Mixed grill for the weekend.

A friend-ish friend from Columbus posted some pictures on Facebook last night. As best as I can date them, they’re from….1975-76. Here’s our mutual friend, Mark:

That’s one of the most ’70s pictures ever, I think — the aviator glasses, the hair, the ‘stache, the rings and of course, the haze in the air that pretty much always hung over the basement where that was taken. Someone else was there that night, too:

Yeah, that’s me and my first serious boyfriend, Peter. He’s no longer with us (one-car fatal). Neither are those glasses, thank the lord. Who was I trying to be? Gloria Steinem?

Ah, memories.

Another friend sent me this. I hasten to add that it was not because he believed it, or thought I might, but just because this is the sort of QAnon bullshit flying around. Ahem:

A recount of voting ballots nationwide was being done by elite units of the National Guard by early Sun. morning 8 Nov. To prevent fraud official ballots had been printed with an invisible, unbreakable code watermark and registered on a Quantum Blockchain System.

As of this writing, in five states 14 million ballots had been put through a laser scanner – 78% of which failed because there was no watermark to verify the ballot. Of those that failed 100% had checked for Biden.

An initial test showed that according to water marks on validated ballots fed into the Quantum Computer, Trump won re-election by over 80% of the legal ballot cast. The final validated vote tallied in that test: Trump 73.5 million votes to Biden’s 25.9 million – and that didn’t even account for Trump votes that people observed being tossed and never accounted for.

I’d actually seen this earlier in the week. The first reference to National Guard has been corrected; the original called them “National Guards,” and I recall from 2016 that small usage errors are a hallmark of bad actors speaking in foreign accents. I did chuckle over “Quantum Blockchain System.” If there are two words in the English language that are essentially meaningless, it’s quantum and blockchain. I know, I know — they have definitions. But a friend who edits financial news observed some times ago that if you want to bump a stock a few points, issue a press release with “blockchain” in the headline and watch the magic happen.

And remember, there are people in this world who believe this. Mercy.

Happy Friday to all. This weekend marks the beginning of BirthdayFest, i.e. the celebrations of Alan and Kate, followed nine days later by my own edging closer to Medicare. (On my legislative wish list: Early buy-in.) And then, Thanksgiving, which is looking increasingly like it will be a lonely, two-plate event around here. I had planned to eat with friends (because Alan has to work), but they’re both recovering from you-know-what, along with one of their two children, and so the calculus is: Go, and assume that this may indeed be the safest place to be? Or stay home?

At this point, I’m not sure I even want to go grocery shopping. I’m wearing the KN-95 mask now for even routine errands, and it’s starting to feel like…well, not good.

Last thing: Here’s a story I wrote this week, about a local TV news guy. A reader has already described the headline with poop emojis.

And that’s why we go into journalism: Shitty money, the loathing of the public and every jerkoff in the world expresses their opinions about your work with poop emojis.

Posted at 8:25 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

86 responses to “Mixed grill for the weekend.”

  1. Mark P said on November 13, 2020 at 8:46 am

    The Qanon story is so obviously made up it’s hard to understand how anyone could believe it. It’s not a game of telephone that started with a semi truthful rumor, it’s someone sitting down and dreaming up a fantasy intentionally to tell it to see how many stupid, gullible people would believe it. The Russians feeding American idiots pure bullshit. Next they’ll tell them that eating shit laced with rat poison will prevent COVID-19.

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  2. Mark P said on November 13, 2020 at 8:52 am

    In other news, Elon Musk is an idiot. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-13/musk-took-rapid-antigen-tests-for-covid-19-with-mixed-results

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  3. Suzanne said on November 13, 2020 at 9:19 am

    My hairdresser posted that blockchain crap on Facebook a while back. She wasn’t the only one I have seen. Yes, people believe it 100% even though many have no idea what the word blockchain means.
    I don’t want to reach these people but we have to live with them somehow. But how? My hope is that they all go to Parler and eat each other.

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  4. Deborah said on November 13, 2020 at 9:33 am

    Yep, eating each other is probably exactly what they’ll do, they have to start fights and troll, so if they only have themselves the rest of us can move on.

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  5. Bitter Scribe said on November 13, 2020 at 9:40 am

    It’s just amazing how precise this QAnon shit is—73.5 million, not 73.4 or 73.6—while at the same time omitting certain details. Like, say, the identity of the persons who printed and distributed the watermarked ballots, or the location of the “laser scanner” that detected all the phonies.

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  6. alex said on November 13, 2020 at 9:40 am

    Somehow I don’t recall stocking caps as a ’70s fashion accessory, but maybe it’s because I found them as ungainly then as I do now. I also remember them being itchy and uncomfortable back then when they were made of real wool.

    Here’s a sobering take on the election by Dem Rep Elissa Slotkin of Michigan: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/11/13/elissa-slotkin-braces-for-a-democratic-civil-war-436301

    As an inhabitant of the industrial midwest, I found this article particularly resonant.

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  7. Jeff Borden said on November 13, 2020 at 9:47 am

    I’ve worked in two of the most hated industries in ‘Murica. Until 2004, I was a full-time reporter, which surely puts me in the lower levels of eternal damnation, and since then I’ve been a part-time teacher, which is another level below journalism since I am clearly indoctrinating America’s undergraduates in the dark arts of Satan.

    This holiday season will be very 2020. We’re not traveling for Thanksgiving or Christmas. No way we’re driving through Indiana to Ohio to see my sister’s family or flying down to wide-open Florida to see Johanna’s brother. It will be the two of us and Cosmo the wonder dog.

    There are two couples in our late afternoon dog gatherings at the park who simply refuse to wear masks. While they generally keep their distance, a couple of my pals just leash up and leave when they arrive. They aren’t dumb. . .one of them is pursuing an MBA at University of Chicago. . .but they are thoughtless. And thoughtlessness is killing us by the thousands.

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  8. Deborah said on November 13, 2020 at 10:08 am

    From the last thread: the discussion about gaiters made me wonder where the word comes from. I googled it of course, originally gaiters referred to a leather sleeve from below the ankle to mid leg below the knee, sometimes called spats, although I don’t think spats came up that high. It was apparently, originally a French thing but I wasn’t able to find the origin word. The ones worn over the mouth and nose as masks are officially neck gaiters.

    We are leaving for NM next Sunday, driving of course. Again we’ll be taking all food with us and the same bathroom situation will be observed as we did on previous road trips since the pandemic. We’re staying one night in Salina, KS at our normal Hampton Inn preferred spot. I have my covid kit ready to clean the surfaces in the room as usual. Thanksgiving will just involve me, my husband and LB and we’re all getting tested as soon as my husband and I arrive in NM, then staying there into January, the exact date hasn’t been determined yet.

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  9. Julie Robinson said on November 13, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Stocking caps were all over the IU campus in the second half of the 70’s. There was a guy in our group of friends who never ever took his off. It was a strange time, fashion wise, though I still secretly love hippie clothes and long straight hair.

    The larger family isn’t having a Thanksgiving gathering this year, though we had already decided not to go. It’ll just be the three of us, a 10 pound turkey, and lots of phone time. Oh, and a Josh Groban streaming concert. He’s doing a series of three, and I bought the package for my mom. We’ll put it on the TV and bump up the speaker system. High times!

    The person who said she was leaving Facebook for Parler on Nov 9 is still on FB. I suspect she’s not technically proficient enough to make the change.

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  10. alex said on November 13, 2020 at 10:33 am

    My parents — ages 90 and 92 and who haven’t left their home for months — are trying to get my brother to bring his family up from Atlanta for Thanksgiving. I doubt it’s going to happen but I think they’ve become so worn out by pandemic fear that they’ve simply begun to not care anymore.

    We’re supposed to return to the office on Monday. I think it’s a ridiculous idea in light of the escalating COVID numbers around here but the big boss had a mild case and he’s about as dismissive of the whole thing as Donald Trump. Probably voted for Trump too. I have at least one colleague who’s going to be talking Quantum Blockchain or some variation thereof and I’m not looking forward to seeing her. On the other hand, I’ve never been so distracted and undisciplined with work as I’ve been the last few weeks, not that commuting to work and being around others will make it any better. I’m just out of sorts.

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  11. brian stouder said on November 13, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Marvelous, marvelous photo, indeed! A definite day-brightener!!

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  12. David C said on November 13, 2020 at 10:41 am

    We’ve been told we won’t be back in the office until mid-2021 at the earliest. I can’t believe anyone would call their workers back right now.

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  13. JodiP said on November 13, 2020 at 10:48 am

    In a call with employees yesterday, Zuck stated that Steve Bannon hadn’t violated enough rules to be banned. So, advocating for the beheading of the head of the FBI and Dr. Fauci is no big deal. I would love to quit FB, but a lot of racial justice organizing in Minneapolis happens there and I do love connecting with friends, including some made here!

    OK, palate cleanser: I watched My Octopus Teacher on Netflix last night and loved it. And a new episode of the Great British Bakeoff is on tonight. My wife will make seared scallops and devils on horseback, which involve bacon, dates, and blue cheese.

    I have been eating a lot the last few days. I’d been using My Fitness Pal and got a good start. I think the dumf***ery is just getting to me. Back to it today! (Surprisingly, bacon doesn’t have as many calories as one might think! 🙂 )

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  14. Heather said on November 13, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Despite the smile, kind of a Ramones look you have going in that shot, Nancy.

    Trying to decide if I should stop going to the gym. It’s attached to a hospital and they have limited entry and are very strict about mask-wearing etc., so it’s probably one of the safer ones, but still . . . . In the meantime I am having a painful muscle spasm in my neck and back, no doubt from election/coup stress, so no gym for the next few days at least.

    JodiP, I loved My Octopus Teacher! Although I have to say, I wouldn’t have been quite so committed to noninterference. Once that shark showed up, I would have spirited that octopus to safety right away.

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  15. Suzanne said on November 13, 2020 at 11:03 am

    This is a pretty good summation of the appeal of Trump, only 8 minutes long but could have been said in less. In a nutshell, Trump doesn’t hold himself or his followers accountable for any bad behavior and they like that.


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  16. nancy said on November 13, 2020 at 11:24 am

    I really didn’t like “My Octopus Teacher.” I found it weirdly anthropomorphic. Also, who was shooting all this footage after the octopus SPOILER ALERT died? Way too many fourth-wall questions for me.

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  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 13, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Hope you still have the leather jacket; I’d rather not have pictures of the glasses I wore in ’75 floating about myself.

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  18. JodiP said on November 13, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Yes Nancy, it had its flaws, but I found the photography beautiful and loved learning about the ecosystem. Please allow for some comforting, mildly flawed teevee these days. It beats the hell out of the news!

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  19. Hank Stuever said on November 13, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    Love the photos. Nancy/Tania looks ready to liberate the people’s money from the Hibernia Bank.

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  20. Deborah said on November 13, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Chicago is going into lockdown again Monday at 6am. It doesn’t seem to be quite as severe as the earlier version from what I can tell. We got word through our building management. I didn’t see anything about gyms for instance and I don’t think it said anything about shutting down the lake front trails. I’ll need to reread the email.

    I watched My Octopus Teacher movie a few months ago, I enjoyed it.

    We’ve been watching movie classics the last couple of weeks to keep from watching the news. Last night we watched “12 Angry Men”, that was excellent. We’ve been watching Cary Grant movies, Audrey Hepburn movies, Katherine Hepburn movies etc, we watched “The French Connection” one night, tonight I think we’re watching “Butterfield 8” with Elizabeth Taylor.

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  21. Sherri said on November 13, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Quantum and blockchain have meanings, but quantum blockchain does not. And who paid for underfunded county election offices to print “invisible, unbreakable code watermarks” on ballots?

    None of this kind of shit makes any sense, but it doesn’t have to, because most people know nothing and are proud of it.

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  22. Jim said on November 13, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Sherri: quantum blockchain is a thing, but not the way it was used in the highly entertaining “article” that moron wrote.


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  23. Julie Robinson said on November 13, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    We’ve been swimming, and I felt pretty safe until one day when a toddler swim class was meeting. All the mommies were there and not a single one was wearing a mask. Chlorine kills a lot, and it’s a large space, but I think I’m going stay home until the numbers go down. I too had finally started to take off the quarantine pounds and it’ll be much more difficult now. Alive and fat sounds better than dead and skinny.

    The WaPo is reporting that over 130 Secret Service agents assigned to the orange menace are ill. Their numbers are so decimated that remaining agents are having to work overtime.

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  24. Deborah said on November 13, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    Suzanne, I just listened to that short podcast, but I still don’t get it. I understand that Democrats expect accountability for bad behavior but I always thought that Republicans believed in personal responsibility, at least they used to. Oh how things have devolved.

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  25. LAMary said on November 13, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    No word on how long my temp job will last. It was supposed to be a one month gig and I’m going into month five in two weeks. I hire people for positions related to the plague. I’m guessing that in a few months if I’m still here I’ll be hiring for positions related to vaccinations.

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  26. Jakash said on November 13, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    I was quite a stocking cap aficionado, myself, but I couldn’t rock it like the King:


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  27. Sherri said on November 13, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks, Jim. I didn’t know about that!

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  28. Sherri said on November 13, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    The pandemic exacerbated an ongoing problem: people have lost their social connections to their communities. Social media stepped in, but in a malign way.


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  29. Suzanne said on November 13, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    People have just gone completely nuts. We don’t have enough mental health professionals or psychiatric hospitals to hold them all.


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  30. Deborah said on November 13, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    I’ve been thinking more about The podcast Suzanne linked to in her comment #15. I think Harris has it right to some degree. I see 3 basic categories of Trump supporters as follows:

    Oligarchs: the greedy, rich corporate weasels who want lower taxes and fewer regulations so they can milk the workers and make even more billions. Edit: these people have sycophantic minions as well, who pay fealty to them.

    Evangelicals: many of these people are wildly hypocritical. This is the group I have the hardest time figuring out how they can support the vile president. They live in fantasyland so maybe that’s how.

    Know nothings: these are the ones who fall into the bucket that Harris was talking about on that podcast. They are the rally goers. The oligarchs grabbed them by the grievance and got them to go along for the ride.

    The oligarchs are the smallest group in number but have a large impact because they have the money to buy messengers and legislators. The other 2 groups may be split evenly, I don’t really know. The know nothings have the shortest shelf life as I see it. I Don’t know how long their attention can be sustained.

    My humble opinions.

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  31. JodiP said on November 13, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    I know the twitter thread Sherry linked to was about social media, but I scrolled down and found a moving thread from Senator Duckworth. It’s about her “Alive Day” when she should have died when her helocopter was shot down and her buddies risked their lives to save hers. She is amazing.

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  32. Sherri said on November 13, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    As the old saying goes, it’s not what we know, it’s what we know that isn’t so that’s the problem.

    Most people really have only the vaguest idea of how anything around them works, and very little curiousity about it. I’ve found that’s true regardless of education level or income level, and even to an extent, degree of engagement in the community. The more engaged usually have one area they care about and know something about, and ignore everything else.

    Which, fine, it does take time to educate yourself about how the modern world works, and it’s complicated. But what annoys me is when those people see something they don’t like and understand , and assume that the reason it happened is because the people behind it were stupid and/or corrupt. More often, it’s because of factors they’re unaware of, or because they’re not the only people in the world, and other people in the community matter, too.

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  33. Suzanne said on November 13, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    “Peace, they’ll say. Trump got us out of Iraq and Afghanistan. He kept us out of Syria.

    Prosperity, they’ll point out. Trump was good for the stock market, for bankers, for Wall Street, for rich people. And what’s good for the wealthy is good for us.

    Law and Order, they’ll tell us, nostalgically. Trump kept the streets safe.

    None of this is true, of course, just as it never really was in Spain. But that’s how they’ll remember it. With fondness.

    Because it wasn’t them.

    Because it wasn’t their lives. It wasn’t their rights. It wasn’t their fathers who died in some foreign land at the orders of an incompetent. It wasn’t their children shot down in the streets for the crime of being Black in America. It wasn’t their mother who died alone, afraid, in a hospital on a respirator. It wasn’t their liberty, their justice, their freedom, that was in peril.”


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  34. basset said on November 13, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    My first two years in tv news, late 70s, I was mostly what is now called a MMJ and back then a one-man band… but on film. I did maybe two “standups,” looking into the camera and talking, the whole time because I was About the Visuals and didn’t want to detract from The Pictures; finally, someone told me that “people like to see who’s talking.”
    There was a reporter doing that night shift thing in St.Louis years ago, older, heavier guy and they called him “Nightside.”
    Sitting in the back yard with a rescue dog right now, English setter cross spending the afternoon with us on her way from Arkansas to Pennsylvania. Nice pup, not as scared of me as she was when Mrs. B and I met her.

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  35. beb said on November 13, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Ars Techinca has a weekly “Rocket Report” that I read. Comes out on Fridays. In the comments Mush gets mentioned a lot. One person in responding to the news that Musk has covid said he hoped that during his quarantine we out get “Engineer Musk” news and not “Twitter Musk.” In other words, when talking about SpaceX Musk is level-headed but outside of that he’s kind of a nutjob.

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  36. Sherri said on November 13, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Can we just take a moment and reflect on how absurd it is that Joe Biden had to win the popular vote by 5 million to get the same number of EC votes that Trump got losing the popular vote by 3 million?

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  37. Dexter Friend said on November 13, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Mark’s shirt…polyester, right? That’s what I wore when I was on the make…all the cool dudes wore them, and platform shoes and knit pants, hair at least to the bottom of the neck, and my crew wore granny glasses. And never get caught without a hemostat in a pocket, one burned black at the end. Never waste a roach. We were deluged , as now, by men’s hair restoration businesses. Hair pieces were popular, this being before hair implant deals had hit the market. Remember electric water? Dose a large water bottle with acid and pass it around. Very dangerous for those who had no idea what the rest of their night was about to turn into. Just keep that fucking angel dust away from me. Whoever thought that was fun?

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  38. LAMary said on November 13, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    A friend recently sent me a photo of myself when I was about 19. My reaction was, imodestly, “I was cute!”

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  39. Sherri said on November 13, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    SpaceX has offices in Redmond, so I know some people who work there. One person who does is a client of my trainer, and regularly has to fly down and meet with Musk. When he comes back from those meetings, he has to go virtual for his sessions with our trainer for a couple of weeks, because Elon Musk won’t wear a mask.

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  40. Mark P said on November 13, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    Musk is close to an idiot savant. He’s successful as a car maker (although from my one ride in a Model 3, I rate it as a very good kit car) and in rocketry, but he doesn’t seem to understand much about anything else. But he thinks he does.

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  41. David C said on November 14, 2020 at 5:32 am

    I work with two engineers who used to work at Tesla’s Detroit office. The one Musk closed because he was sick of the people there who had actual experience building cars telling him he didn’t know fuck-all about building cars. Neither of them will ever own a Tesla like my wife won’t eat anything made by Keebler. They worked there and they know stuff.

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  42. basset said on November 14, 2020 at 8:28 am

    Say more about the elves.

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  43. alex said on November 14, 2020 at 8:28 am

    I think Nancy has mentioned it before that her husband won’t eat Campbell’s tomato soup having once worked at a processing plant, and he’s not the only one I’ve heard describing how that shit’s made. As I recall, the tomatoes are left in giant vats for months so that the acids dissolve all of the accompanying foreign matter (i.e., fauna) that comes tumbling out of dump trucks onto conveyors along with the harvest.

    Haven’t ridden in a Tesla yet, and I’m surprised to see it being compared to a kit car. Was it a junky fit and finish? I mean, I’m used to seeing some pretty subpar stuff whenever I drive rentals from the Big Three. I would think that at the Tesla price point you should be getting something outstanding.

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  44. Mark P said on November 14, 2020 at 8:43 am

    I was a backseat passenger while some friends drove around Denver. The backseat was not particularly comfortable and there was some kind of road noise. Apparently they are quiet, at least in the front seat, at city speeds because of no engine, but have more wind noise at speed than other similarly-priced cars. The car had a slick initial appearance, but there was a kind of “something’s missing here” feeling. I also think the center pad with no instruments in front of the driver is an exceptionally bad design. All the cool computer stuff is nothing but a distraction. And the self-driving mode came in second behind Cadillac’s in a head-to-head test. I might consider one if I had the money and Elon Musk was not associated with Tesla, but I would probably prefer the soon-to-be-released VW BEV.

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  45. Deborah said on November 14, 2020 at 9:42 am

    A friend of ours in Chicago got a Tesla a few months ago. We have yet to get a ride in it because of the pandemic, he and his wife are very cautious about that. It’s interesting because they don’t have a lot of money but are interested in turning climate change around so that was their whole motivation. I’m sure there are other electric vehicles they could have considered but they chose Tesla for whatever reason.

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  46. Mark P said on November 14, 2020 at 10:04 am

    It’s hard to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to Tesla. The fanboys think they’re perfect and Musk can do no wrong. A friend in Denver has a Nissan Leaf that he likes a lot. He traded a BMW for it. It suited him quite well for his commute. For me, the Tesla Model 3 center pad and no instruments in front of the driver is a deal breaker. The new Mini had a center speedometer but they eventually got rid of that. It’s just stupid.

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  47. Julie Robinson said on November 14, 2020 at 10:09 am

    Soon after the Tesla was released, my dear husband declared he was buying one as a retirement gift to himself. I thought the whole idea ridiculous, but he’s the most selfless soul I’ve ever known, and ever since we’ve been married he’s driven one sensible car after another. And he hates the idea of feeding the fossil fuel industry, so we got solar panels on our Orlando home.

    When he took a test drive he had stars in his eyes.

    Over the years I’ve tried to gently point out issues, such as the fires, the cost, and the jerkiness of Elon Musk.

    Since he had to retire early, I’m not sure we can afford a Tesla, if indeed we ever could. We’ve decided we only need one car, and my crummy knee is tweaked by climbing in and out of low vehicles. There are other electric cars available at a lower cost.

    So, do I kill his dream? I’m hoping his practical side makes it unnecessary.

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  48. basset said on November 14, 2020 at 10:21 am

    We had a couple of Leafs at work, liked em fine except for the range… remember trying to make it back to the office once with the air and radio off and the range meter just about at bottom.

    Would make good commuter cars, I’d think. I’ve seen reasonable prices on em at the Carmax right across the interstate from Nissan’s US headquarters south of Nashville.

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  49. David C said on November 14, 2020 at 10:28 am

    I rode in both a Tesla Model 3 and a Chevy Bolt. I’d take the Bolt any day. The Bolt has real knobs for things that need knobs (radio, HVAC). Tesla’s Jesus screen is stupid and distracting. Tesla’s fit and finish is also shit. Even the big 3, when they used to make cars, figured out panel gap. Tesla hasn’t. Tesla’s are also so over-engineered. There are scads of videos of their doors not opening because the door handles are electronic switches and not attached to the latches with pull rods like every other car in existence. The handles need to be electronic because to open the door they have to do this weird pas de deux where the windows have to be rolled down a smidge because Tesla uses frameless windows and to cut wind noise they have the seals so tight that they tear our if the windows don’t go down before the door is opened. Tesla also makes a big deal out of their vertical integration. That’s mostly because they’ve burned their bridges with so many suppliers. They sign contracts with suppliers and then reverse engineer the parts and make them themselves. It’s a shit company run by a shit person and to hell with them both.

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  50. Nancy F said on November 14, 2020 at 10:49 am

    I loved your Nightcam story, Nancy (applause emoji! applause emoji!). Among other things, it made me want to re-watch the neo-noirish “Nightcrawler” (2014), starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the photog.

    I watched “My Octopus Teacher” and agree with NN about the anthropomorphism, although any chance to watch an octopus in action is worthwhile in my book. Here’s another doc worth watching: “A Most Beautiful Thing” (Prime), about the first African American high school rowing team. The boys came from the grimmest imaginable backgrounds in Chicago’s West Side, and rowing helped to turn them around. The documentary follows them into the present, 20 years after high school–and that’s where the real revelations occur.

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  51. Julie Robinson said on November 14, 2020 at 10:59 am

    Our daughter wanted to buy a used Leaf and found one in her price range. We helped her research it and found that after so many miles the batteries will need to be replaced at a fairly high cost. So the reasonable ones undoubtedly need a new battery.

    The other issue is the need for a special plug at your house. I noticed none of the salesmen seemed to know much about that, but I gather it’s 2K or so. And then of course, finding a place to plug in when you travel. Nissan dealerships have the rapid charge plug ins, but how many other places can you find them?

    A hybrid makes more sense to me.

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  52. diane said on November 14, 2020 at 11:23 am

    This Tesla conversation has been very interesting. Thank you. I have been saying for awhile now that my next car would be a Tesla but have recently been having second thoughts due to Musk’s looniness. It will be a little longer than I thought to my next car anyway but I think I’m about to give up on the idea of a Tesla. I am not willing to spend more than the Model 3 costs for a car and so will have to do some research into other environmentally reasonable options. A commuter car will not work, I need something that will be okay on steep mountain passes (highways but steep). A couple people here have higher end Tesla’s that they seem to be happy with but I think I’m ready to move on and find something else.

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  53. alex said on November 14, 2020 at 11:31 am

    Much as I’d like an emissions-free vehicle, I don’t see it in the near future. I have an eight-year-old Honda car and a fifteen-year-old Toyota truck. They’re just like dear friends and can’t see letting them go anytime soon. They’ve both been completely repair-free up to this point as well, except that last week the brackets holding up the fuel tank underneath the truck started giving out so I’ll be taking it in for its first-ever non-maintenance visit. At almost 260K miles, I might add.

    On the other hand, my Craftsman lawn sweeper took a dump last week right before the biggest onslaught of leaves this season. I managed to get two ginormous piles of leaves together on my two acres’ worth of property and today I’m hauling them to the burn pile bit by bit on a tarp. And I need to get it done soon because high winds and torrential rains are in the forecast and it’ll be a freaking mess if I don’t take care of it now. I’m going it alone because hubby’s out of town.

    So off to work for a while.

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  54. David C said on November 14, 2020 at 11:51 am

    Why do you burn your leaves, Alex? It’s completely unnecessary.


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  55. Jakash said on November 14, 2020 at 11:55 am

    I always enjoy it when there are plenty of solid reasons to not buy something that I had no interest in buying to begin with.

    As for the genius: How it started vs. how it’s going, Covid edition.


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  56. Sherri said on November 14, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    I have friends who love their Tesla’s, but I don’t want one for several reasons.

    -the repair cost of a Tesla is high, and repairs often take forever, because of the difficulty in getting parts. Tesla is terrible at producing parts.

    -the worker conditions at Tesla are by far the worst in the auto industry.

    -Tesla’s approach to autonomous driving has been wrong and dangerous.

    -I’m not convinced that they will survive. They make money not because of cars, but because of sales of emissions credits. Elon’s fanboys keep the stock price up, and if the illusion ever bursts, that will disappear.

    The smoke and mirrors are thick with this one.

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  57. LAMary said on November 14, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Burning your leaves is illegal here in southern CA. Not sure about the rest of the state but here the SoCal Air Quality District would be all over you if you burned something. They have days when you can’t use your fireplace too. I have no problem with this. The air is cleaner now than it was when I moved here 39 years ago. There used to be frequent smog alert days when kids were not allowed to go out on the playground at school.

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  58. alex said on November 14, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    If it were up to me, I’d dispose of leaves some other way but we’re surrounded by deciduous woodland and the lots here are pretty heavily wooded besides. I make leaf mulch compost to the extent that it’s possible to do so but regardless my yard would still be ass deep in leaves if I didn’t get rid of them by burning. All my neighbors do the same, and we do it because we’re on a small lake with an already very mucky bottom and we’re trying to protect it from getting filled with debris. It would cost millions of dollars to dredge it and we don’t have that kind of money.

    Unlike small city lots where people can fill a couple of trash bags or put a pile along the edge of the street for city crews to pick up, we’re in the countryside and the size of the lots simply makes that impossible. In fact, we’re quite concerned about eventual annexation because they’ll probably ban burning, and city-style leaf pickup would simply not work here. If everyone pushed their leaves to the street (quite an uphill slog that would be, too, btw) the street would be impassable.

    What will likely happen in the future is that we’ll be all priced out of here and the sorts who will live here will have paid landscape contractors. They’ll knock down our old houses and build monstrosities. It has already begun happening. If I have to leave this place, I’m hoping to fetch enough money to retire a lot more comfortably than my current savings will allow.

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  59. David C said on November 14, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    Thanks, Alex. I was a bit surprised there was anywhere you could still burn leaves then I remembered, Indiana. Even the rural townships around the city have banned leaf burning.

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  60. alex said on November 14, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    And my “lawn” (such as it is) consists mostly of moss and mulching hasn’t made grass grow here worth a shit. Grass needs sunlight and good soil.

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  61. Mark P said on November 14, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    Burning leaves? Ha! Someone down in the valley behind us, several miles away, cleared to build a house. Loggers took the big trunk parts of the pines and left the tops and limbs. They’re burning now and the smoke is noticeable miles away at ground level. You wanna make smoke? Burn green pine needles.

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  62. Suzanne said on November 14, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    We live out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields. We never rake leaves. We just wait for a good, stiff wind and voila! The leaves disappear!

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  63. Deborah said on November 14, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    The Event in DC today has about 5,000 marchers but of course the lying blond press secretary says there’s a million. Most of the press is ignoring it which I should do.

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  64. alex said on November 14, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    The only thing worse than green pine needles burning is green grass clippings, like those that one of my neighbors used to let smolder in a big metal cage. She’s the only one in the neighborhood who has a lawn service spraying chemicals all over her damned property (you can smell that, too, when they’re doing their thing riding around on Segways) and also the only one to put up a Trump sign. Or in her case, it was a giant banner streaming over the front of her house. And it disappeared and I thought perhaps someone had shamed her into taking it down.

    Then I came to find out from one of the neighborhood mothers that a group of children took it, and in broad daylight no less. She thought I’d be amused to hear about it, which I was.

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  65. Deborah said on November 14, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    The yard at the condo building in Santa Fe has pecan shells instead of grass, it’s a common thing there. When the yard needs raking or leaf blowing it’s impossible because the shells get scooped up too. LB and I have been doing the leaf clean up for the last 7 or 8 years. This year I’m making the association pay someone. We sometimes bagged the leaves and put them in the dumpster but we also have a corner in the back where we pile some of them up to use for compost. One of the many nice things about living in a high rise in Chicago, is not having to think about that.

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  66. David C said on November 14, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    The only thing that screams out asshole louder than a Segway is a Hummer H1.

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  67. diane said on November 14, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    Sherri, thanks. I think your points are persuasive. I am moving on from my Tesla idea.

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  68. Mark P said on November 14, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    I think pretty much every battery electric vehicle can be charged from a regular old 120 V outlet, although it can take a long time to go from zero to 100%. A 240 outlet would speed things up. You do not need a special outlet to charge a BEV. On the other hand, I think they recommend not going to 100% unless you are going on a long trip.

    At least one model Nissan Leaf has a range of more than 200 miles. Even a shorter range would work for us. We take so few long drives that a BEV would meet our needs more than 95% of the time.

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  69. Colleen said on November 14, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    Alex, I grew up on a heavily wooded lot and leaves were a two weekend all day rake, blow, and burn fest. We would have been covered in decaying leaves if we left them.

    We had a neighbor who always had a burn pile going..which included grass clippings. My parents called him Barney Burner. Couldn’t open the windows because of his constant smudge pot.

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  70. Dexter Friend said on November 15, 2020 at 1:09 am

    Here in NW Ohio, this town banned burning 55 years ago, before I moved here. Then some cagy marketers began advertising burn pits , for sitting around enjoying a small fire , burning a hardwood log. Witness: neighbor, with a life-size Obama-as-monkey poster exposed to the sidewalk, btw, burning trash in his burn pit, beer boxes and milk cartons. Witness: neighbors with a portable burner, filling up the thing with high piles pf leaves, dousing it with old motor oil and a touch of lighter fluid, burning that smudge, always on nights when it blew right onto my house. Witness: loudmouth drunkard younger man who curses his children horribly, who rakes and burns leaves in the dead of night, 2:30 AM last night, by just raking leaves , totally burying his tiny burn pit dish thing, and it’s all OK, because a burn pit is legit. I would not flip out if I did not have a dual DX of asthma + COPD.
    Well…daughter Lori is very sick from lingering Covid19 problems…frequent dashes to the hospital for a day or 2, then back home. She no longer responds to texts and her phone mailbox is full. My wife Carla Lee was moved from Defiance Mercy to a rural nursing home for an alleged 14 day stay for post surgical care. She hates it there, hates the bed, says the food is “inedible slop” and the nursing care is lacking. She is strong of spirit but feels weak. In 13 days we hope to get her back to our daughter’s in Commercial Point for a few weeks and then get that new knee in.
    I’ll never buy a new electric car, just drive hoopdees until one day the kids or the authorities say I am too old to drive. My dad quit driving at age 77. I am already 71. It goes quickly.

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  71. Connie said on November 15, 2020 at 11:14 am

    So my daughter’s workplace informed them all Friday that they had positive co-worker. They were all sent to get tested and then home until they received their test results. She feels fine and was glad to get an extra day or two while her partner is home from building big docks in Rochester NY. (Living on the barge!)

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  72. Connie said on November 15, 2020 at 11:18 am

    After years of suffering from leaf burning in Indiana I am happy to live somewhere where leaf burning is banned. You can buy big brown yard waste bags at hardware stores. Fill them with leaves, branched, clippings, whatever, and you put them out with your trash.

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  73. alex said on November 15, 2020 at 11:52 am

    Colleen, I’ve been curious as to how you’ve adjusted to Florida. We’re getting reaccustomed to the cold, gray skies that make this such a desolate place in winter. I don’t mind the cold as much as the gloominess.

    Quite a windstorm today. Friends in town have had their power go out.

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  74. charlie snouffer said on November 15, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    i remember when you were working here in fort wayne there was a photo spread of you at different places here in town……the one i remember is of you lounging on a bench in our old bus station……………..still wish and want you to return to the fort and write for our paper

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  75. Sherri said on November 15, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    When will everyone figure out that there’s nothing more to understand about Republicans, so we don’t need more articles about them? They are nihilists who would rather see everything burn than lose. You can’t work with nihilists.

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  76. Deborah said on November 15, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    We went to the Monet exhibit at the Art Institute today. Beautiful. Reminded me of or trip to France summer before when we went to his garden in Giverney.

    Blustery day here in Chicago walking down and back on Michigan Ave. many of the boarded up places have taken the boards down which is nice, and the holiday lights are going up.

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  77. Sherri said on November 15, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Well, COVID numbers are up here, as they are everywhere, so no more in restaurant dining (not that I’ve eaten in a restaurant since early March), gyms have to close down again, no indoor gatherings. We’ve had a statewide mask mandate for months, and people are pretty good about wearing them around here at least. But the weather turned cold and wet about 4 weeks ago, and the numbers took off.

    At least our state isn’t waiting until the hospitals are full to act.

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  78. Julie Robinson said on November 15, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    Oh how we wanted to see the Monet exhibit, but I don’t think Covid is going to let us, dammit.

    Today’s paper has a story that angers me, from the local Salvation Army. Potential donors are asking the political party of the intended recipients. (They are not asked this detail of their lives.) But wait, it gets worse. They are also asking for children with “traditional names”, or “names we can actually pronounce”. The social worker who wrote the story is quite disheartened, and so am I.

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  79. Deborah said on November 15, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    Parler in French means “to talk”, it’s pronounced par-lay with the accent on the last syllable. The newish Twitter like entity that the right wing is keen on now has been pronounced whenever I’ve heard it as Par-ler like it’s spelled with the accent on the first syllable. I thought at first that it was spelled parlor and was used as a virtual place for people to meet like a living room for conversations. Have you heard anyone pronounce it par-lay? Am I wrong about this?

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  80. alex said on November 15, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    I saw that, Julie, and found it disturbing as well. What kind of person donates to charity but puts conditions on the race and politics of the beneficiaries?

    My partner and I have a bit of a disagreement regarding the Salvation Army. He won’t contribute anything to them or donate any goods because they’re officially anti-gay. Despite this, I still feel inclined to support what good work they do although I’d be happy to be part of an organized effort to withhold support until they pull their heads out of their asses.

    Still, I recall one of my most enjoyable Christmas shopping experiences ever was when I took a tag from the Angel Tree and bought an entire wardrobe for a child who needed shoes and a winter coat. In my family, none of us needs anything and Christmas shopping isn’t our thing, but doing it to benefit people we don’t even know has always been fun. I remember that year, and it has been many years ago now, and even then the Sally was hurting for donations and the Angel Tree had hardly any participants. It must be really tough for them to tell these persnickety donors to fuck off, even though they should.

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  81. Sherri said on November 15, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    So I’ve been wondering when the right wing will admit COVID is real, and it occurred to me we know when: January 20, when a Democrat becomes president.

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  82. beb said on November 15, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Sherri, I think, come Jan 20 the Republicans will be too busy talking about deficits and the need for austerity to worry about Covid. Of course they could surprise me and talk about both at the same time. As they say, any hammer in a storm.

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  83. David C said on November 15, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    We don’t give to the Salvation Army anymore. Yes it’s the LGBTQ thing. I can do just as well giving to the local food bank, the United Way, and other organizations that don’t officially discriminate.

    Parler is something I just read about on Twitter and hope all the wingnuts leave Twitter for it. I have no idea how the company that runs it says it’s supposed to be pronounced. I can’t imagine the users pronounce it the French way though.

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  84. Julie Robinson said on November 15, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    We focus our efforts on a local social services group called Wellspring. It was started by churches but is non-religious and non-discriminatory in its practices. Our own church has been an active participant with them and Dennis served on their board for many years, including as president. So we know them well, know they don’t waste money, and know they’ve been proactive in getting training to be more effective.

    They’ve got a food bank, a clothing bank, after school programs, senior programs, and summer camp. Our church does a once a month dinner with a program, or at least before Covid we did.

    At Christmas we do a similar program to the Angel Tree, where we take names of kids and buy a shoebox full of needs for them. We started it after declining to participate in the hateful Franklin Graham shoebox program. The gifts I buy for that are the most meaningful of all, because I know these kids aren’t getting much else.

    I did notice that the little girls names were going much faster than older boys, so I’ve focused on those in recent years.

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  85. Suzanne said on November 15, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    That editorial in the J-G can be read here:

    Charity help only for those you approve of. I do remember more than one discussion with church people (of which I am one) who told me basically that churches and charity organizations are better at giving out charity than the government because they can monitor those who received the hand-out. In other words, see article above.

    This also appeared In the local paper (think this link from another will allow you to read it. Same article)

    Gee. Wonder why COVID is surging?!?

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  86. LAMary said on November 15, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    We donate stuff we don’t use anymore to Out of the Closet, which is part of Aids Project Los Angeles. I’ve also bought stuff there. They were stuffed with merchandise during the summer when people staying home all the time decided to clean out their closets and spare rooms.

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