And another week draws to a close. Cold rain all day Thursday, and I don’t believe I left the house even once. In fact, in a while someone will expect me to put a couple of sausages on the grill outdoors, and I’m not even into that. But I will, because it’s what I do. Or, as a hashtag our local school district tried to get going a while back, #ThisIsWhatWeDoHere.
(Wow, so edgy!)
Lately, the district is having a teacher sickout, because they changed the criteria for mandatory Covid quarantine, because it was sending too many kids out and threatening F2F education, and mercy me I had to count my blessings on that one. Our blessings during this pandemic have been too numerous to count, but the biggest one has to be: I don’t have a child in school — any school — right now. I honestly don’t know how parents of younger kids are keeping it together, and likewise for college students, many of whom are remote learning from very expensive off-campus apartments right now. Why not at home? Because deposits were put down months ago and no landlord is refunding anything right now. (My doctor’s daughter, showing a great deal of her parents’ smarts, took the term off and is hiking the Appalachian Trail, which strikes me as a fantastic idea.)
And here sit the Derringers, planning a trip to France. Lucky, lucky, lucky.
Right now, we’re thinking two weeks in Paris, two weeks in Aix en Provence, but that is very tentative and only a starting place. But what a great starting place.
Today, I banged out a screed on Daylight Saving Time that, when it finally drops, will be very familiar to you Hoosiers. I’ll post when it does. A bill is advancing in the state legislature — it won’t get much further, though — to do what Indiana did for decades, i.e., stop changing time twice a year and fix the state permanently on Daylight Saving Time. Spoiler alert: This is a bad idea. But you wait; I’ll have it when it’s done.
I didn’t watch the president last night. For four years, I’ve been longing for the day when a president could give a major speech, I could read about it the following day, and I wouldn’t fear for the future of my country. So I enjoyed it. Sounds as though he laid out a plan, but everything, and I do mean everything, will rest on the midterms at this point. So don’t let up. It’s important.
God, I am falling into the weekend’s embrace like greeting an old lover. Which I guess every weekend is.
Sherri said on April 29, 2021 at 7:38 pm
I’ve been very grateful that my kid is not in school or college during this pandemic, and has remained employed with benefits throughout and able to work from home.
Deborah said on April 29, 2021 at 7:57 pm
On our first trip to the south of France 2 years ago in July we took a train from Paris at Charles de Gaulle, which we had to take a taxi back to after spending 3 or 4 days in Paris, then we got off of that Train at Aix en Provence and got on a different train to Avignon. There is a train directly from Paris to Avignon but we weren’t able to get tickets on that for some reason, I can’t remember why. We rented a car in Avignon and went to Le Thor (30km) which was where we stayed and took many trips out to other places from there. On our way back to Paris we were able to take the direct train from Avignon. So I only saw Aix en Provence from the train and the train station. We didn’t spend any time there later. I remember that the train switch from Aix en Provence was kind of unfortunate because we had to back track then to get to Avignon. It was much more efficient to go from Paris to Avignon. Plus the train station in Aix en Provence had a crossover bridge that we had to traverse to get to the other side to go back the way we came for a bit on the new train. The bridge was very high and we had to shlep our bags up the steps and over and down in a very short amount of time, I was freaking out that we’d miss our train. But we didn’t, all was fine. By the time we got to Avignon though, I was a stress bucket and then we had to figure out the whole car rental situation and drive to Le Thor on completely unfamiliar roads with a million roundabouts and unreadable signs. I was ready to collapse when we arrived. The second time we went to the south of France a year and a half ago, there was a transportation strike so no trains, we had a driver at the last minute at great expense take us from Paris to Avignon where we rented a car again, but the roads were familiar this time so I was completely relaxed on our way to Le Thor. We were able to take the direct train from Avignon back to Paris both trips so that was much better.
Julie Robinson said on April 29, 2021 at 9:59 pm
The parents of school aged kids I know are missing a lot of work and barely holding it together. First and second graders often don’t learn well on zoom school and are perilously behind on cornerstone skills like reading and basic math. Our daughter is tutoring a couple of them; easy money for her, but what about those who can’t afford a tutor and can’t do it themselves? Six or eight weeks of summer school isn’t going to be enough.
Our great nephew’s college never opened for in person classes this year and the dorms are closed. But they cut his scholarship award because it required him to live on campus. If you’re finding logic there, may I suggest that you have a bright future explaining gas price increases.
Andrea said on April 29, 2021 at 10:38 pm
Three kids all in school — but thankfully high school and college, so at least I am not trying to bounce between my own work and their classwork. But our youngest, who is 16, has only had 1 day of face to face school since last March, and she is our most extroverted child. The isolation has been hard on her. We ended up buying her a cat from a local rescue shelter so that she had a companion in the house besides her parents! And yes to the college kids attending remote school. TG the oldest is in a co-op program in Cincinnati, so he was able to get a pandemic-safe job in the fall, and only has had remote learning last summer and this winter/spring semester. Back to his co-op job starting next month. The middle child is at Northwestern — and in a pricy apartment in Evanston — but at least she has a full ride, so we are not paying platinum prices for online content. But I am thrilled to say that as of today, we are all vaccinated. No one will die, and no one will likely pass the virus along to kill someone else. Yay.
Dexter Friend said on April 30, 2021 at 1:13 am
My brother’s high school classmate, Don, went to Purdue and then had a long career in automotive design with Chrysler and later became a member of the crew that flew to Stuttgart weekly during and after the Daimler acquisition. Don and I had a long online friendship and he told of his many trips after retirement. I recall his favorite of all his world travels was his stay in Provence where he and his wife attended a cooking school, learning all about everything from oils to cutlery and everything possible. It sounded like a great experience, but it sounded like it lasted quite a few days, so you might need a flexible timetable. Sadly, Don contracted cancer and slowly declined and passed after just a few years of retirement and traveling.
David C said on April 30, 2021 at 6:00 am
I’m not sure how UW Oshkosh is conducting classes but the parking lots around the residence halls seem as full as ever.
alex said on April 30, 2021 at 7:03 am
After I last visited Europe in the 1990s I could hardly wait to go back. Nearly thirty years later I’m in a job that simply doesn’t accommodate long vacations, and so is my partner, and we are seldom able to coordinate much time off together even for travel in the states. We’ve been hoping to to just do some small domestic travel in the short-term and even that is proving difficult.
We had already made some late summer plans when a new wrench got thrown into it. A Big Chill-ish weekend is in the works in Chicago to memorialize a friend who just passed and it’s going to be one of those can’t-miss reunions.
This morning I have another round of Zoom continuing ed. Sleeping in, in other words, except I need to be in the office and logged in.
Dorothy said on April 30, 2021 at 8:02 am
The word grateful is incorporated into my work password when I log onto my computer, etc. because when I had to change my password in December, I truly was thinking about the fact that I had not gotten sick in the previous 9 months, a new president was coming in and a vaccine was not far off. We have two trips coming up, one small and one big, and a new house at the end of this year. I have no complaints and that’s another thing to be grateful about.
My neighbor has shared custody of his kids and so every other week, his son and daughter are in residence. They are 9 and 6 and their grandma comes over every day he has them (even weekends). She’s their teacher M-F, it’s taking its toll because we sit outside around 3:00 many days to b.s. and I just let her talk. A couple weeks ago she mentioned that he pays her to do this and I was relieved, because she always seems so burdened to me. She used to be a home health aide but ended up quitting about 6 months ago. She now does Door Dash deliveries on alternating weeks. I remind myself this is an example of just one family – I can’t imagine how people are doing so many different things in order to keep moving forward, even tiny baby steps.
Dexter I feel like I know so many examples of people who retired and were dead in less than 5 years. In 1976 I got a new position at MSA – secretary in the advertising department (a big step up from the mail room where I started the year before, after high school). The lady I replaced had worked there her entire career – and she had never married. I think she had 45 years there. She died of cancer 14 months after she retired. Never had a chance to travel to all the places she had been saving up for. I sure hope I get another 20 years minimum after I retire this year.
Randy said on April 30, 2021 at 8:57 am
We took a train from Brussels to Paris, in 2013. My wife had bought the tickets several weeks before our trip, and purchased a discounted ticket for our daughter, as she was twelve y.o. at the time of the booking. By the time we were on the train, she had turned 13, and was no longer eligible for the discounted fare. No big deal, who’s going to check, right? Well, we encountered a very officious train-person, who threatened us with arrest if we didn’t cough up a huge fine for buying the wrong ticket. Other than that, it was a great trip, because, hey Europe!
Heather said on April 30, 2021 at 9:51 am
Not France, but I’m headed out for a last-minute camping trip to Wisconsin this weekend. I’ve never camped in cooler weather so it’ll be interesting! It’s just car camping, nothing intense, and I borrowed good gear from my boy scout, camping-crazy cousin, so I’m prepared.
Also agape at this latest Matt Gaetz development, not so much by the fact that these people are criminals but that they record themselves being criminals. The grossest part? Once they found out one girl was actually 17, they blamed HER for putting them in danger. Then Gaetz held off on having sex with her again until she turned 18. What a gentleman.
Deborah said on April 30, 2021 at 10:10 am
Camping in cooler weather is my favorite time to camp. Just have a nice fire and a warm sleeping bag, I hope it’s not damp though, that’s the pits.
Windy in Chicago this morning, but sunny so that’s nice.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 30, 2021 at 11:24 am
It wouldn’t surprise me if a number of the regulars here already follow Karen Kasler on Twitter, but for almost anyone, this is worth seeing:
LAMary said on April 30, 2021 at 11:41 am
I can relate to Karen Kasler’s cats using the computer. Years ago we had a cat named Amelia who was mostly a pain in the ass but my sons loved her. One night she took a nap on my keyboard and typed, “jing.” Next day I was in a bookstore with the boys and right there, on the table recommended books, was a book called, “Jing, King of Theives” or something like that. We were very impressed that she got that book published. She was a small calico cat. She must have had an agent.
JodiP said on April 30, 2021 at 12:23 pm
LAMary, that is a great story!
My cats occasionally walk on my keyboard, but nothing that impressive! One loves to sleep on my lap, and because the way by keyboard tray is set up, I have to back up and reach to type. But I love having her on my lap so just stretch my shoulders.
Icarus said on April 30, 2021 at 12:31 pm
We enrolled our kids in parochial school for Kindergarten this year because we knew we couldn’t do online learning. The plan was to go full-time until Christmas break, then two weeks of online learning for quarantine. However, the school started online learning just after Thanksgiving because they know you cannot trust everyone not to go anywhere.
Was in Paris in 2003 to run a marathon, one of my better times. I’ve done camping a few times but I just don’t enjoy it the way everyone else seems to.
Julie Robinson said on April 30, 2021 at 1:39 pm
Icarus, if you are referring to camping by schlepping your own food to the hotel, why then yes, I do enjoy camping.
Mary’s cat is very talented; Mom’s consistently hits the Function key that turns off the trackpad. I have a sticky note on her end table on how to get it functioning again.
With Alzheimer’s romping through his family as it does, D is yearning to start his retirement travel. We are planning a trip to our niece’s twice-postponed wedding in New Orleans this fall. But right now we have 60 days to move ourselves, Mom, and Mom’s storage unit.
basset said on April 30, 2021 at 3:00 pm
The drive to Alaska that we’d planned before my retirement is on possibly terminal hold, and we’re still waiting for Europe to open up a little more before we try to reschedule the trip to Sweden that got canceled last year, but we are starting to move around a little; made it to Michigan last week for a family visit, flew BNA-GRR on Southwest with the planes pretty close to full.
Here at home, our kitty is not interested in the computer but she’s taken to jumping up on the back of the couch and giving me scalp massages while I’m reading. Nobody else, just me, dunno what’s up with that.
basset said on April 30, 2021 at 3:31 pm
Just to be real specific, it was Nashville-Orlando and double back to GR on the same plane on the way out, GR-Chicago Midway-Nashville on the way back, every leg nearly full. and quite possibly the worst pizza I have ever had on the return trip, $15 for a personal pan size at the Home Run Inn stand at MDW and I couldn’t finish it.
LAMary said on April 30, 2021 at 4:36 pm
Julie Robinson said on April 30, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Oh, him? Blah blah blah go away.
Dorothy said on April 30, 2021 at 5:21 pm
Rachel Maddow has been having a field day lately when she talks about the Cyber Ninjas and their AZ recount. She’s a pretty good eyeroller and the sarcasm simply drips from her, which I love.
LAMary said on April 30, 2021 at 5:47 pm
The cyberninjas are entertaining but Giuliani’s new claim that the DOJ illegally hacked his cloud info in 2019 is even better. Bill Barr was AG then. Under trump.
Dexter Friend said on May 1, 2021 at 2:04 am
basset: The Home Run Inn advertised heavily in Chicago White Sox media for years. The address was the 4200 block of West 31st Street, so one day after a game I headed west on 31st and of course it dead ended for an overpass, and to get there I think ya had to take the Ike west for a few miles and exit somewhere, and this was before smart phones. Obviously, never made it there. Every review of their pizza stores raves about their quality, so it is a shame the Midway store was so bad. Fast food service is horrible here in Bryan, and the local Facebook town page is full of people’s complaints; hell, I even posted on about a pizza place losing my call-in order. It’s just that like everywhere, these places just cannot get enough people to work. No sense listing the places, as it’s all of them, except McDonald’s. Every other one will fuck up your order, some like 5 ways, or make you wait in line a good 45 minutes at times, and always at least 15 minutes. One thing is constant: you know how dry chicken nuggets are, and how most people need dipping sauce to choke them down? You order them here, ask, and ask again at the pick-up window, and ask them to check again in the bag…and still I can goddam guarantee you you will have no dipping sauce and the nuggets will be spilled from their cardboard folder and in the bottom of the bag. I have been eating a lot of Chinese carry-out lately, my favorite being steamed pork potstickers. A $15 order of two items lasts me two days, making it cheaper by far than the declining big name fast food hell holes.
Dexter Friend said on May 1, 2021 at 2:42 am
Since I am cut off from any Fort Wayne News since there is no newspaper delivery here , newsboxes even, and cable TV cut off Fort Wayne station years ago, I missed this original, horrible story. Here it is, but it is sickening.
Deborah said on May 1, 2021 at 6:51 am
Speaking of pizza in Chicago, have any of you been to Robert’s Pizza on McClurg at Ogden Slip? They have really good pizza, that’s made what they call northeast style, not typical Chicago style. It’s a very pleasant place to sit outside and enjoy your food. I didn’t even know Ogden Slip existed before last week when we had our windows and blinds cleaned and took a walk over there. I may have mentioned this here before, I’ve been telling everyone I know, about Robert’s Pizza so can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it at nn.c.
Julie Robinson said on May 1, 2021 at 10:08 am
Dexter, it is a horrible story, and though no one has said it yet, I suspect it had a lot to do with the victim’s last name, Nguyen. BTW, if you’re on Facebook, you can follow the individual TV stations for stories, though you’ll have to put up with awful misspellings and grammar. The JG is there too and you can read headlines without buying a subscription.
Deborah, Robert’s looks good, but I like deep dish. We had some very yummy artisan pizza in Orlando that could have been improved only by a proper deep dish crust.
alex said on May 1, 2021 at 10:29 am
It’s a forgotten story by now, but also in Fort Wayne there was a young man named Nguyen who disappeared after being ejected from a local nightclub a year or two ago. His family complained that the police and media weren’t making the same effort as they would have made had it been a middle-class white person gone missing under the same circumstances. To date the disappearance remains unsolved.
And Dex, I understand the J-G has stopped delivery to some of the surrounding counties because the cost is no longer offset by the subscriptions. I guess they expect everyone to subscribe online from now on, which is what I’ve been doing. Sucks. It costs more than the Washington Post and contains about one percent as much substance.
basset said on May 1, 2021 at 10:30 am
The Home Run outpost at Midway was just a bad scene all round – jammed concourse, counter help and cooks disorganized and yelling at each other, orders wrong, mistake to go there. We thought Chicago pizza had to be good… wrong.
Deborah said on May 1, 2021 at 10:41 am
Julie, I usually go for thick crust pizza too so I was surprised I liked Robert’s pizza so much. The crust there isn’t super thin like some are. Chicago style Pizza I think of as cooked in almost a shallow cake pan and then loaded with cheese on top, it can be good, depending on where you get it. I’ve had really, bad, soggy pizza in Chicago.
basset said on May 1, 2021 at 10:44 am
The airport pizza was a frozen crust dressed with tomato sauce, blackened bits of something, and grease.
We got a couple of Detroit-style pans from a restaurant supply shop so we could make our own, and those have been turning out pretty well. The original Detroit pizzas are said to have been baked in some kind of auto factory parts trays, dunno about that but it’s a good story.
LAMary said on May 1, 2021 at 11:14 am
New Jersey pizza. You know it’s good because I seldom compliment any from New Jersey.
Deborah said on May 1, 2021 at 1:31 pm
I just got back from some errands, I needed some of my face cream that they’re out of at Bloomingdale’s, so I went to Neimann Marcus where they also usually have it but they were out of my brand too, so the sales person in the cosmetic department wrangled me into buying a different brand, I was rattled and didn’t look at my receipt after she handed it to me and I rushed off to my next errand. Lo and behold I looked at my receipt at home and that damn cream cost $150!! For 2 ounces. So now I have to walk back and return it, it’s in a package sealed in clear plastic so I can do that (I hope). I hate Needless Markup.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 1, 2021 at 2:13 pm
I always ask for blackened bits of something on my pizza. If there’s enough oregano, it’s all good.
We were traveling in Oklahoma once and had a pizza near the interstate, and at one point my wife said “is that sausage or pepperoni?” pointing at a blackened bit of something on her slice.
“If you have to ask . . .” was my reply. (And I ate it, because I was hungry. I think she left it be with just a salad.)
basset said on May 1, 2021 at 2:29 pm
Blackened bits are part of barbecue, not pizza, and they call em burnt ends… was going to link to a picture but the URL is about a mile long, how do I make a link to text rather than just pasting the whole address in here?
LAMary said on May 1, 2021 at 3:34 pm
Tiny url, basset. Easy peasy.
LAMary said on May 1, 2021 at 3:39 pm
La Mer, Deborah? They’ll take it back.
Deborah said on May 1, 2021 at 3:46 pm
LAMary, no it was Sisley, I had never heard of that brand before, it’s French. I should have known. I haven’t returned it yet but I’m going to go out again soon. It’s a beautiful day in Chicago.
beb said on May 1, 2021 at 6:58 pm
The kindness of strangers. Thursay I drove down to Indiana to pick up a large screen YV my dad had left us. On the way back I stopped at a DQ for one of their mocha molattes. I don’t otherwise coffee but the molatte mix of coffee and ice cream seems to buffer properly so it will perk me up. And with five hours driving behind me and three more to go I needed perk. So, of course, their slushee machine was out of order. I grumbled to the clerk that that I was really hoping for some coffee. And he said he could put a scoop of the coffee crstals into a milkshake. So that’s what I got and it worked. So a big thanks to that clerk for thinking outside the box.
ROGirl said on May 2, 2021 at 8:04 am
I got some hand cream at NM once and I didn’t like it. They took it back opened, no questions, but things may be different in covid times.
Deborah said on May 2, 2021 at 1:31 pm
Needless Markup let me return the face cream, no questions asked, no problem. I also found out I can get my normal brand on Amazon for about $35 if they don’t have it in Santa Fe, which they probably won’t.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 2, 2021 at 1:52 pm
She did it.
beb said on May 2, 2021 at 4:35 pm
Indiana is a poor choice to make any statement about time zones and Daylight Saving Times. The state was (traditionally) split right down the middle with counties to the east of Indianapolis on Detroit time and counties to the west on Chicago time. And since counties could pick what time zone they would be in there was the year when St. Joseph county was on Central Daylight time and it’s neighbor to the east, Elkhart was on Eastern Standard, ie, a two hour jump just crossing the county line. Indiana’s decision to go with Central Standard was more of a way out of such madness as anything. Also, with Indiana being a farm state and because cows don’t have clocks, staying on one time all year around was a relief for farmers. Of course the biggest flaw to staying on one time all year round is that Daylight Saving Time is the worst of the two choices. Too dark in the winter and and too bright in the summer when parents are trying to get their children to bed. No one needs to play golf that badly (apparently the principle reason people want to settle of DST). And Nancy too casually throws off the disruption people face when they have to go to bed earlier. Not everybody can just fall asleep like that. So in conclusion: DST is the work of the Devil, but fix it on standard time.
David C said on May 2, 2021 at 4:38 pm
It’s a west side of the time zone vs east side of the time zone thing. Michigan rightly belongs in the Central time zone as it was until the 1920s. In Wisconsin, DST all year around would make sense. It would put us on the same time as Michigan. If I still lived Michigan I’d hate year around DST. So the perfect solution would be to change to something similar to the old time zone map and then go DST. For kids walking to school in the dark. I never met a teenager who wanted to get up and go to school any before 10:00 AM so make that the school start time.
Deborah said on May 2, 2021 at 6:07 pm
When I was in Portugal on a business trip in January it was dark much later in the morning than here. It must have been around 9am when the sun rose.
LAMary said on May 2, 2021 at 6:49 pm
Deborah, it gets very dry here. Single digit humidity. My skin feels tight and dry when that happens. I found this stuff on Amazon: Bonajour Green Tea Water Bomb. I liKe it a lot and it’s not expensive. No sun protection though.