Urgent bulletin.

What’s the worst social-media platform? Easy: Facebook. Stupid content, stupid people, terrible management. But they have most of the money and the Microsoft strategy: When a competitor threatens, buy ’em. Or, in the case of Substack, imitate ’em. The first editions — I guess that’s the word — of Facebook Bulletin, its newsletter platform, dropped last month, with three star writers.

Malcolm Gladwell (snicker), Erin Andrews and…drumroll…Mitch Albom.

In a way, I can’t complain; one of the last times I took a whack at Mitch I suggested he write more about Haiti and his work there, and that’s apparently the focus of his bulletins. I regret to inform you he is not living up to my hopeful expectations. So far, in three bulletins, we’ve learned that the children are sweet and loving and that the orphanage he runs there is an oasis. I was hoping for something a little …grittier, maybe? The poverty of Haiti is no secret, but I want to know how a high-profile American writer’s orphanage operates in a country like that — how the government treats them, what the government is like, even. All of which is to say, I don’t think he’s going to share his thoughts on the assassination of the president.

As for Gladwell, well. In this piece, a series of sloppy wet kisses for autonomous cars — which, sorry, have a long way to go to match his enthusiasm — he does not mention anywhere that he’s a paid shill for General Motors. That’s a long way from ethical journalism, but he sure knows how to tap multiple revenue streams.

I haven’t even looked at Erin Andrews’.

Speaking of writers who have displeased me, I did perk up my ears when I saw that Gary Abernathy, the southwest Ohioan perplexingly employed as a contributor to the Washington Post, decided to take on his fellow Buckeye, J.D. Vance. Boy, is that guy’s utter humiliation something to see, or what. Abernathy is kinder, but maybe not:

As he gets rolling, Vance seems to be struggling with who to be. As Politico reported Monday, Vance said he regrets now-deleted tweets from 2016 “calling Trump ‘reprehensible’ because of the former president’s views toward ‘Immigrants, Muslims, etc.’” Vance recently trekked to Mar-a-Lago for an audience with Trump, as have others in the race. But the about-face smacks of pandering and no matter what he does now, his old tweets will undoubtedly be featured in attack ads ad nauseam.

…According to one source, Vance currently places third in internal polling behind Mandel and Timken, and many think Timken is best positioned to receive Trump’s endorsement, which would likely be the ballgame in the GOP primary. But other hopefuls abound, including business executives Mike Gibbons and Bernie Moreno, with more considering the race. Congressman Tim Ryan is the only Democrat to have declared so far. Vance may be the best-known of them all nationally, but that just isn’t enough against longtime Ohio political players.

Yeah, he’s in third place “according to one source,” by about a mile. Josh Mandel has 35 percent and Vance, about 6 percent. Hillbilly meltdown.

Want to read some fine lines? Try this, from Texas Monthly:

In the year 1190, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, amid an arduous overland trek to Jerusalem, arrived with his army at the Saleph River, in what is today southern Turkey. He drowned in waist-high water, according to some accounts, weighed down by his armor. Crusades are a dangerous business.

Sidney Powell, crusading lawyer of Dallas, is drowning much closer to home. It’s late May, Memorial Day weekend, and she’s speaking to a crowd of nearly a thousand self-described truth seekers. “Truth is the armor of God,” she tells the rapt audience at Eddie Deen’s Ranch, a kitschy wedding and event venue in an awkward corner of the city’s gargantuan convention-center complex. “Deception is destroying this country,” she says. Heathens and unbelievers are “terrified, absolutely terrified of the truth.”

Finally, want to have a little fun during spelling-bee week? Do a personal spelling bee, via the NYT. I got 13 out of 15. Best of luck.

Now, let’s enjoy the weekend. RIP to L.A. Mary’s Smokey.

Posted at 9:33 pm in Current events |

64 responses to “Urgent bulletin.”

  1. Sherri said on July 8, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    That Malcolm Gladwell piece is so bad, and so wrong, on so many levels, it’s hard to even start. Which makes it like too many Malcolm Gladwell pieces.

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  2. basset said on July 8, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    Fourteen for me, missed “apodictic.”

    In a former life, I was once the pronouncer for the Nashville public-school spelling bee.

    And RIP to Smokey from us as well, never had a Lab but we’ve had to put down two goldens.

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 8, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    All our blessings and best to LAMary. That’s always hard.

    Less sympathy to Sidney Powell. Truth is not the full armor, it’s just the belt. You can look it up, it’s in the Book. Important, useful, keeps your pants up and your sword handy, but the whole armor of God is a little more holistic and comprehensive an image than she’s taking into consideration.


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  4. Mark P said on July 8, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    Malcolm Gladwell’s problem is that he is ignorant but writes as if he knows things. And he’s also full of shit.

    LAMary, I was so sorry to hear about your doggie. It’s one of the hardest things I have ever done.

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  5. Ann said on July 8, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    What a trio. Hard to pick out the one I’m least likely to want to read. And congratulations to you and all my friends who did so much better than I did (7) on the NYTimes spelling test. I blame it on my progressive school which was teaching “whole language” instead of phonics when I was in first grade.

    My condolences, LAMary.

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  6. ROGirl said on July 9, 2021 at 5:46 am

    I’ve been thinking about the parallels and connections between the emergence and spread of the coronavirus mutations and the doubling down and spread of the election lies, embrace and amplification of the chaos and outrage machine, and the people who are exploiting the rubes to their advantage. The exploiters have probably mostly/all been vaccinated, unlike the rubes who are the ones dying from the new coronavirus variants.

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  7. David C said on July 9, 2021 at 6:49 am

    I reached my NYT limit so I’m saved from spelling bee embarrassment. I’m a terrible speller. My dyslexia gets the credit for that. Before spell checker, I was good enough to know the words I wasn’t sure about and to look them up in a dictionary. I still have my old paperback dictionary I kept in my backpack through college and my early work days. The cover has fallen off and the binding is ready to go. I don’t know why I keep it. Waiting for the apocalypse, I guess. Spell checker is a godsend for me.

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  8. Jeff Borden said on July 9, 2021 at 9:28 am

    In today’s Washington Post, conservative columnist Henry Olsen declares the candidacy of J.D. Vance “scares” the elites. WTF? Vance is an investment banker with a degree from Yale. Doesn’t that make him elite?

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  9. robert said on July 9, 2021 at 9:58 am

    re: faceBook – so true

    This chart sums it all up for me:

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  10. LAMary said on July 9, 2021 at 10:13 am

    On the way home from the vet’s office my sons stopped to buy a bottle of brandy and a bouquet. They each did a shot for Smokey and gave me the flowers. Lots of tears, all around. Thank you, everyone, for the condolences.

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  11. LAMary said on July 9, 2021 at 10:38 am

    I watched the spelling bee last night and thought the girl who won was amazing. One of the commentators said that competitors always remember the word the got wrong. I do. I was kicking ass in the seventh grade spelling bee until I got the word “hyperbole.”

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  12. Deborah said on July 9, 2021 at 11:20 am

    I’ve been reading about the young girl who won the spelling bee, she’s also a basketball star dribbler. I wondered about her last name Avant-Garde and I read that her dad changed her name to that to honor Coltrane, I didn’t know you could do that.

    I’m a lousy speller too. I often have to look it up because I’m so far off spell check doesn’t have a clue.

    I’m lucky on Facebook not to get high school or college friends bugging me because my name has changed a couple of times. I ditched my maiden name and my first marriage name, I didn’t do it for that reason, but now they can’t find me.

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  13. alex said on July 9, 2021 at 11:35 am

    I use an alter ego on Facebook precisely because I don’t want to be bothered by certain people.

    I also don’t want to be bothered by Facebook’s Bulletin. Frankly I’m annoyed that my e-mail inboxes are already overflowing with newsletters from all of my subscription publications. I know the news business is tough these days, but this is no way to treat your readers.

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  14. LAMary said on July 9, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    Don’t bother reading Erin Andrews. There ate better ways to use those sixty seconds.

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  15. Deborah said on July 9, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    Julie, I used my baby sunscreen this morning and so far no eye burning or stinging. It did make my face look paler, but right now that’s a good thing for me because I still have some blotchy redness from my topical chemo treatment. The sunscreen evened out the color. It’s not as pale as that photo of Zuckerman riding a surfboard that circled the internet a while ago. So that’s good.

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  16. Dave said on July 9, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    I confess to getting only 7 correct at the Times spelling bee. I think I would have gotten a couple more if I had understood exactly what they were enunciating but I blame that on my aging ears. I also confess that a couple of those words were words I have never come across in my entire life. Whine, whine whine.

    I don’t think I’m a terrible speller, I laugh at Mary’s spelling bee story from the seventh grade, I used to be one of the last two or three standing in classroom spelling bees but I never won. Something always tripped me up but I couldn’t begin to tell you what the word was that ousted me.

    Mary, may I join in the sympathies for your good dog, our Desi is ten years gone now and we still miss her. We never replaced her with another because not having a pet was so freeing for us. There’s a cute little dog that gets walked by our home every day and her owner told us she got it because she felt penned up by the pandemic but she didn’t really think about the fact that her other dogs were dogs that she had when the children were all home and able to play and help with it. She still has it.

    Erin Andrews’s father, Steve, was the longtime consumer reporter and troubleshooter on a local Tampa Bay station, retiring just the first part of this year. You know the kind I mean, got a problem, better call Steve. It doesn’t make me want to follow her, though.

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  17. Deborah said on July 9, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    My husband pronounced hyperbole as hi-per-bowl. The first time I heard him say it that way I was pretty shocked because he’s a very intelligent guy. Is that an alternate way to say it? He claims it is but I don’t think so.

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  18. Jeff Borden said on July 9, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    Any one here checked out the new anti-abortion law rising in Texas? It would allow third parties from anywhere in the country to file suirs against doctors or patients seeking an abortion. If successful, the plaintiff would pocket a cool $10K.

    Texas is the second most populated state, right? Who are these people?

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  19. David C said on July 9, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    Hi-per-bowl isn’t an alternative pronunciation. I think mispronunciations like that are very common with well read people who’ve never heard the words spoken before they read them. English is a non-phonetic language so it makes sense for someone to think that’s the way. It’s a limitation of phonics teaching. The proper answer to the phonics vs. whole language war is probably we need both in English. Some people would rather make it a fight though.

    I can’t see even the Supremos upholding the Texas law. Their favorite “we don’t want to deal with this” dodge is to say the plaintiffs don’t have standing.

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  20. Carl said on July 9, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    Big chuckle out of Mark’s comment on Gladwell. Still remember the words that expelled me from two spelling bees — niche and satiate. I got 13 right but probably would not have gotten apodictic, if not for Basset’s tipoff.

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  21. alex said on July 9, 2021 at 7:48 pm

    Haven’t checked out the spelling bee yet.

    My high school latin teacher used to hyper-bowl a particular word and it’s not coming to me right now, but I find it cringeworthy whenever I recall it. Especially as he was teaching latin, the origin of the word he was so badly mispronouncing.

    I came in runner-up in the sixth grade spelling bee. I was so hyperconsciously trying not to spell “calendar” the way you’d spell “lavender” that I did just that. I knew I was fucking up as I was saying it.

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  22. alex said on July 9, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    It came to me.

    My latin teacher used to say “Epi-TOAM.” As in rhymes with foam.

    Another funny one I recall hearing about secondhand was “con-TREEv’d.”

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  23. Dave Kobiela said on July 9, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    LA Mary, condolences on the loss of your friend Smokey. We had a chocolate Lab, Mocha Margie, who was part of our family for 15 years. When her hips finally got too bad for her to walk and we took her to the local vet for her final visit, he asked if we’d like to donate her body for teaching.
    We agreed to do so, and several weeks later we got a hand written Thank You card from the Purdue Veterinary school. We also got a nice sympathy card from Dr. Johnson our local vet.

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  24. David C said on July 9, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    I don’t know how it ever came up but I had a fourth grade teacher who talked about a cal-e-ope. Even low reading group, dyslexic me knew how calliope was pronounced.

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  25. LAMary said on July 9, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    Calender is actually a word. My brother misspelled it once and while I was pointing and nyah nyahing at Mr.Grad School fucking up he looked up CALENDER. It’s a Sufistic mendicant dervish.

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  26. Dorothy said on July 9, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    I am mortified that I only got 8 right on the spelling bee. But I too had never heard of a few of them.

    My daughter messed up big time the first year she competed in the bee at the county level. She said: REM (pause) E (pause) BER. We all just about died. And so did she. First round word! But she made up for it when she won the whole thing the following year. We purposely say words wrong all the time in my family to kid each other, or commemorate hearing someone in the family say it incorrectly. Daughter was reading before the age of 5 and when she was about 6 or 7, we were driving down the road. And she said “Oh Mummy, look at the pretty GAZZ-a-bow!” Of course she meant ga-ZEE-bow. She got points for trying it though. She had read it in a book and guessed how it was pronounced. We say MY-jerr all the time for Meijer stores just as a joke. Don’t all families do this weird thing?

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  27. Deborah said on July 9, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    Dorothy, we tease my husband because he pronounces some of the names of the Native American Pueblos around here all wrong. For instance for Pojoaque he says Po-ho-ah-quay very slow and deliberately, when its pronounced Po-wau-kee, they say it really fast like when you say Milwaukee. He says paht-poree for pot pourri, which is weird because he speaks pretty decent French. And as I said before he says hyper-bowl. He went to Harvard for God’s sake.

    I was embarrassed in front of people when I pronounced Detente, Da-tent-ay, I had only seen it in print. mostly if I’m unsure I keep my mouth shut. As my mother always used to say, it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool rather than speak up and remove all doubt.

    LB called strawberries Stawobbies and she called her tricycle an angle-cycle which I thought was pretty astute when she was about 3.

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  28. Deborah said on July 9, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    They were setting up the green chile roasting gear in the Whole Foods parking lot today, seems a little early but sure makes me look forward to it. For those who don’t know what it’s like in Santa Fe during the green chile roasting season, it’s heaven. They roast them at every grocery store parking lot and the farmer’s market, the aroma is divine, all over the city. we buy a bunch every summer, skin them and then freeze them, they last all year, take out a few from the freezer and add to this or that. Delicious. I miss them when I’m in Chicago, I need to figure out how to take some back with me.

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  29. LAMary said on July 9, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    The teacher who pronounced hyperbole said, “high per ba lee.” Like it was an adverb and not like there was an O in the third syllable. I was someone who had read it but not heard it. No one was tossing around words like that in my home. I still hold a grudge about this. I also hold a grudge about not being chosen to be on the sort of College Bowl team. Math and chemistry were not my strong points but sitting in the audience I got a few literature and pop culture answers that none of the geniuses on stage did. I even corrected the moderator from my seat on this question, “What is the name of the the detective played by Raymond Burr on the TV show based on the books of Earle Stanley Garner?” They gave someone a point for Perry Mason. I demurely shouted from the third row of the auditorium,”He was a lawyer. Not a detective.”

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  30. alex said on July 9, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    Deborah, I once brought back green chiles from Santa Fe and a local showed me how to do it. We froze them hard, wrapped them in newspaper and put them in a styrofoam cooler. This was a summer in the 1990s when Texas was over 100 degrees every day and we had an overnight layover in Dallas on the way home and it was sweltering hot. I thought for sure the shit would be ruined. Got back to Chicago belatedly and opened them up at home and they were still frozen solid, nothing melted and no water in the cooler.

    The secret, as it was explained, is that when you pack it dry it stays dry. If you use ice packs, or a plastic cooler that doesn’t breathe, or both, it causes condensation which in turn causes everything to melt. Not a problem if you’re keeping beers cool at a picnic for a couple of hours but a big hassle if you’re transporting perishables cross country.

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  31. Dexter Friend said on July 10, 2021 at 2:23 am

    Times says I have limited out, but I studiously never go there at all since the paywall went up many years go. I was spending way too much time there anyway, and there’s a lot of free stuff out there. Apparently they took away the X number of free articles and re-set it to zero for free.
    The spelling bee was always late May-early June. I looked for it then and figured it was cancelled again. Oh well. I see it was on TV but I have been wrapped up in hockey, baseball, basketball, and streaming.
    I was the kid who always went to the county bee at the courthouse, always finishing third in the county for my grade. A girl a year ahead of me won the regional in Fort Wayne and went to D.C. in 1962. She went quite a ways before getting one wrong. She won other ways; she’s 73 now and looks 40. She found the fountain of youth .

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  32. Mark P said on July 10, 2021 at 9:24 am

    Spelling bees never held much interest for me. I like to spell my words correctly, but exotic words? Who cares.

    LAMary, the fact that Perry Mason was an attorney is pretty important. In fact, it’s all important.

    Deborah, I was visiting a friend in Albuquerque with my parents during chile season. We stopped and got a big basket of chiles fresh out of the roaster. When we stopped at a grocery store, my parents went in and my friend and I stood at the tailgate of their little SUV eating chiles. For a long time after they I would stick my head into the car to get a hit of chile.

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  33. Mark P said on July 10, 2021 at 9:46 am

    Alex, regarding frozen chiles in the cooler, I’m a little confused
    by the physics. But they were right about water ice melting. What you needed was dry ice (frozen CO2). Grocery stores that serve Indians from the reservations sell dry ice because of the heat and long distances the Indians have to travel to get back home. Dry ice is colder and doesn’t melt.

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  34. Deborah said on July 10, 2021 at 10:05 am

    Alex, I would do that with dry ice (as Mark P) suggested except we’re flying back. This will be the first time we’ve flown since the before times. I can try and put something in a checked bag, I don’t think they’d let me take it back in a carry-on. I never thought of taking frozen chiles when we were doing the road trips because those always took days and it never occurred to me to even try. I will try to roast my own in Chicago, in the oven of course, not the cool way they do it around here in the big rotating drums.

    This morning we have another zoom meeting with the condo association to open the bids from the window companies. We sent out a bid package to 3 companies and only got 2 back. The one vendor that our problem owner wanted to use, did not bid, so we’re expecting fireworks during the meeting. She’ll accuse us of all kinds of things, even though we actually bent over backwards to ask that company to bid via phone and email. I have the emails to show but that won’t stop her from having a fit. The 2 companies that did bid will probably come in high, they have superior products. My husband refuses to vote on vinyl window products but I’m ready to throw in the towel and sell the condo in a few years after vinyl windows get installed so LB won’t have to deal with window replacement when we’re dead. The windows in our unit are OK now, they’re the original cheap aluminum single pane windows that were installed 41 years ago when the building was constructed. I’m sure our heating bills would be lower with new windows and the not to mention they’re also basically bad for the environment. Anyway, I’m sick of thinking about windows, this has been going on for well over a year.

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  35. Mark P said on July 10, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    We had wood-frame windows in our previous house, and condensation made the wood start to deteriorate. I specified “vinyl”(some thermoplastic of some kind) for our current house. No condensation. Of course, the amount of interior water vapor depends on a lot of things, including exterior humidity, and New Mexico is different from Georgia in that respect.

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  36. beb said on July 10, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    A blues song we heard last year on the radio was titles “I Wish My Dog Could Live Longer.” The title pretty much says it all. In the song the singer says that if he had any wish in the world, the only one he really cared about was that his dog would live longer. I’m not a dog-person but I really respect that sentiment.

    Like a lot of people I would be lost without spell check. If there is a rule for whether words ends in -ence or -ance, I never learned it. I did learn to spell vehicle by pronouncing it (in my head) as ve-HIC-le. Previously it had always been a jumble of letters.

    I see that Nancy has another signed column in Deadline Detroit. Is this going to be a regular thing. If so congrats.

    When the thunderstorms passed through we lost our power, which lead to an exodus to Starbucks to leech off their wi-fi (yes, we’re that kind of a family) and when Starbucks closed (early as they have been) we decided that maybe it was time to risk dining out. Went to a bar with a great kitchen (Pat O’Brien’s for you locals). Their patio was packed but inside was fairly open. And of course we had a great meal. But it was just great to finally be able to do that again. Maybe we will finally get back to normal.

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  37. Deborah said on July 10, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    I just got back from taking LB to the Dr, she’s got shingles now. The poor kid can’t catch a break. It’s on the back of her neck, it is more often on the trunk, but apparently you can get it many places on your body. It’s painful and can cause hearing and vision loss if it’s near ears and eyes. Since its on her neck, that needed to be stopped immediately. The medicine she started taking will stop any of that going further. She’s sort of contagious but one would have to touch the effected area, and my husband and I both have had the shingles vaccine. I’ve learned a lot about shingles in the last couple of hours. If you’re over 50 get the vaccine, LB is too young but she couldn’t get one until after 6 months anyway now that she’s got it. The pain can last for months too.

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  38. Sherri said on July 10, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    Shingles is incredibly painful! When I had it, I found that capsaicin cream or lidocaine creams helped with the itch, which is which a nerve itch, not a skin itch, so scratching doesn’t relieve it. I had it on my forehead, and I was miserable. Codiene was necessary for the pain, but it took a few days for me to get it, because I was pregnant at the time.

    Still have some numbness and nerve spasms in the area, 27 years later.

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  39. Julie Robinson said on July 10, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    Deborah, D had shingles twice while still in his twenties and I saw how miserable it was. We got the shot the second we could, then when a new one came out we got that one too. LB, I hope the meds help you.

    Mary, do you still have other animals to comfort you? I know you usually have several, but that they’ve been aging.

    The moving truck came yesterday, one of the hottest days of the year, so you can guess it wasn’t fun. The addition still isn’t completely done, and yesterday could have been so much easier if we’d been able to get into the rooms earlier. We’ll be sorting things out for weeks I’m sure.

    But that inconvenience pales next to the news that one of D’s brothers may be near death. We’re waiting until the nurse sister gets into town and have flight times ready to book. It’s been a long hard slog in and out of hospitals, rehab centers, home, and nursing homes with never any improvement. Word is he’s not eating and has been started on morphine for extreme pain, so I know where it’s going. One more thing for D at the end of a very stressful month.

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  40. Dexter Friend said on July 10, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    One thing I like about the V.A. is when you see your doc, the doc reviews your vax records and tells you: “After you leave go across the hall and you will get your (flu-shingles-whatever) shot.” No “oh, do you want to maybe, or not, perhaps get this shot?” Nope. You GO GET THE FUCKING SHOT! Fact: At the Toledo VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, all the primary care doctors are women. Damn smart ones.

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  41. Deborah said on July 10, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Sorry to hear about your brother-in-law julie. Lots of misery going around these days. I’m glad Covid is disappearing in some areas, but as we all know it’s gaining in other areas where there are fewer vaccinated people. When will this end? I was so glad when LB didn’t get Covid and was able to get fully vaccinated, she dodged that bullet. Now shingles of all things has hit her. Sherri, thanks for the info about Codiene, if it comes to that. So far she’s using lidocaine and taking the meds the Dr prescribed, but those aren’t for pain, those are for knocking out the virus. The Dr did say that the pain and tingling can last for years not just months. She was going to get together with 2 of her dear friends this coming week and the Dr said she can still do that if she covers the patch after it has dried up and should keep her friends from hugging her. One of the friends is in the medical profession and the other has immune issues because she previously had cancer. These are women she’s known since they were in kindergarten together. She called the one in the medical practice and she’s OK with getting together still as long as they take precautions. She showed me what she thought was a weird rash on the back of her neck, she thought maybe it was heat related. I immediately thought of shingles because a friend had shown me a patch that looked just like it. Then this morning she had a swollen lymph gland and that cinched it that she needed to get to a Dr. Before the rash showed up she thought she had a crick in her neck, sore muscles which the Dr said is very common to have with it. She also had pain in her ear and felt like she had a bruise next to her eye that hurt when she touched it, all those things were happening on the same side as her neck pain. After googling all that I was frightened, we went to urgent care because she couldn’t get an appointment with her regular Dr until September!

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  42. Little Bird said on July 10, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    I feel the need to jump in here. Right now it kind of feels like a wicked sunburn with a slightly wrenched neck underneath. My ear is feeling kinda like I left in ear plugs way too long, and my eye just sort of aches. Now I should point out that I am always, always in pain free my hip. It never goes away, but sometimes it’s either not as bad as usual or something else hurts and it’s worse, so I can tune out a lot of the pain. That all being said, this is less than comfortable and the pills are enormous. Thanks for the well wishes!

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  43. Sherri said on July 10, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    Going to urgent care was the right call. The sooner you get started on the antiviral, the better, with shingles, and the less likely you’ll have long term effects. I made the mistake of going to my primary care doctor rather than my OB, and she was reluctant to prescribe anything for me because I was pregnant. It wasn’t until days later when I was in to see the opthmalogist because the shingles were down to my eyelid and my eye was hurting (from the swelling, fortunately, not from the shingles damaging the eye) that the opthmalogist told me to just walk into my OB, because she wasn’t going to prescribe anything for me either (it was all one big medical center). I walked into my OB, they asked if I had an appointment, I took off the sunglasses I was wearing, and my OB’s nurse immediately took me back. By that point I looked pretty bad!

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  44. Deborah said on July 10, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    Yikes, Sherri that sounds awful, glad you got it taken care of. From what I’ve read that could have been way worse if weren’t able to finally get it taken care of.

    Here’s something that’s funny if it wasn’t so sad. https://thebulwark.com/gettr-by-the-puy/. My husband is reading the latest biography about the artist Francis Bacon and man it’s amazing what people are into, Bacon was a mixed up case. This article about Gettr shows what strangeness we have going on out there. At least it’s strange to me.

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  45. LAMary said on July 10, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    We have another dog, Georgia. I always favored Smokey.He was my dog. Georgia was the in house Brit’s and son Pete takes her on lots of walks. I’m just not as attached to her and last year, mid pandemic, she knocked down a section of fence to get to a dog that was being walked on our street and she attacked it. Seven years of living with us, never did anything like that before. We paid large vet bill for the injured dog and apologized. Now my obnoxious next door neighbor, whose yappy dogs run back and forth along the fence, tells people our dog will kill her dogs. They’ve lived next to each other for seven years, no sign of aggression towards her dogs, but now Georgia is a murderer. Same neighbor tells people that Georgia wanted to kill the kid who was with the dog she went after. Not true at all. I got a note in my mailbox telling me I needed to get rid of that dog before it killed someone. Clearly the work of my next door neighbor or someone she talked to. Anyway… I also have three cats. Two really. One is the cat of my son Pete’s girlfriend who had to move back to China. All nice cats with different personalities. So yes, there are other animals in the house but Smokey and I had a real bond. I have a big fenced yard and when I’d let him out before bed he’d go to a distant corner of the yard and just sit, looking at the sky. No amount of calling or whistling would get him to come back inside. If I shined flashlight so the beam lit the ground in front of him, he would follow the beam as I moved it towards the house. He’d look up and see me doing it. It was a game we had. In the last few weeks when he was very weak but still able to go outside and do his thing before bedtime, I’d shine the flashlight if he was taking a too long to come back to the door. He’d only be in the part of the yard right next to my bedroom but I think he liked our game. I’d shine the light on the grass and lead him over to the door. He didn’t do that for anyone else. Just me. And he didn’t come back inside for anyone else until he was good and ready to no matter how much they called, just me with the flashlight saying, c’mon, Smokes. He’d come in the door, tail wagging, head for his water dish and then to the dog bed. He was my dog for a quarter of my life. Most of my sons’ lives too. From the time I saw him at the shelter I knew we needed each other and so did he. Ten dollars at North Central Animal Shelter. I was his third owner. No idea why the first two brought him back but I’m glad they did. It’s going to take some time for me to stop expecting to see him in his usual spots.

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  46. Dexter Friend said on July 11, 2021 at 12:46 am

    Precious, precious Labrador Retrievers. Since Smokey’s leaving, I have been talking to and have been petting Pogo Labbie twice as much as usual, knowing she will be 12 next month, and time rushes by. Pogo gets 1/3 pound of stir-fried hamburger every day, later a whole small boiled chicken breast, smashed up, a cup of dry she snacks on, a few quality treats as well. People freak out when they learn I feed my dog daily chicken breast meat. Fuck them. Pogo is the dog I care for. She’s a wonderful creature.
    I remember the shingles that Carla Lee had to go through. Miserable. I feel for anyone who has had to deal with that.

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  47. ROGirl said on July 11, 2021 at 7:54 am

    When I had shingles it wasn’t painful, just itchy and very uncomfortable. I thought it was just an awful rash at first, but unlike a random rash shingles stays on just one side of your body.

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  48. alex said on July 11, 2021 at 9:34 am

    Mark, I seem to recall that we did without dry ice, but we had only expected our trip home to take several hours and not two days. And we checked the cooler as luggage, Deborah, and it got through just fine from Albuquerque to Dallas to Chicago. Our hosts in Santa Fe swore by newsprint and styrofoam as the best way to travel with chiles.

    That bulwark post was funny as all get-out. Anytime I hear conservatives whining about censorship on social media, I don’t hesitate to remind them that I see facebook, twitter and youtube all the time and no one can tell me that conservative opinion isn’t allowed there. It’s overly abundant and much of it’s in bad taste. If you manage to get yourself fact-checked or banned on any of those platforms then obviously you’re posting content that’s objectionable by anyone’s standards.

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  49. Deborah said on July 11, 2021 at 11:34 am

    Since we found out LB has shingles I’m surprised to find out a lot of people I know have had it. I had no idea it was that prevalent.

    Our zoom meeting yesterday was quite calm, we were totally surprised the AH owner didn’t go ballistic. We only went over the 3 bidders proposals. It’s going to go south though when we reject her preferred bidder. Their package was late, they didn’t answer a lot of the questions we had on the form they were supposed to fill out and didn’t. Their submittal was poorly handwritten, very unprofessional, plus their product is inferior and ugly. If that’s the way they will make and install the Windows, they will be a mess, and there will be problems with them up the wazoo later. Of course they had the lowest price, which is all she cares about. If the rest of the owners back down and go for that bidder just to keep from having to go through a legal rigmarole with her, we’ll probably sell and move after a few years so LB won’t have to deal with bad Windows when we’re gone. What a pain.

    Autocorrect keeps capitalizing Windows because it thinks I’m talking about the Microsoft product, and I’m tired of correcting autocorrect.

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  50. LAMary said on July 11, 2021 at 11:52 am

    I had shingles and I thought it was spider bites. I used to sit outside after dinner and brush the dogs and more than once I had a little trail of spider bites on an arm or leg. Shingles were on my lower back and I assumed a spider got under my shirt. I had to go for a physical for my old job at the hospital and they doctor asked me if I knew I had shingles. Mine were pretty mild. Itch and burn, not too bad, and cortisone cream and ibuprofen made it bareable. It took a few weeks to go away. I know people who really suffered from them so I consider myself very lucky.

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  51. Deborah said on July 11, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    The spaceport where Branson took off from, in Truth or Consequences, NM is about 210 miles south and a little west of us. NM has some pretty funny names of places, my favorite is Pie Town, we’ve driven through it, of course there are cafes there that specialize in pies, we didn’t stop though.

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  52. Deborah said on July 11, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    This is disturbing about journalist and the Biden vs Trump admins https://ckarchive.com/b/k0umh6h0wo69

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  53. Mark P said on July 11, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    Alex, I know wrapping frozen stuff in newspaper helps keep it frozen. Way back in high school my physics teacher laughed at people who said they had discovered that ice would last longer in their cooler if they wrapped it in newspapers. Yes, it’s good insulation, but ice keeps stuff cool by melting, so it defeats the purpose. So it would definitely help keep chiles cold, too.

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  54. tajalli said on July 11, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    Mary, so sorry about the loss of your dog – I was amazed by the grief I felt when my last guinea pig died some years ago.

    Deborah, the reason so many older people have shingles is that most had chicken pox as children prior to the development of the vaccine. After having chicken pox (but not the vaccine!), the virus retreats to the bodies of the sensory nerves (located in the spinal column) and remains dormant until the person’s immune system becomes less effective with age or perhaps simply time elapsed from exposure. The shingles sores will appear along the strips governed by the sensory nerves, a dermatomal distribution pattern. If the “spider bites” run along the dermatome, rather than crosswise in a track over several dermatomes, it’s easily recognized as shingles. Here’s a nice picture https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermatome_(anatomy) .

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  55. Deborah said on July 11, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    Tajalli, thanks for that info and the link. LB has neurofibromatosis which cause fibromas, which are button like tumors that appear on the surface of the skin but are connected to nerves, and plexiform fibromas, which are more involved tumors, that look like a bag of worms, literally that’s how doctors describe what they look like. The plexiforms are often intertwined with blood vessels and muscle tissue, deeper in the body. Although there can be these tumors anywhere there are nerves, which of course are everywhere. LB has to get checked out periodically for eye and ear problems and the brain too, although it’s been a while she had a brain MRI, very overdue for one but she shows no symptoms of that kind of problem. LB had a largish plexiform on her upper thigh that had to be debulked about 5 or 6 or so years ago. Anyway, I wondered if there was some connection between shingles and NF, but apparently there is not. Plus I had spine surgery about four (three?) years ago for a herniated disk which gave me foot drop, which was corrected by the surgery, it was between L3 and L4 if I’m not mistaken. So I’m interested in nerves and how they work throughout the body.

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  56. alex said on July 11, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    Nerves are a trip. Years ago I thought I must have done some serious damage to my shoulder because it hurt like hell and I couldn’t raise my arm. I had to wait a week for an ortho appointment and in the meantime my PCP wouldn’t prescribe me pain meds. I remember once passing out and pissing myself when the pain became simply unbearable.

    The problem wasn’t my shoulder at all, but a pinched nerve at C6-7 in my neck. Worked it out with therapeutic exercise and stretching and glad I didn’t let them bulldoze me into submitting to spinal fusion surgery. I plan to do surgery only as a last resort if I should suffer this way again and I’m unable to relieve it by natural means.

    But yeah, if your shoulder or arm hurts, the problem could very well be nerves in your neck, and if your ass or leg hurts, the pain generator might be nerves in your back.

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  57. Little Bird said on July 11, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    Something I’ve noticed about having a rare genetic disease, without even really trying to you develop quite the encyclopedic knowledge of many things medical. And how certain drugs are for what kind of issue. It’s always a learning game, I didn’t realize that Aleve wouldn’t do jack for this shingles pain, but still. If you suspect that you have an infection or something, ask your chronically ill friend. They can point you in the right direction most of the time.

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  58. David C said on July 11, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    I’ve had my share of pinched nerve problems. Right now the bottoms of my feet are numb from the L5-S1 ruptured disc I had a year and a half ago. My back doctor, a physiatrist, said he could refer me to a surgeon for a discectomy but he doesn’t recommend it. It’s only an occasional problem. Today it’s because we were walking on a trail and I was attacked by mosquitoes so I trotted to get back to the car. Bad move. It’ll probably feel better in a week or two. I’d have to be really desperate to ever have fusion. The odds aren’t good at all. One-third get better, one-third stay the same, and one-third get worse.

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  59. LAMary said on July 11, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    Ever since my first pregnancy I get occasional visits from the Sciatca monster. Sometimes I lift something the wrong way. Sometimes I must be thinking impure thoughts or something because there’s no obvious reason I suddenly am in a lot of pain radiating from my lower back, down my thigh. Walking hurts. Sitting hurts. Sneezing hurts.

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  60. Deborah said on July 11, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    I had a microdiscectomy on my spine and I highly recommend it if you’re having sciatica issues or foot drop like I had. It made all the difference, very quickly. It was outpatient, even though that seems crazy when you think about tampering with your spine. I wasn’t supposed to bend over from the waist for a while after it but I got a claw tool on a stick to pick up things that I dropped etc, which I had no idea how often I did until then. the tiny incision on my back healed just fine in no time. My foot drop was gone almost immediately. It worked for me. I still have some back issues but I don’t think they’re related to that herniated disk, just general aging. I do have some other problems with my spine along my neck but again, mostly general aging issues and poor posture throughout my life. I wouldn’t want fusion surgery, I’ve heard lots of bad things about that.

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  61. David C said on July 11, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    If I had a dropped foot, I’d do it immediately. That sounds awful to live with. Right now with just a numb feeling and no pain I’m going to let it ride. I do my PT exercises every day and that seems to help my feet after a week or so when they go bonkers.

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  62. Dexter Friend said on July 11, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    I talked to Lori in Las Vegas. She worked the E.R. Saturday, and said every 2 hours, they lost 3 people, dead from the heat…all were homeless, living in little tents and lean-to-s. Several had internal temps of 109F. They were brought in in the condition the medics call “cooked”, so damaged that insta-cooling does no good, and they simply expire. Saturday at Death Valley it was 130F,4 degrees off the all-time world record, set decades ago.

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  63. Deborah said on July 11, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    Oh Dexter, that is heartbreaking for homeless people. When I read about the billionaires throwing money at space travel instead of paying taxes, I want to scream. Something is very wrong with this picture.

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  64. Mark P said on July 11, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    Dexter, that old 134F record at Death Valley is almost certainly not a valid measurement. I read an analysis of it that claims it is not meteorologically possible. I went into it doubting the conclusions, but the analysis looks good, and I’m convinced now. The temperatures we’re seeing lately are probably the real record highs.

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