A flooding city.

I lived in a flooding city for 20 years. (Many of you still do.) In that time, I covered, or observed, probably at least a dozen flooding events, big and small. 1985, that was a biggie, caused by the usual factors – spring rain plus snow melt. But there were also weird one-offs like the one-river event in 2003 (I think), caused by a single, small storm system that stalled and dumped apocalyptic rain on a fairly small watershed.

In general, I think Fort Wayne has handled its flooding problem as well as can be expected, particularly in the area of turning floodplain into parkland. I think they also installed some massive infrastructure thing underground; a basin or something? It was after my time. But Fort Wayne’s flooding comes from the nearby rivers, and should surprise no one.

The ones that hit my community over the weekend mainly came from below, in backups from sewers and floor drains, although the streets were so full that some of it came in via the front door. The reaction in Indiana was usually: Shit happens, time to clean up. Here, it seems to be: Who can I sue?

Floods are awful, and I’ve said this before, but I think they’re the worst of all natural disasters. Tornadoes sweep everything away, fires burn it up, but floods cover your precious possessions with shit, sometimes literally. It’s devastating. Also, you have to do much of the work yourself, and lugging waterlogged crap up basement steps is back-breaking work.

The cleanup is continuing here. And it sucks. Many people are discovering their homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. That’s a shit thing to find out.

Meanwhile, I’m following your own various miseries in the comments – the heat, the moving, the pooping cat. Man, it’s a trying week.

Things are getting weird everywhere. Apparently the South Dakota National Guard is now a mercenary force, for starters.

I’ll leave you with that, and let’s get through the midweek without melting or drowning, eh?

Posted at 7:12 pm in Detroit life |

89 responses to “A flooding city.”

  1. Dorothy said on June 29, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    Dexter and Julie I’m so sorry for what you’re being burdened with today. I feel for you.

    Last December a 21 year old young lady was killed in a terrible car crash at the bottom of a hill that leads up to Kenyon College, where I used to work. Her younger brother was badly injured but survived. I sat next to her dad in our office. The memorial service for her is this Friday and I’m taking the day off to go to go to the service. I just found out that the young lady’s grandfather, dad to my former colleague, died yesterday. That family has really endured some terrible times lately.

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  2. Deborah said on June 29, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    I just read that changing the name of LSD was voted down. I’m kind of relieved I don’t have to change a bunch of stuff like driver’s license, passport etc etc. But to be honest our building is on the inner drive, I wasn’t even sure it effected us. DuSable LSD would have been ok with me except for the hassle of changing my info if necessary.

    It’s still raining in Santa Fe, this is amazing. Getting down to 52°, but starting to warm up tomorrow into the 70s and then by Sunday the high in Abiquiu will be 84°. We are having a picnic with friends out there but it’s supposed to rain.

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  3. alex said on June 29, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    There’s a movement afoot in the Fort to change Calhoun Street to MLK Drive, Calhoun having been a slave owner and strident defender of the peculiar institution.

    The link to the pooping cat didn’t take me to anything that looked or sounded like a pooping cat, unless I’m missing some sardonic reference.

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  4. Dave said on June 29, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    Florida is sending some cops to Texas:


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  5. susan said on June 30, 2021 at 1:16 am

    Dave, sounds like the Old Confederacy is gradually re-amalgamating.

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  6. Dexter Friend said on June 30, 2021 at 1:58 am

    I live in what seems to be a naturally sheltered huge area, with the Great Lakes, Erie and Michigan, controlling jet stream horrors. A few years ago many tornadoes blew up through Indiana then diverted about 45 miles north and deadheaded towards Detroit. The only severe tornado damage since 1974 was the one that blew the roof off a Van Wert theater, and Van Wert is 45 minutes south of Bryan. For grammar/spelling folks, I learned the plural of tornado is either -os or oes. Different than the rigid rule for tomato.
    So, with all the rain damage that Chicago and Detroit received, we got just a little farmer-friendly rain, but last week many farmers around Toledo suffered extensive flattened wheat crops, just 10 days from combine/harvest time. Today we got a slow buildup and the temperature dropped to 73F from 95F in fifteen minutes. I was driving and blinding-force super-heavy rain commenced and lasted just 20 minutes, then quit. The sun came out. Is this heaven, or is this Ohio? 😉

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  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 30, 2021 at 7:18 am

    Dorothy, my love to them if you see this before the service. I can’t go, but they have truly been in my prayers. Very sorry I had resigned before that all happened to them, and I hope & trust they’ve been pastorally cared for.

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  8. JodiP said on June 30, 2021 at 9:25 am

    Alex, click again on the pooping cat and read Julie’s comment/story of travelling to Florida with her mom and mom’s cat.

    Julie, I feel for you! I can only imagine the supreme irritation that scenario entailed. I think if we saw it as a movie clip, it would be (for me) as a pee-your-pants funny. I really hope settling in goes better–you have been through some trials!

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  9. Julie Robinson said on June 30, 2021 at 10:30 am

    Thanks, all. I wrote that at a very low moment. Because of the flight delays, the cat had to spend seven hours in her carrier, but she’s fine today and ready to leave the bedroom. Stay tuned for her introduction to the other three animals and other delightful tales.

    House is not done. Front yard being dug up for sewer connection, and hark! they’re drilling through the driveway. And they turned off the water to the whole house. And the finish on the walls is completely unacceptable, no doubt that’s why they wanted to put orange peel on all the walls. And…the list goes on.

    But D is back home supervising the movers and cleaning two apartments, so he doesn’t have it easy either.

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  10. Deborah said on June 30, 2021 at 11:05 am

    Holy cow Julie, I feel for you, not a good feeling moving in when the work isn’t done. We had to do that in Chicago when we moved into our current place. It meant having to get up early and go out and kill time in the city so we wouldn’t be in the way of the workers, and everything being in disarray for at least a month. Not fun. I hope yours gets done soon, and correctly. But at least the political situation is better in your new state, not much but maybe a little bit.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on June 30, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Just had a little exchange with a storage unit manager trying to get away with charging for an extra 26 days.

    I called to let them know we would be vacating and the person I spoke with told me he would talk to his manager so we (Mom) wouldn’t be charged. Today they say there’s no record of that and it can’t be done after you’ve moved out.

    They might not have a record of it, but I do, because everytime I call a company I write down the entire conversation including who I spoke to, and my phone shows the date and time. They claimed no one named Zach worked there. I told them they need to check their phone system if people are tapping into it like that, they must have a breach.

    Oh, Noah says the refund is being processed. I assured him I would be checking on that and that I hoped I didn’t need to speak with him again.

    Not on my watch, Noah, not on my watch.

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  12. Suzanne said on June 30, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    Bill Cosby is now a free man.
    Proving, once again, that for the rich, justice always tips in their favor.


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  13. Deborah said on June 30, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    Donald Rumsfeld has died at 88. Well, well.

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  14. Deborah said on June 30, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    Rumsfeld died in Taos, NM where he’s had a “ranch” for many years. One of his daughters lived in Santa Fe, I don’t think she still lives here though.

    It has been raining again in Santa Fe today, this is amazing. Temps were supposed to get up to 70, but so far it’s only 66 at 2:15pm MDT. Don’t think it’s going to get out of the 60s.

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  15. Courtney said on June 30, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    I was born and raised in northern Michigan, and went to Michigan State for undergrad in the late nineties. After that I moved around some (Ohio, North Carolina) and eventually landed in Pittsburgh. While I go “home” often Pittsburgh is absolutely my adopted hometown, and the longer I’m gone the more off-putting I find certain aspects of Michiganders – this reaction “who can we sue?” chief among them. There also seems to be, from my friends who still live in the Detroit area, a real keeping up with the Jones’ attitude manifested in McMansions, home decor, status cars, full hour long conversations about the quality of the carpeting in their homes. And, where I grew up – a real cheapness. For instance, over the 4th of July one of my friends is hosting a celebration of life for a woman we were friends with in high school who has recently stopped treatment for her advanced breast cancer. The invite told everyone to bring “your own drinks, a side dish to pass, and money for the main entree.” What’s more, the guest of honor has been asked to chip in!! I’m going to go and enjoy catching up with my friends, but this would never happen here in Pittsburgh (at least among my circle).

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  16. LAMary said on June 30, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    I listened to Laurie Levin, the law professor who is often a commentator on NPR about legal matters, discussing this and while she was not at all supporting Cosby she explained that in his civil case he waived his fifth amendment rights to get a promise of no criminal charges. His self incriminating testimony was then used against him in a criminal case. The court said he should not have had his self incriminating statements used in the criminal case. Somebody fucked up. Either the legal entity that offered no criminal charges in return for him testifying against himself or whomever pressed criminal charges when there was an agreement not to in place.

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  17. Suzanne said on June 30, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    The explanation of the Cosby case makes sense, LAMary. The bottom line is that I’m sure this happens fairly often but only the rich and/or famous have the money to contest it.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on June 30, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    Courtney, with friends like that, who needs enemies?

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  19. Sherri said on June 30, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    Speaking of Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Mellon Oral History project has just released a podcast, called Cut Pathways, highlighting excerpts from the oral histories they’ve collected. The first episode is out, called First Impressions of Pittsburgh, and I make a brief appearance about 20 minutes in.


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  20. David C said on June 30, 2021 at 8:23 pm

    Trump Org and Weisselberg have been indicted. I guess we’ll find out if it’s true that Weisselberg fears the Russian mob more than he fears prison.

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  21. LAMary said on June 30, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    There’s this.

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  22. Dexter Friend said on July 1, 2021 at 2:45 am

    I was totally taken off-guard with the Cosby release. Now he’s an advocate of early release for wrongly-convicted prisoners…like himself! It’s been over a quarter century since Michael Jackson bought his way out of criminal cases with civil suit settlements. I never accepted how that can be. I still don’t understand completely how Cosby’s lawyers finagled this release for him.

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  23. alex said on July 1, 2021 at 6:50 am

    Marcia Clark, the prosecutor turned cable TV celebrity, famously lost both the OJ and MJ trials. Regarding the latter she blamed tabloid media. Michael Jackson had a huge household staff full of witnesses, yet every last one of them had been approached by media and had accepted lucrative cash offers for their stories, which rendered their testimony worthless in a trial setting. Money corrupts the justice system in a whole lot of ways. What bugs me about the Jackson case is that the parents of Jackson’s victims never stood trial, other than in the court of public opinion, for whoring out their children and then committing blackmail and extortion.

    I found it interesting in the Cosby story that there is no written record of the deal he supposedly made with prosecutors. If that’s the case, then how did he prove that such a deal existed?

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  24. Courtney said on July 1, 2021 at 8:03 am

    @Julie – it just seems so odd to me! It’s not like anyone is struggling financially, it’s a second beach house we are visiting! But I’m letting go of my complaints and looking forward to enjoying the day and celebrating my friend, who certainly has much bigger things to concern herself with.

    @Sherri – How cool! I will listen on my way up north this weekend!

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  25. Dorothy said on July 1, 2021 at 8:46 am

    Courtney I just have to share a funny story with you. I was born in Pittsburgh and moved away 19 years ago. In the mid-60’s I was invited to a birthday party at this girl Rosie’s house. We went to the same Catholic school. Lots of kids were invited. I think I was 10 or 11. She told us we all had to pitch in $5 to help pay for the food. As soon as I told my mother she wouldn’t let me go. (I have nine siblings – only dad worked so money was not exactly growing on trees.) On Monday after the party kids at school were buzzing about what happened – Rosie’s mother didn’t know that Rosie had asked the guests to cough up $5 and was aghast. Yelled at her in front of all the kids! I was so sorry I had missed it!

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  26. Suzanne said on July 1, 2021 at 8:55 am

    Re: Bill Cosby. The prosecutor who screwed up which led to Cosby’s release was one of Trump’s impeachment lawyers.

    As I recall, during the impeachment, he was mocked for his incompetence.

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  27. Heather said on July 1, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Phylicia Rashad, who of course played Cosby’s wife on his TV show, tweeted about how “a terrible wrong has been righted” and received, as you can imagine, quite a lot of criticism. She’s also the dean of the arts college at Howard University–not a good look for them on so many different levels. Can you imagine being a young woman studying there who is subject to an assault–and that’s one of the people in charge of addressing it? Oy. She sent out another tweet expressing support for survivors and “their truth” but left the original one up. I’m not sure how that works.

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  28. alex said on July 1, 2021 at 10:08 am

    She sent out another tweet expressing support for survivors and “their truth” but left the original one up. I’m not sure how that works.

    Like a three-hail-Marys penance after she scrogs her best friend’s teen-age son.

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  29. Deborah said on July 1, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Completely off topic but I happened upon this link, a 3 part video about North American accents https://youtu.be/H1KP4ztKK0A, one of the cool things about it is the guy who describes the accents explains it using each accent and there are other people who explain indigenous English accents, African American accents and Hispanic English accents. We have had discussions about this before on nn.c.

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  30. Julie Robinson said on July 1, 2021 at 10:46 am

    Did I mention upthread that they had to connect the addition to the sewer line? Makes sense, right? Pretty much the entire front yard (Sarah’s precious garden) has now been dug up and it rained buckets so it’s *quite* the muddy mess.

    They don’t have a toaster anymore, they have an air fryer. You toast in that, only it takes twice as long and is a bit complicated. I don’t see Mother mastering this, she is still baffled by the smart lights and will just sit in whatever light there is. Anyway, yesterday, after I spit out my cereal because the milk was sour, I decided to have toast. Needed help from the daughter to make toast.

    I’ll walk you through it, says she, what do you think you do first? First you turn the f***er on, says I. And immediately clasped my hands over my mouth. I don’t use language like that. I’ve never even said that word before. Thus, the state of affairs at our house and in my brain.

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  31. Dave said on July 1, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    I know you have embarrassed yourself and you didn’t ever mean to say that but I think you win post of the day, Julie. I confess to laughing out loud.

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  32. Peter said on July 1, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    Dave, post of the day? I think that one’s post of the month, and it’s good we got that out of the way on the first so we have the rest of the month to relax.

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  33. Suzanne said on July 1, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    As I passed the local hardware store on my way home from work today, I noticed a car in the parking lot that had its back window emblazoned with “Proud to be a White Boy”.
    Life is great here in middle America.

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  34. Julie Robinson said on July 1, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    Happy to entertain! I’m looking for humor in all these situations, and the two of us did have a good giggle about it together.

    Now, have you heard the one about the $600 bioswale? Whenever new construction is done, Orlando requires upgrades to old areas. The bioswale is one foot deep by six feet wide, and will protect the lake against runoff. As hardcore environmentalists we support the idea, but would have preferred to do it ourselves after we arrived. Of course, the dear son isn’t working, but there’s that darling broken arm of his.

    Two doors down there is a huge pipe that the city uses to deliver all the runoff from the street directly into the lake. But, we have a bioswale so we are not guilty!

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  35. David C said on July 1, 2021 at 2:57 pm

    When I was home last month my parents made chicken in their air fryer. It made darned good chicken but good grief it look like royal pain and made a royal mess. So I think I’ll leave the f***ers alone. We make our toast in a toaster oven. It’s a lousy toaster, a lousy oven, and takes up too much counter space. I’ve suggested we just get a toaster but was told there may be some circumstance some time that we may need the oven part. It hasn’t come up, so Mary hasn’t been able to say “told you so” yet. Maybe my nieces and nephews can throw it out when we’re gone or if they’re unfortunate one of them will use it to make toast.

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  36. Dave said on July 1, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    J. D. Vance has entered the R primary race for senator from Ohio. One opponent is the thoroughly disgusting Josh Mandel so, great choices.

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  37. basset said on July 1, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Not interested in an air fryer, but we didn’t get an Instant Pot for years due to a lack of counter space. Finally made room for it and the pot turned out to be a worthwhile improvement.

    I see that Southwest has some really cheap flights from Nashville to Milwaukee, Mrs. B has mentioned the Wisconsin Dells and it sounds a lot like the Gatlinburg of the north to me. Anyone have suggestions on what there might be to do in that area? The Swedish restaurant with goats on the roof would definitely be a stop, Mrs. B is of Swedish descent and we have Dala horses gathering dust just a few feet from where I sit.

    Last time I was in Milwaukee we drove around the Milwaukee Mile race track and shot video of antique muscle cars, that was fun but once was enough. I doubt “Mr. Norm’s 440 Dart” rings a bell with anyone here, will be interesting to see if it does though.

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  38. Deborah said on July 2, 2021 at 12:10 am

    Basset, run don’t walk away from the WI Dells, unless you love hearing children having tantrums and seeing old people sitting around on balconies in rocking chairs watching children having tantrums. Not my cup of tea.

    No air-fryer no insta-pot, don’t miss having one. We had a rice maker, never used it, gave it away on a Buy Nothing site. No regrets. Make toast in a Kitchen Aid toaster.

    Assholes firing off firecrackers in the Santa Fe hood, dangerous and irritating.

    Julie, I remember the first time I said ‘fuck” out loud. Unfortunately it stuck and I say it like a salty sailor now with no compunctions, unfortunately.

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  39. basset said on July 2, 2021 at 12:56 am

    Tantrums and old folks, that does sound like Gatlinburg. My new criterion for a vacation trip is not having to stand in line, looks like the Dells are a bad choice for that. We like nature, history, and animals, maybe we can find something elsewhere in Wisconsin.

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  40. LAMary said on July 2, 2021 at 1:05 am

    I’m pretty resistant to stuff like air fryers, instant pots but I like my multi pot. I can slow cook or pressure cook. Makes great Bolognese, chicken tikka masala, soup, rice pudding. I still have The
    The toaster oven-air fryer-convection oven I got for Christmas from my brother. It’s still in the box.

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  41. Dexter Friend said on July 2, 2021 at 2:53 am

    My air fryer sat for a year or two, then I had half an order of fries I was going to toss away and remembered daughter Lori’s words about throwing day-old leftover fries into the thing and they were better than ever…and they were. So now I keep tater-tots in the freezer and pop a few into the air-fryer sometimes. Toast, well, a toaster is like 8 bucks, no problem. As a kid when the toaster broke we made toast holding bread over the electric stove burners. I always buy bagel toasters, as I like my bagels toasted, a sin in New York, but out here I eat store-bought bagels and ya have to toast them, then slather them with a full schmear and a little strawberry jam.
    All the talk a year ago about just wait until Cy Vance and the SDNY court gets ahold of civilian Trump, why Trump will be in an orange suit lickety-split…wrong. Trump isn’t being charged anything, his organization comptroller is. Handcuffed Weisselberg escorted in, masked via protocol, fifteen minutes later strolls out, no mask, no cuffs, to his limo. Yeah, he and the organization were indicted, but not detained. Experts say Weisselberg may get a year or 2 in prison. I just don’t believe even that much.

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  42. David C said on July 2, 2021 at 6:01 am

    Basset, if you don’t mind a two hour drive after flying to Milwaukee there’s Door County. It’s one of our favorite places in Wisconsin. I understand lodging can be pricey. It’s close enough to us that we only go for day trips. https://www.doorcounty.com/experience/

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  43. alex said on July 2, 2021 at 6:36 am

    No air fryer here. I’ve already lost way too much counter space to things that don’t get used enough to justify their existence, exhibit A being a food dehydrator.

    Definitely love my InstantPot.

    Dex, the whole point of charging Weisselberg is to get him to turn on “co-conspirator number one,” and the 15 counts he faces now is just the start. Gotta have patience. It’s a long game. If you think Trump isn’t shitting himself right now, I recommend reading this from Dana Millbank: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/01/prosecutors-indict-trump-organization-trump-indicts-himself/

    First time I said “fucker” it had been taught to me by a teen-aged babysitter who told me it was a grown-up word for “mommy” and that I should start using it to address my mother now that I was five. So at the next opportunity I tried it on my mom, who backhanded me across the room before she demanded to know where the fuck I’d learned that word.

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 2, 2021 at 8:29 am

    “Beverly Moran, a law professor at Vanderbilt University, called the two sets of books “a red flag.””

    Ya think? This turns out to be an even more solid case than I first surmised.


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  45. LAMary said on July 2, 2021 at 10:02 am

    Alex, a fave here is boneless pork ribs with some good bbq rub applied, 25 minutes in the instant pot, then on the grill, sauced. Works for chicken too.

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  46. basset said on July 2, 2021 at 10:11 am

    David, I think Door County may be what we had in mind all along, and confused it with the Dells. Thanks for that link.

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  47. annie said on July 2, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    I use my toaster oven all the time. Toast almonds & walnuts every morning for my oatmeal; heat up one slice of leftover pizza; lots of uses besides toasting bread.

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  48. Scout said on July 2, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Between the InstantPot and the Cuisinart air fryer/toaster oven*, we never have to turn on the oven during the hot Phx summer. Our toaster oven/air fryer doesn’t take up much more real estate than the 4 slice toaster did on the counter, it’s just taller. I love making buffalo cauliflower wings and french fries from scratch. And the toaster part makes really great toast even though everybody told us it wouldn’t. We keep the InstantPot in a cupboard when we’re not using it. My wife makes the BEST frijoles in it.

    I’m spending a few days with my Mom after she had hernia surgery on Wed. It was robotic and except for being loopy from anesthesia the day of, she is having a quick and painless recovery. The miracle of modern medicine at its finest. I’ve been driving her to see my Dad in the pt rehab center he’s been at for two weeks, but she should be able to drive already since she pooh-poohed the oxy prescribed for pain, and I can go home tomorrow.

    * on edit – The best part is that we bought the thing on a local auction site for $30. Nothing wrong with it, just no manual, and I was able to download that off the internet. They sell at Costco for close to $200.

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  49. tajalli said on July 2, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    Basset, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin is lovely to visit. It’s near Spring Green, west of Madison, which is west of Milwaukee and a nice drive through what was pretty country in my time. Architecture probably won’t attract families.

    LAMary, thanks for suggesting a multipot since I have limited counter space but could use the expanded functionality.

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  50. Joe Kobiela said on July 2, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    EAA Oshkosh is the 26th thru the 1rst lots of airplanes, pretty cool time. Might have trouble getting hotels.
    Pilot Joe

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  51. Deborah said on July 2, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    I can vouch for tajalli’s recommendation of Taliesin/Spring Green. You need a reservation for the tour, it’s very interesting, a dramatic story and beautiful. Agree, it draws few families, so no toddler temper tantrums.

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  52. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 2, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    Bassett, I will speak on behalf of kitsch, and since Taliesin has been well and justly spoken for, I’d add House on the Rock a few miles to the south. Touristy but memorable. North of there, just south of Baraboo, is Devil’s Lake State Park, which you can hike around in a twelve mile loop and it’s one of the most enjoyable Midwestern walks I’ve ever done this side of Indiana’s Turkey Run State Park.

    Pilot Joe is right to warn you that hotels will fill all over southern Wisconsin at the end of July. Between EAA shows and the Dells, it’s just madness squared.

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  53. Dexter Friend said on July 2, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    Wisconsin Dells… “I took a swig at (Politically incorrect)” https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmichaelkleen.com%2F2019%2F06%2F28%2Fhave-a-swig-with-nig%2F&psig=AOvVaw2NzZLk71pp07nYd9py-3Xc&ust=1625341948452000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAoQjRxqFwoTCIDX8uSUxfECFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

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  54. David C said on July 2, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    What Joe and Jeff said + finding a restaurant in Oshkosh that doesn’t have golden arches or a two or three hour wait. Not that we eat out a lot but EAA week we don’t eat out at all. We barely go out. With any luck I’ll still be able to work from home that week. My office is right next to the airport and getting there is a nightmare with all the closed roads. I assume you’ll be coming at another time.

    If you do go to Door County a side trip to the EAA Museum is really interesting if you’re interested in planes or space. There a really good display of Frank Borman’s memorabilia and a few other astronauts have donated to the museum.

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  55. Julie Robinson said on July 2, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    Soooooooo! No House on the Rock! It used to be fun if kitschy and then they added on room after room of weird stuff. And you have to go through every single room. How about a carousel that your kids can’t ride on? It takes hours and hours.

    We faked a sick kid to be allowed to leave early.

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  56. David C said on July 2, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    That’s hilarious, Julie. So once you’re in, you’re doing the whole tour without any off ramps? Sounds awful.

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  57. Julie Robinson said on July 2, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    Yup. With multiple gift shops. It used to take a hour, so we went in the late morning and brought our picnic lunch to go find a pretty spot afterwards. People were getting very hangry by the time we convinced the warden of an early release.

    This morning I was so tired I started crying when I was asked a simple question. I finally went back to bed, then this afternoon we went for pedicures. It was just what I needed.

    Zero people have come to work on the house today, guess they’re taking a long holiday weekend. If we can’t get in the space by the time the moving truck comes next week, there is absolutely nowhere to put the boxes and we will be well and truly screwed. They said they were coming today but now they say they have to wait for an inspection. Funny how things change like that.

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  58. LAMary said on July 2, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    Scout, mine is the super thundersting digital toaster convection oven air fryer. Add another 80 bucks for being digital. And yes making beans in the multi pot is a wonderful thing. I might sell the toaster oven.

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  59. Deborah said on July 2, 2021 at 7:45 pm

    Yay for pedicures, I haven’t had one since the before times. I do my own toes, badly. I need to get one before I go back to Chicago so I can wear sandals there. I don’t wear sandals in NM because it’s so dusty, I hate the feeling of dusty feet.

    LB and I have been playing Scrabble lately, a nice way to spend a rainy afternoon, or a too hot and sunny outside afternoon. She won big time today.

    It really looked like it would rain again here but then it passed us by, it split and went east and west of us, I hate it when that happens.

    Have been to the House on the Rock in WI, probably 50 years ago, it’s probably different now, but it was weird then.

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  60. Julie Robinson said on July 2, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    Yes, it’s gotten weirder!

    This is only the third pedicure I’ve ever had, mostly because I’m so frugal. Down here you almost need them since you where sandals so much. In general I’m a DIY person, but I just haven’t had any time at all and my feet are beat up. They give you a great foot and calf rub at this place, and I took my daughter and son’s gf and we sat in the big massage chairs and dished. It was fun. I haven’t had much fun lately.

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  61. Julie Robinson said on July 2, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    That would be wear sandals, not where sandals. My brain is addled.

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  62. Little Bird said on July 3, 2021 at 12:04 am

    Allow me to point out that I learned to love Scrabble from my mother. I have regular, super, travel, and some card game version. One of my goals is to make my own board!

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  63. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 3, 2021 at 9:52 am

    Everything Julie & Deborah said was true, which is why I suggested it. 😉

    Hey, I enjoyed Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth. And to be honest, I didn’t expect to. But I did. A little kitsch can go a long ways, but a torrent of kitsch becomes an experience all its own if you just surrender to the current and bob along with it.

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  64. basset said on July 3, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    We’ll avoid late July, then. EAA sounds really interesting to me but not so much to Mrs. B, have already dragged her through the Dayton, Pensacola, and DC aviation museums and her reaction was dutiful at best.

    Mainly we want to do something low-pressure and not stand in lines, maybe go fishing at some point.

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  65. tajalli said on July 3, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    While traveling through Wisconsin, visiting a local cheese factory on the way home might be worthwhile. We used to pick up a rectangular loaf of brick cheese that we called “stinky cheese” which has quite a crust on the outside and delectably strong smelling inside. No doubt there are numerous cheese factories throughout the state – ours was somewhere in between Milwaukee and Oconomowoc Lake, but I haven’t more of a clue to its location. And Thuringer sausage is also a must.

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  66. Deborah said on July 3, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    There are places in Northwestern WI (up near the Canadian and Minnesota border) that make ice cream too, as well as cheese. Uncle J had a compound with 3 or 4 cottages up in that area around a lake and stopping for provisions on the way and on the way back was always in order. A beautiful drive except for getting out of Chicago. Lovely temps there in the summer, also ticks and mosquitoes, but stay away in the winter, brrrrr.

    My ex’s grandparents lived in Oconomowoc, so I have spent time there, quite lovely in the fall.

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  67. basset said on July 3, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    Definitely cheese… the Graham cheese plant at Elnora, Indiana was our local cheese when I was a kid, we’d buy it in five-pound cylinders. That same Graham family made cars, trucks, and parts pre-WW2, and their products were a big part of Dodge’s early success.

    The cheesery’s been closed for several years, though, and the last Graham car was a 1941 model. Far as I know, the Graham farms down in Daviess County are still going.

    Aside from that one trip to Milwaukee, my only time in Wisconsin was in the fall of, I think, 1978. Car ferry from Michigan to Kewaunee, drove down through Green Bay and on into Minnesota and Iowa.

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  68. Deborah said on July 3, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    So I was wrong about our lavender in Santa Fe, we lost about half of our plants not all of them, and the blooms have come in much later than usual. LB started making her lavender wands again, she sold them in 2 shops in the plaza a couple of summers ago, not last summer because of the pandemic. This summer so far she’s selling them in a French restaurant called Clafoutis, not in the plaza, but it’s a place that has really good food at very affordable prices. The owner couple lived in Aix-en-Provence before coming here, he’s the main chef, she runs the place. LB gave her a wand the other day when we went there for lunch and she loved it and asked if she’d be interested in selling them there. LB took 7 or so in today and in about a week she’ll have a lot more. It’s so good to have lavender growing in the yard again. This restaurant is only open for breakfast and lunch, they do a good business selling pastries and breads in their boulangerie area. It’s in a part of town called South Capital, south of the state capital building (duh), it’s a nice area, the restaurant is very popular.

    Edit: this is what a lavender wand looks like https://www.etsy.com/listing/888650303/lavender-filled-wands-ten-small-batons

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  69. Julie Robinson said on July 3, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    We have to redo all our landscaping because the city of Orlando says so, but after the final permit approval happens we can plant other things too, like lavender. We’re all kind of pissed about the landscaping because what we had was quite nice. We also have to put down pine bark mulch which is pricey.

    The gf has made two magnificent deep dish pizzas for dinner tonight. I’m salivating.

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  70. basset said on July 4, 2021 at 12:01 am

    “made our local cheese,” I should say. But you knew that.

    Just finished, rather Mrs. B finished, an all-evening binge watch of “Penguin Town” on Netflix. Quite enough little stubby wings for awhile.

    Julie, the planning director who hired me here in Nashville was previously planning director in Orlando and used to talk about dealing with the “nuclear weapon easement” when the former naval base there was redeveloped.

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  71. Julie Robinson said on July 4, 2021 at 12:52 am

    We live near there, basset, and our house was probably home to a Navy family. Today it’s been redeveloped as Baldwin Park, very expensive townhomes that all look the same, and were the basis for the John Green book and movie Paper Towns. They have no soul.

    I can’t sleep. Mom.

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  72. ROGirl said on July 4, 2021 at 8:50 am

    I saw one of these driving down Woodward in the burbs yesterday afternoon. The guy wasn’t in costume.


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  73. Deborah said on July 4, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    We’re leaving for a 4th of July picnic in Abiquiu and one of the hosts has cancer, we don’t know how long she’s got, she’s on her 4th round of breast cancer. We haven’t seen her for a couple of years, partly because of the pandemic but also because she’s been going through rough chemo. I’m steeling myself for what she looks like now. Some other friends who have seen her lately said she’s lost a lot of weight. I hope I can be as positive as possible around her, I’m excited about getting together again after all this time.

    My face is almost completely healed, I still have pale red blotches but when I wear a bronzer, it evens it out. Only thing is I have a line where the bronzer stops by my hairline. I try to make it a gradual transition but it makes me feel like the TIFG.

    RO Girl, I can’t see any image when I go to your link. Might just be my iPad.

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  74. ROGirl said on July 4, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    Sorry about that.

    Try this.


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  75. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 5, 2021 at 8:19 am

    Probably not the original one; there’s a business in Logansport IN that builds licensed replicas of the 1966 Batmobile: https://fiberglassfreaks.com/

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  76. alex said on July 5, 2021 at 9:27 am

    A little house porn for your viewing pleasure this morning:


    This one was designed by architect Orus Eash and is immediately adjacent to a rather austere Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian. My parents considered this house when it was on the market in the 1970s but passed because you couldn’t open any windows for fresh air. Climate controlled only. And it overlooked a beautiful wooded area that was soon to be bulldozed and replaced by a tacky apartment complex.

    I remember when we went to see it with the realtor. It looks like the kitchen cabinetry has been painted over in a sort of steely gray. Originally the cabinet bases were white with brightly colored doors in an alternating array of colors — purple, orange, lime green, red, yellow, blue.

    Here’s another look at it: https://dancerconcrete.com/feature/circle-house/

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  77. Deborah said on July 5, 2021 at 9:46 am

    I like the steely gray kitchen.

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  78. Suzanne said on July 5, 2021 at 11:34 am

    Alex, that house is wonderful!

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  79. alex said on July 5, 2021 at 11:53 am

    And it’s off market already.

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  80. Deborah said on July 5, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Speaking of house porn have you seen photos of Jeffery Epstein’s place in Stanley, NM that’s up for sale for $27 million? Stanley is in Santa Fe County which stretches quite far south, lots of folks think it’s in Santa Fe but it’s about 60 miles away, very remote, so he could easily hide the goings on. The photos of the compound show weird smaller buildings and the big main house is hideous. Those out buildings are probably where he housed his girls. It’s really disgusting.

    And remember I commented here a few months my RW sister is just convinced that Epstein and his girlfriend (I’ve forgotten her name) were at my wedding in Abiquiu, I’m sure I didn’t didn’t convince her otherwise. She said she remembers them being dressed up in expensive western wear at the reception, and that they left early. I’ve worried about her mental health since she told me that.

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  81. LAMary said on July 5, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    The country’s largest tiny house homeless temporary shelter is opening near my house. And a 3000 square foot house down the street just sold for 2.6 million.

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  82. Kim said on July 5, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    Alex, cool house! We just bought our neighbor’s homemade Usonian-style house. The couple, now deceased, were huge Frank Lloyd Wright fans and built the house in the early 1950s after visits to the Pope-Leighey house, Fallingwater and other FLW greatest hits.
    They lived first in a platform tent on the property during the build, then built an 8×12 shed that had a bedroom (for them and their 3 kids under 5), kitchen and bathroom). They lived there until the walk-out basement was complete, then relocated while the house was built on top. The design is so intentional in every way, from its orientation on the river to how the sunlight comes into the house, to the height of counters/sinks (they were on-the-short-side Finns). Unfortunately, the roof is partly flat and leaky,the windows do not open, electricity is fuse, heat is oil, homemade cinder blocks may not have the original integrity.
    We’re 90% thinking it’s a teardown but hoping to build a 21st century version of the house. God help us!

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  83. Deborah said on July 5, 2021 at 4:05 pm

    Kim, seems like you could renovate all of the flaws and update the roof, windows, electricity etc, and not have to do a complete tear down. Seems like a shame, but what do I know.

    LA Mary do you have any links to the tiny house homeless project near you? I would love to see that.

    It drives me crazy that autocorrect capitalizes windows whenever I type it.

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  84. LAMary said on July 5, 2021 at 5:23 pm


    Here you go, Deborah. There was also a tiny home village opened in the western part of the San Fernando Valley. It’s called Trebek village because he contributed some serious cash to the cause. He also donated all his Jeopardy suits to a group that provides interview clothing for job interviews and office jobs to homeless persons. The local opponents to this tiny village in Arroyo Seco suggest there is a lot of room in the desert for these villages. I’m glad there are more locals supporting this than suggesting tossing people into the middle of nowhere and letting them figure out how to survive there.

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  85. LAMary said on July 5, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    Off topic: My son Tom and his girlfriend are coming over for a one day late July 4 barbecue. I had a lot of ripe plums so I decided to make the NYT plum torte. I doubled the recipe and put a half pound of butter into what I thought was a microwave safe glass bowl to soften it. I hit start and in about 5 seconds there was an explosion in the microwave. Lots of tiny glass shards all over the place, a blob of butter sitting forlornly in the middle. This was a pain in the ass to clean up. Luckily I had another half pound of butter but there was a clean up delay for about twenty minutes. So not all glass mixing bowls that look like pyrex are microwave safe. I just ordered new five quart pyrex bowl on Amazon. An astonishing number of glass and plastic bowls are not microwave safe. Most of them in fact are not.

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  86. Julie Robinson said on July 5, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    Oh man, what a PITA, Mary. D dropped a bottle of wine on the floor as we were on our way out the door, that delayed us by 20 minutes and made him weep since it was his favorite.

    I read a story about Alex Treble and his suits a while back, and I got weepy. They interviewed one of the recipients who was completely inspired to receive it.

    There’s a similar program in Fort Wayne who got all of D’s professional wardrobe; twice, actually, since he had to buy new clothes after his big weight loss. He’s no Treble, but he’s the finest man I’ve known, and I like to think they carry a little good karma with them.

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  87. Deborah said on July 5, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    Thanks for the link LAMary.

    Our friend who has cancer that I mentioned up thread, is weak and has lost some weight but she didn’t look too wan, considering. It was nice to get together with her and other friends.

    It is looking a little greener in Abiquiu these days, I don’t want to jinx it but the monsoon season there is coming along, hope it keeps up through July and August, that would help the drought situation immensely.

    Speaking of glass breaking while cooking, I made potatoes au gratin once in a pyrex pan in the oven and it shattered when it was almost done, that was hideous to clean up.

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  88. Dorothy said on July 5, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    Oh Mary I’m sorry about that mess. One Thanksgiving after my father-in-law had passed away and we had brought to our house a few of his kitchen things, I used a glass rectangular dish of his to hold some sliced turkey breast. The oven was at 350 and I had another dish or two in the oven already, so when I had to re-warm the turkey meat I put foil over it and put it on the bottom rack of the oven. This was only going to be for 10-15 minutes. But we heard a loud crack about 5 minutes after we put it in the oven. The damn dish had broken and glass and turkey were spilled all over the bottom of the oven. We had enough for the small crowd we were hosting, but it about made me cry to have to throw away several pounds of white turkey meat. And that’s when I learned that not all glass pans are created equal.

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  89. Kim said on July 5, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Deborah: Believe me, if it made financial sense to renovate, that’s exactly what we’d do. This is truly a homemade house, like many in my neighborhood that was NASA’s de facto company town back in the 1950s and ’60s. Engineers who sent rockets and people to space figured “how hard would that be?” when it came to building their houses. So they did, with results as interesting as you’d imagine.

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