ve had folks inside, whom we’ve trusted are pretty isolated and mask-compliant. The lack of a busy social life and missing out on plays and music are the biggest impacts for me. Oh, and not going to the gym.

    I’ve gotten my hair cut, gotten massages and a facial, and lots of precautions were taken.

    People in the city are really good about wearing masks and social distancing. I have been walking a lot more since our dog passed away–a much faster pace! There is a sweet game of chicken every time I encounter people coming up on the sidewalk about who will move to the street first.

    I am clearly an outlier here!

    In other news, Pence and the crazy lady screamer from the RNC attended a fundraiser hosted by QAnon fanatics. The more I hear about this phenomenon, the more worried I get.The Make Me Smart podcast from 9/8 has a good explainer about it.

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  24. 4dbirds said on September 11, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Some of my lingering questions.

    How many black people or other POC worked at Joe’s shop?

    Does his old shop still exist?

    Is his old shop still union?

    Does his old shop still offer a defined pension plan?

    He mentioned once that his daughter’s were Obama supporters. Why doesn’t he respect them enough to entertain their opinions?

    Does he care one wit about the change in policies that will hurt people who are different?

    Why after being being told he couldn’t be a pilot by the military, he didn’t ask for another job to serve his country?

    I’ll leave it here but I have tons of other questions.

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  25. Sherri said on September 11, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    The orange skies on the West Coast have demonstrated how color correction on smart phone cameras works.

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  26. Dexter Friend said on September 11, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    Two days ago Mad Dog Russo had Giants TV man Duane Kuiper on as a guest. Chris asked Kuip how the weather, the smoke, the orange sky and all was affecting the playing of MLB games in such horrible conditions. Kuip said that even with the heavy smoke smell, the authorities said the air quality was “good, not harmful”. So the game was played. Yesterday the SF.Com site reported extremely bad, harmful-to-health conditions in San Francisco proper. The game was played anyway, and hot-as-fire Padres destroyed the upcoming Giants, 6-1.
    Jeff Borden: Here’s how I saw it: Much confusion before the game, with little planning for pre-game stances. Mahomes and Jackson met moments before the run-on to the field was scheduled. Lots of dead-air fill in time, for which Chris Collinsworth and Al Michaels had to improvise. It was decided the players would link arms and observe a moment of silence. The PA man was feeling pressure from NBC to just get the damn thing going, the precision timing for ads was shot to hell. The announcer then announced a moment of silence for the list of suggestions that were posted on a tiny board that the 17,000 mini-crowd had no idea about. The Texans were staggering out during the moment of silence and the fans began booing them…and some believe the fans were booing the moment of silence itself. Well, then today Chris Collinsworth caught hell for not taking a tough BLM stance. But by this time Chris was clearly frustrated all to hell at the untimely delays and just said something like he agreed with the players and now it was time to play football PLEASE. The part about the booing was started by fans booing the straggling Texans was verified by a caller to a radio show who is from KC, Kansas, and said this is how his Chiefs fan-buddies viewed it. However, most saw it like you did Jeff; this is just how I thought it went down. The game started out good but then it was the Mahomes show , meaning a KC slaughtering of the Texans.

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  27. Icarus said on September 11, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    I’m not so sure Dexter

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  28. Sherri said on September 11, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    The Patriot Act was passed 45 days after the 9/11 attacks.

    The Patriot Act is why I’m so involved with the ACLU.

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  29. basset said on September 11, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    Behind the curve again… first virtual happy hour for me would have been tonight, canceled a few hours ahead of time though.

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  30. LAMary said on September 11, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    I always found the name of that law, “the patriot act,” troubling. “Homeland Security,” always bugged me too.

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  31. Mark P said on September 11, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    The Democratic candidate for the 14th Congressional district in Georgia just dropped out (for “personal reasons”), leaving the Republican without opposition. He was a long shot to start with, but this means we will certainly get a QAnon believer as our representative. This is just one more reason to hope Biden wins. Trump has already praised this woman (whose name I will not say), so if he wins, the Republicans will be afraid to shuffle her off into some quiet place to keep her out of public view.

    From CNN: “Republican congressional candidate (dumb as a sack of broken hammers) on Thursday posted on her candidate Facebook page an image of herself holding a gun alongside images of Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib and encouraged going on the ‘offense against these socialists.'”

    As you all may know, Georgia likes to have their candidates threaten people with guns. Our current “governor” Brian Kemp ran an ad in which he threatened a boy who wanted to date his daughter. He hasn’t killed anyone with a gun so far, but he has followed dear leader in his campaign against the coronavirus hoax, so he can claim at least some of the credit for killing people with the virus.

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  32. susan said on September 11, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    Wow, Mark P… What disgusting people. I’m so sorry you live in a place like that.

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  33. Joe Kobiela said on September 11, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    1. Don’t know the exact amount, never thought in terms of black or white just fellow workers.
    2.Yes it does
    3.Yes it is
    4.Nope but I wouldn’t want one now, I would rather have a say in how I invest my money.
    5. They are my kids, they were raised to think on their own, we love each other and can agree to disagree, sorry if you weren’t raised the same way.
    6. No more than you care about policies that will hurt people that are different from you.
    7. There was no draft, no war, and I had a good job, why would I give that up to do something I wouldn’t be happy doing? If I could have flown I would have made it a career, If there were a draft I would have gone if called up.
    No matter what Trump did or didn’t do you would say he was wrong no matter what, no mask Nancy was telling people to go out to China town, When Trump shut down the airlines to China you called him a racist. Just admit that nothing good bad or indifferent the man does or says you will say it’s wrong, I get it you don’t like him, you don’t like me, I really don’t care.
    Pilot Joe

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  34. Deborah said on September 11, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    I can’t even comprehend what is happening in California, Oregon and Washington right now. Seeing the photos of the sky and the flames and listening to stories of breathing the smoke clogged air is surreal. Climate change is coming for us all. You west coasters out there, I’m thinking about you, what can I do to help?

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  35. Sherri said on September 12, 2020 at 1:28 am

    Four years ago, I was always reminding myself not to attribute to malice what could be explained by stupidity. Now, I know the difference between the two is meaningless.

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  36. Sherri said on September 12, 2020 at 1:44 am

    Imagine how this would be reported from another country.

    “Armed tribes set up checkpoints during wildfire chaos.”

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  37. ROGirl said on September 12, 2020 at 8:26 am

    I can’t help but think that the facebook rumors about the fires and antifa are a product of the Russian troll campaign.

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  38. Mark P said on September 12, 2020 at 8:53 am

    Everyone knows that Trump projects. He assumes that because he is dishonest, everyone else is, too. His supporters are just like him. They think everything he does is great, no matter what, so they think everyone who opposes him thinks everything he does is wrong, no matter what. They can’t conceive of anyone acting or thinking differently from them. I don’t think that’s stupid or evil, just pathological.

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  39. Ann said on September 12, 2020 at 9:11 am

    Nice photo-essay, Nancy. Safe travels, Deborah. Happy birthday, Dexter. Herpes in the eye sounds terrible, as does the rest of it–good luck to you and your daughter 4dbirds. Condolences and good luck to everyone in the fire areas.

    I’m at that point where I’m very self-conscious that I continue to put two spaces after a period–but apparently not able or willing to change it. And it turns out that using any period at all in a text in passive-aggressive. My kids say they’ve noticed but they’ve been able to translate.

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  40. 4dbirds said on September 12, 2020 at 10:46 am

    Thanks for answering JTFP but I’m afraid your answers just solidify my detest of you. You’re a taker. For you information, I do care about people who are different from me. Always have.

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  41. Heather said on September 12, 2020 at 11:35 am

    I bet someone says he “doesn’t see color.” Eyeroll.

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  42. Sherri said on September 12, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    ROGirl, I suspect that Russians trolls are amplifying the rumors, but I don’t think they’re the source. In one instance, it was clearly due to people’s paranoia about a pair of freelance photographers (clearly marked as press, but people think antifa disguises themselves as press). In other instances, it was due to people hearing BLM on scanners and thinking that was a reference to Black Lives Matter instead of the Bureau of Land Management.

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  43. jcburns said on September 12, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    Joe, I think we mostly called Trump a racist after his racist acts and utterances, which number in the hundreds? thousands? now.

    You gotta keep these things in sequence. People did not turn on Trump until he did the things. All this “you’d hate him no matter what” stuff is crap. If Trump (or Pompeo, or Graham, or Limbaugh) did not say or do racist things, most people (I would assert) would not have a problem with him. Them. Those guys.

    The widespread anger emerges after he does the stuff and says the things.

    And boy oh boy, he did the stuff and said the things.

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  44. Julie Robinson said on September 12, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    Also, it’s not just that he says and does things, his followers heed his dog whistles and commit unconscionable acts. Period, the end.

    Ann, I’m the same way! Two spaces, periods after texts that are full sentences with no abbreviations. Communicating in standard English is what works for me, and I don’t have any apologies.

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  45. LAMary said on September 12, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    Joe, the pension I had for about four years (until the company stopped doing it) was different from the 401k match the company offered. I had no say over how the pension was invested. The 401k was with Fidelity and I could talk to them whenever I felt like it and move my money around. It sounds like you had a pension paid for the company you worked for. Those barely exist anymore other than for government jobs. It was about ten years ago when the company I worked for stopped and they were one of the last big healthcare companies to have one. 401ks took over the retirement programs. If I’m completely wrong about this let me know.

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  46. Jakash said on September 12, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    Hey, Joe, I think Nancy Pelosi made a mistake when she went to that hair salon. I wish she hadn’t done it. There, see how easy that is? I don’t think that everything Democrats do is beyond questioning. Maybe you could try it with your guy sometime.

    She visited Chinatown on Feb. 24. I wish she hadn’t done that, too. But, many people did have a different understanding of what was going on with the virus in February than they did even 2 weeks later. I don’t fault Trump for his response in January and February, though it was lame, nearly as much as I do for every month since then. Other people paid attention. Learned. Adapted. He, unsurprisingly, did not.

    You do understand, I hope, that he has admitted to “downplaying” the virus. That, on March 19, at about the same time that governors were issuing stay-at-home orders because of the then-evident dangers, he said “I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.” Is that leadership that you admire — facing a crisis by telling people it doesn’t exist?

    You refer to the China travel ban as if that was the one effective measure that proves how well Trump did against the virus. a.) It wasn’t effective. b.) It wasn’t the only thing to be done. If he had actively encouraged people to wear masks and socially distance, rather than making that a political issue — even in March or April — many lives probably would have been saved. Republicans *still* harp on and on about Benghazi, where 4 people sadly lost their lives. Yet the 200,000 lost on Trump’s watch just don’t seem to matter. Why is that?

    Final point. Pelosi got her hair done almost 2 weeks ago. She went to Chinatown 6 1/2 months ago. Benghazi was 8 years ago. Yet you and other Republicans pound those drums, and will continue to, because they’re all you’ve got. Almost every day, Trump does something that would be a weeks-long talking point for a propaganda promoter like Fox News, if he didn’t replace it with a new outrage the next day.

    Yesterday, for instance, the President of the United States tweeted: “Pelosi and Schumer want Trillions of Dollars of BAILOUT money for Blue States that are doing badly, both economically and in terms of high crime, as a condition to making a deal on stimulus – But the USA is coming back strong!” Huh. The president implying that blue states are not part of the USA. On September 11, no less. Does that make you proud, Joe?

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  47. jcburns said on September 12, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    Julie, Ann: I hate to tell you, but the HTML specification takes multiple spaces (like 2 after a sentence) and turns them into one. That’s why all the comments here have one space between sentences.

    And when you’re talking typography, of course, it’s one between sentences. Always.

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  48. Sherri said on September 12, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Deborah, if you’re looking for a place to help, I’ve donated to the United Way of Jackson County Fire Fund. The small towns of Talent and Phoenix, OR were devastated by the fires, and many impacted people are associated with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in one way or another. The area has already been hard hit by the lack of tourist travel thanks to COVID.

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  49. LAMary said on September 12, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    jcburns, you are lucky Mrs. Unione, the typing teacher in my highschool in NJ, no longer walks the earth. Two spaces. Two. Not one.
    Mrs. Unione, by the way, had blue hair and was a large person. Behind her back we referred to her as Babe the Blue Ox.

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  50. Jakash said on September 12, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    Thank you for clarifying that, J. C. As another old schooler who always types 2 spaces, it seemed to me like the sinister, behind-the-scenes coders and programming charlatans like yourself were taking away one of my beloved spaces, but I wasn’t really sure. Now *there’s* a conspiracy! 🙂

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  51. LAMary said on September 12, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    I didn’t like trump a long time ago. Having dealt with one of his businesses long ago I knew what sort of person he was. So yes, it would have taken something truly miraculous for me to not dislike him, but he hasn’t managed anything close to that. He’s trashed the country.

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  52. Julie Robinson said on September 12, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    HTML may taketh away, but like Mary I was trained to make those two spaces, dammit, and make them I shall.

    Most companies have stopped pensions for new employees, but if you are lucky some still pay them out. My mom has a nice one, bargained for by the powerful police and fire unions in her small town. The librarians weren’t union, but there were so few of them the town manager didn’t want to deal with them separately. Because of that small gesture, which also includes generous health insurance, she lives in security.

    Pensions were an attractive pot of money when companies merged, so the MBAs and the lawyers conspired to raid them. Again, a few lucky people escaped that, and therefore my husband has been drawing his pension since he turned 60. It’s what allowed us to buy our home in Orlando. His company also started a 401K so we are double dippers*. He often worked 60+ hours a week, and it was highly stressful, but not for a second will I pretend that our circumstances aren’t the luck of the draw.

    *We got to choose between different funds in the 401K, but not the company running the investments. If you self-fund an IRA, you will get to make the choices. Only, the funny thing is, historically individuals have not done as well at that as large fund managers.

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  53. 4dbirds said on September 12, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    I’ve said it here before, I KNOW I’m lucky. I have two defined pensions, military and civil service, I have a 401k, Social Security and nice little inheritance from my mother. I didn’t do anything special. Of course I worked hard, lots of hours, neglected my kids needs especially when I was in the army but it was truly mostly luck. Right place at the right time, knowing someone who got me a job in the government and especially moving the eff out of the same town in Texas where I spent my high school years. I still have a friend there who constantly tells me how fearful she is of the FAR left. I laughed and told her I was the FAR left and when she signed up for SS, she became one also.

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  54. jcburns said on September 12, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    Well, not to drag this comment thread too far from the unpleasant realities of our world, but the reason for the two spaces back in the dawn of time was that

    typewriters typed with monospaced fonts, 
    and therefore being able to see the sentence gap 
    became harder without a double space.

    But typographers who took typewritten copy and set it in proportional fonts (where letters have for the most part different widths) just made the adjustment on the fly when they sat at the Linotype or Varityper or IBM Selectric Composer. And drank and smoked and set type.

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  55. Joe Kobiela said on September 12, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    L.A. Mary yes my pension was thru Dana where I worked,
    4dbirds could really give a fuck what you think of me, so don’t waist your time.
    Didn’t watch the nfl on Thursday but did wonder how the 14yr old that was raped by the scum in Konosha felt when her rapist is made out to be some kind of hero.
    Pilot Joe

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  56. 4dbirds said on September 12, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    JTFP, leave my waist out of it. Also, no one is making him out to be a hero. Most of us think we should follow the rule of law and people who are arrested shouldn’t be summarily executed by the police. Get it?

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  57. Mark P said on September 12, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Earlier I said pathology, not evil or stupidity. I stand corrected.

    When I’m typing on my iPhone, it’s two spaces after every sentence, so the period is added automatically. I no longer type two spaces after a period when I actually have to enter the period myself.

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  58. 4dbirds said on September 12, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Also JTFP, you don’t get to tell me what to do. Only Nancy can do that and I’m sure she’ll kick me to the curb if I get obnoxious enough. I’ll make fun of you and tell you what I think of you as long as you continue to be a clueless, entitled person.

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  59. Jim said on September 12, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    Pilot Joe: Jacob Blake was NOT charged with raping a 14 year old girl. Quit repeating that lie.

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  60. jcburns said on September 12, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Those in states with breathable air, please take deep breaths and step just a teensy bit further away from ad hominem attacks. Many thanks.

    That said, I think Pilot Joe’s spellcheck leaves him with ad homonym attacks.

    Tip your waitresses!

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  61. Sherri said on September 12, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    The air has slightly improved from Very Unhealthy to Unhealthy. The kind of sickly yellow color of the sky is very unpleasant.

    At least I’m not close to any fires.

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  62. David C said on September 12, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    Today we went to Target and a woman pulled down her mask to sneeze. What do you say to someone so clueless? I asked Mary if I should say something and she said she didn’t think it would do any good. I’m afraid she’s right. Is it any wonder that one of the few things we lead the world in is this damned virus?

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  63. Icarus said on September 12, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    can anyone explain the difference between having 10 days of PTO (we called it bank time in the 90s) and 5 sick days, or 15 days of PTO to use however you want?

    I’m assuming that maybe the PTO has to be scheduled and the sick days are for emergencies, but a good “progressive” time off policy would correct for that.

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  64. Connie said on September 12, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    I know that typing two spaces is wrong, but my brain and fingers just can’t change their habit after all these years.

    Public pensions have traditionally been defined benefit plans, so much per year. Many have changed to a defined contribution plan which is much preferred by younger employees. My previous employer deposited 13% of my gross pay into a 401a fund with John Hancock. You leave you take it with you.i

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  65. Sherri said on September 12, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    I think JJ McNab has it right. These domestic terrorists aren’t going to stage a civil war, they’re going to keep on doing shit like they’re doing now. The big challenge is that too many LEOs support them, like the Clackamas County deputy sheriff In the video in the thread.

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  66. jcburns said on September 12, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Connie, there’s nothing “wrong” with two spaces. I’m just saying they won’t make it (in most cases) through the series of tubes that is our mighty internet. Space away! Space freely! Spacely Space Sprockets!

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  67. Heather said on September 12, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    And even if Blake was charged or under suspicion, that STILL doesn’t make it OK for the police to shoot him. In the back. Multiple times. When we talk about “law and order,” that’s also part of the deal.

    David, today I was in our building basement and I heard one of my neighbors coming down the stairs, so I waited for them to leave so I could go upstairs. I heard them sneeze loudly. I decided to use our back deck stairs instead. Now I can’t get the thought of all of those aerosols out of my head. Guess I’ll check my mail tomorrow.

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  68. LAMary said on September 12, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    So Joe, you are saying that you would prefer to invest your own money over receiving a pension paid by your employer? Seems an odd choice. And yes, please stop spreading the lie about Jacob Blake. The criminal in Kenosha was the kid who went there to shoot someone. He shot three and two died. He is a murderer. One of the guys he killed was a volunteer medic.

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  69. Sherri said on September 12, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    White mass murderers have somehow managed to be arrested by police without being killed, but unarmed black men seem to routinely get killed being arrested for even the most trivial of crimes. Wonder why that is?

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  70. Deborah said on September 12, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    I’ve never been a two spaces after a period person. I didn’t use a typewriter much when that was the only option. I was more about images than words, maybe that’s why?

    I was freaking out about the freeze we had in Santa Fe more than I needed to. So far everything is still pretty green and people’s gardens are still producing, surprisingly. I don’t know if that’s because it was so warm prior to the freeze that the earth and surrounding buildings had so absorbed the heat that it Radiated that heat making it not as bad as it seemed it would be? Or the withering still won’t show up for a few more days. Meanwhile the temps are moderate now and we’re having a beautiful day. It’s a little hazy probably from the CA and CO fires, our local fires are over by now.

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  71. David C said on September 12, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    I like the PTO thing over the paid vacation/paid sick leave. I always treated paid sick leave as days I take when I’m, you know, sick. To many they were just extra days you got and took them as you pleased. When I had paid sick leave I got ten days per year and every year I would lose seven or eight. Now I get them as part of my PTO package and usually end up rolling them over to the next year. I have about 300 hours banked because of it.

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  72. susan said on September 12, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    We are in the “hazardous” level of 2.5 micron particulate-saturated badair, 346 right now, in a scale that goes up to 500. Stay inside! Go outside only if you are masked. This is when I wear my N-95. But hey! We are so used to all of that, what with all the other $h!† going down these days. Been like this since Monday afternoon.


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  73. Jakash said on September 12, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Gee, Joe, I went to the trouble of actually replying to your previous comment substantively, with no hostility, and you completely ignored me while launching an f-bomb toward 4dbirds and tossing out an unrelated false talking point, for good measure.

    It’s almost as if you don’t care about civil discourse, after all. What a waste.

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  74. beb said on September 12, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    When the city hired “management advisors” to improved the water department’s efficiency one of the first thing they did was roll sick time into vacation time, called it PTO and reduced how much of it you could earn a year. Previously Sick time used to accrue at one rate and vacation time at another. You could only carry so much vacation time but carry all the Sick Time you earned. So if you had a heart attack and had the Sick Time you could ride the recovery period with the knowledge that you would be paid from your Sick Time. With PTO you were only allowed to carry at most 14 days pay. If you took a two week vacation you would have no paid sick time. Or if you got sick before your vacation you wouldn’t have the time off anymore. PTO is just a way to rob workers of their earned sick and vacation time.

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  75. Dexter Friend said on September 12, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    About 1974 the UAW proposed a 30 and Out program. When I hired in to a UAW factory 2 years earlier, my goal was to make it to 30 and retire at age 53, which I did. I then got a pension, and also a company-funded supplement so altogether I would get what someone age 62 would get from SS. When I reached 62, I had to take my SS benefit, as the supplement terminated. So for the past 9 years or so I get SS plus what amounts to a paltry pension sum. I don’t get nearly what Teamsters, teacher’s, or not even close to what railroaders’ pensions are. Retired career railroaders average about $3,500 per month, and those who worked partial careers average like $2,900 per month. On SS, I get less than $1,500, plus my company pension of about $400 per month. Funny thing is, I always wanted to be a railroader, but when I had a good job I didn’t want to have to work that board…called out at any hour, for years at the start of a career, and when I really needed a job and was willing to work that board, not hiring they were. Oh, yeah…a few years ago the V.A. declared me an Agent Orange victim due to my pretty-fucked-up physical condition, and they kick in a partial stipend. I am not cutting the proverbial hog in the ass like full-career Teamsters are, at least the few I know…15 years ago a retired Teamster trucker told me his pension was $6K per month. THAT is cutting the fat hog’s ass. Me, I am a pauper. 🙂

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  76. LAMary said on September 12, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    I don’t get sick very often and I very seldom took any vacation time during my 11 years at Providence. I would usually just hook an extra day onto a three day weekend, but never used all my annual PTO which I accrued faster every year I was there. When I got laid off I got all my PTO paid out. More than three months of it and at the hourly rate I was making then. That was a healthy piece of change. The severance they gave me sort of sucked, but the PTO payout was good.

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  77. Deborah said on September 12, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    The last year I worked I used way more of my PTO than the 3 weeks I was allowed because I was making lots of trips to NM setting up our future presence here. I never got a notice that I had gone over my allotted time but I knew I had. When I retired they gave me that extra time, at first the HR woman said it was going to come out of my last paycheck which was fine with me, but then they said never mind. So that was nice.

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  78. Dexter Friend said on September 13, 2020 at 1:34 am

    My last year at work was calendar 2002. Retiring at the end of that year, I missed no days and took no vacation days. A few days before holiday shutdown and the end of my career, I scheduled one day off to go see Bruce Springsteen at Schottenstein Center in Columbus. And my foreman began making snide remarks about vacation days should have been taken in the summer, shit like that, and kept at it. I remember finally unloading on that simple son of a bitch, how I had 30-some days I could take if only there was that much time left. Some people…. The show was great, of course. My original plan was to go to Indianapolis the next night for the show there as well. Something happened with Clarence’s cornea as I recall, and the Indianapolis show was cancelled. We Bruce fans loved The Big Man, Clarence Clemons. R.I.P. He passed several years ago.

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  79. Mark P said on September 13, 2020 at 8:58 am

    My father retired from the Post Office in 1974. He had a year of accumulated sick leave that counted towards his retirement. He was in the Army in WW II and stayed in the reserves for many years, coming out as a Lt. Col. With his PO and military pension he had more retirement income than what I made when I started working with a PhD at a big defense contractor in 1986. And he took a reduction so my mother could have a survivor’s benefit.

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  80. Mark P said on September 13, 2020 at 9:01 am

    I have noticed lately every time I post a comment I get a message that a duplicate comment has been detected

    OK, not every time. This comment posted without that message.

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  81. 4dbirds said on September 13, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Mark P, I too have chosen the survivor benefit reduction for my pensions too. I couldn’t imagine leaving him without it.

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  82. 4dbirds said on September 13, 2020 at 10:07 am


    Can I and then how do I change my avatar? TIA.

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  83. jcburns said on September 13, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Your avatar is being summoned up from the Gravatar servers, which is just how a lot of WordPress sites do it by default. So much so that bought them a few years ago,

    If you haven’t uploaded an image to them, they return one of those quilt pattern things.

    It’s based on your email address.

    To change it, go to the Gravatar site, sign on with your email address (if you don’t know your password, they’ll send you an email link) and once logged in, you should be at the page …from there you can upload a new image and switch it out.

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  84. 4dbirds said on September 13, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    Thanks JC, worked like a charm. Wanted something current although everyone of those years are on my face.

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  85. Deborah said on September 13, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    I’m doing the last phase of our garden shed project, which is clear matte sealer. Our first catastrophic coat was a dark alpine green premixed gloss enamel, that was a huge mistake and everything that came after was remedial. I sponge painted over it with matte paint but there were areas where the gloss came through and glinted in the morning sun. This last coat is protective and blocks out the gloss. It looks terrific now, if I do say so myself, it does exactly what I wanted it to do which is camouflage the ugly shed when you see it through the greenery we planted in the side yard. Now it will be interesting to see how it will look in the winter when the leaves are gone from the pear tree and the lilacs. There is an Australian pine in front of it so that will still filter the view. I’m happy, it took me 8 years to come up with a solution though.

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  86. LAMary said on September 13, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    I just saw the commercial for a Dove for men 3 plus bar. It’s a bar of soap. What makes it 3 plus is you can use it to wash your hands, body and face. Unlike most bars of soap that are specific to one body part, I guess.

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  87. Deborah said on September 13, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    That should be Austrian pine not Australian.

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  88. Jenny Derringer said on September 13, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    Yep, those photos summed up this dumpster fire of a summer.

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  89. 4dbirds said on September 13, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    I wish there was a like button that we could use.

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  90. Deborah said on September 13, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Will Roger Stone please dry up and blow away? He would be in jail now, and should be. What a depraved crook.

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  91. alex said on September 13, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    LAMary, I’ve got to chuckle about Dove 3. I use bar soap for everything — face, body, hair — and have done so for years. My preferred brand is Lever 2000. I never buy shampoo anymore. Only use body wash as a travel convenience and keep a bottle in my luggage. But for everyday washing bar soap is just fine.

    And I never use Dove because its “moisturizer” leaves me feeling like there’s a greasy film of crap in my hair and on my skin and it’s perfumy enough to make yellowjackets swarm me when I go outside. I had to buy some Dove during the lockdown because the store was out of other choices and I was reminded again why I didn’t like it. Maybe Dove 3 is a clean soap like Lever 2000.

    I never buy shaving cream anymore either. Amazing the things we’ve been taught to waste money on.

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  92. David C said on September 13, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    I use sensitive skin Dove for everything. I do hate the original for the perfume. It doesn’t seem to leave me feeling greasy. Maybe they leave that out of the sensitive skin too.

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  93. LAMary said on September 13, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    Being an aging hippie I use Dr.Bronners, usually peppermint but sometimes citrus or lavender. I am picky about shampoo and conditioner but not insanely so. I usually get whatever sort of Pantene Costco is selling. They seem to cycle through different types but I’m convinced it’s always the same stuff. I’ve used the rose, orange and now mint with ginseng varieties. A giant bottle is about ten bucks. The mint is nice and cooling on the scalp and paired with some Bronners peppermint soap it’s great shower on a hot day. Follow that with some Jergens mint lotion and the 109 degree day feels like it’s only 97.

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  94. basset said on September 13, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    Dexter, I was a railroad trackman for just short of a month in the summer of, I think, 1974, replacing ties on what is now the CSX Cincinnati to St. Louis line between Tunnelton and Fort Ritner, Indiana. Could have hired onto the permanent crew when we finished there, joined the union, and gone on to the next section but school was about to start and I passed. Hauling ties around will surely put muscles on you, though.

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  95. Indiana Jack said on September 13, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Lordy, I hate to jump into this pension discussion. But I’ve had way too much first hand experience with the topic to let it pass.
    Defined benefit plans began to be undermined during the Reagan era. Brokers and “investment advisers” lobbied to create 401K plans as an alternative while simultaneously putting greater restrictions on DB plans.
    As a result, companies with DB plans bailed on them and offered 401Ks instead.
    For the employee, there was an enormous difference between the two. A DB plan spelled out — defined — what the pension would be. A 401K would result in a lump sum. The carrot was that employees would have “control” over their investments, but the net effect was less security upon retirement.
    Then there was the matter of funding.
    DB plans — both in the private sector and in government — have been traditionally under-funded. Check out the funding level for your state’s teacher pension plan. It’s under water, and it will be politically difficult to change that. It’s all about kicking the can down the road.
    Corporate DB plans were another matter and a bit more slippery. Annually a company with a DB plan was required to project whether the funds set aside would be adequate to meet the need. But there was one wrinkle: Those companies could use their own projected interest rate. If a company projected 20% return, it could claim that it was fully funded, even if the actual return was 5%.
    How do I know this? I was plan administrator for my company’s DB plan. We always used an honest projected interest rate for future earnings. And we were fully funded, actually over funded.
    Then Congress caught on.
    To get ahold of these fictional, ridiculous projections, Congress decided that it should be linked to the federal discount rate.
    That made sense, it kept everyone honest.
    Trouble is, Congress did that on the eve of the 2008 crash. The federal discount rate went to next to zero. Over-funded plans were very suddenly under-funded, even if they had played by all the rules.
    In my company’s case, that led to what’s called a “distress termination.” We had to convince the Feds that there was no way we could make this work. In effect, we threw ourselves into the arms of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the outfit that acts sort of like the FDIC for pension plans.
    Doing that took four years out of my life, but I was able to protect the pensions of all my company’s retirees and all employees who had vested benefits.
    Had to turn over more than $3 million that had been in trust for the DB plan in the process.
    Not fun.

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  96. susan said on September 13, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    Alex @91 – Remember when there were “instructions” on shampoo bottles, that said to wash your hair, rinse, and repeat with a second wash. You know, of course, why that was. You used twice as much shampoo, and soon had to go out and buy another bottle. Marketing. Goddamn Edward L. Bernays.

    Maybe sometime I’ll tell the story of when I met Goddamned Edward L. Bernays.

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  97. Deborah said on September 13, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    I’m particular about shampoo, but don’t use conditioner, it makes my hair limp. I used Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap until LB started making soap. My favorite that she makes is a Shea butter, vanilla and black pepper scent, love the way it smells. She has lots of different molds but I like big solid bars that are easy to hold onto. She’s going to try some different scented soaps combined with black pepper for me to take back to Chicago, like sage etc. I’m spoiled.

    Watched “My Teacher the Octopus” on Netflix, not the kind of movie I would think of to watch but LB watched it with a friend a couple of nights ago and she recommended it. It’s a compelling story and visually stunning, I enjoyed it but don’t agree with how humans encroach on nature, says the woman who spends a lot of time in the fragile ecosystem of the desert.

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  98. Sherri said on September 13, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    WSU announced that classes would be online this fall pretty early. That didn’t stop the partying college students from coming to Pullman.

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  99. LAMary said on September 13, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    Do you remember Sniglets? A sometimes witty word thing that one comedian (whose name escapes me) did? The only sniglet I remember was Squanderprose.The example Squanderprose he gave was,”lather,rinse,repeat.”

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  100. beb said on September 13, 2020 at 10:46 pm

    For me WSU means Wayne State University (Detroit, MI). It was a bit jarring when Sherri used it because she’s out west. Figured she meant Washington State University….

    I’m very much disappointed with as the college students — supposedly our best and brightest — gathering for all these campus parties. How can they be so stupid?

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  101. LAMary said on September 13, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    They can be that stupid for many reasons including a president who says young healthy people don’t get Covid 19. Or if they do they don’t get sick. Of course if they do they can spread it, but the asshole in chief doesn’t acknowledge that.

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  102. Dave said on September 13, 2020 at 11:34 pm

    Basset, that line is mostly shut down today, there’s no through traffic west of Seymour, I don’t think and no through traffic to St. Louis. I don’t think they run anything west of Washington.

    I am a retired railroader, I draw a nice pension, my wife gets about 45% of what I get and that’s something I earned from taking all those any hour of the day calls and putting up with it. Oh, and she earned it for putting up with it. That, and I really did like it but I wouldn’t want to do it now, it’s changed drastically just in the nearly ten years since I retired. Still, I’m very grateful I have what I have. There isn’t any Social Security for railroaders, they pay a higher rate into pension for retirement.

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  103. Dexter Friend said on September 14, 2020 at 2:06 am

    Thanks, Indiana Jack for explaining that. I always wanted to be a negotiator on our 18-factory union circle team, but always, always, there were a cadre of insiders who kept getting elected to those offices in the union.

    I use different soaps…Dial nowadays, switching from my wife’s Caress a year ago. Dial is antibacterial which works for me. For old time’s sake, when I wash my hands in the kitchen sink I use the old stand-by from hard water days, Coco-Castile by Kirk’s. Great stuff. I used to keep a bar of Lava around in my tinkering days, when I worked on bicycles and lawn mowers and did small repairs to cars. Now I rarely do that so I quit the Lava. I prefer shaving cream to using any kind of soap, so I use Barbasol or discount store brands. I am back into daily shaving now, face and head, all but eyebrows. For a while I only was shaving twice a week, but I hated the stubble. I also keep hand sanitizer bottles and hand soap at every sink.

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  104. basset said on September 14, 2020 at 9:35 am

    Dave, I don’t remember that we had to clear the line for oncoming traffic very often even back then, just figured they ran em through at night or something. Grew up along the Indiana RR line north of there, lots of activity in those days with a naval ordnance plant making explosives for Vietnam.

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  105. Deborah said on September 14, 2020 at 9:57 am

    I keep reading these worrying doomsday articles about Trump delegitimizing the election because the true results probably won’t be known by election night. While on the one hand it’s good to warn people because of pandemic necessitated mail in votes the results will take longer and that’s ok. On the other hand Trump will pounce on that to declare early victory and then all hell breaks loose.

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  106. Suzanne said on September 14, 2020 at 11:07 am

    If Trump won’t leave, who will make him? Who? He breaks tradition, and likely the law, every day and no one does anything. If he loses, he’ll do what he has always done; be defiant, take it to court, drag it out as long as he can. The longer he drags it out, the more he can sell off the good old USA piece by piece. I imagine state secrets bring a decent price.
    The country will be dealing with the fallout from this the rest of my life.

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  107. Icarus said on September 14, 2020 at 11:09 am

    Deborah @ 77: I suspect it was more work for someone to figure out the amount and do the paperwork than to just let the company eat the cost.

    Beb and Dave, thanks for explaining the PTO – Sick Time hack to me. It seem like companies have spent the last 50+ years figuring out how to nickel and dime everyone when they weren’t busy sending jobs overseas.

    I also suspect someone some time ago saved all their vacation days, so many so that they got to retire extremely early and companies learned to cap that cost. The thing is, the Company benefited from you not taking any days off but that was last year, what have you done for me today.

    Now that the cooler weather has arrived in Chicago I’m trying to get some outdoor projects finished before it’s too cold. I have to fill a hole under my deck that my kids decided to dig, and then put some pavers or bricks to discourage them from doing it again.

    Then I get to sand and paint a decorative railing that sits on top of our porch. Ordinarily I’d outsource that but I shouldn’t be spending the money right now.

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  108. Sherri said on September 14, 2020 at 11:54 am

    I think the cap on accrual of time off came about not because of early retirements, per se, but because of having to carry the cost of all the unused time off on the books as a liability. Early retirement is often considered a good thing for the bottom line, in these days of no pensions. Older employees are more expensive.

    At Microsoft, which has a 401(k), but where the real value is in stock grants as you move up the ladder, once you hit age 55 with 15 years with the company, you can retire and all your stock grants which normally take 4-5 years to vest, become vested.

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  109. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 14, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    Indiana Jack, thank you for that work, and for the explanation. I was thinking about some of those details as I’d been reading previous posts, and you summed it all up with excellent magnification.

    Just got home after turning over my key to the NW Indiana house I grew up in . . . and am now viciously sifting and disposing of materials here at home. What a six month load of debris my sister and I have gone through in two states, two residences (a trailer in Texas, the house in Valpo), 57 years and us four kids. And some sad strange shopping compulsions for Mom which don’t bear going into.

    I’m not retired now at 59, but I’m certainly working through some questions about how to keep on contributing something through 65 or 67 or so. My court job is looking to end at the calendar year, or at best to June 30 next summer, and my wife and I have had some good brain exercise sorting through scenarios for retirement. Her college is holding up nicely (85% on campus, 15% opted for online, testing has culled few positive tests since screened reentry, but they’re 100% residential, so don’t have the problems most state schools do). If they end up on full shutdown again and have to slash staff, stuff will get real in a big hurry.

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  110. Julie Robinson said on September 14, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Dennis always used all his vacation days, and only got enough PTO for dentist and doctor visits; however he was never sick so he had tons of sick days left. His company will be sending a check for the value of half of those, and if we’re lucky it will just about cover the cost of my health insurance for the rest of the year. In the new year we’ll go on an ACA plan until we each qualify for Medicare. So if anyone has advice for looking at those, I’m open to it!

    Jefftmmo, that’s a momentous day, isn’t it? By the time we sold my mom’s house she had been here for a few years and it had become an albatross. So the emotions were more of relief than anything else. We now have to persuade her to let us help her go through her storage units in preparation for moving to Orlando. What a retirement gift for Dennis, right?

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  111. Deborah said on September 14, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    Where I’ve worked PTO is what you got, no distinction between that and vacation time. Sick leave and vacation time were lumped together, I got 3 weeks per year, except for that last year before I retired because of my overage I think I ended up with about 4. They also had a program that if you worked there 5 years you got vested. I worked there 6 years and when I retired I was astonished, I received way, way more than I expected. I had no idea I had accumulated that much. It was a very pleasant surprise.

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  112. Sherri said on September 14, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    I’ve always been interested in Iran-Contra, and think that it has been overlooked in importance. I discovered two pieces of media this weekend relative to Iran and the US and their history.

    This first is Coup 53, a documentary about the 1953 coup of Mossadegh in Iran that put the Shah firmly in power. The UK has never acknowledged their role in this coup, but basically, Mossadegh nationalized the oil company and the UK wasn’t having that, so the UK with the help of the US got rid of him. The documentary is available at (it costs $12).

    The second is the second season of Fiasco, a podcast on Luminary. Leon Neyfakh, who did the first season of Slow Burn about Watergate, has since gone to Luminary to do Fiasco. The first season is Bush-Gore, the third season is Boston school busing, but I’m listening to season 2, about Iran-Contra. I’m only on the second episode, and I’ve already learned new things, despite living through it. The first episode focuses on Grenada, which is really connected to the whole thing in ways I didn’t expect nor realize. Luminary is a subscription service, but the cost has dropped to $4.99/month (or $34.99/year).

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  113. Dorothy Michalski said on September 14, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    Our drive to Indiana, PA, site of the babies shower on Saturday, went just fine. We saw far more Trump signs than Biden signs once we got off the highway and were driving past more homes. Of course most homes had no signs on their lawns, or no political flags waving from their porches. I’m trying to remain hopeful that he doesn’t stand a chance of being re-elected but my stomach churns when I start to entertain the possibility that we’re stuck with him for four more years. It will be the end of democracy in this county as we know it, if he wins. It also occurred to me that the universal feeling I get about Trump supporters is how every one of them must be really, really bad judges of character. They’re either in denial about how he is handling the pandemic, or they know and don’t care. It makes me feel so many awful feelings – desperation, disappointment, anger, fear, sadness.

    We had a wonderful visit on the deck and porchwith Mike’s cousin & her husband on Friday and ate dinner with them, chatting until the sun went down. But she had some Trump signs in her yard (I already knew she supported him in 2016 but was holding out hope that she finally realized what a dick he is), so it was hard to keep up a pleasant, non-political conversation from 2 PM to 7:30 PM. She strongly supports mask wearing, so that was a relief. That was about the only thing we talked about that you might call ‘political.’

    We went to a Perkins for breakfast on Saturday morning, our second restaurant since March. We got there when they opened at 7 AM so there were very few customers. I almost cried when I had my first two or three bites of my omelet, potatoes and toast. I said “I had almost forgotten how wonderful it was to give someone money and they give you food just the way you want it, delicious and hot, too.” All other meals were takeout. We are hopeful we made it through the entire weekend without getting the virus. My head and heart are happier after seeing sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. But I won’t be doing that again until maybe next Spring.

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  114. Deborah said on September 14, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Yesterday I bought the book “Twilight of Democracy, the Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism” by Anne Applebaum, I started it last night, not very far into it but it’s good and probably as I get into it, scary.

    I’m having a day of frustration and depression, I’ll leave it at that.

    Dorothy, your mention of Perkins is making me crave a big breakfast of eggs, bacon, hash browns and pancakes on the side. I would love to stop at one on our road trip back to Chicago later this week, but the states we’ll be driving through doesn’t make me feel good about doing that yet.

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  115. basset said on September 14, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Two words… Cracker Barrel.

    Got my Social Security application in last night, not nearly as painful as I’d expected. SSI and Medicare have both been pretty reasonable for both of us to deal with these past few years.

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  116. Deborah said on September 14, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    I’ll never go to Cracker Barrel again, had a bad experience there a long time ago but I’ve not forgotten it.

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  117. Sherri said on September 14, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    I swear, if that idiot gets re-elected, California should absolutely secede. “It’ll get cooler soon, you watch.”

    As if it’s not bad enough that Wyoming has 67 times the representation in the Senate that California has. Or, to pick a less egregious example, since Wyoming is smaller than many cities, Iowa has 13 times the representation of California.

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  118. Scout said on September 14, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    If that orange maniac is re-installed and CA secedes, I’m moving there. I don’t care if I have to live in a tent.

    The rate we’re going, America will no longer exist.

    We got our Biden/Harris yard sign today. I sincerely believe they will win in a fair election; what a shame that isn’t a given. No matter the outcome, it’s going to be ugly. Is it even possible to deprogram the cult, the JTFPs, the Q lunatics? These people are not reasonable.

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  119. Deborah said on September 14, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    Oh my, this is ominous

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  120. Dexter Friend said on September 15, 2020 at 2:41 am

    Worrying about many things we all deal with, we now have word our daughter (my step) , the NP in Las Vegas, has tested positive. She changed PPE as required, she used the N-95 with the hose for filtration box, she changed gloves every time she touched anything…and is sick and feeling bad , quarantining in her Las Vegas home. She’s 52 now, feeling lousy with many symptoms.

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  121. David C said on September 15, 2020 at 6:31 am

    One Wisconsin Republican ratfucking attempt using the Green Party has been put down. I wonder what’s next.

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  122. ROGirl said on September 15, 2020 at 7:33 am

    Speaking of cults, I’ve been watching the HBO doc series about NXIVM. Yet another “leader” who pulls vulnerable people in, indoctrinates them and gradually ratchets up the stakes, until the followers will do anything for him. He had already been involved in Ponzi schemes and studied the Scientology model.

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  123. diane said on September 15, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Dexter, I am so sorry about your daughter. Wishing her a speedy and full recovery.

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  124. LAMary said on September 15, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Scout, you could set up your tent in my backyard. There’s a view and hot and cold running animals, domestic and wild.

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  125. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 15, 2020 at 11:24 am

    From Twitter, friend of blog @AoDespair had this evocative simile:

    “Meanwhile, it was 59 when I ventured out for coffee this morning. And after this house-bound, Baltimore summer it felt cold. As cold as the heart of a copydesk slot man on a home-final deadline.”

    I know that comparison was made with love.

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  126. Scout said on September 15, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you, LAMary! Our son lives in LA and recently they discussed that if they sell their current house they’d look for something with a private space for us. So it may not be necessary to camp, although your place does sound like my cup of tea!

    Asshole invaded AZ again yesterday and held a big unmasked rally. I’m expecting to a rise in our Covid cases again, which really pisses me off because we were going down. 49 days. We have to win.

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  127. LAMary said on September 15, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    My backyard has some nice vegetables and herbs as well as weed my son has planted and tended very carefully, so there is that. The downside is the basketball court across the street. It’s not as noisy as it used to be. Not bad at all, but there is a group that plays basketball at 6am on weekends. They are relatively quiet and they speak French. One of them drives a McLaren. Nothing about this group is typical.

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  128. Jeff Borden said on September 15, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    I’d love to join you all in discussion today, but I’m out back cleaning my lawn floor lest it burst into flames from an exploding tree. Luckily, I’ve been assured by the leader of the free world (hah!) that things will cool down if I just wait, so I have that going for me. Which is nice.

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  129. brian stouder said on September 15, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    But more about the McLaren, please! Is it McLaren orange?

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  130. Dorothy said on September 15, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Dexter that sucks majorly that your daughter has Covid. I’ll be thinking of her and praying/storming heaven that she has a relatively easy time of it, compared to others.

    Now I have to Google a McLaren. Leaving campus yesterday I spotted a green car that I could have sworn was a Mustang. I was behind it at a light so I snapped a picture. Showed it to the hubs this morning. The round disc at the trunk said BULLITT on it. He said “That’s the reproduction of the car from Bullitt!!” I just watched that movie the other day after recording it on TCM. I had seen clips of it but never the whole thing. I liked it. The car was truly bitchin’ – Mike wept a little when I showed him the picture.

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  131. Dave said on September 15, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    I saw Bullitt when it was first released, Dorothy, at a theater in Whitehall, the Columbus suburb, Cinema East on East Broad Street, a very nice, new theater then, for anyone familiar with Columbus of fifty years ago. In that comfy theater, you could almost feel every jump McQueen takes in his Mustang on the San Francisco streets.

    I’ve read Robert Vaughn had to be convinced to do the movie, he said it didn’t really have any plot. Later, he said he guessed it didn’t really need one.

    Moronic prez is 73, does he really believe he’s going to be around for the big cool-down?

    Dexter, may your daughter heal, this is not good news.

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  132. Sherri said on September 15, 2020 at 5:12 pm

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  133. Sherri said on September 15, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    I just got a package today that was shipped August 9 from Columbus, OH. It was sent UPS SurePost, which means that UPS took the package and then gave it to the USPS to ship. I had both a UPS and a USPS tracking number, but neither were ever useful. Even today, when the package was delivered, the USPS tracking number is still just at “Label created”. I tried to contact UPS several weeks ago, discovered that it is impossible to talk to a human being on the phone, filed a claim online, and UPS said “can’t find it.”

    Fortunately, this is just something I wanted, not something I really needed, but thanks, GOP!

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  134. Dexter Friend said on September 15, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks for the well-wishes for daughter Lori.
    I saw Bullitt at the Holiday Theater , Northcrest Shopping Center, Fort Wayne, in 1968. I left the show, got into my own Galaxie 500, and Walter Mitty’d it into that Mustang and roared up I-69 and onto some curvy hilly roads, fast but safely…I was 18 and energized. 2 years later, I had that same 1963 Galaxie 500 in San Francisco, driving up and down the hilly streets, but just not Bullitt-like. I was glad the army sent me to Monterey so I could drive to San Francisco and explore like I did about every chance I could. I swore I’d live there someday, as I swore I’d live in New York City someday. Also, I swore I’d live in Washington, D.C. I swore I’d live in Chicago as well. My fucking swear jar was full by the time I figured I’d live in NW Ohio for 43 years now, after leaving Indiana in 1977. I guess I had visions of grandeur. The Stones sang “you can’t always get what you want…” No shit.

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  135. Sherri said on September 15, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    Seven dead from Covid after a wedding in Maine, six from a nursing home.

    The secondary outbreak at Maplecrest started after a worker caught COVID-19 from a parent, who caught the disease from another child that attended the wedding.

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  136. Sherri said on September 15, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    Thoughts and prayers.

    Lots of thoughts, and prayers that he isn’t re-elected.

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  137. LAMary said on September 15, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    I believe the McLaren is orange. I will check with my son,the McLaren spotter. I have only seen it once and I can’t decide if my memory is of an orange one or more yellow, but I’ll find out. When I first moved to this neighborhood nearly every house had an old Beetle and a Japanese pickup truck. A few very old timers had vintage Jags or Benzes. Now my 2016 VW Golf Sportwagen, a pretty nice car, looks trashy. Gentrification has raised the standards. The artist across the street still has a semi beater Ford pickup. He does large metal type art so drives around looking for scrap metal. His other car is an 8 year old Prius. The rest of the neighborhood is new Benzes, Teslas, Beemers. All the old hippies have cashed out.

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  138. Jakash said on September 16, 2020 at 12:29 am

    I saw Bullitt, a long time ago. Somewhere, somehow. Original run theater? Nope. Retro house or college film series in the ’70s? Maybe, probably. VHS tape? Possibly. I have no idea how you guys can remember stuff like that.

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  139. beb said on September 16, 2020 at 12:57 am

    Speaking of breakfast omelets, a dinere near me has what they call a Southern Omelet, Hashbrowns inside the omelet and smothered in sausage gravy. That was so good. Something the family tried last week went over well. The day before we have roast vegetables — brocoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and snow peas marinated in teriyaki sauce and soy and roasted in the oven until tender. The next day we made omelets using the left over roasted vegetables (also some ham, green peppers and cheese). It was delicious. It’s something we will do again.

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  140. Dexter Friend said on September 16, 2020 at 1:21 am

    I drive across the covered bridge (Lockport Covered Bridge) to the farm with the self-serve stand and scored some of the most fantastic tomatoes in the history of the world, and a sack of corn which was just perfect in harvest time and kernel size and tenderness. As part of breakfast I shall be having a tomato sandwich, bread slathered in Hellman’s, with a fried egg on the side.
    Lori checked in, very ill, weak, fever, cough, aches like she never has come close to in intensity . Headache so intense she has worked out a timed pill schedule to dampen it a little. Mostly bed-ridden, able to move around an hour or so and then 6 more hours in bed. I am worried but hopeful.

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  141. Sherri said on September 16, 2020 at 1:39 am

    Another day with air quality in the very unhealthy range all day. All that smoke that got pushed out to the Pacific is now being dragged back. It looks like we’ve got at least two more days of this before a strong enough system comes through to clean everything out.

    When I was trying to figure out ways to still get outside when summer ended, I forgot to plan for scuba gear.

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  142. Deborah said on September 16, 2020 at 6:55 am

    We went to Target yesterday to stock up on stuff for LB since my husband and I leave for Chicago tomorrow. At Target there were 2 maskless women there and about 5 employees were trying to get them to leave. One of the women tried to claim she had autism so couldn’t wear a mask. LB piped up that she had autism and wears masks. I don’t think they heard her. The 2 women were really trashy looking. They went to self checkout because they wouldn’t let them go through regular checkout. When they were done checking out LB alerted the guy cleaning the machines that he’d better clean the one they used extra carefully. It was creepy. At least they didn’t throw a screaming fit like I’ve seen on videos.

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  143. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 16, 2020 at 7:49 am

    Beb, they call those “Farmer’s omelets” around here. No problem eating them if you do farm chores afterwards, but I try to keep it to one or two a year . . . really need to try your roasting suggestion, though.

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  144. Deborah said on September 16, 2020 at 9:06 am

    Dexter, your description of what your daughter is experiencing sounds just horrible. So many people shrug off getting the virus, first of all it can be deadly as we all know, and if it doesn’t kill you it can be horrible to have to endure. I don’t know anyone personally who has had it, only virtually. It’s good to be reminded of the struggle many people have had to go through. Hoping your daughter is feeling better soon.

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  145. LAMary said on September 16, 2020 at 10:49 am

    Brian, the car I saw was a Lamborghini. What that was doing there I don’t know. There is one neighbor who has one, he’s on the legal team of one of the big studios, but I can’t imagine him playing basketball. Maybe one of his kids drove it. In any case, the McLaren is gray.

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  146. alex said on September 16, 2020 at 11:12 am

    JTTMO, around here there used to be a little cafe where the menu had cutesie countrified names for its items. The farmer’s omelette was called “hog slop.” So appetizing, I know.

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  147. LAMary said on September 16, 2020 at 11:26 am

    The air here is terrible too. I have a constant dull headache from this stuff. Mr. Herd Mentality telling our governor that it’s going to get cooler and scientists don’t know adds more horror to the whole situation.

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  148. Julie Robinson said on September 16, 2020 at 11:27 am

    Dexter, I’m so sorry about your daughter and hope and pray for healing. I too am very frustrated about people in stores not wearing masks or wearing them improperly. I give them death stares, but there’s too many crazy people carrying guns in this area so I’m not going to confront them. Idiots.

    Tomorrow our son and his girlfriend are flying in for a long weekend visit and I’m torn between excitement and terror. He wanted to bring her here before we moved, and my mom is declining, so it seemed important. She’s lived in Arizona and Florida, and doesn’t really know much about the midwest. So of course we’re in for a major cold snap tomorrow and it’s going to seem like winter to her. Oh well, at least there’s no rain in the forecast.

    Upthread people were discussing their soap/shampoo choices. Our nephew just gifted us with some L’Occitane bar soap that probably cost $20. He was complaining about his most recent flight, where they didn’t bring him a hot towel and they used plastic silverware. Best laugh I had yesterday.

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  149. Scout said on September 16, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Dexter, I’m adding my well wishes and healing vibes for Lori to the collective. Keep us updated and let her know we’re all rooting for her to have a speedy recovery.

    Sadly, we are such a mess in this nation. Deborah & LB’s Target incident seemingly wasn’t isolated.
    Shunning has never made more sense to me than it does in 2020.

    I didn’t watch Dump’s town hall, but as Kay-LIE was trotted out for attempted damage control on Faux this morning, you know it was an epic fail. “Herd mentality” indeed.

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  150. JodiP said on September 16, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    Dexter, I really hope your daughter pulls through and heals quickly!

    We also love roasted vegetables: we did green beans for the first time last week: very tasty with just olive oil, salt and pepper.

    Julie @ 148: thanks for that great laugh via your “poor” nephew!

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  151. Julie Robinson said on September 16, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    Hubby wondered if he should tell him about his $53 Allegiant cattle car flight.

    In fairness, he’s very generous to his folks and can easily afford first class. And he’s always entertaining!

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  152. 4dbirds said on September 16, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    Dexter, I hope your daughter gets well real soon.

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  153. David C said on September 16, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    The Rs are pissing away shit-tons of money sending us flyers when we have zero chance of voting for any of them. We had six in the mailbox today two were duplicates one for me and one for Mary.

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  154. LAMary said on September 16, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    Julie, my son and his girlfriend gave me an L’occitaine advent calendar last year. There were tiny soaps and tiny bottles of soapy things. One bottle of body wash smelled great so I looked how much it cost to buy a regular sized bottle. 48 bucks. I don’t think so.

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  155. Sherri said on September 16, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    George Soros is 90 years old, and won’t live forever. What will right wingers do when he dies? Who will they blame for funding everything they hate?

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  156. Deborah said on September 16, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    Enjoying my last evening in NM for a couple of months, it’s cool and breezy (and dry, 17% humidity). Great sleeping weather. It’s been an interesting way to spend the quarantine these last 6 months, I hope things improve but with Trump still in charge, I doubt it. Tomorrow we start our road trip back to Chicago, we’ve got the Covid stops down, so I’m less anxious than I was in July. I can’t imagine how anxious I would be if we were flying.

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  157. Sherri said on September 17, 2020 at 12:07 am

    With the death of satire, the Onion is left with plain history.

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  158. beb said on September 17, 2020 at 12:46 am

    Blaming George Soros for everything the Democrats do is hilarious for its absurdity. He’s the one Democrat leading billionaire while the Republicans have the Koch Brothers, Adelson, DeVos, etc. And since Soros is of Jewish descent all these attacks are anti-semetic. Which seems the icing on the cake.

    Sherri wonders what the Republicans will do if and when he dies. Perhaps that was a rhetorical question. Since eight investigations into Bengahzi has not satisfied their thirst for Hillary’s blood I imagine the R will continue to complain about Soros for decades to some.

    My wife had some work done on her glasses today and afterwards we drove over to the Lak Saint Clare Metropark and sat for a while watching the parasailors. It was mildly cool at the water’s edge but there was a strong breeze so the guys on the were skipping right along. Then we ordered some Chinese take-out and went home for a delicious supper.

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  159. Sherri said on September 17, 2020 at 1:15 am

    Today I learned

    -COVID deaths in my state don’t count as far as the president is concerned

    -the Attorney General wants to prosecute the mayor of Seattle (a centrist Dem who’s a former US Attorney)

    -Federal forces in DC wanted to use a device that was considered too inhumane to use in Iraq or against migrants at the border against peaceful unarmed Americans exercising their First Amendment rights.

    If Dick Cheney were crazier, more paranoid, and more heartless, and combined with Antonio Scalia andRobert Bork, Bill Barr would still be worse.

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  160. Suzanne said on September 17, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    Ugh. Had a conversation with a co-worker today who thinks Trump is a horrible human being and unfit for office, BUT! Her 401k is doing well and if Biden wins, she’s sure the economy will retract and that is bad and she really does like seeing her 401k grow.

    I mentioned that with another 4 years of Trump, we won’t need a 401k because there won’t be a country.

    She just kind of stared at me.

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  161. Scout said on September 17, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Suzanne, people like your co-worker will be the death of us all. The MAGAts who fly their freak flag proudly are mentally on Planet Own-the-Libs and are allergic to facts. But self absorbed idiots who are A-OK with Covid mismanagement and 200k deaths, racism, kids in cages, forced sterilization, Russian infiltration, rape and the GDMF constant lying because their 401(k)s are doing well are worse. IMNSHO.

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  162. Jeff Borden said on September 17, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    Ah yes, own the libs. Even if it means slicing off your own nose. Fuckheads.

    I’ll tell you what us giving me a stomach ache these days. Bill Barr. That motherfucker is a flatout fascist.

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  163. LAMary said on September 17, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Never forget it was Bill Barr’s father who gave Jeffrey Epstein a job working in a school full of young ladies. Not only did Epstein not have a teaching credential he didn’t graduate from college. Bill Barr’s father was the headmaster at Dalton aka the school that looks like a giant television. He was fairly weird himself. Private schools don’t have to require the same credentials as public schools, so young Jeff, at age 20, got a teaching gig. He was moved from teaching the eighth and ninth grade classes to the upper classes after some issues were reported.

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  164. Jeff Borden said on September 17, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    He’s a peach, all right. Even suggesting protesters be arrested and charged with the federal crime of sedition is beyond the pale, but not to the worst attorney general in American history.

    History will record tRumpy the Klown was the ringmaster for some of the worst people ever to infiltrate the federal government: worst attorney general (Barr); worst secretary of state (Mike Pompeo); worst secretary of education (Betsy DeVos); worst secretary of agriculture (Sonny Perdue); worst EPA director (Andrew Wheeler). The whole lot of them are rotten apples.

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  165. LAMary said on September 17, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    And Ben Carson. I can’t figure out that guy at all.

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  166. Heather said on September 17, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    I looked at my investments and yeah, they’re doing really well, but I’m not going to support fascism and white supremacy so I can retire “comfortably.” I’m sure they’ll go down during the civil war that seems inevitable anyway.

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