A whole lot of paperwork.

Many thanks for keeping the stove stocked during my absence. As far as I know, the all-hands-on-deck effort at the Board of Elections — or at Cobo/TCF Center, their seasonal setup — was successful, and we got all 40,000 ballot requests processed.

It was an interesting experience. I drifted between boredom and curiosity and the simple satisfaction of the paper-pusher or snow-shoveler, or any other task-oriented worker. The sidewalk is clear of snow. Everything in the Inbox has been moved to the Outbox. Tomorrow it may snow again, and the inbox will refill, but for now, the job is done. Go home and sleep.

And I left believing, even more fervently, that the president and his enablers pushing voter-fraud bullshit are the worst people breathing right now.

The training we had was on a need-to-know basis, probably for time conservation, so I’m making a few assumptions here. Day one was an orientation to the online version of the state Qualified Voter File, i.e. the registration database. We temps did one of two jobs – spotting or checking in. Spotting was taking a single application, removed from the envelope or printed from an online request, and looking up the voter in the QVF. Their precinct number and counting board was noted, in two colors of pencil, in the top right corner of the page.

Another set of workers sorted these pages by counting boards, and gave them to the checking-in people. That involved looking them up again in the QVF, comparing signatures on the application to the one on file, rechecking that they were in the correct counting board, assigning a ballot number and printing a label for the mailing.

I’d think, as I plodded through the sheer analog-i-ness of these chores, how they could be re-engineered. Why have human beings look up voters — so many of them! — twice? If the data was already attached to their QVF entry, why not let the computer do most of this? Colored pencils? What the heck?

I don’t know the answer, but I suspect it boils down to a combination of This Is The Way We’ve Already Done It + The Value of the Human Eye + Something Something Whatever, but my takeaway was this: You might game this system once or twice, but not in the numbers it takes to sway an election. I became an amateur signature analyst and sent through a few on the bubble, but I rejected plenty, and so did others. People’s signatures change over time, particularly when they were born in 1935. It’s impossible to send multiple ballots to a single voter, because once one ballot is assigned (it’s numbered), the computer won’t let you assign another. There might be a way to somehow crack this system and legit influence a major election, but I can’t figure out what it is. Its plodding, many-eyes, multi-step process may be the best defense. I’ve talked to smart people who point out that when you can deposit a check in your bank account by taking a picture of it, it should be possible to streamline this process, and they’re no doubt correct. But that’s a question for another election, and certainly not this one.

Meanwhile, the president came to Michigan yesterday and shit-talked the governor, the one who was the focus of a kidnap plot, what? Two weeks ago? The crowd responded with “lock her up” chants.

So now I’m back. Do I have anything for you to read? I’ve only started this, but it looks interesting. I’m always interested in making libertarians look silly, though.

The GOP/QAnon alliance. Mmm, great.

Me, I’m on to cleaning closets, taking a bike ride and whipping up a nice soufflé for Kate’s dinner visit tonight. Have a great Sunday, and I’ll be back later this week.

Oh! Also check out “The Trial of the Chicago 7” on Netflix. Far better than I expected. You’ll like it.

Posted at 1:02 pm in Current events, Movies |

82 responses to “A whole lot of paperwork.”

  1. David C said on October 18, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Charlie Pierce has a good condensation of the Grafton bear story so you don’t have to read the whole TNR story.

    Here’s more on QAnon. The meme that QAnon is trailer park Scientology if probably about right.

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  2. LAMary said on October 18, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    QAnon is probably going to be what causes me to give up on social media. I’ll keep my work related accounts but just yesterday I had two Q people start some ridiculous conversation with me, sharing info about the “elites” and their internation connections. As was pointed out on SNL last night, the hero of the Q people, trump, was clearly connected to the most famous pedophile in the country: Jeffrey Epstein. This is some sick shit.

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  3. Deborah said on October 18, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Good to hear your recommendation of the Chicago 7 movie, we had planned to watch it tonight.

    A couple of true stories: my husband was visiting a friend in Chiacago during that trial, the friend, his sister and my husband bundled up in heavy winter coats (pre down jackets) and waited outside for hours to be allowed in to the courtroom during the trial, they got in and my husband remembers every detail of the experience. My story is that when I was in college (in Nebraska) I took an urban sociology class in Chicago a couple of years after the trial. The organizers of the course took us to Judge Julius Hoffman’s courtroom to observe a trial, unrelated in any way to the Chicago 7 but was very memorable because first I had never been in a courtroom before and second because it was a place where an historical event happened. Hoffmann was very crabby during the time we were observing. It was a case involving a young man, and had something to do with publishing as I recall.

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  4. beb said on October 18, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    A couple months back I read about problems with Georgia’s new voting machines. These were called “Ballot Marking” machines.” After you had made your selections on the touch screen the computer would print out a paper copy of your vote. Only the votes were printed as bar code so there was no way for the voter to double-check their ballot. That may be why two different people had to look up the records to verify the ballot. Two sets of eyes to pick up any errors.

    There is good reason to distrust any kind of computer voting system which can be summed up as “I can make the computer say anything.” Machines have been know to flip votes, or not register votes from Democrats. Inaccurate talleys can be emailed to the central computer nd so on. Hand marked paper ballots is the only trusted way. Michigan has you fill in a circle so it can be machine read but the paper ballot still exists and can be audited. England, I’m told, used to have hand-counted paper ballots and were able to count them within a day or two because they knew how many ballots were going to be submitted and could hire enough counter to do it quickly. Some things are too important to modernize.

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  5. Jim said on October 18, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    Michiganders: are your K-12 schools open? I’m confused at what I’m hearing regarding this.


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  6. Julie Robinson said on October 18, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    beb, I couldn’t agree more re paper ballots. In our county you push the buttons and trust. To count the ballots, they push another button and a little printout spits out. Recount? Push the button again, same printout. I’ve never trusted it.

    The analog bureaucratic process Nance went through was probably like the training my kids went through to be poll workers. Our daughter was chafing at how dumbed down it was, while the woman in front of her was confused and didn’t understand most of it. Those with above average intelligence will be frustrated and figure out better ways to run things.

    We spent most of the afternoon tracking down all the steps we have to take to get Florida residency. Driver’s licenses, title/license/insure a car, utilities changed, pension deposited to Florida credit union, the list goes on forever. Each has multiple steps, some have to be completed before you can accomplish another one. And then, just for fun, we looked at applying for Social Security. We still have to find ACA health insurance for 2021 and then Medicare supplements for after we each turn 65. So much for sitting around in retirement.

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  7. Dave said on October 18, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Dorothy, I’m sure you already know this but we didn’t when we moved to Florida. You have to have proof of insurance in Florida before you can license a car. We didn’t know and thought the fact that the car was insured would be good enough. So, because our Indiana plates were expiring in a matter of days, we had to rush into a car insurance decision quickly. Speaking of which, you probably already know that whatever you’re paying now, double it, or nearly so. That helped make our decision to sell the second car we didn’t really need that much.

    Other folks we saw at the license bureau that day learned the same lesson.

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  8. Peter said on October 18, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    Nancy, the signature verification part was interesting. I know in some areas (cough, Georgia, cough) they have to be practically a perfect match in order for the vote to count. In Chicago, we were told that signatures do change over time, and some people may come to regret the signature they used when they signed up to vote (I saw signatures with smiley faces, butterflies, huge cursive flourishes, stars..) and we were told that you can only deny a signature if it’s obvious that someone else is signing – such as the name is misspelled, or the slant is such that someone is using the wrong hand to sign.

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  9. Julie Robinson said on October 18, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    Dave, Julie here, and I didn’t know that. I sent an email to our agent this afternoon asking for a quote, so we’ll make sure we get that done first. We already decided we could do with only one car, especially because the kids each have one. Son needs his to get to work, but daughter works from home or in the neighborhood and mostly rides her bike. I figured we would need to raise our deductibles from what we have now.

    Are you still in Florida? Any other advice for proving residency? We want to get that homestead exemption before the addition is finished and the value of the house goes up.

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  10. basset said on October 18, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    My first car was a ’63 Chevy II, bought from an estate in Indiana in 1971. The previous owner spent his winters in Florida, bought Florida tags, and as far as I know never put them on, there were several under the front seat in the original envelopes. Still have them around here somewhere.

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  11. Dexter Friend said on October 19, 2020 at 2:11 am

    The Honorable Julius Hoffman: “Mister Derringer?” No, it’s Mister Dellinger, your honor…”Alright then Mister Derringer.”
    Yeah, it’s quite a production, with “Borat” as Abbie Hoffman (“Let me make it clear I am no relation to Abbott Hoffman”, clarified the judge, Hoffman.)
    You’ll like John Mitchell too, what a hoot that prick was.

    I finally went to Kapnick’s orchard east of Adrian, Michigan, after postponing the trip about 6 times with so much going on with my family’s health in general. I got my bushel of Jonathans and some really great sourdough bread. The apple pies were tempting, but my frugality stopped me from shelling out $13. The place was crowded and everybody was masked, but they have no shopping carts so I just passed on buying the cider I wanted. I can get that locally here anyway.

    Vanessa, my daughter who is caring for my wife for a couple more weeks at least, is into dog fostering. She just got her second stray to socialize for adoption. I applaud her , but I could never give a dog up; I’d keep them all.

    I threw out 50 issues of The New Yorker I had saved because of great articles , going back 20 years. I know I would never read them again; I was kidding myself. I recycled them. I have a lot of stuff I wish I could dispose of, but I can’t.

    In Michigan, when his troops began yelling “lock her(Gretchen) up!” Trump smiled a shit-eatin’ grin and stated clearly,
    “lock them All up!” So the Commander-in-Chief of the USA armed forces is proposing locking up all Democrats. And somehow the 25th amendment is still shelved and covered in dust. Why? As an election day voter my entire adult life (no 18 year-olds voted until I was way past that demographic), it felt odd voting early. Now that I did it, it seems like I made the right choice.
    And, most of my driving years I had a pickup truck, never new, but I had one and kept it serviced and equipped with good tires and a new strong battery. I haven’t had one for several years so Saturday I test drove a couple used ones, a 2010 Dakota and a 2014 Ford F-150. Filthy black oil in one and bald tires on the other. And I decided to get real and accept that I don’t need another money-pit old truck.

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  12. jerry said on October 19, 2020 at 3:14 am

    Beb at 4 above comments on ballots in England, in fact the whole of the United Kingdom has paper ballots. Polling closes at 2200, ballots are taken to a central point for the constituency and counting commences. Sunderland in the north east has traditionally been first to declare at 2300!

    Some constituencies which are very spread out such as Cornwall may not report until mid-morning the next day but unless things are very close we would expect the result to be known by breakfast time the day after polling.

    Oh, and no voting ahead although obviously there is postal voting.

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  13. Suzanne said on October 19, 2020 at 6:33 am

    We voted absentee ballot, which means in IN, if you are under 65, you pretty much have to lie about why you are voting absentee. I don’t trust the voting machines. I our county, you vote and get no printout of your vote, just a little receipt that you voted. So, does it register what you wanted? You would never know.

    Watched the Chicago 7 trial movie. It is great! I was 10 in 1968, so I remember the riots, etc. but had no clue what what’s going on. My parents were very conservative and story that the story I heard was lousy hippies, commie rioters, lawless hoards.

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  14. Suzanne said on October 19, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Also, wtf was the Journal-Gazette in good old Fort Wayne thinking by publishing this??

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  15. Julie Robinson said on October 19, 2020 at 9:51 am

    That and the decision to not endorse any candidates have really left me scratching my head. They said it was because they couldn’t interview in person, but how lame is that? It doesn’t matter to me, because I’m voting straight ticket this year.

    It’s cold, grey and rainy today. Cue Julie’s Seasonal Affective Disorder.

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  16. basset said on October 19, 2020 at 10:16 am

    Well, at least we’re past the point where a newspaper editorial makes any difference to speak of.

    A few weeks back I mentioned working on some Civil War-related video and some of you all expressed an interest in seeing it… went up on YouTube over the weekend, this is Part 1 and there’s a Part 2 linked:

    I don’t appear in it, writer and producer only.

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  17. Dorothy said on October 19, 2020 at 10:21 am

    “Does anyone want a malt?”


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  18. Jeff Borden said on October 19, 2020 at 11:49 am

    I hold the entire Republican Party in utter contempt, but I reserve a special level of scorn for the reptiles in the Senate, who are now sensing a crushing blue tsunami and are gingerly whispering that they really aren’t like tRump. That sanctimonious meat sack John Cornyn of Texas is the latest. He says he has pushed back against Putin’s bitch “privately.”

    Wow. How fucking courageous. All these assholes need to be retired by the voters.

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  19. Jakash said on October 19, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    As always, Suzanne @ 14, it’s interesting to see the “rationale” prompting fine Hoosier citizens to maintain their Cult 45 membership in good standing.

    It would take quite a few Snopes entries to deal with that page of charges — I’m sure it would do a lot of good, too! She lists 8 bullet points. Spitballing here, I’d think that might be enough to cover the outrages perpetrated in a given week of her preferred candidate’s “administration.”

    How, after 20,000+ documented lies, big and small, from Il Douché is it even possible for a sentient woman to attempt to disqualify Biden because he “has total disdain for the truth?” Ay-yi-yi.

    To adapt her out-line: Our country is at a crossroads. Will we choose to live in “the greatest hope of earth” (Abraham Lincoln) or a reincarnation of Mussolini’s Italy?

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  20. Jakash said on October 19, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    A totally random thing I stumbled across that the nn.c Fort Wayners may or may not be familiar with:

    “this chain of partially earth-sheltered, pyramidal banks were built around Fort Wayne and have now been repurposed for different uses”


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  21. Scout said on October 19, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    I just typed out a really long post. I went in to edit one word and now it has disappeared.

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  22. Deborah said on October 19, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    Wasn’t there some kind of woo woo belief that spending time under a pyramid helped your psyche or physiology (or both) in some way? I remember reading about people who constructed body sized pyramids to hang over their beds so they could sleep under them. Is that belief still around?

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  23. susan said on October 19, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    One could sharpen razor blades by placing them under/in pyramids.

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  24. Icarus said on October 19, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    wow a lot has been posted here since I last checked in. I keep up with the reading, but am behind in my commenting, which is just as well I suppose.

    I spent the weekend epoxying my garage floor. I wanted to do this since we moved in and finally had a window of opportunity, though I should have done it the week before weather-wise. There is a lot of prep work and warmer weather is ideal. Oh and my roller broke when I was about 80% finished.

    The other problem is I was exactly 2 ft by 2 ft short on paint from the 2.5 car garage kit. It’s heartbreaking because there is a lot of prep work that goes into this and to have to open the 1 car kit (instead of being able to return) just took the wind out of my sail.

    if anyone is interested I can post a link to some pics after I do the final coat.

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  25. beb said on October 19, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    I had heard how the British handle their elections from a friend whoo had moved there and ran a blog. That was almost twenty years ago. She mentioned NN.c so I looked it up and have been here ever since.

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  26. nancy said on October 19, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    FWIW, the author of that op-ed used to be a copy editor at our paper. Very conservative and Fort Wayne-style Lutheran, if you follow my drift. One of her colleagues referred to her behind her back as “dumb-dumb Donna.” I didn’t interact much with her, but if she wrote that, I’d say the shoe fits.

    And there was one of those pyramid banks close to my house, on Fairfield. Dunno if it survives, but I hope so.

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  27. basset said on October 19, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    Correcting my last post… there is no link to part 2, had to take it down for contractual reasons. it’s not a continuation of part 1 though, different but related topic.

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  28. Dave said on October 19, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    Scout, I feel your pain, I did that the other day, edited and somehow, it disappeared. I may have hit the delete button by accident but I didn’t really think I did. I didn’t bother to rewrite it, but I did comment that my post was gone.

    Julie, I’ve been trying to think of what else you may need to know. Since you already have the property, you know about house insurance here, so many companies have pulled out of Florida that it has made some of the remaining companies and the upstarts very dicey. We have Citizen’s, the state operated insurance, I don’t know how much longer that will last. This home was my in-law’s retirement home, that is what my mother-in-law had at the last and we continued the policy. Some of the start-ups have disappeared altogether and you will occasionally get a mail that requires a response if you want to retain Citizen’s.

    So, Nancy, what you’re implying is that she was a close follower of Mr. Leininger?

    I had every intention of voting straight ticket this year and I know it’s a futile gesture but the opponent to the Republican sheriff is just awful, I’m as qualified to be sheriff as he is. Not much.

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  29. LAMary said on October 19, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    That editorial was stupid and depressing. People read that crap and believe it because, well it’s right there in the paper. Must be true. I’ve had those conversations. Showing stuff from AP fact check, Snopes, Politico fact check, NPR fact check and followed up with a laundry list of lies and criminal activities trump committed and the usual reply is to dismiss all the sources. Then they show an article from Breitbart to prove what they’re saying.

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  30. Jakash said on October 19, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    Pretty, pretty good. 2-minute “Wear a Mask” song:


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  31. Julie Robinson said on October 19, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Dave, we have Florida Peninsular for homeowners, for what it’s worth. They made us get a new roof when it turned 20 yo, and while we were waiting for the contractor it came through a hurricane unscathed. Oh well.

    The pyramid building I used to drive by is a CBD store now. I made work deposits there and it was dark and gloomy on the inside. No woo woo power there. But those kind of beliefs go back to the builders of the Egyptian pyramids and designers of our currency. Is it a Masonic belief? It’s probably in one of Dan Brown’s books.

    Icarus, bummer. We bought epoxy for our laundry room about three years ago and never opened it. Every time we thought about starting, we punted. Was it super smelly?

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  32. Mark P said on October 19, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    We voted today. It took 45 minutes from getting into line through walking out the door. It was semi-efficient inside. When I checked the line for mask wearing it was about 80 percent, better than at Walmart. The poll workers said they had seen a lot of young, first-time voters. About 3800 people had voted at this polling place in the 10 or so days it has been open. It was one of I think four in the county. There are around 57,000 voters here. I can’t read these tea leaves. But I am hopeful. There even seems to be a slight chance that Perdue will lose his senate race.

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  33. alex said on October 19, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Dumb-dumb Donna wrote a whodunit:


    The Fairfield pyramid was still there as of June 2019. (Can’t remember the last time I’ve been by there.)


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  34. Deborah said on October 19, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    What the heck Jeffery Toobin???

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  35. Suzanne said on October 19, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    The Fairfield pyramid is still there. It’s now the Health Hut Wellness Center


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  36. brian stouder said on October 19, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    And – over our way (we live in the shadow of WANE Channel 15’s tower) on West State Street near the Kroger, there is a (repurposed?) pyramid/former bank. It’s actually pretty enough…although I suppose it’s not really big enough to do much with.

    Maybe a carry-out only restaurant…?

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  37. Deborah said on October 19, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    I checked out who the architect of those pyramid buildings was and it was first done out of George Nelson’s office in the early 70’s as a prototype for future branches. http://www.georgenelsonfoundation.org/george-nelson/works/model-branch-office-peoples-savings-and-trust-bank-fort-wayne-indiana-33.html. George Nelson himself is mainly known for mid-century modern furniture design. His furniture pieces are quite expensive now. https://www.hermanmiller.com/designers/nelson/. The pyramid building was designed by someone in Nelson’s office but probably had to be approved by Nelson.

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  38. Colleen said on October 19, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Julie, have you tried light therapy for your SAD? It helped me a bit, but not as much as drugs did. However, since we moved to Florida in 2017, my depression has been SO much better, including my winter melancholy.

    Insurance wise, we were first with Progressive at our old place, and now back with USAA. And yeah, our car insurance pretty much doubled, for one old guy and me, two drivers with completely clean records. Yikes.

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  39. Julie Robinson said on October 19, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    Light therapy kept it at bay until five or so years ago and last year I took medication. Even with that I barely held on and our late spring left me feeling hopeless. Our original plan was to move at Christmas, but it took forever to find a contractor and now I’m looking at another winter up north. I need to call the doc and get another Rx.

    Brian, the pyramid on N Anthony has had an Asian carryout restaurant for at least 35 years.

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  40. jcburns said on October 19, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Scout, I’d like to reassure (?) you or at least shed a little bit of light. When you’re typing in the comment window (under the words ‘Leave a reply’) you are composing text COMPLETELY locally, on your machine or device. It is not being sent to the server, the server has no idea what you’re typing whatsoever until you hit the ‘submit comment’ button. All the backspacing and undoing and so on are happening courtesy of the operating system your web browser is on. And so if you hit a key and things ‘mysteriously’ disappear, well, that can happen if, on a mac you hit Command-A or on a PC hit control-A and then type anything else, even a space bar space. There are even more obscure keystroke commands for ‘delete row’ and ‘delete paragraph’ that are a control key plus another key, or some of the ‘F keys’ across the top, if you have them. It’s easy to mess that up. The good news is that it is almost as easy to recover from it. If IMMEDIATELY after you mistype you type Command (mac)/control(pc)-Z it’s the same as selecting ‘undo’ from the menu…and most OSes let you undo multiple times. So, if you keep your cool, you often can recover your words. (I just tried it with all the words I typed here, worked fine.) I guess I’m just a little tetchy about the idea that Nancy’s blog or the server or WordPress ate your post…again, it doesn’t get the chance to mangle it or even consume it UNTIL you hit ‘submit comment.’ It is never a server error that your words disappear before you hit that button.

    Two workarounds: work on your words in NotePad (PC) or TextEdit(Mac) and cut and paste them into the comment window. Or…break up your comment into smaller chunks.

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  41. Sherri said on October 20, 2020 at 12:06 am

    The gray season has descended a little early here this year. It is rainy and dark, and November is still a couple of weeks away. I just want to hibernate.

    Checked on my ballot, and it’s been counted, so if I do crawl under the covers and not come out, at least I’ve voted.

    Guys, can someone explain to me why anyone would take their dick out during a Zoom meeting, even if they thought they had turned off video?

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  42. Dexter Friend said on October 20, 2020 at 1:48 am

    Sherri: 1) because it’s there.
    2) His mind is racing to see if his favorite porn site has anything new.
    3) He’s an exhibitionist , heading to prison soon , hopefully.

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  43. Dexter Friend said on October 20, 2020 at 2:31 am

    Daughter Lori is still being treated for inflammation issues, especially for her internal organs, Covid19 related. Now she told her mother she has been working not as an employee with benefits package, but as an independent contractor so she can work in several hospitals and maximize income. But…she didn’t exactly buy the best hospital coverage from a private insurer. You can imagine the bill she is racking up. Her husband is a school teacher and apparently his insurance is capped below what is going on with this extended stay. I talked with a military veteran who was severely injured in a motorcycle wreck in Hawaii, and at first the VA refused to pay the hospital bill of over $500,000. Then the VA finally paid it all. I have no idea how Lori will make out…she is not a veteran.

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  44. alex said on October 20, 2020 at 5:48 am

    The Zoom Dick Incident isn’t really so hard to grasp once the back story is laid bare:


    Toobin was evidently participating in a second video call and got his wires crossed, as it were.

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  45. David C said on October 20, 2020 at 5:58 am

    Read about how Scotty Walker, tRump, and all the damned Wisconsin Rs were duped by Foxconn. It’s pretty damned sick. They bought a sack of magic beans. Governor Evers has told Foxconn to piss up a rope. Some of the Rs still want to give them the money.


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  46. Dorothy said on October 20, 2020 at 6:08 am

    I too have accidentally deleted a paragraph or entire entry while typing on this and some other sites. I immediately go to the Edit button to Undo. JC did an excellent job describing it for anyone who might not know how to fix a mistake. I use a MAC; in January this year I got a new one. For some reason I hit the period button a lot on this new MAC. Seems like I’m frequently backspacing to remove periods from the middle of sentences. I wish I knew why it happens but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a serious problem.

    Dexter I was going to ask last night how Lori was doing. Thanks for the update. I found out on Twitter about 24 hours ago that one of our faculty members, his wife, and 16 year old son have the virus. Apparently his wife is a home health care physical therapist and she did a visit with a client on September 30. This client didn’t want to wear a mask. A week after that, she found out that client tested positive; two days later she did, too. So SHE was wearing PPE but the client wasn’t and it’s not 100% certain she caught it from the client, but there you are. And on Sunday she found out that client had died when she saw the obituary in the paper. My colleague’s entire family is quarantining of course, and they are doing okay for the most part. But his wife, when she returns to work, is no longer going to permit clients to go maskless. Wear your masks, people. We all say it over and over again but it’s just the smart thing to do.

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  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 20, 2020 at 8:12 am

    JC, I’ve been looking for the Command-Z on 2020 for months now.

    Blessings with Lori’s inflammation and on any of us wearing masks. They are the simplest of blessings in their own mildly inconvenient way.

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  48. LAMary said on October 20, 2020 at 10:49 am

    Huge hospital bills seldom get mentioned in the conversations about Covid. Talking to hospital friends I’ve heard about people leaving the hospital owing a close to a million dollars. The local news here shows people who have been on a vent for six weeks or whatever, all the staff people cheering as they get wheeled out. Good luck with paying for that stay. Sorry to be so cynical about it, Dexter. I just get really tired of the anti mask people talking about how few people die, how it’s just like the flu, it doesn’t hit healthy people. It doesn’t have to kill you to be catastrophic.

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  49. Tajalli said on October 20, 2020 at 11:09 am

    Dorothy@46: you may try adjusting your keyboard’s responsiveness using the System Preferences (grey icon with a gear/cog with 3 spokes). I used a iPad Pro last fall doing recruiting for the 2020 Census which had a weird autocomplete/spellcheck/grammarpolice feature that inserted unwanted periods and popup menus with too quick a touch. My recent OS upgrade for my iMac desktop has required numerous adjustments to the default settings, new stuff still cropping up after a few weeks. First world problems, eh?

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  50. Julie Robinson said on October 20, 2020 at 11:10 am

    And a friend with breast cancer is fighting about the genetic testing done to confirm she didn’t have the triple negative kind, which was suspected. Insurance company says it wasn’t necessary. I ask you.

    Dave and Colleen, you were so right about auto insurance. Our quote was three times higher than what we pay here, with a larger deductible. Our property insurance company doesn’t offer auto, so no possibility of a discount there. We’re going to contact the company our kids use next, see if we can get a better rate for multiple cars in the same household.

    Nancy’s post title is all we’re doing now. Got the credit union address changed, got the pension address changed and depositing into Florida account, only 10 or so more of those tasks to go!

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  51. Dorothy said on October 20, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Excellent suggestion, Tajalli! I know the icon, but how do I tone down the responsiveness exactly?

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  52. Deborah said on October 20, 2020 at 11:33 am

    When we got our Jeep in NM in 2012 we expected lower car insurance than Chicago. Nope. I don’t remember how much more it was but it surprised us, a lot.

    We’re starting to have gloomy weather in Chicago. I’ve been pleased up until recently about how sunny it’s been since we got here on Sept 21st. Pretty soon daylight savings time will be over, bummer.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve typed a comment here and then did something stupid so that I lost the whole thing.

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  53. Jakash said on October 20, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    “Technically a CNN commentator jerking off is the most accurate simulation of election night”


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  54. Scout said on October 20, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    jcburns @40. Thank you. I am copying your words to keep in notes so I can refer to them if that ever happens again. What I perceived to have taken place yesterday is this: I typed out a whole long post and submitted it. It appeared as it always does, but when I reread it, I saw an error and went back in to edit. It was when I resubmitted it that it disappeared.

    In this case, it was probably the universe telling me not to post what I was trying to because it had to do with asking for input regarding family drama around the issue of masking. I was highly upset and agitated when I posted it, and I probably did something off that ended up deleting it.

    Deborah @22 – I know someone with a copper pyramid. She doesn’t sleep under it, but she does sit under it to meditate.

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  55. jcburns said on October 20, 2020 at 5:52 pm

    Scout, if you DID hit submit and it posted, then that first version did go to the big ol’ database on the server and I’m pretty sure it keeps every version of what you’ve done (not accessible to you, but in there with every version of Nancy’s posts she’s done.)

    I’m going to take a quick look when I’m back in the land of fiber connectivity.

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  56. LAMary said on October 20, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    I just checked and my ballot was received and confirmed by the registrar. This made me smile. Yay.

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  57. LAMary said on October 20, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    Deborah, the mask you need: https://tinyurl.com/y2k9take

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  58. Sherri said on October 20, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    In a state that will vote for Biden, in a county that will do so at a higher rate than the state, in the first five days after mailing ballots, ten times as many ballots have been returned as have ever been returned in the first five days previously.


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  59. 4dbirds said on October 20, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    We are well at a million dollars for health related items this year. My sepsis, kidney procedures and my daughter neurosurgery and proton therapy have taken us to the limit. We no longer have any copays or coinsurances. I am going to get everything done this year that I can. We owe about 7K for our co insurances. I pay everyone about $100 a month. If they sue me fine. I don’t care. I don’t know how people do it. As I’ve said in the past, I am very lucky with a good paying job and good insurance.

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  60. Deborah said on October 20, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    Holy cow 4dbirds, I can’t imagine a million dollars in medical bills. I was freaking out when my outpatient spine surgery cost $80,000. Medicare paid for most of that, thank goodness.

    This would be a good time to be in Abiquiu, tonight and into the wee hours tomorrow morning is the peak of the Orionids meteor shower. Sorry I’m missing it. Meanwhile it’s raining in Chicago, had some thunder a bit ago.

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  61. Sherri said on October 20, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    50% of Republicans think top Democrats are involved in child sex trafficking, yet don’t give a fuck about abducting kids from parents when they’re not the right sort of kids and parents.



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  62. basset said on October 20, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Canning tonight, haven’t done that in awhile and I can hear the rocker on the pressure cooker rattling from a couple rooms away. Found two packages of soup bones in the bottom of the freezer, got some vegetables together and we have vegetable beef soup, will make a great match with some cornbread on a cold night this winter.

    I remember my mother canning soup in a regular water bath canner, all the directions I see now say that’s dangerous if you have tomatoes in there due to the acid something something bacteria. OK, I’ll use the pressure.

    Tomorrow, deer meat chili.

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  63. Suzanne said on October 20, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    It was a soup kind of night here. Cold and wet outside requiring something warm and hearty on the inside.
    I made this soup using Swiss chard from our garden which is still growing like crazy. It was quite satisfying.


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  64. Dexter Friend said on October 21, 2020 at 1:05 am

    Lori reported the doctors are optimistic for a recovery without removal of her colon. So we wait and see what the next day brings.

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  65. David C said on October 21, 2020 at 5:57 am

    A bit of good news for a change. Professor Tom Lehrer has transferred all the lyrics to his songs to public domain. He’s 92 so I imagine this means we’re going to lose him soon. He hasn’t performed in decades but he’s one of those people you were always happy to know still lives.


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  66. Deborah said on October 21, 2020 at 7:29 am

    I made cream of roast beet soup the other night, it was so good, sprinkled blue cheese crumbles and walnuts on top. Had no leftovers.

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  67. Deborah said on October 21, 2020 at 7:31 am

    Good news about Lori, Dexter. What an ordeal.

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  68. JodiP said on October 21, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Dexter, I really hope that Lori’s recovery goes well. I’ve been thinking about her a lot, and how much a colostomy would affect her.

    Sherri, the articles you shared echo what’s been niggling in my mind: even if Dems win the WH and even the Sentate, a huge segment of our population are so untethered from reality it is going to make it hard to govern. As all know here, QAnon folks are already running for office. If we thought the Tea Party was bad…

    Which is why we are even more determined to move abroad when we retire, hopefully about 10 years from now. That seems far too long, but I don’t think we could swing it any earlier; my wife is only 49. We told our financial planner yesterday and he is excited aobut helping us plan for this move. I feel kinda shitty about jumping ship, but I just think of all the Jews who didn’t leave Germany in time. Among all the awfulness, including some SCOTUS justices signalling rolling back protections for queer folk, it’s not feeling good here.

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  69. Mark P said on October 21, 2020 at 8:47 am

    The weather here in Georgia has decided it has had enough of Fall and is going to redo Summer. My weather app shows highs in the 80’s for the next week.

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  70. Peter said on October 21, 2020 at 8:53 am

    Beb, Illinois has those fill in and scan ballots as well. I think they’re a great idea – you have a separate paper trail that you can store for a while in case there’s a recount. What I find amazing about those ballots are what happens in case there’s a bleed through – you know, if someone uses their sharpie and it’s so thick the dot shows up on the other side of the ballot: the scanner will recognize that the errant mark is a bleed through from the other side and won’t count it. Check the ballot next time you get one – the dots on the back are in a different spot than the ones in the front.

    As far the UK counting ballots so fast – European parliamentary elections usually have one race (sometimes two) on them – that takes no time at all to count. It also means that a machine doesn’t necessarily do it much faster – they just bring all the ballot boxes to a central spot for each district, where everyone can see the count.
    Kind of like when you voted for student council.

    As for counting ballots in the old days – I was told that before they used the mechanical machines in Chicago, people voted paper ballots, and they were counted by hand – one race at a time. Election judges weren’t paid for their time counting ballots, which could go on all night and into the next day, so some judges would just leave. When that happened, it wasn’t wholesale cheating as much as it was close enough for government work.

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  71. LAMary said on October 21, 2020 at 10:05 am

    No sympathy, Mark P. Here in LA today will be the first day in a long time that it’s not likely to hit 90. This isn’t normal. Usually there may be a hot day or two this time of year. This year it’s been unrelenting. 80 feels great compared to 99.

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  72. Dorothy Michalski said on October 21, 2020 at 10:11 am

    We’re going to hit the high 70’s the next two days here and I’m not going to complain.

    I really liked the Chicago 7 movie on Netflix. Thanks for the rec, Nancy.

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  73. susan said on October 21, 2020 at 10:27 am

    basset @62 – For water-bath canning you need enough acid in the contents to prevent the bacterium botulinum from growing. Tomatoes used to be acidic enough so that wasn’t a problem, but many newer varieties are less acidic than the old stand-bys, and you don’t know which. Water-bath canning instructions for tomatoes/tomato sauces now include adding citric acid or lemon juice into each jar to make sure the acid is high enough.

    Pressure canning eliminates that problem because the temps get high enough to kill nascent bacteria. I still only can things that have enough vinegar that I know it won’t be a problem (pickles, relish, pickled beets). Pressure canners/cookers scare the $h!† out of me, so that whole category of canning is not a thing for me.

    So I still won’t can tomatoes because botulism is a frightening prospect. Talk to any nurse or doctor who has worked in ER about patients who ate improperly home-water-bath canned beans or venison….

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  74. Julie Robinson said on October 21, 2020 at 10:59 am

    54° and rainy here, but it’s supposed to be nice later in the week.

    Dexter, praying that Lori keeps getting better news. My friend has now been told that she does have triple-negative breast cancer and will need at least a month of chemo in addition to radiation.

    On a happier note, we decided to visit the new Trader Joe’s yesterday and ran into an old friend from way back when. She lives an hour south of here, and decided she’d rather drive here than to Indy. We stood there and gabbed for forever, until our respective husbands pulled us apart.

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  75. JodiP said on October 21, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Weather report for Minneapolis: we got about 4″ of wet heavy snow yesterday, temps will remain in the 30s for now. So it just looks like winter outside my window :/ My office is chilly even with central heat on, so I broke down and began using a space heater this week. I still have layers on and a blanket on my lap, but it’s life-changing!

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  76. Tajalli said on October 21, 2020 at 11:12 am

    Dorothy@51: Open the System Preferences. There’ll be about 5 rows of icons by topic. Find the Keyboard and open it. The keyboard tab will show sliders for Key Repeat and Delay Until Repeat. You might experiment a bit with each independent of the other.

    The Key Repeat governs how fast the keyboard will allow you to enter another request for that key when you keep the key constantly depressed, like when you’re backspacing to delete or holding down to make a string of the same letter. A person slow to remove their finger would want to slow down the repeat rate. Persons with Parkinson’s or on certain medications have trouble beginning/disengaging a motion so slowing the key repeat would be helpful for them.

    The Delay Until Repeat prevents a quivering finger on the key from entering extra letter requests, so a longer delay would be useful here. Some people develop an “intention tremor” so their finger trembles when they’re actively engaging the muscles to point or reach, inadvertently making many quick key requests. Making a longer delay would help them.

    Take note of the original position of each slider and only adjust one at a time. Put each back to the original setting before tinkering with the other for a nice scientific approach.

    You might google “David Pogue”, whatever the OS name (Catalina?), and the device name (iPad, iPhone, iMac, MacBook etc) to find one of his “The Missing Manual” books. I use the library to sample manuals then search amazon books for a nice used copy if I want a keeper.

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  77. LAMary said on October 21, 2020 at 11:29 am

    A long time ago, on this site, we discussed the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow award. Elizabeth Warren has one. I have one. Connie has one. I remember one of the questions on that test was about home canning. It was something like: You open a jar of home canned tomatoes and they are slimy and black. What do you do: A: eat them anyway, B: boil them for five minutes to kill any bacteria c: throw them away. I answered c and that was correct. Duh.

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  78. alex said on October 21, 2020 at 11:34 am

    D: You put them in your composter and give it a whirl.

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  79. basset said on October 21, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    Per the recipe I gave em an hour and 15 minutes at 10 pounds, surely that was adequate. Didn’t put the rings down quite enough on some of em though, so they boiled out a little and didn’t seal. Chili is cooking now.

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  80. Sherri said on October 21, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Whether you like her and agree with her policies or not, the best politician in America right now is AOC. She’s rewriting the playbook for how it’s done.


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  81. Sherri said on October 21, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    Two weeks until the election, statewide ballot returns are running almost 3 times what they were four years ago at this time.

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  82. LAMary said on October 22, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Alex, that would have been my choice if it had been offered as an option. the BCHofT test had pretty limited choices. I remember another question about how far out you should place the base of a ladder. There were no subtle differences in the choices. I remember them being angles that would have fall forwards obviously, fall backwards obviously, or the right answer.

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